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

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Faolyn

(she/her)
Not believing in the efficacy of RPG safety tools, being skeptical of behaviors in the community that seem a little performative, there is nothing right wing about that. There is a lot of left wing people who make these arguments too.
See, if you ever acted like you read and understood what people are writing, things might be a bit different.

Here's what Remalthilis wrote:
"There are two groups of people. A.) Those who, by circumstances beyond thier control cannot work and need assistance to survive (the deserving poor) and B.) Lazy Jackholes who don't want to work and would rather survive on charity (the undeserving poor). Since some people who could work but don't want to could get charity, the only way to make sure the undeserving poor don't get benefits is to make sure the deserving don't either. Some people might suffer unjustly, but it's a small price to pay to make sure no one abuses the system."

Yeah, I've heard that one before. When you're interest is in preventing systemic abuse rather than using the system to help, every system looks like a bad idea.
For some reason, you chose to ignore the actual point and focus on your incorrect belief that they were saying you're conservative. Which is not what they were saying. Remalthilis didn't say you're conservative or republican or anything like that; they said you were using the same rhetoric they do.

You have literally said that one of the reason why the horror safety tools are bad or unhelpful is because some people are faking or exaggerating mental illness. Even ignoring that the safety tools aren't solely about mental illness, you are throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater here and focusing on the "fact" that there are people whom you believe don't really have mental health issues. This is exactly what Remalthilis referenced!

And just to ask again, how are these tools bad or unhelpful? So far, the only answers you have given are:

* You think (some) people are going to somehow exploit them in some way.

* You think (some) people are faking their mental health issues to be popular.

* You think that using them will cause people to "obsess" about their mental health issues.

But you haven't provided even a single real-life example for any of this! The closest you've gotten is talking about celiac disease--and as I said, this is a case of "better safe than sorry" because you don't want to actually make someone ill just because you think they're lying about having the disease to be popular.

So my suggestion is: either come up with some evidence to support your claims, something that just isn't "it stands to reason" or something equally hypothetical, or maybe stop posting to this thread.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
Which "hypothetical" of mine are you citing? Can you be specific or would that require reading the posts?
Your entire thing about Bob and Alice is a completely hypothetical scenario.

More importantly, you are choosing to ignore everyone's advice on the matter and are continuing to claim that the form is bad because it doesn't have enough space. No, that just means that people can write additional words on another piece of paper, or via email or DMs, or you speak to them in person about it.

And you're ignoring that you don't even have to use the form! I don't; I just go right to talking to people. You can use the form as a guideline or list of speaking points.
 


For some reason, you chose to ignore the actual point and focus on your incorrect belief that they were saying you're conservative. Which is not what they were saying. Remalthilis didn't say you're conservative or republican or anything like that; they said you were using the same rhetoric they do.

I understood his point. My point is rhetoric is rhetoric. It isn't aligned with any political point of view. It is just a way of communicating your position. So why draw the comparison in the first place?
 

* You think (some) people are going to somehow exploit them in some way.

* You think (some) people are faking their mental health issues to be popular.

* You think that using them will cause people to "obsess" about their mental health issues.

But you haven't provided even a single real-life example for any of this! The closest you've gotten is talking about celiac disease--and as I said, this is a case of "better safe than sorry" because you don't want to actually make someone ill just because you think they're lying about having the disease to be popular.

So my suggestion is: either come up with some evidence to support your claims, something that just isn't "it stands to reason" or something equally hypothetical, or maybe stop posting to this thread.

I am observing something we can all see. This isn't the sort of thing where you are going to have handy evidence to point to. What I am saying is, I look at what is going on, and I think like a lot of people who just aren't saying anything because they can see the kind of reaction this generates, they are thinking this doesn't quite add up. It seems a little over the top. Something isn't quite right with how many people seem to be having serious mental health issues at the table. M y explanation for that is we have kind of worked ourselves up into a bit of a moral panic over the issue. I could be wrong. but I have seen moral panics before. I have seen performative behavior before. This looks like that to me.

On the celiac point, you are missing what I was trying to say
 

* You think that using them will cause people to "obsess" about their mental health issues.

My point about that was there is a difference between talking about your feelings, getting help for mental health issues, and obsessing about them. There are unhealthy levels of focus you can place on feelings. If you train people to constantly think about triggers, I don't think it will be surprising if people who don't really have triggers start thinking they do have them.
 

Ash Mantle

Adventurer
I am observing something we can all see. This isn't the sort of thing where you are going to have handy evidence to point to. What I am saying is, I look at what is going on, and I think like a lot of people who just aren't saying anything because they can see the kind of reaction this generates, they are thinking this doesn't quite add up. It seems a little over the top. Something isn't quite right with how many people seem to be having serious mental health issues at the table. M y explanation for that is we have kind of worked ourselves up into a bit of a moral panic over the issue. I could be wrong. but I have seen moral panics before. I have seen performative behavior before. This looks like that to me.

On the celiac point, you are missing what I was trying to say
Or because, nowadays, the topic is less taboo and more people are willing to speak up about the issues they are experiencing. Some people find catharsis in talking about their issues and sometimes talking about their issues can help other people talk about their issues or offer empathetic understanding. Nowadays, people with mental illnesses are not simply locked up in mental asylums but are ideally holistically treated and with empathy and compassion, and their concerns not simply dismissed as something drummed up for drama.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
There is no way this can be proven. It isn't that kind of observation.

Then it is not an observation at all. It is an unsupported assertion.

I think it is entirely fair to say whether I think the behavior is genuine or not

No, it isn't fair at all. In fact, this is highly inappropriate and problematic gatekeeping of mental health. Your experience in life does not make you a mental health expert. If there is one thing that has damaged the cause of mental health, it is unqualified people making such judgements!

You lack any and all standing to make such an assertion, and it should therefore be discarded from consideration.

But we can all clearly see this change occurring.

We can? Really? I haven't seen many (or any?) here agree they see this ill-defined change. I think I have to ask you to stop insisting you know what we all see, please. You don't get to dictate what others think, know, or have observed. Your appeal to our knowledge is not support for your position.

I am not pointing to something that isn't actually happening.

You have provided zero evidence that it is happening. Your personal assertion has no weight. Sorry.

I think it is reasonable.

I see very little solid reasoning in your position, so I cannot call it "reasonable". I don't doubt that you feel your position is justified, but the evidence and logic are not present. I see unsupported assertions and inappropriate conclusions, nothing more.

I must, sort of officially say that the gatekeeping you showed above is highly inappropriate, nearly to being red-text worthy. Please don't continue to claim you know the mental health state of others. That denial amounts to gaslighting, and if you repeat that, it may become actionable.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
You have provided zero evidence that it is happening. Your personal assertion has no weight. Sorry.
Not only that, but @Bedrockgames said in this post that they don't have to provide evidence in this case (under point 4). Not only is there no evidence for a harmful assertion, but they insist that they don't have to have evidence to say that it's true in a debate.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
I am observing something we can all see.
Nah, it looks more like you jumping at shadows.

This isn't the sort of thing where you are going to have handy evidence to point to. What I am saying is, I look at what is going on, and I think like a lot of people who just aren't saying anything because they can see the kind of reaction this generates, they are thinking this doesn't quite add up. It seems a little over the top. Something isn't quite right with how many people seem to be having serious mental health issues at the table. M y explanation for that is we have kind of worked ourselves up into a bit of a moral panic over the issue.
So, you admit you have no evidence. Instead, you're perceiving an imagined threat or panic.

I could be wrong.
You are.

but I have seen moral panics before. I have seen performative behavior before. This looks like that to me.
Being considerate of other people's boundaries is not a moral panic. It just called not being an ass.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
My point about that was there is a difference between talking about your feelings, getting help for mental health issues, and obsessing about them. There are unhealthy levels of focus you can place on feelings. If you train people to constantly think about triggers, I don't think it will be surprising if people who don't really have triggers start thinking they do have them.
It's called a confabulation when that happens, & from that link "confabulating is not lying". One of the more famous examples is the mandela effect & there is actually a lot of legitimate professional research into it since it's a rather neutral example that doesn't involve traumas anger anyone or raise controversy like many other common false memories people research.

Your entire thing about Bob and Alice is a completely hypothetical scenario.
One that clearly shows a problem with the form for horror rather than just a generic tool for generic play without even needing to get into the hard red options it's mostly designed for.
More importantly, you are choosing to ignore everyone's advice on the matter and are continuing to claim that the form is bad because it doesn't have enough space. No, that just means that people can write additional words on another piece of paper, or via email or DMs, or you speak to them in person about it.

And you're ignoring that you don't even have to use the form! I don't; I just go right to talking to people. You can use the form as a guideline or list of speaking points.

We aren't talking about these kind of safety tools because WotC is about to roll out a "generic" thing though. We are talking about this because WotC is about to roll out a horror setting filled with horror themes. Critically horror themes & tropes are more specific than general. Unfortunately those specific themes & tropes are largely absent from the checklist people are suggesting a gm talk to their players about as part of prep for launching a horror campaign as the ultimate solution. reiterating that those checklist items are for something different & going on to state reasons why actively digging rather than allowing players to comfortably fill in a referenceable textbox or line is not ignoring that "advice".


That terrible advice is something that encourages diving deeper into professed problem areas unrelated to the ones likely to deliberately come up in a campaign focused on horror. That doesn't make those general tools bad as a general tool, it shows why they fall badly short for a horror checklist.

Wotc is the multimillion dollar company pushing Folk Horror, Body Horror, Dark Fantasy, Cosmic Horror, Gothic Horror, & ghost storiets hat apply to various domains where they fit... That's why I linked those specific types of horror to give people who don't really know what's involved with them a chance to quickly & easily get a grasp on them. The fact that those are so different from the checklist is a problem you illustrate in your other post.

Much like the movies I talked about before, the people who created the safety tools had to appeal to a general audience. So they went with generic but common issues.

You know what you're going to run, so make a checklist based on that.


As to what I'm "going to run", the point of these kind of tools is to address the needs of the community in general rather than me or you specifically. Based on one of the podcasts wotc is putting in the effort to carve out markers sprinkled across domains to clearly show the types of horror themes most present in each domain. Those subdivided carveouts are useful because they carry with them their own themes tropes & potentially difficult issues.

We could engage in fruitless debate if a specific theme or trope is important to any given number of those horror sub-genres, but I don't think the idea that some of those horror tropes & themes should be present in a safety checklist held up for pre-campaign understanding for a horror campaign.

Your response is little more than there is no need for that kind of checklist for anyone & a dismissal of anything to the contrary.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
So since I'm prepping a game that will be set in Ravenloft and draw heavily on some more explicitly horror-based tropes and themes, I was working through the lines and veils worksheet from Consent in Gaming. I thought it would be helpful to people to see what it is and what that looks like.

Lines and veils are basically hard lines (do not include) and soft veils (it's okay if it's not the focus and/or kept to the background). It's a really smart system and easy to use. The answers below are my lines and veils as a DM, there's no player involvement or answers yet. Blank spots or the word "blank" is a green light.

Social and Cultural Issues
✦ Homophobia. Line.
✦ Racism. Line.
✦ Real-world religion. Line.
✦ Sexism. Line.
✦ Specific cultural issues. Depends.

For me, I have to deal with these things directly on a daily basis in my real life. I play RPGs to escape. I don't want to have these topics dragging down my real life and my gaming. So they're all lines, except "specific cultural issues"...which is, ironically, utterly non-specific, so "depends" is the best I could do.

Relationships
Romance...
✦ Explicit. Line.
✦ Between PCs and NPCs. Line.
✦ Between PCs.
Sex...
✦ Explicit. Line.
✦ Between PCs and NPCs. Line.
✦ Between PCs. Veil.

I am absolutely terrible at RPing romance, and sex scenes...forget about it. If two PCs consent to a relationship and want to RP that out, more power to them. But I'm not interested in sitting through any kind of description of their love making, so veil...aka fade to black.

Horror
✦ Blood.
✦ Body horror.
✦ Bugs.
✦ Demons.
✦ Eyeballs.
✦ Gore. Veil.
✦ Harm to animals. Domestic pets, line. Otherwise, blank.
✦ Harm to children. Line.
✦ Mummies.
✦ Occult/witchcraft/Satanism.
✦ Rats.
✦ Spiders.
✦ Spirit boards/Ouija boards.
✦ Tumors.

I'm fine with any of the blanks. But if my players want those veiled or lined, so be it. We'll be playing a horror game, so there's some gore expected, but I prefer a more gothic horror vibe, so it's a veil for me. I will not abide even the hint of child harm or endangerment, so line. Likewise with domestic animals and pets, line. But it's also D&D and a horror game so things like wolves, bats, etc will be a thing...unless the players object. In that case I'd talk through if there's any specific animals that are lines instead of veils and see how much resolution there is on that, i.e. dig into the specifics through conversation to see what's okay.

Mental and Physical Health
✦ Cancer. Line.
✦ Claustrophobia.
✦ Darkness.
✦ Drugs and addiction.
✦ Freezing to death.
✦ Gaslighting. Line.
✦ Genocide.
✦ Heatstroke.
✦ Mind control. Inflicted on the PCs, line. NPCs, blank.
✦ Natural disasters.
✦ Paralysis/physical restraint.
✦ Police, police aggression.
✦ Pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion.
✦ Self-harm. Line.
✦ Severe weather.
✦ Sexual assault. Line.
✦ Slavery. Committed by the PCs, line. Otherwise, veil.
✦ Starvation.
✦ Terrorism.
✦ Thirst.
✦ Torture. Inflicted by or on the PCs, line. Otherwise, veil.

I have an uncle who is currently dying of cancer, so line. PS: FY cancer. Gaslighting is evil, so line. Likewise I have to draw a line for self-harm. Pure nope. So too with sexual assault, line.

As a player I despise having my character mind controlled, it's literally the only thing I get to do in the game...control my PC, so taking that away means I might as well not even be there, so big fat line. But if the PCs want to mind control NPCs, go for it. I've played in and run a lot of Dark Sun, so slavery is a weird one for me. I tend to make a point of it existing early on in Dark Sun games but let it mostly fade into the background. Then I had some PCs try to become slavers. Nope. Line, line, line. I also take a rather dim view of the players torturing NPCs for information and I will not torture PCs...it's just...line. But as something that exists in the world, absolutely. I just don't want to focus on it.

So that's it.

That's a basic run through of a lines and veils worksheet. That's the monstrosity that's killing gaming culture as we know it.

If lines and veils are something you want to use, it's that easy. Just send the checklist to your players and have them fill it out. Collect 'em all. Compile the list. And pass that out to the players so they know what to expect. If anyone lines something, it's lined. If anyone veils something, it's veiled. It's really simple and easy to look out for your fellow players and make sure everyone can have a good time escaping the real world for a minute.

ETA: The Stay Alive! book has an expanded list. Though I'm not sure why Tumors is listed under horror instead of mental and physical health, but whatever.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
I am observing something we can all see. This isn't the sort of thing where you are going to have handy evidence to point to. What I am saying is, I look at what is going on, and I think like a lot of people who just aren't saying anything because they can see the kind of reaction this generates, they are thinking this doesn't quite add up. It seems a little over the top. Something isn't quite right with how many people seem to be having serious mental health issues at the table. M y explanation for that is we have kind of worked ourselves up into a bit of a moral panic over the issue. I could be wrong. but I have seen moral panics before. I have seen performative behavior before. This looks like that to me.

On the celiac point, you are missing what I was trying to say
So you have no actual evidence, then, and you refuse to accept that diagnostic tools and a willingness to speak up are the cause of there being “more people” with issues.

Those people always existed. They just didn’t get diagnosed before—I didn’t get my autism or ADHD diagnoses until my late 30s, because I’m female and we present differently than boys do when it comes to autism, and I’m not hyperactive—or were afraid of being ridiculed for “being crazy” or told to suck it up.

And no, I got exactly what you said about celiac disease. You think that people claiming to have a disease somehow ”waters it down” for others.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
As to what I'm "going to run", the point of these kind of tools is to address the needs of the community in general rather than me or you specifically.
Which is exactly what I said and you dismissed as not being informative enough.

Based on one of the podcasts wotc is putting in the effort to carve out markers sprinkled across domains to clearly show the types of horror themes most present in each domain. Those subdivided carveouts are useful because they carry with them their own themes tropes & potentially difficult issues.

We could engage in fruitless debate if a specific theme or trope is important to any given number of those horror sub-genres, but I don't think the idea that some of those horror tropes & themes should be present in a safety checklist held up for pre-campaign understanding for a horror campaign.

Your response is little more than there is no need for that kind of checklist for anyone & a dismissal of anything to the contrary.
And you accuse me of not reading! Right now I think you’re being contrary for the sake of it. My response was to say that if if those tools are inadequate for your needs, make your own. I have no idea how you got “no need for a checklist for anyone” from that. Are you actually replying to me? Or were you not aware that the Consent in Gaming and Safety Toolkit weren’t put out by WotC, nor were they made specifically for horror games. They’re for generic games of any genre.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Which is exactly what I said and you dismissed as not being informative enough.


And you accuse me of not reading! Right now I think you’re being contrary for the sake of it. My response was to say that if if those tools are inadequate for your needs, make your own. I have no idea how you got “no need for a checklist for anyone” from that. Are you actually replying to me? Or were you not aware that the Consent in Gaming and Safety Toolkit weren’t put out by WotC, nor were they made specifically for horror games. They’re for generic games of any genre.
Which is exactly what I said and you dismissed as not being informative enough.


And you accuse me of not reading! Right now I think you’re being contrary for the sake of it. My response was to say that if if those tools are inadequate for your needs, make your own. I have no idea how you got “no need for a checklist for anyone” from that. Are you actually replying to me? Or were you not aware that the Consent in Gaming and Safety Toolkit weren’t put out by WotC, nor were they made specifically for horror games. They’re for generic games of any genre.
Sick it up and make your own is such an absurd middle finger of a response to pointing out the inadequacy of existing genetic tools. You win the inadequate tool is the bestest most perfect generic tool and no further discussion need silly ors perfection.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I think the expanded list in Stay Alive! is a good start. But there’s a lot it doesn’t cover. I’d imagine simply listing the horror icons / subgenres from Ravenloft would be a good start. Finding a list of horror subgenres and using that might be useful or it could be utterly unwieldy. Having subgenres also broken down by most common themes and tropes would be a good idea. Maybe one checklist per subgenre so if someone’s planning a zombie survival game they can just grab that checklist as a starting point rather than sift through dozens of irrelevant subgenres and their tropes / themes.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
My point about that was there is a difference between talking about your feelings, getting help for mental health issues, and obsessing about them. There are unhealthy levels of focus you can place on feelings. If you train people to constantly think about triggers, I don't think it will be surprising if people who don't really have triggers start thinking they do have them.
First off, unless you’re a mental health professional or you actually have a very close relationship with that person, you don’t get to decide what counts as “obsessing” about something for them.

Secondly, people aren’t going to suddenly imagining they have triggers. This is what we mean when we’re saying you’re being dismissive of others’ mental health issues. You’re assuming people are deliberately giving themselves problems for... gods know why.

Third, what, do you think people are dogs? Respecting people’s boundaries isn’t going to train anyone into obsessing about anything. At most, it lets that person know that you care.

Fourth, the entire point of these tools is not know what not to bring up so the person doesn’t have to think about it in the game. If anything, not using these tools means that the person might end up worrying more, because they can’t trust that the DM is going to be respectful towards them.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Sick it up and make your own is such an absurd middle finger of a response to pointing out the inadequacy of existing genetic tools. You win the inadequate tool is the bestest most perfect generic tool and no further discussion need silly ors perfection.
Now you’re definitely being deliberately obtuse. Why do you expect a generic form to be perfect for a specific genre of a specific game as run by a specific GM?

And what discussion? We’re trying to discuss it, but that’s really hard when one person says the forms are harmful but won’t give evidence beyond “it’s obvious” and you say they’re not good enough but only provide examples of questions that would only work for a very specific type of game.

These lists and guidelines are not perfect tools, and they don’t claim to be. No tool is perfect. If you want a better one, then make it yourself. And then publish it so everyone can benefit from it. Then we can discuss your creation.
 


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