I’m not really a miniatures person, but it isn’t everyday that Netflix suggests an RPG related documentary for me to check out. The Dwarvenaut is a biographical documentary about Stefan Porkorny, artist and founder of Dwarven Forge and follows on the third Kickstarter campaign launched by the company.
The documentary assumes you already know about Dungeons and Dragons for the most part, otherwise you wouldn’t be watching a documentary about miniatures. In line with this, there are appearances by many well-known names from the beginning of D&D’s history as well as looks at Gary Con in Lake Geneva and Gen Con in Indianapolis. Likewise there are many scenes of artists sculpting and creating. These, as well as Porkorny’s personal history are the best parts of the documentary. Porkorny’s stories of his relationship with his parents, the trouble he got into as a teen and his redemption through art and Dungeons and Dragons are quite interesting.
I don’t think this will convince any new people to take up the tabletop hobby, but it’s an interesting glimpse for those who are already in the hobby, especially if they are part of the miniature subculture. The pace can be a bit uneven and perhaps a bit slow in some parts. I did think a scene was the ending only to have the documentary continue. A little bit like The Return of the King movie, in that respect. There is an interesting guitar soundtrack threaded throughout the documentary that accents the home grown feel of the movie. I do wish that more time had been spent telling us about the beginnings of Dwarven Forge, which would have emphasized the extreme importance of Porkorny’s third Kickstarter being successful, underscoring the suspense of it. Yet, I don’t regret the time Porkorny spent philosophizing in front of one of Gary Gygax’s early home in Lake Geneva. There is some profanity and artwork that depicts nudity if these are a concern for people and when they watch it.
The official Facebook page can give more information on where to find and view The Dwarvenaut.
View the trailer below!