RPG Evolution: The Trouble with Halflings

Over the decades I've developed my campaign world to match the archetypes my players wanted to play. In all those years, nobody's ever played a halfling.


Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

So What's the Problem?​

Halflings, derived from hobbits, have been a curious nod to Tolkien's influence on fantasy. While dwarves and elves have deep mythological roots, hobbits are more modern inventions. And their inclusion was very much a response to the adventurous life that the agrarian homebodies considered an aberration. In short, most hobbits didn't want to be adventurers, and Bilbo, Frodo, and the others were forever changed by their experiences, such that it was difficult for them to reintegrate when they returned home. You don't hear much about elves and dwarves having difficulty returning home after being adventurers, and for good reason. Tolkien was making a point about the human condition and the nature of war by using hobbits as proxies.

As a literary construct, hobbits serve a specific purpose. In The Hobbit, they are proxies for children. In The Lord of the Rings, they are proxies for farmers and other folk who were thrust into the industrialized nightmare of mass warfare. In both cases, hobbits were a positioned in contrast to the violent lifestyle of adventurers who live and die by the sword.

Which is at least in part why they're challenging to integrate into a campaign world. And yet, we have strong hobbit archetypes in Dungeons & Dragons, thanks to Dragonlance.

Kender. Kender Are the Problem​

I did know one player who loved to play kender. We never played together in a campaign, at least in part because kender are an integral part of the Dragonlance setting and we weren't playing in Dragonlance. But he would play a kender in every game he played, including in massive multiplayers like Ultima Online. And he was eye-rollingly aggravating, as he loved "borrowing" things from everyone (a trait established by Tasselhoff Burrfoot).

Part of the issue with kender is that they aren't thieves, per se, but have a child-like curiosity that causes them to "borrow" things without understanding that borrowing said things without permission is tantamount to stealing in most cultures. In essence, it results in a character who steals but doesn't admit to stealing, which can be problematic for inter-party harmony. Worse, kender have a very broad idea of what to "borrow" (which is not limited to just valuables) and have always been positioned as being offended by accusations of thievery. It sets up a scenario where either the party is very tolerant of the kender or conflict ensues. This aspect of kender has been significantly minimized in the latest draft for Unearthed Arcana.

Big Heads, Little Bodies​

The latest incarnation of halflings brings them back to the fun-loving roots. Their appearance is decidedly not "little children" or "overweight short people." Rather, they appear more like political cartoons of eras past, where exaggerated features were used as caricatures, adding further to their comical qualities. But this doesn't solve the outstanding problem that, for a game that is often about conflict, the original prototypes for halflings avoided it. They were heroes precisely because they were thrust into difficult situations and had to rise to the challenge. That requires significant work in a campaign to encourage a player to play a halfling character who would rather just stay home.

There's also the simple matter of integrating halflings into societies where they aren't necessarily living apart. Presumably, most human campaigns have farmers; dwarves and elves occupy less civilized niches, where halflings are a working class who lives right alongside the rest of humanity in plain sight. Figuring out how to accommodate them matters a lot. Do humans just treat them like children? Would halflings want to be anywhere near a larger humanoids' dwellings as a result? Or are halflings given mythical status like fey? Or are they more like inveterate pranksters and tricksters, treating them more like gnomes? And if halflings are more like gnomes, then why have gnomes?

There are opportunities to integrate halflings into a world, but they aren't quite so easy to plop down into a setting as dwarves and elves. I still haven't quite figured out how to make them work in my campaign that doesn't feel like a one-off rather than a separate species. But I did finally find a space for gnomes, which I'll discuss in another article.

Your Turn: How have you integrated halflings into your campaign world?
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

log in or register to remove this ad


Victoria Rules
I will agree that the way the term is used in the mechanics doesn't translate to the common usage, that is a big part of the problem.

I disagree that mechanical fear effects should make you a coward, and I will go as far as to say that mechanical fear effects cannot make the character a coward. There are far far too many instances of people in real life, who face horrors, who find themselves barely able to function, frozen, or forced to retreat by that horror... who turn around and face it again.
That "turn around and face it again" piece maps directly to the fear-causing effect wearing off and the player making an in-character choice shortly thereafter.
I have never once seen a Player character who was not forced to fall back due to fear, doing so. They always choose to keep fighting.
If there is in fact a choice. Having someone in your face means you have to keep fighting if you can, fear or not, out of simple self-preservation.

And I've seen loads of characters fall back or bail out on a fight, whether fear effects are involved or not, again out of self-preservation.
I have never seen a player character, whose character was forced to flee because of a fear effect, not turn around and re-enter the fight after that effect was over.
A character who flees is pretty much always, where possible, going to return to the party once the fear subsides (unless said character has the wisdom of a shoe); as the party provides safety in numbers. If the party is still involved in combat, whether or not said character rejoins the fighting (if still ongoing) is another question: I've at times seen wise characters hold off rejoining the fray until whatever caused their fear is dealt with, so as not to risk running away again and perhaps getting lost or running itno a hazard e.g. off a cliff or into quicksand.

The gnome's silly powers are strong.

No one with gonna mess with the buff clown.

This is why wizards are eccentric. They become powerful enough to stop caring about must and stop fighting the arcane madness.
He was pretty strong for a monk but we had a mystic in the party. My monk was mostly there to hold his beer..which was agreeable for my character.


Victoria Rules
Maybe that's the only fair way to do races - put humans in the PHB and every other race is in the MM, and the DM can specify which ones fit their campaign world.
Ya know, there's days when I could almost get behind that: a Humans-only game without any other PC-playable species.

I'm used to Elves and Dwarves and Hobbits and kinda like all three, but I guess I could live without them and all the others if it came to that.


In a game with over forty species it is not.

But, there aren't really forty species. There are like 5-8 species and then everyone else.

It is crazy to me have a bizarre vendetta against imaginary little people and twist statistics concoct arbitrary mathematical requirements to justify getting rid of them.
Please stop trying to ascribe motives. It's rude and very much against board rules.


But, I also don't let my personal preferences try to dictate to other people. Just because I might like gnomes (I can take or leave halflings to be honest) doesn't mean that they must be included in the core of the game. I'm just being realistic. Gnomes barely get played and halflings only get played because they are given every possible advantage and are still barely played. So, instead of insisting that my personal preferences are somehow proof of why halflings should be in the game, I instead would rather the game actually reflect what players want to play.


4.7% of how many million? That's not no-one.
Yes, it really is. 4.7% five years ago, before Tasha's removed the primary reason to play halflings - the Dex bonus.

Does anyone think that in the past five years, halflings have become MORE commonly played?

Sorry, yes, I feel no shame in ignoring 1 in 20 players in favor of improving the game by actually including things that more people will want to play. In the same way that Tieflings and Dragonborn have both proven that new races are very popular - with Goliaths also in the running despite not even being included in the PHB. Hell, Genasi are being played as often.


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Maybe you need to go and read again, because you clearly have no idea what the conversation was about.

Charlaquin was asking "why is this a thing, why do people act like this" and I tried to explain it. In the course of that, I used an example of a race concept I am trying to work on, and that partially has the issue I was talking about.

So... no, I don't expect WotC to do anything about my homebrew race I'm trying to make. Then it wouldn't be homebrew.
Except you’re also making very general statements about how the game is written.
If you are asking "is overdesigning multiple races into the same niche a concern WotC should have" ummm.... yes? It seems like a design problem is something the design team should be aware of and consider.
It isn’t a design problem. It’s a thing you don’t personally prefer, and nothing more than that.
Whether they consider they haven't run into an issue yet or not is up to them. But, personally, I would note that there are quite a few races that have effectively died on the vine, because they are either too specific to a setting, or redundant with other options. For Example, Feral Tieflings and Hellfire Tieflings. No one uses them, no one thinks about them, because the Archedevil variants have completely overtaken them and given people what they wanted with the Tieflings.

Are gnomes and halflings filling the same niche to a level it is a problem? Probably not.

Are gnomes, halflings, goblins, Kobolds, fairies, Aasimar, Changelings, Dhampir, Genasi, Harengon, Hexblood, Kenku, Owling, Reborn, Tabaxi, Tortle and Yuan-Ti are starting to crowd into a single niche starting to become a problem? That's more likely, isn't it.
Right, because obviously my concerns are purely mechanical, and can therefore be dismissed.
Directly and unmistakeably not what I said.
Yeah, almost like deciding which way to go is difficult. Kind of like it is easy to look at someone else saying "I'm struggling with this" and saying "I don't see why, this is easy" without anyone asking for their opinion.
But it’s not like, difficult on a design level. Choosing between Paladin and Fighter levels to portray my swashbuckler rogue’s training as a swordsman was also difficult. That doesn’t mean I’d come across a design issue.
So, do you have Maxperson blocked? He responded that my non-halfling (to use his formating) "Brave" adventurer would spend more time (to quote) Cowering and running away in fear than the halflings, so the halfling is braver, because they will make those saves.

So, yes, it seems someone is making those claims.

Now, was he making those claims before I pointed out the problem? No, I wasn't talking to him when I laid out the problem. Because it is a problem I've seen and talked to people about before trying to bring it up in this forum. And instead of discussing the narrative, everyone just keeps pointing to the trait and trying to explain to me how mechanics work.

And the thing is, you keep making the same assumption time and time again. You keep assuming that succeeding the check is because of bravery. You keep making bravery a binary state. Are you frightened or not? But, as we all know, being frightened does not prevent you from being brave. I keep repeating this, but everyone keeps just saying " but the trait is called bravery and it allows brave halflings to fight through and not be affected by fear because they are brave" But not suffering from fear IS NOT BRAVERY.

You know who else isn't afraid? Frenzy Barbarian while they are raging. They charge, screaming blood and froth and are so blinded by fury they cannot be afraid. Are they brave? Is being enraged to the point of seeing red a sign of bravery?

Real life, you know who else isn't affected by fear? People drunk or high. They get enough drugs in them, and they aren't affected by fear either. Is that bravery?

No. Because "not affected by fear" =/= Bravery. That isn't what the term means, that isn't why we use it, that isn't the concept. But because they keep using that narrative and tying it to this mechanic... that's the message people are getting. The bravery = "not being affected by fear" and that is a problem in my opinion, because it ignores what bravery actually is.
Youre completely misrepresenting both what I’ve said, and what Maxperson has said.


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You realize this is almost literally describing soldiers who flinch on the battlefield and miss a shot as not being brave, right? Like... you are literally making my point for me about why calling succeeding on these saves bravery is bad for the narrative of the game.
Why is it so hard for you to acknowledge that someone who has an easier time not freezing in combat, on a consistent basis, with or without any training at all, is more brave than someone who has difficulty in that situation?



And 400,000 people is not "no one." Please stop saying that. You are diminishing the interests of nearly half a million people because you don't like their choice, when their choice doesn't affect you at all.
Ah, but their choice DOES affect me.

Because halflings and gnomes are in the PHB, that means that every single setting guide, adventure, and supplement MUST include both of them, regardless of whether or not they fit. You absolutely must include material for both races in every (or nearly every, I'm sure there are exceptions) book no matter what.

I'm diminishing the interests of half a million people in the face of TWENTY TIMES more people. Ok, the math of that is off, but, you get the point.

Again, I'm not advocating at all to remove them from the game. I'm simply shunting them to another book so they don't clutter up the game with a bunch of material that is so rarely used. They are in the same category as polearm tables. They just aren't needed in the PHB. And, you keep pointing to Level Up. Why? Do you honestly think that the revised game is going to be more complex than currently? Hey, The World's Largest Dungeon is about a thousand pages, so, I guess every future module should be a thousand pages too. :erm: Why are you repeatedly pointing a book from another company? Do you really think they're going to double or triple the size of the PHB?


Sure. You're missing that the soldier who missed because he flinched just rolled low and the flinch was the narration for why he missed. That soldier was not suffering from a supernatural frightened condition that prevents him from moving towards the source of fear.

So, you are going to just change the narrative. "Fear" from artillery, or gunfire, or whatever else isn't supernatural, because we don't have supernatural things in our world. So you can dismiss the entire thing because it isn't MAGICAL fear.

Well, we don't define bravery against MAGICAL fear anyways, since magic isn't real in this world, so back to the drawing board I guess.

Once you understand that bravery isn't a constant thing, it's easier to understand how a PC can be brave one round, but not the next due to a form of mind control.

And now you can't be brave if you are mind controlled, because nothing says "define my character's personality" like removing control over that character.

How about, instead of twisting ourselves in knots, we just say "Halflings aren't braver than other races" and figure out a better way to represent the mechanics? Like that halfling's fear response doesn't cause them to shake, a halfling's hands are always steady, no matter what. Give them immunity to disadvantage caused by the fear condition.

Mechanics stay in place, and we don't have to jump through a dozen hoops to make human adventurers cowards so your 3 ft tall halfling can be called brave.

The novels and comics aren't relevant to this discussion. They are not D&D. D&D is the game with the rules, mechanics and such, not a medium that is tied to the power of plot. In books and comics, fully healthy dragons can die by accident when a rock fall on them. In D&D they can't.

Right. Nothing in DnD is pulled from comics and novels. Invisiblility Rings? Small plucky farmers? Dragons? All of them came from the mechanics of the game, nothing at all to do with novels. How could I possibly get the idea that storytelling might be involved in a game about telling a story anyways? It's a ludicrous idea. Pure numbers and math this game is.

If you're looking to inherently flawed sources for how things should happen in the game, you should probably reconsider your position.

Depends. When it comes to something like a +1 to hit helping you hit one additional time every 5-10 combats, no, you aren't going to notice that 5%. Nothing is around to tell you which hit is extra or in which combat it happened. When it comes to re-rolling a 1 due to halfling luck, you'd have to be brain dead not to notice that 1 turn into a success. You just rolled both numbers! So yes, you'll notice it all 3% of the time.

Right, braindead is it. I mean, how could you not notice and care about the single time it happens in a game, and you end up failing anyways. Because, you know, that happened. Clearly, a character defining moment of luck to see there single time using an ability not change a thing.

And yes, I know you said someone would have to be braindead not to notice them taking the 1 and rolling a success, but you still aren't getting how rare that is to actually happen. Maybe your players roll a lot of 1's, but many of mine don't and the ones that do, don't play halflings. So, even if it does happen once or twice a campaign... it still isn't that impactful. I mean, it could happen on their roll against getting drunk. A scene no one will really care about by the end of the campaign. Did they notice it? Sure. Did it matter? No, it didn't matter.


Ya know, there's days when I could almost get behind that: a Humans-only game without any other PC-playable species.

I'm used to Elves and Dwarves and Hobbits and kinda like all three, but I guess I could live without them and all the others if it came to that.
Wow, I get absolutely dogpiled for suggesting that the two LEAST PLAYED races (whatever they are) get shunted to the MM, and that's heretical. But, dumping all but the most played race in the Monster Manual is the solution? Seriously?

Note, for those keeping score. The ONLY reason I'm suggesting gnomes and halflings is because those two races HAPPEN to be at the bottom of the barrel of the PHB races. If it was elves and dwarves? Punt them. Whatever are the two LEAST PLAYED races gets cut every ten years as the new PHB comes out in favor of trying something that might get more traction with players. That's what I'm suggesting.

That way the PHB actually reflects what players want to play, rather than what some people want to force everyone else to play.


Because halflings and gnomes are in the PHB, that means that every single setting guide, adventure, and supplement MUST include both of them, regardless of whether or not they fit. You absolutely must include material for both races in every (or nearly every, I'm sure there are exceptions) book no matter what.
This feels like a reason to have either no races in the PHB or just humans if one wants creativity in the various worlds, so that a standard flotilla of races aren't forced into every book and setting no matter what.
Last edited:


And yes, I know you said someone would have to be braindead not to notice them taking the 1 and rolling a success, but you still aren't getting how rare that is to actually happen. Maybe your players roll a lot of 1's, but many of mine don't and the ones that do, don't play halflings. So, even if it does happen once or twice a campaign... it still isn't that impactful. I mean, it could happen on their roll against getting drunk. A scene no one will really care about by the end of the campaign. Did they notice it? Sure. Did it matter? No, it didn't matter.
Your characters don't roll 1's 5% of the time, or they don't roll dice very often?

Also, as far as the relationship of bravery and fear, any comment on the definitions and quotes in


I don't need to read your mind when I read your posts.

Clearly. Because when I say "I'm not attacking halflings as a concept" you clearly read and understood that, which is why you accused me of attacking halflings as a concept.

If they're not addressing your point, why are you even answering it? Why not just say "I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about this other thing?"

Instead, when people have said "Lucky does this thing," you then go on to talk about how it's not not a good rule.

Because I try and be polite and not ignore people's arguments. Which is a mistake, obviously, but I do try.

If roleplaying a halfling's luck is a burden, then why are you DMing? It's not like it's something you'd have to do multiple times a session. But presumably you do specific RP moments with each of your players based on their backgrounds, right? So why wouldn't you occasionally do a bit of halfling luck when you RP with with a halfling player?

Or do you not RP anything with any character that isn't covered by a mechanic?

Well, I'd be DMing because I'm the DM. If I wasn't the DM, I wouldn't be DMing. Kind of simple like that.

But, let's talk about this, because you bring up an interesting point. Do I RP things about character's backgrounds? Yes. If a character has a background as a sailor, I try and find a way to weave that in. If their backstory includes a loving family, I try to make reference to that, and encourage them to engage with that story. If they are a noble, their bloodline will likely come up. If they had a teacher of the arcane arts, they will likely encounter them.

Now, here's the part that might blow your mind. Halfling characters pick backgrounds too. They also might have an arcane master, or a mercenary past, or were part of a secret society. So those hooks will come up, and will add to the story. But, do you know what isn't a hook that typically plays into their background? "I'm just lucky"

Unless a player is leaning HARD into the silliness of extreme luck... it never actually is part of their backstory or their class or the story they are trying to tell with their character. The only reason they care about it, is because they wanted to reroll 1's. Now, you will probably ask me "then what's the problem?!" But, you see, it was players like that who didn't want to lean into the halfling luck that led me to realizing that if the DM doesn't lean into it... it doesn't appear in the story. For the trait that makes halflings unique among the other races... it never comes up, unless the DM pushes it to come up. Unlike all of the other racial traits, it is entirely passive, entirely in the background, and the DM has to force it to matter outside of the rare time they re-roll a 1. Which, to me, signals that... it isn't a good narrative trait. It puts the burden for the player's concept entirely in the hands of the DM, and so any player that does want those moments of luck, is going to have to entreat their DM to include them, which is not like any other trait in the game.

Well, no, because the narrative is up to the DM and players. The game covers the mechanics.

And so on. That's what the game does. It's up to the DM and players to actually make those mechanics sound interesting.

So fluff is an illusion? There is no narrative structures at all in DnD?

Weird... so where did the idea that goblins are servants of Magbuliyet come from? Because, that's not a mechanic, and me and my players certainly didn't create it, did I just forget creating that? Or creating the idea that hobgoblins work in tight military units? Or that hags enjoy spreading misery and ugliness?

Dang, how much stuff did I just forget that I made?

First off, you are once again forgetting there's a difference between being afraid and being subjected to the frightened condition. They're not the same thing.

Really? Then how did your post here "For the narration to continue with the PCs, the players have to be willing to show that their human characters are shaking with fear but willing to go ahead anyway while their halfling characters are just strolling in, unaffected." make any sense? Is the human character under a condition or just afraid? You didn't mention, you just said they have to be willing to show they are shaking with fear.

So, if you didn't mean they were shaking with fear because they were afraid, then what did you mean?

Secondly, there is NO ALOOF CONDITION. You are once again confusing a role-playing choice with a game mechanic. A person can role-play being aloof or surly or even afraid with zero mechanical support for that.

So, being aloof is role-playing decision. Being afraid is a role-playing decision. Being Brave is a mechanical trait that has nothing to do with role-play.

... And you can't seem to graps why I see that as a problem. Oh wait, let me guess, "anyone can choose to be brave, halflings just have a mechanical trait". Yeah, one that ties in with their, according to the post that started this off, unique role as the race that is brave. So, bravery is a role-playing trait that anyone can have... and a mechanical thing that differentiates halflings as unique amongst the races, and I can't possibly have been in a multi-page debate with Maxperson over calling characters "not brave" because they don't have that trait.

Thirdly, are the human and halfling PCs team players? Do you want to work together to improve the game's narrative? If so, then yes, RP your character as being frightened but willing to press on (because you made your save against being frightened) while the halfling continues on without a care in the world (because they also made their saving throw, but are "braver" than humans are). This isn't forcing the human to be scared; this is two players working together to RP racial differences.

I know that when I encounter an effect that puts the frightened condition on me and save against it, I at least try to roleplay being unnerved by it, even if I suffer no mechanical penalties. I do the same when I DM as well: if a PC saves against being frightened, I often tell them that they can feel the fear trying to grab them but they are able to push the worst of it aside. And my players are more than happy to RP that, and have done so even when I haven't said that. I had a player who decided that their character was going to have a full-fledged panic attack because one of their powers backfired (nat 1 on an attack roll) in a way that reminded them of a past trauma they had written into their background. The character wasn't being subjected to the frightened condition; the player RP'd being afraid.

So, again, I need to alter my role-playing to support the halfing, because if I role-played my character the way I wanted to, the halfling wouldn't feel special. I need to be a "team player" in that regard.

Tell me, what other race in the game determines how the people who don't pick it are supposed to role-play their characters.

So what is this? You want halflings to be "brave" because of the narrative, but you don't want the narrative to actually reflect the mechanics because then it isn't fair to the other players because it somehow forces them to be less brave, and you don't want to put out any extra effort to make the narrative more interesting. This is why I say it's obvious you just don't like halflings, because nothing is going to make you happy here.

Again, you show that you haven't actually paid attention to what I am saying. Because you immediately get it wrong with the first point.

I don't want halflings to be brave. Adventurers are brave. It is a role-playing trait. If halflings need to keep some sort of mechanic against the frightened condition, there are better ways to do it. But this narrative of "the halfling is the brave race" hurts the game. It is either ignored in the narrative, or other players need to bend to the halflings story and ignore their own. And, I'm sorry, I didn't play a human knight because I was interested in the story of a halfling warlock. If I wanted to worry about RPing a halfling warlock, I'd have played one.

And why not? The other players are brave because they overcame their fears. The halfling is brave because they didn't have the fear to begin with.

And again, being afraid is not the same as the frightened condition!

And resisting supernatural mind-altering effects isn't overcoming your fears. Or maybe I decided that my Knight has no fears to begin with. Am I not allowed to do that?

Except that you are refusing to actually understand the solution.

Halfling luck--lowercase l-luck--isn't "supposed" to be consistent. It just happens. It's not a mechanic that says the halfling finds a copper on the ground 1/short rest. You can throw it into the game whenever you want to. You can encourage the player to invent their own lucky finds, within some guidelines. You can also provide RP moments that emphasize the elfiness of your elf PCs, the dwarfiness of your dwarf PCs, and the humaness of your human PCs at the same time.

If you actually cared about the narrative, you'd do this.

Right, if I actually cared about the narrative, I'd give the halfling special treatment, regardless of how that made the other players feel. I mean, it isn't required that I even do it, I could totally ignore the halflings luck and not engage with it. Or I can tell the player that they can come up with their own things that happen. I mean, you know my groups, so you know how that will go.

I'm only suggesting this because you are overly concerned with the name of a trait. Literally nobody in my game that has three halflings, a tiefling, and a half-orc cares one whit about the trait's name or what it means because they are capable of looking past the name. Above, when I talked about the PC having a panic attack? That was one of the halflings (who either chose not to reroll that nat 1 or rolled a second nat 1, can't remember because it was several years ago), because the player is aware of the difference between fear and the frightened condition and who chose to RP it.

Looking past the name... it is re-roll against a disadvantage on attacks. It carries no more weight than the poison resistance that does the exact same thing.

It is when we start caring about roleplaying that this starts becoming an issue. Now, I'm glad you've never run into any problems with this. But since dueling anecdotes doesn't get us anywhere, perhaps you shouldn't brush off my concerns as nonsense because I "clearly don't understand" when it took multiple days to even get you to engage in the conversation I've been trying to have.

Neither Bravery nor Lucky are personality traits. They are the names of traits. You are confusing them with lowercase-b brave and lowercase-l lucky.

Do you think naming something after a personality trait, then claiming it is defining for an entire race of people, might be the problem? I mean, call me crazy, but if you made a new race and gave them a mechanical trait that allowed them to take the help action as a bonus action and called it "Loving" then maybe people might think that it... has something to do with being loving? Especially as the race is billed as a race full of loving people. And that being loving is defining for their entire race. And that other players might look at that and go... "well... my character is loving" and wonder why this personality trait is being treated as a mechanical thing that is now attributed to this single race.

I mean, you'll note. No elf in the game has an "aloof" or "whimsical" trait. No Dwarf has "grumpy" or "stubborn" as a trait. Might be a reason for that.

If you choose to not have a discussion with your players about the nature of halfling luck and the forms it might take, that's your problem, not the game's and not mine.

So, now it can't be a problem because DMs should talk to their players and set expectations for it before the game. It is amazing the lengths people will go to to ignore something.


Your characters don't roll 1's 5% of the time, or they don't roll dice very often?

Also, as far as the relationship of bravery and fear, any comment on the definitions and quotes in

I'm sure, in aggregate, all of my players over all of my games, have rolled 1's close to 5% of the time.

However, that doesn't mean that a specific player, in a specific game has ever rolled a 1. And in fact, I've had a lot of players who during a campaign, rarely or never rolled 1's. I have another player who rolls 1's more often than he rolls above a 10. But he doesn't play halflings.

As for your definitions, I saw that before. However, I didn't want to get further bogged down in how "moving forward despite fear" is not literally moving in a specific forward direction. That phrase is often metaphorical, like choosing to more forward with your life. Equating it to the same thing as not being able to literally take a step forward isn't helpful.

Also, note one of those synonyms of "brave" Intrepid. Wonder where I've heard that used... Intrepid Adventurers?


I wonder if that is a common term used for all adventurers, along the lines of Brave Adventurers. Because, you know, all Adventurers are brave or intrepid or courageous. It is kind of the point. Which is why having one race that is "the brave race" doesn't work in the context of the party.

Epic Threats

Related Articles

Visit Our Sponsor

Epic Threats

An Advertisement