Sunday, January 21, 2018

Tabletop Gaming Media Makers: RPG History Documentary by Dorks of Yore



In tandem with my regular ongoing Gamer Bling! and Tabletop Gaming Artisans articles, I've decided to also showcase some of my favorite tabletop gaming media makers as well. This series of articles will  include works such as video production, audio production, music composition, and any other sort of multi-media content creation I think fits the criteria. Be sure to check out all the amazing things folks are creating and sharing! 

Today I would like to showcase the production of an RPG History documentary by Dorks of Yore. The project is spearheaded by actor, comedian, author, director, and huge gaming fan, Pat Kilbane. You may know Pat from his many hilarious roles on Mad TV or from other popular television shows and the big screen. He has spent over 25-years in the media production industry both in front of and behind the camera.

The documentary is an effort of the broader RPG History Project on Patreon along with many great interviews and video shorts like RPG Science and Two-Minute History mini-documentaries.

The focus of the feature film in-production is on the early history and roots of tabletop roleplaying games, and the importance of preserving that history is something I wholeheartedly agree with Pat about.
"Their stories need to be told and preserved for history... They deserve to be remembered."
I have been supporting the RPG History Project on Patreon since 2016. This is something I not only want to see, but that I think needs to be made.

Over the past year, Pat and I have touched base via phone every few weeks to discuss the project progress, his ideas and vision for the documentary, and organizing the massive collection of documentation, video, photographs, memorabilia, and interviews he has amassed for this project.

It's a huge undertaking, but I have been repeatedly impressed by Pat's ability to transform raw footage and resources into a finely polished media presentation. My confidence in his ability to bring this project to complete fruition has even prompted me to contribute in addition to my monthly pledges (and, I plan on doing so again this year). 

I would be remiss in discussing this project without providing the context that frames my perspective of the RPG History Project's efforts.
There have been two failed high-profile efforts to create a documentary reflecting on the early days of Dungeons & Dragons. Both were fully funded by the gaming community (I'm out several hundred dollars between the two myself), but ultimately became entangled in a legal quagmire between the two production companies.

In the end, all anyone got for their investment -- after FIVE years -- was a promotional trailer for each of the two documentaries that will likely never be created and a proverbial slap in the face for investing their hard earned money. Understandably, that has soured many to the idea of there ever being a quality documentary for the gaming community.

The huge difference with the project being created by Dorks of Yore is the bigger picture. 

The documentary is a secondary (though inevitable) result of the RPG History Project. Supporters of the Patreon are privy to production footage videos, interview snippets, frequent news updates, and open discussion about the documentary. There is an active community and new content released every month. We can literally watch the documentary as it comes together, and what has been released over the past year is more than just promising. It's inspiring!


My purpose in writing this article is to raise awareness about the RPG History Project as well as the documentary in hopes of driving more traffic and potential support from the gaming community.


The Patreon offers reward tiers ranging from $3, $5, and $10/month and up. The content produced and frequently released makes the minimal investment worthwhile -- and -- the investment goes towards the completion of the documentary that many of us have been waiting years for.

If a quality documentary about the the dawn of tabletop roleplaying is something that interests you, I do hope you'll consider pledging to this Dorks of Yore project!



Sunday, January 14, 2018

5-Star + Seal of Approval for The Vikmordere

The Vikmordere: An Introduction (AAW Games / Adventureaweek.com), has received a 5-star + seal of approval rating from Endzeitgesit!

"It should be noted, that the similarities to parent cultures, while only running skin-deep, also allow the Vikmordere to be easily and seamlessly plugged into pretty much any fantasy world; it is only slowly that they transcend the connotations of their parent cultures, becoming something different…which may, in and of itself, generate a sense of tension and excitement at your table." -- EZG

You can check out the full review on Nerdretk.com:
This book is available in digital and print formats via Adventureaweek.com, DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, and Paizo.

Friday, January 5, 2018

I won the DC Instagrammys!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdungeoncrate%2Fposts%2F1257055857729150&width=500
I won in two categories of Dungeon Crate's 2017 Instagrammy Awards -- hooray prizes and trophies!

There were several categories in this fun little Dungeon Crate-themed photo contest including  products, game table, logos, dice, cosplay, pets, and kids among others. The top entries were announced via the live Dungeon Crate Podcast and voted on by the community to select the winners.

My photos won in the "Selfie" and the "Product" categories. When I get the trophies, I'll append a photo to this article. However, this post gives me an opportunity to pitch a plug for the awesome Dungeon Crate subscription box service for tabletope roleplying game accessories.

Find out more at dungeoncrate.com!
"Dungeon Crate was conceived on the idea that role-players needed a subscription box specifically designed for them, a box where every item can be used by the player." -- Dungeon Crate

I have been a subscriber to Dungeon Crate for about a year, and I highly recommend it to any tabletop gamer who loves accessories and props. You can view a gallery of my "unboxing" pics that I post each month by clicking here.

In addition to the monthly subscription box, Dungeon Crate also offers the Adventure Vault, which is a fun on-time purchase (non-subscription) "sampler" of some of the sorts of items you can get via the standard subscription. 

They have also expand service and have grown into a really fun community that includes the Dungeon Crate Store where you can buy exclusive accessories, a fun gamer-centric apparel shop where you can buy awesome shirts,  "The Shady Lady" tavern where you can find the Dungeon Crate Blog, the Dugneon Crate Podcast, the "DnD5e" D&D 5th Edition podcast, unboxing videos, and more.

They have also started a useful community for trading/buying/selling gaming accessories on the Dungeon Crate Trading Post Facebook group, as well as a twice-weekly interactive live broadcast called "Dungeon Crate Live" which airs on Mondays and Fridays at 10:00 AM CST.

Go check them out! And, if you have any questions shoot an e-mail to Wayne at Dungeon Crate. He's super friendly and always ready to answer inquiries.

And, finally, I leave you with my ridiculously geeky winning-photo of my "Dungeon Crate Christmas Tree!"

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Big Book of Maps: New Years Project Status Update

Yesterday I sent out huge project update for The Big Book of Maps for Tabletop Roleplaying Games project.

Good morning folks! I promised an “official update” at the start of the year. Over the past couple months I haven’t posted an update, but I have been trying to keep up frequently with folks via the comments section, messages, email, and social media. Honestly, I just didn’t want to fill everyone’s inbox with less than happy news during the holidays.

There’s a lot to get caught up on since our last update, so let’s get started…

First off, I wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation to many backers for showing support in November when my Mom passed away. That event, my family mourning and adjusting to the loss, and the immediate holidays thereafter sapped a great deal of my focus and energy, and my progress on this project slowed dramatically (though we still remain far ahead of schedule).

I was blown away by the thoughtful comments, messages, emails, and even cards sent by some of you. This is an amazing community to be a part of! So, thank you, again.

So, Where Do We Stand?

While progress was slow during those last two months, it was never at a standstill (though I’m sure some weeks it must have seemed like it). I continued making updates and distributing files via the Digital Distribution Tool at a slower pace, but those updates did add up.

All of the Map Icon Sets have been released. That’s over 620 Map Icons + the Cartographers Toolkit. The Master File (a ZIP containing all of these) is available on everyone’s “My Account” page in the DDT.

Also, the Kickstarter funded 195 maps. We currently have 196 maps released. Which makes it look like we’re 100% done with the map releases as well. However, we’re not quite done yet! The final count of maps that are to be released has been updated to 230. An explanation for that can be found on the actual update on Kickstarter

That means everyone gets 35 extra maps and book is going to be roughly 20% larger than originally planned. After all, it *is* called "The BIG Book of Maps for Tabletop Roleplaying Games.”

With the start of the New Year, I’m feeling like I’m getting back into my productivity groove. Though I now have quite a bit of catch-up work to do all around, I plan on completing and releasing the remaining maps for this project over the next 1-2 weeks, and then have the PDF released to backers during the following week. We are in the final stage of this project!

I hope to have the files for the print proofs of the book sent off to the printers before January ends.Then print book vouchers can go out as soon as I see the proofs and confirm they are free of errors.

My thanks to everyone for sticking with me during the lull while I dealt with personal matters.

We’re currently looking good to complete this entire project three months or more ahead of schedule.