DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS - CONCERNS FOR THE CHRISTIAN
"Dungeons and Dragons Fantasy Adventure Game"( D&D Game for
short) is a role-playing game for persons 10 years and older.
In the D&D rules, individuals play the role of characters in a
fantasy world where magic is real and heroes venture out on
dangerous quests in search of fame and fortune. Characters
gain experience by overcoming perils and recovering treasures.
As characters gain experience, they grow in power and ability."
TSR, D&D Basic Rulebook, p. B3.
TSR (Tactical Studies Rules), producer of D&D, was founded
in 1974. Estimates of its sales have been as high as: $23
million gross in 1979, $45 million gross in 1980, $60-90
million gross in 1981 with net income of $28 million. In 1980,
children age 10-14 bought 46% of the D&D games, those 15-17
bought another 26% of the games. TSR has 140 employees, is
producing academic area games, translating D&D into other
languages, producing a major film, producing electronic
versions, etc. They are one of many companies producing
similar FRP games.
Children and adults find the games exciting and
challenging. But the games include some aspects that need a
closer look by Christian children and parents. Some of these
are suggested here:
1. There is a danger in becoming over-involved in D&D,
spending a large amount of time, money, and interest in it.
a. Gary Gygax, orignator of the game, said that "the most
extensive requirement of the game is time." (D&D Basic Manual,
b. Articles in newspapers and magazines have told of many
people who spent many hours a day or week playing, sometimes
investing hundreds to thousands of dollars in materials and
c. Again Gary Gygax has said: "You have to pursue D&D
with your entire soul if you're going to do well at it."
(Rolling Stone, Oct. 1980)
d. People tell of talking about nothing else, having no
friends who do not play, experiencing peer pressure to play and
rejection of those who do not.
e. Ephesians 5:15-17 tells us to make the most of our
time, and to watch carefully how we walk.
f. Philippians 4:8 says: "...fill your minds with those
things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are
true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable." Does D&D
measure up to these standards?
2. There is a danger in players becoming too involved with
their imaginary characters.
a. People have said: "I've seen people have fits, yell
for fifteen minutes, hurl dice...when their character dies."
"It's when you take the game home with you, when Johnny's mad
for a week because you killed his character, that it's an
addiction." Gary Gygax said: "when you start playing out a
fantasy, it can really eat up time and capture you totally.
Most people can handle it, but there are probably exceptions."
A Dr. Douglas Brown said: "If a person isn't too well put
together to begin with, it's not going to be good for him."
b. Many find D&D to be an escape from the real world and
find it more exciting. But some have found it hard to separate
the real from the imaginary and carry the game into real life.
c. Matthew 16:24 and the verses following talk about
Christians "taking up a cross", not trying to escape from the
world, but giving up their lives for Jesus and serving Him.
d. See Philippians 4:8 again.
3. D&D contains a lot of violence.
a. The whole concept of the game is to do battle with
monsters. Characters are equipped with various types of armor,
weaponry, potions and spells. It is necessary to kill, not
just the monsters but even humans, in order to succeed in the
b. A central Washington police department asks as a
standard question of those arrested: "Are you a participant of
Fantasy Role Games?" Another source stated that 60 suicides
were directly attributed to D&D in 1981.
c. Galatians 5:19-26 describes our human natures and the
fruit of the Spirit. What is it saying?
4. D&D is an effective "teacher". Do you know what it is
a. D&D makes use of several effective teaching/learning
techniques including involving the feelings of the
participants, role-playing, fantasy, and memorization. The
roles (classes, professions) include religious-type roles
(although not Christian by any means) such as cleric, Druid,
and monk. Other roles are that of fighter, thief, illusionist,
assassin, etc. The fantasies include doing battle with devils
and demons using various types of weaponry, spells and potions.
Magic-users, elves, and clerics use spells, which must be
memorized before a game begins after consultation with the
proper book of spells. The spell must then be spoken or read
aloud in order to have any effect.
b. One of the book's authors says that in D&D, good is
given far more attention than evil, but a 40-hour-per-week
player claims that it is better to be evil because you can do
evil things and get away with them. An FRP games
representative stated in The Milwaukee Journal, 11/5/81, that
"these games are teaching the difference between right and
wrong." In D&D even lawful good characters kill many other
human characters in the name of duty to eradicate evil.
c. Leviticus 19:26 says not to practice any kind of
d. I Thessalonians says to avoid every kind of evil ("even
the appearance of evil" in some translations).
5. D&D claims to involve the players in the worship/service
of other gods.
a. Deities and Demigods, page 5 says: "Serving a deity
is a significant part of D&D, and all player characters should
have a patron god. Alignment assumes its full importance when
tied to the worship of a deity." The Dungeon Masters Guide,
page 25 says this: "Whether or not the character actively
professes some deity,he or she will have an alignment and serve
one or more deities of his general alignment indirectly and
UNBEKNOWNST to the character." (emphasis mine) Another D&D
book says that the Gods and their Cohorts will occasionally
assist their devotees with aid, or harm them.
b. In Deities and Demigods, a total of over 200 foreign
gods are mentioned.
c. Exodus 23:13 tells us not to even mention the names of
d. Deuteronomy 7:25 and Ezekiel 6 talk more about idols
and false gods.
e. See Galatians 5:19-21 again.
6. D&D contains much information and encourages activity that
deals with the occult world.
a. Dr. Gary North, a Christian economist, author of the
book"None Dare Call It Witchcraft", and editor of the "Remnant
Review", said this: "Without any doubt in my own mind, after
years of study of the history of occultism, after having
researched historical research, I can say with confidence:
These games are the most effective, most magnificently
packaged, most profitably marked, most thoroughly researched
introduction to the occult in man's recorded history.
Period...this is NO game." (Remnant Review, 12/5/80)
b. D&D uses hundreds of traditional Christian terms, but
not with traditional meanings. It also deals with the casting
of spells, magic, sorcery, witchcraft, vodoo, demon and devil
worship, ESP, levitation, etc.
c. The words demon, devil and hell appear a total of 225
times in eight pages of Deities and Demigods (pages 16-23), and
encourages the worship of them as lesser gods (page 105).
d. The words Devil, devils, and Satan also appear in the
Bible (over 150 times), but the Bible teaches something
entirely different about them.
e. Deuterononmy 18:9 and following tells us to have
nothing to do with people who do things in this area. I Peter
5:8 talks about the devil as a lion, looking for people to eat!
Johnn 8-44 calls him a murderer and the father of lies (a
deceiver). Check other Bible passages for more information
f. Ephesians 6-:11 instructs us to put on the armor of
God to do real battle with wicked spiritual forces, the rulers,
authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.
g. Philippians 4:8 again directs us to focus our
attention on something better.
All of the above information is available in a D&D handbook
from Educational Research Analysts, The Mel Gablers, Po Box
7518, Longview, Texas 75607 for a $5 donation.
From Good News BBS (313)-459-8375