Designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, Dungeons & Dragons grew beyond its initial cult. Released in 1974, J&D has become one of the most popular tabletop games on the market and has inspired not only its players, but also series of books, video games and films.
Fans of the popular tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons draw inspiration from books, TV shows and movies to help inspire their characters and the worlds these characters live in. There are hundreds of movies that players of Dungeons & Dragons can either relate to, be inspired by, or watch to pass the time between quests.
by Jim Henson Labyrinth has all the elements of a great J&D adventure for those who prefer to use their brains rather than their muscles; puzzles, riddles, traps and whimsical creatures. Labyrinth has become a cult classic for fantasy fans due to Bowie’s enchanting soundtrack and Henson’s talent for bringing storybook beings to life to create a believable world where the Goblin King rules.
The film follows Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), a young girl who would rather live in an imaginary land than babysit her little brother. Frustrated, she begs the Goblin King to keep the baby away; however, she does not rely on her wish to come true. Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie) tells her she has 13 hours to solve her maze or risk her baby brother becoming a goblin forever. Along the way, Sarah makes new friends who help her solve Jareth’s maze and overcome the challenges he throws at her.
9 Knights of Badassdom
Whereas Knights of Badassdom is centered around a LARP (live action role-playing game), as the film explains, it’s like Dungeons & Dragons without sitting around a table. This horror/comedy is full of references and jokes that fans of fantasy role-playing games will appreciate.
After being dumped by his girlfriend, Joe (Ryan Kwanten) is taken against his will to a LARP by his friends Eric (Steve Zahn) and Hung (Peter Dinklage) in an attempt to cheer him up. Everything goes well until Steve, who is about to become a high wizard, uses an old book he bought as part of his costume to cast a spell. Unfortunately, Steve summons an actual flesh-eating demon that takes the form of Joe’s ex-girlfriend.
8 Van Helsing
For fans of Dungeon & Dragons modules like Ravenloft, Van Helsing offers a similar premise to the classic vampire adventure. Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) is sent to help the last remaining members of a family of Valerious monster hunters in Transylvania. Along with Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale) and clumsy brother Carl (David Wenham), Helsing must defeat Dracula before executing his plan to unleash his bloodthirsty brood upon the world.
Filled with vampires, werewolves, and even Frankenstein’s monster, this 2004 fantasy/horror is sure to inspire players to battle Strahd or inspire their next monster-hunting character.
seven Conan the Barbarian
For old school fans Dungeons & Dragons, the 1982 action/adventure movie Conan the Barbarian, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones, is a popular choice for game masters to model their home brew campaigns. The score, composed by Basil Poledouris, can be a great choice for choosing an epic quest soundtrack.
Based on the comics by Robert E. Howard, Conan the Barbarian follows Conan as he becomes a fierce warrior who seeks revenge for the death of his tribe at the hands of the evil wizard Thulsa Doom. The popularity of the film spawned the sequel, Conan the Destroyer, two years later; however, the planned third Conan The film never materialized due to production issues.
6 flight of dragons
flight of dragons is a 1982 animated fantasy, and was produced by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. The film explored whether magic and science can coexist. Peter Dickinson, voiced by John Ritter, is a 20th century scientist turned board game designer with an obsession with dragons. He is drawn into a world similar to his game by the green wizard Carolinus (Harry Morgan) to join a party of adventurers to steal the crown of the red wizard Ommadon (James Earl Jones) before blanketing the world in fear and greed. .
flight of dragons is an underrated animated gem. fans of Dungeons & Dragons who might be unfamiliar with this Rankin & Bass movie can find ways to incorporate some of its elements into their next adventure.
5 Robin Hood: Men in Tights
by Mel Brooks Robin Hood: Men in Tights parodies the Robin Hood story with 90s pop culture references and trademark gags for which Mel Brooks is best known. Starring Cary Elwes as Robin Hood, Robin is on a mission to reclaim his family’s lands and titles and save the good people of Nottingham from the evil Prince John (Richard Lewis) while King Richard fights in the Crusades. .
Although the film lacks the fantasy elements associated with Dungeons & Dragonsplayers who regularly use modern phrasing and references in their roleplaying should be able to relate to the fun cast of characters who seem to be weak on most of their scores.
4 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
An adventurer is tasked with searching for a sacred artifact that was believed to be a myth but is real, and the only way to find it is to piece together the clues left behind throughout history. Although this scenario falls into most J&D scenarios, this is actually the premise of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
This 1989 action-adventure classic starring Harrison Ford and Sean Connery has Indiana Jones searching for the Holy Grail to save her father. Jones’ father was kidnapped because he knew the location of the Grail. Jones must ponder a dangerous dungeon full of traps and puzzles to find the cup guarded by a 700-year-old knight.
3 The princess to be married
The princess to be married is a cult classic that’s more than just a romance; it has action, comedy, and quotable dialogue. This is perhaps one of the most quoted films, and it can be difficult to play a role without dropping a line of The princess to be married during the game.
Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) reunites with her lost lover Westley (Cary Elwes), who has returned as the Dread Pirate Roberts. A grandfather tells the story to his sick grandson, and although it sounds like a simple romance, as the story progresses it becomes much more than that with swashbuckling pirates , political intrigue, magic and unusually large rodents.
2 Monty Python and the Holy Grail
If there is something that almost all gamers of Dungeons & Dragons can relate to, he plans a serious campaign so that he ends up becoming chaotic and comedic; for these players, there is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Written by the legendary British comedy group Monty Python and the Holy Grailand co-directed by cast member Terry Jones, and close Python Terry Gilliam cohort. The film is a serious adventure that seems to go off the rails in the best way.
In this parody of the Arthurian legend, Monty Python and the Holy Grail features some of the most iconic scenes, from the defeated Dark Knight exclaiming “It’s a flesh wound”, to the caves guarded by a killer rabbit; it’s easy to see why this film has become a comedy classic.
1 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
It’s hard to argue Dungeons & Dragons not to mention JRR Tolkien The Lord of the Rings. When the first edition of D&D came out, the back of the player’s handbook said The Lord of the Rings as recommended reading to help with gaming. Tolkien’s work can be seen throughout the fantasy genre, not just in games but in books, TV shows, and movies.
In 2001, Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring came out, introducing new fans to Tolkien’s story and influencing a new generation of J&D players. Whereas Fellowship of the Ring is the first in the the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it contains elements that fans of the popular tabletop role-playing game will recognize; a band of adventurers from different backgrounds embark on a quest to destroy an evil object in order to save their land from the BBEG, and it begins in a tavern.