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Orcs are medium humanoids that tend to live in remote areas far from other races. Their race originated in the Shadowfell. Because of this, they all carry a bit of magic within them, though, like other humanoid races, only a small few are born with enough magical potential to actually make use of spells and such. Orcs are hated and feared by virtually all races.

Physiology Edit

Orcs have stooped postures, low foreheads, and piggish faces with prominent lower canines that resemble tusks. They have a grayish or green pigmentation, jutting jaws, and towering builds. Their eyes are either black or brown. Their black hair is sparse, unruly, and typically kept in ponytails, when long enough.

Common Personality Traits Edit

Strength and power are the greatest of orcish virtues. They hate all good races, particularly elves, and enjoy trying to satisfy their natural bloodlust. They have vicious tempers, and are utterly untrustworthy, though few creatures experience these traits before either killing or being killed by an orc.

Society Edit

Orcs gather in tribes that exert their dominance and satisfy their bloodlust by plundering villages, devouring or driving off roaming herds, and slaying any humanoids that stand against them. After savaging a settlement, orcs pick it clean of wealth and items usable in their own lands. They set the remains of villages and camps ablaze, then retreat whence they came, their bloodlust satisfied.

Their lust for slaughter demands that orcs dwell always within striking distance of new targets. As such, they seldom settle permanently, instead converting ruins, cavern complexes, and defeated foes' villages into fortified camps and strongholds. Orcs build only for defense, making no innovation or improvement to their lairs beyond mounting the severed body parts of their victims on spiked stockade walls or pikes jutting up from moats and trenches.

When an existing territory is depleted of food, an orc tribe divides into roving bands that scout for choice hunting grounds. When each party returns, it brings back trophies and news of targets ripe for attack, the richest of which is chosen. The tribe then sets out en masse to carve a bloody path to its new territory.

On rare occasions, a tribe's leader chooses to hold onto a particularly defensible lair for decades. The orcs of such a tribe must range far across the countryside to sate their appetites.

Orc tribes are mostly patriarchal, flaunting such vivid or grotesque titles as Many-Arrows, Screaming Eye, and Elf Ripper. Occasionally, a powerful war chief unites scattered orc tribes into a single rampaging horde, which runs roughshod over other orc tribes and humanoid settlements from a position of overwhelming strength.

Orcs embrace all manner of mighty creatures in their tribes. Rejecting notions of racial purity, they proudly welcome ogres, trolls, half-orcs, and orogs into their ranks. As well, orcs respect and fear the size and power of evil giants, and often serve them as guards and soldiers.

Religion Edit

Orcs worship Gruumsh, the mightiest of the orc deities and their creator. The orcs believe that in ancient days, the gods gathered to divide the world among their followers. When Gruumsh claimed the mountains, he learned they had been taken by the dwarves. He laid claim to the forests, but those had been settled by the elves. Each place that Gruumsh wanted had already been claimed. The other gods laughed at Gruumsh, but he responded with a furious bellow. Grasping his mighty spear, he laid waste to the mountains, set the forests aflame, and carved great furrows in the fields. Such was the role of the orcs, he proclaimed, to take and destroy all that the other races would deny them. To this day, the orcs wage an endless war on humans, elves, dwarves, and other folk.

Orcs hold a particular hatred for elves. The elven god Corellon Larethian half-blinded Gruumsh with a well-placed arrow to the orc god's eye. Since then, the orcs have taken particular joy in slaughtering elves. Turning his injury into a baleful gift, Gruumsh grants divine might to any champion who willingly plucks out one of its eyes in his honor.

Orc Eye of Gruumsh Edit

When an orc slays an elf in Gruumsh's name and offers the corpse of its foe as a sacrifice to the god of slaughter, an aspect of the god might appear. This aspect demands an additional sacrifice: one of the orc's eyes, symbolizing the loss Gruumsh suffered at the hands of his greatest enemy, Corellon Larethian.

If the orc plucks out one of its eyes, Gruumsh might grant the orc spellcasting ability and special favor, along with the right to call itself an Eye of Gruumsh. When not using their auguries to advise their war chiefs, these savage devotees of the god of slaughter hurl themselves into battle, their weapons stained with blood.

Orc War Chief Edit

The war chief of an orc tribe is its strongest and most cunning member.

The reign of a war chief lasts only as long as it commands the fear and respect of other tribe members, whose bloodlust must be regularly satisfied lest the chief appear weak.

Gruumsh bestows special blessings upon war chiefs who prove themselves in battle time and again, imbuing them with slivers of his savagery. A war chief so blessed finds that his weapons cut deeper into his enemies, allowing him to inflict more carnage.

Orc Crossbreeds Edit

Luthic, the orc goddess of fertility and wife of Gruumsh, demands that orcs procreate often and indiscriminately so that orc hordes swell generation after generation. The orcs' drive to reproduce runs stronger than any other humanoid race, and they readily crossbreed with other races. When an orc procreates with a non-orc humanoid of similar size and stature (such as a human or a dwarf), the resulting child is either an orc or a half-orc. When an orc produces young with an ogre, the child is a half-ogre of intimidating strength and brutish features called an ogrillon.

True Traits Edit

Orcs are a much-maligned race, the nature of which is much exaggerated and often outright fabricated. Below is a more accurate portrayal of the race.

Physiology Edit

Orcs have somewhat stooped postures, sloping foreheads, and prominent lower canines that resemble tusks. They have a grayish or green pigmentation, jutting jaws, and towering builds. Their eyes are either black or brown.

Orcs traditionally keep the sides of their heads shaved, with either a short mohawk or longer hair kept in a ponytail. Their hair is usually black, but they have been known to grow dark blue or dark brown hair as well, in shades easily mistaken for black.

Some orcs naturally grow facial hair, others do not. When they do grow it, they rarely put much effort into grooming or maintaining it.

Society Edit

Orcs gather in small tribes in remote locations, such as high atop mountains, deserts, and other locations that other races typically avoid. They seldom settle permanently, preferring settlements that can easily be packed up and moved if discovered. They've been known to convert ruins, cavern complexes, and abandoned villages into temporary camps. They almost never build anything more permanent, whether from scratch or on top of the previously mentioned locations, but when they do, they fortify it as much as they possibly can, in case of attack

Orcs live by a code written into law. This code stresses honor through sacrifice for the tribe, and protecting one another no matter the odds. They have no ruler, elected or otherwise, instead relying upon the coded law for order. Due to their strict adherence to these laws, almost all orcs that live among other orcs are lawful in nature.

Orcs embrace all manner of downtrodden creatures in their tribes. They reject notions of racial purity and completely support races that are less liked by greater society. They proudly welcome ogres, trolls, half-orcs, and even goblinoids such as goblins and bugbears into their ranks, and at least a few members of such races can typically be found residing with orc tribes. However, they don't get along with hobgoblins, whose militant approach is directly counter to their isolationist one.

Orcs are, understandably, distrusting of races such as dwarves, humans, halflings, and, most of all, elves.

Religion Edit

Orcs once worshiped the god Gruumsh, and other races have never let them forget it. When they did follow Gruumsh's teachings, they were more like the hobgoblins they now disapprove of. But hundreds of years ago they abandoned religion entirely, feeling like it had done nothing but cause them hardship.

Since orcs do not follow Gruumsh, their shamans and other spellcasters are not called "Orc Eyes of Gruumsh", and they do not pluck out their own eye to gain their powers. This doesn't stop humans and others from calling them that, though.

Orc Fight Masters Edit

Since orcs actively avoid war and fighting with other races, they do not have 'war chiefs'. They do, however, have 'fight masters', which are orcs that are masters of the martial arts, who teach it to other interested orcs. Sparring is a common and popular orc pastime, so such masters are highly valued by most tribes.

Orc Crossbreeds Edit

Orcs often procreate with races such as ogres, trolls, and bugbears. They have also been known to occasionally procreate with those few dwarves, humans, and, most rarely, elves that have proven themselves friendly toward orc-kind.

When an orc procreates with a non-orc humanoid of similar size and stature (such as a human or a dwarf), the resulting child is either an orc or a half-orc. When an orc produces young with an ogre, the child is called an ogrillon.

Stat Blocks Edit

Regular Orc Edit

Challenge Level: 1/2 (100 XP)

Armor Class: 13 (hide armor)

Hit Points: 15 (2d8 + 6)

Skills: Intimidation +2

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 10 (+0) 11 (+0) 10 (+0)

Aggressive: As a bonus action, the orc can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature that it can see.

Actions Edit

Greataxe: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d12 + 3) slashing damage.

Javelin: Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage.

Orc Magic-Users Edit

Challenge Level: 2 (450 XP)

Armor Class: 16 (ring mail, shield)

Hit Points: 45 (6d8 + 18)

Skills: Intimidation +3, Religion +1

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 10 (+0) 13 (+1) 12 (+1)

Aggressive: As a bonus action, the orc can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature that it can see.

Holy Fury: The orc deals an extra 4 (1d8) damage when it hits with a weapon attack (included in the attack).

Spellcasting: The orc is a 3rd-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 11, +3 to hit with spell attacks). The orc has the following cleric spells prepared:

  • Cantrips (at-will): guidance (pg. 248), resistance (pg. 272), thaumaturgy (pg. 282)
  • 1st level (4 slots): bless (pg. 219), command (pg. 223)
  • 2nd level (2 slots): augury (pg. 215), spiritual weapon (spear) (pg. 278)

Actions Edit

Spear: Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d6 + 3 plus 1d8) piercing damage, or 12 (2d8 + 3) piercing damage if used with two hands to make a melee attack.

Orc Fight Masters Edit

Challenge: 4 (1,100 XP)

Armor Class: 16 (chain mail)

Hit Points: 93 (11d8 + 44)

Skills: Intimidation +5

Saving Throws: Str +6, Con +6, Wis +2

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 12 (+1) 18 (+4) 11 (+0) 11 (+0) 16 (+3)

Aggressive: As a bonus action, the orc can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature that it can see.

Commanding Fury: The orc deals an extra 4 (1d8) damage when it hits with a weapon attack (included in the attack).

Actions Edit

Multiattack: The orc makes two attacks with its greataxe or its spear.

Greataxe: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 14 (1d12 + 4 plus 1d8) slashing damage.

Spear: Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit:12 (1d6 + 4 plus 1d8) piercing damage, or 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage if used with two hands to make a melee attack.

Battle Cry (1/Day): Each creature of the fight master's choice that is within 30 feet of it, can hear it, and not already affected by Battle Cry gain advantage on attack rolls until the start of the fight master's next turn. The fight master can then make one attack as a bonus action.

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