I went to a Live Action Roleplay event not too long ago, which went over three days and two nights. it was an immersive post-apocalyptic themed event, which was perfect for me.
This was billed as a resource and group survival driven event, with three distinct factions, which meant we had to depend on each other, and fend the other off, as the situation required.
This LRP group is based in Melbourne and aimed to have a high degree of costume, set dressing and role playing at this event.
We were to delve into the world of After the Fall.
The setting was this:
The year is 2030 and things have changed. The world that we will be playing in is a dystopian American future where corporations have accumulated so much power and influence that the government has been made redundant. There hasn't been a president for 5 years and nobody has really cared. Most of the USA has been reduced to a wasteland as laws are not enforced and infrastructure not supported.
There are fortified cities that are run by corporations and wealthy individuals but they are few and far apart.
Different parts of the country will have unique dangers. There are irradiated areas and parts where chemical waste has caused nasty side effects.
There were a small number of NPC's (Non Player Characters) who swaped roles from time to time in order to provide some plot based encounters for the players to interact with but the intent was that a lot of the roleplaying and conflict will be within or between the factions.
Due to the violent and dangerous nature of the game setting it was recommended that we considered multiple character ideas in case our first characters died or was taken out of play for whatever reason. Sickness, radiation and chemical poisoning as well as a reasonable injury recovery period was expected.
The internal combat system was with un-enhanced NERF-type weapons (decoration was however required) and LRP approved foam close combat weapons. Generally, unless you had representative armour props, two hits would kill. LRP events are based on an honour system, and the system worked pretty well. Brutally so.
Especially when we consider the resources aspect. I'll get to that.
The three Major Factions:
The town of New Hill City
Slowly the groups found each other, banding together for survival. People who wanted to make a future for themselves and not just live in the violence of the present. In their travels they found an abandoned town in Kansas, Hill City.
Taking over some of the buildings they have begun a new life. It is a difficult life on the frontier of chaos but they work hard to make it succeed.
The Soldiers of the True Americas:
Born out of an anti-government
ruthless and accept that not everyone will have a place in the new world.
The Legion of Steel
Nobody remembers who founded the LOS but they have been terrorising the roads and highways of the Midwest for several years now. Due to their violent lifestyle they have an incredibly high turnover. But there are always more people wanting to join and rampage across the country. They take what they want and kill anyone who gets in their way.
I opted for the STA, because I like trying out my kit, have a bunch of it already, and wanted to have a couple of different layouts to run about in, and generally like to see how it works in stressful situations.
The real kicker was the ammunition situation. Even the STA faction, which was military based, had so little ammo that we were rationed only three NERF rounds each. This was a dire situation to be in, especially when you consider the range and hitting power they have, as well as outdoor windage. Fortunately we all had melee weapons as well. I had a dagger and a machete as my backups, as well as a pistol I never bothered to load, along with the NERF rifle I had. I had a scope on it (more to save carrying binoculars than to actually be useful with a NERF gun) and a light at the muzzle end. I took both off when I swapped to my "Coyote" persona.
I wore ATACS-AU as "Ronin" and MultiCam as "Coyote" and I'll talk about that in a future article.
We also all brought gas-masks. I have to say, fighting in a gas-mask is really, really hard. If you have a mask, and intend to use it in the event of a disaster, get it out, and PRACTICE. My "Ronin" character was killed in a bottleneck when blindsided by marauders.
The three factions set up in widely different areas of our site; the STA set up in a wide flat grassland, a circle of tents within a ring of faux-barbed wire, (I camped in my SMr Nube hammock slightly away from the main circle), slightly hidden, because I'm paranoid like that. I wasn't really happy with the wide-open setup we had, but, I wasn't in command ....
The LOS set up in a far distant corner of the site, enclosed by trees and shrubs, and then they build a stockade from pallets and the like, they decorated their area in classic "cannibal ganger" fashion, and it looked a treat. Well done to all of their hard work getting it on-theme.
The New Hill City Townies had the on-site cabins, and rec-hall set up as their town, and tavern, and the difference between cabin-dwellers and tenting-nomads was really apparent. Made for a great feel to the game.
The main push of the game was both survival and resource gathering. This was covered in two ways. Each group was issued "rations" in the form of in-game medical suplies (anti-chem, anti-rad and "healing" meds), random cans of food (beans, spaghetti, stew, fruit-salad) and "non-contaminated water", we even had a jar of Vegemite ). as both our food supplies for the weekend, but also as trade goods. There were also "non-consumable" supplies we were supplied as props.
We could eat well, or be rich, our call.
|Caption by Michael Brady|
There were in-game mechanics for raiding each other's camps, and also "random dropped items" to be found around the site by the organisers.
|Caption by Michael Brady|
It was a really fun opportunity both for characterization, but also for negotiation skills.
We had some in-game hazards as well, from areas of radiation contamination, including water supplies, which made our characters "debilitatingly sick"
Raiders, chem-clouds, a bio-engineered nanite plague and just human nature all played a part in making this not only a challenge, but a struggle for survival.
In the end, we all had a good time, got to run around as cannibal savages or misfit soldiers, camp and cook beans like real post apocalyptic survivors...
I had a really good time, and will be back for more when their second event comes out later this year. I think I will work more on my loadouts, and also my gas-mask operation too, before the event, as well as trying to get a more cohesive feel between my faction members and small unit tactics in the field.