The Effective LARP Background

When I look through a player’s submitted background for their character, I am looking forspecific things. This guide is designed to help make that as easy as possible for myself as a Storytelling Director and for you as a player.

What goes into an effective LARP Background?

Character backgrounds help provide the storytelling staff insight into the lives and motivations of your Dystopia Rising character. It is how we know about the things that are significant and important to your character. We look for a handful of things in a submitted background which we will spell out here. Try to keep the background to two or fewer pages.
You’ll want to focus these background details on the territory involved in your local game. For Oklahoma, you can have a history that is set anywhere within the Sequoia Wastes. While it’s totally acceptable to have connections and background ties outside of the local game area, it is your local Story team that will have your background on file to review for the potential inclusion in plot. They can bring in elements from Oklahoma (or whatever their local game area is), but don’t have any control over elements from places outside of Oklahoma.

Concern
What does the character care deeply about? Passion helps motivate story. This could be faith, money, family, or any number of things. People that care about things can be motivated to act.

Connection
Connect your character to the larger world of Dystopia Rising. Give them a place where they come from, friends (both PC and NPC) and family back home. Think of brief memories associated with these connections and share the most important ones (as bullet points) through what you put in your background.

Conflict
Everyone has opinions on things. If you’re from the Sequoia Wastes, there’s a good chance you don’t care too much for Final Knights or Vegasians. Maybe you think Pure Bloods have kept all the best things for themselves and forced everyone else to struggle in the wasteland. Characters with strong opinions are characters who get involved with the stories that are happening around them.

TROPES TO AVOID

Sole Survivor
The infection means that it is really hard for towns to be completely annihilated. They can get dispersed or scattered to the wind, but it’s a rare occurrence that truly everyone dies and stays dead. Avoid putting together stories where your character is the sole survivor.

Exhaustively Tragic Backstory
This is Dystopia Rising. Your character lives in a world filled with horrors and tragedy. Absolutely include tragic things that have happened to your character, but include more than that. If you have bad moments, make sure to include some good moments. Give them goals and aspirations above and beyond their tragedy. Give them room to grow as concepts.

Rare and Uncommon Strains

These strains require more scrutiny due to their lower numbers within the local setting. There are additional requirements for playing them. In addition to the requests below, please make sure that you have review pages 57 and 58 in the Survival Guide.

Characters need to be exemplary members of their strain
Rare and Uncommon strains need to fall in line with how they are described in the Survivor’s Guide. They should be a walking, talking archetype of their strain. Please explain how your character not only fits in, but promotes the status quo of their strain.

Characters need to have purpose that keeps themselves and others engaged
What is your character’s purpose? Why do they exist? Please explain how your character will stay active and keep others engaged in your story.

Characters need to forward the story and reinforce the genre of the area
How does your character advance the local story and local genre? How will they enrich the experiences of others? Please explain how your character will advance the story and reinforce the genre of this game. 
 

Written by Will Laymance ST directore