Griffins — Designing the Beasts

Griffins — A Field Guide, our first monster book, went up on Drive Thru RPG last week. The book, beautifully illustrated by Bob Greyvenstein, features six different griffin species, from a small griffin familiar to the large noble griffin and a terrifying evil griffin.

Designing the half-lion, half-eagle creatures presented a unique challenge. The beasts had to be varied enough to provide GMs with plenty of options, while still fitting in with the griffin theme. The trick, we discovered, was to design for specific roles. So we’ve got riding griffins (the noble, common and wingless griffin), others built for encounters (the feral and terror griffin) and the sorcerer’s griffin built as a familiar.

Our field guide approach is different from other traditional monster books in that we provide a rounded look at our subjects. We included griffin rider archetypes and a cavalier order—the Order of the Gryphon—plus sections on ecology and on rearing and training, to ensure there would be something for players too.

If you like griffins, be sure to check out the book, I think you’ll be impressed.

Tell Us What You Want!

I’ve been chatting to Bob of Figment Factory — who created our HeroGridz tiles — about doing a second set of sewer tiles. I want to reach out to you to find out what you’d like to see added, what themes you’d like covered and your general thoughts on the new line. Drop a comment here or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We’d love to hear from you.

We’ve also made it easier to collect HeroGridz tiles. Now you can buy individually printed tiles from One Bookshelf sites. Need an extra T-Junction? Just buy what you need, without having to buy another core set. We’ll be adding straight sections and junction/entrance tiles later in the month.

You can also check out our 1 inch tile line, I’d love to put more sets of those out if there’s much interest.

Surfin’ the Tube!

Hello hello hello!
We’ve just moved AND started this game publishing thing for reals. It’s exciting and a wee bit scary — but life on the edge always is. Awesome!

We’re super excited about HeroGridz, our new clix scale map tiles. I LOVE minis and miniature gaming, but I haven’t found many map options for my clix collections, especially modular sewer systems, so I got some made. I spoke to Bob from the Figment Factory, and he put together some awesome tiles. You can grab the Core Set on Drive Thru RPG — check ’em out!

Bob and I are working on some other things too, so watch this space.

June Update

Update time.

I thought I’d try posting some biweekly updates concerning Rising Phoenix Games  and my own writing and design projects. Onto the news…

I’ve contacted my successor, who will be taking over my teaching post here in Japan in the summer. She seems lovely and the perfect fit for the job. After 5 years on the JET Programme it’s great to be handing over to new talent.

That leads nicely into the big question: “What Next?”
In August I’m taking the plunge and going full time into game design, writing and development. This is a big step, but I’ve managed to build a network with some great companies, both in Japan and the USA, which means that my dreams are now a plausible reality.

And now for the highlights from the last two weeks:

Claustrophobia! got a 5 star rating AND an amazing review on YouTube.

– Lots of animals visited our town, we believe Kintaro is holding a sumo tournament in the area.

– Rodney has joined the Steampunk Musha team (but don’t worry, he’s still a Phoenix Gamer).

– Met with the owner of JAST USA here in Japan to talk about some programming work for them. If you’ve never heard of them go check out Steins;Gate and see what the whole visual novel thing is about.

– Father’s Day number 2 was amazing. We did a lovely little nature walk through the mountains. Didn’t see Kintaro or his friends.

– Secured a deal to write a role-playing game for an established author. More info in a few weeks.

– Wrapping up some setting development for our good friends at Wayward Rogues Publishing.

– And some other RPG design work is on the cards, just need to sign some contracts before I talk about that too.

– Finished reading Map of Bones by James Rollins, a very interesting read that’s going to lead to plenty of Wikidiving.

– And a bunch of other things are in the works. More on that later.

Till next time.

Round Up – May’s RPG Blog Carnival

May’s RPG Blog Carnival was a blast, we destroyed worlds, reshaped history and watched heroes rise and fall, all in the spirit of “At World’s End”.
Here’s a post by post summary…

Moebius Adventures

Only the brave or foolhardy would dare go beyond the borders of the world.
Moebius Adventures offer up some great setting ideas that I haven’t seen get much play in published works and would be perfect for a home campaign.


Some fantastic campaign seeds and how to introduce them into your game.  Beware, for the end is nigh!

Doom Rides to Silverado

A nice blend of fact and fiction, inspired by the Aztecs. Man, why does it have to end with earthquakes (I live in friggin’ Japan! I’ll be the first to go!)

Notes of the Wandering Alchemist

John Crowley III talks about reaching the end of your campaign, and how to deal with it when the day comes. Because, really, an awesome  campaign needs an awesome ending, so you’ve got to get that right.

Tales of a GM – Part 1

Phil gives us a look into four of his own campaign finales, some bumps he had along the way, and what he learned from the experience.
Some great examples to ponder over.

The Watch House

Some very practical ideas here for apocalyptic events, in a sort of “having your cake and eating it without your whole campaign dying” sort of way. Their title really says it all: Apocalypse Not Now.

Sea of Stars RPG

A dramatic opening to the apocalypse in the Sea of Stars setting. And dragons!

Tales of a GM – Part 2

Phil is back with his finale successes, rapping us up on a high note with more GMing advice based on actual plays.

That’s it for this month. Next month’s topic is Cold Iron and Pixie Dust: The Fae. Be sure to check it out!


Claustrophobia! Available June 1st!

Claustrophobia!, the game of gnomish insanity, is done, and on June 1st it will go live on Drive Thru RPG.

I couldn’t be more excited (or nervous). Donovan did some amazing work on the layout, art and design, and you’ll finally get to see that, along with added content about the world of garden gnomes and more. We’ve worked hard to polish the game and I’m sure fans old and new will be really pleased with what they see.

Claustrophobia! Lamp

You can keep up to date with all things gnome on our Facebook page. We would certainly appreciate a like if we can get it too.

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