Half-Orc: Wisdom Bonus


Ability Scores and Races

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To summarize the options so far:

1) +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence
2) +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence
3) +2 to one ability score*

*Possibly restricted to physical stats or just to Strength or Constitution, or even only to Strength + decreased flexibility perhaps compensated for by other benefits

Roman wrote:

Consider the likely underlying reasoning for giving Half-Orcs +2 to Wisdom in the first place: It was almost surely to give them an option not to be pidgeonholed into the warrior role and enable them to take a spellcasting class. After thinking about this matter more, perhaps it may a viable idea to give the Half-Orcs +2 to Strength and +2 to Constitution, while retaining their -2 to Intelligence. After all, Constitution is a universally useful ability score that is also very helpful to spellcasters. At the same time this maintains the Half-Orc flavor.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm still in favor of Half-Orcs in their current incarnation, although I would give them Skill Focus as a bonus feat, like half-elves. I think the Wisdom bonus fits them very well and also matches the new pattern set by Pathfinder.

Dark Archive

Roman wrote:

Consider the likely underlying reasoning for giving Half-Orcs +2 to Wisdom in the first place: It was almost surely to give them an option not to be pidgeonholed into the warrior role and enable them to take a spellcasting class. After thinking about this matter more, perhaps it may a viable idea to give the Half-Orcs +2 to Strength and +2 to Constitution, while retaining their -2 to Intelligence. After all, Constitution is a universally useful ability score that is also very helpful to spellcasters. At the same time this maintains the Half-Orc flavor.

Note: Druids are fine as the alternate Half-Orc favored class - they are not exactly shamans, but they are the closest thing in the core rules.

Yeah, +2 to STR and CON (and -2 to INT), or just +2 to STR would fit "best" my own idea of half-orcs. However, like you, I can understand why they now get the "boost" to WIS -- it makes Half-Orc Clerics and Druids more appealing (at least to powergamers ;)) as character concepts, and also probably increases the overall "popularity" of half-orcs as a race.

In any case this is not a "game-breaking" issue for me, and I think Jason has done a very good job with tweaking the races. :)


Roman wrote:

To summarize the options so far:

1) +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence
2) +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence
3) +2 to one ability score*

The problem I see with +2 Strength, +2 Con is that it gives them 2 stat bonuses is martial abilities and a negative in what is often a martial dump stat. This really makes them a powerful martial class with little downside. The +2 physical/ +2 mental balance did more than just make one casting class and one martial class accessible to characters, it ensured that stat boosts would not benefit a character overmuch... I think this crosses the line.

The devils advocate on my shoulder tells me that it's ok and makes a lot of sense but the pragmatist in me thinks it's a bit too strong.


thefishcometh wrote:
I'm still in favor of Half-Orcs in their current incarnation, although I would give them Skill Focus as a bonus feat, like half-elves. I think the Wisdom bonus fits them very well and also matches the new pattern set by Pathfinder.

I don't see what's wrong with the Wis bonus, either. They're stubborn and cunning, but not too bright.


hogarth wrote:
I don't see what's wrong with the Wis bonus, either. They're stubborn and cunning, but not too bright.

I agree.

I still think they need a +2 to to intimidate and survival to make the class perfect.

-Steve


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Roman wrote:

To summarize the options so far:

1) +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence
2) +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence
3) +2 to one ability score*

The problem I see with +2 Strength, +2 Con is that it gives them 2 stat bonuses is martial abilities and a negative in what is often a martial dump stat. This really makes them a powerful martial class with little downside. The +2 physical/ +2 mental balance did more than just make one casting class and one martial class accessible to characters, it ensured that stat boosts would not benefit a character overmuch... I think this crosses the line.

The devils advocate on my shoulder tells me that it's ok and makes a lot of sense but the pragmatist in me thinks it's a bit too strong.

That's a good point. On the other hand, Half-Orcs are often considered a bit underpowered, so perhaps this might give them the needed boost. Of course, a single +2 to one ability score does not have this problem. Hmm...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I think the important thing to realize with respect to Half-orcs is this:

Half-elves are supposed to be half-human. They exist because the elf-blooded man is a fantasy staple. They have the variety of humanity, but with a bit of a racial twist instead of feats and skills. They've always had the same stats as humanity. If you take the average of a human and an elf, you get +1 dex, +1 int, -con and a floating +1 from the human adjustment. +2 to any one is still a decent approximation of that.

Half-orcs are supposed to half-orc. They exist just because pure orcs do not make ideal PCs. They are supposed to be strong and dumb. When you take the average of human and an orc, you get +2 str, -1 Int, -1 Wis, -1 Chr, with a floating +1 from the human adjustment. Clearly, the +2 strength is vital. The orc's +4 bonus shouldn't be ignored. So what to do with the other adjustments? How about:

1) +2 Str. That's it. It's simple, and it prevents arguments over if orcs are dumber or less wise or less charismatic.

2) +2 Str, -2 Int. Fits the 'dumb and strong' role, but is still a +2 improvement over the 3.5 stats.

3) +2 Str, -2 Chr. See #2.

4) Player's choice of 2 or 3.

Scarab Sages

Ross Byers wrote:

I think the important thing to realize with respect to Half-orcs is this:

Half-elves are supposed to be half-human. They exist because the elf-blooded man is a fantasy staple. They have the variety of humanity, but with a bit of a racial twist instead of feats and skills. They've always had the same stats as humanity. If you take the average of a human and an elf, you get +1 dex, +1 int, -con and a floating +1 from the human adjustment. +2 to any one is still a decent approximation of that.

Half-orcs are supposed to half-orc. They exist just because pure orcs do not make ideal PCs. They are supposed to be strong and dumb. When you take the average of human and an orc, you get +2 str, -1 Int, -1 Wis, -1 Chr, with a floating +1 from the human adjustment. Clearly, the +2 strength is vital. The orc's +4 bonus shouldn't be ignored. So what to do with the other adjustments? How about:

1) +2 Str. That's it. It's simple, and it prevents arguments over if orcs are dumber or less wise or less charismatic.

2) +2 Str, -2 Int. Fits the 'dumb and strong' role, but is still a +2 improvement over the 3.5 stats.

3) +2 Str, -2 Chr. See #2.

4) Player's choice of 2 or 3.

Good analysis, Ross. That sort of codifies what some people were missing about half-orcs and wanting to equate them to humans and half-elves.

How about this (inspired by #3 above):

+2 Str, -2 to any stat (approximates the numerous orc penalties and is simple, yet also captures the feel of orcs and humans at the same time). The ability to choose where your penalty applies outweighs the lack of an extra +2 bonus.

An alternate could be +2 Str, +2 any stat, -2 any stat. Definitely more powerful and prone to optimization, but still captures the feel of half-orcs.

Dark Archive

Subversive wrote:

I still think they need a +2 to to intimidate and survival to make the class perfect.

-Steve

You know, that is actually a very good suggestion! :)

Rather than giving Half-Orcs +2 to WIS or any bonus to Perception, I think it would suit them thematically and mechanically nicely if they get +2 to Intimidate and Survival -- or maybe they should get to choose between Diplomacy and Intimidate, as some half-orcs may actually learn to be very "adaptive" and manipulative among humans?


Roman wrote:
That's a good point. On the other hand, Half-Orcs are often considered a bit underpowered, so perhaps this might give them the needed boost. Of course, a single +2 to one ability score does not have this problem. Hmm...

Half Orcs were considered under powered when they had +2 STR and two negative mental attribute bonuses. I guess they don't have a lot of racial bonuses outside their stat boosts but a +2 CON is a lot better than most racial bonuses. They also have darkvision which is nice.

I am willing to bet that with +2 STR and +2 CON we would see a lot more half-orc barbarians around.


Asgetrion wrote:
Subversive wrote:

I still think they need a +2 to to intimidate and survival to make the class perfect.

-Steve

You know, that is actually a very good suggestion! :)

Rather than giving Half-Orcs +2 to WIS or any bonus to Perception, I think it would suit them thematically and mechanically nicely if they get +2 to Intimidate and Survival -- or maybe they should get to choose between Diplomacy and Intimidate, as some half-orcs may actually learn to be very "adaptive" and manipulative among humans?

Why not give them the skill bonus and the bonus to Wis? Wis works for Half-Orcs, regardless of the racial characteristics of the 3.5 Orc

-Steve


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Roman wrote:
That's a good point. On the other hand, Half-Orcs are often considered a bit underpowered, so perhaps this might give them the needed boost. Of course, a single +2 to one ability score does not have this problem. Hmm...

Half Orcs were considered under powered when they had +2 STR and two negative mental attribute bonuses. I guess they don't have a lot of racial bonuses outside their stat boosts but a +2 CON is a lot better than most racial bonuses. They also have darkvision which is nice.

I am willing to bet that with +2 STR and +2 CON we would see a lot more half-orc barbarians around.

That would be unbelievably overpowered.

-Steve


Subversive wrote:
Dennis wrote:
I am willing to bet that with +2 STR and +2 CON we would see a lot more half-orc barbarians around.
That would be unbelievably overpowered.

No, it would be believably overpowered, particularly at low levels.


Set wrote:


Wisdom doesn't represent sages. That's book-learnin,' which is intelligence. Wisdom is focused on skills related to Survival and Senses, and is associated with Will saves, none of these traits for which Orcs, as presented in 3.0 or 3.5, are presented as being *worse than humans.*

So in point of fact, they are presented as being worse than humans in this regard in 3.0/3.5e. http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/orc.htm. Read the numbers, it's RAW. And in 1e and 2e as well.

Orc favored class is barbarian, and while Wis is more desirable than Int for a barbarian, it's not exactly a prime requisite. 2 of a barbarian's 9 class skills depend on Wisdom. It's crap for a barbarian.

Orcs do get listen and spot +1 as skills and alertness as the default feat, so there's definitely an argument for them having decent senses, I'll give you that.

Wisdom, from the SRD: Wisdom describes a character’s willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. While Intelligence represents one’s ability to analyze information, Wisdom represents being in tune with and aware of one’s surroundings. Wisdom is the most important ability for clerics and druids, and it is also important for paladins and rangers.

Rangers and druids are "in tune with" nature. Barbarians aren't necessarily, not all "rural" characters are alike.

Orcs.
Willpower! No, they are the quintessential minion.
Common sense! Yeah, they're just storehouses of good advice on how to live your life.
Perception! Yes.
Intuition! Orc intuition tends to be of the "I think... I'd like to kill you then rape you! Or maybe rape you then kill you! Ah well, whichever!"

1/4 does not a bonus make.

Sovereign Court

Ernest Mueller wrote:


Orc favored class is barbarian, and while Wis is more desirable than Int for a barbarian, it's not exactly a prime requisite. 2 of a barbarian's 9 class skills depend on Wisdom. It's crap for a barbarian.

If barbarians are weak-willed, why does rage boost will saves?

Looking exclusively at orcs isn't the best indicator of how wise or charismatic half-orcs should be. They get their strength from their orc heritage and from their human heritage they gain the wisdom that comes from being from two worlds but not being a part of either one. Mechanically, it makes half-orcs better because they're not pigeonholed as good for barbarian and nothing else. Thematically, it gives them something from their human heritage that's never been there before.

In 3.5, the only tangible thing a half-orc gained from his human half was inclusion in the playable races section of the SRD. I think it's high time they had something else. Intelligence is out. Charisma is out. Dex and Str would be overpowered, same with Str and Con. Wisdom fits well. Maybe not perfectly, but it follows the idea that barbarians live by their wits and determination more than their intelligence or people skills.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Damn post monster, eating my long, well-thought-out posts! Here's a recap:

Ross Byers wrote:
Half-orcs are supposed to half-orc. They exist just because pure orcs do not make ideal PCs. They are supposed to be strong and dumb.

The problem with describing the role of half-orcs is that there are really two roles for half-orcs: the "classic" half-orc of AD&D and the "new" half-orc of 3e.

The classic half-orc was strong, but not dumb. His weakness was an inability to relate well with others (+1 Str, +1 Con, -2 Cha). Intelligence was actually his highest mental stat. The classic half-orc was not a fearsome orc-like savage. He was described as an "ugly human" that was shunned, not feared, by his peers.

Somewhere along the line, the classic half-orc turned into the new half-orc that players have seen for the last decade or so. Tough somehow turned into dumb (a bonus to Con became a penalty to Int). The pitiable halfbreed that was shunned by society became the orc-like savage feared for his combat prowess.

So before we can decide what stats fit the half-orc role, we're going to need someone from Paizo to decide which of the two half-orc roles is the one that applies to the half-orcs of Golarion. Are half-orcs tainted mongrels that lurk on the fringes of polite society? Or are they fearsome, orc-like savages?

(I tend to prefer the tainted mongrel image; hence my preference for more human-like half-orcs. Players interested in playing fearsome savages don't need a special race for it. They can play barbarians of any race. Representing savages with both a race and a class is terribly redundant.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Given the choices, I'd rather see just the +2 Str, or perhaps +2 Str, -2 Chr.

I do not think half-orcs should have an int penalty. Half orcs are supposed to be smarter than pureblooded orcs, and currently they are not.

I'd also like to point out that Classic Monsters Revisited states that half-orc/half-goblin and half-orc/half-hobgoblin have the same stats as half-orc/half-humans. So half-orcs should not necessarily be related to human stats.

Sovereign Court

Epic Meepo wrote:

Damn post monster, eating my long, well-thought-out posts! Here's a recap:

Ross Byers wrote:
Half-orcs are supposed to half-orc. They exist just because pure orcs do not make ideal PCs. They are supposed to be strong and dumb.

The problem with describing the role of half-orcs is that there are really two roles for half-orcs: the "classic" half-orc of AD&D and the "new" half-orc of 3e.

Actually, I think there are 3 roles. Eberron introduced "wise" orcs (and half-orcs) who act as druids and guardians against ancient evils. Yes, these orcs are uncouth and unsophisticated by the standards of civilized humanoids, but they retain a wisdom of the land.

Wisdom ties to many skills that make sense for half-orcs such as Survival, etc. I'm quite pleased with the half-orc in P-RPG. As for some of the other races....

Sovereign Court

Epic Meepo wrote:
Damn post monster, eating my long, well-thought-out posts! Here's a recap:

Did the same thing happen to you? I had well over a page of commentary about where all this orc hate seems to come from, about the role that orcs and half-orcs might take in Pathfinder, and lots of other things that I am way too tired to rewrite as of now.

I have never before wished for the paranoid utility of a keylogger program. Sigh.


Epic Meepo wrote:
So before we can decide what stats fit the half-orc role, we're going to need someone from Paizo to decide which of the two half-orc roles is the one that applies to the half-orcs of Golarion.

Well, not to put any pressure on you guys, but I also believe that once the role, feel and niche of the Half-Orc is pinpointed as the canon pathfinder concept, all the stats adjustments and abilities will fall into place (or at least more easily).

I think the next move is for you guys. I believe most options and opinions have been stated in this thread, and I'm not sure whether a consensus can be reached at this point without more specific guidelines at what the Half-Orc race should aim to.


Ross Byers wrote:

Given the choices, I'd rather see just the +2 Str, or perhaps +2 Str, -2 Chr.

I do not think half-orcs should have an int penalty. Half orcs are supposed to be smarter than pureblooded orcs, and currently they are not.

I'd also like to point out that Classic Monsters Revisited states that half-orc/half-goblin and half-orc/half-hobgoblin have the same stats as half-orc/half-humans. So half-orcs should not necessarily be related to human stats.

I just want to throw in my agreement here. If you need two + abilities then I choose constitution it helps every class. In my mind a barbarian with the wisdom bonus is scarier than the constitution bonus. With rage bonuses it is that much better at resisting spells, constitution is nice but the new toughness feat easily trumps it at low level.

I want to try to dispel the myth that having a tough life breeds wisdom. You hear many athletes who get into legal trouble talking about their tough youth. Did it help them avoid trouble later in life? If you throw out wisdom bonuses to 1/2 orcs because they are outsiders to humanity, should not male drow get a similar bonus. I mean really if given the choice to live as either one, which would you chose? I'd take the 1/2 orc in a heartbeat, and count my blessings.

I think the divide here is keeping the races the same, and keeping with history. Should not we choose the later.

In a similar choice 4th edition chose to change classic demons and devils to streamline them, I heard many Paizo staffers were disappointed with this, so why change 1/2 orcs?


Baramay wrote:
I want to try to dispel the myth that having a tough life breeds wisdom. You hear many athletes who get into legal trouble talking about their tough youth.

What you mean is that tough life did not make them wiser. I agree. But but tough life may force you to pay more attention to your surrounding (perception skill), develop self-sufficiency (survival skill) and not taking anything for granted (bonus on will saves). These are all sub-products of the ability WIS, which does not have much to do with wisdom as a qualitative.

Baramay wrote:
I think the divide here is keeping the races the same, and keeping with history. Should not we choose the later.

And yet Dwarves never had bonuses to Wisdom as far as I know, and not every Elf had an Intelligence boost and it doesn't seem to bother anyone.


Laurefindel wrote:
And yet Dwarves never had bonuses to Wisdom as far as I know, and not every Elf had an Intelligence boost and it doesn't seem to bother anyone.

This is what gets me also. It almost seems like the attitude is "Hey, the half orc is suddenly comparable to other races? Somethings wrong, break out the nerf bat and beat the half orc back into being to worthless race he belongs."

Maybe wisdom doesn't make the most sense... but it works well with the druid favored class and it helps bring the half orc roughly into balance with the rest of the races.

At some point in time you have to try and balance the race against the others. Getting a fixed +2 in strength only or physical stats only is no where near as useful as the racial bonuses given to any other class. This pretty much pigeon holes him as a guy who will always be holding a pointy stick. Every other races gets bonuses suitable for either a martial or a casting class, the half orc should get the same flexibility.

Wisdom aligns well with the half orcs favored class, much as every other race has a mental stat aligned with a caster class. It is also the mental stat which is the least objectionable based on the racial profile.

The other possibility is to eliminate the mental stat bonuses for all the races. The idea of going back to having races with only a single ability bonus wouldn't bother me a bit.

Scarab Sages

The discussion is getting into a gamist/simulationist argument.

The more gamist approach is to give half-orcs abilities equivalent with other races and make them an attractive option that allows all styles of play.

The more simulationist approach is to apply the logical extension of the full orcs capabilities to the half-orc.

Perhaps a comprimise - something satisfying to gamer-inclined, but also logical to the simulationist-inclined.

+2 Str, +2 to any stat, -2 to any stat (I know, I suggested this before) would seem a logical choice, and here is why:

1. The dumb brute archetype with: +4 Str, -2 Cha or Int.
2. A good social character, with orc power: +2 Str, -2 Con, +2 Int/Wis/Cha.
3. A balanced character: +0 Str, +2 any other stat (same as human).
4. A tough warrior: +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Cha.
5. A tough battle sorcerer: +2 Str, -2 Int, +2 Cha.

It seems to allow the player to make the half-orc the way they want, which encourages roleplaying (and its good for munchkins too) - want a half-orc that is more human? Try #3. One that is more Orc? #1.

Is this too good? Does it make them a better choice than humans? Clearly, the ability to choose your own stat bonus is considered the equivalent of a +2/+2/-2 in a trio of stats. So by extension, is the ability to choose a bonus and penalty equal as well? Perhaps it is a bit more powerful, but the half-orc could be tinkered with a bit to accomodate.

EDIT: Plus, it lets you build the 2nd Edition half-orc, which is great for grognards!

Liberty's Edge

I'm not sure if this was suggested, but I did look through the thread, and I saw +2/-2....+2/-2 over and other so here goes:

+2str
+2 to one of the mental stats,
-2 to another of the mental stats.
That way the human breeding shines in one area whilst the orcish tarnishes in another, and there's an extreme amount of variability as to exactly where.

Halforc bard is believable. He's just more along the lines of Ozzy Osbourne or Joe Cocker than Simon and Garfunkel or Nat King Cole.


I think it's silly to compare Pathfinder's Half-Orc to the 3.x Orc.
They're different rule systems, and different (generic) game worlds.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Orcs even have a decent WIS score whenever a new Monster Manual is done up for the Pathfinder system, given their Shamanistic culture, Survival and Perception, and that plenty of Animals have high WIS scores... I mean, I doubt Paizo will just reprint the same old OGL stats if they're going to the trouble of making a new Monster Manual for the Pathfinder system.

(is there any word on this? I know the current 3.x ones are compatible" with Pathfinder, but they're also out-of-print, right?, so Pathfinder will sooner or later have to be self sufficient in that department)

Half-Orc/Orcish Bards make great sense. They're the ones holding up the war banners, since that's easy to do while belting out a mash-em-smash-em soundtrack... (They probably have a couple barbarian levels too, otherwise, they'd lose out when the warband 'decides' how to divvy up the loot.)

Scarab Sages

Quandary wrote:


Half-Orc/Orcish Bards make great sense. They're the ones holding up the war banners, since that's easy to do while belting out a mash-em-smash-em soundtrack... (They probably have a couple barbarian levels too, otherwise, they'd lose out when the warband 'decides' how to divvy up the loot.)

Nah, then they just keep one use of bardic music in reserve in order to fascinate, and all their non-raging barbarian buddies stand around like dullards as the bards swipe ALL the treasure.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
This is what gets me also. It almost seems like the attitude is "Hey, the half orc is suddenly comparable to other races? Somethings wrong, break out the nerf bat and beat the half orc back into being to worthless race he belongs."

This


Jal Dorak wrote:
1. The dumb brute archetype with: +4 Str, -2 Cha or Int.

Nope. Not overpowered at all there. Move along, folks - nothing to see here.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:


Roman wrote:

To summarize the options so far:

1) +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence
2) +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence
3) +2 to one ability score*

The problem I see with +2 Strength, +2 Con is that it gives them 2 stat bonuses is martial abilities and a negative in what is often a martial dump stat. This really makes them a powerful martial class with little downside. The +2 physical/ +2 mental balance did more than just make one casting class and one martial class accessible to characters, it ensured that stat boosts would not benefit a character overmuch... I think this crosses the line.

The devils advocate on my shoulder tells me that it's ok and makes a lot of sense but the pragmatist in me thinks it's a bit too strong.

Thinking about this more, perhaps this is not as overpowered as it seems. The Gnome, for example, have +2 Charisma and +2 Constitution - both incredibly useful for Sorcerers, plus they are small, which gives them an AC bonus and bonuses to hide, etcetera, all of which are useful for sorcerers. If Gnomes can be this good at sorcery, perhaps Half-Orcs can be that good at fighting (and the Constitution bonus does still make it viable for them to take casting classes - it is really useful for them too).


I like the idea of treating the half-orc in a similar manner to the half-elf.

A hypothetical Orc player race would be a durable alternate to the Elves and Dwarves. You might even consider adding it to take the "brute" place of half-orcs. Then you make the new half-orc an option like the half-elf.

There are many races in the monster manual 3.5 that would be acceptable player races with just a little tweaking. The sorcerer bloodlines are signposts on that path. We might have to wait for the "PFRPG Monster Book" or "PFRPG Companion", but I'd love to see playable CR 0 versions of Dark Elves, Aasimar, Tieflings, Half Dragons, Part Elementals, and even Half Fey. For that matter, what is wrong with PC Kobolds or Goblins?

Also, I know this is a forlorn topic, but:
Why is it assumed that the other half of a given cross breed is human?


One more Phaser blast across the bow -
The Elf / Vulcan connection has been fodder for a long time.
Orcs are very analogous to Klingons in their place in the world.

Maybe it is time that the Orc was re-envisioned. Carry parts of prior editions forward along with 3.5. Maybe giving them a head ridge will work.

Besides, it will make the base Orc a nastier foe, too.


Sueki Suezo wrote:
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
This is what gets me also. It almost seems like the attitude is "Hey, the half orc is suddenly comparable to other races? Somethings wrong, break out the nerf bat and beat the half orc back into being to worthless race he belongs."
This

I swear to you all that I do not hate hal-orcs, nor do I ant them nerfed in any way, shape, or form. Indeed, I think they need to be improved. I just feel that those improvements need to be logical for the setting. Now what is logical for the setting is up to Paizo, of course. I am forced to run on existing and previous DnD material.

Now, as for a wisdom bonus, some people are for and some are against and I'm sure many don't really care. However, are there any folks who think having a wisdom bonus is absolutely wrong? Yes. Many. I'm one of them. Now, are there any folks out there who think half-orcs without a bonus to their wisdom is just absolutely wrong? I doubt if there is anyone on these forums who had been upset for years that half-orcs just weren't getting the obvious wisdom bonus they deserved....

Kayn

Scarab Sages

Sueki Suezo wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
1. The dumb brute archetype with: +4 Str, -2 Cha or Int.
Nope. Not overpowered at all there. Move along, folks - nothing to see here.

What do you consider a Human Fighter with +2 Str and a Bonus Feat?

Yes, it's overpowered, at one specific thing. That's why my original suggestion was either +2 Str, -2 to any stat or +2 to any stat, -2 to any stat. But people felt that was nerfing, since they had a penalty and a bonus. I like my second suggestion better, but I don't think the one you criticized "breaks the game".

In PRPG, Strength is treated just as any other ability bonus (see Human ability scores). Therefore, a full orc would lose one penalty. Then, in PRPG all PC races get an extra +2 to one score. That gets rid of another full orc penalty. Thus you end up with a character that is an orc, but without the daylight sensitivity and a few other racial features that orcs don't have (which is a moot point, because Jason hasn't redesigned any monsters yet).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

My 2 C-bills,

First, thanks for the reminder of our long forgotten 1e half-orc.

I like the half orcs as they are in Pathfinder. I understand the "Why wisdom" arguement. I guess my questions is 'why not?'

We see, in nature, hybrids that demonstrate superior traits than either of their parents. Indeed, maybe this is why orcs take in half orcs. Because they see they're natural shamans.

As to half orcs must suck more than other races trope... "This! Is! Pathfinder!" *Chest Kick* If you want to play a sucky half orc, use a 15 point array vs the other characters 20 points. voila! your character sucks.

I don't worry so much about the optimizers. +2 Wisdom opens up all sorts of neat ideas. half-orc druids, monks, clerics, paladins, psychic warriors...

All in all, I call the pathfinder 1/2 orc a home run, or at least a tripple.

Sovereign Court

Baramay wrote:


In a similar choice 4th edition chose to change classic demons and devils to streamline them, I heard many Paizo staffers were disappointed with this, so why change 1/2 orcs?

The reason for the change is because half-orcs were saddled with unbalanced penalties because strength was given twice as much weight as a normal bonus, even though Dexterity applies to reflex saves, AC, ranged attacks, etc.

As for Wisdom coming from a tough life, it's not the tough life, it's the things you learn from a tough life. Having wisdom doesn't mean you won't make bad choices anyway. How many of us know that candy and fatty foods are bad for us but choose to eat them anyway on a daily basis? If all Dungeons and Dragons characters derived every choice they make from their stats and nothing else, there wouldn't be much point in playing them.


I am new to these posts, so hello everyone.

I have been reading many of your posts about the half-orc. It seems we all have an oppinion on how it should be handled. Here is one of mine.

Some one had an idea of giving Half-Orcs a +2 to any ability score earlier in the thread. I have to agree and I say this because they are not a race in of themselves. I feel they should follow more closely in the Human footsteps as it is asumed they are part human. The Half-Elf works like this so why not the Half-Orc. It works well with the current consepts being discused in the BETA for character creation.

I disagree with the favored class though. I think it should be barbarian and Rogue not barbarian and druid. I understand the shaman thinking but still in most of my experience they have been portraid as barbarians and Thug types.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

For favored class, I wouldn't mind seeing Fighter and Barbarian. Gnomes get two casters, So I don't see the problem with Half-orcs being their opposite.


Epic Meepo wrote:
I almost think they shouldn't be races at all. Half-Elf and Half-Orc should each be a feat that can only be selected as a human bonus feat. (Of course, I don't expect that to make it into the rules...)

That is the first interesting idea I saw in this entire thread. It would certainly make it much easier to add other half-human variants. I would love to see something like this fleshed out.


I would have to say hell no to half races being just a feat...that just does not sit well with me at all


Jal Dorak wrote:

What do you consider a Human Fighter with +2 Str and a Bonus Feat?

Yes, it's overpowered, at one specific thing.

That's kind of like comparing apples to oranges. And you're assuming that everyone will believe that a Bonus Feat has greater value then another racial trait such as Low-Light Vision or Stability.

Jal Dorak wrote:
In PRPG, Strength is treated just as any other ability bonus (see Human ability scores).

But you end up with a character with a +4 in Strength. +2 in Strength? Fine. +4 in Strength? No. I don't think ANY race should be walking away with a +4 in ANY single stat.

Scarab Sages

Epic Meepo wrote:
Damn post monster, eating my long, well-thought-out posts! Here's a recap:
Warforged Gardener wrote:

Did the same thing happen to you? I had well over a page of commentary about where all this orc hate seems to come from, about the role that orcs and half-orcs might take in Pathfinder, and lots of other things that I am way too tired to rewrite as of now.

I have never before wished for the paranoid utility of a keylogger program. Sigh.

Whenever I post (not only here - everywhere... this one is actually a little more reliable than most) I copy the entire text to the clipboard before I hit submit. Then if it kaks out, it's just a matter of re-doing it and pasting the text back in.

Scarab Sages

I might be late to the party, but I brought... oh wait, there are already a lot of Jell-O molds... hmm. Oh well ::puts it on the table with the rest::

I really like the +2 to Wisdom for the Half-Orc. I've never played one before - even as a fighter/barbarian/whatever. They never interested me as the set of bonuses and penalties were too out of whack for my tastes. I made one just a couple of weeks ago now - a cleric. Not a favoured class, but there you have it. I think it's going to be interesting to play, and I think it opens up a lot more options to players of the half-orc. Let's keep in mind that these are PC races - yes, it's descended from an Orc, but it can't be an orc, because that's not a PC race (usually). This is almost all rules work, as long as it can be justified or rationalized with fluff (ie. I don't think you could come up with a reason to give half-orcs a +4 to INT and that's it). It makes them playable, to be honest, from my perspective.

My vote is that Jason carry on with the half-orc as is (and possibly adding a couple skill bonuses, as previously mentioned in this thread).

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
rvdroz wrote:

I like the idea of treating the half-orc in a similar manner to the half-elf.

A hypothetical Orc player race would be a durable alternate to the Elves and Dwarves. You might even consider adding it to take the "brute" place of half-orcs. Then you make the new half-orc an option like the half-elf.

I agree. I like would like to see a consistent set of 1/2-human rules.


I must say I'm with the group that says a +2 to wis does not fit with the lineage of the orcs of old.With that said, does it fit with the orcs that Paizo portrays in there world of Golarion, if it does, well it works for me, but if it doesn't there should @ the very least be a second look @ this choice.

I personal like the idea of a +2 to any ability (due to its human half)with the exception of str & cha which if stacked only receive a +1.


Eh Half Orcs have been screwed over for too long, give'em a +2 across the board! (Joking)
Up with Savage Species!
Down with Civilized Species!


The big argument I see against Half-Orc getting Wisdom seems to be 'it doesn't fit the old stuff'. Well, of course it doesn't fit the old stuff. This is supposed to be a break from all that. Personally, I'm in favor of the new Half-Orc, and yes, most of my reasons are from a player's standpoint. By making sure a race is fun to play and balanced with its peers, it becomes easier to become involved in the game with that character, encourages finding ideas for role-playing with that character, and most importantly, keeps a person coming to the table. That seems more important to me than the ancient history of the orcs, and really, maybe it's time that half-orcs became something more than just 'tall, dumb and ugly'.

If anything, the half-elves look like they could use a retooling, right now. Don't need two races that have floating stat bonuses, let alone three.

Liberty's Edge

sacerd wrote:

Eh Half Orcs have been screwed over for too long, give'em a +2 across the board! (Joking)

Up with Savage Species!
Down with Civilized Species!

Up with kobolds! Down with gnomes!


Xuttah wrote:
sacerd wrote:

Eh Half Orcs have been screwed over for too long, give'em a +2 across the board! (Joking)

Up with Savage Species!
Down with Civilized Species!

Up with kobolds! Down with gnomes!

I used to so want to play a goblin back when 3.0 first came out, (of course the modifiers scared me away) I was thinking a Goblin Bar Tender with one eye named "Winky"

I cant help but wonder how many Demi-Humans would "Catch on" if there were no ECL's and more Species were available to play at first level.
Eh waay off topic I suppose.

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