Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Dark Dreams of Furiae - a new module for NWN:EE! Buy now
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

DnD half-Elf/Half-Orc.

SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
How does it work in DnD with half-Elfs and Half-Orcs?

Is it possible to have only a bit of elfish blood in you? What about when it comes to physical traits? Do some half-elfs look more like elves while others human?

Would it be possible for a Half-Orc to look enough human that people would have a hard time noticing it?

Would it be possible for a Half-Elf to have 'normal' ears?

What would the son/daughter of a Half-Elf and human look like?

I'm thinking a bit in the lines of Lionheart (I did enjoy that game) where certain 'traits' would let you pass of as a human while others would mark you a half-blood.

Blackraven
«1

Comments

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,410
    edited April 2014
    I remember reading somewhere that, some humans could carry a trace of elven or orcish blood, somewhere deep in their lineage. Only a faint drop of said blood won't make a character half-breed though. Said character will be a human, in game-terms, but may be inclined to spesific race's likes/dislikes for roleplaying purposes. A touch of orc blood down in the line of the ancestors may make the character a bit more prone to violence, a prominent forehead and strong teeth, or a tiny bit of elven blood from the great-great grand mothers line may give the human character an interest in magic or archery, Or almond shaped and colorful eyes/shiny hair. They are still considered human for all purposes and mechanics.

    In order for a character to be a half-elf or half-orc, one of the main parents (father or mother) must be from the said pure race. Thus, the love child of a half elf and human will be considered human in game terms, human blood is more dominant and said childs elvish blood will be too thinned to qualify even as a part-elf. Said child is a great incentive for roleplaying liking elvish traditions and occupations though. Likewise, the lovechild of an elf and half-elf will be a half-elf, can never be considered a pure elf, for %100 pure elf blood is required for a child to become a full elf. Only two elvish parents can produce a pure elf child.

    So elf+elf=elf, human+elf=half-elf, half-elf+elf=half-elf, half-elf+human=human abeit with a drop of elvish blood (no bonus for game mechanics, just for rping) same goes for orcish lineage, I give the example from elves as it is much more pleasing to think about.

    SionIVBlackravenjacobtanFinaLfront
  • LoubLoub Member Posts: 471
    lunar said:

    I remember reading somewhere that, some humans could carry a trace of elven or orcish blood, somewhere deep in their lineage. Only a faint drop of said blood won't make a character half-breed though. Said character will be a human, in game-terms, but may be inclined to spesific race's likes/dislikes for roleplaying purposes. A touch of orc blood down in the line of the ancestors may make the character a bit more prone to violence, a prominent forehead and strong teeth, or a tiny bit of elven blood from the great-great grand mothers line may give the human character an interest in magic or archery, Or almond shaped and colorful eyes/shiny hair. They are still considered human for all purposes and mechanics.

    In order for a character to be a half-elf or half-orc, one of the main parents (father or mother) must be from the said pure race. Thus, the love child of a half elf and human will be considered human in game terms, human blood is more dominant and said childs elvish blood will be too thinned to qualify even as a part-elf. Said child is a great incentive for roleplaying liking elvish traditions and occupations though. Likewise, the lovechild of an elf and half-elf will be a half-elf, can never be considered a pure elf, for %100 pure elf blood is required for a child to become a full elf. Only two elvish parents can produce a pure elf child.

    So elf+elf=elf, human+elf=half-elf, half-elf+elf=half-elf, half-elf+human=human abeit with a drop of elvish blood (no bonus for game mechanics, just for rping) same goes for orcish lineage, I give the example from elves as it is much more pleasing to think about.

    I'm not aware of blood dilution in D&D rulebooks, but Pathfinder states that a bloodline diluted to 1/8 (3rd generation half-blood) no longer counts as 'half-something', so the great-grandchild of an orc family who bred only with humans for 3 generations would be human, albeit one able to take the 'racial heritage' feat.
    Also in Pathfinder, Half-Humans such as Half-Elves and Orcs also count as both their parent races for any and every effect related to race, as added to the FAQ after one of my inflamatory threads brought some interesting facts to the table; a half-human is able to take feats, favored class bonuses, archetypes (class kits), classes, items, spells, et cetera as if they were a member of both their parent races (in Pathfinder both Elves and Orcs are playable races), however, this is also a bit of a double-edged sword, since they are also affected by effects related to either parent species, such as a Ranger's Racism.
    Of course, in Pathfinder both Half-Elves and Half-Orcs heavily lean towards their Human side in both appearance and mechanics, so much that they are (with the newest errata), able to pass as that race without making disguise checks, since only the subtype is taken into consideration for in-game mechanics.

    lunarBlackravenSionIVFinaLfront
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I think it was in some of the more setting specific books where the idea of extended, partial bloodlines was mentioned (half breeds aren't mules!).
    But officially any individual will be only "half" or all of any racial make-up. I played with one DM who designed quarter and three-quarter variations for his world, but that's completely non-standard.

    SionIV
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,686
    edited April 2014
    elminster said:

    I saw this title and it made me think of some kind of elf/orc hybrid.

    Is there anything like that? And what about halfling-Elf?

    Would that be a Half Halfling or a Half - Elf? *ponders*

    BlackravenFinaLfront
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,206
    edited April 2014
    Alternatively would a halfling-elf be the same height/size as a halfling, an elf, or would it meet somewhere in the middle?

    Same for a elf/orc. Would it be large like an orc or thin like an elf?

    SionIVjackjackFinaLfront
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited April 2014
    @Blackraven‌

    Here's for you. I doubt it will lay the argument to rest since it's fashionable for players to flout the rules, but this is what the 2E Players' Handbook says (no 3E for me thanks! XD)

    --------

    1) Anyone with both elven and human ancestors is either a human or a half-elf (elves only have elven ancestors).

    2) If there are more human ancestors than elven, the person is human, if there are equal numbers or more elven, the person is half-elven.

    --------

    Basically, this means once there is some "non-elven blood" in a bloodline, offspring can never be full-blooded elves short of magical or divine intervention. There is also a "point of no return" where the elven blood is so watered down that offspring cannot even be considered as half-elven anymore (e.g. the Seven Sisters have a human father and a half-elf mother, but barring Qilue, they are all counted as human).

    @lunar‌

    I concur with your summary "elf+elf=elf, human+elf=half-elf, half-elf+elf=half-elf, half-elf+human=human"

    SionIVBlackravenatcDave
  • RhaellaRhaella Member, Developer Posts: 178
    By the rules in Races of Faerun (3e), a half-elf must have at least one elven grandparent or parent, or at least two half-elven parents.

    So a human and a half-elf can have half-elven children as long as the half-elven parent was the child of an elf.

    SionIVBlackraven
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    One of the "Advanced" books made mention that other racial combinations simply were not fertile. It was only humans could mix with elf or Orc. Although I have no doubt various supplements took liberties with that.
    The 1E Drow series ("D" series modules I believe) introduced characters who were half human/half Drow; or half Drow/half surface elf. That could get interesting...

    elminsterFinaLfrontDelvarian
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,466
    atcDave said:

    One of the "Advanced" books made mention that other racial combinations simply were not fertile. It was only humans could mix with elf or Orc. Although I have no doubt various supplements took liberties with that.
    The 1E Drow series ("D" series modules I believe) introduced characters who were half human/half Drow; or half Drow/half surface elf. That could get interesting...

    Hmm now I understand why Aerie wouldn't get pregnant from my gnome Illusionist/Thief...

    elminsterFinaLfrontCrevsDaak
  • GoodSteveGoodSteve Member Posts: 607
    atcDave said:

    One of the "Advanced" books made mention that other racial combinations simply were not fertile. It was only humans could mix with elf or Orc. Although I have no doubt various supplements took liberties with that.
    The 1E Drow series ("D" series modules I believe) introduced characters who were half human/half Drow; or half Drow/half surface elf. That could get interesting...

    3e introduced Half-Drow (the child of a Drow and a Human) to the game. They functioned the same as a half-elf normally does but gave up Low-Light vision for Darkvision 60 feet.

    Blackravenelminster
  • LoubLoub Member Posts: 471
    edited April 2014
    GoodSteve said:

    atcDave said:

    One of the "Advanced" books made mention that other racial combinations simply were not fertile. It was only humans could mix with elf or Orc. Although I have no doubt various supplements took liberties with that.
    The 1E Drow series ("D" series modules I believe) introduced characters who were half human/half Drow; or half Drow/half surface elf. That could get interesting...

    3e introduced Half-Drow (the child of a Drow and a Human) to the game. They functioned the same as a half-elf normally does but gave up Low-Light vision for Darkvision 60 feet.
    Indeed, let me look it up where they're described on my books.

    Haha... Found it - they are mentioned in passing on the 3.0 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, page 16, unnder the same header as normal Half-Elves.

    Transcription:
    "Drow half-elves tend to have dusky skin, silver or white hair, and human eye colors. (They have 60-foot darkvision, but they do not gain any other drow traits.)"

    So no, they do not give up low-light vision, and are therefore better than Half-Elves in every manner possible, which is not saying much, since they are still the suckiest race of that edition.

    elminsterBlackravenCrevsDaak
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    GoodSteve said:

    atcDave said:

    One of the "Advanced" books made mention that other racial combinations simply were not fertile. It was only humans could mix with elf or Orc. Although I have no doubt various supplements took liberties with that.
    The 1E Drow series ("D" series modules I believe) introduced characters who were half human/half Drow; or half Drow/half surface elf. That could get interesting...

    3e introduced Half-Drow (the child of a Drow and a Human) to the game. They functioned the same as a half-elf normally does but gave up Low-Light vision for Darkvision 60 feet.
    "Introduced" is maybe not the right word. As I mentioned, they were described way back in a 1E module. But made a standard racial option I would buy.

    BlackravenelminsterjackjackCrevsDaak
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Meh, I'd rather play as a Mongrelman than some half-pansy. :/

    BlackravenCrevsDaak
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited April 2014
    A little extra cookie for @Blackraven and friends who still respect the old 2E rules...

    In the Players' Handbook, it is said that "half-elves are usually much like their elven parents in appearance". But the game mechanics paint a more nuanced picture. I enclose the "minimum race stats" for elves and half-elves as described in Players' Handbook, before modifiers are applied. The minimum and maximum for humans are taken to be 3 and 18 respectively, without modifiers. These figures may also be derived in-game if you reduce all stats to minimum at character creation, though minimums may also be affected by choice of classes. (Note: 3/18 means min 3, max 18)

    HUMAN ELF HALF-ELF
    ------- --- ---------
    Str 3/18 3/18 3/18
    Dex 3/18 6/18 6/18
    Con 3/18 7/18 6/18
    Int 3/18 8/18 4/18
    Wis 3/18 3/18 3/18
    Cha 3/18 8/18 3/18

    It is not described in the Players' Handbook, but you can infer:

    Str - although humans are larger, human ancestry does not really help a half-elf in strength
    Dex - elven ancestry seems to help the half-elf in allowing him a higher min dexterity
    Con - elves are restricted from a modified Con score of 18, but they are reasonably sturdy in that the min Con is actually quite a bit higher than a human's min Con. Their good health modifies the half-elf's min Con too.
    Int - elves are naturally smart, and it seems to spill over to help the half-elf
    Wis - if Wis is a function of life experience, then all races have their dumb kids
    Cha - elves are naturally charismatic, but half-elves do not have a higher min Cha, unlike the case for Dex, Con and Int. Probably means the natural elven charisma cannot mitigate the most uncharismatic traits of humans

    The last point is of greater interest to our discussion. If elves are naturally good looking and charismatic, but you can still have an awesomely f*gly half-elf with a Cha of 3 which is on par with the f*gliest humans, it probably means a character can still inherit the worst of elven features, or he can inherit the worst of human features and his elven ancestry cannot help at all ;)

    Post edited by jacobtan on
    BlackravenCrevsDaaklunar
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,466
    @jacobtan, interesting post, I find it both agreeable and insightful. I agree with your observation that the lack of innate CHA beyond human 3 CHA can be seen as an indiaction that it can go either way with half-elves' physical appearance.

  • DelvarianDelvarian Member Posts: 1,232
    I believe the Charisma here relates more to the fact that both humans and elves will be racist against a half-elf, not that the half-elf is ugly.

    jackjack
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited April 2014
    Delvarian said:

    I believe the Charisma here relates more to the fact that both humans and elves will be racist against a half-elf, not that the half-elf is ugly.

    If there is an "innate racism penalty", their max natural charisma should not be 18, as with elves and humans. Including this "innate racism penalty" as a reduced min for Cha also assumes that they will have such a penalty in all encounters, not just humans and elves, but including half-elves, gnomes, halflings and more, where the racism is expected to be less or even non-existent. Furthermore, for true racism penalties, DMs have the discretion to impose a "reaction penalty" rather than docking points off the Cha stat.

    BlackravenDelvarian
  • GoodSteveGoodSteve Member Posts: 607
    edited April 2014
    When I said "introduced" @atcDave, I meant as a playable race with differing in game statistics. If this is true of earlier editions (that they had different game stats beyond that of a normal Half-Elf) I'm not aware of that since I hardly played 2e when I first started gaming.

    @Loub, Half-Drow are statted out in Races of Faerun which states: Half-Drow have all the listed half-elven racial traits listed in the player's handbook, except as follows: Darkvision 60 feet, Drow Blood: For all special abilities and effects a Half-Drow is considered a Drow.

    I think from that it is safe to assume that a Half-Drow gives up the Low-Light Vision trait for Darkvision 60 feet, and Elf Blood for Drow Blood. Two major factors that contribute to why I've come to this conclusion are that Drow do not have Low-Light Vision nor do humans, so the offspring of a Drow and Human wouldn't recieve it, and a half drow/half human wouldn't be considered a Drow and a regular Elf since he has no elven (non-drow) parents.

    It should state that these traits replace Low-Light Vision and Elf Blood to clear up any confusion. In my copy it doesn't, perhaps it has been errata'd, but I think the intent was what I assume.

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,153
    jacobtan said:

    A little extra cookie for Blackraven and friends who still respect the old 2E rules...

    Anything that is 2E is a big cookie!

    jacobtanjackjackBlackraven
  • MacHurtoMacHurto Member Posts: 731
    edited April 2014
    Wait, in BG2 aerie does not get pregnant if charname is a gnome? My boy is having a blast, I see. No wonder he hasnt killed Bodhi yet. No time!

    SionIVBlackraven
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    edited April 2014
    Delvarian said:

    I believe the Charisma here relates more to the fact that both humans and elves will be racist against a half-elf, not that the half-elf is ugly.

    I don't buy the whole concept of expecting any level of innate racism. I think there is no reason to assume any racism is a requirement or a foregone conclusion. Any reasonably intelligent person should be able to differentiate the actions of an individual from the actions their race as a whole.

    Drow were originally created from the Norse Mythology Dark elves that were cruel and ugly in appearance to such a degree that they instilled nightmares.

    This is an artist's depiction of a Norse Dark Elf, sitting on the chest of a sleeping 'victim'.

    image

    To take it one more step, the concept was probably altered to prevent issues, but the basic premise of them being cruel in appearance and ugly in the extreme was kept.

    atcDaveBlackravenjackjack
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    edited April 2014
    CrevsDaak said:

    jacobtan said:

    A little extra cookie for Blackraven and friends who still respect the old 2E rules...

    Anything that is 2E is a big cookie!
    The era of 2E is over. BG/BG2 will continue the transformation into a Frankenstein of various rules sets, my D&D life will end with the purge of 2E from BG/BG2, and I will move on to other hobbies.

    Anyway, this discussion also includes half-orcs. I don't remember reading much of "half-orc culture". It seems that half-orcs are more inclined towards orcish behavior as they inherit the evil and violent streak of orcs. Assuming that orcish genes are dominant, it is possible that orcish features in half-orcs will always be present such that they cannot pass off convincingly as humans under any circumstance, unlike the case for half-elves who can somewhat conceal elven features like pointed ears.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    I wonder why is it that half-bloods are half-human by default. Why can't there be a half-orc, half-elf for example?

    jackjack
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655
    @FinneousPJ‌

    Probably a physiological thing, just like brown bears and polar bears can mate to produce hybrids, but polar bears and black bears cannot.

    And I guess only humans are dumb or drunk enough to be in a compromising situation with orcs...

    the_spyderBlackravenjackjack
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    jacobtan said:

    And I guess only humans are dumb or drunk enough to be in a compromising situation with orcs...

    Amen. I seem to attract them like flies.

    jacobtanBlackravenjackjack
  • jacobtanjacobtan Member Posts: 655

    jacobtan said:

    And I guess only humans are dumb or drunk enough to be in a compromising situation with orcs...

    Amen. I seem to attract them like flies.

    I might prefer an orc to a godzilla though ;)

    the_spyder
Sign In or Register to comment.