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Prohibited Themes

We do not allow RP storylines of rape or sexual violence. We are not interested in policing players in private at all, and we won't be permitting any RP of those themes into public sphere or canon. We understand that any fantasy world has plenty of terrible things happen and this is not a denial that it does, but we don't really think it's necessary to support these storylines when they are often extremely problematic.

Along this vein, we do not allow RP storylines of incest. In the IC society, incest is very taboo (talking immediate family and first cousin/aunt and uncle levels) and would be reviled and punished to avoid tainting family honor. That's not fun to arbitrate, and it's not fun for PC authority figures to have to deal with, so it is not an allowed storyline.

We do not and will not support PCs designed with no personal agency. This means: no prostitute characters, no Thralls of House Thrax, etc.

We are also unlikely to approve any CG which is clearly designed to be antagonistic unless the player submitting the CG explains (and follows through) on how they intend to make their antagonism fun for the players around them. Much like players of characters in leadership positions, players of antagonists have to be even more aware than the average player of how important this is. We do not want leaders or antagonists using their PCs to shut down the RP of other players. Whenever possible, they should be fostering RP, not hindering it.

Further, sexually exploitive occupations have not thematically existed as such culturally since the time of Queen Alarice the Great, and much of gender specific demeaning terms have ceased to exist. So thematically prostitutes do not exist as such in Arx , and gender specific demeaning terms do not have any cultural meaning, making terms such as 'slut' or 'whore' unthematic. I don't mean there's no way anyone trades favors or financial assistance for sex, of course they do. But the history of Arx and its society (and religion) is such that there has never been a reason to designate prostitute as a job. Historically (Earth-historically), it was seen as sinful for people to have sex at ALL outside of marriage, and as they bore the brunt of punishment for breaking the laws of society, that meant that women were whores; deemed unfit to be a part of good society, and the men patronizing them were expected to keep their sinful lusts to the proper targets. This need to designate sex workers as unclean and wholly OUTSIDE society has not evolved in Arx because the religion dos not call sex outside marriage a sin. Think of this, it only makes sense if it sounds right gender swapped. For example, "The orphaned farmer, destitute his family was killed by shavs, comes to Arx, and the man immediately falls into prostitution as a means to survive." This isn't something most players would think of for a male character, nor would it be for a female, since the means of survival are much more accessible - and likely you wouldn't term a male a prostitute either way.

A lot of players have trouble wrapping their heads around this, so think of it this way- having sex with money would have the same complete lack of stigma as someone doing odd jobs for cash. A knight that is between lords might help carry bales of hay for a farmer for some coin, but he would still be called a knight. The same knight that sleeps with a lady and gets some silver for it would be called a knight, not a prostitute. If he sleeps with a great number of people between jobs, he's between jobs, not a whore. It doesn't have any cultural reflection on who he is as a person, and that's why it is not considered an occupation that has specific terms built around condemning it or with strong negative connotations, as those connotations don't exist. Similarly a great noble lady has sex someone and makes use of the safe and reliable contraception, and as long as it is kept private, no one bats an eye- if she takes money for it, they might wonder why she bothered if she's well off, but it doesn't cast much value judgments on her as a person. There's no 'unclean' stigma.

While the concept of exchanging money for sex does - to some degree - exist, the exploitative dynamics which people are most familiar with from contemporary Western history are not present. Arvum is a land where (in most domains) men and women are considered fundamentally equal, coupled with excellent birth control, and no religious significance to the concept of sexual purity or monogamy. As such, while a man or woman may choose to be paid for sexual favors, this isn't considered a profession that is demeaning, nor are they any more subject to sexual shame or violence than, say, a carpenter would be. Additionally, we do not permit characters who are 'prostitutes', in that their primary function or occupation is the exchange of sexual favors for money. The courtiers of the Whisper House are highly skilled diplomats, companions, and agents of intrigue, for example, and there are no salacious overtones with their work any more than a lawyer, host/hostess, entertainer, etc.

While the culture still has taboos about public displays of sexuality or nudity, there is not any intrinsic value on maidenhood or similar concepts that would be gender specific- the idea of a woman saving herself for marriage would be seen the same as a man doing so. It is extremely gender neutral in its outlook, and Thraxian concepts are more specific to occupational roles than something that's truly patriarchial. That does NOT mean that the entire society is openly promiscuous or somehow against the idea of monogamy, nor does it mean that you should ever imply anyone who chooses to RP a non sexually active or not performatively sexually active character should be told they are 'prude' or going against theme.

We've talked before about the role of children in our story, and recent discussion has made us decide to codify it. Arx does not support stories of miscarriage or infant mortality *outside of pc backgrounds or GM handled story*

What does that mean? I'll try and clarify:
Can my pc lose a baby during pregnancy? No. We will not GM this and we ask that you not play out this scenario as this is sadly a common trigger and also generally Not Fun to be involved in.
Can my pc have infant or child mortality in their background? Yes, within reason. No, you were not a child assassin (of any variety that can be interpreted from that word combination), but perhaps your older brother died very young and you became heir.

In the past, we have been a little too loose with child endangerment in GM plot in some cases, and we will make efforts to handle that more delicately should it ever come up again.

Players are not to rp child endangerment of any sort. That means:
no posing your children in PRP or scenes where there is inherent danger
still not making any type of retainer that is not a fully grown adult
if your character is pregnant and wants to work/play/be involved in things, fine. This is not an issue, so do not make it an issue. Do not pose about how ponderously you are moving and how heavy with child you are while you are swordfighting, horseracing, or defending your castle from the landsharks.