Content Standards

This policy outlines what types of content cannot be included or may require a warning to be included in any of our games.

Content standards version 1.0, Released 2024-04-19

Who do these standards apply to?

This document is to be used by both DMs and players in determining what content is acceptable at TorontoDnD sponsored games. GMs can set content standards when they sign up to run games, players are expected to play within the boundaries defiend by the GM. Content is divided into various classifications and each type is defined. Note that this is a living document that will be reviewed periodically and is always open to change. If you have suggestions for any alterations to this document please submit them here.

Why do we have content standards?

The standards listed and defined below are in place to make sure that all players are comfortable and safe at TorontoDnD events. They are not intended to reinforce or promote any ideology or political viewpoint, but are based on the types of content most likely to cause genuine distress for players at a table. We are all here to play a game and have fun, not relive personal trauma. Additionally, most TorontoDnD games involve random groupings of players and DMs. In a home game where people have known each other a long time there can be a strong sense of trust that allows some content to be introduced. We can’t count on that so need to be cautious.

What are the classifications?

Content can be classified in one of three ways:

  1. Not allowed: This is content that is not acceptable at our tables under any circumstances. It doesn’t matter if everybody at the table agrees that they want it in the game, it is just not okay and will not be in any of our games ever.
  2. Allowed with warning: This is content that can be included in a game provided that the game is properly tagged so that everybody knows what they are getting into. Furthermore, maybe we also have a disclaimer at the start of the game for anybody that didn’t pay attention on the website.
  3. Allowed: This is content that can be included in a game without notice or permission. People can still X-card this content (an arachnophobe skipping a scene featuring giant spiders) but it is not required to be disclosed ahead of time. By default we will not be listing this content, anything that does not belong to category one or two is by default category three.

How do we communicate content warnings for games?

  1. DMs will have the ability to add tags to their games that will be visible to players prior to buying a ticket. This is a free form text entry field and can be used for content warning that we haven’t thought about or to handle edge cases. For example an event could be tagged as “Explicit Violence” and “Lots of spiders”.
  2. Optionally in the description of the game on the website. This would be more for content that we aren’t going to have explicit warnings about. For the example above the description might mention that “This adventure is strongly focused on spiders of all sizes”.
  3. At the start of the game the DM would remind everybody that the game they have signed up for will contain whatever tags they previously applied. The X-card can still be used for objectionable content, but if they have signed up for something that is built around something they inherently find problematic it would be best for them and the group if they left the table before the game started. Note that this does not mean the X-card can not be used in game for tagged content. Although this situation is unlikely to come up, the X-card is to be considered sacrosanct. Invoking the X-card must always be respected.
  4. As table handouts - We can have a laminated copy of each policy at each table for reference, or we can have a QR code link to the most current version. This can act as a reference and level set for all players.
  5. To register as a member on the website (a precondition to buying seats or signing up as a DM) we will have an agreement which will include our player code of conduct and the content standards.

Content Restriction List

Content Type Restriction Level
Animal Abuse Not Allowed
Explicit child abuse Not Allowed
Explicit sexual activity Not Allowed
Explicit torture Not Allowed
Homophobia, transphobia, racism or sexism Not Allowed
Miscarriage or abortion Not Allowed
Real world religion Not Allowed
Self harm and suicide Not Allowed
Sexual assault Not Allowed
Torture of PCs Not Allowed
Alcoholism or drug use Allowed with warning
Explicit gore Allowed with warning
Explicit violence Allowed with warning
Kidnapping Allowed with warning
Mature themes Allowed with warning
Non explicit child abuse Allowed with warning

Term Definitions

Alcoholism and drug use

Detailed descriptions of the symptoms of alcoholism or drug addiction, or the detailed description of the consumption methods of hard drugs. Avoid needless descriptions where possible. For example:

Bad: “You find your contact on the top floor of the deserted house. He has a rubber tube tied around his arm and is in the processing of removing a needle from his arm. His eyes are glassy as he turns to you and speaks….”
Describes very specific use of hard drugs

Good: “As you step into the top floor of the deserted house your contact emerges from a dark bedroom. Drug paraphernalia litters the room and his eyes are glassy as he sees you and speaks….”
Drug use implied only

Animal abuse

Any form of needless or purposeless violence towards animals. Hunting is fine, killing an opponent’s mount during combat is okay, beating or killing dogs on the street for no reason is not.

Explicit child abuse

Descriptions of physical, sexual, emotional and/or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child by any adult. Includes descriptions of acts and may include detailed descriptions of symptoms ie; scars/bruises.

Explicit gore

Detailed and graphic descriptions of bodily mutilation, often with a focus on internal organs, large amounts of blood etc. For example:

No Gore: You swing your greatsword wildly and cleave the goblin in two.

With Gore: You swing your greatsword wildly and cleave the goblin in two, its intestines spilling over the ground making it slick with dark sticky blood.

Explicit torture

Explicit descriptions of pain/disfigurement on any entity, outside of combat, for the purpose of gratification, information gathering etc.

Explicit sexual activity

Descriptions of any sex act involving any entity whatsoever.

Explicit violence

Vividly described, graphic or realistic violence. For example:

Regular Violence: Your arrow sails through the air and finds it's mark in the goblin's chest, the goblin falls to the ground as it breathes it's last

Explicit Violence: Your arrow sails through the air and plunges into the chest of the goblin, a spray of blood shooting out of the wound. The goblin falls to the ground, bubbles of blood forming at it's mouth as it breathes it's last

Homophobia, transphobia, racism or sexism

Descriptions of acts of homophobia, transphobia, racism or sexism including slurs, parroted stereotypes etc directed at any entity. Note that speciesism is a different thing, see the clarifications section below.


The abduction of children. This should never happen to a PCs child if they exist. See notes on explicit vs non-explicit child abuse.

Mature Themes

The inclusion of mature concepts such as genocide, slavery, prostitution, ideologically sensitive themes etc can occur under the banner of mature themes. In this context it is only permissible as background/story information and is not a back door to have the PCs become a part of or perpetrators of these things. For example, having an NPC be of a race that was almost completely wiped out in a war is fine, having the PCs take part in wiping out a species is not. Having the PCs fight to free slaves from a madman's prison is fine, having them help get slaves or become slaves is not. Do not use this as an excuse to introduce content that is "Edgy". Is your content PG-13 (no mature themes tag required) or is it rated R?

Miscarriage or abortion

For the benefit of those who have experienced either of these events, any description or reference to them is not allowed.

Non explicit child abuse

Allusions to the mistreatment of children that are not vividly descriptive. For example:

GM: As the barn boy turns the corner and removes his shirt you can’t help but notice visible signs of abuse.
Player: Can you describe what these signs look like?
GM: I don’t want to go into specifics, but I’ll say your character would believe this child to be the victim of ongoing physical beatings from somebody larger than he is.
This description avoids any vivid details but still provides a strong motivation for the PCs to find the perpetrator.

Real world religion

Any inclusion of real world religions including but not limited to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism etc. Fictional religions are fine, but do not make thinly veiled approximations of any real world religion.

Self harm and suicide

Intentionally causing injury or death to oneself due to mental health, lack of self-esteem, guilt etc. A noble sacrifice for the protection of another individual/group etc is not considered suicide in this context.

Sexual Assault

Any form of sexual contact or behaviour that occurs without the explicit consent of the victim.

Torture of PCs

Inflicting pain/disfigurement on PCs by NPCs or other PCS, outside of combat, for the purpose of gratification, information gathering etc. This will not be tolerated in explicit or indirect reference to PCs.


Racism vs Speciesism

For our purposes speciesism is going to be considered the notion that one in game sentient species is superior to another. Racism is the notion that one race within a species is superior to another. In our games speciesism (with some restrictions) is allowed while racism is not.

In order to make sure that speciesism does not become racism by proxy, please follow these guidelines when including speciesism in your game:

  1. The reasons for a PC or NPC’s speciest attitude and descriptions of the target of the speciesism should never include any physical attributes or descriptions of innate behaviour. The reason for the attitude should stem from a personal history, simple snobbery, or have no explicit motivation at all.


    • “I will never trust a Drow, the color of their skin tells you all you need to know.” Mentions physical traits
    • “Halflings are all alike, lazy little leeches” Mentions physical traits and negative behaviour
    • “Of all the Dragonborn, red are the ones that will betray you first” Indicates negative behaviour
    • “The elders of my village taught us that Dwarves are greedy bastards who hoard what should be ours” Indicates negative behaviour


    • “I will never trust a Drow, not after what they did to my family” Onus on personal experience
    • “Halfling are all alike, they just can’t be taken seriously” Very vague, no real context
    • “Red Dragonborn are just the worst.” Very vague, no real context
    • “The elders of my village taught us that Dwarved cannot be trusted” Very vague, no real context

  2. Speciesism is an acceptable motivation for NPC villains but should generally be avoided as a major motivation for PCs. If your Hobgoblin Barbarian doesn’t like elves that is fine (providing motivation and descriptions are inline with the first guideline) but it should not be an all consuming thing. If you happen to have an elf in your party that night your PC should be able to work with them.

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