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Themes & Accessibility

We want Animus to be as accessible as possible. If you would like to ask us to make an adjustment or accommodation in order to make the game more accessible to you, please let us know and we will explore what we can do.

All games run by the 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 be familiar with this policy when playing Animus.

We expect Animus to be darker in tone than Memento Mundi. The PCs are citizens participating in a form of totalitarian government with a strong imperialist ideology, who have been ordered to resume a campaign of world conquest. Whilst one of our goals with the game is to deconstruct this, we expect there to be a darker undercurrent beneath the more ligthearted, Saturday-morning romps that make for fun LARP fare.

However, we don't want to make players feel uncomfortable if they don't want to be. Below is a list of potentially upsetting topics which you may encounter in the game. Please feel free to let us know any topic (including those listed below) that you would prefer to avoid - while we can't guarantee you won't be exposed to such themes (especially where other players are involved), we will do our best to limit your exposure to them as much as possible.

Potentially sensitive topics that will/may occur

These topics will be present in the game to some degree. It is likely that your character will be directly exposed to several of them, and you will hear about more second hand. It is expected that you treat these subjects in an appropriate manner. This not an exhaustive list of topics that may appear in the game.

  • Self Harm - PCs may choose to self-harm, and there are a number of powers and abilities which rely on harming the self, especially in the Forest Touched class.
  • Suicide - PCs may choose to commit suicide, though there are few mechanical incentives to do so; this is unlikely to be a major recurring theme in the game.
  • Consensual sexual contact - It is permissible to engage in these behaviors, but due sensitivity should be given around the portrayal of such, with 'fade to black' being used for anything more involved than gentle flirting or kissing. We ask anyone who would engage in such roleplay to be especially careful to make sure participants are comfortable OC at every step.
  • Extreme violence - Brutal fighting is a staple of the system, which has a high focus on combat. Many combat abilities inflict violence in visceral or intense ways IC.
  • Extreme gore - As with the above, brutal acts of violence can result in some very gory situations IC.
  • Pregnancy, Miscarriage, Stillbirth - you may not generate a pregnant character, nor may your character become pregnant during play; however, such themes may be present in players' backstories. While uncommon, miscarriage and stillbirth may occasionally be introduced as topics.
  • Discrimination on the basis of physical disability or mental health condition - given the powerful metaphysical forces that PCs may be subject to, as well as the stresses of living under a totalitarian regime, such discrimination is likely to occur. With respect to mutations - whilst these are seen as marks of status in Rastaban, outside civilisations are likely to react with fear and curiosity towards individuals with such bodies. We ask that players attempt to handle this with sensitivity. Use of real-world slurs will not be tolerated.
  • Discrimination on the basis of nationality, religion or faith - The Rastaban Empire believes itself to be the pinnacle of human civilisation, with a superior religion and culture; furthermore, it has been isolated from the outside world for a thousand years and, as such, its citizens are likely to find the cultural or religious practices of others strange or incorrect. In turn, other nations are likely to have strong views about Rastaban. GMs will be given strict guidance not to echo or replicate any real-world stereotypes or harmful cultural tropes in the wider setting of the world. Use of real-world slurs will not be tolerated.
  • Torture - PCs and NPCs may torture others, there are some powers and abilities which could be applied to this end, and torture may be introduced as a feature of state control. Those who do not wished to be subjected to a torture / interrogation scene may always elect to fade to black.
  • Mind control or other means of removing agency - Though we have designed Animus to have no hard mind control, metaphysical ailments may certainly result in the limiting of player agency - though we will always strive to make this enjoyable, and to let PCs have control over how their characters react to such events. GMs will be given strict guidance not to negate or rewrite the characterisation that other PCs have worked towards without their enthusiastic collaboration.
  • Slavery - There is no caste, class or ethnicity of people that are or have ever been slaves, and the institutional practice of slavery is non-existent. Such a practice is utterly unheard of in the history of the world, has never occurred, and would be seen as not only wrong, but inconceivable by any of its inhabitants. However, a situation may arise where, on an individual level, one person may force another to work without compensation, as well as determining their accommodation or lifestyle, without the target being able to choose otherwise.

Banned 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)
  • Use of real-world discriminatory slurs (applies to all OURPGSoc games)
  • Discrimination on the basis of gender or sex - Such discriminatory practices are utterly unheard of in the history of the world, have never occurred, and would be seen as not only wrong, but inconceivable by any of its inhabitants.
  • Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation (e.g. Homophobia) - Such discriminatory practices are utterly unheard of in the history of the world, have never occurred, and would be seen as not only wrong, but inconceivable by any of its inhabitants.
  • Discrimination on the basis of gender identity (e.g. Transphobia) - Such discriminatory practices are utterly unheard of in the history of the world, have never occurred, and would be seen as not only wrong, but inconceivable by any of its inhabitants.
  • Discrimination on the basis of real world ethnicity or race - Such discriminatory practices are utterly unheard of in the history of the world, have never occurred, and would be seen as not only wrong, but inconceivable by any of its inhabitants. Rastaban in particular is an exceptionally diverse city, having been a melting pot for all peoples of the world who travelled and lived there.
  • Eating disorders - please note that, while starvation may occur as a result of a lack of food or as a form of protest, GMs and players are expected to handle this with sensitivity and not to equate it with disordered eating attitudes. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia will not feature in this game.
  • Forced abortion
  • Incest
  • Domestic abuse
  • Genital mutilation

Combat and Accessibility

Adventures in Animus will typically compromise at minimum about 50% fighting encounters, and will be outside, where participants are expected to walk through Shotover and sometimes carry equipment in sessions lasting around 5-6 hours. We understand that this is not something that everyone is able to do.

Animus offers those who do not wish to engage in combat the opportunity of playing the role of a Herald of Echoes, the rules for which are included in the Supplementary Rules section. In addition, a number of combat classes can be played without using offensive weapons (such as Erosion Weavers and Forest Touched), though mechanically players will be at a disadvantage when doing so.

We envision regular fluff (non-plot) freeform events being an important part of the game, and incentivise participants who run these by awarding XP. There is no requirement to attend the main Animus LARP to attend these freeforms.

Accountability & Inappropriate Behaviour

If there is an individual or element of the game that is making you uncomfortable, it is completely acceptable (and encouraged) to raise this with the GM of that week's LARP. If there is a problem with the GM, then you are encouraged to speak to your designated LARPO. If there is an issue with your designated LARPO, you are encouraged to contact the President of OURPGSoc directly. Such behavior will be dealt with in accordance with Section 6 of the Conduct And Acceptable Themes Policy.

We will not tolerate the harassment or bullying of any members of the society.

The LARPOs can be reached by email at gm@animus.chaosdeathfish.com. There is a form which can be used to (anonymously) contact the LARPOs here.

cat_policy.txt · Last modified: 2018/03/15 17:24 by gm_seb