5.5E The Variant-variant Human:

Horwath

Hero
Since latest two UA's, we had a bonus feat added via background, and in latest we had 2nd feat added at level 4, we might see the end of Variant human with bonus feat and Custom race with bonus feat as an option.
And default human is both bland and weak.

So a possible variant that gives flexibility to humans and makes them as powerful as new racial lineages and most of the PHB races.


HUMAN:

Abilities: +2 to one ability and +1 to another. Or +1 to three abilities.

Languages: Common

Skilled: gain proficiency in two skills of your choice

Tools of the trade: gain 4 proficiency in any combination of languages, tools or weapons.

Hidden talent: gain expertise in one skill or tool that you have proficiency in.
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
It definitely would make them the skill monkey race. Perhaps too much focus in one direction for my taste. I wouldn't mind giving them something unique like many other races. Proficiency in a weak save (STR, INT, CHR) off the top of my head to show that humans adapt to overcome adversity.

Sorry, don't want to come in and just be negative - I thnk you have the right idea of making humans interesting, just this proposal is too focused one way - if you aren't focusing on playing a skill monkey this human won't appeal.
 
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Horwath

Hero
It definitely would make them the skill monkey race. Perhaps too much focus in one direction for my taste. I wouldn't mind giving them something unique like many other races. Proficiency in a weak save (STR, INT, CHR) off the top of my head to show that humans adapt to overcome adversity.

Sorry, don't want to come in and just be negative - I thnk you have the right idea of making humans interesting, just this proposal is too focused on way - if you aren't focusing on playing a skill monkey this human won't appeal.
it's not negative.
But I was thinking about humans as versatile.
having more skills/tools/languages/weapons all going towards humans being good at what they decide to be good at.
One bonus expertise also describes that.

I was thinking about bonus saves or proficiency in death saves, but that seems too focused.
 

aco175

Legend
Maybe it would default to giving them the +1 to all abilities and then you get the feat on top.

Must. love. power creep...
 

Horwath

Hero
Maybe it would default to giving them the +1 to all abilities and then you get the feat on top.

Must. love. power creep...
+1 to all abilities is so meh.

maybe if it is +2 to one ability and +1 to four abilities, one ability gets nothing. Just because you want that 8 in one ability and 17 in your primary. +1 to 3 extra abilites might be good enough to replace all mentioned in my 1st post.
But that is just boring.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
+1 to all abilities is so meh.

maybe if it is +2 to one ability and +1 to four abilities, one ability gets nothing. Just because you want that 8 in one ability and 17 in your primary. +1 to 3 extra abilites might be good enough to replace all mentioned in my 1st post.
But that is just boring.
Agreed +1 to all abilities is meh. I've gotten into arguments with people about alternate rolling methods where they are talking about the total bonuses or sum of the scores, reminding them that 5e rewards specialization in a prime and secondary ability scores, and for some characters a 3rd, much more than it values your 4th, 5th or 6th highest.

Hmm, you really want to shake things up, give them just ability score mods and +1 to proficiency. What they are good at, they are good at. That's worth a +1 to your prime ability it terms of hitting and/or spell DCs, all trained proficiencies, is a huge deal for expertise if you want to make a skill monkey. And like other racial abilities, it's a big deal at low levels and still relevant but not as huge a deal at higher levels.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Well, the more flexible and powerful character creation rules become, the less relevant the specific race is, especially when the race itself has always been built around the concept of... being flexible.

In theory, with expertise you hit the nail on the last remaining "generic" ability that can redeem the (mechanical) attractiveness of choosing human as your character race. Because expertise is indeed generic enough to stick with human's versatility concept, but is also uncommon enough so that it immediately creates a reason to choose human: only Rogues get it at 1st level, Bards at 3rd, and Ranger gets something similar under a different name and some limitations. If human loses its uniqueness of getting a feat at 1st level, it could regain it with expertise.

However, if you allow Tasha, everybody can now also get expertise at 1st level by taking the Skill Expert feat. So in a single flick of the wrist (bonus feat to everyone at 1st level) they removed the only human unique advantage and prevented another.

Maybe that Death Save proficiency is something to look forward, otherwise something even more dramatic. For example what about the possibility to re-train anything on your character sheet on a long rest? Or to recharge something once a day on a short rest instead of a long rest (like regaining a spell slot or a daily usage of something)?
 

Horwath

Hero
Well, the more flexible and powerful character creation rules become, the less relevant the specific race is, especially when the race itself has always been built around the concept of... being flexible.

In theory, with expertise you hit the nail on the last remaining "generic" ability that can redeem the (mechanical) attractiveness of choosing human as your character race. Because expertise is indeed generic enough to stick with human's versatility concept, but is also uncommon enough so that it immediately creates a reason to choose human: only Rogues get it at 1st level, Bards at 3rd, and Ranger gets something similar under a different name and some limitations. If human loses its uniqueness of getting a feat at 1st level, it could regain it with expertise.

However, if you allow Tasha, everybody can now also get expertise at 1st level by taking the Skill Expert feat. So in a single flick of the wrist (bonus feat to everyone at 1st level) they removed the only human unique advantage and prevented another.

Maybe that Death Save proficiency is something to look forward, otherwise something even more dramatic. For example what about the possibility to re-train anything on your character sheet on a long rest? Or to recharge something once a day on a short rest instead of a long rest (like regaining a spell slot or a daily usage of something)?
I get what you mean with Skill expertise being available at 1st level to everyone. But hey, you still have one MORE expertise than others if you take it.

and proficiency in death saves would be unique, but really? You want to drop (almost) dead for you to use your racial?
That kind of sucks.

+1 to proficiency bonus would be really too much. That is legendary item.

maybe;
+1 to one ability and +1 to proficiency.

that is it.
and that is even more bland :D
 


Horwath

Hero
Honestly, I'd just pick half-elf and call my character a human. That is what I do when vhuman isn't an option.
that's my current aberrant mind sorcerer :D

but I would like something more "human" instead of darkvision and "elven immunities and resistance"

Personally, I would have elves with perception proficiency+expertise, half-elves; perception+ any other skill proficiency and humans; 2 skill proficiencies.
 

renbot

Explorer
Hmm, you really want to shake things up, give them just ability score mods and +1 to proficiency. What they are good at, they are good at. That's worth a +1 to your prime ability it terms of hitting and/or spell DCs, all trained proficiencies, is a huge deal for expertise if you want to make a skill monkey. And like other racial abilities, it's a big deal at low levels and still relevant but not as huge a deal at higher levels.
I think this would have been a great idea BEFORE they started transitioning so may abilities to "PB times per long rest." Now it feels too good. Although feats are pretty darn good. Hmmmm....
 

Since latest two UA's, we had a bonus feat added via background, and in latest we had 2nd feat added at level 4, we might see the end of Variant human with bonus feat and Custom race with bonus feat as an option.
And default human is both bland and weak.

So a possible variant that gives flexibility to humans and makes them as powerful as new racial lineages and most of the PHB races.


HUMAN:

Abilities: +2 to one ability and +1 to another. Or +1 to three abilities.

Languages: Common

Skilled: gain proficiency in two skills of your choice

Tools of the trade: gain 4 proficiency in any combination of languages, tools or weapons.

Hidden talent: gain expertise in one skill or tool that you have proficiency in.
I think this is actually an extremely good idea, because Expertise is very hard to access, but would be an extreme asset for a lot of characters, and fits well with humans and would definitely be better than the bland-max of "a Feat", as you've pointed out.
 


jgsugden

Legend
One DM I know has the rule that vairant human (and now customized humanoid) can take a feat - but it has to be a feat nobody has taken with their heritage selection feat. So, if another Variant Human took Sharpshooter, you can't. Honestly, I wish I'd adopted that at the beginning of 5E.

However, I think that we're seeing the start of 'testing' for the next phase of D&D, whether that is 5.5 or 6E. Regardless, I expect there will be a 'break' in the edition in the next couple years. Unless WotC starts to commit to their new product being 'forwards compatible' for the next few years, I'm going to start to evaluate them and consider treating them the same way as I did the stuff at the end of 3.5E and 4E.
 

AliasBot

Explorer
Poked at this a month or two back - went in a similar direction in some respects, different direction in others:

Prodigy: +1 skill proficiency, +1 tool proficiency, +1 language(?), expertise in one skill you have proficiency in
Resolve: Once per long rest, when you fail a saving throw, you may reroll that saving throw. You must use the result of the new roll.
Persistent: As an action, you may spend a Hit Die to heal equal to a roll of that die. You may do this PB times per long rest.
(Tireless Stamina: Treat the effects of Exhaustion on you as one level lower? or just reduce Exhaustion level by 1 on short rests?)

First two are fairly standard; flexible, generically useful, relatively flavor-light. The other one or two (couldn't come up with a "mucking around with exhaustion levels" take I was satisfied with) were an attempt to lean into humans' real-life biological niche; we're persistence predators, built for endurance in long-distance travel. To my knowledge, that isn't actually a niche that's already being filled by a D&D race (Dwarves and Goliaths sit more in the space of hardy/resilient than high-stamina), so there's room to expand Humans into a slightly less generic space if one can come up with a satisfying mechanical expression of that endurance.

...obviously, the first potential issue with Persistent is whether the moves away from short-rest resources will affect how hit die-based healing works for all races/classes in "5.5"; the contrast with the current standard is most of the point of the ability, leaning into the "tireless" concept by making Humans less likely to need to take short rests (because they can get one of the major benefits of a short rest much quicker and more fluidly), which goes away if the current standard changes. The other potential issue is that putting different races on slightly different timetable might just wind up replicating or reinforcing the issues that already exist with different classes being on different timetables? I like the ability in a vacuum, but I could see it playing worse in practice.

Even if I'm not totally satisfied with the specific abilities I came up with, the general concept of stamina/tirelessness feels like a fruitful flavor-space to play in to come up with something that's actually interesting while still feeling distinctly Human.
 

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