Sunday, November 15, 2020

Appendix N Video Collection


Appendix N Vid
I'm just about to enter a mandatory two-week quarantine for work (required for travel, evidently) and I'll freely admit I have more than enough to do during those two weeks.....BUT if it's anything computer related then odds are I'll be doing it in front of the idiot box, er television.

Technically I don't watch "television". I mean clearly I view stuff on the device commonly known as a TV, but I don't have cable, nor do I watch on-air broadcasts. Between Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Vudu, and my massive video collection streaming from my home's Plex server.....I'm good. My setup is such that I can easily replicate this setup wherever I travel, as long as I have a decent internet connection. 

I know, you've read the 1st two paragraphs here and have probably already gotten to the "that's nice, quit bragging you SOB" level of excitement and are already thinking...."what's the point?"

Man you are impatient!

My point is that I watch a lot of movies and long before my Appendix N book collection started, I had been collecting Appendix N movies. Now I wasn't collecting Appendix N movies deliberately, it's just that I like to play OSR-ish RPGs and I like to watch movies, so there is bound to be some overlap. Speaking of overlap, since I do tend to collect "stuff" in general, and in this case books and movies specifically, it is real easy to accidentally buy movies I already own. I use a service called Libib to catalog my libraries and it's free for the 1st 5,000 items. I highly recommend it. You can even publish you library so others can see what's in it....mine is cstogdill.libib.com (only my movie and wanted book libraries are public.)

I thought I'd share 10 specific titles from my Appendix N (Movie) Library, and hopefully solicit some recommendations to add to my collection:

The 13th Warrior
The 13th Warrior is a great RPG flick and does a great job of showing a low/no magic campaign as well as a culture clash of sorts. One of my favorite aspects of this film is the transition from the lead not knowing the Viking's language to being able to speak it. Lots of cool touches that just make me feel like it could have been an actual campaign brought to the big screen.

Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness is totally a RPG movie. It literally has swords & sorcery and seriously?.....the hero chops off his arm and attaches a chainsaw (I know that was in the previous movie, but still...). With all the weird stuff going on, you can't tell me there wasn't a GM coming up with some crazy rolls behind the screen. Hail to the King Baby!

The Beastmaster

The Beastmaster was one of my favorites growing up. I saw it again recently and it wasn't at all how I remembered it, which was actually a good thing as it was almost like watching a new movie. I think of Dar as more of a sword-wielding Druid than a barbarian, but whatever. Just don't watch Beastmaster II or Beastmaster III!

Conan the Barbarian is a great Appendix N addition, but I specifically mean the 2011 version with Jason Momoa. I know this won't be a popular opinion, but I liked it far more than the Schwarzenegger version. I liked seeing that young Conan was clearly born a bad-ass and wasn't some muscle-bound jock slave that was taught to kick ass. I also liked how there were more references to the larger world and Conan's other adventures (like his pirate days) as well as there was more sorcery going on. Just overall a better film and I wish it had done better in the box office so we could have gotten some sequels.

Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal is not something that seems appropriate for this list, but hear me out. 1st off there are some sequences that do fit this list, but the real reason this is on the list is because of the fact that Heavy Metal was in heavy rental rotation with my peer group growing up. I can recall watching this while we rolled up PCs or even just talked about gaming. I have fond memories of watching this while reading the PHB and DMG, so if there is any movie that will take me back to the early 80's, this is it.

Open Range

Now, switching RPG genre's from Medieval Fantasy to Western (I'm thinking very much about Aces & Eights here) the movie Open Range gets me wanting to sling dice. I there's a couple reasons why, but at its core is how I see the main protagonist had one occupation and then clearly transitioned to another, something that is a thing in Aces & Eights.


Ok, while we're switching genres, when I first saw Underworld I was 120% convinced it was a straight-up rip-off from White Wolf, and clearly I wasn't the only one who saw that. I could explain why this film is worth watching, but I'll make my most persuasive argument: Kate Beckinsale wears skin-tight leathers....constantly.


Ok, back to more a Medieval Fantasy, but only for one more film. I actually remember seeing Willow in the theater when it came out. I was off for an evening at the very beginning of Boy Scout Camp Mitigwa and I saw it with some of my new counselor friends. We ended up quoting this film all summer. It has swords, sorcery, .....clearly a multi-classed hero. I have no idea what the Nelwyns are supposed to be, because I think they're more halflings than dwarves, but clearly neither. In any regard, big fantasy film that I think aged quite well.


Ok, last, but not least is Zombieland. As far as a modern-day zombie film I get that this is largely a comedy, but it is also a good story about the formation of the party. If you've ever played Zombies!!! or possibly Final Days (I know, another KenzerCo game), then Zombieland is a fitting addition.

Now I deliberately skipped some no-brainers, like the Lord of the Rings or Monty Python & the Holy Grail, but U was only limiting myself to 10 entries and if you factored in some of the cheesy sci-fi films....Appendix N entries in the DMG had plenty of Sci-Fi in there....., not to mention the numerous other gaming genres there are these days, and my list could have been just huge. No, 10 entries seemed sufficient.

Now I've stated, and kind of shown, that I have many other titles that would qualify for an Appendix N Video Collection, but I am wise enough to know that I don't know what I don't know........so I would ask if there are some particularly good movies I should be watching for RPG inspiration. Bonus points if they are available on the main streaming services!


  1. I love Heavy Metal the movie, and read the magazine for many years after seeing Taarna on the cover when the movie came out.

    As for Open Range, Charlie Waite (Keven Costner's character) is obviously an adventurer who is trying to go "straight". "I ain't go no problem with killing, Boss. Never have."

  2. This isn't an Appendix N book, but a film I recommend is the 2006 movie "The Fall." It is the most D&D like movie I've seen in a long time but in a good way. Amazon has the DVD listed at an outrageous price but the Blu-ray is like $28 unless you are willing to buy used.

    1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460791/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2 This one, I assume?

  3. If I may link two of your entries with two (minor) cult favourites, I would heartily recommend 13th warrior -> Outlander (the movie, not the series !) -> Cowboys & Aliens -> Open Range

  4. Seven Samurai, Excalibur, the old sinbad films, Road Warrior.

    And if we are going outside of the fantasy genre. I would Add Red Dawn. Hear me out. Young party of adventures grows in ability over time and as they do they get faced with tougher challenges.

    Heck you vould start a Red Dawn game with a zero level funel escaping the invasion who ever makes it in the back of the pick up truck becomes a PC.

    1. I love Red Dawn, both of them. I won't spoil the re-make, but it really impressed me because it surprised me, which rarely happens with movies these days.

    2. I may have to watch the Red Dawn remake then. I avoided it because most remakes are crud. One of the few remakes that surprised me (pleasantly) and I feel is actually better, is True Grit.

  5. 13th Warrior is one of my guilty pleasures - and the book is even better! Open Range is my #3 favorite western of the last 30 years (just behind Tombstone and Unforgiven). As someone else mentioned, I think Big Trouble in Little China should be on that list. Thank you for including the 2011 Conan movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although it runs better as a generic S&S movie than as a Conan adaption.

  6. This is fun to think about. I'm pretty sure my list would include Flash Gordon and at least one of the Star Wars films. (Most likely IV; I did find IX rather RPG-like, but there seemed to be a lot of railroading...)

  7. I expeccted you to take more heat for Conan (2011) in the comments here. I think it would have been much better received if it hadn't been labeled a Conan movie. I enjoyed it for what it was.

    I can't believe you didn't list Krull...


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