This week on the Vintage RPG Podcast, instead of focusing on a particular game or book, we’re looking at a specific villain, the demon prince Orcus, lord of the undead. The big guy has some interesting real world history and folklore to delve into regarding monsters in general. Then we check out how his story unfolded across the first three editions of Dungeons & Dragons, primarily in the Bloodstone modules and Monte Cook’s two massive Planescape campaign books, The Great Modron March and Dead Gods.
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Before we get to all the delicious links, we mentioned a couple things in the episode that warrant the sharing of images. First, of course, is the Todd Lockwood illustration of Orcus from Dragon Magazine 42 (October, 1980).
Second, Stu couldn’t quite fish the name of this engraving out of his brain in the episode, but “Satan Presiding at the Infernal Council,” by John Martin (circa 1823) is the piece whose vibe reminds him of Lockwood’s Orcus.
Finally, here is the “Orcus Mouth” in the Gardens of Bomarzo, or the Park of Monsters.
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Intro music by George Collazo.
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Tune in next week for the next episode. Until then, may the dice always roll in your favor!
2 thoughts on “Orcus”
Excellent episode guys – I always loved the imagery of Orcus! It took me a while to relate him to the undead in my headcannon (when I started playing D&D on 1995, my grasp of English was rather limited, and basing the lore of my game on just his image, I related him more to evil beasts and monstrous humanoids) I was wondering if we’ll have an episode about Joe Dever’s & Gary Chalk “lone wolf” series in the future. Keep up the awesome work!
Glad you dig it! Yea, Lone Wolf and Fighting Fantasy are both on the list!