Category Archives: General

Good Fantasy’s Secret Sauce

Understanding the answer to the question — what makes good fantasy — is the key to unlocking the potential of the fantasy genre. If you’re a GM, a writer, a designer, or a consumer of fantasy products then it’s a question worth figuring out.

The Key to Good Fantasy

What Makes Good Fantasy?

Or, better yet, what fantasy works inspire you? I’m sure your answer’s going to be way different from mine. There’s a glut of fantasy content out there — movies, books, games, RPGs — and not all of it resonates with everyone. Even the cream of the crop isn’t going to fire everyone up. The World of Warcraft is plenty of fun, but it isn’t inspiring me or fueling my storytelling. On the other hand, whenever I dive deeper into the world of Warhammer, including the newer Age of Sigmar, I come up wanting to create more fantasy. The Lord of the Rings and The Children of Húrin did the same for me, as did A Song of Ice and Fire. Not every book by Tolkien or Martin stirs my soul though. I still think The Silmarillion is possibly the most boring history book ever written.

What Awakens Your Soul?

All the works I’ve listed are masterworks, crafted by some of the world’s most skilled storytellers. They figured out how to capture our attention and take us on a journey.

For me, the gritty darkness of the Warhammer world and the Mortal Realms is real and alive. Tolkien’s world exists just as vividly in the text as in the recent movies, and Martin’s characters live and breathe from the pages. This believability draws us in, and once we’re hooked, the real magic can happen. Literally.

I’ve read bucket loads of R. A. Salvatore’s Drizzt novels, but they never turned me on. I think it’s largely because of a superficiality in the books that remind you that you’re reading a fantasy novel. The books are hugely popular, sure, but not groundbreakingly good.

Real Unreality

Crafting something believable and then adding the magic gives us a relatable anchor that draws the audience in. When the paladin gets lost in a bustling city market we can sympathize, then enjoy the wonder when she meets a vendor selling a magical phoenix.

The Trouble with RPGs

RPG monster manuals, bestiaries, race guides, magic item lists, and spell books are full of fantastic goodies by design. It’s tempting to dish up great big helpings from these resources, but we’ve got to keep the human element front and center if our players are going to buy what we’re selling.

Even a goblin campaign needs relatable elements: check out We Be Goblins and We Be Goblins Too from Paizo and you’ll see some interesting tricks used to pull human players into feeling for the monsters they play. Partly this is done by keeping humans out of the goblin’s path, because we don’t want a part in the death of innocents.

Lure and Switch

The realism makes the fantasy work. We spend quite a bit of time with Bilbo and Frodo at the start of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies because they’re so relatable. Dragons, magic, elves, and demons all work against that backdrop of humanity, and it’s the GM/writer/designer/storyteller’s job to weave this humanity into everything we’re selling. That’s the key to good fantasy.

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Rogue vs the Lich King – Hearthstone

Frost Bunnies was my answer to beating the Lich King with the rogue in Hearthstone. The deck list is very customizable, and I beat the Lich King without extra copies of some of the key cards listed below — the screenshot is my actual deck.

Frost Bunnies

Rogue vs Lich King Decklist

Class: Rogue
Format: Wild

  • 2x (1) Skaterbot
  • 2x (1) Southsea Deckhand
  • 2x (2) Knife Juggler
  • 2x (2) Lab Recruiter
  • 2x (2) Pogo-Hopper
  • 2x (2) Youthful Brewmaster
  • 2x (3) Acolyte of Pain
  • 1x (3) Coldlight Oracle
  • 1x (3) Face Collector
  • 2x (3) Mind Control Tech
  • 2x (3) Phantom Militia
  • 1x (3) Sonya Shadowdancer
  • 2x (4) Ancient Brewmaster
  • 1x (4) Barnes
  • 1x (4) Elven Minstrel
  • 1x (5) Dollmaster Dorian
  • 1x (5) Grim Patron
  • 2x (5) Vilespine Slayer
  • 1x (6) Mossy Horror

To use this deck, copy this link to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone.

Tactics

The aim is to control the board with cards like Southsea Deckhand, Knife Juggler, and Mind Control Tech, while building up your Pogo-Hoppers invasion with Sonya, the Brewmasters, and Lab Recruiter. With any luck, Dorian or Barnes will give you a second Sonya, especially if you play Elven Minstrel while Dorian is in play.

To beat Frostmorne, the Mossy Horror is hands-down your best bet, with the Vilespine Slayers there as a backup.

After Frostmorne, Skaterbot merged with Pogo-Hopper to the Lich King’s boney face should bag you the win.

Sideboard

Poison and Rush minions are very useful, especially when combined with Sonya. Work hard to control the board in the early game with anything that’ll stick around.

Bunnies!

My Pogo Hopper deck is by far my favorite deck to play, and when you’re not up against that cold-hearted Lich King you’ve got all sorts of great spells that make the deck sing. Here’s the regular version. It isn’t the fastest or most consistent deck, but it’s always great fun.

Bunnies

  • 2x (0) Backstab
  • 1x (0) Preparation
  • 2x (0) Shadowstep
  • 2x (1) Southsea Deckhand
  • 2x (2) Cheat Death
  • 2x (2) Knife Juggler
  • 2x (2) Lab Recruiter
  • 2x (2) Pogo-Hopper
  • 1x (3) Face Collector
  • 2x (3) Fan of Knives
  • 2x (3) Mimic Pod
  • 1x (3) Mind Control Tech
  • 1x (3) Sonya Shadowdancer
  • 1x (4) Elven Minstrel
  • 1x (5) Dollmaster Dorian
  • 1x (5) Seaforium Bomber
  • 1x (5) Vilespine Slayer
  • 2x (6) Vanish
  • 2x (7) Sprint

To use this deck, copy this link to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone.

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

A Love Affair With Deadly Solo Games

I strongly believe that gaming, or any geekdom, should be about people first. So then it might seem strange that I love solo games so much, particularly deadly ones. Solo games, like The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Zombie in my Pocket, or our own Choose Your Destiny Adventures, are a conversation — a dialogue between the designer and the player — of the most intimate nature.

Deadly solo games
Photo credit: Steve Halama

A solo game designer creates a puzzle for their players to solve.
The best designers get the difficulty balance right. They know their audience and create challenges that’ll push players to bring their best, without breaking them.

But how difficult should a game be?

Different Strokes

It varies. Solitaire’s three-card draw version is perfect for many players,  while others prefer the easier one-card draw version. It largely depends on your audience. Hard-core puzzle solvers want a challenge, other players just want to relax and take a load off. Still, make things too easy and players will pass through your game too quickly and have little reason to come back to it. If it’s too tough players will eventually give up and hate the game. The sweet spot, in my experience, is somewhere just before that: deadly.

Deadly and Desirable

The Dark Souls series taught us that a deadly challenge is memorable — even desirable. Of all the bazillion games out there, Dark Souls is the only one tempting my brother and I to buy a console. And a TV. And the game. I’ve literally watched hours of other people playing the game, and it still fascinates me.
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first in the Fighting Fantasy series, is famous for being difficult to beat, with only one true path through it. You’ll die plenty of times on your way to the warlock. I picked it up again recently because I’ve still not beaten it — and that’s enough to tempt me back again.

This is starting to have weird similarities with BDSM, and maybe there’s wisdom in that. The question then is, how difficult is too difficult?

A Step Too Far

A game gets too difficult if it’s unplayably hard, if the player bearly gets started before meeting a grizzly fate, or if multiple attempts result in little  or no progress. In a solo game, without a buddy for backup, it’s vital that the designer supports the player, so the rules need to be digestible and must provide the tools for beating the game.

We like a challenge, we don’t like getting the snot kicked out of us again and again.

When a designer nails the difficulty then the player feels respected, and that makes for a fun game that’s hard to forget — just like a good conversation.

Choose Your Destiny

Our Choose Your Destiny Adventures can surely prove deadly, and they’re a lot of fun, especially if you want to break out your fifth edition fantasy character and play for an evening. You can subscribe to the series on our Patreon page.

Death Queen  - A Deadly Solo Game
What’s more deadly than an adventure with “Death Queen” in the title?

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Getting Social with Social Classes for RPGs

Social classes and RPG classes are two very different things, but when they start to mix things can get really sticky very quickly. Just look at the barbarian in Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder. Almost always represented as a class for tribal berzerkers, the class could just as easily be used to build an urban gladiator. Take it a step further: the berzerker could be the king of a tribe or a landless peasant.

Social Class in Action!
Photo by Lou Levit

Why’s this important? Social classes were an important aspect of the medieval age, and navigating social classes can make for interesting interactions at the table.

RPG Classes are Jobs

Think about RPG classes as jobs. As a first level fighter, you have some on-the-job training, and are on the path to learning more, through leveling. When you multi-class, you’re effectively learning two jobs.

Most RPGs I’ve played blur the lines here, and as you level you also rise in status. Effectively, the social class you’re born into has very little impact on a character unless the GM is using a specific system to represent it.

And Social Classes?

Each social class contains a number of jobs, similar to how you could be a cat burglar rogue, a bandit rogue, or an assassin rogue. Could you be a level 1 noble or a level 7 peasant?

The hierarchy of European feudal society goes something like this:

  1. The Church
  2. The Monarchy
  3. Nobles and Barons
  4. Knights
  5. Tradesmen
  6. Peasants

We can simplify this into three groups that are representative of the largest portion of the population:

  1. Those who prayed – the clergy.
  2. Those who fought – the knights.
  3. Those who worked – the peasantry.

Here’s my first attempt at defining each of these as RPG classes, compatible with the fifth edition SRD:

Clergy Class

As a member of the clergy, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per clergy level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (5) + your Constitution modifier per clergy level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: Brewer’s supplies, calligrapher’s supplies, cartographer’s tools, or clerical supplies
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Choose three from History, Investigation, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, Religion, and Literacy (yip, Literacy is now a skill)

Knight Class

As a knight, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per knight level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (6) + your Constitution modifier per knight level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: All armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Choose two from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Perception, Religion, Stealth, and Survival

Peasant Class

As a peasant, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per peasant level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (5) + your Constitution modifier per peasant level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: Carpenter’s tools, cobbler’s tools, cook’s utensils, glassblower’s tools, leatherworker’s tools, mason’s tools, potter’s tools, smith’s tools, weaver’s tools, or woodcarver’s tools
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, and Survival

Design Notes

The clergy class is quite similar to the cleric and the knight to the paladin, for obvious reasons. I figured the clergy would have a d8 Hit Die, representing their better living conditions. Peasants get a d8 for being hardy, but a d6 Hit Die could also make a lot of sense.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

The Great Cereal Conspiracy

There are things the cereal companies don’t want you to know. Terrible, diabolical, apocryphal things. But we know the truth. Oh yes, we do. In this exclusive story, we go deep undercover to discover the hidden truth behind the great cereal conspiracy that plagues your favourite sugar-coated morning meal.

Great Cereal Conspiracy!
Death Cereal! Photo by Amanda Belec

Our journalistic staff work hard for their money, which is great because if we ever decide to pay them we won’t feel like we wasted the money. They recently, through no small amount of Googling, uncovered a great cereal conspiracy that left the rest of us in the office with the wobblies. Or it might have been last night’s staff-party curry.

The conspiracy is so fearsomely fiendish, so dastardly devilish, so painfully poisonous — and alliteratively alluring — that we think you’ll be at least sort of glad you read through this bit to get to the end.

Suspenseful stalling aside, our operatives agents journalistic team consumed several thousand bowls of cereal during their collective lifetimes in preparation for this article. Supposedly they’d have done so anyway, but we’ll clutch at anything to give this article some level of credibility.

So, what is this Great Cereal Conspiracy that we keep alluding to (mostly for the sake of good SEO)? Well, let me enlighten you, the discerning consumer of wheat, rice, oat, wood pulp, or other breakfast cereals.

Did you ever notice how, when you were younger, they had really great toys in cereal boxes? The thing was, you could only eat a finite amount of cereal before your little body was stuffed and sky-high on a sugar-fueled buzz. What we didn’t realise then was that the cereal companies had it all planned out. They knew that we’d grow up. They knew that one day we’d be able to consume enough cereal to make cereal-focused-toy-collecting a viable activity. And, when that day came, they simply pulled all the good toys from the boxes.

Yeah, I know, I’m fuming mad about it too.

Yummy Conspiracies

If you enjoy food-based mysteries, please check out A Dinner to Die For, which is the player’s guide to How to Plan a Murder. It’s a fun game to play with friends, and the rules are intuitive and easy to run in large groups.

A Dinner to Die For

 

Let’s Build Captain America’s Iconic Shield!

Captain America’s iconic shield is super cool and so dead simple to make that even young kids can lend a hand.

Captain America's Iconic Shield
Captain America’s Iconic Shield

You’ll Need

Cap’s shield is cheap to make. You’ll need the following:

  1. The wire frame from the front of an old fan.
  2. Old shoelaces.
  3. Nylon straps.
  4. Lots of newspaper.
  5. Flour – 1 cup.
  6. Water – 3 cups.
  7. Poster paint – red, white, blue, and black.
  8. Water-based varnish.

You’ll need the following tools:

  1. A pencil.
  2. Scissors.
  3. Brushes.
  4. A protractor.

Step 1 – Lace Loops

Fasten the shoelaces to the fan cover to make two loops, one to go around the arm, the other for holding onto.

Step 2 – Pardon My French

Cut the newspaper into strips, then mix the flour and water until it’s a smooth paste. Dip the newspaper into the mixture and lay it onto the fan cover. You’ll want three or four layers, alternating direction, on each side of the shield.

Note: Be careful not to cover up the shoelace loops.

Step 3 – Stars and Stripes

When your paper mache is nice and dry, give the shield one coat of white paint. When that’s dry, mark out the star and rings on the front of the shield with a pencil.

To do this, measure the radius of your shield. The rings are half the shield’s radius, starting at the shield’s edge, so draw a circle that’s half the radius of the shield. Now, divide the outside half into three equal sections by drawing two more rings. These are your red, white, and red outer rings.

For the star you’ll need a protractor. The star has five points, so 360 degrees divided by 5 gives you 72: you need a point of the star touching the circle every 72 degrees! Once you’ve marked your points, just connect them up with a ruler to get a perfect star!

Step 4 – Paint!

With everything marked out, paint the shield in its patriotic red, white, and blue colors. I edged the back of the shield in red, then painted the rest in black, as seen here:

Captain America's Iconic Shield
Captain America’s Iconic Shield – Back

When it’s all dry, paint the shield with varnish. I used a water-based varnish called “Tough as Nails” that didn’t give off fumes or cost much. Try your local craft store, though I got it at a hardware store.

Step 5 – Sewing

Is learning to sew some kind of cosplay right of passage? Anyway, the sewing here is easy: sew the nylon straps onto the shoelaces, to cover them up and give the shield a nice finish.

And you’re done. Go save the planet Cap!

Captain America's Iconic Shield

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

It’s Here! Test Drive Outrun Today – Devlog 5

This is going to be a short post because Outrun’s development just reached a major milestone. Instead of me yakking on, let me give you a copy of the game so that you can take it for a test drive.

Test Drive It Now. Outrun Cover concept. Photo by Connor Botts.
Outrun Cover concept. Photo by Connor Botts.

Outrun is a solo table-top RPG I’m developing as part of the A Game by its Cover game jam, happening through August. It’s inspired by the Rushing Drive Famicom cartridge cover by Philip Summers (on Instagram).  I’ll be posting updates twice a week, right here, so stick around and see the game come to life. You can find our other devlogs here: Devlog 1, Devlog 2, Devlog 3, and Devlog 4.

Gearing Up

Throughout these devlogs I’ve looked at iterations of the game, each building on what came before. Heck, you might even think there were two very different games being built. This morning I put everything together and gave it a test drive, now you can too.

Of course, we’ve still got a way to go, and there could well be bugs, but let’s call this the alpha playtest.

What’s In, What’s Out

The playtest includes the very basic game, without the music and RPG component, which will all come later — once the core mechanics are working perfectly.

How Can I Help?

Download the rules (link’s at the bottom), read it, play it, then give me your creative feedback at itch.io/t/268449/outrun-this-thread or in the comments below. Giving me feedback helps me evaluate the game and polish it up, but it will also earn you a playtest credit in the final version of the book.

It’s really helpful if you can tell me if any rules are hard to understand by pointing them out to me.

Enough Already, Give Me the Book!

You can download the book from:

Itch.io

Test Drive Photo by Evgeny Tchebotarev
Photo by Evgeny Tchebotarev

Enjoy!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Pathfinder Playtest – Session 1

The Pathfinder Playtest is here, and this past weekend my players and I took our first dip into the new game.

Pathfinder 2 Rulebook
Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook

The first session of the Pathfinder Playtest was brutal. It might be more a factor of encounter design than the new rules, but two of my three PCs fell dying at some point, as did the third PC’s animal companion. Fortunately, all the characters survived, thanks to our overworked cleric.

The party left the dungeon twice during the session to get a full rest, and by the end of the session they had five rooms left to explore.

While the players liked the three actions a round mechanic, we often didn’t use the third action for a third attack, it was just too risky. There were plenty of critical failures without taking a –10 on the roll.

As a GM, I felt that I had more options with my NPCs, though this might be because I haven’t played Pathfinder for a while and have learned so much since I last ran a game. PF2 monsters are certainly easier to run, with stat blocks that aren’t more complicated than they need to be.

It did take lots of work to digest the Core Rulebook, but once I’d gotten something down, it proved easier to recall than in PF1. My wife, a PF1 regular, said that she found character generation much easier in PF2. Character gen took about 3 hours for us, on average.

I’m looking forward to playing more of the Playtest and I’m excited about Pathfinder’s future.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Sale

We’re running a 30% Off sale on all our Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible products, including maps. Check out the sale on Drive Thru RPG.

Flaming Crab’s Culinary Magic is Hot Hot Hot

Endz has named The Culinary Magic Cookbook as a potential top 10 book for 2018. Congrats to all our friends at Flaming Crab Games!

The Culinary Magic Cookbook for Cooking with Magic
The Culinary Magic Cookbook: Everything you need for cooking with magic!

 

Till next time, may the dice of fate land in your flavor favor.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

The Minimum Viable Product — Devlog 4

Extra Credits has this great video about making a Minimum Viable Product (video embedded at the bottom of this post). Basically, you build the simplest version of your game possible, before getting into all the features that aren’t vital to your game.

It's the quest for the minimum viable product!
Photo by Evgeny Tchebotarev

Outrun is a solo table-top RPG I’m developing as part of the A Game by its Cover game jam, happening through August. It’s inspired by the Rushing Drive Famicom cartridge cover by Philip Summers (on Instagram).  I’ll be posting updates twice a week, right here, so stick around and see the game come to life. You can find our other devlogs here: Devlog 1, Devlog 2, and Devlog 3.

Building the Minimum Viable Product

I caught myself designing POD cards for Outrun before I’d nailed down the core mechanics. What a waste of time that’ll be if my core game changes and I need to update the cards.

But what does Outrun’s MVP include? Here are my design requirements:

  1. A challenging solitaire game involving choice, with a low level of randomness.
  2. That’s it.

Here’s what the bare-bones version of Outrun looks like:

Outrun — A Solitaire Card Game

Use a standard deck of 52 playing cards. These represent gas in your fuel tank. Shuffle the cards well, then place them in front of you, face down.

Draw a card face up from the top of the deck. If you draw a red card (Hearts or Diamonds), stop drawing. If you draw a black card (Clubs or Spades), draw again until you have 3 cards face up in front of you or until you’ve drawn a red card.

You can take 1 even card and place it to the side. Queens count as 12, so they’re even. Each even card represents 1 hour of driving, and your goal is to drive for 24 hours by collecting all 24 even cards. Place the other cards, if any, in your discard pile.

Repeat the process of drawing cards and taking an even card, if any show up. If your deck runs out of cards, you’ve run out of gas and you lose the game.

Refueling: If you take a Queen from the cards in front of you, you can immediately shuffle the remaining face-up cards and your discard pile into your deck.

The Pale Rider:  The King of Clubs is the Pale Rider. Whenever you draw him, discard 2 cards from the top of your deck into your discard pile. Shuffle the Pale Rider back into your deck. You may then take an even card if any remain face up in front of you. If the Pale Rider is the last card to be drawn from the deck, you lose the game.

All the lazerpunk goodness builds on top of this minimum viable product. Give it a go and tell me what you thought.

Lazerpunk – A Definition

I’ve thrown around a few definitions in my earlier Devlogs, but here’s one worth defining clearly.

Lazerpunk: Cyberpunk with an 80’s retro aesthetic.

Outrun’s look is what I call lazerpunk — cyberpunk with an 80’s retro feel. It’s Hotline Miami and Satellite Reign smashed into one.

30% Off Pathfinder

We’ve got a huge Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible sale on. The sale’s going for a few weeks, then it’s gone.

Till next time, live awesomely.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Here’s that Minimum Viable Product video I mentioned:

Funding Outrun – Devlog 3

Making games is awesome, but keeping your projects funded and in the black is just as important as having fun. Today I’ll look at some of the ways we’re funding Outrun. I’ll also look at sourcing and creating cheap assets.

Outrun is a solo table-top RPG I’m developing as part of the A Game by its Cover game jam, happening through August. It’s inspired by the Rushing Drive Famicom cartridge cover by Philip Summers (on Instagram).  I’ll be posting updates twice a week, right here, so stick around and see the game come to life.

Status Report, Scottie

A load of playtesting’s done and written up, so the core mechanics are in. Next, I’ll be focusing on additional mechanics and fluff. The bones are there and just need fleshing out.

Games assets got some love over the weekend, so let’s take a look at those.

Art Makes a Game

Great art draws you into a game. It’s also the one aspect of game design that hobbyists frequently get wrong, not through bad art, but through poor design.

Design is about unity and the thoughtful application of elements within the product. I’m starting to get technical, but my point is that, by applying design principles, you can turn a collection of assets into one unified whole.

I’m always scouring the Internet for useful assets, so I already have a library to pull from. For the rest, I make whatever I need or find an artist.

For Outrun, I’ve done 12 different page backgrounds. Here are two of my favorites so far.

Retro & Lazerpunk Boarder Samples
Retro & Lazerpunk Border Samples

I’ll be offering these page boarders off Drive Thru RPG, as a way of funding Outrun.

Page Background Set - Funding Outrun
Page Background Set

Photos and Filler

The rest of the book will be filled with emotive photos that bring the world of Outrun to life, similar to what I did with How to Plan a Murder — one of my best layout jobs yet, IMHO.

I’ll create my own design elements to fill in the gaps. I spent a lot of time researching the look and feel I want for outrun, so now it’s just a matter of making everything. Yay, Photoshop!

And the Cover?

My beautiful wife will bring her design talent to Outrun’s logo and cover, but you’ll have to wait and see. There’s a chance that the cover will be heavily inspired by Philip Summers’ design, below, but adapted to an RPG book format.

Wouldn’t it be awesome, though, if the PDF was formatted to look like a TV screen running a Famicom game? I think buyers might want to fling their keyboards at me for that one, but I like interesting ideas.

Rushing Drive, by Phillip Summers - Funding Outrun
Rushing Drive, by Philip Summers

No Tip Jar Here, Friend

If you like what you’ve seen please consider checking out our other RPG products. If you like something in our catalog, the team and I will always appreciate making a sale, and the money keeps us going.

Check out our Products

By the way, we’ve got a 30% Off sale on all our Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible products, starting tomorrow, in celebration of the Pathfinder 2 Playtest that just kicked off.

Join the Conversation

I’m sharing our progress here, but the conversation is happening at our dedicated progress thread at itch.io. Come along and say hi, or leave a comment here. Comments are moderated, so your comment won’t go up until a mod has had a chance to approve it (we get a LOT of spam).

Later.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.