Wielding Divine Power

Turning divine beings into game characters (NPC’s) is something that many parents object to when discussing Dungeons & Dragons. There are many families that find it troubling because of their spiritual beliefs. I have heard adults call D&D profane and sacrilegious specifically because of the inclusion of various gods and demons. This can become a sticky point when you consider that there are multiple character classes that derive their power and have direct interactions with their gods and demons.

The good news is that there is no requirement that you include gods or demons in D&D. There are “powerful creatures” that can easily be substituted, and, in the case of the Paladin class, power can be derived from their commitment to a cause or belief.  More about this in the Paladin blog posts.

There are many demons in the monster manual as well as other creatures that can be found in various religious traditions. As I discuss in the blog on choosing monsters for your game, you can choose to add them or swap them out for other creatures. There is also the practice of skinning a monster in which you call a creature by a different name, describe it in a way that better suits your game, but keep the stats to make the DM’s life easier.

Then there is the path of embracing the gods, demons and mythical beasts. Dungeons & Dragons 5e has done a good job of inventing pantheons that do not include any real world religions. Earlier versions of D&D did include gods, heroes and content from historical sources. You can choose which gods you use in your game.

I saved the most controversial option for last. D&D is flexible enough that you could actually theme a campaign and use it as a way to bring your personal religious history to life for your family. This is an idea that I have seen argued very passionately on from sides. I encourage you to follow you own moral compass and make the decision that is right for you and your family.

This is a very sticky subject for many parents. The history of Dungeons & Dragons is heavily stained with false claims of demon worship, human sacrifice and satanic cults. Let’s be very clear, there is no link between D&D and any of these practices. There are many great documentaries that debunk these claims and urban legends, so I won’t bother repeating them here.

In our home, we present gods, demons, and angels in context of the gaming world. We treat their descriptions the say way most people would discus or describe stories about the gods of Olympus. 

Before you start arguing this topic out in the comments, let me remind you that this is a family friendly site and we do moderate all comments. We will not publish any comments that we find offensive, hateful, discriminatory or objectionable. We may edits comments. Edited comments will contain editorial marks.  I, DMing Dad, am the final and only arbiter of decisions regarding content and comments.

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