D&D General what would a good orc culture be like?


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d24454_modern

Explorer
Define “good” cause I don’t think any culture really qualifies.

Other than that, I imagine them to mostly be Hunter-Gatherers that normally live in Swampy areas.

While murder is scene as bad and war is a lost resort, they don’t see why there’s a taboo on eating creatures, even other Orcs. That would just be a waste of resources to them.

Common orc hobbies involve swimming and making sculptures.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I have two different types of not-typically-evil Orc cultures from my worlds.

  1. Iconoclast Orcs. Long ago, a group of Orcs decided to abandon the Orcish Pantheon, believing that Gruumsh didn't care about them and that their war in Acheron was pointless. This group of Orcs founded a new culture of iconoclasts, those that deny worship of the gods and all religions, believing that all religions (even those of the so-called, "good" deities"), took advantage of mortals for personal gain. Now they spend their time fighting against cultists, religions discriminate against other peoples, and those that claim to be gods (greatwyrms, liches, empyreans, etc).
  2. Primal Orcs. Taking inspiration from Eberron, my other version of Orcs are the bridge between the natural and primeval worlds, having a culture that encourages its members to become barbarians, nature clerics, and rangers. They worship my world's version of Ubtao, the formerly-primordial nature deity of dinosaurs and mazes, and are the world's origin of the magic tattoos from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (which they make look like mazes). They also tame dinosaurs and use them in their day-to-day life, and also ride T-Rexes and other large dinosaurs in battle when needed.
 




Lots of people brought up sports, but we should be clear which types fit D&D Orc mythos;

town ball not baseball or cricket
slam ball not basketball
mob ball not soccer
welters not quidditch
rugby and lacrosse are yesses

Sports with more raw power, less organization.
 

You got me! The empire never knows it has an empire! (At least the average citizens.)

Ironically, within the USA, a lot of the things you describe are considered 'bad' in its more left-leaning half, so I wouldn't have brought that up for fear of starting a political flamewar. (I'm actually rather displeased with my country's useless and destructive foreign wars, and did not even think of it as an example of a 'good-aligned' martial culture. Besides, it's postindustrial and pretty bad as a D&D model.)

Back to orcs...
I look at Tolkien's conception of orcs as industrial and clever with technology and wonder....
 

My "good" orc society are "god" killers (99% of the gods are false pretender gods). They revere their ancestors embrace all people's who are citizens as Orcs and are highly industrial. They are still a culture of warriors but they admire wisdom in their leaders over raw power.
Oddly the orcs in my campaign are called the Godless. They believe in themselves and their family so have many enemies who do worship gods and do not understand the orcs.
 

I'm surprised no one has challenged me on Klingons. We've seen examples of good and honorable Klingons, but as a culture it's questionable that the Klingons are good guys and it very much feels like there is a lot of effort to try to redeem the Klingons that ultimately feels to me like Federation propaganda and naivety. I'd be happy with a "Often Chaotic Evil" tag on Klingons.

Sure, they're warlike and aggressive. Then again, evil compared to whom? Compared to the super enlightened Federation, sure. To most modern nations? Yeah, probably. To actual medieval human kingdoms, or ancient empires such as Rome? Nah.

If you'd put Klingons into Westeros, they'd come across as the good guys. It is relative.

(Also, how would ultra honourable Klingons with their strict traditions be "chaotic?" Because they're hot-headed and aggressive? This again shows the other reason why alignment is silly.)

In my world building most cultures and nations are not "good" or "evil", I try to make them believable. They will have their ideals and principles, ambitions and needs. Sometimes these may clash with those of others, bringing them into conflict.

In any case, I'll repost what I said about my orcs in a recent thread:

---

To me the defining features of orcs are their strength and certain 'primalness.' They are fierce, they are powerful, they're honest and brave. In many ways they're quite uncomplicated people. If an orc has a problem with you, they won't scheme behind your back or spread lies about you, they challenge you to a duel. They respect strength and bravery and despise treachery and false politeness. I think Conan has many orcish qualities as do the Klingons.

In my current world the main orc culture are desert nomads, inspired by Burrough's green martians. They are stronger and tougher than humans (and instead of dark vision they are adapted to heat.) They live and thrive in places that are too harsh to many other people and use their ability to withdraw into inhospitable areas for their tactical advantage. And whilst they recognise and sometimes worship gods and nature spirits, the main focus of their religion is ancestor worship. Orcs wish to impress their dead ancestors, and believe that gaining glory in this life will earn them a place of respect among the ancestors in the next.

Not all orcs are nomads of course, many are integrated into human societies for example. They still tend to retain their orcish attitude though.

Orcs are passionate, hardy and love freedom, outdoors and challenges that test their mettle, respect bravery, personal strength and honesty, despise guile and empty gestures, prefer practicality and durability over finesse and finery and glory over wealth.

People_Orcssepia.jpg

More my art here.
 
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jasper

Rotten DM
we have long made threads about whether orcs should all be evil,

this is not that thread

what would a culture of good orcs belike without losing the orcness that people like?

do not just say WoW as that is just a cheap answer.
Alabama foot ball fans on Iron bowl week end.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
First we'd have to have knowledge of thier actual organized groups. We have no idea what neandrathals believed or how advanced thier theology, or civilizations were I won't make a personal determination without actual knowledge of what thier socio economic groups did.

I have no problem stating that Klingon culture as presented in the movies and on TV is very LE'ish. In fact it's very similar to Ancient Mongol culture. The strong rule. I've got lot of hours of observation

we do know that neanderthals were hunter gatherers who cared for their families, healed injuries and made art. We dont know their morality however but we can extrapolate that they were a small scale though paleolithic culture.

Mongols were a very tolerant culture that promoted free trade and was egalitarian, promoted the rights of women, orphans and foreigners. They were strictly lawful so acted decisively to punish crimes (the destruction of the Khwarazmids for instance was due to the the summary execution of a Mongol trade caravan which had been sent to Khwarazmids And seizure of its goods. When Genghis Khan demanded that the goods be returned and the killers punished the Khwarazmid Shah refused, The Great Khan then brought his own justice)
 


teitan

Legend
It just keeps coming to my head that orcs would be the D&D race that invents professional sports then goes crazy about it.

Like I could see an orc teenager going into a full on tearful breakdown in the street, not beccause of a breakup but because their favorite Hardball team switched Primal Totems because the guy they just traded for is superstitious about bears. And some old scarred up orc warrior in his Owlbearz jersey walks up to her and offers her his greataxe to let off steam on one of the combat dummy situated around the town. Because he knows the feeling as well.
So Warhammer.
 


Ixal

Hero
Another idea, a tribe of nomadic "adventurers", wandering their territory and taking care of monsters ect. in exchange for food and things they need.
 


nevin

Hero
we do know that neanderthals were hunter gatherers who cared for their families, healed injuries and made art. We dont know their morality however but we can extrapolate that they were a small scale though paleolithic culture.

Mongols were a very tolerant culture that promoted free trade and was egalitarian, promoted the rights of women, orphans and foreigners. They were strictly lawful so acted decisively to punish crimes (the destruction of the Khwarazmids for instance was due to the the summary execution of a Mongol trade caravan which had been sent to Khwarazmids And seizure of its goods. When Genghis Khan demanded that the goods be returned and the killers punished the Khwarazmid Shah refused, The Great Khan then brought his own just

The problem with that assessment is you are conflating modern Mongol culture with the culture of Genghis Khan. They were tolerant of everyone that swore fealty. anyone that didn't was killed or enslaved without mercy, since it was a crime to tell any mongol warrior No.

Only mongol women were treated as equals, all other women were simply Chattle to bear them children.

There are estimates that the Mongols killed up to 11 percent of the world population during thier expansion. There are large portions of history lost because the mongols burned books and libraries and destroyed cultural centers.

When the mongols showed up you agreed to yearly tribute which could include women and Children or you were Annihilated to make a point.
 

grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
Orcs as the champions of good? Cool.
Long ago when the world was new, the gods fought to claim the world from the Demon, the Aberration, the Fae, and the Dead. Their victory was total and the time came to divide the spoils. Moradin claimed the mountains and hills for the dwarves using his muscle and sweat. Ao and Yondalla together claimed the lush gardens and fields for the humans and halflings sacrificing their life together. Corellon Latherion cut their own flesh and marked the woods with their blood for their people the elves. Gruumsh looked around and saw dwarves digging deep and unleashing horrors from below. The humans recklessly used sorcery to summon demons and elementals from beyond. The Elves engaged in a civil war and brought untold darkness from the Feywild. The battle for the world was won, but the war continued. Gruumsh saw this and sighed. He plucked out one of his own eyes in sacrifice for the orcs. "My people will dwell everywhere, but they will keep watch and protect this world and its peoples from those who would invade it." The orcs were spread around the world, but they were all charged with a sacred task to always fight the Demon, the Aberration, the Fae, or the raider from the stars who sought to take what was given to them by the gods.
Orcs value strength. The strong guard the weak. Strength is to break chains, not bind. The strong can carry the weight of the world.
Orcs value family and clan. The world needs its defenders and only the clans are charged with the defense of the world. The other races are subject to corruption and temptation. Blood of Gruumsh will keep you safe.
Orcs are passionate. Life is to be enjoyed and celebrated. Quick to anger and quick to laugh.

So you have clans of orcs living anywhere next to the other races acting like Team Gruumsh World Police. They tend to be a bit condescending to the other races who they think act like children without regard to the repercussions of their actions. Their whole society is built around training for the next threat. Their shamans are diviners and abjurers. The Eyes of Gruumsh are powerful berserkers to fight planar threats. They tend to avoid most other schools of magic except to counter. Magic is a threat to the world, it must be used sparingly and correctly.
 

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