Tuesday, April 9, 2013
No game, just Evil Dead.
There are few things more annoying than not being able to game (roleplay) due to lack of people. Not having enough players is a common problem for working adults with kids, as well as, other obligations and responsibilities. That's why so many gamers have been turning to online options. Face-to-face roleplaying seems rather old school now. Perhaps that's why I'm so dedicated to making it work...
Anyways, one of my players didn't want to make the trip if there were only going to be two players (weak sauce!). So instead, the one player I did have, Harold, suggested going to see Evil Dead. The remake, obviously. My wife accompanied us to the theater. It was good. Gory, horrific, and reminiscent of the original while definitely being its own film. I was afraid that every special effect and stray drop of blood was going to be CGI. I loathe CGI, by the way. It makes great films look like they've been injected with shitty cartoon images that doesn't belong. Luckily, all the FX looked legit.
True horror, scifi, and fantasy special effects were perfected in the 1980's. Give me John Carpenter's The Thing, Friday the 13th, Fright Night, and yes... Evil Dead (1 and 2)! Those are the films I love, that resonate with me visually. Don't get me wrong, some CGI is ok. The Matrix wouldn't have existed if it weren't for computers (in more ways than one). However, Phantom Menace can suck my dick. Sure, Darth Maul, Yoda, and a couple other things were cool, but that wasn't enough to make it a great film. Too much CGI was just one of the problems, but let's not get too deep into the Star Wars prequels in this post.
Beyond being "good", the Evil Dead remake seemed to be missing a couple scenes. Why was the glasses guy so interested in releasing the book and reading passages? They must have written and filmed a scene like that - explaining his need to know, possibly something about the inner darkness which exists in all of us - so why wasn't it in the theatrical release? Will it be in the DVD? Also, there needed to be more backstory flashbacks of life before coming to the house. Sure, there's off-handed dialog and a couple of old photographs showing how the characters are connected to each other, but it's pretty minimal. That's a missing scene as well.
In my opinion, Evil Dead should have learned something from The Cabin in the Woods. Now there was a multi-dimensional horror film. Very few writers are equal to Joss Whedon, so I can't bash Evil Dead too much. Still... Cabin is worth emulating, writers. It's there. It exists. I'm figuratively pointing to it right now. Emulate ye! Speaking of which, can a Game Master use memorable moments of terror in his game? How does horror movie imagery translate to horror roleplaying? Post a comment below if you have any advice or a story to share.
Then, the three of us went home to relieve my wife's parents of their babysitting duties. Harold and I watched the original Evil Dead on DVD - still awesome, even though I've seen it dozens of times; unfortunately, I fell asleep during the middle. Hey, I've got a toddler and a baby at home. I get tired easily!
I'm still a little irritated that we couldn't game last Saturday night. Three times a month shouldn't be too difficult. Meanwhile, I'm doing everything I can to find more players - craigslist, game store bulletin boards, online player registries, attending local RPG meetups, asking old friends, notices on FB, etc. It's frustrating, but I'll have a full table soon. I just won't stop until it happens.
Dungeon Masters, don't take your players for granted! They are the lifeblood of our game. My struggle with finding quality, local, available, and reliable players (who enjoy old school gaming) has taught me their true value. When (not if, but when!) I have a full table, you can bet I'll make sure everyone is satisfied. I'm not going to hand every character the equivalent of a holy avenger each session, just like I'm not going to give my eldest daughter candy and cake just because I'm glad she's around - but every player, via their character, must illuminate the dark recesses of weekly sword & sorcery escapism!
DMs might not be able to shine the spotlight on every single character every single session because that's incredibly difficult. Players need to understand that DMs are only human (briefly mention how your character might have been overlooked after the game). Nevertheless, attempts will be made to focus on PCs rather than the NPCs, monsters, and whatever dank abode they crawled out of. I shall set the stage, scene, and story for the PCs to interact with. I won't overwrite, railroad, or squash creative adventurer heroism. That's a promise!