First character

hi everyone, I’m currently tying to create a new (and first) character, and am now looking at being an imperial orc, but, I’ve heard the orcs are very “hardcode” and are very complicated and different to the other nations, also bear in mind I am only 14, would it be advised to maybe make a character in another less complex nation first?, also is it fairly easy to get involved with everyone and possibly join a legion quite quickly,
thanks, Robin.

One reason orcs are hard-core is you wear that mask ALL DAY. And believe me, those masks get hot and uncomfortable after an hour, let alone 12-16 hours from time-in to time-out.

Additionally as an orc you may be in the receiving end of some (all in character) racism. Orcs are imperial citizens, but it is part of the brief that a lot of people still see them as second class citizens. Bear that in mind.

Honestly, I’d pick a bog-standard human as my first character, and branch out once you get the hang of it.

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Hi @fissureman

Welcome to the forums and to empire!

I know quite a few players of imperial orcs and they are a lovely lot, unfortunately they don’t really use these forums!

You’d have much better luck over on the Facebook group over at

I’m sure you can find as much help as you need over there!

I would recommend playing another nation first. For players who are new to the hobby, I usually recommend Navarr as your first nation. Wintermark is a frequent choice due to the ease of getting cheap kit together which is readily available, but I’ve found that the size of the nation makes getting involved in plot a bit more difficult. Otherwise, any of the other 7 nations are also good choices. If you’re not new to the game, as in you;ve been in the Academy up until now, I’d recommend going into whichever nation you have a group of friends already. The design philosophy of Empire leans HEAVILY into group play. As a solo player, it’s taken me about a year to build up enough contacts to find a group that I’ve really bonded with and they’re not in my nation. I’ve been working towards changing nation for 2 events now and it’s not always an easy matter.

I don’t think other nations are any simpler than the Orcs… if anything it’s the opposite. As others have said, the hard things about playing an orc would be

  • The physical issues of the mask
    • Hot and sweaty
    • The ones I’ve seen all cover the ears, so they hamper your hearing a bit
    • You can’t do facial expressions, so interaction with other people is harder
    • I hate to imagine what it would be like with a cold and a runny nose.
    • You need face-paint as well, for any exposed parts (e.g. chin and eyelids) and for hands (or wear gloves/wrappings all the time).
  • The costume brief doesn’t seem to have any options for hot weather
  • Some humans look down on the orcs in various ways: your character will encounter prejudice from other characters. (Maybe that appeals to you, or maybe not.)

On the other hand, although I’ve not played an Orc myself, I suspect it might well be quite easy to join in and feel included: they’re big on cooperation, community, the importance of having friends… but yes, definitely find some orc players to talk to about it.

All in all, I think you’re doing the right thing: you say playing an Orc seems appealing, so you want to find out what you’d be letting yourself in for if you try it.
Where some people have advised against it, my advice would be:

  • Try wearing an orc mask (or similar) for a few hours, including some hard work to see how it affects your breathing when you’re out of breath.
  • Read the imperial orc briefing pages on the wiki (culture and customs, look and feel, hearth magic etc…)
  • Maybe also look at the other nations’ pages about attitudes to orcs.
  • Find some orc players to talk to.
  • Make your own decision: you’re the one with best understanding of yourself and what you’re likely to enjoy or not.