Brand New Updates for Dystopia Rising

Wondering what we've been up to lately? Do we have some news for you (hopefully the good kind). Dystopia Rising LARP is rolling out some brand new updates for you, and it’s going to make your experience with your favorite post-apocalyptic world better than ever before. Curious as to what the updates are? Well then you better keep reading.

Speaking of reading, let’s kick things off by talking about a book. If you haven’t already heard about the new 2.0 Beta version of the Dystopia Rising LARP rulebook, then you’re missing out. The new rulebook is up for review, which means that players (like yourselves) can look over the book and suggest changes. Remember to carefully read the first page of the book in order to find out submission instructions; we’re not going to be checking your personal Facebook for suggestions (that’s for pictures of cute cats and funny quotes).

Even if you don't want to suggest changes, the new book is worth looking over. There’s a wealth of new materials that will tell you a little bit more about the world. Want to know about the new strains? It’s in there. Want to know how to insult said strains? That’s in there, too. There are also general world materials that tell you about the Dystopia Rising universe and the notable locations within it.

We’re not just revamping the rulebook, though; we’re also working with the blueprints. We’re cleaning up the mechanics, retooling equipment production to better balance power levels and adding a cleaner design to the prints. In addition, each print will be listed as Regional, Common, Uncommon, Rare and Unique; this will help STs decide how to distribute blueprints, which will definitely come in handy as chapters continue to open up across the country—and the world.

That brings us to our third order of business: the new database. As Dystopia Rising LARP expands across the country and as players travel between games, it’s important to keep track of your characters. The new database will make tracking experience, growth and traveling to other games much faster and easier (both players and directors should breathe a collective sigh of relief).

But it’s not just the database that’s getting an overhaul; the forums will also look a lot shinier over the next couple of months. Currently, we’re dealing with multiple forums for multiple games; rule calls become different from chapter to chapter, and some players visit multiple forums in order to learn about local games they’re visiting. Wouldn’t it be much easier to find them all in one place? We thought so, too.

The new forums will feature all chapters in one convenient location. There will be different sections for each game where local players can write both in and out of character posts, but there will also be overarching sections (like when it comes to asking about rules). The forums themselves will also be able to handle massive volumes of player use and will allow for more consistent upkeep and maintenance. More streamlined and functional, the forums will definitely be a step up for both players and staff.

What’s more exciting, though, is that these forums will allow STs to coordinate when it comes to cross chapter plot. The current goal is to start introducing cross world plot materials in 2015, so watch out for new intrigues and stories across the nation.

We hope that you’re as excited about these new changes as we are. We’re constantly looking to improve your gaming experience, and these new tweaks should definitely help (we promise—it’ll be awesome).

See you in the apocalypse!

The Dead Heroes Rise Again

We admit that we release a lot of game materials about the world of Dystopia Rising. But did you know that there are also novels based on the game that you know and love? If you didn’t, do us a favor: start reading. The novels are pretty spectacular (and we’re not just saying that).

Peter Woodworth recently released the last novel in his Dead Heroes Trilogy, which are three books based on the world of Dystopia Rising. If you like horror, zombie-bashing and survival, you’re sure to love these books.  Combined with a colorful cast of characters (some of whom who are based on actual people from the Dystopia Rising LARP), this is one trilogy you’re not going to want to pass up.

Woodworth’s journey into the Dystopia Rising world didn’t begin as an author, though; it began as a player. After about two years of playing at the Dystopia Rising: New Jersey LARP, Woodworth was approached by co-creator Michael Pucci and was asked if he would be interested in writing a series of novels set in the Dystopia Rising world. Woodworth jumped at the chance.

“Michael actually gave me a lot of freedom to tell exactly the sort of story I wanted, so I wanted to make it one that would be something the players could relate to, but that would also be interesting to people who’ve never played the game at all,” said Woodworth.

The result is a gripping narrative that follows the adventures of Tribeca Rockaway, a woman attempting to survive in the post-apocalyptic version of New York City, a place called Old York. Journeying from there to the city of Aysea, Tribeca must now save Old York in Woodworth’s third and final novel.

While writing the trilogy, Woodworth drew inspiration from all types of sources—the LARP, his own experiences, and those around him. He admits that there are even a number of characters from the Dystopia Rising LARP: New Jersey chapter of the game that show up in roles throughout the series, and that many of the other characters are based on his friends.

“Rockaway is heavily based on my wife—yes, she’s wonderful and sweet, but really, don’t ever get on her bad side, trust me—and especially a character she plays at the NJ chapter,” said Woodworth. “Doomsday is sort of a mix of Agent Scully, Sydney from Alias, and my friend Sam. And Jimmy Three Ex is especially dear to my heart—he started out as a character of mine in a Hunter: The Reckoning tabletop game years ago, then I played him in a Hunter LARP for a while, and since then he’s shown up in various forms in a few others LARPs as well.”

Woodworth doesn’t just take his own experiences and events to mold his novels, though. His novels have also molded events around him. In his trilogy, Shambletown makes an appearance as a type of ghost story told among post-apocalyptic survivors—a place where an entire town of the dead exists. And guess what? Shambletown has now shown up at the Dystopia Rising: New Jersey game.

“I know quite a few players probably want to beat me up in the parking lot for coming up with Shambletown, but man, I love it,” admits Woodworth. “And the way it was been incorporated into the game world by the staff has been absolutely mind-blowing—they really took the idea and ran with it!”

Yet crafting these novels wasn’t easy. Woodworth faced the demands of creating a massive story, linking three novels together in a cohesive narrative. He had to track character progression and make sure that they responded naturally to the story as it unfolded.

“I think it really helped my sense of pacing as well as my sense of perspective—making sure that the story moved along but also that it included all the beats I was after, and that it felt like each of the first two books reached a satisfactory resolution while still leaving room for more afterward, and that the conclusion of the third book delivered on the promise of the series,” said Woodworth. “So a lot of the growth I experienced was really in the nuts and bolts of plot and character development—I’d never undertaken anything that ambitious, and so I had to learn a whole new skill set to pull it off.”

At the end of the day, though, it was all worth it. Woodworth (and his readers) are more than happy with the trilogy.

Want to start reading? You should (seriously, it's worth it). You can find the trilogy available on Amazon.

The Scarier the Better: Retrograde Makeup Tips

Let’s talk about makeup. We don’t mean the kind that enhances your features—no. We mean the kind that makes it look as if your skin is peeling and boils are emerging on your arms. We mean the kind that makes it look as if your muscles are exposed and your flesh is rotting. We’re talking about Retrograde makeup.

In the world of Dystopia Rising, there are a few Strains of humanity that have some pretty extensive makeup requirements. The newly introduced Reclaimers have exposed muscles and the Unborn of Teixiptla have skin that looks mottled and green. But the most common Strain that needs a bit of makeup are the Retrogrades with their rotten features—more similar in appearance to the walking dead than to other Strains.

That’s where Veronica Lacquement comes in. A player at Dystopia Rising LARP: Pacific Northwest, she’s a big proponent of going all out when it comes to Retrograde costuming (like what she does here). The more rotten she can make herself look, the better.

“The thing that drew me to the Retrograde first was the makeup,” said Lacquement. “I absolutely love playing with makeup and trying to top myself every time. The more disgusting I can make it, the better. The more my friends cringe and look away, the better I am doing and the better I feel.”

Lacquement uses prosthetics (you can check out a picture of it here), but also has useful tips for just regular makeup use. She even has methods for keeping makeup on despite sweat. And her results are pretty impressive.

“If you are a heavy sweater, and I don’t mean the knit kind, you are going to want to pick up Ben Nye Final Seal Matte Sealer,” said Lacquement. “You spray this on before application of makeup to reduce perspiration on the face (Please make sure you keep a water bottle, filled, on you at all times when using products that prevent perspiration) and then again after to set the makeup. Mehron has a similar product called No Sweat. I also will apply face setting powder afterwards, though this can cull the colors, to help it stay that much longer.”

But the real key to any effective “rotten” look when it comes to Retrogrades is good makeup (Ben Nye is a safe bet). Lacquement points out that it may be more expensive, but it will last longer, look better and will be easier to apply. There are also several tutorial videos online for tricks and tips. And people shouldn’t feel limited about using makeup if they have a beard or other facial hair.

“I have numerous people with beards or goatees who are Rotties in my group that I do up,” said Lacquement. “If it is really bushy you don’t have to worry about applying your foundation color under the beard, just in the thin places where the skin shows through. You want to get yourself a good sponge for applying your foundation. While the latex makeup wedges are okay, I prefer to use this sponge. You use a stippling effect, which is basically patting the makeup on, as opposed to smearing, to get good and even coverage. Smearing on you gets streaks, stippling you don’t.”

When playing a Retrograde, don’t limit yourself. Instead, go all out. Try to disgust your friends and the others around you. Practice with your makeup at home before an event, as well; knowing what works for your skin can cut down the time it takes for you to apply makeup at a Dystopia Rising LARP event.  In this case, having someone turn away from you in horror isn’t an insult—it’s a compliment.


Step-by-Step Retrograde Makeup Tutorial, Courtesy of Veronica Lacquement:

What you’ll need:

Ben Nye Final Seal

Ben Nye crème foundation

Ben Nye Cadaver Grey

Ben Nye’s color Cake Foundation Porcelain

Ben Nye Master Bruise wheel

Ben Nye Powder Eye Shadows Black-Brown (or other dark-colored eye shadow)

Colorless Liquid Latex

Color Setting Powder

Latex Makeup Wedge


How to Apply:

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is make sure you wash and dry your face. The less oils and sweat on your face, the better your makeup will stay on.

Step 2: Apply Ben Nye Final Seal to face.

Step 3: Stipple your base color down. Go back and forth between Ben Nye’s crème foundation and Cadaver Gray, and Ben Nye’s Color Cake Foundation Porcelain. Do this by loading your sponge and then rapidly bouncing it on your face. Doing it this way doesn’t leave streaks.

Step 4: Apply dark colored eye shadow for the “sunken features” effect (Try Ben Nye Powder Eye Shadows Black-Brown). Using eye shadow brushes, not just a sponge or the cheap eye shadow brushes, will fill in the eyes, temples and cheek hollows really well and give you more control.

Step 5: Take your latex makeup wedge and your colorless liquid latex (colorless is important). Apply a small amount of the liquid latex to your sponge and stipple/dab over your chosen areas of rot. I mix it up from game to game; it all depends on what you want.

Step 6: Do Step 5 three more times, making sure each latex layer has had a chance to dry.

Step 7: Rub your finger on or gently pinch the area where your liquid latex is. You should be able to get hold of it and pull it, gently and slowly, away from the skin. It will tent up and cause a blister-like appearance. I tend to rip this piece so it appears as an open wound. You can also draw your fingers a bit harder across the latex to create a more realistic and random ripping of the latex on top of the skin. Repeat this until you like how many open sores and “blisters” you have on your rot.

Step 8: Take your brush and get your Dark Red Ben Nye color on it. Poke the brush into the largest of the open wounds you’ve created on your skin. Sometimes, you can even get the brush in under the rest of the latex, brushing the red around underneath and filling in more red.

Step 9: Rinse your brush with 90 percent alcohol and then get the bright red on it. Do bits and pieces of the bright red around the wounds with darker red. This gives them an angry and inflamed look.

Step 10: Load your brush with the green from your Ben Nye wheel and stipple it randomly along your latex rot, blending it in with your fingertips.

Step 11: Load your brush with yellow and put this around the edges of the green.

Step 12: Clean and load your brush with the dark purple and lightly apply it around the edges of wounds for a necrosis look. Apply in the wounds to make them look even worse.

Step 13: Tap out your Color Setting Powder (Colorless!) and use a blush brush, tapping to get rid of excess, to apply all over the face. You will notice that this will get rid of some of the “shine” of your makeup. This is okay because we will go back over it once we’ve sealed it with glycerin and fake blood.

Step 14: Spray your face with Ben Nye Final Seal. Do three coats.

Step 15: Use a Q-tip or your brush to apply fake blood and glycerin for the final pieces. These things will come off and can stain clothing—so be careful.

Step 16: Scare the closest person with your rotted features!

Need a Costume? Try Pinterest

When you go to a Dystopia Rising LARP game, it’s all about what you see. Blood smears the faded shirts and pants of Lascarians; peeling skin flakes off of Retrograde faces; and torn scarves wrap around Rovers. The world of Dystopia Rising is inherently visual, but it can be difficult as a new player to decide exactly what to wear for your first event. Fortunately, there are some new materials to help with that.

Kitty Rode has never been to a Dystopia Rising LARP game, but she heard more than enough about it to pique her interest. Inspired by the written LARP materials and accounts from her friends, she created a Pinterest that captures the costuming and essence of each Strain of the Dystopia Rising universe. The results are spot on.

“I am a very visual person; I have a background in visual arts, fashion design and theater,” said Kitty Rode.

Rode first heard about Dystopia Rising through a few of her Canadian LARPing friends who made the trek down to the Dystopia Rising: New Jersey game. After hearing their amazing stories about the event, Rode decided to create an official Dystopia Rising Pinterest profile as a way to get involved.

“When I picture the DR world I want to see everything in extreme detail complete with colors, textures, smells and sounds,” said Rode. “I also take pride in realism in a LARP setting, so I created the Pinterest profile both to satisfy my own artistic tastes, and to help new players envision the world and their future characters with a high caliber of realism.”

The Pinterest page has pictures sorted by Strains, props, armor, weapons and even accessories. You can find everything from costume inspiration to do-it-yourself tutorials.

“When I search for images, I look for unique combinations of materials, interesting modifications to everyday clothing, and images that portray what I think the game setting should look like,” said Rode. “The focus is definitely on building a realistic post-apocalyptic world, centered around the DR rulebook.”

When you put together a costume, incorporate patched and stained clothing, uneven hems and patchwork pieces of armor. More importantly, keep the character’s strain in mind. The Pinterest board can be a huge help in that case.

“All in all, the Pinterest board was my baby that happened to become recognized by directors and creators,” said Rode.

Want to see the costume inspiration for yourself? You can check out the Pinterest board here.

Welcome to the Ironworks

The glow of hundreds of slaves washes the city in red, dots of light shining out within the darkness. The sounds of metal and steel clash and heavy footsteps echo as the Iron Slaves work day in and day out, overseen by their masters.

Welcome to the Ironworks.

If you haven’t already heard, new materials are being released for the world of Dystopia Rising in just a few days (we know, you’re excited), and now we have a bit of inside information about what you have to look forward to in the new book, Axis of Blood and Iron. Believe us when we say that it’s definitely something you’re going to want to read.

The new book covers the Great Lakes region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Southern Ontario. In the Dystopia Rising world, this means that it’s all about the Ironworks and its outliers, a place where bioluminescent Iron Slaves are bred to work and die.

“The basic Strain is the Iron Slaves, who originated in the Ironworks,” said Megan Jaffe, one of the main authors of the new book. “I’m pretty excited about them, actually. I was visiting Chicago (where I am from) and there just so happened to be an exhibit on bioluminescence at the Field Museum of Natural History, which helped me work out the natural luminescence of the Strain. I had to scribble notes in the dark, as cell phones weren’t allowed due to some creatures which needed darkness.”

The new book won’t just feature Iron Slaves, though. It will also have information about the Reclaimers, a Strain which originated in the contested lands of southern Ontario.

“Both the Reclaimers and Iron Slaves come out of this adversarial relationship the Ironworks has with the world—the Iron Slaves from inside, and the Reclaimers from outside,” said Megan.

Megan wasn’t alone when it came to writing the new materials, either. She was joined by writers Ian Powell and Sean Jaffe and content creator Michael Pucci. Together, they managed to create a post-apocalyptic  version of the Midwest. While many other cities crumbled and fell during the apocalypse, the Ironworks cities succeeded a bit too well. The denizens of these cities had to make some hard choices as a result.

“The Ironworks has been an area much spoken of and whispered of in the Dystopia Rising live game, but only tenuously described,” said Megan. “This will be a lot of concrete information about the culture, nature and layout of the Ironworks that I believe will help players in the live DR game to understand the area. It’s a very nineteenth century mindset there—that’s about the level of technology and that’s definitely the cultural outlook for many. Slavery, manifest destiny, that sort of thing.”

You can look forward to reading about the Ironworks starting on May 1, when Axis of Blood and Iron is released. Trust us when we say you’re going to want to get a copy for yourself.

Bigger in Texas: Charity Tops $15,000

We told you about Dystopia Rising: Lone Star’s charity efforts a few months back. Now, we’re giving you an update—and what an update it is. The players at the Texas game have raised more than $15,000 for Scare for a Cure, a non-profit that donates funds to cancer research organizations and charities.

The initial goal for the fundraiser was a mere $1,000, though Dystopia Rising: Lone Star hoped to raise at least $2,000 by the end. The fact that they managed to raise $15,000 in a few short months is a feat in and of itself.

The players didn’t go away empty-handed, either. Because Scare for a Cure is adept at special effects and costumes, they pitched in for the game’s season closer in April.

“Scare for a Cure built a gore maze complete with sound effects, lights, some pretty convincing body part props, and lots and lots of blood,” said Sara Hart, Director at Dystopia Rising: Lone Star. “They also helped us out on numerous splatter mods with their own gore cannon, which the players couldn’t get enough of. There was even an exploding human and we even got to see our friends the rad wolves again!”

The “rad wolves” in this case were people dressed in full-body wolf costumes (you can actually see them on this video). They had glowing paint spattered across the costumes, which gave the effect of glowing “blood” spattering on the people that hit them. The end result was that the players loved it.

“One of the mods from the event had wave after wave of zed and a gore cannon to go along with them,” said Hart. “We thought we had really beaten them down and so started to end the mod, but at the last moment the ST [Story Teller] decided one more wave would be good. About 50-plus players cheered as the zed and gore cannon returned. It was many moments like this that really let me know that the players loved the effects and the event.”

There are currently no plans set in stone for partnering with Scare for the Cure in the future, but Hart admits she’d love the opportunity to work with them again. While the special effects were fun, though, the important thing to remember is that the players managed to make a huge difference with the money that they raised.

“The event was everything I hoped it would be,” said Hart. “It is a pretty stellar moment when the things in your head turn out the same, if not better, on the field—and that is exactly what happened.”

Want to get involved in a Dystopia Rising charity? Currently, Dystopia Rising: New Jersey is running a blood drive during the month of April. If you’re part of the New Jersey game, you’ll get 50 AP (Assistance Points) for donating blood and sending a picture of yourself doing so to

We Want Blood—Not Bleed

Let’s talk about bleed. No, we don’t mean the fake blood the coats you on a regular basis during a Dystopia Rising LARP event (we like that—mostly when your character is lying on the ground and screaming). We mean “bleed” in the emotional sense—the point when you start taking things that happen to your character a bit too personally.

Bleed occurs when your character’s emotions affect your own. You, the player, may become upset after something happens to your character, or you may think that someone is “out to get you” even though it’s the character that’s the antagonist rather than the player. But there are a few important things to remember when it comes to bleed—and number one on that list is that you are not your character.

At one of the Dystopia Rising events, you may spend an entire weekend acting as your character; this is good, and we encourage it. After all, staying in character is what makes the world come to life. But it’s important to remember that the things that happen to your character aren’t things that are happening to you personally. Your character may be bound up by ropes and tortured by a Gravemind entity, but you’re perfectly safe.

Don’t get us wrong. We like scaring the hell out of you during events. Catching you in the middle of the night as you’re walking alone and having you feel real fear is a joy for any Story Teller. But there is a line; and that line begins and ends when you start and stop having fun.

And it’s not only important to remember this about yourself. It’s also important to remember this when interacting with other characters. At the end of the day, they’re characters—and a player is not their character.

That’s especially important to remember when encountering an antagonistic character. Your characters may not get along; they may hate each other. But at the end of an event, take the time to say “hello” to the player. In all likelihood, the player is a sweet person (even if the character isn’t). Compliment them on the scene you had. After all, a game is far more dynamic with antagonistic characters; a town full of “good” characters can get pretty boring pretty quickly (who really wants to deal with a bunch of heroes all day?). You should thank them for giving you a challenge; bring on the clever thieves and backstabbing politicians.

Now the question is: How do you avoid bleed? Remember to focus on other things between games, for one. That can give you a degree of separation. Getting to know the players outside of game can also help. And always remember: have fun. It’s a game, so don’t take it too seriously (or too personally).

We hope to see you soon!

What to Wear: Dystopia Rising Fashion Tips

Have you ever gone camping? Have you ever attended even one Dystopia Rising event? If you have, you’ll know that Mother Nature isn’t kind when it comes to clothing. Brambles, branches and rocks rip and tear fabric. Dirt smears your shirt and food stains your jeans. But after hanging out in the woods for a weekend, you can go home and wash your clothes, leaving them smelling fresh and looking like new (sort of).

Now, imagine if you didn’t have that luxury. There are no washers or dryers in the apocalypse, after all. There are only tubs full of water where you can scrub your clothes—or maybe a nearby stream or lake. You won’t be washing your clothes every day, either—maybe not even every two weeks. And making new clothes is a long, arduous process—so it’s not likely you’ll be sporting (and repairing) the same clothes for a while.

If you haven’t guessed already, this week’s post is about how to make your clothing a bit more genre appropriate for the apocalypse. With a little time and effort, you can turn your character’s outfit into something grungy and utterly amazing for a Dystopia Rising game.

Sasha Gubanov, a player at the Dystopia Rising New Jersey game, knows this better than anyone. He's been experimenting with different ways to distress his character’s clothing for a while now—and his results are impressive. The clothing looks worn and tattered while still holding up to the elements.

“I’ll focus on areas that tend to see a lot of dirt or high friction,” said Gubanov. “I try to think about the character and what they would do. For example, the bottom front hem of Ynk’s shirt would probably be used to wipe the pen nibs if he’s changing them out, so I try to have darker stains along that line to simulate ink, and sometimes I’ve used actual ink to stain areas where some might have spilled.”

But how exactly does he create the dirty, worn look? He learned a lot from Nuclear Snail Studios, which posts videos about how to make clothing look like it’s from the apocalypse. Yet Gubanov has also put his own spin on things—especially when it comes to the dirt effect seen on his character’s clothing.

“The dirt effect is one I learned from watching the Nuclear Snail videos. Although I’ve taken out a step just because the weather hasn’t really made it easy,” said Gubanov. “I use black acrylic paint and sometimes brown and white as well (in the case of the pants). The process—to make it easier for me to clean up—is I’ll use nitrile gloves, spread a bit of paint onto them and then randomly ball up clothing and ‘pinch’ and grab at the clothing that needs to get dirtied up.”

There’s not just dirt involved in clothing, though. Remember to add rips and tears in the clothing. Use sandpaper or (if you really want to get rough) a file to help distress the clothing further. Also try undoing hems and stitching your clothing with course thread. Add patches over time, as well. With just a little bit of effort, you can get that worn, beat-up look for your costume.

Want more tips and tricks? Dystopia Rising has its own crafting group on Facebook where you can show off your costume, or ask for advice. You can also check out the Dystopia Rising Pinterest board for some costuming ideas.

See you in the apocalypse!

Living in the Apocalypse: The Living Games Conference

The Living Games Conference took New York by storm. Men and women gathered together to discuss the theories and reasons behind LARP and what it takes to run a game. The first of its kind, the conference was an intellectual discussion about live action role-play, hosted by NYU at its Game Center.

In addition to the discussions and speakers (including our own Ashley Zdeb and Michael Pucci), there were also live demos of the LARP games. Needless to say, one of them was Dystopia Rising, and it was a hit. Players geared up for the apocalypse,  temporarily becoming the personas they created as they adventured through the fallen world.

“Most every new player said they wanted to play to challenge themselves,” said Ericka Skirpan, a Story Teller for the Dystopia Rising New Jersey game, who ran a module at the Living Games Conference. “Nordic style LARPers and an Edu-LARPer—none of them had ever done a scenario with live, safe-contact combat or a straight up horror game. They wanted to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and boundaries in a way that freeform LARPs did not.”

There are many forms of LARP in the world—whether it’s boffer LARP, parlor LARP, or Nordic LARP. The Living Games Conference provided a forum for all of these different styles to come together and discuss their differences (and similarities). Dystopia Rising in particular prides itself on combat that’s in real time. It doesn’t take minutes to determine the outcome of a conflict. Instead, it’s instantaneous.

“They gave over to the tension and speed of boffer combat while maintaining character,” said Skirpan, as she described the players who participated in the Dystopia Rising module. “The horrified screams of dying characters within the second wave of zombies in the room told me that they finally ‘got it.’”

The players battled zombies as they journeyed through the Brokelands, the post-apocalyptic version of Brooklyn. They dealt with rival gangs battling to the death while trying to do their best to survive the horrors of the undead. The end result? The players loved it.

“People really loved being able to physically interact with their space in the combative way as well as actively play through a fighting for their lives (literally) scenario,” said Skirpan.

The Living Games Conference was a roaring success—and Dystopia Rising was there for all of the action. Those who attended are looking forward to the next one—assuming it becomes a yearly occurrence.

“I think it was a fascinating start for something that could be quite interesting and productive year after year,” said Skirpan. “North America—and the world for that matter—needs a conference where all forms of LARP can join together and grow for speaking with each other. Watching the cross-disciplinary mixing of the different LARP styles was certainly my favorite part of the conference.”

The Strains of the Apocalypse

When the world fell, humanity evolved. It shifted and changed, radiation and the Infection warping people into the different strains that we see (and love to play) in the world of Dystopia Rising. Bay Walkers took to the marshes and the docks; Yorkers remained in cities of rusted iron and steel; Rovers took to the road.

Yet these weren’t the only types of humanity to evolve. Now, Dystopia Rising LARP is releasing new strains for playtesting at games across the U.S. and Canada. Over the next several months, Game Directors will be trying out these new strains and seeing how well they match up in the dystopian world, deciding what changes need to be made before they’re released to the players.

So what new strains do you have to look forward to? First off, there are the Salt Wise. You’ll likely find this strain around games located near water, such as Florida, Massachusetts and Hawaii. These non-gendered people can be found along coastlines (and in the soon-to-be-released tabletop book, The Rum Coast). More specifically, they’re strongly tied to the region around Louisiana, known as the Drowned Saints region in the fallen world.

Water not your thing? Don’t worry. There are also the less-friendly cousins of the Rovers, known as Diesel Jocks. With their patched-together vehicles, these wanderers can be found wherever there are flat expanses of road, such as in Texas and in California.

Then there are the Reclaimers from the north, the strain with exposed muscles and silvery eyes. There are also the southern Solestros and the Aztec-like Unborn of Texiptla.

These aren’t the only changes we'll be seeing, though. New Advanced Professions will soon begin to appear, though they won’t be able to be accessed by players until all of the bugs are figured out.

While all of these new strains will be debuting at games as NPCs, though, it’s important to keep in mind that they’re still being tested—so what you see now may not be what you get later. That said, keep an eye out for these new strains at your local games. You never know when a Reclaimer might pop in for a chat.

See you on the trails, boys and girls.