Friday, October 20, 2006

What Have You Stolen Lately?

It seems that invariably when I watch something cool on TV I think of how I can work it into a module for my group. Tonight it was a battle against impossible odds on Battlestar Galactica and an interesting notion of "adventurer training" while viewing Top Gun. One film I come back to again and again is The Hunt for Red October. It's one of those movies that, when I come across it, just have to sit down and watch. Red October has many cool elements to steal, not the least of which is the plot.

I've used "the defector" idea once in a 2nd edition adventure of the same name. The PCs were to meet and escort a high-ranking agent of the Realms' Zhentarim who was smuggling a prototype weapon known as "the shaper"--an item capable of shaping itself into any weapon the wielder wished*. I can't say that the module turned out to be anything overly exciting so I keep searching for new ways to use Red October in a current campaign. Keeps the movie fresh, I suppose, despite it being two decades old.

Quite often when I do find something to steal from tv/movies it is unrecognizable in the fantasy genre. Not that it matters when it is recognized, mind you. True originality has its place too but, as the old saying goes, there's nothing new under the sun. So what have you stolen lately from mainstream media? Did your group call you out on a replicated scene, plot, or character?

*The mutable weapon concept entered the d20 arena in the form of Mallyate, part of Ronin Arts' "Athenaeum Arcane" line of pdfs.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

Back in one of the first D&D campaigns I ever played in, the DM set up this evil cabal of wizards who called themselves the Elder. The cabal was led by four powerful mages, who were called:

The Demon
The Star Child
The Ankh
The Fox

At the time, we thought this was just about the coolest thing ever.

Fast forward a few years later, where I'm rummaging through the $0.99 bin at my local record store. I came across an album called 'Music from the Elder' by KISS ... and I was simultaneously impressed and nauseated.

During all those epic battles, we'd been fighting Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Vinnie Vincent, and Eric Carr ...

1:57 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

As for my personal theivery as DM, I borrowed heavily from British sci-fi shows when I was first starting to write "original" adventures for my campaigns, and stopped relying on the TSR modules.

Doctor Who, Blake's 7, The Tomorrow People ... lots of good ideas there. And since nobody else in my group watched these shows, it worked out fairly well. :)

2:01 PM  

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