First published: August, 1988. First posted online: May 30, 2005.

Soul-selling in the pages of Dragon? Yamara shows you how!

But hang on. TSR had to adhere to some very strict ground rules. They had been struggling with vocal fundamentalists for more than a decade over this game of theirs, and they wanted to avoid any future confrontations.

In this strip, merely our third installment, we had literally crossed a line. They couldn’t print this. Not without a crucial edit.

As long as it was clear that it was villanous behaviour, any religious faux pas, like ensuring one’s eternal damnation, and demon summoning and things, these were fine. We really didn’t have to worry about bringing up nigh-ultimate blasphemies, in the appropriate context.

But that cross. That cross would have to go!

See, by portraying Joe as an actual Christian good guy someone would take offense. Battling demon-worshipping sorceresses and advancing the cause of the Prince of Peace was just not something certain devout Christians wanted to take credit for. Maybe it was some kind of stereotype we touched on? Because our best friend in college was a born-again Christian who played the most bad@$$ anti-paladin character we’ve ever seen, and, y’know, he was cool with it.

Empathetic to our confusion, the editors suggested we try some different cross. We settled on using the Maltese Cross as Joe’s divine instrument of fantasy faith.

…And of course, Joe’d need his own Not-Quite-Christey religion. And so the Church of St. Nobian was conceived, though it would not be a viable organism for some months.

Thus we saw firsthand how extremist Christians succeeded in excluding ALL Christianity from the world’s leading RPG. And then, naturally, turned around and used the vacancy of Christian elements as “proof” of the game’s wayward evil.

This mendacity is still extremists’ favorite pastime.


How can I worship Demogorgon?

Demogorgon never got to have temples or worshippers here on Earth– He was created by a scribal error translating Ovid, sometime in the AD 3rd or 4th Centuries. He was popularized, along with Orcus, by Milton in Paradise Lost. Wikipedia: Demogorgon

What if I just want to kill Demogorgon? Is there an easy way to go about it?

Depends. The average adventurer would just suffer unimaginable torment taking him on, but apparently any drow can just %!¢+#-slap him, and he’ll peacefully fall asleep. More here: Demogorgon FAQ