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Any chance Half Orcs will finally be done justice?

24

Comments

  • FrancoisFrancois Member Posts: 452
    edited August 2015
    Why are they called Half-Orc? Suppose you're a gnome or elf, why wouldn't you call them half-humans? Or Humorcs.

    About the topic, I think the sprite is fine. In term of body, there's not much difference between a 18/00-STR human and a 19-STR half-orc. In real life Minsc should be much bigger than Edwin but they are the same size on the screen. What I would really like is a choice of more sprites for all races (shorter or fatter humans, etc.)

    My understanding of PnP was that pretty much any race could be playable (at DM's discretion). If I remember, in 3rd edition Trolls, goblins, half-fiends, etc. are all ok. They just have a an adjustment (like a Lv5 Fighter-Troll is like a Lv10 human or something). DMs are playing monsters all the time, so there's no reason players cannot have the same pleasure. I'm looking forward to the goblin NPC in SoD and I wished it was a playable race.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    They are known as half-orcs because they are in a human-centric society. If they where living amongst orcs, they would be called half-humans.

    cmk24KamigoroshiJuliusBorisov
  • Avenger_teambgAvenger_teambg Member, Developer Posts: 5,862
    I thought these names are player centric (and most players are humans), not in-game names.

    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • T2avT2av Member Posts: 202
    It isn't easy being Green...

    NimranKamigoroshiLateraluslolien
  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,769
    Fardragon said:

    They are known as half-orcs because they are in a human-centric society. If they where living amongst orcs, they would be called half-humans.

    I thought they'd be called "sniveling little weaklings."

    lolien
  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
    edited August 2015
    I don't really think half-orcs need models, aren't they suppose to just look like ugly humans?

    FardragonelminsterSixheadeddogGallowglass
  • RedGuardRedGuard Member Posts: 672
    Would be cool, but they either don't have the capability or the time and resources. The way the Enhanced Editions were set up in the first place meant that their hands are pretty much tied when it comes to what fans want.

  • DetroitRedWings25DetroitRedWings25 Member Posts: 241

    I don't really think half-orcs need models, aren't they suppose to just look like ugly humans?

    By this logic aren’t Half elves just humans with slightly pointy ears? Full elves just slightly short humans with pointy ears. Dwarves just short stout people with large beards? Halflings just Midgets? and Gnomes comically disproportioned short people?

  • DetroitRedWings25DetroitRedWings25 Member Posts: 241
    I think between the greenish skin, jutting tusks and largest physical builds half Orcs are arguably the most unique of the base 7 races physically.

    Kamigoroshi
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited August 2015

    I think between the greenish skin, jutting tusks and largest physical builds half Orcs are arguably the most unique of the base 7 races physically.

    They didn't look like that in 1st and 2nd edition though.

    Orcs whern't even green until 3rd edition.

  • DetroitRedWings25DetroitRedWings25 Member Posts: 241
    edited August 2015
    Fardragon said:

    I think between the greenish skin, jutting tusks and largest physical builds half Orcs are arguably the most unique of the base 7 races physically.

    They didn't look like that in 1st and 2nd edition though.

    Orcs whern't even green until 3rd edition.
    They do however look like that in Baldurs gate, based on both the character creation description as well as Dorns Portrait and Gromnir Il-Khans Portrait.
    In game Racial Description: Half-orcs are born from the union of human and orc parents. They are as tall as humans, but a little heavier due to their muscular builds. Their greenish pigmentation, sloping forehead, jutting jaw, prominent teeth, and coarse body hair make their lineage plain for all to see. In the Sword Coast, half-orcs are tolerated, as unlike in the north the local people haven't had centuries of warfare with orc kind. Half-orcs are known for their great strength.

    RedGuard
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,711
    Fardragon said:

    I think between the greenish skin, jutting tusks and largest physical builds half Orcs are arguably the most unique of the base 7 races physically.

    They didn't look like that in 1st and 2nd edition though.

    Orcs whern't even green until 3rd edition.
    Where do you get that idea from? Both the Complete Book of Humanoids and the Monstrous Manual describe Orcs as to look like primitive humans with grey-green skin and coarse hair. Half-Orcs also tended to look more orchish than human, except for a small minority that could barely pass for ugly humans.

    So generally speaken, Half-Orcs do indeed tend to have the most distinguishable appearance of the presented player races in any of the IE games. Well, with the exception of Tieflings in IWDII. But that's obvious since they have outsider blood.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    Dee said:

    Just a point of clarification: half-elves do not have their own paperdoll or in-game animation. They use the Elf model for both. So half-orcs using the human animation is not unprecedented.

    And gnomes use dwarf avatars. Tieflings (e.g., Haer'Dalis) also use the elf avatars. There's a lot of precedent for races sharing sprites.

    As @DetroitRedWings25 quoted, "They are as tall as humans, but a little heavier due to their muscular builds." So, the human sprite sounds fine.

    NimranJuliusBorisov
  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,848
    And all female shorties have the same sprites as well.

    JuliusBorisov
  • LateralusLateralus Member Posts: 903
    They should get infravision. That bugs me.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,711
    Lateralus said:

    They should get infravision. That bugs me.

    Rejoice, then. For they already got that through an update. :wink:

  • billbiscobillbisco Member Posts: 361
    @Dee the hal-orc paperdoll does not match the sprite. It would be nice to finally get them to match ala female dwarves.

  • RedGuardRedGuard Member Posts: 672
    Fardragon said:

    I think between the greenish skin, jutting tusks and largest physical builds half Orcs are arguably the most unique of the base 7 races physically.

    They didn't look like that in 1st and 2nd edition though.

    Orcs whern't even green until 3rd edition.
    That just proves how it isn't easy being green. It took three editions to get it right. :wink:

    RAM021
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    We have reason to believe Beamdog is disinclined to acquiesce your request.

    It means no.

    image

    NonnahswriterSmilingSword
  • JediMindTrixJediMindTrix Member Posts: 287
    You're gonna have more success DIY

  • ValamirCleaverValamirCleaver Member Posts: 184
    edited August 2015
    Fardragon said:

    They didn't look like that in 1st and 2nd edition though.

    Orcs whern't even green until 3rd edition.

    They didn't & they weren't until then?...

    http://www.dungeonsdragonscartoon.com/2011/01/half-orcs.html

    image

    http://www.dungeonsdragonscartoon.com/2009/08/orcs.html

    image

    http://www.toyarchive.com/Dungeons&Dragons/Figures/Zarak.html

    image

    http://www.toyarchive.com/Dungeons&Dragons/PVCBendy/PVCBendy.html

    image

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_&_Dragons_(TV_series)

    "Dungeons & Dragons is an American animated television series based on TSR's Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. A co-production of Marvel Productions and TSR, the show originally ran from 1983 through 1985 for three seasons on CBS for a total of twenty-seven episodes."

    If memory serves me correctly 1983-85 was the middle of the the 1e days, right?...

    Sixheadeddog
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511

    Fardragon said:

    I think between the greenish skin, jutting tusks and largest physical builds half Orcs are arguably the most unique of the base 7 races physically.

    They didn't look like that in 1st and 2nd edition though.

    Orcs whern't even green until 3rd edition.
    Where do you get that idea from? Both the Complete Book of Humanoids and the Monstrous Manual describe Orcs as to look like primitive humans with grey-green skin and coarse hair. Half-Orcs also tended to look more orchish than human, except for a small minority that could barely pass for ugly humans.

    So generally speaken, Half-Orcs do indeed tend to have the most distinguishable appearance of the presented player races in any of the IE games. Well, with the exception of Tieflings in IWDII. But that's obvious since they have outsider blood.
    Originally orcs where grey-black, following Tolkien. When concerns where raised about possible racist interpretations, they where quietly made green.

  • ValamirCleaverValamirCleaver Member Posts: 184
    Fardragon said:

    Originally orcs where grey-black, following Tolkien. When concerns where raised about possible racist interpretations, they where quietly made green.

    Are you sure it wasn't, at least in part, because of implied potential legalistic prodding from the Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises that caused the changes and inspired Gary Gygax to downplay the seemingly obvious inspiration that J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth had on Dungeons & Dragons?

    http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2008/11/brief-history-of-tolkien-rpgs.html

    "The original D&D was clearly based in equal parts on JRRT & on Rbt E. Howard's Conan stories"[...] "which makes it odd that the profound influence of Tolkien on D&D is generally overlooked and downplayed."

    "Second, there was a deliberate attempt in later years by Gygax and others, continuing to the present day, to play down Tolkien's influence, most notoriously in Gygax's famous editorial from the March 1985 issue of Dragon magazine (issue #95, pages 12¬–13). Titled "The influence of J. R. R. Tolkien on the D&D® and AD&D® games: Why Middle Earth is not part of the game world", it argues that Tolkien had NO discernable influence on the development of D&D, aside from a few surface similarities based on Gygax's drawing on the same sort of sources as Tolkien himself had used."

    "So, what happened? The answer can be found, albeit obliquely, in Kristen Thompson's excellent book The Frodo Franchise [2007], a history of the making of the Peter Jackson movies. In her account of the way film rights to Tolkien's book got sold and resold to various filmmakers and studios, she describes how finally Saul Zaentz bought both the film and film merchandising rights in 1976, and by 1978 had set up Tolkien Enterprises to handle all licensing based on the Bakshi film"[...]. "This is important, because while conventional wisdom ascribes to the Tolkien Estate a reputation for laying down the law and descending like a hammer on people who use Tolkien names and characters without approval, in almost all cases I've been able to trace this is in fact not the Tolkien ESTATE—that is, the Tolkien family—but Tolkien ENTERPRISES, or Saul Zaentz. Given the uncertain state of the Tolkien copyrights in the 1970s (which is another story I can come back to later it you like), it's almost certain that it was NOT the Tolkien Estate, but rather Zaentz's Tolkien Enterprises, that sent TSR their cease & desist back sometime in late 1977. Whereupon Gygax and Company at once filed the serial numbers off, except in a few odd cases such as "orc" (which they ludicrously began to claim came not from Tolkien but from an Irish word for pig, leading to the silly-looking pig-snouted orcs of the Monster Manual [page 76]) and 'mithral' (which they simply decided to misspell) and otherwise went on their merry way."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sources_and_influences_on_the_development_of_Dungeons_&_Dragons

    "The theme of D&D was influenced by mythology, pulp fiction, and contemporary fantasy authors of the 1960s and 1970s. The presence of halflings, elves, dwarves, half-elves, orcs, rangers and the like often draw comparisons to the work of J. R. R. Tolkien. The resemblance was even closer before the threat of copyright action from Tolkien Enterprises prompted the name changes of hobbit to 'halfling', ent to 'treant', and balrog to 'balor'. Gygax maintained that he was influenced very little by The Lord of the Rings, stating that he included these elements as a marketing move to draw on the popularity of the work[6][7] However, in an interview in 2000, he acknowledged that Tolkien had a "strong impact".[8]"

    6. ^ Kuntz, Rob (April 1978). "Tolkien in Dungeons & Dragons". The Dragon #13 (TSR Hobbies, Inc.) II (7): 8.

    7. ^ Gygax; "On the Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien on the D&D and AD&D games" in Dragon #95

    8. ^ http://archives.theonering.net/features/interviews/gary_gygax.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_inspired_by_J._R._R._Tolkien#Homages

    "The creators of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game were also strongly influenced by Tolkien. The game has (clearly Tolkien-influenced) dwarves and elves as playable characters, and formerly had hobbits as well. After being threatened with a lawsuit by the Saul Zaentz company, Tolkien Enterprises, they replaced hobbits with the similar "halflings" — a term also used in The Lord of the Rings, balrogs with 'balor-demons' and other genericized names. In most versions of the game, halflings were especially good at being thieves/rogues, a nod to Bilbo the thief in The Hobbit. His works also indirectly inspired the Warcraft series via their use in Games Workshop's battle games."

    https://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/setpages/original.html

    "Sixth (1977)"
    "References to Hobbits and Ents have been changed to Halflings and Treants (see page 9 of Men & Magic), due to copyright conflicts with the Tolkien estate (with the exception of a single leftover reference on pg 6 to Hobbits!). Furthermore, many other infringements on Tolkien's literary license were excised or changed; notably, references to Balrogs, Nazgul, and even several mentions of Tolkien himself"

    http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?185684-Question-for-the-grognards-Why-does-D-amp-D-have-dwarves-elves-hobbits-etc

    Grum
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    The compete book of humanoids was published a couple of years after the legal case had shown "orcs" where drawn from mythology, and hence public domain. Halflings had been changed before 2nd edition came out. It was actually Warhammer that first made orcs green.

    Grum
  • ValamirCleaverValamirCleaver Member Posts: 184
    The Complete Book of Humanoids PHBR10 was published in 1993, TSR started making these changes ("filing off the serial numbers") in 1977. What is the specific name and year of this "legal case"? Please list any direct citations supporting your statements.

    http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/16998/PHBR10-The-Complete-Book-of-Humanoids-2e?it=1

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Complete_Book_of_Humanoids

    http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Dungeons-Dragons-Complete-Humanoids/dp/1560766115

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons_&_Dragons_controversies#Licensing_and_trademark_violations

    "References in early TSR publications to certain creatures from J.R.R. Tolkien's mythical Middle-earth were removed or altered due to intellectual property concerns. For example, TSR replaced all references to the race of Hobbits in D&D with their alternate name, Halflings—which was coined by Tolkien but judged by TSR to be non-infringing. In the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the threat of copyright action from Tolkien Enterprises prompted the name changes of hobbit to 'halfling', ent to 'treant', and balrog to 'Type VI demon [balor]'.[28][29][30]"

    28. ^ Kuntz; "Tolkien in Dungeons & Dragons" in Dragon #13

    29. ^ Gygax; "On the Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien on the D&D and AD&D games" in Dragon #95

    30. ^ Drout; "J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia", p 229 https://books.google.com/books?id=B0loOBA3ejIC&q=Dungeons+and+Dragons+featured+elements+unique+to+Tolkien#v=snippet&q=Dungeons and Dragons featured elements unique to Tolkien&f=false

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited August 2015
    The Tolkien estate won over hobbits, and halflings where changed in 2nd edition. However, they LOST over orcs: the lawyers where able to show that Tolkien didn't invent them - they where drawn from a bit if obscure Scandanavian mythology, and hence public domain. There was no need to change them, and so remained grey/black at the start of 2nd edition (however, they where already green in Warhammer). In the late 80s, as part of the general anti-fantasy hysteria that gripped the USA, Tolkien was accused of racism over his description of "black orcs" and so DnD orcs quietly became green.

    If you want to know the exact details of the case, look it up yourself. I know because I was there when it happened. Just because something is written on the internet doesn't make it true, especially if it is written long after the event.

    Post edited by Fardragon on
  • SixheadeddogSixheadeddog Member Posts: 188
    Blades said:

    Every campaign like FR, Dragonlance, etc.. has their race variants. Core books are for homemade campaigns when it comes to Races.

    Actually, this is not necessarily true. In 2nd ed, the campaign settings had mostly uniform demihumans and humanoids across all worlds. The only major differences that stick out immediately are some of the Dragonlance races (Dragonlance ogres are weird and different, as are Dragonlance minotaurs), as well as the races of Athas (this almost goes without saying); but across the major Old School campaign worlds, a human is a human, an elf is an elf, a goblin is a goblin and an orc is an orc.
    3rd edition FR added Multiple Orcs types in the Races of Faerun supplement. There was a race of Orcs native to Faerun and a race brought to Faerun by Thay via a gate to fight Mulhorand and its living gods in an earlier age.
    3rd edition FR added a lot of crap. :) There were multiple types of orcs prior to this, however. Orogs are sometimes considered a variant of orcs (despite being part ogre), and the Zhents bred specialty orogs to fill out their armies. There were also Ondonti orcs, who were Lawful Good and whose origin at the moment escapes me. Then there are the scro -- the enlightened orcs, the followers of Dukagsh. Ahh. Memories.

    ValamirCleaver
  • SixheadeddogSixheadeddog Member Posts: 188


    Hobgoblins took the highly disciplined militaristic demihumans role, so somebody had to be the savage super-brutes. I think it's a good thing, to help differentiate D&D as a property from LotR and even Warhammer or Warcraft.

    Couple of points here:

    1) Hobgoblins aren't demihumans, they're goblinoids/humanoids.
    2) "Somebody had to be the savage super-brutes"... Ogres? Trolls?
    3) It's silly to suggest that changing orcs from LE to CE somehow made D&D "differentiated" or better. It did neither; D&D didn't need any help differentiating itself from Warhammer/Warcraft. In fact, what the change actually did was alter D&D orcs so that they met the expectations of players who were primarily familiar with Warhammer and Warcraft. Orcs prior to 3rd edition were better by far.

    ValamirCleaver
  • SixheadeddogSixheadeddog Member Posts: 188
    edited August 2015
    Fardragon said:

    The Tolkien estate won over hobbits, and halflings where changed in 2nd edition.

    Um... so, where are the 1st edition Hobbits? I guess, because of the alphabet, they must come sometime after the "Halfling" PC race is described on page 17 of the 1st ed PHB... (publication date: 1978)
    However, they LOST over orcs: the lawyers where able to show that Tolkien didn't invent them - they where drawn from a bit if obscure Scandanavian mythology, and hence public domain. There was no need to change them, and so remained grey/black at the start of 2nd edition (however, they where already green in Warhammer). In the late 80s, as part of the general anti-fantasy hysteria that gripped the USA, Tolkien was accused of racism over his description of "black orcs" and so DnD orcs quietly became green.
    From 1st ed AD&D Monster Manual, page 76:

    "Orcs appear particularly disgusting because their coloration – brown or brownish green with a bluish sheen – highlights their pinkish snouts and ears."

    (date of publication: 1977-1978)
    If you want to know the exact details of the case, look it up yourself. I know because I was there when it happened. Just because something is written on the internet doesn't make it true, especially if it is written long after the event.
    1) So, you're admonishing us to "look it up" ourselves, but then when we do you suggest that "Just because something is written on the internet doesn't make it true..."

    2) Your accounts, themselves -- being written on the internet long after the event -- appear to be wrong simply by virtue of what's actually present in the source material... or are my D&D books wrong, as well?

    ValamirCleaver
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