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Do we really need goblins and orcs? I don't remember any in BG1 and BG2. 

 

Irenicus dungeon is filled with goblins


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^ This.

That PoE has elves,dwarves,D&D classes and Forgotten Realms-like setting are the worst parts of the Project already. Adding the rest of the baggage won't help.

 

Take these "worst parts of the Project" away and what does it leave you? Humans? Oceans and meadows? That's a cliche rip-off too.

 

Just go and play Tides of Numenera instead if you're not into classic fantasy, geez. (why did you back the game in the first place?)

Edited by Messier-31
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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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^ This.

That PoE has elves,dwarves,D&D classes and Forgotten Realms-like setting are the worst parts of the Project already. Adding the rest of the baggage won't help.

 

Take these "worst parts of the Project" away and what does it leave you? Humans? Oceans and meadows? That's a cliche rip-off too.

 

Just go and play Tides of Numenera instead if you're not into classic fantasy, geez. (why did you back the game in the first place?)

 

Obsidian: "Hey, guys we want to make a game like the old IE games, such as BG and IWD!"

 

*4 Million Backer Dollars Later*

 

Backers: "Ugh, why is it like Forgotten Realms!? I hate that stuff!"

Edited by drake heath
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Any semblance of creativity or respectability. Discussion over. Full stop.

 

Orcs, goblins and halflings can stay in their putrid, stagnant little plot in Tolkien-ripoff history. Obsidian can do better and they are doing better.

 

 

I might agree with this were elves and dwarves not present in the setting. The fact that they are renders the point absurd.

 

Taking a stand against Tolkien would be well and good, but including elves as an obligatory part of high fantasy robs that stand of any credibility. Do you think elves rob the setting of any creativity or respectability? If the answer is "no", then you are excercising an entirely arbitrary judgment of what is good Tolkien and what is bad Tolkien. Which is fine, but entirely subjective. Claiming an objective disparity between the "credibility" of elves and that of orcs is ridiculous.

 

 

Orcs and Goblins are two great examples of elements that virtually always encourage lazy, derivative and just plain bad writing.  Obsidian is putting together a world where culture(and the budding nationalism appropriate to the renaissance era) are the defining features of people much more so than simply race.  If they brought in Orcs(which I don't believe they ever will) they'd just be the same old Mongol/Hun/Tartar knockoffs they always are. People you can immediately identify as the "bad guys" and slaughter without the slightest thought or intellectual excercise and who don't require any investment in building their culture, language or way of life before the player gets to hack away at them.

 

They've already managed to avoid silliness like having their nativist elves live in treehouses or in nomadic clans, and their dwarves pull on a much more interesting angle as explorers, seafarers and fronteirsmen(which itself is informed by the real history of Vikings as intelligent explorers and traders and not just axe-wielding berserk raiders) rather than the incredibly well-trodden, boring "mountain dwelling smiths with Scottish accents and Babylonian arcitecture" .

 

They're got a good thing going.

Edited by Panteleimon

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Do we really need goblins and orcs? I don't remember any in BG1 and BG2. 

 

Irenicus dungeon is filled with goblins

 

Weren't those kobolds? 

 

OK, I don't remember any goblins and orcs in BG1 and I didn't miss them.

Edited by archangel979

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Take these "worst parts of the Project" away and what does it leave you? Humans? Oceans and meadows? That's a cliche rip-off too.

 

Take away these parts and replace them with somehting else obviously, not just remove them. And i would love a game without humans as well.

 

 

Just go and play Tides of Numenera instead if you're not into classic fantasy, geez. (why did you back the game in the first place?)

I love fantasy, just the traditional parts of it are way overused and never were interesting in the first place. Even fantasy literature has moved away from that crap, but video games are still trying to copy Tolkien/D&D.

 

As for why backed this project, because BG2/PS:T are my favorite games to date, and i trust Obsidian to deliver more than i trust inXile. Plus Ziets described PoE setting as closer to Malazan than Tolkien, so that's a plus. That doesn't mean that there aren't things in the project that i wouldn't prefer being done a different way.

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I hope it is something like Malazan. That setting rules, even if the last volumes of the Book of the Fallen got a bit boring due to epic overload.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I hope it is something like Malazan. That setting rules, even if the last volumes of the Book of the Fallen got a bit boring due to epic word overload.

Fixed. Erikson rules, but he needs a tighter editor.

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Orcs and Goblins are two great examples of elements that virtually always encourage lazy, derivative and just plain bad writing.

 

This is equally true - I would argue more true - of elves and dwarves. But Obsidian is including those, and we trust them to do a good job.

 

There rest of your post doesn't make sense to me. You seem to praise Obsidian for doing new, creative things with the races they've chosen to include, but assume that if Obsidian were to include orcs they would not be able to do similar creative things. There's nothing inherent to orcs and goblins that would suddenly make Obsidian incapable of creativity. You're arguing from a double standard.

Edited by Sarog
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Do we really need goblins and orcs? I don't remember any in BG1 and BG2. 

 

Irenicus dungeon is filled with goblins

 

Weren't those kobolds? 

 

OK, I don't remember any goblins and orcs in BG1 and I didn't miss them.

 

 

Most are goblins


I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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There's a lot of orcs and goblins in Baldur's Gate.  There's a metric ****ton of Hobgoblin bandits in BG I; the first inn you get to has a ton waiting outside.  They're a general filler trashmob in the area between Beregost and Baldur's Gate.  In BG II, Firekraag's dungeon is full of orcs.  Irenicus has goblin slaves and goblin workshops.

 

 

 

Orcs and Goblins are two great examples of elements that virtually always encourage lazy, derivative and just plain bad writing.

 

This is equally true - I would argue more true - of elves and dwarves. But Obsidian is including those, and we trust them to do a good job.

 

There rest of your post doesn't make sense to me. You seem to praise Obsidian for doing new, creative things with the races they've chosen to include, but assume that if Obsidian were to include orcs they would not be able to do similar creative things. There's nothing inherent to orcs and goblins that would suddenly make Obsidian incapable of creativity. You're arguing from a double standard.

 

 

On the other hand, you say that Obsidian seems to have done well with their creative decisions, but proceed to second guess their creative decision to not include orcs.  

Anyways, Orcs carry a lot more baggage than elves; elves have been written as xenophobic and decadent with fair regularity, although not as often as they are written as perfect and flawless.  Orcs are almost always pure evil invaders.  They're so boring that even Dragonlance stopped relying on them so heavily, switching to Minotaurs instead.  The only time they were written well was Arcanum, and that was because it was a criticism of the racist undertones of Orcs.

Edited by anameforobsidian

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On the other hand, you say that Obsidian seems to have done well with their creative decisions, but proceed to second guess their creative decision to not include orcs.  

Anyways, Orcs carry a lot more baggage than elves; elves have been written as xenophobic and decadent with fair regularity, although not as often as they are written as perfect and flawless.  Orcs are almost always pure evil invaders.  They're so boring that even Dragonlance stopped relying on them so heavily, switching to Minotaurs instead.  The only time they were written well was Arcanum, and that was because it was a criticism of the racist undertones of Orcs.

 

I'm contributing to a forum thread where we're tossing around ideas. Liking Obsidian's world building doesn't preclude me from constructive discussion. It isn't even like I'm criticizing Obsidian for not including orcs. Hardly the double standard which you see in my other respondent, who praises what Obsidian has done so far but nevertheless claims that if Obsidian included orcs they would just be "knockoffs".

 

I'd disagree with orcs having baggage. In most settings, their civilization and culture is paper thin. That's not baggage, that's freedom from it.

 

Anything you can imagine with elves has already been done. Every new twist, every flavour of subvert-your-genre-expectations, it has already been done by someone. And if you deviate from Tolkien, you find yourself in Bioware's boat where you get complaint after complaint about your elves being too different. That's baggage. That's a weight of genre-expectation that you see in franchise after franchise with clockwork predictability.

 

To be honest, your own post contains the seeds of its rebuttal. "Orcs are almost always pure evil invaders." "They only time they were well written was Arcanum". Do you see that as reasons not to go near them? Because I see those as reasons to do something new that outclasses other franchises - provided your setting is already using standard high-fantasy races, which this one is. What if Obsidian gave us a solitary example of where those statements aren't true?

 

Imagine Obsidian included orcs in their next game in this setting. Imagine they defied your genre expectations; giving orcs an intelligently written culture that does not paint them as evil invaders, but rather takes an entirely new approach following the same quality of world building that Obsdian has displayed so far? Wouldn't that be at least as worth while as another incarnation of celtic elves?

 

So many of the posts in this thread are discussing orcs as we have always seen them. I seem to be the only person talking about what orcs could be if Obsidian reimagined them in future games, which I think is the more interesting subject.

Edited by Sarog
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 I'd be favour of including orcs if they were intelligently done. I've no expectation that they be added to Eora, but you never know. The setting hopefully has a long future ahead of it, which means a lot of room to grow.

 

Elves and dwarves have been pretty well developed in fantasy. Just about every blend of fantasy has three or four varieties of elf, and possibly multiple varities of dwarf. That element of Tolien's legacy has been thoroughly tapped. Orcs haven't. In most settings, particularly D&D settings, they are just a monstruous race with a poorly-conceptualized barbaric culture. If you're already accepting Tolkien's legacy into your work - which Obsidian has done with elves and dwarves - you have the opportunity to do something new with a traditional high fantasy race that is left underdeveloped by most franchises.

 

Warcraft of course puts a fair amount of emphasis on them, but while Warcraft may have had some good ideas it is pretty terribly written and could easily be outclassed. Elder Scrolls also does an interesting take and makes orcs playable and gives them a culture that is significantly different from the stereotype, though it is a fairly under developed part of the franchise lore.

 

Obsidian is putting its own spin on elves and dwarves. And what I appreciate about Josh's world building is the emphasis he puts on history. If Obsidian were to decide to include orcs in the setting at a later date, I'd be excited to see what Obsidian would do with them. Orcs in fantasy have yet to receive an intelligent, well-considered civilization and an interesting, serious history. Warcraft is too childish and dudebro, and Elder Scrolls comes close but does orcish civilization in very small scale and with very little attention.

 

So far in Eora humans seem to cover germanic, latin, and mesoamerican cultures, elves have a strong celtic influence, and aumaua seem influenced by the Far East. That still leaves a fair amount of historical inspiration that could be used to put a new twist on other races. Orcs could be injected with Turkic flavour, to take inspiration from the likes of the cumans, pechenegs, or early turks. Or they could take on an Armenian/Persian element and embrace a Middle Eastern aesthetic, which I think would be immensely interesting. Or, heck, you could even look to Greece for inspiration.

 

My point is that just about any direction that Obsidian would pick for orcs if they chose to explore them would be dramatically new development for a race that has received precious little inteligent consideration in the high fantasy genre, and that would be a lot of fun. I see plenty of room in the current status quo for orcs to be included at a later date without stepping on the aumaua's conceptual toes.

 

Completely agree...Obsidian had an opportunity to give a different spin to orcs which have been until now very under-developed in terms of lore in fantasy games.

 

And I completely agree they could embrace a Hunnic, Turkic, "people of the plains" nomadic or, also maybe as a sub-race, a stationary culture more like the Russian, Finnic (hell even viking!! think of Viking orcs!! that's sounds badass... xD) not so much barbaric but rather the invader/predator type of civilization that others fear...

 

Again, as a Turk myself I am pretty sure the whole orkish lore of wolf-riding invader nomadic culture thing is coming from the collective consciousness of the fear western Europeans had of Turks in the middle-ages..

 

Anyway, again, not necessarily a criticizm of design choices, as it is also cool to have new races, lore etc, but SINCE you include elves and dwarves I think something could have been done with orcs too...

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I know Tolkien orcs were based on the Roman (Late Imperial) perspective of the Huns.

 

No one really knows where the Huns came from or if they were even a singular group.

 

The image of vicious inhuman barbarian invaders that seemingly popped into existence out of holes from the ground is pretty much the Roman view of Huns.

I think the rest of the DnD/Fantasy image of orcs comes from the extrapolations of that and other barbarian tribes the Romans (Byzantines) dealt with, like the Bulgars, or they base them on the European/American accounts of the Zulus or Native Americans.

Edited by drake heath

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And I completely agree they could embrace a Hunnic, Turkic, "people of the plains" nomadic or, also maybe as a sub-race, a stationary culture more like the Russian, Finnic (hell even viking!! think of Viking orcs!! that's sounds badass... xD) not so much barbaric but rather the invader/predator type of civilization that others fear...

 

Yeah. Or if those don't work, here are some more. It is absurd how easy it is to think of new ideas for orcs which would be groundbreaking for the genre.

 

Persian-inspired orcs, who build great cities and temples. With a despotic government and rigidly formal court culture with lots of prostrations. With a monotheistic religion and a powerful, organised priesthood. Never been done before.

 

Carthaginian-inspired orcs, with an aggressive trading culture. Government is a mix of theocraty and plutocracy, with a powerful priesthood being forced to delegate authority to powerful trading families who are a mix between tribal chieftain and trade baron. Never been done before.

 

Arab-inspired orcs, with a Caliphate-like state that is part monarchy, part theocracy. Militaristic, but with great intellectual and artistic achievements. Perhaps with a Ptolemaic influence where the ruler tries to convince his/her subjects of his/her divinity with extensive public works projects. Internal tension and conflict between the more traditionalist tribes and the centralized state that has to negotiate with them to get warm bodies in its armies and keep the roads clear. Never been done before.

 

This isn't even hard. Pick a historical civilization that isn't already spoken for in the franchise, add orcs, and boom you've got something no one has done before, that you can take in all sorts of interesting directions. You keep the core of what makes orcs essentially orcs - being big and muscular and having a certain militarism - but overhaul the rest in a way no one has done before. Plus, with Eternity taking this culture-is-bigger-than-race approach, we could see how orcs would live alongside other races in these societies. Arcanum showed us a vision of what orcs would look like as a downtrodden working class. What would they look like as the dominant race in a civilization instead? We're used to seeing orcs as brutish, genocidal conquerors. What would they look like as more benign rulers?

 

There is a stupid amount of potential, the surface of which hasn't even been scratched while franchise after franchise gives us every imaginable flavour of elves.

 

 

 

Anyway, again, not necessarily a criticizm of design choices, as it is also cool to have new races, lore etc, but SINCE you include elves and dwarves I think something could have been done with orcs too...

 

 

Yeah it is still early days for this setting. I'm sure that we'll eventually seem the roster of playable *cultures* padded out a bit for future Eternity games, and this could certainly include new races. It isn't criticism to toss around some ideas of what those future franchise developments might be.

Edited by Sarog
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In my understanding Obsidian tries to make it so with PoE that race != culture, but that you can find members of every race from all, at least major, of the cultures in the game, which means that orcs as race from singular culture wouldn't fit very well in the game. 

 

And Hun inspired orcs aren't very original idea as Warhammer's orcs are quite heavily inspired by huns. 

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I'm tired of way of thinking that if game is fantasy, it should have every common fantasy related creature in it <_< Would be just more interesting for once to see a setting without anything safe and familiar thing people can latch on from their previous experiences.

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In my understanding Obsidian tries to make it so with PoE that race != culture, but that you can find members of every race from all, at least major, of the cultures in the game, which means that orcs as race from singular culture wouldn't fit very well in the game. 

 

 

Obsidian has broken from race being directly equivalent to culture, but that doesn't mean that race is entirely decoupled from country. Thyrtan are more associated with Aedyr, calbranda more with the Vailian Republics, etc. Minorities in each country will be there on account of generations of interactation between peoples. Likewise a future game could have orcs, give them an "origin" civilization where they are dominant in the same way that calbranda are probably dominant in the Vailian Republics, and then have other orcs in other countries whose ancestors will still have come from this civilization. Then you put this country somewhere far from the Eastern Reach, say on the other side of Aedyr, to justify that we didn't encounter any in this game on account of orc populations not having penetrated this far.

 

 

And Hun inspired orcs aren't very original idea as Warhammer's orcs are quite heavily inspired by huns.

 

 

Good thing there are plenty of other options than just huns then.

 

Obsidian has drawn strongly on real world civilizations in building Eora, and there are plenty of real world civilizations that could still be used for inspiration to flesh out the setting. Particularly I see a lack of anything with a Middle Eastern vibe, and that just so happens to be a perfect opportunity to be a put a fresh spin on orcs.

 

 

I'm tired of way of thinking that if game is fantasy, it should have every common fantasy related creature in it <_< Would be just more interesting for once to see a setting without anything safe and familiar thing people can latch on from their previous experiences.

 

I sympathize. In the early days of the kickstarter, the general vibe here was pretty much one of "no Tolkien please", or at least so I remember. I was in that camp. Obsidian went a different way, so we have to save our hopes for something entirely original for a different franchise. Better accept Eora for what it is - a fresh take on traditional D&D high fantasy, not something that aims to break from of it. With that understanding, adding intelligently written orcs or goblins (and I would say or , because both would be overkill) to a setting that already has elves and dwarves is hardly a failure of creativity or the beginning of slippery slope.

Edited by Sarog
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Thyrtan and Calbandra are ethnic groups inside of human race, not 'full' races themselves. And they aren't dominant ethic groups in any culture, but dominant human ethic groups in said cultures. So they don't work as example why there should be culture where orcs as race are dominant. But I could see that in expansion/new game could lead us in new continent where there could be some new culture that has people from some race and ethnicities  (like for example orcs, with several ethnicities and new ethnicities for other races) in their ranks that aren't seen anywhere else in Eora, although that would make it, but offering it as playable would probably need story with new protagonist instead of continuing story of PoE's protagonist.

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Thyrtan and Calbandra are ethnic groups inside of human race, not 'full' races themselves. And they aren't dominant ethic groups in any culture, but dominant human ethic groups in said cultures. So they don't work as example why there should be culture where orcs as race are dominant.

 

Now you're just nit picking. If Obsidian included orcs, they'd obviously give them ethnic groups. They'd just need an origin civilization so that they wouldn't just jump fully formed into already existing nations without a context for it. If the intermingled nature of Eora's cultures is because of population movements, orcs just need a point of origin.

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Thyrtan and Calbandra are ethnic groups inside of human race, not 'full' races themselves. And they aren't dominant ethic groups in any culture, but dominant human ethic groups in said cultures. So they don't work as example why there should be culture where orcs as race are dominant.

 

Now you're just nit picking. If Obsidian included orcs, they'd obviously give them ethnic groups. They'd just need an origin civilization so that they wouldn't just jump fully formed into already existing nations without a context for it. If the intermingled nature of Eora's cultures is because of population movements, orcs just need a point of origin.

 

 

You misunderstood my point, which was that there isn't currently any major cultures that is dominated by any one race, but only some cultures have dominant ethnicities in all/some of its races, but all over all major cultures are mix of all or most of the races. So adding major culture in game that is dominated by one race is against this world building ideology. 

 

Making orcs belonging in primitive culture that hasn't mixed with other races is just too generic fantasy cliché that I think that Eora would do much better without it. 

Edited by Elerond

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Making orcs belonging in primitive culture that hasn't mixed with other races is just too generic fantasy cliché that I think that Eora would do much better without it. 

 

 

Primitive orcs are best avoided, yes. Both for that reason and for the fact that it is stale. But they hardly need to be primitive.

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And I completely agree they could embrace a Hunnic, Turkic, "people of the plains" nomadic or, also maybe as a sub-race, a stationary culture more like the Russian, Finnic (hell even viking!! think of Viking orcs!! that's sounds badass... xD) not so much barbaric but rather the invader/predator type of civilization that others fear...

 

Yeah. Or if those don't work, here are some more. It is absurd how easy it is to think of new ideas for orcs which would be groundbreaking for the genre.

 

Persian-inspired orcs, who build great cities and temples. With a despotic government and rigidly formal court culture with lots of prostrations. With a monotheistic religion and a powerful, organised priesthood. Never been done before.

 

Carthaginian-inspired orcs, with an aggressive trading culture. Government is a mix of theocraty and plutocracy, with a powerful priesthood being forced to delegate authority to powerful trading families who are a mix between tribal chieftain and trade baron. Never been done before.

 

Arab-inspired orcs, with a Caliphate-like state that is part monarchy, part theocracy. Militaristic, but with great intellectual and artistic achievements. Perhaps with a Ptolemaic influence where the ruler tries to convince his/her subjects of his/her divinity with extensive public works projects. Internal tension and conflict between the more traditionalist tribes and the centralized state that has to negotiate with them to get warm bodies in its armies and keep the roads clear. Never been done before.

 

This isn't even hard. Pick a historical civilization that isn't already spoken for in the franchise, add orcs, and boom you've got something no one has done before, that you can take in all sorts of interesting directions. You keep the core of what makes orcs essentially orcs - being big and muscular and having a certain militarism - but overhaul the rest in a way no one has done before. Plus, with Eternity taking this culture-is-bigger-than-race approach, we could see how orcs would live alongside other races in these societies. Arcanum showed us a vision of what orcs would look like as a downtrodden working class. What would they look like as the dominant race in a civilization instead? We're used to seeing orcs as brutish, genocidal conquerors. What would they look like as more benign rulers?

 

There is a stupid amount of potential, the surface of which hasn't even been scratched while franchise after franchise gives us every imaginable flavour of elves.

 

 

 

Anyway, again, not necessarily a criticizm of design choices, as it is also cool to have new races, lore etc, but SINCE you include elves and dwarves I think something could have been done with orcs too...

 

 

Yeah it is still early days for this setting. I'm sure that we'll eventually seem the roster of playable *cultures* padded out a bit for future Eternity games, and this could certainly include new races. It isn't criticism to toss around some ideas of what those future franchise developments might be.

 

Good ideas. Now tell me. If you remove orcs from the equation, and have another, completely new race, preferably not even humanoid in nature, but still go with your ideas. Is there something of value that would have been lost by the replacement?

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Orcs and Goblins are two great examples of elements that virtually always encourage lazy, derivative and just plain bad writing.

 

This is equally true - I would argue more true - of elves and dwarves. But Obsidian is including those, and we trust them to do a good job.

 

There rest of your post doesn't make sense to me. You seem to praise Obsidian for doing new, creative things with the races they've chosen to include, but assume that if Obsidian were to include orcs they would not be able to do similar creative things. There's nothing inherent to orcs and goblins that would suddenly make Obsidian incapable of creativity. You're arguing from a double standard.

 

 

 

I've never seen anyone do anything interesting with Orcs or Goblins(the ONLY exception for Goblins is, funny as it sounds, Harry Potter) , but I HAVE seen them do interesting things with elves and dwarves, repeatedly.  The Witcher is a good example.  The fact that it pulls from a deep cultural wealth of Polish/Baltic mythology that is LOADED with elves and dwarves is what gives it substance, whereas Orcs and Goblins as we think of them effectively date from, as others have said, Tolkien's works.

 

The PoE world is being built in a renaissance period.  The powerhouses of the time in reality were states like the Dutch Republic, The Hanseatic League, the Italian states, France and the wealthier parts of the H.R.E.  The nomadic steppe peoples had been pushed out of the Russias and their time was O-V-E-R.  The arab world was FAR past it's prime(it's widely held to have peaked around 1100-1300.  This isn't to say that everything in the PoE world must derive from the Earth at that time, but rather that it's not the eternal middle ages seen in pretty much every other fantasy setting.

 

If you cast Orcs as any of those types of civilizations, they'll just be what they always are:  low-tech, low-rent tribal militarists with some goofy priest-driven theocratic structure bolted to their seat of gov't.  Want to cast them as the monolithic empire with a higher level of development but retaining the same silly themes? Maybe ripping off the Ottomans/Fatimid Egypt and some far eastern culture? Congratulations, you just made the Qunari!

 

Tolkien's Orcs are no better than demons.  They're animals.  They're inspired by a version of the nomadic steppe peoples that never existed except in the imaginations of historical revisionists of the romantic period who saw those events not as the mass, gradual migrations that they were but rather wholesale demonic invasions by monster people.  They are not fertile material for creating an interesting, intelligent, high-performing, thought-provoking race of people.  They're always going to be a fantasy re-fit of the Arab, the Hun, the Mongol, the Turk, or the Oriental.

 

Make me a well-written nation of Orcs based on 1600's Holland/Venice and I'll accept that they might be useful for something other than providing guilt-free cannon fodder and a vehicle for bad writing.

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Orcs and Goblins are two great examples of elements that virtually always encourage lazy, derivative and just plain bad writing.

 

This is equally true - I would argue more true - of elves and dwarves. But Obsidian is including those, and we trust them to do a good job.

 

There rest of your post doesn't make sense to me. You seem to praise Obsidian for doing new, creative things with the races they've chosen to include, but assume that if Obsidian were to include orcs they would not be able to do similar creative things. There's nothing inherent to orcs and goblins that would suddenly make Obsidian incapable of creativity. You're arguing from a double standard.

 

 

 

I've never seen anyone do anything interesting with Orcs or Goblins(the ONLY exception for Goblins is, funny as it sounds, Harry Potter) , but I HAVE seen them do interesting things with elves and dwarves, repeatedly.  The Witcher is a good example.  The fact that it pulls from a deep cultural wealth of Polish/Baltic mythology that is LOADED with elves and dwarves is what gives it substance, whereas Orcs and Goblins as we think of them effectively date from, as others have said, Tolkien's works.

 

The PoE world is being built in a renaissance period.  The powerhouses of the time in reality were states like the Dutch Republic, The Hanseatic League, the Italian states, France and the wealthier parts of the H.R.E.  The nomadic steppe peoples had been pushed out of the Russias and their time was O-V-E-R.  The arab world was FAR past it's prime(it's widely held to have peaked around 1100-1300.  This isn't to say that everything in the PoE world must derive from the Earth at that time, but rather that it's not the eternal middle ages seen in pretty much every other fantasy setting.

 

If you cast Orcs as any of those types of civilizations, they'll just be what they always are:  low-tech, low-rent tribal militarists with some goofy priest-driven theocratic structure bolted to their seat of gov't.  Want to cast them as the monolithic empire with a higher level of development but retaining the same silly themes? Maybe ripping off the Ottomans/Fatimid Egypt and some far eastern culture? Congratulations, you just made the Qunari!

 

Tolkien's Orcs are no better than demons.  They're animals.  They're inspired by a version of the nomadic steppe peoples that never existed except in the imaginations of historical revisionists of the romantic period who saw those events not as the mass, gradual migrations that they were but rather wholesale demonic invasions by monster people.  They are not fertile material for creating an interesting, intelligent, high-performing, thought-provoking race of people.  They're always going to be a fantasy re-fit of the Arab, the Hun, the Mongol, the Turk, or the Oriental.

 

Make me a well-written nation of Orcs based on 1600's Holland/Venice and I'll accept that they might be useful for something other than providing guilt-free cannon fodder and a vehicle for bad writing.

 

 

2 words - colonization era

 

The clash of cultures on various technological development level.. anyone remembers the story of Spanish meeting Aztecs? or how Australia got colonized? What about far east cultures of that time?

 

Orcs can be your Aztec culture for example or others. It's perfectly viable for fantasy setting that you can have various development of tech among cultures, because "magic" and "active deities", hence you can get even nomadic tribes or even literally cavemen... It is a colonization and exploration era in Eora, right? And the setting is still wide open for tweaks and additions, right?

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