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Wednesday 23 May 2018

Friday Filler: Orc Stabr

Everything about Orc Stabr is distressing. It is distressingly simple. It is distressingly silly. It is distressingly short—taking one side of a single piece of paper. Which distressingly begs the question, what is on the other side? It is actually distressingly, physically distressed. It is also distressingly charming.

So what exactly is Orc Stabr? Well, Orc Stabr: One Page RPG for Orc Stabbers to Tell Legends of Stabbin’ is a roleplaying game in which an Orc Legend Teller creates an adventure of blood and stabbin’ and then the Orcs take up their favourite weapons, bring their favourite bitey pets, and go stab things. All an Orc needs is a handful of dice—mostly six-sided dice, but also other types—and the urge to take themselves and their pets out stabbin’!

An Orc is defined by four stats—how stabby an Orc is, how much an Orc can get stabbed, how fast an Orc is, and how loud an Orc is. A player distributes ten points between the four attributes or Things with none being higher than five, selects a weapon for his Orc that no other Orc has, and chooses a pet. (Note that this pet rule is a pet rule included in my review copy and will not be found in Orc Stabr otherwise.) The pet also needs a name and the weapon also needs a FEARSOME name. 

Stabbin’ 3
Wif Standin’ 3
Chasin’ 2
Snarlin’ 2

Weapon: Spikeball Swingin’
Pet: Sneaks on Seven Legs

The mechanics to Orc Stabr is very simple. If an Orc wants to do something, he rolls a number of six-sided dice equal to the Thing he wants to do. So to do some Stabbin’, an Orc rolls a number of dice equal to his Stabbin’ Thing. Every result of three or more counts as a Hit. One or two Hits means that an Orc has succeeded, but that something else has gone wrong—essentially, ‘Yes, but…’; three Hits means that an Orc has succeeded; and four Hits means that an Orc has succeeded with Honour! If a Orc rolls no Hits, then not only has he failed, he has failed spectacularly and DIES!!!!! (Time to roll up a new Orc.)

If an Orc is successfully stabby in combat, damage is rolled—the number of dice rolled for the weapon depending upon its size. Monsters get dice equal to their size—as Big as Orc, Bigger than Orc, or Bigger than Orc Party. So an Elf, a Troll, or a Dragon, or 1d10, 2d12, or 3d20. Orc Stabr is not actually clear on how Stabbin’ damage is inflicted on monsters, but the Legend Teller should be able to make something up with rules this light.

At the end of a session, the Orcs in a party decide which Orc was the greatest Orc in the adventure and that Orc gets a single point to assign one of his four Things. He also gets a new weapon. Then they all go on another adventure. Should an Orc ever have a rating of ten in any one Thing, he retires from adventuring and becomes an Orc of great legend.

And that is about it for Orc Stabr.

Except the other side of the sheet (see below).

Orc Stabr is really simple and silly and Stabbin’ fun if the Legend Teller is up for running a light game on the hoof (the Orcs will have eaten the rest of whatever the hoof was attached to). You get the feeling that the designer—Limm—might get Stabbin’ if you ask too many questions (such as, ‘Could the combat rules be slightly clearer?’) and fail to get a Stabbin’ in there first. For all of its idiocy and simplicity, Orc Stabr is not an utterly terrible game for $2. It even comes properly handled and ripped and taped and drawn on and personalised by Limm—distressingly and charmingly so.


Orc Stabr is currently being funded via Kickstarter.

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