My hope from this post is that I can get some feedback. I want to be able to establish a razor sharp elevator pitch for players to sell the world and invoke a good feel for the game I am trying to run. So please enjoy the pitch, and then post any reactions/feedback to this idea.
The end IS nigh.
The premise is of a world poised at the beginning of an apocalypse.
The Lord God Mithra, wise and all-knowing judge and king of the world has given the world many blessings and guided the enlightened believers of the world. The Lord God Mithra has sheltered the world from many ills, but the portents are coming true regarding the one thing that Mithra’s mercy cannot spare us from; the Dark Ones. Through divine inspiration the monks in the Well of Words have discovered an ancient scroll known as the ‘Trepidations of Lam’.
The ‘Trepidations of Lam’ speak of the terrible days ahead, of the coming of the Dark Ones, their nearly unstoppable power, and the inevitable ruination of the world. The scroll says that they are terrible creatures dwelling in the darkest corners of the netherworlds. When the magical auras of these worlds eclipse, the Dark Ones will be able to slip between this world and the barren and blasted realm where they dwell. Every ten thousand years these Dark Ones return to Earth to feed upon the creatures and the land, and soon, they will be returning in full force.
Terrible and powerful, the Dark Ones are beyond compassion and reason. They seek to consume. Some desire to feed on anything physical; rocks, trees, it matters not. Others want flesh, blood, and bones of those that flee from their sight. The more powerful live on pain, terror, and the dark emotions those experiences arouse in their victims. They will come, and little can be done to stop them. It is said by the priests of Mithra that these Dark Ones can be killed, but many believe that this is just talk to soothe the fears of the populous and give us false hope. But the unavoidable truth is that the magic of the world is growing stronger, and the Dark Ones will soon be able to slip through into our world. Meanwhile, the evils of the world stir. Monsters come forth from the shadows where once they were content to linger. They push and feed upon the fair people of the world. Giants come down from the mountains and hills. The boar-men of the Volg stream from the arrowgrass to plunder and burn the horse lords and nomads of the area. Spiders gather and hunt in packs in the forests tainting the True Woods. The fabled serpent men slither out of their desert lairs and wreak havoc upon the infidels of the East. But most of all, men turn upon men, with panic, paranoia and suspicion showing on many people’s faces.
The world was slow to believe that these dire warnings were true, but the signs all point to the inevitable. Long have we lived beside the ruins of the First Men, eyeing what great structures remain, marveling at their mysteries, with few ever having wondered where they had gone; drunk as we were in the power of our own nations. We assumed that they had faded gracefully into the night, but the ‘Trepidations of Lam’ speak otherwise, that they went screaming and painfully into oblivion. But some must have survived to found our world, and so we know that survival is possible and the scrolls speak of this promise too.
The priests of Mithra say that the End of Days is coming soon, and that we must make haste to defend ourselves against the coming Dark Ones. Sorcerers make wards and fortify cities and homes against possible incursion. Some have taken to trying to force their way into dwarven strongholds, only to be kept out and killed for their insolence. Others scour the ruins of the First Men, searching for clues about how to do brave the oncoming menace. The priests of Mithra and holy men pour over scriptures and tend to their flock, trying to keep calm. Leaders of men prepare the best they can while arguing over what will work and what will save themselves, and sometimes their people.
Now more and more people, and not just the faithful, are heeding the warnings the scrolls provide. However, the reaction has been mixed, given that the date of the Dark One’s arrival is estimated to be about fifty years from now. Some abandon their hopes for the future, and descend into apathy, despair, and hedonism. Others try and soldier on, fortifying their faith and contemplating what the dark days ahead will hold. The best of us prepare, and seek ways to shield others from the coming horrors. This is in this world that you are finding yourself amongst. Will you be a hero such as the world cries out for, or will you see this world as an opportunity to take what you want while you still can?
Particular questions I am interested in include:
What are the first three adjectives that come to you mind after reading this pitch (does not have to be world/game related)?
What assumptions do you have about this potential campaign, and the world, from reading this intro?
How gritty of a world does this sound like?
How heroic of a world does this sound like?
Do you feel like if you were presented with this pitch that your character could make a big impact on the world?
Does this pitch make you want to travel the world or stay locally focused?
What sort of tropes/themes/expectations do and would you have of a game like this?
Thanks a ton for your feedback!