CONSENT: A player’s enthusiastic participation.
Participation in community spaces and/or game servers indicates that you consent to participate in roleplay and discussion that reflects the lore and gameplay of the server. This includes but isn’t limited to:
- Depictions of violence
- Violence against other characters*
- Hunting/skinning animals
- Potential to be robbed, kidnapped, harmed by other characters*
- Language heard from NPCs (non-player-characters)
(*All acts must be within the context of server rules and serve the RP purpose of collaborative storytelling.)
While the server and community rules are fundamental to the goal of community safety, a better understanding of consent in the context of RP will foster both safer spaces and better storytelling.
Recognizing consent means looking for an indication of the following:
- Players feel in control of their contribution and the situation.
- Players feel safe.
- Players are enjoying the experience.
Can a player consent to RP that harms their character?
Yes! A player’s enthusiastic participation may be contrary to their character’s participation. A character can be frightened, angry, murderous or miserable with their predicament, but as long as the player is consenting there is no reason to be concerned.
When should we be concerned that a player is no longer consenting?
When another character in a dramatic or conflict-heavy skin becomes overly short/angry or altogether non-responsive, it may be an indication that they are no longer consenting. Once a player feels out of control, unsafe, or is no longer enjoying the experience, they’re no longer an enthusiastic participant.
- You should always by making sure your statements and /me remain open ended (e.g. /me attempts to…). This gives the other characters freedom to contribute to the scene.
- You can ask to direct message the player (if you know who they are) in Discord general-chat, where they can confirm if they are still consenting to the scene. You can make room for a pause by having your character take a break (e.g. smoke a cigarette)
- If the player says “Hocus Pocus”, then they are advising you they are no longer an enthusiastic participant.
At the point you are aware of the lack of consent, the narrative should immediately be redirected or ended.
I'm no longer an enthusiastic participant in the scene I'm in, what do I do?
Consent in Gaming is a free PDF from Monte Cook Games (Numenera, Cyper System). It offers “… the strategies you need to make sure everyone at the table has a great experience, even when the game goes in a challenging direction.” Though written in the context of TTRPGs, there’s a ton of great crossover for us!
Conflict between characters can be a valuable tool to drive narrative and foster character progression. Conflict that feels one-sided, fails to facilitate progress, or lacks supporting RP narrative, can be frustrating especially for the character at a disadvantage. Before seeking an OOC solution off-server, it’s important to see the scene to remain IC and either disengage, or work through the scene to its conclusion. Here are some steps to help resolve IC conflict without breaking character:
- Always give the benefit of the doubt: Assume your fellow players are following the rules and remaining IC. Take responsibility for the quality of your own RP, and assume your scene partners are doing their best.
- Resolve IC Conflict IC: When the scene has concluded, if you have rule, consent, or safety concerns, open an admin-support ticket in Discord.
- Listen and learn: Every character has a story. Take time to hear your opposition’s story and ask follow up questions to demonstrate you hear them and care about what they’re saying.
- Collaborate: Now that you’ve got an idea about your opposition’s motivation, can you help them get what they want?
- Disengage: Find an RP-relevant reason to detach yourself from scene like excusing yourself for a cigarette or a bathroom break.
- Embrace your disadvantage: If you find yourself in a situation where conflict is unavoidable (kidnapping, robbery, etc), play along. It’s ok to lose; live to RP another day.
- Emergency Exit: If you feel unsafe and your efforts to disengage have been blocked, log off the server per the Consent and Safety Guide, and immediately open a harassment-or-abuse ticket.
We’re a community of storytellers with big personalities and imaginations. It’s inevitable that moments will arise when our ideas or story approaches clash. Utilizing these moments to pursue collaborative, two-sided conflict resolutions can help strengthen our community off-server, and lead to better RP on-server.
The following DOs and DONTs are guidelines to help navigate player to player approaches to conflict resolution. Admin are always available to help facilitate this process via admin-support tickets.
- Resolve IC Conflict IC. You are not your character.
- Open an admin-support ticket for all rule, consent, and safety concerns.
- ASK PERMISSION in a community channel before entering DMs with another player.
- Identify and respect boundaries. If a player makes statements like “I’m not comfortable with this” or “I’d rather talk with admin,” move out of one on one discussion and open an admin-support ticket.
- At all times give the benefit of the doubt, and assume your fellow players are doing their best.
- Identify and maintain a conscious awareness of whether you’re talking about a character’s actions, or the player’s actions. Players are not their characters! If you’re talking about a player’s character, say “Your character did this” or “When [character’s name] said this.”
- Focus on specifics. Give a description of the scene you’re concerned about, and why. Avoid abstract statements like “You always do this,” “this happens all the time,” “This is a huge problem for the server.”
- Take responsibility for your own actions and RP decisions.
- Ask for feedback if your intention is to give it.
- Give opportunity for your fellow player(s) to express their concerns, if your intention is to express yours.
- Listen (read) carefully. Restate the concerns and/or feedback your fellow player provides to ensure your understanding.
- Collaborate on a two-sided resolution. Once all parties have expressed clear understanding of each other’s concerns, take turns to suggest personal action items for future encounters. E.g. “Next time, I’ll make sure my voip range is at max so I know I can be heard” or “I’ll be diligent not to rob you 3 times a day going forward.”
- Follow up to make sure your resolution proposal addresses the other party’s concerns.
- Open an admin-support ticket. Conflict resolution is a skill that needs developed like any other. If you need help at any point in the process, open a ticket and admin will do our best to mediate.
- DM players without permission.
- Make accusations. The moment you say “You RDM’d me” or “That was Fail RP,” you are no longer resolving conflict and should immediately open an admin-support ticket.
- Place blame. Avoid statements like “You should have done this” or “You messed up.”
- Coerce players to avoid an admin-support ticket. If you know you made a mistake, offering an apology and a IC solution is a good approach to help resolve the issue. However, this does not absolve you of accountability from admin in case of rule violations. Your next step should be to open an admin-support ticket informing them of the rule violation and the OOC resolution. (Typically, admin support player solutions in lieu of punitive action.)
- Disclose IC Information without consent – this is META.
- Dog pile. Avoid situations where one person is being addressed by multiple others.
- Speak on behalf of a group. Avoid using statements like “Everyone in my group is upset” or “My whole group saw that.” Address your own concerns, and let others speak for themselves.
- Be afraid to open an admin-support ticket for assistance in conflict resolution. This can be a challenging task! Admin are here to help.