The Gods II
Chapter 7: Era Omega - Armageddon
by Scott Martin
Last updated 10/6/97
The final struggle for dominance, Era Omega is when the fate of the universe will be decided. Demonic hordes from the distant Void (an abstract group represented by no players) stand poised to attack Heaven and Earth, while a few key demons (actual demon players) prepare the way. Meanwhile the gods compete among themselves to determine who will be the Supreme Deity who will lead the forces of Heaven to victory. Without a Supreme Deity the gods are destined to lose and be destroyed by the forces of Nothingness.
Era Omega is divided into two portions. The first part of the session is Ragnarok. The second part is the Denouement, in which the details of the new universal order are determined by the Supreme Deity or by the demons. The Denouement begins whenever a Supreme Deity is chosen or one hour before the scheduled end of the era, whichever comes first.
Era Omega is considered to last a single century on Earth (a 17th century of Earth time after the 16 centuries of Era Centrum). This century ends precisely halfway through the era. While activity may continue on Earth after this point, there will be no further mana from century-end mana sources and no actions not directly inspired by the gods. The only reasons for gods to use history powers during this time are to gain mana from events, to influence pantheons for purposes of becoming Supreme Deity (see below), or to fulfill goals or objectives.
Since mana provided at the actual end of Era Omega would be useless to the characters, era-end mana sources are actually calculated and distributed halfway through the era, immediately after the final century ends. After this point, the only mana distributions are from event sources.
No Surrender: During Era Omega, gods and celestial spirits no longer have to accept surrender from their opponents. Any combatant may choose to ignore a surrender and simply kill his opponent.
History Powers: History powers may be used in Era Omega just as they are in Era Centrum. However, there will be no further centuries, so any effects which take place in the "next century" will have no effect.
Completion of Goals: Since there will be no following transition phase, mana for goals completed in Era Omega is awarded during the game session. After completing a goal, a player should find a designated gamemaster at the first opportunity and receive her mana.
Buying New Sphere Cards: Gods can purchase new sphere cards from the sphere pool during Era Omega. A referee in the Hall of Doom should hold all of the cards and sell them to any player who can provide the price. Cards are sold on a first-come, first-served basis to whoever can provide the mana costs listed under Buying Sphere Cards in the rules for transition phases. Optionally, the referee may hold an auction, if there is a run on certain cards at the beginning of the era. Characters who gain a new sphere card in the middle of the era immediately gain use of all appropriate powers. However, they do not gain any of the mana sources which would normally come from the extra card.
Before a god can become Supreme Deity, he must cast the Candidate power. Once that is done, he may become Supreme Deity at any time by fulfilling any one of the following conditions:
If no character has become the Supreme Deity by one hour before the scheduled end of the final game session, then the demonic hordes of the Void sweep in and destroy Heaven and Earth.
Though demons can exist in the game as early as Era Aleph, Era Omega is the time when they are most likely to appear in large numbers.
Demons are the personification of entropy, nothingness, and negativity. They stand as the opposite of all positive forces, the ultimate evil, the perversion and reversal of all that the gods represent. Their goal is the annihilation of all thought, life, matter, energy, space, time, and concepts. To the demons all existence is anathema, the target of their hatred. Presumably, if they succeed in destroying the gods they may even go on to annihilate themselves in order to achieve the true nothingness for which they long!
When a player's character is obliterated, rather than leaving the game that player gets to play a demon. Players should note that a demon is not a continuation of their previous character but a completely new character with completely opposite objectives.
Demons have three types of powers. First, all demons share a set of common demonic powers. Second, each demon has two random demonic powers chosen from a deck of cards in the Void. Whenever a demon is killed he must discard his current random powers, shuffle them into the deck and draw two new random powers. (A demon does not get to choose new powers if he is killed twice within a 30 minute period.) Third, each demon has a unique demonic gift power. This power must be chosen by the player when he first starts playing the new demon character. New demons may not select a power already chosen by a previous demon, unless there are more than 12 demons. No more than two demons may have the same demonic gift power unless there are more than 24 demons, etc.
If killed, demons follow rules different from those of gods and celestial spirits. During transition phases, demon players may write myths and choose goals and objectives just like other characters.
Demon players should note that their central objective is inherently negative. They can only win by preventing the other players from achieving a certain goal. Unless there are large numbers of demons, their only hope of doing so is to sow dissension among the gods. Demons must be subtle and tempt the gods into becoming dependent on demonic aid; the demons are rendered almost impotent if the gods unanimously refuse to deal with them.
From the instant the Denouement begins, the characters may use no further powers and may not attack one another. All non-permanent power effects (those with a set or triggered ending) come to an end. All effects of persuasion powers cease. All dead characters return to life. All movement restrictions are lifted. In summary, all game mechanics no longer work; the remainder of the game is pure politics and role-playing.
All gods and celestial spirits must gather in the Hall of Doom. All demons must gather in the Void.
At this point, the course of the Denouement depends on how Ragnarok ended. There are three possible outcomes for Ragnarok. First, a god who is not a demonic ally can become Supreme Deity. Second, a god who is a demonic ally can become Supreme Deity. Third, if no Supreme Deity is chosen then the demonic hordes destroy Heaven and Earth. Follow only the instructions for the ending which occured.
If a non-demonic ally becomes Supreme Deity, then the Supreme Deity immediately leads the gods and celestial spirits into the Void to destroy the demonic hordes. Any demonic allies among the gods are revealed. All demons are annihilated. (This can be actually acted out if your location allows a swarm of players to troop from one room to another and act out a great battle. Otherwise just say it happened and invite all of the doomed demon players to come to the Hall of Doom and observe the actions of the winning side.) For each demonic ally, the Supreme Deity must choose to either annihilate him or sentence him to an eternity of torment (after being stripped of greater god status); no leniency is allowed. All of the following actions may be performed in any order.
The Supreme Deity must perform the following actions:
The Supreme Deity may perform any of the following actions unilaterally:
The Supreme Deity may perform any of the following actions if the action is supported by a majority of the Great Council (seven or more).
The Supreme Deity may perform any of the following actions, in any order, if the action is supported by near-unanimity of the Great Council (all but one member must vote yea).
It should be noted that the Supreme Deity cannot obliterate a character (other than a demonic ally) or return an obliterated character to life.
If a demonic ally becomes Supreme Deity, then the Supreme Deity immediately leads the demonic hordes into Heaven in order to consolidate his rule. Though Heaven and Earth are not destroyed, they become dark and dangerous places in which the demons run wild and both gods and mortals live in constant fear. The Supreme Deity disbands the Great Council, ruling as a tyrant, enforcing his decrees through his tenuous and uncertain command over the demonic hordes.
The Supreme Deity must perform the following actions:
The Supreme Deity may perform any of the following actions unilaterally, in any order:
The demons may, by majority vote, perform any of the following actions, in any order:
Each individual demon may perform any of the following actions.
The demon players and demonic hordes immediately sweap into Heaven and annihilate all gods and celestial spirits who are not demonic allies. (This can be actually acted out if your location allows a swarm of players to troop from one room to another and act out a great battle. Otherwise just say it happened and invite all of the demon players into the ruined Hall of Doom to announce their victory.) Players of annihilated characters do not get to play demons.
For each demonic ally, the demon players must choose by majority vote whether to treat him as an equal, enslave him, or banish him; demons are notorious for backstabbing their allies. If a demon ally is banished he must flee into the distant Void and wander eternally without companion or home.
Other gods and celestial spirits may also be considered to have survived the destruction of Heaven if before the demons won they used powers which would allow them to escape into the distant Void, abandoning Heaven forever. The exact parameters of this option are up to the gamemasters.