The possibilities with DragonRaid for your Youth Group, Sunday School, or friends is much, much more than could be described in a paragraph!
DragonRaid is based on the Adventure Learning System, a unique approach to Christian education which was developed more than 20 years ago. Adventure Learning is a cross between simulation exercises and traditional role-playing games. In the Adventure Learning System, players go on adventures in their imagination, which is a lot of fun; but at the same time they are practicing Christian attitudes and behavior which they will need in real life. With the Adventure Learning System, teaching advances from mere intellectual exercise to behavioral practice, thus firmly establishing Christian values and making Christian responses to new situations almost automatic.
DragonRaid is set in the parallel fantasy world of EdenAgain, and in that context the players are encouraged to role-play the real world as God sees it. This format allows for extensive allegorical teaching, flexibility in the testing of Christian knowledge, and a non-threatening environment for learning and practicing new behavior. The decision to present DragonRaid in a fantasy format was based on the popular appeal of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and the enduring merit of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, both of which are classics of allegorical Christian fantasy literature. More than two decades of experience has proved the wisdom of that decision, as large numbers of young people have been brought to Christ and effectively discipled through playing DragonRaid.
Although, DragonRaid is set in an exciting, fun game-like setting, it goes far beyond a mere game in leading players to develop a biblical lifestyle through daily obedience, useful service to others, and the application of Scriptural principles to real-life situations.
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In DragonRaid, the participants role-play Christian characters in the land of EdenAgain, where they are known as LightRaiders. LightRaiders are members of the TwiceBorn who, together, courageously follow the call of the OverLord of Many Names and go into the Dragon Lands to combat and defeat evil. (The OverLord, of course, is Jesus Christ; since the Bible gives a variety of names to Jesus to show us His very many virtues, the title "OverLord of Many Names" is a fitting one.)
In DragonRaid the LightRaiders always fight against dragons, which are allegorical representations of demons. The TwiceBorn also fight against Dark Creatures--wayward beings who, like the demons, do not get a second chance. Dark Creatures personify various evils; for example, trolls spread an unrighteous "power enchantment" and like to push people around to get their way. As a result of dealing with the power-hungry trolls, DragonRaid players come to realize some of the many ways in which a hunger for power can cause us to sin in our thoughts and behavior. Even little children can decide that they would never want to act like the ugly trolls.
Unlike the TwiceBorn, who wage continual war against the evil dragons, the Once Born on EdenAgain are dragon slaves--i.e., slaves to sin. But the Once Born are not to be killed, no matter how evil their behavior. Instead, the LightRaiders attempt to rescue the Once Born by telling them of the Great Rescue, which is the salvation purchased for them by the OverLord of Many Names. The Once Born who are thus rescued then join the ranks of the TwiceBorn, and may someday become LightRaiders themselves.
DragonRaid WordRunes are verses and passages drawn from the Sacred Scrolls, which is our allegorical name for the Bible. A WordRune is a powerful saying from the Word of God. WordRunes take on applications related to the actual meaning of the Scriptures in real life. This is our vehicle for encouraging players to memorize Scripture, and it has proven extremely effective.
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In DragonRaid (as in most role-playing games) one person runs the game world in which everyone else plays. This person, whom we call the Adventure Master, is responsible not only for ensuring that the game is enjoyable for the other participants, but also for discipling them. Our rule books give the Adventure Master detailed instructions on what to do and how to handle various situations. As a result, the Adventure Master learns Christian leadership principles as well.
In addition to the Adventure Master, a typical DragonRaid game has three to six players. Each player is assigned a character called a LightRaider, with particular strengths and weaknesses; these characters then practice working together to fight evil and carry out assignments for The OverLord of Many Names (Jesus). As the Adventure Master describes various situations to the players, the players tell what their characters do; then the Adventure Master describes the consequences of their actions.
For example, in the first adventure (an easy-to-play introduction to the game system) the players meet a troll who wants to give them "gifts" which are really temptations to sin. The three temptations put before the players are gawking at bodies on the beach, buying all the clothes they could ever desire, and going to a music concert where there will be plenty of "pleasure potions" (drugs). The troll asks each person which of the three "gifts" they would like to have.
Just before encountering the troll, the LightRaiders had put Luke 9:23 into their own words and begun learning that every LightRaider must deny himself and follow the OverLord. Now the troll is offering them things which will take them off that course. While the LightRaiders are considering their response, a door behind the troll begins to blaze brighter and brighter with the initials O L M N (OverLord of Many Names) to communicate allegorically that they are not to take any of the troll's offers but rather to proceed through the door (i.e., "follow the OLMN"). Those who act wisely will escape the troll's trap; those who act foolishly, by accepting one of the troll's offers, will suffer the consequences and become "sin enchanted". Since the Raid Team's assignment cannot be accomplished without the whole team, the others must rescue the enchanted character. They accomplish this by giving their fallen team member counsel from the Scriptures until the enchantment is broken.
Every adventure has many such lessons. DragonRaid adventures put the players in decision-making predicaments in order to stimulate Christian growth. The players know that they are being instructed in the Word of God and the Christian Life, but they find it exciting and challenging. Furthermore, the players' responses to challenges in the game help the Adventure Master to discern and deal with areas of weakness in real life.
For example, if a player is likely to fall prey to one of the troll's three temptations in real life, he or she is also likely to say that his or her character accepts the troll's offer. This lets the Adventure Master know where that person is in their own spiritual walk so that the issue can be addressed with prayer and counsel.
Spiritual lessons become much more complex in later adventures. For example, in the MoonBridge Raid Adventures one lesson is drawn out over some twenty weeks. (Playing sessions average about three hours a week.) Early in the adventure the players memorize a passage of scripture which teaches that God is our hope. About three weeks later they are tested without warning to see if they still remember the verse. A couple of weeks after that they are tested again about what it means to have God as our hope. Then, after many sessions of play have gone by, they find themselves in a swamp. They must walk on logs to keep from slipping into the murky water, but eventually every one of them falls in. Afterwards, little by little, they get sicker and sicker, and finally they realize that they have all acquired a fatal disease from the filthy swamp water.
All of this comes at a point in the adventure when they are about halfway through the adventure, and within sight of their task being accomplished (they are supposed to destroy the Money Love Potion). So close--but now every one of them is going to die just short of the goal. Not only are the fictional characters discouraged, but the actual players as well; and they begin to feel hopeless about the whole thing. Now they must remember that God is their hope; if they don't, the Adventure Master stops the game so they can think about it. In this way, the lesson is strongly reinforced that when everything seems hopeless we cry out to God and he rescues us. In this way it has been seen over the years that DragonRaid teaches Biblical truths deeply and effectively.
DragonRaid has proved to be a useful tool within Church youth groups, homegroups, schools, and even with adults. There is practically no limit to who can use DragonRaid or where it can be used!
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What Comes in the Box?
This is the original deluxe DragonRaid boxed set from 1984. Everything that you need to get started playing is included in the box. It includes professionally printed and illustrated copies of:
That's more than 500 pages of material in all!
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