Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent

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Yo! Jimbo!

Over in his journal, the_gneech mentioned Akira Kurosawa films, and offered "Bonus Points to anybody who can name a Yojimbo remake. Double points to anybody who can name two or more Yojimbo remakes."

I offered:
A Fistful of Dollars with Clint Eastwood.
Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis.

...and a Vampire: The Masquerade game in which I played a werespider who got two factions of vampires to tidily wipe themselves out...

Funny thing was, I had no idea that I was doing it at the time.

The thing is, I'd long held that Kurosawa's Seven Samurai was the Universal RPG Adventure. As the movies have demonstrated, it fits in almost any genre -- Samurai, Western, Space Opera, Post-Holocaust -- and it's the ideal way to get a motley band of PCs together as a group.

(There's a classic article from Roleplayer magazine that discusses exactly that, in great detail.)

Yojimbo, on the other claw, was my Impossible Holy Grail of adventure design. You couldn't write a Yojimbo-themed adventure, I argued, because it all hinges on the actions and reactions of the PCs -- or PC, really. It's really the story of a loner, and expanding it to have a whole band of characters wandering into a town to turn the ruling factions against each other just makes the mechanics of actually running it that much more difficult.

I was thinking from a GM/game designer's standpoint, of course. It never occurred to me that a player would choose to take that role on himself, and take the GM by surprise in the process.

Much less that I'd be able to pull it off... without realizing it.

Amusingly, the revelation that I had pulled it off didn't occur to me until several months after the game had ended, when I was discussing the gameability of various classic movie plots with the GM and one of the other players from the V:tM game. I mentioned Yojimbo, opined that it was basically ungameable, started to describe the plot... and at about the same time, we all said, "...just like Benji did in the Vampire game..."

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