Direbane is an abode to share artifacts, simulacra, histories, and other items of note related to ongoing years adventuring.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Witchcraft - Suicide - Violence

I happened to encounter a pamphlet, "Dungeons and Dragons - Witchcraft Suicide Violence," from a controversial time during the 1980s for The World's Most Popular Role Playing Game. My gaming group by 1980-83 had essentially moved on to DIY campaigns as a result of TSR's T2 delays and Judges Guild losing license to publish scenarios and settings using 1st edition rules (Judges Guild began using the "Universal System"which is in retrospect a pretty darn useful tool), so I actually missed the "seriousness" of all the controversy at the time.

The focal point of protest was from a group Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons (B.A.D.D.) founded by Pat Pulling, whose son had committed suicide in 1982. The controversial connection between The World's Most Popular Role Playing Game and teen suicide resulted in a 1985 segment on the news program 60 Minutes, but was thoroughly debunked in "The Pulling Report" by Michael Stackpole. Pulling essentially used news articles and police speculation to support her claims, not scientific research.

I had never heard it mentioned before, but suppose there is some significance to note that the medical doctor most commonly associated with Pulling, Thomas Radecki (who also appears in the 60 Minutes segment), had his medical license revoked in March 1992 by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation for a five-year minimum as a result of his "engaging in immoral conduct of an unprofessional nature with a patient." In September 2012 Radecki voluntarily surrendered his Pennsylvania medical license while facing allegations of unprofessional conduct with patients that included claims Radecki traded drugs to patients in exchange for sex.

A detailed analysis of this pamphlet has been posted on The Escapist. My interest is how closely this pamphlet resembles a vintage gaming supplement or current DIY product. Ha, there is actually so much info cribbed in the pamphlet from game rules it would be interesting to see if a game could be run solely using "Witchcraft Suicide Violence."

(click photo for .pdf copy of pamphlet)