If we are satisfied that a person's behaviour violates our conduct rules, our conduct team will decide what course of action is appropriate to take. This page outlines the sanctions the conduct team can impose, as well as a range of additional restrictions we may put in place if we issue a formal warning.
We may also issue cautions, formal warnings or bans for cheating or for non-payment of ticket fees. (Reports about cheating are investigated and dealt with by the Empire referee team rather than the conduct team. Issues such as non-payment, drug abuse at events, or breaches of terms and conditions are dealt with by the Profound Decisions management team.)
All details of any sanctions issued by Profound Decisions are subject to our rules for confidentiality.
Cautions, Warnings and Bans
- The conduct team will review reported breaches of the conduct rules
- They will decide whether to issue a caution, a formal warning, or permanent ban
- They will not issue a caution or formal warning if the person who made the report has asked them not to
- A permanent record is kept of all reports and investigations
If we are satisfied that a person's behaviour violates our conduct rules then our conduct team will issue either a caution, a formal warning, or a ban, depending on the nature and severity of the incident.
The conduct team will not impose a caution on an individual or give them a formal warning if you have asked us not to do so. We will only override your request if we feel we need to permanently ban someone to remove a substantial risk of serious harm.
We keep a permanent record of all reports and investigation to allow us to identify patterns of behaviour over time.
- A caution will be issued in any situation where we judge the breach of our conduct rules is unintentional and is also minor or historical in nature
- If we issue a caution, we may also impose additional restrictions on roleplaying or access to areas at events
If the reported behaviour was an isolated incident that could be construed as acceptable by someone making an honest mistake, or if we consider it reasonable that the individual might not have appreciated that their behaviour was unacceptable at the time it took place, then we are likely to issue them with a caution.
The caution system is designed on the principle that most of us make mistakes at one time or another. Our goal is to ensure that they understand clearly what they did wrong and that they engage positively with us to ensure that there are no further problems.
In some circumstances, if we issue a caution, we may also impose a range of additional restrictions. These are always tailored to the specific details of the report, either to further reduce the chance of any repetition of the reported behaviour, or to provide additional reassurance for the safety of any injured party.
If we receive a report about an individual for the same behaviour they have been cautioned for in the past, then we may issue that player with a formal warning.
- A formal warning is issued any time a breach of conduct is serious or intentional
- If we issue a formal warning, we may also impose additional restrictions on roleplaying or access to areas at events
- Any individual who is due to receive a second formal warning is likely to be permanently banned
If the reported behaviour was part of a pattern of unacceptable behaviour, if it was serious in nature, or if we judge that the behaviour was deliberate, then we will issue the participant with a formal warning.
The subject of a formal warning must avoid repeating the behaviour in future to avoid receiving a permanent ban.
If we issue a formal warning, we may impose a range of additional restrictions. These are always tailored to the specific details of the report, either to further reduce the chance of any repetition of the offence, or to provide additional reassurance for the safety of any injured party.
If someone has received a formal warning, any further reports about their behaviour may result in a permanent ban. It is standard practice for the conduct team to escalate a formal warning to a ban in any of the following circumstances:
- If there is a second report, from another participant, that someone has repeated behaviour they have already received a formal warning for
- Any subsequent behaviour that the conduct team judges would result in a second formal warning
- Any recriminations towards the person who made the report
In some cases, the conduct team will issue an immediate ban for a first offence. These are cases where the conduct team has judged that an incident is serious and the facts are beyond reasonable doubt, or where we believe someone represents a significant risk to the safety of participants at our events.
- A permanent ban can be issued where the conduct team judge that someone represents a significant risk to the safety of participants at events
- A permanent ban can be also issued where the incident is very serious and the conduct team believe the facts are inarguable
- A permanent ban can be also issued when the same behaviour is repeated after a formal warning
- Banned participants may not attend any further Empire events, or participate in any Profound Decisions moderated online communities
- If an individual represents an immediate risk to others at an event, our security team may make them leave site immediately
We will issue a permanent ban when the conduct team judge that a participant represents a significant risk to the safety of participants at events. We will also issue a ban where the team judge a violation of our conduct rules is very serious and inarguable, or where the behaviour is repeated after a formal warning has already been issued.
In most cases, we will write to the participant to indicate that they can no longer attend events. If we judge that an individual represents an immediate risk at an event, then our security team will make them leave site immediately. We will provide support sufficient to allow a banned participant to leave site and return home or reach the nearest public transport terminus, whichever is easier.
If a participant is banned, their character will be retired and any credit on their account will be refunded. They will not be able to attend any future events. Participants who are banned will be removed from all online Empire spaces which are moderated by Profound Decisions crew.
Any ban that is issued for a breach of our conduct rules is permanent, unless we receive compelling new evidence that our team were mistaken. Bans issued for cheating or non-payment of ticket fees may be revisited in cases where we believe it appropriate to do so.
- If we issue a participant with a sanction, we also may impose additional restrictions on their behaviour
- Additional restrictions prohibit access to specific game areas, types of roleplay, or player interaction
- Any deliberate breach of an additional restriction that we identify will result in a permanent ban
In some cases, where we issue a caution or formal warning, we may also impose one or more additional restrictions. These limit what an individual can do at events - for example, where they can go, how they can roleplay or who they can roleplay with.
Additional restrictions can seem difficult to enforce at a large event like Empire - but they provide additional guidance to participants who have already received a caution or formal warning. Most of our participants don't want to get permanently banned, so additional restrictions require them to change their behaviour to eliminate that risk. They know that if any deliberate breach of the restriction is identified, they will receive a permanent ban.
Additional restrictions are introduced to achieve one or more of the following goals:
- To give space and peace of mind to people who have been left distressed or intimidated by their behaviour
- To require the person who has been sanctioned to ensure they observe very clear boundaries in future
- To avoid repeat incidents where someone has demonstrated an inability to follow the rules
The point of additional restrictions is not to 'enhance a punishment', or to enact IC consequences for OC breaches of the conduct rules. We will not take away an individual's title or position in the game as punishment - it will only be done in response to a perceived need to meet one or more of the above criteria.
Examples of some additional restrictions:
- Someone whose roleplay has left another participant distressed may be banned from interacting with them
- Someone who regularly behaves badly after become intoxicated at events may be banned from drinking
- Someone who repeatedly fails to pull blows when fighting may be banned from taking the battlefield
- Someone who repeatedly causes distress when roleplaying romance may be banned from engaging in romantic roleplay
If we determine that a participant has deliberately breached any additional restrictions they are under, then they will receive a permanent ban.
If we plan to impose additional restrictions following a report to the conduct team, we will only do so after discussing it with the person who made the report and with their agreement. Any restrictions will always be tailored for a specific case, but most will conform to one or more of the following broad templates.
- We may ban a participant from interacting with a specific individual as far as possible
- They must not approach any medium sized group (around 12 or fewer people) that includes that individual
- They must not initiate a conversation with that individual
- They must avoid entering that individual's group camp
- They must not engage in PvP of any kind with that individual
- They must avoid interacting with that individual online wherever possible
The restricted player may still attend large communal gatherings like Conclave, the Senate, the Forge Tavern, or a nation muster or out-of-character areas such as GOD. In any situation like this, they must make all reasonable efforts to stay a significant distance away - they should stand at the other side of the room/tent/clearing.
This restriction does not prohibit a player from going on a battle or a large skirmish, but it does restrict who they can talk to and interact with on the battlefield. This means it would be impossible to participate in a tent-quest or a small skirmish (under 20 people) if the other party is participating.
The restricted player's character may not engage in player-versus-player (PvP) activities with the other party. They may not attempt to harm the other party's character in any way. If the other party's character holds an in-character title, the restricted player may not attempt to have them revoked, replaced, or similar.
The restricted player should avoid interacting with the other person in any Profound Decisions official online communities. They must refrain from sending them emails, private messages, or texts, unless there is a legitimate need to do so.
These additional restrictions are superficially similar to a must-avoid order, but the fundamental difference is that the restrictions are only imposed on one party.
- We may ban a participant from being involved with a game area such as Conclave or the Senate
- A participant who is banned from a game area cannot hold any title associated with that part of the game
- We may also ban a participant from entering one or more specific areas on site
- An area ban remains in force during time-in and time-out, even when an area is empty
The participant may not hold any Imperial title associated with the restricted game area. For example, if a player is prohibited from participating in the Senate, then they cannot stand for or hold the title of Senator, Conscience of the Senate, Master of the Mint, The Throne, Imperial Magus, etc. If the restricted party currently holds title in the prohibited game area, they will need to resign that position.
We may also ban someone from entering a specific nation camp. This ban applies throughout the event - including before and after time-in. A participant cannot be restricted from accessing their own nation camp, but they cannot join any nation whose camp they are banned from entering. In some circumstances, we might ban an individual from a specific location, such as the Varushkan hearth fire or the Imperial Orc fighting pit, or from joining game activities like Navarr's Songs and Stories or the Dawn Tourney. An area ban remains in force at all times, even when the location is empty.
If appropriate, we may ban a participant from going to a specific group camp, provided it is possible for them to reliably know where the camp is.
Roleplay and Activity Ban
- We may ban a participant from engaging in specific forms of roleplay such as romance
- We may ban a participant from engaging in specific activites such as grappling
Empire explicitly includes a range of mature themes which require consideration to be roleplayed appropriately. We may impose a ban that restricts a player from engaging in a specific form of roleplaying if we feel that they are not able to judge the boundaries appropriately.
For example, we may ban a player from engaging in romantic or amorous roleplaying if they have demonstrated that they have difficulty in ensuring that they have obtained informed enthusiastic consent in advance.
We may also impose a ban prohibiting a player from engaging in specific activity at an event. If an individual's consumption of alcohol is causing problems, we may ban them from drinking at events. If a player violates our grappling rules, we may ban them from grappling at events.
- When the conduct team issues additional restrictions, they are usually permanent
- Restrictions imposed by other teams, for example for cheating, may have a fixed duration
By default, any additional restrictions imposed by the conduct team are permanent, subject to agreement with the individual who reported the behaviour to us. Restrictions imposed by other teams may be permanent or they may expire after a fixed period of time. For example, we may ban someone from the battlefield for a year for cheating.