Orc (monster class)

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For other uses, see Orc.

Orcs are a class of monsters represented by a lowercase letter o. All orcs are, unsurprisingly, orcish.

The following orcs appear in NetHack:


Orcs typically wear orcish armor (unless picking an item up after generated), which is of lesser quality than elven, dwarvish, or regular armor. Orcs ordinarily wield orcish daggers or orcish bows and orcish arrows, the latter of which are often poisoned. While orcs are not terribly difficult in and of themselves, having poison resistance removes any difficulty.

Orcs appear in groups, so leading them into a hallway can make the battle much easier and let you avoid being surrounded.

Wielding Sting or Orcrist will indicate the positions of any orcs on the current level.

Orcs hitting a mounted player have a 50% chance of hitting the steed instead of the usual 25% chance that others have.[1] According to a comment in the source code, this is because orcs "like to steal and eat horses and the like".


Alone, goblins and orcs are generally easy targets unless you happen across one with a very powerful weapon or a wand.

Even in groups, their attack power is usually not too high. However, orcs are often generated armed with poisoned arrows, which they love using. This can make orcs very hazardous for beginning characters who do not yet have poison resistance. They can also be somewhat dangerous if there is a big horde of them blocking your routes of escape, or if you become trapped between the orcs and another more dangerous monster.

Some generic strategy can help:

  • Lure the orcs into a corridor, so never simultaneously fight more than one (or two, if they surround you).
  • Climb the staircase, wait until you heal, then return to the level to kill the remaining orcs.
  • Engrave Elbereth. Orcs respect E.



Main article: Orc (SLASH'EM)

SLASH'EM introduces several new orcs:


In UnNetHack, orcs will attack any elves they see (and vice versa) as part of Nephi's grudge patch.

The deep orc is introduced as a new orc.


Orcs are monsters from the Tolkien Universe.

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 ]


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