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Orcs in Larp

The Orc is a typical creature from the fantasy world, derived from the Latin Word Orcus (underworld). Since the movie adaption of „Lord of the Rings“ everybody knows the green-skinned villains of the story, the orcs. „Lord of the Rings“ as a book was a major influence on the term „orc“ today. In the following time many fantasy novels and role plays dealt with the topic of orcs and so a clear picture of these creatures was created.

In Tolkien`s Books the Orc is portrayed as brutal and uncivilized. Orcs are characteristically green, brownish or even black and are, above all, good henchmen for villains due to their merciless, brutal actions. The Orcs do not exactly shine through their intellect, but are rather dull and devious fellows.

But in live role-playing (Larp), the Orcs were already an important part of storytelling before the „Lord of the Rings“ was made into a movie, for creating a picture of the struggle between good and evil. But in the meantime an Orc is no longer necessarily a villain, there are also Orc clans, which sometimes coexist more or less peacefully with other fantasy races and fight common enemies such as the undead.

The Orc as an enemy in Larp

The Orcs as enemies in Larp are created by make-up or masks and are played by so-called non-players (NPC). The costume usually only requires a few shreds of leather, fur and, if necessary, a few ramshackle pieces of armour. A few coarse Larp weapons and the orc is finished. Some Larp Organizers have an Orc inventory to quickly create a horde of Orcs as enemies.

How does an Orc fight? Orcs have the tendency to act very chaotic and unpredictable on the battlefield. They rarely follow a tactic and storm towards the enemy with brute force. This often causes great respect and fear of Orcs among other players. An Orc also generally has greater resistance and physical strength than a human and is harder to kill. This is well expressed in the often absurdly large and nasty weapons Orcs carry.

Playing an Orc in Larp

Orcs are not only opponents in the Larp world. An Orc can also take part in the game as a player character, but other player-characters will usually treat Orcs with suspicion. Dwarves will hate you irrepressibly, Elves will steer clear of you, humans will always be sceptical and cautious.

Often Orcs form a group, which they then call a clan, horde or pack depending on the game orientation. The player outfit of an Orc is usually extremely elaborate and handmade with great attention to detail. Among Orc players, a high standard of clothing has established itself in order to clearly distinguish themselves from the countless Quick- and Easy Orcs Foes. Therefore it is difficult to play an Orc as a beginner in Larp. You should first try this role as a non-playing character, also to find into the behaviour of an Orc.

To get into the role of an Orc correctly, the player needs appropriate orcish equipment and make-up changes. The typical orc has a green-brown face colour and tusks, protruding foreheads and pointed, slightly tattered ears. To represent an Orc correctly in the game, a rough, uncouth and stubborn behaviour is advisable. But even here there are clear exceptions, not every Orc is stupid. There are also cunning and intelligent representatives among Orcs. Often the Orcs make pacts with the smaller Goblins, which are always related to them in some way.

Orcs & Goblins – the difference in Larp

Goblins are smaller and slimmer than orcs, they have long pointed noses and often very long ears, and unlike orcs they are actually nearly always green. Depending on the fantasy context goblins like to experiment with magic and are more often shamanically active than their larger colleagues.

Orcs usually look down on goblins and keep them as servants & minions. In orcish hierarchies, the physically strongest rules and these are never actually Goblins. What goblins don’t have in physical strength they usually make up for in shrewdness, a Goblin should perhaps be even less trusted than an Orc in Larp.

Humans among Orcs – The Haradrim

There are few people who would make a pact with orcs. The Haradrim people, who also come from the Middle Earth universe, however, fight side by side with the hordes of orcs. The Haradrim are a fierce human race known for their war elephants and feared warriors. Visually, they are inspired by Orientals and wear black turbans.

The Orc Codex & The Culture of Orcs

Orcs have become a highly complex sub-culture in Larp, with their own system of rules and values, typical aesthetics and an enthusiastic player base that constantly raises the level of display possibilities. But a few universal things can be said about the Orc culture.

The orcs have a certain codex. This Orc Codex can vary from Orc Clan to Orc Clan. But mostly the Orc Codex defines certain behaviour and ranks. The Orc Codex is not necessarily a written document, but rather an internalization of the rules in each of the orcs. Because every Orc strives to become a leader once and for that, Orcs will die for it. So the Orc Codex helps to prevent rebellions and mutiny within the clan. The Orc Codex also clearly defines how the Orcs relate to other races, the Goblins, which are mostly the lowly footmen for the Orcs. All who do not follow the Orc Codex and get caught doing so can be punished by the leader or chief, which often means death for Orcs.

Orcs do not like other Fantasy folks very much. Humans little, elves not at all and dwarves absolutely not. Hate creates counter-hate and long bloody feuds among the races have ensured that orcs are always perceived as a threat and ticking time bomb. And they do little to change this status.

It is in the nature of Orcs to be a race of warriors. Honor and pride is important to an Orc, as well as winning in battle. But what an Orc understands by honour is not the same as human values. Their life is a constant trial of strength and struggle for more dominance in their clan. But Orcs are not only dumb barbarians, they have their own music, art and language, even if Elves would consider it disgusting and primitive. In any case, it is exciting to explore the Orc culture from the outside or to be a part of it as an orc player.

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