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:

Post Gen Con Wrap-up
about 5 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

Timeline Update:
over 5 years ago – Sat, Jun 23, 2018 at 07:00:55 PM

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Exotic Weapons, Magic, & Adventure:
over 5 years ago – Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 09:11:17 PM

Greetings Survivors!

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.

Exotic Weapons:

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…

Chapters_Trading Post_Who's Home_Combat
Chapters_Trading Post_Who's Home_Combat


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, has taken on some updates. Most importantly, check out 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 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 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.

Social Media:

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.

Facebook & Twitter @RustedPortal ftw!

Now, our hunting party needs to make a scavenging run for resources. The colony needs us.

Donaven - Rusted Portal Games

Cover Me!
over 5 years ago – Sun, May 20, 2018 at 01:09:21 AM

Greetings Survivors!

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?

Descended Cherubim
Descended Cherubim
Eclipse Devil
Eclipse Devil
Space Needle Battle - Embraced Demon
Space Needle Battle - Embraced Demon

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 5 years ago – Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 06:13:50 PM

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