Why do you wear costumes of no-humans in Halloween?, why straight men play videogame with female characters as Lara Croft?
What is possible and what is typical are often very different. Pretty much all the playable races from Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, and Dark Sun were just humans. That's not a criticism because I believe inhuman characters are difficult to relate to and role play.I don’t mean this as a challenge or criticism, but it’s odd to me that this perspective can persist in the face of so many people over years explaining how the other races can be more than that.
Somehow, I forgot to list “because I found a cool mini” as mentioned by others.Why play nonhumans (of any kind)?
Aesthetics, mechanics, exploration of otherness*, the in-campaign cultural tropes, humor, because it might bug someone else at the table, conforming to party theme, filling a gap, because it might enhance certain aspects of the campaign, because of an archetype, because it’s against an archetype...
* I also play other genders and sexual orientations in part for this reason.
That. And making fun of the human who prefers to travel by day. Really, I have seen more players chosing a race for mechanical adventage and a little colour (but not much) than for roleplay reasons. Except maybe warforged. Those attracted a lot of roleplay in my experience. But it's very difficult to enter the mindset of an alien race anyway. Even playing as someone from another culture (or from our culture from a few century ago) is difficult, so a non-human race... challenging.Darkvision, obviously.