End of Days
Welcome, everyone, to Lavaske's grand plot: “End of Days.” This is a plot that I deeply love and have been rolling around in my head for the last couple of years. So far, I haven't had a truly satisfactory experience playing it out. Hopefully, somebody here will be able to remedy this tragedy.
Prelude to Awesome
The apocalypse is an awesome oppurtunity for roleplaying, because, in a way, it brings out both the best and the worst of people by constantly pitting them against previously unfaced challenges while their very survival hangs in the balance. Whole communities are shattered or destroyed and self dependence becomes an increasingly important commodity- as does teamwork, though it may seem paradoxical.
There are so many beautiful flavors to mankind's annihilation as well. There's the ever-pending threat of a meteoric impact smashing into the Earth, obliterating everything within a mile's radius and choking out the world with soot. A detonating super-volcano, such as the one in Yellowstone would have similar effect. Mankind could be swept with plague, like in Stephen King's The Stand and those who were immune would have to pick up the pieces and attempt to repair a machine missing so many of its parts. Don't forget zombies, nuclear fallout, biological attacks and the possible alien invasion- those have their thrills as well.
With so many beautiful flavors of death, it becomes difficult to decide which one to play out.
So why bother deciding? Why not take the worst of all worlds, and throw everything in together.
The game will be set on Earth a short distance in the future after a number of doomsday devices have been deployed.
1. Nuclear bombardment: This will leave large swathes of land, usually around cities and military installations in ruin. For several miles around each impact point, radiation poisoning will be a serious threat, requiring the use of radiation suits to travel about.
2. Neutron bombing: A one-time burst of powerful radiation wipes out all life within five miles of the impact. Non-living matter is left unaltered and unharmed and while all plants and animals within the danger zone will likely be killed, there is nothing preventing new ones from moving in.
3. Svalbard Animosity Project: Developed by putting the resources inside the Svalbard Seed Bank to nefarious use, Norwegian scientists devised a method of transforming normally docile plants into vicious terrors. (We'll talk more about how to handle this)
4. Temporal Rifts: In effect, time-bombing. Certain areas experience drastic shifts in their temporal placement. It might be possible to step into one of these rifts on accident and find yourself battling a dinosaur or two. Of course, these rifts work both ways. The lost colony of Roanoke was actually pushed forward in time. Imagine the surprise of the inhabitants as they suddenly found themselves facing down flesh eating ghouls nearly five centuries in the future.
5. The Morpher Virus: Think zombies, but more fun. The virus infects living organisms including animals such as bears and cats and fish and mosquitoes and plants and mushrooms as well as humans. Universally, these creatures turn savage. Many attack members of their own species. All will attack humans.
6. Body-worms: There's a new parasite in town, more horrible than any mankind has seen before. Bodyworms, they're called and they're the most vicious creature on Earth. First off, they burrow in their victim's skin to reproduce. Second, they replace all their victim's muscle tissue in a terribly painful transformation. Third, they take control of the victim leaving the brain, respiratory system, digestive system and circulatory system mostly intact. Humans afflicted with the worms retain consciousness while losing the ability to do anything except breathe and scream in agony.
7. Air Sponges: This infernal fungus sucks up all the nice air in an area and replace it with carbon monoxide.
Despite everything that has happened to the Earth, the human race is still alive and kicking. While the population has been reduced (mankind's numbers are in the low millions, rather than the billions) there are still functioning societies within the wastes. Because of the threat of the Morphed and Bodyworms, however, permanent settlements are not a viable option. Most humans have returned to the days of hunting and gathering, albeit with some of the tools of a modern society.
Our game begins
I would like our game to take place some 40-50 years after the doomsday devices have been deployed. This need not mean that our characters are of the new breed of hunters and gatherers. Several bunkers containing cryogenic units with independent power supplies exist. It is possible that one or more of our characters managed to find their way to one of these, emerging relatively unchanged into the vastly different world of tomorrow.
Note that this may not be characteristic of all posts in the RP. They'll probably be shorter, 1-2 paragraphs or so
Letters from the Bunker, September 22, 2025
I'm not sure how long I'm going to last. I've got two months of food tops, perhaps a month's supply of water (if I drink my own piss) and two weeks of fresh air. Earth has gone to Hell, figuratively and quite posibly literally.
Mankind's last eight years have not been his proudest. After a terrorist attack at the U.N. Headquarters in New York (the details of which are still classified) and an outbreak of militia and para-military strikes on various diplomatic essembacies around the world (also classified) all nations began to grow weary of eachother. Nobody knows who perpetrated the origional attack, but by the time that the U.S. embacies in China were destroyed, and the Chinese embacies in half the rest of the world were blown up, it was pretty clear that the world was at war once again. Except nobody knew who they were fighting.
To make matters worse, some shit-for-brains U.S. general got it in his fat head that maybe the automatic doomsday device featured in Dr. Strangelove wasn't such a bad idea after all. In 2018, the Automatic Retaliatory System (ARS, pronounced arse by those treating the plan with the respect it was due) came online. If a single nuclear warhead landed on U.S. soil, more than five thousand warheads would find themselves screaming across the face of the globe.
Not everybody turned to nuclear weapons, however. Aquiring uranium in a world who's borders were all closed was becoming an increasingly difficult task and some nations were seeking more selective methods of destruction, hoping to keep their own soil intact.
It was a good time to be a mad scientist- if you could keep your blood inside your skin. Any scientist who could splice together a new virus or build a laser rifle was being hired by one nation or another to build the ultimate killing machine.
Here's an incomplete list of the horrors devised:
The Morpher Virus: A powerful virus, capable of selectively and intelligently attaching itself to DNA to re-sequence the coding. About 80% of the time, infection means a horrible and painful death over the course of about a week as your body bloats and becomes more cancer than functioning tissue. If you're lucky, you'll be part of the 80%. The other 20% undergo some form of transformation, sprouting new legs, aditional rows of sharp teeth, elongated spines of bone penetrating from the spine- you name it. And once these people transform, they almost universally turn some shade of evil. The dumber ones will attack and kill other people on sight. The smarter ones will stalk you for days, bite you, then run off to find more victims while you succumb to the virus.
Air-sponges: I'm not sure who deployed these little bastards. Honestly, I never got enough intel on this particular weapon before shit hit the fan. But if you're wandering in some underground tunnels or checking out a new bunker and you start to feel a little bit light headed, you look around and see a strange orange mold covering nearby surfaces, go back the way you came from. These orange patches are known as air sponges and they metabolize oxegyn at a furious rate and spit out carbon monoxide. A patch about the size of your hand can pull all the oxygen out of your average air-tight bunker in just a couple of hours. So before you close those air locks, make sure to check every inch of space inside.
There are about a dozen more of these projects, but I'm finding it harder and harder to write. The painkillers are certainly working, I can hardly feel the break in my left ankle, but I'm getting dizzy. I'll try to write more tomorrow.
Roleplaying the End of Days:
What I need from you:
1. Access to an IM client This is going to be a rather complex RP and it may be difficult to get it off the ground. Thus, it is essential that we be able to communicate while planning the game and as we go along. I am currently available via AIM and Yahoo messenger, though if you currently use another client and are interested in the game, I would be more than willing to accommodate you. No, PMs are not going to suffice.
2. Good Writing I'm picky. I want beautiful, lush language and exciting descriptions and the occasional phonetic flourish.
3. The ability to lead and to follow More than anything, I am looking for a creative partner. It is essential then, that you feel comfortable enough with yourself as a writer and with me as a co-writer that you will feel free to start doing some things on your own initiative, such as writing in the existance of a town, handling a sudden encounter with a new group of NPCs and so on.
4. Multiple Characters It would be a shame to waste such an amazing plot on a single adventurer wandering the wastes. I love a good ensemble piece with a thick cast of characters. We could start small, taking on two or three protagonists each, adding supporting characters and one shot NPCs as we move along, but it is important to me that each of us should play several parts.
5. Posting Schedule Here's where I'm most lenient. I'm only going to ask for 1-2 posts per week. I can handle more, but 1-2 is the bare minimum.
I feel like this is enough information for the moment. I'm going to come back and pretty this all up tomorrow. Until then, read up and enjoy, send me an IM or PM if you're interested.