Changes to the Half-Orc

Since its debut in 2000, there’s been a lot of debate about half-orcs in Dungeons & Dragons’ 3rd edition (and it’s update, 3.5e). Most people think they were shafted under these new rules when you compare them to other character races.

With that in mind, many would-be game designers have come up with their own, slightly altered half-orcs. Well, this would-be game designer has done the same.

Of course a half-orc would have its typical abilities, as described by the Player’s Handbook:

  • +2 Strength, –2 Intelligence, –2 Charisma. A half-orc’s starting Intelligence score is always at least 3. If this adjustment would lower the character’s score to 1 or 2, his score is nevertheless 3.
  • Medium: As Medium creatures, half-orcs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Speed: Half-orc base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision: Half-orcs (and orcs) can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and half-orcs can function just fine with no light at all.
  • Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a half-orc is considered an orc.
  • Automatic Languages: Common and Orc. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, and Abyssal.
  • Favored Class: Barbarian. A multiclass half-orc’s barbarian class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty.

Then they can add these two things …

Iron Stomach: Half-orcs can eat any plant or organic matter to avoid starvation, including rotten meat, spoiled milk, boiled leather, leaves, saplings and even dung. This material must be broken down into small enough portions to fit in their mouth and down their throat. Typically, they can make a Survival check (DC 5 plus environmental modifiers) and they find enough material to sustain them for a day. Additionally, they are immune to all food-borne diseases and infections, but not poisons applied to their food.

Selective Bonus: Because half-orcs are a varied race with a diverse heritage, at 1st level a half-orc selects one of the following traits.

  • Intimidator. Intimidate becomes a class skill and it is thereafter based on Strength, rather than Charisma.
  • Free Feat – Alertness. Like their orcish parent, this is now a bonus feat.
  • Free Feat – one Exotic Weapon Proficiency. Orcs love strange and bizarre weapons, and often train with them from an early age.
  • Disease resistant. The unique resistance a half-orc develops because of his dual parentage provides him with amazing immunities. A disease-resistant half-orc earns a +6 resistance to any disease, even magical ones.
  • Extended Darkvision. Some orcs who live underground have especially acute darkvision. As such, some half-orcs have a 90-foot range on their darkvision.


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