Someone one asked my mother back during the early '80's if she objected to me playing D&D...
She replied that she'd much rather have me playing D&D which had not only increased my prodigeous interest in reading and sharpened my basic math skills but also generally got me socially involved with other children than blowing off my large excess of creative energy in less scholastic and artistic pursuits....
Well, actually, no she didn't... What she actually said was "I'd much rather have him sitting in his room reading some book or playing a game with other children than be out running around shoplifting, fighting, setting fires or blowing things up..."
(Which, coincidentally, happened to be amongst my other hobbies at the time, lol... What can I say, I was a bit of a prodigy, hehe...)
My mother, for good or ill, was never one to let others influence her opinions.
I've seen both good and bad reactions from people back in the old days of the Big Scare -
(I'm sure I may have told these stories before on this forum, and know I have on others)
- In junior high, we were allowed to go to the library on lunch break when we were done eating, and I was there almost daily. By the end of 7th grade, I'd literally read a quarter of the books in the library. The librarian absolutely loved
me... (Possibly even in an inappropriate fashion - she not only let me eat lunch in the library but occasionally gave me a candy bar or other snack... Looking back on it, I can see that some of it may have bordered on creepiness.)
One day she saw me reading some game books in the library and asked what I was doing, so I explained that I was making a character for a game. I told her the name of the game was "D&D". After I explained to her what the game was about, and all the math and reading that went into it, she was excited about it. She even said that it was a great way to get kids interested in reading.
I asked her if we could set up a game in the library during lunch if we weren't loud, and she agreed quite readily. We played for about half the school year, and everything was going great.
And then, it all fell apart.
One day this intelligent, rational woman, whom I'd had many interesting discussions with, happened to look over at our table and see the title on one of our books read "Dungeons & Dragons". She stormed over and asked, "Is that Dungeons & Dragons
you've been playing this whole time?!?" with an outraged look on her face.
She immediately banned up from playing in the library ever again.
Apparently, some other librarian had told her all the crap about the game that was going around... And, despite being an intelligent, rational woman who'd seen
us playing the game for almost six months
and knew exactly what we were doing the whole time (you can't tell me she hadn't seen the covers of our books that whole time), she chose to buy into the whole BS pedal-to-the-metal at that particular point for some reason and freak out on us.
been threatening to take our books away and report us to both the principal and our mothers, even get us suspended or expelled, but I fortunately had the presence of mind (and was angry
enough at what I saw, and still do see, as a betrayal by a trusted friend) to remind her that she'd been breaking school rules by allowing me to eat lunch there and giving me special treatment, and that she'd get into even more trouble than we would...
Needless to say, I didn't spend too much time in the school library in 8th grade.
- When my 4th grade Catholic Catechism teacher found six of us huddled in a doorway after class trying to keep our character sheets dry in the pouring rain and using rocks and twigs as miniatures on a map sketched out on a pile of sand, she began letting us play in her classroom after class. She was fascinated by a game that let you become someone else for a little while and live out a heroic fantasy. And she didn't see anything wrong with a game that involved pretend
magic or fighting
In fact, Sister Maria soon became Sister Maria The Benevolent, our party's cleric. Since she was new and didn't understand the rules very well, I simply told her that her character could perform any miracle that any of the saints or Jesus had, as long as she could name the saint and miracle. Oh lord, did she ever have a hell of a time...
She walked around with no armor but her robe and carried no weapon but a walking stick, healed anyone and anything that looked the least bit like they might
be ill and she gave all her gold away to the poor. She even blessed babies and performed marriages, lol.
I once set up an encounter where I made the mistake of having an orc shaman say his god was better than hers...
Our nice, sweet little Sister Maria The Benevolent became absolutely apoplectic. I thought she was going to have a stroke. Then she brandished her walking stick over her head, bellowed out "Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaspheeeeeeeeeeemerssssss!!!", and charged the orcs
The six orcs with the shaman went down like chumps - two never even got to attack. I sent in reinforcements. Another six orcs. Two of them went down without even a good warcry. Rinse and repeat.
Several rounds later, a 2nd-level party had demolished nearly two dozen orcs
with barely a scratch.
(Protip: Never roll dice with a member of the clergy... That woman could roll a nat 20 on a d6.)
Another time, later on, the party was in a wine cellar getting the everloving crap kicked out of them by a vampire who was using it for his crypt. Half the party was either down or dying, and the vampire had Sister Maria jacked up by the neck with one hand while pimp-slapping the fighter with the other. It came to Sister Maria's turn, and I could see her concentrating with all her might on what to do. We waited. And waited.
And then, just as I was about to ask her if she was going to take her turn... She announced that her character reached back behind her head, grabbed two jugs of water from the shelf she was pressed against, recited IN CHARACTER the exact prayer Catholic Priests use to make Holy Water
... and smashed the two jugs together with his head in the middle...
I... was speechless. I just kind of sat there, looking at the others in the group. They lookied back at me. We all just kind of shrugged. There was really nothing else to be done.
So I announced that the vamp burst into flames and died a horrible screaming death in the greatest of movie-vampire fashions.
How could I not? Y'know?
Sister Maria was, without a doubt, one of the most fun people and one of the best roleplayers I've ever gamed with.
Anyway, I've seen both sides of it from people who you'd think would be on the other side of the issue.