Half-Ogre (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

The half-ogre is a rare cross between human and ogre. The mating of a male ogre and a female human results in a half-ogre, while the mating of a male human and female ogre produces ogrekin, much like matings between horses and donkeys can produce either a mule or a hinny. Few human females are able to carry a half-ogre to term, tough medical care can increase the chance greatly. Sometimes an evil, militaristic society might breed half-ogres as warriors. Half-ogres are almost completely sterile but magic can breed them with other half-ogres, humans, ogres, or ogrekin - the progeny is generally of the other parent's race.

Half-ogres are a sturdy race willing to accept hardship. Their upbringing is usually focused on fostering a strong and loyal warrior or laborer, and most half-ogres lack the initiative to break out of this role. They have inherited some of the passivity of their ogre forbears, but what appears as laziness in an ogre is often perceived as stoicism or lack of initiative in a half-ogre. They have the ferocity of ogres, but lack their aggressiveness.

Physical Description: Half-ogres are smaller and more human-like than ogres or ogrekin but still larger than humans. Their skin is usually the pale bone color of ogres, with slabs of hard fat under the skin for protection. They lack all hair, tough some have tufts of hair on the head or near joints. Their frame is human-like, but more powerful. This makes them look much like small, pale, stone giants. Half-ogres lack gross physical deformities, but they can have some minor physical oddities, such as large warts, colored spots, a constant grin, odd teeth, or tufts of hair in unusual places. Males and females have less dimorphism than in humans, with female half-ogres being almost as large as males and with less pronounced figures than human women.

Society: Being the result of ogre raids on human lands or deliberate breeding programs, Half-ogres are often raised by humans in orphanages or training camps, together with a small number of other half-ogres. Raised by humans and taught discipline at an early age, such half-ogres take naturally to an organized, military life. They form small elite units and often live lives of relative comfort but absolute servitude. Even half-ogres raised on their own are usually taught to obey the more intelligent humans around them.

Relations: Half-ogres inherited their attitudes from humans, and humans taught them to respect or even revere humanity. They rarely interact with other races and may not understand the difference between a human, elf, half-elf, and half-orc. Half-ogres are used to a certain amount of abuse from other races, and face such abuse with their usual stoicism. Half-ogre personalities mesh well with other stoic races, such as dwarfs, half-orcs, and some halflings. They fear that gnomes and halflings may play cruel tricks or steal their stuff, so they are defensive around them but not generally hostile.

Alignment and Religion: Half-ogres raised by humans tend towards lawfulness because they are indoctrinated that way. They lack the natural rebelliousness of orcs and ogres, and are generally indifferent to good and evil. They are often brought up to serve gods of warfare and discipline. Some develop pride in their abilities as warriors and seek out gods of heroes or gladiators, growing into a more self-centered, chaotic personality as their self-esteem rises. The rare feral half-ogre tends to be chaotic, and often evil as well.

Adventurers: Half-ogres become adventurers as bodyguards to persons chosen by their orphanage, often holy, rich, or powerful humans. Sometimes they are sent on expeditions as a kind of punitive duty. Some escape servitude and find that the adventuring life is all they are good for. In either case, they tend to form a bond with one or more adventurers of other races, and follow their lead.

Names: Half-ogres often get simple appellations or even numbers to identify them. Such appellations may be a distinguishing physical characteristic. Others have derogatory names they they lack the wit and spirit to refuse. Typical names for both genders are 1st, 5th, Bastard, Big, Blue, Bonk, Club, First, Hinny, Last, Mule, Number 37, Orca, Red, Sallow, Tiny, Tooth, or Tuft.

Standard Racial Traits

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Half-ogre characters gain a +4 racial bonus to Strength and a +2 racial bonus to Constitution and suffer a -2 penalty of Dexterity and a -2 penalty on Intelligence. They are physically powerful, but slow of both mind and body.
  • Size: Half-ogres are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Type: Half-ogres are humanoids of the human and ogre subtypes.
  • Base Speed: Half-ogres have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Languages: Half-ogres begin play speaking Common. Half-ogres with high Intelligence scores can choose to speak other human languages or dwarf, giant, goblin, or orc. See the Linguistics skill for more information about these languages.
  • Random Starting Age: Base age 12 years
    Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer +1d4
    Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger +1d6
    Cleric, Druid, Monk, Wizard +2d6.
  • Aging Effects: Middle Age 30. Old 44. Venerable 60. Max 60+1d20.
  • Height and Weight: Male Height 6’2 Weight 230 Modifier 2d6 Weight Multiplier x7,
    Female Height 6’1 Weight 220 Modifier 2d6 Weight Multiplier x7

Offense Racial Traits

  • Large Frame: Half-ogres receive a +1 racial bonus on all combat maneuvers.

Senses Racial Traits

  • Low-light Vision: Half-ogres can see twice as far as a race with normal vision in conditions of dim light.

Other Racial Traits

  • Ogre Blood: Half-ogres count as both humans and ogres for any effect related to race.

Alternate Racial Traits

  • Hardened: Some half-ogres have weaker arms and a more powerful torso. They gain a +1 racial bonus to CMD. This replaces large frame.
  • Labog: Short for labor ogre, some half ogres have been specifically bred over the generations to serve as laborers, and have had their minds enhanced and their aggressiveness reduced. Half ogres descended from such breeds have have the following ability score modifiers: +4 racial bonus to Strength and a +2 racial bonus to Constitution and suffer a -2 penalty of Dexterity and a -2 penalty on Charisma. They are physically powerful, but slow and timid. Labogs are just barely fertile.
  • Mul: A cross of ogre and dwarf, the mul is shorter (-5 inches base height) and more stocky (x10 weight multiple). Tough above anything else, mul have the following ability score modifiers: +2 racial bonus to Strength and a +4 racial bonus to Constitution and suffer a -2 penalty of Dexterity and a -2 penalty on Charisma. They have darkvision 60 ft. instead of low-light vision.

Racial Relatives

Other ogre crossbreeds exiat, but these are not half-ogres and use their own racial writeup. They are not generally suitable as player characters.

  • Ogrekin are the result of female ogres mating with humans.
  • Ogren are breeds of ogre and goblinoids.
  • Ogrillon are breeds of ogre and orc.

Half Ogres in Greyhawk

The main source of half-ogres and other crossbreeds is in the Scarlet brotherhood, where they are bred as labor and shock troops. The scarlet brothers consider the sterility and short life span of half-ogres a boon, insuring that these slaves can never create a successful rebellion. There is a strong presence of ogres in most mountainous areas of the Flaness, but that creates few half-ogres. Most half-ogres born among ogres do not survive to maturity. A few individuals exist in all countries adjacent to mountains or hills inhabited by ogres. Other than that, half ogres exist in small enclaves in the Bandit Kingdoms, Bone March, Pomarj, and Hold of Stonefist. In the former great Kingdom half-ogres were bred as soldiers and this practice may continue in secret.

Racial Traits

  • Bigger than Yours (Racial): A great club in your hands has a reach of 10 ft, and can still attack adjacent opponents.
  • Gentle Hands (Racial): When working as a manual laborer or in a Profession where strength and carrying capacity is important, you work four times as fast as a human and generally get twice the pay.
  • Spirit Ferocity (Racial): You have spiritual contact with your ogre ancestry. When you fail a Concentration check to cast defensively, you can still cast the spell normally instead of defensively. You may have to make additional Concentration checks if you take any damage from the attacks of opportunity.
  • Tall But Humble (Racial): Just by staying in the background and looking impressive, you can use Intimidate with aid other actions to help an ally's Diplomacy checks.
  • Yes, Sir! (Racial): You have a single sir, a human (or other creature with both higher Intelligence and Charisma than yours) who you are devoted to serve. When in the presence of your sir, you get a +2 trait bonus to initiative checks. This benefits ends if you ever refuse an order form your sir. You can swear allegiance again as a full-round action, but it takes a week for the benefit to start to apply.

See Also

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