Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedure

You may have heard some of us Directors gush about how wonderful it was to have RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) make a presentation at the Director’s Retreat in June. If not, prepare to receive a small gush and also an explanation.

The presentation from RAINN included facts and statistics about sexual harassment and assault, but more importantly it gave us expert advice on how to make our communities unwelcoming for perpetrators.

To that end the Directors for Dystopia Rising Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma put our heads together and developed a Sexual Misconduct Policy that we could all agree on. Since our communities mingle and overlap in wonderful ways, we decided our policy should reflect that.

This behavior wasn’t acceptable before we wrote this policy, however RAINN taught us that making these  policies visible does a few very important things.

  1. Showing specifically which behaviors won’t be tolerated will discourage predators  from joining or remaining in the community. Predators thrive where they can push boundaries without consequence.

  2. Outlining which behaviors are inappropriate and the procedure when misconduct is reported helps members of the community enforce standards, empowering them to help keep their community safe.

So yeah, here’s us saying that this kind of behavior is not only unacceptable in our spaces - but showing you exactly how we’ll handle it and supporting our community in creating safer spaces for gaming.


January Overarc Overshare

Hey Folks,
I wanted to take a moment to provide everyone a glimpse behind the curtain and see how well everyone did on addressing the psionic threat overarc from the January game.
Often it can be difficult to tell just how well you did. The results of these plots may take a while to play out in-character, so I wanted to provide something that was a bit more visible to everyone.
We created a lot of story content, and a lot of different ways to help improve the issue with psionic threats in Verdigrift Gardens. They required different sets of skills, and different personalities to resolve successfully. I'm not going to spill all the details, but I'll provide enough insight that I hope it will help you when you are making decisions on how you engage with our stories in the future.
There were 7 unique ways to improve the psionic threat situation or potentially make it worse. We kept track of these, and there is a good chance you had a direct impact on at least one of these plots during the January event.
They ranged from puzzle based interactions, research based, roleplay with NPC factions, the number of active PC Psions and some good old-fashioned detective work (that may have included a murder). 
On six of these seven plotlines, you were able to hit points where these stories will result in improvements to the psionic threats faced by Verdigrift Gardens. This means fewer boneheads and the various other psionic nasties that have been making VG home since the start of the season.
So, from the Story Team here at Oklahoma to everyone who participated, thank you for buying in to the story and making compelling character choices that will impact the shape of our game for months and perhaps years to come.

Storytelling Director
Dystopia Rising: Oklahoma

The Effective LARP Background

When I look through a player’s submitted background for their character, I am looking forspecific things. This guide is designed to help make that as easy as possible for myself as a Storytelling Director and for you as a player.

What goes into an effective LARP Background?

Character backgrounds help provide the storytelling staff insight into the lives and motivations of your Dystopia Rising character. It is how we know about the things that are significant and important to your character. We look for a handful of things in a submitted background which we will spell out here. Try to keep the background to two or fewer pages.
You’ll want to focus these background details on the territory involved in your local game. For Oklahoma, you can have a history that is set anywhere within the Sequoia Wastes. While it’s totally acceptable to have connections and background ties outside of the local game area, it is your local Story team that will have your background on file to review for the potential inclusion in plot. They can bring in elements from Oklahoma (or whatever their local game area is), but don’t have any control over elements from places outside of Oklahoma.

What does the character care deeply about? Passion helps motivate story. This could be faith, money, family, or any number of things. People that care about things can be motivated to act.

Connect your character to the larger world of Dystopia Rising. Give them a place where they come from, friends (both PC and NPC) and family back home. Think of brief memories associated with these connections and share the most important ones (as bullet points) through what you put in your background.

Everyone has opinions on things. If you’re from the Sequoia Wastes, there’s a good chance you don’t care too much for Final Knights or Vegasians. Maybe you think Pure Bloods have kept all the best things for themselves and forced everyone else to struggle in the wasteland. Characters with strong opinions are characters who get involved with the stories that are happening around them.

Tropes to Avoid

Sole Survivor
The infection means that it is really hard for towns to be completely annihilated. They can get dispersed or scattered to the wind, but it’s a rare occurrence that truly everyone dies and stays dead. Avoid putting together stories where your character is the sole survivor.

Exhaustively Tragic Backstory
This is Dystopia Rising. Your character lives in a world filled with horrors and tragedy. Absolutely include tragic things that have happened to your character, but include more than that. If you have bad moments, make sure to include some good moments. Give them goals and aspirations above and beyond their tragedy. Give them room to grow as concepts.

Rare and Uncommon Strains

These strains require more scrutiny due to their lower numbers within the local setting. There are additional requirements for playing them. In addition to the requests below, please make sure that you have review pages 57 and 58 in the Survival Guide.

Characters need to be exemplary members of their strain
Rare and Uncommon strains need to fall in line with how they are described in the Survivor’s Guide. They should be a walking, talking archetype of their strain. Please explain how your character not only fits in, but promotes the status quo of their strain.

Characters need to have purpose that keeps themselves and others engaged
What is your character’s purpose? Why do they exist? Please explain how your character will stay active and keep others engaged in your story.

Characters need to forward the story and reinforce the genre of the area
How does your character advance the local story and local genre? How will they enrich the experiences of others? Please explain how your character will advance the story and reinforce the genre of this game.