Dagorhir

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What is it?

Dagorhir is a live-action dark age battlegame (or LARP) organization founded in Maryland in 1977. Dagorhir has since spread to scores of locations with thousands of members in the US, Canada and England. Dagorhir is a combat-oriented organization with full-contact fighting as its primary focus, with a secondary element of acting in-character before, during, and after combat. Dagorhir fighters typically use foam weapons such as swords, spears, bows and arrows, morning stars, axes, and other weapons that were commonly used during the dark ages. This particular LARP does not involve use of “magic"--only medieval type weapons. Participants also dress in period costume and are expected to stay "in-character" during events, though the amount of seriousness the role-playing aspect receives varies greatly by unit and chapter.

How is is different?

Dagorhir, or just Dag for short, uses a very similar combat system to Amtgard. However, Dag's combat has been called more hardcore as they allow shield bashing, kicking shields, and projectiles to the head. Armor is also a difference, as any armor in Dag only counts as one point.

LARP or Sport?

There is discussion amongst groups that boffer "sports" may or may not be LARPs. Some have said "...Belegarth nor Dagorhir should be considered "LARPs" as they do not allow for magic, classes, or any of the other things that would generally constitute something as one." Others who look at any of the three main boffer "sports" (namely Belegarth, Dagorhir, and Amtgard) tend to see the same thing: People dressed in clothing styles that generally predate the 1600's, swinging items called boffers, and portraying fantasy effects such as dying, and alternative races or personas.

As was mentioned, the one thing that is generally compared is the use of magic and classes. Now while Amtgard has classes, and a complex magic system, the rules of play for the game never actually use the word LARP, and in fact, the word role play (or other forms of it) only appears 3 times across 72 pages. People have argued that classes are similar to positions on a sports team. Other people say that because they are called classes or use abilities that they must be part of a role playing system. Admittedly all three games include a position/class called archer. This position entails extra abilities in both Belegarth and Amtgard (potentially in Dagorhir as well, but this author does not know at this time). In Belegarth, the archer is given the abilities of being able to call shots on people they hit(normally reserved for the position of Marshal) and to launch a projectile that is considered to go through weapons. In Amtgard, there are many abilities, some of which include: The ability to have arrows that go through shields, the ability to destroy weapons, (this author suggests you look at the corresponding rules of play for the full lists).

Also of note, all three games require participants to wear clothing that resembles styles of a medieval fashion. All three include large groups of people who claim to be non-human races and act as such. All three have some sort of ruling government setup within the game that includes things like: knighthood, kings and queens, realms/kingdoms, and "feasts" with a medieval setting.

So which is a LARP and which is not? Where does the sport end, and the larp begin?


Cross events

Players who have crossed over, or play both

House Sol Invictus has been established to provide a place for Amtgardians to fight as a collective unit at Ragnarok, some Belegarth events, and even the SCA. Ragnarok is to be the primary stomping ground for this cross over group. Any Amtgardian is welcome to join and fight with the unit.

See A comparison of arrow construction.

Dag circa 1982 on youtube


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