Black Industries Forum
Black Industries Forum
Black Industries Website | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
 WFRP General Discussion
 Mammalian Orcs- a rival theory
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page | Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 3

Paulus Maximus
Noble

USA
1129 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2006 :  19:59:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Humanoid fungi and green-skinned mammals are equally odd.

I'm quite sure, though, that orcs are animals. Not necessarily mammals, but animals.

Rule #1: There are exceptions to every rule.

Exception to Rule #1: Rule #1.
Go to Top of Page

Philip Sibbering
Small but Vicious Dog

United Kingdom
5244 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2006 :  22:58:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Athelassan

I also don't think that Phil's theory (and, indeed, the fungus thing generally) quite fits with my perception of the WH world- the idea that orcs can conquer an area just by filling it and getting themselves killed strikes me as rather horrifying [/pink]

Horrifying – I like that!

quote:
Originally posted by Athelassan

but considering that the humans are supposed to have driven the orcs *out* of places like the Empire and Bretonnia, doesn't quite work for me either. How come there's still fertile farmland and the orcs have been driven back if they pop up from the ground? [/pink]

Hence ‘Orc watch’ or as we know it ‘weeding’. Any farmer worth their salt digs up any dodgy looking weeds just in case

quote:
Originally posted by Paulus Maximus

I'm quite sure, though, that orcs are animals.

Me too, in my version the Orc is fundamentally an animal not a ‘fungus’. It’s a symbiotic relationship, in the same way humans have bacteria in their gut.

On a more gross note; humans can get fungal infections! It’s just that the Orc has a really bad case, and unlike most the infection is ‘good’ for the Orc and aid in reproductive cloning/ breeding.

It’s not that odd. Perfectly normal

Philip

Notices | Art ’n’ Products | Orange Disclaimer
Go to Top of Page

hellebore
Noble

Australia
1170 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  04:16:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Athelassan
I think a lot of the reasons people don't like fungal orcs is because it's change, as you suggest. I can remember when both 40K and fantasy orc(k)s were presumed to be mammalian, and the rather shifty-eyed move in the direction of orks having spores in Gorkamorka. I didn't like it then, possibly because it was poorly explained, and since then I've tended to view the whole thing with a prejudiced eye.

The other principal reason, I think, is that now that 40K orks are definitively fungal in nature, fantasy nuts (again, like myself) resent the system creep. If we can keep orcs definitively mammalian, then we've got something different from the millions of great unwashed who think that they're teh uberl33tz0r and are always banging on about how fantasy's terrible and dull and it should be more like 40K and how it's just a planet in the Warp and the Space Marines are coming to kill us all!!!!111eleven (Don't get me wrong, I love 40K too, in its own way, but that attitude annoys me a little).

I also don't think that Phil's theory (and, indeed, the fungus thing generally) quite fits with my perception of the WH world- the idea that orcs can conquer an area just by filling it and getting themselves killed strikes me as rather horrifying, but considering that the humans are supposed to have driven the orcs *out* of places like the Empire and Bretonnia, doesn't quite work for me either. How come there's still fertile farmland and the orcs have been driven back if they pop up from the ground? It doesn't quite ring true for me. Not to mention that (as you probably noticed in my theory) I prefer to keep orcs and goblins (and especially hobgoblins) separate, so that you can have orcs without goblins and goblins without orcs, and that they're not just versions of each other influenced by environment. But maybe that's just me.

And finally there's just something a bit odd about a humanoid fungus, that I can't quite get my head round. I can sort of get it in sci-fi, where the "it's weird alien stuff" comes into play, but for me it just doesn't fit in the WH world.
That's my beef, anyway.
Ath




Thanks for that Athelassan, it is always good to get all positions on a subject.

I must say that I have come into Fantasy from 40k- being the impressionable teenager that I was, big guns and tanks were more exciting than dragons and wizards (despite the fact that I READ mainly fantasy novels because the SF always seemed so long and boring).

Having said that however, I will say that I find the Fantasy setting to be one of the best realised and creative worlds available.

I very much like the way each of the races are presented, and how a Warhammer elf is not a D&D;/Tolkien/whatever elf, but rather its own unique creation.

Each of the races for me were unique- except the orcs. In all the Fantasy background they seemed the LEAST inventive. While Dwarfs still lived in the grounds and loved gold, they also held grudges forever and became slayers when their honour was lost. Their rigid honour system and its sociological impact made the Dwarfs unique despite their other similarities with dwarVES from other fanatasy settings.

The orcs however, never struck me as interesting because I had seen it all before. They were the classic green neanderthal viking of D&D; fame- no ingenuity, no uniqueness. They had a couple of crazy things that flavoured them Warhammer (crazy shaman foot summoning etc) but they never really screamed anything but "generic orc".

Come the advent of the spore and fungal DNA stories, and they became much more interesting. In GorkaMorka was when it first appeared, but they moved it along quite well I thought.

The interesting thing about it, is that some 40k fans complain about it too- despite the fact that the 2nd edition codex clearly says that orcs have algal cells in their blood stream that aid in regeneration etc. This was one reason they were green in the first place. The only time an ORK in 40k was ever a mammal, was in Rogue Trader where they were said to be marsupials. However they also said humans and orks lived on the same planets and even in the same cities.

My main point for Fantasy is that due to the inherently ignorant nature of humans in the world, they never really knew how orcs reproduced at all, and thus none of the material (I have read at least) ever attempted to explain the physiology of orcs and goblins. So if it is true that there has never been any actual 'fluff' to explain orc physiology, then the designers can't really be 'wrong' if and when they decide to explain it in terms of spores- because it will be the first official account of orc physiology. Of course the same is true if they explained it in terms of mammalian anatomy as well considering neither is right or wrong as it has not been written down.

The other thing to note with the fungal DNA theory, is that they aren't literally humanoid fungus- but one of the Animalia with fungal DNA strands included in the genome. It is the same as a glow in the dark mouse- a mammal with the bioluminescant protein genes from a jellyfish encoded into its genome.

So in this respect they could very well BE mammals. So if this is true, then the conclusion for me is simply one of reproduction. People don't like spores. Everything else in an orc is mammalian, it is just that they are asexual and reproduce by spores. This in itself is wierd, but seems to be the only real problem people have with fungus inclusions.

Just to reiterate, 40k orks were never walking fungus but rather animals with fungal DNA spliced into their own. Their cells contain fungal organelles (there are some protists alive on earth now that possess algal organelles in addition to their heterotrophic capabilities) for aid in regeneration and metabolic processes and reproduction but nothing else.

An orcasfungus in Fantasy really only changes one or two things from the mammalian orc- they are asexual and breed from spores. Everything described in a mammalian orc theory is still valid except the inclusion of females and sexual reproduction.

So yes, it was my bad to post something explicitly about "Orcs as Fungus" because the information provided by GW clearly does not say that.

So here is another question: if orcs were mammalian but possessed fungal organelles and/or reproductive capabilities would it still be intolerable? Do you require a nuclear family for orcs to be beliveable? Is anyone's problem with it mainly the lack of sexual reproduction?

Hellebore

PS if you haven't already seen this, it is an interview with paul Barnett and Co. who was sent to Mythic by GW to work on WarhammerOnline- very funny and although not the best source of canon, is still a good indication of where things are going:
http://www.gamespot.com/features/6151435/p-4.html
Click on the video link and watch- great fun!

Light is an aberration. The universe yearns for equilibrium, for a return to the cold, inert darkness from whence it came.

when down evils path ye tread,
beware the darkness lest ye be dead,
when life and limb are all at stake,
watch the daemon, for your soul he'll take.
Common children's song amongst the Norse. From the suppressed teachings of Herrian Voktor, the Cronite of Voids.

Edited by - hellebore on 06/06/2006 04:30:13
Go to Top of Page

lordmalachdrim
Agitator

USA
227 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  04:26:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know about you guys but ever since I read "Grunts" by Mary Gentle I've found my self viewing Orcs like the ones in that book. The book is from the point of view of the orcs and starts just before the "Final" battle between light and dark that happens every 1000 years or so. And go to the fallout from that war with a neat twist in the form of a dragons horde of modern weapons with a curse on them.

"This calls for a special blend of psychology and extreme VIOLENCE!"

"Friends come and go... But enemies accumulate."

Never Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Grudge.
Go to Top of Page

hellebore
Noble

Australia
1170 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  04:33:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah! that was a great book. However it just comes back to the "Green Neanderthal Viking" (TM) thing. Why go to all the trouble of creating a race with a different look if it is just going to be a bunch of humans with green paint and false teeth? The only reason that book was good was because it took what people perceive as an orc, and made fun of it. It didn't actually do anything that having humans wouldn't do EXCEPT that people had preconceived notions about ORCS. So the book played purely on those ephemeral NOTIONS people have about orcs rather than anything substantial.

Hellebore

Light is an aberration. The universe yearns for equilibrium, for a return to the cold, inert darkness from whence it came.

when down evils path ye tread,
beware the darkness lest ye be dead,
when life and limb are all at stake,
watch the daemon, for your soul he'll take.
Common children's song amongst the Norse. From the suppressed teachings of Herrian Voktor, the Cronite of Voids.
Go to Top of Page

Philip Sibbering
Small but Vicious Dog

United Kingdom
5244 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  10:47:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi hellebore, thanks for the link – so according to Paul Barnett: 'Orcs are mushrooms and they are from outer space'.

Nice Still think WHF should be a poly-universe and let GMs decide.

I wonder how they got here?
http://forum.blacklibrary.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6889
Meteorite?

Philip

Notices | Art ’n’ Products | Orange Disclaimer
Go to Top of Page

Lord of the Pit
Noble

Sweden
1561 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  12:06:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hellebore

Yeah! that was a great book. However it just comes back to the "Green Neanderthal Viking" (TM) thing. Why go to all the trouble of creating a race with a different look if it is just going to be a bunch of humans with green paint and false teeth? The only reason that book was good was because it took what people perceive as an orc, and made fun of it. It didn't actually do anything that having humans wouldn't do EXCEPT that people had preconceived notions about ORCS. So the book played purely on those ephemeral NOTIONS people have about orcs rather than anything substantial.

Hellebore



Ok, then the next step is to have WFRP elfs be insects, and dwarfs maggots. Why go to all the trouble of creating a race....

Orcs are fungal in Gorkamorka because its a kids game. The game resolves around orks running over and killing orks. If the orks were mammal the parents of the kids buying Gorkamorka might think its a too violent game. Forth comes the fungi idea. "Hey mama, we the game is not about killing, they are just muschrooms, see"

________________________
The Pen is Mightier than the Sword!
***
But only if the Sword is very small, and the Pen is very sharp!
Go to Top of Page

Dirach
Agitator

Norway
396 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  12:13:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't like the fungus idea as it don't fit the view I had on orcs when I was starting to play warhammer. It also seem to be weird that a fungus should look humanoud. Material from wfb6 and wfrp1 shows that it is possible to raise greenskin skeletons in same fashion as other skeletons. (Or maybe there is a raise dead plant spell?).

I don't like the egg theory. Let the lizardmen lay eggs.

I do agree with Hellbore that the orcs are the most boring race in warhammer, and it needs a twist to make it interesting again.

I also find aspects of the fungus theory to be interesting.

So I would have this take.

Why does orcs have to be mammal or fungus? Or even animal or plant? Why can't it be both? Orcs could be a unique lifeform like nothing ever seen in our world.

It have some animal qualities. Skeleton, four limbs, head, eyes, ears. It also have some plant qualities. It grow out of the ground, the green colour and there are no "females".

I know, it's only warhammer, and I like it.
Go to Top of Page

Philip Sibbering
Small but Vicious Dog

United Kingdom
5244 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  12:20:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord of the Pit

Ok, then the next step is to have WFRP elfs be insects, and dwarfs maggots. Why go to all the trouble of creating a race....

Because it's fun, insect Elves? Hmm... I thought of cloning them from reincarnation in 40K (like little bees in cells ), and in WHF I like the idea that Elves are born without souls and an ancestor has to possess the body to give true life.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord of the Pit

Orcs are fungal in Gorkamorka because its a kids game.

A tad disparaging. I would say regardless off how it came about it's a good idea.

Another idea I had for yet another version of the Orc is to go back the legends and have Orcs are daemons clothed in flesh, where the Orc is an avatar of Nurgle Daemons. This means we can also introduce three other avatars.

EDIT:
quote:
Originally posted by Dirach

Why does orcs have to be mammal or fungus? Or even animal or plant? Why can't it be both? Orcs could be a unique lifeform like nothing ever seen in our world.

That's actually what GW has right now but explaining it is difficult, and those who don't like the idea usually say 'orc=mushroom' - which is incorrect, but it stuck, it stuck so well that those who like the idea say 'orc=mushroom' just to get a reaction and set the other side off.

Philip

Notices | Art ’n’ Products | Orange Disclaimer

Edited by - Philip Sibbering on 06/06/2006 12:26:00
Go to Top of Page

Dirach
Agitator

Norway
396 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  13:01:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord of the Pit
Orcs are fungal in Gorkamorka because its a kids game. The game resolves around orks running over and killing orks. If the orks were mammal the parents of the kids buying Gorkamorka might think its a too violent game. Forth comes the fungi idea. "Hey mama, we the game is not about killing, they are just muschrooms, see"



Mordheim was released was using the (Almost) the same rules as Gorkamorka. They didn't hake the humans into plants. Gorkamorka was a nice game. At the same "mature level" as Mordheim.

I know, it's only warhammer, and I like it.
Go to Top of Page

Lord of the Pit
Noble

Sweden
1561 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  14:04:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dirach

quote:
Originally posted by Lord of the Pit
Orcs are fungal in Gorkamorka because its a kids game. The game resolves around orks running over and killing orks. If the orks were mammal the parents of the kids buying Gorkamorka might think its a too violent game. Forth comes the fungi idea. "Hey mama, we the game is not about killing, they are just muschrooms, see"



Mordheim was released was using the (Almost) the same rules as Gorkamorka. They didn't hake the humans into plants. Gorkamorka was a nice game. At the same "mature level" as Mordheim.



Well, Mordheim is darker overall, while Gorkamorka is more of a 'crazy' fun game (Like a whacky Mad Max in space).

________________________
The Pen is Mightier than the Sword!
***
But only if the Sword is very small, and the Pen is very sharp!
Go to Top of Page

Dirach
Agitator

Norway
396 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  14:36:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord of the Pit
Well, Mordheim is darker overall, while Gorkamorka is more of a 'crazy' fun game (Like a whacky Mad Max in space).



I perfectly understand that Mordheim and Necromunda have more appeal than Gorka Morka background vice. This was the reason why gorka morka was a flopp. Rulevice the Gorka Morka just as great as the other two.

I know, it's only warhammer, and I like it.
Go to Top of Page

hellebore
Noble

Australia
1170 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  15:09:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GW orks are not humanoid fungus- this is something people use to belittle the idea. As I stated previously, an ORK is a vertebrate with fungal organelles in its cells. It has algal cells running in its bloodstream. These aid in healing and reproduction.

Thus the only differences between a 'true' mammalian orc and a 40k ork is that one reproduces sexually, can't heal very quickly, and is boring . The other reproduces asexually, heals very quickly, and is interesting.

Again, they aren't mushrooms (despite Paul's humorous speech), but animals that have a symbiotic relationship with fungal cells.

HUMANS have a symbiotic relationship with all sorts of things- our mitochondria where originally single celled organisms, our stomachs contain cellulose digesting bacteria etc.

The only thing that is different is that an ork uses these to affect its reproduction.

Hellebore

Light is an aberration. The universe yearns for equilibrium, for a return to the cold, inert darkness from whence it came.

when down evils path ye tread,
beware the darkness lest ye be dead,
when life and limb are all at stake,
watch the daemon, for your soul he'll take.
Common children's song amongst the Norse. From the suppressed teachings of Herrian Voktor, the Cronite of Voids.
Go to Top of Page

Glorthindel
Noble

United Kingdom
1141 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  15:10:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ultimately whether you like the idea or not, its just one extra weapon for us GM's to use against our players . I personally am not sure either way, but I had an old, grizzled trapper give my players this rumour in my last session and the possibility alone horrified them. I have absolutely no intension of ever letting them know if the rumour is true or not, it just gives them something else to worry about (all the time they will now spend burning orc bodies allows them to draw the attension of other predators).

Mike Congreve

Non Monitur Cujus Fama Vivat.
He dies not whos fame may survive.
Go to Top of Page

Dirach
Agitator

Norway
396 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  16:26:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hellebore

GW orks are not humanoid fungus- this is something people use to belittle the idea. As I stated previously, an ORK is a vertebrate with fungal organelles in its cells. It has algal cells running in its bloodstream. These aid in healing and reproduction.

Thus the only differences between a 'true' mammalian orc and a 40k ork is that one reproduces sexually, can't heal very quickly, and is boring . The other reproduces asexually, heals very quickly, and is interesting.


I do not have much knowledge of the Ork's. After reading the ork vs orc debate, I got the impression that the orc's were more fungus than just cells in the blood. But if this is the chase, I could go for this, as it don't change much to the setting. In fact it doesn't change anything except for the colour of the blood maybe. (I remember a "what colour is orc blood" debate. I )

I know, it's only warhammer, and I like it.

Edited by - Dirach on 06/06/2006 16:33:47
Go to Top of Page

Philip Sibbering
Small but Vicious Dog

United Kingdom
5244 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  17:18:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thinking about eggs: weren't the kork in 40K the ones that lead to the kroot? The Kroot are a bit bird like? Birds lay eggs.

Philip

Notices | Art ’n’ Products | Orange Disclaimer
Go to Top of Page

wolf99
Militiaman

564 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  18:32:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hellebore
An orcasfungus in Fantasy really only changes one or two things from the mammalian orc- they are asexual and breed from spores. Everything described in a mammalian orc theory is still valid except the inclusion of females and sexual reproduction.

And therein lies part of the problem for me. A race that genuinely had a fungoid nature at its heart could be a great. A fungus mat or even enormous mushroom moving with a controlling intelligence could be a scary prospect. Hit a part and you might chop off some but the whole still remains. Shoot it and you might punch a hole in it - but the toadstool killer won't be stopped by that. And it might well have some nasty poisions as well.

But Orcs aren't like that. There is almost nothing particularly fungus-like about them - apart from the spores. In every other way they act like normal animals. So what we have, it feels to me, is a fairly lazy graft of the spores idea onto a creature that, in every other way, seems to have been pretty much left alone.

Perhaps that's not a very rational feeling - we are dealing with a fantasy race, afterall, but I'm just not keen.

Incidently, I don't see the need for a 'nuclear family' to accomodate more normal sexual animal reproduction. And yes, I'm just not keen on spore based reproduction. And I agree with Athelassan on the question of how greenskins are 'driven out' of an area works if they leave their spores behind. Call it a mental block, but it just doesn't work for me.

Go to Top of Page

Galadrin
Rat Catcher

8 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  18:48:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My group actually has a really Orcy theory about Orc reproduction. In our world, the Orc female is a very elusive and rare Orc, born one out of every 100 or so Orc males. The Orc females live in "nests" or "pits" hidden deep in the mountains, and give litters to a dozen or (potentially very) more Orcs each season. These newlings are driven out upon maturation (Orc males mature in a matter of months) by the constant, incessant nagging of the humungous females, thus forming the wandering warbands of all male Orcs that plague the world (and destroying any real possibility for Orc society). Upon a certain age, however, many a wandering Orcs will feel a need he can't quite describe, a need for a little "sumfink sumfink". Returning naively to the nearest breeding pit, the Orc then engages in the brutal, humiliating and fortunately brief event known as Orc coitus, which thankfully often ends in the death of the male from exhaustion, blunt force trauma to the head, or other effect.

Edited by - Galadrin on 06/06/2006 18:48:48
Go to Top of Page

Philip Sibbering
Small but Vicious Dog

United Kingdom
5244 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2006 :  18:52:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wolf99

So what we have, it feels to me, is a fairly lazy graft of the spores idea onto a creature that, in every other way, seems to have been pretty much left alone.

Wouldn't it by definition be even lazier to leave them as mammals?

Besides it lead to so many interesting ideas on Orc culture! However I like both mushrooms and mammals, I'm far more interested in hearing what someone has come up with then hearing loads of people tear down ideas.

I feel like a broken record, but the best way to show your way is 'better' is to post your ideas. Show the advantages of your version, show the plot hooks and how it all works. Just telling others that their version is rubbish without offering an alternative is, well, mean!

I applaud Athelassan for post his ideas here, it take guts to step up I had hoped this thread would grow into a full mammal Orc thread that would be a joy for a GM interested in mammal like Orcs to read.

I'm almost sorry I asked him to post it here! ('almost' because some nice ideas have turned up )

quote:
Originally posted by wolf99

And I agree with Athelassan on the question of how greenskins are 'driven out' of an area works if they leave their spores behind.

It takes a bit of effect to get dry rot out of a house but it can be done. Same with Orcs, bit of 'weeding' and plenty of burning and it make a certain sense.

Philip

Notices | Art ’n’ Products | Orange Disclaimer
Go to Top of Page

hellebore
Noble

Australia
1170 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2006 :  15:03:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry, Phil, I wasn't trying to derail the thread- but it was my posts that weren't really constructive in regards to the mammalian orc theory.

@Dirach- if you read the background in the 3rd ed codex Orks (what little there is) you can see that the fungus isn't literally an ork, but artificially grafted into their genome (they even have a helix pic ).

It facilitates the reproduction (as a spore lands and grows a pseudouterus and placenta) of the orks, increases their regeneration etc, but apart from that not much else is different.

Just to put the spore thing in perspective- a mammal starts off as a zygote of a combined sperm and ova. This is very small (strangely enough, the size of a single, albiet large, cell) and will only develop when implantation occurs in the endometrium of the uterus. it develops into a blastocyst, undergoes differentiation into three types of cells, and eventually splits into an embryo and a placenta (in the mammals).

The thing with this is, that if the environment was right, the zygote could develop externally from the uterus. And this is what a sporeborn ork does. The spore (which is more like the haploid true fungal spore) develops into an organism- the 'earthwomb' as Phil refers to it (despite my disliking of that word ).

Because there is no sexual reproduction amongst orks, they are most likely all haploid, as spores are not normally diploid. also, because they have heavily engineered genes, and have a tissue rejection rate less than 0.01% (as said in the ork codex) it would seem a virtual certainty that they have very similar genomes- ie they are all in some way natural clones. I would assume some mutation occurs, and as an ork/squig/grot can produce any of the other types from their spores, I would assume that the entire orkological genome resides within each ork/squig/grot cell, and that the environmental conditions that generate one or the other simply inhibit certain genes from being transcribed.

Anyway, the gestation of an ork in the ground is the same as gestating a mammal embryo in a petri dish. The big problem is nutrients. Without a mother to parasitise, the ork embryo cannot aqcuire the nutrients it needs. Thus the fungal growth that sprouts from the ground. This must either be hetertrophic or autotrophic- both of which are possible within a fungus. Thus the ork embryo creates a pseudoplacenta that actively gathers nutrients rather than passively absorbing them.

Anyway, my ramblings were just to show that although the concept on the surface seems improbable and a bit wierd, it isn't actually that much different from other animals' reproductive strategies.

Hellebore

Light is an aberration. The universe yearns for equilibrium, for a return to the cold, inert darkness from whence it came.

when down evils path ye tread,
beware the darkness lest ye be dead,
when life and limb are all at stake,
watch the daemon, for your soul he'll take.
Common children's song amongst the Norse. From the suppressed teachings of Herrian Voktor, the Cronite of Voids.
Go to Top of Page

wolf99
Militiaman

564 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2006 :  17:29:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Philip Sibbering

quote:
Originally posted by wolf99

So what we have, it feels to me, is a fairly lazy graft of the spores idea onto a creature that, in every other way, seems to have been pretty much left alone.

Wouldn't it by definition be even lazier to leave them as mammals?

Well, yes. I think you know that wasn't quite what I was saying, now
quote:
Besides it lead to so many interesting ideas on Orc culture! However I like both mushrooms and mammals, I'm far more interested in hearing what someone has come up with then hearing loads of people tear down ideas.

I feel like a broken record, but the best way to show your way is 'better' is to post your ideas. Show the advantages of your version, show the plot hooks and how it all works. Just telling others that their version is rubbish without offering an alternative is, well, mean!

I applaud Athelassan for post his ideas here, it take guts to step up I had hoped this thread would grow into a full mammal Orc thread that would be a joy for a GM interested in mammal like Orcs to read.

I'm almost sorry I asked him to post it here! ('almost' because some nice ideas have turned up )

I agree. Which is why I delayed before responding to hellebore but given that others had already started an Orc: Animal or Vegetable style debate I thought I'd join in.

Incidently, I had another idea. If you don't like the Orc male and females are virtually indistinguishable idea I had, how about this...

Perhaps Orcs spend most of their lives as sexually immature individuals? A bit like the way insects might spend most of their life-cycle in the 'juvenile' larval stage before a brief outing in the 'adult' imago stage. Almost every orc one meets might be non-sexually reproductive, therefore - effectively sexless. If you want to extend the insect-like lifecycle analogy, the breeding stage might be quite different to the 'normal' orc stage. This would mean that most orcs would never get to breed, of course. But it would also mean that only the meanest, toughest and nastiest do - which might make a degree of sense - and, if those that bred were sufficiently fecund there wouldn't be any huge problem with under-population.
Go to Top of Page

Montressor
Agitator

Australia
165 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2006 :  02:19:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ultimately, I think, it should be down to the GM what kind of Orcs/Orks he wants in his world. I only just found out about the whole 40k Orks thing off my brother who recently got back into 40k and filled me in on all the changes since I played (about 10 years ago ). To be honest - and no offense intended to anyone - I thought the idea was awful.

I've never been that fond of Orcs in Warhammer - or elves or dwarves (and especially halflings), for that matter. Basically, we can come up with all sorts of twists for these staple demi-humans and montsrous humanoids, but at their heart they will still be derivatives from a Tolkienesque mythos. Thus, using them in more traditional ways in my games has never been a problem for me. To me, Orcs are more fun to GM when they are savage, brutal, and played for no comic potential. I don't mind the more comic flavour of Orks in 40k, but my preference in WFRP is to keep the foes grim and perilous. The idea of fungal Orcs, to me, seems a little to comical for a 'grim and perilous' setting. Furthermore, it invokes a more science fiction atmosphere than a fantasy one.

There have been some interesting justifications for the use of fungal orc reproductions written here (particularly from Hellebore), though there's nothing that I'll want to use in my games. For me, Orcs always reproduced the traditional way. I'd always assumed that females were by far the weaker of the Orc species, and that was part of the reason they were never seen in raids and so on. In fact, I remember a moment in the Empire in Flames where a female party member tried to seduce a male Orc and he thought she was foul because she didn't have jutting teeth, or stink. It was a particularly funny moment.

At the end of the day, whatever makes you happy to run as a GM, and your players happy to roleplay in, is fine. That's probably a redundant comment given all that's been said before, I just wanted to add my 2 gc into the debate.

Edited by - Montressor on 08/06/2006 12:15:31
Go to Top of Page

Athenys
Agitator

USA
418 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2006 :  09:12:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think this is what said females would look like in WF:

http://www.kyoht.com/archive/images/DaintyIzranel.jpg

What a delicate orcish flower she is ...

Their arrogance is matched only by their firepower.
Um...actually Tau have better firepower.
Okay, but they're still the most ancient race.
Nope, the Necrons are.
Okay, maybe not the very oldest, but hey - they're still the best psykers in the universe.
Compared to Chaos or Witch Hunters?
Well hey - they still have the 'Space Elf' thing going on - that's cool right?
So do the Dark Eldar...
Look kid, just leave me alone okay.

Edited by - Athenys on 08/06/2006 09:15:32
Go to Top of Page

Manann
Moderator

1546 Posts

Posted - 15/06/2006 :  00:33:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the forums, Galadrin and Glorthindel!

Manann - God of the Sea
Here's the current WFRP FAQ and Errata!
Go to Top of Page

Lord_Boofhead
Rat Catcher

Australia
83 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2007 :  07:21:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Wyvern

Yes, I was aware of the platypus, but I believe it is the only mammal that lays eggs, isn't it? Biologists have probably classified it as a mammal as they didn't know where else to put it!



Well there is also the Echidna. And several now extict Monotreams. :P

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Wyvern

But orcs ain't platypuses!

What I should have said is "Orcs are mammals and they do not lay eggs!"

But as you say, it's a fantasy world and anything is possible. Personally, I have always felt that a fantasy world with more than two or three sentient races is hopelessly unrealistic, but there you go. One must suspend one's disbelief, musn't one?



Actualy before they became Fungus in 40K they were actualy gender swaping (like many fish) Marsupials (pouched mammals like Koalas and Kangaroos) that turn into females when they get old (without dying) and then Asexualy reproduce (with sexual intercorse kinda like cloning!)

Funny thing is that these are all things found in nature, just not together!

That said I like my Orcs to be mammilian.

I think that Orc females should be rare and therefore a preciouse comodity (like Dwarven females) but be rather fertile and be able to have lots of mates, Orks Gobs and the like don't go for Monogomy.

Just my 2 brass pennies!
Go to Top of Page

Dr. Rudolf von Richten
Militiaman

Netherlands
665 Posts

Posted - 13/07/2007 :  01:29:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, talk about some thread-necromancy here!

Anyway, now that the thread is revived, I might as well give my p.o.v. on this whole 'Orcs have a symbiotic relationship with certain kinds of fungus which affects mainly their way of reproducing but not much else' thing, hereafter abreviated as 'Orcs are fungi'

I find the 'Orcs are fungi' idea to be quite original and interesting but problematic. The reason for that is that it makes them creatures so alien that it becomes impossible to relate to them. This in turn leads to a situation where Orcs are effectively a 'force of nature' instead of a kind of sentient being, even though they are actually sentient. This is because the idea of 'they are much like us, only they reproduce differently' is flawed.

With a different way of reproduction, especcially one so remote from that of mammals, comes a whole different range of emotions (or lack of them) worldviews and perceptions, that go far beyond the cultural level, but reach right into the heart of a species' very being. Consequently, between humans and Orcs there can be just as much comprehension as between Humans and Trees, which is too say, very little.

Now, I think it is by definition impossible to comprehend, and therefore, to roleplay, a being thet is truly alien from humans. It is already difficult to really understand Humans from a culture very different from our own, let alone non-humans.* That is, I think that, no matter how hard we try, Elves will always be 'Humans with pointy ears', Skaven will always be 'Humans with fur and a tail' etc. 'Different cultures' is the best we can achieve. And for the 'different cultures' to make sense, the basis, which includes reproduction, must be similar.

In short, Orcs are mammals because of our inadequacy to portay them in any other way.

*N.B.: by the same token it becomes increasingly difficult to adequately portray Humans from ever more distant pasts or futures; Old World and 40K Humans are, in the end, just modern Humans in a strange environment.

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us but little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our own frightful position theirein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

H.P. Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu
Go to Top of Page

Sythorn
Agitator

USA
173 Posts

Posted - 13/07/2007 :  11:07:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Rudolf von Richten
I find the 'Orcs are fungi' idea to be quite original and interesting but problematic. The reason for that is that it makes them creatures so alien that it becomes impossible to relate to them. This in turn leads to a situation where Orcs are effectively a 'force of nature' instead of a kind of sentient being, even though they are actually sentient. This is because the idea of 'they are much like us, only they reproduce differently' is flawed.



I'm not attempting to be facetious here, but are you saying you don't believe Greenskins are portrayed as appropriately alien or that you believe they are, but that it hinders story telling potential?

The reason I ask is because their behavior seems perfectly reasonable to me, considering what Greenskins are. The pattern I constantly see with them reminds me very much of a virus, attempting to spread in all directions, as far and wide as possible while leaving behind traces of themselves.

It seems like an interesting concept to me, and one that compliments the world's science fiction origin story nicely. So anyway, just asking.

"There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we listen and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life."

"But some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas, of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests; and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder that was ours before we were wise and unhappy."

-H.P. Lovecraft "Celephais"
Go to Top of Page

Glorthindel
Noble

United Kingdom
1141 Posts

Posted - 13/07/2007 :  15:34:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Rudolf von Richten

Wow, talk about some thread-necromancy here!

I know what you mean... I can see my first post from here!

Mike Congreve

Non Monitur Cujus Fama Vivat.
He dies not whos fame may survive.
Go to Top of Page

GabrielSyme
Rat Catcher

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 13/07/2007 :  19:03:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The first thought that comes to me is that reproducing via spores would explain why the orcs are aways out to destroy everything. I mean, they wouldn't really have 'compete for a mate' as a driving force, and that takes out a lot of the reasons we do things.

The second thought (Much less impressive, but more hilarious) involved an orc freebooter trying to be a merchant, and he decides to be a respectable merchant he has to have a wife, but he doesn't understand why or what they do. He's just got to have one to compete.

For the people who suggested positive frameworks for gendered orcs - Like, how it would be possible, what story potentials it would provide, etc. How plausible does this sound? The orc army book describes the extreme adaptability of orcs, and throws in a mention of humans classifying different types of orcs even if orcs don't recognize it. Border Princes mentions orcs attempting to form kingdoms occasionally even though they generally fall apart and so forth. If I was going to work gendered orcs into a WFRP while still accepting the fungal reproduction angle, i'd simply say that there was a successful orc border kingdom, and the reason they were successful was because they adapted to be slightly less alien to the people around them (I.E., having orcs that looked female might cause people to pause slightly before deciding to slaughter them, the more feminine-shaped orcs get away and their spores survive and so forth).

This would open many different elements that could be used in a game - Does the kingdom still raid and loot and kill everyone and everything, or is it in danger of becoming more docile (and less Orc-like) and thus destroyed, along with the adaptation? How do humans react to orcs that look female, even if they are still asexual? How do non-adapted orcs react to these things? It would also be a good spot to start out greenskin-oriented characters or adventures.

Of course, the obvious problems are that it's tweaking lore to serve gameplay and that it would make the orcs in such a border kingdom much less orc-like.


"If you're dedicating any notable chunk of time to arguing on the internet, the "being normal" ship has sailed and you missed it because you overheard someone on the wharf refer to dolphins as fish and that is clearly in error." -P-worm.
Go to Top of Page

Dr. Rudolf von Richten
Militiaman

Netherlands
665 Posts

Posted - 15/07/2007 :  00:21:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sythorn
I'm not attempting to be facetious here, but are you saying you don't believe Greenskins are portrayed as appropriately alien or that you believe they are, but that it hinders story telling potential?

The reason I ask is because their behavior seems perfectly reasonable to me, considering what Greenskins are. The pattern I constantly see with them reminds me very much of a virus, attempting to spread in all directions, as far and wide as possible while leaving behind traces of themselves.

It seems like an interesting concept to me, and one that compliments the world's science fiction origin story nicely. So anyway, just asking.




I guess what I'm trying to say is that 'Orcs as fungus' implies 'Orcs as beings so alien that humans couldn't remotely comprehend what they are doing and especcially why they are doing it'. This does not make their use impossible, but it severely limits the options, in effect reducing them to a 'force of nature'. Now if that's what you want, then that's fine, but if you want Orcs to be creatures than can be roleplayed, you have to make them fairly humanoid.

In general, the problem with truly alien creatures is that, the more alien they are, the less we humans can underderstand them, or even have concepts to describe what they are doing. This leads you into a situation where you, as GM, either have to be really vague or, as a way of conveying their alien-ness, describe their actions using nonsense words. And, as the CoC (Call of Cthulhu) rulebook (edition 5.5, p 126) so truthfully states: "you can't keep saying that something is indiscribable and have it remain very interesting to your players.

In CoC, this is not too much of a problem as alien creatures are not 'met' as much as 'experienced', if they are encountered at all (as opposed to 'something is probably out there, judging from the clues we have found, but we have no idea what it could be'), and most of them cause the characters to go insane anyway. But in WFRP, where an Orc is a common enemy in combat or even in a peaceful situation, not the kind of being a Character would go cookoo over, this doesn't really work.

So in conclusion; aliens are 'alien' to us because they make no sense, and that is contradictory with possessing a 'role' that can be 'played'. Orcs are either 'aliens' or 'persons' but not both.

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us but little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our own frightful position theirein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

H.P. Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 3 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Black Industries Forum © 2006 Black Industries - BL Publishing, a division of Games Workshop Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000