Monday, December 7, 2020

Review & Commentary On "Luther Arkwright: Roleplaying Across the Parallels" Rpg From Design Mechanism By Chad Bowser, Pete Nash, Bryan Talbot, Bryan Steele, Lawrence Whitaker, & John White

 "Not one Earth, but an infinity of them, existing in parallel continua, their own paths, own histories, own futures, own mistakes. Most are unaware of the existence of a multiverse; but some parallels know that Earth is not alone, but mirrored.

ZeroZero knows. It watches the parallels, ensures their stability. ZeroZero knows that instability spreads like a disease, infecting each parallel until a critical mass is reached and cataclysm is guaranteed.

The Disruptors know. And they are intent on subverting the multiverse for their own ends, to 

destabilise countries, instigate wars, bring about destruction.

The Valhalla Project was established to stop the Disruptors; to uncover their plans, identify their agents, and eliminate them. Their best agent is Luther Arkwright, unique in the multiverse, a powerful psychic, but himself unstable. Arkwright does not work alone: there are others"

Going back the middle Eighties Luther Arkwright was a sort of post apocalpytic/steampunk underground comic book that had an adventure that appeared in an early issue of White Dwarf magazine for the Traveller rpg.  And here & there in various underground comic fanzines  the occassional add or blurb would appear.  This all changed in '90 for me especially & here' why according to the Wiki entry on Arkwright; "The first parts of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright followed as a serial in the British underground comic Near Myths in 1978, were later continued in pssst! magazine, then interrupted in 1982, less than half complete. Between 1987 and 1989 Bryan Talbot completed the story, which was published as a series of nine standard comic books by Valkyrie Press, followed, at readers' request, by a tenth issue containing articles about the history and production of the comic and some extended back story and character information. It was subsequently published in the United States by Dark Horse Comics.

"The story is adult in tone, with many mythological, historical and political references, and a little explicit sex. Its genesis owes something to the influence of Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius stories, though Moorcock and Talbot agree that the similarities between the characters are limited. Warren Ellis calls Arkwright "probably the single most influential graphic novel to have come out of Britain to date... probably Anglophone comics' single most important experimental work.""  And the important thing to remember is the fact that he was inspired & influenced by Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius stories. What would happen if these two forces of the eternal champion & the  apocalyse 
were put at opposite end of the spectrum?! How?! The agents from the  time center from Moorcock's Dancers at The End of Time series that's how! 
The PC's are drawn from across the multiverse as the distruptors have gone too far this time. 

The disruptors become a major destructive force & bring the lines of the Million Spheres into an intersection where Jeremiah "Jerry" Cornelius, & Luther Arkwright encounter each other & battle this would be very bad indeed. Jeremiah "Jerry" Cornelius, physicist, assassin, politician, super-spy, rock star, messiah, and former clergyman, is an aspect of the Eternal Champion and so is Luther Arkwright. Jeremiah "Jerry" Cornelius is from the swinging Seventies series the Cornelius Chronicles

And this was exactly what I did using the "Luther Arkwright: Roleplaying Across the Parallels"  From Design Mechanism and note that this is a supplement for RuneQuest and requires either the RuneQuest 6 rules or RuneQuest Essentials for full play. And what it does is not only take the player's PC's into the campaign worlds based on Bryan Talbot's acclaimed graphic novels. But it has the Arkwright multiverse and all the rules needed for adventuring in countless parallel dimensions. This book contains game rules for contemporary character creation, psionics, technology, firearms, vehicles and more. This takes the players of a game such as Stormbringer or Hawkmoon into a whole other direction or the same direction depending upon the players. 

 "Luther Arkwright: Roleplaying Across the Parallels"  fufills the role of a solid game addition & rpg game unto its own right to get the job done of taking the Eighties Sword & Sorcery sweetness & marrying it with the Steampunk/Cyberpunk asthetic.  "Luther Arkwright: Roleplaying Across the Parallels"  is a game that was bought last year on sale on one of the numerous Drivethrurpg and its definitely a four outta of five. 

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