Tag Archives: Half-Orc

Orc Campaign Companion for 5e

We very colloquially call it “The Orc Campaign.” I mention this from time to time – the most successful (and longest running) campaign I’ve ever DMed. It began as a one-shot to while away some summer boredom, and snowballed into my first stumbling attempt at a campaign that featured realm management and emphasized open (smallish) scale warfare and societal management. It wound up being the cornerstone achievement of my college-years gaming career.

Recently, one of my players from said campaign was kibitzing around Reddit (a worthwhile habit that I just never fell into) and noticed a request for information about running a similar kind of game. He asked if I had anything on hand I could send along to aid this DM. So I looked at my notes.


Three separate editions and at least two hiatuses left my “Campaign Bible” a somewhat invoherent disarray. There was no way I could post that monstrosity on the internet. It was incomplete, unreadable to anyone but me (how do people write books for dead authors using their notes? Those must be a jumble of half-thoughts and suggested ideas! It’s madness!)

But if I could take the time to re-write it all…this time with an audience in mind instead of simply being a repository for my hastily assembled session notes – If I could re-write the campaign companion with advice on running the game and thoughts on how it should work behind the scene…then I might be on to something.

So I’ve decided to ever so slowly but surely start compiling an “Orc Campaign Companion” for use with 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. I’ll be posting the bits and pieces (or whole chapters!) that I finish as articles here for comments and suggestions, to eventually bust out a more convenient and palatable PDF version. Potentially with new art and ideally some better formatting (yes, yes, I know, and iPad is not a replacement for a computer and doing PDF design in the Pages app makes me some kind of slack-jawed troglodyte). But between work, theatre, and running an active campaign it will be a slow process. Please bear with me – I think I uncovered some cool stuff in the seven some years of running this game on-and-off.

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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Announcements, Editorial, Uncategorized


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Incidents – Sex, Lies, and Half-Breeds


While traversing a city or village

The party catches the last snatches of a conversation between two young people ahead, in the rear yard of a two story shop. I a deep voice says: “I have to go! If your father sees me that’s it. No time to argue. I’m sorry, I…” What follows is a lot of shouting as a third voice join them. It is an older man, his words strangled by rage. Upon investigating they find a young girl, her father (the shop’s owner), and a strapping young half-orc workman. The heated argument dies down as the PCs approach. The father confronts the PCs, begging them to fetch the town guards – he just caught this villain about to defile his daughter (this is of course, not true). The half-orc spares a glance to the girl, then states that he admits his crime (causing the girl to wail with despair) and pleas a reduced sentence. The guards will arrive to investigate he shouting regardless, and will look to the PCs as witnesses to the event. Their word can turn the tide in this tragic little story.

Possible Resolution and Rewards
If the PCs side with the father and send the lovestruck fool of a half-orc off to his sentence, they’ll get a discount at the man’s shop (a fact that he will quietly make quite clear to them). But helping the poor orc boy will get them an “in” with the working class folks – who have a soft spot for the poor outcast half-breed and will gladly serve as contacts for the PCs. Similarly, the peasantry of the town might react negatively to the PCs, knowing that they sided with the vengeful and controlling merchant whom few hold in high regard. Perhaps rumors gathered in low end taverns become frequently false, or thieves guild sellers decide to bump up their prices. There is also the possibility that the half-orc might assist the PCs as either a hireling or guide in the city. Wether his relationship with the merchant’s daughter flowers or is put aside the PCs might also influence, if such things are of interest to a band of dungeon delving sword/staves for hire.

Experience Rewards
Give the players experience equivalent to a single monster of their level.

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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Incidents, Not Playtested


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