Tag Archives: Roleplaying Games

When the Bad Guys Win — RPG Blog Carnival

Great trials. Horrific encounters. Epic adventures. Glittering prizes. Victory. These are all a part of being a hero in the fantasy worlds we explore in our games. But what happens when the bad guys win?

Image credit: Publisher’s Choice Quality Stock Art © Rick Hershey / Fat Goblin Games

RPG Blog Carnival

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival is all about “When the Bad Guys Win.” We’ll be putting links in the comments below that cover the topic in all sorts of ways, so be sure to check back here often. At the end of the month we’ll compile all the articles into a list, so keep an eye out for that too.

when the bad guys win — rpg blog carnival logo

The RPG Blog Carnival is a virtual, traveling, monthly event that moves from blog to blog, covering interesting topics related to our wonderful hobby of tabletop roleplaying games. It’s a great way to see what many talented RPG bloggers are up to, get some ideas, and expand your horizons. Enjoy!

Calling All Bloggers

If you’re a blogger, why not join us?

Write a post on this month’s topic, then post a link to the article in the comments below. How you interpret this month’s topic is up to you, but here are some ideas:

  1. Talk about running a game where each member of the party is a dastardly villain.
  2. Give us ideas for cunning, recurring NPC enemies.
  3. Stat up some diabolical monsters.
  4. A fiction piece where the heroes lose the fight.
  5. Paint up some diabolical enemies and share your tips.
  6. Teach us how to roleplay a great villain.
  7. Throw some ideas at us for dealing with character death.
  8. Devise some cunning traps.
  9. Share some great sources featuring villains.
  10. Check out the RPG Blog Carnival Archive for even more ideas.

Be sure to check out what others are writing about and keep boosting the signal as we head into 2021.

 


The 400th Rising Phoenix Games Blog Post

Yes, that’s right, it’s our 400th post on the Rising Phoenix Games Blog! To celebrate, we’re given away a free game!

400 and Counting

Mmm, 400 is a big juicy number.

We’ve shared some great articles over the years, including our Stranger Things Season 3 RPG campaign that tried—and succeeded in many ways—to anticipate the show’s third season before it aired. We’ve run several article series beyond that, including Write Design Program which looks at game design topics, Magic Life Lessons which delves into Magic: the Gathering to learn important life lessons, and our largest series yet, Mini Monday, which brings you miniature painting, terrain, and kit-bashing projects for your gaming table.

Mini Monday Logo

Of all our series, Valkyrie: Ragnarok, our short fiction series, is the one I’m most excited about. It tells the story of Faya, a half-elf outcast trying to surive criminal cults and the city watch in the deadly city of Bastion. Her story is much bigger than her own survival though, but I better not spoil any surprises just yet. The newsletter is the place to read more of Faya’s story, delivered to your inbox each month, so be sure to subscribe.

Of course, we’ve always been focused on our core business, which is producing excellent RPG supplements. The Rising Phoenix Games blog will always be the best place to find out about our newest products and special offers, like our newest game, which is free to download!

D4 Dungeon

D4 Dungeon, is an OSR dungeon crawl RPG I created for the #AGBIC game jam. We’re giving it away to celebrate hitting our 400th post!

D4 Dungeon Cover

The pyramid of Krug lies in the deep mists of the Valley of Bones, drifting in and out of reality as the tides of magic ebb and rise. Four determined tomb robbers have climbed the pyramid’s many black steps to reach the ancient tomb’s pinnacle, and the great door of bone.

Beyond the grim door’s threshold lie the many mysteries and horrors of the pyramid. Those who overcome them may discover great treasures, or a horrible end. Beware, for the pyramid’s power will work for and against you.

D4 Dungeon is a light dungeon crawl and a love-letter to old-school RPGs. It includes all the maps you’ll need to play, four character cards for the greedy Tomb Robbers under your control, a Doom Clock to mark the hour of your ultimate demise, and the rules in a printer-friendly PDF.

Download or Donate on D4 Dungeon’s store page, which you can find by hitting the big orange button below. Can you survive the dark dismal D4 Dungeon?!


 

You can read more about the “A Game by its Cover” game jam on Itch.io. Be sure to check out D4 Dungeon’s game jam thread, or download or donate on D4 Dungeon’s Itch.io page. If you would like to donate, the best option is through the orange button above. That way your donation will have the greatest impact and help us to keep improving the game.

More To Come

We hope you’ll subscribe and keep coming back for more.
Until next time, keep safe and play good games.

What Makes or Breaks an RPG Web Store?

Sometimes a discussion on the Internet is just too important to ignore, and this post, by Owen KC Stephens, concerns you, our customers. Owen asked about previous customers on Paizo’s RPG web store, and his questions concern how you’re able to access our products, as well as those by other great third party publishers of Pathfinder and fifth edition content. If Owen’s post applies to you, we’d love to hear your feedback.

Our own Rising Phoenix Games RPG web store is growing, and we’d love to be able to offer you the experience you want. If you have any feedback for us, feel free to contact us or drop a comment below. I’ll be keeping an eye on Owen’s thread too, because your opinion matters.

Speaking of online stores, please do check out Rising Phoenix Games on Paizo.com. Buying from our own store is always the best way to support us, but our partnerships with companies like Paizo.com, the Open Gaming Store, Drive-Thru RPG, and Itch.IO mean that you can get your favorite Rising Phoenix Games books and supplements at your favorite online store.

The Best Way to Support RPG Creators

If you’ve ever wondered where your money goes when you buy RPG books online, then hopefully this will shed some light on the subject. The best place to support RPG creators, by revenue split is:

  1. The creator’s own website. We get 100% of the profit off each sale made through our store.
  2. The Open Gaming Store.
  3. Paizo.Com
  4. Drive-Thru RPG or other One Bookshelf (OBS) sites. DTRPG and sites like Drive-Thru Cards take a 35% cut of the profit. That said, their tools make promotion and contractor payments far easier, their staff is very helpful, and their library of titles is the largest on the web, so we’ve always been happy to sell through them.
  5. Community creator sites, like the Dungeon Masters Guild. The DMG takes 50% off each sale, which is likely shared between Wizards of the Coast and OBS.

Don’t Miss the Newsletter

I’m busy putting together the final touches for this month’s newsletter, and it’s a whopper. Don’t miss out, subscribe to the Rising Phoenix Games newsletter today. Each monthly issue includes exciting product news, discounts, and free fiction from the Valkyrie: Ragnarok saga. I’ll be posting an excerpt from the story on the blog too, but subscribers get to read more and subscribing is totally free.

 

Cosmic Horror Awaits in Nightscape: Red Terrors

In Nightscape: Red Terrors you play an Operative of Integrand General — an extra-governmental non-profit established to research the arcane sciences — fighting your way through the PERM 37 facility. You will be opposed by the horrific forces at the disposal of the Director. Modern weapons have little power against the most powerful horrors you’ll face…

Nightscape: Red Terrors RPG Cover

Sheesh guys, it’s actually here! This book has been years in the making, and I think that our care and attention to detail shows. Nightscape: Red Terrors is an “all in one” game that includes a mission and modular map, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to tell your own stories of cosmic horror.


Nightscape: Red Terrors was my first real chance to play with someone else’s toys. The Nightscape universe is massive, including novels, novellas, comics, soundtracks, and even a movie. You can and should check out their website, at Nightscapeseries.com. If you’re a fan of pulp cosmic horror, you won’t be disappointed.

In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian government decommissioned several publicly hidden research facilities devoted to ‘arcane science,’ chief among them, PERM Laboratory 37. Recently, due to several strange energy emissions, the location of the PERM 37 facility has been discovered by various parties with an interest in the lab’s inventory of eldritch artifacts.

You’re an agent of one of these factions on your way through driving sleet to the facility. Dusk is falling as you pass through the broken security gate…

Nightscape: Red Terrors uses a D20, and all the rules you need to play are included in the book. You can find it through the following vendors:

 

Print on Demand versions of the book are coming to Drive-Thru RPG too. We expect them to be available in the next week or so. Watch this space.

RPG Con at Rising Phoenix Games, 3-9 Aug

Rising Phoenix Games’ RPG Con is this week, all week, right here on the blog!
Rising Phoenix Games RPG Con
Join us for articles, interviews, deep discounts, and more RPG fun!

Posts

Monday’s post was about painting flesh golems for your roleplaying table.
Tuesday’s post was the next installment in the Valkyrie: Ragnarok series of fiction: Flight Through Bastion.
Wednesday’s posts included a look back at all our previous Mini Monday projects and a look at Aurora’s Whole Realms Christmas Catalogue.
Thursday’s post introduced Phoenixes of the Realms, our latest creature supplement for the DMs Guild.
Kenny from Oh, Sheep! recently interviewed me about Rising Phoenix Games. You can find that interview in Friday’s post.

Deep Discounts

We have a bunch of sales on, all running until Monday, August 10th, 2020.

Saturday’s Deal of the Day

Heaven & Hell: Aasimar & Tiefling Ancestries is 40% off on Saturday only, on Drive Thru RPG. This is a huge opportunity to grab one of our best-selling books for Pathfinder Second Edition.

Heaven & Hell Cover

Rising Phoenix Game Store

Use the discount code “RPGCON2020” on the Rising Phoenix Games store this week to get 60% off your purchase if you spend $5 or more. The coupon is good for one use per user.

Open Gaming Store

All our products are 60% off this week and weekend during RPG Con. Head on over to the Open Gaming Store and take a look.

 

Also, check out the featured products on the lefthand side of the sales page, many of which were edited by yours truly.

Drive Thru RPG

A large number of our titles are 60% off on Drive Thru RPG this week:

Dungeon Masters Guild

Daily Updates

We’ll update this page daily during RPG Con, so be sure to check back often.

#RPGCon on Twitter

Come and chat with me on Twitter:
@RSloan or @RisingPhoenixGM

Flesh Golem Frank N. Stein — Mini Monday 24

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying and tabletop gaming. This week we’re painting Mr Frank N. Stein, the flesh golem from the Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game.

Mini Monday Logo

The flesh golem from the Castle Ravenloft Board Game is one of my favourite minis. The detail is crisp and he looks like he has just walked onto the stage of an Iron Maiden concert. I wanted him to have really gross, leathery skin, and I’m very pleased with how he turned out.

Flesh Golem Final

Undercoating and Flesh Wash Magic

I sprayed the mini white, then painted sections of his skin in off-green, off-blue, and flesh colour. I also left some sections white. It’s all in the name of visual interest.

Flesh Golem Basecoat
Yum, yum. I think I might never eat sushi again.

I then went over this with my magical Flesh Wash. I’ve used it in a few projects now, such as the Cacodemon, Yochlol, and the skeletons. Flesh Wash was perfect for getting that dry leather look, and the off-green and off-blue shows though enough to give it a sickly look. Perfection!

Flesh Golem Flesh Wash
Flesh Wash for a Flesh Golem! I knew there was something to the name!

Stitches and Iron

After some experimenting, I painted the stitches black. If Dr Frankenstein was using thread, these would turn black from the blood it would soak up. I did try adding silver to make them look like staples, but that didn’t make sense to me in a fantasy setting, so I ditched the idea.

Okay, he has metal fingers under the flesh of his one hand, but I’m still not doing staples. I picked out the raised metal edges with silver paint.

Disaster

I didn’t want to paint every stitch, so I tried a marker pen instead. What I didn’t realise until I’d finished was that I was using a dry-erase pen. Whenever I added wet paint or varnish, the colour ran and pooled in an ugly mess. What seems to have worked was going over this with an actual permanent marker or dryish paint.

Live and learn.

Exposed Muscle

I painted the flesh golem’s exposed muscle pink, then went over the raised parts with a reddish-purple. I used a black wash to pick out the detail, and then made sure to use a gloss varnish to make this section appear wet.

Pants

We decided on purple pants to contrast nicely with the orangy flesh, and because this guy looks like an undead version of the Hulk.

I painted the pants the same reddish-purple as the exposed muscle, then dry brushed a lighter purple over the raised bits. The straps were painted a leathery brown and given metal highlights on the buckles. Finally, I used a black wash (watered-down black paint) to pick out the shadows.

Almost done!
The first layer of paint on the pants. It’s not very smooth, but the dry brushing will cover that up.

Final Details

I painted the tongue pink and the teeth yellow, then these also got a black wash. When I was done, I gave varnished the flesh golem with matt varnish, except for the exposed muscle, as I mentioned before.

Flesh Golem Final
Here he is again, in all his gory glory.

Rising Phoenix Games’ RPG Con is On

Rising Phoenix Games’ RPG Con is this week, all week, right here on the blog!
 
Join us for articles like this one, interviews, discounts, and more RPG fun!
 
#RPG #RPGCon
Rising Phoenix Games Con

Quick Terrain Projects — Mini Monday Ep 6

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we take on two quick terrain projects, which you can bang out in an evening.

Quick Terrain Projects of a stalagmite and road sign.

The first project is a stalagmite, those naturally forming spikes of rock that you find at the bottom of caves.

For mine, I used paper clay, but any type of clay should work. I drilled a hole through it and threaded a bit of chain through the hole to create some visual interest. I dripped super glue down the chain, which keeps it stiff. To paint the stalagmite, paint with a dark gray then dry brush with a lighter gray on the raised edges. The chain is painted black and then painted with a metallic color. Done!

The road sign is a bit of chopstick and popsicle stick, shaped and stuck together with wood glue. I used paper clay for the base, and you need something that is heavy enough to keep the sign upright. I then painted it brown and edge-highlighted it with a tan brown. I didn’t paint a name onto the sign, because I wanted to be able to add names to photos with Photoshop, as I’ve done above.

Both of these projects are simple and quick enough that you could turn out several in an evening, and they’re great projects for beginners. Besides being cheap, you can get a lot of reuse out of each bit of scenery. My little stalagmite has appeared in every prison and dungeon I’ve run since making it, and fills an inch square nicely.

Is there anything you’d like to see me paint or build? Let me know in the comments below.

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.


Mushroom Miniatures — Mini Monday, Ep 5

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week I’ll show you some easy mushroom miniatures to make with clay, to decorate the subterranean caverns of your RPG table.

Mushroom miniatures and a drow in the Underdark
badger, badger, badger, Mushroom, MUSHROOM!

Badgers love mushrooms, everyone loves mushrooms! On pizza or in the dungeon, mushrooms add a touch of class that’s hard to beat. These mushroom miniatures give your players something interesting to fight around, a refreshing change from the ubiquitous grey walls and stone tombs found below.

I made these mushrooms with air drying clay. I added gills underneath with a sharp tool, by drawing lines outwards from the stem.

When they were dry, I painted the stems with white mixed with a touch of green, which gives a sickly tint to them. The mushroom caps were painted purple, and I used two shades. Lastly, I varnished them with a matt varnish, and they were done.

I molded the mushrooms by hand, and there’s nothing inside them to give them more structure, but you could use toothpicks or wire as a core — a good idea for longer stems. If you’re making bigger mushrooms to take the weight of a miniature, then use a tightly pressed core of aluminum foil as the core. It’ll be lighter and will dry quicker than a hunk of solid clay.

I didn’t base them, so they’ll fit anywhere, but you could make up mushroom forests on a large base, or myconid figures or shrieking shroom markers on smaller bases. You can find rules for myconids in the Player’s Companion.

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.


Scratch Built Flying Sword — Mini Monday, Ep 3

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week I’ll show you a simple scratch building project for a flying sword.

Flying Sword
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Oh, never mind!

This was a simple scratch build, and there are plenty of ways to get similar results. I wanted a flying sword animated object for one of my NPCs, but the model can just as easily be used to mark a guardian of faith or spiritual weapon spell.

I took the scimitar off an old Warhammer orc, then drilled into the base of the blade to insert a pin, made from a paper clip. I then used modeling epoxy to craft the handle, then attached this to a small base. Done!

I undercoated with white, then painted black over the sword and pin. I then painted the base green and dry brushed the sword with metallic paint. I used brown with a leather brown color for highlights on the handle. I then flocked the base and varnished the whole thing with matt varnish. For the second varnish coat, I used gloss on the metallic parts and matt varnish everywhere else. And that was the painting done.

This was a quick project and the idea can be used for so much more, such as spell effects, other animated objects, floating orbs, and markers, such as a triggered blade trap.

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.


Easy-Peasy Terrain Projects

A great looking map and some simple model terrain can go a long way towards making your games stand out. Here are three super easy projects.

A Sign (Post) of Things to Come

I made this little sign post to put alongside roads on my game map. It gives the players a visual reminder of where something is, like the big city, in relation to the combat action. I intentionally left it blank.

Orc and sign post.
“Dis way!”

To make it, all you need are some small pieces of wood, cut to shape, and some modelling clay for the base. I actually used a kind of papier-mâché, which worked fine. I highly suggest painting the wood and giving it a wash to bring out the grain.

Stalagmite (of Doom)

Stalagmites and standing stones are all over every fantasy world, so having one I can plop down on the map really helps highlight those features.

A well, a sign post and... a rock.
“Some sexy models!”

This is mostly modelling clay, molded into shape and then filed to add some detail. I added chains so that it could be part of a broken bridge or a feature of a jail, surrounded by miserable prisoners.

 

Well, well, well. What have we here?

Again, water wells are everywhere. You know there’s something down there and you know your players want to find out.

Well ambush
“All I ask for is one empty well!”

The well was also made with modelling clay, built on top of plastic card, which I painted black. I added chains to look like they connected to the depths below. Some dry brushing really made this model pop!

Incidentally, Chris Shaeffer created an amazing map centered around a well as his entry to round 2 of RPG Super Star Season 9, go check it out.