So, in order to avoid any confusion pertaining to my stance on the subject of “fantasy role playing games”, I once again put pen to paper. I find it far easier to write about my personal convictions and ethics, than to try to explain them verbally impromptu.
To begin, there are some who believe anything to do with fantasy is evil and of Satanic origin, and I must point out that I am not one of those folks. Yet, I do understand why they have drawn their conclusion. Many aspects of the works of fantasy have pagan origins, but that doesn’t mean that we as writers of fantasy have to produce works which have the same purpose as those in the past. Just because certain civilizations worshipped stone idols, doesn’t mean that every single cut stone is an evil thing. This can apply not only to fantasy literary works, but to the world of role playing, as well.
I shall begin with the best known role playing game, and the first one to break ground in the genre, “Dungeons and Dragons”. I do not believe that D&D started out as an inherently evil thing. It seems to have begun with heavy influences from Tolkien, (a writer who was a known Christian). As it went through many updates and revisions however, many of the people who contributed to it seemed to have been influenced by Satanic and dark forces of witchcraft. Although they claim that some of the monsters are based on the Judeo-Christian beliefs of devils and demons, the content of the different monster manuals has become so infiltrated with influence from the Dark Crafts, one can literally feel the malevolent spirits attached to them. For this reason, I do not encourage anyone to play the game. On the other hand, I do not condemn the people who play the game in such a way as to omit the darker influences of it. I just caution them about it. I was a Dungeon Master for five years. I know its temptation.
Do I caution everyone to quit fantasy role playing all together? Not at all. My caution is that you be careful and examine the content of the game, as well as the leader who is conducting the play. The way I feel about role playing in general, is that it is a wonderful tool for exercising the imagination. To play these games well, requires great inner vision and creativity. Hopefully, new games will be developed with a far more Christian friendly platform.
I attempted to create such a game years ago, but sadly I was still far too influenced by the darkness of my D&D experience. Even though the system of the game made for excellent play and freedom for the players, the content ruined it as far as being ‘Christian friendly’. After playing it for a couple of years, I realized how dark it was and threw the game away. My eldest son however, saw that the system was very advanced. Unknown to me, he saved the system and threw away the content which made it so bad.
Now, that I have had a much closer walk with Christ, I understand that it wasn’t the genre of fantasy or even role playing that was the problem. It was the evil content creeping in which has made them such a pagan field. Hence, my game I designed had good points to it and one of my comics Lost Legends of Whoelterran is set in the world of that game.
My son and I have talked it over and we are considering pooling our resources to make a new pen and paper RPG which really will be presented from a Christian perspective. I will continue to pray about this because I want to be sure about it before I proceed.