Criticism: Halflings


Races & Classes

The Exchange

Form follows function. A rule in architecture, that says.. the form of a building - its appearance, its design, follows the function it was intended for.

In Biology, Darwin said it similiarly, in two ways. A creature evolves to fill a niche; he additionally said a creature will grow until it outgrows its niche.

Which brings me to halflings.
Halflings as nomadic creatures exist merely to differentiate themselves from Tolkiens hobbits. And as such its believability is laughable.

Settling down - was a survival advantage. And nothing in the write up
suggests any reason while halfings would be anything other than mobile hors d'ouvres.

Contrarily, short stature suggests living in confined spaces. Living in close proximity with another race - suggests either the ability to escape notice, or the ability to be charismatic and affable neighbors.

Halflings are not notably fast. They have no racial abilities with mounts or nature skills such as nomadic peoples usually have.

On the other hand canon suggest they do love elaborate meals - something again that points to established food sources.

Halflings as farmers, as almost ne'eer seen helpers a la brownies - or thieves.. these are believable back stories for halflings.

Nomads is just brain dead. According to your design documents your challenge is 'to fix it'. Have at it!


Interesting point.


Maybe one day, fantasy gaming will finally be able to say, "Thank, you" to Tolkien without always trying to remodel pieces of his work. Tolkien gave us, along with Lewis, and the worlds of myth and folklore, all the building blocks that the fantasy genre builds with.

The desire to provide non copyright infringing Hobbits has annoyed me all throughout 3rd edition throughout OGL products. The problem ties very heavily into the "gnome-conundrum," as I like to call it: you have two short races, each of which is supposed to take the place of the Hobbit, but neither does so, and they tend to compete for places in the world.

Gnomes are the smaller, more magical, and friendlier/sneakier Dwarves.

Halflings are the smaller, less magical, and less aloof/sneakier Elves.

Neither of these groups ever has a culture or place in a setting that isn't dependent upon or just plain secondary to those of the, "staple three:" Elves, Dwarves, and Humans.

Halflings:(Non Hobbit race 'A')
Races of the Wild, Eberron, and Pathfinder all make Halflings into some sort of stereotypical gypsies or nomads: just a racist trope about small shiftless grifters and sneaks. But the sad thing is that there isn't much else you can do with them! Gnomes are the real Hobbits of DnD, so what are the Halflings supposed to be?

Gnomes:(Non Hobbit race 'B')
In 3.0, they were just as sneaky as Halflings (but with illusion magic! instead of "cut-pursing"). In 3.5 they're just whimsical, magical dwarves, and worst of all, in Eberron they are made into a racist Jewish stereotype: fastidious, sneaky, big-nosed, book-keeping money-lenders.
(I won't complain more about gnomes. I've never been a fan of their gaming flavor, which has pretty made me gaming-racist against them. At least Elves and Dwarves have homes in enough fantasy expectation to let you know what you're probably dealing with, but gnomes....I just can't stand them.)

I wish designers would seriously redesign or do something useful with these races or just be ballsy enough to leave them out or replace them.

Heck, if you just combined the scraps of cultures for the races you could make one good race...almost. It would still be just a hodge-podge qualities to make them "Hobbits-But-Not-Hobbits." All the Hobbit characteristics together at last, combined with the rogue-like and magical sneakiness, all the badger-like qualities...for lack of a better description, and all the fey-like features.

= (Non Hobbit race 'C'):
small sized but with all the general range of human body shapes (to account for gnome and halfling shapes)
point ears
Live in burrow-homes
Good at fighting creatures larger than they are
Sedentary agrarian culture adapts to make up for physical short-comings:
-use magic to fool or control larger and more dangerous creatures
-inventive: makes simple tools and gadgets(as per usual gnomes)
-taken to shepherding (RotW-Halflings/Eberron halflings with dinosaurs)
Favored classes:(assuming you stick with this little convention)
Rogue and Artificer(to account for magic and machinery but if can't OGL something similar to publish, then Wizard...with some sort of affinity for crafting feats or something.)

Between the two races you have enough qualities to justify the survival of a physically inferior race in a very dangerous magical environment.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
cp wrote:

Which brings me to halflings.

Halflings as nomadic creatures exist merely to differentiate themselves from Tolkiens hobbits. And as such its believability is laughable.

Curious to know where in the PRPG you get the impression of Halflings as Nomads?

Pathfinder RPG Alpha 2, Pages6-7 wrote:

Halflings

Living alongside many other civilized races, half lings are an accepted part of most societies. Although their role varies greatly from citizen to slave, it’s their spirit and sense of community that sets them apart. Half lings care a great deal about their families and other close relations,
making them great friends as well as bitter enemies to those who have wronged them. While some half lings prefer to settle in one location, usually with others of their kind and extended families,
others feel a greater sense of wanderlust and move from place to place as their moods and the situations dictate. Halflings have a relatively optimistic out look, being able to find the bright side of nearly any situation. This, combined with their uncanny luck, makes them relatively fearless, willing to risk their lives for the chance of adventure.

I read some adventurous leanings but not that they are a nomadic people.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

your post does have merit, I am going to try to comment based on what the developers have told us about halfling in the world they are creating. This is extrapolating many posts on these boards into my head, so isn't official, and may be a bit jumbled.

cp wrote:
In Biology, Darwin said it similiarly, in two ways. A creature evolves to fill a niche; he additionally said a creature will grow until it outgrows its niche.

But what happens if that niche disappears? the existing creatures must either die, or adapt and find a new niche, correct?

cp wrote:


Settling down - was a survival advantage. And nothing in the write up
suggests any reason while halfings would be anything other than mobile hors d'ouvres.

Contrarily, short stature suggests living in confined spaces. Living in close proximity with another race - suggests either the ability to escape notice, or the ability to be charismatic and affable neighbors.

Halflings are not notably fast. They have no racial abilities with mounts or nature skills such as nomadic peoples usually have.

in Tolkien's world this was true, in Glorian it wasn't. if you read some of the earlier chat summaries in the #pathfinder thread, and some of the threads about Riddleport, halflings HAD settled down, and than the other races of the world found that many of their qualities made them good slaves. when Gnoll slavers started coming more frequently to the hommlets of the halflings, they took to their current nomadic state to avoid the harm and imprisonment at the hands of slavers and slave-owners. those who didn't ended up in a gnoll cave, and/or Chelaxian Nobel's house.

Because, as you say, they are not noticeably fast, they could not wait for the slavers of another race to be seen before running. Their ideal 'settled down' lives were taken away from them. Their niche destroyed and recreated as 'slave'. naturally they didn't like this so those fittest went and started creating a new Niche for themselves in this world of theirs. I believe they are still looking for the perfect niche, but have found solace in shipping goods on river ships, among other things that a small body is best at, and thus they can undercut opposition. Unfortunately, many of these jobs involve moving or searching for goods, or sneaking on/in to a coach headed to a faraway city, and thus they became nomads be the necessity of their professions.

cp wrote:


On the other hand canon suggest they do love elaborate meals - something again that points to established food sources.

and celebrities who are currently bankrupt still throw big parties, and we still look for bigger houses that we know we can't afford the heating for. It is part of life to 'go back to the glory days'

The Exchange

As a response to the original poster I point you to the Kalahari bushmen of Africa and the Pygmy tribes of South America.

Both are considerably small in stature when compared to other cultures. Both lead Nomadic lifestyles.

The Pygmy's set up villages in jungle clearings but move these periodically when the food runs out. They actually have a number of regular sites they visit over the course of a few years leaving their old sites fallow to allow soil nutrient levels to replenish and allow animal numbers to increase again. Not completely nomadic in a gypsy kind of way, but nomadic none the less.

Although the Pygmys live in dense jungle the Kalahari bushmen do not, they roam across the svelt as well as through jungle. We also know both the Mayans and Aztecs, both jungle dwelling cultures, were known to be as tall or taller than European cultures. So the idea of being small means you had to have evolved in compact living areas may not be necessarily true.

Both of these cultures exist today on continents that contain notoriousy dangerous predators and they do so quite succesfully without becoming just snacks. I guess it comes down to how good they are at their bushcraft.

I enjoyed the original post btw, it's good to see some biological rationilzation move its way into development. I try hard to stick with some form of ecological sustainability when I design my games too.

Cheers

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

I'm very interested to hear your reaction to the "take" on halflings presented in the Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer. They are less like nomads and more like city raccoons living alongside humans, which would seem to fit your challenge.


Erik Mona wrote:

I'm very interested to hear your reaction to the "take" on halflings presented in the Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer. They are less like nomads and more like city raccoons living alongside humans, which would seem to fit your challenge.

I'll give credit where credit is due. In close to 30 years playing D&D, I've never once been tempted to play a halfling or gnome. I'd hazard a guess that this pattern will remain unchanged. But. Of all the various interpretations of these 2 races, I think the PF treatment intrigues me the most. I like the fey, otherworldly qualities of the gnomes. And the "city raccoons living alongside humans" idea works great for the halflings. Anything to remove the idea of them as shire-dwelling hobbits (which I liked in Tolkien just fine, but seems impractical in D&D).

The Exchange

Not having looked at this book yet, are halflings more of a tragic displaced people living on the fringes of society or the opportunistic scavenger types (as the racoon analogy would suggest)?

My personal preference would be the displaced peoples as I think the opportunist puts them too close to the way some of the goblins were portayed in RotRL (without the evil eating of human flesh though).

Personally I liked the way halflings were set out in Eberron (nomadic dinosaur herders) or Darksun (canabilistic). I felt both were fresh takes on the old halfling concept. It's also why I like the idea of a displaced people. It adds a more tragic feel to an otherwise comically portrayed race, and I'm all for fresh takes on how races work.

I haven't actually read that much on pathfinder halflings though so probably not in the best position to make a statement.

Cheers

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

I'm very interested to hear your reaction to the "take" on halflings presented in the Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer. They are less like nomads and more like city raccoons living alongside humans, which would seem to fit your challenge.

see - with the shipping mixup I havn't actually read the gazeteer yet, as it hasn't reached me

Sovereign Court

I haven't ever played a halfling or gnome but some of the commentary here needs a response. First, by pulling Darwin into it, one point that must be made is that our ancestor species (australopithecines and early hominids) were smaller than we currently are and lived out on the open plains and not only survived but flourished. Why? Among other reasons: brain power. Our ancestors didn't have sharp teeth or claws so they invented tools to do the job of these natural weapons and learned how to find various food sources. Halfling tool use and gnome magic would represent this in a D&D context. Another important factor: teamwork. Yes an individual halfling, or gnome, or even human for that matter, can't defeat an adult lion or other beast, but by working together in a large group they can take down or stay out of the way of much more powerful foes.

The second point is that the comment about Eberron gnomes being a racial stereotype of Jews is similar to a comment made about another fictitious race: the Ferengi on Star Trek: TNG and DS9. The comment was totally wrong about the Ferengi and it is totally wrong about the gnomes. Neither is anti-Semitic or intended as an insult to Jews.


Erik Mona wrote:
They are less like nomads and more like city raccoons living alongside humans,

I'm sure there's a halfling chimney sweep joke in there somewhere, which is great because it was one of the first things I thought of, reading the Gazetteer.

Stuff the little buggers up a chimney! ;)

Peace,

tfad

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Wrath wrote:

Not having looked at this book yet, are halflings more of a tragic displaced people living on the fringes of society or the opportunistic scavenger types (as the racoon analogy would suggest)?

My personal preference would be the displaced peoples as I think the opportunist puts them too close to the way some of the goblins were portayed in RotRL (without the evil eating of human flesh though).

I tried to keep the "hominess" elements from Tolkien and the "halflfings are good cooks" element from ganeral gaming lore while at the same time mixing in an opportunism that helps to explain Bilbo and Frodo up and leaving the comfy shire in search of adventure. Plus, I always suspected halflings made more sense within the context of humans, so I added in an element of that to keep things interesting.

Did it work? You tell me.

Here's the unedited text from the Gaz.

Halflings
With their short statures and tendency to blend into the background, most folk of Golarion don’t pay much attention to halflings. Their origins date back to the beginning of humanity. From the very start, they seem always to have walked alongside mankind, living in human cities, adapting human customs, seeing to the common needs of humans as cooks, entertainers, and menials. It’s easy to take them for granted.

But even if the world doesn’t pay much attention to halflings, halflings are always paying attention to the world. Halflings are inveterate opportunists. Unable to physically defend themselves from the rigors of Golarion, they know when to bend with the wind and when to hide away. And yet a halfling’s curiosity often overwhelms its good sense, leading to chronic bad decisions and narrow escapes. The other races of Golarion consider halflings lucky since they so often escape by the skin of their necks, but the fact is that the halflings themselves are to blame for putting themselves in such dangerous situations. It’s not that the halflings don’t know any better—it’s that they simply can’t help themselves.

Halflings claim no cultural homeland and control no settlements larger than rural assemblies of free towns. Far more often, they dwell at the knees of their human cousins in human cities, eking out livings as they can from the scraps of larger societies. In most places, this casts them as underlings and menials. In the diabolical Empire of Cheliax, it casts them as slaves. Here, halflings are known as “slips,” half-men worthy of scorn and contempt. Slips, in the lingo of the trade, are less effective workers than humans but last longer, maintaining an unparalleled optimism and willingness to endure. They rarely revolt, seldom struggle overmuch, and get along with the master’s children. Only their physical weakness keeps their cost reasonable.

Despite their curiosity-driven wanderlust halflings possess a strong sense of house and home. A halfling takes great pride in his domicile, often spending above his means to add to the common comforts of home life. This domestic sensibility makes them ideal servants, butlers, and cooks, and halflings themselves see no shame in such tasks, with even indentured or enslaved halflings taking pride in their work.

But even the most dutiful servant tires of his work eventually and longs for the wider world. Halflings constantly measure get-rich-quick schemes and opportunities for adventure and crime against the safety and protection of their current situation, but when the right chance comes along, they snatch it with a moment’s notice. The suddenness with which a halfling decides to abandon one life for another often takes other races by surprise, but the halfling is always looking, always calculating. He leaves only when the moment is right, but he almost never lets that moment pass him by.

Halflings stand just shorter than gnomes and make up with bravery and optimism what they lack in stature and strength. The bottoms of their feet are naturally covered in tough calluses and the tops often sport a tuft of warming hair. Many prefer to wander the world bare-footed. Most have almond skin and brown hair, tending toward black as one approaches the Inner Sea. Emotionally, halflings embrace nonexclusive extremes. They’re easygoing but excitable, prone to laziness but frenetic when roused. Ironically, their greatest strength is their perceived weakness—if halflings can count on one advantage it’s that they’re continually underestimated.

--Erik

The Exchange

I liked it Eric,

Not exactly what I was thinking but it makes sense from a scocial point of view. The idea of them going "unnoticed" in scociety as mere menials helps for the thief/spy in them. It's much easier to "acquire" an item when no one pays any attention to you.

I really liked the almost desperate outlook they have to improve their lot by any means. Reminds me a bit of a poor working class trying to get rich quick with lottereis or pyramid selling schemes.

I can see why some go adventuring now. The background can also provide a real burning resentment to the taller folk for the way they're treated as well as leaving it open for desperate pride or foolhardy bravado.

It also gives me some great ideas of how I'm going to have many of my NPC's intereact with the halfling wizard in the group I DM for now. He feels his super intelligence earns him some respect so it will be interesting to see what happens when he turns up in a town where people keep asking him to carry their bags or go fetch the horses.

Nice Work


Wrath wrote:
I liked it Eric,

Oooh, someone's getting ripped apart now! }>

I once called him Eric instead of Erik, and he nearly tore my head off. (well, he actually just politely pointed out that he was written with a k instead of a c, but the principle's the same ;-P)

Anyway, Pathfinder is one of my two favourite Settings when it comes to portraying the classical races. The other one's Midnight, and halflings there are poor, wretched playthings for the Shadow and his minions, slaves that are getting abused because it's fun. They are divided into settled and nomatic halflings (and the nomadic ones are those who are generally more able to escape Izrador's myrmidons. They have a race of extraordinary canines that have bonded with them.

Pathfinder halflings are really lucky compared to that.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

[moved to Races & Classes forum, and made subject line more useful.]


This makes sense to me - when I think of halflings as survivors, I think of rats.

Who knows? maybe they are related to Goblins way back - both survive by being subserviant to the 'larger races'. So through the millenia, the Halflings have attached themselves to whatever group happened to be in power locally, and its one of the reason why the Halflings have evolved into so many different sub-groups.

In my games I use all three 3e sub-races, all three 2e sub-races, kender, Warrows, and two differnt groups of 'barbarians (Eberronian and Athasian).

And thats not all...

The Halflings themselves are part of a much larger 'long lost' group - the 'Wee Folk' (the real name is lost in time) - A group which also includes the Gnomes, and the brownie group (which includes Leprecauns, Quicklings, Pechs, etc...)

Kender are what occured when the Halflings served the Elves, Gnomes when they served the Dwarves... they are not only the ultimate survivors, but they are also the ultimate adaptors.

So in gritty, dirty, human cities based on commerce - moving goods and 'coin' around - the Halflings have once again adapted to their niche, and this fits with the 'racoon' premise Pathfinder puts forth. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those chimenys that they are cleaning have secret stashes, or if they have an entire network of secret passages that allow them to move through human homes unnoticed.

So when you think of the tiny Halfings, and pity them their small stature and lack of 'strengths', remember the rats...

They'll be around LONG after we are gone. ;)

The Exchange

Wrath wrote:
I liked it Eric,

Oooh, someone's getting ripped apart now! }>

Dammit, who switched my K and C keys around?!!


MarkusTay wrote:

This makes sense to me - when I think of halflings as survivors, I think of rats.

Who knows? maybe they are related to Goblins way back - both survive by being subserviant to the 'larger races'. So through the millenia, the Halflings have attached themselves to whatever group happened to be in power locally, and its one of the reason why the Halflings have evolved into so many different sub-groups.

In my games I use all three 3e sub-races, all three 2e sub-races, kender, Warrows, and two differnt groups of 'barbarians (Eberronian and Athasian).

And thats not all...

The Halflings themselves are part of a much larger 'long lost' group - the 'Wee Folk' (the real name is lost in time) - A group which also includes the Gnomes, and the brownie group (which includes Leprecauns, Quicklings, Pechs, etc...)

Kender are what occured when the Halflings served the Elves, Gnomes when they served the Dwarves... they are not only the ultimate survivors, but they are also the ultimate adaptors.

So in gritty, dirty, human cities based on commerce - moving goods and 'coin' around - the Halflings have once again adapted to their niche, and this fits with the 'racoon' premise Pathfinder puts forth. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those chimenys that they are cleaning have secret stashes, or if they have an entire network of secret passages that allow them to move through human homes unnoticed.

So when you think of the tiny Halfings, and pity them their small stature and lack of 'strengths', remember the rats...

They'll be around LONG after we are gone. ;)

Its funny really, I've never thought of halflings as either Rat's or badly designed races in RPG's. I agree the Tolkien(aka Token) is a throwback to the Lord of the Rings etc but I've had several good halfling characters in both my Campaigns and my own characters. Rather they are normally designed either well integrated members of communities( very Hobbiton style) living right next to human settlements or as travelling traders or very often brave humanoid fighters, clever and resourcefull.

With there slowness and low damage they havn't been a favourite of mine but pretty good regardless.


James Griffin 877 wrote:
Gnomes:(Non Hobbit race 'B')

Gnomes exist in folklore. Hobbits don't, and as such neither do halflings (D&D's legally non-hobbit hobbits). I don't really care for where D&D has taken gnomes, but the same can be said for a great many creatures out of myths and fairy tales.


cp wrote:
In Biology, Darwin said it similiarly, in two ways. A creature evolves to fill a niche; he additionally said a creature will grow until it outgrows its niche.

Yes, but Darwin had it backwards. Essentially, the creature doesn't evolve to fill a niche. A niche occurs and those creatures that happen to fit it survive. The rest are shut out. So it is quite easy to reason that halflings evolved (or in the case of most fantasy games, were given their role by the gods to) as a sedentary race, but were forced to uproot due to some natural disaster/war/displacing force. The reason that they don't have any adaptive changes is due to the fact that they simply haven't had the time to develop them.

That being said, I agree that making them nomadic without providing them specific racial abilities to thrive in that role does seem skewed. It wouldn't be hard to change, however, with a few adjustments to their racial bonuses. Myself, I prefer the Tolkienesque halflings, or the ones that live symbiotically with other, larger races.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Erik, I love your take on halflings. It might just be the only race I play henceforth. I love the hobbity feet, the social struggle. It's all great.

Chad


I'm just curious why if we have gnomes (small tricksy dwarves), halflings (small tricksy elves), why is it that we don't have goblins (small tricksy orcs) as player characters. People talk about their small size and how they are not a nation of warriors. I can accept that they aren't warriors by inclination but they can still have 16 strength as a starting strength. Thye alos have a +1 to AC, +1 to hit vs medium sized targets and bonuses to dexterity making them phenomenal missile troops. They have the same hp's as any other class. The only area that they fall down on is CMB checks due to their small size but there is nothing stopping them from taking agile manouvers.


poodle wrote:
I'm just curious why if we have gnomes (small tricksy dwarves), halflings (small tricksy elves), why is it that we don't have goblins (small tricksy orcs) as player characters.

The data necessary to play them is available, but I presume they're not presented as a core character option for pretty much the same reason drow aren't (because if the designers had wanted to, they could easily have made those a LA +0 race): it's quite hard to come up with a plausible justification how or why one would end up in a party of characters of other races (presumably mostly common ones) and get to stay there. It's possible, but by no means common enough to warrant a core spot.


Sorry I didn't make myself clear. I was talking about halflings as a race of warriors. As for goblins, I love but I can understand why we don't have 'em but your reasons for not having goblins don't really explain why we have half-orcs as player characters?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
poodle wrote:
Sorry I didn't make myself clear. I was talking about halflings as a race of warriors. As for goblins, I love but I can understand why we don't have 'em but your reasons for not having goblins don't really explain why we have half-orcs as player characters?

I'm not sure a viable core PC race should be almost universally insane, given to eating human children, and with a penchant for lighting themselves on fire in combat situations.

It's a lot easier for me to see an angst-ridden, tormented half-orc joining and adventuring party than Stripe from _Gremlins_.


cp wrote:

Form follows function. A rule in architecture, that says.. the form of a building - its appearance, its design, follows the function it was intended for.

In Biology, Darwin said it similiarly, in two ways. A creature evolves to fill a niche; he additionally said a creature will grow until it outgrows its niche.

Which brings me to halflings.
Halflings as nomadic creatures exist merely to differentiate themselves from Tolkiens hobbits. And as such its believability is laughable.

As oppose to things like dragons being able to fly, large creatures in the underdark or magic?? Compared to the rest of the game halflings are the least of the issues ^_^

cp wrote:


Settling down - was a survival advantage. And nothing in the write up
suggests any reason while halfings would be anything other than mobile hors d'ouvres.

Not always, it all depends on the situation. Where natural resources are scares 'desert, outback, arctic, etc) we see nomadic cultures in our own world. There can also be cultural reasons like persecution, lack of strength/power to hold lands or where there isn't enough business to support them like the old tin smiths.

cp wrote:


Contrarily, short stature suggests living in confined spaces. Living in close proximity with another race - suggests either the ability to escape notice, or the ability to be charismatic and affable neighbors.

Not at all, it just suggests there was some advantage that favored survival for short stature. Foe example large animals on islands have been seen to shrink over successive generations.

Living in close proximity with another race implies that there is some advantage from doing so, like rats and humans or trade/services. Neither the ability to escape notice or charisma is implied or required.

cp wrote:


Halflings are not notably fast. They have no racial abilities with mounts or nature skills such as nomadic peoples usually have.

On the other hand canon suggest they do love elaborate meals - something again that points to established food sources.

All true but as has been stated elsewhere in pathfinder Halflings are not said to be nomadic so it would make no sense to have them. There is nothing to fix.

cp wrote:


Halflings as farmers, as almost ne'eer seen helpers a la brownies - or thieves.. these are believable back stories for halflings.

Nomads is just brain dead. According to your design documents your challenge is 'to fix it'. Have at it!

The idea of halflings as nomads is not as you so eloquently put it 'brain dead'. True it does not match the racial abilities as it stands but then again that description is not for nomadic halflings.

There are actually a number of good reasons to make them nomadic in particular the small stature and lack of strength. Though as you point ou this would require a change in the racial abilities.


IconoclasticScream wrote:


I'm not sure a viable core PC race should be almost universally insane, given to eating human children, and with a penchant for lighting themselves on fire in combat situations.

It's a lot easier for me to see an angst-ridden, tormented half-orc joining and adventuring party than Stripe from _Gremlins_.

Angst-ridden tormented half-orcs!!! Most of the half-orcs I have encountered are anything but angst-ridden. Please explain to me how a half-orc barbarian is described as anything but insane? I think sociopathic tendencies exaccerbated by poor impulse control is a mild description.

Anyway, I agree with you generally goblins would be no good as a core race. I think it is slightly hypocritical that half-orcs are.

As for some of the arguments about why halflings are not nomads.
Come on...
1. Kalahari bushmen are not small because of cramped conditions, they are small because of available resources and small wiry people do better in those conditions.
2. Who says all halflings are nomads? Not all humans are nomads either.
3. Halflings not having the skills to be nomads!!!!!! Good at hiding, sneaking (for getting prey), climbing (bird's eggs and setting up traps) need less resources... they sound just about perfect to me.
4. If you are encountering new people all the time then increased charisma would be very useful.

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