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Wow. That is a lot of question marks.

(See previous page for more on real-world mythology in AD&D. With the exception of the lizard man entry, the other mythologies listed on this page are from real-world sources.)

It should be noted that the Dragon magazine reference is the only time Satan is mentioned as an adversary in any D&D product - and that is exactly how he is listed, as an adversary. While it likely meant very little to any RPG opponent then or now, material printed in Dragon was not automatically official material for the game, so Satan was never an "official" AD&D adversary, but anyone wanting to fight him with their epic-level characters could pick up that issue of Dragon and start bashing away.

At the bottom of page 21, three words are printed with nearly 20 question marks after each, apparently in an attempt to convey the sheer outrage that these adjectives could be used to describe such a terrible game: EDUCATIONAL, STIMULATING, and MOTIVATING. Since they're posed as questions, I feel obligated to answer them in this context.

EDUCATIONAL ?????????????????? - The Deities & Demigods book included several sections on real-world mythology, gods, and heroes - Aztec, Celtic, Greco-Roman, Native American, Norse, and many more. Featured in each section were lots of details on the cultures of the people who believed in these gods and heroes. So yes, in this context, the game is educational.

STIMULATING ?????????????????? - The Deities & Demigods book could only fit so much information into each section - players were encouraged to find out more by looking for books on the culture and mythology of each mythos. So yes, the game stimulates thought and inquiry about the history and mythology of the world - I can say that it certainly did this for me in my early days of playing. And best of all, it could also stimulate thought about dangerous cults and religious practices, and the perils of believing in things that can seriously harm yourself or others.

MOTIVATING ??????????????????? - (This one gets an extra question mark, for some reason.) AD&D could motivate players in many ways. It motivated millions of players to get together in groups and have a great time playing a game, instead of getting into trouble. In the aforementioned example, it could motivate them to learn more about mythology and world cultures. It certainly motivated players to read books (even if it was only the rulebooks) and write (even if it was only their character description and background). It can defintely motivate younger players to clean their rooms or improve their grades when their parents threaten to take away their books.

...and when someone publishes and distributes a nastly little booklet on the imagined evils of the game, it can motivate at least one aging gamer to spend an awful lot of time refuting it all...

Page 22

The comparisons between D&D and occultic traditions, most of them from legend and lore, continue here. The concepts of clerics and shamans healing the sick, and druids raising the dead, are both from fantasy folklore. The occult has no exclusive hold on them.