Saturday, August 4, 2012

D&D Inspiration Cinema: The Warriors - With Bonus Random Table

For those who haven't seen it, here's the set-up for Walter Hill's 1979 cult classic The Warriors.

The leader of the most powerful gang in New York, Cyrus of the Gramercy Riffs, calls a summit and invites most of the gangs operating in the city to attend. Cyrus wants everyone to unite and take on The Man. Cyrus has a lot of Charisma, if not Wisdom and when he intones "Can you dig it?" the majority of the assembled gang-bangers respond enthusiastically.

The Warriors are skeptical. But, they're not the only ones who aren't "Digging it." Luther, leader of the Rogues, decides to shake things up. Why?

"No Reason. I just like doing things like that."

So, being Chaotic Evil, he whips out a handgun and decisively ends the Summit. One of the Warriors sees what went down. The cops show up and in the ensuing chaos, Luther points and shouts, "The Warriors did it!" He then rushes Cleon, the Warriors' leader. Cleon takes him down, but just as Luther intended, other gang dudes join in and Cleon is overwhelmed. Word spreads. The Warriors killed Cyrus!

Far from their own "turf," the Warriors spend the rest of the movie trying to get back to Coney Island. While hundreds of colorfully dressed gang dudes, intent on vengeance, try to kill them all!

Wikipedia tells me that the movie is based on Sol Yurick's 1965 novel of the same name. Which, was based on Anabasis by Xenophon. The Warriors has since spawned two video games, toys and comic books.

So. Place Cyrus in a D&D type setting. Mid or high fantasy, with plenty of adventuring groups and mercenary companies. Maybe add some demonic backing and you've got a potentially campaign changing event.

Following the film more closely, we can set it in a major city and have some asshole like Luther kill the new messiah. Maybe a Disintegrate spell, or Sphere of Annihilation. Of course, the PC's get framed for it and now have hundreds of adventuring type dudes, henchmen and hirelings, chasing them through the city and out for blood!

Bringing us to:

Twelve Reasons the Rival Adventuring Party is Trying to Kill You All!

1. They want to kill you and take your stuff!
2. They do side work for the authorities, who think the PC's have gotten too big for their britches.
3. A PC bedded a Barmaid, who previously caught the eye of some other bad-ass adventurer.
4. "That Dungeon is Ours!"
5. Trying to make a name for themselves.
6. "No Reason. I just like doing things like that."
7. God/Devil/Space Alien told them to do it!
8. Hired by any one of no doubt numerous people, that the PC's have managed to piss off!
9. "Join us or Die!"
10. A PC looked at one of them "the wrong way."
11. Revenge. Possibly a Frame-Up.
12. "Let's you and him fight," orchestrated by a shadowy entity, seeking to remove potential threats.

Now, we'll see if I can manage to turn this into a series.


  1. That's a really fun idea, and the setting could work in a lot of different genres.

    I LOVE that movie! I randomly saw it one Saturday afternoon decades ago on a loca independent station and thought it was weird that such a movie would be on in the middle of the day. Even thought it can be slightly cheesey and dated at times, it has a really fun, quirky quality to it.

    "Warriors.... Come out to play-eeee-ayyyyyyyy!"

    I heard they're remaking it. Not sure it'll have the same sensibilities as the original.

  2. The Warriors was great fun if I remember it correctly. It would make a great Fighting Fantasy book, or run completely with random encounters and even a city street generator.

    1. It would make a great Fighting Fantasy book!

  3. The Warriors was a great movie. One of those flicks they showed a billion times on Showtime in the early days when it was on only for 12-hours a day.

    Walter Hill's Streets of Fire is also a huge favorite of mine. One of Diane Lane's first movies is good enough, but add in Eddie and Cruisers, Michael Pare and a vinyl overalls wearing Willam DeFoe and the final fight, under the bridge, railroad hammers pure cool.

    1. Never saw Streets of Fire.

      Heh, I do remember the old days of the Premium channels only being on for part of the day.

  4. What would be the psuedo-medieval equivalent of dressing as a baseball player? Would the gangs of your fantasy metropolis include one group dressed in ironic Quidditch get ups?

    1. I wouldn't go for the sports get-up. Maybe Rat Catchers?

  5. Love this, that is all. Oh and "War-eee-riors come out and play yay" is a pretty good taunt.

  6. That actor who says "Warriors come out an plaaaaay" is the same one who was the evil psychic in "Dreamscape" with Dennis Quaid.

    Fantasy-Themed Gangs: The Jesters, The Dragons, The Headsmen (they wear executioners hoods), The Skulls, The Wharf Rats.

  7. Cool idea, I once ran a campaign where the kick off was based around a situation similar to Xenophon's Anabasis. But the game broke up before we got too far with it, I like the idea of being more directly inspired by the Warriors.

  8. Cool table, man. I paid tribute to The Warriors in my Crimson Dragon Slayer scenario No Escape From New York.