It will not come as a surprise to all of you, but it will certainly come as a surprise to some of you that I’m involved with (or at least interested in) the post-apocalyptic live-action role-playing game Dystopia Rising. Specifically, I am interested in Bravo, which is based near Austin, TX.
My wife and I have been talking about this for several months. We come to this from experience in the Camarilla Fan Club, which is a primarily social LARP based in White Wolf’s World of Darkness. Before that, we both spent a number of years playing Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop role-playing games. This is a bit of a divergence for us, then. We don’t come to this from the SCA or any other form of combat/boffer LARP, and we don’t have a lot of experience with that. My own background includes a couple of years spent in Olympic-style fencing, but that was forever ago so I don’t know how relevant that is going to be. I don’t know how prominent boffer fighting is going to be in how the game works, either, so I don’t know how that aspect of the game is going to work out.
The character I plan to play is a little bit of an OOC hedge, but it should work well. You see, as you might have guessed by now, about three years ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That’s mostly not relevant to this, but for one thing: I still have some residual nerve damage that affects the right side of my face. My right eye sees at approximately 20/50-20/100, and still doesn’t quite line up with my left so that I have double vision and no depth perception. The muscles of my face on the right side do not move as fully as the rest of my face, meaning that most people don’t read my emotions quite as well because they mostly read emotion from that side of the face. That is why I chose to play a certain kind of character called a Lascarian, who among other things almost always wears a mask. That will help me protect my eye and see more clearly, and minimize the effects of my face being largely immobile on the right. I also like fishing and find exploration fun, so I’ve built my character around that sort of role-play.
My wife, who is significantly more reticent about the game than I am, chose to play something closer to home. She likes making thread, making cloth, and making things made out of thread and cloth. Because there’s no particular skill for that in the game, she is also focusing on one of the other things she likes to do: cooking. Because of the game’s mechanics, there are a few particular strains (DR’s equivalent of a race; a particular kind of human that inhabits the post-apocalyptic world) that work best for achieving this, but she has chosen to go with the Nation of Accensor, who are focused on finding religion more than anything else but whose special power lets them recover the resource that one spends when doing things like cooking or building stuff. It should be pretty easy for her to play.
The final hurdle is one of logistics. For a long time, my problem was finding transportation to the site, especially before my wife decided to play too. Now that she has decided to play, the issue has shifted to us not owning some of the things that we would need to be successful at Dystopia Rising. These tools are pretty simple – a tent, bedrolls, things like that. We need to get those things, with a special mind to staying warm. That last is because I happen to have been born with Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndrome (FCAS), also known as Familial Cold Urticaria (FCU), which essentially makes me allergic to cold temperatures. I break out in hives, my joints swell, things like that; basically, it’s highly unpleasant. Although I’ve been told that this means that I can request and will probably get a place in the special medical cabin (although I absolutely hate, hate, hate to need special accommodations), it leaves my wife out in the cold somewhat. So I have to figure out all the details of that.
… and since the game is 1 week away, I ought to figure this out soon. Fun times!