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Monica Valentinelli

Up And Into The Black: Firefly RPG and Exclusive

Posted on July 23, 2013 by

After Margaret Weis Productions announced they had acquired the Firefly RPG license at the end of February, we looked at the calendar. GenCon. Wow, what a show. Could we do it? Could we develop the system, launch a digital line of adventures, and put together a full corebook in time for the show? Our answer was: “No, there isn’t enough time.”

Personally, I think Plan B — even though it’s been a little crazy for all of us — has turned out pretty damn good. As I sit here typing this, I’m waiting for page proofs for Gaming In The ‘Verse: GenCon 2013 Exclusive, our first limited edition release.

The Exclusive announcement was met first with trepidation. What is this crazy thing? A beta? (No, it’s not.) Then, as we revealed more and more information about this 272 page game book — the more excited folks have been getting.

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Monica Valentinelli

Classic Dungeons and Dragons Supplements Are Now In Digital!

Posted on January 22, 2013 by

In the wee hours of the morning, you may have heard your d20s jump for joy.

Wizards of the Coast, in conjunction with DriveThruRPG, announced today a new site launch – DNDClassics.com. The news first broke via GeekDad at Wired Magazine.

Click through to read more about the site’s features, what you can expect to find, and more!

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Flames

Genesis! (…of A Stranger’s Grave)

Posted on November 26, 2012 by

Author Craig Saunders tells us about his novel A Stranger’s Grave, published by Grand Mal Press, in this new design essay.

All right, Genesis may be a little high-falutin for what I do. I’m a straight forward, bash it out writer. I’m not a ‘literary’ writer, and anyone who calls my work literary is apt to get an earful. David Gemmell once whispered in my shell-like that he’d wasn’t the type of writer to go to the ends of the Earth for a paragraph; write 1K a day, and you’ll get there.

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Flames

The Ghosts of Halloween: Halloween 2012 Begins With Ash

Posted on October 29, 2012 by

Halloween 2012 is breathing down our necks. In honor of our favorite holiday, we’ve turned to three spirits: the Ghost of Halloween Past, Present, and Future. Today, we’ve asked the Ghost of Halloween Past to recommend its favorite FlamesRising.com-related events. This spirit has revealed to us, that it wants to honor the writers who’ve helped us out over the years.

Today, for the first day of our Halloween celebration, the Ghost of Halloween Past would like to point out not one, but thirty-one stories written with you in mind. These very fine authors have given us sordid tales to scare and thrill you as a Halloween treat.

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Flames

Rich Thomas on the Werewolf the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition

Posted on October 27, 2012 by

Hi Flames Rising readers- my name is Rich Thomas (richt on the forums) and since 1986, when I began illustrating and art directing for White Wolf Magazine, I’ve been responsible for the look and feel of every White Wolf product ever created — ranging from RPG books, fiction, board/card games and everything in between. I became Creative Director in 2006, which meant I was overseeing White Wolf’s writing and development as well. During this time WW launched multiple Ennie-award winning product lines which I’m very proud of: Scion and Changeling: The Lost.

For a few years I worked with an amazing group of computer game creators as Lead Designer and Content Director for the WoDMMO, but then someone was needed to head-up the team on Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, and I had so much fun and had so many great experiences with our tabletop and LARPing fans that I returned to the world of traditional RPGs with a renewed focus on tabletop gaming. In January 2012 I left CCP and founded Onyx Path Publishing and we are the official licensed publishers of the nWoD, cWoD, and Exalted game lines.

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Flames

Pullman, His New Book, and the 200th Anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Posted on October 13, 2012 by

2012 marks the 200th anniversary of Grimm’s Tales. For two centuries, the brothers’ collection of fairy tales provided us with a sense of wonder while remarking on our humanity. You may have already seen the celebratory uptick in fairy tale-themed movies, television shows, and stories — but what’s being published next is even better.

Acclaimed author Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials trilogy) has re-written fifty of these fairy tales for the modern age. His new book, titled Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm will debut on November 12, 2012. The British author has scheduled some appearances and readings related to the new tome; just check out the official website of Philip Pullman for details.

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Flames

Fear and the Familiar, Writing Three Parts Dead

Posted on September 26, 2012 by

Three Parts Dead is an upcoming novel by Max Gladstone. Max is giving us a look into his writing process with this new essay. You can pre-order Three Parts Dead now at Amazon.com and other retailers.

Left to my own devices, I spend a lot of time alone. I’m a writer, so I write and read for fun—I sit in my living room, feet up, with a book, or pen and ink, or a laptop, and I work. I know the sounds of my apartment: cars rumble down the street nearby, tumblers cascade as keys slide into the front door lock, doors slam across the street, a woman laughs. Air whispers over floor exchanges, glass breaks in the bedroom, leaves rustle through the open window…

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Flames

Steam Powered eBooks

Posted on August 27, 2012 by

We have a new guest post from post from Jonathan Creffield, author of the dark fantasy tale Hell’s Door Opens.

Steam Powered eBooks

I want to ask you a question but before we get to it we’ll take a little flight of the imagination.

Let’s pretend you’re in London. It is the latter part of the 1840’s. Smokey chimneys, rakish gents, dowdy harlots, and grubby faced urchins – you get the picture. You are a writer, probably down at heel, penniless, struggling – that is if you’re anything like most writers I know.

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Monica Valentinelli

Design Notes for Falling Scales Part II

Posted on August 13, 2012 by

Our game design essay series continues today with some notes from Monica Valentinelli, author of Falling Scales Chapter Two, a World of Darkness SAS from White Wolf.

Falling Scales Chapter Two is the final, and second installment, for Falling Scales Part I. I started working on this project last Fall under the assumption that this would be a more atmospheric piece to further introduce a global conspiracy. While there were elements I was able to draw upon, the plot was directed, and there were some liberties I was not allowed to take.

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Flames

Behind the Book: Writing The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance

Posted on July 17, 2012 by

Our author design series continues today with a new essay from Corissa Baker, who tells us about her new novel The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance.

When I started the research process for The Shadow of Dracula; Harker’s Inheritance I knew that I had to be thorough and committed to Bram Stoker’s classic. From the beginning, I was writing this book for fans of this long-lasting pillar of literature. I was not, be assured, pinning a plot to the success of Dracula in order to capitalize on it.

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Flames

Go Beyond the Wall with editor James Lowder

Posted on July 10, 2012 by

Beyond the Wall is Smart Pop Books’ latest essay anthology. This book covers George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (from A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons) and features a foreward by New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore.

Editor, James Lowder is here with his take on the book, and putting together anthologies in general.

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Flames

Spreading the Heebie Jeebies

Posted on June 21, 2012 by

Heebie Jeebies Sample CardOur game design essay series continues here at Flames Rising with Dave Cook telling us about his new game Heebie Jeebies, which is in the middle of a Kickstarter run now.

I’ve been making games for Zipwhaa since 2000. People have asked me how I come up with ideas for games. Usually my reply confounds them because it hardly makes much sense to them, let alone me. The short answer is that they just sort of come to me and fall into place like putting the last piece of a puzzle down. The mental picture of the overall game clarifies in how it will play, what the rules should be and how the flow of the game should go. This is exactly what happened when I created Heebie Jeebies.

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Flames

Creating curse the darkness

Posted on May 26, 2012 by

The direct inspiration for curse the darkness was a song. My brother sent me a link to A Perfect Circle’s cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” some years back. I like the original well enough, but the cover really got my brain moving. I tend to see scenes and characters and stories when I hear music anyway, and when I heard that song (which you can find easily enough on Youtube, if you want to give it a listen before buying it), I saw a man standing on a balcony looking out over the ruined world. The ground was blasted and blackened, and he — whoever he was — stood there thinking, “Yes, this was the right decision. I did the right thing.”

Who was he? What had happened? I didn’t know. I did know that the message of the song felt different with the cover. Instead of “let’s all get along,” it was “get along, and that’s not a request.” I let that sit in my brain for a while, not really knowing what to do with it.

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Flames

Children of the Revolution Deluxe Kickstarter

Posted on May 16, 2012 by

Children of the Revolution tells the stories of noteworthy or notorious Kindred of the modern nights whose Embraces came intimes of unrest, rebellion, or open revolution. The circumstances of these revolutions might have been mortal or undead, martial or cultural. These Kindred joined the ranks of the Damned under tides of war or cultural upheaval, and their blood bears the mark of change from one paradigm into another. Sometimes they are the agents of change. For others, their revolution drags them in its wake.

The world of the Kindred is always fraught with blood and danger, and Embrace amid the fires of revolution only heightens that fact. Here are Kindred who have risen to guide the Black Hand, who have led the armies of Alexander, who have plumbed the mysteries of the Nictuku, and who have been reborn in the fires of the Arab Spring. Their histories have been forged, but their futures remain to be determined by your troupe.

Visit the Children of the Revolution Kickstarter today.

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You Say You Want a Revolution?

Posted on May 14, 2012 by

Farewell to Fear ArtOur new game, Farewell to Fear, is a dark fantasy game about revolution and enlightenment taking people out of the darkness. Your players choose a thing about the world they want to change, and they set out to change it. As we design Farewell to Fear, I’ve tried to keep this at the front of every effort. I’m tackling this through three main avenues, game mechanics, setting writing, and art direction.

In the game mechanics, revolutions are at the forefront. Change needs to drive advancement. So, our entire system is based on building solutions to massive problems, and using thinking and preparation to tackle otherwise overwhelming problems. As the game progresses, characters grow and evolve through their engagements with change.

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Flames

Living with Cold & Dark: Part I

Posted on May 7, 2012 by

The design essay series here at Flames Rising continues with the first part of a series by game designer Mischa L Thomas. Mischa tells us about the forthcoming Cold & Dark RPG.

Living with Cold & Dark: Part 1

Hi, my name is Mischa L Thomas and I’m the lead designer at Wicked World Games 1.1, a small RPG design company based in Gothenburg Sweden. In a couple of months we’re going to release the gritty space horror science fiction pen and paper RPG Cold & Dark in partnership with Chronicle City. I thought I’d talk a little bit about the inspirational sources and conceptualization method behind the design process which led up to the finished game document. But first a little bit of background.

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Monica Valentinelli

Behind the Romance of Strange, Dead Love

Posted on February 14, 2012 by

I was excited when Russell and Eddy first approached me to work on Strange, Dead Love. For the past couple of years, I have attended several romance writing workshops to learn more about the genre from an author’s perspective. Several of the sessions were dedicated to paranormal romance and we often took a lit crit approach to the genre by pulling out contemporary examples: Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice, Yasmine Galenorn, Patricia Briggs, etc. The subject was something I knew a lot about and, as a Vampire: the Requiem player and author of Scenes of the Embrace, I was happy I could contribute to help other players dive into this genre.

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Flames

Dust to Dust: Dirty Secrets by Matthew McFarland

Posted on February 3, 2012 by

The design essay series continues with Matthew McFarland telling us about Dust to Dust, a new story supplement for Vampire: the Masquerade from White Wolf.

Dust to Dust is a story supplement using the Storytelling Adventure System designed for use with Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, and it acts as a spiritual successor to the classic story Ashes to Ashes.

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Flames

Final Twilight Kickstarter Campaign launched!

Posted on January 24, 2012 by

In the near future, on the western coast city of New Metropolis, an evil that has lain dormant for centuries is about to be awakened to the 21st century. Forces of darkness and magic strive to unleash a horror upon the Earth unlike any mankind can remember. The only forces capable of stopping it are rendered impotent by an age-old fear and hatred. Will humanity set aside their differences and stand as one against the darkness? Or will this be humanity’s Final Twilight?

Trinity, the first series, follows a trio of souls whose fates are intertwined. Mark Jarus, the last classically trained mage, fights the good fight as a vigilante in city overrun by crime! Kerra Neil, a young woman and skilled hunter stalking the shadows for murderers and magic-using blights upon humanity! And the enigmatic Charles Faust, whose cool and calm demeanor belie a centuries old heart of darkness and unnatural lust for power!

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Flames

Edward McKeown tells us about Was Once a Hero

Posted on January 17, 2012 by

The design essay series continue here at Flames Rising with a new entry from author Edward McKeown telling about his novel Was Once a Hero.

Reluctant privateer Robert Fenaday searches the stars for his lost love, Lisa, a naval intelligence officer whose ship disappeared near the end of the Conchirri War . He’s joined by the genetically engineered assassin, Shasti Rainhell, whose cold perfection masks her dark past. Both are blackmailed by government spymaster, Mandela, into a suicidal mission to the doomed planet Enshar. Leading a team of scientists and soldiers, they must unravel the mystery of that planet’s death before an ancient force reaches out to claim their lives.

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