Friday, March 9, 2012

Player's comfort zone

As I started playing with beginner I started to think I have to find out his comfort zone. I have played with my girlfriend and I know what she is okay with and what is too much.

I will rate these questions from 1 to 3.
1: No way!
2. Okay with it if it's in good taste.
3. BRING IT ON

Basic questions will be:

Religion
Is player ok if religion (real-life or fantasy) is present in game. How much religion and pantheon can be dealed in campaign? Is religion for any reason uncomfortable topic for player?

Sex
Can there be sexual themes? Could player character have sex with other characters and how detailed this would be? Should there be sex in normal life of game world, or should sex just be one detail not needed at all. What about forced sex or perversions or unnatural sex? Could character interrupt scene of raping or should it be changed to assault? If player character is having sex should the scene be skipped or should it be described? If description is ok how detailed it should be?

Occultism, dark arts, sacrifices
How much occultism there can be in game? Is player comfortable with dark rituals and demons? How detailed rituals should be, are human sacrifices ok or should occultic rituals be handled with softer tone. How much detail there should be in rituals or is description of "some sinister and dark ritual" enough.

Gore
How detailed death should be? Is enemy defeated or does his head splatter all over the place and guts flow to the floor? Are there just bodies or horribly mutilated bodies? Are there worms or do the worms crawl the rotten flesh in high detail? What about innocent people? Is it ok that innocents suffer?

Depressive Themes
How dark and depressive game can be? Should things never go too depressing and desperate? Is player comfortable with depressing themes or does he want lighter touch. In what detail player is willing to go describing and playing his character's mood? If player himself is vulnerable to depression how can he handle themes like this?

I am all the way to 3. But I am experienced player and know well how to put aside my own feelings if it suits the character or situation. I don't mix with real life what happens in game. Naturally I can feel disgusted, sad, or repelled but it is just a game. Some people are more sensitive and it should be respected.

Are there any other points to add to my list of topics that should be considered when playing with others? Point of having fun when gaming is that no one feels uncomfortable. Sometimes it's good for the game to feel a bit uncomfortable but if it is overwhelming I don't see advantage in that. Playing should be fun for everyone including being afraid or disgusted of the Rotten Maggot King Of Dark Temple but sometimes it might be just enough for someone. Not everyone of us enjoy funeral doom metal and splatter movies.
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