In Doomsday, the players take the role of powerful men and women at the end of the world, each with their own goals and objectives… but who are also members an ultra-secret organisation operating in secret cells.
Unlike your average megagame, where fixed teams of four or five players negotiate, bloviate and occasionally cooperate with other teams, you might start the game knowing one or two other members of your cell… or none at all.
A key part of the game will be trying to work out who you can trust and who you should work with – whose goals align with yours, and whose vision of doomsday is utterly incompatible with your own.
“The first thing you should know about us, is: we have people everywhere.”
– Mr White
So get out there and make contact… but be cautious, be careful. Between the security forces, spies and opposing factions, it’s a dangerous world out there. And while the world isn’t going to end itself (okay, so the sun will eventually die… but we can’t afford to wait that long), you want to be around to see it go.
Within the game there are five kinds of role: the Mastermind, the Fanatic, the Maven, the Operator and the Media Mogul. Each type of role has its own set of skills and objectives, and its own field of play that help them achieve their goals. Make your choice today.
Planners and schemers, the Masterminds have vision… and a web of plots and conspiracies all ticking away towards their glorious end-goal. These players are the current heads of their secret factions, and the role demands creative plotting, strategic thinking, and resource management.
Movers and shakers on the world map, the Operatives are politicians, generals, businessmen, terrorist leaders, spooks and policemen… each with their own personnel objective. They’ve got the power and the connections to make or break any particular apocalypse – Operatives are the only ones who can move strategic and security units around the map – but it all depends who’s pulling their strings. Involves a mix of wargamey unit deployment and interpersonal deal-making.
(A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal)
The practical heart of any conspiracy, Fanatics are the ones who make the Mastermind’s mad ideas a reality. They find the right people, motivate them by whatever means necessary, and get the job done. Involves a lot of interpersonal interaction with Operatives, Mavens and Moguls.
(From the Hebrew, meaning ‘one who understands’)
Knowledge is power. From universities, libraries, think tanks and laboratories, the Mavens direct their researchers and philosophers in the search of greater, deeper knowledge.
Unfortunately knowledge is not money… and money drives research.
A more board-gamey role, the Maven spends a lot of time managing their researchers, exploring the knowledge web, generating the resources to fuel the Mastermind’s plots, and finding ways to convince other players to fund their research.
Doomsday’s media players aren’t reporters or other small fry – they’re the owners or managing editors of the world’s biggest news corporations. It’s all about headlines, and walking the delicate tightrope between the money-making sensationalism which will keep your paper afloat, worthy but unpopular Serious Journalism, and the demands of your secret masters.
Which stories make the headlines, and which get buried? Do you send your reporters to uncover that Illuminati plot, and grab the scoop? Or help them keep out of the papers? Is there more to the Prime Minister’s sudden visit to Jamaica than meets the eye? Or is that the sort of question you don’t want to ask…? This role involves resource management and debate with other Moguls.
We can neither confirm nor deny that some, many or all of the factions listed here will be active during Doomsday.
The more players, the more conspiracies… For each Faction there will be 1 Mastermind, 1 or 2 Fanatics, 1 or 2 Operatives, 1 Maven and 1 or 2 Media Moguls. Though they might not know who is who, at the start.
The fields of play
This central map shows all the many regions of the world, as well as the locations of the various research facilities, media HQs, mystic portals to the dungeon dimensions, and other items of interest. This is home territory for the Operatives, where they will move their soldiers, freedom fighters, police, weapons inspectors, superheroes and other units in reaction to the plots and events which keep springing up all over the place.
Who’s producing those plots? Masterminds and Fanatics, of course… But which ones? Map control will place the plots on the map according to secret instructions… You’ll just have to hope nothing’s disrupting your lines of communication, and you’re shutting down the right conspiracy.
You’ll find other units on the map, too – journalist and investigators, hungry to uncover the filth and corruption of this world on the edge. Hungrier for not being fired, however, they’ll do what their Moguls tell them.
Mavens, too, can step out into the world… or send their researchers, at least, to glean new insights and explore new avenues of knowledge through dirty dirty field work.
The research web
Home of the Maven, this tangled web of knowledge is just waiting to be explored. Scientists, policy wonks and hermetic magi send forth their minions down treacherous avenues of arcane lore, forbidden science and controversial policy… hoping to uncover some glittering nugget of unrefined knowledge that they can deliver to their masters (and keep the grant money from drying up).
Some lines of enquiry might lead you nowhere… some might lead you into deals with the literal devil… but some are going to lead you to the motherload – rich veins of conceptual gold that your Masterminds can use to put their bizarre plots into operation.
Beware, however. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and rival academics or contrarian might do what they can to scupper your research. And sometimes the world beyond the walls of your ivory tower might even intrude, producing… what? Bureaucrats. Journalists. Cthuloid horrors. Anything could happen… it’s the end of the world, you know.
The media circus
Home to the Moguls, this is where all the world’s news comes together. Each Mogul will pin their front page stories to the wall each turn, for all the world to see… and then rationally and calmly (we have every faith in you) discuss the merits of their competitors’ reporting… all to decide which three big stories are driving the day’s news cycle – and making cultists and politicians alike scramble to react.
The talent pool
A combination of old boys’ network, criminal underground and sinister auction house, the talent pool is where the Fanatics get their new recruits from. There’ll be plenty to choose from, at least when it comes to the footsoldiers of the apocalypse… dumb grunts, corrupt officials and would-be terrorists are never going to be in short supply.
But watch out for those diamonds in the rough – the potential recruits who could really make a difference. The CIA section head. The tech millionaire with access to everyone’s personal data.
They’re not going to be easy to recruit… and there’s probably going to be competition. You’ll need an edge… a dodgy dossier, packed with secrets and blackmail material, perhaps?
Everyone has their weakness. You just need to find it.
And remember: a secret society without people is just a lonely weirdo.
The secret places
Nothing to see here, certainly not Masterminds and Fanatics as they scheme and conspire, and issue their secret instructions to the world. It’s just a place that people can come and chill out for a moment, take a breather from the game.
Also definitely not somewhere that secret meetings can take place, or that might be worth trying to spy on.
Then reserve your place at the end of the world today. While there’s still a world to end…