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D&D General My Problem(s) With Halflings, and How To Create Engaging/Interesting Fantasy Races

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Chaosmancer

Legend
Sneak preview: gnomes have historically been a vehicle to mock and beat down attempts to break medieval stasis in D&D worlds by being the only people to attempt technology but then being either incompetent or frivolous with it.

Okay, I can see hate coming from that angle.

But, I tend to make them not incompetent and less frivolous. Not completely unfrivolous, because I do believe that they are the most joyful of races and therefor I like adding some whimsy and fun, but I've certainly seen gnomes mocked a lot in DnD settings when that doesn't make sense.

Honestly, Eberron is again probably the best setting for having treated Gnomes right. They are amazing in Eberrron.
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Humans are a lot like us, really. At least some of them are. Step out of the castles and keeps, go talk to the farmers and herders and you’ll find good, solid folk. Not that there’s anything wrong with the barons and soldiers — you have to admire their conviction. And by protecting their own lands, they protect us as well.”

pg 27, Player's Handbook, published August 2014

And, not only does it explicitly say humans and halflings are a lot alike, when asked what makes halflings appealing, people often say that they are farmer who are good solid folk... exactly how the halflings are describing the human farmers.

There's a long history of a lot of the races being very similar...

"The demi-human races are cousin species to humans." - Moldvay, B9

"All of the non-human or part-human races closely resemble humans in many aspects." - 1e PHB, pg. 15

"Similar to their cousins, the dwarves, gnomes are..." - 1e PHB, pg. 16

As far as 5e...

The 5e PHB's entire quote from the human point of view about halflings is: "It's hard to beat a meal in a halfling home, as long as you don't crack your head on the ceiling - good food and good stories in front of a nice, warm fire. If halflings had a shred of ambition, they might really amount to something."

About human's in general: "Everyone's second-best friends. Just as readily as they mix with each other, humans mingle with members of other races. They get along with almost everyone, though they might not be close to many. Humans serve as ambassadors, diplomats, magistrates, merchants, and functionaries of all kinds."
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
There's a long history of a lot of the races being very similar...

"The demi-human races are cousin species to humans." - Moldvay, B9

"All of the non-human or part-human races closely resemble humans in many aspects." - 1e PHB, pg. 15

"Similar to their cousins, the dwarves, gnomes are..." - 1e PHB, pg. 16

As far as 5e...

The 5e PHB's entire quote from the human point of view about halflings is: "It's hard to beat a meal in a halfling home, as long as you don't crack your head on the ceiling - good food and good stories in front of a nice, warm fire. If halflings had a shred of ambition, they might really amount to something."

About human's in general: "Everyone's second-best friends. Just as readily as they mix with each other, humans mingle with members of other races. They get along with almost everyone, though they might not be close to many. Humans serve as ambassadors, diplomats, magistrates, merchants, and functionaries of all kinds."
THIS JUST IN ... SHOCKING NEWS ... ALL D&D PC RACES ARE ACTUALLY BASED ON HUMANS ... MORE COMING SOON ... STAY TUNED
 

Sneak preview: gnomes have historically been a vehicle to mock and beat down attempts to break medieval stasis in D&D worlds by being the only people to attempt technology but then being either incompetent or frivolous with it.
They're also the cheaty race that uses magic to avoid questions of niche or setting practicality since people see the word "magic" and disengage further critical thinking.

(Not that this is bad. I just wish that critical thinking could be more broadly disengaged when discussing a fantasy rpg)
 

THIS JUST IN ... SHOCKING NEWS ... ALL D&D PC RACES ARE ACTUALLY BASED ON HUMANS ... MORE COMING SOON ... STAY TUNED
The halfling is an idea implant in Gigax subconscious by the reptilian, who want to use this debatable small race as a distraction to avoid investigation around them!
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
As long as you ignore dwarf stereotypes, stories, and play in online campaigns you are correct. All it takes is ignoring them as you have us.

Never ignored them. But, you always twist what I say to suite your narrative anyways. So feel free to keep making wrong assumptions about what I do or don't do.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
There's a long history of a lot of the races being very similar...

"The demi-human races are cousin species to humans." - Moldvay, B9

"All of the non-human or part-human races closely resemble humans in many aspects." - 1e PHB, pg. 15

"Similar to their cousins, the dwarves, gnomes are..." - 1e PHB, pg. 16

As far as 5e...

The 5e PHB's entire quote from the human point of view about halflings is: "It's hard to beat a meal in a halfling home, as long as you don't crack your head on the ceiling - good food and good stories in front of a nice, warm fire. If halflings had a shred of ambition, they might really amount to something."

About human's in general: "Everyone's second-best friends. Just as readily as they mix with each other, humans mingle with members of other races. They get along with almost everyone, though they might not be close to many. Humans serve as ambassadors, diplomats, magistrates, merchants, and functionaries of all kinds."

Sure, but the question was "where in the PHB does it say halflings and human commoners are alike" and there it is.

I do think that the human to halfling one is very... I'd say telling but I'm sure someone will take offense to that. But the only thing that indicates that they aren't talking about just going down to their grandparent's place or a human friend's place is the short ceiling. Other than that... "good food and good stories in front of a nice, warm fire. If [they] had a shred of ambition, they might really amount to something." is something I think I'd find in a novel about a human character
 

Sure, but the question was "where in the PHB does it say halflings and human commoners are alike" and there it is.

I do think that the human to halfling one is very... I'd say telling but I'm sure someone will take offense to that. But the only thing that indicates that they aren't talking about just going down to their grandparent's place or a human friend's place is the short ceiling. Other than that... "good food and good stories in front of a nice, warm fire. If [they] had a shred of ambition, they might really amount to something." is something I think I'd find in a novel about a human character
I think it's one thing to state "the phb says halflings are like humans"
and another to say "phb halflings recognize similarities between themselves and some members of another race".

I don't think it's that unusual to look at a different community and find similarities between yourself and that community. It's basic empathy, and halflings are noted for being particularly empathetic.

It's not as big an overstatement as "Phb elves are closely associated with the fey" but it is an overstatement.
 

Faolyn

Hero
  • Gnoll in 4E was fun because I played an anthropomorphic Scooby-Doo. Kind of dissapointed there are no more dog-related playable humanoids, why do cats get all the love?
Y'know, as much as I adore cats in real life, I think I would actually prefer playing a canid. It's really weird that none of the various canid races ever really caught on outside of Mystara.
 




Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Y'know, as much as I adore cats in real life, I think I would actually prefer playing a canid. It's really weird that none of the various canid races ever really caught on outside of Mystara.
Yeah, I have a cat on my lap right now (demanding attention) but I've never really had the desire to play a tabaxi. Maybe because I just can't bring myself to play an evil PC. :unsure:
 


Hussar

Legend
Comes in waving a flag of truce

Not arguing or anything. Just happened to be noodling around and found this piece and thought it was a REALLY cool halfling:

Loyal Warhound by Dmitri Burmak

1626824372038.png
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
1) hyenas are neither cats nor dogs. Hyenas would be closer to cats anyways.

2) I still dream of a proper D&D 4X or strategy video game and wonder would the halfling faction would field.


RaceMelee InfantryRanged InfantryCavalry Other
DragonbornGreatswordsSorcerersDrake Rider????
DwarfAxedwarfCrossbowdwarfScrew mounts Hammerdwarf!Defender
ElfSwordselfBowelfUnicorn Rider?Bladesinger
HalflingBounderSlinger????????
HumanPikemanCrossbowmanKnightsPaladins
OrcGreataxesJaveliner???Berserker
GnomeBreechgnomeCatapults???Illusionists
 



Hussar

Legend
A lot of people go with ponies for their Halfling cavalry. Which is fine. Especially for chariot cavalry.

OTOH, imagine Halflings riding tibetan mastiffs (90-115kg).
Yeah, I could very much see dog cavalry for halflings. IIRC, I actually played a halfling paladin for a while back in 3e to take advantage of all the lance cheese I could. Small character on medium mount actually fits REALLY well in pretty much any campaign in the way that a medium character on a large mount really doesn't.
 

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