Tag Archives: adventure

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…

Have you got the skills? Write for us!

Rising Phoenix Games is looking for freelance writers.


Project Length: 3,750 words
Pay Rate: A 25% cut of sales. (25% to the adventure writer, 10% to the player options writer (Rodney Sloan), 25% to the artist/layout artist, 35% or less to the vendor and the rest to the publisher. )
Additional details: Rising Phoenix Games is looking for writers to produce solo and 1-on-1, choose-your-own-adventure style adventures for the Dungeons & Dragons 5e ruleset. Excellent examples can be found in the D&D 4e Beginners Box and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginners Box. The adventure should be tailored to a Cleric or Fighter of level 1 to 3 and should scale appropriately. Familiarity with Twine is recommended, but not essential.
750 words of the project are reserved for extending the adventure (such as adding random encounter tables, or modifying the game if played at night, etc).
Please send a 200~300 word pitch and a writing sample to the email address below.
We are looking for 3 writers for this assignment.
Respond to: contact@risingphoenixgames.com
Respond by: February 17th, 2017
Assignment Deadline: To be discussed. We’d like to release 1 adventure every 2 months beginning early April.

Flaming Centipedes of Doom!

Adventure, adventure and more adventure. That’s what we have for you today. Fight a flaming centipede on behalf of the Dragon King, challenge the forces of the Abyss on behalf of humanity or build your own epic encounters. All this and more in today’s epic post.

Inspired in Japan
Last week we met with a nasty goblin, and the week before that we fought an oni. This week we have Dragon Kings, singing gold fish and flaming giant centipedes.

My Lord Bag of Rice is a story about a brave samurai who faces off with a giant centipede to save the kingdom of the Dragon King. As a reward, he gets an ever–full bag of rice and earns the title “My Lord Bag of Rice”.

Scene 1, a bridge over a narrow lake, much like Lake Biwa, the original setting for the story. Across the bridge lies an imperial sea dragon, who is looking for a way to rid his kingdom of a giant centipede that invades his lands nightly, killing his children. If the party attacks the dragon, he fights them for a few rounds before extoling them for their great bravery and asking them to join him.

Worm! I shall step over thee!

Scene 2, under the waters of the lake. The dragon invites the party to his underwater palace. As they follow him down, the waters part magically for them, keeping them nice and dry (and saving them from Swim checks). If you need some mechanics for this, you could have the dragon give them a pearl to swallow that surrounds them in a bubble and acts as if he had cast Water Breathing on them for 24 hours.

While in his palace, the Dragon King throws a banquet for the party, with all kinds of fishy creatures serving magnificent dishes or providing entertainment. This needs some thought, because you want to paint the right picture and create a sense of awe and mystery. It’s also going to be a very different game if you have a druid in your party; if you do, this is their chance to really shine.

By the way, if you need some water tiles for this scene, check out our Sea Tiles on Drive Thru RPG.

Scene 3, evening in the underwater palace. The Dragon King alerts the party about the coming centipede, which can be clearly seen coming down the mountain because of its flaming eyes and glowing legs. To keep things simple, use a CR appropriate centipede and keep the fire aspect of it purely cosmetic—this is fantasy, after all.
Pick a map that gives the party some time to rain down missiles on the monster, while it uses its 40 foot speed to come on like a freight train of flailing legs.

For treasure, an appropriately themed and scaled Cornucopia of Plenty could work well at the right level. Otherwise, you could easily make up the treasure quota with bags of rice, a nice bell and bolts of silk.

Treasure!

This adventure has two big monsters, so make sure that the CR of the centipede is the higher of the two. Also, how is this centipede making his way to the Dragon Kings palace? Centipedes don’t swim or breathe underwater right? This is a good opportunity to set up a recurring villain, someone who can cast a few spells to make things happen. This villain doesn’t even need to show themselves yet, giving you a seed for your next big, Japan themed adventure.

Avernos Unearthed
Humans—that self-serving race who do more damage in their short lives than all the minions of the Abyss could in a lifetime of elves. Yet there is some hope, however slim, that this chosen race may realize their place at the head of the coming battle. Pray they do, before it is too late.

Avernos Wiki

Rising Phoenix News
Last week’s post mysteriously disappeared into the netherwebs. We’re blaming it on a kobito ninja server invasion, although it probably has something to do with the auto post not running properly (or that’s what the kobito ninjas want us to think). As a result, you get two posts from me this week, happy reading!

Campaign Journal
Since I’ve been writing a bunch of Pathfinder encounters—four this month—I thought I’d share a little about my creative process. Encounters make up the heart of an adventure, so building great encounters is worth the effort.

First I get a concept. This usually comes from a map or monster that I really like. Specially, I look for an interesting twist that will make for a fun and memorable encounter. Maybe the party has to fight off some orcs, but the orcs are actually fleeing from an owl bear. Maybe that owl bear is a druid trapped in that form because of a failed spell. Maybe the party all get turned into owl bears and get to rampage through the orc camp! Whatever happens, it’ll be better than just fighting a bunch of orcs.

I’ll then calculate APL and set up the encounter. At this stage the concept may change a little. I might find that an owl bear is too challenging for my 1st level solo player, or that I need an orc chieftain to fill out the ranks. Maybe I’ll even have a little wiggle room for a small trap or another monster that will spice up the mix. Maybe that owl bear has a goblin “rider” hanging on for dear life.

Next I’ll set out the encounter in point form, something like this:

  • Orc party (6x orcs) appear up ahead on the forest path. They rush the PCs.
  • Orcs try to get past party, fighting if they must.
  • Five minute breather for party to recoup. If not hit hard, scrap this.
  • Raging owl bear storms down forest path. Screaming goblin (Knuckle ‘Ed, lvl 1 warrior) clutches at its back.
  • Perception checks to notice medallion around owl bears neck.
  • Fight with owl bear. More perception checks to notice medallion.
  • If defeated, PCs find medallion (transmogrifies to an owl bear). Owl bear is actually Gunther Firth (level 4 druid).

The last thing is just to flesh things out. Build NPCs, stat out the traps, decide what treasure will be up for grabs and so on. Rinse and repeat for all the encounters that make up your adventure.

Have fun.

That’s all from me until next week.
Tell Thrilling Tales

Superheroes - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

The Goblin of Adachigahara

Four contestants. Four adventure proposals. Only four winners…

RPG Superstar 2015

As RPG Superstar enters its final round, it may be easy to dismiss the prize of the contest, since all four contestants are essentially winning it. The prize—a chance to write an adventure proposal for Paizo—is kind of like the round 5 submission. But there’s so much more at stake here—the contest isn’t called RPG Superstar for nothing—with each contestant having grown a fan base since the beginning of round 1. And that counts for a lot. Who will be the next Gygax?

So, who’s your favourite?

Avernos Unearthed
It is said that there exists a place on the very edge of vision, hidden in the shadow of shadows, where man is not welcome and where weird, twisted things live. None venture there by design, and those who enter unwittingly struggle in vain to escape. This is Feoni, land of the fey.

Avernos Wiki

Campaign Journal
Game mastering takes effort, practice and dedication. Recently I’ve been reading the Pathfinder GameMastery Guide and thinking a lot about how I GM. Part of GMing is prep, but a whole other part is what you do at the table, which encompasses so many things: rules knowledge, social skills, time management, voice acting—the list goes on. Of all these variables, rules knowledge is probably the easiest to tackle during prep time and between sessions.

Last week I took a practice exam for DCI Rules Advisor, which might not have anything to do with roleplaying, but did get me thinking even more about rules. Things can get confusing, but usually it all comes down to common sense and an understanding of how the rules are written. What keywords are important for the game and how do they work? In Pathfinder we have checks and actions, with so much coming from the interactions of those two. Can you make an attack roll (it’s a kind of check) during a move action? No. Why? Well that all comes down to understanding those keywords and what they mean and how they work.

So if in doubt, go back to the basics, especially those keywords.

Rising Phoenix News

We’ve slashed our tile prices for this week only. Save big on Print-on-Demand and PDF titles until March 27th. Get em now!

Inspired in Japan
Last week we battled an oni in Kyoto. This week we come face to face with The Goblin of Adachigahara.

In the story, a lost monk comes to the home of an old lady, who is actually a human-eating goblin*. She doesn’t invite him in at first, but finally lets him sit by her fire and feeds him. When her fire dies down she tells him not to look into the back room of the house, then goes out to gather firewood. When the priest gives in to his curiosity, he finds the grizzly remains of all her past victims. Making a run for it, he is chased through the night by a very angry—and probably hungry—geriatric goblin.

*In Japanese folklore, oni and goblin can be used interchangably, so the term goblin is used lightly here.

This tale could easily be turned into a thrilling, roleplay heavy, horror encounter.

Scene 1, the PCs are travelling at night. Perhaps they failed a navigation check or were given a missleading map. Force them to roll against the cold and fatigue, then offer them a shining light in the distance. On closer investigation they find the run-down home of an old woman who isn’t overly eager to let them in.

Scene 2, the delapidated hut. The old woman eventually lets the party in, offering them some rice and stoking up the fire. She’s friendly enough, but mostly she’s polite, and that offers interesting leverage—sure, you can go and collect the wood, but you’ll offend your host. For this scene a good knowledge of Japanese ettiquete makes all the difference between a good session and a great session, and you’ll want to give your players some prep too, so they can play along. The scene ends when the old lady tells the party not to go into the back room, then goes out to collect firewood. This the time to start building the suspense, which means it’s a perfect time for those Knowledge(local) rolls and the howling wind to pick up.

A lot will depend on how the players feel about their situation starting out. They might expect that the old woman will have a mission for them, that the cottage is really a safe place to be and that, after all, she’s just a little old lady. You want to lull them into a sense of peace. One option for this is the cold, but the party could also be hiding from monsters or just need a place to get those eight hours of rest.

Scene 3. The PCs will either stay around the fire, leave, or explore the house. All three options will probably lead to a confrontation with the goblin. So what kind of stats are we looking at here? I’d probably make her human and stat her as an NPC with ranks in commoner. With a reputation as a “goblin”, this little old lady cannibal is so much scarier than a real goblin. But really, she could be anything, whatever fits best with your campaign.

Once you’ve figured out who or what she is, the rest is fairly simple—the party needs to deal with her and get out of there. The cottage gives you a lot to play with; you could have traps, haunts, undead servants, prisoners that need freeing, rats, whatever fits with your idea of her hut.

For more inspiration, read up on Adachigahara, a sci-fi version of the story, and about the grusome Onibaba.

That’s all from me until next week.
Tell Thrilling Tales

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

RPGSS2015 – Round 2

Maps for round 2 of the RPG Superstar 2015 contest went in late last week and voting is now open. Go check out those entries and put in your votes.

RPG Superstar 2015

Avernos Unearthed
This week we wonder on the edges of the mysterious Veiled Lands, as the Avernos Wiki adds the Fey tainted city of Pandatheon to the collection.

The Books of Faces
The strange wizard, excuse me, gnomeologist, is describing a quest to you in very vague terms. But then, what else do you do but strap on a sword and accept?

You can read the history of the adventure over at the Adventure Chronicle

Campaign Journal
This past Saturday we played our second session of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. Unlike D&D or Pathfinder, there’s a lot of room for players to tell the story, so players need to pay attention when they’re not up. To help, I offered the MVRP award (most valuable role-player) and 3xp to whoever was voted the best player by the group. It was great incentive, and I hope it will continue to be a huge motivator in later games.

MRVP Trophy

Do you have any rewards in your campaign beyond Xp? Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

Rising Phoenix News
We’ve been working over the last year and a bit to get the Japan Roleplay Society going, a place for English speaking role-players who live in Japan to meet and find players. If you live in Japan or know someone who does, come check us out on FB.

Inspired in Japan
Setsubun is a Japanese festival that happens yearly on February 3rd, celebrating the start of Spring. One of the events held at this time is mamimaki which means “bean scattering”, a ritual intended to chase away bad spirits or oni. The man of the house dresses up as an oni and the rest of the household throw roasted soy beans at him to chase the bad “spirit” away.

What customs might revolve around local monsters in your campaign world? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Oni statue

That’s all from me until next time.
Tell Thrilling Tales

Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

The Book of Faces

I have a bad habit of spontaneously starting new projects, but that’s okay, because the wheel of progress is always turning and things do, eventually, get finished. My latest project is a little bit of an experiment in game book design. Do you remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, or the green backed “Fighting Fantasy” books? I loved those books, I still do, as my huge collection will testify.

I’ve been wanting to write my own game book for some time, and finally have an idea. But I don’t want to write it alone, I want readers to drive the story as it’s written. I think that’ll be really neat. Welcome then, to The Book of Faces, a quest staring YOU as the hero.

An odd little cottage stands on the far hill.
An odd little cottage stands on the far hill.

How does it work? Well, YOU make the choices that drive the story. Each post will include a couple of choices for you to make. Read the passage and make a choice by leaving a comment. When there are 10 or so comments, the choice with the most votes is chosen and the story continues.

Part one of the adventure is below.

Win A Trip To The Dungeon

It’s your birthday, or it will be some time, and to celebrate I’m giving away free copies of my adventure “Lunatic Labyrinth.”

Lunatic Labyrinth

 

“Lunatic Labyrinth” is a solo or one-on-one adventure for a level one or two character. The adventure is compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and includes rules to facilitate entertaining solo play. Continue reading Win A Trip To The Dungeon

To Gnometopia in a Trash Can – Claustrophobia!

So hopefully you’ve had a chance to play test  Claustrophobia!, the game of suicidal garden gnomes on a journey to the Earth’s core. If you’ve been following my Twitter and DeviantArt accounts, you’ll have seen the engine that is Rising Phoenix Games is hard at work churning out more gnomic chaos. Today’s no exception. So, sit back, relax, open a cold one and enjoy…

 

When the Slime Hits the Fan

Claustrophobia! Slimed

Continue reading To Gnometopia in a Trash Can – Claustrophobia!

The Adventures of Thanamos – Introduction

Inspired in part by another post and the work I’ve done on my own solo campaign, Sentinels Watching, I decided to run a little free style solo campaign and share it with you to inspire your own adventures. I’ll walk you through the process and share some insights along the way so that you can play out your own campaign.

 

Choosing A System

The system you choose should reflect the type of game and genre you want to play. It’s no use starting out with the Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game if you want to play something set in the future, but it is a great system if that future involves mice who fight with swords and shields to save themselves from snakes and foxes. A great tip that also makes a load of sense is “play what you know.” It’s no fun if you get bogged down trying to find rules the whole time. That said, solo play is a great method for learning a game, which is one reason why I’m going with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, particularly the rules from the Beginner Box. I recently bought the set and I love that it’s a lighter version of the game but still works with the Core Book. I don’t have a load of time and so the games need to be quick and action packed. Also, I love fantasy so Pathfinder fills all of my requirements.

Continue reading The Adventures of Thanamos – Introduction

A Basket Full of Eggs

It’s Easter time, which for me means thinking back to the death and resurrection of Jesus, Easter Bunnies and chocolate eggs! So, how cool would it be if one of those eggs turned out to be a dragon egg? In this little adventure we explore that idea and provide you with a nice little campaign hook and some NPC ideas. I’ve tried to keep away from any specific rules in the hope that you can use this in any fantasy campaign with any rules set, but I have made references to rules from Dungeons and Dragons and similar games since most players will be familiar with those concepts. This is definitely for the GMs eyes only, players should go check out The Guild on YouTube, it’s great (but I warn you about Season 3, it was a little… iffy).

Dragon Figure Head

The Set-Up

The characters are approached by an old lady, half blind, who’s trying to sell some eggs to make some money. It’s clear from her appearance that she’s hard off. It’s also clear that not all of the eggs are hen’s eggs: one is much larger and has a dark, stone like shell. Give the characters a knowledge nature check or the equivalent skill check to spot that it’s indeed a dragon egg.

 

What to do with Mamma’s Kid

What the players decide to do next is up to them, but they may realize the need to return the egg to its home. A dragon can be mighty protective, after all. If the players need more convincing to take up the challenge of the egg you can have mommy dragon pay a visit to the village and tear down a few homes while the PC’s aren’t around. She knows that the egg is in town (she’s intelligent and has keen senses, she can figure it out) and just needs to find it. Eventually the characters should either decide they need to do something with the egg or face dire consequences.

The mother dragon should be a high level dragon, possibly a little too powerful for the characters to beat just yet. The players will want to either sneak the egg back into her lair or try to negotiate with her, but should be dissuaded from a straight attack strategy. Ideally you can use the dragon and her little family as recurring NPC’s that can be dealt with finally when the PC’s have reached a high enough level. Give the players knowledge history or knowledge local checks to recall information about the dragon, such as where her lair is and rumours surrounding how powerful she is. Finding the lair should be easy enough, and working through the network of caves and dungeons to get to her lair can be just as long as you want it to be. You could even use the quest to return the egg as a way to kick off the adventure from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box.

 

It’s Never That Easy

So, just how did the egg find its way into the village? Enter, stage left, the villainous tomb robber Felix Gred. Felix managed to sneak into the dragon’s lair (a heavy dose of luck more than skill) and remove the egg, hoping to use the egg to lure the dragon away from her treasure horde. Felix brought the egg back to the village, where he hid it in Madam Firth’s chicken coop.  It wasn’t the best hiding place, but he had realised that there was soon to be a dragon after him and he knew she was half blind. He figured she would mistake the egg for a stone, not a chicken egg, it was way too big. Now the egg is missing and he wants it back. Build Felix as a sneaky rogue with a high level of stealth, and have him follow the PC’s and attempt to steal the egg from them when they’re asleep or distracted. If he succeeds then it’s quite possible that the PC’s might find themselves standing in front of an angry dragon without the egg, or else needing to do more detective work to find the egg again.

Dragon Egg
"Mine mine mine mine mine!"

 

 

And Then…

This adventure hook can go many ways, but I think the nice thing about it is that you get a couple of NPC’s (Felix, Madam Firth and Mother Dragon) that can potentially see quite a bit of use. There’s no reason to kill Felix, he’s a thief, not a murder, and if anything he should be under lock and key. Madam Firth is a witless NPC that can cause all sorts of trouble without having an inkling of what’s happening. She might even prove useful to the PC’s, she has lived in the village her whole life and she’s eager to make some money. The dragon, on the other hand, is too powerful for the PC’s to deal with directly. They’ll need to be diplomatic in their dealings with her and try keep her happy.

 

That’s it for this Easter special. Give this adventure hook a try and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you. Also, if you write up stats for any of the NPC’s, for any system, why not share them here and we can all get some use out of them.