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Basic Professions

Combat

Channeler – Limited arcane support by funneling rift energies in combat
Close Combat – For those that enjoy sword and shield combat
Combat Engineer – For those that want to work with thrown explosives
Ranged Combat – For those that enjoy ranged weapon combat
Skirmisher – For those that enjoy Florentine and speed combat

Support

Communications Expert – Language and enigma decryption based on recovered materials
Medic – To assist team mates with recovery during and after fights
Researcher – To decrypt enigmas in the field and decipher ancient languages and history
Resource Manager – Able to buy information, rift leads, and unique single-use items
War Profiteer – An individual who can exchange resources for currency 

Basic Training

If you are out here, and you are facing the unending threats that are coming through the Looking Glass Rifts, then you have undergone corporate sponsored basic training. What this means is that every single Pillar that is at the edge of reality has access to the following skills (will be on your Pillar card in addition to your Pillar focus). From researcher to front line fighter ever Pillar has been trained how to use a basic firearm, small knife, basic hand to hand combat, small shield usage, and trained to operate most basic vehicles. 

Firearm
First Aid
Hand to Hand
Melee Small
Piloting
Shield (standard)

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When you choose to fill one of your Profession Slots with a Profession Card for an event, you get to choose one of the following professions for each Profession Slot you have. On each of the Profession Cards (which is a physical item like a military ID badge) is a listing of all of the skills available to you.

Don't feel like you need to memorize any of this. This listing is provided so that you can take a look over the skills before a game to determine what style of play matches your interests the best. 



Channeler – Limited arcane support by funneling rift energies in combat

Aether Discharge
Melee, Two Handed
Lethal Hands
Enhanced Movement

Close Combat – For those that enjoy sword and shield combat

Shield, Large
Melee, Standard
Iron Hide
Enhanced Movement

Combat Engineer – Able to dissect technology for resources and repair damaged equipment.

Demolitions
Engineering
Melee, Two Handed
Throwing

Communications Expert – Language and enigma decryption based on recovered materials

Decryption
Avoid
Melee, Two Handed
First Aid

Medic – To assist team mates with recovering during and after fights

Medical Assistance
Avoid
First Aid
Iron Hide

Ranged Combat – For those that enjoy ranged weapon combat

Aether Scouting
Avoid
Melee Standard
Throwing

Researcher – To decrypt enigmas in the field and decipher ancient languages and history

Research
Engineering
Larceny
Throwing

Resource Manager – Able to buy information, rift leads, and unique single-use items

Quartermaster Influence
Engineering
Lethal Hands
Enhanced Movement

Skirmisher – For those that enjoy Florentine and speed combat

Florentine
Larceny
Lethal Hands
First Aid

War Profiteer – An individual who can exchange resources for currency

Supply Manipulation
Iron Hide
Larceny
Melee Standard

 

SKILL LIST         

Aether Discharge – Combat Skill. Allows a player to use a visible beam laser pointer (provided by player or by game, check your local game page) once per combat or once per 30 minutes to land a single strike. This beam must remain on a target for two seconds to count as a hit, and in the instance that the beam is off a target for 2 seconds it counts as a miss. To determine if a beam has been on a target long enough, the user of this skill must clearly and loudly say “Aether Discharge” with a single second beat for each word. If both words are said with the beam on a target, the target takes two torso strikes regardless of where the beam is actually highlighting on a person. Targeting a person’s wielded items (such as shields and weapons) counts as targeting the person.

Aether Scouting – Non-combat skill. Allows a player to carry a hand held UV light out of character for the sake of tracking other-worldly creatures. Each level of this skill allows a player to activate their black light for 5 minutes. Not every creature leaves a trail, and over the duration of a weekend the number of overlapping trails may make it difficult to track. Games will use black-light responsive liquid to mark Aether Trails in Utopia Descending. In addition, this skill is a lynchpin skill that is required to engage in a number of mini-games during the duration of play.

Avoid – Combat skill. Allows a player to negate any single strike or wound that hit a player. If a player is shot, hit, or otherwise tagged with a combat safe weapon/effect representation, the player may say the word AVOID to have gotten out of the way of the item which successfully struck. A player may use the skill AVOID once per combat or once per 30 minutes (whichever comes first) for each time the player has the skill AVOID.

Decryption – Non-combat skill. Allows a player to engage in a single cryptologic challenge to unravel information written in ancient tongues, to decode complex cyphers, and to break language codes of the Old Ones. Once these items are decrypted and broken, these players should feel free to share this information in any means they wish (up to and including hosting online library references).

Demolitions – Combat/Non-combat Skill. Allows a player to utilize explosive type weapons, to engage in puzzles relating to demolishing structures, as well as engage in plot provided puzzles to determine what or how an object was destroyed using demolitions. Players with the Demolitions skill may carry one contact safe bomb representation per level of a skill (not too real, you don’t want to get arrested). This physical representation must have three 6-foot-length bright orange pieces of yarn attached to the device. During a combat or 30-minute period, a player with this skill may spend 1 minute placing the device on the ground and spreading the three lines out to represent a demolitions arc. At any point the person with this skill may yell “FIRE IN THE HOLE” to signify that they are triggering the device and doing 3 zone damage to everyone within the arc of the blast, which is outlined by the yarn. The arc of the furthest two pieces of yarn cannot exceed  180 degrees. This skill "resets" every 10 minutes, allowing a player to recover their props for future use. All unspent Demolitions charges are considered detonated at the end of 10 minutes.

Engineering – Non-combat Skill. Allows a player to engage in engineering puzzles and engage in engineering-themed mini games to identify, repair, or craft objects in the field. Given the more realistic crafting times of Utopia Descending, this skill often focuses on repairing or destroying existing materials. Engineering also is used to sit as an engineer in multiple person craft simulations. Engineering is also used in the crafting of Arcane Technology weapons. Arcane Forged weapons are limited life weapons which provide benefits to specific Pillars. For each Engineering skill a character has they may expend Crafting Resources to produce 1 Arcane Technology weapon every 6 hours.

Enhanced Movement – Combat Skill – This skill allows a player to call “Enhanced Movement” so that they can have control of the combat environment they are in. Once per combat or 30 minutes, the user of this skill can call Enhanced Movement, make the “Out of Character” gesture, and take up to 5 steps out of character. These steps cannot take more than 3 seconds to perform. Characters that are engaged with someone who uses Enhanced Movement cannot chase the user of Enhanced Movement until they have taken their 5 steps and returned in character. Enhanced Movement does not allow you to pass through areas that you normally cannot (such as sprinting through a shield wall that has no breaks in it or passing through physical objects) but it will allow you to circumnavigate balance and modular treacherous terrain as long as you are in a safe location after 5 steps. Enhanced Movement IS NOT a defensive or reflexive action to get out of zone or triggered events, and must be used before zone or triggered events are called.

Firearm – Combat SkillAllows a player to use approved ranged weapons during combat. Each of these items must be created to follow local laws and safety standards. This skill is primarily represented by using foam dart, disk, or ball-launching toys. Local games much abide by local laws in regards to the presentation of contact safe guns. This guideline can apply to even bungie cord pull bows in certain areas, so players must abide by local legal guidelines and game safety standards. We highly suggest mass market sold safe projectile toys that have been examined thoroughly by local staff for bow/firearm physical representations. These physical representations should be chosen to represent high caliber, anti-tank style rifles. Firearms used by Pillars are not small, are not able to be wielded with a single hand, and are not a revolver in style. This skill "resets" every 10 minutes, allowing a player to recover their munitions for future use. 

First Aid – Non-combat Skill. This skill allows a player to mend a damaged limb or prevent a character who has entered the “bleed-out” state from dying. This skill requires a character to carry a kit of medical tools (bandages, ointments, splints, salves, fake blood, etc). First Aid users are required to carry a kit, and have a timer in that medical kit to time the usage of this skill. If a player with this skill spends 1 minute using their tools and acting as if they are stitching wounds and applying bandages, after the 1 minute of role-playing the target of this skill must then remain immobile for 1 minute. This skill will stop a character’s Bleed-Out count and return them to 1 point of health on the torso and 1 point to all limbs. This skill may be used once per combat or once per 10 minutes.

Florentine – Combat Skill. Allows a player who has this skill, and either the melee small, firearm, or melee standard skill, to wield a melee small in the off-hand in addition to using their primary weapon. If a player only has the melee small skill, they may only wield a melee small in each hand. If a player has both the melee small and melee standard skill, they may wield a melee standard in one hand and a melee small in the second. In the instance that a Hand to Hand or Lethal Hands contact-safe brawler is used, a player may have a standard or small in one hand and the brawler in the other. In the instance of firearm usage, this skill is required to have the ability to use a firearm in one hand with melee small weapon in the other (again requires that the player have both appropriate skills). Using two firearms at the same time is not available due to the incredibly high caliber and weight requirements for high velocity weapons. While a real world person is capable of fighting with a pistol in each hand, standardized gear in Utopia Descending is closer to firing anti-tank rounds. Even the strongest of Pillars require two hands for this sort of ranged combat.

Hand to Hand Combat – Combat skillThis skill allows a player to carry two 14-inch brawling contact-safe brawlers. These brawlers must be white in color to represent that they are non-lethal means of combat; sometimes you just need to punch something. When engaging in Hand to Hand Combat you must still abide by all safe combat guidelines. If the brawler boffers are hit during combat, these strikes do count as having landed on a limb as the brawler physical representations represent an extension of a player’s body. Strikes with Hand to Hand brawlers are non-lethal. Strikes to limbs, if landing and taking the last point, will temporarily stun the limb. The limb will cease to function for 1 minute but then return to 1 point after that one minute. If the last point lost to a torso is from Hand to Hand combat, the target is considered unconscious for 5 minutes. Nano-technology has the means to repair blunt trauma from hand to hand easier than wounds from high trauma blades or other worldly sources.

Iron Hide – Combat Skill. Every time you have the Iron Hide skill you can take one additional strike to the torso before becoming incapacitated. When you take a strike to the torso and lose a “level” of Iron Hide for the combat, instead of reacting as if you were wounded when struck simply state “Iron Hide”. If you do not state “Iron Hide” then you do not gain the benefit of being able to take additional strikes to the torso. 

Larceny – Non-combat SkillAllows a player to engage in a single physical challenge every 30 minutes for unlocking an object by untying a number of unseen knots, to use a single gator clip with a theft tag attached to it for picking pockets and unlocked containers, or to engage in plot specific miniature challenges to perform specifically described feats of underhanded agility.

Lethal Hands – Combat Skill. This skill allows a player to carry two 14-inch brawling contact-safe brawlers. These brawlers must be black in color to represent that they are lethal means of combat. The skill represents either amazing supernatural strength or some degree of evolved natural hand weapon (claws, bone spurs, etc.). Black brawlers show that the strikes that come from hand to hand combat are to be treated no differently than a weapon or ranged attack. Every time that you have the Lethal Hands skill, you can take one additional strike to the arms before losing use of that arm. When you take a strike to the arm and lose a “level” of lethal hands for the combat, instead of reacting as if you were wounded when struck simply state “Lethal Hands.” If you do not state “Lethal Hands” then you do not gain the benefit of being able to take additional strikes to the arms.

Medical Assistance – Non-combat Skill. This skill allows a player to mend a damaged limb or prevent a character who has entered the “bleed-out” state from dying. This skill requires a character to carry a kit of medical tools (bandages, ointments, splints, salves, fake blood, etc.). Medical Assistance users are required to have a kit, and to have a timer in that kit that is used to time the usage of this skill. If a player with this skill spends 5 minutes using their tools and acting as if they are stitching wounds and applying bandages, then the targeted player will either regain usage of an arm or cease being in “Bleed-Out” state and re-enter play being able to again take their 5 hits to torso and 3 hits to each limb. During the 5 minutes of acting out mending a target, the target and the person using Medical Assistance can do no other actions (no walking, running, fighting, or otherwise engage in skills). In addition, if either the person using the Medical Assistance skill or the person being targeted with the Medical Assistance skill are wounded while this skill is in use, the skill is considered expended and the benefits of the skill are not provided. This skill may be used once per combat or once per 10 minutes.

Melee Small - Combat skill. 25 inches in length maximum from pommel to tip. Allows a player to use a small sized contact safe melee weapon. Please read our contact safe combat section for usage of Melee Small weapons and please refer to local guidelines for contact safe weapon safety and production.

Melee Standard – Combat skill. 35 inches in length maximum from pommel to tip. Allows a player to use a standard sized contact safe melee weapon. Please read our contact safe combat section for usage of Melee Standard weapons and please refer to local guidelines for contact safe weapon safety and production.

Melee, Two Handed – Combat skill. 50 inches in length maximum from pommel to tip. Allows a player to use a Two Handed sized contact safe melee weapon. Melee Two Handed weapons require both hands to be on the contact safe melee weapon for usage, and require that the hands be placed in such a way to ensure that the user of the melee two handed weapon is in total control at all times. Melee Two Handed weapons do not allow for the usage of an off-hand weapon. Please read our contact safe combat section for usage of Melee Two Handed weapons and please refer to local guidelines for contact safe weapon safety and production.

Piloting – Combat/non-combat skillAllows a player to engage as a pilot in air and space combat simulation games. This allows a player to pilot single person crafts, or to act as the pilot in multiple person crafts. This skill often has limited usage during an event, but is very satisfying when it is used.

Quartermaster Influence – In a United Nations’ controlled warzone, sometimes getting exactly what you need quickly takes pulling some strings. With the Quartermaster Influence skill, once per 30 minutes for every level of the skill a player has, a character can go to logistics or to an in-character Quartermaster non-player character to expend Work Chits for limited use resources. The Quartermaster (or logistics) will have a series of items and equipment with standardized costs for each Corporation. Each visit to a Quartermaster allows a single purchase at standard rates within your Corporation list, and higher (bribed) rates outside of your Corporations list.

Research – Non-combat skill. Allows a player to pick up one sealed envelope every 30 minutes. These sealed envelopes, marked “RESEARCH ONLY” are out of character packets of information that are found attached to key objects, investigation sites, and research areas to gain information and clues in regards to story and local world details. Once this information is gained players should feel free to share this information in any means they wish (up to and including hosting online library references).

Shield, Standard – Combat Skill. Shields are circular shields that have a single hand grip and are 20 inches in diameter. This size restriction is due to the fact that the blades and rounds used in Utopia Rising are designed to be able to easily cut steel and slice at a molecular level. These shields are crafted with staggeringly expensive materials that require a high power source to provide protection on a small surface area. This skill allows a player to use a single shield during combat. Shields must be used in accordance to contact safe combat, must be constructed by local safety guidelines, and may not be used as aggressive weapons. Shields are considered to be crafted of the highest quality and will prevent damage from firearm, melee, hand to hand, and lethal hands strikes that strike the shield. Shield, Standard does not prevent damage from Demolitions or Zone damage. Characters using Shield, Standard are incapable of using Melee, Two Handed while using Shield, Standard.

Shield, Large - Combat Skill. Shields are circular shields that have a single hand grip and are 40 inches in diameter. This size restriction is due to the fact that the blades and rounds used in Utopia Rising are designed to be able to easily cut steel and slice at a molecular level. These shields are crafted with staggeringly expensive materials that require a high power source to provide protection on a small surface area. The cost of a single 40-inch contained dark matter shield is greater than many nations’ average GDP. This skill allows a player to use a single shield during combat. Shields must be used in accordance to contact safe combat, must be constructed by local safety guidelines, and may not be used as aggressive weapons. Shields are considered to be crafted of the highest quality and will prevent damage from firearm, melee, hand to hand, and lethal hands strikes that strike the shield. Shield, Large does not prevent damage from Demolitions or Zone damage. Characters using Shield, Large are incapable of using Melee, Two Handed while using Shield, Large. Characters using Shield, Large cannot use First Aid or Medical Assistance while holding onto their Shield, Large.

Supply Manipulation – Non-combat skill. Allows a player to engage in guaranteed black market trades for supplies and materials. This skill allows a player to have access to a Black Market contact who will periodically come into game space to sell less than legal products only to people who have the Supply Manipulation skill. In addition, Supply Manipulation allows a player to go to logistics to exchange resources for one another on a three to one basis once per 30 minutes for each time they have the Supply Manipulation skill.

Three Gold can get One Reliquary
Three Reliquary can get One Gold
Three Gold can get One Crafting Resource
Three Crafting Resources can get One Gold

Throwing – Combat Skill. This skill allows a player to carry and use 3 specially forged dark matter thrown projectiles. These projectiles are spheres roughly 3 inches in diameter that are high chrome and contain small anti-matter generators. If a person has the skill Throwing multiple times, they may carry more thrown projectiles; for example, a character with three instances of the skill Throwing may carry 9 projectiles. Most people are capable of lobbing a rock or tossing a ball. However, when dealing with supernatural creatures with innate resistances, thicker hides, regenerative abilities, and locational force shields, being able to throw a baseball doesn’t cut it. When fighting with thrown weapons a person needs to be able to throw a hatchet at high velocity and have pinpoint accuracy to ensure the head lands between segments of chitinous exoskeleton. You need to have the knowledge of how to throw a javelin with enough velocity that it will puncture in vital areas instead of grazing in non-vital locations, and launch razor sharp knives and darts into vital areas of the body. This skill resets every 10 minutes allowing players to recollect their thrown weapon physical representations for future use. 

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Utopia Descending mechanical design allows for the same skill to be overlapped between different Pillar and Profession cards. As a player plays the game longer and longer they will be able to add more profession cards to their stack during an event, and, with that have the same skill multiple times.

Some skills are single use skills where you get a set usage of the skill per 10 minutes (combat skills) or 30 minutes (non combat skills). Most medical, crafting, and Aether based skills function this way. Other skills are ongoing skills where you gain access to using a type of equipment without limitation to duration of use. Most weapon skills function this way (save for those with limited uses like throwing or demolitions).

At no point may a pillar have active access to more than 10 levels of a single skill. A pillar may have more than 10 levels of a skill in their total character card set, but, any levels above 10 uses are considered only for equipment use instead of active skill use. Example: During a combat period of 10 minutes the highest grade combatant can only use "Avoid" 10 times. A character with throwing can not have more than 30 thrown black-matter devices.

When a player gets multiple uses of the same ongoing skill, they do not gain additional uses during a 30 minute period the same way that single use skills work. Instead, having multiple levels of the same skill allows for the player in question to have the ability to use higher grade, in game crafted or recovered, equipment. This equipment, often times provided by the local game for use outside of the CZ, provides different physical and mechanical bonuses without requiring the players to know more skills or advantages. As an example, having more uses of the "large shield" skill may allow a player to use a crafted "movable wall" two handed shield during a single outing... assuming they can get someone to make it for them.

Crafted items are only good for single use runs, and, can only be stored for one event. This causes a great deal of Corporate networking between players with very different focuses of fun at game. Combat and adventure focus players will need to work with the crafters to get higher end goods. Crafters will have to interact with research and investigation focused players to learn new crafting techniques. Research and investigation focused players will need to rely on combat and adventure focus players to collect research specimens from the field. 

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Non-Combat Mechanics

Utopia Descending is designed as an extremely “what you see is what you get” and “hands on mechanics” style of game. This concept means that every physical object that exists in Utopia Descending will be represented by an actual physical representation of that object. While dangerous, expensive, or fantasy objects may have equivalent appropriate representations (bubbling colored water instead of a beaker of actual acid, as an example), all objects that are meant for in play use will have physical props.

Some of these props are designed to interact with traditionally non-combat character skills. While many skills will require that a player actually perform a task they are attempting to do, some skills will unlock mini-game type mechanics to determine success or failure. These miniature games are representative of the type of skill that is being used, and to be allowed to engage in or be actively involved in the completion of these mini-games a player MUST possess the appropriate skill for the activity. Objects that are designed for mini-game mechanics will be labeled with the appropriate skill on the props or in the scene setting.

Some examples of non-combat skill use:

Larceny: To picking a lock you will have to untie knots inside a box without being able to look at the knot. The more difficult the lock, the more knots and more complex the knots are.

Research: A series of word, logic, or memory puzzles relating to potential items to be researched will be provided. Defeating these puzzles allows the player to gain access to information otherwise not available.

Aether Scouting: Creatures that enter the material plane via a portal to the outside world sometimes leave magical trails that can be followed. These trails are invisible; however, players with the Aether Scouting skill are allowed to carry a UV light which will make the trails glow. Only characters with Aehter Scouting are allowed to bring portable UV lights to game.

Piloting: Using enhanced play via video game simulation and/or mini-game designed tactical choices, players that use the Piloting skill have a private space to recreate combat scenarios that may include Drones, Video Games, or physical cockpit recreations. 

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Combat

Combat is designed to be an extremely fast paced, lethal, and immersive aspect of Utopia Descending. Combat often results in a number of grievously wounded characters, but grinning players. Utopia Descending uses a combination of contact safe melee combat, high velocity combat safe darts, and a “minimal calls” system.

Check Your Location Before You Fight:

Before engaging in any form of combat, the first steps that any player or volunteer non-player needs to do is assess their environment to ensure that the combat area they are in is safe. Once the terrain, surrounding items, and individuals involved are in a safe location to engage in combat, then combat may occur.

Once you have determined that a location is safe for combat, you may engage in contact-safe combat. If an area is deemed unsafe, a game staff member or non-player volunteer may approach players out of character and inform them that they need to move to the nearest combat safe area to handle a combat scenario. This movement often times is only a few feet away, and is never out of line of site of where players were before conflict began.

Contact-Safe Melee

1.       At all times you must be in control of your contact safe weapon, and all strikes with an approved melee weapon are to be light enough to be safe (no follow through) but hard enough that the receiving person is aware they were struck. “Following through” or excessive force with a melee weapon is not allowed, nor are feather light strikes. Failure to show proper control or complaints due to hard strikes may result in combat rights being removed.

2.       All strikes must be 90-degree strikes and may only be strong enough to let your target know they were struck. Strikes significantly less than 90 degrees do not simulate realistic melee combat, and may not count. Strikes significantly over 90 degrees are not safe, and may cause harm to your target. These strikes are not allowed.

3.       No more than three strikes may be landed in a row without first observing a full second of disengagement before striking again. “Drum rolling,” “machine gunning” or “flurry attacks” are not allowed and do not count for damage or Skill effects. Between each set of three strikes a player should be able to say “One Mississippi.” Tangential strikes must land in different parts of the body. This means that while strike 1 and strike 3 may be in the same place on the body, strike 2 must be in a different zone. The different zones of the body are considered upper front torso, lower front torso, upper back torso, lower back torso, upper right arm, lower right arm, upper left arm, lower left arm, upper right leg, lower right leg, upper left leg, lower left leg.

4.       In the instance that you wish to strike the same place twice in a row, you must pause for a second before reengaging. The 1 second “reset” pause between flurries starts a flurry over new.

5.       Striking two or three different people does not cause flurry rules. Striking the same person multiple times in a row with the same weapon causes a three strike flurry. In the instance that a player strikes their first target, and then a second target, and then goes back to the first target then the player does not need to pause to reset their flurry. In the instance that Florentine fighting is being used, a total of 6 strikes may be landed (three with each blade) before reset needs to occur. Brawling strikes are limited to 3 strikes total (sum between both brawlers) before reset needs to occur.

6.       As all strikes are lightest possible touch, any melee strike that contacts a shield or melee weapon prior to landing is considered blocked. “Pushing past” a parry is unsafe and not allowed.

7.       Weapons must be held upright, and reverse gripping weapons is not allowed. Reverse gripped weapons increase the likelihood of a punch strike accidentally happening.

8.       Weapon trapping, or ensnaring or holding another person’s weapon, is not allowed.

9.       Ranged strikes that connect with a shield are considered blocked. Ranged strikes that connect with a melee weapon or ranged weapon are considered hits on the limb carrying the weapon.

10.   Weapons and shields must be held to function. Leaning a shield will cause the shield to deactivate and cease stopping blows. Weapon and shields are powered by the same nano-technology that allows for regeneration and reconstruction.

Combat legal Striking Areas:

1.       You may strike the chest, back, side, legs, shoulders, and arms of your target.

2.       Strikes to the head, neck, groin, hand, and foot are not allowed.

3.    Striking prohibited targets may cause harm to others and may be cause for your contact safe combat privileges to be revoked or ejection from an event.

 Safely Using Shields:

1.       Shields must be kept vertical and close to the body. Do not extend your arm to block shots aimed at other people or push your shield out as a means of forcing distance between you and another player. Your elbow should be kept between 90 degrees and 45 degrees. As long as your bicep is touching your rib, and your shield isn't jutting out like a snow plow, you should be fine.  

2.       Hooking around another person’s shield with your arm or holding another person’s Shield is not allowed.

3.       Shield bashing, charging, or other tactics to force a person backward or to cause an individual to lose their footing are not allowed.

 Ranged Weapons:

1.        Firing of approved ranged combat mock weapons (firearms) may only be used at a minimum range of one full step away. Depending on the individual game, the combat system will either use Standard or Enhanced ranged combat. Standard combat uses contact safe foam projectiles while Enhanced ranged combat can use either laser combat simulation hardware or airsoft weapons.

     PLEASE CHECK TO SEE THE SAFETY AND EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR RANGED WEAPONS ON YOUR LOCAL GAME’S
     INFORMATION PAGE. All Utopia Descending games will either list themselves as Utopia Descending
     STANDARD or Utopia Descending ENHANCED.

ALL safety equipment and safety equipment guidelines must be followed without exception in both Standard and Enhanced Utopia Descending events. 

 2.        Players are responsible for providing, and clearing, their own contact safe projectiles. Check local game listings for what kinds of props are allowed at each individual game.

 Damage and getting hurt: 

All Strikes and swings in the Utopia Descending count as "1 hit". When struck in a limb, it counts as 1 hit for that limb as long as that limb is still active. If a limb is not active, you can no longer use weapons or equipment in that arm nor move equipment that requires both hands. Any further strikes to an inactive limb count as passing through and count as torso strikes.

If a limb takes 3 strikes, the limb ceases to function. With each strike you must grunt, yell, or make verbal painful response that the hit landed. If a torso takes 5 strikes, the person who was struck ceases to function and they must fall to the ground in a very animate, realistic, and painful looking way. If a person on the ground who has taken 5 torso wounds is not assisted within 5 minutes, their character dies and the corpse will need to be dragged back for rebuilding. If a corpse is not brought back, the player may walk to the regeneration chamber "out of character" for their rebuilding scene. A character dying without a corpse being brought back may cost more to your corporation to rebuild.

The 5 minute of a character screaming and yelling for help can be cut short in the instance that an armed individual (including brawling) comes up to your downed body and role-plays finishing your character off while saying the word "Coup de gras". The saying of the word "Coup de gras" must take three seconds with a slight pause between each word. If the person performing a Coup de gras does not role-play the intensity of executing a downed opponent, the Coup de gras does not count. 

If you are wounded, and able to spend 10 minutes laying perfectly motionless while acting in pain, the counts on your limbs and torso reset. Medical related skills can also reset these counts, and, require both you and the person using the skill to role-play the medical trauma and field work for a set period of time. 


 

 

 

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 CHARACTER DEATH, REBIRTH, AND THE REANIMATION CHAMBER:

1.       Characters die, regularly and often, in the world of Utopia Descending. The threats that
players are dealing with are the strongest threats the world has ever known, and characters die regularly.

2.       Characters are, for all intents and purposes, immortal. Different organizations and government structures have refined a way to use the materials produced within Lost Territories to reanimate fallen soldiers who possess latent supernatural genes. This process includes all new soldiers becoming attuned to a resurrection chamber, having their genetic code stored at the chamber, and having an ever-so-slight portion of the individual’s consciousness bound within the Reanimation chamber.

3.       When a character processes through their bleed-out and suffers a death, either players bring the character’s body to the Reanimation chamber or the character is teleported there once the consciousness of the body is completely released (after 10 minutes of being a corpse).

4.       The player will then spend at least 10 minutes out of character speaking with staff members. This is to ensure that there is no negative bleed between a character and the player themselves (we want to make sure that the player is happy even if a character is sad). After the duration of 10 minutes or more, and the player is confirmed to be all right, the Reanimation process begins. 

5.       The Reanimation process begins with staff members seeing how many times during an event a particular character has died. It is not uncommon for a character to die multiple times during the same event. For each death that a Character has suffered, the cost of Reanimation is increased for both their corporation and faith/philosophy group. These costs are deducted from the total resources available to ALL players who are a part of the same corporation and faith/philosophy. 

6.       The Reanimation process is a complex, dreamlike state that exists between life and death. During a player’s time being regrown, a series of psychologically intense scenes and scenarios may happen. In addition to the dangers of one’s own mind, it is common knowledge that during the time between life and death the individual being reborn is susceptible to suggestion or attacks from the creatures from beyond the Looking Glass Rifts. Characters being reborn may go through intense psychological scenes, mental puzzles, or more visceral “fights to live” situations. 

7.       When a character is reborn, they have memories of all of things that happened up until the point when they became a corpse. These are the memories that players start with while in the rebirth chamber. When the player comes out of the rebirth chamber, the player's character may be assigned temporary social or emotional quirks to role-play over the next few hours. 

8.       The first 3 times a character dies during an event, there is very little delay before when the character starts their rebirth scene in the rebirth chamber. Each time past the 4th death during an event, there is a longer and longer delay between death and rebirth. During the 5th rebirth, a player has a 60-minute wait. During this time the player will be asked to assist in game logistics to organize, clean, or assist with NPCs. 

The Utopia Descending game system is very simple. 
Like, incredibly simple.

However, to make sure that players all across the world have the same technical outlines of what they can and can not do in a game, we often write incredibly long descriptions. We write what is safe and unsafe, what is a legal use of a skill and what is not a legal use of a skill, and how different skills interact with one another.

If you are new to Utopia Descending you probably just want a super short summary to outline how it all works. This is that super short summary. While it won't outline everything, it will outline what most people need to know to start.

You play a Pillar. A pillar is a meta-human that has latent DNA from mythical times that has now awakened and changed your physical form. You fight for money, immortality, the continuation of humanity, to protect the world from monstrous threats, to appease your mega-corp employers/owners, and to try to be the biggest wartime reality entertainment star possible.

When you go to an event, you dress in costuming appropriate to your Pillar, and choose a profession card.

Profession cards have skills on them that let you engage in mini-games or combat. Your profession card looks like a military ID card that you wear on your torso and has a cheat sheet of all of your skills on the back.

If you have a weapon skill you can use a certain type of weapon. When you go up to the Quartermasters' Office you will find there are fighting and action missions happening all of the time.

There are a small number of single use combat skills. These skills let you avoid a shot that hit you, run a short distance without NPCs chasing you, heal someone who is dying, use a laser to point damage at targets, throw bombs, or set explosive devices. You can use these skills once every 10 minutes for the number of times that skill shows up on your card. 

Non-combat related skills can be used to enter into mini-games, get resources, change resources into other resources, get information, engage in non-combat skill specific modules (like hands on alien autopsies or piloting drones), and a near unlimited number of non-combat-focused, hands on experiences. Sometimes, while out on a combat scenario, you may find that you need to use one of these skills. Like "larceny" to try and unlock a lock or "engineering" to try and piece together other-worldly tech. Regardless, you can use these skills once every 30 minutes for every time you have the skill. 

Combat is fast and deadly. Shields block bullets and ranged items. Hard-light blades, guns, and projectile all do the same level of damage. Effectively when every weapon is a weapon of mass destruction, the degree of variance means very little. People can take 5 hits to their torso before they hit the ground and 3 hits to a limb before they lose use of that limb. Antagonists have different degrees of hits they can take for the same effects and their own unique mechanics. When you are hit, you need to make a noise to signify that you were hit. Don't be lame and just say "ow" without meaning it. It's an immersive experience. Sell the fact that you got hurt.

If you hit the ground from 5 torso hits, you have 5 minutes of screaming and yelling for help. Someone with skills related to medicine, assuming they have uses of it left in a period of time, may be able to save your life. If they don't, you will travel back with your team as a corpse and get a really cool mini scene before your body is put back together. Death costs your corporation money, and all of the other players of the same corporation have the same pool of resources. If you are wounded and not dead, and you lay still for 10 minutes not doing anything (no talking, no moving, no defending yourself), then the nano-tech in your body will reset the damage counts on your limbs and your torso. Your 5 minute of screaming and yelling for help can be cut short in the instance that an armed individual (including brawling) comes up to your downed body and role-plays finishing your character off while saying the word "Coup de gras". The saying of the word "Coup de gras" must take three seconds with a slight pause between each word. If the person performing a Coup de gras does not role-play the intensity of executing a downed opponent, the Coup de gras does not count.

Missions can get you personal resources, story, plot, your company resources, or materials that may be turned into short-lived equipment buffs. Equipment that is made in game only is available for use for 24 hours and almost all of it is single mission gear. This means that when you build an item you get a "claims form" which is an item card you turn in when you are going on a mission or engaging in a plot/module. The Quartermaster (volunteer) will "check your security clearance" which means they will look at the character cards hanging on your person to make sure you have the skill levels required to use the item. Some crafted weapons require multiple levels of the same skill, and crafted items are often physically different from what you normally get to use. Maybe the Florentine weapons that require Florentine x3 are longer blades than normal (like two fulls standard blades instead of one standard and one small). Maybe the Small Shield is a different shape, like a teardrop, to make it more efficient. You can potentially get guns with higher firing rates or massive clips. Regardless, the new equipment will be actually better to use in combat than the normal equipment.

If your game is a subscription based game, your character can travel to other games. Your character doesn't progress faster than other people's characters from traveling to other games; however, you do get to have fun at those events AND also get yourself better known as a fictional persona. In the downtime between games, the more hits your registered fictional persona fan-pages get (video sites, blogs, photo-sites), the more income you are making for your corporation. This helps produce plot and on a subscription level, may include your character in larger scale stories.

That's about it. You can look at the extended rules section to find out more technical specifics, but this just about sums up the basics of what you actually need to know to play. The other sections have specific details about safe combat, making sure that we all build a safe community, how media works, genre materials, and even a lot of thought into why we designed things we way we did (if that is a sort of thing you like to read).

The Living Game

Utopia Descending is a game world that combines multiple forms of full immersion story telling into a single universe. While players will be able to participate in very physical demanding combat simulation portions of game events, the adrenaline pumping action is only one of the tools that Utopia Descending uses to make a full living game experience. 

Zone Based Play

Utopia Descending is better described as 4 interlinked LARP experiences than a single LARP design. Utopia Descending uses a combination of Contact Safe action/adventure aspects, physical toyetic (hands on puzzle/physical interaction) modules, American Freeform experience, and between game augmented reality play. While many games touch on one, or multiple, of these design concepts Utopia Descending actually defines zones for play types. This allows Game Organizers the ability to seed and send plots of a particular nature to particular areas, and know that they players in that are more likely going to be interested in the kind of story being “hooked” to each region.

In the center of a Lost Territory encampment (the definition of where most games take place) is the Controlled Zone (CZ). Controlled Zones are areas of play where combat is not allowed both in character and out of character, where players looking for more emotional, exploratory, social, or economic game experiences should focus their characters. This region is where most Tier 3 Pillars reside due to the higher focuses on costume, makeup, and prosthetics. This allows a player who is looking for incredibly immersive non-physical experiences the ability to not only be in an area where Game Organizers will seed this nature of story, but also allows these players to be directly involved with other players looking for the same experience. 

Surrounding the CZ is the All-Hands Zone (AHZ). The AHZ is a region of play where more active and physical stories, modules, and plots will occur that are not focused on direct conflict and combat. These stories and modules are focused on embracing the real-to-life simulation aspects of keeping a Lost Territory functional and operational. These stories may include actual physical labor, moving of structures, or hands on puzzle mechanics. Stories that focus in this area often time involve interacting with both Live Fire Zone and CZ characters, stories, and plot aspects.

Outside the AHZ is the Live Fire Zone (LFZ). The LFZ is a series of module areas that can only be accessed via plot based hooks. These high combat zones of engagement are designed so that players are armed and checked at the Armory and Motor Pool, are driven or guided out to prepared module hot zones, and then returned to the AHZ. This allows games to constantly have combat active scenarios running, allows players to opt into these experiences as they are able, and allows Game Organizers to manage the legality and safety of all equipment prior to its use in the field.

Lastly the between event Augmented Reality experiences allows players to choose their level of involvement in downtime activities. Players will be able to produce online data-mining resources for new players to access and network entire libraries of information. Players that create fictional media personas will gain in character influence and resource for their corporation via generating hits on shared media platforms, video hosting sites, and photo-shoots. Participants will directly influence story, corporate reach, and assist with growth for their local corporation by producing and sharing these materials. If a players fake persona goes viral, their corporation will undoubtedly invest heavier in their Pillar asset. 

Convention events hosted by national Utopia Descending will be social meet and greets, points for network play participants to gain information and make corporate connections, and allow for amazing cos-play and ARG opportunities.  

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There is a part of the system design of Utopia Descending that most established gamers may not completely grok. This aspect of the Utopia Descending design is one of the largest deviations we have in regards to most live action role-playing games that have come before us (as well as many other forms of traditional role-playing games).

In Utopia Descending you don't earn or spend any form of experience points.

You can't buy experience points, traveling to games doesn't give you additional experience points, and your characters growth is not defined by a system of earned values which are in turned traded in for in character advantages.

In Utopia Descending we are focusing on the EXPERIENCE AS THE POINT instead of EXPERIENCE POINTS.

This design decision gives players a higher degree of agency in regards to what they can pick and choose to involve themselves with, without being concerned about other players having a mechanical advantage. Story, plot, and a more engaging experience is the reward for becoming more involved... not points on a sheet.

Characters gain access to additional pillar card slots over a duration of months attending their home game. In the core design of the Utopia Descending experience nothing will advance a character faster.

In Utopia Descending equipment is designed to be short lived bonuses on single outgoing events, single uses for plot design, and overall focused on short term and immediate benefit. Storing up mass volumes of crafted resources is not an option due to the limited life span (most of the time 24 hours) of crafted materials.

Deciding to become involved in the ARG does not give your character any inherit additional mechanical benefit either. You don't get extra profession slots or any default advantages. You don't get any sort of mechanical benefit to your character. What you get is additional ARG related story, plot, and interaction.

What you do get by traveling, engaging in the ARG, and involving yourself in the lore and economic aspects of the game is a more involved experience in the way you are choosing to engage the game. If you like the ARG, and you become involved in the ARG, then you get more ARG related story and experiences. If you travel to other games, and you make friends and have adventures and stories at other subscribed games, then you gain the advantage of more friends and more adventures. This also allows players who wish to not become engaged in economy, politics, combat, travel, or the ARG the ability to choose not to become involved in those aspects of game without it greatly effecting the aspects of game that they choose to become involved in.

Our goal with Utopia Descending is to make your experience the reward, not to reward you with experience points. It is a very different design decision, and it is not to say that it is better that experience point based systems. It is a different approach and we hope it helps provide a different style of event for you.       

Utopia Descending has been created with a Three Tier system when it comes to player costuming and makeup. Each pillar has been divided into three different tiers which are, mechanically speaking, nearly identical. You will notice that each Pillar has 3 options with 3 very different costume investment possibilities and levels provided. This allows players to choose between tier one: low costume requirements; tier two: invested costume requirements; and tier three: high costume requirements. This is all without having a mechanical difference between the different levels.

Tier one option of a Pillar might require just fake nails and fake teeth (inexpensive and easy to find). The next stage, tier two, might require the fake nails, fake teeth, and then also a moderate to large degree makeup application. The third stage of a tier may require the fake nails, fake teeth, makeup, as well as prosthetic or latex applications.

While local game organizers and story tellers will write plot that effects just one tier of a Pillar (with combat plot focused towards easier to fight in Tier 1 costumes and more American Freeform or Social/Economic/Political style play towards more encumbering Tier 3 costumes), and while in character all three tiers may treat each other differently, all three options are available at the same mechanical level of equality.

The three tier system has been written for costuming, as well. We understand that putting together a full “costume
kit” for a game you are trying for the first time can be expensive. With this in mind, we have created a three tier system that allows for a low cost introduction basic outfit, as well as the opportunity for higher costume investment for Pillars that are mechanically the same.

Active combatants in a Lost Territory are typically dressed in some version of what has come to be called “Seegees,” a shortening of SCGs – Standardized Combat Garments. From there, metahumans of different Pillar backgrounds and corporate identities will accentuate and supplement themselves with appropriate accessories and layered garments, as befits their personal idiosyncratic style and resonates best with corporate marketing.

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The first and most common level of SCG is easy and accessible for new players to emulate: black or camouflage pants
(not jeans), gray undershirt, black tank-top overshirt, and a black jacket in cold weather. This outfit can be considered the “basic level” of in-character costuming, and can be assembled for less than fifty dollars.


Players who wish to improve their SCG to a more involved level should consider adding lightly armored (“flak”)
vests or jackets, and long trench coats for a sci-fi military feel. The very highest level of SCG costuming would involve a full “near-future cybersoldier” assembly, complete with dark glasses, sleek leather trench coat, strapped-on gear, and a polished, professional appearance.

The most important thing to note is that aside from the basic level of SCG costuming, none of the below is REQUIRED
to play. A Tier 1 metahuman of any Pillar can absolutely look almost exactly like a normal human, and there is no stigma attached to choosing not to delve deeply into costuming or makeup. Players are encouraged to expand their appearance at their pace, to the level they enjoy, and feel as comfortable in the world of Utopia Descending as it is possible to be.

Please note that many of the tier 2 or tier 3 costumes allow for a great amount of freedom and flexibility in terms
of elaboration and basic design. Because of this, we ask that costumes be created with basic safety in mind: even if your character lacks eyes, ears, or even a head, you should be able to see, hear, and move well enough to navigate the gameplay area safely.


This section is written so that players and Game Organizers have a better understanding of the design intent behind using professions as character building points in Utopia Descending. It is not necessary to read this section to play the game, but instead is provided as additional reference information if you want to know more about the design systems of the game.

Professions are specialized focuses of activities that a player chooses as they check into game. The concept behind professions is that since players are portraying characters that have been trained in a number of different skill focuses, a character should be able to spend the time between game events to heighten their active knowledge and focus on a particular profession set. All characters in the Utopia Descending universe are assumed to have "basic training" which allows for basic weapon, combat, and first aid use.

This means that instead of choosing individual skills, for every 12 months of active play at their home game a character earns a single profession slot. So a player who has attended a single event has total access to all skills that are available on a single profession card which can be changed between events. This design will allow players to fluctuate between different profession build templates as the player’s desire for different styles of play changes. This ability to change your character will allow you to keep core mechanical aspects while refocusing on specialized aspects of play without any mechanical detriment to the player or character.

As an example, let’s say you have been playing a character that focuses on close combat skill sets. You enjoy this style of play greatly; however, you can’t help but hear how much fun the research and investigation skill set characters are having at an event. Wanting to try out this secondary style of play, you choose to keep your base combat skills but check into game with a profession focused on research and investigation. This will allow you the ability to play the game from another style of play’s perspective.

If you find that you enjoy the close combat design aspect of game more, you can just switch back at the next game. If you find that you really enjoy the research function of game, you can stay focused in research. If you find that you want to try a completely different focus skill set at the next event, that’s also possible. If you find that you enjoy both aspects of game, you can either swap back and forth or choose both close combat and research focused profession cards as you unlock more profession slots with time.

Basic Professions have no precursor requirements that need to be filled. Choosing a Basic Profession is as simple as coming to an event, choosing Basic Professions to fill all of your Basic Profession slots, and making sure you have the appropriate physical representations required for the Basic Profession you are choosing. Taking multiples of the same profession often allows for a limited number of skills on each profession card to be used more often. As skills have time or combat restrictions, being able to use the skill multiple times during the same scenario or duration of time is very useful.

Lastly, there are Specializations. Specializations are profession combinations that you can take to fill a profession slot only after taking prerequisite Basic Professions. Specializations fill two basic profession slots; however, they provide a wider range of skills as well as unique Specialization Skills that are only available via Specializations. Specializations are either outlined by your local game organizers, or sample Specializations are offered with subscription-based play.

As an example, if a player has three profession slots, they can take three basic professions. These basic professions can be any combination of the basic professions outlined in this book. If a player has four profession slots they can either choose up to three basic professions or they can take two basic professions and a specialization, as long as the two basic professions taken fulfill the Specialization’s requirements.

Part of the idea behind this design is to remove the concept of experience points purchase from a Utopia Descending event and instead have players focus on purchasing the experience of participation instead. 

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In the world of Utopia Descending it is not enough to be the saviors of humanity.

You need to be marketable saviors of humanity.

With the Looking Glass Rifts being a very real threat that directly effects the life (or end thereof) of all of humanity, it should come to no surprise that the entire world keeps one eye constantly watching news from the Lost Territories. With this degree of rapt interest and captive audience came the natural evolution of corporate sponsored reality based entertainment which focuses on the struggles and personalities of the Pillars.

Since the Mega-Corporations legally own the Pillars, it only makes sense to ensure their assets not only perform well but also present entertaining and action packed story for the home viewing audience. In addition, with the growth of You-Star Media, the human fans at home want to follow the public appearances, blogs, vlogs, and viral videos of their favorite reality entertainment stars.

High following rates means more income for your corporation, potential personal advertisement bonuses for the pillar, and new opportunities for local subsidiaries.

So while our Pillars have been trained in piloting everything on the land, sea, air, and space they have also been given a high level of training in regards to media-marketing drones. These drones, flown during combat scenarios, record the activities of valiant Pillars defending life as we know it.

But action is not enough. In addition to the action footage the Pillars occasionally have film crews follow them through their day to day routines. Marketing professionals from each company stress that dynamic story lines, special interests, and subtle product placements are vital in these video opportunities.

Finally, Pillars are encouraged to go viral. This means that between live Utopia Descending events players are encouraged to create character blogs, story boards, and most importantly video feeds. All of these forms of media have the ability to easily track and record the volume of positive feedback a Pillar gets with their in-character activities. These ratings, number of followers, and overall “viral-influence” not only will influence the players local story experience, but also will effect subscription based stories (and global mega-corporation finances).

Remember: each time a Pillar dies it costs a great deal of money to reanimate them. You want to be a asset, not a detriment, to your corporation!