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
In a fantasy world you could also make their supernatural origin different. Perhaps they were created by a different god or made from different stuff than humans. But the result would be the same as Forganthus's suggestion, the core of these beings is something different than the humanities core.
"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. "
Is this a conceit of your own world or this some broader opinion regarding the nature of the Orc archetype and their place in the gaming world. Go to Comment
Muro, I assume you are joking with that realism orcs comment, but divine-you are the self styled myth maker, could the Orcs not have been made by a different God or Gods, could they not have been imbued with a different divine purpose. Biology, if you want to bring science into sure, but how much biology do they need to share? Could be Possums versus Raccons here. Go to Comment
Well you could take the tolkenesque view as Orcs being corrupted humans or elves, and leader of dwarven gulld I am know you understand the retrofit of adding new content to traditional archetypes. I assert that you could have all your Orks come from the planet Draenor yet fit all the archetypes of an Orc....so Scars's assertion that Orcs aren't inhuman..(so I guess they humanish) and that such a conclusion is universal within genre was
Wow, I had to stop this is just too esoteric and dorky Go to Comment
Sure they can have human characteristics and perhaps they must for gamers to occupy them, but can't we tweek them with inhuman characteristics, a behavior or a thought process that humans cannot or do not possess. Or a lack of some human quality thats makes them less human. A race without emotion for example. I think scras's write up (which I gave a 5) could easily be applied to a fictional human group. There was nothing in the culture that needed nonhuman for the sake of story telling. Go to Comment
This a great example on how to flesh out the culture of orcs... or any other fantasy race for that matter. Scras has hit on the essence of creating a realistic and multifaceted tribal culture, and debunking some old and tired fantasy cliches along the way. This sub is an easy 5.0. Go to Comment
I like that there is so much culture in this article. There's tons, really. It's very well developed. Just the same, this reads like more of a description of a savage culture, or like Marco Polo's descriptions of the Mongols or something. It doesn't really feel "orcish", since it is so plausible for a human culture.
It was quite a surprise to find they are much cleaner than we would suspect. Go to Comment
Axlerowes: You're right! I forgot to mention how awesome the narrator was. The whole article is very good, and very usable.
Scras: I'm not sure how to make 'em more orcish (i.e. non-human). I just think that orcs should be more than strong humans who fight a lot, and dwarves should be more than short humans who live underground. But you are exactly right about not making them too different. If they're too weird, they stop looking like orcs.
You could make them orcish through biology: maybe the women are just as strong as the men. So despite being crude and aggressive (and stereotypically just being big bags of bad traits) , orcs actually have a strength-based egalitarian society that isn't sexist. Maybe the only non-sexist society in the world. (Picture a man telling his wife: "If you don't want to do the dishes, why don't you go join the orcs?"). Or mention that orcish muscles have extra attachments, or orcish muscles are extremely dense (and orcs would sink like rocks if they weren't such strong swimmers). Or that certain (old?) orcs suffer from a unique sort of dementia that makes them constantly angry--and these orcs are honored rather than reviled. Maybe anger is held to be the greatest virtue, and orcs make shows of how angry they are when something displeases them.
Or make it cultural and based on something that humans would/could never do. Maybe the chieftain is only chieftain as long as he can push aside the huge boulder blocking the ancestral clanhall. Or maybe their favorite sport is a horserace where the racer has to carry the horse the last mile (that would actually be awesome!) Go to Comment