Hey all, I recently got invited to check out Dystopia Rising, whichis a zombie post-apocalyptic society LARP that's apparently national and well net-worked. I like the premise, and there are people willing to hold my hand through getting myself involved.
Has anyone played? Can you relate your experiences, good or bad?
I'm curious about this, so thanks for posting. For the most part I've sworn off LARP, but if a DR LARP ever opened here in AZ I'd probably give it a try.
AZ tends to be horrible for LARP, though, because weekend camping events in 110+° weather aren't high on the wish list for anyone.
I hear a lot of mixed things about it. I have quite a few friends who play it. A couple of things to note from them talking:
- Your genre'ing (that is, making your stuff LOOK post-apocalyptic) is important. Like, to the point of ostracizing if not done well enough at least in the Indiana area.
- There was apparently a big event recently in this area where a number of things came up, rules-wise, that weren't part of their book, and players were given OOC punishments for their reactions and interactions with this.
- A friend has sworn off of it because he got an OOC punishment for saying something IC (he insulted a character IC based on his faction).
No idea about much more than that; I can't boffer LARP due to a physical injury, so it's not my cup of tea. I'll ask around and see what kinds of other reviews, both good and bad, I can get for you.
@ghost Yeah, it'd be rough to pretend the people who died from heat exhaustion got up and chased you.
@kanye-qwest People here strap on full armor and mail and do full contact SCA fighting in 90+ degree weather. WTF.
Though a few hours north in the pine trees it could be good for a LARP, but it's a bunch of driving.
DR is national larp, where individual chapters buy the licensing rights and run their local games. This leads to a mix of quality- some games are plot heavy and some games are super plot light and its a lot of larp combat all weekend with not much else.
The premise is interesting but having personally tried DR, I don't think it executes very well. This isn't really premise related. It's more that the franchise has been around a few years now and inertia has kind of mired it in its problems.
The three main difficult bars for entry for DR are (imo):
U R Trash Mob: The way XP and sheets work in DR is that older PCs who got into the ground floor start of local chapters have way, way, wayyyyy more skills than people who are starting out. As a result, it in reality takes 1-2 years before your PC can be effective at many things because there are already PCs who are established and way more effective (sheets and points wise) at the thing you want to do. Some people are understandably not interested in sinking 2 years+ of weekends, game fees, and sleepless nights getting rained on for the pleasure of all that. Others? They're not playing for those reasons so they don't care. YMMV.
Starting Solo Sucks: It's possible. People do it. But its harder and its not fun. Survival in the game is a single burden, which can really break your experience in terms of combat and resources. But the way DR functions is that it lends itself and is much more supportive of group concepts. Single/solo players often have a hard time getting integrated into a larger group, which isn't unlike some of the problems people sometimes have on MU*s where group concepts get better returns on their fun and efforts. You can reach out out to DR players and try to get meshed into a group before you start playing which tends to be a little better.
No Sleep Till Monday: DR (and a lot of larps) thrive on boffer combat. DR tends to like to send constant waves of zombie NPC mobs at players all night and through most of the day. The result is - you get very little sleep for 36+ hours. For some people, that heightens the experience but for others, its pretty miserable and especially so if you don't know how to fight, so you're being constantly terrified and relying on other people to save you and not sleeping. It's not a game that's set-up for people with steady 9-5 gigs who have to show up productive and awake on a Monday, unless you're able to take the Monday after off to recover. There are certainly people who manage around this issue but a lot of larping is physical discomfort: wet, cold, no sleep, etc. People who aren't as familiar with weekend larping are less aware of the physical demands and its not really a game that has a lot for people to do who have serious physical or health limitations.
3a. Bonus Mention - Unsafe Combat: I've boffer larped for a long time and I also belong to Amtgard. We hit each other with padded sticks super hard and then take each other out for beers. But we're safe about how we hit each other with padded sticks and DR combat the last time I played was not safe. Even though boffer weapons are foam padded and less likely to do any real damage, you can still fuck up someone's world if you hit them in too hard in the face. There was a lot of charging, shield bashing, machine gunning, full contact swings (you can hear the sword smacking against a shield or a person and in larp combat you are swinging toooo hard if that's happening), and people getting hit in the face, eyes, mouth, and junk which are all places you shouldn't be hitting people. Also, there was cabin fighting and people were falling out of bunks and hitting their heads on surfaces in the adrenaline panic that results. I'm told efforts have been made to stop setting up combats that have people doing this but that was enough to not make me come back.
This is all not to say that you shouldn't try this but I think its better to know what you're getting into at the drop. I think all larping is about managing personal expectations (like MU*ing) where the premise of the game needs some help. I didn't like DR but you may really like it. I love larping, and there are lot of other games in the area if this one doesn't work out.