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Why do Half-Orcs have 19 str?

Half-Orc high str rating confuses me, yes your average half-orc should be stronger than your average human, but isn't 19 str a bit excessive?

19 str is Hillgiant str right? or at least the the average Hillgiant str.

For a half-orc to be able to match str with a 5m tall 650kg monster seems kind of implausible.

Does anybody know the standard str of a Orc?

Comments

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @SmilingSword They don't all have 19 STR, that's the maximum. On average they have one more STR than a human, i.e. 11.5.

    semiticgodelminsterGrumOlvynChuru
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,977
    It's just there so that you could make a 19 STR warrior from the start and rip all those gibberlings apart.

    Actually, in the 3rd Edition and the 3.5e half-orcs receive a +2 modifier to strength and -2 modifiers to intelligence and charisma ability scores. So, 19 STR for half-orcs in BG is a kind of an adaptation of it.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited November 2015
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    SmilingSwordSkatantypo_tilly
  • MeyahiMeyahi Member Posts: 143
    Honestly I don't see the point of exceptional STR. It actually increases strengh range into something like 3-30 and 15 strengh (much higher than average) yields no combat bonus.
    Removing it and giving fighter classes innate bonuses would be much cleaner.
    I'm glad 3rd Edition corrected this.

    FinneousPJsmeagolheart
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136

    18/00 is the same as an ogre. Only humans and demihumans in the 99th percentile are meant to get that strong.

    A human warrior's probability of having 18/00 STR is 0.005%, so it's much rarer than even that. Even for Half-orcs, only the top half of a percentile should have 19 STR. I guess it doesn't seem all that unreasonable to me that a few exceptional Half-orcs would be about as strong as an average Hill Giant.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    semiticgodSkatan
  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 3,003
    My answer was going to be "why not?".

    JuliusBorisov
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    So far as I know, Orcs were invented by Tolkien with no previous "existence" in folklore, so Tolkien is the original source material for Orc lore. In Tolkien, Orcs were abominations created by forcibly distorting Elves, and the ordinary sort of Orc is of comparable size and physical abilities to an Elf. Not bigger and stronger.

    Tolkien also describes a special sort of Orc, the Uruk Hai, a more recently-developed breed which is indeed somewhat bigger and stronger than normal (and in particular is noted for having a resilient constitution). However, even the Uruk Hai are not enormously bigger and stronger than an Elf or an ordinary Orc - they're not like a Giant, they're just a particularly big and tough Orc.

    Therefore, I've often wondered if the super-strength "half-Orc" designed for D&D may not have been the result of a simple typographical error, or maybe a moment of confusion. It'd all make more sense if the intention had actually been to introduce half-Ogres as a playable species ... but then maybe someone accidentally wrote "half-Orc" instead of "half-Ogre", and no-one ever fixed the error. Unlike Orcs, Ogres are indeed meant to be substantially bigger and stronger than Elves/Humans/etc., part-way to being a Giant, so STR 19 wouldn't be so ridiculous.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,279
    Back to 3rd edition
    Human average strength - 10 (+0)
    Orc average strength - 15 (+5)
    Half orc average strength - 12 (+2)

    Exceptional values are , as the name implies, rare and heroic . In fact, adventurers are a minority in a world of fantasy, and only an even rarer part of them reaches exceptional attributes.

    So my answer to your question would be "because it's a game and rpg characters are way more bada$$ in videogames."

    GrumwubbleJuliusBorisov
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    In a recent thread people talked about their stats. If we were all half orcs our average strength would be just 11-13...

    Str19 half orcs tend to be as rare as min maxed humans
    How many people have any of us met who would be str18 dex18 and con18?

    JuliusBorisovBelgarathMTH
  • NifftNifft Member Posts: 1,065
    Grum said:

    Str19 half orcs tend to be as rare as min maxed humans

    So basically every PC.
    Grum said:

    How many people have any of us met who would be str18 dex18 and con18?

    How many people have you met who had the opportunity to re-roll?

    SmilingSwordGrumJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member Posts: 14,442
    I'd definitely re-roll for a higher Charisma score. Wisdom would be nice, too.

    Rodrian
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    Nifft said:

    Grum said:

    Str19 half orcs tend to be as rare as min maxed humans

    So basically every PC.
    Grum said:

    How many people have any of us met who would be str18 dex18 and con18?

    How many people have you met who had the opportunity to re-roll?
    With enough money you can steroid abuse your way to 18 strength and con
    With enough money you can get perfect eyes and get all the training in shooting you need for 18 dex
    With enough money you can buy any degree you want, making everyone see you as having 18 int
    With enough money everyone will dawn over you like you have 18 cha
    And with enough money you can afford yes-men to tell you that you have 18 wis

    Re-rolling is certainly possible if you can afford it

    semiticgodKilivitz
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,163
    It sure seems as I've met a kindred spirit in @subtledoctor. I agree completely with his comments.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,845
    edited November 2015
    Personally, I'm more baffled as to how a tiny halfling barbarian can transform into a 21 str killing machine. Given that the rage is purely emotional in nature, not magical. Half-orcs with 19 str seems at the very least plausible due to their gorilla-like body mass.

    SkatanGrum
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,163
    edited November 2015
    I agree with that as well @kamigoroshi. It would make more sense to have rage act more like the offensive spin, adding an attack and maximizing dmg output, compared to actually increasing your stats as if magical.

    I started a thread recently talking about heights of races and this is exactly why I find it unplausable that a halfling can have that kind of strenght when its mass and size is so minor. If it was of magical nature, then it can just be explained with the ultimate "Magic, duh!" argument, but in the case of rage it just feels weird.

    This can be applied to orcs and other races as well ofc. Having the strenght of a giant without the use of magic is indeed fantastically unrealistic.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Worth noting: a Hill Giant PC would probably not have a strength of only 19.

    Tressetsemiticgodelminster
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited November 2015
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    JuliusBorisovscriverBelgarathMTHEmpyrial
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited November 2015
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    semiticgodSkatanGrum
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited November 2015
    @subtledoctor That's a fair point, although I was speaking in the context of a video game where, presumably, the rules for creating a Hill Giant would be similarly screwy compared to half-orcs. PnP obviously handles things differently, but there's no reason to assume that a Hill Giant would be limited in that way if a Half-Orc is not.

    Personally I prefer the stat tables from 3e and later, where the progression is linear and there's no such thing as an extraordinary Strength value; I like 5e even better, where the player's stats are capped at 20, thereby eliminating cases like the one described in this thread (even if your half-orc PC has a Strength of 20, there's going to be plenty of monsters with Strength scores higher than that).

    EDIT: That being said, I would support a request to change the engine's handling of exceptional Strength to make it more like an extension of the Strength table--so that, for instance, if you rolled a Strength of 18/01, you could shift a point from Dexterity to raise it to 18/26, and so on. And then making it so that a bonus to Strength would follow that same progression--even with a max Strength of 19, a Half-Orc would have to spend not one but several points to bump their score from 18 to 19, making it a much more expensive proposition.

    I don't know how complicated that would be engine-side, though. But on principle, I like the idea.

    JuliusBorisovtypo_tillyDexter
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited November 2015
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  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    That's probably true, especially considering the number of players who probably play half-orcs solely for the purposes of having 19 Strength. Personally I prefer to just change all the tables to match 5e (10-11: +0, 12-13: +1, etc.), since that has the simultaneous effects of making enemies more powerful and also making low-stat characters feel more distinct from high-stat characters.

    But like many things, I view that as being the purview of modders.

    Tresset
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited November 2015
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  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Right. Well, I was mostly referring to alterations to the Strength table in general. But yes, it's a fair point.

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