Humans possess exceptional drive and a great capacity to endure and expand, and as such are currently the dominant race in the world. Their empires and nations are vast, sprawling things, and the citizens of these societies carve names for themselves with the strength of their sword arms and the power of their spells. Humanity is best characterized by its tumultuousness and diversity, and human cultures run the gamut from savage but honorable tribes to decadent, devil-worshiping noble families in the most cosmopolitan cities. Humans’ curiosity and ambition often triumph over their predilection for a sedentary lifestyle, and many leave their homes to explore the innumerable forgotten corners of the world or lead mighty armies to conquer their neighbors, simply because they can.
Human society is a strange amalgam of nostalgia and futurism, being enamored of past glories and wistfully remembered “golden ages,” yet at the same time quick to discard tradition and history and strike off into new ventures. Relics of the past are kept as prized antiques and museum pieces, as humans love to collect things—not only inanimate relics but also living creatures—to display for their amusement or to serve by their side. Other races suggest this behavior is due to a deep-rooted urge to dominate and assert power in the human psyche, an urge to take, till, or tame the wild things and places of the world. Those with a more charitable view believe humans are simply collectors of experiences, and the things they take and keep, whether living, dead, or never alive, are just tokens to remind themselves of the places they have gone, the things they have seen, and the deeds they have accomplished. Their present and future value is just a bonus; their real value is as an ongoing reminder of the inevitable progress of humanity.
Humans in many places are fascinated by older races and cultures, though at times they grow frustrated or even contemptuous of ancient and (to their mind) outmoded traditions. Their attitudes toward other races are thus a curious mix of exoticism and even fetishism, though usually with a very superficial level of understanding and appreciation of those cultures, alongside a deeply rooted arrogance that means most humans have a hard time regarding themselves as anything other than the default standard of society. Human scholars engaged in the study of other races—who might be assumed to be the most cosmopolitan and well versed in their nature and culture—have often proved no better than the less-learned members of their race when it comes to genuine closing of the social distance. Humans are gregarious, often friendly, and willing to mix and interact with others, but their sheer obliviousness to their off handed marginalization of others is what so chagrins other races when dealing with them.
Of course, well-meaning, blundering ignorance and numerical superiority are not the only things that make other races suspicious of humans. Entirely too many examples can be found throughout history wherein human xenophobia and intolerance has led to social isolationism, civil oppression, bloody purges, inquisitions, mob violence, and open war. Humans are not the only race to hate what is different among them, but they seem to have a susceptibility to fear-mongering and suspicion, whether about race, language, religion, class, gender, or another difference. More moderate human citizens often sit idly by while their more extreme compatriots dominate the political and cultural conversation, yet there are also many who stand in opposition to extremists and embody a spirit of unity across the bounds of difference, transcending barriers and forming alliances and relationships both large and small across every color, creed, country, or species.
Physical Description: The physical characteristics of humans are as varied as the world’s climes. From the dark-skinned tribesmen of the southern continents to the pale and barbaric raiders of the northern lands, humans possess a wide variety of skin colors, body types, and facial features. Generally speaking, humans’ skin color assumes a darker hue the closer to the equator they live. At the same time, bone structure, hair color and texture, eye color, and a host of facial and bodily phenotypic characteristics vary immensely from one locale to another. Cheekbones may be high or broad, noses aquiline or flat, and lips full or thin; eyes range wildly in hue, some deep set in their sockets, and others with full epicanthic folds. Appearance is hardly random, of course, and familial, tribal, or national commonalities often allow the knowledgeable to identify a human’s place of origin on sight, or at least to hazard a good guess. Humans’ origins are also indicated through their traditional styles of bodily decoration, not only in the clothing or jewelry worn, but also in elaborate hairstyles, piercing, tattooing, and even scarification.
Society: Human society comprises a multitude of governments, attitudes, and lifestyles. Though the oldest human cultures trace their histories thousands of years into the past, when compared to the societies of other races like elves and dwarves, human society seems to be in a state of constant flux as empires fragment and new kingdoms subsume the old. In general, humans are known for their flexibility, ingenuity, and ambition. Other races sometimes envy humans their seemingly limitless adaptability, not so much biologically speaking but in their willingness to step beyond the known and press on to whatever might await them. While many or even most humans as individuals are content to stay within their comfortable routine, there is a dauntless spirit of discovery endemic to humans as a species that drives them in striving toward possibilities beyond every horizon.
Relations: Humans are fecund, and their drive and numbers often spur them into contact with other races during bouts of territorial expansion and colonization. In many cases, this tendency leads to violence and war, yet humans are also swift to forgive and forge alliances with races who do not try to match or exceed them in violence. Proud, sometimes to the point of arrogance, humans might look upon dwarves as miserly drunkards, elves as flighty fops, halflings as craven thieves, gnomes as twisted maniacs, and half-elves and half-orcs as embarrassments—but the race’s diversity among its own members also makes many humans quite adept at accepting others for what they are. Humans may become so absorbed in their own affairs that they remain ignorant of the language and culture of others, and some take this ignorance to a hateful extreme of intolerance, oppression, and rarely even extermination of others they perceive as dangerous, strange, or “impure.” Thankfully, while such incidents and movements may taint all of humanity in the eyes of some, they are more often the exception than the rule.
Alignment and Religion: Humanity is perhaps the most diverse of all the common races, with a capacity for both great evil and boundless good. Some humans assemble into vast barbaric hordes, while others build sprawling cities that cover miles. Taken as a whole, most humans are neutral, yet they generally tend to congregate in nations and civilizations with specific alignments. Humans also have the widest range of gods and religions, lacking other races’ ties to tradition and eager to turn to anyone offering them glory or protection.
Adventurers: Ambition alone drives countless humans, and for many, adventuring serves as a means to an end, whether it be wealth, acclaim, social status, or arcane knowledge. A few pursue adventuring careers simply for the thrill of danger. Humans hail from myriad regions and backgrounds, and as such can fill any role within an adventuring party.
Female Names: Alerdene, Alinza, Aula, Bach Hien, Belka,
Beshkee, Chammady, Chao, Do Quyen, Eshe, Eudomia, Gerda, Hiriko,
Ilinica, Indah, Ingirt, Izora, Jalket, Jayazi, Kaede, Kalizama, Kamshi,
Lestari, Leyli, Marisan, Me’amesa, Meilin, Mirelinda, Mpaandi, Nalmida,
Nanya, Narantuyaa, Ntisi, Pasara, Pontia, Que Xuan, Revhi, Runa, Sahba,
Shirin, Shivkah, Sinkitah, Surenchinua, Udara, Umie, Valki, Waajida,
Xemne, Xue, Zalika, Zova.
Male Names: Aakif, Andrezi, Arasmes, Bahram, Baolo, Barid,
Batsaikhan, Belor, Budi, Darvan, Dolok, Eilif, Garidan, Gellius, Hadzi,
Hamengku, Harisko, Iacobus, Jaali, Jianguo, Kjell, Kousei, Kronug,
Menas, Mitabu, Narsius, Nonek, Pateba, Pratavh, Qorchi, Ragnar, Rubani,
Seckor, Shokamb, Shuo, Sunaki, Suryo, Tabansi, Teruawa, Thanh Liem, Toan
Hao, Tomorbataar, Tuong Kinh, Ursion, Vachedi, Viorec, Yekskya, Zaiho,
- Ability Score Racial Traits: Human characters gain a +2 racial bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
- Size: Humans are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Base Speed: Humans have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Languages: Humans begin play speaking Common. Humans with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
- Bonus Feat: Humans select one extra feat at 1st level.
- Skills: Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.
The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.
- Adoptive Parentage Humans are sometimes orphaned and adopted by other races. Choose one humanoid race without the human subtype. You start play with that race’s languages and gain that race’s weapon familiarity racial trait (if any). If the race does not have weapon familiarity, you gain either Skill Focus or Weapon Focus as a bonus feat that is appropriate for that race instead. This racial trait replaces the bonus feat trait.
- Dual Talent Some humans are uniquely skilled at maximizing their natural gifts. These humans pick two ability scores and gain a +2 racial bonus in each of those scores. This racial trait replaces the +2 bonus to any one ability score, the bonus feat, and the skilled traits.
- Eye for Talent Humans have great intuition for hidden potential. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks. In addition, when they acquire an animal companion, bonded mount, cohort, or familiar, that creature gains a +2 bonus to one ability score of the character’s choice. This racial trait replaces the bonus feat trait.
- Focused Study All humans are skillful, but some, rather than being generalists, tend to specialize in a handful of skills. At 1st, 8th, and 16th level, such humans gain Skill Focus in a skill of their choice as a bonus feat. This racial trait replaces the bonus feat trait.
- Heart of the Fields Humans born in rural areas are used to hard labor. They gain a racial bonus equal to half their character level to any one Craft or Profession skill, and once per day they may ignore an effect that would cause them to become fatigued or exhausted. This racial trait replaces skilled.
- Heart of the Mountains Humans born in the mountains are skilled at negotiating heights and precipices. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Climb checks and Acrobatics checks to move on narrow surfaces and uneven ground. Furthermore, they are considered acclimated to the effects of high altitude. This racial trait replaces skilled.
- Heart of the Sea Humans born near the sea are always drawn to it. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Profession (sailor) and Swim checks, and these are always class skills for them. They can hold their breath twice as long as normal, and spellcasters gain a +4 racial bonus on concentration checks when attempting to cast spells underwater. This racial trait replaces skilled.
- Heart of the Slums Humans who eke out a life in a city’s teeming slums must be quick and clever. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Sleight of Hand and Stealth checks, and a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks in urban and underground settings. In addition, they may roll twice when saving against disease, taking the better roll. This racial trait replaces skilled.
- Heart of the Snows Humans born in chilly climes treat cold climates as one category less severe. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saving throws against the effects of cold climates, on any check or saving throw to avoid slipping and falling, and to CMD against trip combat maneuvers. This bonus applies on Acrobatics and Climb checks made in slippery conditions. This racial trait replaces skilled.
- Heart of the Streets Humans from bustling cities are skilled with crowds. They gain a +1 racial bonus on Reflex saves and a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class when adjacent to at least two other allies. Crowds do not count as difficult terrain for them. This racial trait replaces skilled.
- Heart of the Sun Humans born in tropical climates treat hot climates as one category less severe. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saving throws against the effects of a hot climate, as well as against the poison and distraction ability of swarms and vermin. This racial trait replaces skilled.
- Heart of the Wilderness Humans raised in the wild learn the hard way that only the strong survive. They gain a racial bonus equal to half their character level on Survival checks. They also gain a +5 racial bonus on Constitution checks to stabilize when dying and add half their character level to their Constitution score when determining the negative hit point total necessary to kill them. This racial trait replaces skilled.
- Heroic Some humans are born heroes. In campaigns that use the optional hero point system, each time these humans gain a level, they gain 2 hero points instead of 1. If they take the Blood of Heroes feat, they gain 3 hero points each level instead of 2. This racial trait replaces the bonus feat trait.
- Mixed Heritage Often human civilization is defined by more than one characteristic. A human with this trait may select a second “Heart of the” racial trait. This replaces the bonus feat racial trait.
- Silver Tongued Human are often adept at subtle manipulation and putting even sworn foes at ease. Humans with this trait gain a +2 bonus on Diplomacy and Bluff checks. In addition, when they use Diplomacy to shift a creature’s attitude, they can shift up to three steps up rather than just two. This racial trait replaces skilled.
You can combine various alternate racial traits to create subraces or variant races, such as the following.
- Cosmopolitan Adept as city living, these humans can navigate crowds and fulfill the need for skilled labor in such settlements. Replace the skilled racial trait with heart of the streets and the bonus feat racial trait with focused study.
- Country Folk These humans are suited to life in the countryside. Replace the skilled racial trait with heart of the fields and the bonus feat racial trait with focused study.
- Gutter Rat Often second-class citizens living in sprawling ghettos and slums, these humans work hard to eke out an existence in a city. Replace the skilled racial trait with heart of the slums and the bonus feat racial trait with mixed heritage (heart of the streets).
- Imperious Human Hailing from either an empire, an emerging nation, or a controlling city-state, these humans are arrogant expansionists, absorbing others to their causes and culture. Replace the skilled racial trait with silver tongued and the bonus feat racial trait with eye for talent.
- Trailblazer Adaptive and inventive, these humans must have quick wits and a dose of heroic luck to survive in the lands they settle. Replace the skilled racial trait with heart of the wilderness and the bonus feat racial trait with heroic. At the GM’s discretion, you can swap out the heart of the wilderness racial trait for either heart of the mountains, heart of the sea, heart of the snows, or heart of the sun, depending on the type of terrain these humans are settling.
- Versatile Human While they lack some of the training of other humans, the natural talents of versatile humans more than make up for this lack. Replace the +2 bonus to any ability score, the skilled racial trait, and the bonus feat racial trait with dual talent.
The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.
- Alchemist Add one extract formula from the alchemist formula list to the character’s formula book. This formula must be at least one level below the highest formula level the alchemist can create.
- Barbarian Add a +1/2 bonus to trap sense or +1/3 to the bonus from the superstitious rage power.
- Bard Add one spell known from the bard spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the bard can cast.
- Cavalier Add +1/4 to the cavalier’s banner bonus.
- Cleric Add a +1 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of outsiders.
- Druid Add a +1/2 bonus on Diplomacy and Intimidate checks to change a creature’s attitude.
- Fighter Add +1 to the Fighter’s CMD when resisting two combat maneuvers of the character’s choice.
- Gunslinger Add +1/4 point to the gunslinger’s grit points.
- Inquisitor Add one spell known from the inquisitor spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the inquisitor can cast.
- Monk Add +1/4 point to the monk’s ki pool.
- Oracle Add one spell known from the oracle spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the oracle can cast.
- Paladin Add +1 to the paladin’s energy resistance to one kind of energy (maximum +10).
- Ranger Add +1 hit point or +1 skill rank to the ranger’s animal companion. If the ranger ever replaces his companion, the new companion gains these bonus hit points or skill ranks.
- Rogue The rogue gains +1/6 of a new rogue talent.
- Sorcerer Add one spell known from the sorcerer spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the sorcerer can cast.
- Witch Add one spell from the witch spell list to the witch’s familiar. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level she can cast. If the witch ever replaces her familiar, the new familiar knows these bonus spells.
- Wizard Add one spell from the wizard spell list to the wizard’s spellbook. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the wizard can cast.