Thursday, June 4, 2009

Monstercology - Orcs (Goodman Games)

The newest from Goodman Games takes us behind the scenes of one of our oldest and most common enemy. We get a new (?) take on the origin of orcs (they are the result of a failed attempt by the elves to kill all dark elves with a ritual). We learn about how orcs are, their coming of age rituals (the common orcsuperstitions are fun) and how they treat their old and young. The interaction amongst tribes and the different positions in a tribe (I like how they use the 4e orc names to do this, makes it easy to incorporate in your campaign) are also covered, as well as a few example tribes. We are also given a quick overview of how orcs interact with most other humanoid races and we get a look at the orc subspecies andhalfspecies (feral orcs, cave orcs, greater orcs and lesser orcs, including a few different half-breeds). There is some crunch as well, with new weapons, new armors and of course new feats andPP's. The feats look a bit boring but mostly balanced. Some of the PP's are pretty nasty. Bloodrage Alcolyte becomes the new de -facto must have PP for all rangers or tempest fighters. + 6 damage per attack against bloodied targets and +2 AC with light armor - yes thank you very much. The UnholyAmbusher is just nasty as well, since (from what I can see) you can get +7 to hit any creature you have CA against. Couple that with frost cheese, and you have a character that will ever never miss. There is a lot more in this 91-page PDF, including orcish religion and advice on how to implement orcs in your campaign and of course a lot of orcstatblocks . I was very much looking forward to this release, and while I can't put my finger on why, I must admit that the writing a several of the chapters didn't do it for me. Also it seemed a little light on new thinking. Overall, a bit disappointing.
Rating:* * *

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