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D&D 5E Orcish campaign idea

pukunui

Legend
Hi all,

While I was in the shower this morning, I had a (potentially) interesting idea for a homebrew campaign. I was thinking about how orcs are portrayed in Volo's and was reminded of the mapped stronghold that's provided in the book and that spun out into a loose idea:

Picture a mountainous region with arid plains and fertile river valleys ... not unlike Afghanistan. Once upon a time, there was an orcish nation that dwelt in this region. Some time ago, another nation invaded, killing many orcs, subjugating others and driving some into the mountains, where they took to caves and became guerrilla raiders that the conquering nation has been unable to get rid of.

The PCs would all be full orcs or half-orcs (with maybe one PC of another race who was adopted by the tribe or something). The stronghold from Volo's would be their home base.

In the early levels, the PCs would conduct raids into the conquered territory, perhaps to gather resources for their tribe or perhaps to recover artifacts from orcish ruins (you know, like recovering the magic sword of the great orc king from his tomb before the conquerors get it).

By the mid levels, they might be able to challenge their tribe's leaders and/or fend off threats to their leadership - perhaps by orogs or even a tanarukk. Maybe to prove their worth as potential leaders of the tribe, they have to go and defeat a dragon that dwells deeper in the mountains (or some other monster that dwells deep underground).

By later levels, they could be working to unite the mountain tribes and foment rebellion among the subjugated peoples in order to overthrow the conquerors and reclaim their homeland.


I think a lot of this would have to be homebrew content. Aside from the odd dungeon or short adventure, I doubt there's much pre-existing adventure content I could easily adapt for this purpose. In addition to what's in Volo's, I think I'd also draw on the portrayal of orcs in Eberron for inspiration.

What do people think of this idea?
 

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BookTenTiger

He / Him
I think it's a really cool idea!

Painting with a limited palette can be really rewarding. I bet as a DM you would only have to sketch out a few ideas, and your players would fill in a lot of details themselves!
 

pukunui

Legend
I think it's a really cool idea!

Painting with a limited palette can be really rewarding. I bet as a DM you would only have to sketch out a few ideas, and your players would fill in a lot of details themselves!
Thanks. I've often wanted to try an "all the PCs are one race" type campaign in the past. The other idea I've had is heavily inspired by The Hobbit - all the PCs would be dwarves, ideally from the same clan, with maybe one "outsider" who is working with them (e.g. Bilbo), who are seeking to reclaim their lost homeland sort of thing.
 


pukunui

Legend
I would definitely suggest using Tasha's rule on flexible ASI's. That way you can limit the choice of race without limiting effective characters.
Oh yes absolutely! (Although this is a long-term project, and I expect the upcoming Monsters of the Multiverse will give us a revised orc with floating ASIs, so that would probably be the version I go with.)
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
Hi all,

While I was in the shower this morning, I had a (potentially) interesting idea for a homebrew campaign. I was thinking about how orcs are portrayed in Volo's and was reminded of the mapped stronghold that's provided in the book and that spun out into a loose idea:

Picture a mountainous region with arid plains and fertile river valleys ... not unlike Afghanistan. Once upon a time, there was an orcish nation that dwelt in this region. Some time ago, another nation invaded, killing many orcs, subjugating others and driving some into the mountains, where they took to caves and became guerrilla raiders that the conquering nation has been unable to get rid of.

The PCs would all be full orcs or half-orcs (with maybe one PC of another race who was adopted by the tribe or something). The stronghold from Volo's would be their home base.

In the early levels, the PCs would conduct raids into the conquered territory, perhaps to gather resources for their tribe or perhaps to recover artifacts from orcish ruins (you know, like recovering the magic sword of the great orc king from his tomb before the conquerors get it).

By the mid levels, they might be able to challenge their tribe's leaders and/or fend off threats to their leadership - perhaps by orogs or even a tanarukk. Maybe to prove their worth as potential leaders of the tribe, they have to go and defeat a dragon that dwells deeper in the mountains (or some other monster that dwells deep underground).

By later levels, they could be working to unite the mountain tribes and foment rebellion among the subjugated peoples in order to overthrow the conquerors and reclaim their homeland.


I think a lot of this would have to be homebrew content. Aside from the odd dungeon or short adventure, I doubt there's much pre-existing adventure content I could easily adapt for this purpose. In addition to what's in Volo's, I think I'd also draw on the portrayal of orcs in Eberron for inspiration.

What do people think of this idea?

So like the FFG Midnight setting - but in reverse...
 



pukunui

Legend
Thanks. That's probably a bit darker than I was going for but might provide some inspiration. :)

I think one of my players is a fan, so I might see if I can borrow his stuff.
 


Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
One of the very last 4e Living Forgotten Realms modules (I've forgotten the name) involves negotiating with an orc tribe to decide to sit out an upcoming war.
Your PCs are sent to persuade a tribe "join us against the outsiders". The possible ways in the adventure to persuade the tribe to agree still can be used. (One option was a wrestling match. My warlock worked on the Boss with honeyed words. We also had a holy relic to trade.)
 


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