Humans are the most ambitious, populous, and versatile of the humanoid species in D&D. Typically, they lack the specialization, fecundity, or long lifespans of other humanoids, but their drive and determination has won them dominance over nearly every corner of most D&D worlds.
Humans are diverse and adaptable, appearing with the full range of body types, cultures, and colorations that happen in reality. They may also appear with fantastic traits, in types and with lifestyles unknown to any real society at any point in history.
Humans as Monsters
Humans appear as antagonists as often, or more so, than they appear as protagonists. As antagonists, like most humanoids, they may have character classes, and magical equipment.
The first appearance of humans as antagonists is in the OD&D White Box, under "Men." The types of antagonists include:
- Bandits, a base-line force of angry humans.
- Berserkers, who fight crazed with bloodlust, never fleeing.
- Brigands, who are braver than common bandits, and aligned with Chaos (like the savage humanoids).
- Nomads, travelers who fight while mounted with lances and bows.
- Dervishes, who function as berserkers for nomads.
- Buccaneers, who are ocean-going bandits whose forces are mostly made up of foot-soldiers.
- Pirates, who are buccaneers aligned with Chaos (like the savage humanoids).
- Cave Men, who are Neutrality-aligned, and slightly cowardly. They fight unarmored, but with more staying power, and at a higher level.