Tuesday, July 16th 2019 - Evolved Beta Notes

Happy Tuesday!

As always, let’s start off with some bullet points:

  • Please download the rulebook directly HERE, for free, to make sure you get all updates as we release them.

  • Follow along with the release notes and other updates HERE.

  • Downfall 2019: Deathcon tickets are now on sale HERE

And now onto the fun parts…

Telling a Story Through Stuff

Many of you have experienced firsthand the story of attending your first event and asking some rich big wig “how do you make so much money,” expecting them to tell you what item or resource part of the market they’ve cornered. But when they tell you the truth, you find yourself sitting there, kind of shocked.

“Grilled Cheese and Hooch.”

When you travel to a Dystopia Rising event, you can always find someone selling something player-created. Whether it’s an amazing custom piece of clothing, a meal and drink, or a trinket, player-crafted items add such depth to our world. As our one game grew into a network and our rules expanded to allow this level of player creation, we made the choice to put a mechanical limiter on these products. Characters needed specific skills to make the items that could be sold as food and drink, and any other non-mechanical option. It definitely served its purpose, but it complicated the space and likely put off many that just wanted to bring a bit of their own personal creativity into their local game.

With Evolved, we’ve decided to make a change: As long as food, drink, and crafted items are kept within the scope of reason and genre, we will no longer require item cards for food, drink, and crafted items that are being sold in character for in character currency.

This decision doesn’t come lightly. We discussed it thoroughly with Branch employees from around the network and received a lot of feedback that we incorporated.

It’s also important to focus on the requirements in that statement, specifically “kept within the scope of reason and genre.” You can break this down into two areas: creation and presentation.

Creation: If you made it yourself and it fits the setting, you’ll find that your local branch will often give you the thumbs up on it. Those of us with access to superior tools like 3D printers, laser engravers/cutters, etc. will definitely need to put additional effort into making it fit the genre, but baking a cake yourself will have you covered.

Presentation: Just because you can’t make it doesn’t mean you can’t plate or present it well. We’re not asking you to make your own soda for your bar, but we are asking you to ditch the plastic bottle. To sell your goods, we’ll need to step it up a little more than just removing the label or taking the twinkie out of the bag. Avoiding plastics and using reusable containers goes a long way. Need inspiration? There’s a lot of clever people out there making junk food look like high class meals (https://www.instagram.com/chefjacqueslamerde/), so we’re positive you can make your offerings look like you made them in the wasteland.

To continue with our goal of showing you more of the design process, we want to highlight three points that lead us to this decision:

  1. Generic items sale of meals, drink, and small crafts allow a player to improve the genre and the experience of a game without requiring mechanics to get in the way. They provide no mechanical benefit, but offer a system that causes people to use the number of invested cards as a “base price.”

  2. With higher mind point costs for production of resources, having those materials being focused on being used for items that have a mechanical interaction makes the required “expenditure” for casual roleplay engagements to be lesser.

  3. Crafted “Non-Mechanic” items will still come into play, but instead for any player-to-player sale, it will be needed for player-to-casted character sale as well as when items that have no specific mechanical benefit are requested for a story-arc’s mechanics. If a neighboring town wants 30 pairs of shoes, those items will need to be crafted with the generic crafting blueprints that are provided. If a player wants to hang 30 pairs of genre shoes from the ceiling, however, and claim they are a cobbler, they may peddle their wares as long as they remain genre and within the scope of common sense and reason.

Overall, this will mean that players will need to be more actively aware of the genre appropriateness of the items they are selling, and will need to work with the local team to make sure the items in play are appropriate for the DR world, but it will remove the requirement for mechanics from an area where it is no longer beneficial to have them.

We’re excited to see what you create.

- Dystopia Rising National Team

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 - Evolved Beta Notes

Happy Tuesday!

As always, let’s start off with some bullet points:

  • Please download the rulebook directly HERE, for free, to make sure you get all updates as we release them.

  • Follow along with the release notes and other updates HERE.

We uploaded the latest version of the rulebook this morning along with the notes listed above. We’re real excited about the continued feedback that your branches are bringing to us and have answered every single one of the questions they’ve asked on your behalf. If you haven’t received a direct answer yet or seen an update related to your question, give your team a week before following up.

Let’s dive into something a little different…

Infected with Infection

Reading through the new rulebook, it’s clear that a lot has changed. What started as Dystopian Survival Horror ended up far more Dystopian Fantasy. Much of the changes you see are the design team correcting that, building a strong foundation that we can grow off of, and giving local branches a lot of direct control over the stories they tell within the world of Dystopia Rising.

Dystopia Rising is as much about the fight to survive and build a better future as it is about the fight not to die and fade into the darkness. We’ve thought hard about the role of Infection in this new system and made changes from the 2.0 ruleset that give you more control.

Gone are Strains with 1 or 2 Infection. Hats off to every single one of you, especially you Full Dead, who put it all on the line for an amazing concept. In the new system, it’s far more important for us to give you a bit more breathing room, especially when many of us have stories about losing multiple infection in one weekend.

Not only have we increased minimum starting Infection, but we’ve made focused effort to put control of how much Infection your specific character has, into your own hands. Tank Heart Surgeries from 2.0 were very cool, but in the same way we’re removing the gate around Advanced Professions, we needed to make this a clear mechanic that any of you could choose to interact with.

For those of you with characters still alive, this is great, but what about those of you who lost a character in the past 9 years who would have liked them to live in this new world?

Rebirth

What would your dead character give up to live again?

We’ve talked a lot about how when we transition over to the new database: we’re going to melt all of your character slots down into raw XP for you to rebuild however you want.

Maybe you’ll transfer all your characters over as close as possible.
Maybe you’ll create new characters with existing build pools
Maybe your brand new character is now the most fun for you to play and you want to create them in 3.0 with the build pool of your highest slot.
Or maybe you want to bring back an old, dead character, whose story you never got to finish…

At Downfall this year, and run locally for a limited time for those of you who can’t make it, we’ll have a fully active plot kit focused on what we’re calling The Return From the Sunless Garden.

Some of us are fortunate that we’ve have had a great end to the story that we were telling with our characters, enough so that we’ve put them down and created something new. But not everyone has been that lucky. Many people think fondly back on characters they’ve had that just didn’t quite finish the story they were trying to tell and would give just about anything for one more shot. Reach deep down inside, because it’s time to figure out just how much your character would give to come back.

While the design team has been heavily focused on the Evolved rulebook, they’ve been kicking around for years the concept that thematically allows for your character to claw their way back. They’ve used it not only to mold how they intend to present Downfall 2019 and all future National Events, but to flavor the story of the entire world in the post three year time skip.

It’s important to preface that if you’re looking to bring your character back, you need to reach out to your home branch and review that character thoroughly. There are many concepts that need to stay dead, since a lot has changed in 9 years and we’re all much more educated and compassionate people now. Your local team can help you cut out the parts of your characters that just don’t fit in our game system any more, so you can join the modern world with your modern character.

Once approved, slap that character name on whichever build pool you want to rewrite and navigate your Return From The Sunless Garden with either your local branch or the Downfall team.

Our plan is to offer this once, for a limited time.

That’s all from the Dystopia Rising National Team this week. We’re excited as ever to keep sharing great information with you. We’ve got a few collaborations we’re chomping at the bit to share with you, and don’t forget, Downfall 2019 goes on sale 7/15 at Noon EST.

Monday, July 1st, 2019 - Evolved Beta Notes

Hey Everyone!

Happy Monday! Can you believe we’ve got 2.5 months left until we’re fully into the world of Dystopia Rising: Evolved? We’re pretty excited about that on our side. A few quick points before we dive into this weeks notes:

  • Please download the rulebook directly HERE, for free, to make sure you get all updates as we release them.

  • Follow along with the release notes and other updates HERE.

  • Starting next week, we’ll be releasing weekly notes on Tuesday. Despite the development team working throughout the weekend on feedback and changes, we still needed all of today to get this post out.

And now, for the notes from the development team:

Local Mechanic Areas and Starter Mechanic Zones

In Dystopia Rising: Evolved, we have two different areas of mechanics: cross game standard mechanics and local plot mechanics. While local plot mechanics were used in DR 2.x, they have a wider role in DR:E. To summarize a large subject, anything you find in the DR:E larp book is a standardized mechanic that can be found across all branches. These skills will operate as written within the reasonable interpretation of common sense. If something doesn’t work, we have almost a year of play (after the initial review period) to adjust it. The goal is to make it so that by the time the game book goes to print, we have had almost two years of the branch owners seeing all of the content, just over a year where owners and branch employees have had access for review and feedback, four months for feedback BEFORE people have actually played the game, and around six months of feedback while the game is played. 

However, eventually the rules will be locked into print; once that happens, the ability to change core mechanics goes away unless we do a whole new print release. It’s really important to us to prevent people from owning copies of the book that are outdated or ask you to buy the book twice.

This is where our local plot kits and starter mechanic zones come into play. Your home branch is the game that you are attending. This local branch should be able to adjust your local experience while staying within the standard design and genre of the world. We have created tools for your local branch to design custom threats and local mechanics. We have also given them a process where they provide this information in a transparent way on their websites BEFORE you choose to attend an event. These mechanics will be available via a database to all of the other games, so that each branch knows what local mechanics are being run and to create an ever growing database where branches can learn from one another. 

There is, however, something to keep in mind. When a branch makes local plot mechanics, or prop heavy “toyetics” that engage standardized mechanics across the board, there is the very real risk that one game’s resource and item production could negatively influence another neighboring game. If one game is giving out scrap to everyone as if it were free mints in a restaurant, then a branch that has chosen to do a “resource light” game is negatively influenced by an influx of crafted items and materials made elsewhere by non-standardized mechanics. 

To make both items work, we are providing “starter prints,” which outline how a branch can produce resources without the need of specific skills, mechanics, or mind point costs. These prints also give advantages to players who do have relevant skills. Items that are produced in these areas, via these means, are on Local Plot Mechanic cards which bind them (and anything made with them) to the specific branch that the card was produced from. This approach allows for both standardization across the network while allowing a branch to adjust to the local flavor, focus, and desires of their player base without having a mechanical impact on neighboring branches.  

Gun at a knife fight

One of the items that has been brought up a few times is how guns and swords function in relation to combat. The branches have gotten a longer post relating to this, but in the spirit of transparency we feel it is important to also give some direct answers for the public as well. 

In CvC combat or combat verses animals or (most) Raiders, guns are far better weapons than melee weapons.  Guns poke holes in people and the internal organs that they need for living. Large caliber guns poke big holes; small caliber guns poke little holes. The type of ammunition that is used changes how a bullet interacts with what it strikes, and some of the nastiest types of munitions split and spread outward inside its target like a sadistic pinball machine. There is a reason why guns are more readily used than battle axes by modern armies. 

However, there is a key point. Guns poke holes in the organs that people need for living. If you are not alive, then poking holes the size of a penny, nickel, or half dollar into a target is not as useful as the trauma that heavy metal-inspired rust axes will provide. 

Your branches have templates for a number of zombies, and have a creation system for making their own zombies that is set to DR:E standards. When creating zombies, branches can choose to have a newly created zombie take 1 point of damage from standard ranged attacks. While damage spikes will still do increased trauma (in most instances), a swinging sword and a ranged attack can do the same amount of damage to the undead. We’ve also included the ability for branches to create zombies that take no damage from ranged attacks.

Below is an example for you to get a feel of what you’ll be up against in this new format.

Example:

Zombie Type:  Swarm (high respawn and numbers) 

  • Minimum Number: Group of 10, Suggested number of respawns 3-5.

  • Suggested Number: Group of 20% of current attendance, respawns = years chapter has been open.

  • Maximum Number: No limit. Swarm Set = 75% Low Threat, 20% Medium Threat, 5% High Threat.

Rank 1 Zombie (Low Threat): Shambler 

Visual/Behavior Distinction: 
The Shambler is the staple of any Endless Horde. Visually, it differs very little from the rest of the Endless Horde. It groans as it shambles forward, arms outstretched as its legs drag across the ground. Many times it will stumble over rough terrain since it doesn’t have any fine motor function. They tear at Lineages normally, but aren’t adept at blocking any blows dealt to them (make sure to swing normally and not at “shambling” speed). The truly terrifying aspect of the Shambler is the overwhelming numbers it usually presents and the fact that shamblers will always group together. 

Stats:

  • Body: 20

  • Skills:

    • Cannibalism.

    • Immune Fear.

    • Can’t speak or be reasoned with.

    • Ranged reduction.

    • Brawling.

    • Strong Arms (immune to Mangle on arms).

    • Takedown x 2.

So that’s our Monday notes. Next week, we’ll catch you on Tuesday. Keep the feedback coming in and don’t forget to have a blast (haha) this weekend.

- Dystopia Rising National Team

Roleplay Brew Update - 6/27/19

Happy Thursday,

We felt that this post was important to make outside of our weekly Monday notes. First, we’d like to say thank you again for your feedback. We’ve been able to actively discuss all of your feedback brought directly to your Branch on a daily basis. Please note that if you send in an email directly to us, based on bandwidth limitations on our end, we’re looping in your branches so they see your feedback.

All depressant, dissociative, sedative, and uplifting brews will be removed from the launch print catalog.

Perception is everything. When something is created and presented to the public, how it’s received trumps its intent. Our focusing in creating these brews was in line with our focus on removing Derangement and creating Fractures. With the brews, we focused on giving technical definitions related to drug categories, avoiding relating them to problematic or vague real world drugs or mental disorders. What we presented did not convey that well enough to you.

There are over 20 Branches in our Network currently, each with anywhere from 2-6 Employees. For over the last month, all of those Employees have been invited to provide full feedback on the entire Rulebook and all of the prints, in a live environment. Speaking humbly, the excitement of seeing the new rules and prints made it easy for these all of us to focus on the aspects of play most important to them or the parallels to our current system, leaving the Roleplay Brew section for later review.

Even with a development team of 2 and nearly 100 reviewers, we still won’t catch everything. So we’re asking for your help. We’re asking for you to remember that we are trying to create something fun, enjoyable, and respectful. There’s a difference between disliking a skill change and being uncomfortable with how an aspect of the system or supplemental materials are coming across. The latter is one we prioritize above all.

As of today, we do not intend to put these brews back into the system before launch. We have a lot of prioritized feedback that we want to get through to provide you a solid play experience. We’re reviewing, for our growth, where in the presentation the issue was, then reworking them from the ground up, including names, the language used, and adding in “self administered only”. Please keep in mind that until these brews are re-introduced, you may find that there are some herbs in play that apply to less brews than intended in our initial design.

The following brews will be removed from play in the next update:

  • Poor Man's Depressant Brew

  • ‘Au Naturale Depressant Brew

  • Enclosed Depressant Brew

  • Brain Synth Depressant Brew

  • Doldrum Depressant Brew

  • Sunset Depressant Brew

  • Falling Star Depressant Brew

  • Dimmer Depressant Brew

  • Gold Dissociative Brew

  • Fukital Dissociative Brew

  • World Weary Dissociative Brew

  • Dead Man Dissociative Brew

  • Senseless Dissociative Brew

  • Fluoride Dissociative Brew

  • Ice Cold Dissociative Brew

  • Nova-Numb Dissociative Brew

  • Full Dominion Sedative Brew

  • Skyline Sedative Brew

  • Quiet Road Sedative Brew

  • Suppressed Scream Sedative Brew

  • Transformative Sedative Brew

  • High Mountain Sedative Brew

  • Reflection Sedative Brew

  • New Dawn Sedative Brew

  • High Life Uplifting Brew

  • Night Life Uplifting Brew

  • Adventure Bound Uplifting Brew

  • Blood Hunt Uplifting Brew

  • Shifting Uplifting Brew

  • Liber Tea Uplifting Brew

  • High Calling Uplifting Brew

  • Sunny Day Uplifting Brew

We’ll see you Monday with more updates!

Monday, June 24th, 2019 - Evolved Beta Notes

Download the dystopia rising: Evolved Rulebook

One week after the full public launch and we’re back for more notes. We want to remind you that you should absolutely download the Rulebook directly from the link above as otherwise you likely will be behind on updates.

Change log and feedback

Still strong as ever and can be found by clicking Change Log above. We’ve moved to weekly as the volume of feedback to branches has drastically increased and it’s gone from surface level to deep feedback. All of it that your branches bring directly to us is reviewed and we either help them respond back to you or we work to make updates. Please continue to work directly with your local branches as any emails sent directly to us will be cc’d to include them, so they can assist.

We ask that you remember that your branches are amazing caring people and the designers of this game are too. We want your feedback and our request for that feedback doesn’t end in September. We are here to collaborate with you to build something far more adaptive and responsive to the type of Larp we all want to be a part of.

blueprints

If you downloaded the Rulebook from DriveThruRPG you’ll notice there was a new file today: Blueprints. The Blueprint Catalog added as a second downloadable file. When you download your updated rule book (DR  Beta V3) there is a second link for Blueprint Catalog Season 1 V1.0. As changes are made to prints there will be a public change log on the DR website as well as an update to this document.

That’s every single year one blueprint, available right from the start. We’re excited to get your feedback on it, same as for the Rulebook above. Future releases will include full visibility to match the network wide story for the year, the interests of the player base, and mechanical needs of the Dystopia Rising: Evolved system based on player feedback via Branches.

Advanced memberships and backbuy

Advanced Memberships change in Dystopia Rising: Evolved. You can find more information about theat in the changelog, including a link to purchase 1, 3, or 5 year at a discount. We’re keeping the 1 year price at $35 until September 2nd, 2019.

Don’t forget, backbuy ends for Dystopia Rising LARP Network on September 2nd, 2019. If you’d like to purchase any events for any of your characters, please reach out to your local branch for assistance.

We hope you enjoy the Rulebook. We’ll be back with more patch notes on July 1st.

- Dystopia Rising National Team

Dystopia Rising: Evolved - Rulebook Release

Download the dystopia rising: Evolved Rulebook

Today is an exciting day. After years of development, the Rulebook that will be in play as of Downfall 2019 is now live and we’re really excited to share it with all of you. This is an important milestone for us as our primary goal in this release was to accomplish two things:

  1. Provide you with three months to ingest the Rulebook before it’s brought into play.

  2. Show you first hand that we’re seriously about co-creation, sharing the spotlight, and transparency.

Each day in the past week since the Kickstarter Backers received their copies, we’ve spent hours with every Branch, listening to the feedback that they received from you, reviewing the book for any points of confusion on that feedback, then either empowering your Branch to respond for clarification or identifying that we needed to make a change. We focused on the big pieces of feedback first and made changes on a near daily basis to make sure that what went live today is one step closer to where we want it all to be.

As we move now into the public release, we want to be transparent that updates will switch to weekly, to give your Branches time to respond and consolidate your feedback, while giving us time to respond to the 20 branches in the network. We ask you to continue focusing on grammar, spelling, and layout issues along with asking questions and pointing out where you need more clarity. This process of feedback and updates will continue into the rulebooks launch, so we ask that preference based feedback be saved until we’ve all had six months of play, so that we can make informed changes or educated responses together. We hope the changelog shows you that we’re serious about feedback.

blueprints

The original intent for the public release was a list of all blueprint names by category. The second revision was an excel spreadsheet. Thanks to the help of the design team and a generous volunteer, we have the stylized images you see in the changelog. There are nearly 300 prints with 3-4 tiers, so this process may take us until July 1st to release. However, it’ll be in a format that we’re proud of, that has a changelog, and can be download from DriveThruRPG to bring into play with you. Gone are the days of not knowing if your print updated or is no longer in play.

public.jpeg
public.jpeg

Sharing the spotlight

Gloria Budiman from SoCal has always been fantastic with the DRpaedia, we’re thankful for the hard work and addition to our community. Check out the character creator built on the Dystopia Rising: Evolved rules to plan out what you’d like to do with your characters come September.

We also want to remind you of Storm Seasons, the webcomic taking place in the Dystopia Rising LARP Network, written by Sam Bull and Ian Powell.

We’ve got a few more really great collaborations we’re excited to reveal in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled.

Advanced memberships and backbuy

Advanced Memberships change in Dystopia Rising: Evolved. You can find more information about theat in the changelog, including a link to purchase 1, 3, or 5 year at a discount. We’re keeping the 1 year price at $35 until September 2nd, 2019.

Don’t forget, backbuy ends for Dystopia Rising LARP Network on September 2nd, 2019. If you’d like to purchase any events for any of your characters, please reach out to your local branch for assistance.

We hope you enjoy the Rulebook. We’ll be back with more patch notes on June 24th.

- Dystopia Rising National Team

Monday, June 10th, 2019 - Evolved Beta Notes

Taking a page from our friends at Onyx Path, we’re going to work on providing additional transparency on changes we’ve made based on feedback. While we understand the rules are not public yet, it’s pretty apparent that they’re wide spread and we’re seeing a lot of great feedback that we want to act on.

At the bottom of THIS PAGE we’re going to keep a change log of the edits that we’re making, with dates, version of edit, and page numbers. Sometimes it takes a bit for DriveThruRPG to update the file so please be patient.

We are actively working on a format to share all details of all blueprints with you in the very near future. We want to make sure we get the formatting for this right as well so that it can be the primary source for all new blueprint updates going forward.

Another thing to note on the Maximum Casting option, our intention isn’t for you to do 6 hours straight. We’re working with Branches to define a better option, but assume that it will be the standard 4 hours then another block with 2 hours.

Please continue to submit awesome feedback to your local branches. We are all actively collaborating on these changes together. At this point, due to team size, we can’t directly field all of your feedback so messages direct to us about 3.0 will be cc’d to include your branch for assistance.

Thanks again for being so great.

- The Dystopia Rising Team

Dystopia Rising 3.0 Release Timeline

Hello Wastelanders!

We wanted to provide everyone an update on the 3.0 release schedule.

Rulebook Release

We expect to have the rulebook publicly released by mid June, with Kickstarter backers of Dystopia Rising: Evolved receiving the book one full week early.

3.0 Character Creation

Starting mid August and ending early September, all players will have the ability to log in and build out their 3.0 Character for their local Branch to approve. All infection will be fully reset and you will have your entire build pool opened up for you to recreate your current characters or create an entirely new character. It is up to you what you create with this character and you may fully utilize your build pool. As it is possible to still gain build between mid August and your first 3.0 event, you can spend any unspent build on your character before they start to enter play. After they’ve entered play, all build will be considered open build available for you to learn skills in play.

Your character can always be remade at the physical event, but please note that branches will focus on starting their 3.0 events on time and prioritize those already good to go with 3.0 before opening office hours to help you make the transfer on site.

3.0 Item Transfer

Starting August 1st, you can trade out your 2.0 items at your local branch. If you know you wont be attending again until 3.0 is live or can do without your 2.0 items to help with the transfer process, doing so early will help with this part of the transfer. It also will allow you to get an early preview of all the items, prints, and resources in 3.0.

You are absolutely able to complete this transfer at your first 3.0 event, however your local branch will set specific hours for when they are able to assist with that transfer, prioritizing starting the event over the item transfer.

Closing 2.0 Back Buy

September 2nd 2019 will be the last day available for purchasing 2.0 events that you’ve missed. For those of you looking to make purchases, please reach out to your local branch to review what’s available to you. This decision is part infrastructure, as we want to move away from the old database and the event structure is a large part of that, and part focus, with there being a new story component involved in the back buy structure of 3.0 which will be announced at a later date.

The First 3.0. Event: Downfall 2019 - DEATHCON

We truly believe that the transition to the new system will be smooth for everyone with all the opportunities listed above, but we wanted to go one step further and provide direct support and additional assistance for everyone. For those that pre-reg, we’re asking that if you would like your sheet printed out and waiting at check in, you submit your final 3.0 build to your local branch no later than August 31st.

For the week of Downfall, we’ll have office hours starting at 2pm on Wednesday and from 10am to 2pm on Thursday, for players to come by and create their 3.0 character or swap out their items if they were not able to do so at home. This process will pause from 2pm Thursday and restart after game on, and will continue all weekend long during standard Ops hours.

On a local level, as no branch runs on the same weekend as Downfall, your branches may run a social event for you to trade out your items, build your new character, and participate in the non-attending experience for Downfall.

We’re excited to share 3.0 with you and hope this shines some light on the questions many of you have had.

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!