October 2019 - Meet The Neighbors

Winter is Coming!

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So we’re gonna go ahead and swap back to the winter schedule for Oct & Nov events.

This means:

  • Site Opens: 2pm

  • Registration Opens: 3pm

  • Opening Announcements: 8pm @ JHouse

  • Game On: 9pm

  • Quiet Hours: Fri 3am-Sat 8am & Sat 2am-Sun8am

  • Game Off: Sunday Noon

Transparency: Changing the Tempo of Game to Adjust to 3.0

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So, in case ya’ll didn’t know - even when we’re not running an event we (the Employee team) is constantly talking about it and reviewing what we did and planning what we should do. In one of these conversations we realized that there’s a big shift that we all need to do together if we’re truly going to test this new system.

This system is built on the idea of banking resources (mind/body) for later instead of creating them like we did in 2.0 - but we came into the system without having a cushion of banked resources to lean on.

So we’re going to adjust our tempo and tell you about it so we can all try and create that cushion and give these mechanics a real and true test. To keep with the setting dynamic we’ve always had - we’re going to save the main combat threats for during dark-hours. There will still be threats during daylight but they’ll be very light and not meant to require mind-expenditures to defeat.

Improving Your Experiences

Now that a bunch of us have had a chance to see the great props and spaces that Beth has designed & created for us - we need your input! For the most part we consider these the ‘base’ of the space. We know that some of them need additional pieces added - but due to budget and time constraints we couldn’t really fully flesh them out. (Except the Culinary area, but that’s only as awesome as it is because Briana was kind enough to let us snag that kitchen set-up she had previously.)

Use the feedback form or email Beth@DystopiaRisingAR.com and let us know what you’d like to see in these areas - especially if it would improve your crafting-time-immersion & experience!

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November’s Premier Event - Start Getting Excited

It may seem like it’s early to be excited for our Thanksgiving-weekend event - but we’ve got several counter-arguments.

  1. It’s our Premier event, so we’ll likely have more visitors than normal - which means more friends during the traditional Thanksgivemas Feast.

  2. We’re looking at adding another lovely tradition to our November game - ending the year with a Wild Hunt style plot. Hunting each other through the woods has always been our niche in the Dystopia Rising network - and we finally came up with a good story to make it an annual IC-event. We’re honestly very excited that we can kick this off with a premier event!

  3. Our First BIG Monster - We (and by we I mean Beth & Caroline) are working with one of our community members to bring you a BIG big bad for the weekend. Stay tuned for more teasers but know that this is likely to be PEAK Crystal Creek creep and terror mingled with Beth & Caroline’s amazing skills with costumes & props.

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As a reminder, if anyone is interested in organizing this year’s potluck Thanksgivemas Feast, please please please email me at Krista@DystopiaRisingAR.com - I’d like to get this started earlier rather than later. For anyone wondering why we (the Employees) don’t organize it ourselves - I kinda forbid us from doing that. There are SO many moving pieces to running these events that none of us have the time or spoons to devote to ALSO organizing the potluck. We don’t mind helping out here and there - but we know for the game quality to remain high we need a player to take the lead on this. <3

September 2019 - Details of a New Start in Old Places

All the toyetic areas are in the same general area and pretty close to the public works - We’ve also added J-House as ‘Safe Sleep’ although the Med Cabin will still be OOG space. Left Side is Decompression/Medical Treatment and NOT AVAILABLE FOR SLEEPING - Right side is OOG Med Sleep.

All the toyetic areas are in the same general area and pretty close to the public works - We’ve also added J-House as ‘Safe Sleep’ although the Med Cabin will still be OOG space. Left Side is Decompression/Medical Treatment and NOT AVAILABLE FOR SLEEPING - Right side is OOG Med Sleep.

September Plot Specifics

September’s plot is designed around giving lots of in-character reasons for people to engage with the different aspects of the new mechanics but minimizing the penalties for mistakes, not-remembering-the-brand-new-rules and hopefully maximizing the fun we all have.

In case you haven’t heard, the entire town is going to be struck with total amnesia. Isn’t revenge sweet? ;) We know not everyone is interested in that story though, so we have a way for you to Opt-Out! You’ll need to report to Ops before game-on so we can prep you for your gravemind scene. (Don’t worry - you won’t lose an infection unless you opt-into doing so.)

TRANSPARENCY/SPOILERS RIGHT HERE

Another plug for donating character memories to our September plot arc! You’ll get them back, we swear. :-D

This is also part of the plot for dead and retired-characters to return; so if you’re doing that - please bring that character to Ops before game-on. If you have NPC shift we’ll work something out with you, but please still stop by between announcements and game-on!

Bring Out Your Props!

We know ya’ll previously invested in props for forges, workbenches, medical bays, greenhouses and all sorts of magnificent things.

Artisan: We’ve got some solid big-item physreps for the Artisan area, but we didn’t have the time/budget to snag those small items like wrenches and nuts and bolts. If you have anything like that and you’re willing to let go of it - please reach out via email (with a photo) to Beth@DystopiaRisingAR.com and discuss donating/selling it to us.

We’re also going to throw some plot at you to set up the Startup Workshop Area Augment, so even if you’re not ready to let go of the prop, bring it so that ya’ll have good physreps for this area!

Medical: Similar to the Startup Artisan area we’re going to have a plot that lets ya’ll set up the Startup Triage Medical Area Augment, so if you have any fun medical props bring them and make this area fun for you to engage in! Alex Wright has already kindly said he’d bring the medical-tent. :)

Culinary & Agricultural: We’ve already got some really good set of props and toyetic elements for these two areas, but if you have something you think is fantastic feel free to reach out to Beth via email. Just know that there’s much less room for us to accept/purchase props from you for these areas. <3

Website Updates

You may have noticed we did some serious updates to the Website - but in case you didn’t I’m absolutely about to tell you all about them. :-D If it’s in bold, the page had some updates and you should check it out!

  • New Main Menu - New Players, Community, Setting, Events, Stores, Contact Us

    • Community has: Local Policies, Play to Lift, Content List, OK Check-In System, News (Blog), Community Guidelines, Facebook Group, Facebook Page, Discord Server

    • Setting has: Crystal Creek, Local Factions, Strains, DR Evolved LARP Rulebook, Photos

    • Events has: Tickets, Check-In, Events, Site Information

    • Stores has: DR Merch, DR Licensed Crafters, Advanced Memberships

    • Contact Us has: About Us, Feedback Forms, Player Requests/Submissions, Guide/Marshal Application, Writer Application

A few things we want to emphasize:

  • ALL STRAINS are playable as Crystal Creek locals now - some of them just have role play or costume requirements. Those details are all on the Strains page.

  • Factions are mostly all listed on the faction page. The ones there are ones that are populated and led by NPCs, although some few characters have made inroads into them and others can too through role-play! In the future we might open up a section for player-factions so you can advertise to other players for shared story opportunities, but right now we’re focusing on providing you all the NPC info.

  • Events will always have a link to tickets and a link to check-in here. We’re no longer doing the Wish List system and we’re not able to continue the Paid in Full, although we might bring that back once we all get used to this system.

  • Stores has the move improvement slotted for ahead - as we work with LLC to get new merch into your reach. But it also has a list of Licensed Crafters so you know who can get you those sweet logos and a place for you to purchase Advanced Memberships.

  • Player Requests/Submission includes all the new 3.0 Action Requests. These get emailed directly to the employee in charge of that aspect of the game, so if you have a question about them please email it to Contact@DystopiaRisingAR.com so it can be routed to the right person. :)

Fun - Straight Ahead on the Time Continuum!

Sept 20-22nd Truate and Beth will be in Hot Springs at our booth at SpaCon! If you’re there please drop by and say Hi! We normally get a lot of loving and helping hands - but this year we got a MUCH smaller booth - so please understand we won’t be able to accept much help behind the table this year.

ALSO - only a few months until we have our Premier event in November, and between now and then both Texas and Georgia will have theirs! Krista will be at Georgia’s - are ya’ll making plans to go to one of these? Start planning convoys and stuff with friends! Let’s have some FUN this fall! And then we can invite everyone to our GiveThanksMas.

Also also, in very very very related news we want to go ahead and start coordinating the pot-luck early this year. Whichever adventuresome players are going to organize it this year please reach out to Krista@DystopiaRisingAR.com :)

3.0 Communication Evolved

We’ve been looking at Dystopia Rising Evolved for a few months now and we’ve been talking a LOT about the changes of the mechanics, the story and the items. One thing I haven’t seen much discussion on is the evolution of our communication in our community as a result. SO - I’mma start that off.

There’s several places in the new book that refer to ‘having an adult conversation’ about Character versus Character conflict - and me, being the communication nerd ya’ll lovingly tolerate, I realized that no one really told you what we meant when we said ‘Adult Conversation’. So we’re gonna dig into it a bit.

First, it’s important that ya’ll practice Active Listening.

  • Pay Attention to what the speaker is saying, don’t think about what you’re going to say in response.

  • Show that you’re listening through body language.

  • Provide Feedback / Paraphrase back to them. “What I”m hearing is…” etc.

  • Defer Judgement, let the speaker finish their thought before you interrupt to counter-argue or ask a question.

  • Respond appropriately by being honest, respectful and treating the other person how you’d want to be treated.

Second, it’s really important that you keep in mind that you’re both approaching the situation from the same side of the table. You’re not opponents, you’re teammates looking to make sure both of you enjoy the story that unfolds.

Third, if you start having difficulty and you’re not sure why - first place to check is how ya’ll are communicating. It’s not easy stuff but sometimes talking about the how will help someone identify the missing piece or source of miscommunication.

Example Time!

  1. Beth plays Doc Widow and I play Treasure. I decide it would be fun story if the characters started bickering more about how to run the Lascarian pack both our characters are a part of. I message Beth and say “Hey, just wanted to let you know that I think it’d be neat story if Treasure and Widow start arguing more about pack things. Thanks!”

    ….That…that’s not a conversation. That’s a notification. Conversation requires give and take, message and response.

  2. Fyre Sol & Treasure this time. Treasure has been avoiding Fyre Sol for -months- and he’s done with it. Truate hits me up and says “Hey, so Fyre Sol has been trying to have a conversation with Treasure for months.” Me: Yeah, she’s avoiding him cause she soooo doesn’t wanna have that conversation. Him: “He’s about fed up with it and he’s just gonna start screaming at her.” Me: Do it! Sounds fantastic!
    Later at game Fyre Sol tries one more time to get Treasure into that conversation and she avoids it, so a few hours later he starts SCREAMING at her in front of a group of people. They then walk off to go have the conversation in private after Treasure shushes Fyre Sol’s ranting.

    Perfect. The conflict was discussed in detail beforehand and enthusiastically agreed to -and- we stuck to that agreed level of conflict.

  3. Now Munch and Treasure. They have a history of settling arguments with a physical fight. Jeff and I have talked about this a -ton- and we both have a lot of fun with it. It’s an established part of our LARP-ing relationship with these characters. During Game Munch and Treasure start arguing and I use my right hand to make a C on my left shoulder. Jeff gives me a thumbs up. Our characters then try to beat the shit out of one another but no theft and no infection loss occur.

    Also perfect! When it’s something that’s been discussed and is an established part of your RP together, all you need is that confirmation that they’re up to it at this specific time.

  4. One more time, Lulu & Treasure. There’s a little territoriality that they’re both edging towards some direct conflict, so I reach out to Caroline. “Hey, it looks like Lulu & Treasure are gonna clash over this territory - you okay with some conflict RP?” Them: Sure, that sounds fun! Me: “It might get physical, are you okay with that?” Them: Yeah, combat’s fine.

    The game comes and sure enough, tensions are there. I put the C on my shoulder to check, get a thumbs up and then I grab Caroline’s arm and am really surprised when they give me a thumbs down and pull away from me.

    This one was bad because I had a specific ‘physical’ in mind and Caroline replied with ‘combat is fine’ and in the heat of the moment I didn’t confirm they consented to physical RP. So while we talked, it wasn’t good enough.

So, I can’t keep giving examples - but there’s two good and two bad ones. It’s not always simple and we’re going to have to learn how to do this together BUT we can do it - I have no doubt. <3

SO - Talking to the team about all of that - I came to realize that I had an expectation of ya’ll that I hadn’t properly communicated.

Whenever two players have an interpersonal conflict that doesn’t involve rules being broken I always tell them that we’re available to be mediators AFTER they have tried to resolve it themselves first. And we’re going to stick with that.

What I have just realized is that in my mind, if there’s a conflict and that conversation doesn’t go well - I then had the expectation that a conversation would follow about HOW those two people were communicating. The mechanics of their communication as it were.

  • Did Susan say something that was hurtful and accusatory? I should point it out.

  • Did I interrupt Susan several times? That’s something they should point out to me.

  • Have I explained to Susan that when I’m struggling to find a word I might pause and stare off into the distance and I’m not ignoring her?

Like….it might sound really simple but talking about how a message was received can really help.

“Hey, Truate - when you use the word ‘whatever’ in response I feel like you’re dismissing my point of view. I don’t think that’s what you intend so can we find another word?”

Anyway - I’ll try to adjust my expectations and be ready to jump in sooner on interpersonal conflicts but I’d also like ya’ll to look at this and really think about if you’ve done this with people you’ve had miscommunications or arguments with in the past. <3

Back to Basics

Hey nerd-fam,

This one is long, but I’m not doing a TLDR version cause it’s all super cool and important and exciting so I’m gonna ask that you read all of it at least once. :)

I know we’ve had a lot (and I mean a lot) of change in our Dystopia Rising sphere lately, but we’ve gotta discuss one more BIG (and I mean fucking huge) change that’s heading our way. So before you read any further do me a favor and take a deep breath, maybe snag some whiskey or wine or chocolate - cause change is hard but this one is probably one of the best changes we’ll see to Dystopia Rising this year.


You won’t ever need to talk to ‘National’ again. Now before you get in the ‘ding dong the witch is dead’ zone - remember that these people poured blood, sweat and tears into a system and network that you and your friends enjoy. Even if you didn’t agree with their decisions or mindsets, they work hard and deserve basic human respect at the least. 

Okay, so now that I’ve got you in the right mindset - here the sitch.

Democracy in Action!:

This option was presented to all the branch owners and we voted on it, choosing this change unanimously (of those who voted, there were no dissenters - not everyone participated in the vote but it WAS enough to get a majority of the owners).

No More National Events:

National events worked when there weren’t that many branches and you could run one without competing with the locals - it was an amazing way to see friends from all over. Now that we’ve grown we’ve come to realize that the National Events are hurting the network more than helping it - so they gotta go.

Yes, this means Downfall 2019 (Deathcon) is cancelled.

NO PANIC! Take another sip of liquor or bite of chocolate. Okay ...now continue reading.

Imagine Nation Collective (INC) will put out updates regarding refunds and such. Their #1 concern here is to have everyone walk away going “wow, that was awesome customer service!” - so go in kind and excited for the base reason this change is happening and I have no doubt it’ll be a great experience for everyone involved.

One of the refund options is INC sending a credit to us (your local branch) which we can apply to a bunch of things just as if you had given us cold hard cash.

Shifting the Focus to Local:

Everyone has come to the realization that we have more fun and trust in our game-runners when we can see them in-person every month. The faceless ‘other’ is really hard to relate to - so in the name of changing the business to match the community...well the business end is shifting it’s focus to local too.

Locally-Run and Focused Events Instead:

In place of National events we’re going to have ‘Premier Events’ that are designed to focus on the start or mid-point of a local storyline (although we will be able to include national and regional plot elements to include other branches in our stories. Co-creation evolved! (I couldn’t help myself - not sorry!)

  1. These can either be a standard 3-day event or a 4-day event with an additional $25 per ticket.

  2. All Premier events offer 5 additional build for $50 

  3. Each branch gets 1 premier event a year (emphasis on not overlapping with regional neighbors) so long as they’re in good standing (which isn’t new requirements so much as a new benny for doing what we’re supposed to paperwork-wise).

  4. It’s a little cramped, but EVERY branch has a 2019 premier event too! Ours is Nov 29-Dec 1 (big thanksgivemas ya’ll?)


Regions, wtf Krista?:

Okay okay, I used that term a few times, so here’s THOSE details - we split the US into 5 regions (map at bottom!) and that gives everyone a set of neighbors that they’re extra encouraged to work with.

  1. No, it doesn’t prevent us from working with groups outside our region, they’re just kinda a secondary focus for partners instead of primary. So we’ll still torture Trey & Cara n’crew in New Mexico on occasion.

  2. It does mean that we’re gonna work extra to do crossplot with Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Florida. We ...well we might already be well ahead on that power-curve just cause ya’ll are so friendly with one another.

  3. IT ALSO MEANS REGIONAL STORYLINES, so yeah, fun story we share with nearby friends. 

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL - Shifting how Sales work too!:

Part of ‘shifting the focus to local’ also means the marketing and sales focus.

  1. Advanced memberships will still have the same benefits - but they’ll be sold by us, the branches, and we’ll get a cut. Starting mid-sept, cause it’s not fair to change the cost before it was supposed to change.

  2. All Merch will be sold at branch-level and we’ll have more options for customization and we’ll get a larger cut. 

Surely that’s it?

I mean, mostly - but I can see how someone is going to take all this and go “but all this means is ‘National’ is still trying to make a bunch of money off the branches and now they do less work!” SO - before you go too far down that train of thought, lemme give you some real talk.

LLC provides a ton of infrastructure for us that, frankly, I desperately don’t want to have to duplicate at a local level. I don’t -want- to go through database development, maintenance and payments. I don’t -want- to try to get wholesale deals cheap enough to benefit my community but still make my business a little money. I don’t -want- to develop new content or balance mechanics. I’d say I don’t want to organize that many documents but then we know I’d be lying… :-D

But seriously - there’s a ton of value in the money that I send to LLC, hell - I get more for my $ from LLC than I do from the taxes I pay...and I pay more in taxes!

So really the base here is that we, as a group, decided to empower the branches and re-focus on our local communities first - and we think this’ll make us a better group all around.

Excited? Awesome.
Not sure? Legit!
Let’s find out what it’ll be like - together. <3

-Krista
#IAmBecauseYouAre

 
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August 2019 - Desperate Butchery

WAR SIMULATION

This is a big deal game, and it’s something the characters have worked towards for our entire existence as a chapter. So, knowing how big a deal this is - we’ve pulled out a lot of stops.

  • War Table: We tested the ‘assault block’ and with a few tweaks we think it’ll work. We’re going to send out Mission Alerts that give you a window of time to ‘notify the war office’. That means tell us in Ops that you’re ready to run the mission. We’ll have it prepped in about an hour, a hook will come find you AT THE WAR TABLE or another specified location.

  • War Environment: Some of this is going to be very new for ya’ll, but we’re going for radical transparency here so you can opt into the story you’re interested in. Ya’ll are going to war with smart adversaries. So that you can opt-into the play you want, we’ve decided to designate each area with a level of engagement.

    • Blue Bird Hollow is low-engagement, we won’t wake you up during quiet hours.

    • Rocky Mound is normal-engagement, quiet hours are PROBABLY safe.

    • Echo Pines is high-engagement, you didn’t want sleep this weekend right?

    • Tents will fall into the same engagement level of the sleeping area you’re closest to.

  • Simulations: We have smoke bombs and M-50 fireworks that we’re going to use to simulate biological weapon-attacks and artillery fire. If you need to know the schedule so you can be aware of these things (for those of us with the PTSDs or breathing issues) - please stop by Ops so we can check the schedule and let you know.

Also, I’m not saying that having sentries or a night-watch might be a good idea…..buuuuuut….maybe? >_> Keep in mind that even if the environment is war - we want YOU the players to have fun, and if you’re not reach out to one of the Employees and we’ll see what we can adjust to help you have more fun with this month’s content.

NEW CAMPSITE

The first thing to know is that Truate took a butt-ton of photos of Camp High Point during our tour…you can find those here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1we-mhhvsHUFaNJo3-qrlxxQy75aI_j5W?usp=sharing

Below is the map we have of site. There will be no shuttle, so drive carefully and politely. Don’t drive past stumps, stay on the road and don’t drive on roads that have X’s on the maps.

Site Rules & Important Info!:

  • No smoking of any kind (including vapes) inside buildings on top of 50 feet away from all buildings & those allergic (hi - is me Krista, are a few others).

  • No ice machine, it’s broken. There’s lots of fridge space and a little freezer space. You can buy & store ice bags.

  • No use of the industrial kitchen without Arkansas Food Handler’s license on record with us. If you’re not sure, ask. You CAN use the fridges, freezers and microwave. I only remember seeing one microwave so be nice to each other. Also Ashley Ates (New Player Marshal and player of Jay the Barkeep) is in charge of this area (as well as Employees).

  • This site doesn’t see as much use as Cahinnio, and while they did just have camp and they are mowing the fields for us - be extra liberal with bug prevention and tick checks in specific. We all got ticks on us just from walking around for the tour and that was just a few hours on site and without running through the woods.

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3.0 TURN-IN STORE PROCESS

FOR THOSE ATTENDING AUGUST EVENT:

  • When & Where: At checkout when you turn in your character sheets for the August event.

  • What: All your items and an idea of what you want to trade in for. We’ll provide paperwork and pens and a ziplock bag.

  • Why: This will allow us to verify your point spends and take time between games to write the 3.0 cards

FOR THOSE WAITING UNTIL SEPTEMBER’S EVENT:

  • Before Game: Email us and we’ll send you the PDF of the documents you’ll need to fill out. You can then print them off and fill them out ahead of time! This will speed up your turn-in process. If you can’t get a printed out copy that’s okay - we’ll have a stack of them at check-in.

  • At Check-In: We’ll have a separate table set up to help you trade-in your 2.0 stuff. This’ll be open at 2pm because we know it’s probably going to take time. There are things you can do to really help this process move smoothly and it’s having a good idea of how many points you have to spend and what items you want to spend for.

TURN IN STORE DETAILS

July 2019 - Endings and Beginnings

Survey Results

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So I’m going to go through question by question and let you know what ya’ll told us via this survey. We’ll take that info and make some base setting decisions and then communicate that back to you. This may feel like you’re not getting exactly what you voted for, but please remember that this is a co-creation process and that means that we get input on the decisions too. We have a different view of things as the event-runners and sometimes not all things are possible despite them being what the majority want.

  1. Majority of people want us to return to Crystal Creek & rebuild.

  2. Majority of people want the morgue to remain where it is.

  3. Very few people are interested in using Tipi or Outpost for their sleeping areas. Most people are interested in using the areas that are currently available.

  4. Almost everyone wants the Kettlebottom to stay in the Dining Facility.

  5. Wasteland - man this one is rough. There’s some pretty close numbers for Options 1, 2 and 3 - so essentially what we get from these answers is that generally people want as much Wasteland as we can give them; so we’ll do our best to come up with a map that does that but still ensures the design goals for the system are met (ie enough space for people to play without having to be in the wasteland unless they choose).

  6. Majority of people want the off-screen town population to be larger.

  7. NPC Factions, how ya’ll voted:

    1. Keeping: Coleman Caravan, Crescent Wrench Guild Special Projects, Iron Guard, Misery Bay Subway, Order of the Guiding Hand, Widowmakers, Iron Tusks, Acolytes of the Blind/Null Mind, The Red Hand, New Cliffside, Devil’s Pit Stop, Ferris Watchtower, Fool’s Hope Survivors, The Ven, The High Fashion Society

    2. Ending: McCartney’s, Cult of Lucky, Blue Eyes, Old Cliffside, Spire Island

    3. Now some of these were -really- close, like one vote close - so depending on other elements we may still drop some of the ones listed under Keeping; but we hear you loud and clear on which ones you want to keep and which you don’t. :)

  8. Majority of people don’t want Widowmakers to have rights to the psion crystals.

  9. Majority of people REALLY want animal threats.

  10. Oof, Majority of people want a 2-3 on a scale of no anti-aberrant story (1) and ALL anti-aberrant story (5). We’ll have to look at this and the base setting and see where we’re gonna land but rest assured it’ll be much lower than our setting had previously.

  11. Almost everyone wants to keep the theme of ‘what lurks in the dark’.

  12. Most people want to see the interfaith harmony RP continue.

  13. Most people want to see the savage bureaucracy themes continue.

  14. Radioactive lake water on a scale of 1-5 has the most people at 5 (a lot of radiation) and 3 (a moderate amount of radiation); so this is another one we’ll have to look at and see where we should land.

  15. Cryptids are clearly a fan-favorite and most people want those to continue.

  16. Guns being bad on a scale of 1-5 has a decent spread across the board with slightly more votes on the 5. We might need to adjust this one too.

  17. NPCs, how ya’ll voted:

    1. Keep: Doc Faizer, Hook, Dana Mangles, Davey, Dante, Last Chance, SME, Father Solomon (Evil Sainthood guy), Barry Coleman, Ursula, Rave (High Fashion Society), Ragman

    2. End: Abraham Cohen (Sainthood NoA), Mother Judith (Nukefam NoA), Bluto (Hedon NoA), Vicky (KC NoA)

    3. Again, some of these were VERY close and we’ll have to evaluate where they fit into the other pieces of 3.0 setting, but we have definitely heard that you MUST HAVE Dana Mangles and the Ragman.

  18. Most people would like to see an even split between Zombie threats and Raider threats.

  19. Resource sinks - it’s a good spread of ideas and wants but some pieces were repeated more than others. Plots where you INVEST into other factions, town maintenance but it results in actual improvements showing like additional mechanics on workstations or doors on buildings, etc. We’ll look these over carefully and come up with some sort of ‘this is what we’re thinking’ and share it with ya’ll.

  20. So so many of you want to continue seeing Dana Mangles’ video updates before & after trade weekends.

  21. Ya’ll gave us a ton of suggestions and we’ll look at them and see which ones we can implement and either reach out to discuss specifics with you or you’ll see a post about ‘things we’re looking to develop/include’.

July Things - Not Your Average Game

Okay, so we’re doing two not-normal things in July. 1st one is the Schedule

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  • Game-on @ 9pm Friday

  • Quiet Hours 4am-9am Saturday Morning

  • Head Advisory Hours 1pm-4pm Saturday Afternoon

  • Quiet Hours 4am-7am Sunday Morning

  • GAME OFF @ 7am Sunday Morning

  • LGBTQ Pride Brunch & Town Hall 8am-11am Sunday Morning

  • 11am+ Clean Up

The second is that we will be using fireworks to simulate explosions. If this is going to cause you extra anxiety and/or trigger any PTSD PLEASE email me at Krista@DystopiaRisingAR.com so we can take steps to mitigate that for you. We can give you a timeline so that you can prepare and/or avoid entirely.

Guest Blog - Beth Gleason and Genre Containers

It’s time, ladies and gents and folks, to talk about genre food and drink containers.

It might seem like such a small detail, but a little extra effort can go a long way towards ensuring player immersion and making our game space look awesome. Even if the food you’re bringing isn’t necessarily genre, transferring it from the colorful plastic wrapping to a genre cloth bag or basket can do a lot to maintain our genre setting. If food safety is a concern (cause that’s important) genre containers can be lined with foil or plastic wrap, which is much less conspicuous than the original packaging.

‘But Beth!’, you cry, ‘What if I’m in a hurry or forgot to bring genre containers?’ Worry not dear friend, for I have a solution. Bandannas and Duct Tape.If you can’t transfer your snacks to a genre container, you can still wrap the container in a genre fabric or genre-colored duct tape. You don’t have to cover every centimeter, but make sure that all brand labels and graphics are covered. If you can’t wrap your food because it’s too small (think individually wrapped granola bars) just keep the snacks out of sight when possible, and be mindful of cameras if you hand them to others. Remember that we can’t publish photos with non-genre items in them. These ruined photos can sometimes be salvaged with Photoshop, but our photographers already do enough without us giving them extra editing work.

And once you’re done with your non-genre containers of any size, be sure to throw them away. Bar tables that are covered in empty plastic water bottles, drink cans, and food wrappers do not look awesome. If you use glasses or dishes from either of the kitchens to transfer your food and drinks, make sure that you get those dishes washed. Doing them yourself or paying an enterprising Bluebird are both fantastic options and is up to you. If you simply have to have your cheese crackers at 3 am and you don’t plan on bringing them into character, just make sure that they’re put away and out of sight of your bunk mates and passersby when you’re done.

In conclusion, there are a lot of options to make sure that your food and drinks don’t break immersion at game. If you can, transfer your food to a genre container or cover the container with genre material. If you can’t do that, just keep your non-genre containers out of sight and be sure to throw them away once emptied. Together we can make our game as immersive and photogenic as the actual apocalypse.

May 2019 - Summer Hours, War Table, Guest Blog #2 & Faction Info!

SUMMER HOURS

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We’ve hit the time of year where the heat & humidity start to get a little brutal - so we’re switching to our Summer schedule.

  • Friday Night NPC’s Shifts: 9pm-4am

  • Quiet Hours: 4am-8am

  • Saturday Morning NPCs Shifts: 9am-1pm

  • Heat Advisory Hours: 1pm-4pm

  • Saturday Afternoon NPCs Shifts: 4pm-4am

  • Quiet Hours: 4am-8am

  • Sunday Morning NPCs Shifts: 8am-Noon

  • Closing Announcements Noon at Kettlebottom!

 

EXPANSION OF WAR TABLE

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Okay, so here’s some more transparency - if you want to find this kinda stuff out in game I recommend scrolling past.

There are two types of interactions with the War Table - Off Screen Missions and On Screen Missions.

Off-Screen missions are the ones that happen way out in the Riverlands and Crystal Creek is sending orders out to those factions to impact that situation. Just as in real war, you can’t have a democratic way of deciding who does what - so we followed the government set up by the characters and limited order-giving to the Security Council.

In order for the Council to succeed at these missions they’re going to need War Supplies (an item card that has been and will continue to be seeded in various ways), maybe advice from other characters, and a few other helpful things like Faction Aid or Special Units. Not all of the Councilors will ask for help/advice from all people - but while last month’s missions were pretty easy choices to make… it’s going to get more complicated as we go forward with the war.

On-Screen missions are the ones that happen on-site during game, just like regular mods but hooks are sent through the War Table, success and failure aren’t calculated at a %, and the impacts are also felt throughout the Riverlands via the War Table.

This month the War Table will warn the Councilors that an on-screen mission is upcoming and what type it will be (Political, Economical, or Combat) - this gives the Councilors time to round up people who are interested in those missions. If you want to engage with this type of content be sure to let the Councilors know!

BOTH TYPES OF MISSION are VERY open-sandbox-y. Mission opportunities will always be formatted as describing the situation and leaving the solution up to the players. Even the Combat style missions can be solved without violence if the players choose that path, just as - if the players choose - the diplomatic missions can be solved WITH violence. …Yes I’m looking at several of you. ;) <3

OH!! And keep in mind, ya’lls actions will change which factions are available to you as allies - so double-check the paperwork in the binder as you go. :)

 

GUEST BLOG #2 - JACK KIRBY - PERSONAL PLOT REQUESTS

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Howdy, folks! My name is Jack, and I play Hart Blackwater. If you were at one of the recent Crystal Creek games, your character might have interacted with Captain Gabriel Ward, a prominent figure from Hart's backstory. Heck, if you've been to any of the southern games recently, you probably saw a whole slew of wanted posters with bounties set by Ward. This story arc was spawned by a personal plot request, which, coincidentally, is exactly what I'm here to talk about!

This plot request has gone exceptionally well, so let's dive into how we approached the process so you, too, can have a dope personal plot. Note: I'll use "we" a lot because between the crew of PCs, the writers, and the folks playing NPCs, this has become "our" plot far more than any one person's.


HOW'D YOU DO THAT THING?

I think the two most important things that went into making this plot request a success were knowing what we wanted and trusting the writers with freedom to tell the story. Those might seem at odds: if we knew exactly what we wanted, why not just give the writers a script to follow? In my experience, the right marriage of the two will net you the absolute best results. It's a little bit of a balancing act, but entirely worth it when an engaging, fun, immersive story comes together.


KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

The first things to nail down are the themes you're interested in exploring with your personal plot request. This is what will inform the interactions and situations that the writers will craft for you. For example, when dealing with Ward we wanted struggle, the past coming back to haunt us, impossible odds, hard choices, and high engagement with the rest of the town.

When you have your themes in mind, come up with your end goal. What do you want the climax and resolution of this story to be? There are many ways to get to a conclusion, and working with your writer to get there gives you both a large amount of freedom in what interactions are available to your character.

Depending on how big your plot request is, you might want to do some additional worldbuilding and backstory refinement. You definitely need a submitted backstory before requesting personal plot, but you may have additional details that are necessary to bring the story to life. Balance here is extremely important: more is not always better. Give your writer room to breathe. Have enough details that you can answer their questions, but not so many that it's overwhelming and impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff. With our plot, we started out with our submitted backstories, and as the plot grew, we fleshed out more details. We ended up with a whole Google doc that lays out the crew timelines, Ward's personality and motivations, common crew superstitions, and mini-profiles on other involved characters. Our plot ended up pretty large as far as personal plot requests go, so don't expect to need all of this for plots that are more suited to one or two mods.

TRUST YOUR WRITERS

This is where I think a lot of folks run into a bit of trouble. It might be your first reaction to send lots of specifics or almost a scene-by-scene script to make sure you get exactly what you're looking for. Understand that elements of the story are bound to change and evolve. The reactionary nature of LARP requires the story to be adaptable; you can't foresee how other characters will respond. Create the skeleton in your personal plot request, and trust the writers to build the meat and skin around it.

The writers want to give you the best possible story. Be open to their ideas, changes, and adjustments with that in mind. Remember that LARP is shared storytelling. Even if your personal plot request only involves your character, you're creating the story with the writers and NPCs, too! I think that a lot of the success of the Ward storyline has been that everyone involved was excited to tell a story together. Truate got to do his job as a writer because we gave him the freedom to change and mold things to better fit the narrative. Writers are happiest (and, incidentally, do their best work) when they're given creative room to breathe. Zach and Alex got to flesh out and play complex, nuanced characters and torture their friends. And the rest of us got to get stabbed in our sleep and cry in the woods. Everyone wins!


SMASH IT TOGETHER

The balancing act of putting these two ideas together often needs to be a conscious decision. Communication always helps! I tend to lean towards giving the writers more freedom. I enjoy the process of discovering the story they've crafted for me and letting them stretch their creative muscles. You might lean more towards wanting to know the main aspects of the story and how they will play out. Either way, both are important, and finding the right harmony for you will help make your personal plot request phenomenal!

FACTION: The Order of the Guiding Hand

Faction Leader: Asher Brightcap

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Faction Intent: They are sub-sect of the Sainthood of the Ashes, created in order to teach the ever-increasing amount of new survivors (New Players) how to survive in the wastelands.

Faction Description: They are mostly Rovers followed by NoA’s. They are all Sainthood, and commonly wear a patch identifying themselves and tend to have white and blue scarves regardless of strain. They are polite but firm to those they view as a threat. They have created the Budding Bird program for Crystal Creek in hopes of getting their presence known by the wastes.

Faction Politics: They are allied with the Postal Workers and tend to get along well with the other groups except Final Knights, who they believe are misguided and need to be taught the correct ways to survive in the wasteland.

Faction History: The order of the Guiding Hand was created by Asher Brightcap, the leader of the Brightcap Rover clan. Over time they have absorbed many other strains, but their highest numbers are Rovers followed by Sainthood NoA.

April 2019 - 1 New, 2 Changes & Guest Blog

New: War Table

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We’ve been working with the team down in Dystopia Rising: Texas and with their approval we’re stealing their War Table mechanic and tweaking both the mechanics and the story to better serve our story.

The War Table is designed to be a space in which every player character can derive some method of interaction.

  • Combat character receive missions, goals and choice-point mod hooks here.

  • Economic characters have the opportunity to interact with trade-routes and item sinks.

  • Political characters make deals, manage large-scale off screen troop movements and exchange letters and information with NPCs on the “warfront”.

We’ll introduce the War Table this month and the Zone of Mechanics associated with it.

Change: Research

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In an effort to continue to improve how Research questions function, we will have a Research Folder secured to the table in Ops. From now on you will bring your Research Questions to Ops. The binder will have blank forms so that you can be sure all the information we need is filled out, and a log so that you can specifically write down when your research was submitted and so that the Ops Marshals can note when they responded and when you picked up your Research.

At least twice an event our Employee Team will get together and answer any questions the Ops Marshals didn’t have the material/knowledge to answer.

As always, any research submitted on Sunday will not get a response until the next event.

Change: Scrounge

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Scrounge will now be seeded 7 times during an event between Friday night and Saturday night. Most of these seedings will be about 3 hours apart.

We’ve created a list of 7 areas around camp and each area will be seeded once per event, although the list will rotate to avoid a pattern being established.

The only exception to this is the initial seeding for a weekend that typically happens during set-up, that seeding will not be restricted to any particular area.

Guest Blog: Jeff Dahl -
Plot and How To Snag It

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As the player of Doctor Maximus Capacity Ewing (Super-Genius!), I’ve earned an advanced profession and I’m often involved in events going on every weekend to the point that sometimes I have to work to avoid them! I’ve been asked many times - by newer players as well as those who’ve been around for awhile - for advice on how best to get involved in ‘Plot’. While a complicated topic, not least of which because many people have a different idea of what ‘Plot’ is, I’m going to do my best to offer my dubious wisdom to you all at the request of our beloved dictator, Krista. I want the people around me at game to be having as much fun as I am, and as we all know, sitting around bored isn’t any fun!

The first step to getting involved is know what’s going on for you to get involved in ! Some of this information is often findable before game itself; rumors, posters, and notices up on the game’s facebook page or website can reveal times and places that people can go to get involved in things that have been planned to happen. Once at the game itself, many more avenues of information open up - namely, the other characters and the NPCs themselves! Talk to people, be pushy if you need to; unless the subject at hand is something likely to get someone killed (like assassin business!) or the character in question is unusually non-conversational, most people will be happy to let you know what’s they know about what’s going on that weekend. If you’re Educated, or have a friend who is, you can always go to the library and do research to dig into something you’ve heard of as well - this can sometimes get you vital information that will put you in the middle of the current plot!

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If there’s something specific that you’re looking to get involved in and you know someone is already involved - ask them about it! If you approach directly and ask how you specifically can assist/get into things, most of the time the person will offer a way to get involved. Similarly, if you run into an intriguing NPC you can talk to them and see if there’s some way you can get involved in whatever shenanigans are going on with then. If there’s an NPC you want to get involved with but who isn’t around, you can often send them mail at the post office - remember that NPCs are people too, and your character can nurture alliances, friendships, and enmities with them.

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‘You just said that the plot often comes to you,’ I hear you saying, wondering at all the footwork that I just suggested, and you’re absolutely correct. If you want to have people seek you out to get involved in things, however, you’re going to need for people to know who you are! Joining (or forming) a crew is often the first step of this - being part of a larger group means there are more chances for people to learn about things going on that you might be interested in and let you know about them, above and beyond all the other benefits of joining a crew! As for you personally becoming well-known, the key there is to establish a reputation. Any reputation will do, so long as it means people know you and it’s something that relates to the sort of plot you want to get involved in! If you become well-known as a barrister due to constantly offering to write up contracts and negotiating grievances, when those NPCs come into town wanting legal counsel they’ll think of you. On the other hand, becoming well-known as the town drunk means that when someone announces a drinking contest, someone will come and get you! How does one establish a reputation? Being loud about it. Put up posters offering services in your field. Approach people constantly about it. Offer to teach classes in your specialty, if appropriate. Tell everyone you meet about what it is you do, focusing on one point that they’ll remember. If you introduce yourself as ‘Gertrude’ it might slip peoples’ memory - but if you introduce yourself as ‘Gertrude the Gardener, PLEASE don’t step on the flowers over there…’ people will remember, and when appropriate plot comes around, they’ll think of you.

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If you can’t find plot, though - start some! Hold your own events in whatever religion, group, or trade that you call your own, and invite everyone with the aforementioned posters and word of mouth. Put in Personal Plot Requests to arrange situations that you think would get the town involved in your personal story. The key is engagement with other people, in some manner - engage, engage, engage and you’ll be involved in no time.

What if you’ve tried all of this, though, and haven’t found results? The answer is simple - ask OOCly. Talk to staff, talk to other players between games, ask people to get you involved. Most of the players in our community will be happy to try and figure out some way to do so, and staff can advise you on how to get involved as well!

I hope that some of you out there find this helpful, and I’m always happy to answer questions - so hit me up on Facebook and Discord if you have any!

March 2019 - Reminders & Reveals

 
 

We Don’t Use Gendered Insults

Just a reminder, cause it’s moving back into our community spaces. Words like ‘Bitch’ or ‘Dick’ just aren’t welcome in our spaces, even when it’s said in-character. This is the perfect time to tell someone they smell like a brahmen or hit like a cabbage.

Get as creative as you want to, just leave out the words that deride one gender over the others. <3

 
 
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Warehouse Job System

This month we’re finally able to bring into play a new aspect of the game we’ve been excited about for almost a year. The Warehouse system will open up, sponsored by a local faction called The Guiding Hand.

There will be lists of things you can do to earn credit with the Guiding Hand, credit recorded by a Postal Worker in a ledger that’s organized by Crew.

There will also be a list of items you can redeem this credit for, also through a Postal Worker and that lovely ledger.

We’ll also use it to introduce different aspects of plots - but mostly we’re looking forward to giving everyone another way to engage in economy play, especially BlueBirds and recently fledged who might need more opportunities!

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We Have More Fun When We’re Not Literally Dying

Arkansas has a pretty amazing reputation as the community of Parent-Friends. We emphasize and worry about our friends and if they’ve taken care of themselves for the weekend.

Unfortunately we’re also getting pretty bad about ignoring our own needs while we’re worrying about others. (Yes yes, I am THE worst offender!)

Let’s do better about making sure that we get sleep, food, water, showers and clean socks during our game weekends. We enjoy the game so much more when our bodies aren’t pissed at us.

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Let’s Give Props to One Another

We’re going to try something new. At closing announcements we’ll have a few stacks of index cards and pens. These will be opportunities for you to write down something that another player did to make your weekend amazing.

You can give them props.(Yes I am having fun with that pun.)

We’ll take all the cards and shuffle them up, then draw one out at the end of closing announcements. The player who did the amazing thing will get a prize of some sort - we’re going to start off with copies of DR 2.0 Splat Books.

We’ll keep a living record and update it regularly so you can go read the warm-fuzzies and/or (welcome) tears that you give one another.

FINAL Survey Results

February 2019 - Start of the Climb

STARVE ‘EM OUT

We wanted to give ya’ll a way to feel like your local story of ending slavery wasn’t falling behind the national timeline - so we tried ‘Downtime Missions’. We THINK ya’ll had fun - but please send us any feedback you have. We’ll count each of these feedbacks as pre-registration points for Feb’s pre-reg rewards.

If you missed the action, you can catch-up on the story at www.dystopiarisingAR.com/starve-em-out.

You can also find stories about ending slavery all over the wastes at #TheGlowRises on almost every social media platform!

 
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CHANGE TO ‘GUIDE’

In case you missed it, DR LLC announced changes to the structure of chapters - you can find the full info in their post.

Short story is that we’re going to be changing to calling everyone who helps run the game a Guide. Marshals are Guides, Employees are Guides, Owners are Guides. No one is expecting you to get that change in verbiage 100% correct right away - and we know you won’t scold us if we mess up too. Just know that everyone is going to be working together to make the weekend amazing, and we’ll slowly make sure we call each other the right thing eventually.

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HYDRATE IN THE COLD

It might sound silly to get ‘heat exhaustion’ when it’s 40ish degrees out, but it can happen! Remind your friends to hydrate or die-drate this month, because it’s far more likely you won’t sweat as much and so won’t realize how dehydrated you’ve become. It can be MORE important to hydrate in cold than it is in the heat.

We’ll still be putting out the orange coolers - so do us a favor and DRINK WATER! :) <3

 
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PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

Weather permitting; between Noon and 2pm on Saturday I’ll be taking posed photos of your character and any props you want to bring (although we’ll have some setting material there beyond what the woods give us. If it’s raining we won’t be able to take any photos, sorry! <3


What: Posed, OOC photoshoot of your characters amazing costumes and any props you bring
When: Between Noon and 2pm on Saturday
Where: Partway between the parking lot and the top of the hill, there’ll be a flag to help you find me
Why: Cause we know that sometimes the photographers miss people and this way you get awesome photos no matter what!

January 2019 - Prelude

NEW EMAILS

So - with that NEW MORE BUSINESS-Y mentality, we’ve got spiffy new email addresses that make us OH SO MUCH MORE EXECUTIVE NERDY!

We’re also sorta divy-ing up who is lead of different areas of the operation, but rest assured we’re all working as a team. :)

This is pretty exciting for us!

This is pretty exciting for us!

  • Krista Sides - Community Management & Marketing
    Krista@DystopiaRisingAR.com

  • Dave Sides - Experience Design & Conflict Resolution
    Dave@DystopiaRisingAR.com

  • Caroline Vance - Customer Service
    Caroline@DystopiaRisingAR.com

  • Truate Bearden - Logistics
    Truate@DystopiaRisingAR.com

  • Beth Gleason - Visual Design
    Beth@DystopiaRisingAR.com


ONLINE EVENT

We saw the story of abolishing slavery happening and the timeline for Uprise just wasn’t leaving a lot of time for our players to participate. We reached out to DR LLC and everyone sat down (at their computers) and brainstormed together. We came up with a few new things that we decided to try and reassurances that we could continue to kick our own local slaver-butt on our timeline.

So that’s how we got the Networked Plot - Starve ‘em Out. This plot includes a module that anyone in the entire DR Network can participate in, even if their chapter isn’t having events during the next few months. It also includes a way for local characters to impact the story they’ll encounter in Season 4 - so if you haven’t checked out the ‘Missions’ section, you might want to!

Survey (Results so far)

In case you missed it - we’re doing a survey of all ya’ll to see what it is the masses actually want. You can find the results (so far) via this handy-dandy-link. We’ll stop accepting Survey Answers at the end of January and we’ll share the updated results in the Feb blog.

Some of this is easy to see what we’ll do with (what hours should we run? what stories are you interested in?) and some of it is less clear (why do I need to know what pronouns you use?) - if you have any questions, concerns or ideas for the next survey; you can email me at Krista@DystopiaRisingAR.com.

What’d you do with your break?

We spent our break fleshing out the areas around Crystal Creek, which makes us very glad that the survey answers say you’re interested in that kind of story and information! Enjoy this lovely map built by Erick Wiggs!

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December 2018 - New and Improved!

I know what you’re thinking, you can’t have something be both NEW and IMPROVED - and you’re right, but we’re giving you both new things AND improved things. So we’re right too! >_>

CONTRACTORS AND YOU

So, everyone knows that Dystopia Rising chapters are run like a real adult-owned business. Hey…stop laughing - fiiine. Adult-ish.

In an effort to make sure we don’t lose our remaining marbles and improve our processes and products, we’ve contracted three people to work with us at DR Arkansas.

Caroline Vance will help with Experience Design (Story), check people in on Saturday mornings, and a few other things that are more behind the scenes.

Truate Bearden will help with Community Management (Coord), check people in on late Friday nights, and a few things that are both behind the scenes and not determined yet.

Beth Gleason will help with Visual Design (Setting), check people out early on Sunday, and a few things that are also behind the scenes.

BUT KRISTA WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR M E ?!

Not much - other than you can expect a better product and a more-sane and less-tired Director team. These contractors aren’t gaining the authority to levy Corrective actions beyond what they already have as Marshals (verbal/written warnings) but you might see them performing in places that previously Dave or I did (training other marshals, putting out announcements or working the check-in table).

WE ALL WANT MORE GENRE

So what are we going to do to help us get there? We’re glad you asked!

Firstly, we’re going to purchase a tote for every cabin in Broken Arrow, one for the Tree House and one for the left side of J-house. These will be stored by us, but filled by ya’ll. These will be a place for players to store genre setting items (like those awesome genre curtains you want to block the sun and raiders out) for their living spaces/cabins. We’ll put these in front of each cabin during set-up and pick them up during clean-up; it will be the responsibility of the players to unpack and repack them.

Second, we’re going to award AP, in two different ways, for contributing to the genre of our town. You’ll get a one-time AP award (20) for decorating a place that’s meant for a limited audience (your character and their crew; example: inside of a cabin or tent). You can get a repeating award of 50 AP for decorating a public space (example: turning the right side of J-house into a genre-lounging spot for all players to partake in).

WANT TO STOP WORRYING ABOUT MISSING SOMETHING BECAUSE FACEBOOK ALGORITHMS ARE GARBAGE?

I know my subtitles are usually shorter but I couldn’t figure out a good way to summarize that….ANYWAY - we’re going to continue these monthly updates via blog. If you’d rather get an email with all this info instead of scouring facebook or discord for the link, now that’s an option!

You can find our ‘Subscribe’ button on the bottom of our homepage (www.dystopiarisingAR.com - lookit me enabling you).

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

We don’t do this because it’s glamorous or a great way to get rich (we’re still waiting on that LARP Billionaire Yacht but we’ve heard the paperwork got delayed somewhere… >_>) - we do it because it’s ridiculously rewarding to tell stories with all of ya’ll.

To that end, we want to make sure we’re telling the stories that most of you are interested the most often. We’re currently polishing a survey and will have it out sometime in early January. Keep an eye out!

If there’s something you want us to know but the survey doesn’t cover it - please use our feedback form: https://www.dystopiarisingar.com/feedback-form/

Also in the interest of letting you be a part of the stories that interest you, we’re going to be releasing our Arc Schedule for the first half of the year (Feb-May) on Dec 24th. Think of it as our holiday gift to ya’ll. <3

Bleed & How to Manage It

Bleed is, very simply, when the emotions of a character bleed into a person (or vice versa). I often refer to these as bleed in (from character and into a person) or bleed out (bleed of a person into their character). Bleed is something everyone experiences to one degree or another, and it’s not inherently bad (or good). It’s one of those things that just comes with the territory of LARPing and that means it’s something we should educate ourselves on. The players are far more important and cooler than the characters they portray and leaving bleed unmanaged can have a serious impact on individuals and the communities they’re a part of.


At the bottom I’m going to have a list of articles talking about bleed, managing bleed, debriefing and mitigating bleed. That’s where you can find a lot of depth, techniques and really the nuts and bolts of all of this. The rest of my post is going to be my observations, hopes and advice for the fam when it comes to the upcoming in-game conflicts.


Observations:

  • To one degree or another, everyone puts a piece of themselves into a character. It’s not bad - because that piece of ourselves helps us empathize with our character and really become them when we’re portraying them during game. This does mean that everyone is emotionally attached to their character, although the level of that attachment differs from person to person.

  • By and large, no matter how hard everyone works, it’s impossible to get characters to treat non-agency characters (NPCs) the same way they’d treat full-agency characters (PCs). And again, that’s not a bad thing because it means we’re not investing a lot of emotions in the NPCs - so we can tell different stories with them and minimize bleed issues.

  • Character versus Character activities cause FAR more negative bleed than any other in-game action. Worse than in-game politics (and man that’s saying something). This isn’t to say that only CvC causes bleed, far from it! Plot can also cause a bleed!


Advice - but keep in mind I’m one of those that extremely rarely experiences bleed-in:

  • Make sure to use techniques that reinforce the differences/separation between you and your characters. When talking about them don’t use ‘I/me’ use ‘they/them’ - it reminds you that they’re a separate identity.

  • If possible, talk about the negative things happening to your character in an excited way. For me, half the reason I play is because I want to tell a story of succeeding after struggle - which means my poor character (suffer puppet) has to have a ton of obstacles to overcome. I have a few people who compartmentalize as well as I do and we often goob about how our poor characters are in so much pain (emotional & physical).

  • Utilize debriefing, either formal or informal. Debriefing is essentially talking through the emotions your character experienced and separating them from your own, with the help of at least one other person.

  • Help someone when you see them struggling to manage their bleed.This can be as small as using the Ok Check-in system (I know it makes me take stock of myself when I’m asked.) or as big as taking someone aside and flatly telling them that their bleed is unhealthy and hurting themselves and others.


My Hopes:

  • Be friendly with the people who portray the enemy of your character. Now I know not everyone can be friends with everyone, but I also know that I absolutely want to be friendly with the people behind the characters that Treasure is going to growl at, hit, and possibly kill cause they’re nasty witches. I can see how they feel about handling CvC (if they need no notice, a heads up, a check-in, etc) and their thoughts on where our piece of the story should go.

  • Remember that this is a huge exercise in co-operative story creation, and that means that my story might have to be not be exactly how I envisioned it originally. Personally I find the unexpected twists to be amazing and invigorating, but some people need a heads up or a little more steering of their story - and there’s no one right way to do things. The only wrong way to do things is when you do them without compassion for your fellow players.

  • Listen to one another, even if what they’re saying is hard to hear. As we learned from Neville Longbottom - telling your friends difficult truths is the hardest thing we can do; but as friends it’s important that we do so. So if someone comes to you with a concern, listen.

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November 2018 - That's a Wrap

Alright, super short blog-post coming up….mostly cause after throwing so much weird shit at you last game we decided to keep this month simple. ;) <3

Thanksgivemas

We specifically schedule our November event on Thanksgiving weekend. Our community has a higher % of peeps (including Dave & I) where a traditional family event is either hella stressful or just not an option - so being able to share some fellowship and food with our nerd-family is very very important for us.

We’re always happy to see everyone for this event, but please remember that the people organizing the feast have volunteered to do so and likely need far more help than they will outright ask for. Offer to help them repeatedly! Many hands make light work!

Also, if you want to add to the feast, you can sign up: DR AR 2019 Thanksgivemas Feast

WRAPPING UP OLD AND STARTING THE NEW

This month we’ve focused mostly on wrapping up older stories, or at least starting the process of wrapping them up. We still don’t have a hard date for when the 3 year time-skip will happen but we know that very very few (if any) stories will cross the gap with us.

We’re moving to a new way of organizing our stories, and we think you’re going to be as excited as we are.

We’re going to focus more heavily on having an overarching story for each event. This means that each event will have a story with Rising Actions (Trigger, Quest, Surprise, Critical Choices), Climax and Falling Action. This doesn’t mean all stories will be limited to a single weekend. Much like the Star Wars 4-5-6 Trilogy we can tell a larger story while still having a complete arc for a weekend.

This means we’re gonna be able to give more focused teasers in so many more places (liiiiiiike the names for our events on Facebook). It also means you can look at the story for the weekend in advance and see if it’s one that you’re super duper invested in or if it’s an event you can miss and not feel too much FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). (If you actually can do this please teach me…)

We’ll make a blog post about that and more cool 2019 stuff after the November event. The next blog post will also start some discussions on what ya’ll think Crystal Creek should look like post time-skip. We can’t delve into the minutiae (cause y’know - blood oath and stuff), but we can start talking broad strokes and we want to have those conversations with you!

See ya’ll in the wastes! <3
#WeAreBecauseYa'llAre 

October 2018 - In Your Hands

SCHEDULE

We're going back to our normal schedule, which will often be referred to as the winter schedule or ‘oh thank god more chances for sleep’.

SPECIFIC MECHANICS FOR OCTOBER

Your Part

So, this month has opt-in plots and we’ll watch for the white glow-bands when we’re targeting people with those plots. You’ll always be able to find some glow at NPC Camp if you want to opt-in partway through game. You can also opt-out by just taking off the glow.

However, the plot is impacting the game as a whole - and to be honest, the overarc I’ve been so excited about 100% depends on how much ya’ll want to buy into it. I’m giving OOC knowledge about the mechanics a week prior to game to make sure you have a chance to ask questions - but hopefully your PC won’t suddenly know how to circumvent the effects. <3

Mechanics

Everyone’s throat is sore and the muscles feel tight, to the point of pain and damaging yourself when you use your vocal chords. Speaking above a whisper will cause the following effects:

  • 10 seconds of normal volume speech = 10 Body

  • 10 seconds of yelling/screaming = 1 Murder (10 body w/o bleed out timer)

There are ways to mitigate this effect, but you’ll need to find that out in game. It will come to an end at 10am on Sunday, although muscles will still be tight/painful just not enough to cause damage.

I will be giving an example of what each volume should sound like at Opening Announcements in case you’re not sure. I trust ya’ll to make reasonable decisions throughout the weekend and remind each other when someone’s voice raises and they forget to take the damage.

I look forward to scaring the pants off ya’ll and hope you buy into the fun we’ve planned for you. :)

COOPERATIVE CREATION ISN’T JUST A CATCH PHRASE

Lately we’ve heard a lot of scuttlebutt about Character versus Character situations heating up and we want to take a moment to remind everyone that no matter what, we’re playing a game with our friends in a community we care about. So here are some tips for how to have character versus character antagonism add to the story and experience for everyone involved.

  1. Don’t lie about it out of game. That’s the fastest way to move it from character versus character to player versus player.

  2. If you’re up for it, reach out and ask the other person if they’d like to discuss some negative RP coming their way. Some people deal a lot better with it if they receive a heads up. You don’t have to give them specifics, but a general ‘heya’ can go a long way.

  3. Aim for story, not mechanics. Don’t aim to perm a character with multiple infection in a single weekend. Especially if you haven’t done a pre-negative scene check-in as described in #2. The player of that character still wants to have fun at game and so would you.

  4. Be open to non-infection loss story and talk with the other player about it. Steering a story between two players is a wonderful way to make sure everyone has fun with negative RP. Conflict drives story - but we’re the ones who decide what the conflict looks like, not our characters.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

Voting Drive

You’re our family, and we want your voices to be heard. To that end we’re doing a voting participation drive to give every ounce of encouragement we can. To vote in this year’s General Election you need to be registered by Oct 9th.

20 AP - for proof of registration to vote (you can use www.vote.org)
50AP - for every election you vote in (Arkansas Election Dates) - I know this year we’ve already gone past the primary elections, but we’ll probably do this again next time and include those.

IF you are an Arkansas player (defined as the database saying you are an Arkansas player) but live in a state other than Arkansas, you can still participate. (Texas Election Dates, Missouri Election Dates, Kansas Election Dates, Oklahoma Election Dates, Mississippi Election Dates)

Continuing Education about Sexual Misconduct

RAINN taught us that one of the most important elements for keeping our community safe is empowering everyone to identify and confront unacceptable behaviors. That's why we wrote a strong policy, with clearly defined paths of action in partnership with Texas and Oklahoma.

To further empower the community, nationwide, the DR LLC team has worked with RAINN to break down the information into easily digestible chunks and created two quizzes to check your understanding of the information. We encourage everyone to participate and work towards scores of 100% (you can take them as many times as you'd like)!

You can email us (DystopiaRising.Arkansas@gmail.com) a screenshot of your 100% completion and we'll award you 50AP for each quiz you ace!

To better ensure the safety of our community and to promote an educated & uniform response & awareness from Marshals, going forward anyone wanting to be considered for a Marshal position will need to have completed both quizzes.

See you all in the wastes! <3
#WeAreBecauseYa'llAre 

Team Refresh

Some other chapters have started refreshing their Marshal Teams and we talked to them and they found:

  • This gives team members a chance to look at the next year of their life and determine if they should continue on as a marshal. If not they can step back without any social pressure simply by not re-applying. This is also applicable to anyone who may be burnt out/close to burning out.

  • Allows Directors to make sure that all of the social groups of a community are represented by the team members.

  • Allows non-team members to feel like they have a shot at gaining a spot instead of ‘if there’s a slot available’.

  • Allows team-members who have cross-trained to select a new primary assignment as a marshal during the new application process.

  • Allows members of the community to come forward and report if they had an experience with a Marshal if they felt uncomfortable doing it due to the authority that comes with being a team member.

So, we’re going to try it and see how it works for Arkansas. November will be the last game for our current team. (Don’t worry, we talked to them about this before making this announcement! <3)

Want to be a marshal next year? Check out the new handy-dandy form page:
Marshal Application

Our goal is to have the new team selected no later than Nov 31.

As we said, we’ve spoken to our team and addressed their concerns, but in case you’re curious - here’s a few of the big ones.

  • We’re not doing this to get rid of Marshals who aren’t working out without addressing the issue. Dave and I are very direct communicators and we will always address a problem as part of resolving that issue.

  • What if no trained marshals apply? Training takes time! We aren’t anticipating that being a problem, but if it becomes one we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

  • What if someone not being rehired causes drama? Again, Dave and I communicate a lot - but we also respect a person’s privacy. So if Bobby Sue didn’t apply because their real life has gotten a little rocky; it’s up to Bobby Sue to tell people that. However, if Bobby Sue tells us it’s because of the rocky road and then tells everyone else it’s because we’re meanie-heads…well we’re likely to talk to them and then say something publicly to resolve the misunderstanding.

Sensitive Topics & Game Space

Hey Survivors,

There are a lot of LARPs designed to explore stuff at the edge of human experience. Prison experiments and concentration camps, militia and guerrilla warfare, and yeah - even topics like sexual assault. We aren’t really that type of LARP, even when we get close to it we have a HEAVY culture of Opt-In/Opt-Out.

We have a few tools to tell you the things we will go into - and it’s called our ingredients list. This is an attempt of giving you a comprehensive list of the ingredients that we will put in our story. Now - this isn’t to say they will all be present all the time, or all present at a really high level. Some of them are pretty spicy - so we use them sparingly.

Sometimes we’ll have plots that either go outside this list, or go heavier on the spice. You will ALWAYS have a chance to review these extra or emphasized ingredients and be asked to Opt-In. Knowledge is power and we want you to have it before you opt-into a plot.

Okay, so now some of you are going “duh Krista, we know this cause you put it on the website and we read every page of that thing”. ….Okay maybe not that exactly, but anyway - we also created a list of Banned and Discouraged Concepts.

Take a peek at those and then come back. I’ll wait, promise.


Okay…done?

Alright, so here’s why that list is important. Not all of us have the same experiences and traumas. What seems like either ‘not a big deal’ or ‘a neat element to add to game’ to one person might be the thing that sends someone to cry in a corner. So what’s that mean for you?

Keep those discouraged concepts in mind and understand that something that you don’t fully understand, and want to explore via LARP - might be very traumatic for someone else to see in a game space.

Example (w/ permission from Krystal): Krystal, player of Bambi, was struck by lightning just outside the boathouse. She jokes about it and makes light of it a lot (sometimes I call her sparky when she’s getting sassy) - because like many of us that’s how she dealt/deals with the trauma. However, if Krista fakes getting struck by lightning and falls to the ground in front of Krystal during a storm - that’s gonna be super upsetting for her for a lot of good reasons.

So anyway, there’s no one incident that caused this post (no really, if you’re feeling unspecific guilt that you may have been the reason I’m writing…stahp) - it’s just not a topic we go over regularly and reminding everyone and explaining the whys is always a good thing to take time to do. <3

September 2018 - Be the Change

SCHEDULE

We're going to stay with what is now our ‘Summer Schedule’. We’ll use this for any games May through September, and we’ll go back to our Regular Schedule in the other months.

  • Saturday morning mods will go 9am-1pm

  • Heat Advisory Hours (no mods) will be 1pm-4pm

    • Cheryl is generously donating a few hours to lifeguard the lake area around the dock again. 2pm-4pm

Post Office Hours will be:

  • Game On - 3am

  • 8am - 3am

  • 8am - Noon

If you have need of a card when the Post Office is closed and you can find an already awake Coord Marshal you can ask them to help you get the paperwork for your project. Please don't wake up a sleeping Marshal for this. I'll have to go all angry-LARP-Mom on you.

LET’S PLAY THE DIRECTOR SHUFFLE!

Last month we used the Director Cabin for Director Sleep and also as the central point for organizing clean up. Unfortunately not everyone is as kind to the camp as we are and that cabin isn’t a rentable space at the moment. That may change in the future, but for now we will go back to our previous sleeping arrangements in the left side of the Medical Building and using Jeffery House porch for organizing clean-up.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

Voting Drive

You’re our family, and we want your voices to be heard. To that end we’re doing a voting participation drive to give every ounce of encouragement we can. To vote in this year’s General Election you need to be registered by Oct 9th.

20 AP - for proof of registration to vote (you can use www.vote.org)
50AP - for every election you vote in (Arkansas Election Dates) - I know this year we’ve already gone past the primary elections, but we’ll probably do this again next time and include those.

IF you are an Arkansas player (defined as the database saying you are an Arkansas player) but live in a state other than Arkansas, you can still participate. (Texas Election Dates, Missouri Election Dates, Kansas Election Dates, Oklahoma Election Dates, Mississippi Election Dates)

Continuing Education about Sexual Misconduct

RAINN taught us that one of the most important elements for keeping our community safe is empowering everyone to identify and confront unacceptable behaviors. That's why we wrote a strong policy, with clearly defined paths of action in partnership with Texas and Oklahoma.

To further empower the community, nationwide, the DR LLC team has worked with RAINN to break down the information into easily digestible chunks and created two quizzes to check your understanding of the information. We encourage everyone to participate and work towards scores of 100% (you can take them as many times as you'd like)!

You can email us (DystopiaRising.Arkansas@gmail.com) a screenshot of your 100% completion and we'll award you 50AP for each quiz you ace!

To better ensure the safety of our community and to promote an educated & uniform response & awareness from Marshals, going forward anyone wanting to be considered for a Marshal position will need to have completed both quizzes.

See you all in the wastes! <3
#WeAreBecauseYa'llAre 

August 2018 - Adjustments!

SCHEDULE

We're tweaking the schedule based on feedback from both players and team members.

  • Saturday morning mods will go 9am-1pm
  • Heat Advisory Hours (no mods) will be 1pm-4pm
    • Cheryl is generously donating a few hours to lifeguard the lake area around the dock 2:30pm-4pm
      • (I mean, I'm gonna force AP on her, but it's still generous)
  • Sunday mods will return, but focus on story.

Post Office Hours will be:

  • Game On - 3am
  • 8am - 3am
  • 8am - Noon

If you have need of a card when the Post Office is closed and you can find an already awake Coord Marshal you can ask them to help you get the paperwork for your project. Please don't wake up a sleeping Marshal for this. I'll have to go all angry-LARP-Mom on you.

OPENING NARRATIVE/WARM-UP

After opening announcements (around 10-15 min after) we'll have a guided opening narrative. This is our version of a tool other games use to help players transition from their own headspace into the headspace of their character. They've found that having opening and closing narrative sessions can help reduce bleed.

So how does it work? We come up with a few words to encapsulate the theme of the weekend. This helps frame the phrases used during the guided narrative, which is accompanied by a heartbeat rhythm provided by those involved. It'll speed up or slow down as part of the process, but don't worry - all you have to do is follow the guide's instructions. :)

This month's theme is This is Home.

FEEDBACK FORM

The feedback form is a direct line to our inbox, and we made sure that you can omit your name and email if you feel more comfortable providing anonymous feedback - specifically because players requested that option. :) You can do this by just leaving the name and email portions of the form blank.

Well we've gone a step further and included a check-mark where you get to determine if you'd like a reply or a follow-up to your feedback. Some months we have time to go back and answer every feedback we get, and some months we don't. This is designed to let us focus on the people who are expecting a reply and just absorb the information from those who don't want to discuss it with us.

This also means that if you report misconduct (of any kind), you can decide if you want to be contacted with follow-up information or questions. Sometimes that follow-up will just be "we investigated this and issued corrective actions" - because we want to punish in private and make sure that our friends have the chance to grow from their mistakes. 

SLEEPING BEARS...ER...DIRECTORS

As the camp and our player base continues to grow, we want to seize ever opportunity to make the experience better for everyone. This summer they added a Director's Cabin just behind the Office Building we don't use (a small building across the main road from the pool house/Ops). This month Dave and I will start using that for our own sleeping.

This means that if you need a Director and can't find the one that's awake - you can find the one that's asleep. :) And despite the title, while we may be groggy we're always available for ya'll (except the bathroom, I gotta draw a line somewhere...) and won't ever be upset that you woke us. <3

We'll also be using this cabin/clearing as the rallying point for clean-up instead of the porch of J-house. This will get the crowds out of the way of those who are trying to clean up that cabin and make us a little more centrally located for clean-up time. :)

See you all in the wastes! <3
#WeAreBecauseYa'llAre 

Sexual Misconduct Policy - What Does It Look Like?

So first,

you should know that I'm a Survivor of sexual assault. This makes me super emotional about these issues. I want to see evidence because I know how emotional I am on the issue. It also means that if I find an allegation to be false I become livid beyond imagination. Because those false accusations make it harder for people to believe the true ones. Anything that causes people to doubt a Survivor makes me ridiculously angry.

Dave spent 20+ years in the military where an accusation (false or not) could ruin your entire career, and he's understandably sensitive to the repercussions of a false allegation. This means that he wants evidence before taking any action. 

You should also know that statistics show that no more than 2-8% of allegations are false. (NSVRC) Roughly for every four people, 3 never talk to anyone/report sexual harassment after they've experienced it (EEOC Report, pg. v, First paragraph). 

Second,

we are not empowered to be investigators, that is a task for officials. Our goal is always to find out if there has been a violation of our policy and then act on that knowledge. 

We are also looking to create an environment that encourages reporting and confronting unacceptable behavior. One of the top reasons that sexual harassment and assault aren't reported is fear of retaliation. To this end we're never going to reveal the identity of a complainant and we won't divulge any specifics that could identify them.  I understand this makes some people uncomfortable, but this entire topic isn't one for comfort. For us, the protection of a victim outweighs the comfort of people who are not involved or the comfort of someone who is violating the policy.

Patterns of Behavior

Typically, we won't issue a Refusal of Service (RoS) for a first time offense. Now, I'm not saying there aren't some first offenses that can be done where an RoS is our immediate response - cause there are. 

That being said, what we watch for the most are patterns of behavior, because that's typically how you spot predators. They push boundaries slowly and in small ways, testing the waters to see if they can get away with larger violations of boundaries. They also like to live in the gray areas and ask for you to explain to them where the line is. If you say that an 8 second hug is too long, they'll argue that they only did a 7.5 second hug and so weren't violating any boundaries. 

Our Process

So Dave and I receive a complaint. We speak to them and ask for any screenshots or witnesses that they can provide. If we are given evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the perpetrator has committed this act - we determine what the appropriate punishment is and send them notification. We are, at it's core, a victim oriented organization and our primary goal is the safety of the community.

This is the part that a lot of people are uncomfortable with, because we're not speaking to the accused before levying punishment. We understand why that's uncomfortable. The idea that people could be found guilty without a chance to speak for themselves isn't something we're used to in America - because barring the military, that's the opposite of our court systems. So I'm going to get a bit more in the weeds than I usually like to, in hopes of giving you a glimpse of how we operate and our thoughts on these.

So Dave and I argue - and while yah, married couples argue - I mean we often end up on opposite sides on issues and we discuss and argue until we can reach a middle ground. This sounds pretty easy - but let me tell you that both of us are REALLY stubborn people. When it comes to these situations, at the first I am typically on the side of the complainant and Dave is hitting the brakes and asking for hard evidence. 

So in the end,

it comes down to trusting our judgement and knowing that we hold the safety of the community as our most important task. We will share as much as we can without risking identification of the victim. 

We won't share information publicly, although we do give a summary to the members of our Marshal Team. We do this because we know it's more likely that players will reach out to them with questions, than to us and we want them to be informed when they give ya'll answers.