Monday, October 15, 2007

Christian RPGs

I originally meant to name names in my example of a Christian RPG, but then, I also meant to give the people in question fair warning, and the last week has been too hectic.

The RPG in question has a "Spirit" attribute (along with the usual ones such as Strength and Dexterity); it "measures the PC's ability to do things according to the Spirit, such as preaching the Gospel." And that's where the trouble begins, in my view. One example involves a character preaching the Gospel to an elderly woman outside an inn. He is a Specialist in such preaching, and he also has a "Belt of Truth" Rhema (note: the rhema/logos bit usually yanks on my gag reflex), all of which tells him what kind of dice to roll to figure out whether he succeeded.

Now the question is, what does "success" mean in this context? That the woman converts? That the PC doesn't make a fool out of himself presenting the Gospel? Who knows? For me, the important point is that a spiritual matter (witnessing) has been reduced to a mechanistic matter (rolling dice and comparing the result to a table). That's not how witnessing works.

This puts us right back where we were last time: how can we have spiritual phenomena (perhaps even God) in a roleplaying game? I'll try to answer that in my next few posts.

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