Text roleplay on Discord is a big part of our game for many players and something we wish to actively encourage. That said, there are some rules and guidelines to observe when roleplaying to ensure that you, your scene partners, and any casual observers are safe and comfortable during these scenes or reading them after the fact.
In this document, we draw a distinction between rules on one side and guidelines or suggestions on the other. Rules will be enforced as needed by the leadership team, resulting in disciplinary action if a rule is not observed. We ask that you observe guidelines and suggestions for best practices to the best of your ability in the moment, but you won’t be punished for not doing so. The goal here is to keep our community a safe, comfortable, and accommodating space for collaborative storytelling, not to police every move you make during text RP.
Please also note that for some sensitive topics, we have outlined what is and isn’t allowed in text RP on the server by distinguishing between a discussion (i.e., a conversation about) or a depiction (i.e., enacting or showing it taking place) of the topic, which may extend to whether the event in question is occuring in the present or has already occurred in the past.
As a note, these rules and guidelines apply specifically to text roleplay on Discord and not necessarily to games played on Roll20 or team-run story events on Discord. That said, if any sensitive content listed below is to be included in a game or a Discord event, this will always be made clear in advance either with content warnings in the Quest Board or Events post, or through discussion with the DM/event coordinators.
The rules and guidelines set forth below include our community expectations for:
- Hard limits, or subjects banned entirely from text RP
- Heavy topic limits, or subjects that can be included in text RP, but only in designated “heavy RP” channels
- Our policy on “enthusiastic, informed consent” for heavy, romantic, or hostile RP
- Formatting guidelines for text RP
- How permissions work in the text RP channels (e.g., who can post scenes in public spaces, residences, and shops)
In-character depictions of the following subjects in text RP are considered violations of Godfall community standards. Depicting these subjects in-character will result in immediate disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the server. While we realize that some players may have experienced some of these issues IRL, they have been deemed too sensitive to be included in a game of our size and scope in downtime text RP.
- Sexual violence or harassment of any kind, including discussions of or implied sexual violence. Do not include this in your backstory either. (As a note, this topic is 100% off limits; DMs and event coordinators are never to broach it in games or events either.)
- Explicit sexual acts. This includes anything beyond making out. Consenting roleplayers can take it to their private messages, if they so wish, but use fade to black on the server.
- Torture of people or animals (including cruel experimentation ‘for science’).
- Abuse, including child abuse, domestic abuse and unhealthy intimate relationships.
- Pregnancy, including abortion. Your PC is not allowed to be or get pregnant (or to impregnate someone else) during their time at the Outpost. Discussions of past pregnancy is permitted, though discussions of past miscarriage is considered a heavy topic and mention of past abortion is banned.
- Direct self-harm (i.e., physical or traumatic injury). Do not run scenes here in which your PC uses weapons, other objects, or magic to cause physical or serious mental injury to themselves. This extends to depictions of direct self-harm through things like cutting, suicide or attempted suicide, overdose due to substance abuse, etc.
- Bigotry, including homophobia, transphobia, other queerphobia, real-life xenophobia, ableism and real-life racism. This also includes the use of real-world slurs (racial, anti-LGBTQ, ableist, etc.), intentional misgendering of another character, bullying another character, or committing violence against other characters on these grounds.
- Murder or attempted murder of a PC, NPC, or mount/pet during non-DM moderated scenes.
Heavy Topic Limits
The following subjects are allowed for text RP, but are considered “heavy topics” under Godfall’s RP rules. As such, we require two things on your part before you include a heavy topic in a scene:
- First, you must get informed and enthusiastic consent OOC from all players currently participating in the scene before introducing a heavy topic. (See the next section on Enthusiastic, Informed Consent for more info.)
- Second, you must use the #rp-closed-heavy channels for scenes in which a heavy topic comes into play. A scene already in progress in another channel that turns heavy is to be moved there immediately.
These two rules must be observed to avoid disciplinary action. Note that any heavy content that gets left in a non-heavy RP channel is likely to be scrubbed by the mod team, but we ask that you do that for us by moving such content to the heavy RP channel portion of your scene via copy/paste and then deleting it from the original channel as needed.
We also recommend, as a best practices guideline for the comfort of casual observers, that either before, during, or at least after a scene in #rp-closed-heavy, you update the very first post of the scene to include a content warning calling out the type(s) of heavy subject matter involved. This includes adding to that list if additional heavy topics come up. Please also enter line break before and after a new heavy scene using the !br command so that it’s clear where your scene starts and stops. (This ensures that casual observers can quickly and easily check for content warnings at the start of a new heavy scene.)
Heavy subject matter topics include discussions of:
- Body horror
- Past torture of people or animals
- Past suicide attempts, acts of self-harm, or eating disorder behavior.
- Past or present PC mental illness (depression, anxiety, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, PTSD etc.), as well as the depiction of episodes of PC mental illness
- Chronic illness
- Traumatic loss
- Past miscarriage
- Past bigotry or experiences of bigotry, including homophobia, transphobia, other queerphobia, xenophobia, ableism and racism. This includes depictions of characters expressing in-world bigotry (i.e. racism or xenophobia against a fictional group)
- Past child abuse or unhealthy relationships. As a reminder, discussions of or implied sexual violence is not permitted period. (See Hard Limits above.)
- Indirect self-harm (abstracted injury, or putting one’s self in harm’s way). This extends to depictions of self-harm through things like substance abuse or eating disorders. (Note that substance abuse refers to self-harm through the use of drugs or alcohol, and is not the same thing as a night of revelry that includes heavy drinking or harmless recreational drug use.)
If you’re unsure about whether you are allowed to discuss or depict a specific topic, or wish for a topic to be added to the hard limits or heavy list, please speak to a member of our Community Mod team.
‘Enthusiastic, Informed Consent’ and Heavy, Romantic or Hostile RP
Here at Godfall, we enforce a policy of enthusiastic and informed consent with our more sensitive roleplay topics, specifically: romantic, heavy or hostile RP. What this means is that if you intend to pursue heavy, romance, or hostile text RP in scenes with other characters, you need to get enthusiastic permission from any other player(s) involved to engage in these kinds of scenes before the heavy, romantic or hostile content takes place. We also expect players engaging in these types of scenes to continue periodically checking in with the others they’re roleplaying with during such scenes to make sure the content and tone of scene remains within everyone’s comfort zone. Failing to get enthusiastic, informed consent for these types of RP or failing to continue to check-in with your scene partners from time to time during them can result in disciplinary action.
We also recommend, as a best practices suggestion, a post-scene check-in for this type of roleplay, either right after or soon after the scene ends to ensure that any needed aftercare takes place. This is a community of excellent roleplayers, and sometimes our storytelling leads us to intense or dark places emotionally. Exercise healthy boundaries and common sense, keep lines of communication open OOC, and please take care of yourselves and each other.
Romance RP Rules
For romance RP especially, all parties are responsible for making sure that the type of relationship to be depicted is one that is agreeable to everyone involved OOC. Our players come from diverse backgrounds when it comes to identities, preferences, and relationship structures. To ensure healthy boundaries are in play, enthusiastic informed consent and ongoing communication (as needed) is mandatory for all romantic RP. If things start turning flirty, check in with the other PC’s player OOC. If enthusiastic consent is not given on all sides, back off the romantic RP immediately. Failure to do so is grounds for disciplinary action. For romantic relationships and flirting, this applies not just to text RP, but to voice and in-game or in-event RP as well.
Hostile/Conflict Text RP Rules and Guidelines
Sometimes, characters may come into disagreement or conflict. In general, Godfall is a cooperative and narrative-based game, and PCs are expected to work together. That said, CvC (character vs. character) is allowed as long as all involved parties give informed and enthusiastic consent prior to any hostile scenes or actions taken in downtime text RP. That means asking for a player’s consent if your PC wishes to take action against theirs, and only taking that action if you have received enthusiastic consent. Note that text RP scenes depicting particularly hostile actions between PCs should generally take place in either one of the #rp-closed-scene channels or, if needed, in #rp-closed-heavy.
You are also welcome to engage in friendly sparring or non-lethal practice combat with other PCs with their players’ consent in the public RP channels, and we encourage you to make use of Avrae for this if you like.
Best Practices for Heavy, Hostile or Romance Text RP
As a best practices suggestion, for any ‘heavy,’ romantic, or hostile RP, you should discuss with your roleplay partner(s):
- The desired tone and nature of the scene(s) and/or the overall relationship
- Romantic tone examples: innocent, bumbling, classic romance, competitive rivals, more passionate, light vs. more dramatic, casual vs. serious, short vs. long term, monogamous vs. poly, etc.
- Hostile tone examples: friendly vs. despised rivals, light vs. dramatic, insults, escalation of hostilities, argument vs. physical altercation, quickly resolved or long-term enemies, racially motivated, etc.
- Each other’s comfort levels/boundaries
- Romance examples: “How much affection are you comfortable depicting?” “Do you want their relationship to include sex, or are you uncomfortable with things between them going that far?” “My character is polyamorous. Is your PC going to be okay with that?” Etc.
- Hostile examples: “Are you okay with my PC insulting yours?” “Do you prefer to keep their altercations just as arguments, or is it okay to progress to physical fights?” Etc.
Your CvC scenes may, with consent, include:
- Non-lethal sparring and fighting
- The use of invasive magic, such as Modify Memory, Detect Thoughts, Charm Person, Dominate Person, etc.
If you are unsure of anything, ask a mod!
Where and How – Text RP Guidelines
- We generally recommend that you refer to your character in the third person (she/he/they instead of “I”) and use the present tense while text RPIng, since all scenes are considered to be unfolding “live,” in the present rather than in the past.
- The name of the character you are currently roleplaying as should be in parentheses in your Discord nickname, e.g. Mike (Cedric).
- Wrap spoken text in quotes, e.g., “How was the mission?”
- Italicize actions/descriptions with an asterisk on either side (e.g., Simon runs across the tavern to greet his allies.)
- If using a different language or telepathy use < >, e.g. <Draconic> “Are you a dragon?”
- If whispering use [ ], e.g., “[Shhh, be very quiet.]”
- For out of character comments use //, e.g. //Pizza is here. I’ll be back in 30 minutes.
- Keep OOC chatter to a bare minimum in RP channels. This is especially important for Discord events with multiple people. If you need to discuss something related to your text RP scene OOC, take it to rp-mustering, general chat, or one of our voice channels.
Roleplay – Public Spaces
Misc. locations around the outpost where you may roleplay. Anyone may join in or leave these spaces freely with the exception of the closed scene channels.
Roleplay Closed Scene 1/2/3
Closed Scenes are roleplay scenes that may take place in public spaces. However, despite being a public scene (i.e., in public view where all players can read it), another player may not join in on these scenes without seeking the permission of those involved. If you want to join one of these scenes, reach out via private message or ping the members of the scene in #mustering-roleplay. Because these scenes are considered public they do not shield you long term from any outside repercussions, but they do allow you to have a potentially serious or private moment between a limited number of PCs without worry of a third party barging in.
Roleplay – Shops
Shops owned by player characters within the game. The owners of these shops dictate the rules for this channel, and should have them pinned to their channel. By constructing a shop you are entitled to one of these channels.
Roleplay – Residences
Similar to shops, but for private residences. These are likely to be locked down to a select few individuals that live in said residence. If the channel is left open, your PC is free to request entry, but unless specifically granted entry by one of the owners that is the only interaction you may take at their residence.
Roleplay Closed Heavy 1/2
Any text RP scene on the server that delves into our designated “heavy” topics (see Heavy Topics section above) should either start in or be moved to one of our Closed Heavy channels. We’ve provided some additional rules and guidelines about the inclusion of heavy topics in the previously mentioned section. If you wish to join an in-progress heavy scene, treat this like you would asking to join a Closed Scene (see Roleplay Closed Scene 1/2/3 above).