Human Subtypes for Pathfinder

William T. Thrasher
More human than human.

On last night's episode of d-Infinity Live, a the following question was posed: "Should there be human racial variations as there are for nearly all other races?" As always, my answer was yes. However, it's not enough to agree with a sentiment. As a designer, I have to make my answer manifest in game. In Pathfinder, the human race looks something like this:

+2 to One Ability Score: Human characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.

Medium: Humans are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Normal Speed: Humans have a base speed of 30 feet.

Bonus Feat: Humans select one extra feat at 1st level.

Skilled: Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.

Languages: Humans begin play speaking Common. Humans with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).

However, an extra feat and an extra skill rank per level doesn't go far enough in expressing the diversity of humanity, especially when compared to other established races like elves, who are joined by dark elves, high elves, wood elves, and any number of other variations. With that in mind, I present a series of alternate human racial traits designed to make human PCs as diverse by the rules as any fantastical people.

Wasteland Human

Born and bred to survive in blighted wastelands, wasteland humans thrive in adverse conditions.

Blight Survivor: Wasteland humans gain a +2 bonus to resist poison and disease. This replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level.


Desert Human

Made to walk burning sands under blazing suns, desert humans do not fear the trackless wastes.

Sand Dweller: Desert humans gain a +2 bonus on survival skill checks made to survive in deserts, and survival is always a class skill for them. Desert human require half the normal amount of water each day to avoid dehydration, and gain a +2 bonus to Constitution checks made to resist dehydration. This replaces the Skilled human racial trait.


Arboreal Humans

Comfortable in the deepest wilderness, arboreal humans thrive in the spaces between the trees in forest and jungle alike.

Wilderness Strider: Arboreal humans take no movement penalties for light undergrowth, and treat heavy undergrowth as light undergrowth for the purpose of movement. This replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level.


Urban Humans

Accustomed to cities and the benefits of civilization, urban humans excel in the press of high populations and higher walls.

Well Rounded: Urban humans begin play knowing an additional language. Choose two knowledge skills that are not already class skills granted by this character's class. These two skills are always considered class skills for this character. This replaces the Skilled human racial trait.


Arctic Humans

Living in a blinding expanse of frozen white, arctic humans have adapted to the cold of their homelands.

Tundra Mastery: Arctic humans gains cold terrain as a favored terrain per the ranger class ability of the same name. This replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level.