Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Orc Soldiers of the North

But the victory of the Elves was dear-bought. For those of Ossiriand were light-armed, and no match for the Orcs, who were shod with iron and iron-shielded and bore great spears with broad blades...
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

Orcs are born soldiers, created by the elves from mannish and goblin stock to march in the elven wars of conquest. Most still live and die in the service of their cold elven lords. Orcs are born of magic fully grown and begin life as members of military bands of eight to twelve soldiers. This is the orc’s born warband. While they are not bound magically to the service of the elves, most orcs know no other life, and the bonds of camaraderie within their units hold them together. In many ways, orcs fight not for their elven masters but for their brothers in the warband. Some orcs whose units have been decimated find themselves adrift in the lands of men, lost, vagabond. These may take up work as mercenaries, join bandit groups, work as trainers for local militias, wander as adventurers, or even join the armies of men. They are rarely trusted, and even among those who find some acceptance in human lands, few ever regain the camaraderie they knew in their warbands.

Orcs are born nameless, and until they distinguish themselves within their unit, they remain so. Orcs have names like Whiskey, Buzzard, Poet, Red, Savvy, Croaker, One-Eye, and Raven. Orcs have no families other than their bands. They travel as military bands, live in military camps, and conduct themselves as soldiers in the field. Orc bands (8-12) are further organized into hosts (of 8-12 bands).

Physically, orcs are the size and build of men, and through the dark glamours of the elves, orcs are cloaked by night with the appearance of men. Only the light of the sun strips away the elven glamours and reveals them to be orcs. Thus the elves sow discord in human lands, sending orc spies, saboteurs, and assassins to cause chaos and seed suspicion among men.

Characteristics
STR    2d6+6    7-18
CON    3d6+3    4-21
SIZ    2d6+6    7-18
DEX    3d6      3-18
INT    2d6+6    7-18
POW    3d6      3-18
CHA    2d6 (orc visage) / 3d6 (human visage)    2-12/3-18


TRAITS: Night sight, thick skin 1 AP, incorruptible (immune to disease), unstoppable (as Resilience, RQ6, p. 292), born to die (immune to fear)

One of the greatest killers of armies is disease. The orc does not fall prey to it. Orcs must survive long marches and punishing conditions. The body of an orc is incorruptible. Every orc is immune to all forms of disease.

Orcs may fall in battle, but they stand again. Orcs are unstoppable. An orc can endure any pain. He never needs to check Endurance to prevent unconsciousness when wounded, and is immune to torture.

Created by dark magics, orcs are born to die, and they know it in their souls. Orcs are immune to all natural and magical fear effects. Orc units may make a strategic retreat to gain advantage, but they never need do so through fear or hesitation.
Orcs fight, and orcs die. It is the way of the world. When using the rules from Ships & Shield Walls, orcs do not begin making morale checks until they have suffered 30% losses, and even when they do quit the field due to failed morale checks, they make an strategic withdrawal.





Orc (Nomadic Culture)
Standard Skills
Athletics, Brawn, Endurance, Evade, Ride, Unarmed, Willpower  

Combat Style: Orc Soldier
Orcs are born to war. And then they train for it. To maximize their flexibility on the field, they are trained in the use of all weapons and armor. Equipped with light armor and a bow, any orc is an archer or skirmisher. Equipped with heavy armor, shield, and blade, that same orc is a heavy foot soldier. Cloaked as a man, carrying a wicked curved knife, the orc is an assassin in the night. On the back a great dire wolf, the orc is cavalry.

Born for Battle (Benefit)
The combat style benefit of being an orc is their training to use any weapon. This adaptability carries over to mass battles. Orc forces can use any of the formations detailed on pp. 19-20 of Ships & Shield Walls.

Professional Skills
Craft (any), Engineering, Healing, Language (any), Lore (Strategy and Tactics), Seamanship, Survival

Orc Soldier (Orc Career)     

Standard Skills
Athletics, Endurance, Evade, Ride, Unarmed, Willpower; Combat Style (Orc Soldier)  

Combat Style: Orc Soldier
Orcs are born to war. And then they train for it. To maximize their flexibility on the field, they are trained in the use of all weapons and armor. Equipped with light armor and a bow, any orc is an archer or skirmisher. Equipped with heavy armor, shield, and blade, that same orc is a heavy foot soldier. Cloaked as a man, carrying a wicked curved knife, the orc is an assassin in the night. On the back a great dire wolf, the orc is cavalry.

Born for Battle (Benefit)
The combat style benefit of being an orc is their training to use any weapon. This adaptability carries over to mass battles. Orc forces can use any of the formations detailed on pp. 19-20 of Ships & Shield Walls.

Professional Skills
Craft (any with a military field application), Engineering, Healing, Language (any), Lore (Strategy and Tactics), Seamanship, Survival

This is a RuneQuest 6 version of the Orc Soldier character class I made back when I thought the war in the north campaign would use ACKS. It, in turn, implements my love of the "soldier orc" archetype.