[New Releases] Gaming Cookbook and Mistborn RPG Supplement

Dinner and Dice

Now available! Dinner and Dice: a Gaming Cookbook is a collection of recipes and first person game anecdotes from game industry professionals. Originally produced as a stretch goal for the Carolina Game Tables Kickstarter, you will find appetizers, entrees, and desserts from the people who make the games you love!

Each author includes a look at how they think about games and food with a first hand game anecdote. Learn what Jason Buhlman served for one memorable Halloween, and what Emily Care Boss prepared for “Matrimonicon.” Hear about the famous ratatouille Marsha White ate and why Steve Kenson’s character sheets are always spotted with cheese.

I wrote a poem in iambic pentameter, “The Seven Levels of a Roleplaying Group”, and Ivan Van Norman talks about traffic in L.A. Get a peek inside the minds of the people who make games and a tasty, time-tested recipe to boot!

Just in time for the holidays, too. Enjoy Dinner and Dice: a Gaming Cookbook!

Cover Mistborn Tin and Ash

From the ashes, hope rises

The Final Empire was built on the backs of the skaa — the downtrodden descendants of those who opposed the Lord Ruler’s ascension a thousand years ago. They are the faceless masses of Scadrial, tasked with plowing the barren fields, sweeping the ash-covered streets, tending the opulent nobility, and serving at the whims of their “betters.” But a few skaa cast off the chains of their destiny to be something more. They are thieves, Allomancers, firebrands, and rebels. They fight the system of oppression and brutality to give their people something they lost long ago — hope.

Skaa: Tin & Ash is an essential supplement for the Mistborn Adventure Game, designed for players, Narrators, and fans of the Mistborn novels. Developed in cooperation with Brandon Sanderson, this guide expands the canon of the novels, providing new insights into skaa throughout the Final Empire. Inside you’ll find detailed information on the history and beliefs of the skaa; the lives of city, canal, and plantation skaa; the skaa criminal and political underground; and famous skaa such as the Citizen, Mare, and the Survivor of the Flames. I was one of the contributors to this supplement.

For players of the Mistborn Adventure Game, there’s a bounty of new rules for creating and playing your own skaa Hero, including new Stunts, equipment, Networks, and locations to explore and liberate.

Writing Exercise Inspired by Cupcake Wars

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Of all the reality TV shows to get addicted to, I’ve discovered I like Cupcake Wars(1). In fact, I like it SO much, I have turned into a cupcake snob myself. No longer are plain chocolate or vanilla cupcakes acceptable. Oh no… Even when utilizing store-bought frosting(2), I’m forced to sift cinnamon and add a garnish.

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I rather like the themes they explore, too. Science! Tim Burton! SDCC! Roller Derby! My next mission is to make filled cupcakes, only they’ll likely be cherry-almond a la these Dexter babies from Have You Nerd. I have the butcher knives, already(3).

There’s another side effect of watching Cupcake Wars, however, and that is falling in love with how the cupcakes are described. “It’s a raspberry-mint cupcake topped with a chocolate-hazelnut buttercream and garnished with a raspberry-shaped marzipan and mint leaves.” It reminds me why I love to read about food in the first place!

I’m not sure if you’re inspired just yet, but I am! Food can bring out a fantastic detail in worldbuilding, as feasts have a lot of allegorical and visual impact. The very first descriptions I remember were from The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeTurkish Delight–and the tea party/cakes from Alice in Wonderland. Why are these foods so memorable? What about their description entices us?

I find that writing about food is a great exercise in highlighting how detail can make something more enticing to the reader. Is it a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting? Or is it a homemade chocolate cupcake made with organic eggs, milk off the farm, and cocoa beans from Brazil, topped with milk chocolate ganache? Which one would you be more likely to eat? To practice writing about food, I find that picking a specific type of food–in this case, cupcakes–and then finding a picture to describe it is a fantastic method to facilitate visualization.

Here’s a picture of a cupcake featured on Cupcake Wars.

Double Shot Mocha Lattee Cupcake

How would you describe this cupcake? What ingredients do you think are in this chocolate confection? After you’re done, compare how you’ve imaged this cupcake with the original recipe.

(1) Beware the auto-play. Sigh.
(2) See also: because I was cleaning while baking, and couldn’t multi-task without sprouting extra arms. Or, alternatively,
(3) Fondant is “teh evil”, and I have yet to unlock its mysteries.

    Mood: Let bachelorette weekend begin!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Let there be coffee.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Not enough.
    In My Ears: Nameless dubstep beats.
    Game Last Played: Ugh. This jewel-addicting monstrosity.
    Book Last Read: The Silmarillion by Tolkien
    Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Ghost in the Shell
    Latest Artistic Project: Thinking about it.
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Gods, Memes, and Monsters
    Latest Game Release: Dread Names, Red List for Vampire: the Masquerade and Ghosts in the Black for the Firefly RPG.
    Current State of Projects: Read my latest project update and My Departure from the Conan RPG.

Mega-Deadline Fajitas for the non-Martha Stewart Writer

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Popping in here to say that… If you’re like me and you’re trying to a) reduce pizza delivery/consumption and b) still want something quick and tasty and c) time to cook is laughable, I give you:


2 to 3 Pounds Chicken Breast (sliced)
1 14 oz Jar Salsa
1 Red Pepper (cut into strips)
1 Green Pepper (cut into strips)
1 Yellow Onion (sliced into rings)
Cilantro (to taste)
Sun Dried Tomatoes (to taste)
Taco/Fajita Seasoning (to taste)

Dump into crock pot. Add 1/2 cup water. Low for six to eight hours or high for four to six. Broth is perfect for soups, otherwise use slotted spoon, fill tortillas – and viola! Painless, easy-ass dinner.

    Mood: Hungry.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Not. Nearly. Enough.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Yoga bendy-ness and steps. Lots o’ steps.
    In My Ears: An Eala Bhan by Julie Fowlis
    Game Last Played: Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed
    Book Last Read: Hellboy: the Fire Wolves by Tim Lebbon
    Movie Last Viewed: Pan’s Labyrinth
    Latest Artistic Project: *Still* *still* *still* need to take pictures…
    Latest Release: “The Button” We Are Dust anthology and for gaming, a fun Scion: Extras (Supplemental Yet Can Be Somewhat Useful On Occasion Scions)


Martha, Martha, Martha!

Sleepy Cat... So cute...

I’m stuck in the kitchen with a witch’s apron this fine morning and I’m whipping up a batch of whoopie pies-turned-spiders. Sadly, this means I don’t have a ton of time to devote to a blog post, but I do hope that my confection making will inspire you to cook up Halloween-related goodies of your own. If you can’t find a great recipe, I encourage you to visit the holiday section of MarthaStewart.com. I’ve been quite pleased with the variety and the classiness of her favorite Halloween recipes there.

What makes a good Halloween recipe? Well, besides the name. . . If it has the look and feel of something Halloween-related, like candy corn, monster toes, bleeding hearts and the like and it tastes good? I’m down with it. Though I should point out I have certain dietary requirements that certain pieces of food my sensitive palate does not approve of. :p

For another recipe-related alternative, check out Taste of Home and their Halloween recipes. I’ve made quite a few concoctions from their catalog and not one has been a disappointment.

Back to the salt mines. . . Er. . . Kitchens for me! Another party awaits!

    Mood: Sweet with a side of bitter, if not sour. Maybe cinnamon?
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: It disappeared!
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: I bent and twisted. No, really. I did.
    In My Ears: Zero Signal by Fear Factory from the Mortal Kombat soundtrack
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Origins
    Movie Last Viewed: The Raven
    Latest Artistic Project: In progress!
    Latest Release: “Fangs and Formaldehyde” from the New Hero anthology through Stone Skin Press

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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