LARPing Basics

Out Of Game Areas

Out of Game (OOG) areas include the parking lot, bathrooms, cast areas, and places such as the kitchen or storage areas. No roleplay, fighting, or other kinds of in-game activity will occur in these areas. In the case of module buildings and ‘out of town’ areas, players must be brought to the site by NPC hooks before any roleplay or fighting may occur. If you are passing by one of these module areas and see cast members preparing, ignore them and pretend you have not seen anything, and look away.

Player and Cast members’ cars, tents, and personal items stored under the bed or in marked Out Of Game storage are to be left alone. Food, clothing, personal items and anything that is not specifically an in-game item may be stored in or out of game during game hours. In-Game items may not be stored in an out of game location during game play hours ‘until it is needed’ as in-game stealable items must be in play, stored, or hidden in an in-game area during an event.

 Appropriate Costuming

Jeans, sneakers, or t-shirts with real world logos or pop culture references are not appropriate costuming, nor is intentionally copying the Carcer Corp Guard uniforms.

Costuming is largely up to you. In the cultural packets you will notice that many cultures of Mirhanan are distinctive in their dress, food, and social nature. If you choose to play a character from a specific culture and want to pick garb to reflect it, we are happy to help you design an outfit or three.

Headwraps, tattoos, body decoration – in the real world there are dozens of cultures that wear similar things, and in fact cultural appreciation and sharing of style is a wonderful thing to see. However, as a reminder, we are still in the real world. There are some articles of clothing and decoration that hold religious and cultural significance to actual people and therefore should not be used for character garb or costumes. This includes but is not limited to: Native American feathered headdresses, South Pacific Islander style tattoos, and religious regalia. If an accessory is unacceptable, we will require that you remove it. If an article of clothing is unacceptable, we will require that you change out of it.

            In addition, blackface (and brown, and yellow, and red), and other themed costuming which reduces an ethnicity or culture to a caricature or stereotype is not acceptable at Sustainable Collapse.

Please do not utilize yellow, orange, or purple armbands as part of your chosen costuming. These color armbands should remain metagame symbols for safety reasons. Please see the relevant non-combatant and content opt-out sections for more information.

Character Appearance and the Art of Cosmetic Body Modifications

While there are a myriad of sentient species that inhibit Mirhanan, the only one available to players is Human. That being said, not everyone who is human necessarily looks that way. With advances in medical technology, cosmetic body modifications became common. Modern takes on old techniques for branding and tattooing were adopted.

What this means is, you are free to use whatever combination of makeup and prosthetics to create any look for your character that you want – with a few caveats.

First, it must not violate anything in our code of conduct. No blackface, no genitalia attached to your forehead, no poorly thought-out cultural appropriation. If you have questions about whether or not something could be considered inappropriate, please submit photos of your design to characters@sustainablecollapse.com

Second, you are committing to this appearance for the life of your character. Body mods are considered permanent and can only be changed through in-game means. This is important to keep in mind. As spectacular of a look you can create, are you going to want to repeat its application every event?

Lastly, while you are free to give yourself the appearance of an elf, dwarf, or any of the common fantasy or Sci-Fi species, there may be in-game consequences for taking that appearance.

Metagaming

            Metagaming is defined as using knowledge learned Out of Game to influence your In-Game decisions and actions. To a certain degree, Metagaming is inescapable. We all see dead spirits walking past us down the trail, so we know in an Out of Game way that there were lots of people who died up ahead. We all see which cast member is playing certain NPCs, and we all see when a ‘totally normal weapon what are you talking about?’ has a magical aura sticker on it.

            We can address these examples in different ways. A tried-and-true acknowledgment of seeing ‘spirits’ is saying a cold wind is blowing past. Whether you take that cosmic hint to turn back, or choose to keep going is your own choice.

            Know that as with any LARP, Cast members pull double and triple and “I’m certain they’ve been cloned” duty. This means that while Farmer #3 may be played by “THAT Cast Member”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are secretly the BBEG Villain.

            And likewise, when we see objects with out of game clarifying stickers, there is no shame in having a ‘gut instinct’ about not picking it up, but know that playing it too safe means you miss out on the fun.

            There are certain tags that will activate once read, so if you do see a clarification tag on an item, know that if you read it (if you open the potion and look at the tag, if you read the paper on the cookie, if you read the tag on the spooky urn) that counts as having activated it – unless you have a specific ability that allows you to probe the item’s aura for information without disturbing it.

For food-based items, simply accepting the item is NOT the same as consuming it and activating the tag. If you choose to mime eating the item you will read the tag and take the effect, but can then pass off the food item to another person to eat without fear, as you have taken the effect and it is now spent.

What I Learned Casting Is…

            Nothing! Well, we learn many things like fighting technique, game mechanics, skill and spell effects, how to fall down, and hopefully how to make lifelong friends. However, any plot information, monster weaknesses, skill sets, or conversations you are privy to as a cast member is Not something you are allowed to share with players.

            For example, if you are a cast member on a Module with a limited number of specific players, you are not allowed to talk about what that Mod included to anyone that was not there. But you are also not allowed to talk to any of the players that participated about any information that they did not already have.

            If you are a cast member out in the game world proper, and involved in a public plot or fight that feasibly ‘everyone’ should have been involved with, you are still expected to not discuss details of the encounter such as: faction or affiliation of said NPCs, monster weakness, any meta information you were given in the cast center.

            When in doubt, don’t discuss things you learn while casting. We never want to ruin the thrill of surprise for our players, nor do we want to accidentally spread information before it’s time to be released.

            Things that are okay to talk about: how specific skills that are in the rulebook work, any information that is on the website or in the rulebook as free knowledge available for anyone to access, and funny stories that you have permission from the people involved to tell, as well as ‘that one time you kicked your friend’s butt as a haunted mushroom NPC’.

Forgery and Counterfeit

            Without a specific skill or ability that allows your character to make counterfeit or forged items, you are not allowed to pass anything that you have created off as an item that was supplied by the Staff.

Information Hoarding

LARPing is a Collaborative adventure. Not a single person can do it all themselves – as much as we might like that sort of glory. The plots and modules that the creative team will write will depend on players working together with each other and with NPCs.

You are not obligated to share information you learn with other players, but we encourage you to do so. We are putting that information into the world for a reason! Not only is it probably important to a plotline rolling out, we are very proud of the work we do and want people to enjoy what we’ve written.

            That said, you and others will spend time, effort, and even in-game resources to learn lore and new information. We urge everyone to stretch their roleplay legs and find reasons to give and take information. Simply demanding information from others for the sake of knowing may not work very well.

            Always be aware that the way you learned something might also not have been the only way the Plot Team put that information out into the world. There are seldom single-pronged information deliveries – expect other resources to become available if other people are working toward the same goal. Likewise, that seemingly insignificant snippet of roleplay you had might just be the big breakthrough another group was looking for, leading to you getting to crack the whole thing wide open so long as you share what you know.

Hooking a plot is also a delicate balance on the Staff end as well – we want to make sure that things that go out into the world connect with the players working on it; oftentimes the same players will end up working on certain things. This does not mean that they ‘own’ that plotline.

We must share and work together, and allow new community members the chances that we had when we first came to the game.

Personal Plot

You will hear us say time and again that the Plot Team does not write “Personal Plot” – but what does that mean? It means that when you submit your character sheet, we will not go out of our way to create things that tie into your backstory.

However, if while reading your backstory we discover a tantalizing tidbit or two that will work as a good hook for plots that are already in place, then you might be the character an NPC comes out looking for.

Including Others

We were all new once. New to Sustainable Collapse, and new to LARPing in general. Be welcoming to others, invite them into your conversations, and include them in your plans.             To new folks: dive in! You’ll never know what you’re capable of without testing the depth of the river with two feet. This is a world of magic and possibility – I promise that any mistakes you make can be fixed… or they’ll become a cool new plot point if they’re big enough.