Dystopia Rising: Florida Genre Guide
While the far reaches of what used to be America calls what's left of the Southern coast the Rum Coast, and the remains of what used to be Florida, the Pain Handle and the Paradise Isles, life is very different from "paradise" for the survivors that actually carve out an existence there. Frankly, there is little "paradise" at all, outside of the simple life on the rivers and coasts, but how simple can life be when pirates and zombies can end it all on a daily basis?
Dystopia Rising: Florida is based in the small but growing settlement of Gatorland, the namesake capital of the area north of the Rat Trap proper called the Gatorlands. Named not only for the plethora of gator wildlife but also the pre-apocalypse paraphernalia and "Gatorland" bill boards that still stand the test of time. Here survivors act as a buffer between the aggressive raiders and bandits to the north and the Rat Trap's island territories to the south. Its location on the southernmost coast of the mainland provides not only a potentially highly profitable and defensible location, but also a highly desired location for anyone wanting to take that profit for their own. In the thick swamplands to the north groups of raiders occupy the lands of the Pain Handle. Bandits and other groups, many of whom follow the dark ways of the Final Knights, seek to move south off the mainland and to the island chain of the Paradise Isles. There they hope to find glory, profit, and spread the word of their Dark Gods. To the south, the archipelago of territory home to the Rat Trap is ruled with an iron fist by the Rat King and his subjects. From the massive stone and twisted metal structure on the highest point of the largest island, the king is flanked by his court of Dukes and Duchesses through which he dominates the waterways and trade routes. And of course, all around lie the dangers of mutated wildlife and the ever present zombie hordes waiting in the muck of the swampland. The primitive settlement of Gatorland is far behind the times even by post-apocalyptic standards. Most residents, a great percentage of whom are the hearty Mericans, Natural Ones that thrive within the swamps, and Rovers willing to run ships through the gauntlet of the Rat Trap, forge a life for themselves with mainly primitive means. Most survivors here have never seen a motor vehicle of any sort that wasn't a boat or ship of some kind and equipment that can't be fixed with a set of old wrenches, some oil, and blood, sweat, and spit is just unheard of. Much of the technology that is and once was has been washed away under the waves, sunken to the bottom of swamps, or lost behind hordes of zombies, raiders, pirates, and aggressive wildlife.
Dystopia Rising: Florida controls the post-apocalyptic landscape of the Dystopia Rising universe within Florida. Members from as far west as Pensacola, FL as far north as Atlanta and Savannah, GA, and as far south as Fort Lauderdale and Miami, FL participate in the Dystopia Rising experience through the settlement in Gatorland.
In the much more primitive swampland that Gatorland calls its home, the apocalypse has granted a number of blessings or hardships upon the survivors there...depending on who you ask. With much of the former civilized world that existed pre-apocalypse buried under the risen seas, and the majority of what is left controlled with an iron fist by the Rat Trap or the hordes of zed and raiders in the Pain Handle, technology and culture has not advanced much beyond the red-neck, back-woods Merican south. Motor vehicles that don't float are unheard of, and the metal husks of what used to be land vehicles are nothing more than obstacles to travel and scrap metal, artifacts of an era long forgotten. The tales of Vegasians that have made it this far are laughed at and referred to as tall tales of a drunken Westerner. Outside of the Rat Trap, electricity is a luxury only dreamed of by fanatical Darwinists, and fuel and hooch are as valuable as any currency. A steady bow, a machete, a fishing pole, a trusty old rifle if they're lucky, and a canoe are often all that a Merican needs to survive in the swamps...other than a good working still. As a result, society in the swamplands is equally as primitive. Camps of Natural Ones are common amongst the swamps, gathered on areas of higher ground, subsisting on the hunting and fishing of the area as well as the fresh water that still bubbles up from the springs. Most "civilized" settlements are little more than bartering markets and bars to trade hooch scrapped together by Mericans out of old metal husks, burnt out buildings, and whatever else they might be able to make a bar-top out of. Simple agriculture does thrive in the rich soil, but outside of Gatorland most viable farmland is controlled by the vassals of the Rat Trap. However, with the iron grip of the Rat King spreading ever further north, and the Raiders of the Pain Handle growing ever more bold and venturing further south, these survivors are caught between a rock and a hard place if any hot blooded Merican has ever seen one. With doom brewing on all sides and a seemingly endless swamp and a vast ocean between them and any other civilization the survivors of the Gatorland need all the help they can get. Are you bold enough to help forge a survival out of this Swampland Paradise? It may just be a Paradise yet...
The characters that face the post-apocalyptic wasteland in Gatorland will encounter a number of themes in the game that will focus their experience in the zombie filled world. These themes are dynamic and are expected to change with each season of Dystopia Rising: Florida to better cater to the direction the players within the game are taking their survival. These themes are broken down into more detailed major focuses below.
• Action, or the summation of physical combat, hardships, and challenges that players will face, will involve matching your swords, crack shots, and trigger fingers against the hordes of opposition. This is a major focus of the Gatorland game as the survivors have to carve out a place for themselves in the swampy wasteland. Action will likely remain an element of the overall focus as the seasons continue. On a rating of 1-5, Action would be rated a 4, a significant portion of most games.
• Character Development, or the personal dilemmas and choices that your character will be faced with on a regular basis, is also a primary focus of DR: FL as characters that manage to survive develop into themselves and help develop the game around them. On a rating of 1-5, Character Development would be rated a 4, a significant portion of most games.
• Darkness, or the level to which survivors are corrupted by the dark forces in the wasteland around them, will have a general focus as the game develops. As the forces to turn survivors in a darker, less humane, direction have been present, survivors have begun to dig deeper down the rabbit hole and see the darkness stare back at them. On a rating of 1-5, Darkness would be rated a 3, or a have a general presence in some games.
• Death, or the rate at which survivors will be faced with the death of their character, will have a minimal focus as the game develops. Characters will be allowed to develop and for their presence to help develop the game around them. It is assumed that as the Darkness level of the game increases as the game grows, that the Death rating will also rise. On a rating of 1-5, Death would be rated a 2, or have a minimal presence in some games.
• Drama, or the ceremonies and "grand story" experienced by the survivors will be a relatively focused point for the venue. Much of the focus concerns setting up the social and political structure of the wasteland settlement, including the development of the assorted Faiths, development of survivors with their Strains, as well as any political factions that develop amongst the characters. This is allowed to develop naturally amongst the characters and not be heavily forced by the Staff. On a rating of 1-5, Drama would be rated a 3, or have a general presence at most games.
• Intrigue, or the inter-character politics and negotiations between survivors, will be ever present but not overly pushed by the Staff. Much like Drama, this is allowed to develop naturally, and assisted by the Staff with NPCs only when necessary to keep the game flowing smoothly. Unless the characters take that route themselves, Staff will not be pushing for a great amount of PvP politically within the game. On a rating of 1-5, Intrigue would be rated a 3, or have a general presence at most games.
• Manners, or the social etiquette and peer pressure forced onto the characters by the environment, will be at a minimum during the game. Given the mostly back-woods,
primitive, Merican dominated culture espoused by the setting, social etiquette will take a back burner during most encounters. On a rating of 1-5, Manners would be rated a 2, or have a minimal presence in most games.
• Mystery, or the enigmas, puzzles, and in-depth investigation that survivors will be faced with, has grown more relevant in stories encountered by the survivors. While
problems, questions, and mysteries generally arise, much of the story in DR: FL has grown darker and more mysterious as its players have delved deeper down the rabbit hole. On a rating of 1-5, Mystery would be rated a 3, or have a general presence in most games.
• Pace, or how fast that stories emerge, develop, and are resolved, is left to unfold naturally as the players see fit. Surviving in a swampy settlement and dealing with the opposition on all sides however often creates a very fast paced environment where problems and opponents arise and are dealt with quickly or the settlement will fail. This fast paced environment should be encouraged by the level of Action the game promises and keep players interested and entertained as the setting and game develops around them. On a rating of 1-5, Pace would be rated a 4, a significant consideration of most games.