X-Cards


  • Pitcrew



  • I also think X-cards in V5 works better for two reasons:

    Smaller group and it's a single splat.

    We have very few single splat games anymore (I can look at a, say, Demon game and go yeah, not for me and wander off) and a small group can hammer out their no-go topics ('OK, no PCs will be under 18 at the time of their death, no rape scenes implied or otherwise, no graphic descriptions whenever Jake kills someone with his katana...').

    I also think, again, using it as a base when its base is the whole issue is....kinda like building a house on a foundation when the foundation is cracked through.

    We need a wholly different approach altogether.



  • @Auspice said in X-Cards:

    I also think, again, using it as a base when its base is the whole issue is....kinda like building a house on a foundation when the foundation is cracked through.

    Except that a system that doesn't work en toto in a different context may have elements that do.

    The foundation is just fine for the environment X-Card is made for. There's nothing cracked if it's applied reasonably. And if it's not? Don't blame the hammer if someone uses it as a weapon; recognize that it's possible and continue designing for the reasonable player, not the crazy ones.



  • I am weirdly happy to see the idea of the tags being discussed as a positive option. I remember bringing it up a few years ago to a much more negative response and a lot on 'spoiling the plot surprises' and/or 'if you can't handle <literally any example, no matter how extreme> and it could theoretically happen on the game at all, you shouldn't play that game'.

    That? Tells me we're, collectively, doing pretty good, even if we still, also collectively, have room to do better.


  • Admin

    @surreality I agree, but I think it's as important to not only look for extreme scenarios here. The bar doesn't need to be quite that high - it shouldn't be a show stopper only when someone in a scene busts out the puppy-killing- or gang-rape-as-plot-device.

    I mean Theno has a point in that there ought to be a discussion if something somewhat more minor or banal should spark at least some debate but... am I really sacrificing my character's sacrosanct portraying integrity by making the fact he carries a putrid stench not quite the focus of several of my poses if it's putting someone off? Maybe it rained outside on the way over and he got an impromptu shower it for that one session, so I can just not say anything when an X-Card is played.

    Not everything has to be nitpicked, yet a minor issue for one person can be a major one for another.



  • @Arkandel

    Just learn to bathe ya damn hippy.



  • @Arkandel Oh, I agree. I'm just referring to things like 'so if I don't want to have the RP of rape and torture of a small child, as it is something that ostensibly exists in the modern day real world, I shouldn't play on a modern day real world game?' getting a solid majority 'yes' answer.



  • @Arkandel said in X-Cards:

    Not everything has to be nitpicked

    Blasphemy upon thee/In the Church of Nitpickery.


  • Pitcrew

    I'm open to the idea of people tagging or flagging ahead of time that they don't like X, Y, and Z, as it makes it very easy for me to exclude them from my RP thus avoiding triggering their anxieties or having my roleplay interrupted.

    The idea of anyone being able to halt my RP mid-scene because something unexpected that they don't like has come up is less appealing. If I want to host a dinner party and lift the lid off of a silver platter and there's [redacted] underneath it as the dramatic climax of some vendetta, I'd rather not ruin it ahead of time by printing on the invitation that this seemingly innocuous dinner party may have extreme violence and gore.

    I'd much rather just not invite anyone that is opposed to those things.

    From OOCly planning roleplay scenes to OOCly approaching people to join IC factions to OOCly making people swear oaths of binding IC loyalty to even this, OOCly tearing people out of their immersion due to your own (perfectly valid) preferences or triggers - there is an increasing tendency toward roleplay being more of a staged play than improv, and if I wanted to follow a safe, no-surprises script, I could write a book instead.

    TLDR; if you don't like something to the point where it's a roleplay deal breaker for yourself, the onus is on you to make these requirements known ahead of time or to remove yourself as swiftly and unobtrusively as possible without requiring anyone to cater to you. This is simply being considerate, and I believe it's important that we remember consideration is a two-way street, and not simply an entitlement for those who find themselves at odds with a scene's direction.

    Caveat: Don't spring toilet play or graphic depictions of your character's anal prolapse on people without some sort of warning, there is of course a scale of appropriateness and I am not advocating for a free-for-all of everyone's batshit crazy.


  • Admin

    @Pandora said in X-Cards:

    I'm open to the idea of people tagging or flagging ahead of time that they don't like X, Y, and Z, as it makes it very easy for me to exclude them from my RP thus avoiding triggering their anxieties or having my roleplay interrupted.

    Absolutely. That's perfectly acceptable. Just because you're willing to accommodate others who're triggered by whatever it doesn't mean you're also obligated to continue playing with them.

    TLDR; if you don't like something to the point where it's a roleplay deal breaker for yourself, the onus is on you to make these requirements known ahead of time or to remove yourself as swiftly and unobtrusively as possible without requiring anyone to cater to you.

    Absolutely not. I can't imagine many things less savory than people - who already feel bad and who're obligated to stand out for themselves and say "ahem, sorry guys, this feels awkward" to have to either hide the fact or broadcast their vulnerabilities somehow (what, their wiki?) just in case they come up.

    Caveat: Don't spring toilet play or graphic depictions of your character's anal prolapse on people without some sort of warning, there is of course a scale of appropriateness and I am not advocating for a free-for-all of everyone's batshit crazy.

    ... That's oddly specific. :)


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said in X-Cards:

    Absolutely not. I can't imagine many things less savory than people - who already feel bad and who're obligated to stand out for themselves and say "ahem, sorry guys, this feels awkward" to have to either hide the fact or broadcast their vulnerabilities somehow (what, their wiki?) just in case they come up.

    I don't think RP Prefs: No blood, gore, extreme violence, or rape. is 'broadcasting their vulnerabilities'? Are preferences vulnerabilities now? I think there is something empowering about owning your triggers and taking control of your exposures rather than being a wilting flower victimized by circumstance. I invite anyone with a particularly hard-line trigger (not someone that knows someone with a trigger, first-hand experience only please) that is willing to discuss it here or privately, to explain to me why it'd be better for them to leave a scene-in-progress - thereby inviting speculation or requests for explanation at that time, than to avoid the matter from the start.

    Caveat: Don't spring toilet play or graphic depictions of your character's anal prolapse on people without some sort of warning, there is of course a scale of appropriateness and I am not advocating for a free-for-all of everyone's batshit crazy.

    ... That's oddly specific. :)

    Don't kink-shame me, ok??



  • @Arkandel said in X-Cards:

    TLDR; if you don't like something to the point where it's a roleplay deal breaker for yourself, the onus is on you to make these requirements known ahead of time or to remove yourself as swiftly and unobtrusively as possible without requiring anyone to cater to you.

    Absolutely not. I can't imagine many things less savory than people - who already feel bad and who're obligated to stand out for themselves and say "ahem, sorry guys, this feels awkward" to have to either hide the fact or broadcast their vulnerabilities somehow (what, their wiki?) just in case they come up.

    Why is saying "sorry, awkward" so unsavory? Let's say the theme of your game is "gritty post-apocalyptic drama, rated M for mature", and you decide to run a plot where a kid gets sick and dies. Six other players are involved. I should not derail everybody else's RP just because I have a trigger point of "kids in peril", when that's something that's clearly in bounds of the game's theme and rating. I can politely write my character out of the scene or (if it's 1-on-1) fade to black. We already do that all the time when people have to leave for RL reasons.

    We should be sensitive to peoples' triggers, yes, but it's a two-way street. The person with sensitive subjects needs to be willing to communicate that with other players in some fashion and work with them to figure out the best solution. That's why I don't like the idea of X-Cards because there's no cooperation; no compromise.



  • @Pandora said in X-Cards:

    I invite anyone with a particularly hard-line trigger (not someone that knows someone with a trigger, first-hand experience only please) that is willing to discuss it here or privately, to explain to me why it'd be better for them to leave a scene-in-progress - thereby inviting speculation or requests for explanation at that time, than to avoid the matter from the start.

    First, I don't disagree with you. Not even in the smallest way.

    I have one 'do not ever, ever, ever go there' trigger for RP. It's obscure, but not super obscure, and it has come up.

    I mention it when it does, and say I'm going to need to work around that one: I'm posing out, or they're reposing.

    It's hit or miss if I mention it on a wiki or otherwise. On Shang, when I would RP there, I had it listed. On a not-for-smut-purposes game, I may or may not, unless smut or combat comes up, in which case I will pre-advise if things seem to be going in that direction.

    The hard line? Choking/strangling. No. Just no. Sorry-not-sorry, no. (Not exactly a fringe kink, but definitely more fringe outside of kink to the extent that I've never had it come up or threaten to come up in 20+ years outside of that context.)

    Some reasons I am, admittedly, sometimes reluctant to plaster this everywhere:

    • Rarely relevant.

    • Fairly specific; I have never actually seen anyone else in the hobby with this as a hard limit, therefore this could be making my characters known even if I don't wish to do so. I would not list this anywhere now because of the person who chases me around, for instance, as they are aware of it.

    • All the motherfuckers who want to be 'an exception to prove it can be fun'. No, you jerk. NO. It is not going to be fun for me, full stop.

    • All the people who feel they are entitled to the explanation of why, just because they see 'I do not want this happening to my character IC, period'. Why is not a secret: someone tried to strangle me to death in my teens and almost succeeded in killing me. That is automatically not fun. Do I care who knows this? Nope. That isn't the problem. It's not a secret. You know what I don't want, though? Someone's idle fucking curiosity derailing my day by asking me 'why?' like some doe-eyed child who never planned to bring it up in RP/a scene anyway, thus calling said incident to mind uninvited no less than it would have if it came up in a scene.

    • People who assume it's the same as saying 'nothing bad can happen to my PC!' No, it's not. Not in the least. Stab them, behead them, explode them, turn them to stone, drop them off a cliff, shoot them, strap them to a cliff like Prometheus to have an angry bird eat their liver on the daily, whatever, just not that one thing. To others around my character? Whatevs.

    So there are, actually, some reasons, and I understand them, even if I agree with the general premise here.

    ETA: Obviously, there are also the shitlords who will see that and go out of their way to incorporate it in play, and attempt to force it into play repeatedly, to get their jollies by upsetting someone RL. The answer re: dealing with that sort is painfully obvious, however: if staff won't ban for that kind of RL-targeted aggro behavior, get the fuck off that game and burn the world setting in your client like a bridge to ne'er deign cross again.



  • @surreality I think this is a good example of something that cant be hashtagged for content and could come up in game in that "xcard this shit" way. I also think I own 3+ RPG books that have systems for this specific thing (Mutants and Masterminds being one of them) and 20+ games with systems on how to handle suffocation.

    Having said that, I think this is absolutely the kind of conversation the V5 team was writing about when they suggested session 0 be a conversation about the group's preferred nogo points so that the GM wont depict it and the players might agree to simply not use it in combat.


  • Pitcrew

    @surreality Firstly, that's awful. Second, that's a good point, about it being an alt-outing preference due to how niche it would be. All rules have exceptions, and I think throwing a red flag on the play regarding something happening to you rather than something happening in your character's vicinity are absolutely different beasts.

    If someone were being choked in front of you, it'd be my well-intentioned advice that you leave, but if it was your character, I'd hope you (or anyone in any relevant situation) could nope out of it (not out of the ICC, but the IC method) without being hassled, and I'd be the first to sharpen the pitchforks and light the torches against anyone that hassled you about it OOCly.



  • @surreality said in X-Cards:

    if staff won't ban for that kind of RL-targeted aggro behavior, get the fuck off that game and burn the world setting in your client like a bridge to ne'er deign cross again.

    That's where I think the hobby can improve. Staff needs to make it clear that setting boundaries is okay and then enforce that to a reasonable degree.

    I say 'reasonable' because I do think there are some gray areas. "I don't want my character to be choked" (a very specific attack) or "I don't want to be in a scene where my PC has to react to a suicide or a dead child" (a fairly uncommon plotline) are things that you can reasonably work around.

    But it would absolutely not be reasonable for me to sign on to play on a WoD game and demand "I don't want my character to interact with any supernatural stuff" or to play on a BSG game and claim that I'm triggered by PTSD-related war situations. Sometimes the game just isn't for you.



  • @Pandora It was over 30 years ago, now, for I am ye olden hag, but still. It's one of those things that having it just hop up in my face isn't super fun.

    People getting casually nosy about the limit or preference setting is as much an issue as it coming up in RP, really. I have no issue talking about it when I'm prepared to talk about it, but that's because I've consciously chosen to bring it up. I'm all sleep-deprived and spacey-mellow at the moment, for instance -- no big deal to mention. If it was one of the 'I have had to take painkillers, errybody duck and cover' sort of days, uh, I would not be bringing it up, not being in the headspace to talk about it.

    And much as I do love people in this hobby -- I do, really, in spite of my grumpiness -- we are some nosy fuckers, sometimes. It's the sort of thing that may not be obvious as a 'triggery hard limit please don't drop this in my face' vs. 'that is just not my favorite flavor of kink', considering the specifics. I've had casual, interesting, fun, and weird conversations with all manner of folks over the years about the stuff they like, don't like, and so on, purely around preferences not based in anything involving any kind of trauma/etc. that are genuinely enlightening on the whole 'I never realized why someone would like <thing>, huh, that makes sense now, even if I'm still not into it myself!' I wouldn't want to discourage that kind of conversation, either, since I think they can be productive re: reducing the whole 'that person likes a thing I don't, they must eat live kittens!!!' issues that are also prevalent (though, pleasantly, less so than they once were), but it definitely complicates matters.



  • @Wretched

    Don't you kink-shame me.



  • The concept of staff and their role in things (along with worries of alt-outing) makes me wonder on another idea.

    I like to craft plot catered to groups. I also love when plot is catered to groups. What if games had code where players could set their hard limits on a note/attribute that only staff could see? Both for purposes of support and for plot creation ("Okay I want to make a plot for these players here but I want to make sure I don't accidentally trip over anyone's hard nopes....").



  • Just had an interesting thought:

    Players on games dont like "social dice" because they don't want to have it dictated what their character thinks/believes/or has to do based on a failed social check.

    If the above statement is true, is it acceptable/hypocritical to promote the xcard, which effectively works like a "critical hit" social roll on the other players?

    My point: RL communication is not an RPG that requires an icon on a table and a coordinating Google writeup on how to use the system.


Log in to reply