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View Full Version : Would you play in a human only campaign?



Cyborg Pirate
2007-04-10, 04:30 PM
I'm thinking of creating a world for a campaign, and populating it with only humans. This is because I wanted the world to center around groups of people from "our world", who were mysteriously transported to another dimension.

Thing is, such a world would lack all the diverse races of D&D and only supply humans (of various real world races, but with no differences in stats) as PC choices.


What I'm wondering is: How many of you folks out there would like to play in such a campaign? Are diverse races really neccecary, or are just humans ok?

Kel_Arath
2007-04-10, 04:31 PM
i would play it, thought i would not like the lack of options i think it would be interesting for some real world stuff

Stevenson
2007-04-10, 04:33 PM
Well, I like diverse races, but if the DM said humans only, then, eh well, humans only, whatever.

My question is how, in game terms, you plan on doing people from our world. We don't exactly have wizardly training, or skills with weapons. Would they just be commoners?

Roethke
2007-04-10, 04:35 PM
Sure, the world we're in is plenty interesting with only humans.

If you're desperate for fluff, you can give stat-bonuses based on region/culture (not to bring up the races thing again).

The Midnight campaign does this, with, for example, the horsemen humans getting a bonus to dex along with some other stuff.

Counterspin
2007-04-10, 04:35 PM
Lord knows I generally end up playing humans anyway, what with their sweet, delicious bonus feats, so why not. Interesting campaign idea too, by the by.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-04-10, 04:42 PM
95% of the time I'm a human anyway. Eliminating a bunch of standard fantasy stereotypes would probably force the campaign to focus more on original character concepts, too. This might be a great idea.

Druid
2007-04-10, 04:45 PM
It sounds interesting and I'd play, though I'd prefer an only humanoid races campaign (basically limited to the things on the PHB and maybe a few from the XPH).

Edit: Do you mean a fantasy world with only humans and a few select monsters or a world with all the normal beasties but with humans as the only playable race? The first sounds interesting but I'd be kind of annoyed with the second.

Morty
2007-04-10, 04:46 PM
I like varying non-human races, but human-only world is ceratinly more credible. I'd have no problem playing in human-only setting.

Latronis
2007-04-10, 04:46 PM
ofc

i was original going to make my own homebrew world human only since the original world only had humans, but in the end i ended up dropping all the others in and taking over a culture of there own.

You could create a list of feats that humans from which culture get to pick the bonus feat from to help deferentiate the different cultures

Lemur
2007-04-10, 04:46 PM
Sure I would. If you count Modern, or the Wheel of Time setting, I already have.

A lot of human only settings I've seen implement background feats and the like. Usually, each human has to select what's ordinarily their bonus feat on a "background feat" which is from a select list. Depending on where the person is from, the list of feats they can choose from is different. Typically, each background also gives a specific skill to the character, to always be considered a class skill for them.

If you're concerned about diversity, you could implement something like backgrounds to your campaign setting. Give each background some general themes, like physical and personality traits that people from those areas are generally known for, and it will be essentially the same as the racial diversity found in D&D.

Cyborg Pirate
2007-04-10, 04:46 PM
Thanks sofar guys. @Stevenson: Actually, medieval humans. The idea is that various people from various countries and possibly time periods got transported (still fleshing out the exact reason) to a new and dangerous world, and are now setting out to survive and even dominate it. Ofcourse, since they are different groups of people from different countries, they don't exactly see eye to eye about who gets to dominate the world. The idea is for a game with lots of inter-faction conflicts and intrigue, combined with lots of exploring to understand this new world and figuring out its history. As for magic, I think I'll have it as such that the world is inherently magical, causing some people born in this world to be born with magical powers (sorcerors, clerics, druids) and that while exploring the world, people can discover the magics of a long gone race (wizards).

Still very much busy with the details.



[edit] oooo, not a single 'no' vote yet! I'm feeling very good about this world :D

Zincorium
2007-04-10, 04:50 PM
Human only is a lot like core-only, low magic, or low wealth campaigns in that it's terrible if done for the wrong reasons and can be excellent if done for the right ones. Essentially, the application is intrinsically linked to the motivation.

D20 modern is an example of a game where it's assumed everyone is human, and everything else is an optional variant. Feat's and skill points all assume the the characters are human, etc.

Your version seems like it will work out fine. I personally like to play races other than human (I'm human now, why not go for something else?), but it wouldn't rub me the wrong way because it's an aspect of the game world. If you had elves/dwarves/etc in the game but still required everyone to be human, that would be different.

Grr
2007-04-10, 04:53 PM
I prefer to set guidelines on campaigns when starting. Specifically things like racial party makeup. It's pretty damn contrived to have a half-orc adventuring with the orc-hating elf that also dislikes the halfling thief in the party who only hangs out with the big folk to protect him. All the while the human tries to play diplomat and the dwarf gets too drunk to care. Motivating that diverse of a party with anything beyond self-preservation and greed is an exercise in frustration.

My campaigns usually focus on a specific area of the campaign setting and players can only choose to play a race from that area. It limits the diversity and gives the group a cohesiveness that makes sense from in-game politics and personality, rather than a lumped together group of misfits and mooks.

Dan_Hemmens
2007-04-10, 04:53 PM
I'm a big fan of Human-only. It annoys the hell out of me that every single damned fantasy world has to have Dwarves and Elves in it.

Ponce
2007-04-10, 04:54 PM
I like the Broken Mold folklore. If you consider Humans as the blank model for the other humanoid races, I see no reason why a Human-only setting wouldn't be just as good. I would play it.

Fax Celestis
2007-04-10, 04:58 PM
I'd be okay with it, but I'd prefer otherwise. I do like strange and unique races (thri-kreen, catfolk, dromites, and shadowswyfts being some of my favorites), but I'd play a humans-only campaign.

You'd get a hands-down Yes from me if you had eugenically modified humans such as those presented in Etherscope.

Cyborg Pirate
2007-04-10, 04:59 PM
You'd get a hands-down Yes from me if you had eugenically modified humans such as those presented in Etherscope.

What are they?


I like how the poll is a tie between 'Yes I'd love to' and 'Meh okay' at the moment :smallbiggrin:

Dausuul
2007-04-10, 05:03 PM
I'm quite happy with just humans. One word of warning, though... do not allow Bane (Human) weapons in a heavily human-dominated world, and do not allow rangers to take humans as a favored enemy. And, most especially, do not allow a ranger with humans as a favored enemy to get his hands on a Bane (Human) bow.

Believe me, I speak from dire experience.

Lolth
2007-04-10, 05:07 PM
It would help me in my endless angsting over what Race to play, that's for sure!

Fax Celestis
2007-04-10, 05:21 PM
What are they?


There's the Alpha humans, which have a variety of good characteristics (+2 cha, as well as some racial abilities, on top of the standard human racial traits), but start with an experience penalty of 1000 points (which is different from LA+1).

There's Beta humans, which are exactly the same as PHB humans.

There's Gamma humans, which are humans genetically crossed with rats. They're shorter and tougher, resistant to disease and poisons, but are not as intelligent and don't get skills or a feat like normal humans.

There's Delta humans, which are humans genetically crossed with dogs. They're slightly shorter, quicker, tenacious, and have features like Scent. They're physically weaker than normal humans, and don't receive the bonus feat or skills.

And there's Epsilon humans, which are humans genetically crossed with horses. They're tall, strong, tough, and dumb.They don't receive the bonus feat or skills.

TSGames
2007-04-10, 05:27 PM
33 votes and only one dissenter. Bring him forth for he is a witch!

Kiero
2007-04-10, 05:39 PM
Not only would I play it in a heartbeat, that's my preference. The only place I've seen non-human races I liked was in Steven Erikson's Malazan Empire series. Otherwise I could do without elves, dwarves and halflings, or any other flimsy monoculture analogues.

Exactly this thread is on RPGnet right now (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=320215).

Gryndle
2007-04-10, 05:42 PM
That kind of setting would not be for me, and I'd have to pass.

I get stuck with beign a human in RL, and I don't like that campaign either :/

Too much of my cynicism about humanity transfers to my hobbies, i'm afraid.

I absolutely refuese to play a human in D&D.

Indon
2007-04-10, 05:43 PM
How do you know they're a witch until you've weighed them?

I've run human-only campaigns. I think they go well with a low-magic environment in particular.

I also have a friend who runs all-human campaigns, and he prefers to maintain racial diversity with cultural options; +1 to one stat, -1 to another, +to a couple skills, that sort of thing.

Da Beast
2007-04-10, 07:24 PM
I'm quite happy with just humans. One word of warning, though... do not allow Bane (Human) weapons in a heavily human-dominated world, and do not allow rangers to take humans as a favored enemy. And, most especially, do not allow a ranger with humans as a favored enemy to get his hands on a Bane (Human) bow.

Believe me, I speak from dire experience.

My God, favored enemy may become a worthwhile ability:smalltongue:! I personally don't think that rangers are strong enough to be problematic even if favored enemy did apply to every enemy. What went wrong with it in your campaign?

Grr
2007-04-10, 07:29 PM
Just change favored enemy human to be specific to kingdoms or cultures, instead of humans in general.

goat
2007-04-10, 07:41 PM
Oooh, could have people objecting to D&D based racism.

But I can just imagine one of my characters wielding a bane(ginger) weapon...

Renegade Paladin
2007-04-10, 07:42 PM
I've played campaigns where all the characters were human, but that wasn't by DM fiat; the bonus feat and skill points are incredibly attractive.

Grr
2007-04-10, 07:46 PM
Oooh, could have people objecting to D&D based racism.So what? It's your campaign. Do what you want. Getting upset over racism in a game on fictional cultures where you can create spiked tentacles that forcefully intrude upon the body is, how do I say this... ridiculous?

clarkvalentine
2007-04-10, 07:47 PM
I'm running a human-only campaign, set in the world of A Game of Thrones. It's working beautifully.

Jayabalard
2007-04-10, 07:54 PM
other than the "strictly humans" bit it sounds similar to GURPS: Banestorm (which used to be the standard gurps fantasy world, but was split out into it's own book).

It has some interesting moral possibilities, since you lose the "they have pointy ears and green skin" excuse that so many adventurers use.

Fhaolan
2007-04-10, 08:01 PM
I've played in human-only campaigns before. Fantasy-type races were *there*, they just weren't PC races. This DM mangled the D&D Elves and Dwarves to be more like the mythological alfar and zwerge. This was a 2nd edition campaign, and he was leaning heavily on the Historical Campaign Handbooks.

TSGames
2007-04-10, 08:03 PM
How do you know they're a witch until you've weighed them?
He turned me into a newt. *pause* Well, I got bet'r.

In seriousness:

Oooh, could have people objecting to D&D based racism.

But I can just imagine one of my characters wielding a bane(ginger) weapon...
I think this allows the possibility of ranger ganstas. Favored Enemy(bloods) strait up, homie!</whiteness>

Anyway, nice South Park reference.

Innis Cabal
2007-04-10, 08:04 PM
sounds like Asheron's Call before all the crazy expansions...but i wouldnt play it, played a wheel of time and Game of Thrones and really didnt care for it

Matthew
2007-04-10, 08:52 PM
Conan D20, anyone?

Personally, I have no problem with either approach. The only time it becomes a problem is when Races become stereotypes or stand ins.

nivek1234
2007-04-10, 09:28 PM
I'm quite happy with just humans. One word of warning, though... do not allow Bane (Human) weapons in a heavily human-dominated world, and do not allow rangers to take humans as a favored enemy. And, most especially, do not allow a ranger with humans as a favored enemy to get his hands on a Bane (Human) bow.

Believe me, I speak from dire experience.

Uh... don't rangers have to be evil in order to take their race as a favored enemy? If that is the case, it works for flavor reasons, IMO.

I wouldn't mind an all human campaign.

Bag_of_Holding
2007-04-11, 01:32 AM
Yeah, human's not that bad as a race choice. However they lack in certain flavour. :smallwink:

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-11, 01:39 AM
I'd certainly be interested in one.


((Wow, look at all those votes!
What a wonderfull active and vibrant community this is!))

Dervag
2007-04-11, 02:38 AM
Yeah, human's not that bad as a race choice. However they lack in certain flavour. :smallwink:Humans have plenty of flavour!

Just ask the ogres...

KIDS
2007-04-11, 03:23 AM
Humans are perfectly fine, only humans are just fine. I like other races but if they don't exist, it's ok with me.

its_all_ogre
2007-04-11, 03:45 AM
reminds me of most of david gemmells writings. yeah i'd play

Dan_Hemmens
2007-04-11, 04:03 AM
Uh... don't rangers have to be evil in order to take their race as a favored enemy? If that is the case, it works for flavor reasons, IMO.

I wouldn't mind an all human campaign.

I think they wrote that out in 3.5 when they realised that it was stupid.

You have two rangers, both of whom have dedicated their lives to fighting the (human) armies of the evil (human) wizard who holds their (mostly human) kingdom under his tyrannical grip. One is an elf and one is a human. The elf can quite happily take Favoured Enemy: Human in order to represent their righteous crusade against this black hearted tyrant, but the human can't unless he's evil because they're, like, his own people. Apparently.

Although really Favoured Enemy: Human isn't much more broken in a humans-only campaign than in any other campaign. 90% of NPCs in 90% of campaign worlds are human, and it's not like a human-only game would have only humans as opponents. You could still wind up fighting dragons.

Dausuul
2007-04-11, 07:38 AM
Uh... don't rangers have to be evil in order to take their race as a favored enemy? If that is the case, it works for flavor reasons, IMO.

The flavor was fine (yes, he was evil). The ability to annihilate NPCs four levels higher than him was not.

Erom
2007-04-11, 02:30 PM
I _LOVE_ all human campaigns, and have done this before with much sucess in games I've DMed. It basically get's rid of all sort of excuses for pre-programmed world constructs and character responses. Without having standard fantasy cliches to fall back on, you end up with a more interesting world, less kneejerk reactions from your players (and thus better roleplay, since they have to think about thier characters motivations a bit more) and a much better game overall.

evil
2007-04-11, 02:32 PM
If my GM did the game? I'd play it but i wouldnt like it.

Unless it's d20 modern, then it makes sense.

belboz
2007-04-11, 02:41 PM
I'm another one of those who tends to play humans anyway, so it wouldn't affect my character choice.

I'd be fine with it. I'd also be fine with *almost* any DM-picked set of races, as long as they were reasonably balanced with each other (including LAs), even if they're not listed as "playable" in the monstar manuals (they need to be fundamentally playable, though, hence the "almost"). You want to run a slaad-only campaign, where they characters adventure through the multiverse serving the cause of Chaos and eating giant flies? Yeah, OK, sure; I'm certainly happy to check it out and see what you do with it. I'll pass on the campaign where everyone is a non-intelligent ooze, of course. ("I...er...squelch down the corridor. Anything to eat here? No? OK, I guess I squelch some more.")

Jayabalard
2007-04-11, 03:50 PM
Unless it's d20 modern, then it makes sense.Conan, and historical earth would also make a fair bit of sense. There are probably other established fantasy world like those.

Adlan
2007-04-11, 05:08 PM
I'd love to play this game, let me play this game, please oh please let this be a PbP, and let me get an invite.

Indon
2007-04-11, 05:11 PM
I'll pass on the campaign where everyone is a non-intelligent ooze, of course. ("I...er...squelch down the corridor. Anything to eat here? No? OK, I guess I squelch some more.")

Oh, but what if everyone were an _intelligent_ ooze?

Just imagine, you could even merge together to create a Voltronesque superooze!

PnP Fan
2007-04-11, 09:56 PM
I'm all about a good story. If that means we can only play humans, I'm cool with that. Though I prefer diversity myself, and often play elves, I'm not going to whine about it or cause trouble over it. Truthfully, if your players to balk at the limit too much, you'll probably wind up with more interesting characters, because everyone will strive to make their characters unique (at least my group would react that way).
Of course, I'm also playing in a game where the DM said "I need the party to include 1 elf, 1 dwarf, at least 1 human, and a LE wererat rogue/assassin." And we've had a blast, even though we balked at the beginning.
Good luck!

Dausuul
2007-04-11, 09:59 PM
Oh, but what if everyone were an _intelligent_ ooze?

Just imagine, you could even merge together to create a Voltronesque superooze!

That should be a feat for Warforged in Eberron.

SUPER COMBINE ACTIVATE
Prerequisites: Construct (includes living construct), base attack bonus +4.
Benefit: Six characters with this feat can combine into a single larger whole as a full-round action. All characters must be within 30 feet of each other, all must be in the same size category, and each must agree to take on one of the following roles: Head, torso, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg.
The Super Combine is two size categories larger than its component creatures. It has hit points equal to the sum of the hit points of its components, AC equal to that of the "torso" character and a move speed equal to the sum of the move speeds of each "leg" character. Each arm has an attack equivalent to that of the appropriate "arm" character. The "head" character controls the whole.
Normal: Normal people can't meld into bigger people.

Erom
2007-04-12, 07:02 AM
Normal: Normal people can't meld into bigger people.

Bwahahahaha... awesome.

Ranis
2007-04-12, 07:05 AM
I wouldn't, because I think that it would stagnate the fantasy experience.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-04-12, 07:15 AM
I have played both human only and no-humans allowed campaigns. I've also played in Campaign worlds like Rokugan where it's mainly human based.

7th level Gestault Ranger/Rogue with a +4 favoured enemy bonus against humans and he's swapped his animal companion for the ability to flank from range. Everyone else in the party had Tomb of Battle/Complete Book Gestalts but he's still doing the most damage regularly.

Humans have more flavour than elves if anything. I mean, how much does a bizzare sleep cycle come up in your game?

Kyrsis
2007-04-12, 07:23 AM
I wouldn't mind, as a lot of times I play humans anyways. The game I play in now has a lot of human PCs, not because the DM said so, it was just the way it happened.
As long as there is a good reason for an "X" only campaign, I generally don't mind.

random11
2007-04-12, 07:24 AM
I'm not really a fan of "real world" campaigns, but I do think that human only is a good choice.
Ever noticed how humans are the only race in which people are actually different from one another?

I created a campaign where other races existed, but only as NPCs. The restrictions I placed on them made it a bad choice for PCs anyway.

Kiero
2007-04-12, 07:59 AM
I wouldn't, because I think that it would stagnate the fantasy experience.

Not if Howardian sword and sorcery is your kind of fantasy.

Ranis
2007-04-12, 08:30 AM
I never said it was for me, but if it is for you, that's cool to, no harm, no biggie.

Hitchhiker
2007-04-12, 10:31 AM
While diverse races are interesting sometimes, a humans-only world seems far more unique. That's what I'd prefer.

Ranis
2007-04-12, 10:36 AM
While diverse races are interesting sometimes, a humans-only world seems far more unique. That's what I'd prefer.

Wait, what? How?

the_tick_rules
2007-04-12, 11:04 AM
sure, why not?

draca
2007-04-12, 11:32 AM
Even if it were run by a good friend, I'd have to pass.

Such things tend to suck the fun and fantasy out of a fantasy based game. Like low-magic settings, I have yet to experience one that wasn't synonymous with suffering.

Cyborg Pirate
2007-04-12, 05:47 PM
I'd love to play this game, let me play this game, please oh please let this be a PbP, and let me get an invite.

Heheh :smallsmile: I havent got any game plans yet, Im still building the world (which is a full go now, thanks to the overwhelming majority who are ok with human only gaming!). Id love to run a game with it once, tho Id more likely try doing it with an instant messenger. Im still very inexperienced and I have no idea how to deal with the massive slowdowns that can happen during pbp combat and such.

Much thanks to all whove posted and voted! I feel very encouraged :smallbiggrin:

linkian19
2007-04-16, 01:04 PM
I'm actually in a human only campaign but the thing is our DM let us take certain traits such as Short and stuff like that. It's actually a whole lot of fun.

ZekeArgo
2007-04-16, 01:51 PM
Wait, what? How?

Because how it already stands all of the other "races" are just humans with odd traits.

Elves are long-lived humans who are haughty

Dwarves are long-lived humans who speak in brogue and drink

Halflings (aside: what race decides to call themselves *half* anything anyway?) are short humans who are sneaky

Gnomes are short humans who use magic

I have *never* seen anyone roleplay a non-human character with anything other than a very human-like outlook. So why not just drop the pretense and play a cultural version of a human rather than saying "I have pointy ears" or "our women have beards"

Maroon
2007-04-16, 02:15 PM
A good thing to include in human races, apart from racial bonuses to skills like knowledge, craft and profession, is weapon familiarity. Like dwarven urgroshes for dwarves, but applied to things like katanas for oriental-influenced people, scimitars from middle-east-influenced people, and so on. Also look into character traits and character backgrounds.

Diggorian
2007-04-16, 03:08 PM
I've done humans only in Modern and other games, but I do enjoy diversity.

Being an actor-type of player I'll play a culture/ethnicity very unlike my own to aid the escapism I love about roleplaying. My PC was Jim F. MacGarnickle, an Irish-American Texas cop that was part 24's Jack Bauer/part Vic Mackey from The Shield.


I have *never* seen anyone roleplay a non-human character with anything other than a very human-like outlook. So why not just drop the pretense and play a cultural version of a human rather than saying "I have pointy ears" or "our women have beards"


That's very common. Observer bias is gonna cause portrayls of other races to be automatically filtered through human perception (unless you can train a chimp or gorilla to RP). Being a student of psychology I try to get deep into the mindset of my non-humans.

What's it like to be an elf, four times as old as all my friends whom I'll watch rapidly age and die, yet find beauty in the natural cycle of it all with a much looser gender role?

A dwarf lives in the cool hard underground around many of the most dangerous monsters in the world with stern traditions of rightness spawned from long lost glory that pale the harsh bleakness of life? I'd drink alot too! :smallbiggrin:

RandomNPC
2007-04-16, 04:03 PM
oddly, players tend to jump on restrictions. atleast mine do. my signifigant other works with a few of our gamers (ok most, i used to work there too and i recruited them to game) and i always have a few questions asked to each of them to get responses that aren't directly at me and when i ask my group about my ideas i know what to stray away from.

i tossed a common restriction at them, from the questions they were asked at work they seemed reluctant, but i tossed a non-evil, chaos is allowed but not to much restriction out there, and they leapt on it. the game's not for a while still, but they already rolled up three characters, one more and we could set up tomorrow and play. they even accepted the idea of being allowed to retire characters and bring them back later, but if they specifically did something evil i would give them a character to play for a while.

anyway, good idea, as long as you pull it off right you seem to have a rather fun game. and sorry i went on that rant about my game... i tend to do that.