Live roleplayers of all ages are allowed to attend our Empire events. We believe that the Empire game setting provides a unique opportunity for the inclusion of young players in a natural way as part of the world.
Our context for including children in the game starts with the premise that children must roleplay characters who are children and that their parents or carers must roleplay characters who are their parents or carers. The Empire is very concerned with the education and training of children, to ensure that they grow into heroes. We will focus our activities for younger players on things that the Empire can deliver that are appropriate for their characters within the setting.
Empire is not a “family friendly” event. This means that you are not expected to moderate your language in the presence of other players, any more than your character would normally choose to do. Profound Decisions are of the opinion that children will hear far worse every day at school and that words alone don’t affect a child’s social development. We accept that this is not everyone’s view, but that position is the basis on which we are running the Empire game - if you are not happy for your children to hear adults swearing then you must not allow them to attend the event.
Anyone under the age of 16 wishing to attend the festival must be accompanied by someone over the age of 18. Those who are ages 16 or 17 are allowed to attend the festival unaccompanied, but this decision must be made with the consent of a parent or legal guardian.
- To give young live roleplayers an awesome LRP event to attend.
- To prevent issues surrounding young live roleplayers damaging immersion for all attendees, (adults and children).
- To ensure that Profound Decisions meets its moral and legal obligations to protect all our event attendees to the best of our ability.
Our primary goal in including under sixteens in our games is to give those roleplayers an awesome live roleplaying event. It is easy to idealize that we will have opportunities to teach children how to roleplay or help improve young children’s confidence or initiative, that we can enable parents to attend or similar.
None of these are part of our stated objectives - of course it is lovely if we can help young players become better live roleplayers or gain confidence but a child’s education is their parent’s responsibility - not ours. It is great if allowing children to attend improves access to the game for parents and carers. But these are not our goals; the fact that children pay less than the adults is no more relevant than the fact that people booking early pay less than players paying on the gate. Our responsibility is not to the parents or to the LRP community - our single overriding responsibility is to the young player. We must aim to give them a fantastic roleplaying event to attend, the same as we do for all our players.
Other than our moral and legal obligations to ensure that we protect children and adults attending our event, the only other caveat is that we ensure that our guidelines minimize the capacity for individual live roleplayers to disrupt the event for other players - children and adults. For the benefit of all our players we need to put clear rules in place for young players and their parents so that everyone can be confident that individual players will not be allowed to upset the event for others.
Guidelines for all adults
When roleplaying, you should aim to treat children as children as far as is humanly possible. However this is within the context of a society that expects children to have as much autonomy and responsibility as they can sensibly handle. The Imperial viewpoint is that the Empire is defended by its heroes and that children are the heroes of tomorrow. As such they are encouraged to take an interest in the business of the Empire and the way it runs, to learn how to fight and defend themselves. You determine how your character regards children, but your character is part of a society that tries to include children, not one that believes children should be “seen and not heard”.
However, children are still children, and a degree of realism is an expected part of the setting. You wouldn’t expect to take an eight year old to a battle or on a dangerous quest, nor would you be happy to see them running around wielding a sharp sword or any other lethal weapon. In the Empire, children have to earn the right to carry a weapon, when they have proved they are strong enough to wield it and mature enough to carry it.
Children, especially young children, will on occasion cry. This is perfectly normal in the real world, and your character should not make a fuss if it happens. It is exceptionally difficult to communicate to a parent that you are unhappy with their child crying IC, while perfectly happy with it OOC; there is a high risk that this will be seen as an OOC complaint. For this reason we ask all players to play characters who accept that children cry and are not unduly bothered by this.
As swearing is permitted at Empire, it is not appropriate to complain at the language used by other players in the presence of children for the same reason that it is not a good idea to complain about children crying, it is very difficult to roleplay these scenes without confusion about the IC/OOC nature of the complaint. A normal character in the setting might well avoid a string of expletives in front of a young child, but as a player your right to roleplay without having to watch what you say is clearly laid out in the social contract of the game.
Public nudity, of the kind that would not be permissible on a beach on which children are playing, is not appropriate at Empire. Your fellow players, of any age, do not want to see that, so ensure that genitalia and nipples (if female) are completely covered. The only exception to this is for people who are breast-feeding. This is perfectly acceptable at Empire, as it would be in many modern restaurants and other public areas.
If you are unhappy out-of-character with the behaviour of another player (of any age), then the correct response is to bring this to the attention of a member of the PD crew. This is particularly important if it is a situation where another roleplayer is struggling to remain in-character, for whatever reason. We will deal with the situation and speak to the player, or to their parent or carer as appropriate.
Empire is a political PvP game, but violence between citizens of the Empire is forbidden by law and the game is not intended to contain physical PvP conflict, beyond the possibility for the occasional assassination. Consequently your character should have very few reasons to want to threaten a child. It is appropriate for you to assume that a child’s OOC parent or carer is also their IC parent or carer and is therefore responsible for their actions. You should take IC action against the IC parents for the IC actions of their IC children wherever possible.
If your character does wish to act against a young live roleplayer, from a minor confrontation to kidnap or murder, you must obtain a member of our referee team and clear your actions with them first. They will assess the situation and take whatever steps are appropriate, to speak to parents or the child, to ensure that the child is mature enough to roleplay with the situation and that the child and adults involved are suitably protected. Anyone violating this rule will be dealt with harshly.
- Avoid being alone with a child
Profound Decisions have a robust set of child protection policies which we encourage all participants to read. However the single most important element that all event attendees should be aware of is the need to avoid being alone with a child. It is very important that older players make all possible efforts to avoid situations where they are alone with a child. The ideal situation is to have at least one other adult and two or more children present at any time. This is for your protection, as much as for the protection of the child, and is good advice for anybody in contact with children in modern life.
Every person who attends one of our events must have their own account- there is no way to buy a ticket for children from your own account at this time. Instead you must create a separate account for them. Once you enter the correct date of birth for your child, then the child tickets will become available.
Please make sure you fill in the next of kin details appropriately as we will use these to check that children are attending the event with a suitable adult.
Additional guidelines are available for parents or carers as well as for young live-roleplayers. If you are a parent or carer please make sure that you have read the guidelines for parents, those for young live roleplayers and the age specific information that is relevant for your children or those in your care.
Young adults that are old enough to read and absorb the guidelines should be encouraged to read the guidelines for live roleplayers of their age. Parents should go through the guidelines with younger children to so that they can help them to follow the rules. If you wish to, you may also read our child protection information.