Patrons of the Underground,

Many of you have likely heard the rumblings, for good or for bad, about a discussion occurring on the ST group. There has been a great deal of heated comments and a lot of vague Facebook posts made about it, so we feel it is important that our patrons hear a bit of what is going on.

The Board receives patron complaints from time to time, and it has become apparent the greatest number of complaints being received centered around one issue: Storytellers playing their PC in their own game.

Local issues are typically governed from the bottom up in this org, and organization-wide issues are governed from the top down. As the governing body of this nonprofit organization, the Board felt these complaints were numerous and widespread enough that it was viewed as necessary to create a policy that would eliminate what players were telling the Board was a problem.

The Board did fail in regard to the individual complaints. They were not singularly investigated and the involved STs informed or dealt with. This failure occurred because of a transition in the office of Ombudsman and a problem with the migration of records of reported issues. We, the Board, take full responsibility for this failure and offer heartfelt apologies to those players and storytellers. Our organization now has a new Ombudsman and the Board is initiating a new case tracking system to prevent this from ever happening again.

It is important to note, however, that even had those complaints been addressed properly, it would not have changed the outcome – the Board would have still initiated this policy discussion.

The original policy presented to the STs was simple and straightforward, basically stating that storytellers could not play their own PC in the game in which they were on staff. There were some games’ STs who expressed that this was not acceptable, and that if they could not play their PC in their own game, they would lose all of their staff, their game would pull out of the org or their game would fold. The Board then attempted to propose a compromise.

Currently, the discussed compromise is as follows:

LSTs and ASTs may not do the following:

  • Adjudicate scenes in which their PCs are directly or indirectly involved.
  • Utilize their knowledge as storytellers in order to gain an advantage for their PC.
  • Participate in any plots instigated or stewarded by themselves or other storytellers on their staff.
  • Initiate hostile action against another PC within the game for which they are a storyteller.
  • Hold any local clan or court positions in the game in which they are a storyteller.

This is where the current discussion is at. No policy is approved or in play. Any policy that comes from this decision would still require a Board vote to become official, and would likely provide a period of time that would allow games that needed to make ST staff changes to become compliant. This topic has been very heated amongst the ST board, so it is also possible no policy could come out of this discussion.

Finally, if you as a patron have an opinion, for or against, or an idea for compromise, PLEASE send us a respectful email to bod@undergroundtheater.org and also please COPY YOUR LST!

Thanks,

The Board