Heroes of the New Day
Humans are, in a word, AWESOME. They have risen up through the years to become the dominant humanoid race on the planet (rough estimates put humans at around 40-45% of the total humanoid population, with the nearest contenders being halflings at around 15% and half-elves at around 10%). In fact, when you speak of bipedal intelligent creatures, do you call them DWARFoids or ELFoids? No. You call them HUMANoids. Humans even rule the lexicon, because they believe that everyone wants to be like them.
A big reason for this dominance is the fact that humans can breed with just about anything. Okay, so that’s a little stretch (to the relief of many sheep), but still… half-elves and half-orcs aren’t anything to spit at (unless you’re someone who spits at half-breeds, that is). There are even rumors of half-human/half-dwarves out there. And that says nothing of how easy they are to raise as undead…
In general, humans are also possessed of an attitude that says that the world belongs to them. It’s total White Privilege, but as applied to the entire species. The great human kingdom of Nerath fell to the undead, and in response more human settlements popped up everywhere else on the continent. You just can’t keep these guys down. Their ambition also knows no bounds, so while an elf might worry that a dying forest spirit will no longer be able to protect a sacred grove, the human’s response might be “So there’s a free sacred grove for the taking?”
A prevailing human attitude is that you should be prepared to kill any non-human, just in case. You never know when these humanOIDs will forget the human part and start OIDing on you… or something. Basically it’s the fear of the dominant race that another race might try to oust them. It’s based on pretty much nothing… no other race of humanoids has the numbers or the strength to even come close to wiping out humanity (not in this world, anyway), but fear is seldom based on reality.
In game terms, I like the Essentials version of the human better than the Player’s Handbook version, simply because the +4 to an attack or save because you’re an awesome human is much better than the complicated “take an extra power, but choose which one you’ll use each day, so you really don’t actually get any extra power” ability of PHB humans.
Stuff My Racist Relatives Say
“You know what the best thing about half-elves and half-orcs is? The human half.”
[in a high voice] “Oh, look at me, I’m a flitty little elf prancing through the forest. Please don’t step on that delicate twig I’m sworn to protect”
[in a Lennie-from-Of-Mice-And-Men voice] “Duh… I’m a dwarf and I like rocks, but I hate elves, cause they’re not very rock-like.”
“You know how to tell the difference between male and female dwarves? The girls put a ribbon in their beards.”
“Dragon-born, eh? Seems to me like you can’t spell that without ‘dragon’. Excuse me if I happen to keep my dragon-slaying spear handy.”