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 Tangarita. 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.
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. You can view the larger character sheet for Thokk here (it will open in a new tab).
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 Tangarita
From there 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.
There are a grand total of nine legitimate gods I could find in the D&D pantheon who are Lawful Neutral. Most are based outdoors, and so most could do. These are split into Greater and Lesser deities. They are:
Greater Deity – Ashera – Goddess of Order (Law and Light)
Greater Deity – Ethraee – The Solar God (Sun and Moon)
Greater Deity – Kara – Goddess of Law and Logic (Law and Logic)
Greater Deity – Oakinder – One of the Elemental Gods (Forests, Nature, and Sincerity)
Greater Deity – Eternal Creation – Emperor of the Cosmos (Creation, Light, and Order)
Lesser Deity – Kaltor – The Tempest God (Ice and Snow)
Lesser Deity – Secretist – The Secret Keeper (Knowledge)
Lesser Deity – Tangarita – Goddess of Strength (Nature and War)
To be honest, there are two on that list who appeal depending on the kind of Paladin Thokk wants to be. Where my gut initially said Oakinder, realistically Thokk is more likely to worship Tangarita. She is often portrayed as a Greenskin, somewhere between an orc and an ogre. She is one of the only gods in the pantheon to be Neutral and yet who accepts blood offerings. Tangarita does not have official churches, but instead, she is worshipped at shrines and with statues. To pray to her, to really worship, a Paladin needs to cut their palm and rub the blood on an idol, whilst praying.
Does that fit with Thokk? Well, yes and no. We need a convincing backstory.
Backstory: Thokk, Paladin of Tangarita
“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.
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.
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. Tangarita, the Goddess of Nature and War had answered his prayer.
That evening Tangarita appeared to Thokk in a dream, promising to keep the rest of his tribe safe, if he swore allegiance to her. Admiring of his bravery and personal strength, she would protect the tribe and help them find somewhere safe to grow; however, once they were safe, Thokk would be hers to command. He would be a soldier of Tangarita.
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 Tangarita. 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.
Lesser Icon of Tangarita
As mentioned before, Tangarita is one of the few Neutral deities to accept blood sacrifice and true worship of her demands that those devoted cut their palms and smear the blood onto an idol.
Thus the magic item, the Lesser Icon of Tangarita.
The Lesser Icon of Tangarita allows for the Paladin (Thokk) to cut his palm in the morning, sapping his own life force and placing it into the icon. When he does this he removes 2hp from his total life pool for that day (so since he starts with 12hp, it means he will start his day with 10hp instead). In return, the blood sacrifice gives him the favour of Tangarita. For that day he may cure 2hp more when he uses the Paladin Lay on Hands ability, giving it the strength of 5x his Paladin level + 2 for his healing pool for that day.
What is more, if Thokk is ever reduced to 0hp, but not killed outright, and he still has power in his Paladin healing pool, the idol will empty and stabilise him, assuming he doesn’t have any of the Relentless Endurance ability remaining.
Paladin Duty to Tangarita
Thokk has a Paladin duty to Tangarita and must defend that which she holds dear. As such he will never back away from those who cause serious damage to nature or those who seek to wage war in dishonourable ways.
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. Interestingly, declaring war is fine in the eyes of Tangarita; however, if that war will unnecessarily harm innocents then it is wrong.
Thokk is unable to back down from those he considers to be objectional to Tangarita.
Levelling Thokk, Paladin of Tangarita
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.