Why do we always return to the settlements?
Because the wasteland is filled with bullshit.
For those that live in the center of the strongholds and settlements of the wastelands, life can be easy. There's fresh water, laws, and only twenty to thirty things trying to kill you each day. Living in settlements makes many survivors forget how difficult it is to actually travel in the wastelands.
At Downfall 2017 players will be able to participate in long distance caravan and trade simulations, where teams of participants will be able to take weighted caravans out over dozens of miles of networked trails in the wastelands. All along these wasteland caravan trails you will find roaming threats, fellow travelers, stories, opportunities, and stations set up ready for trade.
To complete a trade route a team needs to drag their supplies along the route they have plotted and survive without their caravan being robbed, destroyed, or abandoned. Getting your travel card marked in order at caravanner crossroads shows that you have accomplished your route. Maps will be outlined with details that are sparse for casual caravan drivers and more detailed with up-to-date info for Caravaners and people who have an ear for rumors and information.
These paths are not very forgiving, so be sure to bring your best hiking books and a solid team to work with. There are no time limits set to a run, so if it takes you one hour or seven you can work at your own pace. Your scenarios will be "opt in threat level" as well, where the greater the rewards means the higher the danger level of NPCs. Carts will be marked with "opt in" flags to show NPCs what threat level the players feel comfortable engaging... but the higher the reward you want, the bigger the risk you need to be willing to take. In addition to threats in the field, your cart load will change based on what difficulty you have chosen. Heavier weights, unstable materials, and delicate items mean that you will need to be more cautious with what you carry.
The paths that you will be forging are narrow, difficult, and filled with threats. The paths you you will forging are in places that are both pleasant and dangerous, and the threats and stories will be fluctuating and changing all weekend long.
Don't you have a large number of undead that are drawn to large gatherings? Yup. That is why we try to control the when and where.
The land chosen for the gathering has a couple very unique geographic advantages. There is running water, there is ample camping space, there are utilities to support large influxes of people, and there is a large open field with a channel on either side of it that functions as a channel into town.
The circle of 12 knots have installed a massive smokestack and warning system at the bottom of the area. Periodically, to cull the massive volumes of undead that will hit the area, this smokestack will be filled with giant plumes of zombie attractant to pull in the largest volumes of threats into one area. Two to three times a day sirens will blare out a twenty minute warning, traps and explosives set on the outer line, and the first waves of the undead will be weakened as they are funneled into the Killing Fields. However the gathered collective of the town will need to deal with the incoming threat otherwise the undead will just completely leak into the settlement over the entire duration of the 4 days of the gather.
This doesn't mean that the entire interior is safe from engagements, however the multiple thousand massive undead swarms can be guided and directed as to prevent unending chaos. These events will have teams of 4-6 marshals, 2-3 STs, and multiple directors ensuring the safety and operations of each "zone" within the Killing fields.
Well, nobody normally lives here... so I guess we need to figure out all the things we normally take for granted back home.
Since this is a National event, it is not a home game for anyone. Normally that would mean that check-in skills would apply to noone and there would be no check-in materials given. However, we wanted to do something a little bit more engaging with check-in skills and provide means for plots and engagement. In the past we had areas that were designed to be open "at all times" where players could just do modules as they saw fit relating to their check-in skill. This worked great for some players, but it also made it so that the NPC requirement for running these scenarios required a staff available at all times. If a player showed up at a time where a staff member could not do the module, that player might have felt that the opportunity was taken away from them.
To provide more than what the skill outlines and to give players equal chance to engage, we have announced exactly WHEN check-in skill plots will be run. We will have multiple 3 hour windows each day where players can choose to engage in modules, trade, and story at these locations. This way players can opt-in to get these extra experiences, or choose that other items going on are more important.
These modules will require effort and engagement to participate in. If you are just looking for free ic-materials, these experiences are not for you and you would be better off treating your check in skills like you would any other game. Farmers will actually be doing details related to farming instead of just pantomiming and narrating what is going on. People with sailing will have the opportunity for ship engagement scenarios. People with Income will have the opportunity to buy materials at ties based on their Income bracket. People with Trade Ties will be able to access items via merchants that are not for sale to the general populous. People with Bartenders Tongue will get information, ongoing updates, and dirt that are details that key NPCs will not share otherwise. Players with Big Dig will engage simulated excavation sites. Players with Deep Pockets will have access to resource exchanges for national-only materials. Black Market will have members only access to goods and materials as well as opportunities for nefarious work. Players with Guild Membership will have NPC targets and scenario lists that will pay out on completion. All of these things are provided as opportunities to enhance the use of skills outside what players would normally receive.
We are at a strange place where we, not some group of outsiders, will determine our own future.
One of the first focuses of the creation of the Dystopia Rising LARP, from its first days, was the ideas of agency and having players being able to guide their own stories. Directors are trained to respond to the decisions that players make and to adjust and refocus the story of their local game to match the focus and decisions of their player base. At national, we have focused on producing as much in the way of resources as possible to give the backdrop of the world the players participate in. Overseen by the world creators every year another book has been written to give extensive background information to allow players a better understanding of the world that is around their characters.
With the last of the "base materials" being published, the Dystopia Rising LARP network and Eschaton Media intends on taking the idea of player decision and continuity further. In the coming years the decisions players make at major National events as well as how they engage national kits that are provided to their Directors will allow players to not only forge the future of their game, but also influence and forge the future of continuity of the Dystopia Rising universe as a whole. As players engage, influence, and make decisions there will be a number of "timeline" books that are released to give details about what has been happening with the cannon movers and shakers in the Dystopia Rising Universe.
This includes the growth of settlements, the expanse of empires, and the destruction or redefinition of the major cannon influences in the Dystopia Rising universe.
We are pretty much done making the sandbox that the world exists in and giving the guidelines for what the world was. Now we are going to take our cues from you for what the world should be.