Bringing back the pig faced orcs!




Written like someone who’s mind is already made up, and in complete contrary to the facts provided in the game.

The text of the game is clear, I provided direct quotes to you to illustrate their evolution conceptually within the game. There is nothing racist about orcs in any iteration of D&D, nor in their original source material for the game. You can see patterns where they don’t exist, but that is, as I said, purely within the reader’s mind.

Orcs are not, and have really never been in any “official” material for the game, so stupid and mindlessly aggressive that they kill each other over all kinds of stuff. That isn’t supported by the text, and is refuted in several places. They are not based in any way, shape, or form on “grotesque racist /colonial history”.

I’m sorry, it simply doesn’t exist in the material. You’re welcome to provide direct quotes for me to the contrary (and not in non-official material), but I doubt you will find them.



So who gets to decide what sources are “official” and what sources are out of bounds in this discussion? Is it just D&D books? Just D&D books and Tolkien? You keep falling back an appeal to the authority of a group you seem to be the curator of. Why not open it up to any popular influence of their depiction? I believe there’s a nuanced discussion to be had, but find the idea that the amount of colonial baggage built into the D&D “evil races” to be 0% to be about as credible as the idea that racism in America is dead because a black man was elected President.



You’re arguing in bad faith again. The original comment said, “What bothers me with most orc depictions is not the look but that the orcs supposedly have advanced metallurgy, can build huge war machines, but still they are so stupid and mindlessly aggressive that they kill each other over all kinds of stuff, etc.”

The only place that version of the orc exists in tabletop RPGs is D&D and some of it’s derivatives (and, of course, elsewhere in the homebrew sphere). As such, the “official sources” are the ones literally published by the makers of D&D. That version of the orc doesn’t exist in the Warcraft universe, nor is the Warcraft universe and official, original setting for the D&D game in any edition (despite one such setting being created).

The official sources are the material written by authors at the company that owns D&D (TSR, WOTC, take your pick depending on the era). If you want to open it up to any other written material in the history of literature, I’m sure you can find something to fit your narrative. You keep falling back on trying to dismantle my argument by claiming I’m appealing to authority. Unfortunately Merl, when referring to a primary source, not just an expert, it is not an appeal to authority. If John wrote a book, he is the ultimate authority on his book, and referring to what he actually wrote in direct quotes, as evidence for what is actually written in the book, is not an appeal to authority. It’s called citation.

There is zero colonial baggage in the official D&D material Merl. It doesn’t exist. Please provide direct quotations from the actual text of the books we’re talking about, and I’ll consider your point further.

If you won’t provide those, I return to my original argument. “Any association with orcs and the victims of history is purely within the readers’ minds.” With that, I’m done. Orcs aren’t racist, and they aren’t officially depicted, as an entry in the game material, in the fashion described by the above commenter.



Scroll up; I did’t say that. If you’re going to start your post by misquoting me, then I think this tangent has dominated the conversation long enough. If you believe that you have something important to teach me, then please DM me, but I don’t think it serves anyone to continue making this space the public forum of our intellectual disagreement.


What I find disturbing is how in some fantasy anime, humans eat orcs.

I was going to post an image, but the forum software is telling me I’m not allowed to post images?


This is absolute nonsense. Of course the offical D&D materials are absolutely laden with colonial baggage. If you can’t see it, man, that’s on you.

The entire fantasy genre going all the way back to Tolkien is completely awash in racism.


@The_Merlitron, please read the comment you replied to when you made your initial claim. I think you’ll find that comment, and the text I put in quotations, strikingly similar.

@gcvsa, this topic has been talked to death on numerous forums. The fact of the matter is, if we’re talking about official D&D material and Tolkien as an ancestral source, your claim is simply incorrect. If you really believe otherwise, I await citations from Tolkien’s work and official D&D material. Please provide direct quotes, pages numbers, and sources.

And remember – we’re talking about orcs.

If neither of you are willing to provide those things, then I suggest we just let the topic end.



You seem to think this is some sort of debate. it’s not. The historical record is abundantly clear, and not a matter of dispute. If you choose not to acknowledge this, that’s your business, but I am not about to sit by idly and let stand claims that racism in this genre simply doesn’t exist.