Playing a Human
A human? Really? You want to be a human?
I can see why you would! Humans are part of the ultimate secret society. Everything they do, every part of their culture is kept on the down-low, away from the prying eyes of the galdori overlords. As a human, you would be part of a constant struggle for not only survival, but preservation of your way of life. The human family is a strong and cohesive one; there is a special brand of trust shared between humans.
There is a large element of criminal activity among humans—which is unsurprising, if you consider what they're up against—so being a human is dangerous. The way to make your life less dangerous is to become dangerous. Every human is trained in secret, from a young age, to defend themselves; weapons and fighting are a fact of life. The resistance becomes more powerful every day, and tension between the humans and the galdori is growing.
Pros of playing a human
You live in a strong community where people help each other out. You're most likely skilled in at least one weapon, as well as concealment, lying and espionage; you can participate in the resistance and make a name for yourself as a freedom fighter, but you're also free to live a simple life with your family. Humans learn to be tough and resilient as well as versatile.
You can also live a glamorous life of crime, with enough women and spirits to last you till the end of your days...provided you're not caught!
Cons of playing a human
You're probably poor, and you've had a hard life. Under the rule of the galdori, you're oppressed and hard-done-by; many humans turn to alcoholism. You have a shorter life expectancy than a galdor (50 years on average).
Human Beginning Skills
A human begins play with no restrictions, save one: a human can never choose Magic as a Focus Skill—ever—for they are genetically completely non-magical beings.
A human can choose to be Poor, Average, and Good in any combination of Physical, Mental, and Social Aptitude Skills.
Being the most ubiquitous race in Vita, adult humans have their choice of 2 Proficient and 3 Beginner Focus Skills (Combat and Professional Focus Skills only, but if they live with or interact regularly with wicks, they can choose Tricks). Child humans begin play with 4 Beginner Focus Skills of their choice and may not begin play with a Proficient skill.
To further customize your character, depending on your character's backstory and age, you may exchange 1 Beginner Focus Skill to advance an Aptitude Skill of their choice, and, like passives, you may choose to raise a Good Aptitude Skill to Excellent level (or you may advance an Average to Good or a Poor to Average). You can, in theory, spend 2 Beginner Focus Skill slots this way, but you can only advance one Aptitude to Excellent and may not advance to Master. A child human may only raise one Aptitude Skill one tier in this way.
Getting into Character
As a human, you've already got plenty of conflict in your life. Conflict drives the story forward and gives your character motivation.
Most humans grew up in a modest surrounding - perhaps a farm, or a rice paddy, or a mill. Almost everyone around you has been the victim of some atrocity at the hands of the galdori; half your wages go to taxes, you weren't allowed to go to school, and you're probably pretty fed up with it by now.
The resistance is a huge factor in any human's life, whether they're a part of it or not. Secret teachings, also, were probably a part of your character's life - learning how to read in the dark of a basement, by candlelight, is one of the defining moments of most humans' lives. You worship the gods the galdori tell you to worship, but in secret, many humans worship the god Vita, who is the earth.
Humans in Combat
Humans are physically strong, and tend to be lean and muscular, giving them an advantage in hand-to-hand combat. While not the most agile of races, they make up for any shortcomings in pure brute strength. Humans also tend to be proficient at weapons and firearms, making them a worthy foe from any distance.
However, humans often make fatal flaws in logic and reasoning. They do not have any magic to fall back on in case their weapons break, and can be easily overcome from a distance with magic.
Get a job!
Humans are laborers - under the big thumb of the galdori, they toil away all day long for meager benefit and low pay. Many become part of a resistance network, silently protesting or actively resisting the galdori occupation. Some turn to crime - there is a high instance of criminal activity among humans. Some, however, simply accept what the gods have given them. But even for common civvies, much of human life is marked by secrecy, deceit, and underground activity.
Note that while teaching is illegal, it still goes on in secret - many humans are literate and indeed, well-read. Underground stores of books, especially fiction, are not uncommon.
Here are some sample careers; you are, of course, not limited to these choices.
- Farmer - semi-feudal in that a human would be renting from or tending directly a galdor-owned parcel of land
- Artisan - potter, glass-blower, basket-weaver, blacksmith, carpenter
- Labor - bricklayer, chimney-sweep, thatcher
- Food - hunter, butcher, fisherman, baker
- Education - teacher, bookkeeper (note: secret careers, must have a cover)
- Freedom fighter - revolutionary, spy, pamphleteer, resistance leader
- Criminal - pickpocket, dealer, smuggler, con artist, crime lord
- Merchant - spices, foodstuffs, materials, goods, etc
- Tavernkeep, shopkeep, or barkeep
Whether it's education, money, or to tear down those uppity gollies with steel and fire, everyone's got goals. Humans have few opportunities to succeed, so they have to make them for themselves! Maybe they really want to become a spy for the resistance; maybe they want to find love, or end the oppression of their people through...I don't know, song or something. Whatever it is, it's good to know what your character wants and what you should aim for in your RP.
Make a short list of your character's goals, then expand upon each of them. For example, if your character wants to woo Marcie Collins down the road, you'll first need to get a respectable job and a haircut for your character; then, the next step is to get the permission of her father. A goal moves the RP forward and gives you something to focus on.