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5E buffing human (and removing variant human)


While I'm not opposed to the variant human, I don't really like that it's the only race that gets a feat. It's a huge outlier across all the races and a big boost in power right out of the gate. I know some people restrict the feats that can be chosen but I prefer a more elegant solution.

Additionally, the base human is very lackluster, and +1 to all stats is even less attractive when using the standard array for character creation.

My goal is to both boost the base human and remove the feat from variant human while giving the player a lot of versatility and choice for customization. I know this is similar to giving the human an additional background but I didn't want to go that far. I also didn't want to step on the half-elf's toes too much.

+1 to all stats, or +2 to one stat and +1 to another
Common and 1 additional language
Proficiency in 1 skill
Proficiency in 1 artisan tool, gaming set, or musical instrument

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Seems reasonable, even with Variant Human in play. I suspect most people would still take VH given the choice so it doesn't look overpowered. You'd need to give +2 to at least 3 stats I think before people would start dropping VH.


Perhaps I wasn't clear but I would remove variant human as an option and simply use this version.

I also considered +2 to one stat and +1 to 2 other stats, but that feels like it might be a little too much. I don't think anyone would ever take +1 to all. Maybe that's ok though.


I don't think anyone takes +1 to all anyway, unless you roll and all your higher rolls fall on odd numbers
the change seems fine, humans still kind of pay a price by not having dark vision


I have a dissenting opinion. I think you risk making the standard human OP. I’d leave it as-is and make the +2, +1 human your variant, shoring it up with an additional choice of language or tool proficiency beyond what you’ve listed above.

Hawk Diesel

What if you remove the variant human and give everyone a starting feat? That way you're leveling the playing field and encouraging players to choose non-human races.

Of course, that assumes that is your goal. What is your goal exactly? Reduce players picking human? Increase players choosing human, but reducing variant humans? Minimizing power discrepancy between humans and non-humans?

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