No offense, but I don't see a particular need to design the game in order not to offend the religious beliefs of one person. There are other games out there from which to choose. Try Wasteland 2 or such.
P.S. The moral panic over D&D permanently burned out my interest in placating the religious groups over gaming. If we let this one slip through, then more demands are sure to follow. Just... no.
He's not asking that all spells be removed, hes asking that the game be completable without them, which it probably will be anyway.
You shouldn't treat every religious person as if they are identical zombies - far from it - and while there are certainly obnoxious people out there, there are plenty of reasonable people out there who are religious and willing to let others get on with their lives. It's just that the idiots who cry witchhunt if they see someone reading Harry Potter on the bus are just a lot more vocal than everyone else. The only way that you can stop this being an issue is to have some dialogue with religion - not the extremists of course, but if a regular people are engaged, see something for what it is then it leaves the extremists without a leg to stand on.
I don't believe I did treat this person as an identical zombie; I am arguing that the game shouldn't be designed around one player's moral principles. Get it? I'm disagreeing with the message, rather than the messenger.
Sorry about the way I phrased that, I wasn't really addressing that at you so much as using that as a springboard to try and pre-empt any full on religion-bashing - I've seen quite a lot of Gamers vs Religions with each being openly hostile to the other in a way that just makes matters worse. As for the around one players principles, it depends on context, and what you mean by one player.
To take the game "Smite" that there was a bit of an issue around last year, where there was an issue of it including Hindu Gods and Goddesses in an arena battle game alongside Greek, Viking and Egyptian deities. I'm not religious in the slightest but you could see that was going to offend people from a mile off and to me if nothing else ts good manners not to include a being or beings that approximatly ONE BILLION people consider to be real in a beat-em-up. What should have happened was the company should have gone "Oh, we're dreadfully sorry, we didn't really think it through properly, we shall remove them immediatly", but what happened in stead was effectively numerous mssage boards of idiot gamers saying effectively "suck on that organised religion", with the actual company replying basically that they were going to carry on adding more Gods.
Which isn't to say that religion shouldn't be allowed in games, far from it, games are as a valid a medium to say what they like as books or film or whatever, but there is a difference between considered inclusion of something, even in such a way as if you were to make a game that specifically critiqued a certain religion, to just going "hey that guys deity looks cool, lets stick them in this fighting game so they can get beaten up!". We live in a very diverse world and the sooner people work out that other people are different to themselves and the sooner people stop doing things which will offend others because they didn't think about it and it seems fun the happier everyone will be.
Equally though there are some cases where Religious people also need to look at things in perspective: I read something somewhere abotu a guy who returned Marvel: Ultimate Alliance to a shop because you had to find 5 candles to form a Pentagram to get through Mepihsto (the Devil Analogues) Realm. Where its something like that and they aren't familiar enough with their own religion to know that the pentagram was in the past a Christian symbol, and the context of the game where you had just killed hundreds of demons to get these candles, you can fairly safely assume that Captain America isn't a secret demon worshipper.
In the case of the thread, yes it may one man's oppinion here, but as we already know it's possible to solo the game this isn't even an issue. In general, if a game doesn't have a point to make and it's a minor thing to change (or as in this case, not a thing at all), why not fix things to make more people feel comfortable playing your game, and help lessen the bad blood between religion and games?
I began reading your post, thinking I would agree with your message, as many here is unnecceseraly hostile to the question of the OP, which is pretty innocent. But reading on, I understand pretty quickly that we don't agree after all. When it comes to works of art, wether as books, paintings, sculptures, movies, music or even computer games, I will not condone any compromise to the artistic vision. Religious or philosophical ideas should not be able to bend or change the art, except if that was the artists wish of course. Neither would I condone someone feeling compelled to change their work based on irreligious wants, nor political ones, so this goes all ways for me.