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A Tale That Must Be Told


A Very Important Kickstarter

I know, I know, Kickstarter this, and Kickstarter that—but this is a very different sort of Kickstarter project. You won't get a exciting box full of miniatures, a leatherbound killer megadungeon, or a deluxe version of a board game classic. Instead, you will get a piece of history in danger of being lost to time.

The folks behind the Kickstarter project, "Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary," have a simple goal: tell the story of the origins and impact of Dungeons & Dragons. You would think that such a story may have been told before, and it has, in bits and pieces. But the full story is far more complicated and labyrinthine than one might suspect. Today, we might take the existence of roleplaying games for granted, but there was a time where it was a very new thing. Cooperative storytelling, with dice and rules, a game where you didn't just read about Aragorn, Conan, and Gandalf—you could be them—that was a very new thing indeed, and a concept that had far-reaching influences on culture and technology. Closer to home for both the company and a great portion of the staff is a very simple fact.

We would not be here if it weren't for Dungeons & Dragons.

Even if we didn't start out playing Dungeons & Dragons, the degrees of separation between the games that we did play aren't very far at all. Both Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson have passed, and Iconoscope Films & Westpaw Films have teamed up to get the origins of our favorite pastime recorded, straight from the mouths of those that were there and those that it affected.

As with any Kickstarter, the more money you pledge, the better goodies you get. Starting out with a simple "Thank You", to a high definition digital download of the documentary, to DVD and Blu-Ray versions of the documentary, t-shirts, books, a poster-sized reprint of the original 1976 Greyhawk cover, all sorts of exciting things. But most of all, you can help make sure that this story is told and recorded, in a way that even non-gamers can appreciate, and in a way that doesn't trivialize how much of an impact a couple of guys from the Midwest had on an entire generation who didn't know they were gamers yet.

Check out the wide variety of roleplaying games right here at Paizo, check out the "Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary" Kickstarter, and read even more about the project at their website (they're lookin' for archival footage and photos from the 70s and 80s too)!

More Store Blog.
Liberty's Edge

Bravo! Let us never forget the historical context of this version of the world's greatest fantasy role-playing game.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Judging from the email I received yesterday and tis post, I can only assume that the Paizo staff are as addicted to Kickstart as I am. A very dangerous habit. I haven't contributed yet, still trying to determine what level I want. But looking at Kicktraq, it doesn't look good. But since Lisa's email yesterday, we've rallied and the contributions have shot up tremendously (the single largest day yet). Thanks, Lisa.

Pathfinder PFS RPG Subscriber

If those over at WotC had any regard for their history, these filmakers wouldn't have to beg for internet scraps.

Wait Conan was part of the Fellowship?



PS. Conan just did not get into main cast, that's all.

Pledged. I can do without some other stuff for awhile but there may never be a better time to get something like this preserved on film.

I wonder if the documentary will tell the story up to present day.

- Will it talk about 4th edition splitting the fanbase?
- Will it bring up Pathfinder? I personally see D&D's history as after 3.5 the game split into 4th and Pathfinder. Or do the filmmakers not count Pathfinder as D&D and will never mention it?
- Id love the documentary to call Pathfinder the spiritual successor to D&D.

Sorry...just a curious PRPG fanboy talking.

Im going to donate to this cause. :)

Paizo Employee CEO

Jason Grubiak wrote:
I wonder if the documentary will tell the story up to present day.

I don't know exactly all of their plans, but they talked to us at GenCon about coming out to Seattle to interview myself, Erik and perhaps some other folks at Paizo for the documentary. So I assume that they will be touching on all topics from the beginning to the present day.



3 people marked this as a favorite.
A Ninja wrote:
Wait Conan was part of the Fellowship?

In my game he was. :P

Not ashamed to admit that I choked up a bit writing and thinking about this blog. Gaming has seeped into every layer of my life, but before I read the Player's Handbook from the Red Box that one warm and sunny summer afternoon (it's one of those memories that have permanently fixed itself, a memory where I can recall the sounds, smells, and the color of the sunlight), my only exposure to fantasy had been in the Chronicles of Narnia and Disney movies.

And then everything changed because of that summer afternoon with a small book. My brother was my Dungeon Master, and I lost count how many times my mage (Fireball) got turned into a red paste in the Caves of Chaos that summer. At the end of that summer, I moved to England where my dad had just been assigned to, and for those that have never experienced it, life on a military base as a kid is very odd. Every year, the bestest buddies you made last year move away, new kids show up who know nobody besides their siblings, and you're left with a bunch of kids with little choices in the entertainment department (small military base overseas in a foreign country). Best icebreaker in the world at that time was, "Hey, have you played D&D before?"

Instant friendship. We had maybe one set of dice and books between our circle of friends (until they started selling them at the sports good store and what a day that was!), no battlemap, no miniatures—nothing but our imaginations. It was an awesome time, and something that I still treasure to this day.

That kind of memory is something that I thought about as I watched the trailer and historical clips from the "Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary." I know I wasn't the only one that was affected like that, and because of Two Dudes from the Midwest (may they both rest in peace), my life was forever altered, and I can't thank them enough for that.

I am in FULL agreement, and cannot thank Paizo enough - not only for this, but for Lisa Steven's e-mail sent out recently! I've no doubt that the awesome Paizo community has has proven a MAJOR impetus in the late surge of support this most worthy of projects as seen.
Endless gratitude to Paizo and its community for the support - let's kick this goal's ARSE in spectacular fashion! Not only we gamers, but society as a whole is also LONG overdue for a top-notch production telling the truth about what a profound impact "the original rpg" has had on so many of us as individuals, the advent of entirely new industries, as well as so many other facets of culture - literally causing a major "societal shift." Thanks again!

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Jason Grubiak wrote:
I wonder if the documentary will tell the story up to present day.

I don't know exactly all of their plans, but they talked to us at GenCon about coming out to Seattle to interview myself, Erik and perhaps some other folks at Paizo for the documentary. So I assume that they will be touching on all topics from the beginning to the present day.



I know that I don't only speak for myself, Lisa, but I seriously cannot thank you enough for rallying the troops on this - you have my deepest and most sincere gratitude, and I'm not even involved in the project except as a supporter, backer, and one of legions who were positively influenced by the subject matter - the story of which I wholly agree, simply MUST be told.
You. Rule.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps Subscriber

Just pledged on the 25 $ level, didn't want to pay for shippmend to the EU. Shame there is no level to access the site (50 $ level) for those of us with only digital stuff.

Dark Archive

Looks cool, hope it gets made. If the kickstart had a couple of more weeks to it I could likely swing it. But not enough time left.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Data from Kicktraq as of 45 minutes ago:

They only need $4,155 per day for each of the remaining days. They gained $18,580 today, $51,263 yesterday, and $14,732 the day before (which is when Lisa started sending out her email). Even with that big burst, they're now averaging $4,940 per day... so if they can just keep up the average, they'll get there. (Given the average backing level, that means attracting fewer than 90 new backers each day—less than a tenth of what they gained yesterday.) Kicktraq is projecting them exceeding their goal by $3,140.

So it's very much within reach, so long as everyone who wants it to happen helps keep spreading the word!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Wow, less than $3,500 to go. I signed up this past weekend when Frog God Games posted it on Facebook. They had around$45,000 or so raised. I didn't think it was going to happen back then. Glad to be wrong!

Dark Archive

They are down to only needing 2,549 as of now.

They (we) did it! Its gonna happen.

Dark Archive

That's cool, won't break the next step but at least it will get made.

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