The Gamers is a film series produced by The Dead Gentlemen and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment. There are currently three films in the series: the 2002 short film The Gamers, the 2008 full-length feature The Gamers: Dorkness Rising and the 2013 full-length feature The Gamers: Hands Of Fate. According to comments by the filmmakers on the Youtube site, a fourth film is planned to finish out the series.The Gamers follows a group of gamers playing a game (the name of the game is never actually mentioned, but it's Dungeons & Dragons) as they are about to face the final villain in the campaign. The action switches between the players, who have to deal with things like an absent gamer, a girl in a nearby room who is trying to study & dice rolls, and the characters, who have to deal with things like bandits, a dead party member, and whether or not they are unconscious.Characters in the first movie include:
The GM: Who is trying to balance telling a good story with the antics of the players.
Rogar: The Hero. A barbarian who can't hold his liquor or lift an iron grate, but can walk into a trapped room without getting killed.
Nimble: The Lancer. A master thief who loves to do things just to see if he can.
In the feature-length second movie, The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, a different group is trying to make their way through a campaign but they keep dying. They decide to run it over again and add some new blood, but the only person they can get to join is one player's ex-girlfriend. The campaign deals with a necromancer who is taking over the world...or so it seems at first. Unlike the first film, all of the players names are revealed, as well as the fact that the game they are playing is explicitly Dungeons & Dragons, since they had the consent of Wizards of the Coast to use their game.Characters in the second movie include:
Kevin Lodge/Sir Osric: The DM of the campaign. He's trying to write a module based on the game, but is frustrated by his players' powergaming. His GMPC, Sir Osric, is a Paladin placed there solely to police the party. Flirts awkwardly with Joanna for much of the movie.
Cass/Brother Silence: The Munchkin. He often gets into arguments with Lodge about Rules vs. Story. When told that this is a humans-only campaign with a European style, he creates an Elven Monk. Think kung-fu monk.
Gary/Luster: Gary's gameplay philosophy seems to be "if it moves, kill it," making him The Real Man. He insists that his Sorceress character is Chaotic Neutral despite her tendency to kill peasants and he forgets that his character is female, leading to some humorous situations.
Leo/Flynn: Leo usually plays fighters, but this time around he decided to play a bard. How different can it be? He finds out as he is constantly killed the first time he is attacked. Thank goodness for the Staff of Resurrection and back-up character sheets. On the plus side, he can totally seduce any woman he wants. And does. Probably would be The Loonie if he didn't die so much.
Joanna/Daphne: Cass's ex-girlfriend. The newbie and The Roleplayer. She makes a fighter with no Strength bonus and 45 hit points at level nine (to clarify, this is easily less than half of the max, including Constitution bonuses, that a fighter should have). On the plus side, the combination of feats she took make her pretty Bad Ass. On the negative side, her unique build makes her less than incredible when they come across really tough enemies and, at least from the point of view of the other players, she insists on talking to NPCs, thinking about the story, and doing things because that's what her character would do. Flirts with Lodge for most of the movie.
Mort Agrippa: The first villain. Torturing him requires the characters to distract the Paladin.
Drazuul: A death demon and The Dragon. He makes Brother Silence his total slave because Cass rolled a 1.
Nodwick: A henchman left over from the last game. He was apparently waiting for two months for the wiped-out party to return when the new party showed up. He is an Homage to the webcomicNodwick.
Mort Kemnon: The Big Bad...or so it seems. He discovered the Mask of Death and plans to use it to overthrow the king.
Hierophant: The leader of the Church of Therinn and the final villain. He wishes to use the mask to achieve his own ends.
Mark: In a Continuity Nod, Mark from the first movie reappears a couple of times. He no longer roleplays following the Total Party Kill with a twist that ended that movie.
King Erasmus the Randomly-Biased: Sovereign king of the realm. Unusually acquiescent to random goings-on in his court.
The third feature-length movie in the series, The Gamers: Hands Of Fate, brings back many of the characters from The Gamers: Dorkness Rising though the focus of the film is on Collectible Card Games rather than Tabletop RPGs, though we do briefly see the party from the second film and find out that Lodge is now running Pathfinder instead of Dungeons & Dragons. The plot focuses on Cass, who begins playing the story-based CCG Romance of The Nine Empires in an effort to impress Gamer Chick Natalie. At the same time, across time and space in the mystical land of Countermay, Badass Princess Myriad is troubled by visions of her own death and the destruction of her kingdom - visions that seem more like long-forgotten memories than simple nightmares...Characters in the third movie include:
Penelope/ Female Luster: One of the writers of the Romance of The Nine Empires storyline. Oversees the finals at Gen Con.
Myriad: The main heroine of Cass's deck and, unbeknownst to him, a real Badass Princess in another reality.
Dundareel: Myriad's true love. An Elven hero of the same kingdom.
The Emissary: The main villain of the fantasy part of the movie. Leader of an Army of The Undead that seeks to destroy Myriad's homeland.
The Legacy: The main villains of the Real World part of the movie - a Gang Of Bullies who plan to win the finals at Gen Con and use the influence they'll gain over the story to kill the game for anyone who prefers plots and diplomacy to non-stop combat.
Not to be confused with Gamers , a film about a far more dysfunctional crew of players, or the Scottish film GamerZ.
In the second movie, with Joanna's influence, the group as a whole makes a relatively subtle transition to really playing the module, following the plot, and having a better time for it. Meanwhile, Lodge learns to trust his players and ease off the reins, giving them a chance for more creative fun.
In the third movie, Cass goes from being openly disdainful of the card game and its players and playing just to get into a chick's pants to enjoying the game (and the players) for its own merits and story.
Deep-Immersion Gaming: The Shadow in Hands of Fate manages to banter with the characters even when the DM isn't present, and mocks ideas that are major hangups for same. This turns out to be a plot point.
In The Gamers, Polymorphing The Shadow into an Ogre, because Rogar has a Sword of Ogre Decapitation.
In Hands Of Fate, Using a quest item that can resurrect an army on the other player's army of undead soldiers - an army they have no means of supporting once they have to start paying for the food of an army that big.
Bad Ass: Mark the Red. "Blood, death and vengence!" [Slaughters bandits]
Big Damn Heroes: Mark turns up just as the rest of the players are failing miserably.
Bilingual Bonus: Ambrose Magellan recites the phrase "Da mihi fermentum" while casting a spell. Translation (hidden in spoiler text for people who'd rather figure it out): "Give me booze."
Breaking the Fourth Wall: The first movie ends with the characters breaking into the room and slaughtering their players. The second movie reveals at least one managed to survive by not being in the room at the time, but severely traumatized by the event.
Talking Is a Free Action: In the first movie the GM insists on allowing the bandit king to finish his speech before Newmoon can shoot him even though it technically allows the moment of surprise to lapse.
Tap on the Head: If you need to be knocked out don't let the freakin' barbarian do it.
Typically any swaps between the two actors are done with clever camera cuts, but the movie does lampshade the trope by having a single occurrence where the two actors tag-team swap as the camera continues to roll.
Cue Card Pause: Courtesy of an informative note from the GM to one player.
Flynn: But Jack was too clever. He led the sea king inland, stretching out the waves, which sucked!
(Turns over page)
Flynn:...OUT the sea kings power as there was not enough water to drown Jack.
Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend: Inverted. Joanna starts out being the only player who treats Lodge's world seriously, which is a big part of why he takes a liking to her. This doesn't stop her character from nearly getting killed.
Eye Scream: Gary/Luster pours holy water into Drazuul's eye, causing his eyeball and part of his face to melt away.
Garnishing the Story: When Lodge and Joanna are playing Pizzajitsu (Pirates vs Ninjas), Joanna asks why there are pirates, and Lodge says that everything is cooler with them.
Gender Bender: Luster is constantly switching between female and male due to Gary forgetting and being reminded of her true gender.
Girl on Girl Is Hot: When Gary decides to hit on Joanna's character, she reminds him he's role playing a woman. That doesn't dissuade him.
Hyperspace Arsenal: During the fight against the zombie ninjas, Lodge had almost given up on getting the party to play out the battle the way he intended, and just lets the characters use whatever equipment they have. Brother Silence pulls out a shotgun from behind his back and goes to town.
Ice-Cream Koan: Every so often Brother Silence tries to come up with a wise-sounding phrase to fit the eastern monk his player is determined to play him as. Unfortunately for him, Cass lacks the linguistic skill to actually come up with anything profound. Highlighted at one point where, after saying something particularly stupid in one of these attemptsnote "He who stumbles around in darkness with a stick is blind. But he who... sticks out in darkness... is... fluorescent!", the screen cuts back to the players all staring at Cass, and Lodge finally saying "...Lose fifty experience."
In the bloopers at the end, when Sir Osric is reciting more threats against the "Evildoer Outside"...
I shall spread the buttery justice of Therin over the toast of your iniquity!
The succulent jam of light shall sweeten the sourdough of your evil ways!
The creamer of light will dull the bitterness of your evil unholy coffee taste!
The spatula of purity shall scramble the eggs of your malfeasance!
Informed Attribute: Cass is supposedly a Munchkin, and yet he plays a monk, almost universally agreed to be the lowest-tier and most useless class in any edition of D&D (at least without splatbooks), and proceeds to play Brother Silence with a distinct personality and a degree of actual characterization that exceeds any of the other characters including the supposed Role Player. He also scoffs initiative, in an edition where going first with properly optimized characters can mean the difference between curb-stomping the opposition and getting curb-stomped.
The reasoning behind him being a monk is actually a more subtle form of Munchkin. While the Monk does not have a great amount of impressive power, they are a hard class to kill. They have all good saving throws, they have armor class that applies in almost all situations, and at 9th level they are immune to disease, have improved evasion, can slow falls, and can heal their own wounds to a degree. He wasn't trying to win by beating the bad guy himself, he was trying to win by being the one who survives, regardless of how little he contributed to the party as a whole. Also, I think the fact that he pulls out a shotgun, lightsa...psionic spiritblade, chainsaw, and pack of dynamite with no qualms pretty much seals it.
3e Monks are actually a pretty decent class in pure combat terms (which would be the most important thing for a munchkin), given the perks they enjoy at high levels. At first glance at least, because their relative strength is greatest when without gear, which should almost never be the case in a standard game.
Insane Troll Logic: Flynn maintains that he is able to sneak attack a book, despite its lack of a discernible anatomy, due to the fact that it has a "spine." (Despite bards not being able to sneak attack in the first place.)
Moral Myopia: Refusing to torture a prisoner is presented as an example of a paladin being Stupid Good, even though he isn't the only Lawful Good character and Daphne otherwise strictly follows the alignment. Not only that, the reason was that it was dishonorable, not any moral concern, and allowing it later is presented as character growth.
Oh Crap: Drazuul's face epitomizes this trope once it becomes clear the paladin isn't going to stand up for him. Also Joanna, when, after a whispered consultation with Gary, Cass says, "Okay, let's roleplay through this."
Send in the Clones: Leo's bard dies quickly and often. Tired of losing levels every time he's resurrected, he asks Lodge if he can just replace his character with another when he dies. He then prepares 50 bards, sending in a new one every time the last one dies.
Leading to an incident during a large battle where the party needs to seek cover from an exceptionally powerful enemy and Leo advises them to "hide behind the mound of dead bards." And it works.
Spoony Bard: Lampshaded to hell and back of course. Ironically, the second movieís Munchkin plays a monk, widely agreed to be the most underpowered and pointless class in Dungeons & Dragons.
Stupid Good: Lodge's GMPC, Sir Osric. The rest of the group has to blatantly lie that there is an evil act being committed somewhere off screen just to get this Lawful Good paladin to leave in order for the rest of them to torture a villain for information, of which normally he would not allow. Lampshaded by the third time this happens, Sir Osric is well aware of their antics, sighs to himself and half-heartedly leaves to "fight evil".
Villainous Breakdown: Technically not a villain, but Cass had spent the entire campaign openly ridiculing and condescending to ex-girlfriend Joanna (Mid-argument, Gary breaks in to say "Why did you guys break up again?") namely for being a new gamer and a woman. On top of this, his ex-girlfriend and Game Master best friend openly and blatantly hit on each other. Cass's Jerkass tendencies reach the exploding point when Joanna's character earns a single unlimited wish. Instead of using it to obtain godhood or anything else that might benefit her and/or the party, she asks for Sir Osric to be resurrected. As the group's biggest Munchkin, this goes against everything he stands for. Put off by Joanna and Lodge's sentimental story-before-achivement tendencies, Cass ends up shouting at everyone and storming off.
You Wanna Get Sued?: Brother Silence pulls a lightsaber out of the weapon chest, but Lodge calls him out on it because it's not even the same genre as the game they're playing. Cass responds by saying that he doesn't see a lightsaber, because that would be copyright infringement. He pulled out a "Psionic Spirit Blade". Lodge just rolls his eyes and lets him go with it.
The Third film in this series contains examples of:
Defeat Means Friendship: Jase, the Displaced player that Cass beats early on, quickly becomes Cass' main supporter.
Do Not Call Me Paul: Cass is quick to correct the announcer that refers to him by full name, Sean Cassidy.
Epic Fail: When Cass was first learning Romance In The Nine Empires, he gets completely owned twice to some kid. Then he plays a different kid and gets completely owned. The kicker? With the latter, the kid was playing the Pokemon-Expy game. Somehow he didn't notice he was playing a completely different game.
Even Nerds Have Standards: Cass makes it clear that Larpers are the lamest of the lame. Except for Furries. He also goes into a full-on nerd rage when he encounters card game players, to everyone else's confusion.
Flipping the Table: Flipping the table after losing? Pretty immature. Flipping the table after losing to two children...
Fun with Subtitles: What Chibichan says and what Gary hears are two very different things.
Game Breaker: In Hands of Fate Romance of the Nine Empires has A) a food mechanic where you have to keep your forces fed, B) an undead faction that gets to ignore A, and C) cards that destroy all the food production on the board. Decks that exploit this are almost totally unbeatable unless their opponent has a deck full of lesser game breaking tricks. In fact every card and combination we see appears to be massively overpowered, since in-universe the game is designed as much more roleplaying-focused than competitively balanced.
Gamer Chick: Natalie, although she hates being perceived this way.
Good All Along: The Meach is revealed in the end to be a hardcore storyline player who stayed out of the alliance simply because it's what his isolationist faction would do, and his conditions for backing Cass are also completely in-character. He even uses a hero that looks like him, presumable made after one of his previous tournament victories as they did for Cass.
Graceful Loser: For all their Smug Snake behavior throughout the movie, The Legacy are surprisingly graceful with their defeat at Cass's hands. Louis, the leader, even remarks that it was the best game he's ever played.
Heel-Face Turn: Mark Meachum, sort of. He allies with Cass not because he's become a good guy, but because Cass can beat a starvation deck and he can't. He's shown to be a nicer guy at the end of the movie, however, going to get a beer with Leo.
Ominous Latin Chanting: Cass imagines his training with Leo as taking place in the loading room of the Matrix, surrounded by floating cards and hearing vaguely gregorian-sounding chanting in the background... that happens to consist of phrases like "Do or do not - there is no try" and "All your base are belong to us".
Recruiting The Power Gamer: In Hands of Fate Leo equips and trains Cass to win the nationals and save the game from The Legacy, who view the game more like he does than the rest of the player base.
Straw Misogynist: The Legacy intentionally play this up to help make themselves hated, although a few other players are shown as just as bad and Leo kicks one particularly offensive player out of his store in the very beginning. Cass (and Lodge in the extended cut) getting over their own sexism and double standards is also a major subplot.
Take That: Weaver's big motive speech for The Legacy reveals that they want to turn R 9 E into "another poker. Another Magic."
It's very likely that "The Legacy" are based on a group of Legend of the Five Rings named "Team Dynasty." R 9 E was based on L 5 R, and just like The Legacy, Team Dynasty advocated for cash tournaments and had developed a reputation as being more interested in competitive playing over the story.
The name and general behavior of The Legacy is probably one to Magic's Legacy format, despised by the wider Magic playerbase for being dominated by cheesy game-breaker deck builds and dickish munchkin players.
Token Evil Teammate: The LARP for the alliance has one representative from Ixhasa, who talks about how the Undead are totally going to kill them all
Cass, to a certain extent, being a powergamer who is fighting for the side of the story gamers, so that he can get laid. He gets better
Trapped in Another World: The Displaced Military faction seems to be American soldiers from WW II. The few references we get to their origin mentions nuking a god in the process.