They could denegrate warriors or chieftans of other tribes, or sing backhanded complements in song form, such as saying that a chief was so fierce that he couldn't even show his face on the battlefield for fear that he would scare even his own men away--suggesting that this chief was a coward.
Singing the praises of those in other tribes can be used to ingratiate them to their host, such as for an alliance... or to lull them into a false sense of security. Alternately, a bard that doesn't feel he is being treated well enough can sing about the generosity of another chieftan as a subtle hint to his own boss. Go to Comment
With the songs of warriors & chieftans of reknown, one can easily imagine a fair portion of a lorekeeper's duties being researching (or faking) how his/her chieftan is descended/connected to these great warriors.
Another hireling for the greatest chieftans, is the philosopher. It is the ultimate luxury expense: you are so powerful that you can spend your wealth frivolously, and so wealthy that you can hire someone to just sit around all day & think about thinking.
Considering that thinking has never been traditionally considered an Orck strong suit, I wonder what forms of philosophy they would create... Go to Comment
Quote from: "Scrasamax"
Also, the orcish philosopher would not contribute anything of substanciable value to the tribe or clan.
This is exactly why they are the ultimate luxury item for a wealthy & powerful chieftan. Since it's not something that the typical Orck has an aptitude for (or the typical Human for that matter), and serves no useful function, they could be employed simply as a status symbol of one's power & wealth... and by extension, manhood. Go to Comment
Although I don't personally use orcs within my world, this article is literally overflowing with useful and easily-transported ideas pertaining to the cultures of more primitive, tribal races, not to mention the fact that it's also entertainingly and elegantly written. Did I mention it was overflowing with ideas? Great post! Go to Comment
What I mean to say is that I merely agree with this quote,
"Orcs aren't inhuman or alien. They live in the same cultural world as humans, dwarves and elves, so there is going to be overlap between the two. To make inhuman and alien orcs the orcs will need to be non-humanoid and actual aliens. But once you take that step and you make inhuman alien orcs they aren't orcs, they are inhuman aliens that someone has slapped the name orc on. " Go to Comment
If you want to get into further esoterica, we as a human species are incapable, as a rule, of "making up races for games" that do NOT have/share/exhibit human characteristics. You can name it Elf, Orc, or K'valoxi'zoluquis. Go to Comment
You can tweak away axle but then don't call them orcs call them any other word. Also, please not the 4th oldest cliche in the universe, a race without emotion--yawn. How is that any better?
That's a loaded comment, "there was nothing that needed nonhuman for story-telling"
The beauty of elves is that we impart certain rare human characteristics on them as a whole, same with dwarves and orcs. We scapegoat our baser, more primal, brutish genes onto the orcs and it works. Go to Comment
What in this write up make them seen unhuman or alien? Nothing I could find,
What about the culture is unintuitive or unexpected?
The write up is also old hat.
The revisionist ethnography has been around for a long time and is a staple in fantasy works? How many times have they re-written vampires for example.
The fact that this doesn't take any risks or chances on forming a really alien culture as Forgathus points out, make this more accessible to gamers. What I liked about this was not so much the content as the authors style to writing it. To often things are written from the point of view of some nameless all knowing narrator and lacks a post modern sensibly-which this has.
But Forganthus you have made me revisit this, thankyou Go to Comment