“Go Maint or go home!”
The maintenance crews (including Life Support) are what keeps Thermopylae running. You do everything from repairs, build jobs, foraging and scavenging to vehicle maintenance, scrubdowns and cleaning. This document is a short primer to prepare you for what to expect as a MAINT worker at Lotka-Volterra, and some pointers on how we think you will get the most fun out of this game.
Support your shift leader
The shift leaders of Thermopylae Maintenance are competent, no-nonsense people with high organization skills and wide skillset. While their characters might be all that, the players behind the character will be just as lost as you in the bunker to begin with, and might not know just what electrical cabling junctions need rewiring or how to strip and replace an oxygen scrubber - so be gentle on them. They do not know everything, even though they (and you) most likely will pretend they do.Give them ample time for making decisions and for “checking up” on the details of work tasks and how things technically work. Don’t push them into situations where the player can’t measure up to the characters skill level, and make sure to support them and play against them like if they are experts even though they might not be. If you know better how to handle an electrical fault or how to repair a broken generator, let them know and explain it to them as if they already did know. And do the same with your shift buddies - share the knowledge and don’t make anyone look bad just because the player does not know how to do a specific thing.
What to expect from work
For Maintenance there are two basic types of work; routine and special tasking. The routine stuff are things that you regularly do every shift - like scrubbing, and the special tasking is isolated stuff that needs to be taken care of (like repairs, build projects etc). Routine work is things that you can count on doing every single work shift, and that the shift leader has to take into account when planning their shifts and selecting who does what.The special tasking will be fed to shift leaders and/or head of maintenance/life support in a few ways; some of the things will be known to shift leaders before the game starts (and accessible as “tasks” in the computer system), other things will be fed to shift leaders from the GMs, often via Command. And finally, a few things might be stuff that you guys come up with yourselves or that just happen organically during the larp. Here’s a list of routine and special tasks as we see them right now. Some of these are there for the benefit of the game (ie giving you something to do, and/or enabling play for others), others are actual maintenance tasks that the bunker owners have identified as actual work that needs to be done and that the participants can probably do during the larp.
Please note that organizing work for this many people in a rather special venue leaves quite a few details rather fluid, so things might change here as we get closer to the larp. Things might get pulled and others might get added.
- Scrubdown of returning SURFOPS teams. This (routinely) only happens at night, as the SURFOPS teams return from upstairs. You will line all the returning SURFOPS up in a specific area, and proceed to scrub them down with antisporals (at the larp this will be represented by talcum powder).
- Spore checks. Every shift maintenance checks all the ventilation inlets and a few other spaces for signs of spores, as the filters don’t always catch everything. At the game spore incursions will be represented by fluorescent ink and your spore detectors are modified UV black lights.
- Sweeping. With 300 people living in Thermopylae, constantly dragging dirt in, the outpost needs regular cleaning. Floors need to be sweeped regularly.
- The hydroponics bay needs some maintenance every shift. Check the water temperature and acidity so that it is within tolerable levels, prune some plants etc. Also harvesting of edible greens is done almost every shift.
- Manning the internal telephone switch system and Haven vidbooth terminals
- Repair & building, specific projects handed to your shift leaders via GM. Some of these are for diegetic purposes, other are (as discussed above) actual work to be done in the bunker. Examples include:
- Rigging lights and cabling, switching out bulbs or fluorescent lamps at specific places
- Laying down cabling for the internal phone network
- An airlock sensor needs to be calibrated (electronic/mechanical work)
- Pipe repair between chamber 13 and 15
- Cabling in the roof needs fixing, reactor room
- Fan F4 in room 318 needs repair
- Stone filter at main air intake needs repair
- Going through all valve number tags and replacing their steel wires with copper wire
- Topside missions. This is not routine for outpost Maintenance crews, but they happen from time to time. Typical topside missions that require Maintenance crews are for instance repairing of sensors or broken cables, scavenging missions and foraging (foraging however is hard to simulate convincingly and will most likely not be part of the game). Examples of things we are planning here include
- Scavenging of locations - specific locations containing stuff Haven or Thermopylae needs. Maintenance crews will be escorted there by SURFOPS teams and look for items of value.
- Repair work: Sensors, cables etc (close range walk-out missions)
- Special missions such as sending com-balloons
- Diegetic tasks. These are things that cause drama and/or are part of “event chains” in the game. Things such as
- Power failures, leading to critical outpost systems going down and needing (diegetic) repair
- Specific build projects - of which we will not speak right now...