Gary Gygax Q&A: Part XIII - Page 157





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  1. #1561
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey
    I've long considered halflings to be short humans (Englishmen!) with big, hairy feet. I'd consider them to be natives of the campaign world.
    Heh, I've had similar thoughts and have run campaigns where this was, in fact, the case. But it seemed from his previous answers that Gary considers all demihumans to be from a different plane.

    Does anyone recall if JRRT considered Hobbits small humans? I know I've read stuff on that topic before but, for the life of me, I cannot recall the answer!

    Gray Mouser
    "Still, it appears that someone doesn't like us," Fafhrd opined.

    "Was that ever news?" the Gray Mouser retorted.

 

  • #1562
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
    Heh, I've had similar thoughts and have run campaigns where this was, in fact, the case. But it seemed from his previous answers that Gary considers all demihumans to be from a different plane.

    Does anyone recall if JRRT considered Hobbits small humans? I know I've read stuff on that topic before but, for the life of me, I cannot recall the answer!

    Gray Mouser
    He specifically did not think of them that way and said that the advance of humans pushed the hobbits further and further into the margins until they became the legends of the "little people". They were not "absorbed" as it were.

  • #1563
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
    Does anyone recall if JRRT considered Hobbits small humans? I know I've read stuff on that topic before but, for the life of me, I cannot recall the answer!
    In late 1951 J. R. R. Tolkien wrote a long letter to Milton Waldman (letter #131 in The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien--see second footnote on page 158 for the following quote) in which Tolkien wrote: "The Hobbits are, of course, really meant to be a branch of the specifically human race (not Elves or Dwarves)--hence the two kinds can dwell together (as at Bree), and are called just the Big Folk and Little Folk. They are entirely without non-human powers, but are represented as being more in touch with 'nature' (the soil and other living things, plants and animals), and abnormally, for humans, free from ambition or greed of wealth." [emphasis in original]
    Last edited by Geoffrey; Thursday, 7th February, 2008 at 08:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    Of course, detailing the big walled town by dividing it into quarters or districts, mappomg each and showing the buildings with encounter key numbers and text, giving a bit of color for the sector to assist the GM--and doing the same for the suburban communities--then seemed beneficial in order to give a really detailed urban area.
    Gary,

    When you are preparing a town for your own refereeing (as opposed to preparing one for publication), how do you organize your notes? I've seen a number of techniques, including detailing individual buildings, detailing sections or neighborhoods of the town as if they were dungeon rooms, and just creating encounters to throw in as the referee decides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey
    In late 1951 J. R. R. Tolkien wrote a long letter to Milton Waldman (letter #131 in The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien--see second footnote on page 158 for the following quote) in which Tolkien wrote: "The Hobbits are, of course, really meant to be a branch of the specifically human race (not Elves or Dwarves)--hence the two kinds can dwell together (as at Bree), and are called just the Big Folk and Little Folk. They are entirely without non-human powers, but are represented as being more in touch with 'nature' (the soil and other living things, plants and animals), and abnormally, for humans, free from ambition or greed of wealth." [emphasis in original]
    Hmmm. Well, I'm pretty sure that JRRT never intended the reader to think of hobbits and humans interbreeding, so to that extent they're not the same race anymore, even if they once were. Eventually, they lost the desire to live together.

  • #1566
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuStel
    Gary,

    When you are preparing a town for your own refereeing (as opposed to preparing one for publication), how do you organize your notes? I've seen a number of techniques, including detailing individual buildings, detailing sections or neighborhoods of the town as if they were dungeon rooms, and just creating encounters to throw in as the referee decides.


    A sketch map of the community, a few places of interested highlighted in color, and then wing it. As the PCs develop something interesting by interacting with what I present that becomes a fixture in the town. This might be a particular street thief, a tavern, a stable with a shifty owner, whatever...

    Cheerio,
    Gary

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    Halflings

    I think of halflings as being a special ancient crossbreed of elves and dwarves. Special because in "modern" times, those two races cannot breed (and FYI IMC, though elves and humans can, and orcs and humans can, elves and orcs cannot). Tallfellows have more elvish blood, Stouts more dwarvish.

    Gnomes, goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears), and ogres don't breed at all with the others, IMC, being completely different genuses.

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    Why not?

    All of that is the purview of the Game Master in any campaign world.

    Cheers,
    Gary

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    Ignore SuStel
    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    All of that is the purview of the Game Master in any campaign world.
    Furthermore, one hopes the breeding details do not escape the Game Master's head...

  • #1570
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuStel
    Furthermore, one hopes the breeding details do not escape the Game Master's head...


    Can't be much different from what every farmboy knows at about age six

    Cheerio,
    Gary

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