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Bedrockbrendan

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  • Rounding a dark fictional corner in character and then consulting a piece of paper and some dice at the table to see what's around that corner. This doesn't feel real because the at-the-table causal chain of fiction-creation is just too obvious. …
  • I think random tables are a tool that can help the game world feel real, but they require a degree of flexibility and insight from the GM to work that way. Also, the more micro you get, the more the GM needs to work to have them make sense. For exam…
  • TBH I kinda clammed up as the anti-"woke" stuff came up That wasn't my intention. I enjoyed our exchange and appreciated getting your point of view. I wasn't trying to be anti-woke, I was just trying to be clear and honest that I don't regard myself…
  • This is sad news. A community I was running on Google+ went away when that platform shut down. My advice is to try to get as many people from here onto one platform community as possible (no easy task I know, but very hard to keep a community going …
  • I'd suggest you take a look at [P.H. Lee’s] writing about gaming with PTSD (summarized here - briefly, that the safety tools we're talking about here were worse than useless for him, but some other techniques (besides "just toughen up") *did* help. …
  • So, thank you both for adding some personal experiences to this discussion. It gives us all more to think about! The more perspectives the better, I think. I do want to be clear that I am not a fan of sharing this stuff. I have spoken about it oc…
  • Oh it was just an off the cuff example. For a proper rating system someone would need to put a lot more work in. For what it’s worth though, you’re right that the label dangerous is a bit alarmist. Fair enough.
  • I think there’s a conflation of four different things. (1) Tools that signify what kind of game this is, e.g. a light hearted action adventure where the heroes win vs HBO violence gloom (2) If we’re playing HBO violence gloom then what tools do we h…
  • On point three. Even in therapies like ‘acceptance and commitment therapy’ where avoidance is seen as the main dysfunction, this doesn’t mean you just throw potentially traumatic content around. The whole idea is that the person must see how avoida…
  • Dangerous: Involuntary character death, mild horrible stuff. . My issue with this is: this isn't actually dangerous. It is standard. It is how most RPGs since the beginning have been run, and it shouldn't require a warning label. If someone wants …
  • Like, ok, the following argument is kind of a low blow and I feel bad for making it but if you don’t hear and you ask them to repeat yourself and they say “no, that ruins our flow, go find a group willing to accommodate you”. That’s an example of th…
  • Victims and survivors are sometimes asked to just walk it off and are treated as if they aren’t victims or survivors. I have this theory that this comes predominantly from two groups. 1. Those who have never been vulnerable. 2. Those who have been…
  • God, now I feel loneliest in the world; was defending my position from people who want more (or a different kind of) safety tools than I want and now I'm defending it from the other direction too. Guh I have to live on this thin sliver…This happens …
  • It should also be pretty fucking obvious that rape jokes aren't gonna fly with me to the same extent that they might in some groups. Jokes, stories and games work differently in different contexts. This is news? No, I am not saying people should jus…
  • God, now I feel loneliest in the world; was defending my position from people who want more (or a different kind of) safety tools than I want and now I'm defending it from the other direction too. Guh I have to live on this thin sliver… My intention…
  • There are ways to hurt each other that are outside the scope of the law at least where I live. When there's a car crash, it's dangerous to pretend it never happened. But that doesn't mean we don't want to try to decrease the amount of car crashes.…
  • I wonder if you might be operating from a simplified conception of triggering content and its consequences. We're getting an increased focus on safety tools because people to a larger degree discover & care about previously marginalized groups …
  • Okay but that is borderline illegal behavior, if people are physically not allowed to leave when they wish to (and not anything like how standard RPGs are conducted). At that point you are not playing in a RPG and doing something much closer to the …
  • No, there have been groups where leaving has not been allowed. I've played in such groups. (Obv not something I recommend.) That's why I added that in there as a general best practice for most groups. It's not at all something self-evident. Okay b…
  • But you can always get up and leave from an RPG just as you can put down a book or stop watching a movie. All these media produce imagery in our minds. But we can choose to stop engaging. While directors and editors make choices for my benefit, I d…
  • Some psychologists have pointed out that the excessive focus on emotional safety and the measures being implemented to prevent emotional discomfort are essentially the opposite of techniques and behaviors that build emotional resilience and emotiona…
  • It's helpful that you clarified that you're speaking from your experience of PTSD, @Bedrockbrendan - your first few comments before that were coming across as privileged-white-guy nattering. With the context, what you're saying makes a lot more sens…
  • I'm not buying your other argument. People should be able to choose in which settings they want to deal with their issues. If they don't want to do it in a gaming context, it's up to them. Full stop. I do think it is up to them. And I think the …
  • I don't think that games with friends or strangers are the place to force people to deal with their issues. I'm totally for safety tools. That being said, I think that the onus would be on me as the person with an issue to bring up my boundaries b…
  • I do think raising an unrelated issue would be highly disruptive. But this is more like someone asking if encounter tables are even a good or useful idea, or if they lead to bad gaming, in a discussion about encounter tables. I think as much as I am…
  • Because... taking "some person on the internet has a vague hunch this might not be good" and weighing it against "these people say they are suffering, and this looks like it can help them, in concrete ways", and then asking people to consider the f…
  • Bedrockbrendan, I think the point of view you're describing - that safety tools are "harmful and misguided" is a good one to explore. However, you'll have to put forth some convincing and well-formulated arguments (and, ideally, some way of testing…
  • In any case, GM/RPG horror stories are, and have been for a long time, a genre in and of themselves. I think it's good to think of ways and analyse the effectiveness of ways we can try to establish a culture, or at least provide tools for the more…
  • Bedrockbrendan, Just out of curiosity, how do you square that with the reports by people (like the OP) who are complaining that the use of safety tools in their circles is encouraging people to go in less and less safe and more and more shocking di…
  • I’ve sometimes argued in the past that calling these things “safety tools” might be misleading. They don’t protect anyone or guarantee anyone’s safety. I like to look at them as additional forms of communication. They don’t do anything to resolve p…
  • The problem with that analogy is it is about food and physical violence. We are talking about content of interactive entertainment. I think a lot the arguments in favor of safety tools have relied on describing words and ideas as violent or harmful,…
  • Sometimes I really wonder if these kinds of tools are even beneficial or good for people in the longterm. To me it looks like since this has emerged as a thing people at gaming tables have been having a harder time dealing with stuff like this. My g…
  • I think stereotypes have a strong capacity for being offensive, so you have to tread carefully. Stereotypes that are not offensive certainly exist, however. For example, a stereotypical grandmother might be kind, caring, easily shocked or surprised…
  • Stereotypical characters can be a great tool if you're trying to create something really quick and relatable - for example, I once played a game of Lasers & Feelings for which we had exactly an hour. Using a variety of stereotypes allowed us to …
  • I feel like this thread is mixing character types and stereotypes together. I think of these two things being very different. When I think 'stereotype' I think 'harmful ethnic or racial stereotype'. When I think character type, I think more stock ch…
  • All very white or whitewashed straight male perspectives! I mean storygames (including the mod behavior) has for the past decade or so done it's best to run off POCs, women, and queer. folk. That's pretty evident. I've been on the the fence about…
  • I'd also like to suggest that there's a huge distinction between saying, "X phenomenon is bad / problematic / harmful (to Y group) / fascist," and saying, "This thing hurts me because of the group I'm in." The former is saying that some work of li…
  • My experience is that most of us here are eager to learn about new stuff, new perspectives or even about each other. I agree with @snej and @Bedrockbrendan about genres and colonialism but I am happy to reconsider my views if I meet new information…
  • @Bedrockbrendan I am doing my own version of slow down here So I'll post tomorrow! So not ignoring you! No worries. I welcome your response and I will make a point of backing off the conversation if it troubles you to discuss or disagree.
  • There's a fundamental blindness here that's difficult to deal with if you're the one who's blind: "[not having] the partisan conflict they experience elsewhere in their lives driving the discussions on the forum they visit to talk about games" is p…
  • It's super weird to see all the white dudes double-down instead of listening to folks who are still under the yoke of colonialism, oppression, and the systems they spawned. And continuing publishing materials under those same ideals keeps those syst…
  • Holy carp, I think this may be the first time, ever, that I've agreed with Brendan on anything. Also, I get this a lot for some reason.
  • Holy carp, I think this may be the first time, ever, that I've agreed with Brendan on anything. For what it is worth Komradebob, I have a goldfish memory when it comes to posters. I can't even remember what we disagree with, and when I do have disag…
  • @EmmatheExcrucian my first post was facetious, I was going to ask you why you think it's your business telling people what shouldn't be included in a work of fiction. I guess it literally is your business! Stereotypes are vital for navigating reali…
  • You did break the explicit forum behavior guidelines (politicizing a thread and attacking people, to be specific), so it does make sense to draw attention to it. And frankly it's a joke of a rule because everything is political, especially trying t…
  • I was wondering about Harry Potter and China Mieville's books a day I was reading this thread, too. I'm not the world's biggest Harry Potter fan, but it seems strange to me to discount those books as fantasy (not only are they clearly fantastical an…
  • > My way of reading and writing very much doesn't include authors like Shakespeare, Conrad, Lovecraft, etc, and it doesn't include fantasy as a genre. That's not to say that it's wrong that yours does, as long as you admit the issues with those …
  • As far as this discussion has gone, I still don't see what's wrong with the original text. Insight lets you determine someone's intentions, which you might do when searching out a lie, but you might not, and which might be sufficient to suss out a l…
  • It takes incredible focus and directed effort on the part of the players to make most tabletop RPGs remain open to many types of play experiences. Therefore, only extremely focused games can be unfocused. No. Just to elaborate here. This is a bit…
  • I think focused can cover a lot but generally it suggests to me, rules that are specifically geared toward a particular play experience, narrow genre focus or a game built around a single activity (or closely related activities). I don’t see it indi…