Half-orc weapon proficiencies

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Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Vibius » Tue May 28, 2013 12:11 pm

Of all the core races (and perhaps of all the advanced races as well) half-orcs have a net negative attribute balance (-2INT,-2CHA vs +2STR).

What I propose is throwing a small bone at them without changing too much the actual 3.5 race, and just like in pathfinder giving them proficiency with long axes and single-edged blades (Greataxes and falchions).

The benefit is still much more flavorful than actually useful, but still useful and may evoke more clearly the violent background of half-orcs.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Hrosskell » Tue May 28, 2013 10:46 pm

In a world where you can reliably get an 18 at creation, that +2 is pretty balanced. I do think that they could use something here, though, as in the long run that -2 balance isn't much of anything at all.
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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Rhangalas » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:58 pm

Hrosskell wrote:In a world where you can reliably get an 18 at creation, that +2 is pretty balanced.
Yep. I don't consider the -2 CHA as being a penalty. Orcs are generally viewed as 'ugly' by non-monster races and not many - other than lesser monster races - would consider them to be possessed of leadership qualites. Besides, Orcs generally use STR as CHA among their ilk.

So, you're really getting +2 STR with a penalty of -2 INT.
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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Hrosskell » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:20 am

Hehe. I think you might have missed my point, Rhang. The reason +2 STR, -2 net is balanced in tabletop is because you can utilise it right away; 18-->20 STR for a level 1-6 char is very powerful, and you might end a campaign before you ever go 12+, time for the net to really sink in. But here, that +2 is not +2; the way our stats work (cap at +6 in creation, last time I checked anyway) don't let you capitalize on the fact that you could/should have a higher STR score than most. A lack of trainers for scores that high further limits the half-orc; he is going to have the same 18 as Generic Human Warrior X, who is commonly accepted everywhere even if he is ugly, and a -2 stat balance to boot.

He gets no racial traits or feats to off-set this afaik.
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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Rhangalas » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:24 am

Oh... I did misread that, but now that I think about it, you're right. I don't think they should get racial weapon skills to serve as the balance though. Maybe the best solution would be to allow orcish races to add a maximum of +8 to STR instead of +6 in creation, much like the dwarves can currently get higher constititution from the start than most other races.
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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Kelsey » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:39 am

Hello. I don't know what the usual lifetime of a suggestion is around here, but I did a search for half-orcs on this forum and this thread popped up.

Out of the 16 currently available ECL 0 races, only 3 (half-orc, mountain orc, and goblin) have a negative total stat adjustment. In the tabletop version, characters can increase their stats beyond 20. However, in this game, your stats are capped at 20.

Considering that every race can eventually get to 20 base strength (unlike in the tabletop where a race like mountain orc would always have more strength than other races if they all invested their level up stats into strength), the half-orc feels a bit lackluster with darkvision as its only distinguishing racial trait.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Thurgan » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:04 am

There are ways of balancing races other than net stat value. The only thing that should be looked at in regard to orcs is the ECL, which is overly high in my opinion.

Having a -2 penalty for being a half orc is balanced. I won't elaborate too much because some of it might be considered IC information. But having darkvision is a huge benefit in and of itself.

Every race is designed to be comparable to any other, but not perfectly balanced. Somes races are just naturally better than another, like dwarves are far superior to orcs! =P

Every choice has pros and cons.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Vaemar » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:55 pm

Kelsey wrote:Hello. I don't know what the usual lifetime of a suggestion is around here, but I did a search for half-orcs on this forum and this thread popped up.

Out of the 16 currently available ECL 0 races, only 3 (half-orc, mountain orc, and goblin) have a negative total stat adjustment. In the tabletop version, characters can increase their stats beyond 20. However, in this game, your stats are capped at 20.

Considering that every race can eventually get to 20 base strength (unlike in the tabletop where a race like mountain orc would always have more strength than other races if they all invested their level up stats into strength), the half-orc feels a bit lackluster with darkvision as its only distinguishing racial trait.
Your considerations about strength and ability caps are absolutely right. However keep in mind that:

a)Darkvision is indeed a *great* advantage as told you by Thurgan.
b) -2 charisma is not really so relevant, unless you want to play a pretty halforc or a halforc bard. Most halforcs will just leave it at 8 and ignore that charisma simply exists. As most orcs and goblins do by the way. :P
c)Given that the stat pool for an average level 50 character is 89, which is crazy high for tabletop standards, having a few points more or less matters little. Just for the record: goblin is actually one of the most overpowered races here, especially for certain classes. Halforc in general is a moderately good race from the mechanical perspective, better than, say, any elf, gnome or halfling (barring strongheart).
d)As a halforc you will have access to a very wide number of areas and quests. Together with goblin it is one of the few races that can enter into orcish areas without much trouble. But unlike goblins halforcs can also go in Waterdeep like any normal goodie race!

So, in general, given the kismet cost of only 50, darkvision and the very wide options it is a fair deal in my humble opinion.

Basically a halforc is like a human who trashes his charisma stat alltogether and spends his bonus feat to get darkvision.
Thurgan wrote:There are ways of balancing races other than net stat value. The only thing that should be looked at in regard to orcs is the ECL, which is overly high in my opinion.
ECL is a broken and unbalanced system, with a colossal amount of evidence on that regard. On FK, given stats capped at 20 and the way spell resistance works, it is simply even more broken and unbalanced. Orcs in particular are penalized either because they should not have ecl to begin with, i.e. mountain orcs, or because here they lack the advantages their ecl was based upon, i.e. gray orcs.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Kelsey » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:00 pm

Vaemar wrote:a)Just for the record: goblin is actually one of the most overpowered races here, especially for certain classes.
Are goblins not just -2 str, +2 dex, -2 cha with darkvision? What would make a goblin better at classes than a halfling or an elf? (which both have dex bonuses, but fewer maluses).
Vaemar wrote:a)Darkvision is indeed a *great* advantage as told you by Thurgan.
b) -2 charisma is not really so relevant, unless you want to play a pretty halforc or a halforc bard. Most halforcs will just leave it at 8 and ignore that charisma simply exists. As most orcs and goblins do by the way. :P
c)Given that the stat pool for an average level 50 character is 89, which is crazy high for tabletop standards, having a few points more or less matters little. Just for the record: goblin is actually one of the most overpowered races here, especially for certain classes. Halforc in general is a moderately good race from the mechanical perspective, better than, say, any elf, gnome or halfling (barring strongheart).
d)As a halforc you will have access to a very wide number of areas and quests. Together with goblin it is one of the few races that can enter into orcish areas without much trouble. But unlike goblins halforcs can also go in Waterdeep like any normal goodie race!

So, in general, given the kismet cost of only 50, darkvision and the very wide options it is a fair deal in my humble opinion.

Basically a halforc is like a human who trashes his charisma stat alltogether and spends his bonus feat to get darkvision.
See that's what I thought when I was browsing through the racial selection choices and making a chart...until I got to dwarves, who also get darkvision, and get a charisma malus. But unlike orcs, they have a base net adjustment of +0, even though both races have a -2 to cha, and a +2 to a physical statistic (albeit con vs strength). Dwarves also get a ton of extra little perks like the advantages against giants, orcs, goblins, poison, and spells, etc. etc.

Of course not every race has to be the same, and some will be more special than others. But I just feel like half-orcs are weaker dwarves, without a coded racial deity, and without a coded racial city.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Yemin » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:39 pm

My thoughts on this topic will be rather vague, but I hope it helps.

It concerns balancing races in general, including orcs.

I believe that any measures taken to balance or improve a race should always focus on mechanics to reflect the setting's lore and the role-play that results from that lore.

In this case I don't feel that giving half orcs a weapon proficiency makes much to any sense for the FR setting. Half orcs, like Half elves are written to not be accepted fully by either race across most of Faerun. Exceptions like Heliogabolus exist, but even there, they're written to be a lot like ugly humans with dark vision and not too much of a tradition of their own.

Unfortunately, as much as I disagree with charisma as a stat. I don't see Wizards or the FK staff removing it entirely. It does have a use and as long as it exists and is used by some part of the game code, it deserves for the sake of foresight to be treated as just as strong of a net minus as any other stat. Lest we undervalue it now and then a game feature, item or skill is developed that depends on it in the future which then throws all this undervaluing out the window and becomes harder to fix at that future point.

My suggestion for half orcs is that they are given fury as an invoked ability and that full orcs should be given double the amount of uses of fury by the time both races hit level 50.

Unless the ferocious monster ability already exists in the game. This seems appropriate since orcs are known for their almost supernatural rage. It is why so many of them turn out as barbarians and fighters after all. And not wizards or rogues.
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Vaemar » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:12 pm

Kelsey wrote:Are goblins not just -2 str, +2 dex, -2 cha with darkvision? What would make a goblin better at classes than a halfling or an elf? (which both have dex bonuses, but fewer maluses).
-A goblin has darkvision, this alone is pretty much more valuable than a -2 to cha.
-A goblin has sneak as racial skill.
-In comparison to an elf a goblin has small size, hence better ac and a few more bonuses, in exchange for minor maluses.
-A goblin is faster than a halfling.
-A goblin can ride worgs and worgs can go almost anywhere, unlike horses.

The first point alone makes them superior, the rest is overkill. I.e. A goblin wizard or thief will always outclass an elf of any subrace with the same build. And as fighters or priests they are not appreciably inferior either. As for halflings the difference is darkvision mostly, and of course strongheart have that bonus feat that makes them one of the most OP races. But you can see a goblin as a strongheart halfling who paid for darkvision with a feat and trashed his charisma stat.

From the point of view of area/quest access:
-A goblin has almost complete access to orcish areas, save for a few minor orc-only sections.
-A goblin is still a monster race but much less troublesome than orcs or drow, hence it is fine for a goblin to, say, sneak into Rat Hill.
-A goblin can access to drow cities relatively easily from the IC perspective, since goblins are extremely common there. Basically he has just to put on a slave collar and he is almost fine.

A goblin is the monstrous race with the best access to areas and quests and it has no ecl to boot.
See that's what I thought when I was browsing through the racial selection choices and making a chart...until I got to dwarves, who also get darkvision, and get a charisma malus. But unlike orcs, they have a base net adjustment of +0, even though both races have a -2 to cha, and a +2 to a physical statistic (albeit con vs strength). Dwarves also get a ton of extra little perks like the advantages against giants, orcs, goblins, poison, and spells, etc. etc.
Dwarves are slightly overpowered in fact. :) Shield dwarves at least, because they almost always trash charisma anyway but get +2 con for that. Which is pretty cool for a no-ecl race that costs 0 kismet, in fact I mentioned them repeatedly in my crusade against ecl. :P

Also consider that due to the caps the +/-2 to something, actually means +/-2 to the general pool of ability points. So a bonus to dexterity of an elf/goblin/halfling actually does not make them any more dexterous than a human or an orc in the medium term. And also keep in mind that a small +2 is not really so relevant, especially since it mostly counts for extra-attributes not so important for your class. I.e a dwarf fighter may be a tiny bit smarter or wiser than a halforc fighter, well... nothing so tragical. In fact the champion of the last fighter tournament was, go figure, a halforc.

Also dwarves have a decent support of exclusive areas restricted only to them, like Mithril Hall. However any halforc has access to the Orc Camp and can even choose it as hometown, so it is not too different.

As for deities, well, there is not a god of halforcs, but halforcs can choose to follow Gruumsh, who is coded, or any coded human deity. I have seen several Tempuran halforcs for example.

Going back to dwarves, however, it must be said that they have some rp disadvantages too. For example they are to be roleplayed as generally diffident of arcane spellcasters and very uncomfortable with travel by sea and a few other things. A halforc? Absolutely nothing of this. The greatest penalty of halforcs is actually that they have very cold relations with some races such as elves. And this can affect a halforc character much more severely than a -2 to charisma, believe me.

But, anyway, you are again right, (shield) dwarves are one of the best races mechanically-wise. No question.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Kelsey » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:38 pm

Yemin wrote:Unfortunately, as much as I disagree with charisma as a stat. I don't see Wizards or the FK staff removing it entirely. It does have a use and as long as it exists and is used by some part of the game code, it deserves for the sake of foresight to be treated as just as strong of a net minus as any other stat. Lest we undervalue it now and then a game feature, item or skill is developed that depends on it in the future which then throws all this undervaluing out the window and becomes harder to fix at that future point.

My suggestion for half orcs is that they are given fury as an invoked ability and that full orcs should be given double the amount of uses of fury by the time both races hit level 50.

Unless the ferocious monster ability already exists in the game. This seems appropriate since orcs are known for their almost supernatural rage. It is why so many of them turn out as barbarians and fighters after all. And not wizards or rogues.
Yeah I didn't mean that I necessarily wanted half orcs to get the additional weapon proficiencies that the OP wanted, just that I feel they need a little bit of TLC. I know I'm really new to this game (and most people have been spectacular in their interactions with a newbie), but I feel like I've seen every non-evil surface dwelling race except for half-orcs. Dwarves, humans, and aasimars are everywhere. More than a few genasi and gnomes, and I've even met a handful of half-elves, halflings, and gnomes. Half-orcs are nonexistent or extremely rare, just like halberds.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Yemin » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:15 pm

Gotcha.

In my experience I do not come across many half orcs either. But I don't think this is because they are disadvantaged mechanically. After all, dwarves are mechanically superior to a lot of races, but they are not the most common race played either.

I usually put it down to the pretty vs useful scale. If a race is pretty and more or less the same as an uglier race the prettier race will see more play.. I.e., more half elves over half orcs.

For me anyway, this is why I don't play the shorter or stereotypically uglier races with a couple of exceptions such as tie fling.

With that said, the more involved I am with a character, the uglier or more unremarkable he is. I relegate my beauty squad to my slap dash alts that I don't have to spend a lot of brain power to play.

I suspect if we had a larger player base there would be some staple half orc players though.
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Vaemar » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:20 pm

I saw several half-orcs in game a little time ago, but never too many. I think mostly this is due to:
-the kismet cost, even if small.
-the fact half orc characters are *really* discriminated and shunned by many. I have seen several halforcs getting very frustrated upon realizing most elves and even dwarves were just waiting for an excuse to riddle them with arrows or chop their heads off.

They are still much more common than full-blood orcs, though.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Kelsey » Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:18 pm

Yemin wrote:After all, dwarves are mechanically superior to a lot of races, but they are not the most common race played either.

I usually put it down to the pretty vs useful scale. If a race is pretty and more or less the same as an uglier race the prettier race will see more play.. I.e., more half elves over half orcs.
I think that partly may have to do with the fact that in this game, dwarves have a whole lot of restrictions.

Dwarven clerics have to be lawful good clerics of moradin (unless applied for), and can't be paladins or rangers. I believe (could be wrong), that dwarves also eschew/look down on arcane magic for the most part as gold dwarves are noted for the wizards and sorcerers in their bloodline. And lastly yeah, there's also the "pretty" aspect.

On the whole though, I'm not asking for dwarves to be toned down. I have never been a fan of putting something else down to make something else better. Just asking for a little love for half-orcs. Maybe even giving them the scent ability that gray orcs have, since darkvision seems to be a huge part of what differentiates a half orc? Or changing it so that half-orcs see color in darkvision areas (sort of a combination of lowlight and darkvision)? Maybe making them a bit sturdier or not quite as stupid? (maybe changing the -2 int to a -1 int, and giving them a +1 con modifier).

I haven't played any half-orc characters yet, but especially if half-orcs face so much discrimination, I feel they might need a bit of a buff. They're not fully orcs after all, and they should reflect their human side a bit.

Drows, for example, face a lot of discrimination, but they have a lot of nifty and unique features to kind of counter it.

All of the other starting races have tons of perks (referring particularly to race choices that are 0 to 50 kismet--humans, elves, common half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings), and half-orcs seem to be behind the curve.

P.S. As an aside, the int malus especially hurts in this MUD, as it affects the probability of skills getting trained from use.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Yemin » Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:57 pm

Fair points all.

I'd suggest having a go with a half orc in the future and seeing how it goes.

I've not played one yet but from what I've seen, apart from a few half orcs the mass majority unfortunately come across characters who've had bad dealings with previous half orcs. Or do not interact with the factions that lean hard towards racial equality such as the churches of Lathander and in some cases the church of TyR.

Leaving them out in the wilderness of those filthy elves, dwarves and holier than thou humans.

*burn them all* ,

One thing I will note though. Everyone should be careful not to see discrimination as a detractor. Role-played properly, discrimination is the source of good content and with that in mind is not something that needs countering with mechanical advantages.

It depends what form the discrimination takes. In the case of Drows as you mentioned. Almost all surface races hate and fearr them. This is countered not by their faerie fire ability or dark vision. But by the fact they have an entire city, quests and an entire under wilderness for them to live in. When they come to the surface on the rare occasion the content is rich if properly handled.

In the long run I feel if half orcs want acceptance by the good side they should pursue that for as long as it takes, after all in the past there has been a half orc leader of a good aligned church. If they want to stick more to their orcish side they have the freedom to pursue other orcs, or even drow to RP with.

To go back to the OP though. I don't really see half orcs as particularly dumb. They have no bonuses or penalties in path finder so If not the fury ability I'd suggest their -2 to Int be removed.
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Harroghty » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:07 pm

Derail.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Gwain » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:16 pm

Harroghty wrote:Derail.

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Re: Half-orc weapon proficiencies

Post by Vaemar » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:25 pm

Yemin wrote:It depends what form the discrimination takes. In the case of Drows as you mentioned. Almost all surface races hate and fearr them. This is countered not by their faerie fire ability or dark vision. But by the fact they have an entire city, quests and an entire under wilderness for them to live in. When they come to the surface on the rare occasion the content is rich if properly handled.
Well mechanically ecl +5 kills the drow, no matter what they have. Had ecl not been there, they would be a nice race. In any case faerie fire is really just flavour and anyway I doubt any drow character really uses it, to be honest.

As for the content and the rp, on the other hand, they are pretty worth to be played and personally they are one of my favourite races in the mud. But as long as we speak of mechanics and advantages there is nothing more screwed than drow or deep gnomes. :P

As for discrimination drow are not really discriminated in their cities or even in the Underdark in general, only male commoners may suffer a little among their kin, but for the rest they have it much better than a halfblood race.

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