Monday, June 16, 2014

The 'Funhouse Dungeon' is Popular

Hooray, summer vacation season. I prime my blog now with baseless opinions, in the hopes of tiding you all over with egregiously empty content while I'm otherwise engaged.  Don't fret! I'll be coming back strong with a lot of Domains At War produce, plus picking up some projects that needed finishing.

Movie Spoilers From Movies Released in 2013 are ahead. Get HBO or something if you're behind.

Ladies and gentlemen, I humbly proffer the following suggestion:

The "Funhouse Dungeon", in which player characters are folded, spindled, and mutilated in a variety of inefficient ways is currently popular in mainstream media.

Not only that, but it is popular with that gifted population of beings which can lift a random Young Adult fiction series from the shelves and unto the silver screen - the preteen girl.

Yes indeed! A deadly dungeon full of improbably traps, inexplicably engineered mechanisms and, perhaps, if you're lucky, a built-in solution that promises survival - here, today, making millions.

That's right. I managed to see most of Hunger Games 2 while puttering about the house, alternate title, "Love in the Time of Dystopia".

Is Suzanne Collins an old hand with a d20? Clock-face based timed traps? Truly a thing of a annoyingly overclever Dungeon Master. I half-expected Jennifer Lawrence to keel over unconscious as the human being playing her in the real world crumpled her character sheet and stormed off from the table when the structure of the arena was revealed.

If you want to see how it works, here's a diagram from a helpful DeviantArter.

Now, Opinion the Second!:

This, if you don't know, and I can tell you because I said "Spoilers!" above, is from the second of the Hobbit movies.

Thorin's Company has managed to log into an MMORPG and kite Smaug through most of Erebor, while activating some old forges that would pour molten gold into a conveniently pre-built mold. They lead Smaug to the room; and release the mold in an attempt to give him the ol' Midas Touch.

This is a decidedly non-Tolkien thing to do.

You know what this plan reminds me of? DND players. This is exactly the sort of Rube Goldberg plan a party of the usual sort of ingrates I run with (cause I'm that ingrate too) would come up with.

Kill a dragon? Sure, whatevs. Ironically, with molten gold? Awwww yessss.

I submit to you that we've come full circle, and now Dungeons & Dragons, at least the playing of by children in the 80s who are now in the positions to effect things, has subsumed a portion of the media it was originally inspired from, and now bubbles up out of it's predecessors to bring us things like the above, killer trap dungeons, and elf-dwarf love.

Brave new world!