I am a brand new DM and I was asked if I allowed orc races, but my 2 players both wanted to play dumb brutish orcs, and so I homebrewed a race for them, but I am unsure whether it is balanced in any way. BTW, one chose cleric, the other chose paladin. Oh and, there are 2 playable orc races, "true orcs" which are the orcs from eberron, and then this. this orc variant is only made for this world. And in this world "true orcs" are blessed by the orc god, so they aren't canonically stupid.

Feral Orc

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 3, and your Constitution score increases by 2, although your intelligence decreases by 3

Age. Feral orcs reach adulthood at the age of 10 and live up to the age of 50.

Alignment. Feral orcs tend to lean to lean towards chaotic alignments.

Size. Feral orcs are usually over 7 feet tall and weigh between 300 and 450 pounds. But they often seem shorter due to being leaned forward. Your size is Medium. To set your height and weight randomly, start with rolling a size modifier.

  • Size modifier 2d10
  • Height = 6 feet + your size modifier in inches
  • Weight in pounds = 200 + (2d6 x your size modifier)

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 30 feet of your as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.

Feral rage. As a bonus action you can go into a feral rage, it halves damage taken for 2 rounds, But it gives disadvantage on wisdom and intelligence saving throws. You can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Primal Monster. You gain proficiency in the intimidation skill, and Survival skill, and Nature skill

Undying stupidity. When you are hit by an attack that would bring you to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you gain 5 temporary hit points, and you don't become unconscious, These Temporary hit points last for (1d4+level) rounds. You can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Horrid looks. You have reverse Proficiency bonus in Persuasion skill.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Orc, and understand and speak simple sentences in Common

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Are the official orc races not dumb/ brutish enough for your players? \$\endgroup\$
    – Raj
    May 3, 2022 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ This writeup doesn't really match the format of D&D 5e races, which makes it hard to judge. "Reverse proficiency" doesn't exist, for example, and things don't usually last "2 rounds". \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    May 3, 2022 at 17:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you aware of the official Orc races in Volo's Guide to Monsters, Explorer's Guide to Wildermount and Eberron: Rising from the Last War? Is there any reason you're not using those? \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    May 3, 2022 at 17:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would consider language issues before balance. Calling a race horrid and stupid isn't a clever idea. Find some kinder words. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    May 3, 2022 at 17:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's no "reverse proficiency" in the game. If you are introducing new mechanics, please explain them, not assume we'll understand them the way you meant them. It's bad from, even if it's obvious. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    May 3, 2022 at 19:10

1 Answer 1


It's not that it's necessarily overpowered or game breaking, it just deviates from established conventions. This is usually a bad sign, especially when you have little experience with a system and no experience GMing.

The large stat bonuses, and the stat penalties existed in earlier editions and only served to encourage minmaxing. A penalty doesn't penalise the character, it encourages them to eschew that skill.

This is especially harsh with persuasion- you are outright encouraging characters to avoid talking to people.

Instead, consider using the official half-orc race to represent the full orcs. It does everything your homebrew aims to accomplish- strength, intimidation, and even an ability based around being too angry to die.

If players want to play dumb and brutish, that's a matter of roleplay and stat distribution.


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