Orcs as a Core Race!


Ancestries & Backgrounds

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Liberty's Edge

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To quote my previous thread in the old playtest forums...

Derryzumi wrote:
Let's not play any games here. After the Half-Orc reveal, everyone's thinking the same thing. Please, please PLEASE full Orcs for the CRB. Give Half-Orcs something to fall back on, give us something up against certain other systems without them in core, and just a great way to placate fans of those big ol' meat boys. To be clear, I personally am not asking to replace goblins, I love those guys- I'm saying it might be a fun option to port those orc feats you gave to half-orcs to a new ancestry, give em a few more mechanical toys (we could really use a race with an inherent strength bonus, I feel!) and voila- a way to get Celestial/Tiefling Orcs in the future, and please fans of the concept who aren't as happy with the human heritage decision (which I think is great!). I know it's frankly impossible for em in the playtest by now, but I know people would super appreciate this change. If not for CRB, then as soon as possible alongside other classic options like Tiefling or Aasimar, and not as much of a pushover as 1e! Who's with me?

Said thread had 29 faves, and a lot of good discussion on it- and now that we know that orcs were originally intended to be core instead of goblins, I say "why not both"? Discuss, now that we know more about how ancestries work!


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I am not fond of the goblin inclusion neither would I be fond of orcs, other people want to have drows. How about we just make two versions of the rulebook or an early extension, Light and Darkfinder :D


Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
now that we know that orcs were originally intended to be core instead of goblins

We do? What did I miss? Was this on Twitch?


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vestris wrote:
I am not fond of the goblin inclusion neither would I be fond of orcs, other people want to have drows. How about we just make two versions of the rulebook or an early extension, Light and Darkfinder :D

You know, I actually kind of hoped Drow and Bleachling were going to be ancestry feats.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
now that we know that orcs were originally intended to be core instead of goblins
We do? What did I miss? Was this on Twitch?

Yeah this is news to me.

Liberty's Edge

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On Twitch, they mentioned a few things they'd cut out and stuff they were going to replace (iirc one of the more surprising ones is they don't intend for Cavalier to remain an archetype), and originally, they had planned on putting Orcs into core, but changed to Goblins for mascot reasons!


Tbh between having the ancestry feats and the half-orc feat, it's easy to find out how the race was supposed to be.


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No! KOBOLDS AS CORE RACE!


I'd like to see orcs as a core race. It works in elder scrolls.

Just hopefully not with the terrible +4 strength -2 to all the mental scores that 1e had for orcs. probably instead boosts in strength, con and a free and then a cha flaw.


Why not +4 str +2 con and int and chr flaw!


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Relax, kobolds will be in the core rulebook. Under "Food."


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o_O its you again *Kobold vanish*


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I'll be sad if they cut Cavalier, it is the only Archetype in the playtest that actually helps produce an 'archetypical' character. Pirate is the next closest and it is notably bad even for naval campaigns.


orcs in my opinion make way more sense than goblins save for the whole mascot thing.

Liberty's Edge

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Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
Why not +4 str +2 con and int and chr flaw!

This was discussed in the other thread- having a bonus to two physical stats is a horrific idea, since it would lead to +all physical ability builds from race alone, making them far better at martial stuff than any other ancestry. It makes more sense to go for +2 Str, +2 Wis and -2 Int!


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Just passing by to ask for Orcs as a core race! (not in place of goblins, but WITH them!)

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd be down with Orcs and Kobolds making it into the core assumption, at the very least Orcs. It seems weird that we have half-elves and elves and half-orcs but not true orcs as an option. Maybe it'd convince them to add more to the ancestry as a whole and make them a more interesting choice mechanically.

I'd also be down to see lizardfolk become playable in 2e. I've been in 3.5/PF for over a decade now and the fact that we still don't really have a 0-HD lizardfolk choice continues to sadden me. We got the Vesk in SF, gimme that but with high fantasy and cool lizardy powers like talking to dinosaurs, limb regeneration, or super disease resistance.

Seriously, I just want to play a croxigor something fierce or a skink priest lol.

Also, dope Orcs.


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Adding orcs as a core race has a couple of benefits; the first is (of course) making it easier to do the half-orc option without having to add the Orc ancestry feats as an "add-on" to the human side.

The second is less tangible; it makes a stronger argument for the inclusion of a "half-human" heritage feat for elves and orcs (which could be generalized later) to represent half-elves and half-orcs that favor their nonhuman parent more than the human one.

Liberty's Edge

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Another thing is that Orcs would be particularly easy to write in is we already have half of the ancestry feats for orcs done; throw in a a handful more, write up a quick history thing, and some headshots- it's super low effort, but it'd go such a long way as far as marketing goes (Pathfinder- we have orcs, and DnD doesn't!)

Dark Archive

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*Banging my fists on the desk, stomping my feet*

ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS!


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Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Another thing is that Orcs would be particularly easy to write in is we already have half of the ancestry feats for orcs done; throw in a a handful more, write up a quick history thing, and some headshots- it's super low effort, but it'd go such a long way as far as marketing goes (Pathfinder- we have orcs, and DnD doesn't!)

EXACTLY

This is my main argument for adding Orcs, versus Tiefling/Kobolds/Ratfolk/whatever. Most of the work has already been done, and it feels weird to have a bunch of orc feats without an orc around


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Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
No! KOBOLDS AS CORE RACE!

Pfah. Why have lousy kobolds when you could have precocious, fun GREMLINS?


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I really like the idea of Orcs in the core book!

I think both goblins and orcs would need a sidebar "wait, aren't these guys evil" that basically says
(A) extant cultures are evil (or which cultures are not)
(B) there are exceptions
(C) what sort of predjudice they might expect to face (something like "While most humans distrust Orcs on principle, there are a few place such as Kaer Maga where they can get along. Players should check with their GMs on whether orcs are appropriate for the game." or somesuch)

Actually, this might be better as a general "predjudice" section given that eventually we'll have Ratfolk, Tieflings, Dhampir and possibly Drow.


In the defense of Orcs. With the increased focus on Golarion, Orcs have a nation that's referenced in multiple APs. You can explain PC Orcs much more easily than Goblins, who are pretty much exclusively primitive tribal societies. If the book ends up more generic, there's even more reasons for Orcs (and in this case Goblins too) because you can do plenty of worlds where Orcs aren't just a cliche horde of barbarians raining down on your civilizations.


Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
Why not +4 str +2 con and int and chr flaw!
This was discussed in the other thread- having a bonus to two physical stats is a horrific idea, since it would lead to +all physical ability builds from race alone, making them far better at martial stuff than any other ancestry. It makes more sense to go for +2 Str, +2 Wis and -2 Int!

orcs should definitely be plus str and con, otherwise don't bother. they wouldn't be orc otherwise. and all things be equal I except the orc to be strongest toughest melee of all the ancestories. the lore of the game wouldn't make any sense any more.

Silver Crusade

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ikarinokami wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
Why not +4 str +2 con and int and chr flaw!
This was discussed in the other thread- having a bonus to two physical stats is a horrific idea, since it would lead to +all physical ability builds from race alone, making them far better at martial stuff than any other ancestry. It makes more sense to go for +2 Str, +2 Wis and -2 Int!
orcs should definitely be plus str and con, otherwise don't bother. they wouldn't be orc otherwise. and all things be equal I except the orc to be strongest toughest melee of all the ancestories. the lore of the game wouldn't make any sense any more.

???

Orcs in lore and other Media are presented as strong yes, but "has to be stronger than everything else" has never been a thing I noticed, they just tend to focus on martial stuff. That's easily showcased with this and previous editions of Pathfinder and DnD by having their physical Abilities be higher after point allocation. 18 was obscene, just becasue melee focused PCs tended to have those didn't mean it was common and everybody had 18s. With the new Ability distribution method you won't get them past 18s anyway.

So if they have Orcs as a Core Ancestry with just a +2 to Strength I wouldn't bat an eye. It fits Orcs as being on average stronger than other ancestries and it would mean we finally have a Core Ancestry with a STR bonus.


Rysky wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
Why not +4 str +2 con and int and chr flaw!
This was discussed in the other thread- having a bonus to two physical stats is a horrific idea, since it would lead to +all physical ability builds from race alone, making them far better at martial stuff than any other ancestry. It makes more sense to go for +2 Str, +2 Wis and -2 Int!
orcs should definitely be plus str and con, otherwise don't bother. they wouldn't be orc otherwise. and all things be equal I except the orc to be strongest toughest melee of all the ancestories. the lore of the game wouldn't make any sense any more.

???

Orcs in lore and other Media are presented as strong yes, but "has to be stronger than everything else" has never been a thing I noticed, they just tend to focus on martial stuff. That's easily showcased with this and previous editions of Pathfinder and DnD by having their physical Abilities be higher after point allocation. 18 was obscene, just becasue melee focused PCs tended to have those didn't mean it was common and everybody had 18s. With the new Ability distribution method you won't get them past 18s anyway.

So if they have Orcs as a Core Ancestry with just a +2 to Strength I wouldn't bat an eye. It fits Orcs as being on average stronger than other ancestries and it would mean we finally have a Core Ancestry with a STR bonus.

Actually Orcs are stronger than like everything else. In the ARG, they have more strength than every race except the Trox and Ogre who have the same stat array as Orc which are considered monstrous races.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
erik542 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Definitely NOT a certain Kobold wrote:
Why not +4 str +2 con and int and chr flaw!
This was discussed in the other thread- having a bonus to two physical stats is a horrific idea, since it would lead to +all physical ability builds from race alone, making them far better at martial stuff than any other ancestry. It makes more sense to go for +2 Str, +2 Wis and -2 Int!
orcs should definitely be plus str and con, otherwise don't bother. they wouldn't be orc otherwise. and all things be equal I except the orc to be strongest toughest melee of all the ancestories. the lore of the game wouldn't make any sense any more.

???

Orcs in lore and other Media are presented as strong yes, but "has to be stronger than everything else" has never been a thing I noticed, they just tend to focus on martial stuff. That's easily showcased with this and previous editions of Pathfinder and DnD by having their physical Abilities be higher after point allocation. 18 was obscene, just becasue melee focused PCs tended to have those didn't mean it was common and everybody had 18s. With the new Ability distribution method you won't get them past 18s anyway.

So if they have Orcs as a Core Ancestry with just a +2 to Strength I wouldn't bat an eye. It fits Orcs as being on average stronger than other ancestries and it would mean we finally have a Core Ancestry with a STR bonus.

Actually Orcs are stronger than like everything else. In the ARG, they have more strength than every race except the Trox and Ogre who have the same stat array as Orc which are considered monstrous races.

In the ARG yes (and also gave them a bunch of mental penalties), but I wasn’t talking about just Pathfinder, I said in Lore and other Media. Orcs are on average stronger than lots of things. They’re not the strongest things though. And they can still be stronger than almost all Ancestries by giving them a +2 to Strength (not a lot of Ancestries in 1st had a Strength bonus I believe), that also lets them be more openly playable.


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We lack a +str race
We also lack a - int race

It seems like winwin. (last boost should probably be wis to keep with physical /mental stat arrays)

Although, having orcs as the goto clerics doesn't sound ideal either...


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I envision Orcs having a +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int Array (with a Free Boost as usual), 10 Racial HP, Speed 25, and Darkvision.
Given that Orc tribes often include a few Shaman; I think Wisdom is the most appropriate fixed mental boost.


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shroudb wrote:

We lack a +str race

We also lack a - int race

It seems like winwin. (last boost should probably be wis to keep with physical /mental stat arrays)

Although, having orcs as the goto clerics doesn't sound ideal either...

Consider that a cleric can just easily be flavored as a tribal shaman (considering the lack of Shaman) as well having Druids in their tribes who see to their animals.

Right now, the "go to" species option for clerics or druids (based on the wis bumb) would be Dwarf. While dwarven clerics are common, perhaps even a bit cliche, Dwarven druids seem like an oddity. Orc clerics might be the same, odd but not unheard of.


shroudb wrote:

We lack a +str race

We also lack a - int race

It seems like winwin. (last boost should probably be wis to keep with physical /mental stat arrays)

Although, having orcs as the goto clerics doesn't sound ideal either...

Golarion orcs are deeply religious. The religions they follow just tend to not be Nice.


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If goblins can be core, I see no reason why Orcs can't. Especially if we are going to have orc feats for half-orcs, why not just go all the way?


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Orcs +CHA all day. LOUD SCARY ORCS


At this rate, I'd like to see all of PF1's Bestiary 1 playable races as playable ancestries from PF2's own CRB, including Orcs, of course.
Plus at least 1 per other Bestiaries, to ensure that those races are updated as quickly as possible in the near future.


Cantriped wrote:

I envision Orcs having a +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int Array (with a Free Boost as usual), 10 Racial HP, Speed 25, and Darkvision.

Given that Orc tribes often include a few Shaman; I think Wisdom is the most appropriate fixed mental boost. [/QUoOTE]

orc with +wis doenst make any sense. So one of the wisest race on avg continually engages in short sighted actions. Nothing about the lore of ORCs in pathfinder would suggest that they have a bonus to wisdom.

+4str +2 con -4int is the absolutely corret array to describe orcs as they have been written within the lore pathfinder.

Separating the game mechanics from the lore of the game is a bad idea in my opinion.


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ikarinokami wrote:
Cantriped wrote:

I envision Orcs having a +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int Array (with a Free Boost as usual), 10 Racial HP, Speed 25, and Darkvision.

Given that Orc tribes often include a few Shaman; I think Wisdom is the most appropriate fixed mental boost.

orc with +wis doenst make any sense. So one of the wisest race on avg continually engages in short sighted actions. Nothing about the lore of ORCs in pathfinder would suggest that they have a bonus to wisdom.

+4str +2 con -4int is the absolutely corret array to describe orcs as they have been written within the lore pathfinder.

Separating the game mechanics from the lore of the game is a bad idea in my opinion.

For starters, +4 anything will break the stat mechanics (you don't see halfings with +4dex and elves with +4int or dwarves with +4con either)

+2str already puts them above all other races in strength, so lore is fine.

+str/+con is also a bad thing to do because it'll force most martial into playing orcs (+2str/dex/con starting)

The extra tankiness is better simulated through extra Racial HP (10 in this case same as Dwarves)

Silver Crusade

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shroudb wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
Cantriped wrote:

I envision Orcs having a +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int Array (with a Free Boost as usual), 10 Racial HP, Speed 25, and Darkvision.

Given that Orc tribes often include a few Shaman; I think Wisdom is the most appropriate fixed mental boost.

orc with +wis doenst make any sense. So one of the wisest race on avg continually engages in short sighted actions. Nothing about the lore of ORCs in pathfinder would suggest that they have a bonus to wisdom.

+4str +2 con -4int is the absolutely corret array to describe orcs as they have been written within the lore pathfinder.

Separating the game mechanics from the lore of the game is a bad idea in my opinion.

For starters, +4 anything will break the stat mechanics (you don't see halfings with +4dex and elves with +4int or dwarves with +4con either)

+2str already puts them above all other races in strength, so lore is fine.

+str/+con is also a bad thing to do because it'll force most martial into playing orcs (+2str/dex/con starting)

The extra tankiness is better simulated through extra Racial HP (10 in this case same as Dwarves)

Yep. Also there's not anything actually in the lore that posits Orcs as being stupid either so that -4 to Intelligence has always been rather odd.


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TiwazBlackhand wrote:

*Banging my fists on the desk, stomping my feet*

ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS, ORCS!

This guy gets it ORC! ORCS! ORCS!


Rysky wrote:
shroudb wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
Cantriped wrote:

I envision Orcs having a +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int Array (with a Free Boost as usual), 10 Racial HP, Speed 25, and Darkvision.

Given that Orc tribes often include a few Shaman; I think Wisdom is the most appropriate fixed mental boost.

orc with +wis doenst make any sense. So one of the wisest race on avg continually engages in short sighted actions. Nothing about the lore of ORCs in pathfinder would suggest that they have a bonus to wisdom.

+4str +2 con -4int is the absolutely corret array to describe orcs as they have been written within the lore pathfinder.

Separating the game mechanics from the lore of the game is a bad idea in my opinion.

For starters, +4 anything will break the stat mechanics (you don't see halfings with +4dex and elves with +4int or dwarves with +4con either)

+2str already puts them above all other races in strength, so lore is fine.

+str/+con is also a bad thing to do because it'll force most martial into playing orcs (+2str/dex/con starting)

The extra tankiness is better simulated through extra Racial HP (10 in this case same as Dwarves)

Yep. Also there's not anything actually in the lore that posits Orcs as being stupid either so that -4 to Intelligence has always been rather odd.

Also personal bias but I'd rather not look at stats as sad as the 3.5 half-orc ever again. Even if super genius orcs are rare, I'd hate for it to become flat out impossible to build one.


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I don't like intelligence penalty as a thing for ancestries in general. It's not an idea I'm in favour of.


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As I remember Orcs of Golarion gave orcs the ability to forget. They could choose to simply stop remembering a traumatic event. Most orcs tended to deliberately forget painful events (such as losing), which led to a lot of their societal (and arguably moral) problems.
I thought this was a brilliant way of explaining why your average orc was so un-traumatised by such a brutal culture, and also not as learned without just making them dumb. The opposite of elves long lifespan giving more education.

It'd totally fit a penalty to intelligence.

In the same way Orc Ferocity supports constitution there could be a feat to back up strength without necessarily giving +4 str.

As an aside I think a "forget" feat would be an awesome ability for an orc.

Liberty's Edge

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Harakani wrote:

As I remember Orcs of Golarion gave orcs the ability to forget. They could choose to simply stop remembering a traumatic event. Most orcs tended to deliberately forget painful events (such as losing), which led to a lot of their societal (and arguably moral) problems.

I thought this was a brilliant way of explaining why your average orc was so un-traumatised by such a brutal culture, and also not as learned without just making them dumb. The opposite of elves long lifespan giving more education.

It'd totally fit a penalty to intelligence.

In the same way Orc Ferocity supports constitution there could be a feat to back up strength without necessarily giving +4 str.

As an aside I think a "forget" feat would be an awesome ability for an orc.

Oh, this is just juicy as hell! I hadn't even heard that one, but this sounds like something that isnt explored enough! Making them core would be a fantastic way to make sure it's more well delved into!

I'm not particularly sure where to take this crusade for orcish inclusion in the CRB. Potentially there'll be surveys where we can ask this, but otherwise, keeping the thread up and living is as good a plan as any.

I think another point that should be delved into is why Orcs over any other ancestry deserve a spot in as Ancestry Number 7; people are bringing up Kobolds, Tieflings, etc, but Orc truly deserves it for the plain and simple fact that it'd solve a lot of the "yikes" surrounding half orcs. By making them playable in core, we humanize them, and see them as more than just the stock evil race; certainly orc society is rough, but not every orc is the type to take a mate by force. Half Orcs would be tragic still, but less in a dubiously racist way, if that makes sense?


Tiefling And Aasimar are 100% going to be Heritage based, but it would be interesting to see them as actual races. Same with the Elemental ancestry races.

That being said <Off Topic>: Ancient Blood Dwarves (Residences to Magic at the cost of Resonance), Drow Elf (Replaces +Int with +Cha), Bleaching Gnomes (I don't know), Monkey Goblins (Trade Darkvision for Climb speed), I don't know a good one for Halfling, Half Orc/Elf Human (Change it so you get a penalty but choose an Elf or Orc feat free).

That being said, I would LOVE Orc as a core race. +Str, +Wis, -Int. And then have a Heritage that decreases their speed for increased threat range... Ogre Blooded Orcs?


From reading the bestiary, an Orc warrior would have this:
Warrior Background (+2 STR, +2 CON)
Ancestry (+2 STR +2 DEX +2 Con, -4 INT -2 WIS -2 CHA)
(somehow they got a level of fighter or something because their attakcs are 4 higher than a lvl 1 character and they get Attack of Opportunity)

The orc Warchief:
seemingly in gaining a level they get +4 STR/CON, +2 INT/WIS, and +4 CHA
they also lose the AOO

The orc Brute (level 0) has the same stats as the warrior, but less attack value by 2, so in gaining 1 monster level it gained 2 to hit...

They all get a +1 conditional bonus on Will saves vs Magic, so that's probably a racial thing. It also looks like they all have the Ferocity [Orc] feat.

The orc Brute has 6 hp (with a +2 con that means they get 4 from race...)

Warrior 13 (2*x from Con)

Warchief 25 (4*x for Con)

Based on this read-through, it looks like +2 STR and -2 INT would be confirmed, darkvision, and a racial +1 conditional on Will saves. That seems to come from the Superstition [Orc] feat, so they look like they have 2 ancestry feats to start with....

These numbers are all over the place and I can't seem to find an actual method to their creation, but the commonalities between them do give some hints as to the developers image and concept of the orcs.

A racial build oughta look like:
+2 STR/CHA -2 INT, darkvision, 10 HP; but that's a rough approximation based off three different monsters.


^Seems like they REALLY don't want Orcs to be able to think . . . Wonder if they fixed the bug in the Pathfinder 1st Edition Orcs in which they need Wisdom 13 to qualify for the Scent feat, even though they have -2 Wisdom, whereas Half-Orcs (who you'd think would have inferior olfactory bulbs due to the hybridization) can get it more easily.


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I agree that orcs should be a core race. I also think half-orcs should be listed as an orc heritage option, and not as a human option. Likewise, half-elves should be an elf heritage option.


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I approve. If for no other reason it feels like Pathfinder hasn't really ever had the chance to shine the spotlight on their orcs and how they're different and special. We've seen their goblins, their ogres, their kobolds and they're all great. The orcs have always felt like they've needed more of a Golarion spin--and this would be a great opportunity for that!


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I think Orcs would make more sense than Goblins too.

First, the groundwork for Orcs as a playable race in a fantasy game already has the ground work laid out.

They are a popular race in WarHammer (where they are completely evil), in WarCraft (especially World of Warcraft), in games like of Orcs & Men and in the Elder Scrolls, naturally Skyrim which has been released over and over to great success.

Basically, there are people who want to play Orcs.

The way D&D and, consequently the original Pathfinder by just copying D&D nearly word for word, mechanic by mechanic, got around this (and still gets around this) is by basically treating Half-Orcs as "good Orcs" with no hint of human heritage at all. Even in 4th and 5th edition the Half-Elf started getting clearly human traits, but Half-Orcs were treated like something as distinct from humans as an Elf or a Dwarf.

That is why the normal Orc stats were so wonky in D&D 3rd Edition and in Pathfinder 1st Edition as a result. Because they stated up the Half-Orcs as "good Orc" and then felt compelled to make the Orc stats twice whatever they had given to the Half-Orc. The Half-Orc was given a +2 to Strength, so Orcs had to be given double that.

But, already the intention has been made clear that the designers actually intend to make Half-Orcs as Half-Human just like Half-Elves rather than having no heritage.

Which in itself already creates a whole second need for having a fully fleshed out idea of Orcs and a selection of Orc heritage traits nearly as long as that for Elves so that a player of a Half-Orc Human would get a reasonable selection of feats to choose from.

And, I know, there are some grognards that are resistant and would even claim that their resistance is based on "realism"-- but, that just isn't the case-- it couldn't be further from the case.

However brutish, nasty and bad you can expect your typical Orc you meet out there in the wilds to be, it never needed to mean that they were universally that way.

Simply from the very fact that they are a race that breeds, has children naturally, raises babies to adulthood and mature only marginally faster than humans-- and perhaps, especially so, the fact that they seem to be able to do that in environments that humans and the like struggle to even survive. Out in the icy tundras, or deep in dank caves, or out there in the desert sands, somehow they are able to raise their children to adulthood and feed their tribes in order to grow into these large disorganized bands that within only a generation are a serious threat to the settled and far richer lands around them.

Just exploring that very concept ought to lead to plenty of possibility to depth for them that need not disregard previous depictions, but simply put forward that previous experiences were with militia, bandits, raiders, etc. and if you meet a bunch of armed orcs in the middle of a dungeon or out there in the wilds, that is probably what you are going to get. But-- then again-- you meet a group of armed humans in the middle of a dungeon or out there in the wilds, and that is what you are probably going to get too.

Entire races need not be locked into a particular alignment. Not all humans are good, but humans shouldn't be the only race that can be on both sides of the spectrum. And even if a race tends to be on the bad side of the spectrum, it shouldn't apply universally --unless maybe they are demons or certain kinds of undead whose whole existence kind of requires them to inflict harm upon the world and if they chose not to, would stop existing.

There is no reason that all fair skinned dwarfs and elves must be absolutely good, altruistic and benevolent with only intentions to help you while all dark skinned dwarfs and elves are necessarily evil, cruel, and sociopathic with only intentions to enslave or kill you. And so it should go forward-- you meet a band of armed Orcs out there in the middle of no where, they are probably raiders. You meet a couple in a pub on the outskirts of a city, they are probably manual labor or mercenaries who will work for whomever will pay them or, once in a blue moon, sure-- one could be a generally tolerable adventurer with benevolent intent. Although I would suspect that most good-aligned Orcs probably give up violence.

Plus, there are plenty of generally evil cities/kingdoms out there in the lands where one would expect more evil races to appear-- and, by their nature, good-aligned civilizations will at least try to be tolerant to those peoples who tend to behave badly lest they become by definition, no longer good.

And even if the main patron god for the Orcs would drive them towards constantly attacking all non-Orcs out there (though that really has to be questioned given how often they are found working with other generally evil races), not all Orcs would necessarily "keep the faith" and there are surely tribes who have been beaten down again and again and again to the point of being subjugated and, to whatever degree, incorporated into other races society. After all, if the good guys are constantly defeating the Orcs, then there are going to be survivors unless the "good guys" insist on complete genocide which inherently seems not "good". Whether as slaves or prisoners or refugees, it seems inevitable that there would be Orc members of those societies unless Orcs literally appeared for the first time yesterday.

And, in terms of benefit to a society, it is far more likely that a good or neutral aligned Orc would bring far more benefit than a good or neutral aligned Goblin who never progress much beyond children both mentally and emotionally. While one would certainly expect there would be a lot of discrimination against Orcs in general, especially by people who have been harmed by the ongoing wars against most Orc tribes, it would be far less difficult to understand why, for as much prejudice there is against them, the society at large would at least be somewhat tolerant of a few Orcs who do grunt labor, and can serve as functional militia against bigger threats, than explaining why they would let Goblins, who tend to act very much like wild animals, even within the gates of their city at all.

Of course, besides Orcs, the other one I would like to see is Hobgoblins. Because tackling Orcs and Hobgoblins as races at the same time actually creates a great opportunity. The two started off as practically the same thing in the initial D&D conception of them and various editions of D&D since have tried to do more to clearly separate them as distinctly different things.

So if the Orc heritage and the Hobgoblin heritage are tackled together, it creates the need to clearly distinguish one from the other. And the more traits one adds to each of them and notes the similarities and differences, the more well defined and unique one can make each.


I would like to see more orcs in general. In all my playing of pathfinder I have never fought a single orc, nor have I met or even heard of any NPC orcs. There has been everything from lizardfolk to neothelids, but never any regular old orcs. Putting them in the core book would be a step towards filling this gap.

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