Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Legends of Steel update

I'm still chugging along with Legends of Steel (LoS) the rules and mechanics are 90% done (still working on the Bestiary). In the “Game masters” section I’ve been adding some articles on the genre and advice on running a Sword & Sorcery game. Below is a part of an article for the movies section of the game book.

Appreciating Sword & Sorcery Movies

What can be said about Sword and Sorcery movies? To mainstream moviegoers the genre of Sword & Sorcery is a joke. Low budget sets, low budget actors, and low budget production values. But for lovers of the genre these are some of the very things that we treasure about them. I remember watching The Scorpion King and thinking “Ehh, it’s ok.” But then I watched the movie again while listening to the director’s commentaries and it made me re-evaluate the entire movie. Listening to the director speak about the details that the set designers added, the training the actors went through to get the sword fighting scenes down right, and countless other little touches that the cast and crew contributed to the film. I then began to realize that the guy was really proud of this movie and that a lot of folks put all their professional talent into the production. When I watch some of these movies now I tend to appreciate the efforts of the cast and crew so much more. Sword & Sorcery movies by their very nature are the most physically demanding movies some of these actors ever make. In “The Beastmaster”, Marc Singer was running around the desert in a loincloth, wrestling with tigers and ferrets, while his co-star Tanya Roberts had to swim partially nude in freezing water (Thank you Movie Gods for that scene). There are movies where it’s apparent that the actors are having a great time hamming it up for the camera (Jack Palance in “Hawk the Slayer” immediately comes to mind) and other movies where the actors are just going through the motions so they can pick up a paycheck.
If you’re a gamer chances are you’ve seen many of these movies. In fact some of the characters in your games may have been modeled after some of the characters in these movies right? Come on, admit it, what self-respecting gamer wouldn’t want to play a badass warrior like Captain Navarre in “Ladyhawke”?