Sunday, April 8, 2012

And We Wonder Why People Think D&D Is Satanic

The joke that always goes around this time of year is that Jesus is a zombie and will eat your brains. But if you actually read the Gospels, you'll notice that Jesus does many things a zombie cannot do. He continues to speak, cast spells, fly, lead followers, and do all sorts of crazy things. Jesus is clearly not a zombie. Jesus is clearly a lich.


To qualify for lich, Jesus needs to have been caster level 11, which is pretty ludicrously high, so we'll assume he's level 11 and no higher.

Of course, to cast Raise Dead (as he does in Matthew 9, Luke 7, and, most famously, John 11) he'd have to be at least a level 9 cleric (or archivist or favored soul) anyway, so at least that fits.

He should have only been able to use Create Food and Water to feed 33 people per casting, then. Maybe he managed to get it up to 5,000 (as he does in all four Gospels, and then to 4,000 again in Mark 8 and Matthew 15) with some sort of crazy metamagic shenanigans, or maybe he homebrewed a higher-level version of the spell.

At first, I thought the spell Jesus casts in Matthew 21:19 is clearly Blight, a druid/sor/wiz spell which Jesus, as a cleric, wouldn't be able to cast -- unless he has the Decay domain (or is an archivist, or took some obscure feat just to get this spell, neither of which seems very likely). Except, while the tree "withers", the wording of the passage leaves open the possibility that it isn't actually dead, and will simply "never bear fruit again". Which is to say, he might have cast Bestow Curse -- except that Bestow Curse targets a creature. Trees are living objects, not creatures. So unless it was secretly a fig treant, this was probably Blight, and YHWH offers the Decay domain -- which is, of course, completely in keeping with YHWH's personality, albeit not quite so much with Jesus's.

Jesus heals oodles of blind people, deaf people, mute people, lepers, dropsy, withered hands, paralysis, and so on. It seems to be his very favourite thing to do. Luckily, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Disease, Neutralize Poison, Restoration, Remove Paralysis, and so on, are all perfectly within his capacity to cast as a cleric 11. Not to mention the entire Cure line, which he can cast up through Mass Cure Moderate Wounds. He can even do so spontaneously, if you think he's Good or the nicer side of Neutral; but even if he isn't, he can still prepare them just fine.

And he drives out a number of demons. Dismissal serves this purpose just fine, though he does have the capacity to cast the higher level Banishment for the tougher demonic infestations.

One of Jesus's most famous spells, of course, is Water Walk. No problem there.

He calms a storm in Mark, Luke, and Matthew. Uh-oh: Control Weather is a level 7 spell! Jesus would have to be level 13 to cast it, which is just not within the realm of reason. So he must have done it with the lower-level Control Winds! As a storm god, it's perfectly reasonable for YHWH to offer the Air domain, so obviously that's how he did it. (The Air domain also gives Air Walk, explaining any situations in which Jesus flies. Not that he needs the domain to cast the spell, it's also a basic cleric 4 spell. But what's he going to prepare in that domain slot instead, Enervation?)

So that's that: Jesus is probably a level 11 cleric with the Air and Decay domains (and, of course, the lich template).


Notice that Jesus was, of course, not high enough to actually cast Miracle. None of his so-called "miracles" were actually Miracles, nor, as I have shown, did they need to have been. Jesus could cast every spell he is shown to have cast without resorting to Miracle. Indeed, just preparing Miracle every day and using it for every purpose would have been less impressive than showing the foresight involved in preparing the right spells on the days he'd need them. (Not to mention, the things Jesus did were pretty weaksauce and unimpressive if we postulate access to 9th-level spells. This is the spell level at which casters can start creating their own mini-universes. Withering fig trees and multiplying bread and fishes is a little impressive for a level 11 cleric, a trifling waste of time for a level 17 cleric. But this is getting a little bit into the "handicap argument".)

Obviously Jesus has the Leadership feat. Or else he's a Thrallherd, which would be more plausible except a psion can't do most of what Jesus did. So leadership it is. Probably chained leadership, even, his cohort had leadership, too, as did the cohort's cohort, etc. That's relatively unproblematic.

Ah, but when he actually became a lich, all the dead came out of their graves and started wandering around. Animate Dead is single-target. I thought for a moment Summon Undead was a possibility, but the whole line is limited to at most four at once. I seem to recall a spell in some obscure book that animates every body within a radius and can be extended or persisted, but that'd be an awfully high-level spell. So I guess I dunno about this one.

The obvious, burning question: what is Jesus's phylactery? And the equally obvious, burning answer: the Holy Grail.

Obviously, Jesus turned the Grail into his phylactery either at the Last Supper or while he was on the cross, depending on which version of the myth you go with (i.e., whether the Holy Grail is the same artifact as the Holy Chalice).

Which explains how Jesus "escaped" from the cave in which he was interred: his original body just disintegrated, and a new body formed next to his phylactery. It's so obvious!

This also throws Arthurian legend into a new light: rather than seeking the Holy Grail for glory or because their deity told them to, Arthur and his knights sought it to destroy it, so that the world could finally be rid of the menace of the lich-god Jesus.

I leave as an exercise for the reader the consideration of whether the Knights of the Round Table succeeded or failed.

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