Vin Diesel, The Last Witch Hunter, and Dungeons & Dragons

vin-diesel

There’s a new film on the way – The Last Witch Hunter – starring Vin Diesel. This is him talking:

“Let me go way back. For the 30th anniversary Dungeons and Dragons the company at the time asked me to write the foreword for the book. [In it] I talked about my experience growing up playing Dungeons and Dragons religiously. I even talked about a character that I had named Melkor — a name that obviously I stole from The Silmarillion — and [how] that character was a witch hunter.

[Then] about four years ago I met with a writer name Cory Goodman and we started talking. Someone put us together because he was a D&D player. [Afterwards, Cory] went off to write a whole film around my character Melkor. Just the very fact that I’d be playing a witch hunter speaks to how nerdy I was about the game, how committed I was to D&D because witch hunter [wasn’t a] class by TSR at the time. It was a character that you could get from a third party book of characters called The Arcanum. There were a few characters that started there that eventually Dungeons and Dragons took over; one of those characters was a witch hunter.”

So the film exists because Vin Diesel is a D&D player, and set off a creative train of thought. Hmmm. I may have to go and see the film. (And I may have to rethink what I feel about Vin Diesel.) You can read the article from which the above is taken, here. The film’s official site is here.

[Thanks to Lee for the spot.]

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Life lessons from D & D

I’m late to the party with this, but it’s too good to let pass:

All I needed to know about life I learned from “Dungeons & Dragons”

It’s by Ethan Gilsdorf (author of the highly rated book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks) and here is how the piece starts:

When Dungeons & Dragons appeared in January 1974, 40 years ago this month, it was a fun twist on traditional war gaming. No one guessed it was also revolutionary.

For sure, endless homespun cops-and-robbers-style “make-believe” games existed, as did charades and improv theater. Vast tabletop war games also enacted battles with hundreds of miniatures. But no one had married these concepts into a single game, in a box, with rules for role-playing a single character — paladin, thief, wizard, barbarian, elf, dwarf, holy man — giving a personal stake for the player who controlled him or her.

“Those war gamers who lack imagination,” the game’s co-founder, Gary Gygax, wrote in the game’s first introduction, “will not be likely to find Dungeons and Dragons to their taste. But those whose imaginations know no bounds will find that these rules are the answer to their prayers.”

[…snip…]

After a long hiatus, I play the game again now, as a 47-year-old, mostly grown-up person. Today, with my +5 Goggles of Hindsight, I can see how D&D was subtly helping me come of age. Yes, it’s a fantasy game, and the whole enterprise is remarkably analog, powered by face-to-face banter, storytelling and copious Twizzlers and Doritos. But like any pursuit taken with seriousness (and the right dose of humor), Dungeons & Dragons is more than a mere game. Lessons can be applied to the human experience. In fact, all I really need to know about life I learned by playing D&D.

Read it all. It’s worth it.

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