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rec.games.frp.dnd FAQ: 4/9 -- Meta, Misc., Religion

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Archive-name: games/roleplay/dnd/part4
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Last-modified: March 2004
URL: http://users.rcn.com/aardy/faq/rgfdfaq.html

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                           REC.GAMES.FRP.DND FAQ
                                  Part 4

                      1) Meta  2) Misc.  3) Religion
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
* designates topics which have been updated.
+ designates topics which have been added.

Meta
  D1: I've found a mistake in the latest D&D product; where can I report
      it?
  D2: Where can I find a list of official D&D errata?
  D3: What is a PBEM and how do I get into one or start one?
  D4: What are the best *D&D products (books/modules/etc.) to get?
  D5: What do those letter/number combinations on older modules and 
      handbooks stand for?
  D6: What font did TSR use for Planescape and where can I get it?
  D7: What is the chance of rolling up a character with all natural 
      18's?
  D8: I heard there are some official *D&D modules on the web. Where are
      they?

Misc.
  E1: Wasn't there a Saturday morning cartoon about *D&D?
  E2: What *D&D-specific comic books have been published?
  E3: Whatever happened to SnarfQuest, What's New?, Wormy, and Yamara?
  E4: While we're talking about it, whatever happened to Erol Otus?
  E5: Wasn't there a TSR module that was banned?
  E6: Wasn't there already a FIFTH edition of D&D?
  E7: When the current version of D&D is revised, will all of my old
      sourcebooks be obsolete?
  E8: What was removed from Deities & Demigods?
  E9: Was Legends & Lore really originally a 1st ed. book?
  E10: What happened to my favorite campaign world?
  E11: Where did all the devils, demons, daemons, and the rest go?
  E12: Who is this Cthulhu guy, anyway?
  E13: What are the major changes in AD&D, 2nd ed. from 1st ed.?
  E14: What are the major changes in D&D, 3rd ed. from AD&D, 2nd ed.?
  E15: What is the Gazebo story?  And what's the Head of Vecna?
  E16: Isn't there a humorous "Dungeons & Dragons" skit out there?

Religion
  F1: Is *D&D really the tool of the Devil?
  F2: Yeah, but is *D&D really the tool of the Devil?
  F3: Isn't Al-Qadim actually one of the holy names of Allah?
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Meta
D1:  I've found a mistake in the latest D&D product; where can I report it?

A:  If you discover a major typo or other mistake in a D&D publication,
    such as the infamous 'damage/dawizard' transposition, or a reversed or 
    missing map or table, feel free to write in and report it.  The
    contact address for errata reports is <custserv@wizards.com>; they will 
    see to it that the appropriate editors are notified of the error and/or 
    are castigated for it.  If the error affects gameplay (such as a spell
    with a statistics block that is contradicted in the spell description)
    include the word "Errata" in the subject field of your e-mail, along
    with the book and page number.
      There is not much need to post reports of typos or errata for all 
    to see unless it actually affects gameplay in some way, such as a 
    drastic misalignment in the columns of a table or mislabeled maps in 
    modules.
      
D2:  Where can I find a list of official TSR errata?

A:  Official errata files for the 3rd ed. books are available on WotC's 
    webpage at <http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article1.asp?x=dnd/er/errata,3>.
      The official errata for the 2nd ed. core books and the Player's
    Option books are available on WotC's web page, at
    <http://www.wizards.com/dnd/DnDDownloads.asp>.  You can find the 
    official errata for the 1st printing of the original PH2, as well as a 
    list of Forgotten Realms errata, on various sites around the net.  TSR 
    at one point also released an official errata page for the first 
    printing of the Complete Psionics Handbook; electronic copies of it are 
    floating around and shouldn't be too tough to find.
      Other than that, look through the Sage Advice column in back issues 
    of Dragon Magazine; every once in a while, that column has included an 
    official correction of an error.

D3:  What is a PBEM and how do I get into one or start one?

A:  Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Hold on there, Tex, that there's three questions in 
    one.  In way of an answer, PBEM (or PBeM) stands for "Play By E-Mail,"  
    campaigns which are run via the DM sending out turns to each of the 
    players, who respond with their characters' intended actions.  Such 
    campaigns are the outgrowth of Play-By-Mail baseball leagues, the 
    Illuminati PBM, and just plain *D&D PBM's.
      To get into a PBEM, monitor rgf.announce and wait.  When you're done 
    with that, wait some more.  After that, wait a couple of whiles.  By 
    that time, somebody probably will have posted a message to rgf.announce 
    indicating that they are starting (or that an opening has appeared in) 
    a PBEM; rules for character submission will usually be included.  
    Follow the rules and mail off a character.  If the PBEM chooses your 
    character, you're in.  There.  That wasn't so hard, was it?
      If you don't want to wait that long (and it could be as quick as 
    tomorrow, or it could take several months), you could try to start up
    your own PBEM campaign.  However, be warned--running a PBEM might sap
    any and all free time you think you have and then some, and isn't 
    necessarily as easy as it might sound.  For a wealth of helpful tips, 
    tricks, and suggestions for running as well as playing a character in 
    PBEM's, read "An Argosy of Play By E-Mail Advice," which can be found 
    on <http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/misc/pbem_faq.html>.
      Another excellent place to look for information on PBEMs is 
    <http://www.pbem.com/>, which has a plethora of files on the topic, 
    from advice to listings of currently active PBEMs.

D4:  What are the best *D&D books and/or modules to get a hold of?

A:  This depends on who you ask.  Everybody has their own opinions on 
    which products are great and which are trash.  However, there was a 
    survey done by Anthony Brooks on rgfd and ADND-L of every *D&D product 
    TSR had ever put out, as of around January 1995.  It rated each 
    product on a 0-10 scale, based on the average of all of the responses, 
    and included comments on the products by the people who responded.  
    Only those products which received 5 or more votes appeared in the 
    listings, but there were comments included on several non-listed 
    products.
      The results of that survey were used as the starting point for an
    ongoing survey on the web, which can be found at
    <http://users.rcn.com/aardy/rate/index.html>.  This survey includes
    every D&D and AD&D product TSR has published up to the current date,
    as well as every AD&D-compatible product which Judges Guild published.
    Since it is ongoing, the results will naturally change from week to
    week, as more people vote and new products are added.  The current
    "best" (8.0 out of 10 or higher) and "worst" (3.0 out of 10 or lower)
    are listed at <http://cgibin.rcn.com/aardy/rate/bestofshow.cgi>.

D5:  What do those letter/number combinations on older modules and 
    handbooks stand for?

A:  Up until late 1994, TSR game every product an alphanumeric code, as 
    well as a numeric product code.  The letter codes were based in some 
    way on the product, and the number following the letter designated 
    which one in the series it was.  For example, Against the _G_iants was 
    G1-3, the Vault of the _D_row was D1-3, and _Q_ueen of the Demonweb 
    Pits was Q1.  Some codes were based on other factors; for example, 
    Competition modules for tournament use were given a C designation, and 
    the Special series was labeled with an S.
      This use carried over into 2nd ed., with the Players HandBook 
    Reference series (PHBR), Dungeon Masters Guide Reference (DMGR), and 
    Historic Reference (HR) series, as well as the GA/R (General 
    Adventure/Reference) RA/R (Ravenloft Adv./Ref.), WGA/R (World of
    Greyhawk Adv./Ref.), et al.  Late in 1994, TSR decided that this 
    system was getting out of hand (what with the [class] Challenge series 
    being given HHQ1-4 !?), and dropped the system.  Now, products are 
    only coded by product number, numbers-only code used internally by
    the company to track products & sales.
      For more information on what the letter/number codes stood for, see
    the complete TSR Product Guide maintained by Gavin Bartell and found
    in Word format at <http://www.effierover.com/tsrlist/docfiles.html>.

D6:  What font did TSR use for Planescape and where can I get it?

A:  The Planescape font is called Exocet (technically it's two fonts, 
    Exocet Light for regular text and Exocet Heavy for titles, etc.);
    it is a commercial font sold by Emigre.  You can see a sample of it
    and purchase it at Emigre's web page, at <http://www.emigre.com/>.
    Visitation is a free font which is quite similar to Exocet and is
    available on various and sundry pages throughout the World Wide Web.
      For a list of this and other fonts that were used by TSR & WotC
    for *D&D adventures and accessories over the years, see the TSR Font
    FAQ at <http://www.geocities.com/rgfdfaq/tsrfonts.html>.

D7:  What is the chance of rolling up a character with all natural 18's?

A:  If one is using the basic 3d6 method of character creation, this
    means rolling 18 sixes with 18 dice.  The chance of this happening 
    is thus 1/6^18, or 1/101,559,956,668,400.  (This assumes fair dice, 
    of course.)  In other words, "slim to none, but technically
    possible."  If one uses the 4d6, drop the lowest die method,
    the chance of getting a character with six stats of 18 is
    1/54^6 or 1/24,794,911,296.  A bit more likely than when using 3d6,
    but you still have a better chance to win the jackpot in most
    state or national lotteries than to get a character with all 18's.
      For the chances of getting 18's with most of the other
    "standard" methods, see <http://users.rcn.com/aardy/rpg/stats.html>.

D8:  I heard TSR put some *D&D modules on the web; where are they?
                                       
A:  Yes there are.  Not just modules, either.  Several sourcebooks and
    accessories as well, some products that for one reason or
    another were pulled from the production schedule and published on the
    web instead, and a lot of brand new web-exclusive characters, maps, 
    adventures, enhancements, etc.  Here are the URLs to the pages for the
    free material:

    3rd. ed. D&D Downloads
      http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article4.asp?x=dnd/archive,3
    Previous edition D&D downloads
      http://www.wizards.com/dnd/DnDDownloads.asp

      Wizards of the Coast has also undertaken the project of making
    almost every out-of-print item ever published by TSR available in PDF
    format either for free at the "previous edition" page above, or for a
    low cost through an online store.  To see what the store currently 
    offers, go to <http://www.svgames.com/downloads-wotc.html>.


Misc.
E1:  Wasn't there a Saturday morning cartoon about *D&D?

A:  Yes, there was.  _Dungeons & Dragons_ was produced by Marvel
    Productions, premiered on September 17, 1983 on CBS, and ran for
    three seasons.  The main characters were all real-world people who
    rode the new "D&D" roller-coaster at the local theme park and somehow
    got transported by the Dungeon Master to a fantasy world.  Each of the
    main characters had a personal magic item, and a vast majority of the
    show's plots revolved around the evil Venger trying (and failing) to
    get their items so that he could become all-powerful, while the heroes
    tried to find portals back to the "real" world and failed to use every
    one for one reason or another.  The first episode was available on
    video at one point (though it is currently without a distributor), so
    it may be possible to find it at conventions, in video stores, or in
    rec.games.frp.marketplace.  In the early 00's, Fox reran the show as
    part of their FoxKids lineup (though with an altered title sequence),
    so there is a good possibility that the entire series will eventually
    find its way to video.
    
    The main characters were:
    Hank (Ranger): The leader.  His bow shot magic arrows that (almost)
      never missed and could also do whatever the writers imagined, from
      becoming slow-burning flares to forming a force-cage or energy rope
      around enemies.
    Eric (Cavalier): The scaredy-cat.  (Which wasn't very cavalier of him,
      but that's another matter.)  His shield projected a force field.
    Presto/Andrew (Wizard): The comedian.  He could pull items out of his 
      hat, but rarely, if ever, got what he wanted.
    Sheila (Thief): The 2nd in command.  Her cloak made her invisible when 
      she put on the hood.
    Diana (Acrobat): The token minority.  Her 10-inch pole could extend to
      become a strong yet flexible 10-foot pole on command.
    Bobby (Barbarian): Sheila's kid brother.  His club caused a mini-
      earthquake when he struck the ground, and gave powerful blows
      to any enemies he hit with it.
    Uni (Unicorn): Token cute creature.  How can you hate a show that
      features a baby unicorn with big, blue eyes and a plaintful bleat?
    Dungeon Master (DM): The DM, of course.  Short, bald guy who talked in
      riddles and sent the party into the face of certain doom. They always
      managed to solve his riddles and survive, yet always failed to get
      home.
    Venger (Fiend): The bad guy.  He had one horn, fangs, and rode a 
      winged nightmare.  He always had some scheme to take over the world, 
      and it usually involved stealing the heroes' weapons first.
    Tiamat (Dragon): The really bad girl.  What's really big, has five 
      heads, a nasty temper, is very evil, and wants revenge on 
      Venger for something that happened in the first episode?  I don't 
      know, but it's standing right behind you...  RAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRRRR!!!

    There was never an episode filmed that showed our heroes permanently
    defeating Venger and returning home, but a "last episode" of sorts was
    actually written.  The script of that episode can be found at
    <http://www.mindspring.com/~michaelreaves/D&Dpreface.html>.

E2:  What *D&D-specific comic books have been published?

A:  There have been a number of comic series over the years which dealt 
    with various TSR worlds, often published by DC in conjunction with
    TSR.  Here is a list of known *D&D-related comic books:

    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #1-36, Annual #1 (DC)
    Avatar #1-3 (DC)
    Baldur's Gate (Interplay)
    Birthright: The Serpent's Eye (TSR freebie)
    Dork Tower #1-8 (Corsair)
    Dork Tower #9-[ongoing] (Dork Storm Press)
    Dragonlance #1-34 (DC)
    Dragonlance (TSR freebie)
    Dragonlance Saga #1-3 (TSR)
    Dragonlance Saga #4-5 (DC)
    Dragon Strike #1 (Marvel)
    Dungeons & Dragons: In the Shadow of Dragons #1-8 (Kenzer)
    Dungeons & Dragons: Tempest's Gate #1-4 (Kenzer)
    Fineous Fingers collection (TSR)
    Forgotten Realms #1-25, Annual #1 (DC)
    Forgotten Realms: The Forbidden Sands of Anauroch #1-6 (21st Century)
    Forgotten Realms: The Grand Tour (TSR freebie)
    Gammarauders #1-10 (DC)
    Knights of the Dinner Table #1-4 (AEG)
    Knights of the Dinner Table #5-[ongoing] (Kenzer)
    Knights of the Dinner Table: Bundle of Trouble #1-[ongoing] (Kenzer)
    Knights of the Dinner Table: Hackmasters of Evernight #1-[on.] (Kenzer)
    Knights of the Dinner Table Illustrated #1-[ongoing] (Kenzer)
    Knights of the Dinner Table: Tales From the Vault #1-[ongoing] (Kenzer)
    Labyrinth of Madness (TSR freebie)
    Nodwick #1-3 (Henchman Publishing)
    Nodwick #4-[ongoing] (Dork Storm Press)
    Planescape (TSR freebie) [online only]
    SnarfQuest collection (TSR)
    Spelljammer #1-18 (DC)
    TSR Worlds Annual #1 (DC)
    What's New? collection #1-2 (Palliard Press)
    What's New? collection #3 (Studio Foglio)
    Yamara collection (Steve Jackson Games)

E3:  Whatever happened to SnarfQuest, What's New?, Wormy, and Yamara?

A:  For those who don't recognize those names, all four were very popular, 
    long-running sequential art features in Dragon at one time or another,
    and references to and queries about these regularly crop up on the
    group.  (Other regular features include Fineous Fingers, Pinsom, 
    Tal'n'Alan, The Twilight Empire (Robinson's War), Floyd, and Knights
    of the Dinner Table; these don't come up for discussion nearly as
    often as the main four).  In alphabetical order:
      SnarfQuest, by Larry Elmore, began in issue #75 and ran for several
    years.  The episodes were collected together into a single book in 
    the late 80's (reprinted in the early 00's, so it should be possible 
    to track down a copy), and a special one-shot episode appeared in 
    Dragon #200.  Larry currently works freelance, and his material graces 
    the pages of many a D&D product.
      What's New? with Phil & Dixie, by Phil Foglio, first appeared 
    shortly before issue #50 and ran until issue #84, when Phil decided 
    that exactly three years was long enough and left to work on other 
    projects.  One of those projects was the comic book adaptation of
    Robert Asprin's _Another Fine Myth_; Phil, Dixie, and the dragon made 
    a special guest appearance in issue #5.  The entirety of the Dragon 
    run of What's New, as well as two new episodes ("How They Met", and 
    the long-threatened "Sex and D&D"), were published in two parts in 
    1991 and 1994 by Palliard Press; it is currently still available.  
    Episodes of What's New? appeared in every printed issue of the
    Duelist magazine, save the last one; though those strips were based on
    collectible card games rather than role-playing games (also, Dixie was
    officially declared to be a blonde rather a redhead).  In November 
    1999, What's New? returned to the pages of Dragon Magazine.
      Wormy, by Dave Trampier, ran concurrently with What's New? and
    SnarfQuest.  It ended suddenly in the middle of a story, and has
    been the center of no small amount of confusion and consternation.
    What is known for certain is that Dave solicited orders for a Wormy
    collection at one point (around Dragon #102), but for whatever 
    reason, it fell through and was never published (everyone who ordered 
    a copy got their money back).  No one, and I mean no one, in either 
    the gaming or art industries has seen or heard from him since; though
    it is known for certain (through his family) that he is still alive
    and well, just not working with either games or art.  Without his
    permission, there is zero chance for a Wormy collection to be printed
    within our lifetimes.  The closest you can get is the Dragon
    Magazine archive CD-ROM, which includes all of the published strips.
    As for the reason Wormy was dropped from Dragon in the first place,
    therein lies a mystery.  The most likely story to surface so far (as
    told by an artist who was with TSR at the time) is that Trampier
    wanted more money and threw a major tantrum over the issue, at which
    point the editors returned the remainder of the episodes to him,
    unpublished.  Since neither Trampier nor the editors of Dragon at
    that time will comment on the issue, this story cannot be verified.
      Yamara was the most recent strip of these four; it ended its 
    several-year run in 1996.  A Yamara collection (up through at least
    the episode from Dragon #202, and including descriptions of each of 
    the characters) was released around 1994 and is currently available 
    from Steve Jackson Games.  Yamara is now available as a web strip, at
    <http://www.yamara.com/>.  The creators of Yamara can be reached at
    yamara@earthlink.net.

E4:  While we're talking about it, what ever happened to Erol Otus?

A:  The man whose art is usually either wildly loved or loathed is
    currently doing well for himself in the the computer game industry. 
    He has worked on "Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Final Unity" by
    Spectrum Holobyte, and "Star Control 2: The Ur-Quan Masters", among
    other popular games.  He's still illustrating, too, just not very much
    for RPGs--see <http://www.slough-feg.com/> for some album covers he's
    done.  He apparently doesn't have a website of his own, but an e-mail
    address for him is listed on Slade's "Ex-TSR" list at
    <http://www.pensys.com/pages/slade/xtsr.htm>.

E5:  Wasn't there a TSR module that was banned?

A:  No, there have been no "banned" modules; but there was one which was 
    recalled & re-released in a different form, thus making the original a 
    rare find.
      The story, according to Frank Mentzer (ex-TSR editor), is that back 
    in 1980, a woman named Jean Wells wrote an adventure for TSR entitled 
    "Palace of the Silver Princess."  It was edited by Frank Mentzer, with
    art by Erol Otus.  It was published in 1981 for D&D Basic characters 
    as module B3, levels 1-3, and had an orange cover.
      Shortly after publication, TSR discovered many serious flaws in the
    dungeon layout and also had it pointed out to them that some of the
    included artwork was of very questionable taste, almost bordering on
    pornographic in a couple of instances.
      So for the first (and possibly only) time in TSR's history, they
    recalled a product.  Every copy of B3 TSR could locate was returned 
    and destroyed.  Then TSR heavily revised the module, fixing the errors 
    and replacing some of the art.  It was re-released shortly thereafter,
    only with a green cover this time.
      However, not every copy of the original version had been returned.
    The first time this was publically discovered was at the auction at 
    the 1984 GENCON, where one came up for sale and went for $300.
    Several other copies have come up for sale since.  Those that were
    sold on rec.games.frp.marketplace a few years ago sold for around
    $100 to $250.  With the advent of eBay and the "must-have-it"
    mind-set that seems to have come with it, those that have sold on
    web auctions have generally sold for five to ten times higher.
      For those interested in seeing what all the hubbub was about,
    a scanned copy of the module can be downloaded for free from
    <http://www.wizards.com/dnd/DND_PSP.asp>.

E6:  Wasn't there already a FIFTH edition of D&D?

A:  Yes and no.  When the D&D game was split into "Basic" and "Advanced",
    the "Basic" version of the rules went through five editions in the
    time that the "Advanced" version of the rules went through only two.
    The word "Basic" was dropped from the name of that version of the game
    around the time that 2nd ed. AD&D was released--so there really was
    a fifth edition of a game called just "D&D".  However, TSR stopped
    producing Basic D&D soon after that, and the current game is the third
    edition of the "Advanced" version of the rules, just without the word
    "Advanced."

E7:  When the current version of D&D is revised, are all of my old
     sourcebooks obsolete?

A:  As is often the case, the answer is both yes and no.  Whenever a game
    as extensive as D&D is officially revised and republished, no revision 
    can immediately replace absolutely everything that had been in print, 
    so certain "key" products generally remain in print and are considered
    generally compatible with the new system until a new product can be 
    published that covers that segment of the game--which can take a few
    years in some cases, if not longer.
      What this really means is that you will not be able to purchase much
    material published before the revision as "in print" material; it does
    not mean that that material is useless. All rules-light
    "setting" material (such as descriptions of people, places, and things)
    and "story" material (such as the plots, locations, and characters of
    adventures) is still usable, but you will need to convert any
    accompanying rules to the new edition.  Any books that were 
    "rules-heavy," are generally quickly superceded by new material, but 
    there may still be helpful sections in the older products--even
    material that cannot be used directly as is due to rule changes can
    often be used to help give a player ideas for how to create a
    particular type of character and how to better role-play that sort of
    character.  Depending on how extensive the changes are, this may be
    easy to do on the fly, or it may be intensive enough to take time some
    DMs would rather spend on prepping characters and subplots.
      In addition, just because a game system or edition has been superceded
    by a new version doesn't mean that no one uses it.  There are still 
    groups out there who play "Original" D&D, 1st ed., 2nd ed., Basic D&D,
    and various combinations of any or all of those.  The most important
    element is not what version of the rules you use, but rather that you 
    have fun while you play.
      For online discussions, it is always assumed that you are talking
    about the latest version unless you state otherwise, so if you want to
    bring up or ask about the way something worked in a previous version,
    please label that clearly so that people who are not as familiar with
    old rules don't waste time their time and yours trying to "correct"
    you.

E8:  What was removed from Deities & Demigods?

A:  The first printing of Deities & Demigods included the mythoi of 
    Cthulhu and Melnibone. The ideas behind the Cthulhu mythos were in the
    public domain at that time, but copyright on the Cthulhu books in print
    was owned by Arkham House, who had licensed Chaosium to create a Cthulhu
    RPG based on those books.  TSR thought the public domain status allowed
    them to create game representations of whatever Cthulhu creatures they
    desired, and so that mythos was added to Deities & Demigods.  TSR then
    contacted Michael Moorcock, who gave permission for TSR to include the
    Melnibonean mythos in Deities & Demigods.  However, again, Chaosium had
    already arranged for a license to create an Elric RPG.  Chaosium became
    upset that TSR was apparently violating Chaosium's licenses, and the
    print run of Deities & Demigods was halted while the two companies sat
    down to talk.  Eventually, they agreed that TSR could continue printing
    the books with the two mythoi as is, on the condition that a note be
    added to the preface:  "Special thanks are given to Chaosium, Inc. for
    permission to use the material found in the Cthulhu Mythos and the
    Melnibonean Mythos."  The printing plates were changed, and the first
    printing continued.
      When the time for a second printing came, the Blume brothers decided
    that a TSR book should not contain such a prominent reference to one
    of their competitors.  They decided to remove the two mythoi, and thus
    the need for the note.  (Apparently, Gary Gygax offered to write up
    two new mythoi to fill the space, but the Blumes decided they could make
    more money charging the same price for a book with fewer pages.) They
    removed the two mythoi, but forgot to remove the note on the next
    print run of the book, though the note was removed for the following
    print run.  Later, the book--still without the two mythoi and the
    note--was republished under the name "Legends & Lore."
      When Legends & Lore was updated to 2nd ed. AD&D, several more
    mythoi were removed, namely the Babylonian, Finnish, Nonhuman, and 
    Sumerian mythoi; the Central American mythos was renamed the Aztec
    mythos.  Contrary to rumor, the Newhon mythos was never removed, and,
    in fact, was included in the 2nd ed. L&L, probably due to the fact
    that it is TSR who owns the license to produce Lankhmar materials.  
    The deities of the nonhumans were reintroduced in Monster Mythology.

E9:  Was Legends & Lore really originally a 1st ed. book?

A:  As a matter of fact, yes.  As stated in the above question, Legends &
    Lore was a reprinting of Deities & Demigods, and was later recast into
    a 2nd ed. book.
      Here is the publishing history of *D&D general mythological
    supplements. First, there was D&D.  A supplement called Gods,
    Demigods, & Heroes came out.  Then, there was AD&D.  A book called
    Deities & Demigods came out; it included the Cthulhu and Melnibonean
    mythoi, among others. TSR decided to remove those two mythoi, as
    described in the above question, but kept the Deities & Demigods name
    and otherwise keep the book the same.  Later, TSR decided to repackage
    the book by giving it a new cover and an orange spine like the other
    new printings of the AD&D hardcovers, and renamed it Legends & Lore.
    Inside, it was identical to the later version of Deities & Demigods.
    Then there was 2nd ed. AD&D.  This new version of the game needed 
    its own book of mythoi, so TSR updated and rewrote the info in
    Legends & Lore, removed a few mythoi, renamed another, and released
    it to the public.  For 3rd ed., there was a general return to "classic"
    names, so the world once again saw a book titled "Deities & Demigods."
    It was rewritten from scratch, however, and the only resemblance to
    the original book was the title.

E10:  What happened to my favorite campaign world?

A:  One of a couple of things. Despite their popularity in some groups,
    sales of products for some worlds--for example, Mystara, Spelljammer,
    and Dark Sun--end up dipping very low. People use the worlds, but
    simply not enough of those people buy new products for those worlds to
    warrant the company putting time and money into R&D for those worlds.
    Therefore, active promotion for those worlds is dropped, and on is
    sent on developing existing worlds that still sell well, or for new 
    worlds that may spark interest.
      Another possibility is the fact that some campaign worlds are
    designed to be limited in scope--they are active for a certain number
    of years, after which point are longer actively supported. Al-Qadim was
    one of these; it was conceived to be a two-year project, but due to its
    popularity, TSR opted to extend the project an extra year.
      With the coming of 3rd ed. D&D, WotC initially cut back all active 
    game worlds to only two: Greyhawk, which is the setting used for any 
    "generic world" adventures for which only the PH & DMG are needed, and 
    Forgotten Realms, which is the setting used for any adventures that go 
    beyond the PH & DMG into new and/or optional rules and similar
    situations. After a few years of that situation, and after the d20
    project got off the ground, Ravenloft and Dragonlance were licensed to
    other companies for development as new d20 worlds.  Also around that
    time, Kenzer & Co. licensed the entire 1st ed. AD&D game system to be
    revised and released as their "Hackmaster" game.
      At this point, the only new "official" material for any other worlds 
    appears in Dragon magazine, Dungeon magazine, and WotC's web page. WotC
    may re-examine the potential of these campaign worlds after a few years
    on the shelf.  At some point, they may decide to bring some or all of
    the defunct worlds in some form--perhaps as an annual adventure
    collection, perhaps as full-blown product lines, perhaps as something
    in between.

E11:  Where did all the devils, demons, daemons, and the rest go?

A:  According to some sects, they have been banished to the last of the
    infinite layers of the Abyss by an indescribable force known only as
    Pae-Sae. Thus was removed one of the Six Signs of Evil in the world.
      However, according to MC8 (the Outer Planes Monstrous Compenium
    Appendix), as well as material for the Planescape campaign setting,
    they never left.  What happened was that sages discovered that the
    names commonly used for them are not necessarily the names by which
    these creatures refer to themselves.  Thus, the creatures you know as
    devils call themselves Baatezu; demons call themselves Tanar'ri; and
    daemons call themselves Yugoloths.  Several of the Outer Planes
    themselves also have had their "local" names discovered; these planes'
    names have trickled down into common usage by residents of the Prime
    Material almost as quickly as the names of the planes' residents have.
    A real-world example of this situation would be the Germans, who call 
    themselves "Deutsch", but were generally called "Alemanni" by the
    Romans, and are called "German" by English-speakers, "Allemands" by
    the French, and "Tedeschi" by the Italians.  Just as with the Germans,
    the "popular" names of these creatures and locales are not really
    incorrect, merely a different term for the same creature or locale
    (and no term is as commonly used for denizens of the Lower Planes as
    the ever-popular "Oh %$#@!!"); the "popular" names are still in wide
    circulation on the worlds of the Prime Material plane, and generally
    indicate a personal preference rather than any ignorance.  TSR started
    used both sets of names towards the end of 2nd edition's run, and some
    of each set of names are used in 3rd ed., so it really does come down
    to a question of personal preference over "correctness".

E12:  Who is this Cthulhu guy, anyway?

A:  Once and for all, Cthulhu is a fictional character.  Anyone who tells 
    you differently is pulling your leg.  The Cthulhu mythos (including the
    infamous Necronomicon and Miskatonic University) was the creation of 
    H.P. Lovecraft, originating in a group of science fiction/horror 
    stories he wrote in the early twentieth century.  Several of his 
    friends, including August Derleth, decided to also write stories about 
    the octopoid being whose visage drives men insane, and these tales,
    along with Lovecraft's own, form the basis of the "Cthulhu Mythos."
    Cthulhu himself is portrayed as a being from the stars who sleeps in
    his temple on an Atlantis-like sunken island and thinks of humans much
    the same way humans think of ants or rats.  Cthulhu stories are still
    being written today by friends and fans of Lovecraft.  For more
    information, see alt.horror.cthulhu.

E13:  What are the major changes in AD&D, 2nd ed. from 1st ed.?

A:  When the time came to write the 2nd edition of AD&D, TSR took the
    opportunity to take some of the changes made in later 1st ed.
    supplements and some of what seemed to be the more popular
    house rules, and merged them together with the rules presented
    in the Players Handbook and Dungeon Masters Guide.  Some of the
    changes were important alterations, some were made into "optional"
    rules, and others were merely cosmetic additions.  What follows is
    a list of the major changes, compiled by Lawrence "DMGorgon" Mead
    <lrmead@orca.st.usm.edu> and Ian Malcomson <ian@domicus.demon.co.uk>.

    Note: Because some of the changes actually occurred with later 1st ed.
    books such as Unearthed Arcana and the Dungeoneers Survival Guide,
    or in the pages of Dragon Magazine, players who adopted the rules
    presented in those books saw fewer changes to the core rules when
    2nd ed. came out.  When a change was made with UA or DSG, that is
    noted below.  Also, some of the affected rules were often ignored by
    1st ed. players, and/or are often ignored by 2nd ed. players, so the
    changes listed below may not be "major" for all players.
    
    CHARACTERS

    * Monk, and assassin were removed as as standard character classes;
      the four basic classes have been split into the warrior, wizard,
      priest, and rogue groups--into which all classes fall--and the
      fighter, mage, cleric, and thief classes, which are now equals of
      the ranger, druid, bard, and other classes.
    * Druids can now progress up to 20th level, with a new progression
      table. (UA)
    * Thief abilities now have a degree of player choice in their
      improvement.
    * Rangers were reworked; they now get d10 for hit dice, no mage
      spells, etc.
    * Wizards may now have specialties (e.g. illusionist, necromancer,
      etc.) with enhanced spell capabilities within each specialty; the
      mage class is but one member of the wizard group, as is each of
      the specialist wizards.
    * Mages' hit dice extend only to 10d4 instead of 11d4.
    * Druid spells are now mixed in with clerical spells to form a
      single "priest spell" list.
    * Illusionist spells are now mixed in with mage spells to form a
      single "wizard spell" list.
    * Non-weapon proficiencies added to core rules as an "option" in
      name only. (DSG)
    * Half-orcs are no longer a standard race.
    * Some stats' tables (e.g. dexterity bonuses) have been changed.
    * Clerics now have "spheres" of influence into which all clerical
      spells have been divided, instead of automatically having access
      to every spell on the list.  Clerics have access to one set of
      spheres, druids to another, overlapping, set.
    * "Specialty priests" are new priest classes which may have their
      own unique sets of spheres of influence and may have different
      granted powers; some may have even different hit dice and
      combat abilities, as well.
    * Bards have been totally reworked and are now in the "rogue"
      group, alongside thieves.
    * Experience points given per gp of treasure acquired is now optional.
    * Optional experience bonuses may be given for "in class" actions
      (e.g. spell casting), and for role-play. The majority of experience
      is given for scenario completion.
    * Saving throws no longer always fail on a roll of "1".

    COMBAT

    * "Segments" no longer exist.  That is, casting times are given, but
      in arbitrary short periods which are not directly a measure of
      time, but rather are modifiers to the initiative roll; see below
      for how this affects spellcasting.
    * A d10 is rolled for initiative instead of d6, with optional
      modifiers (casting time, weapon speed factors, etc.).
    * The THAC0 system is now standard; combat charts with six 20's no
      longer exist.  A natural 20 always hits, a natural 1 always misses.
    * Unarmored combat has been greatly simplified. (UA)
    * Weapon size and length effects have been deleted from standard
      rules.
    * (Optional) Weapon specialization possible for the cost of a
      certain number of weapon proficiency points. (e.g., a 1st level
      fighter could specialize in long sword giving him 3 attacks per
      2 rounds at +1 to hit/+2 to damage. (originally introduced in UA,
      changed futher yet in the 2nd ed. version)

    SPELLS

    * Damaging spells (e.g. fireball, lightning bolt, etc) are limited
      to a maximum number of dice of damage (10, for fireball and
      lightning bolt).
    * Almost all spells common to both versions have had minor details
      changed or added (e.g. identify has different % chances to determine
      powers), sometimes even the level of the spell has changed (e.g.
      any spell that existed at different levels for different classes).
    * Illusions now do temporary damage instead of real damage if
      believed; they can kill by system shock or cause victims to faint
      under certain circumstances.
    * Some spells which cause aging in the caster now age by different
      amounts (e.g. wish has changed from 3 years to 5 years); a system
      shock roll is required for all magical aging, whether it is part of
      the casting or a result of the spell. (e.g. If you are hasted, age
      one year and roll a system shock to see if death ensues.)
    * Mages must now be 9th level rather than 7th level before they can
      scribe scrolls.
    * Number of mage spells omitted in 2nd ed.: 12
    * Number of mage spells added in 2nd ed.: 89 (many from UA)
    * Number of clerical spells omitted in 2nd ed.: 11
    * Number of clerical spells added in 2nd ed.: 43 (many from UA)
    * Casting times of less than a round are now optional initiative
      modifiers and not the actual time a spell takes to cast (though they
      retain that name); spells with casting times of a round or more go
      into effect at the end of the last round/turn/etc. of casting time.

    MONSTERS

    * Many monsters have had some details changed, if only the number of
      experience points awarded for their defeat; xp awarded is higher
      in 2nd ed. than in 1st ed.  Some changes include a strengthening of
      the creatures' combat ability (e.g. the "Balor" now has a vorpal
      sword).  The changes are often minimal in nature and the reader will
      recognize an orc as an orc.  Only giants, dragons and outer-planar
      creatures have had major reworkings (see below).
    * Some monsters from 1st ed. were removed from the core collections
      of monsters (either the Monstrous Compendium vol. 1-2, or the
      Monstrous Manual).  Others were added from books and scenarios other
      than the core monster manuals (MM and MMII).  Outer planar creatures
      (demon princes, etc.) were originally solely detailed in
      supplementary 2nd ed. texts; some have been added to the core
      Monstrous Manual.
    * Dragons have been completely reworked; in general, being more
      powerful than their 1st ed. counterparts.  They are rolled up
      differently, have magic resistance, cannot be subdued, etc.

    MISCELLANEOUS

    * Many small changes: open doors rolls, surprise rolls, monetary
      exchange values and coin weights, addition of a death by massive
      damage rule, removal of artifact descriptions from the DMG, etc.
      Too many and generally too minor to list here.

E14:  What are the major changes in D&D, 3rd ed. from AD&D, 2nd ed.?

A:  While most of the changes between 1st edition and 2nd edition AD&D
    were minor enough that both could easily be seen as two versions of
    the same game, the designers of 3rd edition D&D started from scratch
    and overhauled everything.  What follows is a very incomplete list,
    as there are far too many changes to list here.

    CHARACTERS
    * The class "groups" are gone.  Therefore, rangers and paladins are
      no longer types of fighters, druids are no longer a type of cleric,
      and bards are no longer a type of rogue.
    * All characters now have a "character level" in addition to their
      class level(s); standard characters have a maximum character level
      of 20 (though optional rules allow for this mark to be surpassed).
    * Monk and barbarian are back as standard character classes, with
      completely reworked rules and descriptions.
    * The sorcerer is a new spell-casting class that does not need to
      memorize spells in advance.
    * "Thief" is now "rogue."
    * Half-orcs are again a standard race.  They can never (or almost never)
      pass for human, even an ugly human.
    * Halflings are short and skinny, and do not have hairy feet.
    * Gnomes are slightly taller than halflings and are also skinny.
    * 25 is no longer the maximum for stats.  The modifiers due to
      stat tables have been combined into a single table.
    * The non-weapon proficiencies list has been split into "skills" (such
      as rope use, diguise, or spellcraft) and "feats" (such as
      blind-fighting, ambidexterity, and two-weapon fighting style).  Both
      lists have been extensively revised; many items have been merged or
      removed, and many new items have been added.
    * Weapon proficiencies are now feats.  Fighters, Rangers, and Paladins
      automatically have the necessary feats to use any "simple" or
      "martial" weapon (such as clubs, polearms, swords, or bows) they
      come across without penalty; they still must take feats for
      individual "exotic" weapons (such as shuriken, dwarven waraxe, or
      bastard sword)
    * The six thief skills are now skills that any character can learn at
      any level.
    * Dual-classing has been removed from the system; any character can
      multi-class.
    * Multi-class characters add all their bonuses, abilities, and hit
      points instead of averaging them or using the best.
    * All clerics use the same spell list.  Each cleric also selects two
      of the deity's "domains" (generally similar to 2nd edition's spheres),
      and gains access to another spell per spell level from each domain.
      Unless it is also included in the cleric's normal spell list, only
      one domain spell can be prepared each day.
    * Specialist wizards choose which school(s) they will not be able to
      access, from a list unique to each school.
    * All characters use the same experience point table, as it works off
      of character level, not class level.  (Thus, a 5th/2nd level
      fighter/mage who wants to gain a mage level must get enough xp to go
      from 7th to 8th level in order to gain that level.)

    COMBAT
    * Rounds of combat last six seconds.
    * Initiative is rolled only at the beginning of a combat; the initial
      order of action is generally kept throughout the rest of the combat.
      After the first round, there is no more "first" or "last", only "next"
      in a repeated cycle of actions.  There are ways to change where a
      character is in that order, however.
    * There are only three saving throws for characters: Reflex (getting
      out of the way), Fortitude (withstanding massive physical damage),
      and Will (fighting off mental attacks).
    * The rogue's "backstab" is now a "sneak attack," and can come from any
      direction.  Instead of a damage multiplier, it does an extra 1d6
      damage at 1st level, 2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, etc.
    * Critical hits in the form of damage multipliers are now part of the
      standard rules.  A roll of natural 20 is not always required for a
      hit to be critical.
    * Except for damage, almost everything is based on the roll of a d20.
      High is always good, low is always bad.  In most cases, a natural 20
      will always succeed and a natural 1 will always fail.
    * THAC0 is gone; AC now starts at 10 and goes up.  If the rolled number
      plus modifiers is equal or higher than the target's AC, it is a hit.
    * Polearms have "reach" and are generally only useful if an opponent is 
      ten feet away.
    * Which direction a character is facing does not matter in combat.
      Instead of bonuses to hit for attacking from the side or rear,
      whenever two characters are on exactly opposite sides of the opponent
      they are fighting, they get a bonus to hit.  If the opponents are
      thieves, they can "sneak attack" every round that they remain on
      exactly opposite sides of the opponent.
    * Unarmed combat has been overhauled and streamlined.
    * Characters are unconscious and dying if their hit points fall below
      0, and die when their hit points reach -10.
    * Each character in combat "threatens" an area for 5 feet in all
      directions.  If an opponent attempts certain actions within this area,
      the attacker gets an extra attack on that character.
    * Use of miniatures of some sort (even just dice on a grid) is
      *strongly* recommended, due to the many instances where relative
      position of combatants and distance between combatants is vital to
      running a combat.

    SPELLS
    * All spells are now in a single alphabetical list, with a line in each
      describing which classes can access it and what spell level it is for
      each class.
    * All spells have been extensively overhauled, with many added, dropped,
      renamed, altered beyond recognition, etc.
    * Magic resistance is now called "spell resistance."
    * Fireball no longer fills an area of 33 10x10x10 cubes; rather, the
      blast extends 20 feet in all directions, including around corners.
      Thus, a mage standing more than 20 feet from the blast point will
      always be outside the area of effect, no matter what the layout of
      the area is.
    * Stoneskin now lets characters ignore the first 10 points of damage
      from every successful attack.  If an attack deals more than 10 points
      of damage, the difference still gets through; if an attacker has a +5
      weapon or greater, all of the damage gets through.  The spell lasts
      until it has prevented 10 points of damage per caster level, up to
      a maximum of 150.
    * The cleric spell list has been rearranged to be on a 9-level scale
      instead of a 7-level scale.
    * All spell writeups now include a comment about how spell resistance
      applies to the effects of the spell.
    * Spells generally have casting times of 1 action, 1 round, 1 minute,
      1 hour, etc.  Mages who cast a 1 action spell can also move up to
      their full movement for the round.  Mages who cast a 1 round spell
      can move up to 5 feet that round.

    MONSTERS
    * Monsters do not all get d8 for hit dice; some may get d4, others
      may get d12.  Bonuses to the final hit point total can now far
      exceed +3.  All monster listings include the average number of hit
      points, so that "standard" examples of that creature can be easily
      created without rolling dice.
    * There is now a save against undead energy drain to see whether it is
      temporary or permanent.  Energy drain gives a character "negative
      levels," which apply a cumulative -1 to all rolls and will kill
      a character if they are equal or greater than the character's
      Character Level.
    * Monster xp now varies depending on how much of a challenge the
      encounter is to the PCs.
    * Special abilities are listed as Extraordinary, Spell-like, or
      Supernatural, to better judge how they interact with other abilities
      (such as spell resistance) and whether or not they can be disrupted
      in combat.
    * Monsters now have STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA, as well as
      saving throw bonuses, just like PCs.
    * Monsters can gain levels in "character" classes, and their monster
      hit dice count as levels of "Monster."
    * Dragons have been made significantly more dangerous and deadly than
      before.

    MISCELLANEOUS
    * All PCs, NPCs, deities, and locations mentioned in the PH and DMG
      are taken from the world of Greyhawk.
    * Far, far too many details to list here.

E15:  What is the Gazebo story?  And what's the Head of Vecna?

A:  Both of these are gaming stories that have been told and retold so
    many times that they have taken on the air of urban legends--where
    the original DM is a "friend of my sister-in-law's uncle's second
    cousin" and if you track that path down, it turns out to be just
    that, a story.  However, in both of these cases, the original
    tellers are known, and the original versions are archived on the web--
    and both really happened!
      "The Tale of Eric and the Dread Gazebo," by Richard Aronson, is
    about a player who didn't know that a gazebo is a hutlike building
    typically found in parks, and had his character attack one.  The story
    was originally written in 1986, and various versions of it can be
    found all over the web.  One such place is the rec.humor.funny webpage,
    at <http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/98/Jul/gazebo.html>; another,
    with some background by the author into how the story spread, can be
    found at <http://www.qrivy.net/~ender/Stories/dreadgazebo.html>.
      Whereas the tale of Eric and the Gazebo is about how lack of
    knowledge can be a dangerous thing, "The Head of Vecna," by Mark
    Steuer, is more of a morality tale about how greed can make you
    stupid.  Most *D&D players have heard about the Hand and Eye of Vecna,
    powerful artifacts which require the owner to cut off his own hand or
    eye in order to gain the powers.  In this case, the characters found
    what they thought was the Head of Vecna, and ended up with several
    headless--and thus very dead--characters.  The full story can be
    found on the web at 
    <http://www.qrivy.net/~ender/Stories/head_of_vecna.html>.

E16:  Isn't there a humorous "Dungeons & Dragons" skit out there?

A:  Yes, there is.  Written and performed by the Dead Ale Wives, the
    skit is a popular request of the Dr. Demento radio show.  An audio
    file of the skit is available on the Dead Ale Wives' homepage,
    at <http://www.deadalewives.com/>.  The skit is also available
    on cassette or CD on the "Dr. Demento's 30th Anniversary" album.
      There is also a "movie" of sorts of this skit, called "Summoner
    Geeks."  A group named Volition took the audio file and added video
    with some of their computer game characters playing the various roles
    in the skit.  The video can be found on Volition's web page, at
    <http://summoner.volitionwatch.com/downloads.shtml>.
      The Dead Ale Wives also did a sequel of sorts, in which the
    non-gamer girlfriend of one of the players sits in on a game session.


Religion
F1:  Is *D&D really the tool of the Devil?

A:  No.  See GAMA's response to this, a seminar on which is summarized 
    below.  Another place for information on this subject is the Internet 
    posters' response to role-playing & Satanism in the rec.games.frp.* 
    FAQ.

    This is a slightly edited version of a very informative post by
    Steffan O'Sullivan (sos@oz.plymouth.edu):

    A report on Mike Stackpole's "Satanism & Gaming" seminar at Northeast
    Wars, Burlington, VT, March 20, 1993.

    Mike Stackpole is the chair of GAMA's "Industry Watch" committee.
    (GAMA, for those who don't know, is the GAme Manufacturer's
    Association, which exists to promote the hobby.)  Mike is also the
    author of many gaming books from many companies, including
    Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes and Battletech novels.

    As such (and, in fact, long before he was head of the Industry Watch
    Committee), Mike has been very interested in anti-gaming attitudes
    that exist in the media and what we, as gamers, can do about it.

    Much of his talk was background: he told of Pat Pulling and the
    formation of BADD (Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons), Dr. Radecke,
    Cruel Doubt, etc., etc.  He then went on to describe how's fought
    this anti-gaming media blitz: research.  Yes, the answer is largely
    plain, simple, non-glamorous research.

    Mike has researched every single case of so-called "gaming-related"
    suicides and murder.  To this day he still carries on correspondence
    with two murderers in prison, whose cases BADD touted as having been
    gaming-influenced.  He has written statements from both men that
    gaming had nothing to do with it: they were sick individuals long
    before they heard of roleplaying.  Likewise, he has testimony
    concerning every single case the enemies of FRPs have ever touted -
    that he knows about, that is.  He admits there are cases he knows
    nothing of - more on that in a bit.

    [snip a section about radio shows]

    Mike feels the battle is going well.  GAMA has only taken an active
    role in combatting anti-gaming attitudes since 1989, but great
    strides have been made.  Pat Pulling has been discredited, as have
    some of the other big names who were lambasting gaming.  The media is
    still attracted to the flash of fantasy gaming and a link to crime,
    but law enforcement has become aware that such links are illusory.
    Mike says that GAMA has spoken to many gatherings of law enforcement
    people and come across as responsible businessmen who really don't
    want their customer base committing suicide, since it would hurt
    sales.  (It's amazing how putting it that way can convince those in
    power!  They understand such arguments.)  GAMA has also told law
    enforcement that they don't want gaming being used as an insanity
    plea, and will give them facts to combat this defense in any case.
    This is how you win over your opponents: by joining them in ways they
    can understand.

    The talk ended with a "what can you do?"  His suggestions,
    summarized, are as follows:

    1) Don't try to "freak the mundanes."  If someone says they've heard
       these games are evil, and can they come watch one, don't put on
       devil's horns and have fog flowing out of a bowl on a candle-lit
       table.  Just be yourselves and have a good game.  If you ever do
       have a chance to call in to a radio or even TV station that is
       discussing a case of gaming & crime, please be polite and
       intelligent.  In other words, be a responsible gamer.

    2) Tell your local game store to download and print out some pamphlets
       GAMA has produced as educational tools.  Most game store owners
       would be glad to have something they can show worried parents.
       More information on how to get these pamphlets is included below.
       
    3) If you hear of any cases where people are claiming gaming is
       related to a murder, suicide or other crime, let GAMA know right
       away so they can investigate it.  Use the address below.

    4) If you hear of an out-of-town "big name gaming expert" coming to
       condemn RPGs, contact GAMA as soon as possible!  Mike says there is
       a small discretionary fund that will let him fly in to debate such
       people and discredit them.  It's easy for him to discredit such 
       folk because he's been researching these cases since 1985, and has 
       all the facts on his portable computer.  It would be harder for 
       you, and you might end up losing a debate, which would not be good.

    GAMA contact information:

      The Game Manufacturers Association
      80 Garden Center, Suite 16
      Broomfield, CO 80020 USA

      Phone: (303) 469-3277
      Fax: (303) 469-2878 

      http://www.gama.org/
      custserv@gama.org

    GAMA's main informational pamphlet is called "Questions & Answers About 
    Role-Playing Games."  It is available for free on GAMA's web page at
    <http://www.gama.org/pdfs/Roleplay.pdf>, along with a second pamphlet 
    titled "How to Deal with Parents" and written specifically for store
    owners, available for free at <http://www.gama.org/pdfs/Parents.pdf>.
    GAMA has also produced several brochures & pamphlets about using games
    to teach various subjects, which are available (along with the above
    two) at <http://www.gama.org/gamesed/index.cfm?action=home&nodeID=5>.

F2:  Yeah, but is *D&D really the tool of the Devil?

A:  Not for many people, no.  The rest of this answer assumes the reader
    is Christian, so if that doesn't apply, the reader may wish to skip
    ahead to the next question.
      When one reads a fantasy novel, for example, C.S. Lewis' series 
    _The Chronicles of Narnia_, one will probably come across many things 
    which, in the real world, could be considered evil--or at the very 
    least, non-Christian.  Magic use, satyrs, dragons, talking animals,
    man-beasts, battle, killing, and miracles are all examples of such
    things which many Christians would look at askance if they showed
    up in the real world.  However, the book is not the real world.  Most
    people can sufficiently differentiate between the real world and a
    fantasy world to tell that Susan's *Horn of Summoning* isn't something
    one is going to stumble across when cleaning out your Uncle Pete's 
    attic, and isn't something worth trying to construct.
      Fantasy role-playing is essentially a form of interactive fiction.
    The players and game master work together to tell a story, but do so 
    from the characters' perspectives rather than from an omniscient 
    third-person perspective.
      For those people who are strong in their faith, and can tell the
    difference between fiction and reality, there isn't a problem.  During
    the game, they realize that none of it is any more real than the
    Tooth Fairy.  When the game ends, they go on with their lives.  If
    they choose, they can even use the game and the fictional characters 
    therein to try to explore different elements of their faith, such as 
    how to react to extreme bigotry and prejudice, what the best approach
    is to certain situations like warfare in a violent world, what can
    happen if one takes a single element of a religion too far, or even 
    what can happen if one strays too far from one's faith.  In this way, 
    the game can be used as an aid to faith, helping to quantify it and
    build it up.  The game can also be use to simulate The Good Fight,
    allowing one to pretend to directly defeat evil and restore hope in
    the players that it is also possible to defeat the more insidious and
    harder to nail down evils of the real world.  Or it can be just a
    game, used as a way to get together with some good friends for an
    evening of fun and relaxation.
      However, for those people who are not strong in their faith, or
    who have problems differentiating between fiction and reality to the
    point where they start trying to live in the fantasy world, there
    very well could be a problem.  For such people, shaking their faith
    or feeding their fantasies can be dangerous things.  They could fall
    away from the church, decide they like a fantasy religion better, or 
    completely retreat into their fantasy world.  One should be very
    careful of these things when gaming with such people--I'm sure most
    gamers have met a couple people at one time or another for whom the
    game is a bit too real, or for whom game elements start to spill over 
    into their real life, or for whom the game becomes the chief driving
    element in their lives; these are the kinds of people we're talking
    about here.
      In other words, the game itself is not inherently evil, not really
    a tool of the Devil--though, like anything and everything in this 
    world, the Devil can use it as a tool to get into our hearts, just 
    like books, movies, stray thoughts, money, possessions, and so forth.
    If one feels the game is interfering with one's faith, then one should 
    stop playing the game.  This is an individual choice, just as with 
    anything else that starts to interfere with one's faith--significant 
    other, pursuit of money, car, tv set, anything.  This does not mean 
    one should start a crusade against it, since it may not interfere with 
    others' faith, only that one should work to keep it out of one's own 
    life.  However, for those who have a firm foundation in their faith 
    and can tell where the fictional world ends and the real one begins, 
    there isn't any more of a problem than with reading C.S. Lewis' 
    Narnia books--which, by the way, use a fantasy world to tell the 
    story of Christianity and show examples of many of its tenets.

F3:  Is Al-Qadim actually one of the holy names of Allah?

A:  No.  Well, not really.  Al-Qadim is an adjective meaning "the ancient" 
    or "the old".  In that context, it might be occasionally used by
    Muslims to refer to Allah, but it is normally used as a regular
    adjective in everyday speech.  A Christian equivalent would be claiming
    "eternal" is a holy name reserved for God; I don't think many people
    actually believe the word "eternal" is reserved solely for use of
    referencing God, and Al-Qadim is not reserved solely for use of
    referencing Allah.
      For what it's worth, Jeff Grubb and the creative team behind the
    Al-Qadim setting did their homework, checking English-Arabic 
    dictionaries and asking professional linguists and Arabic speakers how
    the term was currently used in the Islamic world in order that they
    could avoid offending anyone.  "Al-Qadim" is what they came up with.
      More recently, Mr. Grubb asked about this matter on the newsgroup
    soc.culture.arabian; the responses he got confirmed the above, and 
    one also added that it depends on part on the pronunciation: the 
    pronunciation TSR used (short A sound, stress on the second syllable) 
    means "the ancient", while a pronunciation with a long A sound and a 
    stress on the first syllable means "the approaching" or "the next 
    one".  No mention of this term being used as a official alternative 
    for "Allah" was given in any of the responses, and several mentioned 
    that it is an everyday adjective.

***End Part 4***


-- 
Aardy R. DeVarque
Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Rec.games.frp.dnd FAQ: http://users.rcn.com/aardy/faq/rgfdfaq.html

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM