In Response to Seth's Reason for Leaving:

  • @Black:

    Theres a certain line in which you cross into absolute classlessness, and COA has crossed it. Some things just don't belong in a gaming experience.
    Enjoy a server with Dms who want to play out child-abuse storylines. if you want.

    Bye then. I'me sure anyone looking can find me easily enough on relevant mediums.

    Hello everyone. By now many of you have read Seth's Out of Game/Leaving post and have a few questions, and understandably so. I would like to clarify our position in regards to these claims.

    There have been two recent events that involve a generic Boy NPC. The first of which involved the boy being "kidnapped" from his home, and his worried mother hired out some adventurers to find him. This boy was found fine, and explained that he was there because his father had been drinking and tore up his paintings and his new friends (the colors) were watching him paint.

    The second event was not centered around the boy at all; rather he was found walking the ruins by a party that was there for a different reason. The boy explained he was safe in the ruins and was there to paint because "dad was drinking" again.

    In both instances, the implied situation was meant to add details to a backstory and in no case was it meant to be perceived as the focus.

    PC documentation following the second event, however, highlighted this element of the backstory. Seth, who did not actually attend the events themselves, read these posts and further misrepresented the story being told.

    Clearly what we intended and believe we had written was interpreted in a way differently than we had anticipated; on that end, we do apologize; we don't feel we were out of line and that the story merely suffered a chain of misinterpretations. To that point, we do appreciate player feed back regarding any and everything, and we would like your thoughts on whether these events pushed the line too far or not.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you to the DM team for providing clarification on the matter, I hope that less misunderstandings like this occur in the future as given what just happened the result can be costly.

  • So… Seth, come back?

  • I'm not sure. For some people it's a very sensititive (and very real) issue in their lives and something like this might stir up some bad memories for them. The 'line' and when one 'crosses' it comes down to an individual, difficult to balance.

  • having been in the group that had the second encounter i would say that there were no overtones of overt abuse portrayed and the only implication was that the boy was in the ruins to avoid his alcoholic father.

    the things that i took from the encounter were that the boy had a reason to be in the ruins and that he was 'friends' with the colours that he painted. the emphasis was very much on the party's interaction with him and their responses and his to them rather than his back story.

    i do understand that the reason given for him 'escaping' to the ruins might have been written differently, maybe escaping from bullies in the slums or something, but in truth i was in no way shocked or offended by the portrayal given. the backstory forming so little of the actual story.

    i may have screenies of it, ill check, i had fraps running.

  • I've killed and fed children to spiders before.

  • I've made horrible sacrifices (with my old tiefling) of tortured children, yet i didn't have the stomach to play it out so the dm who was overseeing it was left to describe the grizzly scene to those who came upon it.

  • CoA is escapism for a lot of players. Being fed to a spider, or sacrificed by a half demon is not something that comes up in day to day life, and there for is escapism. There is a degree of absurdity to it.

    A child with a neglectful alcoholic father is something a player may well have experienced, and as such belongs in the same category as rape and self harm in my view, in that it is excluded from the game.

    I would use the yardstick of if its grisly, then that's fine, but if its capable of evoking memories from real life, then leave it out. There are plenty of other sick things that can be done that will not elicit such an emotional response.

  • @Gorga469:

    So… Seth, come back?

    I sent him a link to this thread on Facebook so hopefully he reads it and understands.

  • It is understandable if someone come across the child's backround as upsetting, but you could also find a characters background upsetting and I know plenty of grown up neglected children in CoA. Evil/Good is an aligment curse, but there is always the good and bad parts in a story to give it flavour and balance. To be frank, my background is pretty shit and I can come across plots/characters in the game which may remind me of it, still I do not run off and hide from it. There are different ways to approach things, each person has their limit and I know most may not find it easy to take, I certainly do not. But hey, I come here to have a good time and be a part of the story, to do that I might face some similar things to my past but those things often makes me want to be a part of it even more. If it is not what I am comfortable with, I will apologize and leave. Cause simply for me having a bad memory should not stop others from having fun, people want flavour and they want to help, if it is all sunshine and candy what is there to fix?

    So honestly, in my own opinion it is over reacting and I certain done so myself in the past and I blame no one for doing so. However pointing fingers and saying people do it to upset others is not really right, it is better to approach the DMs and talk about it than go mad. I been mugged, abused, beaten, homeless and other quite brutal stuff which frankly appears in roleplay games all the time. Every time you go to fight the bandits you stick your sword through a man, which is basically stabbing someone to the death. I doubt anything I have written will calm any minds, but on the bright side I hope people will understand that no one is trying to offend anyone.

  • This is a game where rape, pillage, murder, necrophelia, lies, betrayel, abuse, devils, demons etc… is common. And can have massive effects on different people when brought up. Half-orcs, a prime race... are a result of one of the former mentioned.

    This game is intended for matured players who can recognize the difference between reality and gameplay. And can realize that these things simply happen in the type of world that we play in.

    That said! I do NOT advocate writing things that could be closely related to someones horrific real life experiences and shoving it in their face. Certain things DO need to be kept in the background. As above, this is a place to escape. But at the same token - you have to expect certain things to come up over time. It's a byproduct of the universe we play in.

    It's a fine line, and that line varies from player to player. The key is, if you see someone cross where that line is to you, communicate it to whomever that is. If they (player or DM) won't respect you, then yes, leave.

    We're all story tellers. We're all writers. And we all strive to make the world we create as real as possible. And in doing that, mistakes will happen. But that's all they are, mistakes.

  • Actually, we've always ruled that we will not portray rape on this server. Its PG 13.

  • @Mr.Moloch:

    Actually, we've always ruled that we will not portray rape on this server. Its PG 13.

    Obviously that one should never be portrayed. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist in the realms. I agree with the policy. I don't want to see it. I just included it as part of a long list to emphasis the point.

  • Yes, there are some things that are very very emotionally scaring, and whilst they are ok portrayed in a PnP game at home where you know the players and their backgrounds, they should not be portrayed in an Online game, where any number of players, almost all of whom you know nothing of may end up involved.

    Unlike books, or films, or even other computer games, where you have a vague idea of the contents before you get involved and thus can avoid them if you think it might involve a sensitive subject, that is not how CoA works.

    As a rule the server has always avoided such things.

  • While I have run a rather successful PnP session touching on themes of child abuse and even prostitution, that is not something I would recommend for a public server at all. There is a very big difference between playing out a story and just reading about something. The experience is a lot more visceral, and the emotional responses become way more intense. Like, the plot of Mystic River can quickly feel like a full-on Marquis de Sade when you're really there, in the story.

  • Just to be clear, folks, No Child Abuse was played out In Game in any way.

    The "abuse" storyline was hinting at drunken father and was used just for background to give the players a reason for where the child was and why.

  • I do want to clarify that no element was played out, nor does anyone on the DM Team have any intentions of playing such scenes out.

    The discussion was to simply discern from the player base whether including implied emotional abuse (nothing physical) as a background detail goes to far.

    From what I'm gathering it is a very mixed bag so far, so it may well be a good idea to avoid such details in the future and attempt to find a different logic set.

    Someone mentioned bullying; but that's exchanging one dark subject for another.

  • The DMs have taken a hard line on some subjects (I.e. rape, drugs), but it would be nice to have some clarity in what subjects are allowed and to what extent we can portray them. It's one thing to say X subject is allowed while Y subject isn't, but perhaps we could shed some light on the rationales.

    Some subjects, like the aforementioned rape, are no-brainers, but undertones of them remain, in this case any characters with half-orc lineage and the like are said to be the products of rape. We take a stance against portrayals of sex (maons), for which I'm glad, but then we've had characters involved with prostitution.

    On the subject of the implied child abuse, it seems as if we'll all make our own determinations. But since we have subjects like slavery that I would wager are more offensive, and to wider segments of players, perhaps we need some guidance. If nothing else, a forum post, highlighting what's allowed, what's not and why, might help clarify what's fair game in the future.

  • Ours has always been a system of "implied"

    It's the difference between "Suggestive Themes" and "Sexual Themes"

    The subject matter exists, but we do not want to draw attention to it beyond implied details.

    There are prostitutes, but there are no sexual acts. It is implied that the prostitute, being what they are, does participate, but there are no details beyond that. The implied detail is there to establish the character; not to be the focus of the situation.

  • You mean like:

    To preserve a friendly and casual gaming environment for a wide range of people, we do not allow portrayals of :
    Graphic Hard Core Drug abuse. Alcohol use is frequently roleplayed here.
    Graphic portrayals of sexual interaction due to the presence of minors on our server. This includes cyber sexing.
    Graphic portrayals of violence out of sensitivity to the emotional nature of these actions. This includes graphic depictions of:

    In our minds, people should not be required to roleplay through these actions, but we accept that everyone has a different tolerance level and what may amount to a graphic depiction for yourself, may not be such for all.

    Everyone is free to state OOC that they feel a scene has grown too graphic for their own comfort, and other players and DMs will respect their feelings.

    Please be aware though, that this is a fantasy game set in a violent world. These actions may be alluded to, graphic violence between heroes and monsters or villains will occur. This is a PG 13 setting.

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