D&D 5E My sister wants to be a Halfling Barbarian (Starter Set)

Nemio

First Post
Background info:

I'm new to DnD and will be DM'ing the Starter Set for newbies in a few weeks time.
I asked all my players to give me their top 3 preferred pregen chars in advance so that I could assign them.

The rogue was quite popular so my sister offered to create a new character which surprised me a bit because she and my girlfriend are those that were a bit reluctant to play.
I used the PHB yesterday and asked her questions to create what she wanted.

First time I've created a character from scratch and it felt amazing :)
She ended up with a Halfling Barbarian which is an unusual choice.
It sounded fun to her and that's what's most important.

There are some downsides that I've found (no Heavy weapons) but she's not a (power)gamer so she doesn't mind.

Does anyone have experience or advice for using a Halfling Barbarian?
When I look at the abilities it seems to be an allround character.

Character:

Stats
Info
Class
Barbarian
Background
Outlander with Exile / Outcast origin
Player name
Anton (Male)
Race
Stout (+1 Con) Halfling (+2 Dex)
Alignment
Chaotic Neutral
Ability
Points
Modifier
Strength
15
+2
Dexterity
15
+2
Constitution
15
+2
Intelligence
8
-1
Wisdom
12
+1
Charisma
10
+0
Default array was used (15 14 13 12 10 8)
Stat
Points
HP
12 + 2 Con = 14
AC
10 + 2 Con + 2 Dex = 14
Weapon
Name
Damage + to hit
Primary weapon
Battle axe
1d8 (1d10) +2 slashing, +4 to hit
Secondary weapon 1
2 x Hand axe
1d6 + 2 slashing, +4 to hit
Secondary weapon 2
4 x Javelin
1d6 + 2 piercing, +4 to hit
Personality:

- I have a lesson for every situation, drawn from observing nature
- I'm always picking things up, absently fiddling with them and sometimes accidentally breaking them

Ideal:

- Nature The natural world is more important than all the constructs of civilisation (Neutral)

Bond:

- An injury to the unspoiled wilderness of my home is an injury to me.

Flaw:

- I am slow to trust members of other races, tribes, and societies.


I would also like some help to give her character a good tie-in to the story like the other pregens have.
Any suggestions?

My sister specified that he would be a loner, that he doesn't really have a clan to live with.
So I have a loner Exile / Outcast that is Chaotic Neutral and loves nature above all else.

Now I need a reason for him to join the group that Gundren recruited.
Perhaps he knows Gundren from before his loner days and asked him to help with the removal of several threats to Nature that have recently appeared (the Dragon, the Goblins, the Orcs,...)
 

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MortalPlague

Adventurer
First off, welcome to D&D! I hope you have a blast running this game, it sounds like it'll be a lot of fun.

Secondly, everything about the character looks pretty good. The weapon choices are solid, battle-axe offers some nice barbarian flavor. She should have a lot of fun with that character.

Min/maxy tweaking to follow:

I'd consider giving him a shield so he can trade off between damage and AC depending on what sort of foe he's facing. Getting up to AC 16 is pretty big. I might even make that the default; axe and shield, and he could toss the shield aside and two-hand the axe when he gets really mad!

Also, I would change the default array and instead buy some stats with point buy. It would be much better to go for a 16 Strength, just to get into the +5 to hit range. You could afford to lose a point in Dexterity or Constitution without much in the way of a drawback, or possibly both.

This is just the mechanical tweaking from someone who tends to play a lot. You'll have fun either way. :)
 

Nemio

First Post
Thanks about the advice, I'll keep it in mind :)

The character doesn't start with a shield but I'll remind her of the possibility when they get to Phandalin.
 

I have no problem with Halfling Barbarians as a concept.

I do however, find it a bit incredulous to have 35lb Halflings with a Strength of 15. There is no official ruling for this but I find it so defying of physical reality that it is disruptive to my suspension of disbelief at the game table.

I house rule that diminutive races (Halflings and Gnomes) should basically use their lowest stat for Strength. It’s my one and only house rule. Some may find this unfair, but why play a small race if you want to play a powerhouse character I say?

So, sure, I would allow Halfling Barbarians - but they’d be more reliant on Dexterity, Constitution and maybe Wisdom as their primary stats.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
While your opinion is very valid, TrippyHippy, I feel it is inappropriate in a thread of this nature.

A halfling barbarian with Strength 15 is perfectly okay, Nemio.

When you have more experience as a DM, I'm sure you will want to start creating your own adventures and your own worlds.

But for now, I wouldn't worry in the slightest about hafling strength :)
 

I have no problem with Halfling Barbarians as a concept.

I do however, find it a bit incredulous to have 35lb Halflings with a Strength of 15. There is no official ruling for this but I find it so defying of physical reality that it is disruptive to my suspension of disbelief at the game table.

I also felt the urge to say, that this advice is not called for int this thread.
[MENTION=6775814]Nemio[/MENTION]:

I would suggest to arrange the stats a bit different, as a 15 in 3 stats is not the best idea, because it does not give a benefit that a 14 in those stats would give anyway.

So my proposal is switching the 14 and 13 assigned to Dexterity and Constituion resulting in those stats:

15 Strength
16 Dexterity
14 Constitution

This way, your sister´s armor class while not wearing armor, intitiative and ranged attacks with a short bow are a little bit better, as well as the attacks with light melee weapons while not raging.

On the other hand, if she uses medium armor, and uses only the weapons you listed, she won´t notice a big difference beyond a difference of 1 to initative. And if she intends to raise stats at level 4, she will be ale to raise strength and constitution to 16 easily.

Your sister will have a great barbarian, hitting well enough and hard enough and able to withstand most danger. She should consider wearing a chain shirt as soon as possible.
 

I’m not sure why providing advice based on providing internal logic in a fantasy world along with a rational, is any less appropriate than advising someone to rearrange their stats for tactical/strategic reasons…..but whatever, dude…enjoy your game!
 
Last edited:

Paraxis

Explorer
This is a fantasy roleplaying game, this young lady can have a 20 strength and an 8 charisma.

3932007-1056323482-River.jpg

This little halfling can have a 20 dex and and 20 strength and 20 charisma (well maybe thats a lot of ability score increases or some lucky rolls).
Fat_Halfling_by_caramitten.jpg

My suspension of disbelief leaves the door with things like hit points, so long before someone sits down at the table with a halfling barbarian that has a good strength, just let people play what they want.
 


Nemio

First Post
Don't worry everyone, all advice is appreciated :)
[MENTION=27252]TrippyHippy[/MENTION]

I agree that if the average (Human) Commoner only has 10 on all stats then having a halfling only half their size be much stronger than them can seem a bit off.

I'm trying to find a good balance between realism and fun.
If my sister thinks it's fun to make a little raging guy full of muscles to be kicking the butt of things twice as big as her then I'm going to let her.

But believe me, it's not what I had in mind either :D

I'm just rolling with it, I've learned alot about being a new DM (from this board and others) and one of the most important things was always try to say Yes (even though it might be followed by a but ...)

Like in this case I told her that she couldn't use Heavy weapons because of her size, which she didn't care that much about.

[MENTION=59057]UngeheuerLich[/MENTION]

Thanks, that's some good advice.
I already thought that all those 15's might not be ideal but I think I'm going to leave it like that for now anyway.

We went over all the attributes together and she ranked them in the order that she found to be important.

I'm trying to resist the habit of optimizing characters like I sometimes do in other games.
It's refreshing to see my sister just picking what she think is cool even though it might not be optimal.

Once she gets to level 4 I can indeed suggest to get 2 attributes to 16 in one go :)
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
I’m not sure why providing advice based on providing internal logic in a fantasy world along with a rational, is any less appropriate than advising someone to rearrange their stats for tactical/strategic reasons…..but whatever, dude…enjoy your game!

Because it is your internal logic, not the internal logic of the game system, or of many experienced DMs. Although well intentioned, your advice is too specific for a given DMing style, a style that most games do not use.
 

Don't worry everyone, all advice is appreciated :)

[MENTION=27252]TrippyHippy[/MENTION]

I agree that if the average (Human) Commoner only has 10 on all stats then having a halfling only half their size be much stronger than them can seem a bit off.

I'm trying to find a good balance between realism and fun.
If my sister thinks it's fun to make a little raging guy full of muscles to be kicking the butt of things twice as big as her then I'm going to let her.

But believe me, it's not what I had in mind either :D

I'm just rolling with it, I've learned alot about being a new DM (from this board and others) and one of the most important things was always try to say Yes (even though it might be followed by a but ...)

Like in this case I told her that she couldn’t use Heavy weapons because of her size, which she didn’t care that much about.
All good. Enjoy your game. :)
 

Because it is your internal logic, not the internal logic of the game system, or of many experienced DMs. Although well intentioned, your advice is too specific for a given DMing style, a style that most games do not use.
It’s not my internal logic…by definition, it’s the internal logic of the game world….sheesh! The original poster is cool with the advise; I’m cool with his response. Just let it be!
 

Wepwawet

Explorer
How about finesse weapons?

I don't know much about the barbarian, but he can use finesse weapons, can't he? That way the halfling can pump up Dexterity and forget about Strength.

Halflings are known to be be very agile, her character could be a Battledancer, or a Raging Whirling Dervish (not sure about the names, but I'm certain there is a fantasy archetype like that)
 

Paraxis

Explorer
How about finesse weapons?

I don't know much about the barbarian, but he can use finesse weapons, can't he? That way the halfling can pump up Dexterity and forget about Strength.

Halflings are known to be be very agile, her character could be a Battledancer, or a Raging Whirling Dervish (not sure about the names, but I'm certain there is a fantasy archetype like that)

If a barbarian uses Dex to attack with while during rage, they don't get to add the rage damage bonus. So you are sacrificing a key component of the class if you use finesse weapons.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Also, I would change the default array and instead buy some stats with point buy. It would be much better to go for a 16 Strength, just to get into the +5 to hit range. You could afford to lose a point in Dexterity or Constitution without much in the way of a drawback, or possibly both.
Point buy doesn't let you buy up higher than 15. You can of course go beyond that with racial mods, but halflings don't get +Str. The starting Strength mod for a halfling can't exceed 2 unless you roll stats.

That said, I do agree that point buy is the way to go here. I'd probably go with base stats of Str 14/Dex 14/Con 15/Int 8/Wis 12/Cha 8. Halfling mods boost that to Str 14/Dex 16/Con 16/Int 8/Wis 12/Cha 8, for a very solid AC 16 at level 1 (18 with a shield). Then pump Strength every time she gets a stat boost.

As an alternative, you could go Str 15/Dex 15/Con 15/Int 8/Wis 8/Cha 8. That leads to Str 15/Dex 17/Con 16/Int 8/Wis 8/Cha 8 with halfling mods; split the first stat boost between Str and Dex. Just be sure to go Path of the Berserker with this one, or every two-bit enchanter will have her attacking her own teammates.
 

Astrosicebear

First Post
I do however, find it a bit incredulous to have 35lb Halflings with a Strength of 15. There is no official ruling for this but I find it so defying of physical reality that it is disruptive to my suspension of disbelief at the game table.

I house rule that diminutive races (Halflings and Gnomes) should basically use their lowest stat for Strength. It’s my one and only house rule. Some may find this unfair, but why play a small race if you want to play a powerhouse character I say?

Your argument is invalid.

talented-kids-youngest-bodybuilder.jpg
 

drjones

Explorer
In a world where people can start huge raging fires by mumbling and twiddling their fingers and completely novel sentient races walk the planet I see no reason that said novel creatures musculature needs to work like real world humans.

But Capn is right, the time to start houseruling stuff and saying 'NO!!!!!' to player ideas is not your first game ever. Learn how the game works and how you and your players like to play before tinkering. And even then, try to find ways to say Yes rather than excuses to justify a No.
 

sgtscott658

First Post
If you you think of your game as an anime / manga type of world, then you should have no worries about real world limitations.

Scott
 

Using the default array, you could go 16 CON and 14 STR and 15 DEX easily. (Swapping CON and STR (14 and 15)
Which is a very solid 15 AC without armor. And a lot of HP.

Didn´t think about that switch around.

But still, this is a minor optimization. 15 STR alllows for taking a feat which gives +1 Str and something extra. The game is deadly at low levels, rewarding careful playing and only going into battle with major advantages, so +1 hp and 1 AC may spell the difference between life and death, but usually it won´t.
At level 2-3, it does not matter anymore, since she should be able to afford chain or better. And HP are high enough so it usually does not matter. At level 4, the ability boost will equal all out.
[MENTION=27252]TrippyHippy[/MENTION]:
15 STR is not all that much. If you don´t like it, ok. But don´t tell anyone that it is badwrongfun. And forcing anyone to use their lowest stat on str seems really unfun. Creatures that are smaller are relatively stronger and more robust. They can swing a hammer quite fine. Just give a hammer to a random child and ask it to hit you on the head with it as hard as they can.
 

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