View Full Version : 101 ways to start an apocalypse

2017-06-22, 11:06 PM
Hello everybody! This is gonna be a list of ways that an apocalypse can be started, which can be used for an apocalyptic campaign. You know, for the fun of it. And to help me brainstorm an idea I came up with for a campaign

1) The earth has been struck by multiple asteroids.

2) The world has been devastated by powerful earthquakes.

3) Pollution has made most of the planet uninhabitable.

2017-06-22, 11:23 PM
4) First Edition D&D: Someone takes one piece from each of the three sets of alignment regalia and tries to wear them all at the same time. For example, the Crown of Neutrality, the Orb of Good and the Scepter of Evil.


I may have started a campaign with the exact scenario ... the Neutrals "won" the three-way battle and collected the other two sets as spoils. Their king was too arrogant to not try them on at the same time.

5) Third Edition D&D: One of the artifacts in the Sword&Sorcery book Tome of Artifacts could be used to trigger a solar flare that would scorch the side of the planet facing the sun. Imagine what would happen to the night side of the planet when the entire day side caught fire? Oh, and the world's name after the cataclysm: "Halfchar".

Bonus points for having an inhabited forest moon mostly protected by the plant, so only a portion of it gets fried. It's name after the cataclysm? "Quart"

2017-06-22, 11:37 PM
6. Super-volcano erupts upwind.

7. A near collision with a BIG celestial object messes with the planets obit.
a. the planet's orbit could be degrading make it hotter or have become more eccentric leading to COLD spells.
b. imagine the Earth's rotation being locked so we had a dark side like the moon. The easily habitable fringe of light and dark would be fought for.

2017-06-22, 11:46 PM
8. Someone spilled coffee on all the DM's notes.

9. People have begun to experience inexplicable bursts of violent wrath, almost always culminating in action. No one is immune.

10. Aliens who were secretly guiding us all got bored and left.

2017-06-23, 01:12 AM
11: The stars a right.
A group of cultists successfully summons the Great Old Ones.

2017-06-23, 03:47 AM
12. A plant that developed the ability to grow through stone and metal and spread very fast is overgrowing cities and destroying possessions.

13. Some forces are "eating" the world from its sides, making it smaller every day.

14. A curse of an ancient king makes all the land in his domain (most of the continent) infertile.

15. A prolonged acid rain.

16. People in the world begin to spontaneously ignite.

17. The continent is going underwater.

18. Fiery tornadoes from another plane are reducing everything to ashes.

19. A sun flare blinds everyone with their eyes open.

2017-06-23, 07:55 AM
20. At a gathering of the gods, the last words heard were "Hold my ambroisa and let me show you how it's done!"

2017-06-23, 08:38 AM
21. The dragon at the center of the world egg starts to hatch.

2017-06-23, 08:54 AM
22. A virus spreads very fast and kill everyone.
23. Population gets dumber and dumber until some day, no body knows how to grow chocolate bars and everybody die of famine.
24. Birds get a form of rabies and start killing humans, which are not protected against, because of the anti-vaccine lobbies.

2017-06-23, 08:57 AM

2017-06-23, 09:40 AM
26: An idea from the Jagaaaaaan manga: a mysterious epidemic spreads through humanity, causing highly emotional victims to transform into monsters, themed to twisted versions of whatever was driving them. (like a teacher who kept apologising to his boss for everything and bottling up emotions, becoming a reptilian monster that cries crocodile tears while stuffing troublesome students (that is, all of them) into his mouth)

2017-06-23, 02:48 PM
26. The collective pain and trauma of thousands of years worth of human suffering and violence coalesces into a psychic miasma that affects 99% of the populous with either instant death or permanent psychosis.

27. A government project in fungal bioweapons escapes containment, causing explosive growth in arthropods. The world is soon overrun but rotweiler-sized ants, plane-sized wasps, and other giant invertebrates.

28. Strange, alien obelisks fell from the sky. Within moments, all but a handful of humans vanish into thin air. The obelisks remain, whispering to the survivors while the ghosts of those who vanished still walk the empty streets as if nothing Ebert happened....

29. A comet impacts the moon, nearly knocking it out of orbit and creating massive tides that swallow and disgorge entire cities with each cycle. Meteorites from the impact turn what remains of habitable land into hellscape of fire falling from the sky.

30. Mankind, after inheriting the stars, discovers that they truly are alone in the universe. After thousands of years and not even a single sign of intelligent life from the most habitable worlds, mankind migrates home and quietly begins to go extinct, no purpose left to fuel them.

31. An abberant and unprecedented solar flare scorches the atmosphere of Earth, thinning the air and making the surface uninhabitable. Mankind now lives deep below the scorching sands of the surface world.

2017-06-23, 03:18 PM
32. The covert aberrant invasion has been underway for a generation already. Over 30% of the children born on Earth are not human. Only one man -- specifically Rodeny Piper wearing sunglasses -- can save the world.

33. A fiend finds its way to Earth and teaches various differently unhappy people about the joys of using demon-summoning to solve their problems. This doesn't work out well for anyone involved, and as the secret spreads, soon the world is in the throes of a terrible demon war.

2017-06-23, 05:49 PM
34: Paladin.

2017-06-23, 07:30 PM
35. Someone attempts to seduce a youthful dragon taking the form of a human girl, her dragon companion (in the guise as a maid) incites Ragnarok.

36. The sun disappears from the sky, leaving nothing but stars and the silhouette of the moon. Monsters begin to rise from the earth as strange green gas begins to settle on the ground.

37. Humans spread across the galaxy, slowly replacing themselves with cybernetic enhancements as they age until there are no more humans left, only androids with little recollection of being human. The internet becomes a horrific hive-mind, growing outward from earth like a plague, capturing androids and controlling them by connecting to their neural networks.

38. Bees?

39. Communism takes over the planet. Everything is fantastic for those in power, but millions of lives are lost every single day in order to sustain unattainable, unrealistic ideals. Eventually, so many have died that those in power that survived are forced to work themselves, but due to their opulent lives, they are unable to tend to the land, and starve. Those who are able to adapt are killed off by the genetically engineered diseases that they used to keep the people under their heels. Eventually, everyone is finally equal, in death.

40. A mega-corp sells robots at quality prices, and they are the new craze, and everyone has them. Do I need to say more?

41. The earth shatters into massive continent-sized shards before they begin to float away.

42. A strange substance begins to grow on people. It begins with a white rash somewhere on the body, but then begins to spread to envelop the entire body, covering everything in a blank white slate. The victims begin to thrash and claw at the skin-tight material, unable to pierce it and unable to breathe or see. Eventually, everyone is infected, and then they all begin to melt within their own individually sealed sacks.

43. Powerful psychics begin to emerge, accidentally creating black holes in their own skulls, causing them to destroy everything around them.

34. Everyone becomes uncontrollably happy, except for a few people, who are then killed for not being so happy. They end up participating in a planetwide orgy, accidentally creating a demon that eats them all while they writhe and wriggle in one dense mass of flesh.

34. Worldwide depression causes mass-suicides. Clues point blame at plants.

35. The god of the dream-universe awakes, unmaking all.

2017-06-23, 07:35 PM
34:DuctTapeKatar makes mistakes in indexing ends of the worlds and multiples ends of the worlds happens at the same time.

2017-06-23, 08:51 PM
49: Disease god releases highly viral, sapient disease into the world.

2017-06-23, 09:12 PM
50. It started out with a kiss. How did it end up like this? It was only a kiss.

2017-06-24, 02:18 PM
51: Out of control weather magic leads to the entire surface being covered in permanent category 5 hurricane. Only the Underdark is left, slowly flooding due to the influx of water from the surface. Even then, caves near the surface let severe weather into the Underdark.

2017-06-25, 07:40 AM
52: So long, Mom/I'm off to drop the bomb/so don't wait up for me... (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrbv40ENU_o)