This past weekend I was very fortunate to meet and play a D&D session with Stefan Pokorny, the creator of the Dwarven Forge miniature terrain products, Master Maze and Game Tiles. Hero may be too strong a term (no offense Stefan :) as I typically reserve that moniker for someone who's level of sacrifice or bravery extends beyond what is normally expected. However, I certainly admire his work quite a whole bunch-a lot (maybe too much?) and getting to meet him was certainly a highlight for me. So, was I disappointed? Not on your life, bub!
This opportunity came about in late April by being one of seven gaming fanatics who went in together on the Grand Master Patron Level in Dwarven Forge's recent Game Tiles Kickstarter campaign (which, by the way, was a HUGE success! Congrats guys!). Together, we all decided to meet and play with Stefan in early November. The wait between then and now was painful.
My weekend started by flying out of SoCal on Friday. I hate flying. A lot. So that right there should tell you the level of how much I wanted to meet the man that has given so many gamers hours of enjoyment with his products and creative genius. I got into JFK late so I just grabbed a quick bite and went back to the hotel for the night.
The next day around 11AM, Stefan and the Fellowship of the Forge (the name we've given ourselves) met at a local eatery, had lunch and chatted for a while. We headed back to Stefan's studio to play for ohhhh, I don't know... ABOUT 12 HOURS!!! Holy crap I was tired, but what a day. We even got to see some new yet-to-be-released pieces. Highly secret stuff! Sort of. Stefan actually gave us the green light to show some of the pieces. We even got to see some other still-in-the-works stuff. Now *that* stuff he wants to really keep under wraps.... Everyone was great and Stefan made everyone feel very welcome. He ran a kick ass dungeon crawl! I tell ya, the man like to throw traps at you! Luckily, no one in the Fellowship died, but it was sketchy at times. All in all it was a great event and I'm very glad to have been a part of it.
|Sadly, one of the best pictures I have. Crappy iPhone camera. Can you spot the new pieces?|
|Stefan pondering the fate of the Fellowship of the Forge...|
|What strange god do these beasts worship?!?!|
Before we all parted, I gave Stefan some copies of the fanzine that my friends and I put together. I was truly taken aback when, in return he handed me a miniature of a Dwarven Forge mummy - a piece that hasn't even been released yet! I truly didn't expect anything in return, but at that moment it really hit me what a generous and thoughtful person Stefan is! That little mummy is seriously my most prized Dwarven Forge piece!
|Front of the mummy mini|
|Back of the mummy mini|
We all parted - weary from all the excitement of playing, seeing all the new pieces that haven't been released yet, seeing the super top secret stuff that we can't even speak about, and the sheer exhaustion from traveling. Can't wait until next time!!!