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D&D: Five Ways to be a Human Without Being a Human

3 Minute Read
Jun 5 2024

What do you do when you want to be a “normal guy” in D&D without playing the most boring option possible? We have some ideas.

The various species options in D&D are a great way to mark yourself as a fantasy hero. After all, who can deny you’re a fantasy adventurer when you’re a dragon person or an elf, right? But those also come with a lot of pre-cooked in baggage. Whether that’s in-game lore, or our own social preconceptions.

No judgement, but playing something like a dragonborn is an extra step or two away from being a human, which is what most of us are in real life. Same goes for a tabaxi or even an elf. But what do you do when you want to be basically a normal guy, without actually being a normal guy?

Because maybe you don’t want to pick human again. Well, here are some options for you that will keep you mostly human without being totally vanilla.


A fantastic option for those looking to be a special normal guy. If you’re confused by that sentence, just take a second to think about it. Half-elves are mostly a normal guy, but they’re a little bit special. They blend both worlds, getting darkvision and the ability to resist magical charms and sleep.

But they also still actually go to sleep and can grow facial hair and know a variety of skills. They’re a great way to feel like you’ve peppered in some fantasy flavor onto your normal guy casserole of a character.


Similar to half-elves, half-orcs are another flavor or special normal guy. You get relentless endurance, which makes you very durable, and have the ability to deal a little extra damage on a critical hit, as well as getting darkvision, but you’re still basically just like a strong normal guy.



Personally, any time I want to play a human, I just play a Genasi instead. They’re basically normal guys but with elemental flavors and powers. They might be resistant to fire, or capable of holding their breath for a long time.

It’s a little more fantasy flavor than something like a half-elf, because they often come with a spellcasting ability baked in. But, by and large, their whole deal is they have a fragment of the power of the elemental planes. It’s a neat way to play a magical normal guy.


Reborn is another great way to be a relatively normal guy. Out of Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, Reborn are people who have died and yet are somehow still alive. Whether by magic, science, fate, or something else entirely, death wasn’t the end for them.


Playing a Reborn marks you as supernaturally touched, but not necessarily as a supernatural creature, like a Dhampir or something might be. You get advantage on death saving throws and don’t need to eat, which is a little weird, but all in all, still on the edge of “normal guy”. More like a spooky normal guy.

Custom Lineage

Finally, the most normal option out there. Custom. It’s basically variant human, but you have the option of gaining darkvision. Because who needs lighting rules. If you want to be a normal, normal guy, this is absolutely the way to do it.

What do you do when you want to play a normal guy?

Author: J.R. Zambrano
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