Not much happens on this side of the planet in October. Halloween isn’t a big thing—or even a thing—here. Right now, I’m enjoying the warmer weather that comes with Spring in October in the Southern Hemisphere. Soon I’ll be planning my December trip to the beach!
Dying Dead: A murder mystery adventure with a twist—the murder victims are the undead! This is a 1-on-1 adventure for a 5th–7th level character.
Chilling Curiosities—A Field Guide: A collection of new, horror themed creatures, compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Each monster is beautifully illustrated by Bob Storrar.
Death Queen and the Life Stone: The first solo and 1-on-1 adventure in our Choose Your Destiny campaign, this one has plenty of spooky encounters to keep you enthralled. The second adventure, Forest of Secrets, written by David N. Ross, is out now.
Keep an eye out for the Wolf of Heaven, a new werewolf race compatible with the fifth edition SRD, coming soon.
Here’s a telling screen capture from a recent Google search.
Where does it snow in Africa?
If you’re wondering, it doesn’t snow in Africa. Kilimanjaro, which is often cited as an example of something African with snow on top, is completely snow free. The mountain, which is probably in every picture of Africa, ever — even the pictures with the pyramids and the sphinx, if you squint hard enough — is toasty warm, year round.
The white, snow like stuff is made up of frozen water molecules trying very hard to look like snow.
Do they have snow in New Zealand?
No, New Zealand gets zero snowfall.
For the filming of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit they had to fly in boxes of Rice Krispies, bleach them, then grate them over the film’s many, many mountain locations. It took several orcs and the cast of Flight of the Conchords many days of back-breaking work to achieve the desired effect.
And if you don’t believe me, maybe try googling it.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.