[generic] X card

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
#1
Kirk Johnson-Weider described a new piece of gaming technology in this issue of Imperfect GM: What is an X card?

Who has used X cards in play, did they work or (like me) did it embarrassing the GM and cause them (me) to keep touching it every time they (me) made an off colour joke?
 
#2
We've never used one, but then we tend to play with people we've known for a long time, so it doesn't really come up - if someone had an issue they would probably just tell us. If we were prevented from telling terrible puns/off-colour/sick/bad taste jokes I think we would all be sad.

OTOH I am disgusted (of Abingdon) to hear that you are admitting to inappropriate touching of a X-card. I would immediately feel the need to introduce a Y-card that I could play to say I don't want the GM touching the X-card...of course that might lead to the introduction of a Z-card, etc,etc
 
#8
These tools develop all the time and - though I’ve not used them - methods of non-verbal communication of “this is great”, “let’s be careful here”, and stop, or similar things sounds really useful. I think in certain games I don’t tend to play much/play at cons I’d be more prepared to play, and perhaps self-censor less, if I was confident that I could get and give feedback on how the game was going for everyone.
 
#10
I have absolutely nothing against the X-card as a concept, I'm just not convinced at the table that it does what it is meant to do. I fully accept that this could be because when I have seen it used, it has been at tables with people who are familiar with each other and more than willing to voice their disapproval of some topic or another, to each other.

I do worry that some people cannot manage one of the central conceits; you don't question the reason for invoking the X-Card. And thus it can be seen not as a way to guide play away from an area of concern, but rather exposing yourself to a can of worms that could have been avoided.
 
#12
Two questions:

If the use of an X-card were mandated at a convention,

1) how would that affect your feelings about refereeing at that convention?

2) how would that affect your feelings about playing at that convention? And how do you think it would affect the feelings of other demographics?
 
#13
Kirk Johnson-Weider described a new piece of gaming technology in this issue of Imperfect GM: What is an X card?

Who has used X cards in play, did they work or (like me) did it embarrassing the GM and cause them (me) to keep touching it every time they (me) made an off colour joke?
Yep. I use the X Card in convention games and I reference it in the core rules of The Cthulhu Hack.

In answer to Simon's questions: as a referee, I don't have an issue with it. I have my own issues and I deal with them in ways that people might think odd (specifically anxiety); I see the X-Card as a perfectly viable way to manage tabletop issues without trauma or finger pointing. Step back, reconsider what's going on and rephrase it. As a player, I would be comfortable with a convention that mandated the X-Card, as long as they communicated it fully and explained the significance with some sense of ownership. It shouldn't be a throwaway concession to a perceived need. They should get why their doing it and support the concept.

I have run games of TCH where the X-Card is relevant. My Wendigo adventure (you know the one Simon) has had a walk away - and I fully understand why it happened.

Note to Guvnor: the X-Card has been around for at least 5 years, if not longer. You need to game more widely (or just more!)
 
#14
I find anything mandatory offensively worrying. But that is just my rebellion tendencies, which when a Player, I may then get tempted to go against that system in-meta with my PC, especially in a one shot, hence, I avoid PvP games, since I would get embroiled in a PvP battle if someone starts one in-character. TTRPGs pushing dark themes just encourage this.
 
#15
In answer to Simon's questions

1. Wouldn't bother me at all
2. Wouldn't change the way I felt

There are other tools like this; Brie Sheldon's Script Change tool is similar
 
#18
I've played games using the X Card- mainly when playing with people where its use is standard. I've never seen it used, BUT in one game with horror tones, I was more relaxed and able to push some darker than usual stuff for me with the reassurance it was there- and had an absolute blast. It facilitated my enjoyment.

I'd have no concerns at all about a convention where it was compulsory. Sure, not everyone sees the use of it, and that's fine....it's not *for* them.
 
#19
I have offered it for my games before (though strangely enough not for my Firefly games) so I would have no issues if it was compulsory at a con.
Players (and GMs 😉 ) are reassured when it is there for certain themed games.
 

Neil

Lay member
#20
Two questions:

If the use of an X-card were mandated at a convention,

1) how would that affect your feelings about refereeing at that convention?

2) how would that affect your feelings about playing at that convention? And how do you think it would affect the feelings of other demographics?
Positive to both answers: it's good that the con organisers are thinking about safety of everyone there. It's also a signal about other safety aspects of the con: if they're talking about X-cards on tables, they've probably already done things like harassment policies. Finally, having something like visible on the table will probably rub off on attendees, just to pay a bit more attention to making sure everyone's having a good time.

Saying all that, it's rare for it to be actually needed. I've been in one game where a player reported (after the fact) that they were uncomfortable, but decided to soldier on because that was the path of least resistance. If the X-card had been on the table, perhaps they'd have said something sooner.
 
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