Archive | February, 2012

The Vampire Retrospective Project Continues…

Posted on February 29, 2012 by

When I first launched the Vampire Retrospective Project I had intended it to be a short run to the end of the year and that was it. The response has been very positive from fans, developers and freelancers that have worked on various editions of Vampire: the Masquerade and other RPGs over the years. I’ve also had a few people contact me that wished they could have taken part, but missed the deadline due to work or other conflicts.

So…I’m making the project an open-ended event here on Flames Rising. Especially now that Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition is out and people are starting up games all over the world. If you missed out on sending in an essay, here is your chance, I’d love to hear about your experiences with Vampire (any and all editions or variants).


White Wolf Storytelling Adventure System Sale!

Posted on February 29, 2012 by

White Wolf is having a one day super sale on the Storytelling Adventure System line of products at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop!

White Wolf’s Storytelling Adventure System (SAS for short) is a series of stories in PDF format for the various Storytelling game lines (World of Darkness, Scion, Exalted, etc). The basic parts that make up most SAS stories are simple: Storyteller characters, scenes and some advice on how you can put them together. Each of them can be used in different ways to keep the story building towards its climactic end.

This sale includes all of the SAS eBooks currently available on and has them all priced at $2.29 for one day only!


Masters of Horror: Damned if you Don’t

Posted on February 28, 2012 by

PARTY PEOPLE! Your NIGHTMARES have been fulfilled…

Some of the darkest horrors are those that we choose to inflict on ourselves. In the hands of the MASTERS OF HORROR, the evils of drug use, alcoholism, scarification, obesity and obsession have been amplified into bloodcurdling cautionary tales…

Some of the darkest horrors are those that we choose to inflict on ourselves. In the hands of the MASTERS OF HORROR, the evils of drug use, alcoholism, scarification, obesity and obsession have been amplified into blood-curdling cautionary tales…

19 Terrifying tales and a nonfiction detoxification guide await you within. Sacrifice your vice with the MASTERS OF HORROR. You’re literally DAMNED IF YOU DON’T.

Masters of Horror: Damned if you Don’t is available now at


From Selfless Warrior to Sinister Magician: Dave Gross on Writing Pathfinder Tales Novels, Part 2

Posted on February 27, 2012 by

Welcome to part two of our talk with Dave Gross. If you missed part one, you may want to go check out Part One first.

Dave Gross continues the adventures of half-elven Pathfinder Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan in Master of Devils. This time the oddly paired duo travel to the exotic land of Tian Xia, and Gross layers the storyline with a third narrative.

“Master of Devils is more about being trapped in a situation anathema to your desires,” said Gross. “What will it take to make you give up your pride or even your life?”


Tentacular Tentacles at Warehouse 23

Posted on February 27, 2012 by

If you read my What’s New at Steve Jackson Games report, you might have seen the Plush Tentacle on that list. Even though I work for the company, there’s a lot of toys and games I don’t personally design or help create. This particular project was already designed, created, and in the manufacturing queue before I started!


EYES LIKE LEAVES by Charles de Lint Book Release Giveaway

Posted on February 26, 2012 by

Tachyon is proud to announce our new release of Charles de Lint’s classic fantasy novel EYES LIKE LEAVES. We are joining Charles and his partner MaryAnn Harris for a special giveaway on Facebook. By joining the novel’s Facebook group, members are entered into a March 7th drawing to win copies of the novel and signed CDs of Charles and MaryAnn’s music.


Mutant Cannibal Dinos Promise Ferocious Fun

Posted on February 25, 2012 by

Kickstarter Launched For New Card Game Velociraptor! Cannibalism!

Raptors in monocles and silly hats graft strange body parts to themselves and eat their own kind. That might seem like an odd premise for a game, but the team behind Velociraptor! Cannibalism! thinks gamers will love playing these vicious and rather stylish dinosaurs. Based on a crude and inaccurate understanding of natural selection, this game pits players against each other as they devour adorable animals, steal eggs, and eat their own bodies to survive. This card game with a twisted sense of humor was created by six game designers who met for the first time at IGDA Philly’s Global Game Jam site in January. In 48 sleepless hours, Velociraptor! Cannibalism! was born. After a wildly enthusiastic reception, the team wants to bring a polished finished product to the unsuspecting public.


Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land Competition

Posted on February 24, 2012 by

Win a Piece of Horror History

Original 1936 Astounding Stories, H.P. Lovecraft Magazine is Up for Grabs!

Red Wasp Design, the developers of the new Cthulhu-mythos horror/strategy RPG Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land have announced a competition where you could win an original 1936 copy of a pulp fiction magazine featuring the writing of H.P. Lovecraft.


V20 Companion Interview with Rich Thomas and Justin Achilli

Posted on February 24, 2012 by

Recently White Wolf launched a Kickstarter project for the V20 Companion, which is a supplement to Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition. This is the first Kickstarter project for White Wolf and it looks like the V20 Companion is going to be a very cool book. We wanted to know a little more about it and posted an open call to fans to submit their questions.

We’ve compiled the submitted questions and added a few of our own. Rich Thomas and Justin Achilli have taken the time to answer them for us here.


Into the Crimson Light, Ken Meyer Jr.’s dramatic macabre art

Posted on February 22, 2012 by

Ken Meyer Jr.’s work has appeared in dozens of White Wolf game books, on over a hundred cards for Vampire the Eternal Struggle, on Magic the Gathering cards (along with a host of other games), in comics published by Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Caliber, NBM, Avatar and others. His rebooted version of “Atmospherics,” the series he created with writer Warren Ellis just came out. He has also done illustrations for musician Tori Amos, the American Cancer Society, Bell Helmets, and a plethora of mainstream clients.

Most importantly, he has just started a Kickstarter campaign to finance the printing of his book, Into the Crimson Light, which collects 80 pages of the best horror and fantasy art of his long career. In addition to many paintings of the macabre and fantastic, Ken includes behind the scenes progressions and sketches. Check out his Kickstarter page and get a gander at the many collectible rewards he offers for donations, such as original paintings, copies of the book with sketches included, fine art prints and opportunities to be in the book yourself as a creature of your choosing!


Mistborn Adventure Game Review

Posted on February 22, 2012 by

This mighty tome, over 500 pages long, contains everything that you need to start adventuring in the world conjoured up by author Brandon Sanderson… who has not only allowed the use of his setting, he’s written fiction especially for the game, has added comments throughout, and was even involved in the playtesting!

First up, the treat of an original short story set in the Mistborn world called The Elventh Metal. It tells of a small group of malcontents, seeking revenge, seeking change, and introduces a world rich and strange – metals that burn within and confer power, swirling mists, ash that falls from the sky, twisted exotic buildings. And so the strangeness, the richness of this setting is revealed: allomancy. Familiar if you know the novels on which this game is based yet brought magnificently into prominence whether or not you have read them – by utilising mystic powers different metals can be used to bring about a range of spell-like effects. Learn the tricks of their use, or perish miserably!


Victories Aren’t Guaranteed: Dave Gross on Writing Pathfinder Novels, Part 1

Posted on February 21, 2012 by

A “half-breed” protagonist past his prime and his hellspawn bodyguard must find a missing Pathfinder before it is too late. Sczarni, werewolves, and a very weird witch woman… With Prince of Wolves the first novel in the Pathfinder Tales Line, Dave Gross captures the pulpy grandeur of Golarion without burying the characters under mountains of world-building.

“In Prince of Wolves,” said Gross, “one big question is, How can you find something you never lost? It’s about searching for the wrong thing, or realizing that you had it all along. It’s also about finding the unexpected.”


Horror GMing by The Weirding

Posted on February 20, 2012 by

The “How to run Horror RPGs” series continues today at Flames Rising with an essay from About C. Harris Lynn from

Horror roleplaying games are among the most difficult tabletop RPG to run for several reasons. The most important of these are the GM’s relationship to the players and characters, and the general hopelessness of the characters’ situation in many scenarios. Horror PCs are outclassed from the start and often remain so to the end, and this can make horror RPG difficult to play as well as run.

But there are a lot of tips for the budding horror GM, as well as the player (though this article does not offer tips for players). You do not have to incorporate all of these into every session or campaign – just being aware of them can help you in your process.


Pantheon series tops 100,000 sales

Posted on February 20, 2012 by

Solaris is delighted to announce that sales of the critically-acclaimed, New York Times bestselling Pantheon series by James Lovegrove have now topped 100,000.

In a remarkable coup for a military-SF series, the killer blend of high-octane action and worlds dominated by ancient religions, including New York Times bestseller Age of Odin, has been a massive hit. The series is now set to continue with three new titles.

The series focuses on the central question of ‘what if the Gods of Mythology were not only real but played a direct role in mankind’s lives?’ Created as alternative histories that can be read as stand-alone novels or enjoyed as a collective, Lovegrove revitalises deities of old with hard-nosed military science fiction and fascinating re-imaginings of our world.


Stygian Jim’s Horror Game Advice

Posted on February 17, 2012 by

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.


Blair Witch Project Movie Review

Posted on February 16, 2012 by

“The Blair Witch Project” is one of the most controversial horror movies of recent memory. This is not due to explicit content. The movie was never banned or placed on a parents’ watch list. It is controversial due to its lack of explicit content. There are no CGI monsters or buckets of gore, bucking the trend of most contemporary horror. It derives its scares from its setting, atmosphere, and great performances from the three leads.

“Blair Witch” tells the story of Heather (Heather Donahue), Mike (Michael Williams), and Josh (Joshua Leonard), three student filmmakers who are producing a documentary about the legendary Blair Witch, who is said to reside in the woods outside Burkittsville, Maryland.


What do you want to know about the V20 Companion?

Posted on February 16, 2012 by

Yesterday, White Wolf publishing launched a Kickstarter project for the V20 Companion, which is a supplement to Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition.

Twenty-one years ago, Vampire: the Masquerade hit the tabletop RPG market like a black-clad bolt from Hell itself and changed the way games were played forever. It wasn’t just about playing a game; VtM changed people’s lives and defined a lifestyle. Last year, White Wolf created a deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition to celebrate all that Vampire: the Masquerade has meant to its creators and its fans and the response was astounding. It was clear to us that the players want more classic VtM, so we began work on the V20 Companion.

The Flames Rising crew wants to know more…We think you do, too. Here is your chance to help us interview Rich Thomas and Justin Achilli about the book.


12 for ’12 Part 2: The Shotguns & Sorcery Trilogy

Posted on February 15, 2012 by

Shotguns & Sorcery is a fantasy noir setting — think Lord of the Rings written by Raymond Chandler — I first developed as a roleplaying game setting back in 2001. It takes place in a massive city ruled over by a Dragon Emperor who protects the people from the ravenous hordes of undead monsters that mass against its walls. I’d originally licensed it to Mongoose Publishing and hoped to have it in stores in 2002.

And then my wife got pregnant with quadruplets.

That kicked Shotguns & Sorcery past the back burner, out the window, and into the backyard. Cut to ten years later. The kids are fine and healthy, and I’m ready now to dive back into that setting again — but this time as fiction.

I wrote the first Shotguns & Sorcery story last year for Robin D. Laws’s upcoming anthology The New Hero 2, from Stone Skin Press. I fell back in love with the world right away, and I returned to it for another story for Marc Tassin’s anthology Carnage & Consequences. Now I’m itching to write novels for it.


Behind the Romance of Strange, Dead Love

Posted on February 14, 2012 by

I was excited when Russell and Eddy first approached me to work on Strange, Dead Love. For the past couple of years, I have attended several romance writing workshops to learn more about the genre from an author’s perspective. Several of the sessions were dedicated to paranormal romance and we often took a lit crit approach to the genre by pulling out contemporary examples: Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice, Yasmine Galenorn, Patricia Briggs, etc. The subject was something I knew a lot about and, as a Vampire: the Requiem player and author of Scenes of the Embrace, I was happy I could contribute to help other players dive into this genre.


No Quarter: A Roake Heist Excerpt

Posted on February 13, 2012 by

We have an exclusive excerpt from No Quarter: A Roake Heist by John Wick. A combination of dark fantasy and noir adventure, No Quarter is the first volume in the Roake Heist series. It is available now in eBook format at

Roake is no hero. He’s a bad man in a bad world. A world of sorcerers, crowded cities, corrupt nobles, eldritch assassins and big payoffs. Someone hired Roake for a simple break in, but the job went sour, and now, Roake is looking for revenge. More than revenge. Roake wants the payoff he was promised. And if anyone gets in his way, they’ll find out what “no quarter” really means.


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