Safety Signals and Calls

Hand Signals

Sometimes a Clarify conversation during a roleplay interaction may feel disruptive or moment-breaking. Our system uses four simple hand signals to check in with participants during an exchange and to signal when you do not consent to RP.

  • Thumbs-down: Signals a person does not consent to continuing the current play. If the thumbs-down sign is used, it is a clear statement that they are not comfortable with the current role play and the subject must change.
  • Thumb-out: To ask someone else if they are okay. Curl your fingers in and hold your thumb out to the side (it should look like a sideways thumbs-up).
  • Thumbs-up: Signals a person consents to continue role play of the situation.
  • Time-out: A classic “time out” hand gesture with the flat palm of one hand against the extended fingertips of the other in a “T” shape indicates that the person making this sign wishes to opt out of the current play and will remove themselves from it. If used in-game, do not pursue the person – allow them to leave and continue the conversation or other roleplay without them.

If needed, this signal may be used to exit a module in progress. Please review Shared Fate/ Opt-Out within the Game Content Warnings section for details.

Safety Calls

Our system uses three verbal safety calls to quickly alert others about missed information, possible danger, or an emergency situation.

Clarify: It happens, we don’t hear what someone said through their mask, or we don’t understand what a specific effect means, or what a spell we were just hit with means. Simply state “Clarify: ___” and ask your question. “Clarify, what did you say?”, “Clarify, what does ‘hemorrhage’ mean?”, “Clarify, I hit you with my spell”. This should be treated as a short Out of Game moment between the two or more people involved in the Clarify, and as such nobody should use the opportunity to get in position to attack them, or otherwise interrupt the moment until the Clarify is over and the participants have returned to ‘In-Game’ readiness.

Caution: Caution is a preemptive warning that something bad is about to happen. Caution – you’re about to step on me! Caution, there’s a big rock behind you. Caution: check your swing. Caution is to be used as liberally as needed to make sure that nobody is actually injured in combat, by props, or even by the terrain itself.

GAME STOP!: This is a total Game Stop Moment. When you hear this safety call, you must (if able to) drop to one knee or a sitting position and repeat the call until everyone has disengaged with combat and roleplay in the area. Once that has happened, a Senior Team Member will assess the situation and take necessary measures. If no Senior Team member is present, send a runner to the Plot Center for assistance. GAME STOP! is most often used when someone has been injured or otherwise incapacitated.

Reasons that are perfectly acceptable to call a game stop in this manner are: I’ve lost my glasses in the middle of combat, I’ve hurt myself (or have seen that someone else is injured) and need medical assistance, or another situation that requires immediate and urgent assistance. Once the Senior Team Member in control of the situation has deemed it appropriate, everyone rises to their feet and returns to their previous positions and after a 3-2-1 Play On!, returns to In-Game. Occasionally the Senior Team Member will move those not involved in the GAME STOP! to a different area before doing so, or other times the people involved in the GAME STOP! will be the ones to leave the area.

Safety Armbands: Non-Combatants

An individual who does not wish to or cannot safely engage in the physical activity of combat or other strenuous physical activity should notify Sustainable Collapse staff and also denote this visually by wearing safety-orange/dayglow armbands. These must be illuminated at night. Sustainable Collapse staff recommend considering battery-powered LED jogging bands. A yellow or orange glow stick attached to the armband may also be used for night-time illumination, but may not be the most efficient or secure. Persons thus denoted may not engage, nor be engaged, in physical combat. Under no circumstances should an individual with orange armbands be struck by a weapon, spell packet, or in any other way, and may not participate in physical combat themselves (such as to physically block an attack, etc.).

By existing in the world of the game, however, their characters do still run the risk of being damaged or killed for roleplay purposes. In order to target a noncombatant, the attacker must come within melee range, point a weapon, spell packet, or other delivery method at the person, and state “I kill you” or the appropriate incantation or skill call, without interruption by an ally of the noncombatant. The noncombatant must then take the effect unless protected by an appropriate method (shield spells, etc.), but the roleplay of the effect will be left to their best judgment regarding their physical ability. Clarify calls, as discussed in the Safety First/Safety Calls section, are encouraged as needed in these instances in order to maximize the physical safety of all involved.