Pathfinder 2E 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!

20180413-Halfling.jpg




  • 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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Shasarak

Banned
Banned
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.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
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, I’m not a fan of fashion being the visual identifier, because characters can always change clothes or do their hair differently. Golarion gnomes’ long eyebrows work. 4e gnomes’ gold skin, colorful, pupil-less, scalers-less eyes, and distinctive hairlines worked. Weird hats and topknots not so much.

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. I’d go gnomes + Int, Halflings + Cha, and goblins +Wis.
 

Shasarak

Banned
Banned
Eh, I’m not a fan of fashion being the visual identifier, because characters can always change clothes or do their hair differently. Golarion gnomes’ long eyebrows work. 4e gnomes’ 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:

View attachment 96417

Not just from comparing them to humans

View attachment 96418
 

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
 

Arakasius

First Post
They are pushing back innate traits off of level one for sure. Seems so far all you get for free is stats and the vision/movement for your character. The rest is allowed as traits to specialize. This gets rid of the annoying “I can only trade this off for that” from PF1. There is a restriction on level 1 to take a feat that really helps define your race (like hardy in PF1 for dwarves) which will allow some specialization. But there will be a lot less of “all dwarves have this” with more of a focus for learning skills as you level.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Looks like a Advantage/Disadvantage style mechanic is in as "Fortune"/"Misfortune," and the default PC generation is a sort of Life path system.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
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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S

Sunseeker

Guest
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 I’ll 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:
269
636271789409776659.png


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.

That’s understandable. Personally this doesn’t bug me. It’s just not a place where my suspension of disbelief is strained, unless the proportions are real messed up like in 5e. But big heads aren’t 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, I’m partial to halflings having big hairy feet and no shoes. I remember thinking it was cool how Khajit and Argonians couldn’t 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.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
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?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
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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Kaodi

Adventurer
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.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
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.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
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.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
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 I’ll 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.

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.
That’s understandable. Personally this doesn’t bug me. It’s just not a place where my suspension of disbelief is strained, unless the proportions are real messed up like in 5e. But big heads aren’t generally a problem for me.. But everyone has different thresholds for such things, and I can see why this would bother some folks.

Also: I googled Lidda from 3E, yep, no problems there, but yeah, some of the images could use some scale references.
She was 3e’s 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. I’ll agree that proportions aren’t 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 don’t see a problem with that.

Peraonally, I’m partial to halflings having big hairy feet and no shoes. I remember thinking it was cool how Khajit and Argonians couldn’t 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.
 

Shasarak

Banned
Banned
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.
 


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