Dungeons & Dragons roleplay. Yes or no?

Had a question about this. D&D has been around for ages (around 30 years). It seems to be popular still. As Catholics, can we or can’t we indulge in this type of roleplay? Lets get a good discussion going. :thumbsup:

I’m aware of no connection between any edition of Dungeons & Dragons and real occult practices.

Jack Chick’s tract on D&D - Definitely a reason to think the game’s just fine.

This famous story about a D&D player is largely a myth.

I used to play in my teens but not big time. There are better ways to use your imagination than a game in which your character (=you) can pretty much do anything- there is killing, stealing, lying, etc.).

But it is certainly not worst than some of the video games out there- which are much much worst.

I agree. D&D can be a waste of one of your better resources–time. Having unfortunately spent too much there myself, I would suggest avoidance.

I’ve seen “playing dungeons and dragons or similar games” listed as a venial sin in a pamphlet entitled “An Examination of Conscience.”

I remember thinking “is it that cut and dry?” Is this solidly reflected in church teaching? or does the author not understand the game, is he speaking from personal opinion?

What is meant by similar games, is it role playing games, not participating in reality? Is it a supposed link to the occult. Does that mae it sinful to read Tolkien or C.S. Lewis?

He mentions excessive video game playing but you can’t play D&D once…

I think it is a recreational passtime, but I could be wrong. I’ve only played twice. It was an entertaining exercise of the imagimation. I didn’t murder or steal.

Hello Michael,

I observe you used the statement “I could be wrong.” I just want to highlight how that statement provides no real guidance. I don’t mean anything personal toward you. As Catholics, we need to be informed about our faith and understand it, sometimes through diligent searching on our part.

Dungeons and Dragons, which I’ve played, is a form of make-believe. None of the spells are real or meant to be taken that way. Much as kids used to shoot cap pistols at each other or play pretend soldiers with toy weapons, D&D is play acting. Like all things involving groups of people, it can be changed from its original intent. A few may decide to take it seriously in the sense that they believe it is more than a game. Or a few disturbed people may be affected by it or at least claim to be.

I have watched rather introverted people open up while playing both good and bad characters. The eternal struggle between good and evil is portrayed by the game with the addition of fantastic creatures and mythological beings. It is based on myth and may contain some historical elements but it is fantasy. It allows players to imagine how they would act and react in a strange world that is similar but otherwise unlike our own.

In the end, it is like a stage play where a member of the audience is asked to take a part as a character. However, I do encourage each person to examine their conscience and Church teaching regarding this.

God bless,

Ed, Thank you. I completely agree with you. When I use that expression, I am opening up my statement to a form of opinion so that people may be comfortable addressing me without the worry of hostile confrontation.(Like you’re getting now;) ) I do this in an attempt to understand our faith. It was meant as part of my search.

I could have just as easily said of the priest who wrote the pamphlet I referenced, ‘he could be wrong’. As he is a priest, I hate to dismiss his assertions based on my view of the benign nature of the game. I’m sure he could make some statements to support why he listed this.

I think my question remains… does the church have an official position that supports what this priest wrote?

Just keep it as a game, a fantasy, realizing it’s only for enjoyment for those of us who admire fantasy and adventure.

I’ve played it and I’ve seen two sides of it and other role-playing games. Most of the people that i have known who were involved used it as a diversion, like a Friday night poker game with the guys. I have met some who could not tell life from fantasy. They are the ones that have issues.

It’s just a fun game. As long as it doesn’t take time away from God then you should be fine.
I love playing tabletop and live action role playing games, to me it’s just all impromptu acting. :smiley:

I’ve played it. A lot. Got involved in it back in '81. Played it regularly until about 4.5 years ago.

I see it as a cross between interactive storytelling and improvisational theatre, sans audience. It’s a game inasmuch as there are “rules”, mechanics for quantifying the results of a given action, but one does not necessarily “win” or “lose” as in other games (by capturing a king, getting all four of your men home, arriving at “Millionaire Acres”). The actual goals of a game/campaign are set out by the game referee, and themselves can be changed or modified, and are often not achieved by any means after innumerable sessions of playing. I have often wished that my game referees had kept enough notes to novelize the sessions – they would have made, IMO, a readable novel.

I have played D&D – at least a dozen different characters (all good – at least two paladins :nerd: :thumbsup: ). I have played a mutant in “Gamma World”, a spy in “Top Secret”, a caped crusader-type in “Marvel Superheroes”, a Canadian Army tank commander in “Twilight:2000”, and a plasma-packin’ parapsychologist named “Robert McGeddon” in “Ghostbusters!” :shrug:

Again, all in moderation. If anything – including RPGs, but including any other pastime or hobby – starts to interfere with your life, it’s time to cut back.

In and of itself, I believe the game to be morally neutral. It can be used as a tool either way.

blink blink Ghoti, seriously…Um… I play for acting not to read the rules :wink: As long as I know what dice to roll when, I’m usually good. I like to ROLEplay not ROLLplay anyway. If I can’t do something then the GM just says “Um Amber, you can’t do that”… Then I’m like… “K then I do this”… lol

I have played AD&D 2nd ed, D&D 3.5, Deadlands, Vampire the Masquerade (LARP), Vampire tabletop, Children of the Sun, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and 7th Sea.
This does NOT include all the board games, card games (including tcg’s and ccg’s), one shot games, computer games, video games…

:eek::thumbsup: Okay Yep, I’m a gamer girl through and through! BUT it does NOT interfere with my everyday life, raising my kids, praising God, going to Church, praying, cleaning, showering, cooking (etc etc)…

Most of my gaming gets done at GenCon nowadays. :shrug: tears

I agree. I merely mean that a rules framework is one of the few things (besides dice) it has in common with “Sorry!” or “Monopoly” (also called “games”, but as different from D&D and other RPGs as chalk is from cheese). THe closest I’ve seen a family boardgame come to an RPG is playing “Risk” with a competitor who decides to portray real world-conqueror and does all his moves “in character” (“What? The dastardly Kamchatkans have crossed the Eastern Marches? Summon the Irkutsk Light Horse! To war! TO WAR!!”)

I agree, the older I got the more removed from dice and rulebooks I got. Also, the less fixated I became in having a maxed-out character and the more I tried to have an “interesting” character. (Hmmm…“method” roleplaying? Not a stretch…)

I haven’t played since I moved to T.O…I’m torn between running Donna (she’s an old-school gamer too) through a campaign of my own, or turning my campaign into some short stories. I may do both – good way to resolve plot holes. :slight_smile:

It’s fun.

You have to be careful who you play with. The book of Sirach in the Bible talks about spending time with wise people, elders who can help you to be wiser. While many D and D players are old and wise (!), there are those who are, sadly, misanthropes who use fantasy and role-playing to escape from real life, including real spirituality (Christianity).

I hope I am being charitable in my description. I don’t mean to stereotype, as I know that there are many normal people who play D and D because they love pretending. That’s fine. But if you fall in with a group who wants to avoid real life, or who can’t separate real life from fantasy, well, that can drag you down, too.

I used to play RPGs in the '70s, though not D&D. I tried it twice, and couldn’t keep a character alive more than 10 minutes. I played with a group of bright people, and most of us were friends outside of the gaming. We would add fictional details about our characters.

We typically talked about the games as if we were our characters. I don’t know if other gamers do this, but it might make it hard for some personalities to distinguish fantasy from reality.

Funny story about that: I was having lunch at Big Boy with a gaming friend - a very large man with long hair and an unkempt beard. We were reminiscing about a game called Boot Hill, where we were in a Western outlaw gang. We were talking in character.

Laughing, I had just said, “Remember when we blew out the back wall of that bank, and I wet my pants?” when we both realized that everyone in the restaurant was listening to us. Sharing the humor, we paid our bill with elaborate casualness and left. I was wondering all the way home whether anybody called the cops. :smiley:


You have it right, there.

Again, the same can be said of any secular endeavour. I know of people who are into sports (viewing, not participating) to the exclusion of all else. They can tell you how many penalties-in-minutes Big Bobby Clobber racked up in games against Philly in his rookie season, but can’t remember his kid’s birthday (or name, sometimes…)

Good point.

And the same risk is present with “church” activities. I know people who are at church every time the door opens, for every Bible study, prayer meeting, program, mission, conference, etc. but their lives are a shambles. (We used to call it “Churchianity.”)

Dungeons & Dragons PARALLELS satanic rituals, just like Harry Potter books parallel witchcraft rituals. It is sugar-coated poison. (Can you hear satan saying the apples looks good and will be good for you?) You become indoctrinated and fascinated with solving problems by casting “spell” and using “potions” and getting help from spirit monsters to overcome enemies. Even grown men and women become so wrapped up in the “game” that it becomes hard to separate it from their daily lives. I’ve seen the progression from board game to acting role-playing fantasies to committing criminal acts. It would be better to cultivate a life of prayer (conversation) with God and the saints than to fantasize about how to “magically” take care of obstacles.

I’ve never played a RPG, and I think that’s just creepy.


To each his own though.

I think pretending to sin is not a good thing.

Phil. 4:8
*** Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.***

Why do I fear part 2 of getting my mind blown… I know Harry Potter Part 2 looms with D&D. Yes I played with an old friend who was a strayed Catholic (like I was at the time) and never had my own set of dice, always borrowed their extra set. I do think it’s ‘just a game’ and I never got overly hyper about it… nothing like when I was in my NAM dumb days but I know some people will begin to see it as a ‘real life’ thing. Yes, sitll trying to swallow Harry Potter being OK just because well… my thoughts are already known on that…

RPG or role playing games… I was more into computer versions like the Legend of Zelda (SNES) and never did finish the Illusion of Gaia. I played D&D but didn’t become my character.
There comes a time in life when one gets afraid to share their own experiences but that’s probably me being me.

The friends I played with was the same that did reiki on me, do I see a connection with D&D and that… no. I don’t think my computer RPGs (role playing games) did anything to draw me away from God… but want to stay more into real life these days. :slight_smile:

Know a few that went to those Renaissance fairs in costume with swords & all the other paraphernalia to do the part, not much different than the Civil War Reenactment junkies out there. We all like our little niches.

Ghoti - phonetic spelling for fish? :slight_smile:

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