Some of the stuff in the fluff on orcs is super creepy

There's a line in the info on orcs that goes something like "In orc camps, there's a lot of theft, murder, and worse".

Look, given the way orcs and half orcs have been written in older editions (besides 4e, I guess), it's pretty obvious you're talking about **** here.  That's really creepy, and saps any enthusiasm I had about D&Dnext.  It's probably going to drive away some other women who play, too.

I mean, having a whole intelligent race be kind of evil is something I hate, especially with the weird racial implications that orcs have had sometimes.  But that one sentence is something that should be pretty easy to change to something less offputting.  Consider it at least, okay?
There's a line in the info on orcs that goes something like "In orc camps, there's a lot of theft, murder, and worse".

Look, given the way orcs and half orcs have been written in older editions (besides 4e, I guess), it's pretty obvious you're talking about **** here.  That's really creepy, and saps any enthusiasm I had about D&Dnext.  It's probably going to drive away some other women who play, too.

I mean, having a whole intelligent race be kind of evil is something I hate, especially with the weird racial implications that orcs have had sometimes.  But that one sentence is something that should be pretty easy to change to something less offputting.  Consider it at least, okay?


Whaat?  That sounds so cool.  Really evokes the imagination.  Who knows if its ****?  Saying "or worse" is a great tactic, it forces you to imagine what would be worse than theft or muder.  Apparently for you, **** is the next step.  It's like an ink blot.  I think having such flavorful language is great.  I love that they aren't shy to tell you just how orcs can be.  I don't think anybody is going to say that just because the entry for orcs is like that there can't be a more peaceful orc community somewhere, exceptions are ever present in fantasy.  But good descriptions of the average orc community being dark and evocatvie I like.
I really didn't get that at all. "Worse" just means a laundry list of nastyness that the writers don't want to sully the page with - torture, cannibalism, self-mutilation, beastiality, etc. The monster entry isn't the place to say "Although most orcs are evil, there are a few noble outcasts who struggle to throw off..."  It would be wasteful and wearying to insert such a caveat into every intelligent monster entry. I'm sure there will be a small blurb at the beginning of the monster manual explaining that there are always exceptions to typical racial alignments.  
I love you guys.
Or worse can include... Torture, Slavery, EMO music (hehe), and yes ****.  Which is no laughing matter.  How much any of those play in your campaign is up to you and your DM.

Orcs are, and always have been in DnD, the most encountered example of an Evil race.  They are meant to be, and alot of that comes from the sources DnD is based off.  They are bad peoples who do bad things, and it's why the hero's oppose them.  DnD can be as dark or lightly roleplayed as you and your group wishes to play, but it is often Mature themed by its very nature.
Some flavors of D&D describe orcs as "beast-men".  Not an "intelligent race", but some kind of artificial, chaos-infused blight.  Like demons.  Nobody ever says, "but what about the poor 'good' demon"?  Campaigns may vary, but as a default, most intelligent, evil monsters are, well, "monsters".
I mean, having a whole intelligent race be kind of evil is something I hate, especially with the weird racial implications that orcs have had sometimes.



I agree.  Then again, I hate the alignment system.  Still, I'm going to side with Frostball.  "Worse" is an ink blot that simply lets the reader imagine whatever awfulness is 'worse' for them.  When I read it, the first thing that popped into my mind was sacrificing other orcs and captives to Gruumsh.

"Worse" imply very ugly backstory.

 
It's probably going to drive away some other women who play, too.

I'm a woman who felt the 4e PHB2 half-orc origin jumble was a cop-out. (The idea a half-orc you were questioning would punch you in the face was a nice touch though.)

I'll admit, I'm probably not the best barometer for how large numbers of women would react. I find the idea of removing women in chainmail bikinis from gaming offensive. Yes, we need examples of women wearing sensible armor, but what we really need is a half-naked Jason Momoa fighting along side chainmail bikini babe.
LOL, Equality Now! 
There's a line in the info on orcs that goes something like "In orc camps, there's a lot of theft, murder, and worse".

Look, given the way orcs and half orcs have been written in older editions (besides 4e, I guess), it's pretty obvious you're talking about **** here.  That's really creepy, and saps any enthusiasm I had about D&Dnext.  It's probably going to drive away some other women who play, too.

I mean, having a whole intelligent race be kind of evil is something I hate, especially with the weird racial implications that orcs have had sometimes.  But that one sentence is something that should be pretty easy to change to something less offputting.  Consider it at least, okay?


Hmm... "there's a lot of theft, murder, and worse."

Sounds like it could describe many real life human cities in 2012.  Just watch the 9'o'clock news, really.


There's a line in the info on orcs that goes something like "In orc camps, there's a lot of theft, murder, and worse".

Look, given the way orcs and half orcs have been written in older editions (besides 4e, I guess), it's pretty obvious you're talking about **** here.  That's really creepy, and saps any enthusiasm I had about D&Dnext.  It's probably going to drive away some other women who play, too.

I mean, having a whole intelligent race be kind of evil is something I hate, especially with the weird racial implications that orcs have had sometimes.  But that one sentence is something that should be pretty easy to change to something less offputting.  Consider it at least, okay?


Hmm... "there's a lot of theft, murder, and worse."

Sounds like it could describe many real life human cities in 2012.  Just watch the 9'o'clock news, really.





Well since 80% of your choices and personality are informed by your environment, yeah I can see a large percentage of Orcs being evil. Also go look up the vikings. They were basically what Orcs represent...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
While yes, worse could include torture, slavery and the like (hard to argue that cannibalism among an evil race is anything but good though....), the past history of orcs does include ****. It's like dropping a line like that in the fluff about centaurs (for the record, if you know about centaurs, you know in HP that Dolores Umbridge got raped by them, and that's also quite disturbing to a number of people - I guess for most feminists though the fact that Rowling is a woman and is very successful overrides the misogyny in her books). Leaving that line out of the orc entry certainly wouldn't hurt.
LOL, Equality Now! 



in what way that it also mentions female orcs raping male prisoners ?
Reading through some of the other Monster Manual entries gives this vibe.  The way it's written, this iteration of the playtest is meant to have a very very black and white good-vs-evil world.  Monsters are not only written as being very ugly, which was enough justification back in the day, but also having very bad habits and demeanors, so you wouldn't feel bad killing them.  I don't remember which ones, but I even read some of the monsters having a red glow around their eyes, providing a clear signal that they're evil, and ok to be slaughtered.

Hmm... "there's a lot of theft, murder, and worse."

Sounds like it could describe many real life human cities in 2012.  Just watch the 9'o'clock news, really.



Well since 80% of your choices and personality are informed by your environment, yeah I can see a large percentage of Orcs being evil. Also go look up the vikings. They were basically what Orcs represent...


Only 80%?  ;)

Anyway, orcs aren't and never were "Viking"-like.  Orcs were stolen / imported directly from Tolkien's LotR.  They're corrupted / twisted elves, which makes them more like demons.  Some Vikings were pillager-rapists, but history shows that the vast majority were not.
(for the record, if you know about centaurs, you know in HP that Dolores Umbridge got raped by them, and that's also quite disturbing to a number of people - I guess for most feminists though the fact that Rowling is a woman and is very successful overrides the misogyny in her books).


What??? She was carried away by centaurs and probably trampled, but there was nothing implying ****. And I would ask to what misogyny you refer, but this is already waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off topic.
Anyway, orcs aren't and never were "Viking"-like.  Orcs were stolen / imported directly from Tolkien's LotR.  They're corrupted / twisted elves, which makes them more like demons.  Some Vikings were pillager-rapists, but history shows that the vast majority were not.



Sure they represent Vikings. They also represent the Huns and the Mongolians and the Vandals and the Goths and the Gauls and the Saxons and every other large group of relatively primitive people who threatened the relatively civilized people of the world.
Anyway, orcs aren't and never were "Viking"-like.  Orcs were stolen / imported directly from Tolkien's LotR.  They're corrupted / twisted elves, which makes them more like demons.  Some Vikings were pillager-rapists, but history shows that the vast majority were not.



Sure they represent Vikings. They also represent the Huns and the Mongolians and the Vandals and the Goths and the Gauls and the Saxons and every other large group of relatively primitive people who threatened the relatively civilized people of the world.


I understand your intent, but the conclusion you're drawing is wrong.

Orcs, until -very- recently, have always been monsters, almost demon-like in their blind ferocity and evil bloodlust.  They're Tolkien-derived, and irredeemable.

Human barbarian tribes have also been a part of D&D from the very beginning.  They might be Hun-like or representative of various Iron Age (or earlier, or later) "uncivilized" cultures, but they're still human and not monsters like orcs.  Orcs are not simply barbarians.
(for the record, if you know about centaurs, you know in HP that Dolores Umbridge got raped by them, and that's also quite disturbing to a number of people - I guess for most feminists though the fact that Rowling is a woman and is very successful overrides the misogyny in her books).


What??? She was carried away by centaurs and probably trampled, but there was nothing implying ****. And I would ask to what misogyny you refer, but this is already waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off topic.



Read up on mythical centaurs, and don't go for bowdlerised sources.
Star Trek's Klingons would be a better example of a fictional race that was based on the Vikings. Conan the Barbarian would also be a better example of a fictional "Viking-esque" warrior.
As it is, Orc culture is really not at all similar to Viking culture and morality. Vikings had a code of honor, while orcs don't.
Star Trek's Klingons would be a better example of a fictional race that was based on the Vikings. Conan the Barbarian would also be a better example of a fictional "Viking-esque" warrior.
As it is, Orc culture is really not at all similar to Viking culture and morality. Vikings had a code of honor, while orcs don't.



Attitudes on Vikings changed over time. No different from attitudes on Orcs changing over time.
Anyway, orcs aren't and never were "Viking"-like.  Orcs were stolen / imported directly from Tolkien's LotR.  They're corrupted / twisted elves, which makes them more like demons.  Some Vikings were pillager-rapists, but history shows that the vast majority were not.



Sure they represent Vikings. They also represent the Huns and the Mongolians and the Vandals and the Goths and the Gauls and the Saxons and every other large group of relatively primitive people who threatened the relatively civilized people of the world.


I understand your intent, but the conclusion you're drawing is wrong.

Orcs, until -very- recently, have always been monsters, almost demon-like in their blind ferocity and evil bloodlust.  They're Tolkien-derived, and irredeemable.

Human barbarian tribes have also been a part of D&D from the very beginning.  They might be Hun-like or representative of various Iron Age (or earlier, or later) "uncivilized" cultures, but they're still human and not monsters like orcs.  Orcs are not simply barbarians.


This. I'll refrain from saying more, lest I wind up on a soapbox.

Except this: "barbarian" probably has it's roots in the ancient Greek word "barbaros." It translates roughly into something akin to "babbling" and was applied to anyone who didn't speak Greek. It is no more a mark of incivility than "foreigner" is, today. Equating orcs to Vikings, Goths, Huns, or Gauls is quite simply, ludicrous.
It's only ludicrous to the vikings, huns and gauls, just like being inherrently evil is ludicrous to orcs.
Way to feed a troll... OP is surely laughing as hell now. Come on, why on earth would the implication of **** (on monsters such as orcs) turn you off from the game? If I were a moderator I would have deleted this thread right away.

Join the Zendikar D&D Campaign Setting group: discover the fantastic world and contribute to make Zendikar a playable setting!
   - Warning! Spectacular visuals and lore ahead! ... Take a look...
Play-by-Post and my D&D blogging!

*All my latest rolls!*

Campaigns and Characters:
Zendikar: Covenant of The Forgotten Relics
- Cylonea: Merfolk (Elemental Priest) Shaman(World Speaker)/Artificer --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff
- Vurokk Dahvre: Shade (Escaped Slave) Blackguard of Fury --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)
Nature's Allies
- Carwyn Sihderfein: Half-Elf (Tuathan) Blackguard of Domination / Binder of Gloom --> Sheet, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)

I really didn't get that at all. "Worse" just means a laundry list of nastyness that the writers don't want to sully the page with - torture, cannibalism, self-mutilation, beastiality, etc.

Clearly, Orcs are into tearing the tags off of mattresses and spreading DropBox links to Playtest Packet.

It's only ludicrous to the vikings, huns and gauls, just like being inherrently evil is ludicrous to orcs.


It's really totally inappropriate to apply real life moral relativism to D&D.  You can, and in some ways this happened in 4E (i.e. with the orcs), but you have to remember some very important consequences for doing so:

1)  D&D in most of its incarnations has relied heavily on moral absolutism re: irredeemable evil.  Some beings, including orcs, demons, and most "monsters" simply are evil.  No relativism, no redemption for them.  This was (and should be, IMO) a core feature of D&D.   Allow relativism in, and you may feel like you're getting verisimilitude;  but the cost is that you make everything morally gray and complicate the meaning and play of the game in unecessary ways.

2)  With moral relativism, orcs, and all monsters really (even demons), are watered down in a story / heroic context.  And nothing can replace them as "pure evil" because everthing is morally relativistic.  So, by derivation, no combat or act is inherently good or evil, nothing is heroic or truly demonic, and you've eliminated a core intent of the game.

Orcs, and demons / monsters really should be vile, corrupt, and monstrous.  The worst imaginiible things should happen in their camps.  That way, there's total justification for eliminating them.  Civilized orcs took the teeth out of Warcraft, and if not fixed for D&D it'll happen here too.  It's the same fanfic emo fan-wank  mentality of "I wanna be dark, but not truly Evil" that generates awfulness like Twilight "vampires" and bunny-eared nice demon girls.

Way to feed a troll... OP is surely laughing as hell now. Come on, why on earth would the implication of **** (on monsters such as orcs) turn you off from the game? If I were a moderator I would have deleted this thread right away.


Uhhhh... I don't want any **** in the game because it's a really horrible thing I don't want to think about when I'm trying to have fun?
Way to feed a troll... OP is surely laughing as hell now. Come on, why on earth would the implication of **** (on monsters such as orcs) turn you off from the game? If I were a moderator I would have deleted this thread right away.


Uhhhh... I don't want any **** in the game because it's a really horrible thing I don't want to think about when I'm trying to have fun?



This.

Some things are simply inappropriate in an RPG.  If you want a game where this happens, go play FATAL.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
really?  "...and worse" is the classic fill in the blank scenario... fill it in with whatever most disturbs you... your sentiments about women not playing this because of your own projection about what this means to you is both misguided and naive.

by even writing this it seems like you are just groping in the dark for reasons to hate on 5e or next or whatever they call it.... at least address it on the merits based on playtesting and not your own projections about what something may or may not mean...
You implied ****? I implied live evisceration and torture. Whatever. It's "worse" either way. So the flavor text for orcs kicked off your imagination; that's good.
Way to feed a troll... OP is surely laughing as hell now. Come on, why on earth would the implication of **** (on monsters such as orcs) turn you off from the game? If I were a moderator I would have deleted this thread right away.


Uhhhh... I don't want any **** in the game because it's a really horrible thing I don't want to think about when I'm trying to have fun?



Please read the FATAL rule book then come back and complain about the possible implied **** here.
Way to feed a troll... OP is surely laughing as hell now. Come on, why on earth would the implication of **** (on monsters such as orcs) turn you off from the game? If I were a moderator I would have deleted this thread right away.


Uhhhh... I don't want any **** in the game because it's a really horrible thing I don't want to think about when I'm trying to have fun?




So don't have it in your game. It never mentions **** in the orc write-up, we don't have half-orcs nor their write-up yet, and unless I am mistaken there is no **** skill check, ability check, saving throw, or **** rule of any kind.

You do see that all of this is in your head, right?  
Please read the FATAL rule book

No, don't! Tongue Out
Vikings were pretty far from chaotic.

The also spent FAR more time trading, and doing the same things as everyone else (like raising livestock, crafting, etc) than they did raiding. The term viking (as a verb) can refer to trading, raiding or even exploration.

Even the Klingons aren't really a great analogue.


Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
I thought Vikings were Norse pirates, as in: not all Norse were Vikings.

It does seem the fluff assures the "evil" in "evil humanoid" societies; however, I greatly appreciate that paragraphs are given to aspects of evil humanoid cultures other than how inhumane or what flavor of jerk they are. The goblins' somewhat tragic underdog niche, the hobgoblins' discipline and devotion, and orcs' superstitions were fun to read and, I can imagine, to role-play.

While on the topic: I love both the "Legends and Lore" and "Habitat and Society" entries; they are more evocative than specific, giving my brain something to which to add and room for expansion.
read a review of the FATAL book...www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14567.pht... 
i'm sorry for being off topic, but seriously this is hilarious. Read it if you get the chance.
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!
Way to feed a troll... OP is surely laughing as hell now. Come on, why on earth would the implication of **** (on monsters such as orcs) turn you off from the game? If I were a moderator I would have deleted this thread right away.


Uhhhh... I don't want any **** in the game because it's a really horrible thing I don't want to think about when I'm trying to have fun?



This.

Some things are simply inappropriate in an RPG.  If you want a game where this happens, go play FATAL.


Come on, this from you Salla, subscribed in 2003? Have you been playing D&D? Then I think you'd know that it's not "a game", it's your game, you make it. Just like you can make what you want of the "worse things" happening among orcs.
The core concept of D&D and many other pen and paper RPGs is that you imagine things, and you're ecouraged to go beyond what's in the manuals. If you want to play "a game" following a manual's every word, you'll enconter much bigger problems than this in D&D, because the very words of the manuals tell you basically to not stop at the words in the manuals.

Plus, **** is a really horrible thing in our world, yes, but in the D&D orc's world there are literally "worse things", in that you should follow the manual... What I mean is that if you can't contextualize things to fantasy ecosystems, why then playing a fantasy game? But then again of course, I don't want to contradict myself: D&D is always your game, and there can totally be no worse thing than **** in your (filled with murder instead) D&D, and the orcs would completely ignore what **** is. There's nothing in this playtest document impeding this, and I suspect you know it, and we're just discussing thin air.

Join the Zendikar D&D Campaign Setting group: discover the fantastic world and contribute to make Zendikar a playable setting!
   - Warning! Spectacular visuals and lore ahead! ... Take a look...
Play-by-Post and my D&D blogging!

*All my latest rolls!*

Campaigns and Characters:
Zendikar: Covenant of The Forgotten Relics
- Cylonea: Merfolk (Elemental Priest) Shaman(World Speaker)/Artificer --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff
- Vurokk Dahvre: Shade (Escaped Slave) Blackguard of Fury --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)
Nature's Allies
- Carwyn Sihderfein: Half-Elf (Tuathan) Blackguard of Domination / Binder of Gloom --> Sheet, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)

I really didn't get that at all. "Worse" just means a laundry list of nastyness that the writers don't want to sully the page with - torture, cannibalism, self-mutilation, beastiality, etc. The monster entry isn't the place to say "Although most orcs are evil, there are a few noble outcasts who struggle to throw off..."  It would be wasteful and wearying to insert such a caveat into every intelligent monster entry. I'm sure there will be a small blurb at the beginning of the monster manual explaining that there are always exceptions to typical racial alignments.  





Yeah, i definitely didn't arrive at the OP's conclusion either. No indication here that "worse" means ****. I assumed stuff like cannibalism and torture.
I can kinda go along with the OP on the racial thing. I mean, I couldn't watch the LotR movies without seeing an obvious connection to racism. Not trolling. I seriously feel that way about those movies.

BUT...

This is the best description of orcs I have seen by far. Like others have said, there's so much SHOW here. If there's anything that I didn't like about 4E, it's that the authors relied so much on TELL.

This description sets orcs up as the game's natural antagonists, sure. And that makes for great stories.

Now, imagine the even greater stories of an orc fighting his/her background to become a better, more wholesome person.

You thought Drizzit was cool? Imagine being the first True Orc Hero.
Vikings were pretty far from chaotic.

The also spent FAR more time trading, and doing the same things as everyone else (like raising livestock, crafting, etc) than they did raiding. The term viking (as a verb) can refer to trading, raiding or even exploration.

Even the Klingons aren't really a great analogue.





Yes they are, because Klingons were just straight up bad guys in TOS. That only changed for TNG. OD&D Orcs are like TOS Klingons.
Without the presence of violent crime committed against innocent victims in D&D, the heroes become fascist judge-executioners at best and psychopathic home invaders at worst.

No one, I'm sure, is suggesting D&D should contain graphic depictions of (unprovoked) assault, but I would argue that it is almost /important/ to keep this sort of reference in the game because it helps draw a thick, black line between the actions of the "heroes" and those of such criminals.

That said, I would be 100% in support of a statement at the beginning of each D&D book that says, "This game may include story elements that survivors of violent crime may find upsetting."  Because it's absolutely true -- even if you are just talking about standard play.  Of course, I would hope this would be obvious to any survivor of violent crime without the warning.

As for orcs being societally evil, I don't understand what's so unbelievable about a society based around survival of the fittest and rule by the strongest, which is essentially what a chaotic evil society is.  If you refuse to believe that sort of thing happens on Earth all the time, then perhaps the fantasy construct argument: they are not evil because they are orcs so much as they are orcs because they are evil.

Of course, I'm sure there were protective, generous bands of neanderthals as well as destructive, selfish ones, and we cro magnons killed them all off anyway.  So maybe D&D has the right of it after all, philosophically speaking.
Way to feed a troll... OP is surely laughing as hell now. Come on, why on earth would the implication of **** (on monsters such as orcs) turn you off from the game? If I were a moderator I would have deleted this thread right away.


Uhhhh... I don't want any **** in the game because it's a really horrible thing I don't want to think about when I'm trying to have fun?


I'm curious where you DO draw the line on "appropriate", and what horrors you allow?

Killing-murdering for XP?
Torture?
War?
Imprisonment?
Slavery?
Theft, piracy, extortion?
Tomb-robbing?
Necromancy?
Orcs or other monsters that eat human flesh?
Magically summoning demons/devils/monsters?
General mayhem?
Any violence whatsoever?