Archive | February, 2010

Keep Your Friends Close: Inside the Box

Posted on February 28, 2010 by

This week in our ongoing Vampire:the Requiem game, Blake and Lavender are on their way to the Chicago suburb of Stickney to consult with their mentor, Regent Mike Czarnecki, Nosferatu and Invictus elder. The batch of assorted crates and containers we recovered from under the Chicago River were waiting to be opened. Upon our arrival in Stickney, we were led by the Regent through a series of hallways and tunnels to what appeared to be an empty parking lot – until the Regent canceled his Obfuscate, and we saw a smallish, corrugated metal building the size of a two-car garage. because we had enlisted the aid of the rival Carthians, it had been suggested to the Regent by McLean that the boxes recovered from under the Chicago River should be moved to a safer place. How much safer a hiding place could one get than a building that normally couldn’t be found? The Regent mentions that few outside of his own clan knew of this building; Blake felt honored to be brought into the Regent’s confidence in this way.


Vampire Apocalypse: Prologue at DriveThruComics!

Posted on February 27, 2010 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: A World Torn Asunder 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, was released this October from Black Death Books.

Now you can download the Vampire Apocalypse: Prologue mini-comic for free at!


Keep Your Friends Close…Treasure Hunting?

Posted on February 26, 2010 by

Picking up from where we left our coterie last week, we find Lavender, Blake and the rest about to look for sunken treasure. Having learned that the body of “The Old Man” (an Invictus elder) was in torpor at the bottom of the Chicago River, Blake immediately assumes we need to retrieve it and put it in safe storage. If the diablerists were to get their hands on it, the results would be bad no matter what happened. The diving expedition consists of Blake, Filthfoot (Nosferatu bound to our coterie under first-stage viniculum as punishment for misbehavior) and Garret McLean, Gangrel Seneschal to the Prince and all-around bad dude. Lavender will remain in the boat as look-out and back-up, along with Carpenter (Blake’s ghoul), Butch (Filthfoot’s buddy) and the boat captain, who thinks we’re diving to recover lost treasures of Al Capone.


Witchblade #128 – 130 Comic Review

Posted on February 26, 2010 by

As you could tell from my reviews of the first half of the “War of the Witchblades” arc, back in May, I was loving them. Matt would send me a new PDF from the publisher, and I’d eagerly open it to see the next installment.

Except when I didn’t. That’s right, I completely neglected to download Witchblade #128. Rather than miss the fourth issue in the saga after the download period expired, I did what any self-respecting comics reader (and reviewer) would do — I waited for it to arrive at my friendly local comic shop (FLCS) and bought that sucker. This was a good choice, because without issue #128, the rest of the story wouldn’t have come together so well. Since they’ve been on the shelves for awhile now, I thought I’d review the rest of the “War of the Witchblades” arc, and recommend that you all keep an eye out at your local FLCS for a trade collecting these six issues.


Paterfamilias (Requiem for Rome) SAS Available Now!

Posted on February 25, 2010 by

A story in the Storytelling Adventure System for Requiem for Rome (using Vampire: The Requiem)

Paterfamilias contains a collection of scenes, Storyteller character records, a number of hyperlinks to various portions of the text as well as bookmarks, so you can always jump right to what you need with just a click. There’s also a new hunter group provided, as well as errata for Requiem for Rome and Fall of the Camarilla.

Paterfamilias is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.


Restless Souls Review

Posted on February 25, 2010 by

Restless Souls comes to the gaming table with the interesting idea of playing a character who is not quite dead and not quite living either. This thirteen page add-on to your d20 or Pathfinder game is an expansion of the Questhaven campaign world by Rite Publishing, but the content within can easily be adapted to just about any fantasy setting. Within its pages, you will find a new template which will transform any (now dead) creature into a restless soul, along with twenty-two new feats and ten new spells.

The idea behind Restless Souls is a good one, and even as I read the opening introduction, as told by one of the restless dead themselves, ideas were already running through my head about how I could use this in one of my games. Restless souls, it is explained, are those who died having left some critical task yet unfinished — what adventurer doesn’t, right?


Supernatural: Nevermore Review

Posted on February 24, 2010 by

One of the perks of being a reviewer on Flames Rising are the free E-books. I’ve been given some great books to review that I probably would have never come across and enjoyed otherwise (see my last review of This is My Blood for a great example). Fate and da’ flames have now granted not one, but four advance reader books for yours truly to read and review. Even more interesting is that these books are all based on the “Supernatural” television show!

I really enjoy watching the “Supernatural” show. I’ve been watching it since it first started, I got a few of the seasons on DVD and I’ve been considering checking out the RPG as I am a modern horror RPG junkie.


Interview with Mouse Guard Creator David Petersen

Posted on February 23, 2010 by is pleased to present you with an interview with David Petersen, the creator of the Mouse Guard graphic novel series. Published by Archaia Entertainment, Mouse Guard tells the story of a few brave mice dedicated to protecting their fellow mice from dangerous predators and other threats.

The graphic novels are widely popular; just Last summer we learned that Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 hit the New York Times Best Seller List. Because of the comic’s popularity, Archaia Entertainment recently announced that Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 hardcover is going into a third printing. The series is also a big hit among hobby gamers, too, who enjoy playing the Mouse Guard RPG.

We had the chance to ask David a few questions about the Mouse Guard series, including his upcoming Mouse Guard-related titles like Black Axe and Legends of the Guard.


Vampire Apocalypse Fallout Review

Posted on February 23, 2010 by

Fallout is the third volume in the Vampire Apocalypse series written by Derek Gunn. This story picks up almost immediately after the previous book, Descent into Chaos, wraps up. Now, the free humans are still recovering from the events of the previous novel, and have new challenges to face. Burdened by a huge influx of rescued people to their hidden community, the main characters have a lot of challenges weaning them off a deadly serum and integrating them into their new lives as survivors and freedom fighters.

I’ll say from the start that this review will be difficult to write without spoiling something in the story. There is a lot of action in this volume and plenty of twists and turns to the ongoing narrative. So, I’ll attempt to spoil as little as possible in the review, but a few minor bits might slip through in the process…


Manual of Exalted Power Abyssals Review

Posted on February 22, 2010 by

At first glance, the Abyssal Exalted seem pretty vile folk, spreading death and destruction wherever they go. However, there’s a lot more to them than that, and if you are seeking a greater understanding of the Abyssals, are a Storyteller with a plot in which they play a major part or actually are looking to run a game based around Abyssal characters, this book is worth a read.

The Introduction gives an overview of the Abyssals and discusses the roles that they might have in your game as adversaries, allies or indeed characters to be played. Like the Solars, Abyssals begin as ordinary human beings with the seeds of greatness, the potential to become a mighty hero. Those who suffer – or are on the brink of – an untimely death may be given the opportunity of Exaltation as an Abyssal instead, provided that they will pledge themselves to the service of the Deathlords and their ultimate goal: the destruction of Creation itself.


Keep Your Friends Close: An Ongoing Campaign for Vampire: the Requiem

Posted on February 19, 2010 by

Last week Monica filled everyone in on Lavender the Daeva; this week I’m here to tell you about the next member of the coterie: Blake Porter, Ventrue bon-vivant.

Most of this week was taken up in getting a prospective new player up to speed on the setting and situation of our game. As a result, not as much happened as usual this week, but here are some of the highlights:

The Prince held court this week, as is usual for the last Friday of the month. Lavender took her young ward Kyle — also a Daeva — along with us to court, and he was dressed to the nines. Several of the prominent female Kindred at court proclaimed Kyle the “best-dressed man in the room.”


Gamer Fantastic Preview

Posted on February 19, 2010 by

Let the games begin!

These thirteen original stories by veterans of the fantasy realms take role-playing games and universes to a whole new level.

From a teenager who finds a better future in virtual reality; to a private investigator hired to find a dying man’s grandson in the midst of a virtual reality theme park; from a person gifted with the power to pull things out of books into the real world; to a psychologist using fantasy role-playing to heal his patients; from a gaming convention where the real winners may not be who they seem to be; to a multi-layered role-playing game that leads participants from reality to reality and games within games-these imaginative and fascinating new tales will captivate both lovers of original fantasy and anyone who has ever fallen under the spell of role-playing games.

Flames Rising is happy to present a selection of excerpts from Gamer Fantastic which is edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes.

Gamer Fantastic is available now at


Accidentally Demonic Review

Posted on February 18, 2010 by

I discovered Dakota Cassidy through the League of Reluctant Adults, and have been following her blog for ages. She did an excellent back and forth short fiction piece with Mark Henry (Happy Hour of the Damned, Road Trip of the Living Dead, and the forthcoming Battle of the Network Zombies) that appeared on their web sites (a murder in an America’s Top Model-like environment) featuring characters from Mark’s Amanda Feral series and Dakota’s “Accidentals” series. Having fallen in love with her online writing, I put her books on hold through my library.

And I waited. And waited. And waited. And by the time the first book actually arrived through my library system (where apparently it was too popular at the home library for them to ship to me), Dakota’s fourth book, Accidentally Demonic, started appearing early on bookshelves.


Preview of Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Posted on February 17, 2010 by

A thrilling epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time- between a hidden society and heaven’s darkest creatures.

Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.

Flames Rising has a short excerpt from this new novel by Danielle Trussoni. Angelology is available at and


Exalted Storyteller’s Companion Review

Posted on February 17, 2010 by

The Introduction sets the scene without ado: there are many threats facing the Solar Exalted chief of whom are the other kinds of Exalted, and the purpose of this book is to enable the Storyteller to create quick yet effective representatives of all other Exalts to serve as allies or – more likely – enemies in the course of the chronicle that is to be told. More detail on both the five kinds of Exalt and on creating antagonists in general than is to be found in the core rules is presented,along with information about the high-level politicking that goes on which can be used as background or even as something for the characters to get involved with if the thought of mixing diplomacy and intrigue with warfare appeals.


Through the Ebon Gate RPG Review

Posted on February 16, 2010 by

I’m still six feet under only I’m under snow and it’s actually closer to six inches. What’s a little bit of exaggeration between friends? After all, you’re the one reading a RPG review, so it stands to reason that you like either telling or hearing stories. For those of you who missed my review of Book of the Dead, which you can read here (don’t worry I’ll wait), I’m in the midst of a look at White Wolf’s view of the Underworld. Today, we’re going to visit the Ebon Gate, a SAS adventure intended for Geist: the Sin-Eaters.

This adventure is 38 pages, although the first and second pages are full color and black and white versions of the cover. The layout follows the Geist format, which means subtle blues for color, more keys than you’ll find on a school custodian’s key ring, and big whopping numbered pages.


Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan RPG Review

Posted on February 15, 2010 by

When I first saw Goodman Games’ D&D 4e adventure, Death Dealer: Shadows of Mirahan, I had mixed reactions. First, I love Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer. I’ve seen all the Frazetta paintings, read the novels by James Silke, collected the comics written by Glen Danzig, and bought the Molly Hatchet album with Death Dealer on the cover when I first saw it back in the 80s (it was actually released in 1978).

However, the gamer in me balked. I was wondering how they could pull off an adventure about the Death Dealer without having the nearly omnipotent figure overshadow the player characters. There is only one Death Dealer, and surely the players would not be playing as the legendary anti-hero. I was also wondering how the adventure dealt with non-human races (I couldn’t remember reading about elves and dwarves in the novels).


Love Kills: My Bloody Valentine

Posted on February 14, 2010 by

Featuring 20 pulse-pounding short stories, including Mark Souza’s “Cupid’s Maze,” Love Kills: My Bloody Valentine celebrates the sinister side of romance. Forget flowers and candy-scare your lover into your arms this Valentine’s Day.

This macabre collection of Valentine’s Day horror is a devil of a good time.

Love Kills: My Bloody Valentine is available now at


Preview of The Changed by B. J. Burrow

Posted on February 12, 2010 by

It’s not the end of the world-it’s just zombies.

Chris is an ordinary guy with a boring job, a perfect fiancé, and plans for a happy, if predictable, future. But when the dead stop dying and become, instead, simply “changed,” ordinary isn’t so comforting anymore. Wandering stray animals suddenly develop a taste for flesh and brains, and while most of the human zombies might be harmless, can anyone really be sure?

With the help of a morning show shock-jock who has recently turned into a zombie and the burnt-out walking remains of a businessman, Chris becomes the backbone of a fight for undead rights among the fear, prejudice, and uncertainty dividing the living and the not quite dead.

Apex Book Company has offered a small excerpt from this new zombie tale for Flames Rising readers to enjoy. The Changed is available now at


Archaia Going to a Third Printing of Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152

Posted on February 11, 2010 by

As a testament to the continuing strength of the Mouse Guard brand and Archaia Entertainment’s commitment to its creators, the publisher announced today that after selling 80,000 copies of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152 hardcover since its original release in 2007, the title is going back to press. Archaia’s third printing of 10,000 copies, which are scheduled to arrive in stores in March, was expected to last over a 12-month period, but a deluge of advanced ordering due to the announcement of more Mouse Guard volumes has prompted the possibility of a fourth printing to commence in the coming months.


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