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:

AtR: Full Survey Sent!
almost 3 years ago – Thu, Jun 04, 2020 at 04:47:52 PM

Hello Faithful Backers!

The smoke test went according to plan and the surveys are working as intended. No hiccup means the full survey list just went out to all backers. 

Please take a moment when you can over the coming days and complete your survey. Once complete, we will lock your survey and process. We WILL leave the shipping address open until we are closer to delivery to make sure we have your correct address at that time.

The survey is pretty simple, but please do take a look at the add-ons. We have some great supporting content that the lower tiers can acquire and a couple really awesome design options as well. We have a lot of content after all this time (hides in momentary shame for slow delivery) but as promised you will be rewarded for your patience with ongoing content. And the add-ons allow you to be involved!

We look forward to impressing you and hope to hear feedback as you get content in your grasp.

Welcome to the Rusted Portal Colony, Survivor!

Thank you!

Donaven - Rusted Portal Games

Apocalypse the Risen Survey: Smoke Test
almost 3 years ago – Tue, Jun 02, 2020 at 09:14:45 AM

Greetings Survivors!

This is just a quite notice to inform you that we will be running a smoke test on the BackerKit survey shortly. That means that about 5% of backers across all levels will receive an email directing them to complete their survey. So... let's see if this is working correctly!

Within the next week or so, considering the results of the test, we will roll out the full survey to everyone. We are comfortable with the progress and pricing, so we are ready to get you all onboard and updated.

The surveys are pretty simply, we aren't capturing any complex choices but you do have a number of options. Please browse around, see what you may be interested in, and ask any questions you may have. We are really stoked on the progress and plans for delivering on your fantastic support.

AtR Trading Post (CH7) - Resources


Donaven - Rusted Portal Games

Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting (Pathfinder PDF)
almost 3 years ago – Sat, May 30, 2020 at 10:07:33 PM

Greetings Survivors!

This is an additional notification to let you know we have published an updated version of the AtR PF Campaign Setting. You should have received an email from DriveThruRPG letting you know a new version has been added. Whether you received that email or not, you can log into your DTRPG account and download the updated (3.2) version.

We were deep in scrubbing the PDF for any typos or needs prior to going to print. All of those corrections have been made in this update, including a missing chart in the Colony Creation section. (SO IMPORTANT!)

Regarding the Pathfinder print, we are currently awaiting approval from Paizo for the compatibility license. Covid-19 is problematic as typically digital copies are reviewed after a physical delivery. We are trying to work around that requirement as we speak. We expect the printer contract to be finalized within the week.

The 5E conversion is nearly complete. All chapters have been finalized with an additional pass underway before playtesting restarts. We are presently on track to hold our November 2020 delivery schedule. Obviously there's a lot going on in the world, we are hopeful things get better for everyone sooner than later.

Stay safe!

Donaven - Rusted Portal Games

AtR Campaign Setting: Pathfinder PDF Published!
almost 3 years ago – Fri, May 08, 2020 at 05:56:51 PM

Greetings, Survivors!

First and foremost, we hope this email finds you safe and healthy during these crazy pandemic times. The wellbeing of your colony is of utmost importance to us. We have been working hard to protect our colony while developing your manual to the apocalypse.

TL:DL – DELIVERY! Before delving deep on the production and publication calendar, we want to make sure you are aware we have officially published the Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting Pathfinder Compatible edition PDF on DriveThruRPG.

If you are scheduled to receive the Pathfinder version PDF and you have not already done so, check your email for a DriveThruRPG exclusive download link to redeem your free PDF!

If you cannot find that email and are supposed to have received the PATHFINDER PDF, send us an email and we will send you your unique code. You will need to communicate in your email the email address that you use specifically for KICKSTARTER!

We are so excited to finally see a completed PDF reach publication and hope you find that it exceeds all the lofty expectations we have continued to pitch. We feel comfortable putting this product side-by-side with the big companies of the industry. And we are far from done. So thank you again for your continued support, encouragement, and interest!

AtR CS PF1e_Cover


* Please look over your PDF and if you love it, post a review on DriveThruRPG. It means the world to us and will absolutely help promote future products you can enjoy.

* If you really love it, tell your friends they should pick it up as well!

* If you find any typos or things we have overlooked in the PDF, send us an EMAIL and let me know. We can get it corrected before we go to print.

* Head over to the BackerKit Pre-Sale page. We have updated EVERYTHING to include actual art and descriptions wherever possible. If there is something you did not back but would like to have, buy now. We have also updated prices on the adventures just for the pre-sale!

* Especially send your fellow gamer friends over to the pre-sale and get in on these Kickstarter materials now! We think you’re going to love the content, so tell somebody!

* A few backers at the Legend and Antiquity levels still have not submitted their handles. We will make yours up if we don’t have them soon.

AtR CS_End Sheet

AtR-CS PF1e Public Product Link:

BackerKit Pre-Sale Link:

Also note – We have added back in the Colony Builder add-on. This will be included in the next book, Apocalypse the Risen: Campaign Expansion 1. We have so much content and lots of lead time to work with backers to build these colonies and include. You have a great chance to be a game designer in this world and have your home campaign colony in the book. We are looking at Q1 2021 to launch this Kickstarter… with a much faster production calendar. ;)

AtR: Pathfinder Edition Print Schedule:

We are ready to go to print! 432 glorious full color pages in a hardback cover (or ‘leather’ for some of you)!

We are currently negotiating with our preferred printer to bring Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting to you in hardcover format. We found a fantastic European printer for which we are incredibly happy with the quality (as delivered by a fellow Publisher we backed on Kickstarter). We expect to finalize an agreement before the end of the month and go to print.

We have not yet locked down the turnaround time on the print job at this time. However, we believe we should still see a roughly 30 day process. We are requested a few physical copy reviews throughout the process, which requires international shipping. The biggest delay on time will be the slow boat delivery back to the states, but that is the price of doing business internationally.

At this time, we are hopeful to receive the full shipment and deliver to backers by the end of July. That timeline could shift into August based on shipping and necessary corrections. We are also hopeful the impact of covid-19 does not strengthen here or in the country where we are printing.

---> AtR Pathfinder PDF: DELIVERED!

---> Target AtR Pathfinder Deliver: July 2020/August 2020

AtR 5E Edition:

Designer and rules guru Chad Matson is hard at work transferring all final documents from Pathfinder to 5E and updating rules. Most chapters are updated with 2nd or 3rd pass design changes. Final touches are being put into the bestiary presently, with more time needed on colony design and the multiverse. Much of that will be new rules for 5E, which we are excited about!

In the coming weeks as we send Pathfinder off to the printer, the full team will transition to playtesting the present 5E build. Playtesting by friends and backers has taken a hit with conventions being shut down for quarantine purposes. We thank our backers for staying safe and protecting others. Recognize it does impact our schedule, but we are working effectively in a remote environment.

Chad has also taken to climbing the steep learning curve of roll20 so we can host remote playtests more effectively (Discord and Zoom work, just not comprehensively). The more playtesting we can accomplish, the quicker we can run the content through editing and ultimately layout.

On that note, if you have interest in running playtests via roll20 or have experience in building out a roll20 adventure, send us an email. We for sure want to discuss. Thank you in advance to our existing Game and Dungeon Masters for keeping the fires burning at conventions for as long as you could. If you’ve got skills on digital gaming or just want to engage with us on the subject, send us an email. We take care of our contributors! :)

Regardless, development has been steady and progressive. We have the following targets for 5E delivery.

---> Target AtR 5E PDF Delivery: September/October

---> Target AtR 5E Print Delivery: October/November

AtR CS_Credits Page

Rusted Portal Future Plans:

We have learned a tremendous amount on how to actually publish a game. We knew we had a great idea and an eye for good art. Now we know what it takes to bring that all together. So with that, here are the future plans for the company as we move forward in producing games for you to enjoy. We hope to have you all back and see you at tables in the future (either in person or online).

* Hardback books will be sold direct on the (in progress) new Rusted Portal website

* Campaign book PDFs will be sold exclusively through DriveThruRPG

* Adventure series ePub books will be sold exclusively through Amazon

* Future products will again launch on Kickstarter to fund publishing – we will Kickstart when we are much further along in design going forward

* We will launch a Patreon account with exclusive access to Truth Transmissions, design discussions, and influence on future products

Bottom Line:

We are bringing you all of the Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting products you backed and expected. They are going to be everything we have promised and more. And we hope you find it worth the time and frustration in waiting on what you backed. We couldn’t appreciate you more and look forward to building on the colony we’ve started.

Thank you again and keep an eye out for more in the coming months. Reach out with any related topics from above. And above all, stay safe and sane in your battle against the Darkness.


Donaven – Rusted Portal Colony

Pre-Apocalypse Post: AtR
about 3 years ago – Wed, Mar 18, 2020 at 06:06:52 PM

Greetings, Survivors!

Before anything else, we want to express our sincere well wishes for you and your loved ones to stay safe and (seriously) sane during these crazy times. None of us have quite experienced anything like this in our lifetimes. Doing so absolutely requires our colonies to be tight and supportive.

We also want to express our deep appreciation for your patience and continued interest in Apocalypse the Risen. We have endless love for those backers that can’t wait to get their hands on AtR and especially those who continued to run convention games (prior to event shutdowns). Without you we are nothing in this industry that we love dearly. It is because of that we have worked so hard to bring a fantastic game to life. Anyone can have a great idea, not everyone can bring it to market. We will be bringing this game to market and in print.

And that, my friends, leads me to the latest update on what you really want to know. Development, printing, and delivery.

AtR Pathfinder Edition:

We know that most of our backers are awaiting the 5E version; however, Pathfinder was first in development and will be delivered first.

We have provided full book feedback to our layout artist for the Pathfinder Compatible edition of Apocalypse the Risen. We expect to get a full turn on that feedback and work to final approval by early April. Simeon (layout artist) has suggested that will be tight but doable.

There are a few odds and ends (cover print layout both standard and leather, opening binding layout, back cover copy, and index) that need added. These shouldn’t take considerable time and should be completed along with the rest of the book. We are again researching our best printer option as things have obviously changed since our initial research.

Provided finalization happens as described, we will look to get on a printer’s calendar by early May. That should put Pathfinder books in your hands sometime in early July (unless Covid-19 is the actual cause of the Rise).

---> Target AtR Pathfinder Delivery: July 2020

AtR 5E Edition:

To start here, I want one thing perfectly transparent. We have not stopped development on the 5E Compatible edition while we finalized Pathfinder. The team orientation has been split up to make sure we made continued incremental progress. And we are really stoked with how the classes and archetypes for each are shaping up. All classes and all creatures have been updated from those seen in past conventions. By that I mean, full rebuild and play balancing. That will happen at least one more time over the coming months as the team transitions fully to 5E development.

Once the Pathfinder book ships off to the printer, the full team will begin working on 5E in both design scrub and playtest sessions. We already have a few GMs running the new build for the 3rd level adventure (Endless Descent), for which we could not be more thankful (with understandable delays due to the global pandemic).

Regarding timing, our present (and conservative) goal is to begin editing AtR 5E when AtR Pathfinder ships. Provided that holds true that would put us on track to deliver AtR 5E in the October timeframe. We know that’s not what you want to hear, it certainly isn’t what we want to say. This update is an attempt to provide a target expectation we can hit based on turnaround times we have seen with our partners. That said, it is possible our final draft for AtR 5E will be much cleaner when it reaches editing and layout. That’s our goal, and if that is true, we could move faster through those timelines.

---> Target AtR 5E Delivery: October 2020


The Rise jokes aside, we are obviously in the midst of major world disruption with this global pandemic. This could have significant impact on all aspects of development through print and delivery. While we do not have reason to believe that will be the case at this time, we understand it is a possibility. We do not expect this disease to interrupt our development timelines, though we will alert backers of any changes. Development and production are presently full steam ahead, with a focus on remote work sessions and playtests. We have already launched remote Zoom dev sessions and expect to do the same with playtests in the coming weeks. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Support and look out for each other, we’re all we got (we’re all we need).

Building a Colony

Build Your Colony:

In all times, a colony helps keep you safe. In Apocalypse the Risen the colony is a physical place with physical defenses. In real life, your colony might just be friends, and family, and strangers looking out for each other. It’s really important right now to find or build or maintain that colony for you and everyone else. And probably not in a physical place. (Laughter is important). Anyway, here’s some page selections from Chapter 9: Narrating. This chapter covers the rules for colonies and the session zero colony builder. I’m including because I’m reminded how important your choices are in determining the colony in which you live.

Session Zero Opening

The Bottomline:

Rusted Portal will deliver high quality full color Apocalypse the Risen books for both Pathfinder and 5E systems as sold in our Kickstarter campaign. We are very late and well aware. Our solution is to overdeliver quality content and physical presentation. We can only hope our wonderful backers will understand and forgive once you get your hands on this campaign setting. AtR is far more epic and deeper than ever communicated during the Kickstarter. You don’t have to take my word for it, you will eventually have your hands on it to find out.

Session Aftermath

War Chest Stretch Goals:

We have completed development of the convention versions of all three adventures unlocked during the Kickstarter. Each of these games will be expanded with additional narrative, encounters, and story hooks before final delivery. The final product will be PDF with formal layout and art. The convention versions are intended for 4-5 hour sessions which play well as one-off home games.

In the coming weeks we will be putting a shared folder together for backers to distribute all three convention games. These include pre-gen characters for all 9 classes, multiple creatures (including some found only in these games), and environmental effects not previously released. This release will include both Pathfinder and 5E versions, so all backers can get a feel for AtR with their home groups. Bear in mind that these shared conventions versions do not include final publishing publish. They will before the final delivery.

Dead in the Darklands: 1st Level – “Grave danger is discovered near your colony, putting its very existence in jeopardy.” Upon final delivery will include the printable PDF Scavenge Map of an encounter/location in the adventure.

Demon Divided: 2nd Level – “Food stores in your colony have gone missing and your hunting party definitely smell a rat in this twisted who-done-it.” Upon final delivery will include the printable PDF Scavenge Map of an encounter/location in the adventure.

Endless Descent: 3rd Level – “There’s nowhere to go but down when old problems arise from the depths. Will you and your hunting party survive the intrusive dark?” Upon final delivery will include the printable PDF Scavenge Map of an encounter/location in the adventure.

Adventure Stretch Goals:

While the focus has been on the campaign setting for both systems, we are still keeping track and making progress on all additional deliverables unlocked as part of the Kickstarter. All rewards will be delivered. Some of these stories are complete and progress continues. All will be included in layout with the complete PDF journal and written agnostically with regard to either system, save for any necessary stat blocks.

Iconic Intro Stories – 9 tales of travel from Dr. Dobrin as he meets each of the iconics. Get to know the characters and art that inspired the best examples of each class.

Micro Adventure Hooks – 45 micro-stories from the travels of Dr. Dobrin. Each is roughly 250 words and introduces a new item, creature, people of interest, or place of intrigue meant to inspire your own games.

Ghost Stories (Emotes: Grief, Terror, Loathing, Rage)– 4 ghost stories covering Dr. Dobrin’s encounters with each of the four known Emotes. Each short story will be around 1,500 words.

Ghost Stories (Apparitions) – 4 ghost stories recanting Dr. Dobrin’s run-ins with terrible Apparitions, the true ghosts in Apocalypse the Risen. Each short story will be around 2,000 words.

Ghost Stories (Poltergeist) – 3 ghost stories telling of Dr. Dobrin’s narrow escapes from tormenting Poltergeist. Each short story will be around 2,000 words.

Truth Transmissions:

Includes 12 broadcasts from the post-apocalyptic ham radio operator, “Truth” who discusses the rumors and events happening around the globe. We have the equipment, some of these are written, and more importantly once these are done this will become an ongoing support element for your games.

We haven’t forgotten about them at all. We are actually really excited about how impactful these can be for GMs and players. Obviously that impact is only real once you have the campaign setting and can start to play. So, cheers… more depth, fun, and content support to come post-delivery!

Apocalypse the Risen Progress Recap:

The Rusted Portal team is working diligently to get both campaign setting books off to the printer this year. We have thought we were here before and aware of similar communications. Publishing is a learning experience for which we are grateful to have this opportunity. There’s a reason companies like us use Kickstarter. The reality in that for all of our backers is that we are smaller and less experienced than other majoring game publishers who also use Kickstarter for their products. We hope you continue to remember that difference as we work closer to delivery. We especially hope you remember that difference when you ultimately receive your books. Ours will stand up fantastically to the quality you’ve seen from much better funded and staffed operations. We are small but talented and feisty. Trust.

In close, just an extra thank you for your support, questions, and feedback. All of it is truly appreciated. We will continue to engage in comments and answer questions. It would be awesome if you had some world or multiverse questions to pick our brains about, but I’m happy to field the criticism and challenges as well. You’ll find we are not afraid of tackling challenges head-on, which is exactly what continues to happen in bringing our first game to market. I keep saying first game, because we are really excited to use this learning experience to bring even more awesome games to our backers and fans.

Until next time, keep shining light into the dark corners.


Donaven – Rusted Portal Games