TICKET CANCELLATION POLICIES
Can I cancel my ticket after I purchase and get a refund?
Dragon Thrones is a large budget and customized experience. This means, once you pay your down-payment, or purchase your ticket in full, our company is working hard to make sure you have the best experience possible. This means practical and important expenditures, such as venue costs, hotel or dorm room block down-payment, materials costs, design costs for your character and team, catering and more. Hence, we have a strict no refund policy. This is because we want to work hard to give you (and everyone else) and amazing "all inclusive" experience. So, just like booking a cruise or other all inclusive vacation we cannot offer refunds as production costs begin for you once you are reserved.
This is important! It means we care and will work over many months to make sure you have a memorable weekend. If you have any concerns about purchasing a ticket now, then simply contact us so we can put you on the wait list and give you a great booking when you are ready to commit, if/when spots are available.
Player Policies: Before, During and After Events
Dragon Thrones players are an amazing community This is their realm, stories, and characters! As Game Directors we want to offer clear guidance to everyone as to what is, and is not, possible in between events so players feel confident and comfortable that the Dragon Thrones universe is being respected and well attended to.
Dragon Thrones is created upon a storyline that The Game Theatre started on a dream to make a game experience that would be a perpetual universe for everyone, yet would also be welcoming for new players. Even though we, The Game Theatre, are the main writers of Dragon Thrones, the lore and storyline of Dragon Thrones continues and evolves in a custom and personal manner because of the amazing contributions of you! The choices you make have a REAL impact on our continuing saga for events to come. This is a promise we made from the start and a promise we shall continue to keep. As you know, this is not an easy endeavor, there are 100+ different characters, often 10 factions, and countless story-lines that cross paths.
The way for us to continue doing this and for the storyline and lore of Cambria and the Dragon Thrones Universe to be grounded within the facts of our fiction, we must work very closely with the players and game masters before, during, and after each game experience to build upon what was already there and solidify contributions that (once approved by us) become a part of our world! There has been a lot of official official lore, player created story, and outcomes over two weekends spanning summer and winter. This means we need to make sure that we have proper information for our players so we can make decisions as to what carries over into the next event, Dragon Thrones 3.
Player Considerations In-Between Events
Please, no in-between event role-play: what makes Dragon Thrones magical are the stories and accomplishments of the players that occurs at the event. It’s also only fair to the GM staff and other players that role-play occur at the events and not in between, either online or elsewhere. Not all players or Game Masters are available to take part in this or are able to give it their full attention, therefore things can be missed, overlooked, etc. We want all players to have a safe, fair, and equal chance to enjoy Dragon Thrones, and we can’t do that if we’re not all there together making it so. The Game Theatre cares deeply about player experience and will use the time in between events to review the Player Surveys in order to the best of our abilities fully customize each event to the preferences of our players!
- Most Importantly: You should NOT make “In-Game” actions, plans, alliances, movements, powers, civilization upgrades, wargame upgrades, or thematic storyline/plot/lore changes “out of game”.
- Facebook/Social Network Fun: Certainly you can write online “in character” and speak as your character, because this is fun and enjoyable to those who are interested in doing so. However, you should not pressure other players who are in between events to role-play with you.
- What is possible in-between events: there are a lot of fun things players can engage in between events! Talking about costuming, things you and friends would like to do before the event, props and other thematic items you would like to decorate your team area with, travel plans, and (most important) make new players feel excited to join you! Talk to new players about your team, other teams, what has transpired at the first two events and other memories and information that you have. Build the hype!
The World of Dragon Thrones: Dragon Thrones is Game Theatre, which is a larp, MegaGame, and entertainment experience hybrid, where you take control of a character in the world we’ve developed for you and with you, to create drama, action, suspense, thrills and the fantasy of the realm of Cambria.
- We certainly encourage our players to become a part the setting and help to grow the universe and to grow theatrical scenes as well as make epic moves for their personal and team’s objectives. However, there may be instances where the ‘yes, and’ mentality (which is popular in nordic larp) may not be applicable. Players should not claim to have abilities that are not part of their character sheets or beyond the mechanics of the game without first asking the permission of the GMs OR having it approved within the “Story/Lore & Scene Request Form”.
- This is VITAL to help us make the game safe and fun for all. (Keep in mind that something you may want to do or something you want your character to believe, may directly contradict something in the lore or something another character or group of players may already be doing. Game Masters want everyone to have a safe and fun time! In order to do that they need to make sure your character can fairly and thematically “actually do that thing”, they need to create a cost for that thing (as needed), and to make sure that it won't “break the game” or “break the lore” for another player.
- Player Character Requests: For those of you who already have a character and have been to Dragon Thrones before: We Thank you so much for your kind support and for making Dragon Thrones a reality! We LOVE our players and we love all of your characters, what they want, care about, their desires, their endeavors, plans and objectives! We also want YOU to love them as well! As you know, we of The Game Theatre work VERY hard in our small team to bring you these EPIC events in Castles with Food, Room, Board, and of course, The Dragon Thrones Experience!
- This takes many, many hours of planning, writing, phone calls, emails, and much more! This is why we have created player forms, that are sent to players before and after events. We love to hear from you on Facebook and by email about your character, and we feel bad that we can’t answer you as quickly as we’d like.
- Additionally, we usually are not able to give you the answers that you’re looking for because as you can empathize, there are also 100 more players with stories, characters, and ideas as well that we need to compare together so that we can do our best to not overlap or make lore mistakes. We are human beings, (not Draconians) so sometimes we can make mistakes. But in an effort to make far less of them, we will, from now on, ask you to fill out this form, and be very patient while we review everything. We will get back to each request to the best of our ability as quickly as possible.
- Even though we will try to get back to you sooner, our deadline for getting back to you will be two weeks, before the beginning of the next event.
Items for Careful Review by the Game Directors: there are 3 items we must review very carefully, and we appreciate your patience and understanding regarding these items:
- Map: we are thrilled that the map is a very important feature of Dragon Thrones. Players are constantly excited to explore it, and have taken many in-game actions to attempt to build, settle, alter, and upgrade the realm. Some of these actions can happen quickly, while most others take time. As in “real time” islands cannot be settled in a few game rounds, citadels cannot be built overnight, changes to landscape cannot just take effect immediately. You can enter any information about activities you have taken to possibly alter the Map in the forms we have in the Facebook groups and that are emailed to all players. Just be mindful that it’s within our discretion to review what you have put into the forms to determine what happens with respect to the realm. Some of these things that you want to do MAY be “in progress” or some of these things MAY be unable to happen. However, never fear, we will give you the thematic story reason as to WHY this may or may not be able to happen.
- Magic: can be a very powerful, effective, and spectacular thing (it’s also very fun!). Dragon Thrones is a universe of HIGH MAGIC. However, when it is used frivolously, it can sometimes be confusing, be used improperly, or feel “cheap or unfair.” We feel that Magic, fun that it may be, must be used responsibly and properly. We will be updating and upgrading our magic system in Dragon Thrones 3 to make magic feel more important, but also this means respecting magic, it just cannot be something that any player or team can do on a whim. We know this will result in cleaner gameplay and be more satisfying to everyone. By having magic be something that always needs strict Game Master approval it will feel more empowering and truly magical.
- Mirror Missions/Night Missions/“Jenga Missions”/Games at Conventions: if we schedule Mirror Missions in between events we will be very clear as to what can be bonuses for Dragon Thrones 3 and what is essentially a “side quest” that can be fun in of itself, but does not carry story or bonuses into the next event. All encounters, events, and character effects (lore etc) that take place “outside of the normal” Dragon Thrones experience are recorded and are then put up for approval for full lore by the The Game Theatre.
MOST IMPORTANT: Safety, Consent, and Inclusion Policies
The Game Theatre produces a variety of events that involve person-to-person interaction, role-play, character development, and completion of objectives. The company’s rules focus heavily on safety (physical and emotional), consent and communication, inclusion, and varying levels of immersion. These principles are integral to participants having a safe and enjoyable experience at our events, and The Game Theatre team is supportive of these principles throughout the larger gaming, live action role-play (LARP) and interactive theater community.
Questions or concerns? Email: email@example.com
Every attendee has the right to feel physically safe at events run by The Game Theatre. That means they should find the setting free of:
- Harassment (including slurs and deliberate misgendering)
- Unwanted behavior
- Harmful real-world events and ideologies, unless they are directly part of the game’s subject matter, detailed before participants opt in.
Whether run by The Game Theatre production team or in conjunction with another business or convention, our in-person games follow all local laws and we require our participants to do so as well.
Emotional Safety and 'Bleed'
The Game Theatre places a priority on emotional safety, providing a framework for identifying and processing the emotional impact of immersive role play and confronting (or avoiding) potential triggers. We also provide guidance for managing bleed, or the transference of emotions from character to player and vice versa. We do this through work-shopping before and after the game, as well as though a set of non-immersion-breaking tools.
‘Bleed’ isn’t always negative. An example of positive bleed might be a real life friendship that blossoms after you work in a cooperative context in a role playing game. Whereas, an example of ‘negative Bleed’ could involve playing opposite another player in a competitive game. After the game is over, you may experience antagonistic or hateful emotions towards the other player, even though you are no longer in character.
The Game Theatre strives to make a welcoming environment for all participants, including trying at all times to select fully accessible venues. The company accepts and value participants and never discriminates based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or any similar attribute.
Consent & Communication
Consent and communication are important facets of safe role-play, and Game Theatre games have tools (see below) to carefully negotiate scenes and to communicate levels of comfort. LARP is an amazing tool to explore new and different facets of our true selves, and the company values the sensitivity and safety required for players to experience the growth they wish to pursue.
Though immersion (or feeling as though you truly embody the character) is not always the goal of role-play in general, immersion is most achievable when LARP players feel safe and included, in a setting that allows for clear communication and consent. At Game Theatre events immersion is not a rule (the team wants people to be comfortable pursuing what they wish, when they wish), but deeper immersion is there to pursue. With that in mind, the company encourages a safe, inclusive, and transparent community and consent culture – because it’s kind – but also to supports an environment conducive to immersion and quality interactive gaming.
In the introductory workshop, company Game Masters and staff will cover specific tools to help players, experienced or new, effectively communicate with each other and negotiate dramatic scenes when necessary. The more trust you can establish with other players, the more risks you can safely take, and then the more amazing storylines can be created (in a feel good setting).
This guide just covers the basics – the foundations necessary to have a physically and emotionally safe game that allows you to focus on self-care and, should you choose, immersive participation.
Safety Concerns: Reporting Procedure
Safety concerns at The Game Theatre events should go immediately to Chris and Evan, particularly in the case of environmental dangers, medical issues, harassment, and legal violations. Game Masters (GMs) are also available to assist you.
Organizers and GMs can (and will) prioritize player safety. In the event of harassment, we will not take action without consent of the reporter (and/or affected individual). The team will not make publicly available information that puts members of community in danger, or makes them uncomfortable. The team also understands that someone experiencing a powerful emotional, stressful, and/or hurtful situation may need time to process what they are experiencing.
Zero Tolerance Policy
The Game Theatre has a zero tolerance policy for illegal behavior, violence against other community members, stalking, harassment, and abuse.
Dragon Thrones and other events by The Game Theatre often include alcohol. We urge our participants to drink responsibly. Alcohol will only be served to persons of 21 years or older in the United States.
- Physical and emotional safety: creating and supporting a safe environment is paramount. Plus, it’s necessary to facilitate the second objective.
- Enjoyment: the company wants to present and maintain an environment full of rewarding and enjoyable experiences!
- Rules, mechanics, and in-game objectives: is players a safe and enjoying themselves then they can do amazing things within the social adventure designs of The Game Theatre!
Out Of Game / Off-game Sign
It’s important to be able to distinguish in game actions versus out of game actions, especially when it comes to safety and consent. As most events take place “in game” once the game begins, we have a simple way to designate an “out of game” function. You can establish off game speech by placing your fist to the top of your head and saying “off game.” Then say what you need to.
For example: “Off game: I’m not feeling very well, so I’m going to go sit down for a few minutes,” or “Off game: Please ask before you shout at my character like that. It really caught me off guard!"
For Dragon Thrones, The Game Theatre provides an out-of-game room that is comfortable, not within the game area, that can offer privacy, low stimuli, waters, refreshments, and snacks, for ay player who needs to step outside the experience at any time.
Use consent negotiation before proceeding with physical actions involving contact with another player, romantic play, or extremely intense emotional role-play. You can also use consent negotiations to coordinate staged fights and other scenes. Examples:
Person 1: “Offgame: Consent negotiation - I’d like to throw a (fake) punch at you. Does that sound okay?”
Person 2: “No thanks. I’d rather not play that scene.”
Person 1: “All right - is an argument okay instead? If not, I’ll disengage.”
Person 2: “That’s fine. I don’t mind if you shout at me.”
We use the OK check-in to inquire about another player’s health, safety, and well-being. To ask if another player is feeling alright, simply flash the ‘OK’ sign. Give the other player a moment to take stock.
If that player responds with a thumbs-up, they are safe and you may continue play as you were. If that player responds with an iffy gesture or a thumbs-down, you should go off-game and ask how you can support them.
Offer to discuss with them how to change the scene if they wish to continue playing, but also allow them to disengage if they want to.
Free for commercial use: https://pixabay.com/en/blue-background-okay-ok-hand-good-2648244/
This is a subtle sign - one you can use without disrupting game-play or immersion.
The respondent replies with one of three hand signals:
Thumb up: “Everything’s great, play on!”
An iffy, ‘so-so’ gesture: “I’m not really sure how I feel, or I’m not feeling wonderful.” (treat this as a thumb down)
Thumb down: “I am not okay.”
Note: The ‘so-so’ gesture is important. We recognize that while we are all responsible for our own personal safety and looking out for each other, real life socialization and systemic marginalizations can lead some participants to feel uncomfortable or guilty saying no.
The look-down, or placing your hand at the level of your eyebrows, allows you to exit a scene without a question or fuss. You can use the look-down for various reasons, but need not give an explanation. Reasons might include: panic attack, feeling uncomfortable - or something incredibly mundane, like you need a drink of water or have to use the bathroom.
If you see someone using the look-down, it means they don’t want to interrupt the scene for whatever reason. Please do not pursue them or ask about their reason for leaving.
Throughout the event, your GM or other team members may do a brief, out of game check in. Meals are great times for this.
For multi-day events, informal, out of game debriefings are encouraged. This can mean chatting about the events of the day after hours, during breaks, or over snacks.
At the end of the event, we’ll conduct a formal debriefing process. This short process will allow us to leave our characters behind (for the time being) and talk about bleed, emotions, and other experiences from the game in a structured format. This will allow us to process bleed and other strong feelings relating to the shared experience.
We use these tools because safety is the most important aspect of our events. Do not use safety tools to avoid an in-game conflict or penalty unless it is accompanied by serious, out of game distress.
How to Recognize ‘Bleed’
Bleed occurs when emotions spill over from the character to the player or vice versa. This is especially important in a competitive gaming environment like Dragon Thrones. We’re here to play safely, have fun, and follow the rules, but sometimes we get really involved and immersed.
Various types of emotions can spill over: anger, grief, romance and attraction, sadness, and rage. We encourage you to take a few moments out of game (alone, or with others) to work through any bleed you may experience. The organizers and GMs are happy to assist you with this as needed.
Bleed can begin and continue before, during, and after events, especially as we continue to build our community and culture and participate in online events.
After the Game: 'Larp Drop'
Being surrounded by old friends and new - it’s a great feeling. Especially during long events, you may find that you bond with your team fast. When it’s all over and you’re back at work or home by yourself, you might experience a great deal of sadness or emptiness. This is known as larp drop, and it’s totally normal. You can alleviate this by:
Talking about your feelings:
- Continuing informal debriefing
- Joining the official online communities run by The Game Theatre
- Making plans to hang out with your friends again, whether that involves a simple phone call or signing up for your next gaming adventure
These policies are applicable to multiple types of events by The Game Theatre, including those that occur online. This document was adapted and expanded upon from The Geek Initiative’s policies, and it’s written by Tara M. Clapper. This document is intended to under regular revision and rigorous review by our community. Would you like to help improve this document and our safety culture? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to Marshall Bradshaw for initial feedback and review.
- The OK Check-in (Johanna Koljonen): https://participationsafety.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/toolkit-the-ok-check-in/
- Creating a Culture of Trust Through Safety Calibration and Larp Mechanics (Maury Brown): https://nordiclarp.org/2016/09/09/creating-culture-trust-safety-calibration-larp-mechanics/
- The OK Check-In (The Imagine Nation Collective): http://www.imaginenationcollective.com/okcheckin/
- Living Games Conference: Safety Staff Guidelines & Procedures (ohn Stavropoulos, with suggestions from Sarah Lynne Bowman, Jack Weeks and other members of the safety team): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BiM-ssd6BHHl5Aoiw-8S-qwRdnOC0m7DKLTuwPd66CM/edit
- Safety Coordinators for Communities (Maury Brown): https://nordiclarp.org/2017/04/17/safety-coordinators-for-communities-why-what-and-how/
- Epoch Safer Community Policies: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zFXHHk3gTjsBT9kAFu3wW2LIJqzla2CcU4kEMN8z0iw/edit