Honor Among The Thieves Bears Controversy Explained
The official Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves trailer is finally out. Here’s how an Owlbear sparked controversy in the fandom.
The first trailer for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Thieves dropped, and only one monster has ever caused controversy – the Owlbear. Released during San Diego Comic Con 2022, the honor among thieves trailer gave a first look at the long-awaited film’s plot, which had been kept under wraps throughout production. The characters of honor among thieves stars like Chris Pine, Hugh Grant and Regé-Jean Page were also revealed at the event; however, it was a brief snippet of Doric, a tiefling druid played by Sophia Lillis, that caused such heated debate among Dungeons & Dragons fandom.
In the brief scene from the trailer, Doric transforms his body into that of an Owlbear using Wild Shape, easily decimating his enemies before reverting to his Tiefling form. In Dungeons and Dragons 5th – the current edition of the game rules, published by Wizards of the Coast – Wild Shape gives druids the ability to magically transform into any beast they have encountered before due to their attunement to the nature. The problem that arises in the trailer and is therefore at the heart of the debate is that the Owlbears are not classified as “beasts” but like “Monstrosities“, which means that transforming into Owlbear via Wild Shape would not be an option for players who strictly follow the Player’s Handbook rules.
After the trailer was released, many fans took to the internet to speak out against the misuse of the rules of the game; if the trailer is already flouting the rules of the source material, there’s a chance the movie will skip enough of it to shoot honor among thieves in another generic fantasy movie instead of a real one Dungeons and Dragons film. However, others countered that this decision was made to highlight a unique monster to J&D, and the tabletop game has amassed a great deal of lore and original monsters, which means fitting it all into a movie format is a formidable task. In addition to this, many players in the game play by the “cool rule“, where cool actions can replace written rules – and seeing a druid wipe out multiple enemies while switching to a monstrosity in the middle of a battle definitely qualifies as”cool.”
How the Owlbear Debate Highlights Dungeons & Dragons’ Greatest Quality
As the debate rages on, its mere existence highlights what makes J&D a fantastic game; it has something for every type of player. For those who prefer to stick to the written rules, there are many references, as well as J&D adventures and characters to explore while playing through the book. However, the key to the game’s creativity lies in a caveat that can be found in the Dungeon Master’s Guide; “The rules of D&D help you and other players have a good time, but the rules are not in charge. You’re the DM, and you’re in charge of the game.” In J&D, the dungeon master makes the final call. This means that the rules of J&D are fluid, varying from table to table and adventure to adventure, offering endless ways to play that cater to all types of players.
With that in mind, there’s no one way to play J&Dand there is not just one way to create a Dungeons and Dragons film. Adapting the rules of a tabletop game into a purely visual format means that things may not be exactly the same in honor among thieves as they would in a traditional campaign setting, especially in a game with the level of creative freedom that J&D provides. Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Thieves may not follow the rules perfectly – but, as in the game itself, that’s what will probably make it great.
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- Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)Release Date: Sep 08, 2023
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