This edition of Warhammer 40k Imports brings you all the stuff I decided wasn’t going to fit in the first article about orks. What can I say? I love orks.
Anyway, let’s get on with it.
Orks in Your Fantasy Game
As promised, here’s my version of how marauding space orks can make it planet-side in your campaign.
Orks terrorize the space-lanes in massive ships; great cobbled-together affairs, composed of derelict satellites, space junk and many smaller ships. They brim with weapons and offensive measures, sometimes in dizzying layers of redundancy. These terrifying ‘space-hulks’ do not hesitate to open fire upon or even ram any ships they encounter, and they have been known to continue operating even after enduring blows that would annihilate other ships. Except for the ease of avoiding them, the orcish space-hulks are a true menace.
Grutmagg was a warboss of exceptional power, who had laid waste to a number of human-populated worlds before consolidating his amassed plunder in the construction of a space hulk. As large as a city, he named his terrible creation “Wrath of Grutmagg” and set out across the stars in search of a target worthy of his immense warship.
He found that and more in a chance encounter with a human battle group out on training maneuvers at the edge of an asteroid belt. To their great surprise, in the middle of their war-games, the Wrath of Grutmagg exploded into their midst, illuminating the human fleet with her myriad guns and smashing into -and through- several ships.
The battle that ensued was more glorious and brutal than Grutmagg could have hoped for. His boys fought hard and true, and the bewildered humans quickly rallied and met them with admirable ferocity. During the course of the battle, the Wrath of Grutmagg had endured the human fleet’s full strength for several days, destroying nearly a dozen warships and countless hundreds of smaller ships.
But the human flagship, The Invulnerable, and her escort, withstood the fearsome space-hulk and matched her blow-for-blow. In the end, reduced to a quarter of their original strength, the human fleet, led by the Invulnerable, turned the tide and forced a broken and burning Wrath of Grutmagg into retreat.
Satisfied that he had wrought significant destruction in the universe, Grutmagg selected a random populated world, set a collision course and made his way to the gunnery decks. He sealed the bridge behind him, joining his boys for a final lash of weapons fire against the Invulnerable. They say Gork and Mork personally blessed that final volley, which breached the reactor of the Invulnerable.
A blazing-white sphere of uncontrolled anti-matter reaction completely vaporized the Invulnerable and scattered the remnants of the human fleet. The Wrath of Grutmagg tumbled towards the planet to the laughter of Grutmagg and the cheers of his horde. Those orks not killed in the battle, or incinerated as the space-hulk burned and broke apart during re-entry, were killed in the extinction-level impact that the Wrath of Grutmagg made during landfall.
Satisfied that the orks had been slain to the last, and that the primitive world would surely soon recover, the human fleet limped home, salvaging what they could and setting the rest into an impact course with the local star.
When the crater left by the Wrath of Grutmagg was finally still, and the dust had settled, the innumerable million spores created by Grutmagg and his horde had been spread far and wide across the planet’s surface.
That planet was the one upon which your campaign takes place. And from that point, the orks grew and spread and warred until they eventually achieved their current status in your campaign, whatever that might be.
Ork Squigs, AKA Squiggly Beasts
This approximately dog-sized creature is almost all mouth. It supports itself on 2 clawed reptilian legs, and balances with a stout tail. Squigs have a seemingly random number and arrangement of eyes, scales and horns, and ambulate by hopping about erratically.
Hit Dice: 1d8+2 (6 HP)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+1 Size, +2 Dexterity, +2 Natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-4
Attack: Bite +0 melee (1d4)
Full Attack: Bite +0 melee (1d4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: CHARGE!
Special Qualities: Dark Vision 60′, Fearless
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +3
Abilities: Strength 10 (0); Dexterity 15 (+2); Constitution 15 (+2); Intelligence 2 (-4); Wisdom 12 (+1); Charisma 6 (-2)
Skills: Listen +2, Spot +2, Survival +3
Environment: Any where there are orks
Organization: Squigs are (technically) domesticated, and never encountered without their orkish masters
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Alignment: Always Neutral
Advancement: 2 HD (Small) or Special, see below
Level Adjustment: —
Squiggly Beasts, more commonly known as Squigs, are the among the simplest forms of Ork life.
Squigs may serve ork Rangers and Druids as Animal Companions.
CHARGE! (Ex): Squigs attacks are always resolved as though they had charged, even if they have not moved. Declaring an actual charge has no benefit for a squig, and they never provoke attacks of opportunity for charging.
Fearless (Ex): squig mutation eliminates the part of the brain that processes emotions like fear. They are completely immune to fear and any mind-influencing effect that would not work on an Animal.
There are many types of squig, each generally filling some functionary role in the Ork ecosystem, from food stock to guard dog to dray creature to war beast (some of them are even bred as tools or ammunition). There is a great diversity among the war beast variety, some of them truly terrifying.
The stats given above reflect the standard, ‘basic’ variety of squig. By adding the various templates given below, you can create other types of squig.
Using a crude version of alchemy, the orks have developed ‘formulae’ for creating squigs with certain attributes. A squig may benefit from multiple squig templates. See the description of the Squig Breeder feat (below) for details.
Attacks squigs are bigger, meaner and nastier than their ‘normal’ counterparts. A squig with this template gains 2 HD and a +1 racial bonus on all Attack rolls and Damage rolls.
A squig with this template grows a prominent horn (or set of horns), granting it a gore attack (1d6 piercing) and a +1 racial bonus on all Attack rolls and Damage rolls.
Armor squigs are bred with the intrinsic knowledge of how to benefit from armor. They are favored by those orks who also don heavy armor in combat. Squigs with this template are proficient in the use of all types of armor except powered armor.
Face-Eater squigs play an important role in ork culture as the centerpiece of squig-eating contests, where the object is to emerge from eating a squig with the least amount of physical harm. A squig with this template deals x3 damage on a Critical Hit with its natural weapons.
Flesh-Eater squigs have enormous mouths and teeth of sufficient quality to be Teef. Increase their bite damage from 1d4 to 1d6. Additionally, they produce Teef at a rate comparable to that of an average ork.
Growler squigs are another variety bred as pets and companions among orks. A squig with this template gains 2 HD and a +1 racial bonus on all skill checks.
Herd squigs are sniffers and trackers, often seeing use as bloodhounds. Squigs with this template gain Scent and Track as a bonus feat.
Targeting squigs develop large dominant single eyes and anomalous brains which can tap into the psychic energy field known as the WAAAGH. While an ork remains in physical contact with a targeting squig, he makes ranged attacks at a +1 insight bonus.
Squigs as Tools
Many squigs are bred to serve as tools. This variety are physically pathetic (having statistics, biological demands, and life-spans comparable to toads) but serve some useful, often novel, purpose.
This bizarre squig mutant looks like a furry cross between a syringe and a turkey baster. They have clawed feet, not unlike those of a parrot, and large buggy eyes.
Because they are completely immune to all poisons (including drugs), these squigs can be used to administer medicine and tattoos. They are popular with pain boys and few others.
Price: 5 Teef/5gp
At first glance, these puff-balls with rat-like tails do not appear to be squigs at all. Though painful, their bites are harmless, and usually reserved for snotlings and small grots.
Aside from use in pranks, and to clean up messes, these squig mutants rarely avoid the cook-pot for long. Grots may keep them as pets, until they grow hungry.
Price: 2 Teef/2gp
This wretched creature resembles a rat with an elephant-like trunk and a hugely bloated belly. It’s skin is always covered in a sheen of natural oil that smells strongly.
An oil or paint squig produces about 1 gallon of the indicated substance every day, secreting it through the trunk when squeezed.
The oil is identical to lamp oil. The paint is identical to normal (very strong) pigments. A given squig produces oil or paint (never both) and paint squigs only produce a single color.
Price: 10 Teef/10gp
Baff squigs look like tiny fleas with squig faces. They address the issue of personal hygiene with a typically ork solution; send meaner bugs after the annoying bugs.
Baff squigs form infestations in non-orks that mimic the effects of the disease slimy doom. Those who succeed on their Fortitude save starve the baff squigs to death and need not worry about them again.
An ork with a baff squig infestation gains a +1 on all Fortitude saves.
Once infested, baff squigs can only be removed by cure or similar magic. These squig mutants are considered a fine luxury item among orks, and only the wealthy few can afford them.
Price: 100 Teef/100gp – for a jar large enough to infest a single creature, around 1,000 individuals in a small (1lb) jar.
This long-haired worm is bred as a cosmetic item among orks. Hairy squigs vary in length from a few inches to a few feet. Unlike most other squigs, they have a bizaree, 4-way beak for a mouth.
Bald orks (which are common) who can afford them use hairy squigs to approximate hair. Technically they are parasites which are harmful to non-orks. They attach and begin siphoning nourishment from their host, providing them with flowing hair that can be styled to their liking.
Non-orks who attach hairy squigs to themselves lose 1HP from their total HP which can only be recovered by removing it. Removing a hairy squig kills it.
Price: 25 Teef/25gp
This squig might be mistaken for a large lump of chewed pink bubble gum. It has a dopey-looking face and a long, probing tongue that usually hangs from it’s crooked mouth.
Orks place these bizarre creatures in their mouths, allowing them to feed on the bits of leftover food and damaged Teef in an effort at dental hygiene. Those orks who regularly use a gob squig produce 2d4 additional Teef whenever they produce Teef.
Non-orks who use gob squigs gain all the benefits of brushing their teeth.
Price: 25 Teef/25gp
This fat wad of meat has no teeth and limbs barely long enough for it to drag itself about. It’s vacant eyes are spaced widely on it’s squarish head. They rarely do more than wriggle in place and belch.
Orks find this variety of squig to be choice eating; a typical specimen yields 1d4 x 100lbs of bloody, protein-rich, red meat. Most races are put off by the plentiful vascular tracts found in squig meat, but eating squigs are edible by all.
Price: 50 Teef/50gp
Squigs as Ammunition
Around the size of a baseball, these squig mutants have statistics, biological requirements, and life spans comparable to mouse-sized lizards. They are completely helpless creatures, relying on their ork masters for every need.
Orks use them as thrown weapons, or as sling or catapult ammunition.
Bile/Barf Squig– 3 varieties of these abominations exist, each conveying a different effect when thrown or launched (which also kills the poor things).
- The poison variety spews DC 13 contact poison all over those struck by it, Initial damage 1d3 Strength, Secondary damage 1d4 Strength.
- The acid variety spews acid (1d4) all over those struck by it.
- The combustible variety spews a sticky fluid that ignites on contact with air all over those struck by it, dealing damage as burning lamp oil.
Price: 10 Teef/10gp (each, of any variety)
Biting/Spiky Squig– these malevolent balls of teeth and blades exert themselves in gnashing, clawing death throes when launched, dealing and extra 1d4 piercing and slashing damage.
Price: 7 Teef/7gp each
Exploding/Boom Squig– these horrible creations explode seemingly at the slightest provocation, but also when thrown, dealing 2d6 fire damage in a 5ft. burst (Reflex DC 13 for half).
Whenever you use a squig of this variety, roll a d%; on a 01-10, it explodes in your hand.
Price: 20 Teef/20gp each
Creating Squigs (The Meta For DMs)
Each template added to a squig increases it’s CR by 1. Any number of templates may be assigned to a squig. Neither ammunition squigs nor tool squigs can have templates.
Attack squigs are bought and sold in ork society as often as any other commodity, commanding a base price of 100 Teef (for the “standard model”) +100 Teef per template
The Orkish Toof– Any discussion of ork equipment first requires a discussion of ork currency. Among orks, gold (or whatever standard currency) is usually accepted, but they
also accept prefer Teef.
Teef (singular Toof), as the name implies, are the teeth of orks (grots, boys, even some squigs). In order to pass as currency, a given tooth must be of a certain quality; assuming it is, 1 Toof has about the spending power of 1gp (or $1, or whatever your standard currency is). A truly exceptional Toof might be worth as much as 10 or more GP.
The average ork produces a full set (8d4) of new Teef every 1d4 weeks, though plucking one’s own Teef prematurely (or having them knocked out by others) is common. Some clans naturally produce more Teef than others.
Those other than orks, or who do not have regular dealings with orks, seldom place any value on Teef.
Though rare, orks who become merchants (and those who sell things in general) are only 50% likely to accept gold coin/standard currency from a non-ork. This increases to 75% for fellow orks, and is determined per merchant, per purchase. Orks are fickle about their greed.
That’s it for this installment, but don’t worry, the grand finale is just around the corner.
Enjoy, everybody! And don’t forget; Ork Lives Matter.
-L. Doderman and G. P. Humongous (WAAAGH!!!)