Rules Index


Chapter 10: Game Mastering / Game Mastering / Planning a Campaign / A Welcoming Environment

Objectionable Content

Source Core Rulebook pg. 486
Before a campaign begins, check in with your players—as a group or individually—to find out what types of content they want to allow in the game, and which topics they would prefer to avoid. Because the story unfolds in real time, it’s essential that you discuss these topics before the game starts. These discussions are intended to keep players safe, and so it’s not okay to ask why someone wants a type of content banned. If someone wants it banned, ban it—no questions asked.

It can help to start with a rating, like those used for movies or video games. Pathfinder games often include violence and cruelty. What’s the limit on how graphically these concepts should be described? Can players swear at the table? Does anyone have phobias they don’t want to appear in the game, such as spiders or body horror?

After you figure out the limits on objectionable content, you have four important tasks:
  • Clearly convey these limits to the other players.
  • Ensure you and the players abide by the boundaries.
  • Act immediately if someone becomes uncomfortable about content during a session, even if it wasn’t already banned in a prior discussion. Once the issue is resolved, move on.
  • Resolve the issue if any player deliberately pushes these boundaries, tries to find loopholes, tries to renegotiate the limits, or belittles people for having a different tolerance to objectionable content.