Okay, that makes sense.
Thank you for the clarification!
In my experience, it is much easier to say that I am uncomfortable when someone checks in on me than it to say it in the moment when something uncomfortable happens. A check-in is vastly easier to respond to, is usually predicated on care (someone sees that I'm not acting like usual and takes the time to say "are you alright?"), and can be done privately so I'm not put on the spot. There are also ways to do check ins that can involve group consensus around something. You can say "hey, I think this topic might be a bit rocky. What are we feeling about this?" and have people give 👍 or 👎 based on what how they feel about it.
But to your main point, all safety tools are shorthands or replacements for direct communication and that is why they exist. If no one needed a safety tool to communicate their needs fully, then safety tools wouldn't exist or no one would use them. They're frameworks in which rules about how to communicate are established - some safety tools give an outline for direct communication, such as the Luxton Technique - but that's not necessarily what a person needs in the moment. Some people have needs that are best supported by a tool like the x-card, and for some people the x-card fails to support them.
Sterling is expressing how the x-card fails to support their needs in the moment, and the specific ways it fails to support them. There are absolutely tools that exist that could support them better, and that failure is indeed directly the fault of the x-cards design. That doesn't make the x-card useless in all scenarios, but it also doesn't make Sterling incorrect about their own needs either.
Those are some pretty hard, though excellent, questions, Justin! I like the way that you've formatted the page for You're Going to Die Kissing Me, in that I can see what the rules of the game look like before I buy it, but I wouldn't want to play off of two image files, That gives me a nice incentive to pay for the PDF rather than just download the images and use them, but for someone who really can't afford the game, they have that option. I think for longer games it could be harder to show the full text in preview images, but in that case specifying that potential players can contact you for a copy would be fine (and seems to be pretty standard across a lot of games). I think your set up is both sensible and clever.
I do think the "you can DM me on twitter or email me for a copy" method is pretty standard across a lot of (especially longer) games. I've seen some games like Erika Shepherd's Exodus have a free plaintext version of the game, without any formatting or art, as a way to demo the game. Nora Blade has a rules lite version of her game Facade that is available for free, whereas the longer version costs $5.
I'm going to be honest with you Ian, and I hope you would do the same with me, that some of your posts in this thread do quite seem like you're talking past people. In your response to the post that you linked, for example, you said: "I would need a strong argument to convince me that explicit guidelines, rules, and mechanics would serve a game like D&D by being included in a core rule book." I can't find anything in Sandy Pug Games' post where they implied that they would. I can find points where they said "properly written rules can contain [those concepts]" or that D&D doesn't have those concepts, but nothing about D&D benefiting from having those concepts in a core rule book. Did I miss something in the post?
It seems like you care a lot about this topic, and have a lot of feelings about it. I think it's great that you're interrogating the terminology, because it can be confusing to people who aren't familiar with it. But I'm not sure that the OP said or implied that everyone needs to use narrative conventions when telling stories together. It seems like you're reading a lot Sandy Pug Games' post. I can totally understand how that is! But I think in this case you're reading something that is not there. Sandy Pug Games, and the people replying to you, aren't saying that WotC has to put these concepts in their text. They're not saying that everyone has to care about the concepts. It seems like they're saying that it is okay to care about these concepts, and that they can have a benefit in some cases.
Does my assessment seem fair, or am I off in some regard? I would be happy to hear what I've missed in the discussion.
I was just wondering what the difference between "narrative" and "other systems" sections is. Basically: what differentiates a narrative game from a non-narrative game for the purposes of this forum's classification?
Facade dice are the dice in Nora's game Facade (aka the only vampire related roleplaying game to ever be written). They're adapted from the dice randomization that the Spire (by Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor) uses, but are d6 instead of d10.
Basically: 1 is failure with consequence, 2 is failure, 3 is failure with benefit, 4 is success with consequence, 5 is success, 6 is success with benefit. Roll a dice pool of d6s and take the highest. Definitely check out the game if you're interested!
Going along with what Geostationary said, safety can involve things like: paying attention to your friends and encouraging those who are struggling to be heard, celebrating the cool things that your friends say, and checking in to make sure everything is going all right. The social dynamic is something that the game designer helps to construct with the rules in their game.
Any safety tool is just an abstraction of communicating your needs and feelings: if you have the wherewithal and the emotional energy, you can just say "I would rather we not do ____" instead of using the X-card, but that's not the point. The point is to give people who struggle to use those skills or who lack the emotional energy an easier opportunity to access it. Even in games that seem light or silly, there are opportunities for conflict and frustration - but there are also opportunities to practice positive skills like the ones I mentioned above.
So basically: no matter the tone or content of the game, the person designing it plays an active role in shaping how people play it. Not talking about safety is just as actively shaping the way that people play as not talking about it.
The last time I was on a forum was when I was seriously writing homebrew content for D&D 3.5 on the Giant in the Playground forums. So that was like 10 years ago. I cut my teeth on that BBCode. I spent so much time formatting tables for D&D classes I could do it by heart in a text editor without previewing the post and still have it be spot on 9 times out of 10.
I had a sudden burst of energy tonight and managed to post two games, somehow?
Embers On My Tongue is a 2+ player game emulating the feeling of Fire Emblem games (both long-term strategy and also making characters smooch). It's diceless and GMless.
Commune is a 2+ player game about a kind-hearted and curious fey creature exploring the human world for the first time. It's also diceless and GMless, played with a jigsaw puzzle.