Ortaurs (3.5e Race)

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Personality & Origins[edit]

Nasty, brutish & violent, the average Ortaur lives for combat. Enjoying nothing better than wading through the bodies of his fallen foes, where he can forget his problems in the intensity of a fight, the Ortaur is a powerhouse of carnage & destruction, with little time for the niceties of genteel life, such as conversation, art or bathing. Though capable of speach, they rarely bother with a sentence if a word will do, rarely bother with a word if a grunt will do & rarely bother with a grunt if a weapon will do. Despite their well-earned reputation for causing damage, Ortaurs are conflicted souls; created through an unholy union, they were born to be shock-troops in the army of a great orc warlord whos name has been struck from history for his crimes, but they rebelled against their role as fodder for the war & slaughtered their master & father. Born of evil, they were left without purpose & without home - shunned by the goodly races due to their bestial nature & ancestry, reviled by their cousins among the evil races for their role in destroying a great leader & ending a war of conquest that had brought the civilised nations to their knees. Forced to tread new paths alone, many fell to madness, others hid in the deep places of the world & reverted to their evil roots, but some had the courage to fight against their reputation, against their opressors & against very nature to forge a new society. In the beginning, their numbers were few - hidden in sheltered valleys deep in the wilderness, but over time, they multiplied & found that their hidden places could no longer support their increasing population. Now they have begun to come forth, in small numbers at first, but increasing all the time, exploring the lands that they were created to despoil. Their path is not an easy one, for while their origins are a matter for the history books of the shorter-lived races, there are many dwarves & elves alive today who remember the actions of both the warlord & his creations before their rebellion. Furthermore, no matter how hard an Ortaur tries to keep the beast within at bay, the wrath is never far from the surface, always ready to pour forth in a deluge of havoc & destruction.

Physical Description[edit]

Standing at nearly 15 ft. tall & weighing almost 3000 pounds, Ortaurs are big. Their skin tone usually ranges from moss green to dull grey unless born as half of a set of twins. When this occurs, one will be black, the other white - though apart from the unusual colouration there is nothing special about such examples. Their facial features are brutish & somewhat pig-like, with foreheads that slope back into a mass of hair of a similar shade to the skin. This hair continues right down the Ortaur's shoulders & arms to the elbow & down the back to the base of the spine, where a shaggy tail emerges. Their eyes are black, but shine pink in the dark with reflected light, while their long, pointed ears stick out from the mass of hair & twitch constantly, seeking the sources of all sounds around them. Their limbs are long & powerful, with the arms ending in large hands that often wield massive weapons with more ease than would be expected - even of one so large & their legs end in cloven hooves rather than feet.


Shorter-lived races generally veiw Ortaurs with suspicion, though they are rarely openly hostile. Dwarves & Elves, on the other hand, especially older ones, are a different matter & will usually do everything within their power to get rid of Ortaurs, believing them to be little more than unnatural, aggressive, wild beasts. If an Ortaur resists these efforts, they will often go further, taking whatever actions they feel they can get away with, even going against their own alignment to remove the Ortaur, whether that means faking evidence to get the individual banished or imprisoned for their "crimes", or attacking them, either directly or through calling in favours & lying to their allies to put together a lynch mob. As a result of this, Ortaurs often find themselves remaining on the outskirts of society, their presence barely tolerated by the supposedly "goodly" races.


Ortaurs have a natural tendency toward chaos which their society rigidly suppresses in an effort to conquer their past. Though not inherantly evil, they have no natural tendencies to good either; though again, their society has evolved in such a way as to viciously punish those who perpetrate acts of darkness, due to the threat they pose to the populace through retribution from the rest of civilisation. Those who exhibit the most dangerous tendencies are termed "fallen ones" & are imprisoned in their homeland, though occasionally they escape & can wreak havoc among the other races. While the majority of those who choose the path of the adventurer are less than model citezens, they are generally chaotic to neutral & good to neutral.


Though they are related to orcs (partially), they do not favour dark places, prefering the light as much out of defiance against their ancestry as anything else. Their settlements are in sheltered valleys, far from civilised lands, though individuals can be found anywhere wild & small bands have been known to travel far & wide, usually in search of runaway "fallen ones", or enclaves of their deep-dwelling cousins who chose a darker path.


Ortaurs follow no god, though they revere Dralmaw - the fallen hero who slew the orc warlord. This reverence has resulted in his image being associated with the worship of Ortaurs with divine abilities. Though they do not truly draw their divine energy from him, he acts as their focus. The domains associated with Dralmaw are Destruction, Protection, Strength & War.


All Ortaurs can speak orc & common, though amongst themselves most use a dialect that is made up of aspects of both. Due to their home in the wilderness, they often learn the languages of their enemies, both those they choose & those that have chosen them.


Ortaurs have a strong belief in the power of names. As they see it, beasts have no names among themselves & the less civilised races often have simple names. Since their society is focused on defeating their bestial nature, Ortaurs have long names that are made up of both a 2-sylable given name & a series of earned sylables, which are acquired through deed & added on to the end of the Ortaur's given name, so a storied champion may have a full name that goes on for many breaths. Typical given male names include Barr'Ak, Cho'Dar, Fen'Gul, Gam'Osh, Lak'So & To'Vin. Typical given female names include Ah'Kar, Dee'Low, Ef'Ren, Nu'Ri, Ree'Sa & Shas'May. Some earned syllables are included on the following table, but DMs are encouraged to make additionas freely in accordance with the requirements of their campaign.

Table: Earned Name Sylables
Syllable Meaning Syllable Meaning Syllable Meaning Syllable Meaning
Ash Protector Gor Strong Nar Wise Sel Reliable
Boe Hunter Hat Attractive Opp Stealthy Sut Resistant
Bra Builder Kel Swimmer Pad Educator Tar Precise
Cor Peacemaker Kras Clever Pel Chef Ten Healer
Dar Seeker Kum Honest Ras Fast Tok Timely
Dey Perceiver Las Explorer Rush Planner Vek Stubborn
Eef Crafter Li Inspired Rut Wealthy Wak Diplomat
Fan Provider Mab Devout Sac Stoic Wed Trader

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +10 Strength, +1 Constitution, −3 Intelligence, −3 Wisdom, −3 Charisma: Ortaurs are massively powerful & resilient, but they were never created to be intellectuals, philosophers or socialites.
  • +2 to Listen & Intimidate, − 2 to Diplomacy with Elves & Dwarves (& other long-lived goodly races at GM discretion): Ortaurs have sensitive ears, have a ferocious reputation & are mistrusted by longer-lived goodly races.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: Ortaurs are monstrous humanoids, with all the associated benefits & penalties accorded to the type.
  • Large: Ortaurs are Large beings, as such they suffer a –1 penalty to Armor Class, a –1 penalty on attack rolls & a –4 penalty on Hide checks, but they gain a +4 bonus on grapple checks & their lifting and carrying limits are double those of Medium characters.
  • Ortaur base land speed is 30 feet: Ortaurs move no faster than humans, but see Deadly Charge, below.
  • Deadly Charge (Ex): An Ortaur may make an especially powerful charge attack by lowering its head to bring its horns to bear on the target. In addition to the normal benefits and hazards of a charge, this allows the Ortaur to make a single gore attack at it's highest melee attack bonus +2 that deals 4d6 points of damage, plus double the Ortaur's Strength modifier. When making a deadly charge, the Ortaur's base land speed is considered to be 10 ft. higher than normal (this stacks with fast movement bonuses from class levels, feats, spells, etc. as well as the doubled move value from charging), but the Ortaur is denied his Dexterity bonus (if any) to AC in addition to the -2 AC modifier applied for charging. The AC losses remain in effect until the beggining of the Ortaur's next turn.
  • Natural Armour: Ortaurs get +1 to their Natural AC for every 4 full effective character levels.
  • Natural Weapons: Gore (1d8).
  • Low Light Vision: An Ortaur can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination & retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • The Beast Within: There is a chance that an Ortaur who is seriously wounded will lose control of his inner discipline and revert to his bestial nature. If an Ortaur loses more than 75% of his base hit points in a single encounter, he must pass a Will save at a DC of 10 + half the number of hit points lost in the blow that sent him past the 75% threshold.

If successful, the Ortaur maintains his self-control and does not need to roll again to resist the Beast Within against that specific source of damage for 24 hours. If the Ortaur takes further damage from a different source he must roll again at a DC equal to the previous target number + half the hit points lost in the new blow. This continues until the Ortaur is either dead, unconcious or loses his grip on the Beast Within.

Should the Ortaur lose a save against the Beast Within, he becomes frenzied, assaulting the source of the damage (if possible) with the most damaging attacks he can make (applying feats such as Power Attack if present) to the exclusion of all else until the target is very dead (effective hit points of minus the target's starting allotment). Until this condition is met, the Ortaur will be unable to take any actions other than preparing to attack the target (drawing weapons & suchlike), moving to attack the target (at the highest speed possible) or attacking the target.

Should the target be out of melee range and access is blocked, the Ortaur will use any ranged weapons, spells and abilities in decending order of damage potential. If this proves ineffective or impossible, the Ortaur will engage in melee combat against the nearest living target (be they friend or foe) with the same determination. The only way this effect can be cancelled is through either the annihilation of the target or through unconciousness or death of the Ortaur.

While frenzied, the Ortaur gains +50% to his base Strength modifier (round up, minimum +1), & gains total immunity to mind-altering spells & effects, but counts as flat-footed for the purposes of resolving incoming attacks from all but the target of the Beast Within's fury.

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Ortaur Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
12 years +D10 +2D8 +3D6
Table: Ortaur Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
40 years 60 years 75 years +3D12 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; −1 to Natural Armour; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; −1 to Natural Armour; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Ortaur Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 13' 0" +3D12 2600 lb. 4× (D100) lb.
Female 12' 6" +4D8 2200 lb. 6× (D100) lb.

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