Daggerford and the North
Half-orcs are humanoids born of both human and orc ancestry by a multitude of means. Combining the physical power of their orcish ancestors with the agility of their humans ones, half-orcs can be formidable individuals. Though often shunned in both human and orcish society, though for different reasons, half-orcs have proven themselves from time to time as worthy heroes and dangerous villains. Their existence sometimes implies an interesting back story that many would not like to dwell on.
Half-orcs are, on average, somewhere between 5’9" and 6’4" in height and usually weigh between 155 and 225 pounds making them a little taller and stronger than humans on average. Most half-orcs have grayish skin, jutting jaws, prominent teeth, a sloping forehead, and coarse body hair, which causes them to stand out from their human brethren, though their canines are noticeably smaller than a full-blooded orc’s tusks. Half-orcs as such appear bestial to humans, though amongst orcs they are considered human-like physically. Half-orc hair is most often black, though it grays very quickly with age. In general, half-orcs do not live as long as humans, maturing by their sixteenth year and often dying before their sixtieth.
Half-orcs that have lived amongst orcs might pick up a common orcish tradition, that of ritual scarring. Half-orcs with such a background do not look upon scars as marks of shame or as unattractive blemishes, but rather as marks of pride that demonstrate their skill and bravery in battle. On occasion, however, scars are used for a darker purpose, with orcs marking half-orc slaves with scars in the same manner a rancher might brand cattle.
Half-orcs have a strength uncommon to most humans, though comparable with orcs. Half-orcs are less durable than their full-blooded kin, however, though they tend to be more dexterous and indeed, more so than most other humanoids. Half-orcs also have a resilience unique to them and when gravely injured, simply seem all the more determined to win, as though the blows had, in fact, empowered them. Similarly, all half-orcs have the furious assault ability, which allows them to channel their feral fury into a powerful attack. These qualities are only temporary, however, and like any other mortal, half-orcs eventually tire as a battle wears on and can be broken physically.
The half-orc personality tends to be short tempered and sullen, though half-orc mental capabilities are often underestimated and members of the race are often significantly more cunning than full-blooded orcs. More often than not, half-orcs prefer simple pleasures such as feasting, singing, wrestling, or wild dancing to refined pursuits such as poetry or philosophy. Most half-orcs are free-spirited like their orcish brethren, though they have fewer of the evil tendencies that blemish the reputation of orcs and are as likely good as they are evil, at least when raised amongst humans.
In most culture, half-orcs are viewed with great prejudice. Within the lands of their human ancestors, half-orcs are commonly seen as savage thugs and looked down upon. As a result, most half-orcs in human society are forced into menial labor or violence for a career. Some choose to take on the life of an adventurer, perhaps merely as another acceptable means to wealth and power or sometimes as a way to throw off the shackles of other people’s perceptions.
Within orc society, half-orcs are sometimes still looked down upon as weaker and inferior creatures, but overall they tend to fare better. Most orcs grudgingly acknowledge the superiority of the half-orc’s intellect as well as their comparable strength. As a result, it is not entirely unusual for a half-orc raised amongst orcs to rise to a position of power within his or her tribe.
Half-orcs who live amongst humans are frequently drawn to adventure simply because few opportunities are presented to them for less than violent occupations. Pressured into martial lifestyles and rejected by polite society, half-orcs often only find acceptance amongst other races by proving their worth as adventurers. Likewise, the only friends a half-orc is likely to make are other adventurers, who are often also outcasts of a sort.
(SOURCE: The Forgotten Realms Wiki)