It turns out I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse.
Apocalyptic stories are great for In Nomine campaigns. You’re playing angels & demons whose antagonists represent the very forces of creation. If you intend to allow epic stories of any sort, it’s practically impossible to avoid an apocalypse (or at least the threat of one).
And honestly, it’s great that there’s a game (besides Exalted) that handles this scenario so well. However, it does lead to one big question…
What happens after after you avert the end of times?
I try to handle this question in advance by telling potential players that In Nomine is set in a world where the threat of apocalypse is commonplace. Kind of like living in a superhero comic, or the Buffyverse.
Even if you save the Earth, it’s only a matter of time before it gets into trouble again. In fact, that’s part of why you’re there. Part of your job is to avert threats to all of reality. At the same time, it is only a part of your job. You’re also expected to be advancing your Superior’s specific agenda and tending to any duties you’ve been given.
It is also a part of the job description of every other Celestial on Earth. It’s entirely possible that you’ll be teaching US History at Sunnydale High School while Cordelia is communing with the Powers That Be down in LA in order to save the world.
Just because the world is in danger doesn’t mean that your character has to drop everything in order to get involved. There are other Celestials out there, and sometimes its preferable to let them solve the problem while you go about your business. It does an Angel no good to go save the world if in so doing they make it easier for Demons to win The War.
Why I Like this Approach
- Using an “apocalypse of the week” approach allows you to run apocalyptic scenarios as frequently or infrequently as you like.
- It means your players need a better reason than “the world is in danger” when asking other Celestials for help. Of course the world is in danger. The world is always in danger. Everything they do as a celestial helps save the world from danger. They might as well be saying, “help me because the sky is blue” (possibly the best argument to use with the Angel of Timely Rain).
- You can turn the typical adventure seed on its head, creating a scenario where the PCs are supposed to stay at their routine jobs, and if they head off to save the world they will be quite rightly reamed out by their Superior (even if they succeed).
Yeah, but what really does happen after you avert the end of times?
This is going to be up the individual GM – but generally speaking this is the perfect time to change Celestial alliances and change which Superiors are dominant and which are keeping a low profile.
Aside from those changes, it’s mostly likely going to be status quo ante if you want the game to continue.
Saving the world might earn a character a new distinction, possibly even a Rite or Attunement from an unusual source – but otherwise it’s business as usual and that’s the point.