Category Archives: Claustrophobia!

Claustrophobia Art Update

When I see the awesome work my design gnomes have put into Claustrophobia I get really excited. I just wish I could share it all with you now! Unfortunately, I do have to save some surprises for the actual book. Props to my talented brother, Donovan Sloan, for this provocative work.

+1 Shovel by Donovan Sloan
+1 Shovel of Doom by Donovan Sloan


Copper Labyrinth

Lunatic Labyrinth is a Best Copper Seller on DriveThruRPG! To celebrate, we’re offering a big discount on the PDF until Friday the 25th.

Lunatic Labyrinth Cover

Claustrophobia Combat Update

An intense round of Claustrophobia play testing is underway and bearing fruit. Today we’ve got new combat rules for you. Instead of team based combat, the new rules let individuals shine and make sphere choices much more intuitive.




The steps for combat are:

  1. Choose a sphere.
  2. Determine Advantage
  3. Attack and Defence
  4. Determine Hits and Deal Damage


Choose a Sphere

The Sphere you use in combat is determined by what you’re trying to do. You should have a good reason for using the sphere, and the DM always has the final say.

Physical: you’re trying to wrestle, punch or otherwise physically harm your opponent. Use this when fists are flying and your goal is to capture, wound, knock-out or kill your enemy.

Mental: you’re trying to confuse, outwit or mentally outmaneuver your opponent. Use this sphere if you’re engaged in a hacking war, trying to beat your opponent at a puzzle or strategy game, or racing a rival scientist to a breakthrough.

Social: you’re trying to negotiate, intimidate or in some way rise socially above your opponent.


Determine Advantage

Choose a sphere secretly with your sphere cards. This does not need to be the same sphere as the sphere you are using for your attack. Every PC and NPC then reveals their sphere card.

Physical: you are using muscle to gain the advantage, such as sprinting to a vantage point, throwing sand to distract your enemy or charging them.

Mental: you are using cunning to gain the upper hand, luring them into a trap, surrounding them in a clever cross-fire or using some other ruse.

Social: you are using social manoeuvring, diplomacy or intimidation to gain the upper hand in the coming fight.

Each character rolls and puts aside any successes. Total the value on these successes to determine the order of advantage (highest advantage goes first). If you get no successes, you go in the total die score order after characters with successes. Ties should dice off separately. Any 1’s rolled to determine advantage don’t count as losses.

Example: Two gnomes are fighting a flamingo. Gnome one rolls a 5 and 3 and gnome 2 rolls a 5 and 2. Their total is both 5. In this case gnome 1 goes first. If the flamingo rolled two dice, with a 4 and a 4 (2 successes), it would go first.


Attack and Defence

Choose a target for your attack. You may roll as many dice as you have listed in that sphere, or less, but you must roll 1 die. Your opponent must use the same sphere and rolls defence in the same way.


Determine Hits and Deal Damage

Roll and compare. You score 1 hit and 1 wound for every success you score over what your enemy scored. Any ties go to the defender. Any ones rolled which are left unmodified are wounds taken by the target of the attack. The winner describes how their attack succeeds.

Distribute the removal of dice randomly between the losers stats, either by rolling dice or by using the sphere cards.

If the defender gets more successes, they score no hits on the attacker.

Combat then moves to the character with the next highest advantage.


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Claustrophobia Role Playing Game Ad

Super Sale

This week through till July 1st we’re running a 10% or more off sale. Click on the links below to grab your copy now:

Claustrophobia Beta

Claustrophobia! Role-playing game logo.


Lunatic Labyrinth

Lunatic Labyrinth


Pewter Tankard Tavern

Pewter Tankard Tavern

Prezzies for Players

A few weeks ago I released the Player Play Test Packet for Claustrophobia on DriveThruRPG. It’s a great free little gift you can pass on to players when you’re running a game of Claustrophobia.

Of most interest are the four pregenerated characters, as previewed a few weeks ago. You’ll also get a questionnaire to help with the play test, as we approach the middle of 2014 and start putting the final version of the game together.



Grab the Player Play Test Packet here.
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Claustrophobia Role Playing Game Ad

When Gnomes Attack

I’m busy putting a Claustrophobia play test packet together, so I decided to draw some garden gnomes for the pregens. Here’s a sneak peak of the first two characters…

Gretta Come n Getta is the first up. A feisty gnome with who’s ready to face any challenge that comes her way.

Gretta Comengetta


Then we have Jovial Nick, the festive gnome. Is he a gnome or a Christmas ornament? Who knows?

Jovial Nick

More coming soon!

Superheroes - Available Now @

2014 Will Be Big

This year I’ve narrowed my scope down to four projects and I thought I’d fill you in on my plans.

I’ll be writing for ICON again this year. If you don’t know, ICON is one of the big role-playing conventions in South Africa. With 10 RPG modules and 2 LARPs scheduled, it promises to be a 3 day role-playing extravaganza. Watch this blog for more!

Continuing with adventure modules, this month I’m doing the Gamers Lifestyle Boot Camp. The goal: publish my first full adventure module on DTRPG. Since I started Rising Phoenix Games three years ago, the goal has always been to publish my modules, making them available to more people. I’ve deliberately held off from publishing for now, but everything will change come August this year or next when my contract ends. So, although you might have to wait, I’ll be toiling away in anticipation. And, to kill two giant eagles with one magic missile, my Boot Camp project is also my ICON module. Yes, sneaky hobbitses indeed.

For a new challenge, I’m helping a friend craft the story for an indie X-Box game. No spoilers yet, but this will be a great chance for me to hone my story telling skills.

Claustrophobia! is getting sleeker. The gnomes are working frantically on page layout and a cover design and I’ve spent some time tightening up the main themes of the game. After a little more simmering I’ll be getting back to you for your opinion. Be sure to join the Facebook group to keep in touch with developments.

Finally, I started working on a Flash game last year.  Why a Flash game? Well, it’s something I learnt in university and hadn’t touched for awhile. I must say, picking it up again was easier than riding a bicycle and a great way to end off 2013. Will Rising Phoenix Games go the route of digital gaming? That remains to be seen. I watched an interesting video recently by Jonathan Blow that has me thinking about what makes a good game and I feel I could deliver something really interesting. So, with two digital projects set for 2014, let’s see where this takes us.

Phew. That’s a load. The quote for yesterday’s Boot Camp was “We overestimate what we can do in a year. But we underestimate what we can do in an hour.” That’s from Yax at It certainly might be the case here, but I have worked hard to lay a good foundation and now it’s just a matter of getting stuck in.


Taverns and Trade Dress

I’m back, and with the Japanese festival of the dead (ooh, spooky) I’ve had some time to sort through my collection of cool and bring you some geekness (geekiness?).

Firstly, I don’t think I’ve done a proper introduction of the Claustrophobia! logo on the blog, so here it is:

Claustrophobia! Role-Playing Game


Neat huh? I think the logo really gives you an idea of what the game is about and gave me a chance to practice my Photoshop technique. I’ve been working on more art too and talking to a proper artist who will hopefully grace our humble game’s pages with his L33t skillz.

Lastly, I’ve got a small preview for you…


The Pewter Tankard Tavern is not new to many of you, as it appeared in the Sentinels Watching series here on the blog awhile back. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s an 11″ x 8″ grid map, perfect for printing on A4 paper and sets out a typical tavern scene. I’ve since updated the map and polished it up to what you see before you. The PDF, which includes a list of adventure hooks, should be available from Drive Thru RPG in the next few days.

And, as always, my minions (me) are churning out the goodness here at Phoenix HQ, but I always have time for a chat, so why not drop a comment below.

Till later

The Art of Claustrophobia!

I posted an update to the rules for Claustrophobia! yesterday which includes the following updates:

  • Clarifications of many of the rules and standardization of terms throughout the book.
  • Improved layout of the monster entries to improve readability.
  • Added details about the Claustrophobia! Art Project.
  • Inclusion of a basic Glossary of Terms.
  • Many formatting tweaks.

Be sure to download the latest version of the rules now.


The Art Project

The Art Project on RedBubble is a showcase of the final book art for the game. Here I’ll be posting works from time to time, giving you the chance to wet your appetite and tell us what you think about the art. By buying stickers and t-shirts you help us fund more artworks and improve the final edition of the game.



Later this month and in early August I’m off on holiday, so I’m not planning any updates until late August. This time will be a chance for me to unwind, regroup and come back stronger than before. If you’re off on holiday I hope you have a great time and safe travels too.