04 May 2010

Temple of the Plague Orcs

My first ever module, the Temple of the Plague Orcs is nearing completion. I've got a the main idea down, stats for the plague orcs, writeups for most of the rooms, and ideas of how and where everything goes. It's coming along swimmingly, actually. I'm kind of surprised. So surprised, in fact, that there's surprisingly little to say.

Temple of the Plague Orcs is set in the ruins of an old castle fortress and it has all of the sorts of rooms one would expect from a fortress- it's got a kitchen and an eating hall, for example. But time hasn't been so kind to it, and it's been abandoned, possibly the results of a successful barbarian invasion that was pushed back, but the castle was still abandoned due to the poor location and the cost of repairing a castle that nobody really needed. So naturally, as is the way in most fantasy kingdoms, it attracted squatters.

Orcs and their ilk are always pushed out of the better places in life, so they make do in between their bigger, nastier cousins when they can. They tend to band together and have some unsavory practices, like cannibalism and pillaging that make even their usual oppressors, like evil wizards and ogre cheiftans, tend to think twice about hiring them. It's the sort of thing that makes bad behavior the norm among the orcs.

Which is what makes the Plague Orcs stand out so much. See, they're not just orcs that are really dirty. They're not even orcs that have a high incidence of rabies. The Plague Orcs are worshippers of a Demon God of Plague. They're slowly being transformed by the attention of their "god" into something less than orc, something like a hideous combination of zombie and green-skin. What's worse is that due to their location, they are in a unique position to weaken a nearby town via their water supply. This is Bad News, with capital letters, for the townsfolk, as the Plague Orcs are not only passively polluting the river with their presence, but they're actively throwing the remnants of their meals, the remains of their victims, and any other unsavory things they have lying around into the river. 

Clearly, the Plague Orcs are bad news, even for orcs. And this, of course, is where the heroes come in.


  1. So... they're sort of Nurgle orcs? Cool.

    If I might make a suggestion, include some details about the disease(s) that PCs might catch. (If you haven't already, that is.) It's always more fun with symptoms, etc. If you are using OSR game rules like LL, check out the disease rules in Mutant Future.

  2. I'm glad you caught the reference. I remain heavily inspired by a lot of things from Warhammer, but especially the idea of demon gods "blessing" their followers with mutations.

    I didn't even think about using the disease rules from Mutant Future, to be entirely honest. Now that I've read them over again, that's certainly a good guideline for the more mechanical aspect of them. I've got a few "suggested" diseases but I'd been wondering the best way to do them mechanically. Thanks for the idea!

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