D&D 5e: Half-Orc Warlock Guide

D&D 5e: Half-Orc Warlock Guide

Half-orcs have, at times, been mistaken for full orcs, and thus also thought of as unintelligent. This stems from player-race orcs in Volo’s Guide to Monsters having a -2 to their intelligence scores (although Tasha’s Cauldron makes this optional), but half-orcs seemingly get only the best of both worlds. This means they need not be relegated to the stereotype of a raging barbarian or other brutal martial class, but could instead follow another, more magical pursuit such as becoming a warlock.

The Half-Orc race AND the Warlock class can be found in the Player’s Handbook. Click here to pick up your own copy of The Player’s Handbook!

How to Make a Half-Orc Warlock

Charisma should be your primary priority as a warlock as this is your spellcasting ability. As a half-orc, you gain a bonus to strength and constitution, the latter being the most important here, and it might be worth prioritizing constitution after your charisma, otherwise, it’ll be your dexterity for your armor class.

Now given the strength bonus, you might be tempted to pick a warlock subclass (patron) suited to melee, and the Hexblade stands out here, however, hexblades use their charisma modifier with their weapons, so your strength doesn’t affect much in battle.

You could take Pact of the Blade anyways and take another warlock patron such as The Undying, which is designed to be more durable, but even then melee is not recommended. Your skillset will be best put to use keeping your distance, and using your powers effectively to dish out damage, buff your allies, or debuff your enemies, depending on which patron you’ve chosen.

How to Play a Half-Orc Warlock

Your combat abilities as a warlock share common similarities regardless of your patron, chief among these being your spells (although the actual spells will differ), cantrips, and eldritch invocations, which can grant you permanent buffs. 

Your 3rd level pact will also decide whether or not you’re using a familiar to aid you, attacking with weapons, or have access to more cantrips. Agonizing Blast, Eldritch Spear, and Repelling Blast are all invocations options that can modify your Eldritch Blast cantrip, so if you’ve chosen one of those, you’ll want to sit in a safe place and blast away in order to get the most use out of these.

Alternatively, you may have taken Devil’s Sight, allowing you to see in magical darkness. If you or an ally have a way of creating such darkness, you could create favorable situations in combat, where enemies are forced to face you inside the darkness. The Invocations are a real treat, so be sure to use them effectively.

How to Roleplay as a Half-Orc Warlock

Your otherworldly patron is a rather defining feature of your warlock, and it needn’t be one you embrace. You might find it as interesting to play a character that regrets their pact as much as one that fully embraces it, and your specific patron will determine how this affects you. 

Maybe your DM likes to roleplay the patron more, or perhaps you prefer a more silent patron. Talk to your DM about that and consider how up-front you want that side of your character to be. 

Think of the story of how you met your patron and how that might be a part of your life and mannerisms.

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