Saturday, 24 November 2007

Movies for WFRP

I ran another session last week. Our group finally can met regularly as my wife finishes her graduate degree studies. We are meeting at least once a month and we already have one set for December.

Dates aside I was thinking about good movies that could set the tone1 for WFRP. Two immediate titles came to mind:

  1. The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, and,
  2. Braveheart

This is a short list, you might have more, but here are some of the reasons why I like these movies…

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

Luc Besson’s fame was cemented in La Femme Nikita. While The Messenger might lack a lot in story, and history, it makes up for it in vision. The courts of kings, the filth of the peasantry, the superstitions of the Church—embodied so well in Dustin Hoffman’s performance—and so much more. The world of Joan of Arc is indeed “grim and perilous.” I cite the following still as evocative of WFRP:

The Messenger

Besson nailed the mood, if not the package, in The Messenger.


Much of what I like about this movie, in the context of WFRP, lies in the opening and ending scenes. The world is dirty and justice is defined by the whim of men, to influence desired outcomes, hopefully in the favor of the one pulling the strings. I cite the trial, and summary murder (execution?) of Wallace’s wife at the hand of the local noble. There is a show, then the merciless cutting of her throat. I cringe even now thinking how easy it was for this noble to draw his blade across her throat to demonstrate justice as defined by him and the laws written to ensure his position as a noble.

The heroes live off the land, gather armies for “a greater good” (maybe), and fight human monsters with sword and axe.

The movie is ended with a brutal finish of slow torture at the hands of a priest (or “priestly official” of the King).

Both movies have components that visualize whole environs of the WFRP world well. I recommend them. Sure, they lack monsters, greenskins, or other fantasy elements, a la The Lord of the Rings, but they show a dark, dirty world of heroes and anti-heroes.

As contrast, in my mind’s eye at the very least, LOTR is high-fantasy and nothing like it, visually (when thinking about the movies) or in story arc, comes very close to mastering what many gaming worlds desire in setting. But WFRP is not this same kind of high-fantasy. WFRP is a darker world; yes, one can borrow from LOTR liberally, but not in the same way D&D is able too. ~o)

meta-footnote-1=Martin Ralya of Treasure Tables also discussed inspiration movies in 2005, Inspiration from Movies and TV Shows
Posted by caffeinated at 1:14 PM in d10
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