Sunday, September 11, 2011

Liveblogging Willow

-Really? A baby in a basket? Really? just because none of your preteen audience would notice the obvious 10 commandments reference doesn't mean you have to...oh wait, screenplay by george lucas. ok, you did have to...

-creepy kids

-"this is a giant's baby". we found a giant's baby. That's a plot hook.

-If I was Tyrion Lannister I would totally roll up on this village and rule with an iron fucking fist. (if i was tyrion from TV. if i was tyrion from the book i would've died of boredom long ago)

-note: spotted pig

-"Caya" how do even you spell that? As Lenny Bruce would say, "So Goyish you can't even say it".

-...but you will be ignored, Warwick Davis

-hello totally circular halfling doorway. who is ripping off who here?

-oh, the bag-on-your-head-dance. totally.

-O-level pig farmer or 1st level thief?

-what a crappy gong. it makes no noise.

-wizard-picking time!!!!!

-this halfling wizard is a ham. fuck you and your eyebrows

-WAITASECOND--why doesn't the wizard help anybody defeat the evil whatshername?
just like Elminister. goddamn noninterfering setting-embedded NPCs

-speaking of evil whatshername--Snow White's mom called, she wants her distinctive likeness back

-ok, evil shaggy long does it take for the halflings to take them? 2 hit dice, maybe three since.."This weapon also does twice the damage indicated to any opponent when the weapon is set to receive their charge."

-town meeting. rabblerabble

-"One of you (not me) must do this..."

-Wizard "I will consult the bones". Always wonder why the PCs don't try that more often. Fake augury. "Oh yeah, the shape of the clouds says you should open that door, dude"

-"Appetite for Destruction" predates this movie. Weird.

-Dear 1980s culture: Bumbling wizards entertain no-one.

-Sorsha looks like this chick. She predates this film by one year.

-When is he gonna start kilming?

-you're the greatest swordsman that ever lived? I totally believed you back in the day. I also totally believed that the Millenium Falcon was the fastest ship in the galaxy. Man, kids are stupid. I knew enough to like Appetite, though.

-Erik the Red is totally the equivalent of the stoic beardy horselord dude from 2 towers.

-"I still serve (whatever), you serve no-one!" then Madmartigan says "put your head on a Pig pole" thing. Best dialogue so far.

-Note: acquire pig pole

-why do quests always involve rings or babies or shit? why can't the quest just be, straight up: "kill this dude, he's bad. we all know this is a PG movie, but you and i both know the villain will fall off a cliff at the end, so let's just lay it out there now."

-ok, now Brownies! which are just people but small. even smaller than pecks. you can get a lotta mileage outta scale. as Swift noticed. surprised there aren't giants in this movie, woulda saved even more money on sfx.

-the fairy boss lady is the exact midpoint in the evolution from Good Witch Glenda to Cate Blanchett in LOTR. Looks like the former, talks like the latter "You must do this thingy" in the ethereal voice.

-why are the brownies mexican? oh yeah, Screenplay: George Lucas

-Bavmorda's a pretty evil name

-willow entering human-tavern-for-1st-time scene strongly resembles later iterations of said idea

-the brownies are very Pauly Shore

-Madmartigan reintroduced during ohnomyhusbandshome scene Fighter-using-disguise-skill-cross-gender totally works if the target's dumb enough.

-willow hit someone. 1st level thief using a warhammer. the low-hanging branch helped. whatta we got here, luck points? or was that just a 20? or maybe the baddie chewed through his hit-points-construed-as-luck tryna crawl up on the back of the cart

-Pre-Sorsha switchin sides, this is our group: Warwick, Val, and 2 stoners who the DM let play brownies.

-One of those brownies is making his film debut here--Kevin Pollak. You recognize him as the mechanic guy from The Usual Suspects. Which I strongly suspect is a Shadowrun campaign turned into a screenplay.

-Well I can't use a wand I'm a fucking shrew, dumbass.

-I kinda like the brownies. I am charmed. either Lucas' mind disintegrated in a coke haze in the 20 years between writing them and writing jarjar binks or there's some uncredited script punch-up here

-sorsha is clearly a FLAILSNAILS PC who picked up that helmet in an Oriental Adventures campaign

-the skullhead knight's horse has fucking goat horns

-wands suck. they look dumb. they're almost as bad as feathers. anyone who puts a wand in an adventure should have their tongue ripped out.

-mm to sorsha "your touch is worth 100,000 deaths" smooth.

-swordfight! shield-riding chase!


-"he's a worthless thief!"
"I'm not a thief erik!"
"he's not a thief...are you?"
he's a fighter. superduh

-could you run the whole Sorsha part of this last 20 minutes in a real session as if she were a PC hostile to the rest of the party...? mmm..there'd be a lot of waiting. and sorsha wouldn't get to do much. she'd lose fights a lot, I suppose, but make most of her "tracking" checks.

-ok, now the crow is all "willow, you've done some shit, it's been a session or 2, maybe you have a level in wizard--try using that wand" "oh, not yet, I'm a goat..."

-and then willow tries to use the wand again, it kinda works but then turns the troll into a brainstomach thing which gets eaten by two wormthings then falls in the moat and turns into a 2 headed firebreathing thing like a pachycephalopatosaur about 400 times the size it was before. which, really, is what should happen when you use an item marked (MU) and you aren't one

-(that part is hands-down the weirdest thing in the movie)

-one of its heads just explodes after Val stabs it. that's awesome.

-the evil castle has counterproductive buttresses. they look like you could just run up them if you were attacking.

-so, wait, was Erik the Red's ruined army was just waiting at the bottom of the hill in the village for someone to come along and point toward something they could lay siege to?

-ok, so now willow has a level in wizard and can use the wand to resist the mass polymorph...mmmm...nope...

-Goatwitch: "No, we can still defeat Bavmorrrrrda"

-he tries again..ok he did it!

-first light the day before the battle. ragged banners. lookin' pretty warhammer up here.

-Trollsmyth is right. They don't really lay out the stakes of winning or losing in human terms in this movie. That might not've made it better, since either way we'd still have to look at Warwick Davis for 2 hours.

-this baby-killing ceremony takes a long fuckin' time. maybe Bavmorda lives in a red state.

-bavmorda in the rain fighting sorsha is pretty badass. she's way scarier than The Emperor in Jedi.

-what's this Peter Jackson? good wizard bad wizard telekinesis vs. telekinesis battle?
between this and Evil Dead 3 you pretty much got your whole script

-now the wand shoots ice? what is that thing? Wand Of Pretty Much Whatever

-2 old ladies-one of whom we barely know- in the rain fighting over a wand. that's a goddamn climax

-random wand bolt turns endtable into monster that chases willow=awesome

-Jean Marsh as Bavmorda is fucking rad. I so want her to kill Warwick Davis. I want her to have the evillest babies ever with Christopher Lee and then Peter Cushing presides over the bris which doubles as a black mass.


-Hey, back in the village, dig me, I'm second level! rock


  1. Love this:

    -Wizard "I will consult the bones". Always wonder why the PCs don't try that more often. Fake augury. "Oh yeah, the shape of the clouds says you should open that door, dude"

    I wonder how many players are going to end up trying this ploy on their DM's in the coming weeks?

  2. Jean Marsh is the best thing in that film. It's also worth watching the special features, to see Lucas say -- with a completely straight face -- that he makes character films, not special effects films.

  3. -wands suck.

    I have no problem with wands. Especially the Wand of Wonder, but even with something like a wand of steam or whatever I like the resource management option it gives players, in that they can dish out some serious hurt by blowing all their charges in a single fight or scrimp and save to help a little bit in multiple fights over a longer time. Also, they can be used to hold groups of enemies at "gunpoint", which is something the hit point system and medieval weaponry doesn't normally make practical.

  4. Request - Blog some Sabrina Siani 80s barbarian films next time. Start in her early works where she's always nude, then work up to where she gets clothes n armor n shit due to the Studio Milano 2 women seniority system.

  5. Just woke up this morning and started doing my blog rounds and came across this. Hell of an awesome start to the morning Zak!

    This shit put a smile on my face to help fight off the hangover pounding in my brain. Thanks!

    For all the stupidity that is in the movie, I still love Madmardigan though. One of Val Kilmer's roles (aside from Doc Holliday in Tombstone).

  6. Willow was one of the better LOTR fanfilms.

    It's also worth watching the special features, to see Lucas say -- with a completely straight face -- that he makes character films, not special effects films.

    Rly? Oh my sides!

  7. I thought the brownies were French Canadian.

  8. I don't see the problem with wands. It's a thing you point at someone and then something bad happens to them, like an accusing finger writ large. I like it.

    Possibly unsettling wands off the top of my head:

    Dessicated-stiff Lizard (Slows, envenoms, etc.)
    Penis bone of walrus (Knocks you over, fills lungs with seawater, etc.)
    Mummified arm of child or halfling (Sickens, puts to sleep, etc.)

    See also :

  9. Suggestion for your next liveblogging exercise: Big Trouble in Little China.

  10. I think that is the only fantasy movie I ever watched with my whole family. Rented the video tape. That was cool.

    I loved Madmartigan's cage at the crossroads and should put some of those in my campaign world immediately.

  11. Sorsha's player would be that person who was out of town for the first few sessions of gaming, and you'd just tell the other players that so-and-so will be joining later as some unknown PC.

  12. @john

    all of those functions you describe could be performed with an object that -doesn't- look stupid.

  13. Come on Zak.. Where would Harry Potter be without his wand?!

  14. Oh man, it's been way too long since I saw this movie, I totally have to watch it again.

    "Pre-Sorsha switchin sides, this is our group: Warwick, Val, and 2 stoners who the DM let play brownies."

    I can just see that.

    "Dude can we play"
    "What, you want me to fit two new characters into this party? Fine, whatever. What do you want to play?"
    "I could totally go for some brownies"
    "What, you want to play brownies? Sure, why the hell not. Okay, brownies in this setting are like tiny savages, I mean 6 inches tall."
    "What do brownies feel like when they get eaten? I think I just blew my mind"

  15. Wands are fragile and easily break... just when PCs become so reliant on them.

  16. Can't watch Willow without hearing Leslie Hall now

  17. ...which, really, is what should happen when you use an item marked (MU) and you aren't one

    Thanks, Zak. Coffee everywhere.

  18. In Nethack, you can break wands and that causes all the remaining charges to fuel a big explosion of whatever magic the wand does normally in the immediate vincity. The more charges, the bigger and/or the more dramatic the explosion.

    That's kinda cool. I allow that in my games, especially if an enemy can deliberately target the wand to try to break it (with a missile weapon, I hope!).

  19. I recall I started reading the Chronicles of the Shadow War series at random and I was on the second book when I realized it was a sequel to the Willow movie. Sadly that was also about the time it started transforming into a fantasy version of dragonball Z.

  20. wands are overated.How about chinese finger puzzles that only work the magic when your fingers are stuck in it...oh and to release your digits you have to say the magic phrase.Oh and the pc does not have it,so the group has to cross the mountains into the valley to find the old hermit down by the water falls,who by the way is very senile and wrote the word down on goat skin parchment in his younger days.He thinks he left it in a box in a cart down by the river...long ago..just beyound the troll infested hinterlands.
    Oh and the whole time the pc who casted the magic from said chinese finger puzzle,cannot release fingers...Dexterity checks abound :)

  21. what will you call yourself when that mushroom wears off?

  22. I always saw the Brownies as some guy from Ottawa trying to entertain his Anglo buddies by trying to sound like the guy from Hull that he works with at a warehouse somewhere - Mandy might agree, or might not.

  23. Then i go to plan B.Bake some brownies.

  24. Counterproductive Buttresses were always my favorite act at the Lilith Fair.