Conflict and resolution

Conflict and resolution

In a diverse group with so many different personalities, agendas and opinions, there will always be some level of conflict. How are these things handled by the people in the Collective?

In this update, we’ll talk about how things might have been in the past and hopefully give you some hooks to hang your play on during the larp. We will not detail every possible way of handling things or we would still be reading about it next year. We trust you to roleplay conflict and resolution without having a book of rules to stick to.

In a setting like Re:Boot, conflicts probably happens quite frequently. Everyone has lived through trauma, everyone is exhausted, fuses run short and tempers run high. People argue all the time, push and take a swing at each other every so often, and all of that is unavoidable. People can’t spend time and energy stopping every argument, but everything has a limit.

Since the foundation of the Collective, there has really only been only two rules that haven’t changed. Justice has been served in the past, but not always in the same way. With the fall of the regime, people now have different ideas of how to solve problems, what consequences there should be and who gets to decide what.

Generally, two hard rules apply to any version of the Collective:

  • No killing or maiming of members of the Collective
  • Don’t steal food

Previously, the consequences of repeatedly breaking the rules or not contributing enough to the survival of the Collective have included hard labor, withdrawal of rights, less food or in the worst case scenario – exile. Some want corporal punishment, some want more leniency.

There is no single leader in the Collective. The burden of responsibility has shifted between people who are natural leaders or who had authority in the place they arrive. When things have been dangerous, the most natural thing has been to follow strong authoritative leader figures like Thulsa and Daniels. The no nonsense way of solving problems pragmatically and delegating tasks that Richardson does has often worked out in times of hardship. When the Collective has been allowed into a facility where leadership already existed, such as Sorting Camp 3 or the sewer system, they had to follow the rules in place there. Here, Wah Sr. and Miller ran things, because it was “their house”. In Paradise, no one in the Collective were decision makers, because the makeshift settlement already had a functioning system.

In the past month, the most important thing has been survival. For people in deep crisis, solving lesser conflicts has low priority compared to finding food and looking for a place to hide. As the group arrives at this new place, they stand before many new decisions. What should be the rules here? Who will you lend your trust and support to? Is it the people with decisive leadership, a pragmatic authority figure, the old school and experienced administration, or those with new ideas of how things could be?

Is it better to be led by one leader on top or a group? Is a firm hand better than a yielding one? Is the familiar old better than the unknown new?

We ask that you be generous when it comes to the illusion of who decides what. Someone who has an expertise in things are naturally going to take the lead and decide what’s best. No one would question the medic’s know-how, or meddle with how Sanitation does their job. Some characters are set up to be an authority (or wanting to be). Let them do some leadership. Listen to them, be convinced by them, doubt them, argue with them.

Is your character one of the people vying for power? Then delegate, talk with other characters and win support for your way of doing things. Is your character a follower, someone with a clear (or unclear) idea of how things should be? Then play up those whose ideas you’d follow, respond to their decisions or suggestions and create play on it. Remember to let your character’s motivations be in front, not your own.

We also ask that you let arguments and fighting happen. There will be hidden and blatant abuse, both verbal, physical and maybe sexual. Don’t block it too quickly, and consider that you’ll be blocking someone else’s play if you butt in every time someone gets into a fight. Likewise, don’t spend the majority of your days shouting at people and throwing punches. It can quickly get old. Keep in mind that all actions may have consequences, so if you pick fights with the ‘wrong’ people all the time, there comes a time when you have to pay for it.

This game is not about building a copy of the Scandinavian social democracy model. Nor is it a game about sticking it to the Man. You don’t have to win power or favor before the larp is over. There is no throne or army waiting for you. The more exciting thing is the play between people and characters with different opinions, how different methods come into play and how tensions may rise.

Re:Boot is a slice of life, a few days among many, in the lives of 40-50 people trying to survive. Their world will continue after the larp is over. There is no big bang at the end, no very specific goal to reach and no plot to solve.