What to bring as well as NPC Period information.
So you are out in the wasteland, scrounging for your most basic supplies, bartering what scrap you find for produce and herbs that you can try and make into something resembling a meal... but you don't want to starve yourself for real at game! What are you to do? Here are some helpful tips about providing for yourself on camp.
There will also be things about hygiene, clothing, sleeping gear, and red flashlights.
- Hydration - Invest in a decent water bottle or canteen, something you can scuff up with some sandpaper or steel wool to look a bit more genre appropriate, and make sure you keep it filled and regularly partake of it! Winter, summer, spring, or fall, hydration is a big part of what keeps you healthy through a Dystopia Rising event. Coffee, tea, and sugary drinks drain your body of precious water, and you need to be sure you are regularly replenishing.
- Trail Mixes and Energy Bars - The easiest way to stay on your feet and healthy is to keep a stash of energy bars (I'm particularly fond of Cliff brand bars) and a trail mix of your choice. Nuts, dried fruits, and simple sugars help keep your body going, and having some trail mix in a food bag or some protein bars makes it super easy for you to eat on the go, so you don't miss out on adventures in the wasteland!
- Eat a Solid Breakfast - Breakfast, they say, is the most important meal of the day. With a camp burner, campfire, or a sterno can you can easily prepare hot water to make yourself oatmeal or similar warm breakfasts. Oatmeal is particularly good because it's dry-stored and quick to make. For those who prefer other breakfast options, consider breakfast bars and rice cakes with preserves or spreads to help get those important starches and sugars into your body to give it long term energy through the day.
- Fruits and Vegetables - While some foods just don't really suit camping, simple fruits like apples and oranges are fantastic camping foods. Naturally packaged and requiring no refrigeration, these fruits provide lots of excellent options for quick wasteland snacks.
- Keep it Simple - It's the wasteland, and camping. In the end, it's up to you to make sure that what you have prepared for yourself is easily stored, easily prepared, and easy to clean up. You don't want to lose hours of play time to complicated food prep and clean up.
- Keep it In Game - Wasteland cuisine isn't the greatest in the world, but it's a marvelous opportunity for characters to share an experience, bond over a meal, and perhaps make new friendships. Keep your cooking and eating process in game and use it as an opportunity to interact with your fellow players. If you're a giving sort (or perhaps playing a cook or farmer...) you also can consider bringing extra food to prepare in game to share or sell (with the requisite generic food item cards or proper meals!)
- Clothing - Remember to bring plenty of clothing. Things like socks, underwear, shirts, pants, and so on. Weather can go from a sunny day to thunderstorm so having changes of clothing for all seasons is a great idea to keep from being miserable and will help you stay healthy.
- Hygiene - Remember to bring things such as soap, towels, toothbrush/tooth paste, and hand sanitizer. This is to help from getting sick as well keeping clean and comfortable. Things like taking showers and washing your hands after using the bathroom prevents you and others from getting sick. Also remember to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and wash your hands afterwords.
- Sleeping Gear - Everyone has to sleep sometime. With that being said its always good to bring a sleeping bag rated for the season/weather or bed linen to sleep with. It provides warmth as well as comfort. Sleep also keeps you healthy as well as helps give you energy for a full weekend.
- Red Flashlight - It gets dark at night and at some parts of the site it makes it hard to see. For safety reasons we ask that you bring a red lens flashlight so you are still able to see without blinding anyone. This is so you will be able to see at night and prevent yourself from getting hurt.
NPC Period Information
Before your NPC Period:
Things to bring
- Clothes: Come wearing all black clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. This is a non descript base layer under the NPC clothes we provide. They will get sweaty, dirty and have makeup on them by the end.
- A water bottle. We will have water and cups, but they can run out. Also Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Things to Not bring
- Anything you mind being lost: Things in Ops tend to be picked up by other NPC’s assuming it is a game prop. So don’t bring your characters gear or a favorite jacket…
What to expect
- You will come to the Ops building where you will be Out Of Character.
- You should check in with the Marshals so they know you are there, put your name on a sticky note, in the color the Marshals direct you towards and put it on the whiteboard.
- You will be asked to play many roles over the next few hours to help provide an amazing experience for others. These will not be like the character(s) you would normally play, so please keep that in mind.
- You will put on different costumes, masks, makeup, hats and carry many weapons. Each of these new characters will be explained to you by the Marshals.
During your NPC period:
This is Part of the Experience
Dystopia Rising is a Role Playing event, and NPCing is a chance to stretch your RP muscles and try on some new hats. Non Player Characters are a great chance to try out a new way of acting, a new way of walking, a new way of talking.
Get a fuller experience by stepping in to different roles. If your character loves combat, try NPCing as a coward, if your character is weak try NPCing as strong character. These are great chances for you to try new things with no consequences. We are here to play pretend and NPCing provides a great opportunity for that.
Know your Marshals
Before you go out with a group of NPC’s make sure you know who the Marshal going out with you is. Learn their name and what they look like. You might need to find them in a chaotic combat situation.
Playing to Lose
Being an NPC is like being an extra or background character in a movie. So while sometimes a main character will get killed by a random bad guy the death is about the main character, and not upstaged by the extra.
So while we aren’t going to be ineffective, if you see a player slide on their knees across a muddy field to stick an adrenaline shot into their friends chest even if you can smash them give that player the moment to feel like the hero they are.
Ask questions before you go out.
The Marshals will do their best to make you informed of what it is they want you to do on the module, but that doesn’t mean they will hit every point you need. Let them tell you the plan and if after there is still a question, please ask it. Don’t be shy, I’m sure several others are thinking it or will also like to know. Also if you are not comfortable with something, tell the Marshal.
Take the time to eat, drink water, and rest for at least an hour before your time on NPC. If you run until you are exhausted, don’t eat, or drink for 12 hours then head to Ops for NPC you are going to become sick, exhausted, or hurt yourself. You will know what time you need to be there so at least an hour before take the time to be ready.
The Marshals will ask you to get involved in mods, put on makeup and costuming, but only you know what is best for you. If you hurt yourself on the last mod and they send you back out on a combat mod, or if they ask you to get dressed up like a zombie and you are allergic to makeup it is up to you to speak up. The Marshals will be more than happy to accommodate your needs, but can only do so if they are made aware.
Stick to the script
The Marshals will have prepared a story ahead of time and you are the actors. However you may not know the full story. So while we want you to be creative and make fun choices don’t change the story. If they tell you to tell the town a character just died don’t decide it would be more dramatic to say they are immortal and coming to kill them all. If you do that you are likely ruining the future story the the Writers have worked hard to write.
Get off the stage!!
When you are dead (sorry but it is inevitable) remove yourself from play. This means out of sight for the other players. This is to remove you from combat as well as from the eye line of the other players.
When you put your hand on your head this is a symbol that you are Out Of Character, but a better indication for this is if you are just not visible. This doesn’t mean you need to run a mile off, look for your Marshal and try to be low key. Return to Ops unless the Rules Marshal informs you otherwise.
Your NPC block is a great chance to stretch your role-play skills and muscles, providing an enhanced experience for your fellow players, the same way they provide it for you on their NPC blocks. It is also a great way to get to know your fellow players as people, rather than just their characters. We are excited to see you in Ops!