View Full Version : homebrew racial flavor... for Humans

2010-03-12, 01:16 PM
For an upcoming campaign, I want to keep most racial mechanics but not the race-based stat changes. For instance, Dwarves will have their vision, speed, save bonuses, etc, but not +2 Con, -2 Char. No stat bonuses or penalties -- this will apply to all races. And Humans will not get a racial bonus feat at 1st level.

Does eliminating the stat changes and the Human bonus feat balance the races, or do the Humans need more extras like the other races have? More skill abilities? Perhaps skill-point purchase of weapon proficiency, or eliminating cross-class skill penalties for humans.

I should add that I'm watering down the multiclass penalties, so the multiclass advantages of Humans are not significant.

2010-03-12, 01:24 PM
Eliminating the ability score bonus/penalty has a nil affect, so go for it. but removing the bonus feat from humans NUKES their balance. Nerfs the crap out of them.

2010-03-12, 04:53 PM
with your changes, there is no reason to play a human anymore.

2010-03-12, 04:57 PM
Yeah... humans need the bonus feat, or there is no reason to play them. You have to change it back.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-12, 05:31 PM
You could instead remove the human skill points but that still leaves humans as overall the best race for most builds.(which changes nothing)

Here's a question WHY are you removing the racial stat bonus/penalties I'm just curious?

2010-03-12, 05:40 PM
He probably thinks that it "balances the game."
It doesn't. It unbalances the game.

2010-03-14, 02:58 AM
I don't agree that "Eliminating the ability score bonus/penalty has a nil affect" -- I think too often players start by choosing a build, and then choose whatever race has the ability bonus/penalty that best helps/least hurts their build. That is natural gamer thinking, considering the rules of the game. I want to change that thinking by changing the rules.

I am looking for advice on how to balance humans with the fluff of the other races. I made suggestions that I'd like feedback on. I would also welcome other fluff suggestions.

>More skill points
>Perhaps skill-point purchase of weapon proficiency
>Eliminating cross-class skill penalties for humans

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-14, 03:46 AM
If your player's can't think of a good reason to play a dwarf or a gnome other then ability score mods. I feel sorry for them.

I would advise if your goal is to teach them the other qualities a race possess, remove the ability point mods and simply run a non-human campaign so they can't pick the race at all.

Humans are already the best all around PHB race, the bonus feats, skill points and multiclass freedoms let them be flexible enough to excel at most any build. They don't need anything else to balance with the other races.

Agi Hammerthief
2010-03-14, 04:07 AM
Dwarves will have their vision, speed, save bonuses, ... Humans will not get a racial bonus feat at 1st level.
this feat and the skil point are the compensation for the other races fluff stuff

why not go the other direction?

leave the stat modifiers for the other races and let a human chose which stat to place the +2 and -2 on.

if you think thats over the top, you can nerf it by ruling that they can't boost the highest.

2010-03-14, 08:07 AM
I'm sticking to my premise. I think this community should be creative enough to make suggestions within my premise.

Here's another tack:

Skill point options for humans only:
>spend 2 skill points to buy Weapon Proficiency
>spend 2 skill points to buy Weapon Focus


Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-14, 01:51 PM
Which is nice if our a martial character planning on using a variety of weapons, just about useless if your anything else.

What denotes humans from other races if their flexibility and adaptability. Saying where a bonus goes or what the skill points can be used for runs against that

2010-03-14, 02:36 PM
Here's a radical balancing idea: everyone is mechanically the same. Call yourself a dwarf, or an elf, or a human, or a half-platypus half narwhal; you all have the same racial abilities. If you're trying to minimize the tendency to choose races for mechanical benefit, this will do it.

Then give everyone the human bonus feat, because feats are cool.

Agi Hammerthief
2010-03-15, 03:28 AM
I'm sticking to my premise. I think this community should be creative enough to make suggestions within my premise.
oh, there was a premise?
sorry, I thought you wanted to homebrew more flavour for humans not less for the other races - see thread title for details. /sarcasm

so which part of it was premise?
just the losing of stat mod for the others
or also the losing of the extra feat for the humans?

2010-03-15, 08:37 AM
Non-humans: no stat bonuses or penalties; all other racial fluff is kept

Humans: no racial bonus feat; give them something else to balance against the racial fluff of non-humans

Note, I'm not going to feat-starve the player characters -- I have a non-racial basis for extra bonus feats, so no race will have more feats than another.

I hope the premise is clearer now.

In response to Glimbur's suggestion, I want each race to keep its flavor. I am trying to add flavor to the Humans, as the thread title states.

So, running with the 'Humans are the most adaptable race' theme...

all skills are class skills for Humans
for any given prestige class, ignore one requirement not related to BAB level or spell level
Human Knack (same as Bardic Knack from PHB2, but based on HD)


2010-03-15, 10:25 AM
Hmmm. Perhaps, with humans as the adaptors, inovators, and so forth....

Human Diversity (Racial)

Humans are a diverse lot, not only covering the spectrum for color of skin, hair and eyes as well as size from small to large, even their vocations reach out across the norm. At character creation, a human character may choose on class feature from another class with the exceptions of spell casting or attack bonus and may use that one ability as if he were a 1st level character of that class, and the ability does not progress without gaining levels in that class. In addition, he must meet all prerequisites for that class in order to use the ability.

Example: Bob the 1st level ranger is neutral Good, and decides to take Barbarian Rage. From now on, he can rage a limited number of times a day as if he were a 1st level barbarian.

Probably OP, but since the ability doesn't progress, and you only get one.... Any thoughts?

2010-03-15, 11:04 AM
Thanks, Ouranos, that is an interesting idea. The individual isn't diverse, but the possibilities certainly are. I'd extend the exceptions to bar taking 1st level class features that are also feats (like the Swash's Weapon Finesse), or that involve other creatures (familiars, animal companions).

Fighter with Sneak Attack?
Rogue with a Familiar?
Barbarian with an Animal Companion?
Sorcerer with Turn Undead?
Bard with Smite Evil?
Druid with Flurry of Blows?

Still probably OP'd vs. darkvision, hah.

2010-03-15, 01:45 PM
Possibly. But gotta consider that humans were balanced around that feat bonus, so don't balance it against another racial, balance it vs. a feat. Raging fighter may be abit OP, may not be. I'd say go this route and then let players try what they want and have the DM referee it.

2010-03-15, 03:03 PM
But gotta consider that humans were balanced around that feat bonus, so don't balance it against another racial, balance it vs. a feat.
Ah, I guess we disagree there. Thanks for the idea, though.

Agi Hammerthief
2010-03-16, 07:32 PM
you could let them chose any one strong (or 2weak) of the others racial fluff

Stone Cunning
Elven like Weapon proficiencies
+2 racial bonus on 3 related skills

Low Light vision


fetch the Ferun Campaign Setting Handbook and let them chose the bonus feat you are scratching from the regional feat list only. They are mostly fluffy anyways IIRC; you could given them two of the fluffier ones.


remove all alignment** and multiclasing restrictions.

I don't like playing humans personally,
but for a Barbarian/Monk multiclass I'd totally go or it.

** though a Pally should still be at least in the range of NG LG LN