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The Gamers is a film series produced by The Dead Gentlemen. There are currently two films in the series: the 2002 short film The Gamers and the sequel The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. This page is for tropes from both films.
The Gamers follows a group of gamers playing a game similiar to Dungeons and 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, and 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.
- Newmoon: The Smart Guy. An elf with unnaturally lucky dice.
- Ambrose/Magellan: The Chick. Two bright young mages who look exactly alike and have similiar powers. Also, one doesn't show up until after the other dies.
- Mark the Red: The Big Guy. A berserker spends most of his time standing to one side staring off into space (because his player is absent) and the rest of the time kicking butt.
- The Shadow: The Shadow? The Shadow! The Shadow. The Big Bad. The main villain.
- The Bandit King: A minor villain working for the Shadow. The Dragon.
- The Princess: A damsel in distress that looks suspiciously like that girl down the hall.
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 and Dragons, since they had the consent of Wizards of the Coast to use their game.
Characters in the second movie include:
- 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 Badass. 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 Web Comic Nodwick.
- 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.
These films provide examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: So much.
- Affirmative Action Girl: Parodied with Luster, a Vain Sorceress who is, fetishistically, played by a man.
- Artifact of Doom: the Book, the Mask of Death, the Heart of Therinn
- Back Stab: With a fucking siege weapon.
- Badass: "You... are going to sneak attack him... with a ballista."
- "Blood, death and vengence!" [Slaughters bandits]
- Bare Your Midriff: Luster.
- Big Damn Heroes: Mark turns up in the first film just as the rest of the players are failing miserably.
- Bilingual Bonus:
AmbroseMagellan 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."
- Bland-Name Product: Mountain Doom and Dr. Leper, among others.
- 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 is Not Quite Dead, but severely traumatized by the event.
- Good thing he left early that night, huh?
- Cats Are Mean: Guenhwyvar bites an arm off Flynn's mini.
- Chainmail Bikini: Cass creates a female fighter in "bikini mail" for Joanna to play. Joanna prefers the character she rolled up, thanks.
- Character Alignment: Sir Osric is Lawful Good while Luster is Chaotic Evil, desperately trying to claim she's Chaotic Neutral.
- Character Development: In the second movie, with Joanna's influence, the group as a whole makes a relatively subtle transition to properly playing the game, following the plot, and having a better time for it.
- Chekhov's Armoury: "It's in the trunk!"
- Chekhov's Gun: the Sword of Ogre Decapitation.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Guenhwyvar.
- Creator Cameo: When "sneaking" into the Church of Therinn, the cleric Osric stops to apologize to ("Sorry, Bill") is Monte Cook, who wrote most of the core rulebooks for third edition D&D.
- Critical Failure and...
- Critical Hit
- Cross Player, Crosscast Role: Luster is alternately acted by a female and a crossdressing male.
- 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.
- Deadly Dodging: Nimble pulls this on two of the bandits.
- Death Is Cheap: Flynn, and his impressive use of backup characters.
Flynn: There's 37 more of me, assholes!
- Deep-Immersion Gaming
- Disc One Final Boss: In the sequel, Dorkness Rising, Mort Kemnon.
- Dumb Muscle: Rogar.
- Everythings Better With Pirates: This trope is invoked by name in universe when Lodge and Joanna are playing Pizzajitsu (Pirates vs Ninjas).
- Expecting Someone Taller: MAKE WAY FOR THE BANDIT KING! ALL HAIL THE BANDIT KING! HAIL! HAIL!
- Eye Scream: Gary/Luster pours holy water into Drazuul's eye, causing his eyeball and part of his face to melt away.
- Failed a Spot Check: Lampshaded.
- Five-Man Band: see above. Also, in the second movie:
- Fridge Brilliance: At first I thought that the fact Lodge wouldn't allow the monk to be an elf, but let them fight goblins, was a Plot Hole. But thinking about it, the adventure is based on the mythology of Western Europe, so goblins are okay. But until Lord of the Rings, elves were nothing like Dungeons and Dragons elves, so he couldn't play one!
- Not quite. Elves used to be more LotR-y in medieval times, but they got sissified in the following centuries.
- The idea that gods can only be imprisoned in their own element is central to most pagan theologies. Carving a piece of wood into a statue traps part of the god of that tree in the statue.
- Fun with Subtitles: The DVD of Dorkness Rising has quite a few unusual choices for subtitles, including 1337 $p33k, Swedish Chef, and binary (which takes up the entire screen). Also "d20," which references all the combat techniques and skill checks used in the game.
- Gargle Blaster: The dwarven ale knocks Rogar out for an entire scene.
- Gender Bender: Luster is constantly switching between female and male due to Gary forgetting and being reminded of her true gender.
- Gentleman Thief: The Bandit King with A Glass of Chianti.
- 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.
- Groin Attack: "Called shot to the nuts!"
- Happy Dance: Both the characters and the players in the first film after they defeat the Shadow.
- Also, Daphne after she defeats a band of goblins mostly by herself.
Sing it! Give it to me! Give it up! Oh, you can't 'cause y'all dead!
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Cass makes a scene about not being allowed a saving throw which he can't win short of a natural twenty. He gets his way and rolls a 1.
- Same thing happens to Flynn:
Lodge: Y-y-you can't backstab it! You can't *sneak-attack* an inanimate object!
- 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 attempts, 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!
- In and Out of Character: The in-game action often pauses while the players are strategizing.
- Impossible Thief: Nimble steals a guy's pants without him noticing... while the victim is sitting on a barstool.
- Insane Troll Logic: Flynn maintains that he is able to sneak attack a book, despite it's 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.)
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: "Oh, Monks you have a problem with. Ninjas are okay!"
- Jerkass Has a Point: A lot of Cass's complaints are pretty valid. Joanna's fighter build has a good damage output and can mow down mooks, but is completely useless as a tank. Kevin's depowering the cleric in the first party then swarming them with tough undead basically amounts to Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, and they only beat it the second time by preparing the right (arcane) spells ahead of time with no in-game clues. Blocking basic classes and most of the races is something very few players would put up with.
- Except that, you know. A Fighter doesn't have to be a tank, there are canon D&D ways to cut a Cleric off from his Deity, swarming the party with enemies after depowering them while the bad guy laughs is a great opportunity for the players to run (except most are too dumb to think of that), and GMs stating that Class/Race X does not exist in his custom world is perfectly normal, especially when stated ahead of time. Sorry, Jerkass' only point is "You're playing the game different to the way I want to therefore you are wrong".
- Kavorka Man: Flynn, to be kind, is not the kind of Bard women typically swoon for. Thank god for high seduction stats.
- Last-Name Basis: Lodge.
Joanna: Help me out here, Kevin.
- Last-Second Word Swap: "Yeah, just like surfing the Internet for porn...litical commentary."
- Loophole Abuse: Nimble convinces the GM to let him Back Stab a powerful enemy with, as the GM puts it "A fucking siege weapon!?"
- Lyrical Dissonance: Flynn sings a happy and soothing tune telling a panicked peasant to shut up or he'll let the sorceress murder him. And it works.
Flynn: (singing) Shut up, peasant, rest your head, or we'll let the sorceress kill your ass dead...
- Mega Neko: Guenhwyvar appears gigantic in the RPG Mechanics Verse when he jumps onto the table.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Mort Agrippa summons Ninja Zombies, or Zombie Ninjas, possibly Zinjas.
- Noodle Incident:
Newmoon's player: And that will totally make up for that orphanage we burned down!
- 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".
- One-Man Army: Mark the Red... when he's awake.
- Outside the Box Tactic: Polymorphing The Shadow into an Ogre, because Rogar has a Sword of Ogre Decapitation.
- Positive Discrimination: In addition to being a more enthusiastic roleplayer, Joanna is able to come up with a killer combo in her first time playing. Subverted in that said combo involves a Game Breaker feat that shouldn't even have been available in a basic handbook (i.e.: the one that adds her dexterity & intelligence modifiers to her crit range). Cass objects to low hit points and defense for the party's Tank. However, in the first non-Mook battle where she isn't able to crit-kill all the low-level stuff on the field, she's knocked down to a handful of hit points in the first round. It's not so much she out-MinMaxed the MinMaxer, it's that her play style better matches that of the GM.
- The Psycho Rangers: In Dorkness Rising, Mort Kemnon defends himself with the undead bodies of the players' last party.
- Random Number God: played for comedy.
- Rage Against the Author: An in-fiction example at the end of the first movie.
- Refuge in Audacity: Nimble's typical modus operandi, from stealing a guy's pants in a bar just to see if he can, to hauling a freaking ballista into the same bar to backstab someone.
- Retcon: Nimble manages to retcon his own death. Three times.
Nimble: "Did I say walk down the corridor? I meant sneak down the corridor."
- Role Playing Game Verse
- Rules Lawyer: Cass. Newmoon's player to a lesser degree.
- 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.
- Shirtless Scene: Played for Laughs with Cass. The fact that Gary is dressed in black and thwacking him with a riding crop doesn't help matters.
- Shout-Out: From the second movie:
- The words "LONG LIVE GYGAX" are inscribed on a cursed door, referencing the game's late creator.
- Lodge's cat is named Guenhwyvar.
- The ninjas vs. pirates scene was actually filmed in the offices of Wizards of the Coast, and several Wizards employees were given speaking roles, including Female Luster, as she's credited.
- Lodge's Sluggy Freelance shirt.
- Brother Silence attempting to perform a Jedi mind trick: "There is plenty of room for us."
- When torturing the minion of the necromancer in the inn, Luster uses a Shoryuken on him, although s/he screams "Hadouken!".
- When told that a peasant is rummaging through their things, Gary screams "I WASTE HIM WITH MY CROSSBOW!"
- During the first battle, against the goblins, a remix of the Final Fantasy IV boss battle theme can be heard, with the Victory Fanfare playing after the battle is over.
- When opening the chest toward the middle of the second movie, something resembling the Zelda small item sound is heard.
- As well, when the
lightsaberPsionic Spirit Blade is retrieved from the chest, the music changes to a short tune similar to the Star Wars "Old Republic" theme.
- As well, when the
- Most of the items from the chest in the second movie are from the card game Munchkin. Shown are the Kneepads of Allure, Spiked Codpiece, Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment, and the Unnatural Axe.
- Near the end of the movie, Cass is shown wearing a shirt that features Grimtooth, of the infamous Grimtooth's Traps series.
- Spanner in the Works: The tide of battle against Mort Kemnon is turned when Lodge's cat jumps on the table — which is briefly represented in-universe and to scale — and messes up the pieces.
- Squishy Wizard: Ambrose.
- 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 tho 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.
- They Killed Kenny: The Bard, full stop.
- Third Person Seductress: Luster, based on Gary's Hot Teacher. he gets the idea to hit on Daphne, gets reminded he's playing a woman, and decides to continue hitting on her because Girl-On-Girl Is Hot.
- Treacherous Quest-Giver: The Hierophant from the second movie. Most of the players don't notice this because acting like Munchkins has effectively rendered them Genre Blind.
- 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.
- Cass does have a point in that Osric died in a building filled to the brim with clerics where Flinn had been resurrected literally moments ago, but one can easily presume that being killed by the Mask of Death might be a bit more permanent.
- You Look Familiar: Between the two movies
- Nathan Rice as Newmoon and Lodge/Osric.
- Phil M. Price as Nimble and
- Emily Olson as Princess and Therin.
- Matt Vancil as Hunk and Mitch.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: After defeating Mort Kemnon, Joanna realizes that it still isn't over — partly due to some in-story hints, partly because they're still playing.
- And in the first movie, she's in a really different castle: the dorm where the game is happening.
- "He who stumbles around in darkness with a stick is blind. But he who... sticks out in darkness... is... fluorescent!"