Pulp gaming inspiration: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Posted in EpicTable Blog on June 15, 2008 at 9:31 pm

I just saw the latest Indiana Jones movie: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Now, I can’t give you a very objective critique of the movie, because it has crumbly jungle ruins, crystal skulls and monkeys. And if there’s anything that blows my objectivity, it’s crumbly jungle ruins, crystal skulls and monkeys.

So, without any trace of academic or intellectual criticism, I’ll just say, “I liked it.” It has a lot to offer the gamer or GM. The visuals are stunning, and there are enough ingenious mechanical doors and puzzles to make Grimtooth (the devious trapmaker of 80s gaming) proud. There’s even a bit of Lovecraftian “spaces in-between” talk and otherworldly forces that are like magnetism…but not.

Several times, the movie had the opportunity to go the route of the cliché or not, and it chose not. I could imagine the GM sitting there thinking, “Well, I could have it just fly off and call it a day, but that’s kind of lame…. Let’s instead have it….”

To sum up: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was entertaining, it had a good pulp gamer kind of feel to it, and I definitely could steal some ideas from it. What more does a GM need?

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