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Feb 22 2012

Those so-called “fantasy role playing games— are non-Christian!

In email, Libby Anne passed along a little jewel from her youth: some radio propaganda against that horrible demonic portal to evil, Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a radio show called Castles and Cauldrons, with a special introduction from James Dobson, warning you kiddies about the dangers of those role-playing games and their non-Christian magic and mysticism, which will lead them into contact with demons and satanism. It’s a two-parter, with summaries of Part 1 and Part 2. Warning: it’s laced with commercials for Focus on the Patriarchy.

They play a version of the games I’ve never encountered. These games give you actual magic powers that allow you to summon demons and control people and eradicate your enemies and read people’s minds. They sure seem a lot more powerful than Christianity.

207 comments

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  1. 1
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Have we stepped back into the 1970s? What next, hair metal is demonic?

    My colleague tells me such things all the time (I have a Dungeons and Dragons lanyard.) My response is exactly the same all the time, “it’s a bunch of friends playing games, drinking beer (or soda), and eating chips.”

  2. 2
    otrame

    I’ll never forget how floored I was when I realized that the fundies’ objection to things like D&D and Harry Potter was that they think magic is REAL and comes from Satan. I mean they really think so. I, as my grandma used to say, dropped my teeth.

    But I was innocent in those days. I know better now.

  3. 3
    Glen Davidson

    I thought the real power of Dungeons & Dragons was one that they’d favor–the power to remain a virgin.

    Glen Davidson

  4. 4
    cafeeineaddicted

    Of course D & D is real magic! Haven’t you guys read… the Tract?

    Chicky poo!

  5. 5
    Thy Goddess

    Oh this shit again. Yea,back in the days there was a TON, and I say a TON of people saying that little highschool kids playing D&D were satanists and were playing with their own sanity! We all had to explain at one point that no… We don’t think we can cast fire on your ass. We’d rather use a lighter.

    To quote a movie that got made about the AWFUL DANGERS of RPGs, featuring a young unknown guy called Tom Hanks … “Mazes and Monsters is a far out game.”

  6. 6
    ischemgeek

    Reminds me of my teenagerhood: I was really into all things fantasy and sci fi back then, and I wanted to get into gaming. My mother forbade me to so much as go into the game section of the local book store when she found out, because don’t you know that all roleplay gamers are evil, twisted cultists.

    When I went to university, I joined a gaming group, had loads of fun, and still play with them five years later. I have to hide my game books when she visits, or she’ll throw them away. It’s nuts.

  7. 7
    ChristineRose

    I often contended that if magic were real we would know about it and study at Hogwarts. Why would anyone keep it secret when they could just explode heads when required?

  8. 8
    The Lorax

    I wonder if these people understand that most in-game characters of D&D get their powers from God and use those powers to smite deformed evildoers and demons, or that in 4th Edition, it’s hard-coded into the rules that you’re not allowed to be evil, period.

    Then again, since when has rationality ever worked?

    At any rate, who else is going to be playing Encounters this afternoon? New season at my local place. I’m thinking of rolling a wizard.

  9. 9
    raven

    Hmmm, isn’t xianity just one of “those so-called “fantasy role playing games”.

    It’s not like there is any evidence any of it works from the Invisible Sky Monster down to raising the dead and healing the sick.

    PS There is some strong evidence that magic isn’t real and doesn’t work. If it did, I and a few million others would long ago have turned James “Focus on Hating Everybody” into a frog. And filled up my bank accounts as well.

  10. 10
    abadidea

    My grandmother has always been of this train of thought… belief in LITERAL witchcraft that children can LITERALLY wield. If that were true, don’t you think childhood would be a little more interesting… a little more like cartoons… a little more like, you know, made-up fantasy books? If witchcraft were real (and I don’t mean in that feel-good ritual Wiccan sense) don’t you think EVERYONE would definitely have noticed?

    Then again, the Christianity I was raised in also teaches that you can literally cast out demons, literally drink poison and not die, literally speak in real languages you do not know, literally move a mountain with your faith, etc, and yet I never saw any of that either.

    At my school there was a married couple of teachers (my younger brothers had them) who taught that Satan personally installed a demon in every action figure and other “violent” toy or game, and that’s why children get so many cuts and bruises. Where do these people get these ideas, I’ll never know.

    (When they told me this – and yes, as a young and very devout Christian, I thought they were going a little overboard – I got the vivid mental image of Satan sitting at a factory workbench with a screwdriver, opening the front plate on Transformers robots and stuffing in a mini-demon)

  11. 11
    fmitchell

    It’s 2012 already, and these guys are still bothered about D&D. Unfortunately, it’s not just relics like James Dobson. Several months ago a thread on an RPG site chronicled this poor kid’s loss of all his D&D stuff; his ultra-religious mother saw the wrong subhead in one of the latest D&D releases and decided her son really was selling his soul to Satan. Luckily the kid’s friend rescued his collection from the trash pile.

    Sometimes I wonder if these guys don’t really fear the power of imagination, which can dream up far more satisfying fantasies than Christianity can offer and dismantle them when no longer needed.

  12. 12
    anchor

    [Overheard from the open window of an upper-floor bedroom in a residential neighborhood]:

    “Okay. Now, THIS TIME I’ll be God and you’ll be the Virgin Mary!”

  13. 13
    Q.E.D

    The Lorax @ 8

    4th Edition, it’s hard-coded into the rules that you’re not allowed to be evil, period.

    What the Fuck? OK so I haven’t played since circa 1990, but really?

  14. 14
    Tualha

    Well, you know, these people do think that their god, and angels and devils and demons, are literally real. When something bad happens, it’s because Satan was at work. Thoughts like this constantly inform their view of the world. You could even say they’re haunted by them.

    Hmm, why does that sound familiar…?

  15. 15
    ancienttechie

    Abadidea, Satan disguises himself as one of Santa’s elves, inserting a tiny demon into each toy as it rolls past on the assembly line. All xmas toys are evil!

  16. 16
    robro

    If you believe in the Bible, you obviously have problems separating fact from fiction. It’s not surprising that D&D, Harry Potter, and similar fictions get these ignorant people going. In a sane society they might be deemed to need professional help.

  17. 17
    DrewN

    I’ve never had enough geeky friends to put together a D&D game. Can I still be an evil, demon summoning, black magic practicing, satanist by playing Skyrim instead?

  18. 18
    Moggie

    The Lorax:

    I wonder if these people understand that most in-game characters of D&D get their powers from God and use those powers to smite deformed evildoers and demons, or that in 4th Edition, it’s hard-coded into the rules that you’re not allowed to be evil, period.

    That’s ridiculous! It’s a role-playing game, so why eliminate one major aspect of role-play? Then again, I haven’t played since AD&D 1st ed, so what do I know?
    (Hobbles off to chase kobolds off the lawn)

  19. 19
    d cwilson

    I remember back in the 80s Falwell and Robertson railing against the evils of D&D and preaching that the people playing really do believe that they can summon demons and other nonsense. A lot of the pressure eventually forced TSR to take all mentions of demons out of the 2nd edition of the game give those monsters weird, ridiculously hard to pronounce names.

    I wonder if these people understand that most in-game characters of D&D get their powers from God and use those powers to smite deformed evildoers and demons,

    I’ve actually been kicking around the idea of an all-atheist campaign using the Pathfinder rules because 4th edition D&D sucks ass.

    *ducks*

  20. 20
    'Tis Himself

    Has anyone told Dobson about Proctor & Gamble’s logo?

  21. 21
    WharGarbl

    I often contended that if magic were real we would know about it and study at Hogwarts. Why would anyone keep it secret when they could just explode heads when required?

    Because we got better way at exploding head?
    Shotgun (semi-auto, full-auto).
    Assault rifles.
    Long-range rifles.
    Rocket launcher.
    Mortars.

  22. 22
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Damn. I remember getting hit with this shit when I played the original D&D. The one in the white box. With nothing but six-sided die. And I remember getting hit with this shit when I played AD&D. The one with all the expensive books. With 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, and 20-sided die.

    Does anything original come out of conservative Christianity anymore? Or do they just rotate the tyres and keep right on driving?

  23. 23
    amstrad

    Structured play time through planned role playing is one of the best ways to develop cognitive skills in children. We should be advocating getting children into D&D groups at much earlier ages…

    … oh wait …

    … I see my mistake. Religions don’t want children with well developed minds.

  24. 24
    Thy Goddess

    The Lorax @ 8: Wait what? Where’s that in the rules? I must’ve missed it.

  25. 25
    Jeff

    If D&D actually taught you real magic, then after 30 years of playing it, you’d think I’d have a staff and a pointy hat by now.

    On the other hand, it reinforced my interest in mythology and fantasy, which eventually led me to atheism. Since anything that leads people away from Christianity *must* be inspired by Satan, you can see where they are coming from if you accept their initial axioms.

  26. 26
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Because we got better way at exploding head?
    Shotgun (semi-auto, full-auto).
    Assault rifles.
    Long-range rifles.
    Rocket launcher.
    Mortars.

    Christians
    members of most other religions work just as well

  27. 27
    raven

    At my school there was a married couple of teachers (my younger brothers had them) who taught that Satan personally installed a demon in every action figure and other “violent” toy or game, and that’s why children get so many cuts and bruises.

    Some demons must have really boring nonlives. “You have to what!!!, possess a toy robot?”

    My mainline Protestant sect didn’t really believe in hell, satan, demons, or witches. I never heard much about any of that in church over many years.

    The few times I have encountered people who did, I just shrugged my shoulders and thought, superstitious morons. If you are going to believe in demons, might as well believe in vampires, ghouls, Zombies, werewolves, ghosts, and UFO aliens.

    Which many fundies do. A common belief even among their leaders is that UFO flying saucers exist and are piloted by demons from hell.

  28. 28
    aleph

    Wow. Better not let these people find out about Exalted, they’d have an aneurism at the backstory.

  29. 29
    whheydt

    You’re all pikers… I spent last weekend helping run a gaming convention (DunDraCon 36…we had about 1700 members this year).

    You can all join the fun next year on President’s Day weekend if you’re a mind to.

    –W. H. Heydt

    Old Used Programmer

  30. 30
    raven

    Has anyone told Dobson about Proctor & Gamble’s logo?

    He might have been the one to discover that.

    IIRC, they no longer use that moon and stars logo.

  31. 31
    baal

    If the games really were a gateway to summoning actual demons and spells that, well, actually did something, I’d never have given it up. Dobson and friends really need to give empiricism a try. Repond and pontori don’t really work either.

  32. 32
    WordsOfAWizard

    If D&D actually granted it’s players magical powers, my time in high school would have been much nicer.

  33. 33
    Eristae

    You mean I could have been using real magic all this time, and I’ve been wasting my time with all this rolling of dice?! What version are we talking about? I want to get me some of that!

  34. 34
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    Has anyone told Dobson about Proctor & Gamble’s logo?

    He might have been the one to discover that.

    IIRC, they no longer use that moon and stars logo.

    When I was in high school, there was a brief kerfluffle abou the Subaru logo being an homage to Satan*. Not sure if that was a local bit of insanity, or national.

    * Could also have been Santa, Satin, Statins, Stains, etc.

  35. 35
    Alverant

    @quoderatdemonstrandum As I heard it, 4th ed wasn’t that popular and now they’re looking to the players for feedback on what to do for 5th. The backlash against 4th was enough that a different company made Pathfinder which became the “new” D&D. But I’m not into fantasy RPGs anymore so I can’t say how much is true.

    My only encounters with that kind of idiocy was when I brought a D&D module to read and some nut asked if I worshiped the devil. I gave him my best “WTF” look because it was obviously fiction and no one believed that was real. The other was when I offered to take my cousins to the local game shop for a while and my Palin-supporting brother of my mother said something about no games with magic.

    Seriously has there ever been any cases of people turning to Satanism via D&D?

  36. 36
    johncryan

    DrewN @17

    Only if you complete all the Daedric quests.

  37. 37
    flippyshark

    From the ads, this seems to have been broadcast around the time of the first Narnia movie. (2005) But I suspect this is a much older episode of this popular Christian radio show. More recent episodes of Adventures In Odyssey portray the kid characters as immersed in computers and social media. This episode seems to take place in a pre-digital 80s world. But, the fact that it was re-aired so recently shows how hilariously out-of-touch these freaked-out old white folks must be. And, whoever wrote this episode clearly had not the first clue about how fantasy role-playing games are played.

    Parents raising children these days probably remember the D&D panic from their own childhoods, but I wonder how many of them would really carry this concern over to the kids they are raising now. From my admittedly limited observations, old-fashoined dice and paper D&D has faded from the fundie panic list. Facebook, YouTube, video games and MMPORPGs are a far more tangible, and time-consuming, factor in young people’s lives, and are the focus for far more parental hand-wringing. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some Christian parents had a good laugh when they heard this clunky episode in 2005. (In my 80s youth, my then-Christian friends and I played plenty of D&D, and we knew exactly how ludicrous the Satanic Panic over it really was.)

  38. 38
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Seriously has there ever been any cases of people turning to Satanism via D&D?

    Well, I did. But I got better.

  39. 39
    okstop

    Sometime in the early 80s, my mother asked me if this “Dungeons & Dragons” thing I was into was letting me make deals with the devil.

    I told her that if I could make deals with the devil, I wouldn’t have acne.

    She never bothered me about it again.

  40. 40
    raven

    but I wonder how many of them would really carry this concern over to the kids they are raising now.

    There are some for sure. Never underestimate how superstitious fundies are.

    A few years ago a county program in South Carolina banned classes on Yoga and Tarot cards because some parents complained.

    They even today, frequently go after Yoga.

    My main objection to Tarot cards is that they never worked. If they did, I’d still have my deck.

  41. 41
    d cwilson

    @ Alverant says:

    As I heard it, 4th ed wasn’t that popular and now they’re looking to the players for feedback on what to do for 5th. The backlash against 4th was enough that a different company made Pathfinder which became the “new” D&D. But I’m not into fantasy RPGs anymore so I can’t say how much is true.

    No, that’s about right.

    Among the many changes to the game with 4th edition was a rewriting of the alignment system. It’s now a more of a spectrum than a punnett square and players are told they cannot be evil. This was also a rule in 2nd edition that was part of the fundie-inspired sanitizing of the game.

    Among the many criticisms leveled at 4th edition was that they were trying to make it more like online RPGs like World of Warcraft. Sales have not been what Wizards of the Coast had hoped and they are rushing the 5th edition out to fill in the void.

  42. 42
    flippyshark

    @#20 – Has anyone told Dobson about Proctor & Gamble’s logo?

    Dobson was indeed an early propagator of that stupid lie. Eventually, most of the fundie media, including Dobson, were forced to concede that the Satanic Proctor and Gamble rumors were false. That hasn’t stopped Dobson from dogging the company, however. Within the last few years, he has called for a boycott on P&G products because of their support of same-sex marriage and contributions to help defeat anti-gay legislation in Cincinnati. As more and more companies join the rational world and institute non-discriminatory policies, it gets harder for people like Dobson to go shopping.

  43. 43
    municipalis

    When I was 12 or so, my family moved down to Orange County from Toronto, and one of the friends I made there introduced me to Magic Cards. I proceeded then to introduce the game to my other friend, who had a very religious mother. One day as we were playing the game in his bedroom, she comes in and asks “What are you doing?”
    “Playing Magic cards,” I responded.
    “Is that like witchcraft?”
    Now, at this point, my naive little self thought that Witchcraft was some similar card game she had played as a kid. Perhaps a game that Magic: The Gathering had ripped off. “Uh… yes?” was my answer.
    I was wrong! Her response: “I don’t want that in my house! It’s evil!”
    It took me like two minutes to register what was going on, so I packed up the decks and went home for the night.

    To be fair, as crazy as she was, she wasn’t ever nasty about it. She knew my family wasn’t religious (and she even became friends with my New Agey, Buddhist mother), and had never tried to convert me or anything. I once went along to Sunday school, which was an even more bizarre (and creepy) experience, but it was my choice to go. Anyway, my friend was stuck playing Star Wars cards, which neither of us found very fun.

  44. 44
    Tualha

    @28: Ah, but what about the people you turned into newts???

  45. 45
    Akira MacKenzie

    Dungeons & Dragons hasn’t been “edgy” since TSR caved to the Bible Beaters around 2nd Ed. Today, under the ownership of Hasbro… I mean, WotC…it’s weak-tea, PG-13, Tolkienesque pablum with a homeopathic amounts of Howard diluted in.

    Now if Dobson wants a classic frpg that will give him and his Bible-humping buddies a heart attack, let him take a look at Prof. M.A.R. Barker’s “Empire of the Petal Throne:” Lovecraftian deities that demand human sacrifice, sacred prostitution, social nudity, necrophilia, slavery, polyamory, demonic summoning, sex with said sum mound demons, sex with aliens, sex with ancient androids, and scariest for Dobson, NOT A SINGLE CAUCASIAN TO BE FOUND!!! (Oooooh isn’t that scary, kids!)

  46. 46
    municipalis

    Oh, also, the Jack Chick “D&D” comic is simply amazing:
    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.ASP

    As is the MST3K-style parody of it:
    http://www.humpin.org/mst3kdd/

  47. 47
    rikitiki

    re: d cwilson @ #19 – personally, I’m into Castles & Crusades now — simple unified mechanic AND I can use all my AD&D 1st Ed. modules.
    YAY!!

    re: raven @ #30 – I copped that Procter/Gamble logo and it beautifies my gaming binder.

  48. 48
    flippyshark

    Must find a copy of “Empire of the Petal Throne!”

  49. 49
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    RPGs give you powers?

    Fus! Ro! God!

  50. 50
    GodotIsWaiting4U

    @d cwilson: No, the players are not told they CANNOT be evil, they are told they require DM approval. Same as it’s always been.

    Also, the new names for devils and demons in 2e (baatezu and tanar’ri, respectively) wound up being immensely helpful for flavor in the Planescape setting. You want a setting that’ll pop a fundies eyes out, Planescape’s the one you want; not only do you personally know a demon, but he lives down the street and sells runes.

  51. 51
    pentatomid

    You know, Pokémon, Smurfs and My little pony are demonic too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjHrExOM-ww

  52. 52
    pentatomid

    Huh, what happened there? One video just shows a link and one got imbedded somehow? What the fuck?

  53. 53
    Dhorvath, OM

    okstop,

    Sometime in the early 80s, my mother asked me if this “Dungeons & Dragons” thing I was into was letting me make deals with the devil.

    I told her that if I could make deals with the devil, I wouldn’t have acne.

    She never bothered me about it again.

    You are the wit I wish I to be.

  54. 54
    GodotIsWaiting4U

    My mom was weird about D&D for a long time, and I wasn’t totally sure why, but then I found out that she didn’t think it was witchcraft or anything.

    She had met a LARPer in the 80s and thought that what he was doing was D&D. Once I finally found that out and explained to her that D&D isn’t LARPing, she relaxed.

  55. 55
    raven

    The Straight Dope: Is Procter & Gamble run by satanists?www.straightdope.com/columns/…/is-procter-gamble-run-by-satanist…Cached – Similar

    1 Jul 1986 – I heard a rumor that the people who run Procter & Gamble belong to the … Procter & Gamble decided to phase out its man-in-the-moon logo in May 1985. … which featured the man in the moon in a circle along with 13 stars.

    1. P&G did phase out their old logo.

    2. They also sued some fundies and won for libel.

    3. Dobson was involved.

  56. 56
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    At my school there was a married couple of teachers (my younger brothers had them) who taught that Satan personally installed a demon in every action figure and other “violent” toy or game, and that’s why children get so many cuts and bruises.

    Satan must have also installed demons in kitchen stoves, trees, jungle gyms, and rough pavement.

    I got the vivid mental image of Satan sitting at a factory workbench with a screwdriver, opening the front plate on Transformers robots and stuffing in a mini-demon

    I would totally read a short story or novel about that. Especially with a Santa crossover like Ancient Techie suggests.

  57. 57
    cicely

    These guys never bother to think about how different the world would be if their most hysterical fears were true; demons raging through the streets (bad news, whether conjured by sorcerers without enough levels (or the right spells) to either control or dismiss them, or deliberately unleashed in (competing) ravening hordes as their masters competed for World Domination)(not to mention incidental Planar leakage), large numbers of conspicuously Disintegrated bullies and high school jocks, a succubus in every pot, two dragons in every garage, and the complete wreckage of the world’s economies as large cargo wagons-full of “diamonds the size of my head” and similar trinkets were dumped into the market.

    And there would be Fireballs.

    Lots and lots of Fireballs.
    -

    I’ve actually been kicking around the idea of an all-atheist campaign using the Pathfinder rules because 4th edition D&D sucks ass.

    I’m finding that Pathfinder is a bit…restricting. Constricting. Unsatisfying. Just generally not as good as 1st. Ed. AD&D.

    And yes, 4th Ed. does indeed suck ass.
    -

    Does anything original come out of conservative Christianity anymore? Or do they just rotate the tyres and keep right on driving?

    Rhetorical question, I presume?
    -

    You mean I could have been using real magic all this time, and I’ve been wasting my time with all this rolling of dice?! What version are we talking about? I want to get me some of that!

    I know; me too.
    -

    As I heard it, 4th ed wasn’t that popular and now they’re looking to the players for feedback on what to do for 5th.

    True story.

    I’m not optimistic.

    The backlash against 4th was enough that a different company made Pathfinder which became the “new” D&D. But I’m not into fantasy RPGs anymore so I can’t say how much is true.

    I know a lot of gamers who play Pathfinder. The ass it sucks is much, much smaller than the ass sucked by 4th. Ed.
    -

    Dungeons & Dragons hasn’t been “edgy” since TSR caved to the Bible Beaters around 2nd Ed.

    Word.
    -

  58. 58
    NitricAcid

    My atheist father despised D&D and tried to stop me from playing it. Apparently, he’d heard of kids committing suicide during or because of the game.

  59. 59
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    RPGs give you powers?

    Hell, yeah. You can use an RPG* to destroy lightly armoured vehicles.

    * Ruchnoy Protivotankovy Granatomyot (literally, Rocket Propelled Anti-Tank Grenade).

  60. 60
    crocodoc

    Ahhh, so believing in bullshit from a magic book is dangerous?

    Yeah, makes sense, actually.

  61. 61
    jolo5309

    Must find a copy of “Empire of the Petal Throne!”

    See if you can get PZ’s copy, he used to play it.

    I used to own a game store back in the late 80′s, early 90′s (I closed it 6 months before Magic came out) and I had several people come in claiming that I had satanic worship items there. I asked them to prove it and I would close the store, I never closed because of them…

  62. 62
    NitricAcid

    4th Edition? Pathfinder? I refuse to play anything but 1st Ed. AD&D.

    (Game set for Friday night….let’s see if the party figures out that turning right even once would get them out of the area they are stuck in, instead of turning left, then left, then left…..)

  63. 63
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.
    Does anything original come out of conservative Christianity anymore? Or do they just rotate the tyres and keep right on driving?

    Rhetorical question, I presume?

    No, I’m really hoping that they have come up with something new in my lifetime. Otherwise I would worry about the actual uses for which all that Christian brainpower is being used.

  64. 64
    Predator Handshake

    Even my father, who otherwise had a hair-trigger for things he considered “Bad Influences,” never had a problem with me playing early AD&D games on PC. That was the one thing I now wish he had taken away from me; those games were terribly cruel.

  65. 65
    fizzygoo

    At first I was going to just comment on my personal history with D&D-is-Satanism but then I read Glen Davidson’s first comment. My first, internal, response was, “fuck you, Glen, that joke’s older than your consciousness,” and I started to think about all the people that I have played and currently play role playing games with and their families and love lives and how they’re all within a good standard deviation of the social norm as far as relationships go (regardless of whether they’re gay, straight, or other). But then I started thinking about the gamers that fit Glen’s joke to a tee and it’s totally fucking brilliant, Glen, your joke. Ha ha. I get it; making fun of people who have a terrible time socially fitting in, relating to others. By making a joke about how they’re marginalized you’re not marginalizing them further, pushing them into the inhuman bin of detritus, no, no, you’re bringing them into the light of acceptance. By the beard of Mordenkainen, Glen! Your study of consciousness has truly allowed you to master your own empathy for conscious beings. So meta.

    But naw. As one gamer to some “they’re all virgins” joke-making douche on the intertubes…fuck you, Glen.

  66. 66
    NitricAcid

    If I could cast any spells, or summon any demons….I’d have a whole new field of research all to myself. Nobel prize, here I come!

  67. 67
    truthspeaker

    fizzygoo – did it occur to you that maybe Glen was being self-deprecating?

    “If not having a girlfriend is a reason not to play Dungeons & Dragons then this game is in serious trouble.” – Sheldon Cooper

  68. 68
    Dhorvath, OM

    truthspeaker,
    No, we shouldn’t need to infer a good intention when none is evident. Glen said something that is superficially offensive and supports a stereotype, he can defend it if he wants. but it doesn’t fall on us to do so for him.

  69. 69
    briandavis

    The headline here should be “People With Imaginary Friend Say Using Imagination Is Dangerous.”

  70. 70
    cicely

    4th Edition? Pathfinder? I refuse to play anything but 1st Ed. AD&D.

    We play Pathfinder with the whippersnappers for sociability. We play 1st. Ed. AD&D for pleasure.
    -

    If I could cast any spells, or summon any demons….I’d have a whole new field of research all to myself. Nobel prize, here I come!

    What I’d rather do is (with safeguards out the wazoo) run a tap to one of the Energy planes, and watch the petroleum industry CEOs shrivel in horror as they are out-competed, their niche (and profits) yanked out from under them.
    -

  71. 71
    Cliff Hendroval

    Glen Davidson @ 3:

    I thought the real power of Dungeons & Dragons was one that they’d favor–the power to remain a virgin.

    In my case, it was D&D that helped relieve me of that burden. Back in mid ’70s when I left my small Southern town to go to a hoity-toity Yankee university, my falling into a D&D group exposed me to something that I never believed could exist: girl geeks.

  72. 72
    unbound

    Pfft. I remember when my grandmother called up my mother to tell her how I was going to hell because of AD&D back in the early 80s. Apparently someone went to her little town (pop about 1,000) to speak about the evils of D&D and how I would become involved in human sacrifices and murder.

    Perhaps I was just a bit delayed. Not too late to start now is it?

  73. 73
    microraptor

    I knew before I opened this thread that we were going to be getting the standard They Changed It Now It Sucks rant about 4th Edition that we’ve gotten about every other edition ever since 1st Edition AD&D came out.

    All I want to say on the subject is A) it’s actually possible to have fun playing 4th Edition, even if it’s not the same as 3rd Edition or 2nd Edition, and B) 5th Edition is set for release in 2013, giving 4th Edition a 5 year run, which is pretty good for an RPG, especially since it didn’t go through any of the extensive rule changes like 3.5 Edition or all the later 2nd Edition stuff. Really, if you don’t like it, don’t play it and don’t spend money on it, but don’t keep posting the same copy-paste rants that were written about 3rd Edition a decade ago.

  74. 74
    damonbarth

    I never played D&D, but most of the kids I knew who did were well behaved, studious individuals who went on to graduate from college, many with graduate or post-graduate degrees and all ended up very happy and successful. Can’t say the same for those I knew growing up who were hyper religious.

  75. 75
    lofgren

    There is no rule in 4th edition that you are not allowed to be evil.

    4th edition was incredibly popular, sold better than pathfinder, and is still popular, but sales of supplements steadily declined (unsurprisingly, supplements never sell as well as core books), especially after the key members of the original design team left.

    WotC has responded by promoting the existing design team, rehiring the designers of 3rd edition, and attempting to create a bridging system that integrates all Dungeons and Dragons rulesets.

    Nobody is optimistic.

    People are spreading false information about 4th edition and should be ashamed of themselves.

  76. 76
    NitricAcid

    What I’d rather do is (with safeguards out the wazoo) run a tap to one of the Energy planes, and watch the petroleum industry CEOs shrivel in horror as they are out-competed, their niche (and profits) yanked out from under them.

    Or summon a fire elemental and stick it in a boiler.

    Or follow the lead of Redcloak (Order of the Stick nemesis) and summon a thorium elemental to run the nuclear pile (I wonder if a plutonium elemental, when summoned, would be below or above critical mass?).

  77. 77
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Or summon a fire elemental and stick it in a boiler.

    Oooh. And we could put it on big spoked wheels, with reciprocating pistons, and all the moving parts nice and visible and . . . .

    Oh.

    Sorry.

    Wrong geeking.

  78. 78
    fizzygoo

    :) @truthspeaker … Nope. Did not occur to me. Though typically I’d expect, for a self-deprecating comment, an inclusive statement such as, “I thought the real power of Dungeons & Dragons was one that they’d favor–the power to remain a virgin [like it did to me for 20 years].” By leaving the self reference out of a deprecating statement it becomes difficult to determine if it is self-deprecating or not. I could be missing something but on this second examination of the quote I’m not seeing it. The statement just appears deprecating to gamers.

    And yeah, fuck Sheldon Cooper too on the basis of that quote alone (though the laugh track on tBBT is terrible enough to make me avoid the show as much as possible).

  79. 79
    Worldtraveller

    4th Edition, it’s hard-coded into the rules that you’re not allowed to be evil, period.

    That’s because 4th edition is evil.

    Let the (un)holy wars commence!

  80. 80
    ibyea

    I remember that once I recommended a friend Harry Potter. Then I found out that he got in trouble. I have always kind of felt bad for that. It still amazes me that Christians, who believe in an all powerful God, puts so much power in things that are so trivial. It’s like fiction is competition with their God, so they have to be eliminated.

  81. 81
    ibyea

    I remember that once I recommended a friend Harry Potter. Then I found out that he got in trouble. I have always kind of felt bad for that. And note, I was also a fundie back then, and even I thought that was extreme. It still amazes me that Christians, who believe in an all powerful God, puts so much power in things that are so trivial. It’s like fiction is competition with their God, so they have to be eliminated.

  82. 82
    ibyea

    Darn it! Stupid internet thing confusing me, making me think the comment didn’t go through.

  83. 83
    Ingdigo Jump

    But naw. As one gamer to some “they’re all virgins” joke-making douche on the intertubes…fuck you, Glen.

    It’s annoying because it ties into the toxic masculinity that REAL MEN are out playing sports or getting in fights or shooting animals or trolling for ass.

  84. 84
    doktorzoom

    No discussion of D&D is complete without at least a mention of Mark Barrowcliffe’s memoir The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons, and Growing Up Strange, which is as much a portrait of life in late-70′s England as it is a discussion of Nerd Life.

  85. 85
    Ingdigo Jump

    What about a mention of “Confessions of a Part Time Sorceress”?

  86. 86
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I have a different suspicion, at least for the top dogs:
    They realize that in RPGs usually all those things they claim to be real in this world actually are real in the RPG-world and that the characters get to see that.
    My main character is a devout believer (it helps that she’s a devout believer in the goddess of lust and pleasure). She has seen dead rise (posessed by demons), she has seen demons, she has seen priests do miracles to stop them. She has seen godly intervention.
    She has seen magic and fireballs (yay for fireballs).
    So, I’d guess that the christian kid who plays such games would, afer a time start wondering why, although god still hasn’t delivered the pony, fortunately the horned demons burning down the city haven’t appeared either.
    Can’t have them experience how a world that is, according to their priests, not that much different from our world, is very different for the people living there.

  87. 87
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Giliell

    That seems to be what happened with me. I even for fun as a believer played with an “atheist” paladin.

  88. 88
    mechanoid

    I put on my robe and wizard hat…

  89. 89
    cicely

    Giliell: IOW, they fear that their R(religion)PG can’t compete.
    :D
    -

  90. 90
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    There’s actually a Christian version of D&D called DragonRaid, the boxed set for which contains pamphlets on how playing it will make you a better Christian. I’ve never played it, so I can’t say how it compares, though. I agree with the general consensus about 4th ed D&D, but I haven’t played any D&D for a while, I’ve been more of a GURPS man. Lately, I’ve joined a couple of In Nomine games, speaking of things that would probably give Dobson fits. The gameworld is based on Christian mythology, and the rules explicitly allow you to play both actual demons/fallen angels and sorcerers who draw on diabolic pacts for their powers (I’m currently playing a sorcerer who dabbles in diabolism, in fact). Granted, you can also play as angels, like I am in the other campaign I’m in, but the ways in which the angels are expected to behave are anathema to many types of Christians. For instance, my angelic character gains extra power from its angelic boss by having sex with humans, and encouraging graffiti.

  91. 91
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    For instance, my angelic character gains extra power from its angelic boss by . . . encouraging graffiti.

    Well. That would certainly explain the ‘Jesus hugging a giraffe’ grafitti under a bridge on I-81 in Pittston/Avoca.

  92. 92
    DLC

    skipping past many of the comments.
    @lorax #8:no, you can still be evil, but yes, they have been trying to downplay the whole alignment thing since late in 3.5. It was a dumb idea anyway.Being evil was almost only an excuse to be an ass. “I’m not a jerk, I’m just playing my alignment!”

    No, Pathfinder does not outsell D&D. It has better mail-order sales, but a much smaller in-store presence at game and hobby stores.

    No, D&D did not “Cave” to the religious nuts. they streamlined the game, genericiszing the monsters to make them easier to handle and less arcane for newbs, in an attempt to broaden their market. IMO it was a mistake, but I don’t run the company.

    Cicely #70 : I play 4th ed. when 5th comes out I’ll look at it and decide then if I want to invest my time in it. But, wouldn’t it really be much more safer to import some fire elementals and use them to heat water to turn some steam turbines ? Much less chance of attracting the attention of the githyanki.

  93. 93
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Thanks, Mechanoid, I was waiting for that.

  94. 94
    Ingdigo Jump

    @DLC

    Yeah in my 3.5 game we removed alignment. It had some fun new affects to the game. Sense Evil for example we replaced with a touch based vision of the worst thing the target’s ever done.

  95. 95
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ogvorbis:

    That would certainly explain the ‘Jesus hugging a giraffe’ grafitti under a bridge on I-81 in Pittston/Avoca.

    Oooh. You must take a photo for TET.

    I tried to GIS it but this was the closest thing I could find.

  96. 96
    TonyJ

    Sometimes I wonder if these guys don’t really fear the power of imagination, which can dream up far more satisfying fantasies than Christianity can offer and dismantle them when no longer needed.

    I think you’ve hit the +3 Dagger of Burning on the pommel

  97. 97
    Fabricio Ferreira

    Boy, it’s sure good to be back to the Eighties! The Cold War is still on, Hair Metal is roaring with popularity, I’ll get this new Nintendo thing on my birthday (I hope it’s any good, I don’t know).

    And my D&D still has those very reasonable rules about only humans being Paladins, a multiclass elf fighter/wizard can own everyone, specialist fighters doing 7 attacks per round (14 if hasted), the Thief class still sucks at combat and everything else he does a wizard does better…

    Now excuse me, I need to save a Lotus Pro file on some 5 1/4 floppy disks.

  98. 98
    Ingdigo Jump

    The problem is that people don’t have a jesus shaped hole in their heart…it’s that people have a myth shaped need in their mind that Jesus fills…but David Tennant, Spider-man, and FemShep can fill just as well.

  99. 99
    TonyJ

    Seriously has there ever been any cases of people turning to Satanism via D&D?

    One of my HS friends turned to binding, publishing, and selling obscure occult books after being the biggest D&D geek I’ve ever known. That’s pretty close (according to the fundies)

  100. 100
    eric

    If D&D players could access real magic, nerds would be beating out jocks as the top earners of the last several generations.

    Hmmm…maybe Dobson’s on to something. Bill Gates using demons to develop Microsoft products…its all starting to come together now… :P

  101. 101
    Ingdigo Jump

    If D&D players could access real magic, nerds would be beating out jocks as the top earners of the last several generations.

    Hmmm…maybe Dobson’s on to something. Bill Gates using demons to develop Microsoft products…its all starting to come together now… :P

    Nonsense, where do you think fratboy MBA assholes come from?

  102. 102
    macallan

    Someone(tm) needs to tell them about games like In Nomine Satanis. Tagline: Why summon a demon if you can play one?

  103. 103
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    I want to try Shadowrun… can I do a Shadowrun campaign not set in the USA?

  104. 104
    TonyJ

    The problem is that people don’t have a jesus shaped hole in their heart…it’s that people have a myth shaped need in their mind that Jesus fills…but David Tennant, Spider-man, and FemShep can fill just as well.

    Hooray for FemShep! I wonder if Mass Effect would be considered demonic by these morons too.

  105. 105
    Ingdigo Jump

    @TonyJ

    MINE would be.

  106. 106
    psocoptera

    @ 83, not sure where the virgin thing came from, but there is some validity in pointing out that serious gamers have reduced time available for sexual activity, and there is some difficulty involved in planning dates around raid times…or weddings around the mythical release date of Diablo 3…but creativity helps. Things like strip Magic, so you can bring your loved one in on your hobbies.

  107. 107
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Oooh. You must take a photo for TET.

    I will try to get one.

  108. 108
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    @ 83, not sure where the virgin thing came from, but there is some validity in pointing out that serious gamers have reduced time available for sexual activity, and there is some difficulty involved in planning dates around raid times…or weddings around the mythical release date of Diablo 3…but creativity helps. Things like strip Magic, so you can bring your loved one in on your hobbies.

    Absolutely bollocks.
    I played half a campaign while nursing an infant.
    What really put a stop to our gaming life was the DM getting a good job.

  109. 109
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @TonyJ:

    OT: Is your nym because of the awesome Tony Jay, or just your own name? Cause he was awesome.

  110. 110
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    I played some D&D and Shadowrun in high school, then gave it up due to time constraints. But I’ve always played JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragonquest. While not as imaginative as tabletop RPGs, they indeed also contain a lot of magic, white magic, black magic, blue magic and so forth…

  111. 111
    TonyJ

    OT: Is your nym because of the awesome Tony Jay, or just your own name? Cause he was awesome.

    It’s my own name

  112. 112
    TonyJ

    I just looked up Tony Jay. I am happy to be associated with The Supreme Being from Time Bandits

  113. 113
    shadowbroke, an entitled gamer who regrets their 'nym

    True story:

    I had that particular episode of “Adventures in Odyssey” on tape when I was a young kid. It scared the shit out of me. Thanks to that tape I had intense guilt over the idea of asking my mom to rent a fucking Mario game, and I wouldn’t have gone near an actual D&D game if you had paid me to.

    I’m embarrassed about how stupid I was.

    Incidentally, I’m an adult virgin gamer. (I was coincidentally just over at Cracked.com defending certain uses of virgin jokes to some of my fellow virgins). I assumed harmless intent with Glen’s joke here.

    But it’s true that a lot of attitudes (and jokes) toward virgins end up being awful reflections of society’s attitudes toward sex and gender. I can never shake the feeling that I’m encouraging (in the minds of those who can’t catch the difference on their own) harmful uses of virgin jokes by supporting more defensible uses. To use an example maybe other people can identify with, “The 40 Year Old Virgin” (for all it’s problems) was thoughtful and touching compared to almost every 40 year old virgin joke I’ve heard since.

  114. 114
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Katherine,

    yes. Even all these years ago when I played Shadowrun, it was possible to set in a different country. For the German market, they even created novels that were set in Germany (though my memory is a bit hazy about how Shadowrun Germany was different from Shadowrun North America). I assume they did this for other parts of the world too…

  115. 115
    Rich Woods

    @Ogvorbis #77:

    Oooh. And we could put it on big spoked wheels, with reciprocating pistons, and all the moving parts nice and visible and . . . .

    I think Maxwell’s Demon would be a little more efficient at that.

  116. 116
    michaelbusch

    @#76:

    When I played 3.5, I amused myself by working out some exploits of “Summon Planar Ally”. The Archons ended up running a universe-wide faster-than-light transportation system based off of portable holes and at-will greater teleport.

    So yeah, if DnD actually did give people magical powers, it would be a lot more popular than it is.

  117. 117
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @TonyJ:

    Yes, as well as Megabyte and the Elder God. (He had the best evil guy voice.)

  118. 118
    seditiosus

    In my view the fundy opposition to D&D, Harry Potter et al comes from the fact that when the kids find out that they can’t in fact summon demons, they’ll figure out that this may be because demons don’t actually exist. No demons = no hell, and without the fear of hell there’s no reason to pay your afterlife insurance premium – sorry, tithe.

  119. 119
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    (I mean different in terms of game play. The back story was of course changed accordingly to set the European setting, and I think the Bundeswehr also putsched or something. But in the end these megacorporations are everywhere, and create their own law anyways)

  120. 120
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @pelamun:

    I was thinking more another world…

  121. 121
    fizzygoo

    @Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort … Love me some Shadowrun :). My campaign’s characters are currently working in the Kurdish Autonomous Zone circa 2070 babysitting archeologists at Gobleki Tepe…so you can totally play outside the US :) Current books detail Tokyo, Lagos, and some other Non-North American campaign sites (though over all the products, it’s still primarily geared towards Seattle based campaigns).

    @psocoptera … Same validity given to any other human that is “serious” about some non-sexual activity. If a person spends x amount of time engaging in a non-sexual activity they will have no more than 24 hours – x (in hours) in a given day to engage in sexual activity, whether the non-sexual activity is sports, reading, exercise (non-sexual), fighting, science, poking dead things (non-sexual), work-at-work-working (non-sexual), and so on. It’s like saying “on a clear day, over there, in that 2×2 arcsecond square…the sky is blue” ’cause the answer is, “yes it is, but why does that make that 2×2 arcsecond square any different that the rest of the sky on a clear day?”

  122. 122
    konradzielinski

    Awe man, I have two archive boxes of RPG books and not a single real ritual in any of them. I’ve been jipped, no one told me which books the good stuff was in. I though I was on a winner with Ars Magica but even that doesn’t have any specifics.

  123. 123
    cicely

    But, wouldn’t it really be much more safer to import some fire elementals and use them to heat water to turn some steam turbines ? Much less chance of attracting the attention of the githyanki.

    Sure. That’s why I mentioned “safeguards”. In any case, would githyanki notice be any bigger a problem than a slew of escaped (or released) fire elementals?

    And in any other case, why do we even need to replicate the current energy-monoculture structure?
    -

  124. 124
    myeck waters

    Ogvorbis #91

    Well. That would certainly explain the ‘Jesus hugging a giraffe’ grafitti under a bridge on I-81 in Pittston/Avoca.

    Jesus wasn’t hugging the giraffe. He was checking for that “recurrent laryngeal nerve” thing he’d been hearing about.

  125. 125
    julian

    Sense Evil for example we replaced with a touch based vision of the worst thing the target’s ever done.

    I’ve been thinking of making these change to a horror/mystery game I want to run. How’d it work out for you guys? Specifically player character interaction. I like the idea but not if it’s going to cause to much suspicion among the players.

  126. 126
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Katherine,

    then please say “other world”. Back when I was a teenager, I was quite thrilled that Shadowrun had settings outside of North America, I believe I saw scenarios for both Germany and Japan.

    But speaking of other worlds. Isn’t there a fantasy world adaption of it, called Earthdawn? But of course that’s without the tech stuff…

  127. 127
    Gregory Greenwood

    They play a version of the games I’ve never encountered. These games give you actual magic powers that allow you to summon demons and control people and eradicate your enemies and read people’s minds. They sure seem a lot more powerful than Christianity.

    Hmmm…if the actually believe that, then one wonders why the military doesn’t have a wing of crack D&D players using their awesome psychic powers to sweep all resistance before them? I mean, mind control? Wiping out your adversary with your thoughts? Even the best modern military technology would struggle to deal with that*.

    There is, of course, the alternative explanation – that what we have here is a clutch of liars for jeebus who are taking cheap shots at roleplaying games because they fear that some people may prefer the fiction of D&D to the fiction of the babble. It is not as though hypocrisy and lies on the part of fundies is entirely unheard of, afterall…

    —————————————————————–

    * As for summoned demons, well how much of a threat they would present would depend upon the demon mythos in question. Are we talking basically slightly-stronger-than-human-with-an-unusual-skin-tone-and-unconvincing-facial-prosthetics type of demon or reality-warping-sanity-shattering-cthulhuesque-evil-demigod-with-a-sick-sense-of-humour type demon?

  128. 128
    timgueguen

    It’s not just fundy Christians who have odd ideas about D&D. The Israeli Defense Forces disapprove of the game. They claim that players are “detached from reality,” and admtting you play the game can lead to a low security clearance.

  129. 129
    Marcus Ranum

    I suppose the idiot christians have mistaken World of Warcraft for a documentary, too.

  130. 130
    Marcus Ranum

    I’ve been jipped, no one told me which books the good stuff was in.

    They stopped printing the real spells after Greyhawk. (clutches his copy) Muaaaahahahahahahaaa!!!!

  131. 131
    Marcus Ranum

    Re: the virgin gamer myth – our DM was responsible for the loss of at least 4 virginities in high school. It was as if nobody could make a saving throw against his mad powers. :(

    Anecdote, not evidence.

  132. 132
    Anthony K

    I’ve been jipped, no one told me which books the good stuff was in.

    The word is ‘gypped’, and it’s usage is historically part of the Othering of the Romani. FYI.

  133. 133
    psocoptera

    @ fizzygoo – Wasn’t actually trying to say otherwise. I was going to mention that when television is introduced to rural regions of developing countries (usually along with electricity), the birth rate drops, but I heard it years ago in a meeting, and I don’t have citation.

    @Giliel – Your time management skills may also be better than my partner’s and mine.

  134. 134
    matriarchy

    Frankly, this comes across as misandric more than anything else.

  135. 135
    Muse

    @psocoptera @106 or you could be involved with another gamer – no stripping required.

  136. 136
    Anthony K

    I’ve never had enough geeky friends to put together a D&D game. Can I still be an evil, demon summoning, black magic practicing, satanist by playing Skyrim instead?

    Yes.

  137. 137
    matriarchy

    I mean, it may be non-Christian- sure, it is, actually- but anti-Christian? I think it’s more just indifferent. Whereas much of D&D- and the rest of so-called “nerd culture”- is *actively* misandric.

  138. 138
    myeck waters

    Boring troll is boring.

  139. 139
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    yeah, while I stopped playing RPGs for time reasons, saying that this would lead to be less available is nonsense. In my RPG circle it was also quite common to bring your bf/gf along to RPG sessions.

  140. 140
    alisonmeyer

    D&D (going back to the white box set, too) didn’t keep most of us from losing our virginity. Something about playing that game led to more hot-and-botheredness than anything else out there. Did the same thing to my daughter (her group is using Pathfinder) but she thinks I don’t know that, so SHHHH.

    But yeah, I laughed at all that Satanism crap back then. It wasn’t scary or intimidating then, though, because I didn’t realize how seriously they bought into it.

  141. 141
    Ermine

    Ah yes, Good old D&D.

    I and my siblings got into it in the early 80s, my elder brother and his friend worked and saved for months to afford a full set of the rule books, only to have our mother and the mother of the neighbor kids we were playing with freak out and take all of the books after they were told how ‘Satanic’ the game was.

    What it ACTUALLY did was drive the first of many wedges between both sets of children and their parents, as they learned the extent of their parent’s hypocrisy. They’d lecture us on the value of a dollar and hard work, but if we actually worked hard and saved those heard-earned dollars for something we truly wanted, they had no compunctions at all about taking it all away from us and informing us that -everything- we earned or were given until we were 18 actually belonged to them – and they weren’t going to reimburse a penny of the money that we’d so carefully saved.

    I’m not talking about allowance money, either, none of us ever got an allowance. We mowed lawns and shoveled sidewalks, babysat other people’s children, etc. The original AD&D rulebooks were freakin’ expensive, when you had to earn every cent at $3 an hour or $5 a lawn/driveway.

    That certainly taught us a valuable lesson, but not, perhaps, the one they were hoping we’d learn. No, what we learned was that parent would go ape over harmless things, and it was best to keep secrets from them if you wanted to hold onto those things that you earned and purchased on your own.

    WE knew that there was no real magic, spells, or demons, but we also learned at that point that parents didn’t HAVE to listen to reason, and it didn’t matter if you were right, they could and would be as high-handed as they wanted while we lived in their homes. So I left! (It took me a few more years, 14-year-olds can’t exactly rent their own apartments, but I was the first of my family out of the house and living on my own, the first moment I was able to manage it.) – That was only the first of several similar incidents, but it was definitely the eye-opener for us!

    I haven’t played an actual pen and paper RPG in over a decade, but I still have very fond memories, and would probably join a gaming group if I found one I could easily get to..

  142. 142
    LykeX

    On the subject of why RPGs are such a threat to fundies, I think it also relates to the power of imagination to produce genuine emotional responses.
    Once you realize that you can produce intense emotion, even to the point of having physical reactions, at will, simply by imagining something, you start wondering about those strong emotions you got from the holy spirit. In many believers, the holy spirit is the main reason they keep believing. It’s their proof of the truth of their beliefs. Without that, they have nothing.

    I remember attending a service where a young person asked about how to strengthen their faith because it was so hard to believe all that stuff. The preacher then proceeded to describe how you could get the confirmation of the holy spirit: take a scene from the bible, imagine yourself in the scene, picture it clearly enough to feel real. Then you’ll get the confirmation from the holy spirit.

    He described the exact method for how to produce an emotional response from imagination and I don’t think he even realized it. Nor do I have any doubt that it would work. It works with any other fiction, why not that one.

    Recognizing the power of your imagination would undermine much of religious faith. Once you realize that you can get the same emotions by imagining things that you know are fictional, you just can’t help but questioning the reality of your doctrines.

  143. 143
    PZ Myers

    Matriarchy: you really are tedious and inane. Stop now. Go whine on some MRA site somewhere, because you’re pretty damned close to getting banned here.

  144. 144
    seditiosus

    LykeX

    Very insightful. I hadn’t even thought of that angle. You are, of course, quite right.

  145. 145
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    When I went to university, I joined a gaming group, had loads of fun, and still play with them five years later. I have to hide my game books when she visits, or she’ll throw them away. It’s nuts.

    A relative who had that little respect for my personal property rights wouldn’t be visiting.

  146. 146
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    No, we shouldn’t need to infer a good intention when none is evident. Glen said something that is superficially offensive and supports a stereotype, he can defend it if he wants. but it doesn’t fall on us to do so for him.

    …even if we do think of him as part of “us.”

    …perhaps especially in that case…

  147. 147
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    4th edition was incredibly popular, sold better than pathfinder, and is still popular, but sales of supplements steadily declined (unsurprisingly, supplements never sell as well as core books), especially after the key members of the original design team left.

    And was accompanied by changes to the “default” setting backstory that are inexcusable from a narrative perspective.

  148. 148
    John Morales

    [semi-OT]

    One thing that I never forgot (from the very first edition) that Gygax wrote: the game doensn’t have rules, it has guidelines.

    This, I suspect, is a bit too much for the religious mind-set to grok.

    (You don’t like something in the manual? Change it)

  149. 149
    Rip Steakface

    Perhaps we should simply call tabletop RPGs what they are – board games. They’re friggin’ board games. AWESOME board games – the very best board gaming has to offer – but board games nonetheless.

  150. 150
    cafeeineaddicted

    @149,
    Well some of them are on cloth, tarp or plastic, but you know, point taken.

  151. 151
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    @149
    Only if you count message boards(The location of one of my current games), the other two are played via instant messages. Honestly, in the games I’ve played we only used a flat space to roll dice and set our drinks and snacks. Maps are for the weak of communication ;). Or those times when you’re dealing in naval battles or above squad level troops, of course.

  152. 152
    christopherdixon

    I remember the hysteria over D & D really well. Especially since I grew up just outside of Richmond, VA in the 80′s. I remember Pat Pulling and BADD (Bothered about Dungeons & Dragons) and her failure of a lawsuit against TSR. I can remember a friend getting a copy of their press package and us reading it and looking through it and laughing at the gross mistakes and mischaracterizations of D & D and the people who played it.

  153. 153
    cicely

    Perhaps we should simply call tabletop RPGs what they are – board games.

    Only if you’re using a terrain board and miniatures and such. We always used narrative backed up with pictures, and mapped on graph paper as we worked our way through…and it always worked well for us.

    Still does.
    -

  154. 154
    scottjordan

    I always find it curious how skeptics and Christians speak out against the occult for two completely different reasons: the former because it’s false, the latter because it’s real*.

    *Not really real. Really false.

  155. 155
    cafeeineaddicted

    *Not really real. Really false

    Another problem with godbots, that they have destroyed the meaning of ‘true/false’ replacing them with ‘what my god likes/doesn’t like’. This is of course related to their inability to understand the difference between ‘doesn’t believe gods exist’/ ‘hates god’

  156. 156
    Noadi

    This is one of those things that make me happy to have been raised by reasonable people. When I told my mom I was playing D&D with my friends in highschool it resulted in her asking me what kind of character I was playing and then proceeding to tell me some stories from when she played 1st edition in college with a DM who was a Vietnam vet. So yeah, I’m a 2nd generation D&D player.

  157. 157
    Snoof

    But speaking of other worlds. Isn’t there a fantasy world adaption of it, called Earthdawn? But of course that’s without the tech stuff…

    RPG Trivia Powers, ACTIVATE!

    Earthdawn is a fantasy RPG originally published by FASA, same people who did Shadowrun. It’s theoretically in the same universe as Shadowrun, part of the “mythic past”. The idea is that magic comes in cycles; Earthdawn is the latter half of one cycle, as the magic is fading, then most of recorded human history is the downtime without magic, then Shadowrun is when magic next starts. There are connections – the dragon Mountainshadow in Earthdawn is quite clearly Dunkelzahn in Shadowrun, the immortal elf Harlequin appears in both settings, Earthdawn elves, orcs, dwarves and trolls are the same as their Shadowrun equivalents – but knowledge of the connections isn’t necessary to play either game.

    Mechanically, the games are distinct. Shadowrun (all four and a half editions) works in a d6-based die pool system where successes are counted, whereas Earthdawn rolls a few dice based on the stats and totals them. Shadowrun is purely skill-based, whereas Earthdawn has fixed classes, with a degree of customizaton available in each.

    Shadowrun is a fun setting, but the system is way too much work for me nowadays. If I were to run it again, I’d probably use Leverage or Wushu or FATE or something simpler.

  158. 158
    ariamezzo

    I don’t play D&D but I love the Legend of Drizzt series by R.A. Salvatore. My parents were never into D&D, but when I was young they were into Magic the Gathering so I got into it too. That’s probably the most occult thing I ever did.

  159. 159
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    cafeeineaddicted:

    Another problem with godbots, that they have destroyed the meaning of ‘true/false’ replacing them with ‘what my god likes/doesn’t like’.

    That’s a prerequisite for acceptance of revelation as a valid epistemology. I suspect most Christians in America realize the Bible is, well, silly. Christians have said in my presence, “I believe X will happen. I feel this is what God wants.” This form of revelation, the soft revelation, is really what they want. But the foundation of that belief comes from the hard revelation, the Word of God™. To accept that, even in a watered-down, liberal Christian way, you kinda have to replace some truth values with, “What my God wants.”

    Or, I’m over-analyzing, and they just replace those values because that’s what they want, and project that onto their God.

    Either way is pathetic.

    Now back to your regularly-scheduled RPG happy fun time.

  160. 160
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    ariamezzo:

    Your parents were into Magic: The Gathering?

    Holy mouse orgy, but I’m old.

  161. 161
    Ingdigo Jump

    I’ve been thinking of making these change to a horror/mystery game I want to run. How’d it work out for you guys? Specifically player character interaction. I like the idea but not if it’s going to cause to much suspicion among the players.

    Pretty good. Derailed the tendency for kill em all Lawful Stupid paladins since they had to make actual moral judgements, and let NPC’s avoid detection without being as obviously suspicious about it.

  162. 162
    fmitchell

    Must find a copy of “Empire of the Petal Throne!”

    RPGNow.com sells a PDF of the original manuscript. NobleKnight.com and other used game purveyors sell subsequent editions, often at collectors’ prices. (BTW, I find Vampire more disturbing than EPT or nearly any other RPG due to its black-and-charcoal morality (if you’re playing it right), but that’s me. In other games you don’t have to play a serial killer.)

    After thinking about it, I’ll reverse my earlier post: religious fanatics don’t fear imagination, because they generally don’t have one. What the real issue is, I have no idea. Xenophobia? Rigid social roles and conformist power politics? Fear of the unfamiliar? Wet Monkey Syndrome? Maybe they only have room in their heads for their religion’s hoary stories, and other fantasies confuse and anger then?

  163. 163
    GodotIsWaiting4U

    @Azkyroth: But it didn’t change the “default” setting, it made its own new one.

    1st and 2nd edition had no default setting. They assumed the DM would either buy a published one or create his/her own. The first published setting was Greyhawk, and it was well-supported and popular, but it was never the default setting until 3rd edition integrated it directly into its core rules (and refused to support the setting beyond those core rules, oddly enough, which is honestly rather tragic; it was so rich and flavorful before). 4E abandoned Greyhawk entirely and created the vaguely-Greyhawk-inspired Points of Light setting, then started actually supporting it and filling it with stuff via other supplements, published adventures, and Dragon articles.

    It also had an altered, higher-magic version of Forgotten Realms, a fairly straight Eberron conversion, and a reimagining of Dark Sun. It’s also got a fleshed-out (though radically different) planar cosmology, complete with a more thorough treatment of planar travel and activity than 3.x ever supplied (the Manual of the Planes and the Planar Handbook can’t do everything on their own, especially when one’s just a revised version of the other; 4E has a new Manual of the Planes, but also The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea, The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos, a box-set supplement for the Shadowfell, and an entire chapter of the DMG2 devoted to Sigil).

    Honestly, I have no idea what you’re referring to.

  164. 164
    cafeeineaddicted

    nigelthebold@159,

    (Further tainting this fun topic with more god talk)

    In my experience most pew/rug-warming believers retain their childhood epistemology, at least with respect to god claims. They believe because they’re told to and they believe what they’re told. From that perspective, revelation as an epistemology is ingrained in us.

    I think your analysis is solid, but it serves not for acceptance, but justification for continuing to use revelation in some aspects after it becomes obvious that it fails to work in every day scenarios.

    (Oh, and just use cafeeine)

  165. 165
    reynoldhall

    Ah yes…Planescape. I first heard about it through a doctor’s site of all things.

    There’s even a web-comic about it. As for the author’s take on global warming, eh. He links to “The Skeptical Environmentalist” on the bottom!

    (In case you’re wondering, those are just some scienceblog links)!

  166. 166
    skeptifem

    When are these godbags gonna get with the times and start complaining about call of cthulhu? Seems a damn lot more popular than d&d these days.

  167. 167
    renaissance13

    I have a +6 damage katana. It’s +10 damage v fundamentalists and orcs…

  168. 168
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    For some reason I understood Forgotten Realms to have been adopted as the default setting as of 3.5E. Maybe I misremembered; my interest was primarily as a modder for based-on computer games.

  169. 169
    ericpaulsen

    Thanks for the nerdgasm Skeptifem, I hadn’t thought about Call of Cthulhu in many a year (though I still have the manuals packed away somewhere). Nothing I liked more than dealing with game play that often ended with my character either dead, dying, or a drooling insane pile of mental mush. Though for my money Paranoia was far more satisfying with the hilarious amorality and random pointless violence. I can’t think of another game where betraying and killing your best friends resulted in so many belly laughs.

  170. 170
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    I once made a D&D game for the Sony PSP and it was extremely hard to fit the 3.5e rules system into a software game. Essentially, it is a simple chassis with a fuckton of exception rules.

    4th Edition is far more software-friendly. I personally find it to be a better, more streamlined version of the game and think it a great advance on the old editions.

    The ‘can’t play evil’ thang in 4e is a myth. Yes, they recommend players avoid evil alignments, unless the DM is running a campaign based around evilitude, but that’s it–just sensible advice to avoid internecine warfare around the table.

    Finally, someone mentioned Empire of the Petal Throne, which is one of the richest, most novel RPG universes in print. There have been several rules sets over the years, but there was one a few years back from Guardians of Order titled ‘Tekumel’. I recommend it. Though I was a playtester, so may be biased.

  171. 171
    tbtabby

    I just registered to share this:

    Spoony’s review of Mazes & Monsters!

    If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a movie about a tabletop RPG player who goes insane and becomes convinced that he’s his character, then goes around killing people with a knife. The best part? The crazed LARPer is played by a young Tom Hanks!

  172. 172
    Jadehawk

    Whereas much of D&D- and the rest of so-called “nerd culture”- is *actively* misandric.

    lol. I admit to a certain degree of morbid curiosity as to what sort of pretzel-logic led to that hilarious conclusion.

  173. 173
    jherazob

    This takes me back, but not in a good way.

    Also yes, depending on who you talk to, the universe is brimming with supernatural powers, but unless it’s Church Approved Stuff (TM) it’s power comes from the devil.

    That means that yes, according to them D&D gives you magic powers, satanists, witch doctors, wiccans, priests from competing religions and an assorted crew of supernaturalists can and regularily do kill people with dark rituals, and pretty much everything out there is out to get you and your pretty tasty soul, unless you’re annointed with the holy spirit, which gives you an impenetrable bubble of protection. Which of course pops as soon as a fleeting bad thought passes through your mind (put there by the devil) and you follow it, so you must be paranoid about your holyness and forever repenting since you’re human after all.

    Please leave me out of that cesspool of paranoia, thankyouverymuch

  174. 174
    avh1

    @72
    I think it’s probably because you can be a cool and powerful woman in an RPG (which would never happen in real life, noooo…) /sarcasm. But then my knowledge of MRA’s isn’t very good so really it could be anything.

    At the risk of stirring the pot, I actually prefer 4th ed D&D to 3rd ed. It feels like there are more options, and for some reason I found it easier to get my head around the rules.

  175. 175
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Jadehawk

    lol. I admit to a certain degree of morbid curiosity as to what sort of pretzel-logic led to that hilarious conclusion.

    Well, I think in Matriarchy’s mind, simply everything except outright worship is.
    Even christian patriarchy isn’t good enough because, although it places men over women, it also requires them to do a job.
    It’s probably also that when male gamers play male characters and their character gets killed, a male character dies. That’s violence against men and shows that they’re disposable (and even recycable, always remember to put your dead character sheets in the recycling bin).
    And since more men play RPGs than women, and therefore more male heroes exist, more male heroes die than female heroes.
    Don’t you see! 11!

    re: gaming and partners
    Well, my husband doesn’t play. But it also helps that he’s not in town during the week.
    But even when he were, it definetly doesn’t kill your sex life if you have friends coming over for an evening, eating a nice meal together and the he goes and reads a book while the other one games. It’s not as if people fuck all the time they’re alone at home (exceptions apply). Actually, it makes your sex-life nicer if your other needs are satisfied.

    re: lonely nerd virgin trope
    Oh this fucking bullshit. If don’t want anything to do with some guys, it’s not because of D&D. It’s because of those guys*. We’ve had this whole discussion time after time again: If you want your group to be appealing to women, you have to create a climate in which they feel welcome.
    A lone woman might be very interested in playing an RPG, she might just not be interested in spending an evening with 4 guys who play rapists. Or with 4 guys whom she doesn’t know very well who play lots of explicit sexual interaction.**
    It’s not the game that makes the sexist, it’s the sexist who makes the game sexist.***

    *I fully acknowledge that some people are just unlucky when it comes to finding a partner. And others just don’t want one. That’s OK and I’m most certainly not passing judgement.

    **Our group played with lots of adult content (funny, burning somebody to the ground is considered OK for teens), but that happened in a situation of friendship, trust and respect.

    ***Apart from the usual stereotypes, of course

  176. 176
    Akira MacKenzie

    I played 4th Ed ONCE. The kindest thing I can say about it is “I didn’t like it at all.”

    P.Z. PLAYED PETAL THRONE??? If so, his awesomeness just increased ten-fold.

    As mention earlier, you can purchase a .PDF of the original TSR game at RPGNow.com/drivethrurpg.com (they’re both the same company). For the curious, the Tékumel Foundation, who handles Prof. Barker’s IP, just released a .PDF of the pre-release, mimeographed, playtest rules which has slight, but noticeable differences.

    Oh, and along with EPT, I’d also put “Lamentations of the Flame Princess” (a very dark and gritty take on OD&D with artwork can get pretty wild at points) and its adopted, litte brother “Carcosa” (a Sword & Planet/Cthulhu Mythos mash-up that drew some controversy in the “Old School” gaming community for its rather distrubing depictions of some magical rituals) on my list of “RPGs to Freak Out The Fundies” List.

  177. 177
    Moggie

    Giliell:

    And since more men play RPGs than women, and therefore more male heroes exist, more male heroes die than female heroes.

    Well, it’s possible for a man to roleplay as a woman. If he wants to be a gender traitor in thrall to our evil misandrist overladies, that is.

  178. 178
    scottplumer

    I still play D&D at age 44, and I’m currently in two different father & son groups with my 14-year-old son. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, and it’s a great way for him to work on social skills, as well as problem solving and teamwork.

    My son was reading one of the books at a family gathering, and my born-again sister-in-law told him the game was satanic. he replied “So?”

  179. 179
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Last night, while trying not to sleep, I tried to work through all of the different RPGs I played. I remembered, in addition to D&D and AD&D, Heroes and Villains, Call of Chtulhu, one based on Niven’s Known Space future history, Car Wars, and one RPG that made you a soldier in WWII (don’t remember the name of that one, either). I am amazed and pleased at the staying power of D&D.

    And, as I said before, I still have my white box set (with the two expansion books).

    [grmble]damn kids[/grmble]

    I think Maxwell’s Demon would be a little more efficient at that.

    A steam locomotive achieves about 3% to 7% thermal efficiency. What is the BTU content of a Fire Elemental, and what would the steam production rate per square inch of heating surface be?

    Well. That would certainly explain the ‘Jesus hugging a giraffe’ grafitti under a bridge on I-81 in Pittston/Avoca.

    Jesus wasn’t hugging the giraffe. He was checking for that “recurrent laryngeal nerve” thing he’d been hearing about.

    Couldn’t get a photo this morning — too much traffic. I’ll try again on Sunday/Monday.

    And it looks like he is getting to know the giraffe. No laryngeal nerve back there.

    Whereas much of D&D- and the rest of so-called “nerd culture”- is *actively* misandric.

    lol. I admit to a certain degree of morbid curiosity as to what sort of pretzel-logic led to that hilarious conclusion.

    That would be Trollogic.

  180. 180
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Moggie

    Well, it’s possible for a man to roleplay as a woman. If he wants to be a gender traitor in thrall to our evil misandrist overladies, that is.

    And if he does it is proof that society is soooo misandric that guys don’t dare to be guys anymore!

  181. 181
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Last night, while trying not to sleep, I tried to work through all of the different RPGs I played. I remembered, in addition to D&D and AD&D, Heroes and Villains, Call of Chtulhu, one based on Niven’s Known Space future history, Car Wars, and one RPG that made you a soldier in WWII (don’t remember the name of that one, either). I am amazed and pleased at the staying power of D&D.

    Outside D&D we used to play a TSR one called Boot Hill which was a Western RPG, I loved it. We also played a space RPG but I can not remember what it was called. But being of the age I am, when we were at the age to play pen and paper RPGs was also at the rise of personal computers, so that really drug our attention away.

  182. 182
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Still remember loving playing Ultima I when it first came out.

  183. 183
    arthuradams

    I actually used to play D&D with my pastor’s son. (We were Methodists.)

    This was the Eighties, and there were several kids at my church wh played D&D. Several parents, mine included, asked our pastor about it.

    He eventually said something like, “I’m not wild about it, but if the worst thing your kids are doing is playing Dungeons and Dragons, consider yourself lucky.”

    I remember one gaming session we held in a camper behind the parsonage. Being teenage boys, we got a a littlevery loud, leading to the unusual occurrence of my very pissed off pastor telling us “shut the hell up!”

  184. 184
    imnotandrei

    Something I find truly ironic is that they should love D&D and its ilk — the idea of “There is a Supreme Arbiter of Good and Evil who can punish you for your behavior, or reward you” (a.k.a. the DM) is one they should be very comfortable with. ;)

    While the game I play most often now, Dogs in the Vineyard has the characters playing, in effect, Mormon Circuit Riders in pre-statehood Utah — with the power of life and death over the people they have to judge, and no GM intervention in the “Good vs. Evil” debate.

    The players have to work out their own morality, for their own characters, as they go. It’s a real role-playing challenge, not at all hurt by the fact that, well, the characters’ ideas of right and wrong and the players’ often don’t line up.

  185. 185
    Predator Handshake

    Seeing everyone talk about their campaigns is making me pretty jealous! I cannot seem to find one in my area; I have a friend who’s in a 3E campaign that just started but for some reason he always “forgets” to mention that there’s another player who wants to join.

    I tried to seduce a few of my non-gaming friends by getting them to play a simple dice-based game called Everyone is John. It’s a bit ableist as each player is a different voice in a man’s head, but I tried to get around that by changing the backstory from John being insane to John having been cursed with several ghosts fighting over the use of his body.

    Anyway, the game is very unforgiving- if you didn’t pick a relevant skill for an action, you have a 1/6 chance to succeed; if you did pick a relevant skill, you have a 3/6 chance. The success of the game thus depends entirely on how creative players are in working the system, and how creative the GM is in coming up with consequences that allow the game to continue.

  186. 186
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Azkyroth, #145:

    A relative who had that little respect for my personal property rights wouldn’t be visiting.

    Preach it, brother.

  187. 187
    trondreitan

    187 posts on the topic of role-playing and Christianity and no mention of “Christianity – concerns for the AD&D player”. For shame, Pharyngulans! http://www.skeptictank.org/files/weird/cristd&d.htm
    Excerpt:
    “1. There is a danger in becoming over-involved in Christianity, spending
    a large amount of time, money, and interest in it.”

  188. 188
    Cosmic Teapot, not the Antichrist.

    I once asked a self proclaimed witch what character he would play in D&D. He said he had never played, and would never play because he was too busy learning “real” magic.

    He also claimed Jehova Witnesses once ran from his door because of his evil aura. His girlfriend explained it was more likely to do with the fact that he had answered the door “stark bollock naked”.

  189. 189
    'Tis Himself

    scottplumer #178

    My son was reading one of the books at a family gathering, and my born-again sister-in-law told him the game was satanic. he replied “So?”

    +1 to the son.

  190. 190
    cicely

    What the real issue is, I have no idea. Xenophobia? Rigid social roles and conformist power politics? Fear of the unfamiliar? Wet Monkey Syndrome? Maybe they only have room in their heads for their religion’s hoary stories, and other fantasies confuse and anger then?

    Yes, and much, much more. It’s like a buffet. You can feed your crazy with a bit of Fear-of-the-Unknown, a coupla spoonfulls of Sense-of-Community, a large dollop of Righteousness with a generous ladelling of I’m-One-of-God’s-Special-People over top, and finish up with a slice of Tell-Me-What-I-Should-Think for dessert, all for one price.

    And be sure to tip your preacher server.
    -

  191. 191
    Anri

    Ouch, I was just going over all of the games I’ve either played or run in my (REDACTED) decades as a gamer. D&D, AD&D, TFT, MERP, Rolemaster, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, Mekton, BESM, TFOS, TMNT, Rifts, GURPS, Deadlands, Gamma World, Champions, V&V, Marvel Supers, Traveler, Star Trek RPG, Vampire, Werewolf, Changeling, Mage, Mummy, Exalted, 7th Sea, Lo5R, Toon, Car Wars, CoC, Chill, Crimson Skies, Aliens RPG, Twilight 2000 (nothing to do with the current book series).
    The sad things is that I could probably tell you a story or two about every bloody one of those games – even the ones that lasted just two sessions.

    I’ve also gamed with one of the guys who wrote SenZarr, widely held to be the second-worst RPG in the know universe (behind F.A.T.A.L.)

    So… yeah.

  192. 192
    ogremeister

    Anri @ 191:

    D&D, AD&D, TFT, MERP, Rolemaster, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, Mekton, BESM, TFOS, TMNT, Rifts, GURPS, Deadlands, Gamma World, Champions, V&V, Marvel Supers, Traveler, Star Trek RPG, Vampire, Werewolf, Changeling, Mage, Mummy, Exalted, 7th Sea, Lo5R, Toon, Car Wars, CoC, Chill, Crimson Skies, Aliens RPG, Twilight 2000

    What — no Star Wars RPG?

    Novice.

  193. 193
    Cat's Staff

    Excellent (said as Mr. Burns)…. It’s like how Reefer Madness led to people trying harder drugs after they figured out that marijuana wasn’t as bad as the movie depicted. Kids brought up on this kind of thing will someday figure out that playing games like this doesn’t actually give you super powers, and maybe they can check out some of those other things that they kept getting told would instantly damn them to H E double hockey sticks…

  194. 194
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Chalk me up as another person who was saved from being an awkward antisocial virgin™ by gaming. I arrived in college (from Ye Olde Small Town) as an awkward, shy kid, met the gamers, found a bunch of friends (many of them very close friends) and my first serious relationships.

    Come to think of it, every successful relationship I have had in the past 9 years has been with a fellow gamer. We might not have gamed together (one was into MMORPGs, which I’m not, for example), but we both understood gaming. Every unsuccessful relationship has been with a non-gamer. Make of that what you will.

  195. 195
    Anri

    What — no Star Wars RPG?

    Novice.

    Not yet.

    But I do have a gaming buddy who was talking about running a campaign, and I have this concept for a repair droid…

  196. 196
    ogremeister

    But I do have a gaming buddy who was talking about running a campaign, and I have this concept for a repair droid…

    Haven’t played the WotC version, yet…but the WEG version was a blast. Pun intended.
    -
    FFG is also supposedly coming out with a new one after acquiring the SW license last year.
    -
    BTW, if you do play a droid, I suggest hardening the AI against hostile takeover. GM may like it so much that it quickly becomes an NPC, instead. So long, sweet war droid o’ mine.

  197. 197
    reynoldhall

    To: jherazob at #173
    Thanks for the link. They have a link at the bottom which goes to a few MST3K takes on that tract.

  198. 198
    Looking For An Applicable Political Name

    What the Fuck? OK so I haven’t played since circa 1990, but really?

    4th ed gets a lot of hate. I think it’s an entirely different game than earlier editions. They tried to make it into a formally balanced game, like one worthy of competitive tournaments. I think they sacrificed the soul of the game while doing so. Of course, haters are gonna hate, and some people like it.

  199. 199
    Looking For An Applicable Political Name

    I want to try Shadowrun… can I do a Shadowrun campaign not set in the USA?

    To be fair, the USA is long gone by then, and the main story is set in Seattle which is sort of its own independent city state.

    Oh man, my current Shadowrun game. So much fun. A long time ago, our party face survived being chomped on by an elder dragon. Fun stories were had by all. In the future, whenever an evil villain does his evil villain speech, and says we’re all going to die or some such, our face says: “Yea? I got chomped on by one of the elder dragons. Here are the scars. You are piddly compared to that.”

  200. 200
    John Morales

    trondreitan, if Christians (in general) were only role-playing, it would not be a big deal.

    (And, of course, many such are indeed so doing, only they hide it from themselves)

  201. 201
    Looking For An Applicable Political Name

    I have a +6 damage katana. It’s +10 damage v fundamentalists and orcs…

    Quick, I’ll use an action point to quicken my infusion casting to 1 round to grant it the bane unintelligent humanoid enhancement!

  202. 202
    Looking For An Applicable Political Name

    A steam locomotive achieves about 3% to 7% thermal efficiency. What is the BTU content of a Fire Elemental, and what would the steam production rate per square inch of heating surface be?

    I don’t know, but pretty impressive. The elemental airships of Eberron have a rated speed of over 100 MPH IIRC for cruising speeds, and it mentions in one book that they can accelerate much faster for limited periods of time. How much faster is unspecified. Air speed 200 squares per round IIRC. That as good as or better than all dragons, which is an impressive feat as there’s basically nothing with a better mundane movement speed IIRC (or if there is, it’s pretty obscure).

  203. 203
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    But I do have a gaming buddy who was talking about running a campaign, and I have this concept for a repair droid…

    I had this incredibly vain Wookie-engineer who worked all his free time on making little grooming and fur dressing droids.
    If you wanted to get him in an angry Wookie-rage you had to singe his hair…

  204. 204
    Rutee Katreya

    Hmmm, isn’t xianity just one of “those so-called “fantasy role playing games”.

    Raven, I don’t know what nerds did to make you so angry, but can we make it up to you somehow?

    Avoiding the edition wars for DnD, because you all are playing an inferior game to start with, and if I’m going to debate system merits I’d rather defend a good system than a less terrible one.

    :D :D :D

    He also claimed Jehova Witnesses once ran from his door because of his evil aura. His girlfriend explained it was more likely to do with the fact that he had answered the door “stark bollock naked”.

    ….*Spockbrow*
    I’m going to have to remember this method.

  205. 205
    gravityisjustatheory

    On the subject of D&D and it’s effect on your sex life…

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=672#comic

  206. 206
    Sili
    Moggie
    22 February 2012 at 11:30 am

    The Lorax:

    I wonder if these people understand that most in-game characters of D&D get their powers from God and use those powers to smite deformed evildoers and demons, or that in 4th Edition, it’s hard-coded into the rules that you’re not allowed to be evil, period.

    That’s ridiculous! It’s a role-playing game, so why eliminate one major aspect of role-play? Then again, I haven’t played since AD&D 1st ed, so what do I know?
    (Hobbles off to chase kobolds off the lawn)

    Makes perfect sense. Didn’t Gygax turn into a fundie in his old age? Getting rid of Evil, seems like the sensible thing to do then.

  207. 207
    John Morales

    Sili, Gygax left TSR in December 1986, so whether he did or did not become a fundie (first I’ve heard of it), I don’t see how it’s relevant.

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