The sculpted dungeons and terrain from Dwarven Forge are some of the most beautiful and sturdy gaming accessories out there -- but what about the person behind it all?  The Dwarvenaut is a look at the life, history, and even process of Stefan Pokorny, the founder and chief sculptor of Dwarven Forge.

The main story of this documentary is Dwarven Forge's then-current Kickstarter, for a modular medieval city.  While the previosu two were successful, Stefan says they need to earn at least two million dollars or the whole company could be in jeopardy.  We see how Stefan and the company try to reach this ambitious goal: raising awareness at Gen Con, shooting more videos for their project, and so on.

Mixed in-between the countdown of the Kickstarter, we learn all about Stefan.  It's no surprise that he played D&D as a child, but he's atill an avid DM, running games (in costume!) for assorted players, complete with lots of Dwarven Forge sets.  He sees D&D as more than a game: To him, it's a way for people to connect, forging connections in a cold, technology-driven world.  He even takes a trip to Gary Gygax' childhoom home.
We also get, in non-linear fashion, the history of Stefan himself: his parents, how he developed his love for and skill in art, his flaws and his strengths.  In many ways, Stefan is living the geek dream life: He does what he loves, he gets to play as well as work, and even when stressed out he has high energy and enthusiasm.
The Dwarvenaut is a very fun look at one person's past, present, and future, as an artist, businessman, and unapologetic geek.  While there's no detailed description about the creation and production of the Dwarven Forge items, by the end of the movie we know how Stefan Pokorny uses his skills and ideas to create them.  This is a very good look at one person's creativity and history.  (DVD extras include deleted scenes, commentary, and the Kickstarter videos from Dwarven Forge.)
Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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