Evangelical Christians bewilderingly claim that people who play Dungeons and Dragons (or other similar awesome board game, video game, Pokemon Go, etc.) are worshiping demons and going straight to Hell…. because, Jesus.
Impending eternal damnation in a lake of fire for simply playing a game is a very strange punishment if you stop for a moment and consider that the Christian Bible is one of humanity’s earliest sources of fantasy role playing game material as it contains all sorts of magical creatures, strange monsters, and unearthly entities.
The major difference between Christians and gamers is that your typical teenager is completely aware that D&D is just a fantasy game, while Christians believe the events in their Bible literally happened and that every single blood soaked page is unquestionably divine.
Using the Bible as a RPG reference has a few key drawbacks: the insufferable length, lack of any useful index, and the staggering number of botched translations/contradictions. As an example, the notoriously mistranslated King James Version weighs in at approximately 1,200 pages. Not very useful as a quick reference.
So grab your character sheets, dragon dice, and try not to piss off the Dungeon Master!
Here are just a few examples taken directly from the Bible and reframed as a fantasy role playing guide that you might find it at your local game shop two thousand years ago.
DISCLAIMER: I am acutely aware of the absurdity that illiterate bronze age goat herders would own a game shop. I find it more absurd that anyone would base their religion or morals on ancient vile myths made up by a bunch of illiterate goat herders.
The Original RPG Monster Manual
Angels are the most powerful of celestial beings, directly serving a greater deity of (allegedly) good alignment, and typically as an steward, marshal, or assassin. On rare occasions, an Angel will be found attending a lesser deity. They are totally faithful and unswerving in their alignment and loyalty.
One of the most notorious and feared greater celestial beings, the Angel of Death, is renowned for the systematic mass murder of over 500,000 innocent children and animals.
Angels also have a penchant for mating with (raping) human females, resulting in the birth of Nephilim (Giants). [Gen 6:4]
Bible References: 114 occurrences across 13 translations
The basilisk is a reptilian monster. Although it has eight legs, its slow metabolic process allows it only slow movement. While it has strong, toothy jaws, the basilisk’s major weapon is its gaze by means of which it is able to turn to stone any fleshy creature which meets its glance. However, if its gaze is reflected so that the basilisk sees its own eyes, it will itself be petrified.
Basilisks are usually dull brown with yellowish underbellies. Their eyes are glowing pale green. The basilisk is able to see in both the astral and ethereal planes.
The sixth and seventh planes of Hell, Malbolge and Maladomini, are ruled by Beelzebub, “Lord of the Flies”.
DUNGEON MASTER’S NOTE: Boss fight!
Bible References: 13 occurrences
Behemoths are huge relatives of the hippo found only in deep rivers and lakes in tropical regions. They have huge mouths with great tusks, similar to those of hippopotami, and outward-pointing tusks which project from each side of the mouth. These latter teeth are used for uprooting aquatic plants and roots.
DUNGEON MASTER’S NOTE: Creationists will attempt to make a connection between the Behemoth with real world Dragons and Dinosaurs. If any player character begins to exhibit Creationist delusions (treat as Intellect Devourer) or ever uses the Level 1 Illusionist incantation “It’s Just a Theory”, the DM has the authority (and responsibility) to force the player back to remedial biology for 1d10 years.
Bible References: Job 40:15-17, 22-24
A cherub is a winged unearthly being that directly attends to the Christian god. The numerous depictions of cherubim assign to them many different roles; their original duty having been the protection of the Garden of Eden expansion set module.
Bible References: 64 occurrences across all translations
Coakatrices are found in temperate to tropical regions, both above and below ground. They can inflict only minor wounds with their beaks, but their touch will turn flesh to stone (save versus stone or petrified). Note that their petrification aura of this monster extends into both the astral and ethereal planes and thus can affect creatures in these planes as well.
Bible References: 60 occurrences in 12 translations
No matter how desperately Creationists attempt to twist Bible verses to get Dinosaurs into their belief system, Dinosaurs are not part of the Christian mythology.
Bible References: None, nada, zip!
The Balaam are intelligent humanoid donkeys that have the ability to speak in the common human tongue.
Balaam do not like to be physically assaulted and will rebuke those that do.
Bible References: Numbers 22:21-35
A dragon is a legendary reptilian creature, typically scaled, winged, and fire-breathing. Dragons come in many colors, sizes, shapes, and alignments. A considerable number of dragons have the ability to employ magic spells and speak one or more human languages in addition to the language of their species.
All dragons see equally well in daylight or darkness (infravision, 60′). They have excellent sight, smell, and hearing. Because of these keen senses, all dragons are able to detect hidden or invisible creatures within 1″ per age level. Dragons also develop the power to panic enemies as they mature. At adult age and older, they radiate a powerful aura which causes a fear reaction when a dragon flies overhead or charges.
Bible References: 20 occurrences in 7 translations
A familiar is a creature that adds to a Magic-User’s spell casting abilities. It conveys its sensory powers to its master and it can converse with and will serve as a guard, scout, or spy as well. However, the Magic-User has no control over what sort of creature will answer the summoning, or if any at all will come.
Creatures summoned as familiars can include a: Cat, Crow, Hawk, Owl, Toad, Weasel, or even an Imp.
Bible References: Leviticus 19:31, 20:6, 20:27, Deuteronomy 18:11, 1 Samuel 28:3, 28:7-9, 2 Kings 21:6, 23:24, 1 Chronicles 10:13, 2 Chronicles 33:6, Isaiah 8:19, 19:3, 29:4, 65:4
Ghosts are the spirits of evil humans who have been rewarded (or perhaps cursed) by being given undead status and roam about at night or in places of darkness. These spirits hunger to draw the living essences from humans. The supernatural power of a ghost is that the mere sight of one causes any humanoid being to age 10 years and flee in panic for 2-12 turns unless a saving throw versus magic is made. Clerics above 6th level are immune to this effect, and all other humanoids above 8th level add +2 to their saving throws.
DUNGEON MASTER’S NOTE: If you decide to include Apostle NPCs to the campaign who witness any sort or miracle (imaginary or fictitious), the Apostles should immediately declare, “It’s a Ghost!” and run around in a panic for 2d6 turns. An actual Ghost does not need to be present for the panic event.
Bible References: Job 4:16, Isaiah 29:4, Matthew 14:26, Mark 6:49, Luke 24:37, 39,
This demigod claims to have been born of a virgin, to be the son of a god, and a firm believer in peace… although excerpts from his other statements indicate that his ultimate goal is not to bring peace, but to “bring a sword” and create division among the people.
Jesus will attempt to convince player characters that the only way to avoid a realm of eternal damnation is to unquestioningly accept Jehovah as their lord and savior, otherwise Jehovah will punish and torture them forever in a lake of fire that he himself created in the first place.
Jesus will never physically attack a foe. If pressed into combat he will use his powers to convert a foe’s blood into wine (Save vs Polymorph or Die). If Jesus makes a saving throw during combat, everyone at the table must yell “Jesus Saves!”, and he will only take 1/2 damage. Jesus will attempt to flee a combat encounter by speedily walking on water (+2 Sandals of Water Walking) to escape his foes. If slain he will resurrect in 1d6 days.
DUNGEON MASTER’S NOTE: If Jesus invokes a Christianity conversion, it should be treated as a standard “Love Me, Or Else!” encounter. (Save vs Stockholm Syndrome or convert to Christianity, also resulting in -10 Intelligence penalty) A resurrection event will result in either a Lich or Zombie depending on the campaign setting. Be certain to include many contradictions into the resurrection narrative to confuse the player characters for 1d4 thousand years.
Bible References: 2049 occurrences
These giant sea serpents roam the oceans and will aggressively attack vessels in order to eat the crew.
Bible References: Job 3:8, 41:1-2, 41:10, 41:25, Psalms 74:14, 104:26, Isaiah 27:1
A Lich is a former ultra powerful magic-user or cleric that continues to exist because of its own desire for eternal life through a series of spells and arcane magics to bind its soul to its animated corpse, achieving immortality at a horrific cost. The lich passes from a state of humanity to a non-human, non-living existence through a force of will, conjurations, and enchantments.
Liches are described as being clearly cadaverous, their bodies still bearing the wounds they received before their death. They often have the power of necromancy, which allows them to bring the dead back to life.
DUNGEON MASTER’S NOTE: A lich should only be introduced into a campaign if a resurrection event warrants a serious escalation. See Jesus.
Bible References: 20 occurrences
Lucifer (Fallen Arch-Angel, Hero)
The traditional Christian controlled narrative portrays Lucifer as the evil villain of many names, including: The Devil, Satan, the Lord of Lies, etc. However, when scrutinizing the actions and overall motivations of the character, it is more accurate to classify Lucifer, whose name literally means “Light Bringer”, as the actual hero. A few examples that are continuously overlooked:
- In the Garden of Eden expansion module (G1), Lucifer is unjustly framed for the actions of a talking serpent, as there is no mention of Lucifer being in Eden.
- Lucifer fought in defense of the human race, the right to dissent, rebel, and not bend one’s knee to a cruel and vengeful tyrant that salivates at the thought of sending humans to Hell to burn for all eternity.
- Lucifer was responsible for the deaths of ten people in the Bible, while Jehovah “who so loved the world” murders an estimated twenty-five million.
Bible References: 103 occurrences
Magic-Users (Human NPCs)
Magic-Users draw upon arcane powers in order to exercise their profession. While they have mighty spells of offense, defensive, and divination, magic-users are very weak in physical combat. They cannot wear armor and have few weapons that they can use. Magic-Users can also employ certain creatures to increase their magic abilities, see Familiar Spirits.
There are several professions that human Magic-Users can be found… unfortunately, the deity Jehovah does not suffer competition has declared that any human that employs the use of magics to be marked for extermination.
Clairvoyant / Diviner / Fortune Teller / Medium – Bible References – Leviticus 19:26, 20:27, Deuteronomy 13:1-5, 18:11, 18:14, Joshua 13:22, 1 Samuel 6:2, 28:3, 28:7, 28:9, 1 Chronicles 10:13, 2 Chronicles 33:6, Isaiah 2:6, 3:2-3, 8:19, 29:4, 44:25, Jeremiah 27:9, 50:36, Daniel 1:20, 2:2, 2:10, 2:27, 4:7, 5:7, 5:11, Micah 5:12
Enchanter / Magician / Sorcerer / Wizard – Bible References – Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Psalms 58:5, Isaiah 3:3, Daniel 2:10, 2 Chronicles 33:6, Act 13:6-8
Necromancer – Bible References – Deuteronomy 18:11, Isaiah 3:3
Witch – Bible References: Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10
Nephilim are the result of Angels mating with (raping) the female humans. [Gen 6:4] The Angels never return to the prime material plane to marry their victims [Deut 22:28-29] or parent their offspring, so it is reasonable to assume that these ‘daughters of men’ were later put to death for not being virgins. [Deut 22:20-21]
Giants are able to pick up rocks and hurl them as if the missile were shot from a catapult, but without the minimum range restriction of the device. Most giants are cave dwellers. Whenever they leave their lair, giants of all sorts will always have a huge sack with them. Giant’s bags contain various odds and ends of things precious only to the giant: a large rock or two, and from 1,000 to 6,000 coins of some type – usually gold.
Bible References: 23 occurrences in 8 translations
Satyrs (or fauns) inhabit only sylvan woodlands. They are interested primarily only in sport — frolicking, piping, chasing wood nymphs, etc. They resent intrusion and will drive away any creature which offends them. They can sometimes be lured or bribed with superior wine.
Seven Headed Beast (aka Hydra)
Hydrae are reptilian monsters found in marshes, swamps, and similar places, as well as subterranean lairs. Their large, four-legged bodies are surmounted by from 5 to 12 heads (roll an 8-sided die to determine number). Each head has 1 hit die of a full 8 hit points. When all of a hydra’s heads are killed, the body dies, but not until each and every head is killed.
The hydra attacks according to the number of heads it has, each head being considered as a hit die. Thus, a hydra of 7 heads attacks as a monster of 7 hit dice. It is possible for the hydra to attack several opponents at once and up to 4 heads are able to attack the same target simultaneously. Damage scored is based on the number of heads the hydra has; hydrae of 5 or 6 heads do 1-6 points of damage/attack, those with 7 to 10 heads score 1-8 points of damage, and hydrae with 11 or 12 heads do 1-10 hit points of damage.
Bible References: Revelations 17:7
Fire serpents are always (surprise!) found in fires. Some large permanent fires will contain 1-6 of these creatures, though in smaller, semi-permanent fires such as fire pits and oil bowls there may be one snake. Beneath the snakes will be the gems they accumulate. They strike with a 60% chance of surprise and their bite inflicts 1-4 hit points of damage, injecting a mild venom which causes paralysis for 2-8 turns unless the victim makes a saving throw against poison.
Bible Reference: Numbers 21:6
These winged, feathered serpents are rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to their intelligence and powers they are regarded with awe by the inhabitants of their homelands and considered to be divine. They rarely interfere in human affairs. They are able to polymorph themselves and they use magic – as a 5th level magic-user and/or 7th level cleric (45% use magic-user spells, 35% clerical spells, 20% use both). In melee they attack both by poisonous bite (saving throw applicable) and constriction; if a constriction attack succeeds, the victim takes 2-8 hit points of damage that melee round and each round thereafter until one or the other is killed.
Talking serpents are highly intelligent and have the ability to speak the common human tongue. Because of their intellect and benevolent nature, talking serpents will occasionally provide assistance to other species. They have a severe aversion to deities that mislead or lie to other races and will often intercede on the behalf of the mislead… sometimes with unfortunate disastrous consequences. As such, the reputation of talking serpents has become prejudiced as crafty and not to be trusted. Some human tribes have even gone so far as to malign and vilify talking serpents as the justification to subjugate females of their own race.
Unicorns dwell only in temperate woodlands, away from human habitation. These fierce but good creatures shun contact with all creatures except sprites, dryads, and the like. Human maidens of pure heart and good alignment may sometimes (25%) tame unicorns for use as steeds, and such are faithful, obedient mounts.
Unicorns are now extinct because a bloodthirsty deity flew off the handle in a furious and vengeful rage. [Isaiah 34:2-8 KJV]
Zombies are magically animated corpses, undead creatures under the command of the evil magic-users or clerics who animated them. These creatures follow commands – as spoken on the spot or as given previously – of limited length and complication (a dozen words or so). Zombies are typically found near graveyards, in dungeons, and in similar charnel places.
Zombies are slow, always striking last, but always doing 1-8 hit points of damage when they hit. They always fight until destroyed and nothing short of a cleric can turn them back.
Bible References: 20 occurrences related to a Jesus resurrection event. Matthew 27:52 for all the ‘godly men and women’ villagers who were raised from the dead to walk among the living.
This is an incomplete accounting of Bible RPG references. More entries will be added as time permits.