|This supplement is free, and there's no reason not to get it.|
An Ounce of Prevention, and a Pound of Cure
I'm not going to launch into the same BDSM-themed metaphor I used in "Edgy" Games Require Trust to make my point here (even though it still works), because this supplement renders such additional illustration unnecessary. It explains important points that a lot of gamers have probably never had spelled out before, such as how you should always assume the answer is "no" until you've asked, how you need to talk about what people are and aren't comfortable with beforehand, and how it doesn't matter if there's just one holdout; either everyone's on-board, or you don't do the thing.
|Yes, everyone, this isn't a Senate vote. You need to be unanimous!|
One thing that makes this supplement unique (aside from discussion of actual tactics like the X-Card, and resources like the consent sheet at the end of the booklet) is that it also talks about how to step back and smooth things over with your group when things go wrong. Because things are going to go wrong, no matter how hard you try. It's an inevitable. This quote, I think, illustrates the point:
"Some people find it hard to apologize because people in general are discouraged from admitting they’re wrong. But here’s the thing: you’re a roleplayer. If you can pretend to be an elf or a cyborg, if you can insult the king to his face or stand your ground against a horde of charging orcs, if you can accept that you killed the entire party with a fireball or take credit for killing a dragon with a critical hit, then you can apologize to your friends for saying something that made someone uncomfortable."
Friendships can be tough to manage, and sometimes emotions run high at your game. You can be as careful as possible, screening everyone's sensitivities and opening dialogue, but you're going to step on a mine eventually. Rather than wasting time and energy getting mad at someone because they couldn't handle something, focus on moving forward. Acknowledge what happened, apologize, and try to move on. Don't try to shame someone for opting out, or demand an explanation; the why doesn't matter, because the important thing is they wanted out.
We're all here to have fun, and we should all feel included and comfortable while we're doing that. Even if we're pretending to be a debauched cabal of baby-eating vampires, or the chosen warriors of the fell powers, those of us around the table still have things we'd rather not have thrown at our faces while we're trying to enjoy ourselves. And the better our communication on issues like this, the better our games will become!
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That's all for this week's Moon Pope Monday. Hopefully you enjoyed, and if you've used run these kinds of games before, leave us a comment to let us know what worked for you!
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