Celebrate Halloween with Vampires!

v20-endless-ages-anthology

Have you picked up your copy of Endless Ages yet? If not, today’s post gives you a little bit of insight into my inspiration behind “Redder Than Red”. Happy Halloween!

What Motivated Me to Write Redder Than Red

When I was working on Dread Names: Red List, Matt (McElroy) and I would speculate which Anathema would be the first to get caught in the modern era and why. Often, Ayisha Jocastian’s name would pop up because she represents a direct threat to the Masquerade. As an Anathema, Ayisha is unique in the sense that she believes that the consciousness of the vampires she has consumed are directing her actions, but she is also a political threat because her zeal to reproduce and distribute the Book of Nod. Though Ayisha was already condemned to the Red List and could never be removed, she is an active threat who will not stop committing diablerie, nor will she stop sharing vampiric secrets with mortals.

My story, which is titled “Redder Than Red”, is written from the perspective of a Malkavian named Rebecca Fleischer whose childe was diablerized by Ayisha. Rebecca suffers from a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder called Arithmomania, which means she has a fundamental need to count. I felt this would be a good mental illness to help illustrate what Rebecca is feeling and seeing, and gets away from the stereotypes that plague members of Clan Malkavian and undermine their potential in a story.

Together with Ventrue Alastor Stephan Ashworth, the two Kindred drive to a warehouse to confront Ayisha Jocastian once and for all. Stephan adds some setting heft to the story, as both Alastors and Anathema are part of the rich lore associated with the Red List, but he also offers a dynamic to show this fight isn’t between two vampires. For Rebecca, however, her desire to take down Ayisha is personal; losing her childe is a powerful motivator for vengeance.

I hope your thirst for vampire fiction will draw you to “Redder Than Red”. This story was a lot of fun to write, and I enjoyed taking on this aspect of Vampire: The Masquerade for the modern era.

Hunter: Mortal Remains Preview

Popping in today to give you a preview of my work for the upcoming supplement HUNTER: MORTAL REMAINS by Onyx Path Publishing. I wrote interstitial fiction for this and provided art notes to thematically tie all the chapters together.

What follows is one of my favorite pieces; it’s an interview between a Hunter named Carlos Gutierrez and a Changeling named Zanthus. For updates on the upcoming supplement, visit the publisher’s website or forums.

    Carlos: Do you mind if I record this?
    Zanthus: I encourage you to do so.
    Carlos: Then let’s begin. I wanted to —
    Zanthus: — I agreed to this interview on two conditions. Do you remember what those are?
    Carlos: I promised you a favor.
    Zanthus: And?
    Carlos: You would ask the questions.
    Zanthus: That is true. May I ask what you were doing in Central Park? Odd time of year to summon the fae, and you don’t exactly look like the sort of mortal who’d seek us out.
    Carlos: No, I’m not. I just wanted to ask you a few questions.
    Zanthus: I will gift you with an answer for any question you ask, provided you agree to perform a favor for each one in return.
    Carlos: What? No, that wasn’t… Fine. I’ll do it.
    Zanthus: Oh, you must be desperate. Go ahead. Ask your first one.
    Carlos: Did one of your kind murder my friend? Here’s what he looked like before he was killed, then after.
    Zanthus: No.
    Carlos: Do you know what did?
    Zanthus: Yes. You now owe me three favors.
    Carlos: Wait! Just two, right?
    Zanthus: That’s four. You clearly asked me if this conversation would be recorded.
    Carlos: Fine. Have you seen my friend, Mags? Here’s her picture.
    Zanthus: Yes.
    Carlos: Where?
    Zanthus: The Museum of Conjurers, Spiritualists, and Charlatans. That’s six favors, Mr. Gutierrez. Would you like to know how to wipe the slate clean?
    Carlos: Yeah, sure.
    Zanthus: Then ask me.
    Carlos: Unbelievable. Fine. How do I combine all six —
    Zanthus: — seven
    Carlos: — seven favors into one?
    Zanthus: If you survive your ordeal, I will make arrangements for you to replace me as guardian of this ring.
    Carlos: You don’t sound too confident.
    Zanthus: No, Mr. Gutierrez. I am not. Now, you will give me the recorder as proof of our contract. In return, I will send you a printed transcript of this conversation. Of course, upon your death our contract will be null and void. We may be magical creatures, Mr. Gutierrez, but we are not creators or destroyers of worlds.


Don’t Rest Your Head… Until You Read This Announcement…

Don't Rest Your Head RPGI am thrilled to announce that I am one of the authors penning a dark and terrifying tale inspired by the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG designed and written by Fred Hicks and published by Evil Hat Productions.

Horror games have always been a draw for me because they’ve allowed me to explore deep characterization to explore the nature of heroes and the affected. Don’t Rest Your Head is “a game of insomnia in the Mad City.” It’s been called an “atmospheric” game (and rightly so). Having insomnia has a cost.

In Don’t Rest Your Head, that cost is Exhaustion, Pain and the shocking realization that reality isn’t what it seems. Characters find they’re Awake in the Mad City and Nightmares are hot on their heels. The PDF version of the game is five bucks. (FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS! CHEAP!) Dice required are d6’s in red, white and black.

Interested? Well, if playing superheroes suffering from insomnia in a twisted world doesn’t grab you, then I hope this next announcement will: Chuck Wendig, Penmonkey Master Chief, is the editor for a Don’t Rest Your Head anthology inspired by this dark and haunting game. I will be lending my voice to a chorus of mad, mad authors as we explore the depths of the City. I can’t wait to dive in!

More news to come on my story, the process working with Evil Hat Productions, and writing tie-in fiction as the project continues.

Announcing Redwing’s Gambit, a Novella for Bulldogs

Love science fiction? Have a soft spot for origin stories?

I am thrilled to announce I am polishing the final draft of Redwing’s Gambit, a novella about a Bulldogs! RPGnewly-formed crew for the Bulldogs RPG from Galileo Games. This story is about an ensemble cast who has been hired to transport a high-profile politician from one end of the galaxy to the other. The only problem is: there’s a saboteur on board and they’re way out in deep space.

Written as a science fiction mystery, Redwing’s Gambit is the origin story for the ship’s crew and clientele. The plot was designed to help readers get to know these characters and offer a glimpse into the expansive Bulldogs! setting. Oh, and there will be a little ass-kicking along the way.

The novella will debut Fall/Winter of this year. A firm publication date has not been set.

New Interview and Reviews for Paths of Storytelling

Hi folks,

I’m over at FlamesRising.com today along with the developer of Paths of Storytelling, Eddy Webb, and my fellow authors Jess Hartley and Kelley Barnes. This three-question interview offers all of us the chance to talk about this project from our unique clan perspective. I hope you drop by and read Author Interview for Paths of Storytelling on FlamesRising.com, because Eddy reveals yet another easter egg. Shhh!

Here’s a quote from our group interview:

MONICA: I felt that matching the voice and the feel of the setting was crucial to the joke’s believability, which was part of the reason why I dropped in signature characters like Karsh, El Diablo Verde and a few other familiar faces. It was really fascinating for me to map out, because the goal was to introduce Vampire: the Masquerade to a fictitious reader, all the while knowing that the person most likely reading it would be someone who knew the setting. So in this path, the reader doesn’t just become a Gangrel, they get introduced to Vampire: the Masquerade. — SOURCE: Author Interview for Paths of Storytelling

After you read the interview, a reader recently shared a review of Paths of Storytelling on DriveThruRPG.com. I thought the review was interesting, because the reviewer is correct: this format isn’t something White Wolf would publish professionally to represent World of Darkness, which is why it was billed as a rejected manuscript for April Fool’s. I was happy to hear he not only enjoyed it, but also recognized the amount of work we put into this.

Over at Gameolosophy, you can also read an in-depth review written by Raymond Frazee entitled RPG Game Review: Paths of Storytelling. His thoughts are really interesting to read because he talks about the theme from the perspective of a long-time fan and player of Vampire: the Masquerade.

For more information, read my announcement entitled: New Release! Vampire: the Masquerade Fiction.

Enjoy!

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