Mainstream Media Inspirations

For general discussions about WFRP
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Makrakken
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:13 am

Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:57 pm

Hi folks,

A rather common thread around the interwebs, but I haven't seen one here yet & I thought it might be nice to get one started on WoC.

What are your favourite TV series, movies &/or books (non-GW) that provide or have provided you with inspiration for your WFRP games?

We don't necessarily need to list media that is set in early Renaissance or similar alt-history or fantasy settings, although they're very welcome (& I have included a number of these myself), but rather TV series (or one-shots, documentaries, etc), movies & books of any genre that have inspired you to play or run or adapt for Warhammer.

Here's a starter list selection from me to get the ball rolling...

MOVIES
- Brotherhood of the Wolf
- A Field in England
- 13th Warrior
- The Name of the Rose
- Black Death
- Kingdom of Heaven
- Witchfinder General ('68)
- The Three Musketeers ('48, '73, '93)
- Valhalla Rising
- Aguirre, The Wrath of God ('72)

TV SERIES
- The Terror
- The Devil's Whore
- By the Sword Divided (~'83)
- Cadfael
- Blackadder II
- Blackadder the Third
- Sharpe
- Game of Thrones

BOOKS
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
- Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell
- Aubrey & Maturin series by Patrick O' Brian
- The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett (particularly The Watch, the Witches & the Unseen University novels)
- The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie
- The Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch
- The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss
- Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle &/or Solar Pons series by August Derleth
- The Book of the New Sun series by Gene Wolfe
- The Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden

Looking forward to hearing some further suggestions.
Last edited by Makrakken on Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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totsuzenheni
Posts: 109
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Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:55 pm

I'm just watching...

MOVIE
-The Wicker Man
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Hyarion
Posts: 61
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Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:20 pm

Movie:
Solomon Kane

TV:
The Twilight Zone (specifically, the 1954 Rod Serling version)
Star Trek (TOS and TNG)

Books:
Lord of the Rings - I can't seem to remember who wrote this one... Just can't place my finger on it...
The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War, and The Power that Preserves) by Stephen R Donaldson
The Phillip K Dick Reader - Phillip K Dick (who would have guessed?)
Ubik - Phillip K Dick
I, Robot - Isaac Asimov (the 1950 collection of short stories, not the novelization of the movie)
Nightfall - Isaac Asimov
The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov
Dune - Frank Herbert
The White Plague - Frank Herbert
Hellstrom's Hive - Frank Herbert
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

Those are the ones from the top of my head.

Anyone who wants to deal with Athel Loren (@KnightOfTheLady) should read The Illearth War.
Hellstrom's Hive is an incredible story about how Skaven might be if they aren't backstabbing.
I hold the glaive of Law against the Earth.
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hallucyon
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Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:15 pm

Good topic, Makrakken. There was one on StS, but it is no more...

BOOKS off the top of my head, classified on an ad-hoc basis:

DETECTIVE:
The Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hercule Poirot series by Agatha Christie
The Crowner John Mysteries series by Bernard Henry Knight
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

GENERAL FICTION:
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
Silmarillion by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (who authored The Lord of the Rings, Hyarion)
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Baudolino by Umberto Eco
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (pen name)
Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
The Accursed Kings series by Maurice Druon
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

DISEASE:
The Plague by Albert Camus
Rats, Lice and History by Hans Zinsser

HISTORY:
The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
Power and Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe by Peter Spufford
Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies
Life in a Medieval City by Frances and Joseph Gies
Life in a Medieval Village by Frances and Joseph Gies
Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages by Frances and Joseph Gies

HORROR, GOTHIC AND WEIRD TALES:
The Cthulhu Mythos series by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Various works by Edgar Allan Poe (e.g. The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Fall of the House of Usher)
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The Castle by Franz Kafka

CLASSICAL:
The Iliad by Homer
The Odyssey by Homer
Metamorphoses by Ovid
Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

PLUS TWO EMINENT POLISH AUTHORS:

The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski (translated by David French)
The Hussite Trilogy by Andrzej Sapkowski (Gollancz and Orbit have purchased the rights, to be translated by David French)
All works by Stanisław Lem (translated by Michael Kandel)
Knight of the Lady
Posts: 97
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Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:50 am

A Song of Ice and Fire - Nothing gets me as excited for a game in Bretonnia as this series, books or TV. :)
satakuua
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Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:40 pm

Pathfinder (2007) is not a good movie, but there are pretty awesome Chaos warriors in it!

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totsuzenheni
Posts: 109
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Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:51 pm

BOOKS
- Nod by Adrian Barnes (What happens when almost no one can sleep anymore? In WFRP this could be a petty magic spell gone wrong.)
- The Vorrh by Brian Catling (A magical realist 'adventure' into the endless forest that humans were banned from. 'Monsters', monsters, and magical items.)
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totsuzenheni
Posts: 109
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Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:56 pm

MOVIES
-Labyrinth
-The Dark Crystal
-Season Of The Witch
-The VVitch
Makrakken
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:13 am

Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:02 pm

hallucyon wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:15 pm
Good topic, Makrakken. There was one on StS, but it is no more...
Thanks Hallucyon. I am (was?) Rolf Makrakken/Abe Sapien on StS & often popped back into that thread when I was looking for something to read or watch, so I thought it might be an idea to get something similar going here.

Nice to see some familiar faces still knocking around the Warhammer world!

Some great additions & suggestions already, thanks folks.
Last edited by Makrakken on Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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totsuzenheni
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Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:19 pm

BOOK
- A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms by G. R. R. Martin. (Three short stories following the adventures of a hedge knight in Westeros starting 89 years before the events of A Song Of Ice And Fire)
Theo
Posts: 68
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Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:09 am

Not an exhaustive list by any means, just a few inspirations off the top of my head for my current campaign:

Books
The Monk by Matthew G. Lewis (admittedly from distant memory, haven't reread it in yonks)
The Devil's Elixirs by E. T. A. Hoffmann (ditto - the definitive treatment of the doppelgänger story)
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P. Lovecraft
A Song of Ice And Fire by George R. R. Martin

Comics
Solomon Kane: The Castle of the Devil
Hellblazer
Marvel: 1602
The Order of the Stick

Movies
Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter
From Hell
La Reine Margot (my Bretonnia is this, pretty much)
Shakespeare in Love
Snow White: a Tale of Terror

TV series
Upstart Crow
Gunpowder
The Musketeers
Stranger Things
Preacher
The Boys
Karanthir
Posts: 63
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Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:25 am

Makrakken wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:57 pm
- Blackadder II
- Blackadder the Third
I don't think I can add anything that hasn't already been mentioned. But since I have a soft spot for The Blackadder (season 1) I feel honour-bound to point out that it has the most WFRP-esque episode of the whole series: "The Witchsmeller Pursuivant"! In fact, I think there's a reference to it in one of the first edition books - a cat drinking bloody milk.
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Ralzar
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Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:01 am

A movie that often pops up in these threads, that I don't see here, is the gritty mercenary movie by Verhoeven with Rutger Hauer as the lead:

Blood + Flesh
Horst Horstman
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:56 am

Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:59 am

Films
Recently watched the film Apostle by Gareth Evans which I though might make a good WHFRP adventure
Would second A field in England (and Kill List) by Ben Wheatley as great inspiration
Monty Python - especially Holy Grail and The life of Brian have been strong influences for me (and on WHFRP from the start)

Comics
Die by Gillen and McKelvie
Fatale by Brubaker and Phillips
Sixth Gun by Bunn and Hurtt

Books
Drawing of the Dark, On stranger tides and The Anubis Gate by Tim Powers
FasterThanJesus
Posts: 73
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Location: UK

Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:31 am

Karanthir wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:25 am
Makrakken wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:57 pm
- Blackadder II
- Blackadder the Third
I don't think I can add anything that hasn't already been mentioned. But since I have a soft spot for The Blackadder (season 1) I feel honour-bound to point out that it has the most WFRP-esque episode of the whole series: "The Witchsmeller Pursuivant"! In fact, I think there's a reference to it in one of the first edition books - a cat drinking bloody milk.
"There was no blood!"
"So you made do with milk!"
*gasps*
"That proves it"

paraphrasing.

The final episode is a little WFRP, too, with vagabonds forming a surprsingly successful coup.
Capitaneus Fractus
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:41 am

Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:36 am

This presentation of the Roman Empire, at the 1st century of our era, by the famous French medievalist historian Jacques Le Goff, appears to me to be the perfect historical example of what would be, in the Warhammer World, a society that follows precepts of the Law gods:

Placée par Romulus sous le signe de la fermeture, l'histoire romaine, jusque dans ses réussites, n'est que l'histoire d'une grandiose clôture. La Ville rassemble autour d'elle un espace dilaté par les conquêtes jusqu'à un périmètre optimum de défense qu'elle s'impose au ier siècle d'enfermer derrière le limes, véritable muraille de Chine du monde occidental. À l'intérieur de ce rempart elle exploite sans créer : aucune innovation technique depuis l'époque hellénistique, une économie alimentée par le pillage où les guerres victorieuses fournissent la main-d’œuvre servile et les métaux précieux puisés dans les trésors thésaurisés de l'Orient. Elle excelle dans les arts conservateurs : la guerre, toujours défensive malgré les apparences de la conquête ; le droit, qui se bâtit sur l'échafaudage des précédents et se prémunit contre les innovations ; le sens de l’État qui assure la stabilité des institutions ; l'architecture, art par excellence de la demeure. Ce chef-d’œuvre de performance, d'intégration, qu'a été la civilisation romaine est attaqué dans la seconde moitié du iie siècle par l'érosion de forces de destruction et de renouvellement.
La grande crise du iiie siècle sape l'édifice. [...]


"Even in its successes, the history of Rome, destined to be enclosed by Romulus, was merely the history of a compound on a grand scale. The Eternal City gathered a territory around itself which it widened by conquests until an optimal perimeter for defence was reached. In the first century, it tried to close off its territory behind the limes, the western world's equivalent of the Great Wall of China. Within this boundary Rome exploited its empire without creating anything. No technical innovation had occurred since the Hellenistic age. Rome's economy was fed by pillage; successful wars provided slave manpower and precious metals drawn from the hoarded treasures of the east. Rome excelled in conservative skills such as warfare, which was always defensive in spite of appearing to be a series of conquests; law, which was founded on a framework of precedents and fended off innovation; a sens of the state which assured the stability of institutions; and architecture, an outstanding example of an art meant to endure.
This masterpiece of ultraconservatism, Roman civilization, was attacked in the second half of the second century by the forces of destruction and renewal. The great crisis of the third century undermined the unity of the Roman world. [...]"

LE GOFF, Jacques, La civilisation de l'Occident médiéval, chap. 1, p. 11, "Champs histoire", Flammarion, [Paris], 2008 ;
translated in English by Julia Barrow as Medieval Civilization, 400-1500, Blackwell, Oxford, 1988.

I find this source of inspiration very welcome as I had a lot of difficulties, previously, to imagine a credible society that would follow precepts of Law Gods. Richard Priestley and Bryan Ansell suggested, in a leaked document, that a good Law divinity would be a god of artisans... We might also imagine, after Le Goff's indictment, Law gods of law (it seem obvious in English... not in French), of statesmanship, of defensive war and of architecture...
Last edited by Capitaneus Fractus on Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Veniam, Duelli Malleum, phantasticum ludum personae uidebo, in fera terra periculosorum aduenturorum ludebam.
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hallucyon
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:20 pm

Capitaneus Fractus wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:36 am
This presentation of the Roman Empire, at the 1st century of our era, by the famous French medievalist historian Jacques Le Goff, appears to me to be the perfect historical example of what would be, in the Warhammer World, a society that follows precepts of the Law gods:

[...]

I find this source of inspiration very welcome as I had a lot of difficulties, previously, to imagine a credible society that would follow precepts of Law Gods. Richard Priestley and Bryan Ansell suggested, in a leaked document, that a good Law divinity would be a god of artisans... We might also imagine, after Le Goff's indictment, Law gods of law (it seem obvious in English... not in French), of statesmanship, of defensive war and of architecture...
Any source which might be inspirational for our WFRP games is worth recommending. I like Le Goff's books and hold them in esteem. Having said that, I want to emphasise that he was, as you have rightly remarked, a specialist in the Middle Ages. Therefore his assessment of the Antiquity can be somewhat superficial and not necessarily accurate.
Capitaneus Fractus
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:41 am

Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:47 am

Yes that is for sure. I wouldn't neither take it this captationem benevolentiæ too literally..., and you are right to emphasis on the point you underline, but I fell this extract is a good and strong credible inspiration on what could be Law Gods cultists' mindset in the Warhammer world (and the quoted book is also an interesting book to summary the Western Civilisation during the Mediæval era, by the way).
Veniam, Duelli Malleum, phantasticum ludum personae uidebo, in fera terra periculosorum aduenturorum ludebam.
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