Sunday, September 22, 2019

One Of Many

There are many reasons to reject the use of that RPG consent form that's been talked about a lot on social media.

But there's one reason that I haven't heard discussed yet...

How many gamers will either consciously or unconsciously fill in yellow and red boxes because they don't want others to assume they're cynical, jaded, immoral edgelords? 

With forms in general, there's an expectation.  Remembering all the many forms I've filled out in my life, have I ever checked only one box / answer for every question asked?  No, probably not. 

There's an unspoken assumption that one has peculiarities and depth.  One is not a machine.  In fact, just to relieve the monotony, I would probably check a few non-green boxes... even though I'm perfectly fine running across any subject matter the GM describes.

When expectations influence honest answers, then forms become a sham.

If you're truly worried about going too far in your GMing, simply ask (this, too, can be a written form handed out before play begins)... "Is there any subject matter that is off limits to you?"

Nine times out of ten, you'll get a negative response.  But that one time will get you an accurate idea of what is too far for that particular player.

I remember years ago asking players before an upcoming campaign the following two questions..

1. What do you want in this campaign?

2. What don't you want in this campaign?

Not everyone answered the questions, which was fine.  But for those who did, I got an idea for their expectations.  No one ever mentioned rape, genocide, or gaslighting.  However, I did get "rules lawyering" and such.

Hope your games go well!


p.s. Cha'alt hardcovers will be coming mid-October.  Will make an announcement when they arrive.  Until then, reviews keep pouring in regarding the PDF.


  1. IMO it shows that a group of "Gaming Geeks" please forgive the stereotype is far, far more mature than a group of these rainbow unicorn SJW "Snowflakes". The stereotype of GGs get lectured on being 'socially functional autistic' and all sorts of other stuff - but compare them to this crowd...

    Now if "Rainbow unicorns" or whatever SJWs call themselves or are called want their own "Special" brand of what - "Woke"? gaming, fine... People can play WH40K or D&D or DCC or My Little Pony Tales - whatever - Bunnies and Burrows...etc. Fine. Just let the other guys alone if you don't like their game not demand they change it.

    Just I'm nervous about this checklist being published by a big company. It's kind of like giving all those looking for any evil they can find in RPGs some ammo. Seen it passed around - though they get it blocked/banned wherever they can:

    "What is similar between a porno film and a hard BDSM session and a Role Playing Game?"
    "A - They require a checklist and written consent to avoid emotional and legal trouble..."

    It admits there is a 'problem' with RPGs - a few years from now the Nucking Futz Fundies are going to be licking their wounds from screaming Enviornmentalism is a Satanic lie and the Right wing/Republicans were tops - need a scapegoat. They'll go right back to their old favorite. And I bet they will use this "Consent in RPGs" as "Proof" of whatever.

    1. I agree, if they were content to play their own games and do their own thing, that would be fine. But eventually, they'll creep into our territory and try to make it their own. Stop the spread of weeds by plucking them out at the roots!

  2. There's only so much work you can put into a game before it is no longer worth playing. Juggling the answers to eight different consent form and trying to find something that pleases any group that takes it seriously?
    Fuck it, might as well get out the Mariokarts.

    1. Indeed, any more of a "thankless task" and it's preferable to just put in a movie, instead.

  3. I think one problem is that since RPGs are chic at the moment, we have people who think "if you like D&D and I like D&D we are best friends".
    And that is not, nor never has been the case. Each player and table have different expecations sometimes on per session basis.

    Some weeks sucked hard and I want to kill imaginary monsters. Some weeks are good and we go a whole session with rolling any dice.

    This form, IMO, tries to bring gaming down to the lowest common denominator and reinforces victimhood.

    I have a friend who has a DM that raped one of her characters in a game. She thinks he is the best DM in the world and you couldn't pay me to play in one of his games. This form will not fix that.

    The best lesson I ever learned was that I'd rather not be in a game then I would to be in a bad game. This form will not fix that either.

    If I were to use this form, and I won't, I would fill it out as the DM and say this is how I feel about these issues and their place in my game. Then players would decide if they wanted in.

    Any good game needs for everyone to buy-in and if someone is not, then they should move on.

    We are trying to "protect" people form playing make-believe with rules.

  4. One last thought, if you are someone with various triggers and you are just meeting a new group, do you want to reveal your vulnerabilities to them with this form? Not everyone is a good person, I'd say that I've met about as many people in our hobby who jerks as I have people who are not.

    We need to empower ourselves and each other, not embrace an ever more narrow niche for ourselves that reinforces victimhood.

  5. I like suggesting solutions.

    Anyone use mojoupgrade?

    It only shows items approved by both parties. That way nobody judges anyone who likes something they don't.

    It's a pretty simple web app, expanding it to N people shouldn't be too difficult. I'd pay between $1 and $5 for an "rpg consent" app, or a free version with adds.

    A useful feature to add would be necessary subjects for X campaign. So if you aren't comfortable with a necessary subject that game isn't for you and no info is shared at all.