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Safety Tools

What Are Safety Tools?

Safety tools are mechanisms used in TTRPGs to ensure a comfortable, respectful, and enjoyable experience for all participants. They help create a safe space where players can explore stories and characters without fear of discomfort or harm. These tools address sensitive topics and manage emotional responses, making sure everyone has a positive gaming experience.

Key Safety Tools

1. Session 0

  • Description: A preliminary session where players discuss game expectations, boundaries, and comfort levels.

  • How to Use: Schedule this session before the campaign starts to establish guidelines, character backstories, and any potential triggers.

2. Lines and Veils

  • Description: Lines are hard limits that should not be crossed, while veils are topics that can be included but not detailed explicitly.

  • How to Use: Players and the GM list their lines and veils at the start and respect these boundaries throughout the game.

3. Luxton Technique

  • Description: A method to pause the game if someone feels uncomfortable, allowing the group to address the issue.

  • How to Use: Any player can call for a pause to discuss and adjust the situation without explaining their reasons in detail.

4. Monte Cook RPG Consent Checklist

  • Description: A comprehensive checklist that helps players communicate their preferences and boundaries.

  • How to Use: Each player fills out the checklist before the game, and the GM uses it to tailor the game content appropriately.

5. X, N, and O Cards

  • Description: Cards used during the game to signal comfort levels. X means stop, N means slow down, and O means okay.

  • How to Use: Players hold up the cards as needed during gameplay to indicate their comfort level with the current content.

6. Open Door

  • Description: Allows players to leave the game at any time if they feel uncomfortable or need a break.

  • How to Use: Inform players they can step away without explanation and rejoin when they're ready.

7. Breaks

  • Description: Regularly scheduled pauses in the game to relax and decompress.

  • How to Use: Plan short breaks throughout the session and encourage players to take additional breaks if needed.

8. Bleed

  • Description: Addressing the emotional impact of the game on players.

  • How to Use: Recognize and discuss any strong emotional reactions players may have to in-game events.

9. Aftercare

  • Description: Post-game discussions to help players transition out of character and back to normal life.

  • How to Use: Spend time after the game checking in with players about their experiences and feelings.

10. Debriefing

  • Description: A structured conversation after the game to discuss what went well and what could be improved.

  • How to Use: Hold a debrief session to gather feedback and make adjustments for future games.

11. Stars and Wishes

  • Description: A feedback method where players highlight positive moments (stars) and express hopes for future sessions (wishes).

  • How to Use: At the end of each session, have players share their stars and wishes to foster a positive and evolving gaming experience.

How to Implement Safety Tools

  1. Introduce Safety Tools Early: Explain the importance of safety tools during Session 0.

  2. Use Tools Consistently: Incorporate safety tools regularly and remind players of their availability.

  3. Encourage Open Communication: Foster an environment where players feel comfortable expressing their needs and concerns.

  4. Be Adaptable: Be prepared to adjust the game based on player feedback and the use of safety tools.

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