A central aspect of LARPing is simulated combat. You will spar with other participants using foam weapons to represent hand-to-hand attacks and soft packets filled with bird seed to represent ranged attacks. Special game effects are communicated verbally (e.g., a goblin might strike your sword and say, “Disarm!”), and damage is tracked through a simple system of hit totals. If you’re subdued, you may be healed by another character, narrowly escape your fate with a more permanent injury, or die. Even then, another character may perform a ritual to resurrect you.
LARPing is very safe. All of the weapons at Shards of Orn events are made of foam and checked for safety. Additionally, all participants are trained in safety policies before they can enter play. As with any contact sport, injuries can and do happen, but they tend to be rare and more often result from things like poor footing than they do from being hit.
As a player, you will assume the identity of a character of your own creation to interact with other players, go on adventures, and fight monsters. During one of the game’s four-hour shifts, you will play as one of the monsters instead, acting under the guidance of a den keeper or narrator. You will also interact with other members of game staff: you’ll meet an administrator when you check in, a new player counselor who will walk you through orientation, and possibly a medic if you sustain a real-life injury.
It’s a common misconception that you need to be part of a group, party, or “nation” in order to participate in Shards of Orn. While this may be true in other LARPs, you're perfectly welcome to attend as a solo character. If and when you choose to join a group is entirely up to you.