Goblin Lugging (PFRPG)

The fine art of Goblin Lugging, enjoyed across our ancient realm by men and dwarves alike. Goblin Lugging is truly a valorous challenge of strength and grit.

Goblin Lugging is more challenging with armed goblins!
Goblin Lugging is more challenging with armed goblins!

The Rules

Each contestant grabs a goblin, then races through a series of obstacles. The winner is the first to cross the finish line with a goblin in their possession. Progress is measured in rounds for this challenge and the contestant to complete all the obstacles with a goblin in their possession in the fewest rounds is the winner.

After the starter’s whistle, each contestant must grab a goblin by making a successful grapple (see the Combat chapter in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook). There is one goblin per contestant, kept in a small pen at the start of the course. Contestant must move along the course using the move action described under the rules for grappling. If a contestant fails a grapple, then they spend 1 round trying to re-catch their goblin.

There are three obstacles along the course:

  • The Lake. This obstacle is 15-feet long. The contestant must make a DC 12 Swim check for each round they are in the water. On a failure, they make no progress. On a failure by more than 5, they can decide to either let go of the goblin and re-attempt the Swim check (DC 10), or they both go underwater. If a contestant’s goblin drowns they must spend 3 rounds capturing a new one.
  • The Wall. This wall has random hand and foot holds, and requires a successful DC 15 Climb check to get over. Contestants holding a goblin suffers a –2 circumstance penalty on this check. It takes 3 rounds to climb over the wall. If the contestant succeeds on an accelerated climb (a –5 penalty), it takes only 1 round. Contestants failing the Climb check make no progress.
  • The Slide. This slope has been turned into a muddy slide. Getting to the bottom is simple enough, doesn’t require a check of any kind, and takes 1 round. At the bottom of the slide the goblin gets to attempt to break the grapple, with a +2 circumstance bonus for being drenched in slippery mud.

Goblin CR 1/3
CMB +0, CMD 12
See the goblin in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary.

The winner of a game of Goblin Lugging is the first to cross the finish line, still holding their goblin.

Enjoyed this game? Be sure to check out Welcome to Scarthey, which includes the sport of Cackle-Ball!

Welcome to Scarthey Book

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

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Roleplaying on the Cheap

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival is about Roleplaying on the Cheap, which is something I’ve written about before.

The thing is that roleplaying is a dirt cheap hobby, and you can get by with a handful of dice and some free rules you’ve downloaded off the web, like the basic Dungeons & Dragon rules.

But of course, things are never that simple. You’ll want the massive, beautifully illustrated core books. They’re awesome, and their awesomeness comes with a hefty price tag. Believe me, I know how it feels to shell out for a hefty tome. Living on the other side of the world means shipping often doubles the price on books. My local brick-and-mortar sells the Player’s Handbook for R 850 (South African Rand), which equates to just over $69 USD.

So, what’s a fan to do?
Piracy is rife, but I can’t help feeling that it’s killing the industry and the hobby I love.

I follow three principles when it comes to buying RPG books, which has helped me grow an impressive collection without breaking the bank:

Buy Cheap

Buy books on Humble Bundle, or second-hand, or when there’s a sale, like on Black Friday. Facebook often has local geek interest groups for buying and selling second-hand stuff.

Buy Big

Buy bigger books, instead of small ones. As an RPG publisher, I can attest to the fact that bigger books give you more bang for your buck. The recent Player’s Companion, at 174 pages, is a huge resource for a reasonable $14.95.

Player's Companion, an Excellent Buy if You're Roleplaying on the Cheap
Buy bigger books that give you more content for your money.

Buy Smart

Don’t waste your money on books you won’t use often. Rather, buy books that will lie open at your table, every session. When money is easier, then you can pick up those “nice to have” titles, like extra monster books.

Support the Industry, Support the Hobby

Buying books, dice, maps, minis, coins, t-shirts, and Patreon subscriptions all keep the industry alive and growing, and you should support the hobby by buying what you love. With some thoughtfulness you can do that and still chip in for pizza and pay the rent.

Happy Gaming

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Your RPG Resolutions for an Awesome 2018

What are your RPG resolutions for 2018?

How was 2017?
Even if you didn’t achieve everything you set out to do, don’t lose heart. These last few days of 2017 have taught me that success in anything is about chipping away until you achieve your goal.
One day you’ll get there, or, as the Dead Man Fall song Bang Your Drum goes, “keep banging on your drum, and your day will come.”

Rising Phoenix Games was born on New Year’s Eve, 2010. This year, 2017, saw us cranking up the heat, and publishing more titles than ever before. The plan is to burn hotter in 2018, and we’ve got some great things planned.

Your RPG Resolutions for Better Adventures

I asked Twitter friends for their New Year’s RPG Resolutions. Here are some of the answers I got.

Make Your RPG Resolutions Today

My 2018 RPG Resolutions are straight forward:

  1. GM more one-shots and demo games.
  2. Run a Stranger Things game with the vs. Stranger Stuff rules.
  3. Up my ability to run fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons.
  4. Buy Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 4th Ed. Convince my friends that it’s awesome.

If you’re a GM, then you’ll probably have similar goals.
For players, your goals might be to play you character better, or to contribute more to the fun at the table. If so, I recommend the excellent Player’s Companion, just released on the DM’s Guild.

The Player's Companion Will Help You Achieve Your RPG Resolutions
The Player’s Companion Will Help You Achieve Your RPG Resolutions
A Ton of Player Options — Helpful For Achieving Your RPG Resolutions
A Ton of Player Options

Besides a ton of character options, the book provides excellent advice on playing your character, and on combat tactics. Included in the Better Gaming chapter is a section on action economy, which I’d never considered before but made a huge impact on how I play.

Excellent Advice — Up Your Game in 2018
Excellent Advice — Up Your Game in 2018

So, what are your RPG Resolutions for 2018? Share yours in the comments below — making your intentions public is a great first step to achieving them.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

2017 – A Retrospective

What motivates you?

motivation for good games
“Okay, your motivation is that you’re Death. Give me fear and finality!”

For me, all the things I’m interested in—game design, writing, programming, storytelling, art, model painting and sculpting, LEGO—all these passions are motivated by a burning need to be creative, to make something new, something fun.

Our motto—Tell Thrilling Tales—encompasses this to some degree. It’s also our way of saying that we want to help you, as a GM, to run better games. This year though, I’ve started adopting a new phrase:

Make Good Games

2017 was all about that, and we released a ton of content, including a load of adventures, 4 prototype video games, and a critically acclaimed mecha book. I’m not going to talk about those—there’s a full list of our titles at the end of this post, if you want to know more.

What I really want to talk about is motivation.

Making games is a dream job, and I’m lucky enough to spend most of my working day trying to bang out new titles. It’s not always easy though, and finding the motivation can be tough, especially when you’re working on a title that’s beset with frustrations.
Believing in a project, I’ve come to realize, makes all the difference. That’s why the “Make Good Games” line makes so much sense to me. Good games have value, and it’s motivating to know that a game I’m putting hours into has worth and will be something I’m proud of.

I was watching an interview (below) with Mike Pondsmith, creator of Cyberpunk 2020. How awesome is it that an RPG he designed is becoming this huge AAA video game? His passion for the game, for the setting, and for the genre is clear, and I’m pretty sure that’s going to make all the difference for Cyberpunk 2077 in the end. Mike believes in what he’s making.

To wrap up this year and this post; 2018 will be all about making good games, and less about all the other things that can so easily distract from that. Getting that right will be hard work, but 2017 taught me that we’re getting better and better at what we do. I hope you’ll join us for the ride!

Here are our good games released in 2017:

PC Game Prototypes

Rusty Blade
Dark Lily
Max Mix

Dungeons and Dragons

(Fifth Edition SRD Compatible)
Welcome to Scarthey
Werewolf of Heaven
Death Queen and the Life Stone
Forest of Secrets

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible

Welcome to Scarthey
Contagion’s Kiss
Gear Heart

Starfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible

Mecha—A Field Guide


When Flamingos Attack!

And sometimes we make tees…

Tees or t-shirts. Call them what you will, I like to make them.
Tees or t-shirts. Call them what you will, I like to make them.


Being Anti-Social and Patreon

One of the things Rising Phoenix Games is planning to do in 2018 is to step away from social media.

Rising Phoenix Games Logo

Maybe our approach hasn’t been right, but we haven’t seen much interaction or sales coming off Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. I’ll keep those channels open, but we’ll be focusing more on making great games.  We’ll keep in contact with you through this blog and our email newsletter.

Marketing is important, and using social media to reach customers is useful, but I don’t need to compete with all the other businesses trying to take your hard-earned cash. This is also why our email and blog efforts are going to be more useful, filled with content you can use, rather than the hard sell.

The Patreon Controversy

I’m also looking at starting up a Patreon page, specifically to fund the projects that Bob Storrar and I know will be well received. Our University of Scarthey line, including our Choose Your Destiny solo adventures line, both launched this year, and have been well received. We’d like to give them the attention they deserve.

To be clear, our adoption of Patreon, if we do go that route, is not about people giving us money. It’s about fans being able to pay for the things they love and want. It’s a business, not a request for handouts.

What patron tier rewards would you like to see from us? Let us know in the comments below.

New Store—Coming Soon

You might notice that we’re working on our very own online store. We’re aiming to make it as easy as possible for you to get our games, and those of our affiliates, right here, on RisingPhoenixGames.com. The new store will launch sometime in the new year, around the same time that we announce our Patreon plans.

Santa’s Spy—Holiday Games

Here’s a little game I play at home over the December holidays. I call it…

Santa’s Spy

Santa has a man on the inside, and it’s your job to coordinate his mission. A day or so after your Christmas tree goes up, he’ll deploy in the field, and just before it’s time to clean away the decorations, he’ll return to base with his valuable intel.

“They’ll never spot me behind these giant balls!”
Photo credit: TJ Holowaychuk

The Operative

I use a 12 inch action figure or, for smaller trees, plastic ninjas, like those plastic army men.


One night, just after your tree goes up, and while the rest of the house is asleep, sneak over to the tree and hide your operative inside. The goal is for him to remain unseen, so hide him well.
And don’t tell anyone he’s there, because that would be like M saying, “hey everyone, James Bond is a spy.”


You win the game if you safely extract the operative before all the decorations get packed away and no one has spotted him.


“Daddy, daddy, there’s a ninja in the tree!” Sorry bud, you lose.


Up the difficulty by hiding your operatives gear inside Christmas tree decorations. Do this some time after deployment and be sure to remove it when you extract your operative.

Have fun.

Do you have any games you play over the holidays? Let us know in the comments below.

Black Friday Specials

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Black Friday is practically here—depending on where in the world you are—and Cyber Monday isn’t very far off.
We’ve got some great specials for you.

All Products 17% – 30% off on Drive Thru RPG


Claustrophobia! the hilarious game of suicidal garden gnomes on a mission to the depths of the earth.

Claustrophobia Cover

Field Guides — Never leave the tavern without a good guide. Compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Phoenixes | Griffins | Curiosities – All 30% OFF

All Products 17% – 30% off on Drive Thru RPG

Griffins - A Field Guide Chilling Curiosities - A Field Guide

Phoenixes | Griffins | Curiosities – All 30% OFF

Steel Forge Games

Steel Forge Games has a sexy new website, and they’re also offering their titles at 30% off!

Bullet | Might – Both 30% Off

Bullet | Might – Both 30% Off

Gamers for Graaains!

Christmas is coming, but for a lot of people around the world Christmas isn’t a time of happiness and presents. When you’re struggling to feed your family, Christmas is just another day.

But it doesn’t have to be.

This season, we’re calling on gamers to help us collect rice and upper-cut hunger in the face, at least for the season. Our goal is to collect 1 million grains of rice by Christmas, and we can only do it with your help.

To help, join us on FreeRice.com, answer some questions, and boom! You’ve made a difference.

All it takes is a little of your time, and you can leave the game running in a tab, for whenever you’ve got a free moment.

Till next time, Tell Thrilling Tales.
Have a great weekend and a happy Thanksgiving to our US friends.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Halloween? Never heard of it.

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!

That doesn’t mean we don’t have some amazing specials for your Halloween—however you choose to spend your October.

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.

Dying Dead, a 1-on-1 adventure.

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.

Chilling Curiosities

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.

Death Queen and the Life Stone cover Forest of Secrets

Keep an eye out for the Wolf of Heaven, a new werewolf race compatible with the fifth edition SRD, coming soon.

Wolf of Heaven Cover

Tell Thrilling Tales

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.


Google shows the human race with its fly down

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.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Make Good Games