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Old 08-07-2018, 12:11 AM   #11
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Orcs as player characters

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Originally Posted by JohnPaulB View Post
The cover art of ITL and the internal art of all the books really shaped my views of Orcs. The concept of "Orcs are closely related to men; their prehistoric ancestor Orcanthropus, dominated many alternate worlds during Neanderthal days."

Wow, what a very different view from the other RPGs of the time with pig-faced orcs. I also like that Orcs weren't Monster-Types (as in the other games) and that you could make friends with them OR be one.
Yeah, I've always really liked the way ITL outlines orcs (and the orc art for them), elves, dwarves, and goblins to be interestingly not caricatures nor entirely unsympathetic, uncivilized, nor restricted to opponents. I don't much care for D&D/warhammer/warcraft-style orcs by comparison.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:19 AM   #12
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Orcs as player characters

I'm not hearing anything that would argue against Orcs as PC's...
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:29 AM   #13
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Orcs as player characters

Designer's intent is that all the humanoid races be playable as PCs, even Prootwaddles if the group thinks it's amusing.

I have smoothed off some of the rough spots on character generation to make starting characters of the different races more equivalent. This in particular means that a starting PC goblin is SIGNIFICANTLY superior in total stats to an average goblin, but I have decided I don't care. We are playing extraordinary people, even the green ones.

(Examples: The Dwarf bonus to damage with hammers has been removed. The extra weight they can carry remains. The Halfling ability with Thrown Weapons is now regularized as an automatic grant of the Thrown Weapons skill.)
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:42 AM   #14
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Orcs as player characters

Nice, Steve!

That should go a long way to stop the "halflings are OP in TFT" claims by munchkins.

And goblins are interesting so it seemed a shame how weak and sub-optimal they were as PCs. If starting goblins are 32 points, that has me feel I have more license as a GM to make more variable goblin NPCs without feeling like I'm being excessive/weird, too. I was always not sure what the average non-PC goblin would be like, either, so it will be good to have that distinction spelled out.
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:00 PM   #15
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Orcs as player characters

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
The Dwarf bonus to damage with hammers has been removed. The extra weight they can carry remains.
If both of these character advantages are by-products of a race which spent generations in the mines (using hammers and carrying heavy loads), what is your reasoning behind eliminating the one advantage, and yet, retaining the other advantage?

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 08-07-2018 at 10:22 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:06 PM   #16
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Orcs as player characters

I was never sure where the halfling one came from, but I'm glad it's officially being combined with the talent, so you can't stack on the talent and get super-high adjDX.

The dwarf one I'm used to and like, but also wasn't sure where it came from. If it is "mining" well surely not every dwarf has that background. More importantly, I've long thought it too should be combined with some talent anyone can get... but AFAIK there isn't one that does that.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:01 PM   #17
JohnPaulB
 
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Location: Portland, Maine
Default Re: Orcs as player characters

From my entry #7
"So, since Orcs are so closely related to Man, it would seem that an offspring might be fertile and produce ... Human Half-Orcs?
But I gather that is not a direction that SJ wants to go. So House Rules it is!"

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Originally Posted by Halgar View Post
There are rules for Halfbreeds in In the Labyrinth. Under the old rules set, you could play one.
Yes... I knew that ... 30 years ago.

Thank you, Steve, for clarifying.

However, if the stats for beginning Half-breeds is not in Legacy, then its still House-Rules.... because the gamer will have to decide what the midway characteristics is.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:45 AM   #18
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Orcs as player characters

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The description of Orcs in In the Labyrinth says that they "get along well with men," but it describes them as surly, vicious, lying, sneaky, and rotten, which is not something that people would get along well with. It says that "an orc character (if he's a normal one) would get experience points for obnoxious words and deeds, and lose for noble actions." I hope that the new version of In the Labyrinth will describe Orcs as a race that's fun to play as a character and fun for the other players in the party if someone is playing one.
Here's a fantastic video on "how to play an evil character" with advice that allows for trust between the PCs and also evil behavior on the part of the evil PC(s). It addresses ALL of the concerns I had about evil PCs (including mild PTSD I had from high school when I played in a group where one guy was a real jerk while playing a chaotic evil assassin in D&D).

He has a huge group of valuable RPG advice, including "Are you the D*ck in your Role playing game?", in which each member of our group found their behavior discussed in great detail (I highly recommend it -- none of us escaped that one). He has a whole series on GMing as well. Lest GMs think they get away free, here's "Are you the D*ck Game Master at your role playing table?".
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:09 AM   #19
Steve Jackson
President and EIC
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Orcs as player characters

Orcs and men have similar stats, so a half-breed would also be 8/8/8/8.

Dwaves - Jim, that is a good question, and the reason is: (1) the hammer bonus is a combat thing and those are likeliest to be munchkined; (2) the weight bonus is a nod to Tolkien, who first imagined the Dwarven race as it was adapted for D&D and thence the gaming hobby. The weight bonus is to an extent compensated for by Dwarves' gold-lust and racial enmities - a bit of Advantages and Disadvantages sneaking in the back door.

Here is a related question not yet answered in my own mind. Elves get a running bonus. Should I (a) simply give all Elves the Runner talent, so of course they can't get it again, or (b) allow for Elf Runners with MA 14? (Either way, Elves' racial enmities and -3 DX squickitude at crawly things tend to balance the running bonus.)
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:17 AM   #20
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Orcs as player characters

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
The dwarf one I'm used to and like, but also wasn't sure where it came from. If it is "mining" well surely not every dwarf has that background.
I suppose it "comes from" Tolkien, the Brothers Grimm, or perhaps Gygax, or perhaps Walt Disney even; suffice it say the troupe as we understood it - and I too cannot say where this "comes from" - is that the damage bonus with hammers and the ability to carry extra heavy loads for Dwarves was purely a genetic bonus provided by generations upon generations of member of this race doing this thing over and over until it imprinted on the DNA of all members of the race itself.

This is why I have asked to understand the thinking behind the loss of one advantage, while another is retained; as both are generally considered to be immutable racial traits.

And, if they are indeed immutable racial traits, how does one then bifurcate them logically and reasonably; especially when asked by players who *know* Dwarves are like *this*, and you have to explain why they are not - or in our system - are no longer like that?

JK
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