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The Colymar Campaign and the Star Heart

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1 minute ago, Atgxtg said:

And, of course Your Problematic May Vary. That is thing that might be problematic for some people won't be for others. 

 

there's a lot of tools for this, I recommend checking, even the most desultory googling brought up Lines & Veils and the X-Card

https://www.gauntlet-rpg.com/tools-of-the-table.html

You really never know. I was in Yiddish class and we were doing names and pronouns and I was *le sigh* because I was the trans woman at the table and I felt like, welp, nice to be represented, and the 55yo heavily-bearded frum (pious, orthoprax) individual next to me with a kippah (yarmulke) and a suit hesitated and said (in Yiddish) ... to please use "they" or "she", as they were genderqueer and their daughter called them "Mame" and they got "he'd" all day long so...

So you really, really never know.

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40 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

So you really, really never know.

That's just it. Yes there are tools that give you some sort of system to try and avoid such occurrence, but the reality is we never really know if something is going to bother someone else or not. So you might wind up in a situation where an adventure suddenly becomes unplayable because some important element in it bothers somebody a lot more that you would have expected.The reverse holds true too. If playing at a game and disturbed by something, players should also try to understand that the GM wasn't aware of that, and wouldn't have run things they way they did had they known.  It someone was traumatized watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre when they were a  child  they can't really fault Home Depot for putting one in their weekly flyer. And, if a player has issues with terms such as midgit and dwarf due to real word issues (maybe they or their parents were people of short statue) then they should probably think carefully and brace themselves before joining an FRPG where "actual" Dwarves and Halflings are running around. At least some of the responsibility falls on the offended in such cases. I mean if a person is deathly afraid of spiders and they decide to watch a movie titled Tarantula, well, it's nobody else's fault if they get upset.

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59 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

there's a lot of tools for this, I recommend checking, even the most desultory googling brought up Lines & Veils and the X-Card

 

I will have to think on this... It could well end up being be printed and laminated and placed on tables I run amongst strangers (conventions or otherwise).

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

That's just it. Yes there are tools that give you some sort of system to try and avoid such occurrence, but the reality is we never really know if something is going to bother someone else or not. So you might wind up in a situation where an adventure suddenly becomes unplayable because some important element in it bothers somebody a lot more that you would have expected.The reverse holds true too. If playing at a game and disturbed by something, players should also try to understand that the GM wasn't aware of that, and wouldn't have run things they way they did had they known.  It someone was traumatized watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre when they were a  child  they can't really fault Home Depot for putting one in their weekly flyer. And, if a player has issues with terms such as midgit and dwarf due to real word issues (maybe they or their parents were people of short statue) then they should probably think carefully and brace themselves before joining an FRPG where "actual" Dwarves and Halflings are running around. At least some of the responsibility falls on the offended in such cases. I mean if a person is deathly afraid of spiders and they decide to watch a movie titled Tarantula, well, it's nobody else's fault if they get upset.

Some of these examples are a bit jumbled, since for examples a shop's advertisement happens in public spaces, where other rules apply and most people generally accept that they don't necessarily having any control over what goes up (to a point). Some of the other examples, like the GM not being aware of a player's issues seems to not take into account that this entire thing is indeed about charting what people are and aren't okay with before playing.

I don't know how it is in the US, but back home here, the news tends to simply say "We would like to make viewers aware that the following report contains graphical images of a strong nature." So clearly there is a precedent for this sort of information to viewers and players.

At the end of the day, all of this is just meant to achieve informed consent on the part of every party involved, so that they DO know what they're going into. If someone DOES put on Tarantula after being warned, yes, it's their own fault, but then again maybe they could just be allowed to leave the room and come back once it's over? I did this when my friends decided to watch the Saw movies when we were teens (I'm not a fan of graphical gore), and it was never a problem.

Yes, there might be awkwardness, there might be personal friction, there might be understandings. Shit happens. Ideally, the group should have the tools to work through that.

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On 11/4/2019 at 8:48 AM, JonL said:

Yeah, the odds of someone at your gaming table having been a victim of post-decapitation necromantic enslavement are significantly lower than the chance that someone has experienced sexual assault. Common decency should take that into consideration

...

Actually... there are a fair number of soldiers coming home who've fought Daesh & related groups (groups who've been known to conduct decapitation (among other atrocities)). 

Lots of soldiers pursue gaming in their downtime, and then keep it up when they get home.

So before I included any Thanatari plotlines, I'd actually do a check-in with any new-to-me gamers...

 

 

(just noting, as I write this, that I am kind of appalled at the situation we live in these days, where this sort of thing is common enough to be a reasonable consideration (just saw we had another school shooting, which... FUCK))

 

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56 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Some of these examples are a bit jumbled, 

Let me  try to unjumble what I mean:

  1. GM's should try to avoid things that they know will upset their players. Bu upset I mean really upset or any in a serious way, not just the generally annoyances that come with gaming, like losing characters.
  2. Ditto Players.
  3. Everyone should also try to understand that if something bothersome does occur for some reason they should handle things in a manner that is respectful to the GM and other players. That means a player shouldn't vilify the GM for doing something that they didn't know would bother that player, or any other.
  4. Everyone should walk into things eyes open and be aware of what sort of game they are getting into. While yes, RPgs by their nature contain surprises, a good deal of what a game is about is  made available to the player upfront. If a player chooses to play a game that they know has something in it that with bother them, then it it their own fault when that occurs.

 To sum up.

1. Means the GM should't be a callous jerk and taunt or tease the players. 

2. The players shouldn't be jerks either.

3. Accidents and mistakes happen, be tolerant of other peoples when they bother you accidentally. They didn't mean it or  knew it would happen. 

4. If you know something is going to bother you , don't do it. And don't blame someone else if you do.

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

That's just it. Yes there are tools that give you some sort of system to try and avoid such occurrence, but the reality is we never really know if something is going to bother someone else or not. So you might wind up in a situation where an adventure suddenly becomes unplayable because some important element in it bothers somebody a lot more that you would have expected.The reverse holds true too. If playing at a game and disturbed by something, players should also try to understand that the GM wasn't aware of that, and wouldn't have run things they way they did had they known.  It someone was traumatized watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre when they were a  child  they can't really fault Home Depot for putting one in their weekly flyer. And, if a player has issues with terms such as midgit and dwarf due to real word issues (maybe they or their parents were people of short statue) then they should probably think carefully and brace themselves before joining an FRPG where "actual" Dwarves and Halflings are running around. At least some of the responsibility falls on the offended in such cases. I mean if a person is deathly afraid of spiders and they decide to watch a movie titled Tarantula, well, it's nobody else's fault if they get upset.

It rather sounds like you're throwing up your hands, going "we can never know for sure, so don't bother trying; or at least don't bother putting in much effort, which will mostly be wasted."

If that's your position... yeah, gonna disagree.  If that's NOT your position... I apologize for the misunderstanding, and invite you to expand my understanding.

 

Honestly... the reverse (that the person experiencing a problem with the content should be equally-responsible for settling things down) only sort of holds true.  If you have -- for example -- a trauma-survivor with PTSD having a flashback or panic-attack you absolutely cannot expect them to "try to understand ... the GM."  By the very nature of what they are going through, that may be impossible for them in the moment.  Something that engages the survival instinct that directly and intensely can totally short-circuit all sorts of rational thought [*] .

Sure, many folks can "merely" be offended or hurt, they can suck it up and address the issue rationally... or decide that the offensiveness was so extreme as to make "repairing" the situation untenable, and leave.

As you say, best if someone who's offended by any given term should avoid RPGs/settings where that term is an official part of game-play, a term of art for PC's and other key elements; and for people with phobias to avoid phobia-triggering movies.

But likening those situations -- where someone has an obvious marker of problem content, such as an arachnophobe going to the movie Tarantula -- to the relative "anything goes" of a game-world that's as wide-open as the real-world... that is a false equivalence.

Because "adventurers" (pretty much by definition) often deal with violence & traumatic events, the odds of a game straying into problem areas (so as to avoid same-y "yet another village endangered by monsters from the woods / monsters from the hills / monsters from the lake / monsters from..." plotlines) grows larger and larger, the more you game (and likely to stumble across someone who will react badly to SOMETHING, the more people you game with).

So having -- and using -- those safety-tools just seems like common sense; at least, for everyone who isn't in a long-settled group that's already worked through the sensitive topics and offensive tendencies that crop up at their table.

 

BTW -- Likening "dwarf" with "midget" is (so far as I can tell) roughly equivalent to likening "black" with "nigger."   Dwarf (and "dwarfism") is a medical term and a socially-acceptable term.  Midget is different; objecting to the later isn't an extremist position;  nor is claiming it is just another "term" which only "some people" object to... 

Quote

The word “midget” was never coined as the official term to identify people with dwarfism, but was created as a label used to refer to people of short stature who were on public display for curiosity and sport.  Today, the word “midget” is considered a derogatory slur.

(from https://www.lpaonline.org/the-m-word )

I suggest that anyone who understands what this term means -- to the people it affects -- should probably object to the term... if they object to denigrating terms at all.

 

 

[*] I have personally faced someone in this state (not in a gaming context); they literally cannot think rationally then.  I have been HIT by someone in this state, for the provocation of having been being rational (with the rational position being "don't do that irrational thing").  Having been in this situation (in a non-gaming context) I'm now highly-reluctant to do a 'Con or other open-table RPG event, unless some sort of safety-tools are available & explained up-front.

 

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39 minutes ago, g33k said:

[*] I have personally faced someone in this state (not in a gaming context); they literally cannot think rationally then.  I have been HIT by someone in this state, for the provocation of having been being rational (with the rational position being "don't do that irrational thing").  Having been in this situation (in a non-gaming context) I'm now highly-reluctant to do a 'Con or other open-table RPG event, unless some sort of safety-tools are available & explained up-front.

Your point earlier on is quite important as this points out,

These ideas are not for restrictions or societal rules, they are safety rules which are a very different beast. Same as netiquette, just away to avoid problems and hurt before they happen. Heated games, stangers, hell it could get ugly, so why not set a few safety guidelines before getting to the game. 

Love the tool box meeting a good union steward will give, You will be working in low light conditions, with loud sounds so get PPE (personal protective equipment torches and ear armour) ready and play safe! Same thing,

Sorry, @Bohemond for the serious topic hijacking. But this was worth a few well considered responses.

 

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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58 minutes ago, g33k said:

It rather sounds like you're throwing up your hands, going "we can never know for sure, so don't bother trying; or at least don't bother putting in much effort, which will mostly be wasted."

If that's your position... yeah, gonna disagree.  If that's NOT your position... I apologize for the misunderstanding, and invite you to expand my understanding.

Not it's not. It's more about the reverse sitation where something happends and the "offended" party go off on an a GM.  

Quote

 

Honestly... the reverse (that the person experiencing a problem with the content should be equally-responsible for settling things down) only sort of holds true.  If you have -- for example -- a trauma-survivor with PTSD having a flashback or panic-attack you absolutely cannot expect them to "try to understand ... the GM."  By the very nature of what they are going through, that may be impossible for them in the moment.  Something that engages the survival instinct that directly and intensely can totally short-circuit all sorts of rational thought [*] .

Now yest someone having a PTSD flashback or panic attack cannot be expected to try and understand, but if they are that upset by something that happens in an RPG, they probably shouldn't have sat down to play it the first place. And if it were something that could happen they should have informed the other gamers about the problem instead of being a ticking time bond.

If a Vet is having flashback problems about the Vietnam War, maybe he shouldn't be playing Recon?

 

Quote

Sure, many folks can "merely" be offended or hurt, they can suck it up and address the issue rationally... or decide that the offensiveness was so extreme as to make "repairing" the situation untenable, and leave.

As you say, best if someone who's offended by any given term should avoid RPGs/settings where that term is an official part of game-play, a term of art for PC's and other key elements; and for people with phobias to avoid phobia-triggering movies.

 

 

Quote

But likening those situations -- where someone has an obvious marker of problem content, such as an arachnophobe going to the movie Tarantula -- to the relative "anything goes" of a game-world that's as wide-open as the real-world... that is a false equivalence.

Except that's the the equivalency I'm trying to make. The one I'm making is that most RPGs have setting and themes that are known to some extend long before you sit down to play. If somebody has a problem with traumatic combat situations due to real world military experiences, then they shouldn't be playing a game about solider s in a war zone., and  virtually every game about that sort of thing  is open about it. They advertise what these games are about. So unless the GM is really going of the beaten track, the player will have a good idea of what sort of situations to expect. Now if the player sits down to a game of Toon and the GM runs it like Night of the Living Dead, that's different.

Quote

 

Because "adventurers" (pretty much by definition) often deal with violence & traumatic events, the odds of a game straying into problem areas (so as to avoid same-y "yet another village endangered by monsters from the woods / monsters from the hills / monsters from the lake / monsters from..." plotlines) grows larger and larger, the more you game (and likely to stumble across someone who will react badly to SOMETHING, the more people you game with).

Yes, and that brings up a few things to consider. First off the fact that a Gm, working on an adventure could stay into uncomfortable territory without knowing it. Secondly many Gms use prewritten adventures so someone else wrote it. 

Lastly. anybody who has such strong reactions to events that can come up in an RPG should consider if this is the right hobby for them, or at least be very picky about what games they play and make it know what so tof stuff they want to avoid. Most RPGs have particular settings and themes and they can raise red flags concerning what sort of adventures you might have, and if something bothers a person so much that they can't alert their fellow gamers about things that could set them off, then they shouldn''t be there.  If somebody can't handle things like Zombies and Gore then they shouldn't play RPGs like Callof Cthulhu or Chill. 

 

Quote

So having -- and using -- those safety-tools just seems like common sense; at least, for everyone who isn't in a long-settled group that's already worked through the sensitive topics and offensive tendencies that crop up at their table.

I think thier intention is good but utlimately they are just feel good tools.

Quote

BTW -- Likening "dwarf" with "midget" is (so far as I can tell) roughly equivalent to likening "black" with "nigger."   Dwarf (and "dwarfism") is a medical term and a socially-acceptable term.  Midget is different; objecting to the later isn't an extremist position;  nor is claiming it is just another "term" which only "some people" object to... 

Yes, "midgit" is no longer socially acceptable, which is why I referred to the more acceptable term "people of short statue". My point though was that if someone is sensitive about height and terms like Dwarf, which isn't all that  popular as it ususally denotes an asymmetrical reduced size, then a game where half the characters are under 4 feet tall might not be a good idea. 

Quote

[*] I have personally faced someone in this state (not in a gaming context); they literally cannot think rationally then.  I have been HIT by someone in this state, for the provocation of having been being rational (with the rational position being "don't do that irrational thing").  Having been in this situation (in a non-gaming context) I'm now highly-reluctant to do a 'Con or other open-table RPG event, unless some sort of safety-tools are available & explained up-front.

What if the safety tools trigger such an event? That part of the problem with that situation. If don't really know what will set someone off then you might do so even why trying to head it off. I'd hate to see it reach the point where a GM need to get people to sign waviers before running. I wonder what happens with video games? 

I don't blame you for being reluctant, but just what sort of event triggered that? And what could at a open table RPG? I'm curious.

Oh, and the closest I've ever come to an "off limits" topic was when I was gaming with a guy who, for religious reasons didn't want to play any RPG that had magic it it, because he believed that they were all trying to corrupt you, lead youinto the occult and worship the Devil. So we mostly played modern day and futuristic stuff with him. Although I do recall playing Pendragon with him, but I think that was before he came to that conclusion.

Edited by Atgxtg

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16 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Not it's not. It's more about the reverse sitation where something happends and the "offended" party go off on an a GM.  

hence why we use the tools

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29 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

hence why we use the tools

Sorry but if someone  is going to go postal because the GM named somebody Catherine or some such then they got issues that need professional help, not special tools to avoid being triggered.  If a player can't handle "Catherine", then that's their problem not the GMs.

And the statement that changing the name isn't a big deal to the GM isn't necessarily true, especially when bringing anew player into an establsiehd campaign. For instance, I've ben running Pendragon for the  last year. What if someone new wanted to join the group but they had had bad relationship with someone who has the same name as a pre-exisiting character, and that name is a trigger for them. I'd have to retcon everything, including old notes to accommodate the name change, and this would confuse the other players. What if the name is one used by a player character, shoukld the othe rplayer be foreced to change thier character';s name to such the new player? What if that bad relationship was with someone named Arthur? Should I run King Bert Pendragon, and change everything?And if they can't handle a name used in a game,  how are they going to be able to handle the actual bad things that happen in the game? 

And what if somebody had a bad experience with X-Cards and that triggers them? Then what  do you do, introduce a new tool to offset the problem caused by the last tool?

Plus the whole thing is just ripe for abuse. A player could actually stop a game dead in it's track by playing the X-card repeatedly for no reason other than to keep the GM hopping. Ans the GM is going to have to do a lot of work to accommodate. 

A GM is not a care provider and didn't sign on to cater to everyone's special needs, they agreed to try and run an entertaining game. If someone doesn't find what they do entertaining they are free to complain or leave the game, not to force the GM to change things to suit their wishes. Especially  when this is not going to be an issue with the vast majority of gamers, and will never come up. 

All these bad experience are not new things yet people have been gaming since the 70s and didn't have special tools to avoid upsetting people until recently. They didn't need them. The overwhelming majority don't need them now. 

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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31 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Sorry but if someone  is going to go postal because the GM named somebody Catherine or some such then they got issues that need professional help, not special tools to avoid being triggered.  If a player can't handle "Catherine", then that's their problem not the GMs.

When one of us was going through a tough divorce, no one would've considered using his wife's name for an N/PC. He wouldn't have flipped his lid, but why would anybody want to bring him down needlessly?

One of our players is a police officer. Closest we've come to a police procedural game is playing magistrates in L5R.

Like much of this stuff it's just applying common decency in ways where you might not have considered it before.

17 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

First off the fact that a Gm, working on an adventure could stay into uncomfortable territory without knowing it.

This is why giving players an opportunity to express content line & veil boundaries before the campaign even begins is a good thing, doubly so if it can be anonymized.

36 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

And what if somebody had a bad experience with X-Cards and that triggers them?

If any such individuals walk this Earth, I expect they could be counted on one hand.

38 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Plus the whole thing is just ripe for abuse. A player could actually stop a game dead in it's track by playing the X-card repeatedly for no reason other than to keep the GM hopping. Ans the GM is going to have to do a lot of work to accommodate. 

If there is that level of deliberate disruption going on, the problem does not lie with the X-card. If someone has that much contempt for the GM & the rest of the group, they do not belong at the table. 

42 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

All these bad experience are not new things yet people have been gaming since the 70s and didn't have special tools to avoid upsetting people until recently. They didn't need them. The overwhelming majority don't need them now. 

We (big-picture collective "we" here) drove a lot of people away over the years through ignorance, indifference to their well being, or tolerating behaviour we shouldn't have, more often through lack of understanding than malice (though jerks exist, of course), but the result is undesirable either way. We are all poorer for the contributions those people never went on to make, their characters we never met, the games they never ran, the books they never wrote, the newcomers they themselves never invited in.

Unlike in the days of yore, we now know better, and so can do better - and in most cases the small effort required is not an undue burden. A quick heads up, a sign at a con-table, an extra ten minutes while deciding on the next campaign.  It's an ounce of prevention to avoid needing the pound of cure.

No one approach is right for every group/situation or capable of capable of preventing all problems, but let's not let perfect be the enemy of good. A practical 85% solution is nonetheless worthwhile, especially when playing with strangers.

Looking back, I wish we'd had a few up-front chats about content over the years in my regular group. We might not have lost that player in our Rome game if we had, and I can think of another game that nearly went off the rails WRT mind-control. 

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Getting a bit heated here, but it's probably worth keeping in mind that this is a game, and its purpose is to make the people playing it have a good time.

Inventing convoluted scenarios for how something can hypothetically go awry seems counter to this goal.

If keeping it simple and working with people one already know well is preferable, by all means. If using tools to make a group of strangers or loose acquaintances get into things more easily, why not?

Back when playing WoW, when interpersonal friction got too bad in a Guild, I left it and found a new one. Shit happens. Not every gaming group is meant to be. Who knows.

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Sorry but if someone  is going to go postal because the GM named somebody Catherine or some such then they got issues that need professional help, not special tools to avoid being triggered.  If a player can't handle "Catherine", then that's their problem not the GMs.

you're getting real heated about a very common tool used at like most of the cons and private tables I've ever been to's tables because it's a sixty-second way to see what the table's temperature is. It's never been anything more than a useful tool and if ain't what you like, then don't use it, but this is a straw dog before heaven, as they put it in Classical Chinese.

triggered is a real word and please don't use it as an insult, for god's sake. these days mental health professionals avoid using "triggered" because y'all have made such a fart stank on that word people recoil from the idea they might get triggered by something, which is an actual process that happens with people with trauma or ptsd or other issues.

source: me. I have ptsd, having had been held hostage by Acehnese terrorists.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman

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57 minutes ago, JonL said:

When one of us was going through a tough divorce, no one would've considered using his wife's name for an N/PC. He wouldn't have flipped his lid, but why would anybody want to bring him down needlessly?

One of our players is a police officer. Closest we've come to a police procedural game is playing magistrates in L5R.

Like much of this stuff it's just applying common decency in ways where you might not have considered it before.

Yes, exactly. ANd we don't need special rules to handle it. Two of the playersin my group lost parents recently and as a GM I'll probably try to avoid such a thin gfrom happening in my game for a bit. But I am running Pendragon, and at 1 adventure per year and an aging table, it is going to come up eventually.

57 minutes ago, JonL said:

This is why giving players an opportunity to express content line & veil boundaries before the campaign even begins is a good thing, doubly so if it can be anonymized.

I don't think so. Anymore than TV, film, literature or any other form of story telling should be controlled by the audience, especially a minority of it. At that point is isn't about common decency and consideration it's censorship and control. A player is tellin gthe GM what they can or cannot do without any justification. It's the old Black Ball system. 

 

57 minutes ago, JonL said:

If any such individuals walk this Earth, I expect they could be counted on one hand.

Yup, as opposed to the countless masses who can't handle hearing the name Catherine.  And if it is done  an anonymously we will never know who is is either. This whole thing is really about catering to a very small subset of gamers, whose issues should probably be addressed in advance anyway.

57 minutes ago, JonL said:

If there is that level of deliberate disruption going on, the problem does not lie with the X-card. If someone has that much contempt for the GM & the rest of the group, they do not belong at the table. 

No and someone who can't handle a name probably doesn't belong there either. Again there are extreme cases where I can understand why a GM might wish to accommodate a player.But there is no need to introduce a tool to do it.  If someone can handle writing an anonymous note about something that bother them they can handle telling the GM that Catherine was the name of thier ex-girl;freind or whatever and that it bothers them.

57 minutes ago, JonL said:

We (big-picture collective "we" here) drove a lot of people away over the years through ignorance, indifference to their well being, or tolerating behaviour we shouldn't have, more often through lack of understanding than malice (though jerks exist, of course), but the result is undesirable either way. We are all poorer for the contributions those people never went on to make, their characters we never met, the games they never ran, the books they never wrote, the newcomers they themselves never invited in.

Yup. People can be cruel caullous and unfeeling. We all know that from personal experience. 

 

57 minutes ago, JonL said:

Unlike in the days of yore, we now know better, and so can do better - and in most cases the small effort required is not an undue burden. A quick heads up, a sign at a con-table, an extra ten minutes while deciding on the next campaign.  It's an ounce of prevention to avoid needing the pound of cure.

No one approach is right for every group/situation or capable of capable of preventing all problems, but let's not let perfect be the enemy of good. A practical 85% solution is nonetheless worthwhile, especially when playing with strangers.

Looking back, I wish we'd had a few up-front chats about content over the years in my regular group. We might not have lost that player in our Rome game if we had, and I can think of another game that nearly went off the rails WRT mind-control. 

Yes, being iopne and upfornt about things is good, but X-Cards are not the solution, just a rabbit hole to a whole new level of censorship.

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22 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

you're getting real heated about a very common tool used at like most of the cons and private tables I've ever been to's tables because it's a sixty-second way to see what the table's temperature is. It's never been anything more than a useful tool and if ain't what you like, then don't use it, but this is a straw dog before heaven, as they put it in Classical Chinese.

I'm not getting heated. I'm disagreeing with your position,  and attempting to explain why. 

But, If I were getting heated could I "X-Card" this debate over and silence those who disagree with me, because I was getting genuinely upset? 

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triggered is a real word and please don't use it as an insult,

 
Yes it is and it has more than one meaning.
 
1.) *popular and well known definition* triggered is when someone gets offended or gets their feelings hurt, often used in memes to describe feminist, or people with strong victimization. (the use of this word through social media is generally ableist.)

2.) *actaul definition of triggered* trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma.
trauma in the form of flashbacks or overwhelming feelings of sadness, anxiety, or panic. The brain forms a connection between a trigger and the feelings with which it is associated, and some triggers are quite innocuous. For example, a person who smelled incense while being raped might have a panic attack when he or she smells incense in a store. Triggers are very personal, and generally people with severe PTSD or/and anxiety can be triggered by everyday things.

Note how easily 1) can be passed off as 2).

 

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for god's sake.

God is also a real world (the existence of whom is another matter) and should be Capitalized. The phase "For God's Sake" actually a real phase and has multiple meanings too, but is usually used as an exclamation, and is offenseive to some devote Christians, Jews and no doubt others whom, I am forgetting or unaware of when  used that way as it is taking the lord's name in vain.

Now if that bothered me would I (or should I) be allowed to restrict your usage of the term  in the manner that your intended?

 

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these days mental health professionals avoid using "triggered" because y'all have made such a fart stank on that word people recoil from the idea they might get triggered by something, which is an actual process that happens with people with trauma or ptsd or other issues.

Yes, and someone who is at risk of actually being trigger by something that is likely to happen in an RPG shouldn't be playing the RPG. Against, these people are supposedly able to function in society. There is nothing that will come up in an RPG that they won't be exposed to on TV or at the cinema, yet we don't have special tools in place that force TV stations and Cinemas not to show something because it might upset somebody. If they did, they wouldn't be able to show anything.

 

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source: me. I have ptsd, having had been held hostage by Acehnese terrorists.

Which is something that you GM should be made aware of and could detention not only what he might run, but also if you should be playing something. I mean if the GM was planning on starting of a campaign with the old A series of D&D modules, then they are either going to have to run something else of game with somebody else. 

Edited by Atgxtg

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6 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

after reading your entire comment, I'm going to just let you cool off right now

Okay, let me know when you think I'll cooled off enough. I'm not angry, just disappointed.

If people cannot disagree and debate things then we can't work to find a common ground to resolve conflicts. Oh, and a little sad. There used to be a lot people who I could really disagree with and have good productive debates about things. People, myself included have even changed their minds about things and learned from it.

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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Trusting your fellow gamers with a tool to signal their discomfort without needing them to go into (possibly unpleasant or intimate) details about what they're feeling and why is not censorship.

Sincerely putting up a "please stop, this frightens/hurts/disturbs me" flag is not about control.

Offering such an option to your players is an act of mutual trust and respect.

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7 hours ago, JonL said:

We (big-picture collective "we" here) drove a lot of people away over the years through ignorance, indifference to their well being, or tolerating behaviour we shouldn't have, more often through lack of understanding than malice (though jerks exist, of course), but the result is undesirable either way. We are all poorer for the contributions those people never went on to make, their characters we never met, the games they never ran, the books they never wrote, the newcomers they themselves never invited in.

Another "big picture collective we" is a bunch of socially non-adapted people getting to interact with other people meeting around a table rolling dice and toting character sheets.

The community of role-players has had more than its fair share of people who suck at interacting with other people in real life, and it did wonders as group therapy for those socially excluded people.

Nowadays, people from this maladapted background form a big part of the gamer and GM pool. Which is one reason why things like Gamer-Gate are getting support.

RPGs have managed to integrate a lot of folk who have problems with interpersonal relationships, possibly bordering the autistic spectrum. Of course these people who often have learned much of their empathy from the hobby are under-equipped to be welcoming and sensitive. RPG still works (fine) as their rehab.

One lesson of life is that not all of your friends will make friends with each other just because you like both sets of them. Some groups just don't mix well. While all may be poorer for never having met or being exposed to that other group's gaming creativity, if they had met, chances are high they wouldn't have warmed to one another.

 

7 hours ago, JonL said:

Unlike in the days of yore, we now know better, and so can do better - and in most cases the small effort required is not an undue burden. A quick heads up, a sign at a con-table, an extra ten minutes while deciding on the next campaign.  It's an ounce of prevention to avoid needing the pound of cure.

This small extra effort may actually be a trigger to fold back into anti-social behavior for those who made the achievement to become sufficiently socially adept to play with other role-players. Not every established role-player is that stable as a person.

I have no idea how anyone else's player composition looks, but I have met a great share of socially handicapped role-players - organizing a convention and a university gaming group that was also the only public meeting place will bring even a mildly socially handicapped person into that kind of contact. Most of these people are functional in society, but may have to work on that continually.

 

My point is - there are people who might know better, but who already have to work hard at doing as good as they do, and for whom doing better might be too much.

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I had a plot where the Giants had a Death Cradle, one where a Giant baby was born and waited to sail down the River of Cradles, but it never happened, so they withered and died in the Cradle. If anyone took it down the Zola Fel, it would awaken the souls of those babies that died in the womb, whose mother died before they could give birth, or who died as infants, to rise up and join the Death Cradle. Then, one of our Players told us that his wife was expecting, so I shelved the idea, as I didn't want there to be any possible chance of causing upset. I eventually used it, in a modified form, but without the souls of the Unborn.

Similarly, I had a creature that was a swarm of chaos worms, dropping off the Giant Worm in Snakepipe Hollow, but one of the Players said that she had a phobia of swarming things, so I didn't use it again.

Some people would have used them again and again, because they knew they would cause offence, but I'm not a dick so wouldn't do that.

I can totally see the point of the X-Card and would have it in a Convention Game. In our weekly games, I just steer clear of subjects that might cause problems.

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16 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I can totally see the point of the X-Card and would have it in a Convention Game. In our weekly games, I just steer clear of subjects that might cause problems.

In my local area, weekly games are extremely often held at Pandemonium Books & Games, which has room for all of Boston to come for Magic events. Since we're a student city, tables are often a little unstable, with people coming and going a little.

Most of the work is done when you form the table, of course, but sometimes it's worth keeping the x-card in play just in case. You might not know people very well.

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17 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

... yet we don't have special tools in place that force TV stations and Cinemas not to show something because it might upset somebody. If they did, they wouldn't be able to show anything ...

Actually, we do.  We very much do have this.

Are you unaware that virtually every country in the world has laws and regulations about TV & cinema?  They levy fines, they prevent stuff from ever showing on screen, they require up-front content warnings, etc etc etc.   Mind you... some of the rules are really old-fashioned and obsolete, in some places; other places have rules that may seem draconian to you or I; etc.

 

19 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

...

I don't think so. Anymore than TV, film, literature or any other form of story telling should be controlled by the audience, especially a minority of it. At that point is isn't about common decency and consideration it's censorship and control. A player is tellin gthe GM what they can or cannot do without any justification. It's the old Black Ball system. 

...

Again, this is VERY MUCH a false equivalency.

For technological reasons, TV/Film/Literature has always been unidirectional.  A realtime gaming session, with a live DM, is anything BUT; and gaming shouldn't be limited to that old model.  CYOA books were different from prior "literature" and RPG's are different from both wargames and from acting/improv (arguably the two most-relevant antecedents).

Your argument, "A player is telling the GM what they can or cannot do..." seems predicated on the GM-as-god model, that it's fundamentally the GM's game:  take it or leave it, players can suck it up or get out.

I'd argue that it's everybody's game:  everyone at the table (or VTT, or whatever).  That everyone at the table bears some responsibility to everyone else... to contribute to the fun, etc.  And if a GM (or anyone else) goes somewhere not-fun... or worse, anti-fun... then players should be allowed to protest, and yes even veto ("censor," if you will) that direction of the GM's.

 

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38 minutes ago, g33k said:

Actually, we do.  We very much do have this.

Are you unaware that virtually every country in the world has laws and regulations about TV & cinema?  They levy fines, they prevent stuff from ever showing on screen, they require up-front content warnings, etc etc etc.   Mind you... some of the rules are really old-fashioned and obsolete, in some places; other places have rules that may seem draconian to you or I; etc.

Yes, and those regulations prove my point, not yours. Talk about a false equivalency. None of those regulation have them change characters manes or alter the story because of what of what upsets some member of the audience. Instead, those rules and regulations restrict who is allowed to view the program. They don't pull R rated horror films,. they just don't show them to 8 year olds. Or to be more accurate 8 year olds do get to go into the room where they are being shown.

No one stops the movie and re shoots it because  the guy in t he third row got upset because the  main character is named Catherine. Especially if the film was Catherine the great. Generally society puts the burden of responsibility on the individual or their legal  guardians regarding what they  watch. The don't fill up the cinema  and then decide what to  show based upon the audience.

I don't believe that RPGs should  be catering and coddle to people any more  than the rest of life and entertainment. I don't like Hip-Hop music, I don't try to censor it, or stop  people from  playing it or  listening to it, I just don't listen to it. Its  Your Game  May Vary  applied to real life.  What you folk are pushing for the the opposite. Your Game May Not Vary because one player says so. If they don't like it they can run a game.

38 minutes ago, g33k said:

Again, this is VERY MUCH a false equivalency.

For technological reasons, TV/Film/Literature has always been unidirectional.  A realtime gaming session, with a live DM, is anything BUT; and gaming shouldn't be limited to that old model.  CYOA books were different from prior "literature" and RPG's are different from both wargames and from acting/improv (arguably the two most-relevant antecedents).

Bull.

RPGs are just as unidirectional as TV/Film/Literature. There are games for nearly everything. And a particular TV show, film,. or book is just as one directional as a realtime gaming session, and often more immersive. How many jump scares do you see happen while plying a horror RPG? Compare that to a typical horror film. If someone is finding an RPG so intense and immersive that they have trouble separating it from reality then they shouldn't be playing RPGs.

 

38 minutes ago, g33k said:

Your argument, "A player is telling the GM what they can or cannot do..." seems predicated on the GM-as-god model, that it's fundamentally the GM's game:  take it or leave it, players can suck it up or get out.

I'd argue that it's everybody's game:  everyone at the table (or VTT, or whatever).  That everyone at the table bears some responsibility to everyone else... to contribute to the fun, etc.  And if a GM (or anyone else) goes somewhere not-fun... or worse, anti-fun... then players should be allowed to protest, and yes even veto ("censor," if you will) that direction of the GM's.

 

You can argue it but you';d be wrong. While gaming is a cooperative effort the GM does the lions elephant's share of the writing plotting and preparation needed to make the game work. Yes there are some troupe style games where people alternate GMing and there are even some free form style RPGs where there isn't so  much a story but a loose framework that the players turn into a story (hopefully. Like a impromptu jazz jam session when it works it can be fantastic, but when it doesn't it's terrible,. Unfortunately with multiple players usually pulling in multiple direction s the latter is more common). In the vast majority of RPGs, though the GM is doing the heavy lifting,  and has final say on what happens. That approach has also been the case for most if not all Chaosium RPGs. Frankly, it has  to be this way. It can't just be a democracy or allow players to do or get whatever they want. Otherwise GMs would never be able to set up any sort of campaign, since players would push for things that didn't fit the setting. 

You want proof. Campaign can last if a player leaves, but no campaign  lasts in the GM does, unless you are running a troupe style game where its a s hared setting with  multiple GMs. I if were to s top running my Pendragon campaign and someone  else took over it wouldn't be the same campaign, even if it is the same characters, setting and year. Or , as my players put it, "it would suck." According to my players, I'm the only one around who can run a good Pendragon campaign. I think there are a couple of others in the area, but my player disagree.

A GM is under to compulsion to cater to the whims of a player just because they don't like something. Yes a GM should should take a player desires and situation into account, out of compassion, courtesy, and as his responsibility to try and entertain the players. As should everybody else at the table. My group is doing something along those lines right now, putting out game on hold due to one player losing a family member and  being, understandably, in no mood to play. But that does not mean that GM should be strait jacketed by a player who is so sensitive that he needs to rename the NPCs. A Gm doesn't have to run, and should not be forced into running something that they do not want to. Or run a game for a player they do  not want to. And vice versa. If a player really doesn't like something, they can leave.

In my games, as with most of  the games I've played in, players can question, debate and plead and even argue about things they do not like about a game but in the end it's the GMs call., and sometimes the GM says "Tough, deal with it". I have one player in my  Pendragon  group who doesn't understand Feudal or Arthurian culture and often disagrees with how I do stuff (He brings is a lot of modern  values of democratic process and everyone being equal, which doesn't fit t he setting. He once famously bristled at being ordered around by a young Lot, asking him "who died and made you boos?". A puzzled Lot replied his father, the King. Later on while  the group were deciding what  to do and Lot sort of took charge again,  he told him  "but all men are equal", prompting Lot to break out into laughter and being quote impressed with this young knight who was busy cracking jokes right before a battle). Now at times I've tried to explain things or work them out but at other times I said, it he does like how I;'m running the game he can run it and I'll play. 

And yes, as GM, at  times, I've had to tell a player to leave. It was unpleasant, but necessary. What do the players do  in those situations. Not much. Usually they give ton s of agreement and support  prior to the actual event,  and then either hide their faces in the rule books, trying to look oblivious, or put of the best act of being surprised and shocked  that they will ever do around a gaming table. Rarely one player actually pipes up, despite everyone complaining about the other play for months. It's a dirtty jon but somebody has to do it, and that somebody has to be the GM. 

 

Let me ask you, how often  do these X-card situations come up in your games? How many times have you altered stuff, edited things, dropped plots and changed story lines due to  somebody using their ability to veto something? Does it happen often? And can you give examples of the sort of things you changed? I'd really like to see how you are applying this as opposed to theory. 

Also wjhat games are you playing where stuff that bothers people so much that they need a veto power is required? 

                                                              

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