Tuesday, 5 April 2016

New B/X class: the Orc

Another in my ongoing series of 'B/X monster classes written while I should be working.' Essay marking is really boring, OK?

I was always a bit frustrated by half-orcs being the default PC race option: if I want to play an orc I should be able to play a bloody orc! You don't see people playing half-dwarves, do you?

(Yes, I know there were rules for half-dwarves in Dark Sun. But everyone in that just played half-giants and insect people and psychic cannibal jungle halflings, so the point still stands.)

So here's a B/X-compatible orc class. Like the dwarf, it's basically a fighter with some minor additional rules for flavour purposes. Have fun hitting people with axes!

B/X Class: The Orc

To-Hit, Hit Dice, Saves: All as per Fighter.

Weapons and Armour: Orcs can use any weapons, but are not proficient with any armour heavier than chainmail.

Experience Per Level: As per Dwarf.

Nocturnal: Orcs can see perfectly in the dark, but bright light pains them. When in bright sunlight, or close to a bright source of light, they suffer -1 to-hit until they can get back into the darkness.

Ritual Cannibalism: Whenever an orc eats the heart of a creature it has personally killed in battle, it gains a number of HP equal to the HD of the dead creature. (Note that eating a heart takes at least a couple of minutes, even for an orc!)

Orc Rage! Orcs get angry really, really easily. Whenever something happens to anger you (e.g. being insulted, being frustrated, being betrayed, etc) you may declare you are going to enter a battle rage. While raging you fight with no heed for your own personal safety: you gain a +1 bonus to-hit and damage, and a +4 bonus to saves against fear effects, but suffer a -2 penalty to AC. Your rage ends when the being(s) that provoked it are defeated, or after a number of minutes equal to your level, whichever comes sooner.

Speak Loudly and Carry a Big Axe: Orcs love huge, impractical, poorly-balanced weaponry. Given a few hours and a heap of scrap metal, you can modify any two-handed weapon to be even bigger, heavier, and spikier than it was before. The resulting weapon is the kind of thing that no-one except an orc would ever consider using, but your combination of brute strength and raw enthusiasm means that in your hands it becomes a lethal if clumsy weapon, inflicting +1 damage at the cost of a -1 penalty to-hit. 

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