Date Added:
Jim Bishop
Green Ronin Publishing
PDF of Wrath & Rage Web Enhancement
October 30, 2002
General d20 Orc roleplaying information.

The content below is free online material published by Green Ronin Publishing, and is presented here with their knowledge and consent.


The following text is Open Game Content: the Alignment, Language, Racial Traits, and Errata sections of this article.

- Orcs -

Orcs are a race of fierce humanoids found across the wild places of the world. They are violent, quick-tempered, and belligerent, and hold an ancient hatred for the races of elves and dwarves. Although orcs are disorganized and prone to infighting, warbands under a strong leader can cut bloody inroads into the boundaries where civilization meets wilderness.


As the old dwarf joke goes: Orcs are every bit as ugly and foul-tempered as wild boars, but only half as smart. Very little has been written on the subject of orcs that does not dwell on their short temper, greed, and seemingly endless capacity for cruelty. Their stupidity is another favorite subject, one well documented by bards and wags, as well as by first-hand reports. One orc chieftain with the unlikely name of Gragnig Picknose was tricked into fatally investigating his own bellybutton with a dagger, when the rogue hed encountered convinced him that it contained gold. Unfortunately these stories are not exaggerated in the least: orcs are among the most unpleasant, antisocial, destructive, thick-headed, and vile creatures ever found, and show signs that, on the whole, they are actually becoming less civilized over time.

Among their least-appealing features is a tendency towards rape, which male orcs practice with gusto and abandon whenever the opportunity presents itself. This horrid custom has led to the proliferation of half-orcs in every land where orcs lair, and adds to the orcs fearsome reputation.

Physical Description

Orcs stand between 5 and 6 feet in height, but a tendency to stoop makes them appear shorter, on average, than humans. Both males and females are powerfully built, with stout bones barrelled in hoops of muscle. Orc hair ranges from filthy gray to black. The hair of males lightens as they age, eventually reaching the dirty white of a mature "silverback". Their grayish-green skin is thick and waxy, and scars to a creamy white that lends a ghastly appearance to old warriors. Orcs age almost twice as fast as humans, reaching sexual maturity at age 8 and rarely living past the age of 50.

The orc face has been described as porcine and skull-like, but its prognathous jaws and gaping nostils are utterly unique. Coupled with their animal-like ears and streaming red eyes, these creatures are unmistakeable even at a distance.


Orcs get along best with goblins, ogres, and other creatures they can easily dominate or enslave. Among the civilized races, they sometimes cooperate with evil humans and evil dwarves (duergar), but have nothing but scorn for societies of good and law, and for the small races. Orc culture is deeply rooted in hatred for the elves, who they believe forced them underground uncounted ages ago. Long centuries in competition with dwarves have also given them reason to hate and resent this proud race. Orcs attack elves (including halfelves) and dwarves on sight, unless badly outnumbered. If given the choice, they attack their blood-enemies to the exclusion of all others.


Orcs are usually chaotic and evil. Orc adventurers are as likely to be good or neutral as evil, but most orcs find it hard to shake their innate drive towards freedom and chaos.

Orc Lands

Orc holdings are rarely legitimate, and almost always in a state of flux. They make their homes in the caverns and rifts of wretched mountains, sometimes deep underground but more often near the surface, where neither dwarves nor elves can easily attack them. When warbands grow large enough, they spill down into neighboring settlements to rape, murder, raid, and pillage. Under the leadership of a silverback male, these bands can take on the proportions of a large town or small city, and roll across the countryside leaving burning wreckage in their wake.

These orc "kingdoms" are short lived. The races genius for battle does not extend itself to statecraft, and their conquests inevitably collapse under a struggle for power between rival leaders. Orcs in human lands are seldom seen except at the head of a marauding force. The few who make their homes alongside humans sometimes serve as slavers, gaolers, assassins, and thugs. Orc mercenaries have a deserved reputation for ferocity, but their loyalty seldom lasts beyond their fi rst taste of blood and gold.


The chief deity of the orcs is He-Who-Watches, the master of the orc pantheon and father of the race. He teaches that everything the orcs once had was stolen by the elves and dwarves, and urges his progeny on to ever-greater acts of violence and revenge.


Orcs speak the rough and unflattering Orc tongue, which has no alphabet of its own. Orc culture and history is passed along in an oral tradition that is remarkable for its bloody single-mindedness, and its consistency across diverse tribes. The written form of Orc is seldom seen outside of scrolls and runes. It uses the runic alphabet of Dwarven.


An orcs name is given to him by his father, in consultation with the bands spiritual leader. Names have little significance in orc society, and the names of even great heroes are seldom remembered more than a generation or two. An orcs name is a functional handle, no more important than his boots or the color of his shirt, and far less important than the number and quality of his battle scars, children and wives, and loot.

     Male Names: Carg, Durg, Gaz, Grak, Kurtz, Nazdrug, and Vigup.

     Female Names: Chigs, Firke, Korsk, Kroik, Muln, Pims, and Ziggs.

     Tribe Names: Blood Eye, Death Moon, Crack Bone, Rot Hand, and Black Axe.


Orc adventurers are rare, and are usually motivated to leave their tribe by an ethical conflict (such as a tendency toward good or neutrality), the desire to further their education in arcane or scholarly matters, or the need to escape a rival. Many orc adventurers are simply exiles, driven out after losing a leadership battle.

Orc Racial Traits

  •  +4 Strength, 2 Intelligence, 2 Wisdom, 2 Charisma: Orcs are strong but stupid and unobservant, and lack even the most basic social skills.
  • Medium-size: As Medium-size creatures, orcs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Orc base speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision: Orcs can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Dark vision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and orcs can function just fi ne with no light at all.
  • Light Sensitivity: Orcs suffer a -1 penalty to attack rolls when in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
  • Automatic Languages: Orc. Bonus Languages: Common, Giant, Goblin, and Undercommon. Orcs take a dim view of the complexities of civilized speech, but they often learn the languages of their allies.
  • Favored Class: Barbarian. A multiclass orcs barbarian class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing. Orc culture is deeply rooted in the lore of the raging warrior, and many orcs fi nd that the class comes naturally to them.

- Errata - The following is official errata for Wrath & Rage:

Page 5: The correct ECL for orcs is 0.

Page 15: The Gullet feat should state, "You can swallow up to 1 cubic inch of material per point of your Constitution score."

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System Reference Document, Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Wrath & Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs and Half-orcs, Copyright 2002, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Jim Bishop.

Wrath & Rage Web Enhancement, Copyright 2002, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Jim Bishop

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