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Sam Lipsyte’s hilarious New Yorker story on dungeon master-ing

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In the New Yorker, Sam Lipsyte provides a horrifying and hilarious portrayal of “The Dungeon Master” — a kind of personification of the evil secretly lurking in all teenage D&D fans (a nerd-version of Judge Holden in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian).

Read this excerpt, and weep:

Marco is a paladin. He fights for the glory of Christ. Marco has been many paladins since winter break. They are all named Valentine, and the Dungeon Master makes certain they die with the least possible amount of dignity.

It’s painful enough when he rolls the dice, announces that a drunken orc has unspooled some Valentine’s guts for sport. Worse are the silly accidents. One Valentine tripped on a floor plank and cracked his head on a mead bucket. He died of trauma in the stable.

“Take it!” the Dungeon Master said that time. Spit sprayed over the top of his laminated screen. “Eat your fate,” he said. “Your thread just got the snippo!”

The Dungeon Master has a secret language that we don’t quite understand. They say he’s been treated for it.

Attention, nerds: You must read the whole thing. It’s available here. And if you’re feeling generous, go out and buy this week’s issue. The Greatest Magazine on Earth could use some more newsstand sales.

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