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Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Had A Game Expert On Set Who Was Sometimes Ignored

"Dungeons and Dragons" is a tabletop roleplaying game that uses a complex set of rules to facilitate endless fantasy storytelling. In some ways, it's shocking that this year's "Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" didn't arrive in theaters many years ago, during what increasingly appears to have been the peak of franchise filmmaking. But writing the script for the bombastic fantasy adventure film wasn't as simple as playing a game and writing down the results. Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein wanted to deliver a proper blockbuster experience, and while honoring the game and its fans was important, it wasn't (shall we say) paramount.

As noted by the directors in an interview with Polygon, a "Dungeons and Dragons" expert was on hand to act as a resident rules lawyer, informing the two directors of any discrepancies between their ideas and what is possible in a real game of "D&D." But in order not to confuse the moviegoing masses — potentially at the cost of angering a few "Dungeons and Dragons" players — Goldstein says that when the pace of the film came into conflict with the game's rules, he and Daly almost unerringly prioritized the onscreen experience.

Said Daley, "The inherent challenge is, how do you depict this in a cinematic way that doesn't completely alienate non-fans, or people that are not at all familiar with 'Dungeons and Dragons'? So it was a tightrope walk that we were doing at all times."

Rest periods were the most ignored game rule for the D&D movie

While "Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daly may have bent the game's official rules for moviemaking purposes, they followed them wherever possible, only making adjustments for stuff that didn't translate well to a visual medium. In fact, there are many Easter eggs in "Honor Among Thieves" that only hardcore players will notice. According to Goldstein, "The only thing we really went away from was rest periods, because that's not really fun on screen."

Rest periods are when characters in a game of "Dungeons and Dragons" must lodge somewhere or set up camp to heal their wounds or recharge abilities during a period of downtime. There are both short and long rests, with a short rest consisting of light activity and long rests usually consisting of sleep. While the characters in "Honor Among Thieves" do, in fact, take rests, they serve to give the film some downtime to explore the characters and their emotions.

Of course, other game rules were set aside as well. Fans of the tabletop game made quite the ruckus about the druid Doric's (Sophia Lillis) ability to transform into an owlbear, something that's a near impossibility in a real game of "Dungeons and Dragons." Paramount Pictures responded to that fan criticism with an animated video mocking their pedantry.