Orcs with Personality

Most orcs are nothing more than ferocious warriors. They have no notable or redeeming features. Some orcs are different, however.

 

 

Use the tables below, to add unique and memorable orcs into the PCs’ encounters. (Keep in mind, the NPC listings below do not include classes or leves—apply such as is suitable to the adventure and campaign).

Warriors, Champions & Chiefs

Use the table below, to generate the details of notable orc warriors the PCs encounter:

  1. Bork (CE male orc) is an unsophisticated brute happiest in the midst of battle. A livid battle-scar runs across the top of his bald head, and he is missing one ear. Bork has filed his teeth to sharp points and loves nothing more than worrying the flesh of a still living foe. 
  2. Enok Throatripper (CE female orc) is rake thin but possesses a wiry build that belies her strength. She has long black hair she wears in four filthy plaits decorated with beads and tiny pieces of bone. She is savage and loves to rip out her enemies’ throats. Even the other orcs are cautious around her. 
  3. Grak (CE male orc) is a savage maniac who delights in grappling his opponents and holding them tight while his fellows stab and hack them to death. Grak is also something of a kleptomaniac, and he can’t help but stop and loot the fallens’ bodies. He is bald, and several old scars decorate his scalp. 
  4. Kagel (CE female orc) is feral. She misses most of her front teeth but her tusks remain impressive. Kagel has developed a warbling, whistle-like battle cry she uses to strike fear into her enemies. Her nose has clearly been broken repeatedly; consequently, she must breathe through her mouth. She is popular with her companions because of her unnaturally passionate lusts. 
  5. Xugal (CE male orc) was crippled—he lost his left leg below the knee—in a recent skirmish and is yet recovering from his wound. He hobbles about on an improvised crutch and craves a warrior’s death. At sight of the PCs, Xugal hops towards them screaming insults and brandishing his handaxe. If he wasn’t homicidally intent on their deaths, he might look a little stupid.
  6. Lakak (CE female half-orc) appears virtually human and at first glance might appear as a mercenary serving with the tribe. More intelligent than her brethren, she has better armour—fine chainmail—and carries an ornate shield bearing a roaring lion emblem. She is not as unthinkingly savage as her fellows and has no intention of fighting to the death. If the PCs seem gullible, she might surrender and try to convince them she is worthy of mercy—describing in great depth the abuse the tribe has heaped upon her. 

Other Rank & File

Not all orcs are warriors. Some might be sneaky scouts, executioners and so on. Use the table below, to generate the details of such orcs the PCs encounter:

  1. Uragh (CE female orc) is immensely fat and beyond ugly. She wears a filthy, ripped shift that does little to protect her modesty. Uragh watches over the chief’s concubines and household. Savagely devoted to the chief, she carries a whip she uses on any she deems disloyal.
  2. Ghamborz (CE old male orc) is a rarity among orcs in that he has reached old age—an almost unparalleled feat in tribal history. Ghamborz has survived because of his unswerving loyalty to the chief’s family and his intelligence. His hard-won battle cunning and natural intellect have served the tribe well. Still muscular, despite his age, he has long, straggly grey hair and wears fine studded leather torn from an elf’s bloody corpse decades ago. 
  3. Furze (CE male orc) is responsible for cooking the tribe’s communal meals—which often include the diced bodies of fallen enemies. He wears splattered, dirty and bloodstained trousers, but goes about bare-chested (to better display the crude tattoos covering much of his upper body). He literally slavers in the presence of helpless foes—anticipating the pleasure in adding them to his pot.
  4. Narz (CE female orc) is small, lithe and cunning. One of the tribe’s most puissant scouts, her movements are quiet and controlled. She wears deliberately filthy armour designed to blend into the surroundings. Always wary, Narz is difficult to surprise.

Shaman

Orc spellcasters are rarely encountered; such folk should be memorable. Use the table below, to generate the details of such spellcasters the PCs encounter:

  1. Targ (CE male orc) has no body hair. Instead, he has decorated his face, neck and arms with lurid, and crude, tattoos of dismembered bodies, battle scenes, weapons and the like. His flat black eyes betray no emotion, except hate and he is utterly without mercy or compassion. Dedicated to the orc’s blood-splattered pantheon he drives the tribe’s warriors into battle with shouted tales of great orc victories. Some might misidentify him as an orc battle-bard; that would be a mistake.
  2. Wingak (CE male orc) has a thin streak of human blood lurking in his ancestry—hence his pale blue eyes and streaked blond and black hair. Such a strange appearance marked him out as chosen by the gods, and Wingak joyfully plays along; he acts mad—as if touched by the gods themselves and capers about near naked. For all that, he is not stupid—he wants to live—and he does not needlessly throw his life away. 
  3. Shurz (CE middle-aged female orc) appears unassuming at first glance. Merciless and utterly devoted to the orc pantheon, Shurz holds much influence in the tribe. The tribe’s children are particularly afraid of her, and several terrible rumours about her horrific practices circulate among them. 
  4. Bakh (CE male orc) is horribly scarred as a result of his devotions to a particularly warlike, savage orc deity. His face is a mass of scar tissue and burns while his left arm ends at the elbow. Bakh craves heroic death in battle so he might serve his lord in the afterlife. He gladly fights to the death—bizarrely with a smile on his face. 

Children

Children comprise a decent proportion of an orcish village’s population. Use the table below, to generate the details of notable orc children the PCs encounter:

  1. Xug (CE young male half-orc) is a mongrel—a half-orc—and as such is often beaten and bullied by the other children. Xug hates this place and wants to leave (but not before inflicting horrible revenge on his tormentors). If he can do a deal with the party, he will. Xug owns a long, needle-like dagger he intends to put to good use. He honours any fair deal he makes with the PCs but has no interest in joining their group for longer than absolutely necessary. As soon as he is clear of the tribe’s territory, he abandons the party and strikes out on his own. 
  2. Ral (CE young male orc) is apprenticed to one of the tribe’s shaman. He wears fine, but dirty clothes, taken from a nobleman’s daughter and has spiked his hair up with a mixture of mud and twigs. A new initiate, he is without spellcasting powers, but tries to bluster his way through any confrontation with intruders. 
  3. Batax (CE young female orc) was orphaned at an early age after her mother died in a raid (her father having died long ago). Unwanted by all—and seen as little more than an extra mouth to feed—she survives on the tribe’s fringes. Depending on her mercurial mood she might be willing to betray the tribe or lead the PCs into a trap to gain favour with her fellows.
  4. Urzal (CE young female orc) is growing up into a genuinely odious, terrible person. She bullies the other children—even those bigger than herself—and will shortly join the ranks of the tribe’s warriors. If the village is attacked, she grabs the nearest weapon and hurls herself into battle.

 

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This article appears in 20 Things #30: Orc Village. Members of our Patreon campaign got 20 Things #30: Orc Village completely free as a thank you for their awesome support. Join today!

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