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Bushwick Gamer's 'Crusade' Is to Bring Dungeons and Dragons to the Masses

By Meredith Hoffman | March 28, 2013 6:48am

BUSHWICK — He may have pioneered the "Rolls Royce" of game boards, but now Stefan Pokorny is on a mission to level the playing field for all fantasy gamers.

"My dream is to make it affordable for everyone to have access to affordable dungeons," said the Bushwick resident, 46, of the miniature "terrains" he creates for games like "Dungeons & Dragons." "We've been making the Rolls Royce of dungeons, and now we're trying to make the Model T Ford." 

After 17 years of making boutique three-dimensional boards priced at $130 each, Pokorny's company Dwarven Forge has received a flood of donations to launch its cheaper line. In only three days, the business has already raised about $250,000 — five times its Kickstarter goal — to start making the metal molds and pieces.

"It's amazing, this outpouring of support. It's really moving to me," Pokorny marveled at the campaign's success. "It's like my dream come true."

Dwarven Forge's new line, called "game tiles," would be made from PVC plastic and feature more versatile figures to cut the costs of buying so many pieces, he said, adding that gamers could even buy unpainted pieces.

"The unpainted sets could be as little as one-fourth the cost of our regular pieces if we get the number of pledges we anticipate!" said the Bushwick resident, noting that each metal mold to start making the new pieces runs about $10,000.

The "indestructible" game tiles would be just as "beautifully detailed" as Dwarven Forge's current pieces, Pokorny assured viewers of his Kickstarter video.

And he entreated watchers to help him find peace of mind that the high-quality boards were available to all.

"It's painful for me. This is not the way it's supposed to be," he said of expensive 3-D boards. "Help me in this crusade to bring three-dimensional dungeons to the masses."

Pokorny's "crusade" extends beyond crafting the pieces — he also introduces players to "Dungeons & Dragons" at the Bushwick bar Tutu's, where he plans to return next Tuesday night for another "basement session."

"He said he had to take time off for Kickstarter...he's coming back Tuesday at 7," said Tutu's owner Lucas Walters. "We're going to have a big old game."

Interested players can contact Pokorny at dwarvenforge@cs.com.