WHAT IS WASTELANDS?
Wastelands is a live-action role-playing game. This type of game is also called a LARP. In it, the players create and act out the parts of imaginary characters, taking part in creating and shaping the story of a fictional location and setting. The choices and actions taken by the characters decide how the story goes.
The Game Master is in charge of keeping track of the story, he also has people who help him run the non-player characters, (NPC’s) and set up things. If you take part in the game, you will probably NPC at least once… This means that instead of playing an independent character, you will act out the part of a less-important, but story- related character for the players to interact with. This can be a lot of fun, in its own way.
Wastelands takes place in a fictional dystopian future, where the premise is that mega corporations rule most of the world, and magic has returned bringing strange things with it. Some of the players will choose to play fantastic creatures like orcs and elves, but there’s plenty of room in this world for just plain humans. Some players may choose to be great magicians, but they will stand side-by-side with soldiers and agents, who may not know magic, but sure as heck know how to use guns. The area of Wastelands is set in a fictional radioactive land that covers most of Ohio, and neighboring states. Though magic and advanced medical sciences allow people to live here, only the poorest and most desperate people do. No one claims all of the Wasteland, and so it is a neutral ground for many powerful factions to sort out their differences. Your character is one of the hardy survivors who scavenges in the Wasteland to get by.
In reality, Wastelands is played wherever the Game Master can organize a private campsite. If you choose to attend a Wastelands event, you will spend one or two days at the camp, living as your character would, and helping to maintain the atmosphere of the game. There is a fee associated with attending a Wastelands event, but it is used entirely to pay for the camp, operational overhead, and necessary supplies. Different campsites have different responsibilities. You’ll have to take care not to damage the site, and clean up after yourself, but it’s worth it for a good game!
Wastelands can be a fun game, but there are risks involved with simulating combat, and running around on strange campsites. You must always remember to be safe, and careful. The liability waivers are there for a reason.
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE GOING TO A WASTELANDS EVENT?
Before going to an event, you should download the rulebook, ask questions on the forum or via email, and make any preparations for the weekend that you can. You should also make sure that you have proof of your age ready… Due to mature language, pretend violence, airsoft safety priorities, mature subjects such as drug use, fantastic horror, and mature themes, participation in Wastelands is limited to people 18 or above.
You should also make sure that you are sober, and in full possession of your faculties before you attend a Wastelands event. Illegal substances and airsoft guns do NOT mix well.
Finally, you must bring the following things;
- The entry fee for the event. (This may be different depending on whether or not you wish to PC or NPC.)
- Proof of age. (Driver’s license is preferred.)
- A willingness to sign our waivers. (You won’t be permitted to play until you do.)
- Some sort of costume. (Any racial makeup or props required for your character, and some fairly sturdy clothes that can take a beating. Maybe a good coat, or something that can represent armor.)
- Eye protection (You NEED some sort of eye protection to play this game. It MUST be covered on the sides, bottom, and top, and fit around the eye sockets. It can be a mask, goggles, or helmet, but it MUST be able to shrug off a .20 airsoft BB going at 250 feet per second. This means complying with ANSI Z87.1 National Safety Standards.)
- A white headband of some sort. (Used for going out-of-game)
- An emergency contact number. (In the event that something really bad happens to you, we want to let your loved ones know where you are.)
- Any required medication. (Wastelands can be a very physical game! Don’t get sick because you forgot your medicine.)
- Any required dietary supplements. (Wastelands makes few concessions for specialized diets. Bring bottled water if you want it, bring your own food in a cooler if you can’t eat what we serve, or make plans to drive out for dinner and return to game afterwards.)
- Your sense of caution. (It’s fun to play with guns, but you seriously CAN put someone’s eye out with these. Even airsoft guns can cause injuries, so please be careful.)
- A thick skin. (Airsoft guns hurt, if they strike unprotected flesh. Boffer weapons can hit illegal areas, and cause pain. Expect to get a few welts and maybe some bruises if you’re unlucky. Airsoft pellets even sting through clothes, so expect a little pain.)
- A positive attitude. (Everyone’s here to have fun! Relax, enjoy yourself, and have fun playing your character! Don’t sweat the small stuff, and do your best…)
You don’t have to bring the following things, but they might come in handy;
- Ear protection (This is not required, but is HIGHLY recommended. Without ear protection, you risk damaging your eardrum or ear canal. And ear hits to the lobe or cartilage HURT.)
- A copy of the rules that pertain to your character. (You don’t have to print out the whole rulebook, but it helps to have something to remind you of how your neat skills work.)
- A cell phone, or other means of calling home. (You can use it in-game, but only to call other characters.)
- Batteries, for use in electronic devices or battery- powered airsoft guns.
- Strips of cloth to use in- game as bandage phys reps.
- An airsoft spring-based or electric gun rated at 250 FPS or lower. (You don’t have to provide your own gun, but you can if you want.)
- A number of packets, if your character uses packet- based attacks. (These are little cloth bags filled with birdseed, and tied off with rubber bands. If you’re playing a magician, you’ll need some of these. If it’s your first game, the Game Headquarters will provide you with a handful.)
- A boffer weapon of some sort. (See the Combat chapter, for rules on boffer weapons. If it’s your first game, you might want to wait until you see a boffer weapon in play… There will be a few good examples available on the course. If you’re playing an adept, you’ll probably want your own weapons at some point.)
- A change of clothes. (Not always needed at the shorter events, but good for overnight events. Also, LARPs have a tendency to get muddy, so it might be good to have extra clothes on hand.)
- Medical supplies. (The Game Master and his or her staff really, REALLY don’t want anyone getting hurt at a Wastelands event, but we know it’s bound to happen at some point. Basic medical supplies, like bandages and antiseptic, might come in handy.)
- Bedding, or other camping gear. (This only really applies if it is an overnight event. Some campsites have bunks, but most don’t have sheets. A sleeping bag is a good idea, though feel free to bring some blankets if you want.
You should NOT bring the following things;
- Real Firearms. (If you bring one of these, we WILL call the cops on you. DON’T BRING REAL GUNS! Or ammunition, for that matter. Or hand grenades, even if they’re hollowed out paperweights. Or anything that IS or WAS a real weapon.)
- Real Weapons. (No swords, no hunting knives, no bayonets, no crowbars, no collapsible batons, NOTHING. Swiss army or utility knives are fine, but be smart. When in doubt, LEAVE THEM AT HOME.)
- Drugs or alcohol. (Airsoft guns and controlled substances don’t mix. Don’t even drink at a Wastelands event. We’ll have fake booze available if you want your character to get drunk, but YOU should stay sober. And if we catch you with illegal stuff, we’ll call the cops on you.)
- An airsoft gun that doesn’t comply with the guidelines in the combat chapter. (No gas-powered guns, nothing with an FPS greater than 250, no obscenely jacked up sniper rifles, NOTHING. Unless it complies with the guidelines, you can NOT bring it to the game. Leave it at home. Also, please don’t tinker with a gun and attempt to customize it beyond its regular strength. Most of our guns are fairly low FPS, so you don’t need to get an “edge” in that way.)
- Children, or pets. (No. Airsoft is dangerous to the irresponsible, or those who don’t know any better. Leave the kids and pets at home, we don’t want to hurt them by accident.)
- Ammunition. (We provide all ammunition used at Wastelands events. Please don’t bring any outside stuff in, we won’t allow it in-game, and it might not be suitable for use with the camp policy.)
- A bad attitude. (This is a game, you’re paying to play. Why waste time getting angry or depressed?)
- Illness. (If you’re sick, stay home. Wastelands is a physical game, you risk making your illness worse the more you exert yourself.)
- Amorous Intentions. (Dude, there are better places to get laid. Trust us. Besides, different camps have different policies and standards, and a display of indecency could lose Wastelands a camp. Get a hotel room.)
WHAT SHOULD I DO ONCE I ARRIVE ON SITE?
If you arrive before the game begins, then find a place to park, and find Game Headquarters. If it is an overnight event, you may also wish to bring your camping gear to your sleeping area. At some point you’re going to want to get into costume, though you can do this after you go through check-in.
At the Game Headquarters, find the check-in line. Read and sign your waiver, and ask questions about the rules, if you don’t understand them. Pay your event fee, and pick up your starting equipment, or any equipment earned in prior events. Give any boffer weapons or airsoft guns that you wish to use, to the game staff for testing and approval and claim them back after they’ve been tested. After that, attend the mandatory safety briefing, and find a way to kill time until the event begins. Once it begins, unless you’re wearing an out-of- game headband, you ARE in game.
Also, once it begins, you MUST have your eye protection in place while you are on the course, unless you’re in designated goggles-free areas. Until the event is over, or you leave the course and get to a safe distance, the eye protection must remain in place. Do not fire airsoft guns outside of designated testing areas until game begins. Wear eye protection when inside designated testing areas.
If this is the first game for your character, you receive free starting equipment.
- 25 Allins for every level of the funding skill that you possess. (You get this money every time you play a game. This is the only item on the list that you receive at every game, the rest are only given to you at your first game. You need not bring all of it in-game, you can leave some in your account, if you wish.)
- One bow, if you have the archery skill. This can be a short bow, long bow, cross bow, or pistol crossbow. It is recommended that you supply your own bow phys rep.
- 4 Bandages, if you have the First Aid skill.
- 2 Units of salvage for every level that you possess in the following skills; Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering, Medical.
- 1 Medical A injection and one Stim injection if you have the Medicine skill.
- 10 units of Medical supplies if you have the Surgery skill.
- 10 units of Salvage, if you have either the Gnomish Repair, or the Repair skill.
- You may start with free melee weapons of any kind that you have a phys rep for. These are not tagged items.
- One armor tag, with a point value equal to the costume that you are wearing.
- If you have the pistols skill, you may start with a free Tier-1 pistol with a 4- game tag, or a free Tier-2 pistol with a 2-game tag.
- If you have the longarms skill, you may start with a free Tier-1 longarm that has a 4-game tag, or a free Tier-2 longarm that has a 2-game tag.
- If you have both the pistols and the longarms skill, you may start with either the pistol OR the longarm. You may not start with both types of weapons.
The game staff will have stock pistols and longarms for you to borrow, if you do not have your own airsoft guns. You are welcome to bring your own airsoft guns, but make sure that they follow the guidelines, and are examined by the game staff prior to check-in. Note that Tier 1 and 2 airsoft guns are only spring-powered, and never electric. If you have an electric gun you must find a Tier 3 tag to use it in play. Finally, you start with a small amount of ammunition, depending upon your skills. This is determined by an ammunition roll, performed in front of the check-in staff. They will provide six-sided dice for this purpose. If you have no weapons related skills, (Archery doesn’t count,) you start with 0 bullets. For each one of the following skills that you possess, you gain one die for the ammunition roll;
- Heavy Weapons
To perform your ammunition roll, find a witness from the game staff, and roll the dice in front of them. Total the amount on the dice. The total amount rolled is how many bullets the check-in counter should give you. Then return the dice to the staff.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I COME TO AN EVENT LATE?
Find a place to park, then PUT ON YOUR EYE PROTECTION before leaving the car. Also put an out-of-game headband in place, and make your way to Game Headquarters. Find someone to check you in… You may have to wait until the game staff are available to help you. You will also get the five-minute safety briefing, and can ask any questions about rules that you like. After that, arrange any camping gear as necessary, stay out of lines of fire, and come in game when you are costumed up and ready.
There will come a time in almost every Wastelands event, where you find yourself with nothing to do. If that occurs to you, then talk to other people as your character, rest up, play cards or otherwise gamble for in-game cash or for fun, or go find something to do. If you desperately crave action, and don’t mind helping out the Game staff, then put on a white headband, go out-of- game, and help NPC for a while. That will provide fun for both you, and everyone else involved.
The goal of Wastelands is to provide fun for all participants. This includes all players… And while we cannot guarantee that everyone will have fun at every event, the game staff would like to guarantee an even playing field more often than not. With that in mind, please remember that the other players are paying to play, as well. They deserve to have fun too. Never be rude to another player out-of-game, and try to refrain from killing or robbing their character without a very good reason. This game wasn’t designed as a PVP setting between the players… In fact, there will be situations where the players will need every available character to deal with the NPC’s.
WHAT IS AN NPC?
NPC stands for Non-Player- Characters. It also refers to the practice of portraying the supporting actors and story-related characters that your own character will interact with. NPC’s can be violent, or they can be friendly, or they can be using you for nefarious purposes, or they can be simply minding their own business. Most of the Game Staff will NPC various parts during the course of a game. Even the Game Master will NPC, too. Players who wish to temporarily NPC may come to the Game Headquarters. You may get rads for helping in this way, so it’s recommended!
If you wish, you can come to a Wastelands event and do nothing but NPC. The Game Master will give you a discount if you do this, and there may be other rewards available, as well.
WHAT DO I DO AT THE END OF A GAME?
When Game Over is called, all players and participants should eject any ammo in loaded airsoft firearms and tuck it away, and fire any shots in the chamber into the ground. The players should then gather up all their in-game tags and items, and bring them to Game Headquarters, along with their character sheet. At Game Headquarters, you will be given the option to help Game Staff clean up the campsite and put things away. This is a polite thing to do, and it may earn you a small bonus. Once you hand in your character sheet and in-game tags, you should count your ammunition and hand it in. Then count your Allins, and hand them in. There are also game-specific items that you should hand in, these are usually marked. If you are using airsoft or nerf firearms or boffer weapons from the Game Headquarters, please return them. Your character sheet and tags will be kept on file for you to use at the next game. Your Allins will be added to your character’s account. After all that is done, you are free to go home from the event.
KARMA AND EXPERIENCE
Karma is a means of keeping score for your character. You get it for defeating enemies, role-playing your character, achieving in-game and personal goals, NPCing, helping with staff, cleaning up the camp-site, and other things.
All of your karma earned goes into the development of your current character. If your character dies, and you still have karma in the bank, then the karma may not be passed on to the next character. Either save it for something big, or spend it if you’ve got it. Karma does you no good otherwise! Karma earned also increases your rad count. Your rad count gets points when you donate items, and do nice things for the players and staff. You may unlock secret character types, or rewards if your rads get high enough…
After the game, you will be contacted by E-mail, and notified of your karma gain from the event. You then have the option of e-mailing the Game Master, and spending the karma to acquire new skills. If you prefer to wait, then you can hold off on spending karma.
To purchase a skill with karma, simply pay the cost for it, in karma points. You may only spend karma between events, or before the beginning of an event.
DO I NEED TO READ THE WHOLE BOOK?
Not all of it. Read the Character section, to put together a character. Read the Safety Rules section, to learn the safety rules in use for the game. You may wish to know your character’s skills, prior to playing a game, so the Skills chapter is good to read. Browse through the Magic chapter, to learn what the various spells do, and finally check out the Combat chapter, to figure out how to fight. The Introduction chapter details the setting of Wastelands, and the Archtypes chapter is useful if you don’t know what kind of character you wish to play. The rest of the rulebook is useful, but the chapters listed previously are the most important to a first-time player.
If you are interested in Wastelands, it will pay off to read the whole book, but you don’t need to know all of it before the game begins. You DO need to know the safety rules, but you will be briefed on these at the start of each game. Most things in the game are pretty easy, when you get down to it. You’ll pick it up as you go along.
This version of the FAQ taken from the V6 Rulebook