Did anyone notice that Half-orc is missing in 4th?

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They have Orc in the MM, but no Half-orc anywhere?

At least they got the Gnome in the MM....


I think as a House rule, I'll be using the racial outline for player orcs as Half-orcs, Anyone think this is a good or bad idea?
They have Orc in the MM, but no Half-orc anywhere?

At least they got the Gnome in the MM....


I think as a House rule, I'll be using the racial outline for player orcs as Half-orcs, Anyone think this is a good or bad idea?

It should do fine until a real half-orc is presented. WotC said something making the half-orc available online shortly after the books are released. But no telling when that will actually happen.

Jay
It's odd that they left out half-orcs, considering the history of the campaign starter area they provided in the DMG (the Nentir Vale). That area should be rife with half-orcs.
It's odd that they left out half-orcs, considering the history of the campaign starter area they provided in the DMG (the Nentir Vale). That area should be rife with half-orcs.

Well, they where fadded out in AD&D 2nd Ed. and didn't exist (I think) in 0D&D.... they were also never very popular, and the whole debate on their grim origins, so...

Changes around the Orcs stats with ideas from the Human and Half-Elf template... I'm sure someone will do it soon here, anyway.
I believe the Half-Orc will be in the Forgotten Realms player's guide. Or the campaign guide.
I noticed and I can't say I'll cry for this, since it was a meaningless race to me...
Exchanging them with the Dragonborns is like trading a Ferrari for trash...
I know many people like Half Orcs, but this is how I feel...
I noticed and I can't say I'll cry for this, since it was a meaningless race to me...
Exchanging them with the Dragonborns is like trading a Ferrari for trash...
I know many people like Half Orcs, but this is how I feel...

YMMV, of course, but I feel just the opposite way. After my inaugural one-shot in the seventies, my first long-running character was a half-orc, and when I play CRPGs (rare), I always name a half-orc character after him. PC half-orcs in xD&D are a tradition of three decades.

Why a half-orc? "I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir." :D

While these sorta-dragon thingies feel just the tiniest bit munchkiny to me (to me only; absolutely no disrespect intended to anyone who digs 'em, and I'm not saying they're over-powered), I certainly have no objection to their inclusion in the PHB; the more, the merrier, right? However, it's astounding to me that they would be in the initial 4E release, along with half-elves and two different kinds of elves, for cryin' out loud...but that my good ol' half-orcs are nowhere to be found. Odd choice there, and while it could be defensible based on whatever new cosmology they're selling, it just doesn't feel D&D, you know? I imagine that there are WoW players out there, for example, who might feel similarly about not being able to play an orc--something that's foreign to me.

As you suggested of my second-favorite race, these dragonborn are sort of "meaningless" to me, but that's only because I've never played one, never known anyone who played one, and haven't yet mentally connected them with the RPG experience.

Sticking in eladrin and dragonborn while omitting half-orcs and bards is IMO like painting the garage before you put in the bedroom floor. :D All worthy of inclusion, no doubt, but the priorities implied are...weird. To me.
Why not just use a full orc instead and not the 'weak' half-breed?
Why not just use a full orc instead and not the 'weak' half-breed?

We have a party with a full orc in 3.XE and it is a lot of fun (had to work around why he was with a mostly goodish aligned party first, but after that...). Adds a foil to everyone else in the party in a way that no other character does. Also, he seems perfectly balanced to me, doing pretty much about as well as all the other characters...
I only noticed that the half-orc was gone because everyone decided to mention it. That being said, I think that a fine substitution is taking the half-elf and making a few changes:

Change the bonus from Charisma to Constitution.
Change the skill bonus from Diplomacy to Intimidate.
Chalk off the group bonus to Diplomacy and instead grant running charge (from the orc racial writeup).
YMMV, of course, but I feel just the opposite way.

me too
I just hope they're not completely changed like the Warforged (have to lay still for 4 hours my ass).
I just hope they're not completely changed like the Warforged (have to lay still for 4 hours my ass).

why not? they are kind of, like, machines. Living, but still...
I really like the new warforged: they appeal much more to be as a player than they ever did, and I'm building a character concept for the first time ever.
Because I'm not aware of that happening in the books, though I guess you can venture to say it happens when everyone's sleeping.

Dragonborn are also the staple +Str class in the PhB, so half-orcs being in there too wouldn't make any sense. Breath weapon > anything half-orcs could use as a racial power.
I only noticed that the half-orc was gone because everyone decided to mention it. That being said, I think that a fine substitution is taking the half-elf and making a few changes:

Change the bonus from Charisma to Constitution.
Change the skill bonus from Diplomacy to Intimidate.
Chalk off the group bonus to Diplomacy and instead grant running charge (from the orc racial writeup).

No race has a +4 to any stat why should Half Orcs? Ie half elves already get a +2 bonus to con. Skill bonus change is fine, NO NO and again NO those to abilities aren't even on the same page of power, I don't know why not just invent a ability similiar to the Diplomacy bonus but with the skill that they actually get a bonus to say Intimidate perhaps. This would work better until a official one comes out anyway.
No race has a +4 to any stat why should Half Orcs? Ie half elves already get a +2 bonus to con. Skill bonus change is fine, NO NO and again NO those to abilities aren't even on the same page of power, I don't know why not just invent a ability similiar to the Diplomacy bonus but with the skill that they actually get a bonus to say Intimidate perhaps. This would work better until a official one comes out anyway.

I meant Strength. How is gaining +2 Speed when charging so much different in terms of power than a +1 group bonus to Diplomacy?
IMO, if you're going to grant them the following:

+2 Str, +2 Con
Running Charge

Why not just play a full orc (or a human for that matter, putting their bonus into STR) and play them up as a half-orc? I guess that's my opinions on the matter.

/shrug

EDIT: Now that I'm thinking about it, I wouldn't say that all players taking Orc as their race must be Half-Orcs, though I may have just misunderstood what you were saying. *nods*
why not? they are kind of, like, machines. Living, but still...

The lack of sleep for Warforged was a *huge* part of their race's psychological fluff -- from how they view death and unconsciousness to what kinds of jobs they take and how the local labor force views them to what kinds of hobbies they take up to kill time while everyone else is asleep.

It's a big deal, fluff-wise.

Mechanics-wise, I couldn't care less because sleep was such a rare effect in 3e past 4th level and all it affected was who kept watch.
To have full Orcs would make much more sense to me, though they'd need a background revision, since they're basically Evil (but with all the revisions of 4th ed. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hello-Kitty-Vampires too)...
Yeah because god forbid, you play a Orc who is evil, no that just wont do. Unless you're DM makes every race available to you regardless of alignment its just not fair gaming.
To have full Orcs would make much more sense to me, though they'd need a background revision, since they're basically Evil (but with all the revisions of 4th ed. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hello-Kitty-Vampires too)...

Orcs are not like the classic Outsiders - they are not born evil technicaly, but made. And then, there was already a % of Orcs neutral, or even a very few good...

(Mortals are nurture over nature)
I just hope they're not completely changed like the Warforged (have to lay still for 4 hours my ass).

They don't have to lay still for four hours! They still don't sleep! They just have to relax for four hours. When you get home from work and want to relax do you just go take a four hour nap? Or do you go on the internet, play a game, hang out with friends?

Warforged still don't sleep, and being knocked unconcious with a Sleep spell is still going to freak them out. Taking an extended rest is no different than what 3.5 warforged wizards had to do to regain their spell slots. But now it takes less time, because warforged are awesome like that.
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Well, they where fadded out in AD&D 2nd Ed. and didn't exist (I think) in 0D&D.... they were also never very popular, and the whole debate on their grim origins, so...

Pretty sure they were in OD&D. They have been in the game since at a minimum, 1978. That's just a minor tad longer than Dragonborn...

They've always been popular with those who liked them, and unpopular with those who didn't. If you've ever met a 1/2 Orc playing player, that's likely a player who's preferred choice is and maybe long has been the 1/2 Orc. 4E made a drastic mistake in judging what was popular by what I would wager was too specific of a sample population. The "fringe choices" - Gnome, druid, 1/2 Orc, monk, Bard, Barbarian, and even not-exactly-sacred-cow sorcerer have very dedicated fans.

Their grim origins as you say, by which I presume you mean pillage, have never been set in stone. That's always been an assumption by some, but nothing demands it nor makes it the likely option.

Consider the options of voluntary matings as well as two half-orc parents. For those foolish enough to think no human would desire such a mating, consider that human tastes are known to range into four legged mammals... not often, but they do. More likely, consider than many different things can define what makes for a viable voluntary mate choice.

First, concepts of attraction vary. Samoans for example, historically found massive bulk to be attractive, and there is at least one Amazon tribe that find anyone lacking a huge bone loop in their lower lip, leaving a hollow hole, to be ugly. Having lived in San Francisco during both the Punk and Goth phases of youth culture, I can also say that many humans have a taste for what many others might find shockingly disgusting...

Second there is politics. To bring two communities together, or at least end feuding, intermixing your political elites is a long favored tactic.

Finally, there is simply 'frontier availability.' When you're out there in the middle of nowhere, your standards for who makes a good husband/wife go a bit below 'Babewatch' and get defined more by who can bring up a strong family. A mixing between an Orc and a human is ideal in this situation - you can get a family with the strengths of both cultures.
In 3e at least, in my experience, the half-orc was played exclusively for the Str bonus. With both attack and damage based off a single attribute, ditching two RP stats for one all-purpose combat stat was a no-brainer for the aspiring munchkin. I don't think I ever saw a half-orc played with anything else in mind besides pumping up that score. I'm sure that somewhere there was someone who played a half-orc as an RP challenge and gave them relatively well-rounded stats, but not in my experience. I'd say that person could just as easily play a full-on Orc in 4e and call themself a half-orc- I'd be ok with that as a DM (Kind of on the lines of playing a Dragonborn as a Half-Dragon so as not to have those famous scaly boobs).

Now in 4e, you can play a Dragonborn instead. And, Strength isn't the be-all and end-all for fighters anymore, so several races can make comparable fighters.
You have too keep in mind that this player handbook is all about Martial, Arcane and Divine characters.

In the 2nd PHB youll find the Barbarian, Druid and others. I'm pretty sure there will be some races too, including Half-Orc.
In 3e at least, in my experience, the half-orc was played exclusively for the Str bonus. With both attack and damage based off a single attribute, ditching two RP stats for one all-purpose combat stat was a no-brainer for the aspiring munchkin. I don't think I ever saw a half-orc played with anything else in mind besides pumping up that score. I'm sure that somewhere there was someone who played a half-orc as an RP challenge and gave them relatively well-rounded stats, but not in my experience.

My last half-orc was a monk, based around boosted up wisdom. She was from a clan of half-orcs living in a large city. One of many such families.


Inspired by the writeup of the 1/2 Elf, here's my 1/2 Orc:

Abilities: +2 Str +2 Wis
Skill bonuses: +2 Insight, +2 Intimidation

Tenacity: Select one extra feat at first level from any class, or human or orc. You must meet its other prereqs.
Dual Heritage: Can take feats that are either Orc or Human, as long as meet other reqs.
Group Cunning: You grant allies within 10 squares of you a +1 racial bonus to Insight.

Why Wisdom? The same reason the half-elf has Cha, to survive the 1/2 Orc has had to learn to be cunning. Where the 1/2 elf gets by on charm, the 1/2 orc gets by on being one step ahead.
the 3rd ed 1/2 orc was meant to to suck at everything but barbarian with out a grate deal of luck and system mastery. I for one played half-orc as an RP challenge .In 1st ed they made fine assassin, fighters, rogues and low level clerics and had good multi class combos. the +1 to str and con more than made up for the -2 to cha. When 1/2 orcs made a official debut in 2ed they where pretty much unchanged from 1st ed minus the assassin.

in the the promised dragon article +2 str is a no brainier and +2 con seems most likely and the prime class will probable be fighter, ranger(2 weapon) and Rouge (brawny) the real intriguing part is what the "the Other Racial Traits" and "Racial Power"
My last half-orc was a monk, based around boosted up wisdom. She was from a clan of half-orcs living in a large city. One of many such families.


Inspired by the writeup of the 1/2 Elf, here's my 1/2 Orc:

Abilities: +2 Str +2 Wis
Skill bonuses: +2 Insight, +2 Intimidation

Tenacity: Select one extra feat at first level from any class, or human or orc. You must meet its other prereqs.
Dual Heritage: Can take feats that are either Orc or Human, as long as meet other reqs.
Group Cunning: You grant allies within 10 squares of you a +1 racial bonus to Insight.

Why Wisdom? The same reason the half-elf has Cha, to survive the 1/2 Orc has had to learn to be cunning. Where the 1/2 elf gets by on charm, the 1/2 orc gets by on being one step ahead.

nice
I have a love of half-orcs stemming back from my first contact with 1E. I was rather disappointed in them not being around for 4th.

I've only been slowly going through the PHB at this point, and haven't even seen the orc entries yet, but this is my take on Half-Orcs. I deliberately did not want them to have mixed human/orc abilities, but to have their own niche.

----------
Half-Orc

RACIAL TRAITS

Average Height: 5' 8"- 6' 6"
Average Weight: 150-275 lbs.

Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light

Languages: Common, Orc
Skill Bonuses: +2 Intimidate, +2 Athletics
Primal Hunter: You gain a +1 power bonus to damage against bloodied foes

Dual Heritage: You can take feats that are either Orc or Human, as long as you meet all other prerequisites.

Primal Fury: You can use Primal Fury as an Encounter power

Primal Fury - Half-Orc Racial Power
You unleash the savageness of the orc blood flowing through your veins
Encounter
Minor Action - Personal
Effect: If you make a melee attack roll and miss, you can roll again. You must take the second roll, even if it is worse.

Play A Half-Orc if you want...

- You want to be an intimidating presence on the battlefield
- To be an outcast among civilized society
- To be able to dish out as much punishment to the foes as you can
- To be a member of a race that favors the cleric, fighter and barbarian classes.

Physical Qualities
Half-orcs tend to have a burly frame and are fairly impressive in height, averaging just a little over 6 feet. Half-orcs strongly resemble humans, with enlarged incisors and a faint green or brown tint to their skin. Half-orcs tend to have black hair and brown or yellow eyes, though the full range of human hair and eye color is possible. Male half-orcs do not grow beards, but do have profuse body hair. Females tend to be fairly husky and almost squat. Their teeth are less pronounced, and they have slightly less body hair than males. Half-orcs rarely make their own clothes or equipment and tend to follow either orc or human fashion, depending on whom they were raised among.


Playing a Half-Orc
Half-orcs are the union of human and orc, a fate usually brought about by one side forcing themselves on the other - most usually orcs raiding and plundering human socities. However, this is not the case for all half-orcs, and there are some places where humans and orcs have willingly intermixed and the result is half-orc.

Half-orcs tend to come from two completely different outlooks. Among orcs, half-orcs tend to be smarter, though often not stronger. They are often bullied, but their cleverness tends to cause them to rise to positions of power among their brothers. Among human society, half-orcs tend to be pitied or looked down as less intelligent or brutish. Half-orcs among humans are often loners who use their brute strength to get what they want.

Half-orc Characteristics: Bullish, brave, cunning, dense, intimidating.

Male Names: Dench, Feng, Gell, Gorkan, Henk, Holg, Imsh, Keth, Krunk, Krusk, Lurtz, Ront, Shump, Thokk

Female Names: Baggi, Emen, Engong, Gurthon, Larutza, Myev, Neega, Ovak, Ownka, Shautha, Thranth, Thraska, Vola, Volen.

Half-Orc Adventurers

Krusk is a half-orc barbarian, raised among orcs and taken in by humans after his tribe was wiped out for its misdeeds. Krusk burns with the inner rage of his orc blood, but knows that his own tribe's wicked acts was what brought their downfall. He thus fights on the side of light, unleashing his naked fury on those deserving of his wrath. (Yeah, I'm working on a barbarian class)

Gorkan One-Eye is a half-orc cleric devoted to Kord, god of strength. A former worshipper of the orcish god Gruumsh, he switched his alliegence after being bested in a wrestling match by a cleric of Kord. Now Gorkan travels seeking to test his strength against all comers. He has come to realize that while one person can have amazing strength, the strength that comes from numbers is even far more impressive, and has joined forces with a wandering band of adventurers to allow him to take on even more impressive opponents.

Thrask is a half-orc mercenary fighter who wanders from town to town, seeking odd jobs for coin or glory. Armed with a longsword and dressed in scale mail, Thrask is constantly on the lookout for trouble, and willing to start it where he can. Despite his mercenary ways, Thrask tends to take the side of the underdog in a fight, knowing it will earn him more glory than going with the sure winner. In most cases, this generally means that Thrask finds himself on the side of light, battling impossible odds.
Orcs are not like the classic Outsiders - they are not born evil technicaly, but made. And then, there was already a % of Orcs neutral, or even a very few good...

(Mortals are nurture over nature)

Yes, but I meant unless you want to play them as renegades (who said: "Drow renegades around here are more than Humans in all the World"?), they'd need a revision to make them good about as much as they are evil, or simply divide them in some way similar to Gythianki and Gythzerai...
There is actualy, implied (and directly said) in Core (and FR?), whole TRIBES more unaligned/neutral.. and even a few small organised Good groups (Eldatheans) in FR.

And then, you have Eberron where they are more neutral/unaligned all by default (and druidic...)...
kudos for a brilliant write up on 1/2 orcs great fluff. my first dnd character ever was a 1/2 orc cleric assassin and i have played several since then, i enjoyed them so much that my dm in the corps left them as a playable race in 2nd edition so i could still play new ones from time to time, they bring a lot of baggage to the table but when well played add so much flavor and challenge a lot of preconceived notions.
I don't mourn the current absense of the half-orc, but I have to admit Garlack, the half-orc ninja was an interesting character to run, especially in a serious setting. Nothing quite beats watching the warrior charge in, supported by spells from the party wizard, whilst you spend several rounds climbing up a wall and anchoring yourself before taking pot shots with a shortbow...

Ah, good times.
Well, considering that Half-Orcs have a big part in both Greyhawk and Eberron, I hope they get stats soon.

Eberron has the Orcs of the Shadow marches, who live side-by-side with Humans, and Half-Orcs are rarely the result of rapine & pillaging there. Droamm is another story, but still you see my point, I hope.

In Greyhawk, there's the Orcish Empire of the Pomarj, which, now that they have conquered as much territory as they can, have to learn how to hold on to it and maintain an army and navy to equal that of the neighboring kingdoms (who would very much like to wipe them from the face of the Oerth.) As a result, they're having to quickly temper their previously chaotic outlook and learn to behave in at least a vague semblance of civilization (albeit, right now, an evil one). The Pomarj stands on the cusp of becoming an actual kingdom rather than just a war prize, and while right now Half-Orcs will definitely be the result of the old cliche, there remains the slim chance that that may someday change (although that would have to depend on enough Orcs converting to other religions besides ol' One-Eye, Gruumsh.)
The sycophants and EULA quoters aren't worth our time. 4E =/= Essentials; Essentials =/= 4E. To WotC/DDI: GO "SOON" YOURSELVES. Internet Rule #41. Needs moar Desu. No exceptions.
I just hope they're not completely changed like the Warforged (have to lay still for 4 hours my ass).

I sorta imagine it like turning a computer to "standby" because it's overheating.
I have seen precisely one Half-Orc during my entire gaming career. As near as I could determine, he existed solely so the player could use the phrase "Are you gonna eat that?" every time a teammate dropped an opponent.

Between my sole exposure being remarkably annoying and the inherent background involved (*ahem*), I don't miss them and I'm glad they're gone. Instead of the half-orc, I'd much rather WotC simply print a fully expanded Orc write-up.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I for one miss the Half-Orc. I'm going to use the brilliantly prepared house-ruled Half-Orc. It works very well in print, and probably will work better at the table. Hopefully WOTC will be making official rules for Half-Orcs, and the race will match - or at least be close to the player-designed one.

In my world, Orcs are a fierce barbarian race, not unlike the Klingons, and they are also honorable and have a Worf-like nobility of spirit. They freely intermarry with humans, much like Elves do, and in the few remaining cities in the world, Half-Orcs are about as common as Half-Elves.

TO WOTC: PLEASE GIVE US OFFICAL STATS FOR HALF-ORCS! THANKS!
Two far more fully fleshed out Half Orcs in this thread.
http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1046484
One of them is mine. (Shameless Plug).

Clearly we should remove half-elves from the PHB and treat them as Elves. It's all the same thing anyway.

EDIT: I didn't see Storms post, earlier. Honest oversight. Good Take.
Pretty sure they were in OD&D. They have been in the game since at a minimum, 1978. That's just a minor tad longer than Dragonborn...

They've always been popular with those who liked them, and unpopular with those who didn't. If you've ever met a 1/2 Orc playing player, that's likely a player who's preferred choice is and maybe long has been the 1/2 Orc. 4E made a drastic mistake in judging what was popular by what I would wager was too specific of a sample population. The "fringe choices" - Gnome, druid, 1/2 Orc, monk, Bard, Barbarian, and even not-exactly-sacred-cow sorcerer have very dedicated fans.

That's a pretty simplistic view of why or why not things were included. The problem with Bards isn't that they're unpopular, people have almost always liked Bards as an idea and I can't really think of anyone who dislikes Bards, it's that they're mechanically weak and that has been the butt of the jokes. Rewind back eight months, Wizards puts out a preview article on the changes to Clerics and the idea behind the Leader role. The first thought that goes through my mind is "Bards are going to be so awesome now!" Jump on the forums and see a bunch of similar threads "Bards are going to be awesome!" I was deeply surprised that they didn't make the first cut since they seem to be the quintessential Leader and the best suited to the Powers system. Here's where you run into issues: you're limited on space, each class takes up a ton of space. Clerics are about as core as they get, so cutting them, rogues, wizards, and fighters is out of the question right off the bat. You also want to showcase that the Martial power source can do more than just hit stuff in the face with your new Warlord (nee Knight/Marshal). You have an 8 month release schedule that you're looking forward at that includes an expansion book for one of the power sources, so you need to make sure that out of the PHB one of the power sources is stacked enough to justify a dedicated book reasonably close to release. Do you try and squeeze a ninth class into an already bursting book, or do you cut something? What do you cut? Strikers are the role most likely to be doubled-up on, so there's good incentive to include more of them, cut Paladins and you've only got one Defender. Warlord makes a lot of other things fall into place nicely and is a good showcase for a new edition. Wizard is core as core gets and is the only controller. Really you're looking at Ranger and Warlock. Ranger helps fill out the Martial roster for Martial Power. Warlock or Bard? I'd flip a coin, honestly.

Gnomes? Honestly being moved to the back of the MM is the best thing that could have happened to the Gnome. The nerd rage over them not making the cut smokescreened enough that Wizards was able to give them a total overhaul while the Gnome lovers were drinking their tear-filled beer. 4e Gnomes? Awesome. 3e Gnomes? Die in a fire.

Druid? Broken powerful, needs an overhaul, fits Primal better than Divine. Also not a "fringe choice".
Barbarian? Not special enough, will get a chance to really stand out in the Primal power source, good choice to delay. Also not a "fringe choice."
Monk? Broken weak, not special enough, middling popularity, people debate whether it should even exist or just be a combat option for Fighters, needs an overhaul.
Sorcerer? Redundant out the gate given mechanical changes.
Half-orc? Unpopular, redundant, weak, and kind of lame.

To be honest for the last 10 months I've found it funny that "where's my half orcs?!?" threads have been tiny compared to the Gnome fury or the... yeah, pretty much Gnome fury is the only thing that turned into a real stink.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

The 3.x Half-Orc _was_ kind of lame, because he took 2 ability hits for the +2 Str. In a game where you're doing more than just fighting, he's going to have a disadvantage over other PC's. But with 4th edition taking out the ability penalties, the Half-Orc should be equal to any other race. Assuming WOTC gives us some support for them.

As it is, there are some _very_ good ideas for Half-Orcs on the boards here, so I'm going to use one of them. It'd just be nice to have something "official."