Halflings & Gnomes: More Pathfinder 2nd Edition Races; Plus Ability Boosts & Flaws Explained
  • Halflings & Gnomes: More Pathfinder 2nd Edition Races; Plus Ability Boosts & Flaws Explained


    We've seen goblins, elves and dwarves; now it's time to take a peek at Pathfinder 2nd Edition's small folk - the halflings and gnomes! All to be added, of course, to the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Compiled Info Page!





    • Halflings --
      • 8 racial hit points
      • Size small; speed 20 feet
      • Dexterity and Charisma boost, plus one flexible boost; Strength flaw
      • Ancestry feats --
        • Distracting Shadows (sneak using large creatures as cover)
        • Plucky (overcome fear)
        • Titan Slinger (damage bonus with slings vs. large creatures); also the sling does more damage than in PF1
        • Lucky Halfling (reroll one skill check or save you critically fail per day)

    • Gnomes --
      • 8 racial hit points
      • Con and Cha boosts, plus one flexible boost; Str flaw
      • Low light vision
      • Ancestry feats --
        • Fey Fellowship (more charismatic when dealing with fey)
        • First World Magic (bonus cantrip with various options)
        • Discerning Smell (find invisible creatures)
        • Animal Speaker (talk to animals)

    • What do ability boosts and flaws do? "We've mentioned ability boosts and flaws a few times now, so let's go into more detail about how those work! At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10."

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    Comments 49 Comments
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
      I donít think we need big heads necessarily, we just need something to make them visually distinctive. Proportions are an easy way to do that, whether it be heads, feet, limb length, torso width, whatever. Or it doesnít have to be proportions, but it should be some physical attribute.
      It lloks like they are differentiating Gnomes with those funny Gnome hats, so they could use something else.

      In Dragonlance they used to use Top-knots and Hoopaks for the Kender.
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      Now as for the bonus stats, i am not sure about giving Goblins, Gnomes and Halflings all bonuses to Cha.

      My preference would be Gnomes +Int, Halflings +Wis and Goblins +Con.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shasarak View Post
      It lloks like they are differentiating Gnomes with those funny Gnome hats, so they could use something else.

      In Dragonlance they used to use Top-knots and Hoopaks for the Kender.
      Eh, Iím not a fan of fashion being the visual identifier, because characters can always change clothes or do their hair differently. Golarion gnomesí long eyebrows work. 4e gnomesí gold skin, colorful, pupil-less, scalers-less eyes, and distinctive hairlines worked. Weird hats and topknots not so much.

      Quote Originally Posted by Shasarak View Post
      Now as for the bonus stats, i am not sure about giving Goblins, Gnomes and Halflings all bonuses to Cha.


      My preference would be Gnomes +Int, Halflings +Wis and Goblins +Con.
      Yeah, I think everyone finds that weird. Iíd go gnomes + Int, Halflings + Cha, and goblins +Wis.
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
      Eh, Iím not a fan of fashion being the visual identifier, because characters can always change clothes or do their hair differently. Golarion gnomesí long eyebrows work. 4e gnomesí gold skin, colorful, pupil-less, scalers-less eyes, and distinctive hairlines worked. Weird hats and topknots not so much.
      Kender are pretty iconic just from their looks:

      Name: tas.jpg ► Views: 1944 ► Size: 40.9 KB

      Not just from comparing them to humans

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    1. mach1.9pants's Avatar
      mach1.9pants -
      I like the way PF2 is dying hit points. I'm not a fan of all the small creatures being +CHA. Gnomes plus INT please! But once again lots of teasing,not enough to really get an idea. It does seem, however, to get all the racial traits of PF1 in PF2 will require a lot of ancestry feats. But could be wrong
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Looks like a Advantage/Disadvantage style mechanic is in as "Fortune"/"Misfortune," and the default PC generation is a sort of Life path system.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Sure, but what distinguishes that guy from an elf?
    1. Sunseeker's Avatar
      Sunseeker -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
      Interesting. I felt that 4e halflings and gnomes had very distinct visual identities - you could always tell one from a human or an elf at a glance, with or without a size reference. Though I suppose it could be a little trickier to tell with Halflings, and in both cases proportions were not the indicator. So Iíll revise my statement: Halflings and Gnomes need to be easily discernible from humans and elves with or without a size reference. Proportions are one way to achieve this, but not the only way.
      Aside from the bit of square forehead, I was mostly referring to them being build like normal humans, just smaller. As opposed to the 5E halflings which seem to have a physical build closer to that of a person with dwarfism.
      Examples:


      Gnomes aren't really that bad. 4E definitely had a more "natural human" design to them, but Gnomes are proportionate, if short in 5E, they don't suffer from overly-large heads or shrimpy limbs.

      Thatís understandable. Personally this doesnít bug me. Itís just not a place where my suspension of disbelief is strained, unless the proportions are real messed up like in 5e. But big heads arenít generally a problem for me.. But everyone has different thresholds for such things, and I can see why this would bother some folks.
      I think in PF it always bugged me a little. 5E made it bad enough that I don't consider 5E's depiction canon in games I run with halflings (substituting visuals from LOTR, humans, but smaller). So with 5E bringing it to a head for me, now I take more open issue with it elsewhere. C'est la vie.

      Peraonally, Iím partial to halflings having big hairy feet and no shoes. I remember thinking it was cool how Khajit and Argonians couldnít equip footwear in Morrowind, and I always thought that would be a neat feature to give Halflings use in a D&D or Tolkien-esque game that had a sectional armor system.
      Now that I agree with. I wish they had kept the digitigrade legs for Khajit and Argonians. I tend to apply it to beast races in D&D games, Dragonborn have this problem for example.

      But I think 5E did a good job of differentiating the humanoids by a cultural appearance (clothing, hairstyles, equipment) which 4E did not. You can tell a 5E gnome or halfling from a human or elf not because of the size of their head, but because of their clothing and hairstyles. I agree Lidda had the problem of looking just like a "little human" so without reference it was difficult to ID her as a halfling.

      EDIT: since I see someone else brought up that point with you, I want to add this is good for a solid visual identity in the art. It's less applicable to play.
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      That 5e hafling picture is a ... disaster. I'm sorry, I'm sure the artist has done some great images, but this one is just is horrid.

      I would look at the one in the backgrounds section instead, or maybe the one in the skill check section (where she's pick-pocketing someone leaning over her)

      What did folks think about the partial reveal of the ability score generation system?
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      We've seen goblins, elves and dwarves; now it's time to take a peek at Pathfinder 2nd Edition's small folk - the halflings and gnomes! All to be added, of course, to the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Compiled Info Page![PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

      Name: 20180413-Halfling.jpg ► Views: 27999 ► Size: 77.2 KB



      • Halflings --
        • 8 racial hit points
        • Size small; speed 20 feet
        • Dexterity and Charisma boost, plus one flexible boost; Strength flaw
        • Ancestry feats --
          • Distracting Shadows (sneak using large creatures as cover)
          • Plucky (overcome fear)
          • Titan Slinger (damage bonus with slings vs. large creatures); also the sling does more damage than in PF1
          • Lucky Halfling (reroll one skill check or save you critically fail per day)

      • Gnomes --
        • 8 racial hit points
        • Con and Cha boosts, plus one flexible boost; Str flaw
        • Low light vision
        • Ancestry feats --
          • Fey Fellowship (more charismatic when dealing with fey)
          • First World Magic (bonus cantrip with various options)
          • Discerning Smell (find invisible creatures)
          • Animal Speaker (talk to animals)

      • What do ability boosts and flaws do? "We've mentioned ability boosts and flaws a few times now, so let's go into more detail about how those work! At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10."

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    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Hmm. Tried merging the two threads but it got all screwed up. Ah well.
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      My first impression is "why do artists always have to make big head Halflings?"
    1. Kaodi -
      I guess that rounds out the races for the stature challenged party. Dwarven Fighter, Gnome Druid, Halfling Rogue, and a Goblin Alchemist to round it out.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shasarak View Post
      My first impression is "why do artists always have to make big head Halflings?"
      They need to be proportioned differently in order to differentiate them visually from humans without something else in the picture for size reference. Otherwise you end up with Lidda from 3e.
    1. Sunseeker's Avatar
      Sunseeker -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
      They need to be proportioned differently in order to differentiate them visually from humans without something else in the picture for size reference. Otherwise you end up with Lidda from 3e.
      First: Size references in images are rather important.
      Second: I quite liked the whole "halflings are essentially small humans" and "Gnomes are small elves" from 4E.

      I don't mind that PF wants to have a particular visual style but if you start, for a moment, delving into anything more than superficial fantasy, the anatomy of small humanoids gets tricky real fast, especially when that anatomy is disproportionate body parts. In the same way that animals with disproportionate body parts are often prone to medical issues, the same would be true of humanoids. HOWEVER, there are plenty of proportionate short humans (as opposed to people with dwarfism) who are perfectly healthy.

      I dunno, call it a pet peeve if you will but disproportionate fantasy humanoids bug me.

      Also: I googled Lidda from 3E, yep, no problems there, but yeah, some of the images could use some scale references.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
      First: Size references in images are rather important.
      Second: I quite liked the whole "halflings are essentially small humans" and "Gnomes are small elves" from 4E.
      Interesting. I felt that 4e halflings and gnomes had very distinct visual identities - you could always tell one from a human or an elf at a glance, with or without a size reference. Though I suppose it could be a little trickier to tell with Halflings, and in both cases proportions were not the indicator. So Iíll revise my statement: Halflings and Gnomes need to be easily discernible from humans and elves with or without a size reference. Proportions are one way to achieve this, but not the only way.

      Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
      I don't mind that PF wants to have a particular visual style but if you start, for a moment, delving into anything more than superficial fantasy, the anatomy of small humanoids gets tricky real fast, especially when that anatomy is disproportionate body parts. In the same way that animals with disproportionate body parts are often prone to medical issues, the same would be true of humanoids. HOWEVER, there are plenty of proportionate short humans (as opposed to people with dwarfism) who are perfectly healthy.

      I dunno, call it a pet peeve if you will but disproportionate fantasy humanoids bug me.
      Thatís understandable. Personally this doesnít bug me. Itís just not a place where my suspension of disbelief is strained, unless the proportions are real messed up like in 5e. But big heads arenít generally a problem for me.. But everyone has different thresholds for such things, and I can see why this would bother some folks.

      Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
      Also: I googled Lidda from 3E, yep, no problems there, but yeah, some of the images could use some scale references.
      She was 3eís iconic rogue. I liked her design, but she might as well be a human in a huge amount of the art for her. The artists either had to put an oversized object in the picture with her, or just kind of hope that you already knew she was a halfling. Iíll agree that proportions arenít the only way, or even the best way to achieve a clear visual identity for small races, but it is a common way to do it, and I donít see a problem with that.

      Peraonally, Iím partial to halflings having big hairy feet and no shoes. I remember thinking it was cool how Khajit and Argonians couldnít equip footwear in Morrowind, and I always thought that would be a neat feature to give Halflings use in a D&D or Tolkien-esque game that had a sectional armor system.
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
      They need to be proportioned differently in order to differentiate them visually from humans without something else in the picture for size reference. Otherwise you end up with Lidda from 3e.
      Interestingly I would have given Lidda as an example of Halflings done correctly. Well except for that nose thing of course.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shasarak View Post
      Interestingly I would have given Lidda as an example of Halflings done correctly. Well except for that nose thing of course.
      But you canít even tell sheís a halfling most of the time. I agree that the Jose was weird though.
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
      But you canít even tell sheís a halfling most of the time. I agree that the Jose was weird though.
      In the Lord of the Rings movies they did not need to have Frodo with a big head to show he was a Hobbit. Most of the time when you are looking at the Hobbit village you can not even tell they are Hobbits because it is built proportionally. Only when Gandalf is in his house can you notice it is a different scale.

      So why do we need Halflings with monstrously big heads just to show that they are Halflings/ I would vastly prefer your Hobbit foot idea.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shasarak View Post
      In the Lord of the Rings movies they did not need to have Frodo with a big head to show he was a Hobbit. Most of the time when you are looking at the Hobbit village you can not even tell they are Hobbits because it is built proportionally. Only when Gandalf is in his house can you notice it is a different scale.

      So why do we need Halflings with monstrously big heads just to show that they are Halflings/ I would vastly prefer your Hobbit foot idea.
      I donít think we need big heads necessarily, we just need something to make them visually distinctive. Proportions are an easy way to do that, whether it be heads, feet, limb length, torso width, whatever. Or it doesnít have to be proportions, but it should be some physical attribute.
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