I'm in a very Nordic mood when I think of fantasy games these days.
I blame it on Beowulf. At the beginning of each new semester, I teach a very annotated version to my seniors. We first read each section, then I use a projector to show them that section as depicted in the excellent graphic novel adaptation by Gareth Hinds. (Loook it up...seriously. it has my favorite depiction of Grendel ever.) After that, we watch a very small part of the CG Beowulf movie (yes, the one with Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mom.) The opening scene in Herot is really well done, with bawdy atmosphere, drunken boasting, roaring fires, and busty wenches... it really gets my D&D motor running. (This is, of course, prior to the arrival of Grendel, who is depicted as a giant Smeagol-looking bastard with Down Syndrome, but that's another rant for another time...) I actually can't really stand the rest of the movie, but that first bit at Herot... yes.
I kind of want my next fantasy outing (likely to be some form of D&D, but who knows...) to be somewhat Celtic/Nordic/Viking-ish. By no means do I want to do anything historical, but I want mead-halls and boasting and scops. I want trolls and giants. I want frosty mountains and perilous sea-voyages.
I like the idea of treasure and glory, which, if you see treasure as spoils won from battle, that really clicks with the old D&D experience system. Yeah, you killed the giant, and the scops will be singing your praises all the way to Iceland, but where are the spoils of war?!
Incidentally, I have seen two film versions of the tale of Beowulf, and both of them are equally atrocious, though both of them had some promise. (One had Gerard Butler as Beowulf, for chrissakes) I'm aware of a third version, a sci-fi adaptation from the 90's starring Christopher Lambert, but today Josh from my gaming group informed me that it is ill-advised to watch it without alcohol nearby.
Ah, but I digress... this is a blog about gaming, not my amateur movie reviews. I'm thinking Trollsmith's infamous "Shields Will Be Splintered" will need to be in full effect, as might some of the materials from Rob Conley's Majestic Wilderness. (In particular the Berserker class) Horned Helmets. Ships with curved prows. Funeral pyres.
I have tomorrow off from work...perhaps I should scribble a few notes on paper.
...hot damn, an entry that isn't entirely about Traveller and/or Shadowrun!