2,500 Tons of Awesome

Greetings friend

Rising Phoenix Games has some new, exciting titles for you.

Climb into the Praetor or Vindicator Class Kaiju-Hunter mecha and take the battle to the stars.

Mecha—A Field Guide introduces two new mecha along with all the rules for operating, customizing, and combat with these iron giants, all fully compatible with the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. Three powered armor suits, new weapons, and armor upgrades expand your ironclad arsenal.

Forest of Secrets is the newest installment in the Choose Your Destiny series of solo and 1-on-1 adventures, compatible with fifth edition fantasy. Written by David N. Ross, it includes a useful forest generator for use in your games. Can you survive the Forest of Secrets?

Death Queen and the Life Stone kicks off the Choose Your Destiny series with an undead queen attempting to rise again. Can you escape her trapped temple and stop her, before it’s too late?

Death Queen and the Life Stone cover

Get the most out of Death Queen and Forest of Secrets with Welcome to Scarthey, your guide to the world of arcane studies.
Inside you’ll find details of the University of Scarthey, introductions to key NPCs, and plenty of player options.

Last up, Gear Heart is an encounter involving agents of the University of Scarthey attempting to uncover the secrets of a mysterious tower.
A short adventure for a party of 4 characters between level 1 and 5, compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Have a great adventure
Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

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Write – Design – Program: 1 Year in Games

July 25th, 2017, marked a year since I finished 5 years of teaching in Japan and began working full-time in the games industry. It’s been an up and down ride, but I’ve learned so much. Here are some of my reflections.

Write - Design - Program
Write – Design – Program

Once Upon a Career Crisis
In 2011 my wife and I left for Japan. I didn’t like the route my career was taking—working predominantly in web design. I felt I could do more elsewhere, and wanted out. Five years later I walked out of the classroom and into the games industry.

Go. Go Now
I started Rising Phoenix Games on the last day of 2010. Over the next five years, in my free moments, I worked hard to learn my craft and build the company. When I realized there was only so much I could learn on my own I started freelancing, which taught me loads more, but also brought new opportunities my way. None of that would have been possible without the five plus years of banging on my craft.

Starting and starting early was critical.

Incarnate Hybrid Class
One of the many freelance projects I worked on. A great chance to learn and get paid.

Build a Runway
Jake Birkett (Grey Alien Games) mentions this principle in his GDC talk, How to Survive in Gamedev for Eleven Years Without a Hit. A runway—or savings—helps you weather the time between project launches. I’m not a big drinker, never smoked, and love a bargain, so was able to step away from my last job with enough money to see me through till sales came in. There were sleepless nights, but it really helped. I still relish the opportunity to save, and am busy installing a rain water tank to cut down on our utility bill.

More Money Saved = More Money for Game Dev.

Together
We had this slogan at the summer camp I worked at: “TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More.” Cheesy, but true. Partnering up has, in every instance, taken me further than I could have gone by myself.

Because of this, being a team player is important. Time is short, and people want to work with someone they know has their back and will deliver.

Together Everyone Achieves More.

Next?
I aim to stay in the games industry,  one, five, ten years and longer. Write – Design – Program is part of that, because this series is all about sharing insights. If you’re working in games, tell us what’s working for you.

Rodney Sloan is a game design, writer, and programmer at Rising Phoenix Games, a line developer for Steampunk Musha at Fat Goblin Games, and a freelancer. You can find him on Twitter.

Take on the Death Queen

No GM? No Problem!

From the creator of Lunatic Labyrinth comes a new solo adventure, the first in a series of solo adventures revolving around Scarthey, the University of the Arcane.

The Stone of Ashirai—said to contain power over life itself—is rumored to lie within the tomb of the goddess Ashirai, the Death Queen. Can you be the first to reach her tomb, find the stone, and survive to tell the tale?Death Queen and the Life Stone cover

Get Death Queen & the Life Stone on Drive Thru RPG

 

Character Class: Cleric or Fighter
Character Level: 1st
Play Mode: Solo / 1-on-1
System: fifth edition fantasy
SettingScarthey, the University of the Arcane


Till next time, Tell Thrilling Tales
Rodney Sloan and Bob Storrar
Rising Phoenix Games

Write – Design – Program: Rats With Reason

You pass the stone gateway into the dungeon. Rounding the first turn, you come face to snout with a giant rat.

In most RPGs, digital or table-top, an encounter with a giant rat or three is a pretty standard introduction to combat. Remember Fallout? I don’t have anything against giant rats, I’ve used them, but good design happens when there’s a why.

Fallout again. Those giant rats were the neon sign, reminding you why Vault 13 was such a great place to live through a nuclear holocaust.

One of my favorite movies is Hot Fuzz, written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. Everything in the movie has a reason, everything is connected, and nothing is wasted. That’s great design.

Good adventure design, good game design, uses every opportunity to tell a bigger story.

Love game design? Subscribe for the latest tips and tricks from Write – Design – Program.

Rodney Sloan is a game design, writer, and programmer at Rising Phoenix Games, a line developer for Steampunk Musha at Fat Goblin Games, and a freelancer. You can find him on Twitter.

Write – Design – Program: Lets Chat

Let’s talk about making games.

Specifically, writing for games, designing games, and game programming.

These are the three areas I’m excited about, thinking about, and working the hardest to improve on.

Let’s open up the conversation, talk about the journey, about learning new skills, grabbing opportunities, and making better stuff.

How?

Blogging makes the most sense to me. The medium has to allow for the conversation to happen.

Facebook also makes sense, because it’s where most of us lurk. Facebook can feed into the blog.

BUT! I don’t want to be another voice on the Internet claiming to know stuff.

I’ve met so many great people who are doing good work in the games industry, and it’s them, you, who would make this worthwhile.

I want to tap into the brains of better people and learn from them, grow, and be challenged. I’m calling you all out, because you’re doing good work and have something to share.

Ashirai, Queen of Death

This is our latest cover, a piece for our first product in a new line of solo / 1-on-1 adventures.

Bob Storrar did the art and layout, and you need to see inside this, because it’s beautifully done. The guy has real talent.

So, who is she and why does she matter?

Ashirai was once a fair and beautiful queen, who turned to necromancy to secure her power. That power came at a price, as she slowly lost her famed beauty to the corrupting energy of her magic. She took to wearing a cobra hooded mask carved to resemble her as she once was, and became known as the Death Queen, a powerful ruler with legions at her command.

And then, she died, or so it was thought…

ICON 2017 Recap and Monthly News

ICON 2017
South Africa’s longest running comics and games convention, ICON, celebrated it’s 25th year this year. We were there running demo games of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, as well as to attend workshops by Paizo’s own James L Sutter, who spoke about the industry and, most importantly, Starfinder.

Our Starfinder Plans
We’re not saying much just yet, but we have some cool stuff in the works that will be Starfinder compatible. Watch this space.

New Product — Bullet
Bullet is a faced paced, rules light special forces game by Basil Koufos. If you’ve ever thought playing CS the RPG might be a cool idea, then this game is for you.

Bullet

New Product — Gear Heart
Gear Heart is an adventure short—an adventure setup, map, and encounter—compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and set in Scarthey, the University of the Arcane. The party is called in to investigate a mysterious tower which appears once every three years on the night of the winter solstice.

Gear Heart

 

In The Works
Besides our Starfinder offering, we’ve begun work on Secrets of Scarthey, our follow up book to Welcome to Scarthey, aimed at GMs. We’ve also got several more adventures in the works, which all tie in with the setting. All of our adventures will either be compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, or the fifth edition SRD, and our setting books will be available in both flavors.

Welcome to Scarthey Cover

That’s it from me. Have a great weekend.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

How’s Your KARMA?

KARMA: A Roleplaying Game About Consequences is a brand new GMless RPG by Gareth Graham of Frenzy Kitty Games, currently running on Indiegogo at the moment.

Gareth was kind enough to send me a review copy of the game, so let’s take a look…

First Impressions

KARMA looks great. While it isn’t image heavy, the layout is clean and readable. What I especially like, and what I think is so important these days, is that it will read well on your device, even a smart phone (I tested it and it does).

KARMA is also meaty for the $10 price tag. From the Table of Contents it looks like you get just under 40 pages of rules, another 40 or so pages for the 8 modules included so far (with more coming, dependent on stretch goals), and then your cheat sheet and character sheet.

Now let’s dig a little deeper.

Components

KARMA uses standard six-sided dice — ten of them — in two colors. You’ll also need some pencils, paper, and tokens to track KARMA.

You also don’t need one of those pesky GM people.

The Rules

The rules are straight forward and easy to follow, making this a very easy read.

Character creation is simply a matter of creating a concept, selecting a Vice and Virtue, and determining your relationship with the other characters. And that’s where the fun begins. Character creation is very much a part of the game, which is a big plus in our opinion.

Follow that is a series of world building questions, both open to the group and exclusive to your character. Ah, the sweet smell of conflict brewing.  What’s nice about this is that a game of KARMA requires 0 prep — the only “prep” you need to do is a fun part of the game that is done collaboratively.

From here on out you play through a number of scenes, culminating in an action packed finale, and there are rules for all of this that make sense and keep things fair and open.

Critical to the game is the Karma system, which I’ll leave for you to discover for yourself, but I will say that it’s a great system that adds loads of fun to the game.

Overall

KARMA looks perfect for a 2–3 hour session with friends. I’m keen to play this with my non-roleplayer friends actually, as a way to introduce them to the hobby.

My regular gaming groups would give this a go between campaigns, especially for any group that focuses strongly on narrative. BUT, get this… KARMA is setting neutral, but there’s no reason you couldn’t integrate the game into an existing campaign with existing characters — even from a very different system. Want to take a break from the dungeon in your D&D 5e campaign, but not from your characters? KARMA would give you a great way to explore your characters more deeply, flesh out their motivations, and make them matter more.

So overall, KARMA is a very cool addition to the hobby. I recommend it. You can order your copy (PDF or Print) via the Indiegogo campaign page.

Enroll Today

Welcome to Scarthey, University of the Arcane

Admissions Now Open, Enroll Today

Scarthey Book

From J. K. Rowling’s Hogwarts to Terry Pratchett’s Unseen University, magic schools and universities abound with fantastic adventures. Now you can join the adventure and enroll at Scarthey, University of the Arcane. Live and breathe the magic, wander the halls alongside wise wizards, discover hidden secrets, and battle fearsome foes.

Archchancellor Gwydion Ambrosius
Archchancellor Gwydion Ambrosius

Get it on Paizo, Drive Thru RPG, and Open Gaming Store

 

Welcome to Scarthey — University of the Arcane is the ultimate student’s guide to the University of Scarthey, including everything you need for fantastic adventures in the exciting and unpredictable world of magical studies. Compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, this 66 page book includes:

  • An exploration of the tumultuous history of the University of Scarthey.
  • An introduction to the staff and faculties of the University.
  • A look at the four Houses of Scarthey, including campaign traits for each House.
  • A map of the University and descriptions of all the major locations around Scarthey’s campus.
  • A guide to the surrounding town of Scartheyton.
  • A practical guide to the gruesome sport of cackleball and the competitive sport of dragon boat racing.
  • Both a Single Page Spread PDF and a Double Page Spread PDF, stunningly illustrated, for your viewing pleasure.

Get that Degree in the Arcane Arts! Enroll Today!

Get it on Paizo, Drive Thru RPG, and Open Gaming Store

 


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