Sharing The Love: Arkham Horror (Third Edition)

Copyright Fantasy Flight Games

As you may have inferred from past posts, I love board games. I’ve pretty much given up on video games, largely because I’m rarely in the mood to waste several hours playing a game on my own. I like the social aspect of gaming and video games aren’t really doing that for me.

Arkham Horror has long been my favorite game. It’s big, complicated, has some clumsy game mechanics, and a single game can last forever. The first time I played, the game ran nearly twelve hours. But I fell in love with it right away and grabbed a copy for myself. I finally snagged the last of the many expansions last year, and it turns out my timing was excellent, because that version of the game was discontinued to make room for Arkham Horror – Third Edition.

Copyright Fantasy Flight Games

The third edition version is a much different game than the previous incarnation. For starters, instead of a traditional fold-out board, this version has a modular design that allows you to create different map layouts based on which scenario you’re playing — of which there are four, and that’s another major change.

In Second Edition, players faced one of several available Elder Gods, and the goal was to prevent their awakening by traveling through Arkham to collect clues and close down interdimensional gates. In Third Edition, players still need to collect clues to prevent an ancient evil from coming into our world and raising hell, but the game itself is more story-driven. Meet certain conditions and the game takes players in one direction, fail to meet certain conditions and it takes you in another.

Some of the changes to the mechanics — adapted from FFG’s Arkham Horror – The Card Game — add to the stress levels, and the difficulty levels. I’ve played three of the four scenarios so far and got stomped every time. It’s easy to fall behind and get overwhelmed to the point there’s no way to recover and pull out a win.

One of the big improvements from Second Edition, if not the biggest, is that the whole thing has been somewhat stripped down and streamlined. Setup takes a fraction of the time, as does game play. It’s much more viable as a two-player game than Second Edition, and you can spend a gaming day running through all four scenarios rather than dedicating yourself to just one.

My hope for future expansions is that FFG will add scenarios along with new investigators, items, spells, allies, etc., but refrain from piling on new game mechanics.

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Weekly Update – April 2, 2019

At last, it’s April, which means it’s almost time for the New England Speculative Writers Conference! Next weekend I’ll be heading to Maine for a very full day of presentations designed to boost any indie speculative author’s career. If any of you want in, I believe there’s still time to register.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Waiting on cover art. SO CLOSE!

Well-Behaved Women: I’ve received my edits on book two, Transition, from my editor Julie, so now it’s time to do one last pass and then move on to the tedious task for formatting.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: I had a serious streak on book four last week and I feel like it’s coming back together. My goal is to have it ready to go by the end of the year.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • The Connecticut Renaissance Faire – Saturday, October 5, Lebanon County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, CT: I’ll be back again to sell and sign books as part of CTRF’s Local Authors Series!

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Station Identification Time

Who Am I?

I’m a writer originally from Falmouth, MA who now lives in Worcester (pronounced like the name of Hugh Laurie’s dim-witted socialite) with my awesomely talented wife Veronica, who runs a business called Storied Threads.

After 15 years with the Falmouth Enterprise, where I worked as a general and political reporter, blogger, and editor, I left the news industry to focus on my creative writing.

In addition to my novels (more on that in a minute) I’m a freelance writer, and I’ve produced scripts for Pastimes Entertainment of Revere, MA and the Connecticut Renaissance Faire.

What Do I Write?

Action Figures is a YA superhero adventure series featuring a team of young superhumans who set out to make a name for themselves in the superhero world and quickly find themselves in over their heads. Fun, full of humor and action, populated with likable characters (including some of the villains), and suitable for teen readers and adults who still love superheroes. Oh, and no love triangles. Ever. The first book, Secret Origins, reached the #1 spot on two Amazon best-seller lists.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot is my response to all the overly serious fantasy novels out there that have forgotten how to have fun. The series follows two hard-luck adventurers for hire with a knack for biting off more than they can chew and their friends as they explore ancient ruins, fight deadly monsters, go on epic prophecy-driven quests for artifacts of great power hidden in highly inconvenient locations, and cross a lot of rickety rope bridges along the way. The first book, Scratching a Lich, received a gold medal for fantasy fiction from BellaOnline, a resource for women in writing, which also recognizes feminist writers and their work.

Cheap Thrills Digest is a short story collection featuring introductions to my two series, plus an original novelette-length horror story, Lost Souls, which is exclusive to CTD. If you’re curious about my writing, you can grab this for just $6 in print or 99 cents in e-book format.

Copyright 2018 Tessa Beatrice/Underdog Comics

Freedom Winds is a mini-comic I wrote for Underdog Comics, and you can read it for free at any time here, here, or here.

 

 

Well-Behaved Women is an urban fantasy trilogy for feminist audiences. After returning to work following a near-fatal shooting, Sergeant Rose Booker encounters a woman claiming to be the reincarnation of Julie d’Aubigny, the infamous 17th Century French swordswoman. Things only get stranger from there as Rose and Julie cross paths with a crime boss with a knack for exacting bloody revenge on his enemies. This is more serious and mature than my other projects — not recommended for young readers. Book one, Awakening, is now available. Book two, Transition, is set for an early 2019, and book three, Endgame, is set for a late 2019 release.

The Final Summons is the first anthology from the New England Speculative Writers. The collection features 14 fantasy, horror, and science fiction stories by NESW members, including my story The Going Rate for Penance, which is set in the world of Strongarm & Lightfoot.

What Will I See Here?

I post weekly updates that include progress reports on various projects, cover art reveals, new release announcements, a schedule of appearances and book-signings, the occasion essay on writing, and whatever random bits and pieces capture my attention.

Where Can You Find Me Online?

Official website

Weekly newsletter

Amazon author page

Facebook

Twitter

BookBub

Instagram

Goodreads

Google +

LinkedIn

Weekly Update – March 26, 2019

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Waiting on cover art. The WIP stuff I’m seeing is a lot of fun.

Well-Behaved Women: Book two is with my editor and the new draft of book three is finished.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: I had a serious streak on book four last week and I feel like it’s coming back together. My goal is to have it ready to go by the end of the year.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • The Connecticut Renaissance Faire – Saturday, October 5, Lebanon County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, CT: I’ll be back again to sell and sign books as part of CTRF’s Local Authors Series!

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Freedom Winds – A Mini-Comic

Copyright 2018 Tessa Beatrice/Underdog Comics

Freedom Winds is a mini-comic written by me, illustrated by Tessa Beatrice, and distributed by Underdog Comics and artist Tessa Beatrice. The comic follows the adventures of a crew of renegade pirate women fighting the Triangle Trade.

You can go read it on Underdog Comics’ Facebook page now, as well as on TapasWebToonBecomics and Tumblr. Please support this small press by liking the comic and sharing the link!

Weekly Update – March 19, 2019

Sale alert! Between March 21 and 25, the e-book version of Well-Behaved Women – Awakening will be on sale for $1.99 through Kobo. If you haven’t picked it up yet, now’s the time to grab it for a great price!

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue EightCrawling from the Wreckage: Waiting on cover art.

Well-Behaved Women: Book two is with my editor and the new draft of book three is finished!

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress and I’m back to work on it, so I will hopefully get some good work done on it this week.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Hell Hath No Fury: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES & EVENTS

  • The Connecticut Renaissance Faire – Saturday, October 5, Lebanon County Fairgrounds, Lebanon, CT: I’ll be back again to sell and sign books as part of CTRF’s Local Authors Series!

The New England Speculative Writers group has a new preview book for newsletter subscribers. Pick it up and read the opening chapters to Well-Behaved Women – Awakening and other stories.

If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

Derek Strongarm and Felix Lightfoot are a pair of hard-luck adventurers for hire with an unfortunate knack for landing jobs that pay too little and threaten their lives too much. Erika Racewind is a hardened elven warrior who doesn’t like people, except maybe when she’s killing them. Winifred Graceword is a kindhearted elven priestess skilled in the healing arts. David is a young sorcerer on a path to discover who he really is – and whether that person has a last name, because going by just David is getting old fast.

Together these companions travel across the land of Asaches looking for adventure and the glory and riches that come with it. Mostly the riches, though, because you can’t buy food and beer with glory.

Who is this Series For?

Sword-and-sorcery fantasy fans looking for something a little lighter than most of the fare currently on the shelves. If you want heavy, dark, serious stories with lots of death, destruction, torture, rape, and political intrigue, go read something else because you won’t find it here.

What you will find is a fast-paced adventure filled with colorful characters, rip-roaring action, humor, and gentle jabs at the classic elements of fantasy fiction.

Which is not to say this series is a comedy or parody. There is still drama aplenty, but as a rule I don’t take things too seriously. You can read these books and not feel like you need a hug and a room full of puppies afterward.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Not really. The series is a hard PG-13/light R for violence, language, and sexual content. It is suitable for older teens, but not for the YA crowd.

What are the Books in the Series?

Scratching a Lich: Derek and Felix find themselves entangled in an urgent quest to slay a legendary lich before he can trigger a world-ending apocalypse – as insane undead sorcerers are wont to do. Together with Erika Racewind, bodyguard for a mysterious young wizard named David, and Winifred Graceword, they head out to discover lost cities, recover long lost magical artifacts, and slay great evils in order to fulfill curiously specific prophecies – as mismatched, ragtag groups of adventurers are wont to do.

Assassins Brawl: The companions are hired to safeguard a spoiled brat of a princess targeted for death by the assassin Ruined Isys, but as is often the case, there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Now all they have to do is determine who is behind the plot before they get caught in the crossfire.

Blades of Glory: Derek, Felix, and company are up for a job that seems a little too simple for a payday that seems a little too generous – but unfortunately, so are the famed adventurers of fortune known as the Noble Blades. Which of them will be the first to find a stolen ceremonial mask that is absolutely positively completely normal and not at all some lost artifact possessed of dark power?

Untitled fourth book: The heroes take a job to dispose of a potentially dangerous magical artifact only to become snowbound in an isolated city besieged by flesh-hungry beasts — and under assault from within by a secret cadre of assassins.

How Long Will the Series Run?

Unknown, but tentatively ten books.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Scratching a Lich, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com