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Think about screenplays and films, or the final episode of a television show that you know will not be renewed. Think about saying goodbye to friends who are moving away. Think about the last day of summer vacation. Think about funerals. Think about the restaurant that closed all those years ago, and the noodles they used to serve. Think about the best birthday party you ever had. Think about putting off the last chapter of a book until tomorrow. Think about grief, and relief. Think about the end of a world. Think about the feeling of emerging from a movie theater into a dark parking lot, under the stars.

--✵☼✵--

World Ending Game is a tabletop game written to serve as the last session of a campaign in any system. It should come after the finale, whatever that is for your table; the dragon defeated, the government felled, finals week over, the great mystery solved. World Ending Game does not have mechanics for deciding big story outcomes. Instead, it offers a series of scenes and vignettes towards closure.

A series of small games that you can play to end a campaign or story, for when it is time to say goodbye.

The Game;

World Ending Game is a falling-action game. Many existing game systems excel at climactic final battles or big-stakes adventures, but don't allow you to sit in the aftermath, thinking about all that has come before and imagining what could come after. World Ending Game is a tool to let you do just this; gather your things, say what you need to say, and walk away from the story you've been telling with confidence and pride.

Inside of World Ending Game are a set of overarching rules for conversation, and then 20 small games, called Endings. These Endings form the scenes of World Ending Game, compounding and building on one another to form a session of play. Players pick scenes for their characters, while the GM takes on the role of The Director, controlling the camera, the lighting, the mood, and the frame for each Ending.

In general, World Ending Game is cinematic, meant to emulate the last 20 minutes of a movie. It understands the power of a series of images and the impression of a final shot. It wants to wrap your story into a sequence that will haunt you, even as you leave it.


Principles of play;

Players;
Know what you want, trust your motivations, and flow from action to action and line to line. Make space for others to join in.

Director;
Introduce your directions into scenes, then retreat to watch and listen. Set the pace and keep the rhythm.

Both;
Treat the conversation like a piece of music. Find joy in the act of playing it to finish, in concert with others.

The Table of Contents;

Each Ending has a full-page facing illustration, commissioned from 20 incredible artists.

The Artists;

Conner Fawcett - The Omen
Nadhir Nor - The Confession (The Lie)
Balázs Rónyai - The Reveal
Sophia Foster-Dimino - The Revision
Olivia Fields - The Kiss
LaumeB - Anime Music Video
A Liang Chan - Reverse Heist
Madeline Miyun - Wrecking Ball
Remy Boydell - Take the Fall
Michael DeForge - Karaoke Bar
Dyoudi Mitimasa - 20 years later
ma-ko - Passing the Torch
Kazu Saito - Ride into the Sunset
Casey Nowak - I Need Answers
Luketa - Death
Danielle Taphanel - Tableaux
Williams Zouzouo - The Flashback
Ninn Salaün - The Apocalypse
Sajan Rai - Full Circle
Evan Dahm - The Earth Swallows Time

And a bookplate by H.B. Tyson

--✵☼✵--

The layout and book design of each Ending responds directly to the artwork, as well as the contents and narrative of the Ending itself. Designed by Andy Pressman, these spreads are visually distinct and bold, tied together through shared design language but also unique from one another in palette, typography, layout, and tone.


Evan Dahm for The Earth Swallows Time


Camera Directions and A Liang Chan for Reverse Heist

World Ending Game also contains;

  • Cover and Endpapers by Everest Pipkin
  • Additional game rules for Camera Directions, Credits, and Extras
  • Additional interstitial drawings and illustrations by Andy Pressman and Tim Plummer
  • A set of Last Shots with which to end World Ending Game


Madeline Miyun for Wrecking Ball      Nadhir Nor for The Confession

The Print Edition;

Though perfectly functional and still beautiful as a digital pdf, World Ending Game is designed to be held in the hand.

Working with Bookmobile, a Minneapolis-based press that specializes in short-run art books, the print edition of World Ending Game is a 6.125” x 9.25” paperback, with a gold foil stamped cover, heavy interior paper, and full-color printing throughout. It comes with a bookmark printed with the (mechanically-relevant) camera directions, and a bookplate on which to write your name.

You can order the print edition at the very bottom of this page.


Conner Fawcett for The Omen       LaumeB for Anime Music Video

Michael DeForge for Karaoke Bar

Do you have questions about shipping or development? Are you a distributor or storefront interested in wholesale? Would you like to request a community copy?

Email me! everest.pipkin@gmail.com

Updated 29 days ago
StatusReleased
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(34 total ratings)
AuthorEverest Pipkin
GenreRole Playing
TagsGM-Less, lyric-game, Narrative, One-shot, Post-apocalyptic, storygame, Supplement, Tabletop, Tabletop role-playing game
Average sessionA few hours

Purchase

Buy Now$15.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $15 USD. You will get access to the following files:

World Ending Game - Spreads.pdf 26 MB
World Ending Game - Single Pages.pdf 27 MB
World Ending Game - plaintext.txt 59 kB
World Ending Game - plaintext (Spanish Translation).txt 122 kB

Book options

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

$35 - A print copy of World Ending Game, shipped within the United States

A 6.125” x 9.25” paperback book, with a gold foil stamped cover, heavy matte interior paper, a custom bookmark, and full-color printing throughout. Includes an immediate download of the digital PDF.

Delivered anywhere in the United States. Price includes shipping.

Be sure to provide your address! It is after checkout and easy to miss.

$50 - A print copy of World Ending Game, shipped anywhere else in the world

A 6.125” x 9.25” paperback book, with a gold foil stamped cover, heavy matte interior paper, a custom bookmark, and full-color printing throughout. Includes an immediate download of the digital PDF.

Delivered anywhere in the world. Price includes shipping.

Be sure to provide your address! It is after checkout and easy to miss.

Development log

Comments

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Just finished up a lengthy campaign with this fantastic book. It's essentially a collection of procedures, mini-games, framing devices, story prompts, and (small) random tables that spur directed creativity at your table. That alone would be worth the money, but the organization and layout is the imho the killer feature: I downloaded the pdf like 10 minutes before the session, skimmed it real quick, and was able to utilize it with ease. You know a game like this is good when everyone at your table is excitedly trying to jump into the scene and add their own bits.

And to top it all off, the book features incredible, evocative art in a wide range of styles. Get this game, y'all.

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I've been lucky enough to play this game to end multiple campaigns now, and I can say it's an absolutely delightful experience all the way through. It's really been designed with the emotional weight of a long-term campaign in mind. You end up with a potentially heart wrenching and bittersweet collaboration between you, your friends, your characters, and your world.

WEG is also hackable to suit the terms of your game, and encourages you to adjust things to your liking. I played this once for a GM-less game and once for a standard GM'd game, and it flowed well both times. We also sort of hacked it to work for a prequel portion of our main campaign, and it equipped us with so much meaning-laden imagery to carry forward into 'season 2.' The focus on camera directions has also really informed the way I play games now! I feel more comfortable laying out a scene on the spot. Overall I'd say World Ending Game is something everyone who's ever made it to the end of a campaign should play. And, if you can swing it, I highly recommend the print version - it's a gorgeous object to hold in your hands.

if you've ever been in the enviable situation of having to end a campaign, you know it's a challenge. WORLD ENDING GAME gives you the tools you need to make your exit as fun, poetic, and satisfying as you dreamed it could be.

Absolutely phenomenal production and design in both the physical and digital copies! The variety in both types of endings and flexibility in gameplay is amazing. I can't wait to play the games when it comes time to end a campaign!

This is just mind-bogglingly good. Game and art piece at the same time that invites the reader on a thoughtful journey on the nature of endings, and it touches on so many perspectives, evokes such different feelings that honestly, it's a bit overwhelming to even speak about. Turns out, not all endings have to be sad, but actually they do, but, crucially, also turns out that's fine. Oh, I love it so much

World Ending Game is a marvel. As a collection of final sessions for ttrpg campaigns, it's a wonderful resource. As a design object (especially the phyiscal edition that I just received in the mail), it's absolutely gorgeous. From the matte cover with its foil detailing, to the full page artwork and spreads, to the layout in general, I cannot speak highly enough of what Everest and their collaborators have accomplished.

As a designer, teacher, and facilitator of tabletop games, I find the illustrated section on Camera Directions (pp. 22-23) to be a fantastic tool, and it pairs nicely with the Last Shots ending (pp. 78-79). All of the endings are wildly creative and inspiring, but I think my favourites are Tableaux (pp. 64-67) and The Earth Swallows Time (pp. 75-77). Everest's The Ground Itself has been a huge influence for me, so especially with the latter ending, seeing those themes continue here is a pleasure.

In sum, this is a truly original work of game design, and a significant contribution to the history of tabletop games overall. Thanks Everest, and all who contributed, for this lovely work.

Beautiful game with fantastic art, writing, and an extremely cohesive direction through all of its parts.

(+4)

this game is an absolute triumph. your table needs this game. you need this game. it’s got real nice pictures in it, and real nice words. it’ll make you cry, and it’ll make you feel. 

I’m currently undergoing the arduous process of finishing a long term campaign (4+ years of playing, and many years before that of prep). This book has come to me at the right time, and really speaks the stories I want to help tell and remember.