Morlocks (Orc Subtype) (3.5e Race)
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Morlocks are distantly related to their bigger cousins, the Orcs. Much in the way that Orcs were originally created through a process of distorting and defiling some Elves and Humans, Morlocks were created from some Hobbits and Leprechauns. These ‘experiments’ failed to deliver desired results, and so ended the short-lived re-creation episode for the Morlocks. Nevertheless, many fled and hid away from their disowned creator, and survived through the centuries as horrible, stinking, pitiful creatures, doomed to fear and failure. Their further curse was that of an unnaturally long life. They are said to live for over 250 years, spending almost every moment sulking in caves, hunting vermin, sightless fish, and the occasional adventurer that they happen upon. When procreation does occur, the mother is left to carry the baby Morlock alone, and once she has given birth, she usually abandons it with some dead fish near an underground stream or pool, never to interact with it again. The few that survive do so on their own, eating raw fish and drinking putrid water. Of all of the various races used to create the Morlocks, the Riverfolk subspecies of Hobbit (Aquatic subtype) (3.5e Race) was the most successful in surviving, leaving predominately this one kind while most of the other already rare creatures have died off. They are naturally suited to fishing in the small underground pools and streams, and an interesting trait of these particular Morlocks is that they did not suffer the usual loss of intelligence during the re-creation process. It is said that this is due to their weaker will and more pliable minds—they did not have to be broken so much as bent and twisted. This page applies to these specific Morlocks--other lineage may result in slightly different stats, including a -4 to Intelligence.
Most Morlocks seem more animalistic than they really are. Living in solitude and vile conditions has robbed them of what little social ability they might have had. Most other people mistake their behavior for lack of mental capability--often tragically, as they realize too late that they have been trapped by a hungry Morlock.
Morlocks look like wiry, unkempt distortions of the other common Small peoples--which is not that far from the truth. They tend to have pale, greyish skin, very little hair, and long fingers and toes. Their eyes are large, and seem to glow slightly. Their posture is usually ape-like, though they can walk upright as well. Morlocks are usually around 30 to 40 lbs. and between 3' and 4' tall with males being slightly larger than females.
Morlocks are opportunists who prefer to stalk or ambush their prey. They are strong enough to be a threat to Medium races, but don’t do well in pitched battle. Their favored method of fighting is unarmed, where they can take advantage of their uniquely powerful grappling abilities. A Morlock who hits on a grapple check can immediately begin to Strangle as a free action. Morlocks will frequently bite each round to help weaken and distract their opponent. They are quite difficult to break free from, even when out-sized, due to their strength and their Cling ability. While Morlocks pose a very serious threat to individual victims, their low AC and inability to adequately protect themselves makes them vulnerable to attacks by friends of the victim. Morlocks, when battle is forced upon them, will try to isolate and remove their individual victims/opponents to mitigate assistance from their friends. When faced with a creature that cannot be strangled, sometimes Morlocks will use a sharpened fishing-stick as a weapon (use stats for the Small short-spear). They are typically poorly made, giving a -1 penalty to attack. Other common weapons include clubs and knives, although some have learned to use the garrote, with devastating effect.
Morlocks are bad at open combat, and are not magically inclined. They have low Skill points, and are, in most ways, not viable candidates for a serious adventuring party. If utilized, a Morlock would probably function best as a scout/sneak.
Morlocks have little interaction with the other common races, but do occasionally live near Orc settlements. When not driven away, they have been known to stay in the dark recesses of Dwarven mines. Most common races look upon Morlocks with mistrust, fear, loathing, or outright hostility. Morlocks have done little to change this fact. They are especially jealous of the Hobbits and Leprechauns from whom they were created.
Morlocks are usually CN, but can frequently be NN, NE, or CE.
The favored class for a Morlock is Commoner. Mightier Morlocks have become Warriors, Barbarians, and occasionally Rangers, but most live a life of scrounging for food and hiding in the dark places of the earth. They could also be effective as a Rogue. There have been tales of a Morlock who was taken into a monastery and trained as a Monk, but this may be a myth…
Morlocks have no society to speak of, and no land of their own.
Most Morlocks do not worship or even acknowledge a god. Those few who do usually worship Gruumsh.
Morlocks tend to not have names--due to their avoidance of interaction, names are not really needed. Those few who adventure tend to be known by a physical descriptor or common sound (Big Finger, Grumbler, Bright Eyes, ect.).
Very few, if any, Morlocks venture out of their caves to partake in any adventure. Most of the time, they are encountered in the role of a monster--not of a fellow adventurer. Nonetheless, in extreme cases one might be placed into an odd enough situation that it joins a party. Since treasure, fame, and power generally mean nothing to Morlocks, this is a rare occurrence indeed.
- Accursed: Morlocks are the product of Dark Magic, bad intentions, and maltreatment. They are destined for failure and shortcomings. They do not get an automatic full value on the hit dice at level 1--even the PCs. They do not receive a starting feat, nor do they multiply the starting skill points times 4. They are illiterate, shunned, and landless.
- +2 Strength, −2 Wisdom, −2 Charisma: Like Orcs, Morlocks are stronger than their peers. Also like Orcs, they are unwise and uncharismatic, although they do have a cunning that their bigger cousins lack (no racial Int penalty).
- Humanoid (Orc): Their Orcish bloodlines give Morlocks a +4 to Intimidate, darkvision, and sensitivity to light.
- Small: Morlocks gain Size bonuses/penalties as follows: +1 AC, +1 attack, +4 Hide, and -4 grapple. They also use smaller weapons.
- Morlock base land speed is 20 feet: base swim speed is 10 feet.
- Racial Skill Bonuses: Morlocks receive +8 to Swim checks, and +4 to Intimidate checks. They receive +2 to Climb, Escape Artist, Hide (in addition to the Size bonus), Jump, Move Silently, Scent, and Survival checks. Morlocks only receive 1/4 of the usual skill points at level 1.
- Racial Feats: Imp. Unarmed, Imp. Grapple, Imp. Cling, Endurance, Multiattack, and Self Sufficient. Morlocks do not receive a starting feat. This reflects their accursed state.
- Darkvision: Morlocks can see in the dark up to 60'.
- Light Sensitivity: Morlocks are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
- Scent (Ex): In the dark depths vision is often less reliable. This has led to the development of an acute sense of smell (allowing it to be used as an untrained skill (in the same manner as Spot, not Search/Tracking)).
- Improved Cling (Ex): Morlocks can ignore the size restriction when attempting to complete the grapple—normally a Small creature automatically fails the opposed grapple check against a Large or bigger creature. In addition, an opposed grapple check by the Morlock that fails by 5 or less results in the Morlock still being engaged with the opponent. The opponent is not grappled and takes no damage, but carries the Morlock with it. The Morlock can retry the grapple check on subsequent rounds, until either it fails by 6 or more or succeeds.
- Improved Strangle (Ex): Once a successful grapple check is achieved, a Morlock can begin to strangle as a free action. *This can only be accomplished if the opponent has a neck or neck-like appendage that is a necessary pathway for air/blood-flow/etc.* *See Suffocation in DMG304, and Swimming/Drowning in PHB84 for rules regarding Strangle* Using the Multiattack feat, the Morlock can bite its victim while strangling it.
- Racial Proficiencies: Morlocks have no racial proficiencies with weapons, armor, or shields, except with sharpened fishing sticks. They treat the garrote as a martial weapon.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Orc, Morlock (illiterate in all). Bonus Languages: Dwarfish, Gnomish, Goblin, Hobgoblin.
- Favored Class: Commoner.
- Level Adjustment: 0.
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|100 years||150 years||200 years||+4d12 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||3' 0"||+2d4||20 lb.||× (2d2) lb.|
|Female||2' 9"||+2d4||15 lb.||× (2d2) lb.|