Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

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Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:47 pm

Good afternoon,

Given the fact that the Org (One World by Night)) is allowing Sex Offenders to play in the org (We were previously unaware), and in fact there are over a dozen of them, we feel we have no choice but to end our involvement with this organization.

This is not a happy moment.  I've dedicated much of the last ten years to the local games, but I find myself with a clear choice.  Bucky and myself cannot associate with this group and expose ourselves to the potential consequences of such an association.  

The Orgs opinion on this is that it is on the individual players to seek council and legal opinion to rely upon in order to insulate themselves from possible liability.  That is an untenable position to be in, we cannot ask all of our players to retain council because the Org refuses to seek any legal guidance.

Where do we go from here?  Well, I'd prefer we go Troupe for a bit, while we seek entry into CFC or any of the other major networks.  Anyone wishing to move their character to an Org game is free to do so, we will allow you to house your toon wherever someone will take you in.

There are professionals of all stripes in our gaming group, and I believe all of you will understand the gravity of this situation.  These players have been at major events, which most of you have attended.  This is playing with fire, and I see no reason to do so.

Should the player base demand it, we will step down and allow another staff to take over the game (in order to stay in OWBN).  We strongly encourage you not to do this, for the reasons listed above, but we will not make that choice for you.

Thanks.  All of you.
Brian

CC'd to Falling Waters facebook group.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Guards the Home on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:03 pm

I am personally fine with Troupe play

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Wishbone on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:08 pm

Brian, I'd like to say thank you to the STs for taking this seriously and acting on it.  I only saw the relevant post earlier today, and frankly, I was trying to figure out how to gracefully bow out of the game.  As you rightly point out, some of us have careers that would be jeopardized by such fraternization.  Some might argue that the risk is slim, but it's a risk I personally am not willing to take.  Knowing that the STs feel the same, and are acting to protect the game and the players, is reassuring.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Patch on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:19 pm

part of me wants to point out that there are "sex offenders" who have been convicted for ridiculous reasons,  but I understand that professional considerations don't care about that.     Dedicated ST's are the hardest part to find in constructing a good game, imo, and so I'd rather keep you folks than the org.  :-)

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:23 pm

Thanks, and again, this has nothing to do with moral condemnation of RSOs, I know there are good people on those lists... it is purely an issue of personal and legal liability.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Aisling Beleran on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:24 pm

I've brought up the ridiculous things point as well with my initial inquiry with Brian, mostly because I hadn't stumbled across the post when this went up and I like being wholly informed of an issue. I know people that are on the S.O. list for ridiculous reasons. Reading up on that post, however, it seems the person is question was on there for legitimate reasons. So in my mind, I can definitely understand the concern. 

I support whatever the staff of FW wants to do in this matter.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Mischa Ivanoff on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:38 pm

Okay. Yes, I understand that this is a serious problem, and I have it on good authority that it is being addressed.

Have you guys considered just pushing for the change to Org Bylaws that would forbid RSOs joining OWbN, rather than leaving? Has it been propped since Frosty's posting? Now that there is national attention, and this issue has come up everywhere, such a change has a significantly higher chance at passing, and mighty quick too.

John

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:48 pm

If such a prop passed, we would consider rejoining. In the meantime, I have protected my players, my staff, and myself.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Mischa Ivanoff on Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:44 pm

Sigh. Okay.

Can you guys at least prop the vote or wait until it props to leave? The extra 1 vote might very well matter.

John

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Mariah Masters on Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:57 pm

Having been in the org a long time, and knowing what is going on on council as I am a CM myself I am of two minds about this situation. I would hate to see you all go. I do enjoy the RP that comes from interacting with you all but on the other hand I can understand how you all feel to a point. I know when this last came up a long time back, it was at a point where council was split on the matter because there are people out there who are on the Sexual Offenders list for ridiculous reasons, like being gay or peeing in a park or the really dumb of having been put on there for something that didn't warent being put on the list but once you're on your own, and  then there are people who are on there for damn good reason. Because of that, all games that I deal with do not allow people to play in their games if they are RSO. If I remember correctly, a few event games have even taken that stance. 

Now, all that said, I dont want to see you go and Brian if you are looking to write a prop to ban RSO's from the ORG, I'll help ya write it, but please, dont bounce after only a days worth of discussion. You guys are too awesome to loose that quick.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Guards the Home on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:01 pm

Couldn't you guys just refuse to let people play locally who are on RSO's (unless for silly reasons)? Or does the OWBN system not allow that?

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Mariah Masters on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:03 pm

The OWBN system does in fact allow that and encourages this.  Like I said previously, many games dont allow RSOs into their game.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:05 pm

Its more complicated than that. This needs to be top down to protect our players.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Mariah Masters on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:08 pm

Brian, you let me know if you're interested in persuing the By-Law revision to not allow RSO into the org at all.

Sam

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:12 pm

Those gears are already moving. I'm more disturbed that this was known about for years and no action taken at the national level. Hell, I'm appalled.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Mariah Masters on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:14 pm

It was brought up previously and if you want to know about it I can tell you privately.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:15 pm

Nah, I've been briefed. Thanks though.

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Post  Samuel Timmons on Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:35 pm

Ok...  Lets start by saying I will do what the group decides and I understand the desire to Cover Our Collective Asses....

That being said Im a little vague on how we go about insuring that nobody on the RSO list attends a game.  Other than having a criminal background investigation done on each and every player of each and every game.   Either that or simply having a legal form for each player to sign saying no I am not a Registered Sex Offender ???

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:46 pm

It gets dicey.  Basically, apparently the Org knew about the RSO's, and didn't ban them, then allowed them to play at event games without informing folks.  This creates a huge problem for all of us.

There's more to it, I hope my first message gets the basic idea across.  This sentence forms the real core of it:


The Orgs opinion on this is that it is on the individual players to seek council and legal opinion to rely upon in order to insulate themselves from possible liability.  That is an untenable position to be in, we cannot ask all of our players to retain council because the Org refuses to seek any legal guidance.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Patch on Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:14 pm

Not in any way an expert, but I believe the issue is association with an organization that would not blanket ban such thingsbecause background checks don't care much if the organization you're associated with allows the "ok" rsos, or the "bad" ones.

  And while reasonable people might be expected to leave such an organization,  reasonable people would not generally be expected to run criminal background checks on everyone involved in a casual recreation.  As long as they are banned, and warning signs aren't ignored . . . But I'm not an expert.  Just spitballing.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Sewer Pipe on Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:33 pm

Put me down for a big old 'doesn't give a shit.'

Alot of us knew about this years ago, nothing was done. Why the sudden surge of give-a-care now? Of all the reasons to leave the org, this is by far the weakest. I say stay.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Alexander Drake on Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:36 pm

I've been in the Org for a few years now and this is the first time I've heard about it.  It is a shame that the Org has not taken action to prevent this, especially if they have known for such a long period of time.  I am going to stay and support the staff here.  Network play compliments the LARP, but it doesn't make or break it.  Now, I don't travel anymore, so my opinion on remaining in the Org is pretty one sided. 

On a less serious note... there is a FW Facebook page?

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:46 pm

Its a group, you can find it with a quick search for Falling Waters LARP.

We'll still be maintaining continuity with any other local games that go, along with a possible connection to the new Changeling game.  Local players probably won't even notice a difference beyond speeding up some of the bureaucracy of the game and the loss of visitors.  And we'll be able to tell stories we weren't allowed to before, followed probably by a soft reset of some form when/if we join another org.

The national forum stuff I could take or leave, its not a huge loss, and national plot has been... weird for the last few years. 

Losing event games hurts like a punch in the gut though.  We've all made a lot of friends in the network, and it sucks that we have to go.

I'm really not certain the passing of a prop is even enough at this point.  How the hell did this sit for so many years?  What does this say about the disfunction of our organization?  While the people of OWBN are pretty amazing, speaking generally, the actual machinery of running an org of 100+ games has never really developed, and we're left running a broken mass of compromises over a superstructure that was designed fifteen years ago for a few games in the midwest.  This might just be a good time to get out and explore other options.  At the very least, I'm very excited about the new MET rules that are coming, and I'm certain OWBN would never be able to adopt them.

The hobby is bigger than it has ever been in WNY, and we're certainly not going to act to slow that down.  I hope the local games move as a unit, but if they don't we'll plot our own course towards whatever makes the most sense to us.

And of course for you guys.  I've gotten a lot of love and support from y'all over this weird day.  It humbles me.  Thank you.

- Brian

/Edit, god I sound cheesy.  Whatever,  I mean it.  I've put half of my life into this nonsense, I get to be melodramatic once in a while. :p

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stanley Putski on Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:08 am

I'd hate to lose the network play especially since my character is just getting to that starting point.  What about The Garou Nation?
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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:26 am

Garou Nation got devoured by the official fan club.  I'm in talks with said official fan club (already, they're quite prompt and professional!) regarding what that might look like.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Firewall on Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:39 am

It was brought up previously and if you want to know about it I can tell you privately. Sorry Mariah but none of this should have been kept privately or should be still kept privately. The fact the Org brushed this under the rug is just down right ....sickening. The mere fact that folks actually believe its better to keep the topic quiet than tell the general populous is disheartening to say the least. Even if they prop no RSOs at any game or event the damage has already been done. The Org has opened Pandora's box and there is no easy fix to it. A lot of us now feel as if we cant trust the org since they kept this information from us. It should have been out in the open from day one! We can no longer play the honest card of not knowing with our jobs this in turn puts that in jeopardy.
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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Skippy Pathfinder on Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:34 am

Are any of our local players RSOs?

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Alexander Drake on Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:24 am

I've been curious about that, but I've been telling myself no, moreso because I've been bringing my son to FW and still belief him to be safe around all those there.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:44 am

Those who have looked say no. Fwiw

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:55 pm

Okay.  This vote looks clear.  Let's move forward.

We have not submitted our official withdrawal yet, because I want to give people who want to transfer out time to find home for their toons.  I'll be conversing with the various staffs on Sunday, and hopefully we can have a date to break continuity with OWBN.  If I had to guess, I'd say we break continuity at the start of our next session.  At that point, we'll be a troupe game and we can talk seriously about MES as an option going forward.

If you want to transfer your toon out, I suggest you get on it ASAP.  We will be having no further contact with OWBN besides our formal withdrawal, but we will send out sheets to other STs who ask for them to be transfered.  That will be our only connection to OWBN until the formal break.

All visiting toons on the board right now, I'm asking you to please wrap your scenes up and gracefully withdraw from Falling Waters.

This hurts like a punch in the guts, but thanks for everybody for allowing us to move forward decisively and with clarity.

- Brian

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Admin (Mtal Pnym) on Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:08 am

Maybe I missed it where in the code of conduct/handbook for MES does it say no RSO/Felons? All I saw was the no discrimination in membership bit, which is the opposite.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:29 am

I was verbally assured no felons / RSOs by their head garou guy.  I'll get confirmation if we can't find it.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:32 am

"Other behavior and activities may also be prohibited or regulated by this Handbook."

Means I've really got to go through the minutia.

Tomorrow.

This is the full code guidelines.  It's over seventy pages. lol

http://www.mindseyesociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/MH-Handbook-07.15.2013.pdf

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Mischa Ivanoff on Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:34 am

Heh.

IRONY!

I just went through it. It ain't in there boys. There is nothing in the Handbook preventing Felons or Registered Sex Offenders from joining the organization.

John

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Stbrian on Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:43 am

Sloooooow down John.  These quick interpretations are going to make this process hellish.

Having a quite a bit of experience with corporate boiler plate mission statements,  I'm thinking it'll end up being covered by one of the blithely generic statements about legal activity in the opening.  They'd want to avoid putting words like RSO in their player handbook.  Given that this is, you know, a professional document. :p

Either way, I'm getting confirmation from their people.  We'll know soon enough, with no reason to speculate.

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Re: Withdrawal from OWBN / Resignation of Current Staff.

Post  Mischa Ivanoff on Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:54 am

Brian, I read the entire Handbook from start to finish. Every single word. There is nothing even alluding to the presence (or lack thereof) of Felons or RSOs. I'm not saying they allow them, I'm saying that if they are prevented from joining, it isn't stated in the Handbook.

The closest phrase is: "We adhere to all applicable laws when involved in club matters. The law always takes precedence over both the Constitution and this Handbook, including the Code of Conduct. Actions during club functions that break the law may be grounds for club disciplinary action as well as other appropriate legal action."

In theory, that may cover it, because arguably a RSO participating in a game in which people pretend to be children may be breaking the law.

I also haven't read this "Constitution" they are referencing, which I imagine can't be the US Constitution. So maybe it is in there?

John

EDITED TO ADD: Here is the MES Constitution: http://drs.larp.com/documents/Constitution_2012-01-20.pdf . RSOs / Felons are not addressed in it, either.

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