- Human and Orc parentage Half-Orcs can follow any available class. Drawing traits from both
Due to their orcish blood, half-orcs are on poor terms with some of the other races. Relations are particularly troubled with elves and dwarves, due to racial enmity between orcs and these races. It's not to say that it's impossible for a half-orc to find camaraderie with an elf or a dwarf, however; dwarves, in particular, are willing to befriend half-orcs who have proven themselves worthy of a dwarf's trust. Half-elves tend to be sympathetic toward half-orcs, knowing the hardships of being an outcast from both of their parent races. Halflings and gnomes are generally accepting of half-orcs and happily interact with them. Half-orcs adopt different attitudes to gain acceptance from those who are wary of their orcish heritage. Some are reserved, some demonstrate public virtue, while others force acceptance through physical intimidation. Half-orcs living among humans may choose human names in order to fit in, or orcish names to intimidate others.
Half-orcs have no native lands; they most often live among orcs. When not living among orc tribes, half-orcs almost always live in human lands, as humans are more accepting of half-orcs than other races.
Most half-orcs worship Gruumsh, the chief orcish deity. Half-orc barbarians may worship Gruumsh as a war god even if they are not evil aligned. Half-orcs who identify with their human heritage follow human deities and may engage in outspoken displays of piety to gain acceptance and solidify their bond to humans. In 4th edition, half-orcs may also choose to worship Kord, as they may choose to believe they have been created by Kord to be the perfect warrior race.
Half-orcs are frequently rejected by civilized society. They are drawn to violent careers suitable to their temperament and physical strength. They often find companionship among adventurers, many of whom are fellow wanderers and outsiders.
Half-orcs are usually portrayed as indefinite outsiders, being too contemplative and thoughtful to exist well in orcish society, but far too wild and short-tempered to live amongst humans, forcing them into adventuring.
Half-orc characters often have characteristics of an anti-hero.
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In 3rd Edition and 3.5e Half-orcs have the following traits. Half-orc characters receive a +2 modifier to strength and -2 modifiers to intelligence and charisma ability scores. Half-orcs have darkvision up to 60 feet. They have orc blood and are susceptible to special effects that affect orcs, such as the orc's light sensitivity. They can use orc-only items. All half-orcs speak common and orc; they may also speak Draconic, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, and Abyssal, and, in the rare cases of half-orcs with high intelligence, the languages of their allies or rivals. The orc language has no alphabet and uses Dwarven script. Orc writing is found most often in graffiti.
The half-orc's favored character class is the barbarian. The half-orc personality tends to be short tempered, sullen, and prone to action rather than thought. Half-orcs prefer simple pleasures: feasting, singing, wrestling and wild dancing. They have no interest in refined pursuits such as high art and philosophy. Half-orcs tend towards chaotic alignments but, have no clear preference towards good or evil. Half-orcs raised and living among orcs are more likely to be evil though.