The End Game(s) – Role-Playing the Apocalypse, Part 3 with Guest Co-Blogger Erik Schmidt of Learn Tabletop

Rock BowlingGames are ubiquitous. Artifacts unearthed from early human settlements evidence board game playing. Games were here at the beginning of civilization – will they be here at the end? Probably. When the world is crumbling around us, “fun” will be at a premium. But I suspect we”ll be too busy fighting over scraps to spend all that much time “rock bowling.” (Photo courtesy of a Patagonia catalog.)

Until then, we can have megaton levels of fun role-playing what the post-apocalypse might look like. This New Year”s Eve blog is an homage to the great RPGs that take us there: Gamma World, Aftermath!, Twilight: 2000, the D&D Dark Sun campaign setting and some more recent, brilliant Narrativist offerings such as D. Vincent Baker”s Apocalypse World and Jim Pinto”s George”s Children.

Erik Schmidt, my gaErik Schmidtming buddy and the creator of the website Learn to Play Tabletop Role-Playing Games (a website designed to introduce new players to RPGs) has graciously joined me as co-blogger to share his extensive experience with two of these games: Aftermath! and Twilight: 2000.


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Popular Media, or "How I Learned to Start Worrying AND Love Doomsday" – Role-Playing the Apocalypse, Part 2

Day After wedding

The post-apocalyptic fiction genre has always fascinated me like no other. Why? Maybe it”s because I”m at my best in adversity. Maybe it”s my naturally pessimistic nature. Maybe its my genetic predisposition to depression expressing itself as a form of aesthetic narcissism. Maybe I”m hoping for mutant powers. Maybe I”m just intensely and perversely curious about where all our human folly is going to land us.gwcover

From about age 12 I was obsessed with role-playing games and bought up every one I could get my hands on, especially TSR products. Gamma World quickly joined my first D&D set. I can”t describe the sense of mystery, fear and wonder I felt as I paged through that game. Somehow, the idea of humanity obliterating itself in such a way that future generations would crawl from the ashes twisted into

new shapes and understanding history and technology only as myths from a Golden Age held more magic for me than all the wizards and dragons of Middle Earth ever could. Continue reading