The oortling is a creature from the Spelljammer campaign setting.

2nd Edition StatsEdit

Climate/Terrain: Comets

Frequency: Rare

Organization: Herd

Activity Cycle: Any

Diet: Special

Intelligence: Low (5-7)

Treasure: Nil

Alignment: Neutral

No. Appearing: 2-20

Armor Class: 8

Movement: 12

Hit Dice: 1-1

THAC0: 20

No. of Attacks: 1

Damage/Attack: 1-2 (1d2)

Special Attacks: Nil

Special Defenses: Nil

Magic Resistance: Nil

Size: S (3' tall)

Morale: Unreliable (2-4)

XP Value: 15


Oortlings are a pathetic race, dwelling on the natural comets that exist within the crystal spheres. While the oortlings once had a fairly sophisticated culture, they were dominated by the mind flayers early on in their evolution. Since that time, they have been manipulated and controlled by the spacefaring illithid and kept as "cattle."

The typical oortling looks much like a dwarf, short, stocky, and noted for their pallor and bloated skulls. Within these skulls are the overdeveloped brains of the oortlings. Although kept from acquiring an education by their overlords, oortlings have the potential for great intelligence. As a rule, however, the best any oortling's brain can hope for is to be the main course at a mind flayer feast.


The oortlings have had all knowledge of combat bred out of them by the mind flayers. They cringe in fear from even the slightest possibility of violence. In cases where oortlings are in extreme pain or have lost their senses, they have been known to bite and scratch their opponents. While this attack is fairly feeble, it can inflict some minor damage (1d2 points).


Oortlings live on the flying mountains of ice and iron that men call comets, making their homes by tunneling through the frozen surface, eventually into the iron or stone nucleus of the comet. Their communities are usually fairly small by human standards, with only 40-240 (4d6×10) oortlings living on any given comet. Of this number, half are females and young.

While oortling culture was once advanced enough to construct great palaces from the ice of their cometary homes, it has degenerated into a state of primitive tribalism. The main reason for this is the domination and domestication of the oortling people by the mind flayers. Even at the height of their culture, the oortlings had no chance of breaking free from the mental and physic bondage into which they were thrust by the illithids.

Currently, the oortlings are a broken people. All creativity and curiosity has been crushed from their spirits, leaving them a ghastly race of "cattle," tended and guarded by a group of mind flayer "farmers" and then hauled away to sate the hunger of the illithids.


Oortlings feed on the ice that makes up the comets on which they live. Their systems are able to break down the ice, extracting the vital nutrients from it and filtering out toxins that would kill other humanoids. Only cometary ice contains the chemicals they need to sustain themselves, however, and a diet of normal water ice does nothing to nourish them.

Oortlings produce few useful byproducts or trade goods which other races might be interested in. The sole exception to this, of course, are the mind flayers who breed the oortlings as human races breed cattle. Some other cultures have found that the fluid around the oortling's brain is a useful component in the creation of many potions that deal with telepathy and other mental powers.


  • Spelljammer reference: SJR2, 9312XXX1401
  • TSR reference: TSR 9312
  • ISBN: 1-56076-052-4

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