Blog

March ’21 Announcement

Howdy Drifters,

It should come as no surprise to any of you that we are cancelling our March event. At this time it seems impossible that a significant portion of the player base much less the staff will be vaccinated in time. That being said, we are happy to announce tentative dates for July 16-18 have been reserved with Possum Trot. Our hope is that a critical mass of everyone will be vaccinated by that time but as with March we hope for the best but will decide based on the facts of the moment.

As always, we hope all of you are safe and healthy. We miss you all terribly and we miss ATE and look forward to coming back with a bang and a hug for those of you who are ok with that.

Thank you,

The Staff

November 2020 & 2021 Schedule Announcement

Hello everyone,

We regret to announce at this time that our November 2020 event has been cancelled. Kim has been informed and our deposit has been pushed back to 2021. We have been following the numbers released and news and at this time we see no responsible way that our game can take place in person in a meaningful way without contributing to the spread of COVID 19. This decision was not made lightly and we wanted to inform Kim at Possum Trot and have everything squared away before we announced. While this is slightly further in advance than we had hoped to make this announcement the fact is that the trends combined with the foreseeable public policies mean that we do not have confidence that we can have everyone together.

That being said, we are announcing dates for March 12-14, 2021. We understand that those dates still might not be safe but that is the furthest out stretch we could push our original deposit for March. We still might negotiate pushing that back but at this time we are putting down a date and committing to review the situation closer to the event as we have done so for this year. We remain committed to only running our game in a safe and healthy environment and will continue to evaluate the situation as it exists closer to the event proper. At this time we are not confirming any other dates and we hope to revisit the state of affairs and have some statement on that by February of 2021.

Please rest assured that ATE is in a strong enough financial position that even if we cancel those dates and lose the deposit that we are fine. If any of you need a refund for any reason (or no reason at all) please contact us at staff@aftertheendlarp.com. At this time all pre-payments are assumed to be for the currently scheduled March event. No new subscriptions will be offered for 2021. Ann will be reaching out to all 2020 subscribers directly and individually to discuss options by the end of 2020. If you wish to start that conversation please feel free to reach out to staff@aftertheendlarp.com

We miss you all dearly and we’ll see you on the other side.

-The Staff

State of the Game Summer 2020

Howdy Drifters,

We hope that this announcement finds all of you staying safe and healthy during this trying time. As you might imagine, beyond our recent decision to cancel for the Summer, Staff has not been able to dedicate much time to game-work. We appreciate all of your public and private feedback regarding this decision. We all miss the game and our community terribly, but this was a necessary decision to make as the risks still far outstrip the benefits.

That being said, since we did get together to meet we thought we’d pull back the curtain a bit so all of you know where we stand with things going forward. First, we want to assure you that it is our intention to return to game as soon as is practical. We have made a tentative timeline behind the scenes for reviewing available information and will make an announcement some time in October regarding our November game’s status. Science and the state of the world seem to be totally new every week and while we remain hopeful that November is possible, we will assess based on what the actual situation is come October.

We are working on ways to make the game even better than before and we want to share some of those background projects.Our vision for AtE involved taking a lot of the feel of a Western game into a more modern setting, where we could explore more unique concepts and conflicts. The underpinnings of the Western setting is something that is not always actively examined, and still has inspiration in a time and place that had deep-rooted racism, sexism, homophobia, and other kinds of bigotry.  Over the course of these last years, we’ve made missteps into those territories due to lack of due diligence. Rather than waiting to discover our next mistake, we are actively pursuing sensitivity reading from those outside of staff. We hope to provide an even better and more welcoming experience to everyone as a result. We are very excited to announce that once they are reviewed, we will be releasing Origin documents  for Burners and Tunnelers (Dahlonega) as freely available PC Origins.

You can also expect some tech updates to the forms as well as refinement of our processes. We’ve received some feedback regarding Staff communication and Character Retirement and we want to let you all know that we are listening. As our game has grown from a couple dozen friends to a larger community, we’ve experienced growing pains of communication and this is one of those signs. We’re currently working on an official Retirement checklist. Once it is done, it will become the template for a document shared between the player and staff to help plan and execute a fulfilling end for every character.

While we cannot say when the next game will be 100% we can say one thing we have planned – more downtimes. When we have determined that game will go forward, we will be announcing dates for another downtime cycle available to all players who have played at least one game.  We hope this will help everyone refresh on where they were since the last game. Please note that if you have a completed project or module that got bumped due to time constraints that you do NOT need to put more downtimes into those projects, and we will be working on getting those on screen as soon as we all can see each other.

What if you want more ATE time now? We’ve had the question a few times and we want to say affirmatively that if you want to have in-character conversations with other PCs, please feel free. Also, we are going to be announcing a regular Discord  voice meetup for OOP socialization. Staff may not always be there, but this will be a regular time for any who are interested to hop on voice chat and get some social time. We imagine this may break into smaller rooms, and that’s great. There will be no in-game reward for this or special exclusive information for any IP communication, this is just for people who want a social outlet and to connect with the rest of the ATE community.

Some of you have asked how you can help out, and we’re glad you asked! As our staff has shrunk and our player base has grown, we find ourselves in need of more bodies in order to make things work. We are currently in talks with some players to act as Marshals  while on multiple monster shifts.. In some cases, these players will be Marshaling until their character retires and may then choose to join Staff. In other cases,  they may wish to continue this status indefinitely. We are also making a staff application form available for anyone interested in this Marshal position or who would like to join Staff directly. That form will be available shortly.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We miss you all! Stay safe, and we’ll see you at our next game.

-The Staff

July 2020 Event Cancelled

Hello everyone,

We hope this finds you all well, safe, and healthy in these trying times. We regret to announce cancellation of our July event. At this time we see no way of having our event in a way that does not contribute to the spread of COVID 19 and so the safer and saner decision is to cancel. Kim has been informed and for those concerned about finances please know that part of our agreement with her for deposits is that we reschedule up to a year later so our deposits for March and July will be going to 2021 events. At this time November is too far away to contemplate the consequences but we will revisit this question in October and base our decision on that. For those in need of a refund for prepaid events or a partial refund for subscription in 2020 please contact us at staff@aftertheendlarp.com.

Wash your hands. Wear mask. Practice social distancing. Black Lives Matter.

Regards,

The ATE Staff

2020 Pricing

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your patience to give Staff time to meet and finalize prices. If all you care about is the new prices I’ll announce them next but in the interest of transparency we’re going to then give WAY more information than any of you want to explain our decision.

For the 2020 Season Prices will be at:

$360 – Full Season Pass

$100 – Single event with bed

$50 – New Player or Floor Sleeper

-$20 – Distance discount BUT the new policy is to move it to 400 miles for travel

-$20 – Greenback Discount

New Policy – You may monster 1 full event and receive an “Event Coupon” that is good for one free full price admission.

Prices are going up about 20%, why is that?

The short version is our expenses are going up. Some of those are expenses that are explicitly raising and some are for factors that we did not calculate for.

At the beginning of 2019 we knew we would be receiving a discount on events because of the scheduling snafu at the end of 2018. We decided at that time to pass along those discounts to you the player in the form of a reduced New Player cost to increase our player base. When we ran number scenarios our maximum estimated new players was 10 and even that was considered fanciful by us a year ago at this time. As most of you know, we’ve had an average of 20 new players for the last 2 games (whoops). In addition, we understood incorrectly that if another building opened up for us by the owner that the price would remain the same to add those additional beds.

Prior to this most recent game, we were informed by the site owner that costs were going to be going up in 2020. Thanks to some negotiation and her recognition of as loyal frequent customers who do not trash the site we were able to agree on a price increase that will not be as big as it will be for others who are coming to Possum Trot. To put a number on it, we started the year at $1,800 for a weekend and are doing 2020 at $2,500 per weekend. 

In addition, we met and perhaps exceeded the capacity for the kitchen to comfortably feed the number of players we have. Staff spent $500 (our biggest food budget ever) on grocery bill alone this past event. Because costs had gone up the $10 for food has been helping to cover for site fees but realistically we have to increase our food budget even if it is still $10 per person for food in the ticket ticket itself. Our plan is to have pre-prepared foods in enough variety to suit everyone’s dietary needs but right now we’re estimating $200 more dollars for a per event budget of $700 for food.

That leaves us with a base cost of $3,200 per game before we pay for any printing of tags, replacing Nerf darts & guns,  buying props or raw material for props, website hosting, etc. As a general rule we’ve estimated $200-$300 per event for these things in the past.

That leaves us with a goal to get to of $3,500 per game compared to $2,500 per game last year estimated costs for site, food, etc. As a result, we had to raise prices or we would be unlikely to break even.

Why is the new player/floor price going up?

For many of our long term players this will not seem like as big of a jump. As mentioned above, in 2019 we did a discount to attract new players. What we didn’t count on was in excess of 10 new players at a game much less having close to or above 20. As a result, the numbers don’t work for covering our costs. We considered several pricing schemas and we hope that all of the total changes here including the event coupon (discussed below) will help to properly cover prices and be fair to everyone.

Will I still be able to opt in to floor?

At our last game we were very worried about floor space and some people were allowed to opt for floor prices before beds were filled up. A good part of this is that we had empty beds and so were safely within making sure everyone who wanted a bed got one. Unfortunately as we run numbers we can’t afford this if it continues at this rate. We will be more strictly enforcing the policy on the books that beds need to be filled before people are asked to go on the floor and allowed the floor sleeping price.

The major exception to this will be when people bring their own beds. This includes those sleeping in hotels, campers, or tent camping. Please bear in mind it will be VERY cold at the next event so tent camping is not recommended.

Why is the distance discount changing?

Currently we are in a situation where people living 15 miles apart have a difference in getting the distance discount and that’s not fair. Right now we have people from Atlanta where some people get the discount and others do not and that’s not fair to everyone involved.

We would like to apologize to our Kentucky players as this new policy affects them as a group the most.


What’s with the new event coupon policy?

We very much do not want to create a haves/have nots for in-play resources to ever be based on out-of-play economic forces. That being said, there are players and potential players who have privately given us feedback about their frequency of attendance at game. To help rectify this we are adding a new policy of the Event Coupon. If you come to an event and monster full time you may forgo Greenbacks or progress to Special Concept and instead get an Event Coupon. As a full time monster you will enjoy all of the normal full time monster benefits of food and housing. With that Event Coupon you may then attend one full event at full price including food and bed price for free. Incidental costs such as gasoline, costumes, props, etc. must still be paid by the player. Please note there is no responsibility to monster combatively for this period so those who are not able to do so are not excluded from this program.

Won’t grubstaking cover that?

We have had some success with Grubstaking so far and $110 has been paid in allowing two players at our last game to have subsidized tickets. We are so grateful that we as a community can come together to make this happen. We hope to continue the grubstaker program but do not feel that Grubstaking alone can account for all of the potential needs we see in the future. 

Hopefully this covers all of the questions you might have but if not please let us know on the Discord.

Thank you,

The Staff

Communication After The End

After the collapse of civilization, communication became a tricky thing. Records of information from around the time of the End are, paradoxically, pretty scarce, defying the general increase in the availability of recorded communications since the proliferation of the printing press. What is public knowledge is that, prior to the End, communication was effortless. You could echo-conference with a friend with microseconds of lag. Unfortunately, that type of communication was only easy because of constant upkeep performed on a vast array of infrastructure that most sapient beings don’t have access to any more. It turns out that reaching digital entities gets rather difficult when every network has its own addressing scheme quirks and supplemental protocols, and there aren’t any higher level authorities to enforce standards. Nowadays, most non-hackers can only do that type of real-time virtual interaction if both parties are projecting into the same node, which is not without significant risk. There are hackers who claim they can pull off the sort of real time remote connections once available in the past, but the few who are capable generally won’t reveal their methods and tend to charge a steep cost for the privilege. Most folks that ain’t connected to the federal government tend to be satisfied with their slower messaging methods, and for good reasons too.

So, nothing technically stops a drifter from recording a video missive and just hurling those packets into the ether anonymously – except for 200+ years of machine learning driven anti-spam algorithms that tend to reject all traffic whose origin isn’t verifiable. That can’t be hard to get around, right? Well, you could verify your legitimacy to the regional tide network with your nano-signature, but most folks wouldn’t want to hand their unique id and tons of useful metadata about themselves to anyone with the ability to formulate basic queries. Why, some sort of data miner could figure out just near everything about you if they could correlate all the endpoints you contact as an individual, even if they can’t understand the contents of your messages. Perhaps the designs of such an individual are benign, and they only want to use this vast wealth of information you leak to craft highly targeted advertisements. Of course, it’s just as likely that such an individual is fixin to collect a fortune from tracking down your movements till they can take you in for a bounty. Whatever their reason, most drifters don’t generally want the whole region to know everything about them, so they take great pains to obfuscate their communications until it becomes effectively impossible to determine the originator of a data packet. This privacy has a cost, however, which is paid in the terrible jobs that most nodes do efficiently routing messages sent this way to their intended recipients. These messages tend to take an amount of time that increases exponentially as a function of network (and physical) distance. Your daily status report probably only takes seconds to deliver to a node less than a mile away, but sending a message from a Birmingham node to an Atlanta-based digital address could arrive hours after it’s sent, assuming it doesn’t fall into a black hole. Packet drop rates are pretty terrible in the year 2319 AD, and most messages take multiple transmission attempts before actually reaching the intended recipients.

Things get even harder when attempting to transmit between different regional nanotide networks. The lack of proper maintenance and standards enforcing bodies makes it difficult to craft packets that can cross network boundaries without some degree of message corruption. This is a pain most hackers know well, as this is what makes invoking scripts from foreign Riparian Flows effectively impossible. As a result, information tends to be transmitted between different regions more swiftly from travelers spreading messages through the spoken word than by digital exchange, as surprising as that may seem.

There is one known group that doesn’t have to put up with this sorry state of communication after the end. The Federal government (or at least what remains of it) has managed to preserve and repurpose some of the backbone infrastructure that used to support the isolated military and departmental information networks that the pre-end government used to meet their legally mandated record retention requirements. They’ve managed to repurpose this large, isolated network into serving as the communications framework of their settlements, allowing federal citizens to enjoy interacting with a network capable of supporting a mediocre facsimile of the internet that existed before the End, though significantly more content-starved. Of course, using this network has several ‘gotcha’s to go with it. Firstly, you can’t access it at all unless you’re a federal citizen. More importantly, however, is that you shouldn’t use it at all if you value your privacy. The original system was intended to support record retention, so naturally it maintains a perfect record of every action you take on it. Sure, who can examine that information is restricted by a convoluted security clearance system. But it’s guaranteed that there’s at least one human being who can request and dissect every single packet you’ve sent on that network. As a result, most drifters don’t want to interact with FEDNet.

So how does the average drifter connect with others at a reasonable speed? Well most just stand up (or belong to) an instant messaging or threaded forum hub server on a local node. They’re flexible, and difficult to hack, rejecting just about every input that isn’t a valid message or query from an authorized user. Of course their locked down nature is a drawback as well, making it effectively impossible to run any code targeting such a server in an executable context. In fact, most of them will reject anything sent that looks remotely like a Script, on the off chance it might be malicious.  They’re also a pain to find and join. They’re hidden and non-indexable, meaning you can’t easily search for em. Even if you manage to stumble upon one, you can’t interact with em in many cases unless a moderator invites you with an access token. Even the “public” hubs often have somebody enforcing a basic semblance of order. The other big drawback these servers have is their lack of public addressability. They’re not hard to reach if you’re connected to their hosting node, or only a few hops away, but you’re not gonna be able to resolve one if you’re trying to reach one 300 miles away.

So there you have it -everything you need to know if you’ve been living under a rock for 300 years.

Hello Drifters

Welcome to the new and (working on being) improved After the End site. We had some varmint hackers piggybacking on our posse and had to shake our spurs to get them off. We’ve got some of our basics back like Forums and links to Rules but if you have updates you’d like to see let the Staff know. The link to pre-register for our November game is up so do that thing.