Humanoid, Orc
This muscular humanoid has gray-green skin and beast-like fangs, but bears a cunning look in its black eyes.

Orc (CR ½; XP 200)
Male orc runereaper 1
N Medium humanoid (orc)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
AC 13, touch 10, fl at-footed 13
(+1 armor, +2 shield)
hp 14 (1d12+2)
Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +0; +2 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities ferocity
Speed 30 ft.
Melee sickle +6 (1d6+5)
Special Attacks bloodlust +1d6
Str 19, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 6
Base Atk +1; CMB +5; CMD 15
Feats Combat Reflexes, Weapon Focus (sickle)
Skills Climb +8, Knowledge (nature) +4, Survival +4, Swim +8
SQ bloodrune power (luck), born to the land (forest), bloodrunes (4), weapon familiarity
Languages Common, Orc
Environment any
Organization Solitary, gang (2-5), hunting party (6-20 plus 3 3rd level leaders), band (21-120 plus 100% noncombatants plus 1 runereaper of 3rd level per 10 adults, plus one divine spellcaster of 5th level per 20 adults, plus 1 chief of 8th level)
Treasure NPC Gear (leather armor, heavy wooden shield, sickle, other gear)

The quasi-bestial race of orcs is much maligned throughout the myriad planes of the multiverse, usually with good reason. When placed in close proximity to soft-living humanoids, their natural aggression and pugnacity typically results in raids, slaughter, and warfare. The physical and psychological focus on strength precludes the development of intellectual pursuits, and that strength is needed to survive in the marginal areas of the worlds that orcs live on- literally, to be born into those areas, is to be an orc, because orcs can survive there. With rapid maturity, multiple birth (twins and triplets are much more likely among orcs than humans), intestinal fortitude, orcs hit the ground running, ambitiously carving out a niche for their race to thrive.

This physical focus often leaves orcs vulnerable to manipulation from those forces that can dominate them through magic, force of arms, demand for divine devotion, or other manipulation. It is this tradition that creates the greater part of orcs’ malign reputation. Orcs love to follow warlords, evil high priests, power-hungry mages, mad gods, what have you. Left to their own devices and shown a stiff potential for resistance, orcs will respect boundaries (within reason) and heave to their own pursuits, in the territory they feel most comfortable in. They and their leaders realize that an orc in silks and sunlight is no orc, and would cease to be so very quickly.

All this being said, orcs love physical pursuits and fighting, dislike agriculture and animal husbandry, and have been known to not play well with others. Hunting parties can turn quickly into raiding parties, should vulnerabilities be observed; a loose cow is dinner on the hoof, and power named is power taken. Orcish attitude to slaves (and breeding with them) is a dark issue, with some groups enthusiastically breeding for half-orcs as brighter leaders, while others disdain the dilution of the blood of the strong with the milk of the weak, as a lesser orc, is no orc at all.

Orc Racial Characteristics
Orcs are defined by their class levels—they do not possess racial Hit Dice. All orcs have the following racial characteristics.

  • +4 Strength, –2 Intelligence, –2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Orcs are brutal and savage.
  • Orc: Orcs are humanoids with the orc subtype.
  • Medium: Orcs are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Orcs have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Darkvision: Orcs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
  • Born to the Land: Orcs gain a +2 dodge bonus to their AC when in the terrain type similar to their original tribe. At character creation select one nonplanar terrain from the ranger’s favored terrain list to be their traditional homeland. Once selected this cannot be changed.
  • Fearless: Orcs gain a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws vs. fear effects.
  • Ferocity: Orcs can remain conscious and continue fighting even if their hit point totals fall below 0. Orcs are still staggered at 0 hit points or lower and lose 1 hit point each round as normal.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Orcs are always proficient with greataxes and falchions, and treat any weapon with the word “orc” in its name as a martial weapon.
  • Languages: Orcs begin play speaking Common and Orc. Orcs with high Intelligence scores can chose from the following: Elf, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Undercommon.

On Porphyra
The homeland of the orc race is Azagor, between the Bay of Plagues and The Great Green. The walled hole in the earth that was The Pit of Melkon serves as a rugged capital and mine-works, held with grudging affection in the hearts of the orcish diaspora. The orcs developed a neutral moralistic attitude than those of other worlds due to several factors; the isolation of their homeland, the absence of war-gods to drive the people to massed conflict, and the reluctance of the orcish people to be absorbed by the Elementalists.

This is not to say that there are not evil and savage members of the orcish race, far from it. Orcs respect strength above all, the ability to survive, if that means alliance with those deemed different, then so be it. The Cormazog Alliance signed in blood in BC 23 brought about exchanges in culture for three short decades: the Nori’silvanath, or Black Elves; the orc-elf hybrids commonly called half-orcs; great leaps in orcish magical knowledge, and martial techniques for the elves.

The Calling, and the two centuries of the NewGod Wars changed the face of the world. Whole clans of orcs were captured by slavers from the Jheriak Continuance for the arena pits, Mâlite incursion limited travel, and, finally, the Blackwater plague and erection of the Yellow Wall in 102 and 116 AC, making Azagor technically part of the pestilential Kingdom of Avandrool. Azagor struggles to survive, the orcs seeking refuge in the depths of the land, or a better life abroad, with many making the journey through the Ghadab to the Orc-Holds of Nor-du-Mag, to escape the downfall brought about by fell magic.

The Cormazog Alliance
War between the elves and hobgoblins was inevitable. The orcs informed each side that whoever won the next battle would be their ultimate ally. Each side prepared for the showdown, and the hobgoblins created a legendary weapon for their champion, Gerath—the result was Heartseeker. Gerath ate the hearts he stole, and swore to feast on the elven king, Tythiran’s heart, and make a gift of Heartseeker to the orc high-chief, to solidify the alliance.

Tythiran retreated to his palace with many spellcasters—some that had been banished centuries before. The king emerged, hidden in a palanquin, and was borne off to the battlefield. The elves met the hobgoblin host, and the orcish delegation watched nearby, ready to join the victor. Gerath mounted his mawgriff and set to meet the ‘weak’ elf king. Gerath charged and transfixed the elven king on the first pass. No blood flowed from the pale king, and he removed one of Gerath’s ears with his sword. A stab of Heartseeker made true its name, hitting Tythiran’s chest. Gerath only stared as Tythiran snatched away the weapon, and with it removed his head. He pitched the head and the spear into a creek, and rode to the orcish embassy. The orc high-chief challenged the elven king; “Where is my spear?” to which he replied, “Perhaps this gift will be a better one, since Gerath could not give it to you,” In the small box Tythiran gave him was his still-warm heart… a gift from the Mummy King.

Favored Class Bonuses
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever he gains a level, you may select the following alternate bonuses based on their class instead. These bonuses are considered racial bonuses unless listed otherwise.

  • Gunslinger: Add a + ½ bonus on attack rolls using the pistol whip deed.
  • War Mind: Add +1/5 bonus to the chain of personal superiority.

See Also