And now for another episode of Humans are Monsters. This week it’s Halflings. Mind Weave’s Halflings are not so different from Tolkien’s. Short, rural, joyful, kind, stout. In an effort to make them unique both as setting pieces and as characters, I have made some detail additions and modifications to their anatomy and society.
Halflings are very content folk. If left alone, they are perfectly pleased to live on their farms and raise their large families. Most of the activities they engage in beyond shelter and food are purely for entertainment. They have little ambition for technology and magic and instead focus on music, enjoyment, and safety. They are good at heart, but will rarely engage against evils that do not disturb their peace. When their freedom and peace is threatened, however, they are quick to rise up and fight viciously.
They have little by way of government, their primary form of order their large families. The primary governing bodies are the elderly patriarchs of their families. They live in burrow-like holes, often gathered in clan groups with underground connections. While they live underground, they spend most of the day outdoors or in windowed upper floors.
Halflings are quick fingered and tough with +6 Dexterity and +4 Constitution. They are also welcoming and warm with +2 Charisma. They can often be foolhardy (with -2 Wisdom) and slight (with -4 Strength). All Halflings can play instruments and sing. Like Gnomes and Dwarves, Halflings have a speed of 18 rather than 24. Halflings’ eyes are wide set, giving them greater peripheral vision than most humanoid races, though not as good as Minotaurs and Lizardfolk.
Halflings are quite stealthy, often barefoot, they step quietly and carefully and get +2 to all stealth checks. They put these skills to good use, at least as children, and often have a mischievous streak.
Halflings are very mundane, instead focused on stealth and physical finesse.
Fighter-Not every Halfling has the strength to be a Fighter, but many are part of local militias, at least as soldiers. Halflings strong enough to be full fighters are highly respected and the strongest are often passed down as historical figures (see Bullroarer Took).
Thief-Halflings are very sneaky, and given their closeness and family ties, they often see little wrong with snitching a bit of food from a neighbor’s kitchen. While this can often result in conflict, they usually laugh it off. Many Halflings are capable thieves and those looking to recruit a burglar will often go to a Halfling warren to find one.
Bard-Halflings love music. Their attributes are well suited to being Bards and a large portion of any Halfling society will be musicians. Some older Halflings with a passion for lore and history may be full bards.
Rogue-Halflings love the thrill of sneaking around, but they don’t generally like getting pulled into a melee. Rogues are not common in Halfling societies. Though a highly concerned Halfling society might be able to produce a Rogue or two in order to spy on unruly neighbors, most Halfling Rogues are ambitious individuals who have left the community.
Halflings’s primary focus is on enjoyment and the protection of their traditions. They generally have little impact on surrounding areas and become involved in world affairs only when threatened.
Sneaky, nimble Halflings. They’re a great choice for a stealth or Bard character. Would you play one for these or another reason? How would you deal with a Halfling society you’ve wandered into? Would you throw one at your players? Let us know in the comments below!