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X Card, lines, and veils

I’m curious what everyone’s thoughts are about the use of the “Safety Tools” with gaming. Golden Lasso Games puts it forth pretty clearly here: Safety Tools – Golden Lasso Games if you’re unfamiliar. I bring this up, because of the currently accepted “standard” of the “X” card, lines, and veils, and the “ideology” that the “improvisational nature of exposes players to the risk of discomfort and emotional distress”. I’ve been playing and running TTRPGs since the early 80s…started playing when I was 8 in 1981.

I’ve lost track of the number of times as a player, circumstances arose in game that caused me to be disconcerted or struck a painful emotional chord with me. Each time it has happened, I step away for a moment, usually under the guise of going to the restroom, to collect myself before returning to the table and continue playing. I never took it personally, nor felt that anyone else was responsible for how I reacted or that I got triggered by something in the game. When I’ve run, I’ve seen the tell tale signs of players who would experience a reaction from something occurring in the game in which they would do as I. Whether it was me having the reaction or one of my players, it was never circumstance that came about for the deliberate intent of causing distress, it just happened.

I’ve always run with the idea of “Don’t be a d i c k.”, read the room to keep the game fun, and follow the story where my player’s lead. This is the extent of what I do in regards to ttRPG safety tools. Anymore than that, at least to my perspective, goes beyond being sensitive to freeing others from being personally responsible for their own responses. A perspective I find many the same age as myself agree with, while those younger, seem to take offense at my view.

I’m curious, where do you stand in regards to ttRPG “Safety Tools”?


In general, I have found that with my personal group we already know where each others lines are. So a lot of the safety tools & session 0 work is already built in as we go along. We don’t think of it as such as it is an unconscious process, but the same structure is being followed.
That is a group that has been gaming together in one form or another for almost a decade with the youngest and since the 90’s with the core of us (80’s for 2 players)

Back at the Uni society I was part of I think some groups could have done with such rules/guidelines. Mainly due to the groups being a lot more mixed up with players you didn’t know as well coming and going. You knew most people in a general way, even if only from the bar before or after sessions and the general social networking that occurred in the group. Which is why I used rules/guidelines here.

Finally several of my friends are heavily into the UK Convention circuit nowadays. Some of the stories… :scream:
In these cases such rules I think are definitely needed. You have no idea about your players or their pasts. Game descriptions should include a general idea of the concepts involved. If a Call of Cthulhu game has a content warning of may include graphic death scenes, then someone triggered by that should definitely avoid it. But sometime warnings aren’t clear to people or players take the game in directions the GM didn’t expect. For these situations you need more of the structures to enable someone to avoid a situation that could harm them in a way that doesn’t involve the collapse of the game.

It depends on your group and how well you know them. But for groups with unknown players they should be highly recommended at a bare minimum and in a convention situation enforced.

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Thanks for the input!