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How to fix Halfings and Gnomes?


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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They're broken.

No one stops to think about it, but they are ludicrously broken.

Per the rules a typical male adult Halfling is between 2'10" tall and 3'4" tall and between 32-38 lbs.

That's the size of a typical pre-schooler. Most preschoolers have trouble carrying a gallon of milk, because it's too heavy for them.

You can have a Halfling with a starting strength of 16, which means a light load is up to 76 lbs or less and they can carry a heavy load of up to 230 lbs.

Even a lower starting strength of 8 allows a light load to be 26 lbs and a heavy load to be 80 lbs on a 35 lb. frame.

A gnome's a bit bigger, about the size of a first grader, with a male gnome's starting height being between 3'2" to 3'8" and weights between 37-43 lbs.

You basically have two races, which are supposed to have the same body mass density as humans of their size - unlike Dwarves - yet can have a body weight-to-load ratio rivaling ants or spiders.

Whatever reality D&D/Pathfinder game creators try to put into character creations/rules - like daytime/night time, gravity being the same as on Earth, water being H2O and in liquid form at typical atmospheric temperatures, etc. - so we can wrap our heads around the other fantastic stuff just has never translated to the strength-to-size proportion of Halflings and Gnomes.

I don't know why, but this just irks me.

Playing a character the size of a 4 year old, that could lift me off the ground like Bam-Bam and toss me around is just a bit off. They basically have superhuman strength for their size, like Bam-Bam.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Muscle density is lower for younger children than for older children, who in turn have lower muscle density than most adults.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Muscle power is determined by cross-section, not volume. As a person gets bigger, their weight increases in 3 dimensions while the cross-section of the muscles (and, thus, their strength potential) increases in only 2. The bigger you are, the weaker you are, relatively speaking. Actual humans afflicted with Gigantism are physically not very strong and suffer several adverse health conditions resulting. By contrast, humans afflicted with Dwarfism are pretty strong for their size because of both reduced torque to operate their limbs due to shorter lever length and also because of more efficient cross-section to volume ratios on their muscles. A human four year old is quite strong given their size. Imagine a four year old who's had 20 years to train their muscles and motor control but stays in the body of a 4 year old. All that talk about super-human Bam-Bams? Quite feasible. Your point is invalid.


You are also missing the fact that small creatures can only carry 3/4 of the listed amount. So the heavy load for a 16 Strength creature is only 172.5 pounds. A large amount, but not completely implausible.

Besides, this is what irks you? Not Darkvision? Not easily surviving 100' drops? Not spear fishing and wood chopping being impossible? Seems like a very specific thing to get worked up about, given how widespread rules/physics inconsistencies are.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

and a human with 20 strength can carry a heavy load (a little slower, but still comfortably for 8 hours a day of 400 pounds.)

They can also push 2000 pounds along the ground. Thats basically 2 standard sized automobiles, for you keeping score at home. Without tires to help.

This is a game where adventurers are far more badass than the norm, gnomes and halflings included.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, Halflings and Gnomes are a different race. In the real world, chimpanze muscles have a different fiber/strand layout, have some genetic differences, and are closer to the bone, resulting in great strength for their size. Maybe not the exaggerated 5x strength you hear thrown about, but still enough that even smaller chimps are as strong or stronger than humans.

Anyway, the "heroics" or "fun" angles are probably better justification.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mad Gene Vane wrote:
That's the size of a typical pre-schooler. Most preschoolers have trouble carrying a gallon of milk, because it's too heavy for them.

This is a bit of an exaggeration, I feel. My son could deadlift a gallon of milk one handed when he was 15 months old. Admittedly he is a bit of a beast. Broke my nose with a sippy cup when he was 9 months old. I was so proud!


I generally increase the size of halflings/gnomes and goblins in my homebrew settings for some of the same reasons as the OP.

Yeah magic and muscle density kinda work but ultimately I'd prefer for them to be a bit bigger for a variety of reasons.

It's not like chimpanzees or bonobos are really that small. An average male chimpanzee is 5'6" and weighs 150 lbs and the average male bonobo is 75-130 lbs.

Listed Gnome and Halfling sizes are closer to macaques in size rather than chimpanzees.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

There are IRL adult human beings who are 3-4 feet tall who can certainly can carry things within a normal weight range, and most definitely a gallon of milk.

Not to mention handle weapons, perform stunts, participate in sports, and so on.

I'd suggest taking better consideration of actual reality before accusing the game of lacking verisimilitude.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mad Gene Vane wrote:

They're broken.

No one stops to think about it, but they are ludicrously broken.

Per the rules a typical male adult Halfling is between 2'10" tall and 3'4" tall and between 32-38 lbs.

That's the size of a typical pre-schooler. Most preschoolers have trouble carrying a gallon of milk, because it's too heavy for them.

You can have a Halfling with a starting strength of 16, which means a light load is up to 76 lbs or less and they can carry a heavy load of up to 230 lbs.

Even a lower starting strength of 8 allows a light load to be 26 lbs and a heavy load to be 80 lbs on a 35 lb. frame.

A gnome's a bit bigger, about the size of a first grader, with a male gnome's starting height being between 3'2" to 3'8" and weights between 37-43 lbs.

You basically have two races, which are supposed to have the same body mass density as humans of their size - unlike Dwarves - yet can have a body weight-to-load ratio rivaling ants or spiders.

Whatever reality D&D/Pathfinder game creators try to put into character creations/rules - like daytime/night time, gravity being the same as on Earth, water being H2O and in liquid form at typical atmospheric temperatures, etc. - so we can wrap our heads around the other fantastic stuff just has never translated to the strength-to-size proportion of Halflings and Gnomes.

I don't know why, but this just irks me.

Playing a character the size of a 4 year old, that could lift me off the ground like Bam-Bam and toss me around is just a bit off. They basically have superhuman strength for their size, like Bam-Bam.

Um, carrying capacity as others have probably already pointed out is only 3/4ths that of a medium so at a 16 strength(costing 17 pointsd for a small character) it's 3/4ths of 230.Still "broken" I guess but being a small character sucks unless you are a Goblin Gunslinger (with the feat of the same name) or caster. SMALL WEAPON DAMAGE BLOWS!!! Aside from a gobbo or a halfling with that alternate trait for 30' speed, I can't seem to get past all the weakness, I mean come on, penalty to cmd so they are easy to manuever against, small weapons and low strength means they hit like a preschooler, most have a 20' move that gets even worse with medium or heavy armor. So no, I don't think a relatively huge carrying capacity, +4 stealth,+1 attack and +1 AC are broken. Nice try though.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Dwarfism in humans (real life) does not result in childlike weakness, in fact many little people can be as strong or stronger than regular sized adults if you need a real life example. This in real life is considered a "disabling condition" to a "normal human"

Translate that to halfling, which that height and mass are normal for the race? Don't see an issue.

Oh and did you see that dragons can fly?


Weables wrote:

and a human with 20 strength can carry a heavy load (a little slower, but still comfortably for 8 hours a day of 400 pounds.)

They can also push 2000 pounds along the ground. Thats basically 2 standard sized automobiles, for you keeping score at home. Without tires to help.

This is a game where adventurers are far more badass than the norm, gnomes and halflings included.

Just a small thing, but most automobiles are closer to 3000 pounds a piece (still quite easy to push on wheels) the lightest automobiles you can realistically find (like 91 Honda CRX) are around 2k. Some can dip just under it "dry" (no fuel or anything) but even in the early 90s most cars were closer to 2500-3000.

And a big or luxury car? They start approaching 4000 lbs these days.

Anyways I think your point is still valid.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I find if you catch 'em and hold em upside down you can slip a band around the 'dangly bits' and they'll wither and fall off.

Just like cows.

Oh wait... that's not the fixing you were looking for.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

When will you be posting the thread about how giants' bodies could not support their massive weight, nor could the ecosystem around them support their diets?

Or how dragons could not fly (and their flight in general in extraordinary not supernatural).

:P


1 person marked this as a favorite.

eesh, I think this OP lit a fire and ran away, haven't seen a response so he's probably sitting back revelling in the stew of nerd rage he started.


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Personally, and I could be (and hope to be) very wrong, but I feel it's the opposite. From what I've heard, everything post level 10 is pretty much large+, which means you're not only not able to trip/grapple/sunder/anything related to CMB, but you run the risk of being picked up by your head and tossed like a cabbage (Which almost happened on my very first combat round, but I dodged a bullet)

Sure, you can enlarge person or find some other means to be counted as a medium character, but those same means can usually be applied to the NPC which means that the issue is all the same.

There are strong halflings just like there are nimble paladins with the right feats

Not to mention everything is pretty much human sized. Walking into a tavern to play my flute is not only a difficulty, but a chore. I'm surprised climb checks aren't involved, and I tip my hat and coin to the man who created the halfling stairs.

And that's just to see what's on top of the table I try to play on.

Life in the short lane is rough. Sure, I can try to crawl into smaller holes to avoid potential death. But there's no benefit to it. I can (well my character can't but some can) haul 3x my own body weight, but I'm still light enough to be used in a cannon (if so enforced).

Life is rough, bein big pimpinnnnn


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

TL;DR response - not sure about halflings, but I normally fix gnomes in a light curry sauce.

-TimD

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

TimD wrote:

TL;DR response - not sure about halflings, but I normally fix gnomes in a light curry sauce.

-TimD

For Gnomes, I have to recommend Holinase

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

People!

It's all for simplicity, not reality.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
TimD wrote:

TL;DR response - not sure about halflings, but I normally fix gnomes in a light curry sauce.

-TimD

For Gnomes, I have to recommend Holinase

It's Hollandaise.

And I agree, there's no race like gnome for the Hollandaise.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Geistlinger wrote:


And I agree, there's no race like gnome for the Hollandaise.

That was a very popular hit in the goblin and kobold community a few years back.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Simple fact that children aren't finished growing and adult Gnomes and Halflings are.

Comparison of apples and oranges.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I just delved into the OP's posting history

Mad Gene Vane wrote:
If I wanted to deal with real world problems and real world people, I wouldn't be roll playing in the first place...bah...reality is overrated...

I'm seeing some disparity here! ;)


Come out and face your critics Mad Gene Vane, 'balk,balk,balk,balk,balk,balk-CHI-CKEN!'


The interesting thing is, this is not the first time I've heard the "but halflings would only be as strong as toddlers!" argument was not here... it was from a 4E designer who was talking about why they made the 4E halflings a little taller. I wonder if he brought this up because of that interview from several years ago (I think it was actually in the races preview book).

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Geistlinger wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
TimD wrote:

TL;DR response - not sure about halflings, but I normally fix gnomes in a light curry sauce.

-TimD

For Gnomes, I have to recommend Holinase

It's Hollandaise.

And I agree, there's no race like gnome for the Hollandaise.

Yeah, I knew I spelled it wrong, computers at work don't have spell check.

Cheliax

5 people marked this as a favorite.

How happy am I?
Happier than a halfing cavalier in a dungeon with really long hallways!

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Should we point out that his example of a STR 16 halfling, with their -2 in STR, would put them in the highest end of a normal halfling in Strength? So we are talking about the Mr. Universe of halflings.

Qadira

2 people marked this as a favorite.

How do you fix gnomes and halflings?

Doesn't it depend whether they're male or female?

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've always thought of strong small characters (and particularly small Barbarians) as being more or less like wolverines. The typical wolverine is between 26 and 42 inches long and weighs between 20 and 55 lbs, and yet they've been known to singlehandedly take down adult moose, the second largest land animal in North America. And that's just using their natural teeth and claws... imagine that kind of strength and ferocity channeled through a flaming greataxe or what have you, and it's a pretty terrifying picture.


how about halving carrying capacity for small creatures, rather than 3/4ing. easier math, slightly more 'realistical'

also, any time their size would come into significant advantage for a skill check (such as Escape Artist for squeezing through tight spaces), extend the +4 to Stealth to that skill too.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Do you know the original myths and legends about dwarfs?
They are small but accomplish astounding deeds of power and force.
Like smithing and mining stuff, but not only.
In PF halflings and gnomes are smaller yes, but why should they be any weaker than the -2 they already get?
I think mechanically they are just fine.

If there is something to worry about is the fact that they are described as childlike and that can get strange sometimes. Depends on your kind of roleplay. A female halfling with the charming trait, the childlike feat and high CHA...mh. Having them be 1,5m is perhaps not only about STR^^

The other side of the medallion is that some races seem to be stronger than other, like Aasimar. Getting 2 +2, but no -2, darkvision and some other handy stuff. Halflings should get low-light vision or some more racial traits i think.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Geistlinger wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
TimD wrote:

TL;DR response - not sure about halflings, but I normally fix gnomes in a light curry sauce.

-TimD

For Gnomes, I have to recommend Holinase

It's Hollandaise.

And I agree, there's no race like gnome for the Hollandaise.

I don't usually say things like this, but...

You win the Internet.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
rainzax wrote:
how about halving carrying capacity for small creatures, rather than 3/4ing. easier math, slightly more 'realistical'

My 8 Str gnome rogue can barely wear armor, carry a melee and a ranged weapon, and tote thieves' tools as it is. Lower the "light load" that lets her use her rogue abilities to 13 lbs or less, and she'd never manage. She couldn't even carry a bag of holding if she had nothing else. :P


Trinite wrote:
Geistlinger wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
TimD wrote:

TL;DR response - not sure about halflings, but I normally fix gnomes in a light curry sauce.

-TimD

For Gnomes, I have to recommend Holinase

It's Hollandaise.

And I agree, there's no race like gnome for the Hollandaise.

I don't usually say things like this, but...

You win the Internet.

b

Son of a b****, I just reread that and started giggling my head off. Missed it completely the first time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:

I find if you catch 'em and hold em upside down you can slip a band around the 'dangly bits' and they'll wither and fall off.

Just like cows.

Oh wait... that's not the fixing you were looking for.

Well you could use the method my Dad used for cats, grab 'em, shove their head in a gumboot (wellington boot) and snick 'em off. Stops the buggers breeding and killing all our native birds.


malanthropus wrote:
Trinite wrote:
Geistlinger wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
TimD wrote:

TL;DR response - not sure about halflings, but I normally fix gnomes in a light curry sauce.

-TimD

For Gnomes, I have to recommend Holinase

It's Hollandaise.

And I agree, there's no race like gnome for the Hollandaise.

I don't usually say things like this, but...

You win the Internet.

b

Son of a b****, I just reread that and started giggling my head off. Missed it completely the first time.

Omg, I only just re-read it too when i saw this post.... that is absolutely brilliant. +1 to winning the internet.


Clearly the OP is racist against the smalls. Must have been pwned one too many times by little ones. Keep talking and we will get the smurfs in on this hater.


Joana wrote:
rainzax wrote:
how about halving carrying capacity for small creatures, rather than 3/4ing. easier math, slightly more 'realistical'

My 8 Str gnome rogue can barely wear armor, carry a melee and a ranged weapon, and tote thieves' tools as it is. Lower the "light load" that lets her use her rogue abilities to 13 lbs or less, and she'd never manage. She couldn't even carry a bag of holding if she had nothing else. :P

to be fair, if this were to be implemented, without a corresponding reduction in weight of equipment for a similar size reduction, it would lead to such an inconsistency.

you could make a case to your DM that smaller hands and the locking mechanism being at eye level would give you a bonus with those little thieves picks you tote!


Come to think of it, many of the most successful bodybuilders are of short stature...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Trinite wrote:
Geistlinger wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
TimD wrote:

TL;DR response - not sure about halflings, but I normally fix gnomes in a light curry sauce.

-TimD

For Gnomes, I have to recommend Holinase

It's Hollandaise.

And I agree, there's no race like gnome for the Hollandaise.

I don't usually say things like this, but...

You win the Internet.

This became a brick joke for the Devil We Know...

Spoiler:

Mites are a recurring foe and we had a gnome in the party. At one point two of them offer to trade the 5 human slaves for the gnome. When asked why, the reply was "We want to have her for dinner." *elbow jab* "Oof! I mean over for dinner. My buddy has a great receipe for Hollandaise."

Well the Hollandaise shows up a couple of times. After the game the gnomes player asks me what the deal was with the hollandaise. At which point I delivered the punchline, above.


I too think Gnomes and hafling are a little too small as written, but its also an easy fix for any GM. Just add what size you think they should be.

Andoran

I like halflings just the size they are; the name wouldn't make any sense if they weren't around half the height of a typical human of the same gender. Come to think of it, they may be a little tall, as written... :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mad Gene Vane wrote:
They're broken.

No. No they are not.

Mad Gene Vane wrote:

No one stops to think about it, but they are ludicrously broken.

Nobody stops to think about it because it is useless to contemplate why imaginary creatures that do not exist (did I mention these are imaginary creatures) are the way they are.

Mad Gene Vane wrote:

Per the rules a typical male adult Halfling is between 2'10" tall and 3'4" tall and between 32-38 lbs. That's the size of a typical pre-schooler. Most preschoolers have trouble carrying a gallon of milk, because it's too heavy for them...

BLAH BLAH BLAH...

Okay, then please revise all Bestiaries for us to account for any Small monster with moderate or great strength, and please render every ooze and plant completely immobile, as those things don't make sense in the real world, either. When finished, report back here. I expect you to "fix" every single entry for every single race, monster, and whatever else, which violates your strict rules, and I expect you to abide by your new rules for the rest of your gaming career. And I expect free copies of your revised rules in PDF format, for free distribution here.

Mad Gene Vane wrote:

I don't know why, but this just irks me.

I can think of many reasons, but none of them are admirable. Some of them are pretty sad, really. In any case, if this is really keeping you up at night, you have my sympathy.

But then, I'm afraid I have to take that sympathy back, since you seem to see fit to inflict upon these bruised and battered forums yet another in a long, endless line of meaningless "this isn't realistic" threads.

Thanks a lot.


Hayato Ken wrote:

Do you know the original myths and legends about dwarfs?

They are small but accomplish astounding deeds of power and force.
Like smithing and mining stuff, but not only.
In PF halflings and gnomes are smaller yes, but why should they be any weaker than the -2 they already get?
I think mechanically they are just fine.

If there is something to worry about is the fact that they are described as childlike and that can get strange sometimes. Depends on your kind of roleplay. A female halfling with the charming trait, the childlike feat and high CHA...mh. Having them be 1,5m is perhaps not only about STR^^

The other side of the medallion is that some races seem to be stronger than other, like Aasimar. Getting 2 +2, but no -2, darkvision and some other handy stuff. Halflings should get low-light vision or some more racial traits i think.

If I recall, the elves, dwarves and halflings we use in gaming today draw most of their inspiration from Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings and J. R. R. Tolkien drew much of his inspiration from the old Norse mythology.

In Norse Mythology there were the ljósálfar (light elves), the svartálfar (black elves) and dökkálfar (dark elves). The Light Elves were 'fairer than the sun to look at' and lived in Álfheimr (heaven) while the Dark Elves were 'blacker than pitch' and lived underground and were quite unlike their Light Elf kin (evil). The Black Elves, however, were renowned as smiths, lived under the earth and were excellent miners as well, and the word that came to be translated as dwarf or dwarves was used interchangeable with the word for Black Elves.

To the best of our knowledge, Dwarves are part of the Elven race in the Old Norse Mythology. Much like how in the Elder Scrolls series, the Dwemer (dwarfs) are a subset of the Mer (elf) race, just as the Orismer (orcs) are.

Shadow Lodge

Maybe because musclepower increases only as the square of length whereas bodymass increases as the cube of length? So, yes Halflings can carry more like you would think, just like ants.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

"Stuff doesn't weigh as much when you only have to lift it half as high." ~Conner Hairfoot, halfling barbarian.


Two guys I know, when they were children were able to grab me behind the knees (being only 4 years old) and able to pick up me up off the ground and carry me a few feet - I weigh 150 lbs. Granted these were burly kids, both of whom have grown into burly men (both 30 years my junior).

I think the OP must be talking about abnormally weak children who cannot pickup a gallon of milk. These kids must be broken weaklings.


gamer-printer wrote:

Two guys I know, when they were children were able to grab me behind the knees (being only 4 years old) and able to pick up me up off the ground and carry me a few feet - I weigh 150 lbs. Granted these were burly kids, both of whom have grown into burly men (both 30 years my junior).

I think the OP must be talking about abnormally weak children who cannot pickup a gallon of milk. These kids must be broken weaklings.

It's dem wizard-types dumping der strengths to 7ses and den applying duh 'young template'. Strength of 3 is really hurting for dems. Onlyses able to carry 10 pounds 'fore all slowed and stuffs.

Soundses to me like I'mma be taking dere lunch moneys. Mmhmm, cheeseburgers.

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