Monday, 6 June 2016

Overactive RPG Vision

I don't know if this happens with anybody else but hear me out: When I walk out of a cinema after enjoying a film I really enjoyed watching, I get this sense of still being in the film. Say for example: Limitless, the film about a guy who pops a tic-tac and suddenly his brain starts working at it's maximum potential. I enjoyed the film and I walked out with the clarity of my memory being fairly okay following wild daydreams of the day I could learn the Violin in under a week and a fleeting moment of perceptive clarity of my surroundings. The film stayed briefly with me and started getting inside my head for 30 or so minutes afterwards. 
The same can be said for games. When I was playing a lot of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, I would walk around a shopping center and start plotting out climbing paths in my mind, I would go to London and start scanning the city sky line for routes I could climb.

Now I'm very much aware that I can't handle a solitary chin-up, let alone hang by my finger tips 200 meters in the air with my next move being that "wtf are you doing mate?" of leaping upward and catching a ledge the size of a finger nail without the hint of falling. I know this but with playing a game like Prince of Persia or the latest Nathan Drake epic, I see the world in a different way altered by these experiences.

Tabletop Roleplaying games have effected me in much the same way only instead of the world, I'm seeing many decisions in film making being told in an RPG sense. Guardians of the Galaxy is my primary example of this. 
Peter Quill is first introduced (after the backstory introduction) stealing a mysterious orb, using a knowledge check followed by a successful thief check he obtains it but alas! He is caught by guards, Quill then crit-fails a convince check ("Starlord, man") and through a series of quick thinking and lucky rolls escapes the guards and avoiding huge damage to his ship.

I see the whole movie like this, a series of player interactions, skill checks and obvious nat 20s and crit-fails. Arguments at the table, players following others because.. well they have to right?
 and the GM allowing certain players to do silly stuff that would get them killed. You saw what happened to Drax when he tried to solo Ronan, he got his clock cleaned but because the GM didn't want the player to create another character, made sure that Drax didn't die. When Groot sacrificed himself, the GM decided that the player made such a great unique character with game breaking flaws that he was given an out.

This undeniably is easier to do in team movies with multiple characters. X-men, Guardians, Avengers, easy to RPG-ify. What about my second favorite film of all time: Versus? For the all of you that don't have a clue what this movie is or about: Criminals are in a forest shooting zombies then ends with a climatic battle between brothers that fight every 500 years because the same group is reincarnated to meet, for reasons. If you don't mind Japanese B-Movies, it's a fantastic film and the reason I have stills of the film tattoo'd on my arms. 
The intro involves two orange clad criminals running through the woods, sprinting at high speeds, falling and rolling but continuing on until they reach a road. The two argue for a while until a small convoy of two cars and a bike appears. Without going into the whole plot, a 2-player RPG could easily be built around this premise and with the writing the way it is, you could easily see the movie being ripped from an RPG session.

Almost all films or series I happen to watch nowadays have this RPG film wrapped over them due to my near-constant day dreaming of new story lines and events. Being that the whole point of role-playing is story driven decisions with random elements thrown in to create tension, this isn't exactly a difficult endeavor. It's a lot harder to equate say Yahtzee or Texas Hold 'Em Poker to real life or film situations for instance but in my mind it makes for story inspiration and a (sometimes) imaginary look behind the scenes of how certain elements in films play out.

A montage is pretty much the GM going "Whilst you wait for the BBEG to arrive, this happens" surely?
Schwarzenegger never running out of ammo and taking down a whole army is little more than a high level character and a tired GM right?
Sean Bean always dying is a player with a horrid losing streak maybe?
Jason Statham is a min/maxer who never role plays but rather "Roll"plays is clear as day.

Maintain that childlike imagination and have fun out there

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