The Art of Darkness

Diana, Warrior Princess

January 16th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Diana, Warrior PrincessShadaughter was a huge fan of Xena: Warrior Princess when she was little, so I was unwillingly subjected to a whole lot of really distorted mythology.* It was thus with great amusement that I recently ran across Diana, Warrior Princess, an indie role-playing game that takes place a couple thousand years in the future. Our present is as distant to them as the Ancient Greeks are to us, and there are as many gaps in their knowledge. A production company has created a series based on “our” world with, as the game description puts it, “the loving attention to historical accuracy we have come to expect from such series.” This RPG is based on that fictional series.

Run adventures in which Eva Peron is Hitler’s mistress, or JFK meets Queen Victoria. Zulu hordes swarm across Vietnam, the Spanish Inquisition stalk heretics in Manhattan, steam cars co-exist with ICBMs, Babbage engines, stealth bombers and sorcerers.

Wikipedia expands:

Diana, Princess of Wales rides around in shining white motorcycle leathers on a semi-sentient motorbike, doing battle with the war-god, Landmines, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, from whom she took her mystic powers of Royalty. She is aided by Fergie, the Barbarian Red Ken and Wild Bill Gates, while Tony the Vampire Slayer battles the sorceress Thatcher and her masked assassin Archer.

There’s also a “spinoff” expansion pack called Elvis: The Legendary Tours in which the bard Elvis has been exiled from the Land of Grace by his evil half-brother Costello. His sidekicks include John Lenin and “Senator” Joe McCartney.

The Elvis expansion was supposed to be the first of several spinoffs, including Parton: Lust For Glory (military adventure); Toni the Vampire Slayer (teenager Toni Blair fights the undead); Gandhi’s Angels (a “martial arts detective” series); and Richard of Hollywood (Robin Hood-esque adventure featuring Richard Nixon vs. the evil Uncle Sam). The author, Marcus Rowland, has stated that he has no plans to write the rest of these, which makes me very sad.

Rowland has also written a number of other RPGs which sound interesting, most particularly Forgotten Futures and its many expansions.

Remember how the future used to be?

When vast fleets of flying ships blackened the sky . . .
When psychic investigators used electric pentacles . . .
When Venus was a paradise, never fallen from grace . . .
When the government’s main job was to make the airships run on time . . .
When a gentleman could build his own spaceship and still have change of a million pounds . . .
When there were still dinosaurs and monsters in the unexplored corners of the Earth . . .

It bills itself as “complete rules for adventures in Victorian and Edwardian fantasy and science fiction,” which should certainly be right up this audience’s alley.

The instruction booklets are all quite inexpensive, so any of these might be a fun rainy-day activity with a couple of friends.


*The Dryads still piss me off.

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