Dungeons and Dragons is banned in state and federal prisons for bogus reasons

as if those were the only reasons people were incarcerated. less than half of people behind bars are there for so-called “violent crimes”-- see #1 below-- while even the concept of what represent crimes of violence differ from state to state and some of these crimes do not represent crimes against persons-- see #2 below. that proposition makes less sense if given even the slightest thought.

  1. Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2022 | Prison Policy Initiative.

  2. https://justicepolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/jpi_definingviolence_final_report_9.7.2016.pdf


Very true. But it is also true that it doesn’t take a very high percentage of assholes with a propensity for violence to make your live very unpleasant. Especially when you’re trapped inside with them potentially 24 hours a day.

nor does it here, either, apparently.


Pencils can be used as six-sided dice by marking the sides (unless they are round of course), and using a series of rolls you can basically emulate any other sort of die roll (with some kludging needed for d10, d20 or percentiles, but still).

My dad talked about using bread to make six-sided dice, when he was a kid - chew it a bit and then compress it into cubes (obviously not so easy to make anything beyond a d8, but not impossible).

When I first heard about D&D and twenty-sided dice back in 1975 (or was it 76?), and I had no idea where to buy the dice (or the game itself) yet, I actually did make a d20 out of paper after doing research to find out what an icosahedron looked like (my math teacher didn’t even know what a 20-sided polyhedron was called - so disappointing! - so I had to hit the library to find out).


“Knock” is a lower-level spell, and quite handy, too.


This approach was used in the Lone Wolf series of gamebooks, where the Random Number Table was printed (I believe usually inside the back cover) in the book.

Another approach, if inmates had access to index cards or some other mildly stiff paper, would be to build a deck of playing cards with die rolls on them. There’s a version (originally published via Kickstarter, but now available as print on demand) of such a deck of cards that includes not just the standard role playing game dice but also many other random elements.

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And despite the theoretical “good” alignment of most characters, it DOES feature using violence to solve problems. A typical party of murder hobos might not embody the behavior that you would want prisoners modeling.

Nah, that is silly. Violence in games or other media doesn’t statistically translate to real world violence. Also, the level of combat can vary greatly between murder hobos and practically no combat ever. It depends on the DM, the campaign, and the players. The latest game I am in has been a series of heists (all of us are rogue types) and the amount of actual combat has been extremely low until the climax.


Aside from visiting my dad when he was in prison, the closest I’ve ever personally been to being confined in a similar situation was basic training. Another recruit and I made a decent game of it in our scant spare time without pen, paper, or dice.

It was very similar to a ‘chose your own adventure’ feel with dice rolls being replaced by the GM mentally selecting a target number within a range and the player stating a number within the same range. Values “wrapped” and success was determined by distance from the target.

So range 1-20, target = 17, selected = 14. Difference = 3. This is close to target, so the GM would give a pretty successful result. (Combat was very simplified or just actively avoided.)


True, but in a prison? They’d better have a bunch of scrolls handy.

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Oh, but see, people in prison are inherently garbage people, so of course, they’re going to be swayed by garbage ideas… /s :roll_eyes:

I swear, some people just accept those right wing talking points without much critical thinking…


my younger son gave himself a very difficult life throughout his 20s and early 30s and spent many of those years behind bars. i’ve encountered a lot of that type thinking on the part of sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers. so many times mrs. navarro and i have been treated as if we deserved to be incarcerated because we had a close relative about whom we cared enough to visit in jail or in prison.

on several occasions i summoned up all the dignity i had as a teacher, a member of the community, and as a father to let them know that kind of thinking was bullshit. i called bullshit then to deputies and c.o.s and i call bullshit on that now.


Uh Huh Reaction GIF by Originals

There are certainly people with bad intents out there, but if we just accept that people in prison are just “bad” and deserve what they get, then we’re just accepting the classist, white supremacist propaganda that is out there…


Ah, but isn’t the fact that they’re in prison already proof of them being bad. I mean really, how can you possibly argue with that? :roll_eyes: (Yeah, I’ve run into it too. I consider it an extension of the prosperity gospel, especially since it’s most strongly believed by the same perpetrators of that doctrine.)


Probably a better idea to craft a wand of knock instead.

And of course, accepting that the people in prison are always bad guys, and deserve to be there is just accepting the racist, white supremacist and classist system that we have… It ignores the fundamentally unjust system that we have…I’m always a little big shocked that people are just willing to swallow that with no qualms whatsoever.


Look, judging by the absurdly high incarceration rates in the US, we as a country would be better served if something like 80% of the people in prison weren’t. We would save a shit-ton of money, and still be able to provide more programs to prisoners to cut down on recidivism. That said, it doesn’t take very many assholes to make life in prison unpleasant and by no means all of them are wearing guard uniforms. Violent crimes within prisons tend to be underreported because the victims are usually prisoners. The vast majority of prisoners aren’t making shivs out of toothbrushes, to stab each other with, but because of the few that will try to do that, all prisoners have to make due with weird short-handled toothbrushes. Most of the indignities that prisoners live with are like that. They all put up with a ton of crap that for most of them is not necessary. But it IS necessary because there are a few prisoners that would abuse all around them if those rules were not in place.


That’s one of the most patronizing things I’ve read in a long time. I’m glad you know so well what incarcerated people should and shouldn’t do with their time.

Feel free to list your social sciences credentials in the specialty of rehabilitation to support this assertion that playing a game is problematic.