40th anniversary Dungeons & Dragons documentary needs your help

Dungeons & Dragons Shadows Over Mystara

Appropriately dubbed “Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary,” the film seeks to examine the history of the world’s most popular pen and paper roleplaying game, as well as its creators, the people who play D&D and whatever X factor it is that drives people to spend hours on end immersed in a fantasy realm that exists only in their imaginations. That’s a fine premise for a documentary film, but unfortunately the creators of Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary don’t exactly have a massive Hollywood budget backing their efforts. Thus, the group has turned to the modern equivalent of Rennaisance arts patronage, Kickstarter, in an attempt to woo the Internet masses toward funding the film. There’s five days left in the group’s Kickstarter campaign and though they’ve already managed to raise a bit over $106,000, their stated goal of $150,000 is still a ways away.

So, why should you care? Well, obviously we think this project is worthwhile, otherwise we wouldn’t be discussing it here. Secondly, the scope of this film is dauntingly vast, and it should be worth whatever extra cash you can spare just to see whether or not the filmmakers are able to cover as much material as they’d like. Have a look at the group’s tentative synopsis for this thing:

The story of D&D and its creation spans four decades and is a complicated, heart-breaking story. Imagine “The Social Network”, the creation of Facebook, but no one ends up rich. This is a cautionary tale of an empire built by friends and lost through betrayal, enmity, poor management, hubris and litigation.

To capture all of this the filmmakers seem quite realistic about the hurdles they’ll have to jump. A comprehensive documentary on D&D demands interviews with people who were there in the early days, and since co-creator and D&D figurehead Gary Gygax passed away in March of 2008 it’s imperative that someone is able to record the memories people associated with D&D have of the early days of the game before they too start succumbing to the rigors of human mortality.

If it seems like we’re pushing this project hard, it’s simply because this is a story that needs to be told. We doubt the geek populace wants to entrust the tale of Dungeons & Dragons to Hollywood or the mainstream media, but what if a documentary could be made by genuine fans of the game who can recite passages from the original Monster Manual on command? Wouldn’t that ensure that the subject matter is given the proper reverence? As far as we can tell, that’s what this Kickstarter is all about, and hopefully you can see why we would want to support such a concept.

Still not convinced? Worried that this documentary might yield some low-rent flick that embarrasses the entire D&D fanbase? Have a look at the Kickstarter trailer and see if that doesn’t change your mind:

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