Author | Monica Valentinelli

Monica Valentinelli is a writer and game designer who lurks in the dark. She creates original worlds and writers for media tie-in settings which include Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun, Firefly, and Vampire: The Masquerade.

Published stories and games include “Tomorrow’s Precious Lambs” for EXTREME ZOMBIES, IN VOLO'S WAKE for Dungeons & Dragons, and DREAD NAMES, RED LIST for Vampire: the Requiem by White Wolf Publishing.

Her non-fiction repertoire includes online articles, essays, and reference materials like the THE GORRAMN SHINIEST LANGUAGE GUIDE AND DICTIONARY IN THE 'VERSE for the Firefly TV show. She has written for sites like HowtoWrite Shop.com, Crackle.com, SFWA.org, GeeksDreamGirl.com, and BookLifeNow.com in addition to contributions for books such as FAMILY GAMES: THE 100 BEST and THE BONES: US AND OUR DICE.

For more about Monica, visit booksofm.com.


Adventure with the Pathfinder Second Edition Beginner Box

Posted on November 11, 2020 by

Paizo Inc. has launched the Pathfinder Beginner Box for Pathfinder Second Edition! This hefty box contains everything a new player needs to begin a lifetime of fantasy adventures, serving as an entry point for players new to roleplaying games, experienced gamers new to Pathfinder Second Edition, and Pathfinder veterans looking to teach friends and family […]

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[New Release] Death is Not the End for Geist: The Sin-Eaters

Posted on May 13, 2020 by

Death is not the end. You learned that firsthand when you died. In that darkness, you made a deal that brought you back — with something else. Now, bound inextricably to a geist — a shade, a monster, a tragic, broken soul — you stand between the world of the living and the world of […]

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[HTV:2E] Interview with Cassandra Khaw

Posted on February 20, 2020 by

Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition was developed by industry veteran Monica Valentinelli for Onyx Path Publishing. To celebrate the release of the Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition Kickstarter, Monica reached out to members of her team for a series of in-depth interviews. Today, Monica chats with Cassandra Khaw, who wrote the fiction and designed monsters […]

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Mark the Date! Take Monica’s Intro to Game Writing Class

Posted on January 28, 2020 by

Hiya, do you love playing games? Ever want to write your own or for someone else? In this class, join industry veteran Monica Valentinelli for insight on how to write your own game or for your favorite type of game. Monica has worked on mobile games, IF games, card games, tabletop games, and more! Questions […]

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Magic and Motherhood in The Witcher Season One Part Two

Posted on January 22, 2020 by

Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher debuted in December 2019 and has been met with both criticism and accolades. In this second installment of my two-part deep dive into magic, worldbuilding, and motherhood I want to talk about motherhood and reproduction specifically. As I mentioned last time, I had a lot of fun with Geralt of […]

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Happy New Year! Time to Learn a New, Super Game

Posted on January 6, 2020 by

DriveThruRPG.com is kicking off the new year with a massive sale. There are hundreds of new games to choose from including Scion 2nd Edition from Onyx Path Publishing, Infinity from Modiphius, and Mortal Coil from Galileo Games Hoping for a super 2020? If superheroes are your jam, I recommend the Valiant Universe RPG from Catalyst […]

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Magic and Motherhood in Netflix’s The Witcher: Part 1

Posted on December 31, 2019 by

Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher debuted in December 2019 and has been met with both criticism and accolades. If you’re not already aware, the events in The Witcher Season One are presented as a time-hopping origin story, or braided narrative, for three characters: Yennefer of Vengerberg, Geralt of Rivia, and Ciri of Cintra. The character […]

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10 Christmas in July Fiction Recommendations!

Posted on July 29, 2019 by

The Christmas in July at DriveThruFiction sale continues! Last time, I offered ten recommendations of non-fiction books that are great for writers and narrative designers. Now, I’ve got ten new books for you to check out–some fabulous stories! Listing these reads in no specific order, I’ve picked out some cool novels and anthologies for you […]

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10 Non-Fiction Books for Writers

Posted on July 20, 2019 by

Heya, are you participating in CampNaNoWriMo? Got a novel in the works? Your own game? I put together a list of ten books to help! Every book in this list is on sale through July 31st as part of the massive Christmas in July sale at DriveThruFiction.com.

In no particular order, here’s ten great non-fiction books to help your craft. I picked books that’d be great for genre authors and narrative designers. Check ’em out!

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New Web Series about Yoruba Witches Launches on Kickstarter

Posted on May 16, 2019 by

Despite the prominence of witches in pop culture, black women tend to be cast in supporting roles. From Rochelle’s prominent role in The Craft (1996) to films where the supernatural is merely hinted at like Eve’s Bayou (1997), the genre of magic-related films and television shows have yet to embrace black women in the role […]

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Pledge for my Extra Life Fundraiser and Get Scarred Lands Rewards!

Posted on October 5, 2018 by

Hi everyone! I am pleased to announce two exciting things today! I will be at Special Guest at GameHole Con from Thursday, November 8th to Sunday, November 11th. During the show, I’ll be running a playtest of a Ravenloft campaign I’m working on for DMsGuild.com, putting in some booth time for Onyx Path Publishing, attending panels, and playing games.

To help sick kids, I will be playing a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition game that’ll be live-streamed during the show. The fundraiser is called Extra Life, and it allows me to customize rewards for your pledges.

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What I Would Change In Gaming

Posted on July 11, 2018 by

I’m not sure where to start this post, because it was inspired by an interview question. On the surface, the interviewer’s question sounds simple: What would I change in gaming? Well, after several minutes I realized the volume of what I’d want to change would not fit in a paragraph. Instead, I’m writing this post […]

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Unraveling Netflix’s Requiem

Posted on April 13, 2018 by

On the heels of a fresh push for platform-specific content, Netflix released Requiem. It’s a six episode British miniseries set primarily in the small town of Penllynith. Billed as a supernatural thriller, the story revolves around Matilda Grey, an award-winning cellist played by Lydia Wilson, and her ever increasing obsession with a decades old mystery. […]

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Annihilation Movie Review

Posted on April 6, 2018 by

Annihilation (2018) is a dark science fantasy thriller written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina). Unlike Ex Machina (2014), Garland adapted the work from the first novel of acclaimed author Jeff VanderMeer‘s Southern Reach trilogy. The night before we went to see Annihilation, I had watched The Ritual (2017). Like The Witch (2015) and […]

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New for Artists! Make Art Not War Challenge eBook Debuts

Posted on October 7, 2017 by

Make Art Not War Challenge eBookBack in December of 2016, I started an initiative to help artists focus on making art anticipating an awful four years of politics and distractions. Making art is part of who we are, what we do, and how many of us earn a living (or part thereof).

I am pleased to announce the release of Make Art Not War Challenge: Rules, Essays, and 31 Creative Prompts. This eBook is available in multiple file formats through DriveThruFiction.com in Nook (ePub), Kindle (Mobi), and PDF formats.

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Sign Up for the Parliament of Shadows

Posted on September 12, 2017 by

For as long as Vampire: The Masquerade has existed, members of the Camarilla have influenced politicians the world over to exact their schemes. Now, you can play a vampire or ghoul caught between making decisions for yourself, your coterie, and your clan in the Parliament of Shadows. This unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience employs the setting of White Wolf Entertainment’s upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade Fifth Edition in a LARP set in the European Parliament. The rules employed will be a bespoke system heavily focused on social interaction and intrigue.

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Challenge Yourself and Make Art Not War for 2017

Posted on January 3, 2017 by

Born out of both my personal experiences and the knowledge that oppression tends to crush the artistic spirit on a cellular level, I have created a Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge for those who need it. This challenge, which came together from inspiration to draft guidelines, is designed to be flexible to work with […]

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The Story Behind “Suffering of the Unchosen”

Posted on September 6, 2016 by

“Suffering of the Unchosen” is one of many stories found in the recently released anthology titled Tales of the Dark Eras. Set in and near Salem Village in the early 1690s, the story follows a grieving husband and father who, at first glance, is the victim of a terrible crime. His wife and step-child had […]

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Want a Fresh Take on the Fae? Check out Court of Shadows!

Posted on July 26, 2016 by

Shadowrun Court of Shadows Cover Art
Court of Shadows is a brand new setting for Shadowrun 5th Edition that takes place on a metaplace filled with faeries, the Seelie Court, and rich details and characters. I co-designed the setting with Jason Hardy for this supplement, and contributed a huge chunk of the writing, too. I’m so excited to present this alternate setting, and hope fans’ll dig how I blended inspiration from previous sourcebooks into this unique metaplane.

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Designing Battle for the Undercity a D&D 5E Adventure

Posted on February 19, 2016 by

Over the years, I’ve worked on (and have played) a lot of games with folks from every corner of the industry, but I’ve never had the opportunity to write for Dungeons and Dragons. Battle for the Undercity (5E) is a release that changed all that thanks to dmsguild.com. Today, I’d like to share with you my process for designing this adventure.

The first thing I did was review the adventure structure. Having played D&D 5E, I understood how important that was but, at the same time, I wanted to put my own twist on it. After I read the DMs Guild Creator Adventure Template and refreshed my memory by referencing Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat, I came up with a plan. I wanted to design a location and fitting monster variants that could be used in any Forgotten Realms campaign, in part because of my own experiences playing D&D. By tapping into the two elements every city tends to have which, in this case, was the undercity (sewers, worked tunnels, etc.) and a tavern, I felt DMs could use Battle for the Undercity as a break between campaigns or intense sessions.

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