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D&D 4E Reported post: 4E Halflings unrecognizable from Tolkien hobbits(3966015)


Original post:
Panamon Creel said:
Having just finished reading Races and Classes, I can say that I generally enjoyed it. I have hopes for the new streamlined rules and classes, and I can live with dragonborn and tieflings (although I think they would fit better in a supplement), and I like the references to the POL setting. However, one thing and one thing alone in R&C really irritated me - the new swamprat, dreadlocked halflings.

Even though I am familiar with the Lidda-type halflings, I would not have even recognized any of the artwork in R&C depicting halflings as "halflings", if it was not for the caption! Not one! They all look like slim dreadlocked humans. (I think the slimness makes them look tall, if they are not in some crouching position). (And I'm not certainly not racist, but what is with the "black halfling cleric"?)

As Dave Noonan explains in a side-bar, WOTC / TSR has been moving away from Tolkien hobbits ever since they re-named them halflings from the original game in the late 70s. Then with Dragonlance in the 80s came the obnoxious Kender full of wanderlust. The advent of 3E continued to de-Tolkienize halflings with the leather-clad, Trinity-esq Lidda, and then moved even further in 3.5 with the Eberron dragon-riding barbarian halflings. So now Races & Classes presents halflings as slightly taller with the "lithe physique of gymasts" who rule the waterways, who definitely don't have hairy feet and need shoes, and who from the art work apparently all have dreadlocks.

Although I can and will change this fluff easily enough (if I am the DM), I think it is a mistake for the game as a whole. Would you take away beards from dwarfs or pointy ears from elves? No. Then why drastically change halflings to make them unrecognizable from the dominant fantasy archetype? :confused: Millions of people are introduced to fantasy through Tolkien's books (and now Peter Jackson's movies) and would easily recognize halflings as "hobbits." Now I don't think any newbie to the hobby will pick up the book and recognize this distorted fantasy archetype.

That is exactly how I got into the game when I was 6 yrs old- by playing a halfling who I creatively named "Bilbo Baggins" and killed a giant rat with my dagger "Sting". (I guess this would still be possible for this generation's kids, although their "Bilbos" will have boots, tight leather pants, a riverboat and dreads). ;) (Sorry to keep harping on the dreads, but man is that irritating - just as bad as pictures as Tieflings on every other page).

The core rules and setting should reflect a generic fantasy setting. Therefore, I wish that WOTC would keep kender/ Eberron/ non-Tolkien halflings out of the core setting!

in Thread 4E Halflings unrecognizable from Tolkien hobbits

"I'm not a racist, but..."


Since you guys arent allowing that statement to be addressed in the thread I'm reporting it. I know I'm probably in the minority here (no pun intended) but that was pretty offensive.

Assigned Moderators: (mods who got the Email)
April O'Neil, Creideiki, d6, Darkness, Dinkeldog, Dinkeldog2, el-remmen, Eridanis, Henry, Hypersmurf, Pielorinho, Plane Sailing, Rel, Umbran

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