Hill orc

From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A hill orc, o, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. It is a stronger type of orc that is usually one of the first monsters you will encounter in groups.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

As part of resolving issue #679 regarding congruence between non-player monsters and their player counterparts, commit b6a3d4b gives poison resistance to all orcs, except for the goblin and hobgoblin (in order to distinguish them from other orcs). All strong orcs are also capped at 18/50 strength for purposes of polyself, with the exception of Uruk-hai; as of commit 651a5b2, the orc-captain polyform also retains 18/** strength.


Some hill orcs may generate peaceful towards chaotic player orcs, and they will always be hostile towards player elves.[1] Hill orcs are often generated in large groups of 2-11 - the group will be smaller if some of them are generated peaceful. A hill orc can grow up into an orc-captain.

Hill orcs may appear among the hostile o that generate in throne rooms, as well as the various monsters that can be randomly generated by looting a throne while confused and carrying gold (provided there is no chest on the level).[2]

In a game that has Orcish Town, large numbers of named hill orcs will appear around and within the town walls[3] - other named hill orcs can appear elsewhere in the Gnomish Mines and the main branch, carrying various looted items with them.[4][5]

Hill orcs have a 12 chance of generating with an orcish helm, and a separate 12 chance of being given an orcish dagger or a scimitar, with an equal chance for each weapon.[6][7]


Hill orc are fairly easy to defeat individually, but roaming groups can pose a problem for weak and/or unprepared characters. Groups of hill orcs usually mark the first instance 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. The scimitars that hill orcs carry can make a decent early weapon for roles that want to advance the skill, especially if they generate blessed.

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 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 Orcish Town altar in particular is a good candidate for player orcs to use - be sure to convert it with a non-orcish corpse first, though, as same-race sacrifice does not convert an unaligned altar and you will take a -2 Luck penalty.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

As of commit 296a3ac2, the scimitar skill is merged into the saber skill.


The hill orc is introduced in NetHack 3.0.0, where the various orcish monsters are first differentiated from each other.


The orcs in NetHack are derived from Dungeons & Dragons, which in turn are based on their portrayal in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien.


In variants that implement AC bonuses for wearing racial equipment, hill orcs may prove tougher foes than in vanilla NetHack.


In SLASH'EM, six hill orcs generate in the halls of Grund's Stronghold.


In UnNetHack, 20-24 hill orcs are generated on the fourth level of the Ruins of Moria at level creation.


In dNetHack, hill orcs may appear in the court of a throne room ruled by an orc-captain.

In the Mordor Ruins variant of the Chaos Quest, two hill orcs are generated in the Mordor fortress throne room on level creation.

Encyclopedia entry

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

[ het Boek van de Regels; Het Oog des Meesters ]