Making a new race - Elf / Orc.


Homebrew and House Rules


My friends and I were talking about some character creations and I mentioned that I was having trouble with selecting a weapon for one of them. One suggested an elven curve blade but I would have to be an elf. Since this character is a twin to another character for flavor reasons, both would have to be elves.

This got me thinking about the different races in general and I wondered if half-elves and half-orcs could have kids together. For that matter, could an elf and an orc could have kids together.

Even though the weapon selection for my character is still ongoing (as I would either need a feat or a level dip to be proficient with the elven curve blade even as an elf) I thought it might be fun to create a race that's half elf and half orc.

So that's what I plan to do. I'm going to take features from both elf and orc and try to balance them out.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A half-elf, half-orc would definitely get a +5 racial bonus to perform (wallow in self-pity) checks.


Or have a giant ego.


Heather 540 wrote:
So that's what I plan to do. I'm going to take features from both elf and orc and try to balance them out.

That's called a 'Human', fyi.


Going off of the Race builder book:

Specialized ability scores 1RP
+2 str, +2 dex, -2 Wis

Low light vision 1RP

Dual Minded (+2 will saves) or Elven Immunities Either 1RP

Weapon Fimiliarity (orc or elven) 1RP

Ferocity (like diehard) 4 RP or make it like the half orc ability

Total 8 RP,or 9 if weapon familairity with both orc and elven


Indeed.

Medium size: 0 RP
30 Speed: 0 RP
Humanoid: 0 RP Orc and Elf subtypes.

The stats are going to be difficult to do. +2 Str and Dex seem a little overpowered to me.

Flat out combining the elf and orc stat bonuses would come out to +4 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Con, +0 Int, -2 Wis, -2 Cha. Definitely no good.


Oh, I've got it. +2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Cha. They're hale and hearty, fairly smart, but not pretty. The flavor of it would be something like they look more like the orcs but have elf brains. It's a standard stat spread so it's 0 RP.

An alternate trait could be +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Int. Pretty and nimble like elves, but not that smart. It's also 0 RP. Or would -2 Wis be better than -2 Int?


Standard language array would be something like this: Start off with Common, Elvish, and Orc. Characters with high Int can select Celestial, Gnome, Dwarven, Goblin, Halfling, and Giant.


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Lose Darkvision, Light Sensitivity, and Elven Magic. Keep Keen Senses, Low-Light Vision, and both Weapon Familiarity traits.

I like Dual Minded better than Elven Immunities for this. Being half-orc would lose them that magical protection, but having to carve out a place for themselves between 2 such vastly different races would make them stubborn.

Orc Ferocity would be better for this than regular Ferocity. Since they're only half-orc, it makes sense for them to not be as strong.

It looks like Elves were actually given Weapon Familiarity twice, judging from the text, as they are proficient with 3 weapons and a racial weapon group. (It counts bows as one weapon.) Although orcs are proficient with 2 weapons and a racial weapon group so it's a little odd.

I think I'll go with both racial weapon groups, the bows, and the greataxe.

Low-Light Vision: 1 RP
Keen Senses: 2 RP
Weapon Familiarity: 2 RP
Dual Minded: 1 RP
Orc Ferocity: 2 RP

That's 8 RP total since the other traits are all 0 RP. Most core races are around 10 RP I believe. Perhaps Multitalented or Quick Reactions would be a good way to fill it out. Both are 2 RP.

Swordtrained might make a good alternate trait, replacing the Weapon Familiarity and Orc Ferocity.

Focused Study could also work, replacing Quick Reactions and Keen Senses.


probably be best to have it +2 to any stat like most half blank half blank races


Those races are half-human, which is where the +2 comes from. These guys aren't human at all.


you could go +2 str, +2 dex and -2 cha, its the only one other then just a flat +2 to one stat that makes sence


Eh, I wouldn't overthink it. In our game there are some elf/orc NPCs. I simply added all elf and orc traits and stats together and gave them a +1 CR adjustment.


That works for an NPC, but I was going for a more PC race.


About the gene compatibility between elves and orcs, I'd instinctively say no, except when you take the Tolkienian view that orcs are horribly mutated elves... if you go from there, anything goes...

about 1/2 elf and 1/2 ork having kids together, why not, but I'd say the kid would likely have human dominant genes or conform to the race of the mother


Heather 540 wrote:

Lose Darkvision, Light Sensitivity, and Elven Magic. Keep Keen Senses, Low-Light Vision, and both Weapon Familiarity traits.

I like Dual Minded better than Elven Immunities for this. Being half-orc would lose them that magical protection, but having to carve out a place for themselves between 2 such vastly different races would make them stubborn.

Orc Ferocity would be better for this than regular Ferocity. Since they're only half-orc, it makes sense for them to not be as strong.

It looks like Elves were actually given Weapon Familiarity twice, judging from the text, as they are proficient with 3 weapons and a racial weapon group. (It counts bows as one weapon.) Although orcs are proficient with 2 weapons and a racial weapon group so it's a little odd.

I think I'll go with both racial weapon groups, the bows, and the greataxe.

Low-Light Vision: 1 RP
Keen Senses: 2 RP
Weapon Familiarity: 2 RP
Dual Minded: 1 RP
Orc Ferocity: 2 RP

That's 8 RP total since the other traits are all 0 RP. Most core races are around 10 RP I believe. Perhaps Multitalented or Quick Reactions would be a good way to fill it out. Both are 2 RP.

Swordtrained might make a good alternate trait, replacing the Weapon Familiarity and Orc Ferocity.

Focused Study could also work, replacing Quick Reactions and Keen Senses.

This. Dual Minded and Keen Senses with both weapon proficiencies. Yes please.


I want to do a little bit more work on this. I think it would be pretty interesting to have subraces that are lean more towards one parent than the other. I might have to make this higher than 10 points, but not by much. Maybe just 12 points or something.


As far as ability scores go, the only combos that seem relavent would be those that come from an orc body elf mind combo, or the inverse. If body and mind both favor one race over the other, then you just need some alternate racial feature options on true orcs and elves to reflect the "impure" bloodlines. For the true elf/orc or orc/elf you need a physical plus from one, mental from the other, then appropriate penalty. Since the orc lacks an appropriate mental bonus, your looking at a nonstandard ability array. Elf mind/orc body: +2 Str,+2 Int, -2 Cha; the powerful orc physique contains the cunning of both races, but the aggression and arrogance of the two bloodlines leads to an irraceable nature.
Orc mind/elf body: +2 Con, -2 Wis; hardier than their pure elven brethren these characters suffer from an imprudence born of orc bravado and elven whimsy. . . . or something like that.

Honestly, you may need to come up with several combos similar to Assamirs, to cover all the combinations of physique, mental development, and upbringing. At a super simplified break down of the two races, you're mixing the dumb brute with the "puny" aficionado. Numerous possibilities exist here. The only thing that doesn't ever fit is a Dex penalty, or a Wis bonus. . . . . unless you explore the possibility that the blend brings out something totally new from the pairing. Hmmm

Give the race a unified and unique name. +2 Wis, +2Cha, -2 Dex; while the blending of two such disparate races leads to offspring of a somewhat inelegant form, the long-term pragmatism paired with the short term practicality of the two cultures leads to well balanced members of their communities who provide a calming anchor against the tides of extremism within their tribes. . . . That could be phrased more eloquently,but basically, slightly awkward nonstandard bodies housing calm souls who exude a certain level of competency and trustworthiness. Not the bodies, but think of the Mystics from The Dark Crystal.

Sorry, that went way longer than intended. Just some ideas, do with them what you will.


IMO there is a reason why you didn't find anything satisfying yet: Just combining racial traits results in a shallow, artificial "race", with no real identity.

Check out the existing races, they all (?) have an unique trait, setting them apart from the others. Orcs have their ferocity, elves have their elven immunities as well as their elven magic. I wouldn't count weapon familiarity here, because it's not mechanically special enough.

So let's go back to concept level: What would be special about this bred of orcs and elves? When it comes to physiology, psychology and society? Once you figured out at least one special thing, you can derive a racial trait from it. I think the texts about half-elves and half-orcs offer a lot of inspiration what it means to stand between two worlds, but it should pay off to include these ideas only after looking for something unique yourself.


a half elf/half orc would follow the rules of either half-elf or half-orc. in the "half" races, there is no hard rule about where the other half is descended from, so any Half-elf you come come across could very well also be "half-orc. So choose one set of rules and go with it.

Shadow Lodge

TxSam88 wrote:

a half elf/half orc would follow the rules of either half-elf or half-orc. in the "half" races, there is no hard rule about where the other half is descended from, so any Half-elf you come come across could very well also be "half-orc. So choose one set of rules and go with it.

Except there is. A half elf counts as both human and elven. No other options are presented, the race is only for half human, half elven people. Same with half orc.

You could make a half elf and take racial heritage orc, then you'd count as elf, human, and orc.


Yeah, I'm going to be thinking about this for a while. I do want a set of traits that work both mechanically but also give them their own identity. I'll probably be throwing out Swordtrained.

I'll look at the Assimars to get some ideas for the lore.

Racial Heritage is fine for what it is, but I don't want this race to have any human in them at all.


might make it easier for you samurai sheepdog and purple duck games both have elf/orc hybrids


I'm pretty sure there's a half orc, half elf in a Paizo product, but I could be wrong.


Heather 540 wrote:
My friends and I were talking about some character creations and I mentioned that I was having trouble with selecting a weapon for one of them. One suggested an elven curve blade but I would have to be an elf. Since this character is a twin to another character for flavor reasons, both would have to be elves.

Not directly relevant to the main topic of the thread, but Tengu are proficient with curveblades out of the box, and half-elves can get it with the Ancestral Arms alternate trait. No dipping required.

Heather 540 wrote:
This got me thinking about the different races in general and I wondered if half-elves and half-orcs could have kids together. For that matter, could an elf and an orc could have kids together.

Obviously who can naturally breed with whom is a setting question, but I would say that the default assumption is that elves are not massively fertile even with other elves, and therefore have limited ability to create natural hybrids - basically just with humans. But even in a seeting where that is the case, it does not preclude the existance of such hybrids when magic (or sufficiently advanced technology) is available.

Half-elves mating with half-orcs OTOH definitely seems like a possibility. If you treat each half as a mendelian trait*, then the results would be 25% chance each of human, half-elf, half-orc, and orc-elf (if you consider the latter a possibility - circa 33% chance each of the first three otherwise).

Heather 540 wrote:
Even though the weapon selection for my character is still ongoing (as I would either need a feat or a level dip to be proficient with the elven curve blade even as an elf) I thought it might be fun to create a race that's half elf and half orc.

I agree with the people upthread who say that just smushing orc and elf traits together is not going to cut it. The orc-elf needs something of its own. I have been trying to think of something suitable since I read the thread on my phone earlier, but so far I am drawing a blank.

One thing that might be worth checking out is the Midnight campaign setting. I am pretty sure that had playable orc-elf hybrids. Unfortunately, my copy is packed away in a box somewhere. Anyone have a copy handy to check what they got?

_
glass.

(* This would of course be a gross simplification, but it fits the available mechanical options, with nuances provided by bloodline abilities, etc.)


Is it just me, or are most of the Weaknesses in the Race Builder light based?

I've been going through the racial traits in the Race Builder to give me some ideas of what this race could get. Some of them I liked, some I didn't. It looks like most of my original plan can still work for a standard member of the race, but I have more options for variants and alternate traits. Obviously the size, speed, subtype, and languages will be the same as before. Though apparently the standard language option gives 7 bonus languages and I only picked 6. So I'm adding Undercommon to the list. And apparently Swordtrained is an Advanced option anyway, so that's gone. (Though oddly enough, I didn't see Keen Senses as an option.)

I did get one idea for a variant. Shunned and hated by nearly all they come across, these members flee underground to avoid being persecuted for their heritage. They often get mistaken for albino drow. This variant will definitely have Darkvision.

Dark Archive

Honestly, all I can think of is 3.5 mongrelfolk


Read up on the N'djatwa

Might give you some ideas.


Still working on the base lore, but I've got a bit on the relationships with other races. I'm going to use the word Beans as a placeholder since I don't have a name for the race yet.

Elves: Unlike half-elves with human parentage, Beans are almost always treated with hatred and contempt. In elven eyes, Beans are no different from full orcs and are considered beasts to be put down. It is a lucky Bean that manages to hide their orcish traits and can pass as half-human instead.

Orcs: The life of a Bean in an orc tribe is rarely different to that of their half-human cousins, the orc leaders recognizing that the lesser strength is often made up for with increased intellect and a better grasp of magic. Though they are still often bullied or ostracized for their elven features and have to work harder to prove themselves.


Beans.


I think I'm going to change the racial stats from what I had them as. And instead of Standard, I was looking at Weakness to get +2 Str and Int, and -4 Cha. They get the elven intellect and a bit of the orcish strength. But they are so used to being treated poorly as well as being from two cultures not exactly known for being warm and cuddly. So they don't even try to be polite to people and tend to be aggressive to those they don't know.

If I have some extra points left over, I can change it to Standard and change the -4 to a -2.

Orcs have Light Sensitivity as a standard trait. I could give that to standard Beans. And the underground variant with Darkvision could have Light Blindness instead.


Wait. Would giving them Light Sensitivity WITHOUT also giving them Darkvision a bad idea? I do plan on at least Low-Light Vision.


Heather 540 wrote:
Wait. Would giving them Light Sensitivity WITHOUT also giving them Darkvision a bad idea? I do plan on at least Low-Light Vision.

Yes. I'm not even sure you can?


I double checked and you're right. I can't. I'll just have to find another way to keep them from being too OP while still having enough options to switch out. It's weird how 3 of the 5 weakness traits are about light in some fashion.


Ok, I think I've got a base.

Stats: Weakness: +2 Str, +2 Int, -4 Cha. (-1 RP)
Dual-Minded: +2 Will. 1 RP
Orc Ferocity: Once a day, when reduced to negative HP but not killed, can fight for one more round as if disabled. Fall unconscious and start dying at the end of your next turn unless healed. 2 RP
Low-Light Vision: Can see twice as far as humans in dim light. 1 RP
Elven Magic: +2 to caster level checks to overcome spell resistance. +2 racial to Spellcraft to identify magic item properties. 3 RP
Multitalented: Can choose two favored classes. 2 RP
Hatred: Choose two humanoid subtypes. +1 racial to Atk against these subtypes. 1 RP
Bite: Gain Bite attack that does 1d3 damage. 1 RP

Subrace:
Underground Beans: Gain Darkvision 60 feet (2 RP), Light Blindness (-2 RP), and Shadow Magic (2 RP). Lose Low-Light Vision and Bite.

I need a couple more alternates. I'm still trying to decide those. And I want one more subrace that's a bit more orcish.

I also need to work on the lore a bit and figure out a name.


Should I add in a basic Weapon Familiarity? Not all the profiencies, just making Elf and Orc weapons Martial instead of Exotic.


Heather 540 wrote:
Should I add in a basic Weapon Familiarity? Not all the profiencies, just making Elf and Orc weapons Martial instead of Exotic.

I wouldn't think so, I'd use those as alternate racial traits.


Fair enough. Though not sure what I'd switch out for them.

Oh, another possible subrace - orc beans. They don't have a single trace of their elven heritage and think that they're normal orcs. They lose Orc Ferocity, Elven Magic, and Multitalented for Ferocity, a stronger Bite, and Natural Armor.

Natural Armor can switch out for Multitalented without being part of the subrace. Though Orc Ferocity is only half the points of Ferocity, so I can't switch those out by themselves. I'd need another 2 points taken out at least. Perhaps Dual-Minded and Hatred?


Ok, I need at least a couple of other alternate traits that aren't connected to a subrace.

I'm thinking these:

Ancient Foe to replace Elven Magic.
Gift of Tongues to replace Multitalented.
Weapon Familiarity (taken twice) to replace Bite and Hatred.

I'm also trying to figure out what Shadow Magic would replace by itself. The subrace with it replaces Bite and Low-Light Vision. But the subrace gains Darkvision so it works out. I don't want to take out Low-Light Vision without putting in Darkvision. So it needs something else to trade. I was thinking Hatred.


I want two more alternate traits. Another to swap out Elven Magic, and one that swaps out Bite on its own. Both of the traits that swap out Bite swap out Hatred at the same time.


Ok, I've added Ancient Foe and Stubborn as options to replace Elven Magic. And Stalker as a replacement for Bite.

I think I want one more subrace to finish up. All that'll be left is getting the particulars of the lore down.

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