Hill orc

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The hill orc, o, is the weakest form of orcish monster normally found in NetHack.


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.[1] 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.[2][3]


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 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 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 hill orc is introduced in NetHack 3.0.0, where the various orcish monsters were 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 SLASH'EM, six hill orcs generate in the halls of Grund's Stronghold.


In UnNetHack, 20-24 hill orcs will appear on the fourth level of the Ruins of Moria.

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 ]