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DnD human 5e race / species guide

The DnD Human may look a bit boring, but Wizards of the Coast has made mechanical juggernauts of these plain janes – learn about the Human 5e race here

DnD human 5e in white robes on blue background (art by Wizards of the Coast)

The DnD human is an ordinary-looking fantasy species that holds a powerful secret. Sure, they look like you and me, and they’re a bit plain next to the horned, scaled, and fur-covered friends they adventure with. However, they offer an incredible amount of versatility to make up for this.

Unlike many of the more recognisable DnD races, the Human 5e is a solid species of choice for all of the DnD classes. They’re diverse in appearance, skills, and personality, so you can mould them to your DnD character builds of choice. Below you’ll find a complete guide to the DnD human, including the most up-to-date info to put on your future DnD character sheets.

Here’s all you need to know about the DnD human 5e:

DnD human 5e monk kicking mid-air (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Human names and origins

The Player’s Handbook points out that humans are a hugely diverse species, even going as far as to say “there is no typical human” in the world of D&D. Because of this, humans have no official subraces, and there’s no one type of name that applies to the entire human species.

If you’re looking for name inspiration, the Player’s Handbook does offer some suggestions. These are divided into various human ethnicities. The nine ethnicities presented are found in the Forgotten Realms, the game’s primary universe, but you could easily apply them to other DnD settings.

Here are some official D&D human name suggestions:

  • Calishite names – Aseir, Ceidil, Seipora, Mehmen
  • Chondathan names – Dorn, Grim, Rowan, Shandri
  • Damaran names – Grigor, Orel, Katernin, Tana
  • Illuskan names – Bran, Geth, Mara, Amafrey
  • Mulan names – Ehput-Ki, Arizona, Murithi, Umara
  • Rashemi names – Madislak, Faurgar, Hulmarra, Yuldra
  • Shou names – Chen, Lian, Qiao, Tai
  • Tethyrian names – Gorstag, Stedd, Jhessail, Kerri
  • Turami names – Anton, Romero, Jalana, Selise

DnD human 5e resting at campfire with party

Many of the suggested names are inspired by real-life human names from various parts of the world. Because of this, there’s plenty of room for creativity and real-world inspiration. You could even go for something that sounds fairly ordinary – a human named Derek can be a D&D hero, too.

While there are no subraces for humans, there are a few different ways to build a human D&D character. Below you’ll find the key details for each. 

DnD human 5e character Minsc and his hamster Boo (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Human 5e traits

Ability score increase +1 to each
Size Medium
Speed 30ft
Languages Common, and one of your choice

The main draw of the regular, run-of-the-mill DnD human is that they’re a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to DnD stats. +1 to an ability score isn’t game-breaking, but humans are good all-rounders that can suit any class you fancy. 

DnD humans 5e casting a magic spell on fruit (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Variant Human 5e traits

Ability score increase +1 to two different stats
Size Medium
Speed 30ft
Languages Common, and one of your choice

Variant Humans are a lot like your regular DnD humans, but they can replace the spread-out stats with a slightly smaller selection. In exchange, they start out with an extra proficiency in one of the available DnD skills, and they can choose one of the game’s 5e feats too. 

DnD human 5e fights skeleton with sword and shield (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Eberron humans

The DnD book Eberron: Rising from the Last War introduces additional versions of the human species to D&D. Each has its own distinctive ability scores and traits, as well as a selection of 5e spells they innately know. These skills are given by the human’s dragonmark, a tattoo-like etching in their skin that grants special abilities.

Mark of Finding Human

Here’s the stats for the Mark of Finding Human:

Ability score increase +2 Wisdom, +1 Constitution
Size Medium
Speed 30ft
Languages Common, Goblin
Features Darkvision, Hunter’s Intuition, Finder’s Magic, Spells of the Mark

Like many of the more fantastical DnD races, Eberron humans get 60ft of darkvision that allows them to see better in dark and dim spaces. They can innately cast the Hunter’s Mark spell once per long rest thanks to their Finder’s Magic, and this feature lets them do the same for Locate Object at level three. Mark of Finding Humans are also pretty handy at detective work; their Hunter’s Intuition adds 1d4 any time they make a Perception or Survival check.

A Mark of Finding Human knows the following spells:

Spell level Spells
1st Faerie Fire, Longstrider
2nd Locate Animals or Plants, Locate Object
3rd Clairvoyance, Speak with Plants
4th Divination, Locate Creature
5th Commune with Nature

DnD human 5e warrior points a spear at a blue tiger

Mark of Handling Human

Here’s the stats for the Mark of Handling Human:

Ability score increase +2 Wisdom, +1 any other stat
Size Medium
Speed 30ft
Languages Common, and one of your choice
Features Wild Intuition, Primal Connection, The Bigger They Are, Spells of the Mark

The butchers, farmers, and animal handlers of Eberron are often Mark of Handling Humans. Their affinity with the birds and beasts is represented by Wild Intuition, which gives these humans an extra 1d4 when they roll Animal Handling or Nature checks.

Primal Connection also lets them cast Animal Friendship and Speak with Animals for free once per long rest. Once your Mark of Handling Human reaches third level, The Bigger They Are lets them use Animal Friendship or Speak with Animals on beasts or monstrosities that have an Intelligence stat of three or lower.

Mark of Handling Humans know the following spells:

Spell level Spells
1st Animal Friendship, Speak with Animals
2nd Beast Sense, Calm Emotions
3rd Beacon of Hope, Conjure Animals
4th Aura of Life, Dominate Beast
5th Awaken

DnD human 5e smiling as he casts a glowing spell (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Mark of Making Human

Here’s the stats for the Mark of Making Human:

Ability score increase +2 Intelligence, +1 any other stat
Size Medium
Speed 30ft
Languages Common, and one of your choice
Features Artisan’s Intuition, Maker’s Gift, Spellsmith, Spells of the Mark

If it can be built, a Mark of Making Human can craft it for you. Naturally, this group of humans are proficient with tools, and you can choose one set of artisan’s tools to specialise in. Mark of Making Humans can also use magic in their craftsmanship. Artisan’s Intuition adds 1d4 to Arcana checks or ability checks involving artisan’s tools, and Spellsmith means your character can cast Mending or Magic Weapon for an hour without concentration.

A Mark of Making Human knows the following spells:

Spell level Spells
1st Identify, Tenser’s Floating Disk
2nd Continual Flame, Magic Weapon
3rd Conjure Barrage, Elemental Weapon
4th Fabricate, Stone Shape
5th Creation

DnD human 5e reading in a library

Mark of Passage Human

Here’s the stats for the Mark of Passage Human:

Ability score increase +2 Dexterity, +1 any other stat
Size Medium
Speed 35ft
Languages Common, and one of your choice
Features Courier’s Speed, Intuitive Motion, Magical Passage, Spells of the Mark

In charge of vehicles and transportation, Mark of Passage Humans are conveniently speedy for their species (thanks, Courier’s Speed). Their Intuitive Motion also adds 1d4 to Acrobatics checks and ability checks for using or maintaining a land vehicle. Magical Passage gives them an extra magical boost too, letting these humans cast Misty Step once per long rest, with Dexterity as their spell modifier.

Mark of Passage Humans know the following spells:

Spell level Spells
1st Expeditious Retreat, Jump
2nd Misty Step, Pass Without Trace
3rd Blink, Phantom Steed
4th Dimension Door, Freedom of Movement
5th Teleportation Circle

DnD human 5e party fights a blue wyrmling (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Mark of Sentinel Human

Here’s the stats for the Mark of Sentinel Human:

Ability score increase +2 Constitution, +1 Wisdom
Size Medium
Speed 30ft
Languages Common, and one of your choice
Features Sentinel’s Intuition, Guardian’s Shield, Vigilant Guardian, Spells of the Mark

Mark of Sentinel Humans tend to make their living as bodyguards, mercenaries, marshals, and fighters. They’re given to use their brains over brawn in many situations, though, and Sentinel’s Intuition gives Insight and Perception checks a 1d4 bonus to reflect this. Additionally, Guardian’s Shield gives them a bit of a magical edge, allowing Mark of Sentinel Humans to cast the Shield 5e spell once per long rest.

Vigilant Guardian lets this type of human use a reaction to swap places with a creature that’s about to be hit by an attack roll. This means the human takes the hit in their place, letting their beefy Consitutions soak up the damage. This is another one of those ‘once per long’ rest abilities, though, so use it wisely.

Mark of Sentinel Humans know the following spells:

Spell level Spells
1st Compelled Duel, Shield of Faith
2nd Warding Bond, Zone of Truth
3rd Counterspell, Protection from Energy
4th Death Ward, Guardian of Faith
5th Bigby’s Hand

DnD human 5e shouts a rallying cry as a party fights a beholder (art by Wizards of the Coast)

One DnD human

With the One DnD/DnD 6e release date set for 2024, Wizards of the Coast has gradually been releasing playtest material. While the changes made in these Unearthed Arcana documents aren’t final, they do give us a glimpse of what’s coming next for the new core DnD books. The human species has already been given a glow-up, so we’ll look at the core differences here.

Here are the new human traits in One DnD:

Type Humanoid
Size Medium or Small
Speed 30ft
Features Resourceful, Skilful, Versatile

The new special features have made one major change to this species. Skilful gives a human character a proficiency, and Versatile grants them a first-level feat. Basically, it looks like every human in D&D will now be a Variant Human.

Being a Variant Human feels a little less special now every background grants a first-level feat, but Versatile makes sure the human still gets one extra. The Resourceful feature also gives humans Inspiration every time they finish a long rest.

Wizards has had the term race removed from One DnD, instead using the term species. The playtest material also ties things like ability scores, languages, and proficiencies to a character’s background instead of their species. Humans no longer get their +1 to everything; the closest you can get seems to be building a background with three +1 score increases.

The changes seem to have been received well by the community so far. Lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford pointed out in December 2022 that humans were the highest-rated species in the playtest material, with a satisfaction score of 83%.