[Closed] The Problem With "Gaming Is For All"


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
NemisCassander wrote:
Should I change the module to accomodate these players, and if so, how?

I think you should. I don't remember the specifics of RotRL that well, but generally replacing things in the written material with other things suffices.

Like I've run this game for literal children, and one thing that kids absolutely do not like is "killing animals". So knowing this, if I'm running from a module I'm just going to replace all the "fights with wolves" with fights against something with the same statblock as a wolf but is clearly "wrong" or "supernatural" in some way.

But like if you have a goblin run into a party consisting of a gnome, a grippli, a halfling, and a cecaelia obviously they're not going to call them "longshanks" or at least will drop the term when called on the absurdity of "the only person in the party who is taller than you conspicuously lacks shanks".

But renaming things, changing descriptions, and changing backstories are honestly one of the easiest things in the GM's job description.

Thank you for your response. I do appreciate it.

So... I need to change several aspects of Goblin culture because someone doesn't like a slur that the book itself says Goblins use in-game? Um, what should I change the culture to? Just trashmen? (Serious question!)

There's also the fact that I am not sure that the Goblin player would still play a Goblin if he was not allowed to 'act like a Goblin'. (Note that he is calling the Dwarf, mainly, 'longershanks', because his 'shanks' are longer than his.) So we may need to remake his character to ensure a safe space. Okay. I will discuss this, but this can have mechanical ramifications with the character.

Just never revealing Nualia's backstory is quite likely, but it will make some material--such as Tsuto's diary that describes Nualia's transformation in some detail--unusable. I guess I will have to put in a lot more time into running this, which is unfortunate, as one of the primary reasons I use APs is because I have very little to prepare for games.

I will see about editing the various terms. I think the Goblins lose a lot, and I would suggest Paizo seriously revise the Goblin culture as presented in their material if they truly take their admonition as given.


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Quote:

Gimli and Legolas can have fights, hurl insults,etc if that's what your table is in to, but the point of this text is that the people playing these characters should avoid having Legolas or Gimli use real-world slurs. For example, there are words that are very offensive to use to refer to shorter folks and the problematic behavior that is being referred to would be if "Legolas" would use one of those words for Gimli. There is a difference between two in-world characters ribbing each other or even using the made-up fantasy types of insults provided in the campaign setting and a player having their character using a slur from "our world".

Quote:
Do not use real-world racial slurs for people, period. "For example, it's never acceptable to refer to another person using an offensive term or a slur, and doing so "in character" is just as bad as doing so directly.
RPGs are can be great venues for learning and practicing all sorts of social situations, team work, story building, or just having fun and bonding with friends. Its important though, that players at a table are all getting a chance to experience that.

With all respect, I guess I actually sort of agree with what the OP was, or at least what I think, he was saying.

I thing what he was saying was, that I like Paizo's intentions, but I don't think the execution in that section was spot on.

I do feel a bit turned off by the wording used in that section of the book. I say this as a disabled Ace male. And I would like to hazard a better way to put what you were trying to say in that section that doesn't sound so... Eh?

So without further adieu, my suggested rewrite:

-----

(Original text)

Quote:

Gaming Is for All

Whether you’re a player or a Game Master, participating in a tabletop roleplaying game involves an inherent social contract: everyone has gathered to have fun together, and the table is a safe space for everyone. Everyone has a right to play and enjoy Pathfinder regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other identities and life experiences. Pathfinder is for everyone, and Pathfinder games should be as safe, inclusive, and fun as possible for all.

*****

Critique:

I like the message here, what I don't like is that it sounds really political. It doesn't sound natural. It doesn't flow naturally. I feel like I am reading a PSA. You are using what I would call: "Connotative Political Language" in terms like "Safe Space" and what not.

*****

My rewrite:

Gaming is for All

It doesn't matter if you are a player or a GM, the entire goal of a game, any game, is for everyone to have fun. The best way for everyone to have fun is for all of the players to be comfortable and feel welcome. You should never seek to do anything that would make one of the other players (or the GM) uncomfortable. Everyone has different experiences, and it is beyond the scope of this, or any, document to outline all of the ways that anyone cold be uncomfortable, so it is best to be mindful and if you do find that you are doing something that is making a player feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, for any reason, to stop it.

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(Original version)

As a player, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not creating or contributing to an environment that makes any other players feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, particularly if those players are members of minority or marginalized communities that haven’t always been welcome or represented in the larger gaming population. Thus, it’s important to consider your character concepts and roleplaying style and avoid any approach that could cause
harm to another player. A character whose concept and mannerisms are racist tropes, for example, is exceptionally harmful and works against the goal of providing fun for all. A roleplaying style in which a player or character is constantly interrupting others or treating certain players or characters with condescension is similarly unacceptable. Furthermore, standards of respect don’t vanish simply because you’re playing a character in a fantasy game.
For example, it’s never acceptable to refer to another person using an offensive term or a slur, and doing so “in character” is just as bad as doing so directly. If your character’s concept requires you act this way, that’s a good sign your concept is harmful, and you have a responsibility to change it. Sometimes, you might not realize that your character concept or roleplaying style is making others
feel unwelcome at the gaming table. If another player tells you that your character concept or roleplaying style makes them uncomfortable, you shouldn’t argue about what they should or shouldn’t find offensive or say that what you’re doing is common (and therefore okay) among players or in other media. Instead, you should simply stop and make sure the game is a fun experience for everyone.

After all, that’s what gaming is about!

*****

Critique:
I just don't like any of this section. Not the message, I like the message, I just mean this section is just... I don't like it... Again, it reads too political, it doesn't read or flow naturally, it feels like I am reading an after school special. Not only that, but this basically is restating what we already said in the previous section. It doesn't need to be said again, especially when you are striving for book space.

I am going to call out the specific areas I see issues with:

As a player, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not creating or contributing to an environment that makes any other players feel uncomfortable or unwelcome

This is fine. You should just slap a period after the word "welcome" even if we just put this part in the previous section anyway.

particularly if those players are members of minority or marginalized communities that haven’t always been welcome or represented in the larger gaming population.

This is a red flag. Not only does this part really not flow naturally, it doesn't need to be said. I mean, literally it doesn't need to be said. Gaming was a hobby more or less created by nerds in the 70's and 80's. We know exactly what it is like to be marginalized, picked on, put down, beat up etc.

While I know that you are trying to bring attention to minority gamers I don't think it needs to be said. Why? Because in the previous sentence you called out "any other player" which is a statement that literally includes anyone and everyone. This feels like you are beating me over the head with something I, and anyone who picks up this book, should already know.

Have a little faith in your players.

Thus, it’s important to consider your character concepts and roleplaying style and avoid any approach that could cause
harm to another player.

I like this line too. So, I propose combining this one, with the first one, and cutting out the middle section.

-----
As a player, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not creating or contributing to an environment that makes any other players feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. Thus, it’s important to consider your character concepts and roleplaying style and avoid any approach that could cause harm to another player.

That just flows better. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd still touch on racism and such in a second, but since we are about to touch on it, I see no reason to have it there too.

-----

This next section...

A character whose concept and mannerisms are racist tropes, for example, is exceptionally harmful and works against the goal of providing fun for all. A roleplaying style in which a player or character is constantly interrupting others or treating certain players or characters with condescension is similarly unacceptable. Furthermore, standards of respect don’t vanish simply because you’re playing a character in a fantasy game.

For example, it’s never acceptable to refer to another person using an offensive term or a slur, and doing so “in character” is just as bad as doing so directly. If your character’s concept requires you act this way, that’s a good sign your concept is harmful, and you have a responsibility to change it.

Okay, I think this is the section that most players who have a problem with this, have a problem with. Basically this section is easily misunderstood.

So this needs some cleaning up.

My rewrite:

"A character whose concept and mannerisms are based on real world racist tropes, for example is exceptionally harmful and can ruin the fun of the game. Real world racism has no place in a fantasy game. Golarion is not the real world, so there is no excuse for using real world slurs ever from both a narrative sense and just a common decency stance.

A roleplaying style in which a player or character is constantly interrupting others or who's in-character behavior toward other player characters makes them feel uncomfortable is unacceptable. It doesn't matter if you are the most Chaotic Evil character to have ever torched an orphanage, these are your companions and as such you should have at least some respect for them. Additionally some players don't like their character constantly insulted or belittled, other players don't mind it. If one of the players at your table is the latter, then don't do it."

For example, it’s never acceptable to refer to another person using an offensive term or a slur, and doing so “in character” is just as bad as doing so directly. If your character’s concept requires you act this way, that’s a good sign your concept is harmful, and you have a responsibility to change it.

You have already said this, so there is no reason to say this again.

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Quote:

Game Masters

The role of Game Master comes with the responsibility of ensuring that none of your players violate the game’s social contract, especially when playing in a public space. Be on the lookout for behavior that’s inappropriate, whether intentional or inadvertent, and pay careful attention to players’ body language during gameplay. If you notice a player becoming uncomfortable, you are empowered to pause the game, take it in a new direction, privately check in with your players during or after the session, or take any other action you think is appropriate to move the game toward a fun experience for everyone. That said, you should never let players who are uncomfortable with different identities or experiences derail your game. People of all identities and experiences have a right to be
represented in the game, even if they’re not necessarily playing at your table. Otherwise, if a player tells you they’re uncomfortable
with something in the game, whether it’s content you’ve presented as the GM or another player’s actions, listen to them and take steps to ensure they can once again have fun during your game. If you’re preparing written material and you find the description of a character or a situation to be inappropriate, you are fully empowered to change any details as you see fit to best suit your players. Making sure the game is fun for everyone is your biggest job!

We run a little too heavy handed here again. Once more I'll state, I like the message, I just don't like how it is delivered.

The role of Game Master comes with the responsibility of ensuring that none of your players violate the game’s social contract, especially when playing in a public space.

Okay, the term "Social Contract" needs to go. It just doesn't flow well and it sounds intentionally like you are writing a legal document. Aside from that, I like this section, especially when talking about playing in a public place.

I would rewrite this section as:

"The role of the Game Master comes with the responsibility of ensuring that none of the players are doing anything that you think would be deemed questionable, this is especially important when playing in public, like at a convention or a game store. Your actions, and the actions of your players, reflect on all members of the gaming community as a whole."

Be on the lookout for behavior that’s inappropriate, whether intentional or inadvertent, and pay careful attention to players’ body language during gameplay.

No. This goes. Right into the garbage. Why? Simple. Gamers, as a whole, well we tend to not be the most socially adept people. I know I wasn't when I was a teenager starting out. I would be feeling weird if I was expected to be interpreting body language. That is hard for lots of people to do, toss in people who may be socially awkward and it is recipe for disaster.

Just change this to:

"Be mindful of your players and don't be afraid to step in if you notice that someone's (in character or out of character) behavior is disruptive. If you think someone's behavior is making one of your players uncomfortable, then speak up."

If you notice a player becoming uncomfortable, you are empowered to pause the game, take it in a new direction, privately check in with your players during or after the session, or take any other action you think is appropriate to move the game toward a fun experience for everyone.

This is fine.

That said, you should never let players who are uncomfortable with different identities or experiences derail your game. People of all identities and experiences have a right to be represented in the game, even if they’re not necessarily playing at your table. Otherwise, if a player tells you they’re uncomfortable with something in the game, whether it’s content you’ve presented as the GM or another player’s actions, listen to them and take steps to ensure they can once again have fun during your game.

This part I have a problem with.

This part is... Bad... Here is why... You are sending mixed signals here...

"All players feelings are valued... Save for people who don't feel comfortable with X, Y, and Z... Forget those guys."

Negative. Not the best way to put it.

As much as I hate to admit it, but if you do have a player who isn't okay with say a certain type of identity you could be dealing with someone who has a legitimate phobia. While, in general, we may not want to deal with people who have those phobias we can't just say, "Blow off your phobia we don't agree with." That isn't cool.

Straight up, if a player has a problem with X, they should be treated with the same respect that we would treat a player with a problem with Y. Here you are telling your players to make a judgement call, but then are also informing that player what that judgement call should be and that isn't really fair.

I recommend changing it to this:

"Sometimes some players may have a problem with game content that you, as the GM, feel is acceptable. In those situations it is best to ask yourself: "Is this content necessary for this game?" "Would removing this content harm another player's enjoyment?" Then you should ask the player why they feel uncomfortable with this content. In those cases you should consider all of the factors before making a decision to continue using that content. In extreme cases you may have to ask the player to leave your game."

If you’re preparing written material and you find the description of a character or a situation to be inappropriate, you are fully empowered to change any details as you see fit to best suit your players. Making sure the game is fun for everyone is your biggest job!

Keep this, it is fine.

So... For a condensed version of how I would have written this:

**********

My Rewrite:

Gaming is for All

It doesn't matter if you are a player or a GM, the entire goal of a game, any game, is for everyone to have fun. The best way for everyone to have fun is for all of the players to be comfortable and feel welcome. You should never seek to do anything that would make one of the other players (or the GM) uncomfortable. Everyone has different experiences, and it is beyond the scope of this, or any, document to outline all of the ways that anyone cold be uncomfortable, so it is best to be mindful and if you do find that you are doing something that is making a player feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, for any reason, to stop it.

Players

As a player, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not creating or contributing to an environment that makes any other players feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. Thus, it’s important to consider your character concepts and roleplaying style and avoid any approach that could cause harm to another player.

A character whose concept and mannerisms are based on real world racist/sexist/derogatory tropes, for example is exceptionally harmful and can ruin the fun of the game. Real world racism has no place in a fantasy game. Golarion is not the real world, so there is no excuse for using real world slurs ever from both a narrative sense and just a common decency stance.

A roleplaying style in which a player or character is constantly interrupting others or who's in-character behavior toward other player characters makes them feel uncomfortable is unacceptable. It doesn't matter if you are the most Chaotic Evil character to have ever torched an orphanage, these are your companions and as such you should have at least some respect for them. Additionally some players don't like their character constantly insulted or belittled, other players don't mind it. If one of the players at your table is the former, then don't do it."

Game Masters

The role of the Game Master comes with the responsibility of ensuring that none of the players are doing anything that you think would be deemed questionable, this is especially important when playing in public, like at a convention or a game store. Your actions, and the actions of your players, reflect on all members of the gaming community as a whole.

Be mindful of your players and don't be afraid to step in if you notice that someone's (in character or out of character) behavior is disruptive. If you think someone's behavior is making one of your players uncomfortable, then speak up.

If you notice a player becoming uncomfortable, you are empowered to pause the game, take it in a new direction, privately check in with your players during or after the session, or take any other action you think is appropriate to move the game toward a fun experience for everyone.

Sometimes some players may have a problem with game content that you, as the GM, feel is acceptable. In those situations it is best to ask yourself: "Is this content necessary for this game?" "Would removing this content harm another player's enjoyment?" Then you should ask the player why they feel uncomfortable with this content. In those cases you should consider all of the factors before making a decision to continue using that content. In such cases, should you choose to continue using said content you should give the player fair warning so that they can choose if they wish to remain part of your game.

Finally, if you’re preparing written material and you find the description of a character or a situation to be inappropriate, you are fully empowered to change any details as you see fit to best suit your players. Making sure the game is fun for everyone is your biggest job!


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I don't usually agree with what Hwalsh posts. I am in complete agreement with the above post.


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Thanks for doing this forum post a great service Hwalsh. It may be a bit rough, but you put together something that sends a similar message without fully forcing people to censor content.


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HWalsh wrote:

particularly if those players are members of minority or marginalized communities that haven’t always been welcome or represented in the larger gaming population.

This is a red flag. Not only does this part really not flow naturally, it doesn't need to be said. I mean, literally it doesn't need to be said. Gaming was a hobby more or less created by nerds in the 70's and 80's. We know exactly what it is like to be marginalized, picked on, put down, beat up etc.

While I know that you are trying to bring attention to minority gamers I don't think it needs to be said. Why? Because in the previous sentence you called out "any other player" which is a statement that literally includes anyone and everyone. This feels like you are beating me over the head with something I, and anyone who picks up this book, should already know.

I can't believe I'm actually having to argue this point, but apparently it's necessary: being picked on for being a nerd is not the same thing as being discriminated against based on race, gender, etc. The last time I checked, no one has ever been killed or enslaved for being a nerd, so saying that it's unnecessary to point out that bigotry should be avoided because the people playing are all nerds is patently ridiculous. Homophobia, sexism, and racism are without a doubt significant problems in the RPG world and it's vital that Paizo specifically disavows them.

HWalsh wrote:

That said, you should never let players who are uncomfortable with different identities or experiences derail your game. People of all identities and experiences have a right to be represented in the game, even if they’re not necessarily playing at your table. Otherwise, if a player tells you they’re uncomfortable with something in the game, whether it’s content you’ve presented as the GM or another player’s actions, listen to them and take steps to ensure they can once again have fun during your game.

This part I have a problem with.

This part is... Bad... Here is why... You are sending mixed signals here...

"All players feelings are valued... Save for people who don't feel comfortable with X, Y, and Z... Forget those guys."

Negative. Not the best way to put it.

As much as I hate to admit it, but if you do have a player who isn't okay with say a certain type of identity you could be dealing with someone who has a legitimate phobia. While, in general, we may not want to deal with people who have those phobias we can't just say, "Blow off your phobia we don't agree with." That isn't cool.

Straight up, if a player has a problem with X, they should be treated with the same respect that we would treat a player with a problem with Y. Here you are telling your players to make a judgement call, but then are also informing that player what that judgement call should be and that isn't really fair.

There's a huge difference between not being comfortable with an element of the game and not being comfortable with the very identity of people who could very well be playing it. Are you really arguing that someone who says "I have a phobia of black people, so please don't include them in this game" should be treated the same as someone who says "I would rather not think about sexual assault during something that's supposed to be fun and relaxing, so please don't include that in this game?"


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SuperSheep wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
I would argue that you were playing a reasonable character in a reasonable way, and that the other player needed to learn to differentiate fantasy from reality and recognize context.
I think that's the kind of response that Paizo is trying to limit. Don't argue someone else's feelings, just respect them.

yeah and its not fun to let someone else's feelings get in the way of a story too.

the mess goes both ways.
you have jerk players and jerk GM/DM/ miss anything too.
and if some woman GM wants to be a jerk and force her views in her game world, she can do so. Nobody is forcing anyone from playing at her table.
will her feelings get hurt there? well yes and more than likely will go to facebook, twitch, twitter, youtube, etc and gripe about nobody wanted to play with her because of whatever reason ( as of late these days will be her gender taht she might end up using) and start calling people names looking for a white knight.

its the same with male GMs. they can do all the above and still gripe about it online. More than likely though, the male one will jsut try again at a later time and get over it.

this is not to say that women can get over things, cause they can.

it goes for players of both genders.
on youtube a few weeks back and from what the poster was typing is that some chick who had just joined the table, and that she did not like how he was playing his male ... I forget, but she took offense to how he was doing it and demanded to the DM that he change his character instead of him. HE refused and then she went to the person running the store and he had him kicked out for life.

my opinion of that mind you for what was told, is that the girl was toxic and more than likely should have asked to talk with the gm and the player in private right then and there and resolved the issue right there. but, because she didnt, she chose to be toxic.

AGAIN this is an opinion on what was written in his post and so it does not say what was her problem.

SAfe space huh... here is the thing, there is no such thing. a character in a pnp game is like a character in a book. whether you agree with or like all the characters is all irrelevant.
the difference, when its a novel; it could just be the author's writing style that you don't like.

in a table top game, you make your own character and the personality to go with it.. if another player has an issue and it cant be resolved. dont be toxic, find another table or if you want to have some fun, make a character specifically to talk down to said character for his or her behavior and this point both might have fun with it. you might actually get to know someone better for doing so,

As for the lines in the book, yeah it should be rewritten so it does not come off as some sad virtue signalling ...

edit: PS, you can't please everyone. someone's feelings will always get hurt.


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The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
There's a huge difference between not being comfortable with an element of the game and not being comfortable with the very identity of people who could very well be playing it. Are you really arguing that someone who says "I have a phobia of black people, so please don't include them in this game" should be treated the same as someone who says "I would rather not think about sexual assault during something that's supposed to be fun and relaxing, so please don't include that in this game?"

Um, isn't the metric to be used here whether the game is fun for all players? If both of those statements are equal statements of something causing someone to not have fun, should they not be of equal weight?

I'm confused...


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What if including these ideas makes someone uncomfortable?

Representation is great, and I fully support Paizo in their products for expanding on their spectrum of characters, but at the table, I'm in charge.

And I only had two rules:

1) keep what's 'in game' in the game, respect that the game and life are separate.

2) you're God now, whether you believed in that before this moment or not. Don't f&%* this up.

Crass, but concise.


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NemisCassander wrote:
The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
There's a huge difference between not being comfortable with an element of the game and not being comfortable with the very identity of people who could very well be playing it. Are you really arguing that someone who says "I have a phobia of black people, so please don't include them in this game" should be treated the same as someone who says "I would rather not think about sexual assault during something that's supposed to be fun and relaxing, so please don't include that in this game?"

Um, isn't the metric to be used here whether the game is fun for all players? If both of those statements are equal statements of something causing someone to not have fun, should they not be of equal weight?

I'm confused...

Okay, imagine this. You've just sat down to play Pathfinder and another player says to the GM, "I'm not comfortable with {insert your race here}, so would you please remove them from the game?" I presume you would be happier if there was something in the rulebook advising that perhaps the GM shouldn't kick you out.


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The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
NemisCassander wrote:
The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
There's a huge difference between not being comfortable with an element of the game and not being comfortable with the very identity of people who could very well be playing it. Are you really arguing that someone who says "I have a phobia of black people, so please don't include them in this game" should be treated the same as someone who says "I would rather not think about sexual assault during something that's supposed to be fun and relaxing, so please don't include that in this game?"

Um, isn't the metric to be used here whether the game is fun for all players? If both of those statements are equal statements of something causing someone to not have fun, should they not be of equal weight?

I'm confused...

Okay, imagine this. You've just sat down to play Pathfinder and another player says to the GM, "I'm not comfortable with {insert your race here}, so would you please remove them from the game?" I presume you would be happier if there was something in the rulebook advising that perhaps the GM shouldn't kick you out.

The thing is, I covered that.

I said:

*****
Sometimes some players may have a problem with game content that you, as the GM, feel is acceptable. In those situations it is best to ask yourself: "Is this content necessary for this game?" "Would removing this content harm another player's enjoyment?" Then you should ask the player why they feel uncomfortable with this content. In those cases you should consider all of the factors before making a decision to continue using that content. In such cases, should you choose to continue using said content you should give the player fair warning so that they can choose if they wish to remain part of your game.
*****

So presumably if someone said, "I'm not comfortable with the race of another player please remove them from the game."

That would fall right into:
"Is this content necessary for the game?" "Yeah, because I need players."

"Would removing this content (in this case the player) harm another player's enjoyment?" "Uh, yeah, because that is another player."

So then you fall back to what I said to do:

"In such cases, should you choose to continue using said content you should give the player fair warning so that they can choose if they wish to remain part of your game."

Edit:
Basically I'd say, "Yeah, well I mean. I'm not going to kick out player X because you have a problem with his race. That isn't cool. So he's staying. If you don't feel comfortable with that, the door is that way."

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Personally, I'd probably not be comfortable keeping the player who made that request in my game, but I am not going to make that decision for another game master. However, my language specifically covers that situation without making the GM's call for them.


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The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:


Okay, imagine this. You've just sat down to play Pathfinder and another player says to the GM, "I'm not comfortable with {insert your race here}, so would you please remove them from the game?" I presume you would be happier if there was something in the rulebook advising that perhaps the GM shouldn't kick you out.

Actually, no? If the GM would be the type of person to grant the request, I am not likely to have fun under that GM anyway, so it's a moot point?

I can see the point of such a rule for Pathfinder Society adventures, where Paizo can be seen as liable if offenses occur... somehow... but at a private game, what would be the point? If someone is uncomfortable with my presence, and is basically saying, 'Either this person goes or I go,' the choice of the GM of who stays is essentially the answer to the question, isn't it? What purpose would the 'rule' serve?

But yeah, I don't see a point in the scenario you describe. Are there other scenarios that you feel warrant such text in the core rulebook, and not, say, in the by-laws / rules for running the Pathfinder Society?

I'm still confused...


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TTRPGs are social games, so there the social contract will be heavily involved. The particulars of such a thing will vary from group to group, let alone region to region. It's understandable for Paizo to try to dictate the social contract for Organized Play, but it's ridiculous to do so for all of their player base, the majority of which are engaging with the game in closed groups and isolated social circles. Nobody blames the game for someone else acting like an ass. Trying to impose a blanket dictate will hurt the game more than help.

It doesn't help that the original statement is extremely politically charged.


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That does seem to make sense, TFP. Clearly Paizo should state a general social contract to be enforced at their Organized Play (Pathfinder Society, right?) events, but I mean, what does the statement in the rulebook help to do that GMs don't already make decisions on?

As I seem to say so often in this thread, I'm confused... why is the statement here, and not in the Organized Play materials?


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Another issue is with what they wrote in the 2E core is that one of the more well known and iconic APs has some rather well extreme material to say the least imo.

Rise of the Runelords has the goblins in fine form showcasing how bad they can be. The third module from that AP has Ogres being well Ogres. Let's just say the Ogres in Pathfinder were turned into a cross between the mutants from the hills have eyes crossed with the hillbillies from deliverance. It's all fine and good to tell the DM to change the material of a AP. Then what was the point of DM buying the AP which was to save time in running the game.


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TTfAW: I brought this up. I would just like guidelines--preferably from Paizo, since it is their material that seems to be contradicting itself--on how to adjust the AP.

I mean, I realize that many people view ethics as subjective, and therefore it is not necessarily right to judge something ten years ago by the now-current definition of 'ethical' in a given system, so I am not holding the content against them, as such. I just feel that if they are going to provide this kind of social contract for their game, their adventures should come with a list of likely-uncomfortable content and ways to modify those adventures so that the content is likely to be comfortable.

I understand that they cannot address each and every concern, but there are likely concerns, certainly, and if the social contract cannot detail the changes necessary to abide by the social contract...

I am just confused.


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Communication is key. If a game is likely to contain elements which might be liable to severely impact a player's enjoyment, the GM should discuss it before play begins. If those elements will indeed be problematic, considering finding ways to mitigate them -- ask if a tasteful fade-out on a particularly upsetting scene would suffice, or whether the player would like to step away from the table, or considering leaving the elements out altogether. Try to find a solution which accommodates both the players and the GM. Perhaps include methods of suspending play in a stressful situation -- safe words aren't just for the BDSM community!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mebmunay wrote:
This post has never been a matter of exclusion, but a matter of forced inclusion. The way it is written forces peoples hands depending on the situation. I'd prefer to have open reign with creative freedom. I'm not one for anything offensive, but I want the choice to have a controversial character or story without having to risk scrapping it.

Nothing is tying your hands.

Respecting your players boundaries is basic human decency.

However, every online RPG community has endless horror stories of GMs who do not consider their player's boundaries and comfort levels, or players who do the same.

Making basic decency explicitly stated in the rules makes it clear who this game is for (hint: everyone capable of respecting other people).

I promise you, you aren't a visionary who will change the face of roleplaying games with your edgy game that makes people uncomfortable.

And if you are, perhaps you might want to use a game that focuses on those themes, rather than this game which is mostly a tactical strategy game with a thin veneer of roleplay spread across it.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Mebmunay wrote:
This post has never been a matter of exclusion, but a matter of forced inclusion. The way it is written forces peoples hands depending on the situation. I'd prefer to have open reign with creative freedom. I'm not one for anything offensive, but I want the choice to have a controversial character or story without having to risk scrapping it.

Nothing is tying your hands.

Respecting your players boundaries is basic human decency.

However, every online RPG community has endless horror stories of GMs who do not consider their player's boundaries and comfort levels, or players who do the same.

Making basic decency explicitly stated in the rules makes it clear who this game is for (hint: everyone capable of respecting other people).

I promise you, you aren't a visionary who will change the face of roleplaying games with your edgy game that makes people uncomfortable.

And if you are, perhaps you might want to use a game that focuses on those themes, rather than this game which is mostly a tactical strategy game with a thin veneer of roleplay spread across it.

Don't listen to this guy's negativity.

Write the game you want to play, include a rating/disclaimer.

Generally tone and theme are things that should be covered in session zero. I had to change a narrative choice on the fly once because I offended someone by having a totalitarian Reptoid based on Donald Trump. You never know what will and won't offend people.

Placing the responsibility entirely on the DM may also be harmful, because someone who is narcissistic and manipulative may try and ruin everyone else's experience. Respect everyone, including yourself.


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Mebmunay wrote:
This goes beyond me having a personal preference. Things like PFS are the exact reason this text should be revised. It can set a precedence that has a snowballing effect. Respect and care for others is common sense in a team based game. Having it forced upon people can create a hostile environment.

In my experience, respect and care, as well as common sense, are not that common in public, and this is the very reason this section exists. I can point to dozens of stories in the past year about conventions with abhorrent behavior on display, even at Paizocon itself. (I’m not going to name them here, but they are easy enough to find with a bit of google searching.) The staff at Paizo sees disrespect and boundary crossing right at their own convention, and as a result it’s all too clear how badly clear-cut language such as that used is needed, even if it feels forced to some.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Mebmunay wrote:
This post has never been a matter of exclusion, but a matter of forced inclusion. The way it is written forces peoples hands depending on the situation. I'd prefer to have open reign with creative freedom. I'm not one for anything offensive, but I want the choice to have a controversial character or story without having to risk scrapping it.

Nothing is tying your hands.

Respecting your players boundaries is basic human decency.

However, every online RPG community has endless horror stories of GMs who do not consider their player's boundaries and comfort levels, or players who do the same.

Making basic decency explicitly stated in the rules makes it clear who this game is for (hint: everyone capable of respecting other people).

I promise you, you aren't a visionary who will change the face of roleplaying games with your edgy game that makes people uncomfortable.

And if you are, perhaps you might want to use a game that focuses on those themes, rather than this game which is mostly a tactical strategy game with a thin veneer of roleplay spread across it.

Don't listen to this guy's negativity.

Write the game you want to play, include a rating/disclaimer.

Generally tone and theme are things that should be covered in session zero. I had to change a narrative choice on the fly once because I offended someone by having a totalitarian Reptoid based on Donald Trump. You never know what will and won't offend people.

Placing the responsibility entirely on the DM may also be harmful, because someone who is narcissistic and manipulative may try and ruin everyone else's experience. Respect everyone, including yourself.

Barzelai thrune is "making kintargo great again" in my current campaign.


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The Thing From Another World wrote:
Another issue is with what they wrote in the 2E core is that one of the more well known and iconic APs has some rather well extreme material to say the least imo.

I feel like a lot of early Pathfinder stuff was edgy in a way primarily intended to differentiate itself from the competition and a lot of that stuff really has not aged well.

Latter day Pathfinder distinguishes itself more in its commitment to inclusiveness, representation, and having reasons for what they do. Like there's a segment in Hell's Rebels book 6 that is far darker and more disturbing than all the "Hills Have Eyes" ogres you could imagine, but it's not gratuitous as it's there to explain five books worth of a character's motivations, takes place in Hell (which should be disturbing, its *HELL*), and it even comes with a (very warranted) content warning.

So I think part of just the evolution of Pathfinder is finding out how to push these sorts of boundaries in a way that doesn't make things less fun for anybody, and in 2nd edition they're inviting all of us to follow the same path if we haven't already.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With all due respect to you HWalsh, your version misses the point. The terms you find objectionable are the very terms used to communicate that something is safe for marginalized groups. Removing the terms "safe space", "marginalized", "social contract" gut the text of much of its meaning to those listening to know that a place is safe. To anyone listening your rewrite is significantly worse.

Something I do want to respond to. People who are bullied frequently become bullies themselves. It's actually part of the cycle of abuse and this idea that you don't need to call out gamers for their bullying because they know what real bullying is like is horses**t. I've watched in my lifetime as nerds have turned their childhood abuse into a get-out-of-jail-free card to harass, bully, threaten and degrade women and the LGBT community.

Paizo is absolutely 100% right to try to tackle toxic gamers head-on. And they can't do that by gutting the meaningful language of the section meant to do just that.


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The problem with the "safe space" speech is that it immediately makes me feel unsafe. Like everything I say or do is going to be Judged, and that if I make one accidental misstep I'm going to irrevocably anger someone, or worse.

I'm just a human trying to enjoy his hobby with his human friends. We know and respect each other and I've even toned down a harrow caster after accidentally crossing a religious boundary.

I think we can all agree "don't be a jerkwad" and "respect other people's boundaries and beliefs" is a pretty good policy. But the way it's presented could be improved.

I don't normally drop into charged threads like these. I won't say anything further than that, for fear of offending someone. But that's my 2cp.

Silver Crusade

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Here's a secret in every situation in life you're in you will be judged, and you can irrevocably anger someone if you act without thought, empathy and kindness.

Why should your table be any different?


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Wowie wrote:
The problem with the "safe space" speech is that it immediately makes me feel unsafe. Like everything I say or do is going to be Judged, and that if I make one accidental misstep I'm going to irrevocably anger someone, or worse.

For people who genuinely share this concern, I strongly recommend the X-Card system as a means of making sure everybody's boundaries are respected with no opportunity for recrimination.

But barring that, if you say something that you shouldn't have in most cases a genuine apology works. As in a genuine "I admit I did something that harmed you, and understand how it harmed you, I offer an explanation that my motivation was not malicious in nature, I express genuine remorse, and attempt to fix it" kind of apology. Apologies are free, and with practice - pretty easy. We're all going to screw up (in fact the gaming table being a safe space means precisely that it's going to be okay if you honestly make a mistake), it just matters that we learn from our mistakes, minimize harm, and endeavor to do better in the future.

A lot of people, for whatever reason, have this idea that saying "I'm sorry, I should not have done that" makes you seem weak, when in reality it makes you seem like a person who is in control of their life and takes responsibility for their actions.


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SuperSheep wrote:

With all due respect to you HWalsh, your version misses the point. The terms you find objectionable are the very terms used to communicate that something is safe for marginalized groups. Removing the terms "safe space", "marginalized", "social contract" gut the text of much of its meaning to those listening to know that a place is safe. To anyone listening your rewrite is significantly worse.

Something I do want to respond to. People who are bullied frequently become bullies themselves. It's actually part of the cycle of abuse and this idea that you don't need to call out gamers for their bullying because they know what real bullying is like is horses**t. I've watched in my lifetime as nerds have turned their childhood abuse into a get-out-of-jail-free card to harass, bully, threaten and degrade women and the LGBT community.

Paizo is absolutely 100% right to try to tackle toxic gamers head-on. And they can't do that by gutting the meaningful language of the section meant to do just that.

This seems like you aren't willing to compromise. Hwelsh got rid of redundancy and handcuffing text in his version. He clearly understands the meaning of the text, because the tone and hard hitting words are still there. I'm not sure what you want, but it doesn't seem to be a place of freedom of expression.


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... thing is, and you just dont say im sorry to some people, it just makes em madder..

and those tend to be people with political issues... and I dont mean government politics...


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Steelfiredragon wrote:

... thing is, and you just dont say im sorry to some people, it just makes em madder..

and those tend to be people with political issues... and I dont mean government politics...

None of this reflects my experience even remotely. I think this feels like the oft repeated "joke" about trans people jumping on anybody who "assumes their gender" when in reality trans folks when misgendered in 99% of cases "politely correct you" and/or "feel bad." Like it's a stereotype of a person and a behavior who does not actually exist and never happens.

Like I've screwed up a lot in a gaming context and I really doubt I've discovered every kind of mistake I could make, but I've never encountered a situation I could not fix by listening to other people and apologizing for what I did wrong. It genuinely helps when you mean well.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mebmunay wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:

With all due respect to you HWalsh, your version misses the point. The terms you find objectionable are the very terms used to communicate that something is safe for marginalized groups. Removing the terms "safe space", "marginalized", "social contract" gut the text of much of its meaning to those listening to know that a place is safe. To anyone listening your rewrite is significantly worse.

Something I do want to respond to. People who are bullied frequently become bullies themselves. It's actually part of the cycle of abuse and this idea that you don't need to call out gamers for their bullying because they know what real bullying is like is horses**t. I've watched in my lifetime as nerds have turned their childhood abuse into a get-out-of-jail-free card to harass, bully, threaten and degrade women and the LGBT community.

Paizo is absolutely 100% right to try to tackle toxic gamers head-on. And they can't do that by gutting the meaningful language of the section meant to do just that.

This seems like you aren't willing to compromise. Hwelsh got rid of redundancy and handcuffing text in his version. He clearly understands the meaning of the text, because the tone and hard hitting words are still there. I'm not sure what you want, but it doesn't seem to be a place of freedom of expression.

I haven't seen a convincing argument that an unequivocal call for respect should be changed.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I haven't seen a convincing argument that an unequivocal call for respect should be changed.

It's my personal opinion that the "Gaming is For All" section is the single best part of the playtest rulebook and the only problem I have with it is that it needed to be said. I would prefer not a word of it get changed, but I suppose it could be more thorough.


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I usually game with people I know very well, so nothing in that section means anything to me, I would rather spend money on more rules than have that kind of thing eat up page count. IT could all be summed up with "dont be a ****"

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
oneking wrote:
I usually game with people I know very well, so nothing in that section means anything to me, I would rather spend money on more rules than have that kind of thing eat up page count. IT could all be summed up with "dont be a ****"

This thread is proof that rule is not as easily grokked by gamers as it seems.


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Mebmunay wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Mebmunay wrote:

This post is not meant to aggravate or deter anyone. I am merely posting this in the hopes of preventing possible stagnation of narrative story telling in the Pathfinder 2nd Edition community. Please be respectful, and fully consider others opinions on this matter.

Currently with how the "Gaming Is For All" section of the book is worded, it is a bit heavy handed. While I agree that we should all respect one another, and give anyone the opportunity to join in on games. We should not shy away from character and story ideas that could possibly be controversial.
There can easily be situations where a player or a game master can push the envelope too far, and make others feel bad about themselves or make others angry. I am not saying that should be allowed. But pushing the idea, that proposing a controversial character or story is wrong, is like calling someones ideals wrong. Sometimes heavier concepts need to be explored to tell a more compelling story, but censorship should never be the way we try to resolve issues.
It is common sense that we should respect one another. We learn that outside of the game. But I simply ask of Paizo not to limit their and our creative freedom when it comes to developing a story. When healthy debating is killed, there comes the risk of unstable uniformity.

First... if you don't follow the text of this section... what exactly are the consequences going to be? Is someone observing your games and reporting them to Paizo? Are they going to come to your house and confiscate your books? Are they going to block your access to the SRD?

Second, I want to get your answer on the solution to an example. One of your players is suffering from PTSD. Doesn't matter from what specifically, but the topic can for them trigger panic attacks. The specific topic though is relatively contained, and it is very easy to run a game that avoids that topic. Would you as GM purposely include or exclude that topic from your game? In other

...

1. Official events will have their own rules about content. They will also have rules about what to do if there are problems. If an event doesn't have those rules, you should notify someone organizing that this is a problem and they need to come up with some rules quick. It's their responsibility. For one, this protects you. It means there is a system in place to handle these issues, and it isn't up to you to adjudicate it. You'll have a clearly defined role to play, and once it gets past your assigned responsibilities, you can step back and not have to deal with this if you don't want to. Since you clearly seem stressed out about this possibility.

2. Many Pathfinder events run Paizo written content. Are you concerned with someone blaming YOU personally for what Paizo wrote?

3. Public events often have kids at them. Getting a 12 y/o at a table is not outside the realm of possibility. Not saying you should be G-rated, but realize you're playing in a public space.

Quote:
For your second question, that depends on the severity of the PTSD and if it is ever brought up. Of course any sensible person would find a work around if it caused the person mental trauma. If you can't understand that, then you haven't developed enough as a person to run a game. How it is written, it can come down to more than just someone with a mental problem not being able to tolerate something, it can come down to someone with the smallest issue not being able to tolerate something.

First, I love the bolded part. I'm just asking you a question dude. But you feel the need to insult me.

In fact, I'm asking this question in this way for a specific purpose. You seem to not understand what a "safe space" is. Yet, when I give you an example, I asked if you would create an environment that was safe for this person, and you said "yes." You agreed to make a "safe space" for them.


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Irontruth

1. If events always have their own rules, then Paizo wouldn't need this section of the book.

2. People have brought up content that can be seen as controversial in this thread, that has been written by Paizo. People can, and have, been blamed for such situations.

3. If a public event is being hosted that has content that can offend people and hasn't been announced, then maybe the event host should reconsider his or her line of work.

For your second question again, but more clearly, it is a rigged question. If the person with PTSD doesn't tell anyone they have it, then that is on them. It can easily be changed in the future of the campaign, assuming they would still want to be at that table. Then if they did tell someone and the story isn't changed, that game master is actively trying to trigger that persons mental illness. For all intensive purposes that would be a crime in my eyes. When you can come to me with a legitimate example, then we can talk.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

... thing is, and you just dont say im sorry to some people, it just makes em madder..

and those tend to be people with political issues... and I dont mean government politics...

None of this reflects my experience even remotely. I think this feels like the oft repeated "joke" about trans people jumping on anybody who "assumes their gender" when in reality trans folks when misgendered in 99% of cases "politely correct you" and/or "feel bad." Like it's a stereotype of a person and a behavior who does not actually exist and never happens.

Like I've screwed up a lot in a gaming context and I really doubt I've discovered every kind of mistake I could make, but I've never encountered a situation I could not fix by listening to other people and apologizing for what I did wrong. It genuinely helps when you mean well.

again there are some people who you just dont say Im sorry to.

political issues could just very well mean that they are angry at the world and or just be the type that just is angry all the time seeing problems where there are none....( or talks politics waaaaay too much)
ymmv


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
For people who genuinely share this concern, I strongly recommend the X-Card system as a means of making sure everybody's boundaries are respected with no opportunity for recrimination.

Holy cow, that is hilarious. It's like the perfect parody.


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Mebmunay wrote:


For your second question again, but more clearly, it is a rigged question. If the person with PTSD doesn't tell anyone they have it, then that is on them. It can easily be changed in the future of the campaign, assuming they would still want to be at that table. Then if they did tell someone and the story isn't changed, that game master is actively trying to trigger that persons mental illness. For all intensive purposes that would be a crime in my eyes. When you can come to me with a legitimate example, then we can talk.

What if the person is scared to bring it up, because they feel like their tablemates are judging them?

Maybe you're not aware of this, but people with PTSD often suffer from depression as well. One of the manifestations of depression is that the person will value themselves less. They won't want to make a fuss about their PTSD, because they don't think they matter enough to their tablemates to bring it up in the first place.

What if their PTSD is involving something they aren't comfortable talking about out in the open, in a group setting? This is extremely common. I'm a veteran, and I've participated in a lot of group therapy. People are extremely self-conscious about telling others about their mental health issues. I mean, just look at your post. You're going to blame them for a thing you did, just because they didn't warn you about it first. As a person who has, and continues to, struggled with mental health issues I can tell you that the first impulse from my brain is to not share anything with you. With over a decade of practice and therapy that thought still immediately crosses my mind, and you and I are just anonymous screen names on the internet. You clearly have no idea how much worse it is in person.

Often times a person who finds content to be harmful isn't going to tell you. They're just going to show up less often. Then eventually stop showing up at all. When you ask them why, they'll make up excuses. They're sick. They had to work. They had a family thing. They won't confront you. You'll never know that anything bad happened.


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Well OP, while i agree with you to a point, it is paizos system. It is somewhat ironic, but while gaming might be for everyone, every single game isnt. Paizo is with this targeting a very broad poll of players, but clearly not all of them. Still, this isnt wrong by any means. They want to create a game that is meant to be played in a safe space, that is a choice they can make for the system they are creating and the stories they will create for it.

Honestly, my games on the other hand, unless real life kids are involved ofc at which point the game will be flowers and sun shines for obvious reasons, can involved any sort of horrid things if the story goes in that direction.

From assault/rape to cold blooded torture... all CAN happen. Ofc, doesnt mean it will, doesnt mean the players will ever see it happening so they more likely wont see descriptions, but sure as hell evil people will be doing all manner of evil things.

I do agree players should be warned this can come up. That NPCs can be major dicks and so on. Players shouldnt ever be forced to keep playing if they feel disconfortable, so it is best if session 0 brings everyone up to speed about this.

Reminds me of one table im playing, where a guy was just raped the other day. Turns out evil monsters arent above mind control and not caring about permission, before that there was a thing with a horse and so on. Some stories takes these turns, it just motivates my PC even more to find aways to deal with the monster.


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I suffer from Asperger's syndrome.... it is a form of autism...

seeing me here behind my screen name is one thing.

meeting me in person.. well I try to hide it well enough even though I fail at times with it.

and because I do prefer my privacy , Im not likely to tell you face to face either.

and this itself may come from I Was placed into a mental hospital when I Was young and they made us all there tell why were there to people nightly when they had a new in house patient, and while it might help with some on that, it only lead to me getting madder at having to do it....

so yeah, you can claim safe space all you want, but what it cant do is take into consideration those who cant or wont tell you that you or a fellow gamer offended them or take into consideration those who get offended having to come out about it...

safe space..... it should have said friendly environment and leave it at that


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TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
For people who genuinely share this concern, I strongly recommend the X-Card system as a means of making sure everybody's boundaries are respected with no opportunity for recrimination.
Holy cow, that is hilarious. It's like the perfect parody.

I use it in every game I run regardless of system or who I'm running it for, and encourage others to do the same. It works really well.


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Eh, the only problem is anyone assuming its going to change how a single person runs or plays the game.

Its the literary equivalent of : Friendly reminder.....UWU

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ryan Freire wrote:

Eh, the only problem is anyone assuming its going to change how a single person runs or plays the game.

Its the literary equivalent of : Friendly reminder.....UWU

It might not change old school players who think they are god's gift to gaming. But there's new players being drawn into a new edition, and having a clear concise model of the kind of social environment the game should be played in can cause a real positive shift in gaming culture over time.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think I really have the bandwidth to fully engage with this topic right now. And folks like Sheepish or TSP are doing a fine job of articulating my sentiments already. Suffice to say: I think the sidebar in question is perfectly appropriate, and the arguments against it make me think they probably should have made it larger and gone into more specific detail since evidently some folks don't understand it.

NemisCassander wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

The fact that you are asking something to be "safe-space-proofed" indicates that you most likely don't fully understand what that text block is saying.

It is not saying - nor is anyone ever going to say - that you should make your games completely safe for all possible players.

It is saying that you should strive to make your game safe for your players, whatever that means for you and your group.

Which yes, is common sense.

Sadly, I have personally met plenty of people who don't have any common sense, so I don't blame Paizo for saying it aloud.

Again, I am talking about my group.

I am saying that I have a player that would not consider and adventure with a character with an abusive domestic situation as backstory/starting-point-of-evil (Nualia) being the BBEG of the module as a 'safe space'.

I am saying that I have a player that is uncomfortable that the Goblin in the group calls people, 'Longershanks'. (The entire party are Small, with one Dwarf.)

I am saying that I have a player in my group (the Animal-Order Druid) that almost burst into tears when I read the Blocked text about the dog dropping with a _slit throat_. He doesn't like that the Goblin weapon names are 'Animalnamekillingmotion'. And that is OOC, not just IC.

Should I change the module to accomodate these players, and if so, how?

I am asking because I would genuinely like to know what people think is enough to proof _one of Paizo's own adventures_ for my group.

This, though, I have an answer for. You probably shouldn't run RotRL for this group. I had to abandon my Carrion Crown game midway through book 3 because I realized my players weren't enjoying the horror genre elements, or at the very least my personal handling of them. Realizing my particular group of players wasn't comfortable with the tone of the campaign was a bummer because I had a lot of energy invested in it.

But the good news is that Paizo has no shortage of other pre-written modules to run. A solid chunk of the same players are currently really enjoying the Ironfang Invasion and no one from that subset expressed the same issues with RotRl. Actually, they were kind of upset about the amount of dogs being killed too. But that was largely because we had to restart the game a few times cycling through GMs and so the one dog kept dying in Groundhogs day style loop. And no one burst into tears over it-- I'd say it came across more as "story telling that makes you sad because it is effective" than "this upset me and caused me traumatic discomfort."

The other bit of good news is that (as far as I can tell) you are still in book 1 so switching to a different game for this group shouldn't be as big a deal.

I think it is also worth noting that Paizo themselves has acknowledged they pushed the envelope with RotRL. Choosing to do so (and some other early creative decisions, like having orc rape be a thing) was something they grappled with and went back and forth on, as they themselves have said. It also came out 11 years ago, and there's certainly been some evolution in the awareness of what constitutes acceptable subject matter since then. While there's definitely a lot to be proud of with RotRL, if it was written today there I wouldn't be surprised if some things were changed. Certainly, they've been distancing themselves from some of the early creative decisions with later works, like the aforementioned orc rape "all goblins are evil" mentalities.


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Funny, I skipped this part as it didn't look rules relevant. I'm not sure I care for the mutual policing aspects of it, the redundancy in several places, or the idea that the DM should be babysitting the players. Hopefully this segment and others like it are cut so the book can have more game in it, but I assumed we're far from an editors pass on the books at this point.

I think I'll continue to let players sort themselves out, hopefully that minor house rule doesn't ruin playtesting.


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Paizo is one of the companies that realise that they have a responsibility to the Society. They are very well aware that all games of Pathfinder, homegames or otherwise, do reflect back on Society and on them. Therefore, they have to make sure that that their ideals and ideas of Society are well expressed in their game.

I personally do agree with the Paragraph, and while I do realise that it sets some very hard requirements on both GM and Players, these are the Things we should strive for. It is difficult to look for problematic issues, and it is difficult to find out what your compatriots feel about your game. I can Attest to that.

But we all should try to find out what is bothering them, and be less judgemental, and make our games about Topics we feel good about. Because this is a very good medium to express anxeties, to work out Problems and stress. But it can also lead to very harmful behaviour, because People think make belief is an excuse to live out their darkest urges.

So I fully embrace the very strict and harsh wording, because it is an ideal to reach for, not something everybody can achieve automatically. And because it Shows the mindset of Paizo, which makes me more Aware of what Kind of a Company I Support with my Money.

On the Runelords example, Captain Morgan very well described how Paizo themselves have worked on this issue, and even adressed it before. AndI think it actually is a very good example for why we need this pragraph as well - back then, they were probably not concious of how triggering and dangerous a lot of the contained Topics are. To make future GM's of this Adventure Path Aware that they need to talk to their group beforehand AND during the Adventure if the themes are ok for everybody.


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Personally, I think HWalsh's rewrite has one VERY important benefit to it: reading comprehension. We cannot assume that every person reading this book has a college education. A (hopefully) not insignificant number of people picking up the book are going to be kids who go: "Oh, wow! That Book has a unicorn/dragon/whatever is trendy on it and it looks SO COOL!"

The preponderance of polysyllabic gobbledegook is stilted and open to abuse. By keeping this simple you're more likely to get the "Don't be a jerk" across instead of "Why can't you understand this simple Sociology doctoral thesis, you doubleplus ungood plastatic deplorable?"

tl;dr:

Don't assume that you're writing for people who have the same background as you in political speech. Insisting on in-group social science terminology can be just as off-putting as any slur-laden tirade.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
HillTopper wrote:

Personally, I think HWalsh's rewrite has one VERY important benefit to it: reading comprehension. We cannot assume that every person reading this book has a college education. A (hopefully) not insignificant number of people picking up the book are going to be kids who go: "Oh, wow! That Book has a unicorn/dragon/whatever is trendy on it and it looks SO COOL!"

The preponderance of polysyllabic gobbledegook is stilted and open to abuse. By keeping this simple you're more likely to get the "Don't be a jerk" across instead of "Why can't you understand this simple Sociology doctoral thesis, you doubleplus ungood plastatic deplorable?"

tl;dr:

Don't assume that you're writing for people who have the same background as you in political speech. Insisting on in-group social science terminology can be just as off-putting as any slur-laden tirade.

Safe space is pretty self explanatory.

Unless you’re also confused by terms like play ground, fun zone and pizza party.

TLDR; this argument is bad.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
HillTopper wrote:

Personally, I think HWalsh's rewrite has one VERY important benefit to it: reading comprehension. We cannot assume that every person reading this book has a college education. A (hopefully) not insignificant number of people picking up the book are going to be kids who go: "Oh, wow! That Book has a unicorn/dragon/whatever is trendy on it and it looks SO COOL!"

The preponderance of polysyllabic gobbledegook is stilted and open to abuse. By keeping this simple you're more likely to get the "Don't be a jerk" across instead of "Why can't you understand this simple Sociology doctoral thesis, you doubleplus ungood plastatic deplorable?"

tl;dr:

Don't assume that you're writing for people who have the same background as you in political speech. Insisting on in-group social science terminology can be just as off-putting as any slur-laden tirade.

Safe space is pretty self explanatory.

Unless you’re also confused by terms like play ground, fun zone and pizza party.

TLDR; this argument is bad.

The thing is, the term "Safe Space" is so politically charged in this day and age. It is a term, these days, that is being used as a weapon.

Note: I'm an Ace, I've set up entire GSA groups, I've straight up gone to the mat to ensure that POC and LGBTQ students had representation. My novel is going up for best LGBTQ character in a work of YA fiction.

I KNOW what these words mean.

I wouldn't use them anymore, not in a gaming product, specifically because of the politically charged nature the term has taken on.

This is, in the end, up to Paizo.

Leaving that page in isn't make or break, but I feel its hurting (as written) more than helping. I do not play games to give my players a PSA. That text literally doesn't change at all how I would run a game.

That page, however, has been openly mocked by 8 of my 12 playtest groups as being cringeworthy bad.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As an added bonus using the words Safe Space seems to cause an involuntary reaction in people that makes it clear whether or not they’re capable of being in, or maintaining one.

Another win really.


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The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
NemisCassander wrote:
The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
There's a huge difference between not being comfortable with an element of the game and not being comfortable with the very identity of people who could very well be playing it. Are you really arguing that someone who says "I have a phobia of black people, so please don't include them in this game" should be treated the same as someone who says "I would rather not think about sexual assault during something that's supposed to be fun and relaxing, so please don't include that in this game?"

Um, isn't the metric to be used here whether the game is fun for all players? If both of those statements are equal statements of something causing someone to not have fun, should they not be of equal weight?

I'm confused...

Okay, imagine this. You've just sat down to play Pathfinder and another player says to the GM, "I'm not comfortable with {insert your race here}, so would you please remove them from the game?" I presume you would be happier if there was something in the rulebook advising that perhaps the GM shouldn't kick you out.

I sincerely doubt that if someone would be ok to oblige having somebody else kicked out of the table, for whatever discriminatory reason, in the absence of any section in the rulebook advising, or even dictating, that they shouldn't do so, would feel particularly pertrubed about doing it even in light of such a section.

And I sincerely doubt that this section, well-meaning though it is, can accomplish anything tangible outside of the metaphorical giving a pat on the back. Outside of official games, it might as well be pointless padding. And given the examples given above about official adventures containing triggering elements as intergral parts of their plot, then even in the case of official games, it might prove an excercise in futility.

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