Normalizing safety mechs w FF RW and Pause

It’s probably not unique to this game, but I like how “stealing the throne” by Nick Bate solves the problem of normalizing safety mechanics by making them something players use in-game for many other situations besides x-carding things…. If people get used to rewinding, pausing, and fast forwarding as normal narrative devices, it is less threatening or awkward to pull these levers when we need to make the game “table” a safe and positive space for all.
Just commenting. But im interested in anyone else’s take.

I used to talk game stuff over at back when that existed. Pretty nice to have this space to discuss. But I’m not sure if I’m using the forum as intended, so please advise me if im posting in wrong place or am not hip to any other ways to be nice and cool here.

Thx, Davey


This is a really interesting point. I never would have thought of this before. Thanks for sharing it.

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Yeah-- modelling is super important, but I’d always considered it from a meta perspective, so its interesting to think about providing opportunities to try out those tools in a less fraught space.


One of the features I’m most proud of in my system Key & Token is that safety tools are baked into the mechanics of the game. Here’s how it looks:

Here’s the itch link:


Totally agree with the OP. Have to check out this Stealing the Throne!

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Yeah, I never liked the safety tools when they are a “layer” on top of other mechanics. I think Archipelago solved it in such a nice way with “Try another way” - a ritual phrase that you can use while playing, among with “Describe in more details” and similar phrases.

I think In Orbit (In English, but on a Swedish pay-what-you-want site) does a really good job implementing safety tools as part of the setup. It’s only two pages long, and still manages to squeeze in safety tools—as part of the setup—while being a really good game.


I also like how Descended from the Queen games slip the X card in such a subtle way that my kids use it to skip a card just because a card doesn’t inspire them, not just to skip an awkward topic with me (dad).

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Thirsty Sword Lesbians gives all characters an XP, when a player used a safety tool at the table (including brief check-ins).

Firebrands games all have consent mechanics worked into their mini games. It’s most obvious in the “An Intimate Moment” one where characters negotiate physical touch and literally ask each other for permission. But similar exchanges of question/response that imply consent can also be found in the minigames that are about fighting one-on-one, having conversations, and other encounters.

I also want to mention my game ImproVeto that is both a casual, fun storygame and a way to practice both improvisation and X-card use. It works both as a short standalone game and as a warm-up before a regular session or during a session zero.


Really great point @CuriousCat.
I also enjoy when games style safety tools into the themes of a game. For example in Wanderhome, the “journey tools” evoke this and in Gabrielle and my Ma Nishtana, the “Wait Wait Wait!” move allows anyone to ask questions or change the narrative while reflecting how our families actually talk at the table, evoking the theme of family in play.

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