Our Finest Hours

Storytelling an Oblivion Chronicle


I'd listen to the words he'd say
But in his voice I heard decay
The plastic face forced to portray
All the insides left cold and gray

The Day the World Went Away - Nine Inch Nails

When faced with the task of Storytelling a Time of Judgment Chronicle for Wraith, Storytellers might wonder how to best go about portraying The End.

What kind of Chronicle should the End Times bring about? Who gets directly and visibly involved, and who stays out of it, or behind the scenes? What should ultimately happen to the characters? Or, if you want to leave The End open, what different results could come out of their actions?

Given what a daunting prospect it is to end everything, these questions should be considered with care. It would be wonderful to end the Chronicle with a really memorable chain of events and character resolution. Conversely, it would be terrible to produce a final chapter that leaves a sour taste in your players' mouths.

That said - don't sweat it too much. Chances are good that, having been a Wraith Storyteller for this long, you already know what to do. You just have to put it all to work one, last time.

And Speaking of Time...

.. don't be afraid to take your time while devising this Chronicle. In fact, no matter how much Time of Judgment fever may have gripped you, it's probably best if you give yourself anywhere from six months to a year's lead time in order to get things ready.

Why? Because there's usually nothing worse than reading the last few issues of an ongoing comic book series that was canceled on short notice. The last two or three issues are obviously rushed, things are brought to the boil way too soon, and the last issue seems like more of wistful goodbye than a proper send off.

And it's the same with RPGs. Players can tell when the Chronicle's turned on a dime and is heading towards The End in a month's time. The sudden appearance of this, that or the other thing makes it all too clear that the cancellation of the game is at hand.

You could still make it a memorable ending, and everyone might have fun. But it's still advisable to give people a fair amount of lead time before Oblivion starts bubbling up out of the ground. That way, you can work in End Time plot elements way in advance, so that it's not entirely obvious what's going on, or so that there is a natural, logical progression of events.

First Principles

Chronicle Types

Signs and Portents

Faces and Factions