Via my Facebook feed I’ve become aware of the new UK based Ork LARP , this awareness turned into real interest when I saw the pictures taken of the first event by Silver Lining Studios. I always loved the imagery of Warhammer 40,000 (never been a player), but I love the look and feel of that universe. This is what those images delivered. A cool looking Warmhammer 40K Larp. It was time to find out more.

So I sent a short set of questions to one of Ork Larp organisers Dan Barlow. This is what happened.

Why you started Ork Larp? (I had to write the first question orkishly)
It started round the camp-fire of another event. Some friends and I were wondering what we could base our next mercenary band on for a future event. We all seemed to come to the same idea that Space Orks would be good fun. The refs disagreed and said we couldn’t run with the idea, by the amount  of great ideas and enthusiasm that had been generated by that one conversation showed me that this was an idea worth pursuing on its own. I approached Darren Stocker of Irregular Productions about doing a collaboration, and quick as a flash he agreed.  The main principle we wanted to base the game on was ‘fun’, the world of Warhammer 40K can be very gritty, dark, and very very serious, for Ork LRP I wanted the players to really embrace Orky ways of thinking.
How long did it take to organise the first event?
Darren and I am huge Warhammer 40K fans and a story almost wrote itself, we gave the Orks suitably vague and Orky commands for the first event. As both Darren (through Irregular Productions, and myself (through Twisted Realities) have put on quite a few events with a sci-fi flavour we were able to pool our kits stores and with a few exceptions have enough stuff to run the first event. The one big exception to this was our very own Space Marine, but in all honesty I think Darren had been looking for an excuse to make power armour for some time J We bought on board some great roleplayers to help crew wrangle, ref encounters, and provide that all important second set of eyes to what we were doing. Shout out and thanks to Fen Winters and Derek Turnbull. We were over the moon when Gile Warhurst of Silver Lining Studios asked he could come along and take photos for us, we embedded him as a human NPC in the Ork camp (with a suitable backstory that they didn’t just kill him) and we got some amazing results.
Both Darren and I are big fans of ‘rule light’ systems so we just lifted the common rules for combat from Vault 57 and Heroes and Dragons (what we call hero fighting) and we added an Ork twist to it. The Ork have two sets of hit points, the first are their normal hits, for damaged inflicted by the crew in their various forms. The second set of hits are for when there is Ork-on-Ork violence. No matter what damage is done to an Ork, if it’s done by another Ork it is just ‘subdue’ style damage. The thinking that Ork are boisterous and brutal, and the Ork gods will not allow the Orks to die by their own hands, they must fall in battle with an enemy. This gave the green light for some brilliant and comedic moments with mis-firing guns, an improvised game of Bloodbowl, Ork leadership challenges, and manner of ‘Orkness’.
How did you go about publicising it?
Piggybacking on the backs of our established LRP groups for our own systems as well as the UK LRP group we have been posting flier images up for a while. We also covered it off in debrief sessions of any systems we attended over the last year. As with all events in the hobby, reputation is everything, run one good event and word will spread.
What’s the background story to the game and how do you position it in the 40K universe?
I think the only really thing to say about this is that we are post heresy. The universe is a big place after all, so we haven’t tied it to any specific location of events in the Warhammer 40K canon.
Do you have any plans for the future.
The Warhammer 40K universe is immense and there is potential for many different style events using many different factions. Whispers in the wind already talk of an Imperial Guard event early in the new year. A possible Space Hulk themed events to take place underground. Ork LRP itself will indeed return for a second and probably third outing, the current campaign has that trilogy feel to it from a story writing perspective. Keep an eye of the following groups/pages for future dates and information.

Judging by these comments from  Jack Barlow – the players had a ball.

It was amazing fun to play and great fun being orkz, the players all really got into the spirit of it and we’re bashing and shooting each other as well as the enemies. Luckily the rules have non-lethal damage for ork on ork violence 🙂 we had a really intimate event with just 8 players and that made us feel like a really close-knit group. There was great fights with fantastic reactions from the crew and players, everyone seemed to take hits really well and react to the weird/psykers. I was made to feel quite epic by the reactions of the crew, I played a weird grrrl and I was making heads explode, brilliant fun! Ben brought his bbq so we could cook our “hoomie” meat and eat without breaking character, I love games where you stay IC all the time. Ork lrp was great fun and I can’t wait to play again.

Personally I’m loving the idea of the Orkz don’t damage Orkz rule. I can see that leading to lots of brutal buy hilarious fun.

I really like this idea of taking a known universe and finding your space within that to larp in. I’ve run games like this myself. It helps as the players go in knowing the social rules and goodly bit of back story. It makes immersion easier.

In case you want to get in touch here are the Facebook contacts

At the start of this piece I mentioned that photos drew me in and Dan also mentioned the part played by Giles Warhurst of Silver Lining Studios. If you want to get in touch with Giles here is his Facebook Page:

To finish up. Here’s another photo from the third day of that first game.


Please note that all the photographs in this article are copyright of Giles Warhurst – Silver Lining Studios



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