Apocalypse the Risen RPG (5E / 5th Edition & Pathfinder)

Created by Rusted Portal Games

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting: LAYOUT!
about 1 month ago – Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 09:32:00 PM

 Greetings, Survivors!

The Rusted Portal Games team has officially entered the afterlife. We are processing this update and future needs from the Veil. Despite the strongly neutral alignment, we are unfazed and continuing production! Our passing is not without benefit to our faithful backers. And things look good!

Writing/Editing: The entire Pathfinder book is written and through editing. Final word count after whittling spells down is just over 331k. We feel great to be providing backers with a significant book that will more than hit our page count goals announced during the Kickstarter. Most importantly, thanks to many talented writers and a saint of an editor in Jennifer Povey, those words will make sense and be neatly organized for your enjoyment.

Layout: We are officially deep into layout with the incredible talented and award winning Simeon Cogswell. Regarding layout completion, timing is a bit out of our control at this stage. We are working hand in hand with Simeon to provide feedback, best text for sidebars, placement of art, etc. However, the process just takes time because of the sheer volume of text. See printing below for anticipated timing.

We have designed some gritty pages and currently working hard on the overall design. I’ve provided a little taste below, but please note this is just a quick pass to share. Our goal is for players and GMs to feel like they have a piece of the world in their hands. A found relic of importance.

Layout Tease - Descended
Layout Tease - Descended

Art: We still have a bunch of art rolling in, plus more photo manipulation pieces that will all be worked in over the next couple weeks. We are really stoked about some b/w pieces from artist Scott Harshbarger who really grasps the theme of the world. And you may also be keen to know that we are working through drafts of the newly illustrated cover art. You haven’t seen anything from us about this artist or the cover, but we are loving it. You can check out Éva Kedves portfolio to get an idea. She’s awesome. Here’s all you get, just a tease! This cover will introduce an important NPC in the world that we hope to tell stories about in the future. 

Zoomed Cover Tease Draft - New NPC
Zoomed Cover Tease Draft - New NPC

And for those of you excited about the leather cover… don’t worry, we certainly haven’t forgotten about you! Simeon will be taking care of laying out that awesome Eclipse devil from Preston Stone in foil for the leather. I might personally hug each copy before shipping. Or not. Just pretend I didn’t write that. The following is just the mock-up provided during the Kickstarter and the final may differ. I just wanted to remind you all how sick this is going to look.

Leather Cover Mock-up - Reminder
Leather Cover Mock-up - Reminder

Printing: We are prepared to start printing Pathfinder immediately upon layout completion. Simeon will assist with the handoff to the printer to ensure the layout file translates smoothly as each printer is slightly different. Our plan of record is still to print Pathfinder domestically. Of course, part of completing files for print is also completing files for PDF delivery. We plan to distribute the final PDF files through DriveThruRPG. As for timing, again this is completely at the mercy of layout finalization. Layout requests 30 days. We should see a May start of printing and delivery in June, pending setbacks outside our control.

5E Design: We are well underway on final development for the 5E build. You’ve seen most of the classes and some of the creatures. There are already some tweaks from those designs, and a number of new AtR design elements that are crossing over between systems. You will still enjoy a colony and resource system in 5E, have the pleasure of personalities and insanity instead of alignment, and our built from scratch multiverse. This is not D&D, even if the system plays that way. You won’t find elves and dwarves in the Worlds of the Portal, trust.

The largest part of these books is the writing itself. Narrative, rules outside of stat blocks, and transition information for you to run and play Apocalypse the Risen. The majority of that writing translates directly to 5E, which means we don’t have that work to do in order to finish the second book. The work now is refining the already playtested rules and adjusting setting rules to the new system. We are still a few months behind Pathfinder, but in much better place to finish sooner than later. 

Lastly, just a message of appreciation and gratitude for your support and patience. I know you’re all very eager to get this book in your hands. And I know we are very late. Rest assured that during that extra time we have been working very hard to fill this book with quality material, creative design elements, and amazing art. It’s important you know we have invested heavily in this book beyond the Kickstarter funds and we have no delays on that front to get through printing. We haven’t run any other Kickstarters or taken on any other projects. We simply put as much time as possible, outside our collective pay the bills job, into making an incredible Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting for you to enjoy. And you will be enjoying this game in 2019 for both systems.


Donaven – Rusted Portal Games 

Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting Progress Check:
3 months ago – Tue, Feb 26, 2019 at 11:07:58 PM

Greetings, Survivors!

A grand hello from the Rusted Portal Games team. We know you are eager to keep up with the progress for Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting so let’s get right to it!

Editing: Fantastic editor Jennifer Povey has completed 10 chapters, the final files coming out looking crisp and clean. That leaves 3 chapters to go. 90% of the writing is complete for two of those chapters—Bestiary and Magic Items—with the last 10% simply final transitions and stories between rule section. The Bestiary is finalized at 22 creatures which are summarized below. We are really happy to be able to bring a great diversity of enemies to your table! And finally, the Multiverse chapter is awaiting a major contributed writing piece and finalizing the complexity of planar rules.

The Bestiary


Shunned Demons: Angler (Wrath), Corrode (Envy), Dredge (Lust), Eyrachnid (Pride), Fire Urchin (Sloth), Shyft (Gluttony) 

  • You will have to wait for the Dread Tentacle (Greed) in Campaign Expansion I


Mutated Animals: Skunk Hound

Mutated Plants: Siren Pine, Corpse Flower


Ghosts: Apparition, Emote (x4), Poltergeist, Shade

Risen: Depraved, Devourer, Famished, Hungry, Ravenous

  • And Risen Templates (Bloated, Decayed, Infected, Mutated x3)


Cryptid: Wendigo

Oh the humanity! 

Artist Scott Harshbarger
Artist Scott Harshbarger

Layout: Award winning layout artist Simeon Cogswell has already started preliminary layout and page design. You will recognize elements in the layout stylings from the well-received Maverick spread we presented during the Kickstarter. Additionally, our stellar iconics artist Raven Mimura has offered his handmade metal work for use as design elements. Border and artisanal nail seen mounted with Enforcer iconic Argo. Keep an eye out for Raven's upcoming personal projects. The pieces are awesome!

Artist Raven Mimura: Argo, Enforcer Iconic On Custom Metal Mount
Artist Raven Mimura: Argo, Enforcer Iconic On Custom Metal Mount

Speaking of iconics, I’m so happy to introduce Mother, our Shepherd iconic. She’s seen here banishing a demon, from that demon's perspective. What a badass!

Artist Raven Mimura - Mother, Shepherd Iconic
Artist Raven Mimura - Mother, Shepherd Iconic

Printing: We believe we are still on track for the April start of printing schedule announced in December. Between comments and updates we will let you know of any major changes.

All said, we are churning out content as quickly as possible. Especially exciting for us has been the realization that we have so much more content for Apocalypse the Risen than could possibly be included in the first book. There we be a lot of supporting materials into the future, much of which is well designed and tested. We are really stoked and hope to spark that same excitement in our awesome backers.

Now, back to writing…

Donaven – Rusted Portal Games

AtR Campaign Setting - Production Update!
5 months ago – Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 03:55:34 PM

Greetings, Survivors!

We hope this update finds you well and enjoying the holiday season. Holidays in the colony is vitally important, especially if you get snow. It is much easier to track enemy movement when there’s snow on the ground.

Fire Urchin Stop
Fire Urchin Stop

We have recently heard loud and clear from our backers that you want more updates, even if there’s nothing new to add. What’s important to you is important to us, so going forward we will at least provide a monthly update. When there is more to report, we will provide even more frequent updates. Balancing the daily tasks, development needs, and engaging you our faithful survivors is critical. So we will work on owning that balance to meet the request.

Survey Monkey:

All our backers should now have received the Survey Monkey survey. We want to know you better and get some top-level feedback about the files we recently shared. Much appreciated if you can take the 5 mins or so to answer those 10 questions!

Pathfinder Development Status:

Regarding development, we do have some news.

Editing: Back in October we reported that we had delivered the first four chapters (~50k words) to our editor. That did happen and our editor at the time confirmed receipt. Unfortunately, about six weeks later said editor informed us they were not able to take on any freelance work at this time. This was a huge setback and we immediately began searching for a well established and available editor. It was this setback and delay that promoted me specifically to decide to forgo an update until that problem was solved.

So today I am here to report that we have—finally—found our new editor. We are so stoked to have this lined up and the project back on track. Editing is scheduled to begin in January and complete by mid-February.

Layout: With the editor officially scheduled, we discussed layout start of project and completion timeline. Our layout master (Simeon Cogswell) will be able to start preliminary work immediately (multitasking with other projects) and begin fully on AtR post-edit timeline, with an expected final layout by the end of March.

Printing: Providing we do not have any timeline snags to the above schedule, files will be submitted to the printer at the start of April. Provided no scheduling challenges with the printer, we should see a 30 day turn plus two weeks for a bulk shipment to our warehouse, arriving mid-May. We expect to go to work getting those shipments immediately packaged and labeled for shipment to backers. Our goal would be to have all shipments outgoing from our warehouse to backers by the end of May. Shipping times will vary by destination.

5E Development Status:

With a completed Pathfinder outline and content in editing, we will completely transition to finalizing 5E content sometime in January. A large portion of the book will transition from editing for both systems. The rules specific detail will be new content and require editing which we estimate at roughly 40% of the book. Our goal today is to be well into finalizing content on 5E by the time we are finalizing layout on the Pathfinder book at the end of March. In a perfect scenario, we would move directly into layout of 5E in April.

There are more variables for the above plan to line up; however, we felt it was important to paint a target for backers. This target puts us going to print on 5E sometime in May.

Bottom Line About Rusted Portal and AtR:

For those that have not met us or that are unclear, we are a small team with big goals. We are blessed and thankful to have had the successful Kickstarter we did. Of course, that Kickstarter does not pay our living wage or even print the book. That requires a significant investment from our pockets, and we are happy to make that investment. Of course, delivering our first product while working full time day jobs is a huge undertaking. We know we are behind schedule. We hate it more than you do.

All of that said, this is a team and company that will deliver what we promised and more. We have built more into AtR than you expect, and the surrounding multiverse is mind-bending. Perhaps some of those things should have been designed after AtR was delivered; however, it is my belief you will get a much richer and beautifully horrifying game because of it. Even content not included in the AtR campaign setting book has influenced this setting for the better.

This is only the beginning for our games and relationship with our awesome backers. We hope you stick around for the ride, it will be awesome.

Now, back to work...
Donaven - Rusted Portal Games

AtR Project Status & Exciting Announcement:
8 months ago – Thu, Oct 04, 2018 at 08:12:54 AM

Greetings Survivors!

This update is going to be short and sweet. There are two categories below. The first is a project status check. The second an exciting announcement we just couldn’t wait any longer to get out to our awesome backers.

Pathfinder Project Status:

Below you will see a little screen capture of the navigation bar of the campaign setting outline. We hinted at the status in comments about a week ago, this is the proof. We are now over 260k words before editing. That word count is likely to push the final book over 300 pages and we are estimating another 50-100k words to finalize content.

AtR Progress Check_20181004
AtR Progress Check_20181004

Editing – We have officially sent off the first 4 chapters to our editorial staff. Those chapters amount to roughly 55k words. Chapters 5-6 are now ready to go off to editing as well, amounting to another 50k+ words. Chapters 7-8 are roughly 80% complete and will be submitted to editing before they catch up with the previous 6 chapters. We are churning content at this point and working hard to finish the Pathfinder book as soon as possible.

Layout – As soon as we have the first 4 chapters back from editing and final, we will begin layout. The plan will be to overlap as much as possible to save time.

Art – All iconics are in final draft and getting finishing touches. We do still have a lot of art outstanding and anticipate closing out final deliveries chapter by chapter along with layout.

Printing – The Pathfinder version of AtR will be printed domestically, which will save on delivery time. We do not have an expected dated for sending to the printer as we do not yet know how long editing will take.

5E Note – We will be in a great position to pivot on the 5E game design once we hit layout for Pathfinder. The outline file for Pathfinder gives us the launchpad necessary to fill in all of the design gaps, with narrative finalized (and edited)!


AtR Campaign Setting Draft – We want you to know just how much your support and patience is appreciated. As such, we are going to give you a peek inside the book. Okay, it’s really a deep draft review covering a ton of the content in the book! That’s right, we are sharing a draft PDF of the Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting covering 7 key chapters of the book. You will have everything you need to create a character in AtR. The decision was made to share this draft review with all product level backers because you are awesome. And because we want you to see the progress first hand instead of taking our word for it.

A few notes: This is absolutely a DRAFT copy, prior to any external editing. Absolutely no professional layout has been applied to the PDF file; rather, this is a straight conversion from the working Word doc outline. And no art, aside from the Rusted Portal and Apocalypse the Risen logos, has been included. Please forgive typos, inconsistencies in nomenclature, and all kinds of things that will be corrected before final. And we welcome your feedback. If you find something you love or hate or is just a mistake, send email to rustedportal@rustedportal.com.

Dead in the Darklands Adventure – We are also ready to share the DRAFT 1st level adventure stretch goal. Again, this is a DRAFT file, with no layout or art. That said, the adventure is well tested! We had dozens of players enjoy this adventure at Gen Con with our three guest GM backers. Frankly, it’s time you get your hands on this game as well. I’m excited, are you excited?

All files will be shared via a Drop Box link that you will receive in an update immediately following this one. We are only providing this link to product level backers (PDF and up). However, if you have backed Apocalypse the Risen through our pre-sale Backerkit campaign, please send us a message and we will gladly pass on the link to you as well.

We cannot wait to get the full product to our amazing backers. The final book, full color, printed and bound, is going to be amazing. Keep up the positive messages, questions, and engagement. That’s the fire that keeps us writing well beyond the witching hour.

Donaven | Rusted Portal Games

AtR Adventure & Campaign Setting Preview:
8 months ago – Thu, Oct 04, 2018 at 08:12:15 AM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.