Castles and Cauldrons, Part 1

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#122: “Castles and Cauldrons, Part 1”
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Deuteronomy 18:10-12

10Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,

11or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.

12Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.

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Castles and Cauldrons, Part 1

“Castles and Cauldrons, Part 1” is episode #122 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on August 4, 1990.


Jimmy Barclay begins to play a role-playing game with his cousin and is drawn into the strange experiences and occurrences associated with the game.



The Barclays have a visitor for the summer: Len, George Barclay's nephew. Jimmy is excited to have his cousin stay with them, especially when Len shows Jimmy a new game called Castles and Cauldrons — it's even better than Zapazoids!

Castles and Cauldrons (C and C) is a fantasy role-playing game. The players become medieval characters who use battle skills and other means to conquer their enemies. Len is "Luthor the Magician," and he names Jimmy "Jondel the Apprentice." Jimmy thinks the game is harmless — until Len takes it a step further, and imagination starts becoming reality.

Plastic swords ring with the sound of steel; epic battles are fought against the forces of darkness and won. Jimmy is amazed by these things, but Len wants him to go further still, into incantations, spells, and conjuring — which sounds suspiciously like black magic. What's worse, Len swears Jimmy to silence. He's not to tell anybody about the game, especially his parents or Whit, because "they won't understand." In addition, Whit senses evil nearby.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Are all role-playing games bad?
    • Why can it be a bad idea to play games like Castles & Cauldrons?
  2. What should Jimmy have done when Len stopped Jimmy from telling his dad and Whit about the game?
  3. Why do you think Whit "felt" something was wrong in Odyssey?


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Mary Barclay George Barclay


  • PARENTAL WARNING: This is a story about fantasy role-playing games and how they can lure their participants into satanic activity. It is very intense in spots and not meant for listeners under 10 years of age. Parents should listen along with their older children.
  • VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The broadcast version of this episode is the first (and only thus far) time that Dr. Dobson comes on the air with a personal warning.
  • The name of this episode is a reference to the real-life game "Dungeons & Dragons."
  • This two-part episode has been criticized for presenting a distorted and inaccurate picture of role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, depicting them as moving beyond the realm of fantasy and linking them to Satanic worship.
  • Katie Leigh, who plays Connie Kendall, also voiced Sheila The Thief, one of the main characters in the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon television show.
  • Jimmy's joke about algebra being impossible to understand would prove accurate in #264: “Making the Grade”, in which his struggle with math and science would be explored.



Len Barclay: There are things in this world we can't understand.
Jimmy Barclay: Well, algebra, for one.

Donna Barclay: It's an antique doll, Jimmy.
Jimmy Barclay: I know that.
Donna Barclay: Well then why would you tear it up? Len?
Len Barclay: Don't look at me — I gave up playing with dolls a long time ago.

Donna Barclay: I'm sorry for accusing you of ripping my doll's arms off.
Len Barclay: Apology accepted, Donna.
Jimmy Barclay: I'll think about it.
George Barclay: Jimmy.
Jimmy Barclay: Apology accepted.