Half Orcs




Common, Orc

Favored Regions

Absalom, Belkzen, Katapesh, Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Nidal, Realm of the Mammoth Lords, River Kingdoms, the Shackles, Varisia

Favored Religions

Cayden Cailean, Gorum, Lamashtu, Norgorber, Pharasma, Rovagug

Female Names

Anjaz, Butoi, Cannan, Drogeda, Goruza, Kifah, Mazon, Nadkarni, Pantoja, Rzonca, Shirish, Sucheta, Suzhen, Tevaga, Zeljka

Male Names

Aoukar, Ausk, Bouzaglu, Davor, Gorumax, Hakak, Kizziar, Krajasik, Makoa, Nesteruk, Passag, Ragnak, Shukuris, Tsadok, Unglert, Woiak


Half-orcs stand between 6 and 7 feet in height and are generally quite robust and muscular. Their hair color tends to be black, though darker shades of brown, gray, or even dark red are not uncommon. Their eyes tend to be small, but it is half-orcs’ pointed ears, jagged tusk-like teeth, and green skin that truly display their heritage.

When the dwarves drove the orcs before them in the Quest for Sky, they unleashed a new horror upon the beleaguered humans of the surface world. For long centuries, humans lived cowed and hunted by their cruel new foes, until at last they made common cause with dwarves and halflings and drove the orcs into the wild lands of the Kodar Mountains, far from the fertile lands of central Avistan. Ages later, the orcs still believe they have a right to these lands, and plot ceaselessly to reclaim that which they believe is rightfully theirs. To that end, they conduct horrifying raids deep into human territory to plunder and take humans for slaves and breeding stock. Although the offspring of these unions are weaker than their pureblooded orc brethren, they are also far more intelligent—and if the orcs can control these young, they could become the next generation of orc leaders, spies, and priests. Their warlike nature combined with their human wit makes these half-orcs natural tacticians and cunning strategists who surpass the ability of any pureblooded orc.

Many half-orcs have broken free from the prison of their orc heritage, choosing lives of their own beyond the dictates of the orcs’ everlasting preparations for war. These half-orcs strike out for other lands, seeking new homes among people who can value them as individuals rather than for the promise of conquest and bloodshed. Unfortunately, such places prove woefully rare, and half-orcs unable to disguise their heritage face widespread prejudice, hatred, and even outright violence. In the places where orcs are a common threat, so too are half-orcs—either as leaders of the orc warbands, or as the bastard children left as the result of brutal raids—and many societies see those with orc blood as tainted and dangerous, regardless of how thinly that blood flows. These neighboring areas tend to be of Taldan or Chelish descent (in Lastwall, Molthune, and Nirmathas), or of Varisian descent (in Varisia or Ustalav).

Half-orcs growing up in places where orcs are a threat are likely to be outcasts prone to violent, impulsive, and slightly paranoid behavior (though their paranoia is often well-founded). Because they are stronger than their human kin, they are also likely to be feared. Some half-orcs make an effort to blend into their community and to become good citizens in an effort to dispel the stigma of their orc blood. Such goals remain an individual effort, though, as unlike elves, orcs bear no goodwill toward humanity, and the curse of orc blood is associated with horrors. More frequently, half-orcs hire themselves out as mercenaries and thugs, using their native strength to their advantage.

In places farther from orc influences, half-orcs find greater opportunities to let their human sides grow and flourish. While they may still gravitate toward the bellicose arts, they seek employment as weapons masters, heads of household security, forgers of weapons and armor, and luminaries in the art of war. Though they are expansive in their emotion and powerful in their rage, they seek opportunities to channel their orc impulses into more constructive pursuits. Many who acknowledge their darkness have developed a more civilized mechanism for expressing it. Some even become highly sought artists—typically working in metal, tattooing, bone, or stone.

As with half-elves, the name “half-orc” does not technically mean that one of a child’s parents was an orc, but simply that orcs make an appearance in the family tree. Because half-orcs do not usually live exclusively among their own kind, they can choose to adopt either human, or orc, traits or feats, depending on their upbringing. Thus, if a half-orc is closer to his orc heritage, he can choose to take the feats and traits listed in Pathfinder Player Companion: Orcs of Golarion. Alternatively, if he identifies more strongly with his human heritage, he can choose the human feats and traits from this book or from other sources.

Half Orcs

Lands of the Linnorm Kings HillaryRenaeMize