Equality and Diversity
Real-world discrimination is as unacceptable at our games as real-world violence. We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment at our events.
Our games include adult themes, verbal and physical conflict. It is perfectly acceptable to insult another character on the basis of an in-character attribute at any time during events. It is not acceptable to insult another participant on the basis of an out-of-character attribute.
This means that participants are not allowed to discriminate on grounds of real-world gender, relationship status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexuality, transgender status, religion or age, or any similar distinction.
In particular please note that none of the following excuses are acceptable:
- "I was only joking"
- "I was in-character"
- "I was drunk"
- "I'm his mate and he doesn't mind"
These rules apply to all games and events managed by us so that we can promote equality and fairness for all involved. If you are unclear on whether something violates the rules then err on the side of caution.
We deliberately create settings which do not include themes of real-world discrimination. It is against the spirit of our games to play a character who is prejudiced against others for real-world characteristics like gender, sexuality or skin colour at our games.
Empire is a deliberately gender neutral setting by design. There are no roles, character types, jobs or positions in these settings that are restricted by gender or are stereotyped as belonging to any particular gender. For example; soldiers, healers, generals, senators and empresses are all equally as likely to be women as they are men. We are not interested in exploring themes of real world gender discrimination, and we want our games to be welcoming to players of all genders.
To support this goal, we ask participants to be mindful of their use of language when addressing others. For example, addressing a crowd of Imperial citizens about to take the battlefield as "men", "lads" or "boys" will make some players feel excluded and does not make sense in a universe where half the warriors are not male. We appreciate that the use of gendered language is habitual and everyone makes the odd mistake; but a concerted effort to use appropriate in-character language that fits the setting will improve the game for everyone.
Acceptable Behaviour Online
Profound Decisions moderates a forum and a number of official facebook groups for Empire. We require everyone using these platforms to be courteous to each other and we to abide by the spirit of these rules on discrimination, in text as well as in person. All our official forum and facebook groups are strongly moderated and posts that violate these rules will be deleted.
If you are experiencing harassment or abuse online in relation with one of our games then please contact us. Breaches of this policy online may lead to a ban from our games, regardless of whether it happens online or in the field.
Socializing is an important part of live roleplaying but nobody attending an event should have to tolerate sexual harassment. We encourage any individual who experiences sexual harassment from another participant to report the incident to us at the earliest available opportunity, so that we can deal appropriately with the matter.
Unwelcome actions such as the following are inappropriate and, depending on the circumstances, may in and of themselves meet the definition of sexual harassment or contribute to a hostile game environment:
- Sexual pranks, or repeated sexual teasing, jokes, or innuendo.
- Verbal abuse, touching or grabbing of a sexual nature.
- Repeatedly standing too close to or brushing up against a person.
- Repeatedly asking a person to socialize out-of-character when the person has said no or has indicated he or she is not interested.
A victim of sexual harassment can be of any gender. The victim can be of the same sex as the harasser. The harasser can be any participant, a player or a member of crew.
Many sexual harassment issues in live roleplaying occur when participants use their character to justify what would clearly be inappropriate when not roleplaying. Participants should take care to ensure that if their behaviour involves conversation or physical contact in a sexual or intimate manner that they do not do so in a way that causes the recipient to feel out-of-character uncomfortable, regardless of any in-character considerations.
In particular, please note that although our games include themes of mind-influencing magic, drugs and addiction, human sacrifice, in-character racism and prejudice, prostitution, violence, robbery, torture and murder - they do not include non-consensual sex or sex with minors. It is not possible to know what real life experiences other participants have suffered, so all participants must avoid IC references to either of these two subjects in play.
Profound Decisions is committed to creating an environment where there is mutual respect and equality of opportunity for all participants. We want our games to be inclusive - where everyone can take part and everyone is welcome - and we oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.
- Make all reasonable efforts and adjustments to ensure that our games are inclusive.
- Promote equality of opportunity and encourage staff and players from all backgrounds to participate fully in Profound Decisions events.
- Respond promptly to harassment and equality issues, including those relating to race, gender, disability and sexual orientation, and recognise the complexities of the interrelations between them.
- Treat all complaints seriously and respond appropriately.
Opposing discrimination and harassment is not causing trouble - it is helping to build a better event for everyone.
It is not possible for Profound Decisions to create an environment that is free from discrimination or harassment by ourselves. It can only be accomplished if everyone who participates in the game works towards that goal. Challenging inappropriate behaviour by other participants is helpful, but not everyone is comfortable or confident to do that. We want all participants to be confident that they can bring complaints to us and that we will deal with them promptly, respectfully, and appropriately.
In general we operate on a "single warning" policy; a player whose behaviour does not meet the standards outlined on this page receives a single warning. Further complaints about any aspect of their behaviour risks permanent exclusion, but if there is a complaint from a different source that the player has repeated the behaviour they have already been warned for then it is standard practice to permanently exclude them from our event.
The nature of complaints in LRP is that there is usually only hearsay evidence. Giving the accused a single warning gives a reasonable balance; giving them a chance to avoid making a similar mistake in future and avoiding the more onerous requirement to make a judgement beyond reasonable doubt. In cases where an incident is serious and where the facts are beyond reasonable doubt, we would issue an immediate ban for a first offence.
If a participant wishes to report an incident but wishes to remain anonymous or does not otherwise want to make a formal complaint, then we adjust our complaints process to reflect their wishes. The issue is discussed in detail with the complainant and we investigate it as thoroughly as we are able to without compromising their anonymity. The incident is logged on the accused's participants database records; if there are independent complaints in the future against the same party then we would use the history of previous incidents in determining the outcome of subsequent complaints.
If requested then we can impose a must-avoid order. This policy is designed to help a player who is having problems with the behaviour or presence of another player but where insufficient evidence exists to demonstrate the other party has breached our rules for acceptable behaviour. A must-avoid order is an option for the player bringing the problem behaviour to our attention; it is only applied where the player making the complaint believes it will benefit them.