Monday, May 11, 2009

The First Recorded Use of Summon Monster IV?

For this past Friday's discussion topic, a couple of people mentioned the Bible as an inspiration to their roleplaying. I happened to come across this verse again in church yesterday:

(23) Then Elisha went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!"

(24) When Elisha looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.

-2 Kings 2:23-25

The bears would have been from the third-level summoning list. Seems to line up.

5 comments:

sirlarkins said...

I'm all for modernizing the language, but this passage in particular always struck me as much richer in the old King James version:

"And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them."

Hm, I wonder what other parts of the Bible have D&D parallels? Might be a worthwhile list to compile, if nothing else than to show to those folks who still have it in their heads that RPGs are somehow un-Christian.

Zachary The First said...

Yeah, I saw that over at Something Awful. I guess it'll always be out there...

Anonymous said...

One wonders how a DM would have handled this. I mean calling down a major summoning to kill a group of children for mocking your baldness. I would say this is a MAJOR alignment infraction if not an immediate trip to NE / CE land. Heck this could be used in game as backstory for an Evil Overlord (tm). How evil is Grummond the Annoying? He's so evil that he called a pair of she bears to eat 42 children.
So how would you respond to a player cleric doing something like this?

Max said...

@sirlarkins: "Hm, I wonder what other parts of the Bible have D&D parallels?"I know I did pencil drawings of some of the beasts Daniel dreamed:

6 After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

7 "After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

8 "While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
Somebody call Godzilla!

Don't recall statting them up, but it's possible.

Nathan Abrahams said...

There's also the many instances of various prophets calling down fire from heaven, which could be a couple of different spells.