There’s a podcast I really enjoy, and if we’ve ever talked podcasts with guests, I’ve almost always mentioned it. It’s called Film Reroll and the premise is pretty simple. Take a bunch of actors playing GURPs, but have them play out movies. The DM builds character sheets and plots based on the film, and sometimes if the dice go well, the heroes play a game that is similar to the movie. If the dice fly off the handle, the heroes may not get beyond the first action sequence. (One particular movie of note has this amazing ..but we didn’t even get to the movie.. moment) The final variation is the one where the players and plot go in wildly different directions from where the movie went or includes rules that allow for other plots and characters.
It’s fun. Tons of fun. It makes me want to play games in movie worlds. It makes me want to build an entire Planescape Cineplex Quantum Leap game where the characters won’t know what movie they’re in until .. well, until they know.
So I thought I’d give a little list here of some of the movies I have pondered building a roleplaying scenario around. Every single one of these movies has crossed my mind on being interesting enough to make a good ‘Reroll’ and I yearn for the day I get a chance to try them out.
Tremors – This has been the one flick I always go back to. Aside from the fact it is a favorite horror franchise of mine, it is such a great gaming scenario with a cool selection of characters with diverse skills. What’s the goal? To get away? To kill the Graboids? To warn the government? Hell, I could imagine a game where the dice went sideways where the real goal is simply to figure out what the hell is killing people! What happens when your party decide to go traversing in the tunnels or try and discover where these things came from!? It’s my gold standard for what a cool Reroll game could be.
Nightmare on Elm Street – The first thing that’s great about the Nightmare franchise is that you have a whole big bucket of characters to work with. Sure, you could play Nancy and Glen… but what if your group were playing as the parents? If I was to run this movie, my players would all be the kids, but the first session would be them as their parents confronting the real human of Kreuger. We know that because they burned him in the boiler room he is what he is… what if they drowned him? What if they poisoned him? What would the Nightmare Creature be in a world where the parents decided his fate differently?
Reservoir Dogs – One thing to note in Rerolls is that sometimes you have to change the rules so you can fight meta knowledge. It’s real easy to know who the snitch is if you started playing Dogs… so what if the players didn’t know? One of you is a psychopath… but which one? Every player starts the game with a quirk and a private win condition, so when the game starts you don’t know who anyone is and the game is all the better for it.
Die Hard – Lastly, what if you turned an entire movie on its head. Instead of you playing as John McClane, what if it was the reverse of Tremors, where you are a group of bank robbers trying to pull the best job, but this one superhuman cop is just in your way? Or, to play in an entirely different game, you were the hostages and this war is going on between good guys and bad guys all around you? Or, to give you one last bit to chomp on, one player is the hostages, one player is the cops, and one player is the media. Can you find ways to work together or is it just a bloodbath?
What movies do you love that you think would make a great roleplaying campaign? Let us know in all the usual places!