Hill orcs almost always appear in large groups, which can contain anywhere between 2 and 11 members - the group will be smaller if some of them are generated peaceful. They frequently carry scimitars or orcish daggers, and wear orcish helms. Some hill orcs may generate as peaceful towards orcish players.
In a game that has Orcish Town, large numbers of named hill orcs may appear around and within the town walls - other hill orcs can appear elsewhere in the Gnomish Mines and the main branch, carrying various looted items with them.
Hill orc numbers may be formidable and pose a problem for unprepared characters, but they are easy to defeat individually. Hill orcs usually mark one of the first instances where you will have to use crowd control strategies, such as drawing them into a corridor so that only one of them can attack you at a time. Be wary if any of them have scrolls or wands on hand.
Hill orcs make a decent source of food for a starting character, providing 200 nutrition; their corpses also make decent fodder for sacrifice if you can keep them close enough to an altar. Orcish characters in particular will appreciate this—they lack penalties for cannibalism and stand to gain a lot more from same-race sacrifice, including maximizing Luck and summoning peaceful demon lords and foocubi.
The Orctown altar in particular may be worth converting using hill orc corpss for player orcs, especially after procuring the luckstone from Mines' End. If you want to maximize Luck, convert it with an ordinary sacrifice before offering any orcs, as you will still lose Luck doing so if the altar is unaligned. Conversely, players seeking to generate many foocubi may want to convert it as soon as possible.
The hill orc is introduced in NetHack 3.0.0, where the various orcish monsters were first differentiated from each other.
Orcs, bipeds with a humanoid appearance, are related to the
goblins, but much bigger and more dangerous. The average orc
is only moderately intelligent, has broad, muscled shoulders,
a short neck, a sloping forehead and a thick, dark fur.
Their lower eye-teeth are pointing forward, like a boar's.
Female orcs are more lightly built and bare-chested. Not
needing any clothing, they do like to dress in variegated
apparels. Suspicious by nature, orcs live in tribes or
hordes. They tend to live underground as well as above
ground (but they dislike sunlight). Orcs can use all weapons,
tools and armors that are used by men. Since they don't have
the talent to fashion these themselves, they are constantly
hunting for them. There is nothing a horde of orcs cannot