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Writerski7
08-11-2009, 02:23
Last friday, I was teamed up with an Ork player to fight in an upcoming local tournament. This will be my first tournament using my own army, but that's besides the point. During the discussion, we rabbit-traield from tactics to complaining about GW loving Space Marines. In the course of the topic, my friend remarked that the reason orks aren't too popular in fluff is because nobody has written a book concerning orks. Now I happen to be a stubborn-a** writer, and made a deal with him.

His end isn't important. My end . . . I am now going to write the first book focusing around Orks, and try to get it published by (crosses fingers) the Black Library. Thought I have played against orks often and enjoy reading the codex (it's funny) I know relatively little about the Orks. So I have turned to my friends (and foes) in Warseer to aid me in this endevour. How to help? Tell me everything about Ork fluff you know. Here are some questions to begin:

-What is the General structure of Ork society?

-What is the general culture of an Ork warband?

-How do orks communicate with one another?

-How do orks behave in the heat of battle (apart from the general chopping, slashing, and shooting. ie how do Orks percieve the battlefield)?

-What do Orks do in their spare time?

-What motivates Orks beyond the simple desire to fight (ie why would they attack planet A over B and so forth)?

-What are the general personality characteristics of a good Ork?

-Who would Orks avoid if anybody?

-What might make an Ork angry (ie, would running around and fighting to get dakka for a big mek make an Ork mad after a while?)

Well? What are you waiting for? Get to it!

Bouncl
08-11-2009, 02:28
I wish you good luck, sir. This will be an ordeal indeed.

Lord Malice
08-11-2009, 02:55
If you're really serious about this I advise getting coppies of Waaargh The Orks, 'Ere We Go and Freebooterz if you can along with GorkaMorka. Deff Skwadron will also come in handy.

To answer your questions very briefly though:


-What is the General structure of Ork society?

The basic unit is the household which includes runtz, da boyz, some oddboyz maybe and nobz. Then the family which is groups of households, then the clan which is groups of families. Any large gathering of orks under one warlord is a tribe.


-What is the general culture of an Ork warband?

That very much depends on what you mean. Ork Kultur on the other hand is something all orks are aware of.


-How do orks communicate with one another?

Over space do you mean? They don't really.


-How do orks behave in the heat of battle (apart from the general chopping, slashing, and shooting. ie how do Orks percieve the battlefield)?

Depends on what kind of ork it is, what clan, what caste what rank et cetera.


-What do Orks do in their spare time?

Orks mainly just sit around eating and scrapping and giving the runtz a good boot. It is during Waa-Ork that they get restless and move out into the galaxy looking for a big fight.


-What motivates Orks beyond the simple desire to fight (ie why would they attack planet A over B and so forth)?

Orks fight because they find it fun and entertaining and during Waa-Ork they attack whatever worlds they encounter. Often though orks require only tribute and will generally leave worlds well alone if tribute is forthcoming but if their is any hint of resistance then they attack to show everyone who's in charge.

Ork warlords don't always come up with the battle plans. Orks have many alien advisors, some willing and some not who formulate battle plans and tactics at the command of the warlord.


-What are the general personality characteristics of a good Ork?

Again, this depends on the clan, caste and position of the ork in society.


-Who would Orks avoid if anybody?

They wouldn't necessarily avoid any enemy and the tougher the enemy the more keen orks usually are to fight them.


-What might make an Ork angry (ie, would running around and fighting to get dakka for a big mek make an Ork mad after a while?)

That sort of chore is usually soemthing for the runtz and/or slaves to do and gretchin might grumble sometimes but they're quite happy to serve the orks.

The sort of thing that would get an ork really mad is if an enemy went around displaying ork back-plates. To an ork that's a big no-no and those enemy usually get an extra good kicking for their audacity.

Vashanesh
08-11-2009, 03:00
Might wanna check out Waargh the Orks and 'Ere We Go, both Rogue Trader Era books with lotsa details on Orks, also Gorka-Morka has a bit of stuff too. Will have a look at the books and get back to you with more specifiv answers to your questions :)

Writerski7
08-11-2009, 03:02
That very much depends on what you mean. Ork Kultur on the other hand is something all orks are aware of.



Over space do you mean? They don't really.


1- where do I get the prescribed books above?

2- Not too keen on that yet. Thinking of it being maybe a renegade Bad Moon Clan with a warboss who obsesses over the toys his unusually smart Big Mek cobbles up. Hence he often chooses which worlds to attack by seeing what the Big Mek wants to build and needs to build it.

MF3000
08-11-2009, 03:44
How long have you been at the hobby? Just wondering, because the Orks have had, as mentioned, a number of books published about them. I still have the Gubbinz journal - I believe it was a bi-monthly journal on all things Orks and Konversion related. It was published for the Gorka-Morka franchise, but clearly GM is part of the 'root' of Orkish kulture.

Can I also say that it seems a little ... 'idealistic' to get your proposal accepted and published by the BL? After all, the Orks are one of the foundational races in the 40k universe (ooniverse) and I doubt they'd lack a freelancer have a shot at writing up anything in lines of a definitive anthropological guide to the Orkish race, a rejoinder to the Xenology book.

sj

edit: to answer your question, majority of the OOP books are available for purchase/auction at websites like ebay. In other words, you'll have to turn a few stones ...

Writerski7
08-11-2009, 03:51
How long have you been at the hobby? Just wondering, because the Orks have had, as mentioned, a number of books published about them. I still have the Gubbinz journal - I believe it was a bi-monthly journal on all things Orks and Konversion related. It was published for the Gorka-Morka franchise, but clearly GM is part of the 'root' of Orkish kulture.

Can I also say that it seems a little ... 'idealistic' to get your proposal accepted and published by the BL? After all, the Orks are one of the foundational races in the 40k universe (ooniverse) and I doubt they'd lack a freelancer have a shot at writing up anything in lines of a definitive anthropological guide to the Orkish race, a rejoinder to the Xenology book.

sj

edit: to answer your question, majority of the OOP books are available for purchase/auction at websites like ebay. In other words, you'll have to turn a few stones ...

Don't worry, I'm already a few steps ahead on getting the books ;)

Idealistic? They accept what's popular. And what sells. What's so idealistic about using human greed to your own advantage? :D A New Ork book would be timely since the Orks are donig pretty well right now (though it hasn't stopped me from beating them every time!)

MF3000
08-11-2009, 04:00
lol if you're keen for it then all the best for ya!

I presume you know about the Xenology book? I think that's one of the most recent publications on the Orks and their pure badazzery. But I can't remember how much stuff they had on their culture.

Hmmm for that matter my bookcase is disturbingly empty of my reference books. Ho hum.

sj

Xisor
08-11-2009, 07:42
Read Steve Parker's short story Headhunted from Heroes of the Space Marines. For one, it's utterly fantastic. For two, the first few pages are written entirely from an ork perspective.

As best I've seen so far, it's easily the best (and perhaps only successful) depiction of an ork perspective. Also the short story is tremendous!

precinctomega
08-11-2009, 16:07
You're both confusing cause and effect. Space Marines aren't popular because they have novels. They have novels because they're popular.

In any case, the Black Library doesn't accept unsolicited submissions of manuscripts for novels. Rather, they have an open submissions policy for short stories (much like the original Inferno! concept). So I suggest that you draft out some ideas for short stories based on and around Orks, whilst doing your homework on their background.

Choose your favourite concept and flesh it out to a full synopsis, then turn it into a 7,000 word short story. If you can do that once, do it a few more times. Then you might be in a position to pitch them to Christian Dunn at BL Publishing. If one or more gets published, then the door will be open to develop a synopsis and pitch for a novel.

However, it is highly unlikely that an untested author would be allowed to write an Ork POV novel as their first project. Rather, you would be expected to cut your teeth on the craft of novel-writing with easier projects concerning humans and familiar 40k armies, such as Guard, Space Marines and the Inquisition. Once you had proved yourself in that arena with at least one (and maybe two) novels, you might then have the ear of the commissioning editor to pitch an Ork POV novel.

Marc Gascoigne used to say that he would publish one as soon as someone pitched him an Ork novel that was any good - he had rejected many from established BL authors. Of course, Nick Kyme and Linsey Priestley are in his chair now (not at the same time!), and I don't know how they feel about Orks, except that, if they speak in mockney accents and talk about "oomies" and suchlike, you may get the bum's rush.

R.

Writerski7
09-11-2009, 01:55
You're both confusing cause and effect. Space Marines aren't popular because they have novels. They have novels because they're popular.

In any case, the Black Library doesn't accept unsolicited submissions of manuscripts for novels. Rather, they have an open submissions policy for short stories (much like the original Inferno! concept). So I suggest that you draft out some ideas for short stories based on and around Orks, whilst doing your homework on their background.

Choose your favourite concept and flesh it out to a full synopsis, then turn it into a 7,000 word short story. If you can do that once, do it a few more times. Then you might be in a position to pitch them to Christian Dunn at BL Publishing. If one or more gets published, then the door will be open to develop a synopsis and pitch for a novel.

However, it is highly unlikely that an untested author would be allowed to write an Ork POV novel as their first project. Rather, you would be expected to cut your teeth on the craft of novel-writing with easier projects concerning humans and familiar 40k armies, such as Guard, Space Marines and the Inquisition. Once you had proved yourself in that arena with at least one (and maybe two) novels, you might then have the ear of the commissioning editor to pitch an Ork POV novel.

Marc Gascoigne used to say that he would publish one as soon as someone pitched him an Ork novel that was any good - he had rejected many from established BL authors. Of course, Nick Kyme and Linsey Priestley are in his chair now (not at the same time!), and I don't know how they feel about Orks, except that, if they speak in mockney accents and talk about "oomies" and suchlike, you may get the bum's rush.

R.

Untested? :wtf: I'll give you untested!

. . . hahaha, I guess I'm just stubborn that way. I don't know how to stop trying. If it's short stories they want then it'll be short stories they'll get! ;) though might be a bit longer than 7000 words . . . :rolleyes: I'll work on it.

Know where to send/ship/e-mail them the stories when I'm done?

Operative
09-11-2009, 02:48
Now I'm focused on what he's getting if he wins.. Lifetime supply of beer? Night with his friends old lady?

I can't even focus on helping you now; thanks.

daa6
09-11-2009, 03:28
Too start, Good Luck !!

And for the most part, Ork run the system and logic of:

Might makes Right!

Which covers their Leader, and culture sections, along with the Family / clan info sourced before by Lord Malice.

As for the clans -"no book" but Goffs, are the Biggest and therefore normally take control.... and take "pride" in lots of Boyz and a horde approach, with little in the way of transports.

Speed Freeks - Love EVERYTHING fast, thus Trucks and Bikes, and of course RED Paint, coz it goz fasta.

"Blood Axes" - are sneaky and go with a camo look and are shunned by other orks because of it, as they act more like Umies than Orks.

"Snake Bits" - are Basic even by Ork means and so shun Technology.

and another which i cant remember...... with have all the best Tech and have a yellow Colour scheeme .

and another i think which scavages ALOT..... me thinks.....


Spare time spent "getting mightier" by Fighting, pushing round grots and slaves, eating, and the bi product of that eating... then fighting again and so on and so on....

Orks aint afraid or anyone!!!
Will Fight Anyone, and given the right motivation, for anyone although of the more sinister side...


Communication is from the weird Boy.... from Gork and maybe Mork. "their Gods"

Otherwise no further than planet wide really, or within a fleet.

Battle Plans, from the Boss, weather that be War Boss, Mek, or Weird Boy, tho normally the First or Second.... and what they say GOES!!

Again depending on the Boss leading the Waaagh, will depend on the tactics, but more or less, Using the skills of each "clan/tribe".

Freeks take the advance, Goffs normally in the centre and the Hammer, also making the bulk of the force, with Axes sneaking upfront to be a pain, of sabatarge... while the scaves, rob and replace, The Yellow ones have / use the best stuff, and opperate from range "shootas" etc....

Hope its of use.... and not just a plurt......:D

daa6
09-11-2009, 03:37
On another note, Orks are believed to be VERY POWERFULL Psychers......

tho they just Dont know it!! and this is similar to the Eldar, as in ALL of them are!

e.g.
Ork shoots Gun, then killed... dropping gun.... Human / Marine out of desparation "pinned down without weapon" picks up gun shoots, but gun dont work as just plan broke..... gets killed by choppa.... "because could not shoot ork... New Ork now Picks up gun, and shoots more of his squad..... with broken gun.

Orks believe it works ...it does.....

Also, they are Pre-programmed..... as in the are formed from spores, "fungus" and when them arrive from the damp space... they know how to use a choppa "well" and shoot "as well as an ork can anyway" OR will know how to construct a truck or Bike just because they can, and because the know how too, but would never have been shown.

daa6
09-11-2009, 03:39
The MORE Orks fight the Bigger and Harder they Become!!

and the are durable!!

In that you cut its arm off, it could "tie/so" it back in place, and it would likely be fine within a short period!!

Which is also why they can have so many "improovments" from the Meks..... :D

daa6
09-11-2009, 03:42
For the most partr Orks are simple.... though the leaders "again influanced by clan" are smart and can make quite in depth battle plans and be well organised....

Writerski7
09-11-2009, 04:19
Wow, four posts in a row daa6 . . .

THanks; you get an 'E' for effort. Anyways I'm still wondering IF I need the Xenology book . . . On another note it seems Orks mainly are just plain stubborn (like me). They learn through trial and error, and just don't give up until they get what they want.

Eulenspiegel
09-11-2009, 07:30
Anyways I'm still wondering IF I need the Xenology book . . .
One story in the book (the Inquisitor in it uses reports from other sources, these are presented like the usual GW blurbs in between rules) are the experiences of one Imperial Guard trooper, a veteran from an engagement with Orks. He discribes how one Ork - they recognized him because he had a peculiar wound - "got lucky" and killed five Marines all by himself. When they saw him again, some days after that, that Ork was much taller, his Tusks had grown, and he was bossing other Orks around.
Thatīs perhaps the most worthwile information in Xenology you need for your book.

Other than that itīs mainly about their biology (of cause), procreation and speculations on their origin. Maybe not that important for you.

precinctomega
09-11-2009, 15:36
Untested? I'll give you untested!

. . . hahaha, I guess I'm just stubborn that way. I don't know how to stop trying. If it's short stories they want then it'll be short stories they'll get! though might be a bit longer than 7000 words . . . I'll work on it.

Know where to send/ship/e-mail them the stories when I'm done?

The new submissions system hasn't been decided on, and the BL website has been down for re-design for almost two months, now. Hopefully, when it comes back, clarity will descend.

In the mean time, I suggest you work on synopses - full and detailed outlines of your story plans. Have you already got a portfolio of published fiction?

R.

Writerski7
10-11-2009, 01:12
The new submissions system hasn't been decided on, and the BL website has been down for re-design for almost two months, now. Hopefully, when it comes back, clarity will descend.

In the mean time, I suggest you work on synopses - full and detailed outlines of your story plans. Have you already got a portfolio of published fiction?

R.

Roughly 1,000 pages of work, though none of it 40K fiction.

daa6
10-11-2009, 03:36
Only an E :( :cries: :D

Oh well.....

That excert from the book sound like a good snip for your book..... shows alot about them.

as for th posts, can never do one BIG one, and work nights so...... what else could i have done... :)

But the problem is to make them interesting.... and not to do the bad english with them "througout the book" or it could make for VERY heavy reading.

There have been some good stuff in the white dwarfs IF i remember correctly.... a bit of an Ork story... with appropriot ork speak in it...

Will see if i can find out where i read it..... and let you know.

precinctomega
10-11-2009, 12:49
Roughly 1,000 pages of work, though none of it 40K fiction.

Any of it published? Got a link?

R.

Writerski7
11-11-2009, 01:33
Any of it published? Got a link?

R.

No, nothing published yet . . . haven't found a publisher yet. I can just send you some of it, or simply post what I have written so far for my first Ork story on Warseer. :D Don't matter to me . . .

I might eventually get it published . . . should I somehow find the self-confidence to submit it to the cruelty of an editor. Course, it doesn't matter for my Ork story . . . I'm submitting that one as soon as somebody tells me where to e-mail it to.

Oh, and I'm 500 words into the Ork story now.

Grimbad
11-11-2009, 02:10
I wish you the best of luck. I agree that orks aren't the focus of nearly as many stories as they could be. I'll give you what I know, or what I think I know, much of this happened before I was born but I've managed to get my hands on many of the old books and sort of piece together the general story of how orks have developed. I'll start by agreeing that the Rogue Trader ork books, GorkaMorka and Deff Skwadron are the defining sources of ork background.

Waaargh the Orks and the other Rogue Trader books would be the oldest (and by far most detailed) authorities on ork kultur- more than anything since then, they explored in depth how the orks worked. Newer sources show orks as creatures that do nothing but fight interstellar wars- obviously, a species can't survive just doing that. The rogue trader ork books show an ork society which, while less menacing to other species, is stable and sustainable but nevertheless violent. Some parts of the books are clearly out of date- references to all Evil Sunz boyz wearing back banners, for example, though homages to the old fluff can be found in the current models- ork torsos sometimes feature back plates, which Waaargh explains are used by all orks to show allegiance to their mob. Also, the current kommando nob is an updated model of a picture in Waaargh of a snakebite warlord. Waaargh and Freebootaz, while they may be worse than the current fluff on some details (reproduction by spore makes far more sense than sudden gender change in old age...), would be the ideal source to use if your novel took place on a rural ork world where orks lived in a traditional style.

GorkaMorka, available for free from the GW website, is mostly consistent with Waaargh and Freebootaz, but its post-apocalyptic setting meant many of the traditions of ork society were not present, such as back banners and klans. GorkaMorka was the setting that defined the current ork look and technology level. Before GorkaMorka, orks used crude and low-tech stuff that nevertheless looked planned out and relatively sturdy. GorkaMorka introduced the current cobbled-together-from-scrap-metal look in ork technology, but kept many of the more primitive aspects- ork buildings were still made of adobe, but with scrap bolted on and metal watchtowers looming over them. GorkaMorka does note that within the boundaries of the ork town, orks are forbidden to fight, and follow this rule out of superstitious fear of the power of the Meks. Hence, the fighting in GorkaMorka takes place outside settlements, where ork mobs build small forts to mine scrap, which they sell to the meks or use to make weaponry, which is used to take scrap from the other mobs (which is what the game covers...). GorkaMorka would be a good reference for a story focusing on small scale infighting among orks of the same group.

Deff Skwadron is basically GorkaMorka on a massive scale. Two ork empires are waging war on an isolated planet. We never see how the empires are on the inside, only where they fight. Deff Skwadron would be the ideal source to use if you wanted to write about orks on a Waaagh!. Deff Skwadron shows that in a waaagh!, most of a given mob dies, and only the craziest, toughest or smartest live to lead the next generation into battle. Killboy, for example, is so tough and so crazy that he has survived to become a veteran kamikaze pilot. In all likelihood, he'll outlive all the other characters in the story, and keep going under the command of the next ork to lead the skwadron.
Deff Skwadron also shows us how an ork Waaagh! is organized, if only a little. Most modern sources make no mention of supplies or strategy among orks, but Deff Skwadron shows ork Smartboyz managing the complicated bitz. It shows that while the mobs and skwadrons under a warlord's command are mostly self-sufficient, but not centrally organized. They maintain their own vehicles at their own base and show up whenever possible or necessary. In exchange, the warboss lets them participate in dangerous (ie, fun) missions. The mobs in a warband are all relatively loyal to the warboss, but compete and conflict with each other when the boss isn't looking.

I think there's room enough in 40k for all the different versions of ork society. I find them all inspiring, the Rogue Trader books for their characterful detail, GorkaMorka for a perfect mix of savagery and orky ingenuity, and Deff Skwadron for being like GorkaMorka but with a storyline and a larger scale. If you wanted to, you could have the different versions coexisting or fighting. Bad Moon merchants from another system might visit an ork settlement, for example, and while the settlement mostly follows the GorkaMorka image, the merchants could be fully arrayed in bright colors, with back banners and everything. The orks from the settlement would find this hilarious, strange, unorky, and possibly offensive, (Da rich gitz 'ave got cloth on their arms! Wot da zog they pretendin' ter be, 'umies?) while the visitors would see the settlement as barbaric, disgraceful and unorky (They'z walkin' about with no back banners, not even back plates! An they calls 'emselves Orks?!). Seeing the various ork ways of life all drawn together in one Waaagh! could be interesting.

Beyond the background, there's more things to take into account. The visuals of the ork models, for example, starting as pretty plain sci-fi barbarians, picking up visual influences from World War II's axis powers- most noticably the spiked helmets and stikkbomms, but some samurai elements were added, including the back banners. The explicit nazi imagery was dropped when GW started operating in Germany, and that's why you don't see orks with swastikas anymore. GorkaMorka swept aside most of the previous elements, with some beautiful models setting the new look. This was also when orks lost their bolters and started using cruder machine guns, and where the ork terminology for their various weapons and vehicles showed up. Previously land vehicles were battlewagons, a class of vehicle that ranged from transports to battle tanks, with specific designs with names like Gobsmasha, Lungbursta, Spleenrippa, and so on, but in GorkaMorka all vehicles were transports and there were only a few (heavily customizable) types- trakks, trukks, warbikes. Orkish pistols became sluggas and six-shootas, bolters became shootas, axes became choppas, and so on. When this stuff got inserted into 40k, some of it didn't really work- six shootas were distinguished from sluggas by a higher rate of fire and longer reload, neither of which made a difference in 3rd edition. So much as autoguns died out and lasguns survived, six-shootas faded away and sluggas stuck around. Like autoguns, however, six-shootas are still in the background, just they're not different enough at 40k scale to be notable. Bringing me to another point- ork stuff doesn't, in the background, fall into the neat categories of the weapons and vehicles available to orks in-game. There currently isn't an ork battle tank option in the codex, only various transports, but that doesn't mean no such thing exists. If the Ork army list followed the background more, there wouldn't be any vehicle entries, only a reprinting of the Vehicle Design Rules and a few example vehicles. And so on, and so forth. This post is already too long so I'll cut it off here and recommend seeking out orkier regions of the internet and digging for info there. The Waaagh is a great site, for starters.

Hope this is helpful, hope I got most of that right, good luck!

Writerski7
11-11-2009, 02:20
(lots 'o' stuff, see above)
Hope this is helpful, hope I got most of that right, good luck!

Thanks, I'll put this to good use.

precinctomega
11-11-2009, 11:41
I had a story published in Planetkill. I've also sold a few stories to indie sci-fi magazines, but I'm still struggling to break into fiction in any meaningful way. If you want to write for the Black Library at the moment, until they get their submissions system sorted out and their new website up and running, I suggest working purely on synopses, rather than full, fleshed-out stories. Get yourself a good core of work and put it to one side.

Then start writing general sci-fi and fantasy and start pitching the independent markets: Asimov's, F&SF, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and suchlike (these are the "big" names where publication will definitely get your noticed; there are dozens of other, smaller markets more likely to take on a first-timer, although they pay commensurately less).

If you've got a portfolio of published short fiction, BL is far, far more likely to take seriously any pitch you submit.

R.