Refuge LARP Portland expects players to...
- Try and make the game as fun for the PLAYERS as possible. Remember, this is a game. Not everyone wants the same thing in games, and that’s fine. Some players have a “play to win” mentality, while others might have a “play to lose” one. Try and engage different mentalities with the notion that they are valid forms of enjoying the game, and appreciate them for what they are: different ways of having fun.
- Try to make the game as safe as possible for everyone involved. This includes, but is not limited to:
- No derogatory language out of character
- Be mindful of the abilities and disabilities of others
- Ask for permission before touching people, unless you have pre-negotiated standing consent (like between good friends or spouses)
- Follow our romantic RP policies
- Alert staff to problems with other players quickly if there was a confrontation that needs to be addressed - but keep in mind, not every confrontation needs to be addressed
- Be honest and forthright OUT of character (lie all you want in character)
- Be mindful of bleed - both yours and others - and try to engage from a place of understanding when confronted with it
- Walk away if you need to take a few minutes, and let others walk away if they need that space. You can return to a conversation later, if needed
- Seek help if you need it, from whatever source makes you feel comfortable
- Take care of yourself - eat, drink, sleep, etc to the best of your abilities
- Encourage others to be their best selves, and take that encouragement for yourself
- Check in with each other after particularly difficult scenes, or if someone doesn’t look like they’re doing well. This could be as short and sweet as an OOG “you okay?” followed by a thumbs up, or as complicated as a long conversation. No one is required to engage with the check-in if they feel uncomfortable or unsafe, but it is strongly encouraged in those situations to check in with someone else, if needed. If you really don’t have the mental energy after an encounter to do a check-in, feel free to say so, go take care of yourself (have you drunk water recently?), and then come back to the other person later to check in. Even if there’s been time between scene and check-in, it’s better to check-in and be good in the end, than skip the check-in and percolate undesired feelings in others.
- Remember that discomfort is not the same as feeling unsafe. Everyone brings their own experiences to bear on the game, and might find different things very uncomfortable. In many cases, feeling uncomfortable is a great first step on a path to growth, and should be encouraged. We believe it can be healthy for players to feel uncomfortable at times, but this is different from feeling unsafe. Feeling unsafe is not good. It can lead to making rash, precipitous, and ill-considered choices, stress, anxiety, and panic attacks. If you feel unsafe for any reason, please check in with a staff member, but please keep in mind that sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two.
- Engage from a place of good faith as much as possible. You can’t always be the best person you want to be. As much as possible, try to engage from a place where you are doing your best, and try to understand that others are too. We’ll all be a better, happier, more fun game for it.
- Assume good faith from others as much as possible. Not every situation allows you to see good faith - nor should it, as good faith is not always present - but when presented with two options, choosing to believe in good faith is preferable. You certainly don’t need to like everyone who shows up to game, and we understand that there may be bad-blood between players. That’s fine. But try and remember that by and large we’re all just people trying to live our lives.
- Eschew judgment in favour of compassion and understanding. Again, not every situation permits this, but for those that do, actions done out of compassion and a quest for understanding will lead to a better, healthier game than ones steeped in judgment.
- Remember that the core of our game is to tell giant group stories with our friends. We aren’t here to “win” necessarily (although winning does have its place). Rather, we’re here to tell stories. The stories we want are different for everyone, but it’s in coming together and throwing it all into the giant melting pot of an event that we get the amazing legends that get passed down from generation to generation of LARPers, and that’s freaking AWESOME.
These are not prescriptive “you are not welcome at our game if you don’t do X” rules. Each individual has their own comfort with these guidelines, making some of them easier and some of them harder. You should feel empowered to do the ones you’re good at well, and do your best with the ones you’re not good at with an eye towards improving as you go along. Again, these aren’t rules of the game (except for our romantic and physical touch policies), they are cultural norms that are designed to guide folk to feel comfortable with the community around them.
Serious cases of inappropriate conduct as detailed by this guide may result in warnings or further penalties - but not generally on a first offense. However, the use of racial slurs (even in jest), assault, blatant disregard for our rules, etc, may result in immediate expulsion from the game. Other infractions are likely to be addressed by a member of staff and discussions will ensue from there.
We want to make sure everyone has a better understanding of what they’re signing up for when coming to one of our events, and so everyone can feel as safe as possible. We’re here to build a community, and we want you to feel comfortable being a part of it.