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 Campaign Setting - Production Update!
over 4 years 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:
over 4 years 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

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:
over 4 years ago – Thu, Oct 04, 2018 at 08:12:15 AM

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

AtR & Worlds of the Portal - Answers!
over 4 years ago – Sun, Aug 26, 2018 at 05:05:39 PM

Greetings Survivors!

Necro asked some great questions, the answers of which are too long for the comments. So another update it is! It’s possible I’ve said too much below and yet it’s just so much fun sharing some of this info and teasing just how deep we go in AtR and the Worlds of the Portal multiverse.


The Descended began as created beings, not born like humans or Progeny. Descended WERE angels, but they are something different now and the three types are the only known Descended. The number of Descended on Earth is finite, based on the angels descending at the time of the Rise and losing their celestial nature. Descended are believed to be only guardian angels in the Upper Realms, lowest in the celestial sphere, under the umbrella of one of the three first celestial spheres of the angelic hierarchy: Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. Descended can reproduce with humans or other Descended, both unions resulting in human offspring, if not beautiful examples.


Two Progeny will make another Progeny, with the lower sin nature most often the result. A Descended and a Progeny cannot interbreed.


Lazarus are the most unique as they are a coalesced formation of a soul that has lived many lives, but their body is only a representation combined with that soul. They are unable to reproduce.


Nephilim are the result of angels (or Fallen Angels) and human women and that union was locked away when the Seals were placed. The breaking of the Seals pushed Earth further away from the Upper Realm, making travel between the two planes much more difficult (i.e. magical planar travel, and more difficult from the Upper Realm to Earth). No known Nephilim have been discovered on post-Rise Earth as of this writing.


There are no known angels on post-Rise Earth. Angels take on the nature of one of the celestial spheres of the first order. From there, they do represent additional celestial spheres: (second) Dominions, Virtues, & Powers; (third) Principalities, Archangels, and Guardians (the only known source of Descended at the time of the Rise).

Transitive Planes:

Veil (Transitive Plane of Death)

Creatures currently native to the Veil are believed to have begun as native to another location. Earth travelers to the Veil have not yet encountered beings thought to have originated on the Veil. Purgatory is known to have sent harvesters to the Veil to collect souls. There are rumors of conflict between harvesters and beings on the Veil, but unclear if those beings belong to the Veil or not. Becoming native to the Veil is not a goal one should endeavor.

Paradox (Transitive Plane of Life)

Cryptids and some terrible Fey are native to this plane. There appear to be dormant structures and slumbering cosmic beings found throughout Paradox, as if this plane was used for travel in a forgotten time.

Eternity (Transitive Plane of Time)

Custodians and other beings native to this plane exist outside of time. We have heard rumors of non-native cosmic beings holding court within this plane.

Infinity (Transitive Plane of Matter)

Ingress is the central hub of this plane and the only known entrance. Beings of unimaginable types exist within non-sequential zones of celestial particle bodies. Each zone follows a dominate state of matter and a governed element.

Inner Planes:

Upper Realms (Heaven) (Inner Plane of Good)

The Upper Realm is home of the Light, a cosmic being and elder god embroiled in an eternal battle with the Darkness. The Light is both a being and the upper realm itself. Celestial beings exist within the Upper Realm, worshipped by mortals from all worlds in the multiverse. Celestial beings include Deities and angels.

Lower Realms (Hell) (Inner Plane of Evil)

The Lower Realm is home of the Darkness, a cosmic being and elder god obsessed with eliminating the Light. The Darkness is both a being and the lower realm itself. Infernal beings exist within the Lower Realm, feared by mortals from all worlds in the multiverse. Infernal beings include the Seven, devils, and demons.

Outer Planes:

Void (Outer Plane of Chaos)

Both an Outer Plane and a Campaign Setting within the Worlds of the Portal multiverse. The Void is the original Outer Plan, home of cosmic beings and elder gods. The Light and the Darkness fled the Void before the existence of time.  

Void the Oblivion is the Worlds of the Portal campaign setting, taking place in the Nameless City within the Void.

Purgatory (Outer Plane of Order)

Both an Outer Plane and a Campaign Setting within the Worlds of the Portal multiverse. Purgatory was formed at the time the Light and the Darkness fled the Void and is home to The Grey, a cosmic being and elder god. The Grey is both a being and Purgatory itself.

Purgatory the Tormented is the Worlds of the Portal campaign setting, taking place in the city states surrounding The Citadel. The mines under the Citadel are the source of supernatural magic throughout the Multiverse. Deities negotiate magic for their worlds in trade for souls to toil in those very mines.

Multiverse Worlds:

In addition to the Transitive, Inner, and Outer planes of the Worlds of the Portal multiverse, there are a number of other worlds, each of which is a connected campaign setting. We do not have the luxury of deep diving into those worlds at this time, Apocalypse the Risen is 100% the focus. However, all designs within AtR are inclusive of the overarching multiverse and how they connect. I'm not going to lie, that's both utterly important to us and also a big part of the design time.

A few clues I can provide: 

  • Humans exist in all WotP campaign settings (we can't get rid of them no matter how hard we try)
  • None of those other campaign settings are based on Earth
  • The apocalyptic events on Earth rippled across the multiverse
  • All Worlds of the Portal campaign settings take place 25 years after those worlds suffered their own cataclysms (post-apocalyptic high fantasy? yes, in fact)

Excited yet? Good, now it's back to writing that session zero adventure for colony creation that takes place during the Rise...

Donaven - Rusted Portal Games

Post Gen Con Wrap-up
over 4 years ago – Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 07:48:31 PM

Greetings Survivors!

The Rusted Portal crew is finally back home from a great long weekend at Gen Con. After a few days of trying to catch up on emails, art reviews, and life we are ready to wrap up the event. We thought now would be a great time to catch up on the event and Apocalypse the Risen progress. 

And as a reminder right here at the top of this update... thank you in advance for talking about Apocalypse the Risen RPG with your friends and fellow gamers. When you are sharing the fun and excitement, tell your fellow gamers to get in on the pre-sale and check us out at the links below. (pre-sale campaign) (campaign setting info)

Gen Con 2018

Rusted Portal and our guest GMs ran a total of 14 game sessions covering 3 adventures (Dead in the Darklands, Hotel Hell, and Mind Wide Shut) and 2 game systems. We had well over 100 players join us for some great adventure. We introduced players to the Risen: Hungry, Famished, Ravenous, Bloated, and even a Wretched. We found new mutated plants and animals: Fog Dogs, Stinging Baboons, Sunflower Trees, and the dreaded Grizzly Gator. Battled several demons: Fire Urchin, Shyft, Corrode, Dredge, and Anglers. Discovered some terrible Darkland constructs: Mannikins and Softie the most adorable T-Rex Plushy (with swallow whole). And we were haunted by a new type of ghost: Spectre, an undead Lazarus having lived numerous serial killer lives. Many of these creatures are included in the AtR Campaign Setting, others in present and future adventures, and yet more that will make it into Campaign Expansion I.

We really want to make a special callout to our guest GMs and backers that joined our game sessions to find out how Apocalypse the Risen is fleshing out. Our GMs were absolutely amazing, bringing unique and entertaining narrative to the AtR world. We were impressed with how much they cared about the world of AtR and effort they put into delivering a great experience. Thank you. And to our backers, we would not be here without you. Getting the opportunity to meet and game with you at our tables is the absolute best. We cannot wait for more of those opportunities. Thank you to those that posted about the experience and especially the comment from Clayton! We appreciate that love because it shows we have a game worth playing, backing, and ultimately waiting to get shipped to you.

Note: Thanks to our amazing guest GMs, Apocalypse the Risen will be run at Game Hole Con, Con of the North, and (maybe) Gary Con? That’s awesome! For the Rusted Portal GMs, we will be on GM hiatus until further notice. Our sole focus is now on getting AtR into layout as soon as possible. With that lead in…

Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting Development

Getting ready for Gen Con was certainly time consuming, as always. Not only did we need to create two games for both 5E and Pathfinder (Hotel Hell, 5th level and Mind Wide Shut, 7th level), but we developed the first level adventure unlocked stretch goal Dead in the Darklands on both systems as well. In fact, we will be working up a playable beta of that adventure to share with you, our glorious backers. I’ll call it a beta because it won’t be in layout or fully edited, but it will be fully playable. The adventure takes roughly five hours, but can be run in four as was done at Gen Con. We will spend a little time making it more presentable and share as a download in the next couple weeks.

As noted above, except for the adventure and some pre-gen characters, we will have our heads down finalizing the AtR campaign setting. We know layout will take roughly 30 days, what we don’t know is just how much time it will take us to get ready for layout. We have not yet started editing but we will know how close we are within the next two weeks. Our goal is to get started on layout by the end of the month, but that is an aggressive goal. We will keep you posted.

We still plan to print Pathfinder domestically to expedite that initial delivery. Once we hit layout for Pathfinder we move to 5E development. We could be as close as 3 months behind Pathfinder, perhaps 6 depending on how smoothly our playtests go. I will say that three different Gen Con 5E games was very telling.

Speaking of, to those that played with me in Mind Wide Shut, I apologize for the devastating AC on some of my monsters. I laughed, the grizzly gator laughed, you suffered, we all had fun. Except for that Splicer, he didn’t have fun. Who told him he needed to hit a 21 AC with his lightning bolt?!? What a jerk GM.

The real message… we are working to make our first product one we are proud of and one you will want to shelve your current campaigns to start playing. How’s that for a bold statement?

Art Update

Artist Raven Mimura rolled out Mother, the Shepherd iconic at Gen Con and we are yet again blown away. That is the final iconic and in the next update I will share all nine iconics together. Just know that we could not be more proud of how amazing this group turned out. The response Raven received at Gen Con was tremendous. We are lucky to have such a fantastic artist leading the creative on these important pieces and hope to continue what has become a great friendship.

We have a lot of other outstanding art at this stage. It isn’t an emergency until we are ready for layout, but we are urgently chasing artist to wrap up their projects. There are ten outstanding weapons still being worked on and ten pieces of post-Rise scavenged armor (Alejandro Gonzalez Agudelo), numerous sketch action scenes (Nicholas Gentile), a few full-page pieces (Guillaume Ducos), and a lot of photo manipulation still in the works (Donaven Brines, Alison Hinch, and others). There are a lot of moving pieces and we are working hard to wrangle them together.

Check out for more about our artists and writers.

Production Value

We have previously mentioned our layout artist Simeon Cogswell and could not be more excited to bring him up again. Simeon is at the top of his craft and we are stoked to have him for the Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting. He has worked for a number of companies, most recently Delta Green. This year, “Delta Green: The RPG” (Arc Dream Publishing) won GOLD at the ENnies for Best Production Values. What does that award mean?

Best Production Values – Awarded for the book exemplifying the best production values, from graphic design and layout, editing, paper, binding; all the factors that combine to create the look and feel of the product.

That means a lot of Simeon bringing home the gold. That means we are working with the best to bring you the best. You might just forget we are a little indie game design company once you get your book in hand. At least, that’s our goal. Fight bigger than you are, survivor the Rise.

Backers Continued Thanks

Again, I’m reminded just how amazing our backers are for believing in Apocalypse the Risen. We attended the ENnies at Gen Con this year and there are a lot of amazing games. It is inspiring and encouraging and sparks that competitive spirit. We believe we can be in this conversation and want it far more for you, our backers, than for ourselves. When you start playing this game we hope to bring thousands of fans to the table with you. And you are the foundation on which we build. Thank you.

Gen Con Games Special Callout

We did not get to play in many games at Gen Con, but a couple of special mentions. The updated Alternity RPG (Sasquach Games) was a very fun game with GM and co-owner David Noonan. Check that out. And of course, we found a way into a Delta Green RPG. Do check out the adventure Delta Green: A Night at the Opera (Arc Dream Publishing). Those guys write inspiring material. Cannot wait to weave some more Cthulhu Mythos into the Worlds of the Portal. You can thank the Harbinger for reopening that door.

Donaven Brines | CEO

Rusted Portal Games