Code of Conduct
Chapter 3: Code of Conduct – How to Play Fair
The following rules are the minimal expectations to be enforced on all members and to be expected of all affiliated clubs within the Pantheon Chronicle. Individual clubs may choose to do more, and that is their prerogative as agreed to upon joining the Pantheon Chronicle. The lists below are meant as descriptive guides and minimum expectations. If a certain club has a problem with, say, people (regardless of age) taking alcoholic drinks to game or with officers abusing their power, then they can make additional rules to police those things. Also, so long as the below-listed aspects are included as _verboten_in the rules for a given club, then the phrasing of that club’s rules can differ significantly from the below.
1. Do not cheat. This means:
- Being honest about what is on your sheet and how it got there, when asked by a Storyteller or other officer.
- Not intentionally spreading falsehoods or rumors about your own character or other characters or players, especially if they are meant to hurt another player or use the ‘metagame’ to your advantage.
- Keeping information you’ve gained outside of game from affecting your character’s in game decisions – they don’t know about the latest rules update, or the latest OOG rumor about the Prince’s Haven security.
- Avoiding other dishonest dealings that may or may not violate the letter of the rules, but which contravene their spirit.
2. Treat other players with respect. This means:
- Don’t start fights with other players Out of Game (OOG) or otherwise provoke them
- If you have a conflict, then to the extent you can try to resolve it peacefully or just avoid the other person
- If you can’t do any of the above, tell a storyteller and/or administrator about it and let them work it out, based on whatever local rules or method may be applicable
- Respect a person’s needs and their personal space. Remember that this is a game; let them step back or take a break, or have any other reasonable accommodation, if that’s what they need.
3. Follow the law. Most of this is fairly obvious, but some important aspects are:
- Don’t drink if you are under 21, and don’t provide alcohol to persons you don’t know are over 21. This applies similarly to other controlled substances, and ought to be applied according to the law of the OOG land where you game if they differ from the above example.
- Don’t bring or make props that themselves break the law, such as fake firearms that aren’t sufficiently marked as such or costumes that advertise for groups which may be illegal in your area (for example, the Nazi party in Germany).
- If one member has a restraining order against another member, the member so restrained must be kept from events while the order is active. The club will not be involved in re-litigating decisions made in a court of law, but must always respect them.
- If a regulation or other code prevents a member or affiliated club from complying with the needs or requests of the board or of other clubs, work with them to find the least onerous way around that restriction which still fulfills the club’s needs.
- If a member breaks the law at an event, contact the authorities or tell a club officer about it and let them do so. The club is not a legal authority, and things like assault and drug use ought to be handled by the law enforcement. They might thereafter face sanction within the club for breaking the law, but that must never happen instead of facing legal repercussions.
Just as there are certain things expected of club members, there are certain things expected of club officers. Respecting a person’s private space is important regardless of who that person is. The following are the minimal expectations of the officers of all affiliated clubs, insofar as investigations and disciplinary actions are concerned:
1. Be transparent. This means:
- Be up front and clear in your investigations. If you are looking into someone’s actions tell them why you are investigating them and for what. Do not allow accusations or statements to be made anonymously in disciplinary actions.
- Keep a record of all disciplinary actions you perform for a reasonable span of time (generally about 2 years, or ten years if you took an action that resulted in a member being expelled from the club). Transmit a record of all expulsions to the board for archival purposes, so that the former member cannot simply rejoin elsewhere.
- Record your investigations and the evidence therein to the extent you can, and keep that on file for a reasonable span of time. If an accused person asks for that record, share it with them without exception or redaction.
2. Be fair. This means:
- Recusing yourself from an investigation if you are unable to perform it fairly, because of personal rancor or because you would substantially benefit from the result.
- Considering the scope and manner by which someone’s actions impacted the game, and assigning disciplinary action thereby. Just because someone said something mean about someone else, that does not mean they have broken “Do not cheat.” If it doesn’t affect the game then the club is not involved, and oughtn’t to get involved.
- Let an accused person have a chance to explain themselves before you assign punishment. Listen to and consider what they have to say.
3. Be reasonable. This means:
- Understand the limits of your investigation. No officer can compel a person to turn over anything, and failing to do so is not in and of itself grounds for disciplinary action. Make a decision based on your best understanding of the evidence you have.
- Don’t let your investigation turn into a “fishing expedition.” Keep focused on the accusation that sent you searching in the first place.
When a member has broken the rules, club officers often have to assign some sort of punishment. The following are options, though individual Administrators and Storytellers can add to this list at their discretion. Punishments meted out in one affiliated club are expected to be reciprocated by all member clubs.
1. Verbal or written warning
- This is communicated to the member and recorded for the following two years. If the member does something that is the same or similar, then a warning being on file can be grounds for increasing the severity of the disciplinary action.
2. Restitution or informal corrective action
- In addition to apologizing for the action, this typically involves some action by the member to ameliorate any harm done, to the extent that such is possible. The actions required can be in character if the harm caused was also in character.
3. Removal of items from a character sheet.
- This includes removing experience points, special items or traits, or even removing a character from play entirely. It is usually assigned if that trait has been abused somehow, or if that character is the nexus of the disciplinary action.
4. Restriction of privileges or activities within the club.
- This includes removal of any advanced member benefits, and temporary suspension of a member’s ability to attend some or all games within the club. This can last any length of time, but should not be permanent.
5. Expulsion from a game or from the club.
- This includes any permanent requirement to not attend a particular game or all games of a given type, as well as expulsion from the club entirely. This is generally accompanied by a span of time in which the member may not rejoin the club, after which they may rejoin if they wish
Visitors and Travel
Because of the leeway given to member clubs in The Pantheon Chronicle, clubs must take special care to inform visitors of rules they might inadvertently ‘step in’ and get themselves in trouble. If a club has a rule that is more restrictive than the above, then they must inform visitors about that whenever they first enter play. If they fail to do so, then barring extreme circumstances the first violation should only merit a warning.
In general, the punishments given in one member club should be carried forth in other member clubs as well. If a punishment is levied on a player’s character, such as the loss of items or experience points, then that loss should be recorded and kept in any other game they attend. If the player is suspended, restricted or expelled from the club, then that punishment should be reciprocated in all other member clubs unless the punishment is structured such that that is irrelevant (e.g. “you are barred from this club for three months” does not enjoin other clubs to follow suit). Warnings are not generally passed on, but if a player establishes a trail of being warned about a given behavior in numerous venues and that is discovered, then it is reasonable to expect that any future incidents where that is relevant be dealt with very harshly.