Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Orc Ancestry

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Orc Ancestry

    Been trying to figure out how to stat an Orc Ancestry for player characters. This is what I currently have:
    • Brute Edge (+2)
    • Darkvision (+1)
    • Outsider (Minor) (-1)
    • Size (1) (+1)
    • Strong (+2)
    • Weakness (Light) (-1)
    Most of this is from the Bestiary. Not sure on the Brute Edge, though, since I consider that a very weak Edge overall as it is. Reading about Orcs vs Half-Orc on Pathfinder Wiki, it seems they aren't all that much bigger from each other, but that Toughness bonus is definitely justified? Orcs should have more Strength than Half-Orcs do and also seem to have penalties to Intelligence of some sorts.

    Perhaps -1 penalty to Smarts rolls (-2) with the added bonus of another increase in Strength (+2)?

  • #2
    Brute is weak? It's value has a sliding scale directly proportional to the character's Strength and how much they want to invest in Athletics. Assuming you give your Orc ancestry a starting Strength of d8 (d12+2 max), that inherently makes Athletics 2 points cheaper to raise compared to a d4 starting Strength. That value only increases the higher the character's Strength becomes. The point of the Edge is to cater to the niche concept of a big, hulking Grappler-type, and it does that very well.

    The question is: do you want that for every orc in your game? While it would synergize nicely with a higher racial Strength, you might be better off trading it for a different Edge if you want a more broad template. After all, players can always chose Brute on their own if they want.

    p.s. - also remember that Size increases a characters maximum Strength. So starting at d8 with Size 1 gives a Strength max of d12+3.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
      The question is: do you want that for every orc in your game? While it would synergize nicely with a higher racial Strength, you might be better off trading it for a different Edge if you want a more broad template. After all, players can always chose Brute on their own if they want.
      This is a good point not just for designing new content for SW, but for most TTRPGs.


      Also, when comparing orcs and half-orcs in PF1/PF2/d&d, you should keep in mind that PF ability scores use much smaller units of measurement. SW strength d6 roughky covers PF strength 9—12. Orcs have strength d8, but so does the human soldier profile, and the Vrock's 25 constitution is "only" vigor d12+1 in PFSW.

      In view of this, I'd suggest giving the Orc race only one upgrade to strength. I'd also suggest giving them d4 or d6 intimidatio , since their profile does have intimidation d6.

      Comment


      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        SW strength d6 roughly covers PF strength 9—12.
        I'm not sure this is accurate.
        When I was converting 3e (since before PF4SW was announced), I was using the following table, to good effect:

        3e ____ SW
        3 - 5 = d4-2
        6 - 8 = d4-1
        9 - 11 = d4
        12 -13 = d6
        14 - 15 = d8
        16 - 17 = d10
        18 - 19 = d12
        20 - 24 = d12+1
        25 - 29 = d12+2
        30 - 34 = d12+3
        etc.

        It changes up beyond d12 since a static +1 is far more powerful (statistically speaking) than a standard die increase. This would put a Vrock with 25 CON at d12+2, but d12+1 is not unreasonable. Edges and other abilities can easily pickup the slack.

      • Simaruk
        Simaruk commented
        Editing a comment
        With "only" +4 Strength, PF orcs with 9 Strength ARE possible (fun fact: I'm playing a 13 Strength orc in PF1 campaign).
        However giving 2 Strength increases for SW orcs means ALL orcs are stronger than the avarage human. One increase allows for the weakest orc to be as strong as an avarage human, and in addition with size 1 allows for higher strength limit and heavier lifting.
        Last edited by Simaruk; 01-10-2022, 02:39 AM.

    • #4
      Originally posted by Simaruk View Post

      In view of this, I'd suggest giving the Orc race only one upgrade to strength. I'd also suggest giving them d4 or d6 intimidatio , since their profile does have intimidation d6.
      give one upgrade in strength is the correct decision. Putting two you’ll create a very specialized race and lessen the possibility of builds, making almost all orc melee characters. Also, monsters stat blocks aren’t a good point to create a new race. That stat is balanced to make a good challenge, but that not represents all orcs. I think that the right approach is thinking about the feeling and translate it. Or you can saw the original race on PF (as you first did) and start from there.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by aleguarita View Post
        give one upgrade in strength is the correct decision. Putting two you’ll create a very specialized race and lessen the possibility of builds, making almost all orc melee characters.
        Not true. You can leave Strength at d8 and you still have 5 points to put into the other attributes. Besides, Strength is only half the equation for a good melee fighter; you still need a decent Agility as well. And characters are mostly defined by their Edges anyway. Pump 3 points into Agility to get it to d10, match that with Shooting, and you get a very capable orc archer that can wear medium armor with ease.

        Also, monsters stat blocks aren’t a good point to create a new race. That stat is balanced to make a good challenge, but that not represents all orcs. I think that the right approach is thinking about the feeling and translate it.
        According to the Pathfinder SRD, playable orcs get a +4 Strength adjustment, which translates to two attribute die types. Starting with a d8 is a pretty "true" conversion, provided you also give them appropriate drawbacks. The -2 Intelligence /-2 Wisdom would translate to a hampered Smarts (-1 to rolls) as well as some type of "lack of self-control" Hindrance, like Habit, Impulsive, or Thin-Skinned. The -2 Charisma would be a social Hindrance, such as Bloodthirsty, Outsider, Ruthless, or Mean. Their Ferocity ability is probably best represented by either Nerves of Steel or Hard to Kill.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post

          Not true. You can leave Strength at d8 and you still have 5 points to put into the other attributes. Besides, Strength is only half the equation for a good melee fighter; you still need a decent Agility as well. And characters are mostly defined by their Edges anyway. Pump 3 points into Agility to get it to d10, match that with Shooting, and you get a very capable orc archer that can wear medium armor with ease.
          True, but the key of my statement was "almost all", because I'm counting with the exception and on players that likes to break the mold and default assumptions. Yet the strength doesn't contribute sole for melee, having a +2 leave 5 points do put on agility and vigor, making a very killer melee machine without leave some other option behind. I still can make an archer or even a wizard with it, but expect this as an exception from the rule, not the default, and that is what I'm talking about.

          Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
          According to the Pathfinder SRD, playable orcs get a +4 Strength adjustment, which translates to two attribute die types. Starting with a d8 is a pretty "true" conversion, provided you also give them appropriate drawbacks. The -2 Intelligence /-2 Wisdom would translate to a hampered Smarts (-1 to rolls) as well as some type of "lack of self-control" Hindrance, like Habit, Impulsive, or Thin-Skinned. The -2 Charisma would be a social Hindrance, such as Bloodthirsty, Outsider, Ruthless, or Mean. Their Ferocity ability is probably best represented by either Nerves of Steel or Hard to Kill.
          We can't simple translate a PF race 100%, even with bonuses. Even with the "+4 on strength" The difference between systems are massive. We have few opportunities to raise a attribute after the character creating and every time we do this we are making a decision that we leave another thing behind (like raise a skill or learn a new edge). On PF we have attributes increase that are separated. On Savage PF we have an attribute cap, on PF none.

          Dwarves on PF have -2 on Charisma and the Savage Worlds version of it, none near it (and have a lot of options that they even't care to convert). Gnomes and Halfings both have -2 on Strength, and one of them have this on Savage PF. Half-orcs can choose where put the +2 on one attribute but Savage PF the ancestry has a fixed bonus on Str. All this changes are thinking in two things: balance on this system and capture the basic taste.

          Of course, the +4 on Str being too much is my opinion. If you feel that is ok, who am I to say that you are wrong? This is your game, not mine and we both wants the basic: have fun with it

          Comment


          • #7
            Am I the only one who has never given standard orcs Sunlight Sensitivity? I've always played that any race with standard darkvision can still see fine in sunlight, and only races with improved Darkvision (typically 120'+ in PF, or Greater Darkvision in PF4SW) suffer from Sunlight Sensitivity (like Deep Gnomes, because they spend their entire lives in darkness). I see that as the tradeoff they have to pay for the improved darkvision, and if the race spends enough time in sunlight that they can remove the sensitivity, their improved darkvision also drops to just standard Darkvision.

            This is how I see the standard orcs. At one time they had Greater Darkvision because they were almost entirely underground creatures, but standard orcs can now be found outdoors in forests, mountains, etc so now they only have regular Darkvision and have lost the sunlight sensitivity (though they might still habitually keep out of direct sunlight, it doesn't actually penalize them anymore).

            Comment


            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              The rules specify "bright" sunlight, which usually doesn't occur under the shade of a forest or the crags and gullies of mountains. Orcs function just fine on an overcast day.

          • #8
            Originally posted by aleguarita View Post

            True, but the key of my statement was "almost all", because I'm counting with the exception and on players that likes to break the mold and default assumptions. Yet the strength doesn't contribute sole for melee, having a +2 leave 5 points do put on agility and vigor, making a very killer melee machine without leave some other option behind. I still can make an archer or even a wizard with it, but expect this as an exception from the rule, not the default, and that is what I'm talking about.
            Sure, the race would incentive a melee build, but the point I was making is that the orc can be just as capable as nearly any human, just with a higher Strength. Being physically superior to a human is what pretty much defines an orc; I don't understand why that would change for some imagined game-balance reason.

            We can't simple translate a PF race 100%, even with bonuses. Even with the "+4 on strength" The difference between systems are massive. We have few opportunities to raise a attribute after the character creating and every time we do this we are making a decision that we leave another thing behind (like raise a skill or learn a new edge). On PF we have attributes increase that are separated. On Savage PF we have an attribute cap, on PF none.
            The differences between systems are significant, but the numbers still mean something within each respective system. In 3e/PF, every 2 ability score points adds a +1 modifier, which applies a 5% increase to all linked skills. That benefit is roughly equivalent to the cost-reduction Savage skills get from a higher attribute. (edit - Note, however, that this doesn't really apply to Strength since no Savage skills are linked to Strength (unless you take Brute). The bonus would really only affect damage, encumbrance, and armor/weapon use. end edit)

            Specifically with Strength, a +4 in PF increases Heavy Load limit by 40 lbs, which is precisely the same weight increase two die steps provides in SWADE. You can achieve the same result by giving all orcs only one Strength increase and the Brawny Edge, but then you are limiting character options in other ways since you couldn't make an Obese orc, or an orc that is bigger than average (because you can't take Brawny twice).

            And finally, we have setting expectations to uphold. Orcs are noted as being socially driven to value strength and force above all else. Giving the ancestry a starting Strength of d8 reinforces that conceit. A "pure-blooded" orc that doesn't value strength would be an anomoly. Playing anything other than a brute would be playing against type. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but if you have too many smart, kind, thoughtful orcs in a campaign, it shatters the established lore.

            Dwarves on PF have -2 on Charisma and the Savage Worlds version of it, none near it (and have a lot of options that they even't care to convert). Gnomes and Halfings both have -2 on Strength, and one of them have this on Savage PF. Half-orcs can choose where put the +2 on one attribute but Savage PF the ancestry has a fixed bonus on Str. All this changes are thinking in two things: balance on this system and capture the basic taste.
            As you mentioned, the differences between the systems is massive. 3e/PF tends to be more granular, and there things that aren't even worth addressing. A dwarf's +1 attack bonus versus goblinoids wouldn't even track in Savage Worlds since such a bonus is mechanically too small. As for other things, I agree, it's better to try to capture the feel rather than attempt a straight conversion. My comments on what a bonus or penalty in PF might translate into were merely for discussion purposes. If I were to actually write-up an Orc ancestry, I'd almost certainly ignore a thing or two.

            Cheers!
            Last edited by Deskepticon; 01-10-2022, 12:50 AM.

            Comment


            • aleguarita
              aleguarita commented
              Editing a comment
              Interesting that you point about Brawny, because I thought that it could be good to give it to then and I far from right. Cutting a hindrance possibility isn’t a good way to create a ascendancy

              Anyway, if I would convert a race that would be goblin, because of pure chaos
              Last edited by aleguarita; 01-10-2022, 02:36 AM.
          Working...
          X