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Pat Robertson: Dungeons and Dragons is Demonic

It must have been an 80s flashback day on the 700 Club when Pat Robertson told a viewer that it was wrong to play games involving magic because it’s part of the occult. Oh, and Dungeons and Dragons has “literally destroyed people’s lives.” Now I despise D&D and cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would play RPGs (yes, I know many of my friends and readers can’t understand why I don’t; it’s an entirely subjective question), but destroyed lives? Whose? And what is Christianity, if not full of magic?

Comments

  1. says

    “Whaddaya mean there’s nothing to turn into an attack on anyone who doesn’t think like us today? Intern, dig into that pile of Jack Chick tracts and whip up some copy based upon whatever you pull out.

    …oh FFS, not the D&D one again. Aren’t there new ones we can inflict upon interns?”

  2. Doug Little says

    but destroyed lives?

    Only if you miss a saving throw that has a 1% chance of failure.

  3. cswella says

    I will admit that that actually sacrificing a sheep to Lamashtu in that recent Pathfinder game was a bit overdoing it…

  4. mikeyb says

    How is Pat Roberson rant any different from supposed videos watched by Boston bombers on evils of Harry Potter. This guy is so 14th century.

  5. says

    Personally, I like to get in touch with Satan on Sunday nights.

    cswella: See, this is the advantage of being a Calistrian. If a sacrifice is called for, someone gets some SM and laid. Just don’t piss her off.

  6. says

    Now I despise D&D and cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would play RPGs (yes, I know many of my friends and readers can’t understand why I don’t; it’s an entirely subjective question),

    Subjective, yeah, okay, but….despising D&D? How does a person get to that point?

    As for why people play RPGs….they’re fun. My favorite kind of video game. I’ve only played a little bit of D&D, but the best RPG video games are based on D&D rules or similar.

  7. says

    Gretchen “Subjective, yeah, okay, but….despising D&D? How does a person get to that point?”
    It’s obvious, really…
    /rolls d20…
    checks chart…
    He’s been poisoned.

  8. regexp says

    I despise D&D

    Oh … being indifferent to something I can understand but ‘despising’ something must mean a good story is here somewhere.

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    Dungeons & Dragons, Satanic? Oh please!

    It was Empire of the Petal Throne that had all the gnarly human sacrifice and sex in it.

  10. tynk says

    This past weekend, as the party rogue, I found a set of 4 traps each stacked three high, with a disable trap effect score of 15 I thought I had a decent shot. Trap 1… rolled a 1, then the summoning started. The bard did not make it and his family mourned.
    At least in D&D there are proof of gods existing.

  11. grumpyoldfart says

    I’ll bet Pat Robertson hasn’t got the slightest clue about Dungeons and Dragons; how it is played or what equipment is used. I’ll bet he doesn’t have a clue how the game starts, proceeds, or finishes. I don’t either, but unlike Robertson, I don’t set myself up as an authority on the subject.

  12. noastronomer says

    An opinion only about 20 years out of date. Probably best not to tell Pat about World of Warcraft.

    Mike.

  13. Akira MacKenzie says

    Just last week, those of us in the “Old School Renaissance” blogging community dedicated a day of articles dedicated to Swords & Wizardry ,a D&D retro-clone. My offering would certainly cause ol’ Pat Pulling to perform of twist in her casket.

  14. criticaldragon1177 says

    Ed Brayton

    It seems that just about everything Pat Robertson doesn’t like is “demonic”

  15. Abby Normal says

    My younger brother and I used to play D&D (AD&D at the time). We had a grand time making up stories together. We’d often pool our allowance money to buy the latest supplements. In our tumultuous teen years it was one of the few things bring us both to the table. Then I went off to school. I left behind the books for my brother. Shortly thereafter he went to live with an aunt in Tennessee. The first week he was there she took all the D&D books and burned them. She claimed they were demons in physical form and she was sending them back to Hell. Truthfully, I’ve never really forgiven her for that.

    On the subject of Christianity and magic, I was having a conversation with a Catholic friend of mine the other day about the zombie apocalypse. She asserted zombies were impossible. So I asked, what about old-school zombies, the kind that comes from magic instead of the modern, virus based ones. “But magic’s not real,” she claimed. Of course I had to point out that she in fact worshiped a magic zombie and believed in a great many other magical events. “But that’s different,” she said, though she could not articulate why. The conversation ended when she said, “I feel like you’re trying to trap me. Either I have to admit I believe in magic and therefore the zombie apocalypse could happen or that I don’t and my religion is a lie.”

    “That’s not a trap, that’s just thinking rationally,” I replied, asshole that I am. “Why don’t you keep thinking and let me know what you come up with.” I must admit, I probably enjoy needling her a bit more than I should. But to her credit, she keeps coming back for more.

  16. edmundog says

    I have to confess, as a Bard, I cast Satire of Sanity on Pat Robertson years ago. I rolled a natural 20 and the effect was permanent. I’m sorry for what I’ve done.

  17. says

    criticaldragon1177: “It seems that just about everything Pat Robertson doesn’t like is “demonic””

    I suspect he knows that every time he says “demonic”, the phone lines would light up and donations would roll in… (or they use to, before the gnu atheists and gays started to interfere in his money making machine)

  18. Matrim says

    In all fairness, 4th ed was rather disappointing despite some interesting ideas and D&D Next may in fact be a tool of the devil (or, at the very least, sucks). I jumped ship to Paizo and never looked back. Although I’ve been on a big D10 system kick lately. Scion ftw.

    I do, however, wonder why Ed would despise RPGs…not liking is one thing, hatred is another. Did Gary Gygax and Monte Cook run over his dog?

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    Abby Normal @

    My youngest uncle on my mom’s side of the family (hard-core fundagelicals, all) claims that he became involved with a :Satanism” back in the late 70s when he spent his one year at the den of secular wickedness that is the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. What, pray tell, constituted the worship of Old Scratch to my Bible-addled Uncle?

    Drinking beer, smoking pot, annnnnd playing AD&D.

  20. jaytheostrich says

    @CriticalDragon1177
    Yes, obviously Pat hates second hand sweaters more than anything. But don’t we all?

  21. lofgren says

    Despise DnD? What could it possibly have done to you to deserve such a powerful emotion? Further I can understand a guy who likes poker disliking RPGs, but it’s hard for me to believe you can’t even understand why people would like it. That’s like a photographer being completely flummoxed by why people like movies. You don’t have to like both, but liking one should give you some insight into why other people might like the other.

  22. okstop says

    In a fit of paranoia, my mother confiscated my D&D books when I was about 12. She said she heard on the TV that they were teaching me black magic. I told her “If I could learn black magic from D&D, I wouldn’t be a skinny, acne-ridden outcast.”

    She promptly gave them back.

    Also, @Matrim (#25): Although I’ve been with Paizo since Pathfinder came out in Beta, and spend most of my time lately playing other stuff, too (Scion rocks!), I’ve got a seriously inside line on the design team and he seems optimistic about it. Specifically, I get the feeling that they realize they over-algorithmatized the whole thing in 4e, removing too much of the human element, and that they’re putting more of an organic feel back in the system. We’ll see.

  23. okstop says

    Also, Ed must have known that telling us he “hated” RPGs would bring out ALL the commenters who love them…

  24. unemployedphilosopher says

    He’s mixing his mythologies again. The “devils” are from the Nine Hells, and the “demons” are from the Infinite Abyss. Don’t get me started on Pandemonium or the real origin of Orcus.

    D&D, and many other RPGs, have been part of my life since I was about six. (the Champions system for character generation is awful, by the way.) I even ran the biggest vampire LARP in the country for a couple of years — we averaged a hundred players every Friday night. That experience, more than anything else, broke me out of my “I’m the school nerd” shell, for which I am grateful.

    The thing that I think most people miss is this: a proper RPG is collaborative storytelling. The GM provides the setting, and the players tell their stories. Fantastical, magical, insane stories. But they’re your stories, and that makes them special to an awful lot of people.

  25. says

    @cswella @3:

    I have sacrificed several fowl during game nights.
    _
    They were purchased cleaned from the butcher’s, and prepared either with lemon and rosemary or with sage stuffing in accordance with the ancient rituals my mother taught me.

  26. mobius says

    ZOMG…so all those hours I have spent playing Dungeon & Dragons Online have doomed me. Well, I guess there is no hope now.

    I have been into D&D for ages. Somewhere I still have my boxed set of 3 little paperbacks of the original D&D.

  27. tynk says

    The thing that I think most people miss is this: a proper RPG is collaborative storytelling. The GM provides the setting, and the players tell their stories. Fantastical, magical, insane stories. But they’re your stories, and that makes them special to an awful lot of people.

    I could not have said that better. I also think that is why certain leaders of the occult… err religions hate things like video games, D&D, mj, and alcohol so much. Stories and mind altering states have been the domain of religions as ways to control their “flock” for so long, they do not wish to give up control.

    It’s a lot like the record companies throwing a fit every time it becomes easier for artists to self promote.

  28. lorn says

    Dispise D&D, I feel that way, kind of, about AD&D. Back in the 70s, when I learned it, D&D was concept with very loosely established set of guidelines as to what a character was and how things worked. The game was a boxed set of three slim booklets that sold for $7. It was just the vague outline of a concept and how it might be made into a game.

    The combat and magic combat effects were taken from Chainmail, another slim volume selling for around $7, that was intended to be applied to miniatures played on a sand table. Once you had the boxed set, Chainmail, and a set of dice, you were good to go. All you had to add was imagination, a few pencils, scrap paper, and friends. Hours of fun, cheap, entirely driven by imagination.

    The beauty of the original game was that the dungeon master could include anything or exclude anything they wanted. Every world was different and every DM had their own style. There were no authorities outside the DM. A lot of DMs structured their worlds after Lord of the Rings but I also played in worlds where there were no classes. One in which every character was cybernetic-ally enhanced and included other themes from Sci-fi and Starship Troopers. Worlds without missile weapons. One without magic.

    Nothing in the manuals said you couldn’t do that, or had to do this. They were far too vague and incomplete to even play if you didn’t fill in a whole lot of blanks. It could be as simple or complicated as you wished.

    The whole thing was formalized, ossified, and commercialized when AD&D came out. Books were north of $20 and there was always a new set to buy. Both DMs and players often had a set of six or more books. The greatest tragedy, was that as they firmed up rules, descriptions, and internal logic of how things worked, they eliminated most of the creativity and imagination.

    Over the five years I played starting in high school I watched the D&D games go from unstructured experiences of delight and pure imagination played on a shoestring to highly structured games where you had to spend real money and where the writers of the manuals told you what and how to think. In the later case a lot of games, and the occasional friendship, ended in a fury of debate and flipping though books to find the rule that allowed/disallowed some action.

    AD&D, and all the series after that, were commercial successes but, IMHO, failures at providing a platform for imagination and fun.

    Now, 35 years later, I sort of miss those fun times. When we made up our own rules and played for fun.

  29. says

    When people complain about witchcraft, I like to point out that Christianity carries far, far more blame than fantasy games and fiction. They actually talk about witchcraft as if it were real. Treating witchcraft as the harmless fiction it is robs it of any sort of seductive practicality.

    Of course, a lot of us talk about Christianity like that at times, which is one thing they’re deeply afraid of. They don’t want to be ridiculed for believing in magic as adults in the modern era. Kind of gives them a motivation to encourage witchcraft so they can pretend to fight it and make it look like this are serious business.

    The sad thing is that they’re willing to ruin people’s lives over it, even commit murder in some particularly nasty places.

  30. Akira MacKenzie says

    Believe it or not, my first RPG was Star Frontiers. I had rescued a damaged copy from the Toy’s R Us. clearance bin when I was 12. Since I was more into science fiction, I had no real interest in fantasy. I didn’t play my first game of D&D until I was well out of college.

    These days I’m mainly playing Original D&D (mainly the Moldvay/Cook Basic/Expert rules) “improved” with house rules culled from various retro-clones,Empire of the Petal Throne (the original 1975 rules), Mongoose Edition Traveller, and Savage Worlds. I’ve played Pathfinder a couple time, but it tends to be a bit too crunchy and generic for my tastes. 4th Edition is an abomination.

  31. Akira MacKenzie says

    lorn @ 35

    Now, 35 years later, I sort of miss those fun times. When we made up our own rules and played for fun.

    You ought to look into the the OSR (Old School Renaissance). A lot of that ethos has been recaptured by hobbyists who remember the “good old days.”

  32. okstop says

    @abb3w (#36) and Akira (#40):

    No lie, back in the 90s, I stumbled on a website that had tons of rule changes to In Nomine to suit the Church of Christ theology, because the dude who ran the site was a gamer, but wanted to be a “godly gamer.”

    O.o

  33. Moggie says

    unemployedphilosopher:

    The thing that I think most people miss is this: a proper RPG is collaborative storytelling. The GM provides the setting, and the players tell their stories. Fantastical, magical, insane stories. But they’re your stories, and that makes them special to an awful lot of people.

    That sounds rather like Christianity, doesn’t it?

  34. says

    I’ve actually played in an awesome campaign set in the dark ages where we played holy knights trying to bring justice and light into the world. One of the other gamers was a history major specializing in the time period, and she brought just enough realism to the table to help with the awesome. Fun campaign.

    Gaming is a wonderful opportunity to be subversive. Such as my new dice bag.

  35. unemployedphilosopher says

    @ Moggie:

    The key differences between D&D and Christianity are that everyone around the table knows that their D&D characters are make-believe, and that there’s no rule requiring ritualized cannibalism. (They took that out in the Chainmail days, I think.)

    Storytelling is an important thing in the human experience. Our gracious host, Ed, is a storyteller. He tells stories about the world, stories that are often terrible condemnations of humanity. In the end, we’re all just stories; the question must become: how do we want our stories to be told? And RPGs can help us learn how to answer that question. It’s not a path for everyone, of course. But it’s not something to be prima facie despised.

  36. says

    The other day my parents gave me a box of stuff I’d left at their house (and subsequently lost): my copy of The Anarchist’s Cookbook, my boxed set of Avalon Hill’s Squad Leader, and my 3-book D&D set with Greyhawk and Blackmoor. I checked on Ebay and the D&D sets go for enough to buy a decent used car, but I’ll be keeping mine and I’ll still have it when Pat’s dead and buried and forgotten.

  37. carolw says

    “There’s other games you can play” – Pat
    Like “The Game of Life” by Milton Bradley, everyone’s favorite. Get married! Buy a house! How wholesome and enriching!

    When I read the title I really thought this was a “Best Of” clip. I was in junior high when the first “D&D is demonic!” panic started, and that was looong ago.

  38. wscott says

    For anyone interested, there’s a great documentary about gamers called Uber Goober [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386836/]. (Full disclosure: the film maker is a buddy of mine.) Apart from cataloging the various phylum & hierarchy of gamers (RPGs vs. wargamers vs. LARPers), there’s a great section where they interview several evangelical ministers who talk about D&D players being able to cast real spells. One actually talks about people teleporting into the room he was in to attack him. This right after talking about how D&D players are unable to tell fantasy from reality…

    Geek aside: 4th Edition D&D was designed to play Diablo with pen-and-paper; if that’s the style of game you want, it’s perfect. Personally, I prefer Champions/Hero System, but that’s just me. (@unemployedphilosopher: I think Champions character generation is great because it front-loads all the complexity; once you have your character sheet put together, the game itself plays very simply. YMMV.) And for those Old Timers longing for the simpler play, there are a ton of great options out there.

  39. okstop says

    wscott said: “4th Edition D&D was designed to play Diablo with pen-and-paper”

    Bam! That’s it. I actually wrote a blog post on this point (http://landonsgametheory.blogspot.com/2011/05/on-fourth-edition.html), in case anyone is interested. Also, I’m super-excited about the Old School Renaissance, especially since my #1 hobby these days is rehabilitating the “back-end” rules (combat, advancement, etc.) of obsolete systems (like TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes game).

  40. anachronistes says

    Dragged me in…
    back in 1980 my mom worried about the “occult influence” of D&D, but she trusted me enough to make my own decisions, and of course I reassured her there was nothing demonic about the game. She wasn’t the type to watch the 700 Club or other religious programming, so I guess the satanic or occult meme was mainstream enough to concern her.
    Now, some of the metal music I listened to – that definitely centered on the satanic. Silly, but still…
    ChrisL

  41. schweinhundt says

    Interestingly enough, the members of my weekly D&D (3E) group are all happily a-religious.

  42. schweinhundt says

    Also, given my opinion of LARPing, I won’t question Ed’s reasons for despising D&D.

  43. wscott says

    Re “Lives Lost To D&D:” Robertson is talking about a handful of incidents, mostly decades old, all of which have long since been debunked. James Egbert was the first and the most infamous. Wikipedia has a good article on it, but the tl;dr is — Mentally disturbed college student runs away from MSU. Private investigator speculates maybe it has something to do with this D&D thing the kids are into nowadays. Press jumps all over the issue, even tho no one at MSU remembers Egbert playing the game. PI later finds Egbert and learns the kid was struggling with depression, family issues, drug addiction, etc. PI decides to withhold the truth to avoid embarrassing Egbert and his family. By the time the real story is released years later, the press no longer cares so most people only remember the sensational BS version.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dallas_Egbert_III
    .
    There are a handful of other similar incidents, all equally bullshit. Mike Stackpole (author & gamer) has pointed out that even if every one of these “gamer suicides” were in any way game related, it would still indicate gamers commit suicide at a tiny fraction of the national average.

  44. bigj says

    If my DnD experience ended with 2nd Edition (AD&D), I would probably agree with the “despise” thing.

    I’m also of the mind that certain religious fundamentalists are afraid of DnD turning their kids into atheists. They are imagining a world where demons and devils are real and can plague the mortal world, and gods have a direct influence on everyday life. Despite what their parents tell them, when the game is over, our world is nothing like that. They have never seen a priest call done fire from their deity, and their town has never been besieged by vrock demons summoned by the local evil wizard.

  45. says

    wscott “Mike Stackpole (author & gamer) has pointed out that even if every one of these “gamer suicides” were in any way game related, it would still indicate gamers commit suicide at a tiny fraction of the national average.”
    “Author and self-admitted ‘gamer’ says ‘Gamers not normal’” ~ press headline

  46. pocketnerd says

    Now I despise D&D and cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would play RPGs

    What, really? Ah, well… De blunderbuss non est disputandum, I guess.

    As to why Pat Robertson hates roleplaying games… there’s actually a story there. Not a lot of people know this, but back in the day Pat Robertson used to hang out with Gary Gygax. Everything was cool until Pat Rolled up a new character — wanted to play a multiclassed elf ranger/wizard/monk named T’Pa Nostrebor, who dual-wielded halberds. Halberds, FFS. Gary laughed at him and called him a twink, Pat took it badly, and, well, the rest is history… :)

  47. Alverant says

    @unemployedphilosopher
    What’s your problem with the Hero/Champions system? It’s point based so you don’t have to have a witness to your die rolls like in D&D. They removed a lot of the math in 6th edition so you don’t have to worry about dividing by 5 or 2. Everything is nice and defined so you don’t have to guess if X or Y is a first or second level ability. It’s a great system and there’s software out there if math scares you.

    I’m not a big fan of D&D partially because I don’t care for fantasy. I don’t like the random ability scores and how abilities can be of different strengths yet weighted the same. I’m also not fond of the alignment system where the range of human behavior is condensed into 9 codes of conduct.

    That being said, I’m even more tempted to try the new Neverwinter MMORPG just to piss off Robertson.

  48. Jacob Schmidt says

    lorn

    The greatest tragedy, was that as they firmed up rules, descriptions, and internal logic of how things worked, they eliminated most of the creativity and imagination.

    The fact that the books cost too much money I understand. But not liking consistent rules? If you don’t like them, change them. Make up your own. Bring on the house rules and homebrew. That consistent rules exist does not mean that you must abide by them.

  49. martinc says

    Alverant@ 60 et al: I dislike D&D’s initial character generation rolls, for balance reasons. As DM, I write the character generation stats (I don’t roll them, I set them) and even some general backgrounds. The players choose which character to play. That allows me to a) save a ton of time at the start of the game; b) maintain a power balance between the characters; and c) write an over-arching plot that includes the players’ stories at certain points. That last is the most important, to prevent the game sinking to simply a room-by-room hack and slash dice-roll-a-thon.

    I agree alignment is pointless. The players choose their alignment by their actions in my opionion.

    The great thing about D&D is that the rules can be adjusted as the DM sees fit. Gameplay is everything, and I change the rules wherever I see it works better to do so.

    I write a long backstory for my games. The current one (you might be able to see it if you are interested: look for Esmeralda [Community] on facebook) is (including the secret information each player receives about their character alone) over 10,000 words.

  50. Alverant says

    @martinc #62
    Sounds like you have a good system in place. I know some players don’t like to have their creativity limited OTOH you have to be willing to compromise in order to make a good campaign. I try to be more flexible. If the GM says “I need you to make [this]” I’ll try to work with him/her provided they’re not asking me to play something too far outside my personality (I can’t play clerics, even in-game I can’t call out praise to a god).

    But I have a bigger issue with the fantasy setting. Your standard fantasy setting is an idealized version of the Dark Ages, one of the lowest points in human history where we took a step backwards and retreated into superstition. In most fantasy settings I’ve read, there’s no progress. You could go a thousand years forwards or backwards in time and all that would have changed are national borders and a castle turned into ruins. There’s too much clinging to the past and not enough looking to the future. I know there are exceptions but how often have you had your adventurers go trolling (pun) in an old dungeon looking for forgotten knowledge? And that’s another thing, your basic dungeon crawl involves breaking into a community and murdering everyone there and taking their stuff using the excuse “they’re evil”. Defining races as evil (and in the case of dragons using the color of their scales) seems like crude racism.

    Oh I’m also not on Facebook; nor will I ever be. But that’s a completely different discussion.

  51. okstop says

    @Alverant (#63):

    I’m supposing your “thousand years” comment is hyperbole, since it’s quite obviously false (at least, to anyone knows anything about medieval history), but my bigger concern is that you think D&D (or maybe fantasy games in general, I can’t quite tell from your post) is dungeon crawls and looting. Dude… that hasn’t been the standard for campaign design since like 1989.

  52. Aliasalpha says

    He’s just pissy that clerics are no longer the only class that can cast while wearing armour (warlocks ftw!)

    Also he’s a fuckwit but that kind of goes without saying

  53. cactuswren says

    @carolw: Milton Bradley’s original “Checkered Game of Life”, from 1866, was quite the moralistic little item. The board was much like a checkerboard (hence the name), with “Infancy” and a “Happy Old Age” in diagonally opposite corners. Half the white squares were labeled “Happiness”, “Honor”, “Disgrace”, “Wealth”, “Ruin”, and so on; the other half were jump-to squares: from Bravery you jump to Honor, from Ambition to Fame, from Crime to Prison, from Industry to Wealth (but you can also get to Wealth by landing on the Government Contract square), from Gambling to Ruin, from Cupid to Matrimony, from Perseverance to Success, from Influence to Fat Office, from Intemperance to Poverty, and so on.

    This game is the reason the modern “Game of Life” still uses a spinner: when the original game was released it used a teetotum, because Milton Bradley suspected people would refuse to buy or play it if it used (gasp!) dice.

  54. unemployedphilosopher says

    @wscott: Yeah, all the complexity is front-loaded, but when you’ve only got one book, it takes a long, long time for everyone to create their characters.

    @Alverant: I do point-based creation in every game I run, so that’s not an issue. I haven’t seen 6th edition Champions, so I guess I should take another look. Math doesn’t particularly scare me, but I do hate the “level drain” mechanic in D&D and Pathfinder — it takes time away from actually playing while you recalculate everything, and most of my players can do so only slowly.

  55. unemployedphilosopher says

    And because I apparently missed some updates,
    @Alverant: The campaign I’m currently running (Pathfinder rules, mostly) is entirely about dungeon-crawling for long-lost knowledge. Well, also finding a good library. It’s fantasy-ish; think early Industrial Revolution London that somehow happened two thousand years after what is (spoilers!) a nuclear strike that devastated the countryside. My only rules for character creation were the points system and “no evil, and definitely no chaotic neutral, because I hate Daffy Duck.” Oh, and there are no divine casters, so healing is a bit iffy. Makes things interesting.

  56. says

    Oh, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    I just heard on NPR that in China there will be 117 men born for every 100 women this year and that by 20something or other there will be 24M more men, men who can’t find women; MEN WHO WILL BE FORCED BY THE TOTALITARIAN GODLESS REDS TO (damn, I wish I could make this, like, 120 pt. type) GAY MARRIED!

    D&D, I’ve never played. Is it anything like B&D or S&M? Those are both way fum (although the props can get expensive!

  57. DaveL says

    I had enormous fun coming up with campaigns for D&D back in my college days. I think my favorite “hook” involved the characters needing to produce this potion requiring a number of exotic ingredients… plus one potato.

    Of course, in this campaign world, the potato was unknown in the characters’ homeland, although they could learn from sages that it was a kind of root vegetable that grew in a land far to the east. Along the way, I sprinkled cultures in their path that used the word “potato” for different purposes. In one of them, “potato” meant “wife”. In another, when they arrived all armed and armored and the locals heard them mention “potato”, they were feasted into the night. Then in the morning, with great pomp and ceremony, they were led to the opening of a huge cave strewn with human bones, where the villagers expected them to at last rid them of the terrible monster, “Potato”, that had been terrorizing the land.

    Good times.

  58. says

    I wouldn’t say I “despise” D&D, but I did get sick of the huge amounts of time and energy I had to spend on it. IF I’m gonna stay up late nights, it should be for a REAL project, or at least a simulation of a real or probable situation, not a fantasy campaign of a fantasy character in a made-up wrold.

    And what’s this about a “Petal Throne?” You don’t make thrones out of petals, you make them out of swords! What good are fucking petals when WINTER IS COMING!

  59. says

    FWIW; I suspect that Pat has been involved in role playing games for years and that he wears some decidely odd costumes (Little Bo Peep, The Gimpmasked Avenger–that sort of thing) . I sure hope he doesn’t have a reaction to full body contact with latex or neoprene.

    “I told her “If I could learn black magic from D&D, I wouldn’t be a skinny, acne-ridden outcast.”

    Wish I had had a story like that ready when ma found my HYMSD* videos.

    * Horny Young Male Sexuality Documentary

  60. Alverant says

    @okstop #64
    My “thousand years” comment was directed at fantasy worlds, not the real world. Please read more carefully. As for examples of a static society in fantasy world consider these:

    * In the War of the Twins (Dragonlance) a wizard goes centuries back in time and things are pretty much the same. There’s no “that’s not magic, just improved technology” moment and he’s able to fit in pretty well.

    * The games in the Elder Scrolls series are centuries apart but there’s really no difference between them apart from all the stuff you did in the previous game has faded into legend. No one has developed anti-dragon technology yet.

    * The new Neverwinter game takes place 200 years after the Neverwinter Nights game and it’s still stuck in the same time period.

    * In the original D&D there was a series of adventures that took the party thousands of years in the past (Blackmoor or something) where technology was well developed meaning the current settings things slid backwards substancially.

    * Also in the original D&D series the Gatazeer series had histories where once the nation was established hasn’t undergone any major change since.

    @unemployedphilosopher
    In the Hero system you make your characters beforehand on the player’s leisure time and submit them for approval. Since it’s point based and not random, you don’t have to confirm dice rolls and the player can take their time. There’s no need to burn game time making characters.

  61. wscott says

    @ unemployedphilosopher: Yeah, Hero character generation can be a bit intimidating at first because there are so many options. But once you get the basics down, it’s relatively straight-forward and allows you to create literally any character you can think of in any genre or setting without being limited by someone else’s vision of how things ought to work. Check out the new Champions Complete, the entire rules system plus genre & setting info in one 240-page book.

  62. erichoug says

    OK, I am going to say something that really pains me to admit and that will probably aggravate a lot of people here: *sigh* Pat Robertson is (partly) right about D&D. But he reaches absolutely the wrong conclusion about it

    I started playing D&D when I was in Jr. High school, growing up in Katy Texas. Back then there was one Grocery store on Mason Rd and then it was 15 mile s in to the nearest movie theatre and 20 miles to the mall. So, for a bored kid who didn’t play football there wasn’t a lot to do. I got into D&D and I absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed the fantasy aspect of the game and I loved all the weird stuff that it introduced me to, the sci-fin and fantasy books as well as all the weird stuff that they talked about in the back of Dragon Magazine. Pretty soon I was reading about ley lines and numerology and, occult spells including demon summoning in some books that definitely weren’t written by Gary Gygax.

    So D&D was absolutely an introduction and pathway for me to the occult. I am not saying I was a Satanist or a devil worshiper or anything like that. But, I was definitely into some stuff the Church and my parents would have been apoplectic if they knew about. So, from that stand point Robertson was 100% right.

    But, it really didn’t take me all that long to realize that all those occult books and practitioners were completely full of shit. They were just making it up. There were no magic lines of force, there were no lost mysteries and the only magical power on offer was the power of suggestion and human gullibility. Once I realized that, it wasn’t long before I started looking at ALL religion and realized that they were EXACTLY the same as the idiot pretending he could summon some lesser demon. Once I saw that, it was a surprisingly easy to simply abandon my religion.

    I suspect that what Robertson knows is that once his flock starts down the path of D&D, they get introduced to the occult, very quickly realize that the occult is full of shit, and then turn around ad look at him with new eyes and that is what he is really afraid of.

  63. kermit. says

    grumpoldfart: I’ll bet Pat Robertson hasn’t got the slightest clue about Dungeons and Dragon
    .
    He knows this:
    Players typically have a lot of fun.
    Magic is not feared and despised, and is often seen as a gift.
    Gods are seen as trivial game characters, rather than the Holy (abusive) Father and his demonic enemies.
    People who do not fear Satan end up serving him.
    .
    Can’t get more demonic than that.
    .
    Robertson is the current manifestation of a direct line of people who think that saying Satan’s name three times conjures him up.

  64. says

    erichoug “So, for a bored kid who didn’t play football there wasn’t a lot to do.” & “There were no magic lines of force…” (emphasis mine)
    Clearly you aren’t familiar with the Line of Scrimmage.

  65. erichoug says

    @Modusoperandi

    HAHA, Good one.

    Actually I played football for like 3 years. For some reason I always played Center, Nose guard or right tackle. I could look across the field, pick out the kid who looked like he had been held back 3-4 times and that was who would be kicking my ass all afternoon. So, kinda diminished my joy of the game.

  66. unemployedphilosopher says

    @wscott: I’ll have to check that out. I haven’t actually played in a Champions game since high school (mid-90′s), so my distaste may be outdated.

    @Alverant: The “leisure time” thing only works if your players know what they’re doing. Half of my current table don’t even own dice. (Amusingly, one of my players is also my PhD advisor. I’m going to kill his character with a dragon.)

  67. birgerjohansson says

    Never do anything demonic without playing something by “Ghost” for background music!

  68. says

    “I could look across the field, pick out the kid who looked like he had been held back 3-4 times and that was who would be kicking my ass all afternoon. ”

    Was one of ‘em Roger “The Rocket” Clemens?

  69. says

    4th Edition D&D was designed to play Diablo with pen-and-paper

    I usually compare it to WoW, but the principle is the same. I’m mostly a GURPS head myself, although I’ve been playing a lot of In Nomine lately.

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