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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Another Dungeons & Dragons Documentary is being Kickstartered - The Great Kingdom - Do We Need Two?

Just to refresh everyone, the original D&D documentary kickstarter was Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary, which funded back in fall of 2012. It's supposedly due to release sometime this year, which may hit some bumps, as 2/3 of the folks behind the original project left it to produce The Great Kingdom, which is Kickstarting now (and is about 60% short of goal with a week left to fund.)

Yep, there's a lawsuit involved. Can't have a documentary (documentaries?) without a lawsuit. Well, you could, but then there would be no drama.

Anyhow, "personalities" is what led folks from the first project to leave to form a second project. We all know how evil personalities can be.

Do we need two D&D documentaries? Damned if I know. I didn't support the first one and I'm into stuff like this. Would I buy a copy of either upon release? Probably.

Examiner.com has a bit more on the legal issues involved between the two competing documentaries.


  1. The restraining order filed by Westpaw was tossed out by the judge in TGK's latest update.

    Personally I say yes, have two D&D documentaries that will cover different aspects of TSR/D&D's history and basically keep the game in the popular conscience in a different vector - cinema, that isn't massively embarrassing like the official films have been.

  2. All I know is that Ernie Gygax is supporting this one...and that has my attention.

  3. I confess I was leery of supporting this one, because of the lawsuit specifically. (Also, I'm not at all confident that some of the higher reward levels will ever actually happen.) But ultimately I think the two different projects can come at the material in different ways, and I hope they both come to fruition.

  4. No idea about lawsuit. "Ten Years Gone" clinched it for me.

  5. Yes, we need two documentaries. The first documentary, aka D&D: A Documentary tells the story of the D&D game in a conventional time line, whereas the Great Kingdom grew out of that first effort, unearthing so many things the films makers didn't know, so many private and family and business and human stories in so doing that the Great Kingdom had to become a thing of its own. Support both. Both documentaries need to be made.

    GP Adventures through Ernie Gygax and I, John Bobek, Rob Kuntz, Paul Stormberg, Elise Gygax... we are all behind it now. This needs to happen. Please blog some more about it, and see the kickstarter page and further developments on facebook and google plus and the like. Thank you.

  6. I get the feeling that Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary would focus on D&D while The Great Kingdom is centered more on TSR and the people therein.

  7. For those who want details on the lawsuit to read for themselves, you can go here:


    Login as Guest, then search by name for Westpaw and you'll find the docs. (Sorry I can't give a deeper link, this is protected to prevent spamdexing).

  8. I think the key thing people may have forgotten is the fact that there's almost 4,000 people who backed the first Kickstarter. And based on what I've seen on-line, people who backed that first one are a bit upset because (a) the fact that two partners left seems to have delayed the release of this and it's a bit off putting to the people who donated to the first one, and (b) because of the legal issues between the two camps, even if we can support a second Kickstarter, there's a definite risk that this will be delayed if legal action continues.

    And since most of the potential people who would have backed the Great Kingdom have probably already backed the D&D documentary, I think this is going to be a very hard sell. It's one thing to be supportive of a project, it's another thing to actually donate money to this.

    Personally, I'd probably suggest waiting until the first movie comes out and then launching a Kickstarter, because that would prove to the potential backers that the former partners don't want to interfere with it's fulfillment, and it would also make sure that they aren't trying to directly compete by releasing them so close to each other--so that might be more palatable to the backers and make people more willing to donate. That's just my opinion.

  9. I will repost my comment about the legal document and the timing of the kickstarter here, though they were previously posted on My Other Sword Is Vorpal:

    All the court documents summarize is what one party has against the other. It is not factual, but alleged. I wish some people would make the difference. Moreover, I wish people would concentrate on the goal itself, which is to tell D&D's story to the world.

    Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary and the Great Kingdom both need to happen, because these are documentaries focusing on different aspects of D&D's history, both of which deserve to be seen and heard. I know this is how Andrew Pascal and the crew of the Great Kingdom feels - that both documentaries should succeed, not one or the other.

    I do not know first hand how Anthony Savini (who is behind D&D: A Documentary) feels about this, but judging by his filings, I'd say he disagrees on that particular point.

    At the end of the day, that dispute doesn't matter to me. What matters is that we have a chance to see a part of the history of the game told by the people who were there. The children of Gary, Mary Jo, Gary's former wife, Rob Kuntz, Jim Ward, Jeff Perren and many more sat in front of the camera for hours each to tell their stories. How many more times do you think these types of efforts can happen with the same people assembled? If the Great Kingdom does not happen, who will then try to tell the story from the same angle, which is not the one D&D: A Documentary chose to explore? When would that happen - 5 years, 10 years, 20 years down the road? Who then will remain? Who will still be alive to talk about what happened?

    The Great Kingdom is a unique documentary that needs to happen. If it happens with D&D: A Documentary, I'll be thrilled. I want to make sure both happen, and for the moment, that means helping the Great Kingdom kickstarter cross that finish line.

  10. Our small but growing comany www.gp-adventures.com is donating product for those interested in supported the Great Kingdom at the $150 level. Besides that a fine historical book is being offered by John Bobek. I have spend days on this and the actual crew have spent a couple of years and plenty of air miles.

  11. The court docs are provided mostly as factual information for people to make up their own minds about this. I feel anybody backing a kickstarter should do a great deal of due diligence. And since both parties are likely not to be able to talk publicly this documents the disputes, and I'm sure we'll hear the other side on that same URL soon (the replies haven't appeared on this). Tenkar's covered a lot about Kickstarters and I feel this is important.

    People need to remember that this isn't just about giving support...it's investing money into something via pledges, and in that there is risk involved. It should never be about simple emotional appeal.

  12. These documents compile allegations made by one party against another. They are merely accusations, not fact.

  13. Also I believe at least initially these charges have been tossed out or at least the restraining order. I watched so much stupid selfish court battles as I matured at TSR to really make me wish for something other than our court system - sigh. More knowledge is excellent minimal information/history availability would be like only being able to watch either Fox or MSNBC news, not both or even the BBC!

  14. I wonder if the Great Kingdom folks got the rights to the Led Zeppelin songs they are using in the clip. If not, there's a red flag right there.

    1. Mel... Red flag regarding what exactly?