The 'Society & Paizo hierarchy need to read this - genuinely


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Silver Crusade

countchocula wrote:
I... would rather not have to have a bonekeep like warning read off before I play

Has someone asked for that?

Contributor

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I couldn't find any PG-13 language in the Guide either, but I wonder if that might not be a good compromise place to put such a warning (like countchocula suggests). Just create a general awareness that any scenario might contain mature themes. Would that go far enough?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think it's pretty clear that PFS runs on mature themes and isn't meant for children below age 13.

The Exchange Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Austin aka countchocula

The Fox wrote:
countchocula wrote:
I... would rather not have to have a bonekeep like warning read off before I play
Has someone asked for that?

no not specifically but here is something I am scratching together based in several suggestions

Hello I am ______ _______ i will be your GM today and I will be running ____ _____ I do hope that you have fun but i would like to warn you of potential "hard spots" in the scenario/ mod that may trigger some negative emotional reactions. This scenario/mod includes but is not limited to.

Sexual content
Suicide
Violence
Consumption of Alcohol
The use of drugs and drug like substances
Adult Situations
Death
Etc

that may or may not be appropriate for children under the age of X. I as your GM will do my best to guide the table and its players towards having the most fun possible. In order to do this i will be instituting X cards. The purpose of these "stress Cards" are to indicate to me the GM if things are getting too frustrating towards you the player. (insert use of stress cards here). you as the player having heard and understand these warnings do accept the very real possibility of these actions and continue to stay seated at this table.

this is just for fun :P and nowhere near as scary as the bonekeep one :(

Silver Crusade

Yeah, that wouldn't be fun.

So we shouldn't do something else that is entirely unlike that idea.


hell no

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Removed some unhelpful posts. Not everybody's experiences are the same, and everybody comes from different gaming backgrounds. Be civil, thank you.

Project Manager

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The Fourth Horseman wrote:
David Foley wrote:


Nefreet said wrote:

I wanted to expand on the one I bolded.

I figured someone would mention it eventually.

Is this thread meant to address traumas only? Adult themes in general? A mix of both? And how far should we go?

Do scenarios with Miss Feathers need to include a warning? What would that warning be, and who would that warning be aimed at?

I wanted to address the bolded directly. NO. We should be trying to normalize the LGBT community in culture and media, and not continue treating these folks like their very existence is "other" or adult-only content (and by extension of that, harmful to...

Agreed.

I'd hate to see any content warning for RPGs become like the ESRB, where a (light) kiss on the lips between straight people is acceptable within an E rating (basically the equivalent of a G movie rating), but the same kiss between two people of the same gender automatically punts you into the T rating (PG-13ish) or even M (R). (The ESRB recently claimed that they don't treat same-sex romantic content differently than hetero content, so maybe they've changed, but when I was doing ratings compliance 4-ish years ago, that was the standard.)

Non-straight people don't need a content warning for existing.

Andrew Christian wrote:

So you want to add more work to an already strained to bursting development and editing staff?

Where's folks personal responsibility?

Well, there's that, too. :-)

I'm not sure how to deal with the idea that people are shocked by violence or suicide in our content. We make a game that is, in large part, about combat, but I suppose it's fair to try to consider what expectations that's going to entail from the majority of players.

We have a few things we put out, like the Kids' Track, that I think people are justified in expecting to not have a high level of gore or disturbing material like torture in them, but for the vast majority of our content, it's adult in nature. It's a game about fighting and, often, about killing.

The problem with a content warning system is how would you even calibrate it for our material? Even if you limit it to simply the words on the page, either almost every piece of content is going to be in the same rating category (because pretty much all of them have murder, poisoning, injury, etc. in them), or it's going to be so granular as to be unmanageable (this one has flaying, that one has amputation).

Part of the difficulty in it is that most rating systems are designed for entertainment where, personal reactions aside, everyone largely experiences the content in the same way. When you and I are watching Hannibal, we might have different comfort levels or triggers with the skin angels, but we're both seeing the same shots, the same lighting, the same actor reactions, the same amount of exposure time, the same coverage of the victims' bodies, etc. And how things are shot, and how long they're on screen, and so on is a significant portion of how ratings are determined. What happens in an episode of Hannibal isn't that different from what happens in an episode of Miss Marple (people get murdered, someone investigates), but the reason one of them is acknowledged as one of the goriest shows on TV and everyone's incredulous that it's on network TV and the other is regarded as gentle PBS fare is those directorial choices.

Now take a look at an adventure. Let's say we tell you that someone got murdered and their heart was cut out while they were still living, in an Abyssal ritual. That might be all we tell you. But depending on the GM, depending on what questions the players ask or what parts of the story they decide to pursue, etc. you might get a super gory scene, or a clinical short one that doesn't really contain much more detail than the sentence above.

Trying to put a rating on our content that takes the player experience into account and isn't arbitrary ("the word 'murder' is mentioned 16 times so let's rate it T!") is sort of like trying to rate a movie purely based on the script, without taking into account whether the actual movie films the line "She slices his throat" as a quick shot from behind that's during a fade-out, or a long, drawn-out scene that focuses on the actual consequences of throat-slitting, shows a ton of blood, and involves the victim screaming and writhing in pain throughout the entire process.

Not to mention that coming up with a content warning system would require being able to calibrate what people's expectations for content levels are (do people expect to be warned if it's mentioned once that a castle has a torture chamber?), which I just don't see a way to do without a lot more resources than we have.

I'm not saying that the desire isn't legitimate, just that I don't see a way to satisfy it in a useful way with the resources we have.

Part of the way RPG groups function effectively is that the GM is in control of which content actually gets exposed to players. Since the GM is, in essence, the movie director/executive producer for their game, they're actually the ones in the best position to decide everything from how much description to give an event to whether a particular story is even appropriate for their group. I'd argue that, for their individual group's experience, most of the things that normally factor into a rating are predominantly in the hands of the GM, rather than the book itself.

As a GM, I feel pretty strongly that it's my responsibility to judge my group's comfort level and tone down/emphasize/expand on/leave out parts of the material based on that.


Jessica Price wrote:
I'm not sure how to deal with the idea that people are shocked by violence or suicide in our content. We make a game that is, in large part, about combat, but I suppose it's fair to try to consider what expectations that's going to entail from the majority of players.

I mostly agree with the whole post, but I do see suicide as different from the normal RPG violence. Combat and combat death are basically expected in and PF game. No one is going to be shocked or surprised to find it there. The opposite, possibly.

Suicide is actually pretty rare in adventures I've seen and thus might be worth calling out. If anything gets called out.

As for the variation in GM direction, that's one thing that the X-Card approach could handle, if only by making it clear that it's okay to ask for the description to be dialed back in a certain area.


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Pathfinder Society Organized Play: Includes interactive features that may expose players to the public at large who will generate unrated user-generated content

Dark Archive

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I have panic attacks. (it is a new thing.) Nothing in a scenario is going to trigger mine thankfully. It is MY issue, my responsibility, to deal with, handle, and take care of.

I do not have kids. I don't want kids. I was never treated as a child, even during my childhood. I don't like kids. I do however know how to act like an adult. I expect the GM does as well. When I sit down at a table with kids at it, I check myself.

I have yet to sit down at a table where there was a kid, that was rude or disruptive and that includes the 5 year old that was gaming with his dad at one table.

Parents have to know that Pathfinder has adult themes. It is their responsibility to their children. If they are dumping their teenager off at a convention, then usually that teenager is able to handle themselves.

I don't see how this is Paizo's responsibility at all. Read the material, take care of yourself and your children.

Contributor

Jessica Price wrote:
Many sensible things...

I was glad to read this post and to hear the carefully thought out reasoning behind it. Thanks.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Aoann wrote:
I don't see how this is Paizo's responsibility at all. Read the material, take care of yourself and your children.

I am trying to FIND a way to "take care of [my]self and [my] children". How do you suggest I do that? We read the adventure blurb, and scanned the reviews before choosing to purchase the scenario, only to find out that it was unsuitable for our use. What more could /should I have done?

LazarX wrote:
I think it's pretty clear that PFS runs on mature themes and isn't meant for children below age 13.

Really? The Kids' Track, specifically designed by Paizo as an introduction to Pathfinder AND the 'Society is called out as being from SIX years upwards, and I believe caps out at 14 (?) at various conventions.

Contributor

Darrell Impey UK wrote:
Aoann wrote:
I don't see how this is Paizo's responsibility at all. Read the material, take care of yourself and your children.
I am trying to FIND a way to "take care of [my]self and [my] children". How do you suggest I do that? We read the adventure blurb, and scanned the reviews before choosing to purchase the scenario, only to find out that it was unsuitable for our use. What more could /should I have done?

I won't presume to speak for Aoann or anyone else, but for what it's worth I've seen nothing but praise for you on this thread for taking your quite creditable actions in managing the situation. You needn't have done anything more at all, because the situation was ably dealt with: a potential problem was identified and an action was taken to correct (or deflect, I suppose) the problem.

Unless you mean that feel you should have had the opportunity to address the problem before spending the money on the scenario? That's a tougher one. How do you manage similar issues when it comes to films and books?

Dark Archive

Christopher Rowe wrote:
Darrell Impey UK wrote:
Aoann wrote:
I don't see how this is Paizo's responsibility at all. Read the material, take care of yourself and your children.
I am trying to FIND a way to "take care of [my]self and [my] children". How do you suggest I do that? We read the adventure blurb, and scanned the reviews before choosing to purchase the scenario, only to find out that it was unsuitable for our use. What more could /should I have done?

I won't presume to speak for Aoann or anyone else, but for what it's worth I've seen nothing but praise for you on this thread for taking your quite creditable actions in managing the situation. You needn't have done anything more at all, because the situation was ably dealt with: a potential problem was identified and an action was taken to correct (or deflect, I suppose) the problem.

Unless you mean that feel you should have had the opportunity to address the problem before spending the money on the scenario? That's a tougher one. How do you manage similar issues when it comes to films and books?

Thank you for not speaking for me but I agree. I was replying to the thread, not the OP. You did what you had to. The only other thing you could do is skim the forums, cause I am pretty sure if was a problem for you, it was a problem for someone else. there is also production discuss with every product, no?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

trollbill wrote:
Not a wedding, but I successfully completed Library of the Lion with zero combats.

Ditto.

Of course, here at PCC we had a table of that end in a TPK...

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Sadly I have yet to have a table of Library of the Lion go off without a fight. I almost did, but the group talked the person who was sure she had the correct placement into swapping one and they triggered the combat. If she had gone with her reasoning they would have been fightless. Almost had a death because of it too. :)

Grand Lodge

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A solution that hasn't been mentioned yet here (at least, I don't think so, it's a long thread and I did some skimming) is for us as consumers to generate our own open-access/editable list of scenarios with potential triggers, and put it up somewhere for easy access (like the GM Shared Prep). For example, there could be a 'category,' if you will, of scenarios that involve themes of suicide.

GMs could check the list if they know their audience; players could check the list for their particular triggers before signing up/sitting down for a specific scenario. For example, if I am triggered by themes of suicide, I simply check to see if the scenario I'm signed up for is in that 'category.' If so, I switch tables/ask to change the scenario.

This can happen whatever regardless of Paizo decides to do (thanks for being attentive to this though, John). I will start building something along these lines over the weekend if someone else hasn't already.

(As a side note, the X-Card is a great tool and I will start using this in my games, especially when I don't know the players personally. Thanks.)

Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

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I think it's important to acknowledge the difference between "suitable for children under 13" and "may trigger a negative response in people who have suffered similar trauma". A lot of GM recognize that they need to tone things down when they have kids at the table: that's so common, it barely needs a reminder.

However, when you look at the players at your table, there's no way to tell whether any of them might suffer from PTSD that could be triggered by content in the scenario. Adults are more likely to have these issue (just from the fact of having lived longer and experienced more), but we tend to over-protective of children and (perhaps) not protective enough of other adults.

I used to teach a visa-preparation class that had a lot of refugee students, and some of their stories were quite horrific. You couldn't tell by looking at my class which students were just immigrants and which ones had spent seven weeks in the hold of a cargo ship praying that they didn't get kidnapped by pirates (like the rest of their family) or had been kicked out of the army for a mental breakdown at the age of 14. The usually bland essays about "my most embarrassing moment" or "how I spent my summer" were very, very different from these students.

And there was no possible way to tell them apart.

When we're talking about "trigger warnings", we're rarely talking about children, but invariably the discussions devolve into "how do we protect the children from adult themes". Trigger warnings are about protecting traumatized adults from reminders of their trauma.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I think we need to make sure we're asking the right questions.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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TOZ wrote:
Lamontius wrote:
cool yeah you could call it real life
The Aspis Consortium doesn't exist in real life.

When you need some aspis inspiration or you don't think anything as evil as the aspis could actually happen...

Liberty's Edge

While I sympathize, being a disabled veteran and having many acquaintances who suffer from various degrees of service related trauma as well as having a very close family member who is long term abuse survivor, I am firmly in the camp that it is the responsibility of the individual(or parents) to manage the content they partake in and determine if it is within their capability and comfort level to do so. I do not think some form of Rating or Code system should be employed because those always serve to both stifle creativity and limit products, as well as putting a ready made target of admission for every crusader that wishes to persecute the hobby.

I agree that GMs should be able to take the temperature of their table and and adjust the feel of the scenario as needed to be more generally acceptable, but the impetus should still be on the individual to remove themselves from the situation if they feel that they cannot comfortably continue. I do not think having an "X-Card" or "stress card" or what have you is the way to go in that regard.

What I think should be looked at as a general utility for players who are concerned with possible triggers is a forum on this website dedicated to this very issue. As some have already suggested, and even volunteered, it could be populated and compiled by players and GMs alike submitting content reviews that don't reveal story plots, but instead address themes in the content that may be considered as problematic to some. Perhaps there could be an agreed upon set of warning criteria as has been suggested already, and then concerned gamers or parents/guardians could look over the "rating" for their potential game and make a more informed decision. This would not be added work or restrictions then placed on Paizo, but would be the community for the community sharing their outlook.

Just my opinion on the matter.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
trollbill wrote:
Not a wedding, but I successfully completed Library of the Lion with zero combats.

Ditto.

Of course, here at PCC we had a table of that end in a TPK...

You had a TPK without a combat? Talk about your killer GMs...

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Liz Courts wrote:
Removed some unhelpful posts. Not everybody's experiences are the same, and everybody comes from different gaming backgrounds. Be civil, thank you.

Wow! What is this? National hostility week? How many threads are we going to get locked?


Fomsie wrote:

While I sympathize, being a disabled veteran and having many acquaintances who suffer from various degrees of service related trauma as well as having a very close family member who is long term abuse survivor, I am firmly in the camp that it is the responsibility of the individual(or parents) to manage the content they partake in and determine if it is within their capability and comfort level to do so. I do not think some form of Rating or Code system should be employed because those always serve to both stifle creativity and limit products, as well as putting a ready made target of admission for every crusader that wishes to persecute the hobby.

I agree that GMs should be able to take the temperature of their table and and adjust the feel of the scenario as needed to be more generally acceptable, but the impetus should still be on the individual to remove themselves from the situation if they feel that they cannot comfortably continue. I do not think having an "X-Card" or "stress card" or what have you is the way to go in that regard.

What I think should be looked at as a general utility for players who are concerned with possible triggers is a forum on this website dedicated to this very issue. As some have already suggested, and even volunteered, it could be populated and compiled by players and GMs alike submitting content reviews that don't reveal story plots, but instead address themes in the content that may be considered as problematic to some. Perhaps there could be an agreed upon set of warning criteria as has been suggested already, and then concerned gamers or parents/guardians could look over the "rating" for their potential game and make a more informed decision. This would not be added work or restrictions then placed on Paizo, but would be the community for the community sharing their outlook.

Just my opinion on the matter.

While this make sense, time and other constrains can make it hard to notice the 'squicky' stuff beforehand, a rating system could be a way to help with that, but adult/parent supervision would still be needed anyway.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

trollbill wrote:

You had a TPK without a combat? Talk about your killer GMs...

Of course not silly, that was a separate group. We run multiple tables at cons, you know!

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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My thoughts align pretty closely with those of Jessica on this matter.

Just to respond to earlier speculations, I have neither formal legal training nor any specialized training in ratings systems. Any such work and its legal ramifications are beyond my expertise. I simply wield a generally nice guy approach to determining where the line is on commonly sensitive topics in scenarios, and the Paizo editors are great at helping me present any such topics or decide whether such a topic is particularly necessary in an adventure. I am open to discussing options, but my interest is not indicative of Paizo throwing its weight in any particular direction.

I do, though, feel fairly qualified to ask questions and encourage discussion. That's what I can really do here.

Sovereign Court

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If the powers that be are taking notes, I'm sure there are many out here who feel the way I do in that there absolutely does NOT need to be a rating system, warning labels, or any other form of content advisory by Paizo on their products.

Kudos to every person here who has preached personal responsibility (or parental responsibility when suitable) as the first and primary method of selecting appropriate content.

Dark Archive

I am just wondering how folks who try to sensor this input from their children handle things like children's cartoons (which have regular deaths and much more violence than most adult programs) or even regular TV shows that are partially aimed at children and reference this stuff.

For example I watched a Doctor Who yesterday, on early evening TV, with a suicide theme - where the Doctor talks the main story centric bad guy into killing himself. And Doctor Who feels like a strong comparison point for fantasy scenarios.

I think knowing their approach to things like that would be instructive.

Shadow Lodge

As far as word count goes, maybe just putting "Mature Themes" on it somewhere is enough, and development can make a judgement call on whether a scenario contains any mature themes or not?

Dark Archive

One solution is to just ask the question on the product discussion page under the scenario. You will likely get a good answer fairly quickly.

Sovereign Court

Quadstriker wrote:

If the powers that be are taking notes, I'm sure there are many out here who feel the way I do in that there absolutely does NOT need to be a rating system, warning labels, or any other form of content advisory by Paizo on their products.

Kudos to every person here who has preached personal responsibility (or parental responsibility when suitable) as the first and primary method of selecting appropriate content.

+1

To expound upon that thought..

Assuming you've read and prepared the scenario you're about to GM (not always possible, but being surprised into running a scenario cold is a corner case) you already have a familiarity of what is in the scenario.

You may not know what triggers your players, especially if it's a Con or some such, but being the GM and being familiar with the scenario you're expected to tailor the presentation to fit the preferences as a matter of course. "Oh, there's a 10 year old at my table? Hmm, maybe I should go easy on the particulars of what these Lamashtu cultists do.."

The scenarios have been pretty well held to an American PG-13 standard... violence, death, and drug use is ok but no potty mouths or sex. Players (who aren't new to PFS) have a pretty good grasp of the sort of things to expect, and those cases where the scenario pushes the standard, its the GM's job to be sensitive about it.

In the cases where a player has a trigger that the GM has no way of anticipating.. not to be callous but there is an onus of responsibility on that player. PFS isn't the only time such a person will be faced unexpectedly with a trigger in life and that person simply has to know how to deal with it, be it walking away or asking the GM to tone it down or whatever. Any GM worth the title will recognize this and accommodate accordingly.

Sovereign Court

I could've sworn I remembered seeing an age suggestion on the Beginner Box. Amazon says 13+.

When a company tells me what age range their product is for, I believe them.

When someone in our group wanted to bring his kid to a session (also for Empyreal Enlightenment), we told him that scenario wasn't kid-friendly. The end. The kid got into a We Be Goblins game instead.

Assuming that a GM reads a scenario prior to running (which they should), I don't see what the problem is. The game isn't for young kids. An audience wanting to bring young kids should adapt, not the company.

You're out a sum total of $4 for what is a FANTASTIC scenario. Just run it with adults during a time when the kids are at grandma's.

A better approach might be to go on these very message boards and ask which scenarios go outside the norm and are good for kids. Of course, it depends on the kid - but adults playing an adult (or 13+) game shouldn't have to modify their environment. Soon enough, the kids will be ready for full-blown RPG goodness, complete with suicide haunts, the worldwound, and the Paracountess. Give it time.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Don't worry, the scenario has been put aside for future use; I'm not intending/expecting to go hunting a refund.

You're right, a good GM (or to be honest, even a passable one), should be able to either forwarn their players of unavoidable "somethings", so that people can decide whether to stay, or tone their delivery to suit their audience.

I'm not after a change in scenario content, just a way of knowing what I'm likely to get. Imagine, if you will, I'd decided to travel with one or more of my children to a convention. I'd looked up they adventures on the Paizo site, and they both seemed ok from what's written there. We get there and discover, possibly the hard way, that they are not appropriate. Not the greatest of ways to spend a weekend eh?

Bottom line looks to be I'm just going to have to swallow spoilers for any adventure that I intend to play. Ah well, I tried.

Dark Archive

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Prethen wrote:
Anything that I've seen with drugs in play has basically painted them as bad/problematic. I see that as a public service announcement. Are there scenarios that "promote" drug use?

Performance enhancing drugs are common and encouraged in RPGs, albeit labelled as magical potions, e.g. Potion of Bear's Endurance.

The Exchange 5/5

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Darrell Impey UK wrote:

Don't worry, the scenario has been put aside for future use; I'm not intending/expecting to go hunting a refund.

You're right, a good GM (or to be honest, even a passable one), should be able to either forwarn their players of unavoidable "somethings", so that people can decide whether to stay, or tone their delivery to suit their audience.

I'm not after a change in scenario content, just a way of knowing what I'm likely to get. Imagine, if you will, I'd decided to travel with one or more of my children to a convention. I'd looked up they adventures on the Paizo site, and they both seemed ok from what's written there. We get there and discover, possibly the hard way, that they are not appropriate. Not the greatest of ways to spend a weekend eh?

Bottom line looks to be I'm just going to have to swallow spoilers for any adventure that I intend to play. Ah well, I tried.

heck, just pop onto the boards and ask, "It scenario #9-14 Whips and Midgets kid friendly?" - or send someone who has played most of the scenarios a PM and ask. '

I'll step forward and offer. I've played almost all the scenarios (a dozen or so of the newist I haven't)... PM me when you are thinking of buying one and I'll tell you if you'll need to adapt it. I've had to do that for several (for a while I was running for a group of pre-teen girls...).


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Matt Savage wrote:

I could've sworn I remembered seeing an age suggestion on the Beginner Box. Amazon says 13+.

When a company tells me what age range their product is for, I believe them.

Reconsider that. For most physical products, including games, the age suggestions are set substantially because of product safety regulations. Products for kids under 13 are expected to go through more rigorous (and expensive) testing. So even if a product is suitable for kids under 13 (like the Beginner Box), many will say 13 just to avoid stricter standards.

Contributor

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nosig wrote:

heck, just pop onto the boards and ask, "It scenario #9-14 Whips and Midgets kid friendly?" - or send someone who has played most of the scenarios a PM and ask. '

I'll step forward and offer. I've played almost all the scenarios (a dozen or so of the newist I haven't)... PM me when you are thinking of buying one and I'll tell you if you'll need to adapt it. I've had to do that for several (for a while I was running for a group of pre-teen girls...).

I haven't played or GMed a tenth of what nosig has probably, but I'm sure I'll be far from alone in cheerfully volunteering to offer any help/information I can about those scenarios I am familiar with.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Anyone who is a new or casual player is unlikely to peruse the forums and therefore will not gain anything from random players suggesting they will be a point of contact for anyone wanting suggestions/feedback on the sources of mature content.

Since this is a PFS forum concerning PFS material, it would seem that the easiest, most reasonable solution, if one is even required, would be to add a line or two to the Guide for Organized Play. Something to the effect that some material may not be suitable for younger viewersplayers, parental guidance is suggested. No change to the actual scenario is required. It also does what should already be the standard, which is leaving the responsibility on the parent/guardian/individual to access whether or not any material, or even this campaign, is appropriate.

There is also the issue that occurred when the PMRC forced the music industry to add warning labels to albums back in the 80's to denote adult content. It had the opposite effect and actually drew more attention to the "risque" material and increased consumption by those it was created to protect. In that vein, adding warning labels to gaming material might actually improve sales. Although, I would posit that sales increases based on that meme would not be the kind Paizo would want to get excited about.

The Exchange

I will start off by stating that this is my personal belief and is in no way meant to show the beliefs of others.

That being said.

When it comes to the content that is in the Adventure Paths, Modules and Scenarios, it is entirely the responsibility of the parent to read the subject matter ahead of time. If at that point they find something that is unsuitable for children, it again falls to their responsibility to either put it down and not purchase it, or to edit it appropriately for the age range of their child.

In no way, shape or form, should it ever be the responsibility of the writers whom are creating an adult scenario; to be the ones to censure it properly. Lets face it, a large majority of those whom play Pathfinder are likely adults. If I am GM, I will take into account the age range of those whom are at the table and thus it would be my responsibility to censure or edit the path in accordance to whom I am GMing for.

Saying that an adventure path, scenario or any just related content should be censured right off the bat because one person does not agree with it should never be the case.

We are adults, playing an adult based game. It is our own responsibility to censure or edit it if we are bringing children into said game, just as it is our own responsibility to curb our language, actions and hold our tongues when we are with others whom find such language, actions, etc etc as uncomfortable.

Paizo should not have to place a "Warning Explicit Content" on their materials.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
The Fourth Horseman wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

I wanted to expand on the one I bolded.

I figured someone would mention it eventually.

Is this thread meant to address traumas only? Adult themes in general? A mix of both? And how far should we go?

Do scenarios with Miss Feathers need to include a warning? What would that warning be, and who would that warning be aimed at?

I wanted to address the bolded directly. NO. We should be trying to normalize the LGBT community in culture and media, and not continue treating these folks like their very existence is "other" or adult-only content (and by extension of that, harmful to children) BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT. They are just people, like you and me.

I mentioned that last bit as a general address, since I'm not sure this was something that Nefreet was arguing for or against.

You deleted the post I was responding to, which gave my post context.

I was inquiring why The Fox thought sexuality should be included in a list of disclaimers, and who that list would be catering to.

I'm gay, and a Social Science major, so I'm all about inclusion.


May Contain Meerkats wrote:

A solution that hasn't been mentioned yet here (at least, I don't think so, it's a long thread and I did some skimming) is for us as consumers to generate our own open-access/editable list of scenarios with potential triggers, and put it up somewhere for easy access (like the GM Shared Prep). For example, there could be a 'category,' if you will, of scenarios that involve themes of suicide.

GMs could check the list if they know their audience; players could check the list for their particular triggers before signing up/sitting down for a specific scenario. For example, if I am triggered by themes of suicide, I simply check to see if the scenario I'm signed up for is in that 'category.' If so, I switch tables/ask to change the scenario.

This can happen whatever regardless of Paizo decides to do (thanks for being attentive to this though, John). I will start building something along these lines over the weekend if someone else hasn't already.

(As a side note, the X-Card is a great tool and I will start using this in my games, especially when I don't know the players personally. Thanks.)

I really dig this idea. At my home games as a GM I always had the content discussion prior to the first game when talking with players about character creation. It was mostly a, "What sort of themes or content should I absolutely refrain from bringing into the game environment?" I've never once been disappointed in having asked this prprior to the first session.

The quoted idea above sounds to me like one of the best ways to accomplish something similar. While I'm not a PFS GM, I would be very willing to contribute to such a forum after playing any scenarios that I note a possible trigger event. I don't personally suffer any PTSD, but have known and done my best to help a few friends who have suffered.

I like the idea of the X-cards as well, but could see them also being difficult for some GM's or Players to master using. I would wholeheartedly support their use in any games I play.

Silver Crusade

Nefreet wrote:

You deleted the post I was responding to, which gave my post context.

I was inquiring why The Fox thought sexuality should be included in a list of disclaimers, and who that list would be catering to.

I'm gay, and a Social Science major, so I'm all about inclusion.

I meant "sexuality" in the general sense. It is a topic that many parents might be concerned about in a scenario. I think I stated up thread that none of the the items that were on my list were items that I am worried about at all. I just think that if parents or other sensitive adults are concerned about content, then the topics I listed seemed like a reasonable items for concern.

The Exchange

Discussions like this only serve to damage the legitimate problems that people with real PTSD have. If you feel the themes in a scenario are unfit for your table, then deal with it. But it's not up to paizo to filter their content to the extent that is suggested in the first post. A post I might add is vague at best.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Matt Savage wrote:

I could've sworn I remembered seeing an age suggestion on the Beginner Box. Amazon says 13+.

When a company tells me what age range their product is for, I believe them.

Reconsider that. For most physical products, including games, the age suggestions are set substantially because of product safety regulations. Products for kids under 13 are expected to go through more rigorous (and expensive) testing. So even if a product is suitable for kids under 13 (like the Beginner Box), many will say 13 just to avoid stricter standards.

True, but Pathfinder is based on DnD 3.5, so being PG-13 was kinda neccessary, and some writers and Paizo staffers have said in the past that they would like to expend on the age categories they cater to if they could.


Rushley son of Halum wrote:
Discussions like this only serve to damage the legitimate problems that people with real PTSD have. If you feel the themes in a scenario are unfit for your table, then deal with it. But it's not up to paizo to filter their content to the extent that is suggested in the first post. A post I might add is vague at best.

as said at least twice previously, not everyone has the time to do prior filtering, so a rating system could be useful there. On the other side, GM'ing usually require a certain dose of improvisational skills.

The Exchange 5/5

Alex G St-Amand wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Matt Savage wrote:

I could've sworn I remembered seeing an age suggestion on the Beginner Box. Amazon says 13+.

When a company tells me what age range their product is for, I believe them.

Reconsider that. For most physical products, including games, the age suggestions are set substantially because of product safety regulations. Products for kids under 13 are expected to go through more rigorous (and expensive) testing. So even if a product is suitable for kids under 13 (like the Beginner Box), many will say 13 just to avoid stricter standards.
True, but Pathfinder is based on DnD 3.5, so being PG-13 was kinda neccessary, and some writers and Paizo staffers have said in the past that they would like to expend on the age categories they cater to if they could.

wait... are we saying that DnD 3.5 = PG-13, by neccessary? I mean that DnD 3.5 was rated PG-13? Because I did not think so, and I played 3.5 for all the time it was available (and 3.0 and ... everything back to the little tan set of 3 books).

DnD 3.5 was what you made it - just ask PG-13 or R or G as the DM and Players made it. I can recall campaigns that were very much R (or worse) and others that were very much G.


nosig wrote:
Alex G St-Amand wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Matt Savage wrote:

I could've sworn I remembered seeing an age suggestion on the Beginner Box. Amazon says 13+.

When a company tells me what age range their product is for, I believe them.

Reconsider that. For most physical products, including games, the age suggestions are set substantially because of product safety regulations. Products for kids under 13 are expected to go through more rigorous (and expensive) testing. So even if a product is suitable for kids under 13 (like the Beginner Box), many will say 13 just to avoid stricter standards.
True, but Pathfinder is based on DnD 3.5, so being PG-13 was kinda neccessary, and some writers and Paizo staffers have said in the past that they would like to expend on the age categories they cater to if they could.

wait... are we saying that DnD 3.5 = PG-13, by neccessary? I mean that DnD 3.5 was rated PG-13? Because I did not think so, and I played 3.5 for all the time it was available (and 3.0 and ... everything back to the little tan set of 3 books).

DnD 3.5 was what you made it - just ask PG-13 or R or G as the DM and Players made it. I can recall campaigns that were very much R (or worse) and others that were very much G.

It wasn't PG, but the stuff that put it at PG-13 was/is usually easy to remove, Pathfinder is the same.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nosig wrote:
wait... are we saying that DnD 3.5 = PG-13, by neccessary? I mean that DnD 3.5 was rated PG-13? Because I did not think so, and I played 3.5 for all the time it was available (and 3.0 and ... everything back to the little tan set of 3 books).

Well, if you're going to have 12 pages of beautifully illustrated weapons and eight thousand carefully interwoven rules for combat it would be a shame not to lop off SOMETHINGS head.

Liberty's Edge

Alex G St-Amand wrote:
Rushley son of Halum wrote:
Discussions like this only serve to damage the legitimate problems that people with real PTSD have. If you feel the themes in a scenario are unfit for your table, then deal with it. But it's not up to paizo to filter their content to the extent that is suggested in the first post. A post I might add is vague at best.
as said at least twice previously, not everyone has the time to do prior filtering, so a rating system could be useful there. On the other side, GM'ing usually require a certain dose of improvisational skills.

If someone has such a significant problem that could be triggered by verbally described imagery in a role playing game, then I would say that they most certainly should be making time to ensure that they are not putting themselves in a potentially dangerous or debilitating situation.

A rating system is not the answer, individual(or parental) responsibility is. Tools could be created... as suggested a forum of some sort for peer reviews... but even those would require the individual to take the time and personal responsibility to check and see what they are going to participate in.

5/5 ⦵⦵

Fomsie wrote:
I am firmly in the camp that it is the responsibility of the individual(or parents) to manage the content they partake in and determine if it is within their capability and comfort level to do so. I do not think some form of Rating or Code system should be employed because those always serve to both stifle creativity and limit products, as well as putting a ready made target of admission for every crusader that wishes to persecute the hobby

Exactly right.

It is the individuals responsibility to realise this is a 13+ fantasy game with enduring themes of violence and other such behaviour, this is not 'Smurfs the RPG', though even if it was there's semi naked men, a fixation with 'shrooms, Smurfette, and Gargamel the creepy old guy.

X-Cards are also a pretty strange passive aggressive way to avoid having an actual conversation or address real issues.

Moral Crusaders, the BADD type, would have a field day with the 'content warnings', and at what point do you determine what does and what doesn't qualify for a 'trigger warning' and who makes the call?

/May contain traces of nuts.

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