Until The Last Moment
By: Miguel Rivera, Raymond Rochester, and Ayala Silverman
In a post-apocalyptic world, the choices you make determine life or death. You only have your mind and fellow travelers to guide you. The year is 2010 and the world is up in flames. The ground you walk on is gray and black. You are in northern America at the beginning of autumn and you’re heading south. You have to make it south before winter starts or else you’ll face certain death. It will be a long and hard journey, but it is the only way that you would be able to survive, at least for a little while.
Throughout the game, you will be on a quest of survival. You will be counting on the food, tools, and weapons that you obtain through gameplay in order to survive different situations. Your goal is to get to the south within 5 weeks, before the start of winter. The game will restart once you reach the south or if everybody dies.
There will be a Game Master that narrates and directs the game. The Game Master will have the ability to provide the players with events in which they will have to act accordingly. A day will end with the successful conclusion of two events. If players are following the strand form of playing, they would reach the South with 10-13 events.
Players (in a group of at least 2-3) will be guiding their characters through the game’s world. The Game Master and roll of the dice will impact the way the players navigate through the game.
Every player will take a turn and can choose an action that they wish to do. There is the possibility of their action failing based on their die roll. Players will also have the choice to pass on a turn, which can result in a loss of supplies.
When making your character you get to choose attributes that will help him or her in certain situations but will also not be as much as an advantage in other situations. Attributes assigned to the characters will affect how they interact with the world around them. This game utilizes character customization: the players will be able to create their characters, including choosing their attributes. Players will roll a pair of 6-sided dice in order to find how many points will be allotted to each attribute. Certain attributes will be beneficial in certain scenarios, while others will have no effect or can even be detrimental. The higher the number a player rolls, the more points they might be able to allot to their desired attribute. Workaround the scenarios of the game master, make the right choices, and survive as long as you can.
DICE & ROLLING
The role of dice in the game will be prominent in two areas: creating your character and determining the outcome of an action. During gameplay, the result of a roll multiplied by an attribute* will be used to determine the result of the event and whether it’s good, bad, or neutral. The Game Master will determine the amount of points needed to get a “good” result before the player rolls by rolling a pair of dice and subtracting that number by subtracting 3. In order to calculate the points needed to pass an action, the player will have to add the number they rolled and the points of the Ability or Attribute that they’re using in the situation.
* check under CHARACTER & ITEMS SYSTEMS for more information
-- guide for Game Master
The Game Master will give the players a list of items for them to start the game with. Characters have a limit of 3 items*, excluding their weapon. The weapons will be chosen by rolling a die.
* see list of Materials for items to choose from
SETTING - at the beginning of the game
You are standing at the edge of the woods, the road stretches out in front of you, disappearing beyond a hill on the left and stretching into the distance on the right.
LIST OF POSSIBLE EVENTS
You see a line of smoke trailing in the sky. You move closer to the source and hear the faint murmurs of people talking.
You or a party member becomes sick.
You come across a potentially inhabited farmhouse.
Food stores are becoming low and there have been no places to scavenge.
You are walking along the road when the sky darkens and it begins to storm.
You encounter a stranger in the road.
You are exploring a potential shelter for items when you hear a noise from another room.
Someone steals your backpack, taking your food supply and extra clothing with them.
You see someone dying on the road and have all your food taken.
The bottom of your backpack rips open.
You suspect that someone is following you.
A group of people surrounds you on the road.
A party member gets mildly injured during the day, forcing you to stop and continue your journey during the night.
A party member gets lost.
You find an old man on the road in need of food.
You find water due unsure if it will make you sick.
CHARACTER & ITEMS SYSTEM
The players will have the opportunity to create a character. Customization includes assigning physical and personality attributes. Players will also be able to choose what items their character starts out with at the beginning of the game.
Food items must be eaten within the lifespan or it becomes useless. Players have to eat a whole item of food or half of two items each third day. They must have one item of food with them at all times. If they don’t, they must find at least one item within the day. Players must drink 16 oz of water in three days as well.
The points under attributes will affect a character’s abilities (i.e. more Strength = better Athletics = able to walk longer). The items that a player decides to bring on their journey will also have the possibility of affecting your ability and attribute numbers, thus changing an event’s outcome.
A player can pick up to 3 Abilities to give to their character. In order to find your Ability points, find the corresponding Attribute and half the amount of points you rolled for that. If an Ability has two corresponding Attributes, combine the halves of both those numbers. In the event that an Attribute has an odd number of points, half the number and round the decimal down.
While playing, in the event that a character needs to use an Ability to help in a situation, it’s up to the player to pick which Ability will be most effective.
Strength measures bodily power, athletic training, and the extent to which you can exert raw physical force.
Dexterity measures physical agility and reflexes.
Intelligence measures mental acuity, the strength of recall, and the ability to reason.
Wisdom reflects how attuned you are to the world around you, representing perceptiveness and intuition.
Measures your ability to interact effectively with others. It includes such factors as confidence and eloquence.
Control the severity of a situation for a better outcome.
Athletics (involves speed, agility, & endurance)
Your Strength check covers difficult situations you encounter while climbing, jumping, climbing.
Affected by Strength and Dexterity
Determines whether or not you can convincingly hide the truth, either verbally or through your actions.
Affected by Charisma
Determines whether or not you can tell the true intentions of a creature such as when searching out a lie or a predicting someone's next move.
Affected by Intelligence and Wisdom
When you attempt to influence someone through overt threats, hostile actions, and physical violence.
Affected by Strength and Charisma
The ability to find things useful to your survival such as food, tools, weapons, shelter, etc.
Affected by Wisdom
A wisdom (Medecin) check lets you try to stabilize a dying companion or diagnose an illness.
Affected by Intelligence
Determines how well you can slink past and hide from your enemies.
Affected by Dexterity
This is the heightened ability to follow tracks, track wild game, guide your group through wastelands, predict the weather, and other elements to survive the deathly setting that you are in.
Affected by Strength and Wisdom
Your Wisdom check lets you spot, hear, or otherwise detect the presence of something.
Affected by Wisdom
The value system for each player is different within the game. The players have to determine how they will survive and actions that they take to get to the end. People can do whatever it takes to get to the end or try to help fellow travelers along the way. Our goal in creating this game is to show how hard it is to survive in a post-apocalypse world and question people’s definition of humanity. This will be a difficult task for many because many players will try to keep their character alive while simultaneously trying to help others. Over time, as players play the game and lose supplies, they will be forced to make decisions to either keep themselves alive or keep their morality intact by helping other travelers. It’s entirely possible (and expected) for the values a player might have at the beginning of the game to change as they continue playing
CONNECTION TO THE BOOK
Throughout the book, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, the skills and knowledge of the father is what keeps him and his son alive. The choices the man makes affected how he and the boy lived presently and in the future, which is just like the concept of a tabletop RPG, such as D&D (and consequently Until the Last Moment). In the game Until the Last Moment, you can't win. You can only survive and have better luck than your co-players, but the end result will be the same for each player -- death. In the book, there is no way to completely escape the deathly world that they live in, which the game is meant to reflect. There is only trying to make things better for yourself, although your luck could eventually run out.
The father and the son were on their journey with the goal of survival on their mind. There were a lot of times where they had to scavenge for tools, food, and sometimes weapons of self-defense. They “had no food and little sleep” (McCarthy 105) for the majority of their journey in the book. This is also a concept replicated in the game. The players will have to make a lot of their own choices as well as react to situations out of their control (like if there’s a storm). The players, like the man and boy, will have to be cautious and think about the consequences of their actions if they wish to survive. They must find out for themselves if they are “carrying the fire” (McCarthy 283).
The game is also based a lot on luck, such as the dice affecting what items and the amount that you get while playing. Similarly, in the book, the good things that happened to them were based off luck. You don’t know how an action will play out in the game, much like in real life and in the book, and the players will have to be prepared in case their luck turns.