A More Interesting Life

Recreating life as I go along

Tag: Sci-fi

RPG Inspiration: High Plains Invaders

High Plains Invaders PosterHigh Plains Invaders

High Plains Invaders is a 2009 movie, directed by Kristoffer Tabori and starring  James Marsters, Cindy Sampson and Sebastian Knapp. (IMDB Link)


This is actually a very fun movie, and deserves more recognition than it gets.

About to be Executed

At the start of the movie, the main character is in a cell, awaiting his own execution. I think it is a great way to start a story, or even a campaign. Perhaps all of the characters are on death row, which is how they meet.

A Hanging

The Gallows is Town Business

Soon afterwards, we learn the the gallows is the driving force behind the town’s economy. This is something that is not explored in the movie, due to the aliens invading, but is an interesting concept. It is something I would love to add to a campaign, just as a bit of background colour, if nothing else.

Interrupted Hanging

And of course, the hanging gets inevitably interrupted (I guess this would count as a spoiler for somebody who has never seen a western).

Another scene I would love to use in a game… Have a character get captured and sentenced to death, just so the other characters can rescue him in the nick of time.

Dealing with the Wounded

A large part of the problem that the protagonists have is the fact that one of them is wounded, and therefore needs special attention.

In most RPGs, damage and injury is abstracted, it would be interesting, both in story terms, and in strategic terms, if the actual effects of injury are treated more realistically.

Material Science

Finally, the day is saved due to one character’s understanding of material science. This is just a very good example of how normally ignored skills could still save the day in the right situation.

High Plains Invader

Dung Beetles

The aliens in this movie are compared to dung beetles, in the sense that they extract and concentrate the Uranium from their food.

This could work very well in a SciFi game. Perhaps the characters encounter a planet which uses animals for purifying materials in this way? Smelters get replaced by herds.

RPG Inspiration – Predators


Predators is a 2010 movie, directed by Nimród Antal and starring Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne and Topher Grace. (IMDB Page)

In Media Res

The movie starts with the characters falling out of an aircraft, with little idea of how they got there. It is a good way to start off a session with a bang.

It is not a new idea, by any measure, in this case, I think it just works very well.

Predators CastNameless Characters

There is something very old-school about the start of the movie, it takes a long time until any of the characters names are revealed. But even before that, they emerge as distinct individuals, and we get to know them more through their actions.

Predator BeastAttack Suddenly Ends

At one point, the protagonists are fighting a pack of quadripedal beasts, and the beasts just suddenly break off, for no reason that the characters can see. This is something that can really spook characters. Perhaps they are fighting a group of Orks, when they suddenly all turn as one, and run off into the bushes, ignoring the characters. Are they leading them into an ambush, or have they just been called to defend their king… Or is time for their coffee break?

Predators TrophiesTrophies

The Predators collect trophies from the creatures that they kill. Finding a trophy case from an enemy could be an interesting way to provide some information and hints to the characters. If they find the skull of a red dragon in a wizard’s trophy room, the characters might be a bit more cautious in their dealings with him.

Or, if you really want to mess with the characters, what if they find the skull of a loved one? Or even of one of the characters, perhaps of the guy standing right next to them?

Crazed Survivor

Enemy of my Enemy

We are not on Earth Anymore