Tuesday, December 6, 2011

13 Assassins


Blogger ate my initial post so I'll try to break this one down again. Spoilers follow so beware.

1. 13 assassins uses a standard formula of a small group against a larger enemy. Note that for role playing games that are level based, such as Rolemaster and Dungeons and Dragons, due to the way magic tends to increase for spellcasters, this might not be a viable threat if the larger enemy is mainly 'fodder' type as the spellcasters will make sure work of them.

2. While the visual appeal of a small group against a larger group is great and can be fun, remember that if you use a critical hit based system that it will work against the players due to the odds of the dice being rolled multiple times against them.

3. Speaking of dice rolling, when there are dozens if not hundreds of enemies, it might take hous for a few rounds to be played out. Be prepared for a long haul or have another way to handle mass actions in play and explain it to the players before hand.

4. Some of the material that works in the film will not work in the game. For example, one ssamurai sets up a place to take a stand where he has dozens of weapons stuck into walls, ceilings, and other spots. While it has a great visual, no player is going to give up a magic weapon in order to allow some visual to play out.

5. Evil. the main villain of the piece if shown as being unremorsefully evil. To the point where like even his loyal retainers trained strongly in the ways of the samurai and to serve their lord have doubts about it. This allows thep layers to be pretty self assured in their actions and works well for the constrast of samurai versus samurai.

6. Times of peace suck for samurai. I've mentioned this before for the Ronnin Rabbit, but in a time of peace, while there are things for characters to do, the caste as a whole comes into question. Are they still needed? Are they still the warriors their forefathers were? This firlm answers that question with a resounding "No!" It in essence explains minion status. See, when you do nothing but sit around on your ass all day eating bon bons, you're not a warrior. There are those from old blood lines, true tradionalists, naturally skilled warriors, and some rogues, who manage to retain and improve their sword skills through grit and determination, but for most of the caste? Yeah, they're hopless which is why they can be challenged in this fashion.

13 Assassins is well worth a viewing for those who enjoy Seven Samura or similiar films.