Is Dungeons & Dragons Evil? – Part 1: Introduction

Upon announcing that I’d be hosting a Dungeons & Dragons party, I was immediately looked down upon and told “Dungeons & Dragons is evil and leads to witchcraft and Satanic worship! Why would you do this?!?”. I was shocked by this response and more so as it was presented by educated, well spoken, and generally open-minded people.

Dungeons & Dragons draws it’s roots from wargames – the recreation of historical battles using little metal miniatures. In 1971, Gary Gygax created a new set of rules called Chainmail which allowed fantasy elements to be added to these massive miniature battles. Many games based on similar ideas still exist today, including Warhammer Fantasy, Lord Of The Rings Miniature Game, etc. Dave Arneson approached Gary Gygax in 1972 with the idea of having the players control only a single character instead of an entire army. As the D&D Dungeon Master’s Manual describes it,

“This combination of rules, miniatures, and imaginination created a totally new entertainment experience, and in 1974 Gygax and Arneson published the first set of roleplaying game rules with TSR, Inc. – the Dungeons & Dragons game.”

The Character You Play

To play Dungeons & Dragons, you first have to have a character. A character is a representative inside the fantasy world that you control. You say he jumps, he jumps. You say she attacks with an axe, she attacks with an axe. Characters live, eat, fight, hurt and even die in Dungeons & Dragons. So what about playing a character in D&D makes it evil? Let’s look a few a parts of the character to see what we can discover.

Continue to Part 2: Character Alignment


4 Responses to “Is Dungeons & Dragons Evil? – Part 1: Introduction”

  1. It’s hard to believe that people will take this game as being evil. I mean I’m a believer in God, but there is still no reason as to why a game like this should be considered evil. It’s all fantasy. There is nothing more evil or the likes than in Lord of the Rings(which is my favorite fantasy piece). and Tolkien was a hardcore Catholic that held God very high in everything. Amazing in my honest opinion.

  2. Jeremy Southard Says:

    Hey kirtapreglip,

    I completely agree, it is AMAZING how people will say something is evil without ever investigating it before making the accusation. The ONLY way I could be swayed into resigning that anything game related is evil would be due to an addiction to said game (and the time and/or money consumed by said addiction). If someone isn’t making their bills because they want to buy more minatures or the lastest FPS on the PS3, then I do believe the addiction could be due to evil influences. But again, that is not calling the game evil.

  3. Oh lord. I cannot believe that people will still say that our hobby is evil. In a time before the internet, yes, I can understand. But now? Today? It boggles my mind.

    D&D is a healthy outlet. All research, all studies point to this immutable conclusion. It doesn’t promote witchcraft any more than Buffy the Vampire Slayer did.

    I’m as paitent and understanding with such people as anyone can be, but that does not preclude me from scratching my head in confusion, sometimes…

  4. dovearrow Says:

    The only thing about Dungeons & Dragons that I find evil is that it parts me from way too much of my money. 🙂

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