The Ninth Gate

The Ninth Gate

I don’t know if I should write an article about the Ninth Gate, what deep secret or black magic can I summon by such a thing? 😉

Don’t worry, this is only a movie, but a very good one indeed!

First, you have a Johnny Depp during his golden age, not the pirate-clown thing he became 10 years ago.
Second, this movie is realistic, if of course you are a little bit interested by theology and Christianism.
Thirdly, it is so dark, not gore or violent, but really dark, amoral, an inquiry like in a Cthulhu game and an ending truly satanist.

This movie, directed by Roman Polanski and released in 2000, is based upon the novel « The Club Dumas » writtten by Arturo Pérez-Reverte published in 1993.
As often happens, when a movie is based upon a novel, you are quite sure to have a deep scenario.

I like the performance of Johnny Depp (Dean Corso), a rare book dealer with no scruples, single, in the gloomy, urban, and deeply materialistic atmosphere of the 90′.
The scenario is well written, you never know what will happen next, and you discover the meaning of the engravings at the same time of Dean Corso.

This is also a movie about satanism, but not like the crazy child type who wants to kill his parents by hurling fire though his red eyes full of blood. I hate these movies about the new Antichrist.
The Ninth Gate is like an initiation, you live the initiation ritual (which is the inquiry about the engravings to understand their real message) with Dean Corso. This is a dark National Treasure, Benjamin Franklin Gates is the tails side of the coin while Dean Corso is the heads side.

But don’t worry, this movie will not summon a devil behind you, or make you kill your neighbors. This is only a movie, with a research about a fictional book « The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows », with an amazing plot but no truth.
If you are looking for some analysis about the movie, read this article.

This is another fascinating part of this masterpiece, you can understand it differently.
Read reviews and think about the engravings is as interesting as watching the movie.

For me, I think Lucifer is playing with Dean Corso and Boris Balkan, with everyone who is looking for him or for its power. But most of his worshippers are just perverts and people with a little merit. Boris Balkan is smart and really interested, but is looking only for power, to be on par with Lucifer, and the end is its punishment for his arrogance.
So, only Dean Corso, greedy at the beginning, becomes passionate by his quest and only wants to understand, not to be rich, powerful or famous. As a consequence, he is the one who is chosen by Lucifer to enter his kingdom.

So, for me, the real message of the movie is that no matter what you seek, do it sincerely. The liars and false-believers never end well, except in politics 😉


Savage Worlds

I will present you the Codex Infernus, an amazing setting to add devils and demons to your Savage Worlds game.

Then I will propose you the stat-blocks for Boris Balkan, who could be an interesting NPC to send your PCs on a dangerous quest, and for Dean Corso who could be a good PC.

Codex Infernus: The Savage Guide to Hell

This book is what you need if you want to put devils and demons in your game.

You have a presentation of Hell in different cultures, guidelines to create angelic or demonic weapons and items, new demons with their stats, and it is usable in a fantazy, a contemporary or a futuristic scenario.

I bought it and don’t regret it. Among the settings for Savage Worlds, it is one of the best. Some real new rules, not like the fantazy one which looks a lot like the core rules book.
You really have a lot of stuff to include in your game, or to modify if you want to, and the illustrations are also good.

If you want to buy it, only 8$ in PDF, go to DrivethruRPG.
Of course, you will need the Savage Worlds core rules.

Boris Balkan

Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strenght d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge d10 (Christianism, Satanism, Legends), Persuasion d8, Streetwise d6.
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Overconfident (Major), Vengeful (Minor)
Edges: Rich, Filthy Rich, Scholar (Christianism, Satanism)
Equipment: A lot of money and a large apartment with a huge bookcase.

Dean Corso

Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strenght d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d8, Knowledge d8 (Christianism, Satanism), Knowledge d6 (Old books), Notice d4, Streetwise d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Curious (Major), Greedy (Minor)
Edges: Investigator, Scholar (Christianism, Satanism)
Equipment: A leather briefcase, a notebook, a cigarette pack and a matchbox.

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