View Full Version : [3.5] Orcs based on Klingons and Predators - Help me flesh out new cultures?

2010-12-08, 04:31 PM
I'm World-Building right now, and the fan-boy in me want to include a different kind of feel for my Orcs. Most notably, I want to incorporate both a Predator feel, and a Klingon type feel.

About the World

Giant's once had conquered the majority of the northern hemisphere, enslaving the major races. The notable exception is the Orcish lands, as they not only would choose death rather than subjugation, but their combat prowess made them the only credible threat to the Giants. This is the only time in history the two breeds of Orc have truly cooperated with each other.

At some point, the Dwarves (the closest neighbor) forged a sort of allegiance with them, and this new resistance grew to include others over the years. In time, the Giants were driven back to the north, and freedom had been won.

(Side Note: I'd like to include a sort of Holiday where the Dwarves and Half-Orcs meet on the battlefield every 50 years or so. Without a unified enemy to constantly fight, Half-Orcs would suffer from something like Cabin Fever psychologically, and overpopulation in a land that has limited resources to draw on. But otherwise, they are strong allies.)

Now, "Orclundi" (a name I'm not particularly happy with right now) is a smaller continent with a tropical climate. Thick jungles, filled with powerful and brutish Dire Animals and Dinosaurs, line the coasts and extend deeply inland, with the central region a rocky badland known for violent storms.

I want to divide Orcs into two types, based on Orcs & Half-Orcs.


Orcs originate in the jungle regions, organized in small tribes until they acquire enough skills to live a solitary existence. They worship no gods, but they do hold a deep reverence in the strength of a creature's spirit. In fact, this reverence is the driving force of their existence, as this source of power can be claimed through the Ritual Hunt.

These Orcs use the Jungle Orc statistics (UA). Favored Class is Ranger (Distracting Attack, PH2), though Wilderness Rogue (UA) is not uncommon. Culturally, they are meant to be inspired by the title creatures in the Predator movies.


Related to Orcs, perhaps descended from them, they live in large clans amid the rocky badlands. These clans follow migratory patterns of the great beasts, the primary food source & crafting material, with most clans identifying with a specific herd or pack.

In recent history they have been taught metal-working from the Dwarves, and those that master the craft hold a place of honor in the clan.

These Half-Orcs use standard Half-Orc statistics. Favored Class is Barbarian (Whirling Frenzy, UA), though Cleric (Spontaneous Divine Casters, UA; Smite & Aura instead of Turn Undead, UA) is not uncommon. Culturally, they are meant to be inspired by Klingons from the (modern) Star Trek franchise.

What I need

I could use some ideas & direction for fleshing these out from a cultural perspective. Honestly, a checklist of points to cover would be ideal.

From a game perspective, I'm trying to figure out how to emulate some of the trademarks of Predators & Klingons, as well as expand on it while staying within theme.

I'm more or less under the impression that Spellcasting (leaning heavily on the Spell Compendium) & Class Abilities can cover much of the classic Predator Tech. A few things I'd like to include, but can't figure out, is their Throwing Disks/Blades, and their Constricting Net...thing.

Klingons are luckily fairly fleshed out in Star Trek Cannon, but I'd like to come up/convert some of their Weapons (bat'leth, mek'leth), and maybe tone down the "Space Viking" aspect while still feeling like a Klingon. This would probably require one of the nerdiest discussions possible.

2010-12-10, 12:57 AM
Here's an idea I had after reading the post. Sorry it took so long to get back to you.

The Orcs you're taking about sound like a cool idea - after reading them I thought of Native Americans or Conan's Picts, and thought that might be a way to bring them in.

Think about it - orcs are commonly relegated to footmen or runners (like Tolkien), but nothing stops them from being horsmen or ambush masters. Think of the Comanche or Apache tribes, or the Mongols if you're looking for a more eastern flavor. These three culture scared the surrounding cultures to death for centuries. The raiding (on foot or horseback) was devestating, and scarred the surrounding civilizations. Sounds like a great paradigm for orc, with a twist that incorperates the "Hunter" culture.

In fantasy, try looking at the Picts from Conan or the Dothraki in A Song of Ice and Fire.

I know it's not exactly what you asked for, and I'm sorry. But I got real excited, and thought I'd share. Hope it helps.

2010-12-10, 07:35 AM
That is an interesting idea. I don't know if I'd want them for my "Predators". I see the Hunt as a solitary spiritual experience, with a visceral element that mandates an on-foot (and in the trees) approach.

But the thought could work well with my "Klingons", as a true Warrior race would use whatever tools are appropriate to battlefield. And hailing from a land of Dire Beasts & Dinosaurs, it would certainly elevate them if they not only were the only people that could endure such a violent environment, but even tame it as they see fit.

This gets into the background of the game a little more, but my Halflings hail from a region called the Warrens, and have a generic Native American culture (though as I develop them, I might separate them into various Nations), and are known for their "horsemanship" with various canines.

Meanwhile, on the main continent are the Goblin, a vast mobile army that fills much of the Mongol role. Where things begin to depart is that the bulk of the population is female (the Standard Goblin). Hobgoblins are reproductive males, and are placed as heads of various units. Rival male siblings become eunuchs at birth, to remove the possibility of in-family power struggles, and turn into the brutish Bugbears, the "muscle" of Goblin armies.

Now, back on-topic, how does one include these Mounted Warriors without making them feel different from "Klingons"? I could see a variety of tactics that would suit them, such as riding Dire Bats or Pterosaurs, ambushing from above (much like De-Cloaking & attacking in a Bird of Prey). Still, I can't imagine them choosing to avoid melee if it was available.

What could be neat is if they dove from the air (as above), dismounted & fought hand-to-hand, and then had some sort of fast-mount mechanism to quickly remove themselves from combat (such as reaching up & grabbing a handle attached to the saddle). You could end up with a swarm of Half-Orcs diving in from the clouds in the midst of an unsuspecting enemy, causing swift damage, and quickly departing to regroup before the opponent can organize against the surprise attack.

2010-12-11, 06:00 AM
Half-Orc "Klingon" Weapons...

Bat'leth (http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Bat%27leth): Deciding how to adequately represent this weapon is tough. Super Stats don't seem to be the way to go (I'd rather not make another Spiked Chain), but I also don't want a waste of a choice either.

Start with a Scimitar (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Scimitar) or Rapier (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Rapier) as a base. Do not immediately make it a Double Weapon, but allowing it to switch between 1-Handed and 2-Handed use works fine. Also, make it eligible for Weapon Finesse, and deal both Piercing and Slashing damage.

So, its initial stats would look like:

Bat'leth, Exotic 1-Handed Melee Weapon
Damage: 1d6 (18-20/x2) Piercing & Slashing
May use Weapon Finesse with this weapon, even though it isn't a light weapon for you.

So, its effectively a Rapier that also deals Piercing damage & you can use Two-Handed for Power Attack. Akin to an Elven Courtblade that you can use 1-Handed, but doesn't have the Shared Weapon Focus, and on average does 2 less damage per hit. Or a Great Scimitar that does 1 less damage per hit, but can be Finessed & also deals Piercing damage.

That seem to be a good place for balance. Other things I'd want to be able to do with the Bat'leth (act as a Double Weapon, used for Trip Attacks, and other special uses) can be covered with Style Feats. That would offer the right balance of versatility & flavor that wouldn't make this an Uberweapon, but still worthwhile as an Exotic Weapon.

Mek'leth (http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Mek%27leth): I want to use the same basic principles for representing this Weapon.

The Kukri (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Kukri) is going to be my base here. I'm going to add Piercing damage here too, which puts it on par with a Dagger (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Dagger) with an improved Threat range, but cannot be thrown. A subtle, but potent choice here would be letting it be used with Power Attack, even though its a Light Weapon.

Mek'leth, Exotic Light Melee Weapon
Damage: 1d4 (18-20/x2) Piercing & Slashing
May use Power Attack with this weapon, even though it is a light weapon for you.

Sadly, this is inferior to the Rapier in any situation except Two-Weapon Fighting (and even then, only in the off-hand) or when you need to do Slashing damage. The Elven Lightblade may be comparable, trading an extra 1 point of damage & Shared Weapon Focus for an improved Threat range, Power Attack, and Slashing damage.

This may work best for Two-Weapon Fighting builds, where they can get double-duty for their Feats and/or get full Power Attack damage out of their off-hand. Also could work as a back-up Weapon for a more brutish build, again for its ability to be used with Power Attack.

Or I could also let people throw it. That extra versatility could put it over the edge...but that may take it too far. Perhaps Style Feats could help pick up on the Weapon's Slack some?

2010-12-15, 12:22 PM
So, I've been thinking more about this Bat-Rider thing, and decided that I like it. Its cheesy as can be, but that's part of its charm (and once I decided to model Klingons & Predators, all dignity of this project took a back seat).

Going from the Dire Bat (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/direBat.htm) stats, and according to their Strength Score & Size, a Light Load (which all flying mounts require) for them is 172 lbs. Even using the most basic "Exotic Saddle", we're talking 142 lbs for Rider, Weapons, and Gear.

Hmph...maybe for Small Creatures. I gotta upgrade it a bit. You can advance them up to 12 HD, which can get their Strength up to 19 Strength, and a Light Load of 232 lb. That's still pretty lean.

Sadly, I'm not comfortable with other existing options, such as the Desmodu Bats. The War Bats are just to big to be practical (in any sense the word "practical" can apply in this instance). The Guard Bat is pretty much a Dire Bat, with a few extra perks, but leaves the same problems.

Applying the Warbeast Template to a Dire Bat seems like the best choice here. Gets the Strength Score into the right range, and adds the right perks without overpowering it. I'd want to re-check the Market Value against comparable choices (such as Hippogriffs, Giant Eagles, etc), but it seems to be the way to go.

Dire Bat Warbeast
Size/Type: Large Animal
Hit Dice:5d8+25 (51 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), fly 50 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 20 (-1 size, +6 Dex, +5 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+12
Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+7)
Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+7)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Blindsense 40 ft, Combative Mount
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +7
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 22, Con 20, Int 2, Wis 16, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +4, Listen +15*, Move Silently +12, Spot +11*
Feats: Alertness, Stealthy
Challenge Rating: 3
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 6-12 (Large)

That doesn't look too bad, and would have a Light Load of 266 lb, which seems to be in the workable range. I might assign the -5 penalty to Ride checks for it being ill-suited as a Mount (due to the unorthodox means of riding "underneath" & primal dire animal nature), but with Combative Mount it comes out to -3.

With the "Exotic Saddle" (which is actually a specialized harness strapped underneath the animal, the Rider positioned hang-glider style) weighing in at 30 lbs, and the average Half-Orc being 241 lb, there would still be no room for them or any equipment. However, I could alter the Height & Weight to match Humans more (Humans average 175 lb), to give them room for Gear.

There should be ways to get advanced Dire Bat Warbeast, though some sort of expense. Getting a 12 HD one with a 22 Strength would be pretty slick, and a Magebred 12 HD Dire Bat Warbeast could be a lot of fun.

So...ideas on "pricing" these? I'm thinking in the 4,000 gp range.