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.
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.
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 PDFand a Double Page Spread PDF, stunningly illustrated, for your viewing pleasure.
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What a month.
I’ve got this personal vendetta against distraction, but March had me against the ropes.
Getting sick is no fun, but I did learn a lot from it.
For one, working in the games industry means I get to help others relax, have fun, and spend time with friends. March showed me just how important that can be — there were some bleak moments when escaping into game and time with gaming friends was very uplifting.
Secondly, I recommitted myself to the three pillars of my work:
Eventually I’d like to be doing what I do for the tabletop for online games. The coding side has been something I haven’t given proper time to of late, but you can expect some interesting things from me in the future.
New Products — Contagion’s Kiss
“O true apothecary, thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.” — Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare
When the city’s water supply is threatened by extortionists, the heroes are called on to infiltrate the fortress of a powerful outsider. Can they get in, get even, and get out, before it’s too late?
Contagion’s Kiss is an adventure for a party of 4th level characters. It can be used in any fantasy city or town where wells or cisterns are the main source of water. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GameMastery Guide and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary are required for play. This adventure includes creatures detailed in Chilling Curiosities — A Field Guide.
This adventure includes a full scale, printable poster sized map of the adventure.
We’ve been hard at work on a number of products. Here they are, in no particular order:
Today I handed over the final draft to Bob Greyvenstein for layout for our new setting, Scarthey, which our Field Guides are a part of. More on this soon.
Also for Scarthey we’ve got a bunch of adventures in the works, from both new and experienced writers. I’ll talk about that, too, soon.
We received the final draft for a new, fast paced modern spec ops game by Basil Koufos, designer of Might. We’re very excited to be publishing his latest creation and absolutely love the system and all that it stands for.
The Nightscape RPG for the Nightscape Series and Imperiad Entertainment is off to a good start. We’ve defined much of the core mechanics and have some interesting things we’re looking forward to trying.
Steampunk Musha rolls on with a number of books in and out of editing. As the line editor I’ve been learning a lot from the talented individuals who make up the team at Fat Goblin Games — they’ve got some great stuff in the works.
On a more sombre note, March 21st is Human Rights Day in South Africa, a day of remembrance for the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 and the suffering caused during the Apartheid era.
To me, the most important thing is remembering that we all share this planet. We all have a right to life, dignity, and respect. Let us all strive for mutual understanding — therein lies peace and happiness for all.
Lots has been going on, so stick with me for all the Hot News. We’ve got some great offers to tell you about that you don’t want to miss.
When Flamingos Attack is the first official adventure for Claustrophobia!, and the perfect introduction to the game. It’s more than that though, as it sets the scene for a larger campaign I’m designing.
January was an excellent month for Claustrophobia!, and so putting aside time to support the game was a natural next step. That’s the thing about this industry; fan support is vital to the growth of any game, so I deeply thank you for getting behind us on this.
We’re just putting the finishing touches on a new Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible adventure too. Contagion’s Kiss is a location based adventure, with the PCs needing to break into a defended keep to solve the mystery of the poisoning of the town’s wells. We have some fun surprises hidden within!
Contagion’s Kiss will be available by the end of the month.
Quick, wish them a Happy New Year so we can talk about the wands!
Um, yes, Happy New Year. May 2017 be a truly prosperous year for you and yours. Rising Phoenix has a big year planned, with all sorts of projects in the works. 2016 was a smash hit for us, and 2017 promises to be even bigger.
Now tell them about the wands…
Sheesh, I’ll get to that! But first, the new game…
Imperiad Publishing announced that the Nightscape series of Lovecraftian horror will be getting its very own roleplaying game this year. Although Rising Phoenix Games isn’t the publisher, our head bird, Rodney Sloan, is designing the game, so we’re super excited for their offering, which comes out in September.
Here’s the trailer to the Nightscape movie.
WARNING: The following trailer is unrated and may be disturbing to sensitive viewers.
Rodney is also the new line developer for Steampunk Musha, an Asian inspired steampunk setting, developed by Fat Goblin Games. If you love Asian inspired worlds, consider yourself an otaku, are a Steampunk connoisseur, or love kung-fu kicking oni in the face, come join the team for a chat on Facebook.
As for our own stuff, Claustrophobia! has some exciting things on the go, with its first adventure sitting in layout. Right now, until the 23rd, the complete rulebook is on sale for 20% off on Drive Thru RPG. This is a great time to pick up a copy and introduce a new game to your group.
We’ve also collected all our works from 2016 in one handy, discounted bundle. If you’ve already bought some of our books on One Bookshelf sites, you won’t have to pay for them again, so it’s a great way to grab any Field Guides you might still need.
Some of our fans might remember our popular Lunatic Labyrinth, our first product, ever. It has been hugely successful, with over 5000 sales to date. We’ve relaunched it, updating the text and added a map tile for the combat encounters, making it better than ever before.
If you like what we’re doing, why not join us, we’ve put out an open call for writers. You can find more information on the blog.
If you’re a Pathfinder fan, of if you’d like to to get started with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, there are still a few days left to support a good cause and grab the fantastic Humble Bundle they’ve got on offer. Personally, I’ve been enjoying the Goblin comics, fun!
And that’s all I can talk about right now, except for those wands I promised you about.
Here’s a sneak peek at something Bob Greyvenstein and I are working on. Have you ever wanted to make wands more of a thing, like the wands portrayed in a certain wizarding franchise, in your Pathfinder Roleplaying games? Try these rules:
Attuned to their owner, personalized wands allow a spell caster to focus their magical powers and channel them with a great deal of accuracy.
These rules modify the rule for magic in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook and can be used at your GMs discretion.
Casting arcane spells with a wand cancels the material component of the spell unless the material component is more than 25 gp. The wand is used to execute any somatic component of the spell too. Personalized wands cost between 500 and 2,500 gp.
Casting without a wand is difficult, and even unpredictable. There is a 20% chance of spell failure for any arcane spell cast without a wand. If there is a somatic component to the spell, the chance of spell failure increases to 30%. Casting arcane spells with someone else’s wand, or using a spell storing wand to cast a spell not stored inside it, incurs a 5% chance of spell failure.
Till next month, Tell Thrilling Tales! The Rising Phoenix Games Team
This time we’re covering a bunch of new, low level monsters instead of the standard fantasy monsters like we’ve done before. I’m interested to see how well this does compared to Griffins and Phoenixes. Also, we’re trying the horror angle, so we’ll see if that’s a hit or not.
Some of the monsters are really fun too. We’ve got an eye in a jar, an ooze that gets more powerful when you attack it and a dream-haunting apparition. As always, Bob did excellent work on bringing the stats to life, and the layout is equally chilling.
I really want to recommend this to GMs who are running a low level (lvl 1–6) campaign, particularly a horror one. I think the new monsters will test your players in new ways, that’s exactly what I designed them to do!
Rising Phoenix Games and The Figment Factory have brought you the second publication in our Field Guide series.
I could not be more proud of our work on this. And phoenixes! Man! Those birds have a place in my heart. Getting to do not 1 but 7 of them was a sweet challenge.
Of all the birds in this book, I think I’m most proud of the Japanese inspired houou, partly because I just haven’t found them in the core books, but also because they remind me of holidays in Japan, visiting ancient temples or checking out works of art by greats like Hokusai.
Oh, and wow, speaking of art, the art in this is top notch. I think Bob Greyvenstein is going to need to offer his illustrations as printed posters, they’re amazing.