A half-orc is the offspring of a human and an orc, or of two half-orcs. Because some intolerant people see orcs as more akin to monsters than people, they sometimes hate and fear half-orcs simply due to their lineage. This commonly pushes half-orcs to the margins of society, where some find work in manual labor or as mercenaries, and others fall into crime or cruelty. Many who can’t stand the indignities heaped on them in human society find a home among their orc kin or trek into the wilderness to live in peace, apart from society’s judgment.
Humans often assume half-orcs are unintelligent or uncivilized, and half-orcs rarely find acceptance among societies with many such folk. To an orc tribe, a half-orc is considered smart enough to make a good war leader but weaker physically than other orcs. Many half-orcs thus end up having low status among orc tribes unless they can prove their strength.
A half-orc has a shorter lifespan than other humans, living to be roughly 70 years old.
Playing a Half-Orc
You can create a half-orc character by selecting the half-orc heritage at 1st level. This gives you access to orc and half-orc ancestry feats in addition to human ancestry feats.
- Ignore, embrace, or actively counter the common stereotypes about half-orcs.
- Make the most of your size and strength, either physically or socially.
- Keep your distance from people of most other ancestries, in case they unfairly reject you due to your orc ancestors.
- Assume you enjoy and excel at fighting but aren’t inclined toward magical or intellectual pursuits.
- Pity you for the tragic circumstances they assume were involved in your birth.
- Get out of your way and back down rather than face your anger.