Noble warriors trapped between strong tradition and omnipresent innovation.
Half-orcs, the offspring of orcs and the many settlers of Cartas, are far from a rare sight on the continent of Cartas. Although many Cartan settlers threw themselves at Orcs with blades and bows, some threw themselves at Orcs in other ways; the strange indigenous peoples of Cartas can truly be charming in their own right, and many half-orcs are borne to loving couples or after a forbidden, amorous tryst—but many others have sadder, more savage sirings, begotten by orc and colonist alike. These half-orc offspring face a unique set of difficulties fitting in with a society hell-bent on slaughtering their people or fitting in with a society that feels rightfully threatened by humankind. Locked in this strange place, half-orcs must become as resilient as they are adaptable to survive long in the Democratic Monarchy.
Without a true belonging, assimilating into society is difficult for half-orcs. Some do so easily by virtue of a charming human parent, but others are left at orphanages where they must raise themselves, the dirt and grime making them seem even more foreign to humans of Cartas; these orphaned half-orcs are often adopted by the government and forced to work on the railroads, gaining shelter and food in exchange for work. Among orcs, half-bloods are considered weak and undeserving, often completely excommunicated or even abandoned at a young age, although some manage to stay within their tribal societies by way of bargaining.
Messenger of the Father
The alignment of a half-orc is hard to determine, with some tending toward chaos and evil due to a life of hardship, and others hoping to become good examples of their race tending toward law and good. Regardless of their actions, people tend to generalize: their opinion of orcs influences their opinion of half-orcs, and the same is true of their human lineage with their orc kin. A lawful or good half-orc may improve people’s opinion of his lineage, or a chaotic or evil half-orc may tarnish that opinion.
Torn from the Spirits of Nature
Orcs worship nature directly: the sun, the stars, birth and death, the moon, the rivers—these are all spiritual things to orcs. However, half-orcs in human societies will often adopt the Dwarven-descended worship of Salkash, the Gods of Industry, although those half-orcs who have been forced to work on the railroad are more often atheistic or tend toward their culture’s native religion. Many orcs refer to this spiritual diversion of Half-Orcs as a personal “spiritual excommunication,” where a half-orc completely rejects their orcish heritage.
“I Should Go”
Half-orcs are unwelcome nearly everywhere they go, and many undoubtedly long for escape. The lonely life of an adventurer, either alone or with a small, trustworthy group, is often preferential to the half-orc who was not fortunate enough to be brought up in a community accepting of them. Those half-orcs whose communities have treated them well may feel obligated to seek out treasures as a show of gratitude, and those half-orcs who have been raised in particularly racist communities may seek money and power to formulate their revenge.
Ability Score Modifier: A half-orc gains a +2 bonus to any one ability score.
Size: Half-orcs are Medium creatures.
Speed: A half-orc’s base move speed is 30 feet.
Orcblood: A half-orc is considered to be of the Orc subtype and the subtype of his siring race for any purposes. A half-orc may be of human, dwarven, or elven descent.
Languages: Half-orcs begin play speaking Vaslish and Orcish or East Orcish. A half-orc with a high Intelligence score may select any language as a bonus language (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Lineage: A half-orc must select a lineage.
Tribeblessed half-orcs have lived their lives in the confines of their tribes, accepted for one reason or another. They have grown up with the traditions of their people instilled in them by birth, and have plenty to show for it. These half-orcs are often more violent than their cousins, but also more deeply spiritual.
Shards of the Past: A Tribeblessed half-orc is often raised with similar skills to an ancestor, or may even have an inherent aptitude for them (the orcs would say that their ancestor’s spirit has been reincarnated in them!). The Tribeblessed half-orc selects two skills; these are always considered class skills. If the Tribeblessed half-orc’s class already makes these skills Class Skills, the half-orc instead gains a +2 bonus on these skills.
Orc Ferocity: Once per day, when a Tribeblessed half-orc is brought below 0 hit points but not killed, she can fight on for 1 more round as if disabled. At the end of his next turn, unless brought to above 0 hit points, she immediately falls unconscious and begins dying.
Weapon Familiarity: Tribeblessed half-orcs are familiar with handaxes, all bows, and all spears, and treat weapons with the word “Orc” or “Orcish” in the name as martial weapons.
Humanborn half-orcs have grown up within a human community, typically to a human parent. Human ideals have been instilled in them, many being given intensive educations. These half-orcs are often the most sociable and respected, being able to not only communicate effectively, but also to hold their tongue or correct their words when necessary.
Focused Study: At 1st, 8th, and 16th level, Humanborn half-orcs gain Skill Focus in a skill of their choice as a bonus feat.
Emissary: Once per day, Humanborn half-orcs can gain advantage when making a Bluff or Diplomacy check and take the better roll.
Orc Ferocity: Once per day, when a Humanborn half-orc is reduced to fewer than 0 hit points but is not killed, she can fight on for 1 more round as if disabled. At the end of her next turn, unless brought to above 0 hit points, she immediately falls unconscious and begins to die.
These half-orcs were raised by elves, and were almost always sired by an elven parent. The elves’ curious nature does not escape them, and they are raised in the liberal arts curriculum of elven life, giving them an edge in many situations.
Diverse Ability: Elfborn half-orcs gain an additional +2 bonus to one Ability score, but must take a -2 penalty to another of the player’s choosing.
Curiosity: Elfborn half-orcs are naturally inquisitive about the world around them. They gain a +4 bonus on Diplomacy checks to gather information, and Knowledge (history) and Knowledge (local) become class skills for them. If they choose a class that has either of these Knowledge skills as class skills, they gain a +2 racial bonus on those skills instead.
Multitalented: Members of this race choose two favored classes at 1st level and gain +1 hit points or +1 skill rank whenever they take a level in either of those classes.
Weapon Familiarity: All Elfborn half-orcs are familiar with all bows, longswords, and rapiers, and treat any weapon with the word “Elven” in its name as a Martial Weapon.
Born and raised among dwarves, these naturally resilient half-orcs were taught trades from a young age, and often had to learn new concepts and ideas quickly. Innovators like their dwarven compatriots, these half-orcs are nothing like the stereotype of the idiot orc.
Resilient: Dwarfborn half-orcs are naturally resilient, and gain a +1 natural armor bonus to AC.
Skilled: Dwarfborn half-orcs gain an additional skill rank at 1st level and one additional skill rank whenever they gain a level.
Solid Ground: Born of the two burliest known races, Dwarfborn half-orcs are difficult to push; any effect that pushes or pulls a Dwarfborn half-orc from her square is only half-effective; it must normally push a character 10 feet for a Dwarfborn half-orc to be pushed back 5 feet, etc.
Weapon Familiarity: All Dwarfborn half-orcs are familiar with all hammers and spears, and treat any weapon with the word “Dwarven” in its name as a Martial Weapon.