Gods and Empires
The majority humans are the descendents of pioneers, conquerors, traders, travelers, refugees, and other people on the move. As a result, human lands are a mix of people – physically, culturally, religiously, and politically. Hardy or fine, light-skinned or dark, showy or austere, primitive or civilized, devout or impious, humans run the gamut.
Compared to most of the nonhuman races, who tend to get along well with others of their own race reasonably well, the humans of Faeregoth are divided into innumerable competing nations, states, sects, religions, bandit kingdoms, and tribes. Humans argue about anything, fight about most things they argue about, and hold dear among their many deities quite a few who actively encourage that type of behavior.
The longer-lived races of elves and dwarves tend to have respect for individual humans who deserve it without necessarily respecting the entire race. The elves have difficulty forgetting that the first human empire, Valoria, was built upon magical secrets borrowed or looted from the elves. The fact that this early human empire was eventually corrupted by evil magic does not reassure the elves. The dwarves respect humans as fierce warriors, but fear that there would be little room for their race in a world dominated by humankind.
Humans don’t see it that way, of course. Their greatest heroes outshine the deities themselves, or become deities in their own right. Unfortunately, the same could be said of humanity’s greatest villains, and that is the challenge facing any human adventurer. Power comes at a cost.
Personality: Humans are the most adaptable, flexible, and ambitious people among the common races. They are diverse in their tastes, morals, customs, and habits. Others accuse them of paying little respect for history, but it’s only natural that humans, with their relatively short life spans and constantly changing cultures, would have a shorter collective memory than dwarves, elves and halflings.
Physical Description: Humans typically stand from 5 feet to a little over 6 feet tall and weigh from 125 to 250 pounds, with men noticeably taller and heavier than women. Thanks to their penchant for migration and conquest, and to their short generations, humans are more physically diverse than other common races, with shades that run from nearly black to very pale, hair from black to blonde (curly, kinky, or straight), and facial hair (for men) from sparse to thick. Plenty of humans have a dash of nonhuman blood, and they may demonstrate hints of elven, orcish, or other lineages. Humans are often ostentatious or unorthodox in their grooming and dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, body piercings, and the like. Humans have short life spans, achieving majority at about 15 and rarely living even a single century.
Relations: Just as readily as they mix with each other, humans mix with members of other races. Among the other races, humans are known as “everyone’s second-best friends.” They serve as ambassadors, diplomats, magistrates, merchants, and functionaries of all kinds.
Alignment: Humans tend toward no particular alignment, not even neutrality. The best and worst are found among humans.
Regions: Human lands are usually in flux, with new ideas, social changes, innovations, and new leaders constantly coming to the fore. Members of longer-lived races find human culture exciting but eventually a little wearying or even bewildering.
Since humans lead such short 1ives, their leaders are all young compared to the political, religious, and military leaders among the other races. Even where individual humans are conservative traditionalists, human institutions change with the generations, adapting and evolving faster than parallel institutions among the elves, dwarves and halflings. Individually and as a group, humans are adaptable opportunists, and they stay on top of changing political dynamics.
Human lands generally include relatively large numbers of nonhumans (compared, for instance, to the number of non-dwarves that live in dwarven lands).
Religion: Unlike members of the other common races, humans do not have a chief racial deity and follow any number of Gods. Some humans are the most ardent and zealous adherents of a given religion, while others are the most impious people around.
Language: Humans speak Common. They typically learn other languages, including obscure ones, and they are fond of sprinkling their speech with words borrowed from other tongues: Orc curses, Halfling culinary terms, Elven musical expressions, Dwarven military phrases, and so on.
Names: Human names vary greatly. Human culture is more diverse than that of the other races, and no human names are truly typical. Some human parents give their children dwarven or elven names (pronounced more or less correctly).
Adventurers: Human adventurers are the most audacious, daring, and ambitious members of an audacious, daring, and ambitious race. A human can earn glory in the eyes of his or her fellows by amassing power, wealth, and fame. Humans, more than other people, champion causes rather than territories or groups.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, humans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Human base land speed is 30 feet.
• 1 extra feat at 1st level.
• 4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level.
• Automatic Language: Common. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Speak Language skill.
• Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass human takes an experience point penalty, his or her highest-level class does not count.