Orc Lord (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Orc Equinox by CrazyDwarf.Orc Equinox by CrazyDwarf.jpg

Orc Lord[edit]

Bah! Its just some trumped up orc in a suit of armor... Right?.. Guys?..
—Haladar the Unscathed, Dwarven Fighter, Last words

The nobles of Bloodfell are slightly different from those in most kingdoms, they are orcs. Through an unlikely series of intermarriages, treaties and alliances the majority of the noble class of this kingdom has been gradually replaced by orcs. Over several generations the culture of the upper class has grown slightly more vicious but by and large it is easily distinguishable as a classic feudal aristocracy. Orc Lords are the nobles who have taken to heart the role of leader among a brutal people and have learned to combine savagery with restraint in a dazzling display of leadership on par with the greatest human leaders. Through the use of allies and minions the Orc Lords dominate the battlefield, and their personal prowess is more than sufficient to quell any discontent at how underlings are used.

Becoming a Orc Lord[edit]

An Orc Lord must be able to trace his lineage to a land holding noble of Bloodfell or a noteworthy chieftain of one of the savage tribes. They receive training in arms and armor, tactics, heraldry, religion, history, dancing, courtly procedure, and etiquette, similar to a knight in the great human kingdoms. This training is usually a part of the privileged upbringing most whelps of the powerful call a birthright but only "comes together" after a bit of real life experience. Occasionally the heir to a disgraced or defeated chieftain surfaces with a far less polished upbringing and picks up the talents of an Orc Lord through natural aptitude. Most Orc Lords are Fighters. Barbarians, Rogues. Even Paladins are possible members of this class, just not particularly common. The magic focused classes are considerably less likely to gain levels in this class.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Non-Chaotic.
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Race: Orc or Half-Orc.
Special: Must be able to trace ancestry to a land holding orc in the Kingdom of Bloodfell or a renowned orc chieftain, or have defeated one in single combat.

Table: The Orc Lord

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Quell Cowardice, Taskmaster
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Living Shield
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Drive the Horde, Improved Flanking
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Shock Troop
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Incite Blood Thirst, Reckless Charge
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 Call Out the Foe
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 Unwilling Shield, Warband Commander
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 Crush the Weak
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 Curse the Knave , Direct the Troops
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 Horde Master

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Orc Lord

Quell Cowardice (Ex): Fear of an Orc Lord grants all allies of within 30' who have line of sight to the Orc Lord an immediate second save vs. any fear effect with a +5 bonus. If they fail both their first and second saves then the duration of the fear effect is doubled. This ability has no effect on allies with more HD than the Orc Lord and has no effect on the Orc Lord himself. At level 4 this ability increases to 60'.

Taskmaster (Ex): With a mixture of encouragement and berating the Orc Lord is able to push his minions to perform at a higher level than they could otherwise achieve. Three times per day, as a move action, the Orc Lord may grant a morale bonus equal to his Charisma modifier to an ally's skill check. The Orc lord may not target himself with this ability.

Living Shield (Ex): Any time the Orc Lord would be struck by a physical attack while adjacent to an ally he may make a reflex save (DC is the HD of the attacker + 10) to immediately designate any adjacent ally to take the damage in his stead. This affected ally is automatically hit and takes damage normally. This ability can not be used in the same round as Unwilling Shield.

Drive the Horde (Ex): Once per day, as a move action, the Orc Lord may drive his soldiers into a mild frenzy that lasts 1 round for each Orc Lord level he possesses. The Orc Lord and all allies within 30' gain a morale bonus to attack equal to the Orc Lord's Charisma bonus. This ability is usable three times per day at level 6.

Improved Flanking (Ex): The Orc Lord gains +1 circumstance bonus to attack his target for each ally adjacent to that target. Note: this has nothing to do with actually flanking the target.

Shock Troop (Ex): As a swift action an Orc Lord may channel the force of his personality into a fury that increases his combat effectiveness. For a number of rounds equal to his Orc Lord level the Orc Lord adds his Charisma bonus to his attacks and damage as a morale bonus. This ability is usable once per day.

Incite Blood Thirst (Ex): Once per day, as a move action, the Orc Lord may drive his soldiers into a mild frenzy that lasts 1 round for each Orc Lord level he possesses. The Orc Lord and all allies within 30' gain a morale bonus to damage equal to the Orc Lord's Charisma bonus. This ability is usable three times per day at level 8.

Reckless Charge (Ex): Once per day, as a free action, The Orc Lord may initiate a reckless charge. The Orc Lord and all allies within 30' take a -4 penalty to AC until the start of the Orc Lord's next turn and may make a charge attack on their next turn with a +2 to attack and deal double damage if this attack is successful

Call Out the Foe (Ex): Three times per day, as a move action, the Orc Lord may point out a single adversary on the battle field for single combat. The Foe so marked must make a will save (DC 10 + Orc Lord class level + Orc Lord's Charisma modifier) or move as quickly as possible (the target need not double move but must move its normal speed in a relatively straight line each round) to engage the Orc Lord in melee combat. This mind affecting compulsion is useless against constructs, oozes, plants, undead and vermin and ends if the foe is damaged by the Orc Lord's allies.

Unwilling Shield (Ex): Any time the Orc Lord would be struck by a physical attack while adjacent to an enemy he may make an attack roll (vs. AC 10+ the new targets AC) to immediately designate any adjacent enemy to take the damage in his stead. This affected enemy takes damage normally. This ability counts as an attack of opportunity and can only be used if the Orc Lord is not flat footed and has an attack of opportunity available.

Warband Commander (Ex): An experienced Orc Lord gains further mastery of his Shock Troop ability. As a swift action he initiates this power to add double his Charisma bonus to attack and damage rolls. In addition the Orc Lord gains a bonus to his armor class and saving throws equal to his Charisma bonus. This ability is usable three times a day and lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Orc Lord level. This special ability replaces the Shock Troop special ability.

Crush the Weak (Ex): The waves of oncoming orcs in an attacking horde are legendary. Once per day, as a full round action, an Orc Lord may slide each ally within 30' up to 10' in a single direction. Any ally so moved does not provoke attacks of opportunity and may make a single melee attack at their highest attack bonus as a free action at any part of the move. The Orc Lord may use this ability once per day at seventh level and 3 times per day at tenth level.

Curse the Knave (Sp): Once per day, as a full round action, the Orc Lord may target any enemy with this powerful curse. The target must succeed at a fortitude save (DC 10 + Orc Lord class level + Orc Lord's Charisma modifier) or take 1d6 points of charisma damage each round they do not damage the Orc Lord. This ability ends if either the Orc Lord or his target loose consciousness.

Direct the Troops (Sp): Orc Lords are masters of rearranging the battlefield to suit their whims. Each creature beginning their turn within 20' of a 10th level Orc Lord must make a Will save (DC 15+ the Orc Lord's Charisma modifier) or move as the Orc Lord instructs. Enemy troops may subtract 10' from their movement rate as they fight the compulsion to obey the Orc Lord. This mind affecting compulsion is useless against constructs, oozes, plants, undead and vermin as well as any creature with an intelligence of 3 or less.

Horde Master (Ex): At the pinnacle of his abilities an Orc Lord becomes a truly majestic being. The special ability Warband Commander is replaced by the ability to initiate a brilliant burst of light centered on the Orc Lord that stuns all enemies within 20' who fail a Reflex save (DC 10 + Orc Lord's Charisma modifier.) In addition to the burst of light, which immediately fades to a low glow, the Orc Lord gains a +8 enhancement bonus to his charisma score that stacks with other enhancement bonuses, and the newly raised charisma modifier is added to his armor class while double the modifier is added to his attack and damage rolls. Both the increased charisma and combat abilities last for a number of rounds equal to his Orc Lord level. This ability is usable five times a day. Because of the light generated by this ability it is difficult to hide (-20 to hide check) while this special ability is active.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Orc Lord[edit]

Combat: The Orc Lord is a proficient front line combatant in any party but excels when surrounded by other melee characters. Most of his abilities are obviously tailored to be used in the midst of friendly forces and the Orc Lord should consider employing hirelings and taking the Leadership feat to ensure he always has a handy target for his abilities if there is a shortage of melee types in the party.

Advancement: Advancement options include use of the Leadership feat and associated feats and commander auras from Heroes of Battle. Usually the Orc Lord will return to his base class for additional advancement.

Resources: Orc Lords extend proper courtesies to all nobles and may expect such back in return. In addition, as a feudal society Bloodfell has minor nobles owing fealty to greater nobles and it is not uncommon for a duke to gather several Orc Lord earls and barons to his service.

Orc Lords in the World[edit]

I can either burn your pathetic stockade to the ground or we can talk about this like civilized men.
—Lord Kirsk of Fellbluff, Half Orc Orc Lord

Generally speaking an Orc Lord might be found in any role commonly filled by a human noble. Typical Orc Lords are leaders of mid-sized or larger warbands, commanding garrisons, on diplomatic missions or occasionally adventuring with a small group.

NPC Reactions: Reaction to the Orc Lords is based more on social standing than class. Typical aristocracy usually sees the Orc Lord as uncouth and vulgar while the lower classes find him stuck up or holier-than-thou. Needless to say, it is the rare Orc Lord who can walk into a room and find a sea of smiling faces, but the salutes of his men and curses of his enemies are far more common.

Organizations Orc Lords are usually deeply enmeshed in the feudal hierarchy of Bloodfell. In addition they may fit into other organizations based on social rank or military background.

Orc Lord Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (nobility and royalty) can research Orc Lords to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (nobility and royalty)
DC Result
11 Nobles in Bloodfell are called Orc Lords
16 Orc Lords make their cohorts stronger just by being close
21 An Orc Lord and his minions function much more effectively together than they do apart.
26 It is the force of an Orc Lord's personality that makes him such a great commander

Orc Lords in the Game[edit]

PC Orc Lords function largely as the base class would dictate. Fighter/Orc Lords are generally meat shields and focus on defensive abilities to combine with Call Out the Foe, Barbarian/Orc Lords don't deal significant damage and often find themselves relying on their hit point total as a meat shield but have an undeniably attractive flavor for role playing opportunities, Ranger or Cleric/Orc Lords can be interesting second line combatants with the area effect abilities of the Orc Lord penetrating to the front line troops while the Orc Lord directs hi troops from relative safety. NPC Orc Lords are usually Fighter based leaders of orc bands at lower levels or Half-fiendish-Orc Orc Lords with demon troops at higher levels.

Adaptation: All reference to Bloodfell can be replaced with the name of an existing kingdom or region thereof. Optionally the role of noble could be removed all together and the class could be used for chieftains or warband leaders in savage orc tribes.

Sample Encounter: The following NPC can be used solo, with his cohort, or as the commander of his elite army.


Krusk Silverstar

CR 14

Male Half Celestial-Half Orc paladin/orc lord 3/10
Lawful Good Medium Outsider (Good)
Init/Senses +3 (dex)/Listen +1, Spot +1
Languages Common, Orc
AC 22, touch +14, flat-footed +19 (+3 dex, +1 natural, +7 breastplate of command, +1 ring of protection)
hp 110 (13 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +18/+12/+10
Speed 20
Melee greatsword +18/+13/+8 (2d6+4;19-20x2)
Ranged short bow +17/+12/+7 (1d6+2;x3)
Base Atk/Grp +13/16
Abilities Str 16, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 20
SQ Aura of Good, Detect Evil, Smite Evil, Divine Grace, Lay on Hands, Aura of Courage, Divine Health, Light at will, Protection from evil 3/day, Bless, Aid, Detect evil, Cure serious wounds, Neutralize poison, Holy smite, Remove disease, Dispel evil, Holy word, Holy aura 3/day, Hallow
Feats Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Leadership, Extra Followers, Expanded Aura of Courage
Skills Diplomacy +16, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (religion) +6, Ride +13
Possessions breastplate of command, +2 greatsword, +1 short bow (mighty composite +2), ring of protection +1, potion of tongues, potion of blur, potion of cure moderate wounds, 4x potion of cure light wounds, 150gp
Patron Deity Estra


Krusk Silverstar was orphaned to a temple of Estra shortly after his birth. Raised by the temple staff to care always for others above himself and to hold his goddess always in his heart this caring and tender child was none the less drawn to combat. In Krusk's adolescence a tribe of Orcs attacked the village and all men and boys (and not a few women) who could hold a blade were quickly armed and sent to the walls. Krusk fought at the side of some of the regions greatest heroes but was never overshadowed. The battle hung in the balance when Krusk came upon a huge orc with several cowering humans cornered on an isolated section of the wall. Krusk bellowed a challenge and charged... When the dust settled the half-orc radiated a silver light that has never faded, his foe had been vanquished. Since that time Krusk has dedicated his life to aiding those in need. Hundreds of noble warriors have flocked to his banner, dozens of them orcs, hobgoblins or half breeds who have left their savage tribes. His lieutenant and cohort is a dwarven wizard named Orin.

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