Safety Tools and Clarification of Themes

The major change I have introduced in this version is the addition of safety tools - in this case, Lines and Veils and the X-Card, plus a link to the TTRPG Safety Toolkit. I've also gone through and improved some wording to clarify the themes of the game and how I hope they will be approached.

I make an effort to ensure Safety Tools are at least briefly referenced in every game I make these days. It isn't difficult to do so, and it saves a lot of heartache down the track in many cases. Primarily what safety tools are about is establishing a social contract upfront about what they do and do not consent to and giving options for that consent to be revised or withdrawn down the track. When I talk safety tools in one of my games, I also try to give a few examples of what players should discuss. In this case, I mention that the setting touches on a few types of privilege and discrimination. It doesn't necessarily need to be a game about those themes, but it's a setting where those themes exist.

Don't Burn Down the School! takes place in a rural Australian school where some students have magical powers and many students - and most of the teachers - do not. I came up with the concept for this setting of based on this excellent article about the problems with the classic "oppressed mage" trope. Don't Burn Down the School! imagines a world where mage privilege exists and is recognised, both in the sense that those who can use magic are inherently more powerful and dangerous than those without and that such people dominate positions of influence and power. I note also the issues of intersectionality (the way that certain forms of marginalisation and privilege interact). To give an example, as a femme person I experience sexism, but that experience is defined not only by my gender (non-binary woman) but also by my sex (female), ethnicity (white Australian), income (medium/high earner), orientation (asexual and aromantic) and a range of other factors. That means that there are some forms of sexism that I do experience and many forms that I don't (misogynoir, Orientalism, transmisogyny etc) or which don't impact me as much (access to health care, financial dependence etc).

Whether players delve further into those themes or only address them on a surface level is up to them. What I mostly want to avoid is having people who have experienced trauma associated with real life discrimination be forced into a similar situation without warning and without the ability to negotiate.

There are several other smaller changes I've made, mostly clarifying game mechanics or cleaning up overly wordy text. The core mechanics have not changed with this version. I'm relatively happy with them at this point, though as always, playtesting feedback or even just your insights on reading the text are very welcome. Please either leave a comment or contact me on Twitter @luciellaes or via email at Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting me!


DBDTS.pdf 1.2 MB
Mar 24, 2020
DBDTS_BasicRules.pdf 1.1 MB
Mar 24, 2020

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