These patches are a way for players with strong likes or dislikes towards certain sorts of role-play and experiences while LARPing.
What does that mean mechanically? In short, nothing.
These patches allow people to communicate to fellow players and Marshals what their interests and likes are. In a smaller LARPs players would get to know each other before role-playing, making it so that tools like communication patches aren’t necessary. However, Dystopia Rising is a series of networked branches that has thousands of participants. Each individual Branch, while all a part of the Dystopia Rising Universe, has different themes and focuses that create varied experiences. So, with players traveling from game to game and cross-chapter large networked events bringing in hundreds of players, providing more tools for communicating strong feelings about certain aspects of game have been developed
The idea of “Strong Feelings” about certain aspect of game should be kept in mind when choosing to wear a Calibration Patch. Calibration Patches are for players who have developed incredibly strong opinions and thoughts both for and against certain aspects of play. These patches are not intended to be an a la carte “how you can role-play with me” icon, but instead a tool for communication. These patches are not opting out of aspects of the Dystopia Rising game and in no instance, can be used to avoid IC consequences. These patches do not in any way, shape, or form change the experience of Dystopia Rising other than communicating your likes and dislikes to other players to help participants to steer the story and role-playing experience towards a better shared experience.
Does it have to be a patch?
No. Patches are offered as an option for local Chapters to carry in the instance that they find their local game has a large demand. Players should feel free to make their own patches, tags, and patches as long as they follow the standardized “OOC- ORANGE” background, bright red “X” if it is something you dislike, follow the “rocker patch” style so that it is easy for players identify, and are simple one or two word communications. Again, these Calibration Patches are intended for use for people with EXTREME likes and dislikes regarding a certain part of game.
Does this have to be used just for things you dislike?
No. Here is an example of a patch that players could wear if they are looking for a more combat intense, more character fatality, and more deadly forms of play. Players who choose to steer their actions based on this patch may not play nice when it comes to who to save and who not to save. This patch may result in “Killing Blow Active” NPCs to choose to go after the person wearing this patch instead of someone not wearing the patch. No Quarter is your Hard Mode patch where you are letting the marshals and other players know that you are looking for a more intense, and deadlier, experience for your character. Please note, this patch does not alter the lightest touch combat system in any way.
Do I have to wear the patch all the time?
No. If you need an event where people dial it back regarding heavy emotional role-play, putting on a patch saying you aren’t interested in Heavy Role-play can help you remind players that you are looking to avoid in character drama that you normally embrace. Another example is if you are wearing a No Quarter patch and your Psion Assassin Remnant loses four Infection in a period of just as many hours you can take the patch off.
Do you think this will break our immersion?
No. The ability to pretend to be in the apocalypse is done while ignoring an array of real world items. Even if these patches cause 1/10000th of a degree of immersion breaking, it will be worth it to help players communicate with each other to avoid unpleasant engagements and unwanted shared experiences.
Some Key Patch Phrases
CvC – Without the “X” means you enjoy player character to player character tensions and conflict as a staple of your gaming experience. With an “X” means that you prefer your experience to be player character verses non-permanent characters (NPC) instead and do not enjoy player to player tension as much for any number of reasons. This is not a way to opt-out of CvC, but instead works as a good communications tool between players to help steer away from CvC. If someone who hates CvC engages in antagonistic role-playing, pushes an experience towards CvC activities, or acts in a way that taunts players towards a CvC experience then Marshal NPCs can identify that player to assist them in understanding, steering, and redirecting their characters actions away from CvC tension for the future.
Emotional RP – Without the “X” means you enjoy a wide spectrum of emotional role-playing experiences and desire to dig into an extremely deep depth of role play beyond what is normal in most LARPing experiences. Diving into deep emotional trauma, complicated emotional experiences, and basing the reason why you LARP on emotional experiences is a good reason to wear the Emotional RP patch. With an “X” you are expressing to other players that if they are looking for incredibly intense, deep, and hyper emotional experiences that you are not the person they should be looking to engage these experiences with. If you find that drama, deep emotional connections, and pushing the limits of emotional experience are items you avoid in larp, an X version of this patch might be for you.
No Quarter – The No Quarter patch does not have an “X” option. No Quarter is a clear communication to non-permanent characters, other players, story teller marshals, and anyone else who chooses to steer their gaming experience based on these Calibration Patches that you are looking for a more brutal, deadlier, and more intense experience than what is normally found. The No Quarter patch is not a patch to signify that you like a challenge, but instead is a communication that you would like your character to exist on a potentially limited life-span timer. There is no “Anti-No Quarter” patch since the base threat level of Dystopia Rising varies based on situation, and can only be adjusted upward.