Today’s #ifthiswereaTTRPG post is about imagining the “Showdown at the House of Blue Leaves” scene in Kill Bill, Volume 1 by Quentin Tarantino as a tabletop role playing game. There are certainly spoilers ahead!
An enormously bloody affair, this legendary fight scene has Uma Thurman’s character The Bride absolutely destroy waves of ever more competent enemies prior to fighting and defeating the “boss,” Lucy Liu’s character O-Ren Ishii. To convert this entire fight to a TTRPG system like D&D would be a super awesome but rather time-intensive affair.
So instead, I’m going to use StoryTogether’s StoryNight system to break down The Bride’s major milestones & moments in the “Showdown at the House of Blue Leaves” fight sequence.
#ifthiswereaTTRPG, the player playing the Bride would tell the GM that they’re going to announce their presence from the restaurant floor in an effort to summon O-Ren and her minions to her location.
I would have to imagine that the GM would ask: “Are you sure you want to do that?” to which the player responds “Absolutely. Let’s do this.”
The GM says: “Alrighty then. O-Ren and a number of her minions rush out onto the balcony. You’re in plain sight.”
The player responds: “I am going to cut off one of Sofie’s arms to intimidate all the onlookers.”
The entire table and the GM stare in disbelief at the player playing The Bride. “Okay” says the GM “Well, there’s complete pandemonium as the diners and staff flee. O-Ren sends her lieutenants down at you immediately and they all try and kill you in every which way. Roll for Combat. I will do the same for each lieutenant.”
The player rolls two sixes, the perfect roll. They stare at the GM and lock eyes. “Oh my God” says the GM as each of their combat rolls for each of the lieutenants falls far short of The Bride.
“Well, you absolutely slaughter each any every one of O-Ren’s lieutenants cutting them down both individually and even in pairs with incredible skill, focus, and brilliance in combat. You neither waiver nor show any hesitancy. The head lieutenant, Gogo, opposes you with a ball and chain, ready to meet you head on.”
“I viciously attack Gogo and do whatever I can to give them a hideous, point-proving end.” says the player playing The Bride.
The table is enraptured at this point. “Okay then” says the GM “roll for Combat.”
The player playing the bride rolls their two, six-sided dice…an 11! The GM, upset their bad guys are being massacred at such a rate rolls with great intent…a 10! The whole table looks to the GM for their ruling.
“You fight tooth and nail with Gogo, going back at force with vicious ferocity. You are well-matched and Gogo is able to exploit a few of your weaknesses to seemingly get the upper hand. But you set the trap well and embed a broken, nail-studded table leg in her temple, killing her instantly.”
The table explodes. “Holy shit!! You did it!!”
The GM raises their hand: “Not so fast!” Everyone’s attention turns to the GM who fixes their gaze on the player playing The Bride.
“As you and O-Ren stare at each other, ready to engage, you both hear the roar of motorbikes. O-Ren says: “You didn’t think it was going to be that easy did you?” What do you do?”
The player playing The Bride, no doubt possessed by this point, says: “Yeah, I kinda did.”
The other players at the table are aghast at their fellow player’s audacity.
The GM stands: “At least fifty of the Crazy 88 gang pour inside, surrounding you. What do you do?”
The player responds: “I dance with death and kill them all, one by one.”
The other players now can barely breathe the tension is so high.
The GM responds: “Roll for Combat three times. I will do the same for the Crazy 88s. Winner take all.”
“Deal.” replies the player. They each roll: 11, 11, and 10 for the player and a 4, 9, and 7 for the GM who looks almost crestfallen.
“One by one” the GM says “you slice and dice your way through the Crazy 88 gang. With impeccable skill, timing, and precision, you attack, parry, and strike down your foes. They show no fear but their courage does them no good in the end. The gang is dead and dying and, despite your injuries, you may continue on.”
The table is enthralled; they look to the player playing The Bride who says: “I go to find O-Ren in the Zen Garden.”
“She’s there, waiting for you” responds the GM “and, when you arrive O-Ren says: “I hope you saved your energy.” Referencing the beautiful moonlit garden about it, she says “But as last looks go, you could do worse.”
“I say nothing” replies the player playing the Bride “the time for talking is over. Let’s do this.”
“All things being equal, it’s one Combat roll against the other, minus your penalties for injury. Out of respect for your accomplishments thus far, I will roll for O-Ren first.”
The other players are one wrong heart palpitation away from an aneurysm.
The GM rolls: a 10. The table looks to the player playing The Bride: how can she win now?
The player savors the moment and then rolls…a 12!! BOOM. The table explodes, the players fly about hooting and hollering “let’s go!!” OH MY GOD!!” The GM just stares at the dice before shaking their head, ushering everyone back to their seats.
“You and O-Ren have great affection for one another and it shows by each of your reluctance to engage. But when you do there’s a flash of lightning between your two swords. Both of your skill is tremendous with O-Ren eventually getting the upper hand, slicing into your back. You fall to the snow, having to decide how to continue on. But you do, you raise yourself up. O-Ren hits you with everything she has but even still you’re able to draw blood from her. You stare at one another and the look in her eyes tells you she knows she’s lost. A thunderous exchange of sword blows later and you’re able to sever off the top of her head at her scalp, killing O-Ren Ishii, your former friend.”
The table is deadly silent now. The player playing The Bride simply says: “Another name off the list.”