Orc, 2nd Variant (4e Race)

From D&D Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search


Orc Lord from the Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords game

"A brutish race of humanoid creatures, much larger and stronger than ordinary humans"

Racial Traits
Average Height: 6'0 - 8'0
Average Weight: 200-450
Ability Scores: +2 Strength; +2 Constitution or Wisdom
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light
Languages: Common, Giant
Skill Bonuses: +2 Endurance +2 Athletics
Fearsome Charge: You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls when charging.
Savage Heart: You gain one extra encounter power of your class equivalent to or lower than your starting level. Each time you increase in level, you can change this power to another power of your class, at your level or lower. You may not pick a power that you already know.
Warrior's Blood: You qualify as a half-orc for purposes of qualifying for prerequisites (such as for feats or paragon paths).
Warrior’s Vigor: You gain 5 extra hit points at character creation, which increases to 10 at level 11 and 15 at level 21.

Race Description[edit]

Orcs are a very hardy and durable race, valuing toughness and strength. A very combat oriented race, Orcs are naturally geared towards fighting, especially physically, and generally tend to possess immense size and strength. Despite their emphasis on battle and the warrior ethos, most Orcs are not simply mindless savages, and most possess compassion and general good will for their fellow man. Very community and tribal oriented, most races form close bonds with their family members and organizations, prizing interpersonal relationships. While in general they are not known for their intelligence, a few among them distinguish themselves with more sophisticated abilities, often as great mystics with untold power and strength. Orcs are not necessarily inherently evil or violent, although their culture tends to be very straightforward, laconic, and warlike. Due to their warrior spirit they are constantly seeking the next encounter, however most Orcs possess a distinct and very strong sense of honor and valor. While their code of ethics is often somewhat different from that of other races, they are in general motivated by similar tunes of Justice and duty in their society, perhaps even more so than most races. They do not lack compassion, but as their society values strength and toughness, and satisfies their desire for battle with various war themed sports, they can appear as a very brutal and violent race.

  • To be a tough, brutal, and intimidating hero who is feared by many.
  • To excel in physical combat.
  • To play a unique character that will literally turn heads in every city you come to.
  • To be a more tribalistic and honor driven character

Physical Qualities[edit]

Orcs are tall, broad and muscular, lacking most of the grace and subtlety of other races. Taller than humans, the skin of an orc can range in color from gray to a dark green (with some "cursed" variants possessing a reddish brown skin). Most male orcs shave their heads in order to enhance their battle-readiness and for aesthetic reasons; however, some females may keep their hair long. Orcs that originate from tribes tend to have tattoos covering their chests and backs, with axes, skulls and Orc symbols being very common. An Orc will normally receive or place these on his own body when he has proven himself in defeating a powerful opponent stronger and superior to another beings, of which the more of these a tribal orc has on their body the more powerful they are likely to be. They don't live quite as long as humans, maturing to adhulthood early at around 13, with most not living much past 55. There are some exceptions to the rule however, as certain Shamans or spiritual tribal leaders have been known to live past 100+ years.

Orc's are relatively large, and significantly larger than most humanoid races, with men generally being larger than woman, as they are somewhat sexually dimorphic. The average male Orc tends to be 6'5 and 260 pounds, while the average female is 6 foot and 200 pounds. Despite generally being relatively large in comparison to most other humanoid races, and humans in general, Orc's vary widely in size. With gigantism being more common in males, ranges from anywhere from 200 to 400+ pounds are not uncommon, and Orc's have been known to range between 6 and 8 feet tall, with some being much larger than this. It is thought that Orc's value on size and strength, particularly in breeding partners, has over time developed a latent sense of hereditary gigantism, that manifests itself at random throughout the population. Most orcs will continue growing their entire life, getting larger as they age, and thus remain healthy, fit adults up until their death. Partially as a means to compensate, orcs also possess two oversized hearts, although these generally tend to wear out very quickly.

This gigantism, like with many animals, in general tends to result in Orcs living much longer than expected. Particularly old orcs tend to be the largest among them, as if they never stop growing (like Koi Foish or Greenland whales), their life expectancy can increase dramatically. The oldest, and thus wisest among the Orcs, tend to also be the largest. On top of this, combined with the Orc's usually short life span relative to other humanoid creatures, it compounds the relative age of the Orcs even greater. Orcs that might live as old as 150 are not just old, but 3-5 times older than most orcs in the village, and thus have that many more life time's of experiences, and have seen many generations of people come and pass. As a result, size is even more revered among orcs, as though it does not necessarily indicate intelligence or skill, it's reflective of the resulting age of the Orc, and thus their likely skill as a result. Many mythic Chieftain leaders continued to grow larger as they aged, and could reach epic proportions of both wisdom and size. Most Orcs are between 6'0 and 6'8 and 200-300 pounds, but some have been known to range much larger than this. Orcs as tall as 8 and weighing up to 450 pounds are not unheard of, and in exceptionally rare cases Orcs have been known to be even larger than this. The orc's mammoth size, multiple hearts and above average healing capabilities makes them not only unusually strong, but also unusually tough, with fairly incredible endurance.

Orc Feats[edit]

Orcs have three key feats meant for this build. Savage Mastery allows them to gain proficiency with all axes and provides a +1 feat bonus to damage rolls with them. Orcish Vitality allows the Orc's constitution modifier as bonus hitpoints to their healing surge value. Uruk-Hai allows the Orc to gain darkvision.

Heroic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Orc Ironblood Add one-half your Constitution modifier to the temporary hit points granted by your Battlerager Vigor.
Orcish Slayer You gain proficiency and a +2 feat bonus to damage rolls with axes and maces.
Orcish Vitality You gain a bonus to your healing surge value equal to your constitution modifier.
Savage Mastery You gain proficiency with all axes, the Uruk-Hai Pickaxe, and a +1/2/3 scaling feat bonus to damage rolls with these weapons.
Tribal Mastery You gain proficiency with all spears, and a +1/2/3 scaling feat bonus to damage rolls when using them.
Uruk-Hai You gain Darkvision, and a +2 bonus to vision based perception rolls made in complete darkness.
Heroic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description

Orc Utility Powers[edit]

When your Orc character gains a class utility power after 1st level, you can forgo taking a power granted to you by your class. Instead you gain an Orc utility power of the same level or lower.

Warrior's Surge Racial Power
The thrill of combat fills you with tremendous vigor, giving you a second surge of power.
Free Action Personal
Trigger: You target an enemy with an attack.
Effect: If the attack hits, you may use your second wind as a free action.


The race is intended to augment existing races in 4e. Unlike traditional D&D Orcs, this particular race of Orcs is not all evil, and thus can be considered playable as class characters, even though most of society is generally heavily biased against. The feats are designed to provide certain bonuses I felt were best left as secondary abilities, but nonetheless can provide important benefits, such as Darkvision, characteristic of some Orcs. For additional flavor, you can provide a -1 penalty to visual perception rolls made in Bright light. I also realize that Uruk-Hai were ironically unique in that they go above land in the LOTR series, so having that be for Darkvision may seem contradictory, but it seemed like a good enough name for the feat.

Warrior's surge has been replaced from an encounter attack power to a utility that allows you to spend your second wind as a free action if an attack hits. As a trigger, you have to declare the use of the power before you hit, meaning if you miss, you don't regain the healing surge and +2 bonus to defense. My reasoning for not making this a racial encounter power was that it was too similar to the Dwarven power that provides a healing surge as a minor action.

As for bonus hit points, this one was tough. As no other race in the game possesses bonus hit points as a racial feature, I thought it was a unique addition that would add something special, although it was a tough decision for me to make. I couldn't decide on exactly how much was enough, or if 3 or 5 should be used, or even if it should be scaling. It's possible that toughness could be provided as a free feat, instead, which prevents stacking with the toughness feat.

As for the +1 racial bonus to all defenses when bloodied, this could be replaced by something else entirely, such as a +2 to saving throws, or even perhaps the gaining of temporary hitpoints. I wanted some kind of defense or bloodied stat and didn't know what to pick.

As for the stats, I wanted them more or less to be similar to, but not identical to the half-orc; seen somewhat as a step up, but away from speed. Something that was very similar, but not the same (such as having 5 hitpoints, instead of 5 temporary hitpoints), or bonus damage on a charge, instead of speed. While half-orcs are fast, Regular orcs are strong and tough.

Back to Main Page4e HomebrewRaces

Home of user-generated,
homebrew pages!