Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting (5E & Pathfinder)

Created by Rusted Portal Games

Battle undead and demonic horrors ravaging post-apocalyptic Earth 25 years after the Rise. DnD Fifth Edition (5E) & Pathfinder RPG.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Apocalypse the Risen: 5E+SPINE Powered Update
4 months ago – Mon, May 15, 2023 at 01:23:12 PM

 Greetings Survivors,

This message brought to you by the Rusted Portal Colony. We are at your mercy for the ongoing timing of final delivery of your 5E Compatible Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting. There are a few key reasons for this latest and hopefully final delay. I have detailed those following. First, this is where we are at as of this writing.

 What We Have & What's Outstanding:

I have received the first 12 chapters out of 13 + a rules addendum. I am including a few screen captures of layout final pages for your reference. I submit these pieces as proof of concept that we are where we say we are today.

Harbinger Iconic 5E Intro

* The rules addendum (previously known as the 5E System Reference Document) is being included in its entirety as it relates to Apocalypse the Risen. This is still in layout as it was a late addition (more later) but it is relatively short and without images.

Conservator Spirit Animal Example
Conservator Table
Summon Nature's Ally Spell

* Chapter 13: Magic Items is the final chapter in the book. This is a chapter heavy with charts/tables to make it easy for the GM to randomly determine the occurrence of magic item in the wild or for treasure. However, as the last chapter in the book we are hopeful completion does not take but a couple weeks.

 Cause of Delays:

Quantity: We have a huge amount of quality content, resulting in even more pages than the AtR Pathfinder Campaign Setting.

Just SOME Vehicles (tons of content)

Layout Timing: The WOTC debacle combined with competing freelance priorities for our layout artist to delay the book by several months. We are hopeful those freelance priorities have cleared out enough to finalize the book in the next few weeks. At least we can say this, our layout artist freelance work was for the Mouse and the Marvel RPG looks amazing. Congrats to them for fantastic work for such a huge client.

WOTC & the OGL: As some (perhaps all) of our backers know, Wizards of the Coast leaked a draft new OGL which would have significantly hampered our ability to publish Fifth Edition content. As we were awaiting the fallout from that Hasbro mistake I began fast tracking development of our system, the SPINE Powered Game System. When the SRD was dropped into Creative Commons ending the immediate threat, we rewrote the majority of the 5E rules and updated some terms to SPINE Powered. That means we actually updated rule terms for all 13 chapters of the book plus added the rules addendum. What you will receive will be the Apocalypse the Risen 5E+SPINE Powered Campaign Setting, completely compatible with Fifth Edition.

Wendigo creature, 503 pages before Magic Items.

 What that means going forward

You will only need to own the AtR Campaign Setting to play ALL Apocalypse the Risen products. You will not need a Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, or a Monster Manual. All the rules, all the spells, many magic items, and a large selection of monsters are included in the Apocalypse the Risen 5E+SPINE Powered Campaign Setting.

 Delivery Timing:

I must stop giving you specific dates for things out of my control. However, this is what I know. We are going through the first 12 chapters with a eagle eye final edit to try and catch those little mistakes that cause even big companies to release 6 or 7 updates to the same book. We are using as much time as possible for what layout needs on the final chapter to make the very best possible game for you to enjoy.

What I think: I believe we are a few weeks away from releasing AtR 5E+SPINE Powered on PDF and immediately going to print. We will get print proofs from Lightning Source who printed AtR for Pathfinder (through Drive Thru RPG) as well as an international printer. Once we have proofs we will get on the printer's schedule and deliver as soon as printing and shipping allow.

What you Are Getting:

You will receive a roughly 600 page AtR 5E+SPINE Powered Campaign Setting complete with everything you need to run a great AtR campaign.  We will deliver this campaign setting to all backers who paid for a hardback product. The reason for this is because THIS is the system now and into the future for Apocalypse the Risen. We want you to have the best, most complete, and most supported product for your campaigns.

The Future:

We have learned a great deal over the course of developing two high quality and content heavy Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Settings. As I have awaited delivery of layout product to move the campaign setting forward to our faithful backers I continued to develop future content. I am more than half way through TWO additional AtR books and have already begun commissioning new art for those books. Here's a brief of each.

AtR Setting & System Starter. This is a starter set to help you and new backers ease their way into Apocalypse the Risen. We introduce new conditions that simplify how complex dangers affect survivors (mutations, insanity, radiation exposure, etc.). This new book also takes the 8 NPC classes found in the campaign setting and builds them out to PC classes. You will also have 14 new creatures added to your GM Toolkit, a new Session Zero, and 3 new adventures intended to get your PC Alternates to 5th level. From there you will have the option to multiclass those alternates to a 2nd level PC class.

Mutated Darkland Native Creature, Belk (Artist Rodrigo Vega)
utated Darkland Native Creature, Giant Jumping Centipede (Artist Rodrigo Vega)

AtR Defiled. Previously mentioned and still in progress. AtR Campaign Setting Class iconic artist Raven Mimura returns to illustrate the Venator: Demon Hunter (complete with Grim Kit tools for harvesting demon parts).

And a lot more content support for AtR after. Importantly, we will deliver those books much faster, more timely, and return to convention play to show off supporting adventure paths.

You will see more changes to the Rusted Portal Colony team after we publish. What you won't find is me going away. I am here for the long haul and will continue to deliver product after product. Thank you so very much for the many supportive messages I've received both in person and digitally. I am here because I love this community and these games.

I've finished writing, so at this point I'm going back to drop in art. Excerpts from the AtR Campaign Setting and one piece for fun from the Setting & System starter.


Donaven, CEO - Rusted Portal Colony Leader

Apocalypse the Risen 5E Off to Layout & Much More!
about 1 year ago – Mon, Sep 19, 2022 at 03:04:41 AM

Greetings Survivors,

This is an update I've wanted to share with you for weeks.  Apocalypse the Risen for 5E has officially gone to layout. After all of the work done and the work we are still doing, it is so exciting to finally get to this point. Yes, I hear you, underscore finally. However, you will find that this is hands down the best version of AtR and there are a number of reasons why. In the following, I will give you insight into AtR 5E progress, content, and goals, the reorg and gains of Rusted Portal,  and some exciting news about our future.

The thing we are most excited about is that we've got some very awesome backers, players, and GMs. You know, what we always call Survivors. Thank you, we appreciate you and look forward to your tales of battling the Darkness while scavenging the ruins of society.

AtR 5E Off to Layout:

What this means is that our amazing layout artist Simeon Cogswell has the edited chapter files in their talented grasp. Okay, it's metaphorical! The files are in our shared team folders for their visual direction talents. Yep, you heard it here first but more on that in a minute.

Hot Risen Summer
AtR Seattle in Flames

Content Highlights:

We have added new rules and tweaked others to fine tune the already fantastic 5E system to better fit the post-apocalyptic setting and multiverse narrative. 

This includes (among other things):

* Proficiency rules of Familiarity, Mastery, and Expertise. These are modifications to how proficiency bonus, advantage, and disadvantage are utilized by GMs and players to better illustrate life in a survivor culture.

* Spell and spell effect duration of Linger for effects requiring concentration.

* New damage types such as Purified, Tainted, Ability, and Smoke. This also comes with a new condition, Inhalation. Smoke Stone is the physical form of Supernatural magic and in its purest form deals this damage type and may cause this condition.

Spells & Magic:

* As noted in earlier updates, AtR 5E was given a complete facelift to spells and how they work in this multiverse.

* Also included is a full list of known magic items that use known magic. To bring you this detail we include a build your own magic item system, a new type of minor magic enchantment called Aspects, and expand on known Oddities (beneficial, Unusual, and Regrettable. When we say build your own, that's for the GM toolkit because magic items cannot be made in Apocalypse the Risen, they just happen. Typically through heroism or tragedy, but sometimes just in the wild. The rules reflect that and so do all the new curses. Curse ranges include minor, major, greater, Epic, and Mythical (they're bad, mmmkay).

Liberty is Under Attack

When Treasure is a Can of Chili:

* None of this would be possible if we did not also provide your GM toolkit with brand new Magic Item tables (Alpha through Lota) and the Scavenge Tables (Individual and Cache). We designed completely new (treasure) Scavenge Tables at all challenge ranges so GMs can help you find resources on your scavenge runs, useful equipment, and maybe some of those aforementioned magic items (newly pre-generated or entirely random).

What's Cooking? Nothing you want to eat.

Hierarchy of AtR Beings:

* Your GM Toolkit for Chapter 9: Narrating includes a summary list of creature types from Post-Rise Earth, the Inner, Outer, and Transitive Planes. 

* You will also learn how the Hierarchy is applied to greater beings and insight into how you can and may not want to interact with them. Let's take the Infernal Overseer on the Lower Realm for example. The excommunicated Arbiter or Shepherd does NOT want to meet this being. But now you know they exist. Unlucky.

I could go on and on, but let's not spoil the book. Instead, I'll go back to helping the team deliver!

Expansion 1: Defiled, Infernal Overseer

Apocalypse the Risen 5E Delivery Goals:

* Since we are now in layout, we are on track to deliver you the PDF version of AtR 5E by the end of the year. 

* With that PDF delivery we anticipate GOING TO PRINT by the end of the year as well. 

* The PDF delivery schedule should be pretty close to on lock (at risk of overpromising). The Print schedule on the other hand is at the mercy of our printer. What I do know is that once the PDF is delivered, we will be on the schedule with our printer and deliver as soon as their schedule allows.

The summary is, we are now very close to being able to deliver our faithful and appreciated backers the game you've been wanting. And by that I mean OVERDELIVERYING on our content promises. As frustrating as it has been for some of us (me included), the amount of high quality content I require from this company to deliver to you will always be prioritized above speed. You are getting the very best high quality content and product when we deliver you Apocalypse the Risen 5E. And we've learned how to do it faster in the future. And what a future we have on your tables, conventions, and online where possible.

What Rises from the Ashes is Stronger

Rusted Portal Reorg:

The Rusted Portal team has gone through some exciting changes since we last spoke. If you haven't seen the team about page, click to meet the Rusted Portal Team or just read the following summary.

Goodbyes: We part ways and wish the best to former colonists Chad Matson and Jeff Carter. Chad was our Pathfinder developer, responsible for many great convention adventures and encounters and our Pathfinder 1E design approach. Jeff was responsible for early establishment of the company logistics. In both cases, we wish them the best on their ongoing adventures.

Exciting Addition: Since we first signed our awarding winning layout magician Simeon Cogswell to craft the look of our Pathfinder 1E design, they've been a great fit with the company. In addition to numerous small press like Rusted Portal, Simeon has also designed celebrated visuals for Delta Green from Arch Dream Publishing, Chaosium, and most recently the Marvel Multiverse RPG. Yep, thems some chops but now Simeon calls Rusted Portal home as partner. That's belief in our future and we're happy to have them on the team. So here's the roster:

Me, Donaven Brines: Original Content Creator, Founder

Jason Stolberg: Narrative Director, Co-Founder

Reid Finucan: Operations Director, Co-Founder

Simeon Cogswell: Visual Director

Take the above changes to Rusted Portal and the following upcoming projects as representation that we are not going anywhere but onto your gaming table. We will also be making the convention rounds again in 2023 once we have published AtR 5E and wrapped this Kickstarter.

Upcoming AtR Lineup: Along those lines, we wanted to take an opportunity to assure you that we are here to stay with lots of products down the line. While personnel, life, Covid, and having a big big project has taken longer than expected, we've learned what we needed to learn to delivery high quality content much faster going forward. So here's what's coming (working titles/themes):

AtR Expansion I: Defiled

Showing players the Darkness.

* Includes a number of one-shot campaign series adventures we call Incidents with a Lower Realm focus.

AtR Expansion II: Exalted

Offer salvation from Darkness with The Light.

* Overarching strategy of 3 campaign series incidents and some one-shots with an Upper Realm focus.

AtR Expansion III: Lost Souls

A return to the Grey’s influence on Earth.

* Incidents with a focus on influences from the Transitive planes and Purgatory.

AtR Expansion IV: Madness

Walk players into the Hollowed Madness of the Void.

* Yeah, you guessed it, chaos. Our Void is unlikely any you've seen. Their influence on the multiverse is strange and disturbing. They want you Hollowed. Incidents pits players against these creatures or even captures their humanity for entertainment.

AtR Expansion V: Primordial

Give players hope of redemption in the Transitive and powers of the Prime Collective.

* Adventures will introduce the nefarious and often treacherous Fey creatures of the multiverse. Players will discover the horror of the Hunter's Moon, some Matters of Trust, and of course Fey Foolery. Do not be alarmed, all adventures still pursue the greater survival of the player's colony.

AtR Expansion VI: In Parallel

Open the curtains wide for exploration into the Worlds of the Portal Multiverse

* Deeper insights into the mind breaking scope of the Worlds of the Portal multiverse through the lens of Apocalypse the Risen characters.

* Learn in detail what the Prevention Bureau is all about and what happens instead if the Paranoia Corp gets ahead of multiversal events.

* Incidents, Hunts, and Expeditions all themed around the Parallels of Humanities fate on Earth and other human populated planets in the multiverse.

Yes it is true that yours truly has framed out all of the above and more for what is just the tip of the iceberg in Apocalypse the Risen. What lies beneath the surface is a massive multiverse with interwoven campaign settings connected by one of two common threads: The Light versus the Darkness and Chaos versus the foundations of the very fabric from which the multiverse is built.

Rollout Schedule: We believe going forward we will be able to deliver on at least one expansion and related supplements each year. You will have a whole lot of content available, we hope to see you at our tables in 2023 and this time with two books on hand.

Rest assured that Apocalypse the Risen 5E is on the way, which will deliver on everything promised in this Kickstarter and so much more.

AtR Gamma Rain & Creeping Lightning


Donaven Brines | Rusted Portal Colony

In Light of Recent TTRPG Events: an AtR Update
over 1 year ago – Sat, Jun 18, 2022 at 09:29:42 AM

Greetings Survivors,

Appreciation: The Rusted Portal Colony wishes to take a quick moment out of your day to remind you that you and our contributors are dearly appreciated. In light of recent events, know that first we will deliver all aspects of this project as has always been promised and that we promptly pay all contributors for their delivered work (artists, writers, etc.). This industry relies on the creative endeavors of many talents. We keep as much in-house as we can (an ever-growing list), and the work outsourced valued and paid for immediately.

Quality over Timeliness: As a company, we have gone through many changes, especially over the last three years, which will be detailed in the next update. And since this Kickstarter, have learned lessons you cannot buy through means other than just doing the thing. As much as that learning is a gift to us, the results of that gift will be delivered to you 10-fold. We make no light over being much later than we ever thought possible. However, we also know that greatly shifted timeline will be the thing that builds fans for a lifetime of gaming joy and insanity. The reason being that the product we deliver will be the best Apocalypse the Risen game you could ever have expected.

Goal: We will be delivering all chapters and art to layout by the end of July. With that timing, our hope is that going to print by the end of this calendar year is within reach. This goal is not a reach or over-promise, but one in which we believe possible at this time. The next update we deliver will be me telling you we have gone to layout and describing all of the exciting changes to the Rusted Portal Colony since we formed and kicked off this project.

Thank you: Again, we offer you our thanks and sincere appreciation for backing this project and sticking with us for the long haul to delivering a product we can be proud of and you can enjoy playing. And we take this time again to tell you that we stand with the freelance contributors we have employed and those who continue to make this a thriving, supportive, and fun community. As much as I am guilty of trying to do it all myself, I am so very aware and thankful for the insights and talents of those who've contributed to Rusted Portal being this far towards successfully delivering on what you have backed. Can you see an exhaustive list of contributors on the credits and backers pages in the PDF, or on the Drive Thru RPG products page for AtR PF. We appreciate, pay, and credit all involved.


Donaven Brines-Founder & CEO (Rusted Portal Games)

AtR 5E Design Share & Progress Update
almost 2 years ago – Sun, Sep 26, 2021 at 12:23:07 PM

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

AtR PF Shipment Complete!
over 2 years ago – Mon, May 03, 2021 at 06:39:57 PM

Greetings Survivors,

Unless you are one of a few people that received communication from me directly, ALL Pathfinder 1E AtR deliveries are in progress. Some are starting to be delivered, all Europe plus shipments (outside US and Canada) are shipping directly from the UK printer and will arrive a couple weeks later. We took great care in packaging but of course, things can happen in shipping. Let us know if you've got any issues and we'll figure it out promptly. However, the US and CA shipments were fulfilled by hand so each book was manually inspected before being shipped and looked good!

Thank you all, can't wait for the next.

- Donaven, Rusted Portal Games