Resource Title:   ORC WEAPONS
Date Added:
Terry Zimmerman
Word Document of Orc Weapons
June 7, 2003   
Weapons created and used by orcs..

The content below is an article written by Terry Zimmerman. This article presents gaming information for a "d20 format" orc character class. All information contained within is protected by international and Canadian copyright laws.


The manufacture of weapons is a timely and strenuous process. It takes a lot of training and patience for a smith to craft a good blade. For this reason it is almost unheard of for an orc to be a weaponsmith. Orcs do not possess the traits it requires to even make a horseshoe, let alone an average weapon. Besides, learning how to make a weapon takes away from the time needed for killing things.

Orcs' primary source of weapons is from looting dead foes, and from the weapons made by captured slaves. Captured blacksmith slaves are rare. Many orcs just think any human or dwarf slave, if given the right encouragement, can make weapons. Those who fail, die.

Sure it would be easier to just capture blacksmiths when they raid towns and villages, but orcs are also known for not being the brightest at times. When raiding settlements, the orcs' mindset is solely on killing. It requires too much brain power for them to stay their blade for a moment to determine if their foe is a smith or not. When the orcs see a building with a forge and stocked full of weapons, they are usually more intent on looting the weapons than to realize that the man with the small hammer, standing in front of a forge is a blacksmith and should be captured. In their minds the man is protecting the weapons and/or poses an immediate threat and must be slain.

Orcs rarely capture slaves, however when they do it is for the sole purpose of either doing work they don't want to do, or don't know how to do. Captured blacksmith slaves are usually given preferential treatment above all slaves, as the weapons they make help them kill things. Killing things is good!

Orcs are certainly not masters of weapon design, but they know that they like big heavy weapons. Big heavy weapons with blades cut deep and maim their targets. Big heavy bladed weapons are good!

Though most smiths often try to explain to the orcs about some of the fallibilities of the weapons they want made, the orcs don't care (in truth they really just don't understand). Big and heavy is good - that's about all they understand. As the blacksmiths care little for the weapons they make, it is very rare that any are made to masterwork quality. Most orc weapons do a maximum damage of 1d6. It is surmised that the creation of the orc butcher blade came from an orc asking a slave, "me want long blade that chops like axe".

Although it is rumored that orcs like to use a weapon called an Orc Double Axe, most orcs simply just split the weapon in half and fight with the two axes it produces. The skill and study required to use the orc double axe, far exceeds that which any orc could muster.

Through time orcs have learnt what works and what doesn't. Listed below are weapons that the orcs have learnt work quite good in combat. For any non-orc, or character not raised by orcs, exotic weapon feat is needed to use these weapons.

Orc Butcher Blade

This is a somewhat crudely made, heavy sword. This weapon is typically 4 1/2 feet in length with a total blade length of 4 feet. Only one side of the thick blade is edged. The weapon is poorly balanced and very heavy requiring two hands to wield it. The blade is swung more in a chopping motion and is very effective at penetrating heavy armor. The weapon is capable of delivering a powerful blow when used two handed.

Size: Medium
Cost: Free - just have to pry it from a dead orc's hands first. Someone trained to use such a weapon would be willing to pay 100 gp.
Damage: 1d10
Critical: 20 x3
Weight: 25 lb.
Type: Slashing

Special Attack: One Handed Attack.

Special Attack Qualities:

A strength ability score of 15 or greater is needed to use the weapon in one hand for any medium or large sized creature.

Damage: 1d8
Critical: 19-20 x2

Special Attack Prerequisites:

  • Strength 15
  • +4 base attack bonus
  • Weapon focus feat: orc butcher blade

Orc Gasher

This crudely made axe is very top heavy. The blade of the axe is very long and measures slightly over 2' in length which is roughly one third of the total length of the weapon. The shaft of the weapon is usually wood and measures 6' in length. The axe depth (from blade to shaft) varies from 12 to 18 inches. Because of the significant weight of the axe head, this weapon must be used two-handed.

A strength of 15 or more is needed to wield this weapon effectively. If the wielder does not have a 15 strength, then they suffer a -2 penalty to their attack rolls.

Size: Large
Cost: Free - similar to a butcher blade, you just have to pry it from a dead orc's hands first. Someone trained to use such a weapon would be willing to pay 150 gp.
Damage: 2d6
Critical: 18-20 x2
Weight: 35 lb.
Type: Slashing

When the wielder successfully hits with a critical hit, he must make a strength check versus a 15 to pull the axe free or else a full round action will be needed to automatically free the axe. Modifiers to this check includes the character's strength modifier, and a penalty modifier of -1 per 5 points of total damage delivered in the critical blow.

Special Attack: Gashing Blow.

Special Attack Qualities: This weapon was made for one thing, and one thing only -- to deliver a devastatingly, deep gash into its target. When used solely for this purpose the attacker considerably throws himself off balance to purposely attempt to maim his target. On a successful hit, the wielder must make a strength check to remove the weapon, similar to the weapon's critical hit effect as previously described.

A gashing blow attempt requires a full round action to deliver. The wielder also suffers a -2 penalty to his armor class until his next action round.

Damage: 3d6
Critical: 18-20 x3

Special Attack Prerequisites:

  • +4 base attack bonus
  • Weapon focus feat: orc gasher
  • Power attack feat

Orc Waraxe

This crudely made axe is the traditional weapon of the core orc troops. It is easy to use and has great damage potential. The waraxe is similar to a large-sized hand axe. There is no counter weight on the opposite side of the axe blade as is common on battleaxes. Waraxes can also be thrown fairly effectively, though to do so requires the use of two hands.

Size: Medium
Cost: As is normal with orc weapons it can be free, otherwise an experienced orc waraxe wielder would be willing to pay 30 gp.
Damage: 1d8
Critical: 19-20 x3
Weight: 7lb.
Type: Slashing

Special Attack: Throw Waraxe.

With this ability the wielder can gain one of two benefits when ever they choose to throw the axe. Either the wielder can effectively throw the axe with one hand, or if thrown with two hands at a foe within 20' he can apply his strength modifier to hit (if greater), rather than his dexterity modifier. When the weapon is thrown with two hands, the wielder also gets to add 1 and times his normal strength bonus to the damage caused.

Special Attack Prerequisites:

  • +2 base attack bonus
  • Weapon focus feat: orc waraxe

This document titled "Orc Weapons" was produced in accordance with the d20 licensing agreement.

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