Code of Conduct

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Our Code of Conduct, which is mandatory for participation in any Grinning Jackal Entertainment service or experience, outlines our expectations of customer behavior.

It is not reasonable to expect that everyone is an all-knowing paragon of pure virtue, or for no mistakes, accidents, or unforeseen events to occur. We all have different lived experiences, laws, customs, beliefs, and life circumstances. Minor disagreements, misunderstandings, and missteps are a part of life. However, we do require that all customers and staff treat one another with dignity and respect.

General Expectations

  • Be open to new ideas and perspectives
    • The tabletop roleplaying game community is highly diverse, with people all around the world – it is not reasonable to expect every player to have the same values or beliefs
    • Legal, cultural, and religious restrictions may require specific rule modifications within a setting or system – when this does not infringe upon the rights of others, we are happy to make these accommodations
      • If you have a concern, especially those involving legal restrictions in your region, please contact us to discuss what accommodations may be available
    • The worlds and stories our Storytellers incorporate characters that may appear to have corresponding traits to any real-world religion, race, ethnicity, or culture. This means that players should expect to potentially encounter both player characters (PCs) and non-player characters (NPCs) that could be described in LGBTQIA+ terminology; correspond to different races, sexes, and gender expressions; different appearances which may have corresponding traits with any real-world race, ethnicity, or culture; practices and beliefs which may have corresponding traits with any real-world religion or cultural practices; varieties of physical conditions including disabilities and/or prosthetics, and potentially cultural elements that correspond to real-world disabled and differently-abled communities; in any of a multitude of roles in these fictional societies. Our Storytellers always endeavor to use any of these traits with respect, with the understanding that each of our fictional characters are fictional, not real-world representations of real people
    • Challenging topics may be present in some stories and worlds, such as slavery, war, famine, and oppression
      • For our longer-running games such as campaigns, any anticipated elements should be discussed and agreed to by all players in Session 0
      • While we make an attempt to identify many of these elements and provide them in the descriptions, we cannot possibly identify every element that may be considered challenging or upsetting content
      • While some of these challenging topics may be allowed as mentioned elements in player backstories, not all of them are allowed to be content in a live, active game. We encourage you to discuss any concerns with your Storyteller
  • When disagreements and misunderstandings occur, we ask that our players make a good faith effort to try to resolve the issue amongst themselves with communication
    • We encourage our players to speak directly to each other to resolve the issue with calmness and compassion
    • At the Storyteller’s discretion, they may choose to act as an impartial mediator or facilitator for limited discussion – they will not act as a “relay” or “messenger” between two parties
    • If a disagreement or misunderstanding cannot be resolved, and the Storyteller determines that the behavior involved is not a gross violation of the Code of Conduct, the game group may be dissolved. This is to avoid placing “fault” with either party in a “no fault” situation, but removing the situation that forces the two players to interact
    • At this time, we cannot guarantee that two individuals will not be able to sign up for the same session. If this is a major concern, we recommend signing up for and requesting a private group session with a full group
  • Everyone has the right to privacy
    • In some areas, tabletop roleplaying games are still stigmatized for various reasons
    • For others, participating under a pseudonym allows them to be more expressive with their characters and roleplay decisions by separating their “game life” from their “real life”
    • We expect our players to respect each other’s privacy and chosen online identity
      • If there is a legal or safety concern, such as one player making threats against another, you may request that law enforcement contact us in addition to reporting the violation of our code of conduct

Session Expectations

  • Tabletop roleplaying games should be fun
    • Don’t be a rules lawyer
      • Our Storytellers may follow “Rules as Intended” versus “Rules as Written” interpretations of game system rules. Similarly, a Storyteller may permit “Rule of Cool” for particular situations
      • We may also make modifications to game system mechanics or lore, such as permitting a Paladin or Cleric to follow “ideals” rather than “Gods”, as accommodations for player religious restrictions
      • It’s okay to ask questions to be sure that you understand the rules and mechanics, but don’t take away from other participant’s fun
    • Avoid metagaming
      • Our Storytellers may make modifications to any creature, character, or item “stat block” or story plot points – no two sessions tell the same story, even if the same module is being used
      • Do not try to get the Storyteller to give secret information or other plot points
      • If you have a concern about content you may find upsetting, or other concerns about plot details, please contact us or your Storyteller. For longer running campaigns, these concerns and any accommodations should be discussed and agreed to by all group members in Session 0
  • Arrive on time to each session ready to participate
    • This is out of respect for the Storyteller and all other participating players. Everyone is at the table for the same goal: to play the game and have fun!
    • Each session is planned around the participating players and their characters
      • Our Storytellers look to approve submitted character sheets or notes 24 – 48 hours before each session – they cannot regularly accept last-minute submissions
    • For open sessions, we require at least 48 hours notice to reopen the space to another customer
    • In a longer-running group, such a campaign, it is unfair to ask the group to repeatedly reschedule or cancel plans without adequate notice
      • Players with inconsistent schedules should express this in Session 0 of a longer-running campaign, or consider One-Shot open modules that do not require a lengthy commitment
    • We understand emergencies happen, and agree to prioritize “life before games” – emergency cancellations may be forgiven at the Storyteller discretion, but not for repeated violations
    • No-shows or cancellations with less than 48 hours notice are not eligible for refunds. Emergency cancellation forgiveness is provided through the form of “store credit” which may be used to book another session
  • Don’t “ghost” your sessions
    • If you have to step away for a bathroom break, to take a call, or anything else, please let the group know
      • This avoids the Storyteller calling on your character in the action, or otherwise halting game play when everyone reasonably expects that you are at the table and participating
    • Avoid distractions like playing on your phone or watching videos while the game is underway
      • Everyone signed up to the session to participate – if you are distracted and non-participatory, you may be asked to leave
    • Try to prepare for your turn
      • In turn-based situations, especially combat, it can be tempting to “tune out” while others take their turns. However, this means you wont know what the others have done – or what you want to do – when your turn comes. Help the flow of the game by paying attention and being ready to answer when you’re called on for your turn
      • It’s okay to have analysis paralysis, especially when you are new to a game or game system and the stakes of the action are high. Your Storyteller will help prompt you, answer a few simple questions, or (potentially) allow you to be “skipped” for more time, but you should make a timely decision
  • During your sessions, avoid accidentally distracting other players
    • Be in a quiet environment, free of loud and distracting sounds such as televisions, radios, or other conversations
    • Consider the use of push-to-talk, or muting yourself when it is not your turn to speak
    • Avoid the use of any visually distracting or moving backgrounds, or participating in distracting activities whenever video-chat is utilized
  • Treat one another with dignity and respect
    • Tabletop roleplaying games are meant to be fun, welcoming, collaborative experiences. This can only happen when we all feel welcome to be ourselves and express our ideas
  • In-character interactions that may be uncivil should be agreed upon by all parties
    • It’s one thing for two characters to disagree, it’s another thing if one character is going to make vicious personal attacks
    • It’s one thing for a character to be a “flirt,” it’s another thing if that character will be making suggestive comments, lewd jokes, or giving unwelcome attention other characters
    • Characters may have various different backgrounds, religious beliefs, and practices – keep the other players in the group in mind
    • In longer-running games such as campaigns, these behavioral expectations should be discussed and agreed to by all players in Session 0

Prohibited Behaviors

  • Bullying, harassment, intimidation, or incivility towards other players in any Grinning Jackal Entertainment service
    • This includes expressions of racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, ableism or other forms of discrimination
      • No one is expected to be a perfect paragon of virtue, but we are expected to treat one another with dignity and respect
      • Accidental use of the wrong pronouns, when accompanied by an openness to correction and good faith effort, is not uncivil
      • We ask that all players disclose any specific pronouns or other concerns, to the extent that they are comfortable doing so, to facilitate awareness and respect
    • While we cannot regulate incivility that occurs outside of our services, any allegations that a player is engaging in uncivil actions against another player, such as bullying or stalking, will be taken under advisement. All of our players should feel safe within their experiences
  • Attempts to dox, stalk, extort, or otherwise reveal personal information about another player or any member of Grinning Jackal Entertainment’s staff, such as Storytellers, without their active consent
    • This includes attempts to reveal another player’s identity within the game group, or sharing their participation in the game group outside of the game group without their active consent
    • Even if another player shares their identity with you, that is not consent to share that information with others
  • Erotic roleplay or explicit sexual content
    • Any sexual content should be within the agreements of the group
    • It is Storyteller discretion if player characters may enter romantic relationships with NPCs
      • Dates may be described in brief statement, such as one to three sentences, and are not played out in role play sessions
    • Any sexual encounters, regardless of participant(s), are “Fade to Black” – they are not described in any detail, nor are there any “rolls for performance.”
    • No involuntary sexual encounters are permitted to occur to players, and there is no tolerance for sexual harassment between players

Violations & Disciplinary Measures

Violations of this code of conduct will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Disciplinary actions for violations of this code of conduct include, but are not limited to:

  • Temporary bans from Grinning Jackal Entertainment services
  • Permanent bans from Grinning Jackal Entertainment services
  • Immediate removal from a session, with or without credit to the removed party’s account
  • Application of a temporary mute or “time out” in an experience session
  • Mediation between two players to assist in the resolution of minor disagreements or misunderstandings

We understand that everyone has bad days, and misunderstandings may arise in any multicultural setting. However, egregiously uncivil, unrepentant, or repeated violations are not compatible with a welcoming, collaborative environment for all players.

We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. We do not tolerate abuse to our employees.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about this policy, or if you feel a Storyteller has violated this policy.

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