Ready-To-Play D&D Character – Thokk, The Half-Orc Paladin
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about playing D&D again as a player. Over the past three years, I have been Dungeon Master every time we’ve played, with groups ranging from one player to six. Where I enjoy being the DM, I also love playing as a player, and so thought I would put together a character in the hope that I would be ready if, just in case, someone else wanted to DM.
To cut a long story short, this led to the creation of Thokk, the Half-Orc Paladin, and chosen of Silvanus. Since it looks like I’ll be DM-ing for foreseeable future, I thought I would throw Thokk out into the aether as a “ready to play” character, in the hope that someone out there will adopt him.
Thokk should be a really fun character to play, being as wise as he is strong. His stats were rolled using the method of “roll four dice and remove the lowest number, rather than rolling three dice and being stuck with it” approach that so many players use. He does not have the suggested Noble background, as usually recommended for Paladins. Instead, Thokk is somewhat unique.
Please note that this is Thokk v.2. The core stats are the same but I have been evolving the backstory to give it a stronger standing in the mythos. I have also changed the god to more of an official D&D deity as I used homebrew before.
Thokk, The Half-Orc Paladin – Player Sheet
I’ve created a digital version of Thokk’s player sheet below. These are the sheets I prefer to use when gaming, having adapted the Wizards of the Coast official ones (provided at the back of the Player Handbook) over the past five years. You’ll notice the terminology is the same, but there are a few things missing. Namely, I don’t count XP and there is nowhere to track gold. You just need to stick it in the equipment list.
There are a few quirks on that sheet; however, let’s just break it down bit by bit, and hopefully, we’ll answer any questions as we go along.
Breaking Down Thokk
Before we begin, and because I have nowhere better to put this information, let’s look at Thokk’s abilities. Thokk has a total of five inherent abilities as both a Paladin and a Half-Orc. These are:
- Darkvision – Half-Orc ability – You can see in a dim light as if it were a bright light for 60ft.
- Relentless Endurance – Half-Orc ability – When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1hp instead (page 41, Player Handbook).
- Savage Attacks – Half-Orc ability – On critical hits with a melee attack weapon, you can roll one of the damage dice one additional time, and add the result to the critical hit damage (page 41, Player Handbook).
- Divine Sense – Paladin ability – As an action, you can open your awareness to detect Good and Evil. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet (page 84, Player Handbook).
- Lay on Hands – Paladin ability – You have a pool of healing power that replenishes when you take a long rest. With that pool, you can restore hit points equal to your Paladin level x5 (page 84, Player Handbook)
Looking at Thokk’s Stats
One of the great things about using the aforementioned way of rolling stats is that you tend to end up with slightly better characters than you would without, and this is evident with Thokk. The stats rolled were actually 18, 15, 13, 12, 11, 11. Being a Half-Orc, Thokk automatically gets a +2 to Strength and a +1 to Constitution. Having recently read NPCs and Split the Party by Drew Hayes, I really liked the idea of creating a wise Half-Orc (like Grumph the Wizard, for those who have read the books). Since Strength is really important to a Paladin, this meant that Thokk would be lacking in the Charisma to make him Wise and Charismatic, even if those are the two proficient saving throws for a Paladin.
This kind of led to the Hermit background.
Reading through the different backstories, Hermit is an interesting one. There are several ways of playing a Hermit, of which one is the typical loner – something which doesn’t hugely work for Paladins thematically. There is another option, however, looking at the different Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws that allows for a social Hermit. They live as part of a small clan or tribe, or are taken in by a church, or some other such backstory.
This led to the bond that nothing is more important to Thokk than other members of his hermitage, order, or association. The high wisdom denotes that he should also have Logic as an Ideal. Emotions must not cloud Thokk’s sense of what is right and true. The Logic Ideal dictates that Thokk must be Lawful.
From there the Personal Trait of serenity didn’t seem too far amiss; only, that means that we are looking at a very placid Half-Orc. Deep down, Thokk is still a Half-Orc. He has that Chaotic nature that he is suppressing. He has that rage inside that makes Half-Orcs such good Barbarians. This is his flaw – he harbours dark and bloodthirsty thoughts that he cannot quell. This is his darkness, his pain, and he needs his godly devotion to help him keep his Wise and Lawful Neutral face.
Paladin of Silvanus
Since I originally created Thokk, I have gone through a few iterations of who he should be a Paladin of. This means that some visitors to this page may have seen a few different itterations of Thokk’s backstory over the past few months.
From the aforementioned description it should be that a backstory starts falling into place, that I will spell out more creatively later. We start to need to look for a god on the pantheon for Thokk to workship. It needs to be a Lawful Neutral god, one who would watch over hermits, who is one for those who spend their lives outside, in nature, or on the road.
I have spent a lot of time pouring through official and unofficial lists of the D&D gods, looking through various different books, and I have drawn the conclusion that there are several different options available for Thokk. So, rather than be prescriptive and say that Thokk needs to worship one particular god, I recommend you do your own research and you find a god that works with how you want to play Thokk. It is possible that you may find something in the current pantheon of D&D gods, or you may want to go for something a bit broader. You may want to create your own god, or you may want to use homebrew material.
For the sake of this version of Thokk (although I will undoubtedly tweak him again in future) I have chosen the god Silvanus, who is the True Neutral god of Nature. Silvanus is an official part of the D&D mythos, and is commonly seen as the god of Druids. Created by Ed Greenwood, a legendary D&D author, Silvanus dates back to AD&D making him one of the original D&D deities, and was used until 4th edition.
Does that fit perfectly with Thokk though? Well, yes and no. We need a convincing backstory.
Backstory: Thokk, the Paladin
“Thokk’s origins are tragic, and his rise to being a Paladin frought with pain and suffering. Thokk comes from a peaceful nomadic tribe of Half-Orcs, which although rare is not completely unheard of for Half-Orcs to collect together and travel Amn, Chessenta, or even (in some cases) the underground Northdark. Such tribes exist; however, they are often the outcasts of society. Where some Half-Orcs try to integrate themselves into common or Greenskin society, Half-Orc nomads shun both sides. They do this in a way that is neither aggressive nor adverse, but as such they are not welcome. Instead, they lived a life as one with nature, moving around, and living with the land. Isolated, but peaceful.
When at first the news arose that Thokk’s tribe was the target of Greenskin raiders they had very little time to react. Shunned by common society, Thokk’s tribe had hidden away in the mountains, and could not reach for help.
Everything happened swiftly when the battle broke out. A relatively young Half-Orc at the time, Thokk was an assistant blacksmith. He was handy with a weapon and drew arms against the raiding force of goblins, wolf riders, and bugbears. It was a bloody battle, with Thokk proving his worth, defending the helpless, young, and those who could not defend themselves. He fought well, but his efforts were not enough. To cut a long story, and an even longer day, short – his tribe was overcome.
Thokk was seen as potential slave material, and imprisoned along with several other survivors. He watched the Greenskin raiders burn down his home, destroy the land around it, pillage the natural resources, and salt the earth. It seemed to tremble under their wrath.
As the fires burned up the remains of his old tribe, the goblinoids celebrated. Thokk was powerless against them, so when they started systematically slaughtering the old for no other reason bar entertainment, Thokk prayed under his breath. He was not a religious man, but he prayed harder than he ever had prayed before. As he prayed, he felt the anger build up inside of him. His rage mounted, his vision turned red, and Thokk burst free from his bonds. He tackled a bugbear to the ground, took up arms using the bugbear’s own greatsword against him, and proceeded to slaughter the rest of the raiding force.
It wasn’t until the red mist cleared that Thokk realised what had happened. Silvanus, the goddess of Nature had answered his prayer. Silvanus was not only irritated by the senseless killing, there being no need, but angered by the destruction of the land.
That evening Silvanus appeared to Thokk in a dream, promising to keep the rest of his tribe safe, if he swore allegiance to him. Admiring of his bravery and personal strength, as well as his devotion to the natural order, Silvanus would protect the tribe and help them find somewhere safe to grow; however, once they were safe, Thokk would be his to command. He would be a soldier of Silvanus. Although Silvanus was usually the god of Druids, Silvanus needed Paladins as well.
That was exactly as it happened. Thokk accompanied his tribe to new lands, saw that they were safe, before leaving for a life in service of Silvanus. He started his journey, completing small quests and meeting new adventurers on the road, finding new families and tribes, keeping that rage and anger deep down, where no one could see it. He was made wise by the world he saw around him, by the people he met, and, although a man of few words, he found people began to listen to him when he spoke. Never again would he leave the helpless, never again would he let darkness prevail where there could be light…or at least a neutral shade of grey.
Of course, like all great stories, that is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end; however, it may just be the end of the beginning.”
Venture forth as Thokk and tell the next tale.
Optional Rules and Items for Thokk
Here are a few additional items and rules for Thokk, for use at the Dungeon Master’s discretion.
Paladin Duty to Silvanus
Thokk has a Paladin duty to his god and must defend that which he holds dear. As such he will never back away from those who cause serious damage to nature.
There are, of course, scales to these. He will allow for a branch to be snapped for a campfire, but mass deforestation is a no. Taking water from a stream is fine, whereas damming a stream for a personal swimming pool is obviously bad in the eyes of Thokk.
Thokk will defend Silvanus in any way he can, including defending Silvanus’s name and reputation.
As mentioned before, Silvanus is the traditional god of Nature in D&D, making him a perfect choice for Druids. That being said, the gods of D&D not only need followers, but they also need Paladins.
As part of Thokk’s blessing from Silvanus, he can understand Druidic – the language of the Druids (this is not on the character sheet, just in case the DM doesn’t allow it).
Levelling Thokk, the Half-Orc Paladin
Although it is entirely up to you, as the player, how you want to level Thokk up, there are a few options that are recommended:
- Level 2 – Gain the Great Weapon Specialism. It allows for you to reroll dice showing a 1 or 2 when you attack with a Great Weapon that requires 2 hands. You must keep the second roll, but it’s still an awesome ability.
- Level 3 – Take the Oath of the Ancients as your Paladin oath. It leads to all kinds of cool things that Thokk would be able to use and remain thematic.
Ready Made D&D 5E Character – Thokk, The Half-Orc Paladin
It took a lot of thought and care and attention to create Thokk as a character I would personally love to play. That being said, as I mentioned before, I am Dungeon Master for the foreseeable future so I am sending him out to the aether. I hope someone picks him up and plays as him. Please let me know if you do.
If you have a particular type of character you would like me to put together then please let me know in the comments below. I really enjoyed creating Thokk and wouldn’t mind doing more in the future.
Finally, before we leave, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. What do you think of Thokk? Is he the kind of character you would like to play, or does he not appeal to you? What kind of character would you like to play? Let me know in the comments below.
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Other Articles About Paladins:
Why Play A Paladin In D&D?
There are quite a few sources I needed to go to for this article. If you want to play Thokk as he is in this article then you will need the following:
- Player’s Handbook – This is essential for playing most characters in D&D.
If, however, you want to read up on all the additional sources then there are a few official and unofficial sources I did use –
- The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide – This offers additional information about the Sword Coast, regional information, and more information about deities.
- Dungeon Master’s Guide – This offered a little bit more background information.
- Wikipedia Deities List – The least official source on the list, but which actually started the ball rolling.
- D&D Wiki List of Deities – This offered information about homebrew deities. It is an unofficial source, but it is still really good.