On Tuesday James Wyatt’s latest Wandering Monster article, You Got Science in My Fantasy, was published on the Wizards of the Coast website. Unlike previous articles in the series this one is incredibly convoluted and very confusing. Partly this occurs because he confuses questions throughout the article and then there are his logical leaps that at first seem to be unconnected and after reflection appear to be outright wrong. I’m hoping that by analyzing the article that a better understanding will come.
“. . . Dungeons & Dragons . . . is a fantasy RPG predicated on the assumption that the human race, by and large, is made up of good people. Humans, with the help of their demi-human allies (dwarfs, elves, gnomes, etc.), are and should remain the predominant force in the world. They have achieved and continue to hold on to this status, despite the ever-present threat of evil, mainly because of the dedication, honor, and unselfishness of the most heroic humans and demi-humans - the characters whose roles are taken by the players of the game. Although players can take the roles of “bad guys” if they so choose, and if the game master allows it, evil exists in the game primarily as an obstacle for player characters to overcome. If they succeed in doing this, as time goes on, player characters become more experienced and more powerful - which enables them to contest successfully against increasingly stronger evil adversaries. Each character, by virtue of his or her chosen profession, has strengths and weaknesses distinctly different from those possessed by other types of characters. No single character has all the skills and resources needed to guarantee success in all endeavors; favorable results can usually only be achieved through group effort. No single player character wins, in the sense that he or she defeats all other player characters; the goal of the forces of good can only be attained through cooperation, so that victory is a group achievement rather than an individual one . . .” (Gygax, pgs. 26-27).
Wyatt, James. You Got Science in MyFantasy.Wizard.com 8, Oct. 2013