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The 5 Best Backgrounds for Orcs in D&D 5e

The 5 Best Backgrounds for Orcs in D&D 5e

Orcs, formidable and fierce, their choice of background elevating their journey from mere conquest to legendary triumph.

Unravel the mysteries of character creation as we unveil the five most captivating backgrounds perfectly tailored for Orcs.

What Are Backgrounds in D&D 5e?

Backgrounds are more than simple stat boosts in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. They reveal where your character came from, why you became an adventurer, and your place in the world.

Before choosing your Background, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What was I before I became an adventurer?
  • Why did I stop doing what my Background explains and become an adventurer?
  • Where did I get the money to buy my starting equipment?
  • Where did I learn the skills used in my class?
  • What’s different about me compared to others with the same Background?

Best Backgrounds for Orcs

5. Uthgardt Tribe Member

Skill Proficiencies – Survival, Athletics

Tool Proficiencies – One type of artisan’s tools or musical instrument

Languages – Choose one

Equipment – A set of traveler’s clothes, a totemic token or set of tattoos marking your loyalty to Uthgar and your tribal totem, a hunting trap, and a pouch with 10GP.

Why the Uthgardt Tribe Member?

Uthgardt Tribe Members have the Uthgardt Heritage, giving you knowledge of your tribe’s territory and the terrain and natural resources of the north.

You can easily find twice as much food and water as would normally be found there, and you can call upon the folk allied to your tribe, like druid circles, Harpers, nomadic elves, and priests devoted to the gods of the First Circle.

4. Mercenary Veteran

Skill Proficiencies – Persuasion, Athletics

Tool Proficiencies – Vehicles (land), One type of gaming set

Languages – None

Equipment – A gaming set of your choice, an insignia of your rank, a uniform of your company (traveler’s clothes in quality), and a pouch with the remainder of your last wages (10GP).

Why the Mercenary Veteran?

Mercenary Veterans have the Mercenary Life feature, letting you identify mercenary companies, find places where mercenaries abide, and get mercenary work between adventures.

Orcs, much like Hobgoblins, are exposed to violence from a young age, making them innately violent, and if they wanted to, they could make a living out of killing by becoming a Mercenary Veteran.

3. Acolyte

Skill Proficiencies – Religion, Insight

Tool Proficiencies – None

Languages – Choose two

Equipment – One holy symbol (gift to you when you entered the priesthood), a set of common clothes, a prayer book or prayer wheel, 5 sticks of incense, vestments, and a pouch with 15GP.

Why the Acolyte?

Acolytes receive the Shelter of the Faithful feature, granting you access to resources of temples and sanctuaries sharing your faith.

This allows you to receive free healing, food, and stay, though you’ll have to compensate them for any materials used in spells.

Like Minotaurs, Orcs worship gods of war, though their intentions are mainly evil. However, that doesn’t rule out the likelihood of good or neutral Orcs. After all, their destiny is their own.

2. Soldier

Skill Proficiencies – Intimidation, Athletics

Tool Proficiencies – Vehicles (land), One type of gaming set

Languages – None

Equipment – A trophy you took from a fallen enemy (a piece of a banner, dagger, or broken blade), a set of common clothes, a deck of cards or a set of bone dice, an insignia of rank, and a pouch with 10GP.

Why the Soldier?

Soldiers receive the Military Rank feature, allowing you to exert your rank and impose authority over soldiers lower than you.

This authority can grant you and your party access to fortresses, encampments, simple equipment, and horses.

Orcs embody war, loving nothing more than tearing flesh from bone. Thus, it is unsurprising that many evil armies (and some good ones) gladly fill their ranks with Orcs.

1. Outlander

Skill Proficiencies – Survival, Athletics

Tool Proficiencies – One type of musical instrument

Languages – One you choose

Equipment – A trophy from an animal you killed, a set of traveler’s clothes, a hunting trap, a staff, and a pouch with 10GP.

Why the Outlander?

Outlanders have the Wanderer feature, giving them an excellent memory for geography and maps. Allowing them to always recall the general layout of settlements, terrain, and features around them.

They can also find fresh water and food for themselves and up to five others every day if the land offers water, small game, berries, and other things.

Orcs mainly live in far-off tribes, making them reliant on the wilderness beyond their camp for food and water. The wilderness is part of many Orcs, some embracing it even further.

Final Thoughts

In wrapping up our exploration of the five top backgrounds for Orcs in D&D 5e, it’s evident that each option offers a distinct avenue for roleplaying and character development.

From the primal instincts honed by an Outlander to the fighting skills sharpened as a Mercenary Veteran, players have a plethora of choices to imbue their Orc characters with depth and nuance.