D&D General [+] Ravenloft, horror, & safety tools...

MGibster

Legend
That is my point, we have been having the conversation for 30+ years. What is interesting is those lines and veils change over time too. It is not a conversation you can have once and then forget about. Mostly notably for me, my perspective on some of these changed after I had children.
I think most of our perspectives change a bit over the years. Personally, I find it's far easier to cope with difficult issues today than it was twenty years ago but that's just me. So I like to have these conversations before horror games just to make sure we're all on the same page as to what's acceptable in the game. I don't feel it necessary to have the conversation for anything other than horror games though. But again, that's just me.
 

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Remathilis

Legend
"How dark do you want to play Dark Sun?" would be another.
"How dark does the last war and/or resulting post-war mess get" & "how dark do the prtomegacorps otherwise known as dragonmark houses get?" for a couple more.
I think this is true of every setting: I mean Greyhawk is sold as the grim D&D setting and Planescape has literal Hell in it. Even Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance have some uncomfortable elements in them.
 

MGibster

Legend
"How dark do you want to play Dark Sun?" would be another.
Honestly it just wouldn't occur to me. I don't even ask my questions before running Curse of Strahd because I don't consider D&D to be a horror game even when playing in Ravenloft. It's got horror elements so this isn't a particular hill I'm interested in defending to the death or anything. But I run games like Ravenloft or Deadlands, both of which have horror elements, quite a bit differently from how I run Call of Cthulhu or Vampire.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Here's a YouTube playlist of some short videos on the horror genre for anyone wanting to go a bit deeper than your typical D&D with slightly nastier monsters. The focus is on horror video games, but most of what they're talking about is easily applicable to D&D.


This video is referenced, but isn't in the playlist.

 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
VGR. Page 185. Horror Adventures. Left column. Understanding Horror.

“Your primary goal as a DM running a horror adventure is to facilitate a fun D&D experience. This book assumes you and your players enjoy the thrill and suspense of scary stories. The audience of a horror movie can enjoy the menace on screen because they know it can’t harm them (and they have an idea of what to expect from the film’s trailer). In the same way, your players count on you to make sure an adventure’s terror doesn’t target them personally or otherwise step beyond the game. Your goal is never to make players feel uncomfortable or threatened. As D&D adventures aren’t scripted, unexpected elements can arise during play. If your whole group can agree to the terms outlined in this section, everyone should have an exciting, enjoyable experience.”

Sections include: set expectations, horror content survey, content and themes questions, gameplay questions, session zero, reinforce expectations, establish boundaries, and customize your experience.

It looks like they‘re taking safety tools seriously. Good.
 
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Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
VGR. Page 185. Horror Adventures. Left column. Understanding Horror.

“Your primary goal as a DM running a horror adventure is to facilitate a fun D&D experience. This book assumes you and your players enjoy the thrill and suspense of scary stories. The audience of a horror movie can enjoy the menace on screen because they know it can’t harm them (and they have an idea of what to expect from the film’s trailer). In the same way, your players count on you to make sure an adventure’s terror doesn’t target them personally or otherwise step beyond the game. Your goal is never to make players feel uncomfortable or threatened. As D&D adventures aren’t scripted, unexpected elements can arise during play. If your whole group can agree to the terms outlined in this section, everyone should have an exciting, enjoyable experience.”

Sections include: set expectations, horror content survey, content and themes questions, gameplay questions, session zero, reinforce expectations, establish boundaries, and customize your experience.

It looks like they‘re taking safety tools seriously. Good.
"VGR" ?
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, it's basically also a guidebook on how to handle horror adventures and the degrees of horror a DM might want to subject their party to.
Yes. VGR is the notation used in the book when referring to itself. In the genre guides there are lists of appropriate monsters. When a monster appears in Van Richten’s the source is listed as VGR.
 

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