SR5:Race:Ork

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5th Edition Rules
Basics Combat Magic Matrix Driving Character Creation
Races
Humans Elves Dwarves Orks Trolls
Centaurs Nagas Pixies Sasquatches Changelings Shapeshifters
CHARACTERS AND ORK CULTURE

Being an ork is about making a choice about which ork you want to be, or accepting the role you’ve been stuffed into. Society doesn’t care how big you are. Yes, the locals may run or avoid looking at you as you intimidate them, but no one gives a devil rat’s hoop about you, or they’ll all slap the PanicButton to get you chased off by the local tin star. This means you can play the role and act the ignorant brute (or maybe it’s not an act) or you can work to elevate yourself. Stop fighting on the street corners, hanging at the local temp agency to snag some day-laborer work, or opting for a beatdown to get into the local gang. Instead, step up alongside your fellow orks to be the bigger metahuman, get together to demand a better wage, or look to those tusked brothers, your pack of orks, instead of the local gangers for a sense of meaning, home, and family.

Orks live a life that they know is going to be too short, but they fight to make it meaningful in the little time they have.

World Population: 22%

HOMO SAPIENS ROBUSTUS

RACE BODY AGI REA STR WIL LOG INT CHA EDGE ESS INIT
Ork 4/9 1/6 1/6 3/8 1/6 1/5 1/6 1/6 1/5 6 REA+INT
Racial Traits:Low-Light Vision

Orks have the highest birth rate but shortest natural lifespan of any metahuman race. Add an over-representative number of orks performing for physically taxing jobs and a cultural propensity for confrontation to this biological brevity and you’ll find a difficult window within which to make meaningful change or even to develop a lasting cultural identity of one’s own. For the bulk of the past fifty-five years, orks have been simply trying to exist in a world where they don’t have the time to develop a culture because they have to put so much effort into just living. Thus far they have a culture of carpe diem, or more accurately ad diem vivunt: live for the day.

As the second-most populous metatype on the planet (behind humans) with a growing youth population working alongside the recent discovery of Or’zet and rise in popularity of orxploitation music and films, an emerging culture for orks has strengthened and penetrated the mainstream. But it is not a culture that will make much of the world happy. The popular lyrics of orxploitation goddess Orxanne—”live fast, die young, best behind a smoking gun”—are not the counterculture rap one would expect, but instead the growing cultural norm for a metatype that is starting to find its stride and possibly turning some of its simmering discontent outward. It is most interesting to me when looking at this blossoming culture that its greatest proponents, the megacorporations behind orxploitation, are fueling the fires of revolution. While the great powers of the world will not be brought down by an uprising of enraged orks, they could risk losing a portion of their heavy labor force if said workers were to decide they wanted a nation.

Though this trend is building with the youth, there is still an interesting cultural trait that has been developed by the old and young alike, and that is the power of their women. From their youngest days orks are brought up in a mostly matriarchal household. The males are absent for a variety of reasons. One significant reason is that over half of all male orks are incarcerated at least once before their sixteenth birthday (justice systems tend to treat them in a harshly punitive fashion)), and three times more orks are in prison than attending college at any one time. The remaining orks are usually off working at some long-hour, heavy-labor job, leaving the females at home to ensure the kids are raised right (though “kept in line” is probably a better term). This behavior leads orks to have a remarkable amount of respect for females of all metatypes, especially ork women. Hassle a female ork in the presence of her male kin, whether they know her or not, and expect some serious ork muscle to be coming your way.

This leads me to another trend in ork culture: the pack mentality. Some have made the derogatory connection between the robustus tendency towards multiple births and that of dogs and litter births, but this similarity is truly more of a positive. Orks are rarely alone as they grow up and thus develop a strong pack mentality. Since more orks grow up on the street than in a corporate enclave or upper-crust neighborhood, they are wild and often in need of protection, and thus behave similarly to a wolf pack. They protect their own; “blood and kin outrank all, but tusks first” is a common credo of the orks. They’ll take up arms nine times out of ten in defense of others of their kind if they feel they’re being harassed or wronged for being an ork, and sometimes they don’t even need that deep of a justification. If an ork gets in a tussle and other orks are around, expect a mass melee.

This leads me to another big deal in ork culture: honor. Not like “never stab a guy in the back”-type of honor; it’s more like being able to take care of your kin, your kind, and yourself. Sometimes an ork will call off his fellows tusk-bearers in order to prove himself, and other orks’ honor this in most cases. Cheating on the part of a foe may get them a win over the ork who waved the others off, but after the fight, the ork friends of the victim will gang up and beat the cheater down for this new offense. Orkish life tends to be violent.

As for the counterculture of the orks, it has a blessedly simple goal these days: Fit in. While the growing culture of the younger generation is pushing away from the rest of society, the elder generation and countercultural youth seek to integrate into society at large. Whether it be the society of a corporation or a nation, or just an effort to integrate into the general human society, these orks work to improve the image of ork-kind. Many even go as far as cosmetic surgeries to look less orkish. This is extremely popular in the more traditional Japanacorps, where the surgeries are covered under the corporation’s health plan. Especially MCT’s, but especially Renraku’s. While mainstream orks deride these others as self-hating sell-outs, this blending in is often promoted with subtle messages put out by shows like Buddies and Welcome High, where ork characters with remarkably human features fill the role of “best bud” or “heart of the football team.” Horizon’s Age of Syn will be premiering with Dagger Taggit at the helm, fresh off his latest dental procedure to reduce the size of his tusks, playing Syn, a heavily cybered ork freed from the shackles of his violent culture to act as a cop during the Earth’s interstellar evacuation.

ORK UNDERGROUND, SEATTLE, UCAS

Though of recent political legitimacy and not only for orks, this entity is the orks’ newest triumph as they work to build their identity as more than brutes and laborers. But the truth is, they need to become more than that, and fast. Orks in the Underground are already losing this battle as the official name for the district is determined, and it’s leaning toward just The Underground, or Undercity, or even Deep Seattle. The word “ork” has been written out of every likely option. With the current direction of their societal aims, orks are not a political force of change, and thus are unlikely to change the current direction. Perhaps the best they can hope for is to be leading players in a revolution, and then all of the Emerald City can become Orkland. That sort of action is more natural for them than playing politics.

BLACK FOREST TROLL REPUBLIC (AGS)

Orks are not the dominant metatype here as the name implies, but they are a large, and rapidly growing, portion of the population. This growth, combined with the rise of ork culture and the long history of counterculture and anarchist movements within the AGS, means that the Black Forest Troll Republic could very well turn into the Black Forest Ork Republic if the orks get organized and political. Luckily for the trolls, those are not two of the orks’ strongest suits, but if outside forces want a change or even just a little civil unrest, the orks would be great internal antagonists.

KINGDOMS OF NIGERIA

Many of the tribes within this region, in particular the Yoruba and Igbo, have large ork populations, and the Igbo are led by an ork. Fighting in these regions is common (and has been for hundreds, if not thousands, of years) and though it may be a small part of the ork culture in the region, it is not the greater part. This is one area of the world in which the orks have developed a stronger culture based on older local traditions.

HOW ORKS FIT INTO SOCIETY

Orks fit into society in two very different ways: by groveling at its feet or by pushing others out of their way. These are two very different sides of the same coin, a coin that flips and leaves orks in one of two predicaments. For many orks resources are hard to come by, but physical labor is relatively easy. Since the work is easy for them, companies don’t see a reason to pay orks well for it. This, combined with their numbers and almost universal lack of white-collar employment, leaves a large labor pool that is forced to work cheaply.

On the other side of the coin you have the orks who live in the wilder edges of society where they can use their bulk and physical intensity to push others around. They find their way to the top of the heap by being the strongest. Some would expect trolls to take this spot, but a solitary troll (which is their preferred lifestyle) is no match for a pack of orks. Packs that, incidentally, are growing in size and number at an astonishing rate. Latest figures present the world population of orks currently at twenty-two percent, but projections show that number to reach and possibly to exceed thirty percent by 2080. Those growth numbers will make it easier for future generations of orks to push their way into the aspect of society where they may be required to grovel, but at least they stand less of a chance of having their faces bashed in.

Hobgoblin

RACE BODY AGI REA STR WIL LOG INT CHA EDGE ESS INIT
Hobgoblin 1/6 1/6 1/6 2/7 1/6 1/5 1/6 2/7 1/6 6 REA+INT
Racial Traits:Fangs, Low-Light Vision, Extravagant Eyes, Poor Self Control (Vindictive)

Physical Characteristics: The hobgoblin metavariant shares the low-light vision trait of the H. sapiens robustus line but very few other characteristics. They are shorter, less muscular, and possess a smaller frame than the standard robustus. Along with this lessened stature, hobgoblins possesses a green skin hue and a decrease in overall body hair. Instead of enlarged lower canines and a broad jaw, hobgoblins possesses a mouthful of sharp teeth and a narrow, tapered jaw. Hobgoblin eyes are completely black, with no distinction between pupil, cornea, or sclera. The metavariant also possesses minimal body hair compared to their primary species.

Mental Characteristics: Hobgoblins demonstrate base mental limitations similar to the standard robustus. They possess a quicker temper, which was once considered a cultural phenomenon but has been shown to be a variation in hormone levels. The hormonal variation can also explain their enhanced scoring on EQ tests, which leaves the, with an odd combination of empathy and simmering anger.

Cultural Characteristics: Honor, anger, and vengeance—hobgoblin culture is an amalgamation of Arabian Peninsula and Central Asian cultures blended with their own temperament. Hobgoblins’ natural fierceness, which matches their outward visage, has contributed to their lack of inclusion in the parent cultures of their native region, but this of course does not justify the racism and persecution they have faced. Hobgoblins have a deep sense of honor, and any slight against that honor must be answered, even slights by those who speak out against them based solely on their appearance. The resulting social exclusion has left hobgoblins on the fringes of society in ghettos primarily populated by their own kind. This exclusion has allowed the hobgoblin population to grow despite facing often violent opposition from anti-metahuman factions and hate groups in the region.

Latest World News: Hobgoblins all over western and central Asia have been showing support for an ork nation in the Mongolia region. The support has not only been verbal, but offers of mass migration have also been floating through the region’s news sources. No formal names or borders have been declared, though a nomadic nation has been suggested. This would be a strange political entity, but due to the openness and sparseness of populations throughout the region, it remains possible.

Ogre

RACE BODY AGI REA STR WIL LOG INT CHA EDGE ESS INIT
Ogre 4/9 1/6 1/5 3/8 2/7 1/5 1/6 1/4 1/6 6 REA+INT
Racial Traits:Low-Light Vision, Ogre Stomach

Physical Characteristics: The ogre metavariant possesses the standard low-light vision, muscular bulk, enlarged lower canines, and pointed aural helix of their primary subspecies. The variations on standard H. sapiens robustus come in a shorter stature, smoother skin, a protruding jaw, a wider mouth, and a stomach similar to the tin-can-eating goats of urban legend. The ogre metavariant stands at a height similar to standard H. sapiens, though the muscular robustness of the species is still present. Ogres seem even closer to their H. sapiens progenitors due the smoothness of their skin, a trait lacking in the standard robustus, whose skin is often thick and rough. The jawline and wider mouth of the ogre originally spawned urban legends of cannibalism; these rumors were proven false by the ‘40s but those raised during the era of its prevalence still feel the effects of this misconception. This urban legend was aided by the fact that ogres can digest almost anything they can swallow. The ability to digest anything leads to obesity, and even the most athletic ogres have a healthy paunch.

Mental Characteristics: Ogres fit the same spectrums of standard robustus in mental acuity and intellect. They fall behind in the areas of EQ when presented with personality tests but excel in tests of will.

  • Frequently in the janitorial staff, where they can eat their fill whenever they’d like.
    • Glasswalker

Cultural Characteristics: Ogres have had significant trouble integrating into both regular society and the culture of their primary subspecies. False rumors of their cannibalistic nature left them ostracized from all cultures, but the initial social effects still linger after the allegations were proven false. As ogres consist of approximately thirty percent of the European ork population, most ogres have taken this social exile in stride, finding themselves a home in the Black Forest Troll Republic or settling in within the Allied German States among their own kind. Those outside the AGS usually live in solitude; their variations in appearance cause them to stand out, and their lack of acceptance keeps them on the outskirts of society or in a megacorporation’s manual labor force.

Latest World News: With recent changes in government, ogres from the Black Forest Troll Republic have begun seeking a way to separate from the new republic. They have are looking to claim a separate portion of the AGS within the mountains. Spokespersons for both the AGS and the Black Forest Troll Republic have refused to comment, though rumors abound that the move may gain traction if the ogres can prove a cultural connection to the area. They’re seeking information from several dragons, hoping they might have memory of some bit of lost history that could help them gain their own lands.

Oni

RACE BODY AGI REA STR WIL LOG INT CHA EDGE ESS INIT
Oni 3/8 2/7 1/6 2/7 1/6 1/5 1/6 2/7 1/6 6 REA+INT
Racial Traits:Low-Light Vision, Striking Skin Pigmentation

Physical Characteristics: Oni share the same enhanced vision and muscular bulk of the basic robustus subspecies, but that is where the similarities end. This metavariant has variations in skin tone, eye structure, ear shape, and most notably, possesses horns similar to the ingentis metatype. While the base robustus metatype has skin tone ranges similar to that of the sapiens base type, oni skin tones occur in only three shades: bright red, blue, or orange—all vibrant shades and impossible to hide without a full face mask. Beyond that, oni possess protuberant eyes, a second difficult-to-hide facial feature. Adding to the oni’s massive physical variation are ears with a greatly extended aural helix, similar to that of the nobilis metatype. An oni’s horns always rise vertically from the temples instead of exhibiting the kind of variety in shape seen in ingentis.

Mental Characteristics: Oni seem to possess the same intellectual limitations as their primary species. This diminished intellect has been tested across both indigenous Japanese oni and those born outside Japan. While similar in intellectual level to the base metatype, oni possess, on average, a greater EQ and force of personality.

Cultural Characteristics: Oni are the dominant ork metavariant in Japan, and thus the dominant ork subtype on the island of Yomi while it was used as a place of exile for Japanese metahumans. Their very name is a reference to Japanese-folklore demons, which they resemble. Despite being subjected to segregation and racism, oni have managed to develop their own cultural identity. While exiled on Yomi, oni resurrected the culture of feudal Japan: they follow the code of bushido and band together as samurai, swearing themselves to lords on the island. Oni never serve as lords, instead swearing themselves to koborokuru, their dwarven Japanese counterparts. The samurai culture of the Yomi oni spread after the opening of the island, crossing over to oni who had not been sent to the island and those born to parents of Japanese ancestry around the world. Oni continue to rise from their initial demonization, even joining the ranks of Japan’s Imperial Household Guard

Latest World News: With increased acceptance of metahumans in the new Diet, oni are finding themselves in the public eye far more often. Several have taken positions as security for high-ranking government officials and wear classic samurai armor adjusted with modern technologies, complete with facemasks in order to conceal the wearer’s identity. This tradition has become a target of much discussion in Japan, as many see it as a way of shunning the oni behind tradition. Oni in these new positions regard the new tradition as a great honor.

Satyr

RACE BODY AGI REA STR WIL LOG INT CHA EDGE ESS INIT
Satyr 2/7 1/6 2/7 2/7 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/5 1/6 6 REA+INT
Racial Traits:Low-Light Vision, Satyr Legs

Physical Characteristics: Another robustus metavariant that varies greatly from the basic phenotypic characteristics, satyr maintain their low-light vision and some additional muscular bulk but vary in facial shape, leg structure, overall body mass, and the presence of horns. While satyr also seem to lack longevity similar to their primary subspecies, several cases approaching their sixtieth birthdays with no medical assistance were still spry. A satyr’s face is slightly elongated at the jaw, has a more slender nose, smaller lower canines, and a greater extension of the aural helix. Satyr horns are usually short and sweep back over the head, but a wide variety of variations have been documented. The greatest difference in structure between the base robustus and the satyr metavariant is their leg and foot structure. Satyrs, like the creature of legend, possess caprine leg and foot structure, complete with cloven hooves. This variation gives them an interesting gait while providing exceptional running speed and enhanced vertical and horizontal jumping capabilities.

Mental Characteristics: Satyrs lack the mental limitations of their primary subspecies. They also score exceptionally well in adaptive thinking tests and have an above average EQ. These qualities have led satyrs to become one of the more well-adjusted robustus metavariants. In most cases, they also tend to adapt better to society at large than their primary subspecies.

Cultural Characteristics: Satyrs do not possess a culture of their own but adapt well to the surrounding cultures. Originating in the Mediterranean region, satyrs have been one of the more expansive metavariants, spreading around the globe. They often play up the part of their fun-loving legend but do not limit their personality to this particular trait. While they tend to be likable and fun, they are also hard-working. Though the world at large casts them as free-spirited and artistic, they run the gamut of professions. Satyrs, by and large, are not attracted to other satyrs and often seek partners from the range of metahumanity. Thus, satyrs tend to bear multiple offspring, some of which express as the other parent’s metatype.

Latest World News: Assaults on satyrs in major sprawls are on the rise. This increase in attacks has been widespread and seems to be linked to Alamos 20k, though motives for the crimes (other than racism, of course) have not been identified. Warnings have spread through the satyr community, and high-profile satyrs often contract private security due to the threat.