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    Canonfire :: View topic - Orcish Lifespan
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    Orcish Lifespan
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 22, 2019
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    Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:03 am  
    Orcish Lifespan

    Anyone have an idea on the lifespan of orcs? I haven't been able find anything.

    The 1st edition DMG has half-orcs in a range of 12-80 for the Young Adult to Venerable categories. Based on that, I'm thinking maybe the equivalent categories would be 10-60 for a full-blooded orc? Does that seem reasonable or too short?
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    Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:41 am  
    Re: Orcish Lifespan

    LarethTheBeautiful wrote:
    Anyone have an idea on the lifespan of orcs? I haven't been able find anything.

    The 1st edition DMG has half-orcs in a range of 12-80 for the Young Adult to Venerable categories. Based on that, I'm thinking maybe the equivalent categories would be 10-60 for a full-blooded orc? Does that seem reasonable or too short?


    It seems reasonable to me. I'd expect that many orcs have perished violently before they hit twenty-five.
    GreySage

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    Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:43 am  

    Generally speaking, humanoids have shorter natural lifespans than humans, but mature more quickly. For example, goblins may become full adults within 10 years, but die of old age between 30 and 40 years of age. You can decide how you want each race to age in your campaign, though.

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    GreySage

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    Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:05 am  

    According to the Complete Book of Humanoids, an orc's base starting age is 10+1d4, their base age range is 35+1d10, and their average maximum age is 40.

    Middle Age: 17 years
    Old Age: 23 years
    Venerable: 35 years
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:07 am  

    The AD&D Monster Manual states that orcs live 40 years. Im unaware of an earlier source.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:53 am  

    If you see 40 years as being a bit on the low side, you could say that, due to the better-than-average amount of mayhem an orc packs into its lifetime, the usual orc might be said to live to an average age of 40. Granted, that isn't necessarily death due to old age, but the (probably high) average age at which an orc gets killed/dies, because orc society is pretty rough! Wink
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    GreySage

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    Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:07 am  

    You all tapped into the sources I would use, but I recall somewhere reading an article in an older "Dragon Magazine" issue about humanoid lifespans. I will see if I can't unearth it somehow...

    -Lanthorn
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    Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:50 am  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    You all tapped into the sources I would use, but I recall somewhere reading an article in an older "Dragon Magazine" issue about humanoid lifespans. I will see if I can't unearth it somehow...

    -Lanthorn


    Dragon #141 Hey, Wanna Be a Kobold?

    It lists orcs as venerable at ages 41-55.

    This issue has some of my favorite cover art, gnomes fighting a qullan.
    GreySage

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    Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:35 pm  

    Nice find, but that's not the one I had in mind.

    It's whatever the September 1984 issue is. The article is entitled "Survival is a Group Effort," pages 8-12.

    This article covers age ranges for all humanoids as well as some ecological (biological) material relating to population growth, birth and death rates, etc., that us science types like. Cool

    -Lanthorn

    I'm not a druid, really!
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    Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:43 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    Nice find, but that's not the one I had in mind.

    It's whatever the September 1984 issue is. The article is entitled "Survival is a Group Effort," pages 8-12.

    This article covers age ranges for all humanoids as well as some ecological (biological) material relating to population growth, birth and death rates, etc., that us science types like. Cool

    -Lanthorn

    I'm not a druid, really!


    Ah!

    I've got the Dragon Archive. I'll have to look that one up.
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:07 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    It's whatever the September 1984 issue is. The article is entitled "Survival is a Group Effort," pages 8-12.

    This article covers age ranges for all humanoids as well as some ecological (biological) material relating to population growth, birth and death rates, etc., that us science types like.


    Interesting. In the early 90's when I was first learning population demographics, I used the data in the 1E MM to estimate birth rates, death rates, population growth rates (r), carrying capacity (K), maturation rates, average age, and such for humanoids and demi-humans, and then wrote some commentaries about how those would shape the cultural outlook of the different groups.

    It sounds like I was largely replicating work that had already been done.

    In general it was what you would expect - the lower HD humanoids have much faster reproductive rates and can throw numbers at problems, while the higher hit dice creatures have to be more circumspect.

    The one non-intuitive result was that based on the numbers given in the MM, ogres should have declining populations - their high age before first reproduction meant that their chance of dying before having children was greater than 1. That opens the possibility of positing that ogres are not actually "native" residents of Oerth, but may come here from the feywild, Abyss, or other source.
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    GreySage

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    Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:46 pm  

    Kirt wrote:

    Interesting. In the early 90's when I was first learning population demographics, I used the data in the 1E MM to estimate birth rates, death rates, population growth rates (r), carrying capacity (K), maturation rates, average age, and such for humanoids and demi-humans, and then wrote some commentaries about how those would shape the cultural outlook of the different groups.


    Shocked

    I guess I am not the only gamer scientist out there! Kirt, you're even more 'digital' than I am! Praytell, you MUST be an ecology major or something.

    Nice work, all that. I doubt your players appreciated it as much, sadly.

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:23 pm  

    Erythnul's blood creates ogres, among other monsters.

    Those could presumably breed.
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:38 pm  

    Now that I think about it, the other interesting conclusion was the explosive population growth possible for gnolls in good times, and the speed of their "crash" when food got scarce, compared to more stable population levels for orcs. This resulted in a fair amount of internal politics in my campaign among the different humanoid groups serving Iuz.

    Lanthorn wrote:
    I guess I am not the only gamer scientist out there! Praytell, you MUST be an ecology major or something.


    Undergraduate degree in Biology-Geology. I started in Paleontology and drifted into Ecology through summer jobs with a lab studying parasites of fruit flies.

    I decided I wanted to do something with social insects and got my doctorate in Community Ecology in a lab looking at using parasitoid flies to control invasive ants. My own research was on population dynamics in native ant communities in Brazil.

    Since my PhD I've been teaching Biology and Ecology at private high schools for the last eighteen years or so.
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    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:40 pm  

    NorkerMedic wrote:
    Erythnul's blood creates ogres, among other monsters.

    True enough! Perhaps there was an early battle that "seeded" Oerth?
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    Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:54 pm  
    Erythnul's blood creates ogres

    Kirt wrote:
    NorkerMedic wrote:
    Erythnul's blood creates ogres, among other monsters.

    True enough! Perhaps there was an early battle that "seeded" Oerth?

    Well that is an interesting tidbit!
    Where's that come from?! I'd love to read more about it!
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    GreySage

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    Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:26 pm  
    Re: Erythnul's blood creates ogres

    Icarus wrote:
    Well that is an interesting tidbit!
    Where's that come from?! I'd love to read more about it!


    A Guide to the World of Greyhawk (1983), page 67.

    "When Erythnul engages in combat, his visage mutates, flowing in form from human to gnoll to bugbear to ogre to troll. This denotes his special power to generate servitors from his blood. If Erythnul is stabbed or cut in battle, the following creatures have been seen to spring forth from his spilled blood:

    "Human fighters armored in red metal and wielding footmen's maces.

    "Gnolls clad in red lacquered armor and wielding morning stars.

    "Bugbears adorned in plates of red enameled iron and wielding flails.

    "Ogres wearing pelts and hides of red fur and hair and wielding huge clubs.

    "Trolls whose coppery skin is unusually tough, and which fight with their natural weapons."
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:34 am  
    Re: Erythnul's blood creates ogres

    rasgon wrote:

    A Guide to the World of Greyhawk (1983), page 67.

    Thanks, Rasgon!
    As an aside totally random side-note: man, I love Darlene's calligraphy.
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