What is the origin of the phrase ‘orc and pie’?

The name of the pictureThe name of the pictureThe name of the pictureClash Royale CLAN TAG#URR8PPP

up vote
68
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10

I’d like to know where this unique phrase came from. “Orc and pie” has become shorthand for a style of simple dungeon design, but where did it originate?

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  • 74

    Since I’ve been gaming 30 years and have never heard the phrase, perhaps you could expand your question to indicate where you heard it and why you think it’s a widespread saying.
    – mxyzplk
    Nov 29 at 12:18

  • 12

    A first for me as well, but also a wonderful bit of RPG lore. Thanks for asking this question.
    – KorvinStarmast
    Nov 29 at 12:56

up vote
68
down vote

favorite

10

I’d like to know where this unique phrase came from. “Orc and pie” has become shorthand for a style of simple dungeon design, but where did it originate?

share|improve this question

  • 74

    Since I’ve been gaming 30 years and have never heard the phrase, perhaps you could expand your question to indicate where you heard it and why you think it’s a widespread saying.
    – mxyzplk
    Nov 29 at 12:18

  • 12

    A first for me as well, but also a wonderful bit of RPG lore. Thanks for asking this question.
    – KorvinStarmast
    Nov 29 at 12:56

up vote
68
down vote

favorite

10

up vote
68
down vote

favorite

10
10

I’d like to know where this unique phrase came from. “Orc and pie” has become shorthand for a style of simple dungeon design, but where did it originate?

share|improve this question

I’d like to know where this unique phrase came from. “Orc and pie” has become shorthand for a style of simple dungeon design, but where did it originate?

terminology dungeon-design

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edited Nov 29 at 15:27

SevenSidedDie

203k27653927

203k27653927

asked Nov 29 at 12:12

Marlond

1,117525

1,117525

  • 74

    Since I’ve been gaming 30 years and have never heard the phrase, perhaps you could expand your question to indicate where you heard it and why you think it’s a widespread saying.
    – mxyzplk
    Nov 29 at 12:18

  • 12

    A first for me as well, but also a wonderful bit of RPG lore. Thanks for asking this question.
    – KorvinStarmast
    Nov 29 at 12:56

  • 74

    Since I’ve been gaming 30 years and have never heard the phrase, perhaps you could expand your question to indicate where you heard it and why you think it’s a widespread saying.
    – mxyzplk
    Nov 29 at 12:18

  • 12

    A first for me as well, but also a wonderful bit of RPG lore. Thanks for asking this question.
    – KorvinStarmast
    Nov 29 at 12:56

74

74

Since I’ve been gaming 30 years and have never heard the phrase, perhaps you could expand your question to indicate where you heard it and why you think it’s a widespread saying.
– mxyzplk
Nov 29 at 12:18

Since I’ve been gaming 30 years and have never heard the phrase, perhaps you could expand your question to indicate where you heard it and why you think it’s a widespread saying.
– mxyzplk
Nov 29 at 12:18

12

12

A first for me as well, but also a wonderful bit of RPG lore. Thanks for asking this question.
– KorvinStarmast
Nov 29 at 12:56

A first for me as well, but also a wonderful bit of RPG lore. Thanks for asking this question.
– KorvinStarmast
Nov 29 at 12:56

4 Answers
4

active

oldest

votes

up vote
110
down vote

accepted

Presenting Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”, ©2001

The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody

“The Orc and the Pie”

Adventure Background: An orc has a pie.

Adventure Synopsis: The PCs kill the orc and take his pie.

Adventure Hook: The PCs are hungry for pie.

Room 1: The Orc’s Pie Room

You see an orc with a pie.

The room is 10 feet by 10 feet.

Creature: An orc.

Treasure: A pie.

Concluding the Adventure: Pie tastes good.

Further Adventures: Somewhere, there is a bakery making these good
pies. Perhaps it’s guarded by more orcs.

WHAT DO YOU DO???

share|improve this answer

  • 3

    Obviously you go off somewhere else and buy a tart.
    – Zibbobz
    Dec 2 at 17:17

  • 3

    Or sit in a bar and strike up a conversation with one. Whatever… 🙂
    – Bob Jarvis
    Dec 2 at 22:38

up vote
52
down vote

It was an example adventure by Monte Cook

It seems to have been made as an example adventure that is as short as possible while still being an actual adventure hook, but it is no longer available on their website. (Here’s an entry for it on rpggeek.com, which puts its publication at 2002, and shows an image for it that dates it to 2001.)

The synopsis is basically:

There’s an orc, he has a pie, the adventurers are hungry.

It has everything an adventure needs: An adversary, a MacGuffin the players need, and a reason to get it.

Somehow this caught on and more people started using “Orc & Pie” as a phrase to mean “extremely simplistic adventure.” It essentially became a meme, which helped spread its name.

In fact, if Wil Wheaton is to be believed, it can also be used as an easy starting point for learning a new game system.

share|improve this answer

    up vote
    17
    down vote

    As others have already answered, “orc and pie” came from American game designer Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”—“The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody”.

    It was posted on Monte Cook’s website on 2001-07-27. The original website is no longer accessible, but it is archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

    share|improve this answer

      up vote
      -8
      down vote

      Apart from its specific history outlined in other answers, “orc and pie” was (obviously?) coined as a phonetic reference to “pork and pie” as a food of basic consistency.

      share|improve this answer

      New contributor
      user50442 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
      Check out our Code of Conduct.

      Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

      • Welcome to the Stack! You’re facing downvotes because we expect answers to stand on their own. When you have enough reputation you’ll be able to leave comments on other answers. Check out the tour to get yourself oriented! Happy Stacking!
        – Jason_c_o
        Dec 1 at 21:00

      • 4

        The original phrase is “the orc and the pie”, which has no phonetic/syllabic resemblance to “pork and pie”, so the assertion that it was coined on that pattern, or even evolved toward it later, is going to need substantial citation support.
        – SevenSidedDie
        Dec 1 at 21:03

      • 1

        Surely it would be “pork pie” not “pork and pie”?
        – Geoffrey Brent
        Dec 2 at 6:31

      • Keep writing good answers or asking good questions and you’ll get points quickly. Deleting downvoted answers will also remove their negative rep.
        – Harper
        Dec 2 at 22:58

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      4 Answers
      4

      active

      oldest

      votes

      4 Answers
      4

      active

      oldest

      votes

      active

      oldest

      votes

      active

      oldest

      votes

      up vote
      110
      down vote

      accepted

      Presenting Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”, ©2001

      The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody

      “The Orc and the Pie”

      Adventure Background: An orc has a pie.

      Adventure Synopsis: The PCs kill the orc and take his pie.

      Adventure Hook: The PCs are hungry for pie.

      Room 1: The Orc’s Pie Room

      You see an orc with a pie.

      The room is 10 feet by 10 feet.

      Creature: An orc.

      Treasure: A pie.

      Concluding the Adventure: Pie tastes good.

      Further Adventures: Somewhere, there is a bakery making these good
      pies. Perhaps it’s guarded by more orcs.

      WHAT DO YOU DO???

      share|improve this answer

      • 3

        Obviously you go off somewhere else and buy a tart.
        – Zibbobz
        Dec 2 at 17:17

      • 3

        Or sit in a bar and strike up a conversation with one. Whatever… 🙂
        – Bob Jarvis
        Dec 2 at 22:38

      up vote
      110
      down vote

      accepted

      Presenting Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”, ©2001

      The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody

      “The Orc and the Pie”

      Adventure Background: An orc has a pie.

      Adventure Synopsis: The PCs kill the orc and take his pie.

      Adventure Hook: The PCs are hungry for pie.

      Room 1: The Orc’s Pie Room

      You see an orc with a pie.

      The room is 10 feet by 10 feet.

      Creature: An orc.

      Treasure: A pie.

      Concluding the Adventure: Pie tastes good.

      Further Adventures: Somewhere, there is a bakery making these good
      pies. Perhaps it’s guarded by more orcs.

      WHAT DO YOU DO???

      share|improve this answer

      • 3

        Obviously you go off somewhere else and buy a tart.
        – Zibbobz
        Dec 2 at 17:17

      • 3

        Or sit in a bar and strike up a conversation with one. Whatever… 🙂
        – Bob Jarvis
        Dec 2 at 22:38

      up vote
      110
      down vote

      accepted

      up vote
      110
      down vote

      accepted

      Presenting Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”, ©2001

      The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody

      “The Orc and the Pie”

      Adventure Background: An orc has a pie.

      Adventure Synopsis: The PCs kill the orc and take his pie.

      Adventure Hook: The PCs are hungry for pie.

      Room 1: The Orc’s Pie Room

      You see an orc with a pie.

      The room is 10 feet by 10 feet.

      Creature: An orc.

      Treasure: A pie.

      Concluding the Adventure: Pie tastes good.

      Further Adventures: Somewhere, there is a bakery making these good
      pies. Perhaps it’s guarded by more orcs.

      WHAT DO YOU DO???

      share|improve this answer

      Presenting Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”, ©2001

      The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody

      “The Orc and the Pie”

      Adventure Background: An orc has a pie.

      Adventure Synopsis: The PCs kill the orc and take his pie.

      Adventure Hook: The PCs are hungry for pie.

      Room 1: The Orc’s Pie Room

      You see an orc with a pie.

      The room is 10 feet by 10 feet.

      Creature: An orc.

      Treasure: A pie.

      Concluding the Adventure: Pie tastes good.

      Further Adventures: Somewhere, there is a bakery making these good
      pies. Perhaps it’s guarded by more orcs.

      WHAT DO YOU DO???

      share|improve this answer

      share|improve this answer

      share|improve this answer

      edited Nov 29 at 23:24

      SevenSidedDie

      203k27653927

      203k27653927

      answered Nov 29 at 12:42

      Tuorg

      1,3231519

      1,3231519

      • 3

        Obviously you go off somewhere else and buy a tart.
        – Zibbobz
        Dec 2 at 17:17

      • 3

        Or sit in a bar and strike up a conversation with one. Whatever… 🙂
        – Bob Jarvis
        Dec 2 at 22:38

      • 3

        Obviously you go off somewhere else and buy a tart.
        – Zibbobz
        Dec 2 at 17:17

      • 3

        Or sit in a bar and strike up a conversation with one. Whatever… 🙂
        – Bob Jarvis
        Dec 2 at 22:38

      3

      3

      Obviously you go off somewhere else and buy a tart.
      – Zibbobz
      Dec 2 at 17:17

      Obviously you go off somewhere else and buy a tart.
      – Zibbobz
      Dec 2 at 17:17

      3

      3

      Or sit in a bar and strike up a conversation with one. Whatever… 🙂
      – Bob Jarvis
      Dec 2 at 22:38

      Or sit in a bar and strike up a conversation with one. Whatever… 🙂
      – Bob Jarvis
      Dec 2 at 22:38

      up vote
      52
      down vote

      It was an example adventure by Monte Cook

      It seems to have been made as an example adventure that is as short as possible while still being an actual adventure hook, but it is no longer available on their website. (Here’s an entry for it on rpggeek.com, which puts its publication at 2002, and shows an image for it that dates it to 2001.)

      The synopsis is basically:

      There’s an orc, he has a pie, the adventurers are hungry.

      It has everything an adventure needs: An adversary, a MacGuffin the players need, and a reason to get it.

      Somehow this caught on and more people started using “Orc & Pie” as a phrase to mean “extremely simplistic adventure.” It essentially became a meme, which helped spread its name.

      In fact, if Wil Wheaton is to be believed, it can also be used as an easy starting point for learning a new game system.

      share|improve this answer

        up vote
        52
        down vote

        It was an example adventure by Monte Cook

        It seems to have been made as an example adventure that is as short as possible while still being an actual adventure hook, but it is no longer available on their website. (Here’s an entry for it on rpggeek.com, which puts its publication at 2002, and shows an image for it that dates it to 2001.)

        The synopsis is basically:

        There’s an orc, he has a pie, the adventurers are hungry.

        It has everything an adventure needs: An adversary, a MacGuffin the players need, and a reason to get it.

        Somehow this caught on and more people started using “Orc & Pie” as a phrase to mean “extremely simplistic adventure.” It essentially became a meme, which helped spread its name.

        In fact, if Wil Wheaton is to be believed, it can also be used as an easy starting point for learning a new game system.

        share|improve this answer

          up vote
          52
          down vote

          up vote
          52
          down vote

          It was an example adventure by Monte Cook

          It seems to have been made as an example adventure that is as short as possible while still being an actual adventure hook, but it is no longer available on their website. (Here’s an entry for it on rpggeek.com, which puts its publication at 2002, and shows an image for it that dates it to 2001.)

          The synopsis is basically:

          There’s an orc, he has a pie, the adventurers are hungry.

          It has everything an adventure needs: An adversary, a MacGuffin the players need, and a reason to get it.

          Somehow this caught on and more people started using “Orc & Pie” as a phrase to mean “extremely simplistic adventure.” It essentially became a meme, which helped spread its name.

          In fact, if Wil Wheaton is to be believed, it can also be used as an easy starting point for learning a new game system.

          share|improve this answer

          It was an example adventure by Monte Cook

          It seems to have been made as an example adventure that is as short as possible while still being an actual adventure hook, but it is no longer available on their website. (Here’s an entry for it on rpggeek.com, which puts its publication at 2002, and shows an image for it that dates it to 2001.)

          The synopsis is basically:

          There’s an orc, he has a pie, the adventurers are hungry.

          It has everything an adventure needs: An adversary, a MacGuffin the players need, and a reason to get it.

          Somehow this caught on and more people started using “Orc & Pie” as a phrase to mean “extremely simplistic adventure.” It essentially became a meme, which helped spread its name.

          In fact, if Wil Wheaton is to be believed, it can also be used as an easy starting point for learning a new game system.

          share|improve this answer

          share|improve this answer

          share|improve this answer

          edited Nov 29 at 14:11

          answered Nov 29 at 12:27

          Theik

          12.7k5272

          12.7k5272

              up vote
              17
              down vote

              As others have already answered, “orc and pie” came from American game designer Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”—“The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody”.

              It was posted on Monte Cook’s website on 2001-07-27. The original website is no longer accessible, but it is archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

              share|improve this answer

                up vote
                17
                down vote

                As others have already answered, “orc and pie” came from American game designer Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”—“The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody”.

                It was posted on Monte Cook’s website on 2001-07-27. The original website is no longer accessible, but it is archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

                share|improve this answer

                  up vote
                  17
                  down vote

                  up vote
                  17
                  down vote

                  As others have already answered, “orc and pie” came from American game designer Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”—“The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody”.

                  It was posted on Monte Cook’s website on 2001-07-27. The original website is no longer accessible, but it is archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

                  share|improve this answer

                  As others have already answered, “orc and pie” came from American game designer Monte Cook’s “The Orc and the Pie”—“The World’s Shortest (Yet Technically Complete) Adventure: A Parody”.

                  It was posted on Monte Cook’s website on 2001-07-27. The original website is no longer accessible, but it is archived by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

                  share|improve this answer

                  share|improve this answer

                  share|improve this answer

                  edited Nov 30 at 20:42

                  SevenSidedDie

                  203k27653927

                  203k27653927

                  answered Nov 29 at 17:30

                  Anthony Fok

                  1733

                  1733

                      up vote
                      -8
                      down vote

                      Apart from its specific history outlined in other answers, “orc and pie” was (obviously?) coined as a phonetic reference to “pork and pie” as a food of basic consistency.

                      share|improve this answer

                      New contributor
                      user50442 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
                      Check out our Code of Conduct.

                      Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

                      • Welcome to the Stack! You’re facing downvotes because we expect answers to stand on their own. When you have enough reputation you’ll be able to leave comments on other answers. Check out the tour to get yourself oriented! Happy Stacking!
                        – Jason_c_o
                        Dec 1 at 21:00

                      • 4

                        The original phrase is “the orc and the pie”, which has no phonetic/syllabic resemblance to “pork and pie”, so the assertion that it was coined on that pattern, or even evolved toward it later, is going to need substantial citation support.
                        – SevenSidedDie
                        Dec 1 at 21:03

                      • 1

                        Surely it would be “pork pie” not “pork and pie”?
                        – Geoffrey Brent
                        Dec 2 at 6:31

                      • Keep writing good answers or asking good questions and you’ll get points quickly. Deleting downvoted answers will also remove their negative rep.
                        – Harper
                        Dec 2 at 22:58

                      up vote
                      -8
                      down vote

                      Apart from its specific history outlined in other answers, “orc and pie” was (obviously?) coined as a phonetic reference to “pork and pie” as a food of basic consistency.

                      share|improve this answer

                      New contributor
                      user50442 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
                      Check out our Code of Conduct.

                      Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

                      • Welcome to the Stack! You’re facing downvotes because we expect answers to stand on their own. When you have enough reputation you’ll be able to leave comments on other answers. Check out the tour to get yourself oriented! Happy Stacking!
                        – Jason_c_o
                        Dec 1 at 21:00

                      • 4

                        The original phrase is “the orc and the pie”, which has no phonetic/syllabic resemblance to “pork and pie”, so the assertion that it was coined on that pattern, or even evolved toward it later, is going to need substantial citation support.
                        – SevenSidedDie
                        Dec 1 at 21:03

                      • 1

                        Surely it would be “pork pie” not “pork and pie”?
                        – Geoffrey Brent
                        Dec 2 at 6:31

                      • Keep writing good answers or asking good questions and you’ll get points quickly. Deleting downvoted answers will also remove their negative rep.
                        – Harper
                        Dec 2 at 22:58

                      up vote
                      -8
                      down vote

                      up vote
                      -8
                      down vote

                      Apart from its specific history outlined in other answers, “orc and pie” was (obviously?) coined as a phonetic reference to “pork and pie” as a food of basic consistency.

                      share|improve this answer

                      New contributor
                      user50442 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
                      Check out our Code of Conduct.

                      Apart from its specific history outlined in other answers, “orc and pie” was (obviously?) coined as a phonetic reference to “pork and pie” as a food of basic consistency.

                      share|improve this answer

                      New contributor
                      user50442 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
                      Check out our Code of Conduct.

                      share|improve this answer

                      share|improve this answer

                      New contributor
                      user50442 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
                      Check out our Code of Conduct.

                      answered Dec 1 at 20:52

                      user50442

                      1

                      1

                      New contributor
                      user50442 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
                      Check out our Code of Conduct.

                      New contributor

                      user50442 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
                      Check out our Code of Conduct.

                      user50442 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering.
                      Check out our Code of Conduct.

                      Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

                      Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

                      • Welcome to the Stack! You’re facing downvotes because we expect answers to stand on their own. When you have enough reputation you’ll be able to leave comments on other answers. Check out the tour to get yourself oriented! Happy Stacking!
                        – Jason_c_o
                        Dec 1 at 21:00

                      • 4

                        The original phrase is “the orc and the pie”, which has no phonetic/syllabic resemblance to “pork and pie”, so the assertion that it was coined on that pattern, or even evolved toward it later, is going to need substantial citation support.
                        – SevenSidedDie
                        Dec 1 at 21:03

                      • 1

                        Surely it would be “pork pie” not “pork and pie”?
                        – Geoffrey Brent
                        Dec 2 at 6:31

                      • Keep writing good answers or asking good questions and you’ll get points quickly. Deleting downvoted answers will also remove their negative rep.
                        – Harper
                        Dec 2 at 22:58

                      • Welcome to the Stack! You’re facing downvotes because we expect answers to stand on their own. When you have enough reputation you’ll be able to leave comments on other answers. Check out the tour to get yourself oriented! Happy Stacking!
                        – Jason_c_o
                        Dec 1 at 21:00

                      • 4

                        The original phrase is “the orc and the pie”, which has no phonetic/syllabic resemblance to “pork and pie”, so the assertion that it was coined on that pattern, or even evolved toward it later, is going to need substantial citation support.
                        – SevenSidedDie
                        Dec 1 at 21:03

                      • 1

                        Surely it would be “pork pie” not “pork and pie”?
                        – Geoffrey Brent
                        Dec 2 at 6:31

                      • Keep writing good answers or asking good questions and you’ll get points quickly. Deleting downvoted answers will also remove their negative rep.
                        – Harper
                        Dec 2 at 22:58

                      Welcome to the Stack! You’re facing downvotes because we expect answers to stand on their own. When you have enough reputation you’ll be able to leave comments on other answers. Check out the tour to get yourself oriented! Happy Stacking!
                      – Jason_c_o
                      Dec 1 at 21:00

                      Welcome to the Stack! You’re facing downvotes because we expect answers to stand on their own. When you have enough reputation you’ll be able to leave comments on other answers. Check out the tour to get yourself oriented! Happy Stacking!
                      – Jason_c_o
                      Dec 1 at 21:00

                      4

                      4

                      The original phrase is “the orc and the pie”, which has no phonetic/syllabic resemblance to “pork and pie”, so the assertion that it was coined on that pattern, or even evolved toward it later, is going to need substantial citation support.
                      – SevenSidedDie
                      Dec 1 at 21:03

                      The original phrase is “the orc and the pie”, which has no phonetic/syllabic resemblance to “pork and pie”, so the assertion that it was coined on that pattern, or even evolved toward it later, is going to need substantial citation support.
                      – SevenSidedDie
                      Dec 1 at 21:03

                      1

                      1

                      Surely it would be “pork pie” not “pork and pie”?
                      – Geoffrey Brent
                      Dec 2 at 6:31

                      Surely it would be “pork pie” not “pork and pie”?
                      – Geoffrey Brent
                      Dec 2 at 6:31

                      Keep writing good answers or asking good questions and you’ll get points quickly. Deleting downvoted answers will also remove their negative rep.
                      – Harper
                      Dec 2 at 22:58

                      Keep writing good answers or asking good questions and you’ll get points quickly. Deleting downvoted answers will also remove their negative rep.
                      – Harper
                      Dec 2 at 22:58

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