Hatred and the Axe
The Era of Hatred
The world is filled with monsters and ruins, crumbling ducal seats, fallen elven citadels and dwarven holds as silent as tombs. Only the orcs remain, their factions eating one another now that none are left to divert their attention. They work their blood magic, fight to the death over insults, tame giant spider and great wolf mounts, trick trolls while cults try to resurrect their Dark Lord that forged their Hatred. They defile ancient elf ruins when they can or search for remnants of a mythological ancient orc empire that some say spanned the world in its golden age.
What’s the Big Picture? What’s going on in this setting that makes it ripe for adventure. What’s changing, evolving, declining?
The orcs have been left to the continent along with the other creatures humans, elves and dwarves hunted as monsters.
What’s the world’s culture? What are the cultural analogs? Analogs can be taken from historical earth, current events or fantasy works.
Tolkien-inspired orcs whose culture is full of hate, worshipping a demon-god of blood and fire
What’s the conflict in which the characters are involved? What are the sides? What’s wrong?
A horde is gathering and the local powers are vying for control, all eager to go out and loot the ruins left behind.
What physical place does this conflict take place in? What ecology, environment, place?
The orcs’ mountains are barren and ruined, a cruel patch of land that no other could survive on but it is where they were forced to live for centuries.
What’s the name of the most important place in this setting? Not the capital or any dumb shit like that, but THE PLACE where all the action goes down?
The highest peaks in the mountain range are called Blood and Fire. Fire is a dormant volcano and Blood is a sacrificial altar above the clouds. Shit, I just described the dumb shit, didn’t I? The mountains are brutal, cold and without pity.
What’s the name of a faraway place that folks talk about, dream about or mutter under their breath about?
The western port from which the elves left these lands for their paradise beyond the sunset, now filled with elven traps and riches left behind.
Who are the antagonists? Who is opposing the goals of the characters?
The ruins are infested with monsters and the orcs are often their own worst enemies, when their hatred boils up out into the world.
Imagine all of the characters are standing a room/ruin/field with the antagonists or their minions. What do the antagonists want from that meeting? What do the characters want from that meeting?
The orcs want dominion over one another, dominance. The monsters all have complicated lines of power and ancient struggles that date back to the age of elves, humans and dwarves. The monsters want a place to call their own.
Alternately, imagine the characters standing at the scene of some great disaster or calamity clearly caused by one of the antagonists. What’s the disaster? How did it happen? What are the characters going to do about it right now?
Trolls are enslaving chattel for their Warlord as the horde is split and no clear power has united them. Whatchoo gonna do, motherfucker!
What type of magic exists in this world?
Blood magic and whatever broken shit the humans, dwarves and elves left behind.
Maybe the more intelligent monsters are crafting?
What character stocks are in play in this world? Which are restricted and why?
Orc and Monster Burner shit only and only the orc-related stuff. Non-orc characters will be openly mocked.
What cultural traits apply to the characters of this game world? Pick three character traits for each culture.
The orc stuff…
What’s your Resources cycle? 1 month, seasonal, 6 months, annual? What’s the game world’s currency? Who collects the taxes? What do people do for work? What’s the major economy?
Annual, shall we say? The orcs deal with a complicated system of threats and barter, scratching each other’s backs with claws and violence.
Material world: What weapons and armor are available? Are some weapons and armor restricted to certain cultures or character stocks? What property is available? Are resources and gear otherwise restricted?
The crude cleavers the orc makers beat into shape and the bits of beauty and art in the ruins, guarded by vicious monsters – artifacts with unknown arcane powers and history.