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We faced the Green Knight in the movie’s tabletop RPG

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How would Tom Waits have handled the Arthurian legend?

The 14th-century British legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight inspired David Lowrey’s lyrical and moody The Green Knight. That film has inspired a throwback tabletop role-playing game in the vein of Dungeons & Dragons, a game which we have played the latest episode of Overboard.

We played the game with the special guests Dave Schilling and Jonah Ray. Normally they host Polygon’s podcast Galaxy Brains, but on our adventure they played the loquacious Sir Willy and the gravel-voiced bard Glonk, respectively. They joined our heroes on a quest to meet the Green Knight … and their fate.

The Green Knight RPG will feel familiar to anyone versed in tabletop role-playing games. Players roll 20-sided dice as they deal with dangerous encounters and moral quandaries. There is one major distinction, however, which is that players lack hit points. Per the official game master’s guide, the “characters need not fear death — the ultimate punishment is dishonor.”

What this means in practice is that players will receive either honor or dishonor for their actions, a mark which will follow them in later encounters and affect their ability to proceed and, ultimately, face their fate at the hands of the Green Knight. In a world of unscrupulous bandits, ancient magic, and natural perils, remaining honorable is no easy task.

You can find out how we handled the Green Knight in our actual play of the game, either in podcast form on Galaxy Brains, or in the video above. If you enjoy this episode of Overboard, be sure to check out all the past episodes on our YouTube channel.