log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Content Warning Labels? Yeah or Nay?

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I would not stop the game. And if I had a player tell me they were afraid of a spell, or dark spaces, or violence, or anything else inherent in the game of D&D, well...my response would be considered gate-keeping in today's online world.

I read today there is a movement afoot to try to change the name of the James Webb telescope (CNN reporting) because of vague allegations about James Webb from 70 years ago. The process today in the D&D community that is censoring in-game thought and activity is the same process used to attack Mr. Webb's legacy. The difference is I am still here to defend the traditions and roots of D&D. It has always been a dark game, with obviously some content that disturbs a tiny subset of the gaming community.

There are 1000's of table top games that are far less dark, violent, and don't touch on such scary subjects, that don't need to be altered one iota to avoid potential consternation. You know the rest.
So then from your perspective, I'd think you would like these things about Content Warnings:

1) They prevent folks who wouldn't want to participate in that content from disrupting others' play.

2) They help creators maintain tradition. Creators can warn readers about the content instead of making changes to traditional stories, myths, etc.

Do you agree?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

So then from your perspective, I'd think you would like these things about Content Warnings:

1) They prevent folks who wouldn't want to participate in that content from disrupting others' play.

2) They help creators maintain tradition. Creators can warn readers about the content instead of making changes to traditional stories, myths, etc.

Do you agree?
My take on content warnings is a little different than yours. As I have said in the past days, yes, I now agree, content warnings for ALL sources of canon are now necessary.

BUT, I want them there to warn away ANYONE who is in the slightest bit queasy with I am guessing is 50-100 triggers in the D&D universe, from ever picking up a D&D book, or even think about dabbling in the game. What these warnings SHOULD do is say "Look, if you have any phobias, any concepts that makes you uncomfortable in the real world, D&D is NOT the game for you, because some day you will encounter one."

Now, is that realistic? Not many business models work by saying "This product might f*** you up, you should not buy it". Of course, there are who knows how many movies, books, video games that do that very thing. But I guess they cater to a smaller consumer base. Do you think that the Brandywine producers said "Errr...Ridley, can you and Dan and Geiger make Alien a little less scary? We think some of those scenes will trigger people."

WOTC has obviously decided against the business model I have described. We all know where Hasbro and WOTC is going with the D&D franchise, and it sure is not in the direction of Alien. But of course, the Library of Congress won't be deeming a Pokemon movie as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and preserving it in the US National File Registry either, as they did with Alien.
 

Faolyn

Hero
I would not stop the game. And if I had a player tell me they were afraid of a spell, or dark spaces, or violence, or anything else inherent in the game of D&D, well...my response would be considered gate-keeping in today's online world.
I didn't ask if you would stop the game. I asked if you would stop using the problematic element.

I'm guessing, from your reply, that you wouldn't.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
My take on content warnings is a little different than yours. As I have said in the past days, yes, I now agree, content warnings for ALL sources of canon are now necessary.

BUT, I want them there to warn away ANYONE who is in the slightest bit queasy with I am guessing is 50-100 triggers in the D&D universe, from ever picking up a D&D book, or even think about dabbling in the game. What these warnings SHOULD do is say "Look, if you have any phobias, any concepts that makes you uncomfortable in the real world, D&D is NOT the game for you, because some day you will encounter one."

Now, is that realistic? Not many business models work by saying "This product might f*** you up, you should not buy it". Of course, there are who knows how many movies, books, video games that do that very thing. But I guess they cater to a smaller consumer base. Do you think that the Brandywine producers said "Errr...Ridley, can you and Dan and Geiger make Alien a little less scary? We think some of those scenes will trigger people."

WOTC has obviously decided against the business model I have described. We all know where Hasbro and WOTC is going with the D&D franchise, and it sure is not in the direction of Alien. But of course, the Library of Congress won't be deeming a Pokemon movie as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and preserving it in the US National File Registry either, as they did with Alien.
Just to be clear, you want warning labels on all D&D products in order to prevent people from playing?

I may be mistaken, but to me these words make it seem as if you are placing D&D behind some kind of... barred doorway... which you wish to... prevent certain people from passing through...
 

ReshiIRE

Adventurer
GMs and players of a D&D or any other TTRPG can absolutely work together to ensure that everyone at the table is comfortable with the game as ran, using a wide variety of tools (such as X Cards, lines and veils, etc.) and by talking together to establish a healthy environment. That may sometimes require modification or removal of some relatively standard elements of the game; but that's what TTRPGs are all about.

Content warnings function as warnings; information to help people make the correct decisions for themselves. They won't stop people playing or enjoying the game - I think we have ALL played or been interested in properties with elements that we are very uncomfortable with, but can find ways to minimise or reduce. It'll just keep people concious of ensuring the most important thing; having a fun game with everyone involved.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Just to be clear, you want warning labels on all D&D products in order to prevent people from playing?

I may be mistaken, but to me these words make it seem as if you are placing D&D behind some kind of... barred doorway... which you wish to... prevent certain people from passing through...
Obviously the only solution is to exclude every player lacking a "traditional" gaming philosophy and collapse the entire hobby, because the only alternative is grievous bodily harm!
 
Last edited:

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I read today there is a movement afoot to try to change the name of the James Webb telescope...

Mod Note:

This has nothing to do with gaming whatsoever. We allow some discussion of diversity topics as they relate to gaming. NASA projects do not fit that description.

As always, EN World is dedicated to keeping this place open and inviting to gamers of all types - except intolerant ones. If your point is that folks who feel the burden of discrimination are somehow wrong to push back against that, there's going to be a problem.
 

GMs and players of a D&D or any other TTRPG can absolutely work together to ensure that everyone at the table is comfortable with the game as ran, using a wide variety of tools (such as X Cards, lines and veils, etc.) and by talking together to establish a healthy environment. That may sometimes require modification or removal of some relatively standard elements of the game; but that's what TTRPGs are all about.

Content warnings function as warnings; information to help people make the correct decisions for themselves. They won't stop people playing or enjoying the game - I think we have ALL played or been interested in properties with elements that we are very uncomfortable with, but can find ways to minimise or reduce. It'll just keep people concious of ensuring the most important thing; having a fun game with everyone involved.
No, your fundamental premise is utterly, completely wrong. I don't see anyone ever suggesting that Call of Cthulhu alter its elements. Because it has not. And according to Roll20 stats from 2nd Q 2021, CoC generates 16.3% of its traffic, while D&D generates 53.7% The vast majority of TTRPG's have NOT changed one iota. Perhaps it is because they are hold such a tiny share of the consumer base they have escaped the gaze of the people who are so far are fixated on D&D. At the gaming cafe I play at, not a single game of D&D or any of the the dozens and dozens of other games I have been involved with or witnessed being played over the years has EVER used X cards, or anything remotely like them.

So stop with the idea this is some standard practice. And who is infringing one whose fun? Those that say "stop that behaviour, I am the minority at this table, but I need the majority to cater to me" or the ones that assume that if someone is not having fun they will stop doing the activity that is no longer fun for that person, and leave everyone else alone?

The concept of "tyranny by the minority" is a real thing.
 

GMforPowergamers

Adventurer
"I'm not comfortable with this."

"The traditions of a game that itself has moved on from those traditions mean more to me than you, an actual human I am playing with in real life. Get out."

"This is my house..."

"I SAID GET OUT."
I have two stories for this (One good one bad)

I was playing in a deadlands (D&D in the wild west) at gencon one year and a villain went after women and was obviously a NSFW attack coming... one of the women at the table asked if we could fade to black (Not avoid just no direct description or interaction) and the story teller took a second to readjust and make things more... um family friendly.

I was also in a game in my buddies basement back in the 90's that was a vampire game... and a player had a real life fear of the dark... and the story teller went out of his way to describe darkness and closeness and TRIED to make the player uncomfortable... it didn't work, but we found out the story teller was afraid of clowns, so that player showed up one night with a pennywise Tee SHirt and the Story teller flipped out... the player said "I control my issues why can't you"
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
At the gaming cafe I play at, not a single game of D&D or any of the the dozens and dozens of other games I have been involved with or witnessed being played over the years has EVER used X cards, or anything remotely like them.
Okay. Then what exactly are you so riled up about?
I've asked you before: How does any of this actually impact your game? You say it doesn't affect you and yours-- which is fine-- but why then is it such a big deal to you that others claim it's helpful for them?
 
Last edited:

BookTenTiger

He / Him
No, your fundamental premise is utterly, completely wrong. I don't see anyone ever suggesting that Call of Cthulhu alter its elements. Because it has not. And according to Roll20 stats from 2nd Q 2021, CoC generates 16.3% of its traffic, while D&D generates 53.7% The vast majority of TTRPG's have NOT changed one iota. Perhaps it is because they are hold such a tiny share of the consumer base they have escaped the gaze of the people who are so far are fixated on D&D. At the gaming cafe I play at, not a single game of D&D or any of the the dozens and dozens of other games I have been involved with or witnessed being played over the years has EVER used X cards, or anything remotely like them.

So stop with the idea this is some standard practice. And who is infringing one whose fun? Those that say "stop that behaviour, I am the minority at this table, but I need the majority to cater to me" or the ones that assume that if someone is not having fun they will stop doing the activity that is no longer fun for that person, and leave everyone else alone?

The concept of "tyranny by the minority" is a real thing.
I think it's interesting that you are conflating what happens between human beings at a gaming table with how publishers choose to present their work.

If we are ordering pizza together, and I don't eat pork, and I request we order a pizza without pork on it, am I really trying to control what the pizzeria makes?
 


Faolyn

Hero
So stop with the idea this is some standard practice. And who is infringing one whose fun? Those that say "stop that behaviour, I am the minority at this table, but I need the majority to cater to me" or the ones that assume that if someone is not having fun they will stop doing the activity that is no longer fun for that person, and leave everyone else alone?

The concept of "tyranny by the minority" is a real thing.
I think every new RPG I've bought for the past few years has had a section on consent and X-cards in it. Admittedly, I haven't bought a huge number of new games, but the practice seems to be spreading quickly throughout the entire industry.
 

No, your fundamental premise is utterly, completely wrong. I don't see anyone ever suggesting that Call of Cthulhu alter its elements. Because it has not. And according to Roll20 stats from 2nd Q 2021, CoC generates 16.3% of its traffic, while D&D generates 53.7% The vast majority of TTRPG's have NOT changed one iota. Perhaps it is because they are hold such a tiny share of the consumer base they have escaped the gaze of the people who are so far are fixated on D&D. At the gaming cafe I play at, not a single game of D&D or any of the the dozens and dozens of other games I have been involved with or witnessed being played over the years has EVER used X cards, or anything remotely like them.
Counterpoint: Reality


Both Chaosium and Fate have Content Warnings on their Cthulhu products.
 




Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
I've largely been ignoring the line of discussion going on in this thread, but I’m just going to say it’s feeling a lot like hyperbole and slippery slope arguments are being used as an excuse to disregard the feelings of others based on a position of privilege.

I find such display of arguments extremely unhelpful to the discussion, and now bordering on the toxic. This thread is about how to best utilize and display content warnings when taking into account the experiences and feelings of others, and if your position is to not only argue against them (or take some hyperbolic position of having them everywhere or nowhere), but to also imply blaming others for taking away your fun, then I heard your position and considered it, and decided this discussion probably isn’t for you, and I’d kindly ask to stop derailing.

I want to be very clear it is my opinion that gamers who push the buttons of a sensitive topic they know a player has just to be edgy is harmful to our hobby, and has no place in it. As an indie publisher, I’m going to ensure none of my products endorse or support that. Players picking up DnD should not have the assumption they are giving implied consent to subject their PCs to grotesque or obscene content any more than a person watching a general thriller movie gives implies consent they are OK with watching SAW. That’s what content warnings are for
 

Anti-inclusive content
Okay. Then what exactly are you so riled up about?
I've asked you before: How does any of this actually impact your game? You say it doesn't affect you and yours-- which is fine-- but why then is it such a big deal to you that others claim it's helpful for them?
Why do I get so riled up? Because I am not an idiot. I read every day more nonsense in the real world. It has been made clear not to talk real world politics here. But I see real world nonsense bleed more and more into my hobby, like a cancer, every day. We can dance around what the real issue all we like. We are not allowed to talk about it. But I grow more tired of the "tyranny of the minority", or the "tyranny of the weak" every day.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Why do I get so riled up? Because I am not an idiot. I read every day more nonsense in the real world. It has been made clear not to talk real world politics here. But I see real world nonsense bleed more and more into my hobby, like a cancer, every day. We can dance around what the real issue all we like. We are not allowed to talk about it. But I grow more tired of the "tyranny of the minority", or the "tyranny of the weak" every day.
Translation: “I’m no longer being catered to, so I’m going to insult other gamers as being weak and ruining the hobby.”

get over yourself. And think about others for just a minute, rather than your own imaginary victim hood. Using loaded words like tyranny and cancer to describe something harmless like other peoples preferences only makes your arguments sound unhinged.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top