General D&D Topics* The Museum of Dungeons & Dragons Is A Go! Funding Begins




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  1. #1
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    ø Ignore Morrus

    The Museum of Dungeons & Dragons Is A Go! Funding Begins

    We discussed here on the forums various potential locations for a D&D museum, the plans for which Luke Gygax was bandying about. Well, now the folks involved in this museum have launched a crowdfunding project on IndieGoGo to make this idea a reality. They need $150,000 in the next 60 days - a far from unsurmountable goal given the amounts some recent RPG Kickstarters have made.


    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zjDG4mxxi0"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zjDG4mxxi0[/ame]



    You'll find the IndieGoGo campaign here. Now go pledge!

    For many years, we’ve been thinking about all of the collections that just get thrown out or given away to people who don't know what they are. We personally saw a pile of D&D books destroyed by a local charitable organization. I'm sure the person who donated them didn't want that, and the entire idea of books being destroyed makes us cringe.

    Hearing about Dave Arneson's collection being found in a storage shed has really pushed us to move forward on finding a permanent location for the museum. The founders of this game and the original gamers are aging, and more and more collections like this will be destroyed if something isn't done soon.

    Getting across our passion for the game online isn't easy. Maybe the best way to describe it is the way we explain it at conventions: we consider ourselves paladins of Dungeons & Dragons. Rather like Varys from Game of Thrones is a champion of the kingdom - no matter who sits on the throne, the kingdom must survive.

    Without the contributions of E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, the world would be a different place. They created the concept of fantasy roleplaying games. Without them, we'd all be playing wargames. Video games wouldn't exist in their current form (although video wargames may have been developed).

    We will be opening the museum’s new location in 2014 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Dungeons & Dragons. The timing will be tight, as we have to find the right place to house the museum in a permanent resting place, build it out (i.e. put in necessary walls and ceilings), then design and build all of the museum's displays. But plans are in place to get it done, and you will be kept updated every step of the way!

    We have spent a lot of time planning over the past few years, including locations. We have decided to let you, our supporters, choose where the museum should be located. Once we fund, we will send an email to everyone on our mailing list with a link to a survey, so you can vote on where we will be opening (Yes, we're willing to move to the other end of the country if that's where you want the museum to be - we are THAT dedicated to this cause!). There are four locations that we consider appropriate to the game:

    1A. Lake Geneva, WI Where it all started, and where many of the artists and game designers who worked for TSR still reside. This area is rich with D&D gaming history. Also, it is fairly centrally located in the US

    1B. Orlando, FL Dave Arneson taught game design in this area for many years. In addition, it is an area where most people will travel at least once in their lives (Disney World is located there, after all). It would be the most likely to allow international fans of D&D to visit the museum.

    2A. Indianapolis, IN Where GenCon (where D&D became a smash hit) is currently being held. Tens of thousands of gaming fans flock to this area every summer.

    2B. Renton, WA Where Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons since 1997, is headquartered.

    One of the missions of the museum will be to spread knowledge of the history of the game to as many people as possible. This will be done, in part, through traveling displays at as many conventions throughout the country as possible. (For instance, we know MANY gamers who started playing in 2000, and have never held a copy of the older products, or looked through them to see if there are ideas in them that they can bring to their current game. Likewise, gamers who stopped moving to new editions at some point might gain ideas from new products.)

    The museum's first planned expansion will include related/licensed products like Judge's Guild and the D20 products. Future plans include adding wings to the museum for other RPGs. We hope to do three different sections - science fiction, fantasy, and horror. These would include both older and current games.
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    ø Ignore Nikosandros
    Is it me or is this extremely vague?

    If they are asking funding for a museum they should provide much more information. What is their current collection? What do they plan to acquire? What kind of business plan do they have? They aren't publishing a book, but they want to organize a long-term activity.

    Also, for the higher pledges, shouldn't they give more than a single entrance? For 60 euros I get unlimited yearly entrances at a couple of museums in Rome...
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    ø Ignore KarinsDad
    Yes, this does seem a bit vague. It doesn't look that professional.

    In addition, there are more mundane rooms needed for a business. Bathrooms, janitor's closet, etc.

    Who are Jim and Debbie Hunton? I'm not "connected" or "in the know" about who's who in D&D, but I don't recognize these names.

    In answer to your question, they've collected $370 so far. What happens if they miss their goal? Do they ask for the t-shirts back and send you back your money? Or do they keep it?
    The first sign of a broken rule is when someone suggests that the way to stop it is by readying an action.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Nikosandros View Post
    Is it me or is this extremely vague?
    I’m sorry that it seems that way. Our research (and advisors) said that it was important to not to be too verbose on the pledge page. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikosandros View Post
    What is their current collection? What do they plan to acquire? What kind of business plan do they have?
    As it says on the funding page, the initial collection is valued at approximately one-quarter of a million dollars. That is just the D&D section of the collection, and includes items from Chainmail through 4th Edition. It does include many very rare and hard-to find items, including a variety of promotional items.

    But of course, it also includes things like a 2nd Edition Player’s Handbook, as it was the first book many gamers owned, so has a strong place in gaming history.

    The plan is to first acquire the items which are not in this collection, then to acquire additional copies of the items already on loan to the museum.
    The business plan is in draft at this point, as it cannot be finalized until the final location is chosen, so initial and annual costs can be calculated. The staff will be primarily volunteer (with a small annual payment to the curators, primarily for legal reasons, and not to cover our living expenses, which will be taken care of through other means). We do have volunteers in place who have experience with obtaining government grants, which will be used to expand the museum’s collection, and cover additional expenses as needed. However, in order to file for these grants, the museum must be open and operating for at least one year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikosandros View Post
    Also, for the higher pledges, shouldn't they give more than a single entrance? For 60 euros I get unlimited yearly entrances at a couple of museums in Rome...
    The free entrance is at the FIRST pledge ($15), and is primarily intended as a thank-you, and something you wouldn’t need to use, but would frame or put in a souvenir book. The entrance cost will not be fixed, but will operate as a donation (very similar to what the Museum of Natural History in New York City does).

    Please feel free to email us with any questions you might have, for this museum will belong to all of us, and we are happy to provide whatever information you might require.


    Jim and Debbie Hunton
    Curators, Museum of Dungeons & Dragons

    Email: MuseumofDnD@gmail.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MuseumOfDnD
    IndieGoGo: http://bit.ly/ZQIdu6

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by KarinsDad View Post
    Who are Jim and Debbie Hunton? I'm not "connected" or "in the know" about who's who in D&D, but I don't recognize these names.
    Nor would we expect you to recognize our names.

    We are not all that active in the online gaming communities, but have regularly run D&D games at conventions for the RPGA (DDXP, Origins, GenCon, even New York ComicCon), and run games at our local stores. We have played D&D from the original, up to and including being part of the Friends & Family, public, and other playtests for D&D Next.

    We’ve only missed one GenCon since 1991. We’ve spent extensive time talking with many of the people who made history in the game: Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, Lou Zocchi, Larry Elmore, James Ward, Peter Atkison, Mike Mearls, Bill Slavisek, and others.

    We have spoken on the phone or online with many people regarding the museum: Peter Atkison (whose company donated GenCon badges to the campaign), Larry Elmore (who chose the pieces we have of his on the page, and will be donating a display from GenCon to the museum), Jeff Easley (also donating art), Todd Lockwood (again, donating art), Diesel LaForce (who is swamped with other work, and is not donating at this time, but whose pieces will be on display and for sale at the museum), James Ward (who provided many great ideas for the museum and is going to give us the “Grand Gygax Tour” of Lake Geneva during the upcoming GaryCon), Tim Brown (writer of many 2nd Edition books, including Dragon Kings, one of my favorites), Dave Baldman (who runs Winter Fantasy, formerly DDXP), Mike Mearls (currently working on D&D Next) … there are others I’m sure I’m forgetting.

    So, although you might not recognize our names, or see them much online, if you’ve been to a gaming convention, you would probably recognize our faces. We are also published authors of a series of collector’s guides for D&D, so know much more of the history of the game than the average gamer.

    As always, free to email us with any questions you might have, for this museum will belong to all of us, and we are happy to provide whatever information you might require.


    Jim and Debbie Hunton
    Curators, Museum of Dungeons & Dragons

    Email: MuseumofDnD@gmail.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MuseumOfDnD
    IndieGoGo: http://bit.ly/ZQIdu6

  6. #6
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    ø Ignore Dannyalcatraz
    The museum had better have a secret door, s'all I'm sayin'...marked with a "S" on the visitor's map.
    Last edited by Dannyalcatraz; Sunday, 18th November, 2012 at 09:05 AM.
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    ø Ignore KarinsDad
    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    The museum had better have a secret door, s'all I'm sayin'...marked with a "S" on the visitor's map.
    And trap doors marked with a 'T'.
    The first sign of a broken rule is when someone suggests that the way to stop it is by readying an action.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    The museum had better have a secret door, s'all I'm sayin'...marked with a "S" on the visitor's map.
    Man, I wish there was a "like" button! And we actually pass it along to our architect.


    Jim and Debbie Hunton
    Curators, Museum of Dungeons & Dragons

    Email: MuseumofDnD@gmail.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MuseumOfDnD
    IndieGoGo: http://bit.ly/ZQIdu6
    Blog: http://museumofdnd.blog.com/
    “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. “ - Albert Pike
    Last edited by dhunton; Sunday, 18th November, 2012 at 04:41 PM.

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    ø Ignore Zaukrie
    I still think near the mall of America and one of the busiest airports in the world is a good idea. I do not think for one minute that Lake Geneva is a good idea, but I fear that will be the choice by a survey of fans, moat of whom have no idea how to run a tourist attraction.

  10. #10
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    ø Ignore Mark CMG
    Some draws for Lake Geneva -

    A five year and counting Old School game convention in LG - http://www.garycon.com/

    A 30+ year game store, possibly one of the top five in the country about an hour south of LG and fifteen minutes from O'Hare - http://www.games-plus.com/

    There are many other local gaming convention in Rockford, Milwaukee, Madison, and other places in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois that happen almost every week if someone had the time and money to go to them all. And it's not all that far from the MN twin cities.

    Gencon happens every year and will for quite some time and I don't doubt there are some other gamedays within driving distance but probably not every weekend year round. Plus, even if you stay open 24 hours for five or six days around Gencon, how many people can you really accommodate?

    Setting up in someplace like NYC might mean more traffic of even non-gamers but I wonder if the overhead would negate that benefit.

    Just some thoughts and keep up the good work for the museum, Huntons!
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