Human Traits instead of Bonus's? Here are some.

Well lets ask a differen question!  How could human behavior be described and then, how can we represent that mechanically just as we do with the other races? 

Here's a few questions to answer:

Humans are the most expansionist race.  Their short lives do not favor hesitation and give little time for more conventional accumulation of wealth and power, causing them to swing to aggression and action more quickly.  How do we represent that?

The Humans are the most likely to adapt to new realities, socially, financially and mentally.  We have traditions, but aren't married to traditions in the same way as other races.  Traditions may be everything a Dwarven clan IS.  A human village would not define themselves that way even though they had traditions.  Can we represent that mechanically?

Humans tend not to have the same feeling of loyalty to clan and country.  They are individualists who foster an attitude in their young of independence which ultimately manifests in them travelling far more often, and much further away from home than other races.  Individualism makes freedom very important to them on the whole and humans would go to great lengths to see freedom accomplished even as they themselves may take it from others.  Some see enslavement as the only means to ensure their own freedom and position sadly but many more would fight it.

Humans are voracious students.  their short life span makes it imperative that they be so.  Human lives go through the formative stage where values are created and the mechanics of life are absorbed.  The mid stage is where they accumulate that which they will use like a sword to secure themselves against old age, an enemy that waits for them more than any other race.  Finally the stage of infimity and wisdom where they become wiser than many races because they, unlike those races, must face the consequences of their actions a far greater percentage of their own lives than other races do.  This Age of consequence if you will causes the older races to seek even human advice in matters of state where they are blinded by the hubris of the ability to outwait their problems and many a Demi-human has failed to recognize its danger quickly enough.

Humans tolerate others more.  They are not ridden with the centruies old feuds that create a veritable political latticework for older races even though their feuds burn hotter and more passionately perhaps in spurts than do those of other races.  They are better peacemakers just as they are more aggressive.  Even as conquerers, they tend to assimilate more than obliterate their vassals.  Whereas total victory might be the only answer acceptable to a Dwarven clan protecting its home vs. Goblins bordering on genocide, the humans would negotiate, not only because it is better from a resource standpoint but simply put, their sense of mortality is greater than most races.  They find tolerance a valuable tool in conserving the resources of both materials and the years of their lives.

humans procreate very quickly and are capable or rebuilding their population easier than other races, making them resilient through numbers where they lack the phuysical gifts of other races.

Humans value sacrifice more than any other race.  That one would give up what one already has so little of resonates with anyone who sees it.  Humans sacrificing their lives is a bigger deal because they've had so little of it often times.  This saddens the longer lived races and their own race.  Such untimely deaths  inspire humans to epic feats far beyond their natural capabilities.  martyrdom is a uniquely human concept, for while other races do mourn their lost, they can be somehwat comforted that most Elven and Dwarven lives have far exceeded any humans before danger attracted them.

Time and again humans have overcome insurmountable odds to survive.   Their penchant for this defies any rational explanation and it is romanticized repeatedly in every popular medium.  The human spirit of perseverance is ingrained on a genetic level in us.  When called upon to do great things, humans as a whole rise to that.  In fact one could argue that they rise to the level of their competition most of the time,  and always seem to have just enough in them to claim victory.

Humans are more mercurial and willing to change their position, making us harder to trust as allies and often we give people good reason for that misgiving.  Though many men are virtuous, all of us have a weakness borne of self interest that shows itself and it is the fight against this trait that marks those who are virtuous from those who are banal.

I dunno.  What can we do with those ideas, mechanically?  there are many more one could write but those are some to kick start things.
I usually emphasize human creativity... An elvish or dwarvish design is staid, tried and true and heck you can often tell what race made the thing. A humans individuality speaks itself in what we design. This is a mental adaptability associated with that quick learning. In the real world human associate themselves with the creator god and see themselves as the children of that divine entity for a reason. 
 
Perfect at improvisation we are willing to try the untried.
 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

So then, how do we represent that mechanically?  what can we do that ISNT a stat boost, to represent these qualities
I don't mind the stat bonuses.  It makes them a little better at everything.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

In 1e D&D this was handled by level limits on nearly all other races for various classes.  Thus, though elves and dwarves lived longer, a human could still achieve a substantially higher level of skill.  I'm not advocating for such a system.  As an alternative, what about slightly faster advancement (5-10% bonus) for human characters?  Not sure I'm a fan of this solution myself as I would prefer to see a group of characters to level together, at least ideally they would, though it is an idea.  

I think bonus skills (or skill ranks) or specific human characteristics (backgrounds) could be useful as well to make humans more distinct than the other races.   This may need to be setting and region specific as well for humans to differentiate one group of humans from another.  
I don't mind the stat bonuses.  It makes them a little better at everything.


I'd like to point out that this wasn't meant to be a "let's find what everybody likes" thread, but instead it was suposed to find someway of making humans unique from other races without having to go to the old standby of "let's just give them a bunch of boosts so we don't have to nerf the others."

Such uniqueness can come from various sources, whether it actually be stat adjustments as the various non-human races were subjected to in other editions, or in the form of special abilities again like non-humans got in other editions...there are also other alternatives which could be useful, although I can't think of any offhand.

Personally, I like the thought of a human's adaptability. I think this could be easily translated into something like: "Every (insert number of) level/s the player can change the character's theme to reflect how the character is adapting to the needs of the situaton."     

Human creativity is a good possibility too...and can be translated into a racial ability to start the game with a bonus in a trade skill of choice (think of the setting, whether portrayed in movies or books or whatever, and think of how many people running day to day lives had some sort of craft skill)

As for Human tolerance...simply allow a human to pick an interaction skill (diplomacy, intimidation, gather information, bluff, etc) to have a skill bonus in.    

I think these would be good starting points to give humans a "leg up" without resorting, heavily, to standby methods.
Those are some interesting mechanical suggestions.  How about others?

As far as being able to adapt to the changing situation, here's an idea:  perhaps a human can ready an action, but change the trigger, unlike other races, with a Wisdom check like you could in 3.5.  There is currently no mechanic for changing a readied action.  Alternately, perhaps once per day they can use a free inerrupt action.  Or perhaps allow the human to maintain his position in initiative order despite taking a readied action?  Those would certainly be strong and representative abilities humans could have that dont involve a boring stat bonus.

I really like this idea of shifting themes.  They would be DM approved changes based on what the player had done.

I like the idea of a bonus to one interaction skill they may choose as well. 

I also think humans are the catalyst of the world.  So much of the movement in the world is from human influence.  They seem to drive history forward and be its greatest students at the same time.

Their capacity for meaningful sacrifice might also manifest itself this way:  When adjacent to a friend, a human can throw himself in front of a blow meant for that friend once per day.

1, some,  or none od these are all options.

Any other ideas?
Personally, I like the thought of a human's adaptability. I think this could be easily translated into something like: "Every (insert number of) level/s the player can change the character's theme to reflect how the character is adapting to the needs of the situaton."

How about allow humans to ignore a single class/ability requirement for feats? I don't know if WotC plans on using pre-reqs for feats, but this could be a pretty unique feature than exemplifies humans versatility.

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Just to note, Skills and Feats are specifically linked to Backgrounds and Themes which are optional mechanics. Tying human bonuses to these features would severly hamper them in games which don't use them. Perhaps for skills you could give humans Advantage in certain checks, similar to what the elf has. Perhaps even give them the choice of an ability score to have advantage with all checks for that ability. (Excluding saves and attacks when I say "checks")
I don't mind the stat bonuses.  It makes them a little better at everything.

I'd like to point out that this wasn't meant to be a "let's find what everybody likes" thread, but instead it was suposed to find someway of making humans unique from other races without having to go to the old standby of "let's just give them a bunch of boosts so we don't have to nerf the others."

+1 to each stat, and +1 more of your choice IS unique.

Humans can acell at everything.  They are the only one's who can get 18 in their main stat, and they have stronger defenses all around.  They can do anything, and everything.

Their capacity for meaningful sacrifice might also manifest itself this way:  When adjacent to a friend, a human can throw himself in front of a blow meant for that friend once per day.

My Nutral Evil cleric of pelor would be far more likely to throw someone in front of him.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Some other useful traits that could make sense for humans:

Adaptability: You gain a bonus when attempting a check that you recently failed at (e.g. fail a climb check and learn from your mistakes)

Ingenuity: You gain a bonus (or Advantage) when you Improvise.

Extreme Effort: You may spend a Hit Die in order to cancel Distadvantage or gain Advantage for one check.

Hobbiest: You gain +3 skill training in one skill that you aren't trained in or +2 skill training in two skills that you aren't trained in.

Perseverance: You gain a +1 bonus on saving throws.
Perseverance: You gain a +1 bonus on saving throws.

They already get +1 to all stats, and thus +1 to all saving throws.

Err. +1 to all skills.  +1/2 to all saving throws. +1/2 to attacks. +1/2 to AC (possibly).

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

+1 to each stat, and +1 more of your choice IS unique.

Humans can acell at everything.  They are the only one's who can get 18 in their main stat, and they have stronger defenses all around.  They can do anything, and everything.



Using stat boosts to create "balance" is an old standby. And where's the counter-balance for those boosts? Nowhere! In all the other races, a +1 or +2 in one stat has a similarly sized negative in another stat...but do humans see that? Nope.

It's not unique, it's lazy. 
+1 to each stat, and +1 more of your choice IS unique.

Humans can acell at everything.  They are the only one's who can get 18 in their main stat, and they have stronger defenses all around.  They can do anything, and everything.

Using stat boosts to create "balance" is an old standby. And where's the counter-balance for those boosts? Nowhere! In all the other races, a +1 or +2 in one stat has a similarly sized negative in another stat...but do humans see that? Nope.

It's not unique, it's lazy. 

Would you feel better if they split it up and added names?

Versatile, you gain +1 to all skill checks.

Perserverence, you gain +1/2 to all defenses. 

Extra Effort, you gain +1/2 to all attacks.

Passionate, you gain +1/2 to all spell DC's.

Resiliance, you gain +1/2 to your AC while in light armor. 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I'm sure you'd like it, considering that you've stated 3 times now how awesome the +1 to all stats and +1 to one of choice system is...but no, this thread is to find something to use other than those standby bonuses to make humans unique.

Humans don't get low-light vision or racial luck or keen senses or anything like that. So, they need something to set them apart...something that isn't a lazy attempt to make humans appealing, something to draw people in and think "huh, that's pretty cool and I could take advantage of that in (this), (that), and (those) ways."     

Humans need a PR rep...and that's what this thread is for. 
I think what people are trying to get at here is that simple bonuses are boring and lazy. Sure, they're nice practically, and maybe they can be simple, but in many ways I'm not sure that bonuses are true to (what I see) as the spirit of this edition. It seems to me that this edition is moving away from bonuses in general, and instead trying new things with special abilities, simplified calculations, and a more creative role-playing experience.


That is really why we have this thread here. Because that goal is refreshing and exciting, and many of us have noticed that humans don't represent those goals, so far. It's almost like they didn't quite know how to express human individuality, and so instead of giving them racial abilities like the rest of the races, they just gave them a flat bonus, until they could think of something better and more individualized.


So we're coming up with ways for that to happen. And while your ideas (above) are closer to that, and could be implemented, in essence they're still just flat bonuses, maybe not to stats, but still just boring old bonuses. That's fine, it's just kind of old and tried by now. It would still look nothing like the rest of the edition, and maybe would not fit the (apparent) goals, and more than that, wouldn't really look very appealing to players going for creatively designed characters. True, bonuses appeal to many players, but all the other editions of DnD focus on that, so there are plenty of choices in those areas for them. This whole idea of creativity, individualized builds, and so on, is sort of new for DnD (except maybe that they're attempting to go back to the old editions, in some ways).


That, and those flat bonuses, especially to stats, makes it seem like humans are superior in every way. A flat bonus to stats means, in the game world, that they are genetically superior in every way to all the other races. And that just doesn't seem like humanity. Human individuals, on average, probably do not believe that they are the best, of all the races, in every way. Evil people? Maybe. But not everyone is evil. If anything, that genetic superiority is closer to the attitude of the high elves (even though they, too, have their own weaknesses). Saying that a race basically has no weaknesses at all is patently ridiculous, not to say unimaginative.


Thus, we suggest abilities for humans beyond bonuses (simple or complex). I get that Mello Red likes the bonuses, and that they're argueing in favor of them. And that's okay. I'm not saying bonuses don't have their pros, too. Far from it. Bonuses have their place, as well. This edition still features them (it is still DnD, afterall). It just takes the focus away from bonuses. We're really just trying to let that apply to humans, the one race so far that doesn't have any special abilities.


Even if humans are better genetically here, they're weaker in that they're just not special in any other way. And my vote is for the opposite to be true. Humans are average, average, average, genetically/stat speaking. You see this in pretty much every rpg. But, like Jancoran and others have pointed out, we are still special. We have abilities that get us farther ahead in life than other races, relative to how much time we have in life. In our short time, we acheive much, and not b/c of our god-given genetic limitations or whatever. It's b/c we, more than other races, don't let that fact limit us. We challenge, stretch, and rebel against those limitations, where other races much just "go with it".            
Would you feel better if they split it up and added names?

Versatile, you gain +1 to all skill checks.

Perserverence, you gain +1/2 to all defenses. 

Extra Effort, you gain +1/2 to all attacks.

Passionate, you gain +1/2 to all spell DC's.

Resiliance, you gain +1/2 to your AC while in light armor. 



It looks like you're either being facetious or you've misunderstood the point of this thread and the ideas I suggested.  The point of this thread (as I've understood it) is to come up interesting ideas to replace the +1 to all stats that humans get.  The text I've quoted seems to be a sarcastic and roundabout way of doing exactly the same thing as giving them +1 to all stats.

Yes, the Perseverance idea I suggested (+1 to saving throws) is similar to a stat boost, but not the same, as it's purely defensive.  It is admitedly the least interesting of the ideas I presented.  So why did you dismiss the all the other ones?  Also, in case it wasn't clear, I was simply providing ideas, not saying "pick one of these to replace the +1 to all stats".  The traits a human gets could be a combination of things.
I think that was more aimed at me, WpgDave. Since I'm the one that's been trying to say, nicely, "get off your stat bonuses soapbox." I like the ideas that have been tossed out thus far, and I'm sure there are plenty more out there. Perhaps WoTC will take the suggestion and consider making a pool of special abilities for human characters to "Gain (this) and (that) and choose X more from the pool." That's a pretty good idea I think, since that would delve into the individuality of humans...letting them have their own mix of abilities, while the other races have a solid "you get these" setup.
I like where this is headed myself.

I posted this on another thread

PC's are the exception and not the rule, I would rather see a stat system that allowed a player to place his bonus stats where they wanted them and then have a selection of a second background or a list of say 20 human abilities or traits that you could pick 2-3 from to round out your character.  Giving a diversity to humans and play the race you want with the class you desire.

Not sure what the list would be but it's in the spirit.
Would you feel better if they split it up and added names?

Versatile, you gain +1 to all skill checks.

Perserverence, you gain +1/2 to all defenses. 

Extra Effort, you gain +1/2 to all attacks.

Passionate, you gain +1/2 to all spell DC's.

Resiliance, you gain +1/2 to your AC while in light armor. 

It looks like you're either being facetious or you've misunderstood the point of this thread and the ideas I suggested.  The point of this thread (as I've understood it) is to come up interesting ideas to replace the +1 to all stats that humans get.  The text I've quoted seems to be a sarcastic and roundabout way of doing exactly the same thing as giving them +1 to all stats.

Sorta.

The simple fact is that most of the racial traits (or really, most of the game) are just (conditional) stat bonuses.

Lucky is a stat bonus.  (big bonus, limited use)
Keen Senses is a stat bonus.  (big bonus, conditional use).
Dwarf's carry capacity is a stat bonus. (big bonus, conditional use).
Dwarf resistance is a stat bonus.  (big bonus, conditional use).

Humans also have a bonus (small bonus, unconditional use).

I agree with M.Coverdale when he say's humans need an RP rep.  Their bonus is fitting, flavorfull, and balanced.  They just need someone to put a good spin on it.

Yes, the Perseverance idea I suggested (+1 to saving throws) is similar to a stat boost, but not the same, as it's purely defensive.  It is admitedly the least interesting of the ideas I presented.  So why did you dismiss the all the other ones?  Also, in case it wasn't clear, I was simply providing ideas, not saying "pick one of these to replace the +1 to all stats".  The traits a human gets could be a combination of things.

They (currently) get ALL of the bonuses i listed.  It is a combination of things.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

The problem with simple bonuses...no matter how good they are, is that it has no flavor...it's boring. At this time, I see no reason to play a human. This edition is already setting itself up to be like one of the prior editions, where the race that is supposed to be the most plentiful (humans) isn't regarded favorably as a player race. Then you end up with parties full of elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, etc...all the races that either don't breed as much or as often or that tend to not be of adventuring mindsets. These demihuman parties come about due to an extensive lack of player desire to have a human in the mix.

Now is the time when humans need to be polished up into something attractive. Sure, let's keep some stat bumps...but certainly not every stat. Let's keep something like 2 stats of choice get +1. Good, great, I've not been saying at any time to get rid of all of the lazy standby bonuses...it just needs to be curbed and controled a bit more.

Now, since the overall potential power of the weakest race (humans are the youngest and least developed) let's bring that potential back up to something reasonable and add some sort of flavor...let's make it worthwhile to actually play a human. That's the essence of this thread Mellored, and if you'd actually pay attention to the preceeding posts you would have noticed that.

Humans, as a race, are vastly varied from person to person. Covering that variety with the possible adjustment of all 6 ability stat boosts is absurd, it's unreasonable, and it really doesn't work. Humans need something to separate them from the next Joe Average human standing next to them. Where does that come in? Special abilities. Some humans in an area will typically have a certain mix of traits that show they're adapted to life in that area with one or two specials they've developed as individuals to set them off from others of their same ethnicity. But then, there are humans that have developed in other areas and have different sets of culturally derived traits (much like the differences between hill, mountain, and gully dwarves...or the differences between high, wood, and dark elves). The potential is practically endless for what a human can really be, and saying that humans are going to have +1 to all stats, and then an extra +1 to a single stat to set them apart from the other humans, isn't going to cut it when the sheer potential of what a human can be is so much more vast.

So with that being said, Mellored, you've made your case about keeping the current bonus system...however, I'm seeing several other people that see things that can be different than that.

Anyways,
Getting my mind back on track for this thread...I thought of something else appropriate for race.

Legacy - This would be something that has been passed down from father to son, mother to daughter, and/or grandparent to grandchild. This legacy could easily be applied to any ethnicity of human out there. The form that a legacy would take would be left up to the player and DM. A human could simply have an heirloom item that has been passed down from generation to generation, but provides the character some sort of use (example: the daughter of an adventuring family could start game with her father's or mother's prized sword)...or it could be something a little less tangible, such as having a secondary background (Commoners were often used as expendible soldier, and if a soldier lived long enough to watch his family grow up...he'd likely want to train them to survive as long or longer than he).

This thought would need to be polished out a lot more, but I think it has potential...and would definitely help to keep the humans from being a boring choice for the player.          
I agree that the +1 to all stats is boring and lazy--I believe there are better ways to balance humans against the other races.

I don't mind a +1 to one stat of the player's choice, but it needs to be coupled with something flavorful and interesting that speaks to the adaptability, creativity and moxie of how humans are presented in D&D.
On the subject of legacy:


That is an interesting idea. It could apply to an heirloom item like you said, a background, or even a theme. Basically, it would allow a player the choice of a minor, secondary background or theme, or a special weapon or item (possibly magical or otherwise powerfull). It would give humans an edge, and an individualized one.

This also brings us back to the theme of humans being driven by their (relatively) short lifespans. I mean, they only have so much time in life, and as they are naturally driven to rise above their meager genetic traits/stats, they would want to continue their legacy, leave a lasting mark upon the world, and protect and teach future generations. This would give rise naturally to this idea M.Coverdale had about legacies. It could play out in different ways, but that's even better; it would allow further freedom and creativity, and in turn make the character more of an individual.

That being said, it also leaves a lot of room for abuse and over-powering and min-maxing. So there would have to rules, limitations, and restrictions. Maybe say that if a human character chose to use "Legacy" as their special ability (or one of their specials, assuming humans could have the freedom to choose their abilities out of a pool), they had to choose one of either "heirloom", "Background", or "Theme" subtypes, and then they'd have to stick with that, the whole game. (Can't really change the legacy your ancesters have given you, unless you time travel.) And then, of course, those things would have to be DM approved.

Then, also, the Background and Theme legacies would/could use a minor, lessened version of their mainstream counterparts. Maybe they contain half of the original skills (to be chosen by the player, and DM approved), and/or maybe they only contain one special ability, or maybe they use the ability from Theme, but diminished in some way that can be agreed upon by the player and DM.
Oh, and in case you didn't notice, I'm a big fan of the idea of having human PCs choose out of a pool of abilities. Maybe they are only allowed like two, tops, but I think it really expresses the human need for individuality, and their focus on the freedom to choose their own path (potentially). It would give players the freedom to pick and choose the build of their character even more than this edition already allows.

The drawback to this, of course, is that with that freedom comes great responsibility. It, too, allows for min-maxing and making overpowered characters. But then, it'd all have to be DM approved. And I think that's okay. Giving greater power and freedom to DMs and players seems to be a prevailing theme in this new edition, which is kind of a big step. And I have high hopes that it'll turn out well. Even then, of course, there must be rules and limitations.


One of the limitations on the idea of having a pool of abilities to choose from could be that you could only choose a maximum number of abilities. Another could be that certain abilities could not be paired with others (this could be anything from simple common-sense things, to actual barriers to min-maxing).      


+1 to each stat, and +1 more of your choice IS unique.

...My Nutral Evil cleric of pelor would be far more likely to throw someone in front of him.



The +1 stat doesn't EXEMPLIFY humans in any kind of way.  It's just a mechanic to make them get something since they dont get other things.  And if thats where they end up, fine, but that isn't the putpose of the thread.

And yes, I said capacity for sacrifice.  Even Raistlin sacrificed in the end.

I think that was more aimed at me, WpgDave. Since I'm the one that's been trying to say, nicely, "get off your stat bonuses soapbox." I like the ideas that have been tossed out thus far, and I'm sure there are plenty more out there. Perhaps WoTC will take the suggestion and consider making a pool of special abilities for human characters to "Gain (this) and (that) and choose X more from the pool." That's a pretty good idea I think, since that would delve into the individuality of humans...letting them have their own mix of abilities, while the other races have a solid "you get these" setup.



Hey this just gave me a brain explosion.

Humans are very much different from one another in their attitudes from nation to nation.  Perhaps such a pool of ideas, as you suggest could be harnessed into an idea similar to the "regional Feats" from the Forgotten Realms setup.  Not in the same exact way but same concept. 

DM's could designate in their world that this or that cool dealio is from this area etc...  For example:

 In Dragonlance, my favorite setting, There is Palanthus, greatest city of Ansalon.  Mariner tradition is strong there and was the genesis of the city itself, while Wizards have had their tower their since long before the Mariners discovered the Deepwater harbor, the Bay of Branchala.  As such, humans from Palanthus have long been known for their metropolitan attitude and their (relatively) more positive attitude towards the many races that regularly trade and visit in the city. 

Therefore, Palanthians can draw from the "Tolerance Pool" of Human abilities and the Perseverence pool that all humans can.

That kind of thing maybe.  Or some other way to do it.
After our second play session I realized that our Dwarven player was playing very much like a Dwarf (loved his Keg antics) and the Elves were being haughty a couple times, the Kender (oops halfling) was being her usual loud self and attracting monsters in droves with the Dwarves ample help, and the human was... lost in the crowd.  We need to make something happen here.
The human was quite happy to not be a pacifist though...there were several times she passed a fist across some goblin faces. Anyways...I'm in agreement. Humans need something to make them more interesting.
I would say, more than anything else, the Human is aggressive. (The most dangerous animal on the planet.) This aggression applies both mentally and physically, to overcome challenges. It can take the form of student striving to master wizardry, or a mystic determined to somehow connect with the divine, or a warrior proving oneself the most skilled.

I agree, self-sacrifice is also a poignant trait that the Human possesses.
Do you think some of the ideas I shot out there would be worth a look?  Would they make you want to be a human over an elf?  Would it at least give you pause?
Some other useful traits that could make sense for humans:

Adaptability: You gain a bonus when attempting a check that you recently failed at (e.g. fail a climb check and learn from your mistakes)

Ingenuity: You gain a bonus (or Advantage) when you Improvise.

Extreme Effort: You may spend a Hit Die in order to cancel Distadvantage or gain Advantage for one check.

Hobbiest: You gain +3 skill training in one skill that you aren't trained in or +2 skill training in two skills that you aren't trained in.

Perseverance: You gain a +1 bonus on saving throws.



I kind of like some of these Ideas, specifically Ingenuity and Hobbiest. I might limit Ingenuity a bit, just because it could get out of hand, especially with a rogue, if they improvise something equating an attack.

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

Is it important to you that they are balanced?

If not go right ahead and invent a bunch of abilities that we can claim represents humanity, though humanity is so diverse I really don't see it. 

If you want them to be balanced you are going to need a stat boost.  Stats are just too integral to the game for a race not to get them and remain balanced especially in this flatter growth edition. You would have to give something just as integral to the game and guess what it wont be balanced.   Honestly I'd give humans stat points to play with, like they get +1 stat pool in one stat of choice can take up to -3 to increase their stat pool, but at most +2 in any one stat.  To me that would help represent the ups and downs of humanity.  
If enough traits can be put together, then a "pool" of abilities can be made for human characters to choose from...and could represent the diversity in humanity. I agree that stat boosts could be a part of the human...but I don't think it should be required.

Let the player make it. 
Is it important to you that they are balanced?

If not go right ahead and invent a bunch of abilities that we can claim represents humanity, though humanity is so diverse I really don't see it. 

If you want them to be balanced you are going to need a stat boost.  Stats are just too integral to the game for a race not to get them and remain balanced especially in this flatter growth edition. You would have to give something just as integral to the game and guess what it wont be balanced.   Honestly I'd give humans stat points to play with, like they get +1 stat pool in one stat of choice can take up to -3 to increase their stat pool, but at most +2 in any one stat.  To me that would help represent the ups and downs of humanity.  



I don't think people were largely arguing for getting rid of a stat boost in general, but I think they were arguing against the +1 across the board, that humans get, before the +1 to the stat of their choice.

That being said, I don't think toying with stats, apart from choosing which stat they get a bonus in is the right way to go. It just seems like it will drive Humans to be the Min-max Race. I think all races, including humans, should get a stat bump, and then non-stat bump bonuses, which represent them.

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

The purpose of the thread is for us to put our considerable brain trust together and manifest a list of things that could both be said of humans (as i did in the first couple posts and I encourage more) and then mechanical ways we COULD represent those things.

This then could be used as a starting point for the designers to think of a few options.

1.  Offer the stat bonus's as is but allow the human to sacrifice them for some of these things we are talking about.

2.  No stat bonus's (or less of them) BUT always picking from the pool

3.  Set it up to include Regional (which would be campaign world specific)  pools and the CORE pools of abilities humans are "known for".

4.  Or picking from the pool in addition to the normal stat increases they already get.

No matter which way they might go, we are smart people.  We have good ideas.  We should pool ideas, not limitiations.  the only limitations are imagination and game balance.  OBVIOUSLY both must be observed.  But at this time i want to focus you all on identifying what it is to be human and then mechanics to represent them.
This isnt a solution by itself but it is an interesting approach to explore:



The Human gets no ability score bonus.

Instead, the Human gets +1 to all d20 attacks-and-checks.

This racial bonus represents Human desire, aggression, ingenuity, determination, resourcefulness, and so on.

By itself, this is almost the same thing as a +2 to ALL ability scores. It is too powerful, but the flavor feels right.



Maybe theres some way to tweak this.
This isnt a solution by itself but it is an interesting approach to explore:



The Human gets no ability score bonus.

Instead, the Human gets +1 to all d20 attacks-and-checks.

This racial bonus represents Human desire, aggression, ingenuity, determination, resourcefulness, and so on.

By itself, this is almost the same thing as a +2 to ALL ability scores. It is too powerful, but the flavor feels right.



Maybe theres some way to tweak this.



Perhaps turn this into an X/day ability...maybe with the X being the character's level. 

What about granting advantage to all initiative rolls for humans to show their ability to make "hasty" decisions?

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

yeah that could be good, especially when given disadvantage from another source.

Or maybe they ignore one source of disadvantage to initiative?  Maybe they dont get advantage, they just IGNORE one source of disadvantage. 
yeah that could be good, especially when given disadvantage from another source.

Or maybe they ignore one source of disadvantage to initiative?  Maybe they dont get advantage, they just IGNORE one source of disadvantage. 



Thats kinda cool.

So Humans press on despite adversity.
I think +1 to 4 stats of their choice and two traits like the ones suggested on this thread would be better than the overall bonuses suggested now.  With the +1 from class too we'll be seeing a lot of humans with 20s in their main stats.  I sort of hope they bring back racial maximums and limit humans to 20 strength...
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