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 Post subject: Orcs of the Old Kingdom
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:05 pm
  

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Time and again, we are told that travel into the Old Kingdom is a dangerous undertaking because one will inevitably encounter hostile groups of orcs (the most numerous of the sub-human species). However, aside from this affirmation, there is little else for a GM to go on. Well, fret no longer! Taking the main book in hand, and crunching some numbers... I give you some actual guidelines for creating the various orcs hordes of the Old Kingdom.

Using page 302 as our basis, we know that orc tribes/bands come in three sizes: typical (read. small), large, and medium. Note that we deduce medium as being the middle ground between the small and large parameters given to us in the text.
Small = 20-60 total members
[Medium = 200-600 total members]
Large = 2000-6000 total members

From there, we figure a 60/40 gender split in favour of males...
Small = 12-36 total males
[Medium = 120-360 total males]
Large = 1200-3600 total males

Of those men, we generously say that 65% are old enough to be a "fighting age"...
Small = 7.8-23.4 fighting men
[Medium = 78-234 fighting men]
Large = 780-2340 fighting men

Add in a few dice rolls for randomness, and we now have some guidelines as to how big an encounter with orcs can be...
Small band = 4+3D6
[Medium band = (4+3D6) x10]
Large band = (4+3D6) x100

Then, using the Mercenary Fighter as an OCC template, and presuming an average level of 3rd, we can figure that the average Old kingdom orc party that you cross paths with has between 7 and 22 men... they can personally take 81 points of damage (SDC and HP combined) before dying in addition to their armour (38-44 more SDC). They each have 3 attacks, and with battle axes, are +4 str, +6 to parry, and hit for 4d6+13 damage. They might also be riding (or be accompanied by) exotic creatures.

Of course, the larger the band, the greater odds of there being higher-level leaders and scavenged magic items in the mix... but there you go.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 6:18 pm
  

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Braden Campbell wrote:
Time and again, we are told that travel into the Old Kingdom is a dangerous undertaking because one will inevitably encounter hostile groups of orcs (the most numerous of the sub-human species). However, aside from this affirmation, there is little else for a GM to go on. Well, fret no longer! Taking the main book in hand, and crunching some numbers... I give you some actual guidelines for creating the various orcs hordes of the Old Kingdom.

Using page 302 as our basis, we know that orc tribes/bands come in three sizes: typical (read. small), large, and medium. Note that we deduce medium as being the middle ground between the small and large parameters given to us in the text.
Small = 20-60 total members
[Medium = 200-600 total members]
Large = 2000-6000 total members

From there, we figure a 60/40 gender split in favour of males...
Small = 12-36 total males
[Medium = 120-360 total males]
Large = 1200-3600 total males

Of those men, we generously say that 65% are old enough to be a "fighting age"...
Small = 7.8-23.4 fighting men
[Medium = 78-234 fighting men]
Large = 780-2340 fighting men

Add in a few dice rolls for randomness, and we now have some guidelines as to how big an encounter with orcs can be...
Small band = 4+3D6
[Medium band = (4+3D6) x10]
Large band = (4+3D6) x100

Then, using the Mercenary Fighter as an OCC template, and presuming an average level of 3rd, we can figure that the average Old kingdom orc party that you cross paths with has between 7 and 22 men... they can personally take 81 points of damage (SDC and HP combined) before dying in addition to their armour (38-44 more SDC). They each have 3 attacks, and with battle axes, are +4 str, +6 to parry, and hit for 4d6+13 damage. They might also be riding (or be accompanied by) exotic creatures.

Of course, the larger the band, the greater odds of there being higher-level leaders and scavenged magic items in the mix... but there you go.

Excellent work and way more thought than I usually put into something like this. I would have just said 2 for every PC +1d4 to make it interesting.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 8:47 pm
  

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
This is pretty good for the pc's finding tracks, but I will say in a lot of places including the old kingdom, i mostly assume that the npc's havent just walked out of the armour and weapons store and I tend to drop the armour sdc by anywhere up to %50 and have a a chance of having wounds on the npc's themselves to show they have had a rough time wandering through the dangerous areas as well, and if my pc's want to go pick a fight with 100 orcs and get tpk'd, who am i to stop them (I will warn the fighter types, especially if they have intelligence).

But i will certainly be using those numbers - Thanks.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:44 pm
  

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My personal intension was more in line with: the party is traveling across the Old Kingdom. They encounter an orc scouting/scavenging/raiding/war party - how big and scary is said party?

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If that doesn't prompt you to buy it, I don't know what else I can say.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:08 pm
  

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Braden Campbell wrote:
My personal intension was more in line with: the party is traveling across the Old Kingdom. They encounter an orc scouting/scavenging/raiding/war party - how big and scary is said party?

Now I'm wondering what an orc camp is like and how territory works between the various tribes and clans.

I mean are they all nomadic or do you find orc villages and the like?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:47 am
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
Braden Campbell wrote:
My personal intension was more in line with: the party is traveling across the Old Kingdom. They encounter an orc scouting/scavenging/raiding/war party - how big and scary is said party?

Now I'm wondering what an orc camp is like and how territory works between the various tribes and clans.

I mean are they all nomadic or do you find orc villages and the like?


Depends where you are, some places they are vicious and cowardly, and in others they can be as loyal as a Paladin.
Yin Sloth has the orc nation with orc cities, but in the old kingdom i'd guess they more are along the lines of standard orcs, so whats yours is yours if you are strong enough to keep it and if you aren't, well into the cooking pot you go.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:03 am
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
Now I'm wondering what an orc camp is like and how territory works between the various tribes and clans.

I mean are they all nomadic or do you find orc villages and the like?


A mix, i would think, between tribes that favour nomadic wandering, and those that set up more permanently. Orcs "have a habit of living amidst the ruins of all types of abandoned structures; tunnels, buildings, castles, dungeons, caves, the list is endless. Orcs also build simple huts, stockades, and erect tents." (main book, 303). So, many of the surface elf ruins in the Western Lowlands will have long since been taken over by orcs. from that central stronghold, I see them sending out hunting and scavenging parties... raiding parties if they are close enough to human lands.

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Thundercloud Galaxy has a flock of ducks in it that can slag a Glitterboy in one melee.

If that doesn't prompt you to buy it, I don't know what else I can say.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:16 am
  

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Orks are people too! Wait...no, they're porpoises...

Ah, right! There we go... ORCs are people too!
Some are nice, some are nasty.

The racial prejudices non-humans encounter in Human cities will be directed squarely on the "Pretty" PCs, where the Wolfen, kobold, and other obvious non-humans will be treated better.

Confuse the he... Um, heck, yeah! Heck!
Confuse the heck out of them, by having an isolated orc family or older couple take them in, water and feed them to help them recover, and send them on their way, with instructions on the safe path out of Dodge!

kiralon wrote:
>Snip< if you aren't, well into the cooking pot you go.


I guess you remember the cannibalism chance percentage too? :lol:

Warshield73 wrote:
Now I'm wondering what an orc camp is like and how territory works between the various tribes and clans.

I mean are they all nomadic or do you find orc villages and the like?


Personally, from what I can remember reading, I'd say mostly nomadic, with centralized trade forts servicing the surrounding tribes, with goods shipped in from "friendly" (or at least non-hostile) races, like the Giants. Each fort can be Orc or Giant controlled. Foods not gained by foraging or hunting, would be gained by raiding and trading.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 5:59 pm
  

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Since we are speaking of the Old Kingdom, i'd guess some bands will go out of their way to occupy any ruined cities they can find - preferably elven due to a matter of height and proportions, but dwarven ones might be taken too in a pinch or explored/looted.

In fact i can imagine some Orc bands developing rivalries or alliances for the possession of certain ruins they consider of particular value - or insanely dangerous places with things that should remain buried for everybody's sake, among other ups & downs.

I also ask myself how many elven or dwarven communities still exist in the Old Kingdom and about their interactions with bands of Orcs, Ogres, Trolls and other so called "monster races".

Some citadels "returning to life" as an Orc city-state or some sort of "megadungeon" regularly explored for the looting of buried treasures in the form of magic objects, texts, works of art - or even building materials to be used in the making of new forts, palaces or monuments (much like the Coliseum was treated by rulers in Rome during the middle ages as a quarry of sorts for centuries, for example) - among other options a GM could use to jumpstart all kinds of adventure, intrigue and skullduggery in the table.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:42 am
  

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Sol...
Just 'cause dwarves run about a metre to a metre and a quarter, doesn't mean they don't have 3-4 metre ceilings in most places in their cities. The richer the neighbourhood, the higher the ceilings, even in a dwarven community...leaves more wall space to show off gee-gaws and art. ;)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 5:14 am
  

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How are the Baalrogs supposed to come out and eat everyone if the tunnels and passageways are only 2m. A truly guest needs aware dwarf thinks of these things and makes sure the ceilings are at least 100ft up and the doors wide enough to admit a dragon.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:42 am
  

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Borast wrote:
Sol...
Just 'cause dwarves run about a metre to a metre and a quarter, doesn't mean they don't have 3-4 metre ceilings in most places in their cities. The richer the neighbourhood, the higher the ceilings, even in a dwarven community...leaves more wall space to show off gee-gaws and art. ;)


True. Still average height and proportions will tend to affect their notions of "spaciousness" in relation to those of the many larger - sometimes much larger - other races.

Yes, in a number of places it won't matter. But in some it might and more frequently than in elven ruins for sure.
And Orcs tend to be larger than both, what to say of Ogres, Trolls and other "regular associates"... so, where taken they might go through a greater degree of "renovation" for the sake of such squatters' convenience, i'd guess.

edit: decided to do a quick check on my Conversion Book's stats for the races, because why not:
Dwarves: Three (0.9 m) plus 3D4 + 2 inches tall. [So, between 3'5" to 4'2" tall]
Elves: Six feet (1.8 m) plus 1D6 inches tall. [between 6'1" to 6'6" tall]
Orcs: Five feet (1.5 m) plus 3D6 inches tall. [between 5'3" to 6'6" tall]
Ogres: Six feet (1.8 m) plus 4D6 inches tall. [between 6'4" to 8' tall]
Minotaurs: Seven and a half to nine feet tall (2.3 to 2.7 m)
Trolls: Ten feet (3 m) plus 4D6 inches tall. [between 10'4" to 12' feet tall]
Jin: 8 to 24 feet (2.4 to 7.3 m) tall; can change size at will.
Deevils: 8 feet tall (2.4 m).
Devilkin: 6 feet tall (1.8 m).

As you can see, PF elves and orcs can reach about the same heights, though orcs have a greater height range, meaning on average they are somewhat shorter. Ogres while definitely larger than both, are actually closer in height than i expected them to be (blaming D&D for that).

Personal note: need to remind myself (again) Palladium elves are larger and more robust than the D&D brand.



kiralon wrote:
How are the Baalrogs supposed to come out and eat everyone if the tunnels and passageways are only 2m. A truly guest needs aware dwarf thinks of these things and makes sure the ceilings are at least 100ft up and the doors wide enough to admit a dragon.


Meh, for most dragons to shapeshift is easier than sneezing. Expansive spaces are for dragons themselves to strut and pren (except for those animalistc & backward cousins that don't shapechange, but the less said of such lesser knockoffs, the better). :-P

Now i'm also thinking of dragons in Rifts Earth taking abandoned subway or metro networks as their nests & palaces.

But speaking of gigantic invaders out to sate their munchies on shorter folk, let me mess a bit more with CB1....

Trolls: Ten feet (3 m) plus 4D6 inches tall. [between 10'4" to 12' feet tall]
Algor: 14 to 16 feet tall (4.2 to 4.9 m)
Cyclops: 14 feet tall (4.2 m)
Jotan: 18 to 20 feet tall (5.4 to 6.1 m)
Gigantes: 12 to 20 feet tall (3.6 to 6.1 m)
Nimro: 14 to 18 feet tall (4.3 to 5.8 m)
Titans: 12 to 14 feet tall (3.6 to 4.2 m)
Rahu Men: 12 to 15 ft tall (3.6 to 4.6 m)
Gargoyle: 10 to 20 feet tall (3 to 6 m), wing span is 20 ft (6 m).
Gurgoyle: 8 to 12 ft (2.4 to 3.6 m) tall.
Gargoyle Lord & Mage: 15 to 20 feet tall (4.6 to 6 m).
Alu: 12 feet (3.6 m)
Aquatic: 12 feet (3.6 m) long.
Nightmare hag: Usually about 10 feet to 15 tall (3 to 4.6 m).
Shedu: 12 feet tall (3.6 m).
Baalrog: 12 to 14 feet tall (3.6 to 4.2 m).
Gallu demon bull: 12 to 14 feet tall (3.6 to 4.2 m).
Jin: 8 to 24 feet (2.4 to 7.3 m) tall; can change size at will.
Fiend & Archfiend: 15 feet tall (4.6 m).
Gorgon: 12 feet (3.6 m)

Thought it would be interesting to put together giants, demons and some other "monster races" together, to facilitate comparison and maybe inspire ideas on how that might influence how members of those races perceive and react to each other from first impressions, misinformation &/or prejudice.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:08 am
  

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Hi Sol - just to let you know, many of the heights in Rifts conversion book 1 are not the same as in Palladium Fantasy 2nd edition. As this is a Palladium Fantasy forum/discussion I though I should point that out. Many of them are a lot taller, e.g.:
Elves: [6'0" to 6'10" tall]
Orcs: [5'0" to 6'8" tall]
Ogres: Six feet plus 1D6 additional feet [7' to 12' tall]
Minotaurs: Seven plus 1D4 additional feet [8' to 11' tall]
Trolls: Eight feet plus 1D6 additional feet [9' to 14' feet tall]
And Wolfen went from 7 to 9 feet to 7 to 10 feet tall.
Some others might also be different.
I really feel some of the "new" heights are way too tall, and much prefer the old ones :-(


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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:45 pm
  

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Yeah, I prefer the smaller heights, myself. Weirdness ensues when you make a humanoid more than a foot or two taller than a typical human. To be proportionate to a human, a humanoid twice the height has to be 8 times the weight.

An average American woman is 5 ft, 4 inches tall, and a BMI of 20 (normal) would put her at 117 lbs.
An average American man is 7% taller, at 5 ft, 8.5 inches. Assuming the same body proportions as the woman, that would put him at 143 lbs.

A 14-ft Ogre is 2.625 times as tall as that woman. With the same body proportions as that woman, such an ogre would weigh 18 times as much as that woman, or 2,106 lbs, a little over 1 ton and a little under a metric tonne. Such an ogre would have to have 18 times the proportionate strength of a typical woman, especially since the ogre's armor and equipment would also have to be similarly scaled up. Ogres in canon mate with human women, and such a coupling with that kind of size disparity is not something I find plausible.

Thus, I prefer to keep "large races" under 8 feet tall, with the possible exception of bearmen and trolls, which I might bump up to 9 or 10 feet.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 10:50 am
  

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That was partly what moved me to create the half-ogre ("Hogre") published in Rifter #83. I wanted to offer players and GMs a "monster race" that was more flexible than an orc without having to be a truly enormous creature twice the size of a human. Something that could be big, but not too big, capable of interacting in a human-sized environment with less difficulty than the giant-sized player races.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:13 am
  

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Soldier of Od wrote:
That was partly what moved me to create the half-ogre ("Hogre") published in Rifter #83. I wanted to offer players and GMs a "monster race" that was more flexible than an orc without having to be a truly enormous creature twice the size of a human. Something that could be big, but not too big, capable of interacting in a human-sized environment with less difficulty than the giant-sized player races.


The discrepancy led me to define a bit more about ogres...

Basically, ogres keep growing through their life, with smaller ogres usually being younger ones, and the elderly commonly being the size of trolls.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:44 pm
  

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Good thread.

For Braden, I would think there would be more fighters mixed in. The race is more war like and aggressive than humans. But I wouldn't shift the total numbers of orcs for encounters.

For Mark, I like your idea of ogres continuing to grow throughout their life. That does help explain how they could breed with humans. Also, as one gets older, fertility drops. Even for males. So, once they get older, they couldn't breed with humans anymore. But they could help in kidnapping and raids.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:54 pm
  

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Braden Campbell wrote:
From there, we figure a 60/40 gender split in favour of males...

Of those men, we generously say that 65% are old enough to be a "fighting age"...


Just happened to jump into the thread again and noted the gender ratio. If they follow similar fertility and mortality patterns as humans, more female babies would be born than male. By the time they reach breeding age, the ratio is closer to 50/50, but in favour of the males.

As for "Fighting Age" (call it 12-50), I would sat that figure would be closer to 30%, with 45% female, and the remainder underage kids, and elders. (Hunting and skirmishing deaths would keep the 'adult' male population artificially low, and outpace deaths in childbirth for the women.)

That all being said...this is presuming orcs follow RW human social patterns. Given the general temperaments of the race, I'd say that any female with a weaned child is likely out hunting and fighting along side the males.
So...who knows! ;)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:07 pm
  

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I'd like to see an Old Kingdoms world-book.
Also, aside from orcs, ogres and other monsters... Are there any elven or dwarven enclaves/ strong-holds left, or are all of the elves and dwarves dead?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:28 pm
  

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Fenris2020 wrote:
I'd like to see an Old Kingdoms world-book.
Also, aside from orcs, ogres and other monsters... Are there any elven or dwarven enclaves/ strong-holds left, or are all of the elves and dwarves dead?

Yes, there are a few. The books say there are "half a dozen elven cities in the north-eastern old kingdom near the eastern territory" and that "a handful of dwarven underground kingdoms exist in the old kingdom mountains but these are a rarity". Plus the Kingdom of Raf Chalon and the Kathana Estates in the Eastern territory.
I submitted a manuscript to Palladium describing the elven cities in some detail (seems I've been mentioning that a lot here lately), but no word from them on that. :-(


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:01 pm
  

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Soldier of Od wrote:
Hi Sol - just to let you know, many of the heights in Rifts conversion book 1 are not the same as in Palladium Fantasy 2nd edition. As this is a Palladium Fantasy forum/discussion I though I should point that out. Many of them are a lot taller, e.g.:
Elves: [6'0" to 6'10" tall]
Orcs: [5'0" to 6'8" tall]
Ogres: Six feet plus 1D6 additional feet [7' to 12' tall]
Minotaurs: Seven plus 1D4 additional feet [8' to 11' tall]
Trolls: Eight feet plus 1D6 additional feet [9' to 14' feet tall]
And Wolfen went from 7 to 9 feet to 7 to 10 feet tall.
Some others might also be different.
I really feel some of the "new" heights are way too tall, and much prefer the old ones :-(


As one who likes to mess around with cross-editions changes or inconsistencies - damn, 90% of the lore of a homebrewed infernal power i have in my Rifts/Minion War games is based in tinkering with those between CB1, D&G (it all started with that "AI mephisto impostor" blurb) and DB 10 & 11. :wink:


If nothing else, i might use one of the set of heights for that fraction of adventures who are "transdimension emigrees" or somesuch at least.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:57 pm
  

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Recently while messing around with some Rifts things a slightly bothersome question crossed my mind - are Orcs in the Palladium world greenskins like the Warhammer & Warcraft ilk, dirty white to dark gray of the Lord of Rings trilogy ones, a range of tones to similar humans, something else altogether?

I could find no clues whatsoever on either CB1 or my PF 2nd edition, so decided to ask your takes on the subject, since the thread was about discussing Orc in the Palladium world at least in part.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:41 pm
  

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Hmm, looks like they left that part out when going from 1E to 2E. From the 1E book:

Quote:
Physical Appearance: Broad shouldered, husky, muscular humanoids with large canine teeth. Dark complexion, dark eyes, large pointed ears, black or dark brown hair, wide up-turned (pig-like) nose.


Since it only says "dark complexion", I guess it is up to you if that has a green base or not. Since they seem to only mention a color when it is somewhat out of the normal human range, I lean towards the "not green" side. You could say they are at the darker end of the olive skin tone spectrum and have a (very little) bit of green that way. The only races I saw a skin color reference in a quick glance were ogres (tended towards gray), and trolls (tending to be very pale/white).


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