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Old 12-16-2014, 10:16 AM
MadDog MadDog is offline

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Orc Icon (War3) Orcish Code

I've been thinking lately. I enjoyed the "honorable" orcs of Warcraft III, and honestly the Lords of War video's actually got me liking orcs all the more. In my mind, they still need to grow, and I'm thinking actually that one thing they need is an actual code, something in writing, that defines what is appropriate and inappropriate for an orc. Something more rigid and specific than a vague idea of "honor." A 10 commandments. An Orcish Bushido. A 5 tenants/Pillars.

I'd like to hash out what such a code would be. While I'd like this to be a discussion among orc fans for what kind of code they'd put in place for orcs, there is nothing to stop anyone from giving their input. I'm also fully expecting some to say they need to ditch the Warrior culture, and as I find this unacceptable, I have no intention on engaging on debate on the subject.

To start the ball rolling, at least one of the the tenants that this code should embrace is a ban on supplementary power, such as demon blood/sha hearts. An Orc should stand and fight on his own benefits, to win or lose on his own two feet rather than resorting to recruiting to pacts or gimicks. This would also ban super-weapons such as mana-bombs. An orc should stand and succeed on his own merits, and with the aid of those who's loyalty he's earned.

On that note, rules on the treatment and value of allies should be of special importance as well.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:44 AM
Arbourean Arbourean is offline

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Developing a sense of personal responsibility would be a start. Whether its the Legion, Velen revealing Oshugun's true purpose, elves denying use of lumber or imprisonment for attempted genocide there's always an excuse.

And yes I've long felt orcish society would benefit immensely from a bushido code of sorts.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:04 AM
Kellick Kellick is offline

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It'd be interesting to see the Orcs be the first people to properly codify war time conduct, then incorporate it into the foundations for their entire legal system. Trade and war are just politics by other means and all that jazz. Might be a particularly foreign system, but it could be nifty to apply concepts specifically related to conflict and combat and translate them into civil law and the like.

The Mak'gora might be a good example. I'm not proposing it be used to settle all disputes, but some of the guiding principles could be used in, say, negotiating contracts. Both parties are supposed to approach the table in good faith. Both parties are allowed to bring n arbiters to the table. Breaking any of the rules constitutes a breach of contract. And so on and so forth.

The result would be a system with a decidedly martial mind set built to function just as well in peace time.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:11 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbourean View Post
And yes I've long felt orcish society would benefit immensely from a bushido code of sorts.
A reminder that bushido was invoked to justify Japanese militarism in World War II. It's just as easy to invoke it for fictional orcs to keep conquering and breaking stuff.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:13 AM
MadDog MadDog is offline

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Originally Posted by Arbourean View Post
Developing a sense of personal responsibility would be a start. Whether its the Legion, Velen revealing Oshugun's true purpose, elves denying use of lumber or imprisonment for attempted genocide there's always an excuse.
This ties in well with my earlier points on standing on ones own merit and earning the loyalty of your allies. If you have not earned a relationship of trust with someone, you can expect nothing of them so you should not be surprised should they not desire trade with you. If they do not trade with you, then your survival is your own responsibility.

It probably comes down to freedom, something that orcs value greatly for themselves. All freedom requires responsibility, and freedom means consequences for actions.

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It'd be interesting to see the Orcs be the first people to properly codify war time conduct, then incorporate it into the foundations for their entire legal system. Trade and war are just politics by other means and all that jazz. Might be a particularly foreign system, but it could be nifty to apply concepts specifically related to conflict and combat and translate them into civil law and the like.

The Mak'gora might be a good example. I'm not proposing it be used to settle all disputes, but some of the guiding principles could be used in, say, negotiating contracts. Both parties are supposed to approach the table in good faith. Both parties are allowed to bring n arbiters to the table. Breaking any of the rules constitutes a breach of contract. And so on and so forth.

The result would be a system with a decidedly martial mind set built to function just as well in peace time.
This guy gets it.

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A reminder that bushido was invoked to justify Japanese militarism in World War II. It's just as easy to invoke it for fictional orcs to keep conquering and breaking stuff.
Any code, creed, or ideal can be twisted. That doesn't change the good it can do as well. A code or creed will not solve all problems, but it's a start, and quite frankly the effort will produce its own rewards.

Last edited by MadDog; 12-16-2014 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:16 AM
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Poison, fel magic and explosives would be big no-nos I think.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:17 AM
Kellick Kellick is offline

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
A reminder that bushido was invoked to justify Japanese militarism in World War II.
As are the credos of democracy, communism, capitalism, republicanism, liberty, and pretty much every single principle ever used to codify and regulate human behaviour on a political or individual level.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:23 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Frostwolf/True Steel Horde code or a real, orcish code?
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:29 AM
MadDog MadDog is offline

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Frostwolf/True Steel Horde code or a real, orcish code?
I was thinking of one to bind all orcs, so the last one. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if each clan or group may have it's own derivatives and variants.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:33 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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It wouldn't surprise me if each clan or group may have it's own derivatives and variants.
Yup, that's what I wanted to draw attention to.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:53 AM
Kellick Kellick is offline

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Canada has "Peace, Order and Good Government". France has "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité". The United States has "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness". It's not unheard of for polities to be governed through adherence to a few guiding principles which denote either rights, responsibilities or both.

For the Orcs, honor'd almost definitely need to be included as one major responsibility for each citizen of whatever you want to call the specific association within the Horde (We really should be rid of the term Orcish Horde, or even just Horde, but that's another pair of gloves) the Orcs make up.

Freedom'd also probably be another of 'em, what with the whole rejection of Legion domination and of the Internment Camps featuring heavily in the Orcish psyche. This could also include a mention on ensuring the freedom not only of Orcs and other citizens of the Horde, but also safeguards against denying others their freedom.

Then what? Family/fraternity? This one's a little less obvious in terms of tying it in with an explicitly martial mindset, but given the whole "Horde is family" thing, an emphasis on respecting allies and/or neighbours, and valuing their well being above all else, could be an appropriate feature.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:41 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Okay, you smart alecs who say things like "anything can be corrupted". I remind you that you are dealing with a warrior-centered life philosophy. And, whether dealing with Spartans or Mongols or Mandalorians, you are envisioning a society that can only be seen as sympathetic when someone even worse happens to be attacking them. Keeping militarism will ensure that your orcs remain villains, not because it can be corrupted, but because it is the definition.

And I'm cool with that because that keeps stories interesting. I just want to make sure you are, because it flies in the face of the peaceful shaman culture presented in the Warcraft III manual.

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Originally Posted by MadDog View Post
To start the ball rolling, at least one of the the tenants that this code should embrace is a ban on supplementary power, such as demon blood/sha hearts. An Orc should stand and fight on his own benefits, to win or lose on his own two feet rather than resorting to recruiting to pacts or gimicks. This would also ban super-weapons such as mana-bombs. An orc should stand and succeed on his own merits, and with the aid of those world's loyalty he's earned.
Hmm, this could cause problems in interpretation and application. What would qualify as supplementary power?

Shaman the mod mentioned poison and explosives. Do you feel the same? What about gunpowder weapons? Domesticated companion pets? Armor and axes in general can be understood as "supplementary" to a warrior's own strength and skills.

What of shamanism? Could one use "pacts or gimmicks" to make deals with the elements of the world, instead of standing on one's own feet?

In excluding manabombs and other superweapons, would we exclude all ambushes and surprise attacks in general? Would it be permissible to activate an avalanche that destroys an enemy army, or to strike an enemy army from the flank and catch it off-guard?

If your army outnumbered the enemy, are you allowed to make use of this advantage or must you disband your own forces until the numbers are equal?

. . .

I like the bits that emphasize freedom, fraternity, equality. You could still emphasize a self-defensive focus on military arts that prefers times of peace, and converts that combat training so that it revolves around a fit and centered existence, tying to nature and shamanism. You could glorify the hunt as part of nourishment and circle of life stuff. Of course, most of these are contrary to the glorification of battle in and of itself.
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:52 PM
Menel'dirion Menel'dirion is offline

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Originally Posted by Kellick View Post
Canada has "Peace, Order and Good Government". France has "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité". The United States has "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness". It's not unheard of for polities to be governed through adherence to a few guiding principles which denote either rights, responsibilities or both.

For the Orcs, honor'd almost definitely need to be included as one major responsibility for each citizen of whatever you want to call the specific association within the Horde (We really should be rid of the term Orcish Horde, or even just Horde, but that's another pair of gloves) the Orcs make up.

Freedom'd also probably be another of 'em, what with the whole rejection of Legion domination and of the Internment Camps featuring heavily in the Orcish psyche. This could also include a mention on ensuring the freedom not only of Orcs and other citizens of the Horde, but also safeguards against denying others their freedom.

Then what? Family/fraternity? This one's a little less obvious in terms of tying it in with an explicitly martial mindset, but given the whole "Horde is family" thing, an emphasis on respecting allies and/or neighbours, and valuing their well being above all else, could be an appropriate feature.
Freedom, Honor, Family. I can see it. Of course, the family part is more or less a troll idea (not that it's a bad one), but I could still see them taking it.

Freedom. Orcs are meant to be free. To be free is to have one's actions be their own, and the consequences of actions are for the free to bear. To disrespect the freedom of one is to disrespect one's one freedom. To be free is to bear the burden of one's own survival, with nothing required of any who does not willingly give it. No power or allegiance is worth one's freedom.

Honor. If one is free to choose ones own actions, then they must let honor guide their actions. An orc must aquit himself well, live up to his name that he may be remembered as a good example and representative. An orc must accept responsibility for all of his actions, and his children will stand and judge them, to their pride or shame. It therefore behooves an orc to act in such a way that his children will learn good lessons from their actions, and will be proud of their parents. It is the duty of children to bring pride to their parents and acknowledge and learn from their parents mistakes. This is the essence of honor.

Furthermore, an orc fights and succeeds on his own merit and by the loyalty that he earns. No power that circumvents the Orcs own prowess is sanctioned by honor.

Family. Through valor and blood, Orcs win the loyalty of others and expand their family. To turn on that family, to abuse that family, is the greatest shame. No spirit, friend, kin or ally is to be treated as anything short of a beloved comrade in arms, and all relationships, whether they be ally or enemy are deserving of respect.

It's a start.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:04 PM
MadDog MadDog is offline

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
Okay, you smart alecs who say things like "anything can be corrupted". I remind you that you are dealing with a warrior-centered life philosophy. And, whether dealing with Spartans or Mongols or Mandalorians, you are envisioning a society that can only be seen as sympathetic when someone even worse happens to be attacking them. Keeping militarism will ensure that your orcs remain villains, not because it can be corrupted, but because it is the definition.

And I'm cool with that because that keeps stories interesting. I just want to make sure you are, because it flies in the face of the peaceful shaman culture presented in the Warcraft III manual.



Hmm, this could cause problems in interpretation and application. What would qualify as supplementary power?

Shaman the mod mentioned poison and explosives. Do you feel the same? What about gunpowder weapons? Domesticated companion pets? Armor and axes in general can be understood as "supplementary" to a warrior's own strength and skills.

What of shamanism? Could one use "pacts or gimmicks" to make deals with the elements of the world, instead of standing on one's own feet?

In excluding manabombs and other superweapons, would we exclude all ambushes and surprise attacks in general? Would it be permissible to activate an avalanche that destroys an enemy army, or to strike an enemy army from the flank and catch it off-guard?

If your army outnumbered the enemy, are you allowed to make use of this advantage or must you disband your own forces until the numbers are equal?

. . .

I like the bits that emphasize freedom, fraternity, equality. You could still emphasize a self-defensive focus on military arts that prefers times of peace, and converts that combat training so that it revolves around a fit and centered existence, tying to nature and shamanism. You could glorify the hunt as part of nourishment and circle of life stuff. Of course, most of these are contrary to the glorification of battle in and of itself.
Shamanism is different in that it is more of an ally than a pact. In RotH, the Elements withdrew their aid to the orcs when they decided they wanted no part in what the orcs were doing, yet they didn't activel stop orcs from persuing their goals. As such, it's more of an Ally who's loyalty has been won. The same goes for hunter pets (or at least should).

Poisons obviously have a certain place of dishonor among the Horde (Garrosh's Mak'Gora comes to mind). Explosives is a very broad category, so the implementation is more of an issue than the actual tool (an explosive catapult shot = ok, terrorist style bombing not so much).
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:12 PM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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What about the assassin clans, like the Shattered Hand and Flowerpickers?
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:36 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Shamanism is different in that it is more of an ally than a pact. In RotH, the Elements withdrew their aid to the orcs when they decided they wanted no part in what the orcs were doing, yet they didn't activel stop orcs from persuing their goals. As such, it's more of an Ally who's loyalty has been won. The same goes for hunter pets (or at least should).

Poisons obviously have a certain place of dishonor among the Horde (Garrosh's Mak'Gora comes to mind). Explosives is a very broad category, so the implementation is more of an issue than the actual tool (an explosive catapult shot = ok, terrorist style bombing not so much).
I like these answers. No dishonor in recruiting allies and brothers, and allowing them to wield their own strengths.

The issue I still see, in my mind, is that the restriction could undercut your companions whose strengths are in non-physical areas. A gnome or goblin who stands on his own two feet can accomplish marvels that most others couldn't dream of. Mechanical or alchemical solutions that complement their fellow warriors' existing strengths in a way comparable to a wave of, for example, bloodlust or to totemic healing/buffing.

A shaman can speak with the elements to form a ball fire to heave at his enemies. A mage can form the subtle makings of fire already in the air and create a similar flame. A warlock can, through his own power, pull the fires of fel to his own plane of existence and use those. A warrior can, through flint and pitch, form a lit torch or ignite arrows, or set flame to catapult projectiles so that they burn his enemy. A tinker can, thanks to his own knowledge and ability, create fire that explodes more fiercely, burns longer, or can be aimed with greater precision.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:26 PM
Galka Galka is offline

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The essence of the problem is that Orcish honor reflects human honor in reality: as people, we don't have a universal code of honor, and it will vary from population to population based on their needs and whatever they need to convince themselves that they're justified. If this is how honor works for us, is there really any need to redefine it for the Orcs when it seems to be too real already?
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:29 PM
Menel'dirion Menel'dirion is offline

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I like these answers. No dishonor in recruiting allies and brothers, and allowing them to wield their own strengths.

The issue I still see, in my mind, is that the restriction could undercut your companions whose strengths are in non-physical areas. A gnome or goblin who stands on his own two feet can accomplish marvels that most others couldn't dream of. Mechanical or alchemical solutions that complement their fellow warriors' existing strengths in a way comparable to a wave of, for example, bloodlust or to totemic healing/buffing.

A shaman can speak with the elements to form a ball fire to heave at his enemies. A mage can form the subtle makings of fire already in the air and create a similar flame. A warlock can, through his own power, pull the fires of fel to his own plane of existence and use those. A warrior can, through flint and pitch, form a lit torch or ignite arrows, or set flame to catapult projectiles so that they burn his enemy. A tinker can, thanks to his own knowledge and ability, create fire that explodes more fiercely, burns longer, or can be aimed with greater precision.
That is an issue. That said, this creed doesn't have to be perfect (that would probably be bad fiction). Orcs will always need some flaws, and difficult times during peace as well as a certain disdain for less physical arts would be good flaws for them.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:28 PM
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Honor is murder and dying while failing to murder, that's the code.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:51 PM
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You also get the sense in Rise of the Horde that the ecological damage done to Draenor by the warlocks and the Horde war-machine was against the orcish way of life. There is some respect for the environment in orcish culture, probably stemming from the influence of orcish shaman and spritual leaders.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:07 PM
Mertico Mertico is offline

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You also get the sense in Rise of the Horde that the ecological damage done to Draenor by the warlocks and the Horde war-machine was against the orcish way of life. There is some respect for the environment in orcish culture, probably stemming from the influence of orcish shaman and spritual leaders.
Orcish shamanism is both a form of ancestor and elemental worship. It's a bit different though in that elements are alive and capable of thought.

That's one of the problems with Warcraft lore. We don't know anything about the laws, customs, or culture of the people outside of some shallow stuff.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:21 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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You also get the sense in Rise of the Horde that the ecological damage done to Draenor by the warlocks and the Horde war-machine was against the orcish way of life. There is some respect for the environment in orcish culture, probably stemming from the influence of orcish shaman and spritual leaders.
Mmm, with the elements themselves being your allies and brothers, anything harming them (e.g. warlock magic) is an attack on your own family. Thus, dishonorable.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:29 PM
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Also! For orcs there is at least some sense of proportionality when it comes to warfare (when they're not under the influence of the Legion or the Old Gods.) You have Saurfang's amazing I don't eat pork... and Warchief Garrosh going ballistic on that general who bombed a school in Stonetalon. You can go to war, but you can't do everything.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:46 PM
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One thing I'd like to see is a Klingon inversion, if a warrior or someone fights all their life and die of old age, they ought to be honored cause nothing could kill them

I'd also like if orc opinions of tech and goblins improve with the development of prosthetics
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:57 PM
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I think independence through strength is a nifty concept for the Orcs to have. Every person, clan, or even business should be strong enough to survive on their own, without accepting handouts unless death (or bankruptcy) is imminent.
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