Orc, Variant (5e Race)

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“Blood and honor, Zoggosh. That is all that orcs understand.”—Koramar

Physical Description[edit]

Thrall, the World Shaman by World of Warcraft Trading Card Game collection. [1]

Orcs are approximately 6 - 8 feet tall with muscular physiques. Males often have very long and unusual facial hair. Females tend to have eclectic hair styles and unusual piercings.

An orc's face would be described by some races of Azeroth as monstrous, their hideousness comparable to that of trolls. Orcs have large heavy jaws from which protrude sharp, tusk-like teeth, heavy brows, a broad and flat snout-like nose, and pointed ears. The number, size and position of orcish tusks and teeth are particularly variable, much like their troll allies.

Orcs come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the short, pitiable peon to the hulking grunt. The average male Orc height is seven feet tall, while the females stand at an average of six to six and a half. Males, particularly warriors, are often hunched to variable degrees, though others stand straight and tall, such as Grom Hellscream. A fair amount of sexual dimorphism exists between the orc sexes, with male orcs possessing more extreme orcish physical characteristics, most noticeably broader shoulders and larger tusks. Yet all the orcs are large, powerfully built creatures when compared to their human counterparts, warriors and spell-casters alike, and regardless of gender. Orc blood is a dark red color, much darker than that of dwarves and humans. Because of this, orcs have been called “blackbloods” by their Alliance foes.

Orcs, especially orc warriors, are fond of tattoos of orcish symbols that have abstract, yet personal meaning to the individual orc, such as a clan symbol or a battle standard. In orcish society, scars are a source of pride for an orc; the amount of scars an orc has received in battle marks his experience as a warrior.


“To pretend the demonic corruption did not exist is to forget how dreadful the impact was. To make ourselves into victims, rather than claiming our participation in our own destruction. We chose this path, we orcs. We chose it right up until it was too late to turn back. And having made that choice, we can, with the knowledge that we have of the end of that dark and shameful road, choose not to take it.”—Thrall

Present Day The orcs are a race native to the world of Draenor, now known as Outland, they arrived in Azeroth through the Dark Portal a massive structure that allowed orcs passage from their world.

Originally the orcs were a shamanistic people cultivating a clan-based society. The orc clans united as the first Horde and the first orc warlock Gul'dan had persuaded the orc chieftains of Draenor to drink demonic blood which turned their skin green with the taint and degraded them into a horrible bloodlust. This delivered the orcs into the hands of the Burning Legion which wanted to destroy the draenei who had a refuge on Draenor and lead the orcs into Azeroth to weaken it before the second invasion of the Legion itself into Azeroth. The orcish Horde made war on Azeroth upon kingdoms that united against them as the Alliance of Lordaeron and the orcs were ultimately defeated.

Their world of Draenor was destroyed by the reckless actions of the elder shaman Ner'zhul, and what remains of the world became known as Outland. In Outland, many orcs were further corrupted by demonic blood into fel orcs.

Those that refused to drink demonic blood and remained uncorrupted are known as Mag'har orcs. Mag'har orcs remain in Outland primarily in the region of Nagrand.

Yet, the shamanistic tradition of the orcs on Azeroth were rekindled from the ashes, led by a young shaman by the name of Thrall. Thrall led his orcish Horde out of the Eastern Kingdoms and across the Great Sea into the continent of Kalimdor, in order to begin a new existence for themselves, as well as for their newfound non-orc allies. There, they fought against the Burning Legion's invasion of Azeroth with the races of Azeroth. On Kalimdor the orcs founded the nation of Durotar and the great city of Orgrimmar. Combined forces of the Horde and Alliance continued to fight of join enemies but a conflict between them also reemerged.

The Rise of the First Horde After investigating of the world, the powerful demon lord Kil'jaeden tricked the head shaman Ner'zhul by appearing as a spirit of an orc ancestor. He convinced Ner'zhul that the draenei were conspiring against the orcs, and were planning on attacking. Ner'zhul began raiding the draenei hoping to be the savior of his race. With the mass murder of the draenei, the elements refused to aid the orcs in their war. Believing that the elements had turned on them, the orcs turned to Ner'zhul. He went to Oshu'gun to speak with the spirits directly and learned the truth about Kil'jaeden. Refusing to help Kil'jaeden any further, Ner'zhul was replaced by his apprentice Gul'dan as Spiritual Leader of the clans. Gul'dan cared little for the orcs and readily agreed to follow Kil'jaeden in exchange for more power.

After being taught by Kil'jaeden, Gul'dan established warlock and necromancy schools to replace the shaman powers the orcs had lost. To consolidate his power, Gul'dan united the clans into the Old Horde under Blackhand as Warchief and formed the Shadow Council to pull the strings from the shadows. Over the next few years, the entire race was corrupted by fel energy and began turning green.

On the eve of the final assault on the draenei at Shattrath, Gul'dan presented the clan chieftains with Mannoroth's blood. The resulting bloodlust allowed them to easily overrun the city, ending the war. Believing the orcs to have fulfilled their purpose, Kil'jaeden abandoned them. Completely devoured by their demonic bloodlust and without new enemies to fight, many orc clans began fighting amongst themselves. Petty rivalries escalated into full scale bloodbaths, and total chaos descended upon orcish society.

By using the promise of new lands to conquer on worlds other than Draenor, the Shadow Council was able to form a tenuous unity within the Horde. Gul'dan and his warlocks began probing the Twisting Nether, desperately searching for new worlds within easy reach before the clans' bloodlust exploded beyond control.

One night, an extremely powerful entity touched the thoughts of Gul'dan. Identifying himself as a servant of Kil'jaeden's master, Medivh enticed Gul'dan with the power of Sargeras' Tomb. He also presented images of the vibrant lands of Azeroth. The Shadow Council, despite the debate over Medivh's true intentions, decided to do Medivh's bidding and spent several months constructing the Dark Portal.


“From what I've heard, before they formed the Horde, the orcs were apparently no more hostile than any other life on Draenor. Which is to say, they were quite hostile indeed.”— Archmage Khadgar

Orcish society has always been characterized by hardy and rugged living. As a result, they are staunch pragmatists, and never shy from killing if it will protect the future of the orc or his or her clan. All orcs, regardless of gender or station, are expected to pull their own weight and weakness is considered a grave liability. The weakness of one contaminates the strength of all, and it is punishable by the greatest humiliation an orc can receive: exile. Different orc clans, however, have different personalities; Thrall and the Frostwolves are notable for having brought a measure of mercy and compassion to the Horde, typically seen in Thrall's kinder treatment towards peons, who were once viewed as a despicable sub-race. On the other hand, clans such as the Warsong remain who still cling to the rigid, spartan beliefs valued in the first Horde as it was first established on Draenor.

Yet regardless of their clan affiliations, orcs prize honor over all other things in life — first to bring honor to their clan (and by extension, the Horde) and secondly bringing honor to the self and to their sense of self-worth as an individual. Likewise, hospitality is considered one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed. The orcs and tauren have become fast and unswerving allies because the tauren gladly offered the orcs shelter in a strange new land as well as their assistance regardless of the cost to themselves.

Since Thrall took leadership of the Horde there is no discrimination between genders in orcish society. Women are able to pursue the same career choices as men, rise to positions of power and are even expected to answer to the call for battle just as men are. Strength (both physical and mental), courage, initiative and independence are prized traits in all orcs. Traditionally, children are seen as children of the parents but are raised as children of the clan.

Orc Names[edit]

Two types of orc names appear to have arisen: two syllables separated by an apostrophe for more magic users and a simple name, shortened from a longer one, for more warrior status.

Male Warrior: Grom, Thrum, Drog, Gorrum, Harg, Thurg, Karg

Female Warrior: Groma, Hargu, Igrim, Agra, Dragga, Grima

Male Caster: Gul'dan, Drak'Thul, Dal'Rend, Kil'Chun

Female Caster: Gree'Naki, Drul'Trava, Kil'Bora, Grad'Zim

Orc Traits[edit]

The Orcs are an honor fulled race from the World of Warcraft series.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution or Charisma score increases by 1.
Age. Orcs are trained to fight by the age of 10, by 12 they are considered adults and can live to be 60. Though few reach such an age.
Alignment. Orcs tend to be drawn to neutral alignments but can fit anywhere on the spectrum. They fight for what is good for the clan or their allies regardless of what others see as moral. Honor and strength guide their actions.
Size. Orcs are between 6-8 feet tall, even casters are large and muscular. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Born to Fight. You have proficiency with the greatclub, handaxe, battleaxe and maul.
Blood Fury. Blood and pain fuel an orc in battle. When you are reduced to 0 hit points, you can make one attack against a creature within 5 feet of you. If you reduce that creature to 0 hit points, you regain 1 hit point. After you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
Hardiness. Orcs are skilled and sure-footed fighters. You have advantage on saving throws that would knock you prone.
Intimidating. You have proficiency with the Intimidation skill.
Commanding Strike. Orcs are inspiring leaders to their allies. As an action, you can assume command on the attack against a specific creature until the start of your next turn. The first attack roll another creature makes against that creature has advantage. After you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Orcish.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

7′ 0″ +1d12 280 lb. × (1d20) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

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