Saturday, May 21, 2011

Irish, Pictish, Mongolian Orcs

Creating orcs for a Roleplaying Game based on new sources always has been fun for me.  Especially when you are presented with a paradigm that you can build a race's society to be as complex as any humans.

Breaking from Africa, but keeping Nwali, is pretty important.  So, I'm retconning my orcs out of Africa, and into Ancient Britain and Ireland with Mongolian influence sprinkled in.   I apologize to all the Irishmen that view this blog, but there are reason to my madness in seemingly insulting you.  Don't worry, Irish Gaelic and Cymric names are still more suited to the elves (and eladrin) than to orcs.

The King Arthur Pendragon Roleplaying Game has probably the best sources on Celtic and Pictish Culture during the Dark Ages outside of actual historian and anthropological sources.  I present:

Pagan Shore for King Arthur Pendragon.

And Beyond the Wall for King Arthur Pendragon.

Both of these books will form the backbone of Orc religion and society, but not completely.  Both are considered savage places, so to lift off the Savage aura around the orcs, I'm going to add some Mongolian influence.  While Stargate SGI-1 was trying to find it's voice, they did an episode on how SG-1 visited a planet inhabited by mongolians and huns.

I'll place the link below --

Mongolian Yurt by Adagio according to the GNU license.

Using the huns and mongolians for the outward appearance, the orcs would still have a tribal look to them, plus their politics.  Using picts, we have orc religion and society (the Picts are shamanistic -- Heathen). Using the more "uncivilized" components of Irish Society back in Arthur's day, we have a good example of Orc technology.

Building on these three pillars one should have a complex orc society that isn't Nasty, Brutish, and Short.

1 comment:

Drew said...

I've always played my Orcs as Celts. Maybe because I'm Scottish and Orcs are my preffered fantsay races. But I've always saw them as the more druidic pagan warrior race that the old Celts and Pics where.
But when I’m running a game I also tend to go away from orcs being chaotic, I tent to make them more structured and disciplined. Like a real fighting force. I think that helps give them the more imposing Idea of the elite fighting force that makes everyone take notice rather than just a rabble that will disperse when the wind changes.

I've never heard of them being form Africa though. But then that might just be the RPG circles I’m in.

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