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

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Chaosmancer

Legend
The course of conversation up to that point was that halflings should be a Human subrace, including a challenge issued to name three ways that halflings are not humans. You can read into that what you will. I did, and I wasn't alone in it.

As to the response..

If I say, "a glider is not a plane", how does "this aurlthoritative book says a glider is like a plane" address that statement? On it's own, it is neither agreement nor disagreement and broadly unresponsive.

Orrr..it is intended as evidence for a counterclaim. And the available counterclaims are...

And yet there have been a lot of people claiming "a glider is nothing like a plane, they are totally different" or "of course a glider is like a plane, so are spaceships and kites, everything is like a plane so it isn't special that gliders are like planes."

And in that additionaly context, there does seem to be some place for that claim, that doesn't involved saying that a glider is identical to a plane.
 

lingual

Adventurer
No, I was responding to Gammadoodler who when presented with that list said "Yes, if you take away all the ways they are different, they're basically the same."

I even acknowledged, in the post you are quoting with this line " I assume you are being glib, but let's take you at face value for a moment." that Gammadoodler himself likely believes that there are more than three things that should go on that list.

ONCE AGAIN can people actually read what I write! Is it so difficult to read what I write and actually understand it at a level that you don't waste time with posts like this that accuse me of things that not only did I never say, but that I SPECIFICALLY acknowledge the opposite point of?

Seriously, the rest of your post is a waste of my time, because it starts from the premise that despite the fact that I said that this 3 point list is inadequate that somehow I've held it up as the ultimate standard. I'm still going to read it, might even respond. But I'm getting sick and tired of this BS.





Yep, utter waste of time.

Oh no, they aren't motivated by wealth?! Let me just turn to my last few characters who made hundreds of thousands of gold.... Pyroclasm was motivated by knowledge. He was a noble and enjoyed the finer things in life, but he didn't care about wealth as much as wealth was a tool. Sir Kalten of Tamuli was motivated by honor and glory, Bryn Brightwood was motivated by Duty and and a desire to help people, Warren Sinder Raulnor was on a religious quest, Tharivol of New Springfield was trying to rebuild civilization after an apocalypse...

Weird, none of them were actually motivated by wealth. I, also, am not motivated by wealth. There are entire organizations called "non-profit organizations" who do this thing called charity. It is doing good for other people, it isn't being motivated by wealth.

Yes, it is interesting that halflings don't put a high value on gold, as a race, but it is far from unique and it doesn't change a thing about how most people play them. No more than any other choice does, because the rest of the world does care about wealth, and the character is going to need to use wealth to buy things. Part of the game. In fact, I just remembered a friend's character. A human shadow-sorcerer. Used to live on a farm. Looking for his lost kid and wife. Doesn't use the money we get from our missions because he doesn't care about money. But he does give his money to the other characters, to help them buy equipment and gear.
My interpretation of this would be that halflings in general do not care about wealth and power. There is a difference between pursuit of wealth and pursuing money for some charity, security, etc.

Now I don't believe in monocultures where every character has to adhere to the written description (and only humans are afforded diversity - that would almost mirror "real" culture where minorities were just stereotyped in movies). So there obviously will be dwarven mariners, elven butchers, and greedy halflings in the world.

But you will probably not find a fleet of dwarven sailors, an elven butchers union, or an expansionist halfling state. However, there are many examples of expansionist human states.

If the Earth were of a halfling mindset, there would probably be no wars over territory, historic slavery, theocracies, etc. Also, no mighty militaries and a much slower and gradual pace of technological developments.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
An elf with hair that covers part of their ear does not look like a human? A dwarf does not look like a stocky person with a beard?

Cherry picking artwork proves nothing. Sorry .

You know, since people are currently discussing a lot of appearance things, let's ask a question.

Halflings in 5e no longer have massive hairy feet. Those are gone. So, other than being short... what does make a halfling different than a human?

See, with a dwarf you can have the beard, but if I was to describe a dwarven body I'd be talking about stone and iron. Tough muscles, solidly built to be nearly unmoving when they don't want to be. I've actually always wanted to have dwarves be more literally made of stone. It is a cool concept.

Elves don't look very different, depsite being described as more lithe and "skinny" than humans, but it is all in how they move. Fluid, like water or air. They also tend to have very pointed features, smooth.

And then with halflings.... nothing. No ideas.
 

lingual

Adventurer
Don't halflings get a plus to to dexterity - the same as elves? I would think a blanket plus 2 would be pretty distinctive genetic trait.

I think you dwarf and elf characterizations are based on the "ideal". They are not really represented in the rules that well. Rules like that would be nice additions though. Like dwarves getting advantage on checks against being shoved, etc.

I have no idea why I would try to spell out "two" (and fail) and then use the numerical form in the next sentence.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
My interpretation of this would be that halflings in general do not care about wealth and power. There is a difference between pursuit of wealth and pursuing money for some charity, security, etc.

Now I don't believe in monocultures where every character has to adhere to the written description (and only humans are afforded diversity - that would almost mirror "real" culture where minorities were just stereotyped in movies). So there obviously will be dwarven mariners, elven butchers, and greedy halflings in the world.

But you will probably not find a fleet of dwarven sailors, an elven butchers union, or an expansionist halfling state. However, there are many examples of expansionist human states.

If the Earth were of a halfling mindset, there would probably be no wars over territory, historic slavery, theocracies, etc. Also, no mighty militaries and a much slower and gradual pace of technological developments.

Sure, I can agree with most all of that. (Elves are hunters, they'd butcher animals. The union thing is only weird because I don't think elves would form unions. Unions were the collaboration of workers to prevent being scammed or bullied by employers. Elves.. don't really seem like the type to do that. Like, I can't imagine an elven lord mistreating an elvish servant. Or elven artists needing to band together against government censorship. It doesn't fit with the general view of elves)

But the point is that saying that halflings don't care about pursuing wealth, and that makes them unique as a race falls apart pretty quickly when you realize how easy it is to make a character of any other race that doesn't care about wealth and power. It can't be a defining trait.

And I know, people throw dwarves in my face constantly. But being miners isn't all there is to dwarves, and yes, there are a few things we could fix about dwarves, but that "fix dwarves" thread is this one, not the thread we are currently in.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Don't halflings get a plus to to dexterity - the same as elves? I would think a blanket plus 2 would be pretty distinctive genetic trait.

I think you dwarf and elf characterizations are based on the "ideal". They are not really represented in the rules that well. Rules like that would be nice additions though. Like dwarves getting advantage on checks against being shoved, etc.
I prefer the elf prioritize Charisma for magic, charm, songs, arts, and bards. That leaves the halfling as the main contender for dexterity for precision tasks, like aiming slings, stealth, and perhaps many other applications.

Altho the Brit elf is known for "elfshot", this is a magical attack, more like a cantrip, not a mundane arrow.
 

lingual

Adventurer
Sure, I can agree with most all of that. (Elves are hunters, they'd butcher animals. The union thing is only weird because I don't think elves would form unions. Unions were the collaboration of workers to prevent being scammed or bullied by employers. Elves.. don't really seem like the type to do that. Like, I can't imagine an elven lord mistreating an elvish servant. Or elven artists needing to band together against government censorship. It doesn't fit with the general view of elves)

But the point is that saying that halflings don't care about pursuing wealth, and that makes them unique as a race falls apart pretty quickly when you realize how easy it is to make a character of any other race that doesn't care about wealth and power. It can't be a defining trait.

And I know, people throw dwarves in my face constantly. But being miners isn't all there is to dwarves, and yes, there are a few things we could fix about dwarves, but that "fix dwarves" thread is this one, not the thread we are currently in.
I was just using unions to mean that there probably wouldn't be a whole lot of them. Elves in view have traditionally been vegetarians but that view is probably not the concensus.
 

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