May 2018
Posted By Thomas Miller
at Oct 13, 2015

Exploring the Daily Lives of Orcs with “Snaga: Jeden Kmen”

It’s not everyday you find a LARP that throws a new perspective on a story construct we feel comfortable with. Many games leave the majority of the story to the “Good Guys” and leave the “Bad Guys” with the cliff notes motivation of “You’re bad guys… and you like doing bad guy stuff”. This is no where as prevalent as Medieval Fantasy LARPs, and often times the only case when looking at Lord of the Rings inspired LARPs. But, not all hope is lost… “Snaga: Jeden Kmen” (Snaga: One tribe) in The Czech Republic is here!

In their own words, “Snaga: One tribe is a multi-genre story in which the world of creatures known to the humans as orcs come to life“. That’s right, in this game the Orcs are the PCs, and the NPCs are the “Free Peoples of Middle Earth”. This mirror of the standard Fantasy LARP adventure opens up an entire new world to explore. Though much was written about Orcs by Tolkien and others, rarely do we find a well developed concept of their daily lives, rituals, habits and dreams. The idea that they would have these is almost in direct conflict with Tolkien’s quote, “They were wholly and entirely evil, bend to the will of their dark master”, and we do catch glimpses of Tolkien’s deeper and thoughts on Orcs through their interactions with each other. This open ended side of the story lends itself to the creative minds behind this hauntingly gruesome event!

“Snaga: One Tribe” gives players the opportunity to explore this untold story in a way previously unseen. For this reason, we’re dedicated a 4 part series to this exciting LARP event, where we explore the many faceted world of The Orc!

“The crucial idea of One Tribe is to act like a real tribe”, says Ctibor Ostrý, one of the players and organizers of the the “One Tribe Project”.

He goes on to say, “So some parts from the collection of pics are not from scenic or LARP performances as usual, but from kind of an everyday life, how a member of the tribe experiences it. Tribal members are mostly a band of friends, who knows each other for many years and from time to time, they put on their masks and go together on a trip, build in camp in a country a spend a weekend together (like you can see on The camp or The Road cycle for example). From time to time we participate on larger LARPs or make some scenic “performances”. I find important to know, that the One Tribe overlaps to other LARP little bit.”

Part I of the series looks at the camp life, and world the Orcs live in when not campaigning or raiding. From cooking, to lodging, this gallery gives you the impression that the world is much deeper than “Stab, Slash and Burn!” for these creatures of the Dark Army of Sauron.




What is One Tribe project?
One Tribe project connects photography, digital art and music, but it isn’t just that. One Tribe is result of long-term variously oriented art-work of wider group of people. It’s based on eye-catching handmade costumes, props and equipment combined with interesting locations of natural beauty, that underline unique atmosphere of scenes. One Tribe project is driven by desire to tell the story, because storytelling and annual festivities are what native tribes do to keep their culture alive. Our story isn’t stated outright, but is merely outlined to leave space for your own imagination and to picture yourself as part of it. Almost every part of the story is based on authentic experience either from LARPs (Live Action RolePlay) or life itself and all we had to do was to twist some details to more urukish nature. Characters depicted by our story are partly inspired by J. R. R. Tolkiens books, but mostly by our “normal” lives and they reflect strong relationship with nature, wandering, stories and creating tangible and intangible things. Major part of the project is photography, sections of the gallery are named after important events in the life of the tribe: The Camp – Maudhul, The Journey – Ogh, The Figth – Maukum, The Ritual – Kaushatar and The Burrial – Vorroz. Second part of the project is electronic ambient music which will guide you through the story, underline the photos and is planned to be released on CD later on, so you can not only see us, but hear us as well. At the final point of this project, and we are looking forward to see it as you are, official web page www.snaga.cz will be released alongside with exhibition of photos, music and some artefacts of the tribe.


Thomas Miller

As Creative Director of LARPing.org, Tom's time is spent doing everything from research, design, development, writing and editing. This Detroit native attends LARPs all over the US, and enjoys everything from Post-Apoc to Modern Culture LARP settings. He currently sits as Lead Plot and Story designer for The Voyage North.

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