Physical & Romantic Consent PolicyThe players are more important than the game. At NO time should any player ever be asked to subsume their OOG boundaries to serve their character’s IG motivation or verisimilitude. Telling a player that declining physical contact or romantic content is “bad role-play” or “not what their character would really do” is harassment, and may be grounds for suspension or banning.
Physical Role Play PolicyIf Player 1 wants to engage in physical role-play with Player 2 outside of combat (physical contact except with a weapon remains expressly forbidden in combat), they briefly go out of game by placing a hand on their head and expressly requesting the specific physical interaction they are seeking, ie: “Physical role-play negotiation: May I kiss you?” Player two now has numerous options, because this is stated to be a negotiation. Options may include:
“No, thank you”
“No, but you may hug me, if you would like.”
“I am not comfortable with a kiss, but my character would be, so I am comfortable simulating a kiss, or simply saying that they did without completing the action out of game.”
“Yes, I am comfortable with a brief, closed-mouth kiss”
“Yes, I am comfortable with a lingering, open-mouth kiss”
There is absolutely no room for debate in a physical role-play negotiation. If a player declines a physical interaction, they do not owe an explanation for why, nor should you ever make an effort to talk them into it. OOG boundaries are not subject to either IG or OOG pressure.
Some players may set up long-standing consent agreements with people they know well, that follow boundaries that are familiar to them due to OOG boundary agreements. This is fine, but those agreements are always subject to cancellation on either person’s end, and no player should ever attempt physical role-play with a new player or someone they do not have established boundaries with without expressly requesting consent. Additionally, no individual physical role-play negotiation should be interpreted as the setting of an ongoing consent agreement. The consent is on a case-by-case basis, meaning that if the player consents to being hugged once, you must still obtain fresh consent the next time you want to hug them. If you want an ongoing physical role-play agreement with another player, you must specifically request that, and negotiate it clearly. If at any point they wish to terminate the agreement, they may do so, and are not required to provide an IG or OOG explanation.
At any point physical contact with the intent to cause real bodily harm is not allowed in any form, with or without consent. Reckless contact is also disallowed, if a reasonable person is likely to conclude taking an action is likely to cause real injury, even by accident, you shouldn't do it.
Romantic PolicyIf player 1 wishes to engage in role play of physical or romantic attraction to player 2, they briefly go out of game by placing a hand on their head and stating “Role-play negotiation”, followed by the specific form of attraction that they wish to role-play going forward. Ie:
“Role-play negotiation; do you consent to my character having a romantic crush on yours?”
Player two now has a number of options, including:
“No, thank you.”
“Yes, and I may reciprocate the crush, if that is acceptable.”
“Yes, but if you choose to do so the crush will be entirely not reciprocated”
Note that romantic role-play consent does NOT grant physical role-play consent unless explicitly stated. A romantic role play negotiation that does include physical role play negotiation might read as follows:
Player 1: “Role-play negotiation, do you consent to my character feeling romantic attraction to yours?”
Player 2: “Yes, and my character will likely reciprocate, but only briefly before losing interest”
Player 1: “Are you comfortable with physical role-play expressed as hand holding, cuddling, and/or kissing?”
Player 2: “Kissing is unacceptable for me, but hand holding and cuddling are fine.”
Player 1: “Okay!”
BOTH physical role-play and romantic role-play consent can be revoked by any player, at any time, and must be respected. The player is expected to use whatever steering is necessary to cease the connection. Phrases like “I suppose we just grew apart” and “Things just changed!” may be helpful here. Please remember that while the role-play being negotiated is in game, the negotiation is entirely out of game. This means that if you request consent to express romantic interest in a character, and the player declines during negotiation, your character has not been rejected in game. Rather, your character has never felt an attraction to the other person. Thus, playing “the scorned lover” in this situation is inappropriate, and may be viewed as in-game retaliation for an out-of-game rebuff, and harassment.
If any player feels at any time that their right to role-play consent is not being respected (if a player engages in unwelcome physical role-play without requesting consent, for instance, or after consent has been revoked), this is an addressable concern, and should be brought to staff attention. You may bring this to any staff member, but we recommend the Owner, GM, or Player Rep - whoever you are most comfortable talking to.
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