What the hell am I doing a re-invention, palette-swap thing for? I am not sure really. I want a bit more from fluff than I feel I am getting from the stuff I am reading. Whatever it is that fills the role of killable entity roughly equivalent to a first-level fighter in power, the D&D orc is way too generic to be that for me in the context of the setting for which I am writing these coagulated word-clots. 'Twould be jarring to use the greenskins (which I have always fucking hated) or the buckle-punk muppets of post 3e imagery. What I like are Angus McBride's and John Howe's and Alan Lee's depictions which generally adhere to the spirit of the text (and little else).
|John Howe: These are the quintessential orcs in my mind. Especially old matey with the morning star and blunt-toothed sneer|
|Alan Lee is brilliant|
|McBride: somewhat goofy|
|In thrall to inhuman forces of destruction|
|But they don't really turn up in story as corporeal entities (outside of hell)|
|Real Hob-grues have less awesome hair|
|That Hallebarde-Fork is based on a real thing|
V- Gongs are squat and prognathous man-things with tarry hides and blazing eyes, they stink of blood and smoke. Less in height that a man but broad and stooping, they come clad in battle-harness of copper and brass and bronze wrought like fishes mail. They are utterly degraded. All they love is cruelty.
Following Scavengers 1d6
1. Reeking Foulmarts (3d6)
2. Rabid Swine (1d3)
3. Wildcats (1d20)
4. Wayward Lurchers (1d12)
5. Gore-Crows (2d10)
6. Hagfish-Bats (3d10)
One of the major ongoing debates in biological taxonomy is between the lumpers who tend to group together various similar specimens under the same taxonomic designation and the splitters who tend to create new taxa based upon minor differences. Teratologically speaking, I am a lumper. I think there is a self-indulgent proliferation of practically indistinguishable stat-blocks cluttering up rulebooks everywhere. Surely room could be made for more self-indulgent fluff.
Edit: Gongs come from very early Tolkien, they get no description saving vague reference to them being like orcs. I think they are mentioned three times in the Books of Lost Tales. Should I publish* they'll have to become Gnogs or Boakie-Men or Oafish Gloones.