Millennium's End

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Dyrnwyn

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I've long been intrigued by this game, and thus bought the PDF of it a while back. I remember seeing the main rulebook and the supplements on the shelves at my local game store in the late 90's/early 2000's, so I've been vaguely aware of it for a while, but never dove into it until recently. It's interesting to me that it lasted long enough to have two editions and a range of supporting books, but once it ended, it never came back (despite its creator having remained active in RPGs).

It occupies a unique niche in RPGs -- a near-future technothriller that now would be set in an alternate past, a la Twilight: 2000 -- that not many others tried to fill. It was a like a cyberpunk game, but not quite as far in the future, and with very slightly more advanced technology than existed at the time.

The system definitely is a product of its time -- it's very detailed, and I suppose one could say that fits the genre, though it seems a bit heavy by modern standards. Maybe it's smooth in play, though. I'm more intrigued by the background, the default campaign setting (with the PCs working as operatives for a private security/investigations company), and the supplements, which look to be good resources. If I ran it today, I'd probably swap out the system with something else, and either update the setting (Millenium's Dawn?) or go the the T2K history-that-didn't-happen approach.

What's everyone else's experiences/thoughts on this game?
 

Sosthenes

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The alternate timeline didn't even deviate that much from the real world, if I remember correctly. No insane wars or Germany turning Scientology. The most ridiculous thing about it was that the US decreased military spending -- which is where the player's paramilitary organization comes in.
I don't think that part aged well.

I could imagine doing the "big private detective agency" style game with plenty of Miami flair. Not really Miami Vice TOS, but maybe Miami Vice: The Movie, bits of Burn Notice or even The Finder. But then modern day, 1999 retro really isn't worth it.

As for the system, I remember actually liking it and using it for some other real-world game back in the day. But of course, would I use it compared to similar games like CORPS 1E (which does pretty much everything it does with fewer rules), GURPS (the Big Boy of "realistic" generic games) or more narratively focused options like Leverage or GUMSHOE?
I might try it by asking my players to pick a niche where they want to learn the specific rules. So you got your bruiser, who learns more about the martial arts rules. You get your sniper, who does the transparent overlays. The rest goes with more "basic" rules. But after a while, once the "experts" showed what works, the rest of the players get into it, too.

I wonder whether VTT support for overlays would be nice. GM sets silhouett, player positions overlay, dice get rolled, hit location flashes.
 

Silverlion

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I thought it was neat, but I really wanted to add in a supernatural. Really aiming for what "Night's Black Agent's" does, in a sense (though I wasn't doing vampires.) Later I realized Witchcraft/CiniUni could do what I wanted a lot more simply. (Still need to come up with stats for a creation of Doc Frankenstein's) I liked the silhouette system, but it Top Secret/SI also did that simpler and cleaner in many ways. Ultimately a game whose basic idea I liked, but implementation didn't live up to what I wanted when I ended up having more options when I wanted to run a PMC vs/including slight supernatural (or bigger) threats and allies.
 

Dyrnwyn

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The alternate timeline didn't even deviate that much from the real world, if I remember correctly. No insane wars or Germany turning Scientology. The most ridiculous thing about it was that the US decreased military spending -- which is where the player's paramilitary organization comes in.
I don't think that part aged well.

Merc: 2000, one of the alternate settings for T:2K, was based off of a similar premise -- reduced military spending and more hotspots/limited conflicts resulted in greater demand for mercenaries. Yeah, in hindsight it's not what happened at all, but at the time I can see where people might have seen it as a possibility in the post-Cold War, pre-9/11 era.

I thought it was neat, but I really wanted to add in a supernatural. Really aiming for what "Night's Black Agent's" does, in a sense (though I wasn't doing vampires.) Later I realized Witchcraft/CiniUni could do what I wanted a lot more simply. (Still need to come up with stats for a creation of Doc Frankenstein's) I liked the silhouette system, but it Top Secret/SI also did that simpler and cleaner in many ways. Ultimately a game whose basic idea I liked, but implementation didn't live up to what I wanted when I ended up having more options when I wanted to run a PMC vs/including slight supernatural (or bigger) threats and allies.

I liked the lack of supernatural elements; I thought that the absence of magic/monsters or significant sci-fi elements made it unique. At the time I would have gone with the Dark*Matter setting for Alternity, or Delta Green for Call of Cthulhu, for something similar but with a supernatural angle.
 

Joseph Wolz

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I played in a short (8 or 10 session) campaign of that back in 1999 or 2000. It was awesome…but I remember nothing of the system, so it ran smoothly for the time.

The gun supplement is the best beginner’s document for how guns actually work that I’ve ever seen.
 

Silverlion

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I liked the lack of supernatural elements; I thought that the absence of magic/monsters or significant sci-fi elements made it unique. At the time I would have gone with the Dark*Matter setting for Alternity, or Delta Green for Call of Cthulhu, for something similar but with a supernatural angle.
Well, I guess my issue was that neither Alternity nor Delta Green was out when I bought M.E.
 

Dyrnwyn

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Well, I guess my issue was that neither Alternity nor Delta Green was out when I bought M.E.

Good point; Delta Green was '97, and Dark*Matter was '99. ME came out before both of them, and was pretty much done by the late 90's. I learned about them all at about the same time, but had forgotten that they didn't all come out together.
 

Tristan

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I loved the idea of the game. We made characters for it, which took forever, and never got around to playing it. Others at the store had played it in the past. Gun combat was detailed, and I've always liked overlays in theory. Combat, however, could put a character out for a long time. It's been years since I read through it, but I remember the hacking rules looked interesting. There wasn't any form of ICE, so it was a case of covering your tracks before you get started so they wouldn't come after you later. Strangely fond memories of a game we never actually played.
 

sharps54

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Sorry to resurrect an old topic but does anyone know which supplements had additional templates, I think they might have called them body maps? I'm thinking about picking this up game (being a completionist that means everything in some form or another) and while some of the product line is available on PDF it seems physical copies of the templates & overlays would be pretty important.
 

Toadmaster

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This game was right up my alley, but unfortunately came out at a low point in my gaming life so I've never actually played it. No gaming or even interest at the time, and as the years go by it becomes more of a niche genre.
I went on an eBay / used bookstore hunt in the early 2000s and believe I was able to get everything put out for ME except for the 1E core book, I have 2E and guess I didn't feel a need for both. Sadly or thankfully it is not a big stack only about a dozen modest size books.

Agree Merc 2000 / Spec Ops for Twilight 2000 filled a similar niche. As I recall in both ME and Merc 2000, it wasn't so much the US willingly scaled back its military spending as there was a worldwide economic crash. Nobody had the money to fund large super advanced militaries, instead focusing on PMCs, special operations and covert forces. These soft apocalypse games became popular in the early 90s. It seems to have been a popular theme in comics / graphic novels as well with stories like Scout, Rebel and Tank Girl (ok this last may be full apocalypse).

With the way things are going in the world maybe we will see a resurgence in popularity of this genre updated to the 2030s. In fact I'd point out the first Call of Duty Modern Warfare series (2007-2011) along with CoD Ghosts (2013) fits this theme quite well.


Another game similar in theme to the others mentioned was Dark Conspiracy. Another GDW game that used the T2000 2.2 / Traveller TNE rules. It featured aliens / interdimensional creatures quietly taking over the earth.

Sorry to resurrect an old topic but does anyone know which supplements had additional templates, I think they might have called them body maps? I'm thinking about picking this up game (being a completionist that means everything in some form or another) and while some of the product line is available on PDF it seems physical copies of the templates & overlays would be pretty important.

You want the GMs screen / 1999 Data source. It includes duplicates of all the templates offered to that point as well as some completely new ones. Nightwalker / The Villee Affair added some but these are included with the screen.
 
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