Base 8, Strength +4, Intelligence -2, Darkvision
Orcs are aggressive, callous, and domineering. Bullies by nature, they respect strength and power as the highest virtues. On an almost instinctive level, orcs believe they are entitled to anything they want unless someone stronger can stop them from seizing it. Orc men brutalize their women, and abuse both children and elders, on the grounds that anyone too feeble to fight back deserves little more than a life of suffering. Surrounded at all times by enemies, Orcs cultivate an attitude of indifference to pain, vicious tempers, and a fierce willingness to commit unspeakable acts against anyone who dares defy them.
Powerfully built, orcs typically stand just a few inches taller than most humans but have much greater muscle mass, their broad shoulders and thick, brawny hips often giving them a slightly lurching gait. They typically have dull green skin, coarse dark hair, beady red eyes, and protruding, tusk-like teeth. Orcs consider scars a mark of distinction and frequently use them as a form of body art.
Orcs are not known for their long life, but that is only because of their inclination toward violence both among and beyond themselves. An Orc of twelve years is considered to be an adult, and is considered venerable at anything beyond forty.
Orcs are not known for speaking much more than Orc well, but many speak the common trade language.
Orcs usually live amid squalor and constant mayhem, and both intimidation and brutal violence are often the glue that holds their culture together. They settle disputes by making increasingly grisly threats until, when a rival fails to back down, the conflict escalates into actual bloodshed. Orcs who win these ferocious brawls not only feel free to take whatever they want from the loser, even their kingdoms.
Orcs have few redeeming qualities. Most are violent, cruel, and selfish. Concepts such as honor or loyalty usually strike them as odd character flaws that tend to afflict members of the weaker races. Orcs admire strength above all else.
They regard Dwarves and Elves with an odd mix of fierce hatred, sullen resentment, and a trace of wariness. Orcs dismiss Halflings and Gnomes as weaklings to be ignored. They often regard Half-Elves as particularly appealing targets. Orcs view humans as race of sheep with a few wolves living in their midst. They freely kill or oppress humans too weak to fend them off, but always keep one eye on the nearest exit in case they run into a formidable human.
Orcs look upon Half-Orcs with a mixture of contempt, envy, and pride. Though weaker than typical Orcs, the half-breeds are usually smarter, more cunning, and make for better leaders. Orcs believe that each Half-Orc also represents an Orc exerting dominance over a weaker race; so, they are fine with that.
Orcs typically leave their tribes only after losing a struggle. Facing humiliation, or even death at the hands of their own kind, they opt instead to live and work with members of other races. Orcs who fail to rein in their tempers and the instinctive drive to dominate rarely last long once they strike out on their own. Though those who do manage to integrate with other societies often enjoy the luxuries and comforts that society can deliver, they still tend to dream of returning home, seizing power, and taking revenge.