D&D what does Orc+Elf equal?

TLDR: would you let a PC in any version of D&D play a half elf/half orc (yes as one character) and if so how would you do it?

From time to time I get to play some old AD&D with my ex's father and some of his friends. They play a Heavily house ruled game. All of the players have whole stables of characters, the world is a huge living creation that they have been playing in since before I was born. They have characters and family lines and multi things going on all the time. I am one of the few women, and by far the youngest person to play most of the time I am there. I often play a character from someone else's stable of characters, they find it very odd to have a woman play the female characters after so many years...

So it looks like I may get the chance to join in some what regularly for a few months, and as such I get to make up my own characters...

So one of the characters I have played before is the Warlock(title not class) Deis-omuph who is half drow (drow are albino in this world) and half high elf. She is a Wizard/Cleric (of lolth) and has on many occasions mentioned her bastard children. Being that she is almost 400 years old she has a lot of them.

So one of the guys suggested I play one of the Bastards as my first fully mine PC, and I was fine with this, until we started making jokes about who the father could be. Last year when I was playing her I made an off hand comment about taking liberty with male prisoners in the past. Now one of the guys suggested we make her father a half orc.... (Why yes for those of you counting at home that is 1/4 drow 1/4 high elf 1/4 human and 1/4 orc)

Now they play with some huge house rules as is. (I mean really big ones like using Call or Cthulu skills on 1e characters but they take feats from 3e and 4e but only as trained in game) SO I know the DM will let me make it up. I just don't know if I want to play that weird a character.

Anyone want to give me some opinions?

more background: It will be in part of the world where a whole valley has flooded by someone opening a rift to the elemental world of water, but some dungeons kept there air because of how fast the flooding happened so there are now deep divers looking for pockets of air and treasure... oh and there might be an undead army down at the bottom of this new lake/former valley.


I would be 3rd level and be hired on to 'dive for dungeons' with a crew aboard a ship that is one part spell jammer one part air ship and one part submarine.
 

the Jester

Legend
Well, in my game, elves are one of the only things orcs can't breed with, per the 1e Monster Manual... but it sounds like an awesome character concept. :)

I really like the bastard idea, regardless of what race you go for.
 
TLDR: would you let a PC in any version of D&D play a half elf/half orc (yes as one character) and if so how would you do it?
In 2nd Ed (and, I think, 1st), it was explicitly called out that a half-orc/half-{something else} was just a half-orc. And also, incidentally, that orcs just couldn't mate with elves.

I wouldn't have any particular problem with allowing such a character. But it would just be a half-orc.
 

Minigiant

Villager
In most games, I've played with breeding explained said orcs either can't have living children with elves or orc+elf is just a half orc with higher dexterity and lower constitution (when orcs raid an elf village, they get a bunch of archers in a decade).


My personal setting, orcs are a race originally nanufactured by elf wizards as frontline troops.. Orcs are a mix of elf, hobgoblin, orge and human. A orc+elf is a dark skinned half elf with really high constitution.


A famous orc+elf NPC is a now immortal rogue who survived a rock slide to the face.
 

Kinak

Villager
I'd probably allow it with the human blood in there, just to drive home the "humans can breed with anything" that seems to be their superpower. That said, I'd consider it closer to a half-elf or normal human than an elf/orc crossbreed.

For an actual elf/orc crossbreed... that depends a lot on the setting. A lot wouldn't allow it. Others would make them humans :)

It gets interesting if people use the Tolkien orc origin (as warped elves), because they probably should be able to crossbreed. The question becomes which race they take after. I'd actually make that a cultural distinction based on who they're raised by, but no idea if there's Tolkien canon on that.

Cheers!
Kinak
 

Elf Witch

Villager
Nope. If the player pressed the issue, I would say "Ok, you meet an Elf/Orc. They kill you" :p
I don't understand this attitude. I would ask the player why they wanted it and if it was for something non cheesy I would find away to accommodate them.
 
A

amerigoV

Guest
Orc + Elf = Orf, obviously.

Its the El Comino of the fantasy world - the worst of both: Low Con, Low Charisma, bad vision (Darkvision + Low Light Vision results in crossed eyes), short lived, dumb.

In short, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

On the serious side - for me it would be either treat them as 1/2 Elf or 1/2 Orc - just decide what traits (Elf or Orc) were dominate in the union.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'd probably allow it with the human blood in there, just to drive home the "humans can breed with anything" that seems to be their superpower.
Humans can breed with anything. Dragons can breed with anything. Ergo, humans and dragons are the same!

Usually, my worlds follow the standard precept that orcs and elves cannot interbreed. In one case, I've used the Tolkien-esque conceit that elves and orc are actually the same creature - though nobody in that game asked to play a half-breed, so I didn't have to answer the question of what one would be like.

In this case, there's enough in the mix that the rules don't handle it well. My initial response might be, "Sure, you can do that, but the result is a character who gets no racial modifiers (good or bad), because there's no longer any strain in there dominant enough to impact traits."
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I'd be fine with letting a player run a character with that kind of history. If it worked for them, it works for me. The big issues then come down to two things that you as a player would have to figure out and decide as you play the character: the story and the mechanics.

Story-wise... if the child is a bastard between this Warlock and a halfork prisoner... that probably means the babe was raised by the Warlock (or at least by someone in the Warlock's circle). She seems powerful and willful enough that *if* she took liberties with prisoners, and *if* she got empregnated by them and actually took the baby to term... she wouldn't just dump it altogether. She'd keep the bastard somewhere within her sphere of influence. Maybe she doesn't raise the baby directly, but she also doesn't let it leave her auspices. If she wanted it enough to go through the entire birth process, I don't see her dumping it at the first opportunity.

So this means that this bastard child has been raised under the auspices of a drow/high elf Warlock, so I would imagine it grew up surrounded by more elvish influences and learning than any human or orc. So the drow/elvish half of the quarter-breed would have dominance (in personality at the very least). The babe would probably be bigger and slighter stronger than your typical drow or elf due to its human/orc side... but that might only show up superficially in other ways. Skin perhaps a bit ruddier, ears slightly rounder, more impatient and quicker to anger than a normal longer-living drow or elf. But for the most part... the character comes off more drow/elvish than anything.

Mechanics-wise... you probably can start with the basic high elf and then tweak it slightly to indicate its drow, human, and orc influences. Perhaps prefer crossbows over longbows. Give a -1 to Charisma and a +1 to Con on top of the normal high elf racial bonuses. Stick with low-light vision (or the campaign equivalent.) Other than that... the character is such a mixed breed that you probably are best off just using one primary set of racial traits and subsume the other races into the personality and story, rather than the mechanics. You don't want it to mechanically become too much of a ridiculous mish-mash.

Best of luck with the character!
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
From time to time I get to play some old AD&D with my ex's father and some of his friends. They play a Heavily house ruled game. All of the players have whole stables of characters, the world is a huge living creation that they have been playing in since before I was born.
Wow, you have guts. That sounds equal parts awesome and terrifying.

So one of the guys suggested I play one of the Bastards as my first fully mine PC, and I was fine with this, until we started making jokes about who the father could be.

*snip*

I know the DM will let me make it up. I just don't know if I want to play that weird a character.
I once played a mongrelman, so I don't find this particularly odd. I mean, there aren't even any fur or scales in this individual's ancestry. Elven genetics being as strong as they are, they would probably just be a burly half-elf.

Most important piece of advice: play the character you want to play. It sounds like these guys have a lot of... we'll call it momentum, for the sake of charity... and that can be great. But if you're feeling pressure to do something you're not interested in or that makes you uncomfortable you should push back.

It will be in part of the world where a whole valley has flooded by someone opening a rift to the elemental world of water, but some dungeons kept there air because of how fast the flooding happened
They apparently even house rule their fluid dynamics! Dedication! :)
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Sure, why not.

Strong, agile, pointy ears, green skin, loves trees and to kill things. I'd imagine them very free-spirited, very self-interested, little loyalty to clan or tribe or city. Chaotic Neutral, dex-and-str based barbarian. "Paper Tiger," though, probably low on Cha and Con. She's more about dodging blows than about taking them. Not really a whole lot different from many settings' "wood elves," probably.
 

diaglo

Villager
go completely new.
your new PC is of water orc heritage. the orc father came in with the flood. he had gills and such. water races are not new to D&D. hobgoblins, umber hulks, trolls,... blah blah blah. even the old modules like Q1 had new demi planes.

so the dad is water orc. which is why mom was interested.

edit: in older D&D half orcs could be clerics. so go cleric based. part of the reason you are hired on is your talents to breath air and water. and turn undead.
 
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mhensley

Villager
Dang! Beat me to it!
It makes a lot of sense doesn't it? The elf half (agile, pretty, and smart) and the orc half (strong, ugly, and dumb) cancel each other out and you basically end up with human stats.

Actually this thread made me remember my favorite part elf, part orc, part human character - Makri from the Thraxas novels. If the op wants a great example of what such a character would be like, those would make good reading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thraxas

Thraxas is usually helped in his cases by his young friend Makri, an escapee from the Orcish gladiator pits, and the best fighter ever seen in Turai. Makri is part Human, part Orc, and part Elf, and she often suffers prejudice from all three races. She works as a waitress at Gurd's tavern, wearing a skimpy chainmail bikini to entice the rough-and-tumble working class customers into leaving better tips. Her exotic good looks and lithe physique have earned her quite a few admirers, but she also has intellectual aspirations, studying at a Turanian College.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
I don't understand this attitude. I would ask the player why they wanted it and if it was for something non cheesy I would find away to accommodate them.
The problem is that I wouldn't find anything non-cheesy. Orcs and Elves, in my campaigns, are bitter enemies that pretty much attack each other on sight. If one was produced by force, then the parent would almost certainly destroy the child at birth (if not sooner). Even if a player made a story where the child could have been raised by a more understanding race (say humans), they would STILL be attacked by either parent race on sight, as they would be considered an abomination.

We've recently had the issue come up in Ghost of Dragonspear Castle, where there is a race of "Dwarks" (Half Dwarf, Half Orc). The Dwarf in our party was ready to slaughter them all after we captured and questioned them, because they were abominations to him. It was a very tense scene, where each PC picked a side and tried to argue their case. Eventually, it was decided not to slaughter them, but they were warned that if they opposed us again, we would not spare them. They did make another appearance, and we showed them no mercy. The dwarf laughed like a madman during the battle.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I wouldn't allow it, as its not one of the explicitly allowed hybridizations. Goblins eat elves because they are no good for breeding or as slaves.

However, it's your world.

It's hard to mechanically marry the two races because half-orc and half-elf both suck.

This is the best I can come up with:

-2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, Orfs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Orf base land speed is 30 feet.
• Darkvision: Orfs 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.
• Immunity to sleep spells and similar magical effects, and a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells or effects.
• +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Gather Information checks.
• +1 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
• Elven and Orc Blood: For all effects related to race, a Orf is considered an elf and an orc.
• Automatic Languages: Common, Orcish and Elven. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic).
• Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass Orf takes an experience point penalty, her highest-level class does not count.

Alternately you could just do regularly half-orc stats and add something like:

ELFIN BLOOD [TRAIT]
You have an elfin ancestor, and the blood of that ancestor flows with unusual strength in you.
Prerequisite: You may not take this advantage if you are elfin or half-elfin.
Benefit: For all special abilities and effects, you are considered an elf. For example, you can use elfin weapons and magic items with racially specific elfin powers as if you were an elf. You may also choose one of the following special abilities: treat Empathy (animal) as a class skill, or a +1 racial bonus to listen, spot, and search checks, or low light vision.
 

Elf Witch

Villager
The problem is that I wouldn't find anything non-cheesy. Orcs and Elves, in my campaigns, are bitter enemies that pretty much attack each other on sight. If one was produced by force, then the parent would almost certainly destroy the child at birth (if not sooner). Even if a player made a story where the child could have been raised by a more understanding race (say humans), they would STILL be attacked by either parent race on sight, as they would be considered an abomination.

We've recently had the issue come up in Ghost of Dragonspear Castle, where there is a race of "Dwarks" (Half Dwarf, Half Orc). The Dwarf in our party was ready to slaughter them all after we captured and questioned them, because they were abominations to him. It was a very tense scene, where each PC picked a side and tried to argue their case. Eventually, it was decided not to slaughter them, but they were warned that if they opposed us again, we would not spare them. They did make another appearance, and we showed them no mercy. The dwarf laughed like a madman during the battle.
The dwarks don't sound cheesy at all and I don't see why a half orc half elf would have to be cheesy. It could certainly add a lot of drama and role playing to the game. In my games half orcs don't have it easy in human lands. And I let my players know that. Yet some still chose them and they enjoy the role play aspect of being the outsider who has to prove themselves.

As I said if I had a player who wanted to play this I would find away. As a DM I control the NPCs and there are plenty of ways of handling it without slaying the PC on sight.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The dwarks don't sound cheesy ...
With a name like "dwark", how can you not be cheesy? Of course, the other choice is probably "Orf".

But then, the elf + ork names are either "olf" (because orf is already for the dwarf-orc, and "orlf" just sounds like you're choking) "erk" (well, that's the sound the parents make when they first see the child...) or "elk".

That's it! Breed an orc and an elf, and you get a quadruped with antlers! That's why they don't interbreed!
 

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