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Magic has awakened, and new heroes must face the return of magic and monsters. Powered by Hulks and Horrors.
Magic has awakened, and new heroes must face the return of magic and monsters. Powered by Hulks and Horrors.
91 backers pledged $1,681 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

$1,681

91

What Is It?

Arcana Rising is a modern-day urban fantasy role-playing game that posits a world where magic and the supernatural have awakened once more after millennia of slumber beneath the frozen ice of the Antarctic. 

Generations ago, the source of all raw magic was sealed away beneath the frozen ice of the southernmost continent, but now, with the breaching of the ancient seal by Russian scientists, magic once again flows throughout the world as it once did. Wizardry is once more a genuine calling, the divine influence is making itself known in greater strength than has been seen on the Earth in centuries, and with the return of magic, supernatural creatures that had long fled to the outer planes where magic still held sway are once again encroaching into the material realm and threatening mankind. 

Players will take on classic fantasy roles thrust into our world, modern day wizards, adventurers, and holy champions, who seek out the knowledge of the lost era of magic and attempt to protect mankind from the supernatural beings that now threaten it, all while juggling their mundane lives around the demands of a life of danger confronting unholy threats from beyond the veil.

Arcana Rising is powered by the same core system as the critically-acclaimed Hulks and Horrors science-fiction role-playing game. The H&H Engine brings a simple to learn set of rules inspired by the classic fantasy role-playing games of Gygax, Mentzer, and Ward. 

What's In It?

  • 7 core classes with rules up to level 12 and beyond, each a new spin on the classics: Gunfighter, Gladiator, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric, Champion, and Forestwalker
  • A Day Job system, representing the characters' day to day careers
  • A new skill system that aims to provide the skilled with better talent and success without blocking off options
  • Arcane magic and Divine prayer, with spell lists for each up to level 5
  • Rules for generating magical treasures and artifacts from the ancient era
  • An extensive collection of classic fantasy and folkloric monsters
  • GM advice and tools for modern and urban fantasy adventuring
  • Alternate rules for other game concepts like traditional medieval fantasy

Who's Making It?

John S. Berry III - Writer/Designer

John is an up-and-coming tabletop roleplaying game designer with two commercial projects under his belt in as many years: Heaven's Shadow and the best-selling Hulks and Horrors, as well as his "student game," Drums of War, a free fantasy roleplaying game inspired by the Warcraft universe.

Maru Järveläinen - Creative Consulting/Editor

Joining him for the first time with BWP, Maru is a student of language and folklore, a writer, and a long time roleplayer. Maru has been advising John on folklore and religious topics for Arcana Rising, and will also be assisting in editing and proofreading the final drafts. 

Bedroom Wall Press

Bedroom Wall Press is the personal press imprint of John S. Berry III, and the nominal publisher of Heaven's Shadow and Hulks and Horrors. BWP aims to focus on games that rekindle the spirit of youthful imagination, focusing on tightly written games with an old-school flair for simplicity and unbridled imagination. 

Praise for Other BWP Games

Hulks and Horrors:

"[W]hat a grand trip it is!" 

"Refreshing, old-skool RPG fun."

"[E]xcellent mix of Old School Mechanics and science fiction space opera ...  Very clearly written and certainly as flexible as most OSR games."

"It is the first science fiction RPG that has successfully carried Dungeons & Dragons into space."

Check out H&H for free at DriveThruRPG!

Heaven's Shadow

"A fantastic premise, and the streamlined MiniSix seems to fit it like a glove."

"Definitely worth checking out."

Check out Heaven's Shadow for free on DriveThruRPG, and read more complete comments and reviews on our games at DriveThruRPG.

Stretch Goals

REACHED! $1500: At $1500, we will be bringing Sam Drost onboard with the team, as art director and layout editor. Sam brings with him a talented knack for striking layout design, and will also be helping us source both public and commercial art to illustrate the interior of the book, and the more funds we get from this point on, the more of it we can include.

$2000: At $2000, I will expand the corebook to include a sample setting with the game, Central Valley, a modern-day city of corruption and supernatural threats. It also means more and better licensed art for the interior.

$3000: At this mark and beyond, we can start looking into actual commissioned artwork for the book. Details to come as we approach this mark!

Additional amounts beyond established stretch goals will go to further compensate the writing and editing staff. RPG development is a lot of work for often limited compensation, and BWP believes as a matter of principle in compensating its creative staff as generously as possible, and the baseline budget offers only bare minimum compensation needed to cover work involved.

Risks and challenges

With an existing system framework from Hulks and Horrors and a wealth of classic fantasy material and inspiration to work with, I foresee zero problems producing the content itself, and even the add-on content for the stretch goal of Central Valley already exists in broad notes form readily adapted to the new system. I've delivered two complete games already, and design work is already proceeding swiftly.

Challenges that could arise however will come in the form of layout and design time, as my skills in that department are limited, which is why previous books have stuck to a simple layout design in single-column.

There is also the chance that there will be playtesting challenges, as while the H&H system seems to be fairly rock-solid thus far, if playtesting turns up new issues or struggles to get started, that could delay the project as I will not release until I'm satisfied that I've put together a quality game.

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Funding period

- (30 days)