New Player Resources


Starting Out

Interested in joining the Dystopia Rising community? You've come to the right place! Below you'll find a ton of useful information on how to get started, what you might expect at an event, what you should bring, and how to appropriately fit the genre of the post-apocalyptic world!

A good place to start is by downloading the latest version of the Dystopia Rising Survivor's Guide. This guide will not only explain the rules of the game, but also guide you through character creation, and give you an insight into the community we have built! By clicking the link above you'll be taken to DriveThruRPG where you can download the PDF of the Survivor's Guide for free! Hard copies of the Survivor's Guide are available at events. 

While our New Player Guides and other Team Members are available every day online via Facebook, Dystopia Rising: Florida has a new player orientation on Friday night from 8pm until 9pm before game. Even if you are experienced with playing in other LARP games, we highly suggest you attend this new player orientation. This training period is to ensure you know genre materials, rule items, and the unique portions of Dystopia Rising LARP that is different than most other LARPs. This is also a great opportunity to get to know new people, organize for new player training, and have all of your questions answered. Check with the Coordinators at Check-In to find out where the orientation will be held on site. We highly recommend that you arrive as early as possible so that our New Player Marshals can assist you with any needs you may have such as finding a place to bunk for the weekend, familiarizing yourself with the game site, or help with finalizing your character.

About Us

We are the Florida chapter of the networked Dystopia Rising LARP game series. This game takes place in the fictional settlement of Gatorland, a southern gothic swampland paradise with a bloody and often lawless history of violence, backstabbing, and a struggle to survive. The settlement of Gatorland is located deep in the swamps of what was once central Florida, and is now one of the larger footholds of the Rum Coast and the Paradise Isles. Sitting north of the Rat Trap, a feudal society thriving in the archipelago of tropical islands, Gatorland acts as a buffer to the raider filled wilderness that stirs north of the Paradise Isles.  While not a formal part of the Rat Trap and its former King's territory, Gatorland has a sordid history as both an ally and an enemy of the Rat King.

Gatorland is much like the majority of the settlements in the wastelands and lacks a civility the communities that existed before the gall. However, through their own grit and ingenuity Gatorland's citizens have forged a sense of stability for themselves in the swamps. The settlement is usually blessed with the luxury of electricity, and though they change often, laws do exists, though the settlement often struggles to enforce them. As one of the last trading stops in and out of the Rat Trap, Gatorland makes use of the Fat Rat, the currency printed in the name of the Rat King for use throughout the Kingdom.

Gatorland, as a game location, follows themes that combine post-apocalypse morality, old world frontier town justice, and the survival instincts needed for surviving in a world overrun by the undead.  There is an active financial community filled with crafters, traders, and mercenaries as well as entertainers and cut purses.  In Gatorland, faith is also very important, and most of the in-game faiths are represented, though a few maintain a supremacy over the citizen's hearts and minds.

What to Bring

Check-in Materials - While your character sheet is provided for you at every event, you need to bring a singed release form with you to your first event. These release forms are often updated yearly. If you are a 16 or 17 year old new member of the community these release forms need to also be signed by your parent or guardian. The Release Form can be found here.

Food - Pack enough food for the weekend. If your food requires being kept cold bring a cooler as refrigeration may not be available on site, though it generally always is. Carbs and protein are recommended. There are usually informal meals that are hosted by different players in game you may have access to, but that shouldn't be everything you eat! Please make sure you also bring a container for water, since you'll be spending a lot of time running around and remaining active. We are a 24 hour immersion game, so you will eat and sleep completely in character. With that in mind try to keep your food stuffs in genre appropriate packaging. Food in cans can be banged up and have the label removed. Plastic bags can be put inside canvas or cloth bags to hide the plastic.

For more details into appropriate post-apocalyptic food, click below!

Post-Apocalyptic Food Guidelines

Clothes - Your clothing should fit the genre as much as your armor does. While clean, clothing can be made to fit the genre by staining them with coffee or tea, tearing them and sewing them back together with the wrong color thread, adding patches, or finding old vintage clothing that looks likes its been through the wasteland. Also remember that since the game is a 24 hour immersive event you should wear genre appropriate clothes to sleep as well. Not everyone sleeps in their armor, so keep in mind that while your day wear costuming and armor may be genre appropriate, the normal clothes you wear to bed should be as well! If you must sleep out of character for whatever reason speak with the Coordinator Director to make such arrangements to be approved for out of character sleep.

Also remember to bring a set or two of all black clothing for your 4 hour NPC time slot. Make sure what you wear is comfortable, acceptable for physical activity, and able to stained. Things may get messy!

Lodging - Our game site has tent space, bunk houses with heat/AC, kitchens, and bathhouses with showers and flush toilets. While there are generally enough beds available for those that want them, you should pack with the intent that you may be sleeping in an outdoor tent for the weekend. Cots, sleeping pads, extra blankets, and pillows are recommended all year round. There are over 200 beds available on site, each in a building with heat and/or A/C, however some buildings will be claimed by in-character groups and organizations by the time you arrive. Sleeping space is first come, first serve and can begin to be claimed at 3pm the Friday of an event, so making ties with players and characters before game is highly recommended if you want to sleep in a bed and not alone!

Much like your clothing, your bedding and room decor should add to the genre, not detract from it. A bright neon orange tent might be an eyesore for the post-apocalyptic setting, but can be covered with sheets or tarps to give it a more appropriate genre look. Blankets and other bedding should be considered the same way. While a bright pink sleeping bag covered in cartoon kittens would not be appropriate for the setting, something plain colored and utilitarian is much more genre appropriate.

Props - If you are planning on playing a character that trades in scrap, herb, or produce you need to bring a number of bags with you to fulfill requirements outlined in the Dystopia Rising LARP rulebook. You'll need these bags to conceivably carry the items of scrap and herbs. Item cards representing these herbs and scrap may be kept in a small tin or container, but that container must be within the appropriately sized bag. If you are planning on playing a brewer, or a character that uses many brews, please bring genre appropriate plastic bottles with you to game to store liquids in, about 3-8ozs.  With just a little effort appropriately shaped plastic drinking bottles can be found cheaply, often filled with liquids you will need during a DR LARP weekend (we all could use to drink more water!).

Here's a quick list of what you might consider essential at our events!

Here is a list of items we recommend bringing with you to a Dystopia Rising event. This list is not all inclusive, but this is a good start. You are the best judge of your own comfort and needs.  Please consider what additional items you need to take care of yourself, and set the scene for your own sleeping area. 

Signed Release Form, Game Fee (cash or card), Pen.

Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Dental Floss, Shampoo, Sun Screen, Bug Repellent, Deodorant, Prescription Medications (please register any medical needs with the Directors), Towel, Flip-Flops for the Shower.

NPC Clothes (black or dark), Low Strength Flashlight with a Red Gel (if you need one. the light must be red.), Hiking Safe Drinking Vessel, Plates and Cutlery, Sani-Wipes, Change of Clothes For Weather, Packets/Foam Darts (as needed), Contact Safe Weapons.  

Sleeping Bag, Blankets, Glowsticks to Mark Tent Lines.

Make sure your costume is not only safe for running, jumping, crashing through the woods, slipping in mud and swinging combat-safe weapons, but also rugged and cheap. There is no doubt that at some point during a Dystopia Rising event you could end up with fake blood on you and some fake blood stains on your clothes. Do not bring or wear anything to Dystopia Rising that you would be heartbroken to find damaged, stained, or destroyed. Sometimes zombie faux blood splatters make a costume cooler, since it now has history to it; however, if your costume is something you don’t want stained, then don’t bring it. Dystopia Rising is not responsible for the safety of your property if it is broken or stolen. Lastly, bringing expensive, delicate, or meaningful items is a recipe for disaster.

Weapon Prop
Whether you're a gun slinger, brawler, or melee fighter, you will want to bring a contact-safe prop with you.

Starting Equipment

Every new character may come in to play with Starter Gear. There are no cards for Starter Gear. Instead, the tag on the weapon specifies that it’s Starter Gear.

Starter Gear always swings for base damage. This means that Melee automatically do 1 Damage, and Thrown, Bow, and Firearm Weapons do 5 Damage. Unarmed Combat items do 1 Damage but can block melee attacks. Similarly, Starter Armor is always worth 5 Armor Points. There is no way to craft these items. Instead, they are meant for players to get started in the world of Dystopia Rising.

The below list is the items which your character can enter play with. We will provide loaner equipment to the best of our ability, but cannot guarantee being able to loan you everything on this list.

  • 1 Firearm OR Bow

  • 1 Shield

  • 3 Melee Weapons (Any combination of Small, Standard, Two-Handed)

  • 6 Thrown Weapons

  • 1 Unarmed Combat (Unarmed Combat items always come in pairs of two—one for each hand)

  • 1 Starter Armor (5 Armor Points)


We are a community that games, not a gaming community.

We want you to come, enjoy, have fun, and be a part of our community. As a community we have certain guidelines that everyone must follow that are in our rule book. Gender bias, racism, threats, or any other form of persecution and obnoxious activities expressed to our players on an out of character level isn't welcome.

We strongly ask that all of our players leave any baggage at the door, enjoy a fantastic gaming weekend, and keep reality and game separated. We are all here to have an awesome time doing a hobby we all love and we do our best to keep the focus on that. 

Our community guidelines can be found on the Network's main webpage here!

Dystopia Rising Community Handbook

A great way to get involved in our community is to find us online! You can find links to our various online presences below!

Dystopia Rising: Florida Facebook Page - a central hub for announcements, events, and important information about the Dystopia Rising community!

Dystopia Rising: Florida Facebook Group - an anything goes place for community members to share stories and picture, post memes, and have fun!