Orcs. Lets talk.


General Discussion


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I'm a big fan of orcs. I really am. My favorite fantasy race.

So it hurts me to see how far they have fallen in Alien Archive 2.

First of all, they're purple now. I get it, Apostae is an underground world, they would have evolved, etc. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. But it is a thing, and it's gonna take some getting used to.

Secondly, they apparently go barefoot now. Both the pieces of art have them as such, and one is fully armored and still barefoot. Not an issue for me, just something worth pointing out, I think.

Third, they aren't dumb as dirt anymore. +4 Str, -2 Cha. I think that's pretty good. It certainly beats having a -2 to every mental attribute.

Now for the fourth thing, which IS a bit of a sticking point: They are now a subservient slave-race, almost genetically so. All of them. This is just... I can't really put into words how much it bothers me.

Overall, I still really like the orcs. But my inner orc is rebelling HARD about the in-built subservience.
Also, hobgoblins are stupid looking.


If I don't need a helmet on my space armor I don't see why I need boots, either.


Xenocrat wrote:
If I don't need a helmet on my space armor I don't see why I need boots, either.

I did make a previous thread on if Halflings still go barefoot. It basically boiled down to, "If they want."


I really like the new look for hobgoblins - they actually look related to other goblins now instead of just being gray humans.

The book did mention that there are enslaves of free orcs scattered through the pact worlds, so not all orcs are slaves.


I mean, half-orcs are still green so some green-genes have to be there. Just gotta do a little gene therapy to get that back.

I'm not opposed to them not being dumb as dirt as I always hated PF 1e's stat array for them. I'm not opposed to them taking a mental score penalty but all of them was insulting. Especially when I've got James Jacobs telling me that PF orcs are supposed to take more after Tolkien's orcs wen Tolkien's orcs represented the dangers of man's cunning & ingenuity unchecked by morality & the evils of industrialization. But that's neither here nor there.

I do agree with their servile nature being an issue & wasn't a particular fan of the barefoot look. But that just means that one of the AP's can be going all orc-spartacus on the drow. Which I'm all here for.


My immediate thought while reading it was to make an orc worshiper of that goddess of freedom (forgot her name at the moment), and is on a crusade to free her people.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

I really like the new look for hobgoblins - they actually look related to other goblins now instead of just being gray humans.

My boyfriend said that now they just look like someone put a goblin head on a human body.

I think they look like someone threw a goblin into Willy Wonka's taffy machine.


I'm just ignoring the pictures of orcs and Hobbos. There are a few others I don't like, but not to the same degree. Most of the art is amazing, however.


I'm of two minds on the hobgoblin thing because on one hand you can't say that it doesn't make sense to make them look more like the other goblinoid races because they always were the odd ones out on that, but at the same time, however much sense it makes for them to look like that, I think it's hard to argue that they just look objectively worse & less cool.

It's also an issue where while the orc appearance change can be explained in universe, the hobgoblin one is a pretty blatant retcon being that it's also the direction PF 2e is going.


Well, Kobolds used to be little dog-like people in the long-long-ago. Monsters change over time, through editions of games, and more so when they transition to different games.


I'm actually pretty ok with orcs being color-changed. I'm just salty at them being a slave race. I mean, come on! They're ORCS!

Of course, I know the orcs in Tolkien's stuff were slaves, too. Still didn't like it then, either.


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Azalah wrote:

I'm actually pretty ok with orcs being color-changed. I'm just salty at them being a slave race. I mean, come on! They're ORCS!

Of course, I know the orcs in Tolkien's stuff were slaves, too. Still didn't like it then, either.

"Orcs" is uze-ally sum big baddo's slave peep armiez. Dey'z weak & E Z 2 kill

"ORKZ" is sum 'ard bashaz what drive red karz and yell an' fight tonnz an' dey'z neva slavez cuz dey alwayz free 2 kill!

Sovereign Court

Is the orc color change like the klingon appearance change that they're still touchy about?

Liberty's Edge

Weylan is the God of Freedom, but I think a resurgence of the Cult of Gorum might be needed here. Perhaps it could be a returning Gorum, changed from his disappearance, turning more into a God of Rebellion then just Fighting for its own sakes. Gorum the Chain-breaker.

Sovereign Court

Hobgoblins look weird to us as we are used to pathfinder goblins having a huge head in comparison to their body. I’m not a fan of it really as it just doesn’t look right but I can see why they did it.


FormerFiend wrote:
I think it's hard to argue that they just look objectively worse & less cool.

I agree, it is hard to argue that they look objectively worse (as aesthetics cannot be objective)


Tender Tendrils wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
I think it's hard to argue that they just look objectively worse & less cool.
I agree, it is hard to argue that they look objectively worse (as aesthetics cannot be objective)

Luckily, I am the arbiter of everything that is true and false. And I say they look bad. So there.


lonewolf23k wrote:
Weylan is the God of Freedom, but I think a resurgence of the Cult of Gorum might be needed here. Perhaps it could be a returning Gorum, changed from his disappearance, turning more into a God of Rebellion then just Fighting for its own sakes. Gorum the Chain-breaker.

I might have to use that. That's really good.

Sadly, most of the slave orcs would probably rather die than be free, from how it sounds in the book.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

the hobgoblin design is repug. when you compare them to the wonderful hobgoblins in Ironfang Invasion... ugh.

That being said, the Orcs, are kinda cool as they are. They are clearly on the back nine of their existence, a scattered race of slaves. But it's possible that amongst their number remain champions still... but whether that be for good or for evil, only time will tell.


I'm planning to put an unknown planet of free Orcs out in the Vast somewhere (the Conditioned Focus ability, otherwise pretty cool, could be re-fluffed without too much difficulty for their circumstances). I don't much care for every Orc in existence being under the thumb of the Drow now, either. It *is* a relief not to have Orcs that are just flat-out Dumb Evil Brutes.


I really feel that I am keeping a secret from all of you concerning orcs. I can tell you this:

* I've talked to real orcs before. Thank you non-locality.

* No, I don't know what they look like, they all just point me to WoW Orcs for how they look.

* Starfinder Orcs look bad. And having them as a slave race is an insult.

There that's all I have to say about it.


Tender Tendrils wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
I think it's hard to argue that they just look objectively worse & less cool.
I agree, it is hard to argue that they look objectively worse (as aesthetics cannot be objective)

I did leave out a word in the op there, mea culpa. Happens sometimes where my mind gets ahead of where my typing is in the sentence.

But I do think that subjectivity in aestetics can go very, very far, but it still only goes so far.


So it seems to be that the palette-swap is take-it-or-leave-it, but them being a slave race is pretty universally disliked. Good to know.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I really really like the way they look in starfinder. I mean the drow were prolly selectively breeding them anyway so it would make sense that their appearance would change. They look like they were breed to live underground with no sun.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Five people as a sample size is a pretty far-cry from "Universally disliked."

I'm neutral about it personally. The change in skin-tone took some getting used to but them being a slave race? Eh.


Five people *on here.* There are a lot more people I've spoken with who are also not very fond of it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally I'm also fine with their skin tone variations. Even in Pathfinder skin-tone variation among orcs was mentioned, so it makes perfect sense for drow to have genetically selected ones that look "better" (i.e., if they are anything like humans, "more like us"). Also, this makes them more visually distinct from hobgolbins which was always a concern for me at any rate. Sooooooooo, yeah, I'm fine with their appearance. And the hobgoblin one too for that matter.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Add me to the list of people who are fine with the new orcs and hobgoblins. They aren't my favorite races, but I don't have any problems with the way they look.

I actually do like the new fluff about orcs being a slave-race. The traditional Middle-Earth style races were growing a little stale for me.

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