Diana: Warrior Princess by Bag-Head
IntroductionOriginal SA post Diana Warrior Princess Part One: Introduction
Diana paused at the edge of the ravine and listened.
Nothing but the howl of the distant coyote, the soft slither of sand blown by the wind, and a faint hiss of steam from the crashed helicopter's boiler below. But she could sense there was something out there. She silently pulled herself over the rocky edge, checked her sword and bow, and crouched, waiting.
Fergie slid up beside her, and cupped her hand to her ear, pointed, and whispered "This way..."
Diana turned slightly and listened again. Now she could hear it; faint music, drums and the soft twang of a sitar.
That intro text paints a pretty good picture of the kind of game this is going to be. A completely awesome game, that’s what it’s going to be. The introduction is just that flavor text, and a few paragraphs that try to explain why the game is awesome, and why it is batshit in the best kind of way. You know how most people (like me, and probably you) know jack about history? Imagine our time through the lens we, ourselves, see the past, and see that through a further lens of someone that gives no shits about historical accuracy. Then give that mofo a teevee program. That is this game, and if you haven’t fallen in love with this concept, eat a dick.
This is a game where you can play O.J. Vick, a footsball gladiator on the run from the secret service after being framed for the murder of his brother John Bon Ramsey, out looking for the real killer with the help of his trusty dog companions. One session you might team up with General Dolly Patton to fight Stalin’s Mongol horde, and the next you may be working with President John Kenny to diplomatically stop Queen Victoria and her army of Beefeaters from invading the technological wonderland of Taiwania. This is a game where Indians are always Sikhs, even when they are American Indians, and cell phones are always the size of laptops, and spit out ticker-tape for texts. You need to play this game, you bastards.
After the introduction, the book gives like a half page of acknowledgements. I won’t be paying attention too, reproducing in any way, or even ever reading this part.
Then it gets to the good stuff. The character’s and setting.
Next Time: Bill Gates is a Con-Man Cowboy Computer Programmer. BILL GATES IS A CON-MAN COWBOY COMPUTER PROGRAMMER!
The WorldOriginal SA post Diana Warrior Princess Part Two: The World
The World posted:
Diana’s world is our own, seen dimly and through a distorting mirror, adding gods, magic, and mystic powers.
Diana Warrior Princess throws you right into the good shit after the intro. It knows why we’re here, and it isn’t for mechanical dice-rolling bullshit. We’re here for the setting, and later, the characters. It suggests starting your game in England, right off, because in DRW England interesting things happen! It’s an Autocracy ruled by evil Queen Elizabeth, and her adviser, and dark sorceress, Margaret Thatcher. You better believe we’ll get to them more in depth later.
The neighbors to England get a bit of definition too: Ireland is full of mists, magic, and leprechauns; Scotland is full of mists and barbarians driving around mad max style in steam punk cars; Britannia (!?) has a vast army of Beefeaters. They are all ruled by bizarre versions of old monarchs and stuff. It is pretty awesome.
The rest of Europe is said to be vaguely defined, on purpose, and crawling with Nazis. It is also crawling with Mongols, other weird anachronistic armies, and the previously mentioned Beefeaters. Africa is all jungles, the Middle East is all sand and pyramids, and America is actually a couple countries, mostly stuck in cowboy times, with river steamers, and Indians (Sikhs), and stuff.
This game take placed where things are as loosely defined and misunderstood as possible, so it tries to keep things fuzzy. It suggests the same to players and GMs and stuff, too. Any maps should be obviously wrong, money should always be bags of gold, and geological features should appear and disappear with the plot.
Technology is whatever the plot calls for. No matter how anachronistic or weird, as long as it’s remotely possible, it exists. What does exist is bizarre and wrong. Everything has extra buttons and dials, and technology levels are mixed without question. Coal-firing, Canvas-bodied Space Shuttles and massive Cell-phones that use human operators, and ticker-tape for text messages are the order of the day. It all works like ours does; it just doesn’t make any sense.
I love this setting. Just want to put that out there.
Next Time: Royalty is Literally Magical
The Cast, part 1Original SA post Diana Warrior Princess Part Three: The Cast Part One
Now we are getting somewhere. Diana: Warrior Princess is set up as a faux television program, and this is reflected best in this section; The Cast. The game suggests play as the likes of Diana, Fergie, and Red Ken. That seems more boring to me than just playing as your own weird version of some modern, or near modern figure, but these characters are pretty fleshed out, though it doesn’t get anywhere near mechanics until later in the book.
The book suggests only having two main characters for play, with the rest all being coming and going from session to session. This is a little weird, but totally doable. Though I don’t like the mechanics of this game themselves, I absolutely love the concept of playing a few different guest stars. We’ll get to how different levels of stars interact later. It’s a bit weird, and one of the reasons the mechanics are a bit silly.
Diana, Warrior Princess
Diana, the character the game was named for. She was a regular, non-warrior princess, but then she found out Bonnie Prince Charlie was cheating, involved in arms trading, and selling tobacco. Tobacco is an even more horrific deadly drug in this game. I can’t tell if that’s commentary or just something silly. She divorced Charlie, but kept her powers, while he lost his despite being royalty by marriage and not birth. Oh, yeah, Royalty confers mystic powers in this game.
After that, she started fighting against war, and the war god, Landmines. This has given her superpowers, because why not? Her leather outfit is always clean, she is probably the best fighting dude in the game, she heals stuff, she can pilot anything, and she can leap stuff in vehicles like it ain’t no thing. Also, Queen Elizibeth wants to kill her.
Fergie has a vague background, but has somehow become Diana’s sidekick. She has a heart of gold, and also murders people for Diana when she isn’t looking. This is because Diana won’t kill folks, I guess. She is good at hunting and tracking, keeps knives hidden on her, and she really does kill people like all the damn time. She is very unlucky. That is the extent of her character, and that is awesome.
Red Ken is a barbarian with weird animal talking powers. He fights Thatcher, because she sucks, and he fights good. Hints abound that, in the past, he may have had some kind of romance with Diana, Fergie, or both ! He is meant to be more a part of the team than the other guest star style characters.
Wild Bill Gates
Wild Bill Gates is exactly as awesome and weird as it sounds. He’s a riverboat gambler, a dubious business man (a con-man) , and a quick draw gunfighter, on top of programming computers with punch cards. He mostly sticks to America, but can appear overseas for adventures and stuff. He has a thing for Diana, a rivalry with Red Ken, and he is basically enemies with Ron L. Hubble.
Ron L. Hubble
Ron is a con-man, but worse than Bill. He is a jerk, and the two hate each other. He is on the run from assassins, and Fergie wants to kill him. She loves killing a good deal for someone with a heart of gold.
Bonnie Prince Charlie
Charlie is Diana’s ex, of course. He isn’t a bad guy, but he is easily manipulated, and easily controlled. Mind controlled, he is easily mind controlled. By his mother, the Queen, who has mind control powers. He is more a comic relief than anything, and tries to get back together with Diana. He also accidently carries out his Ma’s evil murder schemes.
Next I'll go over the bad guys/rulers. They are even more awesome!
Next Time: Brutally Handsome Cyborgs
The Cast, part 2Original SA post Diana Warrior Princess Part Four: Revenge of The Cast!
Now we're to the best characters. Check this shit out:
Landmines, God of War
Fuck yeah. This guy is awesome. He is the literal god of war, and Diana’s nemesis. He wants to do that bad guy thing of turning the hero over to your side, especially since Diana has superpowers. He is a Cyborg, and is “Brutally Attractive” . He is more the long haul sort of bad guy, always showing up behind other people’s evil plots and things. Not awesome enough, yet? He has a gimmick where he says “Let me give you a hand,” then reaches out for somebody. When they grab the hand, it comes off. It is a bomb, they explode. How is this not the best villain?
The Queen is not only the queen, but also a criminal mastermind called the Queenmother, and traffics arms and tobacco. She is crazy strong, has mind control powers, and a magic scepter or something. She wants to take over as god of war, because a real villain goes hard when they have ambitions. She is the kind of villain that always escapes death somehow. She also has a palace full of improbable death traps. The best kind of death traps.
Thatcher the Sorceress
Thatcher is that one plotting adviser that is in everything. She is also a crazy undead sorceress. She squeezes taxes from England, and is a jerk with all sorts of magic powers. She has big brother style shit all over England, and an army of evil tax collectors. She also has a good twin, Mother Theresa , a master of martial arts that appears to Diana in her dreams.
Archer the Assassin
Archer is an evil assassin, with a hidden identity, that works for Thatcher. He/she, is always in a cloak, and despite being the ultimate assassin, never seems to successfully kill anyone important, like Red Ken. Archer may not even be human, or he might be an evil twin of one of the good guy characters!
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Einstein
Victoria is the head dude in Britannia, and Britannia is crazy imperialistic. Also, they got a horde of beefeaters. Victoria actually isn’t a bad guy, she just expands her country all the time. She is frenemies with Diana, who opposes the constant taking over of other countries, but has saved Victoria’s life a few times. Her countries main claim to fame is The Bomb. Just The Bomb, you never give details on it. The Queen has the royal superpower of force fields, and magically loyal beefeaters. She is also protected by a “fierce woad-dubbed Scots bodyguard” John Brown.
Prince Albert, is the mad scientist husband of Victoria. He makes all kinds of crazy shit, mostly weapons and war-time stuff. He actually supports Diana’s thing against war, despite making most of the things used for it, including The Bomb. He is often kidnapped by folks that want The Bomb for themselves.
Fuck. Yeah. Emperor Norton is the ruler of most of America. He is crazy, and basically a magician that can pull all kinds of shit out of his hat and stuff. He founded NASA, Norton’s Agency for Space Achievement, because Space is awesome, and made it to the moon. He is also a secret alchemist, who buys weapons and turns them into gold, so one day there might be no weapons. He secretly funds Diana’s anti-war thing, and is the best character.
America in D:RW is a constitutional monarchy, with Norton at the top, and a parliament under him run by President John Kenny. The exact areas ruled by Norton and the other monarchs in America are never, ever defined. What other rulers? They are Uncle Sam, a crazy big brother type at war with imaginary foes, and King Martin Luther, a religious dude, of course. The rest of America is all Indians (Sikhs) , and wilderness.
There are a wealth of warlords, like Mao, Churchill, and Napoleon. They all have weird armies, like Stalin’s Mongol Steam-Biker Horde. There are all sorts of generals and stuff, and lots of weird forces like Zulu and Thuggee that just wander around being villains, basically. They are all awesome, and do not conform at all to any definition of sane geography.
There are all sorts of smaller characters defined later, but none as much as these. They are a good starting point for ideas, and give you an excellent idea of the kind of tone and shit that fits Diana: Warrior Princess. Even with a game about fuzzily defined setting information in a 70 page book, D:RW gives a banging picture of the kind of thing you want to play.
Best Sentence of This Section: "See the adventure Diana Does Dallas for more on (President) Kenny."
Next Time: Diana and Fergie are walking through the woods around London when Fergie is bitten by a rabid wallaby.