Orlog is a dice game popular among the Norsemen and Anglo-Saxons in which the contestants attempt to reduce their opponent's "health", as represented by a set of 15 stones, to zero through various dice rolls and bonus effects.
A game of orlog consists of a number of rounds between two players. Before the game begins, players flip a coin to determine who moves first. Each round has three phases: Roll, God Favor, and Resolution. In the Roll phase, the two players take turns rolling their individual sets of dice. After each roll, players chooses which dice to keep, if any, and which to reroll. A player may reroll some or all of the dice up to two times on this phase. In the God Favor phase, each player can choose to cast a blessing from a figure in Norse mythology, or may skip it entirely. Players can pick blessings from up to a total of three figures, and can increase the variety of blessings available to them by successfully beating select challengers across Norway and England.
The blessing costs vary in their amount of favor, which is represented by the symbol "⌘" and is accumulated across multiple rounds. The blessings take affect during the Resolution phase, with some blessings having priority in the sequence over others. In the Resolution phase, each players' set of dice faces are compared with damage either blocked or dealt, and favor gained or stolen. The game is over when a player's health reaches zero.
|Deal 1 damage.||Block 1 .|
|Deal 1 damage.||Block 1 .|
|Steal 1 ⌘
from the opponent.
|Earn 1 ⌘|
|Thor's Strike||Deal damage to the opponent after the Resolution phase.||4⌘: Deal 2 damage
8⌘: Deal 5 damage
12⌘: Deal 8 damage
|Iðunn's Rejuvenation||Heal Health after Resolution phase.||4⌘: Heal 2 Health
7⌘: Heal 4 Health
10⌘: Heal 6 Health
|Víðarr's Might||Remove from the opponent.||2⌘: –2
|Ullr's Aim||Your ignore the opponent's .||2⌘: 2 ignore
3⌘: 3 ignore
4⌘: 6 ignore
|Heimdall's Watch||Heal Health for each attack you block.||4⌘: +1 Health per block
7⌘: +2 Health per block
10⌘: +3 Health per block
|Baldr's Invulnerability||Add for each die that rolled .
Add for each die that rolled .
|3⌘: +1 per die
6⌘: +2 per die
9⌘: +3 per die
|Brunhild's Fury||Multiply , rounded up.||6⌘: x1.5
|Freyr's Gift||Add to the total of whichever die face is in majority.||4⌘: +2
|Hel's Grip||Each damage dealt to the opponent heals you.||6⌘: +1 Health per damage
12⌘: +2 Health per damage
18⌘: +3 Health per damage
|Skaði's Hunt||Add to each die that rolled .||6⌘: +1 per die
10⌘: +2 per die
14⌘: +3 per die
|Skuld's Claim||Destroy opponent's ⌘ for each die that rolled .||4⌘: –2⌘ per die
6⌘: –3⌘ per die
8⌘: –4⌘ per die
|Frigg's Sight||Reroll any of your or your opponent's dice.||2⌘: Reroll 2 dice.
3⌘: Reroll 3 dice.
4⌘: Reroll 4 dice
|Loki's Trick||Ban opponent's dice for the round.||3⌘: Ban 1 dice<
6⌘: Ban 2 dice
9⌘: Ban 3 dice
|Freyja's Plenty||Roll additional dice this round.||2⌘: +1 die
4⌘: +2 dice
6⌘: +3 dice
|Mímir's Wisdom||Gain ⌘ for each damage dealt to you this round.||3⌘: +1⌘ per damage
5⌘: +2⌘ per damage
7⌘: +3⌘ per damage
|Bragi's Verve||Gain ⌘ for each die that rolled .||4⌘: Gain 2⌘ per die
8⌘: Gain 3⌘ per die
12⌘: Gain 4⌘ per die
|Odin's Sacrifice||After the Resolution phase, sacrifice any number of your health tokens. Gain ⌘ per health token sacrificed.||6⌘: Gain 3⌘ per health token
8⌘: Gain 4⌘ per health token
10⌘: Gain 5⌘ per health token
|Vár's Bond||Each ⌘ spent by your opponent heals you.||10⌘: +1 Health per ⌘
14⌘: +2 Health per ⌘
18⌘: +3 Health per ⌘
|Thrymr's Theft||Reduce the effect of a God Favor invoked by the opponent this round.||3⌘: –1 level
6⌘: –2 levels
9⌘: –3 levels
|Tyr's Pledge||Sacrifice any number of your Health tokens. Destroy opponent's ⌘ per Health sacrificed.||4⌘: –2 Health per token
6⌘: –3 Health per token
8⌘: –4 Health per token
- Although the second phase is called "God Favor", neither Brunhild or Thrymr are gods, as they are a Valkyrie and a jötunn, respectively.
Behind the scenes
Despite the name and the gameplay featuring figures from Norse mythology, Orlog did not actually exist in history. In an interview with the tabletop news site Dicebreaker, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla's co-development game director Benoit Richer revealed that the goal behind Orlog was to create a game that would feel credible to the time period rather than being historically accurate, as their research could not find clear rules for contemporary Norse games. Furthermore, what few games that are known to have existed, such as tafl games, often used irregularly-shaped cylindrical pieces or uneven hand-carved dice, both of which proved too difficult for Valhalla's physics engine to manipulate. Seeking a compromise, developers went for the feel of historical games while embellishing as needed with modern elements like standardized pieces.
The first draft of Orlog played more like a deck-building game, where players had to collect special dice across the world. The idea to have the Norse gods influence the game was kept from the concept stage, and in this version, it was done by rolling a deity's face. However, playtesting teams from Ubisoft Singapore and Ubisoft Chengdu found it too cumbersome, and so simplified it into the dice-matching feature and replaced the god dice with favor tokens. The working concept dice and rules scribbled on sticky notes resolved with repeated playtests, but it was not until late 2020 that a mock Orlog was digitized using the program Tabletop Simulator, allowing the teams to finish the final version to implement into Valhalla.
A mere week after Valhalla's mid-November 2020 release, Ubisoft's statistics showed that players had won over 3.5 million games of Orlog. With its unexpected popularity, Ubisoft announced that they would enter into a brief partnership with gaming collectibles producer PureArts to create a physical Assassin's Creed-themed Orlog set that would be available for sale sometime in 2021.
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
- Carter, Chase (23 November 2020). Assassin's Creed: Valhalla's Viking dice game Orlog will get a physical version in 2021. Dice Breaker. Retrieved on February 8, 2021.
- Ubisoft (17 November, 2020). Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the Biggest Assassin's Creed Game Launch in History. GlobeNewswire. Archived from the original on November 17, 2020. Retrieved on February 8, 2021.