I was thinking of playing a half-orc character in DDO but realised that I'm not sure which classes are good or bad to play as a half-orc.

Half-orcs have low Charisma so Sorcerer/Paladin/Bard seems to be contraindicated. They have high Strength so melee seems to be favoured, but what about enhancements?

Which of the DDO classes are a good choice for a half-orc and which are a bad choice?

2 Answers 2


Half-Orcs lose 2 Intelligence and 2 Charisma, but gain 2 Strength. Therefore, any class that has Intelligence or Charisma as a Primary or Secondary stat, or does NOT have Strength as a useful stat, would be sub optimal to play as a Half-Orc.

  • Artificer - Intelligence affects spellcasting ability, and Strength is of limited use.
  • Bard - Charisma is very important for a Bard's spellcasting.
  • Cleric - Charisma affects a Cleric's ability to Turn Undead.
  • Favored Soul - Spell points are increased by having high Charisma.
  • Paladin - While the Strength bonus is very beneficial, losing Charisma hurts their ability to Smite Evil, Lay on Hands, Turn Undead, as well as their passive saving throw bonus.
  • Rogue - Intelligence allows extra skills, which are very important for a Rogue's utility. Additionally, a number of Rogue skills use Charisma as their relevant stat.
  • Sorcerer - Charisma is their key stat for spellcasting, and Strength is of limited use.
  • Wizard - Intelligence is their key stat for spellcasting, and Strength is of limited use.

This leaves Barbarian, Druid, Fighter, Monk, and Ranger.

  • Barbarians and Fighters are the most optimal classes for Half-Orcs as they do not use Int and Cha significantly, and benefit the most from the Strength increase. Additionally, the DDO specific Orc enhancements tend to favor those who pick Barbarian or Fighters. The Half-Orc favored class is Barbarian.
  • Monks use Charisma a small amount, but the Strength increase nullifies any downsides.
  • Ranger skills utilize Charisma, but combat abilities are not significantly affected from Int or Cha loss. A melee oriented ranger benefits from the extra Strength.
  • Druids are marginally affected by the ability scores from being a Half-Orc. Their primary statistic is Wisdom.
  • I'd say the improved melee damage is worth the small hit clerics take to turn undead.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 20:00
  • I agree, but there are more "optimal" racial options for Clerics, which is how the question was phrased. Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 20:00

The racial bonuses of Orcs favor two-handed weapons greatly. This means that, if you plan to play a character which utilizes two-handed melee (THF) fighting as its primary activity, you are good to go, but due to the STR-bonuses, a two-weapon fighting (TWF) style is also a good choice.

Naturally, this benefits Fighters and Barbarians, but there are some less obvious class choices which are also viable.

Both Monks and Rogues have access to a quarterstaff fighting tree, which is another good THF choice. The -2 INT doesn't impede a rogue much, as you naturally get a lot of skill points. As TWF builds, monks, rogues and rangers are an OK choice, mainly due to the extra STR.

A melee bard works fine, even as a Half-Orc. With items and tomes, you will still be able to cast the nice spells, such as Haste, Displacement and Rage, but you should not expect to be able to use DC-based spells such as Otto's sphere of dancing. The combination of a powerful melee class with a -2 CHA with the bard class has actually a long tradition in DDO, and has worked quite well (e.g. the so-called axesinger, which is a TWF dwarf bard). If you plan to play a half-orc bard, you can combine it with other classes such as Fighter, Rogue or Barbarian, to get martial weapon proficiency, feats, rage and/or evasion.

Playing divine classes with an emphasis on melee works (you are still expected to provide healing), but the awesome ability Divine Might (based on CHA) will take a slight hit. Along the same lines are THFing paladins: It works, but it's not the best choice.

Wizards and Sorcerers benefit only marginally from the extra STR, but get a hit to their casting attribute. If you want to play your arcane caster as a THF melee, a warforged might be a better choice due access to self-healing.

I can't comment on Druid or Artificer, as I don't have much experience with these.

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