Archives of Nethys

Core Races | Other Races


Orcs

Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon), Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 222 (Amazon)
Monster Entry Link
Orcs are aggressive, callous, and domineering. Bullies by nature, they respect strength and power as the highest virtues. On an almost instinctive level, orcs believe they are entitled to anything they want unless someone stronger can stop them from seizing it. They rarely exert themselves off the battlefield except when forced to do so; this attitude stems not just from laziness but also from an ingrained belief that work should trickle down through the pecking order until it falls upon the shoulders of the weak. They take slaves from other races, orc men brutalize orc women, and both abuse children and elders, on the grounds that anyone too feeble to fight back deserves little more than a life of suffering. Surrounded at all times by bitter enemies, orcs cultivate an attitude of indifference to pain, vicious tempers, and a fierce willingness to commit unspeakable acts of vengeance against anyone who dares to defy them.

Physical Description: Powerfully built, orcs typically stand just a few inches taller than most humans but have much greater muscle mass, their broad shoulders and thick, brawny hips often giving them a slightly lurching gait. They typically have dull green skin, coarse dark hair, beady red eyes, and protruding, tusklike teeth. Orcs consider scars a mark of distinction and frequently use them as a form of body art.

Society: Orcs usually live amid squalor and constant mayhem, and intimidation and brutal violence are the glue that holds orc culture together. They settle disputes by making increasingly grisly threats until, when a rival fails to back down, the conflict escalates into actual bloodshed. Orcs who win these ferocious brawls not only feel free to take whatever they want from the loser, but also frequently indulge in humiliating physical violation, casual mutilation, and even outright murder. Orcs rarely spend much time improving their homes or belongings since doing so merely encourages a stronger orc to seize them. In fact, whenever possible, they prefer to occupy buildings and communities originally built by other races.

Relations: Orcs admire strength above all things. Even members of enemy races can sometimes win an orc's grudging respect, or at least tolerance, if they break his nose enough times.

Orcs regard dwarves and elves with an odd mix of fierce hatred, sullen resentment, and a trace of wariness. They respect power, and, on some level, understand that these two races have kept them at bay for countless ages. Though they never miss a chance to torment a dwarf or elf who falls into their clutches, they tend to proceed cautiously unless certain of victory. Orcs dismiss halflings and gnomes as weaklings barely worth the trouble of enslaving. They often regard half-elves, who appear less threatening than full-blooded elves but have many elven features, as particularly appealing targets. Orcs view humans as race of sheep with a few wolves living in their midst. They freely kill or oppress humans too weak to fend them off but always keep one eye on the nearest exit in case they run into a formidable human.

Orcs look upon half-orcs with a strange mixture of contempt, envy, and pride. Though weaker than typical orcs, these half-breeds are also usually smarter, more cunning, and better leaders. Tribes led, or at least advised, by half-orcs are often more successful than those led by pure-blooded orcs. On a more fundamental level, orcs believe each half-orc also represents an orc exerting dominance over a weaker race.

Alignment and Religion: Orcs have few redeeming qualities. Most are violent, cruel, and selfish. Concepts such as honor or loyalty usually strike them as odd character flaws that tend to afflict members of the weaker races. Orcs are typically not just evil, but chaotic to boot, though those with greater self-control may gravitate toward lawful evil. Orcs pray to gods of fire, war, and blood, often creating tribal "pantheons" by combining these aspects into uniquely orc concepts.

Adventurers: Orcs usually leave their tribes only after losing out in a power struggle. Facing humiliation, slavery, or even death at the hands of their own kind, they opt instead to live and work with members of other races. Orcs who fail to rein in their tempers and the instinctive drive to dominate rarely last long once they strike out on their own. Though orcs who do manage to get by in other societies often enjoy the luxuries and comforts these societies can deliver, they still tend to dream of returning home, seizing power, and taking revenge.

Male Names: Arkus, Carrug, Felzak, Murdut, Prabur.

Female Names: Durra, Grillgiss, Ilyat, Krugga, Leffit, Olbin, Trisgrak.

Orc Racial Traits

+4 Strength, –2 Intelligence, –2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Orcs are brutal and savage.
Orc: Orcs are humanoids with the orc subtype.
Medium: Orcs are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Orcs have a base speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: Orcs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in areas of bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
Ferocity: Orcs can remain conscious and continue fighting even if their hit point totals fall below 0. Orcs are still staggered at 0 hit points or lower and lose 1 hit point each round as normal.
Weapon Familiarity: Orcs are always proficient with greataxes and falchions, and treat any weapon with the word "orc" in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Orcs begin play speaking Common and Orc. Orcs with high Intelligence scores can chose from the following: Dwarven, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Undercommon.

Orc Alternate Racial Traits

Replaces Light Sensitivity

Dayrunner
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
Orcs refuse to yield to any foe, including the sun. Some spend hour upon hour glaring at the sun until their ruined eyes acclimatize to bright light. Orcs with this racial trait take a –2 penalty on all ranged attack rolls. This racial trait replaces light sensitivity.

Replaces Weapon Familiarity, Languages

Feral
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
Orcs have the ability to fend for themselves long before they master the rudiments of their language and culture. Having needed to hunt bugs and tiny animals for food to survive while still infants, feral orcs fight all the harder to survive when at the brink of death. Orcs with this racial trait gain Survival as a class skill and gain a +1 racial bonus on melee weapon attack and damage rolls when at negative hit points. This racial trait replaces the orc’s weapon familiarity and automatic languages. Feral orcs without additional languages due to high Intelligence scores or ranks in Linguistics can only communicate with grunts and gestures.

Replaces Ferocity

Reckless Climber
Source Inner Sea Races pg. 216
Mountain-dwelling orcs thrive on taking insane risks to defeat foes and show up rivals. They gain a +4 racial bonus on Climb checks without rope and on Acrobatics checks to maintain balance. This racial trait replaces ferocity.

Squalid
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
Some orcs exist in surroundings so filthy and pestilent that even other orcs would have difficulty living in them. Orcs with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws made to resist nausea, the sickened condition, and disease. This racial trait replaces ferocity.

Replaces Ferocity, Weapon Familiarity

Smeller
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
Orcs with this racial trait gain a limited scent ability with half the normal range. This racial trait replaces ferocity and weapon familiarity.

Orc Favored Class Options

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, Orcs have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored class.

The following options are available to all Orcs who have the listed favored class.

Alchemist (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +10 minutes to the duration of the alchemist's mutagens.
Barbarian (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +1 to the barbarian's total number of rage rounds per day.
Cavalier (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +1 to the cavalier's CMB when making bull rush or overrun combat maneuvers against a challenged target.
Druid (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +1/2 to the damage dealt by the druid's animal companion's natural attacks.
Fighter (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +2 to the fighter's Constitution score for the purpose of determining when he dies from negative hit points.
Ranger (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +1 hit point to the ranger's animal companion. If the ranger ever replaces his animal companion, the new animal companion gains these bonus hit points.
Witch (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add one spell from the witch spell list to the witch's familiar. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level she can cast. If the witch ever replaces her familiar, the new familiar knows these bonus spells.