D&D 4E 1/2 Orcs in 4E (Rich Baker scoop)

SPECTRE666

Explorer
http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=14765059&postcount=2101

[sblock=Rich Baker]Well, they're not in the Player's Handbook. I'd hope to have them available on DDi pretty soon after the PH hits, though, since players out there with half-orc characters are going to want to be able to convert or re-create their character concept, as the case may be.

Half-orcs are a bit tricky, because they imply a very ugly backstory that we frankly don't want to dwell on very much. I think it's possible to posit a better backstory, like "long ago a god of evil mixed the races of orcs and humans, and to this day atavistic throwbacks are born to each from time to time." We'll see where we get to on that score when we get serious about updating the half-orc. So far we've just had other fish to fry first.

Oh, and regardless of what core D&D does with half-orcs, they've got to be in the Realms at least as a NPC race (or "playable monster" race); they've been in Faerun in 3e and earlier editions, and we wouldn't retcon them out of existence.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kave99
so we know whats up with gnomes and drow, Rich whats the status for 1/2 orc's in 4th ed, it's all kind of vague so far. thank you in advance

__________________
Rich Baker
Senior Designer
Roleplaying R&D
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.[/sblock]
 
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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Half-orcs are a bit tricky, because they imply a very ugly backstory that we frankly don't want to dwell on very much.

A little disappointed in their lack of cojones and/or imagination in this regard.

I can understand them not wanting to dwell much on a race created out of, basically, rape. But seriously, not every half-orc child is or should be the child of a rape. They deserve a much bigger scope than that.

I say this as someone who doesn't really like the half-races in the first place, though. :)
 

drothgery

First Post
Kamikaze Midget said:
I can understand them not wanting to dwell much on a race created out of, basically, rape. But seriously, not every half-orc child is or should be the child of a rape.

... and almost none in Eberron are.
 

kennew142

First Post
I was hoping that they would leave half-orcs out of the games and just provide rules for full orc pcs. I don't use half races in my homebrews. I am hoping the MM allows for pure blood orc pcs in 4e.
 

Badkarmaboy

First Post
Eberron 1/2 orcs (IMHO) had better flavor than regular 1/2 orcs. I can see where the designers are coming from..but seeing how they're paid to be creative-that's what I expect them to do. I'd like to see what they come up with.
 

Zaruthustran

The tingling means it’s working!
In my experience, people chose the half-orc race because they wanted a +2 Str mod. Not because they wanted to explore the roleplaying implications of being a product of rape, or of being an outsider.

I bet that one of the core 4E races will have a Str mod, which will replace the mechanical purpose of the half-orc. The half-orc race will not be missed.
 


TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Good scoop. (both as in good finding it and posting it, and good news)

As for the +2 strength race. Probably Dragonborn. Actually, with a +2 to two stats (ala the preview elf), it could be Dwarves instead of or in addition to.
 

Cadfan

First Post
I liked the look of the half-orc. I thought they came miles in terms of the artwork, and I appreciated the inclusion of a semi-savage humanoid.

Unfortunately, half-orcs as a race have a lot of baggage.

I think things would have gone a lot better if they'd skipped the "half" part, and just made them orcs. This would fit my desire for a semi-savage humanoid race, without the "child of rape" implications that have been hanging around for decades, and without triggering my hatred of half-races and the bizarre rules about how they can or cannot interbreed.

Humans + Elves? Yes!
Humans + Dwarves? No!
Humans + Orcs? Yes!
Elves + Dwarves? Absolutely not!
Dwarves + Orcs? Never!
Elves + Orcs? Oh lord no!
Gnomes + Halflings? No one even THOUGHT of that.

So the apparent lesson here is that humans have an extremely plastic genome, as long as they're breeding with someone hawt, or getting raped.

Lame.
 

Relique du Madde

First Post
I think I'm more disappointed that they are offering up the half orcs in DDI rather then in print. Hopefully that FR race ends up being Half-Orcs or Orcs considering that Gnomes won't appear in print until 2009.
 

Brown Jenkin

First Post
Why do half-orcs have to be from rape. Why couldn't it be a product of love between to species. Humans might be as brutal and ugly to Elves as Orcs are to humans, but no-one claims that half-elves are the product of rape.
 


Cadfan

First Post
Brown Jenkin said:
Why do half-orcs have to be from rape. Why couldn't it be a product of love between to species. Humans might be as brutal and ugly to Elves as Orcs are to humans, but no-one claims that half-elves are the product of rape.
Because,

1) Historically, that's how half-orc PCs were written in official materials.
2) Orcs are typically used as ravening hordes of savages, essentially evil in nature and culture, and fit targets for the player characters to guiltlessly slaughter by the thousands. They are NOT typically used in contexts where they might invite Farmer Bob's daughter Sally to the county hoe-down.

Half-orcs could be rewritten so that Sally's half-orc children could show up at Farmer Bob's family reunion and play tag around Farmer Bob's ankles. But first Sally's husband, Gronk Skullcleaver, would have to be rewritten so that he could attend as well.

And if you DID rewrite Gronk, why not skip the half-orcs, and just let players play as Gronk?
 

Firevalkyrie

First Post
Cadfan said:
I liked the look of the half-orc. I thought they came miles in terms of the artwork, and I appreciated the inclusion of a semi-savage humanoid.

Unfortunately, half-orcs as a race have a lot of baggage.

I think things would have gone a lot better if they'd skipped the "half" part, and just made them orcs. This would fit my desire for a semi-savage humanoid race, without the "child of rape" implications that have been hanging around for decades, and without triggering my hatred of half-races and the bizarre rules about how they can or cannot interbreed.

Humans + Elves? Yes!
Humans + Dwarves? No!
Humans + Orcs? Yes!
Elves + Dwarves? Absolutely not!
Dwarves + Orcs? Never!
Elves + Orcs? Oh lord no!
Gnomes + Halflings? No one even THOUGHT of that.

So the apparent lesson here is that humans have an extremely plastic genome, as long as they're breeding with someone hawt, or getting raped.

Lame.
Don't forget:

Humans + Dwarves? Yes, with the offspring being mules (thank you, Dark Sun)
Humans + Dragons? Oh yes.
Humans + Thri-Kreen? Um... what?
 

Clavis

First Post
The only Half Orc in any of my campaigns was specifically not the product of rape. The player's backstory was that his mom was a human "orc groupie", who loved the enormous size of Orcish, um... equipment.

In that particular campaign there where not only quite a few Half Orcs born from human women "experimenting", but there was a large, multi-generational population of Half Orcs in one of the nations.
 
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Lonely Tylenol

First Post
Some humans will mate with anything. Just turn off safesearch in Google Images if you don't believe me. Why should orcs be very different in that regard? I expect that if two humanoid species with compatible genitalia, compatible genetics, and flexible mating behaviour were present in an area for any length of time, there would be hybrids rather quickly. This goes especially if they're on relatively good terms with one another, and liquor is involved.

I don't see why you need to have a "zOMG RAEP!!!1" backstory if you want to include half-orcs in your setting. It actually speaks more to the prurience of those who think that such a backstory is necessary, than anything else.
 

Imaro

Legend
Yeah, I don't get this whole "has to be from rape" thing. Even in the real world, different cultures value different attributes as far as attractiveness goes. Is it really so impropable that a tribe, culture or even nation of humans could find the strength of orcs an attractive trait and thus choose to interbreed with them? I just don't buy the whole...half-orc origins are too touchy...but hey we added a class that makes pacts with demons and a race that spawned from humans and demons in the past (not exactly sure what this implies.).
 

Pale Jackal

First Post
Cadfan said:
Because,

1) Historically, that's how half-orc PCs were written in official materials.
2) Orcs are typically used as ravening hordes of savages, essentially evil in nature and culture, and fit targets for the player characters to guiltlessly slaughter by the thousands. They are NOT typically used in contexts where they might invite Farmer Bob's daughter Sally to the county hoe-down.

Half-orcs could be rewritten so that Sally's half-orc children could show up at Farmer Bob's family reunion and play tag around Farmer Bob's ankles. But first Sally's husband, Gronk Skullcleaver, would have to be rewritten so that he could attend as well.

And if you DID rewrite Gronk, why not skip the half-orcs, and just let players play as Gronk?

That's a good point, if [some] orcs are civilized enough for a human to form a loving relationship with one... why can't the PCs just be one of those civilized orcs?

I also hate "mixed" offspring.

Edit: The Tiefling race nowadays is NOT from demon sex (which I hate conceptually... c'mon, sex with a demon? How'd THAT happen? That just makes demons too "human" for my liking), but rather the result of an ancient empire's curse/pact/whatever (which I like, though I think I'd prefer Tieflings be more human than 4E art shows, but whatever.)
 
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Cadfan

First Post
Imaro said:
Yeah, I don't get this whole "has to be from rape" thing. Even in the real world, different cultures value different attributes as far as attractiveness goes. Is it really so impropable that a tribe, culture or even nation of humans could find the strength of orcs an attractive trait and thus choose to interbreed with them? I just don't buy the whole...half-orc origins are too touchy...but hey we added a class that makes pacts with demons and a race that spawned from humans and demons in the past (not exactly sure what this implies.).
But if orcs have traits conducive to courting and interbreeding with humans, and if orc culture is such that this is plausible, why not skip the whole thing? Just declare that orcs and humans can interbreed, but don't reproduce, and make orcs a playable race.

You've basically got two options on orcs.

1: Ravening savages. You can exterminate whole tribes with no guilt. See Lord of the Rings for details.
2: Your hairy, green neighbor Thog. His daughter Thoggarina has been seeing your boy Joe on the sly, and consarnit'all, you couldn't be more pleased. She'll bear him good, strong farm boys, Thoggarina will!

If you have the first context, the "Why can't this be love?" argument doesn't make much sense.

if you have the second context, why aren't orcs playable? And doesn't making orcs playable kind of undermine the need for half-orcs?
 

Lonely Tylenol

First Post
Cadfan said:
Because,

1) Historically, that's how half-orc PCs were written in official materials.
2) Orcs are typically used as ravening hordes of savages, essentially evil in nature and culture, and fit targets for the player characters to guiltlessly slaughter by the thousands. They are NOT typically used in contexts where they might invite Farmer Bob's daughter Sally to the county hoe-down.

Half-orcs could be rewritten so that Sally's half-orc children could show up at Farmer Bob's family reunion and play tag around Farmer Bob's ankles. But first Sally's husband, Gronk Skullcleaver, would have to be rewritten so that he could attend as well.

And if you DID rewrite Gronk, why not skip the half-orcs, and just let players play as Gronk?
I envision some humans trading with some orcs, who maintain good relations with those humans in order to ensure that they'll have access to trade goods that they can't get in their locality by raiding. Those humans are treated well, and have a decent amount of social status among the orcs by virtue of their value to the tribe. Some are even made into honourary tribe members. Some "go native." All this close contact with the orcs means that some of these humans with indiscriminating standards end up pairing up with orcs on a temporary or permanent basis. Half-breeds are produced that are capable of breeding true, and eventually you have small bands of half-orcs joining together and living on the edges of both human and orc society.

This was not a difficult arrangement to conceive. I expect that I will be credited in the half-orc article for solving this problem for WotC, and contacted so that I can tell them to where the cheque should be delivered. ;)
 

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