Half-Orc 5e Guide

Published on September 7, 2020

What are half-orcs?

Half-orcs are creatures that, like Half-elves, are caught between two worlds. They are constantly at war with the two halves of their nature and have trouble belonging anywhere.

Half-orcs’ skin usually takes on the color from their orc parentage. They also acquired other orcish features like sloped foreheads, and jutting jaws that make their orcish heritage plain for all to see. Most Half-orcs grow to between 5 and 7 feet tall and usually weigh anywhere from 180 and 250 pounds.

The combination of human and orc makes half-orcs feel their emotions powerfully. Anger can fuel their bodies in battle, while sadness can sap their strength. But when times are good, Half-orcs laugh loudly and heartily, and love to indulge in feasting, drinking, wrestling, drumming, and wild dancing.

Because of their orc heritage, half-orcs tend to be more inclined to take action, rather than contemplation.

Ability Score Increase: +2 STR and +1 CON make the half-orc a wonderful pic for almost any martial class.

Age: Half-orcs mature by 14 and live to around 75

Alignment: Half-orcs tend to lean towards their chaotic nature. When raised among their orc counterparts, they are usually evil.

Size: Half-orcs are medium creatures, ranging from 5-6 feet tall.

Speed: 30ft walking is standard

Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it.

Menacing: A free proficiency in a great face skill is a great pickup. 

Relentless Endurance: Getting a reset to 1hp when you drop below 0 is a stellar ability that can keep you in the fight and dealing damage. This will never go to waste.

Savage Attacks: Any melee fighter (especially those with a greataxe and warhammer) are going to love this ability

Languages: Common and Orc

Which classes are best for half-orcs?

Barbarian: +2 STR, +1 CON, and all of the half-orc’s class features are exactly what Barbarians are looking for.

Bard: No CHA for a Bard. The STR and CON will be helpful for a Valor Bard, but typically Valor Bards are mort interested in DEX.

Cleric: No WIS for Clerics is tough, but some melee clerics will make great use out of the STR and CON bonuses.

Druid: No WIS or DEX for Druids. The only exception to this would be Circle of the Moon Druids who can use Relentless Endurance and Savage Critical in their Wildshape. 

Fighter: +2 STR, +1 CON, and all of the half-orc’s class features are exactly what Barbarians are looking for.

Monk: No DEX for Monks.

Paladin: Half Orc’s get you a STR and CON bonus, both of which are perfect for Paladins. Darkvision is nice, proficiency in Intimidation will help your face skills, Relentless Endurance is a nice bonus, and Savage Attacks is just plain savage with smite crits.

Ranger: No WIS or DEX for Rangers which is typically where they want to be. This is a great choice for Melee Rangers.

Rogue: No DEX for a Rogue. Darkvision won’t make up for the poor ability bonuses here.

Sorcerer: No CHA bonuses for Sorcerers.

Warlock: No CHA bonuses for Warlock.

Wizard: No INT for Wizards.