The Code of Conduct is there to protect the game, its players, the site, and the immersion. This page gives Out-of-Character information on how to comport yourself while at a game event, as well as how to handle issues that may lead to out-of-game problematic situations. This page also addresses out of game “game rules” that do not relate to in-game activity, such as when and how players can enter and leave play.
Safety is the most important concern in OOC behavior. Gothic: the Lion Age does not have a host of specific safety rules as much as it has a general policy of limiting unsafe activity. Any player or staff member may call “Safety!” at any time to halt game action because of an unsafe condition. Everyone who hears the “Safety” call should repeat the call until action stops and the dangerous situation can be resolved. This sometimes can involve moving unsafe material out of the way, moving away from dangerous terrain, assisting someone with an injury, or even just taking a moment to avoid a panic attack in a crazy situation. Again, Safety may be called in any situation for any reason if you feel there is a safety or emergency concern. Only the person who called “Safety” should resume the action, once they feel the situation is resolved. Various other small OOC calls such as “watch your swing” or “check your footing” can be used as necessary to avoid danger but still keep the action moving.
It is required that every participant will submit any weapon they wish to use that event for safety inspection during the check-in process.
Players may receive a Safety Warning if they routinely violate or endanger the safety of other players or staff members. This includes but is not limited to accidental strikes to illegal body areas (head, groin), swings that are too hard, behavior that breaks or damages personal equipment of other players or the game site, unnecessary physical roughness with other players. Players may also receive a Safety Warning for poor fire safety, such as leaving a large fire unattended.
Safety also includes interpersonal misconduct, such as bullying, berating, intimidating or otherwise overly rude or abusive behavior between one’s self and any other player or Staff member.
Repeated safety warnings can result in a Safety Violation. Safety violations can also arise from abusive behavior of any kind. This behavior may take the form of emails, verbal or physical expressions directed at Staff, Rules Marshals, or Participants. A Safety Violation carries with it punishment, at Staff discretion, that may include temporary removal of combat privileges, or suspension from one or more events.
The integrity of the game rules is the second most important aspect of OOC behavior. The shared adherence to the game rules are what allows the game to function as a shared experience, and as such, repeated violation of those rules will be treated as unacceptable. This includes cases of accidental mishandling of rules after warning or correction, as well as willful and intentional breakage of the rules to your personal advantage.
All items which have been purchased in character must be tagged and represented by a prop (obvious exceptions are made for things like horses, wagons, etc.). If your tag is lost or damaged, please see a staff member to determine if it is possible to replace it. Using an item for its effect without an item tag, or using an item tag without the appropriate Phys-Rep is not permissible.
Magical Spells and effects require approval from a Staff member prior to the spell going into effect. Exceptions to this are War Magic and Arcana. Notification and approval from a Staff member is also required for Priest Rituals and Atonements to go into effect.
Players may receive a Rules Warning if they routinely make mistakes relating to the way their character should behave given the game rules. This includes but is not limited to using abilities improperly from the way they are written, not properly accounting for the expenditure of mentally tracked attributes such as how many Defenses one has, not taking fair hits in combat, and using injured body parts normally.
Rules Violations occur from frequent or repeated Rules Warnings, as well as intentional misuse of the game rules. This includes but is not limited to changing a character sheet or item tag, falsifying game information including misrepresenting staff calls, behaving in a way that is impossible for your character to do such as using abilities they do not have, and any other flagrant misuse of the game systems. Gothic: The Lion Age Staff, and designated Rules Marshals, have sole discretion in determining whether an act constitutes ”Cheating”.
The last category of concern is Genre, or the sanctity of the immersive environment we are trying to create. While most game activities support the immersion of others, some behaviors are disruptive to the environment, and thus the enjoyment of other players. It can sometimes be tempting to begin to speak out of character, or to use modern conveniences in a place where you interact with others. In such cases, players may use the out of game call “Decorum” to quickly and succinctly request that others return to being in character.
Brief asides to speak with Staff or Rules Marshals about game related matters are acceptable, but should be conducted away from ongoing roleplay and should be as brief as possible. Furthermore, items that are modern in nature should not be used or stored openly. This includes modern food and drink containers like soda cans, physical containers like plastic totes, and used items like cell phones. In character storage alternatives such as flagons, chests, etc are preferred, but if necessary, the items can be stored out of sight or under a sheet labelled “OOC”.
Playing spaces are expected to remain “in character” as well in order to assist in the immersive environment of the game. It is expected that participants will not turn on electrical lights, unless there is a safety or emergency issue. Lights that have gel filters, flicker bulbs, fake fireplaces, or other effects which create a more natural or flame-like lighting are allowed and encouraged.
Gothic maintains a “Quiet Hours” from 2am-8am. During this time, the interior of cabins is considered to be an OOC space, and Genre restrictions can be dropped at this time. The space may remain an IC space if the participants in that space wish it and agree it to be for their own enjoyment.
A Genre Warning occurs if the player is continually disruptive to the immersion of others, or if they ignore the verbal “Decorum” call to return to in-character. A Genre Warning can also be issued for using disruptive modern objects (or costume) and items such as drinking from a coke can, using a cell phone, as well as leaving such items in plain view. Repeated Warnings result in Violation.
Genre Violations occur with frequent or egregious disruptions to the environment of the game, or repeated failure to stay in character. Genre Violations can be punished with temporary suspension from events.
Gothic: The Lion Age is intended to be an age eighteen (18) and over game. Exceptions may be made at Staff discretion for age 16 and above, provided the parent or guardian signs a waiver indicating that they are aware of, and give consent to exposure to the mature subjects and themes which are present in Gothic: The Lion Age games, and that appropriate maturity and decorum is maintained. Staff 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.
It is expected that all participants will stay on site for the duration of a Gothic: The Lion Age game event. Exceptions are made for the period of quiet hours from 2am-8am and with prior approval from Staff. If a participant needs to leave the site for a short period of time, they are required to sign out and back in on the sign-out sheet located at Staff cabin. If a participant needs to leave the event, and has not previously discussed it with staff, it is expected that they have finished their participation in the game event and will not be returning. Signing out, or giving Staff notification, in this instance is still required. Failure to follow this procedure can result in experience points not being awarded.
Payment for participation in a Gothic: The Lion Age game is to be made prior to entering play. If a participant is going to miss normal check-in hours, they are responsible for contacting Staff and making arrangements for late check-in.
Players are encouraged to pay for their attendance ahead of time as it allows Staff to have an accurate idea of what players are attending as what characters for the purpose of plot development. The price of admission increases by 10 dollars for attendance purchased at game. Exceptions can and will be made for those people who contact staff ahead of time to commit to attend or for whom paying ahead is financially difficult.
If when attend the event you are already injured to the point that combat would be considered unsafe to engage in (such as recovering from a surgery), you should tell Staff as soon as possible. Players with such injuries can be given a special Non-Combatant status.
Non-Combatants should indicate their status as such EITHER by wearing a bright orange headband or armband, or, if they do not wish to do so or feel it is additionally necessary, they may immediately call “Safety” if they are in, or about to get into, a combat situation and inform everyone of their status before resuming.
Non-Combatants cannot deal damage of any kind (even with an ability) to other characters, though they may still roleplay as normal and use other Skills. If a character would otherwise try to injure a Non-Combatant, they instead enter arms-length range and call “Strike,” as per the Combat call, on that person, which can be defended against with that person’s ordinary Defense calls as normal. The Non-Combatant cannot counterattack, but they might delay their character being injured or killed long-enough for help to arrive.
PLAYER VS PLAYER
Antagonism between characters is an expected and normal part of the game, up to and including physical violence using the in-game rules. Normal and spontaneous violence is allowed and acceptable within the game’s policies, though for any scene involving prolonged violence or violation such as torture, capture, jailing, or otherwise, a Staff member should be present to oversee the scene. Players of characters subject to such scenes may take advantage of any of the Player Comfort rules discussed below.
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 Gothic: The Lion Age, or asked to leave the event.
Sensitive and controversial topics may be encountered in Gothic: The Lion Age plots. The setting is intended to be one of difficult moral choices against a setting that is dark and emotional at times. It is the players’ responsibility to inform Staff if they encounter something which is too disturbing for them, and that they need to take a break from. At any time a player may opt to “Fade to Black.” In this event, scenes may be narrated, or you may surrender your PC sheet to a staff member to take over for you, as the situation warrants. While we do want the game to evoke emotions and character-focused choices, everyone has limits, and we will do what we can to respect those.
If an in-game event would lead to sexual intimacy between the characters, they players may choose to use the alternative Ars Amandi method to resolve such scenes. The Ars Amandi method essentially involves substituting massage for sexual activity to include a physical sensation, contact and time spent to give some emotional register to the encounter. Additional details can be found at the Ars Amandi website, http://www.ars-amandi.se/resources/the-ars-amandi-method/
IN GAME THEFT
An Item can be stolen in character if the thief can take either the Phys-Rep prop for the item or the item tag, or both. If an item is stolen, the physical prop may be used (responsibly) by the one who stole it for a period not to exceed one event. Before the event is over, any stolen props must be returned to Staff, wherein the prop will be returned to the player and the thief will keep the item tag, having to provide their own Phys-Rep going forward.
If the item being stolen is an untagged decorative piece (for example: bedding, wall hangings, candlesticks, mugs, etc.), then it will have no resale value for the thief, and the physical prop will be returned to the owner by staff. Staff will inform the owner that the object was stolen, and the owner is expected to roleplay the theft. In character belongings required for personal comfort (such as bedding) can, of course, still be used regardless of their in character possession.
You may not publish or republish rules, mechanics, settings, characters, events, storylines, or any other intellectual property belonging to Gothic: The Lion Age unless expressly authorized in writing by Sean Yeager or a designated Gothic: The Lion Age Representative.
You may not violate any applicable law or regulation in connection with your participation in any Gothic: The Lion Age event.
The participants of Gothic: the Lion Age events agree to abide by all policies imposed by the event site, including alcohol consumption policies. Gothic: The Lion Age accepts no responsibility for adherence or non-adherence to this Policy.
All new character submissions, downtime actions, letters, and any other kind of new business submitted between games are due the Wednesday four weeks prior to game weekend (31 days in advance of the event).
Gothic: the Lion Age allows a forward credit of attendance fees in the event that players must leave game early, such as due to an emergency. Players who leave on the first night of the event are eligible for a credit toward their next attendance. Fees paid for other services such as additional Glory or Meal Plan purchases may not be refunded. Players who are subject to Code of Conduct violations such that they must leave the event as their administrative punishment are not offered refunds or credits of any kind.
Glory is an out of character currency which is awarded for various measures of assistance to the game such as help with set-up/tear-down and donations. Glory can be spent for a variety of purposes, including certain character concepts. For more details, please see the website: http://www.thelionage.com/for-glory/
Players who miss two consecutive events become inactive, and no longer receive Downtime actions, can issue Warfare orders, or other kinds of IC interaction.
A Player may only have one active Character at a time. Players may voluntarily choose to “shelve” their active character. This requires between 0 to 2 games notice, depending on the prominence of the character and the amount of heat and attention on them currently, to give current storylines a chance to resolve and to avoid shelving being used to avoid consequences. Players may also voluntarily retire a character at any time, and doing so is not reversible.
If a character is permanently retired, either voluntarily or by being driven out of play by death or other coercion, any Experience point and Glory expenditures from between last event and the current one are refunded.
One character rewrite is allowed before the submission deadline before your 3rd game of play. This rewrite may address any parts of the character that the player felt were not working as they imagined, or were less fun than expected, or whatever else, but may not change the core concept of the character (including entering or leaving Organizations like knighthood, magician guild, noble house, priesthood, etc) or remove things from story elements already engaged in play and difficult to reverse.