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NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 12:49 PM
Half-Orc Racial Traits
+2 Strength, -2 Intelligence. A half-orc's orc blood makes him stronger than a human, but his ability to comprehend is still limited due to his inherently savage nature. A half-orc's human blood grants him calmness in his mind, and adds to his perception, also helping him tone down the violent and monstrous appearance of his orc parent.
Medium size. As a Medium creature, the half-orc receives no size penalties or bonuses.
Speed A half-orcís base land speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision: Half-orcs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Strength of the Berserker (Ex): A half-orc is inherently tougher than both of his parents, whether due to genetic mutation or society's scorn. A half-orc receives 4 extra hit points at 1st level, and one additional hit point at each level thereafter.
Racial Skill Bonuses: A half-orc's size and stature makes other humanoid races shake. The half-orc receives a +2 racial bonus to Intimidate checks. Also, a half-orc receives an additional bonus based on his upbringing. If the half-orc was raised by his orc parent in the savage wilds, he learns how to travel and hunt more easily. A half-orc raised by orcs receives a +2 racial bonus on Survival checks. If the half-orc was raised by his human parent in a town or city, he learns the importance of knowing the right people, and relying on contacts to get things done. A half-orc who was raised by humans receives a +2 racial bonus to Gather Information checks.
Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-orc is considered an orc.
Automatic Languages: Common, Orc.
Bonus Languages: All
Favored Class: Any

legomaster00156
2011-12-07, 12:53 PM
The Half-Orc has now beaten out the Dwarf as the meat-shield race.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 12:58 PM
The Half-Orc has now beaten out the Dwarf as the meat-shield race.

True. But the dwarf gets so many other interesting abilities besides his +2 Con that I'm sure he'll be alright. (Bonus to saves against poison and spells actually makes him much more tank-like than the half-orc, and the actual increase in Con provides more bonuses than you might think, such as an extra round of Rage, bonus to Fortitude saves, and an increase in AC if you take Deepwarden)

Spiryt
2011-12-07, 01:03 PM
The Half-Orc has now beaten out the Dwarf as the meat-shield race.

Actually, this made them somewhat interesting as a mages, or some other 'squishy' classes (until Stone Skin + Fly + Illusions etc. silliness kicks in of course. :smallwink:).

Thorg am Has low dice, Constution and plain cloth but Thorg am can still take beatin'!

Rapidghoul
2011-12-07, 02:06 PM
+4 starting hit points and +1 per level is basically giving them two feats for free (Toughness and Improved Toughness). Granted, one sucks and no one should ever take it, but the other is pretty decent. I guess my point is: why both?

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 02:09 PM
+4 starting hit points and +1 per level is basically giving them two feats for free (Toughness and Improved Toughness). Granted, one sucks and no one should ever take it, but the other is pretty decent. I guess my point is: why both?

It's the human blood. Humans get 4 skill points at first level, and one skill point every level thereafter. I gave that to half-orcs, but changed it to hit points, to represent their toughness.

Toughness sucks, Improved is fine, but more hit points just means exactly what's written on the tin. More hit points. It's weaker than a Constitution bonus, though it does grant slightly more hit points than a +2 bonus in the long run.

paddyfool
2011-12-07, 02:18 PM
This version of half-orcs would make:

- Great sorcerers and cha-based gishes (especially if you shoved on magic-blooded as well)
- Solid meatshields, CoDzillas (but then, what doesn't?), Wis- or Cha-based manifesters (e.g. Psychic Warriors), etc.
- Poor skillmonkeys or int-based casters.

Overall, though, Strength of a Berserker is probably about balanced with the extra skill points that humans get, and the rest isn't worth a bonus feat, unless you're expecting to get lots of feats anyway (e.g. if you're going Psychic Warrior). But it would be a decent race choice for lots of purposes, while being less OTT than, say, Water Orc for melee.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 02:55 PM
This version of half-orcs would make:

- Great sorcerers and cha-based gishes (especially if you shoved on magic-blooded as well)
- Solid meatshields, CoDzillas (but then, what doesn't?), Wis- or Cha-based manifesters (e.g. Psychic Warriors), etc.
- Poor skillmonkeys or int-based casters.

Overall, though, Strength of a Berserker is probably about balanced with the extra skill points that humans get, and the rest isn't worth a bonus feat, unless you're expecting to get lots of feats anyway (e.g. if you're going Psychic Warrior). But it would be a decent race choice for lots of purposes, while being less OTT than, say, Water Orc for melee.

Why thank you. Would you say it's as playable as the other non-human PHB races now? (Instead of being just slightly more appealing than a half-elf?)

paddyfool
2011-12-07, 03:43 PM
It's probably slightly more playable than most PHB races; more playable than elves, at least as playable as dwarves, marginally less than humans (but the better than any of them for a number of jobs at level 1).

If you wanted to tone it down very slightly, you could just cut the HP bonus to 1 point per level (possibly by giving it Improved Toughness as a default bonus feat, although that would mean it then had a rather handy prereq sorted out).

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 03:48 PM
It's probably slightly more playable than most PHB races; more playable than elves, at least as playable as dwarves, marginally less than humans (but the better than any of them for a number of jobs at level 1).

If you wanted to tone it down very slightly, you could just cut the HP bonus to 1 point per level (possibly by giving it Improved Toughness as a default bonus feat, although that would mean it then had a rather handy prereq sorted out).

Toning it down to just one HP per level would mean it was just very strictly not as good as giving them +2 Con (which is true for humans, I suppose, since it's very strictly not as good as giving them +2 Int, but still...)

Besides, this way a half-orc can take Improved Toughness and end up having +2 hit points per level.

I'm happy with it as is. Even with the extra hit points, it's still not as good as an orc for melee, and not as strong as a dwarf when you take into account all the dwarf-only prestige classes (there are a lot more of them then there are half-orc prestige classes)

Seerow
2011-12-07, 03:58 PM
Honestly, I'd give them the one skillpoint per level rather than trying to figure out how much HP skills are worth. That way despite having a negative int mod, they are still average for skillpoints, making them bad int based casters, but pretty good otherwise.

That does leave racial enmity and darkvision as being traded off for a bonus feat (assuming you consider Str vs Int a relatively equal tradeoff), so you may want to add something else still, but it seems pretty decent.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 04:01 PM
Honestly, I'd give them the one skillpoint per level rather than trying to figure out how much HP skills are worth. That way despite having a negative int mod, they are still average for skillpoints, making them bad int based casters, but pretty good otherwise.

That does leave racial enmity and darkvision as being traded off for a bonus feat (assuming you consider Str vs Int a relatively equal tradeoff), so you may want to add something else still, but it seems pretty decent.

That makes them too much like humans, but worse, like half-elves are too much like elves, but worse.

Besides, why should half-orcs get skill points? It makes sense for them to receive more hit points because of their bulky physique, but they're already stupid, so why should they be more adaptable?

Yora
2011-12-07, 04:01 PM
Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-orc is considered an orc.
Are they also considered human?

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 04:03 PM
Are they also considered human?

No. There's a feat for that (Human-Descended, I think) but no, half-orcs have never been considered humans (I copied and pasted the Orc Blood thing from the PHB orc)

Seerow
2011-12-07, 04:11 PM
That makes them too much like humans, but worse, like half-elves are too much like elves, but worse.

Besides, why should half-orcs get skill points? It makes sense for them to receive more hit points because of their bulky physique, but they're already stupid, so why should they be more adaptable?

They're like humans, but stronger and not as skilled. Basically what you're going for already, except without the bonus HP, and only being 1 skillpoint behind instead of 2.

They should be more adaptable because of their human blood. The really funny thing? Orcs don't get a bonus to constitution (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/orc.htm) or any other hit point bonus. But somehow, taking a big tough orc, mixing it with a human, gets you something with less strength but more hitpoints? No, that doesn't make sense. Sorry.

On the other hand, losing some of the strength bonus but also losing most of the mental stat penalties does make sense. But then you're left with a race that doesn't have a lot to distinguish itself except a strength bonus. If you need something to go from there, look to the other half of the equation: Human. That means adding in more flexibility. This means more skill points, selectable favored class, etc. ie things that actually improve flexibility like humans get that make them awesome.

Honestly, I could see the Half-Orc legitimately being a human with +2 str -2 int tacked on, since the stat bonus/penalties nullify each other (Similarly I wouldn't be opposed to half elf being basically a human with +2 dex -2 con). But if you want to make them different, at least don't forget about that human heritage. Give them the skillpoints, scrap the hp bonus, and find another bonus that fits that makes up for not having a bonus feat for them.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 04:21 PM
Honestly, I could see the Half-Orc legitimately being a human with +2 str -2 int tacked on, since the stat bonus/penalties nullify each other (Similarly I wouldn't be opposed to half elf being basically a human with +2 dex -2 con). But if you want to make them different, at least don't forget about that human heritage. Give them the skillpoints, scrap the hp bonus, and find another bonus that fits that makes up for not having a bonus feat for them.

I don't want to give them skill points. Nowhere in the fluff does it say "half-orcs are adaptable". You're right, most orcs don't have a Constitution bonus (save the infamous Water Orcs), but adding skill points to a race with an Intelligence penalty is just...no.

Intelligence directly measures adaptability and flexibility. That is the reason for why it is tied directly in to the skill point system. Intelligence only applies to skill points for most characters, along with a few skills that some characters will never take (and aren't even on their class skill list) along with Int-based casting.

So what does that mean for a warrior? Give them skill points, take away their Int by 2, and you give them +2 Strength for free. You take a -1 penalty on Knowledge checks and Craft checks, neither of which you were probably using.

You said "Assuming you value an even trade off of Str for Int". I do, as long as it actually is a trade off. But Intelligence applies to so few things that it really isn't, especially if you take skill points away.

Meanwhile, extra hit points using the human's extra skill points is valuable to all classes, it's unique and it helps especially at low levels, when melee shines.

Seerow
2011-12-07, 04:39 PM
1) If you consider an even trade off in stats an actual bonus, then you must think that all races besides human are also just fine. Fact is, even though the int penalty means little to warriors, the penalty does exist. It also intrinsically limits options by locking you out of int based classes like Wizard, and even hinders you in progression with something like the Warblade which has Int as a strong secondary.

Pretty much all races give a bonus to one stat, and a penalty to another. People who pick those races almost always go with a race that boosts something they want and drops something they don't. If you consider that a worthwhile tradeoff, then Half-Orcs really don't have a problem already as written, because some people consider their bonus strength good enough to use despite their flaws. If you instead look at it as a net +0 to stats, then you have to acknowledge that there is in fact a real tradeoff being made.

2) You say adding skill points with an int bonus is a no, my argument is that adding the skill points back puts them back up to average with other races as far as adapability goes. Orcs are notoriously bad at such things, and while half-orcs may be a bit slower than their human-kin, they should still be head and shoulders more resourceful than your typical orc, and comparatively average with other races.

That is what the bonus skill point represents, not an actual bonus, but rather bringing them back up to par, partially negating their intelligence penalty, while still locking them out of certain options.


3) You still haven't explained how it makes sense to take one race with no increased durability, crossbreed it with another race with no increased durability, and come out with a new race that has more HP than any other. Fact is that the HP bonus makes even less sense than anything else. You've said that it's nice and helpful, and that's great, but it doesn't mean it makes any sense. Honestly your race is more like a Dwarf breeding with an Orc than a Human (seriously change that int penalty to a cha penalty and it's the perfect Half-Dwarf Half-Orc)






Incidentally racial enmity is not an orc feature either. Apparently half orcs hate elves even more than orcs do.



Edit: It just occured to me what you're trying to do! You are trying to remake the Orc race as an actually not-terrible race, and pass it off as a half-orc instead. Seriously, rename your race Orc instead, and it works fine. The problem is that as a crossbreed between a human and an orc, it's got too much random stuff that came from nowhere, and too little actually coming from human.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 04:57 PM
2) You say adding skill points with an int bonus is a no, my argument is that adding the skill points back puts them back up to average with other races as far as adapability goes. Orcs are notoriously bad at such things, and while half-orcs may be a bit slower than their human-kin, they should still be head and shoulders more resourceful than your typical orc, and comparatively average with other races.

That is what the bonus skill point represents, not an actual bonus, but rather bringing them back up to par, partially negating their intelligence penalty, while still locking them out of certain options.


It doesn't "partially negate" an Intelligence penalty. An Intelligence bonus isn't like Dex or Str or Con, it only applies to skills, casting, and skill points, along with a few classes that use it for random things (Warblade, Assassin and Factotum are the only ones that come to mind)

For the majority of characters, the very very vast majority of them, an Intelligence bonus will only represent the amount of skill points they get.

And since a half-orc has the same Int penalty that an orc does, it really doesn't make much sense for them to have any more skill points than an orc.

Humans are inherently adaptable. I don't think that's genetic, though, The ability to do a large number of things doesn't strike me as something that's coded into your DNA, (even if it does apply to all humans in this case)

Besides, humans only get two racial features. Taking one of them and just giving it to the half-orc is both lazy and rips on the human's style.




3) You still haven't explained how it makes sense to take one race with no increased durability, crossbreed it with another race with no increased durability, and come out with a new race that has more HP than any other. Fact is that the HP bonus makes even less sense than anything else. You've said that it's nice and helpful, and that's great, but it doesn't mean it makes any sense. Honestly your race is more like a Dwarf breeding with an Orc than a Human (seriously change that int penalty to a cha penalty and it's the perfect Half-Dwarf Half-Orc)


That's true. I suppose I'll remove it then, and try to think of something that makes more sense fluff-wise.



Incidentally racial enmity is not an orc feature either. Apparently half orcs hate elves even more than orcs do.

I've never agreed with this. Why should dwarves get a bonus against orcs, when elves and half-elves have a whole freaking prestige class based around hunting orcs?

I chock it up to half-orcs being more exposed to elves than normal orcs. After all, since half-orcs aren't generally in the savage tribal wilds, but raised by their human parents, they would have a lot more chances to meet elves, and by that regard, receive hating-on from the elves, which would make their hatred even worse than an orc's, no?

Seerow
2011-12-07, 05:06 PM
Besides, humans only get two racial features. Taking one of them and just giving it to the half-orc is both lazy and rips on the human's style.


Um... you do realize you're making a crossbreed race, right? The new race is expected to have elements in common with the base race. If you make a half-orc that has nothing in common with a human, it's not really a half-orc!


Also, see the edit to my previous post. I think you'd be a lot happier just renaming the race as you have it to "Orc" and forgetting that half orcs ever existed. Or if you really want Half-Orc to be a watered down orc, buff orcs to an LA+1 level, and make half orcs a watered down version of the souped up orc.

Right now the core of your problem is, a half-orc will be half orc half human. You want to favor orc features more than human features, but orcs are terrible as a race to begin with, and don't have enough features you can actually take from them and leave you with a still decent race.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 05:06 PM
There we go! Combine a human's natural ingenuity with an orc's strength and you get two new racial features: Strongarm Proficiency and Strongarm Focus! Is that better?

Edit: Removed the racial enmity, to make it more of a crossbreed, now there's no non-orc, non-human traits about it, just Str, Int, Darkvision, Orc Blood, and the crossbreed abilities.

Mr.Bookworm
2011-12-07, 06:52 PM
+2 Strength, -2 Intelligence. A half-orc's orc blood makes him stronger than a human, but his ability to comprehend is still limited due to his inherently savage nature.
Medium size. As a Medium creature, the half-orc receives no size penalties or bonuses.
Speed A half-orcís base land speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision: Half-orcs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.

Good, good, good, and good.


Strongarm Proficiency: *snip*

Doesn't... really make a lot of sense, especially in combination with the ability right after here.


Strongarm Focus (Ex): *snip*

This makes Half-Orcs the One True Build for sooooooo many character concepts, which is not a desirable design goal.

If you want to fix 1H Power Attack, make it a feat or something, not a racial ability.


Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-orc is considered an orc.
Automatic Languages: Common, Orc. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Abyssal.
Favored Class: Barbarian.

Good, what the ****, good.

About the languages; the automatic ones make sense, the bonus ones... not so much. Any reasoning, or did you just throw them in there because honestly who cares?

I'd probably just put "all" in a nod to the human side.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 07:03 PM
Good, good, good, and good.



Doesn't... really make a lot of sense, especially in combination with the ability right after here.



This makes Half-Orcs the One True Build for sooooooo many character concepts, which is not a desirable design goal.

If you want to fix 1H Power Attack, make it a feat or something, not a racial ability.

I didn't want to fix 1H Power Attack. I wanted to make a hybrid ability for half-orcs. Something that combined a human's innate adaptability with the orc's strength, and I came up with "Use adaptability to fight better".

Fluff-wise, they basically understand how to use their weapons in different ways, combining it with their physical strength to put out more ownage than most.

Also, there are plenty of races that are just perfect for certain builds, (like humans) such as Lesser Aasimar being great for paladins, mongrelfolk being the prime target for dragonfire adepts, and whispergnomes making fantastic rogues. (I don't care what kind of stat boosts you get, a +4 size bonus to Hide without lowering your move speed and silence as a spell-like ability makes you the stealthiest rogue ever)




Good, what the ****, good.

About the languages; the automatic ones make sense, the bonus ones... not so much. Any reasoning, or did you just throw them in there because honestly who cares?

I'd probably just put "all" in a nod to the human side.

I actually copied and pasted from the SRD, but yeah, that makes sense. I'll change it to All.

Seerow
2011-12-07, 07:10 PM
I didn't want to fix 1H Power Attack. I wanted to make a hybrid ability for half-orcs. Something that combined a human's innate adaptability with the orc's strength, and I came up with "Use adaptability to fight better".


And in doing so you made your half-orc the only race in the game anyone will ever want to play for a two weapon fighter or a sword and board warrior. Or hell, even a duelist/swashbuckler type, even with the int penalty.




I'm going to reitterate a third time, you'll be a lot happier just scrapping the whole half orc idea and going back and rewriting full orcs along the lines of your original posted race instead. Just about anything you do with half orcs is going to end up either weak, or not making much sense, unless you go a route you've already explicitly stated you don't want to go.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 07:13 PM
And in doing so you made your half-orc the only race in the game anyone will ever want to play for a two weapon fighter or a sword and board warrior. Or hell, even a duelist/swashbuckler type, even with the int penalty.


You said to make him more humanlike. This is what I came up with. It's much better than just giving him skill points, it's an actual crossbred ability.

Edit: And I have no interest in rewriting orcs. Orcs are fine as they are, in my opinion. I just want to make the half-orc playable.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 07:19 PM
There, I changed it to something simple. Now it's not as powerful, but it's still better than a normal half-orc, and still combines the orc's power and the human's natural talent.

Seerow
2011-12-07, 07:25 PM
But you're not actually making them more humanlike. That's the issue. You're just making up new abilities and saying "look, it's better!"


Seriously, if you want all new cool abilities, then that's what a base race is for.

Seerow
2011-12-07, 07:28 PM
Oh and a half orc and orc with 16 base str now have the following damage with a greatsword, when the half-orc power attacks away his extra to-hit advantage:

Orc: 2d6+7
Half-Orc: 2d6+10

Yep, now half-orcs are strictly better than full orcs at killing stuff with a two-handed weapon, and can't actually do anything other than kill stuff with two-handed weapons. That's really adaptable and humanlike.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 07:29 PM
But you're not actually making them more humanlike. That's the issue. You're just making up new abilities and saying "look, it's better!"


Seriously, if you want all new cool abilities, then that's what a base race is for.

The problem with humans is that they don't have any abilities to combine. That's why half-elves suck too. I was trying to apply the human's adaptability to weapons instead of skills.

If I just took the human's skill points and added them to the half-orc, then the human would be I have a bonus feat, and the half-orc would be I have Strength, but I suck as a wizard.

Edit: Look, Seerow, you gave me some PEACH, I changed the ability to better fit the fluff, in my opinion. You're not going to convince me to just chop off half of a human and stick it to my race, so we'll just have to agree to disagree here.

Seerow
2011-12-07, 07:38 PM
Edit: Look, Seerow, you gave me some PEACH, I changed the ability to better fit the fluff, in my opinion. You're not going to convince me to just chop off half of a human and stick it to my race, so we'll just have to agree to disagree here.


You're right, how silly of me to try to argue in favor of the half-human actually being half human! What was I thinking? Of course it should be orc with better damage and fewer penalties, because splashing human onto anything doesn't actually make something more human, it accentuates their features!

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 07:44 PM
You're right, how silly of me to try to argue in favor of the half-human actually being half human! What was I thinking? Of course it should be orc with better damage and fewer penalties, because splashing human onto anything doesn't actually make something more human, it accentuates their features!

Alright, then enlighten me. How would you make him more human, without just throwing skill points at him? That's not what I want to do here.

Seerow
2011-12-07, 07:46 PM
Alright, then enlighten me. How would you make him more human, without just throwing skill points at him? That's not what I want to do here.

I've already given you three different solutions if you read anything I post. However you just want Orc+ labeled as a half-orc so it's more socially acceptable, so why bother?

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 07:51 PM
Edit: Scrap it. I'm just going back to the "agree to disagree" plan. I'm not arguing this anymore. This race is good as it is.

Seerow
2011-12-07, 08:02 PM
Really? All I've seen is "Skill points". You said "skill points", you said "make him a half orc and give orcs a +1 LA" which isn't making the half-orc more human, so I don't believe thats what you meant, and you said "Make a half orc exactly like a human but with +2 Str and -2 Int"

So I must be missing something here.

Okay, I misspoke. I gave one possibility to make them more human. There are two possibilities (instead giving a bonus feat, but I figured that would be a much bigger slap in the face to humans than the skill point, but then again strongheart halflings and some other races have a bonus feat too so w/e). I thought I had mentioned the possibility of giving them a bonus feat, maybe even restricted to fighter feats only (though I don't think that's needed), which would have been the third method.

But the half-orcs don't necessarily NEED to be more human. The big point of contention is that they should NOT have any features that don't originate from Orc or Human. That leads to all sorts of weirdness like "Where did that come from it makes no sense?". This means if Orcs and Humans are the same power level, you should borrow from both equally. If Orcs are strictly stronger than humans, you can have half-orcs that are just watered down orcs without any problems mechanically or fluff wise (the stronger orc traits get wattered down by the human traits, but enough shine through to still make a viable PC race).

Right now what you're trying to do is make a watered down orc, when orc isn't strong enough to be watered down and still be a mechanically viable race. So then you have to add new **** in to keep it viable and people say "Where the heck did that come from, this makes no sense!"

Hopefully this makes more sense.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 08:11 PM
But the half-orcs don't necessarily NEED to be more human. The big point of contention is that they should NOT have any features that don't originate from Orc or Human. That leads to all sorts of weirdness like "Where did that come from it makes no sense?". This means if Orcs and Humans are the same power level, you should borrow from both equally. If Orcs are strictly stronger than humans, you can have half-orcs that are just watered down orcs without any problems mechanically or fluff wise (the stronger orc traits get wattered down by the human traits, but enough shine through to still make a viable PC race).

Right now what you're trying to do is make a watered down orc, when orc isn't strong enough to be watered down and still be a mechanically viable race. So then you have to add new **** in to keep it viable and people say "Where the heck did that come from, this makes no sense!"

Hopefully this makes more sense.

Alright, fair enough. But like you said before


That does leave racial enmity and darkvision as being traded off for a bonus feat (assuming you consider Str vs Int a relatively equal tradeoff), so you may want to add something else still,

You suggested "add something else", but now you're saying "It shouldn't be something that's not on either the orc or human trait list".

So I'm left with either a bonus feat, or light sensitivity. One would just be taking a human and giving him +2 Str, -2 Int and Darkvision (and a free language), while the other would be detrimental and end up removing the +1 to hit that +2 Strength gives.

Any thoughts?

Zale
2011-12-07, 08:18 PM
Bonus Health made sense to me.

After all, Orcs are big and strong and tough, right? That is more than good enough for me.

The only one I see complaining about how it makes no sense is Seerow.

Wyntonian
2011-12-07, 08:31 PM
Wise Master Wyntonian say: "Do not allow a vocal minority to overwhelm an assenting majority."

I think it's good, hell, give them +3 hp for free and you're still ok. I like it, it makes sense, and that's all there is to say about that.

Seerow
2011-12-07, 08:36 PM
After all, Orcs are big and strong and tough, right? That is more than good enough for me.


So orcs who are big and strong and tough have no bonus HP or con. Half-orcs who come from those big tough orcs and scrawny little humans get more bonus HP than a dwarf? I still haven't had anyone actually explain how it makes sense, if you want to make an argument for it, do so.


So I'm left with either a bonus feat, or light sensitivity. One would just be taking a human and giving him +2 Str, -2 Int and Darkvision (and a free language), while the other would be detrimental and end up removing the +1 to hit that +2 Strength gives.

Any thoughts?



I'd have the skill focus replace the proficiency, and use a nerfed version of strongarm focus. Something along the lines of:


Half-Orc Racial Traits
+2 Strength, -2 Intelligence. A half-orc's orc blood makes him stronger than a human, but his ability to comprehend is still limited due to his inherently savage nature.
Medium size. As a Medium creature, the half-orc receives no size penalties or bonuses.
Speed A half-orcís base land speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision: Half-orcs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Well Rounded: A Half-orc's human heritage allows him to overcome his native stupidity and gain 4 extra skill points at 1st level. Half-Orcs gain an extra 1 skill point at each additional level after 1st.
Strongarm Focus (Ex): The Half-orc's Orcish heritage provides him with with an uncanny ability to smash peoples' faces. A Half-orc gains a +1 racial bonus to hit and damage rolls with melee weapons.
Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-orc is considered an orc.
Automatic Languages: Common, Orc.
Bonus Languages: All
Favored Class: Any





"But wait!" you say. "Strongarm Focus isn't an Orc special ability, so that's breaking the rules!" While that's technically true, the strongarm focus is giving the half-orc back some of the benefit of his lost strength. Since the benefit has been nerfed, the previous Orc example becomes 2d6+7 for both the orc and half orc, but if the strength mod ends evenly (say starting with a 18 str instead) you have 2d6+9 vs 2d6+8, so the full orc remains ahead at least part of the time, plus the other bonuses from high str (bonuses on str checks/combat maneuvers, extra carry capacity, skill bonuses, etc). Since the Orc remains strictly ahead in its niche area, but this brings the half-orc closer, it's comparable to a half-giant getting Powerful Build.

So here the tradeoff is the half-orc loses some attribute penalties and some strength, but also sheds the light vulnerability and picks up some skill points to bring it back up to the baseline most other races share despite its intelligence penalty.

The Orc could still do with being buffed up some, but this half-orc is a viable race balanced on its own merits that doesn't outshine either of its ancestors, while maintaining traits from each.

Zale
2011-12-07, 08:58 PM
So orcs who are big and strong and tough have no bonus HP or con. Half-orcs who come from those big tough orcs and scrawny little humans get more bonus HP than a dwarf? I still haven't had anyone actually explain how it makes sense, if you want to make an argument for it, do so.


Half-Orcs are generally disliked by both sides of their kin. Orcs think them weak while Humans think them savage. They often have to put up with not only harsh words and hatred, but also physical violence and abandonment. They have to get tough or die.

Hence the extra hit-points.

Does that make enough sense?

I would also like to ask how it makes sense for Orcs and Humans to be able to hybridize in the first place.

In fantasy games, what makes sense is a manner of general agreement. Especially with all the wizards running around.

Wyntonian
2011-12-07, 09:02 PM
I was under impression that for two things to breed and have fertile offspring, they need to be the same species. Did I make that up, or are orcs and humans the same species?

Seerow
2011-12-07, 09:05 PM
Half-Orcs are generally disliked by both sides of their kin. Orcs think them weak while Humans think them savage. They often have to put up with not only harsh words and hatred, but also physical violence and abandonment. They have to get tough or die.

Hence the extra hit-points.

Does that make enough sense?


That makes some sense, but given it says part of the reason is Orcs thinking them weak, the strength bonus seems to represent the necessary toughness, especially since once again Orcs have no particular tendency towards high HP, and consider strong as "tough" not durable.



I would also like to ask how it makes sense for Orcs and Humans to be able to hybridize in the first place.


I agree with that question (along with humans and elves), which is why one of the suggestions I made was to just drop the half-orc and make the bonus HP version of the half-orc originally posted a straight up orc instead.


edit:


I was under impression that for two things to breed and have fertile offspring, they need to be the same species. Did I make that up, or are orcs and humans the same species?


Well that assumes that Half-Orcs are fertile. You are correct that the definition of a species is when two creatures of the species can mate to create viable fertile offspring. But in the case of say a Donkey and a Horse, you get the mule, which is a viable offspring, but not fertile.

Assuming all half-orcs are sterile, you can have a half-orc race and still have humans and orcs as separate species.

Blisstake
2011-12-07, 09:10 PM
Well, with the racial bonuses, it looks like its entirely pointless to play anything other than a two-handed weapon user. While I don't really find any issue with having some races better than others in certain areas (like casting, ranged combat, meat-shielding, etc.), having two racial features devoted entirely to a specific way of playing a character doesn't seem very enticing to me.

Zale
2011-12-07, 09:12 PM
Thing is, Seerow, you are the only one who seemed to have an issue with the extra health.

I see no reason why a Half-Orc can't be a bit tougher than a normal Human or a normal Orc.

If all they got was X from Human and Y from Orc it would be rather boring, wouldn't it?

bobthe6th
2011-12-07, 09:22 PM
the idea that humans hybridize comes from the fact that a lot of fantasy is written for teenaged males(of which I am a member). we really don't care about genetics when connan meets a rather sexy lady elf...

also, centaur. *snicker*

but the point at hand. if a species is closely related enough it can create offspring. these are sterile, and not actually a species. exhibit a, the mule. exhibit b, the zebony(half pony/half zebra, look it up!).

dogs on the other hand, are one species(they can all cross breed with each other). this is a far better idea genetically speaking. so to make any sense out of it, assume all other humanoid species are breeds of human. this makes life easier, and you don't have to question Captain Kurk.

now, a half breed is freezable. the problem is that with genetics, lemon + lime doesn't = half lime/ halfe lemon. it creates hybrids, which have traits selected nearly at random from both parents. this would eventually level out to a stable breed, but gert this. they are all one offs! they can't stabilize, and so they often will be mutants. so having an ability that comes from neither parent, but a result of nurture ie extra HP makes more sense.

(this mesage assisted by a year of bio, sience, and SF)

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 10:24 PM
Alright, I put it back to Strength of the Berserker, and took away the Racial Enmity. Now it's a relatively decent race, if a bit barebones still.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

bobthe6th
2011-12-07, 10:31 PM
+2 intimidation -2 diplomacy. +2 survival -2 diplomacy. +2 racial to saves V.S. rage affects. +2 racial to saves against mind affecting. +2 to charge hit, -2 to charge AC in addition to the normal bonus/minus

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-07, 10:42 PM
Hmmm...A skill bonus? I admit, that thought had not occurred to me for some reason. Though there's no reason to give him a racial penalty to a skill check...none of the other PHB races do. They just have +2 to two or three skills...

I'm going to go with +2 Intimidate, +2 Survival. Why not? Thanks bob.

Edit: +2 Intimidate, +2 Survival if the creature is half-human, or +2 Intimidate, +2 Gather Information if the creature is half-orc. (A hybrid creature is referred to by the half that he is not raised by, as that is the half that makes him different from the society he lives in)

Machinekng
2011-12-07, 11:10 PM
Well, for half-breeds being different and better than their parents, you have Ligers.

I've always thought of Half-Orcs taking the best elements from both their parents. The strength and vigor of orcs, and the adaptability and ambition of humanity. In at least one or two of my home settings, half-orcs are actually respected by both races, and serve as middlemen between them.

I do think that Strength of the Berserker is pretty strong. I would personally reduce it to simply being Improved Toughness, by any other name.

Also, I actually like Seerow's Strongarm Focus. It would compensate for the reduction in Strength of the Berserker.

Everything else looks good. I may use this fix if I ever get to running a 3.5 game.

Mr.Bookworm
2011-12-08, 12:00 AM
Looks good to me!

(I would bitch about the hit points, but I'm afraid someone would throw something at me.) :smalltongue:

bobthe6th
2011-12-08, 12:07 AM
see now it has some skill abilaties, can be the melee race it always was ment to be, and has some flavor.

this is some good brew.

Veklim
2011-12-08, 06:49 AM
As far as the race goes, I see no real trouble with it, works OK. I'd personally say that all this arguement about orcs not getting HP or Con is a really good arguement for re-making Orc, since it does suck donkey balls through a straw (it sucks THAT hard guys).

Speaking of donkeys and such, there have been a few documented cases of Jennies (male horse, female donkey) which have been reproductively viable, it's rare, but it does actually happen. Mules on the other hand (reversed heritage, female horse, male donkey) have never been such, as far as I'm aware.

I always saw the humans crossbreeding with anything as a big nod to the idea of human adaptability, besides it's fantasy. If we're gonna have elves and dwarves and orcs and DRAGONS then a hybrid which spits at modern genetic understanding isn't really so far a leap surely?

NineThePuma
2011-12-08, 11:04 AM
Thing is, Seerow, you are the only one who seemed to have an issue with the extra HP.

Except me. I have one. It's not a BIG one, but I'd give the HP boost to Orcs as well.

Personally, Orcs need love. They're not really all that viable as a race. I'd give orcs Auto-proficiency in the Falchion and battle axe, while treating the Orc double axe as a Martial weapon. Give them either a boost to damage ala Racial Enmity as well. On a good day I'd also drop the -2 to Int. A bonus to Intimidate would be useful too.

LordErebus12
2011-12-08, 01:08 PM
I always thought Orcs needed a few abilities or something to make it better.

Irongut (Ex): Orcs live in the roughest climates that the material realm can provide, therefore their immune systems are hardened to poor living conditions. +2 racial bonus vs all ingested or inhaled poisons or noxious fumes, eating rotten or putrid food, sickening effects, etc.

or

Thick Hide (Ex): Orcs tough hide is naturally resilient, allowing them to survive in such inhospitable places. +2 racial bonus to natural armor

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-08, 01:09 PM
Except me. I have one. It's not a BIG one, but I'd give the HP boost to Orcs as well.

Personally, Orcs need love. They're not really all that viable as a race. I'd give orcs Auto-proficiency in the Falchion and battle axe, while treating the Orc double axe as a Martial weapon. Give them either a boost to damage ala Racial Enmity as well. On a good day I'd also drop the -2 to Int. A bonus to Intimidate would be useful too.

See, I'd do that as well. You should compile all that and post it, since it was your idea.

NineThePuma
2011-12-08, 01:32 PM
See, I'd do that as well. You should compile all that and post it, since it was your idea.

Bluh, I lost my record of it, but I had that compiled somewhere.

It also came with a Half Orc variant, but that was less awesome.


ProTip: When in doubt, look at the Racial Paragon for ideas.

Cieyrin
2011-12-08, 01:33 PM
When I compare new Half-Orcs, I usually compare against Desert Half-Orcs (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/environmentalRacialVariants.htm#desertHalfOrcs), which I use as a default for a better balanced Half-Orc. I think this version compares fairly well and I wouldn't mind using it in a campaign if it were an option, as compared to the Core Half-Orc. I like that the penalty was to Int as opposed to Cha, given there's way too many races that get hit there and I find the idea of crossbreeding tends to spark sorcery, which this half-orc can handle quite well without being handicapped.

As for the Seerow version, my personal quip against it is that Strongarmed doesn't apply to throw weapons, which I find disconcerting, given common orc strategy is to javelin a target if they can't manage to get into charge range or if they're fortuitous enough to have picked up Hurling Charge. Not sure I much care for the skill point boost, as it feels kind of a cop-out on that front to boost skill points to compensate. I prefer skill bonuses as a better remedy for that problem, plus favored orc classes (barbarian and druid) have 4+ skill points, so its not like they suffer for it that much.

LordErebus12
2011-12-08, 01:35 PM
Change the title to Orc and Half-Orc Fix, two birds with one cup... two girls and one stone, idk, im bad with metaphors... :smalltongue: Anyways, after we tackle Half-Orcs, we can reverse engineer some Orcs.

I like where your current Half-Orc is, ie:

+2 Strength, -2 Intelligence.
Darkvision:60 feet.
4 extra hit points at 1st level, and one additional hit point at each level thereafter.
+2 racial bonus to Intimidate checks.
+2 racial bonus on Survival checks if more orc.
+2 racial bonus to Gather Information checks if more human.
Orc Blood: treated as orc.
Auto: Common, Orc. Bonus Languages: All (except druidic, etc)
Favored Class: Any

Viktyr Gehrig
2011-12-09, 07:11 AM
3) You still haven't explained how it makes sense to take one race with no increased durability, crossbreed it with another race with no increased durability, and come out with a new race that has more HP than any other.

You mean like how a race with no increased sociability breeds with another race with no increased sociability, and you get a race that has a +2 bonus to most interaction skills?

Seerow
2011-12-09, 11:16 AM
You mean like how a race with no increased sociability breeds with another race with no increased sociability, and you get a race that has a +2 bonus to most interaction skills?

Please point to where I've ever said I'm happy with how half elves turned out.

NineThePuma
2011-12-09, 11:19 AM
Please point to where I've ever said I'm happy with how half elves turned out.

Additional Disclaimer: That location should not be blue text.


I posted my Orc fix in another thread. It's still on the first page. I'm going to go take a nap.

Seerow
2011-12-09, 11:23 AM
Additional Disclaimer: That location should not be blue text.

I'd have made that disclaimer but I don't think I've ever actually even sarcastically said I like half elves, so....

NineThePuma
2011-12-09, 11:35 AM
Well, yeah. I happen to like half elves for their awesome and horribly crappy stats. They manage to be completely and utterly useless. It's kind of endearing.

Telonius
2011-12-09, 11:49 AM
Hmmm...A skill bonus? I admit, that thought had not occurred to me for some reason. Though there's no reason to give him a racial penalty to a skill check...none of the other PHB races do. They just have +2 to two or three skills...

I'm going to go with +2 Intimidate, +2 Survival. Why not? Thanks bob.

Edit: +2 Intimidate, +2 Survival if the creature is half-human, or +2 Intimidate, +2 Gather Information if the creature is half-orc. (A hybrid creature is referred to by the half that he is not raised by, as that is the half that makes him different from the society he lives in)

I've used something similar with Intimidate. I drop the Cha penalty on both Orcs and Half-Orcs, given Orcs a +4 racial bonus to intimidate, and Half-Orcs a +2 racial bonus to Intimidate.

For survival/gather information ... I've played around with the idea of separate bonuses based on culture, and I'm sympathetic to the idea. But I've found that it only makes sense if you divide every race's bonuses into things granted by culture and things granted by species. Otherwise you run into things like, "What if my Half-Orc were raised by an Elvish family? Would he get bow proficieny?" and other stuff like that.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-09, 12:19 PM
For survival/gather information ... I've played around with the idea of separate bonuses based on culture, and I'm sympathetic to the idea. But I've found that it only makes sense if you divide every race's bonuses into things granted by culture and things granted by species. Otherwise you run into things like, "What if my Half-Orc were raised by an Elvish family? Would he get bow proficieny?" and other stuff like that.

Half-humans (Half-elves who are raised by elves, from the Dungeon Master's Guide) do get bow proficiency, so yes.

Synovia
2011-12-09, 12:38 PM
3) You still haven't explained how it makes sense to take one race with no increased durability, crossbreed it with another race with no increased durability, and come out with a new race that has more HP than any other. Fact is that the HP bonus makes even less sense than anything else. You've said that it's nice and helpful, and that's great, but it doesn't mean it makes any sense. Honestly your race is more like a Dwarf breeding with an Orc than a Human (seriously change that int penalty to a cha penalty and it's the perfect Half-Dwarf Half-Orc)

Never heard the term Hybrid Vigor?


Quite often hybrid species have traits that neither of the parents have. Genetics are complex, and things can combine in strange ways. The biggest thing you see in hybrids is huge amounts of variability from animal to animal.

Say you have two species, and each has two genes that code for production of growth hormone. One species has a gene that codes for soemthing that impedes the reception of growth hormone, but its two growth hormone genes are in different places than the other species.

You breed these two together, and its entirely possible you get a species with 4 genes that code for the production of growth hormone, and don't get the repressor. You get a MUCH larger animal that way.

Never seen short parents with a tall kid?

Viktyr Gehrig
2011-12-09, 01:44 PM
Please point to where I've ever said I'm happy with how half elves turned out.

Never said you were. Just pointing out that there's precedent for it. Personally, I think the way D&D/Pathfinder handles half-human races is all wrong and I'd use a different system entirely.

Telonius
2011-12-09, 02:07 PM
Half-humans (Half-elves who are raised by elves, from the Dungeon Master's Guide) do get bow proficiency, so yes.

That is one of the variant rules suggested, and I think it's a good rule; but that's only one race. If he were raised by Gnomes, does he get Hooked Hammer familiarity? +1 versus kobolds and goblinoids? Not saying it's a bad idea at all, just that it needs to be done for everybody if it's going to make sense for anybody.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-09, 02:11 PM
That is one of the variant rules suggested, and I think it's a good rule; but that's only one race. If he were raised by Gnomes, does he get Hooked Hammer familiarity? +1 versus kobolds and goblinoids? Not saying it's a bad idea at all, just that it needs to be done for everybody if it's going to make sense for anybody.

Well, only certain things would make sense. For instance, a creature raised by elves wouldn't receive a racial bonus to Listen, Spot, or Search checks, but would probably receive proficiency with a longsword and straight bows (or at the very least treat them as simple weapons)

For halflings, I bet the creature would receive the bonus to slings and thrown weapons, for gnomes, the racial enmity (the bonus to hit, not the AC bonus against giants) would probably apply, as well as the exotic weapon familiarity.

It's all a question of nature (inbred racial traits, such as ability score bonuses/penalties) versus nurture (exotic weapon familiarity, racial enmity, arguably certain racial skill bonuses)

NineThePuma
2011-12-09, 02:55 PM
I'm pretty sure they'd get the +4 ac too.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-09, 03:03 PM
I'm pretty sure they'd get the +4 ac too.

Thinking about it, I agree with you

NineThePuma
2011-12-09, 03:14 PM
There's an example "dwarf raised in a human society" somewhere in the DMG.


It loses a LOT of Dwarven goodies.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-09, 03:17 PM
There's an example "dwarf raised in a human society" somewhere in the DMG.


It loses a LOT of Dwarven goodies.

Oooh. Ouch. What would it gain? Sounds like a horrible trade-off.

NineThePuma
2011-12-09, 03:21 PM
As near as I recall, it gained almost nothing.