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D&D 5E Variant Human Traits

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Variant Human Traits page 31

I'm not sure how these rules apply.

The standard option throughout the phb is that you either raise your ability scores 'or' gain a feat. That option is available to all characters.

But if you choose the Variant Human Trait from page 31 (as well using the standard option), does that mean you get a double dip?

I choose to raise a human character's ability by 2 points (or two abilities by 1 point each). If I take the Human Variant Trait, can I now raise the same (or perhaps different) abilities again?

Likewise, if I choose a feat (via the standard phb optional rule), can I apply the Variant Human Trait option and pick a second feat?

EDIT: On waking up more and re reading the Variant Human Trait, it looks like they replace the standard option rule available to everyone?

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The variant human trait only applies at character creation. You either add +1 to all six abilities, or you add +1 to two abilities, gain a feat, and gain an extra skill.

After that, though, you're just like everyone else: When you gain a stat bump, you can +2 to one, +1 to two, or take a feat.

The Human variant is in place of the human starting with +1 to all stats when creating the character. If your DM accepts the variant, you can either choose to start a human and get +1 to all ability scores (str,dex...etc), or you can get +1 to 2 ability scores, a bonus skill, and a feat. This variant has no effect on character after initial creation.
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Human 5e Guide

What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the Human will be right for your character build.

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your Human. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.

  • Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
  • Redisn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orangeis an OK option
  • Greenis a good option
  • Blueis a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.

What are Humans?

If you’re reading this you are most likely a Human, and therefore know what a Human is!

Humans are known to be the youngest of the races that one commonly sees when walking the streets of any given town or community. They also have the shortest life span of the common races, which could be the reason that Humans tend to be hard workers, innovators, and conquerers. 

One thing that separates Humans from other races is the sheer diversity in their ranks. From appearance, cultures, customs, and institutions, every group of Humans you may meet in your travels will be notably different.

Human Traits

Size: Medium is the typical size of most races, and is neither good nor bad.

Speed: Humans have a standard walking speed of 30 feet.

Human Subraces

Standard Human

Source: Players’ Handbook

The most basic of all the races in D&D 5e, the Standard Human is a solid pick for any build. While it doesn’t come with any fancy racial features, the Standard Human sports the highest number of ability score increases out of any race.

Ability Score Increase: Unique to the Standard Human, you increase each ability score by 1. Most races get three total ability score increases (+2 to one ability score, +1 to another) but the standard Human gets a whopping six. Admittedly many of these are usually a waste, like INT on a Barbarian, but this spread means that the Standard Human will be at least average for any build you could imagine.

Variant Human

Source: Players’ Handbook

Many believe that the Variant Human is the best race in all of D&D 5e, and we tend to agree. Variant Humans get ultimate flexibility in their ability score increases, a free skill proficiency, and a feat at 1st level. This makes them one of, if not the best option for nearly every build because they are completely customizable.

Ability Score Increase: Most races get three total ability score increases, but the Variant Human only gets two. The upside here is that you may assign them however you like, as long as they are two different ability scores. This means that every class will be able to choose the best ability scores for their purposes.

Skills: Typically, racial features that give you a choice of a skill proficiencies let you choose from a short list. The Variant Human lets you pick any skill you want, ensuring that the skill is never wasted because you can choose a skill that your character will actually be able to use effectively.

Feat: Getting a free feat at 1st level is very powerful and is unique to the Variant Human. Certain builds require one or more feats to work, so getting it early and not having to sacrifice an ASI on a level up helps tremendously. Even builds that don’t necessarily need a feat will always find something interesting to complement the character. 

Mark of Finding Human

Source: Eberron: Rising from the Last War

The Mark of Finding seems to exist to squeeze every last bit of information, backstory, and exposition out of your poor DM. If any person, object, or even plant goes missing, you’ll know about it and be able to find it. With a niche ability score spread, the Mark of Finding Human is best suited to a campaign that revolves around investigation and mystery solving.

Ability Score Increase: A +2 WIS and +1 CON ability score spread isn’t appealing for most classes, and some builds may even want DEX or STR over CON.

Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it. 

Hunter’s Intuition: Anything that makes Perception checks better is extremely useful, and improved Survival checks doesn’t hurt either.

Finder’s Magic: Hunter’s Mark is a cool spell, so it’s nice to see it available for classes other than the Ranger and for free at that. It can only be used once per long rest but the spell lasts for an hour so you should still be able to get some decent mileage out of it. You should probably never use this to cast Locate Object instead since the Mark of Finding grants that spell anyways.

Spells of the Mark: Only characters that have Spellcasting or Pact Magic can use the spells below.

Mark of Finding Spells:

  • 1st Level – Faerie Fire: Good debuff if you can get a number of enemies in one go. Can also solve situational invisibility issues.
  • 1st Level – Longstrider: An extra 10 feet of movement is noticeable, especially since this spell lasts for an hour so you can use the buff before you find yourself in a battle.
  • 2nd Level – Locate Animals or Plants: Extraordinarily situational, this spell will only be useful if your DM has worked an animal or plant into their story.
  • 2nd Level – Locate Object: Nearly as situational as Locate Animals or Plants, this spell is just a bit more useful since objects are more likely to be plot devices than animals or plants.
  • 3rd Level – Clairvoyance: Useful for scouting unknown territory or for avoiding an ambush.
  • 3rd Level – Speak with Plants: Situationally useful. Speak with Animals is usually more reliable but you don’t get access to that spell here.
  • 4th Level – Divination: More putting your DM on the spot! Asking a question and receiving a truthful answer from your DM is really useful and a ton of fun.
  • 4th Level – Locate Creature: More thorough than Locate Animals or Plants, and can be used to find people. It’s still pretty situational.
  • 5th Level: Commune with Nature: The best way to extract a bunch of information about your surroundings from your DM, but only works in natural settings.

Mark of Handling Human

Source: Eberron: Rising from the Last War

The Mark of Handling Human is focused on calming, controlling, and asking for the aid of animals. In that sense, a Druid should be able to accomplish most of what this subrace can do. Although the Mark of Handling Human will be at its best in a natural habitat, even large cities will have rats or cats that you could use to give your party some advantage or insight.

Ability Score Increase: This subrace also comes with +2 WIS, but having a +1 ASI of your choosing makes it much more flexible when it comes to building a character.

Wild Intuition: Improved Animal Handling and Nature checks fit nicely into the role this subrace is playing, with the latter making up for a lack of INT increase.

Primal Connection: A free cast of either Animal Friendship or Speak with Animals per short rest opens up many options for encounters with beasts without the need to use spell slots or having the spells prepared.

The Bigger They Are: Monstrosities are some of the most violent creatures you will encounter, and more often than not, cannot be reasoned with. Extending Animal Friendship and Speak With Animals to monstrosities is a very unique subrace feature that not only improves those spells, but will make for some interesting encounters.

Spells of the Mark: Only characters that have the Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature can use the spells below.

Mark of Handling Spells:

  • 1st Level – Animal Friendship: A cool spell for low level encounters, but you won’t need to prepare it most of the time due to the free cast from Primal Connection.
  • 1st Level – Speak With Animals: A great way to gain information or ask for help from animals. Also won’t need to be prepared most of the time due to the free cast from Primal Connection.
  • 2nd Level – Beast Sense: This spell is like a much worse version of Find Familiar. Speak With Animals can already gain enough information about what the animal can see or hear.
  • 2nd Level – Calm Emotions: The fact that this spell has two different use cases makes it decent, even if those events may not come up too often. Enemies often have effects that charm or frighten in an area of effect, so being able to suppress those effects also in an area of your choosing could save your whole party. When used on enemies, you can make them non-hostile for a whole minute, giving you enough time to escape. The main issue with this spell is the concentration and the relatively small radius.
  • 3rd Level – Beacon of Hope: Beacon of Hope seems to be best used in a moment of desperation, when many of your party members are severely hurt. Unfortunately, this spell uses up your action so you can’t get to healing until the next round.
  • 3rd Level – Conjure Animals: Conjure Animals can greatly improve your action economy in a fight by giving you more allies to attack with in a turn. If your DM is friendly they may even let you summon an animal that could help you achieve your goal (like a flying creature to get something from up high), although they won’t be obligated to give you the creature you want.
  • 4th Level – Aura of Life: Protection from hit point maximum reduction is very situational, although resistance to necrotic damage is handy when facing the undead. Bringing up all downed allies within the radius at the start of their turn sounds useful, but you will need to maintain your concentration until then for this to have effect.
  • 4th Level – Dominate Beast: This spell can accomplish what Animal Friendship and Speak with Animals just can’t – complete control over the target. It also lasts an entire minute, meaning you could have a very powerful ally for the rest of a battle if the creature fails its WIS saving throw. 
  • 5th Level: Awaken: Absurdly long casting time (8 hours) and cost (1000 gp), but the results are worth it. Transform your dog into a highly intelligent companion, or make your very own Groot to join you on your adventures.

Mark of Making Human

Source: Eberron: Rising from the Last War

The Mark of Making Human feels like a slight extension of the Artificer class, but the focus on artisan’s tools hampers may feel like a waste of subrace features. Builds that will get the most use out of this subrace are INT casters that also use martial weapons, as most of the other spells feel quite lacklustre.

Ability Score Increase: INT is wasted on most classes, but getting +2 to INT is quite rare. The combination of +2 INT and +1 of your choice will be perfect for those builds that do need it.

Artisan’s Intuition: Artisan’s tools in 5e often don’t get the love they deserve, as their usefulness is up to your DM’s interpretation. Arcana checks are more consistently helpful.

Maker’s Gift: Combining proficiency in an artisan’s tool and the added d4 from Artisan’s Intuition makes your skill checks with that tool very dependable. That being said, tools are most often used for role-play and require your DM to agree to whatever shenanigan you are trying to pull off.

Spellsmith: Having the Mending cantrip won’t turn any heads, but being able to use Magic Weapon without concentration is awesome. This means that, once per long rest, you can have a buffed weapon for an hour of encounters.

Spells of the Mark: Only characters that have the Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature can use the spells below.

Mark of Making Spells:

  • 1st Level – Identify: You can spend a short rest in physical contact with a magical item to identify it. In addition, most cursed items are not revealed to be cursed when this spell is cast. The main purpose this spell serves is to identify something quickly, which is rather situational. 
  • 1st Level – Tenser’s Floating Disk: Not useless, but this spell is very situational. It can only be moved by you moving away from it.
  • 2nd Level – Continual Flame: Most of the time you can just cast Light or use a torch as a light source and save yourself the 50 gp.
  • 2nd Level – Magic Weapon: If you don’t cast this using the Spellsmith feature it’s still a pretty good spell for overcoming enemies that resist non-magical weapons.
  • 3rd Level – Conjure Barrage: The damage is awful compared to most area of effect damage spells like Fireball.
  • 3rd Level – Elemental Weapon: This spell is interesting because most classes don’t get access to it. The damage is better than Magic Weapon and you can do even more by choosing an element your target is vulnerable to. The downside is you don’t get the benefit of being free from concentration like Magic Weapon does from the Spellsmith feature.
  • 4th Level – Fabricate: Fabricate scales in its usefulness depending on your creativity, but it is hampered by quite a few restrictions which are clearly in place for game balance reasons.
  • 4th Level – Stone Shape: Can be used to deal damage if you get creative, or circumvent annoying parts of caves and dungeons since they are usually made of stone.
  • 5th Level: Creation: As with Fabricate, this spell is nerfed by many restrictions, the biggest of which is that the created items must fit within a 5-foot cube. Perhaps in the right hands this spell could be immensely powerful, but most people won’t know what to do with it.

Mark of Passage Human

Source: Eberron: Rising from the Last War

The Mark of Passage Human is all about mobility. Equipped with good ASIs and some fun and powerful spells, this subrace is excellent for a wide array of character builds.

Ability Score Increase: +2 DEX is great since most builds want at least some DEX for AC and initiative rolls, and the +1 ability score of your choice means that you could make this subrace viable for nearly any character.

Courier’s Speed: Increasing base walking speed is useful, especially for melee characters, but the extra 5 feet will hardly make a noticeable difference most of the time.

Intuitive Motion: Acrobatics is not nearly as common as Athletics. Operating land vehicles is situational and may occur rarely, depending on your campaign.

Magical Passage: Misty Step is an amazing spell, so you will probably always use your one free cast per long rest.

Spells of the Mark: Only characters that have the Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature can use the spells below.

Mark of Passage Spells:

  • 1st Level – Expeditious Retreat: Obviously redundant for a Rogue, this spell could come in handy for characters that value high movement and may have no real use for their bonus action, like a Bladesinger.
  • 1st Level – Jump: Increasing jump distance is rarely useful and is severely outclassed by other movement spells.
  • 2nd Level – Misty Step: Misty Step is the staple movement spell for those classes lucky enough to have access to it. It can be cast as a bonus action and avoids opportunity attacks. 
  • 2nd Level – Pass Without Trace: A huge bonus to Stealth for the whole party. This spell will make even your hulking Barbarian into a sneaky infiltrator. 
  • 3rd Level – Blink: For ten rounds of combat, you have a 50% chance of poofing over to the Ethereal Plane at the end of your turn, meaning you will avoid all damage for that round. Pretty neat.
  • 3rd Level – Phantom Steed: Situational. If you need to do any serious traveling, this spell means you won’t need to buy a horse.
  • 4th Level – Dimension Door: Teleport, with a friend, over a much longer distance than Misty Step. Unfortunately, it’s a full action to cast.
  • 4th Level – Freedom of Movement: It’s nice to give extra movement options to allies, but there are better buff spells and this one is pretty situational.
  • 5th Level: Teleportation Circle: Lots of utility here to transport you and your party around the plane you are on. 

Mark of Sentinel Human

Source: Eberron: Rising from the Last War

The Mark of Sentinel Human cares primarily about protecting oneself and others, much like how Clerics and Paladins can be built. A mediocre ASI is offset by great uses of your reaction and powerful protective spells.

Ability Score Increase: Another CON and WIS combination, this time with +2 CON and +1 WIS. The same issue exists as with the Mark of Finding in that many builds won’t be looking for this combination, and instead prefer DEX or STR.

Sentinel’s Intuition: Anything that makes Perception checks better is extremely useful. Insight is less useful but is a nice bonus.

Guardian’s Shield: The Shield spell is awesome when a devastating attack comes your way. Being able to cast it for free once per long rest could absolutely save your life on more than one occasion.

Vigilant Guardian: This trait is virtually unusable if playing a caster like a Druid. A tankier Cleric, however, could take the damage for a weaker ally without breaking a sweat, if the enemy’s attack even makes it through their AC.

Spells of the Mark: Only characters that have the Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature can use the spells below.

Mark of Sentinel Spells:

  • 1st Level – Compelled Duel: The fact that this spell is cast as a bonus action is nice, but it isn’t really a viable for option for characters that want to stay out of harm’s way and attack from a distance. As a tank character, this spell will make battles a lot easier for your bow and magic users.
  • 1st Level – Shield of Faith: A staple low level Paladin spell. +2 AC can make low AC characters much more resilient, and high AC characters near impossible to hit. The main downside is concentration, especially if you plan to fight in melee range.
  • 2nd Level – Warding Bond: Most casters don’t want to be taking damage when their warded fighter walks into battle.
  • 2nd Level – Zone of Truth: Fun spell to use, but it is situational. Crafty DMs can weasel their way out of providing any meaningful information because affected creatures are aware of the spell.
  • 3rd Level – Counterspell: Once you start facing higher level spellcasters, having Counterspell in your back pocket is critically important to avoid some devastating spells.
  • 3rd Level – Protection from Energy: Another spell competing for your concentration slot, although this one is good even if you aren’t playing a tank-style character. Essential when you know you are facing lots of one type of elemental damage.
  • 4th Level – Death Ward: 8 hours is a long time to be protected from dying. 
  • 4th Level – Guardian of Faith: A decent way to get some extra damage in if you know that a fight will take place in a specific location. Guardian of Faith can also be used as a sort of alarm when taking a long rest in a dangerous place.
  • 5th Level: Bigby’s Hand: A change of pace from the rest of the spells on this list, but a welcome one. The hand is capable of doing a good amount of damage, but can also move enemies, grapple them, provide cover, and help you escape. To top it off, it only requires your bonus action to command after the turn you cast it.

Which Classes Work With Humans?

Humans in D&D are the classic “jack of all trades, master of none”. Because the Standard and the Variant Human subraces exist, there isn’t a class out there that would be outright bad as a Human. Standard Humans provide a better ability score spread for the multi-ability dependent classes, while Variant Humans are just fantastic across the board for the free feat at 1st level.

On the other hand, the Eberron subraces are more focused in their efforts and each has a place for certain character builds.

Artificer: Artificers are very INT focused. The most INT you could achieve would be through the Mark of Making, which provides +2 INT and comes with thematic racial features and spells. 

Barbarian: None of the Eberron Humans come with STR, so you’re left with the Standardand Variant Humans. Standard provides all the ability score increases Barbarians are interested in, while the Variant Human opens up the possibility for fun low level feats like Tavern Brawler, Charger, or Great Weapon Master. 

Bard: No CHA for the Eberron races means those are off the table outside of the Mark of Passage for melee mobility and DEX. Valor or Swords Bards are typically the best for Variant Humans as they can make use of some of the powerful melee spellcaster feats like War Caster.

Cleric: The Mark of Finding provides WIS but is only situationally useful. The Mark of Sentinel will make an extremely tanky Cleric but has a lot of overlapping spells.  The Mark of Handling provides more flexibility with some nature-based spells and access to extremely powerful spells that aren’t typically on the Cleric’s spell list. Variant Human Clerics will be able to take WIS and either STR, DEX, or CON, while having access to useful feats like War Caster or Healer. 

Druid: The Mark of Handling seems like an obvious fit, but there will be a lot of overlap between the spells and abilities Druids have access to. Since Druids often have trouble with survivability, the Mark of Sentinel is a reasonable option, especially at higher levels when they get access to some of the better protective spells.

Fighter: Mark of Sentinel could be a good option for a tank build, although it doesn’t provide any STR or DEX. Eldritch Knights can get their INT and one ability score of their choosing from the Mark of Making as well as get some interesting spells for a melee spellcaster build. Ultimately, the Fighter wants STR or DEX, CON, and access to feats so the Variant Human is an amazing choice as well.

Monk: Standard Humans are pretty great for Monks since they look for DEX, CON, and WIS when creating a character. There are several good choices from the Eberron subraces: Mark of Passage builds on the Monk’s maneuverability and synergizes with the need for DEX, Mark of Handling could work if you’re lacking a nature expert in the party, and Mark of Finding fits in with an investigative campaign and Monk’s love that extra Hunter’s Mark damage but the subrace lacks the all-important DEX bonus. 

Paladin: The Standard and Variant Humans both work nicely with a Paladin, with the former providing coverage for all their ASI needs and the latter opening up some multi-feat builds. No CHA from the Eberron races means that a spellcasting-focused Paladin would be harder to attain, but Mark of Passagecould lay the groundwork for a really cool DEX Paladin.

Ranger: The Variant Human is a strong choice for the free feat, especially for those attempting to make a melee Ranger. Mark of Handling will help provide some free nature-based utility spells for your spell slot-starved Ranger, the Mark of Passage taking WIS as your free ASI is perfect for both melee and ranged builds that want to have more movement options, and the Mark of Finding may have significant overlap but provides a free daily usage of Hunter’s Mark.

Rogue: Variant Humans are a good choice, but try to pick a passive feat as Rogues already have good uses for their bonus action and reaction. The Mark of Passage is perfect for a Rogue, with a strong ASI spread, movement options, and the Pass Without Trace spell that makes a Rogue virtually undetectable. Arcane Tricksters can receive their INT increase from the Mark of Making and get some interesting melee spells as well.

Sorcerer: No CHA for the Eberron races means those are off the table. The best bet for the Sorcerer is probably the Variant Human, though they aren’t particularly effective for this class.

Warlock: No CHA for the Eberron races means most of these are off the table. Although Mark of Passage can work for a Hexblade, it will still be at a disadvantage without CHA. Variant Human is worth considering for Spell Sniper or War Caster, especially as a Pact of the Blade/Hexblade Warlock.

Wizard: Like the Artificer, most Wizards are basically locked into maximising INT, so the Mark of Making provides the best ability score increases but has a ton of overlap with classes’ spells list. Bladesingers could do well with the Variant Human for melee feats or the Mark of Passage for mobility, though they will need to focus on their INT as much as possible for future ASIs.

Roland Drews

Roland Drews is a content creator and editor at Arcane Eye. When he isn't watching basketball or noodling on his guitar, you can find Roland reading, writing, or playing D&D. He currently lives in Bonn, Germany with his girlfriend Jess.

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D&D 5th Edition

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It’s hard to make generalizations about Humans, but your human character has these Traits.

Ability Score Increase: Your Ability Scores each increase by 1.

Age: Humans reach Adulthood in their late teens and live less than a century.

Alignment: Humans tend toward no particular Alignment. The best and the worst are found among them.

Size: Humans vary widely in height and build, from barely 5 feet to well over 6 feet tall. Regardless of your position in that range, your size is Medium.

Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and one extra language of your choice. Humans typically learn the Languages of other peoples they deal with, including obscure dialects. They are fond of sprinkling their Speech with words borrowed from other tongues: OrcCurses, Elvish musical expressions, DwarvishMilitary phrases, and so on.


What Are Some Common D&D Personality Traits?

Updated January 05, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC

This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.


The true magic of Dungeons and Dragons comes from the fact that you can create a character straight from your head to go on an adventure. Some people will create a character that is an idealized version of themselves, as their personality traits might describe the player with various personality traits, ideals, bonds, and characteristics. Others may go on a different route and create a character who is entirely different than who you are with an array of traits and mannerisms. There is no right or wrong way to play D&D. In this post, we shall discuss a few common traits players like to put in their characters.

How A Trait Is Viewed In Significance

In the game, a character's trait can have an impact on the story, or no impact at all, as personality traits are small, simple, additions to a character, but sometimes very important. Someone's trait may be positive or negative personality traits depending on how you look at it.

For example, say your character is very trusting of others. In some campaigns, when thinking about personality traits, it can be seen as a weakness. You trust someone a bit too much, and they end up betraying you. However, in some cases, this can be seen as a strength. Because you come off as trusting, more people will open up to you.

Then, there are times where your trustworthiness has no impact on the story at all.

Your character being aggressive is another good example. In some stories, your aggression can be your strength. It intimidates others and gets the job done. Or, it can end up destroying diplomacy and causing a war.

Maybe a character likes to try to hide their weakness, or find others who have that trait to bond and form unions.

Alternatively, characters don't even have to acknowledge certain traits. Sometimes, they may not be aware of their aggression, or be in denial about it. Or, they just don't care. This can apply to people in real life as well. Too many people don't acknowledge their flaws, it seems.

Some Character Traits

D&D is customizable in that you can create your own house rules or your own unique traits, mannerisms, habits, beliefs, and character dislikes or fears. If you are interested in the game, or you just want to know more about it, here is easy to understand the list of traits.


Abrasiveness can be seen as a negative trait because it describes having trouble being nice in a conversation. You're demanding, and although you can get what you want, you may end up hurting others. It can increase your intimidation stat, but people will find you insufferable, and it can destroy civil discourse.


A character who is absentminded is seen as someone who is smart but is always thinking too much. Because of this, they may end up being lost in the conversation or not being aware of where they are. Your character may be someone they rely on for knowledge, but when it comes to being in the present, count them out.



Aggression is when a character is always ready to fight and is quite a menace. However, because of aggression, they may end up starting fights when there is a more peaceful solution, and their anger and brute force may be a weakness when the battle requires more strategy.


A brawler is someone who likes to use their fists rather than any weapons. They believe that what they always have with them is the best weapon. A brawler may be quick on their feet because they are less encumbered, but may find it difficult to win a battle where weapons are used.


A player who is cautious is always taking steps to make sure they are safe in combat. Cautious and cowardice can be mutually exclusive or come hand in hand depending on the character. Someone who is cautious may use different strategies to get out in the safest way possible but may be weak to fear attacks. If you need a character who can solve problems in the most peaceful way possible, however, a cautious person is the way to go.


A detached character is one who is always in their little world when it comes to the group. They will be behind and not talk much. This gives them a ranged advantage, but it can mean that no one trusts the characters.


A dishonest character, well, lies a lot. In fact, this character has mastered the art of lying, and they can use it to get what they want. Of course, if the tower of lies falls, it can ruin your character. Especially if they have been exposed and then say something which is the truth. It can end up being a boy who cried wolf situation.


This is when someone has a physical trait that sets them apart. They can have big ears, a scar, or another characteristic that sets them apart. As you can imagine, this can be a bit of a disadvantage if your character is trying to hide or disguise themselves. However, it gives your character a bit of a reputation. If your character has a limp, they may use it to get sympathy, for example.


This is a friendly character. Being friendly means that people like talking to you and you have no problem making friends. However, you have a hard time standing up for yourself or getting into fights, and you may have a problem if you need to be more aggressive in your act. An easygoing character may be gullible as well.


In a character's traits, a flaw might be farsightedness. In many worlds of D&D, glasses are not a thing, so the character has to deal with their vision. A farsighted person has a hard time seeing what's nearby them, but they can see ahead very well.



Someone who's focused can keep their eyes on the prize no matter how many things try to distract them. However, those who are too focused on one thing may ignore something else important that passes them by.

Hard Of Hearing

This is when a character is deaf or has trouble hearing. Despite their impairment, they may have enhanced their other senses to compensate.


These people consider themselves strong, and they may judge those who aren't as hardy. The problem is that they can sometimes overestimate their strength, and they may end up getting hurt as a result.


This is someone who never wants to tell a lie. Sincerity means that more people will flock to you and trust you. However, there are times where you may need to tell a white lie or lie to survive. In those cases, you may have trouble keeping up a lie, and you may not be able to spot other liars.


In the fantasy world, reading can sometimes be a privilege, and someone who is illiterate won't be able to read. Instead, they may have other skills they use. Sometimes, a character may learn to read over time.


Someone who is inattentive will be able to deal with smaller tasks, but when it comes to big projects, they won't do them.


A character who is polite will try to be as well-spoken as possible, even if they don't like the person they're speaking to. They can be genuinely polite, or they may be using politeness to their advantage.


Someone who is quick will is faster than more people. They may be able to escape faster, but they may be less skilled in other areas.


Someone who is relentless won't give up no matter what. This is great for situations that require persistence, but characters who are relentless may over-exhaust themselves. This can lead to fatigue.



Slowness gives a character two personality traits. They will not be able to escape as fast, but they may be sturdier. When it's time to run, they'll be left behind. However, they can be able to fight easier.


Someone who is specialized will be skilled in one particular subject but may have fewer skills in other subjects. For example, a character may be a master at crafting, but poor at fighting. Make sure your skills are balanced or learn to deal with your weakness.


Suspicious characters are skeptical of everyone they meet. This can help them spot people who are trying to do them wrong, but the problem with that is that it can turn people away from you because of how distrustful you are.


An uncivilized person was raised in the wild or is just someone who finds themselves being able to define one trait related to animals before people. They may be awkward when it comes to various situations where they must speak, so make sure there are sociable people to prop them up.

There are other traits as well, and with D&D, you can always make up new traits. These traits reflect a lot about the human condition, and like in real life, you can improve upon your flaws or learn to live with them.


If you want to improve your traits in real life, speak to a counselor. A counselor can work on you based on your metaphorical character sheet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are personality traits in D&D?

Similar to a real life personality, the array of traits in Dungeons and Dragons define the character and make up their behavior. For example, a D&D character may have a makeup of positive personality traits like trustworthiness and kindess that make a "good" character. On the flip side a character may be made up of negative traits like deception, and theivery.

What are character ideals?

Character ideals are beliefs that drive the character's personality and behavior in D&D. These ideals are similar to character ideals or "stereotypes" in real life that make people think they have to behave in a certain way based on a pre-determined set of criteria. If you struggle with character ideals or personality issues in real life -- seek support from a licensed mental health provider.

How many personality traits should a character have?

According to the official rules of Dungeons and Dragons a character should have two personality traits. Grow from learning and earning new equipment, skills, and allies. Use a character sheet to keep track of the unique attributes of each charachter.

How do I make a D&D character?

You can access the Dungeons and Dragons website online to create an account, login, and create a D&D character. Login from a compatible device to play D&D in the cloud or download to your device to play online. You can also use a character generator to assign personality traits to your character based on a set of suggested characteristics.

What is your D&D alignment?

A characters alignment is a measure of how well your personality traits, line up with your overall personality and background. Personal characteristics determine the character's behavior.

What does flaws mean in D&D?

Similar to flaws in real life, flaws give you character a built-in achilles heel that make them more relatable to other characters. Flaw characteristics reflect personal everyday challenges your character struggles with.

What does character alignment mean?

Character aligment measures how consistent your character's personality and background are with their personality traits. Alignment looks at a character's personality trait ideals and character details to see how consistent your character's personality and background are overall.

How do you make a cool DnD character?

To make a cool Dungeons and Dragons character, start by using a character sheet to get an idea of suggested characteristics for an ideal character. You can also use a personality generator to randomly assign personal characteristics to your character.

What are the 4 types of personality?

The 4 main personality traits that outline character proficiency are Ideals, Morals, Flaws, and Bonds. These four personality traits determine your character's personality and background. When creating your character, you can use suggested characteristics created by a personality generator or you can assign your own personality traits based on suggested characteristics.

What are positive traits?

Postive personality traits in Dungeons and Dragons are the same as positive personality traits in real life. For example, honesty in D&D is considered to be a positive personality trait that will earn your character more trust in the game. When building a character, consider adding at least one postive personality trait for a balanced character personality and background.

What are positive personality traits?

When you think of positive personality traits in the real world, you're already ahead of the game. Honesty is an example of a positive personality trait. Survival is another example of a positive trait.

What are the six traits of good character?

When deciding on your D&D character's personality and background, it's up to you to choose from suggested characteristics to build the best character for your playing style. D&D characteristics reflect how others view your character in the world. For example, do you want to play with a male or female character? If you choose a female character traits selected from your character stand will be somewhat different than those of a male character.

Use a character sheet and a list of suggested characteristics to decide what personality traits your ideal character should have. If you're not sure where to begin, or which personality traits to give your character, you can use a personality generator that will assign personality traits and personal characteristics based on suggested characteristics.

What are some good flaws?

To achieve the best character proficiency it's important to have your character details in alignment. This is especially true when choosing the flaw personality trait. Use your character sheet and suggested personality trait list to choose the trait that aligns with your character details.

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Humanity: why make Human Player Characters in 5e Dungeons \u0026 Dragons


Racial Traits

The description of each race includes racial traits that are common to members of that race. The following entries appear among the traits of most races.

Ability Score Increase

Every race increases one or more of a character’s ability scores.


The age entry notes the age when a member of the race is considered an adult, as well as the race’s expected lifespan. This information can help you decide how old your character is at the start of the game. You can choose any age for your character, which could provide an explanation for some of your ability scores. For example, if you play a young or very old character, your age could explain a particularly low Strength or Constitution score, while advanced age could account for a high Intelligence or Wisdom.


Most races have tendencies toward certain alignments, described in this entry. These are not binding for player characters, but considering why your dwarf is chaotic, for example, in defiance of lawful dwarf society can help you better define your character.


Characters of most races are Medium, a size category including creatures that are roughly 4 to 8 feet tall. Members of a few races are Small (between 2 and 4 feet tall), which means that certain rules of the game affect them differently. The most important of these rules is that Small characters have trouble wielding heavy weapons, as explained in “Equipment.”


Your speed determines how far you can move when traveling ( “Adventuring”) and fighting (“Combat”).


By virtue of your race, your character can speak, read, and write certain languages.


Some races have subraces. Members of a subrace have the traits of the parent race in addition to the traits specified for their subrace. Relationships among subraces vary significantly from race to race and world to world.


Dwarf Traits

Your dwarf character has an assortment of inborn abilities, part and parcel of dwarven nature.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
Age. Dwarves mature at the same rate as humans, but they’re considered young until they reach the age of 50. On average, they live about 350 years.
Alignment. Most dwarves are lawful, believing firmly in the benefits of a well-­‐‑ordered society. They tend toward good as well, with a strong sense of fair play and a belief that everyone deserves to share in the benefits of a just order.
Size. Dwarves stand between 4 and 5 feet tall and average about 150 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Dwarven Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.
DwarvenCombat Training. You have proficiency with the battleaxe, handaxe, light hammer, and warhammer.
Tool Proficiency. You gain proficiency with the artisan’s tools of your choice: smith’s tools, brewer’s supplies, or mason’s tools.
Stonecunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the vcheck, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Dwarvish. Dwarvish is full of hard consonants and guttural sounds, and those characteristics spill over into whatever other language a dwarf might speak.

Hill Dwarf

As a hill dwarf, you have keen senses, deep intuition, and remarkable resilience.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Dwarven Toughness. Your hit point maximum increases by 1, and it increases by 1 every time you gain a level.


Elf Traits

Your elf character has a variety of natural abilities, the result of thousands of years of elven refinement.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Although elves reach physical maturity at about the same age as humans, the elven understanding of adulthood goes beyond physical growth to encompass worldly experience. An elf typically claims adulthood and an adult name around the age of 100 and can live to be 750 years old.
Alignment. Elves love freedom, variety, and self-expression, so they lean strongly toward the gentler aspects of chaos. They value and protect others’ freedom as well as their own, and they are more often good than not.
Size. Elves range from under 5 to over 6 feet tall and have slender builds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.
Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
Trance. Elves don’t need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day. (The Common word for such meditation is “trance.”) While meditating, you can dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Elvish.  Elvish is fluid, with subtle intonations and intricate grammar. Elven literature is rich and varied, and their songs and poems are famous among other races. Many bards learn their language so they can add Elvish ballads to their repertoires.

High Elf

As a high elf, you have a keen mind and a mastery of at least the basics of magic. In many fantasy gaming worlds, there are two kinds of high elves. One type is haughty and reclusive, believing themselves to be superior to non-elves and even other elves. The other type is more common and more friendly, and often encountered among humans and other races.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Elf Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow.
Cantrip. You know one cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.
Extra Language. You can speak, read, and write one extra language of your choice.


Halfling Traits

Your halfling character has a number of traits in common with all other halflings.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives into the middle of his or her second century.
Alignment. Most halflings are lawful good. As a rule, they are good-­‐‑hearted and kind, hate to see others in pain, and have no tolerance for oppression. They are also very orderly and traditional, leaning heavily on the support of their community and the comfort of their old ways.
Size. Halflings average about 3 feet tall and weigh about 40 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Lucky. When you roll a 1 on the d20 for an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
Brave. You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Halfling Nimbleness. You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Halfling. The Halfling language isn’t secret, but halflings are loath to share it with others. They write very little, so they don’t have a rich body of literature. Their oral tradition, however, is very strong. Almost all halflings speak Common to converse with the people in whose lands they dwell or through which they are traveling.


As a lightfoot halfling, you can easily hide from notice, even using other people as cover. You’re inclined to be affable and get along well with others. Lightfoots are more prone to wanderlust than other halflings, and often dwell alongside other races or take up a nomadic life.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Naturally Stealthy. You can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you.


Human Traits

It’s hard to make generalizations about humans, but your human character has these traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your ability scores each increase by 1.
Age. Humans reach adulthood in their late teens and live less than a century.
Alignment. Humans tend toward no particular alignment. The best and the worst are found among them.
Size. Humans vary widely in height and build, from barely 5 feet to well over 6 feet tall. Regardless of your position in that range, your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one extra language of your choice. Humans typically learn the languages of other peoples they deal with, including obscure dialects. They are fond of sprinkling their speech with words borrowed from other tongues: Orc curses, Elvish musical expressions, Dwarvish military phrases, and so on.


Dragonborn Traits

Your draconic heritage manifests in a variety of traits you share with other dragonborn.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Charisma score increases by 1.
Age. Young dragonborn grow quickly. They walk hours after hatching, attain the size and development of a 10-­‐‑year-­‐‑old human child by the age of 3, and reach adulthood by 15. They live to be around 80.
Alignment. Dragonborn tend to extremes, making a conscious choice for one side or the other in the cosmic war between good and evil. Most dragonborn are good, but those who side with evil can be terrible villains.
Size. Dragonborn are taller and heavier than humans, standing well over 6 feet tall and averaging almost 250 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

DragonDamage TypeBreath Weapon
BlackAcid5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
BlueLightning5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
BrassFire5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
BronzeLightning5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
CopperAcid5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
GoldFire15 ft. cone (Dex. save)
GreenPoison15 ft. cone (Con. save)
RedFire15 ft. cone (Dex. save)
SilverCold15 ft. cone (Con. save)
WhiteCold15 ft. cone (Con. save)

Draconic Ancestry. You have draconic ancestry. Choose one type of dragon from the Draconic Ancestry table. Your breath weapon and damage resistance are determined by the dragon type, as shown in the table.
Breath Weapon. You can use your action to exhale destructive energy. Your draconic ancestry determines the size, shape, and damage type of the exhalation. When you use your breath weapon, each creature in the area of the exhalation must make a saving throw, the type of which is determined by your draconic ancestry. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 2d6 damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases to 3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 11th level, and 5d6 at 16th level. After you use your breath weapon, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest.
Damage Resistance. You have resistance to the damage type associated with your draconic ancestry.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Draconic. Draconic is thought to be one of the oldest languages and is often used in the study of magic. The language sounds harsh to most other creatures and includes numerous hard consonants and sibilants.


Gnome Traits

Your gnome character has certain characteristics in common with all other gnomes.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
Age. Gnomes mature at the same rate humans do, and most are expected to settle down into an adult life by around age 40. They can live 350 to almost 500 years.
Alignment. Gnomes are most often good. Those who tend toward law are sages, engineers, researchers, scholars, investigators, or inventors. Those who tend toward chaos are minstrels, tricksters, wanderers, or fanciful jewelers. Gnomes are good-hearted, and even the tricksters among them are more playful than vicious.
Size. Gnomes are between 3 and 4 feet tall and average about 40 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Gnome Cunning. You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Gnomish. The Gnomish language, which uses the Dwarvish script, is renowned for its technical treatises and its catalogs of knowledge about the natural world.

Rock Gnome

As a rock gnome, you have a natural inventiveness and hardiness beyond that of other gnomes.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Artificer’s Lore. Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to magic items, alchemical objects, or technological devices, you can add twice your proficiency bonus, instead of any proficiency bonus you normally apply.
Tinker. You have proficiency with artisan’s tools (tinker’s tools). Using those tools, you can spend 1 hour and 10 gp worth of materials to construct a Tiny clockwork device (AC 5, 1 hp). The device ceases to function after 24 hours (unless you spend 1 hour repairing it to keep the device functioning), or when you use your action to dismantle it; at that time, you can reclaim the materials used to create it. You can have up to three such devices active at a time. When you create a device, choose one of the following options:
Clockwork Toy. This toy is a clockwork animal, monster, or person, such as a frog, mouse, bird, dragon, or soldier. When placed on the ground, the toy moves 5 feet across the ground on each of your turns in a random direction. It makes noises as appropriate to the creature it represents.
Fire Starter. The device produces a miniature flame, which you can use to light a candle, torch, or campfire. Using the device requires your action.
Music Box. When opened, this music box plays a single song at a moderate volume. The box stops playing when it reaches the song’s end or when it is closed.


Half-Elf Traits

Your half-elf character has some qualities in common with elves and some that are unique to half-elves.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and two other ability scores of your choice increase by 1.
Age. Half-­‐‑elves mature at the same rate humans do and reach adulthood around the age of 20. They live much longer than humans, however, often exceeding 180 years.
Alignment. Half-elves share the chaotic bent of their elven heritage. They value both personal freedom and creative expression, demonstrating neither love of leaders nor desire for followers. They chafe at rules, resent others’ demands, and sometimes prove unreliable, or at least unpredictable.
Size. Half-elves are about the same size as humans, ranging from 5 to 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. Thanks to your elf blood, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
Skill Versatility. You gain proficiency in two skills of your choice.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, Elvish, and one extra language of your choice.


Half-Orc Traits

Your half-orc character has certain traits deriving from your orc ancestry.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Half-orcs mature a little faster than humans, reaching adulthood around age 14. They age noticeably faster and rarely live longer than 75 years.
Alignment. Half-orcs inherit a tendency toward chaos from their orc parents and are not strongly inclined toward good. Half-orcs raised among orcs and willing to live out their lives among them are usually evil.
Size. Half-orcs are somewhat larger and bulkier than humans, and they range from 5 to well over 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. Thanks to your orc blood, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Menacing. You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill.
Relentless Endurance. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Savage Attacks. When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Orc. Orc is a harsh, grating language with hard consonants. It has no script of its own but is written in the Dwarvish script.


Tiefling Traits

Tieflings share certain racial traits as a result of their infernal descent.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1, and your Charisma score increases by 2.
Age. Tieflings mature at the same rate as humans but live a few years longer.
Alignment. Tieflings might not have an innate tendency toward evil, but many of them end up there. Evil or not, an independent nature inclines many tieflings toward a chaotic alignment.
Size. Tieflings are about the same size and build as humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. Thanks to your infernal heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Hellish Resistance. You have resistance to fire damage.
Infernal Legacy. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the hellish rebuke spell as a 2nd-­‐‑level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the darkness spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Infernal.


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