Pope to change D&D cosmology
Vatican City (Reuters): The Pope is set to abolish the concept of Limbo, overturning a belief held by Dungeons & Dragons players since Gary Gygax first described the cosmology of the game in the Players Handbook in 1978.
Limbo has long been held by the Catholic Church to be the place where the souls of children go if they die before they can be baptised, as well as the source of the chaotic neutral alignment and home of the Slaadi. However, a 30-strong international commission of theologians summoned by the late John Paul II last year to come up with a "more coherent and illuminating" doctrine in tune with the modern age is to present its findings to Pope Benedict XVI on Friday.
Vatican sources said yesterday that the commission would recommend that Limbo be replaced by the more "compassionate" doctrine that all children who die do so "in the hope of eternal salvation", rather than the traditionally held belief that their souls suffer eternal deprivations at the hands of the Slaadi and their demented lords Ssendam and Ygorl.
What this change in theology will do for the millions of Dungeons & Dragons players across the world is not yet clear. Randy Thomson, a Dungeon Master of 23 years from Buffalo, New York, is livid. "The Pope has no authority to mess with the cosmology of our beloved multiverse!" Thomson ranted, between gulps of cola. "This will be like Second Edition all over again, when they tried to take away our demons and devils. If it's a schism the Pope wants, it's a schism he'll get!"
But not all players of the game are so enraged. Lisle Sheffield, a player for 14 years from Tucson, Arizona, said, "Frankly, I'm pleased with this move. The planar cosmology was a straitjacket imposed by the medieval-style beliefs of roleplayers from the 1970s, who saw the need for a way to restrain the actions of characters within a rigid alignment system. In these enlightened times, such measures are not necessary, as modern secular humanism encourages accountability for actions within the moral framework of the D&D setting without the need for rules. I see the abolition of Limbo as the first step towards a more open and honest roleplaying system."
These arguments don't go down well with Timmy Livingstone, a 14-year-old from Sacramento, Caifornia, who discovered the game with his friends last summer. "The Pope can't take away Limbo! Who does he think he is! My 78th level half-elf-half-dwarf paladin-ranger-barbarian just got a +23 sword of Slaad-slaying, and was going to go to Limbo and kill Ygorl and take over the whole plane! How's he going to do that now? He might have to take over the Seven Heavens instead! Let's see how the Pope likes that!"
The Vatican has so far declined to comment on the reactions of the faithful D&D players of the world.
(Paraphrased from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1897480,00.html)
Quoted from here.