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