It's been a few weeks since my last post. I've started a new job and am taking the train downtown to Chicago (and back) everyday so my schedule is obviously in transition. Mark is doing a great job blogging our Sunday night DnD sessions (here). I am not participating in DnD Encounters this summer, but if you want to keep up with these sessions I suggest following them here. Scott is preparing a 4E Ravenloft adventure for us that we will attempt when Mark's dungeon is completed and I am hoping that later this summer I can get him to put together some notes on updating pre-4e Ravenloft modules to 4e. Maybe some of my Gencon attending friends will be kind enough to provide a trip report in August as well.
So I guess what I am saying is that I am inbetweenies for blogging right now. The two hours on a train everyday for the past two weeks and the opportunity to take short break from posting has given me time to consider what do I wish to continue the blog with. I do want to keep the blog DnD or RPG oriented, and there are several books I have acquired over the past year or so that I would like to go provide a review of, there is always 4E news to discuss, plus I always have some story lines roaming around in my head so maybe I can put together some short fiction posts.
Most serious Christians put no stock in the avalanche of interest around the announcement that the rapture was to occur this past weekend, nor do they put much stock in the rapture reschedule date for this October. But there is apparently no shortage "dopes who want to be on TV" or "dopes who run TV" so things like this get completely blown up all over the place. The next prophecy of apocalypse is always good for ratings though, so whoever our next Chicken Little is is getting ready for their big moment right now.
As I was watching the rapture news it occurred on me ... didn't I have a source book written about a post-rapture world? As a matter of fact I did. It was entitled "The End" and was written by a gentleman by the name of Joseph Donka (you can see more here at rpg.net), published by Scapegoat Games in 1995. Apparently this group got kicked out of Gencon one year for walking around with placards that that read "The End is here", which, while not very original, was pretty clever anyway. The guy behind the counter at the game store in Fox Valley Mall (circa 1995) told me it was written by some local people (the book included a special acknowledgment to the Denny's that still stands outside the mall), plus the topic interested me, so I purchased it.
The gist of the story is that the rapture did indeed come and the blessed were taken away to heaven. Then the day of reckoning came and the evil were swept away to hell. At this point the meek really did inherit the earth, which is where the game kicked off. Think of it as a post-apocalyptic America, just without the atomic apocalypse part. But it's a game (as they repeatedly stress in the book), so like any other RPG the DM described the world in front of you and as the characters you decided what to do next.
The book did provide some short fiction to help set the stage for the world the players would find themselves in. Details were provided about the various settlements across the country that have arisen over the short time and short backgrounds were given to the prominent characters that players might interface with over time (The Shadowrun books had a similar "tribal america" theme to them as well). Various skills and levels were included, basically everything one might need to subsist in the bleak new world.
The soft cover book was 182 pages long and included plenty of illustrations. It was a nicely done book by a group of people that were certainly passionate about their topic. There are plenty of other post-apocalyptic world type of games out there, but I think the real-life religious implications made this game just a little too creepy, even for the standard DnD crowd. Give these guys credit though - apparently the book was re-released in 2002 after it had been rewritten for the D20 rule set.