Hey Game Fans, we’re back for another part of a feature on the Homebrew setting of Lakeport. Today we’re going to look at the Orcs and the four variants, and we’re going to dig into the Half-Orcs as well. These two groups have strong cultural ties with each other, and we’ll cover the statistical differences after we go over some of their cultural specifics. For a general history of these groups as well as goblins and some other groups, check out our article here. Let’s dig a little deeper into the culture of the Orcs
The Orcs of Lakeport are actually four distinct groups of extremely similar humanoids. They are compatible enough that they frequently intermingle. The Orcish culture has a secret, and a duality to it that makes Orcs some of the most feared warriors to outsiders and poorly understood by most populations. They are a proud warrior culture with deeply embedded traditions and roots that go back to their Great Migration across the world.
Orcs have two primary appearances, depending on a number of factors. The primary Orc is about the same size as a man with a hunched appearance and thickly corded muscles. They have porcine features and have a pig nose and larger ears that flop down against their necks. The other Orc is a much more primitive looking creature akin to a hairless gorilla. It has a larger jaw with sharp teeth, and has a flatter nose and a much more pronounced brow ridge. All Orcs have red eyes and most are bald. The ones that happen to have hair usually have hair in either a dark brown or black coloration.
The other defining feature of an Orc’s appearance is the tone of its skin. Each of the Orc groups has a distinct hue to its skin on top of the dark coloration. Black Orcs (a misnomer) have extremely dark skin with a dark green shade. Green Orcs have much lighter skin with lighter green hues. Blue Orcs have a bright blue shading to their dark sin and Grey Orcs have a chalky white or grey discoloration to their dark skin.
Orcs have an interesting culture that shapes their personality. The public face that every Orc warrior shows to the world is a fierce, proud warrior unafraid of death. That very same Orc warrior at home is a kind, caring individual who pursues many hobbies and pursuits that others would not understand. Orcish farmers, poets, cooks and a host of other professions will take up arms and become the angry howling horde of Orcs that inspire dread in their neighbors when they have to. Orcs are very private with their home pursuits, to the point that every Orc (even their god) has two name, a name for war and a name for peace.
Orc society is governed by the warrior with the deepest voice. Something about the way Orcish hearing works makes deeper voices easier to hear over distances for them, and the warrior with voice most like rumbling thunder (and experience) has deference over warriors with a higher pitch. Orcs don’t hold others to the same standard as Orcs, but they do have a little bit of fun with those new to the ways of Orcs.
Note: Orc women have voices that are just as deep as their men
Orcs always build communities that are inclusive to other orcs when outsiders (even goblins and other close companions) live among them. Orcs go to the extent of walling off their communities and neighborhoods and one of the most important responsibilities for an Orc community is the keeper of the gate. This Orc is responsible for keeping unwelcome guests out, and having the wisdom to know who the welcome guests are.
Bloodlines and Legacies
The devastation wrought on the Orcs and their homelands was nearly complete. The Orcs themselves are looking for the lost traces of those ancient domains and Orcs who can lay a claim to either one of the treasures of those lost domains or a blood tie to one of those lost legacies are powerful political figures among the Orcs. The most precious bloodline would be that of the lost Priest King of Orcheart, and the lost regalia of Orcheart would be treasures for the Orcish people.
Orcish adventurers are just as private as their culture indicates. They have a variety of reasons to adventure, though most are seeking the lost relics of their lost world. Most are wise enough to avoid heading directly into those hate filled forests without experience and allies, but eventually, all Orcish adventurers end up heading into the lost orc homelands. Entire bands of Orcish adventurers have searched those dangerous forests looking for lost treasure. Orc adventurers, depending on which coloration of Orc they are, have a few specific roles they excel at. Black Orcs are typically barbarians or fighters, Green Orcs are typically rangers or fighters (though an occasional druid crops up), Grey Orcs excel as clerics, while most blue Orc adventurers are bards (and occasionally a warlock or a sorcerer).
Orcs from this setting have the following changes:
Orcs have a +2 Strength. Each subgroup has a different modifier in addition to this one. This replaces the standard Orc ability score modifiers in Volo’s Guide.
Orcs are typically neutral in alignment.
Black Orcs have +1 Constitution.
Trained for War:
Black Orcs are proficient with light and medium armor and Shields. They are also proficient with Battleaxes and Longswords
Green Orcs have +1 Dexterity.
Green Orcs are proficient with the Stealth skill. Further, if they have advantage on an attack roll in the first round of engagement, they deal an additional +1D6 points of damage on their damage result. This stacks with Sneak Attack.
Grey Orcs have +1 Wisdom
Grey Orcs know a 0-level Clerical spell of their choice. Wisdom is their spellcasting attribute.
Blue Orcs have +1 Charisma
Blue Orcs are proficient with the History and Arcana Skills.
Orcs worship Reginald, the Lord of Orcs (known to his fellow gods as Face Biter). Reginald is a kind but fierce god who represents everything the Orcs embrace within their own culture. His clerics are fierce protectors of Orcish domains and every Keeper of the Gate is attended by at least one of his priests. When Orcs go to war, Face Biter’s clerics offer guidance and counsel to chieftains (referred to as Earls) and lead from the front lines.
Orc blood is strong and in the instances where orcs take spouses and mates of other species, the Orcish traits are dominant in all cases. These children are loved by their Orcish parents and always have a place in their parent’s household. In the rare case of Orphans, the clerics of Face Biter take these children in and raise them as their own. Half-Orcs raised among Orcs share their parents culture and heritage, even down to the skin coloration of their Orcish parent.
Half-Orcs from this setting have the following changes:
Half-Orcs have a +2 Strength. Further, they select one of the Orcish subraces above and gain the ability score modifiers of that subrace (and gain that subrace’s coloration).