Rodrick's friend Rowley, despite his age, still gets a babysitter whenever his parents go out. Normally, his babysitter is Heather, "the prettiest girl at Crossland High School" on whom Greg has a crush. Consequently, he loves to go over to Rowley's house when his parents are out, as it means Heather will be there. One time, however, Heather was unavailable and Rowley gets a different babysitter, a high school boy named Leland, who asks if Greg would like to play Magick and Monsters with him. Greg agrees, but only
because I thought it was some kind of video game. But then I found out that you play it with pencils and paper and these special dice, and that you're supposed to use your "imagination" or whatever.
Greg soon becomes enamored of the game, "because in Magick and Monsters you can do all sorts of stuff you could never do in real life." As his obsession with the game grows, so do his mother's suspicions. "I guess she must think Leland is teaching me and Rowley witchcraft or something." he explains. To allay her fears, Greg's Mom decides to come along and go and watch him play Magick and Monsters with his friends.
From there, things take an unexpected turn and the story becomes even more amusing.
I have to admit I was very surprised to see this section of the book, firstly because I don't think pen and paper RPGs are much on the cultural radar anymore. Secondly, it was heartening to see RPGs portrayed so positively and (more or less) accurately. That's rare in almost any outside media, never mind one geared toward children of the same age as I was when I first started gaming. Here's hoping at least a few kids out there find themselves sufficiently intrigued by this imaginary game that they seek out the real stuff.