In honor of Ask an Atheist Day, I thought it would be amusing to consider what atheism means in D&D. I suspect that whatever it means, it’s pretty great or at least hilarious!
- You don’t believe in ANY gods: SO MUCH HARDER IN D&D, where it seems pretty obvious that gods exist. For example, when a cleric or paladin prays to a god, they are granted awesome mystical powers. Epic level adventurers may even meet the gods! However, with that said, the average commoner might not have that much to go on to prove gods exist. Sure, magic exists, but how do they know that divine magic isn’t just another variation of arcane magic? Also, when those epic level adventurers meet up with these gods, maybe they’re just D&D’s equivalent of super powered space aliens, right? It doesn’t necessarily follow (to the PCs) that some being with awesome powers created entire races of people, after all. Maybe they’re just kind of bad-ass. Anyway, I understand Paul once played an atheist cleric, and it was AWESOME!
- You don’t care about the gods: This is a lot easier to get away with in a D&D world. The gods exist, but so what? Sure, Bahamut sounds like a nice guy, but in the end, it doesn’t seem like he actually does that much in the mortal world, aside from bestowing some followers with divine powers. So in this case being an atheist more means you don’t worship any gods or even feel particularly beholden to them. So a little different from how we’d normally look at the term, but close enough, right?
- You Worship Some Demon or Something: Demons aren’t gods and neither are evil creatures from the far realm, but people in D&D worship them all the time. I guess they aren’t technically atheists, because they usually worship them as gods, but let’s not get too bogged down in semantics here. I would be happy to clasp their non-god worshiping hand as a fellow atheist any day (well, not really)!
Have YOU ever played an atheist character in D&D?
Can YOU think of any other hilarious ways a character might be a D&D atheist?
Do YOU have any questions for ME, a real honest to God ATHEIST who plays D&D?
Then please respond with questions or comments!