good orcs ?

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Zap-Zarap
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good orcs ?

Post by Zap-Zarap » August 22nd, 2015, 2:29 pm

hi.
sometimes i wonder, if there are any books or movies, where the orcs are the good ones. do you know one ?
a possible plot could be about orcs, that decided not to eat little babies anymore, but live normal and peaceful lifes like the humans, and then they suffer from discrimination by the people..
thx
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Ravana » August 22nd, 2015, 3:13 pm

Cant recall about orcs, but the link in my signature has something like that for dark elves.

This is also why I make Tharis stronger whenever possible

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Zap-Zarap » August 22nd, 2015, 3:53 pm

Thanks for the quick answer. I'll have a look at that. :D
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Zap-Zarap » August 22nd, 2015, 4:34 pm

Hmmm... now my mind starts wandering....

I'm not sure if this should go to the "ideas"-section. I'll leave it here, 'cos the following is really only a very vague idea, it's completely hipothetical, and not meant to end up as something real (e.g. i'm not really planning to code a campaign).
It's just free-floating, just for fun brainstorming... feel free to move it wherever you like, dear moderators...

So, if the plot mencioned above would be for a BfW campaign, how could the concept of "being good" be implemented ?
I mean, the most easy thing would be just writing it in the storyline ("Some orcs once decided to be good and change their lifes, but they were constantly attacked by loyalitst, who had prejudices and didn't believe them...."), then have the usual fightings... but that would be just too easy.

Maybe it could be done in a way, where, if the humans attack, the orcs are supposed to defend, but without killing one single human, only reduce the HP of each unit to a certain level ...

Any ideas ?
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Ravana » August 22nd, 2015, 4:59 pm

Being good doesnt need to mean being stupid, just because they dont seek war doesnt mean they wouldnt defend themselves.

I guess it could be some economy(or map) building/preparation followed by fighting scenario.

However most importantly, when orcs are good, then Some orcs once decided to be good has no place, it implies that there was time when they werent good.

Though the whole word good is somewhat unclear.

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by pe_em » August 22nd, 2015, 5:01 pm

Zap-Zarap wrote:hi.
sometimes i wonder, if there are any books or movies, where the orcs are the good ones. do you know one ?
a possible plot could be about orcs, that decided not to eat little babies anymore, but live normal and peaceful lifes like the humans, and then they suffer from discrimination by the people..
thx
There is a campaign "Grnk the Mighty" about a such goblin.http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=34970

PS. Ninja Ravana...

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Zap-Zarap » August 22nd, 2015, 5:10 pm

Cool. I love philosophical discussions... :D
Ravana wrote: it implies that there was time when they werent good.
True.
But this whole thing started as an in-game chat with someone, that stated that "Orcs are bad by nature/definition/whatever".
So now what ?!?
Ravana wrote:Though the whole word good is somewhat unclear.
Also true.
But think of it in the usual black-and -white mainstream movie perspective, Tolkien, Starwars, Hollywood, know what i mean ?

@ pe_em : Thanks for the hint. The campaign is still availible for 1.12. I'll play it one of these days.
Funny, that the thread you linked exactly starts with a) more or less literally what i wrote above and b) includes the "black-and-white"-issue.
I didn't know that such campaign exists (i know only the mainline ones).
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by GunChleoc » August 31st, 2015, 9:30 pm

This book is written from the viewpoint of the orcs: http://www.knibbworld.com/nicholls17/orcs.html

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Midnight_Carnival » September 4th, 2015, 9:46 am

There are several in which Orcs were the anti-heros
One I remember fondly was Grunts but - I think Mary Gentle or somebody.

I personally don't like all these efforts to make Orcs into the "noble savage" types. I prefer unhygienic, uncivilized, ignoble dirty badass Orcs who break into people's houses just so they can leave an "upper-decker" then break the toilet bowl.

I mean I'm all for understanding, etc, but it's more fun to use the "he did it 'coz he's an Orc" explanation.
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Dugi » September 5th, 2015, 12:57 pm

I have written a campaign with a part where you controlled orcs. They were not shown as noble savages or downtrodden masses, they were struggling against a greater evil that was killing everyone. Humans have followed the principle United We Fall and were long defeated and the remains were worshipping the invaders. So the orcs were just fighting for survival. They managed to free a certain area by stopping a human kingdom from worshipping them (invading their obscure temples), but were not strong enough to destroy all the invaders hiding in its foul depths.

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Zap-Zarap » September 13th, 2015, 9:15 pm

Very interesting, everything, thank you all for discussing this issue...

off-off-topic at DUGI: by the way, Dugi, in another off-topic thread (the one about "science as magic"), you posted a link to "RationalWiki", which i opened when reading that post... before that i didn't even know that such Wiki existed, but since i discovered it, thanks to your link, i'm having really lots of fun reading there. Thank you so much.
Somehow you changed my life.
^_^
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Dugi » September 14th, 2015, 1:34 pm

Zap-Zarap wrote:off-off-topic at DUGI: by the way, Dugi, in another off-topic thread (the one about "science as magic"), you posted a link to "RationalWiki", which i opened when reading that post... before that i didn't even know that such Wiki existed, but since i discovered it, thanks to your link, i'm having really lots of fun reading there. Thank you so much.
Somehow you changed my life.
Always glad to have helped :)

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Crushmaster » September 26th, 2015, 4:12 am

You raise a valid point that certainly needs to be explored. I'm a writer, and I used to do goblins and other creatures (such as trolls) as "generically evil beasties" in my fantasy ideas. However, I came to the realization that this concept is logically indefensible (I'm a Christian so it contradicts Christian theology), as, while there is an element of evil within all, all also make their own choices. I would like to perhaps explore this in the future in Wesnoth via having orcs and trolls be allies rather than enemies.

While the concept of a race that is predominantly evil is certainly possible due to a vile culture, the way they're often presented implies it as inherent due to the nonexistence of good orcs (or what have you).
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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Telchin » September 26th, 2015, 10:22 am

I agree with most people in this thread that having orcs as always evil is indefensible and that there is room for improvement in their portrayal in mainline campaigns. Wesnoth already tries to have non-evil orc in some places (e.g. second scenario of the Hammer of Thursagan), but not only most of them are evil, even the designated orcish campaign (SotBE) has you fighting evil orcs anyway (Shan Taum the Smug). That doesn't happen often with the "designated good guys" races (e.g. all elves and dwarves you meet in HttT are friendly), though once again it depends from campaign to campaign (e.g. the evil masked dwarves in THoT).
Interestingly, I found that my opinion on the idea of fantasy (or sci-fi) "species" (used loosely as speculatiove fiction often doesn't follow real biology) being always evil (or always good) depends on their reproduction. If they are fully created by some outside force (e.g. skeletons, golems, robots, etc.) or if they are former members of different species that joined willingly (e.g. dark sorcerers committing rituals to become liches), I'm OK with them sharing same attitude (i.e. the attitude of the person who created them or whom they joined). That said I'm not opposed of seeing exemption to this rule, I just don't demand it.
On the other hand, if the species reproduces naturally (as is the case with Wesnoth orcs) I find it repusive to be declared "always [insert aligment]". Maybe their culture might encourage particular behavior, but even there there are questions of 1)are all members of this species part of the same culture (Just look at the number of human cultures in real life. Why must all elves be tree-huggers or all orcs salvers?) 2) what about orcish (trollish, goblin, etc.) babies? If you raise them in huma (elvish, dwarvish, etc.) culture could they become decebnt people. You only have to look at certain real world history (2nd World War being the most infamous) to see where the idea of some people being "better" or "worse" due to their family background leads.
Of course, the real reason for the existence of the "always evil" stereotype isn't that the authors would adhere to Nazi beliefs, but to provide simple reason for the protagonists to fight the bad guys without asking each orc about his personal moral code. Wesnoth is a blatant example as combat isn't just the default, but also usually the only way of resolving disputes (unlike, say, Civilization series which also allows diplomatic victory). You can see that when elves or dwarves appear as enemies, there is usually story explanation, but when you fight "designated bad guys" it's often like "the protagonist was walking down th road and there were orcs on the road. Kill those orcs!"

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Re: good orcs ?

Post by Crushmaster » September 29th, 2015, 10:32 am

Great post, Telchin. I think the problem we're discussing is a sign of lazy writing, which you pointed out well. At times, universal evil makes sense (a necromancer controlling lifeless skeletons, for instance), but it, and all in story telling, must be done logically, and not "just because."
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