ORC Edinburgh's History

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The Open Roleplaying Community was formerly known as the Ottakar's Roleplaying Club. We changed this in early 2005, because we took a long hard look at ourselves and realised we're not really a club, we're just a venue and a tradition and a culture - and that's the way we like it. We want to be Open to everyone, and we want to emphasise the Community that we have, and we're all about Roleplaying - hence the name. We managed to keep the same initials, which is nice, even though no-one believes it was accident that we ended up spelling ORC.

The "Ottakars Roleplaying Club, Edinburgh" was created in 2003 when Morgan Davie noticed a new roleplaying games section in the George Street shop of bookshop chain Ottakars. What really caught his eye was the noticeboard that had been mounted on the wall. Ottakars employee Claudia was responsible for this, and she and Morgan together arranged a demonstration day instore. This was held on May 25, 2003, and although only a few people came along, almost all of them were to become club regulars. The club proper began on July 5, and has carried on a schedule of Saturday afternoon meetings ever since. Membership has continued to climb as new people find out about O.R.C. The website has over 200 members and subscribers, and 2-3 games run every week on Saturday afternoons.

Morgan was keen to support new and different games and to encourage new people to start running games of their own. As a result, O.R.C has hosted dozens of different types of games over its existence, from the market behemoth Dungeons and Dragons to little-known indie games like Ninja Burger, and more than a few games entirely devised by members of the club. Thanks are also due to key supporters at Ottakars: Claudia, Gaynor who was our main liaison, and store manager Matthew. Their encouragement and patience gave us a great opportunity to get together and play fun games. Morgan left the UK just before Christmas in 2005 to go home to his native New Zealand.

Ottakars closed their doors in mid-2006 after being bought by Waterstones. O.R.C has also been held in other venues since although Caffe Nero was still our local meeting spot for many years, in the EasyInternet cafe seating area. When the EasyInternet cafe closed, O.R.C relocated to the Meadow Bar in Buccleuch Street near the Black Lion Games shop. The Meadow Bar is also used by the Edinburgh University Board Games club, F.A.Q. A fire at the Meadow Bar lead to ORC to relocating to Illegal Jacks on Lothian Road, but since then we have returned to both venues (Illegal Jacks and the Meadow Bar) and have expanded to other venues in Edinburgh such as the Game Hub.

The O.R.C website was originally created by Dave Wright. The site acquired a new webmaster in January 2010, Bill Heron.

O.R.C has been going strong for a while now, and looks like it will be around for some time to come.

Thanks are also due to all those who come along and run games! Without your efforts, none of this would be possible.