Re: ground trollkin and movieland

From: Sandy Petersen (
Date: Tue 13 Jun 1995 - 18:56:17 EEST

me: on the Pavis Mint
> All the flavours except those with ground trollkin emit
> little sparks when you chew them in the dark with your mouth open.
>Oh No! EXCEPT the ground trollkin. If only the trollkin would as
>well, thus proving my theory that Trollkin (and trollkin urine) are
>a rich source of phosphorus :-).

        Come now, surely you know better than to think that the sparks come from that highly poisonous substance, phosphorus? It's a piezoelectric force, (patron god: obviously Lightning Boy). Go home and crunch some wintergreen mints in a dark room while looking in the mirror, you'll see Lightning Boy taking action in your very own mouth.

There's been bunches o' talk on the subject of BRAVEHEART, a movie which I ain't seen yet, but which I fully expect to enjoy despite any lack of historical pretensions. I'm proud to watch Mel Gibson overact any day of the week. How can I feel otherwise, when I also like Vincent Price and Cary Grant, kings of the hams? Anyway, it got me thinking on the subject of cool movies for frping.

        If you play in Glorantha, you have a special problem, because most swordplay-type movies that are any good over the course of history are either Roman or feudal-Knightly, and so not really all that applicable to many Gloranthan situations. So here I've given some great movies in which the sword-using heroes aren't knights or involved in a particularly feudal-seeming society.

        Anyone who has not seen the following movies really should:

        ALEXANDER NEVSKY (1938; directed by Sergei Eisenstein, music by Prokofiev[!]): IMO the greatest medieval epic ever made. The loathsome Teutons are invading Russia with their sinister Papist ways, only to be faced off and stopped by the brave proletarian Russians, led by Prince Alexander. The hawk-faced Germans are portrayed as tough, hateful, and highly-skilled fighters. The climactic fight on the frozen lake is all you'd ever hope it to be.

        All the armor and costumes were copied from actual surviving suits. Combat is portrayed as hard work, and the heroes are very PC-like. I rather enjoyed the occasional Marxist stabs at rich merchants (kind of a blast from the past). While the German leaders _are_ knights, you don't see much of the movie from their point of view, and there's certainly not much trace of feudalism around.

        Eisenstein is one of the greatest directors in the history of the world,(and that ain't just my opinion) and this is one of his best pictures. Must See: the villainous very-Chinese Mongols in the first scene & the incredibly evil-looking leather-clad cleric who plays the organ for the Knights' murderous rites.

        Readily available in larger video stores.

        THE LAST VALLEY (1970; directed by James Clavell, and includes Michael Caine and Omar Sharif): I ain't seen this for eons, but unless my memory is all screwed up, this takes place during the 30 years war. A band of mercenaries, sick of the carnage, become the protectors of a small valley that has so far escaped destruction. After a while things go sour. Cool battle scenes, and hardly anybody ever carries a sword (maces, axes, etc. are more common). Again, teems with PC-like characters. Hard-bitten, veteran, and inured to death and bloodshed.

        Tragically hard to find in most video stores.

        BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986; directed by John Carpenter and includes Dennis Dun and Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall and Victor Wong) This doesn't take place in ancient times, but it sure seems to. Most of the action is hand-to-hand combat with various martial-arts weapons, and there is loads of cool magic. Easily convertible to any roleplaying setting. Kurt Russell gets top billing, because he's Caucasian, but Dennis Dun is really the hero.

        THE VIKINGS (1958; starring Kirk Douglas, Ernest Borgnine, and, tragically, Tony Curtis) lots of bloody fights, drunken carousing, rather endearing bad guys, a witch, a castle siege, and Ernest Borgnine gets thrown to the wolves, literally. How can you lose?

Anyway, there's four movies that anyone playing roleplaying games, particularly in the rather non-knightly Glorantha, should be proud to see.

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