Discussion:Are Orcs Balanced?
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 Are Orcs Balanced?
 184.108.40.206 12:23, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
When making a race, I believe a +4 to any stat makes a race a LA +1 regardless of penalties. Orcs have a +4 strength, but a LA of 0.
I believe that a loss on so many stats, combined with being dazzled by sunlight to be a fairly hefty penalty. In a power-game (26+ point buy) you won't suffer too many penalties. In a 25 point/elite array game (the default), this races gives you some nasty compromises. The -1 to hit in daylight is the same as reducing his Strength to +2. In addition, the RP penalties are very abundant.
Contrast wood elves, with the same number of bonuses as penalties. Now that is imbalanced, IMHO.
I'm currently playing an orc character. I feel his disadvantages make up for his strength(s), but mainly because of role-playing. He's moderately headstrong, often getting the party into trouble that would have been better avoided. He's moderately obnoxious, making a game of shocking NPC's whose favor the party covets -- particularly when faced with racial prejudice. If I played him the same way I play my elf ranger, or even as just a strong, silent, brick, the +4 Strength might, indeed, seem an unreasonable advantage.
Bottom line: If the GM decides to allow orc characters, he should insist on accurate role-playing, and make sure the social stigma has a non-trivial impact (in my opinion).