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A Basic Overview

Millennium's End ® is set in 1999. The world has slipped over the edge, in a near, although 'darker' future, than our own. The urban sector of most major cities in North America is dominated by huge corporate towers, the noise and grind of traffic, dark, dingy streets and the occassional gunshot. Bombings in these cities has become more frequent, and a halo of smog hangs over them like a huge somber umbrella.

The traffic that does litter the streets avoids the burnt out hulks of cars, and sticks to the main streets for fear of their lives. Gangs of outlaws scavage in the alleys and dark streets, their motives unknown, but the danger is there. Heavily armed police patrol the streets in groups of three or four in armored police vehicles, unable, or unwilling to keep the peace.

Many governments and corporations have turned to a different form of protection and specialty organizations in these dark times, BlackEagle/BlackEagle Investigation. This firm specializes in all forms of investigation, security and counter-terrorism activities.

"So just how does Millennium's End differ from other modern games out there? Well for starters, it's neither a military/post-holocaust rpg nor a spy game. While there's no shortage of action, and characters may be involved in para-military or special operations, the many adventures published so far have focused on investigation, corporate espionage, and anti-terrorism work. Adventures stress thoughtful play and an element of the unexpected--The Gamer observed that "characters should end up using their brains much more than they do their guns," while The Scroll commented that "things are not as they seem, and clearly they never are in this game." Adventures stress double-cross and the unexpected, but characters aren't spies, and the setting is definitely post-cold-war."

The game system is, in my opinion, the best system on the market. Players have a great deal of control in the generation of their characters, and the skills they choose are the driving force of the game. The game uses simple d100 and d10 rolls to determine success or failure, and the combat system is, again in my opinion, beyond compare. The combat system features overlays and body form pictures, allowing players to choose their "aim point." Success or failure determine if that point was hit. A Failing roll may still hit the target, as numbers spiral out from the "aim point" and a near miss could hit a different target.

ATTRIBUTES

The players choose between one and four dice (d10)to add to each of 10 seperate attributes and their base numbers. The ten attributes are:

Intelligence - the character's mental capability. Includes logic, learning and tactics.
Sensibility - the character's common sense. Includes memory and perception.
Agility - the character's nimbleness. Includes reflexes and balance.
Coordination - the character's manual dexterity. Includes hand-eye-coordination.
Constitution - the character's health. Includes endurance and brawn.
Strength - the character's muscle power.
Personality - the character's social skill. Includes how people initially react to the character.
Appearance - the character's looks. Includes how people initially view the character's looks.
Bravado - the character's ability to "put up a front." Includes lying and intimidation.
Willpower - the character's self-control. Includes the character's ability to judge rationally.

From these stats are the bare-bones of your character, simply in terms of numbers.

BACKGROUND

The easiest part of any character comes next as the player decides on character information; age, race, nation of origin, height, weight, hair color, eye color, starting money and the background of the character.

SECONDARY ATTRIBUTES

From the initial attributes comes a number of secondary ones. These are based on an initial attribute as generated in the beginning. The six secondary attributes are;

Perception - basically the character's ability to notice something otherwise unseen, or out of the ordinary.
Base Speed - the character's agility in combat or "initiative."
Endurance - the effects of fatigue on the character.
Recovery - the character's ability to recover from wounds.
Damage Rating - the character's damage inflicted in hand-to-hand combat.
Mass Factor - the modifier for the amount of damage the character will take in combat.

TALENT BASES

Talent Bases reflect the character's aptitude for learning skills of different types. The skills are seperated into nine Talent Bases;
Academic - covers "academic" learned skills, eg. geography, history, law and languages.
Creative - covers inventive "hand" skills, eg. arts, acting, music and photography.
Domestic/Technical - covers the various "trade" skills, eg. electronics, carpentry and mechanics.
Medical - covers the medicines, eg. surgery, dentistry and pharmacy.
Natural - covers the "outdoorsman" skills, eg. fishing, foraging, tracking and survival.
Physical - covers the "athletic" skills, eg. hand-to-hand combat, climbing, swimming and martial arts.
Reflexive - covers the "coordination" skills, eg. driving, piloting, and missile weapons.
Scientific - covers the "technology" skills, eg. engineering, math, computers and biology.
Social - covers "people" skills, eg. diplomacy, gambling and psychology.

SKILLS

The Talent bases gives the player the basic ideas of what the character has the best aptitude to learn. The skills are divided into sub-skills of the main skill, for example within the Reflexive Skills there are six skills; Aim, Drive, Parachute, Pilot, Ride and Ski. Parachute, Ride and Ski have no sub-skills but the other three have a number of subskills, anyone with aim can fire most weapons, but the sub-skills are similiar to specialties. Under Aim the sub-skills are;
Autofire - the ability to use autofire or burst fire weapons.
Bow - the ability to use any bow.
Longarm - the ability to use rifles, and crossbows.
Smallarm - the ability to use pistols and submachineguns on single shot settings.
Throw - the ability to accurately throw objects.

SKILL PACKAGES AND CHARACTER FRAMES

The player is alloted a number of points to spend on skills based on his age, years of post-secondary schooling and Intelligence. Although all of this seems a little overwhelming, once you have a read through the rule book it becomes quite easy. In order to make skill purchase easier the game includes a number of skill packages, that represent a type of training. For example a character who has attended the BlackEagle training course, would receive the following skills;
Aim (at level 30)
Autofire (a sub-skill of Aim at level 10)
Longarm (a sub-skill of Aim at level 10)
Smallarm (a sub-skill of Aim at level 15)
Military Science (at level 20)
Tactics (a sub-skill of Military Science at level 10)
Unarmed Hand to Hand (at level 30)
Punch (a sub-skill of Unarmed Hand to Hand at level 10)

Not only do the packages make the purchase of skills easier, they also save the player points. The above skills, if purchased seperately would cost 145 skill points, but by purchasing them as a package the player pays only 130 points. There are a number of packages covering anything from Military Basic Training, or Martial Arts to Basic Education and Forgery Training.

Also designed to make character generation easier are a group of Character Frames so the player can create a certain character type very easily. There are frames covering an Ex-Cop, Hacker, Grunt, Gangster, Investigator, Sniper, Pilot, Special Ops, Medic, and Spook. These frames cover everything from Attributes, through to Skills.

If you have any further general questions, please feel free to e-mail me and I'll answer any question as soon as possible.

QUESTIONS???

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