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The One Secret  @psychohistorian.org

The One Secret

posted: 2933 days ago, on Thursday, 2010 May 13 at 09:39
tags: atheism, psychology, religion, Dungeons and Dragons.

Any good Dungeon Master (or Games Master, as the yungins call it nowadays) knows that there is one big secret to running a successful campaign.

In case you, gentle reader, and I are not on the same page: a "Dungeon Master" is the arbiter in a fantasy role-playing game, of which Dungeons & Dragons is the most famous. A "campaign" is a connected series of encounters in which imaginary characters (controlled by "players") interact in, and with, an equally-imaginary setting - for example, the quest of a priest and his wizardly companion to locate the Lost World of Tabarne and reinstate the rightful heir to its throne, and so on and so on.

The secret known only to the best Dungeon Masters is one that is so powerful that to reveal it will render the game sterile and utterly without purpose. The best players that I know are aware of this secret, but they play along (literally) and have the ability to transcend the numbing effect this knowledge brings. Despite knowing the secret - but as long as they don't think about it and assign it to the /ignore bin - they can still thoroughly immerse themselves in the experience.

Most players, however, don't care. They get on with the job of playing the game.

All of the above is true of religion, too.

Any honest theologian knows that there is one big secret behind all of religion. Exposing the secret, saying it out aloud, would make religion worthless. The gods would dissolve, their grandeur revealed as more threadbare than even the emporer's new clothes.

Some religious people I know understand this secret but are unable or unwilling to move on. They choose to ignore what is infront of them out of fear.

Most people, however, don't care. They simply aren't curious or thoughtful enough, and get on with the really important things in life.

Thank the gods of Tabarne that I'm a Dungeon Master.

nothing more to see. please move along.


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