I never tend to get uncomfortable in roleplaying games and
part of that is usually because I tend to challenge my comfort zone time and
time again. So, when I was introduced to the X Card safety mechanic, while I
wanted really badly to test it out (as I do with any new game mechanic), I
couldn’t find a good moment to properly use it until the very end of the
session, where I used it on myself
because I got a little too intense with my character. Long story short, I was
playing Dread with some friends for a Halloween event and my character went
through a harrowing experience.
However, there are times where my comfort zone will be challenged
and I feel odd for going past it. Case in point, I played a session of Night
Witches that ended up becoming so uncomfortable that I deleted the scene.
During that session, I used the Mark mechanic, which is used as a consequence
of certain moves or actions, as a cudgel against me making jokes about Downfall
(a movie detailing the, well, downfall of Adolf Hitler, which ended up having
tons of gag subtitles) and Soviet Russia being Big Brother.
As I’m going to be tackling FATAL, a rather infamous game
for its uncomfortable everything and a
module for Lamentations of the Flame Princess which is said to be 18+, I
decided to try and recreate that, but as a central mechanic. Namely, the intent
is to be used as a cudgel against me going for either uncomfortable moments or discourage
me from doing things I’d normally do.
The tentative name for it is the Markdown Mechanic, and
while I would base it off Night Witches’s own mechanic of Marking, it’s a
unique beast that only works with Night Witches. I need something that I can
use across all RPGs.
The idea? A table of 20 items that you must roll on once you
do something that triggers it. For instance, let’s say I’m playing a game that
is kid-friendly and encourages players to resolve conflicts without violence. I
don’t want myself to resort to
violence in tune to the game, so I want something for me to use when I do decide to go with violence.
You may ask why I don’t just don’t do it… And, well, it’s mostly because I end up getting too
into the game and suddenly I have members of the Soviet Union dragging two soldiers
who were harassing one of the characters and unpersoning them. Ergo this
Also because I’m a glutton for random events and this gives
me a chance to tinker with something that allows that to happen.
So, I’m gonna use the infamous Deck of Many Things as my
go-to template for the list. Except the deck is a bunch of X-Cards with almost
nasty effects written on the back. I should also mention that every time you roll
a result, you cross it out and reroll when that number comes up again in the
future, so as to discourage the same things from happening. The list gets
refreshed when all the events are used. Also, the list applies mostly for traditional
RPGs that use levels and die rolls, so tweaking may be required for games like
Genesys or Cortex.
Read the list