Red Box Workshop: The Ogre PC


Eight to ten feet tall and disproportionately broad, these hulking humanoids generally live brutish lives in the wilderness, killing and eating animals and the occasional passing human. But a few have higher ambitions than living in a cave atop a heap of stinking furs and broken loot. These ogres—some young, some old, some sickly, some simply strange—have been known to associate with adventurers and similar outcasts.

The prime requisites for an ogre are Strength and Constitution. An ogre character whose Strength or Constitution score is 13 or higher will receive a 5% bonus on earned experience. Ogres whose Strength and Constitution scores are 13 or higher will receive a 10% bonus to earned experience.

RESTRICTIONS: Ogres use ten-sided dice (d10) to determine their hit points. They may advance to a maximum of 8th level of experience. Ogres may wield polearms, two-handed swords and enormous clubs that deal 1-10 damage per hit. They cannot fit through narrow tunnels and openings designed to accommodate creatures smaller than man-sized, such as goblin warrens and halfling holes. Ogres’ tough hides grant them a base AC of 5, but they may not wear armor or use shields. Ogres must have a minimum score of 9 in Strength and Constitution.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Ogres live in caves and caverns, and have infravision (heat-sensing sight) which allows them to see 60 feet in the dark. Their long arms give them an impressive reach in combat; when rolling for individual initiative (an optional rule), ogres add +1 in addition to any Dexterity bonus. Even the weakest ogre is tough and resilient by human standards: an ogre takes the maximum result of 10 on its initial hit die at first level. All ogres speak Common, Ogrish and the alignment language or dialect of the character, plus the language of orcs.

SAVING THROWS: As fighters.


ADVANCEMENT: As per the fighter advancement table.


8 Responses to “Red Box Workshop: The Ogre PC”

  1. 1 JB
    May 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Not bad…I was just contemplating something similar yesterday (had a very loooong meeting at work and my mind gets to wandering).

  2. 2 N.
    May 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Wouldn’t a lack of speed negate the initiative bonus due to reach?

    How about a penalty to the personality stats?

  3. May 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Wouldn’t a lack of speed negate the initiative bonus due to reach?

    I might limit the bonus to the first round, when an opponent has to get inside the ogre’s reach.

    Also, it might be appropriate to include the inverse of the halfling’s -2 AC bonus against large creatures, with small evasive enemies (the aforementioned halflings, as well as goblins, kobolds, etc) getting a -2 AC bonus against the ogre PC.

    How about a penalty to the personality stats?

    Racial stat bonuses and penalties aren’t in Basic; they don’t appear until AD&D. Stat caps might be feasible; on the other hand, PC ogres might include those rare specimens that are far smarter, wiser and more charismatic than others of their ilk.

    It might be worth mentioning in the writeup that ogre PCs have difficulty finding acceptance in human and demi-human communities, but it may be better to leave that for individual DMs to adjudicate as appropriate to the needs of their milieus.

  4. 4 Scott LeMien
    May 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    How about letting ogre pcs use the old 2 for 1 trade off system on stats, but make it 3 for 1 for raising Str/Con from Int/Wis/Cha with no stat lowered beneath, say, a 3? This lets pcs build something more ogrish, IMO.

  5. May 19, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    There are 2e stats for Ogre PC’s in “Time of the Dragon,” one of the late 80’s boxed sets. If I remember I’ll post ’em up for comparison, but they’re fairly similar.

  6. May 20, 2010 at 2:14 am

    So, “Time of the Dragon” just gives them +2 to damage, 60′ infravision, and the ability to use two-handed weapons with one hand. They have a movement rate of 9. (There are also some stat modifiers.) Frankly that approach doesn’t strike me as too imaginative; I like Eric’s better.)

    I think also in Gazeteer 10, “The Orcs of Thar,” there were lots of rules for playing humanoids.

  7. May 20, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    How about letting ogre pcs use the old 2 for 1 trade off system on stats, but make it 3 for 1 for raising Str/Con from Int/Wis/Cha with no stat lowered beneath, say, a 3? This lets pcs build something more ogrish, IMO.

    If a group uses the stat trade-off system, then of course ogres should also be able to trade stats down. Removing the stat trading cap (where you can’t lower a stat below 9) is kinda iffy, though. Basically you’ll end up with maxed-out Str/Con and really low Int/Wis for every ogre, and at that point why are you bothering to roll dice at all?

    I like Eric’s better.

    Oh, James, you really know how to warm my heart!

  8. May 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I did consider setting a minimum of 13 for Strength and/or Constitution, instead of a minimum of 9. The XP bonus would then come from having stats of 15 or higher—though I might also eliminate the XP bonus altogether.

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