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General Why do you play non-human races?

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Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
More or less in order of importance
  1. I found and painted a cool mini
  2. I want to speak with a funny accent
  3. I enjoy trying to envision the world from a non-human perspective.
  4. Stat and racial bonuses
  5. Why not?
But mostly it's the mini and funny accent that inspire a personality. Or because I am a human (as far as you know) and humans are boring!


A combination of the right mechanics or stat bumps and what seems cool because it's less boring than the same old human protagonist.

For example, I'd like to run a warforged artificer because the flavor has so much potential but I'm drawn to Areni-variant High Elf because it's more optimized, mechanically, even though I feel like elves are sort of tedious humans with a pointy ear aesthetic.


Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Sorry, it's a term that is so ingrained that I continue to use it even though it was probably dropped from the text a while ago.

I just mean any of the non-human races that are available to PCs, in any edition of D&D.
Thanks. Many times that is what people mean, but sometimes it varies. :)

I play demi-humans for any of the reasons most people have stated.

1. Sometimes I want to play something other than human for role-playing a different culture, etc.
2. Sometimes I want the fluff and mechanical edge of a particular feature (like ASI or darkvision, etc.)
3. Sometimes I want to play a demi-human because it is part of the story.

That about covers it. :)

Because it's a role-playing game, and the whole cool thing is that you can be anyone, so why would you possibly, ever, not play something cool and interesting? Doesn't have to be wild but it's quite likely to not be human when there are tons of non-humans. Literally the only reason I can see to play a human in D&D is that you have a strong character concept that requires them to be or benefits from being a human, which certainly can happen. Or I guess because the rules require it, which doesn't apply to 3E-5E.

D&D also has a particularly wide selection of cool and interesting races, which lowers the odds of picking humans a great deal. Mechanics factor in here too as so many races have really strong bonuses in D&D (where in many games they're kind of minor.)

If the only races are say, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Human (no Half-Elf etc.), I am quite likely to go with human. But as soon as Half-Elf gets into the picture, well to me that's like a human but probably more interesting and almost certainly mechanically more beneficial.

We did see plenty in 2E, but this was for the very straightforward reason that some classes (Specialty Priests, for example), required you to be human.

I note that I don't feel that way about the races in every game. In Star Wars, I usually play a human or near-human because few of the non-humans really speak to me, whereas in Star Trek, good luck getting me NOT to play a Bajoran or Vulcan.

I will admit I am definitely biased towards races that are either pretty (hello Half-Elves), or look cool (I love Lizardfolk, for example, even the scary ones).


Goblin Queen
Others in the thread have covered what my answer would be.

But to quote one of my newbie players, "Why would I want to play a human in a fantasy game?" For some people at least, it simply adds to the fun and fantasy; envisioning their character as something other than themselves.
I have heard this from a TON of players as well. I used to feel this way myself as well, although I’ve taken much more of a shine to human characters since then. But my thinking was, the point of roleplaying is to explore a different perspective than your own. I’m a human in real life so I would rather roleplay as something else if I have the option.

These days I like playing humans, especially in settings where nonhuman races are very common, because I’ve done tons of exploration of the perspectives of fantastical peoples, but I haven’t does as much exploration of the perspective of a mundane person in a fantastical world.


I would like to gather opinions on why folks like to pick a demihuman (non-human) race. I'm not even going to suggest a possibility or color folks' answers with my intention for asking; I just want to learn peoples' raw thoughts.
I mostly play human - but other reasons for myself include, but aren't limited to
1) Flavor
2) Role Playing
3) Power Gaming
4) Odd Combinations


For me, it's more... "Why play human?" I can do that every day of my life. I do play humans here and there, but honestly it's usually because I've randomly selected the race and class than because I'm actively trying to play human.


I would like to gather opinions on why folks like to pick a demihuman (non-human) race. I'm not even going to suggest a possibility or color folks' answers with my intention for asking; I just want to learn peoples' raw thoughts.
I end up playing elves far to often, i like the more than e.g. dwarves or halflings. Maybe that's what i want to be, they say in carneval the people are not really wearing a mask but they show what they really want to be.

Other than that i play humans it is a lesser challenge to play them but a bigger challenge to make the moutstanding.

I was often philosophing about playing a dwarf, but that would be a fighter and in our groups there are people not so experienced with the game and they almost always want to play the fighter, they just like it and they do not want to talk and RP so much, so i tend to play rangers or rogues, some character which can act investigative, i like the exploration and riddle solving pillar very much and for them the elf is quite fitting.


Stereotypes for lack of better word, that you cannot be in real life. Elves are graceful would be natural ballet dancers. Dwarfs are tough and can take being beaten while dishing punishment in return.


Elves are better than humans in every way. Slender, beautiful, graceful, perceptive. Don’t show signs of aging and live for centuries. Don’t need to sleep. Have darkvision. Why would I play an old-looking, ugly, hairy-chested, balding fat guy in a greasy wife-beater?

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