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

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You would be wrong. They are basically the same thing. Or rather, the body perceives them in basically the same way.

I have experienced both to extreme degrees. Not saying one is automatically worse than the other. I am saying they are different.
 

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I just want to point out that neither of these make them the same. Obviously emotional pain can trigger physiological responses and they may trigger similar regions in the brain. But if you've been badly injured, had surgery and felt the pain medication wear off (or just not be able to overcome the pain), and you've experienced psychological pain, it is pretty obvious these are different things. I would say often psychological pain can be much worse, but acute physical pain is not only different in terms of feeling, it is different in terms of what it means: if you are in pain because you've been stabbed, you might bleed to death, or have long term physical injuries (and psychological ones). Psychological pain can result in physical sensations, even lead to suicide or death, but it isn't going to cause a stab wound to form or a fistula to emerge from the stab wound site. I think failing to draw distinctions between these two things, simply because there is science showing overlap, is a really dangerous road.
 


For centuries, millennia even, it often wasn't societally acceptable for people to talk about the things that hurt them. Those who did were seen as weak, pathetic, wusses, babies, girly, emotional, whiny, neurotic, whatever. They were told to suck it up, be stoic, to man up, to stop bothering other people with their stupid complaints.

But now, it is becoming more and more acceptable to talk about those things and less and less acceptable to ridicule those who do.

This is not a fad. This is people who no longer have to pretend that they get upset.

You just haven't realized that yet.

I never said you can't talk about things that are emotionally distressing. The present generation isn't the first to discover stuff like therapy and talking about your feelings. Guys, I am happy to have a conversation like I said. But this business of putting words in my mouth or painting an extreme picture of my view based by framing it as a straw man, I won't engage. My point isn't that people should suffer or feel shame for psychological issues. I mentioned my own experience with these things (something I don't like to publicly do, but have realized is kind of necessary in a discussion like this), to help illustrate that I am not just here to dismiss peoples' pain. For me it is a matter of where the healthy line is with all this. There is bottling up your feelings, there is talking about your feelings, and there is obsessing about your feelings, and there is projecting your feelings onto others. Some of what I am seeing around the whole safety tools thing, to me, based on my own experiences with mental illness (and not just my own, but experiences I've had with family members that have been very instructive in terms of where these things can go), strikes me as very unhealthy and getting into the obsessive territory
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
You don't get to use your feelings like a weapon like that.
But it's OK for you to use your feelings against them as a weapon?

Look, if I have a close friend in my group and he's mauled by a tiger, there probably won't be tigers.
The fact that you said "probably" when it involves a "close friend" doesn't suggest that you're a very good friend.

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. 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.
How important are tigers to the game that excising them would be disruptive? Now, if the entire point of the game was tiger-hunting, then sure, changing the game would probably be too much. But if tigers are an incidental part of it? Like, they may show up as a random encounter table? Then how selfish do you have to be to be unwilling to change "tiger" to "giant lizard"? Hell, you could even use the same stats and just describe it differently.

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,
That exact thing happened in my game! When we got a new player in the game, I asked him if there was anything he didn't want me to include because it upset him--especially because I run a lot of Ravenloft. Due to his unfortunate religious upbringing, that thing was being possessed.

So guess what? I don't include possession in my games. I can have ghosts and fiends that do things other than possess people--since you've read the two associated Van Richten Guides, you know how many options there are for them. I have probably hundreds of monsters that I can use (especially since I grab creatures from other editions, settings, and even from other systems), and I can use each monster in probably dozens of ways, and only a single option has been taken away.

Nothing was undermined at all. I don't even have to do the "be more creative because I have limited options" thing, because I still have a zillion options to use.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
That isn't what I am saying and I would appreciate if you do not put words in my mouth.
That is literally what you said: " But there are also people who don't have mental health issues who are happy to gain sympathy for claiming they have them. And there are also people who will say they have mental health issues, when they don't because they think it is normal or expected. I am arguing the latter is taking place."
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I never said you can't talk about things that are emotionally distressing.
No. You said that "it's a fad," like that means you can just ignore it until it blows over (by definition, fads are short-lived). I'm explaining why people speaking up about their mental health issues is not a "fad".

Some of what I am seeing around the whole safety tools thing, to me, based on my own experiences with mental illness (and not just my own, but experiences I've had with family members that have been very instructive in terms of where these things can go), strikes me as very unhealthy and getting into the obsessive territory
So explain some of these experiences you've had and how they've negatively affected the game. And explain how not wanting to include certain issues in what is supposed to be a fun activity is "obsessive."
 

Yes, a lot of people have generalized anxiety where panic attacks can be caused by seemingly random things, or by nothing obvious at all. I've had them. But a lot of people do have easily-avoided triggers. So why does it bother you to simply not include something you know could cause harm to a person?

But it is way more complicated than that, and that is why you need to have a therapist deal with this stuff, not the dungeon master. What your describing is also avoidance behavior. I engaged in this. I know. You think something caused a panic attack before so you avoid it, sometimes you force others to avoid it (for example telling the household they can't play any scary movies on the TV or movies about war on the TV even if you are in the other room). That isn't necessarily healthy at all. Again, it is complicated. I am not saying be cruel of mean to such a person. I am saying a list of things to check off is a very simplistic approach, and there is no perfect answer to what a group should do (not every group can or should accommodate every concern: that is something individual groups need to resolve because it depends on everyone's relationship with one another, what the trigger in question is, what the reaction is, what the game itself is, and how willing people in that group are to accommodate one person----I am not saying they shouldn't accommodate them, but you can also create tremendous resentment and make the situation much worse). My only point here is if there is such a problem, that is for game groups to determine on their own how best to handle (a game book can't tell people how to get along and how to resolve serious mental health issues that create conflict or competing needs at the table)
 

That is literally what you said: " But there are also people who don't have mental health issues who are happy to gain sympathy for claiming they have them. And there are also people who will say they have mental health issues, when they don't because they think it is normal or expected. I am arguing the latter is taking place."

But my argument is not 'don't use safety tools and do ignore legitimate health issues, because someone might exploit safety tools'. My argument is 'don't ignore legitimate health issues, but safety tools are not a good solution, people will develop negative behavior in response to them and they seem to be making things worse'. I am happy to address the arguments I am making. But they keep getting framed as variations of "why don't you care about people with mental health issues" (I care very much about people with mental health issues----I am very skeptical of RPG safety tools ability to handle mental health issues, and am concerned about the impact they are having on gaming culture)
 

No. You said that "it's a fad," like that means you can just ignore it until it blows over (by definition, fads are short-lived). I'm explaining why people speaking up about their mental health issues is not a "fad".

I am not saying someone talking about their real mental health issues is a part of a fad. I am saying now that we are socially rewarding talking about them, one thing I think you are seeing is a lot of people who don't have real mental health issues, or have minor issues, speaking as if they have much bigger issues (and its very obvious when you see it; it is all over social media). I also think there are a lot of people self diagnosing themselves with illnesses they don't have. I think that does more harm to people with mental illness. And again just to be clear here, I say this because there is a long, long history of mental illness in my family. I've experienced myself, and I have also been on the receiving end of it. People are treating something that is very serious, potentially explosive, like a game mechanic. That is my issue. Again, game designers are not therapists or psychologists (and even when they are, they can't diagnose you through the pages of a game book).
 

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