Defining Moments & “White Vest” Moments

Such a simple thing really. I love Sunday mornings when I’ve not been out the night before. There’s an inherent tranquillity about town, probably because it’s largely hungover from the night before… Anyway, the sun is out (albeit briefly I expect) and it’s very quiet (apart from some nearby church bells).

After ORC yesterday, I found myself thinking about “defining moments”. These are dramatic moments in films (usually set to a fantastic score), and books. I’ve decided that from now on, my Player-Characters will try and have at least one dramatic defining moment. Here’s some of my favourites:

  • In the movie Unbreakable, when David Dunn (Bruce Willis) goes to the train station, having been told, “Go where people are…”
  • In Attack of the Clones, where Anakin Skywalker’s (Haydn Christiansen) mother dies. From this point on the Dark Side has him (the Imperial March in a harp refrain at the end, foreshadows what he is to become).
  • Again, in Unbreakable the sequence where Dunn emerges from the swimming pool having nearly drowned, saved by the children. For me this is one of the most powerful images I’ve ever seen, coupled with James Newton Howard’s utterly brilliant score, despite the movie’s other flaws.
  • In Brotherhood of the Wolf where De Fronsac (Samuel le Bihan) discovers Mani’s (Mark Decascos) fate. From a gentlemen to vengeance personified.

Hmm. Now I think about it, they all have a common vengeance retribution theme..

Also there’s what I call “white-vest” moments, based on those moments in Die Hard where Mclane (Bruce Willis) has been beaten down and the bad guy works away only to hear Mclkane get back up again, drawing on a reserve.

Published by Bill Heron

Wannabe game designer and would-be author. I've been playing RPGs for over 25 years and have recently started creating my own RPG called Mandragora: Ashes of Freedom. I also run a number of RPGs: Cthulhutech, Call of Cthulhu, WFRP, and D&D. I'm active in the Edinburgh RPG community at and regularly play RPGs.