Enacted and Ratified on: 29 March, 2020
To be reviewed by: 2021 Annual General Meeting
Why do we have these guidelines?
Geas strives to ensure that players and GMs of all experience levels and backgrounds feel comfortable within our gaming spaces. This policy does not seek to censor or restrict the content that GMs or players can put in their games. Our objective is to help inform players about the content they may encounter within a game so they can make informed decisions. While we recognise that some games can include challenging material, this policy seeks to mitigate harm to our members from distressing or traumatising content, and to ensure that players and GMs are in control of the content and gaming experience.
Objectives and Scope
- Geas believes that all gaming spaces should be safe, inclusive and accessible for everyone involved, and that all GMs and players have a responsibility in facilitating this.
- This policy applies to all games run at weekly Geas venues, one-shot events, as well as games that are directly run by Geas. All GMs and players running or participating in these games are expected to abide by this policy.
- All players and GMs are expected to play fairly and be respectful in their conduct with each other.
- Geas encourages players and GMs to talk openly about their expectations of a game and any issues they may have with its content or dynamics at the table. The Equality and Wellbeing Officer, and the Geas Committee, will assist in resolving any disputes that may arise.
- All players and GMs must ensure that no content that they introduce in their games is presented in a manner that is disparaging, derogatory or discriminatory to others. For example, while it is okay to have a game that explores themes like racism, sexism, etc., it is not acceptable to play characters or create narratives that are racist, sexist or derogatory stereotypes.
- All players and GMs are also required to garner the explicit and informed consent of others at the table in advance regarding any material that could be distressing or triggering. GMs and players must not include any material that could be considered distressing or triggering without the informed consent of others at the table.
- All players and GMs must be sensitive and accommodating of any access needs that others at the table may have. The Equality and Wellbeing Officer will assist players and GMs to ensure that gaming spaces at Geas are as inclusive as possible.
- If a player invokes a safety tool, players and GMs must respect their decision, and not question them or negotiate with them to reconsider. They will be expected to follow the player’s lead on whether to remove the content or change it in some way to allow the player to feel safe.
- Geas maintains an Open Table Policy: All players and GMs will be free to leave the table, take a break, or call off a game at any time should they wish to. Everyone is expected to respect an individual’s decision.
- All players and GMs will be expected to respect the staff at any venue where Geas events are hosted, and to treat the venue and all members of staff with courtesy. This includes cleaning up after themselves, leaving the venue as it was when games started, and ending play promptly.
- GMs should make an active effort to include and integrate all players in their group, to create a safe environment where players can raise any issues they may have, and to resolve any conflict that may arise. The Equality and Wellbeing Officer will be available to assist the GM in doing so.
- GMs must clearly advertise the tone and style of their game whilst pitching, providing, where appropriate, an age rating, advisories for potentially distressing or triggering content, and, in the case of non-Geas games advertised at the Society, whether or not this policy will be followed, so players may make informed decisions when signing up for a game.
- The use of safety tools is mandatory at all gaming tables. Geas recommends the use of T-Cards, although we are happy to consider alternatives that would better suit a GM or gaming group’s needs. The Equality and Wellbeing Officer will be available to assist the players and GMs in implementing the right safety tools for their table.
Implementation and Conflict Resolution
- If a player or GM’s actions or conduct makes you feel unsafe during a game, you are welcome to raise it at the table, speak to the GM in private, or speak to the Equality and Wellbeing Officer or any other member of the Geas Committee. If you feel you are being harassed, bullied, or discrimination against, please see the Society’s Anti-Harassment Policy.
- In the event of the breach of this policy, players or GMs may report this via the Society’s Complaints Procedure. The Committee may consider failure to comply with this Policy as a breach of membership responsibilities, and may take measures ranging from informal, front-line mediation to applying formal sanctions as outlined in §3.4 of the Geas Constitution.