In a major step towards making tabletop gaming more accessible and open to all, Roll20 is now providing Safety Tools for groups to use in future hosted RPGs.
For those who are not aware, these are special tools, usually a deck of cards, that allow players to easily articulate grievances or concerns regarding story turns in a tabletop RPG session. For example, if a player has a negative association with something such as gratuitous violence, bigotry, domestic abuse, etc., and the drama of a scene revolves around such subjects, they can place a card on the table with words like "Stop," "Rewind" or "Slow Down." This will allow the gamemaster to know whether or not to move on or make changes to the scene, and it allows the player in question to let their issues known without needing to divulge personal details. They are just one of many tools RPG groups have utilized at the table to help players feel comfortable.
It is the first thing Roll20 acknowledges in their official announcement. The company's very own Director of Licensing, Emily Floyd states, "Sometimes a game can go in an unexpected direction, or explore difficult subjects, and situations or topics may come up that causes players to feel uncomfortable, scared, or even trigger memories of traumatic events. Here are some mechanisms that promote clear communication to help avoid these situations and give players tools to address them when they occur. Even if these tools are never used, it often puts players at ease to know that everyone in the game is committed to having a good experience at the table."
So when will these helpful tools be added to the service? They're available right now for free. Whenever you start a new game using Roll20, you can access a new set of cards, labeled the Safety Deck, found in the collections tab of the screen. Any player can access these cards and play them anonymously. Just remember to add Safety Tools to your game in the Add-On menu before you begin. However, if you want a more complex but more encompassing version of the safety deck, there is the free add-on provided by Evil Hat Productions which includes other more involved safety tools such as the X Card, Lines and Veils, as well as Script Change.
This a great step forward for making tabletop gaming more welcoming to people from all walks of life, and it's great that the people at Roll20 have provided this. Carry on adventurers, and have fun.