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hangedman1984
2016-02-13, 04:09 PM
Wondering if anyone has any stories about dealing with other's misconceptions of the hobby. Especially any related to the various moral panics that pop up now and then.

huttj509
2016-02-13, 08:48 PM
Wondering if anyone has any stories about dealing with other's misconceptions of the hobby. Especially any related to the various moral panics that pop up now and then.

Honestly, my only direct encounter with that was my mother commenting she had heard about it, but knew it was bupkiss because she remembered when folks said the same thing about Rock music. Plus she knew our friends, and we had had some sessions at the house.

I need to link her the Dead alewives sketch, I think she'd get a kick out of it ("Where's the Mountain Dew?").

Vitruviansquid
2016-02-13, 09:03 PM
The absolute most common thing I hear back when I ask people if they know Dungeons and Dragons is "is that a video game?"

Thrudd
2016-02-13, 09:16 PM
Wondering if anyone has any stories about dealing with other's misconceptions of the hobby. Especially any related to the various moral panics that pop up now and then.

A close family friend would not allow it played in her house, when I wanted to play D&D with her son when I was 11 or 12. She also would not tolerate anything she thought was "of the occult" near her kids, like renaissance faire tchochkes, nor allow him to have toy guns or soldiers or any video games she thought were too violent. It was the only time in my life I was made to feel like the "bad kid" being a bad influence on someone.

I believe this panic was mainly from the early 80's. I don't know that it ever cropped up again in such a way.

Donnadogsoth
2016-02-13, 09:17 PM
Wondering if anyone has any stories about dealing with other's misconceptions of the hobby. Especially any related to the various moral panics that pop up now and then.

A mystery man, reportedly middle-aged, Scotch-taped a photocopied half-page next to the RPG rack in the local hobby shop circa 1991. The page detailed a youth getting involved in D&D and sacrificing his pet goat to the devil. I took it down in indignation but later lost it. Mementos I should have kept.

denthor
2016-02-13, 09:58 PM
I always get in trouble for this but....


Here is what was related to me in 1982 5th grade.

Here in California this game was banned from being played on school grounds. The official reasoning was that recesses were for activity but D&D was a non-active type of activity. I still call BS since we could have a club and every adult in the known world wants kids to sit down and be still.

Later on in 1987 a much darker story emerged about why all schools in the Long Beach School system banned it.

As the story goes a few players were running an evil type game where they decided to have a human victim to an evil god. These young high school students had committed this act in game. As we all know when we speak of the things our characters do we tend to speak in the first person without character name. A teacher overheard this and started to question the students about these dark deeds.

The teacher was unconvinced that the murder did not really happen, started a push to have the game banned. Success was sadly achieved.

Also there was a mass suicide chalked up to game when a group of young people with legs intertwined with a bag of dice in the center. I have only heard about this once maybe someone with great google-fu powers could find the newspaper clipping.

Final thing I have heard about is a couple of young and dumb teenagers decided to go hunt bear with swords the bear one they did not level up. Game gets the blame not stupidity.

Bohandas
2016-02-13, 10:22 PM
I always get in trouble for this but....


Here is what was related to me in 1982 5th grade.

Here in California this game was banned from being played on school grounds. The official reasoning was that recesses were for activity but D&D was a non-active type of activity. I still call BS since we could have a club and every adult in the known world wants kids to sit down and be still.

Later on in 1987 a much darker story emerged about why all schools in the Long Beach School system banned it.

As the story goes a few players were running an evil type game where they decided to have a human victim to an evil god. These young high school students had committed this act in game. As we all know when we speak of the things our characters do we tend to speak in the first person without character name. A teacher overheard this and started to question the students about these dark deeds.

The teacher was unconvinced that the murder did not really happen, started a push to have the game banned. Success was sadly achieved.

Also there was a mass suicide chalked up to game when a group of young people with legs intertwined with a bag of dice in the center. I have only heard about this once maybe someone with great google-fu powers could find the newspaper clipping.

Final thing I have heard about is a couple of young and dumb teenagers decided to go hunt bear with swords the bear one they did not level up. Game gets the blame not stupidity.

There was also the one where the guy supposedly went nuts and chased the other players into the sewer wielding a sword.

nedz
2016-02-13, 10:26 PM
It's my understanding that this was a thing in the US back in the 80's - if at all.

I have some amusing anecdotes relating to LARP misconceptions, but these are of a completely different nature.

denthor
2016-02-13, 10:46 PM
It's my understanding that this was a thing in the US back in the 80's - if at all.

I have some amusing anecdotes relating to LARP misconceptions, but these are of a completely different nature.

Please share

oxybe
2016-02-13, 10:49 PM
My mom heard about it from my aunt when i started gaming in the 90's. She then saw us play elves and wizards using lego at the kitchen table with my cousin & friends and was like "yeah, they wouldn't dare summon an archfiend and muck up my tablecloth, plus my cookies are way better then theirs" and left us be.

and thus we played magical elves with legos and homemade cookies, brownies, pies and other snacks.

daremetoidareyo
2016-02-14, 12:22 AM
Go to thrift store. look in VHS section. Buy Mazes and Monsters and a VCR. Throw them in the garbage. Read the wikipedia page and understand that this movie was being peddled at the same time that kids had cold war air raid drills to hide underneath their desks in case of nuclear attack and school assemblies consisted of singing patriotic songs to effigies of Ronald Reagan.

Feddlefew
2016-02-14, 12:50 AM
There was no TTG club at my college for years because, as the story goes, in the early 90s a group of players ran a LARP that ended with another student's cat being killed.

This is, of course, not true. There was no LARP- they just wanted a prop for the night's game, and one of them had an Ex they didn't like. Drugs may or may not have been involved.

Edit: The ban was only just lifted this year, BTW.

Bohandas
2016-02-14, 02:25 AM
There was no TTG club at my college for years because, as the story goes, in the early 90s a group of players ran a LARP that ended with another student's cat being killed.

This is, of course, not true. There was no LARP- they just wanted a prop for the night's game, and one of them had an Ex they didn't like. Drugs may or may not have been involved.

Edit: The ban was only just lifted this year, BTW.

The real story there is arguably worse

Zumbs
2016-02-14, 04:12 AM
It's my understanding that this was a thing in the US back in the 80's - if at all.

I have some amusing anecdotes relating to LARP misconceptions, but these are of a completely different nature.
The most common misconception that I run into is that roleplaying is LARPing. I don't think that I have ever run into anyone seriously calling RPGs satanic. I don't live in a religious country, but there are a few devout Catholics in one of my gaming groups, and they haven't run into it either.

lacco36
2016-02-14, 04:56 AM
When I started to play the game, we used to meet in local student café. They had cheap cookies and foods, nice selection of teas, really nice staff, and a strict "no alcohol, no smoking" policy. What we didn't know was that this nice establishment was run by 3 religious organizations.

After playing for about a month (each Tuesday and Thursday), we were asked not to come there to play.

When we asked for reason (well, there could have been several - the gory fight descriptions, the dwarf fighter searching a dead dog inside-out - with focus on the inside, my attempts to cheat our lawful stupid barbarian of money for his attempts to get me killed), we were told nothing at first.

After few attempts we finally got an official statement. It wasn't the crushing of goblin skulls or the dog.

It was that we had a cleric able to "produce miracle-like effects", serving a different god than they would like (it was a cleric of a god of light and good, but that didn't suffice), which lead to them banning us from playing "on the grounds of possible heretic content of the games we play".

Jormengand
2016-02-14, 05:44 AM
"So, how do you win?"

Inevitability
2016-02-14, 06:18 AM
"So, how do you win?"

That's when you show them the story of Old Man Henderson (https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Old_Man_Henderson) (1d4chan with all it entails; read at your own risk).

Jormengand
2016-02-14, 06:20 AM
That's when you show them the story of Old Man Henderson (https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Old_Man_Henderson) (1d4chan with all it entails; read at your own risk).

Well, yeah, okay. :smalltongue:

goto124
2016-02-14, 07:08 AM
"So, how do you win?"

Lots of video games have a lot of content outside 'winning', if they even have 'winning' at all.

I got asked that above question when explaining an MMO to my parents (they insisted I explain my games). It was... a bit hard.

Âmesang
2016-02-14, 08:49 AM
I got into D&D late in the game; 3.5 'round 2005 or so, so I haven't come across a whole lot of misunderstandings aside from grammie calling back to the "horror stories" of the 80's (though she turned around quickly) and having one fellow think it was a videogame. :smalltongue: I missed out on all of the fun!


Go to thrift store. look in VHS section. Buy Mazes and Monsters and a VCR. Throw them in the garbage.
Why would you throw out a perfectly good VCR?! :smallmad:

denthor
2016-02-14, 10:59 AM
"So, how do you win?"

I forgot about that question in my long winded answer.

Chuckle I get this many times as well

Answer How do you win at real life. YOU survive to the next day

Plus one for you

Millstone85
2016-02-14, 11:41 AM
"So, how do you win?"Unpopular opinion time. I understand that it is primarily a cooperative game. You are not at the table to defeat the other players or even the DM. But to say that the game itself can not be lost or won, I think that's a lie.

The game is all about rewards. You gain experience, levels, treasures, repute, influence, etc. as you overcome adversity. Advancing the plot is also a reward and the ultimate prize is a satisfying conclusion to your character's arc, much like the last screen of a well made video game. It is often a grandiose finale too.

Kid Jake
2016-02-14, 12:28 PM
My dad's (at the time) wife saw me wearing some D&D related shirt at a family get together. She was like "Oh Jake, you shouldn't be messing around with that. My (deceased) husband told me all about that and its Satanic influences on people."

I responded with "Oh wow, I didn't know your husband played. How long?"

She seemed offended and was like "Oh he'd never touch something like that."

So with a big smile I replied "Then I'll take my twelve years of gaming and collecting over your husbands dumbass opinion."


For some reason we were never close. :smallbiggrin:

Donnadogsoth
2016-02-14, 12:37 PM
Go to thrift store. look in VHS section. Buy Mazes and Monsters and a VCR. Throw them in the garbage. Read the wikipedia page and understand that this movie was being peddled at the same time that kids had cold war air raid drills to hide underneath their desks in case of nuclear attack and school assemblies consisted of singing patriotic songs to effigies of Ronald Reagan.

Hey, I'm offended, I like Mazes and Monsters. It was a cool intro into the hobby and helped get me on board. Why the hate?

nedz
2016-02-14, 12:38 PM
Please share

Oh nothing related to the Satanic Panic, and most of these stories are funnier if you were there.

lacco36
2016-02-14, 12:46 PM
"So, how do you win?"

This one is golden :smallbiggrin:. I had a guy who went up a level with: "So, how do I know I won this game if you don't keep any score?"

Kid Jake
2016-02-14, 12:47 PM
This one is golden :smallbiggrin:. I had a guy who went up a level with: "So, how do I know I won this game if you don't keep any score?"

"You'll just know. Trust me, you'll just know."

lacco36
2016-02-14, 01:02 PM
"You'll just know. Trust me, you'll just know."

Oh my, I always come up with such weak answers :smallbiggrin:. However, in my language it sounded especially open in the sense of "how do I know I have beaten you all?"

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-14, 01:22 PM
I was born in the early 90s, so I personally never encountered the 'D&D is satanic' misconception. I believe my current group includes and ex-Catholic, two Anglicans (including me, the other far more high church), one weirdo, and someone who's at least culturally Jewish. The other group I regularly play with has another Christian (I think Anglican).


The most common misconception that I run into is that roleplaying is LARPing. I don't think that I have ever run into anyone seriously calling RPGs satanic. I don't live in a religious country, but there are a few devout Catholics in one of my gaming groups, and they haven't run into it either.

Not had the LARPing one myself.

I personally encounter the 'dressing up as a maid when you get busy *wink wink*' one a lot, while another person I know comes from somewhere where it's believed all roleplaying is whips and chains (although they also don't like people doing creative writing as a hobby). I've taken to saying 'I'm into roleplaying, no, not that kind'.

The other one I encounter is, of course, the only TTRPG is D&D. It gets really annoying when you have to describe Shadowrun as 'not D&D'.

JAL_1138
2016-02-14, 01:58 PM
Yyyyup. I used to live in Southeastern Bumble-Scum, pop. 6,000 and they might have been lying about one of the zeroes. A church on every second streetcorner. The Satanic Panic is alive and well there to this day.

During 2e, after the panic was supposedly over, we had to keep up a facade of playing Star Wars instead of D&D (or keep our materials in a Risk box), because D&D was still viewed badly even to the holiday-only churchgoers. Not that D6 Star Wars was a bad game, quite the opposite, and we did play it a good bit too. Books were extremely difficult to acquire--with no local bookstore but a comic shop that soon closed and didn't sell D&D anyway, it was difficult for a kid to acquire any D&D material without drawing parental wrath--you couldn't order it online (at first because online ordering didn't exist, and then once it started existing as an option, still wasn't easy because what kid had a credit card back then, and it'd come through the mail, which could get you caught--that prevented ordering from catalogues, too), and if you didn't have a car it was nigh-impossible to get to a bookstore at all, much less one that carried it, and if you were out with family to the bookstore, good luck keeping it from getting noticed.

Later on, Magic: The Gathering somehow slipped under the radar there (although there were a few churches that frowned heavily on it, most ignored it or weren't aware of it), but of all things Pokémon caught a fair bit of flak for being "the devil's work," and later still there was a sharp split between adult fans of Harry Potter and those that thought it was Satanic.

And to this day when I go back to visit relatives, I still hear people asking in all seriousness how in a "good Christian nation" something "Satanic" like D&D could be sold to children, because someone saw it on the shelf at the nearest bookstore, a tiny chain-store wedged into a two-bit mall an hour's drive west of there (which is still a bit of an improvement because that store refused to carry it for years and it took a 2.5 hour drive south to get to one that did).

I don't live there now, thank Beelzebub.

comicshorse
2016-02-14, 02:00 PM
Been playing since the 70's but never actually seen any of this in person though I've heard the stories and read some of the Jack Chic tracts



The other one I encounter is, of course, the only TTRPG is D&D. It gets really annoying when you have to describe Shadowrun as 'not D&D'.

I miss 'Star trek', all those holodeck episodes gave a good example to explain what RPG's were ( and I know an ex- RAF guy who claims to have nearly got in trouble due to him saying RPG to mean Role Playing Game and a sergeant over hearing him thinking it meant Rocket Propelled Grenade )

mikeejimbo
2016-02-14, 03:00 PM
My mother didn't want me to get into D&D ostensibly because it made her uncomfortable due to the magic/demons/etc, but I always suspected that she just didn't want me to become a stereotypical nerd because I had enough working against me anyway. In any event, I managed to develop an interest in the occult and D&D that I view as separate beasts. (I was discussing some points about the origins of Wicca with an older gentleman a couple weeks ago and pulled out my Tarot cards and the guy was like "Huh, do you like D&D too?" to which I had to sheepishly say "Yes...")

I'm actually more pious now, I'd argue, and even my mother has admitted that I probably know church history better.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-14, 03:09 PM
My mother didn't want me to get into D&D ostensibly because it made her uncomfortable due to the magic/demons/etc, but I always suspected that she just didn't want me to become a stereotypical nerd because I had enough working against me anyway. In any event, I managed to develop an interest in the occult and D&D that I view as separate beasts. (I was discussing some points about the origins of Wicca with an older gentleman a couple weeks ago and pulled out my Tarot cards and the guy was like "Huh, do you like D&D too?" to which I had to sheepishly say "Yes...")

I'm actually more pious now, I'd argue, and even my mother has admitted that I probably know church history better.

Hehe, personally my parents didn't/don't care how stereotypically nerdy I am as long as I can function in society, so neither of them have problems with me playing (my dad thinks the 'RPG fad' has died down compared to when he played though).

A fun one is that my talent for annoying vicars by analysing their religion came along far later than my like for D&D, and is almost completely unrelated. I'm sure some priest in rural Alabama would like to correct me, but I'm an ocean away, and the first comes from my love of science and literary criticism, while the second comes from my love of board games, writing, and acting.

Is that sentence even grammatically correct? It feels like there's too many ands.

GrayDeath
2016-02-14, 03:21 PM
Nope. Not at all.

Being viewed as extranerdy, check.
Being ridiculed for playing make-believe, check.
Being told to better stick to MTG/Video Games, because they were "cooler"? heck.
But no satanic accussations at all. ;)

Admiral Squish
2016-02-14, 06:23 PM
I do know one of my brother's friends wasn't allowed to play the game because of his parent's religious reasons, but he just played it anyway and didn't tell them. That's what happens, folks, when you forbid your kids from doing things like that.

Talakeal
2016-02-15, 11:36 PM
When I was in elementary school in the early nineties there were a couple pf kids whose parents wouldnt let them play D&D for religious reasons. By the time we got to high school both of the, had rebelled hard and were into stuff a lot more shocking than RPGs.

I also had a babysitter once who told me that the game was evil because any time you sit down to play d&d the devil was playing with you.

Come to think about it, that might actually explain my former DM.

Inevitability
2016-02-16, 02:00 AM
Never really noticed anything except one time, which might not even have been satanism-related.

Back when I was 14 or so, I was playing with a christian kid. I don't think he heard of the D&D-satanism association, but one day his parents came with him and watched most of our game. I'm not sure if it was legitimate curiosity or a desire to know whether their son was burning crosses and sacrificing cats each week, but they watched us play for half an hour then went to drink coffee with my parents.

As many of you must know, playing D&D while being actively watched by two judgmental people is extremely unpleasant.

Bohandas
2016-02-16, 02:01 AM
I also had a babysitter once who told me that the game was evil any time you sit down to play d&d the devil was playing woth you.

That's wonderful! It means I only have to find one more person to have enough for a new group.

Chromat
2016-02-16, 04:50 AM
Some of these are pure gold LOL.

Anyway i have some larp-nerd-ish related one.

I bought my girlfriend a bow and arrows for birthday and organized a shooting range in nearby woods. It was very close to the neighbor's house, basically in their back yard, and we just moved in so they didn't know us. To be in the spirit we dressed in our larp outfits with cloaks an stuff. After shooting couple of arrows it got dark and we lost couple of arrows. Moving recently we didn't have any flashlights, just huge collection of scented and decorative candles from my girlfriends collection. So my girlfriend, me and our friends are milling around with odd looking candles, dressed oddly. Poor neighbor didn't take it well. first he watched peeking from window. Than he called for backup and asked us to leave and didn't want to hear anything we had to say. He was very afraid. We never found those arrows :(

Or got close with our neighbor.

Feddlefew
2016-02-16, 07:05 AM
My current group has a lot of older players, and while we were swapping stories about our worst players ever, they mentioned That Edgy Guy Who Joined The D&D Club Because He Thought It Was A Satanic Cult. I will ask about him.

Not to be confused with The Guy Who Actually *Is* A Member Of The Satanic Church, who I've met. He's more of a MTG/Eurogame guy, and he's a total sweetheart.

Edit:
Why yes, this is probably related to the cat thing.

Arbane
2016-02-16, 05:41 PM
That's wonderful! It means I only have to find one more person to have enough for a new group.

Unfortunately, Satan wants to play a ninja.

Âmesang
2016-02-16, 06:53 PM
Just tell Señor Diablo to stay away from the giant kite flying:

This proficiency is of use only to characters who intend to fly the unusual items called hito washi (human eagle) and yami doko (man-sized kite). It is an expensive skill and difficult to master, so there are very few practitioners. Without this proficiency, a character trying to use a giant kite is certain to crash and do himself great harm, if not kill himself. Even with this proficiency, the character is very likely to do so

Segev
2016-02-16, 07:54 PM
The only friends I had who were that evangelical (in the really weird, insular sense, and I do not level that categorization lightly) were more weirded out by my being LDS than by my interest in D&D. They also weren't allowed to play Super Mario Bros. because the "magic mushrooms" were too occult.

Phoenixguard09
2016-02-16, 10:31 PM
My girlfriend's mother didn't like the idea of her joining when we started our group. She knew nothing about it, only that there had been the supposed links to Satanism.

When my girlfriend explained it was like playing Skyrim with other people, she backed off considerably and now actually reads our writeups out of enjoyment rather than concern.

Bohandas
2016-02-17, 01:09 AM
The only friends I had who were that evangelical (in the really weird, insular sense, and I do not level that categorization lightly) were more weirded out by my being LDS than by my interest in D&D. They also weren't allowed to play Super Mario Bros. because the "magic mushrooms" were too occult.

They're actually fly agaric mushrooms, which have more in common with cocaine or morphine than with psilocybin mushrooms

EDIT:
The Goombas might be psilocybin

ImNotTrevor
2016-02-17, 01:24 AM
The only friends I had who were that evangelical (in the really weird, insular sense, and I do not level that categorization lightly) were more weirded out by my being LDS than by my interest in D&D. They also weren't allowed to play Super Mario Bros. because the "magic mushrooms" were too occult.

Woah, another Murmun on here? What are the odds?

(Pretty good, actually, since pretty much all LDS people I know are Huuuuuuuuge nerds.)

On Topic Edit:
I haven't had any episodes of stigma aside from people completely not understanding wtf it was. I once explained to my football-player roommate that it was basically Fantasy Football without the Football, and that Fantasy Football was the Jock version of D&D. It was a remarkably effective explanation.

Lord Torath
2016-02-17, 09:33 AM
Woah, another Murmun on here? What are the odds?Better than you might think. :smallwink:

My in-laws tried to say the Prophet said you shouldn't play D&D, but no one could ever point out when or where. Searches through Ensign archives yielded no results. And now their grandchildren (including my kids) absolutely love it when I bring line-art print-outs of Rich's Monsters for Every Season to family gatherings for them to color. I'm not aware of any of them playing RPGs, but my wife's brother had a pretty good Eldar army (WH40k) and had most of the Palladium Robotech books.

Segev
2016-02-17, 10:26 AM
They're actually fly agaric mushrooms, which have more in common with cocaine or morphine than with psilocybin mushrooms

EDIT:
The Goombas might be psilocybinWhen I said "magic," I meant that literally: while I'm sure their parents would have objected to drug-like overtones, I don't think it ever entered into their minds. The mushrooms were literally doing magic (making you grow into a giant), and that was "occult" and therefore trying to get kids into evil.

I never knew them when Harry Potter started being popular; I bet they read them in secret, though, because they WERE that kind of nerd and their parents probably DID think it was satanic.


My in-laws tried to say the Prophet said you shouldn't play D&DNever heard that one before! I was introduced to D&D by the guy who was my Mutual leader, Scout Troop leader, and Seminary instructor (at various times in my teenaged life).

Jenrock
2016-02-17, 04:39 PM
This question always amuses me because I learned to play D&D in the South with members of my church youth group, and I've played several games in and around my local church building with the express permission of the eldership.

"You mean that instead of going out drinking, smoking, and having sex, you'd rather sit in the fellowship hall pretending to be fantasy adventurers?"
"Yep."
"...carry on, then."

Segev
2016-02-17, 04:43 PM
This question always amuses me because I learned to play D&D in the South with members of my church youth group, and I've played several games in and around my local church building with the express permission of the eldership.

"You mean that instead of going out drinking, smoking, and having sex, you'd rather sit in the fellowship hall pretending to be fantasy adventurers?"
"Yep."
"...carry on, then."

I've seen fictionalized versions where the pastor or whoever is questioned as to why he'd permit this. He then asks what better way they know of to guarantee that the teens aren't having sex than to get them into D&D.

ComaVision
2016-02-17, 04:59 PM
Supposedly my girlfriend's mother went to school with a guy that killed himself after his long-running character died in game.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-17, 05:07 PM
"You mean that instead of going out drinking, smoking, and having sex, you'd rather sit in the fellowship hall pretending to be fantasy adventurers?"
"Yep."
"...carry on, then."

Thinking of my vicar, his response would start with 'why don't you help out at the homeless shelter' followed by 'dont drink all the tea and clear up after yourselves'.

Heck, I'm sure some priests play themselves, they seem to be nerdy enough.

Telwar
2016-02-17, 05:34 PM
That's when you show them the story of Old Man Henderson (https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Old_Man_Henderson) (1d4chan with all it entails; read at your own risk).

Dear lord in heaven that was hilarious.

Feddlefew
2016-02-17, 05:36 PM
Supposedly my girlfriend's mother went to school with a guy that killed himself after his long-running character died in game.

Something else was probably going on. A lot of people who have major depression or other mental health problems can look like they're doing fine until they aren't, and then it's too late.

I've lost a few friends to that. :smallfrown:

Heck, I'm lucky the Special Ed guidance counselor didn't just attribute my random nervous breakdowns senior year to relationship problems and hormones* like my normal one did, otherwise I might not be here right now.

*Although, in a story for another time, they turned out to be partially right, and I ended up needing some pretty serious surgery right before my second semester of college started up, putting me back about a year.

Gravitron5000
2016-02-18, 09:52 AM
I got to experience this first hand. In the mid-late '80s, one of my teachers in middle school (I think around age 12-13) wanted to start a D&D club at school. I had read the 2e Players handbook which one of my older sister's boyfriends loaned me, and was excited to try playing. My parents were ok with this.

Then I attempted to get my cousin to join as well. When his religious mother heard of this, not only did they change my also religions parents to change their mind, but they also started a lobby, and got the club shut down before it had even met for the first time. No amount of explanation helped because of the preconceived notions of D&D being the devil's game.

SimonMoon6
2016-02-18, 10:16 AM
Here's my story:

In the 1980's, I was a teenaged kid. I had been introduced to D&D by a "Big Brother" from the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization (basically an adult friend for a child of the same gender who doesn't have a parent of that gender). And everything was fine. My mom bought me all the AD&D books and even made me a birthday cake with a beholder on it.

Then, my mother started to become good friends with a priest from the church (a priest who would later lead her into a cult, but that's another story). This priest had three kids of his own, all of whom were of course interested in D&D. But then, the priest and his wife read through the D&D books and didn't like what they saw. They took black magic markers and marked through large sections, like the Demons/Devils section of the Monster Manual or the cleric section of the Player's Handbook (because Jesus didn't beat up demons and devils in this way, or something like that).

And still that was sort-of okay, since it's not like I was playing with those kids anyway and if their books were censored, well too bad for them, but I was fine. I was still allowed to play with my uncensored books.

But then, one day, they (my mom, the priest, the priest's wife) held a special meeting with me, telling me all about how D&D was terrible and I shouldn't play it anymore. Naturally, even as a young kid, I could refute every argument they made, but it didn't matter, they had made up their minds. I wasn't allowed to play D&D anymore.

Well... technically anyway. My mom (as a single working mom) had no idea what I did in my free time. So, I wasn't allowed to play D&D, but I did anyway. And then eventually, I was more interested in other RPGs anyway...

rooster707
2016-02-18, 10:20 AM
Then, my mother started to become good friends with a priest from the church (a priest who would later lead her into a cult, but that's another story). This priest had three kids of his own, all of whom were of course interested in D&D. But then, the priest and his wife read through the D&D books and didn't like what they saw. They took black magic markers and marked through large sections, like the Demons/Devils section of the Monster Manual or the cleric section of the Player's Handbook (because Jesus didn't beat up demons and devils in this way, or something like that).

Totally unrelated, sorry, but I want a Black Magic marker. That sounds awesome. :P

Segev
2016-02-18, 11:47 AM
Totally unrelated, sorry, but I want a Black Magic marker. That sounds awesome. :P

Ironically, it actually inks in a very, very dark red that smells and tastes faintly of copper. Very useful for drawing pentagrams and summoning circles.

ComaVision
2016-02-18, 02:00 PM
Totally unrelated, sorry, but I want a Black Magic marker. That sounds awesome. :P


Ironically, it actually inks in a very, very dark red that smells and tastes faintly of copper. Very useful for drawing pentagrams and summoning circles.

I can't wait until this thread gets used as proof that Satan is behind D&D.

CharonsHelper
2016-02-18, 02:37 PM
I knew a kid in high school whose parents made him sell his Warhammer 40k guys (he'd only gotten one eldar box which I'd given him for his birthday - we'd planned to get into it together) after they saw the Chaos Marine artwork etc.

But - his parents also didn't let him watch any R rated movies at all either. So - just generally overprotective.

On the other hand - I've played fantasy games with my nephew whose father is a pastor. My brother-in-law doesn't play, but that's just because he's not into strategic games - he has no issues with them morally.

Frankly - the whole thing reminds me of how every generation rips on newfangled things which the younger generation gets into which they don't know. Video games/D&D/rock & roll - heck Socrates thought that reading would rot your brain!

Segev
2016-02-18, 03:10 PM
I can't wait until this thread gets used as proof that Satan is behind D&D.

Nonsense. Red Fel has never worked for nor owned TSR or WotC. Red Fel. Red Fel. Twice more to summon thee.

obryn
2016-02-18, 03:37 PM
You know, despite playing a lot of D&D at impressionable ages in the early 80's and going to church weekly, I only ran into one person who bought the satanic panic line, and that was my church youth choir director.

My folks knew my friends and I weren't evil cultists and found the whole thing kind of funny.

nedz
2016-02-18, 03:52 PM
Ironically, it actually inks in a very, very dark red that smells and tastes faintly of copper. Very useful for drawing pentagrams and summoning circles.

Ah, that would be a Red Felt

Red Fel
2016-02-18, 04:09 PM
Nonsense. Red Fel has never worked for nor owned TSR or WotC. Red Fel. Red Fel. Twice more to summon thee.

For the record, I'm not appearing because I have to, I'm doing it because I want to.

Now, let's have a look at this...


Wondering if anyone has any stories about dealing with other's misconceptions of the hobby. Especially any related to the various moral panics that pop up now and then.

Not really, no. I first got into TTRPGs reading second edition D&D books at a friend's house in middle school, did some freeform dabbling in summer camp, and first played a proper session with rules and dice in university. If I ran into "misconceptions" about my hobby, I simply shelved them next to all of the other "misconceptions" about me at the time.

People have a hard time saying "Lawful Evil" in real life. Like I said, misconceptions.

I played other games. M:tG. Pokemon cards, very briefly. A few other CCGs, like Hecatomb. (Anybody remember Hecatomb?) My social circles have always been small and self-selecting, though, so I didn't so much deal with confusion or panic as I did with obliviousness. ("Magic? Like spells and stuff?" "No, it's a card game." "Like poker?" "Sort of. Only needlessly more complicated.")

Nowadays, I don't talk to many people about my hobbies. It's something I learned in university as well. People tend to avoid me after a fairly one-sided conversation on brain surgery1 or the Spanish Inquisition2. Go fig.

1. Don't you start judging me, either.
2. This conversation actually happened.

Telonius
2016-02-19, 12:51 AM
The only person I've ever met who had a problem with the hobby at all is my sister-in-law. Back before my wife and I were married, I invited her (several years older) sister to a gaming session to join in if she wanted or heckle if she didn't. That nearly caused a public scene. Turns out she had a personal connection to one of the original causes of the panic in the early 80s (I believe it was the Irving Pulling case); she actually knew the kid that died. It's a topic we've basically agreed to disagree on, and I've never brought it up with her since.

Velaryon
2016-02-20, 06:22 PM
I may have encountered it once or twice, but generally not from people who mattered. D&D wasn't really on my radar until college, and when it happened to come up in conversation with my folks, they asked if any of what they'd heard was true. I told them it wasn't, and pointed out that the people who claimed D&D was Satanic were basically the same ones who'd said it about rock & roll 30 years earlier, and the same folks who claimed playing Mortal Kombat would make you violent. They were pretty much just "well alright then, have fun!" and left it at that.

I did have one friend who was already gaming with me and some of my friends in a non-D&D game, who when we decided to switch over from D&D was worried about it. We pretty much pointed out that it was just the Star Wars RPG we'd been playing but with knights and wizards instead of Jedi and spaceships, and that seemed to assuage his fears.

You'd think though that as huge a Harry Potter fan as that guy was, he'd know that kind of accusation of Satanism is basically complete nonsense, but he still had to be reassured even though he'd been gaming with us for a couple of years by that time.

To this day he still refuses to play a cleric because the idea of playing a character who worships another being that isn't the Judeo-Christian God makes him uncomfortable. Which I accept as one of his quirks and think nothing more of it.

CharonsHelper
2016-02-21, 03:06 AM
To this day he still refuses to play a cleric because the idea of playing a character who worships another being that isn't the Judeo-Christian God makes him uncomfortable. Which I accept as one of his quirks and think nothing more of it.

Can't you (at least in some editions) have your cleric devoted to a 'divine concept' instead of a god?

Really though - D&D 'gods' are so vastly different from any actual religion that I've ever heard of that I've never seen it as an issue. Basically I figure that the temples/gods are placeholders for what religion was politically in both medieval & other ancient style civilizations while being different enough from every real one to keep from directly offending anyone. (Come on. More worshipers makes them more powerful? Sounds pretty blatantly symbolic of the religion's political might rather than their deity's divine strength.)

Fri
2016-02-21, 03:16 AM
I never had any problem with this, but I just remember an interesting cultural quirk.

My country is a pretty religious country, but in my language, there's a specific different word for God (as in Judeo-Christian God) an god (as in, Thor, Ares, Raiden, the god of poverty, etc), so I've literally never heard people having trouble visualizing protagonists, whether in game they play or in fiction, who worship weird gods. I think it basically give a layer of disassociation basically. You know the player worship say, God but their character worship this weird other god. I can totally see how it might feel weird for some people if both use the same word basically.

CharonsHelper
2016-02-21, 10:08 AM
I never had any problem with this, but I just remember an interesting cultural quirk.

My country is a pretty religious country, but in my language, there's a specific different word for God (as in Judeo-Christian God) an god (as in, Thor, Ares, Raiden, the god of poverty, etc), so I've literally never heard people having trouble visualizing protagonists, whether in game they play or in fiction, who worship weird gods. I think it basically give a layer of disassociation basically. You know the player worship say, God but their character worship this weird other god. I can totally see how it might feel weird for some people if both use the same word basically.

Out of curiosity - what language is it?

Donnadogsoth
2016-02-21, 12:46 PM
To this day he still refuses to play a cleric because the idea of playing a character who worships another being that isn't the Judeo-Christian God makes him uncomfortable. Which I accept as one of his quirks and think nothing more of it.

Why not give him the option of playing a cleric of the Unknown God, who is the same as his real-life God but preceding enlightenment by missionaries? This would make his cleric a bit of a Quixotic figure but one in keeping with the idea of the "Christians before Christ" that we see in Tolkien.

Feddlefew
2016-02-21, 01:25 PM
Why not give him the option of playing a cleric of the Unknown God, who is the same as his real-life God but preceding enlightenment by missionaries? This would make his cleric a bit of a Quixotic figure but one in keeping with the idea of the "Christians before Christ" that we see in Tolkien.

This can go very bad, very, very fast.

CharonsHelper
2016-02-21, 02:24 PM
Why not give him the option of playing a cleric of the Unknown God, who is the same as his real-life God but preceding enlightenment by missionaries? This would make his cleric a bit of a Quixotic figure but one in keeping with the idea of the "Christians before Christ" that we see in Tolkien.

It could work. He could just (in reference to the speech Paul gave to the Areopagus) be the cleric of the unknown god.

Really though - that might be opening a can of worms which are more trouble than they're worth.

Thrudd
2016-02-21, 02:33 PM
If a person feels that even the act of imagining a fantasy world with different deities goes against their religion, it's probably preferable, for all parties, for that person to bow out of playing D&D.

Frozen_Feet
2016-02-21, 02:42 PM
My mother used to do this "what awful devil-worshipping game/music is that? Stop it!" in regards to my RPG and music tastes. After she made the mistake of applying the label to honest-to-God hymns I decided she was not serious and was doing it just to peeve me.

To peeve her back, I started listening to Ghost. Of course, now she's like "what awful church music is that? Stop it!"

The Satanic panic for RPGs was minor but existing thing in Finland. My friend's mother used to play as a teen and it took some convincing from her and her friends for their youth pastor to let them play RPGs in church youth club. As a teen, I read a book about devil-worship and satanism in Finland, put together by youth psychologists and the police during the 90s. It specifically mentioned RPGs as a risk factor. The panic has since faded from mainstream society, though it's good to remember there are small religious communities which view the television as Devil's work, so.

Of course, just because one panic died doesn't mean RPGs penetrated well into public consciousness. There are a number of weird misconceptions going around. Those I've personally encountered are:

1) RPGs screw up your sense of reality. My dad was honestly worried about this, even though he never stopped me from playing. Almost 15 years later, I think he's finally learned it doesn't work that way. :smalltongue"

1.1.) playing RPGs entails thinking you are your character outside the game.

2) RPGs are for kids. This is something we can thank satanic panic for, in a roundabout way: due to the panic, TSR opted to clean up 2e AD&D to make it more kid friendly. This, combined with popularity of 2e and rise of computer games, created this trope.

3) Tabletop games and Live-action roleplay are the same thing. Often combined with 2), but what can I say? LARPing is indistinquishable from playing in the woods with your friends, when it's not indistinquishable from goth prom dance. :smallamused:

4) RPGs are for nerds. Because majority of roleplayers are nerds, even if majority of nerds might not be roleplayers.

5) RPGs are computer games. Because computer games are vastly more common and popular now, than tabletop games or LARPing.

6) RPGs are sexual in nature. Because the word "roleplaying" is also used in sexual contexts. The weird part is that some people manage to combine this with 2).

Segev
2016-02-21, 03:29 PM
My last paladin was a very nice fellow who definitely worshiped a deity, which was not at all subtly implied to be a "mysterious power" that didn't seem part of the normal pantheons and was very likely God Almighty. It worked out well, because in a Planescape game, dealing with things weird by D&D standards was half the point.

Donnadogsoth
2016-02-21, 03:42 PM
This can go very bad, very, very fast.

Pray, how can it "go very bad"?

The Glyphstone
2016-02-21, 03:56 PM
Pray, how can it "go very bad"?

It could become an outright violation of the Forum Rules, instead of simply skirting it. This entire topic is already treading the edge of what the rules will let slip.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-21, 04:05 PM
To this day he still refuses to play a cleric because the idea of playing a character who worships another being that isn't the Judeo-Christian God makes him uncomfortable. Which I accept as one of his quirks and think nothing more of it.

I think you've made the mature choice. I mean, I'm Christian and don't mind playing a priest of Sigmar, but I've met athiests who won't play clerics because they are deeply unsure how a religious person thinks. I've also decided to just shrug and ignore.


If a person feels that even the act of imagining a fantasy world with different deities goes against their religion, it's probably preferable, for all parties, for that person to bow out of playing D&D.

Eh, I think the problem was less imagining a world with different deities, and more that he just wasn't comfortable roleplaying it. If I'm not comfortable roleplaying sex, does that mean I should just bow out of playing in all fantasy worlds where sex happens?


1) RPGs screw up your sense of reality. My dad was honestly worried about this, even though he never stopped me from playing. Almost 15 years later, I think he's finally learned it doesn't work that way. :smalltongue"

I have a friend who does struggle with this, but she's had such problems since before D&D. I'm honestly not certain part of her mind hasn't been stolen away by fairies, but she seems functional enough.


2) RPGs are for kids. This is something we can thank satanic panic for, in a roundabout way: due to the panic, TSR opted to clean up 2e AD&D to make it more kid friendly. This, combined with popularity of 2e and rise of computer games, created this trope.

Encountered this one. Not a lot, because generally what happens is two or three of us start discussing games or campaigns and all the non-roleplayers feel weird until someone moves into another room. Lots of fun discussing what the party did last session in front of the university chaplain.


4) RPGs are for nerds. Because majority of roleplayers are nerds, even if majority of nerds might not be roleplayers.

Yep, sort of encountered that one. Also once invited the most posh person I met to a game I was running. She started to get bored if the talky scenes took too long.


5) RPGs are computer games. Because computer games are vastly more common and popular now, than tabletop games or LARPing.

Oh boy, I've come up against this. The people most likely to make the mistake in my opinion also look down on tabletop games for not being 'real games*'.


6) RPGs are sexual in nature. Because the word "roleplaying" is also used in sexual contexts. The weird part is that some people manage to combine this with 2).

Will not say I've never come across this before. Fun when they then get confused because of what your religion has to say on the subject of sex.

* This stereotype can extend both ways, although I find tabletop players are more likely to recognise it, make fun of it, and just not really care.

Thrudd
2016-02-21, 04:24 PM
Eh, I think the problem was less imagining a world with different deities, and more that he just wasn't comfortable roleplaying it. If I'm not comfortable roleplaying sex, does that mean I should just bow out of playing in all fantasy worlds where sex happens?


If it's a game where the players simulate characters having sex on the reg? Yes, you probably won't like playing in that game. I know I wouldn't.
I wouldn't want to stop anyone from playing, but if a major feature of the game involves characters praying to various deities in order to receive magic powers, and that makes someone uncomfortable, then it probably isn't the game for them. If a person can find a way to be ok with this scenario, like they just don't want to play as a cleric but are fine with other people doing so, well then it's not a problem.

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-21, 04:51 PM
If it's a game where the players simulate characters having sex on the reg? Yes, you probably won't like playing in that game. I know I wouldn't.
I wouldn't want to stop anyone from playing, but if a major feature of the game involves characters praying to various deities in order to receive magic powers, and that makes someone uncomfortable, then it probably isn't the game for them. If a person can find a way to be ok with this scenario, like they just don't want to play as a cleric but are fine with other people doing so, well then it's not a problem.

Okay, to make it clear: what if other players are simulating their characters having sex, and I'm okay with that, I'm just uncomfortable doing it myself.

Nobody said he had a problem with the cleric class, just that the idea of playing it made him feel weird. It would be different if he had said 'nobody should play a cleric', but he said 'I don't want to play a cleric, ever'.

Velaryon
2016-02-21, 08:06 PM
Can't you (at least in some editions) have your cleric devoted to a 'divine concept' instead of a god?

Really though - D&D 'gods' are so vastly different from any actual religion that I've ever heard of that I've never seen it as an issue. Basically I figure that the temples/gods are placeholders for what religion was politically in both medieval & other ancient style civilizations while being different enough from every real one to keep from directly offending anyone. (Come on. More worshipers makes them more powerful? Sounds pretty blatantly symbolic of the religion's political might rather than their deity's divine strength.)

Yeah, 3.5 at least specifically allows this. I'm not sure about other editions, but I'd expect at least the ones that came after to allow it as well.

I personally don't, but it hasn't been an issue because a) I've never DMed a game that the friend in question has played in, and b) as far as I know, none of the players in my games have ever cared, because most of them don't like to play clerics anyway.

It has been years, but IIRC the "cleric of a cause" option was presented to him, and he decided he still would rather play something else.



Why not give him the option of playing a cleric of the Unknown God, who is the same as his real-life God but preceding enlightenment by missionaries? This would make his cleric a bit of a Quixotic figure but one in keeping with the idea of the "Christians before Christ" that we see in Tolkien.

If it ever comes up (I'm still in touch with this friend but haven't gamed with him for quite awhile due to life circumstances), I could try offering it to him and see what happens.

Belac93
2016-02-21, 08:14 PM
Well, my dad introduced me to dnd, and suggested making a warlock, so nothing from family. My friends are routinely evil, satanic characters, so nothing from them either.

The closest to this that happened was I was playing a game of MTG, and a person I barely knew came up to us, and proceeded to give a 10-minute long rant because they saw an angel. They said it was 'disrespectful to my religion.' Then I showed them this card. (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=240180&type=card)

Thrudd
2016-02-21, 09:14 PM
Okay, to make it clear: what if other players are simulating their characters having sex, and I'm okay with that, I'm just uncomfortable doing it myself.

Nobody said he had a problem with the cleric class, just that the idea of playing it made him feel weird. It would be different if he had said 'nobody should play a cleric', but he said 'I don't want to play a cleric, ever'.

If the game is fun for you and you aren't bothered by what the other players are doing, then it's not even a thing worth bringing up. People have all sorts of reasons for preferring one type of character or another.

LadyFoxfire
2016-02-22, 12:33 AM
My DM used to run the D&D club at the high school he taught at, but the school shut it down after one of the players attempted suicide. Despite the fact that everyone, including the student in question, assured the school administrators that it had nothing to do with D&D and everything to do with her screwed up home life, they refused to listen to reason. The club just started meeting at my DM's house after school instead, and a few of those kids still play with us 10+ years later.

Fri
2016-02-22, 09:39 AM
Out of curiosity - what language is it?

It's Indonesian. The word for lowercase god is the older word derived from indian/sanscrit language "deva", while the word for uppercase God is a newer one based on... I think that one is an original world actually.

Segev
2016-02-22, 10:26 AM
I suspect one difficulty people might have if one treats gods as not-necessarily-evil versions of archfiends (which is kind-of what the greek pantheon is, compared to God Almighty - extremely powerful supernatural beings), one starts to wonder what the difference between, say, a warlock and a cleric is. Fluff-wise, I mean.

"I get my power through a pact with a powerful otherworldly supernatural being that has me do favors for it." "I get my power through obedience to a powerful otherworldly supernatural being."

The wording is slightly different, but the relationship is arguably highly similar.

Throw Favored Souls into the mix, and it gets even more muddled. "I get my power through being the favored servant of a powerful otherworldly supernatural being."

Solamnicknight
2016-02-22, 07:03 PM
I had a fellow student in high school rant at me for reading a D&D book near her. In fact it wasn't even D&D it was the pathfinder core rulebook but I said it was a game like D&D. I tried to explain that the whole panic was bogus and media generated, it didn't work. I then pointed out to her that a specific biblical quote that she kept citing against me might've been mistranslated. :smallamused: My teacher had to step in but fortunately I didn't get into to much trouble and she never bothered me again. My teacher didn't ban me from bringing my D&D books either, so I was lucky. Like the time me and a fellow student couldn't contain our grin and giggles at a certain risque illustration in the back of the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide. Fortunately the teacher was occupied and we settled down before she noticed anything. :smallwink:

Anonymouswizard
2016-02-22, 07:15 PM
I had a fellow student in high school rant at me for reading a D&D book near her. In fact it wasn't even D&D it was the pathfinder core rulebook but I said it was a game like D&D. I tried to explain that the whole panic was bogus and media generated, it didn't work. I then pointed out to her that a specific biblical quote that she kept citing against me might've been mistranslated. :smallamused: My teacher had to step in but fortunately I didn't get into to much trouble and she never bothered me again. My teacher didn't ban me from bringing my D&D books either, so I was lucky. Like the time me and a fellow student couldn't contain our grin and giggles at a certain risque illustration in the back of the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide. Fortunately the teacher was occupied and we settled down before she noticed anything. :smallwink:

I like this story. As far as I can tell the satantic panic never happened in Britain, I've never met anybody with any notions of D&D being evil, unless they also have problems with other creative hobbies. I think I've even seen a D&D inspired board game in my university's chaplaincy (no, not HeroQuest or DragonStrike), but then there's also Diplomacy and one of the chaplains suggested 'socio-economic stereotype Guess Who' to make it so I didn't win every game of Guess Who (now it just gets really weird really fast).

On the biblical quote thing, there are so many translations of the bible that you can argue that no quote is certain to be translated correctly. My general rule is that if a Christian isn't willing to talk about their favourite translation but rather the best translation be wary.

Bohandas
2016-02-22, 07:17 PM
I've got to say that part of my objection to 4e was philosophical/religious, re. the removal of the Lawful Evil and Chaotic Good alignments. cf. my avatar

Roland St. Jude
2016-02-22, 08:35 PM
Sheriff: Locked for review. It's unlikely to return because it is inherently asking about religious issues, albeit in a gaming context. That's prohibited here.