Posted on January 7, 2013 by Flames
The character of Stompadon was invented by performance artist Kelsey Wailes as part of a competition called Super Art Fight. Wearing a massive mask, gloves and a tail, Wailes became the bug-eyed dinosaur that drew, creating mad-cap murals in a 25-minute time limit.
Stompadon is now taking on a life of its own, with a plush toy. Plus… truly fancy pieces of art and a weapons-grade adorable children’s book, written by Stompadon’s dad and illustrated by Stompadon.
Find out more info about Stompadon and back this project on Kickstarter.com!
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
Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf is fiction based loosely on real Wisconsin folklore; there have been reported sightings of a wolf-like biped outside of a small town in south-eastern Wisconsin — near to the town where Mr. Crux grew up — as early as 1936 and as recently as the 1990s. Mr. Crux graciously allowed me to steal a few minutes from his busy, pre-launch schedule to talk about his new book.
Posted on May 23, 2012 by DecapitatedDan
“Deep beneath the waves, a creature named Grue broods. He no longer wants to eat lusty beachgoers, no matter how their hormones call to him. A chorus of crabs urges him to reconsider. After all, people are delicious! But this monster has changed. Grue found Shakespeare’s plays in cola bottles and, through them, a new heart. Now he yearns to join the world above.
Rising from a brine of drive-in pulp and gentle poetry, Jonathan Case’s debut graphic novel Dear Creature is the love story you never imagined!”
How in the world did I miss this book when it came out? Inside of the covers of this book, lies a story that blew me away and artwork that melted my eyes out of their sockets. The visuals were so GORE-Geous, and they were only presented in black and white. The real kicker though was the way that Case was able to show expression through facial features and body movements.
Posted on February 17, 2012 by Flames
Flames Rising recently put an open call for essays and articles on the topic of “How to run Horror RPGs” and we received several great submissions (hint you can still send yours in too). We’re starting off with this post from Stygian Jim…
Horror is the genre of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the monster lurking just out of sight, fear of the dead rising again with a hunger for human flesh. Fear is very personal, and horror can be as much an internal struggle as a reaction to an external source. Fear is a huge motivator, in gaming it can be a great motivator for heroes and villains alike, but how does one cultivate it at the table? Horror games can be much harder to craft than your standard sword & sorcery delve. Also, it can be difficult to inculcate your players to the kind of thinking that the genre entails, when they’re used to kicking down doors and busting heads. There are some advanced techniques as well that you can use to build a sense of tension in your players, and make the story an even more eerie experience. Lastly of course you can use props, sound effects and lighting to set the mood for your own tales of horror.
Posted on February 1, 2012 by DecapitatedDan
This remarkable journey through the Hammer vault includes props, annotated script pages, unused poster artwork, production designs, rare promotional material and private correspondence. Hundreds of rare and previously unseen stills help to create a rich souvenir of Hammer’s legacy, from the X certificate classics of the 1950s to the studio’s latest productions.
Written and compiled by the official Hammer Films historian Marcus Hearn, and featuring exclusive contributions from the actors and filmmakers associated with the company, this is the most lavish book ever published on the legendary House of Horror.
Posted on October 15, 2011 by Flames
From aliens to zombies, historian W. Scott Poole ventures deep into the darkest shadows of American history in search of witches, sea monsters, and serial killers. Both a masterpiece of scholarship and a heartfelt homage to horror films and literature, Monsters in America is one man’s journey into the violent truths the rest of us prefer to ignore.
Jeremy L. C. Jones stops by Flames Rising to talk with a self-professed “lifelong horror nerd” about America’s dirty little secrets and our sordid part in the cover up.
Posted on August 3, 2011 by Billzilla
The 1974 television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker never got rave reviews from critics. Only twenty episodes of the show exist, plus two TV movie/pilot episodes: The Night Stalker (1972) and The Night Strangler (1973). The special effects, even by the standards of the day, were cheesy and unremarkable, though the stories themselves were interesting and provided a wide variety of paranormal beasties from folklore the world over instead of rehashing zombies or vampires week after week. Unfortunately, the TV movies proved vastly more popular than the TV series they generated.
It should come as no surprise that a graphic novel treatment of Kolchak might spring into being as well, and at that before the reboot of the series. Enter Moonstone Books with their long-running Kolchak series, and lo, Kolchak has been brought back from the dead, like many of the creepy entities he faced as a reporter with a nose for the paranormal.
Posted on July 11, 2011 by Monica Valentinelli
Flames Rising is pleased to announce the latest release in the Instant Antagonists line. The Creepy Cottontail author, Monica Valentinelli (and Flames Rising project Manager) shares some notes on the design and writing process that went into this product.
Having conducted a lot of occult research for my writing — both game-and-story-related — there’s a particular concept that always stands out in my mind. Performing a ritual (both real and/or imagined) is work, but the end result of that “job” doesn’t always yield the same results every time. Take a basic love potion for example. Do you have any idea how many different types of love potions there are? In many cases, not only do you have to get the ritual down pat, but you also have to worry about backlash, timing and the integrity of the materials. Even then, there’s no guarantee that magic will function the same way twice because there’s one-too-many factors that you cannot control.
The “cost” of doing magic is something I feel is often overlooked because some view it as an obstacle that gets in the way of a story or a game. I look at it as a characterization of a protagonist or… in this case… Instant Antagonist.
Posted on June 30, 2011 by Billzilla
Let’s be honest; who doesn’t love Count Dracula? The cape, the sex appeal, the slick hair, eschewing modern dentistry – he did it all, including upsetting more than a few well-to-do British noblemen. In Van Helsing, one player gets to play the toothy Count, while the remaining one to four players take on the roles of Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray, Lord Godalming and Abraham Van Helsing – the Hunters.
The board is a loose grid of spaces showing three levels of Dracula’s castle. Hunters move around the board looking for Dracula and his brides. The object of the game for them is to destroy five of the eight brides, or destroy Dracula himself if they like doing things the hard way. For the Count, his goal is to either transform all four of the Hunters into his minions or kill them, or to get four of his potential brides to the coffin space in his castle.
Posted on January 4, 2011 by Jason Thorson
Another year’s in the books, one spent on the permanent and exhausting search through the horror movie scrap heap looking for the elusive hidden treasures. Unfortunately, this past year was a weak one. There wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about. Despite all the bad flicks, a few managed to rise above the fray, giving me hope for 2011.
As is usually the case, there were several remakes to take with a grain of salt. Some of them furthered the atrophying of the horror genre as it relates to studio backed filmmaking, others were much more horrible than horrifying, and all of them were unnecessary.
Posted on December 9, 2010 by Billzilla
The Cold Ones is a novella by award winning author Elizabeth Donald. In Cold Ones, we meet Sarah Harvey, small-town bookstore owner with a secret: she’s not really a bookstore owner. It’s her cover; she’s part of a secret organization doing who knows what in this small coastal town. At least one other shop owner is another member of her team; their jobs are to keep an eye on the town and cover the rest of the team. The story begins with a scream as someone is attacked in the street by what turns out to be a quick, ferocious, zombie-like man, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, it represents only the beginnings of the trouble ahead…
The Cold Ones is a well-crafted tale; I was instantly sucked in and stayed up too late reading it. Ms. Donald does a very good job making her characters believable while avoiding most cliches found in supernatural fiction these days. This team of covert operatives is skilled and fairly bad-assed, but they are also fallible – they screw up occasionally and sometimes make poor choices.
Posted on October 16, 2010 by Monica Valentinelli
Last week, I talked about why 13 GHOSTS is a classic horror film. For this week’s article, I decided to talk about a different kind of monster — THE BLOB.
“Released in 1988, The Blob remake is the kind of horror movie that makes you groan, laugh and scream. Creepy violins and cheerful images of a small town set the mood. The first people you meet? Teenagers!”
Posted on July 30, 2010 by Billzilla
While the full moon rarely has a dramatic an effect on most people, there are some who will admit that they can feel the pull of the moon, at least in subtle ways — and crime statistics bear this out year after year. For those rare few for whom the moon activates a profound curse, the world becomes a different place entirely – a world filled with soft, slow creatures to be hunted, attacked and devoured. Give thanks that those with such a curse are still a rarity…
In Curse of the Full Moon, James Lowder has collected 19 tales from an impressive collection of horror luminaries: George R.R. Martin, Ursula LeGuin, Ramsey Campbell, Charles DeLint, Michael Moorcock and Neil Gaiman are just a few of the names any fan of contemporary fiction will recognize, but the list doesn’t end there. Joe R. Lansdale, Nancy A. Collins, Peter S. Beagle, Gene Wolfe and Harlan Ellison also contribute tales to this collection.
Posted on July 2, 2010 by Billzilla
This week we take a look at some horror-themed card games that deserve more attention. All are card or card/board hybrid games and all can be played in a relatively short (one hour or less) period of time.
The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow by Asmodee Editions
WoMH is a party game, and follows the lead of popular convention games like Mafia. In Werewolves, players are dealt a character card – either villager or werewolf – which is kept secret. During the day turn, the players discuss who might be a werewolf and designate someone, suspected of being a werewolf, to be “executed.”
Posted on June 23, 2010 by Eric Pollarine
First let me state, that I am not the worlds largest Vampire fan. I don’t mean the RPG nor simply movies, or fiction- but as a franchise or archetype or whatever on a whole, the Vampire just doesn’t do it for me. So when the request came down through the digital bullpen that the powers at be who run this most fantastic site said they were looking for someone to write a blog post on Vampires, for our Vampire week, I shrugged my shoulders and put my digital hand up. Why not give it a shot?
Those of you familiar with what I have been doing on Flames Rising, know that I am pretty much a die hard and committed Zombie fan. I won’t go into anything related to Zombies here in too much detail, because this is supposed to be about vampires and I have already written about 150 words not concerning them, but I will say that I look forward to possibly doing my own little blog pieces solely on the walking dead, again though-this is about the living dead, or the undead, and we should begin. Ready?
Posted on June 4, 2010 by spikexan
Before I dive into this review, let me point out that it reads differently. I think a good review should not only weigh a product’s pros and cons. No, they should also speak to previous tastes and biases. Comparisons. Rather than dwell here, let’s dive right into the Hellfrost: Bestiary review.
Hellfrost: Bestiary (Triple Ace Games; 132 Pages) is a massive collection of fantasy monsters for the Hellfrost setting and Savage Worlds’ game engine. The book covers all manner of vile creature from the evil deer (page 20) to truly loathsome Dread Liche (page 84). These antagonists also offer many variations of trouble for PCs. There are “tanks” with toughness of 23, psionics, pesky swarms, and mystical adversaries. Trouble. Loads of trouble.
Posted on May 24, 2010 by spikexan
There are many ways to tackle a horror game. What one finds in a Call of Cthulhu game isn’t what they find in Geist. Heck, What you find in Call of Cthulhu isn’t really what you find in Cthulhutech. This is a great thing. Some groups want to spend the night warding off hordes of zombified neighbors while others want to take on the personas of uberpowerful creatures of the night. I mention this because I will be putting Bogeyman (Sane Studios, 164 pages) into a box with other games of a Clive Barker feel.
The chief feature to Bogeyman is that it’s runs off a card-based mechanic rather than dice. In fact, each player needs their own deck while game masters require two (and you want to keep them separate). Beyond that, the typical gaming fare–character sheets, snacks, pens, paper–mostly fill out this game’s requirements. The only bit lacking are the “beads of sweat,” which I think is a terrifically named aspect. These little tokens have many uses, most of which are linked to impulses.
Posted on March 8, 2010 by Monica Valentinelli
After I got done reading CHANGES by Jim Butcher, the twelfth novel in the Dresden Files series, the first words that popped into my head were, “Holy hell.” First? There is absolutely no way that I can review this book without spoiling something for someone, so consider this a warning – if you don’t want anything spoiled for you, then don’t read this review. Second? If you’re a fan of the Dresden Files, then this is “the” book for you.
Okay, now back to the review. The first chapter opens up with a sucker punch to the gut. (You can read the first chapter of CHANGES on the author’s website.)
Posted on October 2, 2009 by Flames
Hello, horror fans. As the ghost of Halloween past, I feel it is my duty to remind you that the past is sometimes more enticing than the present.
This time last year, FlamesRising.com offered you a series of treats that came in a variety of flavors.
Throughout October, several horror authors and game designers lent a hand (and even a finger or two) to record their tales describing a broad range of monsters — including ghosts not unlike myself.
Posted on August 5, 2009 by jasonlblair
Welcome to the third of the 13 Doors: an exclusive look behind the door at the upcoming Little Fears Nightmare Edition – The Game of Childhood Terror.
Door #3: Monster Factory
Little Fears Nightmare Edition is a game about kids fighting monsters. We already know about the kids, so what about the monsters?
The monsters in Little Fears Nightmare Edition can come from anywhere, that’s part of what makes them so much fun. Monsters can come from your own bad dreams, the fears of the players, urban legends, myths, cryptozoology, regular old zoology, a movie, literature—anywhere. Monsters in Little Fears are anything people fear. Fear is what gives them life, shape, form, power. Without people fearing them, they’re not really monsters at all.