Design a site like this with
Get started

The Art of Being a Monster: Orcs


Strength. Unending hordes. Indestructible will. These are the orcish inheritance and the land you sweep over to claim will be what you add to that inheritance for our own brood after you. Every orc knows intimately the fires and wages of war, but under the command of a clear mind, all will be swept away in a campaign of steel. Greater numbers are useless until your enemies stand divided and surrounded, and where you cannot divide them, box them in and starve them out. Your soldiers loyalty is among your greatest asset, so guard it with your life and never cheapen it by throwing their lives away.

F: Surround and delay the hero’s soldiers, ordering your troops to protect themselves while you move past these front-line troops to the softer targets around them. Keep soldiers in reserve to keep up the pressure on these fighters. If you are low on troops, keep the fighter engaged with repeated one-on-one duels. Once the other threats are resolved, overwhelm them with force, coordinating your attacks if the fighter is highly defensive. Screen the fighter away from yourself so you can stay appraised of the battle and direct your troops effectively.

T: Dishonorable thief scum will try to sneak around to stab you in the back. Identify them by their stature and tiny knives, never lose track of their position, and keep them pinned down by at least three soldiers at all times. They cannot handle large numbers and quickly fall when surrounded or even just flanked by a few dedicated blockers. If they disappear or hide, make sure your high priority targets are guarded and away from obscuring conditions.

R:  Skilled hunters and bowmen, these foes are good at taking down exposed leaders or stragglers, and are especially good at dealing damage at a distance. Keep your important targets out of their line of sight and tell your lone warriors to protect themselves. Rangers are weak against large numbers up close. Do not give them the high ground or allow them to position with long sight-lines where they can wreak havoc. Shield walls, staggered lines of soldiers, and choke points are the key to getting close enough to disable them. Box them in and cut them down.

W- Enemy magic users will be able to take out large swaths of troops with the right spell but they themselves are quite soft. Wizards and the like may as well be made of glass for how easily you can smash them if you get close. However, their magic must not be underestimated. At the merest whiff of a magic user, spread out your troops to mitigate the possible damage. Try to mislead them about your troops movement speed and reach until your fastest scouts can close the gap. Regularly practice scattered formations so that response to area attacks is near unconscious. Decoys and ambushes are the most useful tools to catch the magic wielder unprepared and minimize casualties. Ranged, reactive attacks can be held in reserve to disrupt their spellcasting as soon as they start.

Endless Wisdom of Orcish Strength

To ensure that you, your tribe, and your descendants see all that is there due, you would do well to drink in the wisdom covered below. Strength and superior numbers will see you and your kind through. Never buckle under the thumbs of another. Strike for the throat. Conquer all that lies before you.

  • Destroy your targets completely or treat them honorably.
  • A big pile of skulls can pay no tribute.
  • Turn your enemies’ magic and technology against them.
  • Make no qualms about stealing knowledge, tactics, and weapons from your enemies. Nor should you have qualms about updating your own ideas and strategies.
  • Cultivate the appearance of primitiveness to surprise foes who underestimate you as teeming hordes.

  • Make a show of creating honor rituals and leadership challenges to lure out rivals and enemies.
  • Incorporate the conquered into your leadership to cement your rule and grow your armies. Keep the strongest of them closest.
  • Treat every soldier under you as sacred to build the loyalty you need for unwavering trust and service.
  • Ensure that deposed leaders are not mistreated for you may find yourself there temporarily and will want that precedent to fall back on.
  • Never give in to the decadence of those you conquer. That is what made them weak enough for you to conquer and will do the same to you.

  • Your tent in camp shall not be the most obvious or adorned one to outsiders. Solve two problems at once by granting such residences to favored lieutenants based on performance.
  • You will not assume prophecies of conquest will come true nor that you can hold them if you do succeed.
  • Extend skeptical kindness to strangers and outsiders. See that your underlings do the same.
  • Pay your debts and keep your oaths, lest you create more enemies or call down the vultures and jackals of the world.
  • Do not throw away your men in siege. Remember that no matter how thick their walls, they must return to the fields for their bread.
  • Do not punish the common folk nor the trades, and they will treat you the same as their last ruler.
  • Always offer the opportunity to surrender, no matter how vile the hated foe. Treat fairly those that surrender in earnest. Make those that refuse continue to regret their defiance until they do.

  • Expect your strength and numbers to fail in the days you need them most. Store up other sources of power for when they do: magic, technology, allies, and mercenaries.
  • Learn shamanism and promote wise people that support your vision. Ensure that you know their desires and weaknesses. Respect the traditions of your people, changing them slowly where they are inconvenient.
  • If your soldiers fall to insurgents or heroes, dispatch those threats with overwhelming force. Do not slowly escalate, but do take the time to learn their motivations and abilities. Be willing to offer concessions from a position of strength before you must beg for them from a position of weakness.



1 thought on “The Art of Being a Monster: Orcs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


more than one way to skin a cat

Hiverlord's Hijinks

Traveller RPG content, for the most part.

Sandpaper Sunflowers

Eclectic Modern Farmhouse DIY and More


Tabletop gaming, terrain crafting, and other sundry nerdy hobbies.

The Grinning Skull

As soon as your born, your dying. tick tock... Everybody afterwards.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close