Friday, July 15, 2011

Life, Gaming, and the Gospel: D&D

In case any of you didn't know this, I am an avid gamer geek.  It says so right in my profile.  If you name a game, I've probably seen, heard about, or played it.  I've noticed, once in a while, that random stuff often has parts of the gospel in it.  Today, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite games, Dungeons and Dragons.

Now, don't run away.  Don't worry, I'm not a total geek.  Now, let's see what YouTube pulls up when we type in Dungeons and Dragons. 

No, that little clip to the right is not what Dungeons and Dragons is.  It's the results of people trying to cash in on what it really is.
Nor is the clip to the left a full representation of D&D, though it is somewhat more accurate.  (For one thing, I've never gamed with candles, dressed up, or spoken in funny voices.
Basically, Dungeons and Dragons is a fun game where you play as a character in a fantasy medieval world.  You create a character, and for the length of the game, that is you.  Put it this way; World of Warcraft is a downgraded, online game that was inspired by D&D.

D&D is all about choice.  Let's start with your character.  You have many options, but we're going to start with This will all sound a bit complicated, especially if you've never played the game, but it makes sense after a while.  First, you pick a race, something like Elf, Halfling, Human, Dwarf, or another.  In the basic set of rules, you have a choice of seven races, each with their advantages and disadvantages.

Then, you choose a class, which is something like a profession; you could be a wizard or a rogue, a barbarian or a ranger, a paladin or a sorcerer, and so on.  Depending on which class you choose, you'll be able to do different things.  (For example, rogues are able to deal extra damage when catching people unawares, clerics are able to heal people, and wizards are able to cast a great variety of magic spells.)  There are eleven of these, so you have 77 choices before we even go into other options.  (For example, you could be a dwarf sorcerer, an elf paladin, a half-orc rogue, or whatever combination strikes your fancy.)

Now, let's add in the diversity of feats.  Feats are not those things attached to your legs.  Instead, they are special abilities that you get every once in a while.  Usually, they provide either a new thing that you can do, or provide some numeric bonus.  For example, "Weapon Focus" would allow you to attack better with a certain weapon, and "Forge Ring" would allow you to make magic rings.  There are literally too many feats to count.  If you don't believe me, go to this page.  Those are the feats contained in the basic book.  There are millions of possible combinations.  If you still don't believe me, go here.  It's a consolidated list of all feats in all books.

You see, all of these are options found in three books of options: the Players Handbook, the Monster manual, and the Expanded Psionic handbook.  There are more options, more classes, more feats, and each one adds more options for people.

I googled to see if anyone had figured out the total number of possible combinations in D&D.  Nobody seems to have invested that much time.

Just think:  there are these many combinations in a game.  In life, we all have many more options available to us.  It's all about choice.  We can choose who we want to be, how to get there, and what we will do.  I know that as we go and follow Jesus Christ, we can all come to God again. 

What will you choose?

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