In my opinion, an orcish philosopher would be useful to the fighting ability of the clan ... in Greece, nature philosophers came up with many inventions, one of them even invented a primitive steam engine (which was used as but a toy though).
So, what would an orcish philosopher think of? About orcish values. Ergo strength, and hurting those who dislike you. Survival.
So, if he sees a rock, he thinks: "Rock good for hurting enemies. Big rock better. Big rock heavy. What now?" Then, he might either approach some giant or the like, and say: "We give food, you throw big rock..." or think of a way to throw that big rock. Perhaps he sees someone use a sling, and comes up with a catapult. Perhaps he sees a raven drop some mollusc from a height to crack its shell, and convinces some roc to lob stones on enemies' heads, 'cause lobbing a stone at an enemy's head, most of all when he cannot fight back, is a good thing.
To summarize, our philosophers though about how to lead a virtuous life, and about nature. The same do the orcs, yet their values differ. Go to Comment
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