Tag Archive | "wotc"

Robert A. Howard

The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea (D&D 4e) Review

Posted on May 7, 2010 by

The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea follows close on the heels of The Plane Below, expanding on the upper fundamental plane of the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons “World Axis” cosmology. It presents a fantastic place where planar adventurers will find floating within an otherwise vast emptiness countless island motes, ancient battlefields, dangerous astral pirates, and the dominions of the gods themselves — some left shattered following a climactic battle fought eons past between the gods and the primordials known as the “Dawn War.” It is an ideal setting for a paragon or epic tier game and will make an excellent change of pace for the party who may have grown tired of the humdrum trappings of typical fantasy settings.

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Robert A. Howard

The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos (D&D 4E) Review

Posted on April 8, 2010 by

The Plane Below greatly expands on the Elemental Chaos, which is one of the fundamental planes of the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition cosmos. To be sure, this supplement is primarily intended for Dungeon Masters and is best suited for paragon and epic tier games. There is no doubt that the Elemental Chaos is aptly named, for although there are some relatively stable places to visit, much of the plane is filled with a roiling chaos of raw elements from which the rest of creation is derived. It is a hostile and alien place — just the sort of place to drop your players into unexpectedly to watch them squirm.

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Flames

The God Catcher Preview

Posted on February 5, 2010 by

Walk the line between magic and madness in Erin M. Evan’s passionate story about the dragons of the City of Splendors…

Tennora would give anything to be a wizard. And Clytemorrenestrix, a strange woman with uncanny blue eyes, whose name means “She Will Thunder in the Sky,” and who claims to be a dragon, promises to make her just that–in return for aid in returning her to her true form. But soon after Tennora seals the deal, a bounty hunter presses a note into her hands claiming the dragon woman is actually a human–a violent, criminally insane human who murders those who fail her.

Flames Rising is pleased to offer a short excerpt from this new Forgotten Realms novel.

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Flames

Gold Dragon Codex Preview

Posted on January 22, 2010 by

The blue dragon, Lazuli, lives to torment the villagers of Sandon’s hometown, Hartfall. He demands more and more riches until the Baron, Sandon’s father, has only one thing left to give: himself. Lazuli will arrive at midnight to take the Baron away. Sandon has only one hope left: the gold dragon that sits atop a ledge above the village, silently watching. In one legendary battle Lazuli magically petrified the gold dragon, once Hartfall’s sworn protector. But Sandon is sure he can find a way to awaken the beast. In the dead of night, he sneaks out onto the gold dragon’s ledge. And there he stumbles onto a secret that throws everything he thought he knew about his home and his family into question. Can Sandon unlock the secret of the gold dragon in time to save his village–and his dad?

This next installment of the series inspired by The New York Times best-seller A Practical Guide to Dragons shows just how much a young boy can do when he realizes that the strength of a gold dragon may lie inside himself.

Flames Rising is pleased to offer our readers an excerpt from this book by R.D. Henham. Gold Dragon Codex is available now at Amazon.com.

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Flames

Interview with Geno and Bob Salvatore

Posted on November 10, 2009 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Bob Salvatore and his son, Geno. R.A. Salvatore has written dozens of best-selling books such as The Ghost King, Road of the Patriarch and Highwayman. The Stowaway, the first in the Stone of Tymora series, is Geno Salvatore’s debut novel.

In this interview, we discuss the young adult series entitled Stone of Tymora which is co-written by Geno and R.A. Salvatore.

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teampreston

The Ghost King Fiction Review

Posted on October 9, 2009 by

I think one of the coolest parts of writing reviews is not only getting to read a lot of material, but to really get in to the nuts and bolts of how that material is “assembled”. In this case I have been fortunate to read a LOT of Forgotten Realms novel by R.A. Salvatore as well as others such as Paul Kemp. Having read all the “Drizzt Novels” to date, I can say with certainty that the author has improved his craft greatly over the years.

R.A. Salvatore, like any writer clearly has a deep relationship with many of his characters. While some writers are able to outline and crank out material in a mechanical fashion more often then not they go through a sort of adventure of their own; discovering the world and characters as they write. It’s like a journey for the characters as well as the writer. In doing so the author learns to love and hate characters and tries to share it with us…the readers.

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Flames

The Well Traveled Game Editor

Posted on September 15, 2009 by

For many years, I existed in a shadowy realm that bordered on true darkness: I lived the life of a non-gamer. This world of strategy, role-playing, plotting and power unfolded in my adult years when I started to date a gamer.

It was only natural that I would look to combine this newfound lifestyle with my other passion, editing. And while you might snigger about the editing, other obsessive-compulsive grammar serfs will understand.

A ROAD TO FREELANCING
How do people land a freelancing job inside the game industry? For me, the answer was a whole lot of luck and a decent amount of editing skill.

I have a degree in journalism and have spent about a decade editing professionally. I read grammar books compulsively when I’m not working on a project. Thus, I had enough confidence and experience to bolster my resolve to walk into new waters.

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Billzilla

Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead Review

Posted on September 3, 2009 by

If there is a single grouping of monsters that are a favorite, undead would probably be at or near the top of everyone’s list. From ghosts to zombies and from vampires to mummies, undead are the critters we love to hate. In Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead, Wizards of the Coast offers up a tasty book filled with intriguing information for GMs wishing to get the most out of their players’ encounters with those who refuse to stay dead.

It’s important to note that this volume isn’t a simple monster manual for the Undead. It doesn’t bother to cover the basic types; skeletons, zombies, and even straight-up vampire types are totally ignored, being covered in some depth elsewhere. What it does offer are variations on the standard creature, with strategy tips and useful tricks for effective deployment.

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Flames

Practical Guide to Vampires Feeds Vampire Fans

Posted on August 20, 2009 by

Think you know all about vampires? Think again. Did you know that vampires can hibernate for decades, have stomachs the size of walnuts, and have a predisposition for jobs in real estate? Can you say, “I must feed?” in vampire language? A Practical Guide to Vampires (Mirrorstone) provides the in-depth information we all need to know about these dangerous creatures of the night. This comprehensive book follows the New York Times best-sellers A Practical Guide to Dragons and A Practical Guide to Monsters. All are lavishly-illustrated and fun for all ages.

A Practical Guide to Vampires is packed with thrilling, chilling and blood-spilling facts about these compelling monsters. Kids can read about vampire anatomy, intelligence, clothing, habits and habitats, as well as dangerous powers like shapeshifting, hypnotic persuasion, and superhuman strength.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Reactions to the new WotC Fan Site Policy

Posted on August 7, 2009 by

Wizards of the Coast has just posted the new Fan Site Kit Policy for those interested in putting together a fansite for D&D 4th Edition (and it apparently covers Magic: the Gathering as well). Reactions have been…rather mixed so far:

The Seven-Sided Die has a good post called Wizards’ Fan Site Kit is not a fan site policy that is worth reading.

Geek Related tells us Wizards Fan Site Policy – What It’s Good For.

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Flames

A Planeswalker’s Guide to Alara Review

Posted on June 24, 2009 by

The guide itself does a very nice job breaking up the different planes. It gives quick rundowns on all the species you would find there, some brief history as well as each plane wishes to see. It also gives a very good indication of the dangers of traveling to each plane. A traveler can get a good sense of how to understand the culture they find themselves in.

After an overview of all the planes it also gives a well rounded layout of planeswalkers that can be found on each plane. It includes their species, current residence, home, and magic specialties. There is only one plane that does not have a listed resident planeswalker and that is Grixis. It is very clearly stated that Grixis should be a place to travel to study only, and to not make your home their too long. Death and plague rule the land, so it makes sense nobody wishes to live amongst that.

Review by Crystal Mazur

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Megan

D&D 4E Player’s Handbook 2 RPG Review

Posted on June 10, 2009 by

The intention behind this book is to introduce new races, classes and powers as options that players can choose when designing their characters. The Introduction launches off with some grandiose claims about being a ‘significant expansion’ – well, it is fair to say that five new races and eight new classes broadens your options… it just depends if what is offered happens to suit what you want to play. The second part of the Introduction presents the ‘Primal Power Source’ which underlies the supernatural powers available to the barbarian, druid, shaman and warden classes presented later on. It links to the spirits of nature, the power of the world itself that originally arose to protect it from the depredations of squabbling deities and primordials. Having banished them so that they can only exert an influence the primal powers, a myriad of spirits, have established what is perceived as the ‘natural order’ – the cycle of life and death, the turning of the seasons. The characters who draw on them are thus firmly rooted in nature.

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Megan

Martial Power RPG Review

Posted on May 28, 2009 by

The Introduction begins by discussing the true tools of a warrior: not so much his weapons and armour, but his skills and techniques. The best fighters may even be know for a particular style or manoeuvre that has become a trademark. This book is laid out so as to help you to develop such a character, one tailored to the style you wish him to have. Each of the martial character classes – fighter, ranger, rogue, and warlord – has a chapter dedicated to honing characters of that class, and the book rounds out with a massive listing of new feats which may be used to good effect. While some players may take the opportunity to build a new character from the bottom up using these resources, allowance has also been made for those who wish to revise existing martial characters in the light of what is written here.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Interview with Ari Marmell, author of Agents of Artifice

Posted on May 15, 2009 by

It is the dawn of a new age in the Multiverse. The balance of power is shifting and Agents of Artifice brings readers to the heart of a planeswalker struggle.

In Agents of Artifice, Ari Marmell re-imagines Planeswalkers, taking fans deeper than ever into the lives of the Multiverse’s most powerful beings.

In this interview Ari tells us a little about the creative process that went into the writing of Agents of Artifice and what it was like exploring the worlds of Magic: the Gathering. We also ask him about the Ravenloft serial novel Black Crusade and even get a question or two about some upcoming Dungeons & Dragons books in before we wrap things up.

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teampreston

Shadowrealm Fiction Review

Posted on May 14, 2009 by

To start, this was my first exposure to the character of Erevis Cale. I took my time in getting to this novel because I generally avoid jumping in to the middle or end of a story, but with much game fiction and some writers you can get away with it. I took a gamble and started in on Shadowrealm last night.

By the end of the night…well, early morning I was finished and I was literally blown away. Put it this way, I have books I and II of the Twilight War on order right now…so I’ll be revisiting Cale, Riven, Magadon etc. again shortly.

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Megan

Adventurer’s Vault RPG Review

Posted on April 23, 2009 by

All adventurers need good equipment, both magical and mundane, and even the most creative DM sometimes needs ideas for interesting treasure hoards for the characters to, ahem, liberate… so here is a book packed full of goodies to serve both interests. The Introduction explains the organisation of the work: a chapter each for equipment and magical items, plus a couple of appendices mostly for the DM, one with ideas for using magic items and one with them listed by level for ease of hoard creation.

Mainly intended for the character looking for some retail therapy, Chapter 1: Equipment is broken down into sections detailing all manner of gear. It begins with masterwork armour, and also covers weapons, mounts, vehicles and even alchemy – both that which can be purchased and things you can do yourself if possessed of the appropriate tools.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Wizards of the Coast Stops Selling PDF RPGs

Posted on April 6, 2009 by

Posted on the front page of DriveThruRPG.com:

Wizards of the Coast has instructed us to suspend all sales and downloads of Wizards of the Coast titles. Unfortunately, this includes offering download access to previously purchased Wizards of the Coast titles. We are in discussions with Wizards about their decision to change their approach to digital sales of their titles and will post more information as we have it. If you would like to let Wizards know your opinion on offering D&D titles for download, we suggest the D&D Message Boards found here.

This…did not go over well with folks who regularly purchase pdf versions of Dungeons & Dragons from these websites.

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Megan

Draconomicon Chromatic Dragons Review

Posted on April 6, 2009 by

Intended to serve as a collection of information about red, blue, green, black, and white dragons (as described in the Monster Manual, as well as a few newcomer dragons in the shape of grey, brown and purple ones, this work launches straight into its subject with a chapter on Dragon Lore. Much has already been written about dragons and yet the surface of the possible information about these truly epic creatures has been merely scratched. This chapter takes a wide-ranging look at dragons as they exist in the alternate reality of Dungeons & Dragons, including origins, biology, society and outlook, culminating in details of the chromatic dragons. Did you know that a dragon has no ears, and that it grows a complete new set of teeth each time it increases in size? But lest such comments suggest a mere biological creature to studyas you would any other, fear not: the notes portray a clear picture of a being that is truly awe-inspiring, the stuff of legend indeed.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Player’s Handbook 2: A Look at the Shaman

Posted on March 13, 2009 by

From the bright towns and darkened wilderness they come: mighty heroes intent on exploring dungeons, slaying monsters and battling evil.

The Player’s Handbook 2 offers Dungeons & Dragons players new options with new Races, Classes and more. This book introduces the primal power source, which draws on the spirits that preserve and sustain the world. Wizards of the Coast has offered up a handful of previews and excerpts on the Dungeons & Dragons website and a few lucky gamers out there have already received their pre-ordered copies of the book (some have even posted spoiler threads if you have the energy to dig through them).

Flames Rising was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the book for review and we are teaming up with a handful of other websites to explore some of the new options being made available to players of Dungeons & Dragons. Specifically we are going to be taking a look at the Shaman Class today. After our Look at the Shaman you will find a series of links to other sites examining other sections of the book.

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Flames

Gabriel Nassif Wins at MtG Pro Tour Kyoto

Posted on March 4, 2009 by

Magic: The Gathering Tournament Champion is First to Capture the Title in 2009

The Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour season kicked-off this weekend in Kyoto, Japan. Gabriel Nassif from Paris, France was the first to be crowed Pro Tour champion in 2009 and took home $40,000. Luis Scott Vargas from Davis, California, Akimasa Yamamoto from Iwade-shi, Japan and Brian Robinson from North Quincy, Massachusetts filled out the top four. Nassif’s win in Kyoto marks his first Pro Tour victory although he’s had several top-8 finishes and was the 2004 Player of the Year. Since 1996, Wizards of the Coast has given away more than US$32 million in prize money, which includes both cash prizes and scholarship awards.

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