Sunday, July 10, 2011
I am way behind the times when it concerns movies, even action packed movies of the Kung Fu style that I so enjoy. For example, my friends have been telling me about LP Man for many moons. They've been telling me about it for so long that it already has a sequel.
In some ways, LP Man uses a lot of the old tricks that come up in many forms of media, including animation and super hero comics.
Showcasing the villain's strength is done through showcasing the villain defeat another opponent that has some establishment as a powerful figure. This one happens in anime like Dragon Ball Z all the time, but it also happens in comics. Usually in comics, some modifcation is made to another villain to bring them out of their C list status and people think, "wow, this guy is awesome now" but alas, it's all a trick to showcase how dreadful the person who takes out the C lister is.
In other aspects, it reminded me of the movie, Cinderella Man. Here, two champions of hand to hand combat, who are hailed for being some of the best, if not the best in their field, find out that regardless of personal strength, regardless of personal holdings, that the events of the world can bypass all of those benefits.
In the case of Cinderella Man, it's a fall of the stock markets that destroys all of his personal wealth. In LP Man's instance, it's an invasion of his home country by Japan. Both men discover that they have hidden reservers and that their value on family is important as they are forced to take jobs that pay for food and shelter. Something like this might be hard to acheive in a role playing session for a number of reasons.
First off, and this is all just in my experience of course, players don't often like to be tied down to the setting with a wife and children. Second off, players would rather take deseperate chances and gambles because the characters can be replaced. If you have players who are interested in these fields though, in these tests and trials, don't be afraid to use them. After all, in GURPS and Hero, those DNPC (dependent NPC) are providing points to the player for a reason.
LP Man also provides some nice contrast in terms of the foes he faces. For instance, in the occupying army, the enemy general is fairly honorable. When he makes a promise, he delivers on it. He is also shown as being a formidable enemy. On the other hand, his aide is a perfect example of a scheming weasel who will stop at nothing to ensure that no disgrace hits the Rising Sun flags of Japan regardless of how vile or petty it is. On the other hand, there are divisions within the people of China itself. The northern people practice a different style of martial art and seek to proof their superiority. When that fails and the country is occupied, they then become bandits.
The ravages of war make strange bedfellows of your enemies. Those who you may simply have not gotten along with in the past, may become your staunchest allies or they may seek to use the upheaveal for their own benefit and bring about your downfall. It is often the doom of a people that regardless of the horror being inflected upon them, that they cannot pull together as a single people with a single purpose and overcome adversity. There will always be opportunist and cowards who seek only to augment their own forces or merely provide for their own survival.
LP Man packs in numerous action scenes and anyone playing a Monk in any edition of Dungeons and Dragons, should give it a view.