In 1993 Pagan Publishing’s End Time product came to an unceremonious end due to their “licensing agreement with Chaosium.” Dr. Michael C. LaBossiere, who obviously has a passion for the material, ensured that the setting would live on by releasing it as a download at Yog-Sothoth. And on his web site. And as this monograph.
Unlike the multitude of other future settings that seem to be proliferating these days, including Cthulhutech, Yellow Dawn, Cthulhu Rising, and GURPS Cthulhupunk, End Time is compatible with Delta Green. This is of particular interest to me because I’m currently running a Delta Green-themed campaign and plan to advance the timeline forward.
End Time takes liberties with how things go south on Earth, creating a new Great Old One known as Domaag T’eel. It’s peculiar that this entity was invented to end the world when Ghroth could have achieved much the same effect. As Zenkei put it in the chat log with Pagan Publishing, “‘the stars came right again’ is different than ‘the Mi-Go created a blob which ran amuck and caused Cthulhu to rise.'” That pretty much sums up Domaag T’eel.
Most of the action in End Time takes place on two human colonies on Mars, Hope and Bradbury. The Mythos beasts that lurk on Mars include the Cthunund Uleth (similar to John Carpenter’s creature from The Thing), Martians and Vulthoom (both derived from Clark Ashton Smith’s short story of the same name). This section is followed by an oddly thorough rehash of the insanity rules – presumably there are nuanced differences because of the change in setting, but not enough to justify reprinting them whole. There are interesting role-playing tips as to how to play these insanities, but they shouldn’t be limited to End Times alone.
The next sections cover The Kercez Fragments that led to much of the mess that is the End Times, some new Mythos beasts and spells, and then details on the structure and beliefs of the colonies. Mars even has its own Dreamlands, which is detailed in the subsequent section. The monograph ends with coverage of the different skills and equipment necessary to play in this setting.
The End Times setting is a compelling one, but it is very much Dr. LaBossiere’s vision. It narrows its focus specifically to Mi-Go, a new invented Mythos race, and a manufactured Great Old One – none of which is likely to please players of more traditional Lovecraft who want to see what happens to their favorite enemies. Instead of another installment in most Cthulhu campaigns, End Times is more like an alternate version that focuses on a very specific corner of the universe – more Total Recall than Aliens. That’s not a bad thing, but it may turn off Keepers who are looking for a fully realized futuristic setting.
For more info: You can purchase this product at DriveThruRPG.