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Monica Valentinelli

Ahoy There! Celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day with Flames Rising

Posted on September 19, 2008 by

Skull and Crossbones Pirate FlagFrom the very depths of the blackest hell we’ve come to parlay with ye about International Talk Like a Pirate Day. All that it requires, is that ye talk like a pirate, for certain. But why stop there?

You see, mateys, after ye watch the Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy, to study up on the lingo, ye might find yerself in a strange predicament. One that involves dice, your fortuitous pirate accent and a night with your fellow pirate friends.

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Flames

Timothy Brannan “Ghosts of Albion”

Posted on August 26, 2008 by

Recently we’ve had Greg Stolze tell us about creating his new game A Dirty World and Jason Morningstar fills us in on the development of The Shab Al-Hiri Roach. The design project continues today with Tim Brannan telling us about the work he did on the Ghosts of Albion RPG for Eden Studios.

Set in London at the dawn of the Victorian age, players join in the fight to keep the ever-present forces of evil at bay. Whether fighting a demon prince or even a band of infant stealing faeries, the battle wages on. Characters can join the fight as normal humans, ghosts, mysterious faeries or even wield the magic of the Protectors themselves. All against a backdrop of Victorian England with a dark supernatural undercurrent.

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Flames

Greg Stolze “A Dirty World”

Posted on August 22, 2008 by

Greg Stolze (REIGN, A Hunger Like Fire) has recently released a new game called A Dirty World.

The black and white images conceal a world of baffling gray moral complexities. Noir is about secrets, deception, betrayal and hidden vice. “A Dirty World” rebuilds the One Roll Engine from the ground up to support those themes. Action has consequences, but it’s the only way to make progress. But be careful: Your character’s effectiveness hinges on the choices he makes. It doesn’t matter how nice you say he is: If he acts like a rat, soon a rat is all he’ll be able to be.

Today, Greg takes part in our ongoing design project and tells us how A Dirty World came together and what his goals where while writing the game.

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jmstar

Jason Morningstar “The Roach”

Posted on August 19, 2008 by

The Horror Eassay Project continues this week at Flames Rising with game designer Jason Morningstar (who just won a Diana Jones Award for Grey Ranks). For the project Jason is telling us a bit about the design process that went into The Shab Al-Hiri Roach RPG.

The Shab-al-Hiri Roach is a dark comedy of manners, lampooning academia and asking players to answer a difficult question – are you willing to swallow a soul-eating telepathic insect bent on destroying human civilization?

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Eloy LaSanta “Apocalypse Prevention Inc.”

Posted on August 12, 2008 by

Our horror design essay project continues. Last week was Monica Valentinelli’s Initiation to Exquisite Replicas and other essays can be found in the Articles page here at Flames Rising.

Next up is Eloy LaSanta telling us about his new game Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. and how he created his company Third Eye Games.

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Monica Valentinelli

Monica Valentinelli “Initiation to Exquisite Replicas”

Posted on August 8, 2008 by

So far in our horror design essay project we’ve heard from Preston DuBose on Degrees of Horror, Clash Bowley on The Evolution of Blood Games and A.W. Gryphon regarding Witchcraft, Magick, and Tackling The Unknown. Three different projects with different goals, methods and styles of writing.

Next up we’re going to take a look at the design process of the Exquisite Replicas RPG from Abstract Nova Entertainment. We’ve had several Previews of this new game on the site already. Now we get a chance to hear from one of the authors about the creative process that went into its development. Monica Valentinelli tells us about the setting of Exquisite Replicas

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Flames

A.W. Gryphon “Witchcraft, Magick, and Tackling The Unknown”

Posted on August 4, 2008 by

So far our horror design essays have featured creators of horror role-playing games talking about the development of new projects and the systems that went into those projects. We have more horror game design essays on the way over the next few weeks as well as other creators.

Today we are going to feature our first horror novel essay. Author A.W. Gryphon tells us about her novel, Blood Moon, as well as the challenges that went into writing that elusive first page.

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Flames

Clash Bowley “Evolution of Blood Games”

Posted on August 1, 2008 by

Last week I posted the first in a series of horror design essays. That essay, Degrees of Horror from Preston Dubose, told us about the work on an upcoming project for the Savage Worlds system.

The essay project continues today with Clash Bowley of Flying Mice LLC telling us about the history of the Blood Games RPG. In this essay Clash tells us how the original Blood Games came about and fills us in on some of the design goals, changes and other work that went into the development of the new Blood Games II that was released last year.

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Preston DuBose

Preston DuBose “Degrees of Horror”

Posted on July 25, 2008 by

Recently I contacted a handful of horror game designers, writers and publishers and asked them to tell me about the creation process that went into their projects. I tried not to limit them with artificial rules or requirements on the project…I wanted to see what they came up with…

The idea is to let these creative folks tell us how horror works for them. They have each worked on at least one horror game that tested their creative energy, ideas and made them reach for just a little more. These essays are a chance to see how the creative process works from a variety of talented individuals in their own words.

We’re going to start out with Preston DuBose from 12 to Midnight talking to us about the Pinebox Adventures series and the upcoming ETU: Degrees of Horror project.

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Flames

2008 Origins Highlights

Posted on July 2, 2008 by

Earlier this week we posted an initial Origins Report which featured a few teasers for interviews that guest blogger Michael Erb had lined up while he was at the convention. Also included in that first post is the list of Origins Award Winners for this year. Today Michael shows off a few of the photos he snapped while wandering the hall and highlights some of the publishers he made contact with throughout the weekend…

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Flames

Origins Interviews & Origins Awards Winners

Posted on June 29, 2008 by

Some of the Flames Rising crew was at Wizard World Chicago this weekend checking out new Horror Comics and Dark Fantasy Artists. Michael Erb helped us diversify our efforts and dropped by Origins Game Fair to get the scoop on upcoming games, cool events and the 34th Annual Origins Awards.

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Matt-M-McElroy

White Wolf’s Alternative Publishing Efforts

Posted on June 18, 2008 by

It is no secret that I’ve been a fan of many of the products White Wolf has released over the years. This site started out as a resource for a Live Action Vampire: the Masquerade game I was running in the Milwaukee area. Eventually it expanded to include other Horror games like Cthulhu Live, Obsidian: the Age of Judgement and All Flesh Must Be Eaten.

Over time it evolved into the current set-up featuring just about anything Horror & Dark Fantasy you can imagine. Still, we continue to play, review and generally enjoy many of the current and classic White Wolf games and fiction. We’ve even added new Previews of upcoming products recently.

Back when I interviewed Eddy Webb there technically was not an “Alternative Product Developer” at the company. He had been working on developing and writing Mind’s Eye Theatre: The Awakening which became the first product to be released in both eBook and Print on Demand formats.

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Monica Valentinelli

Game Fiction: Why it Works (and Why it Doesn’t)

Posted on April 14, 2008 by

If you go to your bookshelf and pick up your favorite gaming book, whether it’s from Apophis Consortium or Evil Hat Productions, reread the fiction or flavor text that’s used as chapter breaks or to enhance the setting. Now, check out your other books and see how many World of Warcraft-inspired novels or Forgotten Realms stories you have.

Do you remember what you liked about them? Disliked?

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Flames

Lynne Thomas, Professional Geek

Posted on April 12, 2008 by

For the past, five years Flames Rising has been fortunate to publish content from some interesting folk. From musicians to up-and-coming authors or horror fans, our reviewers have come from all walks of life. Flames Rising review Lynne Thomas is no exception. Here Lynne opens up and describes her fascinating job as the Head of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, where she focuses on Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror literature.

Come take a look at this awesome day job, and learn how you can help preserve the science fiction, fantasy and horror books you love to read.

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Monica Valentinelli

Freelancers Beware: What Wizard’s new OGL May Mean to You

Posted on January 25, 2008 by

When Wizards first announced it’s new Open Game License (OGL) for publishers, a flurry of forum activity like this thread on RPGnet covered concerns from fans, contributors and publishers. Wizard of the Coast’s new OGL license for 4th Edition Rules hardly resembles the previous, free-flowing version, and while you may (or may not) agree with the way that Wizards has handled this aspect of their business, I still feel that it’s important to point out that this change could affect freelancers workflow and payment schedules.

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Monica Valentinelli

Taking a Bite Out of Horror: A Guide to Reviewing Horror Films Like the Pros

Posted on January 7, 2007 by

Horror-genre lovers (like you and me) can’t resist sharing our love of the macabre. If we tell our friends about a dog of a film, they probably won’t go to see it. How then do we write a film review that finds the happy medium between gushing over the latest hit and bashing that worthless dud?

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Monica Valentinelli

Got a Taste for Evil? Read More about the Number 666

Posted on June 6, 2006 by

While the day may seem just like any other day, several people are hoping you’ll remember June 6, 2006, the so-called “number of the beast,” by doing something a little hellish, and maybe picking up an item or two along the way.

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Monica Valentinelli

On Reviewing Fiction

Posted on February 3, 2005 by

These days almost everyone with a home computer at some point or another wants to be a writer. As a consequence the fiction market has been flooded with new authors: some good, some bad. But what makes a piece of fiction “bad”? How does the average reader know what’s worthwhile to read and what isn’t?

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Flames

How to Write Reviews of Role Playing Game Books

Posted on December 7, 2004 by

The purpose of a review is to provide readers with enough information to decide whether they would like to spend their time or money on reading the book, watching the film or, in our case, playing the game. Whether or not the reviewer enjoys or is enthused by the game is of less importance. The reader must come first.

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Flames

Horror Plot Devices

Posted on November 29, 2004 by

Plenty of articles deal with setting the mood for a horror RPG. As a result, I’m not going to tackle that topic. Instead, I’d like to talk about plot devices that, when in operation at a level of generality above specific mood elements, set the stage for creating a truly horrific RPG.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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