If I were in charge of making the Dungeons & Dragons movie…

dndlogoYes, Virginia, there’s going to be (another) Dungeons & Dragons movie. Warner Bros, Sweetpea, & Hasbro have hammered out their clandestine deal. Palms have been crossed. Pacts have been signed. Sacrifices have been made. Souls have been bartered and sold.

And, yes, it is going to be set in the Forgotten Realms.

You knew it would be.

I mentioned yesterday I thought this to be a mistake.

As I see it, Dungeons & Dragons is not Lord of the Rings. It is not Game of Thrones. Saying you’re making a Forgotten Realms movie is, well, you making a Forgotten Realms movie. That is not the same thing as making a Dungeons & Dragons movie.

Not by a long shot.

Dungeons & Dragons is, first and foremost, a game.

The movie needs to address this.

You don’t have this:

dndart

Without this:

reunion

If I were making a Dungeons & Dragons movie it would begin with a group of friends coming together at an old bookstore, gathering around a table littered with maps and dice and miniatures, a Dungeon Master appropriately positioned behind his screen.

As players take their seats, with pencils and character sheets at the ready, the DM begins reciting the flavor text of the night’s adventure… the music turns ominous… the sounds of clashing steel and war cries can be heard… then the DM says, “Roll for Initiative” as he tosses a 20 sided die across the table.

The die tumbles toward the camera, looming larger until it transitions into a boulder crashing into a village hut, thrown by a hill giant. As villagers flee, we are introduced to the movies main characters, a diverse group of adventurers who slay the beast and are subsequently hired to uncover the reason behind these abnormal giant raids…

And thus Against the Giants begins… I realize the story would need to be tweaked here and there, but this would be a great launching point for a movie trilogy. There are giants and dragons and drow and… well, you get the idea.

The thing is, we don’t need just another generic fantasy movie. You need to hang the Dungeons & Dragons shingle on a movie that does more than acknowledge the name. It needs to honour the game.

But what do I know, I’ve just been DMing for close to 40 years.

roll20

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Congratulations to Wizards of the Coast and the Dungeons & Dragons 5e Design Team

enniesThe ENnies (Gen Con EN World RPG Awards), named after their host, EN World, are fan-based awards that have been given out annually at Gen Con since their inception in 2001.

Let’s have a look at last night’s winners:

Best Adventure
Silver: A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Gold: Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)

Best Aid/Accessory
Silver: Black Green Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition RPG Dice Set (Q-Workshop)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Screen (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Cover Art
Silver: Achtung! Cthulhu: Terrors of the Secret War (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
Gold: Rise of Tiamat (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Interior Art
Silver: The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Blog
Silver: Gnome Stew
Gold: ConTessa Tabletop Gaming for Women for Everyone

Best Cartography
Silver: The Guide to Glorantha (Moon Design Publications)
Gold: Ninth World Guidebook (Monte Cook Games, LLC)

Best Electronic Book
Silver: Ken Writes About Stuff Volume 2 (Pelgrane Press)
Gold: Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Family Game
Silver: Atomic Robo The Roleplaying Game (Evil Hat Productions)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Free Product
Silver: 13th Age The Archmages Orrery (Pelgrane Press)
Gold: Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Game
Silver: The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Miniatures Product
Silver: Pathfinder Pawns Inner Sea Pawn Box (Paizo Inc.)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Icons of the Realms Elemental Evil Boosters (WizKids)

Best Monster/Adversary
Silver: Achtung! Cthulhu: Terrors of the Secret War (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Podcast
Silver: Miskatonic University Podcast
Gold: Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff

Best Production Values
Silver: Horror on the Orient Express (Chaosium)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (Wizards of the Coast)

Best RPG Related Product
Silver: Temple of Elemental Evil (WizKids)
Gold: Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry (Evil Hat Productions)

Best Rules
Silver: MUTANT Year Zero The Roleplaying Game (Modiphius Entertainment Ltd)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Setting

Silver: The Strange (Monte Cook Games, LLC)
Gold: A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Best Software
Silver: HeroLab (Lone Wolf Development)
Gold: Roll20 (Roll 20)

Best Supplement
Silver: Pathfinder RPG: Pathfinder Unchained (Paizo Inc.)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Masters Guide (Wizards of the Coast)

Best Website
Silver: Tabletop Audio
Gold: The Escapist

Best Writing
Silver: D&D Player’s Handbook by Jeremy Crawford, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell (Wizards of the Coast)
Gold: A Red & Pleasant Land by Zak S (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Fan’s Choice for Best Publisher
Silver: Paizo Inc
Gold: Wizards of the Coast.

Product Of The Year
Silver: A Red & Pleasant Land (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)
Gold: Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook (Wizards of the Coast)

lost-mines

Well, I guess one might call the 2015 ENnies the Year of the Dragon.

From reports I’m hearing, this was not without some controversy. Rumour has it, several fans (and some publishers?) up and walked out once Wizards of the Coast’s award dominance reared its head.

Let’s be honest, any time you have a fan-based voting system, as opposed to a peer-reviewed award, the danger of it being tilted in the way this year’s awards were is always a possibility, and more often than not, inevitable… Not that that is a bad thing.

From my perspective, Wizard of the Coast’s Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition was a breath of fresh air. My gaming group made the switch when 5e first appeared and we’ve been all in ever since. That being said, I personally disagree with more than a couple of their Gold Medals this year.

But here’s the thing, they’re fan awards, and as such, fans are going to vote for what they know, what they see, what they buy. And everyone (well, nearly everyone) bought 5e this past year. It was huge. So, when you take a look at the nominees for any given category, you are going to tend to vote for the things you’ve played.

That Dungeons & Dragons was the dominate winner should have been expected. It was the shiny new thing. And, to be perfectly honest, despite a few warts, it’s been pretty spectacular and their medals are well-deserved.

It’s a popularity contest, plain and simple. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It is what it is. If your game didn’t win, it doesn’t mean it’s not a good game. It’s like this — your girlfriend not being elected prom queen doesn’t mean she’s not hot and you still get to take her home after the dance.