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Conduct and Themes Policy


We as the Brainwave GM team wish for Brainwave to be an enjoyable and memorable experience for all of those players involved. In the style of many other Society Games, Brainwave is a largely open ended game inviting players to create their own stories and plotlines, exploring the games central premise and themes in ways enjoyable to them.

The Conduct and Themes Policy, also known as the CAT policy, is the method by which we set our what themes we expect will or may come up in play, providing players with full knowledge of what themes to expect and how they will be handled. We have based our policy on the Oxford University Conduct and Acceptable Themes Policy and it is highly recommended players familiarize themselves with this policy before playing for awareness of what themes are allowed and disallowed. Regardless of the CAT policy, all players and GMs should treat each other with respect. If someone else asks out of character that you stop roleplaying a particular theme or topic, for any or no reason, respect their boundaries and stop.

We aim to create an environment in which all players can feel safe and comfortable. Whilst we will use the following policy as a guideline in how themes in our game will appear and be handled, the policy should not be always taken literally and attempting to reason to the wording instead of the spirit of the policy will not be accepted or tolerated.

We acknowledge that many of the themes presented here and in this game are complicated and nuanced. If you have any questions about our explanations of, or our presentation of, certain themes, please feel free to contact the GMs and NPCs via email or Discord.

If you feel the CAT policy has been breached, you can reach out to any member of the GM team. If you have a concern about a particular GM, you can reach out to the head GM (or CAMPO), Geraint, via Discord or email on . If you have a concern about the head GM, please contact the Society President, Ivan, either via Discord or at


All Brainwave players must be 16 years old or older. Most players will be between the ages of 18 and 30. If you are under 18 years of age, you must disclose this to the GM team for safeguarding reasons. Brainwave characters must be 21 years old or older. For an explanation of this, see Style and Tone.

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.

Potentially Sensitive Themes

The following is a breakdown of the themes listed in the CAT policy and whether they will or may appear in the game.

Appendix A- Themes that will not Appear in Game

  • Sexual assault, sexual coercion or any other form of non-consensual sexual activity.
    • This will not appear in game. See Consensual Sexual Activity for how consent will be handled in romantic or sexual encounters inside a Headspace.
  • Sexual activity with those lacking the capacity to consent e.g. children
    • This will not appear in game. See Consensual Sexual Activity for how consent will be handled in romantic or sexual encounters inside a Headspace.
  • Sexual harassment
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Use of real-world discriminatory slurs
    • This will not appear in game.

Appendix B- Topics requiring careful handling

  • Self Harm
    • Self harm in the direct sense in response to emotional distress is not permitted. However, as a response to different circumstances, such as heroically sacrificing yourself to save your friends, it is allowed and may appear.
    • People experiencing emotional distress may pursue habits and courses of actions that are self destructive as a result of that emotional distress.
  • Consensual Sexual Activity
    • This is permitted to occur, but will always be treated with a “fade to black” approach and should never be portrayed or described.
    • In any romantic or sexual interaction inside a Headspace, the host must be treated as a party whose full and knowing consent is required when conduct goes beyond what might be considered acceptable at someone else's house where children are present.
  • Extreme Violence and Gore
    • Extreme violence may occur in Headspaces, but the violence will typically be more “cartoon” in style and the gore will not be realistic or very graphic.
    • Extreme violence will not occur in the real world in the game, but may be referenced (such as referencing a murder method)
  • Miscarriage and Stillbirth
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Discrimination on the basis of sex
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation e.g. homophobia
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Discrimination on the basis of gender identity e.g transphobia
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Discrimination on the basis of physical disability or mental health condition
    • Discrimination on the basis of physical disability will not appear.
    • Mental health and wellbeing are themes this game aims to explore, and some of the struggles associated with them may appear in game, including some discrimination such as losing ones job as a result of poor mental health.
    • We consider neurodivergence to be different from having a mental health condition. Whilst discrimination on the basis of mental health may appear in the game, discrimination on the basis of being neurodivergent will not. Whilst we acknowledge that neurodivergence and mental health conditions often overlap, we consider them distinct.
  • Discrimination on the basis of real-world ethnicity or race
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Discrimination on the basis of nationality, religion or faith
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Eating disorders
    • This is not planned to feature in this game. However, it may be depicted if a player wishes to explore this theme themselves. At all stages if a depiction of an eating disorder will occur anyone likely to be exposed to it will be warned and given the opportunity to opt out.
  • Forced Abortion
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Incest
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Torture
    • In game, people may be put in situations which can be described as torturous inside Headspaces. However, this will not be done to anyone for political reasons, or for the purpose of inflicting suffering or extracting information.
    • Torture will not appear in the real world.
  • Cannibalism
    • We are not planning to depict this in game. However, situations resembling cannibalism may potentially occur between non human entities in Headspaces.
    • This will not appear in the real world.
  • Slavery or human trafficking
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Mind Control or other means of removing agency
    • As psychics, players are immune to having their minds manipulated by psychic powers.
    • Psychic projection cannot be initiated without the consent of the Host. However, once inside a mind the Host has limited knowledge and awareness of what is being done to their mind.
    • Direct mind control is not accessible by any human being. It may be by non-human entities, but it will never be inflicted upon player characters.
    • In the course of exploring, fighting or attempting to aid a Headspace, players or NPC psychics may accidentally damage a Headspace, causing detrimental mental effects to the Host.
    • Accidental damage and minor tampering in Headspaces may occur.
    • The GMs are not interested in exploring the most insidious forms of manipulation and gaslighting that could result from the use of psychic powers, in particular those that mimic abuse (that is, sustained targeted behavior with the expressed intention of mentally destabilizing the victim). We ask that players do not create characters who would set out to do this.
    • Some level of manipulation may occur, such as removing the memory of their boss paying you so they pay them twice, removing the memory of someone who saw something incriminating. This list of possible misuses of psychic powers is not exhaustive and players and GM's should use discretion in depicting what kinds of underhanded applications of psychic powers could achieve in order to avoid the definition of abuse mentioned above.
    • Players may commit similar levels of psychic manipulation to what is described above but should not expect to “win” or have this course of action ultimately end well and be condoned by the game. For some further clarification on the tone we want the game to have, see Style and Tone.
  • Domestic Abuse
    • Difficult home lives in which non-physical forms of abuse happen may appear.
    • Physical domestic abuse will not occur.
  • Gential Mutilation
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Animal Abuse
    • Certain psychic entiites may have animalistic traits that means they resemble real world animals.
    • Combat with such entities may occur in Headspaces, but should not be initiated without reason and the creatures suffering should never be drawn out.
  • Child Abuse
    • See our policy on Domestic Abuse.
  • Eugenics
    • This will not appear in game.
    • The source of psychic powers is not genetic and the origin of psychic powers will not be explored. Any attempt by a player to do so will go nowhere.
  • Genocide
    • Overarching threats to the minds of non-psychics will appear in game. Psychic players and NPC's will not be threatened by them by virtue of being immune to psychic effects. However, this will not be driven out of discrimination against, or hatred of, non-psychic people.
  • Genocide Denial
    • People may be sceptical of the overarching threats to the minds of non-psychics.

Appendix C: Topics which should be handled sensitively

  • Mental Illness
    • This is a theme of the game. When it occurs the GM will aim to depict it sensitively and respectfully.
  • Physical Disability
    • This could appear but is not a major theme of the game.
    • We are not planning to explore the intersection of physical disability and mental health. However, it will be explored if initiated by a player.
  • Suicide
    • Heroic self sacrifice can appear in Headspaces, this will resemble a heroic suicide but will not actually kill the psychic.
    • Suicide can be mentioned and discussed, but will not be depicted.
    • Suicidal thoughts can intersect with mental illness and may appear in the Headspaces of some people. Players will always be warned in advance if they may interact with such themes.
  • Degenerative Diseases and Cancer
    • Psychic entities may exist that will bear superficial resemblances to degenerative diseases or cancer. They are not intended to be an allegory for them, and the resemblance will only be superficial.
    • Actual degenerative diseases or cancer may be depicted, but players will be warned before engaging with these themes.
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
    • Addiction, both to substances and experiences, may appear in the game.
    • Certain Headspaces may feature manifestations of addiction.
  • Gambling
    • Gambling and gambling addiction may appear in game.
  • Homelesness
    • This may appear in the game.
  • Real World Current Figures and Events
    • This game is set in a fictionalised England. We are not interested in engaging with real world politics or anything adjacent.
    • Occasional references to real world pop culture may appear and is permitted, but should be used in moderation and care for the reference being made.
  • Real World Historical Figures and Events
    • See Real World Current Figures and Events
  • Terrorism in All its Forms, Including State Terrorism
    • This will not appear in game.
  • Indiscriminate Violence
    • This may occur in Headspaces. It will not occur in reality.
  • Other Real World Biases Not Covered in Appendix B
    • There is no concept of psychic or non-psychic supremacy, it is well understood in the game's world that either comes with its own unique advantages and hindrances.
    • The proper application of psychic power and discussion of when it should be used and how it should be regulated is a discussion that we are interested in having, but at no point will any view on this subject be based on a belief in the superiority of psychics or non-psychics. Psychics are considered extremely normal in the society of Brainwave and do not experience discrimination on the basis of being psychic in the same way a Spark might from Origin Story.
conduct_themes_policy.txt · Last modified: 2022/08/14 18:09 by gm_will