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Dungeons & Dragons Movie 195

Nimey writes "IGN has an interview about the Dungeons & Dragons movie, due out later this year." Damn. I was hoping they'd take a storyline from the animated D&D show from the eighties. I'll see it anyway.
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Dungeons & Dragons Movie

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  • They are things that are better of as a book!
  • by KillBot ( 116344 ) on Monday January 17, 2000 @03:57AM (#1365504) Homepage
    News of this has been around for a while. And even back then, the status of it was "everything has been filmed, we're now in post production". I guess that's necessary for some of the things they talk about, like 70+ red and gold dragons. But I remeber how ridiculously lame dragonheart and godzilla were. It's like half the movie was pure CG and it was absolute crap! But the pictures they have of the live action shots look really good! And the fact that the producer was so into making this movie for himself and for the loyal d&d fans out there instead of designing a movie for a focus group. I'm impressed with everything I've read about this movie so far, though.
  • I love fantasy. Ever since Weiss and Hickman, the Dragons have captured my imagination. Anybody remember that game where you rode on the back of dragons into battle? A dragon Flight Simulator - one of the first truly original ideas (well, not truly original, but the execution was brilliant). The Red Dragons, Black Dragons, Ice Dragons ...

    I'm not disappointed that it's not about the cartoon - though that holds a fond memory. Hopefully there'll be loads of dragons (DragonFear!) ... woooh. I'm getting goosebumps already ....
  • I think it was "DragonStike" by SSI apart of their DragonLance series of games (It wasn't apart of the gold-box trilogy, but was a dragonlance game nonethless).

  • The first thing that I thought of when I saw this
    post was the made-for-TV-movie starring Tom Hanks of (at the time) 'Bosom Buddies' fame.

    Let's hope that they keep the raging paranoia
    about satan worship, cults and the like out of
    this show as well. That's the last thing we need after all that 'Hellmouth' backlash...
  • This seems like a 90's take on D&D...I mean, Elwood? Is he one of the Blues Brothers or something? And Marlon Wayans? Anyway, I just hope they make this more of a Braveheart than a Dragonheart. They shouldn't forget the true essence of D&D.
  • by TallG ( 135907 ) on Monday January 17, 2000 @04:06AM (#1365509)
    Do we all get to take our d20's and d4's to the cinema and get to roll our own endings?

  • As said before, rumours of a movie like this have been around for ages. Im personally a fan of D&D but I wont hold my breath just yet.

    I guess a movie like this would cost a ton in special effects seeing as they got to have special monsters, magic etc. Now fantasy movies normally do very well in cartoon film, but I dont see very many REAL fantasy films around that made the cinemas. So, as far as I know, they would have a hard time finding people/companies that would want to invest money in this kind of movie.

    If they would release a movie of course i would go and see it =)

  • Since most of D&D comes straight out of Tolkien, I'll wait until the Lord of the Rings movies start coming out (when is that, summer 2001?).
  • Hehe, my favorite part of D&D was spinning the dice like tops. Forget the rolling :)

    Still, that brought a smile to my face.

  • Amazing...I wonder if TSR is getting a cut. Anyway, why don't they just stick to making "fantasy" movies, instead of taking a lousy trademark and branding the film with it, in hope that the geeks will come running to see it...=)
  • Aaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Takes you back abit doesn't it? Good and evil battling it out together...mmm Sounds just like M$ and the DOJ!
  • Hey i'm not a geek, im just in denial!

    and of course i'd go see it when it comes out =)

  • Raging paranoia about kids throwing themselves off buildings because they thought they could fly ;)

    Remeber that fine peice of media frenzy bullshit?

  • I dont see very many REAL fantasy films around that made the cinemas

    Not many, but there have been some. Princess Bride and DragonHeart spring to mind.

    Remember, a few years ago there were virtually no fantasy television series apart from a few childrens shows, with low production values. Now we have Xena, Hercules, and a vast number of other series with regular monster special effects. Computer graphics, as well as the efforts of television companies, has brought the cost of doing this right down.
  • <SNIP>We gave up some of the blood and gore that you might have in Braveheart for the rating.</SNIP>

    ... Hmmm ... It's a good thing they did. I knew so many good games that started with noble intentions only to finish in a hack&slash monster killing frenzy due to bad players or bad DMs. ;-)
    /ME is looking back at his good ol' AD&D characters.

    More seriously, I wonder how it will compare to the Anime Record of Lodoss War and to the Ring trilogy's first movie.


  • Wasn't that "Mazes and Monsters"? Its about a group of RPG players in college, one of whom mysteriously disappears. It turns out that he's gone mad and retreated into the fantasy world of the game. Based on an urban legend from the early days of D&D.

    I don't remember Tom Hanks being in it. I do remember him being in "Bachelor Party" so I guess he made other films he isn't proud of.
  • Maybe we're lucky its not the animated series.
    I really hated that poni/unicorn/whatever.

    What I would REALLY like to see, though, is
    a Dragon Lance movie! that would be great..
    though something tells me we can count on them
    that they will ruin the movie.
    Its just one of those feelings.

  • Feeling old...

    I do hope it has all of the retarded hysteria of the D&D made for TV movie of the late 70's. For you younger surfers, D&D had the "evil" reputation of "doom" and other computer games today.

    The stupid made-for-tv movie pretended to have something to do with a real life D&D player that committed suicide and, of course, the game was blamed.

  • Agreed, and there was always the excitement of would it be a white crayon or black crayon, would there be blue dice or some coloured ones, and then the subsequent gouging out of the wax when under a tense situation...
  • You of course realize that the next step is DVD Choose your own adventures... Expensive to produce every single possible trail, but I'd pay the money just to spend hours following all of them.

    And great for a party, everyone votes on the course of action for the party and then you tell the DVD what the pick is and the DVD player knows which scene to play next.
  • by hernick ( 63550 ) on Monday January 17, 2000 @04:50AM (#1365524)
    I wonder how important the CGI is in that movie. It's easy to see how the producers could deem necessary to have half the movie made out of cheesy CGI of huge dragons and magic... But I do not think that it is necessary at all for the movie to look good. Unfortunately, from what that article says, they have sold their souls to cheesy, low budget CGI (anybody saw B5: Crusade ? Doesn't cheap CGI just want to make you puke ?).

    Probably some of you have seen the anime Record of Lodoss War, which is the closest thing to a D&D movie (even though it's animated). Making a live action version of that would require some CGI, but by carefully selecting the scenes, you don't need that much of it to make it look great. And then there is the anime Heroic Legend of Arslan. You would need so little CGI to make a live action version of that one.

    I think that a D&D type movie could be done with only a few minutes of CGI. After all, D&D is all about the story, not the special effects. The roleplaying has never needed any special effects, and never will. Then, why must a movie be full of them ? Have we come to a point where a movie needs to be full of cheesy effect in order to be successful ?

    Why do movie producers seem to sell their soul to the effects firms more and more often these days. I hate that. When you have a perfectly good movie with a lot of effects shot that add absolutely nothing to the story.

    If they only have 30 million of funding, wouldn't they have been better off spending that on magnificent battle scenes. Ah well. I guess my stupid rant isn't even making sense anymore. Most unfortunate.

    I wonder how that movie will turn out. And I also wonder how the Final Fantasy movie will turn out. Has a full length feature movie featuring human lead characters entirely in CGI ever been attempted ? From what we saw in toy story 2, they still don't master the animation of humans. And that was Pixar, who had a ton of budget. The FF movie might very well look like shit... Still, I'd like to see that one... 100% CGI might be a style of movie that takes off. Perhaps it'll replace traditional animation... hopefully it won't inherit the "animation is for kiddies" stigma that Disney has unfortunately propagated. Will it win over people over 25... Or they'll just shun it as being cheesy animation, for kiddies... eh. Time will tell.
  • Of course. So will I...I go and see practically every fantasy film, just to support the genre, which I find fascinating. D&D looks like it'll be OK...but my expectations aren't too great. But Jeremy Irons is cool as hell as an evil Archmage.
  • RoLW was interesting, except for all the times Deedlit yelled 'Parn!' (about every minute or two :) ), and the fact that 95% of the dragon time really isn't animated. I bought the DVD set then sold it because I thought the dragons were so mediocre that animating a kite would have more action. For the 'record', most of the other animation looks fantastic.

    For the most part, RoLW dragons are a single frame slid across the background. On the first and last episode, the dragons were decently animated, but it looks like the dragon animator was sleeping on the job so his coworkers found his old paintings and moved the cels by hand. A dragon flying across the background looks stiffer than a glider, no wings flapping, no head or tail motion, just slide the cell across the background.
  • Damn. I was hoping they'd take a storyline from the animated D&D show from the eighties. I'll see it anyway.

    You're kidding right? The D & D cartoon is very, very far away from AD&D my friends and I played and enjoyed. This cartoon [] is as disconnected from D & D that captured the hearts of geeks everywhere as the goofy looking PG-13 Spawn movie [] is disconnected from the emmy award winning, R rated Spawn cartoon [] or comic book.
    The cartoon sucked and was a poor mirror of the game that kept my friends and I engrossed for hours on end (ThAC0, hit dice, bastard brings a tear to my eye remembering those times), if the movie is anything like the animated series then it should be avoided like the plague. On the other hand if it is actually a realistic depiction of D & D (e.g. the game Baldur's Gate) then it should become a geek treasure (sorta like the Matrix) watched the evoke memories of simpler times when an 18 on a 20d was all that saved you from a harsh, horrifying end.

  • No...



    The return of FMV games!!!! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhh!!!

    You're giving me nightmares. FMV games sucked on the Sega CD, and they would suck on DVD.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just for the info of the public out there a convention is being held in Atlanta Georgia called DragonCon at the end of June this year. A lot of the actors from the movie will be there as well as a sneak peak of the movie itself. A 40' bronze dragon from the movie will also be there. From all that I have heard of this movie it is really going to be good.
  • Rocked. I heard that the designers of that anime actually played D&D for a while before creating it. Is this true?

    Did the creators of this movie go through the same pains? What would be funny is if some of us x-gamers got some good inside jokes ;-)

    /sound of dice rolling/.. Jesus saves!

  • Don't make me have to get my level 13 mage to cast a fireball at you....I'll do it, too.

    I'm too transient to get a character too high...

    Ahh, adnd....I love this stuff. Of course, it has been news for a while....I'm just waiting till it actually comes out and praying that it'll actually show here (i'm stuck in a small town.)

  • Oh come one. You mean to tell me that you wouldn't want to watch the scene where your character gets his head cut off over and over again in digital quality, only to grow tired and pick a different path where they get invicerated or burnt or disentigrated or crushed by and Bigsby's Crushing Hand...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    there were a few experiments with movies where the audience would vote on the outcome of a particular scene, and the movie plot would fork from there - some books were written like that, a nonlinear plot, altho the best actually did have multiple endings (just think, depending on the audience you're with, queen whatsername may get the kingdom back and with another she might end up on the rack) while cheeper ones would fork to two rather short plot variations that quickly merge again. Boojum
  • In defense of the just plain silly dragon animation, I would suggest that they did it only to save on $$. As in, they didn't have enough money to animate the dragons, and did the best they could.

    Still, they do look silly. But I'm keeping my DVD ^_^
  • I dunno, the animated series had a certain charm.

    But, I'd rather have a good generic fantasy like The Books of Magic [] or The Fellowship of the Ring [] than a D&D movie anyhow.

    After all, how likely is it that a D&D movie will be designed for anything other than merchandising. At least if you take a novel (like Lord of the Rings) or a graphic novel (like The Books of Magic) and turn it into a movie, you already know what worked. In some cases directors and screenwriters ignore that, but you have a place to start from.

    It could be brilliant, but I'm not holding my breath. They'll probably wait until the end of the year and try to capitalize on the LotR hype. Sigh.
  • Reminds me of a time when Multimedia was the new buzzword. Much was made of the idea of being able to have interactive movies where you could choose one of a number of possible endings.

    I always felt that this sounded a bit lame, but I was expecting the point and click adventures to head in the direction of interactive movies. This never seemed to happen either. It would have been so cool to have a version of a Monkey Island type game with real actors.
  • by Dr Drew ( 15165 )
    You mean, Wizards of the Coast? They bought out TSR a while back. Which just goes to show the lack of imagination in today's gaming populace. I remember when D&D, which was fueled by imagination, was king. Now M:TG, fueled by a rigid, non-imaginative system, and greed, was so much more successful that a young Wizards of the Coast was able to buy out TSR within a couple of years. It's a real sign of the times.
  • Check out the page for it on Comming Attractions []. They've been pretty consistant about it being Christmas this year and then Summer next year and then Christmas next year for the whole trillogy. Pretty ambitious, but I'm holding out a good deal of hope for this one!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You mean Hasbro? They bought out WoTC who bought out TSR awhile back. Speaking of signs of the times...
  • Yeah, but Xena and the like have no plot, childish dialogue and cringing one-liners. Hardly the sort of Monstrous Life Eating Literary Work (TM) that The Lord Of the Rings or Ghormanghast are.

    No offence intended to fans of Xena et al, but I think to make fantasy cinema a reality, the sort of stories that keep your nose in a book until 5am need to reach to big screen, instead of pulp mass-attraction 'fun' fantasy.
  • by mister7 ( 56875 ) on Monday January 17, 2000 @05:53AM (#1365545)
    Ooooh...I can just see it
    In the Last Great Invasion of the Last Great War, The Greatest Challenge for Eight Hobbits was Saving... One.

    Saving Private Frodo

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ugh. I never actually saw the Mazes and Monsters made for TV special (my parents had decided to rid themselves of the TV for a few years during my childhood) but my best friend's mother certainly did. She made him quit the game, thus having to give away all his characters. His mother has and always will be a representation in my mind of the Average American. She swallowed every urban legend and half-media-truth hook, line, and sinker.
  • Hanks was in it - he played Robbie Wheeling, according to

    It's a *terrible* film, but I watch it whenever it comes on TBS, which it tends to do a couple times a year. The roleplaying scenes are amusing.


  • Can you spin the D4s?

    -Elendale (can)

  • Is it me, or is Hasbro getting a little out of hand here? First Avalon Hill, then Microprose, now Wizards of the Coast, what's next, Atari? Oh yeah....
  • Actually I believe Lodoss war is based on an RPG which is based on D&D...

    -Elendale (Would you believe that in some states cops ask 'do you play FRPs (fantasy role playing games)' when you are arrested?)

  • I think in that last episode "Parn!" and "Deed!" are yelled around 20-30 times *blah* Talk about trying to make a point.

    -Elendale (laughs at dead dragons pulled by ropes across the background)

  • Whitewolf: Werewolves and hunters band together to stop an insane vampire from conquering the world, but all the werewolves are slaughtered in two minutes due to a possessed Sons of Ether mage with that g--d----d straw to gold talent and a pistol.

    Rifts: A small group of friends are sitting at a bar but get pulled through a wormhole to mythical Greece. They then proceed to slaughter a Spartan army who are wandering around the countryside for no apparent reason, save the princess's female lover from the Dark King and expose a conspiracy to stop the invention of the printing press, but they then are transported to the center of the universe and they accidentally erase Earth from history.

    Any other ideas?
  • Whoops. Should have lumped this in with my last post, but hadn't followed the link yet ListenPages/ma/3471/ [] is a Realvideo and MS Streaming video of Mazes and Monsters, in full. The video quality is tiny, but the sound is okay.

    I just wish you could download the darned thing, and not just stream it.


  • Haha! There are still tons of people around like that. Just last night I was flaming a religious zealot who has a website about killing evil RPG'ers and martial artists. erk...
    In any case, it has been conclusively proven (in every case I have looked at) at levels up to the Supreme Court that D&D has NEVER been the cause of a suicide or murder, or even aided. In several studies D&D has actually been shown to reduce chances of suicide, etc.

    -Elendale (actually had to prove this to my high school once...)

  • There are two dragongames that I remember very fondly -

    Dragon's Breath on the Amiga, which is practically 'SimDragon', where you get the eggs, raise the dragon and learn them to be the best they can. (Or most destructive.. ;)

    Drakken - (sp?) PC. Dragonflighsim that was released last year on the PC. Kinda tricky to control, but good fun to play. Fry other dragons, farmsteads, etc. ^_^
  • Yes. D10's are the nicest though and my D30 is the easiest....

    Well except for my spherical D6


  • Now that you mention it.....

    Ghormenghast is being shown as a 4 part tv-series costing oodles of millions of UK pounds here in the UK starting tonight.

    been getting good reviews...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wouldn't say that Dragonheart was crap! The acting and the story line sucked, but the CGI fro Draco was absolutely phenominal! There were many sequences in that movie where I caught myself falling for the illusion completely, and I *never* do that with CGI.
  • I'd like to see a movie based on Marc Miller's Traveller RPG [], 'specially during the rebellion period. The special effects would cull out the sheep from their homes and all the sci-fi junkies too.

    (for those who don't know, Traveller [] was probably the first ever sci-fi RPG...)
  • Yep - I'll be watching it.

    Anyone know what time it's on?
  • I'd say that's really too bad, and that we'll miss your wonderfully creative wit, but you won't be back to read this comment -- I'm somewhat sure that Roblimo's still around. ;)

  • If you don't know any of that, I guess you didn't read the article very carefully. Most, if not all of those things, were covered in the article.

    And, I don't know how many movies you've gone to lately, but The Matrix was definitely a movie for "nerds", and I didn't hear about many so-called "nerds" getting the beats for wanting to watch it. Did you?

  • '...when an 18 on a 20d was all that saved you from a harsh, horrifying end.'

    Or if you have the 'Extremely Odd Luck' syndrome that my little brother always played with that 18 causes the crossbow bolt fired at you to ricochet off of a passing sparrow, off of a tree, off of a rock, off of the guy that shot it, and HIT ME IN THE LEG! That was the funniest session we ever had... So much weird shit happened...


  • Lighten up! I was joking. They were just some crap campaings that I'd played in the past. Psst... Don Albert, if you're reading this... you need to get some original ideas.
  • Okay, history lesson here...

    In the late 1970s, the first RPGs appeared in Japan. They let you play... well, characters from various series. That was it. You got the pregenerated characters and there were no character generation rules. Then D&D showed up. They went nuts.

    One GM ran a campaign that went through two generations of heroes. He kept copious notes, and turned those notes in to the 12 novels of the Records of the Wars of Lodoss. Which became the anime series...

    And then they released the Record of Lodoss Wars RPG. Thus bringing things 100% full circle. TSR wouldn't let them license the AD&D system for Lodoss, so they had to do their own.

    And now you know the REST of the story...

  • How many GOOD movies have been made that are set in a 'fantasy' world? Precious few. Its just too hard to pull off, and from what I've heard/seen about the D&D movie, it's not gonna work.

    To me, the sign that the makers of it have the wrong idea was when I read about how they intended to "stick to the rules of D&D' as much as possible". Uhhh...isn't a film supposed to tell a story? Shouldn't that be the first priority?

    It'll suck, prepare yourself.
  • The people who want the movie to stick to the rules are the rules lawyers, gamers whom GM's disdain the most, with the notable exception of munchkins.
  • I'm very new to d&d, I play it with my friends.

    Most of all I love music...

    this movie sounds like it could really be awesome.. but one aspect I haven't read anything about is the music. The music is an element just as important as effects, as visuals, as plot...

    there are plenty of fine composers and musicians out there, hopefully some can be found with a natural passion for D&D!

    what do you think?
  • The Eidolon For the Atari 800 XL had cool looking dragons, especially for those days. It was a LucasArts game and the first FPS I ever played. I thought the Black Dragon had the scariest look.
  • I really love my D100 and I think it was an interesting piece of engineering. Unfortunately, it doesn't match my two crystal dice sets because it isn't translucent or the right color. It really rolls too... it resembles a golf ball.
  • Don't forget Ladyhawk I really liked that one...
  • Actually, they sorta did this already.

    Remember the old "Dragon's Lair" game?

    I just found it at BestBuy as a DVD game. All the original animated frames, you play by manipulating your remote (or the buttons on the software DVD-player screen if you play on the computer).

    Haven't picked it up yet. Probably will though. I burned through a couple zillion quarters trying to beat that game (came close once).

    Then I'll have to try "Space Ace".


    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!
  • Yes, but the point is that Xena etc. have no plot, childish dialogue and cringing one-liners.....and respectable special effects. And this is all on a TV budget. Good plot and dialogue have always been possible. Convincing effects haven't. The few minutes of stop motion in Jason and the Argonauts took months to complete. Not everyone has the budget to manage that.

    Of course, I know dragons, hobbits and monsters aren't neccesary for fantasy, but without these you're missing out on a lot of possibilities. Without them you can't even film The Hobbit.

    And anyway, I like the lack of plot, childish dialogue and cringing one-liners in Xena.
  • As much as I'd like to see the movie - Aren't there a few coincidences?
    Evil Archmage = Evil Senator
    Empress with odd clothing = Queen with odd clothing
    The article also said that the majority of Birch's scenes are with Irons... So, would it be safe to assume she is *influenced* by him...?
    Only difference being, I'd guess that the archmage is found out and summarily dispatched, as opposed to being subtle. But - Magic Missiles rarely are.

    70+ red and gold dragons though? Yipe. Are there that many?

  • A realistic approach to the white wolf idea. We follow the first changing and following happenings of a young werewolf. Then, (s)he and the pack take on a huge manifestion of the Wyrm. I think the visual presentation of the story would bring in alot of people. If some of last year's movie made money and filled seats, this horror-adventure would.
  • Knight of the Living Dead which was somewhere between a Which-Way book and a solitare module was pretty cool. It was about a plot by the undead to destroy Waterdeep, and required a 12-sided dice to play, but was lenient compared to real AD&D rules and was really more like a Which-Way book (though in looks and presentation it was more like a module and the writing and pictures were more grown-up.)

    Of course, solitary, scary loners who were really into this sort of thing (not me of course... I just heard about it. Really, I don't have whole box full of such solitare modules...) knew enough to buy the Tunnels and Trolls games in which solitare modules were a speciality. Ah! Sorcerer's Solitare, Sea of Mystery what fun... the best part was when you cheated and read a "cheater's paragraph" in which a Troll bashes in your head for reading out of turn... Ah! Those were the days...

    Of course, the couldn't compare to Zork or Enchanter but you could play them on family camping trips out in the woods...

  • Or what about that one guy in the group who was so freaking lucky. I had a mage play who was more effective in combat just due to the fact that he rolled 3 twenties in a row, then rolled an 18 and called it bad luck. Worst part was we had the 20s give you extra attacks rule *fear mages who kill dragons with thrown daggers*

    -Elendale (or if you can only roll 1s...)

  • Or what about that one guy in the group who was so freaking lucky. I had a mage play who was more effective in combat just due to the fact that he rolled 3 twenties in a row, then rolled an 18 and called it bad luck. Worst part was we had the 20s give you extra attacks rule *fear mages who kill dragons with thrown daggers*
    -Elendale (or if you can only roll 1s...)

    LOL! Believe it or not my MOM was the one who always had that happen. She would do the same thing when we played RISK, rolling all sixes all the time... Drove us INSANE.

  • I was lucky enough to have a father who loved Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror back in the 50's when they tried to ban comic books. He never fell for that hype (neither did my Mom, but she loves Anne McCaffrey so it is to be expected.) However, they would occaisionally run into people who would say, "You let your kid play D&D? Did you the 60 Minutes episode on it?" Of course, I had problems in school over it...

    My letter on the subject is forever preserved in the Dragon Magazine Archive on CD-Rom. To find it just put in the words, Sally Jesse Raphael in the search engine (it is in a later issue, up over 100)... see if you can guess which letter is mine! ^_^

  • While D&D is the hot topic -- I might point out that Gary Gygax [], author of D&D, has a new game out. Pick up a copy [] and give feedback to help it develop into a good game!
  • Dragon's Lair is already available on DVD...
  • And anyway, I like the lack of plot, childish dialogue and cringing one-liners in Xena.

    A lot of people do, and I think that's fair enough - but there is nothing out there in the TV or cinema market to cater for those who like their fantasy to have some bite. I don't care how they do it, whether a 3 hour film, or a several part TV serial, but I'd like to see some truly well written fantasy on the screens.

    I'll still turn over and watch Xena after, though :-)
  • Anyone remember the good old days? Nude erynes, sylphs, and succubi in the Monster Manual, nude women in advertisements in Dragon magazine, nudes in articles in Dragon magazine... nudes in the Dungeon Master's Guides sigh...

    Then of course people decided nudity was sexist or evil (depending on ideology) and everthing got cleaned up... but oh for the innocence of my youth in the 70's...

  • by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Monday January 17, 2000 @08:20AM (#1365596) Homepage Journal
    The '80s cartoon, while it had potential, was incredibly lame in a lot of ways. Its plot was Yet Another Gilligan's Island Retread, it bore only an orthagonal resemblance to the game, because it had to be sanitized of all those "nasty nonChristian elements" like, say, clerics...and by giving each character a "magic gadget," it seriously detracted from believing in the characters' own innate skills. To say nothing of breaking the fourth wall by having the characters interact with a "Dungeonmaster". (Hey, guys! Free clue...the Dungeonmaster is the one who's controlling everything! Of course he could send you home if he wanted...)

    This movie, on the other hand, is one of the things I've been looking forward to for the longest time...there's been so little good D&Dish stuff available.

    (By the way, for any who like the same sort of fantasy as D&D in books, look into Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion [] trilogy, and P.C. Hodgell's Godstalk and Dark of the Moon.)
  • It's been awhile since I watched Xena but it seems it runs about 3 to 1. They will have two or three bad to average episodes then have one kick ass one.

    A good one that spings to mind is where Xena and her bitch where surrounded by some hord with Xena and some Athens soilders trap in a fort. I though that was a nice episode.

    One thing I hated about Xena was Gabby. What a wuss. Reminded me of that prick in Highlander. I watched one of the new ones the other day. I think she got with the program. Bash it until it stops moving then reason with it.

    "Remember, fireball first..." - me

  • Actually, I think I'd pay to see a RIFTS movie based in the original millue (around post-apocalyptic Chicago).

    The visuals of the "Glitter Boy" power armor digging in it's stabilizers and popping off a couple "Boom Gun" rounds (incidentally deafening his cohorts) would be worth the price of admission alone.

    RIFTS is an EXTREMELY fleshed out world. My only issues are with the underlying Palladium game system.

    Oh yeah. I want to see a depiction of Mega-Damage capacity (like someone taking a bat to a baby dragon character, busting the bat over the character's head, and the character going "that tickled!".

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!
  • BBC2 at 9pm (so after the watershed, too).

    Looking forward to it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The great thing about this D&D movie is that it's directed by Peter Jackson. He has made some great movies and is a master of the cheezy horror genere. If you want to see some of this director's finest (In my oppinion) work, go check out Dead Alive, or Meet the Feebles. They are fun, hilarious, and not for the feighnt(sp) of heart. RVWinkle (too lazy to look up my pass)
  • "Kindred: The Embraced" was another attempt to translate a rich role-playing universe (Vampire the Masquerade) into a live-action story. It failed hideously, mostly because the average Joe couldn't get into it and the hardcore gamers were too busy criticizing it for not being "their vision" of that particular world. Viewership dwindled, and the Kindred TV series died after only a few episodes.

    I feel that the DnD movie will more than likely suffer a similar fate. The mainstream audience will see it as just another fantasy film, and unless it has something incredible going for it in the creativity department then it will be largely ignored. To add insult to injury, the gamers will probably sit there and nitpick the movie to death...saying how this isn't right and this should be better. In general, it's going to have a hard time living up to everybody's expectations.

    If I were doing the movie, I would have went for a Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms. Use something more focused than trying to sum up the WHOLE game in one movie. Everyone has their own vision of AD&D, and I find it very hard to believe that this one 2-hour movie will satisfy. Of course, I'll be pleasantly surprised if it does :)

  • It is also quite common for mouth movements to not follow speech exactly.

    I admit I'm a bit hard on RoLW, but the lip matching thing is usually the fault of American or Canadian dubbing teams, and it takes a lot of work to adjust the words to the video and video to the words. The lips usually synch very well in the original Japanese, but that means reading subtitles, some don't like that either.

    Neither animation style is "better" than the other

    To a large extent you are right. Animation takes a lot of work, but I still like Japanese animation style versus American movie for movie, TV show to TV show, and there is no comparison between Japan's direct-to-video (OVAs) and American counterparts (Return of Jafar?! Simba's Pride?), and there are no direct-to-video series made here that I know. Compared to what else is on American TV, anime appears to me to be more skillfully drawn. I love Simpsons, but it is rare to find an anime TV show that is that crudely drawn, based on its age, and that's about what many Saturday morning shows are like.

    You are right. American companies STILL assume that 1) kids are too dumb to understand any complexity and 2) only kids watch animation - what about the parents?. Thankfully, FOX has broken that mold with Simpsons, Futurama and Family Guy. WB's Animaniacs was extremely good at appealing to a wide audience. South Park etc are pretty much adult-only, which unfortunately there is quite a bit of anime that is like that, and anime is even stereotyped as porn too.
  • by Bieeardo ( 123434 ) on Monday January 17, 2000 @08:53AM (#1365606)

    A PG rating? But of course. There is an excellent reason for it, and the reason is merchandising. Most of this post is a capsule history of AD&D over the last ten years, to illustrate my final point, so if you just want to skip to the end, scroll down to The Present.

    Simply stated, T$R has a long, illustrious history of circling the proverbial bowl. When one of its founders (Gary Gygax) was divorced, his ex-wife (known in some circles as "The Bitch") won a controlling share of the company. Almost immediately, the entire product line was retooled into AD&D Second Edition: gone were the piles of rulebooks that had accrued over years of rules amendments and neat ideas; gone were the (very) occasional pieces of naughty artwork; and gone was everything that could be perceived as "evil" or "controversial" (the Assassin class, demons, and devils, to name a few). Granted, some of the things that were removed were unbalancing (the Cavalier and Barbarian classes, for example). Second Edition was supposed to be a fresh start, a distillation of the best of First Edition and (major selling point) compatible with the original rules. Of course, things broke down quickly.

    The 2ndEd product line started off fairly well, with monster packs, books detailing new rules for the four basic character types, and retoolings of older game worlds that had presumably become stale. This wasn't making enough money. Sourcebooks of dubious worth were published, new settings of interest only to very particular types of players were introduced, and campaign settings suffered terrible Dubious Cataclysms That Changed Everything (TM) in order to invalidate old sourcebooks and campaign sets. The bean-counters and lawyers took over, uttering threats (and sometimes making good on them) to buy or sue anyone who so much as looked at them strangely (including anyone who published home-grown rules or campaign information on the Web). The Ty-D-Bol Man beckoned. Luckily for them, Wizards of the Coast scooped them up before it was too late.

    During the takeover, WOTC played up their historical connections with AD&D, T$R, etc., proclaiming that their name was originally from an AD&D campaign that the company's founders were involved in. That tidbit was apparently supposed to convince gamers of two things: one, that WOTC was on "their side"; and, two, that since they were gamers once, too, the WOTC brass had innate knowledge of how to make T$R the titan it used to be. This was, of course, bulls**t. WOTC bought T$R because of their excellent distribution network, their pre-existing product lines, and because they were desperately seeking a safety net for when Magic: The Gathering finally lost its popularity: WOTC's homegrown RPG, Everway, died a quick death, and M:tG has always been in danger of losing its popularity in the same sort of shocking surge that it became popular with in the first place. WOTC then discovered one of T$R's biggest problems: its writers were old-school AD&D players, and naturally had a difficult time relating to the current generation of Vampire: the Masquerade players. Worse, M:tG's popularity was beginning to hurt: each new expansion strangled sales of WOTC's other products, leaving them in increasing amounts of debt. The Pokemon card game was just as dangerous to them as Magic, for the same reasons. One flurry of bad product and Magic: The RPG rumours later, Hasbro took over.

    Hasbro was nervous. Sales of traditional toys were down, in favour of multimedia and interactive games. Their rival, Mattel, was making inroads into the interactive entertainment market, leaving them in the dust. In response, Hasbro purchased MicroProse. Having their own computer game company was all well and good, and Hasbro Interactive produced a lot of simple, mass-market computer games and crossover products (like the execrable Star Wars Monopoly). The only problem was, they didn't have any "traditional" computer game licenses. Enter WOTC, stage left, wearing a "buy me!" sign.

    Hasbro's buyout was beneficial for both companies (or their execs, at least). The owners of WOTC made a killing, and were no longer waking from nightmares of being crushed by unsold boxes of Magic cards. Hasbro was especially happy: They gained a monopoly on domestic Pokemon merchandise, a half-decent novel publishing arm (TSR Books), and control of the AD&D computer game license (to go with their own computer game production house; it is highly unlikely that Hasbro will license another company to produce AD&D computer games after the current batch have finished production). Then, the fun began.

    WOTC recently announced the production of a third edition of AD&D (now referred to as D&D, since the original "Basic" D&D was no longer in print). This edition was intended to appeal to the current generation of gamers, and was disturbing both in that the game mechanics had been altered enough that an expensive "conversion book" had become necessary to bring Second Edition characters into line with the new rules, and that WOTC decided to publish the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide in such volume that they could sell them at a cut rate. From this, one could be led to believe that WOTC has a lot riding on the success of Third Edition D&D. One would be correct.

    The Present:

    The D&D movie is rated PG because WOTC desperately wants young people to see the movie, and then buy the (relatively) cheap 3rd Edition core rulebooks shortly thereafter (I would be willing to wager that they will be available for sale at kiosks in most large theater lobbies, along with "What is D&D?" programmes). The movie is both a test of the feasibility of (gods forbid) more D&D movies, and a massive advertisement for 3rd Edition. They are going to such an outrageous length to promote the 3rd Edition rules because if they aren't massively popular to begin with, D&D will probably go out of print (and incidentally, a lot of writers will be canned). This is hardly a surprise: the product line has been tanking for years, and Hasbro could care less about keeping it around for the sake of "tradition". Hasbro already has what it wants out of WOTC: Pokemon; a perennially strong computer game license; and a group of captive RPG writers to pen the next Star Wars RPG.

  • it was and it sucked, Drakan is the first game to have a REALLY cool flyin' fire-breathing' dragon.
  • Maybe we're lucky its not the animated series. I really hated that poni/unicorn/whatever.

    Die Infidel!!!!! Uni was the single coolest thing about that show. She was cute and helpful and one of the only charecters capable of doing something useful with Presto's hat. But, hey, YMMV. .... Infidel.

    What I would REALLY like to see, though, is a Dragon Lance movie!

    I'd like to see DragonLance come out well after the Lord of the Rings series and the D&D movie so it could deconstruct them both. See, I read Dragon Lance as a subtle deconstruction of the Tolkien and traditional D&D GOODtm versus EVILtm worldview. The elves are so good that they can't be bothered to listen to the "lesser races" and were practically the bad guys for half the series. The knights (sort of palidins) were simlarly so caught up in their own "goodness" that they couldn't do what was right. Doing well or badly, right or wrong and good or evil were more seperate things than in many more traditional fantasy stories.

    On the other hand, the writers didn't feel the need to make deconstruction the entire goal and left a pretty clear choice of who you should be rooting for, which puts it well ahead of some stuff I've read where the traditional story was deconstructed to the point where everything sucks at the end and you feel you're expected to be greatful to the author for broadening your mind. (when you're really thinking about writing a few simple literary suggestions on a lead pipe and attempting reverse/phernology. (sp?) )

  • While it may be possible that anime can be stereotyped as porn, I don't see how that can last in the face of what my brother calls "The Mattel/Mars Bars Chocobot Show" of anime, I refer of course to Pokemon (also Digimon and Monster Rancher all of which are being shown at the moment. Not to mention Sailor Moon and Ronin Warriors) Now, what does this mean to the American anime fan? Well, it means you can say, "Hey, not all anime is porn look at Pokemon."

    This will lead to two possible responses:

    1. Well, My kids won't be watching Pokemon any more then...

    Or 2. Hmm, I guess your right...

    Lodoss 2 is coming soon according to the latest Animenation catalog, cool... I hope Karla is in it...

  • I think you mean Drakan, but I don't see how anyone could remember that game fondly. It was horrible! OK, the dragon riding parts were OK for a couple of minutes, but only if you were masochistic enough to play the game long enough to get to them. You have to get past the incredibly pointless and tiresome plot first, going through a lame third person game that makes Tomb Raider seem like a work of art in comparison. And don't even get me started on the voice acting. It's so bad it makes me cringe everytime I hear it. That game is complete crap.

  • Check out NUON [] (um, huge amounts of Flash in the Website, not my fault though.) an idea that may have taken too long to develop (considering that the Playstation 2 will also play DVDs). It was an interesting idea though, I wonder how Dragon's Lair would've worked with it.
  • acting and the story line sucked...

    What other part of the movie is there that matters? That's like saying that you have a really cool car with custom rims, bass cannon and a bitchin' paint job...if only you had an engine...
  • There's some debate about the cancellation, actually...
    I always thought it was due to ratings, but apparently some people think that the reason it was cancelled was not lack of ratings, but due to the death of the lead, who played Julian Luna. Does anyone know for sure? I know his accident came rather suddenly, and before the new season began - and I can't see them just replacing him.

    Either way, it's really too bad. The show was fun, in retrospect (after I got over the Kindred-In-Sunlight thing), and he was a fairly good actor.

    By the way, ever notice all the future Melrose and Buffy actors on that show? Weird.

    Who has 'em on tape. Us Gangrel hate them Brujah.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Hey, not all anime is porn look at Pokemon."

    This will lead to two possible responses:

    1. Well, My kids won't be watching Pokemon any more then...

    Or 2. Hmm, I guess your right...

    Well, as far an acceptance of anime, this is little better. It implies that anime is either (1) still for kids [Pokemon] or (2) for perverted freaks [Urotsukidouji]. There needs to be something from the middle ground aimed at adults that is not kiddie fodder, but not pr0n or ultra-violence. Princess Mononoke is a good start (still playing in some US theaters). Perfect Blue, may do more harm than good, as far as public perception goes. Ghost in the Shell did pretty well, considering. The other things that hurts anime in the US is some of the *awful* english dubs over perfectly wonderful anime that lead people to think it's crap [the AnimEigo dub of Vampire Princess Miyu]. Face it, voice actors in the US are treated like pond scum. Low pay, no respect, actors unfamiliar or uncaring of the anime they're dubbing, the credits never even link the individual actors to the specific characters they play... is it any wonder that most dubs suck, or are at best tolerable, compared to the original Japanese version? But then, most movie goers will not go to see a subtitled file, so it's sort of a catch-22. A subbed Macross Plus in US movie theaters might be an interesting experiment.

  • (Score -1: Picking Nits)

    Instead he based the world of Izmer and Sumdall, where the movie takes place, from one of TSR's older, obscurer campaign worlds, Mystara.

    It may be older, but I don't neccissarily buy obscurer. I have dozens of suppliments that describe that world, including Alphatia, in a box at home somewhere. I guess I should dig them out :)

    I sure hope they do a good job on the movie - hopefully it will bring back some good memories.
  • by garyrich ( 30652 ) on Monday January 17, 2000 @09:57AM (#1365632) Homepage Journal
    I don't know much about the language
    imbedded in dvds for menus, jumpscenes,
    white rabbits - but it seems you could
    make a nonlinear title like you are suggesting.
    Even if there is no rand() function, there
    may well be some kludge that provides random

  • Actually, here's what I imagine.

    Some character comes up behind a dragon hatchling with a baseball bat and plants one on his skull. Said hatchling reaches up, grabs the weapon, turns around, bites and chews the aluminum baseball bat, and blows fine aluminum shavings at a tree next to his attacker. Said tree falls over, victim of the Death of a Thousand Razors.

    Attacker goes from Conan to Shaggy in about a second flat...

  • >> It is also quite common for mouth movements to not follow speech exactly.

    > I admit I'm a bit hard on RoLW, but the lip matching thing is usually the fault of American or Canadian dubbing teams

    I own a handful of dubs, and have a bookshelf full of subs... for the most part, I watch anime with the original Japanese voices. The mouths don't match the japanese either. It's because in American style animation (Disney, Bluth and Bakshi) they record the voices first, and then animate to the vocals. Often, they will even use live models - Fire and Ice is a good example. In Anime, they animate first, and then record the vocals. I'm sure that there are several pros and cons to both -- I'm not an animator, just a fan.

    Hey, lookit here! An on-topic comment!

    By the way, the whole reason Anime got dragged into this story was that Record of Lodoss War is a animated Japanese series based on the author's Dungeon and Dragons campaign. So, to a certain extent, it's another D&D series.


  • First, it's PG-13, not PG.

    Now, as for the cutting down on the violence. I do object to their reason: pandering to the ratings board. However, none of the D&D games are about violence. Only bad DM's ever have to resort to a real hack-and-slash campaign to keep the players entertained, and such campaigns miss the point entirely.

    Personally, I'm interested in seeing how this one turns out. It's been a very long time indeed since I played any of the D&D games, and I can feel the nostalgia already.
  • These are some suggestions to the writers of the new D&D movie to make the movie more authentic and closely follow how the game is really played. Feel free to add your own suggestions.

    1. At the start of the movie, all of the characters should buy 500 feet of rope.

    2. For the first half hour, all of the characters should be concerned with how much weight they are carrying, and how bulky things are. Later, they will get tired of keeping track, and start shoving everything they come across into a bag, including pole-arms and silver statues.

    3. Every time one of the characters swings his weapon, he has a 5% chance of dropping his weapon or falling on his ass. Make sure the fight choreographer knows this.

    4. The first scene has to open in a tavern, with all the characters sitting at a bar. Suddenly, a mysterious, well-dressed stranger walks into the room and asks if there are any adventurers looking to make a little money.

    5. Speaking of money, all half-human monsters carry it.

    6. Whenever the actors enter a room, they should declare loudly what order they go in.

    7. If the characters fight a monster, make sure that even when the monster is severely wounded, it is not slowed or weakened in the least. To be completely accurate, it should fight effectively up until the moment it drops dead. Also, the final blow should usually cleave off the monster's head.

    8. Alas! 75% of sea voyages in the movie should be cut short by pirate raids.

    9. For the sake of convenience, all characters should sleep in their platemail. Also, wearing the platemail should make it easier for the character to dodge arrows.

    10. The actors need to have the unusual talent of being able to count coins in excess of 10,000 instantaneously.

    11. All characters will have two weeks worth of iron rations, that will last the entire length of the movie.

  • We had so much fun with our hatchling. The guy who was playing him, characterized him as "Baby Huey"*1*

    Whenever something would happen, there'd be this big, bediapered dragon, sitting in the middle of it all with a claw stuck in it's mouth. Looking absoloutely innocent.

    *1* Baby Huey was an old cartoon. A young duck who was of massive proportions, and not entirely bright, nor in control of himself. He'd trounce his father, and any enemies (usually a wolf), completely by accident.

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.