Original Author: Nathan “N0-1_H3r3” Dowdell

"The common Ogryn is large and physically powerful, but lacking in intellect or insight. Their physique is their primary advantage, as soldiers and labourers, but their dull-witted nature and simple obedience make them enthusiastic servants of Him-on-Terra, as loyal bodyguards and willing enforcers. Indeed, their unquestioning obedience makes them almost incorruptible, mainly because they lack the wit to even understand corruption."


Humankind colonised a vast range of worlds during the original expansions, and as can be expected, many of those worlds left their mark on the generations of people raised upon them. Harsh, cold, high-gravity worlds, commonly used as prison planets by the petty human star empires of ancient times, led to the development of human beings into Homo sapiens giganticus – better known as Ogryns.

Ogryn Evolution[]

Ogryns are built to survive. Everything else is secondary. Their kind is the product of harsh, uncaring worlds with little food beyond competing predators and rugged herbivores.

The most obvious facet of this is their size. The average Ogryn stands between 2.5 and 3 metres tall, and are far bulkier and more muscular than humans, having a muscle mass to height ratio of about double that of a human being. All in all, the Ogryn is built to be able to fight and win against fierce predators, with only the most primitive and rudimentary of weaponry.

The other most notable facet of their evolution is their digestive system. The worlds upon which Ogryns came to exist in the first place were comparatively barren, lacking in many of the foodstuffs that most humans take for granted. As a result, the Ogryn digestive system is rugged and efficient, able to derive nourishment from even the most unpalatable and inedible of organic substances. Further, the already prodigious bulk of Ogryns is often enhanced by vast reserves of stored food, developed because few Ogryns know where or when the next meal will be coming from.

All this, however, comes at a price. Ogryns are not the most intelligent of creatures. As a result of generations of brutal survival and nothing else, in situations where higher reasoning was utterly unnecessary, the Ogryn brain is atrophied. In the most basic terms, Ogryns are stupid. However, their adaptations mean that, on their terms – those of fighting, eating and general survival – Ogryns have a great many advantages.

Ogryn Appearance[]

Ogryns would look almost farcical if not for their sheer size and aggressive temperament. Hugely-built, with thick, heavy bones beneath thicker, heavier slabs of dense muscle, often layered with thick layers of fat and thick, hairy skin, they resemble crudely-made oversized humans. Their skulls – large and solidly-constructed – seem disproportionately big, with heavy brows and almost tusk-like teeth giving them an almost feral mien.

Almost all Ogryns are scarred and battered from a lifetime of fighting. Such is the brutality and resilience of such creatures that even friendly altercations (and Ogryns are such enthusiastic fighters that such altercations are commonplace, even accepted) lead to injuries.

The majority of Ogryns maintain a personal appearance in keeping with the crude cultures of their homeworlds – furs, coarse cloth, animal hides and primitive chain armour are all commonplace, and often accompanied by ritual tattoos, body-painting and scarification. Their hair varies from thick and coarse, and generally dark in colour, to naturally bald in some cases. Those inducted into the Imperial Guard often adopt the styles of the military, shaving their heads or wearing their hair close-cropped, wearing heavy boots (Ogryn-issue boots normally weigh in the region of 5 kilograms each), and fatigue-style clothing. This is combined with devotional tattoos – regimental insignia and crude examples of the Aquila and other symbols of the Imperium.

Ogryns are notable for their lack of hygiene. Few Ogryns wash regularly and most are infested with some form of parasite, some of which can be quite disturbingly large – sometimes as large as rats! Some of these parasite colonies are even cultivated by their "owners‟ as emergency food supplies or even as pets. However, such is their hardiness that few Ogryns are ever particularly bothered by the results of their lack of cleanliness.

Ogryn PCs[]

Ogryn Characters are those who have demonstrated more than the usual level of insight. They are more resilient, stronger and more intimidating than even the largest, most savage Feral Worlder, and tend to be almost childlike in their obedience to superiors and representatives of the Imperial Creed.

However, Ogryns are not intelligent creatures, and tend to be tactless and highly literal in social situations. Ogryn characters are more adept at such tasks than most, and may one day be given the biological and Augmetic enhancements specifically for them called BONE, required to give them near-juve intellect and basic grasp on tactics, but by human standards, the average Ogryn is slow-witted and naive.

Ogryn Characteristics[]





Ogryn Careers[]

Ogryns may take the following Career Paths:


Ogryns are commonly "trained" to serve alongside the Imperial Guard, making use of their size, resilience and devotion as shock assault troops or bodyguards for officers and Commissars. Those that go far or possess intelligence beyound their type are often augmented into "Bone'eads", allowing them to lead others of their kind and making them even more effective.


Ogryn scum comprise most other Ogryn characters, be they laborers or merely shiftless outcasts. Lacking in subtlety, charisma or ambition, they tend to act as enforcers and thugs for those who take them in, or simply roam around beating people up for food and money. Even then, Ogryns take quickly to the Imperial Creed, and are intolerant of those who turn against the Imperium, meaning that they rarely serve anti-Imperial cults unless deceived about their employer's nature.

Ogryn Skills[]

Ogryns are natural survivors, able to endure in the harshest environments with little difficulty. Ogryns gain the Survival skill.

Ogryn Traits[]

Ogryns gain the following traits. Record all of these on your character sheet.

Claustrophobic and Scotophobic[]

Ogryn worlds are typically populated with subterranean predators far beyond an Ogryn's ability to handle, but Ogryn are far too stupid to realize this; evolution has had to solve the problem by making them genetically predisposed to avoid such areas.


You must pass a Willpower test to enter any darkened, confined space (remember, this means confined for you, not confined for normal humans - see below for your size), such as a cave, sewer, or the transport compartment of a Chimera. Failure results in you refusing to enter, and it takes 1 minute before you can summon up the courage to try again. Though this is not a Fear test, effects and abilities that influence Fear tests also affect this ability (so, for example, a character with the Iron Discipline talent could allow an Ogryn character to re-roll his Willpower test to enter a dark tunnel).

Homebrew for Consistency[]

Darkened, confined environments (remember, this means confined for the Ogryn, not confined for normal humans - see below) terrify an Ogryn; he treats any environment scarier than his current one as a Pinning attacker which is attacking him every round he is inside it, but with a modifier based on the table below, rather than the standard Pinning modifiers. If he succeeds, he need not test again until he once again enters a scarier environment than the one he is currently in - remember, this means if he passes against an environment, then enters a less scary environment, he needs to pass again to return to the first environment. The table below expresses how scary an environment is as the difficulty modifier imposed on the willpower test to resist it; confinement is how many cardinal directions (including up and down; ordinarily, down is automatically confining, due to the ground) have an obstruction (typically a roof, floor, or wall) on the Ogryn's movement he is aware of within arm's reach (treat as half his height).

How Much an Environment Scares an Ogryn
1 2 3 4 5 6
Lighting Normal Pass Automatically 30 20 10 0 -10
Dim 30 20 10 0 -10 -20
Dark 20 10 0 -10 -20 -30


Ogryn are slow to learn new skills.


Ogryn must pay twice the normal experience cost to learn Intelligence and Fellowship-based skills, with the exception of the Survival skill (see below), and cannot ever use or learn the Logic, Scholastic Lore, or Forbidden Lore skills. This trait is removed should you gain the Bone'ead augmentation.

Homebrew for Consistency[]

Ogryn are both mentally and physically slow. Reduce Agility and Fellowship by 10, and Intelligence by 20 (all to a minimum of 1). In addition, Ogryn require 2 additional "ranks" of training in Intelligence and Fellowship based skills, so to determine their effective rank in such a skill, subtract 2 from their "real" rank (to a minimum of 0), with 0 counting as untrained, so their progression (including untrained) is 0, 0, 0, 1, 2.

The Bone'ead augmentation reduces the Intelligence penalty to -10, and reduces the training penalty to 1: 0, 0, 1, 2, 3.

Densely Built[]

Ogryn originate from cold, high-gravity worlds, making them resistant to the deleterious effects of such environments.


You ignore the normal penalties associated with high-gravity environments, and gain a +10 bonus on all tests to resist the effects of exposure to the cold. In addition, you have the Unnatural Strength and Unnatural Toughness traits.

Homebrew for Realism[]

Due to your reduced surface area to volume ratio, you gain a +10 bonus to resist cold but a -10 penalty to resist heat. Your body is also highly adapted to high-gravity environments, far beyond what a human your size could handle. You gain a +10 bonus to resist high pressure environments but a -10 penalty to resist low pressure environments, and you suffer no penalty for your body weight to strength ratio having been reduced by your size. Further, you may use Toughness rather than Agility when rolling to reduce Falling damage.

Natural Survivor[]

Ogryns survive with a natural ease quite at odds with their otherwise dull wits.


You may treat Survival as a Perception-based skill instead of an Intelligence-based skill.


Ogryn typically stand about three meters tall, and a little more than half that wide, towering over even Space Marines. Consider height to be approximately and weight to be approximately times that of a Human Feral Worlder; standing comfortably, an Ogryn will take up about 3 times as much surface area of the floor. Consider Ogryn to need to eat and drink in accordance with their weight.


You gain the Hulking trait, meaning that your movement is based on your Agility Bonus +1, you suffer a -10 penalty to Concealment tests, and enemies attacking you gain a +10 bonus. Increase Strength, Toughness, and wounds by +20. This also means that it can be difficult to use some items and weapons built for human use, at the GM's discretion. As a guideline, treat Ogryn-sized weapons and armour as twice the normal cost for human-sized equivalents.

Bionic Ogryn Neural Enhancement[]

Name Cost Avail
BONE'ead 2500 Scarce
Bionic Ogryn Neural Enhancement, also known as Biochemical Ogryn Neural Enhancement, is a procedure sometimes performed on Ogryns who have demonstrated intellect and insight above the norm. Using a combination of Augmetic implants, biochemical treatments, electro-shock therapy and surgery, the subject's brain is enhanced, allowing it to operate more efficiently than a normal Ogryn's brain. An Ogryn who has undergone this procedure is known as a BONE'ead, a title which is worn with pride by those granted it. This procedure is performed as per the Attaching Bionics and Implants sidebar in the Armoury chapter of the rulebook, as well as requiring a six-week course of drugs to be administered.
An Ogryn BONE'ead loses, and no longer suffers from, the Uneducated trait, and can spend experience on Intelligence and Fellowship-based skills normally.

External Links[]

The Collected Works of Nathan “N0-1_H3r3” Dowdell: Original source, with much thanks given.