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Shadowclan is a guild that gained notoriety within the online gaming community[1] by taking the place of non-player character monsters in Origin Systems' massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Ultima Online.[2] With this act, Shadowclan created an intelligent enemy for the average player character, changed the way thousands interact in online games, and helped set a standard for antagonistic roleplay through the development of rich lore and strict in character policies.[2]


Shadowclan began in October 1997, when a handful of players in Ultima Online on the Great Lakes server ("shard") decided to take the place of the unintelligent non-player character orcs and provide a more challenging enemy. These were the first Shadowclan Orcs and lived out of a tent. From the beginning, they roleplayed and stayed in character as orcs.[2]

Soon after that, Shadowclan moved to the Catskills shard and into the orc fort south of Yew. Shadowclan grew and thus did the intensity at the orc fort. Battles became commonplace. Other roleplayers flocked to Catskills and, with some publicity, the population of Shadowclan skyrocketed. Prima Games, in the "Nonhuman Roleplaying" section of their 1998 Ultima Online: The Second Age—Prima's Official Strategy Guide, identified the Catskills shard as the most dominant place of such activity due to Shadowclan's presence, noting their "excellent relationship with Origin" and "key role in the plots and politics of the Catskills shard."[3] For years, the battles at the officially recognized Shadowclan fort[1][2] continued all day long, every day.

Former clan administrator Ogur was interviewed about Shadowclan in Massively Multiplayer Games For Dummies.[4] A reference to Shadowclan was written into the official Dark Age of Camelot documentation.[5]

Shadowclan was more recently mentioned in the second issue of MASSIVE Magazine during an article called "MMOldies". The magazine replies to a question that "One thing that stood out was the story of the Shadowclan Orcs, who took the place of AI monsters to provide a more intelligent enemy. These guys always stayed in character, and really set the standard for future role-players in both UO and other MMOs."[6]

Today, Shadowclan has brought its playstyle to many other online games[5][7][8][9] and continues to take it to any game where there is enough member interest.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b HOOWAH! Player Memorabilia [1] from
  2. ^ a b c d Ultima Online Spotlight #6 [2] from
  3. ^ Prima Games. Ultima Online: The Second Age—Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima's Official Strategy Guides. Austin, TX: Random House Information Group, 1998. ISBN 0-7615-1771-5.
  4. ^ Jennings, Scott. Massively Multiplayer Games For Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, 2006. ISBN 0-471-75273-8.
  5. ^ a b Camelot Herald Races: Kobold [3] from
  6. ^ No author. “MMOldies: The Big 5 Then and Now.” MASSIVE Magazine , Issue 2 , Winter 2006: p. 41.
  7. ^ Shadowbane: Featured Image [4] from
  8. ^ OGaming: Guild of the Week #1 [5] from
  9. ^ Only War Interview [6] from

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