A More Interesting Life

Recreating life as I go along

Tag: Jason Statham

RPG Inspiration – Crank: High Voltage

Crank, which I have talked about before.

Crank: High Voltage Poster

Crank: High Voltage

Crank: High Voltage came out in 2009, was directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and stars Jason Statham and Amy Smart. (IMDB page)

Crank: High Voltage Beginning

I thought I was Dead

This movie start exactly where the previous one left off, with the main character discovering that he was not as dead as he expected.

This is something that you can spring on your players as well. In a situation when they should have died, they might discover that they survive, but for somebody else’s purposes.

For example…

Crank: High Voltage - Removing the Heart

Stealing the Heart

The whole reason why the main character is being kept alive is because somebody else wants his heart as a transplant, since he has proven its quality by surviving for so long in the previous movie.

You can easily do the same thing to the PCs, with somebody being after them for their internal organs, or possibly, in a more supernatural setting, perhaps their soul. Maybe in the setting it is possible to gain somebody’s strength by eating their heart/brain/liver?

Crank: High Voltage - Battery Pack

Device to keep alive

Without his heart, the character ends up with an artificial one, and needs a battery pack to keep it going.

Perhaps a PC could have something that she needs to keep her going? A battery pack for a droid PC? Or even a magic item of some sort that is holding the characters death at bay?

There is no reason why an NPC could not have one of those. Perhaps a villain in a Superhero game has a stasis device that keeps him in this dimension, and will revert to his home dimension if that device is destroyed.

Crank: High Voltage - Amy Smart

Recurring NPCs

This movies is filled with characters from the previous one, as the main character runs into them with the flimsiest of pretexts.

The fact is, if the players like a PC, they will not care how you put him back into the story. He just happens to be having a beer at the bar the characters walk into, even if the last time they saw him was getting trampled by wildebeest on another planet. I am sure the players will forgive you.

Crank: High Voltage - Twin

Twin Brother

This is just another way to reintroduce a character, perhaps with a twist. IF the NPC died without a doubt, feel free to return him as his twin/clone/body double.

Of course, you could always do a switch: “That was not me, that was my twin brother, he offered to take care of a couple of things for me while I was out of town”

You can even do this with PCs, but watch out for going overboard (unless you feel like it)

RPG Inspiration – Crank

Welcome to the second edition of my semi-regular feature, drawing inspiration for RPGs from Media.

This time, I will be discussing the movie Crank. This will be a somewhat shorter post than the previous one. While I enjoyed the movie, I am not sure that there is that much I can draw on for this article.


Crank is a 2006 movie, directed by Mark Neveldine, and starring Jason Statham and Amy Smart. (IMDB page)

Crank Poster

The DVD Waiting for the Character

At the beginning of the movie, the character wakes up, feeling confused, and finds a DVD waiting for him.

This is an obvious idea to apply to an RPG. It could be an interesting way to start an adventure, or just to throw the PCs for a loop. Perhaps they wake up in their secure castle, to find that their enemy has left them a scroll lying by their bed. It does not matter what the scroll actually says, it would be  a bit worrying that somebody gained access to them so easily.

Or, this might even be a normal event, perhaps that is how members of a conspiracy get their orders and missions (and how do they know that the DVD is from the person they think it is?)

Of course, this is also another way to leave the classic “We have kidnapped your girlfriend/daughter/hamster/singing sword” message.


The whole movie is about the character getting poisoned, and trying to get revenge before the poison finishes him off. He does try to find a cure, but once he realises that there is no such thing, he focuses on vengeance.

The obvious thing to do is to put a character is this situation, but be careful with this, either offer the possibility of a cure, or talk it over with the player in advance… Perhaps save it for when a player wants their character to go out with a bang.

If the players use poison, you can reverse the situation. It does not even have to be poison… Perhaps they shot somebody, and they survived, but the bullet is in such a position where it could puncture their heart at any moment? The characters will now have to deal with somebody who they thought was dead, but is now out for their blood. Of course, if they just wait long enough, the problem will resolve itself, but as the movie demonstrate one person can do a lot of damage in a couple of hours.

Remote Treatement

For most of the movie, Jason Statham’s character is dealing with his doctor over the phone, and getting instructions on how to treat himself. This could be used to make for a tense scene in a game, if the characters don’t have first aid skills, perhaps the only way they can save their friend is if somebody walks them through a surgery over the phone (maybe they are far away from civilisation/on a spaceship/under the sea, and it would take too long for the doctor to get to them)

This could lead to some great role-playing.

“And now, you need to suture the aorta”

“What’s an aorta?”

Note: I know nothing about medicine, so the above paragraph might not even make sense.

Secret Identity

I like the fact that the main character’s girlfriend had no idea about his real occupation. This is something that could be used in any game, and in some, such as superheroes, it is an established trope.

OF course, things get really interesting when this is tried in another setting. Perhaps the superspy poses as an insurance salesman, in order to protect his family.

Or, take this to the fantasy setting. Perhaps, since a character is not of noble birth, he has to pretend to be a common peasant to his family, while he slays dragons at those times that he tells his wife that he is at the tavern , drinking with the rest of the guys. Maybe all the characters are like this, with the bartender in on it?


I found that music was used to great effect in Crank, and definitely added to the sheer insanity of the movie.

Music is something that is hard to bring into a game, since it might act as a distraction, but I really believe that it could really add something to the game, if done properly.

I have yet to figure out how to do it properly, though.