Greetings from a snowy Rusted Portal Colony on this very white Christmas!
This isn’t a novel concept, but hasn’t this year flown by? Just last year we were hopeful the seals would stay intact a while longer and a year in we feel like a rocket is propelling us toward the Rise. Really, folks… it is coming. I know you can all feel it, it’s in the news every day. So we felt compelled to give you some insight on things worth looking forward to in the future. Frankly, you may as well plan on Apocalypse the Risen as a survival documentary. Of course, we’d settle for it being your new favorite RPG, either way.
AtR Design Progress:
Spells and spells and spells and oh yeah, magic items because of spells! Pathfinder rules master Chad Matson has been busy tweaking and re-working spells to ensure a seamless integration with the overall Worlds of the Portal universe. Killing alignment was only one of the many challenges with our goal that Apocalypse the Risen would be more than a reskinning of Pathfinder and D&D5E. The most recent hurdle was locking down the design for other planes of existence and that assimilation with spells. More on that following, but rest assured, spells and magic items are customized to work properly with AtR and all the Worlds of the Portal.
I’m certain you’re interested in how this fits into the overall progress to finally get your hands on this game. We are working through the chapters in a relatively linear fashion, save where designs feed into each other which becomes a circular progression. At present, AtR is divided into thirteen chapters (obviously). Spells are chapter 8 and magic items chapter 13. Designs are coming together and chunks of the project moving forward.
Planes of the Portal:
In chapter 11 we discuss the multiverse that is the Worlds of the Portal. We have hinted at many other related campaign settings that will grow the overall multiverse and most of those we will not discuss in Apocalypse the Risen. However, those transitive planes which touch all the Worlds will be included, some with more details than others.
We set out with a goal of bringing you an entirely new take on the multiverse through Apocalypse the Risen and future Worlds of the Portal campaign settings. These worlds are interconnected and the method of how very critical to the design. Perhaps most important to us in that process was ensuring the planes and worlds were engaging and playable, with reason to explore. These planes also must work with the magic of our worlds. While the full chapter entries were not unlocked, we are including some details to wet your appetite.
Transitive planes connect all worlds of the portal and sit on top of each prime material plane. Apocalypse the Risen takes place on Prime Earth, the only Worlds of the Portal campaign setting taking place on Earth. Each of the below planes are simultaneous layered on Prime Earth and all other worlds. These planes each exert a force on the Prime and occasionally breach their boundaries. These breaches are called intrusions, each plane interacting uniquely with the Prime. Each plane has their own physics, creatures, and secrets to uncover.
Eternity – Transitive Plane of Matter
While little is known about this plane, Eternity is made up of celestial particle bodies and energy-fluid space creating pathways through the multiverse. Travel is three dimensional and little reference is provided relevant to the Prime from which one enters. Navigation is dangerous at best, given the non-linear pathways. And strange beings and creatures using all manner of energy have been observed. Perhaps these beings even have a civilization to explore.
Intrusions from Eternity have not been fully identified at this time; however, these are undoubtedly dangerous given the nature of this plane.
It is believed that the Harbinger Singularity may tap into this plane for some of their powers.
Infinity – Transitive Plane of Time
In stark juxtaposition to Eternity, the transitive plane of time is truly linear. Time does in fact flow in a single direction. A river of enormous proportions flows through this nearly flat landscape, with arteries branching and reaching deep into the land. Creatures and societies exist within Infinity, sustained by Time itself. Some lifeforms observed were apparently two dimensional. It is unknown what secrets Infinity may hide or how travel along the river affects living matter.
Intrusions from Infinity are known as Anomaly and have been observed as various time paradoxes.
It is believed that the Maverick Gun Seer may harness minor anomalies for some of their powers.
Paradox – Transitive Plane of Life
Paradox exists as a reflection of the Prime world from which you enter, overrun with a dark and twisted version of nature. Paradox is a land in which humanity has held no sway, no civilization established, no wilderness tamed. However, Paradox has influenced many myths on Earth long before the Rise. Stories of Chupacabra, Sasquatch, and Wendigo come directly from creatures of Paradox. Paradox is never lit directly by the sun, only by its reflection following the phases of the moon. Temperatures are always at the extremes and every living creature is truly trying to kill and eat you. Further, strange ancient buildings have been witnessed in Paradox, seemingly organic in their technology.
Intrusions from Paradox are known as Lesions, a wound breaching the planes allowing creatures of Paradox to cross over to Prime Earth. Of course, these are not just one-way roads.
Veil – Transitive Plane of Death
The Veil itself, the very fabric separating the world of the living from the world of the dead. In truth, the Veil is really a vast plane visually an overlay of the Prime. Spirits and dimensional travelers will witness the Prime from their incorporeal state but not be seen by those outside the Veil. Incorporeal creatures exist in both locations simultaneously and the angry hateful souls animating the dead as Risen will be seen seething and snarling through the world.
The Veil once operated as a filter, allowing souls to pass on to Purgatory from the Prime. The Veil remains intact throughout most of the Worlds of the Portal. However, when the Seals were broken Prime Earth shifted tearing the Veil and creating a vacuum between Purgatory and Earth. This released supernatural magic back to Prime Earth and with it many souls who found homes in vacated bodies of the dead. No longer are the dead from Prime Earth able to pass on to Purgatory.
It is unclear is Intrusions from the Veil are present beyond the lacking passage of souls.
In the next update we might take a pass at some of the non-transitive multiverse planes, including the Upper and Lower Realms, Purgatory, and the Void. Most important, rest assured we are hard charging toward putting this book through editing and layout to reach our print goals described in the Halloween update.
We wish you the Happiest of Holidays and the Light’s favor in the new year. From your friends in the Rusted Portal Colony, to all a good night!
Donaven - Rusted Portal Games
Greetings from the Rusted Portal Colony!
Today we celebrate All Hallow’s Eve and wish you the best in your haunts. From Eclipse de los Muertos and the Rusted Portal crew, we hope you’ve had a fantastic Halloween.
We have been quiet of late, focusing on fortifying our walls while seeking resources from unlikely places. We have a mixed report for you this day, from events and playtests to final builds and production timing. There’s a lot great progress and especially some good news on the visuals for the book you’ve made possible.
Pre-Sale is Live!
A few weeks ago we quietly launched the pre-sale campaign which we are now ready to roll out fully. You can link to the pre-sale from the Kickstarter page, so do your worst and spread the word to all your gaming friends. And don’t forget the FLGS! We’ve already got a few that plan to order. Also on the way in November will be your surveys. We are learning Backerkit and have been careful to not make mistakes we will have to fix later. Fingers crossed!
We are absolutely behind our target production schedule and with great reason. From the start we have promised that you will receive a book well beyond expectations. We remain dedicated to that promise. Our new timeline has us printing Pathfinder in Q1 and likely delivering in Q2. The target is for delivery of 5E in Q3, in time for Gen Con 2018! Following are some reasons and results of the delay.
Art – We have some outstanding art pieces that were expected by this point. While progress on existing commissions is behind schedule, the pieces delivered continue to be the amazing quality you expect. In case you had forgotten some of the amazing work from Raven Mimura for the iconics, check out the latest. Here’s Frost the Lazarus Harbinger and Enoch the Seraphim Arbiter (both drafts).
And because art remains of key importance to Rusted Portal, we have opted to commission a lot more art during the delay. We have ADDED about 50 new art commissions since Gen Con. That’s not a typo. In fact, that number may grow as we flesh out the book with some additional artists. That said, the timing for all of this will overlap not stack for further delays. We are also working on some photo manipulation pieces for an immersive view into post-Rise Earth. Here’s an example!
Playtest – We are crunching final designs after heavy playtest leading into Gen Con. We found that our Otherworldly casters had a few things in common without an associated game mechanic. We have since built and playtested the Faith, Justice, and Nature Pool mechanic for the Shepherd, Arbiter, and Conservator. It is a much more elegant and playable design we know you’ll love.
In the coming weeks we will also be releasing the 2017 5E Gen Con standalone adventure “A Hox and a Gentlemen” as a free download. This will include eleven 7th level character builds for some great insight into what’s coming!
Editing – We have been working through the internal edits before sending out of house. This allows us to really lock down the nomenclature so GMs and players can further dive deep into the world of Apocalypse the Risen.
Gen Con 2017 – We had an incredible Gen Con, running 14 four hour sessions over the course of the best 4 days in gaming. Over that time period we had nearly 100 players between the Pathfinder game “A Feast for the Eyes” and the 5E game “A Hox and a Gentlemen”. The response was so very positive we were just blown away. Despite how much we believe in AtR, we are always deeply humbled by players having such a good time. We will be a staple at Gen Con going forward and hope you make it to our table next year.
GE2.Live – This year we were invited to participate in the Entercom Radio event GE2.Live hosted by local station KISW. The event includes all kinds of interactive games from VR games to drone racing. Most important to us, the growing tabletop gaming section in year two was a great success. We ran two game tables with Raven showcasing art on an adjacent table. Awesome!
This unique event is designed to be experiential rather than immersive. That’s a big challenge for an RPG and we are stoked with how it turned out. Each game was designed to run approximately 1hr, though most players continued through two hours of content. We accomplished this by reducing both the Pathfinder and 5E characters to a rules lite version, allowing us to get through more game at a lower learning curve. We intend to apply this to future events and think you’ll find the experience incredibly fun. Perhaps you will get a chance to explore the Happy Hotel or the Health & Wellness Center!
Upcoming – We will be attending OrcaCon, Norwescon, PaizoCon, and Gen Con for sure in 2018. We are hoping to travel for a couple other conventions is possible. Keep an eye out as we ramp up our social media communications.
Most of all, we wanted to give you our continued thanks for the support and interest in Apocalypse the Risen. We cannot wait to get you this game. Clear your campaign schedule because the Seals will all be broken.
Donaven – Rusted Portal Games
For those of you making the trek to Gen Con 50, we hope you made it into one of our game sessions. If not, please feel free to stop by and say hello. We'd love to shake your hand and talk about safe zones to meet up post-Rise.
Below is a finalized schedule of our booked out games. Even if you aren't attending, take a moment to congratulate yourself for helping put us on the map. Fourteen 4hr game sessions between Pathfinder and 5E, all booked with full tables.
One change... Chad Matson is unfortunately not able to come run our Pathfinder games for the weekend. Instead, yours truly will be holding down the PF event all weekend. See you there!
Donaven | CEO
Rusted Portal Games
We are starting to hear questions on progress and realized we've been WAY too quiet! Truth is, we are working our asses off over here on this game and Gen Con prep. We have been running Pathfinder playtests through level progression as well as 5E class and bestiary development. Not to mention, run through playtest of the Gen Con 5E game which is SICK. No, I mean really, who comes up with these horrific encounters?!? What about the Pathfinder Gen Con game you ask? We've got that one dialed in from a few months back as well! Seriously, don't leave the colony, it isn't safe out there.
PF is getting the majority of the attention as that system is the first scheduled for delivery so that will be the focus of this update. We have identified 13 chapters plus the "Intro to Surviving" and "Intro to Running" AtR chapters. Chad has moved to a remote outpost and churned through final build on the seven heaviest chapters needing work, including the vehicle rules. Word of advice... be careful on scavenging missions when crossing intersections. There are silent and invisible objects traveling at high speeds. Vehicle "accidents" are not pretty. Also, wear your seat belt!
We intend to work through final designs in August and go into full edit in September. We have agreed in principle with an awesome layout artist, Simeon Cogswell! He will handle both Pathfinder ('17) and 5E ('18) so we have a consistent feel. We are targeting hand-off of files to Simeon at the end of September/start of October. Check him out!
Our goal for Pathfinder has the printer receiving files at the start of November for a delivery of mid-December. We are tight and have a lot of work ahead of us. Gen Con adds a significant yet worthy challenge, and yet we are working hard to hold the line!
I can tell you with certainty that the playtest games have been extremely fun and enlightening. We've been playing this game for a while now; however, these games on near final design is really solid for dialing in the play balance. We know you'll see those results in the final product.
Now, I know art isn't that important to you all... err, I mean, maybe the only reason you backed us! :) Right, so art is SUPER important to all of us and we have commissioned a number of additional artists for scenes and been working up some things internally as well. We get so excited seeing our crazy world come to life with this art. So, here's a little art update...
Alison has been diligently working on a variety of scenes showcasing locations around the world, including colonies and places of intrigue or downright scary. We are stoked to have her on the team and healing up well from the accident!
Michael Rechlin showed us a little insanity in a Dr. Dobrin sketch:
Good friend of the portal Joseph "Bear" Thompson gives you a (draft) glimpse into Paradox:
And Guillaume Ducos shows how a Progeny Maverick can take care of one of the most dangerous Embraced demons, a Purifier of Pride (also in draft):
We have a lot of amazing artists, writers, and designers working hard on making Apocalypse the Risen an amazing campaign setting. Keep a spot for us on your gaming schedule because we are going to deliver you one hell of a world.
We also hope to meet many of you at Gen Con. While all 14 of our game sessions are sold out (AMAZING!) please feel free to stop in and introduce yourself. We are stoked and humbled to make so many new friends.
Donaven Brines | CEO
Rusted Portal Games