Running a safe game

Simply Roleplaying shall not be used to tell stories that inflict harm. There is room for a lot of creative freedom in the game, from the way that skills and legacies are named to the specific mechanics of how special abilities work. That responsibility shall not be misused to make anyone feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

If any participant in the game feels uncomfortable or unsafe, the game must stop immediately. Address any harm caused and do not continue to play the game unless the harmed participant feels that the harm has been addressed.

TTRPG safety tools

A lot of the tools I'll be sharing in this section are about using the system well -- there's some generally good advice there, but others have better explored saftey in TTRPGs. @TTRPGSafetyKit on Twitter has gathered many safety tools in this Google Drive:, and Script Change is a comprehensive safety toolkit built around audio concepts.

When the dice don't matter

The result of the dice in Simply Roleplaying change how the narrative unfolds. However, Simply Roleplaying is not a dice game; it's a narrative game. Everyone at the table has the authority to overrule the dice when they express something that is uncomfortable to them or something that simply does not make sense in the narrative, ignoring the roll and choosing a different outcome.


Roleplaying is a collaborative art that is also a conversation. Nothing any individual at the table can bring is going to top what everyone at the table can work together to create, and you have to take turns contributing to the story you're all telling. The story also will turn out best if you're talking about something that everyone is excited about.

Check-in sessions

There may be times where things don't go smoothly in your collaboration. Perhaps the gamemaster feels exhausted with how much effort they feel like they're putting into the game and needs a break. Perhaps the players have been stuck in the same area for a long time and they're having trouble staying engaged without a change of pace.

These little things should have their room to breathe and their part in the conversation. It's only healthy, after all, to make sure everyone is on the same page and everyone is having fun.

I've found tremendous value in check-in sessions in the games that I've run. Every five or ten sessions, I take a break in the action to run a half-session. We play for the first two hours of the game, then we take a few minute break and settle in to chat about anything and everything for the last two hours.

Rose, bud, thorn

Sometimes people have things they know they want to talk about, and just giving them the space to chat about the meta game is enough. Others, it's hard to think of things and instead we do Rose, Bud, Thorn.

Rose, Bud, Thorn, if you're not familiar, is an exercise where each person at the table (GMs, this means you too!) tries to recount something recent that happened that they loved (Rose), something they're looking forward to (Bud), and a struggle or challenge that they're facing in the game (Thorn). There's no pressure to have a rose, bud, and thorn -- and sometimes the absence of one of these can tell you more than the presence.