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Even I am not sure exactly what Jo means by that…

I did a lot of networking this weekend, which was good, but it didn’t help me get any more work done. I’ve forgotten how much time people take up. No one is ever in as much a hurry as I am to get to the point of things. There’s always a lot of pauses and stuff and all I hear is a ticking clock. I’ve always been frustrated when people can’t do things as fast as I can. In some ways I’m extremely impatient when in other ways I’m patient on a level people can’t even comprehend. Like when I started the comic I went in knowing it would be years before it amounted to anything and even then it wasn’t a sure thing. Other people got tired of me doing it years ago, but I just kept going. Maybe that’s part of it too. I’m so patient with that aspect of my life I don’t have any left for conversation that isn’t going anywhere. Or at least that I can’t see going anywhere.

I actually can get furious when people tell me to be patient sometimes. It’s like I’ve been patient you fuck. I’m done with it right now. I know that’s illogical, but in the moment it doesn’t matter. I fly off the handle at weird things in general and people also seem to pick the exact wrong moments to test me on top of that. Like when I’m already furious calling me out on my shit isn’t going to help anything. It’s just going to redirect my rage at you. I’ve been trying to keep from doing that, but it’s really hard to turn away in the moment.

It’s gonna be 80 degrees this week… I can hardly remember a year where it wasn’t still at least cool around my birthday. Guuuuuuuuuh. I’m gonna be stuck in the heat again. Winter wasn’t long enough this year. I almost felt like a normal human for a while there.

I tried this soluble fiber stuff that’s a substitute for rice and noodles. it tastes like whatever you put it in and I haven’t been hungry nearly as much as usual. It’s weird to eat though. Like little slime balls. not gross but also not like rice. It tastes fine in a curry at any rate and has no callories apparently.

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Because that has not been done before. And gotten unfairly bashed. Not saying it’s the greatest sci-fi film, but it was a decent film in its own right.

What was?

Electra, Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, Cat Woman, Sheena, Xena, ecteteros. Really take your pick.

They’ll be trying again with the new Wonder Woman film and Ghost in the Shell.

Any problems Hollywood has with spectacle-heavy genres are only worse with a female protagonist, though it is not the fault of her gender.

If the creative team is at all given to a shallow approach to spectacle films, it’s bad enough. But adding a woman lead adds a whole new kind to stupid a film can slip into. A little bit of sex is fine, but we don’t want the film going out of its way all through the film.

Will Jo turn out to be a capricious jeanius or merely a slackser?

Jo just stands there and “pants” loudly!
*Throws hands up in the air* [That’s the only joke I can come up with, right now. oog!]

Standing and panting is probably preferable to belting out an endless loop of “I kissed a girl” …

I’m puzzled.
Don’t RPG games usually stink when they’re made into movies?
Usually, I find that good + fun people to game with, and a game master who is really good with her or his GM-ing skills make gaming fun.
I haben’t done an RPG game in over 6 years, but, to me, crappy gamers and/or a crappy GM usually [make the game or game’s story go badly], and not how the game’s story/module was written. Who can say? *shrugs*

I’ve seen at least one indie movie about D&D that was good. It was more about the players than the actual module they were running. I don’t recall its name, but I remember one line, directed at the newbie female player: “Who the hell takes Improved Initiative?”

Which she used to singlehandedly destroy a group of mobs ten minutes later. The character turns out to be a bit of an idiot savant at D&D. :P

The movie is The Gamers 2 – Dorkness Rising .

It was preceded by The Gamers and postceded by The Gamers 3 – Hands of Fate. All by Dead Gentlemen Productions. They’ve also done some shorts (The Gamers: Humans and Households and The Gamers: Natural 1 are the ones that I know of). As well as related videos not in the series. Check them out. Buy the DVD if you want to see them make more.

The problems according to me…

1) character backgrounds – RPG-based movies tend to drop background and character development to shorten movie length times. Or they give them cookie cutter backgrounds. If you look at the DnD movies, you’re told that the the heroes are thieves and are trying to save the world. Good for Robin Hood, bad for DnD, because who would believe that people who are only out for the common good are thieves?

2)the script – plots in movies need clear characters, traditionally. The reason Iron Man worked is because you saw the hero try and fail…repeatedly. So they make everything as simple as possible so people can relate. Player characters (PCs) are not your average guy on the street. They have their own goals and aspirations that need to be met. And a princess or kingdom does not split four ways (unless it’s porn). Additionally, DnD is not a spectator sport.

3) audience – most people either have fixed views on role players and DnD. Some feel it’s demonic and corrupting youth; others feel it only appeals to geeks and nerds. As a long time role player, I know that role playing is healthy. It fosters empathy and allows safe exploration of social rules. A lot of people would benefit from a role playing experience (not in the bedroom).

4) merchandising -if you make a successful DnD movie, what will you market? Figures? Books? What else? But franchise make their money in product licensing. No money means no change.

I will disagree with only “DnD is not a spectator sport”. There are entire youtube and twitch channels dedicated to letting people watch other people play DnD (and other tabletop rpgs, in most cases).

Watching a video, which by and large are edited is different that spectating. While I do enjoy watching an AI PAX event, I’m not sure that people would pay a ppl fee to watch a random group.

There are a wacky number of folks who’ve written for RPGs who’ve gone on to write some kick-ass and quite cinematic original fantasy fiction. One of my favourites (which features a girl hero to boot) is Ari Marmell’s Widdershins books. http://mouseferatu.com/index.php/product/novels/02-widdershins/

Would love for someone to make a good flick (or four) out of those.

But don’t get me started on the travesty that was The Golden Compass (kickass fantasy with girl hero made into beautiful but shite film).

I loved the books SO much. When I saw the first trailer for the film, I was like: “Nope. So much nope.” I could tell it would be one of those film adaptations that gets the form perfect and utterly misses the substance. Like the new “Star Trek” movies. They look like Star Trek, but they ain’t Star Trek.

The problem I’ve seen with trying to adapt D&D and similar to film is a conflict in how each medium works. Group RPGs (D&D as the example) are essentially Shared World Anthologies, with varying complexity of rules governing who is allowed to do what. This usually means an ensemble cast, rather than the film norm of one or two main protagonists + supporting cast. This usually makes for a poor film, but works better in long run formats like a TV show. As an example, Game of Thrones the Movie(s) would be awful. The Expanse series wouldn’t condense well. And why the World of Warcraft movie kinda tripped over itself at times.

A D&D TV show would be far more viable. You have more time to handle the Ensemble Casts and World Build. You can also work with time jumps of weeks, months, or sometimes years between major action. The only other way I see it working is to pull a Marvel Cinematic Universe. Use establishing solo or duo protagonist movies and build to an ensemble. Going further back to a style of film serials, like Flash Gordon. Which is arguably what hour long TV shows like Game of Thrones, the Expanse, Stargate SG-1, and Star Trek(s) are. Serials that play on TV instead of being shown in theaters.

The most recent movie I’ve seen that comes close was actually Star Wars: Rogue One. Specifically if you watch it while looking for Star Wars d20 parallels. You can slot just about every character into a Class (which really means the RPG was built very well to mimic a good Star Wars story). A stand out is Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) as a Force Adept. I could almost see the Force Points being slashed off his character sheet near the end. Jyn (Fringer), Cassian (Scoundrel), Chirrut (Force Adept), K-2SO (Tech specialist), Bodhi (Scout), Baze (Soldier). Also with The Empire Strikes Back, a good narrative rhythm started being used for Star Wars. It allowed the story to split and follow 2 or 3 groups of characters on interconnected plots. You can find it done in some of the better Star Wars Legends (EU) books. But I digress….

The few times that it’s been tried as direct adaption, the writers/directors weren’t really up for the challenge, ignored the “Rules”, and instead just tried to make their own fantasy movie with a D&Dish wrapper. Usually badly written at that. Which leads to some of the “Ridleyest” things you’ll ever see. As subtle as “Lap Dog Beholders”.

Ok, this question has two complex answers, Jo. The simplified versions are A) There are plenty, they just don’t have Dungeons & Dragons in the title, and B) There aren’t because of Hollywood.

The expanded form of “A” is watch a good movie. Once you’ve played D&D for a while you can practically SEE the critical successes and failures as they are rolled. Just watch “Avengers Assemble” with that in mind and Iron Man and Tony Stark arguing on the helicarrier takes on a hilarious new context of two nerds who created total Mary Sue characters arguing about who the prettiest princess is until the GM has had enough of being ignored, leaps to their feet, slams their hands on the table and screams, “SUDDENLY YOU HEAR AN EXPLOSION!”

As for the second answer I WISH that I could provide a link to a site called “From the Asylum” that had a bunch of short stories but alas, this site and the story I reference no longer exist. You may remember it, though. The story was called “The Secret History of Xanadu.” It was about two Lovecraftian people who hired someone to write a Cthulhic revival movie and he did a GREAT job. Then the Lovecraftian fish people went to Hollywood to pitch it. Then Hollywood began making changes. One of the fish people goes completely nuts one day on the phone with Hollywood and screams, “You’re the real monsters!” before running off babbling incoherently to never be heard from again. In the end the movie became “Xanadu” and killed any chance of the Great Old rising from the sea. Actual quote from the audience at its debut: “Roller skates and LEG WARMERS! Cthulhu save us all!” Basically though, THAT is why the movies with D&D suck hard. It starts with executives reading the script and deciding no one will ever want to watch this. “It doesn’t even have the promised dragons.” So it gets sent to the “scrub” pile of vanity pieces that actors came up with like “Battlefield Earth” where if you want to have the movie financed you have to star in ten really sucky films you’d never normally be caught dead in. Then they shove a bunch of actors in the same boat that you are in into the casting, usually because they have SOME name recognition, and none of them want to be there. Then the little tweaks come here and there “to appeal to the audience” and “move the plot along.” Just take the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons movie with Marlon Wayans. That “dungeon” the Thieve’s Guild or whoever they were send them through for their amusement? No way that was what the creators intended. Sure, it was a parody of some guy’s show but they had to intend it to be an ACTUAL dungeon and not a “medieval fantasy game show.”

Another problem is they always take the most common classes. Fighters and rogues, maybe a barbarian. They never even get a healer which I admit would add to the dramatic tension if the movie were good but they aren’t. They need to start using less common classes or AT LEAST use archetypes (or different kits pre-Pathfinder). Just imagine: the healer is in fact an Alchemist, the damage dealer is a Gunslinger, the tank is a Monk, and the wizard is just an artificer whose primary concern is supporting the rest of the group by imbuing their weapons with magic on the fly. Wait… we need a “clever, agile” type to fill the “rogue” slot. I know! The Charlatan:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/rogue/archetypes/paizo-rogue-archetypes/charlatan/

Then we can have the Alchemist be Huckster from the Pure Steam Campaign Setting: Westbound expansion which I can unfortunately not find a link to the details of but it gives us their motivation! They’re con-artists traveling from town to town. Now we just need the huge plot that drags them into it kicking and screaming.

Well, I did like The Last Witch Hunter, at least a bit. It’s at least not bad. Bit of a cheat, though, being based on Vin Diesel’s D&D character rather than being in an official D&D realm.

Lots of good observations on the issues with fantasy stories in general. The root of all evil when it comes to making gold into absolute shite is Hollywood and their ilk. They should be not allowed anywhere near anything of value and their sticky-out-bits lopped off if they do. Yeah, I really do not like Hollywood.

Mind you all you had to do in the past to get produced by an independent is creative financing and a strong personality pushing for the production.
I list among those films like Willow and Dark Crystal.

Today we have almost enough non-hollywood production houses to have some hope of major story arc series like Game of Thrones and Babylon 5. NETFLIX is a good example on what the production model can be.

Makes me wonder if there is a core group of writers who could sit together and produce a 5 year story arc and not kill each other in the process? Maybe get some input from Mr Greenwood before he shuffles off this mortal coil. I really do want to see a decent portrayal of Elminster because I have always loved the Realms. Greyhawk not so much even though it was the birthplace of my RPG fixation.

Same guy from before who talked about “The Secret History of Xanadu” with yet another great fantasy movie to add. WARLOCK! The FIRST one. That one was great. Dark magics like a flying potion that requires boiling the fat of an unbaptised child; weird interactions from magic and the drawbacks of having said magic coursing through your veins (like when the F.R.I. was pounding nails into the warlock’s footprints to cause him agonizing pain and he blocked it with a piece of wood held against his soles); a Chekhov’s Gun; and the F.R.I. played straight and not entirely useless. The second one wasn’t as good although it has a horrific intro and the third one… the third one shows no movie is safe because it sucks. But that’s Hollywood for you. Even if they have something good they will eventually turn it into shite.

Some of the core things a game needs in order to entertain players are the complete opposite of what a story needs in order to entertain viewers or readers. … I not has a words now, but I ‘member knowing it’s true.

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