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Orcs: Two issues

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  • Orcs: Two issues

    As discussed elsewhere, and brought here at Sean's request, the Orc racial template has two issues -- one "must fix" and one "should fix."

    1. Racial Template Doesn't Add Up

    The orc template adds to +0 points instead of +2. So at a bare minimum, they need another +2 somewhere.
    • Bad Reputation (Major) -2
    • Bite: +1
    • Big Brutes: Brute Edge (2) + Size +1 (1) = +3
    • Disagreeable D-Bee: Minor D-Bee (-1) + -1 Persuasion (-1) -2
    • Instinct Over Intellect: -2
    • Low Light Vision: +1
    • Near-Human Physiology: -1
    • Physical Strength:+2
    • Total: +0
    2. No Hindrances to Justify Their Racial Reputation

    As written, orcs have one of the worst reaction penalties in the game, because they're described as "impressed by might and delighting in martial competition [...] [craving] destruction and chaos [...] drawn to the tyranny of Lord Dunscon and the chance for constant battle" and so on. But they have no racial Hindrances that even hint at this; at worst, they're built as "misunderstood." So they really need at least one or two Hindrances that cover the stuff I quoted, without invalidating them as potential PCs.

  • #2
    Here's my suggested additions to the template, based on a long discussion among our gaming group:
    • Physical Strength: [change to] ...a d6 Strength and d6 Vigor...
    • Spoiling for a Fight: All Orcs have the Driven (Major -- Prove myself through battle and conquest) and Ruthless (Minor) Hindrances. They constantly seek battle and show no quarter to those who fight them, though most will take prisoners if there is a clear benefit in doing so.
    • Warrior Instinct: Orcs start with Fighting d6 and Intimidation d4. They learn domination over others before they even learn to walk.


    • #3
      Would Bloodthirsty not be a fitting Hindrance for explaining why orcs are reviled? I could see possibly coupling that with Ruthless (although the Minor version doesn't quite seem like enough...), but I wouldn't think that every orc was Driven (I'd save that for the notable leaders).


      • Atlatl Jones
        Atlatl Jones commented
        Editing a comment
        If there were a Minor version of Bloodthirsty I’d agree, but there’s too many examples of Orcs taking prisoners to justify the major version.

    • #4
      Personally I'm completely against an extra hindrance to "explain" an orc's Bad Reputation. Let the player choose to add a hindrance that contributes to the Bad Reputation or let them NOT choose and they're just an orc that suffers from being lumped in with those "other orc jerks." They need a 2 point bump so just add d6 Vigor and be done.


      • pkitty
        pkitty commented
        Editing a comment
        In that case, the descriptive text should be revised to remove the contradictions I noted in the OP. After all, as currently presented the race is no more hostile or warlike than humans, Fennodi, or D'Norr..

      • Radecliffe
        Radecliffe commented
        Editing a comment
        pkitty I don't really agree. A Bad Rep is just that, a bad reputation. A reputation that can be based on fact or just perception. I'd just as soon leave it to the player to decide.

        Vernulians in the TL field manual are in the same boat. They have a rep for eating humanoids though not all of them still do it. There is no further hindrance stating they DO eat humanoids though.

        Those formally known as Rhau-Men, on the other hand used a different mechanic where they take a -2 to persuasion for those aware of their cannibalism. Which is really a different take on the same theme IMO. It's actually kind of annoying in that respect. Pick a mechanic and stick with it please. But that's a different topic.

      • PEGRoberson
        PEGRoberson commented
        Editing a comment
        Varying mechanics is the result of the material being the collaboration of many different authors. I tried to harmonize a lot of the differences in my editor's pass but some remain, and I don't think it's always a bad thing—variety is the spice of life

    • #5
      I think we should baseline fantasy orcs. I put them with +1 Strength (+2 pts.), Infravision (1 pt.) and Mean (-1). From here, we have a basis for how many extra bits to tack on to set them in the Rifts world.

      First, Disagreeable D-Bee is worth -3 points, not -2. Everything except the -1 Persuasion is the 2 pt version of the negative ability. The -1 is the Mean Hindrance.

      Possible fixes:
      • If Dwarves can get an extra Attribute boost, so can Orcs. Improve their Vigor.
      • reduce or remove the Bad Rep; it synergizes with Disagreeable D-Bee to a far worse effect than presented.
      • Reduce bite damage. Note that orcs have an effective bite attack at normal unarmed damage as an off-hand unarmed attack option and possibly allow them to apply Brawler and Bruiser to the damage.This should reduce the cost to a bounce (0 pts.)


      • #6
        I like pkitty’s suggestions, but I would change the Driven to minor. Major driven is too strong to be a personality trait for all Orcs. Save it for the leaders. Minor is enough to get across their tendency to be drawn to conflict and battle, even among themselves.

        Also, paladin2019 is right that Disagreeable D-Bee should be -3. It has the major version of the D-Bee trait as well as the -1 to persuasion.


        • Radecliffe
          Radecliffe commented
          Editing a comment
          Agreed. Disagreeable D-Bee is D-Bee Minor + Skill penalty. I have to say that makes this a lot easier to parse out.

        • Atlatl Jones
          Atlatl Jones commented
          Editing a comment
          That makes sense. I was looking at the D-Bee hindrance on its own, not in combination with Bad Reputation.

          I still think the Driven should be the minor version. Then give orcs d4 in Fight and Intimidation to start with. They’re essentially “core skills” for orcs.

        • paladin2019
          paladin2019 commented
          Editing a comment
          The description of the 2 point version of D-Bee matches almost exactly the effects of Disagreeable D-Bee. That's why I think it's 2 points of D-Bee combined with Mean.

          D-Bee: "They are treated with hostility by human supremacists, distrusted by commoners, spurned everywhere, and have no rights except in the most cosmopolitan areas. They should expect frequent trouble and violence, depending on the crowd and situation, and Reactions of others typically starts at Unfriendly, or Hostile for human supremacists. Failed social checks with Hostile parties often result in violence."

          Disagreeable D-Bee: "Human supremacists are immediately violent unless a social skill check is successful. Merchants will refuse to sell wares or provide services such as healing, repairs, etc."

      • #7
        If I remember correctly, Disagreeable D-Bee was designed to combine the mechanical effects of Bad Reputation (Major) with Mean and D-Bee (Minor). It's been a while though. When we do the errata I will try to deconflict everything as much as possible so it's all easier for readers to parse.

        pkitty "Spoiling for a Fight" and "Warrior Instinct" are great ideas.

        I agree with Atlatl Jones that "Spoiling" should probably be a minor Hindrance for run of the mill orcs.

        Just FYI, the background text is Rifts® lore so that isn't going to change to fit mechanics. Mechanics should definitely match the lore. This error in points values not matching up is probably my bad, but we had a lot of "hands in the pot" with editing passes, proof readers, etc so I'm not 100% sure lol. We'll get it right in errata though

        ​​​​​​​So far I really like the discussion and ideas. Thanks, everyone!
        Sean Owen Roberson
        Line Manager, Rifts for Savage Worlds