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Matt-M-McElroy

Flash Fire Mini-Reviews! (Hunters & Slayers)

Posted on May 9, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy

Since we’ve started posting some teasers for the Hunter: the Vigil RPG this week I figured I would keep up with the theme and post about a few of the other monster hunter items that have caught my eye recently…

Comics, games supplements and fiction make up the mix this week…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Volume 2

Eisner award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) tackles Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight with “No Future for You.” When a rogue debutant Slayer begins to use her power for evil, Giles is forced to recruit the rebellious Faith, who isn’t exactly known for her good deeds. Giles offers Faith a clean slate if she can stop this snooty Slayer from wreaking total havoc – that is, if Buffy doesn’t beat her to it. Georges Jeanty (The American Way) remains at the top of his game as series artist, and Whedon stays on as “Executive Producer” in this direct follow-up to Season Seven of the smash-hit TV series.

Continuing the adventures of the “Scooby Gang” and plenty of new characters, the Season 8 comics are some pretty awesome stuff. This second volume has my favorite character from the series, Faith, kicking butt looking great while she is at it. Of course, she has to share “screen time” with Buffy, but that is to be expected.

At first I was wondering how the series would be with Whedon acting in an advisory role and not actually doing the hands-on writing. I could see a slight style difference pretty quickly, but not enough to hurt the series in any way. While I’ve been reading individual issues, I much prefer the trades, better to have the whole story all at once.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Volume 2 is available at Amazon.com

Rippers

You are a Ripper—one of a secret band of monster hunters dedicated to saving humanity—and the horrors that stalk the night are your prey. To aid in this struggle, Rippers extract the essence of these monsters’ powers and use them to enhance their own abilities. But be warned, by taking such horrific measures you risk losing your mind—or worse. Torn between the need for greater power and the threat of terrifying insanity, you must choose how best to fight the creatures of the night. Choose well, for if the Rippers fail humanity is lost!

With the Explorer’s Edition of Savage Worlds available for $9.99 I figured I better check out some of the setting options that are available. Rippers offers up all kinds of cool Victorian setting ideas and plenty of stuff that could be ported over to other settings/styles of play with ease.

Dr. Jack is a very cool villain and the setting of this book makes for some great adventures. There are a ton of neat ideas for story hooks, plots to explore and monsters to kill.

Rippers is available at RPGNow.com

Blood Noir


Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 16

Readers can’t get enough of the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

A favor for Jason, vampire hunter Anita Blake’s werewolf lover, puts her in the center of a fullblown scandal that threatens master-vampire Jean- Claude’s reign—and makes her a pawn in an ancient vampire queen’s new rise to power.

Buffy and Faith are not the only bad-ass female vampire hunters in town. Anita Blake has been killing vampires for 16 novels, a handful of short stories and a few comic books. This series has certainly changed over the years, becoming less about the monster killing and more about the convoluted character relationships.

Blood Noir keeps up that trend, so if you’ve been a fan of the last few books you will really enjoy this one. The new cover design shows a much darker side of the world, reminding us that Anita still is a hunter after all.

Blood Noir is available at Amazon.com

The Hunters Hunted

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold… Until now it has been the Vampire who stalked the cities, feasting at will from any they desired. Confident in their Masquerade, sure no mortal could threaten their rule, they have walked without fear. But now their nights are numbered. Eat Napalm Corpse! The Humters’ hour has come! Add to your Vampire Chronicle with fully detailed hunters, ready and waiting to put your players to the torch. Or better yet, begin a hunters Chronicle, with the characters facing off against the horror of the Undead. for no other foe is as well detailed as the Kindred of Vampire.

The very first Hunter book from White Wolf…before Year of the Hunter, before Hunter: the Reckoning. Hunter’s Hunted introduced a lot of concepts that were further developed as the World of Darkness expanded into new game lines and factions.

While many claim this book was all about mortal hunters, I do notice a vampire Bloodline, werewolf hunters, rogue ghouls and a Mage with “blood bound” supernatural minions. Still, the book is very focused on vampire hunting, regardless of the hunter’s style. Some great ideas for the how and why someone would hunt vampires (fear, revenge, fun). There are some new (at the time) psychic abilities and some clever vampire hunting gear. Obviously the book is very dated, but it was a lot of fun playing hunters back when Vampire: the Masquerade was the only World of Darkness game. They also made for some scary antagonists to throw at my player’s characters…

Hunters Hunted is available at RPGNow.com

99 Coffins

Laura Caxton vowed never to face them again. The horror of what the vampires did is too close, the wounds too fresh. But when Jameson Arkeley, broken and barely recognizable, comes to her with an unfathomable, unholy discovery, her resolve crumbles.

Arkeley leads Caxton to a tomb in Gettysburg recently excavated by a local archaeology professor. While the town, with its legendary role in the Civil War’s worst battle, is no stranger to cemeteries, this one is remarkably, eerily different. In it lie 100 coffins—99 of them occupied by vampires, who, luckily, are missing their hearts. But one of the coffins is empty and smashed to pieces.

When I reviewed 13 Bullets by David Wellington I was pretty happy to hear there was a sequel in the works. The vampires in this world are deadly monsters and it takes a hardcase to hunt them down. While Lara Caxton wasn’t really tough when the first book started, she adapted quickly. 99 Coffins picks up the pace and keeps Caxton and Arkley plenty busy.

The historical elements of this book add a lot to the mystery of the setting and really explore the motivations of the characters. We get plenty more violence and as always, Wellington’s writing is top-notch.

99 Coffins is available at Amazon.com

Take back the night…

That does it for this week’s Flash Fire Mini-Reviews. The hunters and slayers have work to do and can’t hang out on this thread all the time.

So, who is your favorite monster hunter?

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