Consent policy and mechanics
Larp is an activity and medium that by its very nature is created to create new experiences, push boundaries, and put our players in situations that they are not used to both physically and mentally.
By participating in our events we want our players and staff to understand and acknowledge that they inherently may be subject to experiences that can involve physical roleplay, romantic and sexual scenes and situations, scary and frightening content, uncomfortable ideas and scenes, and similar such content within the confines of the larp.
We believe that the reason people participate in larps is to push their boundaries and experiences that they normally would not in their everyday life. However, in order to handle these matters in a safe manner, J&T endeavors to create a comprehensive framework and setup of mechanics that will allow our players to reach out, push themselves, and experience these things in a structured and safe manner.
Journeys & Tales LLC as well as our players also acknowledge that the nature of larp of will result in residual feelings (often referred to as larp drop and larp bleed) being experienced for days and potentially weeks after the event has finished, and that this is a natural and inherent risk of participating in the larps.
To handle this in as safe, secure and efficient manner all Journey & Tales events will utilize the following consent and safety mechanics which may be modified from time to time to suit the individual event.
These mechanics consist of:
- Briefings and workshops
- Pre-scene negotiations during roleplay
- Mechanics during roleplay
- OK sign / stoplight check in
- Leaving scene / out of character mechanics.
Briefings and Workshops
All J&T events will start with briefings and workshops to explain and practice the safety and consent mechanics. It is important for us that our players know what they are, understand how to use them, and have actively practiced the use.
Likewise J&T will also facilitate debrief workshop after our events to help our players deal with, tackle, understand and disconnect from the experiences they have had at the event. We and our players acknowledge that the post briefing workshop will often be an emotional experience, as we seek to understand, process, and shed ourselves of the feelings that our characters and we as participants, staff and organizers have gone through.
Pre scene negotiations
To allow for the best roleplay J&T believes that it is important to align expectations and negotiate scenes before they happen. This does not have to happen in every instance, but we except our players to utilize this mechanic when something larger, more dramatic, involving more feeling, physical role play or similar may take place.
This negotiation essentially consists of the players involved in the scene going off-game and talking through what they wish to accomplish, how the scene will go, expected outcome, use of in character safety mechanics and similar. We highly encourage our players to utilize the staff and organizers to help facilitate these negotiations.
Mechanics during roleplay scenes
When a scene is taking place J&T events utilize 3 main mechanics to ensure our players still are able to communicate whether they feel safe or if it is necessary to leave the scene.
These three mechanics are:
OK sign / stoplight check in.
This mechanic is used to calibrate if the roleplay taking place feels safe, and if needed to break it off.
The mechanic consists of both verbal and visual signals that can be used indiscriminately, but have the same meaning and effect.
During a scene we expect our players to check in on each other to calibrate that everyone still feels good with the roleplay that is happening in the scene, or if they wish to deescalate it, or convey that they don’t like the direction the scene is taking.
The mechanics works in the manner that the person initiating the check-in flashes the “thumb and forefinger round ok signal” to the other player or ask them the question “stoplight.” This person is expected to respond to it in one of three ways.
- Giving a thumbs up or replying “Green”
This means “everything is ok, please continue or possibly escalate the scene.” This sign is also a good way to indicate to players and staff that are further away that everything is ok, especially in a scene where one of the players may appear to be distressed.
- Holding your hand horizontally or replying “Yellow.”
This means that “I’m feeling a little uneasy with what is going on. Don’t escalate it, or continue on this specific path.”
This sign should be given when you’re not sure if you like what is going on, and would like a little breathing room, or if the other person hit a trigger point you do not wish to continue with. Anyone receiving this signal, should back off physical, tone down their verbal communication, and also drop any triggering subjects they may have brought up.
- Giving the “thumbs down signal” or replying “Red.”
This means that the player is not ok with what is happening in the scene and wishes to end it. We expect any player that hears the word “red” as a response, or is given the “thumbs down” signal, and any player who gives either of these answers to immediately breakoff the scenes.
Anyone can and should initiate check ins regularly during scenes.
J&T has the safety of our players as the utmost important factor, and supports a healthy and proactive use of the “thumbs down” signal and the word “red.” We ensure all players that there will never be any repercussions in-game or off-game for the use of this mechanic, and taking care of your own safety.
Leaving a scene / out of character mechanics
Should a scene become overwhelming for any reason, and should use as a player at any time feel unsafe or need to leave a scene, you can immediately use the “out of character” signal and simply walk away without any questions asked or answers given.
This mechanics is done by putting your hand in a fist in front of your forehead, resembling that you’re grabbing a horn you had there. Because of this, the mechanic is popularly known as “grabbing the unicorn.” This mechanic can also be used if you need to move through an area while not in character. Any player seeing anyone else utilizing this mechanics shall pretend like they are not there. Should you feel the need to break off a scene using this mechanic, you must come find a J&T staff member or organizer immediately so we can ensure that you are safe and sound.