Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Good Fighters Make Bad Husbands"

By that reasoning, I must be a terrible fighter; my wife thinks I'm a pretty darn good husband.

I was watching the vastly underrated film Krull today (ahhh...streaming Netflix!), and was pleasantly surprised at how cool a film it is. As I've said in the past, I enjoy a mix of sci-fi and fantasy, when it's done in the right amounts. In my opinion, Krull does this exceptionally well.

Interestingly, one of the working titles for Krull was (apparently) "Dungeons and Dragons." Of course, there are no dragons in the film so it's just as well that they changed the name. But in some ways the movie DOES seem like a D&D type adventure. There's a princess to be rescued (of course), a motley collection of adventurers from different walks of life, and a couple different subterranean settings (including "The Black Fortress").

Of course, Krull would not actually work as a D&D adventure...well, not one I'D want to play/run anyway. It's a piece of fiction with a plot, and playing a pastiche of the movie would necessitate a lot of linear action and railroad force. Not to mention only one guy getting to play the hero. I mean, how many people would NOT want to wield the glaive? And how many folks really like playing "the comic relief."

At least in a game like Ars Magica, campaigns (or "sagas") are supposed to be long term...which means it's just fine to play a "grog" every now and again 'cause eventually you'll get a chance to step up as a "hero." But Krull isn't really a campaign/'s the equivalent of a one-off adventure (and certainly a race against time). Do you really want to spend your one session as Ergo the Magnificent? Or Titch?!

Nah, Krull is a great movie with pretty cool FX especially for 1983, and the plot, acting, and music score beats most every made-for-TV movie I've seen on the SciFi, well EVER really. And it certainly has stuff that could be "mined" (i.e. "ripped off") for use in one's D&D adventure...especially a B/X adventure.

Let's see...there are a few monsters (slayers and the beast, of course...but also fire mares and changelings). There's at least one new character class, the Cyclops, that would make up for the loss of dwarves, elves, and halflings. A different way of handling clerical magic (I'd certainly consider Ynyr the mystic to fit the bill with his healing abilities). Of course, the Glaive could be included as a magic artifact...but it would appear to only be wielded by the latently-psionic royalty class (or at the very least, only by a 4th level or so fighter).

Anyway, SOMEone should post some Krull stuff to a blog, and I suppose I'll be the one to do it, at least for B/X play. I was feeling a little passed up recently with Pat's awesome S&S series...I guess it's my turn to contribute something to the game...

By the way...let me just say that I think the Beast is one of the coolest/weird/psychadelic monster villains I've seen in a fantasy film. It's right up there with Tim Curry's portrayal of Darkness in the movie Legend.


  1. Krull is an old favorite of mine. I'm a big fan of 80's fantasy weirdness. D&D had a huge influence on most fantasy films from early 80's with Krull, Dragonslayer, The Beastmaster, Excalibur, The Sword and the Sorcerer and of course Conan riding the D&D wave. Even though most of them are not good movies they are fun movies, and I associte them with a lot of my early D&D gaming.

    Thanks for the nostalgia. I think I am going to watch some Krull.

  2. Tim Curry was pretty awesome in Legend!

  3. I would totally play Ergo the Magnificent? In fact would be my first choice in a one-shot. Not very into fighters and esp hate the main guy / hero. They always have a destiny with a railroad and much less freedom to roleplay.

  4. Ergo was my favorite character, and I suspect that I'd like to play him as well. Although I wouldn't turn my nose up at Rael.

  5. You Ergo guys! Doesn't anyone like the dashing Colwyn?

    Actually, if I was forced to play a bit part I'd prefer to be Torquil...nice axe!
    : )

  6. Torquil would be a worthy choice too! Heck, I'd even go for one of the secondary bandits--the movie allows for some minor characterization from the actors that kept them interesting.