Human Species in Orion's Echo | World Anvil


Humans are a peculiar species of bipedal tetrapod sophonts from the planet Earth in the Sol system. They give their name to the term humanoid, referring to their bodyplan. True humans have few interesting anatomical features, apart from their naturally varied phenotypical expression. However, they are remarkably adaptable in every respect and have expanded their space-faring range much farther than any other sophont species, in large part thanks to their civilization's affinity for genetic self-modification.


Anatomy & Morphology

All humans are vertical bipedal tetrapods, with one set of manipulatory forelimbs at the top of the torso and a pair of hindlimbs at the bottom of the torso used for terrestrial locomotion. Humans have an internal skeleton composed of collagen and calcium phosphate. Their vascular oxygen carrier is haemoglobin, an iron-based protein that turns bright red when oxidized. Though efficient, haemoglobin is easily damaged by carbon monoxide, rendering humans one of only a handful of known sophont species susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.

True humans lack almost all traces of their ancestral tails, and their recent ancestors' opposable digits only remain functional on the upper limbs. They are almost entirely without fur, with a thin covering of hair across most of the body and a particular concentration of it on the head.

A very confusing aspect of humans is their outrageously varied phenotypical expression. Almost every external feature of humans is variable across the species in an inane number of ways, from their hair to their epidermal shade. The evolutionary radiations of humanity make this variation even more complicated, occasionally involving major changes to a fundamental physiological feature of humanity. Baseline humans are called "statics."

Perception & Sensory Capabilities


Humans rely most on their visual sense. They are incredibly visual beings, with most of their technology and culture involving crucial optical aspects. Human visual sense is facilitated by a single pair of focal binocular eyes, which are able to pick up motion, definite shape, spatial orientation, and color.


The human olfactory sense is barely more than rudimentary, facilitated by a pyramidine protrusion in the approximate center of their face. This "nose" has a pair of spiracles that lead to a chemosensory chamber connected to the respiratory system.


Humans are also quite dependent on their auditory sense, facilitated by a single pair of vaguely dish-like fleshy protrusions, one on each side of their head.


The human tactile sense is by far their strongest, though paradoxically they do not utilize it nearly as much as the visual and auditory senses. Their entire epidermis is sensitive to tactile input, though the effect is most intense in the manipulative structures at the ends of the upper limbs. Humans can usually detect the difference of a single molecular layer between two surfaces.


In rare cases, humans may have mild to moderate psionic abilities, though the biological and evolutionary origins of this phenomenon are still poorly understood. Most psionic humans have at least limited telepathy, which operates on a similar basis as hyperwave technology. However, a few have exhibited more potent abilities, including telekinesis and even teleportation.


Geographic Origin & Distribution

Having originated on the planet Earth several hundred thousand years ago, the invention of spaceflight enabled these instinctual wanderers to spread across the stars. Thus, it can safely be said that virtually every inhabited system in known space has at least five humans of some kind; likely many more.

Habitat & Survival Factors

The optimal survival range in a variety of factors for an unequipped human is quite wide to begin with, but given the technology and/or resources to build said technology, humans can eke out a living almost anywhere in the cosmos. Indeed, thanks to genetic engineering, there are now 12 major subspecies of human, each uniquely-suited to a specific kind of planetary environment.

Evolutionary Radiation

Thanks to extensive genetic engineering on top of natural evolution, many different derivative types of human have arisen alongside their baseline human ancestors. These forms are sorted into thirteen clades, which may have disparate origins but are defined by the traits they exhibit:

Civilization & Culture

Human culture across known space is even more diverse than than their phenotypical variations, ranging from the hyper-technological and warlike Asgardian civilization to the rustic and hedonistic culture of Vanas.

Major Organizations

Most human-settled worlds in known space were once part of the vast, powerful Solar Reach, but in recent centuries the influence of the Reach has faded and human space has splintered into an array of factions. Two of the most prominent human-founded civilizations in the modern day are the United Realms of Yggdrasil and the Pantheon Republic.

Major Language Groups & Dialects

Scientific Name
Homo sapiens
Average Height
1.7 m
Average Weight
64 kg (1G)
biochemical multicellular
Biochemical base
Respiration compounds
Sophont formclass
vertical bilaterally symmetric tetrapod (endoskeletal acaudal)
Sapience type
focal centric
Home system
Tech level


Gravity limit
1.5 G
Pressure range
0.5 to 2.5 atm
Air mix
15% to 60% O2
Temperature range
10 to 30 °C
Radiation limit
0.25 J/kg

Interspecies Relations

Hyperlanes Info

+1 to two stats of your choice: STR, CON, or DEX
30 feet

Physical Traits

Human Resilience
Your tough composition makes you resistant to injury. When you take damage from an environmental source, you can use your reaction to reduce it by 1d4 + CON modifier.

Cultural Traits

Choose an existing culture in the setting, or pick two culture archetypes from the Hyperlanes list to mix and consult your GM to build its lore.


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