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The ‘End Time’ Conference on AOL

Categories: Items of Mutual Interest

The End Time book is no longer in development. Originally conceived as a full game rather than a supplement to Call of Cthulhu, End Time could not be developed under Pagan Publishing’s licensing agreement with Chaosium. Pagan Publishing has announced no plans at present to publish the material in another format.

Incidentally, long-time Delta Green fans might be amused by an early reference in this transcript to the projected release date for the book. It was eventually published in summer, 1997.

 


 

(the following has been liberally snipped to cull extraneous chatter)

End Time AmeriCon Conference,12/04/93, 1 PM Eastern,
Host: PaganPub, Moderator: OGF Tamira.

***Copyright 1993 America Online, Freely Distributed***

The Gamer  : I know this is an "End Time" [g,d] conference, but let me
             ask one other question real quick --
Pagan Pub  : Gamer, there is time for Glimpses stuff still if you
             get an opportunity to put something together.
Pagan Pub  : Fire away!
The Gamer  : What's the status of The New Age?
Pagan Pub  : It will be appearing in a book called DELTA GREEN,
             scheduled for May/June.
The Gamer  : I was thinking of taking my character from that
             playtest, advance him 40 years,
The Gamer  : and make him an early victim of the insanity, in
             about 2030 or so...
Pagan Pub  : He could be an evil NPC in a Glimpses scenario.
The Gamer  : By then, Clarence would be the head of Cult Response
             for the FBI,
The Gamer  : but his final case would be a little more than he can
             handle...
Pagan Pub  : Poor Clarence.
The Gamer  : I'm not sure I want to turn Clarence evil -- I'd
             rather have him horribly killed in a noble but futile
The Gamer  : defense of humanity...
The Gamer  : Clarence Starbird -- FBI traineee and Delta Green
             operative in the playtest of The New Age.
Zenkei     : well, it always seems as if my burst of writing
             activity comes AFTER sending an embryonic manuscript
Pagan Pub  : I'll read what I've got and send you a note.
Pagan Pub  : Gamer, have you seen the END TIME press release
             thingie?
The Gamer  : Based on what you sent in the introductory file, each
             individual piece doesn't need to be very long...
The Gamer  : Yes, I've seen the press release here on AOL and on
             the Internet...
Pagan Pub  : Okay, good deal. Yeah, the Glimpses pieces are prtty
             short.
Pagan Pub  : A few thousand words or so, though a couple have been
             around 8-10,000.
The Gamer  : BTW, I really liked that Antarctic adventure... very
             chilling
Zenkei     : John, the new file is yours
Zenkei     : Ooh, I want to write an adventure about Mi-Go
             breeding humans without coccyxs!!
Zenkei     : no, the coccyx is vestigial
Zenkei     : I was thinking of some sort of trippy thing where the
             Mars people
The Gamer  : John, were you the one who posted "Rudolph the
             Red-Brain-Cased
The Gamer  : Mi-Go"?
Zenkei     : discover humans in freeze-coffins with no pinkies,
             coccyxs, or appendices
Zenkei     : wasn't that in TUO 1?
Pagan Pub  : Gamer: Hmm. I wrote one called "Rudolph the Red-Nosed
             Mi-Go" in TUO1. Haven't seen the one
Zenkei     : which I don't own (sob)
Pagan Pub  : you mentioned, though it may be the same. Dunno.
Pagan Pub  : [pats Zenkei on back] [tsk, tsk] don't worry, there are billions
             of people who don't have one either.
Zenkei     : does everything on earth have to be nuked?
Zenkei     : that sort of precludes adventures there
Pagan Pub  : Have you downloaded the articles from TUO1 here on
             AOL?
Zenkei     : I was picturing something like the Resistance from
             the first
Pagan Pub  : No, Earth isn't hosed completely, don't worry.
Zenkei     : Terminator film, with those underground complexes and
             stuff
Zenkei     : good
Zenkei     : I wasn't aware that there were TUO articles on AOL
Pagan Pub  : Jeff is a big Mad Max fan, so he's making sure we
             leave some post-apocylpse action for later!
Pagan Pub  :  Yeah, TUO1 is available for downloading in
             the GCS File Library.
The Gamer  : I picture what's left of the humans on earth being not
             as organized, equipped, (or as sane)
The Gamer  : as the Resistance in T2.....
Pagan Pub  : Yeah, I don't think that's far off.
Pagan Pub  : The cool thing is that a post-Cthulhu Earth has LOTS
             of potential for variety.
Pagan Pub  : All kinds of bizarre situations and threats.
The Gamer  : Yeah, I downloaded TUO1 the other night, too ...
             would have downloaded the Nyarlathotep GIF, but I
The Gamer  : don't have the unpacker...
Pagan Pub  : But, we're going to deal with Mars first to kind of
             set the scene and guide the early material.
Pagan Pub  : Oh, boo! I think that unpacker stuff is available
             here on AOL too.
The Gamer  : Do you see the Mars colony (once they get their
             troubles handled, if they ever do)
The Gamer  : as the eventual "savior" of the Earth?
The Gamer  : Or do the good guys have, ultimately, no chance?
Pagan Pub  : I want to try and get TUO2-4 on before Xmas if
             possible.
Pagan Pub  : Heh. Good question.
Pagan Pub  : The deal is, we've got plans to cover several
             possibilities. Depending on how the game is
The Gamer  : I mean, *if* Earth gets "saved," will it be the
             returning Mars colonists who do it?
The Gamer  : Or can the Earth survivors save themselves..?
Pagan Pub  : received and what people want to see, we can provide
             different supplements and stuff.
Pagan Pub  : Zen: You need to hit the "More" button a time or two
             to get down to it.
Zenkei     : the only thing I really don't like about the timeline
             is that the Mi-Go are basically
Zenkei     : responsible for the rise of the great old ones
Zenkei     : oh, I looked through the WHOLE thing
Pagan Pub  : Unwittingly, yes.
Zenkei     : all i saw were your submission guidelines
The Gamer  : It's there, Zenk -- I downloaded it last night...
Pagan Pub  : The title is "The Annotated Oath 1" I think.
Zenkei     : doesn't it make more sense from the nihilistic
             lovecraftian viewpoint that it
Zenkei     : just happens, instead of being caused?
Pagan Pub  : Well, HPL was never specific about the circumstances
             other than to say when the stars
Zenkei     : the other thing is that no HUGE cataclysm happens
             when not only R'lyeh, but Ghatanothoa's Isle as well
Pagan Pub  : came right againn.
Zenkei     : are raised in the SAME year
Pagan Pub  : But actually that's intentional (the rise of the GOO
             not seeming quite right).
Zenkei     : well, "the stars came right again" is different than
             "the Mi-Go created a blob which ran amuck and
Zenkei     : caused Cthulhu to rise"
Pagan Pub  : Quite right, but again that's intentional.
Zenkei     : but why?
Zenkei     : I can't get into this thing, the Domaag T'eel,
             causing EVERYTHING
Pagan Pub  : I'd rather not say here...don't want to give away
             some things to folks who download this later.

The Gamer  : Gamer freedom -- each group can pick the way they
             want the game-world to be...
The Gamer  : The "one true way to play" school of thought went out
             with Gygax...
The Gamer  : But they're still out there -- heard from any more
             "fans" of the R. Pierce Foundation, John?
Pagan Pub  : No, actually we haven't gotten much mail about it in
             a while I guess.
Zenkei     : btw, kudos on the whole 5 1/2 thingy
The Gamer  : Good.
Zenkei     : A lot I disagree with, but cannibalization has always
             been my strong suit
Pagan Pub  : Thanks! That goes to Kim Eastland for doing the
             lion's share of the work on 5.5.
Zenkei     : OF MATERIAL, mind you
Pagan Pub  : LOL!
Zenkei     : OF MATERIAL, mind you
Pagan Pub  : LOL!
The Gamer  : Are TUO 1-5 totally out of print?
Zenkei     : no Consume Likeness for me
Pagan Pub  : Actually TUO5 is still available by mail order and we
             have some at conventions.
Pagan Pub  : But 1-4 are gone, yeah.
The Gamer  : Oooh, I'll have to order one, then. 1-4 only
             available from collectors?
Pagan Pub  : The scenarios will turn up in The Resurrected, and
             the articles and stuff here on AOL.
Zenkei     : the three priests of Cthulhoid ore
Pagan Pub  : Gamer: Yep. I hear of copies sitting on dusty game
             shop shelves here and there too, and at cons.
The Gamer  : Another reason to hang out at game auctions...
Pagan Pub  : Actually, TUO3 had the three priests cover.
Zenkei     : yeah, thats where I found three
Zenkei     : oops
Pagan Pub  : TUO4 had the naked female breasts.
Zenkei     : well three then
Zenkei     : oh.
Zenkei     : I need five then
Pagan Pub  : TUO5 you can still order. It has the skinned dog head
             cover.
The Gamer  : Yum...
Pagan Pub  : Lip-smackin' good!
Zenkei     : Oh, wait

Pagan Pub  : Hey, let's make this official. Any END TIME questions
             you guys want to ask?
Zenkei     : I do have that one
Zenkei     : I lose track
Zenkei     : hey, I'm asking every question I can think of
The Gamer  : Would you run down the product release schedule?
             What supplements and when?
Pagan Pub  : Well, what we have planned are three books for
             release in August at you-know-where.
Pagan Pub  : Glimpses, the rulebook, and the player's guide.
Pagan Pub  : I want to have two more supplements out by xmas, one
             an anthology and one more sourcebook/campaign
Pagan Pub  : oriented.
The Gamer  : Any rough ideas on what they will cover?
Pagan Pub  : There's going to be a bunch of campaign/scenario
             material in the rulebook so people won't need to
Pagan Pub  : shell out lots of dough after they get the rules.
Pagan Pub  : Gamer: the anthology will just be a variety of stuff.
             We're going to establish three "tracks"
Pagan Pub  : of scenarios/campaign materials. Human intrigue,
             alien horror, and heavy-action bughunts.
Zenkei     : I don't need to put up with any more speeches about
             financial responsibility
Zenkei     : what Cthulhu has always been missing
Pagan Pub  : So the releases will offer a mix of these three
             styles, and campaigns will flow from one to the
Pagan Pub  : other.
Pagan Pub  : Hopefully we can cover enough bases in the books to
             make all kinds of players happy.
Pagan Pub  : Though it will still require a good gamemaster to
             make it work.
The Gamer  : Cool. Do you think the power gamer/big guns types
             will go for the bughunt style? They've never been
The Gamer  : big CoC fans before.
Pagan Pub  : Well, it will help. I think the setting and stuff
             will be cool enough to draw some folks in like that
Pagan Pub  : and there will be adventures for them to play. As
             much as possible, we'll be pushing this as a
Pagan Pub  : separate game altogether. "Call of Cthulhu" won't be
             mentioned on the front cover or anything.
The Gamer  : Really? Since it's Lovecraft, *and* you're using the
             CoC system, I thought you would
The Gamer  : emphasize the connection.
Pagan Pub  : Well, to some extent yes. I just mean that I think we
             can position it as something that doesn't have
Pagan Pub  : the "stigma" of CoC for power gamers.
The Gamer  : Cool.
Pagan Pub  : I want those people to see a cool setting with weird
             monsters and stuff first, and then go "oh
Pagan Pub  : it's from that weird horror game." Folks that play
             CoC will know what's up anyway, hopefully.
Pagan Pub  : It's kind of strange 'cuz we're making a sequel of
             sorts to a game and using the game's rules.
Pagan Pub  : We are changing some things around in the rules,
             though, to fit the setting better.
The Gamer  : It's just that the purist in me shudders at the
             thought of power-gamer geeks
The Gamer  : thinking they can take out Cthulhu with a couple of
             nuclear-tipped cruise missiles...
Pagan Pub  : Heh!
Zenkei     : even in this setting Cthulhu shouldn't be a bughunt
Zenkei     : "He reforms in 15 minutes.  But now he's
             radioactive!"
Pagan Pub  : Well, the thing is we'll keep them on Mars for a
             while to give them a taste of the Mythos up close
Pagan Pub  : and personal before it sprawls all over Earth.
Pagan Pub  : SAN rules are being elaborated a bit for the setting
             and we're trying to differentiate between
Pagan Pub  : stress-related SAN and Mythos-related SAN. That is,
             insanities will not be uncommon just because of
Pagan Pub  : the circumstances of life in the colony. Charcters
             may very well begin the game unbalanced.
OGF Tamira : :)  sounds diabolical to the max John  :D
Pagan Pub  : Not horribly so, but they may have nervous tics,
             phobias, and the like.
Zenkei     : But magic and Mythos worship will be far more
             widespread
The Gamer  : Does this mean you'll lighten up on the "insane
             characters become property of the Keeper" rule?
Pagan Pub  : Um, permanently insane characters will probably still
             go that way but we're going to try and deal
Pagan Pub  : with sanity problems as just a fact of life for these
             people.
Zenkei     : did you read the school/lemonade adventure?
Zenkei     : my biggest problem with that is that one of the
             characters' goal is to kill as many kids
Pagan Pub  : Zen: Yes, it's horrifying.
Zenkei     : as possible, and yet his SAN is 40
Zenkei     : I do not think he should be a PC
The Gamer  : school/lemonade? Elaborate please...
Zenkei     : some Glimpses stuff
Zenkei     : up to John if he wants to tell you
The Gamer  : That you wrote, Zenk?
Pagan Pub  : Mm, more-or-less rational people kill each other all
             the time. They aren't necessarily insane,
Pagan Pub  : just unbalanced.
Pagan Pub  : No, by Greg Stolze. Three character piece: one
             principal, one teacher, one student.
Zenkei     : yeah, but he's killing kids by the busload@
Pagan Pub  : Principal haunted by dreams, begins making the rounds
             at school with poison lemonade to save
Pagan Pub  : his pupils from the worse horrors to come.
Zenkei     : No, I'm writing about the 2046 invasion of Boston by
             Deep Ones and a medley of assorted horrors
Pagan Pub  : Adventure begins when he enters the classroom with
             the other two PCs in it.
The Gamer  : Slight digression -- John did you see the movie "The
             Rapture?"
Pagan Pub  : (among others)
Pagan Pub  : No, I haven't but I've heard of it. It sounded kind
             of interesting.
The Gamer  : It's on Showtime this month -- it just hit me that
             the fundamentalist response
The Gamer  : to what's happening in the End Time would make for a
             good Glimpses scenario....
Pagan Pub  : Hmm!
The Gamer  : Very Jonestown-ian...
Pagan Pub  : Yes, exactly.
The Gamer  : If you don't mind pissing off the Pat Robertson crowd
             ;)
Zenkei     : When does the federal government finally and totally
             disintegrate, John
Pagan Pub  : One thing in the game is how the colonists are
             dealing with the apocalypse. I mean, they don't
Pagan Pub  : know squat about "the mythos." They just know that all
             these horrible things started happening and
Pagan Pub  : the whole world fell apart.
Pagan Pub  : Zen: well there's always clutches of soldiers, bases,
             and things in some communication for a long time
Pagan Pub  : so it's hard to say for sure. We didn't set a
             particular date.
Zenkei     : isn't Mythos worship widespread in the advanced years
             of the 21st century?
Pagan Pub  : Thing is, there's no such THING as Mythos Worship.
Zenkei     : well, you know what I mean
Pagan Pub  : There's the Starry Wisdom Church, the Silver Twilight
             Lodge, the Order of Dagon -- none of these
Pagan Pub  : groups have anything to do with each other, even in
             HPLs stories.
The Gamer  : The Mythos is a convenient label invented by humans
             to describe something
Zenkei     : revering byakhee as skygods and instituting Azathoth
             as the local deity
Zenkei     : I know, I know  the dissociation
The Gamer  : inherently incomprehensible by humans -- sort of like
             the Trinity...
Pagan Pub  : In the end times, they're just more weird religions.
Zenkei     : I read the letters column, you know
Pagan Pub  : Heck, last year a bunch of Koreans christians were
             dancing in Times Square for the end of the world.
Zenkei     : but WE, as objective gods, know that the whole thing
             is sorta connected
The Gamer  : Objective? Gods? US?
Pagan Pub  : Right...to address your question from that angle,
             there's lots of isolated worship.
Zenkei     : so how long does it take to disspell him when someone
             whistles up Azathoth in Kansas? or LA?
Zenkei     : Well, gods then...
Zenkei     : from a game standpoint
Pagan Pub  : One scenario in Glimpse has you in New York as
             homicide detectives with no time or budget to even
Pagan Pub  : begin to solve all the crimes that happen. You get
             mixed up with these loonies tattooing gates into
Pagan Pub  : people's skin. Just some weird group.
Zenkei     : I didn't read about this one
The Gamer  : I don't think they were connected that much, even in
             Lovecraft's mind, frankly.
Zenkei     : Boy, Hounds of Tindalos popping out of your back must
             REALLY hurt
Pagan Pub  : Idea is, there's weird groups like this all over the
             place but no one sees them as one big phenomenon.
Zenkei     : yes, I realize
Zenkei     : but we can differentiate between the Moonies and the
             Starry Wisdom cult
Pagan Pub  : Robin, why don't you spiel off your Glimpses scenario
             idea for these guys?
RobinDL    : My scenario is about what happens to ordinary people
RobinDL    : during the period just before everything completely
             goes to snot.
RobinDL    : It's set in a big office tower during the company
             Xmas party.
RobinDL    : Little do our ordinary data entry clerks and middle
             managers know
RobinDL    : that their building is about to be plunged into
             madness.
RobinDL    : Cultists ring the building for no apparent reason,
             begin
RobinDL    : chanting, and sudedenly almost everyone is
             hallucinating
RobinDL    : Cthulhoid entities and turning into homicidal
             zombies.
RobinDL    : The PCs goal:  to escape to ground level -- and get
             their
RobinDL    : kids out of the company day care centre...
Pagan Pub  : [THAT was the clincher for me! The day care center
             bit. Yipes!]
The Gamer  : They don't make it, of course, right?
RobinDL    : The strategy is to characterize the premade PCs
             really
RobinDL    : realistically and then drop them into the deep fryer.
RobinDL    : Yeah, the whole idea of being trapped in an office
             tower with
RobinDL    : all of the loonies is pretty open-ended; most of the
             scenario
RobinDL    : as written is set-up.  But yes, there is something
             nasty waiting
RobinDL    : if they make it to the day care centre.
The Gamer  : Isn't that one of the premises of Glimpses -- that
             the PCs don't survive, but the stories
The Gamer  : add to the lore and background of the actual game?
Zenkei     : ooh, ooh, what?
Pagan Pub  : Some of them are like that, but not all.
Pagan Pub  : Of course, all the PCs die I suppose because the game
             begins like 40 years later.
RobinDL    : ESCAPE TO LEVEL M doesn't necessarily end with the
             PCs
RobinDL    : biting it; instead it ends on a "uh-oh" note.
Zenkei     : well, I'd be surprised if my PCs survive the 9 days,
             let alone 40 years
The Gamer  : That's the way the Antarctic adventure ends ...
             perhaps that's where I got the idea.
Pagan Pub  : Yeah, there's some definite no-way-out'ers in this
             book.
Pagan Pub  : The one where you're trapped in a missile silo
             underground and the army base above you is toasted
Pagan Pub  : is a good example. You simply can't get out.
RobinDL    : Eyow.  I haven't actually seen the other premises for
             GLIMPSES.
The Gamer  : As Starbird would say, "Great. Just great."
Pagan Pub  : Oh, sorry. I think Zenkei saw the file I put together
             a while back, but no one but me has seen
Pagan Pub  : all of them.
RobinDL    : It's not like they're needed to write the scenarios,
             since
RobinDL    : they're all completely discrete (as opposed to
             discreet.)
Pagan Pub  : There's a cool one set in a honky-tonk with an
             english professor, the bar owner, and a hitchhiker.
Brujah1    : Hey Pagan, you seem pretty gifted. I have an idea why
             don't you work on some stuff for us?
Pagan Pub  : And a few hundred raving monsters.
The Gamer  : Any limit on how "adult", sick, or twisted these
             adventures can be?
Pagan Pub  : No. Period.
Pagan Pub  : I think the one where one player's goal is to poison
             school children falls in that category.
Zenkei     : that END TIME is supposed to be perverse
Pagan Pub  : Though the scary thing in that scenario (it's
             finished) is it's written so well you really
Pagan Pub  : empathize with the principal.
Pagan Pub  : (That's Greg Stolze's, Robin, BTW)
Zenkei     : at some points though it reminds me of Space Hulk or
             something
Pagan Pub  : Oh, you mean like exploring the ruins?
Zenkei     : "The Wolbers character decides which doors are locked
             at the start of play"
Zenkei     : no, for the school one
Pagan Pub  : Oh, that. Heh! He means the principal.
Pagan Pub  : He gets to pick which doors he locks and stuff.
Zenkei     : Wolbers seems a bit invincible at times
RobinDL    : Sorry, what's the premise of this one?
Pagan Pub  : I'll explain.
Zenkei     : and it seems odd that at least one character doesn't
             even have a real goal.
Pagan Pub  : Three characters. Principal, teacher, kid, plus lots
             of kid NPCs, janitors, etc.
Pagan Pub  : Horror every night on CNN. kids are scared.
Pagan Pub  : Schools everywhere trying to figure out what to do --
             how to explain what's going on to young kids.
Pagan Pub  : Barney isn't much help, after all.
Pagan Pub  : This principal has been haunted by dreams of the
             demons and monsters on the evening news. He
Pagan Pub  : sees them torturing and devouring his pupils.
             Finally, he decides to poison them all
Pagan Pub  : now and save them from a worse fate.
Pagan Pub  : So the adventure begins when he enters the fourth
             classroom on his rounds with a tray of lemonade
Pagan Pub  : and cookies. It's just a role-playing exercise to see
             how the situation plays itself out. Does
Pagan Pub  : the teacher catch on? Does the kid go to the bathoom
             and see her friends dead next door?
RobinDL    : Yep, that's pretty @#$%ing sick all right.
RobinDL    : I love it.
Pagan Pub  : That's Greg.
RobinDL    : Over in the PANDEMONIUM conference I was asked if the
RobinDL    : appearance of Kult and In Nomine was a sign that the
RobinDL    : industry was setting itself up for another round of
RobinDL    : bashing.  I should have said "wait'll they see END
             TIME!"
RobinDL    : Yes, a very nice product.  Love the design.
Zenkei     : especially that they had the guts not only to include
             "passion" magic (in the style of Crowley and
Zenkei     : contemporaries), but they say that God is dead in no
             uncertain terms
RobinDL    : The visual design, that is.
Pagan Pub  : There's a review of it and the first supplement in
             TUO10.
RobinDL    : You got a copy of every single product at GenCon,
             didn't you, John?
AtlasGames : Well, most of 'em, Robin...or at least the new
             ones...
Pagan Pub  : Well, it's probably about time to officially wrap
             this up. We're going on an hour and a half now!
The Gamer  : Kult was reviewed in The Gamer #13. Got an A...
Pagan Pub  : Questions, anyone? Spit 'em now or hold yer peace.
Shane Ivey runs Arc Dream Publishing and is the lead editor of the newest Delta Green projects.

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