- The hands of humanity grasp unceasingly at their own ambition.
Humans are a bit of an odd duck, in that they don't seem to HAVE an origin. Oh, they have origin myths, they have those in crazy abundance. Every human God and religion seems to have a different and usually conflicting version of "How Things Began." But when you look deeply enough into it, the facts support that there have been humans for as long as there have been anybody. Indeed, the oldest records of the Elves and the Dwarves, who each claim to be the First Race, all include passing mentions that when both of those races came to be on the universal stage, humans were already there, living in their little kingdoms and cities, endlessly seething with jealousy and boundless energy, tearing down and abandoning their works as often as they build and preserve.
The wisest of sages and cyphers, when they can admit it, realize that humans are probably the first and oldest race. It's just that humans don't care about that sort of thing in the least, and have dismissed everything older than a few thousand years as worthless.
This is as Human a thing as it is possible to be.
So what is the true origin of Humans? No one knows.
Humans have a lot of different cultures, ranging from death-worshipping monuments to blood and horror all the way to enlightened bastions of peace and hope. Indeed, it's almost like humans deliberately want to try every single possible way you can get along with each other, twice. But the strange thing is, Humans take every one of their multifarious ways with complete seriousness. For humans, their culture, their nation, their tribe, their clan, is Serious Business, and they will fight to the death without blinking their eyes for it, no matter what it might be.
Humans are like that a lot, they throw themselves into every venture, no matter how serious or ridiculous, with a wild-eyed intensity that is vaguely frightening to other races. There is little madcap or silly about human cultures, either, they're all in it for blood, even the fine, upstanding bastions of good.
Human culture also moves at a pace that makes other races a little tired. Humans will build entire cities, vast places stretching to the horizon, in only a year or two, and then when the mood strikes them they will abandon the whole place and leave it to rot without so much as a backwards glance.
Another odd thing about humans is their muted selection of skin and hair tones. Humans all come in various shades of brown, black, white-pink, or brown-pink. Most humans have brown or black hair, and brown, black or blue eyes. True blonde hair is uncommon, and true red hair is quite rare. Yet, despite (or perhaps because of) this limited palette, Humans care more about their skin color than almost any other race, and in keeping with their violent streak and their deadly seriousness in all endeavors, they will hate and kill you for no other reason than they decide they don't like your color scheme.
For other races, dealing with humans can often feel like buying and selling raw meat from a pack of rabid wolves. Profitable, yes, but approach with caution.
Growing Up Human
Humans generally follow the same universal pattern: Two humans mate, they have children. Human women are quite consumed in childbirth and child-rearing, such that human males are obliged to support them for at least a few years after mating to raise their success rate. It is a fairly conventional system, but like all things human, they have to do it better than everybody. Human women are nearly ALWAYS fertile, and they can give birth to a child once a year, every year. Humans can't quite keep up with Orcs or Goblins when it comes to birthrate, but since humans have much, much more stable societies than those races (not to mention the Spark), the fecundity of humans is impressive to behold.
There are a lot of humans. It's a little frightening when you think about it.
Aside from the basic biology of it, most humans are raised in a fairly conventional two-parent with children family structure. Of course, humans in some of their stranger cultures have tried almost every sort of variation imaginable, but by and large, two parents and kids is the predominant family structure.
Humans are involved in everything. They mine almost as much as the Dwarves do, they sail almost as much as the Undines do, they farm and raise animals more than anybody else, they have more and bigger cities than everybody else, they make and use and buy and sell and move and trade and construct everything. While Dwarves might make slightly better metalwork, and Elves might make slightly better woodwork, and Halflings might make slightly better food, and Gata might raise slightly better bred animals, Humans are close behind at everything. If there is an economic activity, good or bad, for woe or weal, humans are doing it, and lots of it.
A part of this ubiquity is the fact that there are lots and lots of humans. It is easy to miss, because other races tend to be more colorful or visually striking, but humans, with their boring round ears and tiny square teeth and dull, earthy coloration, are by far the most common race. There are more humans than the rest of the races put together. But aside from sheer numbers, humans have a racial energy about them, they are always slightly malcontent with the status quo and are always 'out there' looking to get an edge. Humans compete, it's in their nature.
Human culture is, if anything, even more diverse than Elvish culture. But where Elves fit their appearance to their culture, humans always look pretty much the same. Humans that live in tree cities look just like humans that live in deserts. Every imaginable custom is found somewhere in the human sphere of influence, from the mundane to the utterly bizarre. Body modifications, tattoos, ritual maiming, you name it, it's out there somewhere.
Lifespan and Burial
Humans are not long-lived, which is a source of vast rage and disquiet in their hearts. Humans secretly envy elves and dwarves and fey-kin because those races will outlast them, and there is nothing they can do about it. That deep frustration, that their lives just aren't long enough, is one of the most potent drivers of Human ambition.
Humans age in the conventional way, with a childhood, adulthood, middle age and dotage. They are physically mature at fifteen and mentally mature at twenty. They generally have to slow down when they reach seventy and rarely live past ninety. Once they die they practice every sort of burial practice there is, from mummification to cremation, but by far the most common practice is simple burial in the earth, usually with a simple and durable stone marker.
Relations with Others
In the greater world, humans are the dull, boring race that serves as the backdrop against which more interesting races stand out. At least, that's what advocates of non-human races like to think. In reality, humans are the dominant race pretty much everywhere they have spread to. This fact is a baffling one. Other races seem more interesting, more powerful, more handsome, smarter, etc, etc. And individually, this is true. But humans have a unique and nigh-undefinable trait that drives them to dominance everywhere they go. This trait expresses itself only in masses of humanity.
Non-humans have often noted that humanity excels at one thing, and that thing is competition. Humans are forever in pursuit of happiness, but it forever seems to be just beyond their grasp. Humans always want more, humans always feel just a bit slighted in their dealings, humans always have room for a niggling grudge. Indeed, humans are well known for their sullen, smoldering discontent, no matter how good they have it.
For example, try to imagine a community of elves going on a mob rampage. Ridiculous, isn't it?
Elves are too civilized for that sort of behavior, and that is the secret core of humanity's success. There is no behavior that is 'beneath' mankind. And that fact, small, mean, and disgraceful, is why humans dominate everywhere. Nobody wants to compete with humanity, because the other non-human races are too noble, too savage, too proud, too mighty, too wise, etc, to descend to the sort of 'win no matter what it takes' sort of behavior that humanity excels at.
It's not pretty, but it's sure effective.
Now, humanity certainly has many admirable traits. They bring civilization wherever they go. They at least try to appear wise and beneficent. Humans are famously adaptable to just about any setting, although that's mainly because the idea that someone else might be getting ahead of them drives humans to distraction.
Humans individually are surprisingly formidable, given how dull and prosaic they are. Humans cannot breathe fire, swim well, or see in the dark. Humans are not the best at anything, a fact which rankles every human ever born, whether they realize it or not. But humans make up for their lack of exceptionalism by being second best at almost everything.
Humans also have tremendous mental and spiritual stamina. Trials and travails that will leave a tiefling community or an elven community a shattered husk drifting toward extinction will spike a massive increase in birthrate among humans. In war, human units will suffer decimating casualties in battle after battle, and not only will they never collapse in despair, the survivors will treat their ill fate as a badge of pride. Plagues, famine, natural disaster, war, all things which will devastate populations of gnomes or dwarves, will leave humans more populous than ever once the hecatomb has been endured.
This racial sense of durability, this collective feeling, often subconscious, that no matter what happens humans will prevail, is a very admirable and valuable trait.
Unless you're another race.
Humans, rightfully, have a reputation as uncomfortable neighbors. They have sharp elbows and no qualms about reaching for everything around them. Other races, such as halflings, find humans nearly unbearable as neighbors unless a formal arrangement can be worked out integrating the non-human enclave into the human society. Such arrangements are surprisingly common, surprisingly well-respected, and surprisingly successful for all involved.
In short, humans don't look like anything special. Except that they're winning.
Which makes them happy. A little.
Starting Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Weight Weight Modifier Male 4 ft. 10 in. +2d10 in. (5' 0" - 6' 6") 120 lbs. +2d10 x 5 lbs. (130 - 220 lbs.) Female 4 ft. 5 in. +2d10 in. (4' 7" - 6' 1") 85 lbs. +2d8 x 5 lbs. (95 - 165 lbs.)
Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Intuitive Self-Taught Trained 15 years +1d4 years (16 - 19 years) +1d6 years (16 - 21 years) +2d6 years (17 - 27 years)
Human characters have no alignment or class restrictions.
Standard Racial Traits
All Humans have the following Standard Racial Advantages:
- Attributes: Humans may choose to gain one of the following ability score bonus sets when creating their character. No ability score may ever be modified above a 20 or below a 7.
- +2 to two different ability scores, -2 to one ability score
- +2 one ability score, and +1 to three different ability scores, -2 to one ability score
- +4 to one ability score, -2 to one other ability score
- Size: Humans are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Type: Humans have the Humanoid type, with the Primary subtype.
- Base Speed: Humans have a Walk speed of 30 feet.
- Languages: Humans begin play speaking Common.
- Bonus Languages: Characters with a positive Intelligence modifier gain one bonus language per +1 of their modifier, selecting from the following list: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, Orc and Tengu. Once the character's intelligence is high enough to have acquired all six of these bonus languages, they no longer gain bonus languages for increasing their Intelligence. Characters can also learn new languages by placing ranks in the Linguistics skill.
- Normal Vision (Ex): Humans require bright light to see without penalty. Creatures in dim light gain concealment (automatically miss on a natural result of a 6 or less on the d20) against humans trying to target them.
- The Need For More (Ex): Humans gain 1 extra skill rank at each new character level. This may be spent to improve any skill that is available to them.
Major Racial Traits
Choose one of the following Major Racial Traits:
- Well-Suited (Ex): When assigning ability score bonuses from race, this human does not apply a -2 to one ability score. That is, the available bonus arrays become:
- +2 to two ability scores, or
- +2 to one ability score and +1 to three different ability scores, or
- +4 to one ability score
- In addition, a Human with this racial trait adds a permanent +1 training bonus to the ability score of their choice. This bonus may be applied to their ability score even if they have already added a racial ability score modifier to that stat, though their total modified ability score cannot exceed 20 at character creation. In addition, at 11th level, the Human gains an additional +1 to that same ability score, and at 26th level, they gain a further +2 to that ability score score (for a total of +4 from this racial trait, which is a total of +2 to the Ability Modifier).
- Life Lessons (Ex): Humans with this racial trait gain one bonus feat at character creation. They gain an additional bonus feat at 11th level and another one at 26th level. The Human must meet any prerequisites required by a feat in order to select it.
- Specialist (Ex): Humans with this racial trait choose a skill and make it a natural talent for free. At 11th level, they choose a second skill and make it a natural talent for free. At 26th level, they choose a third skill and make it a natural talent for free. When a skill becomes a natural talent, it is remapped to the ability modifier of the Human's choice, instead of the modifier normally used by the skill.
- Fast Learner (Ex): Humans with this racial trait gain another bonus skill rank each level, in addition to the one bonus skill rank granted by "The Need For More". In addition, they may select one bailiwick skill normally unavailable to a member of their class, and spend ranks in it.
- Covetous (Ex): Some humans go so far as to steal a major racial trait from another race, either through magical means, ancestral breeding programs, alchemical transfusions, or even through the use of forbidden blood subsumption rituals. Truly, the avarice of humanity is unbounded by any moral responsibility! A human who chooses this trait may select one of the following traits:
- (Arborian) Fortified Grace (Ex): Arborians with this trait can wear any medium armor and suffer no reduction in their movement speed. They still suffer reductions to their speed for carrying too much weight, and all other penalties for wearing medium armor such as armor check penalties and dexterity penalty to AC modifications still apply. At 11th level, the armor check penalty for any medium armor worn is reduced by 2. At 21st level, the dexterity penalty to AC of any medium armor worn is decreased by 1. At 31st level, the armor check penalty of any medium armor worn is reduced by an additional 2 (total of 4). Bonuses from this trait cannot cause an armor check penalty to go above a zero.
- (Barani) Blessing of Light (Su): A Barani with this racial trait may add +1 point of effect, plus 1 additional point per three character levels (drop fractions, minimum 1) to all effects they express (spells, items, class abilities, etc) that use positive energy (energy, uncommon). This applies to all heals, for example.
- (Bru-Kin) Endless Reserves (Ex): The Bru-kin with this racial trait gains one additional hit point per level, and can sleep in any type of armor without becoming fatigued.
- (Changeling) Exquisite Manners (Su): Some Changelings are paragons of politeness. They may choose to accept a -2 penalty on their initiative rolls in order to grant all allied and friendly entities involved in that same initiative roll a +2 circumstance bonus. This bonus increases to +4 at 11th level, +6 at at 26th level though the -2 penalty remains unchanged.
- (Dwarf) Adroit (Ex): Dwarves with this racial trait are more comfortable wearing armor than most. They reduce the armor check penalty by 2, and they never suffer a Dex Penalty to AC for any armor they can proficiently wear. At 11th level, they reduce the armor check penalty by 3 points. At 21st level, they reduce the armor check penalty by 4 points, and at 31st level, they reduce the armor check penalty by 5 points. This trait's bonuses can never cause an armor check penalty to go above a zero (0). The bonuses from this trait are separately applied to any armor check penalty inflicted by a shield the dwarf equips (with which they are proficient).
- (Elf) Silent Killer (Ex): An Elf with this racial trait suffers only a -5 penalty to their Stealth skill checks when moving at regular speed while in a stealth stance. Furthermore, they can run while maintaining a stealth stance, but suffer a -10 penalty to their Stealth skill checks. In addition, when breaking a stealth stance to make an attack, the Elf may add a +1 training bonus to their first attack roll. At 21st level, this training bonus to-hit improves to +2. Note that this attack roll bonus cannot ever be used more than once per round.
- (Fey-Kin) Aptitude for Violence (Su): Fey-kin with this racial trait gain a +1 training bonus to attack rolls. This bonus improves to +2 at level 25.
- (Gata) Effortless Strength (Ex): A Gata with this racial trait can wield massive weapons with only a 16 strength and they gain an Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat as a bonus feat. At 21st level they may select a bonus feat that improves their combat prowess while wielding the weapon they chose (even if the feat applies to all melee attacks).
- (Gnome) How's This Work? (Ex): Gnomes with this racial trait choose either the Disable Device skill or the Sleight of Hand skill, and may make it a natural talent at character creation. At 16th level, they may make the other skill a natural talent. When a skill becomes a natural talent, it is remapped to the ability modifier of the Gnome's choice, instead of the modifier normally used by the skill. In addition, they improve their chances of a critical success with both of these skills by 1 (requiring a natural result of 19 or 20 to crit with the skill check, instead of only a natural 20).
- (Grippli) Uncanny Stillness (Su): In any round in which you do not use a move action for movement, gain +1 to-hit with all attacks until the beginning of your next turn. This bonus increases to +2 at level 16.
- (Halfling) Beating the Odds (Su): Halflings with this racial trait improve the critical threat range of any weapon they are proficiently wielding by +1. For example, a longsword, which normally has a critical threat range of 18-20/x2 would improve to 17-20/x2 in the hands of a Halfling with this racial trait, assuming they are proficient with it. This racial trait does NOT improve the critical multiplier of the weapon. At 21st level, this trait improves the critical threat range by an additional +1 (a total of +2).
- (Ifrit) Soothing Warmth (Sp): This Ifrit has healing powers in their blood. As a standard action, the Ifrit deals 1 point of irresistible CON damage to themselves, and heals a touched ally 1d6 points per two character levels of the Ifrit (round down, minimum 1). Beginning at 11th level, the Ifrit may cast Lesser Restoration on the touched ally instead of healing them. At 21st level, the Ifrit may cast Restoration on the touched ally instead of healing them, and at 31st level, the Ifrit may cast Greater Restoration on the touched ally instead of healing them. Even if the Ifrit is immune to CON damage, this ability causes CON damage. This trait may be used an unlimited number of times per day (as long as the Ifrit's CON score remains above zero), but the Ifrit may never heal or restore themselves with this trait.
- (Kitsune) Startling Cry (Su): A Kitsune with this racial trait may emit a startling cry in combat, which distracts and unnerves nearby foes. Once per encounter as a move action, the Kitsune may calculate flanks as if they were in any square adjacent to their actual square. At 11th level, Startling Cry becomes a swift action. At 21st level, they can perform a Startling Cry twice per encounter. At 31st level, they can perform a Startling Cry once per round.
- (Mallori) Shadowsoul (Su): Mallori with this racial trait have energy resistance (ER) versus negative energy (energy, uncommon). The value of the ER is 5 + the Mallori's character level. This ER stacks with other sources of ER/negative, but not with any other types of ER (like ER/Common or ER/-). In cases where two different types of ER could each be applied to mitigate negative energy damage, only the highest available value is used.
- (Nagdyr) Cornered Frenzy (Ex): A Nagdyr with this racial trait gains a +1 training bonus to all attack rolls when the Nagdyr is flanked by enemies. This bonus to attack rolls improves to +2 at 11th level, +3 at 21st level, and +4 at 31st level.
- (Oread) Stonegrasp (Su): An Oread with this racial trait reduces the Handiness penalty by 1 when wielding a sized-large weapon. At 11th level, they may make Might a natural talent, remapping it to the ability modifier of the Oread's choice, instead of the modifier normally used by the skill. At 21st level they may substitute Might checks in place of Movement checks made to climb vertical or inverted surfaces, mitigate falling damage, or dig through the ground. At 31st level, the Oread can climb (using Might) at normal speed with no penalty to their climb checks.
- (Tengu) Trickster's Deceit (Su): Once per encounter, a Tengu with this racial trait may expend a swift action to choose one enemy within 30 feet, and become invisible to that enemy (as the Greater Invisibility spell, except it only affects one enemy's perceptions). The invisibility persists until the Tengu attacks that foe, or includes that foe in any attack, spell, or effect, or until the encounter ends (whichever happens first). If used outside of combat, the trait cannot be used more often than once per hour and it lasts for 1 minute or until the Tengu attacks the subject. The tengu can only ever use Trickster's Deceit on themselves. Invisibility provides total concealment (automatically miss on a natural result of a 12 or less on the d20, and you must be attacking the square your target actually occupies) and a +2 bonus to stealth checks made to hide from the target enemy creature the Tengu chooses to affect.
- (Tiefling) Infernal Luck (Su): Once per encounter as a free action, the Tiefling with this racial trait may alter a single die result from a damage roll they just made to the maximum value of that die. Beginning at 11th level, the tiefling may use this trait's ability once per round as a free action, and maximize two dice from a single damage roll they just made. At 21st level, the Tiefling may maximize 3 dice from a single damage roll, and at 31st level, they may maximize 4 dice from a single damage roll. The dice to be maximized are selected after the damage roll is made (so you can pick your lowest dice and maximize those, keeping your higher results). Maximized dice must always be applied to the same damage roll, and cannot be split across multiple rolls.
- (Undine) Jet (Su): Once per encounter, an Undine with this racial trait can push a foe 5 feet (as forced movement) after they successfully hit with an attack or spell, them as a free action. At 11th level, the target is pushed up to 10 feet. At 21st level, the target is pushed up to 15 feet, and at 31st level, the target is pushed up to 20 feet. Each square of forced movement must be further away from the Undine than the square the creature previously occupied. As with any forced movement, the target may choose to fall prone to end the movement at any point. This ability can only affect a single target, even if the triggering attack affects multiple targets.
- (Vanx) Personal Space Issues (Ex): This Vanx has issues with personal space. Once per day as an attack action, they may swap places with an adjacent enemy creature, as long as they both have enough space to move into their new spaces without squeezing. A creature moved in this fashion cannot provide flanks for its allies until the start of the Vanx's next turn. Using this trait does not provoke attacks of opportunity for either the Vanx or their target, and no roll is required to perform it. At 11th level, the Vanx may do this twice per day. At 21st level, they may do it as a swift action, and at 31st level, they may do it three times per day.
- (Vishkanya) Sudden Rush (Ex): Once per encounter as a free action, the Vishkanya with this racial trait may move as though each of their movement speeds is 15 higher than normal until the end of their current turn. At 11th level, they may move as though their speed is 30 higher than normal until the end of their current turn, and at 26th level, they may move as though their speed is 60 higher than normal until the end of their current turn. This trait can be applied to any movement type they possess during the round it is triggered. Using this trait is only a Free Action to activate, but requires move actions to gain its benefit. It has no effect on 5-foot steps.
Minor Racial Traits
Choose one of the following Minor Racial Traits:
- Academic (Ex): Humans with this racial trait gain a +1 training bonus to one skill of their choice. This trait does not permit the Human to select any bailiwick skill (Divinity, Naturalism, Reason, Spellcraft, Spycraft or Warfare) that is not normally available to their class. This bonus improves to +2 at level 11, +3 at level 21, and +4 at level 31.
- Laborer (Ex): Humans with this racial trait may add a +1 training bonus to all Profession skills in which they have at least 1 rank. This bonus increases to +2 if they have 11 or more ranks in the skill, +3 if they have 21 or more ranks in the skill, and +4 if they have 31 or more ranks in the skill. In addition, when using the "Building Your Enterprise" skill use, a human with this racial trait is treated as having 4 additional ranks in their Profession for purposes of determining their granted Lifestyle.
- Martial Prodigy (Ex): Humans with this racial trait may put ranks into the Warfare skill even if it is not normally available to their class, and they may choose which of their ability score modifiers to assign to the skill. The human with this racial trait does not gain matching ranks in Warfare's linked skill (Knowledge (Engineering)) when they place ranks in Warfare.
- Pioneer (Ex): Humans raised in the wild learn the hard way that only the strong survive. Humans with this racial trait gain a +1 training bonus on Survival checks. This bonus improves to +2 at level 11, +3 at level 21, and +4 at level 31. In addition, they gain a +2 training bonus on Death Checks (effectively reducing the DC of the check to 10 from 12).