It’s kind of a gamer code…
Like Wil Wheaton’s “Don’t be a Dick” clause and Robert Sutton’s “No Assholes Rule,” we have a set of common-sense guidelines that we must insist our players adhere to. The following Code of Conduct is taken from our Terms and Conditions:
Your use of and participation in the Game is governed by the Dying Kingdoms Code of Conduct. The Dying Kingdoms Code of Conduct must be adhered to by all players. It is your responsibility to know, understand and abide by the Dying Kingdoms Code of Conduct. The following rules are not meant to be exhaustive, and may be modified by Dying Kingdoms at any time. DYING KINGDOMS HEREBY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SUSPEND, TERMINATE, OR MODIFY YOUR ABILITY TO PLAY OR PARTICIPATE, FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER, WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE TO YOU.
- A. You may not cheat;(Examples of cheating can be found in the Dying Kingdoms Players’ Guide and include but are not limited to: falsely adjust a character sheet or an item tag, or intentionally falsifying information relating to the game, and/or perform illegal maneuvers as a participant. Dying Kingdoms Marshals and Staff have sole discretion in determining whether an act constitutes”Cheating”.)
- B. You may not modify or cause to be modified any of the Dying Kingdoms rules or records in any way not expressly authorized in writing by Staff;
- C. You may not publish or republish rules, mechanics, settings, characters, events, storylines, or any other intellectual property belonging to Dying Kingdoms unless expressly authorized in writing by Dying Kingdoms; and
- D. You may not violate any applicable law or regulation in connection with your participation in any Dying Kingdoms event.
- E. The Dying Kingdoms game and events are restricted to players of eighteen (18) years of age or older. If you are under eighteen and attempt to play at a Dying Kingdoms event, you will be asked to leave and not allowed to return to any future Dying Kingdoms events at the discretion of Staff. DK reserves the right to verify your age at Sign-in by requesting to see a valid, unexpired picture identification proving that you are at least eighteen (18) years of age.
- F. Abusive, overly harsh, consistently derogatory, extremely insulting, or intentionally demeaning behavior of any kind will not be tolerated by Dying Kingdoms. This behavior may take the form of emails, verbal or physical expressions, or any other behavior directed at Dying Kingdoms Staff, Marshalls, or Participants. Such behavior will not be tolerated for any reason. If abusive emails or behavior persist from any particular individual that person may be asked to leave Dying Kingdoms events either temporarily or permanently, and they will only be allowed back to Dying Kingdoms events at the discretion of Marshalls and Staff.
- G. This is a game of heroes and scoundrels. Villains are not suitable as PCs in the Game. Participants playing PCs should be working together to fight villains, rather than portraying roles whose satisfaction comes from wrecking the story for other players. Villains are therefore the province of the Dying Kingdoms storytellers and NPCs. A character who strays too far into villainy may be retired by Staff storytellers and turned into a villain NPC. If Staff storytellers warn you that your character is becoming a villain, take time to work with Staff storytellers to reexamine your characterâ€™s motivations, or retire your PC into an NPC villain.
- H. Dying Kingdoms is a cooperative Player Versus Environment (PvE) game, not a Player Versus Player game (PvP). PvP means actions taken against another PC which would significantly and negatively affect that character’s story arc or interfere with that Participant’s ability to enjoy the Game. If you feel like a PvP action is called for to make the story more interesting or is becoming unavoidable, it is the your responsibility as a Participant to approach Staff, Marshalls, and any other Participants that would be involved in such proposed in-game conflict, and find a satisfactory resolution to the PvP conflict for all parties involved before any PvP action is taken in-game.
- I. Due to the sensitive and controversial nature of the subject, the Dying Kingdoms game and events are inappropriate venues to explore character themes and story lines that depict acts of simulated or story-related rape and sexual violence. Any Participant including these themes in their role play will be warned by Marshalls or Staff, and upon a second occurrence, the player may be suspended indefinitely from the Game and future Dying Kingdoms events at the discretion of Marshalls and Staff.
- J. Dying Kingdoms Alcohol Policy. DK accepts no responsibility for your adherence or non-adherence to this Policy. You hereby acknowledge and agree to abide by the Dying Kingdoms Alcohol Policy, which is as follows:
(i) No alcohol consumption by anyone under age twenty-one (21). (ii) No furnishing of alcohol to anyone under the age of twenty-one (21). If you are not sure of someone’s age, play it safe and do not provide them with alcohol. (iii) No alcohol consumption within one hour before actively participating in physical role-playing or combat activities. For every one unit of alcohol you consume (A standard drink is equivalent to a 5 ounce glass of wine, a 12 ounce regular beer or a 1.5 ounces 80 proof distilled spirits.), you must refrain from simulated combat for cumulative hours equal to the units consumed after said consumption. You must also designate yourself as a non-combatant by wearing an orange headband during this time. (iv) No alcohol consumption on sites that do not allow the consumption of alcohol. DK will provide advance warning for such sites, at Game Sign Up time. (v) If you become unruly or disruptive to game play you may be asked to temporarily remove yourself from game at the discretion of Marshalls or Staff. If you do not abide by this Alcohol Policy you may be immediately banned from the Dying Kingdoms event at which you breached this policy, and possibly from future Dying Kingdoms events, at the complete discretion of Marshalls or Staff.
- K. Please make all reasonable efforts to respect the wishes of other Participants regarding their desires to be included or excluded from photographs, video, and other recordings; and whether or not they are amenable to being tagged by name in such recordings on the internet (for example, in a photograph posted on a social networking site). If you continually disrespect Participant(s) wishes regarding same, you may be suspended from Dying Kingdoms, or asked to leave a Dying Kingdoms event, by Staff or Marshalls. We have a list of people who have said “Don’t tag me in pictures!” Please view that list and do not tag the people on it in photographs.
What happens if I violate the Code of Conduct?
If you Violate the Code of Conduct as laid out in the Terms and Conditions, staff may have to take corrective action with you. Corrective action is discussed in the FAQ below. The following policy is not meant to be exhaustive, and may be modified by Dying Kingdoms LARP LLC at any time. As you know from the Code of Conduct in the T&C, Dying Kingdoms hereby reserves the right to suspend, terminate, or modify your ability to play or participate, for any reason whatsoever, with or without notice to you… But it is unlikely that will happen unless you’re seriously blowing it. DK is a pretty welcoming and understanding bunch of care bears.
Why do we need to talk about Corrective Action and Codes of Conduct in DK?
DK is a large game, sometimes we have to formalize policy regarding correcting player behavior in order to manage expectations of new and old players. In the unlikely event that a participant in DK may need behavioral correction, we have formalized our corrective action policy below. Sometimes behavioral gaffes are misunderstandings. We’d much rather players self-corrected than have staff intervene, so make sure when you have a complaint about another participant that it is a strong case for staff intervention. Regardless, we are happy to listen to everything you have concerns about. Please tell a staff member you are comfortable with about your concerns and they will make sure the relevant staff gets involved in a resolution.
What does DK Corrective Action look like?
In order to correct a DK participant’s behavior, staff must assess how bad the infraction is. Minor infractions, such as rudeness and unfriendly or unsportsmanlike behavior to other players can be corrected with a friendly talking to. It is when such behaviors become consistent in their interactions with staff and other players or when a major infraction occurs that significant disciplinary action must be taken. It is important to note, staff are not immune from complaints, and we will take all reports of misconduct regarding staff behavior very seriously.
If staff receives complaints, we must take some time to assess whether or not an actual problem exists, or if it is simply a misunderstanding between DK participants. If it is a misunderstanding, staff can take steps to collaborate with both parties and try to come to a solution, ie, getting two people in a room together and talking it out, but no disciplinary action is required.
We must allow participants to tell their side of the story and come to an educated conclusion. From there, if we assess that there is a problem that needs to be addressed, like a violation of our Code of Conduct as laid out in the Terms and Conditions, we will break that infraction down into a minor infraction or a major infraction.
Minor infractions include a participant yelling at or cursing at another player or staff, being overly forward when someone has asked them not to be, purposefully ruining another players fun, or acting generally disruptive at game. Minor infractions can be handled by verbally warning the participant that their actions are unwelcome and must include suggestions for improvement. We will discuss specific infraction incidents with the participant and offer ways that the incident could have been handled better, as well as discuss solutions to patch up their place in the community or with other participants. We will warn participants per incident, and after three incidents, we will inform them that another infraction may require a more firm response from staff.
Continued minor infractions will be met with a written warning outlining specific events in a neutral way that will be emailed to the participant. We can have a dialogue with participants when we have verbal warnings, but it is important to not engage in debate on these infractions once we have decided they are valid. Instead of debating infractions point by point, we will guide them towards solutions. We will inform participants that another response from staff will require a suspension of that participants access to DK. It is important that decisions regarding written warnings to participants be made within 24-72 hours of the incidents so that the offending participant will understand what they did to require a staff warning.
If infractions continue after verbal and written warnings, we must suspend the participant for a time that staff deems fitting, depending on the level of infraction and the amount of time the behavior has been going on. Staff can respond with suspensions from 3 to 12 months. It is important that decisions regarding suspension of participants be made within 24-72 hours of the incidents so that the offending participant will understand what they did to merit a suspension.
If, after verbal warnings, a written warning, and a suspension, the participant’s behavior does not correct, staff may expel the player from game and the participant will not be welcome back. It is important that decisions regarding banishment of players be made within 24-72 hours of the event, and that staff is 100% on board with the decision, so that DK staff is able to handle any fallout from the event.
Major infractions include assault, harassment, sexual misconduct, purposeful cheating, theft, or destruction of property. These sorts of major infractions must be swiftly acted upon if they happen at game, and may get a participant banned from game temporarily or permanently, depending on the discretion of staff. If a major infraction occurs at game, staff members must meet immediately and decide whether or not the player may stay onsite. After game, DK staff (the board, plot team, etc) must decide how best to proceed with that player. Staff can respond with suspensions from 3 to 12 months, or with permanent banishment, at their discretion. It is important that decisions regarding suspension or banishment of players be made within 24-72 hours of the event, and that staff is 100% on board with the decision, so that DK staff is able to handle any fallout from the event.
Some interesting reading…
The following is NOT part of our Code of Conduct, but it is helpful. Having people you don’t get along with is inevitable everywhere, in any game, under any ruleset; with that in mind, you may want to check out “Packard’s 11 Simple Rules” for getting along with your fellow man.
11 Simple Rules
- 1. Think first of the other fellow. This is THE foundation, the first requisite, for getting along with others. And it is the one truly difficult accomplishment you must make. Gaining this, the rest will be “a breeze.”
- 2. Build up the other person’s sense of importance. When we make the other person seem less important, we frustrate one of his deepest urges. Allow him to feel equality or superiority, and we can easily get along with him.
- 3. Respect the other man’s personality rights. Respect as something sacred the other fellow’s right to be different from you. No two personalities are ever molded by precisely the same forces.
- 4. Give sincere appreciation. If we think someone has done a thing well, we should never hesitate to let him know it. WARNING: This does not mean promiscuous use of obvious flattery. Flattery with most intelligent people gets exactly the reaction it deserves; contempt for the egotistical “phony” who stoops to it.
- 5. Eliminate the negative. Criticism seldom does what its user intends, for it invariably causes resentment. The tiniest bit of disapproval can sometimes cause a resentment which will rankle, to your disadvantage, for years.
- 6. Avoid openly trying to reform people. Every man knows he is imperfect, but he doesn’t want someone else trying to correct his faults. If you want to improve a person, help him to embrace a higher working goal, a standard, an ideal, and he will do his own “making over” far more effectively than you can do it for him.
- 7. Try to understand the other person. How would you react to similar circumstances? When you begin to see the “whys” of him you can’t help but get along better with him.
- 8. Check first impressions. We are especially prone to dislike some people on first sight because of some vague resemblance (of which we are usually unaware) to someone else whom we have had reason to dislike. Follow Abraham Lincoln’s famous self-instruction: “I do not like that man; therefore I shall get to know him better.”
- 9. Take care with the little details. Watch your smile, your tone of voice, how you use your eyes, the way you greet people, the use of nicknames and remembering faces, names and dates. Little things add polish to your skill in dealing with people. Constantly, deliberately think of them until they become a natural part of your personality.
- 10. Develop genuine interest in people. You cannot successfully apply the foregoing suggestions unless you have a sincere desire to like, respect and be helpful to others. Conversely, you cannot build genuine interest in people until you have experienced the pleasure of working with them in an atmosphere characterized by mutual liking and respect.
- 11. Keep it up. That’s all, just keep it up!