What are the topics to bring up in EP games that make the players uncomfortable, yet are not outside the pale of gaming? The reason I ask is that I participated in a foresight exercise yesterday where a bunch of academics and government people were discussing a particular topic. We first brainstormed a bunch of issues and drivers relevant for it - it was fairly productive. Then we were asked to write at least two "taboo" aspects each that are not normally talked about. The time allocated for this was very short, but the taboo issues were also far more interesting and revealing of the main topic than the other "normal" issues. For a rpg my experience is that the truly great sessions are when something uncomfortable is touched. Perhaps the high point of my gaming group was reached when a character with mental problems committed suicide on a shared web forum in "realtime"... it was *frightening*, especially since the player was actually leaving the game because he felt it was a bit too much for him psychologically. It pushed the envelope for us, and I think we will never repeat anything like that. The problem with most horror games is that creepiness and gore soon fade. There are only so many ways you can say that something is "twisted" or Lovecraftian. Paranoia is an old standby that never gets old, but it is also almost expected. The real punch comes when the GM or players make you think "he can't possibly be going through with *that*?!" and then do go off into the land of uncomfortably heavy topics. But handling it badly means deflating something serious (rape as comedy) or making the players too uncomfortable to play. It is hard to handle well.