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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!

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