THe Halflings

Of Shadowgate

Halflings of Shadowgate

Halflings, the small folk (known to themselves as the Hin), are a group of quiet, family and home-oriented people. They are a cheerful and outgoing but hard-working folk, who are generally found living in peaceful villages. If provoked, however, they will fight with great ferocity and skill in defense of their homes, and the general cause of good. They are more in tune with the land than humankind, and are much given to farming as well as a partial knowledge of the wilds. They tend to shun water and extreme temperatures and settle in temperate countrysides. Their weapons of choice range through small blades, hand axes, slings, and bows, and they generally prefer comfortable clothing to fanciful shows of wealth.

Halflings live about twice as long as humans, and are fond of music, tales, simple crafts and good food. They have ruddy skin, and while their men usually wear long sideburns, beards are rare among them, and moustaches are near unheard-of. Halflings tend to be somewhat resistant to poisons and magic, but have little to no arcane affinity themselves. They are usually raised to be good aligned, so it is extremely rare to find one who has an evil nature.

While generally fond of simple pleasures and a cosy life at home, occasionally are given to wanderlust and will travel from home for several years. Between an insatiable curiousity, a lack of understanding of the strange ways of some of the larger races, and their fondness for tricks played on those larger than themselves, they often find themselves in more trouble than they bargained for. For example – in a halfling village, many items of value are communal – it would not bother one halfling for his neighbour to simply show up and borrow his plough without asking. In a human city, however, this would certainly not be taken well.

Most halflings will get along reasonably well with gnomes and tolerate other races except, of course, the evil drow and the cruder or giant races such as ogres, gnolls, bugbears, orcs, kobolds, etc. Lightfoot halflings, in particular, are regularly found amongst the settlements of other non-evil races, primarily humans.

Art by SirTiefling at Deviant Art

Lightfoot halfling

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, cleric, thief, bard, sorcerer, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 21-32
Average life span: 150
Stat adjustments: +2 dexterity, -2 strength
Skill bonuses: +2 stealth, +2 athletics
Misc bonuses: +1 luck bonus to all saves
Level adjustment: 0
Commonly found: Offestry valley, the Darkwood region, northeastern Dagger coastline, Djyaristan (Tsarven empire)

These halflings most resemble elvenkind, with slender and graceful frames, and slightly pointed ears. Friendly and openminded, they can be inclined to wanderlust at times, and are the most commonly-encountered subspecies of halfling. Originally of the same appearance as their cousins, with dark hair and eyes, they have long since adopted traits from the many species they have intermingled with (primarily humans). For this reason, they tend to display as much variance in hair and eye color as humans. However, they still tend towards lighter frames and more ruddy skin tones, and have curly hair covering the tops of their feet.

Strongheart halfling

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, cleric, thief, bard, cavalier, paladin, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 21-32
Average life span: 150
Stat adjustments: +2 constitution, -2 strength
Skill bonuses: +2 stealth, +2 survival
Misc bonuses: n/a
Level adjustment: 0
Commonly found: southern ridges of Morinnen (Tsarven empire)

These halflings tend to settle more into villages and strongholds than their other kindred, and are rarely given to wanderlust the way lightfoot halflings can be. They build and fortify to last, and are also far more martially inclined creatures. They will fiercely defend both themselves and their homelands when threatened, and take great pride in their martial traditions. They are an industrious people, far more organized and orderly than their cousins. Strongheart halflings have dark, straight hair and eyes of brown or black. They tend towards lawful alignment.

Ghostwise halfling

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, cleric, thief, ranger, psion, druid, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 21-32
Average life span: 150
Stat adjustments: +2 dexterity, -2 strength
Skill bonuses: +2 stealth
Misc bonuses: n/a
Daily spells: ghost step x1, telepathic bond x1
Level adjustment: 0
Commonly found: western Selu’havessthyr (Tsarven empire), small remnants in northern Kilkaen forest

These are the rarest of the three subraces, and are far more savage and insular than their cousins, and more attuned with nature. They live within clan groups, and will rarely leave their woodland homes for any reason, abhorring the civilizations of other races. They have minor telepathic abilities, but only with their own kind, due to the extreme closeness of their kinship. Ghostwise halflings have dark, straight hair and eyes of brown or black. They tend towards chaotic alignment.

Non-playable subraces:

Furchin

These halflings live only in arctic areas, as nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes who dwell in igloos in the winter, and tents in the summer. They are the only halflings that grow beards, which to them is quite a matter of pride. They are also the shortest-lived of the halflings, at about half the lifespan of their cousins – paralleling the life of a human.

Useful MUD helpfiles: halfling, race gods, lightfoot halfling, strongheart halfling, ghostwise halfling.

Resources:
Races of Faerun (3.5e sourcebook)
Races of the Wild (3.5e sourcebook)
Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings (2e sourcebook)
Racial notes (4e)
More racial notes
Yet more racial notes

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