The Zone

A Soviet Dystopian LARP

Factions

The game will be divided into four player factions, led by a faction head. These are groups with common costume aesthetics, shared history, culture, and goals.
Players will be able to choose their preferred faction upon sign up. Players should not limit themselves to interacting with their fellow faction members and may go where good roleplay leads them.

Faction members are encouraged to mingle, camp/room together, form bonds, roleplay amongst themselves and will be privy to secrets the other factions are not. Players will be added to private faction facebook groups and chats before the game so they may plan and corroborate together. All characters regardless of faction will contribute to creating a rich and multifaceted story. 

The number of players in each faction will be capped.

Intensity and playstyle:
Each player faction description includes a projected level of physical intensity and risk of combat. This is a rough guideline only and may vary based on the actions players take.

The Loners

Loners are free Stalkers who have come to the Zone for their own individual reasons. When they first arrive at Yanov Station, they aren’t affilitated with, or have loyalty to any gang, faction, or organisation.

As character death is permanent, all players should have a Loner Stalker NPC character costume in case their primary player character dies. This may be as simple as a pair of boots, cargo pants, tshirt and a tattered poncho, or as complex as the individual desires.

When a player joins the Loner faction, they’ll be given the opportunity to discuss their role in the rest of the game and the level of direction they would like to recieve.
This may include being a consistent Loner Stalker character with a large degree of autonomy, or taking on a variety of specific NPC roles.

Pinterest board:
https://www.pinterest.com.au/apocastasis/the-zone-loner-stalkers/

What costume to avoid:
Peaked military caps (barracks covers), tyre or number plate armour should be avoided.
With the exception of Adidas for the Liquidators, clothing should not display any prominent branding.
Soviet-born and raised characters are unlikely to use skull-faced masks, as this would be seen as a Western fashion.

Chelyabinsk Oblast Villagers

A small group of rugged backcountry peasants who refused to evacuate their homes after the CNPP disaster. They endured the last Tsar and the rise of the USSR. They will survive this. They are followers of the Old Ways and fiercely distrust outsiders and new technology.
They believe the Zone is a wilderness to be respected.

Costuming guidelines:
Ankle-length skirts, shawls, button-down shirts, tunics, vests, embroidery, practical clothing that has been repaired and patched many times, furs, leather belts. Improvised weapons, farming tools, axes, antique swords, revolvers, hunting rifles, walking canes.

Pinterest board:
https://www.pinterest.com.au/apocastasis/the-zone-chelyabinsk-villagers/

Playstyle:
For individuals who enjoy interpersonal drama, forging connections with others, playing support roles and conversation-driven stories.
Less physically demanding, less likely to engage directly in combat.

9th Section, Duty Company

124th Infantry Company of the Soviet Ground forces-cynically nicknamed Duty, has been tasked with guarding the borders of the Zone. Widely considered to be a punishment assignment, Duty gets the ill-fitting uniforms, half-rotten rations, and gear that only sometimes works. 9th Section is a small tight-knit patrol unit who stick together, watch each other’s backs and follow the Duty Code.
They believe the Zone is a threat to humanity.

Costuming guidelines:
A mix of worn and haphazardly repaired paramilitary gear and new uniforms, webbing, pouches, camouflage, helmets, boots, MOLLE, armor, modern assault rifles, and sidearms.

Pinterest board:
https://www.pinterest.com.au/apocastasis/the-zone-duty/

Playstyle:
For players who enjoy defensive paramilitary roles, mid-level physical intensity and occasional bursts of high drama. 
Moderate level of combat and physical activity.

The Liquidators

The Liquidators are a loosely aligned group of rookie Stalkers who have come to the Zone seeking adventure and fortune. Named after the volunteer firefighters tasked with being the first response clean-up crew at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster, many Liquidators are young and idealistic, eager to prove themselves and test their mettle. They believe the Zone is to be conquered.

Costuming guidelines:
Gas masks, hoods, long duster coats, pouches, backpacks, balaclavas, mismatched military surplus, baggy clothing, combat knives, survival gear, shotguns, Adidas tracksuits, knee pads, improvised armor.

Pinterest board:
https://www.pinterest.com.au/apocastasis/the-zone-liquidators/

Playstyle:
For players who are eager to explore the Zone. A pro-active faction with a high mortality risk. Players are more likely to be engaged in combat and physical challenges. Players may be expected to walk, crawl, run short distances, etc.

Lomonosov State University of Moscow Radioecology Research Group (MSU)

A collective of well-educated individuals from the big city universities, doctors, professors, PhD students, and interns all drawn to the mystery of the Zone. Driven, curious and ambitious, they want to see the wonders of the Zone firsthand. They believe the Zone is an opportunity to be explored.

Costuming guidelines:
Gas masks, scrubs, lab coats, dirty tweed suits, hazmat gear,  experimental prosthetics, coveralls, gloves, goggles, respirators, aprons. 

Pinterest board:
https://www.pinterest.com.au/apocastasis/the-zone-msu-group/

Playstyle:
For players who enjoy investigating mysteries, engaging in debates, and tackling puzzles. Less physically demanding, less likely to engage directly in combat.