May 14, 2011

Monstrous Plots - Orcs

In the first Mounstrous Plots post we talked a little bit about kobolds and presented some situations involving those creatures to help create adventures. Now it's time we take a look at one of the most iconic monsters of every fantasy setting, the orcs.

Orcs are usually portrayed as savage, brutish and cruel humanoids with a taste for destruction. They tend to be primitive savages who value strength above all things. They survive on raiding other humanoids and other orc tribes, and they relish for violence. But not all orcs have to be this way.

Some scenarios describe orcs as a primitive folks with shamanistic traditions and a brutish but honorous code of conduct. Those orcs still value strength, but together with wisdom, elders, spirits and honor. Sometimes, orcs are presented as mindless berserkers and other times as highly militaristic warriors. They can be as varied as humans, but some common traits usually appear in all characterizations, their barbaric traditions and value of strength.

Following there are a few situation ideas to get adventures started. They were also based on the situations I talked about in the article I wrote about adventure building. They were also based on varied concepts about orcs that appear in fantasy such as orc's horde, their rivalry with dwarves, the wars they have between their tribes, their sense of honor.