Let me begin by pointing out that, while the use of magic and such is often considered the realm of Satanism by Christians, Dungeons and Dragons (henceforth referred to as D & D) takes place in an alternate universe with little direct reference to figures of any faiths of our world, none of them pertaining to Christianity. Thus, the presence of magic, as well as the encouragement of its use, is a moot argument towards the idea of the game being Satanic. In fact, it’s hardly a reason to consider it evil, as moral standards vary from one religion to the next, and the world is not so black and white as many the devout would make it out to be.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to finer details. The darker classes of D & D, those who operate under Lawful Evil or Chaotic Evil, are often the strongest in terms of offense both physically and magically. This would seem to lend to the argument for the game being Satanic or at least evil. However, as is often demonstrated in other media, those who would give of themselves to the darkness often do so at a great price. This is the case in D & D just the same. Aside from the fact that those characters are sometimes grotesque and disfigured, particularly the Chaotic Evil, their defense and support attributes tend to be lacking by default. So, while they may be heavy hitters, they often lack stamina what with the inability to mend wounds and such. In other words, without assistance, they tend to last only for as long as it takes the mobs to deal their total health points in damage with no recovery to interrupt the progression.
The Lawful and Chaotic Good, while weaker physically, tend to be wiser. Their healing and support magics are indispensable, and their other stats compensate for what they may lack in comparison in terms of strength. In fact, short of entering over-leveled, it’s actually easier to win a campaign with an all Good cast than with an all Evil cast. What this essentially means is that the developers seem to lean more toward favoring the Good than the Evil, but it isn’t readily obvious. To quote from the Book of Matthew, Chapter 7 Verses 13 and 14: “For wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: but straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” This concept is reflected strongly in how the strength of siding with Evil is attractive and significant, but it comes at the cost of longevity.
But rather than making it evil in and of itself, the presence of these Evil classes only serves to maintain a sense of realism within the fantastical environment. There exists evil both in the physical and the spiritual planes of existence. To imagine what would happen in an imaginary world – or even a mere hypothetical situation – if one were to follow a path of darkness is not an act of evil in itself. Rather, it’s healthy curiosity. In fact, those who have not thought through the consequences of a wicked act are more wont to commit such. Playing through these scenarios with plastic figures is a healthy release and really only a form of entertainment.
Furthermore and along the same lines, it demonstrates that noble goals are not strictly the realm of noble intentions. In even our kindest of acts, there exists at least one ulterior motive, even if it isn’t the only or most significant one. This, once again, gives the fantastical environment a sense of realism rather than Satanism. In other words, being that it takes place primarily in the realm of the mortal, it is essentially neutral in nature.
Stepping out of the game to focus on the players, D & D started a subculture that has stretched across decades, rivaling even punk rockers and Parrot Heads. It rounded up the nerds, the geeks, the misfits, the bullied, the eccentric and the otherwise socially awkward and gave us all a common ground on which to stand. In spite of the sneers and dirty looks from other cliques, the outcasts sought refuge in this game and began their own clique of D & D Nerds. This is much in the same way, though on a smaller scale, that the Separatists fled Europe in the 17th century to come to America. In England, they met with persecution for their beliefs and culture, as did the social outcasts of the 20th century for their sweepingly quirky interests and eccentric habits. However, upon landing at Plymouth Rock, those Pilgrims found the freedom to live and worship as they pleased. None among us – at least that are taken seriously – are worshipping the deities in D & D, I can assure you. However, it encourages those interests and habits and nurtures the creative nature that often goes hand in hand with such.
D & D is the Plymouth Rock of Nerds.