Conspiracy Theory
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Basic Information

As the name implies, the term Conspiracy Theory refers to theories and explanations that certain historical or current events were not the result of innocent coincidence, lone nut assassins, or other prosaic explanations. Instead, a conspiracy was involved, with people plotting to bring specific events about, and then cover up their mutual involvement.

On the small scale, conspiracies happen all the time, as many crimes have accessories and accomplices. Whether or not large-scale conspiracies, the likes of which are generally meant by "Conspiracy Theory", occur (and if they do, which ones are legit) is often claimed to be debatable, although the Watergate break-in and it's related cover-up certainly provides some evidence in a particular direction.

Because of how ridiculous some of the theories get, the term "Conspiracy Theory" is sometimes used as a pejorative - as in "I don't buy it, it's all just a bunch of conspiracy theories" - in fact, it may be argued that the term itself has become a form of blackwashing. The converse of this is to point out that Evolution and Gravity are both Theories as well (that is, just because it is called a theory, doesn't mean that it is incredible, unsupported or substantially untrue).

List of Conspiracy Theories

Groups accused of Conspiracy

See also:

RPGs utilizing Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy Tropes


Game and Story Use

  • One of the beautiful things about gaming is the willing Suspension of Disbelief. You aren't limited to basing a campaign on only the chillingly-plausible conspiracies. Instead, you can pursue the most bizarre of notions, or even frame a campaign where multiple seemingly-contradictory conspiracy theories are true.
  • Some characters may be inclined to believe every Conspiracy Theory presented to them, no matter how outlandish.
    • Others will remain skeptical no matter how much evidence you provide them with.
    • Some players may as well, especially if described as "rumors" or denied by official sources.
  • Why should the modern day get all the fun? Elaborate conspiracies can happen in earlier historical eras as well - in fact, they're less likely to be exposed in an age with no cameras, internet, etc.
  • The key to a good conspiracy is to ensure that you include all sides of the political divide - a partisan conspiracy (see, for example, Watergate) has political opponents who will be eager to expose it, whilst if you organise, for example a conspiracy of the Media-Political Class against the productive members of society or create a Deep State you have members in all camps who can sabotage attempts to expose the conspiracy - especially if you have also infiltrated the media by which any allegation would be expected to be broadcast.
    • Done properly you can even have members of your conspiracy openly and cheerfully admit their crimes and still have your opponents denounced as conspiracy theorists. This also qualifies as gaslighting on a national (or even international) scale.
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