Of this blog becasue my brain is shutting doooooooowwwwwwn
“Is it too late for a first-time commenter to make a request?"
IT IS NEVER TOO LATE CHRIS!
"I'm looking for a random table or generator for a civilization's collapse or decline. It can be engineered, accidental or their just karmic reward. I think it'd make for good adventure seeds - the PCs can explore ruins to unravel the mystery of a culture's decline, or they can be caught right in the middle of it.”
AND YOU SHALL HAVE IT. But I am out of clever formatting ideas so you get a sarky list.
1. GAME OF AMORAL GODS
They raise you up, they cast you down, some gods will just fuck with the only culture that prays to them for the drama, of because they don’t think far ahead. Usually telling you its really important you do some crazy shit, then swapping sides for fun, helping then running away, or just generally hanging around while you die. As if the forces that order the universe were a bunch of sociopathic teens. See- the Trojan Wars.
2. OLD TESTAMANT JUDGEMENT
Being judged for weird social crimes by a violent mass-murdering abuser who thinks you don’t love him enough. Fire from heaven, brimstone, floods, you get the drift.
3. ACTUALLY-JUST JUDGEMENT
Yep you pretty much deserved that one. Both observers and recipients of the divine holocaust are utterly unsurprised by the fiery doom unleashed from the sky. Decadence, murder, massive pervosity without safewords, country dancing, the lot, its good you got burned, no-one will miss you.
4. PREDICTED CALANDER CYCLE END-POINT APOCALYPSE
The creepy thing about this one is that everyone involved knew exactly when things were going to end, to the day. Settled debts, packed up stuff, kissed kids goodbye. Empire is still there, just empty. Rest of world just carried on as normal.
5. FROG IN A BOILING PAN
Civilisation decayed so slowly that no-one is sure how it happened. Never really died, just evaporated into other cultures. Arguments as to when one thing turned into another.
6. BORN OLD
No-one is sure where this culture came from, all it ever seemed to do was decline, fractured endlessly into smaller states who all believe they are the real thing and the others alien scum.
7. TOTALLY UNPREDICTABLE INVASION OF WHAT-THE-FUCK-IS-THAT?
Some ghastly unknown thing just came over the horizon one day and killed everyone. See- Genghis Khan. Whole place wiped out in days.
8. BULLSHIT LITERARY DREAM DECAY
Civilisation consumed own reality, disappeared inside own dream of self, now flickering in quantum half-life, real yet not. Centre-right historians and scholars universally enraged as calendars no longer make sense and no one knows when anything happened. Left wing historians fucking loving it as “what is history anyway?”
9. MORAL DECAY – SLAVES
Everyone ended up slaves of everyone else. Wealth pyramid narrowed to a point and then collapsed.
10. ECONOMIC DECAY – HAYAK
Like east Germany X 1000. Everyone drawing government wage working for panopticon security state. Grey fungus of state bureaucracy expands, consumes everything and dies.
11. SPRITITUAL DECAY – GIBBON
Ruthless mass-murdering bastards start worshipping hippy god. Turn into pussies, fall apart, get eaten by tougher culture. Should have stuck with Zeus.
12. SOCIAL DECAY – US CONSERVATIVE
ITS ALL TRUE!!! Highest echelons of government really secret conspiracy of cultural aliens plotting to destroy nation out of nihilistic but surprisingly well-organised hatred. All cultural change engineered by cabal of weirdoes and gays to destroy family structure. Government took weapons to make people safe then sent everyone to re-education camps. Resulting famine, chaos and multimpe Great leaps forward finished them off.
13. SOCIAL DECAY – US LIBERAL-
ITS EVEN MORE TRUE!!! Higher echelons of government merely secret agents of psychotic and amoral corporate powers planning to chop-up nation and sell off for cash. All wars deliberate meat grinders in order to reduce numbers of underclass and keep profits up. Religious nutjobs seize control of state power and re-write society Handmaids Tale-style. All social divisions and hierarchies now widened, deepened and defended with lethal force. Civilisation splinters into hyper-paranoid mass-bunker states that spiral into death like moths crossing a campfire.
14. SOCIAL DECAY – UK
Nation evaporates in grey haze as entire population stops giving a fuck about anything. Intellectually and emotionally neutered blanks stumble through relics of former self, not even aware used to be a people. Tabloid industry still going strong.
15. THAT SUSPICIOUS ETHNIC GROUP WE DO MURDERS ON SOMETIMES
They really were conspiring against everyone. They really did have a 1000 year plan, bordering-on-magical powers, a gift for strategy and a lot of emotional control. With all that shit they could have made their own civilisation, instead they came after yours. You weren’t racist enough you fools!
16. CONSPIRACY THEORY
All conspiracy theories were right, even the ones that contradict the other ones. Empire still there but just machines, alien bugs and extra-dimensional lizard people wearing human skin. Apparent culture a total fake as insane multi-polar secret war rages underneath. Every home has coat racks for human skin-suits.
17. CHILDREN TURN EVIL
Adults either murder own children, extinguishing line in self-defence, or are murdered by them. Surviving super-evil children not really up to holding down a civilisation, may become suspicious ethnic group from above entry, then maybe adolescent dickhead gods from first entry.
18. NATURE HAS ENOUGH.
Ent panzer divisions, nuclear strength storm cells, microbe special forces and strategic vulcanism. The Druids warned you about the FUCKING LITTERING.
19. IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID
Observers, historians and civilisation members all universally agree that cause of decline is economic. Somehow. All totally confused as collapse fits no known theory. Economy just fell apart and wouldn’t start back up. Population dispersed. Remains now poverty-stricken shithole. Arguments on cause fuel tenure and bad articles for a thousand years. Street beggars blame ‘magic coins’. Are correct, all homeless continually secretly eating ‘bad’ coins and protecting the rest of us since then.
Secret of perfect mummification discovered. Everyone mummifies everyone else. Deserts claim cities and farms. Everyone still there, just dead and waiting.
I wrote an extra one by mistake?
Brain parasite infected everyone through dodgy fruit. Non-lethal but made whole population so boring they can no longer stand to be around each other. Now scattered to four corners of earth as far away from each other as they can get. Or as pariah class of driving instructors and taxi drivers in alien cities.
And a Scrap Princess special?
Country runs out of adventurers in attritional war with cross-dimensional auto-proliferating dungeons. Every shadow and door has entrance to nation-spanning space bending dungeon behind it. Too creepy to stay. Abandoned.