Tag Archive | "indie rpgs"

Infiltrating Black Seven by Stew Wilson

Posted on September 7, 2011 by

Stew Wilson from Zero Point Information is here to tell us about his new game Black Seven. A modern espionage RPG, Black Seven isinspired by stealth-action games like Deus Ex, Alpha Protocol, and Splinter Cell.

Infiltrating BLACK SEVEN

BLACK SEVEN started life in my throw-away ideas file, a couple of notes for a system that, at the time, I wasn’t able to make work. That time was 2004, and I was re-playing Deus Ex for the fourth time. Under the effects of too much strong coffee, I hacked White Wolf’s Trinity so that I could run Deus Ex-like games. I never had a chance to try it, and I was left with niggling little ideas that wouldn’t go away that wouldn’t work in my proposed hack.


Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple RPG Review

Posted on August 10, 2011 by

Daniel Solis’ Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple is a different type of game for me to review. It’s not the kind of game I would pick up on my own. This isn’t to say I am against indie games because, well, I have dozens of examples to the contrary. No, the genre just isn’t that interesting to me and I know my gaming group mostly wouldn’t get behind the concept.

With that said, the book really won me over (can’t make a claim to my gaming group though). There are three key elements to this clever game that make it intriguing and full of potential for gamers and, more importantly, young gamers. We’ll go over those elements (maybe two more) and I’ll show you why this is exactly the kind of game I’d play with my son (he’s seven or, as he’s say, seven and a half).

The idea of a wandering pilgrim is attractive even when laced in an anime dressing (not my thing).


100 Horror Adventure Seeds Review

Posted on May 25, 2011 by

100 Horror Adventure Seeds is not a ponderous tome of highly drawn out and detailed adventures that focus on the things that go bump in the night. In this collection the ideas that James sets down are designed to trigger the imagination, not to stifle it. He starts off, quite early in the book, with the trials and pitfalls of horror gaming in general and moves on to the relative usefulness of a more structured module. It quickly becomes apparent that James is not a fan of the structured module. He does admit that they are good introductions for a new Game Master to a system, but eventually these will hinder a Game Master due to their lack of GM creativity.

James then describes why a more traditional module format tends to fail, and the main reason is quite simply the players. A player tends to have this nasty tendency to think for themselves and to have reactions that are not completely scripted. It is true that a Game Master can nudge and coddle a group back onto the modules path, but then that strips the players of their freedoms. With this collection, I believe James sets troubled Game Masters down the correct path where the plot is highly fluid and adaptable.


Invaderz RPG Review

Posted on March 10, 2011 by

If you are a looking for a deep and philosophical game to explore the intricacies of your mind, then this is not the game for you. However, if you are looking for a light-hearted and whimsical romp in between long running campaigns then this game can easily fill that need. Early on the game touts itself as a ‘Beer and Crisps’ game (or a Beer and Pretzels game in the States), and it adheres to this easygoing philosophy.

One takes on the role of a Jerkian Warrior, a clone of the great leader whose purpose in life is to entertain the Exalted Emperor and feed the Exalted Emperor. It’s not an easy life being among the lowest ranks, and a gruesome (though entertaining) death is almost a certainty. One of the few ways to ensure your own survival is through treachery and betrayal of your fellow Jerkian Warriors; rank hath many privileges — one of the most obvious being fewer missions in which death is likely.


Celebrate GMs with RPGnow GM’s Day Sale!

Posted on March 2, 2011 by


Buy your favorite games or try new ones from Postmortem Studios, Cubicle 7, Galileo Games, Pelgrane Press, Pinnacle Entertainment, Adamant Entertainment, White Wolf Publishing, Evil Hat Productions, Green Ronin, Malhavoc Press and even Flames Rising Press, including the best-selling title The Queen of Crows.


Hoodoo Blues RPG Review

Posted on June 11, 2010 by

Advertising will sometimes try to sell a movie as the funniest of the year . . . during the third week in January. I think that’s a fairly short-sighted marketing approach, but maybe people don’t remember that eleven more months will doubtlessly have contenders to the self-proclaimed title. Why even bring it up? Because I want to explain my take on this RPG. I’m not going to call this the coolest RPG I read in 2010 . . . yet.


Special Features (Slasher Flick RPG) Review

Posted on November 30, 2009 by

Okay, my last few reviews have been pushing the horror envelope rather well. I’m here to today to say that this puppy fits to horror like hockey masks and FOX News. What we have today is a mini-sourcebook for Slasher Flick. This system’s game focuses on slasher horror and its conventions, some of which are archetypical characters, insanely powered mad men (and sometimes women), and mayhem. This mini-sourcebook’s name comes from the special features bundled into DVDs Yep, you’ll require Slasher Flick before you pick this game up because there is precious little to mine from it that isn’t directly useful to the core material. Should you happen upon this first though I think you’ll find that you will want to pick up the source material.


Little Fears Nightmare Edition Preview Door #4: Creatures in the Library

Posted on August 12, 2009 by

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

Door #4: Creatures in the Library

If you’ve been following the updates on littlefears.com, you’ve seen that I’ve been talking about some of the books and movies that inspired Little Fears Nightmare Edition. I want to expand on that and not just talk about the things that inspired me—which I will continue to do on the website—but talk about what I was looking for in that inspiration.

Since before I was in its target audience, I’ve been drawn to that nebulous category called Young Adult Fiction. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I soaked up all I could, reading such books at Jane Yolen’s Pit Dragon Trilogy, the Not Quite Human series, Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, and Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels.


Madison Games Day May 30th, 2009!

Posted on May 22, 2009 by

Play New Games. Meet New People.

Madison Games Day is a chance for gamers in and around the Madison, Wisconsin area to meet new people and play new games. Bring your friends, bring your game group, but while you’re here, sit at a table with folks you barely know—or don’t know at all—and try some games that you haven’t played before but maybe have always wanted to.

We invite everyone in the area (or willing to make the trek) to come and play some games! There will be indie and mainstream roleplaying games, card games, and board games. If you have something you’d like to play, bring it!


M. Joseph Young “Multiverser Horror”

Posted on April 13, 2009 by

Author M. Joseph Young has joined our ongoing Horror Design Project here at Flames Rising and tells us a bit about writing horror elements for his Multiverser RPG.

Multiverser Horror

Some people think that horror is easy: dial up the kill rate, and soon every character is terrified.

What, though, if the characters are immortal?

This was the fundamental question we had to face in writing horror scenarios for Multiverser. Player characters are “versers”. Death is the doorway to take you to the next world, and the next world is where the next adventure awaits. Dial up the death rate, and for the verser it becomes a game of choosing how to die, how to end the horror and get somewhere nicer. Thus if we were going to create horror scenarios, we were going to have to figure out how to frighten someone who is completely unafraid of death. That meant understanding fear, and its more fundamental causes. Here are a few of the things we learned. Each has value.


HDL System RPG Review

Posted on April 7, 2009 by

I normally tackle one product at a time; however, Sean Boyle’s line of HDL games is so entwined with one another that it’s simply easier to treat them as one massive project. The exact products I’m including are the HDL Basic Rules, Perfect Horizon, Demongate High, the HDL cards, and Lucid: Dreamscape Reality. I’ll try to separate these books for clarity’s sake, but I suspect I’ll have to trip back and forth between them on occasion.

The first book in the HDL line is strictly the nuts and bolts of Boyle’s system. It’s a modest read at eighty-seven pages. Like most, my first impression of the book came through a skimming. The artwork, derived from a stable of six illustrators, seems to enjoy the fact that it rests inside a generic system’s corebook.

Review by Todd Cash


Annalise Game Review

Posted on December 12, 2008 by

Annalise offers a new look at a time-honored monster, the vampire. In this game, players take on characters who are somehow influenced or otherwise affected by the story’s vampire,
which is always a concept of the story rather than a player. Annalise takes a pinpoint topic–the relationship between a group (the players) and a vampire or vampires–and attempts to make a playable game out of it.

Review by Todd Cash


3:16 eBook Special Sale Price of $3.16

Posted on December 10, 2008 by

Special Birthday Price of $3.16 for ONE WEEK ONLY!

This high-octane Science-Fiction role-playing game for 2 or more players has your Space Troopers killing bugs all across the Cosmos. You’ll advance in rank, improve your weapons, slay civilization after civilization and find out who you are through an innovative “Flashback” mechanic.

“Out-Verhoevens Verhoeven” – Robin D. Laws
“Fantastic, gorgeous design” – Ron Edwards

Buy the 3:16 eBook for only $3:16 at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop!


A Dirty World and Reign by Greg Stolze

Posted on November 26, 2008 by

Author and game designer Greg Stolze has two new products available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop. First up is Reign – A fantasy game of dominion and leadership. I picked this book up at GenCon 2007 after an entertaining demo run by the Mr. Stolze himself. It uses the One Roll Engine, so if […]


Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. Has Arrived!

Posted on November 25, 2008 by

Come Join the Fight to Protect Earth!

Monsters and demons have existed on Earth since its inception, terrorizing humanity throughout history. But some of them decided to fight back, creating a company of like-minded beings (even other demons) to defend the Earth from supernatural threats. Today, the shadow company has it’s hands in every facet of life all around the globe, using this grasp to police supernatural activity. Demon races that live on Earth (i.e. the aquatic Lochs, shape-shifting Changelings, or even the pyrotechnic Burners) have joined the company as well, ensuring their safety as well as humanity’s.

Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. is available at Lulu.com and RPGNow.com.


Play Dirty RPG Review

Posted on November 18, 2008 by

Nearly all RPGs have a section devoted to the theory of how RPGs should be played. In fact, this is the part of a corebook I find myself rereading for inspiration. The skill of these chapters range from the banal to sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll goodness. If you want how-to theory that feels like Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, then John Wick’s Play Dirty is the book for you. Making connections between the two proves simple. Heck, both books have a series of rules to follow. While we won’t talk about the rules of Fight Club, I will share Wick’s two rules:

Rule One: There are no rules.
Rule Two: Cheat anyway.

Review by Todd Cash


Halloween Horror: The Room

Posted on October 21, 2008 by

Today’s addition to the Halloween Horror series is not really a monster, but it is something of a nightmare and more than fitting for our collection. Brought to us by game designer and author, John Wick (Thirty, Necromonpoly), is a place of horror you don’t want to visit, Halloween or not.

How do you get in? How do you get out?

The Room

Created by John Wick

The Room remembers you. It keeps a little piece of you. Keeps it close to its heart.

The Room keeps little pieces of those who dream there. Steals it from you. Just a little piece. And in the Room, the pieces it keeps try to escape. They stow away in your coat. Hiding in your hat. Ditch between the cracks in your shaving mirror.

They try to escape, but the Room keeps them close. Very close. In the Room, you can smell her hair and taste his cigar. Feel the cut of the broken bottle as it ripped her skin. Everyone who ever dreamed here left a little something of themselves behind. Memories and dreams caught in its teeth.


Halloween Horror: Cheap Labor

Posted on October 17, 2008 by

A new twist on a classic horror favorite is today’s entry in the Halloween Horror series. Game designer Jared A. Sorensen (InSpectres, Requiem Chronicler’s Guide) brings us a story about the dead, although not in the way you might be expecting.

A new “working class” with only a few minor drawbacks…

Cheap Labor

Created by Jared A. Sorensen

There’s a stain on the floor and he’s scrubbing it like it’s blood and the police are on their way, lights flashing, tires squealing. Not fast but vigorous, relentless. We’re watching him. We’ve been watching him through the window for going on ten minutes and he hasn’t let up, hasn’t slowed down a beat. Constant, like a timepiece ticking away the seconds, minutes. Soon to be hours. Jim breaks the spell.

“Gus? Gus.”

The scrubbing stops. The man crouched over the coffee stain on the carpet stops and looks up. His face is old and gaunt, skin stretched tight over razor cheekbones. That vacant stare. Dead eyes.


Halloween Horror: Heamogoblin

Posted on October 6, 2008 by

A new monster in the Halloween Horror series today from game designer Gregor Hutton (3:16, a|state) with art from Bradley K. McDevitt (Blood!).

The Heamogoblin is a mischievous little beast. You have to wonder if they are related to Gremlins or something far, far worse…

The Heamogoblin

Created by Gregor Hutton
With Art by Bradley K. McDevitt

Brad put Tara on the hallway stairs, she was a bloodied mess. He made his way in to the kitchen to see what she’d done to herself. Bloody footprints, like those of a rat, led from a smashed tumbler to under the sink. A tumbler? All the blood that only moments ago must have jetted from Tara’s arm was gone. It looked like it had been licked clean from the slate floor. Rats?

Brad looked around and saw a knife. It lay conveniently nearby, sharp and cool, and he reached for it with his hand. Suddenly and unexpectedly there was a scuttling beneath the sink, and he took his eye off the knife. A sharp pain and he felt blood squirting out his hand.


Halloween Horror: Massapoag

Posted on October 3, 2008 by

More monsters everyday in October here at Flames Rising. Today we’ve got a tale from Jason Morningstar, creator of the Grey Ranks RPG and other games.

The name Massapoag comes from the Algonquian for “Bad Place”, which Jason grabbed from R.A. Douglas-Lithgow’s Native American Place Names of Massachusetts.

The Massapoag

Created by Jason Morningstar


The women were exhausted and wet-footed, dressed in ill-fitting cotton dresses and carrying squalling babies in their arms. One had a leather-bound bible, ink running across soaked pages. They were Penacook women and Wonalancet, Sachem of all the Penacook, knew their families.

The Englishman who had led them there started barking contemptuously. Wonalancet’s father Papisseconewa had known the language but he did not. One of the women reluctantly translated.

“Sachem, he says we are yours again,” she said. Wonalancet said nothing.

“We left to become Christians”, she said, as if explanation were needed.


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