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TOPIC: Time to Revisit Age Policy?

Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #1

Considering that we are already revamping the TE guidelines, maybe this would be a good time for TD to revisit the minimum age policy. Possibly adapt the current guidelines and then consider actually enforcing whatever policy they come up with!

This issue comes up periodically. Most often just a few weeks ago:

truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=597&id=244616



At TDC, I know of at least two different runs, each with a different baby being carried into the dungeon.

I was in one pickup run where there was a baby. No one asked me if it was okay to have a baby in the run (though the baby did not end up being a distraction).

(I think in the other case, the parents bought out the run so they could have their baby with them).

During TDC, I did have a brief discussion with Druegar and Lori.

There are potential liability issues if something does happen to a baby or child while in the dungeon.

Another problem is that people are starting to get the impression that "underage children and babies are okay as long as you buy out the run." That starts heading towards the "anything goes if you buy out the run" direction, and I'm not sure whether or not TD is okay with this.

There is also a fundamental fairness issue, especially in the case of responsible parents who make their kids wait until they are old enough. It seems unfair when they have to stand by and watch while other parents and kids break the rules and go on runs.



So I encourage TD to think about their minimum age rules. And regardless of whether they are changed or remain the same, please actually enforce the rules (as best as possible), much like how you are enforcing TE rules.

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Last edit: by Incognito.

Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #2

I was thinking the same thing. I have two friends waiting to bring their sons until they are at least the correct age. If you can bring a baby then there might as well be no age policy.

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #3

From the coach's guide:

Age Limit: Only mention this if it looks like there’s a very young person trying to go into the adventure. For legal reasons all players must be at least 12 years old, so use your best judgment. Infants & toddlers are absolutely not allowed to go in the dungeon. If you’re not sure or if anyone gives you any grief, call for a Coach Coordinator or Director.



I agree this should be better enforced.
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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #4

I waited until my son was old enough for us to do TD together. He was mature enough to have done it at least a year earlier.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #5

Being the npc in room 5 i was told to stop the fog which took away from everyone else i feel
i think I'm some sort of wizard

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #6

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Andrew Ott wrote: Being the npc in room 5 i was told to stop the fog which took away from everyone else i feel


Hmmm...
This gets my hackles up. Not because of the kids issue, but because of the implication...

* How would you feel if someone had epilepsy, and needed a strobe light to be turned off in a particular room?

* What if someone was in a wheelchair, and couldn't use the cool bridge prop which led to the other side of a fake chasm, and instead needed it moved out of the way in order to cross?

* Or if someone was asthmatic and having a reaction to the fog?

In all of those examples, the DM could be asked to make an accommodation for a single player, which might take away from everyone else's immersive experience. And yet - I don't think anyone would begrudge them the accommodation.

So while, yeah - having to turn off the fog for a baby may have altered the experience for other players - that part was not the problem.


I'm sure you were just looking at things in the light of "should we have under-age individuals in the dungeon?" and trying to make a point against... but consider this: would you use the same argument to keep disabled adults out of the dungeon? If not, then it's probably not a solid argument against in this case, either.

There may be other very valid reasons to revisit the age limit & policy enforcement though.
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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #7

Raven wrote:

Andrew Ott wrote: Being the npc in room 5 i was told to stop the fog which took away from everyone else i feel


Hmmm...
This gets my hackles up. Not because of the kids issue, but because of the implication...

* How would you feel if someone had epilepsy, and needed a strobe light to be turned off in a particular room?

* What if someone was in a wheelchair, and couldn't use the cool bridge prop which led to the other side of a fake chasm, and instead needed it moved out of the way in order to cross?

* Or if someone was asthmatic and having a reaction to the fog?

In all of those examples, the DM could be asked to make an accommodation for a single player, which might take away from everyone else's immersive experience. And yet - I don't think anyone would begrudge them the accommodation.

So while, yeah - having to turn off the fog for a baby may have altered the experience for other players - that part was not the problem.

I'm sure you were just looking at things in the light of "should we have under-age individuals in the dungeon?" and trying to make a point against... but consider this: would you use the same argument to keep disabled adults out of the dungeon? If not, then it's probably not a solid argument against in this case, either.

There may be other very valid reasons to revisit the age limit & policy enforcement though.



The difference is that babies should not have been in the dungeon (due to the Minimum Age Policy), while adults generally are permitted.

Raven, in some of the examples you provided, it would just be small modifications. If the rest of the party wanted to see the strobe lights, then maybe after the room is finished, the DM could turn them on for the rest of the party while the epileptic person closed their eyes or stepped into the hallway. In the case of the bridge, you could allow the rest of the party to cross it before or after it was moved for the individual in the wheelchair.

In the U.S., the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does require certain accommodations, but it doesn't cover everything and has its limits. In addition, there is the issue of what is defined under "disability."

There are some conditions which aren't very compatible with True Dungeon. Claustrophobia, nyctophobia (fear of the dark), and sensitivity or fear of loud noises. Most of those are kind of unavoidable for most of the dungeon.

While there could be safety issues involved, I suppose a blind individual could theoretically go through TD if they wanted, though there really aren't any braille translations. A deaf person could do it but TD probably doesn't have the expertise to provide sign language translators. And I don't know what reasonable accommodations TD could make if someone who is both blind and deaf wanted to participate.

Also note that TD doesn't provide any translations in foreign languages for those who do not speak English. Or have anything for people who are illiterate.

TD could probably accommodate a guide dog. There could be issues if lights, sounds, or fog triggered something with the dog though. However, I don't think TD could practically handle a guide horse or, say, a guide elephant (due to size constraints).

And while TD has been able to accommodate individuals in wheelchairs, I imagine there must be some upper limit to what can be done, such as for people who literally weigh 1000+ pounds.

If a player (either adult or child) has a peanut butter allergy, I don't think it would be reasonable to require all volunteers to have no contact with peanuts for the preceding 24 hours.

I don't know what could be done for players with immune deficiencies, such as "bubble boy" scenarios, individuals with cystic fibrosis, or those with weakened immune systems due to things like HIV/AIDS.

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #8

They have modified the dungeon at least one time, I assume due to unforeseen complications. There were two hallways with crushed nut shells that were meant to simulate dead bugs. Were they cleaned up due to being a slip hazard, or to prevent any allergic reactions? I also believe there have been issues with latex as well.

Infants and toddlers are 'absolutely not allowed', which seems pretty cut and dry.

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #9

I would hate to see a blanket rule, such as no one under 12... I have an 11 year old who is looking forward to GenCon and he is mature for his age...

On the other hand, my 13 year old daughter I wouldn't think of bringing until she grows up some more...

If a rule is put in place, of course I will honor it, however.

But I do understand the need for a minimum age rule...

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #10

balthasar wrote: They have modified the dungeon at least one time, I assume due to unforeseen complications. There were two hallways with crushed nut shells that were meant to simulate dead bugs. Were they cleaned up due to being a slip hazard, or to prevent any allergic reactions? I also believe there have been issues with latex as well.

Infants and toddlers are 'absolutely not allowed', which seems pretty cut and dry.


Coaches were instructed to ask parties about nut allergies that year.
D&D teaches all the important lessons in life - the low blow, the cheap shot, the back stab, the double cross. - Jerry Marsischky

Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #11

I was in 2 runs at TDC with Baby Bard and she was great both times. Besides a missing sock in one room, there were no issues and she was appreciated by every player and DM I observed. Other than Angel, she is my favorite bard, and I hope to do many more runs with her.

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Time to Revisit Age Policy? 7 years 1 month ago #12

I think 12 is a fine age since a line has to be drawn somewhere. Individuals will always be different in maturity and capability, but heck, if the good folks at the MPAA think your kid might not be able to handle Lord of the Rings or The Avengers they probably shouldn't be in there.


True Dungeon doesn't really have a way of knowing if a party has been bought out by one person or not, so I don't think policy should be based on whether or not a run has been bought out by one person.


I find it doubtful there is any difference between liability for a 11 year old and a 13 year old, so it's doubtful liability is the issue today.


If there is a huge groundswell of support I guess we could change the limit to 10 for a year and see how it goes?

Or perhaps there could be "kids hours" for some days or times where the minimum age is lower?


I feel slightly differently about babies who are carried. I think it's OK to permit this, under the clear understanding that if the baby begins to cry or be disruptive the guardian and baby will be escorted out with no refund. It might be too much hassle to administer such a program for the benefit it's going to bring.

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