Journal entry: 5/20/2017
Self-proclaimed prophets, religious leaders, emperors, conspiracy theorists, and crazy homeless people have been warning us of an incoming apocalypse for centuries. "The end is nigh!" they'd yell, right as they ask for a tithe, help towards bus fare, or the classic unwavering fealty and submission. We've all gotten pretty used to ignoring doomsayers in these modern times, for better or for worse. I mean, they're always wrong. The world should have ended millennia ago according to these people, so why should we start taking them seriously now?
Well, those crazies finally figured it out. Perhaps that's giving them too much credit. One of their spitballed prophesies happens to coincide with a rather dire, unfortunate... well, cataclysmic circumstance. This is the end of the world as we know it, and they called it.
A doomsday cult called The Order of Ashtar has been predicting the endtimes by means of meteorite for the last 50 years or so, which in and of itself is not particularly noteworthy or unique. The only weird thing about them is they've been predicting the same day for the entirety of their existence: 5/21/2017. At midnight. Via meteorite. Laughable. Why would they put all their eggs in one basket with such a hard deadline?
So laugh we did. Heartily. Then, a couple days ago, every news channel was talking about this new asteroid that was just discovered. They call it X/2017 J2 on paper. I like our name better: "The Big One." There's something almost endearing about watching everyone talk about "The Big One" like they're old men spinning yarns about a legendary fish. Then I remember that this cutely-named, 2-mile-wide hunk of iron is hurtling straight towards the Earth, hellbent on bringing about another Ice Age.
The stupid thing was supposed to harmlessly decimate Venus, but then it "bounced." Really? How does that even happen? All the liberal-leaning news stations are quick to correct the terminology, pointing out that it was technically some sort of "unforeseen planetary perturbation," like it even matters at this point. According to them, we've got a better chance at surviving though a 100,000 year-long impact winter than our reptilian counterparts. So we've got that going for us.
That hypothesis obviously operates on the assumption that we live through the impact in the first place. I wonder where Vegas has set the odds on complete human extinction. At the very least, the major world powers are rolling the dice on survival and planetary re-population. Some of the best, brightest, and of course, richest humans on the planet were hand-picked to take shelter in a number of underground fortresses that the US government just happened to have laying around.
Of course, those qualifications rule me out, but at least they held a "lottery" for us peasants to fill out the workforce in the new world. Someone has to clean the floors, right? They're not going to cart us to top-secret locations though, especially with The Big One arriving in less than 24 hours. Instead, they're literally contracting out enterprising doomsday preppers to lease space in their underground bug-out bunkers. Since the impact site is supposed to be in Japan (jeez, first Godzilla, now this?), anything deep enough in the ground and surrounded with concrete should be strong enough to withstand the blast.
I've got my ticket. I mean, why would I bother writing this journal entry if I was going to be dead in a few hours? I'm comfy and cozy in Billy Joe Redneck's bunker right now. We're "full" by government standards, but we actually have enough space in here for about 4 more people. This dude has enough food and water to last us for years, and a couple extra cots that are just folded up in a closet.
We keep getting knocks on the door, but the bunker builder always turns them away. He's constantly muttering something about The Order of Ashtar and infiltrators. He's convinced that they're actually orchestrating this asteroid situation, and they're trying to fulfill the prophesy by sabotaging bunkers or something. He's insane. I mean, he built this underground mansion and stocked it with canned goods in the first place. Then again, I guess he was right that time...
I'll try to convince him to let at least four more people in before The Big One gets here. Why waste our extra space and resources? We can definitely use the extra hands around here, especially after the impact. He mentioned something about a tribunal or trial or something where they need to "prove their intentions." This guy watches too much reality TV, but he's the boss.
The End is Nigh can handle up to 6 players. We recommend at least 3 to keep the deduction aspect exciting, though it's still fun to play with just two.
Like most hidden role/deduction games, things can be somewhat nuanced and difficult for kids to understand. There is nothing gory or obscene.
There are only 12 rounds each game, and the length of the game is largely dependant upon the amount of arguing and bargaining done by players.
Pretty straightforward... you can download the rulebook here, in PDF format.
Print it out, find some pennies or tokens, and play the game for yourself! Try it out!