Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Genre Character of the Week: The Gamemaster

Last week one of my coworkers lent me a DVD of the 2002 Role Playing Game-themed film The Gamersproduced by Dead Gentlemen Productions.

The film alternately switches between two storylines; the first, a group of gamers playing a tabletop role playing game (RPG) that is obviously meant to be Dungeons & Dragons, and the second, a fantasy story which is an enactment of the game being played out.  The film is very low budget, the acting and writing is passionate but clearly at a beginners level, and the sound is sometimes less than perfect (although still significantly better than in Ghost Chase), but as someone who played tabletop RPGs through my teens and twenties, this film really understands exactly how the gameplay for a standard session works.

For me personally, I related most to the Gamemaster, the character who sets up the game, describes the world the characters inhabit and puts up with then nonsense that players spew at him every time he sits down to entertain them.

An example wherein the playing group is meeting a new character:

The Gamemaster: Guys, please! I want you to roleplay this.  Remember you've never met this guy before, the last guys you met tried to kill you, and you're standing in the ruins of an evil, cursed castle, Just act appropriately.

Magellan: Hello, I'm Magellon, a travelling mage. I notice your group has no wizard.

Rogar, the Barbarian:  You seem trustworthy.  Would you care to join us in our noble quest?

Magellan: Yes. Yes I would.

Gamemaster (pictured above) I feel your pain.  If you’ve never really played any RPGs, there are probably a number of better ways you can spend 48 minutes of your day, but for gamers, past-gamers, and people who have lived with gamers, this is a pretty fun movie.

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