Half-Orc Rogues are daring scoundrels who possess the raw strength of an Orc and the intellect of a Human.
Half-Orc Rogues are masters of deception, employing guile and cunning to manipulate others. Their silver tongue could charm the wings of a fairy, spinning tales and spinning the tides of fortune to their advantage.
Even in battle, they are no mere brutes, relying on speed and precision strikes to incapacitate foes swiftly and decisively.
Their audacity will make you laugh, their cunning will make you shiver, and their loyalty, earned by a rare few, will make you question your preconceptions of what it truly means to be a hero.
Creating a Half-Orc Rogue
Throughout the years, humans and orcs have made many alliances, often ending in interracial marriages, birthing Half-Orcs – inheriting the best of both worlds.
Half-Orcs tend to become mighty warriors, often becoming chiefs of Orc tribes due to their human blood’s intelligence advantage and orcish strength.
Other Half-Orcs travel the world, living among humans and other civilized races to prove their worth. Many of these Half-Orcs end up as mighty adventurers, wealthy smiths, or unmatched imperial soldiers who climbed the ranks due to their barbaric fighting style.
|Hair (Including their Beard)
|Orcs can grow the hair (and color) of their human counterpart, which also affects their beards
|Ranging from dark gray to pale, almost white
|Orcish or human-like noses, depending on what physical aspects define them
|Extended jaw showing prominent orcish teeth
Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.
Half-Orcs don’t have subraces as they’re not as widespread as many other races. They don’t tend to band together as they see their mother races as their true families, finding comfort with them or abandoning their heritage and walking a new path.
However, there is a Variant Half-Orc bearing the Mark of Finding, a mark only given to Half-Orcs and humans.
Variant Half-Orc: Mark of Finding – Mark of Finding Half-Orcs are very wise, often living in the wilderness and knowing all of its secrets.
Some also live deep underground, either becoming chiefs to a nest of goblins or destroying them to create their own home.
Rogue Class Features
|1d8 per Rogue level
|HP at level 1
|8 + Constitution modifier
|HP at Higher levels
|1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Rogue level after level 1
|Hand crossbows, Longswords, Rapiers, Shortswords, Simple weapons
|Choose four – Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth
Upon reaching level 3, you’ll be able to choose from 9 Rogue archetypes, all with different pros and cons – but you’ll have to find one that fits best with your character.
Arcane Trickster – Combine your skillful agility and stealth with magic, granting you enchantment and illusion spells.
Assassin – Your art is death, using disguises to fool your enemies, poisons to make their death accidental, and stealth to remain unseen whenever necessary.
Inquisitive – Rooting out secrets and solving mysteries is what you live for. Your eyes see intricate details everywhere, and through training, you’ve come to read and write more languages than most.
You effortlessly exterminate creatures hiding amongst their prey by using your mastery of legends and powerful equipment.
Mastermind – The Mastermind focuses on people, particularly their influence and secrets. They make unmatched spies, using their words to escape even some of the most threatening situations.
Phantom – As a Phantom, you walk the line between life and death, always eager to take lives and risk your own in the process.
While on this path, you may discover magical connections to death itself or even take knowledge from the dead and immerse yourself in their energy – becoming like a ghost.
Scout – Scouts are masters of survival and stealth, always eager to scout ahead during expeditions and clear the road if necessary.
Scouts find solace in the wilderness, among rangers and barbarians, often joining war bands and becoming their ambushers or bounty hunters.
Soulknife – You strike not with a blade but infiltrate the minds of your enemies, cutting through physical and psychic barriers. As a Soulknife, you discover vast psionic powers within you, channeling them in combination with your skills as a rogue.
Though useful, many other rogues and organizations mistrust them, as they are wary of their powerful mind-altering abilities. Many governments do, however, employ Soulknives as spies or masters of ‘persuasion.’
Swashbuckler – Swashbucklers know only the way of the sword, incorporating their charm, elegance, and speed.
You aren’t adorned in heavy armor and fight as if performing a dance. Swashbucklers are unrivaled duelists, excelling with two weapons and one-on-one combat.
Thief – Thieves are seen as common hooligans, seeking nothing more than ‘treasure’ as they like to put it.
They have exceptional agility and stealth, often using these skills to delve into ancient ruins or learn about unfamiliar languages in their search for wealth. They even use magical objects many others can’t.
Combining Rogue With Half-Orc
Determining Your Rogue Subclass
Choosing your ideal subclass is subjective, but if your objective is optimization, try understanding what your character wants to do and what stats fit best with their subclass.
Optimal Half-Orc Subrace
Half-Orcs have two subraces, both having a bonus to Constitution (1), while one (normal Half-Orc) has a bonus to Strength (2), and the other (Variant Half-Orc: Mark of Finding) has a bonus to Wisdom (2).
Both races are good options if you’re playing a Rogue, even if the normal Half-Orc has a Strength bonus.
The Mark of Finding Half-Orc is great if you’re looking to become an Arcane Trickster because of its free spells and free unlocked spells from Finder’s Magic.
The normal Half-Orc suits the other subclasses better, and that’s mainly because of its Savage Attacks (scoring a crit lets you re-roll the damage dice and add it to the extra crit damage) feature.
Your Half-Orc Rogue Background
Your Half-Orc Rogue needs a unique background that will affect its choices, as well as the way it sees the world and what it wants to achieve.
Start by asking yourself some basic questions: Where were they born, and where did they come from? Do they have any goals, bonds, or ideals, and what are their flaws? Where do they belong in social circles and society as a whole? What inspires them?
Place of Birth
Think of the environment a Half-Orc Rogue grew up in and how it affected them physically and emotionally and eventually shaped their view of the world.
Try to make their place of birth and upbringing correspond with their personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws – this will truly bring their character alive.
Note: The birthplaces of races are usually mentioned in the Player’s Handbook or some of its expansion books.
Characteristics and Personality Traits
(Short outline of characteristics; are they proud, violent, or angry, and how does their class affect their personality).
Half-Orc Rogue Examples:
- When arriving at a new place, the first thing I do is note the locations of everything that’s valuable – or where such things could be hidden.
- I ignore the risks in a situation. Never tell me the odds.
Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws
Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Half-Orc Rogue’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing.
I’ll do anything to become wealthy.
Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Half-Orc Rogue has to an event, person, or place. Bonds will tie them to their background and can inspire bravery or stimulate memories driving them against their ideals.
Everything I have I owe to my mentor – who is a horrible person who’s probably rotting in jail somewhere.
Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Half-Orc Rogue – their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.
Violence is often my answer to almost any challenge I face.
Inspiration can be used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.
I know I shouldn’t have violent outbursts, but if I get swindled or lose a bet, I can help but become enraged, even going so far as to hurt those around me.
Note: If you’re struggling to create your background or just don’t want to think, the Player’s Handbook has well-thought-through backgrounds that you can use for your character or use as a mold.
Supplies and Gear For Half-Orc Rogues
Rogues start with the following equipment, together with the equipment from their background. Choosing equipment based on your situation and your character’s proficiencies is the easiest way to go about things.
- (a) Rapier or (b) Shortsword
- (a) Shortbow and quiver with 20 arrows or (b) Shortsword
- (a) Burglar’s pack, (b) Dungeoneer’s pack, or (c) Explorer’s pack
- Leather armor, Thieves’ tools, and two daggers
You can decide how your character came about these goods – whether they stole, inherited, or purchased them some time back – adding to your character’s background.
Note: By using your starting wealth, you can buy your own equipment (4d4 x 10 GP for Rogues).
Half-Orcs tend to fall victim to their vicious Orc and yet inventive Human heritage. It’s quite unusual for Half-Orcs to become Rogues as most of them become Barbarians, Fighters, or Paladins.
However, when a Half-Orc becomes a Rogue, they tend to sway towards intimidation, even without wanting to. These massive brutes will usually be able to manipulate situations because of their Orcish brawn and Human intellect.
Even though Half-Orcs aren’t traditional Rogues, they have race traits that actually make them great Rogue candidates!
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