"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape."
"I'M A PIONEER! I'M AN EXPLORER! I'M A HUMAN, AND I'M CUMING!"
- – Alex Jones
Humans (Scientific name Homo sapiens, "Inferior/simple-minded race" as seen by your generic super-intelligent and advanced race, "weak/frail race" as seen by your generic war-mongering race, and "Nom noms" as seen by the race that only exists to consume and grow) are a species of bilaterally symmetrical carbon-based creatures native to a small rocky planet orbiting Sol.
Humans have five appendages: the two longest ones underneath for locomotion, two more flexible appendages in the middle that split into very fine tentacles on the ends for manipulation, and a cranium up top for sensation. They stand upright and have nearly their entire cognitive organ contained within a bony shell inside the sensory limb, the rest of it in a bone sheathe in the middle "baggy" part. Humans on average stand erect between 1.6 and 2 meters in height, and mass between 50 and 100 kilograms.
Humans are descended from arboreal omnivores which migrated on the plains of a landmass in the Eastern hemisphere. They have gender dimorphism: females are smaller by 9% on average, only males have protrusions at the base of the locomotor limbs, and nearly all mature females have two protruding subdermal glands on their front thorax near the base of the manipulation limbs. A good amount of data from various competitions and world records based on gender have also shown human sexual dimorphism also extends to attributes of physical fitness. For example, males are slightly faster and considerably stronger than females, while females possess greater resistance to diseases. Both are particularly obsessed with mating.
Humans have an exceptionally high endurance. Their long distance running is unmatched by all but a few species, virtually of which they have subjugated and have been selectively bred to maximize these traits. Some speculate early Humans hunted simply by stalking prey till it had to rest then basing its head in, though the practicality of this is questioned. Human pain tolerance is high enough that they willingly ingest plants high in irritants that render them unpalatable to most species. Humans must consume a variety of acids every day to maintain health. Failure to do so results in weakness followed by death. Human blood is literally made of iron and capable of neutralizing acids if combined with them.
...Okay, but seriously.
Now on to the REAL reason you're on this page.
Humans are a playable race in almost every game, which is a complete mystery if contemplated long enough (which may be too long). If you're going to imagine your character as a gunfightan, spell-slingan, wall-vaultan, asskickan superman, what's the point of suddenly slapping that little bit of realism in there? Therefore, they are largely overlooked in most games (except for 3.5e D&D players who HAD to have that extra first-level feat). Indeed, most descriptions of the species for playable races go something like "they're just like humans, except for this." Most of the time, you'll honestly prefer some of the actual DEFINING TRAITS that come with playing another race, whether it's Never-Say-Die Elfdar vehicles (as opposed to Space Marine 14-armor dickery) or some kind of crazy mutation/horns/dragon wings. Basically, the benefits can never truly erase the relative boredom you'll get from still being a human, despite all your other options.
Humans are represented in most games as the most balanced and widespread race, which is a blatant bit of self-flattery, or it can be read to mean that they are the most mediocre and suck equally at everything. Most notable can be in D&D 2.0, in which every race had a given benefit, save the humans who had nothing (unless you count the ability to be any class and reach max level in any of them, whereas other races had restricted classes and restricted levels in said classes - but then, everyone hated that rule and homebrewed it out anyway). When they ARE given distinct advantages, is to be more versatile, adaptable or "jack-of-all-trades" than other bipeds, which is kind of a non-advantage: "we didn't know what to give you, so here's a gift certificate at the local racial feature shop to buy something." You would think that humans' exceptional endurance compared to other Earth species would come into play, (we are one of the best long distance runners in the whole animal kingdom), but it never does; though there is a difference between animals and sapient humanoid races such as elves and dwarves.
Then again, there's a certain appeal in humans showing other species what they're truly capable of.
Human Special Rules
- In every scifi movie and game involving aliens, humans MUST suck.
No exceptions. Unless they're grimdark psycho-indoctrinated, genetically enhanced, Catholic Space-Nazis, an evil(er) version of thereof or the grimdark psycho-indoctrinated, genetically enhanced, Catholic Space-Nazis big brother. In which case, they're the best damn things in the setting where combat is concerned. In every fantasy movie and game involving elves, dwarves, goblins, etc. humans MUST be boring. No exceptions. Elves are the tall fast guys with great magic who live in the trees, Dwarves are the short strong guys with badass technology who live in the tunnels, humans are the boring medium guys with absolutely nothing special and completely average stats.
- Unless this is John Carter of Mars in which the title human is an unstoppable one man army, who can kill four armed giant bug Martians with ease. Or if it's Middle Earth (if you don't think the Edain are awesome, you probably don't know enough about the setting), or Star Wars (where the humans are the most powerful, diverse, and influential race in the setting), Star Trek (where the humans are the ones responsible for much of the good stuff in the setting), or Avatar (where the humans are awesome, but portrayed as villains for being pragmatic).
- Humans always have the crappy weapons when fighting technologically advanced/intelligent xenos(eg: Halo - Bullets vs. Plasma. Warhammer 40,000 - factory-built flashlights vs. alien ninja-star guns/living poison guns/cursed-soul-shooting guns). In the case of simple-minded/primitive xenos, the humans must be eaten/dismembered/eviscerated/disemboweled/some combination thereof by said xenos (eg: Bugs vs Mobile infantry, Xenomorphs vs Colonial Marines). In fantasy, humans always have the boring practical weapons when fighting any other race (eg: Humans vs Elves or Dwarves - Long swords and crossbows vs. magic bows and badass knives or giant hammers and axes and cannons).
- in video games especially but in table top and roleplaying as well, humanity's special trait is always brute force. We're never as fast as the space elves, but we always build really big guns, sometimes ones that are utterly massive and massive humanoid robots covered with weapons. As another example, when I Say "elf" you think Archers in the woods, but when I say "Fantasy Human" you think a Knight in full plate mail atop a horse, effectiveness may vary but humans' trait is normally thick armor and hitting hard.
- Compared to any other race, Humans must always be subjected to horrendous deaths in any war, real or fiction, by the hundreds, and often disproportionately to their involvement in said war.
- In every work that involves armed fictional conflict, there must always be one heavily plot-armored character that can beat the odds no matter how retardedly outnumbered and outgunned he is. This character is human if humans are involved in the conflict at all.
- In almost every setting where humans are not fanatical racist nut jobs, human are always the ones most likely to reproduce outside their species. If someone says they're a half-elf, dragon or demon, you never need to ask what the other half is. Among the first questions any human asks upon discovery of a new sapient is "Can I have Sex with it?", and then humans also ignore all rules of logic and genetics by managing to have kids with it.
- In most fantasy settings, humans create various "Western-European-like" nations, one "Middle-East-like" nation and one "Far-East-almost-always-Japan-like-because-weeaboos" nation.
- Despite any inferiority to other races; Humans ALWAYS WIN. ALWAYS, in the end of it all. Either by the efforts of pre-mentioned Mary Sue or through the well-honed tactic of drowning their enemies in their own blood and corpses. This is because we can't win any other way, unless you're SPESS MARHEENS (That's a fact). In rare cases conflict spans for a few centuries, and the setting it happens in isn't in medieval stasis, humans win through their adaptability due to their short lifespans combined with sufficient intellect, while more long-living races fail to change their society in response to evolving technology, even if they happen to out-science humans (which they usually don't), and less intelligent races get wiped out or enslaved due to the giant technological edge humans have against them.
Also, our butthurt knows no fucking bounds.
Media That Prominently Feature Humans
All of them. No really, all of them (almost). It's only natural that the only intelligent race we know of is the one we add everywhere and into everything. The reason for this can be numerous - It makes it easy to relate to it for most people when your race is represented, and since we are the only intelligent race we actually know, humans are the only template we can work off of.
Well, Dragonlance, but then, they had Kender, so...
Some do it more than others, tho - e.g, everybody knows that DnD only has the Human race because some people are too xenophobic to play an actual interesting race, while other media, like in 40k, humans are the best goddamn thing ever.
Human mating practices
We do have these. The writers of this wiki have not studied them. Why should we?
P.S. If you don't know how babies are made just ask your parents what "fucking" is. They will be delighted to give you a detailed explanation.
Humans in D&D
In Dungeons & Dragons, humanity's "hat", or singular defining racial trait, is "Versatility". What this means in practice varies from edition to edition, but it generally means that humans may not get the specific bonuses that certain races do, but they don't get any penalties, either.
In Basic, humanity's biggest strength was that they were the only race that could actually take classes like Fighter, Thief or Magic-User. Other races, like Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Goblin, Orc, Gnoll, etc were treated as classes in their own right, and often relied on Variant Class analogues to expand their options. For example, Dwarves could be taken as Dwarf-Clerics, who were like Clerics, but better fighters, unable to turn undead, could reach 12th level and, oh yeah, they were mandated to avoid casting spells where non-dwarves could see them do it unless it was a matter of life and death.
In Advanced, again, humanity's only major strength was their lack of penalties; humans alone could take any class to any level, whereas other races could only take specific classes, and could only rise to certain levels within those classes. It's unclear just how viable this was, because nobody seemed to really like the idea of non-humans having level limits based on their race; Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale both dropped that mechanic like a hot potato, and even within D&D, there were some treading on humanity's toes - for example, whilst the Paladin was envisioned as a human-only class, several races were released that could also become paladins, namely Rakasta, Lupins, and Saurials. Humans also had unique multiclassing mechanics in the form of Dual-Classing, which involved basically completely stopping your advance in one class and starting over from scratch in another one. Which, if you weren't using level limits, was demonstrably inferior to the demihuman ability of multiclassing, where you progress in multiple classes simultaneously from character creation.
In 3e, humanity again had no ability score modifiers. However, a trend started that would influence the next three editions (and one spin-off); human versatility was given a mechanical basis, with humans now gaining a bonus feat at character creation, an expanded array of skill points (+4 at first level, +1 at each level), and having a Favored Class of Any, allowing them to multiclass freely and without suffering XP penalties if they weren't taking levels in their "iconic" class.
Pathfinder followed the same idea as 3E. The only changes are system wide where they only get +1 skill point at every level starting from first (getting 4 times as many skill points at level 1 no longer exists for anyone, instead you get a +3 bonus to a skill if it's a class skill), and with Favored Class no longer existing that can't be a bonus. Still awesome since they still gain that bonus feat and now they get a +2 to any one ability score of their choice. Humans also get the best alternative favored class bonus for spontaneous casting classes, gaining an extra spell known (of one level than the highest you can cast).
Ironically, 4e did something similar: humans in that edition gained a +2 to a single ability score of their choice, and then progressed with a bonus skill (because in 4e you're either proficient in a skill or not, there's no ascending scale anymore), a bonus feat, a +1 to all three of their NADs, and a bonus At-Will power from their chosen class. This actually makes humans a pretty powerful race choice in their own right. Like the half-elf, humans got the option to take their own racial power instead of their bonus at-will; Heroic Effort lets them, once per encounter, add a +4 bonus to the result of either a missed attack roll or a failed saving throw.
Unfortunately, 5e basically broke down here. There are two different mechanical versions of humans in 5th edition; the standard human just gets a +1 to all six ability scores, which is... not bad, but pretty low-down on the useful scale. Then there's the variant human, who instead gets a +1 to two ability scores of their choice, a bonus skill proficiency (5e skills working mostly like 4e skills) and a bonus feat. This makes variant humans the race of choice for power gaming, simply because feats in 5e are extremely powerful and other races can't get them until several levels into the game - and even then, only at the expense of an increase in ability scores.
Humans in Star Wars
Star Wars is one of the many human-centric settings out there. Humans are the dominant and most populace species in the galaxy. Originally seeded throughout the galaxy as slaves by the long dead Rakata and the first post-Rakata species to discover hyperdrives on their own (aside from Duros, who invented it at roughly the same time), humans can be found almost anywhere in the known Galaxy.
Human crossbreeds are actually quite limited in Star Wars. The only known crossbreeds are with near-human species that were human off-shoots in the first place, the result of Sith magic and possibly Twi'lek. The last one has one shown family of hybrids, but previous works explicitly established Humans and Twi'leks can't produce children. Since it wasn't explicitly a natural conception, it led to speculation it was the product of genetic engineering or other science. Even with near-humans, just because a crossbreed can be made doesn't mean they should: Hybrids can end up quite poorly. The most notorious being with the eyeless Miraluka who "see" through the force, who produce Human-Miraluka hybrids that most times end up with neither form of sight, producing an eyeless child that can't see through any means.
The Empire took human-centric to an extreme and became human supremacist. Aside from force sensitive minions (some speculate the Emperor wanted to eventually establish a caste system of Sith>Dark Jedi>Military>Everyone else) and a few talented military leaders, most non-humans were second class citizens at best under the Empire. All stormtroopers are assumed to be human (or cloned human) under their armor. Ironically one of the fiercest supporters of this was not human, but a hybrid of two near-human species with unusual skin tones that canceled each other out. After the Battle of Endor and the descent of the remaining Imperials into factions ruled by warlords, this was often relaxed due to manpower shortages, factions being left far away from human-majority space, alien leaders, and plain-old the people that implemented it in the first place being dead.
Mechanically: The original d6 based roleplaying game assumed a character was human if not stated otherwise. Star Wars d20 literally uses the 3E D&D stats for humans with no changes except a minor difference in height and weight ranges (and that's mostly due to rounding when converting to metric system). d20 Humans were top of the pack since every other race was super weak, even compared to core 3.5. Saga Edition humans are virtually the same as d20 and 3.5, but are adjusted for the skill system working differently: They get an extra trained skill instead of bonus skill points. Saga edition buffed alien races enough and made class talent more important than feats that humans are actually fairly close in balance to other races. The system by Fantasy Flight Games has Humans in the core book of all three "games" (though for some reason it can't decide if humans should be listed first or alphabetically) and also takes the approach of giving humans a broader range of skills. There humans get balanced attributes (all 2s), 10% higher starting XP (point buy) and two extra skill points. Since humans are the majority of the population and near entirety of the Empire, disguise is most useful on a human.
Humans in Magic: The Gathering
Humans in Magic: The Gathering are mostly defined and given a place in the color pie by their class, so they can be anything. Humans do have a few common trends however. Firstly they are all generally either cheap+weak, or are Legendary (unique individuals). Human tribal tends to occur in White, though a large part of this is tribal favoring White.
|Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Races|
|Basic Set:||Dwarf - Elf - Hobbit - Human|
|Creature Catalog 1:|| Brownie - Centaur - Dryad - Faun - Hsiao |
Leprechaun - Pixie - Pooka - Redcap - Sidhe
Sprite - Treant - Wood Imp - Wooddrake
|Creature Catalog 2:|| Faenare - Gnome - Gremlin - Harpy |
Nagpa - Pegataur - Sphinx - Tabi
|Creature Catalog 3:||Kna - Kopru - Merrow - Nixie - Triton|
|Dragon Magazine:|| Cayma - Gatorman - Lupin - N'djatwa |
Phanaton - Rakasta - Shazak - Wallara
|Hollow World:|| Beastman - Brute-Man - Hutaakan |
Krugel Orc - Kubbit - Malpheggi Lizard Man
|Known World:|| Bugbear - Goblin - Gnoll |
Hobgoblin - Kobold - Ogre - Troll
|Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Races|
|Core:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
|Dark Sun:||Aarakocra - Half-Giant - Mul - Pterran - Thri-kreen|
|Dragonlance:||Draconian - Irda - Kender - Minotaur|
|Mystara:|| Aranea - Ee'ar - Enduk - Lizardfolk (Cayma - Gurrash - Shazak) |
Lupin - Manscorpion - Phanaton - Rakasta - Tortle - Wallara
|Oriental Adventures:||Korobokuru - Hengeyokai - Spirit Folk|
|Planescape:||Aasimar - Bariaur - Genasi - Githyanki - Githzerai - Modron - Tiefling|
|Spelljammer:||Dracon - Giff - Grommam - Hadozee - Hurwaeti - Rastipede - Scro - Xixchil|
|Ravenloft:||Broken One - Flesh Golem - Half-Vistani - Therianthrope|
Book of X:
| Alaghi - Beastman - Bugbear - Bullywug - Centaur - Duergar |
Fremlin - Firbolg - Flind - Gnoll - Goblin - Half-Ogre - Hobgoblin
Kobold - Mongrelfolk - Ogre - Ogre Mage - Orc - Pixie
Satyr - Saurial - Svirfneblin - Swanmay - Voadkyn - Wemic
|Dragon Magazine:||Half-Dryad - Half-Satyr - Uldra - Xvart|
|Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Races|
|Player's Handbook 1:|| Dragonborn - Dwarf - Eladrin - Elf |
Half-Elf - Halfling - Human - Tiefling
|Player's Handbook 2:||Deva - Gnome - Goliath - Half-Orc - Shifter|
|Player's Handbook 3:||Githzerai - Minotaur - Shardmind - Wilden|
|Monster Manual 1:|| Bugbear - Doppelganger - Githyanki |
Goblin - Hobgoblin - Kobold - Orc
|Monster Manual 2:||Bullywug - Duergar - Kenku|
|Dragon Magazine:||Gnoll - Shadar-kai|
|Heroes of Shadow:||Revenant - Shade - Vryloka|
|Heroes of the Feywild||Hamadryad - Pixie - Satyr|
|Eberron's Player's Guide:||Changeling - Kalashtar - Warforged|
|The Manual of the Planes:||Bladeling|
|Dark Sun Campaign Setting:||Mul - Thri-kreen|
|Forgotten Realms Player's Guide:||Drow - Genasi|
|The Races of Pathfinder|
|Player's Handbook:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
| Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar |
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
|Bestiaries:|| Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain |
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
|Adventure Paths:||Being of Ib - Kuru|
|Inner Sea Races:|| Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker |
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
|Ultimate Wilderness:||Vine Leshy|
|Blood of the Sea:||Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton|
|Planar Adventures:||Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi|
|The Races of Starfinder|
|Core Races:||Android - Human - Kasatha - Lashunta - Shirren - Vesk - Ysoki|
|Legacy Races:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling|
|Expanded Races:|| Aasimar - Astrazoan - Bantrid - Barathu - Bolida - Borai - Brakim|
Contemplative - Copaxi - Damai - Draelik - Dragonkin - Drow - Elebrian
Embri - Endiffian - Ferran - Formian - Ghibrani - Ghoran - Goblin
Gosclaw - Gray - Haan - Hobgoblin - Ikeshti - Ilthisarian - Kalo
Kanabo - Khizar - Kish - Maraquoi - Morlamaw - Neskinti - Nuar
Orc - Osharu - Pahtra - Phentomite - Quorlu - Reptoid - Ryphorian
Sarcesian - Screedreep - Scyphozoan - Selamid - Seprevoi - Shimreen
Shobhad - Skittermander - SRO - Stellifera - Strix - Svartalfar - Tiefling
Trox - Uplifted bear - Urog - Verthani - Vilderaro - Vlaka - Witchwyrd
Woioko - Wrikreechee
|Notable Species of Warhammer 40,000|
| Major species
of the galaxy:
|Abhumans - Eldar - Dark Eldar - Humans - Necrons - Orks - Tau - Tyranids|
| Minor species
of the galaxy:
| Araklionid - Barghesi - Banelings - Bale Childers - Drahendra - Caradochians |
Cimmeriac - Cryptos - Cythor Fiends - Demiurg - Donarathi - Drugh - Dracoliths
Drax - Enoulian - Enslavers - Fra'al - Galg - Gykon - Hrud - Jokaero - Jorgall
K'nib - Kathaps - Khrave - Kinebrach - Kroot - L'Huraxi - Lacrymole - Laer - Lelith
Loxatl - Medusae - Megarachnids - Nekulli - Nicassar - Old Ones - Q'Orl - Rak'gol
Reek - Reptos - Saharduin - Saruthi - Scythian - Simulacra - Slann - Slaugth - Sslyth
Stryxis - Tarellian - Thexian - Thraxian - Thyrrus - Tushepta - Umbra - Ur-Ghul
Vespid - Watchers in the Dark - Whishperers - Xenarch - Yu'Vath - Zoats - Ambull