Let's build a better (fairer) human.

I've got the liver and the pancreas here.

HUMAN

Ability Score Adjustment: One starting ability score of your choice increases by 1.
Size: Medium.
Speed: 30 feet.

The Humans in the packet have managed to be both overpowered and boring, so let's see if we can come up with something better that's both balanced and caters to the basic philosophies of D&D humans: versatility and diversity. We know we will be done once we've given them 3 or 4 bonuses that are in line with what the other races get.

As a challenge, I want us to avoid the ability "choose one skill not granted by your background, you gain training in that skill" because that's the easy and conspicuous one. Let's be a bit more creative; it can be a lot harder than it seems at first!

I'll keep track of how far I've read. If someone could compile votes and information periodically I would greatly appreciate it!

Tracking: 29th post.
I'm all for sprucing human up. But let's not default back to an extra skill or feat. We've had that for 2 edtions and it's boring boring boring
My two copper.
Human Adaptability: Oncer per day, you can ignore disadvantage for any roll you make.

I dunno. But since humans are shown for their 'adaptability' and 'versatility' I think we should focus on that.
Lets start by taking a look at the description of humans from the packet.

Variety in All Things: Humans are the most adaptable, flexible, and ambitious people among the common races.

A Broad Spectrum: With their penchant for migration and conquest, and their brief lives, humans are more physically diverse than other common races.

Everyone's Second-Best Friends: Just as readily as they mix with each other, humans mingle with members of other races.  They get along with almost everyone, though they might not be close to many.  Humans often serve as ambassadors, diplomats, magistrates, merchants, and functionaries of all kinds.

Ever-Changing Societies: Human lands are usually in flux, with new ideas, social changes, innovations, and leaders constantly comming to the fore.

Totally just throwing this out there, but here is what came to mind:

1) Diplomacy skill.  Fits perfectly with being everyone's second-best friend.  Humans can generally smooth over most situations.

2) Pick Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution.  You gain a +1 bonus on checks and saving throws using that stat.
3) Pick Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.  You gain a +1 bonus on checks and saving throws using that stat.
These came from the other three sections above.  Humans are physically diverse and exposed to an ever-changing flux of new ideas, social changes, etc.  Add to that the fact that they are adaptable, flexible, and ambitious, and I think it makes sense.  It also in along the same lines as human traits from the past, but it doesn't overshadow other races.  You don't have humans tougher than dwarves, or more agile than elves, etc.

4) Ambition for success.  Pick a weapon.  When you attack with that weapon, the damage die increases by 1 step.
Here is what I'd do for humans.

HUMAN

Ability Score Adjustment: +1 to one of your class ability adjustments.
Size: Medium.
Speed: 30 feet.

Jack of all Trades: Pick one cantrip, weapon or armor and gain proficiency in it.

Working hard for the money: pick a profession or perform skill.

Skills to pay the bills: Twice per day you can roll a skill check in a skill you don't have as if you did. Instead of a skill check, you may instead use a weapon or piece of armor as if you where proficient in it for 1 min.
I'm all for sprucing human up. But let's not default back to an extra skill or feat. We've had that for 2 edtions and it's boring boring boring



Agreed, 100%.

And Arithezoo, great start. I wanted to do the same, but I didn't want to lead the discussion too much. I'm glad someone took it upon themselves to put that in perspective.

Human Adaptability: Oncer per day, you can ignore disadvantage for any roll you make.



"Twice per day" wouldn't be too game-breaking, imho.

I was thinking along the same lines, except I wanted something that demonstrated a recovery of some sort-- there's nothing more human than taking a fall and getting back up, right? My idea was 

Human Adaptability: Whenever you fail at a saving throw, you may gain advantage on your next saving throw made within 1 hour. If you fail that saving throw, you can't gain advantage on the following one in the same fashion.

I'm not sure about how I feel about having failure be a trigger, but I figure failure makes up just as much of D&D as success does. If not, what are the dice for, amirite?

Ability Score Adjustment: +1 to one of your class ability adjustments.



There's not much reason for the "class ability adjustments" limitation. 99,999 times in 10,000 someone will go with a class ability, and the remaining 1 time in 10,000... is it really a problem at all? Let's impose limitations only if they'd lead to some kind of abuse.

Jack of all Trades: Pick one cantrip, weapon or armor and gain proficiency in it.



Why would you ever use the second form of Skills to Pay the Bills if you can just gain armor and weapon proficiencies this way?

Working hard for the money: pick a profession or perform skill.



I hate to give two negatives in a row, but let's avoid just giving them skills.

Skills to pay the bills: Twice per day you can roll a skill check in a skill you don't have as if you did. Instead of a skill check, you may instead use a weapon or piece of armor as if you where proficient in it for 1 min.

 

I like the first part of this one.
As to "Why would you ever use the second form of Skills to Pay the Bills if you can just gain armor and weapon proficiencies this way?", lets say you picked up this nifty magic flaming two handed sword that no one can use and you meet a monster that is vunlerable to fire. BAM! now you can. Or you find a shield that reflects gazes and you can't use one normally. BAM now you can. It's for using those items you don't use every day but in the right situation they are awesome.

AS to "let's avoid just giving them skills". I don't see why not. Other races give out skills and the jack of all skills race having a jack of all skills skill seems a good fit. I really haven't seen people saying 'take out the skills elves and dwarves get, they are BORING!'.

As to "Let's impose limitations only if they'd lead to some kind of abuse.", I added it to showcase their being good at any class by adding the bonus only to class bonuses. It doesn't really need to be there but I liked it so I added it. Tongue Out
If you put conditional, daily or encounter bonuses, there's no race with static bonus left.
The human with static bonuses is a sacred cow, the only one I like, lol.
AS to "let's avoid just giving them skills". I don't see why not. Other races give out skills and the jack of all skills race having a jack of all skills skill seems a good fit. I really haven't seen people saying 'take out the skills elves and dwarves get, they are BORING!'.



Well, the intention behind this is to encourage people to think along different lines than what we've seen before. Not anything against race-based skills in particular.

As I said, let's challenge ourselves to not rely on giving them skills.

As to "Why would you ever use the second form of Skills to Pay the Bills if you can just gain armor and weapon proficiencies this way?", lets say you picked up this nifty magic flaming two handed sword that no one can use and you meet a monster that is vunlerable to fire. BAM! now you can. Or you find a shield that reflects gazes and you can't use one normally. BAM now you can. It's for using those items you don't use every day but in the right situation they are awesome.

 

I know that there's situations in which it can be useful, but in general there's very little use for two bonuses that grant practically the same effect, even if one isn't permanent-- it's too narrow a difference. However, I like this first part of the ability, and I feel it's all that would be necessary for a good racial.
So how would you give this highly creative race a bonus on improvised actions... 
  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."

 

AS to "let's avoid just giving them skills". I don't see why not. Other races give out skills and the jack of all skills race having a jack of all skills skill seems a good fit. I really haven't seen people saying 'take out the skills elves and dwarves get, they are BORING!'.


Well, the intention behind this is to encourage people to think along different lines than what we've seen before. Not anything against race-based skills in particular.
As I said, let's challenge ourselves to not rely on giving them skills.

But what If I LIKE skills? It somehow seem right to give a jack of all trades race a skill.
So how would you give this highly creative race a bonus on improvised actions... 

Hmmm...

Maybe twice a day allow advantage on improvised actions? Or maybe the option to pick the stat you use in improvised actions? 

I'm all for sprucing human up. But let's not default back to an extra skill or feat. We've had that for 2 edtions and it's boring boring boring



 I've had that in 5 ediitons (3.0, 3.5, 4th ed, SWSE and PF) and I'm happy with it;) Give them a stat buff or let them swap out the bonus feat for a scaled down version of 4th ed human racial power works for me.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

All I'm saying is let's try to draw different threads.
I like something like this.

bonus feat
bonus skill

+1 or 2 to an ability score of your choice.

 It works, isn't broken and more or less fits real life I suppose. All of us here spent the bonus feat on skill focus:RPG pontificate.

 Perosnally I am a big big fan of if it isn't broke don't fix it.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I like something like this.

bonus feat
bonus skill

+1 or 2 to an ability score of your choice.

 It works, isn't broken and more or less fits real life I suppose. All of us here spent the bonus feat on skill focus:RPG pontificate.

 Perosnally I am a big big fan of if it isn't broke don't fix it.

I'll take this hands down over the current human. I'm also up for trying to make something new up. Just please, lets kill off the current one.

 
 It works, isn't broken and more or less fits real life I suppose. All of us here spent the bonus feat on skill focus:RPG pontificate. 



Damn stupid expenditure... true or not.
  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."

 

Ability Score Adjustment: +1 to one of your class ability adjustments.


Personally, I'd like to see +1 to a mental stat for urban humans (those raised in a city or large town) or +1 to a physical stat for rural humans (those raised on a farm, ranch, or small town). 
But +1 to one physical stat and +1 to one mental stat would also work nicely. 

Jack of all Trades:
 Pick one cantrip, weapon or armor and gain proficiency in it.
Working hard for the money: pick a profession or perform skill.
Skills to pay the bills: Twice per day you can roll a skill check in a skill you don't have as if you did. Instead of a skill check, you may instead use a weapon or piece of armor as if you where proficient in it for 1 min.

I'm all for sprucing human up. But let's not default back to an extra skill or feat. We've had that for 2 edtions and it's boring boring boring



Agreed, 100%.


Keep in mind that there's no such this as "a skill check", there are only ability checks using your skill bonus (or skill die).
And while picking an extra skill is boring, it is simple and flexible. It's a nice small sub-bonus.

Human Adaptability: Whenever you fail at a saving throw, you may gain advantage on your next saving throw made within 1 hour. If you fail that saving throw, you can't gain advantage on the following one in the same fashion.

I'm not sure about how I feel about having failure be a trigger, but I figure failure makes up just as much of D&D as success does. If not, what are the dice for, amirite?


Seems simmilar to halfling luck. But humans triumphing after adversity is a nice theme. 
Maybe after failing a saving throw or ability check, twice a day you gain advantage the next time you make that check or save?

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

Also check out my books at 5mwd.com/publishingIncluding Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuildinga compilation of my blog series on Worldbuilding.

 

Then we keep the needed static abilities based human and create the mutant subrace with encounters, dailies and any conditional abilities that will be objected by a majority, just because everyone knows exactly what humans are.

4th edition in essential gave an encounter power to humans. The power was ideal from mechanical point of view, but it just felt wrong because we tried to remember the last time we decided to grant ourselves a bonus on a skill, save or attack during any test of competence.

IMO, humans as being the reference with no ability score adjustments at all would be the best solution… if all the aspects of the game were not invaded by ability modifiers.
I'll just like to point out that the PF and 4th ed human are very very similar. It works, seems popular and you can look at adding elements of the 4th ed human such as the racial power instead of an at will and the increased defenses (+1 on all saves in D&DN).

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Keep in mind that there's no such this as "a skill check", there are only ability checks using your skill bonus (or skill die). And while picking an extra skill is boring, it is simple and flexible. It's a nice small sub-bonus. 

Well a check that I can add my skill dice to, would be a skill check in my book. I guess I could have put it "Twice per day when you make an ability check and do not have an relevent skill, you can add your skill die to the roll." To me, they say the same thing, but some people get stuck up on the skill check thing.
All I'm saying is, let's try to take it in a new direction. If nothing else, for the sake of challenging ourselves. If we decide that the new direction isn't good enough, we can always return to the norm.

I was thinking about something that plays with the skill die, akin to a rogue's skill tricks. 
Here's my attempt at balancing Humans.

HUMAN

Size: Medium.
Speed: 30 feet.

Human Adaptability: Humans can adapt to their surroundings quicker than other races. Twice per day, you can reroll any failed saving throw against ongoing damage or effects. (I feel like there should be something that represents how humans can be found in almost every region/environment.)

Salt of the World: (Flavor Text Here) +1 to any ability score you have not already modified. (Ex: Cleric can add +1 to Wis, Str, or Con. If you added +1 to Str, then you can apply this trait to either Con or Wis.)
I think that there's two kinds of "versatility" that get conflated a lot of the time.

I) Diversity across the race - the race includes lots of different kinds of individuals.
II) Individual adaptability and flexability - any particular individual who belongs to the race is relatively versatile.

Both traits have been ascribed to humans in various soruces, but many racial traits only address one of the two. Allowing humans to put their +1 or +2 in any stat is purely Type I versatility. It doesn't make any individual human more versatile, since once his stat point is there, it's there. On a character level, however, I think that Type II versatility is much more interesting.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I think that there's two kinds of "versatility" that get conflated a lot of the time.

I) Diversity across the race - the race includes lots of different kinds of individuals.
II) Individual adaptability and flexability - any particular individual who belongs to the race is relatively versatile.

Both traits have been ascribed to humans in various soruces, but many racial traits only address one of the two. Allowing humans to put their +1 or +2 in any stat is purely Type I versatility. It doesn't make any individual human more versatile, since once his stat point is there, it's there. On a character level, however, I think that Type II versatility is much more interesting.

Exactly.

The subect of versatility came in a half-elf discusions.
My opinion is that humans are type I and half-elves type II.
Allow humans to add +1 to two (or maybe 3) stats but confrm that the eventual stat total for that ability cannot exceed 16 (so essentially humans won't be able to increase any stat by +2 taking class and race into account).  Those that want demi-humans to be better than humans in the racially stereotyped stats get their wish but humans will have increased stats overall.

The other suggestion I liked was spending a hit die healing surge (or possibly take damage equivalant to one of your hit diice) to succeed on (or re-roll with advantage?) a failed skill check or save.  I like the notion of humans burning twice as bright but half as long but if the damage from the failed save is worse, it might be a better long term benefit.
The other suggestion I liked was spending a hit die healing surge (or possibly take damage equivalant to one of your hit diice) to succeed on (or re-roll with advantage?) a failed skill check or save.  I like the notion of humans burning twice as bright but half as long but if the damage from the failed save is worse, it might be a better long term benefit.



Interesting idea. Let's see if people get behind that, maybe help refine it a bit. How about "roll a hit dice to add it to your attack roll?"

I'm not entirely convinced that it fits human flavor though. It feels more Vrykola to me.

Update: Still tracking. From what I can tell we don't have anything concrete yet, but the discussion of design philosophies has been good so far, in particular with how you guys have come up with many different interpretations. Very interesting.
Maybe humans could have no bonuses whatsoever but just a separate xp chart from all the other races.

Level     XP
1st        0
2nd       200
3rd        850
4th        2000

or one extra skill and increase skill die by one step.    

 
This is what I have so far:


Human Adaptability 1: Oncer per day (potentially twice as discussed), you can ignore disadvantage for any roll you make.


Unnamed 1: Diplomacy skill.  Fits perfectly with being everyone's second-best friend.  Humans can generally smooth over most situations.


Unnamed 2: Pick Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution.  You gain a +1 bonus on checks and saving throws using that stat.


Unnamed 3: Pick Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.  You gain a +1 bonus on checks and saving throws using that stat.


Unnamed 4: Ambition for success.  Pick a weapon.  When you attack with that weapon, the damage die increases by 1 step.


Jack of all Trades: Pick one cantrip, weapon or armor and gain proficiency in it.


Working hard for the money: pick a profession or perform skill.


Skills to pay the bills: Twice per day you can roll a skill check in a skill you don't have as if you did. Instead of a skill check, you may instead use a weapon or piece of armor as if you where proficient in it for 1 min (potentially remove the second clause).


Human Adaptability 2: Whenever you fail at a saving throw, you may gain advantage on your next saving throw made within 1 hour. If you fail that saving throw, you can't gain advantage on the following one in the same fashion.


Bonus Feat: Gain a bonus feat.


Bonus Skill: Gain a bonus skill.


Human Adaptability 3: Humans can adapt to their surroundings quicker than other races. Twice per day, you can reroll any failed saving throw against ongoing damage or effects. (I feel like there should be something that represents how humans can be found in almost every region/environment.)


Salt of the World: (Flavor Text Here) +1 to any ability score you have not already modified. (Ex: Cleric can add +1 to Wis, Str, or Con. If you added +1 to Str, then you can apply this trait to either Con or Wis.) [Needs to be clarified, not sure what “not already modified” means]


Unnamed 5: Allow humans to add +1 to two (or maybe 3) stats but confrm that the eventual stat total for that ability cannot exceed 16 (so essentially humans won't be able to increase any stat by +2 taking class and race into account).  


Unnamed 6: spend a hit die (or possibly take damage equivalent to one of your hit dice) to succeed on (or re-roll with advantage?) a failed skill check or save.  I like the notion of humans burning twice as bright but half as long but if the damage from the failed save is worse, it might be a better long term benefit.


Unnamed 7:  separate xp chart from all the other races.


Unnamed 8: increase skill die by one step. 


The names are placeholders, obviously. Refer to the chart, refine suggestions, suggest new ones... continue discussion in general.
I think that there's two kinds of "versatility" that get conflated a lot of the time.

I) Diversity across the race - the race includes lots of different kinds of individuals.
II) Individual adaptability and flexability - any particular individual who belongs to the race is relatively versatile.

Both traits have been ascribed to humans in various soruces, but many racial traits only address one of the two. Allowing humans to put their +1 or +2 in any stat is purely Type I versatility. It doesn't make any individual human more versatile, since once his stat point is there, it's there. On a character level, however, I think that Type II versatility is much more interesting.

Exactly.

The subect of versatility came in a half-elf discusions.
My opinion is that humans are type I and half-elves type II.



Nyeh... for me that disses on human creativity... which result in circumstantially versatile individuals.
  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."

 

Honestly, I don't see the problem with humans. They are pretty fair. If you are looking at ability scores alone they are definitely OP, but that's all they have. Look at dwarves.

Speed: 25 ft. Armour does not change this.

Low Light Vision. Very helpful (been vital in a few of my recent playsessions)

Resistance and advantage vs poison

Axes and hammers increase weapon damage category (i.e. 1d10 to 1d12)

Stonecunning: Training in dungeoneering knowledge skill. Always know aproxomate depth and know how to retrace your path.

Common and dwarf language


And then either:

+ 1 constitution and hit die increases in size (i.e. from 1d10 to 1d12)

or

+ 1 wisdom and AC with medium and heavy armour increases by +1




Those are A LOT of advantages that come into play compared to a human's bonus to ability scores across the board. Because when it comes down to it most characters only have 1 or 2 primary ability scores anyways. A bonus to their "lesser" ability scores makes a negligable difference.
I think that some of the ideas in here are much better than the ones the devs have come up with. Personally the human needs more flavor that a bunch of stat buffs. I have nothing against stat increase and decrease but when its so obvious more than other races then its just boring.

I like giving them diplomacy, +1 to all stats, and increase die to one step in a chosen weapon or one cantrip. I think its much more fair and in line with the other races. There should be a reason to play a human but it shouldn't be overwhelming.  
IMAGE(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/RockNrollBabe20/Charmed-supernatural-and-charmed_zps8bd4125f.jpg)

Those are A LOT of advantages that come into play compared to a human's bonus to ability scores across the board. Because when it comes down to it most characters only have 1 or 2 primary ability scores anyways. A bonus to their "lesser" ability scores makes a negligable difference.

And that would be why I'd like them changed. After 12th level, you look like a smuck for picking human when everyone's got 20's in thier main stats and the demihumans are just plain better.

Honestly, I don't see the problem with humans. They are pretty fair. If you are looking at ability scores alone they are definitely OP, but that's all they have. Look at dwarves.

Speed: 25 ft. Armour does not change this.



Humans have a speed of 30 feet, 25 feet with heavy armor. Dwaves basically just get the speed nerf before they put on the Heavy Armor.

Low Light Vision. Very helpful (been vital in a few of my recent playsessions)



Occassionally.

Resistance and advantage vs poison



Situational

Axes and hammers increase weapon damage category (i.e. 1d10 to 1d12)



A +1 boost to their multipliers is more consistently valuable. 1+1d10 is more consistently better than 1d12.

And so on and so forth.
Humn is still bettwer as they usually have better saves, hit points and skills. Worse case scenario human starts bumping dex and con 4 levels earlier than the demihuman and he has those stats 2 points higher than what the demihuman has. Dex and con being the most important stats for more or less every class a monk buffs wisdom and con after they max out dex.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I'm all for sprucing human up. But let's not default back to an extra skill or feat. We've had that for 2 edtions and it's boring boring boring


I should clarify my statement a little. I don't mind humans getting certain skills or feats, just not a generic pick any skill/feat bonus from 3.5/4e.
My two copper.

Those are A LOT of advantages that come into play compared to a human's bonus to ability scores across the board. Because when it comes down to it most characters only have 1 or 2 primary ability scores anyways. A bonus to their "lesser" ability scores makes a negligable difference.

And that would be why I'd like them changed. After 12th level, you look like a smuck for picking human when everyone's got 20's in thier main stats and the demihumans are just plain better.





I guess it just depends on how unique people want humans to be. I'm fine with the way humans are because they are supposed the vanilla of the vanilla races. Their "jack of all trades" comes from them having a bonus to all ability scores (and therefore a little better at all skill checks and are able to play any kind of class efficiently). I don't see any reason why that is any better or worse than removing the ability score modifiers for a different king of "jack of all trades" flavor. If there would be a change I would say that additional options should be made (like hill dwarf vs mountain dwarf). So a player could choose between the basic ability score bonuses and something else (like you all have been brainstorming here).
I should clarify my statement a little. I don't mind humans getting certain skills or feats, just not a generic pick any skill/feat bonus from 3.5/4e.



Hahaha, I'm of the opposite mind.

Honestly, I don't see the problem with humans. They are pretty fair. If you are looking at ability scores alone they are definitely OP, but that's all they have. Look at dwarves.

Speed: 25 ft. Armour does not change this.



Humans have a speed of 30 feet, 25 feet with heavy armor. Dwaves basically just get the speed nerf before they put on the Heavy Armor.

Low Light Vision. Very helpful (been vital in a few of my recent playsessions)



Occassionally.

Resistance and advantage vs poison



Situational

Axes and hammers increase weapon damage category (i.e. 1d10 to 1d12)



A +1 boost to their multipliers is more consistently valuable. 1+1d10 is more consistently better than 1d12.

And so on and so forth.



But then is still their other bonuses. An AC bonus or a hit die bonus. Both of which are great. Finding your way underground is also a damn useful trait  in most campaigns. Having +1 or +2 higher in an ability score is hardly overpowering an assortment of bonuses. Even if some are situational. Because those are situations that aren't too uncommon.
But then is still their other bonuses. An AC bonus or a hit die bonus. Both of which are great. Finding your way underground is also a damn useful trait  in most campaigns. Having +1 or +2 higher in an ability score is hardly overpowering an assortment of bonuses. Even if some are situational. Because those are situations that aren't too uncommon.



There are individual advantages to the hit-die bonus when healing up, but a higher Constitution boost hitpoint increases, and a higher Dex multiplier matches the AC bonus unless the wearer is clad in heavy armor and does even more on top.

I'm not trying to say that in certain situations other races aren't better than Humans, but as a whole Humans are overwhelmingly good. Low-light vision can be very easily matched in some situations through spells like "light" or a torch. A 7-point ability score boost is insane compared to it.
Humn is still bettwer as they usually have better saves, hit points and skills. Worse case scenario human starts bumping dex and con 4 levels earlier than the demihuman and he has those stats 2 points higher than what the demihuman has. Dex and con being the most important stats for more or less every class a monk buffs wisdom and con after they max out dex.

Yep, they might have a +1 to some saves and skills, but how does that compare to a dwarf wizard having an 18AC or the dwarf fighter that's got +1ac over the human? weapon attacks are going to happen WAY more often than none con/dex saves (the score most likely to be high). The elf get two extra skills to add skill dice to and that sounds better than a generic +1 in stats that aren't that great anyway. See, the difference is that the buffs you get from demihuman will be used often and you pick the ones that help you out. The human's generic buff (saves/ability check) may never get used (CHA/INT save or taking that starting stat of 9 to a 10 for an awesome d20+0) while HP difference is just 1hp and that's 1/12th the HP you'd have from a feat at that level.