Half orcs are children of two worlds, the result of the interaction between orcs and humans, whether in times of war or peace. Like their full blooded orcish brethren they have a penchant for hardheadedness and have the muscles to back it up. The mixing of human blood mellowed out the orcish side considerable though, making half orcs an excellent addition to any work force. Some half orcs break away from the traditional role of laborer and follow their inborn curiosity toward adventures that lie just around the bend.
Half orcs are aggressive, prone to quick reaction if provoked but unlike a full orc they general have greater self restraint and will pool aggressive energy into more productive venues. They like challenge and enjoy pushing themselves to their physical limits. They are risk-takers and thrill-seekers, often leaving caution and rational thought to the wind. They often look to fulfill their own interests before those of others and can be standoffish.
Half orcs tend to congregate among those like themselves, other half bloods and often full orcs. They are often found engaging in competitive matches, especially boxing and wresting. Like humans they are quite superstitious and often try to recapture the shaman beliefs of their ancestors. This has lead to many traditions and belief systems that greatly deviate from orcish culture and in some cases have lead to the creation of pagan gods.
Half orcs stand between 5 to 6 feet tall and at average weigh between 160 and 200 pounds. Their physical build is very similar to a human body builder, stocky with wide shoulders. Their hands are large with stubby fingers making finer crafts-work like jewel making very difficult but ideal for hefting a pickax or lumber saw. Their skin color varies between brown and red, often in light hues but pigmentation can be darker like a full orc.
A half orcs eyes take the shape and appearance of their human half and their lower canines are shorter than a full blooded orc. They take pride in displaying their scars and tatoos, often boasting about how or why they got them. They do not have a particular style of garb or hairstyle to help identify status. Instead they assimilate to the culture they grew up in. Once set in these traditions it can be difficult for a half orc to adapt to a new culture.
Half orcs will live to an average age of 80 years.
Half orcs band together to make small communities. Within these groups they attempt to maintain some of the more traditional orcish traditions which can be seen in their daily interactions and in the style of their homes. Their homes are often made from furs and gathered wood and can be quickly put up or dismantled. The resulting village takes on the appearance of a shanty town and is often poverty stricken.
The communities take on the cultural traits and traditions of the people they live beside. A culture with a low tolerance of strangers and other races or welcoming nature will be reflected in a half-orc community. The half-orcs often will set up places of worship for the mainstream gods of a culture as well.
Half-orcs have an easy time getting along with other peoples of the world. They are at ease with the drifting half-elves and are one of the few groups that will welcome them into their homes for a time. When dealing with full blood elves though, a half-orc has little patience. They are tolerated but no love is lost between the two.
Half-orcs regard a full-blood orc as brothers and sisters. Despite the mixing of blood it seems to have little effect in the way the two groups interact. In a full-blood community a half-orc will become more aggressive and prone to violence to match the clan. While they normally have troubles adapting to a new culture once have settled they have no trouble adapting to Orcish society.
They have mixed feelings when dealing with humans and ephryn due in part to their status as laborers within those cultures. Often these races seek to enslave them or force them into working. It is no secret that the Ephryn will take a half-orc to be sold as a slave and as such half-orcs are often slow to trust them. Humans fall into the same category as they often seek to exploit them as low wage workers. Not all half orcs mind this treatment, but many prefer to be shown respect.
Half-orcs have no chosen homeland. They make their home wherever their lives will take them. They can be found worldwide often as cheap laborers or even slaves (especially in the Isles and in elven lands). The more civilized concentrations of half-orcs can be found in the lands of Naltrim where they live among humans. The orcish lands of Omgarr also see a strong population of half-orcs.
Half-orcs have no specific god that they follow but do tend to lean toward Sploron and Demuen. In most cases a half-orc will follow the gods of the culture they are a part of (ie. Estridae if they were raised in the human lands). The traditions and tenants of the religion are followed loosely and often have substitutions where shaman ancestral traditions have attempted to be integrated. Half-orcs do not always get the old Orcish ways right however because their human blood has cut them off from bearing gray orc children. Without their link to the ancestors they lack many of the traditions and rites overseen by their full-blood brethren.
As a result of their attempts to blend culture, they have produced a number of pagan gods that are loosely connected the the gods of the Pantheon. Theologists who study orcish culture have found an interesting correlation between the pagan gods crafted by half-orcs and the ever changing belief system of the orcs in Omgarr. When an Orcish Warlord proclaims a god of choice for the clans that god is given tribute by the Orcs of Omgarr. When this change occurs the pagan gods of the half-orcs begin to reflect the Warlord's decree, suggesting that a supernatural link to their blood brothers exists. The phenomena has not been studied in depth.
Notable Half Orcs
+2 to One Ability Score, +1 Strength: Half Orc characters gain a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature. They are naturally stronger than most others.
- Medium: Half Orcs are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Normal Speed: Half Orcs have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Darkvision: Half Orcs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Intimidating: Half Orcs receive a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks due to their fearsome nature.
- Orc Ferocity: Once per day, when a Half Orc is brought below 0 hit points but not killed, he can fight on for 1 more round as if disabled. At the end of his next turn, unless brought to above 0 hit points, he immediately falls unconscious and begins dying.
- Stubborn: Half Orcs gain a +2 racial bonus on Will saving throws to resist spells and spell-like abilities of the enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) subschools. In addition, if a member of this race fails such a save, it receives another save 1 round later to prematurely end the effect (assuming the spell or spell-like ability has a duration greater than 1 round). This second save is made at the same DC as the first. If the Half Orc has a similar ability from another source (such as a rogue's slippery mind class feature, it can only use one of these abilities per round, but can try the other on the second round if the first reroll ability fails.
- Weapon Familiarity: Half Orcs are proficient with greataxes and may treat any weapon with the word “orc” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Half Orcs begin play speaking Common and Orc. Half Orcs with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Elven, Giant, and Goblin.