Are half-orcs orcs?


Rules Questions

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Dark Archive

I know this sounds like a silly question but bear with me.

Do half-orcs count as orcs for archetypes and classes that require you to be an orc? Such as the dirty fighter archetype.

Thank you!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Orc Blood: Half-orcs count as both humans and orcs for any effect related to race.

I would say yes and my group plays that way, but I could see where people would argue otherwise.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Feats, traits, classes, favored class bonuses, and racial archetypes are not effects.

Orc Blood does not allow you to take any of these.

See here.


I think this has been a point of contention around here, and I believe the answer is no. You cannot take orc race archetype as a half-orc.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 6 people marked this as a favorite.

No. Instead you have to be human with the racial heritage (Orc) feat because that makes more sense. /end snark


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yet paradoxically, a Human with Racial Heritage can take Orc Race Archetypes.

Exceptions like those make me hate the Human race as an option even more than I usually do.

Then again, when I am the DM, I am free to houserule away such stupid limitations with regards to racial archetypes.

Edit: Seems my first line was ninja'd by a Golem. Anyway, I've taken steps to discuss this logic error with my fellow players and fixing it with common sense.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Indeed.

You now know how it works.

Everything else posted will likely be flamebait.

I am sorry for that.


6 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 5 people marked this as a favorite.

The logical answer is Yes, Orcs are Humanoid(Orc) while Half-Orcs are Humanoid(Human, Orc). If a feat or ability has a prerequisite or requirement that you be "orc", Humanoid(Human, Orc) qualifies.

The official answer is contradictory, however. The rules state that qualifying for racial traits and feats fall under the Type/Subtype system, indicating that it isn't just "magical and physiological effects" that are included but also "situations to the effect of..." which brings in the aforementioned qualification for traits and feats.

Racial Heritage includes qualifying for feats as an example in a non-exhaustive list of what counts as an "effect related to race" and, furthermore, the FAQ further clarifies that qualifying for a racial archetype is also included as an "effect related to race"; both of these would fall under "effects" as in "You count as a <member of required race> to the effect of satisfying the prerequisite of <being a member of required race>".

However, a separate FAQ states that the Half-Breed qualities of Half-Orcs and Half-Elves, which use mechanically the same verbiage "effects related to race" don't qualify you for archetypes because archetypes are not an effect related to race. Which, on the face of it, is ludicrous if you try to allow that answer to coexist with the previous FAQ answer that qualifying for archetypes is a valid example of an "effect related to race". But, given that the rules support the Racial Heritage reading by including qualifying for feats as an "effect", it has grounding in the rules while the Half-Breed FAQ is entirely un-grounded without a clarification that it is over-riding both the previous FAQ and the rules as a deliberate and concerted change. So, if you want to be intelligent, logical, and consistent, being a Half-Orc qualifies you for Orc racial archetypes such as Scarred Orc Witch Doctor just as much as if you made a custom race that are not the Orc race, but have the Humanoid(Orc) type(subtype), they'd also qualify for the archetype. If you want to be ridiculous, then archetypes both are and are not an "effect related to race", simultaneously, and you fail at logic forever.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Pretty sure official sources have contradicted themselves on the matter. Ask you GM.


Kazaan sums it up pretty well.

Officially, the FAQ says a human with Racial Heritage qualifies (uses phrase "effects related to race"), but another FAQ says half orcs/elves do NOT qualify (despite have the exact same phrase "effects related to race").

Just to throw out my opinion (consider it the beginning of a poll), I would allow half orcs to take orc stuff.


Just chiming in to add my support: Officially, the half-breeds do not count as meeting the requirements for feats, archetypes, etc; humans with Racial Heritage do. At my table, half-breeds count as human and orc in regards to qualifying.

Personally, I believe at some point we'll see a change to the errata, either allowing the half-blood races to qualify for their full-blood counterparts' feats, etc. - or Racial Heritage will be changed to explicitly state that half-blooded characters count as human for the purposes of taking the feat, and could thereby take other racial archetypes.

The Exchange

I doubt I'd insist on errata before going with that. When the rules say somebody who's 1% orc can take orc-exclusive stuff, and somebody who's 74% orc can't, I feel comfortable saying that the ruling in question was not thought through. (Once again I'm delighted not to be a PFS 'judge' chained to the Rock of Canon.) Though it's a valid question whether the half-orc has to take Racial Heritage first (which means R.H. would have to be open to hybrids) or whether having Racial Heritage is innate to the hybrid's 'race'.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Really, to make the whole thing less a mess, they need only add a few words to the Racial Heritage feat.

That's it.


Psh... Inevitables are easy to deal with. Last time my group encountered one, we asked him, "What are the laws." He proceeded to sit there and recite "all" the Laws as we just continued on our merry way. For all I know, he's still sitting there reciting laws.


In my games, half-orcs can take anything that requires Human or Orc or Half-Orc. Same goes for half-elves (only replace "orc" with "elf"). So, you could have a half-elf treesinger druid. The only thing they can't take is the favored class bonuses.

The RAW is rather idiotic, if you ask me.


Not all RAW makes sense. It's why RAI exists, after all.


Because until they ban critique towards Pathfinder, we're free to sit around here.


Meh, the system makes sense as written.

The half-races work as seperate races. They have their own racial archetypes and their own racial feats. Thus, they get anything pure races get.

Some people don't like racial heritage, because of this. As I see, it would make sense for them to ban the feat. Much more sense than opening them to the parent race options, which effectively allows half-elves and half-orcs to choose between the racial options of up to 4 races at once.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Getting to counts as three races, for all prerequisites, right out the door, is likely what they were trying to avoid.

The Racial Heritage feat, is an investment, and uses up a resource.

This is likely why it is treated different.


"Backwards compatible" and "compatibility problems" are not mutually exclusive. This thread is an example.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Getting to counts as three races, for all prerequisites, right out the door, is likely what they were trying to avoid.

The Racial Heritage feat, is an investment, and uses up a resource.

This is likely why it is treated different.

It was that way in 3.0 and 3.5. Shoot in 3.5 even made book called "Races of Destiny" that spent about 20% of book saying that you could do just that.

The Racial Heritage feat was made so human could get some thing that only Dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, 1/2 ork and or 1/2 elf cold get.

The 1/2 elf and 1/2 ork are pretty week compared to the other core races if you take away there blood power or traits.

And realy dose any one at pathfinder own a thesaurus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trait and Trait... You have Racial traits and new thing called Traits.
They even have feat called extra traits. That you can take traits with but not new racial traits that came out in the advanced race guild.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

its kind of ridiculous that the feat lets humans do it, but the being a half-breed doesn't let them do it.

there's already a narrow scope PFS ruling where even the feat doesn't let you qualify for other races' archetypes.

it seems the FAQs should be re-aligned by the development team so that the feat, or being a half breed, allows you to take racial archetypes from either parent's heritage.


Kazaan wrote:

The logical answer is Yes, Orcs are Humanoid(Orc) while Half-Orcs are Humanoid(Human, Orc). If a feat or ability has a prerequisite or requirement that you be "orc", Humanoid(Human, Orc) qualifies.

The official answer is contradictory, however. The rules state that qualifying for racial traits and feats fall under the Type/Subtype system, indicating that it isn't just "magical and physiological effects" that are included but also "situations to the effect of..." which brings in the aforementioned qualification for traits and feats.

Racial Heritage includes qualifying for feats as an example in a non-exhaustive list of what counts as an "effect related to race" and, furthermore, the FAQ further clarifies that qualifying for a racial archetype is also included as an "effect related to race"; both of these would fall under "effects" as in "You count as a <member of required race> to the effect of satisfying the prerequisite of <being a member of required race>".

However, a separate FAQ states that the Half-Breed qualities of Half-Orcs and Half-Elves, which use mechanically the same verbiage "effects related to race" don't qualify you for archetypes because archetypes are not an effect related to race. Which, on the face of it, is ludicrous if you try to allow that answer to coexist with the previous FAQ answer that qualifying for archetypes is a valid example of an "effect related to race". But, given that the rules support the Racial Heritage reading by including qualifying for feats as an "effect", it has grounding in the rules while the Half-Breed FAQ is entirely un-grounded without a clarification that it is over-riding both the previous FAQ and the rules as a deliberate and concerted change. So, if you want to be intelligent, logical, and consistent, being a Half-Orc qualifies you for Orc racial archetypes such as Scarred Orc Witch Doctor just as much as if you made a custom race that are not the Orc race, but have the Humanoid(Orc) type(subtype),...

This is a game that is written for 10 year old to play. You shold not have to have a law degree to figure out the rules. I mean your post read like was cut form episode of "Law and Order"


Tom S 820 wrote:
This is a game that is written for 10 year old to play. You shold not have to have a law degree to figure out the rules. I mean your post read like was cut form episode of "Law and Order"

OBJECTION!

First off, "The logical answer is Yes..." Those first two sentences are relatively straight-forward, no? You'd be hard-pressed to find a sensible person to call them "legally complicated". What is complicated is the fundamental error that I described regarding contradictory official rulings on the matter and how the ruling that is backed up the best by RAW is the one that matches my initial statements.

Secondly, you lean on the presumption that 10 year olds are simpletons. Some are, surely, interested in more simple games or games that require less mental agility and more of the physical variety. But there are also young kids who are very interested and competent with games far more complicated and legalistic than Pathfinder. Likewise, there are adults who are unable or unwilling to comprehend games even simpler than Pathfinder. For a game to be more or less complex than another is not an inherent liability; it's a matter of target audience. Some people find complex games fun and the more complex, the better. Don't presume that everyone thinks like you and likes the same things as you and if someone is not like you, it is an error on their part that needs to be corrected; that's called the Pygmalion Project and it is doomed to 1) fail and 2) make you look like a douche.

Lastly, you imply that a logical, detailed, factually backed up post regarding the issue at hand, the difficulties involved with adjudicating it and with official responses on the matter, and sound reasoning for how and why to pick one possibility as the most likely to be correct... is somehow a bad thing. You may not be interested in reading it, but, again, don't judge everyone by the same meterstick you'd use on yourself. Plenty of people are quite very much interested in it... most of the usual respondents in the Rules Questions sub-forum, for example. Again, target audience. Too long, didn't read? Wonderful, that's entirely your prerogative. Inherently bad? Absolutely not.

tl;dr: Your argument is invalid.

The Exchange

Counselor's argument noted but outside the scope of the court's jurisdiction. The varying maturity levels of ten-year-olds are not the point at issue!


Kazaan wrote:
Tom S 820 wrote:
This is a game that is written for 10 year old to play. You shold not have to have a law degree to figure out the rules. I mean your post read like was cut form episode of "Law and Order"

OBJECTION!

First off, "The logical answer is Yes..." Those first two sentences are relatively straight-forward, no? You'd be hard-pressed to find a sensible person to call them "legally complicated". What is complicated is the fundamental error that I described regarding contradictory official rulings on the matter and how the ruling that is backed up the best by RAW is the one that matches my initial statements.

Secondly, you lean on the presumption that 10 year olds are simpletons. Some are, surely, interested in more simple games or games that require less mental agility and more of the physical variety. But there are also young kids who are very interested and competent with games far more complicated and legalistic than Pathfinder. Likewise, there are adults who are unable or unwilling to comprehend games even simpler than Pathfinder. For a game to be more or less complex than another is not an inherent liability; it's a matter of target audience. Some people find complex games fun and the more complex, the better. Don't presume that everyone thinks like you and likes the same things as you and if someone is not like you, it is an error on their part that needs to be corrected; that's called the Pygmalion Project and it is doomed to 1) fail and 2) make you look like a douche.

Lastly, you imply that a logical, detailed, factually backed up post regarding the issue at hand, the difficulties involved with adjudicating it and with official responses on the matter, and sound reasoning for how and why to pick one possibility as the most likely to be correct... is somehow a bad thing. You may not be interested in reading it, but, again, don't judge everyone by the same meterstick you'd use on yourself. Plenty of people are quite very much interested in it......

Thank you for making my point even stornger because now after reading your post and your video you put foward you should have DR. level degree to play this game.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This definitely needs a proper FAQ ruling.

Two brothers are brought up,in an orcish tribe, raised to be the spiritual heads of the village. One is a half-orc, the other is a full human. The human rises to be the orcish Scarred Witch Doctor. His more orcish brother can never be that, because he isn't orcish enough.

There are no ifs or buts, it is simply a stupid rule that makes no sense. And claiming the racial heritage feat is an investment, well it isn't much of one because the full human gets a free feat his brother doesn't have.

Shadow Lodge

As far as countering the Dev Ruling, they actually left us a very good reason in the Advanced Race Guide. I quote, emphasis mine:

Advanced Race Guide, Ch. 4: Race Builder wrote:
Humanoid races have few or no supernatural or spell- like abilities, but most can speak and have well-developed societies. Humanoids are usually Small or Medium, unless they have the giant subtype, in which case they are Large. Every humanoid creature also has a subtype to match its race, such as human, giant, goblinoid, reptilian, or tengu. If you are making a new humanoid race, you should either find an existing subtype to match or make a new one by using the name of the race as the subtype. If you are making a half- breed race, it should have the racial type of both parent races. For example, a half-elf has both the human and the elf subtypes. Subtypes are often important to qualify for other racial abilities and feats. If a humanoid has a racial subtype, it is considered a member of that race in the case of race prerequisites.

For myself, I'm going to go with, "Rules as written trump Developers until Errata" when determining which is right.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

Let's tone down the hatred, profanity*, accusations of lying, accusing the staff of not understanding the 3.5 rules, and stirring up old thread controversies. Remember the most important rule of the Paizo message boards.

* Just because the boards have a profanity filter doesn't mean you shouldn't avoid blatant profanity in your posts.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Let's tone down the hatred, profanity*, accusations of lying, accusing the staff of not understanding the 3.5 rules, and stirring up old thread controversies. Remember the most important rule of the Paizo message boards.

* Just because the boards have a profanity filter doesn't mean you shouldn't avoid blatant profanity in your posts.

"Trix are kids, silly rabbit?"

That is the most important rule I thought. :P


Icyshadow wrote:


Exceptions like those make me hate the Human race as an option even more than I usually do.

Then again, when I am the DM, I am free to houserule away such stupid limitations with regards to racial archetypes.

Edit: Seems my first line was ninja'd by a Golem. Anyway, I've taken steps to discuss this logic error with my fellow players and fixing it with common sense.

AMEN! And Praise be on high to you. Can't stand humans.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The FAQs regarding half-breeds and even racial favored class bonuses have been changed. Half-Breeds have been confirmed by FAQ to be eligible for archetypes, racial favored class bonuses, and other rules elements.

FAQ wrote:

Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial favored class options?

Yes.

Edit 9/26/13: This is a reversal of an earlier ruling. This resolves a discrepancy between this FAQ, another APG FAQ, and a Core Rulebook FAQ.

—Jason Bulmahn, 08/13/10
...
Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial archetypes (such as from Advanced Race Guide?
Yes.

Edit 9/26/13: This is a reversal of an earlier ruling. This resolves a discrepancy between this FAQ and two Advanced Player's Guide FAQs.

—Pathfinder Design Team, 03/15/13


Kazaan wrote:

The FAQs regarding half-breeds and even racial favored class bonuses have been changed. Half-Breeds have been confirmed by FAQ to be eligible for archetypes, racial favored class bonuses, and other rules elements.

FAQ wrote:

Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial favored class options?

Yes.

Edit 9/26/13: This is a reversal of an earlier ruling. This resolves a discrepancy between this FAQ, another APG FAQ, and a Core Rulebook FAQ.

—Jason Bulmahn, 08/13/10
...
Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial archetypes (such as from Advanced Race Guide?
Yes.

Edit 9/26/13: This is a reversal of an earlier ruling. This resolves a discrepancy between this FAQ and two Advanced Player's Guide FAQs.

—Pathfinder Design Team, 03/15/13

Good news indeed. Makes the half-elf and half-orc a bit better. Guess I will have to reverse my ruling on not being able to take human or elf/orc favored class bonuses.


Additionally, as I understood it, there aren't any actual race prerequisites on class archetypes. I don't have the ARG on hand at the moment, but I don't remember it having a rule in there about the archetypes.


Basically, they clarified that "effects related to race" can be more clearly read as "rules elements" which is, essentially, all-encompassing.


Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
Additionally, as I understood it, there aren't any actual race prerequisites on class archetypes. I don't have the ARG on hand at the moment, but I don't remember it having a rule in there about the archetypes.

There are a number of race-specific archetypes (one that comes to mind is the elf-only Treesinger for druids).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Icyshadow wrote:
Not all RAW makes sense. It's why RAI exists, after all.

Man you just summed up the entire history of all religious conflicts ever in two sentences.


Kazaan wrote:

The FAQs regarding half-breeds and even racial favored class bonuses have been changed. Half-Breeds have been confirmed by FAQ to be eligible for archetypes, racial favored class bonuses, and other rules elements.

FAQ wrote:

Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial favored class options?

Yes.

Edit 9/26/13: This is a reversal of an earlier ruling. This resolves a discrepancy between this FAQ, another APG FAQ, and a Core Rulebook FAQ.

—Jason Bulmahn, 08/13/10
...
Half-Elf or Half-Orc: Can a character of either of these races select human racial archetypes (such as from Advanced Race Guide?
Yes.

Edit 9/26/13: This is a reversal of an earlier ruling. This resolves a discrepancy between this FAQ and two Advanced Player's Guide FAQs.

—Pathfinder Design Team, 03/15/13

Great catch Kazaan. This makes Half-Elf or Half-Orc far more interesting when you want to play a spontaneous caster since they now can pick bonus spells instead on bonus skill or bonus HP.

......or perhaps a Half-Orc bard.

Kazaan, you (and Jason obviously) just made my day :-)

My next bard will be a Half-Elf and when I get a chance to play an Inquisitor he/she will be a Half-Orc.

Grand Lodge

The two FAQs changed only specifically mention human options, though. Is it assumed it also applies to the other parent, and half-elves and half-orcs can select options with elf and orc as requirements, respectively?

EDIT: Nevermind! found the specific thread where the design team addresses this and specifically say it applies to both parent race options.

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