Cheer up! It’s a Dungeons and Discourses inspired musical

I hope you’re all already familiar with Dresden Codak’s Dungeons and Discourse and Advanced Dungeons and Discourse, which basically make philosophy jokes in a DnD setting.  (These two comics are the source of the above image).

It turns out that Scott, the guy whose post I was recommending in “The (Epistemic) Floor is Made of Lava,” wrote up a plot and songs for a philosophy based DnD campaign.  It reminds me strongly of The Phantom Tollbooth. That means his players are facing down Hobbesgoblins and dealing with conundrums like this:

Xar-Morgoloth turns out to be a pleasant town of white-washed fences and laughing children. In search of an explanation for the incongruity the five seek out the town’s spiritual leader, the Priest of Lies. The Priest explains that although Xar-Morgoloth is superficially a nice place, the town is evil by definition. He argues that all moral explanations must be grounded in base moral facts that cannot be explained, whether these be respect for others, preference of pleasure over pain, or simple convictions that murder and theft are wrong. One of these base level moral facts, he says, is that Xar-Morgoloth is evil. It is so evil, in fact, that it is a moral imperative to keep people out of the city – which is why he sent assassins to scare them off.

Doubtful, the party seeks the mysterious visiting philosopher whom the Priest claimed originated these ideas: they find Immanuel Kant living alone on the outskirts of the city. Kant tells his story: he came from a parallel universe, but one day a glowing portal appeared in the sky, flinging him into the caves beyond Xar-Morgoloth. Wandering into Xar-Morgoloth, he tried to convince the citizens of his meta-ethical theories, but they insisted they could ground good and evil in basic moral intuitions instead. Kant proposed that Xar-Morgoloth was evil as a thought experiment to disprove them, but it got out of hand.

So head over and start reading, because after you see how Scott answers Nagel’s question of “What is it like to be a bat?” you’ll be so delighted you’ll scarcely notice I’m missing.

About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011. She works as an Editorial Assistant at The American Conservative by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked. She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."

  • http://www.jrganymede.com Adam G.

    That is grand. The age of wonders has not ceased.

  • kenneth

    You know, I’m an RPG freak from way back, since the early mid-80s. Spent a lot of time in a lot of basements with 20-sided dice and Star Trek convention rejects. I still indulge in it and would do it all over again despite its destruction of any possibility of sexual encounters in high school. I’m also a ren-faire freak and own a 25-pound chainmail shirt which I seldom don. For all that, a D&D musical might just be too geek for me!

  • http://www.mccaughan.org.uk/g/ g

    I particularly enjoyed the Dennett song. It’s a single-joke song, and the joke not much more than a pun, but somehow it still delights me.

  • Hank Hohenstein

    Hello Leah,
    I pray this reaches you because I want to welcome you home. It is great news that you are embracing Catholicism. I stormed out of church one day a long time ago vowing never to return. I became an attack atheist. I would enjoy having someone admit to a belief system and then take them apart belief by belief. It was a long journey, 35 years in the darkness, but I began to realize that a society without faith is not sustainable. About 16 years ago I returned to faith and those years have been totally joyous. Of interest though, is I returned as a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). You may find out along the way that Roman Catholics now agree with Luther on 92 of his 95 tenets. Oy, what a journey and may yours be blessed. Love, Hank

    • Ted Seeber

      You might be interested that the LCMS is actually in talks with the Vatican. In another 50 years, they’ll have their own Apostolate for sure (maybe less than that, now that the Anglicans have pioneered the way).

    • Ted Seeber

      Oh, and the Roman Catholics agreed with 91/95 thesis of Luther since the Council of Trent. The 92nd (Sola Gracias) fell in 1998 with the Joint Declaration on Justification. It’s those remaining three that we have a major problem with (Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, The Pope is the AntiChrist) but I feel sure those will end up like Sola Gracias- with the Lutherans admitting they were wrong.

      • http://www.mccaughan.org.uk/g/ g

        It doesn’t appear that *any* of “sola fide”, “sola scriptura” or “the pope is the antichrist” are to be found (in those words or any others) among the 95 Theses.

  • Peggy Hagen

    Use of the Dead Wight Mail, plus Confession and Communion, gets you a punnery indulgence.

  • http://www.raikoth.net Yvain

    Shall I put you down as interested in playing a character in the next adventure? :P

    • leahlibresco

      Heck yeah. I’m playing an NPC in this campaign in a few weeks.


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