Event Teams: Evolved

Some of you may have noticed that the roles historically filled by two local “Directors” are now being done by a larger team. So, we wanted to fill you in on what’s going on.

Dystopia Rising isn’t the same creature it was 9 years ago. Running a single branch is a lot of work, definitely more work than two people can do alone. It has been on those two to solve every problem, answer every question, and manage every aspect of the game. We found areas were being neglecting that could be greatly improve by expanding the team.

One of our core beliefs has always been “Everyone Shambles”. We realized that our structure unintentionally went against this belief, creating a version of what we’ve seen for a very long time in Larps, the hierarchy of “Kings/Queens”. Our goal has always been to co-create stories and experiences and we came to realize that our OOC structure didn’t reflect that.

So, in the spirit of change, we have removed the Director position from the network.

What does this mean for you, the player?

The answer is: a better experience. You’ll see new faces join the team that run the events for you. Some will be working behind the scenes handling emails, social media, and marketing. Some will be at events, doing things like executing story or focusing on visual design. You’ll see the people who filled the “Director” roles step back to focus on the business side or take on a more focused position, in areas where they are strongest. And while its’ not one size fits all for every branch, what you will see is more people dedicated to making sure that you have the best event possible.

So, what do you call these people?

Guides.

Who is a Guide?

Everyone with a Guide pin (we will slowly be phasing out the old Marshal Pins). Owner, employee, and formerly Marshals alike.

What happens at an event when you have a question or issue?

Find anyone with a Guide/Marshal pin. They will either answer your question or get you to the person who can do so.

Guides are trained and available to answer most of your questions directly. In the instance that they can’t, they’ll go with you to Ops, where the Guide managing the desk will be able to reach out to the appropriate person through walkie-talkies. No Guides nearby? Head directly to Ops. Our goal is to help you and then get you back into play as fast as possible.

We know that a bigger, well trained team means better events and better experiences, and we’re excited for 2019 to be the best year of Dystopia Rising to date.

Got questions? Email your local branch directly!

Dystopia Rising LARP Network Now Hires Story Writers as Contracted Writers

The LARP industry functions on a lot of “existing standards,” where things are done a certain way because that is the way they have always been done. Over many years, hundreds of games have had some form of senior player that is trusted with helping people with rules calls and organizing NPCs. In addition, one of the standard staples of LARP organization has been the idea of the "Story Teller" as a person who writes plot and story, and then comes to game and makes those stories become a live event. Story Tellers have been rewarded with character bonuses, free attendance to game, or other perks for this deeper level of involvement.

Looking at the standard of what a “Story Teller” has been across the U.S. LARP industry for years, we saw a gap. Traditionally, Story Tellers were undertaking two different roles: the role of a writer and the role of a marshal. Between events, Story Tellers were writing and producing content while being given guidelines, due dates, and direction for revisions. This written content would then be organized by the Director as needed for a weekend and then run during the event. While it is fine to entrust players with more responsibilities at game, it isn’t a best practice to have those players do something beyond a normal NPC shift’s worth of involvement without dividing the aspect that could be considered “work” from the aspect that is “play.” With this in mind, Dystopia Rising will be instituting a new standard.

To create a new and better practice, Dystopia Rising is taking the following steps, effective August 1, 2017.

1) The position of Story Teller as it has been defined traditionally in LARP is being discontinued within the Dystopia Rising LARP Network.

2) Dystopia Rising chapters will now be hiring Story Writers as freelance writers. This will involve an application, contract, and pay-by-the-word with minimum and maximum word counts per module. It will also include an assigned minimum and maximum number of modules each month.

3) Dystopia Rising writers will be contracted as freelancers and able to list themselves as contracted freelance writers, event entertainment designers, or professional game writers on their resumes, as they see fit.

4) Contracted writers do not necessarily need to be active attendees to a single game. Talented writers may be contracted to write unique and different content for multiple different Dystopia Rising franchises and even be hired to write multiple month story arcs for local implementation.

5) Writers may be rehired based on quality of content, player response, and promptness of writing regarding deadlines.

6) All Marshal NPC blocks will be shortened to 4 hours, the same as any NPC shift.

7) Marshals will now be given 60 assistance points per shift. Marshals will be able to convert Assistance Points for the purchasable build that they could otherwise pay for with money. Marshals cannot earn more build than a standard player. This is an “either” option, not “and.”

8) Story Tellers who wish to still organize shifts as a team member can discuss with their Directors about becoming a Marshal separate to being a contracted writer. Being a writer is not dependent on being a Marshal and being a Marshal is not dependent on being a writer. A writer who chooses to also be a Marshal will not necessarily be scheduled at the same time that their modules are run.

9) In addition to Coordination, Settings, and Rules Marshals we will now have the position of Ops Marshal.   

10) Ops Marshals will manage the modules via White Board and serve as lead Marshal in a NPC block to coordinate with the Settings Marshals and Rules Marshals to send out NPCs and modules during their 4 hour NPC shift.

We’re very excited to make this next level change to the network and thank you for being a part of it!