Making the most of the Human Trait in play

Is it just me, or is the Human Trait (from the species) unlikely to be either beneficial or detrimental for most rolls since the default difficulties are typically based upon how hard it would be for a human?

Can you give examples of situations where you have had the Human Trait come up in your games for being a benefit/detriment?

OTOH, I’m sure there are plenty of examples where the Human Trait can be used to determine if some is possible or not (a Human character is not going to be capable of natural flight under normal circumstances).

It can also modify social rolls made by anyone that would favor humans.

I suppose that is true. It could be be either a benefit or detriment for social situations with someone that feels strongly about humans, whether positively or negatively.

Along a similar line, that does make me wonder a bit why Female and Male don’t exist as Traits. Both are generally neutral and can prove to be either a benefit or a detriment in a similar way to species.

Something like that probably needs to be used with a little caution to avoid any out of character sexism intentional or otherwise.


According to the TV shows, humans appear to be the most populous species in the Alpha quadrant, so the Trait might help you to blend into a crowd.

Also, since nearly all aliens are humans with makeup, it could maybe give humans an edge when disguising themselves as aliens :man_shrugging:

How often do other species’ traits affect things? Take Bajoran, for example. The trait’s description in the book is basically “they don’t like Cardassians, and are spiritual to some degree.” Or Andorian: “they do better in cold temps, but can get tired and get infections more easily.” The other ones (from both core and supplements) are similarly very situational.

In my game, the species traits are sort of baked in to the characters themselves, and how they react to things, and generally don’t affect rolls per se (e.g. the Bajoran chief medical officer has tense interactions with the Cardassian engineer, or the Betazoid security chief likes to find quieter places on the station without so much mental “noise.”).

On Star Trek: Enterprise, they disguised themselves as aliens in multiple episodes by using makeup and prosthetics administered by Dr. Phlox (including frequent gripes about the adhesives itching and/or burning, which may have been the opinion of the actors as well as the characters). So there’s actual precedence for this.

It’s much harder for a species like Andorians or Ferengi to get away with similar efforts.

I don’t know how often the Species Traits come up in other games. From reading the book, I get the feeling that they are supposed to come up fairly often. I do think that the more exotic species, like Hologram, Liberated Borg, and Soong-type Android have many features layered into their Trait (even before considering their mandatory Talents).

There are also species like Vulcans that are very strong and have very acute senses. These could easily come up quite often.

One thing worth thinking about is how some effects - such as poisons, diseases, radiation, etc., may affect species differently - not necessarily better or worse, just differently. In this regard, a species trait can be thought of as a keyword, which has little or no mechanical effect in its own right, but which different narrative and mechanical interactions can reference.


Of course they are capable of natural flight; it’s the natural landing that’s hard…