310 Trust in RPG's

Before the first lockdown, one of my groups was suddenly running into some issues playing together. One player admitted to me afterwards that he had a panic attack during a game and another player admitted being uncomfortable and unsure about dealing with a somewhat confrontational player at the table. We’d been playing for a couple years without any safety tools. When I mentioned things like the X-card and Lines & Veils as options to help avoid any future problems at the table, they were very much on board.

Of course, we have yet to try it out as we haven’t played in more than six months. Sad face emoji with a single tear.

Where I’m going with this is that safety tools are great trust mechanics but they can also be helpful for other reasons. The player with the panic attack has no idea why it happened; having one of those tools available made them feel more comfortable to rejoin the group (he almost dropped out entirely that night) knowing there was something he could turn to a mechanic in the game if it happened again.


A good friend of mine has a significant anxiety/ PTSD history. Once he eventually saw a professional, he was prescribed a small number of anxiolytic tablets (Ativan? maybe?)

He rarely took them, and his anxiety was, in his words, WAY better. He said there were times he’d start feeling anxious, and just feeling the pill bottle in his pocket was enough to help him calm down. Tying this to the above, just KNOWING the tool is there can be enough sometimes.


@sean @Fafhrd Has there been an episode about safety tools like the X-card yet?


Hey Todd,
I seem to remember there being a discussion of it in ep 137 (Session Zero).

I know they’ve mentioned it a lot over the years - but my search-fu on the archives is coming up blank.


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Not a full, dedicated discussion - talked about them a lot in connection with other things.