Orcs: The Brutish Conquerors (Stats)

Stats: Weak Alone, Strong Together

I remember when I only had to talk about one monster per week. Now we have four on average. Hooray! I’m so tired…

Orcs come in four different flavor. You’ve got vanilla orcs, the Orc War Chief, the Orc Eye of Gruumsh, and the Orog. While they each share many of the same attributes, each one has something different and unique to bring to the horde.

Except for the regular orc. This basic enemy, with a very low AC and HP total, is your typical ‘hit it until it dies’ brute that you’d expect. It can either swing a greataxe at you or throw a javelin. Its only interesting ability is Aggressive, which allows it to move up to its speed towards any hostile creature it can see as a bonus action; that would be a point in its favor, had all the others not had this same ability and more.

The War Chief is significantly more durable and dangerous. Its AC and HP are significantly higher, and its weapons do far more damage, especially with Multiattack. On top of having Aggressive, it also has an ability called Gruumsh’s Fury, which allows it to do an extra chunk of damage when it hits with a weapon. It also has Battle Cry, a unique action that allows it to give all of its allies advantage on attack rolls for the rest of the round as well as giving the chief an extra attack as a bonus action. While it’s still a mostly straightforward fight, those two abilities set the War Chief apart as a particularly dangerous orc.

Physically, the Orc Eye of Gruumsh isn’t as strong as the War Chief. Its AC is equal to the chief, but its HP is significantly lower. It also only has one melee weapon, which doesn’t do a whole lot. Luckily, it makes up for that with spells!

  • Cantrips (at will): guidance, resistance, thaumaturgy
  • 1st level (4 slots): bless, command
  • 2nd level (2 slots): augury, spiritual weapon

Those spells aren’t particularly dangerous when used on itself. When used on others, however, they turn the Orc Eye of Gruumsh into a deadly support monster. Suddenly, the straight-forward orcs and the war chief are much more dangerous and tricky to handle.

Oh, and then there’s the orog. He’s literally just the regular orc, but stronger. Like, it’s literally exactly the same, but the numbers are higher. There goes all that hype the lore built up. So… boo.

On their own, none of these monsters are particularly interesting. Sure, some of them are pretty powerful and might give your players a hard time. They’re straight-forward, weak, and kinda lame.

But together? Oh, boy, put all three of them together and you’ve got something special! The simple but dangerous front-line power of the orcs and orogs. The deadly leadership of the chief. The magical buffing of the Eye. Altogether, these guys become a force to be reckoned with and can make for an incredibly fun battle.

Fun fact: the very first boss I ever KOed a player with was an Orc War Chief. He would have had a horde along with him, but the players blew them all up. I still remember the look of fear on their faces when the chief rose from the ashes. Ah, good times.


The orcs mostly live up to their place as fantasy’s go-to monster. They’ve got some truly deep and interesting lore and their stats can make for an amazing fight, provided they’re all put together in the same place. Sure, they’re basic. But so is vanilla ice cream and everyone loves that!

With all that in mind, I’ll be putting the Orcs at #35 on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Mind Flayer
  4. Dragon Turtle
  5. Mummy/Mummy Lord
  6. Nagas (all three of ’em)
  7. Green Dragons
  8. Red Dragons
  9. Blue Dragons
  10. Black Dragons
  11. White Dragons
  12. Silver Dragons
  13. Couatl
  14. Behir
  15. Aboleth
  16. Sea Hag
  17. Lamia
  18. Bronze Dragons
  19. Brass Dragons
  20. Copper Dragons
  21. Gold Dragons
  22. Chuul
  23. Kuo-Toa
  24. Gibbering Mouther
  25. Kraken
  26. Intellect Devourer
  27. Chimera
  28. Death Knight
  29. Fomorian
  30. Bone Devil
  31. Dracolich
  32. Faerie Dragon
  33. Gelatinous Cube
  34. Lich
  35. Orcs (all four of ’em) <—————–
  36. Magmin
  37. Kobold
  38. Kenku
  39. Hobgoblins
  40. Night Hag
  41. Green Hag
  42. Black Pudding
  43. Ankheg
  44. Hook Horror
  45. Oni
  46. Storm Giant
  47. Hill Giant
  48. Empyrean
  49. Efreeti
  50. Grimlock
  51. Minotaur
  52. Dao
  53. Cloud Giant
  54. Manticore
  55. Drow (all four of ’em)
  56. Shadow Demon
  57. Modrons (all five of ’em)
  58. Marilith
  59. Drider
  60. Aarackockra
  61. Azer
  62. Demilich
  63. Spectator
  64. Gray Ooze
  65. Ochre Jelly
  66. Hydra
  67. Marid
  68. Harpy
  69. Werejackal
  70. Half-Dragon
  71. Cambion
  72. Fire Giant
  73. Nothic
  74. Animated Armor
  75. Banshee
  76. Basilisk
  77. Yochlol
  78. Bulette
  79. Cloaker
  80. Darkmantle
  81. Doppelganger
  82. Ghoul and Ghast
  83. Ettin
  84. Medusa
  85. Pit Fiend
  86. Erinyes
  87. Chain Devil
  88. Bearded Devil
  89. Barbed Devil
  90. Spined Devil
  91. Ice Devil
  92. Mimic
  93. Djinni
  94. Merrow
  95. Nalfeshnee
  96. Glabrezu
  97. Chasme
  98. Grell
  99. Barlgura
  100. Horned Devil
  101. Balor
  102. Shadow Dragon
  103. Myconids (all four of ’em)
  104. Werebear
  105. Lizardfolk
  106. Vrock
  107. Dretch
  108. Gnolls (all three)
  109. Goristro
  110. Hezrou
  111. Manes
  112. Frost Giant
  113. Weretiger
  114. Werewolf
  115. Duergar
  116. Quasit
  117. Dryad
  118. Flumph
  119. Goblin
  120. Nightmare
  121. Wereboar
  122. Wererat
  123. Githyanki
  124. Planetar
  125. Imp
  126. Ogres/Half-ogres
  127. Clay Golem
  128. Flameskull
  129. Displacer Beast
  130. Carrion Crawler
  131. Githzerai
  132. Grick
  133. Invisible Stalker
  134. Rug of Smothering
  135. Bugbear Chief
  136. Bugbear
  137. Flesh Golem
  138. Vine Blight
  139. Twig Blight
  140. Needle Blight
  141. Mephits (all six of ’em)
  142. Bullywug
  143. Hellhound
  144. Ettercap
  145. Gas Spore
  146. Cockatrice
  147. Lemure
  148. Homonculus
  149. Merfolk
  150. Solar
  151. Deva
  152. Gorgon
  153. Hippogriff
  154. Griffon
  155. Cyclops
  156. Centaur
  157. Ghost
  158. Fire Elemental
  159. Water Elemental
  160. Air Elemental
  161. Stone Giant
  162. Deep Gnome
  163. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  164. Iron Golem
  165. Stone Golem
  166. Earth Elemental
  167. Galeb Duhr
  168. Helmed Horror
  169. Flying Sword
  170. Crawling Claw
  171. Violet Fungus
  172. Shrieker
  173. Gargoyle

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