D&D General Not *Another* Halfling Thread! (+)


One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
@doctorbadwolf The thing is, for me, what I like about the little folk is really hard to quantify as active abilities, and in the D&D framework are usually hard to quantify at all. For me, it's their resilience to corruption, (usually) community-focused lifestyles, and love of food. In certain other systems those are all able to be represented with clear mechanics.

Mechanically, I love their luck, but currently that's more reactive (turning failure into potential success) than active. Giving them the Lucky feat would make it more active. Stealth as an ancestral ability is something that's already given to a lot of the 'small' races, and is also hard to make an actual active ability. Unless we really lean into our original burglar and give them the ability to straight up turn invisible (proficiency times per day seems to be the new default).

Heck, we could REALLY lean into their association with invisibility and make them able to see invisible creatures, too (as an active or passive ability, either or).
Something I’ve suggested before is giving them a song of rest feature or a type of bardic inspiration they grant to the party during a rest, it’s a support ability but it’s still interesting.

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What I mean about making them flashy is to add active abilities, and things that make them play differently from other races.
I think this could be great, but I do want to offer up that part of the reason I like them (and I've seen other people share this) is that they're kind of a fantasy stepping stone. I see people complain about "Players play Elves like they're just Humans with pointy ears, when a race that lives for hundreds of years should act fundamentally different." Now, I think it's often delivered poorly, and overstated, but I can understand their point.

If you're a player, and that's the message you hear, that can be intimidating. It's no small challenge to portray an alien perspective like that. Enter the halfling. Definitionally part of fantasy for many people, and not terribly distant but nonetheless distinct from human in appearance, lifespan, demeanor. Room to step outside of your own lived experience, without needing to discard all of the touchstones of your own life you can lean on.

Again, I'm not against giving them a bit more that impacts active play. I think that would make them feel better to a section of the player base. I'm interested to see what ideas people come up with in response to your prompt! But I just would argue the fact that they don't inherently play that differently from humans is not necessarily a weakness.
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