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4E 1/2 Orcs in 4E (Rich Baker scoop)

Mourn said:
Forgive me if I don't see how unprovable interaction with supernatural beings is in any way comparable to the very provable and very real violation of another person.
It's not even about proof. You will almost certainly never meet someone whose been possessed by a demon; and if they claim such they should be seeking serious psychiatric help. Rape victims or people who know rape victims (in fact, anyone with more than five female friends will, statistically speaking, know at least one who has been the subject of assault or abuse) are common enough you need an extreme amount of care and tact if you want to introduce it into a leisure activity. Even if you're not gaming with someone directly or indirectly affected, it's something that engenders strong emotional reactions from everyone. Demonic possession might do the same for a tiny minority who are almost certainly not playing Dungeons and Dragons anyway.

I only did it in one game, years ago, after extremely careful deliberation. And I probably wouldn't do it again- insofar as I thought the story worked from an "artistic" perspective, it wasn't worth all the worry over how to do it right.
 

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Rechan said:
I just have a harder time believing that an entire race is spawned from rape. It's just... Really?
As I recall there weren't supposed to be all that many half-orcs. Not enough to really have a society or culture.
 

Wormwood

Adventurer
Rechan said:
I just have a harder time believing that an entire race is spawned from rape. It's just... Really?
I see 3e's slavering ape-wolf hybrid and I simply cannot believe that consent is the norm.

Seriously, look at the artwork. Chimpanzees appear closer to human than they do.
 

Captain Tagon

First Post
If you want to roleplay a PC who is an outsider in his culture, why not just make a human or elf or whatever that doesn't fit in for one reason or another.

I mean tons of people around the world today are social outcasts and none of them are half-orcs.
 

Tewligan

First Post
Professor Phobos said:
2. Do not even think about it for a second if any gamer at your table has ever experienced it personally.
Except you may well not even know if it's happened to one of your players.
 

Tewligan said:
Except you may well not even know if it's happened to one of your players.
Which is why you imply, and if you notice someone becoming uncomfortable, you drop it.

Or not do it at all, which is the risk-free option and always a good idea.
 

Rechan

Adventurer
Wormwood said:
I see 3e's slavering ape-wolf hybrid and I simply cannot believe that consent is the norm.

Seriously, look at the artwork. Chimpanzees appear closer to human than they do.
Didn't look like wolves to me. But I can think of a few reasons, in all honesty, where consent can happen.

My issue is that an entire PC race in the core books is attributed to something as infrequent as rape. That's like a PC race in the Core Book being 'You were conceived under a meteor swarm while your dad yodelled the HMS Penafore and your mom drank apple juice." It's just too rare to be worth space in the PHB.
 

Well...

1. It wouldn't have been that infrequent in the world in question, with regular raids into human territory by Orcs.

2. Sizable numbers might occur after towns or villages or cities were overrun, even if "random raiding" was rare. It occurred after real conquests in history, and given Orc psychology/culture...

3. They weren't meant to be a race equal in number to the rest of them. No cities, or societies, or culture, but a distinct outcast group of individuals people might be willing to play. As in Eberron- there aren't really that many Warforged. But Warforged are interesting, so they're optional.
 

The Ubbergeek

First Post
Rechan said:
I just have a harder time believing that an entire race is spawned from rape. It's just... Really?
As I noted, in some worlds - like the D20-ified Warcraft game and Eberron setting, orcs have some lovin' at times....

However, as a band of generaly unpretty brutes and a decided agressive bent in base D&D, well...
 

Rechan

Adventurer
The Ubbergeek said:
As I noted, in some worlds - like the D20-ified Warcraft game and Eberron setting, orcs have some lovin' at times...
Well yes, as someone who plays in Eberron, I can understand that. :) But I feel confident in saying that the PHB does not assume Eberron's interpretation of Orcs/Half-Orcs are the norm. We're talking about the average D&D game here.

3. They weren't meant to be a race equal in number to the rest of them. No cities, or societies, or culture, but a distinct outcast group of individuals people might be willing to play. As in Eberron- there aren't really that many Warforged. But Warforged are interesting, so they're optional.
I understand this, but here's how I'm looking at it.

A lack of culture or society or cities doesn't mean anything when it comes to numbers. Even if there is say, 1 Half-orc to every 200 orcs and humans, that's not too rare.

To use an example from Real Life that I'm fairly familiar with, it would be like saying, "People with handicaps are rare because they have no society*, no cities of their own. But we should still put them in d20 Modern PHB regardless."

*With the advent of 'School for the (Insert handicap)', and various supportive organizations, this is less true today, but even as recent as 40 years ago, this statement would be true.
 

Sure, if there was a particular handicap that was deemed uniquely interesting and colored the setting, why not include it?

I mean, if you're going to go by straight population dynamics, then the only race that should be in the corebook is "Human" and the only class "Peasant."

It is part of how RPG settings work that the "one in a million", "almost totally extinct", "extremely rare", "practically unknown", and "mysterious" all end up regularly attending the same tavern as the farm boy with a heart of gold, the inexperienced thief and the angry, inebriated dwarf.

I mean, there are, what, a hundred or so Prometheans in the World of Darkness and they built a whole game line around 'em.
 


WayneLigon

Adventurer
buzz said:
I don't see how the two situations are in any way similar. You're comparing Liv Tyler getting it on with Viggo Mortensen to Jane Human rolling in the hay with a gorilla.
That is probably the most succinct and memorable explanation I've ever seen. Congratulations :)
 

Klaus

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.
All of those mixes (and more) were covered in Dog Soul's Races of Consequence PDF.

I did the art for each and every one of them. I must say, making a female Dwelf wasn't easy.
 

Klaus

First Post
Wormwood said:
I see 3e's slavering ape-wolf hybrid and I simply cannot believe that consent is the norm.

Seriously, look at the artwork. Chimpanzees appear closer to human than they do.
I agree that the artwork used in 3e is far more bestial, but consent wouldn't be so unthinkable if orcs looked like this



I think the 3e look of half-orcs could be promoted to full orc, and allow half-orcs to be more human
 

Fallen Seraph

First Post
Professor Phobos said:
I mean, there are, what, a hundred or so Prometheans in the World of Darkness and they built a whole game line around 'em.
Mhmm, Promethean one of my favourite games EVER. Though I think it is a tad different with Promethean, since WoD is a whole different kind of RPG to D&D, with a pretty established game world. Soo... While yes the Storyteller could completely alter the game-world, it wouldn't really be the WoD world anymore.

Though your point of people loving to play the outcast, freak, etc. definitely works with Promethean, in fact I think that is one of the most well-thought out and well-done outcast-type EVER in PnP.

As for the look of the Half-Orc I think it should be something that has variable looks, so one could simply have orangish eyes, a greyish complexion and small pointed-ears. While another has massive tusks, bulging muscles, etc. Since it isn't like every Half-Orc gets these specific genes from the Human side and these specific genes from the Orc side.
 

Spatula

Explorer
It seems odd seeing the creator of Eberron (where half-orcs are not the product of rape) saying that they can't think of how to have half-orcs without ugly backstories.

Also, the comments that no human would ever deign to mate with an orc, etc. etc. are rather silly. For one thing, orcs look savage and animalistic, yes, but that's not the same thing as being an animal. And secondly, not all humans are beautiful city-dwelling "civilised" types.
 

buzz

First Post
Spatula said:
It seems odd seeing the creator of Eberron (where half-orcs are not the product of rape) saying that they can't think of how to have half-orcs without ugly backstories.
You're mixing up Keith Baker with Rich Baker.
 

buzz

First Post
Arguments about how attractive orcs are aside, I don't see why anyone should be giving WotC flak for wanting to re-examine how a race with connotations of rape (whether they all arise from that explanation or not) are depicted in their flagship product. Rape is an extremely sensitive subject. Addressing it within the scope of an RPG is something that not every group is going to want to do, and those that do are probably going to be drawing some lines and veils, assuming they are rational, mature adults. If WotC wants to take some time to come up with a more palatable way to present the race to their consumers, or at least segment it out of the core rules and present a no-holds-barred version in a product or context geared at a more mature audience (or at least presented with some caveats about introducing the subject matter into your game), I don't see how we can fault them.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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