A24 was set to release David Lowery’s take on the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with The Green Knight in May but the Covid-19 pandemic derailed those plans: the film still doesn’t have a release date.
For those who were eagerly awaiting the film, you’re in luck—the studio has released a roleplaying game based on the film.
The game, The Green Knight: A Fantasy Roleplaying Game, is now available to pre-order in A24’s store. It’ll cost you $35, and is scheduled to be released on August 7th. The set comes with a GM guide with the rules, encounters and some bonus quests, a map, character sheets, and a D20. The studio also released a tongue-in-cheek retro trailer for the game.
Lowery helped develop the game along with game master Timm Woods, who told io9 that A24 had gotten in touch wanting to develop the game, and that the film’s story already contained most of the elements of a solid RPG campaign: A quest.
“David’s vision of the Green Knight tale emphasizes a sense of uncanniness, mystery, even horror — some of my favorite elements of a good tabletop roleplaying game,” Woods wrote, “It was important that the game be about investigation and decision-making, rather than just hack-and-slashing.” He noted that adapting the quest was the easy part—it was capturing the sense of “doubt and fear … the real threats” were more challenging.
The end result, Woods explains, is a game that “roughly patterns after the film,” but that that’s just a starting point: They expect that players who dip into the game will use the system to create their own adventures and continue to dabble in the world.
Roleplaying games—and particularly Dungeons & Dragons—have exploded in popularity in recent years, thanks to platforms like Twitch, TV shows like Stranger Things, and people discovering or rediscovering the creativity and spontaneity that an in-person roleplaying game brought to the … er… table.
There’s also no shortage of RPG tie-ins out there. There’s a Stranger Things / D&D collaboration, one for The Expanse, another one for N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, one for the upcoming video game Cyberpunk 2077, hell, there’s even one that Wendy’s —yes, fast food chain Wendy’s—put out called Feast of Legends: Rise from the Deep Freeze. (Yeah, I don’t know either.)
Now, A24 joins the lineup. On one hand, a game like this (and others) serve as a marketing gimmick for the film. But gimmick or no, an RPG can be an excellent way for people to take a story that resonates with them and explore it on their own terms.
The film doesn’t have a release date yet: it was slated to hit theaters in May, and Lowery has said that he hopes the film will get a theatrical release at some point, as opposed to a video on demand release that so many films have shifted to while theaters have been closed.