[generic] X card

It is interesting to see that just to have human interactions and gatherings for entertainment these days, so many compulsory, and I repeat, compulsory mandates are written into law.

Nothing really wrong with free guidance and suggestions, yet the underlying tone of compulsion from top down is why rebellions are also spawned in the youth.
There are actually a lot fewer mandates these days than there were when I was an nipper. There used to be lists of rules posted on buses. There used to be public information films on television advising people how to behave. These days everything in between “common sense” and “The Law” seems to have gone. And a lot of sense doesn’t seem to be all that common.

Anything that helps people interact together in a civilised manner should be welcomed. IMHO.

If you’re saying mandating a X card would lead to rebellion, I think I’d rather play with those who accept it than those who reject it.


I had to use it at the Free RPG event I went to back in June in Manchester organised by Travelling Man, and it wasn't a big deal. I think everyone found it a bit odd why we had to have it explained to us and in some cases formalise things that we do anyway (alot of players do the whole Time out then rewind thing anyway), but no one found it objectionable.
I've found it useful when introducing new players to new games: it can act as a mnemonic device, because as long as you make the point of introducing it and it's on the table, people are more likely to remember that they can call a halt to anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.

I find it useful when introducing Fiasco or Monsterhearts to new players, because there's gonzo/dark and then there's really gonzo/dark.
As an interesting data point, I have been using the X-Card in class, as one of my modules is a Contemporary Business Issues one - it includes things like 'mental health in business' and 'workplace relations after #metoo'

It has worked really well! A couple of interventions have happened, and it has created a different space for discussion. Good.
Apparently Kids on Bikes simplifies this: the book says that if anyone wants to stop/rewind because someone narrated or introduced something uncomfortable they can just knock gently on the table and everyone just pivots things away from whatever, no questions asked (unless, I guess, someone wants to explain/clarify).
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?
I've never heard of an X-card until today.

We have never used them. In our games, if someone feels uncomfortable about something, they tell the GM straight away and the GM normally changes tack. It is rarely used, but we had a relatively new player with a phobia about things that swarm, unknown to the GM, so when the GM had a swarm of Micro-Broo in the game, she mentioned her phobia and the GM never used them again. She did wait until the end of the scene, though, so as not to spoil things, which was very nice of her.

I wouldn't have a problem with them at a convention, as I have absolutely no idea, as a GM, what phobias, issues or whatever, the players might have. I might have a perfectly normal kidnap scene in a scenario, to find that one of the players had a relative kidnapped, for example, that would be absolutely horrible for all concerned.
We have that in our RuneQuest and HeroQuest campaigns, where a player can spend a Hero Point to do something again. It is very rarely used.
Sorry, perhaps I should have been clearer.

Any time a player has the spotlight and does something, another player can say - without any cost or explanation - "do it again" and the first player has to go back and do something different.

Eg. Running from the police in a crowded zoo full of families

"I release the tiger"

Do it again.

It is rarely used.