DnD...

I’ve always been taught that the game of Dungeons and Dragons was forbidden by that Catholic church, and since I’m Catholic I have always obeyed this rule, and not played it.

However, I’m just the kind of nerdy kid that plays that sort of game, and I’ve had NO luck finding any official source that says DnD is wrong. A lot of the people I’ve spoken with about this say that DnD is in no ways wrong.

Can anybody point me to a source that will finally answer my questions about DnD? Can I play it, or is there actually somthing wrong with it? I can’t find anything wrong with it, but if sombody can point it out, I would gladly forgo playing it.

Like all recreations, it depends how you play it.

Consider these questions:

Are you making it into your God? Are you worshiping anything but God? Are you denying any part of God by doing it? Is your personality stable enough to act other parts and still maintain a solid Christian identity? Is your Role-playing christian in its actions, or it is non-christian?

If any of these questions, brings up a potential problem, you probably should not play as it may lead your astray.

Now consider these questions as applied to the other players. If any of them are carried away by it or take it to far, you probably should not play with them.

If for you and the people you play with, it is like any other recreation that you apply your Christian living into, there should be no problem.

[quote=linkskywalker]I’ve always been taught that the game of Dungeons and Dragons was forbidden by that Catholic church, and since I’m Catholic I have always obeyed this rule, and not played it.

However, I’m just the kind of nerdy kid that plays that sort of game, and I’ve had NO luck finding any official source that says DnD is wrong. A lot of the people I’ve spoken with about this say that DnD is in no ways wrong.

Can anybody point me to a source that will finally answer my questions about DnD? Can I play it, or is there actually somthing wrong with it? I can’t find anything wrong with it, but if sombody can point it out, I would gladly forgo playing it.
[/quote]

There is nothing wrong with DnD. It is a game and as such is morally neutral. If it consumes time better spent with your family or with God, then dont do it. But that goes for any recreational activity, not just DnD.

I have a little booklet that can be looked at before you go to confession to help you out. It has extensive lists of mortal and venial sins in it. D&D is listed under venial sins. It is entitled, “An Examination of Conscience” text by Fr. Robert Altier, Nihil Obstat by Richard J. Schuler, Imprimatur by Harry J. Flynn, D.D. Archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis.

This is probably not what you mean by something official. But, clearly, there are Catholics out there who see it as wrong. That is why you have heard that it is wrong. But I have not heard anything of an official nature that indicates is it fundamentally wrong to play the game.

I think we should recall that much of that stuff was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien, a devout Catholic if ever there was one. I think Stobie’s take on this is absolutely accurate.

[quote=metal1633]There is nothing wrong with DnD. It is a game and as such is morally neutral. If it consumes time better spent with your family or with God, then dont do it. But that goes for any recreational activity, not just DnD.
[/quote]

I must very respectfully disagree, as someone who once played a LOT of DnD in my pre-Catholic days.

DnD games often require the user to recite certain prayers and petitions to their “gods and goddesses.” Many of those are pagan, ancient, or classical gods and goddesses from various cultures worldwide, and some are actual demons, with sepfici levels of Hell assigned to them. Many of the prayers are taken from ancient scrolls and artifacts. Our Church has wisely warned us to refrain from dabbling in the occult; I’d say this is one place not to dabble.

Noticeably (how do you spell that??) absent from the Book of Deities in DnD is any mention whatsoever of God the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, though nearly every single other religious figure from history in almost every culture is included.

I share the original poster’s frustration: I loved the hours I spent playing those complex and intriguing role playing games. there is not, to my knowledge, any other more Christianity-friendly version of this particular game out there which I feel I can play. But I had to say Bye Bye to that particular activity to stay true to my understanding of the requirements of my (then) newfound Faith.

Since then I’ve gotten hooked on Age of Empires computer games :smiley: .

TA stobi SFO - I have taken all of that into account, it still doesn’t answer the question at hand - is there an teaching against it?

Pug - I have that book as well, but I want some evidence. The exact text as i recall is “Have I played dungeons and dragons, or other simmilar games.” Since I highly doubt the church would do somthing like banning all of role playing games (Final Fantasy, DnD, Warhammer, dragon quest etc) I don’t think this is quite what I need.

Makerteacher - This is helpful to me…though I must wonder…is it really necessary to do that? Couldn’t you just forgo the book of dieties? And really, is it so wrong to have a charachter do somthing, as long as you keep in perspective that what he’s doing is right or wrong, and that your charachter is not you? I’m not trying to debate this, I’m just trying to understand…

I’d hesitate to get into DnD myself. I can’t speak from personal experience, but from what I’ve picked up, it can be very obsessive, and does, as has been mentioned, make significant allusions to the occult. Is playing DnD in and of itself sinful? I’m not completely sure, butI wouldn’t go that far…but it is dangerous, and can become an obsession, and can even lead some to further explore the real occult. (Not to say that every player would pursue such a venue).

I use to play computer games a lot, but they are not that neat anymore, it is all the same stuff to me. A computer game doesn’t love back, and it is time and money that could be spent better.

[quote=linkskywalker]Is there an teaching against it?
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You are not going to find a passage in the Bible or in the Catechism that states, “Thou shalt not game. Thou shalt not shop at Wizards of the Coast,” I guarantee you. This is likely one of those areas where you would have to determine if gaming falls under certain umbrella topics that ARE forbidden such as divination and magic (covered in the Catechism #2115-2117). I’m guessing the nature of the gaming session depends a lot on what the DM expects out of his group. If you simply just state, “My lawful-good elf Treesquat casts a 3rd level levitation spell on Rockhead the dwarf,” there is likely little to be concerned about. Now, if your DM and fellow gamers get into first person re-enactments where you actually have to make up something sounding like a spell- I’d really be wary of hanging with this crowd.

I think that Rome’s chief exorcist, Fr. Amorth may have issued some statements regarding role-playing games (not favorable) but I can find no documentation on it right now. I’ll keep looking. If you DO decide to game, let me offer you this advice: play alignments that are “good” or “lawful/neutral.” I say this because you WILL take pride in your character and their accomplishments, so it’s just best that your character have a decent morality. Also, DO NOT neglect God over gaming. Continue to go to mass and devote time to prayer each day. Gaming can become an obsession which takes up your time and your money- both of which you owe to God first. So, working on a character sheet for an hour one night? Say a Rosary and devote sometime to the Bible too. Spend $7 on a miniature? Put a little something extra in the basket on Sunday.

I don’t game. Why? Because on 9/11/01 my DM was annoyed with me that I chose to go to church and pray instead of attending our regularly scheduled gaming session. That put everything into perspective for me. I quit the group soon after. Feel free to privately message me if you have any other questions.

[quote=Makerteacher]I must very respectfully disagree, as someone who once played a LOT of DnD in my pre-Catholic days.

DnD games often require the user to recite certain prayers and petitions to their “gods and goddesses.” Many of those are pagan, ancient, or classical gods and goddesses from various cultures worldwide, and some are actual demons, with sepfici levels of Hell assigned to them. Many of the prayers are taken from ancient scrolls and artifacts. Our Church has wisely warned us to refrain from dabbling in the occult; I’d say this is one place not to dabble.

Noticeably (how do you spell that??) absent from the Book of Deities in DnD is any mention whatsoever of God the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, though nearly every single other religious figure from history in almost every culture is included.
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There is no official Church teaching against playing D&D but there is against dabbling in the occult. However, dabbling in the occult is not a part of the game. The fact that some very few have decided to go beyond the game rules and looked into the occult is not caused by the game itself, but rather by those who were not taught why the occult is wrong to begin with and whose parents were not involved in how their children were entertaining themselves.

I can’t speak for your own experience, of course, but I’ve spent many a LONG weekend playing D&D and have played with several different groups of people. The reference to requiring characters to pray to their diety is usually handled like this, “I spend the next three hours in prayer to my diety.” There are no instructions in D&D that include any actual prayers or requirements to recite them. The same is true for the use of magic in the game. The requirements of an individual spell are listed (verbal, movement, material components) but absolutely no instruction or requirement is in the game about how to cast spells. These requirements are listed for practical game purposes. If the spell requires movement but you have been captured and are tied up, you can’t cast that spell. Likewise if you are gagged and there is a verbal component. If there is a material requirement but all of your belongings have been taken or you have used up all of the iron you had on you. Etc., etc.

The exclusion of Christianity in the manual “Dieties and Demigods” is not a disapproval of of Christianity any more than the exclusion of Islam and Judaism. Additionally, not all of the religions mentioned in the game are based on real pagan religions. There are religions for the various ficticious races (dwarves, elves, etc.). They are optional and, if you so choose, you CAN include Christianity in the game.

Like all fantasy realms, including books, these things should be approached with and understanding mind. For parents, I always recommend that they don’t have their children play in isolation. They should be aware of the things their children are doing and how they are doing them. This includes role playing games, books they read, and also computer games.

An excellent suggestion! Nerds emerge from your basements into the light! Game upstairs in the living/dining room! (I say this with great affection as a card carrying “Nerd-Herd” member). :wink:

[quote=Jdg164]An excellent suggestion! Nerds emerge from your basements into the light! Game upstairs in the living/dining room! (I say this with great affection as a card carrying “Nerd-Herd” member). :wink:
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lol

In college, I spent one saturday and one tuesday night a week to mellow out from studies playing DnD, or other games (some of the marvel superhero ones were neat). The other nights, (accept Sunday) I was getting my butt kicked / beat-up in tae-kwan-do, fencing, and swordfighting.

Since you know of no official teaching saying it is wrong, and neither do the posters here (so far), I guess I wonder why you are concerned about it. Has something happened in your experience to say it is wrong? Do you have a funny feeling about playing or about the players around you? Is someone in authority over you telling you to quit? If any of these, I’d quit.

I’ve had extensive experience playing the game, nearly from its birth. The core game itself seems benign. But there are trappings around it that some would not like. The endless fantasy art with emphasis on the female form, for example. A bad idea for a sensitive male.

Gen-Con (a gaming convention) was an interesting experience too. I don’t know how to describe the types of human interaction I saw there. Something makes me nervous about it, though.

You are not doomed to endless nerd-dom if you play it. I know players who managed to get married, even to have kids and seem normal. :smiley:

If your only concern is the pamplet, well honestly, I’d ignore it. My spouse indignantly drew a line through that part of the booklet. But this advice is no good if the reason you think it is wrong is coming from your own bishop. Then what you need to do is be posting on one of the several threads about obedience to your bishop.

I think more concerns can be raised by live-action rpgs than rolling dice and saying, “I’m attempting to bash the stone troll with a quarterstaff.”

Roleplaying is neutral in itself and can be used for both good and bad purposes.

For instance, in many religion classes, students are asked to roleplay situations so that they can examine the morality within it. Here they are learning how to better interact with people and live a more moral life.

Roleplaying is a good place to improve your social interaction skills. It is helpful to focus playing non-evil characters so that their evil tendencies do not creep into your own life. Often it is a good place to safely let go on many of the stresses within your life.

[quote=linkskywalker] Makerteacher - This is helpful to me…though I must wonder…is it really necessary to do that? Couldn’t you just forgo the book of dieties? And really, is it so wrong to have a charachter do somthing, as long as you keep in perspective that what he’s doing is right or wrong, and that your charachter is not you? I’m not trying to debate this, I’m just trying to understand…
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Hi Link,
Yes you could forgo that book of dieties, and as “The Mutant” posted above, you could insert prayers to The One True God into the game. I think also who your Dungeon master is would have a huge impact on the whole tone and spiritual persuasion of the game.

When I quit playing, it was partially because the group I was playing with was getting into some things that I did not want to get into, and partially because as a new convert, I was pretty fragile in my faith still. Now I don’t play because I simply don’t have the time: I am a Mom of a large family with a full time job (see? young Nerds CAN grow up and lead almost normal lives :rolleyes: ). My relaxation today comes from reading, and I get my fantasy fix with movies and books instead of RPGs.

To my knowledge there is no official Church teaching on this or any other role playing game, whether live action or tabletop oriented. As JDG said, “*This is likely one of those areas where you would have to determine if gaming falls under certain umbrella topics that ARE forbidden such as divination and magic (covered in the Catechism #2115-2117). I’m guessing the nature of the gaming session depends a lot on what the DM expects out of his group. If you simply just state, “My lawful-good elf Treesquat casts a 3rd level levitation spell on Rockhead the dwarf,” there is likely little to be concerned about. Now, if your DM and fellow gamers get into first person re-enactments where you actually have to make up something sounding like a spell- I’d really be wary of hanging with this crowd.” * My DM was indeed making us do just that. I had to quit. Yours may be very different.

While we are on the topic, anyone aout there familiar with a live action RPG group called Dragon Quest? It’s also called Dragon Crest, I believe. I had a great babysitter whom my kids loved who began to get involved with this group and ended up spending almost every weekend playing. She spent hours sewing costumes (some were fairly immodest) and building weapons to use in the mock battles. (She broke her arm in one of those battles.) I had to quit hiring her because the occultic overtones of the game began to show up in her daily life; first little things, like a necklace with a dragon and a “lifeforce” crystal on it, then bigger things, like she quit going to church and started talking about Mother Earth as the supreme being, and discussing the rather risque evening campire activities they had. They would camp out in a state park for tow or three days at a time. These were mostly teens between the ages of 15-19, and some in their younger twenties… :frowning: I’m just wondering how widespread these groups are.

NOTE - The MB doesn’t like posts over 4000 charachters? I’ll just DP if that’s a’right with all of yas =P

Wow, this is a lot of information for me to process. I would like to start by thanking you all for your help in this matter, and that I because of what you guys have told me, I feel that all around DnD isn’t really a bad thing…just somthing I would have to be careful with. I’m a 17 year old kid, attend mass regularly, confession weekly, rosary daily, etc etc etc. I highly doubt I would have problems with the occult.

Makerteacher - The dragon quest I was talking about is a video game orriginaly released in Japan in the 80s by Enix, later released over here as “dragon warrior” It’s pretty much your generic video game RPG. Such and so kid is decended of such and so great knight and it is his destiny to defeat the evil dragon lord or whatever =P I find LARPs (live action role plays) interesting, but I really don’t have time for THAT kind of thing. I cosplay on occasion…but that’s about it. I’m not much of a groupe person =p

AmandaPS - I really don’t see a difference. I don’t know how much RPing you’ve done in the past, if any at all. But I’ve been deeply involved in a few different kinds of role playing throughout the years, including video game role plays, and online text based role plays. You really do become quite involved with your charachters, personaly I tend to create charachters that I would like to meet/be IRL (in real life). For instance, for my primary charachter, Beloch Shrike, I created a race known as the shai. I created an honor system for them, and tried and follow it myself (Before I read the book of five rings, and found a much more worthy honor system =P).

Also, it seems we share interests, I’m comprable to an E ranked saber fencer (at least that’s my estimate) and am testing for my High Yellow belt in TKD in a few days. Martial arts are a big part of my life. I’m also an aspiring computer programmer, graphics designer, and just about anything else to do with computers, telephones or electronics.

Pug - I have no personal reservations, but all of the adults that I know tell me it’s forbidden by the church. Which i have always found hard to believe.

oh, and about this -

“You are not doomed to endless nerd-dom if you play it. I know players who managed to get married, even to have kids and seem normal.”

I am too doomed to endless nerd-dom/geek-ish-ness! And proud of it! However, there are a lot of geek/nerd girls that I know that are possibilities if I ever decide to end my relationship strike. I often wish there were less of them…chosing which one to pursue would make my head hurt (thus the relationship strike X’D)

Jdg164 - Light is so annoying…it makes my light-deprived eyes burn really badly X’D

theMutant - I agree on pretty much all of that, except the parents part. I know that coming from sombody still under the controle of his parents, this sounds like it should be dismissed, but hear me out here =P

As the oldsets of six children, my parents usualy leave me to myself meerly for lack of time. I do my own school, drive myself and my brother to TKD and walk myself to fencing, or drive myself to work. I help them out when I can, but they don’t have much time to bother about MY life. I’m perfectly fine with that, I have nothing to hide from them. Occasionaly I’ll drag them over to check out some cutscene in a game or somthing like that, but for the most part they trust me to do what’s right, and I do my best to do that.

If however, I were to - for example - bring my PS2 out of the basement and play onimusha or tenchu: wrath of heaven up there, it would probably scar my younger siblings for the rest of their lives. In trying to watch over me, my parents would be exposing their younger children to things that might be suitable for a 17 year old, but not for a 2,5,7,and 10 year old. The same could be said of DnD. I might be able to see the difference between fantasy and reality. I might be mature enough to realise that the occult is wrong. My 7 year old brother that worships the ground I walk on? Probably not.

just seems like it would do more damage than good to me.

Jdg164 - That’s kind of what I expected…no real teaching against it, just teachings about what MIGHT be part of it if you CHOOSE to play that way. I would be very interested in that quote, if you can find it. I’ll ask around about it myself as well. I doubt my DM and fellow players would be a problem, as I kinda-sorta represent a groupe of guys and girls at my (very orthadox, coolest ever!!!) Parish.

flick427 - While I wouldn’t really consider myself as much of a hardcore gamer as I used to…I still enjoy my games a lot :slight_smile:

twf - Everything can become obsessive. Especialy for sombody with an obsessive personality like me. However, as long as you keep things in moderation as Jdg164 mentioned, you’ll be alright.

I thank you all again for your help in this so far, it’s been very productive and helpful to me. I think I’ll print this thread out…

all things in moderation, and as long as it does not injure your faith, i see no harm in it.
it is just a game, no more, no less.
Though i do not play myself, i am getting sick and tired of over-scrupulous people claiming that FICTIONAL things are evil. so long as the person understands the line between fake and real, there is no problem.

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