System Agnostic: Tropes, and Monsters Playing With Type

The response for one of my previous articles Grokking Orcs was overwhelming and overwhelmingly positive, thank you! Some people brought up some very good critiques + suggestions, and by far the most consistent one was that the setup I was describing (more organized, tactical, less chaotic orcs) made them slide into the territory a lot of gamers reserve for Hobgoblins. Which is perfectly legitimate; I think the triune setup for goblinoids and orcs goes – hobgoblins effective lawful evil, bugbears effective neutral evil, goblins ineffective chaotic evil/orcs effective chaotic evil. This is pretty well established in part because it works very well and you have a go to monster depending on your needs.

But I wanted to record some thoughts about tropes monsters playing against or with type (which the Orcs of the Sanguine Grail are doing) when and why it should be used and how to do it better.


One of the useful (and occasionally constraining aspects) of speculative gaming