The Dwarvenaut (2016) Movie Script

In the beginning,
there was chaos!
In the early days of Mythras,
the divinities set upon
the realms of mortals
with terrible wrath.
Seeking to reclaim
the divine essence,
molded in to their forms
by Prometheus.
In time...
...gods became
obsessed and jealous
of one another's followers.
They urged
their worshippers
to war against
their neighbors.
Forever tainting
the hearts of mortals
with the scourge of violence.
When that was not enough,
the Gods themselves
descended onto
the battlefield.
And wrought catastrophic
destruction upon the lands.
All but wiping out
Prometheus' creations.
And thus was wrought
the final vengeance
of Prometheus...
...through the violent hubris
of his kin.
Is that Prometheus?
POKORNY: Dungeons and Dragons
is, I believe,
the greatest game
in the world.
It's a psychological game.
It's a game that will
bring out
the good or
the bad in people.
Because when you sit
around that table
with six or eight people,
and you go
through these scenarios,
you really get to see
who is who.
Who is gonna run
out of that cave
when the shit
hits the fan?
Who is gonna go
for the treasure?
Who is gonna
split the treasure
with the party?
Who is going to
defend the person
who is fallen?
You can see the characters
of people
come out
in this game.
And that is an amazing thing
to watch.
As a dungeon master,
there's a wanting
to create a world
that's under your control.
It's more than just a game.
It's your world.
That makes it
an unlimited realm
of thought, imagination
and philosophy.
That's a hit!
You smite the balrog
with your curved blade!
And there's an
incredible sound as
he staggers backwards.
Then his wings
envelope him
and there's a silence
that goes across the cave.
What do you do?
POKORNY: My mother
said when I was little,
I would come into
people's houses
and I would immediately go
and look at the paintings.
I'd just put my face
in front of it
and stare at it
for minutes.
They were all just
looking at me like,
"What is he doing?"
you know?
I've always been
a visual person
which is why, I guess,
I became an artist.
MAN: What is that?
Dragons do it, they do it.
MAN: Dragons do it
while falling.
They mate in the air.
They mate
in the air and uh...
It's very exciting to watch.
Happens only in the spring.
Unless you're, uh...
They're like, you know,
Ice Dragons
and then they...
They probably do it
in the winter.
For the winter.
I don't know.
It's all very elaborate.
You can probably hear
their screeches in the night.
POKORNY: For many years,
I've been making
miniature dungeons
for Dungeons and Dragons.
I'm not a business guy
in any shape or form, right?
So I went down to City Hall
and they ask you, like,
"Okay, put here the name
of your company."
You know,
you've gotta incorporate...
So put the name.
And I write
"Dwarven Forge."
And they're like,
"What is this?
"You can't just
make up words.
"It has to actually
mean something."
I'm like, "That does
mean something.
It's the Dwarven Forge."
And they're, like,
"No, no, no. That's
not how you spell 'dwarf'!
"That's not
how you spell
dwarf, right?"
"It's D-W-A-R-F.
"You're making
this up and you can't
misspell stuff like that
"for your company"
I'm like,
"I don't understand that."
"And first of all,
it's not made up.
"This is...
Didn't you ever read
the Lord of the Rings?"
And there was
this whole discussion
that took me like hours.
Until somebody in the office,
apparently was like,
"Oh, yeah, I read that
Lord of the Rings.
Yeah, he's right.
"Dwarven is a word."
And I, still to this day,
don't understand what
that whole thing was about
because I feel like
there are companies out there
that have names
that are made up.
So I don't know
what the hell
that was about.
And, uh...
And this.
And then, we, like...
POKORNY: Attack...
Leaping lizards,
here they come!
Are you
a Dungeon Master?
You run games?
I started when
I was about your age.
Technology changed
the world a lot.
People are just like
constantly looking
at a screen.
We're turning into these
technological robots,
these androids, these drones.
With D&D,
I'm trying to get people
to come back around the table,
talk to each other, fantasize,
use their creativity.
These are all
my people.
This game that we play
is important and
I believe in it.
It's a wonderful game
because it teaches you
how to cooperate
with others
who are not like yourself.
And you have to learn
how to get along while
acting in character,
in order to
accomplish your mission.
That's the kind of stuff
that's helping us
come back to humanity.
And I believe it,
in a small way,
is my way of
trying to save
the human race.
Hail Sparta!
In the 18 years
that I've been doing this,
before it was
just going to, like,
a convention,
once a year.
Laying my stuff out
on the table and selling it.
I remember making
just enough to
barely survive.
In 2011, we were almost
going out of business.
Our clientele had
been getting older
or leaving the hobby
and we were not
reaching enough people.
But then, I decided
to do this Kickstarter.
I'm Stefan Pokorny,
founder and chief sculptor
at Dwarven Forge.
For the past 17 years,
I've been happy
to share my creations
with people
passionate as I am,
about Dungeons and Dragons.
Kickstarter is like
a marketplace
of creativity.
There are vendors
trying to sell you
their incredible ideas
and you can
support them,
just by clicking this button
on your computer screen.
The first Kickstarter,
we started with our
basic dungeons pieces.
Because that's the bread and
butter of dungeon building.
It's just dungeons.
One of the good things
about Kickstarter
is it reaches
so many people
all over the world.
Your audience is suddenly
so much bigger.
I crushed my goal
in a matter of hours.
The second Kickstarter
was caverns.
So that's like,
you know, organic
underground caverns.
It's stalactites and
that sort of thing.
That was a great success,
the caverns.
For this Kickstarter,
we're going above ground
into places that
we've never gone before.
Before this,
all we were doing
was making terrain.
Now, we're creating a world.
My personal world.
The world of Mythras,
the city of Valoria.
The city that I've created
over the course
of three decades
of me and my friends.
When you play
Dungeons and Dragons,
the Dungeon Master
has to be a storyteller.
He has to enthrall
everyone at the table.
He has to
bring this world to life.
It's hard work.
A lot of DMs want help
doing that, so they buy
pre-written adventures.
We call them modules.
We're gonna make a module
for this Kickstarter
about Valoria
on top of physically
creating the city.
We've created characters
that live in the city.
Maps, stories.
We're building
a cosmology.
We're building
a pantheon of gods.
all these things...
We've created my city.
The city of Valoria.
Now, I'm releasing it
to the world.
POKORNY: This is it folks,
the time we've been
waiting for!
And so we
venture forth,
on to this day!
We'll build Valoria!
We are in livestreaming,
we're streaming live.
We're ready to launch,
ready to launch!
It's live,
Kickstarter three is live!
MAN: Oh, my God!
POKORNY: Whoo, $5,000!
We've breached the crossing
and now, onto the barge!
42 K. Oh, man,
we're already at 43.
Ninety backers.
MAN: 46!
You will back
Dwarven Forge.
You need
little houses.
I don't know if
we can really
pull this off.
People really
have no idea
how much it costs
to make this stuff.
All the product
and prototypes,
photos, videos,
the shipping, the labor,
the material costs!
Every little thing adds up
to a crazy amount of money.
To do everything
that I promised
for our backers,
we need to raise
two million dollars.
Just to break even.
If we don't go past
two million dollars,
we're basically
going bankrupt. It's over.
The show is done.
ALL: Valoria!
Look at how
we're dropping off here.
First day,
we raised $636,000
from 1,400 backers.
The second day,
we raised $160,000
from 324 backers.
And today,
only 19 backers!
MAN: Stefan said he
wanted to have some
hooded strangers
walking around his city.
Thinking about
what kind of a hat
I'll eventually
put on his head
to make him
more concealed.
I should make
his ears smaller.
The longer the ears,
the older the personality.
It's definitely about
creating problem solving.
Every time you
attempt a new texture,
a new creature,
a new structure,
whatever the case may be,
you have to come up
with a solution for what's
gonna make it possible and
what's gonna
make it look good.
MAN: I never have to
go out again, ever,
for the rest of my life.
POKORNY: Look, look,
I love this part.
We're all looking
at her dancing.
All, at the same time,
and they look up
from their cups.
It's so hilarious.
It's like...
MAN: They've never seen
a woman dance, like, you know?
Look, look, look...
He's like, "Oh, my God."
I must have her!
MAN: Here.
Put your arms through,
right there.
POKORNY: Oh, wow.
POKORNY: Yeah, like this?
MAN: Like that.
My arms aren't that long.
MAN: Yeah, you gotta
put it through this way.
Prepare the armor,
my lord.
And, uh... Boom.
POKORNY: Knights!
We just gotta
get you some chainmail.
Actually, we'll put this...
Behind you like that.
Just slide this down
this way.
I can't see
a thing, man!
Wait, what's
going on here?
There you go.
I thought you
were attacking me.
MAN: Trust me, you won't know,
if I'm going to attack.
POKORNY: Whoa, hey.
MAN: ... let's see
what you got.
MAN: I'll be making
all the magical weapons.
Anything anybody needs,
I'll create it.
POKORNY: Then you can
outfit all of us in armor.
We'll be like
the knights of Bushwick!
I'm pouring everything
into this project.
I'm not worried
to lose it all.
I didn't have anything
to begin with.
I was born
December 25th, 1966
in Seoul, Korea.
I was born to
an American dad
who was in the military.
He hooked up with
a Korean girl, woman,
I don't know.
And, um,
they had me.
What's up man?
How're you doing?
Hi. How're you doing?
POKORNY: Then he went
back to America.
And then, my Korean mother
put me up for adoption.
They brought me to America
because this family
wanted to adopt me.
And they already had a kid.
Blade Runner!
I love this book.
Somehow, I didn't click
with this other kid.
And so, they sent me back.
They were like,
"Oh, we don't want him."
Instead of shipping me
all the way back to Korea,
there was this
another couple
in New York.
I was brought
to New York,
and adopted by
an Italian mother.
And my father
grew up in Prague.
I have a memory that,
I don't know if
I made it up or not,
where, like, I come in
and I meet these tall people.
See this big house
and start running
around the house.
There it is,
that's my building.
Papa's building,
My father was an architect.
My mother grew up in Rome.
They were art lovers.
Every summer,
we went to Europe.
Seeing all this art,
as a little kid,
had a huge impact
on me, I think.
And also, I used to
run around everywhere.
I was a very energetic,
outgoing kid.
And my mother realized,
the one way they could get me
to stop running around,
was to give me magic markers
or crayons, and I would
start drawing.
And then, I would
sit at the table
and not move for hours.
Being freshly adopted,
I sort of felt like,
this was my job now,
you know? (CHUCKLING)
I better get good at
this drawing stuff
and all this stuff
or I might be
given away again,
you know?
Better do something
to make sure this
is permanent, you know?
Hi, how're
you doing? Yeah.
WOMAN: Long time.
How are you?
POKORNY: How are you doing?
WOMAN: Very well, thanks.
This is Lulu,
my girlfriend.
WOMAN: Oh, good,
how are you?
How's your painting
coming along?
Are you still painting?
Good, yeah, yeah.
Still doing some
painting and sculpting,
and I own my
own business now.
Doing what?
You know...
I do stuff for
Dungeons and Dragons.
You guys are all
in the center
of the city.
There's all this commotion
coming from outside
of this Singing Siren Inn.
There are
a couple of balconies,
and patrons are
looking out, out the balcony
and some of them are drunk.
And there are some
ill-reputed ladies
hanging over
some patrons
and there's all
kinds of hubbub
and commotion there.
There's a stage in the back
where there's a guy
wrestling a bear!
Suddenly, this big
Wow, look, it's a harp.
There's a wind.
You feel the wind!
Coming from out
of the corridor
as you enter.
You see a statue
on the left
of a clown
with two jesters.
"Do you continue?"
Yes, I do.
So cool.
This is why we got
to have the Greeks
in here, see this?
See that?
MAN: Oh...
POKORNY: Isn't that
the coolest?
MAN: Oh, that's nice.
This is live.
This is like... These are
our constellations
that are right over us,
right now.
And then you can
click on them
and then it tells you
the whole story.
Hydra reputedly
had nine heads!
The middle one of
which was immortal.
This is like so,
totally like D&D.
POKORNY: I wanna talk
about these legends
in my world
and stuff like...
How can we use it?
Is there any way we can
make it so, that...
Remember how in my city,
initially, there are all
these temples everywhere?
And some of them
was like, Zeus and, uh,
Thor and all those
kind of stuff.
And, uh, whoa,
holy crap.
Times Square right now.
That's right now.
Why are you
showing me
Times Square?
You can see anywhere
like, the...
Dude, okay,
dude, you're...
Stay on target.
Stay on target, here.
POKORNY: This is old, man.
How old were you in 1980?
OLIVER: Thirteen, fourteen?
Crazy... "13, 14?" What?
I was so young,
I didn't even know
how to spell dungeon.
My friend, Oliver, here,
we've been playing D&D
while we were young,
you know,
growing up in the city.
Best DM ever,
right here.
He kept it
so interesting.
I would just make
little notes here
so that's how I would
describe to the players
what they see.
POKORNY: Okay, see here?
"Vapor rats," right?
And here in the next room
there's a half-eaten
roast beef sandwich.
It actually gives no
description here,
There is a little picture
of a sandwich.
It doesn't really
look like a sandwich,
it looks like a tick.
It's a sandwich.
POKORNY: First days,
when we first played
D&D was like magical.
I remember it vividly.
If we weren't
going to Europe...
And I went to summer camp.
Camp Mahkeenac.
There was this
archery counselor,
and when he wasn't
teaching archery,
he would come
to our bunks and say,
"Let's play this game,
Dungeons and Dragons."
And I had this character.
I named him Ganthor!
I think I was killed
by a balrog.
Just blew my mind, you know.
Like, "What is this?"
It was so fascinating.
And you remember
these scenes in your mind
like they're real.
So, I became
kind of obsessed.
Here you go, here it is.
"Ancient Silver Mines."
"Dungeon number seven."
T.D., Louis, Oliver...
OLIVER: Spiro... I was
really close
with Spiro...
...used to play
with all the time.
We used to, uh,
hang out with him
on a regular basis.
OLIVER: He was
a good cat, man.
He was very much
role-playing sometimes.
Like, as a...
As a warrior
in his mind.
Like, just for the right
and for the good.
POKORNY: Like a paladin.
He stood up
for these two girls.
And he confronted
these cats
and the guys were just...
I guess they...
POKORNY: Bad guys.
Yeah. They, just...
Kind of push, fight,
whatever and then,
the guys started running.
He chased after them.
OLIVER: One of the cats
grabbed a machete
from one of their delis
and just skewered him
right in the chest.
And that
ripped me apart.
POKORNY: This is New York,
during in the early '80s.
We were used to
violence and death.
Those days were both
beautiful and horrifying
at the same time.
We got a lot of people here.
They backed the first
Kickstarter, dungeons.
They backed the second
Kickstarter, caverns.
But they're not
backing the city.
We're still short
almost a million dollars.
'Cause people think
the city is just where
we meet
our characters
and we make up
an adventure
and then we go to the dungeon
to kill the monsters.
There's no treasures
and monsters in the city.
That's just where we hang out
after the adventure.
But I am going
to convince them,
that there's so much
fucking adventure
in the city.
They can have adventures
right there in the city.
And underneath the city
in the sewer.
That's what the module
has to convince them.
MAN: We have the backstory
almost complete though.
Once we finish this,
then we can finally
go back to
actually doing
different stories.
Valoria is infested
with rats.
POKORNY: I mean, hello!
I grew up in
New York City!
It was adventure every night!
If anyone can show them
how much rat there is,
that can
go down here, it's us!
And I really believe
that this is going to
be the tipping point.
No one believes me.
We got two weeks for them
really to get this done.
So, you know,
we don't have
a lot of time.
No putzing around.
And we're not gonna
be working from 25th,
'cause we're going
to Gary Con.
Lake Geneva.
The birthplace of
Dungeons and Dragons,
we're going there!
And we're gonna
stir up interest there.
I'm gonna run,
like, three games.
We're gonna
use the stuff.
Then hopefully, we'll get
a bunch of backers
from the convention.
All right,
hold the fort!
You know what, I have to
stop by 250, Moore, first.
Just to grab a bag.
Almost totally forgot.
I would've had
no underwear
and no socks.
Jesus, oh...
Tell Lulu.
Thank God for Lulu.
She had to do the laundry
because we were sculpting
so much that,
I didn't have...
I totally forgot that
I have to do laundry
for the trip.
So Lulu was doing laundry
today, for me.
This is called,
"Flying by the seat
of your pants."
Ladies and gentlemen... welcome you to Detroit.
The local time is, 3:45 p.m.
We're not supposed
to be in Detroit.
Something went awry.
Somebody rolled a one.
We have five to ten minutes,
so we'll go grab a beer.
Have to drink this fast.
Set my timer.
To Milwaukee!
If I worried too much
about the future,
I never would've
started this company.
Alot of the time,
if you think about,
"Oh, my God.
What if I...
"can't pay this bill or...
"Oh, my God. What if
this doesn't succeed?
"Oh, my God.
What if we don't sell
enough lizard men?"
You'd be too paralyzed
to do anything.
So instead,
I approach it
And I say,
"Let's just try
as hard as we can.
"And somehow,
we'll just get it done."
And that's been...
What's been happening
for 18 years.
We're in the...
We're in Milwaukee now.
We're in Wisconsin
and, uh...
I'm wearing
the cheese hat
but I, I wanna state
for the record that
I'm still a Jets fan.
Right? But Brett Farve
did play quarterback for
the Jets for one season.
So, you know,
it's not total blasphemy.
You know?
If he had been healthy,
we might have even
won a championship.
Till he got injured.
Good to see you.
This is Stefan...
Stefan, Sven.
This is the chariot
of the gods, as far
as we are concerned.
Gary Con or bust!
There's a bar in here!
Where's... Where's...
The bartenders
are failing.
MAN: So you guys
got a feel of...
Right now, you're still
just working on the fumes
of the big push.
He still has about
another two weeks
of sculpting and then...
The latest video.
And now,
dwarves and ladies,
this marvelous city
can finally be yours.
the Dwarven Forge
city builder system.
Now available for
the first time only
on Kickstarter.
This brand new design
is completely modular.
You can tweak
as you wish.
With the city
builder system,
you get to build
your own city streets.
Wow, what a turn!
We're actually in
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
The homeland of
Dungeons and Dragons.
I mean, seriously,
this is some
serious reckoning
that's going on here.
Holy cow!
That little house!
It's amazing, huh?
So much came
from that one spot.
Humble beginnings.
Humble beginnings.
Look at that.
You know it's funny
that there's like...
I mean this
should be, like,
the town landmark,
you know.
They all used to
come and play there.
And used to play in
the basement and wherever,
on the porch...
You know?
And there it is,
just sitting there.
No one has any clue,
you know.
All the brain storming
went in there,
and creativity that came out
of there from this guy.
This guy with a great mind,
creative mind and his friends.
And all these people around
this area that they all came,
and they...
You know, they have
cold winters here.
And you gotta stay indoors
and there's
not much else to do.
But you could game.
Damn. Probably
used to play
right there.
That little extension.
There's a name on
the book. You know?
There's the Dungeon Masters
guide, player's handbook,
you know, it was like,
"By Gary Gygax."
The writing, you know...
Like, the dice were unusual.
The game method was unusual,
everything was unusual.
Gary Con was started
by his son, Luke.
Hey, this is
Luke Gygax. Luke.
POKORNY: When Gary Gygax
passed away,
Luke had a service.
And after the service
they all gathered
and played games.
And then it just started
growing to the point
where he was like,
"You know, I think
I should just probably
"just make a full blown
convention out of it.
And it's a gathering of people
who are close to Gary.
Frank. Frank, he was there
in the beginning
that created
this wonderful game.
FRANK MENTZER: No, no, no, no,
I showed up in 1980.
Well, Frank is one
of the original,
most respected guys
in the whole industry,
and also really nice guy.
Not like some asshole.
I first learned
about Stefan Pokorny
when I heard about
this crazy Asian
playing D&D
in bars in Brooklyn.
Going out and working,
what we call, the trenches.
Getting out there
with novices,
he's showing them,
it's a way to keep
everybody in touch
with each other
as real people,
not just as
screen names.
And that's why we're
all here at Gary Con,
of course,
Gary Gygax
and all of us
sitting down
with other people,
some friends,
some strangers.
But to see how it goes,
experience new adventures
with new people.
And share as part
of this brotherhood
of gaming,
that benefits all of us.
MENTZER: And Stefan
is on the frontlines,
keeping that alive.
POKORNY: Compared
to the tavern where
you sat sipping swill
not even an hour ago,
the part of town
where you've been led,
conveys wealth and success.
The officious,
young man,
who sought you out
and offered you work,
whisks you along
the broad, flat paving stones
of the cities
wealthier districts.
Until, you arrive
at the exterior
of a two storey shop
on Pheasant Street
called Oasis Tapestry.
Uh-oh. Oh, my God.
POKORNY: We are play testing
our first Dwarven
Forge module.
The module
we designed to use
are pieces, obviously.
So, we've just got
about a week left
for the Kickstarter.
it'll be a success.
If not, this time next year
I'll be waiting tables.
Suddenly, the hole from out
of every little crack
and floor board in the house,
rats come swarming out.
Roll for initiative.
I tried really hard
not to do any shots,
but they twisted my arm.
You know?
One shot led
to another and...
Then we put on
the Black Sabbath,
then we all started
getting crazy and then...
Luke and Mike
started wrestling.
Luke and Mike Gygax,
they started wrestling...
And Luke grabs
Mike's underwear
wedgies him
and they were like...
Then they were both pullin'
from both sides
and then they're rolling
around on the ground.
I think it ended up
with them totally
tearing his underwear
out of his pants.
You know?
It was nutty.
See you later on.
See you later.
Raising walls
of ice and fire
Um, I forgot
what room I'm in.
I believe it's a suite
at 13 something.
It was a rough night,
last night.
TIM: Stefano.
Hey, Tim.
TIM: Where were you
all of last night?
If we're gonna
get together
you gotta do
a little better job
that's what I mean.
MAN: Is that my hamburger?
And you gotta
answer your phone
when people are
trying to call you.
Dude, we were
at the party together.
I know...
And I tried to
get a hold of you later.
Oh, man,
I was gone...
Yeah, I know.
It's hard man I got
one of the Gygax's
telling me to do shots.
You're a grown man
and you have
a will power.
I gotta get...
And you have
other friends,
remember that.
All right, Tim.
Tim Kask is
cracking me up, man.
Oh, man...
Tim Kask.
That old grognard.
He was upset that
I didn't call him
or get back to him.
I know, but really
what he's upset
is that, uh,
that I drink too much he says.
He's just looking out for me.
Tim Kask is the number
one guy right now.
Now that Gary and Arneson
are gone,
these are the guys
who were there from
the very beginning.
They are the guys
that deserve the most respect,
but, you know,
I still gotta be me.
Oh, man.
By the time I was,
like, 14, I was drinking
like, every day
and you know...
Drinking, doing drugs...
You know, party hard...
I've, you know,
always been an artist.
Hanging out
with other artists
and wild people...
Goes with the territory.
This is like the longest
shower that has ever...
Wondy's been in there
for this whole time.
WONDY: Yeah?
Hey, man!
Are you okay
in there?
WONDY: I'm golden.
All right,
take your time I'm...
There's half
a cheese burger out here.
I cut it in half
and ate half.
WONDY: All right.
Was last night
like really crazy?
Very crazy, yes.
WONDY: Was I crazy?
WONDY: Mad crazy?
Well, at a certain point,
we all thought it best
that you should go home.
WONDY: Oh, of course...
Yeah, you were
starting to get,
kind of, you know,
feisty with some of
the military guys.
WONDY: Really?
So, you know,
not a good idea.
Oh, yeah.
Bless you. Oh, shit.
I just took a bite
out of the half.
We're number four.
We're number four
on the Kicktraq
hotlist today.
Why are we not on number one?
We will be on the last day.
Just might. Yes.
Two thousand one hundred
and two backers.
We still need to raise
And we only have a week.
I'm extremely stressed out,
but I'm having a great time.
I'm doing something
I believe in.
You know?
That's important in life.
You hear that?
I mean,
the sound of the trees.
Ah. Crazy.
It sounds like the ocean.
I don't get to hear stuff
like that in New York.
You know, you grew up
in concrete jungle.
Here I was from this
bourgeois European family.
But I wanted to hang out
on the stoop,
with a case of beer
and a Boom Box.
And get into street fights.
I was bad.
I thought school was a joke.
I was just
entertaining myself.
I was great at art,
but everything else
was just like, whatever...
I was getting kicked out,
like, on a daily basis.
I got left back
in second grade.
I think around fifth grade,
I got kicked out
of the French department.
And at like 10th grade,
I got kicked out
of school altogether.
And then my mother
was really angry
because they'd put my picture
like a wanted sign
in the elevator of the school.
They were like do not let
this kid into the school.
Because I kept going back.
And my mother went
to see the principal,
she saw my sign and she
like unloaded on him,
like screamed at
the principal
and all this.
I remember feeling
really happy
that my mother
had stood up
for me, you know?
I'll forever
love her for that.
Don't tell me
we have only linguine.
Ugh. We gotta throw
this away. Linguine.
I hate linguine
and, uh, spaghetti...
Spaghetti's a perfect shape.
Linguine is flat
and it causes too much sauce
to stick on parts of it.
And it's like the whole thing
is just a mess.
It's not ready yet.
It's still too al dente.
If you look inside there's
this little dot in the middle,
where it's uncooked.
When that dot disappears
then it's perfect.
Mmm. Nice and salty.
I like cooking for people
'cause I'm half Italian.
Me, I feel fully Italian
but, you know, people argue.
My mom, she's
a very strong woman.
I was brought up
as an Italian.
It was really my mother
who was really
the one that was
involved in my life.
That cared about me
and cared about
what was going
on with me.
Hello, Stefan.
I presume that you are out
maybe playing
Dungeons & Dragons.
I want to know
if you come for lunch
that I have some
meatballs and sauce.
You see, how tight
it is in here?
Like we have don't have
enough room to cook.
And we don't
have enough room
to do all the things
we might want to do.
So, we really need
a little more space.
This is only
like 600 square feet.
We're looking into a space
that's 2,200 square feet.
So almost four times
the size of this.
And then, we are
really gonna rock and roll.
Ah, excited.
POKORNY: We got a lot of ideas
we are throwing around.
We could open up
our own gaming store
and we would advertise it
by just hanging out
around Bushwick in our armor.
People would just
think we're nuts.
They'll wanna play
Dungeons & Dragons.
There's a freaking creek
right here.
We're in Brooklyn
but there's a creek.
That is like a ship.
You guys have
a creek access here?
MAN: We can have some fun.
POKORNY: Let's get a boat.
Imagine that.
This move's been
a big distraction.
We've lost some days
because of this.
But when you can move
into a new place,
where you have the potential
to have a pirate ship,
you do it.
It's a no-brainer.
We just got it
to another level, man.
POKORNY: There's a shortage
of Smooth-Cast 300.
Can you call Blick?
They're in the city
and they have
Smooth-Cast 300.
MAN: So that's Dick Blick.
POKORNY: Dick Blick.
What a name.
What is the deal
with that anyway?
How come...
How come Richard...
How come Dick is
short for Richard?
Does anyone
have any idea?
So there I was, getting into
all kinds of trouble
hanging out with bad guys.
My parents begged me you know,
"Go to Art & Design
High School."
I was like,
"I don't wanna go to school.
"I'm done with school.
"And everyone's got a job
except me.
"I never have any money."
I love to see
the workshop
in full swing.
MAN: Great progress
since Friday.
Well, look at
my team I got here.
My parents are like,
"It's art, you
love art!" You know?
"We'll pay you."
And I was like,
"Well, okay,
I'll give it a shot."
It was a school of Art.
And there was like,
every kind of Art
you can imagine.
You could actually sign up
for classes
you want to go to.
You know, I was like,
"Wow!" I was painting!
"I'll sign up for that."
There was this dude,
Mr. Greenburg.
And he was, like,
this grizzled veteran.
With this big beard,
and he had one glass eye.
He was going around
one by one to everybody.
I remember when he came to me
he was just like,
"Wow. Well, you're great.
You never painted before?"
And I'm like, "No."
And he's like,
"Listen, son,
you have a gift.
"You have a talent.
"So, work at it
and don't waste
your life."
It had
a big effect on me.
Being adopted,
even though my
parents loved me,
there's always in
the back of your mind,
you feel like, maybe
people thought you were
worthless or something.
You know?
Greenberg actually
made me love school.
He made me believe myself.
I had no direction
in life and so...
Greenberg was like,
"You can make something
of yourself."
The things
that great artists do...
It moves your soul
you stand before it,
blown away
by the craftsmanship,
by the sheer unbelievableness
of what they had achieved.
You look at it
and you're just,
like, overwhelmed
by the enormity of it.
And you're like,
"Wow, how could
someone do that?"
It's magic.
It seems like
a little bit of magic.
If you can do great art,
well, it's a piece of
You will go on.
Your emotions,
what you capture...
That thing will continue
to inspire people
over the course of hundreds
and hundreds of years.
It's like a little piece of
you that lives on
to keep inspiring forever
and ever and ever.
If that's not something
worth living for,
that doesn't give your life
some kind of meaning,
I don't know what does.
This is so much more
of an undertaking
than last two Kickstarters.
And they all are
looking to me
to make sure everything
gets figured out,
you know?
The colors, the compositions,
the module...
Then, moving to a new place.
it's just overwhelming.
But of course,
I'm not gonna give in.
Just gotta keep doing it.
Things will get better.
Like if I was in Valoria
the gods would
send down strength
to the follower.
And the next day,
and fill me
with rejuvenation
to once again have the
strength to complete the task.
You better watch out.
Someone might
grab something.
You know?
Who's watching
this stuff?
MAN: Well, I'm in.
I'm gonna stay...
You know how people
are around here.
They see things
in the corridor,
they think
it's up for grabs.
So, let's take this
off the couch.
You know what
we should do...
It's not for free.
I mean this thing
is sitting here,
saying "Free!"
And then look
at all this stuff.
And that's bad news.
Get rid of this shit.
MAN: Wait. No, no, no.
This sign goes away.
We're gonna write on them.
It's a very dangerous
piece of paper.
This is...
What is this garbage?
This is the garbage.
We're moving garbage.
Oh, my goodness.
This is my life.
Little boxes of my life.
"Czech figurines."
Oh, my God.
These are so fragile
and so valuable.
I don't think
they have any idea.
Oh, my God.
Please tell me
no one smashed this.
That's my father's mother.
Some painter
in Czechoslovakia...
I forgot his name.
A very well-known
portrait artist
painted that.
You could tell
it's really well done.
It's beautiful.
That's how she looked, too.
She had that look.
I remember
from when I was young
she was like...
She was very quiet.
My father was Czech
and he came to America
when he was 23
through Ellis Island.
I remember growing up
in his office
and they were making models
and planting trees
and it was like ingrained
into my psyche,
making models.
So, I think about him a lot
when I'm doing this thing.
The best time we had was
when he talked about art.
He loved art.
He loved the fact
that I was an artist.
MAN: Yeah,
bring it down
towards you.
We gotta push this up
You're free.
The chain is free.
Hey! Let me in.
I wanna game.
Wow! These are our neighbors.
We're meeting our neighbors.
So we wanna park
our pirate ship
out here.
Have the gang plank
and, uh...
So, all our gaming friends
can go walk on the boat
and then we can
play games on the boat.
And I was looking
at that boat
and wondering if someone
would sell that.
It's just fantastic.
My God. Look across
the street there's Lays.
Oh, we gotta
talk to them.
MAN: Why you wanna
talk to Lays...
That's my favorite
potato chips.
MAN: So, you wanna
get a lifetime supply?
Maybe they wanna trade.
Yeah, I find it
very exciting, this
whole neighborhood.
In every door
you go by
there's someone
making something.
I just...
That excites me.
You ever played
Dungeons & Dragons?
MAN: Yeah.
short $700,000.
We're gonna need
Bring in the gnomes!
People always
peeking in, now.
Now, that we have this
ground level thing
people always
looking in to see
what the heck is
going on in here.
Look, 'cause she's looking
at the houses.
People are curious,
you know?
Gotta be careful
that people aren't
like gonna take pictures
of our top
secret stuff.
I mean, I could
tell you now
because this is gonna
be the future.
What we're doing now
is the future.
When we see it,
it'll be the past.
Right now, the future's
the pa... Whatever.
Don't worry about it.
It's one of those
Terminator things.
This is, uh, Edwin.
One of our
patron backers.
He pledged to sit
on the patron game
in my studio.
For me, it's a real treat
to come up here
and go through the whole
theatrical experience.
EDWIN: He's real good at
what you call role playing,
not the role playing
where you're doing dice,
but the actual voices,
the theatrical part.
Which is a real treat.
Pieces are melting
in the sunlight.
POKORNY: I gotta
roll down these windows
'cause the sunlight
is melting my clay.
It's an emergency.
The sun, the sunlight.
POKORNY: Let's get
some shit sculpted!
So, after Art & Design,
it was time to go to college.
The first year was
all this experimental year.
I'd be playing
with chicken wire
and all that stuff.
And finally,
it's the second year,
you're able to pick
your classes.
I was like,
"Yes! I'm gonna
pick painting."
And I'm gonna try sculpture.
That's cool.
That's a place
where you can get totally
mugged in that little...
Oh, yeah, murder alley.
Murder alley...
Especially this thing
hanging over
and it
gets all dark.
POKORNY: As a painter,
you wanna make
the three dimensional world
into a two dimensional world.
In your mind,
with your eyes, you're
flattening everything out.
So, I learned
to see everything three
dimensionally now.
That's the best piece
of the, uh... So far.
POKORNY: Huh. Awesome.
After school I couldn't
get into any galleries.
That's Rafael,
he does all
our photography.
I saw this sculpture
in a museum.
Originally she's looking
at a cross.
Now she's taking a selfie.
She's turned
into a drone.
POKORNY: The art world
in general at that time
was all about abstractions.
Cheers man.
Yeah. Yeah.
Of course.
And realists like me
and Mr. Greenburg
were laughed at.
What the hell is this banana
doing here?
What's the banana doing there?
"No, we don't show
your kind of work here.
"It's too old fashioned."
So, I took a year off
and I went to Italy
to do some more painting.
Maybe, if I get
a better portfolio together,
something good will happen.
So, I spent a year in Italy
just painting doing my thing
trying to become
the next Caravaggio,
you know?
Look at the age of the stones.
Look at the stone work here.
Look at the...
There's like stories.
There's stories
in every stone.
Look at these doors
and the wood.
It's incredible.
It was a great time of me
being alone with myself
and just painting.
And I also played D&D.
I'd run the games in Italian.
I came back to New York
and I still couldn't
get into any galleries.
And since I wasn't
making any money
I had to move back in
with my parents.
This is the old block,
a lot has changed.
Back in the old days,
all these buildings
were small little townhouses.
Now look what
they're doing.
Everywhere you go
there's a construction.
It's nuts.
You know?
This thing.
They attached
this gigantic crane.
It was, like, as high
as that building is now.
Maybe even higher.
And then this thing
snapped up there,
this steel thing,
and it fell down
and it smashed
the top of that building.
And all those bricks
fell on top of my building.
I remember
my mother on the ground,
covered in glass.
They picked her up
off the ground.
It was like
a Godzilla movie.
We were all running
up the block.
My poor father,
who was bedridden
at the time,
we had to take him
to the emergency room.
Several months after that,
he was gone.
I watched my father
do what he does.
Always an honorable man
and that's the example
that I follow.
After he died,
I looked at his journals.
Prepare for battle!
And I saw that he did
care about what I did.
He was happy and excited
about things that
were going on in my life.
He would make notes about it.
When I thought all the time
that he just couldn't
care less, you know.
We need to, uh,
tighten up the screws
on the thing.
It was up to me
to crack that shell.
And I did it.
I wish he could've seen us
making this city.
This would've been
the ultimate.
He would've loved this one
more than
any of the other ones.
"Now you've really
become an architect."
He would've said to me.
I've never worn
all of this together.
This is, like,
more like an action hero.
Just two days left.
So, hopefully, we'll get
lot's of people
to start pledging.
You know?
Then we're gonna unleash
some really kickass videos.
And, uh, it's gonna be
a lot of excitement tonight.
"We have learned a lot
"from our past
Kickstarter campaigns,
"and with your help,
are ready to make this
"the best one yet."
We have learned a lot
from our past
Kickstarter campaigns
and, uh...
That's all we learned.
So, join me
in this crusade.
Forgot my lines.
"Join me in this crusade."
So, join me in
this crusade to bring...
To build, why do
I keep saying bring?
No idea.
So, join me
in this crusade
and get ready to build
the city or
the kingdom of
your dreams.
Cut, that's
fucking gold, man.
Was that good?
MAN: That was awesome.
During the second Kickstarter
and we were
right in the middle
of a video,
when, uh, I get the call
that says
Mama has passed away.
It hit me like
a ton of bricks.
She had loved me,
like, so much.
And believed in me
my whole life.
She's my rock.
She told me for several years,
"I can't die
"until I know that you
are gonna be okay."
But she was able to see
the beginning...
The first few days,
she was able to see
that we had launched again
and we were successful.
POKORNY: We're almost there!
I think, after that
she did a big exhale,
mentally and physically.
Hello, Stefan, this is Mama,
I'm alive to see your success.
Both in art and in business.
Good bye,
I'm going to rest now.
I'm angry
that my mother and father
died so early in my life.
Now, that I'm much older,
now, that I'm almost 50
I wish I could tell them
that I do
appreciate them more.
I feel like I let 'em down
like that.
My parents are not gonna
be here to see this.
I can't change that.
All I can do is make this
the ultimate expression
of all those years,
of all that love.
They believed in the dream.
So, we can't let them down.
So, finally,
after grad school,
the gods took pity
and they sent me a gift.
I answered this ad
for painting collectibles.
And, uh, it's a good job.
Been playing a lot of
Dungeons & Dragons.
It's foremost in my mind.
I'm working for this company.
That's when
the lightbulb went off.
I was doing
these cardboard cut-outs,
these passageways and rooms
for Dungeons & Dragons
so I could take
the miniatures I painted
and move them
through the passageways.
And I saw the beautiful things
that we were doing
at this collectible company.
Oh, shit!
Like, "Wow! Why don't we
make dungeons?"
The two parts of my life
came together.
Eventually, we made
our first order.
We rented a booth at Gen Con
and I set up a display.
And when the doors opened
the people just
swarmed our booth.
No one had ever seen
anything like this.
In four hours,
we were sold out
and we were in business.
How're you doing?
I like the hat.
Hey, man,
how are you?
When he first introduced
Dwarven Forge
here at Gen Con
I was actually right there
to buy, like, what six sets?
I was, like, addicted.
In '96?
All the way back to '96,
our first year.
Oh, yeah.
MAN: And I just
fell in love with it.
I mean, I have all his sets
and, I think,
I'm only missing one,
one set.
And every time I go to order
from your website it's out.
We're gonna have
to fix that, my friend.
MAN 1: What's the cost
of a good set
that would have everything
you would need, generally?
POKORNY: It depends
on what you want.
That's the simplified
cabin version,
then there's
a more fancy one.
POKORNY: Passageways...
MAN 1: ... pieces
POKORNY: And you know,
they're all compatible.
That's good.
What's it made out of?
POKORNY: Find deep
in the earth,
dwarves dug down deep to find
this magical substance
of non-breakability.
MAN: The Dwarvenite!
Non-breakability terrain
has always been
the Achilles heel
of the dwarves.
So they found the Dwarvenite.
Now, everyone
can game in peace,
without fear of breakage.
Are you familiar with
the Dwarvenite.
Uh, yes,
my DM uses it.
Do you know how
indestructible this is?
Let me demonstrate!
Still in one piece.
Genuine Dwarvenite!
I gotta... I gotta get
something with beverage.
I got to drink something...
This is Peter, you know?
Uh, owns Gen Con.
So this guy is the craziest
motherfuckin' entrepreneur
you've ever heard of.
I got to tell you.
What he is... he's an artist...
...who managed to keep control
of the company.
Not sure if
it's under control!
POKORNY: Nothing in the world
that is ever great
gets done rationally.
You got to be a little bit
nuts and prepared
to just go full throttle
and try to make it
the greatest you can
whether you fail or succeed.
Finally, you arrive at a large
non-descript house.
A meeker heart would be,
like, "That's insanity."
And that person will never
do anything great.
The fear of failure
is hard.
Shot! Shot! Shot!
The old man
turns his attention to you.
keeps turning and looking over
with his eyebrows.
To survive
in this godless world,
the denizens of Mythras
looked within themselves
for the power
to accomplish the feats
that their
broken world demanded.
Survival's not guaranteed
in this game.
Twenty two, 24...
I have got a 24.
First a 22,
then 24, 34,
Stefan Pokorny, here,
formally forged the yard.
He just came by
with a very generous donation
for charity.
This is a prototype
of something that won't be out
until January.
It's dated July 7th, 2015.
You wanna tell us
a little bit about it?
This is Stefan Pokorny,
Dwarven Forge.
Hey, guys, uh...
This is, uh, some of the
first round of prototypes
for the new city
builder system,
the modular, uh, building,
you know...
Build your
medieval buildings,
stones, tudors...
So, I thought somebody
would like, you know,
to test it out
before they get it
in January, um...
I hope someone bids on it.
Thank you.
MAN: Stefan has also said
this money
goes to our charity.
Not for
his own benefit.
He does a lot
of reaching out,
helping people,
all sorts of stuff.
Starting it at 40.
Two-four-six-eight, 50.
Two-four-six-eight, 60.
80, 90.
Ninety dollars, goes twice,
done deal.
That's for Jeff.
MAN: Seventy five, seventeen.
POKORNY: What is money?
Money's just paper.
What matters in life
is that you do something
you enjoy.
That's what matters
because that is your life.
It's not
what's going to happen
twenty years,
30 years down the road
but what matters
is you are what you are,
you are what you do.
That becomes you.
So, hopefully
you do something you enjoy.
You know?
So, I'm doing what I enjoy
and for as long
as I can do it.
WOMAN: Every $10
you spend, you get...
Did you guys go
on the city builder stuff?
I haven't looked
at a single one.
Oh, man,
medieval modular building.
So, you can build
your own medieval world.
Here's my map book.
Dungeons that I drew.
Stefan Pokorny,
he is an amazing artist.
He is one
of these artists
that has
a constant flow of ideas.
MAN: Here is a great
backstory for Mythras.
Well, I love
the incorporation
of the Greek gods
and all that stuff.
Like it's just phenomenal.
There is no one
in the gaming industry
that does it like him.
The best dungeon sculptor
on the planet bar none.
MAN: Be quite please.
Everybody settle.
Now you get the fog machine.
This is just
blowing me away.
MAN: All right.
POKORNY: Dwarven Forge
is my artistic vehicle.
My whole life...
...has suddenly
done the circle
and now I'm presenting
my life's work.
MAN: From the left side,
there's definitely some open,
There is some questionable...
It's my city, it's Valoria.
My life's work is Valoria.
It took a life time
for me to make it.
All my experiences,
everything I experienced
in my life...
Being adopted
by European parents,
growing up in the city,
traveling through Europe...
All these things,
that's how my world
became made.
The city of Valoria!
This is my masterpiece.
Two minutes to go.
I can't say what the future is
for Dwarven Forge.
You know how to
drive a boat?
We're looking
for a captain
I have been a captain.
This is it. This is...
I've shot all my bullets...
(CHANTING) Valoria!
Valoria! Valoria!
If there's more after this,
if there's another one,
it's gonna be an embellishment
upon the city
that's been unleashed.
This is the big one
right here.
ALL: Ten, nine, eight,
seven, six, five, four,
three, two, one...
POKORNY: We did it!
We kicked ass, man!
I just wish
that my parents were around
to see it.
I love you both.
Thank you for adopting me
and for giving me
all your love.
For giving me
this wonderful life.
I'll do my best
to give as much back
as possible.
And thus, the quest
having been completed
and everyone
having been saved,
there is much rejoicing
and there's much singing
and dancing and feasting
and the King turns to you
and he says,
"Thank you for saving the city
"from certain doom.
"And please,
return to us again
"for you shall always
be welcomed
"within the gates of Valoria!"