For this, and any other Wacky Writing Ideas, I happily release them into the wild for anyone to use. If you like the idea and want to write it up, do so with my blessing! If you want to change it or use it for something else, have at it! If you really want to do something nice for me, feel free to acknowledge me and let me know if you’ve used one of them (I’ll link to your creative work from my blog). If you don’t feel like it, no worries. If there’re a few comments with enthusiasm for an idea, I may write it up, so please comment if it sounds like something you’d like to read.
The basic idea behind this story is that that the satanic panic about Dungeons and Dragons in the 80s was correct and the game was a tool for the occult.
The plot could start in a similar way to the famous “Dark Dungeons” Chick Tract. The protagonist would get pulled into a group playing D&D, which turns out to be a conduit to occult power, rather than a harmless tabletop game. The group would astral travel into a mystical realm, where they would have adventures. The outcome of these adventures would affect their day-to-day lives, both in a secular manner (giving them more confidence, dealing with traumas, etc) and giving them minor magical powers, such as mind control or superhuman strength.
The mystical adventures would become more complex as additional participants are added, with greater payoffs which encourages the group to push their limits. Eventually, they exceed their abilities and one of their avatars is killed during their mystical adventure. After their return, that participant becomes depressed and listless, eventually killing themselves.
The group fragments with some wanting to stop entirely, others wanting to push forward carefully, and others wanting to keep the reckless rush forward. During this period, the protagonist makes contact with Satan himself, who turns out to be fairly chill. Rather than trying to corrupt mankind or anything, he talks about how Dungeons and Dragons is mankind seizing the tools of divinity for themselves, much as he did.
He talks about how he’s been painted as a liar, such that regardless of what he says people doubt him. He then talks about how God has abandoned mankind and Satan has been doing his best to take care of them. He talks about Dungeons and Dragons as a newly arisen factor that may let mankind take control of their own destiny or destroy themselves.
There could potentially be an element of objective versus subjective reality philosophy in here and a connection of Dungeons and Dragons as an evolution of storytelling. Perhaps with the collaborative nature making it exponentially more powerful.
How it ends would depend on what the protagonist decides to do with this information. They might try to stop people from using Dungeons and dragons, they might encourage and expand its use, or they might try to “trick” humanity that it’s just harmless entertainment and not the tool it actually is.