Half-orcs are the result of orc and human coupling and typically bear many of the physical traits of their orc ancestors. They usually have green skin, large tusk-like teeth protruding from the lower jaw, large muscular builds and thick body hair. They also receive a -2 penalty to intelligence but their reputation as being mentally-deficient is generally exaggerated.
Half-orcs are usually tolerated but not accepted. One reason for this is that, more often than not, unions between orc and human are not consensual. To say a consensual union has never occurred is inaccurate but it is not as common. There is a heavy stigma associated with having orc blood even generations down the line and, should a half orc have children with a member of another race, orc traits such as teeth, skin color, body hair, and large build can be passed on to third or even fourth generation children and sometimes skip a generation.
Like many half-breeds, half-orcs have no home or culture of their own. They are not orcs and they are not human. They walk the line between the races as cultural outcasts. Not surprisingly, most half-orcs have little care for laws and social niceties though some do attempt to fit into human society. Many half-orcs do menial labor or become mercenaries or bandits finding no other place in the world. This encourages the stereotype of all half orcs as evil, violent, savages, like their orc ancestors. They fare little better among orcs who see them as weak and inferior.
Half-orcs are the true powerhouses in the game with the huge +1 bonus to Strength and Constitution. They don't suffer the penalty to dexterity dwarves have, as well, putting them up a net +2 physical points over dwarves. They do not have the giant saving throw bonuses dwarves enjoy, however, making them more vulnerable to hazards such as fireballs, charms and poisons. Half-orcs can't dual-class like humans, but they do make the best damage-inflicting thief with a Strength score of 19, as the extra strength (it must be 19 to make the most out of a half-orc PC) lends itself to more reliable backstabs (strength damage is not multiplied). A half-orc fighter/thief is even better, as they'll benefit from the CON bonus for fighters and have more HP, though of course this comes with a slower level progression.
A half-orc swashbuckler is about as terrible as all Swashbucklers, however. They utilize Thief HP/THAC0 tables, do not gain an extra 1/2 attack per round from weapon specialization and do not gain extra 1/2 attacks at levels 7/13 like actual Fighters do. While at extremely high levels (30+ and assuming Greater Whirlwind Attack spam) their raw damage output will beat anything that isn't a Kensai (in addition to having unparalleled AC), that's roughly 85%+ of BG2/ToB spent not being terribly effective or having fun. Though the class kit would probably be an ideal user of the Tuigan Short Bow, don't expect to be blown away or anything...
- Stat Modifiers: +1 STR, +1 CON, -2 INT, Infravision (restored with the Spellhold Studios aTweaks mod.)
- Stat Minimum/Maximum:
- Strength: 4/19
- Dexterity: 3/18
- Constitution: 4/19
- Intelligence: 1/16
- Wisdom: 3/18
- Charisma: 3/18
- Class Accessibility: Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Thief
- Multi-Class Accessibility: Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Cleric, Cleric/Thief
- Recommended classes: Any EXCEPT thief (single-class).
- Discouraged classes: Thief EXCEPT Swashbuckler kit (see below).
- Half-orcs have the same bonuses to thief skills as humans:
|“|| Half-orcs are born from the union of human and orc parents. They are as tall as humans, but a little heavier due to their muscular builds. Their greenish pigmentation, sloping forehead, jutting jaw, prominent teeth, and coarse body hair make their lineage plain for all to see. In the Sword Coast, half-orcs are tolerated, as unlike in the north the local people haven't had centuries of warfare with orc kind. Half-orcs are known for their great strength.
Half-orcs have the following traits: