The Toxicity of Double Standards - And the Importance of Equality



  • https://nodebb.cityofarabel.com/topic/281/language/5

    It's become apparent that there is a massive difference with what some people are allowed to get away with and what some aren't. There even seems to be a difference with what some players are allowed to say over others. Here's a couple of instances where this stands out:

    It goes like this:
    An ex-DM ridicules player behavior(It's even encouraged by other dms at the same time):
    https://nodebb.cityofarabel.com/topic/41874/remove-bully-boots/25

    Said ex-DM himself is ridiculed and gets tired of it:
    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/366755644256157702/440408703171166218/unknown.png

    DMs are allowed to use foul language such as the c-word just like that:
    https://nodebb.cityofarabel.com/topic/29865/investigation-the-curse-of-lord-abelard-eldroon-closed/19

    But if the acronym of a said word can be formed from the initials of a player-made organization, all hell breaks loose:
    https://nodebb.cityofarabel.com/topic/41632/a-dictum-to-his-highness-azoun-rhigaerd-palaghard-duar-obarskyr-v-from-his-loyal-subject-foril-theodore-silbrinel-bhaliir/15

    Honestly, This needs to stop. If you dont want players using foul language- then DMs need to stop using it as well. If you don't want players to be rude to you- then don't be rude to them either. It is often that simple. You reap what you sow. In CoA, The DM Team has ever been held in high regard and looked up to. You are the ones who are setting up the example on what is allowed, and what isn't. Keeping up double standards to separate one player from another, or the DM team from the playerbase in cases like these- is toxic for the health of the community.



  • I feel like this is a dangerous topic to weigh in on, but I agree that if anything is a double standard between the dm team and players then something is wrong. I came from a server where the dm team has many double standards and none of it is addressed or policed. And when it's pointed out, players are banned, punished, targeted by the team, etc etc. This is ultimately why I left the last server I came with, as have many of my old friends who've gone on to play other servers.
    Being honest, upfront, and consistent with policy is the best way to go about dealing with problems like this. It's vital and important for a healthy server to have these qualities to survive with a healthy amount of players. I think it's also important that a team be able to take constructive criticism like this. It's important to note that ultimately, this post is intentioned to better the server and bring into spotlight something not okay and not intended to bully or belittle any one dm or other.

    This kind of mature, civilized conversation is something that servers all around need more often. Too often are people quick to point fingers and jump to conclusions or accusations - or accuse others of insulting and singling out others. When really, it's just an issue that really needs to be addressed. It makes me happy to see that members of the team responded accordingly to this post by taking down the offensive post listed, and apologizing for any harm done. Thank you, for handling it the way you (The dm team) did. Actions will always speak louder than any amount of words or posts can.



  • I see two posts that are related, and in one of those posts, the DM apologizes to you @Lord-Bhaliir by name. One of the posts I cannot see, and the other is someone who once ridiculed someone, getting upset because they were ridiculed. Who cares? Moloch chimes in and reminds both the DM and The ex-DM that they being immature. He is not condoning the behaviour.

    However, I would like to see some consistent rulings or rules in regards to language. I had a character called a cunt. Which was fine. But in three minutes of dialogue they managed to call my character the same name at least five more times. It was lame, and abusive. If you are adult enough to use the word "cunt" then you are adult enough to be told to stop using the word.

    My advice, if you don't want people getting mad about using swear words, then don't fucking use swear words.



  • My mistake. Puffy said that, not moloch.



  • I have two positions on this that are on either end of the spectrum.

    1 - Nobles using an acronym like CUNT regularly is pretty droll and doesn't seem very noble-like to me. Tongue in cheek isn't a bad thing, but I'd rather see that sort of thing from the smarmy rogue who mocks the king than what I believe is just a player giving off-camera nods to other players. Similarly, DM's making items like "THIS HELMET IS A PIECE OF SHIT" or whatever, is also stupid and boring. Having shit golems makes me roll my eyes. Fun is fun, I know but this stuff is pretty mood killing.

    2 - Everyone should grow up. No one here is a child, and those that are children have exposure to a hell of a lot more vile language and dialogue than the adults in the room. Stop being a prissy ass and stop dictating appropriate language. As the original post points out, DM's violate the rule all of the time, arguably more than anyone. Honestly, after the surging popularity of A Song of Ice and Fire I have trouble believing anyone thinks Fuck, Shit, Ass, Balls, or any foul language isn't immersive. Just try to be clever. I'd rather read "fuck" than "feck", which is lazy and glaring to me.



  • Honestly this is just a larger part of the server becoming much more toxic lately, especially over the last 3 months.

    I believe there's a double standard in effect as Kingsman says, I've seen similar things stemming back to 2005. Where certain players were allowed (despite very public warning posts from DMs to not engage in this behavior) to do as he says in his OP.

    It's been going on for a very long time and I suspect will happen again in the future.

    Server's just become very toxic lately to be around, and the language issue Kingsman is speaking of is just one facet of it.

    Maybe it's time to actually address what's going on?



  • I haven't noticed any toxicity, the server seems very welcoming of late, but I do see Discord being just like IRC; a place where people go to not-play, and just talk shit about people doing things in-game, with bad information and jaded self-inflated opinions.



  • Thank you @Forte for keeping this topic on the right track. The issue we are talking about is not really about what language should be used or not- but about the underlying, troublesome issue of double standards that has existed as a thorn on the legacy of CoA for years- and it's driving people nuts on the background.

    Like @Lady-of-Dungeons said this is not an easy topic to address without coming off wrong =/. I get the examples and links I'm using can be misguiding. This is not directed at any of the players or DMs involved in said threads- The threads were only something I could think of for a glance to the underlining issue we have in the community with the double standards like using foul language, or being rude to others.

    Thankfully, I know that our community in CoA has the healthiest of attitudes when it comes to open, constructive discussion, and I think we have what it takes to tackle this issue. It just needs to be addressed and noticed!



  • DMs are also players.

    It is on each individual to practice courtesy and patience. Courtesy and patience are what keep communities together over the long haul and CoA has it in abundance. It is not just on the DM team to have courtesy and patience. People forget that sometimes. Good example would be Lannister recently. A DM possessed a high ranking NPC that his character had previously interacted with, and did not give him the sort of respect that should have demanded, but I personally listened as he took the deep breath and exhaled and let someone else have the spotlight.

    There are a lot of players like that. Most of you are good players when you want to be. Same goes with the DMs. There are good days and bad days, that's okay. I DM elsewhere, very successfully in my opinion, so I have a little empathy for the folks who keep this complex server running daily and so I want to point out something about double standards.

    The standard is good for the goose and the gander here. If we want to stop having a double standard we need to also stop holding the DMs to a different standard than players in more ways than holding them accountable. It also means forgiving them for being salty every once in a while or forgetting things or wanting to tune out the whining every once in a while. That means forgiving them like you might forgive a player. If you really want a single standard you also have to allow and expect human fault and error. We don't get to have both a world in which the DMs are meant to be faultless and a world in which players are perfect enough to judge that faultless standard. We can't put our expectations so high that they are unmeetable. The DMs are not elite players. I don't know how they get chosen and it isn't any of my business but people give it this sort of strange, divine prescience, and expect the world from them while also giving them what sometimes ends up being large chunks of responsibility for our entertainment. The CoA dms do a lot they don't have to do and it's only expected they vent or whine or swear occasionally. If that's not something we want in the community that's okay, that's productive conversation. Just be careful because those are also people who can get burned out and tired of this sort of thing as easily as anyone else.

    Nobody here is perfect. If rocks fall, everybody dies, there will be no glass houses to protect us from coming winter. I'm not saying that what we have here is 100% healthy peachy keen since it seems there are some complaints, but I want people to think about what they mean when they start talking about standards of behaviour.

    Respect. Courtesy. Expectation management.



  • I don't think he's talking about holding the DMs to a different standard, in fact, it's quite the opposite of that.



  • Honestly don't know if the server is more toxic than it was before. It was pretty damn toxic in years past. However, things are much more equal these days with DMs being held to higher standards.

    Spelling out CUNT to the KING is rather suicidal though



  • Different words also have different potency depending where you hail from as well so to say a specific word is or isn't out of bounds is a bit ignorant. Swear words tend to be very lazy as its a way to get a stronger reaction with less words and without being creative.

    For example: calling a character a fucking idiot is crude and a lot easier than being creative with something like "You're starting to sound like a goblins arse".

    At the end of the day people play for fun and some sort of community guide line of how people would prefer to play might be a good idea. That way its easy to identity double standards.



  • Oh. Yeah, I get kind of tired and miss the point sometimes. X.x


  • DMs

    Context is important too. The scummy militiaman calling someone a cunt for getting him demoted is a little different than a highly respected noble using it as an acronym for a group in a letter addressed to the king.

    Frankly, I don't care who swears or how much, as long as it's not targeting other people OOCly in a hurtful/aggressive manner and that it actually makes sense from an IC perspective.



  • We're all adults here (maybe?). Stop being a snowflake.



  • The issue here is not what language should or should not be used. The issue is the double standards. Use the search tool. See what you can find by using different words, and you will find that people are being treated very differently on an OOC level. Someone can safely write "Thundercunts" as an insult to another character, while another is OOCLY scolded because you saw possibility of said Word through an acronym. DMs expect issues about their behaviour to be addressed to them through private PMs, when they themselves call out a players behaviour publicly instead of private PMs. This is the problem.



  • I gotta agree with bowser on that one. It’s context. I don’t think it was “you aren’t allowed to use that language” as much as it was them rolling their eyes because they know it was an OOC use to try to “slip one passed the gollie” rather than an IC action by a respectable noble. I personally didn’t care because sometimes I push the fourth wall a bit with my comical characters but I can see where it would cause an IC/OOC disconnect.

    On your other issues? I’m pretty sure people were just messing around and roasting each other and it went too far. I’m sure if someone, DM or Player was like “hey man I’m feeling a bit bullied can we tone it down please” the person in question would have chilled. We’re all friends here just coming together to play a game. I think if we treated each other like that, we’d all be happier.

    I see you all as my far-away friends that we all get together to RP with like on Monday night DnD sessions in someone’s game room. Friends roast each other, they tease, and they give constructive criticism. I think if we approached things more friendly and one-on-one we could shed this “toxicity” blanket That follows us around.

    Love you guys high five



  • @lord-bhaliir said in The Toxicity of Double Standards - And the Importance of Equality:

    The issue here is not what language should or should not be used. The issue is the double standards. Use the search tool. See what you can find by using different words, and you will find that people are being treated very differently on an OOC level. Someone can safely write "Thundercunts" as an insult to another character, while another is OOCLY scolded because you saw possibility of said Word through an acronym. DMs expect issues about their behaviour to be addressed to them through private PMs, when they themselves call out a players behaviour publicly instead of private PMs. This is the problem.

    +1 to this.

    Also I don't believe throwing insults or calling others names is appropriate to the conversation, and despite not being Kingsman, would request people be nice and refrained from such.


  • DMs

    While it may be there is a double standard or a rise in toxicity, I don't see that here.

    If you choose to engage in foul language, you run amok of different values and cultures in a global online community. In the US for example, the word cunt is extremely offensive and on par with a word that simply should not be used at all as it is alongside specific racial slurs that are considered unacceptable in almost all situations. In some parts of the world, its what you call your mom when she burns the toast.

    This specific situation is honestly someone having pointed out that the use of the word in a letter to the king, by a noble of Cormyr, was silly and would be IC insulting to the king; you got a chance to knock it off OOC before it affected you IC.

    Then you post to the DM guideline saying "Be creative." Then post a link to a former DM being told to not mock people by the DM team. What's hostile or toxic there? I locked the thread when it became clear it was not keeping to our standards.

    Then the situation you mention is a DM portraying a low-class and ignorant guard using a word that would not come out of the mouth of a high-class nobleman speaking to his king.

    Here's my take---sure, if there is a problem with toxicity, let's discuss it. If there is a problem with a single DM, let's discuss that (as all your examples were aimed at one individual). Is there a community issue here, or are you singling out a DM with a wide brush?) Or is this a case that you're focused and upset over a specific incident that bothered you as an individual because I do not see a wide pattern of cases that do not all involve you specifically.

    Essentially, while you may have a point, its getting lost in translation and your own personality here. I do not want to make this about you personally, but that is exactly how you presented the case.

    So what do you hope to see accomplished? How can we help? And specifically, what is the real issue we need to address because I hear you say its a "toxicity" in discussion and a case of a double-standard; but all examples are pointing at a specific individual and reads as it could be as much an attack on that individual as an honest appeal to deal with a wide issue.

    Based on the evidence, I do not see the issue. I see a clear DM guideline, be creative when you curse. Its a guideline, not a rule. You will see people be both creative and uncreative, and then you see people do it in a way that seems entirely OOC (cursing at his king when he's a respected noble).


  • DMs

    @forte said in The Toxicity of Double Standards - And the Importance of Equality:

    @lord-bhaliir said in The Toxicity of Double Standards - And the Importance of Equality:

    The issue here is not what language should or should not be used. The issue is the double standards. Use the search tool. See what you can find by using different words, and you will find that people are being treated very differently on an OOC level. Someone can safely write "Thundercunts" as an insult to another character, while another is OOCLY scolded because you saw possibility of said Word through an acronym. DMs expect issues about their behaviour to be addressed to them through private PMs, when they themselves call out a players behaviour publicly instead of private PMs. This is the problem.

    +1 to this.

    Also I don't believe throwing insults or calling others names is appropriate to the conversation, and despite not being Kingsman, would request people be nice and refrained from such.

    If its a case of being called out publicly, I've not seen that happen here either.

    And sometimes, calling someone out publicly is fine. When its clear they're publicly being out of line, you have to demonstrate you see it, and want it stopped or people presume you're not dealing with the situation at all and moderators are asked "Why didn't you call him out for it!?"

    If its going to delve into a situation where someone wants to call out a DM or another player, but that conversation happening publicly is going to lead to some open toxicity, then it does need to be done privately.

    Its kind of like any situation where I have a guest in my home, they act inappropriately in front of other guests, I will ask them to stop. I would likely do so publicly if the situation was not really serious. However, should I also know that guest is acting out for a reason that is serious, or has a serious issue with me, and that needs to be resolved--I'd talk with them privately to deal with that situation because it does not need to be seen by people; its a bigger deal.

    Here is a HUGE case of a small matter being turned into a BIGGER matter.

    A player used foul language, in a way that OOC did not make much sense, and got asked to stop. THEN it gets turned into a big matter of "double standards" and "toxic community". There may be truth to those claims, but it looks much like mountains out of molehills based on the examples. If there is a wider issue, let's talk about it as a group. If its a personal issue though, let's address it as one, and at that point maybe it does need to be private because it may involve dirty laundry being aired and hard feelings that need to be worked out and that isn't something I want to handle publicly.

    So take some time and think it through so we can have a helpful dialog, I'm worried this isn't going to be one right now.


Locked