How Tabletop RPGs Are Being Reclaimed From Bigots and Jerks

When tabletop role-playing game developer Evil Hat Productions announced it had included a content warning on page six of its recently released Fate of Cthulhu game. Many folks praised Evil Hat, but there was also the now predictable tide of hateful bullshit.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Tbh, I like that content warnings piss off the right people and we should do it more just because of that.


Solidly agreed. Has been my pleasure to see fashy types tell on themselves the way they react to such advisories, most recently it was that whining on reddit that myself and other players shouted and voted down.

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I think this not only makes tabletop a more inclusive space for people who are adjacent to it but might not have gotten into it because of its cottage-cheese stereotype, but for people who might never have tried roleplaying to begin with. I got to give a seminar at a conference about tabletop recently, and the people who sat down with me were like, the last people you’d expect: both older and younger academics.

Sometimes, when I teach writing, the surprise on the kids’ faces at obvious stuff (what do you mean I can change grammar?) is pretty amazing. That’s what I encountered here–specifically one older woman who was Scandinavian, and just seemed amazed that I was able to confidently tell her (you know, for however much that’s worth) that yes, tabletop could be used to teach people about not only climate change, but prospective methods for combating it.

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Another good example is “Quest” where consent and respect are embedded in the rules, design, mechanics and illustrations: …And, oh boy how good is this game!

This without talking about “niche” project like “Dura-Lande”: an eco-punk rpg that satirizes the Italian politics and culture:

I have recently come back to the hobby after a 15 years hiatus and the environment is indeed quite weird; on one side you have players in their forties wanting to wind out a frustrating day with a “good old fantasy genocide by number crunching, like it always was!” on the other you see this push for the exploration of fringe situations in a more mature and nuanced way.

Really not a bad time to be a role-player.

The backlash to content warnings or establishing trust at the table through consent has always confused me. Or rather, I haven’t been able to follow the logic of the people upset. Why wouldn’t you want a safe and comfortable space to explore complex themes through play?

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How sad of a person do you have to be to get legitimately angry at something like a content warning? I get tired just thinking about it.

I also want to shout out Beam Saber for accomplishing something similar in keeping jerks away by specifically asking you for your pilot’s pronouns.