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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Psionic Dog's Avatar

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    Default Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    As many have noticed 'Human' is a generic race in almost every setting with rather generic abilities. I'm sure someone somewhere has managed to create a non-generic 'Human race', but I can't think of any for 3.5 off the top of my head. Also, there aren't enough LA0 races with a charisma bonus. So when inspiration struck I typed this up. Comments appreciated.

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    Humans are the decedents of pioneers, conquers, refugees and others who put down roots and stuck. Further, they are one of the few races other than dragons known to produce fertile hybrids with other races. As a result many humans carry thin bloodlines of other races giving rice to an unsurpassed variety in human appearance.

    Some attribute the spread of human culture to their rapid breeding, but that is only a small part of the truth. After all, goblins and kobolds breed even faster. No, the primary reason for human spread is their stamina in travel, environmental resilience to establish a foot hold, and their tendency to then alter their local environment to their own profit. Their reproduction rates and stubborn tendency to stand 'their' ground and fight merely makes it difficult for others, objecting to human land usage, to pry them off.

    Personality: Humans are a flexible, ambitious, and dramatic people that burn through their shortish lives with vibrant energy. As a race they tend to value entertainment and creative ways to make quick profit, and are prone to cultural mood swings ranging from curious exploration to xenophobic isolationism.

    Physical Appearance: Humans typically stand 5-6 ft tall and weigh 120-240 lbs, with men noticeably taller than their women. Even 'pure' blooded humans have skin tones of nearly any shade from pale to red to black with hair ranging from blond to black, with most men bearing facial hair as well. In communities where the linage of other races run the varriety can be even more extreme.

    Relations: Most humans mingle happily with others as ambassadors, merchants and otherwise, and they are generally regarded as favorable acquaintances. Still, any anyone wishing to visit the humans would be wise to check up on the current culture in advance as the expected welcome can shift greatly in as little as a single generation for longer lived races.

    Alignment: Humans tend to be idealists with a slight tendency away from true neutral. Humans can be found at everything from community pacifists to bloodthirsty fanatic cultists with most subconsciously seeking to leave a legacy that will outlast their short lives.

    Human Lands: Human lands can be found in any climate with a slight tendency to the moderately-harsh areas where humans can put down roots uncontested by other sentient races, although they soon grow and push towards local greener pastures. Mature human cultures are usually in full flux with dynamic politics and the land itself shaped to best support/profit the local humans.

    Languages: Human cultures are often fragmented and might be found speaking any language although most speak some dialect of Trade/Common.

    Adventures: Humans take up adventuring for a variety of reasons ranging from the simple passion of living up life, to the abstract of support for sum idealistic cause, or for the more pragmatic reason like making a name for themselves or settling new land as their own. While classic Bards and Fighters are the greatest staple of human adventures, enough dragon heratiges exist to make sorcerers also plentiful. Many humans take up wise traditions such as the ranger and paladin with ideological passion making up for subpar wisdom. Other dramatic classes like the dashing rogue and rampaging barbarian also having their places. It's only the learned professions like wizard and monk that few short lived humans find the time or interest to study to completion.


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    Human
    • +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom. Humans are passionate with a flare for dramatics even if they can be a bit short sighted and prone to self deception.
    • Medium Sized
    • Human Base Speed is 30 feet.
    • Adrenalin Rush: Once per day humans may gain a +2 racial bonus to Strength and Constitution as they put forth a desperate effort. This lasts for 5 rounds.
    • +2 racial bonus to saves vs Domination or Death effects. Humans may be easily persuaded but they are independent spirits who refuse to give up life without a fight.
    • Bonus Feat: Endurance. Humans are stubborn, hardy folk who can be found to live in almost any environment no matter how unpleasant.
    • At 1st level humans may name any one skill a permanent class skill. Humans are natural hobbyists who almost always know something completely unrelated to their day-to-day occupation.
    • +2 racial bonus to any one Profession or Perform skill. Humans instinctively learn ways to either profit from the environment or to pretend life was better.
    • Automatic Language: Common. Bonus: Any. Humans mingle with ever sort and can learn any non-secret language.
    • Favored class: Bard or Fighter. A multiclass human’s fighter or bard class levels do not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Humans are almost as fond of fighting as they are of debate and theatrics.


    Other Races:
    Replace Half-Orc stats with +2Str, -2Int -2Wis. Half-Orcs also gain the Adrenalin Rush racial feature.
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    BillyBobJoe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    Hey, Iajutsu Focus as a class skill is pretty awesome. I like it.

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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    I often feel like the reason humans are generic is because they are used as a benchmark for judging the abilities of other races. By adjusting that benchmark, you'd be saying something about other races, whether or not you intend to.

    For instance, the wisdom penalty indicates that humans are among the most brash of the core races, that the introduction of orcish blood means they get a bit stupider and uglier, instead of stupider and more reckless. You're also saying Humans are more likable than dwarves (not a stretch), halflings, elves, half-elves, and gnomes. Thats a bit more of stretch.

    Another strength of the generic human is its simplicity. I know more than a few players who went with human because they couldn't be bothered with a half dozen racial abilities.

    That being said, I like what you've done. I think it still manages to reflect the human spirit and determination that we like to think we possess as a race. I would just argue against the Adrenaline Rush (as all natural creatures have that, some more dramatic than ours) and the ability to auto class-skill in the name of balance. Use Magic Device comes to mind, so does Autohypnosis, and Iaijutsu Focus was also mentioned.

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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursus the Grim View Post
    You're also saying Humans are more likable than dwarves (not a stretch), halflings, elves, half-elves, and gnomes. Thats a bit more of stretch.
    There has to be a reason for all those races that are descended from humans.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    I really like the concept here.

    My concern is the (probably unintentional?) side effect of "humans make bad clerics".

    For most worlds that seems pretty counterintuitive.

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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursus the Grim View Post
    I often feel like the reason humans are generic is because they are used as a benchmark for judging the abilities of other races...
    Agreed.
    I think this is why granting humans special abilities is a bad idea.

    Humans are totally generic. We are every race and culture on this planet - we live in every place on Earth, and we do it well.
    All the other fantasy races are just mirrors held up to humanity. We are the template from which their caricature is formed.

    That is generic.
    Last edited by Altair_the_Vexed; 2011-04-09 at 03:52 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    I like it, nice work.

    The Umbragia campaign(there's a pdf link at the page bottom) has non-generic humans, as does the d20 conan book by mongoose publishing. Might give you some more ideas for other non-generic humans.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    Agreed.
    I think this is why granting humans special abilities is a bad idea.

    Humans are totally generic. We are every race and culture on this planet - we live in every place on Earth, and we do it well.
    All the other fantasy races are just mirrors held up to humanity. We are the template from which their caricature is formed.

    That is generic.
    I don't think it's particularly fair to assume that humans the most adaptable of all "races" when there aren't any other "races" in real life to compare us to, other than more humans. You can't really say that the range of humans in real life indicates anything other than there are a lot of us.

    Alternatively, by dnd standards, the various cultures around the world are different enough to warrant a truckload of subraces and subtypes. Look at elves for example: they have a different subrace for every environment in the game. I'm more than willing to bet actual money that say, North Americans have a lower average strength score than the tribes that still live in South American jungles. By that logic, you can't say that humans being everywhere means they should have generic stats, because according to dnd they shouldn't be using the same stats at all.

    Mechanically of course, humans do make for the baseline in the game, as all the other fantasy races are different aspects of people in real life. But even if you want humans to be the super adaptable generalists of the world compared to the other fantasy races, there's no reason you can't do that in a way that grants specific abilities rather than a completely open bonus feat. In particular, the charisma bonus/wisdom penalty is one of the best ways to do this. A race with a charisma bonus is going to get along with itself and others better, which allows them to form and maintain groups under extreme circumstances. Sound familiar? A wisdom penalty also helps justify the "damn the consequences" attitude of altering themselves and the environment whenever needed. So we have adaptable generalists that form groups where others won't and do whatever is needed to succeed right now without long term planning: bonus cha, minus wis.

    What I don't particularly like is Endurance as a bonus feat. Because Endurance sucks. It's not any worse than the Half-Elf of course, but Dwarves get some serious bonuses to saves against spells and poison, two of the most dangerous things out there, while Endurance rarely if ever comes up in actual play. However, it is just about the best way to give them an actual mechanical edge in extreme environments, so I wouldn't drop it. Adrenaline Rush is an okay idea, but the bonus is so small it's not likely to turn the tide of anything. I'd increase the bonus to +4, and if you think that's too much you can limit it to one or the other of strength or constitution. Scaling uses per day would be nice, but on the other hand, being able to make a "last stand" multiple times per day is rather defeating of the point. A feat for +2 uses per day would be recommended however, same as Extra Rage.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    Although I like the idea of the race as a whole, I find myself agreeing with many others here, human is the baseline. They're not boring, they're adaptable, the primary trait for humans in any setting.The one thing I like is replacing the extra skill point per level with a permanent class skill, that rings truer than the standard human. The adrenaline rush ability is also nice.

    There has to be a reason for all those races that are descended from humans.
    I've always seen this as a way of saying human's adaptability is evident on even a genetic level, able to mix and adapt with many other races. That and a drunk human will copulate with just about anything!
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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    That and a drunk human will copulate with just about anything!
    That gives me an idea...
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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...ht=human+mario

    That link is my attempt at a re-design. I don't think I got the balance right. I was aiming for "the diehard" trope. One point I was trying to keep was the idea that the abilities and stat modifiers would have little or no effect on generic NPCs, which probably gimped what i was trying to achieve.

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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursus the Grim View Post
    Another strength of the generic human is its simplicity. I know more than a few players who went with human because they couldn't be bothered with a half dozen racial abilities.

    That being said, I like what you've done. I think it still manages to reflect the human spirit and determination that we like to think we possess as a race. I would just argue against the Adrenaline Rush (as all natural creatures have that, some more dramatic than ours) and the ability to auto class-skill in the name of balance. Use Magic Device comes to mind, so does Autohypnosis, and Iaijutsu Focus was also mentioned.
    Eh, I'm not worried about <skill name> problems. I've heard of a couple mild cheese tricks to get every skill a class skill. Any group likely to try optimized abuse probably has better ways for abuse. Besides, any class that doesn't have UseMagic or Spellcraft already on their class skill list is probably a low-tier that could use a bump.

    Quote Originally Posted by oswulf View Post
    I really like the concept here.

    My concern is the (probably unintentional?) side effect of "humans make bad clerics".

    For most worlds that seems pretty counterintuitive.
    This just means Human clerics are now Smity McTurn holy warriors rather than Clerzilla's or buff-bots. Yah, I guess that does make them 'worse' clerics. Counterintuitive from the stereotype, but makes sense with their fluff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    What I don't particularly like is Endurance as a bonus feat. Because Endurance sucks. It's not any worse than the Half-Elf of course, but Dwarves get some serious bonuses to saves against spells and poison, two of the most dangerous things out there, while Endurance rarely if ever comes up in actual play. However, it is just about the best way to give them an actual mechanical edge in extreme environments, so I wouldn't drop it. Adrenaline Rush is an okay idea, but the bonus is so small it's not likely to turn the tide of anything. I'd increase the bonus to +4, and if you think that's too much you can limit it to one or the other of strength or constitution. Scaling uses per day would be nice, but on the other hand, being able to make a "last stand" multiple times per day is rather defeating of the point. A feat for +2 uses per day would be recommended however, same as Extra Rage.
    The problem with upping Adrenaline Rush is then you basically have Rage with no draw backs as a racial feature. Would upping the bonus at the cost of reducing duration work out better? Endurance was mostly tacked on for fluff in hopes that the other features would make up for the weak feat.


    Looks like "Humans are simple to play" is an important feature: and it's hard to get much simpler than the current PHB entry. Maybe I should put together a set of fantasy human sub-races that includes my human and the PHB human under an LA+1 "The Ancients" human...

    Things to Do:
    • Design an "Ancient One" human race old enough that even the elves discount as myth, from which Promiscuous and Classic humans came...
    • Racial Feats.

    Thanks for Comments.


    @Ashtagon:
    Not bad. Me likes. Yours looks pretty useful at lower levels and in E6 type settings, although I'd guess they lean pretty heavily on Second Wind and probable loose effectiveness at higher levels the baddies start hitting harder than the wind.
    I guess my attempt was more Humans Are Diplomats/Humans are Survivors
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    Default Re: Humans Aren't Generic [3.5] (PEACH)

    Subscribing, cause I like it.

    I feel that Endurance is a useless feat, but whatcha gonna do.

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