Vin Diesel is best known by audiences for a certain franchise involving quick (and apparently angry) cars, but those in role-playing circles are more familiar with his insatiable Dungeons & Dragons habit. In fact, so into the pen-and-paper game is Diesel, his new flick, The Last Witch Hunter, is based on one of his characters.
You might be smirking at this point, but its completely true. You only have to read a paragraph or two of this interview with the man himself by Yahoo’s Donna Dickens to realise the guy knows his tarrasques from his troglodytes:
…about four years ago I met with a writer name [sic] Cory Goodman and we started talking. Someone put us together because he was a D&D player. [Afterwards, Cory] went off to write a whole film around my character Melkor. Just the very fact that I’d be playing a witch hunter speaks to how nerdy I was about the game, how committed I was to D&D because witch hunter [wasn’t a] class by TSR at the time.
It was a character that you could get from a third party book of characters called The Arcanum. There were a few characters that started there that eventually Dungeons and Dragons took over; one of those characters was a witch hunter.
Before you ask, the Witch Hunter has a hybrid — a ranger with a spell-casting abilities. This is back in 2nd Edition, where it was rarer to have that sort of class; it’s more common in newer editions, including the latest, 5th.
For the movie, the character of “Melkor” was renamed “Kaulder” and the setting is slightly more modern, but the influences are apparently still there. Here’s the trailer, if you haven’t seen it: