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UPGRADING ORCS! Mixing Orc Tribes with the Song Empire!

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SHARK:
Greetings!

I was organizing some campaign notes, going over campaign files and so forth, and I unexpectedly came upon--or was inspired even--by a somewhat disturbing dynamic. I have some tribes of barbarian Orcs that dwell amidst some northern and eastern regions of a major and central continent that is enormous. I have some human steppe barbarian tribes that live amongst the broad steppelands southwards from the mountains and forests where the aforementioned Orc tribes make their homes. Meanwhile, further to the East, there are powerful human steppe tribes that have united, and proceeded to launch huge invasions of several human kingdoms and empires. The Eastern human kingdoms and empires of the Eastern region are Asian-themed, with a large China-like Empire being very prominent.

Fast forward a bit, and the human steppe tribes have captured and enslaved millions of Chang Empire humans, with many being marched off and sold into slavery to other peoples and cultures. I assumed that the Orcs would be eager buyers of such slaves, and created the dynamics where the human Steppe barbarians essentially sold several million Chang Empire humans to the savage Orc tribes of the northern regions. This kind of lucrative trade relationship benefits everyone involved--the Steppe Barbarian Humans, and the savage Orcs alike. It of course is horrible and terrifying for the Chang humans, but that is what happens to conquered people.

Now, the Chang Empire is sophisticated, organized, disciplined, and highly advanced. The Chang Empire possesses high levels of education, the arts, medicine, technology, politics, philosophy, economics, and of course, magic.

Essentially, take a large group of Orc tribes, mix in 5 or 6 million Chang human slaves, and in two hundred, or five hundred years, what would you have?

What would the Orc societies then look like? I had nightmares of Chinese magic, Chinese science, medicine, and learning causing a total transformation of the Orc tribal culture. *laughing*

WHAT HAVE I DONE????

I refrained from crafting a wholly-transformed Orc society, but instead created three main cultural responses--some would embrace fully, another group would embrace new knowledge in a limited degree, and a third faction would be hyper-conservative, and reject the "Ways of the Foreigners!"

The potentials are very interesting, I think. What kind of elements and dynamics do you think would be good to establish?

Have you considered such enormous cultural transitions in your own campaigns? For Orcs in particular, but not necessarily limited to just Orcs. In other regions, I have other kinds of more or less traditional Orcs, along with some variations. This major cultural shifting dynamic is restricted to this particular region of Orcs in my campaign setting of Thandor.

What are your thoughts, my friends?

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK

HappyDaze:
Are your orcs capable of breeding with humans? This can make a big difference.

bromides:
I do like this concept in general.
It's a legitimate civilization-threatening type of event, when the Monster can take from the world of Men, and forge something newer and harder (especially in the face of Man's decadence).

If culture, as a concept, is critical to the game world, then coming up with threats to culture would be of primary importance. Fun games and concepts require this sort of thing, and the concept seems sound (especially in the historical record, like the Mongols taking experts from conquered peoples to help them to conquer others).

If culture is not to be a theme, then it's best not to cross the streams and defy expectations too much, I think.

IMO, Orcs are inherently "Chaotic Evil" (like the Drow, allegedly, or whatever they are today).

Having the foresight to organize the conquered into a useful tool is beyond the Orc, in that purist cultural strain view of things.
What is an Orc, after all? If they aren't the embodiment of a "failed society", are they even "Orc"?

Once you lose that part of the Orc, they cross over into something else... the Hobgoblin, I guess, in DnD terms.
Maybe that's just definitions, and I have too rigid a view of the Orc.

My favorite orc was in a murder hobo game, and the DM presented an orc captive who then proceeded to act like he was a victim/behaved in a civilized way around us/generally made us feel sorry for him.
Then, we woke up and all our shit was stolen (and the Orc was long gone).

Like, "YOU IDIOTS, YOU TRUSTED AN ORC".
(i.e. They aren't like us and don't act like us, so don't think of Orcs in a civilized way. That's why they're "Orc".)

jeff37923:

--- Quote from: SHARK on May 22, 2022, 05:44:58 PM ---Greetings!

I was organizing some campaign notes, going over campaign files and so forth, and I unexpectedly came upon--or was inspired even--by a somewhat disturbing dynamic. I have some tribes of barbarian Orcs that dwell amidst some northern and eastern regions of a major and central continent that is enormous. I have some human steppe barbarian tribes that live amongst the broad steppelands southwards from the mountains and forests where the aforementioned Orc tribes make their homes. Meanwhile, further to the East, there are powerful human steppe tribes that have united, and proceeded to launch huge invasions of several human kingdoms and empires. The Eastern human kingdoms and empires of the Eastern region are Asian-themed, with a large China-like Empire being very prominent.

Fast forward a bit, and the human steppe tribes have captured and enslaved millions of Chang Empire humans, with many being marched off and sold into slavery to other peoples and cultures. I assumed that the Orcs would be eager buyers of such slaves, and created the dynamics where the human Steppe barbarians essentially sold several million Chang Empire humans to the savage Orc tribes of the northern regions. This kind of lucrative trade relationship benefits everyone involved--the Steppe Barbarian Humans, and the savage Orcs alike. It of course is horrible and terrifying for the Chang humans, but that is what happens to conquered people.

Now, the Chang Empire is sophisticated, organized, disciplined, and highly advanced. The Chang Empire possesses high levels of education, the arts, medicine, technology, politics, philosophy, economics, and of course, magic.

Essentially, take a large group of Orc tribes, mix in 5 or 6 million Chang human slaves, and in two hundred, or five hundred years, what would you have?

What would the Orc societies then look like? I had nightmares of Chinese magic, Chinese science, medicine, and learning causing a total transformation of the Orc tribal culture. *laughing*

WHAT HAVE I DONE????

I refrained from crafting a wholly-transformed Orc society, but instead created three main cultural responses--some would embrace fully, another group would embrace new knowledge in a limited degree, and a third faction would be hyper-conservative, and reject the "Ways of the Foreigners!"

The potentials are very interesting, I think. What kind of elements and dynamics do you think would be good to establish?

Have you considered such enormous cultural transitions in your own campaigns? For Orcs in particular, but not necessarily limited to just Orcs. In other regions, I have other kinds of more or less traditional Orcs, along with some variations. This major cultural shifting dynamic is restricted to this particular region of Orcs in my campaign setting of Thandor.

What are your thoughts, my friends?

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK

--- End quote ---

It sounds like you would have Klingons.

VisionStorm:

--- Quote from: HappyDaze on May 22, 2022, 05:55:21 PM ---Are your orcs capable of breeding with humans? This can make a big difference.

--- End quote ---

That's what I thought as well. Another question would be: are these Orcs smart enough to even understand or make use of this advanced knowledge? If not this entire thing might be a moot point, since they might be too dumb to even appreciate to intellectual treasure trove that has been handed to them.

But if they can interbreed with humans and make up the difference in brain power that way, that opens up some possibilities for a new breed of intellectual half-orc and an advanced orc-blooded civilization. Mixing the brutality of the orc with human genius.

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