It took me quite a while to finally see this version of Dracula. The vampire buff in me stands now in the corner, ashamed of himself. I hope that you'll forgive him… Anyway, this version doesn't disappoints, which is quite amazing to say when considering the bad aging of most of Hammer's Films.
I guess that most of you do know the plot of Dracula, but this version changes the plot of the book on the one hand and of earlier adaptations on the other hand, quite enormously. For once, Van Helsing is young, and for the other Harker is there to kill Dracula and not to sell him anything.
And that's quite interesting. Instead of sticking with the original book, like the opening scene might suggest, the movie quite clearly makes the story its own, changing what it sees as needing a change, a breather, some fresh air.
And that's something that isn't utilized enough. Many of us GMs try to do everything by the book, whether we're talking about the stats of monsters or of the plots of published adventures. We so try to go by the book that we sometimes forget that these things were written as guidance, so we will be able to adjust them according to our needs.
A great GM once said that nobody knows one's group better than this particular one that comes from the group. I know my group better than any other GM in the world, because I GM for them regularly. So do the players in my group. And that's an important truth, because when it comes to this, to GMing for them, or to figuring out what adventure to buy for the next session, or even which parts of the adventure I should stress and which I should eradicate, nobody knows it better than me. And it is true for you and your groups.
So please, when GMing published adventures, or when playing some fight scenes, or whatever else, don't try to play by the book. Instead, adjust it as much as you need to make it fitting with your own group, your real group, and not some theoretical one.
How about you? Have you watched this movie? What have you thought about it? And what have you learned from it?