D&D Movie/TV (Yet another) D&D Movie Speculation thread.

generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
You still haven't understood the real issue. The political climate has changed, even since Thor 2. Enough people know that drow are supposed to be black that you would be accused of "whitewashing" and thereby "denying jobs to black actors".

Really?

How many members of the audience do you truly suspect know that much about D&D?

The film will have to appeal to a mass market, which I believe you have admitted, and the average moviegoer won't give a flying fig about how Drow should have been depicted.

IMHO, the average viewer isn't as aware of D&D lore as you think they will be.
 

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Really?

How many members of the audience do you truly suspect know that much about D&D?

The film will have to appeal to a mass market, which I believe you have admitted, and the average moviegoer won't give a flying fig about how Drow should have been depicted.

IMHO, the average viewer isn't as aware of D&D lore as you think they will be.

The "members of the audience" aren't the problem. It's the noisy internet demagogues who will persuade people not to get as far as being in the audience if they sense an opportunity to use a film to make their political point.
 

generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
The "members of the audience" aren't the problem. It's the noisy internet demagogues who will persuade people not to get as far as being in the audience if they sense an opportunity to use a film to make their political point.

What internet demagogues do you refer to?

Honestly, I don't think that politicians and activists pay that much attention to D&D (in general).

Of course, I'm not an expert in political maths.
 

Do you know what would be funny? Maybe there is not a D&D movie but a "Birthright" teleserie like a clone of "Game of Thrones" but with the right story it could be a blockbuster.

Let's remember the serie "Hercules" played by Kevin Sorbo and "Xena" produced by the same company. Sometimes is to find the right way.

D&D is a franchise and a potential hook, but Warner Bros could create its own fantasy IP, maybe Skartaris, the world of the comic "Warlord". Even this Skartaris could the home of a Sword & Sorcery version of lesser famous DC superheroes, with cartoon adaptation and all about this. Or Warner Bros could buy copyrights of Gary Gygax's "Dangerous Journeys" for a new movie saga.

Other possibility is Adlatum the third continent of Krynn like a "playtesting".
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
The latest Vampire V5 Camarilla book by White Wolf says hello...

That was driven by the book being garbage that alienated the customers, not some political conspiracy. If a corporation discovers that their employees are actively harming the bottom line repeatedly, their future employment prospects grow grim. Nothing political about it: bad product leads to failure, particularly in a situation with accountability.
 

Sadras

Legend
That was driven by the book being garbage that alienated the customers, not some political conspiracy. If a corporation discovers that their employees are actively harming the bottom line repeatedly, their future employment prospects grow grim. Nothing political about it: bad product leads to failure, particularly in a situation with accountability.

I believe we have our lines crossed...
We are talking about internet demagogues/activists jumping on an opportunity to use a roleplaying product to push a political agenda.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Really?

How many members of the audience do you truly suspect know that much about D&D?

Hey, I know D&D is primarily a hobby for white guys in the USA, but we gamers of color DO exist. FWIW, too many white actors in dark makeup could also be an issue for some.

These issues are not insurmountable: Defiance’s Omec didn’t raise a peep, nor did ST’s Klingons going from NG forward. Why? Because they cast actors of all races, including persons of color.

Potentially the bigger danger is not so much accusations of whitewashing or blackface, but the “of COURSE the dark-skinned guys are the villains” issue. Especially if the good guys are largely light-skinned. But that’s going to be raised mostly by the fringe and unlikely to gain much traction since, as written, Drow don’t share any real commonality with RW cultures of darker skinned people.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I believe we have our lines crossed...
We are talking about internet demagogues/activists jumping on an opportunity to use a roleplaying product to push a political agenda.

Right, which isn't related to the Vampire fiasco, which was about quality control of bad product. Vampire isn't my scene, or to my tastes, and I'm not a "political activist" by any means, so as a detached observer I saw no political demagoguery in play as the book was so bad it managed to offend people from every edge of the spectrum. As such, it is a bad example of supposed "political activism" in the industry or fandom.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Hey, I know D&D is primarily a hobby for white guys in the USA, but we gamers of color DO exist. FWIW, too many white actors in dark makeup could also be an issue for some.

These issues are not insurmountable: Defiance’s Omec didn’t raise a peep, nor did ST’s Klingons going from NG forward. Why? Because they cast actors of all races, including persons of color.

Potentially the bigger danger is not so much accusations of whitewashing or blackface, but the “of COURSE the dark-skinned guys are the villains” issue. Especially if the good guys are largely light-skinned. But that’s going to be raised mostly by the fringe and unlikely to gain much traction since, as written, Drow don’t share any real commonality with RW cultures of darker skinned people.

Honestly, the skin tone is less of an issue (since they can change that) as the evil race of cursed evil people ruled by evil women who enslave effete men and worship BDSM demons. Like, there is so much not OK here before we get to the "Mark of Cain" weirdness. It's a bundle of uncomfortable pulp tropes that have not all aged super well.

Still, it could be salvaged... carefully...
 

generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
Hey, I know D&D is primarily a hobby for white guys in the USA, but we gamers of color DO exist. FWIW, too many white actors in dark makeup could also be an issue for some.

These issues are not insurmountable: Defiance’s Omec didn’t raise a peep, nor did ST’s Klingons going from NG forward. Why? Because they cast actors of all races, including persons of color.

Potentially the bigger danger is not so much accusations of whitewashing or blackface, but the “of COURSE the dark-skinned guys are the villains” issue. Especially if the good guys are largely light-skinned. But that’s going to be raised mostly by the fringe and unlikely to gain much traction since, as written, Drow don’t share any real commonality with RW cultures of darker skinned people.

True.
 

generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
Honestly, the skin tone is less of an issue (since they can change that) as the evil race of cursed evil people ruled by evil women who enslave effete men and worship BDSM demons. Like, there is so much not OK here before we get to the "Mark of Cain" weirdness. It's a bundle of uncomfortable pulp tropes that have not all aged super well.

Still, it could be salvaged... carefully...

Yes, very, very, very careful cherrypicking could save the Drow.
 

Sadras

Legend
Right, which isn't related to the Vampire fiasco, which was about quality control of bad product.

As far as I am aware it was the writeup of Chechnya that was the issue with the book. Are you aware of anything else which points to it being a bad product?

As such, it is a bad example of supposed "political activism" in the industry or fandom.

Movie issue is: Drow utilised in film. People/Internet use it as a platform.
Vampire issue was: Chechnya paragraph, actual evil done was a vampire plot. People/Internet use it as a platform. Apparently Amnesty was involved as well as Chechnyan officials (I'f I'm recalling from the thread here on Enworld).

I do not expect you to agree with me, as I'm actually ok with vampire plots mixed/blended with real history. That is what I like about the game, the blend of vampire and human politics/history. Like any game I change what I might dislike. For this purpose, we should probably agree to disagree on this issue.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
As far as I am aware it was the writeup of Chechnya that was the issue with the book. Are you aware of anything else which points to it being a bad product?



Movie issue is: Drow utilised in film. People/Internet use it as a platform.
Vampire issue was: Chechnya paragraph, actual evil done was a vampire plot. People/Internet use it as a platform. Apparently Amnesty was involved as well as Chechnyan officials (I'f I'm recalling from the thread here on Enworld).

I do not expect you to agree with me, as I'm actually ok with vampire plots mixed/blended with real history. That is what I like about the game, the blend of vampire and human politics/history. Like any game I change what I might dislike. For this purpose, we should probably agree to disagree on this issue.

I mean, I read the bits and they were terribly written. Beyond being in poor taste, which is the MO door that subgenre anyways, it was just bad game writing. If something offends people on violently opposed political views, and is just commercially unviable due to being poorly composed, it's hardly some big political hit job when the responsibile corporate owners get rid of those responsible. That's just good business.
 

I believe we have our lines crossed...
We are talking about internet demagogues/activists jumping on an opportunity to use a roleplaying product to push a political agenda.
By "internet demagogues" and "activists" you mean reviewers and readers?
Keep in mind that the only people who had the book were people given review copies and those who pre-ordered the books and got early PDF access.

Copies weren't exactly available to the general gaming public, let alone non-gamers.

As far as I am aware it was the writeup of Chechnya that was the issue with the book. Are you aware of anything else which points to it being a bad product?
The Chechnya bit seems bad enough...

But there was also a line in the other book about how people who commit suicide are weak.

Vampire issue was: Chechnya paragraph, actual evil done was a vampire plot. People/Internet use it as a platform. Apparently Amnesty was involved as well as Chechnyan officials (I'f I'm recalling from the thread here on Enworld).

I do not expect you to agree with me, as I'm actually ok with vampire plots mixed/blended with real history. That is what I like about the game, the blend of vampire and human politics/history. Like any game I change what I might dislike. For this purpose, we should probably agree to disagree on this issue.
But it's not "real history". It's current events.
Being used for entertainment value in a game of make believe.

But here's the thing: it doesn't matter if you aren't offended. It doesn't matter if you LIKE something. It's the opinion of the people who are offended that matters in this instance.
I tend to use a pizza analogy here. It doesn't matter how spicy I like my pizza, it's the tastes of the most sensitive person at the table that determines if jalapenos can be added to the pizza. And telling people "Well, you don't have to eat the pizza" doesn't fly. Because then someone is going hungry. It's up to the people who like spicy food to keep a jar of hot peppers and Sriracha sauce and add that to their pizza.

You may be okay with mixing real world currents events with the World of Darkness. It might be okay at your table having 9/11 be a vampire plot, and Donald Trump be a ghoul bound to the Tremere Prince, and spending his nights as a literal bootlicker. It might be fine at your table to have the migrant caravan being escaped blood bags fleeing from a Latin American Sabbat stronghold, with the reason they're being turned away not being racism but politics between the Camarilla and Sabbat and an agreement to not harbour food to prevent open war.
But not everyone feels comfortable with that.
And the rulebooks are designed for a general audience and have to straddle the line between being "mature" and "topical" while not trivialising real world issues.
Because at the end of the day, the point of the game is to have people buy the books. Because you don't publishing books no one wants to read. And if the publisher ends up saying "if you don't like it, you don't have to read it" too often, then they're not going to sell enough copies to pay their staff.
 

By "internet demagogues" and "activists" you mean reviewers and readers?
Keep in mind that the only people who had the book were people given review copies and those who pre-ordered the books and got early PDF access.

Copies weren't exactly available to the general gaming public, let alone non-gamers.
This is an important disctinction.
The Chechnya bit seems bad enough...

But there was also a line in the other book about how people who commit suicide are weak.
As an "outside" observer who has never played or read anything WoD. This amount of "support" doesn't seem very significant.
But it's not "real history". It's current events.
Being used for entertainment value in a game of make believe.
Well, it seems to me something that happened yesterday is still history, even if it's impacting what is currently happening. BUT, are you implying that current events can't be used for entertainment? Because how many TV shows do this? Shows like Madam Secretary and Saturday Night Live. I really don't think you want to say that real life can not be unilaterally used for entertainment. I think you will want to put some "reasonableness" around such a statement and not imply it is na absolute.
But here's the thing: it doesn't matter if you aren't offended. It doesn't matter if you LIKE something. It's the opinion of the people who are offended that matters in this instance.
I tend to use a pizza analogy here. It doesn't matter how spicy I like my pizza, it's the tastes of the most sensitive person at the table that determines if jalapenos can be added to the pizza. And telling people "Well, you don't have to eat the pizza" doesn't fly. Because then someone is going hungry. It's up to the people who like spicy food to keep a jar of hot peppers and Sriracha sauce and add that to their pizza.
I often tend to see things this way as well. Until I realize the absurdities of applying such a statement to reasonable situations. I mean, What if I am offended and ostracized when someone's forum name starts with the letter J? Should such forum names be banned? Of course not.
You may be okay with mixing real world currents events with the World of Darkness. It might be okay at your table having 9/11 be a vampire plot, ...

And the rulebooks are designed for a general audience and have to straddle the line between being "mature" and "topical" while not trivialising real world issues.
Because at the end of the day, the point of the game is to have people buy the books. Because you don't publishing books no one wants to read. And if the publisher ends up saying "if you don't like it, you don't have to read it" too often, then they're not going to sell enough copies to pay their staff.

A general audience? I don't think so. WoD products are designed for a very small segment of the population. I don't know the details of that population, but they certainly are not designed for a conservative Christian grandmother of age 70. They are not even designed for every gamer or even every roleplayer. I don't think they are designed for me (never been interested in the genre). They are tailored to a small market of a small (but growing) market.

Now, the last part, about the books needing to be bought and read, absolutely. And it seems like in this case the publisher decided that parts of the book(s) targeted a part of the population they were not interested in, or more importantly, that parts of the books alienated a large part of the existing customer base. And that the current editors had made mistakes significant enough to prove to be a business liability and not a good steward for the product.

Good for them. But its really just a business decision influenced by the growing awareness and power of social marketing, for and against a product.
 

Well, it seems to me something that happened yesterday is still history, even if it's impacting what is currently happening. BUT, are you implying that current events can't be used for entertainment? Because how many TV shows do this? Shows like Madam Secretary and Saturday Night Live. I really don't think you want to say that real life can not be unilaterally used for entertainment. I think you will want to put some "reasonableness" around such a statement and not imply it is na absolute.
There's a huge gulf between satirising a politician on a weekly comedy show and exploiting the actual torture and murder of people's family members for a fictional story about magical immortal beings. Not the least being that politicians know they're signing up to be targets of comedy. Public figures accept that by being in the spotlight they can be targets of satire and parody.

For example, the survivors of the Parkland Shooting who have become advocates are public figures and commentary of them and their statements is fair game. Because they chose to be in the public eye.
The survivors who did not become advocates are different and should not be the target of parody of humour. And using their pain and trauma to sell a narrative is exploitative. Having a Vampire the Masquerade book attribute that massacre as the actions of a frenzied vampire and the shooting as a coverup would be in extreme poor taste.

Would you want the torture and murder of a loved one included in an RPG book as part of a fictitious narrative?

I often tend to see things this way as well. Until I realize the absurdities of applying such a statement to reasonable situations. I mean, What if I am offended and ostracized when someone's forum name starts with the letter J? Should such forum names be banned? Of course not.
What's your point? That because some imaginary people might theoretically be outraged by an absurd trigger that all triggers are therefore equally absurd and we shouldn't bother?
Sorry, no.
That's not how society works. You don't get to say whatever you want whenever you want to whomever you want.

I'm an atheist. I don't believe a magical bearded man on a cloud made the entire world in six days. I don't believe the fairy tale that the entire world was flooded 4000 years ago. Those stories are beyond ridiculous and laughable. But that doesn't mean I go around taking the Lord's name in vain in front of my Christian relatives, no matter how ludicrous their beliefs. Because that'd be a dick move.
It doesn't harm me not to say something that will offend them. Because there's an infinite other things I could say instead.

A general audience? I don't think so. WoD products are designed for a very small segment of the population. I don't know the details of that population, but they certainly are not designed for a conservative Christian grandmother of age 70. They are not even designed for every gamer or even every roleplayer. I don't think they are designed for me (never been interested in the genre). They are tailored to a small market of a small (but growing) market.
Clearly, I meant a general tabletop gamer audience. But you could even go as narrow as "general Vampire the Masquerade audience".
The product should do its best to appeal to the entire length and breadth of the community and everyone who plays Vampire or has ever played Vampire. Ideally speaking. It should find a happy middle ground between the expectations of the fans.
The narrower the audience it appeals to (and the more of the audience it ostracises) the less the product will sell.

Now, the last part, about the books needing to be bought and read, absolutely. And it seems like in this case the publisher decided that parts of the book(s) targeted a part of the population they were not interested in, or more importantly, that parts of the books alienated a large part of the existing customer base. And that the current editors had made mistakes significant enough to prove to be a business liability and not a good steward for the product.

Good for them. But its really just a business decision influenced by the growing awareness and power of social marketing, for and against a product.
This isn't some new phenomena. Companies have had to retract products based on negative feedback for years. Heck, look at the Palace of the Silver Princess recall from 1980.
The current climate isn't anything new. It's just the latest uptick in an age old cycle as each generation is forced to reevaluate their BS and inappropriate behaviour.
 

There's a huge gulf between satirising a politician on a weekly comedy show and exploiting the actual torture and murder of people's family members for a fictional story about magical immortal beings. Not the least being that politicians know they're signing up to be targets of comedy. Public figures accept that by being in the spotlight they can be targets of satire and parody.
...
What's your point? That because some imaginary people might theoretically be outraged by an absurd trigger that all triggers are therefore equally absurd and we shouldn't bother?
Sorry, no.
That's not how society works. You don't get to say whatever you want whenever you want to whomever you want.
Either I'm misconstruing your response, or you are much more aggressive in your response than seems reasonable, or productive. Or in appropriate response to what I intended to communicate.

My point was simple. You made several statements that appeared to be absolutes. I pointed out the absurdity of such absolutes and was hoping you would clarify your statements a bit because I felt that the absolutes your listed were not beneficial to supporting your case.

For instance, you laying out the types of public figures that can and can not (in your view) be legitimate sources for entertainment was exactly what I was hoping you would clarify. Animosity not required, please.

In case you didn't get it, I was trying to help you clarify your argument/position, not tear it down.

The product should do its best to appeal to the entire length and breadth of the community and everyone who plays Vampire or has ever played Vampire. Ideally speaking. It should find a happy middle ground between the expectations of the fans.
The narrower the audience it appeals to (and the more of the audience it ostracises) the less the product will sell.
If the publisher decides that is the market they wish to target. In the end, it is a business decision that doesn't interest me (but may interest you or others).
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Really?

How many members of the audience do you truly suspect know that much about D&D?

The film will have to appeal to a mass market, which I believe you have admitted, and the average moviegoer won't give a flying fig about how Drow should have been depicted.

IMHO, the average viewer isn't as aware of D&D lore as you think they will be.

I agree. Very few cared if the Chitauri in Avengers looked like the Chitauri in the comics, or even knew about the Skrulls, and the fact that the Chitauri were probably originally intended to be Skrulls but for that weird legal issue with Skrulls belonging to whoever owned the movie IP for Fantastic Four.

Bottom line, very few will care about this issue. Most of those who do even know about it won't care much if the movie is good. There will be some cranks online complaining about it - but that will happen no matter what you put in the movie. They should not drive the writing however.
 

Sadras

Legend
By "internet demagogues" and "activists" you mean reviewers and readers?
Keep in mind that the only people who had the book were people given review copies and those who pre-ordered the books and got early PDF access.

Thanks for clearing that up, I thought it had hit the shelves.

But it's not "real history". It's current events. Being used for entertainment value in a game of make believe.

This seems like a tricky/messy distinction to make.

You may be okay with mixing real world currents events with the World of Darkness. It might be okay at your table having 9/11 be a vampire plot, and Donald Trump be a ghoul bound to the Tremere Prince, and spending his nights as a literal bootlicker. It might be fine at your table to have the migrant caravan being escaped blood bags fleeing from a Latin American Sabbat stronghold, with the reason they're being turned away not being racism but politics between the Camarilla and Sabbat and an agreement to not harbour food to prevent open war.
But not everyone feels comfortable with that.

On a completely off-topic these are great examples. I equate the ideas you have presented here, especially the latter one, very much with the exploration pillar of D&D.

Back on topic, I get your pizza analogy.
 

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