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    Default Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-12-07 at 10:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    The Half-Orc has now beaten out the Dwarf as the meat-shield race.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by legomaster00156 View Post
    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)

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by legomaster00156 View Post
    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. ).

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    +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?
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapidghoul View Post
    +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.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by paddyfool View Post
    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?)

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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).

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by paddyfool View Post
    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)

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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.
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    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?

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-orc is considered an orc.
    Are they also considered human?
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    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)

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    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 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.
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post

    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.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-12-07 at 04:53 PM.
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post

    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?
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-12-07 at 04:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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.
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-12-07 at 05:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    +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.
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bookworm View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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.
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    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.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-12-07 at 07:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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.

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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-12-07 at 07:28 PM.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  28. - Top - End - #28
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    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.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-12-07 at 07:32 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    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!
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  30. - Top - End - #30
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Half-Orc Fix (3.5 PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    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.

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