Are you interested in attending a post-apocalyptic LARP? Read on to learn more about Dystopia Rising, a multi-region game set 100 years following a nuclear apocalypse and zombie plague. LARP Examiner Tara M. Clapper questioned Anne Brown (also known as Chantilly Lace Fisher, a Rover of the Dusty Roads Caravan) of Dystopia Rising regarding her game.
Tara M. Clapper: Where is your game located?
Anne Brown: Dystopia Rising has three locations. The flagship game is in Sparta, NJ. The second game, Dystopia Rising: Mass, is located in Spencer, MA. The most recent game, Dystopia Rising: Lonestar, is located in Belton, TX (just north of Austin).
TMC: How does combat work in your game?
AB: Boffer weapons, NERF guns and packets are used in combat.
TMC: What types of people are drawn to your game?
AB: All sorts! We have long-time boffer LARPers, vampire LARPers, and people who have never LARPed before.
TMC: What makes your game different from others?
AB: There are several things that make this game unique:
- It's one of the few boffer games I know of that supports non-combat characters. There are a host of crafting, scavenging and other support professions that are vital to the game.
- The system is very simple. Character creation takes 5 minutes or less, but there are still a host of different options to choose from.
- The game is gritty - you get very few points with which to create your character, and the skills you use are very costly, point-wise.
- This is a full-weekend LARP. You are in character from the time you check in on Friday night to the time you check out on Sunday at 11 a.m. Roving monsters (e.g. zombies, raiders, etc.) are active from 8 a.m. - 2 a.m.
- Each character has a certain amount of "lives." When they run out, like in the movie "Land of the Dead," your character becomes a zombie, and hopefully your friends will put you down.
- This is a horror-oriented game, so scenarios are designed to stress you, scare the shit out of you, and generally terrorize you. The constant adrenaline is better than coffee. The emotional high at the end of the game is incredible.
- This game is a high-quality production, with theatrical makeup and costumes that add to the illusion of the world and enhance role-playing.
TMC: What advice would you give to new or experienced LARPers interested in trying your game?
AB: To new LARPers - don't worry, you won't really understand what's going on for a while. Also, use the buddy system. Never go off by yourself, even to use the bathroom! If you're freaked out by something that is happening and are not sure if it's real or not, ask a marshal (one of several game moderators). Chances are, it's totally fake. We've got some really good actors in this LARP!
To veteran boffer larpers - this is more of a safety-oriented LARP than perhaps Amtgard or SCA. The emphasis is more on role-playing than on combat, but there is still plenty of combat for those that are into it. Don't worry, if you're looking for trouble, plenty will find you.
To veteran dramatic larpers - yeah, there is physical combat in this LARP. It's light touch, so unless you bruise easily, you'll probably come out unscathed (although you may have sore muscles from all the running around). If you're not in great physical shape, consider playing a healer or a crafter. These valuable characters are carefully protected by the fighters because they keep health and armor points up. If you're not good at using boffer swords, there's always NERF guns or packets.
Note for those that travel: characters can be transferred from one game to the other, with GM approval.
TMC: What is the best way for new players to contact you with questions about your game?
AB: Go to dystopiasinglarp.com and choose the game you're closest to. Then register on the website. That will give you access to the forum. Any game-related questions can be answered there. There is also a full rulebook available on the site.
Interested in learning more about this game? Find DR online: