OneDnD The new halfling description is extremely good

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
After years of hearing complaints about halflings, WotC seems to have addressed them head-on in the first One D&D playtest document:
Cherished and guided by gods who value life, home, and hearth, halflings gravitate toward bucolic havens where family and community help shape their lives. That said, many halflings are blessed (some might say cursed) with a brave and adventurous spirit that leads them on journeys of discovery, affording them the chance to explore a bigger world and make new friends along the way. Their size—being not unlike that of a human child—helps them avoid unwanted entanglements and slip into and out of tight spaces.

Anyone who has spent time around halflings, and particularly halfling adventurers, has likely witnessed the storied “luck of the halflings” in action. When a halfling is in mortal danger, it seems as though an unseen force intervenes on the halfling’s behalf. Many halflings believe in the power of luck, and they attribute their unusual gift to one or more of their benevolent gods, including Yondalla, Brandobaris, and Charmalaine.
Now, I think a lot of the complaints about halflings are overblown, or even outright clickbait -- "I don't understand why they'd be adventurers!" complain human beings who live within 15 miles of the high school they graduated from 20 years ago -- but WotC wants to put those complaints to rest.

We get sedentary, homebody hobbits as the societal default, but we also have Tooks or 3E and 4E halflings, who feel the urge to wander and explore (dreadlocks and river-rafts optional).

Why is your halfling an adventurer? Because many halflings get that urge.

Basically, whatever your (mainstream) view of halflings, the next PHB will explicitly say "yep, those halflings are represented here."

HALFLING TRAITS
Creature Type: Humanoid
Size: Small (about 2–3 feet tall)
Speed: 30 feet
Life Span: 150 years on average

As a Halfling, you have these special traits. Brave. You have Advantage on saving throws you make to avoid or end the Frightened Condition on yourself.
Halfling Nimbleness. You can move through the space of any creature that is of a Size larger than yours, but you can’t stop there.
Luck. When you roll a 1 on the d20 of a d20 Test,* you can reroll the die, and you must use the new roll.
Naturally Stealthy. You have Proficiency in the Stealth Skill.
These are all pretty good. As an old fart, I wouldn't mind if halflings had proficiency with slings by default, but I'm not sure if there's any classes that don't get proficiency with slings anyway.

HALFLINGS OF MANY WORLDS
On many worlds, halflings are walking, talking contradictions: home, tradition, and pastoral pursuits collide with a gods-given love of adventure and a knack for getting into and out of trouble. Halfling communities come in all varieties. For every sequestered halfling shire tucked away in some unspoiled corner of the world, there’s a halfling crime syndicate like the Boromar Clan on the world of Eberron or a territorial mob of halflings like those found on the world of Athas.

Some halfling settlers, particularly ones who prefer to live underground, are thought to have a little bit of dwarven blood coursing through their veins and are sometimes called strongheart halflings or stouts. Nomadic halflings, as well as those who live among humans and other tall folk, are sometimes called lightfoot halflings or tallfellows.
WotC went ahead and killed off lineages for halflings, like I wish they would have for gnomes. But with the death of racial ASIs, there's not much left to differentiate halfling lineages.

Hot take: I wish they'd have explicitly said that kender were just what halflings were called on Krynn, where they have a unique culture, but that would likely clash with the new Dragonlance book coming out and upset a lot of fans.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Hot take: I wish they'd have explicitly said that kender were just what halflings were called on Krynn, where they have a unique culture, but that would likely clash with the new Dragonlance book coming out and upset a lot of fans.
Well, Kender : Halflings as Deep Gnomes : Gnomes, maybe? At least the Kendr have magical powers that are different, not just an ASI and some cultural traits.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Well, Kender : Halflings as Deep Gnomes : Gnomes, maybe? At least the Kendr have magical powers that are different, not just an ASI and some cultural traits.
I don't recall the 5E kender having any abilities that halflings haven't gotten in some previous era of the game.

Kender are halflings with manbuns, which is the real reason to hate them.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It’s also looking like the 5e Kender are going to have fey ancestry, which I don’t think is true of halflings.
 



After years of hearing complaints about halflings, WotC seems to have addressed them head-on in the first One D&D playtest document:

Now, I think a lot of the complaints about halflings are overblown, or even outright clickbait -- "I don't understand why they'd be adventurers!" complain human beings who live within 15 miles of the high school they graduated from 20 years ago -- but WotC wants to put those complaints to rest.

We get sedentary, homebody hobbits as the societal default, but we also have Tooks or 3E and 4E halflings, who feel the urge to wander and explore (dreadlocks and river-rafts optional).

Why is your halfling an adventurer? Because many halflings get that urge.

Basically, whatever your (mainstream) view of halflings, the next PHB will explicitly say "yep, those halflings are represented here."


These are all pretty good. As an old fart, I wouldn't mind if halflings had proficiency with slings by default, but I'm not sure if there's any classes that don't get proficiency with slings anyway.


WotC went ahead and killed off lineages for halflings, like I wish they would have for gnomes. But with the death of racial ASIs, there's not much left to differentiate halfling lineages.

Hot take: I wish they'd have explicitly said that kender were just what halflings were called on Krynn, where they have a unique culture, but that would likely clash with the new Dragonlance book coming out and upset a lot of fans.

The actual improvement seems to be no more of that horrible bobble headed Halflings.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
The new halfling VTT miniature:

s-l640.jpg
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
These are all pretty good. As an old fart, I wouldn't mind if halflings had proficiency with slings by default, but I'm not sure if there's any classes that don't get proficiency with slings anyway.
Just checked. Everyone can use slings.

So I amend my idle musing:

What would be the impact of giving halflings advantage with slings? It'd mean they could do ranged sneak attacks, but the base damage of a sling (1d4 bludgeoning) is no great shakes. Would consistent ranged sneak attacks with a sling be grotesquely overpowered?
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Just checked. Everyone can use slings.

So I amend my idle musing:

What would be the impact of giving halflings advantage with slings? It'd mean they could do ranged sneak attacks, but the base damage of a sling (1d4 bludgeoning) is no great shakes. Would consistent ranged sneak attacks with a sling be grotesquely overpowered?
I'd maybe go with a damage reroll or a increase in damage die instead. Or that they ignore the long range penalty or 1/2 cover, something like that.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Just checked. Everyone can use slings.

So I amend my idle musing:

What would be the impact of giving halflings advantage with slings? It'd mean they could do ranged sneak attacks, but the base damage of a sling (1d4 bludgeoning) is no great shakes. Would consistent ranged sneak attacks with a sling be grotesquely overpowered?
Given the overall move away from non-magical/divine Proficiency for Races, that feels.maybe more like a Feat to use as the center of a "Shire Reeve" Background.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Now, I think a lot of the complaints about halflings are overblown, or even outright clickbait -- "I don't understand why they'd be adventurers!" complain human beings who live within 15 miles of the high school they graduated from 20 years ago -- but WotC wants to put those complaints to rest.

We get sedentary, homebody hobbits as the societal default, but we also have Tooks or 3E and 4E halflings, who feel the urge to wander and explore (dreadlocks and river-rafts optional).

Why is your halfling an adventurer? Because many halflings get that urge.
.
As your comment about humans stay-homes highlights the rational that halflings adventure because ‘some are adventurous’ is exactly the same rational that can apply to Humans or every other race. Halflings are just short lucky humans, and with the notion that humans can choose to be small too, halflings are even more redundant…
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
As your comment about humans stay-homes highlights the rational that halflings adventure because ‘some are adventurous’ is exactly the same rational that can apply to Humans or every other race. Halflings are just short lucky humans, and with the notion that humans can choose to be small too, halflings are even more redundant…
Humans can also be hairy, making dwarves redundant and full of themselves, making elves redundant.
 


I miss stout halflings.
I like being resistant to poison instead of extraordinarily stealthy.
Maybe some better multi race rules (you might swap a minor feature from one parent race with the other ones), I would be ok.
 

What would be the impact of giving halflings advantage with slings? It'd mean they could do ranged sneak attacks, but the base damage of a sling (1d4 bludgeoning) is no great shakes. Would consistent ranged sneak attacks with a sling be grotesquely overpowered?
It'd probably be fine with the new "Crits only double the weapon dice" rule, but that rule is going to eat it in the popularity contest. If you give them perma-advantage, even at sad damage, though, people are going to find a way to exploit the hell out of that.

Personally I'd just go all "Next playtest" on them and make them do 1d8 damage with slings.
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Personally I'd just go all "Next playtest" on them and make them do 1d8 damage with slings.
That's even better, actually, since it would actually encourage sling use among halflings (of all classes!) without setting up potentially catastrophic surprise interactions from permanently giving them advantage with them.

Sure but humans don’t get tremorsense or get to tiptoe across moonbeams
Speak for yourself.
 

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