My dear adventurers, my fellow Game Masters, and my delightful dice goblins, the Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves trailer has released. This is Wizards of the Coast's most recent crack at a live-action Dungeons and Dragons movie after the poorly received 2000 movie with Jeremy Irons and the direct-to-video sequels Wrath of the Dragon God and The Book of Vile Darkness.
But for those with an exceptionally high perception score may have noticed that the trailer is absolutely packed with various tropes and ideas that many adventuring groups will recognize from their many tales from the table. And since we here at TechRaptor like our share of swords and sorcery, we have decided to break down all of these elements here so that fans will know what to expect and that fresh moviegoers won't be completely surprised. Here is every classic D&D moment we found in the Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Trailer.
Classic D&D Moments in the Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Trailer
An Adventuring Party
Right off the bat, the trailer shows our heroes and they appear to be an adventuring party. Furthermore, the party appears to be a healthy mix of (from left to right) a Barbarian with an axe, a cocky Thief, a magic-user with robes and a staff, and what appears to be a Tiefling (note the horns) Druid. Dungeons and Dragons has always been about a group of individuals doing great things so this is a good start.
As the trailer continues, we see the party diving into a dungeon surrounded by lava and what appear to be dwarf statues. And they seem to retrieve a golden helmet of some kind. The idea that dungeons are made up of long lost civilizations or destroyed cities containing valuable or powerful items from the past is deeply ingrained in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Hell, half the time it's what most adventurers spend most of their time doing. It's like grave-robbing but with more stabbing.
… Containing Artifacts of Power
Who doesn't remember finding a magic item or an artifact after a dungeon crawl? Apparently Justice Smith's character is getting that experience first-hand.
Dragons! So Many Dragons In The Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Trailer!
Yeah, it's in the name of the game. The first one we see in the trailer to be a Black Dragon. This is notable since Black Dragons are known for being evil, so you know he's a bad guy. Plus, as the trailer shows, Black Dragons don't breath fire but jets of acidic bile on their enemies. Nice touch.
Later on in the trailer we see another dragon. However, this one appears to be a metallic dragon, although what kind is hard to tell due to the scales and the colors. This is curious because metallic dragons are known to either be wise, lawful, or inclined toward good causes. Furthermore, this dragon appears to be in a town. This could be a likeness of the platinum dragon Bahamut striking fear into a would-be thief (would not be surprising given the name of the movie.)
Finally, near the very end of the trailer, we see a third dragon shooting fire at the party. This is most likely a Red Dragon since their breath weapon is flame. Also they are chromatic which means like Black Dragons, they are inclined towards being evil. They are also sworn enemies of Dwarves. Given that the area the group is fighting in appears to be the same lava filled dungeon with the dwarf statues we saw earlier in the trailer, we can...figure out what happened to them.
Torches and Sconces That Light By Themselves
It's a bit of a doofy beat in the trailer with Chris Pine's face but it is a bit of theatrical delight that many Dungeon Masters have dabbled in from time to time!
As mentioned before during a certain interview with Dungeons and Dragons Lead Designer Chris Perkins, liches are some of the most iconic baddies found in a D&D adventure. Lo and behold, just as Chris Pine's character mentions “the greatest evil the world has ever known” we get a look at a tall red-robed figure with decaying skin surrounded by followers performing some sort of magic ritual. With a wardrobe ripped straight for the 5e Dungeon Master's Guide nonetheless!
As the trailer continues we see a group of soldiers charging against a wall of magic-users. They appear to be either Sorcerors or Wizards they appear to be casting the Shield spell which makes them harder to hit and protects them magic attacks. We even see one character's shield blocking arrows in mid-flight.
Improvised Weapons and Attacks
Dungeons and Dragons is a creative experience full of edge cases and players with hare-brained schemes. Who wouldn't dip their axe into some lava for a little extra oomph with their attacks. Also, we see multiple attacks in a single round of combat with Michelle Rodriguez punching through some guards.
It just wouldn't be a Dungeons and Dragons adventure without someone wielding a weapon imbued with some sort of magical effect. In this character's case it looks like it might be a +1 Sword of Returning? We see him launch the blade forward like a projectile a beat later.
The Druid Turning Into a Monster and Wrecking Some Fools
As mentioned before, the movie has a Druid. One of the key abilities of a Druid is Wildshape, or the ability to transform into a creature and use their natural gifts as their own. In this case, the Druid turned into an Owlbear and went to town on some guards. Don't mess with the forces of nature, adventurers.
Technically, this was something that Tolkien brought to fantasy with stories like The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, but Dungeons and Dragons also has its share of parties traveling, making camp, keeping watch, and just exploring the world in search of gold and glory. At least the scenery is nice along the way.
Shenanigans With Portals
Depending on your group and your adventure, a lot of nonsense with portals and teleportation can happen within Dungeons and Dragons. In this trailer's case, it appears someone has cast Dimension Door in order to allow the group to quickly get from one location to another.
Old school Dungeons and Dragons players know some of the best tools to have at your disposal when delving into dungeons are fifty feet of rope and a lantern by your side. Those things can save lives.
This is a pretty common fantasy trope. However, the architecture shown here doesn't appear to be normal for Dwarves. In fact, I am inclined to believe this is the Underdark, the home of the Drow or Dark Elves. Why, because there is also....
We see a quick shot of an individual with dark eyes, scary looking armor, and wielding a green flaming sword. In fact, the holy symbol marked on his forehead is a dead ringer for Lolth The Spider Queen, the most venerated Goddess of Drow who dwell in the Underdark. Expect some dark goings on with these people.
Lightning bolt. Lightning bolt. Lightning bolt. I don't care if the meme's old, it's iconic for a reason!
All told, this is an iconic Dungeons and Dragons spell for a reason. It can hit multiple enemies in a single line and is guaranteed to at least harm someone unless they are a Monk or a Rogue with the Evasion feat. Yes, adventurers can potentially dodge lightning point blank. That is just the power level this universe runs on. If it happens in the movie, it is not unrealistic.
Just fireball. Just fireball. Just fireball.
Again, much like Lightning Bolt, it is a Dungeons and Dragons spell that has gotten a lot of use due to it being a giant area-of-effect blast that's great for sieges and crowd control. It can also potentially be dodged.
However, it must be noted that as written, the Fireball spell manifests at a point of origin then blossoms out to an area of effect, not lobbed towards the targets like it was fired from a trebuchet.
This could mean these fireballs are just siege weapons being used in a battle but... come on, I had to mention Fireball at least once.
Admit it, you saw this part of the trailer and immediately thought of grid tiles. Yes, it appears there will in fact be a maze that the party will have to navigate in the movie.
Yes, this is a world where a certain race of monsters evolved in such a way to disguise themselves as treasure chests, then wait for a clueless schmuck to try to open them and then eat them. Angler fish would be proud.
It is a little bit weird that the adventurer's hands weren't immediately stuck to the mimic's body once it revealed itself. Their flesh is naturally covered with a sticky membrane to prevent their prey from escaping.
Displacer Beast and Gelatinous Cube
Two more classic Dungeons and Dragons monsters can be seen here. The big old cube of jelly that the adventurers jumped inside of is the iconic Gelatinous Cube. They better not have jumped all the way in however. Gelatinous Cubes are acidic and slowly eat away whatever poor soul got stuck inside. Also they are considered restrained and will need outside help to escape.
Alternatively, the panther looking thing is a Displacer Beast. They look like regular predatory felines but a Displacer Beast also hast spiked tentacles that come out from its back. It can also create illusions of itself in order to further disorient its prey. That's what happens when you come from the Feywild.
Justice Smith's character apparently dabbled in the evocation school because that looks like he cast the Ice Knife spell.
That red robed cultist got away from the Druid in Owlbear form by casting Misty Step. You vanish in a puff of smoke then reappear up to 30 feet away somewhere else. He even went to an elevated area to make it more difficult for the party. Smart. Rules as written, the mist is described as silvery, but red matches the guy's robe so points for maintaining aesthetic.
Adventurer's Making Plans
This is near the trailer and played as a joke but it is a Dungeons and Dragons trope all the same. Adventurer's make a plan. They act on the plan. The plan falls apart. Improvising happens. The party almost dies but almost succeeds. Then the guy who made the plan acts like it was all according to the plan.
Musical (Possibly Magical) Instruments in the Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Trailer
Dungeons and Dragons adventurers can start their careers proficient with musical instruments. Chris Pine's character apparently plays the lute. It does raise a question as to what kind of character class he is however. The easy answer is that he is a Thief Rogue but, if that lute happens to cause magical things to occur, he just might be a College of Whispers Bard, someone who trained in the performing arts and then uses those talents to sneak, steal, and deceive. Promotional material does show him playing it so it might be the latter.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is set to release in theaters March 2023.