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Seattle, Washington, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cinematic Encounters I'd like to have played in a Tabletop RPG

Go ninja Go ninja Go!
photo credit: Lawrence Whittemore via photopin cc

I spent some time thinking about the cinematic scenes that most stood out, in my experience, as scenes I would love to have played out with fresh dice and well-worn paper.  So, this list focuses on small unit or personal combats only (not awesome big war scenes like in Return of the King).  Also by and large these are just the first things that came to mind, so I might have missed some great ones.

Matrix Reloaded
The Chateau Fight Scene.  It's sort of like Kung-Fu.  Unless you are a Kung Fu fanatic sweating about how unreal it is.  In which case, you've missed the point.  Lots of fantastic movement around the scene, changing of weapons, and a time stop spell.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
The Water Wheel fight.  A simple idea, but how often does it happen in a tabletop RPG?  Instead of moving around the scene, the scene moves on its own.

Princess Bride
Inigo Montoya vs Dread Pirate Roberts.  "I'm not left handed either!"  Notice how they move all around the terrain and mix in some acrobatics and great dialogue.  Now prepare to die.

Forbidden Kingdom
Group Fight.  Any movie that lets Jet Li and Jackie Chan fight each other is good to start with, but this is a great group fight with plenty of mooks and one badass chick with a whip.  Creative use of weaponry, a little tug of war, and of course requisite taunting.  Followed by an epic archery shot with an arrow of slaying.

And here's the fight scene between Jackie and Jet which is fairly epic.

So many good small-party fight scenes.  This movie makes me want to roll some dice every time I see it.  I think the laser in my DVD player is probably tired of seeing this movie, but I'm not.  Here's a collection of Madmartigan's best fighting moments.  My whole idea for Endurance and HP came from the fight with the evil general at the ruined castle in this movie.

Three Musketeers
No, not the newly minted crappy movie.  I'm talking about the 1993 classic where Porthos was actually funny and the fight scenes were actually amusing.  Hard to find good youtube clips though, so this one will have to suffice.  I still get excited when all the musketeers come up and throw off their cloaks to oppose the redshirts (near the beginning of this montage).

I'm sure there are others; these just happen to be the first that came to mind.  What scenes would you imagine as awesome tabletop encounters?


  1. The final fight in Conan the Barbarian (1981), where the protagonists get the opportunity to prepare the battlefield and there is a lot of hard cover.

    The "gun-fu" duel in The Matrix in the subway station. Or the one in Equilibrium.

    1. Oh yes Conan, how could I have forgotten that bit. Very good example.

      Gun-fu is always nice - I haven't seen Equilibrium so I'll have to add that to my need-to-see list!

  2. Not in any way heroic, but the 'hammer' scene from Oldboy is still ranked up there as one of my all time greatest movie fight scenes.

    There's also a great scene in a Tony Jaa flick with the man himself fighting his way up a large staircase. A great fight scene for it's use of props, but cinematic-ally superb as it's all done in one long cut.

    1. Wow, I don't believe I have seen either of those references - always looking to see some new flicks, though. Thanks!


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