Dungeons & Dragons' latest adventure contains a not so subtle reference to a cult classic sci-fi movie starring Sean Connery.
Earlier this week, the popular tabletop RPG game released Waterdeep - Dragon Heist, a new adventure set in the City of Splendors. The adventure pits players against one of four unique villains in a race to obtain a treasure hoard of a half million gold pieces hidden somewhere in Waterdeep.
Waterdeep is filled with plenty of eclectic and colorful characters, but none stands out more than Zardoz Zord, a visiting ship captain who runs a seafaring carnival. Here's a description of Zardoz on his ship from when players first have an opportunity to meet the foreign captain.
"The dining cabin is bedecked with golden filigree, the purple curtains festooned with silken tassels, the wood paneling scented with perfume," Waterdeep - Dragon Heist reads. "A magnificent feast laid out on golden platters sprawls atop a mahogany table of exquisite craftsmanship. Even the doilies are something to behold. Standing behind it all with wine glass in hand is a well-built, scantily clad man, his scarlet apparel designed to accentuate his trim figure and bountiful chest hair. A flashy rapier hangs from his stylish belt."
If the name Zardoz and that...unique description sound familiar, it's because it's a homage to the 1974 movie Zardoz, starring Sean Connery in one of his first post-James Bond roles. Zardoz is set in a futuristic world in which humanity is divided into two distinct sects - a group of immortal "Eternals" and the subservient "Brutals." Connery stars as Zed, a Brutal who discovers the true nature of the Eternals and Zardoz, a flying stone head that provides some of the Brutals with weapons in exchange for terrorizing the Brutals populace.
Although Zardoz was a box office failure, the movie became a cult classic in part due to Connery's distinctive outfit, which consisted of leather boots, a pair of deep red underwear, and suspenders. Many people have trouble associating the usually suave Connery with a handlebar mustache, a ponytail, and next to no clothes.
We won't get into spoilers about the role that Zardoz plays in Waterdeep - Dragon Heist, but (depending on the route your adventure goes) players could see a lot of them before they wrap up the adventure. Plus, Waterdeep - Dragon Heist all but guarantees that players will at least get a glimpse of Zardoz before players complete their quest....or die trying.
Waterdeep - Dragon Heist is now available in stores.