Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted compare and contrast racial feats for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Elemental Evil Player’s Companion introduced racial feats to 5E D&D with Svirfneblin Magic, a remarkable feat for one of my personal favorite character options in D&D. Deep gnomes rock y’all and you could do a lot worse than a svirfneblin Abjuration wizard with the Svirfneblin Magic feat. Protip: Pretty awesome for a deep gnome Circle of Spores druid too. It’s a great feat and you’ll note in the video makes the list with Dave and Ted too. But they cover all the ins and outs and ups and downs of racial feats in 5E D&D. My curiosity piqued after noticing of the 17 racial feats divided up among nine races (plus one with a racial size prerequisite) only one of those races meets the criteria for just a single feat. Being human fulfills the prerequisite for Prodigy — another well regarded one in the discussion — and no more. I think we ought to remedy this and create a new 5E D&D feat just for humans. So let’s get into it.
5E D&D humans in real life
To create our new human racial feat for 5E D&D I’m going to draw inspiration from real life. In this case, my home country the United States of America. While ideas tumbled around my head for what a new feat should encompass I recalled a bit of news from years ago. A study showed US students ranked last in math skills, but No. 1 in confidence in their math skills. How about that?
In a fantasy world of elves and dwarves, dragons and vampires, humans have chutzpah. Humans know their colleagues and competitors will outlive them individually, so they build great empires and leave lasting legacies behind to achieve a different kind of longevity. The ancient races of the world remain alive to remember the mighty accomplishments of humans.
At least, humans project confidence in this scenario. Right? Everyone? Aren’t humans terrific?
The Player’s Handbook makes a convincing explanation for humans’ place in the default fantasy setting. And as the closest analog for players its not difficult to relate to the human perspective. You can find the best and the worst among them (and us) along with everything in between. If I’m honest I haven’t read the PHB probably ever before with such a keen eye for a specific kind of information. I came away with a new appreciation for the perspective of nonhuman races and it struck me sort of humorous when it describes how a single elf or dwarf might guard a location or secret knowledge. I’ve run into these scenarios in games and even I’ve thought yeah, why is there one dude here guarding this thing? Because as the PHB goes on to explain, humans establish huge organizations for the same singular purposes. Now that’s relatable!
“Individually and as a group, humans are adaptable opportunists, and they stay alert to changing political and social dynamics.”
Whether human self-confidence masks a deep fear of inadequacy or we truly feel strongly we’re the best at everything when in fact we are not, the point still stands that we’re brimming with brashness. This marks our starting point for coming up with an unequivocally human racial feat for 5E D&D. As luck would have it, we humans in the real world are so teeming with tenacity we already have the perfect term for this feat. Because even if you’re not No. 1 at something, you can…
Fake It Till You Make It
You mimic confidence, competence and an optimistic mindset, which you hope help you realize those qualities in your real life. You gain the following benefits:
- If you fail a saving throw or ability check, or miss with an attack roll, you spent a hit die to roll d4 and add it to the total, possibly changing the outcome. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
- You have advantage on Charisma (Deception) and Charisma (Performance) checks when trying to convince a creature you can totally accomplish something without a problem.
Does this human feat rank up there with the best 5E D&D racial feats? I do have a new game starting up in the near future and I was already thinking about a human character, something I rarely play. Perhaps Jeneric Uman Fitre will go all in with being human and take Fake It Till You Make It and Prodigy. A friend of mine taking their turn as Dungeon Master for the first time ever might be running The Orrery of the Wanderer from Acquisitions Incorporated and this character feels like a perfect match.