Sunday, April 15, 2012

Make Them Choose How They Die


Cabin in the Woods is a really good film--though perhaps not so much as a horror film as a meditation on horror films and their audience. Anyway, go see it, and then we’ll talk. What I’m going to do instead of review the movie is suggest some ways it could influence a dungeoncrawl sort of game.

Though I’m not going to spoil specific film events directly, I’ll reveal some plot points indirectly, so if you want your viewing experience to be pristine, beware:


Related to the "Theseus vs. the Minotaur" setup of Hunger Games, what if the adventures aren’t gladiators but just sacrifices? Sacrifices that have the means to fight back of course, but not intended by the Powers That Be to survive. Unlike Minos's labyrinth, where the monster is the same (and there’s only one of them), the Powers let the monsters and window-dressing (dungeon-dressing?) get chosen by character choice.

There's a room full of artifacts--items--most of them magical, though not in the useful sort of way, probably. The characters chose one (though they probably don’t know the real choice they’re making)--and that choice sets up the theme of the dungeon.

Of course, all the different themes and all the different monsters exist there, somewhere, ready to go when called upon. The PC’s might well discover these other options in the course of the campaign, including perhaps the “storage area” for all the monsters.

It’s a setup with a lot of possibilities. A megadungeon more like the titular Cube that the traditional linear layers--and with a overall malign purpose for player’s to uncover. If they survive.

8 comments:

Booberry said...

I saw it yesterday and was utterly shocked at how good it was. I can see this working really well.

Seems like you could come up with 6 or 8 overall themes (and correlated "Boss Monsters") and have at it. Every time the player open a door they might see the corridor beyond morphing and shifting into place, possibly catching a glimpse of dungeons that might have been.

Ray Rousell said...

Both films look very good, I do quite fancy The Cabin in the Woods, though, not sure the mrs will want to go???

Mr. Blue said...

Wow - I had the exact same thoughts after seeing this movie, regarding a room full of artifacts, etc. Glad to see I'm not the only one :)

Trey said...

@Booberry - Yeah! That seems exactly like the way to do it. Maybe drop hints about certain noises as things shifted around.

@Ray - You could always trade her one for your attendence at a romcom. ;)

@Mr. Blue - Great minds think alike.

seaofstarsrpg said...

I was entirely impressed with the Cabin in the Woods especially the meta-horror level that explains so many other horror movies. Just fantastic and very gamaeable.

Of course, now I want to see the movie that would have happen if they had chosen the music box or the film or . . .

Justin S. Davis said...

Seen it twice now, and I liked it better the second time, for many of the reasons you mention above. I haven't stopped trying to apply the events to rpgs.

And right on, SeaOfStarsRPG. I TOTALLY want to see every permutation.

garrisonjames said...

Okay, now I do need to go see this movie...

Robert Parker said...

I'm still thinking about this idea, 3 years out. One of my favorite posts, Trey.