Characters: Warhammer 40000 Orks
Who da Zog iz dis talken
git ur on about, anywayz?
The Orks were genetically-engineered by a long-forgotten precursor race
to be the ultimate warriors. They succeeded
. Orks exist only for battle, and they are very good at it. Their "Meks" and "Doks" have an innate understanding of mechanics and medicine respectively, while every Ork has an instinctive grasp of combat. Orks are far
more numerous than humanity (a feat in and of itself), and the only reason they haven't conquered the galaxy long ago is because they will readily fight each other if no other enemy presents itself. They are tough enough to survive decapitation in time for a "body transplant," strong enough to take a Space Marine's head off, and thick as a brick. Their entire society is built around the concepts of "crude but effective" and "might is right" - though for Orks, might is pretty much all there is. Occasionally a particularly strong or charismatic "warboss" is able to unite a large force of Orks into a mighty "WAAAGH!", a combined migration, holy war, and barroom brawl that can shake the foundations of the galaxy.
Part of the Orks' success comes from their unique physiology. They have fungal/algal DNA fused with their own, explaining their green skin and robust health. They reproduce via spores, and in particular shed a large number at death, which ensures that once greenskins land on a planet, they're a problem that never goes away. Their entire race is also incredibly
, latently psychic, even beyond the dangerously gifted "Weirdboyz"
. This gestalt psychic field explains how their junk-heap wargear manages to work, and furthermore why vehicles painted red go faster than others - the Orks think they should, so they do
. If Orks have a parallel in any historical army, it is of a vast barbarian horde scouring the land in a tide of howling violence... mixed with English football hooligans. Cheerfully psychotic, the Orks are Warhammer 40000
's comic relief race, which says a lot
about the setting. But make no mistake; the Orks are genocidal maniacs, who will slaughter anything that isn't part of their race. (And a lot that is part of it.) They only respect strength, so non-combatants, the infirm and children of other races are considered lower than Gretchin or Snotlings.
But hey, you can be assured that the Orks don't have the patience to give you a drawn out death.
Ork tabletop armies are highly diverse, ranging from mechanized swarms of Orks riding warbikes, "trukks," or buggies, to clanking mobs of dreadnoughts and "killa kans"
, to "shooty
" armies with looted vehicles and lots of devastating if inaccurate artillery, to the classic "green tide" of infantry that simply swamps the opposing battle-line with sheer numbers. Standard Ork soldiers are highly-effective in close combat, and so long as their numbers are sufficient, fearless to boot. There's a lot of randomness in the form of "Weirdboyz"' psychic powers and the "Meks"' more esoteric weapons that can either clinch a victory or make a plan fall flat on its face. Most Ork players quickly develop a sense of humor about their army, laughing when a Mekboy manages to fire himself out of his own gun, the Grot slaves are used for mine clearance, or when the looted vehicle accidentally slams into a wall instead of shooting correctly. Perhaps the best Ork strategy can be summed up in a single word: WAAAGH!!!
Notable Ork tropes include:
- The Ageless: Orks can't die of old age, but since they're constantly fighting most end up killed in battle before very long. They also never stop growing, so the oldest known Orks are currently about the size of the Imperium's Dreadnought Mini Mecha.
- Alien Kudzu: Orks are more than just a single species, they are an invasive ecosystem unto themselves. Thanks to their spore-based reproductive process, every type of greenskin sub-species from Orks to gretchen to squigs to snotlings tend to breed wherever Orks make planetfall, as does a variety of strange fungi that come in all shapes and sizes, many of which have practical uses (being distillable into fuel and/or beer or food least of all). This makes completely routing out an Ork invasion of a planet a very difficult task, as Ork remains and habitats must be meticulously purged to prevent regrowth, and any previously invaded planet must exercise careful military patrols to prevent any feral Ork populations from growing to a threatening size. Given enough Orks and enough time, an entire planet will eventually be "orkiformed" into an Ork-based ecology, though this thankfully only happens on planets which have been Ork-dominated for generations. There have even been reports that Squigs have been encountered aboard Tyranid hive-ships.
- The Department Munitorium, ever pragmatic, actually considers a planet that has repelled an Ork invasion something of a boon to its Imperial Guard recruitment tithes, as the planetary defense forces stationed there are necessarily disciplined and methodical, and such regiments often have already been "blooded" in combat against feral Orks.
- Alleged Car: Any vehicle they drive is often a cobbled-together piece of junk, only drivable because of belief, and many things can go wrong, like with any other piece of technology.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe from an Eldar philosopher, Uthan the Perverse:
The Orks are the pinnacle of creation. For them, the great struggle is won. They have evolved a society which knows no stress or angst. Who are we to judge them? We Eldar who have failed, or the Humans, on the road to ruin in their turn? And why? Because we sought answers to questions that an Ork wouldn't even bother to ask! We see a culture that is strong and despise it as crude.
- An Ax To Grind: The Orks are famous for their Choppas, which are huge cleavers, axes, or chainsaws capable of carving through even Space Marine armor like it's nothing.
- Asskicking Equals Authority/Authority Equals Asskicking: Wholly justified for the Orks, since their very biology ensures that not only do the biggest ones tend to seize power, but those in power naturally grow bigger. An Ork Warboss can be 12 feet tall or bigger, all of it sociopathic muscle.
- A-Team Firing: Orks have the lowest Ballistic Skill in the game, so statistically only one in three shots fired will actually hit the target. This can lead to a lot of friendly fire incidents, as Orks seem to think "If I hit it, it must be an enemy."
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: The Orks are basically an entire race of Leeroy Jenkins... except for the Blood Axez, who, having experienced the most human contact of any of the clanz, have successfully grasped the concept that "If we runs for it, it don't count as losing, cuz we can also come back for anuvver go, see?"
- Ax-Crazy: Every single Ork is off his rocker in a violently proactive manner. Some are more in control of themselves than others, and will even work with other races, but when it comes down to it, every single ork that has ever existed is a murdering psychopath.
- Badass Biker: Ork Warbikers in general, and Wazdakka Gutsmek in particular. He once killed a Warlord Titan by driving off a cliff, punching through its void shields, crash-landing in the thing's head, and slaughtering the crew...while on fire. He has the crew's (still flaming) skulls as trophies.
- Bald of Evil: No Orks have natural hair. They use hair squigs to mimic locks of it though.
- Baleful Polymorph: The slightly-less-than-sane Wierdboyz can turn people (and other orks for that matter) into squigs, red, round creatures that are made of fungus, muscle and loads of teeth. In game play, Old Zogwort can turn enemy HQ choices into Squigs.
- Beast of Battle: All Squigs come from Ork spores, and several species of Squig can be trained as attack animals. Most of these are little more than a head full of fangs with a few limbs to propel it toward the enemy, though the giant Squiggoths are used as great mounted beasts.
- Big Bad: Warlord Ghazghkull mag Uruk Thraka is one of the main contenders for the title.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Along with the Bizarre Alien Reproduction noted below, Orks have a "triple helix" DNA pattern, with the third helix being that of a fungus/plant symbiotically intertwined with them on a cellular level. They have chlorophyll in their skin, redundant organs (mentions are made in at least one codex of having "specialised arteries" that can pump blood around the body if the heart gets shot out), and sustained levels of adrenaline make them grow larger.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Orks reproduce by giving off spores, which happen naturally throughout their life, and a great deal more are released upon death. These spores will take root in the ground and grow into other greenskin creatures, in time. The conditions responsible for the growth will affect the exact creature and how long it takes to gestate. Smaller creatures like Snotlings and Gretchin will tend to arise more often in areas with poor ground fertility, while more fertile areas will give rise to Orks. The same spores that grow garden-variety Orks also produce a wide range of creatures, depending on natural conditions and Ork populations: including, but not limited to: barely-sentient Snotlings; small but vicious Gretchin and Grots, who take care of many of the mundane support tasks; as well as many different types of animal-like beasts such as the numerous variants of Squigs, and enormous quadrapedal, dinosaur-esque Squiggoths and Giant Squiggoths.
- Bling of War:
- The Bad Moon clan in particular is famous for being a bunch of "flash gitz".
- Freebooter Kaptin Badrukk has armour made out of solid gold, made from the golden melted-down teeth of his enemies.
- Blood Knight: To the extent that Orks denied a proppa scrap develop huge paunches and weak muscles.
- Bloody Hilarious: The Orks' sense of humor tends to run toward this, much to the disadvantage of anyone they happen to fight, capture, or simply be larger than.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Orks give little thought to philosophical questions of morality, but if they did, "propa' orky values" would be something along the lines of it is good for the big and strong to rule the small and weak, and that the height of excellence is to seek and win fights. And... that is about the extent of it. Orks are pretty straightforward about such things.
- Boisterous Bruiser: This is generally the way Orks act around each other. To anyone else they might seem more like a Boisterous Berserker. The few Orks who are less inclined to such activity tend to be seen as a bit odd by other Orks, and often become kommandos.
- The Brute: Pretty much the entire race as a whole, in terms of overall disposition.
- Butt Monkey: Grots, played for laughs.
- Cephalothorax: While there exist a wide variety of different squig types, most of them are mostly heads, with most of that being teeth. The squig breeds used as attack animals are almost always this.
- Chaotic Stupid: Orks are not very high up on the intelligence ladder, and are best described as having a sort of "low cunning". Only Ogryns are less intelligent than Orks. That being said, Ciaphas Cain notes in Death or Glory that it's not wise to underestimate them.
I've got to know a great deal more about these creatures over the last century or so [...] and one thing I've seen time and again is that dismissing them as simple, unreasoning brutes is a fast route to the graveyard (or more likely their stomachs).
- Characterization Marches On: Orks from earlier editions had a more "regimented" appearance, with identical equipment of clear formal manufacture. This was thanks to the limitations of pewter casting and plastic molding that Games Workshop had access to at the time. As their techniques got better (driven forward by Gaiden Games like Gorkamorka) the Orks got more customized appearances and Art Evolution pushed them into more of a Mad Max or "junkyard dog-cobbled together-gang of barbarian brutes" look.
- Clan of Hats: The Orks divide themselves into six major Clans (mainly as another excuse to scrap with each other), all Color-Coded for Your Convenience. The Goffs (black) are the 'ardest Orks around and no-nonsense about fighting. The Bad Moons (lurid yellow) are all rich and flashy gits with big guns. The Evil Sunz (red) are obsessed with speed and racing around on bikes and 'buggies. The Snakebites (brown) are traditionalists who prefer medieval-era weaponry and cavalry charges. The Deathskulls (blue) are expert looters known for practicing their art in the middle of battles. Finally, the Blood Axes have been culturally contaminated by the stinkin' 'oomies and use proper "tactics" and wear camouflage instead of proper clan colors...for a given definition of "camouflage", anyway.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The secret to Ork technology is their racial gestalt psychic field. Despite the fact that the common statement that "If you give an Ork a stick and manage to convince him it's a gun, it will shoot bullets." is false (under the current edition of the game, at least), it's not that far off the mark. Ork weaponry, particularly the guns, are often a mish-mash of gears and bullets in the general shape of a gun. No one knows how the heck the Ork managed to fire the the thing, but he still did anyway.
- Colonel Kilgore: Any Ork nob worth the title will be this. It helps that his boyz are every bit as enthusiastic about war as he is. Sometimes nobz will band together to form an entire elite mob of nothing but Kilgores.
- Colony Drop: Orks combine this with It's Raining Orks: "Roks" are simply asteroids or meteors hollowed out into space-borne fortresses, which are then dropped on planetary targets as a form of simultaneous attack and troop deployment.
- Confusion Fu: It can be hard to predict what the Orks' plans are, in part because they often do not actually have a plan beyond fighting stuff. On the other hand, assuming the Orks to always straightforwardly attack with Hollywood Tactics will also fail because sometimes the Orks do have a plan and see it through.
- Conspicuous Consumption: The Bad Moon clan is best known for blinging out their guns to show off their wealth.
- Cool but Stupid: A lot of the Orks' more unconventional tactics like purple painted kommandos ("'Ave you evah seen a purple Ork? Neivah has anyone else! So if we paints ya purple, yer invisible!") or bizarre ramshackle Military Mashup Machines fit this. The Orks will often do something just because it sounds like it might be fun, rather than it being effective, even if doing so would be borderline suicidal. Such things often work about as well as one might expect. However, they do work on occasion, and when they do their success tends to be spectacular, in part because of Clap Your Hands If You Believe, but also because no opposing force would expect an opponent to do something so obviously crazy.
- Cyborg: Even if an Ork gets his limbs blown off, or even takes injuries that would be fatal to other aliens, a Mad Dok can simply graft some cybernetic limbs to him so he can get back to fighting.
- Dark Messiah: Ghazghkull is this to the Orks, claiming to be in direct communion with Gork and Mork. Nobody can tell if it is an hallucination or the result of his latent psyker powers awakening.
- Ditto Aliens: Orks have this view of humans. Orks grow larger as they grow more successful, and the order of their hierarchy is based strictly on who is bigger than whom. Humans on the other hand all look more or less the same size to Orks, which leaves them wondering about how humans can know who is in charge. Some of the smarter ones realize that humans like their Bling of War as much as Orks do and the highest ranking humans will have the shiniest bits, but then some human authorities (like many Inquisitors) prefer to be more subtle, again confusing the Orks.
- Dressed to Plunder: As seen on the piratey Freebooterz. Yarr.
- Dumb Muscle: Pretty much all Boyz.
- Enemy Civil War: The constant status of Ork society, luckily for the rest of the galaxy.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In an Obliviously Evil, Blue and Orange Morality type of way. Orks have difficulty with the concept that any sentient being might not enjoy going to war for its own sake. This leads to them regarding races like humans as being "friendly" because they are so good at making military fortresses for Orks to come and knock over. The idea that such fortresses are designed to deter Orks from invading and that the humans might not appreciate a good scrap over it never really enters the Orks' consideration. To the Ork mind, the only reason for a military build-up is a challenge for one's rivals to come over for a good scrap.
- Evil Overlord: Your average Warboss is this.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Inverted, as the Orks believe there are only three outcomes for a fight: if they win, they won; if they die then they die fighting so it doesn't count; and if they retreat they know that they can always come back for another good fight, which is always fun.
- Fearless Fool: Any Ork becomes this when surrounded by other Orks. Orks naturally gravitate toward each other, and enough of them together puts them into a kind of herd mentality where concepts like self-preservation and awareness of danger become practically irrelevant. This is one of the reasons why a big mob of boyz is so inclined to use Hollywood Tactics, and thanks to their Super Toughness, it works.
- Fictionary: Orks have their own spoken language, though in the same manner that Orks loot manufactured components from other races, so too do they loot words. The end result is that a lot of Ork words are actually "loan words" from languages like Imperial Gothic. For example, "shoota" is the Ork word for any type of firearm, and "choppa" is the Ork word for any type of edged weapon. They also have their own system of writing, which takes the form of ideogramic characters.
- Fire Keeps It Dead: Orks have more in common with fungi than animals physiologically, so when they die they release spores that eventually mature into more Orks, guaranteeing that any world visited by Orks will continue to be infested by them. However, burning the bodies tends to greatly reduce this, and in some cases completely prevent re-infestation. This process was discovered more or less by accident, as Imperial forces are quite flamer-happy.
- For the Lulz: Orks will slaughter millions because they find it very fun. Although, they aren't really enjoying killing for sadistic reasons, they just want to fight stuff and cause a ruckus for the heck of it.
- Friendly Enemy: The Orks do not have a concept of "friend"; the closest they get is "favorite enemy." Warlord Ghazghkull famously let his nemesis Commissar Yarrick go (after a spot of light torture) just to ensure their next fight would be entertaining.
- Funetik Aksent: Spelled with X Treme Kool Letterz, and typically including English slang such as "git" or "gob".
- Gadgeteer Genius: Mekboys instinctively know how to build mechanical objects, from gunz to Gargants.
- Genetic Memory: The Orks also have all of their knowledge of machinery and science preprogrammed into their genetic code. Most of this does not take hold until in the presence of other Orks, or Orkish "teknology," however.
- Genius Bruiser: The oldest Ork Warbosses— the ones that are typically called Warlords— are as cunning as they are strong. It really says a lot about how calculating and devious something is when it's a towering brute almost twenty feet tall, yet its physical prowess is considered the lesser threat when compared to its mind.
- Giant Foot of Stomping: The "Foot of Gork" or "Gork'll Get 'Em" psychic ability used by Wierdboyz is a form of telekinesis that produces a sudden and intense downward force on an area around the target, rapidly crushing it into the ground. This area of force typically takes on the silhouette of a giant foot or giant fist. The Orks take this as a sign of their gods' favor.
- Giant Mook: Averted; the bigger an Ork is, the higher up it is in the hierarchy.
- God Is Chaotic Evil: The Orks have two deities, Gork and Mork. One is cunningly brutal, and will bash you when you aren't looking, while the other is brutally cunning, and will bash you really hard even if you are. Which is which is another excuse for the Orks to fight each other. Thankfully for the rest of the galaxy, neither deity does much but constantly fight each other (since orks are the most numerous species in the galaxy, and given the way divinity works in 40K, they can never truly be defeated, even by other gods).
- Gun Accessories: Most Ork guns are cobbled together from the pieces of other machinery, but some Orks don't know when to stop adding pieces. Such "flash gitz" (most famously the Bad Moons clan) are fond of "snazzing up" their guns by adding accessory after accessory to the frame. Such things do not necessarily make them any better shots, but it certainly makes the wielder feel a lot more clever while shooting them.
- Harmful Healing: Ork "Doktors" (otherwise known as "Painboys" or just "Doks") have a delightful tendency to "eksperiment on da subjekts" when they are given their "anastetiks" (i.e. knocked out with a hammer). To quote the book "An unfortunate ork who goes to the Dok to have his toothache fixed might wake up with a set of lungs that allows him to breathe water instead!!"
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Ork spores grow into a variety of related creatures, including the many varieties of squig. The Orks and gretchen practice squig husbandry, raising them for meat and leather. As a result, most Orks wear squig leathers as their primary form of clothing, when is tough enough to provide some protection from small arms when worn by an Ork, but no more than typical leather cloths on anyone else. Orks who can afford it will often upgrade to crude metal armor.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: This happens when Blood Axes, and Kommandos in general, attempt to be sneaky. Being Orks, they still manage to sneak up on people, though it's as much because almost nobody believes Orks would ever try to be sneaky as because of Clap Your Hands If You Believe.
- Hollywood Tactics: Notable in that they make it work. If you field the right army roster you can actually make it work on the tabletop.
- The Horde: A WAAAGH is basically this, with elements of mass migration/holy war/pub crawl with a little genocide thrown in for good measure.
- Humongous Mecha: Ork Gargants, which are walking shrines to the Ork Gods Gork and Mork. They are built in their image, striding across the landscape, stompin' anything which gets in their way, and making a glorious ruckus while they do it.
- Idiot Ball: Being who they are, it's hard to see when they don't pick it up. Often subverted, however, by the Blood Axes, who being contaminated by non-orky tactics, will occasionally retreat to gather intel. This is the primary reason that they are both treated with derision by other Orks and the main source of Warbosses.
- I Have Many Names: Some Orks take on nicknames referring to particularly remarkable feats or defeated enemies like Daemonkilla or Deffscreama.
- Improvised Weapon: Anything an Ork builds is basically scrap metal welded and bolted together. And it works.
- Insane Ork Logic: Everything the Orks think. And it works, largely because...
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Or more specifically, Waaagh! energy.
- It Can Think: This is the greatest danger in facing the Orks: while the average Boy will be a moronic Blood Knight, the Ork Warboss leading the Waaagh! is not your average Ork and can be highly intelligent. Many Imperial crusades have failed because of underestimating the Orks' intelligence.
- Keystone Army: Generally speaking, taking out the Warboss causes a certain amount of confusion in the Waaaagh, as the Warboss' nobs compete to see which is strongest. If no clear winner is decided, the formerly-united clans turn on each other, becoming easier targets for the enemy.
- Klingon Promotion: Not many ways to advance your career as an Ork besides this.
- Language Equals Thought: The Orks have no word for "equal", and as previously stated the closest they come to the concept of "friend" is "favorite enemy." Also note that the universal battlecry of all Orks is a corruption of the word "war".
- Large And In Charge: Thanks to the psychic energy produced by a Waagh!, Ork Warbosses become larger and stronger the longer they lead a Warband. Ghazghkull Thraka is estimated at about six metersnote . This mentality often gives them trouble when fighting humans, as except for the Space Marines, they all look the same size.
- This problem is slightly averted when dealing with Imperial Guard: the ones with the fancy hats (Commissars) are in charge (because they are always doing things Ork leaders do like yelling at the others and encouraging them to fight with Appeals to Force.) Thus Orks like to loot their Commissar Caps as symbols of authority.
- Laughably Evil: Even though they're homicidal killing machines, Orks are hilarious.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Red wunz go fasta, yellow makes More Dakka, blue is lucky, black is dead'ard, and orange/purple is sneaky (have you ever seen a purple or orange-painted ork? No? Then they must invisible!).
- Lightning Bruiser: Ork Warlords who don't bother wearing powered armor are typically described as such in the novels. Large Orks are ridiculously strong and absolute monsters in close combat, and a few can even shrug off wounds inflicted by weapons as powerful as a lascannon. And they're often fast enough to fight on even ground with high ranking space marines.
- Lower-Class Lout: The parts of the Orkish character that aren't standard fantasy-setting Orcs (or ancient Irish Celts) are based on yobbish British youth culture of The Eighties (when 40k was first published): Football Hooligans, skinheads, boy racers and thugs in general. One of their rules updates was titled 'Ere We Go, a common chant in Orkish mobs and football audiences.
- Lukk Nounverba: Mostly nicknames, but sometimes their first/only name as well.
- Made a Slave: They routinely enslave humans.
- Mad Scientist: Ork Painboys and Meks, who also suffer from Science-Related Memetic Disorder.
- There is one step higher for a Painboy to go; becoming a Maddok. These Dokz go far beyond a Painboy's usual experimental antics and are often a shadow figure in Ork society. It's a "find someone who knows where the Maddok is, then know the right boyz to get in" situation.
- Meat Grinder Surgery: Every Ork boy treats the idea of going to a Painboy as an absolute last resort for a reason. It does not help that most Painboyz are interested about the Ork anatomy and how it works, and don't mind satisfying their curiosity using the poor sap on the operating table. This can go from cutting open a unwounded limb to "check that everythin' is workin' roight" to replacing the patient's leg when it was his arm that needed the attention. Thankfully, the Orks' Healing Factor means that this is usually recoverable... most of the time.
- Might Makes Right: The Orks' ultimate philosophy. If an Ork wants something from someone smaller than him, he feels he has every right to take it. If it resists, he has every right to smash its face (and might do so just for fun even if it doesn't resist). When Orks of similar size quarrel over something, they just fight it out, with the winner getting a tiny bit bigger than the loser. The biggest Ork calls the shots, and anyone who questions him gets made an example of.
- Orks do have a currency, teef, which are gained by punching out the teeth of other orks to supplement the shedding of their own teeth.
- Mini Mecha:
- Deff Dreads serve as the ramshackle counterparts to the Imperium's Dreadnoughts.
- Killa Kans are slightly smaller, being designed for Gretchin pilots.
- Monogender Monsters: Orks sprout from spores, and as such are technically without gender. They're universally referred to as "boyz," though.
- More Dakka: The Trope Namers. Given their sub-par ballistic skill, it is the only way for them to have reasonable odds of hitting a target at range.
- My Brain Is Big: Ork Weirdboyz' brains swell to abnormal size with the power of the Waaagh, to the point that the top portion of their skull needs to be removed to relieve the pressure.
- Nothing but Skulls: Though the real prize for an Ork's "pointy stick" is a collection of Space Marine helmets.
- Obliviously Evil: Orks don't hate you. They're butchering your family and shelling your home because war is what they're made for, and the only thing they understand. Also, they're bored.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Every Ork wants to kill off all non-Ork life, partly because they view them as inferior, but mainly because it would be fun.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Gretchin are a punier breed commonly used as slave labor, emergency rations, mine clearance, cover, rocket guidance systems, ammunition, and in desperate times, as actual infantry. They are smarter than the Orks, so they need plenty of "encouragement" to fulfill these roles, usually a Runtherd's whip or "Grot-Prod." Snotlings are even smaller, and probably not even sentient. Collectively, they're known as "Grots".
- Our Orcs Are Different: Starting with the spelling.
- The Pig Pen: Orks care for little beyond making war, and hygiene is rarely a consideration. Given their particular biology, living in filth does not carry the same health risks that it would among humans (and to some degree encourages growth). The official Citadel tank painting guide recommends that painters add lots of weathering to Ork vehicles, since they rarely bother to clean them.
- Plant Aliens: Some ancient Precursors fused a strand of algal DNA to the Orks' double helix, which is responsible for their genetic memory, powerful physiology, and green skin tone.
- Planimal: While many early sources describe the Orks as simply animate fungi and/or plants this was later retconned to a gene-spliced combination of algae, fungus and vertebrate DNA.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Or the closest the setting has to it, which is not a good sign.
- Powa Klaw: A common weapon among larger Orks is a power-fist shaped into a crude metal "klaw" so large a smaller Ork would be unable to wield it. Some of them are simply strapped to the arm, but others are installed in place of the Ork's forearm as a "bionik" enhancement.
- Imperial Commissar Yarrick famously has an Ork-made power klaw which he took as a trophy from the battlefield and used to replace his own lost arm. While unusual and extremely unwieldy for small Ork, let alone a "'hummie runt," to use, it has proven an exceptionally effective psychological weapon, furthering Yarrick's feared reputation among the Orks.
- Power Incontinence: Wyrdboyz have to be isolated from the rest of the tribe, lest they soak up too much Waaagh! energy and cause a few 'eadbangers.
- Primal Stance: With arms larger than a man's thighs, a hunched posture, and sloped forehead, Orks resemble hairless green gorillas. Some of the fluff even lampshades this, saying that a typical Ork is about the height of a man, and would be taller if they ever stood up straight.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: They follow the letter of the trope, if not the spirit.
- Psycho for Hire: Orks will occasionally hire themselves out as mercenaries to various factions, including Imperial nobles and even Inquisitors who want some sort of Plausible Deniability if a rival is removed.
- Psychopathic Manchild: The life of an Ork is made up of fighting, tearing around at stupidly high speeds on bikes, trukks, ramshackle flyers, or unguided rockets, drinking, and more fighting. Why? Because it's fun.
- Pyro Maniac: Burna Boyz, Skorcha drivers, and especially the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon.
- Burna Boyz have to be supervised or they'll just set other Orkz on fire to "make 'em do da burny dance!". Skorcha drivers were Burna Boyz whose burnas weren't enough for their pyromania. The Arch-Arsonist is famous since he burns each world he conquers into a charred cinder for fun.
- Rebellious Spirit: Inverted. Ork "Yoofs" who have yet to find their place in the tribe may get tired of being told to do whatever they want and run off to join the Stormboyz, Orks obsessed with military discipline, uniforms, marching, and flying around on crude Jet Packs. (Naturally, this discipline lasts approximately until they get a good look at the enemy.)
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: And they glow, too.
- Retcon: Originally the Precursors who created the Orks and Gretchin were supposed to be none other than the Snotlings, who started off as superintelligent, created the Orks as heavy labor, and slowly devolved into semisentience, eventually becoming their creations' slaves. Later, it was Retconned that the Old Ones who had also created the Eldar created the Orks for fighting the Necrons.
- The latest Ork codex mentioned both origins, and basically gave the Shrug of God over which, if either, was true. Over 60 million years it could be both.
- There was once a time when older Orks would feel an instinctive urge to "go lookin' for somefing," wander off to a secluded area, develop sexual characteristics, breed, and bring home a young Ork in a pouch. Fortunately the "spore aliens" reproductive strategy was devised before the concept of female Orks caused too much mental trauma.
- Red Ones Go Faster: The Trope Namers, their belief in this is such that it becomes true.
- Roar Dakka: In the video games, Orks tend to compete with their guns to see who can make the most noise.
- Screaming Warrior: Orks like noise, the louder the better, and when going into combat will contribute as much to the noise with their own lungs as possible. It is not for nothing that a charging green horde is always proceeded by their Battle Cry of "WAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!"
- The Scrounger: Orks as a species are famed for their ability to scrounge useful bits of technology out of anything, to the extent that some even consider it boardering on the supernatural. Lootas are particularly enthuastic and good at this, aggressively finding and nicking the bits a mekboy is most likely to find useful, and getting rewarded with some of the best guns in return.
- Sense Freak: They love the sensations brought by battle. The roar of guns and engines, the speed of vehicles, the bright colors of uniforms. You'd think they were made by Slaneesh.
- Silly Reason for War: Orks do not need a reason to fight, but having a context for it makes it more fun because they get to form into big mobz, paint themselves team colors, rally behind big impressive banners, and charge against the gits that are on the other side of the issue, regardless of what that issue actually is.note As a result, Orks will go to war at the drop of a hat for the seemingly most arbitrary and absurd reasons.
- In Gorkamorka, a major civil war was started because of arguments about whether the titular gargant-spaceship-thing resembled Gork or Mork more. It only ended when it was renamed Gorkamorka and an official stance that it could be either was taken.
- Smarter Than You Look: Orks tend to have a simple manner and a straightforwardly aggressive mentality. This is easy to mistake for stupidity by those who do not know better. Orks are simply interested in having the most fun fight possible, so if straight Hollywood Tactics will give them that, that is what they will do. However, if the foe proves clever enough that such tactics would only result in a Curb Stomp Loss for the Orks (which is no fun), they will come up with "brutal cunning" devious alternative tactics that come as a surprise to enemies expecting "mere" simple-minded aggressors.
- Social Darwinist: The Orks entire heirarchy is based on who is the toughest warrior.
- Space Pirate: Freebooterz, Orks who have separated from their clans to travel the stars and raid starships. Many of them even have the hats!
- Stealth Pun: A thoroughly defeated Ork fleet can leave only the spores, which create more Orks, but missing much of the technical know-how of their ancestors, meaning they are Feral Orks. One could say they were bombed back to the Stone Age, eh?
- Stronger with Age: Ork physiology causes them to get bigger, stronger, and smarter the longer they live and the more fights they win.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Orks love explosions, and will use explosives as much for the big fun blast as its possible effectiveness. Even kommandos, who normally favor subtlety as a rule, like a good blast now and then, and will often use their stealth abilities to set hidden explosive booby traps, or sneak in close to an enemy strongpoint and use demolition charges to blow open a breach for the rest of the horde to pour into. Orks do lay minefields, despite their usual tactics. However, the reason isn't so much to stop humans from attacking their bases, as it is a jump at a chance to cause a massive explosion and take a few enemies down at the same time—the mines are placed so closely to each other that setting off one of them will often detonate the entire field.
- Super Toughness: A characteristic of the Orks, and one of the factors why they display a willingness to charge through a hail of bullets to reach melee range, or strap themselves to rocket packs which are as likely to blow them up as they are to carry them to the enemy. Any wound which does not kill an Ork outright will just make it more belligerent, and even the most serious of wounds can be healed from in a few days.
- Talking with Signs: A recourse for any gretchin who have spent too long manning Ork Big Gunz, which like all Ork firearms are engineered to make as much noise as possible. Since they don't have access to Hammerspace, it doesn't work very well because they're limited to the few signs they can carry around.
- Teeth Flying: Orks attack each other so much that knocked-out teeth are used as currency, known as "Teef". See Weird Currency below.
- Tele-Frag: The dread Shokk Attak Gun, which fires Snotlings through the Warp so that they materialize inside the targeted unit.
- Tribal Facepaint: Orks will often paint their faces and limbs in clan colors, or because they believe a particular color to have a beneficial effect.
- The Usual Adversaries: Formerly named Goddamn Orks.
- War Is Glorious: Or at least a heck of a lot of fun. Orks groups are always either waging war, or preparing to wage war. They live for the moment of it.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Maddoks and Mekboys can take Orks that have taken massive amounts of damage and cyberneticallly enhance them. Ghazghkull Thraka had part of his skull blown off, but it was replaced with adamantium.
- Weird Currency: Orks use Teef (specifically Ork tusks, as human or groot teeth are too weedy) as currency, which ensures that a community always has enough "coinage" to keep its economy afloat. Orks shed teeth over time, so they have a constant income. The Bad Moons clan is wealthy since their teeth grow faster than other Orks', but this isn't seen as an unfair advantage since any Ork 'ard enough can just bash 'em and steal their teeth. Hoarding is impossible because Ork teef naturally fall out over time to make room for new ones, and removed teef gradually degrade, preventing inflation. This keeps the Ork economy running, and means that the only way to afford something expensive is to be 'ard enough to bash other Orks in the face and take their teef.
- It's worth noting that occasionally some smart Ork figures out a way to prevent teef from degrading. This does not destabilise the Ork economy, because it's hard to imagine anything that would make it more unstable than having Orks in it already does.
- What a Piece of Junk: The usual state of vehicles, ships, and weapons of Ork manufacture, considering that they are often cobbled together from parts scavenged by others, or using parts of very quick and crude manufacture by the Orks themselves, and are rarely kept in good condition. However, thanks to Clap Your Hands If You Believe, they tend to work a lot better than their engineering has any logical right to.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: Since Orks only respect brute force, the only way to take over a warband is to prove you're the 'ardest boy in it. These contests are occasionally determined through 'eadbutting contests (except the ones settled by snipping off someone's head with a power claw). This makes Ghazghkull Thraka's adamantium skull all the more useful. A knockout is usually sufficient, but it's a lot funnier when someone dies.
- Zerg Rush: One of the ways the Orks became so numerous and one of their methods for defeating their enemies, thanks to their method of reproduction.