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From the notebooks

February 17, 2007

Here is another piece that has been knocking around in my notebooks. I have no idea what to do with this, so I am placing it here. If you are interested in these concepts, let me know, and maybe I will work them up some more.

Multiple Character Disorder
© 2007, Richard Iorio II

Reading Moorcock’s writings as a high school student effected me greatly. One way it affected me was that it continued to prove to my peers I was “different.” The intellectual elite that inhabited Grafton High School were dumbfounded as to who Moorcock was, and were quick to pass him off as “just a science fiction writer.” Even the so-called “Sci-Fi Geeks” looked puzzled when they saw the covers of Breakfast in the Ruins, Gloriana Or the Unfulfilled Queen, and the numerous Eternal Champion books. Besides highlighting my “strangeness” to my peer group, Moorcock’s writings impacted my role playing.

Intrigued with the concepts of the Multiverse and with the idea that there are reflections of the same person in every reality, I began melding my characters around this concept. I had three character types that I always played, and though they had different backgrounds they shared a common theme. These characters often had vague memories of their other lives. Few knew of what I was doing, but when they found out, they were surprised.

The three archetypes were siblings and avatars of long forgotten gods who existed at the start of the universe. During this time the universe was a single gem floating on the Sea of Time. This gem housed a single reality that was created and protected by the One. Under the One’s watch the stagnant blandness flourished. Everything had a pattern to it, and order was the key to life.

The One had three children and as they grew older they began speaking out against their father and his rigid order. The three made their bid to take control of the universe so that they could interject new life into it. The three underestimated their father and a battle was fought between the One’s army and the forces led by the siblings. The two sides fought, and their battle caused the fracturing of the gem. The shards of the gem fell to the Sea of Time and they now float across it.

This fracturing led to the creation of the numerous alternate realities, and to the reflections of the three children in all realities.

The gem’s destruction had repercussions across the realities, and unknown to the siblings the gem served as a prison for Chaos and Entropy. With the breaking of the gem Chaos and Entropy were now free to extract their long contemplated revenge on the One. Seeing that the One had died, and that the gem’s shards had created infinite realities, the two wrecked havoc across them. The children with their universe in shards, and their power spread across all real ties, began trying to put the gem back together and imprison the forces of Chaos and Entropy once again.

With this background I created my three archetypes. The archetypes were used as templates to base my characters on, but because the archetypes existed did not mean I always played the same characters. The beauty of the alternate realities was that I could make any character and would fit in with any game I was playing in. The archetypes did not determine the sex of the characters either; they simply gave my characters a deeper meaning and a role in a much larger struggle.

My first archetype was the eldest child, and he was known as Warrior. Warrior was the personification of battle and combat and his approach to the problem was very straightforward—kill all agents of Chaos and Entropy. When creating characters based on the Warrior their personalities were straightforward. These characters were very direct and saw themselves as the only one able to fight the forces of Chaos and Entropy. Where others were happy being followers and minor players, Warrior based characters wanted and desired to be, the leader. Sometimes they would have knowledge of the war, but often times they would have only a vague recollection.

The second child was Arcane, and she was the favorite of the One. She was the thinker and historian of the siblings, and when the gem was intact it, was Arcane who created the sixth element known by many as magic. Unlike her brother Warrior, who took a direct approach in the war, Arcane preferred to stay in the background and have others do her fighting for her. Arcane based characters would often not know about their other selves, but did have a strong belief in reincarnation.

The last child was the youngest and known simply as the Jester. The Jester was the trickster of the group and relied on his charms and personality to have others fight his battle for him. He did not want to be a hero, but often to his displeasure he was always forced into the role, and no matter how much he fought against became one.

All three of these archetypes were then used in any campaign I was involved in. Often the game masters would have no idea of the back-story and the campaign within a campaign I was playing. In my own campaigns, I would use the archetypes as major NPCs and the events of the campaign would be built around them. Regardless of the game I was playing there was always a subtle undertone that there was something larger at work.

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