User Tools

Site Tools


Conduct and Themes

Basic Information

Our hope is that, in common with other society games, playing Ad Nauseam will be a fun and memorable experience. The game is deliberately open to a range of different game paths—you can explore the setting; form relationships with other players’ characters; or focus on the NPCs and their stories.

The CAT policy sets boundaries to make sure this openness is compatible with your right to feel comfortable and safe when roleplaying. Short for “content and themes policy”, it provides advance warning of potential triggers in the game, and establishes some ground rules for players to follow. In other words, it sets out Ad Nauseam's safeguarding policy, and fleshes out the basic expectation that all of us will be respect one another’s boundaries during the game. If at any point in the game you are asked to stop by anyone at any point for OC comfort reasons, please listen.

Our policy is based on the |Oxford University Role Playing Game Society's Conduct and Acceptable Themes Policy, and it is expected that all players and GMs will be familiar with this policy when playing Ad Nauseam. When in and out of character, all players and GMs are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner toward all other players and GMs and in accordance with the Society's Conduct and Acceptable Themes Policy, as well as the University policies mentioned within it.

We ask that above all, players and GMs uphold a supportive and respectful environment where participants can feel comfortable discussing sensitive themes both in and out of character. The spirit of the policy is always more authoritative than the exact wording, and so legalistic attempts to defend breaches of acceptable behaviour will be interpreted as being in bad faith and will not be accepted.

If players ever have a concern that the CAT policy has been breached, you may reach out to any member of the GM team. In the event that players have a concern about a particular GM, please contact the CAMPO, Ivan, at If you have a concern about the CAMPO (also the RPGsoc president), please contact the RPGsoc secretary at

Minimum Age

You must be at least sixteen years old to take part in the game. Most players will be between the ages of eighteen and thirty. You are asked to declare whether you are under 18 in character submission for safeguarding purposes.

Requesting Not to Roleplay with Someone

You may request not to roleplay with another player or GM before or at any point during the game, and we will do our best to ensure that you come into contact with that person as little as possible. You may ask us to inform that person of your request or you may keep your request confidential, though keeping the request confidential will prevent us from asking that person not to roleplay with you during the course of the game.

If another player makes you uncomfortable, please bring the matter to the GM team. If a GM makes you uncomfortable and you wish to discuss it confidentially, then please contact the CAMPO, Ivan. If the CAMPO makes you uncomfortable then concerns should be raised with the society secretary (not the president, as the CAMPO and president are the same person), whose contact details can be found here.

Potentially Sensitive Themes That May Appear

This section deals with potentially upsetting themes which may be present in the game. If you wish to play Ad Nauseam but have concerns about one of these themes, please get in touch to talk about your concerns or for any questions you may have.

It is expected that these subjects are treated in an appropriate manner and within the constraints listed here. Please keep in mind that these subjects should always be handled sensitively due to the potential real-life experiences of other players or GMs, and that any themes which require the explicit OC consent of another player are not introduced without this consent.

  • Indirect references to trauma The magic system includes the principle that magic can only be used by those who have suffered a catastrophic event in their past. This does not directly equate to trauma, and will not be referred to in those terms, but there may be parallels with some characters. The moral implications of magic relying on its users’ suffering are debated by NPCs in the game.
  • Theme of being trapped in a loop The core metaphysics include a time loop and the idea of repeating the same events over and over again.
  • Unhappy family dynamic Some NPCs exist within unhappy family dynamics and this may surface in certain plotlines.
  • Injury and death Character death and injury are possible for player characters and planned for NPCs, and death/injury may also be referenced.
  • Emotional manipulation and scheming This is permitted by players and NPCs and will likely occur and be referenced in game. If a player is uncomfortable with how the theme is interacting with their gaming experience, the player may - like in any other cases of discomfort - invoke the Safety Calls or contact the GMs.
  • Depiction of discrimination and inequality The setting/plot does not feature depictions of social inequality which mirror the real world. It does feature a social divide (without a power imbalance) and allusion to discrimination against mages (which will not be directly depicted). Players may, if they wish, create characters whose backstories are affected by these discriminations. However, players are not permitted to roleplay prejudiced characters or have their characters be racist, sexist, etc (or a fictionalised version thereof) to other players or NPCs.
  • Memory loss/forced amnesia or tampering of memory Memory loss and memory-affecting effects are themes of this game. Player characters and NPCs are expected to be dealing with these themes either directly or indirectly. This cannot be opted out.
  • Mild horror/body horror This may feature in game but anything graphic will be content warned beforehand. Characters are allowed to perform body modification on themselves through magic (see, for example the Quirk 'Half-human, half-...').

Topics Requiring Careful Handling and Sensitivity

  • Animal Abuse
    • Animals or monsters may be killed for reasons such as hunting and self-defence. Comic-book style violence towards monsters may be portrayed.
    • There will be no gratuitous description of violence against real-world animals.
  • Child Abuse
    • Child abuse is not a theme of the game and will not be depicted. That said, some NPC backstories feature relationships that may be interpreted as involving child abuse, though this reading will not be emphasised or focused on.
    • There will be no violence targeted specifically at children, however children may be harmed in the course of more general conflict (eg a monster attack).
  • Consensual Sexual Activity
    • This exists in game and happens. There will be no depiction of it.
    • For any players AND characters over 18 it may occur, dealt with a 'fade to black'. We ask you not to roleplay this in Discord or in emails.
  • Degenerative Diseases or Cancer
    • We ask that players refrain, to the greatest extent possible, from introducing real-world diseases; the GMs will do likewise.
  • Discrimination
    • on the basis of class
      • The setting contains themes of social division and intergroup conflict. Characters from different factions may behave towards each other differently based on their respective affiliation. However, the social division is not one of oppression. The Floater/Grounder conflict has parallels to class conflict, but there is no inherent power discrepancy between the two groups and the conflict is more ideological and cultural 1).
    • on the basis of gender or sex
      • This is not a theme we have or will introduce to the world of Ad Nauseam and we ask players to do the same
    • on the basis of sexual orientation e.g. homophobia
      • This is not a theme we have or will introduce to the world of Ad Nauseam and we ask players to do the same
    • on the basis of gender identity e.g. transphobia
      • This is not a theme we have or will introduce to the world of Ad Nauseam and we ask players to do the same
    • on the basis of physical disability or mental health condition
      • Themes of discrimination on the basis of real-world mental health conditions and neurological disorders are disallowed. The same applies to discrimination on the basis of physical disabilities that are not the result of the sacrifice involved in Magic. The latter is allowed specifically in context of ideological discussion surrounding the value of magic and the sacrifices it requires.
    • on the basis of real-world ethnicity or race
      • Societies in Ad Nauseam do not recognise real-world ethnicity or race. It does not make sense for your character to be prejudiced on the basis of ethnicity or race.
    • on the basis of religion or faith
      • There are no real-world religions in Ad Nauseam and mentioning of real world religions or strong parallels to real world religions are disallowed.
      • There is no formal or large-scale religion in the Sanctuary. Cults may exist and people with different metaphysical beliefs may come into conflict.
  • Domestic Abuse
    • Abuse is not a theme of the game and will not be explicitly alluded to/depicted.
    • Unhealthy family relationships exist in NPC backstories and may be portrayed, providing there is no consistent one-sided abusive behaviours aimed at maintaining power over the other member(s) of the family.
  • Drug or Alcohol Addiction
    • This theme may occur in the course of the game and players are advised to handle the subject sensitively due to being unable to know the real life experiences of nearby players.
  • Eating Disorders
    • This will not be introduced by the GMs.
    • Eating disorder as expression of mental distress is forbidden.
  • Eugenics
    • Discussion on whether magic - a property of mages - is inherently good or bad, and whether it should be induced is a theme this game intends to explore, which may be construed as touching on the theme of eugenics. However, magic is not inherited and can be acquired by all humans. Mages and non-mages differ in experience, not genetics.
  • Extreme and/or Indiscriminate Violence
    • There may be depictions of violence (eg fighting monsters) but it will not be graphic. Not taking the 'Oh, it's horrifying' will automatically reduce the amount of gore a player will witness.
    • Due to the nature of magic in this setting, indiscriminate violence (intentional or not) is possible. Magical disasters or conflict with natural forces may both result in indiscriminate destruction. We will try to be sensitive in our handling of this and players are encouraged to use caution with regard to actions that could be construed as indiscriminate violence.
  • Extreme Gore
    • The GMs will make all reasonable efforts to provide sufficient warning at the beginning of any passage, player brief or turnsheet that contains significant gore.
  • Gambling
    • This theme may occur in the course of the game and players are advised to handle the subject sensitively due to being unable to know the real life experiences of nearby players.
  • Genocide
    • Mass killings have not been and will not be performed on the basis of any of the banned discrimination themes.
  • Homelessness
    • This may occur in this game as a result of destruction of properties.
  • Mental Illness
    • This theme may occur in the course of the game and players are advised to handle the subject sensitively due to being unable to know the real life experiences of nearby players.
  • Mind Control and other means of removing agency
    • Alteration or loss of memories will occur in this game to both PCs and NPCs.
    • There will be no means of removing agency in this game. This is not something that can be achieved by magic and we ask players not to attempt this.
  • Physical Disability
    • Player characters or non-player characters may suffer/have suffered physical disability as a result of traumatic injury or disease, either during play or before play begins.
  • Self Harm
    • Self harm as a means of expressing emotional distress is explicitly disallowed. Actions which harm the self to some other end (e.g. cutting off an infected limb, sacrificing one's health in order to magically achieve something else) are allowed.
  • Suicide
    • Suicide as a means of expressing emotional distress is explicitly disallowed. Suicide for other reasons may occur and can be depicted.
  • Torture
    • Torture will not be detailed in player briefs or turnsheets and is not a theme that will be introduced by the GMs.
  • Terrorism in all its forms, including state terrorism
    • Acts that may be construed as terrorism will feature in this game, though none will consist of indiscriminate violence with the primary aim of maximising death.
    • State terrorism is not a theme that will feature in this game.
    • There will not be anything in this game that references or parallels real-world terrorist events and it is advised that caution be used with regard to current real-world events, particularly if you are plotting an action that could be construed as terrorism.

You are welcome to ask the GMs for more detail on any of the above. Please also feel welcome to ask the GMs about themes which we have not mentioned here. Players’ safety and comfort come before avoiding spoilers and rest assured that we will not ‘surprise’ you with anything on purpose.

Topics Not Permitted and Will Not Feature

The following themes will not be present in Ad Nauseam. They must not be portrayed, mentioned or alluded to by players or GMs at any point during the game. The first four listed are of especial severity.

  • Sexual assault, sexual coercion or any other form of non-consensual sexual activity
  • Sexual activity with those lacking the capacity to consent (e.g. children)
  • Sexual harassment or sexual stalking
  • Use of real-world discriminatory slurs
  • Cannibalism
  • Current real-world figures and events
    • Ad Nauseam does not take place in the real world, and as such discussion of current real-world topics makes no sense.
  • Forced Abortion
    • We are not interested in dealing with the issues surrounding abortion in this game; pregnancies will only occur with the consent of all parties, and once conception has occurred the baby will be born alive unless its mother dies before the birth or makes a free choice to abort the pregnancy.
  • Genital Mutilation
  • Genocide Denial
  • Historical real-world figures and events
    • Ad Nauseam does not take place in the real world, and as such discussion of historical real-world topics makes no sense.
  • Incest
  • Miscarriage and Stillbirth
  • Slavery / Human Trafficking
the power dynamics between the two groups are more analogous to a priest/merchant division than a rich/poor division.
cat_policy.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/04 23:30 by gm_ivan