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PF2E 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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Celebrim

Legend
I'm not really sure what to give to Goblins. I have trouble getting past that I don't really see them as a PC race. To me, they look like -2 STR, +2 DEX, -2 CON, -2 INT, -2 WIS, -2 CHA.
They certainly haven't presented them in a way that suggests parity of ability with traditional PC races before. If anything, the Pathfinder "funny but scary" little monsters presented them as less on par with PC races in terms of mental capacity.

I think that the 'everything is symmetrical' design pattern that Paizo has enforced on themselves is limiting their imagination. It reminds me of the self-imposed constraints of 4e D&D, where balance was lifted up on a pedestal and mathematical symmetry held up as a worthy design goal in and of itself.

Full disclosure, goblins have been a PC race in my games for about 25 years. But my goblins aren't Paizo's "scary comic relief" goblins and I'm OK with making up for low stats with other less tangible advantages, even at the risk of not being perfectly balanced. And if you want to play a goblin that has basically physical and mental parity with traditional PC races, you play a hobgoblin.
 

Koloth

First Post
That halfling drawing looks like Mad Max just wondered out of a wild magic radiation zone. I don't see the need for such body differentiation features unless they plan on doing a 3e in your underwear type lineup for all the iconics. If you can't guess that the short critter in leather is likely a halfling thief and the tall heavy critter in crude hides is probably a half orc barbarian and the short rotund critter in full plate is a dwarf fighter, your perception skills need improving.
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
There's no arguing about tastes, but at least 5E has reigned in the buckle to clothing item ratio considerably.

Say what ye will, but there is no confusing a 5E Halfling or Gnome in any product for each other or any other race.
Solid point! Although now that I think of it, I can't even recall what gnomes are depicted like in 5E. I'd say that generally gnomes aren't where the problem lies. Remind me what the problem with big-footed hobbit-style halflings was?
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
Is this the terminology that they are planning to use? I thought for sure they'd say something like "8 ancestral hit points".
They use ancestral, that's a copyists error

Paizo Blog said:
Both halflings and gnomes get 8 Hit Points from their respective ancestries, are Small...
Edit: although it seems the writer made an error for elves, and apologised in the comments.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Yeah, i think it’s goung to take Paizo a while to adjust to the terminology change, and I kind of doubt the players will ever fully adjust to it.
 

D1Tremere

First Post
The Cha bonus to goblins does make sense if you think about it. They follow charismatic leaders. They like to sing and tell stories. They use trickery and fast talk to overcome many issues. If you were the rare goblin in a party of more acceptable races, which ability would you rely on to fit in and avoid being murdered at every inn you come to?

As for all small races getting cha, i guess it is to help with class synergy?
 

Arakasius

First Post
I completely agree that charisma makes the most sense for goblins. I'm however not sure what you mean about class synergy for all small races getting cha. In my ideal world I'd move Gnomes to being +int.
 

D1Tremere

First Post
I completely agree that charisma makes the most sense for goblins. I'm however not sure what you mean about class synergy for all small races getting cha. In my ideal world I'd move Gnomes to being +int.
By that I mean that small races are usually used for rogues and Wiz/Sorc. Gnomes are usually synergized with illusion/Charm archetypes. In all of these cases Cha is good to have, while the floating bonus encourages people to play outside the box builds. Simple choices for new players, advanced set ups for vets.
 

RobertBrus

Explorer
This idea of a visual reference leading to an out of scale head or whatever is silly. Don't make them look cartoonish. Find some other visually creative way to make the distinction, assuming that is even necessary. For halflings: feet, hair, etc. For gnomes: ears, facial features. Or include some standardized item in the picture that allows for a reference. But oversized heads, etc. makes them look like cartoon characters in a fantasy world (unless you want to run a cartoon type game, which, the more I think about it, might be quite fun).
 

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