Monsters Reimagined: Pig-Faced Orcs

© Martin R. Thomas 1988
Last Friday, James Maliszewski over at Grognardia made a post about re-imagining old school D&D monsters, with the hope of starting an OSR blogosphere trend similar to the Hot Elf Chick trend earlier last week. 

So, I'll jump on the band-wagon (again) and present my re-imagined pig-faced orcs from a 2nd Edition D&D campaign that I never got around to actually running.  Back-in-the-day, before 3rd Edition had come out, I had always envisioned my orcs to be pig-faced based on the illustration in the 1E Monster Manual, which I think would make James happy

I drew this picture around 1988 or 1989 to illustrated what I called a "Red Orc" (I also had Black Orcs and Mountain Orcs in this campaign world).  The Red Orcs had been infused with demon blood from an otherworldly race of alien-demons who came to "Earth" (I never named the campaign world for this particular campaign) and basically provided magic, technology, and education to a group of orcs they found, forever changing them.

I actually didn't change the stats for my "Red Orcs" in this campaign, partly because at the time, I didn't have a need to.  I just knew that they were partly infused with demon blood, and gave them higher intelligence scores.  I also knew that they were capable of taking class levels and could be magic-users and fighters.  Other than those slight mechanical changes, everything else I did to change these orcs came from just background that I wrote.

The Red Orcs were the "public face" rules of the Empire of D'Kagt (yup - I used an apostrophe for maximum coolness factor) and basically the enemy of every other country on the planet.  Behind the scenes, the alien demons really pulled the strings and ran everything, but they wanted to keep their presence secret, so they modified the Red Orcs to be able to run a stable government and to wage war in a more modern military fashion.

The Black Orcs in this campaign were the standard D&D cannon-fodder orcs, and the Mountain Orcs were a sort of in-between group of tribal orcs who were somewhat more civilized than the savage Black Orcs, but did not have the intelligence, technology, or magical ability of the Red Orcs.  The Red Orcs oftentimes used the Mountain Orcs as army scouts.

If you want to see some of my other races re-imagined, check out the races section on my World of Campaign website!

Hanging: Home office desk.
Drinking: Pellegrino Sparkling Water
Listening: "Comin' Home Baby" by Herbie Mann


  1. Interesting take. I like the pic too. I can see the charm in sort of Napoleonic orcs.

  2. Haha - thanks, @Trey. I've got tons of sketches for old D&D campaigns that never saw the light of day, from back in the days when I actually had more time to sketch.

    I think those Orcs would've been a fun adversary in a campaign. I might have to resurrect them soon to go along with my ideas of advancing the tech level in my campaign world and using Coffee Houses instead of Pubs as the place where adventurers hang out:


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