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:
Exotic Weapons, Magic, & Adventure:
about 4 years ago
– Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 09:11:17 PM
We hope this email finds you secure in your colony with ample resources. Progress on the Apocalypse the Risen Campaign Setting is still moving forward as we are finalizing some chapters, editing others, and tweaking some designs. We have more art rolling in still, from sketches representing feats and class abilities to exotic weapons and full scenes.
We just received final art on the flamethrower and a near final draft of the sawgun. Yes, shotgun/circular saw combo... because Enforcers need things like that!
Other weapons in draft include the post-Rise compound bow (using mountain bike parts) and post-Rise crossbow (using leaf springs and an impact wrench).
After working on the art descriptions for post-Rise exotic weapons, we realized the Enforcer needed to be exceptional in crafting these weapons, not just killing with them. That’s the type of tweaks that are still occurring as we put the final stamp on each little detail.
Other Art –
Scenes include the Tar Mammoth, Neighing Pyre w/ Firesteed, Glass Menagerie, and the Battle at the Space Needle (possible cover). We are getting as many full page scenes as possible into the book, each carefully selected to showcase a location discoverable within the world. We know these will bring the game to life for players and help visualize an Earth never before seen. So exciting!
Here’s a little fun I threw together just for this update…
Chad (Pathfinder) has been taking a last pass through spells and informed me last night he finished through the letter M. Spells are a significant category with numerous changes to match AtR nuisances: no alignment, different planes/multiverse, and difficulties in dimensional travel. We’ve killed Teleport and other similar spells, made planar travel challenging, but created in-world opportunities for exploring long distances or reaching other planes. We firmly believe this decision keeps the adventure alive even at higher levels. The sense of exploration will go on as will the level of challenge. We have included a heavy dose of epic fantasy in this post-apocalyptic game and done so without reducing the risk and horror. Who’s running this game for me? I want to play!!!
We mentioned in the last update that we were working on the 1st level adventure, “Dead in the Darklands.” We ran the first playtest on Free RPG day last weekend and the game is looking good. We will be providing that very early draft to our Gen Con GMs this weekend. The game will be well tested before being finalized for our awesome backers. Of note… there will be added content and details for continuation within a campaign on the delivered game. The game being tested is the convention version.
Free RPG Day Recap –
The most exciting thing to me about this event was witnessing a GM outside the company running our game for the first time. Don’t ever let a designer tell you it isn’t exciting having people like you, or fearless backers, being interested and involved in our game. It is humbling and amazing and I’m stoked to be part of this with you.
Also awesome is that our guest GM is a local radio celeb and all around good dude. He’s been down with AtR for a few years and hosted us on a couple different podcasts. Having him running What’s Cooking for a new group of 5E players was rad. RAD I SAY!
PaizoCon Recap –
We have another fantastic weekend at PaizoCon running AtR for five full tables of 8 players each. “Hox and a Gentleman” and “Grief Asylum” entertained players and kept them guessing as to what new horror awaited them in the next room. There were also some punny moments when Jason introduced the maize maze. It was really corny. No, AtR will never be campy horror. Yes, sometimes we might be horribly campy.
Regarding Pathfinder –
Another update note from PaizoCon is Pathfinder 2. We received some good insight, experienced some playtest examples, and learned a few of the major updates to the system. We expect this system to be a lot of fun to play. It isn’t Starfinder and it isn’t 5E. It might be somewhere in between, which seems like a great place to be. Rusted Portal intends to be in position to launch an early campaign with any open source options provided by Paizo. We know some players will make the switch and others will stick to P1. Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Gen Con Update –
With just under 40 days before the start of Gen Con, your Rusted Portal team is hard at work trying to finalize even prep. We are also awaiting Gen Con finally posting the 6 additional games our guest GMs will be running for “Dead in the Darklands.” I’m certain we will fill those tables quickly and we are eager to see them posted.
Jason is running “Hotel Hell” for both Pathfinder and 5E in four 6-hour sessions. Magically, he has 1 single seat available in those four games. If you’re a single player at Gen Con, get that last seat, it is a creepy adventure!
Donaven is running “Mind Wide Shut” also for both Pathfinder and 5E in four 6-hour sessions. All four of those games are booked solid so I better get my maps locked down! “Mind Wide Shut” first appeared at PaizoCon in 2017 but is receiving a huge makeover for Gen Con, utilizing updated Darkland designs in the last year. I am really excited about the mind-bending twists in this adventure. Don’t you GMs love it when players have to camp for the night?
One important note on the inclusion of 5E in all of our adventures… As you know, we are much further behind in our 5E build than Pathfinder. The playtests for 5E have all been with first pass character classes and enemy designs. Being able to playtest in this fashion will really speed up the finalization of the 5E build as soon as Pathfinder goes to print. While the systems are very different, the flavor of our designs are well defined, making the conversion relatively easy. If anything, 5E gives us flexibility for more flavor without having to plot out years worth of feat advancements. We dig both systems, but we certainly started with the right system in Pathfinder. Going from that system to others is much easier than the other way around.
Home Page Updates:
We are also starting to get some things together with our social media. Our current homepage, rustedportal.com has taken on some updates. Most importantly, check out rustedportal.com/atr for an updated collection of details and downloads. We captured a lot of the flavor from the Kickstarter page, wrote a little additional narrative, and showcased some of the art. We will also start a series of Truth Transmissions which will be posted at rustedportal.com/truths. This will also host any podcasts, blogs, or other activities captured digitally. We'll blast social media when the Truth Transmissions start. These will be separate of the special ones unlocked during the campaign. If you are interested in sharing information about our game to friends and fellow gamers, send them that way!
Also of important note, we finally realized something dumb happened and have redirected ApocalypsetheRisen.com to the BackerKit pre-sale. If you have people interested in the game, PLEASE send them that way. It is much easier than the vanity URL previously used. Some things that shouldn’t get overlooked get overlooked when my head is buried in finalizing this game. And that’s exactly where my head is at… deep in AtR Darklands, filled with Void magic, and battling demons attempting to distract me.
If you haven’t followed us on social media, go now and make that happen. Our Facebook and Twitter accounts are growing and with your help, we’ll spread the word.
Now, our hunting party needs to make a scavenging run for resources. The colony needs us.
Donaven - Rusted Portal Games
about 4 years ago
– Sun, May 20, 2018 at 01:09:21 AM
Our last update was in April, so it seemed like now was a great time to reach out and share an update. Of course, never hesitate to check in with us via comments or social media. In fact, special thanks to backer Michael Baker for commenting. Whatever the questions, we will always aim for transparency even if our first instinct isn’t an update. As you are probably aware, we are guilty of silence on social media and here. What I can promise you is we are slamming away on work for Apocalypse the Risen.
Apocalypse the Risen Progress:
As we’ve been saying through the last few updates, we are certainly behind schedule. However, those delays will not go without reward. We have commissioned more art, added significantly more content on the overall world and connected multiverse, and sourced additional contributed writing. That all means more Darklands, more colonies, and more regional points of interest for your adventures.
We are presently putting each of the individual chapters into the overall chapter layout. This is the first step in getting through final editing and ultimately layout before sending to the printer. Layout takes about a month as does printing, so as soon as we call editing final and hit those steps in the process you can expect another 60 days plus a couple of weeks at least for shipping. That’s much longer than we hoped to be bringing our first product to market. It is longer than you hoped to wait for the product. And yet as soon as you have it in your hands we will all be super happy. There’s no drama, no excuses, no personal issues. We are just working hard to deliver you the best game as soon as possible. That’s our promise.
AtR Cover Art Decisions:
We have been working with several different cover art options over the last few months. We have scenes commissioned and more considered. Some of finalizing the design is making difficult decisions on things as important as the cover. Look at the mock-ups below and weigh in with your opinions. What emotion do you want the AtR cover to convey?
Note: The battle scene art is NOT a final piece and includes some quick blending, so judge by style and composition not final detail.
What else is going on?
PaizoCon: May 25th—28th
Rusted Portal will make our yearly presentation of games at PaizoCon, THE Pathfinder experience hosted near Seattle by Paizo themselves. We are running 5 games, each are five-hour sessions with 8 players per table, and all are sold out. We couldn’t be happier to be on the verge of another great convention experience showcasing Apocalypse the Risen RPG.
Jason will be running “Hox and a Gentleman”
Chad will be running “Grief Asylum”
Gen Con: August 2nd–5th
Rusted Portal makes our second official trip as a company to Gen Con and already it is a great success. Jason and Donaven are scheduled for 4 games each, all are six-hour sessions with 8 players per table. Seven of the eight games are sold out and one only has 3 seats remaining (an even mix of 5E and Pathfinder games are included).
Jason will be running “Hotel Hell”
Donaven will be running “Mind Wide Shut”
And we are not done yet! In our last update we reached out to backers with interest in running AtR at Gen Con. Three awesome GMs stepped up and will be running 6 additional games, each 4-hour sessions with 8 players per table. They will be running “Dead in the Darklands”, the 1st level adventure unlocked during our Kickstarter campaign.
“Dead in the Darklands” is a 1st level adventure beginning in YOUR colony, in both 5E and Pathfinder. The Gen Con version of the game will be a 4-hour session with five encounters, solid roleplaying opportunity with Darklanders, exploration of a unique Darkland, and multiple new creatures including:
Darkland Mutated – Fog Dogs and Stinging Baboons
Darkland Construct (new creature type!) – Junk Beast
Sentient Risen/NPC Class – Wretched Auxiliary
Mutated/Modified Hungry Risen
We can’t wait to get this game through some intense play at Gen Con before fleshing out additional content of the published product. “Dead in the Darklands” is the first in a three-adventure series unlocked during the Kickstarter. At Gen Con, players won’t see how events in one game affect the others, but rest assured they do. We cannot stress enough the importance of consequences in AtR. It has been a great study in human behavior and how players react to a game with no alignment and a significant grey area for morality. Those very decisions determine heroes and villains, even in a world where a PC may be both in any given scavenge. Oh the devious fun we have designing those decisions!
Donaven - Rusted Portal Colony
Gen Con Opportunity & AtR Production Update
over 4 years ago
– Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 06:13:50 PM
This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.
Merry Horrordays, Survivors!
over 4 years ago
– Mon, Dec 25, 2017 at 06:37:21 PM
Greetings from a snowy Rusted Portal Colony on this very white Christmas!
This isn’t a novel concept, but hasn’t this year flown by? Just last year we were hopeful the seals would stay intact a while longer and a year in we feel like a rocket is propelling us toward the Rise. Really, folks… it is coming. I know you can all feel it, it’s in the news every day. So we felt compelled to give you some insight on things worth looking forward to in the future. Frankly, you may as well plan on Apocalypse the Risen as a survival documentary. Of course, we’d settle for it being your new favorite RPG, either way.
AtR Design Progress:
Spells and spells and spells and oh yeah, magic items because of spells! Pathfinder rules master Chad Matson has been busy tweaking and re-working spells to ensure a seamless integration with the overall Worlds of the Portal universe. Killing alignment was only one of the many challenges with our goal that Apocalypse the Risen would be more than a reskinning of Pathfinder and D&D5E. The most recent hurdle was locking down the design for other planes of existence and that assimilation with spells. More on that following, but rest assured, spells and magic items are customized to work properly with AtR and all the Worlds of the Portal.
I’m certain you’re interested in how this fits into the overall progress to finally get your hands on this game. We are working through the chapters in a relatively linear fashion, save where designs feed into each other which becomes a circular progression. At present, AtR is divided into thirteen chapters (obviously). Spells are chapter 8 and magic items chapter 13. Designs are coming together and chunks of the project moving forward.
Planes of the Portal:
In chapter 11 we discuss the multiverse that is the Worlds of the Portal. We have hinted at many other related campaign settings that will grow the overall multiverse and most of those we will not discuss in Apocalypse the Risen. However, those transitive planes which touch all the Worlds will be included, some with more details than others.
We set out with a goal of bringing you an entirely new take on the multiverse through Apocalypse the Risen and future Worlds of the Portal campaign settings. These worlds are interconnected and the method of how very critical to the design. Perhaps most important to us in that process was ensuring the planes and worlds were engaging and playable, with reason to explore. These planes also must work with the magic of our worlds. While the full chapter entries were not unlocked, we are including some details to wet your appetite.
Transitive planes connect all worlds of the portal and sit on top of each prime material plane. Apocalypse the Risen takes place on Prime Earth, the only Worlds of the Portal campaign setting taking place on Earth. Each of the below planes are simultaneous layered on Prime Earth and all other worlds. These planes each exert a force on the Prime and occasionally breach their boundaries. These breaches are called intrusions, each plane interacting uniquely with the Prime. Each plane has their own physics, creatures, and secrets to uncover.
Eternity – Transitive Plane of Matter
While little is known about this plane, Eternity is made up of celestial particle bodies and energy-fluid space creating pathways through the multiverse. Travel is three dimensional and little reference is provided relevant to the Prime from which one enters. Navigation is dangerous at best, given the non-linear pathways. And strange beings and creatures using all manner of energy have been observed. Perhaps these beings even have a civilization to explore.
Intrusions from Eternity have not been fully identified at this time; however, these are undoubtedly dangerous given the nature of this plane.
It is believed that the Harbinger Singularity may tap into this plane for some of their powers.
Infinity – Transitive Plane of Time
In stark juxtaposition to Eternity, the transitive plane of time is truly linear. Time does in fact flow in a single direction. A river of enormous proportions flows through this nearly flat landscape, with arteries branching and reaching deep into the land. Creatures and societies exist within Infinity, sustained by Time itself. Some lifeforms observed were apparently two dimensional. It is unknown what secrets Infinity may hide or how travel along the river affects living matter.
Intrusions from Infinity are known as Anomaly and have been observed as various time paradoxes.
It is believed that the Maverick Gun Seer may harness minor anomalies for some of their powers.
Paradox – Transitive Plane of Life
Paradox exists as a reflection of the Prime world from which you enter, overrun with a dark and twisted version of nature. Paradox is a land in which humanity has held no sway, no civilization established, no wilderness tamed. However, Paradox has influenced many myths on Earth long before the Rise. Stories of Chupacabra, Sasquatch, and Wendigo come directly from creatures of Paradox. Paradox is never lit directly by the sun, only by its reflection following the phases of the moon. Temperatures are always at the extremes and every living creature is truly trying to kill and eat you. Further, strange ancient buildings have been witnessed in Paradox, seemingly organic in their technology.
Intrusions from Paradox are known as Lesions, a wound breaching the planes allowing creatures of Paradox to cross over to Prime Earth. Of course, these are not just one-way roads.
Veil – Transitive Plane of Death
The Veil itself, the very fabric separating the world of the living from the world of the dead. In truth, the Veil is really a vast plane visually an overlay of the Prime. Spirits and dimensional travelers will witness the Prime from their incorporeal state but not be seen by those outside the Veil. Incorporeal creatures exist in both locations simultaneously and the angry hateful souls animating the dead as Risen will be seen seething and snarling through the world.
The Veil once operated as a filter, allowing souls to pass on to Purgatory from the Prime. The Veil remains intact throughout most of the Worlds of the Portal. However, when the Seals were broken Prime Earth shifted tearing the Veil and creating a vacuum between Purgatory and Earth. This released supernatural magic back to Prime Earth and with it many souls who found homes in vacated bodies of the dead. No longer are the dead from Prime Earth able to pass on to Purgatory.
It is unclear is Intrusions from the Veil are present beyond the lacking passage of souls.
In the next update we might take a pass at some of the non-transitive multiverse planes, including the Upper and Lower Realms, Purgatory, and the Void. Most important, rest assured we are hard charging toward putting this book through editing and layout to reach our print goals described in the Halloween update.
We wish you the Happiest of Holidays and the Light’s favor in the new year. From your friends in the Rusted Portal Colony, to all a good night!
Donaven - Rusted Portal Games
Happy Horrorween, Survivors!
almost 5 years ago
– Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 10:26:34 PM
Greetings from the Rusted Portal Colony!
Today we celebrate All Hallow’s Eve and wish you the best in your haunts. From Eclipse de los Muertos and the Rusted Portal crew, we hope you’ve had a fantastic Halloween.
We have been quiet of late, focusing on fortifying our walls while seeking resources from unlikely places. We have a mixed report for you this day, from events and playtests to final builds and production timing. There’s a lot great progress and especially some good news on the visuals for the book you’ve made possible.
Pre-Sale is Live!
A few weeks ago we quietly launched the pre-sale campaign which we are now ready to roll out fully. You can link to the pre-sale from the Kickstarter page, so do your worst and spread the word to all your gaming friends. And don’t forget the FLGS! We’ve already got a few that plan to order. Also on the way in November will be your surveys. We are learning Backerkit and have been careful to not make mistakes we will have to fix later. Fingers crossed!
We are absolutely behind our target production schedule and with great reason. From the start we have promised that you will receive a book well beyond expectations. We remain dedicated to that promise. Our new timeline has us printing Pathfinder in Q1 and likely delivering in Q2. The target is for delivery of 5E in Q3, in time for Gen Con 2018! Following are some reasons and results of the delay.
Art – We have some outstanding art pieces that were expected by this point. While progress on existing commissions is behind schedule, the pieces delivered continue to be the amazing quality you expect. In case you had forgotten some of the amazing work from Raven Mimura for the iconics, check out the latest. Here’s Frost the Lazarus Harbinger and Enoch the Seraphim Arbiter (both drafts).
And because art remains of key importance to Rusted Portal, we have opted to commission a lot more art during the delay. We have ADDED about 50 new art commissions since Gen Con. That’s not a typo. In fact, that number may grow as we flesh out the book with some additional artists. That said, the timing for all of this will overlap not stack for further delays. We are also working on some photo manipulation pieces for an immersive view into post-Rise Earth. Here’s an example!
Playtest – We are crunching final designs after heavy playtest leading into Gen Con. We found that our Otherworldly casters had a few things in common without an associated game mechanic. We have since built and playtested the Faith, Justice, and Nature Pool mechanic for the Shepherd, Arbiter, and Conservator. It is a much more elegant and playable design we know you’ll love.
In the coming weeks we will also be releasing the 2017 5E Gen Con standalone adventure “A Hox and a Gentlemen” as a free download. This will include eleven 7th level character builds for some great insight into what’s coming!
Editing – We have been working through the internal edits before sending out of house. This allows us to really lock down the nomenclature so GMs and players can further dive deep into the world of Apocalypse the Risen.
Gen Con 2017 – We had an incredible Gen Con, running 14 four hour sessions over the course of the best 4 days in gaming. Over that time period we had nearly 100 players between the Pathfinder game “A Feast for the Eyes” and the 5E game “A Hox and a Gentlemen”. The response was so very positive we were just blown away. Despite how much we believe in AtR, we are always deeply humbled by players having such a good time. We will be a staple at Gen Con going forward and hope you make it to our table next year.
GE2.Live – This year we were invited to participate in the Entercom Radio event GE2.Live hosted by local station KISW. The event includes all kinds of interactive games from VR games to drone racing. Most important to us, the growing tabletop gaming section in year two was a great success. We ran two game tables with Raven showcasing art on an adjacent table. Awesome!
This unique event is designed to be experiential rather than immersive. That’s a big challenge for an RPG and we are stoked with how it turned out. Each game was designed to run approximately 1hr, though most players continued through two hours of content. We accomplished this by reducing both the Pathfinder and 5E characters to a rules lite version, allowing us to get through more game at a lower learning curve. We intend to apply this to future events and think you’ll find the experience incredibly fun. Perhaps you will get a chance to explore the Happy Hotel or the Health & Wellness Center!
Upcoming – We will be attending OrcaCon, Norwescon, PaizoCon, and Gen Con for sure in 2018. We are hoping to travel for a couple other conventions is possible. Keep an eye out as we ramp up our social media communications.
Most of all, we wanted to give you our continued thanks for the support and interest in Apocalypse the Risen. We cannot wait to get you this game. Clear your campaign schedule because the Seals will all be broken.