Archive | September, 2009

Little Fears Nightmare Edition Preview Door #9: Light of Day

Posted on September 16, 2009 by

Welcome to the ninth of the 13 Doors: an exclusive look behind the door at the upcoming Little Fears Nightmare Edition – The Game of Childhood Terror.

Door #9: Light of Day

It’s strange to be this close to the release of Little Fears Nightmare Edition.

I’ve been talking about it for years and thinking about it for even longer. And now it’s just a little over a month away.

It’s at the point now where the things left are mostly business- or marketing-related. (This article for example.) Pre-orders for the book and PDF open today and that’s nerve-wracking. This is the moment where I find out if Little Fears Nightmare Edition has been worth all the work, whether this path makes sense. This is the official entry of the book onto the market. After pre-orders come orders and after a while it’ll simply be another product for sale.


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.

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.


Vampire Apocalypse Optioned for Graphic Novel

Posted on September 14, 2009 by

Publisher New Baby Productions announces that a graphic novel adaptation of Derek Gunn’s acclaimed Vampire Apocalypse novel series is in the works. “I’m really thrilled with this new direction as I always felt that (Vampire Apocalypse) really lends itself to this format,” stated Gunn. Vampire Apocalypse was published in September 2006, and has been optioned by producer/screenwriter Richard Finney to be a feature film. A script has already been penned by Finney and Franklin Guerrero Jr. Fallout, the third book in the series, will be released this October from Black Death Books.


9 Movie Review

Posted on September 14, 2009 by

When I went out to see one of this weekend’s newest box office’s offerings “9”, I knew a scarce few details about it. I knew from the trailers it was CG animated, it has robots covered in burlap bags, I knew it had something to do with a post-apocalyptic setting, I knew that the #1 fan of darkness and the macabre himself Tim Burton produced it and I knew it carried a PG-13 rating. With these details I was eager to see it, and to make sure I was covering more bases since I planned to review this flick, I brought along my fourteen year old daughter with me to get her thoughts and insights. I assumed the film might have been more aimed at an audience more her age level than my own. To a point I was right on in my assumption, but in others points I was way off.

Doing some homework after paying 9 a visit, I’ve since learned that it was based off of an 11 minute silent short from new director Shane Acker as his thesis project from his grad school days at UCLA. The short film gave the world a 3-D setting, by that I mean Dark, Desolate & Destroyed.

Review by Steven Dawes


Madison Zombie Lurch 2009

Posted on September 12, 2009 by

Tired of your rights as a member of the living dead being violated? Sick of people putting you down or worse, screaming and trying to smash your head with a cricket bat? We don’t deserve to be treated like this! We will no longer stand for being viewed as lesser citizens. We need to fight for our rights and demand equal treatment.

The Coalition Of the Living Dead (COLD) will gather on Saturday October 24th at 2:00 pm at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, and lurch for our rights as zombies. COLD encourages zombies and zombie supporters to come equipped with signs and slogans to make our point. We will raise our voices and we will not be ignored. We will lurch from the capitol down State Street to the Memorial Union.


New Trail of Cthulhu Books Available Now!

Posted on September 12, 2009 by

Rough Magicks

A magic supplement for the best-selling and award winning Trail of Cthulhu, written by the master of Lovecraft Lore, Kenneth Hite.

The latest eldritch tome for Trail of Cthulhu unfolds the darkest secrets of Lovecraftian magic to the shuddering gaze of Keepers and Investigators alike! Read it … if you dare!

This book assembles the core of Lovecraftian magic from hints and allusions — and blasts all certainty aside with twelve contradictory explanations for it!

Rough Magicks is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.


Flash Fire Mini-Reviews (Ready Made World of Darkness)

Posted on September 11, 2009 by

The Flash Fire Mini-Reviews are back with a set of reviews from Todd Cash. Todd is going to wrap up his the Ready-Made Characters series from White Wolf.

This is the third time I’ve approached character packages like these, so I won’t retread basic thoughts on these character packages (not much at least). If you’d like these details you can find them here and here. Each of these collections, which are fitted for specific settings (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, etc), run about five dollars (slight differences between titles in price seems mysterious).


Evil Ways fiction review

Posted on September 10, 2009 by

They had me at the giant demonic bats.

Evil Ways is a suspenseful dark fantasy novel by Justin Gustainis. Black magic and occult investigators are mixed together skilfully creating a exciting plot. It’s a very entertaining book… so long as you don’t mind jarring geographic errors and odd attempts at dialect.

The second book in the “Morris and Chastain” investigations, Evil Ways (published by Solaris Books) presents its protagonists with a problem: someone is killing children and stealing their organs, and this means dark magic is afoot, and a lot of it. Quincey Morris is an paranormal detective with skills in a variety of areas, including burglary; Libby Chastain is a white witch with experience in taking out some pretty nasty guys.


Goblin Markets for Changeling: the Lost Available Now!

Posted on September 9, 2009 by

Let the buyer beware

Every freehold knows of at least one. Some seem to have grown up almost overnight, like a ring of small white mushrooms. Others seem to have run for millennia, outliving the rise and fall of the freeholds that surround them. They’ll never go away entirely, despite the dangers of their wares. Someone always needs something you can only get at a Goblin Market.

A chronicle book for Changeling: The Lost

Goblin Markets is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.


Little Fears Nightmare Edition Preview Door #8: Cover Me

Posted on September 9, 2009 by

Welcome to the eighth of the 13 Doors: an exclusive look behind the door at the upcoming Little Fears Nightmare Edition – The Game of Childhood Terror.

Door #8: Cover Me

Last week, I gave a glimpse at the artwork that will be in the final book. But I left out what is arguably the most important visual element in the entire game: the cover. Despite the oft-repeated warning, it’s hard not to judge a book by its cover. When you’re staring at a wall full of books, you don’t much to go on. You have the title, the author, the price, the back cover text, maybe a blurb or two, and the picture on the front.

The cover of the original Little Fears was spooky and evocative. It played perfectly to the original Little Fears’s dark tone. Little Fears Nightmare Edition is a bit of a different animal. Still creepy, still horrifying, but more about action, more about doing.


Urban Gothic Fiction Review

Posted on September 8, 2009 by

I’ve not been privy to the works of Brian Keene before this past week, nor had I ever even heard of him. I’ve got plenty of reasons as to why Brian has flown under my radar, ranging from my recent urban fantasy kick (I’ve been on a mission to complete The Dresden Files and The Mercy Thompson series lately), making an earnest attempt at reading more of the books my friends ask me to read (recently wrapped up The Lovely Bones to discuss with a gal-pal of mine), to boning up on my ghost hunting & ghost story lore to finish up some of my freelance work for Palladium Books. For these reasons and others I’ve not read a horror novel in what feels like way too long.

But the other week I was hanging out with a buddy who had a copy of Urban Gothic chilling atop a box of books he calls his “finished and ready to trade in” box. Curiosity got to me and I glanced it over, catching various notes of praise like “Brian Keene is the next Stephan King”, “Post-apocalyptic… blunt and visceral” and “One of horror’s most impressive new literary talents.”


Robots Beyond Fiction Review

Posted on September 7, 2009 by

When I first heard that Permuted Press was going to release a “robot” anthology I was a little skeptical. The folks at Permuted had done well sticking to the zombie/post-apocalyptic genre and I wondered what was up with the branch of into sci-fi. Nothing wrong with with it really, just me wondering what was up.

Anyway, I got the book a little while ago and had only manged to read the first couple of stories before getting really busy with conventions. I finally manged to get back into the collection just this week. Like most anthologies Robots Beyond has a mix of great fiction and not-so-great stories. With this many different authors and concepts in one collection there is bound to be a few tales that stand out among the set as awesome reads and fun adventures. Also, not everyone is going to enjoy the same stories. Different writing styles and characters will appeal to different readers. Stories that I like may not work for someone else, the opposite holds true as well.


His Father’s Son Fiction Review

Posted on September 4, 2009 by

Bentley Little (The Academy) brings to life a new story of paranoia, inference and murder in His Father’s Son. Please note that this review does have a few spoilers.

This novel is about Steve Nye, a frustrated writer (literally) whose mediocre life is shaken up when his father is admitted to a psych ward after trying to kill his mother. After getting to know the Nye family, you’ll realize that they are normal-yet-dysfunctional in a way that any family might be; the mother is a devoted Christian while the rest of the family is not and the family doesn’t normally show affection to one another. Desperate for his father’s approval, Steve ends up trying to understand his father’s cryptic phrases and words in the hospital. Although his dad cannot semantically put words together due to his physical state, there are times when his dad is lucid. As a result, Steve places an almost unnatural importance on the phrase “I killed her,” to the point where he feels compelled to not only investigate, but also to “protect” his dad’s “secrets” by killing others himself.


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.


Little Fears Nightmare Edition Preview Door #7: Picture Day

Posted on September 2, 2009 by

Welcome to the seventh of the 13 Doors: an exclusive look behind the door at the upcoming Little Fears Nightmare Edition – The Game of Childhood Terror.

Door #7: Picture Day

The small press roleplaying game scene has really upped its visual game in recent years. I don’t know if you’ve checked out the scene lately but there is some really gorgeous stuff out there. When it came to putting together the look of Little Fears Nightmare Edition, I had a couple ideas in mind for the logo and trade dress but I was really sweating the illustrations.

My original hope was to use one artist throughout but that just wasn’t possible. So, I decided to get creative and look at the resources I had available.


Alpha Gods Comic Review

Posted on September 1, 2009 by

In a world where those with special powers are looked down upon and hunted, a secret team is brought together to protect it from the machinations of fallen angels and their children. From a noble cyborg warrior to a jumpy raver girl with electrical powers, they are brought in by a mysterious stranger and have to save a world that wouldn’t save them.

The graphic novel is a collection of short stories, introducing a reader to the universe of Alpha Gods. It is a world of magic and mutants, with sinister demons lurking in the shadows and with human beings developing strange powers. Called Extra Humans or Ex-Hus for short, the world knows they exist and has a largely negative view of them. The Alpha Gods try to protect the innocent ones while they struggle against a sinister corporation known as Grigori Enterprises that is performing experiments that will aid their demonic masters, the Nephilim.

Review by John D. Kennedy


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