ShadowHaven:The Six Principles of Support
The Six Principles of Support
There is no tool in any game that can completely seal out all possibility of hurt, miscommunications, or misunderstanding. However, just like choosing boots with good tread before hiking on a slick trail or checking a belay line before climbing, there are principles any player can commit to before play to increase their chances of coming out of the experience better for it.
The First Principle: Stewardship
Any and all players are more important than the game.
That includes the GM. Please be considerate of each other, communicate proactively with each other, and make sure you look to yourself and your group for ways of ensuring everyone is as safe and nurturing as possible.
The Second Principle: Courage
No one can guarantee any outcome of any experience, let alone an emotionally resonant role playing game. Go in with both eyes open about your own limits and the game's parameters, driving toward the best without any expectations of resolution or happy ending, and you will have an exponentially better experience.
The Third Principle: Joy
We play games because we think they are fun, and there are many different types of fun. Some people like to play games because they are fun right in the moment, some people like to play games because they are challenging and hard and even with unpleasant themes they, the player, will feel better for the experience after play ends.
Respect each other's sense of enjoyment. Do not presume that the fun you seek is in some way better than other people's fun. Remember that we keep coming back to games because they inspire and enliven us. We are here to share joy with each other.
The Fourth Principle: Be Brave and Be Kind
Make all your choices our of a place of inspiration, consideration, and kindness. You are serving a collective, collaborative experience when you play with others. Honor the potential for this gift by trying to be your best self in play. Practice and assume good faith of your co-players and yourself.
The Fifth Principle: Giving and Receiving
Give space, time, and attention to your co-players and you will receive it in kind. Make incisive player choices. That does not necessarily mean high-octane melodrama for the duration. Sometimes the right choice is to "be average" in order to bring greater balance to the overall story. Sometimes the right choice is to offer up something really meaty to your co-players to sink their teeth into if you notice them stalling.
The Sixth Principle: Taking Notice
Place your full attention on yourself and your co-players before, throughout, and after play. It is your responsibility to yourself and to others to notice what is going on in and around you.
Remember, principles exist to provide guidance. They are no substitute for common sense. Be spacious and generous with yourself and your co-players.
Thank you to the TTRPG Safety Toolkit project, from which this page is inspired.