The dangerous peace of London - a Mephisto review
Pax Londinium is the first major sourcebook for the urban fantasy roleplaying game Liminal. While smaller cases (i.e. adventures) for the players' crew have been published in addition to the rulebook so far, Pax Londinium presents a larger setting for the first time. But also with this London sourcebook Liminal continues its previous approach and states already in the introduction that there is not a single London, but London always lies in the perception of the observer. In this sense, the sourcebook provides several ideas but does not elaborate the setting down to the last detail, leaving enough room for gaming groups to find their individual interpretation of the city.
The book begins with the various power groups that can be found in London. Some of the groups already presented in the basic rules are presented. Their regional influence and usually a vital member are introduced. Some aspects have not been in focus so far, such as the fact that the Order of St. Bede has a media department. Furthermore, there are several power groups unique to London, of which the Hidden is undoubtedly the biggest. These people are no longer noticed by others and secretly care for the well-being of the city with their guilds. The authors openly admit that Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere inspired them.
What is essential is that London is a divided city. While the supernatural groups north of the Thames are allowed to pursue their plans discreetly, the area south of the Thames is closed to them. Both the Order of St. Bede and the P Division of the Police, as well as old pacts, ensure that these rules are observed.
In the second chapter, some London legends and customs are explained and put into the context of Liminal. Here, one finds, for example, the ravens of London. One chapter shows the significance of the ghosts and undead of the city, while the next is about deities that partly influence the city. But not only celtic myths are found here, but also the Orisha or Egyptian influences affect in London. A further chapter introduces some strange encounters from secret video shops to supernatural courier services to a griffin.
The concept for a crew, a mysterious organization that brings together supernatural investigators, completes the book. Besides, there is a short magical rule supplement for chronomancy.
Pax Londinium consequently continues the philosophy of Liminal, that gamemasters get ideas and inspiration, as well as a few smaller concrete things - but not a sourcebook which details every supernatural personality and conspiracyl. The book is less about a concrete description of London than about feeling and atmosphere of the city and its mystical secrets. If you like to play Liminal away from small rural investigations in a city full of secrets and mysterious powers, Pax Londinium is an excellent choice. You will get a fascinating sourcebook, which is again atmospherically illustrated.