Tuesday, 1st July, 2008, 10:20 PM #1
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
ř Ignore Nivenus
4E Half-Orcs, Half-Eladrin, and Half-Drow
Excited as I am about 4th edition and many of its rule changes I was kind of surprised they cut out half-orcs and 3rd edition style half-elves (i.e., half-eladrin) out of the game. While I know that half-orcs were cut for "background" reasons and half-eladrin will likely make a later appearance (as will half-orcs who have already been confirmed) I gave a whack at making a homebrew variety of both, as well as for half-drow.
What follows is my clumsy attempt. Any suggestions will be appreciated .
Scions of a forbidden cross between orcs and humans who are inherently powerful and keenly aware.
Average Height: 5'5'' – 6'2''
Average Weight: 140 – 240 lbs
Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light vision
Languages: Common, Giant
Skill Bonuses: +2 Athletics, +2 Insight
Half-Orc Defense Bonuses: +1 to Fortitude, +1 Reflex
Dual Heritage: You can take feats that have either orc or human as a prerequisite (as well as those specifically for half-orcs) as long as you meet any other requirements.
Insightful Strike: You may add your Wisdom modifier to your attack bonus as an encounter power.
The scions of the blending of orcs and humans, half-orcs are a misunderstood race often rebuked by commoners but valued in battle.
Play a half-orc if you want…
§to be a lone but sensible warrior
§to be a pariah driven to isolation by two parent cultures
§to be a member of a race that favors the fighter, paladin, or ranger classes
Half-orcs tend to be larger and more stocky than humans but less muscular than orcs. Half-orcs have a range of complexions similar to that of humans, but their skin almost always has a gray or greenish tint and their nose is flatter than is typical for humans. The jaw of a half-orc also bears two large tusks, though smaller than those of an orc. Male half-orcs can grow beards and often sport them while females, nearly as large as the males, often sport long sideburns. Their hair is typically dark in color.
Half-orcs often adopt the attire of the culture they were raised in, either dressing in furs and primitive hides like an orc or the varying cloths of humanity. For example a half-orc raised in a rich merchant city might dress in fine robes, in spite of his savage heritage. However, it is more common to find half-orcs in rustic clothing, given their usually frontier origins and some half-orcs raised among humans still try to seek out and gather orcish clothing or jewelry in order to gain a closer connection with their heritage.
Half-orcs have lifespans comparable but slightly shorter than that of humans and like both halves of their ancestry half-orcs do not age well, growing weaker with each passing year after middle age.
Playing a Half-Orc
Half-orcs are more than just a combination of orcs and humans. They are powerful in battle, with the athletic skill of a full-blooded orc, as well as possessing the mental versatility that humans possess and orcs lack. But there is more to them and half-orcs are also keenly insightful and possess a strong sense for the world and its inhabitants, exceeding either humans or orcs in their capabilities in this respect.
Half-orcs know better than most how to survive on their own and often are experienced warriors at a young age. Even those that do not take up the banner of war however still have a knack for understanding the world that sets them apart from other races. Half-orcs, regardless of their motivation, value those who have lived longer than they have, and seek to learn from their more experienced companions in order to further their own skills.
Much like dwarves half-orcs are typically a gruff race that is naturally introverted. In a large part this is due to half-orcs’ status as outcasts amongst both humans and full-blooded orcs. However, most half-orcs do not possess the strong sense of honor or duty that a dwarf or a dragonborn does and in some ways are more like elves, prone to living in the moment rather than brooding on the past or worrying over the future.
Of all the races half-orcs probably identify the most with tieflings. Both races are outcasts in society and have learned how to make it on their own. However, if given the chance, many half-orcs will make strong bonds with dragonborn or even elves, in spite of the deep hatred between Gruumsh and Corellon. However, it is rare indeed when a half-orc finds common cause with a dwarf, in spite of the many similarities between their races.
Half-orcs often seek adventure because it is the only way they might find acceptance in society. Others are more opportunistic and care little for what the other races think of them, instead hoping to make a fortune from their considerable abilities. Either way half-orcs are powerful allies… and dangerous enemies.
Half-Orc Characteristics: Brave, insightful, rebellious, reserved, restless, self-reliant, vengeful
Male Names: Dench, Feng, Gell, Henk, Holg, Imsh, Keth, Ront, Shump, and Thokk
Female Names: Baggi, Emen, Engong, Myev, Neega, Ovak, Ownka, Shautha, Vola, and Volen
Some half-orcs who live amongst humans prefer names of a human origin or were named as such by their parents. For these names turn to the entry for humans in the Player’s Handbook.
Three half-orc adventurers are described below.
Henk is a half-orc fighter who specializes in great weapons and wanders the land, looking for challenging battles He was born amongst orcs but expelled at an early age for being “too weak.” Ever since he has sought to prove himself, training hard to become an unequaled fighter. He cares little for monetary rewards from battle, instead hoping only to meet one who can push him to his limits, forcing him to grow further as a warrior.
Ovak is a half-orc paladin sworn to the serve the sun god Pelor. Abandoned as a child Ovak was taken in by an order of paladins in the service of Pelor and raised by them. Possessing a strong sense of duty and honor Ovak serves as a beacon of hope in battle, traveling from one place to another in the hopes of alleviating suffering and doing good for those who are not as fortunate as she feels she was. As she travels she looks for clues as to who her parents might have been and why they would have abandoned her so long ago.
Thokk is a half-orc ranger. Thokk was raised by his parents on the frontiers of human civilization and his homeland was constantly under threat of invasion by orcs and other monstrous humanoids. In order to help his home and protect it Thokk serves as a scout for his local militia, spotting threats as they form and destroying them before they have a chance to attack his friends and family. Through his courage and wisdom Thokk, in spite of his dark heritage, has become an accepted and celebrated member of his local community.
Half-Orc Racial Feats
(I noticed already some pretty good racial feats on this forum for orcs, so use those or another homebrew set of orc feats as possible feats for the half-orc Dual Heritage feature.)
Heroic Tier Feats
Benefit: You can use the warrior’s surge encounter power as a daily power.
Heroes born of humans and eladrin who possess an innate talent for command and deceit alike.
Average Height: 5'5'' – 6'2''
Average Weight: 130 – 200 lbs
Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light vision
Languages: Common, Elven
Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 Insight
Adaptable: At 1st level, you gain a bonus feat
Dual Heritage: You can take feats that have either eladrin or human as a prerequisite (as well as those specifically for half-eladrin) as long as you meet any other requirements.
Sleep Resistance: +5 resistance vs. powers with the sleep keyword.
The children of humans and eladrin, half-eladrin are a race more rare than their half-elf counterparts but no less important.
Play a half-eladrin if you want…
§to be a nimble and agile warrior
§to be a charming and alluring leader who draws others to them
§to be a member of a race that favors the rogue, warlock, or warlord classes
Half-eladrin are about the same height as full-blooded eladrin but possess greater muscle mass generally speaking. Compared to humans they are rather slim, though not as much as an eladrin or elf would be. A half-eladrin typically takes after their human parent in skin complexion, though fairer from the eladrin influence on the bloodline. Half-eladrin eyes and hair are however often of a variety uncommon to humans, though seen frequently amongst eladrin. Like humans, half-eladrin males can grow facial hair, though they are less likely to do so than half-elves.
Half-eladrin generally wear what is typical for the culture they were raised in. For a half-eladrin raised among humans that can be just about anything. Half-eladrin raised amongst full-blood eladrin however tend to favor the same loose, elaborate robes that are favored amongst eladrin. Some half-eladrin prefer to gather items from both cultures, either out of a desire for variety or a sense of belonging to both races.
Half-eladrin lifespans are equal to those expected amongst half-elves, slightly longer than that of a human. Like half-elves, eladrin, and elves, half-eladrin do not age substantially as they approach death, remaining spry even as they near their mortal end.
Playing a Half-Eladrin
Half-eladrin, like all true half-breeds, are more than just a random combination of their two heritages. While they are indeed ambitious and versatile like humans as well as possessing some of the sense and flexibility of their eladrin ancestors a half-eladrin also possesses a little more. Amongst both humans and eladrin they possess a personal presence that is uncommon, drawing attention and serving well as leaders or conmen.
Half-eladrin, much like half-elves, like to be around other people though unlike half-elves they tend to be more deceitful and suspicious than either of their two ancestral bloodlines would merit. All the same a half-eladrin, regardless of their motives, can draw others to them like a beacon of light around which others rally. As such half-eladrin often make excellent officers or thieves, depending on their morality.
Half-eladrin are often of a grimmer and more contemplative nature than half-elves or humans but possess none of the distant and aloof nature that separates eladrin from other races. Instead, half-eladrin eagerly seek out members of most other races as potential allies, though they may be less inclined to ally themselves with a half-orc than they would a dwarf or halfling. Nor do half-eladrin generally trust tieflings, though they are known to make exceptions.
Half-eladrin raised among full-blood eladrin often seek out adventure from a sense of ambition that is left unrewarded amongst the austere high elves. For those raised amongst humans curiosity about their heritage or a desire to get away from shorter-lived humans may be their motive. In any case, half-eladrin make valuable members of any party.
Half-Eladrin Characteristics: Adaptable, alluring, ambitious, bold, deliberate, friendly, graceful, open-minded
Half-Eladrin Names: Typically eladrin or human names, though some half-eladrin have names more typical of other races.
Three half-eladrin adventurers are described below.
Alek is a half-eladrin rogue who serves as an agent of his master, a duke of vast power and wealth. Alek’s natural charms and agility made him a natural for the job, which has him carrying out heists, undercover investigation, and assassinations. Alek came to this life of his own free will, leaving behind his eladrin father whose family bored him incessantly with their aloof nature. All the same, though he won’t admit it, Alek misses his father and hopes to see him again before he dies, which will be long before his long-lived parent will.
Leshanna is a half-eladrin warlock whose charisma draws others to her in spite of her dark connections. Leshanna has made pacts with infernal spirits, granting her magical powers that exceed those of many lesser individuals. Leshanna is most at home amongst her human family, though she has lived with both sides of her heritage at various points in time and her parents remain together. Unlike man half-eladrin Leshanna does not think about her mixed heritage, to her its just another mundane facet of an otherwise interesting life.
Soveliss is a half-eladrin warlord who lives in a duchy in which humans and eladrin live side by side. Far from an abnormality Soveliss is actually something of an expected occurrence and many half-eladrin in his land have half-eladrin parents themselves. Soveliss is one of them and both of his parents are also half-eladrin. In this cosmopolitan and open-minded culture Soveliss thrived, rising through the ranks of its revered military to become an officer. Soveliss leads his soldiers into battle with the confidence of a human and the grace of an eladrin, betraying both sides of his mixed heritage in a land where such qualities are considered the norm.
Half-Eladrin Racial Feat
Heroic Tier Feats
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to Perception checks.
Warriors of a dual heritage who possess an uncommon durability and quick mind.
Average Height: 5'5'' – 6'2''
Average Weight: 130 – 190 lbs
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light vision
Languages: Common, Elven
Skill Bonuses: +2 Intimidate, +2 Insight
Skilled: You gain a bonus skill at 1st level that is not from your class skill list.
Dual Heritage: You can take feats that have either drow or human as a prerequisite (as well as those specifically for half-drow) as long as you meet any other requirements.
Shadow Resistance: You have resist shadow 5 + one-half your level
A rare half-breed if there ever was one half-drow arise from the uncommon pairing of a dark elf and a human and are typically brooding, dark-hearted heroes who care not for the company of others.
Play a half-drow if you want…
§to be a brooding but cunning hero with a dark past
§to be able to survive hazards that other races might find daunting
§to be a member of a race that favors the ranger, warlock, or wizard classes.
Half-drow are taller and sturdier than full-blooded drow in size, but are still slimmer and lighter than their human ancestors. Half-drow typically are dark-skinned, either with a blackish or violet tint to their skin, though they are still paler than true drow. Half-drow eyes take after either parent, meaning that a drow can be blue-eyed or red-eyed or have the iris color of any other human or drow.
Half-drow may dress in any number of costumes. Half-drow raised in the Underdark typically take after their dark brethren, dressing in elaborate but tight-fitting robes and tunics. On the other hand, a half-drow raised among humans may wear just about anything. However, all half-drow tend to prefer things of beauty, an inclination they inherit from the elven side of their heritage and which explains their penchant for collecting the decadent jewelry and pendants forged by their drow ancestors.
Half-drow lifespans are about the same as those among half-eladrin or half-elves and most half-drow live into their eighties or nineties, with a number of them reaching one hundred. Like other half-breeds of an elven heritage half-drow do not age in the same manner as humans, retaining much of their vigor even late in life.
Playing a Half-Drow
Half-drow possess many of the same characteristics that their ancestors do. Like drow, half-drow tend to have a threatening and disturbing aura around them which makes other uneager to challenge them and like humans they are unusually versatile. However, unlike either of their heritages half-drows are unusually durable and possess a keen mind that sets them apart from most races, making them both one of the craftiest races as well as one of the more enduring ones.
Half-drow do not possess the same allure that full-blooded drow do and while they certainly have a presence, they are not as adept as shaping this to their advantage. However, a half-drow is more cunning than the average full-blood as well as more open-minded as the typically xenophobic drow. Likewise, while half-drow are versatile like their human brethren they do not lack the special talents that humans do and lack the ambition that can often lead humans down a dark path. In many ways half-drow are particularly adept at living on the fringes of civilization or wielding arcane magic as a result.
Half-drow are less suspicious than drow but more skeptical and introverted than humans. As such they do not get along easily with other races, in large part due to the reputation that precedes them as children of the dark elves. Of all the races half-drow probably identify most easily with tieflings or half-orcs, who share their dark heritage and are likewise distrusted as a result. However, half-drow that have proven themselves are often also welcomed among humans, though most surface elves continue to distrust them.
A half-drow raised among his dark brethren of the Underdark likely seeks adventure either out of a desire to get away from the second citizen status they must endure as a half-blood. Those amongst humans are more likely to seek adventure in order to prove that they are undeserving of the reputation that others blanketly throw on to them. But regardless of their motivations half-drow are lethal warriors who are often outside of society’s realm of comfort.
Half-Drow Characteristics: Cunning, disquieting, durable, creative, confident, hardy, skeptical, versatile
Half-Drow Male Names: Amal, Chasz, Dhaun, Ilzt, Lyme, Rhyl, Tsab, Wruz, Zek
Half-Drow Female Names: Alaun, Bae, Felyn, Jhael, Mal, Shri, Umrae, Vlon, Zilv
In addition, many half-drow possess human names, either as a personal choice or because their parents chose to gave them one.
Three half-drow adventurers are described below.
Ilzt is a half-drow ranger who was raised in the Underdark but has long since left for the surface above. Raised in darkness Ilzt was treated by even his own drow family as an inferior, finding love only amongst his captured human father and his unusually sensitive drow mother. Barely better than a slave Ilzt eventually escaped from the Underdark, reaching the surface world. Though he at first experienced prejudice Ilzt’s skills as a warrior of the wild has made him invaluable as a companion for other adventurers. Ilak secretly harbors a desire to return to his home in order to free his father before the latter dies.
Bae is a half-drow warlock who embraces her dark heritage and in spite of prejudice has risen to greatness within the drow cities of the Underdark. Taking advantage of her female sex Bae was able to bypass the fact few half-drow can make a name for themselves in drow society by forging valuable pacts with demons in order to empower her home city. As such, in spite of her half-blood status Bae has attained great stature in her community, becoming a valuable contributor to its welfare and success.
Shri is a half-drow wizard who is unusual for her race, having been raised above ground rather than below. Her father was a drow fighter captured by a human band of adventurers following a raid who was slowly tamed. Eventually, he fell in love with one of his captors and Shri was born. Shri took after her mother, in spite of her heritage, possessing a strongly moralistic heart as well as a will to wield arcane magic. Since her mother’s death Shri has carried on her family’s tradition of wizardry, in spite of the fact that many on the human side wish she was a full-blood human, rather than a half-drow.
Half-Drow Racial Feat
Heroic Tier Feats
Benefit: You gain darkvision.
Last edited by Nivenus; Wednesday, 2nd July, 2008 at 03:23 AM.
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