posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

Let's talk about Christapocapunk. There have been a number of games covering it, but one of the originals is 1995's The End by Scapegoat games and written by Joseph Donka. I'll be talking mainly about the original 1995 version, not the d20 re-release.

I remember seeing it at GenCon and it was one of those games you had to ask to see because they kept copies out of sight. Now why would they do that? Well, on the back in red text on a black background it said, 'This book contains adult subject matter and themes that are unsuitable for younger audiences.The management of Scapegoat Games recommends a minimum age of 17 for the purchase of this product'. Oooo scary stuff.

Inside the front cover were the production credits as usual and at the bottom the dedication, 'To the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Billof Rights for Constitution of the United States of America. May the ideals put forth by that document never perish from the Earth'.

I had mentioned the credits. The flyleaf is two column and the left side is the credits and the dedication...the right side of an A4 sized book is the disclaimer...








Yeah...this game is 90s as hell.

It opens up with some fiction.


MARCH 9TH, 2004
THE LAST DAYS HAD COME. OUTSIDE MY BEDROOM WINDOW WERE BLIGHTED FIELDS, BLOATED CORPSES AND RIVERS OF BLOOD. Anyone who had said that this was not the end of the world, had died long ago. I laid in bed and waited. My wife and daughter were with me. They seemed so calm. Didn't they know what we were waiting for? It didn't take long. It appeared at the door and called to us. It wasn't a skeleton, scythe in hand like it would be if life imitated art. It was just a void, a black formless mass. It was what the world would sound like when the last living thing died. It was Death, impure and simple.

Helen and Rachel walked up to it and took it by the hand. I watched their steaming bodies fall to the floor. I tried to scream...nothing. I tried to run, but it was always there, just a step behind me. I fell and it fell on me.
I awakened to a light, brighter than anything I've ever seen. I was standing in a line of people...all the peo¬ple. Helen was on my left, and somehow little Rachel had gotten onto my shoulders. They seemed so happy. This was The End, how could they be so god damned happy?

That was when I saw it. One of the Heavenly Host marched by, staring at each person in line. It stopped at a man who looked familiar, about a dozen people ahead of us. The Angel grabbed the man by the chin and turned his head towards the Light. There, on his temple, was 666 in fine gold print. The Angel swept the man up and broke his spine across his knee like a rotten branch. I realized then that the man was Art Threadgill, and one of my best friends. Jesus Christ, he was the best man at my wedding.

The pit opened, and Art was gone.

The Angel began to scan the line again. My heart raced. I couldn't catch my breath. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. Helen looked at me with her dark brown eyes and said, "Don't worry Harry, you were a good man." Rachel squeezed my neck affectionately, and it almost seemed OK. More people were singled out of the line. The sound of snapping spines became more frequent, they were scaring me to death.
Justice was being dispensed.

We reached the Gates. There was an old man at the gates with an enormous book. He looked down at Helen and Rachel and smiled. He looked back at the light, and I never saw Helen and Rachel again. Then he turned to me.
(It's odd, in the last six months I must have had this dream a hundred times. Each time I have it, some of the details change. Sometimes my brother is the first one cast down by the Angel, or my father. The one thing that never changes is what The Light said to me).

The gatekeeper, St. Peter I guess, looked at me but he didn't smile. Nor did he frown and call over the Angels. He looked back into The Light and spoke to me.

"There is no place for you here. You who were too meek to choose Heaven or Hell, Good or Evil, Light or Darkness; to you both Heaven and Hell are denied. You who loved the mortal clay so much that you turned away from both Me and My Adversary. that You are given what you thought you wished. You are The Meek, so shall you inherit the Earth. An Earth without Grace or Light shall be your home for the rest of your days. Go now, I forsake you."

Then everything was gone. All the people, The Light, the Angels. St. Peter walked slowly through the gates and locked them behind him. He looked at me one last time and said, "Go home, we're closed."

I was standing in front of my home, screaming at the top of my lungs. My heart pounded so hard I thought it was going to explode. Then the dream ended. Reality isn't much better.

Damn you, God! I was a good man. You had no right to turn me away.

It goes on for a while describing roughly the last days with the plagues and famines that had covered Earth. Then Harry decides to hit the road because his family is gone in the Rapture and he has nothing to keep him behind. He starts in Miami and heads north, finally seeing another human when he gets into Georgia. He meets up with various ad hoc communities and finally winds up in Savannah at a racist collective run by a serious whack job who calls himself 'Dr. Jim'. Against his better judgment, he stays there for a while doing some foraging and ends up receiving a girl named Jessica as a slave for payment. Harry decides he needs to get out of there now and heads north only to discover Jim didn't want him to take Jessica with him when he left...

So what is this?

The next section starts off by saying The Book of Revelations was absolutely correct. However, the last translation had been done very poorly and a lot of the signs were listed to appear in an incorrect order or were just plain wrong. Then comes a faux news clipping describing a new piece of tech. An implantable credit chip called the Sub-Dermal Universal Credit Chip or SUC. This is being touted as a vast improvement to banking as well as being universal ID. You can see where this is going, right?

There were a lot of protests from various churches from evangelical Baptists to the Vatican, but the upsides were so great for government control and monitoring, that the SUC received approval worldwide.

Then on New Years 2003, 150,000 people vanished. That is such a small percentage of the world population that nobody really noticed, in the US only about 7,000 vanished for example. The people that said that their relatives had disappeared were mainly brushed off as missing persons cases and the 2003 went on...

The First Seal

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

The First Seal

Another translation all fact, the First Seal broken is Pestilence!

There are two things that announce its entrance to the world. On January 19th, 2003, a previously unknown alliance of Middle Eastern fanatics launches a preemptive strike against Israel that catches everybody off guard including the rest of the Islamic world. An unidentified bioweapon was loaded into a sophisticated warhead of mysterious manufacture and fired at Jerusalem.

This disease is so lethal it kills anyone that contracts it in seconds of inhalation. Destroying the city and because of the winds, the majority of the nation of Israel within minutes of the impact. The alliance that launched this are very unhappy to find out that this disease does not disperse, but remains as a contact poison on any surface it lands on, soaking into porous surfaces and remaining virulent. This 'unforeseen' action means that the disease is never clearly identified as no matter the level of protection, anyone who enters the former borders of Israel dies almost instantly.

Over the next days, the winds carry this over Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon as well basically destroying them. Syria, Iraq, and Iran get slightly hit but are still functional.

Pestilence's second attack is the creation of a special disease that targets anyone who has a SUC implant. As this is quite widespread this disease travels far and wide. The disease, nicknamed 'Gold', is not fatal but is incredibly painful and debilitating with a final symptom of bright yellow jaundice that gave the disease its common name. This disease was gruesome, agonizing, and completely incapacitating but not actually lethal. The only ones immune to it are those that never received the implant.

The CDC is helpless because...


Finally, on January 23, the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta suffered Pestilence's coup de grace. In a display case deep in the center of the complex, a vial, which once contained the last smallpox culture on earth, was filled once again.

The best virologists, immunologists, and bacteriologists in the world had been brought into the CDC in order to find a cure for Gold. Within two days, they were all dead of a new strain of smallpox. Despite one of the most thorough quarantines in American history, the display that would kill the minds that might have cured the plagues to come was never even checked.

In additions to those new hotnesses, Pestilence released some classics. Epidemics of Smallpox, Bubonic Plague, and Anthrax start hitting population centers around the world.

The Second Seal

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

The Second Seal

On Febuary 3rd, 2003, the Second Seal broken, is War.

We start off with some faux transcripts...

Transcript from President Mitchell's Address to a Joint Session of Congress, February 3, 2003, 17:13 EST


"Ladies and Gentleman of Congress, At 3 a.m. this morning, a combined force of soldiers from Iraq, Iran, Jordan, and Syria crossed the border into Saudi Arabia and attacked three United States military installations. Our soldiers fought nobly and well, but ultimately in vain against an overwhelming number of enemy troops. The wounded American soldiers, we have been informed, have been executed without trial for resisting the invasion force."

"The Islamic Purity Alliance have seized, by force, three fully operational American Army bases. This can not be tolerated. I will not attempt to sway you with patriotic words. Ladies and gentlemen of Congress, at this point your path is clear. I urge you to declare war upon the nations that claim membership in the Islamic Purity Alliance immediately. Our response to this unprovoked attack must be swift, and it must be terrible."
"I will be in the Oval Office, awaiting your decision."


Top Secret Communique from the Joint Chiefs to President Harrison Mitchell, February 3, 2003, 06:44:22 EST



So Saudi Arabia gets invaded by a coalition including Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. The invaders manage to capture and hold three US military bases in the name of the Islamic Purity Alliance.

When they grabbed the base at Sakakah, the IPA they also managed to get seven IRBMs that War had managed to get transferred there. Because War arranged this, these nukes were being kept there without the knowledge or consent of Congress or NATO. Rather than asking about how the hell they got there, President Harrison Mitchell, under the influence of War, convinced Congress to declare war in a worldwide broadcast speech.

As soon as Congress approved it, the USS Alaska fired its full complement of missiles at the area of Sakakah. Intelligence had determined that the missiles had been moved, there had not been enough time for them to be moved far and a large part of Saudi Arabia became glass.

Winds encouraged by war and Pestilence spread the fallout wide, and after the 'wars' end in three days; about 200 million people were dead or suffering from radiation sickness.

President Mitchell was impeached by a unanimous vote less than two weeks later for his 'failure' to report the existence of these captured missiles to Congress and NATO, and for his hasty use of nuclear force. He committed suicide on Valentine's Day, unclear to the end as to what the hell had made him do something so vile.

The Third Seal

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

Angrymog posted:

Based on some of the questions that Trump has asked about nukes, you could see him nuking the ME with only a little nudge from War, rather than outright mind control.

Was the political situation in Jordan significantly different from now when the game was written, because it seems an odd addition to the "Let's attack the US bases" coalition.

That's basically what War did, coercion to make it seem like a good idea rather than full on mind control... As for Jordan, not really much different than now. This is actually one of the few actual missteps on the politics of the time. When this was published, I had just gotten out of the Army after Somalia and Desert Storm of course; and this mistake seemed really weird considering how decently the rest of world history was being done.

The Third Seal

On March 20th, 2003, the is when the Third Seal, Famine, is broken.

from The US Farm Report, March 2003


...Scientists at the Department of Agriculture are recommending SS-141, a new chemical fertilizer nicknamed Miracle Grow, to combat the high levels of acidic rain which are attributed to the nuclear strike on Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

"The strike has caused heightened levels of acidic precipitation on a global scale. To combat the effects of this acid rain in the soil of America's farms, the Department of Agriculture has developed SS-141. Free distribution will begin on March 21st, at the rate of 100 gallons per acre of farmland. Any farmer whose property taxes are paid in full is eligible for this free fertilizer," said Beverly Harvey, head of the Department of Agriculture. "We, at the Department of Agriculture see this as a positive step forward for the American farmer. The government has taken this critical first step to regain the trust and prosperity of the American farmer."

Famine had, with Pestilence's help, arranged that the combination of acid rain (a serious 90's justified fear) and radiation would alter SS-141 to be an ind\credibly lethal herbicide to food crops and any animals that grazed on this land while remaining non-toxic to humans. The loss of pasture and farmlands was incredibly serious. And the sudden destruction of so much food put the US in immediate rationing. In Europe and Russia, swarms of locusts appeared and destroyed their grain while anthrax epidemics swept through their livestock.

Meanwhile in Japan...

World News Network Broadcast from Hong Kong, 1:13 p.m. Greenwich Standard Time, March 20, 2003


"...has just been confirmed. An unknown toxin, similar to a potent nerve gas in liquid form, has been released into the Sea of Japan. Members of the infamous Black Chrysanthemum Cult have claimed responsibility, though Japanese authorities have yet to comment on this."

Sadly for the cultists, it did not boil up like they were expecting and immediately start murdering humanity, but instead began poisoning all sea life to the point where...


"The effects of the toxin on humans are still unclear, though it does appear to be lethal to all forms of marine life. Fish have been washing up on shore for several hours now. They are now so dense that anyone trying to get near the water has to wade through a barrier of fish several feet deep. The water itself, as I said earlier, is a bright crimson, almost the color of blood."

Yes this is convoluted, but you have to remember the Horsemen are there to make people suffer, not kill them immediately but make them wish they were dead and wonder why this was all happening. The Book of Revelations ended up as the ultimate 'Fuck You! Got Mine.' religious text so that the 'right' people could feel smug as shit about what was going to happen to all the 'wrong' ones.

Night10194 posted:

E: One of the wildest things about biblical canon to me, because it's a bit beyond my specialty, is that Revelations was the Apocalypse they picked. Apocalyptics were a genre! There were others to choose from. Why take that one?

Church politics probably

The Fourth Seal (plus some other portents...)

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

The Fourth Seal (plus some other portents...)

On April Fools, 2003, the Fourth Seal, Death, is broken.

Message from the Emergency Broadcast System, 04-01-03 21:00



America had not been hit that hard except for a few plagues running up and down the East Coast and the whole lack of food thing that was now inspiring riots and martial law... The Fourth Horseman kicks it up a notch. A nasty and unexpected tropical storm system pushes the cult's Blood toxin across the Pacific and into America. It didn't dump it on the eastern coast of the Pacific, that would have kicked up the lack of food and killed off too many people too quickly...Remember the Revelations are all about making people suffer before the finale. It carried the poison inland before releasing it and when it touched down and reacted with the fertilizer to change into really persistent nerve gas-like bright red fog. It hovered in small mobile patches, killing over 11 million on the West Coast and Rocky Mountain area before spreading out, randomly killing as it passed. It quickly got nicknamed the 'Hand of God' and people were finally starting to clue in on what was happening.

Some more portents appear...

Babylon Falls

Los Angeles 911 Transcript 14-040403-916


Caller Unidentified
"Jesus Christ! It's all falling down! It's a roller coaster in your goddamn living room! Holy shit! It's all falling down. It's all going into the fucking sea! Hail Mary! Mother Of God! HELP ME!"
Call Ends

The Big One hits the West Coast on April 4th. A Richter scale 17 quake centered on Hollywood shatters California and, in a method no one can understand, everything west of the San Andreas sinks into the ocean even though the actual topography does not seem to make that possible.


Now Satan had known this was coming and he wanted to push off the Daty of Judgment as much as possible because with no humanity and balance, how could he gain strength to defeat Heaven? His last stand was to manifest the power of the Antichrist in Gunther Hoelman, a German ambassador and newly elected Secretary General of the United Nations. He gave him the gift to make others listen and bend to his will.

Before everything was gone, Hoelman ordered the military forces of the world to "...terminate with extreme prejudice all peoples engaged in or encouraging the practice of any civilized religion," and pushed by the Satan's word, they did.

This action was carried out by all troops still alive and lasted for 42 days. hundreds of thousands were killed for simply praying for salvation. Stan's goal was to slow or stop the Apocalypse before it was too late by destroying the believers. It was too little, too late. Hoelman was shot and killed by a Jesuit priest who was immediately gunned down afterward without trying to escape.


On the same day Hoelman was killed, three men and a family committed a very strange set of suicides. The three men were former residents of Bellevue Hospital's long-term psychological ward and had been there as long as any of the staff could remember. They had somehow all left the secure ward and made their way to a statue of Jesus in Greenwich Village. They were waiting and praying then a police officer approached and spoke to them. As soon as they turned to go, one of the men produced a pistol and shot himself in the head with the other two following suit. The police officer did not hesitate but returned home took his family to the same statue and killed all of them before shooting himself as well.

Records of the three men indicated they had been committed when Bellevue was first constructed and their unusual lifespans had been completely overlooked by the staff over the years. The names they were listed under were
Cain, Cartaphilus, and Ahasuerus. (First Murderer, Pilate's Gatekeeper and the Wandering Jew).

The thing that really annoys me about this part is the sheer speed that all this occurs. Yes, the Revelations are supposed to be fast but all this bloodshed happens in less than four months. I do like some of the ideas, like Satan saying, 'I got to stop this or I am completely turbo-fucked' though.

The Fifth Seal

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

There are only about eight pages of text in this 'cutscene'. The rest of the thirteen total pages is made up of incredibly generic black and white art. The total page count for this game is 180.

The Fifth Seal

The Last Martyr

from a sermon by Father Joseph Pieper, Diocese of New York City


"It would seem to me that the time of our Lord's return is upon us. Eternal torment certainly awaits the murderer of our beloved Sister Elizabeth."

"For those of you who did not know her, Sister Elizabeth was a model for the
Christian Life. She was a beautiful, gentle, compassionate young woman who devoted her time to teach the youths of the inner city about our Lord Jesus Christ."

"Her family has heard members of this parish talking about retribution, and about murder most foul. Elizabeth's family and I urge you as well not to act against those that have wronged her, even though they once sat beside you in this very church."

Sister Elizabeth Kaleta had been working at an inner city shelter when one of the residents took a shine to her and tried to hook up. She refused of course and this suitor got more and more insistent until finally her gathered some friends and they kidnapped tortured, and raped her over a period of seven days; until they killed her on her 24th birthday by dousing her with gasoline and immolating her because all she would say to them was the Lord's Prayer.

The Season of Rest
May, June, and July were unusual for no new terrors erupted, but all the other ones were still around.

The Blood Toxin had by now killed off all sea life in the Pacific and was moving into the Indian Ocean.

The Hand of God was killing anyone in rural America seemingly at random, and everybody still alive was trying to get into the cities which seemed immune to its attacks.

Anybody who had an SUC and was still alive from the other sorts of death out there was now infected with Gold. Their ncapacitation made them prime targets for robbery and abuse.

During this Season of Rest the Horsemen's agents got bored and decided to branch out. Famine's Locusts developing a taste for human flesh for example.

By the beginning of August all mass communication was gone, the governments had failed, and civilization was destroyed.

And most importantly to the game, it was when the Meek realized how fucked they were. People started to notice that they didn't catch the plagues. The Hand of God didn't harm them, they were ignored by Death's Crows and the Dogs of War. They realized that this was the world that they were going to live in forever.

As for the rest of the population?


At the end of the Season of Rest, there were fewer than 10 million people on Earth.

The Sixth Seal

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

The Sixth Seal

On August 26th, 2003, the Sixth Seal was broken.

200 mph winds blast the land, earthquakes shatter mountains, volcanoes erupt, meteors fall, dogs and cats living together...yadda yadda yadda... then thirteen minutes later every single sinner left that had survived so far is struck down.


Some were struck by fire, some by lightning, some by angels of the Lord, others by the ghosts of their victims. None but the Meek would survive the rupture of the sixth seal. When it was over the humans on earth numbered less than one million.

The Seventh Seal

On September 1st, the Seventh Seal was broken and God's Wrath stops. The storms abate, earthquakes cease, volcanoes quiet. It is beautiful, tranquil, and peaceful. The surviving Meek see a clear calm day as Earth begins to regenerate itself.

As this new Eden forms a phenomenon called 'The Blues' begins (we'll go over this later), and the constructions of man and the wreckage rapidly begins to decay. On the first night after the Seal was broken everyone still alive gets 'The Dream'. This is the section that is in the start of book fiction only tailored for each of the Meek. The persons the Meek dreams about may be different with ascent to Heaven or descent to Hell, but it ends for all of them with the Gates of Judgment slamming shut in their faces.

(end cutscene)

So. That's the backstory. When The End came out in 1995 there wasn't anything else like it. Post-Apocalyptic games like Aftermath, The Morrow Project, and Gamma World were predicated on the world ending from war, not cosmic judgment, so it was fresh and new. Even in other forms of fiction, the first Left Behind book had come out the same year so the odds that either influenced the other were almost impossible.

I don't hate the level of detail put into the backstory. If nothing else, it shows that Donka put actual thought into it (debatable if that was good or bad) and wasn't necessarily being edgelord for edgelordiness. He really tried to put a modern spin on the Book of Revelations and in a lot of ways I think he succeeded. It really plays up the 'God is pissed and will make you bleed' attitude of the original.

More Setting Stuff

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

More Setting Stuff

Now we're up to page 31 of a 180 page gamebook. Is the setting fully described yet? No.The next couple of pages are the classic 'What is a RPG/Player/Judge?' kind of stuff and then they have the classic winning/losing the agem and finally on that second page is this...


To really enjoy The End you will have to have a decent grasp of the concept. The End is a game of theological horror. While this concept may shock many of you, the simple fact is that most religions have the stuff of really good horror built right into their doctrine.

Read any horror novel or see any scary movie. The basic premise is that something unexplainable intrudes on the sanity and safety of everyday life. A group of friends is spending in idyllic weekend camping, until Jason, complete with chainsaw and hockey mask, shows up to slaughter the innocent little angels.

Jason is the intrusion of an outside, non-human, power upon the normality of life. Now consider, what was God to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorra except a really powerful Jason without the hockey mask? Here was an outside force that was slaughtering them on what was (to them) a perfectly ordinary

A bit farther away from the blasphemous, voodoo is a legitimate religion that reveres Christ, but it is at the heart of dozens of horror movies. Read the book of Revelation in the New Testament. If that hasn't got all the trappings of good horror fiction then nothing has.

In The End, the Judeo-Christian Apocalypse is the intruding outside force. Judgment Day comes. Mourning for our destroyed civilization and abandoned souls coupled with humanity's constant drive to rebuild are the motivating forces of The End. While some lose themselves to regrets and fade away, sure in the fact that God doesn't love them anymore; others mount crusades to purge the infidel and draw God back for his newly faithful servants.

Mankind, however, will never be content with what they are given. Some of the ones who are left just as thousands of doomsayers throughout the centuries always said it would, and destroys civilization. That is when humanity discovers the horrible truth. 'The meek shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5) was a threat. Those multitudes who had never chosen God or his Adversary in the war of good versus evil are abandoned here, on earth, while Heaven and Hell close to this place forever.

The twin themes of mourning and hope are prevalent throughout this brave, new world. have set about to rebuild our society. Around these few visionaries, the colonies have grown. They are collectives of men and women who understand that the end of the world meant the end of the drug problem, pollution, global warming, overpopulation, crime, fuel shortages, inflation, wage slavery and all of the other problems that faced mankind before the end. These people have united to rebuild the world we once knew, but to build it better than we did the first time. These proud few hope for, and are building
a better world.

These twin themes are the source of the primary conflict that will torment each and every character. Is it better to follow the past and its God, or do they look to the future?

This is what the designer is trying for and I have to say compared to some writers, this is a legit vision. I'm absolutely not saying that he accomplished it, but he actually had an idea of what he wanted to do and why. That deserves some small props at least.

Next is a section of various groups and concepts in this reborn world.

The Meek
The player characters. Those that did not accept religion and were not able to be judged, and also managed to survive all the physical disasters surrounding them through the end of the world. The players are all these.

The Blues
The world is resetting back to start, so anything that a Meek does not actually claim, possess or use is decaying to nothingness. Buildings, books, roads...everything. Almost all signs of man will be gone in the next 20-60 years.

The Others
The Four Horsemen are stuck on Earth as well and they are not happy about it. Some Angels and Devils were abandoned and are even less happy. Gods that had been trapped since the dawn of Abrahamic religion are now free. Finnally a creature that was declared the Beast, and had been released to feast on sinners during the Last Days is still free.

The Beasts
Humanity had been given lordship over the beasts of the earth, birds of the air, and fish of the sea. With God pulling back all his protections that's not the case anymore. All animals are royally pissed at humans except for one exception; dogs because who's a good boy?

Next is a bunch of questions and answers such as: What was the criteria for entrance to Heaven? Can the Meek have children? Exactly how many people are left in North America? Answers: Surprisingly broad (with a listing of conditions), Yes, and about 42,000. There's a bunch of others but there are two that really soured me on this setting more than almost anything else.


Q: Is there any kind of afterlife for the Meek?
A: No. After life you rot.

Q: What happens to my soul when I die?
A: It dies too. While the soul was thought of as eternal before the Revelation, it wasn't. It was just the part of each person that was saved and taken to the afterlife. Without an afterlife, the soul has proven to be as mortal as the flesh.

Those two answers remove a ton of conflict and story potential, and are the main things that bring this down to a standard 90s post-apocalyptic game, no matter how dressed up the setting is.

More Setting Stuff

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

Boscone will be unhappy...

More Setting Stuff

First, there's a section on slang which is pretty cringe-worthy and also annoys me a lot. Less than 42,000 people in the US and the campaign is presumed to start three to six months after the Seventh Seal is broken. How did people come up with a slang in that short a period of time? The book says that these terms are generally accepted across the US, with no mass communication how the hell did they spread that fast. That's minor though.

There's more on the rate of decay from the Blues (and how certain places and things are more resistant like Route 66), discussion of 'Ennui' which is a kind of apathy a lot of the Meek succumb to where they go through the motions of life in a daze, and further discussion of what the Lord did and did not do.

God granted humanity dominion over beasts, the ability to create life, the existence of a soul, and reason. He only took away one of those. In any animal encounter, the animal will not hesitate to fuck a Meek up. There's no more, 'They're as scared of you, as you are of them...' now.

The Four Horsemen are stuck on Earth and are really pissed at humanity and God about equally. Famine's works have destroyed a lot of farmland and until the Blues purge the contamination. agriculture is rough. Pestilence has turned random surviving medications into poisons. War has made sure that the Blues affect weapons and ammunition far less, so it's easier finding a working shotgun than a baby stroller . No knows what Death is up to.

There's a section on travel discussing ground vehicle, water vehicle, aircraft (!), railroad(!!), and foot; and a section on dogs and how helpful they are to the Meek.

Finally, there's this...


The thing that took everyone by surprise is how generous God was. If you believed in a single, benevolent God and lived your life according to the doctrines of the religion that you practiced, you were admitted into Heaven. Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Buddhists were all admitted. People who followed a polytheistic religion still had some hope, provided that they followed their religion's most benevolent god and followed the virtues of humility, self-sacrifice, and love.

If you had truck with the forces of evil in any way shape or form, you were damned. Pagans, practitioners of Magick and roleplaying gamers (ha ha) were all thrown into the pit. Those who used religion for their own ends were also damned, like televangelists, faith healers and mediums.

Oddly, many things that were thought to be sins before the Revelation turned out not to be. Drug use was not a sin, but drug abuse was. Adultery, bestiality, and rape (including sexual contact with someone under 13) were the ONLY sexual sins. Murder, bullying, and torture were sins, but other acts of violence were not. A frighteningly high percentage of soldiers were admitted into Heaven.

Almost everyone who lived an extreme lifestyle (policemen, soldiers, politicians, rock stars, violent criminals, drug addicts, etc.) have gone to either Heaven or Hell. There are a lot of accountants and plumbers left over, though.


It is important that, before playing The End, you understand the theological implications (and revisions) inherent in this game. (Due to the fact that religion is such a sensitive issue for many people out there, this is also where we explain what has been fictionalized for the purposes of The End).

The first and most important thing to come to grips with is that there is a fundamental misinterpretation in the New Testament. 'The Meek shall inherit the Earth" (Matthew 5:5) was not meant to comfort those who were downtrodden. It was a warning and a threat from Christ to those who were ambivalent in their religious convictions. This was quite clear in early manuscripts, but in the Middle Ages a great deal of the Bible was edited, revised, or outright changed to suit the needs of less than virtuous agents of the Church. The warning, thus muted, gave the peasantry a means to reassure themselves that enduring the curses of the world quietly would earn them power on earth when the time of judgment came.

Now, the characters have seen the truth. The warning that Christ gave to the world was ruined in editing, along with any hope the Meek had of being redeemed.
The second fundamental premise inherent in The End is that once the Revelation ended, God locked the gates of Heaven and Hell for one final time and abandoned humanity to itself. The Meek actually do inherit the earth in a bizarre form of poetic justice. The people who do not want to believe in God or the Devil are now no longer troubled by the fact that they are unsure of Their existence. The newly abandoned person knows that God and the Devil no longer take an active interest in this world. God isn't dead, He's just out to lunch.

This does raise a few points and issues. The first dilemma that the Meek face is the lack of an afterlife. Now that the characters are not going to Heaven or Hell, does anything they do on earth matter? The answer to this is yes and no. Metaphysically, there is no reward or punishment for your deeds anymore, therefore there is no such thing as a sin. A person can rape, murder, torture, and torment, and they won't be punished any more than a person who lives a virtuous life after the Revelation will be rewarded. This does not mean that the villain will get away with it, however. The laws of the earthly colonies will often issue death sentences for such heinous acts, and without any hope of an afterlife, many of these opportunistic sinners should think twice. Since God will not punish these people anymore, man has had to learn to watch out for himself.

The second thing that The End's peculiar theory has to address is the gifts of God. Humanity had received numerous gifts in addition to possible eternal bliss. Lordship over the beasts, creation of new life and reason are just a few of these gifts. God did take some of these gifts back. The animals no longer instinctively fear and respect humans, and will happily make a meal out of one if given the chance. A rat no longer needs to be cornered to bite a person, etc. Some gifts He did not take back, like our power to create a new life, our reason and our free will. Perhaps God had mercy on the Forsaken after all.

The third item is not one that a character needs to reconcile, but one that a player needs to understand. The most basic and fundamental assumption in this game is that Christianity is correct, with all that implies. Our version of God was fair and generous during the Revelation, rewarding anyone who followed a single, benevolent God in his heart and in his life. Likewise, this God struck down unmercifully those who had truck with the forces of darkness, magick and the banished pagan gods. As generous as God was with the good people, he showed no mercy to those who followed his opposite number.

We hope that this assumption does not offend any non-Christian garners out there. We did not base our game on Christian theology so that we could preach the Christian lifestyle. It just happens that the
Christian apocalypse stories are some of the most vivid and compelling of all apocalypse stories, as well as being one that most people raised in America has some contact or experience with. Shiva's dance that destroys creation may be a more popular story in India, but we're based in North America. When in Rome...

We also hope that our treatment of the Christian apocalypse stories doesn't offend any Christians out there. We did take a few liberties in interpreting the Bible in order to make this game more interesting and playable. This is a work of fiction, not a theological treatise. Take it as such.

The Colonies -- The South

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

The Colonies -- The South

In the six months since the Seventh Seal was broken, the Meek had searched for others and set up settlements. The rules give fairly detailed descriptions of ten of these. The first two are in the South.

The Atlanta Confederation
Population: 2,306
Founded by Dr. Jim Grant, a former member of the KKK that was a serious churchgoer and actually believed in God. His belief counteracted his sins and so he was left with the Meek. He realized that when the Gates shut, there would be no more sin and he could do what he pleased. He found a group of other Meek outside of Atlanta and through his personal charisma, took charge. Over the months he has guided the men to realize that women are nothing more than property and now is running a slave society and is trying to build a true master race.

Threats to the Confederation: People in the group are starting to realize that Dr. Jim (a title he gave himself as it took him f years to finishe high school) isn't as clever as he prtryas himself. Jim's response is to send the best an brightest out on 'recruitment missions' for able-bodied men as colony members and women as slaves. As the wastes are pretty fucking dangerous this has the side effect of removing people that could be a threat to Jim's regime. This also has the effect of making the actual colony staffed with the more incompetent members.

Another threat is the Abolitionists in the Louisiana Swamps. At the moment the Rats have only sent out scouting parties, but when they get enough women trained up it will be bad.

Finally, Atlanta is the closest colony to DC. Dr. Jim has lost at least a dozen 'recruiters' on expeditions north that may have gotten too near and no trace has been recovered of them.

Living in Atlanta: Limited Power from a few gas generators, trade in slaves and non-perishable goods. If you're male you can live like a king. If you're male and competent and ambitious, Jim is going to get you killed.

Commodities Needed: Slaves, rechargeable batteries. recreational drugs. Fuel for the generators.

Who's Who:
Madame Mary -- the only free woman in the colony. Madame Mary is a more than slightly deranged RN, that has the job of maintaining the health of the slaves. She is sane enough to know that as soon as her usefulness is over, she's a slave so she has started assisting in escapes while giving the escapees messages to get help.

Dr. Frank Tupper DDS -- Dr. T, as he likes to be called, is the Slavemaster General of the colony. He is responsible for determining the viability of slaves and maintaining the purity of the bloodline. This means putting slaves 'to sleep' if they are at all flawed to his perception. He is an angry and bitter man which means he one of the few Jim can trust completely.

Dwayne Washington -- Dwayne is a hunter searching for both recruits and slaves. He knows that Jim is an idiot and tries his best to play dumb whenever he's near him so Jim won't feel threatened. Dwayne is also very good at his job so Jim considers him an extremely reliable and unambitious member of his colony. However, Dwayne is drawing his plans for a coup.

Relations with other colonies:
Swamp Rats -- There will be war.

DC -- No interaction at all.

Elgin -- Attempts for recruitment. Slaving raids in the outskirts.

Waco -- Recruitment attempts made a lot harder by the Swamp Rats.

The Swamp Rats
Population: 113
Created by escapees from the Confederation it consists of solely women with a justifiable anger toward men. As they have raided a Louisana Army National Guard facility they are exceptionally well armed. Their leader, Rachael Duvalier wants simply to destroy the Confederation and free all the slaves. Their warleader, and ex-Marine named Mary Colwell wants to make every male Meek suffer in repayment for her treatment in the slave pens. Tensions are high in the swamps.

Threats to the Swamps:
Dr. Jim and the Confederation of course is the highest. He would love to recapture all of them and burn Girls' Town to the ground. The other biggest one is the division in the ranks. Rachael wouldn't shed a tear at Jim and his bully boys' destruction, death, or even torture; but Mary's goals of vengeance against every surviving male are so far beyond that that she has been drawing up contingencies. Finally, since they live in a swamp with very little fresh food or water and have no surviving physicians, there's the constant threat of disease.

Living in the Swamps: Miserable and if you're male it's merely a matter of time before you're tortured and executed.

Commodities Needed: Medicine, fresh food, water purification.

Who's Who:
Sam 'Piglet' Shustavosky -- The leader of a group of bikers that is currently based in New Orleans. He is tentatively allied with Rachael's faction and Rachael is keeping Mary from knowing about him. He and his gang want to help destroy the Confederation.

Mary Colwell -- a former Marine, expert in wilderness survival as well as an abuse survivor. She wants to see all men dead, or at her feet. She is short-tempered and homicidal.

Relations with other colonies:
Confederation -- War.

Elgin -- Two of the Rats have made their way up to Elgin to get clear of the war. They have sent back word that it's relatively safe there.

Waco -- More likely to side with the Rats than the Confederation.

The Colonies -- The East Coast

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

The Colonies -- The East Coast

Population: 991
Founded by Lt Colonel Henry Jefferson USA SF Ret. Jefferson was an atheist and a rationalist and did not accept that the Judgment day was upon the Earth until the Seventh Seal was broken. When he realized what the world had become he started helping anyone who entered Boston. With his skills of organization and the supplies that were easily scavenged in Massachusetts, they had electricity and fresh water within two months. In January of 2004, three heavily-armed men entered Boston and requested to speak to the man in charge. Jefferson met them in his office, there was gunfire and he stepped out the only one still alive.

He warned his people there was an invasion force coming and if they wanted to leave they could. None did and they prepared. In less than a month an armored column rolled in from the south and found Boston apparently deserted. The ambush destroyed the invaders in detail allowing Boston to seize their weapons, vehicles, and supplies.

Threats to Boston: The war is still going on as the mysterious invaders keep attempting to assault the city. The invaders do not appear to understand how to combat guerrilla warfare, but their excellent quality equipment is keeping them in the fight. Boston's scouts have confirmed the invasion force is coming from DC, but every attempt to enter the former Capitol has not ended well.

Living in Boston: Think of living in Kosovo only with invaders that seem endless. New residents are immediately given small arms training and assigned to a platoon. Sound and light discipline is strenuously practiced.

Commodities Needed: Soldiers, weapons, medicine, food, information about DC.

Who's Who:
The Colonel -- A veteran of 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, he has dedicated himself to the protection of others his entire life. If he had ever acknowledged God, he would have entered Heaven easily. Now this dedication has been focused on Boston and its residents.

Susan Cominsky -- Boston's best scout and the only survivor of the attempts to enter DC. She is frequently out in the field monitoring the troop build ups to give Boston advance warning.

Relations with other colonies:

DC -- Full out war.

DC's forces have intercepted all of the messages to other colonies.

Washington DC
Population: unknown
Leader: unknown
Government: unknown
Attitude: hostile

Nothing is known about the conditions inside DC and there is no...

Ahh, that's bullshit. In the early 2000's The End was rereleased as a D20 OGL product along with the two sourcebooks; The Boston Massacre and The Dogs of War. I have both and will go over them after these rules are finished.

Spoiler: DC is run by The Horseman War

The Colonies -- The Midwest

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

The Colonies -- The Midwest

Elgin Law Community
Population: 1489
Located in the garden spot that is northern Illinois, the Elgin colony was created by a Chicago Detective named Jesse Williams. It is far away from the drama and activity of the South and the East and people are seriously trying to make a new life here.

Threats to Elgin: Complacency. The residents don't understand why Williams is trying to build fortifications and prepare for a siege. The reason, of course, is that he's heard from the refugee Swamp Rats that made their way north as well as having some of Elgin's hunters encountering a few of DC's advance scouts and barely fighting them off. DC is currently more focused on Boston of course, but when that's done they will be moving west.

Living in Elgin: It's basically a peaceful farming community with limited electricity. They do have access to Chicago and its resources though so they will be improving the standard of living as long as no one attacks them.

Commodities Needed: Soldiers. The residents are woefully unprepared for any sort of raid

Who's Who:
Henry Jordon -- A former architect and now the second in command of Elgin. He was an oxy addict until Jesse busted him and convinced him to go into treatment. Now he is devoted to the man that saved his life.

Bob Nashe -- Jesse's biggest political rival. Bob thinks that life isn't so bad now, after the end, and doesn't understand what he considers Jesse's paranoia. He is highly vocal on expending colony resources on what he considers a boondoggle.

Relations with other colonies:

Swamp Rats -- Jesse has reached out to the Rats and offered them shelter in Elgin as military muscle. Bob Nashe does not know about this offer.

Elgin is the only midwest colony listed.

The Colonies -- The West

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

The Colonies -- The West

Waco Survival Encampment
Population: 793
Tom Harding was a survivalist who spent the family tire rotation business fortune living very frugally and building a fortified bunker to defend against a Soviet invasion. Then came the break-up in 1991 and he continued fortifying against the New World Order. Then came The End and he was actually ready. He had planned to live by himself all secure, then a young woman, Maura, fleeing from very bad people crossed his perimeter. Once he had let her in, she persuaded him to let others join as long as they could pull their weight. He did and now there is a bunker complex built from all the loose cinderblock they can find and more refugees are coming from the 'Indian Lands' every week.

Threats to Waco: The Indian Lands is the largest. The Tribal Elders want Harding's stockpiled resources and they want him and all the residents dead. The other threat is that one of the other residents has taken a shine to Tom and is getting ready to move in on him. If he doesn't respond, well she's half-Seminole and can prove it and to hell with Waco.

Living in Waco: It's basically an extremely well-armed commune. Harding is in charge of course, but he does chores and guard duty like everybody else. It's not as comfortable as Elgin, and there is a lot more danger, but all in all it's not terrible.

Commodities Needed: Nothing but information. Harding stockpiled enough non-perishables to last until the year 3000. With the scavenging they do to keep things topped up, they have a comfortable margin and could easily withstand a siege.

Who's Who:
Holly Ellis -- A slave in Atlanta who escaped and made it to the Swamp Rats. She left the Rats being freaked out by Mary and has finally arrived in Waco. She has fallen for Tom Harding and if he doesn't resond she will send get a message to the Indian Lands with an offer to help.

Diego Ramirez -- Head of the colony's construction crews and Maura's secret lover. If Tom finds out, they're both dead so he is trying to figure out how to kill Tom with an 'accident' first.

Relations with other colonies:

Swamp Rats -- The Rats have sent overtures of Alliance. At least Rachael has. Mary would rather just take the entire colony of Waco by force.

Atlanta -- Dr. Jim wants control of Waco's resources as well and is acting nice for the moment.

The Indian Lands
Population: 1,021
Located in scattered small groups around New Mexico but centered on Albuquerque, the Indian Lands has one firm doctrine of 'No Invaders!'. European, Asian, Polynesian, African. Unless you are at least a quarter-blood native, you need to get off this continent or just die.

Threats to the Indian Lands: Waco isn't exactly a threat but a target. As mentioned, the Elders want Harding's stuff, but it is so well fortified that trying to take it would be extremely bloody. There is also a great deal of covert infighting in between the Tribal Elders as to who's really in charge. They have sent out warbands against the Mile High colony only to have them slaughtered, apparently by a single man.

Living in the Indian Lands: Primitive conditions with scratch farming, some hunting, and very little support structure..

Commodities Needed: Medicine. Traditional cures seem not to be particularly effective against the remnants of Pestilence's plagues.

Who's Who:
John Flying Hawk -- One-quarter Oneida and a dealer at a casino in Black River Falls before The End. Through an almost comedy of errors he is now in charge of the raiding parties and really has no grudge against the 'invaders', so he has been trying to work out some way to minimize casualties on all sides..

Edgar Deertrack-- Bitter, and old enough (102) to remember his grandfather's stories about the west in the 19th century and the treatment of Native Americans. He wants all the invaders dead.

Relations with other colonies:

They have the same base opinion on all the others; leave or die.

The Colonies -- The Rocky Mountains

posted by Humbug Scoolbus Original SA post

The Colonies -- The Rocky Mountains

The Mile High Shrine
Population: 2,099

I'm just going to quote this...


Stuart and Lisa Gaines were a storybook couple. They began their lives as playmates and became the best of friends. When they reached high school, they became sweethearts and were on their way to wedded bliss and a house in the suburbs of Denver when the world unfortunately ended. Strangely, they were both spared. Perhaps so many years together had made the lovers identical in the eyes of God. Either way, they pronounced themselves man and wife and set out to discover what this brave new world had to offer them.

One day's drive outside of Boulder they found a smoking crater with what appeared to be a charred man inside it. Miraculously, he was breathing. After pulling the man out and treating him at a local hospital, they nursed him back to health. The stranger's recovery was amazing, almost, as amazing as the wings that grew from his back and the fact that he could be in more than one place at a time. The stranger called a meeting and exposed himself as the Angel Gabriel, the Angel of Divine Mercy who would not leave these children in their hour of greatest need. He showed his true form in all of its magnificence and recruited nearly a thousand fanatical worshippers for doing so.
He began by swearing that they would be safe from all harm, he would protect them. He swore they would have no hardship—he would deliver them.

Stu and Lisa, at a loss for what to do next, fell down and began to worship at his feet. The fallen angel soon tired of this and took a more human shape. He then informed the couple that the three of them must go back to Denver before the others arrived. While Stu and Lisa didn't know what he was talking about, they obeyed their new God.

When the threesome returned to Denver, the people began to arrive. Stories conflicted as to why, some spoke of dreams that summoned them, others had waking visions, and still others attested to a peaceful feeling that made them stop as they traveled by. When the colony reached nine hundred occupants, from the elements and the winter. He swore they would know no loneliness; he would care for them all. He would do all this if only they would fall on their knees and worship him...and they did.

The first test of his power came only two weeks after the formation of the Shrine, as its citizens came to call it, when the Americans from the Indian Lands attacked. With a sword that appeared to be on fire, Gabriel laid waste to the attacking force, but not before one of the warriors fired a well placed shot into Gabriel's heart.

That wound has not healed. Despite the best efforts of the Gaines', the wound will not close. So the angel Gabriel lies on a cot in the Gaines' basement, appearing only in the church on Sundays and only then with all wounds carefully hidden. He needs the faith of these people, which he will lose if they learn that he can be felled by a simple bullet. The Gaines' have appointed themselves as the High Priest and Priestess of the Shrine and give orders and spiritual guidance to the flock in order to cover for the wounded angel, and so far it has worked beautifully. They are now the king and queen of this little community, and they are beginning to find that they like it.

The greatest of the Archangels worked his Lord's will upon the Earth. He was to give mercy to the dying who were to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and he was to withdraw the Lord's mercy from all others. He was to see that evil suffered one thousand times the pain that it wrought.

When it was over, Gabriel saw the ones that were to be forsaken...the Meek. In his heart, he doubted his Lord and wished that he could help these people. That instant of doubt kept him outside when the gates of Heaven closed for the final time. The brightest light of Heaven had been put out.

Now he regrets his moment of weakness, and refuses to be damned to this godforsaken place. He has gathered up his worshippers to fill him with the power of their faith. When their faith flows through him, he will storm the gates of Heaven...or die trying.

He cares absolutely nothing for the humans worshipping him. All that matters is returning to Heaven, to this end he will happily sacrifice each and every one of them. While the sniper's bullet did damage him, it is not nearly as grievous as it appears. It has not healed because Gabriel has not healed it out of self-pity and self-loathing. Should Gabriel prove to be equally ineffective in other areas, such as protecting the colony form the coming winter, the unsuspecting colonists will be wiped out.

Having an emo angel is actually creative and interesting. It's unfortunate so much of the rest of this game is just bad.

Threats to Denver: Not many. There is this angel there you see? Even if he's not healed he can still wreck some shit if necessary.

Living in Denver: It's a cult worshipping Gabriel as the new Supreme Deity which also pisses the angel off.

Relations with other colonies:

DC -- If DC comes calling they will be in a world of pain..

Rakow Montana
Population: 266
It's Mayberry RFD run by a really creepy old lady named Ruth Remmand. She was a woman that went to church and apparently said her prayers, but for some reason, she was left behind with the Meek. When the first Meek found her colony in the wilderness, they saw it was immaculate and this little ol lady welcoming them and telling them that they should be careful of the wolves that lurked around the town. Now there are regular guard patrols to keep the beasts at bay, but somehow one or two Meek seem to get killed each month by the marauding packs. A terrible shame really.

Threats to Rakow: Except for the wolf packs...none. This colony is very peaceful and nobody that arrives ever feels like moving on.