The savage orcs, for many centuries common in the lands of northern and eastern Arthann, have only relatively recently began migrating into southern and south-eastern Arthann. However, their impact has been significant and swift, with several orc kingdoms established, and fairly numerous orc tribal strongholds established throughout the land. The orcs throughout the region have been engaged in frequent wars with local kingdoms and communities of dwarfs, elves, and men.
The establishment of increasingly strong orc kingdoms in the region has given rise to more frequent orc raids against human tribes, as well as civilized human communities. During many such wars and raids, orcs eagerly take humans as slaves, dragging them in chains back to their dark, brutal realms in the mountains. Many orc settlements—perhaps most—are in subterranean environments, where the orcs dig and excavate miles of tunnels, passageways and chambers deep into the earth. However, orcs also establish fortified encampments and settlements on the surface, typically in rugged mountains and hills, as well as in dark forests and marshes.
Human slaves are brutally worked in chain-gangs and such like in all of these environments, used for heavy labour, digging, hauling debris, and all the dirty, hard labour the orcs would seek to avoid and foist onto their slaves. It is in such harsh, brutal environments that hordes of half orcs are bred and raised. Within orc society, two such breeding customs have been embraced. For male orcs, a typically strong orc warrior will often keep one or several human women as breeding slaves; meanwhile, a favoured tribal champion, warlord, or chieftain may keep a whole harem of a dozen or more human women as concubines. The second custom, is one embraced by female orcs. Female gather in close social groups of family members and friends, usually 14-24 members, and typically keep small groups of 3-8 human males as a communal stud-herd for all the females of the group. Such bands of female orcs are typically composed of strong, adult females, with several adolescents, as well as several older, more mature orc females.
Many humans are also bred with during raids—orc females typically keep and raise offspring gained during such raids against human lands—while most human females, however, kill their half orc children at birth. Some human women, however, feel compassion for their half-orc offspring, and manage to keep such children alive and raise them. In many human communities, if the half orc child is not killed at birth, many nonetheless do not survive past adolescence or even early adulthood. Nearly every aspect of human society is hostile to half orcs, and survival is a constant challenge at every step for the typical half orc living in human society. Still, some few half orcs manage to survive to early adulthood, and from such a point their chances of continued survival improve by a fair margin.
Once into adulthood, half orcs may enjoy their substantial size, strength, speed and endurance, and not only strengthen their chances of survival but also their prosperity. Half orcs typically gain some measure of prosperity through following such professions as soldiers, mercenaries, sailors, labourers and craftsmen of various kinds. While half orcs are likely to succeed in various violent professions or professions involving hard, physical labour, some half orcs find success and prosperity as craftsmen, tradesmen and merchants. Half orcs generally can get by through providing such services for anything that is hard in labour, dirty, harsh, brutal or dangerous.
Over time, small sub-communities of half orcs have developed, typically several family groups or a few dozen family groups centered in various locations throughout the land. Such small sub-communities of second-generation half orcs provide an additional avenue from which half orcs most often originate within human communities. However, even in the best of such circumstances, half orcs that manage to survive and prosper in human communities must do so typically burdened still—with a harsh, often brutal environment where local rights are few, and racism, bigotry and discrimination against them are constant and pervasive in almost every circumstance. Despite such harsh environments, half orcs manage to survive.
Half orcs are typically of average size, and somewhat of above average weight. Half orcs are typically thick, strong, and muscular. Half orcs have rugged constitutions, and can often survive harsh conditions with more success than humans, for example. Half orcs are also mentally tough, and may endure such deprivations and cruelties with more vigor than a human might under similar circumstances. Male half orcs average 5’10” in height, and weigh 220-lbs. Female half orcs are typically 5’6” in height, and weigh 170-lbs. All half orcs enjoy jewelry, and gaining possessions and wealth much like most humans. While half orcs are more harsh and brutal than humans typically are, half orcs still enjoy the finer things of life, whether such is treasure, clothing, food, drinks, tobacco, fine perfumes, and other such things.
Half orcs typically have skin that is pale green, or occasionally pale grey or pale white. Other tones may be found in variation, depending on if the individual inherits such dominant characteristics from their human parent or from their orc parent. Half orcs usually have black hair, and often dark brown, pale amber, dark grey or pale grey eyes. While half orcs are often harsh and brutal creatures, typically having few social graces or any worthwhile sense of etiquette, half orcs can and do learn higher social conventions, and with great effort can learn to be social, and even reasonably acceptable social company, as well as fairly charismatic, rugged and effective leaders.
Base Male Half Orc Height: 5’4”-6’6” (5’2”+2d8”);
Average Height: 5’10”
Base Male Half Orc Weight: 156-300 lbs; (140+16d10);
Average Weight: 220-lbs.
Base Female Half Orc Height: 5’0”-6’2”; (4’10”+2d8”);
Average Height: 5’6”
Base Female Half Orc Weight: 114-240 lbs; (100+14d10);
Average Weight: 170-lbs.
Half-Orc Abilities and Characteristics
Half Orc Character Tables
Half Orc Character Table: Skin Tone
Dice Roll/Skin Tone
01-20%: Roll on an appropriate Human heritage table for skin tone
21-30%: Pale White
31-40%: Pale Grey
41-85%: Pale Green
86-90%: Dark Green
91-00%: Ebony Black
Half Orc Character Table: Hair Colour
Dice Roll/Hair Colour
01-20%: Roll on an appropriate Human heritage table for hair colour
21-60%: Ebony Black
61-80%: Dull Black
91-00%: Dark Brown
Half Orc Character Table: Eye Colour
Dice Roll/Eye Colour
01-20%: Roll on an appropriate Human heritage table for eye colour
21-30%: Pale Grey
31-40%: Iron Grey
41-50%: Ice Grey
51-60%: Ice Blue
61-70%: Pale Green
71-80%: Pale Amber
81-90%: Dark Brown
91-95%: Red Brown
Half orcs do not have a distinct or unique political culture exclusive to themselves. Half orcs typically embrace in a rough manner whatever political ideologies, structures, and organizations that predominate within the cultural environment in which they were raised.
Much like many other creatures of mixed race blood, half orcs do not have a culture that is distinct and unique to half orcs. Half orcs embrace whatever the dominant culture is of where they were raised. Half orcs certainly possess some particular attributes that often characterize them within such cultural environments, and such attributes express themselves through the half orc lens of being more barbaric, harsher, and brutal, and typically living in a society where they are marginalized and generally scorned or feared even for their positive traits and attributes. The half orcs endure such, and take pride in their success and their accomplishments in a fiercely proud manner, embracing their harshness and their environments where they are despised, feared, or scorned. While half orcs may gravitate towards brutal violence and evil natures, reveling in deceit, violence, and corruption of all kinds—half orcs can, especially more so in human societies, become rugged and relentless champions of law and discipline, as such half orcs have fearlessly embraced the enshrined values of human society, and determined to embrace and exemplify such values and attributes. In such environments, for example, half orcs may be very law-abiding, unified, cooperative, and generous amongst themselves and extending to the nearby human neighborhoods and communities, as well as being well-known for being respectful and obedient to all law and authority, and often seeking themselves to serve their local noble lords as sheriffs, constables, wardens or soldiers.
Half orcs do not have a religion that is distinct or unique to half orcs. Half orcs typically embrace the dominant religion of the culture where they were raised. However, half orcs practice of religion varies from standard human practice or expectation, as the half orcs often interpret the religious doctrines in peculiar orcish-influenced ways, or demonstrate their faith and worship in particularly vibrant, dramatic, and expressive ways. Half orcs often, for example, worship in loud, vocal services with open emotional displays, plenty of visions and strange prophesies going on, wild, mass-orgies, wild singing and dancing, and other such styles—as well as praying, flagellation, vision-quests, painting themselves, and embracing tattoos with strange mystical or ancient tribal significance.
Half orcs do not possess armour, weapons or tactics unique and distinct to half orcs. Half orcs typically embrace whatever styles in armour, weapons, tactics and organization as is dominant in the culture in which they were raised.