Friday, May 29, 2020

"Secrets Of Blackmoor" Film Now On Amazon Prime

From their advertising. I have the poster.

Yes, those are my Tekumel figures. Go figure. :)
I'm told that the documentary film about Dave Arneson and the early days of role-playing games here in the Twin Cities is now being distributed on Amazon Prime, and that it's possible to get the DVD along with the extra bonus DVD with more interviews; have a look at their website for more details, if you'd like:

I think I should make it clear that this is not intended to be a review of the film; in the interests of full disclosure, I was part of the historical research effort that went into this film, and I do have a very small bit of screen time in it. I'm an archivist, more then anything else, and a very specialized one at that - I'm interested in the creative process that Prof. Barker had when he created his world and his body of work, and my interest in Blackmoor relates to how Dave Arneson and Prof. Barker interacted. Yes, I did work for dave at Adventure Games, but the producers of this film have already interviewed me about those years and I'm told that this period of Dave's life and career will be covered in the second film in this series.

If you want to read reviews of this film, there are some already up on the Internet and I will be happy to let those authors speak for themselves as they know far more about all this then I do; my perspective was from a very limited viewpoint, and from a different time and place.

From my point of view, the real value of this film and especially in the bonus DVD are all of you getting the chance to hear the voices of the people that I met in 1975 and gamed with and worked for in the following years. Some of these people are no longer with us, and I miss them; this is your chance to hear their voices. For anyone interested in the very beginnings of role-playing games, this film is a wonderful opportunity to hear about what went on in the Twin Cities, way back when, and how those games led to D&D and other RPGs.

Have a look, if you will, and if you can take away anything for your games, then I think you'll be the richer for it and have that extra bit of fun.

We thought that it was worth buying a copy of the DVD set, for our archives; I also got a complimentary copy of the set as a contributor, and that copy will also be here in the files.

I'd like to think you'll find it fun, informative, and entertaining.


  1. I only wish my DVD player still worked to play DVDs (I need to get a new one but I haven't been able to justify the cost). Do you know if the bonus material is available for streaming?

  2. Not that I am aware of; I think it's only available as part of the two-disk set. Check their website, as they may have more on this.