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D&D 5E Bring back the hobbit-like halflings for D&D Next!

shadow

First Post
I would like to see halflings in D&D Next once again modeled more or less on Tolkien's hobbits in the artwork and description. I never liked the skinny halflings with dreadlocks we've seen recently. Since I read the Lord of Rings and watched the movies, I can't help but seeing hairy-footed hobbits instead of the nomadic halflings we are presented with in the last few editions. Yes it's a Tolkien knock-off, but think of how much else of D&D is inspired by other novels and stories (Vancian-magic, ioun stones, etc.).

Just my 2cp.
 

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Mercutio01

First Post
If you read the first of the Drizzt novels, Regis the halfling is clearly based on hobbits.

I don't have any real problem with the halflings now, but I have a suspicion that the answer will be "subraces."
 

Stormonu

Legend
Give me these halflings, and I'll be satisfied



(As you can see, this is from 1981).
 


mlund

First Post
I don't think I'd really be happy with a bunch of British homebodies that shun the outside world. I don't think I'd be happy with a bunch of attention-deficit driven kleptomaniacs. I'm not really happy with an entire race of gypsies either.

Core cultural aspects of Halflings:
- Extended families
- Shaped by their environment
- Civilization and manners
- Wary of big folk

So a long-established community in a mild climate sheltered from turmoil might give you hobbits, while an environment requiring constant migration might give you 4E's gypsy halflings. You might also have river-folk, fey-loving foresters, desert caravans, and foothills goat herders who've traded foodstuffs to their dwarven neighbors under the mountains for 10 generations.

This is very human-like, but I think halflings are less aggressive, more mannerly, and less inclined to force their environment into line and more likely to adapt their way of life to the natural flow of their environments.

- Marty Lund
 

MarkB

Legend
The trouble with using the Tolkien theme wholesale is that most hobbits in that setting aren't adventurers (even compared to other races), and the few exceptions who do take up that lifestyle tend to be atypical anyway, and don't tend to maintain their stout, tubby appearance after a few months in the wilderness.

I'm reminded of Lord of the Rings Online, the MMO. The conceit in that game is that your character is just such an 'exceptional' hobbit, who feels drawn to adventure and is thrust into heroism by the turn of events - but the actual result, in-game, is a continent full of thousands of 'exceptional' hobbits charging through the wilderness fighting orcs and trolls and drakes, clearly outnumbering the 'normal' NPC hobbits who hang around in pubs back in the Shire.

I can't help feeling that a tabletop game setting starting from that premise would share similar problems, though not on the same scale. When one race is portrayed as a small country of homebodies, you'll eventually have to start wondering how come at least one or two of the little rascals seem to turn up in every single adventuring party.
 

Tovec

Explorer
Harfoots the classic hobbits were the ones we saw in the movies. The fellowship hobbits and the ones of the shire are harfoots. They are described as being shorter than dwarves, having no beards nor wearing shoes.

Stoors are broader and heavier than harfoots and they lived off the rivers.

Fallohides were the thinner, paler hobbits that lived in the woods and dealt with elves.

If Tolkien can have subraces I don't see why we can't. I mean how many variations of elves are there in DnD? Dwarves have almost as many but halflings are like 2 varieties.

Given that my parent edition was 3.5, I only have a passing familiarity with kender so I don't consider them the core halflings of DnD. I'm more of the almond shaped head, sharp eyes, quick wit, trader, wanderer, halflings. I've never had problems giving them the proper feel or allowing them to exist in almost every area of my setting. I would hate to lose all the flavour that is associated with the DnD halflings I know and love for the close minded hobbits of yore.

That being said, I would also love to see them reintroduce true, sit at home, "english", Hobbit-esk halflings but for me it isn't compulsory.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Ugh. The last thing D&D needs is to have its core races more tightly shackled to J.R.R. Tolkien. If we must have halflings, I wholeheartedly endorse skinny halflings with cornrows over hobbit knock-offs.
 
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Steely_Dan

First Post
I think there is room for several variations of Halfling, depending on campaign setting, like in Forgotten Realms (1st and 2nd Ed), they were clearly similar to the hobbits (Regis etc, as another posted pointed out), and in Mystara too, then in Dragonlance you had the Kender (small little elven looking dudes with long ponytails), then in Dark Sun you got the natty dread, cannibalistic, psionic, jungle psychos.
 


Daggerswan

First Post
I don't mind the hairy feet cuz the chick in the picture is a hawtie. But if she had a pot belly too I wouldn't party with her. Oh, wait a minute. What are we talking about? :blush:
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I prefer the sling adventurous halflings.

All the fat halfllings got killed by orcs in my campaign. What do you expect will happen to short homebodies in a world with brutish tribes, evil spellcasters, and selfish and apathetic dragons.

Oh and demons. And zombies.
 

MarkB

Legend
I think there is room for several variations of Halfling, depending on campaign setting, like in Forgotten Realms (1st and 2nd Ed), they were clearly similar to the hobbits (Regis etc, as another posted pointed out), and in Mystara too, then in Dragonlance you had the Kender (small little elven looking dudes with long ponytails), then in Dark Sun you got the natty dread, cannibalistic, psionic, jungle psychos.

Don't forget Eberron's nomadic, dinosaur-riding barbarian halflings.
 


Abstruse

Hero
Like I said, subraces. Easy to fit into a campaign or drop entirely from the game if you don't like them. But there's enough people that want it so they'll be sure to put them in somewhere. Between The Hobbit films coming out and the fact that every edition who had kenderesque halflings having a third-party race under OGL or the equivalent doing hobbit-halflings, I would be incredibly surprised if they didn't try to capitalize on the demand.

And yes, I've seen a 3rd party 4e book with "hobbits". Think it was Mongoose Press's first release for 4e, or a similar company.
 



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