View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Orcish subraces and barbarian sub-class (PEACH)

2015-04-01, 01:31 PM
The campaign I'm running features Orcs prominently as both PCs and NPCs. Long story short, the world was created by gods of Law/Chaos/Neutrality, and they each made a race. Dwarves are Lawful, Elves are Chaotic, and Orcs are neutral. They're mostly nature worshipers and nomads- sort of a cross between Celts/Druids and Native Americans. Anyways, the Half-Orc has been replaced by the Gray Orc, but I wanted to make sure the subraces are balanced.

Orc Racial Traits
+1 Con. Orcs are hardy and tough.
Relentless Endurance (as half-orc in PHB). An orc's will to live is strong, and can allow them to survive even debilitating injuries.
Darkvision 60 ft. Orcs, like the other two Elder Races, can see in the dark.
Speak Common and Orcish

Gray Orcs: the majority of the orcish population. Hardy and strong. Gray Orc adventurers are mostly Barbarians, Rangers, and Paladins.
+2 Str. Gray orcs are phenomenally strong.
Savage attacks (as h-orc in PHB). Survival in the wild often depends on ending a fight quickly, and gray orcs are skilled at exploiting openings in a foe's defenses.
Proficient in Survival. Gray orcs are skilled trackers and hunter-gatherers.

Green Orcs: spiritual leaders of the orcs. Not a true subrace, as a child of two gray orcs can be green. Green orcs are almost all Druids, though some are Clerics or (rarely) Rangers.
+2 Wis. Green orcs are in tune with the natural world and their surroundings.
Can cast Animal Friendship, Purify Food and Water, and Detect Poison 1/long rest each at their lowest level. Green orcs are able to calm animals and protect a tribe's food and water.
Resistant to poison damage, advantage on saves vs poison. Green orcs resist venom and poisons easily.
Proficient in Nature. Green orcs are wise in the ways of the natural world.

Path of the Shamanic Warrior: an attempt to make a 1/3 caster barbarian like the EK and AT. Mostly orcs who learn to tap into both their spiritual legacy and their martial power.

Spellcasting: at 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast spells. Use the Spells per Day and Spells known table from the Eldritch Knight. Spells are drawn from the Druid spell list. Your spellcasting ability is Wisdom.

Cantrips: you know 2 cantrips from the Druid list. You gain an additional cantrip at 10th level.

Shamanic Trance: at 3rd level, you may cast Druid spells of a level less than or equal to ½ your barbarian level (round down) while raging. Casting a spell counts as making an attack for the purposes of ending your rage. When you cast a spell while raging, add your rage damage bonus to the spell's damage (if any).

Friend to Animals: at 6th level, you may cast Animal Friendship, Speak With Animals, and Beast Sense as rituals. You also gain your choice of Find Familiar or Find Steed as a ritual, but the animal you call is an actual animal (not a fey, fiend, or celestial) and must be naturally occurring in the area you are in.

Trance of Nature's Might: at 10th level, you learn a 3rd-level Druid spell as a Rage Ritual. You may cast a spell as a Rage Ritual by spending 10 minutes and a use of Rage. At 13th and 19th level you gain a 4th and 5th level Druid spell as a Rage Ritual, respectively. Any time you gain a Barbarian level you may exchange a Rage Ritual spell for another Druid spell of the same level.

Incarnation of Nature’s Wrath: at 14th level, on any turn you attack while raging, you may cast a Druid spell with a casting time of 1 action or less as a bonus action

Friends both Great and Small: at 14th level, you gain whichever ritual you did not choose at 6th level, subject to the same limitations.

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2015-04-02, 04:23 AM
So, these are like many of the Orcs from the Eberron campaign setting, right? If so, going to Bookmark this for a future Eberron Campaign. Thanks :smallsmile:

2015-04-02, 05:05 AM
Love it! Only things I would change are the racial stat bonuses to the standard of the phb, but divergence is not necessarily evil!
Perhaps the 14th level feature should be limited to a cantrip, but I can't say I know much about balance, so do not take my word for it

2015-04-03, 12:31 PM
Thanks guys!

Dark Sun- from what I know of Eberron, yes. They're fairly similar to the Gatekeeper druids.

Samhaim- Gray Orcs are pretty much straight PHB half-orcs (the only difference is the skill proficiency). Wanted to branch out a bit with the green- make them more mystical and druid-y, less big bruisers.

I've been thinking of changing the 14th level ability to either a) add your rage damage bonus to spell damage and save DC when raging or b) you have advantage on spell attacks and your opponents have disadvantage on your spell saves when you are raging. Thoughts?

2015-04-03, 08:18 PM
You might want to add a rule to the Shamanic Warrior that their rage doesn't end early as long as they cast a spell on their turn. Otherwise, up till level 14, if they cast a spell they can't make an attack, so their rage will end unless they take damage.

Is the level restriction on Shamanic Trance to deal with multi-classed Druid-Barbarians? If so, I don't think it's restrictive enough, because if they've put 3 level in Barbarian to gain the ability to rage and cast spells, they won't have spells over half their level anyway. And it doesn't restrict pure Barbarians either if they follow the Eldritch Knight progression.

Since Barbarians are proficient in constitution saves, Trance of Clarity will mean they almost never fail concentration checks, but it's probably not that big a deal.

I like the current level 14 ability, because it makes sense that classes that cast spells but are good at attacking can mix the two, though you could maybe just have them be able to make an attack as a bonus action when they cast a spell, which is in line with the Eldritch Knight and prevents them having a full round of spell-casting together with a full round of attacks. You could probably afford to let them add the rage bonus to spell damage from level 3 - it's not that bad since they cast so few spells, and it makes the rage and spell-casting feel tied together. Or they could get one of the steed/familiar rituals at 3 instead of 14. The Eldritch Knight gets magic weapons then, whereas this subclass doesn't get any more than spell-casting.

This might not be in line with your vision, but could the Barbarian maybe get the ability to expend uses of rage to cast higher-level spells as rituals? I'm imagining a manic rain dance kind of thing.

2015-04-04, 08:04 PM
Good catch on rage ending- it was part of the 3rd level ability as I discussed it with my players, but I forgot to add it in to the description.

The level restriction was to limit druid/barbarian multiclass without hampering pure barbarians. If I removed it, would this be too good of a dip for druids? Honestly not sure on balance.

I love the idea of rage rituals. I'll have to figure out a good way to implement it.

2015-04-04, 11:22 PM
I love the idea of rage rituals. I'll have to figure out a good way to implement it.

Maybe some kind of weird merging of the warlock's mystic arcanum and the druid's ability to expend multiple wild shapes for elemental forms? It's sort of a rough outline but something along the lines of "You gain the ability to expend uses of your rage to weave powerful natural magics. Choose one druid spell of 5th level and one druid spell of 6th level with a casting time of at least a minute. You may cast the spells as rituals, expending two uses of your rage for the 5th level spell and three uses for the 6th level spell."

The ability to cast conjure elemental and always make the concentration save forever is probably a little much though.

Call it frenzied meditation or something?

2015-05-20, 06:54 PM
Revisiting this since it got referenced in the 5e forum. How's this for an alternative 10th-level feature:

Frenzied Meditation: At 10th level, choose a Druid spell of 3rd level or below. Once per short rest, you may cast this spell as a ritual by expending a use of Rage. At 13th level, you may exchange the chosen spell for one of 4th level or below, and again at 19th level for one of 5th level or below. This spell does not count against your spells known, nor may you cast it through spell slots.

Too good? Too weak? The short rest limit is really just there to prevent a hypothetical 20th-level barb from having an at-will 5th level spell. Also, if anyone has a chance to playtest this please let me know- I'd love to know how it plays in actual games.