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D&D Movie/TV D&D Movie - Wild Speculation and Poll

What do you expect/hope to see in the Setting, Tone and Framing of the upcoming D&D Movie? (Pick 3)

  • Setting - Forgotten Realms

    Votes: 50 53.8%
  • Setting - Eberron

    Votes: 4 4.3%
  • Setting - Dragonlance

    Votes: 4 4.3%
  • Setting - Homebrew/Unique

    Votes: 25 26.9%
  • Setting - Other (Specify)

    Votes: 8 8.6%
  • Tone - Grimdark

    Votes: 3 3.2%
  • Tone - Serious Fantasy (LotR)

    Votes: 21 22.6%
  • Tone - Lighthearted Fantasy

    Votes: 41 44.1%
  • Tone - Action Comedy

    Votes: 26 28.0%
  • Tone - Other (Specify)

    Votes: 4 4.3%
  • Framing - In Universe Storyteller

    Votes: 24 25.8%
  • Framing - Gaming Table

    Votes: 14 15.1%
  • Framing - Sucked into the game

    Votes: 4 4.3%
  • Framing - No Frame

    Votes: 35 37.6%
  • Framing - Other

    Votes: 2 2.2%

  • Total voters
    93

hopeless

Adventurer
Could always use the original starting sequence of the Neverwinter MMO where your PCs wake up on the beach are located by a guard who helps them reach an encampment where they find replacement gear as a group they make their way to the city limits to pass on an urgent message from the encampment so they can receive much needed reinforcements.
Cue having to fight their way through fields of the dead rising until they reach another encampment this one with two other powerful former adventurers who seek their help as they finish banishing a fallen dracolich back into the netherworld it was summoned from.
Badly hurt they receive healing but need some curatives only available in the city.
Now they have to reach the main bridge entrance into the city itself and standing before them an undead Ogre.
Defeating that but with losses the survivors reach the city passing on the message.
We learn after some of the fallen PCs were revived and are recovering in a hospital bed along with the one who received a wasting disease curse during the fight to prevent the dracolich being freed.
Its at this point the head of the guard in Neverwinter Sargent Knox approaches the PCs and asks for their help.
This is for the sequel movie of course.
Would that be enough?
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
The Princess Bride doesn't have stakes. No one is sitting on the edge of their seats worried about the characters. It's a comedy - people enjoy it because it makes them laugh, not for the adrenaline rush.

They could certainly do a D&D movie that aims to be funny rather than exciting, but I think that would be putting the cart before the horse. You should do it (ant least somewhat) straight before sending it up.
It’s a comedy, yes, but there are absolutely tense moments.
 

ART!

Hero
I suspect/hope that the mention made of Guardians of the Galaxy by the filmmakers is not just about the amount of humor. GOTG is also about a "found family", which I'm sure most D&D players can relate to (in-game and out-of-game). Those movies also have a sense of scale and stakes, from the poignant and personal to the epic, greater world. They also have a very D&D-esque variety of characters - different "races", backgrounds, (sometimes very at-odds) motivations, etc. It's a really good template for a D&D movie AFAIC.
 

payn

Hero
I suspect/hope that the mention made of Guardians of the Galaxy by the filmmakers is not just about the amount of humor. GOTG is also about a "found family", which I'm sure most D&D players can relate to (in-game and out-of-game). Those movies also have a sense of scale and stakes, from the poignant and personal to the epic, greater world. They also have a very D&D-esque variety of characters - different "races", backgrounds, (sometimes very at-odds) motivations, etc. It's a really good template for a D&D movie AFAIC.
One reason I feel good about it is the writer/directors have done a couple of ensemble movies with this tone. Granted not on the epic fantasy level, but they know how to write a fun and well paced movie that revolves around a small group of characters.
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
EXPECT it is set in Forgotten Realms...because WotC branding blahness.
HOPE for Serious Fantasy/Action Comedy. EXPECT Action Comedy/Lighthearted fantasy or "fourth wall/out of game discussion" nonsense.
HOPE for no framing or in world narrator. EXPECT game table or sucked into the game or other disappointing hokiness.
 

I only hope for an entertaining movie, however they pull that off.

Regarding framing devices: I don't think so, unless you count an opening narration as framing, but not for any reason I saw upthread. Framing devices are used to get the audience into the right mindset to enjoy the story for what it is. By controlling expectations, you have an easier time meeting them, and someone's enjoyment of a movie is strongly affected by how well it gives them what they thought they were getting.

But in the case of a DnD movie, they also need to establish the setting. It's not enough to have a helicopter shot of the city - they need to explain what the Realms are to people, since that's not even something all DnD players really know. That's gonna mean opening narration is a must. And it's pretty easy to set the tone while doing that, and a waste of time to do a narration and a framing device. So I'd be surprised if they go with anything other than an opening narration.
 

I only hope for an entertaining movie, however they pull that off.

Unfortunately, this movie faces a big obstacle in that "hope for an entertaining movie". There are too many different versions of that hope already. I think just this thread alone covers at least four different ways people hope it is entertaining, but they are mostly incompatible, so I expect it to disappoint at least half the game's fanbase.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The only way that people actually playing dnd will work is if it's like the cartoon or the Guardians of The Flame series, where the players are magically forced into the bodies of their PCs.

The only way to do that and have it not be too stupid to even bother going to see is to be serious about it and actually explore ideas of identity, free will, etc, like GoTF did, or fully make it a silly cartoon movie.

Just make a good fantasy movie set in a dnd world.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
@jmartkdr2 def agree on the importance of the opening narration for the film. Like the text crawl in a Star Wars film, this should give a quick glimpse into the universe and set the stakes for the film, and the easier to understand the better (get the plans to the Rebels to save the Galaxy, everyone can understand the why of this even if they don't understand the world). That could be done either by a DM at a real table as we swoop into the world, or by a disembodied voice as we sweep over the world and down to the characters (as a bonus, let's start in the middle of an action scene here).

@Enevhar Aldarion for myself, while there are things that I would like to see, there are also countless other options that I don't hope for or have even imagined, but which could still make for a great film. Pelor knows prior to each and every Star Wars film I had a strong ideas about what I wanted from them, and almost always got something that I wasn't expecting but still greatly enjoyed.

@Paul Farquhar not sure how you think The Princess Bride doesn't have stakes. All good stories, whether Comedy, Drama, Action or Farce require them to be a compelling narrative. In fact, the stakes get so serious for the Frame of this film that we get a break in the action to go back to the Frame because the character is so upset by what is happening in the book story.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
The only way to do that and have it not be too stupid to even bother going to see is to be serious about it and actually explore ideas of identity, free will, etc, like GoTF did, or fully make it a silly cartoon movie.
You know, when the directors first mentioned that they had a 'subversive' take for the film, I thought they might do something where the main character hears a voice in his head, with knowledge they shouldn't have and driving them to do things they don't want (which is the voice of the player of the character). IE an exploration of Metagaming. Could really work if that main character was a Cleric or Paladin, as they could mistake it for the voice of their god. The story could then revolve around the Player and the PC learning to live with and help each other, a bit like Venom or Upgrade.
 

payn

Hero
I do think an introduction will be key, im not so sure a narration is necessary. Do folks really need to know what the forgettable realms are? I still dont know what the hell is going on in Guardians of the Galaxy setting. I know folks are going to say, "but the MCU set it up!" Well, what film exactly set up GotG? We get a sad story of Quill losing his mom, abducted by aliens, and then bam, we are in space. Nothing connects it but the magic stones and the characters showing up together several films later. Could stand all on its own without long narrations or explanations of any of the world in detail. Nothing else matters to anybody except the diehards of the comics.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
I do think an introduction will be key, im not so sure a narration is necessary. Do folks really need to know what the forgettable realms are? I still dont know what the hell is going on in Guardians of the Galaxy setting. I know folks are going to say, "but the MCU set it up!" Well, what film exactly set up GotG? We get a sad story of Quill losing his mom, abducted by aliens, and then bam, we are in space. Nothing connects it but the magic stones and the characters showing up together several films later. Could stand all on its own without long narrations or explanations of any of the world in detail. Nothing else matters to anybody except the diehards of the comics.
We certainly don't need to know all the details of what the Forgotten Realms are, but we do need an entry point to the setting. In the case of GotG, that was thru Quill who was a) 80's earth human and b) was shown to have a backstory that instantly got the audience invested in his character. Those two pieces worked in concert to give the audience something to latch onto, and if the D&D movie skips some sort of narration device, it will need to very quickly have the audience care about the main character and not worry so much about the details of the strange, fantastic world they are in.
 


cavalier973

Adventurer
The composer for the score should be the guy who did the music for Icewond Dale.

Maybe include motifs from the cartoon's theme song. Or, possibly, the pinball machine music:
In any case, it would be disappointing if this wasnt worked into the movie at some point:
 


Undrave

Hero
But in the case of a DnD movie, they also need to establish the setting. It's not enough to have a helicopter shot of the city - they need to explain what the Realms are to people, since that's not even something all DnD players really know. That's gonna mean opening narration is a must. And it's pretty easy to set the tone while doing that, and a waste of time to do a narration and a framing device. So I'd be surprised if they go with anything other than an opening narration.

Now this is a good point. You DON'T want to overload people with narration and exposition at the beginning... unless the creation myth of the world has some sort of impact on the plot, we don't need that. And we don't need some sort of socio-political History of the Sword Coast or something.

The Star Wars crawl for episode IV is probably one of the best inspiration for that kind of stuff.

A purplish-green, you say? He's now octarine in color?
purplish-GREY.
 

The composer for the score should be the guy who did the music for Icewond Dale.
The video game? Because oooooooh boooooy that is definitely not going to happen. He's been involved in a couple of sex abuse scandals in 2019, but AAA game companies had stopped working with him long before that (certainly 2014 was the last time he was booked by an AAA company but nothing actually came of it, in 2015 he produced a music pack for Dota 2 but that's a different thing), despite him being continuously employed on AAA games from the late 1990s to the early 2010s. The reasons for this are unclear, but it seems to be more that he was "difficult to work with" than anything else. He's also notably failed to complete the Kickstarter album project he launched despite having been massively successful (something like 12x the asked amount) all the way back in 2013. The company he ran with his brother to directly sell music to people has also had a lot of... issues... actually supplying customers who have paid.

So yeah... it won't be him. The abuse stuff was just the nail in the coffin.
 



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