Role-playing and story games offer a unique opportunity for creativity and collaboration, however, the improvisational nature of these games also exposes players to the risk of discomfort and emotional distress. Safety norms and tools help facilitate clear communication about what is, and what is not okay for everyone at the table.

Happy Jacks RPG is dedicated to educating the wider tabletop community about safety tools and normalizing their open use in actual plays, conventions and home games.

All Happy Jacks RPG Network games abide by these network norms:

  1. No strangers at the table. We do not do open casting calls. Everyone who plays at our table has been personally recommended by someone we know and trust.
  2. Everyone opts into CATS! No, not the musical or the cute, deadly furry companion kind. CATS stands for Concept, Aim, Tone, and Subject Matter. Basically, before any game the potential players get a full game pitch and a breakdown of the system and setting before they agree to be added to any game’s crew.
  3. Everyone completes a consent checklist. We always use the official Happy Jacks Lines & Veils document which helps everyone express levels of comfort in each topic. You can use it too! These documents are updated throughout the campaign to support players if they change their mind or comfort level.
  4. Private Session Zero. We usually do some form of session zero and character creation on stream for campaigns, but our games have a private session zero before that to go over more sensitive information and so everyone can get to know one another.
  5. Safety Tools during play. All Happy Jacks games use the X-card. Other safety tools are often used in addition to the X card, depending on the preferences of the GM or players.
  6. Open Door Policy. Anyone can leave a game session at any time. Everyone at the table is an adult and deserves the respect to take care of their own needs.
  7. Debriefs. After each session there is open communication in the group about wants and needs for future sessions, including feedback about game content and check-ins after especially emotional or pivotal events.