Story Update: Vegasia Burns Once More

The sun rose and the world looked on as the slick sides of the Black Pyramid in Vegasia were found spray painted with We Built This City across its side.


The gates shut tight.

Several days passed before anyone heard from those inside.

The first voice from inside spoke: Commodore Walter. Our questionable host to a not so pirate radio broadcasting right out of the heart of Vegasia. How long can one man survive off of Red Mist and Spirit Walk?

Few rely on the support of Vegasia, or rather, few that fight the good fight. It seemed like the chaos inside the city of filth had some massive positive impact to our friends out in Hell Dorado. Someone wasn’t getting the reinforcements they were looking for.

But before you celebrate too much, take your chances on Part 2 of Abigail Corfman’s Twine focusing on The Resistance in Vegasia.

Rumor is, the next fight involves us bringing it directly to the slavers in our own back yard.

Bryan Barletta
Featured Events Q1 2019: WA, FL, & IN

A long time ago, Dystopia Rising use to run featured events at each branch, once a year. The Network was smaller and these events pulled people together from across the country to experience a local games story. We’re here to reignite the excitement that was behind those experiences as we double down on the importance of a visible, nationwide story.

Our focus going forward is to work with a few branches to help them tell a local, focused story, that ties in directly to the National story, which currently is Revolution to Evolution, our path to end slavery and the lead up to our first national event of 2019.

Washington - Infection Farm

Infection is a trait integral to the strains of humanity, without it they would not survive the harsh world of the post apocalypse, nor would they rise again from certain death after visiting the Grave Mind's chill embrace. However, everyone knows you can only escape death so many times before the Grave Mind claims you, a number etched in stone by the strain you were born to... but what if it wasn't?

The Iron Works has long been working on a way to grant more infection to their top officers and officials, making them effectively immortal, and all reports say it's working as assassination attempt after assassination attempt fail to remove key personal permanently. The Resistance has made the call to two unlikely groups in Undersea to work together to solve the problem: The Doctors of the Final Plague, a cabal of Fallow Hope Doctors and Graverobbers, and the Holy Engineers Union, a team of top Darwin Researchers and Scientists.

Together they just might get to the bottom of the Iron Works' plan, but they need the help of a local community known as the Cascadian Rendezvous to establish a field laboratory, collect samples, and finally conduct raids on the Iron Works' operation itself. The deepest secrets of the Iron Works will be confronted and revealed at.... the Infection Farm.

February 22-24
March 15-17

Florida - Regicide

Long Live the King they keep shouting, down the streets, from the roof tops, and all across the Paradise Isles. The Rat King. He's ruled the Paradise Isles with an iron fist for as long as most can remember. You'll be hard pressed to find someone that knows of a time that he wasn't judge, jury, and executioner over his...subjects.

His Kingdom of stone and twisted steel was built on the backs of the Irons, who continue to slave away for the prosperity of the Pure Bloods and the Kingdom, but no longer! The King signed his death warrant when he forged his alliance with the Iron Works. The Sainthood of the Rusty Lantern's and the hearty sailor and pirates of the Conch Battalion, with the support of the Sunken Saints, are at work in the shadows all across the Rum Coast planning an end to his reign.

The Gatorlands play a crucial role in their plan, and the Lantern's night of long knives can only succeed through the bravery and sacrifice of those in the Gatorlands. If they work together, and the Lantern's plan succeeds, they may just bring an end to his tyranny and free the entire Region from his tyranny. Regicide...long live the king!

February 22-24
March 29-31

Indiana - We’re The Army

For years the Iron Works have held power in the Waste due to their innovation in technology after the Fall. There is a darker side though and that is their unwavering position on slavery as well as the experimentation on strains to create a better slave. This is why a war is coming, a war to liberate and to end slavery across the Waste because all deserve freedom.

February 22-24
March 29-31

Huh….they all overlap for their February event…..

Bryan Barletta
Story Co-Creation - #TheGlowRises

Last week, we asked you, the players of Dystopia Rising, to help us tell the nationwide story leading up to Uprise 2019. For the past few months we’ve been sharing directly with you the story of the world as its happening outside of your local settlement, providing you content to bring into your experience and change everything around you. The results have been absolutely amazing.

But the story created with the national team of directors is not what makes these stories great. The aspects we bring into play are the catalysts, the responses, and the reactions to what it is that you do. They are directed and redirected by the decisions you make, the actions you take, and what passion you show us. The more you talk about, theorize, and create relating to these kits the more we have to work from and build with.

Together we will build new stories and take the world into new directions... you just need to help us guide the ship. Post your videos. Make your blogs. Share what you have learned and what you have seen and with those reactions we will again take things to a new level.


Bryan Barletta
Story Update: Bloodshed in the Northern Tiers

Conflict in the Iron Works has been heating up on both the inside and out. While the Trade Union has been funding attacks externally, an organic group has risen up calling themselves The Uprising. They managed to get out a radio broadcast from the inside.

The settlement closest to the Iron Works, Steel Horse Crossing, seems to have their finger on the pulse of how to hit the Iron Works where it hurts. While you might not be able to get into that settlement until March, they’re definitely having an impact.

Requiem, another settlement struggling to keep warm for the summer, sent their Postworker to the front lines as well. They’re hearing about Grave Robbers inside the Iron works working overtime to produce Lazarus Draughts to make sure the top soldiers are staying alive to do the most damage to those fighting for freedom. The fight is just starting and its not going to get any easier.

Down in Crystal Creek, they Misery Bay Subway has a clever plan to replace fresh food with your spoiled produce and herb in an attempt to starve out the slavers they’re up against. Click here to get involved!

Bryan Barletta
Story Update: Postworkers Draw the Line!

Slavers in the Iron Works took note quickly of the actions of the Postworkers, which resulted in these being plastered across the wastes:

It takes a lot of guts and a lot of stupidity to attack Postworkers. There are a lot of evil people in the world, but this is a line for many of them. But for those that were considering it, both the Trade Union and the organization referred to as Murder, Inc. made their thoughts on the matter public. Rumor is, Saltwise across the waste got a secret letter directly to them from Murder, Inc. calling in their debts.

The letters above stopped pretty much everyone in their tracks. The visibility that this conflict was starting to get has made it something we can’t ignore anymore. The fight was about to escalate and those willing to take on the bounties would find themselves unwelcome in most Settlements going forward. Postworker Jake learned first hand that not everyone would be smart enough to listen to reason.

And while all of this was happening, Dana Mangles of Crystal Creek found herself in the unlikely situation of freeing a bunch of young, enslaved Unstable. Many of you remember the brutal battles against their parents, but can we hold this against the children?

What we can say is that the Postworkers, known for their neutrality, have found a cause that they are standing behind fully, making it tough for the Post Office to exist as we know it. Over the next few weeks, you’ll start seeing a transition into the Public Works office as our brave Postworkers head out to fight the good fight while providing those of us who need it a neutral ground to do their business.

Bryan Barletta
Mechanics and Storytelling

You may have noticed that since Downfall 2018, we’ve ramped up the amount of content that we’ve been putting out on the National page. The biggest change we’ve made has been providing that content directly to you outside of a game weekend. We wanted to make sure that no one missed out on any aspect of the story unless it was by choice. A weekend at game isn’t very long when you consider everything your local Branch has planned for you on top of all the amazing stories that you bring to the table yourself.

So here we are, a few months and a lot of questions later. Let’s dive into it.

What is considered “In Game”?

Every single piece of content posted by the Dystopia Rising LARP Network Page regarding in game content can be considered in game. Why can and not should? That’s up to you. Dystopia Rising has been running for nearly a decade and the concept of trains, mail, newspapers, and radio broadcasts aren’t new concepts. However you choose your characters exposure to that information. Maybe its more fun to find out about it in game? Maybe you want to add it into your own newspaper and let it fuel your story. We’re giving you this information to entertain you and enable you to experience it however you like.

How do the radio broadcasts work?

While similar to the question above, we wanted to specifically address the radio broadcasts. All of them have had video or imagery included with them, which is weird for a radio broadcast but basically mandatory for traction on social networks. Without it, they’re boring and easy to skip over, so we decided to add video content to them. There shouldn’t be anything specific in the video content that isn’t said directly in the spoken word aspect, so we ask of you, the player, to focus on the audio portion.

What does that mean about the source?

Since the information can be considered in game, that means the source should be considered characters. Some of them may even make an appearance at Uprise 2019.

These characters, just like your characters, are providing information from their perspective. Whether that’s the bias of a Baywalker Poster Worker or the madman ramblings of drugged out drunken radio host out of Vegasia, not everything they say should be considered fact. We’re all here to tell a story and flat information is pretty boring, so keep in mind that the information you’re digesting may be full of bias and (gasp) lies.

What can I do with this content?

All of the content you hear on the broadcasts or the posters and newspaper clippings can be brought into game. We always recommend you check in with your local Branch beforehand as there’s likely some cool tie in potential if to explore this content on a local level. If you have Wheels of Steel or an approved music apparatus from your local Branch, feel free to ask them if you can add that content to your playlist. Even cooler? Add this information in your own words to your newspaper or yell it across town. This type of information adds the most to the network when more people buy in, so we’d love to see how you uniquely do so.

Uprise is about good defeating evil

In our first blogpost, we cover that we built all these evil things to be punched in the mouth. Since then, some players have dug into that side and enjoyed being the evil. We’ve set a hard line for evil to no longer include any aspect of slavery with Uprise 2019 for players and to be phased out of any content around that time as well. So what does that mean for your evil character at Uprise?

Good to go concepts

Fall into one of the examples below? You’re all set to participate in Uprise 2019.

* Your character is good or neutral and you’re here to kick butt and take names.
* Your character is evil, but not that kind of evil. At the end of the day, there’s lines and slavery crosses them.

Other concepts?

Maybe your character doesn’t sound like one of the examples above but you still want to attend Uprise? You’ve got a few options in the time leading up to the event, including exiting your character from that current stream of role play or ending that characters story.

National events have hundreds of people focusing on a specific story and such a small amount of time even though its a whole extra day. The truth is, we can’t give your personal story the attention your local branch can. We also have hardline identified that Uprise is specifically good vs evil and the end of the slavery concept. Entertaining player participation in the evil side of the conflict is possibly the most hypocritical thing that we could do, so we’re going to thumbs down that idea and help you find closure in a place that knows you best.

Characters that have not progressed into one of the above concepts will not be welcome to play at Uprise 2019. We recommend that you reach out directly to your local Branch by submitting a Plot Request to make sure that your specific situation is addressed before we migrate completely away from Slavery as a concept in Dystopia Rising.

As always, thank you for being a part of this crazy awesome adventure that is Dystopia Rising. We’re excited to continue telling this story with you. Our next blog post will address co-creation for not only Uprise but Dystopia Rising in general. These stories only get better when we all tell them together.

Bryan Barletta
Revolution to Evolution

Dystopia Rising is a networked Larp with a decade of story told over 20 branches across the country. Thousands of people play Dystopia Rising each year local, regionally and even nation wide. Every year, we run two National events, Uprise and Downfall, as a way for the entire Network to come together and experience an event together. This year, we want to improve the experience and we want everyone in the Network to be able to participate, whether they can physically attend or not.

The first way we’re aiming to do this is by utilizing social media to directly tell you, the player, what is going on in the world that exists between your local settlement. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to experience our Instagram Stories or Facebook Videos showcasing the Postworkers from many local branches so that you can feel more connected to the living story that is being told through the branches running monthly events.

Beginning in December 2018, we started weaving in the National Story: Revolution to Evolution. You can read more about what sparked the content for this story in the previous blogpost, but the focus of its execution is to give you a strong reason to want to participate in the story that is going to change the Network and give your character justification for joining us at Uprise 2019. That reason? The end of slavery across Merica.

Now that we’ve announced Uprise 2019 (April 11-14 2019 in Aberdeen, Washington), we have three more months to further inspire your participation. So, how are we going to be doing that?

National Media

We will continue to be posting media on Instagram and Facebook telling this story directly to you. For a long time, much of Larp has been run really close to the chest, but we find that Collaborative Storytelling creates a stronger environment where we all feel involved, and isn’t that why we do this instead of just playing a video game all weekend? We have a few creative executions planned with video, audio, imagery, interactive experiences, and research based ama’s that we plan to introduce over the remaining time, and we hope you’re excited for it.

Local Involvement

Regardless of the size of the town you as a person live in, there’s aspects of the greater world that just don’t make it into your day to day life unless you choose to bring them into your life. One of the best tools we have available to us as event runners is the Player Plot Requests. We encourage you to submit Player Plot Requests to your local game about the National Story, specifically identifying your interest so that they can work with you to tell the story that you’re looking to experience. While many of us are over the Moon (DR: The Moon still not approved) with the story, maybe it’s not for you and that’s ok. Your local event runners have our full support on weaving this story into their local landscape and we’re excited to see how they do it.

Featured Events

There are three settlements across wastes that have specific local investment into the story that will drive us to Uprise. Through local and national collaboration, we’ve built three event arcs at each of the following branches that provide use of cannon factions and concepts at the local level. If you’d like to directly change the world on its way to Uprise 2019, we highly recommend you make time to visit the following branches for the dates listed below:

In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more information about the story at these branches. Can’t make it? The recap after each event will be woven into the National media so that you can still experience how the world is growing.

Player Created Story

All of the information posted on Facebook and Instagram is considered In Game, received through Radio Broadcast. The video component is only there to make it more visually appealing on Social Media. You as a player are encouraged to bring this information into play and let it drive your roleplay and further define the setting of the world around you. The best storytellers are the players, as you are constantly weaving your own narrative with your characters history and those around you. Use this information to grow your character or ignore it, the choice is completely up to you.

As the event itself approaches, we’ll be revealing more about what to expect your experience to be for Attending and Non-Attending. Base on the overwhelming feedback from Equinox and from this past Downfall, we have committed to provide an engaging story to both groups as that is exactly why we’re here, to tell a story together, and we’re very lucky to have the opportunity to do that with all of you.

For live updates as they unfold, follow our Instagram Stories or check for the weekly recap on our Facebook Page.

Dystopia Rising
Story Update: Blue is the New Red

Across Merica, in slaver heavy territories, sightings of blue glow have been reported in the slave compounds. Postworkers from highly travelled settlements started to notice and began reporting in on it.


Good Postworkers know what’s worth digging into. More and more Postworkers were noticing the blue lights, sharing whatever information they could find with each other. Putting their lives at risk to make sure that everyone could hear what they had discovered started to put targets on their back as well.


The big secret is out. The Unstable which we thought were gone are back but different, and they’re being enslaved in the same way as Irons. There’s more to this than we know so far. We have to keep digging.

For live updates as they unfold, follow our Instagram Stories or check for the weekly recap on our Facebook Page.

Dystopia Rising
Talking Bluntly

Let’s take a second to talk bluntly about the subject of slavery and strainism in Dystopia Rising. 

When they were brought into Dystopia Rising, it was intended to be part of the antagonists and the non-agency characters that we as event runners wanted our players to beat the shit out of. They were intended to be parts of the cruel world that everyone in the wasteland could point at and say, “I am a murdering psychopath, but for fucks sake, I’m not one of THOSE assholes.” 

It was written from a place of privilege and a world view of someone in their late 20s. To us it was obvious that these aspects were intended to be the foil which people rallied against. If the player base was getting too focused on CvC and was becoming harmful to itself, all we had to do was bring in one of these assholes and everyone put down their issues with one another to rally together to beat the shit out of facists, strainists, and slavers.

It was a universal truth from where the game was made. These were the people we punch. The world was different. The people we knew to be parallels to this in the real world were hiding somewhere in the back woods and spent their days hating and unable to get out of their own way. Today? They sit in positions of power in public office and have become unavoidable.

The other part of this scenario is that the sections that were written to be the strongholds of the slavers and the universally “bad” aspects of Dystopia Rising were written for an area that we NEVER DREAMED we would have games at the time. 

Who the hell in the Chicagoland or Las Vegas areas would ever want to play our game that we were making in Connecticut? 

Fucking-A. Joke on us, right? 

So, we are at the point where we need to do some hard turning of our ship to take care of our community and to do the right thing. We have players who are being negatively influenced by the fact that the discrimination that they deal with in day to day life is a play-thing in their escape world. We have written entire sections of the map with the idea that they would be heavily antagonistic and now have games in the area where –slavery is hard coded into the genre-. 

So, what do we do? 

We give you the revolution in game that we collectively wish we could see as a social revolution in life. We destroy the foundations of slavery, strainism, and parallels to racism with story and substance. Where you get to WIN OVER THE FORCES OF EVIL. It’s time to break some of the shit we built over a decade. 

Dystopia Rising