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Dungeons and Dragons

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by AureateDawn, Aug 18, 2007.

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  1. Futuwwa

    Futuwwa Well-Known Member

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    No, grasshopper. WFRP >> D&D :cool:
     
  2. Dust and Ashes

    Dust and Ashes wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked

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    Ah, I think I see the source of the problem here. You have probably been exposed to some of the darker game settings that use the D&D rules to play. I've only played in the Forgotten Realms and I don't think I've ever seen anyone named "the god of ---" or anything that praises openly demonic activity. The game is what the gamers and DM make it. If you have a group of Wiccans playing then it will most likely have a Wiccan flavor. I wouldn't play with a group who insisted on giving it that kind of spin.

    There are quite a few Christian campaigns that people have created that use the D&D ruleset but don't include magic but are rather adventures that take place in make-believe worlds or even in historic settings or alternate histories. But there again it all depends on one's view of fantasy and make-believe.

    I think spsucj has hit the nail on the head that if we got down to brass tacks, we'd have to eliminate practically everything and live like monastics.
     
  3. Michael G

    Michael G Abe Frohmann

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    The DnD we played when I was in 4th grade (1983/84) had quite a few characters who were titled "the god of (name a power/skill)." Needless to say I didn't play it much and then the next year I went to a new school where rpg's were not the vogue.
     
  4. Dust and Ashes

    Dust and Ashes wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked

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    I remember reading LotR in 9th grade and some D&D geeks looked at the cover with Gandalf holding Glamdring and they scoffed and said, "That book is stupid, wizards can't use swords!" I just laughed. :D
     
  5. seashale76

    seashale76 Orthodox Christian and Unapologetic Iconodule

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    Things like D&D, Harry Potter, other fantasy books, etc. can't all be judged on anything except a case by case basis. They aren't to be judged just by their content but by the people who would potentially be reading and playing.

    For example, the Harry Potter books are all well and good for ME. There is an overt Christian theme to the series that is especially revealed in the last book. I liked them. On the same token however, Harry Potter fanfiction (not all but a lot of it) is terrible for me. Not only is most of it poorly written it isn't at all appropriate for me to be filling my head with considering the content. Also, some (okay most) children need adults who care to filter things for them and discuss things they read with them. I've seen kids as young as sixth grade want to be Christian witches and start calling themselves Wiccan after reading the first Harry Potter book. Their parents didn't care.

    If fantasy becomes more important than Christ or keeps us from living our lives in Christ then we need to chuck it from our lives. Fantasy is a huge temptation for me. It is VERY easy for me to lose myself in it and therein lies the danger.

    Just my .02
     
  6. Michael G

    Michael G Abe Frohmann

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    Please do explain how there is a Christian theme to a book about witchcraft? And Christian witches? There are no such thing. Witches derive their power from one source only, and it is not Christ.
     
  7. seashale76

    seashale76 Orthodox Christian and Unapologetic Iconodule

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    Michael,

    I should have been more clear about the Christian witch thing. This is what those little girls were calling themselves. I know that there isn't such a thing and I told them as much.

    As far as the HP books themselves, are you going on hearsay, or have you read them? Do you know the plot? JKR quotes scripture in the last book and the resurrection is a major theme. People have compared Rowling to C.S. Lewis in this respect (and many have viewed Rowling's allegory as better, though I personally disagree). I'm not the only one to see the connection either. It was the topic of discussion after Vespers one evening and other folks brought it up too.
     
  8. Seeker of the Truth

    Seeker of the Truth Walking is harding than Talking.

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    I totally forgot about this!

    JKR (the author of HP) is actually a Christian (or so she says).
     
  9. AureateDawn

    AureateDawn Love & Peace

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    There's a whole bunch of gods in DnD. God of Travel, god of Death, god of nature, etc. It depends on the campaign. My character, a half elf druid, worships Chizlev, the god of nature and balance and whatnot. He also has a badge for a pet that he can talk to via a mind link. And awesome nature spells. Plus, he uses a scimitar. :D
     
  10. Oblio

    Oblio Creed or Chaos

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    I'm wondering if PCs in D&D are actually gods, or in some campaigns they simply take the moniker of 'god of x'. I've not seen any, but then again I played in the early 80s.
     
  11. AureateDawn

    AureateDawn Love & Peace

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    I've never heard of such a thing. I mean, I suppose one could... maybe. But I've never heard of it. Sounds really boring, to have so much power.
     
  12. Michael G

    Michael G Abe Frohmann

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    I refuse to read them because Harry Potter is enrolled in an academy of witchcraft and I don't care what themes one can see in there witchcraft is not something a christian should be reading about.
     
  13. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    Yet there is a difference, which I had hoped was obvious enough to not have to spell out - RPGs are specifically participatory. The difference between your observing and enjoying fiction and being the author of that fiction yourself defines our choices (free will) or lack thereof. We have no choice in what Frodo Baggins or Harry Potter do.

    Once you've arrived at the free will of FRPGs, you now have the question of why I am engaging in a given action, even in fantasy. Is it good? Is it right? To take your specific example, is engaging in paganism right in fantasy?

    One of the common lies spread by pop psychology about fantasy interaction is that it's OK to engage in aggression, sex, whatever in fantasy as 'an outlet'. Separating reality from fantasy is not the only danger here.

    Granted that there is nothing necessarily wrong with descriptions of wrongdoing in general - but if we are ceasing to see it as wrongdoing, even in fantasy, it won't be long before the lines start blurring in reality. And once again, there is a difference between reading/passively observing and participating/actively choosing.
     
  14. AureateDawn

    AureateDawn Love & Peace

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    And here I thought Orthodoxy didn't have fundies. =/
     
  15. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    Some general comments on the other posts here.

    It's a little specious to describe criticism of a given phenomenon, be it HP or RPGs, as a call to monastics. Pretty much any call to holiness and away from anything worldly could be described with that broad brush. I don't think even Michael is arguing that we should all go live in monastaries.

    So granted, we live in the world, and we enjoy things that are not specifically Christian. But even so, we are called to exercise restraint in what we engage in and to examine whether it is good and profitable.

    Which brings me to my other observation - the idea that these things have Christian elements in them. This needs serious qualification. There are elements of truth in all of the world's religions, and we can find stories paralleling Biblical stories in the Koran or Baghavad Gita or even in (American)Indian mythology. Of course you can find moral actions described in Harry Potter. Of course you can find ideas of sacrifice for others, nobility, etc in secular works of fiction. This in itself does not make it Christian. As Michael has been trying (yes, maybe somewhat heavy-handedly) to point out is that there are also a number of anti-Christian values and concepts in this kind of fantasy, that cause it to differ considerably from that of Lewis and Tolkien.

    If we compare the worlds described by Tolkien or Lewis and Rowling, we can very easily find things that move Rowling several large steps away from a Christian world view. Should we (ie, do the characters) fear death? What lies beyond it? Do we command powers at our own will or by being granted them by Authority?

    (FTR, I read the 1st 3 HP books, so hope I won't be accused of ignorance of content. I couldn't get beyond the 2nd chapter of book 4. The repetition of concepts and poor literary quality made it too boring. (I remember a Muggle sneaking into a house and overhearing hackneyed dialog between the bad guys before he got zapped.) But the lowering of literary standards is not a faith-related issue, so I'll back off that one.)

    In conclusion I would say that we should all constantly hold the things we enjoy under question - as we mature we may learn things that change our perspective - does my engagement/enjoyment of these things please God?
     
  16. Monica child of God 1

    Monica child of God 1 strives to live eschatologically

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    Justin, we are people online having a conversation. None of us represent Orthodoxy. If you want to know about Orthodoxy find a priest and go to church.

    M.
     
  17. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    A couple of other little things:
    1) there ARE witches, but they happen to be real people, not the caracatures we grew up with.

    2) I'm aware that Rowling has described herself as Christian. So does nearly half the population of the world. What exactly does that word mean? And how does it affect the objections to her work?
     
  18. rusmeister

    rusmeister A Russified American Orthodox Chestertonian

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    Ditto on what Monica said.
     
  19. Oblio

    Oblio Creed or Chaos

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    Apparantly so is all of CF.
    By definition

    [/cynicism]

    disclaimer: I've not read one word of HP, I am indebted to JK in that one of our first church visits after leaving our SBC for complex reasons resulted in a no-go because it was centered on an anti-HP sermon (This was the latest evangelical craze at the time, and I thought it absurd). After one more visit to a church in our 'comfort' zone, we started to think outside the 'box' :)
     
  20. AureateDawn

    AureateDawn Love & Peace

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    I read a few chapters of HP. I hated it.

    The movies are nice.
     
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