Posted on March 23, 2017 by Flames
Unknown Armies is an occult game about broken people conspiring to fix the world. It’s about humanity, and how those among us who are the most obsessed have the power to alter reality until it aligns with their fevered desires. It’s about getting what you want despite others trying to keep it from you.
Unknown Armies presents magick as it might exist in a world co-created by Tim Powers and James Ellroy, as twisting wrinkles in reality created by greater and greater risk, sacrifice, and obsession. In Unknown Armies we ask, what would you risk to change the world? Your friends? Your family? Your health? Your sanity? Magick finds a way to ask the very most from you, until you achieve what you want or you are left with nothing.
Posted on October 17, 2016 by Billzilla
Many of the works of Edgar Allen Poe, while considered classics of literature today, don’t often match up with modern literary sensibilities. It was somewhat surprising for me then, to come across Red Stylo Media’s The Twisted Poe Anthology, an excellent collection of seven original tales inspired by the works of Poe. Published in 2011, this collection does not consist of adaptations — retellings of Poe stories — but rather, a brand new batch of original tales in the same spirit as Poe’s work. All of the individual stories are available as digital downloads for 99 cents each; I have added links to the descriptions of those stories for convenience’s sake.
The first story, “Absolution”, is written by Jason Ciaramella and illustrated by Enrique “Zeke” Savory, Jr. Absolution is a tragic tale of loss and guilt inspired by Poe’s poem “The Raven.”
Posted on August 11, 2016 by Flames
Walk through the ages…
As a companion to Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras this anthology reveals secrets of the mystics, whispers rumors of the dead, and shines a light into the darkest corners of the world.
This collection includes historical stories based within the shadowed past of Vampire: the Requiem, Mage: the Awakening, Werewolf: the Forsaken, Changeling: the Lost, and other Chronicles of Darkness settings.
In the Chronicles of Darkness…
Posted on October 2, 2015 by Steven Dawes
I’ve always enjoyed reading “how to” guides on a variety of topics. Even if I’ve read a similar subject before I’ll read them to see the different thoughts, beliefs and takes that particular writer has to say about the subject. Such was the case with Writing Monsters: How to Craft Believably Terrifying Creatures to Enhance Your Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction. I’ve read a few guides on writing monsters, but it’s been awhile so this was a good refresher while learning Mr. Athans take on monsters and writing about them.
Being a fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s works myself, this book was off to a good start as the forward was written by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. “While Mr. Athans draws from an extremely impressive array of monstrous sources, we are, of course, particularly delighted to see the works of H.P. Lovecraft cited so frequently and so appropriately in this discussion. Lovecraft was indeed, as Athans states, a master of the monster.”
Posted on April 30, 2015 by Flames
Every one of us is weak: mere ants against the stalking giants that have brought us to our knees. Even when we work together, the Unknown is bigger than us, better armed, and better prepared for what’s to come. We have no real advantage, and our greatest victories have been nothing but the monsters toying with us before they descend to feast. Our fight is hopeless.
This is how we’re going to win.
—Hayat Nejem, “How to SAVE the World”
The uneasy feeling that creeps up your spine as you walk down a darkened hallway. The way your footsteps echo oddly on a deserted street at night, as though there was someone walking somewhere behind you. The shape you see out of the corner of your eye when you’re home alone.
Posted on November 24, 2014 by Flames
Thinking of running a game of Geist: the Sin-Eaters?
Players unsure of what to play? Looking for a fast way to dive into a ghost story?
Ready-Made Player Characters (Geist: the Sin-Eaters) includes the Crossroads Drifters krewe, who perform for the living and the dead. Characters designed to for instant use in your Geist: the Sin-Eaters game.
A collection of characters for Geist: the Sin-Eaters
Posted on October 6, 2014 by Flames
In the 1980s, a moral panic swept the United States. Rumors swirled of a vast underground network of devil worshippers, and claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse flooded the airwaves. Role-playing games were gateways to black magic, and backwards messages, hidden in heavy metal music, spurred teenagers to Satanism or suicide. The devil was everywhere and something needed to be done. In response to growing public fears, the FBI assembled a taskforce to investigate occult activity.
Posted on September 25, 2014 by Flames
Seattle is a fractured city, split between history and modernity.
The Unchained can stumble through rifts in time and space and wind up decades in the past. Why Some failed experiment of the God-Machine? A side effect of human ingenuity? Or are the splinter timelines in the City of Flowers a deliberate design, leading up to something greater still?
Splintered City: Seattle includes more detail on the alternate timelines described in Demon: The Descent, as well as a host of story hooks and characters for use in your chronicles. Also presented are brief suggestions on what Seattle might hold for the other denizens of the World of Darkness.
Posted on July 23, 2014 by Flames
A full-length, 10-adventure campaign for BETTER ANGELS, the tabletop RPG of demon-possessed supervillainy.
Better Angels is a tabletop roleplaying game where you play a supervillain who got powers from being possessed by a demon — and you play the demon who’s possessing the supervillain of the player to your right.
As a supervillain, you use your superpowers to do … well, whatever you want. You’re a supervillain. As the other player’s demon, you tempt that supervillain with more power in exchange for greater and greater acts of evil. But beware! If you’re TOO evil, your demon can drag you kicking and screaming right to Hell. It’s sort of like the Legion of Doom crossed with the Lucifer-centric parts of Sandman. (And maybe The Exorcist if you’re not careful.)
Better Angels was published in 2013 after a great Kickstarter campaign. A standalone adventure is available, too, plus a ton of free online resources.
Now we have the first full-size campaign book for it: No Soul Left Behind.
Posted on June 14, 2014 by Flames
US Roleplaying Game Publisher Brings Back Classic Horror Game
Growling Door Games, Inc. is proud to announce that they have entered into a licensing agreement with Martin Caron, the owner of the Chill RPG. The agreement gives Growling Door Games the English-language rights to publish the Chill RPG core book and supplementary materials for that game, setting the stage for a new release of a classic property that helped make horror gaming a staple of the RPG landscape.
Matthew McFarland, President of Growling Door Games, said, “We’re thrilled to bring such a classic of horror gaming back to print. Chill has a great history of success in the market. There’s been a lot of enthusiasm for the game even during its long stint out of print, and we hope both those fans and new ones will enjoy our revival of Chill.”
Posted on April 23, 2014 by Flames
Max Brooks and Avatar Press have announced Legendary Television and Digital optioned the New York Times Bestselling Author Brooks’ Extinction Parade as an original property for development as a new television series. Brooks is closely tied to the development of the project and will be writing the Pilot episode.
“I only brought the idea to one company, Legendary, because they do the kind of quality work of which any writer would be proud.” stated Brooks.
“Max Brooks is a visionary with an incredible ability to tell stories that deliver a fresh approach to the horrors that haunt our nightmares. His work on Extinction Parade has been a stunningly rich tapestry of cultures in decline and a biting indictment of the perils of privilege. It will make the perfect television series to appeal to fans who have until now settled for thinly veiled soap operas parading as horror.” said William Christensen, Publisher of Avatar Press.
Posted on March 3, 2014 by Flames
Since 2003, FlamesRising.com has supported first-time novelists and veteran authors through our interviews, reviews, and excerpts. Our chapter previews, which are hosted with permission, are one of the most popular features of our website.
If you’re an author (or publisher) seeking an outlet to host your horror, dark fantasy, or dark science fiction excerpt, we invite you to join FlamesRising.com. Since we are a website, it’d would be helpful if you saved your excerpt in a format conducive to the web. To add your preview to this feature on our site, please review our Submission Guidelines and use the Contact Us page.
Posted on February 9, 2014 by Flames
Monsterhearts should come with two warning stickers. The first is “Warning: This is a game for mature gamers and deals with adult themes.” It doesn’t have this because that sort of warning fits the Book of Erotic Fantasy rather than a genuinely mature take on the subject matter. It has lead to some of the most intense and immersive experiences I’ve ever had roleplaying, but I refuse to play it with my main tabletop roleplaying group.
The second is “Warning: This game can go into uncomfortable territory. Discuss expectations and respect boundaries.” It doesn’t have this, and Monsterhearts is the only game I’ve played that’s imploded when it has become clear that one player doesn’t know the meaning of the word “consent”. Better there than in real life.
So what is Monsterhearts? Monsterhearts is based on the Apocalypse World rules and claims to be about “The messy lives of teenage monsters”.
Posted on December 3, 2013 by Flames
The third and final book in Tim Hawken’s Hellbound Trilogy is set for release this December, amid development of a film franchise for the series. Titled Deicide, the novel concludes the epic story, which depicts a world of Hell never seen before.
Early critical acclaim and a strong cult following for Hellbound meant Hawken’s work captured the attention of Hollywood right from the start. The author has recently signed partnerships with both Luber Roklin Entertainment and Savela/Kabatoff Productions to help bring his vision to the silver screen. In addition, actor Charlie Bewley (Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Hammer of the Gods) has been attached to play the lead character of Michael in the films.
Posted on August 12, 2013 by Billzilla
What is the fascination with Nazis and their pursuit of occult knowledge? The popularity of Raiders of the Lost Ark offers some evidence that we as a culture find the concepts intriguing to say the least. Perhaps, deep down, even the most cynical skeptic wants to believe that supernatural magic is real.
Posted on January 7, 2013 by Nancy
Ellen Datlow is one of the world’s best, most awarded, and most well-known editors. She has showcased the talents of hundreds – probably thousands – of writers over the years. Her anthologies are legendary.
Now, Ms. Datlow has teamed up with ChiZine Publications to bring a new anthology of horror into the world. According to the new Kickstarter page, Fearful Symmetries is set to be a work that brings forth “both veteran talent and new voices.” See more at Kickstarter.com.
Posted on December 27, 2012 by Monica Valentinelli
James Herbert is a horror writer who hails from the U.K. He’s been compared to Steven King and, for the first time, his work is available stateside. The novel I read, ASH, is a reprint through Tor Books.
Herbert is a multi-novelist with almost two dozen books out in the wild. (Sadly, the author does not have an official website, or I’d link to it for you so you could see his bibliography of published works.) This is the first time I’ve read Herbert’s work; this type of story is more my fare than a continual stream of blood, guts, and gore. ASH begins with a mystery and a haunted castle. The main character, David Ash, is a ghost hunter and parapsychologist who works for the Psychical Research Institute. His abilities give him an edge and we, the reader, find out more about them as the story progresses.
Posted on December 12, 2012 by Billzilla
Edison T. Crux is an author whose first novel, “Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf” debuts on December 15. The author will be attending an event at Pegasus Games
Posted on December 6, 2012 by Flames
In the labyrinthian maze of endless corridors, annexes, and wings of the enormous medical complex known as the Castle prowls a grief-stricken man determined to redeem himself and bring justice for those victims incapable of doing it for themselves.
During the four months that his son lay dying, ex-con Kasteel lost his job, his wife, and nearly his mind. He became a fixture at the Castle, a phantom prowling the halls in the deep night, a shadow of his former self until he faded from sight and was forgotten altogether.
Now, without any life to return to, he takes it upon himself to become the Castle’s guardian. He lives off the grid hiding among the hundreds of miles of twisting passages, rooms, offices, and underground parking structures. Despair, confusion, and terror are the natural state and trade of any hospital: Not only must the patients endure disease and infirmity, but others are victims of physical and sexual abuse from the outside world or from cruel security guards.