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Zug zug and more! - A dummy guide to orcs!
One of the races that differs the most from ordinary fantasy games have to be the Orcs. Where they are painted down as the bad guys ninety percent of the time in other fantasy genres, the Orcs in the Warcraft universe are, while having a past filled with bloodshed due to demonic corruption, a noble and honourable race of warriors. This guide will hopefully tell you everything you need to know about Orcs.

Describing a race that isn't your own can be rather tricky. There are some things you should always keep in mind when designing an orc, which I'll quickly sum up in this section.

Orcs are taller on average than humans, though not quite as massive as Tauren. They stand taller than humans of their age, and can be quite imposing to the shorter races.

Male orcs stand at 6'8" - 8' 6" with the average hovering around seven foot tall.
Female orcs aren't much shorter, standing at around 6'2" - 8' with the average hovering around 6 and a half foot tall.

Another thing to remember is that Orcs tend towards heavy muscularity, which may make their weight seem oddly high when compared to a human of the same height. Things to keep in mind here are that muscles weight more than fat, and that somebody who is two times as tall is not two times as heavy, but eight times as heavy, as they will be twice as large on average in all three dimensions.

Healthy male orcs range between 226 - 652 lb., with the average laying around 300 to 350 pounds.
Female orcs are generally somewhat lighter in build, ranging 186 - 612 lb. and averaging around 250 to 300 lbs, though orc women who are as bulky as their male counterparts are hardly unheard of.

Skin Color:
Roughly speaking, Orcs come in three different flavours. 'Uncorrupted', 'Corrupted' and 'Fel'. Generally speaking, all player orcs fall into the corrupted category.

Originally, all orcs had brown skins, currently only seen in the Mag'har, orcs who lived away from strong sources of fel magic because they were ill.

As you might know, the incredibly amount of fel magic Blood Elves feast on by draining demons has turned eyes green. The same happened to the Orcs when Kil'jaeden tricked the orcs into exchanging shamanism for demonic magic. They employed so much of it that their brown skins took on a fel green hue, something that passes on through their genetics to their children. These Orcs have skin colors ranging from shades of light green, dark drab olive to grayish brown.

The last category only really exists in the service of demons, the so called fel orcs. Through the consumption of pit lord blood, Orcs can gain tremendous strength. Their skin takes on red colours due to this.

Eye Color:
Orc eye colors include blue, brown, hazel, amber and red, though blue is only very rarely seen. They are seen as a sign of great destiny, so are best avoided for your character, as it may quickly seem mary-sueish.

Hair Color:
Orcs hair is often black or brown in color, graying with age, though hues of blue or violet mixed in aren't uncommon.

The canine teeth in the lower jaw of orcs generally take the shape of tusks.

Ever since Thrall established the New Horde, Orcs have slowly returned to their shamanistic roots. Their culture is one where honour of oneself, honour for one's ancestors and honour of the clan comes first. "Lok'tar Ogar", meaning "Victory or death" describes a lot about how Orcs feel about battle. It is better to die in a blaze of fire fighting a good cause than to flee the fight and live the rest of your life as a coward. In the Old Horde, women weren't allowed to fight in the wars and gain honour for themselves, but under Thrall's rule equality has been put in place, and women are actually expected to pull their weight as well.

Those who die valiantly in battle and make a big difference to the Orcish race are granted the ultimate honour one can achieve in mortal life, a Lok'vadnod; a song that will pass on for generations to sing the great deeds the Orc pulled off in their life.

Shamanism, and respect for the spirits of nature, also takes a strong place in Orc traditions and culture. (See Divine Magic Guide - Shamanism / Spirits for more information on shamanism.)

Orc culture:
# is concerned with survival over artistic achievement.
# reveres its elderly and honors its ancestors.
# does not apologize for past actions, nor does it demand apologies from its enemies.
# values valor over cunning—as long as valor doesn't lead to disaster.
# resembles "Primitive" human societies, but is, like those societies, far more sophisticated when examined closely.
# distrusts arcane magic, especially the magic of warlocks—but does not (yet) shun arcanists.

Back on Draenor, Orcs still lived in rigid clans, but most of these clans have vanished under the banner of the Horde. While clans are still allowed to bear their own banner and show their independence, the majority of the clans still follows the New Horde.

The Warsong clan and the Frostwolf clan have the strongest presence in the New Horde, but several other clans also contribute to the Horde's cause. The Shattered Hand are amongst the finest assassins and rogues in the New Horde, but even the generally demon-worshipping Burning Blade clan still has some members loyal to the Horde, usually in the form of the mighty Blademasters.

(Tip: If you want a clan for your Orc but don't know what to pick, why not try the random orc babe generator and see what you get? Do note that some clans are less likely to serve the New Horde than others.)

Orcs speak Orcish, a language generally considered rougher and less subtle than for example common, the language of humans. It is written in runes, though over the years in Azeroth, the Common alphabet has been getting incorporated as well, to make up for sounds that the runic version missed.

Some common phrases you might want to know:
Zug zug - Okay.
Dabu - I obey. (A more respectful version of Zug Zug.)
Swobu - As you command. (A more respectful version of Dabu.)
Lok'tar - Victory. It can, however, also be used as a greeting in combat.
Lok'tar ogar! - An orcish warcry, meaning 'Victory or Death'. To an Orc, it is better to die in a blaze of fire than to flee and return a coward.
Mok'ra - Hello. (An informal greeting.
Throm-Ka - Well met. (A more formal greeting than Mok'ra.)

Coming up with a proper Orcish name can be tricky, for they come in many shapes and flavours. First names are generally short, one or two syllables at most, such as Grom, Thrum, Drog, Gorrum, Agra, Dragga or Grima. These Orcs usually bear a longer name, such as Grommash, Thrumgul or Drogthar, but these longer names are seen as highly cultural, and are usually only spoken by shamans or others of high standing. Other Orcish names have an apostrophe in it, such as Gul'dan, Drak'Thul, Dal'Rend, usually seen in spellcasters, though not exclusively.

Surnames for a family are unheard of, though some do take on the surname of an ancestor to make certain that their deeds don't go unnoticed. Indeed, a surname is earned for a certain deed, such as splitting the head of a human, which could earn the name 'Skullsplitter', for instance. To make certain that an ancestor's deeds aren't forgotten, one can take up the surname of their father or mother. For example, Jorin Deadeye took the surname of his father, Kilrogg Deadeye, so that his father's loss of his right eye wouldn't go forgotten.

Other orcs take a different approach at identifying themselves and making certain their parents weren't forgotten. For example, Thrall is fully known as 'Thrall, Son of Durotan'.

(Tip: If you want a surname for your Orc, or a first name for a female orc, but don't know what to pick, why not try the random orc babe generator and see what you get?)

Somewhere else where a lot of people new to Orc role-playing go wrong is their history. For example, a common mistake is having your Orc being born in Kalimdor before Orcs arrived there, or having fought in a war despite being too young to fight at that time. This quick Orcish timeline should help decide where your character has been, where they were raised and what they have seen. Note that the year '0' in Warcraft is when the first Orc crossed into Azeroth through the Dark Portal.

Note that for each event, I'll write down two ages. For example, to have seen the orcs switch to fel magic, I have listed 80-90+. The first they would have been ten years old, most likely enough to notice the changes, but not old enough to actually interact with them. The second age they would be twenty, the actual adult age, and they could have been amongst the orcs to practise fel magic. The same goes for wars, the second age listed is the one to participate in the wars, the first age listed is to have been old to realize there is something going on.

Roughly –100: Sargeras' second-in-command, Kil'jaeden, begins to meddle with the orcs on the world of Draenor. He corrupts the shaman Ner'zhul and begins to twist the peaceful orc race into a violent and savage one. Up until this point, the Orcs stuck true to their noble, shamanistic roots. No Orc should be old enough to have noticed this.

Roughly –46: Ner'zhul's eyes open to the damage done to his race, and he cuts contact with Kil'jaeden. The demon begins working on Ner'zhul's most powerful apprentice, Gul'dan. Gul'dan soon creates the Shadow Council, designed to give demonic spirits the bodies of orcs to create a mighty army. This was mostly done in secret, so no matter your character's age, it is unlikely they would know this happened.

Roughly –41: Gul'dan manages to convince the Orcs that shamanistic magic is weak and the Orcs start worshipping demons instead, using corrupted fel magic. Their skin turns green (aside from the Mag'har, who are inflicted with the Red Pox, a disease so contagious that no orcs dare go near.) and they are twisted into savages. Characters would have to be elderly to have seen Gul'dan do this, roughly 80-90+ years old. Certain lore individuals such as Drek'thar the shaman saw this happen.

Roughly –40: The orc clans unite as the first Horde, a bloodthirsty and corrupted group. Shamanism is outlawed. Gul'dan convinces the other Orcs that the Draenei are planning on stealing Draenor from them and the Horde turns on them. Characters would have to be 80-90+ to have seen this.

Roughly –19: After conquering all races on Draenor and befouling the land with their dark magic, the Horde falls into anarchy and civil war, which would last until the demon corrupted Horde has a new common enemy during the first war. Characters would have be at least 45 to 55+ to have seen or participated in the civil wars. (Or 60-70+ to have seen the start of the civil wars.)

Roughly –5: Medivh is now a grown man and fully owned by Sargeras. The demon sends Gul'dan visions, showing him images of ripe-for-the-conquering Azeroth. Medivh begins to forge the Dark Portal between Draenor and Azeroth. It is tiny, but it slowly grows. With a new world ready to be conquered, the Orcs once again have a common enemy to fight, and the Horde re-establishes itself. Characters would have be at least 45 to 55+ to have been present during the reformation of the Horde.

0: The Dark Portal is large enough to pass through. Orc scouts enter the Portal and begin exploring for a settlement area. They construct a small outpost in the uninhabited marshlands known as the Black Morass. Characters would have to be at least 40 to 50+ to have heard reports from scouts returning from the other side.

1: The first war begins as Gul'dan forces Medivh's Portal wide enough for the Horde to pour through and begin its invasion. Characters would have to be at least 40 to 50+ to have been around at the start of the first war.

4: The first war is won by the Horde after their new Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer sacks Stormwind. Characters would have to be at least 35 to 45+ to have heard or witnessed about the sacking of Stormwind.

6: After bringing in more reinforcements from Draenor, and allying themselves with the Forest Trolls, the Horde launches a new offensive and starts the second war, which would end in the same year with the defeat of the Horde and the destruction of the Dark Portal. Characters would have to be at least 35 to 45+ to have seen or participate in the second war.

The Orcs are rounded up and put into interment camps, where they go lethargic from the lack of fel magic coursing through their veins. Characters who are younger than 25 would have been born in these interment camps and grown up there. (With the exception of the Warsong clan which avoided capture, and the Frostwolves, who hid in Alterac Valley during both the first and second wars.) Characters aged 45+ would have been adults when they went into the internment camps.

16: Thrall escapes from Blackmoore and searches for other orcs to teach him of his heritage. He hears of the Warsong clan still living in freedom and of its ferocious leader, Grom Hellscream. Together with Grom he seeks out the Frostwolves and learns more about their heritage as noble shamanistic warriors.

23: Under the leadership of Orgrim Doomhammer, Thrall and Grom assist in freeing the orcs from their captivity. Characters who're older than twenty year old would have noticed themselves getting rescued as children, while those who are adults of thirty years or older could have joined this new Horde as warriors.

24: Doomhammer is slain in battle and Thrall becomes Warchief of the Horde. He reintroduces his people to the abandoned shamanistic culture of their ancestors.

25: The Horde travels west after Medivh warns them. They found Orgrimmar and participate in the third war. Grom Hellscream dies a hero's death killing Mannoroth. Characters who are older than 17 years old will remember the journey across the sea. Characters older than 27 would have been adults at this time, and can have fought in the Third War. Note that only characters younger than 7 years old could have been born in Kalimdor.

Quick Age Summary
The history section is quite long, so for those who aren't all -that- interested in the hardships the Orcs had to endure, I've compiled this quick age to birth location table.

Younger than seven years old: Born in Kalimdor.
Younger than 25 years old: Born in internment camps.
27 years old: Were old enough to participate in the Third War.
Older than 31: Born in Draenor.
45 years old: Old enough to have participated in the Second War.
50 years old: Old enough to have participated in the First War.
55-69 years old: Participated in the civil wars back on Draenor.
70 years old: Were adult at the start of the civil wars on Draenor.
90 years old: Were adult when the Horde switched to fel magic over shamanism.

Other things to remember:
Bloodlust are the after effects of the Orcs corruption by fel magic. While an Orc who regularly drinks demon blood will turn red and be aggressive all the time, the years of consumption of demon blood and the use of dark magic left a stain on all future generations, which is only slowly fading away thanks to Shamanistic magic. Orcs who suffer from bloodlust are in an eurphoric state in which the orc gives him or herself to the sheer thrill of combat. While in this state injuries go unnoticed and they fight with more vigor and strength. This is stronger in some orcs then others; the bloodlust of a Warsong or Blackrock orc would be stronger then the bloodlust of a Frostwolf orc, for the Frostwolves never drank Manneroth's blood. In this state, Orcs have a hard time showing mercy however, and might even lash out and attack their comrades if they're angered.

Behaviour to humans:
It is a common misconception that all Orcs hate humans. While many are resentful of humans for their imprisonment in internment camps, there are just as many who realize that they brought it upon themselves. The more peaceful tribes such as the Frostwolves harbour no real ill feelings to the humans, aside perhaps from their assisting the Ironforge dwarves desecrate the Alterac Valley. Your Orc does not have to be hateful of humans, or even suffer from bloodlust. There are plenty of Orcs who have shown that they can overcome their dislike of humans and the bloodlust nagging at the back of their head. Thrall and Saurfang are examples of this, but just about any Orc who fought alongside the humans in the Third War qualifies for a far more positive view of humanity.

Roleplaying an Orc:
If you haven't had enough orc yet for your liking and you'd like to know even more, WoWWiki has a page where you can see all kinds of Orc-RP related facts here.
A good guide! Tyr's stamp of approval on this one.
This is an awesome guide.

My insight in the Orcish race has been increased and it has also sparked my interest more.
Little by little, one travels far.
There's a page on Wowwiki that I missed for quite a while as well, until it was shared on my guild forums somewhat recently.


It's really great!
I Am the Sea

Need an easy way to host/link files and images? Check this thread!

Try to never just say, "My character isn't interested in that adventure." A lot of people mistake this for good roleplaying, because you are asserting your character's personality. Wrong. Good roleplaying should never bring the game to a screeching halt. One of your jobs as a player is to come up with a reason why your character would be interested in a plot. After all, your personality is entirely in your hands, not the DM's. Come up with a reason why the adventure (or the reward) might appeal to you, no matter how esoteric or roundabout the reasoning. -(Source)
This does make me want to RP an Orc.

[Image: princesssig.jpg]

There is always a way.
Yunnemaria Wrote:This does make me want to RP an Orc.


Do it!
Yunnemaria Wrote:This does make me want to RP an Orc.


Then my work here is done!
I'll add the link to the guide as well Kretol. =)
I -love- the "Age-and-where-they-were-during-that-age" guidelines. I hope you make a series on these, because they would all deserve to be stickied.

Move him into the sun—
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields half-sown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds,—
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved—still warm—too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth’s sleep at all?
[Image: 62675bf4fd.jpg] [Image: 0e7357dcfe.jpg]
A very nice guide. It's good to have everything rounded off in the same place seeing as most of the Orcish RP-relevant info is scattered quite a bit and hard to find. As said above, the age guide helps a lot too, hopefully people decide to make more Orcs and aren't put off by the initial lore confusion. :)
This made me make my new character Alieka.

^-^ Much fun is to be had thanks to the writer of this article.
I think I've finally found the character / race I want to role play with.
Hagan - 75 years of age, 4'10" tall, and 180 pounds.

"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
Tossing a thumbs up to this guide. Making an Orc, and was fumbling around WoWwiki, this is very helpful, especially the fancy timeline :D.
Thanks for the guide it helped me out!
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I am The Argent Dawn - Play Free Online Games

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I am Paladin - Play Free Online Games

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