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[What if] a decent D&D movie were to be made

smug

Better you better you bet
Validated User
It was a direct to DVD release. It didn't show in theatres and as far as I know, it didn't show on TV yet.

It was made for TV, I think. SciFi channel showed it here in the US some time ago (and also more recently).
 

sleeping_demon

Almost Special
I'll suggest people watch the second movie at some point, as it uses a lot of the source material. It feels as if a group of really bad actors are playing out an actual D&D game.
 

Frecus

The Old Stone Thrower
Validated User
The second movie is better than the first, but that isn't saying much - it's still rubbish.

The first step to making a good DnD movie is to forget that you are making a DnD movie. Assume that your audience doesn't know anything about DnD - so no throwing in weird monsters/characters/placenames/factions etc that only DnD fans will recognise or understand. A plot is important and needs to be at least reasonably original. Go to location A, then kill B in order to acquire magic artifact C is not a plot, it's a dungeon crawl. Fine for a night around the gaming table with your friends, not on the big screen.
So basically: A movie set in the D&D world, introducing it, rather than exploring it right?

Sooo.... what's the first thing wse want people to see? Dungeons (maybe the 2nd half of the movie can be a dungeoncrawl) Dragons (BBEG at the end of the dungeons), orcs (people know these, maybe dragon-worshipping orcs), magic artifacts (as they play a great role in game and background), and a party.

How about the following:
Over 2 hours of film, first hour concentrates on bringing the party together and introduing a reason to crawl some dungeon.
Reason being: BBEG wants to destroy town, said town sends in their toughest fighter, who picks up the other party members on the way (each getting at leat 10 minutes of pure drama for an introduction).
Second hour: They reach the dungeon, kill many mooks, meet many obstacles, and the party threatens to fall apart at least twice! Each party member gets a character defining moment which has a 10 minute prelude.
Last bit: 10-20 minutes of pure awesome bossfight! The main character gets his third moment of focus (everybody had 1 during the first hour, 1 during the 2nd). The dragon is killed, the heroes return from their perilous quest and everything is set up seeming to D&D vets as though they have progressed from levels 1-3, subtly hinted at, and reason for much debate on RPG.net.

Frecus
The glade wanderer
Madwarrior
 

smug

Better you better you bet
Validated User
I'll suggest people watch the second movie at some point, as it uses a lot of the source material. It feels as if a group of really bad actors are playing out an actual D&D game.
And what's even better is that the actors aren't actually all bad; it's the D&D cheese what does it (similar to how George Lucas managed to tease a horrible acting performance out of Harrison Ford, a decent enough actor, in Star Wars; I wonder if he had done this to even out the performance next to Mark Hamill's horrible one).

It's a fun movie, though. I think that TV Movies are where it's at for D&D movies, to be honest.
 

olshanski

Registered User
Validated User
Are you talking "decent" as in "good enough to satisfy the average D&D fan", or are you talking "decent" as in good enough to satisfy critics and earn at least 70% on tomatometer?

The first one is reasonable... there are plenty of fun movies that show that an action/adventure movie that is satisfying is certainly feasible... I'd say that Hercules, and Xena certainly satisfied fans. There are old-school movies like Conan, Excalibur, the first 3 Indiana Jones movies, and so on that show that success is possible.

In order to appease critics, you'd have to have well developed characters with story lines that an average non-D&D player can relate to. Really, why would 4 normal people that you could relate to risk life and limb by "adventuring"? I think the character of Maximus from Gladiator is a good example of how human someone has to be... the guy lost his family, and getting reunited with his wife at the end is one of the things that gave the movie its heft.
You'd also need great cinematography, (like the Lord of the Rings series, or Lawrence of Arabia), NOT CGI SCENERY in order to get the critics to pay attention and to appeal to the mainstream.
 
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Saz

New member
Banned
A t.v. series (by HBO!!) set in DarkSun would be the ultimate though. It could be done very well too, since you have all elements needed for epic, mature t.v. show. (basically the target audiance should be 18+)

-Harsh unyeildling wasteland where survivial is paramount.
-Tyrannical overlords.
-Opressed freedom
-Gladiators!
-Harems (for some reason the harem girl who rises up to become a hero and fight evil is a popular theme)
-Cannibalistic halflings! (basicaly tosses the hobbit tropes out the window)
 

macd21

Registered User
Validated User
A t.v. series (by HBO!!) set in DarkSun would be the ultimate though. It could be done very well too, since you have all elements needed for epic, mature t.v. show. (basically the target audiance should be 18+)

-Harsh unyeildling wasteland where survivial is paramount.
-Tyrannical overlords.
-Opressed freedom
-Gladiators!
-Harems (for some reason the harem girl who rises up to become a hero and fight evil is a popular theme)
-Cannibalistic halflings! (basicaly tosses the hobbit tropes out the window)
That I'd pay to see :D
 

Save-vs-DM

Knight of Stumptown
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I do agree that the second movie was miles better than the first, at least watchable. The guys over at Fear the Boot actually did a podcast once upon a time where they did commentary for one of the movies, I think. (Oh, it was the Dragonlance movie!)

I think that there are two paths to take on this. The first would be the Hercules/Xena made for T.V. path. This one is lower budget and doesn't aim for pretension. Go low budget and with easy races (PC Party might be a half-orc, elf, half-elf, and human). They have sundry adventures around a popular setting (Forgotten Realms is my choice) and it never gets all too serious.

What I'd actually like to see myself is a made for HBO cartoon set in Eberron during the Last War. It would have some serious chops and you've really have some good plotline potential. You do it animated because if you have so many fantastical effects you might as well do it all animated and save on the cost and make it all look right. I think this could work really well.

Honestly I can't see why WotC hasn't done a new cartoon series for D&D, as that seems to be the perfect medium for me. Show it on Saturday morning and start selling more books to the younger generation!
 

smug

Better you better you bet
Validated User
Honestly I can't see why WotC hasn't done a new cartoon series for D&D, as that seems to be the perfect medium for me. Show it on Saturday morning and start selling more books to the younger generation!
It's surely too much money for WotC to do; their best bet, I would imagine, is to license it to someone that thinks it's a moneymaker. That they haven't might be more to do with the absence of serious industry folks who think that it'll be worth doing, more than intransigence on WotC's part.
 
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