Dark Dungeons (Chick tract)

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A scene from Dark Dungeons

Dark Dungeons is a Chick tract whose description is "Debbie thought playing Dungeons and Dragons was fun... until it destroyed her friend."



Some very classic-looking 80's kids play Dungeons & Dragons, and get caught in a crazy alternate universe of Jack Chick's imagination.

Tract Walkthrough

A friendly game

(Panel 1)

  • Ms. Frost: "Okay, Wizard, cast your spell!"
  • Marcie: "Okay, Dungeon Master. My spell of light blinds the monster."

Comment: <nerdy>Um, isn't the dungeon master supposed to tell YOU whether you spell blinds the monster? :)</nerdy>

(Panel 2)

  • Frost: "The thief, Black Leaf, did not find the poison trap, and I declare her dead."
  • Marcie: "NO, NOT BLACK LEAF! NO, NO! I'M GOING TO DIE! Please don't make me quit the game! Somebody save me! You can't do this!"
  • Frost: "Marcie, get out of here. YOU'RE DEAD! You don't exist any more."

Comment: Far be it from this editor to judge the depths of emotion that serious role-playing gamers experience, but has anyone ever seen a reaction like this in real life? It takes about ten minutes to roll a new character, right?

As this event foreshadows the suicide of Marcie, no doubt it is at least partly based on such incidents as the suicide of Patricia Pulling's son Bink. However, the idea that Bink's suicide had anything to do with his character was never established. There is no clear evidence that anyone has ever become suicidally depressed over a lost character. However, this is fiction, so it's not all that important.

The game turns real!

(Panel 3)

  • Frost: "Debbie, your cleric has been raised to the 8th level. I think it's time that you learn how to really cast spells."
  • Debbie: "You mean you're going to teach me how to have the real power?"
  • Frost: "Yes, you have the personality for it now."

Comment: This is where we get to the really wacky ideas that fundamentalists have about what Dungeons & Dragons is about. They apparently really believe that it is a gateway into real life occult activities. The lesson here is that if people are willing to turn off their critical thinking abilities and believe in one kind of supernatural entity without evidence, they are likely to accept a whole host of similar ideas for no good reason.

How does Jack Chick think that this initiation works, exactly? Is it only wizards who obtain "real powers" when they hit level 8? What if Marcie (the thief) had reached level 8 instead of getting killed? Would she have learned how to pick locks and hide in shadows? What if a fighter reaches level 8? Do they get a free suit of plate mail?

Although D&D deals with a world of fantasy and magic, many roleplaying games have entirely different themes. What happens to a player who reaches a high level in a superhero themed game? Do they immediately learn how to fly and burn things with their eyes? What about science-fiction characters? Are they issued futuristic laser guns? Do they get to captain their own starships?

(Panel 4)

  • Frost: "I've brought Elfstar to become a priestess and a witch."
  • Cult member: "Welcome, Elfstar. You're now a priestess of the craft, and of the Temple of Diana."

Comment: Debbie has just been accepted into what bears an remarkable resemblance to Organization XIII. One would think it would a bit more difficult than that to learn magic. Playing a board game isn't what I would call "intense training."

Jack Chick is the only fundamentalist who seems to think that you can get in touch with the paranormal through such simple means. Sure it's just a board game, but so is a ouija board, and many people think that one of those mass produced pieces of cardboard with the alphabet on it can allow you to contact souls from another world.

They don't allow their children to watch Harry Potter or play The Legend of Zelda for fear of their children getting possessed or becoming a sorcerer. These beliefs are surpisingly common among theists.

(Panel 5)

  • Debbie: "Ms. Frost, this is fantastic... This makes the game real... It's not a fantasy anymore. Last night I cast my first spell... This is real power!"
  • Frost: "I knew you were ready by the way you played the game... but this is just the beginning. There is so much more."

(Panel 6)

  • Frost: "Which spell did you cast, Debbie?"
  • Debbie: "I used the mind bondage spell on my father. He was trying to stop me from playing D&D."

(Panel 7)

  • Frost: "What was the result?"
  • Debbie: "He just bought me $200.00 worth of new D&D figures and manuals. It was great!"

Debbie and Marcie

(Panel 8)

  • Later That Week
  • Frost: "Hey Debbie! Marcie's on the phone. She wants to talk to you. She's really upset."
  • Debbie: "I can't. I'm fighting the Zombie. Tell her I'll see her tonight."

(Panel 9)

  • Debbie: "Hi, Mrs. Anderson. Marcie wanted me to see her tonight."
  • Mrs. Anderson: "I'm glad you're here, Debbie. Marcie has shut herself in her room and won't come out. She hasn't been herself for weeks. I've been very worried. Ever since her character in the game got killed, it's as though a part of her died. Maybe you can talk some sense into her."

(Panel 10)

  • Debbie: "Nooooo! No, Marcie, you didn't have to do that!"

(Panel 11)

  • Marcie's suicide note reads: "It's my fault Black Leaf died. I just can't face life alone! Marcie"

(Panel 12)

This Section Is Not Yet Completed

External Links

Jack Chick
General information

Chick tract

Tract list

Apes, Lies and Ms. Henn | Big Daddy? | Dark Dungeons | Gun Slinger | Here, Kitty Kitty! | There Go the Dinosaurs

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