Watt's Up, Wattsons?!

Hi folks! I’m Halden! I like long naps, Instagram makeup videos, manatees, and bad puns. One time I went to the Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic. If I were in DR, I’d be a Red Star Jones. I’m also your Storytelling Director at Dystopia Rising: Georgia, AKA 40 Watt.

You’re probably used to seeing me behind a laptop covered in googly eyes, checking you in, stamping your prints, and messily doodling “HI!” all over your item cards.

Unfortunately, you might be seeing a lot less of that.

On the upside, you’ll see a lot more of me in a bunch of different costumes, offering direction at Monster Camp, and marshalling mods!

That’s because I’m making the switch from Coordination Director to Storytelling Director here at Dystopia Rising: Georgia.

For those of you wondering what exactly that means, it’s pretty much just a shift in responsibilities. At Dystopia Rising, Coord Directors are primarily responsible for managing character sheets, answering rules questions, taking care of campsite logistics, and taking care of emergency issues that tend to crop up when you’ve got 100+ nerds hitting each other with sticks in the woods. The vast bulk of Coord work is usually in the database: getting everyone registered for game and checked-out afterwards.

Storytelling Directors, on the other hand, worry more about how you’re going to have fun. Props, mods, NPCs, set dressing, and costumes matter a lot more to Storytelling Directors than what’s technically on your sheet. It’s a lot more writing and a lot less crying at the database.

That’s, of course, a broad generalization. Elena and I both managed different aspects of Coord and Story from the very first day. I helped with a lot of the original genre material for 40 Watt. Actually, I’ve written mods for every single game, just in lower volumes. I also wrote the full overarc for The Settlement of Radiant Mercy at DR: ATL. I was also a “Storyteller” (back when that was a thing) and an Ops Marshall for several years at DR:VA before we started DR:GA. I promise you, I come highly qualified! ;D

So you might be wondering how my plots will be different, or what changes you might see in the future. I can’t give you all the answers, and right now most of the major story is planned out several months ahead. But I can tell you some of the types of themes I like, so you can get an idea of what’s to come:

  • Experimental and Nordic LARP design

  • Plots involving music

  • Final Knights as very bad bad guys

  • Cannibalism (it’s my thing)

  • Puzzles and traps (If you played ATL, you probably new this!)

  • Playing with perceptions of reality

  • Toying with ideas of the Gravemind and what death *IS* in the DR-verse

If those things aren’t really your speed, never fear: that won’t be all I’m writing, and we’ve got a great writing team here making sure no plot is left uncovered.

What’s your favorite stuff to write about? Tell me in the comments on the Facebook post the kinds of themes YOU’D love to see, and I’ll see what I can make happen.

I’m so excited to write for and with you all. See you Friday in 40 Watt!


CvC and You!

When and How to be Shady! 

We have one trillion resources to share about how you should do Character versus Character (CvC) but today we’re going to talk about how you actually can do CvC. As always, if you have any questions feel free to shoot over an email to us anytime at Directors@DystopiaRisingGeorgia.com and we’ll happily clarify anything for you. 

 Can I steal that?

 Urkel asking, “Did I do that?”  

Urkel asking, “Did I do that?”  

We could  list out everything you can’t steal but you’d still be reading this post by the start of your next event. Instead we’ll list what you can  steal. If you’re thinking to steal something that isn’t listed here the answer is likely “no” but we’d rather you ask :)

  • You may steal tagged items that have proper physical representation/props

Someone abandon their shield mid-fight? Found a pile of needles filled with Red Mist? You’ve got friends and y’all wanna steal a workbench? Did your friend die and you’ve been envious of that really nice weapon they’ve been using? All sweet pickings for your sticky fingers. 

Magic wallets aren’t real, you can’t steal a stack of cards. Someone’s cool hat isn’t an item, you can’t steal it. What you’re stealing must have a card and that card must have a physical representation. 

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Hm...but I can carry all that kitchen equipment.” No dice, my friend. That room augment is a structure and it lives there now. Better make nice with the owner or build your own. 

Items/belongings under beds or black sheets are OUT OF PLAY. That means any items under there are owned by a character that isn’t in play. You CANNOT steal this stuff. That means...don’t touch these things.  

 How do I steal that?

 Jon Snow saying, “I know how to do it.” 

Jon Snow saying, “I know how to do it.” 

But do you really, Jon?

To steal items that don’t belong to you (you’re free to steal your own things we guess?) you must have a Marshal.

To steal something you must have been in play as that character since the start of the Twelves (midnight/noon). You must stay in play as that character for at least three hours or the next Twelves, whichever is LONGER

Once you've been enjoying your new loot for one hour you must immediately bring the item to Logistics (the Post Office) so they can take the physical representation and add the item to the theft log. 

Eventually that character will realize, “Oh no! A thief has gotten me!” They will go to the Post Office and trade out their item card to have the phys. rep. returned. When you make your way on back to the Post Office you will receive the item card with the original owner’s player number written on the back. Your new item tag will also have the previous owner’s player number. 

 “That’s it.”

 How do I hit people?

 Three kangaroos fighting.  

Three kangaroos fighting.  

Before engaging in any combat you must have a Marshal.  

The assaulting character must have been in play for at least 3 hours. You must remain in play as the assaulting character for at least another 3 hours or to the next Twelves, whichever is LONGER

 In conclusion 

If you’re looking to raise your CvC flag please do so respectfully, educated, and with kindness. Need help with any of that? Please, email us. Seriously. Just do it. 

 Robot hands that turn into even smaller robot hands typing. 

Robot hands that turn into even smaller robot hands typing. 

Building A Story Together

Many of you have BLOWN our minds with the stories you weave while we’re not there from carnivals, to contests, and everything in between. We want to support your efforts in making the world feel even more immersive and alive, so today we’re going to talk about two tools you can use on this path of collaborative storytelling.

The first is our inbox. Between phones, tablets, watches, laptops, and desktops we’ve got a lot of devices that we communicate with y’all on. Using our inbox is the best way to make sure our conversation stays front and center versus getting lost in the ether of messengers or in the haze of an event. If you’re looking to build something in our game we want to hear about it because we want to find a way to support it :) That might mean taking your event into consideration when planning out the weekend’s schedule, offering up AP for your community building efforts, or answering some questions to help your idea fit into the setting. Here’s an example of what using our inbox to help us work together on your ideas could look like:

FullSizeRender.jpg

The other tool is submitting a plot request. If you’re itching for a story with a certain theme for you and your friends, but your characters need a little help getting there that’s what we’re here for. The more open your idea is, the more we can do with it. Here’s an example of what a plot submission could look like:

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So, don’t let your dreams be dreams! Reach out to us so we can work together to make your characters laugh, smile, cry, and die a little on the inside :D


The DRGA Team

New Campsite, New Adventures

BARRACKS BUNK LIFE or BRING YOUR OWN

Indian Springs is a lot different than the cabin and lodge arrangement we have at A.H Stephens State Park. Unfortunately, there are no camping options. There are four Barracks buildings, which have around 35 beds, and the majority are bunk beds. In each of these buildings there is a room with a fireplace that has no beds.

There are also smaller cottages that are available that hold around 4 beds each, but have enough room to hold more people to sleep in them. The building next to the Dining Hall, called the Craft Cabin, is big and convenient, but holds no beds.

In order to achieve some really awesome encounters we have planned this event, we’re hoping to keep the two barracks on the left hand side of the site closed until all bunks and beds are occupied by players on the rest of the site. These barracks are a long walk from the main play area, and it will be easier for us to entertain everyone effectively by maintaining them as an NPC land this month.

We will absolutely open this space if all the open beds on site are full, but we really want to make sure all the initially opened space is occupied efficiently before we do that, if we can. You can help us with this by bringing a cot, a sleeping pad, or an air mattress, to help fill in the empty spaces in the barracks and the cottages.

To help incentivize this, we will be providing 20 AP for each event at Indian Springs you sleep on a cot, camping pad, or air mattress.

CLEANUP: SERIOUS BUSINESS

As a LARPer, in order to make sure that I can continue to LARP unimpeded and on good terms with my hosts, I always venture to leave a venue cleaner than I left it. A.H. Stephens has been very happy with our work but Indian Springs will expect a higher level of fastidiousness from us, and we will need your help to make sure we meet their needs by Noon on Sunday, when we have to be ready for check out.

To help with this, I’d like to share the checklist we’ll be referencing during cleanup to make sure we meet Indian Spring’s checkout requirements.

THE CHECKLIST
(This was provided to us by Anita Lastinger from Legynds, thank you so much!)

SPECIAL INTRODUCTION: JUNCTION EDITION

All of our characters will be starting the November event at the campsite’s docks or amphitheatre. In order to arrive at Junction, they will be taking a pontoon barge from down river and across a lake to make it in on the sly, to sneak up on those pesky Diesel Jocks. All characters will be at the Docks to begin play, and would not have dropped of their belongings yet. We will have opening ceremonies at this location, so please be ready with weapons, armor, and any goodies your character would need to fight back the Moonrunners. If you can’t be with us exactly at 10PM, stop by the Post Office and we’ll be glad to guide you to the best place to come into play with your character.

You, as a player, can pick out where you want to sleep and drop off your belongings before play begins. You can go ahead and decorate if you’d like and we will suspend disbelief if we see someone’s familiar bedding, but the floor must be completely clear. You can also choose not to unpack if you prefer.

During the Friday encounter, on and under beds, in the locker alcoves of the barracks areas will be considered completely Out of Game. If you cannot fit your belongings in one of these areas, place your belongings against the wall, throw a sheet over them and a piece of paper on them that says ‘OOG’.

AP BONUS FOR EXTRA NPC

We could really use some additional NPCs in addition to those who are scheduled to NPC on the first two shifts this month. If you would like to come NPC in addition to when you are scheduled to do so, we will be awarding 20 AP an hour between 10PM and 1AM.

PLEASE PRE-REGISTER AND CHECK IN

Check in goes so much faster for everyone when we already have your sheet printed for you. Can you please help us by checking in your character before the week of the event so we can let you and your friends in the door more quickly? It also helps your Storytelling Director better plan content for those who have confirmed they will be at the event.

Please? Please. <3

THE TL;DR

- We’re going to try and have an awesome NPC area for our first visit to Indian Springs, and have everyone sleep on the east side of the camp and in the cottages to try to facilitate that, as well as entertain you better during the weekend. We will open this space if we fill all the bunks on the east side of the camp.

- We’d like you to bring your own cot, air mattress, or camping pad and will give you 20 AP to do so.

- We have to make sure Indian Springs is extra sparkly when we’re done cleaning, and we have really awesome clean up lists to help us prepare to be off site by noon.

- All characters will begin play at the Docks or Amphitheatre, at 10PM. Opening Ceremonies will be held at the Amphitheatre at that time.

- Wanna do some extra NPC? We’ll give you 20 AP/hour if you come help beyond your normal shift time between 10PM Friday and 1AM Saturday.

- Before going into play, please place all of your belongings under your bed, in a locker/alcove, or against a wall under a sheet. Your belongings will be considered Out of Game until the initial Friday Night encounter has ended.

- If you like your Directors happy, PREREGISTER AND CHECK IN <3 <3 <3

A Better South in the Post-Apocalypse

Hey y’all,

I need your help fixing a mistake I made.

When I was hired as the Storytelling Director here in Georgia, the first task I was given was to unequivocally place our story in a region without slavery, and figure out a way to communicate that effectively to our players.

This was harder than I thought it would be. We had a decade of Dystopia Rising game history, lore books, and the general perception of what ‘makes sense’ in a post apocalyptic setting to push back against. We are still within a transition period in the network where the phasing out of slavery-related stories is in progress leading to the 3.0 ruleset.

As I was practically new to the network and the lore, I had a lot of work to do pretty fast. This was a good challenge to have, because our leadership team shared a really important goal - to build a game setting where our players felt they could play safely while still experiencing the story of a dangerous future world.

Slavery is a poisonous activity that has been experienced throughout the course of human history. The United States has some of the ugliest history with the practice in the world, and fought the Civil War over it. Those who were chattel slaves where we live today are only barely outside of living memory - and there are still those living today who, with the passing of Jim Crow laws, experienced slavery in all but name. The first person to ever go to an integrated school in the South is only 64 years old. Human trafficking still happens every day in the United States.

We didn’t feel that the type of play environment that Dystopia Rising: Georgia provides is right for this subject. Slavery is a topic that deserves gravitas and seriousness, and we did not feel it was our place, as a largely white directorship, to tell that story. So building a slavery-free region within an established location was the best path we could consider.

During our initial worldbuilding process, I believed it would be pretty cool to see the South as a place that was ahead of the curve in its appreciation of free will and the sanctity of choice. Living in the South my entire life (Georgia and Florida) and being quite familiar with how we’re often perceived as backward and close minded, it felt kind of nice to write the South as somewhere that was, in its own way, progressive, even in the straight up nuclear-viral hellhole of the post-apocalypse.

So much of the Southern identity comes wrapped or obscured in the Confederate flag, and finding a way to show our identity in story as something valuable, but still not throwing away everything about our region, was an attractive storytelling opportunity. And I was pretty sure I figured out the right way to do it with the Redeemed South as a way to define the boundaries of our Slavery-free zone, and the Affiliates of the Redeemed South - a group of people in a region who have acknowledged bad choices and practices of the past, but wanted to grow into something better by choice, not violence.

I picked this name with complete ignorance to any historical context. That’s on me - I didn’t search Google when I decided on the name, to check for any negative associations. It was part of my job to avoid a situation like this and I slipped here.

Many groups, in the present and past, use terminology like “Free South” to describe a desire to return to a national identity that once included keeping people as property, among other bigoted ideals. The obliviousness of that linguistic irony just kills me. This also applies to a group that formed after the Civil War, called the Redeemers.

Here’s a handy link to increase your “oh shit” feelings like it did ours:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redeemers

What’s fun about these folks was that they felt they could ‘redeem’ the south by kicking freedmen out of the Southern states and disenfranchise people of color. Again with that dissonance that in modern day just seems ridiculous.

So my error leaves us at an impasse, and I’d like to ask our players for help with figuring out a solution. Can you help us find another way to label this particular location and faction? We want to still hold on to a southern identity, without being too similar-sounding to racist political and social groups around in the past and today. It's a tough nut to crack ;)

Interested in helping me brainstorm? Here’s a form to submit ideas:

https://goo.gl/forms/ca3DtHySYIwagIYJ2

TL;DR The Redeemed South is a term that was used in the Civil War by racist politicians to identify southern states as “Redeemed” by removing the influence of Northern Reconstruction efforts, generally in the form of rolling back the rights of freedmen in the South. We didn’t knowingly choose a term used by historically racist groups when building our setting, but that error is on us and we apologize for the trouble. We’d like your help in coming up with another name or term for our Slavery-free region where we tell the Dystopia Rising: Georgia story.

Thanks for your help making our game the best it can be :)

Please - if you have a concern or complaint about the story we write, reach out to us directly, on site during a game or after an event. We’ll listen to you. We always want you to know the door is open. Directors@DystopiaRisingGeorgia.com is the best way to touch base with me, any time.

Elena
Storytelling Director

August 2018 Event Follow Up

Hey y'all,

Thanks for coming out to our August Event! It was lovely to see you all again and working hard to keep 40 Watt a jammin’ place to trade. While we are already knee deep in event prep for September, I wanted to take a minute to recap some important subjects and situations that came up during the event. Complete with TL;DRs.

Game of Telephone

One thing I appreciate about Dystopia Rising is the democratization of the storytelling. Everyone has the opportunity to help move story along, and be a part of the process that allows all of our players to interact with the story we wish to tell. I think it is a really useful tool to help people learn how to tell stories by being a part of them.

My previous experience historically with LARP storytelling is one of exclusivity, where there is a handful of people who are always those who tell the real story, when those storytellers wander into the world as non agency characters (NPCs). In those scenarios, the assistance that players provide on their work shifts is generally combat or logistically oriented with few exceptions to allow them to shine in a role playing activity. Dystopia Rising has styled its system and storytelling methods to help provide opportunities to roleplay both important moments and combat engagement over their shift.

What I’ve experienced so far that, without the writers of storytelling modules (mods) always running the content, those stories can be interpreted and executed in different and unexpected ways. I think that if you look at the steps between idea and execution, you can understand why things may not always go as initially intended:

Idea happens → Idea is shared with others → Ideas are modified due to feedback → Idea is written into a mod → mod is reviewed and edited, sometimes not by the original author → a Marshal onsite reads the mod → Marshal explains mod in words to players going on that mod → Marshals/players execute mod → Players interact with mod

This is a lot of steps between an idea coming into existence and being provided to the players, and those last two or three steps require a lot of trust of our marshals and players to understand the intent of the original author of the idea, and that person isn’t always available to discuss the mod with. Additionally, those out on the mod itself have to react to what players do - the greatest dissolution of What Looked Good on Paper.

The best laid plans are destroyed in LARP. I truly think that the best content comes out of the unexpected. Its where I get the most joy out of storytelling. I certainly wasn’t planning on changing out three mods Friday of last game because folks at the trade meet found a skeleton in the woods and strung it up by its feet in the middle of town before I seeded the originally intended adventure, but I was certainly entertained by changing the direction of plot to adapt to it.

But sometimes things don’t go how they were intended in ways that are hard to salvage. Late Saturday night, I had seeded a trail jumping mod that evolved without intention into a cabin raiding mod. Coupled with poor explanation on my part at 4AM, and all of us still being new to the DR ruleset, we ended up with a scenario that did not go as planned with bad rules clarifications that I want to take complete responsibility for. Apologies to anyone that experience affected negatively.

TL;DR From paper to execution a story goes through many hands before its presented to players. Sometimes things get lost in translation, and we are doing everything we can to improve that process and learn from mistakes when they happen.

OPEN EARS 24/7

The next morning, I had follow up from multiple players on this mod about how that module went down and how our players felt about it. We were extremely grateful to everyone who was willing to speak up for players who may not have enjoyed that content, and were glad when the directly affected players spoke with us to so we could communicate with them how we intended to make amends. We can’t fix things unless we know what’s going on, and we have to rely on you, our players, to make sure that we’re in the loop.

If you were involved in some way in that experience and you haven’t touched base with a director yet, please do! We want to make sure we’ve heard your take on what happened and do whatever we can to make sure any concerns you have are addressed properly.

Your character will never lose infection due to a bad rules call. This is in CvC or CvE situations. We know that character death can be an emotional experience, and we don’t want you to be distracted from the story we want to tell you through infection loss because of a bad call.

TL;DR Please talk to us if you have a concern at the event, and leave feedback after as well! We’re always hear to listen.


Look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Elena
Storytelling Director

Advanced Professions and You

At Dystopia Rising, many players build their characters with the mindset of eventually becoming an Advanced Profession. On top of your three standard profession slots, players can apply to become a unique highly skilled individual from a list of 27 vastly different roles.

The path to become an Advanced Profession is long and takes a lot of dedication. Many players focus primarily on the skill requirements: Do I have the right XP spend and professions to qualify for it? But what the focus should be is on the role-play. What makes you a G-man is not 100 XP total with 50 XP spent in Mind or Body and the skill Interrogate but outstanding role-play to fit and community dedication. With that in mind, we’d like to introduce our Advance Profession Track.

No Advanced Professions Will Be Taught At Dystopia Rising: Georgia Until 2020

With Dystopia Rising: Evolved, ten years of running this amazing network will be applied to a new, incredible ruleset. Due to this change, we want to heads down focus on the core of the game as it is now, with us being such a new chapter. While you absolutely will not start your formal test for Advance Profession until 2020, your actions in and out of game between now and then will lead you to be qualified for it. We highly suggest that you do not fixate at all on the skill requirements and instead focus on the requirements listed below.

Community First

Advanced Professions, to us, mean that not only do you meet the qualifications in game, but you are an upstanding individual who thoroughly represents our community and focuses on improving the people and world around them. Expectations of you as a player are higher as this identification becomes an elevation of you locally and nationally, carrying our banner. Here is what we expect from you as we lead up to your application:

  • Spend time engaging with the community outside of game. We are people first and interacting with each other as people is far more important than interacting with each other as characters. The people will far outlive the characters.
  • Help out those that are new. We were all new once, so whether that’s you making a post on FB to offer to make character ties with any new players or bringing a few extra pair of socks for those who underestimated how many socks they would need, just be there for them and teach them to pay it forward.

Roleplay Over Skills

Your character sheet will be the least important barrier into you becoming an Advanced Profession. When we look at your character, we should have no doubt in our mind that you’re an Entrepreneur. Read through the descriptions and absolutely feel free to reach out to us directly to discuss focused role-play that would help set you apart from the crowd as the Advanced Profession that you’re looking to embody. 

To help with this end, we’re asking that all players looking to go down this path start creating a journal. Here is what we’d like you to fill out in your journal:

  • First Page: Fully define who your character is and what about them fits the characteristics of the Advanced Profession you’re going for.
  • Event Page Part 1: Create one page per event. On those pages we’d like you to bullet point up to five role-play actions that weekend that highlight how you met your role-play goals and the jobs you offered players (more on this in the next section).

Sharing this information with us after each event digitally will be beneficial in helping us guide you in your goals to portray your Advanced Profession of choice.

Enforce Setting

The difference between being at Dystopia Rising and a weekend long camp out is Setting. The world is a vibrant place filled with travelers, merchants, and threats that want to eat you alive. Part of our ask for you is to buy into that fully and add to it. What that means is, any of the 27 Advanced Professions would be influential people in their community. They would be making sure that those in the settlement they’re from are armed, educated, and employed. 

What we ask of you is to find ways, every single month, to be Quest Givers for new players. Look at the role-play requirements for your chosen path and identify what you can offer to those around you who are wearing a blue armband.

Here are some example:

  • As a Bone Breaker in training, it would make sense to hire a sparring partner so that you’ve always got someone to practice with.
  • A Marksman is going to need a lot of upkeep with their numerous guns and ammunition, maybe its time he hired a tinkerer and a printer to explore what type of equipment is out there for them to use.
  • G-men are known for hiring snitches and trying to figure out who is in the Black Market.
  • Graverobbers should be climbing over each other trying to fully examine the individuals that just recently died and fully understanding what happened to them and how to fix it.
  • Avonturs and Mercenarys would always be looking to train up a buddy to help them with their specific goals.

These quests should have some sort of reward or benefit for the players taking them on. Whether thats money, resources, equipment, education, or anything else you can think of, an Advanced Profession should be a notable individual that stands out as someone that can guide liked minded people new to the area.


We’re excited to see what y’all come up with as you dig deeper into the future of your character and we would love to be an engaged part of that process. To get started, please email us at Directors@DystopiaRisingGeorgia.com so we can plan things out with you directly.
 

July New Player Drive + Charitable Donations

Dystopia Rising: Georgia is hosting a New Player Drive for July! 

What Does That Mean Exactly?

For every New Player you bring to Dystopia Rising you receive 1 XP for your referral, up to 5 total. This is standard for every single event in the network. For the New Player Drive DRGA will be offering additional benefits for you, your friends, and our community:

  • Every referred New Player will receive 20 AP. For every New Player a Returning Player brings they will receive 20 AP (no cap). You can use this AP for many things (detailed in the Survior’s Guide on p. 231) but most commonly players convert their AP into XP. Every game you physically attend with your local GA character you can convert up to 20 AP into 2 XP (conversion rate of 10 AP per 1 XP). More information on XP can be found on this blog post.

  • For every New Player that pre-registers for the July event, Dystopia Rising: Georgia will be donating $10 to charity. At the time of this blog post we haven’t finalized the charity but we will likely be sharing a few of our top picks in the coming days so Wattsons can help us choose.

Why Are We Doing This for Our Second Event?

General feedback from the first event was that everyone had a really great time but that there was a clear separation between established travelers and brand new to DR players. This month, our two closest games, Florida and Virginia, have conflicting events. That means that we have the opportunity to mostly explore our new chapter in our large connected world ourselves. Travelers are awesome and will continue to be a big part of our game, as they are a big part of the connected world, but why not tilt the scale a bit in our favor on a month with overlap?

Why the Charity Spin?

Early this year, a our government put in place a “stricter stance” regarding illegal crossing of the Mexican border to separate children from their parents rather than keeping them together. Since April 2018, over 2,000 children have been separated from their families and are being held in separate detention centers across the country. Sadly, that just scratches the surface of this particular issue.

So we asked ourselves what we could do. We can donate our time and money to help. The money from this drive will go to a charity of the communities choice focused on this specific issue, and we are actively working on pursuing opportunities to help register any interested person to vote in the state of Georgia at our LARP events. We will continue to explore on our end what we can do to help enable our players to make the real world a better place. We all have a responsibility to create the community that we want to be a part of - be it local, national, or global.

If you're interested, here is a list of June 30th rallies in Georgia:

June 2018 Event Follow Up - Complete with TL;DRs!

Hey Wattsons,

We have gotten a lot of excellent feedback from y’all in the last week. We are happy to hear about so much that has happened that was good for you, and honestly we couldn’t ask for a better first event. We were braced and expecting things to not go as well as they did, and a lot of that is thanks to the kindness, patience, understanding, AND initiative of our players. We are grateful to you all being the people you are who want to see us succeed here in Georgia.

We always want you to feel welcome to provide your feedback because we are here to entertain you. Of course, not all feedback can or should be positive, and constructive criticism is incredibly important. I wanted to provide some information based on the feedback we’ve received to help us all have more fantastic LARP experiences together in the future.

The first thing I want to clarify is our stance on Character versus Character interactions. As a Storytelling director, I will personally be highly focused on telling story that does not set characters directly against each other. Moral quandaries, choices you make as your character to react to those stories we tell, and personal character development will be more than enough to fuel any conflict you personally would like to instigate.

Because of this, we want you to know that we consider ourselves a Character Versus Environment heavy game. Right now, while we gauge the comfort of our players and build Out of Game relationships with each other, we want each physical/violent CvC action to have a marshal present. We don’t all know each other or have faith in each other on that level. I think that, as we grow to be a good community of players who pride ourselves on sportsmanship and respect, we will see amazing Character versus Character conflict that we will remember for years to come, and will shape the story of our game.

I come from a background that is extremely CvC heavy and its a play style I personally enjoy. However, I have seen many good and honest players feel alienated and unsupported because of the unwanted bleed that accompanied those moments. While we are adults here, and we have to be responsible for our own self care, its best for players who engage in these conflicts to take a sense of ownership and responsibility for supporting your fellow player. If you’d like to talk to me about my extremely strong and formative LARP experiences with character conflict, send me an email at dystopiarisinggeorgia@gmail.com, or meet up with me at a social and I’m happy to share why this is so important to me.

TL;DR - CvC is totally cool at Dystopia Rising: Georgia, but if it comes to physical conflict grab a Marshal EVERY time. Our Storytelling team will not be sending out stories with the intent to instigate or direct CvC actions.

Because of the nature of Atlanta, Atlanta traffic, and our lives, we’re going to push back Game On to 10PM. Since we are limited in our ability to get onto the site before 2PM or 4PM, another hour will help us all be ready to be in play at 10PM. Our original intention for setting Game On so early is because we have an early check out time, and wanted to provide our players as many hours of game time as we could. We think that in relationship to comfort and preparation for us as game runners and for our players to get on site, 10PM will be beneficial to us as a whole.

TL;DR - We’re moving Game On to 10PM.

It is extremely important to us that we reduce disposable water container trash and that you work with us to keep reusable water bottles on your person. LARP is, unfortunately, often a very trash heavy hobby and taking responsibility where we can would be incredibly valuable to in reducing that trash. I was personally saddened to see multiple instances of plastic water bottles sitting on tables without anyone attending them, and that other players had to pick them up off the grass, etc.

Please help me in taking responsibility for improving this, so we can have a more immersive environment, and reduce trash. If you need a reusable water container, we have our blue brew phyreps bottles for brew crafters you’re welcome to keep and reuse. If you play a brewer, we encourage you to keep your brew physreps filled with water as well.

In relationship to this, the second most common piece of feedback we got was on the availability of water. We currently have two large water containers and two mobile water containers we use for Monster Camp and modules. At this time, we aren’t in the position to take responsibility for additional genre appropriate containers as we try to map out our long term storage plans. But I think its important to remember every sink and every working spigot on the AH Stephens State Park site is potable. The water fountain is there in the tavern for convenience, but the sinks are totally an option too. Please feel free to refill your water bottle at any of these points. There’s ice in the kitchen, too!

I definitely want to help our players feel like water is more easily available. If you would like to us help maintain more places for your fellow players to get water, we will give you 20AP for adding a genre’d cooler to your belongings and will update our list here to reflect this. This is in line with our focus on rewarding y’all for maintaining awesome kit that helps us maintain our setting. Do be sure to put your name on these containers and email address somewhere low visibility if it gets forgotten or misplaced, because we won’t be able to keep it for you.

TL;DR - Please help us reduce water bottle trash by bringing reusable containers. Please don’t leave your disposable water bottles in public areas as they become litter. We do have reusable bottles for brewers to use on site if you do not have brew physreps. We will give you 20AP if you add a genre water cooler to your kit to help each other stay hydrated. All water from taps on site is safe to drink. There is ice in the kitchen for everyone to use.

One of the places where we struggled the most were providing effective guidance to players who came for their NPC shifts who were not comfortable participating in the types of modules we were focused on at those time slots, especially in the evenings or at night. As a new Storyteller Director, running Ops at full tilt I wasn’t able to immediately adjust to individual player needs. For this, I apologize, and want to ask for your help going forward.

If you have specific restrictions or concerns such as:
- Makeup allergies
- Hygiene concerns
- Noncombat or are uncomfortable in combat
- Medical restrictions
- Anxiety

Please reach out to us and let us know at DystopiaRisingGeorgia@gmail.com so we can accommodate you in any we’re able to, which will help us be ready for your needs before your shift.

The other place where I personally want to take responsibility for a less than stellar experience was cleanup. Real talk, we didn’t know how we should have divided and organized the site because of our limited access and time spent there before the event. Because of this, we assigned marshals to areas on the fly. This led to unfortunate communication problems we were not prepared for in the rush to be ready to get out of dodge.

We will be focusing on making this a better process going forward and appreciate your help with this. We ask that, should you keep large amounts of stuff in the refrigerators or the kitchen during the event, that you plan to join the Kitchen or Dining Hall Clean Up crews so that you can have immediate and direct access to your things to make sure that they are appropriately removed from those spaces with your observation or direct action. The first step of clean up of these areas will have to be those items being removed from refrigeration, in order to sweep, mop, and reduce foot traffic for inspection by our park rangers.

TL;DR - Cleanup could have gone better and we’ll make it better. If you want to keep your stuff in or around the Dining Hall or Kitchen past 10 AM, please join the Dining Hall or Kitchen Clean up to make sure you can be a part of the process to move them. Those items must be out of those areas as soon after 10AM as possible to avoid additional foot traffic after sweeping and mopping.

The last item I want to address today, and is probably the most important item on the list is about the nature of feedback in general. In order for us to be able to act on feedback, we need to know who we can reach out to if necessary to gather more information on the nature of that feedback so we can learn more about what led the submitter to have a specific experience. When we receive anonymous feedback, we have no way to find out more to pursue why that feedback was left. For me personally, it makes me feel powerless to provide players individually or as a whole a better experience.

Because of this, its important that we inform everyone that we cannot act on anonymous feedback and effectively that means we have to discard it. However, we also want to know more about how we can make you feel safe in leaving feedback. All feedback provided to us will be treated respectfully and privately - we will not out anyone who brings us their commentary in private, and will also listen to how you specifically want a situation resolved, though we cannot guarantee that course of action. We hope that we get the opportunity to gain your trust in the future so you feel that you can talk to us about your game experience.

TL;DR - We cannot use or act on anonymous feedback. Please tell us about how we can help you feel safer leaving feedback privately so we can help make your experience better.

Thank you again for making Dystopia Rising: Georgia’s first event successful and being kind and understanding players. We want you to have fun and enjoy the post apocalypse story we put out there for you.

Elena
Storytelling Director

How To Earn XP, AP, and Beat The Line

Benefits of Submitting Your Character Early

The first event of any new chapter is always very busy. Not only is there a ton of local attendance but there’s also a large influx of travelers. If you have an idea for your character before the event and submit it to us, we can have it all ready to go for you when you get here. That means you can grab your character sheet, go drop your stuff off at your bed, and get ready to play. While we absolutely will have additional people to get you all set up at your first event, this is an optional solution for you to make your life easier. Submitting a character does not obligate you to pre-register or attend the event. Submit your character here!

But I Don’t Know What To Play

Email us! We really want to talk to you and help you have the most fun possible. We’re happy to put in time to work with you on all of this and make sure you’re set up for success. 

I Want To Change My Character

Up until the third event, you can keep all of your do and rewrite your character. Whether it’s just changing some skills, professions, or melting them down and starting over, we’re here to help. Sometimes the game ends up being different than you thought or you see a hole that you think you’d like to fit and change into it. We want to make sure you have fun. 

How Do I Earn XP

When you make your character, you start with 13 xp and have to spend it all. At local events, just for attending, you earn 4xp for each of your first five events, 2xp for events six through ten, and then 1xp for every event after.

You can also buy up to two XP for $10 each per character per event and you can also buy up to two more XP for 10 Assistance Points per event. That makes your potential first event XP that you can earn 8xp.

At game on, all of your XP for that event is fully available for you to spend that weekend to learn new skills! 

How Do I Earn Assistance Points

At Dystopia Rising: Georgia our focus on rewarding Assistance Points (AP) is through actions that benefit our community and get you involved. Here are a list of ways you can earn AP before or by your first event:

  • Posting DR:GA Flyers at comicbook and gaming bars/stores. (10AP per flyer)
  • Bringing a cot or a bed mat to the event (10 AP)
  • Tenting (20 AP)
  • Carpooling (10 AP per person in the car)
  • Volunteering for extra NPC shifts (10 AP per hour)
  • Genre/High Quality Physrep Locations (ex: a cool bar, still, kitchen, forge, workbench, lounge/parlor, library, etc. if it looks cool and is in game we want to reward that) (Variable AP)
    • This includes but is not limited to decorating your Lodge or Cabin with atmosphere appropriate lighting such as electric candles, lanterns, and Edison Bulb light strings
  • Being a Marshal (60 AP for 4 hour shift)

As you can see, our focus is on actions that don’t require extra spending but rather compensating actions that help our game overall through your actions.

I Have A Question About Costume, Backgrounds, Weapons, ANYTHING

And we have answers! Email us directly at dystopiarisinggeorgia@gmail.com and we’ll help you answer any questions you have. 

Transferring 101

Many of you have been asking about transferring to Dystopia Rising: Georgia. We’re super excited to have you join us, and wanted to provide you some additional information on how to transfer.
 

Advanced Membership

We want to remind everyone that if you have an Advanced Membership, you’re allowed to have characters at multiple chapters. An Advanced Membership is $30 a year, allows you to have a third character slot, have your characters located in multiple chapters, and provides you 2xp per Character (a $60 value).

If you’d like to purchase an Advanced Membership, you can do so at the Dystopia Rising LARP Network website.


Transferring Your Player Membership

If your goal is to apply to join the DR:GA Marshal Team (PS: We’re always looking for more applicants) then your Player Membership would have to be based out of Georgia. If you do not have an Advanced Membership, and don’t want every DR:GA game to be considered a travel game, you would need to base your Player Membership out of Georgia. Otherwise, this choice is completely yours. 
 

Transferring Your Character

If you have an Advanced Membership and would like to transfer an individual character, or if you have a Basic Membership and are transferring both your Player and Character Membership to DR:GA, please first read through all of our Approved Concepts and Strains. If your character concept does not fit with the material provided on that page, please contact us at dystopiarisinggeorgia@gmail.com so we can work with you to make your character fit into our approved setting.

If your character strain is banned, unfortunately you will not be able to transfer that character to DR:GA at this time. If your character strain requires AP due to it being Uncommon or Rare, please contact us through email to discuss ways to fulfill those AP requirements prior to your first event.
 

Your Stuff

Under the rules of 2.0, all of your Characters Possessions (Currency, Item Cards, Blue Prints, Etc) will need to be turned in to either your current director or to the DR:GA Directors before you play your next game. In 3.0 these rules will be changing, but for the time being any attempt to skirt these rules by passing off your possessions before transfer is considered a rules violation.

washingmachine.gif

What we CAN offer you is a once in a lifetime opportunity to PURPOSELY put all of your possessions (except currency) into a washing machine by way of an old pair of jeans and celebrate your newly found freedom.

Also we’ll totally give you all new starter items appropriate to your skill list.
 

How To Transfer

  1. Confirm your Membership Status
  2. Review the Approved Concepts and Strains to make sure you do not need to email the DR:GA Directors
  3. Optional: Email the DR:GA Directors if you have questions about the Concepts and Strains - dystopiarisinggeorgia@gmail.com
  4. Contact your current local director through email
  5. Politely state your request to transfer your Player Membership, Character Membership, or both
  6. Choose your method of destruction for all of your worldly possessions
  7. Post pictures of cool destruction methods to Facebook and tag us!
     

Creating a New Character in Georgia

Honestly? This is the route that we hope most people take. There are so few opportunities to start within a new setting from the jump. If you only have a Basic Membership, please see the guide above about transferring. If you have an Advanced Membership, all you need to do is submit your new character via the Character Submission Form.

However you choose to join us, we can't wait to see you at 40 Watt!

Details on Tent Camping at A.H. Stephens State Park

As we’re less than two months from our opening event, we wanted to provide a bit more information on sleeping, food management, and parking. This post focuses specifically on A.H. Stephens, where we’ll be running until October. In November we move to Indian Springs, and will have more information as we get closer to then.

Cabins

mapAH

Our cabins are first come first serve. There are 150 total beds spread out over 35 cabins and we’re going to identify which buildings can fit additional people with cots safely. Each of the cabins does have power enough for fans and CPAP if needed but are not rated for bringing an air conditioner or heater. We will be providing Assistance Points for bringing your own cot or floor padding if you choose not to occupy a bed.

You must come to Check-In before claiming a bed or space in a cabin.
Logistics will be ready to help you at 4PM when site is open to players, so that we can get you checked in and you can unpack. This will help us make sure we know where you are going to be, and help people find additional places they can stay.

Tenting

We’ve rented both the Group Camp and Pioneer Camp for each event. There is a path between the two that is around half a mile from the main area of each. For ease of use until we become more comfortable with the site, the tenting area will not be In Game (IG) to prevent any disruption from the outside world and lack of marshal availability. We will be providing Assistance Points for tenting.

tenting.jpg

Restrooms and Showers

There are separate buildings from the cabins that have showers and bathrooms on the main group camp site. For the pioneer camping area, there is a bathroom nearby, but there are not showers available nearby. Those who choose to stay there are more than welcome to shower and change at the main site.

Kitchen and Food Storage

There is a full kitchen with fridge, freezer, microwave, stovetop/over. We are reviewing the ability for individuals to use the stovetop/oven and we will post kitchen rules in the near future. For now, feel free to bring any crockpots or similar electric cooking implements for your food needs.

Parking

All Georgia State Parks charge $5 per weekend per car. These passes will need to be purchased during check in. Cash is preferred, but credit and debit cards will be accepted at a rate of $6 per car. There are two parking areas, one for the tenting space and one for the group camp. We do expect that parking management will need to be more laid out as we get closer to the event and we absolutely will keep all of you posted. We will be providing Assistance Points for carpooling and parking fees.

We have additonal some information on options for picking up parking passes that can help you plan on how to get your pass.


We hope this information helps you plan your trip to Dystopia Rising: Georgia! Have questions or concerns about these details, or anything else about our DR chapter? We're always looking to hear from you at DystopiaRisingGeorgia@gmail.com and will respond as quickly as we can to help out. Look forward to hearing from you, and seeing you soon!

Updates to Strain Restrictions and Policies

Dystopia Rising is an amazing LARP, setting, and most of all, community. Here at DR:GA our goal is to focus on the breath of content that we have available to us and the areas that we feel confident telling stories and exploring the world. We are not experts on everything, so this is where you come in:

We need your feedback and we need it directly sent to us through email so we can’t lose it. Our email is DystopiaRisingGeorgia@Gmail.com and one of the tenants of our business at DR:GA is customer service and timely responses.

It was brought to our attention that in our attempt to represent the large veteran population of Georgia in our setting, we overlooked some aspects that we were 1) unaware of and 2) assumed were common sense. Assumptions are were everyone gets in trouble and while we felt that we safeguarded ourselves with requiring background approval, we identified that we can go one further.

We have updated our policy page to include the following:

Use of Modern Military Dress Uniforms, Honors, Insignia, and Flags. As a community with many veterans of the armed forces we recognize that these items have significant meaning. Use of modern military dress uniforms, medals, insignia, or flags is not permitted for costuming, setting or prop purposes. We define a flag in this context as anything modern or historically recognizable, a symbol or banner whose original intent was to be displayed on a flag pole or guidon. Paraphernalia related to the US Flag (clothing with stars and stripes, etc.) is permissible.

We have also confirmed that the wording on Natural One’s met our intended emphasis on them being descendants of survivalists:

"As the descendants of survivalist preparedness communities, such folks were armed and ready to disappear into the woods and wilds when the apocalypse came..."

Reviewing the Genjian write-up, which does fully require costuming and background approval by our team, we’ve removed the following:

Example Costuming:

  • Military Dress Uniforms

We absolutely overlooked an aspect of our new guideline and removed it. In the coming weeks, we will be asking for you, our players, to present your concepts for inclusion in our game and ease of use for players to dress as them appropriately without violating our new policy.

Further, we’ve added the following to our Ingredients List:

Simulated firearms/munitions and other loud sounds (players will be given notice beforehand).

At Opening Announcements at the latest, we will declare any use of simulated gunshot/explosive noises or anything that could be interpreted in that capacity and preceding the sound with an audio warning beforehand. We will further clarify this as we confirm our tools available to guarantee your comfort.

If you’re unsure whether your costume or prop would be approved, please reach out to us directly at DystopiaRisingGeorgia@Gmail.com.

We would like to specifically thank Justin Allen for the comment that started this conversation and Krista Sides, Director of DR:AR as both a Veteran and fellow Director for working with us on the exact wording the emphasized our intent and where we can improve.

We encourage all Veterans in the Dystopia Rising to consider joining the Veterans group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/783169681715046/

We also would like to further encourage diversity on our marshaling team so that we can be aware of gaps in our knowledge and understanding in the future to help where we can. With that in mind, if you are a woman, person of color, minority, nonbinary, LGBTQA+, etc, we encourage you to apply to join our team here:

https://dystopiarisinggeorgia.com/join-our-team/

We are really looking forward to bringing an amazing Dystopia Rising experience to Georgia that our players can enjoy. Our community is important to us, and we hope that these changes help to make our game a place more welcoming to everyone interested in joining us on a post-apocalypse adventure.