Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Where are all the Orcs?


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

1 to 50 of 120 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

I have been running AP's for a while now and it has suddenly occurred to me that one of the mainstays of fantasy fiction is conspicuous by it's absence namely our old friend the Orc.

In all the AP's I can only think of one Orc encounter namely a brief Orcish cameo in Skeletons of Scarwall. Other than that we have had nada.

Why is this? Are Orcs too vanilla for an AP? Are they too much of a cliche? Did an Orc insult James Jacobs at a wedding once? Did the first draft of Hook Mountain Massacre contain an Orc doing unspeakable things to a pixie so now no Paizo staffer can consider using an Orc lest he or she break down into a traumatised bundle? What's the deal?

Even when an AP focusses on ol Rovagug the Orcs don't get a look in. No, instead they get the indignation of having to be usurped by a bunch of converted Lamashtu worshippers. The Gnolls go off and get to look good whilst our poor friend Mr Orc gets left behind, like a discarded sock in the bottom of a wash basket, forgotten and unloved.

Think of the Orcs Paizo! They are waiting patiently for a chance to kick out some rage yet instead they cry themselves to sleep each night, looking at the screen of their mobile phones, waiting for a call that never comes. Whilst all Mr Orc's friends go out to parties and have epic Hangover style misadventures, Mr Orc sits at home watching reruns of the Lord of the Rings Movies on the History Channel, trying to remember when he used to be cool.

Are you going to let this stand Paizo? All Mr Orc needs is a shot, someone to believe in him. Like Rocky or the Mighty Ducks. You have that power Paizo! To take a washed up old champ and turn him into a contender again like Apollo Creed (until he got killed by an extra from the Expendables of course. Or was it a Predator? My memory is a bit fuzzy because I had flu at the time and I drank too many bottles of cough syrup. To this day I can't remember if the Terminator was killed by Sarah Connor or Mary Poppins...)

Anyhoo the point is if you can make Flumphs cool again you can do anything. So can we expect Orcapalooza soon or am I going to have to start a revolutionary movement?


Paizo does not like Orcs. Did you not see that they are all Chaotic Evil rapists and serial killers in Golarion? If this was indeed true, all the Good races (Elves, Dwarves and a good chunk of Humanity) would have already banded together and driven them to extinction. And no Paladins would fall from grace wiping these wicked green-skinned beings from the face of the earth like the monsters that they are.

Bad jokes aside, maybe they just found their own Orcs too boring to be highlighted. It's how I see them, but I like Warcraft Orcs so what do I know?

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

I'd like to see more done with orcs beyond the narrow norm set up in Orcs of Golarion. Something that gave them some range and cultural possibilities beyond just plain old Always Chaotic Evil Again.


Mikaze wrote:

I'd like to see more done with orcs beyond the narrow norm set up in Orcs of Golarion.

Same here. And now, let us both wait for the people who wanna reinforce the "status quo", shall we? :D

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

I'd like to see more done with orcs beyond the narrow norm set up in Orcs of Golarion.

Same here. And now, let us both wait for the people who wanna reinforce the "status quo", shall we? :D

We're already here, dear Vocal Minority. And we are legion. :)


New record, Gorbie.

Anyway, I doubt we'd need to repeat that old debate.

At least until we see if the OP has anything to say on this...

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

I actually like them as villains more than noble savages. I jus wish Paizo would use them...


Yes, from the get-go Paizo have redefined old hat monsters like the goblin and the ogre into distinct, memorable cultures.

If anyone needs help, it's Mr Orc.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

Every Firefly needs its' Reavers.

I guess that unlike the "orcs everywhere" fantasy worlds, Golarion orcs are far more regionalized (Belkzen + Darklands), so unless the story takes place there, they're not showing up in large numbers. Goblins and kobolds are far more all over the place.

Cheliax

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yet another vote to see a bit more of the dear old foes.
More shamanic evil than noble savages, please.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
golem101 wrote:

Yet another vote to see a bit more of the dear old foes.

More shamanic evil than noble savages, please.

Why can't one have both? One of the advantages of giving a race range.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:
golem101 wrote:

Yet another vote to see a bit more of the dear old foes.

More shamanic evil than noble savages, please.
Why can't one have both? One of the advantages of giving a race range.

Indeed. Not all tribes are supposed to be carbon copies of each other. That would just be boring...

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
golem101 wrote:

Yet another vote to see a bit more of the dear old foes.

More shamanic evil than noble savages, please.
Why can't one have both? One of the advantages of giving a race range.
Indeed. Not all tribes are supposed to be carbon copies of each other. That would just be boring...

...just like, say, Duergar. Or Urdefhans. Or Serpentfolk. Every evil civilization loses a lot by not having lone wolf CG rangers with twin scimitars running around serving as role models :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Come on, Gorbie. Surely you can do better than using a cliche'd example as hyperbole.

Duergar and Serpentfolk can be varied, too. As can kobolds, tieflings and hobgoblins. Sure, large majorities of these examples are indeed Evil, but who said some can't be Neutral? Good alignments SHOULD be uncommon among these beings, but locking them to "Evil only" is just bound to leave them as less races and more as "big piles of exp and loot", and that kind of metagame overtones just ruin a good story sequence for me.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:

Come on, Gorbie. Surely you can do better than using a cliche'd example as hyperbole.

Duergar and Serpentfolk can be varied, too. As can kobolds, tieflings and hobgoblins. Sure, large majorities of these examples are indeed Evil, but who said some can't be Neutral? Good alignments SHOULD be uncommon among these beings, but locking them to "Evil only" is just bound to leave them as less races and more as "big piles of exp and loot", and that kind of metagame overtones just ruin a good story sequence for me.

*shrug*

Every game needs antagonists that are simple cannon fodder that you can throw at players and don’t have to worry about losing half of the evening on discussions on morality, ethics and orc babies. If I had to double-guess and detect evil every humanoid opponent just to make sure that I’m not attacking a Good orc, a non-evil Skeleton, a redeemed fiend or a reformed derro, the game would quickly lose it’s appeal.

It’s D&D, a game about killing things. If I want complex moral dilemmas, there are dozens of RPGs that serve those right away at character creation and make things more complicated as you go on (hi, World of Darkness). And for all the snarky disdain for Paizo’s writers that I see in this thread, they have served us far more conflicted, shades-of-grey NPCs that could swing either way, be redeemed or damned or just plain raise an eyebrow than any other D&D adventure-making company ever did.


Gorbacz wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:

Come on, Gorbie. Surely you can do better than using a cliche'd example as hyperbole.

Duergar and Serpentfolk can be varied, too. As can kobolds, tieflings and hobgoblins. Sure, large majorities of these examples are indeed Evil, but who said some can't be Neutral? Good alignments SHOULD be uncommon among these beings, but locking them to "Evil only" is just bound to leave them as less races and more as "big piles of exp and loot", and that kind of metagame overtones just ruin a good story sequence for me.

*shrug*

Every game needs antagonists that are simple cannon fodder that you can throw at players and don’t have to worry about losing half of the evening on discussions on morality, ethics and orc babies. If I had to double-guess and detect evil every humanoid opponent just to make sure that I’m not attacking a Good orc, a non-evil Skeleton, a redeemed fiend or a reformed derro, the game would quickly lose it’s appeal.

It’s D&D, a game about killing things. If I want complex moral dilemmas, there are dozens of RPGs that serve those right away at character creation and make things more complicated as you go on (hi, World of Darkness). And for all the snarky disdain for Paizo’s writers that I see in this thread, they have served us far more conflicted, shades-of-grey NPCs that could swing either way, be redeemed or damned or just plain raise an eyebrow than any other D&D adventure-making company ever did.

Please try to understand, I can't really even try to counter you if all you have is your old hyperbole as a weapon. It's like a crippled puppy with broken teeth trying to bite me. There's no challenge when it falls flat on it's face, twitches for a moment and then just dies while I watch. You can have your cannon fodder, but placing every NPC in the categories "cannon fodder" and "not cannon fodder" is so meta it's disgusting.

And why is there an alignment system in D&D if there are never supposed to be any moral dilemmas?


Huh. I didn't see any snark here at all. My bad.

Andoran

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I could not agree more. Orcs have really been given short shrift in Pathfinder APs, and I do not recall any major modules or even Pathfinder Society Play scenarios in which they make a noticeable appearance. I was really anticipating some Orc-heavy APs after Orcs of Golarion came out, but no such luck apparently.

Gorbacz wrote:

It’s D&D, a game about killing things. If I want complex moral dilemmas, there are dozens of RPGs that serve those right away at character creation and make things more complicated as you go on (hi, World of Darkness). And for all the snarky disdain for Paizo’s writers that I see in this thread, they have served us far more conflicted, shades-of-grey NPCs that could swing either way, be redeemed or damned or just plain raise an eyebrow than any other D&D adventure-making company ever did.

No, it's D&D, a game about dealing with complex problems through various means according to the wants, desires and preferences of both the players and GMs. If a group wants to butcher its way through problems, that is an option. If a group wants to come up with novel solutions that do not necessarily involve killing, that is an option as well.

And you seem to be speaking out of both sides of your mouth here. On one hand, it is a game about killing things, yet on the other you admit that the writers have made interesting NPCs with incredible nuance, depth and sophistication. What would that matter if this is simply a game about killing things? I think you too realize that there is more to this game than simple hack-and-slash and looting.

If it was simply a game about killing hordes of enemies without any greater nuance than that, I would have just gotten a WoW account.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Orcs are the "biker gangs" of Golarion. Feral and disinclined to form any sort of long-term bonds.

Hobgoblins seem to be the "Romulans" of Golarion.

I wonder where we should look, to find the "klingons" of Golarion.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Another good reason for range: Not every half-orc player with human/orc parentage wants rape in their backstory.

I've managed to get by with my current half-orc's references to what his human mother has told him of his orc father's non-evil tribe and that hasn't ruined the setting for anyone at that table.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think Orcs were overdone in the media (Lord of the Rings) and have been overdone in fantasy in general. Then again, most low level monsters are overdone and overused.

Having said that... YES, I agree. Would like to see more orcs. The orcs of Golarion seem far more interesting in general compared to orcs in other games.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

7 people marked this as a favorite.

We've done a little bit with orcs... but not a lot, because there's a LOT of other options out there, and frankly, between Lord of the Rings and World of Warcraft, I think that orcs are pretty well-represented in the genre. And to a certain extent, the creative director's opinion does influence the rest of Golarion's development.

We'll do something with orcs some day. We've had large orc-themed ideas (Adventure Paths, even!) on the far-out schedule now and then, but they tend always to be put aside for bigger, more important or more popular requests.

As for why we didn't "change" them much... probably because of the same reason we didn't change dwarves much. We're pretty happy with how orcs are already. In large part BECAUSE they've had some great presences in the genre over the last 15 years. It's easier for a small up and coming company like Paizo to focus on revitalizing and expanding a race like goblins that had largely been ignored or was viewed as a "speed bump" monster along the way to 2nd level than it is to be compared to Lord of the Rings or Warcraft from day one.


Sorry to say this, James Jacobs. You do know I love the stuff you've done with Golarion (I believe I've made that clear before), but the one thing I find myself shaking my head at is the Orcs of Golarion book, and Orcs in the setting in general. I believe I already explained why. They're just cliche'd and boring. The only ones in the world are the Chaotic Evil ones, and that kind of portrayal makes room for some rather annoying ways of thinking. Why not just add to them the Evil sub-type and be done with it? The way they are portrayed in Golarion makes them less Humanoid and more Evil Outsider in terms of thinking, with no room for any Neutral ones, and heaven forbid you speak of Good-aligned Orcs.


Were they not monstrous raiders in old D&D anyway?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

Sometimes, you want something familiar. Remember how Eberron set out to re-imagine *everything* and make sure that no stone is left unturned among tropes employed by D&D? Well, where's Eberron now?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm okay with familiar, to an extent. Orcs behaving like demons (as in, how they behave in Golarion at large) is less familiar and more like "familiar turned up to eleven and shoved down my throat", to be honest. I'm also not okay with the "all evil, all the time" phenomenon unless said beings are Evil Outsiders or Golarion Drow. And 3.5e as a whole is almost gone, but who cares? I still love Eberron as a setting.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

Being brought up on Warhammer Fantasy RPG + Tolkien = Orcs are murderous disorganized hordes of brutish monsters. Actually, if Pathfinder tried to re-imagine them, I'd have much harder time accepting anything different.


Warhammer Orcs look like they'd be a mix of Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Evil to me. They don't care about who they fight so long as they fight something. Preferably something strong since they can shred human armies of equal size with relative ease if I recall right. That's different from the "rape, pillage and burn" Orcs of Golarion and from the Tolkien "armies of Sauron" Orcs that I've seen. And do note, Warcraft Orcs were the main villains of the first two Warcraft games, and quite close to Golarion Orcs (with a dash of Warhammer) up until the third game.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Sometimes, you want something familiar. Remember how Eberron set out to re-imagine *everything* and make sure that no stone is left unturned among tropes employed by D&D? Well, where's Eberron now?

Renaming a Velociraptor a Clawfoot. Or Renaming James Jacobs "Sir Daggertooth".

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

Oooh I remember that article on dinos in Eberron. "We renamed dinos because duuuh, how come they would even have those names in a fantasy land like Eberron. That would be silly!"

Comments below: "right, so why a sword is a sword and not steelslash, or an arrow a flightspear or whatever?"

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I cleaned up some things.


James Jacobs wrote:
We'll do something with orcs some day. We've had large orc-themed ideas (Adventure Paths, even!) on the far-out schedule now and then, but they tend always to be put aside for bigger, more important or more popular requests.

I thought this was the case. If you did an orc themed AP early, you'd be compared to Lord of the Rings or WoW. In another 3-5 years, people will be ready for an orc AP again.

Still... fans of LotR and The Hobbit will appreciate the classic monsters and would perhaps try PF out because of that.

I thought orc in Golarion were sometimes more disciplined and not always chaotic. My bad. I prefer orcs to be savage but not mindless. More like the Uruk-hai. It's hard to mention orcs without making a Middle Earth reference.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

4 people marked this as a favorite.

So how does Orc civilization progress? Because it works. Because once every generation or so, a Really Big Orc does arise. An orc that, even as a child, earns the healthy fear of its clan. An orc that can defeat an ogre warrior one-on-one. These are the chieftains, whom all other orcs follow.

Right now, the mightiest orc is Grask Uldeth, who is content to piddle away his authority within the walls of Urgir, occupying himself with protecting the pinkskins with their wagons of blankets and tools.

His position says less about Uldeth's personal might than it does about the sorry state of orcs this day. But the sun sets on Uldeth's city, and when the moon rises, there might be a new chieftain, a stronger one, with a fire in its belly stoked by bloodshed and the smell of fresh marrow, rather than the glint of gold and silver.

Won't that be a fine time to be an orc? Won't the glories flow to that orc's tribe? Won't it be particularly good to be that chieftain's advisor, the henchman who supplies it with the potions and spells that keep it alive, keep it strong, and keep it in your debt?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber

See - I see orcs as Klingons.

They are just waiting for a Kahless.

Edit: Of course, I play under a GM where that makes sense. Esp since in his world the orcs were far more like Klingons until the dwarves tortured and slaughtered one of their greatest warlords, breaking them. Of course that happened at the exact same time that Lamashtu killed Curchanus who my GM linked as a patron deity of the orcs. Thus adding to their downfall in feral insanity.

I've just loved Golarion's view of orcs since the first story arc featuring Kline. Mostly the laughing in the face of a horrific death.

Andoran

I too am a big fan of Warcraft orcs and would prefer they do nothing with them over pushing them as some mindlessly destructive evil race.


An AP that includes a section taking place in Urgir might be nice. A place where Orcs might be predominantly evil, but going about lives that are not dissimilar to those led by other races in other countries. Good people can't exactly go around killing a city just for being Orcs. That might be genocide, which most GMs would probably say is evil. :)

BB36, sounds like your Tolkienian Orcs are a little bit more LE. Unless they're militaristic in the sense of a ravening horde of zombies being an army, some militaristic organization would at least mean that some would slide in a Lawful direction.

I would like to see a bit more done with Orcs than just getting hit with the CE/Rapist/Raider stamp and sideboarded. If Goblins and Kobolds are the speed bump on the way to Level 2, then Orcs are definitely one of the next speed bumps in line right now. Even a larger LE group of Orcs that use different (read: non-Barbarian) tactics would be interesting. Speaking of . . .

Strolls off to see if that can be worked into the campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I sort of have to agree with the keep orcs the way they are camp. Everything is sort of relative, and there needs to be rules for there to be exceptions to the rules. If you do not keep enough things familiar then you loose your point of reference. Since it has already been pointed out that they don't use Orcs much at all, if they start throwing non-standard orcs in to places, then they actually become the standard. There are plenty of options for complex bad guys, just having conquering hoards of evil orcs can be a refreshing change of pace. Not saying there can not be the occasional good orc, just that there would be limited interaction with them and they would be thinned out pretty regularly.

Also Skeletons are always evil and they do not have an evil sub-descriptor, so not sure where that idea is coming from. The only things with alignment sub-descriptors are outsiders, and then on a super rare occasion you can have an outsider whose alignment does not match its sub-descriptor.


The whole Skeletons are evil thing is rather ridiculous in my opinion, considering the fact that mindless creatures are usually assumed to be Neutral. But this discussion has been had before, so no use bringing it to a thread about Orcs.

1 to 50 of 120 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Adventure Path / General Discussion / Where are all the Orcs? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.