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Talk:Dungeons and Dragons

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Disappointing So-Called Conservative Views

I have noticed that there is considerable push back from the community when it comes to labeling occultism as occultism. This site is supposed to express conservative points of view, yet any suggestion that dungeons and dragons, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, H. P. Lovecraft and even the Satanism are adopting a shockingly neutral point of view (which I thought was a Wikipedia trait). I'm half tempted to get my pastor involved in this site, since I know he'd be more willing to challenge the...and forgive me, but...the rampant fanboyism that pervades these articles despite the negative feelings I can sense it engenders. The casual use of occult themes in games and literature should be no less offensive to the Christian community than the casual use of homosexual themes in similar contexts.

Dungeons and dragons and Lord of the Rings are to Bible what Brokeback Mountain is to the Bible, the fictional depiction of abominable practices. Make no mistake that both homosexuality and occultism are "abomination" in the eyes of the Lord. While these games, books and films are certainly are protected speech in this country and I would not censor them (neither dungeons and dragons nor Brokeback Mountain), that they are protected doesn't mean we should save them from all criticism or that they do not lead the faithful astray, small step by small step. JesusSaves 13 March 2007 06:24 (EDT)

They are the fictional depiction of the occult. The key word there being "fictional". I find it shocking that some people actually take things like Harry Potter, D&D, Lord Of The Rings and others as serious threats to religion. It is nothing but fiction, that's all it is, it's not trying to trick people into worshipping Satan or performing witchcraft. They exist purely for the sake of entertainment. I'd be against any sort of move by the people of this site to start censoring and condemning these things. Also, having read those articles, I haven't found much fanboyism at all, just facts.NSmyth 06:40, March 13 2007 (EDT)
It was fictional homosexual cowboys in Brokeback Mountain and I suspect the film didn't suggest that anyone in the audience turn gay. I'd therefore have to guess that, in your opinion, conservatives who criticized that movie's homosexual themes were all way off base, because it was harmless entertainment? Hey, the Last Temptation of Christ was a fictional representation of Jesus, so was the blasphemy in that movie also beyond reproach? JesusSaves 13 March 2007 06:50 (EDT)
Brokeback Mountain is a whole different debate, I'm not even going to touch that one for now. I just focussed on the occult part of your post. NSmyth 06:52, March 13 2007 (EDT)
See the link above. The Bible calls them both "abomination," homosexuality and occultism alike. As a Christian I do not get to pick and choose which biblical condemnations to heed and which "don't count." In fact, occultism in American art is, to me, more troubling than homosexuality, because the occult content is widely accepted by many (even by people who are otherwise good Christians but who do not recognize that magic and the occult are every bit as condemned in the Bible as homosexuality) in a way that homosexuality is not. Homosexuality is losing in the culture war. Christians don't even realize there's a problem with occultism in the culture. JesusSaves 13 March 2007 06:57 (EDT)
The Bible _also_ calls eating shellfish "an abomination". I guess God Hates Shrimp? --Gulik3 00:30, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
What aboutTestament: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era? It is a derivative of dungeons and Dragons. Would that be an ok game to play?

Cut from end of article:

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. [1] 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.

Has it been established that Hickman has conservative politics? And what theology or Christian perspective does he believe in?

This passage asserts that all the fuss is unjustified, using the appeal to authority fallacy. (Some Wikipedians use a similar argument to justify the theory of anthropogenic global warming: a "consensus" of scientists says it is true, according to the U.N. which is so "impartial" it would never use junk science to score political points). --Ed Poor 05:02, 28 April 2007 (EDT)

According to his personal website he's a Mormon that has done some missionary work in Asia. I haven't found anything on his website about politics but it is pretty big. [2] --Sulgran 05:58, 28 April 2007 (EDT)
The source given for the section states that Hickman's views are conservative both politically and theologically (and among D&D people this is well known anyways). There isn't any appeal to authority fallacy occuring here, simply noting that there are Consevative Christians who don't agree with the criticisms. JoshuaZ 16:05, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
All Mormons are required to do missionary work. And going by the DragonLance books, where too much of an emphasis on good or evil is wrong and there must always be a balance, I don't see the conservative Christian elements necessarily coming through in the writing. Learn together 00:52, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
Not to nit-pick, but the "appeal to authority" fallacy focuses on "Do this or you'll be punished" not "These people know far more than you about the topic, therefore you should listen to them." Barikada 22:39, 17 January 2008 (EST)

Seems like the criticism centers on sex and sorcery. As a parent myself, I don't want my children involved in anything which promotes premarital sex, adultery, fornication or other evils. --Ed Poor 07:21, 28 April 2007 (EDT)

Sorcery, fair enough, although that's just a fictional element - but the sexual element is way overstated. I've played these games for a decade and a half, and I've never seen anything that has to do with sex directly. Sure, there is a tradition of "immodestly dressed women", but nothing worse than Raphael or Botticelli, for instance. Besides, the art in the latest edition of D&D is horrible, so... ;-) --AKjeldsen 07:33, 28 April 2007 (EDT)
You left out National Geographic. I stopped reading it because of its soft-porn semi-nude "savage" pictures. --Ed Poor 09:22, 28 April 2007 (EDT)
That too, I guess. Anyway, the age of the scantly-clad females in roleplaying game products is more or less a thing of the past these days. The games are appealing to a broader audience these days, not least women, so the publishers know that they need to be careful with such things. So you can easily let your kids play the games - it'll be good for them in the long run, trust me. --AKjeldsen 09:30, 28 April 2007 (EDT)
No, no it is not. Sex sells, especially to the largely male and nerdy audience that plays D&D. --Gulik3 00:30, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
Indeed, since the primary audience of D&D is teenage boys, and teenage boys have pretty much always been hormones with legs, it stands to reason there will be some appeal to libido. Learn together 00:52, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
Nobody buys hundreds of dollars of rulebooks to see a flash of crudely-drawn breasts. Kazumaru 20:43, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
It's certainly an incentive. The primary rule of marketing is to find something to catch the eye of your potential consumers. Overall, it appears to have worked rather well. Learn together 23:27, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
I've flipped through the Player's Handbook a few times... Didn't see any breasts that were worth remembering. Though... IF you're implying that you know there's nudity in it because it sells well, and that's because of the nudity in it... I'm confused. If not, I misread that post.Kazumaru 23:59, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

And now even more disappointment, as the forces in favor of the positive (if fictional) depiction of wizards and witches and the occult types write a profoundly long article on their position. The fiction is twofold. First, we have the fact that the characters and scenarios are fiction. Second there's the fiction that sorcery is or could ever be anything but "abomination." I suppose I will have to let my pastor fight this one out, as I haven't the stomach for this brand of "conservatism" nor the ability (though I wish God would grant me that!) to lead people back to the light and away from their dark fantasies. Just, please, BE WARNED, that God has a plan for all of us, and it does not involve us believing that things that the Bible condemns categorically are really just "misunderstood" and "can be applied for good as well as for evil." Magic is evil. The fictional depiction of "good magic" is just a trap to lure in the unwary to thinking in a wrong headed way. Such authors might as well write about a "sinful Jesus" or "kindly Satan." Magic, even fictionally depicted, should be shown as evil even if Harry Potter uses it to save his friends. What's missing is the author's understanding of that basic fact. Jesus Saves 19:34, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

I would agree that God has a plan for us all. I would also add that you should judge not lest ye be judged. Of course, those without sin should feel free to pillory sinners like myself.
I believe that there is no such thing as an accident. Therefore, I don't think it is an accident that God saw fit to put me in your path. Perhaps I am here to remind you that God, by definition, is beyond comprehension, so there may be a great many things godly which are beyond your comprehension? Reminded of this fact, I must inform you that I worship and believe in the same God which you worship. As such, trust that that I am doing my best to follow what I understand to be His will. I can not allow you or any man to tell me what to think, just as I would hope that you would not blindly follow any other man's interpretation of God's will. You must do what you think is right.
That said, I must add that "magic" is a large word used to describe a great many things. In the case of most fantasy works, "magic" refers to technology that is not fully understood by the user. For example, to a cave man, a television is "magic". What you are talking about is probably "witchcraft" or "necromancy" other "dark art". These types of powers are "supernatural" or "divine". Supernatural powers which are derived from something other than God are what I understand the Bible to prohibit. There is no prohibition against prayers, miracles or technology. Everwill 10:46, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
We are also told to judge with a righteous judgement; there's no total ban on judging.
Not everything that happens is according to God's will (in a sense). He doesn't want any of us to perish, suffer, etc. But He allows these things because we've rejected him. As such, things that could be described as accidents do occur. I can comprehend God, and clearly you believe that you can too, else you would not be making comments such as God having a plan for us all. That doesn't mean that we can or do understand everything about Him; there would be an awful lot that we don't and can't understand, but we can understand some things.
I quite agree, however, with your last paragraph.
Philip J. Rayment 22:45, 21 March 2008 (EDT)
I would like to like to point out that before 4e (4th Edition), magic worked like this: You were able to use certain spells. After taking a rest, you "prepared" these spells. Once used, you had to prepare these spells again before you could use them again. This system, called "Vancian Magic", is based off the fictional works of Jack Vance, and was chosen specifically because it was not related to any real life "magic". Furthermore, magic is a neutral tool in D&D, like a hammer. You can use a hammer to build a house, or build a tank. While certain spells (like "Smite Evil" and "Unholy Blight", good and evil spells respectively) are specifically good or evil, lawful or chaotic, on the most part spells are neither good or evil. As a gamer like myself would put it, a spell like Magic Missile would be "True Neutral". --T2master 12:47, 2 January 2009 (EST)
Well then, we are in very nearly total agreement. Everwill 16:51, 22 March 2008 (EDT)

Recent Edit

Can you show me please where you get this?

The main purpose for this is political correctness. Fair play standards state that a player who's charecter worships a different deity than a real world deity should be denied abilities. This would indicate that polytheistic belifes are justified. Thus it is fairest for a DM to disalow real world religions to avoid offending others.

I am not aware of this rule, although it could of course still exist. Learn together 22:20, 7 June 2007 (EDT)

The fair play I mentioned is not an official rule. It is a general principle that is common to all games. In Dungeons and Dragons clerics of any deity gain powers. If a real world deity was placed in the game a cleric of that deity could get powers from that faith. However in that same campaign if another charecter wants to play a cleric and get powers from another faith there is no fair reason to deny them those powers. However if you give both players those powers then the monotheistic principles of many religions are "wrong". Thus to avoid offending any faith it is easiest to create fake deities and disallow real world religions to prevent arguments and other problems from arrising.


Controversy and Criticism

Weesna, could you please explain your recent edits? Removal of information from an article that multiple editors have constructed should only be undertaken with discussion of what occurred. Thanks Learn together 23:30, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

I don't know about the first edit (it's hard to know if many players actually change the game around), but as a player I'll vouch for the validity of the second two edits. While it is true to say that nudity is not graphic nor a part of the game, you can find on the Wizards website both a black and white and a color version of a harpy, both have exposed breasts. As for "discouraging evil players" it's a lot harder to prove with one reference, but this also is generally not true. There are some ways to summon a demon which cost experience, but at the same time you can summon good creatures in exchange for experience as well. I will browse through my books to see if I can find a definitive quotation to prove it, but for now I hope my testimony will suffice. Jazzman831 23:37, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
Your testimony is fine as far as I am concerned. If there were any difficulties with it, some other player would be sure to mention it. Learn together 23:42, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

Nice picture

D&D session with a guy wearing a shirt with a pentagram on it. And to think anyone wonders why people connect witchcraft/Satanism to D&D. Jinxmchue 21:32, 18 January 2008 (EST)

That would be the same pentagram that, amongst other things, at one point, was used by Christians to represent the five wounds of Jesus? That pentagram? Zmidponk 19:13, 23 January 2008 (EST)
The page did come from Wikimedia Commons... I'm not sure if that falls within CP guidelines or not. DanH 19:15, 23 January 2008 (EST)
The image is correctly licensed for use here: "free to copy, distribute and transmit the work" so long as the author is attributed. Its much better than trying to claim fair use on a copyrighted image. As for the content of the image, what's the issue? It's people playing the game, read into it what you will. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 19:54, 23 January 2008 (EST)
The issue is that the picture serves only to reinforce the presumed connection between D&D and the Darn Evil Satanists. Given your statement, I'm not sure you were at all aware of this, so this is just a heads up. Barikada 20:12, 23 January 2008 (EST)
Presumed? I'm sorry, but I've heard too many accounts of demonic attacks stemming from Dungeons and Dragons to take claims of it being innocent seriously. The article reads more like an endorsement than a truthful account. It's clearly been written or edited by someone trying to soften the image of an activity that exposes the young to Satan.--AlexC 23:25, 29 December 2008 (EST)
Satan does not appear in D&D. While there are evil gods and devils, it is made very clear they are evil, and not someone you want to align yourself with. Compare "If others are kind to you, exploit their weakness for your own gain", a tenet of Asmodeus, evil god of tyranny, to 'Uphold the highest ideals of honor and justice", a belief of the good god of protection, Bahamut.
The pentagram has nothing to do with satanism. Blanket statements are best made only when one is in full possession of all facts. Everwill 16:40, 5 March 2008 (EST)

Software failures

Possibly a superscript notice informing the reader that the correct title of the page is, in fact, Dungeons & Dragons? At the top? Barikada 20:42, 3 February 2008 (EST)

Actually, I just did some checking. It looks like you can create an article called Dungeons & Dragons, but you can't search using the amperand, or it only uses the first word. I don't know how moving would work in that respect. I'll ask PJR if he knows, since he seems to be on right now. HelpJazz 20:48, 3 February 2008 (EST)
Yeah I have no idea. You can link correctly to Dungeons & dragons, but not Dungeons & Dragons. So maybe it's best if we just keep the link here, and add a warning at the top. HelpJazz 20:55, 3 February 2008 (EST)
Huh. That's very, very weird. The admin settings should have some solution... I could ask around elsewhere if you wish. Barikada 20:58, 3 February 2008 (EST)

D&D computer games

Would this article be a good place to list them or should I do a related article? Jinxmchue 23:28, 3 February 2008 (EST)

Related. --SSD 15:21, 3 March 2008 (EST)

Gygax gone

The author of D&D's first 5 or more reference works, E. Gary Gygax, passed away yesterday. He was a gentle soul, creative genius and inventive mind. He wrote the Foreword to my book and he will be missed. At any rate, I tried to address a few of the silliest pieces of criticism in this article, while fully respecting the beliefs of those that there is some connection between D&D and the occult. As both a subject expert and a conservative, I find this connection wholly without merit, but I do think that questions should be answered when asked. Everwill 07:27, 5 March 2008 (EST)

It's a sad day for geeks everywhere. We'll miss you, Gary. If heaven exists, you're certainly there; maybe you can get a game going with God. -CSGuy 08:29, 5 March 2008 (EST)

Ignorance in action

In its current state article is an embarrassment to conservatives and Christians. I tried to make a few additions while leaving the much of the article intact but was blasted with a revert. I have made my point by playing by the same rules as my opposing editor. I'm long past the point of joining in an edit war on any wiki, but let the record show that I flagged this article for review. To let this statement stand unchallenged is to open this resource up for mockery:

summarized in the Dark Dungeons tract by controversial fundamentalist Christian author Jack Chick[6], which portrays D&D players committing suicide when their characters are killed or joining secret witches' covens and learning to cast real magic spells when their characters reach a high enough level.

This utterly preposterous hypothesis perhaps deserved vetting in 1978, but by 2008, the results are in and they are quite clear. D&D alone has generated a billion dollars in sales. Combine these sales with the near total saturation of the American market by the copycats and computer games, and then contrast this saturation with the fact that there as been no corollary explosion of witches covens and it becomes obvious that this statement is baseless. Oh wait ... that's original research.

There are no real spells in D&D, just as there is no real money in Monopoly. To assert otherwise is to be divorced from reality.

But for the sake of argument, let us assume that these secret spells are to be found somewhere in rulebooks. If so, can someone please footnote or reference an original work rather than an exploitative derivative work? They cannot reference this because the aren't there.

And the reference to "immodestly dressed" women is similarly silly. The art in all editions of D&D is incredibly tame compared to anything found in popular American culture. Is this picture obscene? I would say no.

I'm not prepared to enter into an edit war, but I can help contribute to fair minded edits.Everwill 16:45, 5 March 2008 (EST)

Conservapedia doesn't have a rule against original research. But it still has to be true and verifiable. Philip J. Rayment 09:21, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Let's take a look at your edits (which I reverted), shall we?
"Of course, anyone who has ever played D&D understands that no gods of any kinds are worshiped during the course of the game, nor is any witchcraft or sorcery of any kind practiced during any session of D&D ever."
That's a broad brush opinion which simply is not verifiable and most likely is wrong. Perhaps none of the fictional gods and goddesses mentioned in the books are worshiped, but there are real-world gods and goddesses that are worshiped by D&D players (Wiccans and their goddess come to mind) and I've no doubt that some of those players have characters which worship the same.
"However, a similar argument could be made against chess (where the object is to kill your opponent and enslave his king) and Monopoly (where the point of the game is to accumulate wealth AND bankrupt your fellow players)."
At best, this is obfuscation and specious reasoning. There is no killing in chess (but gosh, that might make it a more interesting game - perhaps enough to get it its own TV series like those poker shows) and neither chess nor Monopoly involve the players adopting an alternate personality (aka "role").
"Where RPG's differ greatly from these games is the ability to set alternative goals and chose very creative means to achieve those objectives. For example, most adult games of D&D revolve around stories analogous to Lord of the Rings or Chronicles of Narnia where the game has little to do with wealth or monsters, but rather the story is about the preservation of good in a struggle against evil."
In published D&D adventures, the primary focus is on the accumulation of wealth and experience points. The means by which those goals are accomplished (e.g. "preservation of good in a struggle against evil") is secondary. Indeed, there are adventures and groups of players which are focused entirely on the preservation of evil in a struggle against good. At no point in any D&D material is good ever placed over evil. They are considered two sides of a balanced equation. This is no more evident anywhere than in the Dragonlance setting. Not only does good not try to defeat evil, but good actually works towards keeping the balance between good and evil. Too much good is portrayed as no different than evil. "The preservation of good in a struggle against evil" certainly makes for good books and movies, but it bears little resemblance to the gameplay. Jinxmchue 19:02, 5 March 2008 (EST)
The accumulation of wealth and XP is the primary goal of the player, and not the character. The character's main goal is up to the player. Furthermore, players who focus on magic items and experience points too much are referred to as "munchkins". --T2master 13:11, 2 January 2009 (EST)
Unfortunately for you it's not my job to educate you in debate form. Quite frankly, you're dealing from a biased position of ignorance. If an editor or admin requests my assistance I'll gladly help with this page, but I'm not going to spend my life energy obliterating the foolish strawmen you have posing as logical arguments. I remain a conservative and a Christian who is embarrassed by the level of ignorance exhibited in this article. Everwill 11:01, 6 March 2008 (EST)
I request your assistance. Conservatives deserve to be informed about this game. If it really encourages "keeping the balance between good and evil", then we need to know this. If that claim is untrue, then we need relief from the stress that false claims like this can cause.
Same goes for Harry Potter. Let's hear all the claims and critiques, and then do our best to sort them out. --Ed Poor Talk 11:23, 6 March 2008 (EST)
Well, in reply to Jinxmchue, it is incredibly obvious that you have never actually played D&D. Let's take this one at a time:
That's a broad brush opinion which simply is not verifiable and most likely is wrong. Perhaps none of the fictional gods and goddesses mentioned in the books are worshiped, but there are real-world gods and goddesses that are worshiped by D&D players (Wiccans and their goddess come to mind) and I've no doubt that some of those players have characters which worship the same.
Well, if it's 'not verifiable', then it follows that it's 'not verifiable' that this DOES happen. How you came to the conclusion that this is 'most likely wrong' requires much explanation, as, even if a player happened to be, say, Wiccan, and had their character also be Wiccan, you have missed the fact that this is a FICTIONAL character in a FICTIONAL world. In other words, it does not exist.
At best, this is obfuscation and specious reasoning. There is no killing in chess (but gosh, that might make it a more interesting game - perhaps enough to get it its own TV series like those poker shows) and neither chess nor Monopoly involve the players adopting an alternate personality (aka "role")
Erm, what? Have you actually studied the history of Chess? It has it's roots in simulating battles. Every time you 'take' an opponents piece, that stands for the elimination of an enemy unit - in other words, killing most of them and driving the rest from the field. As for the fact you 'play as yourself', this actually makes Everwill's point STRONGER, if anything - you, yourself, are supposed to accumulate wealth and bankrupt the other players (in Monopoly), or kill the opposing soldiers (in Chess), not a fictional character.
In published D&D adventures, the primary focus is on the accumulation of wealth and experience points. The means by which those goals are accomplished (e.g. "preservation of good in a struggle against evil") is secondary.
You've got that utterly wrong. It is, in fact, the complete opposite - the accumulation of wealth and experience is so that you can make your character better (by better equipment and increased attributes and abilities) so that they are more effective in your end goal, so it is this accumulation of wealth and experience that is secondary.
Indeed, there are adventures and groups of players which are focused entirely on the preservation of evil in a struggle against good. At no point in any D&D material is good ever placed over evil. They are considered two sides of a balanced equation. This is no more evident anywhere than in the Dragonlance setting. Not only does good not try to defeat evil, but good actually works towards keeping the balance between good and evil.
Erm, what? There is a staggeringly large number of Dragonlance novels (about 200, I think), and I haven't read them all, but the ones I read were generally about good versus evil, with the good guys generally winning. The only thing that may be confusing you is that it is not always readily apparant whether someone is good or evil until you read the whole book, or sometimes the whole sequence of books in that particular series, and there are characters who are Neutral - in other words, they believe the correct order of the universe is a balance between good and evil. Whilst it is true, more generally, that D&D does not discourage playing evil characters, it does not encourage it either. In other words, it is your choice which you play, and there is a third choice - Neutral.
Too much good is portrayed as no different than evil.
Sorry, no. What D&D does is question certain concepts of good and evil. For example, some would say that always obeying the law is good. However, what if doing so means someone you know is innocent has to be punished? Or even executed? Would breaking him out of jail then be good or evil? Alternatively, if you didn't know he was innocent but broke him out simply because someone paid you to do it, is that good or evil?
"The preservation of good in a struggle against evil" certainly makes for good books and movies, but it bears little resemblance to the gameplay.
No, sorry, that is a completely accurate depiction of the gameplay. The only slightly unusual thing is that it is entirely your choice on which side you fight, or whether you fight to, in effect, maintain the status quo. Urushnor 11:29, 6 March 2008 (EST)
Jinxmchue, if you've ever played the game, you would realize that most people actually play the game to have fun with their friends. Fighting fictional good or evil and accumulating fictional wealth are only secondary and tertiary effects. If this were not so, then you could simply find any 5 people who play D&D and instantaneously enjoy the game -- because you are fighting evil and accumulating wealth. Having just spent a weekend at a convention playing D&D, I can tell you that if you aren't having fun with people around you, the in-game benefits don't matter at all. HelpJazz 11:55, 6 March 2008 (EST)

Goal of the game

It's not to "save a village" or "fight evil." WHY do the players save villages or fight evil? To gain gold, power, prestige and experience points. Doing things out of the goodness of one's heart is not a concept taught in the games. Good gosh, people - one of the major and most popular classes in the game is the thief; someone whose primary purpose in life is to gain gold! Jinxmchue 21:23, 5 March 2008 (EST)

Really? Considering there's not actually a class called "Thief," I'm rather skeptical of your claims. Have you ever actually played a game of Dungeons and Dragons? Barikada 21:27, 5 March 2008 (EST)
They probably changed things in the new version, but the classic, best known, most played version(s) had fighters, mages, thieves and clerics as the four major class groups. Seems I'm not the one who's ignorant (as usual). Jinxmchue 22:51, 5 March 2008 (EST)
I'm referring to the current version, which has the following classes: Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue, Bard, Monk, Sorcerer, Paladin, Cleric, Wizard, Druid and Ranger, plus, of course, the prestige classes. The remark still stands.
How did you come to the rather absurd conclusion that the most played class is the rogue? And for that matter, how did you come to the conclusion that people play D&D to gain gold in an imaginary setting where there's no real use for it, and it'll probably be reset at the start of the next campaign? Barikada 01:23, 6 March 2008 (EST)
The wild and baseless leaps in what poses as logic posited by Jinxmchue are so far divorced from reality as to not merit discussion. To engage in this discussion is a mistake. Everwill 11:05, 6 March 2008 (EST)
The lies and obfuscations made in defense of this game merit confrontation and debunking. "It's about saving villages! Really, it is!" Please. How stupid do you think people are? Jinxmchue 12:27, 6 March 2008 (EST)
How can I put this politely? Let's just say the only 'lies and obfuscations' that I am seeing made in reference to this game are definitely not being made by Everwill. Urushnor 14:54, 6 March 2008 (EST)
That's nice. Jinxmchue 10:52, 7 March 2008 (EST)
In addition, Jinxmchue misses that it is entirely possible to play as a 'Good Rogue' by, for example, only stealing from rich, corrupt barons and the like. Urushnor 11:42, 6 March 2008 (EST)
Oh, okay. So "stealing from rich, corrupt barons" somehow nullifies the fact that the goal is still about accumulating wealth. Moral relativism is fun! Jinxmchue 12:27, 6 March 2008 (EST)
Isn't capitalism all about the accumulation of wealth? Is capitalism evil, jinx? Sounds like we've got a communist on our hands.--Jdellaro 12:35, 6 March 2008 (EST)
I never said anything about my personal beliefs about accumulating wealth. The issue is about the paragraph in which some Christians believe that accumulating wealth is wrong. I am simply pointing out quite correctly that accumulating wealth is a major goal of the game. Jinxmchue 10:52, 7 March 2008 (EST)
So it's OK for this rich, corrupt baron to accumulate wealth by squeezing it from his subjects, but not OK for someone to take his ill-gotten gains away from him? I'm guessing you think Robin Hood was evil as well? Hmm, I guess moral relativism is, indeed, fun. Urushnor 14:40, 6 March 2008 (EST)
ROFLMAO! Oh, it's "rogue," not "thief." Gosh, I stand corrected. In other news, I'll take six of one and a half-dozen of the other. Jinxmchue 12:27, 6 March 2008 (EST)

Heaven forbid that a player should assume the role of that famed burglar Bilbo Baggins.
Quite frankly, Jinxmchue the level of aggression found in your edits combined with the wholly preposterous nature of your argument leaves me wondering if your goal is to undermine the credibility of Conservapedia by staking out this ridiculous argument. It would be wholly more appropriate and productive to argue the merits of the 9/11 "Truth" theories and the Flat Earth Society than to discuss the vapid technical points you are trying to make herein. It is rare that I take such a firm stance, but it is clear that your position is so completely and utterly without merit that any "debate" with you is a waste of time.
That said, I think there is a value in addressing each of these points, because people who don't know the game, or the hobby, need to know why these are baseless accusations. While I am in favor of explaining these misperceptions, I will not participate in a debate with a pompous individual who is attempting to prove something from either a position of total ignorance or prove something as an effort to diminish Conservapedia.Everwill 12:43, 6 March 2008 (EST)
That's great, Jinx. It's insulting to see you babble on like you know what you're talking about when you can't even muster up enough decency to get the class names right. Barikada 14:58, 6 March 2008 (EST)
You need to pay more attention to Bilbo's story. He came to regret his burgling because of all the trouble, pain and sorrow that it eventually caused. In any case, that's neither here nor there. It still stands as a fact that a main goal of the game is accumulation of wealth. No amount of whitewashing or gussying up of the game can change that. Jinxmchue 10:52, 7 March 2008 (EST)

For the record, the "goal" of any scenario is decided by the GM. It varies greatly between games. For example, in the last campaign I played, we had to retrieve a staff from a thief so the world wouldn't, you know, disintegrate into nothingness. What little gold we got during the journey was spent on getting things that would prevent us from dying. To argue that the goal of any game is to collect gold is utterly illogical. Barikada 14:57, 6 March 2008 (EST)

Mmm-hmm. One example out of thousands and thousands and thousands around the world. Great argument, B. Tell me again, who is being illogical? Jinxmchue 10:52, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Alright, I have my 4e rulebooks right here. The rogue's description suggests that you could be a secret agent, an accused criminal trying to clear your name, a thrill seeker, OR in it for the gold. The games titular dragons are some of the greediest beings in existance, WORSHIP a god that says greed is good, and are blatantly evil. Furthermore, one can be looking for gold, but for all the right reasons. An example would be Haley Starshine, a rogue in what is possibly the most famous Dungeons and Dragons webcomic. If you want to be greedy, you can play that way, but you don't have to. Some Game Masters don't even like giving out treasure. --T2master 13:44, 2 January 2009 (EST)

Carrying on

Gary Gygax was a friend and a good man. He would no doubt be amused by this silly discourse. In his defense and honor, I will, as time permits, walk through this article with a fine tooth comb. Opening is drafted and sets the stage for what is to come. Everwill 13:43, 6 March 2008 (EST)

A little civility please?

Please, people, let's try to be a little more civil in our discussions here. I hate the idea of temporarily blocking people so they can cool down, but if I have to I will. How about instead of attacking each other, we make some sourced arguements? HelpJazz 15:01, 6 March 2008 (EST)

Thanks, HelpJazz. Over the coming days and weeks I'll finish this out. In the meantime, I would hope that an admin or editor can keep an eye on baseless reverts and edits. I've just completed the origins of the game and would expect there will be some typographical errors.

I intend next to describe what elements in the game caused a backlash and what steps the game designers took to acknowledge justifiable criticism and ignore baseless criticism. Everwill 07:57, 7 March 2008 (EST)

It's likely that a goal of some contributors here is to undermine Conservapedia. Such users should be confined to the Debate Topics or blocked.
If anyone is interested in presenting a variety of published views on D&D (or on role-playing games in general, I will support that. But subversion of the trust we are trying to build here is not acceptable here, any more than it should be in journalism. --Ed Poor Talk 08:44, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Ed, I have no intention of injecting my views into this article. Viewpoints should be relatively irrelevant here. I intend to explain and document the facts and let the goodly reader draw his or her own conclusions. Everwill 09:13, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Not talking about you, Will. I meant that other guy. And there's nothing wrong with adding in some viewpoints. Readers would like to know who supports and opposes D&D. --Ed Poor Talk 10:08, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Even Wikipedia recognizes the truth

"Together they solve dilemmas, engage in battles and gather treasure and knowledge."[3] (Emphasis mine.) Guess someone better go over to Wikipedia and make sure that part is deleted because it's obviously false, right guys? Jinxmchue 10:57, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Erm, what? No-one ever said that gathering treasure doesn't happen. What has been said is that your assertation that this is the only purpose of D&D and the end goal of every game or campaign is utter hogwash. In fact, gathering treasure is the means, not the end. You gather treasure to buy better stuff, which improves your character, which makes that character more effective in moving towards the end goal of the game or campaign. Urushnor 15:03, 7 March 2008 (EST)
It should also be noted that even the part you chose to quote from Wikipedia actually refutes your assertation - it actually lists four things that happen in the game, with 'gathering treasure' only being one, so the sole aim of D&D is obviously not gathering treasure, even if it was listing those things as goals of the game (which it's not). Urushnor 15:09, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Where did I ever say that the ONLY purpose was to acquire treasure? Please don't build straw man arguments for me. Thanks. The issue at hand is the following paragraph:
Since the primary action of the game involves the fictional slaying of monsters and the fictional accumulation of wealth, some Christians feel that this goes against the teachings of Christ regarding pacifism (Matthew 5:38-42) and the accumulation of wealth (Matthew 19:24).[Citation Needed] Their feelings regarding the accumulation of wealth puts them in direct conflict with the economic system of capitalism.
The first part of the first sentence is undeniably true and Wikipedia agrees with it. Slaying monsters = engaging in battles. Accumulating wealth = gathering treasure. The focus of the paragraph is what some people believe are Christ's teachings regarding these two issues. (All Christians can agree that Christ never condemned solving problems and gaining knowledge.) Some people here apparently don't think D&D is about - at least in part - gathering wealth. This is demonstrably false and for those people to continue to try to lie and/or obfuscate is the height of arrogance and apparently is based upon the belief that editors and readers are flipping morons. Jinxmchue 16:04, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Nobody has said that D&D does not involve gathering wealth, they've said it does not revolve around gathering wealth. When you go to the movies do you watch the credits? When you plan on what you want to do for the evening do you say "oh let's go to the movies, honey; I really want to watch some credits"?
We can ask PJR, but I think playing a game which involves gathering wealth is just a teensy bit different than revolving your life around accumulating wealth, which is what Jesus was talking abotu in the Bible verse. It's just too darned big of stretch to be made in this article, especially with no supporting documents.
This is not related to this claim, but have you played D&D, Jinxmchue? You aren't supporting yourself with 3rd party references, and a lot of the things you say are nonsensical to anyone who has played. To bring back the example you gave of a "thief" class, you laughed it off as a minor difference, but if you played the game you would know that there actually is no real comparison between a "thief" and a "rogue".
Lastly, I told you before to be civil. Calling people arrogant liars is not being civil. I've given you significantly more leeway than would most, but my fuse is getting short. Please try and stick to the arguments at hand, ok? Thanks. HelpJazz 16:33, 7 March 2008 (EST)
Actually, yes, they have claimed that D&D doesn't involve gathering wealth or isn't a primary focus of the game. Two edit summaries:
The game has little if anything to do with the accumulation of wealth.
The main goal is usually to save a village/the world, not to accumulate gold.
As well as comments made elsewhere on this page. All patently and demonstrably false.
As for my experience, I played D&D (and other games) for many, many years. I've played in many adventures with many characters in many gaming groups. I've even been a DM. I've never seen one thing that contradicts the fact that accumulating wealth is a main focus of the game. Not even paladins (who are - or were - forbidden from retaining wealth, but were given increased abilities, powers and potential as a compensation).
"Thief," "rogue," "six," "half-dozen." Put a pig in a dress and it's still a pig (and still stinks). Again, I direct your attention to Wikipedia, which again backs up my position, not yours: Rogue (Dungeons & Dragons). No distinction is made between "rogue" and "thief."
If unabashedly and plainly stating facts is "uncivil," then yes, I am uncivil. I never called anyone a liar or arrogant. What I said is that there are lies and obfuscations being used in regards to this article and that using them is "the height of arrogance," especially when it is easily proven that they are lies and obfuscations. Jinxmchue 17:42, 7 March 2008 (EST)
I'm not sure I understand your argument. Are you trying to argue that the reason you play the game, mainly, is to accrue wealth? This is simply not "patently and demonstratably" true. Even if the rulebooks stated (which they don't) "you should play this game if you enjoy accruing wealth", that has nothing to do with reasons players decide to play the game. Apparently (since you have finally told us your experience; thank you for the clarification) you have only played with selfish players. Last year, for example, I played in a campaign where we had to save the country from certain doom and prevent or twart the attack of a huge army of orcs, goblins, and many other evil creatures. Nobody offered us any money in return, because they were poor peasants who had none. Our characters fought to save the innocents who were too weak to save themselves. Our players played because we enjoyed the social atmosphere, the storyline, the competition, and we just loved playing the game. As I said before I went to a D&D convention last weekend where I played 4 games; in only one were our characters motivated by money, but that motivation actually happened "off screen", before our players had a say in it. Heck most of the time (especially in poor role-playing groups), the players are motivated by a fuzzy sense of "we want to play, so let's just follow any story hooks".
I'm not sure why WP gets to be considered a reliable source in the thief/rogue matter, but if you read carefully, they do not equivocate; the name was changed. The entire article talks about, and uses the term, rogues. As you will see, again in the article, "theif-like qualities" (robber, thug, treasure hunter) are ascribed to the earlier editions of the game. Robbers and thugs might be rogues in the current edition, but rogue encompases much more, and as such the two can not be equivocated. HelpJazz 18:08, 7 March 2008 (EST)
I used Wikipedia as a source you and others obviously view as being superior to Conservapedia. If Wikipedia makes no distinction between "rogue" and "thief," why should Conservapedia? Wikipedia uses the terms "rogue" and "thief" interchangeably:
In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, rogue or thief is one of the base character classes.
The abilities of the thief class were drawn from various archetypes from history and myth
The name was changed. Big whoop. "Six" and "half-dozen" still mean the same thing. Jinxmchue 16:52, 8 March 2008 (EST)
To answer your question, Jinxmchue, 'Where did I ever say that the ONLY purpose was to acquire treasure?', you may not have said that was the ONLY purpose of the game, in so many words, but you have certainly very strongly implied it, and seem to be going out of your way to deny that anything else is the purpose of the game. In fact, if you think that everything said by anyone here that says something different is, as you called it, 'lies and obfuscations', can you please explain, then what you think the primary purpose of the game actually is, if it's NOT accumulating wealth?
As for the edits you provided, the section those edits remove (and has since been re-added) strongly implies that the primary purpose of the game is accumulating wealth, which is incorrect. If it is, indeed, true that some Christians believe that playing D&D goes against scripture (though I've not seen any that do, personally), then perhaps the section could be reworded slightly, for example, 'Since the game involves the fictional slaying of monsters and the fictional accumulation of wealth, some Christians feel that this goes against the teachings of Christ regarding pacifism (Matthew 5:38-42) and the accumulation of wealth (Matthew 19:24)'. This puts the point across whilst removing the implication that this is the primary goal. Urushnor 09:05, 8 March 2008 (EST)
No, I'm not implying anything about people playing the game to accumulate wealth or that the only purpose of the game is to accumulate wealth. That's your straw man. People play the game to have fun. However, part of the fun is accumulating wealth (e.g. finding a treasure horde or stealing from people). That is an integral, major part of the game and it cannot be denied. The people who are trying to deny or downplay it are lying to themselves and others. Jinxmchue 16:52, 8 March 2008 (EST)
No, I'm not implying anything about people playing the game to accumulate wealth or that the only purpose of the game is to accumulate wealth.
Well, can you explain these quotes of yourself on this very page:
In published D&D adventures, the primary focus is on the accumulation of wealth and experience points. The means by which those goals are accomplished (e.g. "preservation of good in a struggle against evil") is secondary.
It's not to "save a village" or "fight evil." WHY do the players save villages or fight evil? To gain gold, power, prestige and experience points. Doing things out of the goodness of one's heart is not a concept taught in the games.
"It's about saving villages! Really, it is!" Please. How stupid do you think people are?
I am simply pointing out quite correctly that accumulating wealth is a major goal of the game.
As they appear to be you saying precisely that.
People play the game to have fun. However, part of the fun is accumulating wealth (e.g. finding a treasure horde or stealing from people).
Sorry, no. It is simply a means to an end - you find treasure, or steal it from people, so you can buy a better sword/shield/set af armour/whatever for your character. This improves your character so they are more effective in progressing towards the end of the game or campaign. The fun is to be had, within the framework of the game, by successfully progressing to the end goal. More generally, people have fun by simply being in the company of friends (or even strangers) who enjoy doing the same thing, but that is hardly unique to D&D.
I also note that you haven't answered my question - what do you believe the primary goal of the game actually is, if it's not anything that anyone else here has said (those being 'lies and obfuscations'), and yet it is NOT accumulating wealth, as you appear to have been saying? Urushnor 17:38, 8 March 2008 (EST)

Bilbo the burglar

I'm not sure how much of Bilbo's "burglary" he eventually came to regret. Everything he stole was either taken from thieves or kidnappers.

He certainly did not regret taking the Arkenstone, for he was able to use Thorin's desire for that to settle the quarrel between the dwarves and Bard's folk. --Ed Poor Talk 11:01, 7 March 2008 (EST)

One of the great themes that Tolkien used in regards to Bilbo is the regrets Bilbo comes to face because of his adventures. He sees the sorrow and suffering of his friends and family caused by ill-considered adventures. Jinxmchue 16:16, 7 March 2008 (EST)
I read the book a half dozen times. I don't recall Bilbo regretting the "burglary" of the Arkenstone. Nor did he express any regret over taking the coins from the trolls; he and Gandalf split them on the return journey to the Shire.
The only ethical comment Bilbo made was his comment that the treasure had previously been stolen (by the trolls and the dragon) and the report that he gave nearly all of it away. In fact, he gave away the single most valuable treasure, worth "the entire price of the Shire", to Frodo.
There's also the matter of the Ring itself. We can truly say that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are books to help young people wrestle with ethical issues. Of course, the correct choices are made for them in these books.
D&D, however, is a "game of pretend" whereby players pretend to take certain actions and the DM adjudicates the results of those actions. By it's very nature, this leaves players open to experiment with various moral quandaries and social dilemmas. This is a valuable tool for players to learn the implications and results of playing both good and evil characters.
I don't see how playing the game teaches any "valuable" moral lesson from the "implications" of role-playing. The article simply makes this assertion.
Thus I suggest that the POV that the game provides moral value be attributed to an adherent of that view, rather than being stated as fact. --Ed Poor Talk 07:45, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

For your consideration

Ed, thanks for the clean-up and I'm glad to know that an editor is there with me. I have a few points that you may wish to consider and revert or re-edit.

Firstly regarding the introduction of the term "role-playing". I intentionally moved this deeper into the article because I think what must be stressed is that Dungeons & Dragons represents the first commercially available role-playing game ever. If you have a better way to accomplish this, please do so, but in think in present form it does not underscore the fact that this game birthed an industry and a new way of thinking and gaming.

Secondly, the criticisms of the game have largely been answered. Leaving this unsaid is to imply that Conservapedia does not recognize this plainly obvious fact. This does not admit that criticism was unfounded or that ALL criticisms were answered. But it is quite factual to say that the criticisms of the game have largely been answered.

Please advise. Everwill 14:27, 7 March 2008 (EST)

I would agree that Jack Chick should not be considered authoritative, given his views on the Pope being the Antichrist. DanH 14:35, 7 March 2008 (EST)

Wasn't the original boost to the game, and the cause of alarm, over the actions of a single student in a college who went AWOL for a period of time acting out Dungeons and Dragons underneath the school or something like that? I don't know the particulars, or its veracity, but that should be mentioned somewhere by someone with more knowledge of the incident.

And, as someone who really learned to play and was quite active in the game at a Christian College, I think the article comes across more strongly in the controversy realm dealing with Christianity than is warranted.

I'd imagine the game is the same now as it has always been. As a game that is like a board game except without the board and played out in the imagination of the participants, some groups of participants playing the game will fight for treasure, some will fight for causes, some will be more role playing, and some will be more hack-n-slash. The way it unfolds is not as limited as traditional games and will vary more according to the individual direction desired by the dungeon master and the participants. It is not inately good or evil, but there is nothing to stop a particular group from exploring either direction if that is their desire. Learn together 12:25, 8 March 2008 (EST)

I agree that the amount of controversy reported is out proportion to the level of controversy associated with the game. This is primarily because I haven't finished my first draft of this rewrite. I do think its important to document the controversy, largely because it is part of the history of D&D, even if there isn't much controversy anymore. Additionally, if we don't fully address the controversies, certain opinionated editors will creep this article back into la-la land. Everwill 08:59, 9 March 2008 (EDT)

Highly Disputable Source

This statement is very nearly factually wrong and slanted summary from a biased article.

Not all criticism has come from Christian groups. The Israeli Defense Forces consider recruits who play roleplaying games "detached from reality and susceptible to influence." Those who admit to playing are given psychological evaluations and are often denied security clearances[9].

If you read the article carefully, you'll see that the article picks and chooses quotes to frame argument that does not really exist. For example, look at the conclusion drawn in this quote from that article:

"One of the tests we do, either by asking soldiers directly or through information provided us, is to ask whether they take part in the game," he says. "If a soldier answers in the affirmative, he is sent to a professional for an evaluation, usually a psychologist."
More than half of the soldiers sent for evaluation receive low security clearances, thus preventing them from serving in sensitive IDF positions, he says.

It may well be true that "More than half of the soldiers sent for evaluation receive low security clearances" but there is no indication what number of D&D players are determined to have mental or emotional issues. Furthermore, there is no indication of causality. Does D&D cause you to be a nerd? It would seem much more likely that D&D attracts nerds rather than creates them.

Finally, the quote we have in our article doesn't mention this from the same article:

Unsurprisingly, Igor, Matan and thier friends do not approve of this IDF policy. They say the game is only a colorful, non-violent hobby.
"Many people who play served in the most classified units," David says. "They are intelligent and any attempt to label them as 'weird' is incorrect and unfair."

I don't know who sourced this, but there is no indication that the claim made in our article has a basis in fact. I have deleted that paragraph and placed it here with comment:

  • Not all criticism has come from Christian groups. -- This is probably true. Let's find a real source.
  • The Israeli Defense Forces consider recruits who play roleplaying games "detached from reality and susceptible to influence." -- This statement is verifiably false or at best a gross distortion of the truth. A more accurate statement would read According to an unnamed security official from the Israeli Defense Force "One of the tests we do, either by asking soldiers directly or through information provided us, is to ask whether they take part in the game," he says. "If a soldier answers in the affirmative, he is sent to a professional for an evaluation, usually a psychologist."
  • Those who admit to playing are given psychological evaluations and are often denied security clearances. This is a half-truth. The truth is: Those who admit to playing are given psychological evaluations. Half of all IDF personnel who are given psychological evaluations are denied security clearances..

In other news, I've not finished "spells and Gods" which I think will be an important section. Everwill 09:24, 8 March 2008 (EST)

Enough already

Please can somebody explain why we have this vast and in-depth article about a toy/game/whatever, and try to pass this off? Enough with the trivia and the cruft, this article should be chopped down and an appropriate couple of external links added. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 09:28, 9 March 2008 (EDT)

Oh that's an easy one to answer. Gary Gygax was an acquaintance of mine and wrote the Foreword to my book. Although I would agree that Moses was a great man, he was not acquaintance of mine and thus I do not feel personally motivated to memorialize him at this time. Gary Gygax died last week. Moses did not. I am a subject expert on Dungeons & Dragons. I am not a subject expert on Moses.
Now a question for you: isn't the world a big enough place for you to find a place to urinate other than in my cornflakes? I mean there are a lot of cornflakes in the world. Why choose mine? Everwill 15:26, 9 March 2008 (EDT)
So what you're saying is that you have a conflict of interest regarding this article. Jinxmchue 17:20, 9 March 2008 (EDT)
Everwill, that's a harsh sort of thing to say. I can understand Fox's irritation with the disparity between articles. No, it's not really your fault; you simply wrote about a topic on which you felt knowledgeable enough to write (and fairly well), whereas no such writer (or not enough writers) has come forth on Moses or other such articles. Please don't take it so personally when Fox expresses frustration at this situation in general, and don't respond with such snarky comments; it's better to assume exasperation than maliciousness. Fox, like I said, (I think) I understand your frustration, but I don't know if the the solution is necessarily to dismantle the less important but actually substantial articles - the problems may lie beyond that. Feebasfactor 17:48, 9 March 2008 (EDT)
No, he does not have a conflict of interest regarding this article. On Conservapedia, unlike Wikipedia, we welcome edits from people with familiarity with the subject through personal experience. DanH 18:12, 9 March 2008 (EDT)
Sorry for my snippy response. I couldn't understand why someone thinks killing my enthusiasm is productive. Preventing from working this article won't get Moses written any sooner. But perhaps I was most testy because Gygax has just died. I thought I was pretty clever with the random link though. * :^) *
I posted Gygax's favorite Bible verse on his article. Hope that's okay. Everwill 07:38, 10 March 2008 (EDT)

Wikipedia is rife with errors and tilts to the wacky left, but give Wikipedia its due. Wikipedia is one of the best resources for research into popular culture. If you want to know the name of Boba Fett's uncle, or find out who is responsible for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you can't (yet) beat Wikipedia. If this reference is to ever have something approaching the popularity of that reference, then you'll need a lot of articles like this one.

Furthermore, we perform a great service to young people everywhere by giving them conservative impressions and thoughts about popular culture and pop culture icons. This may well be the first and only place where they hear what we think. I don't know if there is a conservapedia article about Britney_Spears or Prince but there should be. Everwill 09:51, 10 March 2008 (EDT)

No, there shouldn't be. And why are either of the two preceeding examples you gave of any importance whatsoever? 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 10:02, 10 March 2008 (EDT)
I guess that he answered the "why" by saying that young people will be looking for information about those people, so we should have a conservative article on them. Otherwise, they will simply look elsewhere and likely get a different viewpoint. That does, admittedly, go against things that have been said before about Conservapedia, but I think it might be a valid point. Philip J. Rayment 10:14, 10 March 2008 (EDT)

Just because pop culture is not important to you (and most of the time to me) does not mean that pop culture is not important. But, the "importance" of pop culture is irrelevant. The fact is -- important or not -- impressionable kids and young adults have a lot of interest in popular culture. Therefore, it is our place to provide reliable information and conservative values-based commentary.

Instead of lauding the accomplishments of drinking womanizing pop stars, we can identify them for what they are: weak-minded, insecurity and desperate for attention. Instead of lavishing attention on trollops who don't wear underwear, we should mock them as tramps and harlots. The alternative is not to ignore Britney Spears and Anna Nicole because they aren't "important". Kids need to know that VanderSloot might be evil for killing Natalie Holloway, but they also need to know how she is responsible for the lifestyle choices she made.

Our culture is chock full of people whose lives have been wrecked by an adherence to the liberal lifestyle. From Marilyn Monroe to Jimi Hendrix to Bon Scott to Keith Whitley to Keith Ledger, we have a ready supply of lessons for youth who may be attracted to the liberal lifestyle. We do those youth a disservice when we simply dismiss these people as unimportant.

Movies, art, and pop stars are the ceremonies, hymns and saints of the pop church. To dismiss this as "unimportant" is to cede liberals the power to spin culturally subversive messages to expand the secular progressive agenda. Everwill 14:34, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Your inside knowledge of the game through your acquaintance with Gary Gygax is valuable, and I see no conflict of interest. The rules of Wikipedia do not apply here. WP's goal is "neutrality", while ours is to be "trustworthy". Having an inside track is good!
I can understand why you might be irritated with a request to drop the subject you know well. No one can ask you to conduct research on a topic that is new to you, and we could not expect good results from such research anyway. Better to let each person write about what he already knows, and do a bit of light research to chase down details and references. --Ed Poor Talk 07:53, 12 March 2008 (EDT)

And the beat goes on ...

I just finished "Unchristian Activities". An editorial review to sift out my opinions might be helpful. Everwill

On the whole, I like it - it seems nicely balanced, giving both sides of the debate. I do have concerns about the 'warning to parents and players', though. It is still balanced, as it seems to give two different sides to that issue, but it seems to be describing differing opinions, rather than relying on verifiable facts, and it also leaves out both the idea that both opinions may be wrong (D&D could, in effect, be 'just a game' to many players, having neither a positive or negative effect), and the idea that playing as an 'evil' character has precisely the opposite effect than the article suggests (it 'gets it out of your system', so to speak, so you don't act in such a manner outside of the game, in real life). The part about guns also has me doubly concerned, as it seemingly drags a whole different issue into the article, which I'm not sure is appropriate, and it also seems to try to simplify each side of the gun control issue into a few words, at the cost of leaving out important details (for example, some anti-gun folk call guns 'evil' because, whilst they are tools, they're tools designed for a single function - to kill). Other than that, nice work, not just on that section, but the whole page. Urushnor 20:27, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
In all honesty, the "parental advisory" tidbit is not very encyclopedic in nature. Even if you're trying to be helpful, I think it's safe to assume you're only setting yourself and this article up as easy targets for anyone who wants to have their conservapedia prejudices confirmed. Lichthammer 00:45, 11 April 2008 (CET)
Your idea that there is a third category other than good and evil, is itself evil (IMHO). It is a typical liberal idea to declare that nothing is good or evil (I think Nietschze popularized this idea).
If it's "just a game", then it's good. If it "gets it out of your system", then it's good. The question remains whether role-playing does get evil out of one's system. Some say that acting out fantasies of good or evil reinforce those same good or evil tendencies. Let's continue this at Conservapedia:Are role-playing games good for children?. --Ed Poor Talk 08:24, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
A small note, in a family friendly encyclopedia we're not going to advocate acting out evil so someone can become good any more than someone would have recommended to Hitler to act out being a good and compassionate man so he could become more evil. We have a tendency to follow that which we feed. Learn together 20:33, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
Well, I agree that the reverse of what I said isn't true (that people who are evil in real life don't get more evil by playing at being good to 'get it out of their system'), but it's not exactly an uncommon notion that everyone has a dark side. Releasing that 'dark side' within the confines of a game, for some people, may very well act as a sort of 'stress relief', and stop that 'dark side' from being released in real life. However, perhaps I wasn't very clear, but the point I was making there was that, whilst the section is balanced by having two differing opinions, there are alternative opinions to the two posed, and it is two differing opinions, so should it be in the article at all? Urushnor 23:55, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
I have a few more paragraphs to finish up. I'm going to explain the basics of game play. As for these criticisms, I think they are quite valid, but I think I've provided a framework for the debate without offering up every answer. I wholeheartedly agree that it is never a good idea to confuse one argument with another, so I do think that references to the gun control argument can be left out. That said, I think the idea that this is a tool/toy needs to be made. D&D is not inherently good or evil, but it is up to the players to choose to use it for good or evil. Everwill 09:21, 14 March 2008 (EDT)

Far from finished

This is far from finished, requiring many edits and a bit of paring down, but my first draft is complete. I'm going to leave this for a while. Hopefully some good soul will give this a friendly edit and hopefully the gremlins will keep their grubs away from it. Either way, I think it's best if I leave it for a while and then edit the edits rather than continuing to make this "all mine". There are quite a few things I would have chopped out, but I didn't want to be too merciless on other people's work. Everwill 08:09, 15 March 2008 (EDT)

Thank you for your work. It seems to me that sections on gameplay should probably not be at the bottom of the article. Perhaps the middle after history? Learn together 14:02, 16 March 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the kind words. I would agree with this edit and encourage you to make it. ;^) Everwill 14:35, 17 March 2008 (EDT)

Is the game really about "free will?"

Or is it about a false perception of free will? Certainly players can say whatever they want about what their characters are doing, but the game is ultimately controlled by the Dungeon Master. The DM ultimately decides what acts are and are not allowed within the plot of the game. It's not really true free will if your choices are limited by another and/or a plotline. Jinxmchue 14:42, 16 March 2008 (EDT)

There's a great deal of variation. An experienced Dungeon Master usually molds the game around the actions of the players more than the other way around. Of course that also includes consequences for actions. But again, there is a great deal of variation. Learn together 16:05, 16 March 2008 (EDT)
I think if you want to argue that the game revolves around a false perception of free will, you probably need to change DMs. A good DM adjudicates what is possible within the rules ("physics") and describes the world and anything that is not a PC. So just as gravity tells you that you can't jump 100 feet into the air, the DM tells you that you need to make a jump check to try and jump 100 feet into the air (and then he will tell you that you have failed). The DM should not be telling you what you can and cannot do, though a really good DM might suggest that you do otherwise, for the safety of your character. HelpJazz 10:46, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
I have become convinced that Jinxmchue's goal is to describe the conservative position in the most preposterous terms so as to better ridicule conservatives by posing as a conservative. If this is Andy Kauffman style humor, I applaud it even as I tire of it. On the other hand, if this is a sincere attempt to undermine conservative values and Conservapedia, then I forewarn you that such efforts are futile. Everwill 14:39, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
I don't know. I would hate to accuse someone who may have sincere beliefs of trolling. But I do know that if he hasn't been involved in the fantasy role playing world, that it will be difficult to understand, especially because of the great variation involved. Are there bad games? Of course, but there are good ones too. The question is do the rules themselves lead one to a destructive path? At least in the earlier versions that I am accustomed to, I would say no. Learn together 17:33, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
He says he has played (and DMed) before, somewhere up above. I would say as well with the later versions of the game you have even more freedom (and therefore are less likely to be lead down a destructive path). HelpJazz 18:57, 17 March 2008 (EDT)
Actually, I go back to the AD&D first edition, which I think was superior to what was produced afterwards precisely because there was a strongly defined good and evil. Demons and devils were evil and sought the active destructive and torment of humans. So what happened with the 2nd edition? They were renamed and now they fought against each other instead. It sounded like PC garbage and neutered the game. Learn together 02:36, 18 March 2008 (EDT)
Third Edition is a PC abomination where it seems clear that "neutral" is the preferred alignment. While the "kooky goods" are really no better than "evil", the peace-loving neutrals are not bound to any dogma. Also, before PC it was common practice to use "he" when one means "he/she". Third edition uses "she" instead.

In a side note Jinxmchue has created articles about Jeb Eddy and Jim Ronca and the Democratic Underground. I think he's got a pretty active sense of humor and I tip my hat to him, wink and smile---even while I hope the constables haul him away. Everwill 06:47, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

I don't think for one moment that Jason is in any danger of being hauled off by the constables :D 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 07:42, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

If memory serves, LT, aren't most of those things controlled by the setting used, not the system itself? There's nothing in the rules preventing you from having no moral ambiguity or forcing you to have non-stereotypical characters. EBrown 20:16, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Addition to warnings about the game?

While the game itself may not be inherently evil or Satanic, I think it's pretty clear that it attracts a lot of folks who hold ideas incompatible with Christianity. Many Christian parents may not want their children associating with such individuals.

A good example is here: Satanism in D&D I was pretty shocked when this was pointed out to me; notice that, among the "Brilliant Gameologists" participating in the discussion, the only debate seems to be over whether Satanism or atheism is superior. I didn't see a single even marginally positive opinion concerning Christianity.

While I'm sure these folks don't speak for everyone who plays the game, shouldn't the article reflect the possibility of encountering such viewpoints?

--Benp 13:32, 31 May 2008 (EDT)

Why don't we warn against watching TV and reading books, as well? Those both attract the same sorts. EBrown 20:13, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
Flawed logic, EBrown. Reading books and watching television can be done in isolation; roleplaying games are, by their nature, a group activity. As with any group activity, parents should be aware of the nature of the group. --Benp 20:18, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
I'll grant you that, I guess. How about this, then: How about we warn parents about the dangers of encountering atheists or other non-Christians, or worse, steroid users in sports? No matter how you look at it, using an encyclopedia to warn parents that their children might talk to an atheist doesn't seem appropriate. EBrown 20:22, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
If the encyclopedia in question plainly makes its purpose known, and that purpose is to be an educational resource for those of a conservative (and particularly conservative Christian) philosophy, then I think it's entirely appropriate to include such warnings. It's really no different from having, say, a website that reviews movies from a Christian perspective. While warnings to parents concerning anti-Christian themes might not be appropriate in a movie review in, say, the New York Times, it's entirely appropriate for such warnings to appear on such a website.
Furthermore, I will suggest that there's, again, a difference between roleplaying games and sports. While someone who participates in sports might be incidentally an atheist or even a Satanist, it's unlikely to come up in the context of that activity. I know I didn't have a lot of religious discussions while playing football. On the other hand, as the link I provided shows, it's entirely possible to use D&D as a vehicle for expressing Satanism or other questionable philosophies. --Benp 20:27, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
When did scaremongering become educational? Futhermore, have you ever played D&D? In most cases, it's played in a group of friends who knew eachother previously.
Do locker rooms not exist where you live?
It's also entirely possible to use D&D as a vehicle for expressing Christianity. Since I know you're going to ask how and/or call me a heretic, I'll explain how: Send the players on a quest to defeat the legions of Satan (Represented by either actual demons or Atheists, your choice.) through prayer (In the form of weaponry, probably, because what measure is a non-human?) and good will. I'm sure you can come up with a less cynical version of that. EBrown 21:02, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Personally, I find that saying I know what someone is going to do usually doesn't work out for the best; I prefer to respond to what they say, not to what "I know" they're going to say. The fact that there are Christian-themed roleplaying games is already well referenced in the article.
Now: let's go back to your previous analogies. Let us suppose that we are discussing reading. Not all reading is created equal. I certainly think that a parent should react differently to discovering that their eleven year old child is reading, say, Great Expectations then they would to discovering that the same child was reading pornography. Nor do I think that most reasonable people would disagree with that supposition; it is wise and prudent for a parent to be aware of what their child is reading. The same applies to television viewing; I don't think most reasonable individuals would disagree that a responsible parent will keep track of what their child is watching, and how much of it they're watching.
Hence, my addition to the warnings--which is, ultimately, simply a caution that the parent should keep track of their child's associations.
Daphnea, in response to your question: I'm actually quite familiar with roleplaying games. I am also familiar with the use of roleplaying as a therapeutic tool. I'm aware that such tools can be used well, and that they can also be used poorly.
Why is it that anyone even suggesting that some parental guidance is appropriate is automatically cast as a reactionary boogeyman? --Benp 21:35, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
Because you're suggesting that everyone who plays D&D is some sort of Satan-worshipping atheist (?) or other malcontent. If you're suggesting parents keep track of their childrens' friends, that's fine, but this isn't the place to do it for two reasons:
  1. This is an encyclopedia.
  2. This is the D&D article. EBrown 21:56, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

I'd love to see where I suggested that. I could've sworn that what I said was that the game tends to attract a disproportionate number of such assertion I supported with a link to a current thread on a popular board for discussion of such games. (Please note that I'm not citing alarmism and hearsay from the 1980's; I'm citing what actual gamers are saying on actual forums today.)
Ah, right. I forgot, you're surprised to see a discussion of LaVey Satanism (Which is /not/ worship of Satan) in a thread entitled "Satanism in D&D". Good job, there. So instead of citing alarmism and hearsay, you've cited a thread where gamers discuss what is in the topic line. On the M-rated board.
And you go on to warn us that people who play D&D (Not all of them, I'm sorry. I should've said "a disproportionate number." On another note, I'd like to see a source for that.) might not worship your God. To anyone with a working brain, it should not come as a surprise that a game of imagination should attract people who believe differently than you. Thus, I see such a warning as unnessecary and unencyclopedic. EBrown 23:32, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
Are encyclopedias supposed to give parental guidance? As I said below, why aren't there warnings in Gun? It seems stupid to warn parents against a game and NOT warn them against a lethal weapon. Daphnea 21:50, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

By the same logic, many would argue that an encyclopedia isn't "supposed to" promote one viewpoint over another...and thus, Conservapedia should not be pro-Christian. Such arguments strike me as disingenuous at best, when this encyclopedia makes it abundantly clear that it takes a definite position, and that the articles written here will reflect that position.
Daphnea: I see no reason that a well-written article on gun safety wouldn't be a welcome addition to the project. Certainly, parents should be aware if their children are handling firearms, and should be involved in ensuring that they know how to handle them safely and responsibly. Given that gun safety is a topic unto itself, and a fairly extensive one, I think perhaps a distinct article with a link would probably be better than just an addition to the main Gun article, but YMMV. The reason I think a brief warning is appropriate in the body of this article is because, frankly, D&D doesn't strike me as a topic of as much significance as guns, and "D&D safety" doesn't seem to merit its own article.
That said: a lot of parents aren't aware of exactly what Dungeons and Dragons is, or the potential positives and negatives of the game. Thus, a warning is not out of order. I think it's a pretty safe bet that most parents are aware of the fact that guns are dangerous and can shoot people, aren't you?
Honestly, folks: D&D seems to be a sacred cow to some people, and any criticism (however mild) prompts hyperbolic accusations. I personally think the current article does a pretty good job of striking a balance between those who think the game is wonderful and those who think it poses serious moral problems for Christians. If you genuinely think that a cautionary note to parents is outside the purview of this encyclopedia (not "an encyclopedia," but this specific encyclopedia,) we could ask a sysop for clarification. I'm willing to abide by whatever they say is appropriate. --Benp 22:53, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
You're not criticising, you're attacking. If you /really/ want to write an unencyclopedic warning on the dangers of people using their imaginations to slay monsters and fight the forces of evil in a fantasy world, feel free to write something in the Essay namespace. That's what it's there for, after all. EBrown 10:19, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I'm not sure what information you are currently at odds about. Is it the section as written or the possibility of adding more criticism. Personally I would not expand the section on concerns as that section and the one above it seem to cover the topic in depth. As a family friendly encyclopedia we can express concerns, but should also be careful to do so within the wider framework of the article. Learn together 13:12, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
I'm confused too, I do think that we should strive to be informative regarding improper content on these games and other media (which I think is one of the things Wikipedia does worst) but at the same time the article seems to do just fine tackling these issues (from a quick skimming at least. I would change the leading text a bit but that's it.) so whether this discussion about expanding said information or reducing it? Because I personally don't think it needs any major changes. WilliamH 13:29, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

(unindent) That's essentially my position. I think the article as it stands strikes a reasonable balance. It addresses reasonable concerns of the sort likely to be relevant to parents, while at the same time not delving into sensationalist accusations.

Now, to specifics: Ebrown, I'll freely admit that my observation that a disproportionate number of gamers have views that Christians might find problematic is just that: an observation. Mind you, it's an observation based on fairly extensive experience, and also one I think most gamers would agree with. I've heard more than a few gamers lament the "freaks and weirdos" who "give gaming a bad name." Be honest, now: are you going to claim that gaming doesn't include a relatively high percentage of such individuals?

I'm sure there are many active gamers who would be perfectly acceptable company to most Christians. I know quite a few myself. I also know that when a friend shows me his pictures from a gaming convention, and they include large fat hairy men dressed up as schoolgirls, I can reasonably conclude that a lot of parents would find that disturbing, at the least, and probably not want their children hanging out with such an individual. Likewise, when the topics on a popular discussion forum include questions about how to incorporate Satanism into D&D and other cheerful topics like "Incest in gaming," I can reasonably conclude that a lot of parents might take issue with their child playing in such a game.

Would it really shock you, Ebrown, to learn that a lot of Christians really don't consider Anton LaVey to be fine and dandy simply because he doesn't advocate direct worship of Satan?

At any rate, I've asked a SysOp to take a look and give us his opinion on whether the material is appropriate for a Conservapedia article. If he thinks it's not, I have no problem with removing it. In any case, I'm not planning on adding more; I think a brief warning is sufficient. --Benp 16:17, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

First, to LT: It's a family friendly /encyclopedia/. My problem is that it's not written in an encyclopedic format. It's massive POV.
Now, to Benp: Relative to what, exactly?
Yes, there are gamers that aren't considered infidel scum by Christians. There are also "freaks and weirdos" in pretty much every group. As for the non-Family Friendly discussions you linked us to, you're using a few discussions about tree sex to indict an entire subculture. Quite simply, you're acting like the majority of D&D games are like this and, as a player, I can confirm they aren't.
I don't care what "a lot of Christians" think about Anton LaVey, Benp, and I'm not sure what gave you the impression I did. You're trying to say that D&D players worship Satan, going by a few discussions about Anton LaVey, who advocates worship of the self, not worship of Satan.
Finally, you already said that. And LT, a sysop, posted above. So what's the point of that last paragraph? EBrown 18:19, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Sigh. No. I'm not. I'm really not. I'm saying that a lot of D&D players have moral and philosophical viewpoints troubling to Christians. Spin that any way you want; it remains the truth. Worship of self is every bit as spiritually destructive as worship of Satan...moreso, I'd say, since many of the same people who can clearly see that worshipping Satan isn't a great idea fall victim to the church of "It's all about me."
Spin that any way you like; it remains true. I think your impassioned defense of LaVey really helps prove my point on that matter. I say that many D&D players have philosophies that aren't compatible with Christianity; you deny it, and then immediately begin defending LaVeyan Satanism as if it would be compatible with Christianity if only those darned Christians understood what it was all about.
We understand; we just reject the notion that "Do as you will" should be the whole of the law. Likewise, some of us understand roleplaying games quite well, and still consider them to be of potential concern. It may be hard to imagine that someone could examine the same evidence as you and not come to the same conclusion...but, believe it or not, it happens.
At any rate, I'm a man of my word: one SysOp didn't have a problem with the article, while another agreed that it was a bit too much of a lecture for an encyclopedia. I have revised it accordingly.

Warnings to Parents

Aren't we abandoning any pretence of being an informative encyclopedia when we add things like this to articles? Strangly I was just editing the Columbine High School Massacre article and I didn't see any warnings about anything there. Daphnea 14:34, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Daphnea, exactly what sort of warnings do you think should be in the Columbine article? "Parents should be aware that going on a shooting rampage can have negative consequences?" I'm not quite sure I see the parallel you're trying to draw here. --Benp 20:20, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
I don't think there should be any warnings added to Columbine. You could come up with some pretty good warnings if you tried - warnings on letting kids own guns come to mind - but I don't think there should be such warnings, because it's not the place of an encyclopedia to issue such warnings. My point though is that if it's pointless and sily to issue such warnings in the case of Columbine, it's equally pointless and silly to issue them here. Daphnea 21:16, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

BenP invited me to review the article and add my comments. First let me say that I found this article quite informative, and now know a lot more about the game than I did before reading it.

Before I get to the main point, I noted a few minor problems.

  • The article needs a bit of copyediting, with missing words or poor grammar in a few places.
  • The article is rather short of references. I think this is the sort of article in which it's not reasonable to reference everything that might be disputed, and where Conservapedia's lack of a ban on original research is useful, but even allowing for those point, more references would be good.
  • The comments about early Christian critics of the game seem to be unduly patronising to those people, and could probably do with some rewording.
  • Is the phrase "atheism or monotheism in disguise" correct? (And that's one thing that could do with a reference.)
  • I don't understand the scenario about humans being teleported from Earth. That needs to be explained better.

Okay, to the main point.

There are differences between the following sentences:

  • Guns can easily be misused and the consequences of misuse are sometimes fatal.
  • Guns can easily be misused and the consequences of misuse are sometimes fatal, so parents should restrict the use of guns by children.

I feel that the second one is somewhat patronising, as it presumes that a parent is not clever enough to work out for themselves that if gun misuse is sometimes fatal, they ought to be careful about their children having access to them. And it's not encyclopaedic.

Note that I'm not opposed to saying that D&D can be dangerous (more on that below). Rather, I'm saying that there is no need to give an explicit warning as though that would not already be obvious from other content.

As to whether or not it is dangerous, I can see the argument from both sides, and to a fair extent it's a very subjective matter. I don't doubt that it has the potential to be dangerous, but whether it is in practice depends on just how it is played, who it is played with, perhaps how often or how long it is played, and so forth. Not being a frequent player of the game myself (actually, I've not played it at all), I'm not in a position to say whether it is or is not dangerous, and therefore how much need be said about its dangers.

Philip J. Rayment 00:16, 25 June 2008 (EDT)

Hmm. Okay, fair enough. I'll try to rewrite that section, and see if I can't come up with a version that will be acceptable to all parties concerned. --Benp 14:05, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Article is ponderously large

Much of it is unencyclopedic fancruft (to borrow a term from Wikipedia). Do we really need multiple paragraphs covering the minutiae of how the game is played and for each edition of the game? Some serious trimming down is sorely needed. Jinx McHue 23:31, 27 April 2010 (EDT)