Posted Wed, Feb 27, 2013 by gunky
Dungeons & Dragons was drawn from a lot of different sources, from medieval European folklore to sword-and-sorcery fantasy stories by Howard, Tolkien, Vance, Anderson, Lieber and many others. From its genesis, it has included a core set of monsters that have appeared in just about every iteration in one form or another. These are the staples of D&D, and the chances are excellent that we will see all of them in Neverwinter. Some have already been confirmed by recent press releases, some have been encountered in-game during the last beta weekend, and some are educated guesstimates.
Note: The images in this article are taken from the 4th Edition Monster Manuals published by Wizards of the Coast. These are not official Neverwinter art.
Goblinkind are the nemeses of the low-level adventuring group: tribes of vicious monster-men bent on war, domination, chaos and destruction that are just tough enough to succeed under the right circumstances, but who are still fairly easy to kill by nearly anyone with a sword. They are usually encountered in a progression from the weakest to the toughest: goblins, then orcs, then bugbears, then hobgoblins. Orcs in particular are convincing enemies for a wide spectrum of adventuring levels, as they are often the foot soldiers of a powerful villain and they are just clever enough to take class levels, making them competitive with the more civilized races.
Goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears and kobolds have been around for a very long time in European folklore, usually as diminutive rustic troublemakers who often performed mischievous deeds while nearby farmers were asleep. Orcs are lifted right out of the works of Tolkien, who borrowed the word from either a translation of a word meaning "ogre" or an unrelated mythological evil spirit that may have lived in underwater caves.
Orcs are definitely a part of Neverwinter's bestiary, and have even starred in their own game trailer. They are encountered fairly early on in the Tower District, seeking to control that region.