Going back a bit to do some more level setting and based on a conversation I had last week with a friend. He was looking for some stats for Orcus for 2nd Edition AD&D. I have stats for all versions of AD&D/D&D for him, but none for 2nd Ed. I had always felt that Orcus was dead throughout all of 2nd Edition (thanks to The Throne of Bloodstone) but the events of Dead Gods brought him back.
I did have some older AD&D 2nd Ed stats I had created in something I call the "Red Book." The notes are largely cribbed from 1st Edition sources.
Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead
Climate/Terrain: The Abyss
Activity Cycle: Any
Intelligence: Supra-genius (20)
Treasure: P, S, T, U
Alignment: Chaotic evil
No. Appearing: 1 (Unique)
Armor Class: -6
Movement: 18, Fl 36 (B)
Hit Dice: 25 (130 hp)
No. of Attacks: 3 (see below)
Damage/Attack: 1d10+3/1d10+3/2d4 + special
Special Attacks: Fear, spell-like powers, summon and command undead, Wand of Orcus
Special Defenses: +3 or better weapons to hit
Magic Resistance: 85%
Size: L (15' tall)
Morale: Fearless (19-20)
XP Value: 36,000
Orcus is the Prince of the Undead, and it said that he alone created the first undead that walked the worlds.
Orcus is one of the strongest (if not the strongest) and most powerful of all demon lords. He fights a never-ending war against rival demon princes that spans several Abyssal layers. From his great bone palace he commands his troops as they wage war across the smoldering and stinking planes of the Abyss. Orcus spends most of his days in his palace, rarely leaving its confines unless he decides to leads his troops into battle (which has happened on more than one occasion). Most of the time though, he is content to let his generals and commanders lead the battles.
Appearance: Orcus is a grossly fat demon lord, some 15 feet tall. His huge grey body is covered with coarse goatish hair. His head is goat-like, although his horns are similar to those of a ram. His great legs are also goat-like but his arms are humanoid. Vast bat wings sprout from his back, but these are usually tucked out of sight when he is not in flight. His long, snaky tail is tipped his a poisonous head.
Combat: It is probable that this creature is one of the most powerful and strongest of all demons. If he so much as slaps with his open hand the blow causes 1-4 hit points of damage. His terrible fists can deliver blows of 3-13 hit points. If he uses a weapon he strikes with a bonus of +6 to hit and +8 on damage. Additionally, his tail has a virulent poison sting (-4 on all saving throws against its poison), and his tail strikes with a 15 dexterity which does 2-8 hit points each time it hits.
Orcus prefers to fight using his wand. (see below)
Orcus radiates a 60-foot-radius aura of fear (as the spell). A creature in the area must succeed on a saving throw vs. Spell or be affected as though by a fear spell (caster level 30th). A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by Orcus’s fear aura for one day.
Orcus can, at will, use any one of the following powers:
Orcus can command or banish undead as a 15th-level cleric, controlling up to 150 HD worth of undead at one time. He casts spells as a 15th level cleric and 12th level magic-user, and can use the following magical abilities at will: animate dead, charm monster, darkness, dispel magic, ESP, fear, feeblemind (1/day), lightning bolt (12 die), speak with dead (as 20th level cleric), symbol (any) and wall of fire.
Orcus furthermore is able to summon the undead, for he is their prince. If random calling is desired by the referee the following is suggested:
- 4-48 Skeletons
- 4-32 Zombies
- 4-24 Shadows
- 2-8 Vampires
Habitat/Society: When not warring against rival demon princes, Orcus likes to travel the planes, particularly the Material Plane. Should a foolish spellcaster open a gate and speak his name, he is more than likely going to hear the call and step through to the Material Plane. What happens to the spellcaster that called him usually depends on the reason for the summons and the power of the spellcaster. Extremely powerful spellcasters are usually slain after a while and turned into undead soldiers or generals in his armies.
Ecology: Orcus controls several levels of the Abyss he claims as his own including the 113th and 333rd layers. When not at war with the forces of good and life he wars with all the other demon princes for control of all the Abyss. Orcus' goal is to see all life extinguished and death reigns supreme.
Wand of Orcus: Mighty Orcus wields a huge black skull-tipped rod that functions as a +3 heavy mace. It slays any living creature it touches if the target fails a saving throw. Orcus can shut this ability off so as to allow his wand to pass into the Material Plane, usually into the hands of one of his servants. Further, the Wand has the following magical powers: 3/day—animate dead, darkness and fear; 2/day—unholy word.
Might need to tweak it some for my own uses, but this looks like it works well enough. These stats are not perfect by any stretch, but they feel pretty close.
I reject the fan theory that so many have adopted that Orcus was once human. Though this does fit in with the Mystara/BECMI Immortals Set version of Orcus. Though THAT Orcus also has 39 HD and 620 HP.
I prefer my own where he is a remnant of a former god. He has memories of God-like power, but nothing else. After all according to Milton Orcus was in Hell when the Devils first arrived.
In any case, I do see that Orcus became more powerful after the events of Dead Gods. Maybe also explaining why he went from being "immensely fat and covered in grey hair" to the red demon of 21st century D&D.