Equality and Acceptable Themes

You may wish to read this page in conjunction with the setting-related Equality page that covers many of the same topics from a more IC perspective.

All games run under the auspices of Oxford University Role-Playing Games Society are subject to the Conduct and Acceptable Themes Policy which can be found on the OURPGSoc website. It is expected that all GMs and players will have read and be familiar with this policy and will act accordingly during Misrule.

This is intended to be a fairly dark game and is set during a historical time period in which a lot of views and actions were accepted which can cause distress today. Characters in this game will uphold beliefs including (depending on your character) human sacrifice, God-decreed inequality through the feudal system, and that mutilation is an acceptable method of punishment. Despite this, the GM team are committed to making Misrule welcoming and accessible for all players and therefore, please find below the list of potentially upsetting topics which will be present in the game, along with some instances of where you might expect to encounter these.

Please feel free to let the GM team know any topic (including those listed below) that you would prefer to avoid - whilst we cannot guarantee to keep you from it, particularly where other players are involved, we will do our best.

Potentially Sensitive Topics that may/will occur

These topics will be present in the game to some degree, and it is likely you will to be exposed to several of them, and more at second hand. If you encounter them please treat them in an appropriate fashion.

  • Self-harm
    Mostly through bloodletting for rituals or ritualised penance.
  • Consensual sexual contact
  • Extreme violence
  • Extreme gore
  • Discrimination on the basis of physical disability or mental health condition
    Misrule is set during a time when mutilation was used as a common punishment. It is not uncommon to see people who have lost a foot, or the tips of their ears, or their right hand, as punishment for criminal behaviour. While we are not banning this topic completely, the GM team consider it more appropriate for your characters to mock or think less of other characters for being convicted felons than for being physically disabled, and for characters to moderate their language appropriately. Please note that the use of real-world slurs to describe other people is banned under the CAT policy.
  • Discrimination on the basis of nationality, religion or faith
    Much of the game is centred around this topic. If this is something you find distressing, Misrule may not be the game for you. We recommend coming along to meet the Society at our Sunday Tabletops sessions instead.
  • Incest
    Please note that under the CAT policy both parties must be consenting adults and no coercion or power imbalances which could impair consent are permitted. If you wish to include this theme in your character or their backstory, please be aware the GMs will be willing to consider relationships between two characters who are of roughly the same age and who have roughly equal power within the relationship.
  • Torture
  • Slavery
    Please note that in this game slavery has no race connotations and that anyone may be enslaved.
  • Mind control and other means of removing agency including possession
    Will occur in limited circumstances (relevant quirks, spells and rituals, actions of NPCs). Just because someone's mind is controlled/influenced it does not present an excuse to violate any other guidelines on this page!
  • Domestic violence
  • Genital mutilation
    Limited to backstory for eunuchs (male) only - no detail please!
  • Physical disability
  • Mental illness
  • Suicide
  • Other real-life discriminations not explicitly mentioned elsewhere (above or below), in particular the following may occur in the setting:
    • Discrimination on the grounds of age (ageism)
      It is possible that some characters will consider a younger or an older character unfit for some roles, for example, thinking a teenager lacks the experience needed to be monarch, or an older person may be considered feeble and less likely to survive illness or a harsh winter. These prejudices are entirely in-character and will not affect how the GM team judge the results of any action.
    • Social class
    • Employment
    • Language
    • Region
  • Distortions of real world faiths
    Whilst we draw inspiration from the real world faiths and religious organisations of the era, our interpretations are often exaggerated or completely invented or misrepresented for narrative effect. Some aspects of a faith may well be distorted by association with an evil character or faction. No out of character disrespect is meant to any faith or entity. For the sake of clarity: this is a work of fiction and does not represent real world views. Please note that the version of Christianity which features prominently in the game is that of 11th century Europe, just after the Concordat of Worms.

Forbidden Topics

These topics must not be mentioned, even in backstory, by either the players or the GMs.

  • Sexual assault, sexual coercion or any other form of non-consensual sex (applies to all OURPGSoc games)
  • Sex with minors (applies to all OURPGSoc games)
    The world of Misrule is one where historical attitudes towards the age of consent never happened. All religons in Misrule view it as a sin to have sex with someone under the age of 16.
  • Use of real-world discriminatory slurs (applies to all OURPGSoc games)
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth
    It can be presumed that a baby will be born alive unless the mother is killed before the baby is born. It can be safely presumed that in order to ensure there is no debate around this, any attempts to kill a pregnant person during childbirth will certainly fail.
  • Discrimination on the basis of gender or sex
    This is a setting in which all genders are considered equal and always have been. It does not make sense in-game for your character to be prejudiced on the basis of gender or sex.
  • Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation (e.g. Homophobia)
    This is a setting in which all sexual orientations are considered equal. While there are cultural prejudices against illegitimate children inheriting titles from their parents, there are no cultural prejudices against children who are adopted by a married couple inheriting. Marriage is equally available to people of all sexual orientations and always has been.
  • Discrimination on the basis of gender identity (e.g. Transphobia)
    This is a setting in which all genders are considered equal and always have been. It does not make sense in-game for your character to be prejudiced on the basis of gender or sex.
  • Discrimination on the basis of real-world ethnicity or race
    Each of our nations is considered to contain people of almost all ethnicities and races. With a few exceptions, such as America and Australia, which have not been and almost certainly will not be discovered over the course of the game, people of all races and ethnicities have traded in the markets of Ancient Rome and have settled in the countries which feature in this game. It is not necessary or appropriate to use makeup to change your skin colour to play any character, and likewise a character's race cannot be inferred from their nationality.
  • Eating disorders
    Anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders will not feature in this game. Please note that if a character chooses for any reason to use starvation as a form of protest or an attempt at suicide, this is not considered to be an eating disorder as these are not linked to abnormal attitudes towards food.
  • Forced abortion
    It is possible in Misrule to lace someone's food or drink with contraceptives to prevent a child being conceived, but after conception it is not possible to kill the foetus in utero.
equality_and_acceptable_themes.txt · Last modified: 2015/10/04 01:03 by gm_cecily
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