New Player Information
As a new player it is important to know what to expect when coming to a Rift Fallen Event. It is important to be prepared as you will be on site for three days and the immersive nature of game can be intense.
Packing well is the first step. You will want to bring plenty of socks and underwear, garb and costuming for 3 days as well as possible spare pieces in case of splatter mod. In the Summer you may want to bring swimwear for event sites that have swimming locations (Such as the Florida site).
You will need your own bedding. You are entitled to a bunk in an air conditioned/heated cabin but you will need your own sheets, blankets, and pillows.
You will need to bring foam, boffer combat safe weapons appropriate for your character as described in the combat section of this book. You will also need physical representation props for certain IG items your character carries.
You may choose to purchase a meal plan during your pre-registration for the event, a limited number of additional meal plan slots will be available at check in as well, but they may go quickly so pre-registration is your best bet. If you did not register for the meal plan, or you simply want some extra snacks you will need to bring that food with you. Food containers, like all other visible props should be made genre appropriate so as to add to the immersion during gameplay.
You will want to arrive in the afternoon or early evening on Friday. Check-in will be at 7pm followed by opening announcements at 8pm. Game on will start at 9pm. You will want to be settled in before game begins. If you have signed up for a setup shift you will need to be able to arrive early to help getting the site setup and ready for game, this will be coordinated with your logistics manager.
Settling in requires that you go to a player cabin and find an empty bunk. Player groups are encouraged to bunk together and after the beta game we will have online bunk sign ups so that that can happen consistently. Stow your gear, set up your sleeping space, and lay out your props. Adding a genre feel to your sleeping area is highly encouraged and worth Brownie Points. Just remember that nothing damaging or permanent can be added to the cabins and you are responsible to police your own materials and cleanup when you leave on Sunday.
Once you and your crew are settled in its time to check in.
Check in will take place at the logistics office. For the Florida site this is the central dining lodge at the head of the village. Bring your player number with you as well as any methods of payment required. If you fully pre-registered online you shouldn’t need any additional payments here. Once you check in you will be given a copy of your character sheet, as well as any Currency or Rumors your character is eligible for based on your skills. You may also register for specific NPC shifts at this time. Registering for NPC shifts during pre-registration or during check in helps staff plan and pace the weekend better.
Once you have checked in all that’s left is to wait for opening announcements. Game will open with a player gathering in a central location. At the Florida site this is the amphitheater in the center of town. Opening announcements are very important so try not to miss them. The staff will announce the current star sign, explain the shared madness that may afflict you that weekend, discuss any special environmental effects in place for that event, make announcements on safety and real world environmental conditions, talk about campground policies, and set up plot for the weekend.
Once opening announcements break they will disperse the group and game on will begin 15 minutes later.
Once game is on the event is in full immersion mode. Unless specified otherwise you are in character at all times. You are eating, sleeping, talking, crafting, and fighting as your character. You will be expected to stay in costume at all times during the event and no cars or modern vehicles are allowed on site after game on.
You will be required to do 4 hours of NPC time each event. You may separate this time into two, two-hour blocks, or take all four hours at the same time. You may also do additional NPC time to earn Brownie Points. You may choose to do these anytime you like but if you pre-register a time during check in you will gain some extra Brownie points.
When you go to do an NPC shift leave your weapons, gear and any other bulky costume props at your bunk under a black sheet. You may choose to wear all black clothes for your shift and that is very helpful, but if you do not want to change out of an elaborate costume there will be robes available to go over your clothing for the role of a cultist. You will need to take NPC shifts for any production skills you are using as well as for the use of certain influences, you may also take NPC shifts to earn Brownie points. It is recommended but not required that you block your shifts together as much as possible.
Game will be physically, mentally, and emotionally intense. Remember that self-care is important and if you need to step out of game play alert a member of the safety team and they will escort you to an out of play area to decompress.
Between the hours of 3am. and 8am, on Sunday the game will refrain from any mods that are plot intensive, require cabin raids, or are particularly loud. This is the recommended time for players to get some sleep. We know that you will need to drive, sometimes long distances, the next day and for safety and health reasons we are instituting this quiet time. For the integrity of immersion please don’t reference this period of time in any special way in character.
When game ends at noon all combat and hard roleplay must end. As so as game-off is called please end all of your in character conversations and return to your bunks to drop off any weapons and other bulky costume pieces.
We do ask that at 12:15 you attend closing announcements which will be held at the same location as opening announcements. These announcements will include information on the upcoming game, any necessary information that players need to be aware of about things that happened during the weekend and it is here that you will divide up into your cleanup crews. Each player is expected and required to aid in cleaning up the camp. It is our goal that we leave the camp cleaner then we found it. We will walk the trails, clean the public spaces and the kitchen, and otherwise pick up.
After you finish and get signed off on your cleanup shift by the supervising marshal you can start cabin cleanup. It is expected that you make sure your cabin is clean and nice looking before you leave site, a marshal will come by and check off that the cabin is clean when you are done.
Once cabin and camp cleanup is finished the event is over. Many players like to go to a local restraint for “Afters” to decompress and debriefed after an event. The location of “afters” will given out during closing announcements.
We recommend that after getting a hot meal at “afters” you go home and get some rest. Its time to start planning for the next event.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
- An exciting weekend event of action and horror roleplay from 8pm Friday till 12pm Sunday
- A bed in an air-conditioned cabin with a restroom and shower (hot water)
- A community focused on respect, consent, and shared storytelling
- Access to a conveniently priced meal plan prepared by a professional chef
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING
- A costume which meets the minimum requirements of the Auspice you choose to play
- Plenty of socks and underwear
- Bedding and toiletries
- Food for the weekend (if you did not purchase a meal plan)
- A container for water
- Adherence to our Code of Conduct and Campground Policies
- A willingness to throw yourself into the immersive horror of the Mythos
Additional Items (optional/recommended)
- A black Sheet
At a Rift Fallen event you play a descendant of humanity living in in an alternate dimension called Outland. You have been changed into a new type of human, called an Auspice, by the magic of that place and the influence of the elder gods.
Outland is very dangerous and filled with horrible monsters, weird aliens, fanatical cultists, unknown technology, dark magic, and much more. It will be up to you to gather resources, defend yourself and your settlement, build what you need to survive, and make allies in this new, strange realm. You may choose (or not choose) from among many Dogmas and Organizations to belong to. Your character is highly customizable and your decisions your own.
The game is intended to be emotionally intensive, scary, and action packed. We look forward to having you out!
Costume and Prop Genre Guide
It should be the goal of our theming and your costuming to present a GROUNDED but simultaneously pulp action version of this game’s reality. We see mohawks, studded leather, repurposed sports equipment and supercharged gas-guzzling custom cars, alongside cyborgs, aliens, magic, and high levels of technological advancement. That being said, our goal is to create some amount of continuity and consistency in this crazy world, as the game’s Dying Earth genre does have a certain feel and look. There is advanced technology, and magic to be sure, but for the most part the world is one where resources are scarce, and most everything is made from something that came before. Please refer to the Costume an Genre guide section of the 2E book.
When creating costuming of any level of technological advancement remember the 3 D’s. Dirty, Distressed, and Decayed. Everything from advanced power armor, to scrap blades has had to be built from scavenged materials. New production would be rare and very expensive given the inability of humans to expand into large areas. Anything crafted brand new in these conditions would be made in the style of cottage industry products, and areas would likely have to specialize in one thing.
No story or idea comes from a vacuum. As writers we draw from, are inspired by, and take themes from the works that have come before us, in order to create something that is both new and also anchored in its creative ancestry. The list below is a list of settings from which we drew inspiration when developing the aesthetic of the Rift Fallen game. We would hope that you can use a list like this to inform stylistic choices in costuming and character design so as to create the illusion of all the characters sharing the same vibrant living world.
The Works of H.P. Lovecraft: Obviously, a great deal of the games story elements draw from Lovecraft’s writings, but so does much of the aesthetic. 1920’s Occultism and its various accoutrements are integral to the game. You will find seances, tarot cards, belle epoque parlors, Ouija boards, and spiritualism prevalent throughout the game. Most of the ‘Fancy’ clothes in game have a 20’ or 30’s feel, as does décor.
Mad Max: Core to the Dying Earth Genre is that the game has a primarily post-apocalyptic tone and vision. There are some new products being created but the vast majority of items, clothes, gear, and building materials have been scavenged from the remains of Rift Fall and either repaired or repurposed to make them useful. Nothing gets thrown away, nothing gets scrapped, because there is not enough to go around, and no one can afford to waste anything.
Destiny: This video game had a great aesthetic for showing how high-tech sci-fi artifice can exist in a post-apocalyptic, resource scarce environment. Rift Fallen is not just a standard Post-Apocalyptic game, instead there is a strong vein of sci-fi, alien influence, hyper technology, and things from beyond our world running through it. This game’s art shows that visual well, putting worn cloaks around scuffed up power armor and battles against robots and aliens happening in the ruins of former cities.
Firefly: Space Cowboys, Sci-Fi with a classical aesthetic, the 3 D’s. This show is a fantastic example of the look and feel we want to go for. The crew’s costumes might be a bit too clean and well maintained, but the theming and feel is perfect.
Defiance: A huge influence on the social design of the game, this television show from the early 2000’s shows a fallen Earth where humans have to live alongside strange aliens with different customs, all trapped on this new world. It also manages to mix the themes of high technology, spiritualism, and resource scarcity together in a mélange that works.
Fallout: One of the most popular post-apocalyptic games it shows a world where humans are trying to rebuild, often repurposing things from the past, but also trying to develop something new. In addition to epitomizing the 3 D’s, it shows how the focus on survival can create new cultures and social groups that may seem harsh, but have a place in this new world.
Into the Badlands: Another show that shows civilization rising after devastation and takes a pseudo-mystical bent towards the possible future. The wild visuals, strong costuming, and recycled world themes work very well for Rift Fallen, as does the culture of a brutal world the show portrays.
Borderlands: A worn torn, apocalyptic world where over the top warriors fight weird alien creatures. Another genre that blends the high tech with the torn down, many of the visual elements from this game make a good inspiration for costuming and character theming. Obviously do not try to represent cell shading effects, but the ideas and aesthetics can work.
Waterworld: A classic film about an environmental disaster that forces humans to live in an alien environment they were not made for. Many aspects of this film speak to the genre. The recycled and repurposed nature of everything they have is a great 3 D’s example. The safety of the Atolls is a good analogy for the protection of a Nodensai. Also, the profound benefits of mutation to better survive a hostile world. With a few extra fishy features, the Mariner is an excellent archetype of Merrow.
Farscape: One of the great space operas, this show was a huge inspiration in terms of wild alien design, strange alien customs, and the idea of building a universe where humanity was not central, but rather just one cog in a larger wheel and the larger universe was epic in scope.
Shadowrun: A great inspiration for certain Cyberpunk themes and also magical ones.
Shadowrun has cyberware wielding street samurai alongside magic slinging street shamans. The run-down world embodies the 3D’s and does so while blending a variety of elements.
A few notes on the more difficult costume choices.
Ferals, Merrow, and Cusps present a unique challenge to aesthetic costuming. Ferals are drawn psychologically from well written werewolf movies, though we allow other apex predator forms. These films, and likewise the RP of the auspice represent fears relating to control and human identity. Civilization is a precarious balancing act between repressing and acknowledging our base, animalistic impulses. Werewolves personify the tension between our rational, controlled selves and our savage inclinations. The Feral aesthetic also represents these themes. Feral garb should be a blend of the civilized and the wild, the animalistic features are noticeable and immediately identifiable but still humanoid. Ferals do not have wolf heads for instance, but they do have wolf like features. The Teen Wolf TV show on MTV is a good visual reference for that brutal, savage, predatory appearance.
Merrows are truly mutants. Based loosely on the Deep Ones from Lovecrafts stories, they blend the mammalian with the aquatic, which is unnatural and disturbing. A Merrow is not a mermaid, or Aquaman, they are spawned creatures whose features should unsettle the viewer. When costuming for them, remember that they spend much of their time in the water. Unless they can drop it because they don’t care, most of their gear and clothing should be something that they could swim in. This does not need to be taken to an extreme, keeping in mind that Merrow are very powerful swimmers and are magically efficacious in the water, but the Mariner from Waterworld is a good example of how armor and clothing can be done in an Aquatic way.
Cusps pose a unique challenge to design. A cusp must be visually and immediately distinct from any other auspice. How you do that is up to you, but it should make sure to fit with the overall themes of Rift Fallen. This can be a difficult task and you should consult your ST to aid you in developing this outfit.
14 Rift Fallen Character Stories to Build From
- You are a Ghoul, but you were not supposed to be. The finest Astrologers, and Alchemists were employed to ensure that your birth was under the stars of Hastur so you could one day take over leadership of your prestigious Vaulted House. Your parents always cared for you, but they could never truly hide their disappointment at your mutant features and what they saw as a lack of business acumen. You left home as soon as you were old and strong enough to do so, making your own way in the world. You know the Vaulted world but can’t ever be a part of it.
- You are a Bastion from the Mildon Range on the border of Khem and Yann. You come from a family of traders that took their mountain crafted goods south through the desert in the winter and traded with the River Villages. This winter however, a schism in time space opened on your camp and your family was swallowed up. It took the last of your Denari but you paid an astrologer to track the schism and she told you that it would open back up in three years at the Nodensai around New River. You have come to live here until your family returns, as schisms are never absolutely precise, and you want to be here for them when they arrive.
- A tribe of Deep One’s once lived in the lake of Vath on the isle Orlab. Twenty years ago they were wiped out by Pax Romas Sagitari clearing the area for a settlement at a nearby Nodensai. One of the soldiers found a Merrow baby in a kelp weave crib, seemingly being cared for by the Deep One’s. That child was you. Saved from the shrouded and raised in the Empire, you now travel on behalf of your duties, but you have always felt different because of your dark past.
- You were not born to privilege, it was thrust on you as a teenager. You were born to a Revenant tribe of scavengers, and unlike your parents and sister, you were born a Vaulted. You grew up on the road, tracking wars, crashed ships, and fallen Nodensai for whatever you could find and selling them to wealthier settlements. Your mother was a spirit speaker who could commune with the dead and her clients were among the wealthiest of the Vaulted families. One day, when you were fourteen, a Vaulted Lady of high birth saw you in the back of the tent. She came back later with a bag of coin and spent long hours talking with your parents. The next thing you knew you were in a carriage heading for the city of Hatheg. There in a fine mansion you were dressed in the finest yellows and taught the ways of the court.
- Thralls live in their dreams. You do, as does your family, but for them, the dreams are different each night. For you they are the same. You dreamt of a town on a river, a hot place with wet summer winds and only a few days of winter. You dreamt of a great library, and a huge scrapheap like a mountain. You dreamt of paper ships and yellow skinned giants burning it to the ground. You knew the people there almost like your own family. It took you years to discover the nature of the place. In the far eastern city of Asegnon, such a place was far to distant and strange to be real, but you kept asking merchants until one knew the answer. You left the next day on a journey longer and more dangerous then anything you could imagine, but you made it.
- Sometimes being born a starstrange can be a hard life, but not for you. Being the only Sophisine in your Road Tribe was a great position to be in. The Outrider’s respected your technical skills, and there is no better place to learn languages and lores then out in the badlands. Your tribe has travelled south from far norther Sarkomond on the steppes of Leng, and crossed the Lomar divide, braving glacial drifts and acidic seas. You raced down the forests of Yann and drove on through the storms in the valley of Narthos. Your tribe was mostly whole even as they entered the Stony Desert of Khem and would have stayed that way had they not mistaken the mouth of a ancient slumbering Dhole for a good shelter. The engines and smoke must have woken it from its aeons of rest and as its mouth closed everyone you loved was gone in an instant. You were out on patrol or it would have gotten you to. You raced away as the creature came for you as well, but your wheeler had enough diesel to get away and you kept driving till it broke down for good outside a small trade town called New River.
- As a Feral you grew up on the hunt. Deep in the forests of Parg at the foot of Mount Lerion you lived, hunted, and fought with your pack and tribe. One day however you came upon a crashed skyship of some kind, the bodies inside looked alien, and the console was flashing the image of a large map. It was Outland… all of it, and it was bigger then you could have possibly imagined. The power depleted minutes later, and you sensed the building pressure in the engines, so you ran just before the ship exploded. The next few nights that image haunted you, and over the next few months you decided that you could no longer be satisfied just living as a hunter. You packed your meager belongings and headed south, catching a ride on a river barge and landed in New Rover. Here you are determined to learn everything you would need to know to become a true explorer.
- The ‘Free Sisters’, the great cities of Nir and Ulthar, are known as the twin bastions of human civilization in Outland. Historically they were of the Pax Romas and now independent. You grew up in the fields outside those walls, a Planter, and farmer helping to supply the great cities with food. That was until the fateful day that your plow accidently killed a wandering cat. The one law everyone knows in the Free Sisters is that to kill a cat is death. As soon as it died you heard the horns. So, you ran, and you kept running, leaving your farm and your prosperous life behind you. Sometime ago you ended up in New River and knew you were far enough away to try and stop running and settle down again. It’s a small town, but they have good fields, and at least there are no laws about cats.
- You born under the wandering star, an Outrider and adventuring nomad. So it suited you just fine that you spent most of your youth and young adulthood as a pirate on board the Airship Vindication which sailed the vast skies above the Cerenarian Sea to the North. It was a grand live living on the high winds, taking what you needed form the unsuspecting minions of the Dukes, and spending that coin in the finest drinking establishments the world had to offer. One day however that all changed. The ships navigator fell ill to the crawling fever and died days later, on the day he died the ship ran afoul of a special vortex and was torn to pieces in an instant. Somehow, through an Outrider’s luck, or a god’s curse you fell straight through the center of the maelstrom and were shunted through its rift. You landed in this little town called New River. There are ships here, and plenty of pirates… you might as well make the best of it. The Bar isn’t bad either.
- You were born a Solari in the deserts of Cuppa-Nombo east of the great pyramids of Gol’thoth. You were a dancer and tale singer for the tribe and often you would wander off alone to search for new stories to tell. You often felt the wind and stars would whisper them to you like waking dreams. One night, on such a walk you saw a light in the sky a shade of blue you had never seen before. You followed the light and it started to dance in the sky. It led you through a forest of stone, petrified trees rising out of the desert sand like a painting of a true forest done in yellows and browns. There you found a temple, long abandoned. The temple hummed with the same blue light. Unable to turn away you walked inside. The interior was a great pool of crystal-clear water and in that water you saw a face… someone you had never met but felt like you had known forever. They were walking past a dock and a signpost said New River. Somehow you knew you had to find them.
- Awakened don’t often become soldiers, but you have wanted this life since you were young. Raised in the Temple you knew from a young age that your calling was to be a warrior against the dark powers of the Elder Gods and their twisted minions. You trained hard, pushed down the feelings of anger and locked them out, and made your way through the grueling training to become a warrior. You were unafraid of the fight that was to come. That lasted until the attack. Your Nodensai was swarmed by fierce predatory creatures, mostly human bodies but with worms coming out of their faces. In your soul you heard each of those being crying out in sorrow and pain, the worms that had infected them and turned them into these monsters could control them but could not silence their fear and loathing at what they had become. One by one you had to kill them, watching the light drain from their eyes as a kind of mercy. Your commander told you that you did the right thing, but you could never get those screams out of your head. So you left. Maybe one day you could find a cause to fight for… but it was not there, not where those memories lay.
- As a Borean from the frigid city of Daikos in the far and frozen North you often read the tales of the great battles brought to you by traders from the south. One tale always stuck in your mind. The fall of the Pax Romas. How could an Empire that had stood for centuries fall in a decade of war, and who was this new Empress who was raising them back to heights of greatness. You learned the merchant trade as you got older, and decided that if you had to travel, you might as well go seek out this history. The last stand of the Pax Romas was on the isles of Panarea in the Southern Sea. Word was the survivors of the war fled north across the sea and settled in a river town in Khem. The heat was going to be a problem, but you knew you could handle it, so you booked passage on a ship going south.
- As River born Revenant you have always lived in New River, a resident of the scrapyard. You have lived a life of scavenging and trading. One day, when sifting through an old shipping pile you found a corpse, an old one, long dead. The trash around it was singed and compressed, which meant he obviously ported in here… which at the time would have been under twenty tons of scrap. He would have been crushed or suffocated. The only thing that confused you is why he would not have resurrected. In his hand he clutched a book titled “The Secret of Death”. The book was burnt and mostly destroyed. You could only read one line. It said “…and thus the greatest undertaking we can achieve is to learn to truly die, not the flase death this cursed world grants us, but true slumber eternal” Something about it has gnawed at you, and so you may have to turn from scavenger to scholar if you are to figure it all out.
- Eregot from the Mondath valley across the middle ocean and past the Mountain city of Poltarnees where dwells the Cthonic Lord Frashith. Your family served Frashith with fanatical loyalty. A cult of Shib-Karanoth known as the Fleshweavers, they took slaves and captured monstrosities and bred new horrors and beasts to serve the Duke. From their spawning pools and flesh pustules came some of the Duke’s most destructive and maddening servants and the cult took great pride that theirs was the greatest house of spawning in the Duchy. Unlike the other cultists, no matter the indoctrination, you could never stomach it, you believed there must be something better. When you were old enough to be assigned your own duties, you spoke to one of the captured slaves and she told you of the Auspices, living free of the Elder Gods on the Nodensai. You were not able to free her, but you managed to escape and flee across the Middle Ocean to find a new home. Auspice culture is still foreign to you, and you try to hide your cultist origins knowing the stigma that is attached.
We want to give special thanks to a few of the amazing people who helped this project become a reality.
- Our Creative Team: Eric Hart, Will Ferguson, Marc Luthi, Rion Bergquist, and Regal Jaxson
- Our Tech Team: Steven Brown, Dawn Rubrecht, Youlanda Daffron, and Mark Jones
- Our Artistic Team: Grace Ferguson-Hart, Cassandra Wiertz, and Bryan Zarono
- Skilled Contributions From: Dawn Rubrecht, Neal Moore, Matt Collins and Youlanda Daffron
- Thank You to our Kickstarter Founders and to our Playtesters
- Dawn Rubrecht
- Youlanda Daffron
- Dave Conekin
- Dawn Janssen
- Cait Robin Conekin
- Neal Moore
- Cassandra Wietz
- Paige Keane
- Adam Underwood
- Jenny Underwood
- Jalend Fangboner
- Maggie Fangboner
- Cathy Johnson
- Jon Johnson
- Steven Kulick
- Charles Kulick
- Kelsan McKenzie Conekin
- Lola Brate
- Abi Brate
- Ramon Gonzalez
- Crystal Deleon
- Robert Buffington
- Lisa Buffington
- Myranda Genovese
- Richard Miller
- Cali Crisler
- Terry Crew
- Dylan Williams
- Manny Hishmeh
- Ben Sunshine
- Seth Christopher
- Kenneth Parker
- Leah Honaker
- Kyle Chapman
- Cory Carter
- Mary Anne Pertierra
- Joshua Evans
- Steven Brown
- Will Ferguson
- Emily Chonsky
- Travis Chonsky
- Todd Rix
- Ryan Kelly