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Matt-M-McElroy

Matt’s PAX 2012 Adventures

Posted on September 4, 2012 by

PAX Prime 2012 has wrapped up and I had a great time at the show. That unfortunately meant I had to miss out on other great times like Dragon*Con in Atlanta and WorldCon in Chicago. I could go off about the scheduling demons that need to be exorcised to make that not happen again. I’ve heard all kinds of cool stories from those other shows that I missed out on…but anyway, PAX was pretty awesome so let’s talk about that…

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Flames

Tales from a GenCon First Timer

Posted on August 27, 2012 by

As a first time Gen Con attendee that finally made my way to Indianapolis after years of attempting to make it to the “Best Four Days in Gaming,” I was both unprepared and blown away by this year’s event. With some understanding of the convention’s significance to the gaming community I knew I was going to be in for at least some surprises!

Overall the weekend was an absolutely amazing rollercoaster of nonstop gaming and chatting with industry folk, trying out games all over the release schedule from wargames that first hit shelves years ago to roleplaying games newly-minted just for Gen Con to card games that wouldn’t be released until September or later. It was extremely thrilling to experience such an exciting event first hand and meet so many wonderful people, as well as a great way to kick off the next season of new releases and see what we had to look forward to over the next couple of months.

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Michael’s GenCon 2012 Adventure

Posted on August 24, 2012 by

This was nothing less than a monumental year for GenCon. Wizards of the Coast and Paizo Publishing put on impressive shows but it was the smaller publishers who stole the spotlight this year. As the gaming industry continues to evolve creative forces are emerging to bring gamers new and interesting ideas. These are the kinds of ideas that larger companies forgo in favor of their big ticket items allowing room for designers to fill those special niches in our gamer hearts. In other words I spent way too much money but these products are so phenomenal I don’t have a single regret. The best part of GenCon was getting to see friends we only get to see at events like this and sitting in on some of the most exciting seminars to date.

What’s Up with White Wolf? covered the evolution of the company since 2008 when they realized traditional publishing was not working for the company. They merged with CCP so WW could get off the product treadmill and focus on the next stage in the company’s life. This became White Wolf 2.0 as they tried to take emerging technologies and integrate them not only with new products but also with the enormous catalog of products they had already produced. This led to the partnership with Onyx Path Publishing.

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Monica Valentinelli

Cthulhu At Your Luau

Posted on August 15, 2012 by

Back in June, I pledged to The Horror in Clay Kickstarter. The concept? Simple enough. Cthulhu’s sanity-blasting image immortalized in a glazed tiki mug. The Kickstarter got a lot of acclaim and was picked up by sites like Boing Boing, iO9.com, and the like. Their original goal was $12,500 and they successfully raised over $75,000. I was thrilled to be one of the people who pledged to this and look forward to sipping refreshing beverages out of Cthulhu’s unhallowed form.

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Monica Valentinelli

Monica’s GenCon Schedule

Posted on August 12, 2012 by

This year, for GenCon, I will be working in my capacity as Marketing Director for Steve Jackson Games. We have a giant eye-in-a-pyramid at the top of our booth so you can’t miss us in the Exhibit Hall. If you don’t spot that, we’re listed as Booth #1301 in the program book.

This is my first fan-facing convention for the company and I’m pretty excited about it. I coordinated a Munchkin Apocalypse preview contest on Twitter and the winners will be sitting down with the Munchkin Czar, Andrew Hackard, to play this upcoming release. (Hint: we also have a capsule machine in our booth and the last golden ticket… Er… seat will be won there.) There are also a ton of signings, interviews, and announcements planned.

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Flames

Shane Ivey on the Godlike PDF and paperback edition

Posted on July 29, 2012 by

After more than 10 years, GODLIKE: Superhero Roleplaying in a World on Fire, 1936-1946 now has a PDF edition with a paperback on the way. Editor and publisher, Shane Ivey, tells us what it was like running the Kickstarter and getting the game ready for these new versions.

Gamers have wanted GODLIKE in PDF from the very beginning, and gamers made it possible in the Kickstarter project that we held to raise money to get the ancient layout files converted to a modern format and to commission new cover art. We have sent the PDF to Kickstarter backers. Thank you, everyone who supported the project!

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Monica Valentinelli

Vampires Are Not Dead

Posted on July 13, 2012 by

New Hero Volume OneThis is not a rhetorical statement, dear readers. Vampires are *not* dead. Today, Stone Skin Press shares with you a taste of “Fangs and Formaldehyde,” which was included in the upcoming New Hero anthology. This anthology is part of a Kickstarter for Stone Skin Press – Anthologies of New Fiction.

Why are my vampires different? To be blunt, I wanted a legitimate reason why vampires could not fall in love or get too emotional. In my setting? They die. Not only that, they die horribly. Their death is so terrifying to them, in fact, that the ones who have stuck around for a while strive for ennui just to survive.

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Matt-M-McElroy

2012 ENnie Awards Nominees Announced

Posted on July 13, 2012 by

Congratulations to the 2012 ENnie Awards nominees!

See the full list at Ennie-awards.com.

Some excellent Horror & Dark Fantasy entries in the list this year from Pelgrane Press (Trail of Cthulhu), Cubicle 7 (Cthulhu Britanica), Steve Jackson Games (GURPS Horror), Chaosium (Call of Cthulhu), Green Ronin (Dragon Age), White Wolf (Vampire: the Masquerade) and a few others. Of course there are some dark fantasy elements in the various Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder nominations as well. Traditionally Wizards of the Coast and Paizo do rather well at the ENnies, which is not surprising consider ENWorld is a D&D site first and everything else second. I’m usually more interested in who wins the Silver awards for each category.

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Monica Valentinelli

Writing On, Writing On for the Clarion Write-A-Thon

Posted on June 29, 2012 by

Last Sunday, I started writing for the Clarion Write-A-Thon to raise funds for their workshop. I have pledged to write 50,000 words by August 4th. So why am I doing this? Well, it’s like I said in this blog post: It’s a rough publishing world out there, I know, but part of what Clarion and […]

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Monica Valentinelli

Celebrating International Short Story Day with New Hero Launch

Posted on June 20, 2012 by

The New HeroYay! Today is the official pre-release of New Hero from Stone Skin Press. This day also marks International Short Story Day. What a great day to launch an anthology of iconic heroes!

You’ve heard me talk about “Fangs and Formaldehyde” before when I said why I couldn’t wait for New Hero. This story features a vampire named Atlas who helps other vampires. To celebrate this character’s debut, I would like to answer a Reader question.

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Monica Valentinelli

Choose How I Destroy The World

Posted on June 16, 2012 by

Greetings and salutations fans of explosions, plagues, floods, fires, and alien invasions!

Yes, that’s right. I am talking to you, oh fans of Michael Bay, who love disaster stories of every shape imaginable. Lean in for a super special announcement!

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Monica Valentinelli

Squick Out Your Friends. Heebie Jeebies Kickstarter

Posted on June 14, 2012 by

Heebie Jeebies Sample CardHeebie Jeebies is a card game of “unsettling notions” designed by Dave Cook. Don’t be fooled by the smiley faces! The game, which I describe as a cross between a tell-all game like Truth or Dare with a Garbage Pail Kids flair, has been announced through crowd-funding source Kickstarter. The Heebie Jeebies Game Production Kickstarter has a few weeks to go yet for its goal.

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Monica Valentinelli

Three New Releases To Read (By Yours Truly)

Posted on June 14, 2012 by

You may have read about my 2011 new releases (which included games, fiction, and non-fiction) or seen the pictures where I showed The Queen of Crows in print.

Well, I’ve had two new releases so far (with a third on the way) and I haven’t really done a good job mentioning what those are. So let me rectify that RIGHT NOW and give you some clues about what’s available for you to either obtain, attain, read, ignore, obsess over or celebrate. (Hah, you get the picture.) There’s a ton more set to debut in third quarter, but until those hit the proverbial digital or physical shelves, can’t say just yet what those are.

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Monica Valentinelli

Round Up of RPG Freelancing Articles

Posted on June 11, 2012 by

For about a year, I’ve been writing about freelancing for the hobby games industry on the Geek’s Dream Girl website. Here’s a round-up of the articles I’ve been writing for the site:

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Matt-M-McElroy

No Grand Masquerade in 2012

Posted on June 8, 2012 by

So, this is something a number of us have suspected for a few months, but now there is “official” confirmation. Chris McDonough has sent Open Letter From CCP to the membership of the Mind’s Eye Society (aka the Camarilla fan club).

In the letter there is some information about the transition of the club formerly known as The Camarilla out of White Wolf/CCP hands and back to the fans themselves. This has been an ongoing process and I’m on the outside looking in (i.e. a friend, but not an active member of the club), however, I think it is a good thing. Fan clubs should be run by fans and while it might be nice to have a company handle all of the funding and management tasks, it really should fall to the fans to manage those details.

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Monica Valentinelli

Bats about Bats

Posted on May 16, 2012 by

On Saturday, we headed to the Wisconsin Bat Festival where we not only learned about bats, why they are endangered, and why that’s bad for the environment — but we got to see a few live and in person as well. Here are some pictures of bats from the festival!

The Bat Festival featured live bat programs with bats from around the world, including Wisconsin’s backyard bats. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources experts were on-hand with information about bat habitats, predators and white-nose syndrome. Several authors were also at the event, including Brian Lies, author of the children’s books Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Library, and Bats at the Ballgame.

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Flames

Vampire Retrospective: Crystal Mazur

Posted on March 16, 2012 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Crystal Mazur. Crystal is an active member of One World by Night and tells us how Vampire was her introduction to RPGs.

Vampire the Masquerade has been a part of my life for about 13 years now. It was my introduction to roleplaying games, and no game has yet to bring what VtM has to offer. VtM has a lot of aspects that games tend to shy away from and themes even the most grotesque horror novelists would find deplorable.

So why has this game become such a sub-cultural icon? To me, it has to do with several factors. The first being the Theme of the game. VtM is all about personal horror. Yes there are monsters under the bed, but over time you become that monster.

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Flames

Vampire Retrospective: Craig Oxbrow

Posted on March 5, 2012 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Craig Oxbrow. Craig tells us about his experiences with Vampire: the Masquerade 1st Edition.

I had been playing and GMing roleplaying games since I was eleven or twelve, and I’d always wanted more focus on the players’ characters than most RPGs and adventures encouraged. Too many missions where it didn’t really matter what you were like as long as you could pick locks or use a sniper rifle. I was approaching seventeen and already jaded.

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Matt-M-McElroy

The Vampire Retrospective Project Continues…

Posted on February 29, 2012 by

When I first launched the Vampire Retrospective Project I had intended it to be a short run to the end of the year and that was it. The response has been very positive from fans, developers and freelancers that have worked on various editions of Vampire: the Masquerade and other RPGs over the years. I’ve also had a few people contact me that wished they could have taken part, but missed the deadline due to work or other conflicts.

So…I’m making the project an open-ended event here on Flames Rising. Especially now that Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition is out and people are starting up games all over the world. If you missed out on sending in an essay, here is your chance, I’d love to hear about your experiences with Vampire (any and all editions or variants).

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Flames

Horror GMing by The Weirding

Posted on February 20, 2012 by

The “How to run Horror RPGs” series continues today at Flames Rising with an essay from About C. Harris Lynn from TheWeirding.net.

Horror roleplaying games are among the most difficult tabletop RPG to run for several reasons. The most important of these are the GM’s relationship to the players and characters, and the general hopelessness of the characters’ situation in many scenarios. Horror PCs are outclassed from the start and often remain so to the end, and this can make horror RPG difficult to play as well as run.

But there are a lot of tips for the budding horror GM, as well as the player (though this article does not offer tips for players). You do not have to incorporate all of these into every session or campaign – just being aware of them can help you in your process.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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