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Game Expert Lures Novices into 'Dungeons and Dragons' in Bar Basements

By Meredith Hoffman | January 29, 2013 8:13am | Updated on January 29, 2013 2:09pm

BUSHWICK — In the haze of a Bushwick dungeon, a cloak-covered host will soon lure his next group of novice followers into a maze of wizards, monsters and dice. The passionate leader hopes to convert them all — to gamers.

“I’m on a mission,” said the organizer, Stefan Pokorny, a lifelong “game nerd” who has started leading introductions to the fantasy game Dungeons and Dragons in Brooklyn. “It’s to get people to get back to the old way of playing…you sit down with dice and miniatures and a pen and paper, and you socialize.”

Pokorny — a Bushwick resident whose 16-year-old business Dwarvenforge makes boutique three-dimensional “terrains” for fantasy games — said his specialty Dungeons and Dragons sessions include a mist machine, lighting, sound effects and even costumes.

At his second Brooklyn class Tuesday evening in the basement of Tutu’s bar, he’ll lead players to an 8-foot table with one of his custom-built “miniature terrains.”

“There are miniature creatures that move through this labyrinth under a mist machine so you really feel like you’re in a misty dungeon,” Pokorny, 46, exalted. “My company makes the best dungeon terrains in the world…we make the Roles Royce of dungeon terrains.”

And Pokorny, who led his first intro session earlier this month at Brooklyn Strategist in Carroll Gardens, said he seeks to expose people with video game backgrounds to the exhilarating power of live role-playing antics.

“Lots of people play games similar to Dungeons and Dragons,” he said of virtual fantasy games including the popular World of Warcraft. “They don’t realize Dungeons and Dragons is where it all started.”

Pokorny already has a captive audience, with his Tuesday game at Tutu’s already sold out and “enough interest that I could’ve sold out two or three games.”

But he plans to keep up local sessions, to continue captivating people with Dungeons and Dragons’ power.

“For many years there was all this excitement about video games and now people are realizing there aren’t just video games, and there’s not just Monopoly or Risk — there are these incredible role-playing games,” he said. “It’s a Renaissance of the original ways. I think role-playing games in general are starting to come back.”

For more information about joining sessions contact dwarvenforge@cs.com.