I’m preparing to run the game of Bluebeard’s Bride with couple of players I don’t know very well. This game can be quite heavy on disturbing content, so I certainly plan to have X-card equivalent in game. At the same time, I have put clear indicatation of the theme and some of possible triggers in the pre-game blurb (it will be run on small convention dedicated purely to RPG games), so assumption is, that players will be willing to experience at least some of it and push their boundaries.
As it is single-session game, in predefined timeframe (5-6 hours total), there is a limit to how much pre-game ‘session 0’ research/questionnaires I can do. I also do not expect to have any contact with the players before the game itself.
I’m strongly considering having equivalent of O-card in addition to X-card. For people not familiar with the term, here is a definition from TTRPG Safety Toolkit
The O card can be used at any point if a participant wants to continue with the content. When the O card is used by tapping the card or typing an “O” in the chat, the group is ok to continue with the content. They can also regularly be prompted by a “O?” asked out loud or in the chat to check-in if everyone is still ok.
Let’s ignore online play part.
How does it work in practice with multiple players? X-card is simple – one players bails out, scene stops. But with O-card, is it enough that directly involved player taps a card to increase/follow the narration and rest can X-card it if they don’t agree? Can some other players use O-card, even if they are just listening atm? Or do we do quick vote, which can be quite awkard with 5 players and put a kind of peer pressure on last one not joining, which those techniques are meant to avoid?
With LARPs it is bit easier with red/yellow/green safety words, because
- you often interact with just one person who can be affected by your actions
- often you ask about physical interaction but you use verbal confirmation, which intrudes less into the flow
In TTRPGs, physical gesture on X-card provides same distinction between action (which is verbal) and safety mechanism (touch in this case) – verbal consent techniques would be more invasive.
Do you have any other, techniques for players to indicate consent for moving to ‘higher gear’ on-the-fly, which work with 5 players?