D&D General Ravenloft, horror, & safety tools...

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Faolyn

(she/her)
I have expressed this view in the past, but I think safety tools are not a good idea (probably not for reasons people assume). If people find use in them, by all means they should use them. But I think it actually increases issues surrounding mental health at the table rather than diminishes them (just as someone who has had issues with PTSD, it is way, way more complicated than safety tools make out, and if it is something you are dealing with, I think it is the kind of thing one needs to seek professional help for, not put the burden on people at your table). Just to be clear here as this often gets misunderstood. I think if someone at the table is experiencing any kind of distress, compassion and empathy are what is called for. But as a GM and fellow-player, I am not, and cannot be your doctor or therapist. And game designers are not mental health professionals either. Something like having a panic attack for example, cannot be reduced to a simple trigger to be avoided (something as vague as going down the wrong series of thoughts can set you off; or even just the overall mood in the room). Horror is probably a genre to avoid if you have these kinds of issues (I love horror but simply had to avoid horror movies for several years until I was able to watch them again).
I'm sure others have addressed this, but my two coppers...

First, lots of people who have anxiety have sought professional help. But it's not an instant cure and depending on the nature of the anxiety, it might never be cured, only lessened in intensity. Please don't assume that people who have anxiety, phobias, or PTSD haven't tried to deal with it.

Many things that cause panic attacks, or even just unhappiness or uneasiness, do have triggers. For one of my friends, it involves supernatural entities possessing his characters (coming from capital-I issues brought about by unfortunate religious upbringing). Thus, I, as the DM, can avoid having that sort of thing happen in a game I run.
 

A safety tool is anything and everything that involves you checking in with the people in your circle (life, work, home, gaming, etc). So when you say you don't watch nature shows because your wife hates them...that's a safety tool. When you say it's a good idea to have a conversation with new-to-you gamers...that's a safety tool. When you say that you take it easy on relationship drama in game when a player at your table is having real-life relationship drama...that's a safety tool.

You're literally filling the thread with good examples of using safety tool whilst simultaneously raging against their use. It's honestly quite odd.

Again, you are labeling normal human interactions as safety tools. That is different from saying you need a formal set of safety tools to play ravenloft. Like I said about the situation with my wife: she is my wife, of course I am going to compromise on something like that. But if a random person shows up to my game and says 'no tigers'. That is a different story (I am more likely to say "this might not be the game for you").
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
To expand on Survivorship Bias. Here's a picture of an Airplane from WW2 with red dots on it.

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Those red dots show where planes that returned from battles were damaged by machinegun fire. The military ordered those sections of the airplane reinforced so the planes would come back in better condition and thus save more lives! Makes sense, right?

But look at all the places without bulletholes. The cockpit, for one. The engines. Surely those parts of the airplane are more important than the tip of the wing.

The brass didn't immediately take into account that bulletholes in the cockpit meant dead pilot and the plane doesn't make it back to the airfield.

Survivorship bias is overlooking the things that didn't make it past the selection process which may well explain everything you need to know, but they're overlooked because of a lack of visibility.

Like mental illness and discomfort in the gaming community.

Because of a social culture of laughing at, stigmatizing, or actively harassing people on the basis of things that make them uncomfortable there's this sense that there's a handful of things everyone is uncomfortable with (In character lurid sex scenes, for example) and that's all. And anyone who has something they -are- uncomfortable with probably shouldn't play (Like the idea that people with -any- form of Trauma or Discomfort shouldn't play horror games "Lol")

But as the community changes and becomes more accepting of people's boundaries, suddenly all these people are coming out of the wordwork to acknowledge their mental illness or discomfort or trauma.

Did those people not have those mental illnesses, before? Were they comfortable, before? Or did they just bite their tongue because it was easier than dealing with the previous culture (Lol!)?

Elliot Page recently came out as Transgender. Was he -not- Transgender before and only now "Transtrending" for social clout? Or was he just in a situation where he didn't feel comfortable being himself, publicly?

All these assumptions that people are lying about who they are for "Social Clout" is just a form of gatekeeping based on survivorship bias and a heaping helping of politics.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Again, you are labeling normal human interactions as safety tools.
They’re not normal for everyone. Not everyone has the same experiences as you do. Not everyone uses safety tools without realizing it like you do. Some people have to be lead by the nose into a basic approximation of caring. Just because you don’t need or don’t like something does not mean that thing should not exist. That’s where we are.
That is different from saying you need a formal set of safety tools to play ravenloft. Like I said about the situation with my wife: she is my wife, of course I am going to compromise on something like that.
I’m not sure why you think me starting a thread about safety tools in any way affects your game at your table.
But if a random person shows up to my game and says 'no tigers'. That is a different story (I am more likely to say "this might not be the game for you").
Why? Why are tigers more important to your elfgame than a player’s feelings?
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Again, you are labeling normal human interactions as safety tools. That is different from saying you need a formal set of safety tools to play ravenloft. Like I said about the situation with my wife: she is my wife, of course I am going to compromise on something like that. But if a random person shows up to my game and says 'no tigers'. That is a different story (I am more likely to say "this might not be the game for you").
I think the real question might be, if you got a new player, and this person was a fit for your gaming style and personality, but said "no tigers," why would it be hard for you to simply not have tigers? Even if you really love using tigers in an RPG, would it be that bad to not have them?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
At some point when you've argued with the same person over the same topic for 5 or more pages and nothing has changed... you're not going to get a new result if you bother to keep going.

Some people believe what they believe and double down when you try and tell them they are wrong. At some point you really just need to cut bait and drop out of the convo for your own sanity if nothing else. The people who come to the thread after the fact will see the back and forth and come to their own conclusions.
 


Why? Why are tigers more important to your elfgame than a player’s feelings?

You don't get to use your feelings like a weapon like that. Look, if I have a close friend in my group and he's mauled by a tiger, there probably won't be tigers. If some person in my group brings a random guy to the table, and we have long had tigers as part of the setting, I think it is fair for our group to decide whether we feel that is a reasonable thing we can accommodate. We are not obligated to change the game because someone who isn't part of it already and we don't know wants to join. It is perfectly reasonable to say to that person "Look this game has tigers in it, so you might want to play with another group if tigers showing up from time to time are a problem". It really is going to depend on the campaign, the person, etc. But my point is, that person doesn't have a right to impose a demand on the whole table because they have this feeling about tigers. Doesn't mean we should make fun of the person. Doesn't mean we shouldn't take any distress they are feeling seriously. But it just means we have to be able to negotiate these things on a case by case basis. This is doubly the case if we are trying to run a Ravenloft game and someone has a request like 'no ghosts' or no 'possession'. I can sympathize with their feelings but also decide that removing that element would undermine the game too much, and therefore they are probably not a good fit for that campaign. Players bow out of campaigns all the time for all kinds of reasons (whether it is not liking a particular system, not liking a setting, having an issue with content, etc)
 

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