Half-orcs have both human and orc ancestry. Though these individuals sometimes result from the union of orcs and humans, the relative rarity of pure-blooded orcs means that most half-orcs are the children of other half-orcs. They usually stand a bit taller than humans and have strong, muscular builds, with green or gray skin. Many half-orcs have tusk-like canines protruding from their lower jaws, as well as slightly pointed ears and large brows that give them a brooding appearance.
Half-orcs are fairly uncommon. Unfortunately, most of the free half-orcs who inhabit the rest of the solar system are shunned or vilified due to traditional prejudices. The fact that these prejudices sometimes drive half-orcs to become exactly the brutal criminals society expects only reinforces this negative cycle. Those half-orcs who do find acceptance tend to do so within enclaves of their own kind, among androids and other marginalized groups, or in militaristic orders where the fear they inspire can be turned to their advantage. Though society funnels them toward roles as soldiers, operatives, and intimidating envoys, some find solace as mechanics, preferring machines to people. They get along particularly well in vesk mercenary groups, as the reptilian aliens lack traditional prejudices.
Some half-orcs, frustrated with society’s judgment of them due to their appearance, decide to accentuate their differences and take to extreme body modification. This subculture uses piercings, plastic surgery, and even cybernetic enhancements to express themselves and set themselves apart from the mainstream. Many half-orcs feel the call to join the Augmented, and such “steelskins” may not even consider themselves half-orcs anymore, looking down on members of their race who have kept their natural forms.
For those half-orcs least accepted by society, one popular option is to push beyond the boundaries of civilization, venturing to new planets where they can build colonies. While some of these orc-blooded colonial groups simply set down roots and live in peace within their small enclaves, others become professional pioneers. These latter groups take on contracts as first-wave colonists, landing on planets under extreme circumstances and enduring the hardest and most dangerous period of a colony’s founding, then sell off rights to a “softer” group of colonists so that they can go start a new colony elsewhere. This dangerous, extremely skilled work is well-compensated, and thus despite their rough reputation and appearance, half-orc professionals are often extremely wealthy, sometimes retiring to act as patrons for other half-orc ventures.
Most half-orcs stand from 5 to 7 feet tall and weigh 130–200 pounds. They’re considered adults at 14 and naturally live up to 80 years.
Ability Adjustments +2 to any one ability score
Hit Points 6
Size and Type
Half-orcs are Medium humanoids with both the human and orc subtypes.
Half-orcs can see up to 60 feet in the dark.
Once per day, a half-orc brought to 0 Hit Points but not killed can fight on for 1 more round. The half-orc drops to 0 HP and is dying (following the normal rules for death and dying) but can continue to act normally until the end of his next turn, when he becomes unconscious as normal. If he takes additional damage before this, he ceases to be able to act and falls unconscious.