What is Amtgard?
Amtgard is a swords and sorcery styled medieval combat, culture, and sciences organization. Amtgard was founded in El Paso, Texas in 1983 and has since spread throughout North America and the rest of the world. With over ten thousand active members representing a diverse swath of humanity it’s safe to say there is something for everybody in Amtgard. Whether you’re a teenager in high school or an established adult you will be able to find an inviting peer group that is excited to welcome you to the game.
What Can Amtgard Offer Me?
Amtgard is an excellent way to encourage interest in medieval combat, arts, and sciences. It’s also a fun and exciting way to get exercise while meeting new people. Here are some of the common activities Amtgardians engage in:
- Medieval team combat using safe foam replicas
- Leather working
- Metal working
- Armor making
- Tournament combat using safe foam replicas
- Brewing and cooking
- Singing and performance
- Wood working
Getting started in Amtgard is easy and fun. Here are a few simple guidelines a new player can follow to get started in the organization.
Read the ‘Combat Rules’. It’s only a couple of pages and shouldn’t take more than ten minutes or so. Don’t worry if you find some of it confusing, it’s much easier to do than it looks on paper.
Read the ‘Magics, Abilities, States and Special Effects Made Easy’ section in this rulebook. This will explain the basics of how the non-combat game mechanics work.
Find a group near you and visit it! That’s it, nothing more complicated than that. In fact, you’re encouraged to skip directly to step 4 and jump in with both feet. The best way to learn is from friendly and experienced veterans. Find a park near you at Amtgard.com.
Once you’ve made contact with your local group there are a few next steps to start thinking about. Don’t worry about any of these too much, they’re just details that help fill in your Amtgard experience. Move at your own pace and have fun with it.
- Read the flavor text in this rulebook to get a feel for the backstory and culture of Amtgard. This will help you understand and fit in better with your local groups.
- Pick a character name. This is what people will call you when you attend the park, so make sure you pick something you want to hear frequently and for a long time. Good examples of character names would be ‘John of Longbridge’, ‘Samuel Ironstone’, or ‘Darius Elfsblood’. Avoid cliche names, names of famous people, names of literary characters, and names of people that already exist in your local group. For example, there are already dozens named “Shadow” in Amtgard. Try and pick something unique for yourself.
- Consider having a backstory or character history. This isn’t required, but it sometimes helps to drive your interactions and experiences with other players.
- Acquire or make some gear. Eventually you are going to want your own weapons, shields, and garb (Amtgard specific clothing). Many people at your local park will be willing to help you out making equipment and there are numerous online vendors who sell Amtgard legal equipment if you would rather go that route.
- Join in with the wider organization. Amtgard has a great online presence on our official forums at Electric Samurai as well as on Facebook. These can be great resources to meet new people, learn about what is going on in the world of Amtgard, and get ideas about fighting, crafting, and anything else that might interest you.