Dungeons & Dragons
Responses to Harry Potter and D&D & Role-Playing Games & Popular Occultism
Home ~ Index
From Anthony: If your are the people that wrote the stuff about the game dungeons and dragons, I would like to say this.
In the bible it says "Thou shalt not kill" and more people have been killed in the name of God than anything else, therefore you Should go to Hell for that.
Dungeons and dragons usually produces hard working members of society, who a lot of them go to church and donate money.
I know many people including myself, who use this game as an escape from reality, to relieve the stress that a "higher being" cant control, because of humans primitive instincts, we feel that it is necessary to kill to protect our family, now the only way you could do this is to join a government type job such as the military or the police etc., but if your Mr. /Mrs. normal, you can not do that, so you relieve the stress by playing games such as this.
Some people, just play it for fun, now, all these religious groups are starting to get on my nerves sueing everything from spongbob for being gay, to Wizards of the Coast for having games such as dungeons and dragons, I had no problem with religion at first, but comon u guys go to far.
Now I don’t mean to be rude but this annoyed me because I clicked on a link to find some guitar tabs for Metallica, and it brought me to some of these pages, I don’t know if that was ur guyses fault but bad links are annoying. Thank you for your time.
Let me start with your first point, Anthony (I'll try to get to the others later). Many times more people were killed in the last century under Communism (in the name of dialectical materialism, not God) and Nazism (Hitler despised our God) than any other time in history. About 25 million people were killed in the former Soviet Union, about 65 million in China, over 20 million by Hitler's murderous forces, 1.7 million in Cambodia.... (From The Black Book of Communism, published by Harvard University Press)
Second note from Anthony: well, ok, that made me think, sorry if I was rude.
Thanks, Anthony. I don't think you were being rude. :)
Anonymous: I've been playing Dungeon & Dragons for 8 years now, that game latter introduced me to sorcery. I just want to say that you guys are fools to think that sorcery is dangerous. The power I have now is far more interesting that going to church every sunday! Me and my boyfriend (yes, I'm also gay) totally agree on this, and we find your site to be completely ridiculous.
The last part of your letter was so blasphemous that I couldn't post it. It reminded me of these verses from the Bible:
“Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding,
Who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not:
Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence...? ...
But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart...." Jeremiah 5:18-25
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." Galatians 6:7
"And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber." 1 Peter 2:2-3
From Matt: Your article on D&D is plain garbage. I have to tell you, if a child who plays these games and actually dose worship these gods, and preform rites of some sort, if they hurt them selves, or others, then they deserve what that young man got. A cell and a life term, or death. If they are that unable to tell the real world are not fit to live in our society. sorry if you think thats a little harsh, but I say weed out the unfit. You just come off as being idiotic to those who know the games, and fools to those smart enough to see past your bible verses and occult rants.
Have fun! Join me in my walk of doom!
I know many would agree with you, Matt, but that doesn't make your conclusions true. Nor does it diminish the mental or social consequences of immersing young minds in virtual occult worlds. You may want to read these two articles -- if you haven't already: Toying with Death and Role-Playing Games & Popular Occultism
From Jeff Wallace: Reverend John Charter, since you were forthcoming about being a minister, I was wondering if you would share more information. The author of this website certainly has laid her views and beliefs out quite thoroughly in most respects. So I thought since you were so outspokeningly critical about the site, you might lay out some of your views. For example what kind of church do you pastor? In your comments as I have aluded already you seem quite disturbed by the crossroad site, what specifically is it that makes it so bad to you? I am really curious about this. Thank you for you time in this regard.
From Reverend John Charter (Subject: D&D): HA HA HA! I just read your commentary on D&D and I must say, I've never read a more convincing parody page in my life! I almost bought it for a minute though. But then I realized, "this guy can't be for real, anyone who doesn't have a severe mental disorder knows that D&D is just a game!" Anyway, thanx for the laughs, have a good one.
Are you really a pastor, John?Second letter: Actually, I'm a minister.
Thanks for your answer. Would you like me to post your letter so that others can share you enjoyment? I don't mind posting the different views on issues. I am sure many would agree with you.
Third letter: Issues? What issues? I didn't know your site dealt with any issues? I thought your site was a comedy page. Hmm, I guess it's okay with me if you post my letter on there.
From Tim: I just wanted to make a comment about dnd and this is the only way I found to respond. First off I am a christian, and by christian I mean a born again believer, who believes everything in the Bible as a fact. My denomination is Assembly of God.
I have played roleplaying games for a while and I know GM some. I have played dnd 3rd edition, which is the only edition I have ever played. I feel that dnd is niether evil or good no more than an axe is evil or good it is simply a tool. Now a murderer can use an axe to hurt and kill people which of course is an evil thing to do, however a firefighter can use an axe to save a persons life by chopping down a door to get to the people traped in side. For the most part though an axe is just used to chop wood which in niether good or evil. In the same way dnd is just a tool and most people just want to play a game.
Now I know it can be used to lead people astray and away from God, but In the games I dm I always make rules that bring it more to a focus of God and christianity, for instance i Never let people use the Druid or Sorcerer class in my campaigns, the only diety that can be worshiped is the living God and the trinity, also know evil charaters, and I also try to bring in elements to the game that will guide players to a christian perspective, like finding a wounded traveler and helping him without any gain to themselves.
Roleplaying games are inredible things because they can be anything you want so it is not the games fault for having dark elements in it, but the dm's and the players.
I'm not religous, I am a Christian!
Thank you, Tim, for sharing your views. But I don't agree with you. When the context of your role-playing game is essentially occult, you don't make it neutral or Christian by given Biblical names or labels to its characters or deity. That makes a mockery of Biblical truth.
One of the most seductive temptations for the Church through the centuries has been to blend cultural trends and pagan religions with Christianity -- as if you could Christianize paganism by attaching Biblical labels to its occult practices. You don't "purify" the spells and magic in D&D by calling them miracles. Nor can you reconcile those practices -- operating by your will, not His -- with our holy and sovereign God.
Please read Role-Playing Games & Popular Occultism
From David: As a roleplayer of 6 years let me first speak this bluntly- the game in and of itself does not suggest doing evil, harming others, casting real spells, nor pretending to do this in real life.
There are LARPs (Live Action RolePlay) but there are set rules- one being *no weapons*, not even props, for safety; another being *no running*, reasoning being if you can imagine your character flying through the air as a bird, you should be able to imagine running- also for safety. In my experiences running Dungeons and Dragons, I have brought 3 people from otherwise totally introverted personalities to social people. They interacted first through the character, then in real life.
yes, one of my former players went on to persue Wicca, but if soemone's beliefs can't handle being shown the other side, is it worth anything? A person truly strong in faith should have no problem looking at the other faiths, and finding their good parts, but I am rambling off topic and will digress.
Tolkien's book had no undertone of religion of any kind, as he himself stated.
No, that's not what he stated. What he said was that his mythological system shouldn't be interpreted as a Christian allegory. But he didn't deny that he had created a sophisticated religious, mythological system replete with different levels of deities, spiritual beings, monsters, hobbits and humans.
Any actual metaphor is merely visualized by the reader (there goes imagination again). Roleplaying games are the same. You portray a character in a not perfect world, where the heroes shine (at least in the games I run), and there is usually a peaceful way to solve the issue- be it talking or simply offering to share your fire.
I remember running one session where no dice were rolled- we just played out (in character) the dinner conversation. Much like a group of actors on stage, except ad lib. How did we do this? We used our imagination. One of my players that night was playing a character from this Earth, a Baptist priest. During that session, him and the priest of the sun god prompted a long discussion on the differences between the gods of the world's pantheon, and christianity. Ending with the knowledge that I take the attributes of God, and apply them amongst the other gods, using them as facades of It's power.
There are no "evil" gods, merely man made cults, etc. in my roleplay world. The only evil in that world was what people brought to it. Now let me ask, what is wrong with that Idea? I have even run a game where you chose your faith from amongst Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism, set in the renaissance. Realistic descriptions of all three faiths, and they were portrayed well in a historical sense.
Was Christianity "portrayed well" in a Biblical sense as well?
I think I can safely say no to that. For, behind the scenes, in your "roleplay world", you would be playing the role of the Creator. Like Tolkien, you and your players would be the minds behind this mythical world with its creatures, powers and context -- and you are not God. God's ways are not like our ways. They are incomparably higher and greater.
How far can roleplay and religion merge you ask? Religion- zip. Faith- forever. There are Christmas Pageants at every church around here. That is roleplaying - just the roles are set. There was an article in Dragon(™ or ©, I can't remember), featuring a minister who used D & D in order to help kids with low self esteem and shyness overcome that and socialize.
There is a wide spectrum of ministers. They range from the liberal pastor who preaches a social gospel and tries to please people rather than God -- to those who follow God's Word, preach the Biblical gospel and make it their aim to please Him rather than man. I believe your example fits on the first part of that spectrum because the images and deities in D & D are incompatible with God's holiness. See 2 Cor 6:12-18 and Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons.
From Robert: I was raised in a christian home, with loving christian parents. We were not christians in name only, we walked the path.
I would also like to add I have been a Dungeons and Dragons role player since I was sixteen. Of course my parents were concerned (there were stories on the news regularly about the deplorable things some kids involved with the game were doing). Instead of arguing with my parents about it, I sat them down with the books and showed them what it was all about.
They were uncomfortable, of course, with many aspects of the game (mainly the polythestic way the gods were laid out). They expressed their concerns with this, and my reply was "I do not worship these gods...this character does." They knew my mind and heart and accepted this. We, after all, watched T.V. We went to see movies. Acting was a familiar concept to us.
The problems with this game are when the line between reality and fantasy become blurred. This is more of a problem with the parents and the state of mind of the child than a problem with "brainwashing" or the game designers becoming "masters". ...Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons & Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft
That's not true, Robert. The "line between reality and fantasy" has little to do with the problem. Knowing the difference doesn't make you less vulnerable to suggestions in a captivating story. Studies have found that adults as well as children can be more susceptible to suggestions and images that come through fantasy than reality. Their beliefs and values can easily be steered by stories or suggestions that stir their emotions and blur their old beliefs. Please read summaries of some of those studies in
I have played Dungeons and Dragons for more than
20 years, and I can honestly say I was never cohersed
into, nor have I practiced of my own volition, satanism or demon worship.
I don't know about you, but one of my goals as a Christian is to know God's heart and allow Him to live out His will through my life. I want to love what He loves and turn my back to what He despises. To see one list of occult practices that are "an abomination" to Him, click on Deuteronomy 18:9-12. All those practices are included among the winning tactics in D&D.
While God tells us to "abhor evil; cling to what is good," D&D players learn to love using spells, curses and various forms of magic and divination. They turn God's values upside-down, just as He warned in Isaiah 5:20. Then they justify their forbidden delights by ignoring or reinterpreting Scriptures.
In the end, they have seared their conscience, dulled any Biblical discernment and compromised their faith. You may not call it "Satanism," but this process is one of satan's most useful strategies for drawing people away from God's ways. Remember 1 John 5:19: "The whole world is under the sway of the evil one." The Nature and Tactics of Satan
From R.S.: I would like to point out that your comparison between D&D and Harry Potter is no more significant than a comparison between Star Wars and Star Trek. They are of the same genre, therefore there will be similarities. I will not delve into the countless inconsistencies and errors in your articles that like minded people have pointed out, and I will close with a comparison to a classic childhood story known as "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", to suggest that some might take your foreboding more seriously, were they not so constantly flaunted.
My comparison was based on a particular point that you may not have recognized or considered. In spite of all the differences between the two, they both promoted the same occult suggestions and practices -- mainly those listed in Deut 18:9-12. Remember, my articles are written for Christians who want to follow their Lord -- not for all those who neither know Him nor care about His guidelines.
Just had to drop you a line when I accidentally stumbled across your site. I doubt you'll
thank me for it, but I really do have your best interests at heart. To put it bluntly,
some of your comments make you look like an idiot.
I have no problem with your strong christian beliefs. I applaud you for wanting to be close to God. While I disagree with your thoughts on Dungeons & Dragons (I am a long-time player myself), I support your right to hold whatever opinions you like. But the key word is opinion...you attempt to assert on your site as FACTS the idea that D&D is harmful, evil, pagan, etc. etc.
I am a nondenominational Christian. My brother (one of my best D&D players) is much more christian than I, a devout catholic. Two of the people I've played with most recently were both LDS (church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints), both missionaries and extremely devout young men.
If you believe that what people pretend to do around a table for a couple of hours, maybe once or twice a week, has more effect on their moral, spiritual, or mental development than LIFE, including parents, teachers,
church, friends, everything...than I'm sorry, but you're a fool.
Would you say the same thing about other tempting thrills to the human imagination such as pornography? That has destroyed both personal morals, Christian faith and families around the world. Yet it doesn't take many hours of "entertainment to corrupt thoughts, values and behavior. In the end, the subjects that fill your thoughts and imagination do have power to change your mind, relationships, behavior and lifestyle.
In response to some of your particular comments and/or points:
-Your thoughts and comments to the storekeeper: In the first place, yes, he could have chosen any of the world's religions. He could also have chosen any religion he could have dreamed up. The point is, though, that at no point (unless he's a moron) was he actually WORSHIPPING according to that religion, or believing anything about it. He said no prayers to the sun-god, wore no robes, attended no services, expressed no faith. It was just pretending! He knows that his priest's "sun god" is no more real than Bugs Bunny. And as to your objection that the Celts were violent? They were no more (possibly less) violent than the early Isrealites, God's "chosen people".
For that matter, what would you have said if he'd told you his priest was a christian? I have rules I've invented for christian religious characters in D&D, including both priests and paladins (holy knights).
What does the word, Christian, mean to you, Jay? Remember, if you call an actor or game-character a Christian but link him to rules and characteristics that conflict with the Biblical description of those who bear Christ's name, then you are distorting the understanding of Christianity in the minds of many players.
-I have substantial doubts about the studies you named regarding IIE. They gave only numbers and ages of test subjects, and then the "results". They told nothing of the method of selection, method of the expiriment, impartial data gathered, or HOW that data was used to come up with the conclusion.
Actually, all the reports I cited provided the information you wanted. Just go to Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons and click on the links to the endnotes that follow the paragraphs I quoted. I will repeat the quotes (not the live links) here:
Immersion into this fantasy world builds imagined experiences that create memories and often establish new values more effectively than real-world experiences. Hard to believe? Just look at contemporary television ads.
Captivating stories that prompt people to identify with another person's experiences have proven to be far more powerful tools for manipulating behavior than mere facts and data. That's why most ads tend to offer funny or feel-good glimpses of human behavior rather than boring facts about a product's worth. Stirring the imagination instead of the mind, the producer can implant all kinds of false memories and unwanted desires into receptive minds.
Today's onslaught of entertaining suggestions change the minds of adults as well as children. The two studies below show the power of the imagination to distort reality and create false memories in people of all ages:
“When adults vividly imagine the occurrence of events that took place in their childhood, they become increasingly confident that these incidents actually happened to them. This phenomenon has been called imagination inflation [IEE]. This study assessed the imagination-inflation effect in 94 college students (mean age 21 yrs).” (Journal of Psychology. 1999)
"This study seeks not only to replicate what has been called the imagination inflation effect (IIE) in 2 samples (98 undergraduates [mean age 19 yrs] and 106 middle-aged [mean age 46.9 yrs] factory workers) but also to identify individual difference variables that could predict susceptibility to suggestibility. The 2 experiments tested the extent to which locus of control for reinforcement, dissociability, and a hostile/self-controlling introject (self-concept) could predict the IIE. Results indicate that: IIE is a robust and replicable phenomenon with young adults….” ( Applied Cognitive Psychology. 1998)
Confirming the persuasive "role of imagination in effecting spiritual transformation," a third study concluded that:
“Spiritual transformation... is mediated through a person's religious imagination. This study was designed to explore, describe and illustrate the central role of the imagination in effecting and sustaining spiritual transformation…. The author espouses a holistic approach to spiritual direction so Jungian active imagination and various types of body work were employed as ancillary methods of accessing the imagination and eliciting spiritually transformative images.”  (Humanities & Social Sciences. 1998)
In general, the idea that D&D is evil and has a detrimental effect on people (children or otherwise) has not been born out by any impartial study.
Of course not. How would a secular study actually measure occult thinking? You can have an occult or pagan world view without practicing witchcraft or actually casting spells. You can even be a pagan while using Biblical terms and quoting passages from the Bible. You just redefine your terms and put your message into a different context. See Our Mother the Earth?
fact, most studies have shown the opposite...gamers tend to be at least as
intelligent and well-adjusted as other people of their age (often moreso),
and there is no correlation between D&D and paganism or occultism. Most of
the occultists and wiccans I've met (and I've met a number) dismiss D&D for
the very good reason that it's not flashy and "hands-on". Wiccans and
occultists and pagans like to CAST spells and do actual rituals and
ceremonies. D&D has none of these...only dice rolling and scribbling on
paper. Nobody "casts" spells, if by that you mean doing anything other than
saying "I'll cast a fireball". Nobody worships gods (false or otherwise) as
part of the game. Nobody picks up any real weapons, or even fake ones.
Nobody does anything essentially except talk, roll, scribble, and eat pizza.
In short, trying to point out the evil occult manner of D&D is pointless...it's like trying to disprove God. You'll never, ever, succeed...since it's simply not true. And by attempting to prove it, all you do is prove yourself a fool.
I don't mind being called a fool. What matters is staying true to what I believe and the God I love. You denial doesn't change the consequences of feeding occult images and suggestions to your mind and imagination. Here is what my Lord says about fools: Proverbs 12:15
Digstar: I have just read
through the comments made about the Dungeons and Dragons game. Please can you make the
distinction whether you think role-playing games are bad for you OR that the background of
D&D in paticular has problems.
The main reason for this is in itself role-playing is an amazing opportunity to participant in some genuine imagination exercises and creative experience, that you so don't get watching the television, including religious programs.
i guess you want to show that is rubbish at this point, but there is no reason why your DM cannot research a Bible story for example, then lead their Bible group through the story, allowing them to interact with it. Or I guess they could sit and just absorb the information. Any number of technology based training studies show that far greater absorbtion of material is made through interaction with the subject matter.
If it is the background then you genuinly need to read through the book and realise, One: it makes it all very clear this is imaginary. Two: it encourages you to create your own stories, not ones sold to you. Three: It is no more contreversial than ANY number of other forms of entertainment, and I would hope the bigotry and misogny of WWF holds higher in your concerns.
Four: Do not under-estimate the capacity for reasoning with teenagers. D&D attracts
intelligent children, it has to as it is a complicated game. These children are the ones
with the reasoning that allows them to understand what is going on. And if they do retreat
into it that is the fact that we live in a world where we still have not evolved into a
society that respects intelligence, not beauty and strength. And while this is not a good
thing it is NOT the fault of the game. It is the fault of the SOCIETY adults force them to
grow up in.
anyway, it has been interesting reading, god luck and I hope that you can answer this query.
You as a good question, Digstar. I am concerned about both role-playing games in general and D&D in particular. I tried to explain my reason in several of my articles. May I ask you to read them? Then I don't have to repeat what I have already written: Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons: Like Peas in a Pod, The Dangers of Role-Playing Games and Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion.
Since my messages are primarily for Christian families, my reasons might not make sense to those who don't know and love Jesus Christ, my Lord. I am concerned about the power of occult suggestion (especially when communicated through role-playing) to distort God's truths and destroy Biblical faith in fans who are caught up in the exciting myths and action.
could you please tell me where you got some serious evidence of where D&D is evil. i
need it for a school report and i cant find any real evidence, just stories with twisted
words and lies trying to convice people, your site looked pretty legit. can you please
tell me your sorces? thanks.
P.S. The christian faith teaches outa the NEW testiment, so any assaults on D&D from the old testament other then 10 commandments and beatatudes are considered null and void to me.
That's too bad, David. Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament and considered it true and relevant in New Testament days. He told His disciples that He came to fulfill, not abolish the law. (Matthew 5:17) Was He wrong? Was Jesus a false teacher when He spoke from the Old Testament with such authority? Remember,"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Ti 3:16-17
The two Scriptures that I keep referring to as evidence that the sorcery, wizardry, witchcraft, magic and spells in D&D and other occult games are evil are: Deut 18:9-12 and Rom 12:2-9.
Nikk: I feel
compelled to write, not because I disagree with your views, as I am quite happy to
co-exist with people who have beliefs different from my own, but that some of what you say
games is of concern to me. I am responding to various views expressed on the "comments" section of your webpage, concerning Dungeons and Dragons.
Firstly, I am concerned with the idea that imagining a situation is the same as being in that situation i.e. imaginary killings are as bad as real killings. Obviously, I feel, this is not the case - the two are radically different. However, if imaginary killings are bad then surely this is a great difficulty. Next time I see the Bard's Othello should I rush to save Desdemona from death? I think not.
Please read what Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons and see what I actually said.
Is it possible that imaginary killings can somehow
change one's personality to become more violent? Perhaps, but doubtful, I have never seen
any connection between role-playing games and violence. Indeed, this is where I have a
problem with what you say, role-playing is an extremley enjoyable experience, one that I
engaged in as a child, as have many others that I know. It increases social skills, it
engages the mind increasing ones mathematical ability, english skills, artistic talent,
and a dedicated roleplayer will soon learn an assortment of facts about a variety of
fields that they otherwise would not learn (much of my knowledge
of other societies cultures and histories stems from role-playing).
Let me get this straight, Nikk: You say that role-playing games are unlikely to "change one's personality to become more violent" -- even though the most popular form of role-playing experience these days comes through computer games in which victory demands violence.
Instead such violent role-playing games actually "increases social skills" and "engages the mind, increasing ones mathematical ability, english skills, artistic talent" and builds a storehouse of factual knowledge. It doesn't make sense. Are you telling me that role-playing do influence character and behavior -- but only for good, never for evil?
How do you know that this "assortment of facts" are facts, not politically correct twist on historical facts. All the games I have checked are based primarily on multicultural myths. "Historical facts" usually don't fit the story, plot or post-modern ideology nearly as well as "facts" adapted to fit the new mythical context.
I have a friend, who as a child was prone to violence and theft. He joined a role-playing group and is now about to successfully complete a PhD in clincal psychology, a man who is an example of what children should want to group up to be. The oft told tale of the insane child who committed suicide due to roleplaying gave rise to investigations that showed that the figures, as they stood, suggested that children who role-played were less likely to be suicidal or depressed. The benefits of role-playing are enormous.
Research and studies based on a sampling of one "friend" rather than a large control group doesn't carry a lot of weight with me, Nikk. And you brought up "suicide;" I didn't. But I would be interested in seeing the actual summary conclusion of the study that shows the "enormous" benefits of role-playing. Can you find it for me? I don't have much confidence in hearsay.
Role-playing obviously does not involve occult forces. None of the role-playing materials I have seen, nor am likely to see, include any information on the holding of occult rituals. Am I mistaken on your viewpoint? I fail to see how engaging in a discourse that involves the occult can be dangerous anymore so than this very e-mail can be said to involve the occult.
Are you saying that those who play D&D are not winning by using imagined spells, magic and sorcery? The D&D manuals that I have are full of references to occult forces. What version do you play?
Some people do get obsessed. Indeed, one or two of the
commenters seem to have been at one point. But this is not a problem with the game, this
is just a feature of what people are like. People get obsessed, at least role-playing is
not a particularly self destructive obsession like drugs, or worse. Anyone can be obsessed
with anything, the subject of the obsession is not to blame, the conditions surrounding
the obsession are.
Please read some more information on role-playing. GAMA will be glad to pass some along, I am sure. Perhaps go and see some role-playing groups in action, see how it has aided their lives, as children and as adults, and you will see that this healthy activity should be encouraged, not ignored. Thank you for your time,
It seems that our anecdotal stories would differ, too, Nikk. The families I know who have decided to leave D&D and other violent games out of their lives, have told me a different story - one that clashes with your conclusions.
Perhaps, in our post-modern times, people are more likely to do and believe what "feels good." Factual reality doesn't matter all that much any more -- unless it happens to support what you like. Would you agree with that?
From The Kid: D&D is the best role playing game ever created. do you know why? BECAUSE IT IS SO ___ FLEXIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( you should get the idea i like exclemation marks) For excample, you are a crusader from God seeking to destroy an evil pagan dude that is terrorizing the coutryside and doing realy bad things! it doesent eat you and destroy your mind unless you let it.
Harry Potter has a very remote relationship whith D&D. DO you know what that is? MAGIC! and magic is not eivil. Paginizam (in my oppinon) is evil. some peple may or may not have the same vews .
Your are right. Our views are very different. That's because we base our beliefs on different things. I suppose you might base your beliefs on what feels good and seems fun at the moment. I base my beliefs on God and what He has shown me in His Word. Though you may like your ways better at the moment, in the long run, its far wiser to base your beliefs on something solid and lasting. If you want to check it out, see What it means to be a Christian
P.S. forgive my atrochus spelling
From Louis: God gave us one our most powerful gifts. The gift of imagination. Stories (which things like Harry Potter are nothing more than) are a gift He gave us to entertain, explain, and educate. We have inquisitive minds. By telling and glorifying something like magic, we don't teach that it is right. We teach that it is fun.
I play Dungeons & Dragons, read comic books, watch Star Wars, play video games, and believe in one of God's great mysteries: evolution. I am also a Christian. These things are not mutually exclusive.
I'm sorry if I have offended you in any way. I just read your web page and found that I have always wanted to convey these thoughts to someone as convinced of their beliefs as you seem to be. All I'm asking is that you try to look at the world from the perspective of others. Sincerely and Respectfully...
No, you didn't offend me Louis. And you are right, God gave us the ability to imagine things. But He also made us with the capacity to make wise choices. Human nature tends to use what He has given for selfish purposes. And the human imagination, like sex, can be used for contrary, even destructive, purposes that go against all the good things that God has planned for us.
From Ryan Boell, Writer and Designer: I have never read
Harry Potter. There's a reason behind it and i don't want my religion to be a focus of
this email. But i do play Dungeons and Dragons. And it isnt evil as people claim it is.
I am 22, gay, pagan and a roleplayer. I've been in a monogamous relationship for 2
years, my mom had me at 15 (shes 37) and a southern baptist. She raised me with an open
mind and to view others the same way.
I would like to know if you have ever roleplayed or took the time to get to know a pagam. I read your article on a young girl who did a thing on paganism and a young boy wanted to start a christian group was told no.
That is wrong.
I think i can see where you are coming from but do you know where you are coming from? What are you hoping to acomplish by the telling that D&D is like Harry Potter? People say that black is a evil color and yet priests where the color all the time.
Since you are a pagan, Ryan, you and I see various religions and practices from opposite perspectives. My goal is to inform and equip Christian parents to recognize influences that will both distract their children from God's truths and distort their understanding of His ways. Many ask me questions, and we try to answer - using God's Word as our standard. As you affirmed, you are free, as we are, to follow your convictions and express your beliefs. That's the blessing of living in America. I hope and pray it will last.
From SteelPangolin: First of all, let me congratulate you on
your site. It is one of the more well-reasoned and laid out Christian sites on the WWW,
lacking in the knee-jerk reactionism and the habit of not actually viewing the offending
material that plague so many other Christian sites.
That being said, I have a few pieces of information for you about both Harry Potter and Dungeons & Dragons.
First of all, much of the D&D information in your "Harry Potter and D&D - Like Two Peas in a Pod?" article is based on the second edition of D&D, which as you know has been supplanted by the third edition. The third edition is a vast change from the second edition, and I believe if you borrowed a copy of the Player's Handbook you would find it much less morally offensive than the second edition's content. Many people still play 2nd. ed., but any new players (i.e., the children you are worrying about) will purchase 3rd. ed.
Additionally, Forgotten Realms is NOT a core book. This is just one of the optional settings books, and D&D can be played without them with no trouble, as many Dungeon Masters make up their own worlds anyway. D&D is really just a task resolution system (essentially rules for "Let's Pretend".)
And don't worry about the D&D movie, it wasn't very good and not many kids saw it.
You will be glad to know that Hasbro is not making a Harry Potter RPG, and will not be any time in the foreseeable future, because J. K. Rowling does not want people "putting words in her character's mouths."
I thank you for your time. Keep up the good work!
Thank you for the information and for your thoughtful comments.
From Martel: I doubt I'll be able to add much after the vast hail of comments you've recieved already, but here goes... :) It seems to me that the main reason why you disapprove of the various Roleplaying/Wargaming/Fantasy environments is that the source of the magic in these environments is rarely specifically granted by the god of conventional Christianity, and must, by extension, be granted by the Fallen. However, you will notice that, when Moses was in Egypt, Pharoah's sorcerers were able to perform miracles almost as impressive as those of Moses (okay, maybe not, but they managed the rod to serpent thing, at least).
Yes, there's nothing new about magic and sorcery. These practices have continued without much change through the centuries.
Now this is the point at which you are probably thinking "Aha! "You shall have no other gods before me!", however, bear in mind that the Bible is written with a specific audience in mind: that of a male, landowning Israelite.
No, that's not true at all. Both the Old and New Testament were written for all God's people -- for those who lived at the time and for the generations that would follow. As Jesus said, "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word..." (John 17:20)
Also bear in mind that the land of Israel was felt to belong to Yahweh, and that only he could be worshipped there: one of the main reasons why there seems to have been such an outcry against Jezebel's "religious reforms"- and also the reason why General Naaman asked Elisha for as much Israelite soil as two mules could carry: so that he could worship Yahweh while in Assyria. By extension, it would be justifiable for a mage on a fantasy world to recieve his power from the local deities of that land.
No, the soil has nothing to do with true worship. God isn't limited to a piece of land. Naaman had been healed by God, but he didn't yet know God. He still saw God through the mental filter of his own experience with paganism.
You will also notice that, in a lot of fantasy worlds, dabbling in the darker side of magic is depicted as being very unwise: a good example might be warhammer fantasy roleplay, in which the warriors and sorcerers of chaos recieve great power in this world, in exchange for both their souls and their humanity - the gods of chaos are fickle, and their gifts not always welcome.... Warpstone- magic in its most unrefined state, congealed into solid lumps of otherworldly energy, is depicted as a great threat, corrupting and mutating all that it comes into contact with. The commonest way, in the WFRP setting, of using magic safely is to limit oneself to a single "colour" from the swirling morass of darkness and chaos. Dark magic, however- the use of the whole morass, is considerably more powerful....
What you describe sounds a bit like Harry Potter's word. I deleted a short section. I don't like to provide so much ugliness to think about. In fact, I will continue your letter on the Harry Potter page, since you switch topics. But first, here is what God tells us:
"...whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate (think) on these things." Philippians 4:8-9
From John: I have noticed that a great deal of people have responded with negative comments. First of all, let me qualify myself on this issue. I had (past tense) played and dm'd D&D, AD&D, etc. for almost 20 years. I have played with all kinds of people over the years from all types of backgrounds.
Thank you, John, for your wise and welcome message. I took the liberty of putting your main points in bold letters. I thank God for the way He has led you and equipped you to encourage others.
From Aaron: You see, I am a Dungeon Master. I'm sure you know what the term means, as I noticed you did a lot of research on your webpage. I am in the midsts of designing a world for my friends to participate in, and I am also sure you understand what that means.
I am, though, somewhat startled by your conclusions that Dungeons and Dragons clouds the minds of children. I am twenty years old, play D&D every week with my friends, and still believe in God. I come from a very strong Christian background (as you can certainly tell from my name), and yet, I still believe in God, and can function in the role-playing world as well.
I have almost completed my campaign world, more specifically the mythology of the world. By doing so, I have researched many different mythologies that we as a planet have had. Everything from the primitive olympian gods to the currently worshiped Buddist culture in the east.
Through this, I have realized that many people believe in many different gods. Of course, there is only one God. But nonetheless, we have in our misguided past, believed otherwise.
It is because of my study that I came to believe that we evolved into our current belief. At first, we could not fathom the fact that the world and everything in it was created by one God, and thus divided the known world nto many other gods. Then as we evolved, we found that no, infact there is only one God. Thanks to Moses, His word was spread around the world. From then on, others have spread His word, including his son, Jesus.
Contrary to that, in my campaign world for D&D, I have decided to have a primitive cultures religion represented because, after all, it is the medival times, and one filled with magic and such. So, I have many gods, somewhat similiar to the Nordic mythology of old.
I know those well, since I grew up with those old Norwegian fairy tales.
But, because I created these gods, that does not mean that i have lost my way woth the Lord. I still am a good Christian and do everthing a good Christian should. You may say that it is the fact that I am older now, and know better than to abandon the Lord. but I have been participating in Dungeons and Dragons for 7 years now, and have yet to leave my faith.
I would like to also make a small point of some other devout people who believe todays youth is being misguided. (although, I do believe some of them are nonetheless.) A great many people are are blaming Tolkien for starting this all, and also that he is a pagan. I am a very big fan of J.R.R. tolkien, and I also know that he is a very devout Christian. One may not be able to tell be reading his books. He has one book which is very familiar to the Bible. it even starts oiff with the imfamous three words: 'in the beginning'. But, he said himself that he wanted to create a mythology, not a new religion.
I don't wish to get too deep into it, I think you should make up your own mind. If you wish to persue the matter, I suggest you read The Lord of the Rings, and also The Silmarillion. Then, Tree and Leaf. The latter is a few essays written by Tolkien. You may wish to skip directly to Tree and Leaf, I found it to be quite interesting. And I also gained a lot of respect for the man when I found out he was a Christian, other than common belief.
I just wanted to bring this to your attention. The fact that someone can still play D&D and believe in the Lord.
I appreciate your thoughtful letter, Aaron. But please let me ask you some questions on my heart:
How much time do you spend in His Word each day compared to the time you spend playing and planning D&D? Where do your thoughts tend to drift each hour - to those gods in your fantasy world or to the God of reality who created you?
If He told you, "Come follow Me," would you be willing and able to leave D&D and follow? Or do you imagine that Jesus Christ, our Lord, would happily join in your game about other gods, spirits and magical forces?
One subtle temptation in a world like ours, is to get involved in activities such as D&D. Pretty soon the imaginary world seems as normal and good as His ways -- sometimes more so. Those who know the Bible well enough to see some of the contrary values and images may begin to justify the occult influences in order to pacify their conscience. After a while, they turn Romans 12:2 and 9 upside down. Please click here and see what I mean: Rom 12:2-9. Then see The Nature and Tactics of Satan.
Your comments about God, His values and His ways (and about Tolkien) causes me to wonder if you really know my Lord as well as you think you do. Would you please pray that He show you the answer?
From Vic Badger: Hello! I've recently been directed to your website by the good people at RPG.net, and had the opportunity to read some of your impressions of the hobby. While I didn't notice any discussions on the lifestyles of the "hobbyists," I kept wondering about something.
I don't force my views on anyone, Vic. You, like everyone else, came here and read our information by your own free will. People ask questions and we respond with answers based on our convictions. Nobody is obliged to listen. But I hope that those who do read and listen, will learn both "love and and good sense" based on Biblical truth and logical thinking.
Please read Answers to Pokemon mail
You are speaking from a totally relativistic perspective. Why should I or anyone choose either one. There are so many better options. By the way, check our Glossary or Three Sets of Meanings for Educational Buzzwords to see how "critical thinking" is used to change beliefs and values.
We have become the kind of Religious Beauracracy that Christ came to dismantle. The same kind of "well intentioned" people that would silence the long haired revolutionary by any means necessary. Rather than open our eyes and change, we've become the new version of the same garbage Christ tried to clean out.
Would you please read Biblical versus Cultural Christianity or What it means to be a Christian? Perhaps you see that you have misjudged us. But then again, you might not. I leave that with my Lord. Only He can open your eyes to what you are missing -- something far more exciting than D&D.
From Jason: Because tone cannot be conveyed in print, I want to emphasis that this message in no way should be interpreted as hostile. These statements are intended to be logical observations.
I would like to respond to a message from Michael Murphy regarding D&D. He stated: "You also earn experience points for successfully defeating (killing) orcs, trolls, elves, gnomes, dwarves, humans, teiflings, tanari, pit fiends, beholders, dragons (if you are lucky), peasants, etc.
So is imaginary killing for fun a justifiable activity?"
The problem with this statement is that it neglects to mention that players are encouraged to play "good" characters. The orcs, trolls, dragons, etc. are generally portrayed as evil forces to be overcome. The fun comes when the good characters defeat, yes - kill, the evil beings. As a DM, I have used undead creatures (zombies, animated skeletons) in my games. However, these were clearly tools of evil that the characters were required to defeat. I view this no differently than young Christian children prentending to be David killing Goliath. In other words, in certain circumstances, killing is an acceptable option.
Implying that D&D is wrong because killing is present is akin to saying that Christians are bad because child sacrifice is mentioned in the Bible (I have actually heard this claim made recently by a wiccan).
Of course the context is important. Clearly the Bible condemns child sacrifice, as well D&D encourages players to play "good" characters.
In the Old Testament, God used wars and killing to destroy the social corruption that would cause far more cruelty and misery. Such killing was not a form of entertainment -- as it was in various pagan cultures. The most familiar ancient form of killing as entertainment might be the Roman gladiators who fought and killed each other for a sport, and the Christians who were thrown to the lions -- both as entertainment for the cheering masses assembled in the arenas.
But Jesus Christ brought a new message. God had demonstrated His hatred for evil through His guidance of ancient Israel. Now, His death on the cross set us free to be messengers of His love and forgiveness.
I have heard of games where people have played evil characters (for example, killing peasants to gain experience). In my experience this is a warped minority. The fantasy genre is historically a clear story of good vs. evil. Examples are Tolkein's Lord of the Ring and C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia.
Secondly, I read your comparison between D&D and Harry Potter. I don't understand a few things. You mentioned that the game store employee seemed pleased you asked him about his game. Is this bad (it seemed to me to be a bit condescending)? As his employer, I would be thankful I had an employee enthused about the products I sell.
No, my comment wasn't intended to be condescending. I was simply showing that we had a friendly discussion. I didn't challenge or argue in any way. I just wanted to listen and hear his view.
Also in the comparison you mention that there are evil wizards in both. Since sorcery is evil, wouldn't that be positive aspect? Also both have giants. I'm not sure I understand the significance. After all the Bible has Goliath.
I listed some parallels that were not as significant as others in order to show the similarities between D&D and HP.
Another complaint about roleplaying is the time investment. I have also seen people whose lives have been taken over by this hobby. At the same time, I have seen others completely overwhelmed with fishing. They spend everyweekend at the river. There are also sports widows, women who don't see their husbands during sports seasons. This is not a problem restricted only to roleplaying games. I would hope a former sports junkie do not condemn baseball for everyone just because he let his own priorities become distorted.
That's a good point, Jason. Any kind of obsession is a form of bondage. But obsession with occult philosophies and visions that contradict God's truths are worse than fishing.
Lastly, I would like to commend you for your measured, thoughtful responses to those who disagree with you. I have not see you respond in kind to their name calling or disparaging statements. "A kind word turns away wrath." Kudos to you.
Thank you, Jason, for your kind words. :)
From David Palmer: First off I am Christan. You have a wounderful and inciteful webpage. It is a wounder ful work of web art and a great way to spread the word of Christ.The olny thing I find wrong with your site is all the comparasions of Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, and Satanic practices. This bothers me very much and seems to feed a nonexistant fire. Why do I think this? Simply because I play all of the above mention games and (as said before) A Christan.
My group of gamers (the people I play Dungeons and Dragons with) are christans and go to church when ever we get a chance to. See how you put the game we play down the way you do I feel afaird. You say that we (as a world) are reverting to Pagenism, but I am afraid that through info such as this my friends I are going to be stoned to death (by rocks mind you).
I feel no hated to the world around me but I fee llike false info has been givien out. Like Dungeons and Dragons is evil. It is not only people who play make it evil. Yes if I saty down and called on a "dark force" to help me play the it might be evil. I don't and I know know of my players don't.
Amoung otrher concerns of mine I must inpose my fear that you might not know alot about the Role Playing Games (RPG) that are played today but I might be wrong. The idea that "Clerics in the the game "worship" gods hardly does this mean worsip any other gods other than GOD. Some times people implea since in a game who can do some thing and it be evil, but if an actor does an "evil" thing does this make him/hear evil? I would think not. I rrealy wish to cary out this conversation with you but I realy must go. I aam sure you are of the highest intelagence (sorry I can't spell) you will not take this in any from of insult. I only hope you will want to exchang ideas soon and I hope to. Until are paths meet again,
A major difference between us, David, seems to be that you base your criteria for right and wrong on your experience rather than God's Word. At least, that is how I understood your statement: "Why do I think this? Simply because I play all of the above mention games and (as said before) A Christan."
Whether you actually call on a "dark force" or not, your delight in role-playing games filled with occult images and suggestions clashes with Scriptures such as Deut 18:9-12 and Rom 12:2-9. Please click on those references and ask God to show you His heart and will in this matter. Keep in mind, if you delight in what He calls an abomination, then you cannot "Abhor evil and cling to what is good." Instead you will delight in evil and turn away from what is good. Isaiah 5-20 You can't have it both ways.
From Jason Benson: Though I respect and appreciate your religion and your faith, I disagree with the ills of D&Dand Harry Potter. They are both forms of entertainmet and provide a fantasy experience, much like a video game. A rational mind is able to keep reality and fiction seperate. Your example of the man at the fantasy store was a good point other than the fact that his character was a priest, not him. It is much like acting though you play a doctor on TV, does not mean one is a doctor. And if someone assumed that a doctor on TV was one in real life is kind of foolish.
Actually, countless studies have been done on role-playing this last half century -- not by those who hate or love D&D role playing games, but by educators determined to change the attitudes and values of children. (See Brave New Schools, Chapter 3- A New Way of Thinking) They have found that the mind (with its facts and logic) is less influential in determining a person's values and attitudes than feelings. In other words, discerning between reality and fantasy won't immunize you against the subtle but persuasive influence of values-changing myths and stories that manipulate a person's feelings, attitudes and world view.
I do not know much about Harry Potter, as I have never read the book. I have although played Dungeons and Dragons for a number of years...Though it's fun to play once a week, I do not carry anything over into my life. Which leads me to religion and answers, I myself am Humanist...but I am by no means correct. I have read and searched for information and answers myself and have drawn a conclusion. Am I done searching, no...Do I say your beliefs are wrong, no. If one thought the stars were gods, would I be sceptical..yes, are they wrong, I dunno. I think faith is a truely awsome thing, and not all have it or are capable. Until one has solid proof, I don't think they should be telling people their religion is wrong. It may be wrong for you, but it is not for them.
I believe that history and archeology prove the truth of the Bible and the integrity of its Old Testament scribes and prophets. Even more important, the evidence for the resurrection of Christ has persuaded some of the staunchest skeptics that Jesus told us the truth about His identity and mission. Read Is He risen? and Evidence for the existence of God.
This page will also be posted on the Harry Potter page.
Matt L.: As a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons, and after reading your new article, I just wanted to give you a few things to think about. First off, you really don't seem to know anything about the game, in terms of rules. All you seem to have done is thumb through a CAMPAIGN SETTING.
Now, I know you haven't read the Players' Handbook, but you should be aware that Forgotten Realms is just one of many settings. Also, you do NOT have to choose from these settings. Most Players know of the rewards of playing a campaign created by you yourself or playing a campaign based on history (that is a very educational example).
If you feel the game is not "appropriate" or will "change your values," then you are free to play any kind of game or setting you want--the rules more than encourage this.
Why not play as a group of early Christians trying to escape persecution? It's certainly possible. You do not have to have wizards in your game. Many players do, but not because they're occultists but because they enjoy fantasy, and fantasy books are replete with tales of wizards and magic. Even The Hobbit, required reading at my Catholic High School, is FILLED with magic. The Hobbit has never been denounced for turning people to the occult.........
As far as Priests...a lot of players just play clerics and don't "worship" a specific deity. Those that do, either play a priest of a historical god (learning more about history/mythology) or a fake, made up god (such as those in Forgotten Realms, right Berit? You'll mention the fact that they're not real, right?).
No one worships their "gods" in real life, especially if it's a MADE UP GOD!!!!! If you think that this will "warp your values," then don't include them in your game!
My point is, that with VERY small changes, there should be no danger in Christians playing Dungeons and Dragons. The best defense, they say, is a good offense...in that case, I've taken the liberty of copying and pasting this article on the benefits of role playing.
I can only hope you'll take these points into consideration.
From Berit: While I linked the RPG article to your comments, Matthew, I need to include this warning. Please keep in mind that the RPG benefits cited in that article make D&D a powerful tool for indoctrinating the player with its values. Those values will be grounded in the various images, myths and stories that give life to D&D and other games.
Since D&D has become an international game, players generally use the same rules and standards everywhere. True, a player may define his own role, rules and gods, but as long as he uses the official cards and games, he will -- consciously or subconsciously -- conform his thinking to many of the universal beliefs and values of the global network.
From Lance Cade: I am a former role-player myself, and I share your concerns about both Harry Potter and role-players becoming unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.
I have felt compelled to forward this to you ever since I came across it this afternoon. There is an article on http://www.cinescape.com/insider/indexnew.html called "Harry Potter tidbits" about a Cathedral in the UK which is refusing to allow scenes from the first Potter film to be shot there due to the series pagan themes. This small article also confirms that all seven Potter books are planned to be made into films, and has a link to a larger article on the Cathedral from a UK newspaper. If you explore the site, you will also find much information on the Dungeons & Dragons film scheduled for release in October, and more on the Potter film. I will forward any additional information I find the danger of Harry Potter to you.
From Rich: I am a former roleplayer of 14+ years. I was saved as a senior in high school back in 1983, but strayed for MANY years until recently when I rededicated myself and renewed my commitment to Christ. During these straying years, I found myself introduced to, and playing AD&D.
I became a DM (Dungeon Master, the Game Master: the one who sets the scene and keeps the game going along, acts as a referee of sorts and playes the parts of any Non-Player Characters used in the game) early on, and exclusively DMed for 12+ years.
I had made early attempts to use biblical values in the game (though even at that time, I was straying, going to church sporadically, not reading the bible regularly, not going even into prayer daily, etc). While I can relate from personal experience that it IS POSSIBLE to incorporate those principles, it does go against the nature of the game. I made it policy in my games not to use undead, or the AD&D supplied devils/demons/fiends early on. . . but this did not last - - Again, the nature of the game and the want to "thrill & entertain" the players was too much.
I found myself daydreaming about possible adventures to "work up" for the playing group during times I should have been concentrating on work. Then came the times where I could not get a ride to church that Sunday, so I chose to have a game session instead - - even though the base Chapel was walking distance away. . .
The game kind of inserts itself as a priority after time. . . I coveted the social interaction and humor and all of gathering and playing. We even began imagining real people (like a coworker or boss) as AD&D characters, and the players would have their own characters do things to them they could not do in real life. . . living vicariously through the character.
The other roleplaying games out there (Shadowrun, Vampire the Masqueade, Werewolf) are FAR more graphic, gothic, violent, and occult than AD&D is, although AD&D is more popular. It has been officially announced that AD&D is giving up the most "gothic" of their settings, Ravenloft; this is a good thing.
Today, I do belong to two online discussion groups on roleplaying (and three bible-based groups), but every member of those groups know that I am a Jesus-loving, Born-Again Christian. I cannot find time to get into the discussion board but every few days, as I have purposely made the game a non-priority in my life. One may think I am ostracized by my uncompromising beliefs by other members while in these clubs (I have stood up EVERY time ANYONE has posted anything that slanders Christianity or my/it's moral absolutes). . . Despite this, I have been invited to play in quite a few online roleplaying games. I decline, as I consider the game a part of my past, and - - even if I had the time, I would not enter into playing again.
. . it became such a distraction to my daily life in the past, and I want NO DISTRACTIONS to my seeking the Kingdom now. . . Although to this day I do not feel the game is satanic or demonic, I believe it does HAVE INFLUENCE, and that it is easy for people who may already be inclined to "go over the edge" into a fantasy world of their own, or become more socially introverted. . . well, lets just say that this game EASILY points them in the wrong direction, the trick is, you cannot know for a fact if your child is one of those who may be unduly influenced. . .
Better to play it safe, and not get involved - - it took me 13 years to "get out" of the game, and even then, when I get invited to play, I think back to how much fun it was "back then" before declining.
From Christopher: You said, "Please keep in mind that the RPG benefits cited in that article make D&D a powerful tool for indoctrinating the player with its values. Those values will be grounded in the various images, myths and stories that give life to D&D and other games."
I just wanted to ask, how is the D&D game any more powerful than the Greek/Roman Mythology classes I was REQUIRED to take in High School?
Berit: Those were classes, not role-playing games. They seldom immersed young people into the virtual experience of mystical fantasy worlds. Even so, they sometimes stirred interest that prompted young people to seek actual experiences in the occult. I've talked with many pagan women who told me that their journey into the occult began with courses in mythology and with books suggested through those courses.
Of course, I understand that I may be behind the times, I was introduced to D&D in 1974...in it's infancy. We basically made up our own rules/laws/religions/worlds, etc, based on historical stuff we learned in high school. There were NO pre-fab 'worlds' like the 'Forgotten Realms'. Our worlds were usually heavily influenced by JRR Tolkien's writings...
I have yet to read a Christian denunciation of JRR Tolkien! I might add that in a game that I used to run about 15 years ago, my 'demons' were based on the 'Screwtape Letters'...does anyone really want to attack C.S. Lewis over that? I fact, I find the hysteria about D&D about as dumb as the 'hysteria' that should follow a person's interest in, say, the Wehrmacht of WW2.
I never hear that those who pursue such 'historical' wargames are also indoctrinated in Hitler's ideology...or, if their interest is in Napoleonics, that they suddenly see themselves as Napoleon.
Those historical wargames never inspired a global phenomenon. They obviously did not captivate young people around the world.
You said, "Since D&D has become an international game, players generally use the same rules and standards everywhere." What is wrong with standards? This just allows a kid moving to a new neighborhood to continue to play a game. Chess, my other passion, is also an international game, with the same rules and standards. Note: during the Middle Ages, the Church frowned on chess-playing. Coincidence?
That comment was a response to the argument that people could make up their own -- even Christian -- versions of the games. Rules and standards link them to the official game. Every player must operate within that structure.
You said, "True, a player may define his own role, rules and gods, but as long as he uses the official cards and games, he will consciously or subconsciously -- conform his thinking to many of the universal beliefs and values of the global network." My translation of that last paragraph: "True, a (chess) player may choose his own openings, strategies, and plans, but as long as he uses the 'official' pieces, pawns, and boards, he will -- consciously or subconsciously -- conform his thinking to to many of the universal beliefs and values of the global network" -- Huh?
You can't compare chess to the mythical fantasy world of D&D. For a more credible answer than I can give, read Rick's letter (preceding yours).
From Christopher again: I just thought of another question: is it D&D specifically that is objected to, or role-playing games in general? Other favorites of mine are En Garde! (Historical role-playing a la the Three Musketeers), Boot Hill (historical role-playing in the wild, wild, West) and Traveller (science-fiction role-playing in a Star Trek-Battlestar Galactica-Star Wars-Larry Niven type setting. Except there is no 'Force') If the objection is the use of 'magic' in a fantasy game, surely these rpg's are acceptable. Nothing supernatural in them.
I do think that rpg's are perhaps marketed to a too-young age group. We were 13-14 when we started playing. I think they are aiming a 8 yr. olds now. An eight yr. old may not yet understand the difference between make-believe and reality. Hence (IMHO) the concern about the Harry Potter books. I haven't read them, I put them in the same category as Pokemon cards...silly, but are the Harry Potter books any worse than the Chronicles of Narnia? I'm asking because I don't think that children would get the difference between Aslan and magic. Thanks for the reply
You have asked some good questions, Christopher. Though C.S. Lewis included many occult images and practices in his stories, he did attempt to teach a Christian world view through the Narnia series. D&D and Harry Potter show an occult world view. They put "good" values into a pagan context which turns everything upside down. In the Bible, God warned us about the natural results:
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness...
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And clever in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:20-21)
D and D has no place in it for God. "What part hath darkness with light". It is a vain game. It is a spiritually dead game. If you don’t kill people in real life because it is sinful why would you kill creatures including humans and other humanoids in your mind/make believe? Because it’s fun right?
Entertaining an evil thought is the sin in playing a D and D game. Now you are not constantly sinning in that manner while you are playing, but you wouldn’t get anything out of the game at all if you didn’t kill anything. Some people say that you could use the D and D rules to play a game based on real life as Christian characters that were "lawful good". I would say that this is almost never done. And by the way, I have spent 10000’s hours (yup that right) playing it reading sourcebooks and writing stories about characters in it, so I don’t want to see replies to this piece stating "I don’t know the game." D and D knowledge proficiency check would be a 3 or better on a d20. (Please disregard this technical reference if you have not played the game.)
One of the driving themes in D and D is improving your character's level through the accumulation of experience points. You get them by completing riddles, solving mysteries and generally completing the Quests. You also earn experience points for successfully defeating (killing) orcs, trolls, elves, gnomes, dwarves, humans, teiflings, tanari, pit fiends, beholders, dragons (if you are lucky), peasants, etc. In most cases players end up killing something every time they play. There are exceptions; sometimes the entire session will end with out bloodshed, but almost never in my experience. So is imaginary killing for fun a justifiable activity?
Jesus tells us, "Ye have heard it said of then of old time, Thou shall not commit adultery: But I say unto; That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:27)
He shows us that entertaining sinful thoughts, and taking pleasure in the idea of sinning, IS sin itself. So every time you allow the Character you are role-playing to steal, lie, commit adultery, or KILL, YOU are guilty of sinning by thinking about and "role playing", acting out these sinful thoughts. This goes for violent Video and PC games as well.
Evil is not on this planet so that we might enjoy it or identify with it. Imaginary Killing is not a justifiable form of entertainment in God’s eyes. Period. If you call yourself a Christian then you should follow Christ’s example as best as you can. There isn’t a true Christian alive that can say if Christ was on the planet right now that he would even THINK of playing D and D or any other game that had ANY KILLING, LYING, STEALING, OR ADULTERY in it.
The D and D worlds have many gods very much like the Greek or Roman gods. There are gods of love and beauty - Sune, war - Tempus, paladins (holy warriors) - Paladine thievery - Mask, nature - Eldath and Silvanus, which is a name I am certain I have seen in the Bible.
You are right. He was among the early apostle and is mentioned four times.
And also a god of murder. His name is Bhall. In Baldur’s Gate 2 Shadows of Amn the new PC game from Black Isle studios, the main character, THE ONE YOU PLAY, is none other than a SON of the the D and D campaign setting Forgotten Realms deceased god of murder- Bhall!!!!! No Christian should be playing D and D.
Christians should notice the use of a pagan gods name (Bhall) as in 1 Kings18. There is a pagan god that the people of God have started to follow and Elijah says this to them:
"How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word."
Bible believing Christians might be moved to throw out there D and D stuff when they see scriptural truths as they relate to these subjects, non-believers of course will say that the use of the name Bhall has no coincidence. Go to the site and see for yourself.
Allow me to point out some of the other ways that this game is unprofitable spiritually.
Money. There are people in the world that don’t have enough to eat!! The 20 bucks you spent on that players handbook could buy enough food to feed an entire family for a week!! If all the money that "Christians" have spent on D and D products had been put to good use we COULD HAVE SAVED REAL HUMAN LIVES. But I guess we would rather engage in entertainment of an unGodly sort than help starving, suffering people!!!!! We are called to be the light of the world and instead we engage in fruitless activity. I am ashamed that I ever allowed myself to justify playing this game and IF you have the Spirit you should be too. Jesus would not approve.
Psalms 2 "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?"
Romans1: 21 "Because that, when they knew God they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
Romans1: 28 "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, INVENTORS OF EVIL THINGS…"
I gave my life to the Lord on 24 April 1999. I had owned an introductionary box of AD&D long before that, but we never actually got an opportunity to play. Contrary to popular belief, it can be extremely difficult to gather 8 or 9 people in the same place on a Saturday (I still refuse to play on a Sunday, as I have chosen my Sunday to be my Sabbath -- the day I rest -- the day I dedicate to the Lord). Early in 2000, our group of friends started playing AD&D. It became an excuse to be together -- all of us at once. We play it, we enjoy it, but we also enjoy each other's company.
Jesus shed no blood? What about his death for us?
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matthew 26:27-28
"'Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.' Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Luke 22:42-44
"But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out." John 19:34
"He has made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us..." Ephesians 1:6-8
I'm not sure I understand your theology, Gabriel. I think you are missing some deeper truths here.
This is why there is violence in the media (movies, T.V., the news :o) ) and why there is a representation of violence in AD&D. It accurately depicts the nature of the world. If a movie or story (in a book, or wherever) does not depict human nature and the way people think accurately, it is not a good story. Our first reaction to a threat is to eliminate the person who is threatening us. It should not be like this, but it is. You have to learn to think, to try and defuse the situation before it leads to violence. Our AD&D games encourage that. At least *I* try to encourage it. Whenever one of my friends, or in AD&D terms, from my character's point of view, one of the members of the party, charge blindly into battle instead of assessing the situation first to see how he could rather avoid conflict or how you could rather defeat the foe and keep them alive, thus having a way to unlock information (or intelligence in military terms) to aid you in your struggle against evil.
Our "quests" in our campaign currently include saving the world. Where else would you be able to physically save the world except in your imaginiation. We know we cannot single handedly save the real world from all the evil that plagues it. We might be able to help in our little corner of the world, but without the help and co-operation of Chirstians around the world, we can never make a big enough impact to save the world. You know which save I mean (as in souls).
Jesus is the Savior -- not you or I or the combined strength of all the Christians around the world -- and He is more than able to accomplish any rescue effort that might be part of His future plan. I wonder if your own view of yourself, not to mention your view of God, might be a bit confused by such lofty fantasies and images of your own power and influence? It's interesting that Jesus chose the opposite course:
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God... made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." Phil. 2:5-8
Our pastor always has some quotable quotes I like sharing in times like these: "Rule number one: Have fun."
That doesn't sound like my Bible. In it, God promises genuine joy and peace for those who trust Him, follow His way, and make Him number one. And those who walk with Him will share countless exciting times. In contrast, those who make "fun" their number one goal will probably find neither God nor peace. Instead, they are likely to face all kinds of frustrations and disappointments.
Reminding us to seek His highest and best, not today's profusion of popular counterfeits, Jesus said, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matt. 6:33
Of course I have read the Harry Potter books and watched Pokemon and read Pokemon manga. Since both projects were prompted by Christians parents who asked my opinion of them, I knew virtually nothing about them when I first opened the books and watched the televised Pokemon episodes.
I have also bought numerous Magic cards and AD&D game-playing books in order to understand their themes, symbols and context. I don't need to experience the games in order to know that both carry occult messages, imprint occult images on the mind, and fill a player's thoughts with the kinds of impressions and suggestions that are abominable to God. See Deut. 18:9-12.
That's not true, Gabriel. I didn't say that.
Open your eyes people, just for a change think for yourselves instead of just swallowing what the church feeds you.
Actually, Andy and I learn from and submit to our pastor. But we think for ourselves based on the Bible which we usually read by ourselves -- because God is faithful to lead each of us according to His purpose for us as individuals. You don't hear many pastors or church leaders say or write what we do, do you?
Yes and no. Even ignorance is a matter of values and worldview. There are certain things that I don't need to know personally -- such as the things that deal with pornography. Such images have a way of sticking in a person's mind and changing their thinking. For the same reason, I prefer not to hear or know certain swear words. On the other hand, I don't want to be ignorant of the truths that God has given us for our faith, strength, peace and hope in Him.
From a Christian perspective, I need to know God's ways and guidelines "lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." (2 Corinthians 2:11)
The Bible also describes those who reject God and live "in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them...." (Ephesians 4:17-18)
From Falconcunning: It seems you seem you are trying to criticize D&D just for being multinational, in the second paragraph. I've noticed you have only criticized multinational things. You said,
"While I linked the RPG article to your comments I need to include this warning. Please keep in mind that the RPG benefits cited in that article make D&D a powerful tool for indoctrinating the player with its values. Those values will be grounded in the various images, myths and stories that give life to D&D and other games.
"Since D&D has become an international game, players generally use the same rules and standards everywhere. True, a player may define his own role, rules and gods, but as long as he uses the official cards and games, he will -- consciously or subconsciously -- conform his thinking to many of the universal beliefs and values of the global network."
The multinational aspect was insignificant to my point. What counts is the fact that someone other than the player writes the rules, and players around the world submit to them. In other words, they enter into a fantasy world designed by the programmers. Fans become increasingly familiar with the ways of this fantasy world, and its values begin to seem more "normal" than those in the real world. The players may choose their own character, but the character has to adapt to the rules of the fantasy. In other words, players everywhere dance to the tune of the piper. Their minds, to a certain extent, are being programmed. Wouldn't you agree?
the game has a bad reputation because of people that only look at and talk about the bad PEOPLE that play the game an example is this (if evil people eat does that make eating evil) no it does not so why should it make D&D evil just because some people play it in a bad way