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 Certain Dark Things a Worthy Vampire Tale
Posted: Sun, 30 Jun 2019 21:39:31
Category: Fiction, modern-horror, vampires
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Certain Dark Things, about a Mexican vampire on the run from gangs, the police, and rival vampires trying to wipe out her family. The story begins with Domingo, a teen-aged picker who makes his living going through garbage to find things to salvage and sell. On his way to work, he sees a striking young woman on the train, and he finds himself smitten — even obsessed — with this strange young woman walking a rather vicious-looking dog.

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 Betrayal Legacy Board Game Review
Posted: Fri, 24 May 2019 16:28:09
Category: Other Games, board games, wotc
15 years ago, the Avalon Hill division of Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro released a board game called Betrayal at the House on the Hill, to little fanfare. It was a game of exploring a classic haunted house, but with a twist: eventually, as the mansion was explored and the tension grew, one player would be […]

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 Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition Review
Posted: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 19:11:31
Category: Reviews, RPGs, ghost stories
Once upon a time, many years ago in the closing months of the 20th Century, one of my best friends said to me “We’re going to do something new. Something different. We’re going to play Wraith.” being in a group of players that was consistently made up of myself, the significant other of my best friend, and my best friend-as-Storyteller, I was immediately intimidated. I had no idea how to play Wraith, and – truth be told – had no idea how the rules worked or how the setting would be laid out, etc. Let’s be clear here; Vampire is easy. You’re a vampire and you live in a city and you blah blah blah all night long until the sun comes up. And let’s also be clear that with Werewolf, you’re a werewolf and you live in the near-city or wilderness – or, as I’ve proven in MY OWN games of Werewolf that I’ve run – in the city proper and you blah blah blah all day and night long until your phase of the moon hits and you’re rocking at full-tilt Gnosis and Rage… But Wraith was different.

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 Handbook for the Recently Deceased Review
Posted: Mon, 10 Sep 2018 17:07:02
Category: Reviews, RPGs, ghost stories
Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition is one of the best core books for the World of Darkness bar none.  To say that it brought Wraith into the 21st Century in style would be a gross understatement, and for Onyx Path Publishing, the book is a triumph of literary accomplishment as well as updating the game and streamlining it while keeping the parts of it that absolutely needed to be held close. Handbook for the Recently Deceased, however, affords both the player and the storyteller a succinct, capsulized glimpse at Wraith: the Oblivion that keeps the would-be storyteller who is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to throw his or her players across the Shroud from cutting deep into their printer’s ink reserves and spitting out chapters to serve as the building blocks for what they can expect from the game.

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 Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition Review
Posted: Wed, 05 Sep 2018 16:56:45
Category: Reviews, RPGs
What is reality?  I mean, think about it for a minute.  Since the dawn of human sentience, we've been thinking about things like "Am I just a bit-part player in someone else's dream?" or "Is everything around me real because I want it to be?" Is reality real?  Or is it what someone else wants it to be? That sentence sets the groundwork for about 95% of the conflict in Mage: the Ascension.  There are warring factions in the world around you. Some would answer that question with "Absolutely.  Reality is something that must be maintained and is what it is because it is the best possible environment for humanity to exist within." Some would answer that "Reality is what we need it to be.  When we need to elicit change, it is one thing.  When we need stasis, it is something else.  But have no illusions, WE are the masters of what reality is and is not.  You need only the will to change things to make them change, and the knowledge of the Spheres to make it happen."

Comments: https://www.flamesrising.com/mage-the-ascension-20th-anniversary-edition-review/#respond
 Vampire’s Lore of the Clans Review
Posted: Fri, 31 Aug 2018 18:18:59
Category: RPGs, 20th Anniversary Edition, masquerade
Lore of the Clans is a sourcebook supporting Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition and is written by Alexander, Kevin Czarnecki, Joshua Doetsch, Matt M McElroy, Andrew Peregrine, Ree Soesbee, Rob Wieland, and Christopher Wilde.  Released in 2015, the book collects together information that covers the Clans of the Camarilla, the Clans of the Sabbat, the Independent Clans, the Caitiff (whom we old farts used to refer to as the "Clanless") and their respective Antitribu, which is a vampire who is and acts as the antithesis (and, in some cases, anathema as well) to the Clan that they were originally "Embraced" into. Us "old farts" also remember a time when we had to wait for Clanbooks to be released on a schedule.  The die-hard Vampire: the Masquerade guys and gals would clench up so hard that they were able to make diamonds within the proximal recesses of their buttocks while they waited for Clanbook: This or Clanbook: That to be released.  This book brings them all together between two covers, which is a bit of a revolution for the game.

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 Unraveling Netflix’s Requiem
Posted: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 21:49:29
Category: TV & Movies, british, horror
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: Sat, 07 Apr 2018 00:08:32
Category: TV & Movies, great movies, science fiction
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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 Magic: The Gathering Volume 1 Comic Review
Posted: Fri, 29 Dec 2017 17:31:54
Category: Comics, Reviews, drivethrucomics
It's been a while since I really played Magic. Back when I played I don't recall there being Planeswalkers. I don't see myself getting back into the game after reading this first volume either. With that being said I do see myself intrigued by the world of Magic: The Gathering. The art here is nice and crisp. Each of the different planes has it's own feel and they pop off the page. Innistrad especially was beautifully colored. Many kudos to Martin Coccolo for the art and J. Edwin Stevens for the colors. For plot it's okay.

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 Into the Mist: Humans Are Tasty!
Posted: Thu, 26 Jan 2017 18:51:26
Category: Fiction, Reviews, modern-horror
In Lee Murray's most recent novel, Into The Mist, we follow the exploits of Sergeant Taine McKenna's squad of professional soldiers, responsible for the safety of the group of geologists and biologists sent out to follow up on tantalizing news of the discovery of a large gold nugget. The squad is assigned to baby-sit this group of civilian scientists as they wander into the bush in search of the site where the gold was discovered. To make matters more complicated, shadowy corporate entities are interfering with the expedition, hoping to get the jump on their competitors and claim the mineral rights for their own firm. Tuhoe separatist rebels make an appearance as well, and they show up at a most inopportune time as the scientists and soldiers are struggling for their very lives against not only the elements and the rough terrain of Te Urewera National Park, but also against something more sinister -- and hungry: a creature that seems hell-bent on picking them off one by one, and that shows a level of unnatural patience and cunning in hunting them down.

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 The Poe Twisted Anthology Satisfies
Posted: Mon, 17 Oct 2016 20:26:32
Category: Comics, Reviews, comic books
Many of the works of Edgar Allen Poe, while considered classics of literature today, don't often match up with modern literary sensibilities. It was somewhat surprising for me then, to come across Red Stylo Media's The Twisted Poe Anthology, an excellent collection of seven original tales inspired by the works of Poe. Published in 2011, this collection does not consist of adaptations -- retellings of Poe stories -- but rather, a brand new batch of original tales in the same spirit as Poe's work. All of the individual stories are available as digital downloads for 99 cents each; I have added links to the descriptions of those stories for convenience's sake. The first story, "Absolution", is written by Jason Ciaramella and illustrated by Enrique "Zeke" Savory, Jr. Absolution is a tragic tale of loss and guilt inspired by Poe's poem "The Raven."

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 Philip Athans’ Writing Monsters Review
Posted: Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:53:54
Category: Nonfiction, Reviews, drivethrufiction
I’ve always enjoyed reading “how to” guides on a variety of topics. Even if I’ve read a similar subject before I’ll read them to see the different thoughts, beliefs and takes that particular writer has to say about the subject. Such was the case with Writing Monsters: How to Craft Believably Terrifying Creatures to Enhance Your Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction. I’ve read a few guides on writing monsters, but it’s been awhile so this was a good refresher while learning Mr. Athans take on monsters and writing about them. Being a fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s works myself, this book was off to a good start as the forward was written by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. “While Mr. Athans draws from an extremely impressive array of monstrous sources, we are, of course, particularly delighted to see the works of H.P. Lovecraft cited so frequently and so appropriately in this discussion. Lovecraft was indeed, as Athans states, a master of the monster.”

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