In the next few months, Lost will be wrapping up its final season. From the beginning of the series, I was a fan of Lost. I loved the supernatural elements and the character archetypes, the foreshadowing and the symbolism. As I was watching the episode last Tuesday night, I was struck by how much Dungeons & Dragons resonates in Lost.
[Season 6 Spoilers]
Like any good D&D game, a lot of the excitement of Lost comes from its setting. In the tradition of the Isle of Dread and King Kong, Lost is set on an island with fantastic or rare creatures (one in particular). An island makes a great setting, because the vast stretches of water surrounding it make for walls more insurmountable than the walls of any fortress or arena. One might no sooner leave an island than climb the sky.
The Lost island also has the benefit of other interesting environments: tall mountains, dense jungles, secret dungeon-like chambers. In fact, some maps I recently looked at capture just how much of a D&D environment the Lost island is.
The theme of good versus evil—dark versus light—also resonates in both D&D and Lost. Of course, this theme exists throughout fiction and media, but D&D and Lost share the fact that they revel in conflict between good and evil. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much time playing D&D and reading fantasy fiction, but I enjoy forms of entertainment—movies, books, video games—that unabashedly deal with good versus evil (Star Wars, anyone?). Lost dances around the conflict in its first few seasons, but now it seems to have fully embraced the subject matter. I liked the subtly with which it has dealt with good versus evil, but I’m happy to see the series has thrown it out in the open now that it’s coming to an end.
Lost even has a great monster—one with cunning and power, worthy of any D&D villain. Like a lich, it seems to possess immortality and an intricate web of devious and evil plots (maybe it’s part drow?). It certainly has cloud of darkness down pat.
Lost has its adventuring party, and like any typical D&D adventuring party, no one gets along. Okay, well maybe that’s not entirely true of every D&D adventuring party, but there’s certainly enough drama and tension to rival a party of heroes. We’ve got characters of various alignments, and sometimes, those alignments cause conflict.
Kate Austen — chaotic neutral
John Locke — neutral good
Benjamin Linus — neutral evil
Jack Shepherd — lawful good (or at least, he tries)
James “Sawyer” Ford — chaotic good
Sayid Jarrah — true neutral
The Kwons — neutral good
Claire Littletone — crazy chaotic
Hugo “Hurley” Reyes — neutral good
Yeah—I know, I used the old alignment system. Somehow it seemed more appropriate for the wide range of motivations in these characters. Lost also has its share of NPCs, but hey, I’ve got to leave something for my next post. For now, here’s a D&D mechanical bit to enjoy.
The Black Smoke Level 10 Elite Controller
Large immortal animate XP 1,000
Initiative +6 Senses Perception +9; darkvision
Frightening Presence (fear, psychic) aura 5; any enemy that starts its turn within the aura takes 5 psychic damage, and the black smoke can slide the enemy 2 squares if that creature is able to take free actions.
HP 208; Bloodied 104
AC 24, Fortitude 21, Reflex 21, Will 24
Resist insubstantial (whenever the black smoke takes force or psychic damage, it loses insubstantial until the end of its next turn.)
Saving Throws +2
Speed 6, fly 8 (hover)
Action Points 1
m Choke (standard; at-will)
+13 vs. Fortitude; 2d6 + 2 damage, and ongoing 10 damage (save ends).
M Enveloping Smoke (standard; recharge 5 6)
The black smoke shifts up to its speed and can move through enemies’ spaces during the shift. Each time the black smoke enters an enemy’s space for the first time during the shift, it makes the following attack against that enemy: +13 vs. Fortitude; 2d6 + 2 damage, and the black smoke grabs the target. The black smoke can grab no more than four creatures at a time. Until the grab ends, the target takes ongoing 10 damage. When the black smoke moves, it pulls with it any creature grabbed by it, and the creature remains grabbed and within the black smoke’s space. The black smoke does not provoke an opportunity attack from the grabbed creature for this movement Sustain Minor: The black smoke sustains its grabs against each creature grabbed by it.
R Silver Tongue (minor 1/round; at-will) F Charm
Ranged 10; +13 vs. Will; the target uses a free action to make a basic attack of the black smoke’s choice against one creature of the black smoke’s choice. The target gains a +2 bonus to the attack roll and a +4 bonus to the damage roll for this attack. This attack does not provoke opportunity attacks.
Alter Shape (minor; at-Will) F Polymorph
The black smoke alters its clothing and physical form to appear as a Medium middle-aged human until it ends the effect as a minor action or until it drops to 0 hit points. The black smoke retains its statistics in its new form. A successful Insight check (opposed by the black smoke’s Bluff check) pierces the disguise.
Skills Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Insight +14
Str 19 (+9) Dex 13 (+6) Wis 18 (+9)
Con 16 (+8) Int 18 (+9) Cha 21 (+10)
Alignment evil incarnate Languages Common