Students battle in live-action role playing game on University lawn

Reporter and Reporter

The afternoon was cold and grey on the University lawn. A man in armor stood amongst his comrades as snow twirled around them, preparing to spar against one another in a game known as the Dagorhir Battle Games.

The Dagorhir Battle Games are a nationally organized live-action role playing game which focuses on historically accurate armor and weapons. However, players can also adopt more fictional roles like elves from the Lord of the Rings mythos.

Marshall Lamming said what sets it apart from other live-action role playing games is that there is no use of magic, pretend or otherwise.

Lamming has been playing the game for about eight years and got started through his uncle, who was a blacksmith in the Society for Creative Anachronism, another live-action role playing game.

The best thing about Dagorhir is the people involved, Lamming said.

“Some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life I’ve met through Dagorhir and SCA,” he said.

Lamming wears armor with an ancient Roman style, made of stainless steel. Advanced armor can cost hundreds of dollars, Lamming said.

Frank Welter, a second-year master student, had his chainmail armor custom made, which cost him about $500.

“We spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to look cool,” Lamming said.

Lamming and Welter stressed authenticity and historical accuracy when it came to creating costumes and armor. Only materials such as leather, cloth, bronze and steel are allowed to be used to make costumes.

Although Dagorhir can get expensive, it doesn’t have to be, Lamming said. Some people have played for years and only a cloth costume, Lamming said.

The Dagorhir chapter in the city also is willing to lend weapons and materials to people who want to join.

Such was the case with Welter when he first started. He borrowed swords when he began, but as he got more involved, people showed him how to make his own weapons out of foam and plastic.

Freshman Anthony Meluch joined last semester and first got interested when he saw the members of Dagorhir sword fighting on the University lawn.

“As soon as I saw people wearing armor I just had to know about it,” he said.

The city Dagorhir chapter meets every Saturday at 2-5 p.m. on the University lawn.

“Join the group,” Meluch said, “We need lots of people. It’s a very good thing to get into because you get to get the stress out. I know I used it for midterms last semester.”