User:Sulgran/Dungeons and Dragons

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This is a "fork" of the Dungeons and Dragons article that existed on 16:00, 26 April 2007, meant to be a page similar in nature to the User:Hojimachong/Evolution page. So it won't show up as an actual Conservapedia article the Category:Games, has been removed.

The 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons logo.
Dungeons and Dragons merchandise in a shop.
The Book of Vile Darkness, perhaps the most criticized official Dungeons and Dragons book next to its "good" equivalent, the Book of Exalted Deeds.
The box art for Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach.
File:Example.jpg
A Dungeons and Dragons movie poster.
Some of the unusual dice required to play Dungeons and Dragons.

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D or DnD) is a tabletop fantasy roleplaying game. It was originally published in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and is now published by Wizards of the Coast.[1] The game almost always takes place in a pre-modern alternate world (in theory, players could create any world that comes to their imagination, however) inhabited by mythical creatures such as elves, dwarves, orcs, and dragons, where magic is commonplace. Its players create and adopt the personae of fantasy heroes that populate this world and undertake a series of adventures or quests in order to further the goals of these characters.

One player takes on the role of Dungeon Master (DM). The DM is essentially a narrator who controls the overall plot of the game as well as the actions of Non Player Characters (NPCs). In addition, dice of various types are used to determine outcomes. As players' characters accomplish more, they gain experience points (XP) which allow their characters to gain levels, which in turn make them more powerful and have more abilities. The DM may use a commercially-produced adventure, or may create one of his own.

The game's moral alignment system allows players to play either good, neutral, or evil characters. (Most DMs forbid evil characters as they are often disruptive to the game.) The game may include elements that some consider to be occult, including the use of ghosts, spirits, demons and devils which the characters may fight, use or aid as they see fit.

The game settings manufactured by Wizards of the Coast (Greyhawk, Faerun, Eberron, etc.) also expressly adopt a polytheistic pantheon of deities and reject real-world religions as a part of the game. That being said, there is nothing to stop a DM from coming up with a monotheistic world in which to run his adventures. In fact, there is an unofficial published setting, Testament, that is about roleplaying in the Biblical Era. Most characters in the game worship fictional deities both as lay persons and as "clerics", a profession than any character may choose to undertake assuming their alignment matches or is close to a match with their chosen god. Clerics of these deities are granted magical powers by their chosen deity by means of which they can kill enemies, or heal their party members.

The game has been steadily modified and expanded since the original first edition and is now in edition 3.5.

There is now a Dungeons and Dragons Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) known as Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach which takes place in the Eberron campaign setting.

The Magic System

The magic system used in Dungeons and Dragons was adopted very roughly from the writing of fantasy and science fiction author Jack Vance. In the Vancian system, magic-users such as wizards must prepare all of their spells in advance for that day by memorizing them and a spell leaves the wizard's memory upon being cast. To cast the spell again, the magic-user must once again memorize the spell. The Vancian system was chosen for a variety of reasons such as its originality compared to pre-existing magical systems, its avoidance any connection with systems of magic described in any religion or occult theory, and it being the creation one of Gygax's favorite authors.[2][3]

The Combat System

The Combat system in Dungeons and Dragons is a dice based system. The dice that are used in the combat system are have 20, 12, 10, 8, 6, and 4 sides. The rules will refer sometimes to a 100-sided die used to role percentages, but in play this is simulated with two ten-sided die for reasons of practicality. In combat there are three different ways that a character can deal damage to NPCs or PCs (Player Characters): melee, ranged, or magical. Attacking a PC is often an evil act that will get you tossed out that group, but PC-vs-PC combat is sometimes entered by mutual agreement of the players as part of a plot.

Controversy

Although the original game deliberately used a system of magic that was not found in any actual occult or religious system, starting in the late 1970s the game and others like it came under attack mainly from some conservative Christians as promoting occult and criminal activity. Its dangers were infamously summarized in the Dark Dungeons tract by fundamentalist Christian author Jack Chick.[4]

These attacks on the franchise came in the form of calls for censorship as well as boycotts and lawsuits. One item of concern for conservative Christians is that player characters do not usually worship a single God, but instead choose a patron deity from a polytheistic pantheon. Player characters may also (depending on DM approval) have the ability to summon and worship demons and devils, and are sometimes rewarded with treasure and occult powers for doing so. Another criticism is that illustrations in the rule books for Dungeons and Dragons often contain images of women in various states of undress, and wearing excessively revealing armor.

Tracy Hickman, one of the main authors of Dungeons and Dragons, and a Christian with conservative politics and theology, has written a number of articles defending and discussing D&D from a Christian perspective. [5] Others within the Dungeons and Dragons community responded by writing other defenses from rationalist perspectives or other perspectives or by writing parodies such as ""Chess: The Subtle Sin: Should Christians play chess?". In response to the perceived Christian persecution of the Dungeons and Dragons, darker themed, deliberately counter-cultural games appeared in reaction such as Call of Cthluhu which is based on the horror writing of H. P. Lovecraft and set in the Cthulhu Mythos.[5]

References

  1. Wizards of the Coast's D&D site
  2. Forum discussion: "Is D&D magic purely Vancian?"
  3. RPGnet: Review of "The Primer of Practical Magic"
  4. Jack Chick: "Dark Dungeons"
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture: "Role-Playing Games and the Christian Right"