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What is an Ornn? Understanding the Design and In-Game Process for League of Legends Champions

Within the Stropse writing community, we have a running joke with our editor Jake. Jake is still a bit newer to games such as League of Legends and as such, there are many questions still remaining. One of the first questions he asked me was “what exactly is an Ornn?” And it made me think, how do you explain a League champion to a newer player? In today’s article, I look to answer Jake’s question.

Champion artwork of Ornn. All photos unless stated otherwise are courtesy of Riot Games

What Exactly is a Champion?

A champion is your character in the game. With over 150 characters in the game, no two champions are the same. To follow with the running joke of the committee, let’s look at Ornn, the demigod of the mountain who spends his time in isolation with his forge creating massive weapons.

To develop a champion, a designer has to keep in mind that every champion has their own set of challenges, the first of which is how to satisfy both the casual, competitive, and lore-savvy players.

In the case of Ornn, according to the Ornn Champion Insight from Nikki “BananaBand1t” Brown,

Ornn’s narrative and artistic direction after ideation were actually pretty close to the final result. About a month or two in, the team knew they wanted to create a powerful, animalistic demigod from the Freljord who makes s**t and is connected to volcanoes.

A champion’s development is crucial to understanding how the champion works. If you understand the lore, the design of a champion is pretty easy to understand.

As previously mentioned, Ornn’s story is simple: he loves making weapons, being alone, and having a nice ale. Yet he is also a god, and with the recent rework of Volibear, the lore between fire and ice grows even more.

The Kit

Each champion has a specific set of abilities, properly labelled Passive, Q, W, E and R (Ultimate).

For Ornn, each of his abilities are unique to the game. As an example, Ornn brought Brittle to the game. Brittle is a form of crowd control that allows the player to simply boop a champion and stun them. 

Ornn also brings the Living Forge with him, allowing him to purchase additional items while in lane and upgrade his teammates’ items. For a champion to be able to have this active passive is pretty incredible.

Finally, I want to bring back the lore and how his ultimate, Call of the Forge God, allows him to summon a giant molten ram to barrage the enemy team. His aesthetics as well as passives and ults tie into his design and story: a unique example as to how the two tie together. Even in the animation, he butts heads with the ram, giving more synergy.

And so my editor Jake, I hope this article answers the question what an Ornn is. And to the reader, I hope you understand the depth of champion development. With champions coming out nearly every few months, this gives some edits as to what goes into designs.*

*Editor’s Note- I get it.

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