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PerthNerdTherapist736 karma

My descriptions of violence aren't particularly gory or graphic and I strongly reward players who find non-violent solutions to problems. That's part of the goals for my sessions. We do get to do some fireballin' on some bandits or some orcs, but I try to keep it as PG as possible.

There's actually a REALLY AWESOME resource called the Monte Cook Consent in Gaming sheet, and DMs/GMs can use that to get an idea of their players' triggers and stuff, to avoid descriptions of traumatic violence. I basically don't do anything on that list anyway because ew.

I have an intake & screening form I've prepared where I ask for relevant information to therapy, so I can be prepared.

I create my campaigns from scratch and then improv the heck out of them, but they each have mental health themes and goals. Sometimes the players don't even realise that they're learning to manage anxiety while hunting a monster that feeds on fear. ;)

PerthNerdTherapist215 karma

I definitely run pretty loose with the rules, and seek to encourage and reward creative thinking and expression. I've got tweaks to the rules that allow players to bypass skill checks and other rolls if they can show evidence that it'd work (such as chemistry or physics knowledge), or to bypass say, a psychic attack by a vampire or other such entity, describe some resilience & mental health wellbeing strategies.

I have had one character who would have had to make a death save during his first round of combat. Thankfully it was the entire group's first session of D&D and the bandit's attack roll was done behind my screen. Instead of a crit he just hit normally, and we used that as a lesson to explain the game's mechanics on taking damage, positioning and maybe ways out of this situation they'd found themselves in.

PerthNerdTherapist208 karma

I'm actually going to talk about this at a panel in Perth at Swancon next month, but here's a brief list of the things I do, that everyone can do.

> Use the Monte Cook Consent in Gaming sheet to get an idea into the triggers their party may have, or for themes and descriptions of acts to avoid.

> Use the sheets designed for folks with dyslexia, to support your players with reading difficulties! Found at GeekNative.

> Talk with your party, get feedback and be open to taking it onboard. I've heard a few stories about parties becoming uncomfortable for players when confronting themes are part of the campaign and it's been tough for them to manage.

> Give people time to plan ahead - if possible, give players a bit of a heads up about things they might be able to think about doing in the next session. It might relieve some performance anxiety of being put on the spot.

PerthNerdTherapist207 karma

I have no idea how I'd go about doing it, but I'd love to actually brand this as a treatment for videogame addiction! It's still got gaming elements, and it can fit into popular gaming genres (fantasy, scifi, superheroes), but involves regular social contact with people, as well as exploration of ones' own values, interests and passions.

It's definitely on the more long-term to-do list. Currently I encourage my groups to engage in some kind of creative arts, writing, drawing, painting, between sessions, especially if it's of scenes from the session, or of their character and their backstory.

PerthNerdTherapist183 karma

It's run by a therapist who's doing it for therapy. :)

The main difference is that there's therapeutic goals and aims, with monitoring of goals as the campaigns progress. I create campaigns and modify game mechanics to be conducive to the needs of the group, from something as simple as social/emotional education, to managing depression and anxiety.

It's as different to normal D&D, as a casual chat is to traditional talk therapy.