Your first event!
No costume is required for your first five events, and your first event is free! At your next event, you should bring your $5 lifetime membership fee. All standard events after the first are $3 each, while camping weekends are $10. For your first five events, you must attend the New Player Speech at the start of each event, to review rules of weapon types and taking hits. For questions about an appropriate costume for your character, refer to the FAQs below, the costume marshal, or other players.
Rulebook and Waiver
ORCS Rulebook 2023 (You can save the book by right-clicking the link and clicking ‘Save As…’)
This Waiver must be completed before we can let you on the field! (Click on the link to download the PDF) If you are under age 18, this waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ORCS?
Organized Recreational Combat Simulations (O.R.C.S.)is a full-contact medieval fantasy war gaming club located in the Hampton Roads area since 2000. Every other Sunday members gather in costume and armor to fight unchoreographed mock battles with padded weaponry. We are medieval, in that we use real armor but padded weapons that are similar to medieval type weapons. We are fantasy, in that we have magic and monsters in our rule sets. We are a war gaming club, in that we have a land map and countries that can declare war on each other.
What should I wear?
For the first few events you will not be required to wear anything special. It is suggested that you wear some type of athletic clothing. Something you can move and run around in. But, after your fifth event you are required to wear a costume like the rest of us. If you’ve never done any kind of reenactment or LARPing before, a very simple costume could consist of natural colored sweat pants (with the elastic cut from the ankles) and a simple large t-shirt (without a pocket and the elastic cut from the neck). Once you’ve attended a few events and know that your interested and continuing the game then you should probably start looking into purchasing or creating garb more fitting to your character. You can raid thrift stores for period style clothing. There are several people in ORCS who sew and are happy to help you with your costume or make your costume for a fee. Things you should not have in your costume are: visible zippers, logos (Nike, sports teams, etc.), tennis shoes, spikes/pins, and/or other dangerous objects. Additionally, people with body-piercings should be wary of wearing them on the field. They have a chance of being torn or ripped out of place. Players may want to remove them before engaging in combat.
Do I need weapons?
For your first battle, it’s probably best if you do not attempt to make weapons at home, unless you have a friend to help you out who’s participated in foam fighting in the past. There is an in-game and out-of-game Armory run by a player who has weapons for rent and purchase for coin and money. There are other players willing to make weapons for money. Some (not all) Countries have extra weapons that they might lend to new players if you ask. Also feel free to ask them how they make their weapons, what materials to use, etc. It might even be possible to set up a weapon making session with someone so you can see how it is done. If you see a certain type of weapon you think you’d like to fight with, ask that person how they made it or where they got it from.
What restrictions do I have as a new player?
First off, you must be 14 years old or older with a parent or guardians witnessed approval. As a new player, you’ll be required to play a Classless Warrior for your first 5 events. A single credit is earned for every event you check-in at (3 credits for a camp out). You will also be expected to attend the “New Player Speech” given by the Noble Council where they will go over the basic rules and safety. These talks will be announced during check-in. This is another great opportunity for you to get your questions answered by veterans of the game. Please ask your questions at the end of the “New Player Speech”. As a new player your first event is free. After that you will be expected to pay a one time $5 membership fee and event dues: $3 for day events and $10 for camp outs.
Is ORCS safe?
This is a full-contact sport and with any full-contact sport accidents do happen and people get hurt. But ORCS makes every effort to be safe. All weapons and armor are inspected before each event by an appropriate Marshal for safety. There are Field Elders to supervise the events, to make sure play is running smoothly and safely. Fortunately, the injury rate is low and they are usually minor: cuts, bruises, sore muscles, sprained ankles, etc. Participants should also wear anything they may need personally to protect themselves from injury, such as knee/ankle braces, sports bras, and/or a cup.
What should my battle name be?
When participating in ORCS, you should always go by your “Battle Name.” A battle name is a name of your own choosing of the character you are playing on the field. There are also several fantasy name generators that can be found by searching the Internet. Google is your friend.
What is this about countries and land map?
Unlike most other LARP’s, ORCS is a team based club. These teams are called countries in ORCS and these countries are represented on the Land Map in relation to each other. The Land Map shows the physical representation of the countries and where they are positioned to other countries. Each country has an unique history, culture, enemies and allies. Choosing a Country is an important decision. New players should try to fight with a number of different Countries before making a decision. Many Countries are happy to talk to new players and explain what the ethos of their Country is. Take advantage of this! Also, each country’s history is listed on this web page. Some Countries take membership very seriously and will expect you to petition and/or fight with them for a long period of time before you may join. Others are more open and will give you membership status after asking to join. People often seek Countries based on real-life geography and demographics as well. For example most members of TyrCath live in Gloucester. There are many factors involved in choosing a Country but new players do not have to become part of a country. Players can choose to be become Nomads. Nomads are characters that are not part of a Country. Nomads can hire themselves out to other Country to earn in-game coin.
How does this whole thing work?
After you’ve gotten your costume, weapons, name, and everything all taken care of, you are ready to begin fighting on the field. You should already know by now, through the ‘New Player Speech’, the basics of ORCS. A key point to remember is to listen to the Elders – they usually wear a white tabard that says “Elder” in red on it. They are the referees of ORCS and you must listen to them at all times. ORCS uses a basic hit system similar to other LARP’s. There are four different types of weapons that represented by four colors. The chart below shows how each weapons type effects you when hit without armor.
Remember that safety is the most important rule of the game (with having fun a close second), and that good sportsmanship and fair play are important as well. If you are unsure if you are dead, drop to the ground and stay there. If you have a problem with someone, speak to an Elder or a member of the Noble Council. Do not get into an argument or disagreement on the field.
New players should be aware that ORCS does allow grappling/wrestling, within the bounds of good judgment.
ORCSLARP Rule Book 2023
Scroll through the newest edition of the rulebook here!
Download the PDF here
The O.R.C.S. Rule Book is based on the Darkon Wargaming Club, Inc. Rulebook. O.R.C.S. would like to thank Darkon for allowing us to use their rules system. The O.R.C.S. Rulebook was updated and amended for O.R.C.S. play by Rob O’Keefe and Jayson Gundlach, 2004.