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D&D General why do we have halflings and gnomes?


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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Now for something different
A thought experiment

Imagine you were making a barebones D&D edition or clone. However each race was defined by the stereotypical classes they were allowed to be and their specialization within those classes. You know, like the olden days. How would halflings and gnomes lookin compared tothe other races? What would be their allowed classes?

Gnome: Fighter (Artillery, Light Blade, and Pick Specialization) Rogue (Tinkering and Perception focus), Wizard (Illusionist)
Halfling: Fighter (Bow, Light Blade, and Sling Specialization), Rogue (Pickpocket and Stealth focus)
Halflings are very close to their gods and nature. They would get Cleric and Druid(the lore even mentions Druids) as well.
 

Minigiant

Legend
I think Forest Gnomes would also get Druid and Ranger.

Halflings are very close to their gods and nature. They would get Cleric and Druid(the lore even mentions Druids) as well.
So...

Gnome: Fighter (Artillery, Light Blade, and Pick Specialization), Priest (Druid), Ranger (Swarm keeper), Rogue (Tinkering and Perception focus), Wizard (Illusionist)

Halfling: Fighter (Bow, Light Blade, and Sling Specialization), Priest(Cleric or Druid), Rogue (Pickpocket and Stealth focus)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The pure fact that 2 important classes (Witch and Ninja) weren't included
The witch has little meaningful history in D&D as a class, and the Ninja is a subclass of monk, or if you want a non-magical variety, a subclass of rogue.

2,000 posts! I knew you could you make it!

And still, no one willing to address the plain fact that gnomes were a mistake. You all know it's true, deep down.
Gnomes are the best lineage in the PHB.
Everybody knows what a DnD monk is. They attend monasteries up in mountains where they live ascetic lives and train constantly under the supervision of some mysterious old dude with a long, thin moustache who says meaningless crap that sounds deep, then they go off into the world and do kung fu.

Anyone who's ever watched television understands what this is trying to be.

Nobody knows what the hell a gnome is. Your going to lie to yourself and pretend that gnome is a well-understood archetype that we all agree on because you're steeped in decades of DND culture, but the basic races and classes should be those I can explain in detail to someone who knows nothing about DnD or its spin-offs by saying something like 'a Hobbit, like in Lord of the Rings'.

I mention gnomes and people think of stupid little guys with red hats in the gardens of people with poor taste. Or we have a big confusing discussion about folklore and the development of fantasy stereotypes because their native language does not distinguish between gnomes and dwarves.

@#&! gnomes.
Gnomes are great. I have never met a single person in all my life who didn’t know what a gnome was, or had any trouble understanding “like cartoons or whatever, but less silly, and either more Fey or more tinker depending on choice of culture”.
 



Nellisir

Adventurer
So...

Gnome: Fighter (Artillery, Light Blade, and Pick Specialization), Priest (Druid), Ranger (Swarm keeper), Rogue (Tinkering and Perception focus), Wizard (Illusionist)

Halfling: Fighter (Bow, Light Blade, and Sling Specialization), Priest(Cleric or Druid), Rogue (Pickpocket and Stealth focus)
I run gnomes as woodsy and dangerous, and less "druidic", so I'm OK with dropping druid and emphasizing ranger. Not up-to-date with 5e, so whatever allows them to run with the badgers. And otters. And wolverines. And foxes.

The illusionist is spot-on, though. Elves are more pure fighter/wizard. Polearms are good for small folk too. Gygax had pikegnomes.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I run gnomes as woodsy and dangerous, and less "druidic", so I'm OK with dropping druid and emphasizing ranger. Not up-to-date with 5e, so whatever allows them to run with the badgers. And otters. And wolverines. And foxes.

The illusionist is spot-on, though. Elves are more pure fighter/wizard. Polearms are good for small folk too. Gygax had pikegnomes.
Yeah I am definitely killing the “heavy weapons” restrictions for small folk. They would simply make less end-heavy, slightly shorter, polearms. Guess what folks, humans also did that, and they still worked! 😂
 

So...

Gnome: Fighter (Artillery, Light Blade, and Pick Specialization), Priest (Druid), Ranger (Swarm keeper), Rogue (Tinkering and Perception focus), Wizard (Illusionist)

Halfling: Fighter (Bow, Light Blade, and Sling Specialization), Priest(Cleric or Druid), Rogue (Pickpocket and Stealth focus)
Unless we are limiting to the original 12 classes, I would also add Artificer to the Rock Gnome list, as well as Rogue (Arcane Trickster).
 

The pure fact that 2 important classes (Witch and Ninja) weren't included over the wretched Monk is just another reason while constant exclusions harm the editions and make many think that just cos it's not there it doesn't matter. Nothing a Monk does is important as a hero and this crap about them 'destroying the Ki-NRG of their foes by virtually soaking it up like a sponge and having fists and feet of deadliness that actually harm living flesh and go through armour, well it's just stupid. Spellcasters (proper ones) do all the so-called Monk does in this way, and the Ninja and Rogue are the ones that handle the karate naughty word. This sucking-up living NRG thing to destroy your opponent is an Undead thing!

Weird how you act like a statement is a rant, and missing the points I'm making. I'm aligning Clerics with them because they're simply God-following fighters than sometimes go questing. Monks do this too, there's your link. How can a Witch and a Ninja not be a 'thing'. Especially as female equality is now a given thing for recently published D&D. A fantasy world without Witches as a major class? Dumb as naughty word. Blotting out the Ninja, ditto. How on earth a stupid Monk is worth more than these 2 I'll never know. I mean, Oracles, Inquisitors and Summoners stretch it enough, but they all seem to have more of a point than a Monk, which also seems to be some sort of fleshy elemental regarding it's silly features. Go on, idiot, give me all your so-called superior reasons why these wannabee Ninja/Rogue/Priest wish fulfilments work. Even Hobbits make more bloody sense. A Monk is one thing that'll never feature in my games. They achieve no more than a bloody Commoner would. At least all the other classes have something to offer (including the ones left OUT of 5E, ditto ignored monsters for the 2014 Monster Manual). Hold back on your silly rant nonsense, or I'll conclude you're just baiting and don't give any more a naughty word about Monks then Modrons.
Enhh. I act like a rant is a rant when it goes on continuously for a while with no break in pace, no clear structured argument, no persuasive evidence, and only the vaguest evidence that the author plays the game or understands at all the classes they are describing.

  • Ninjas are monks. Or rogues. Donezo..mission accomplished
  • Witches are warlocks or wizards. The only differences are the relative passions for millinery...Done here as well.
  • "God following fighters that sometimes go questing" only describes clerics if you squint, actually describes paladins pretty dead on, kind of describes some fighters, and has barely anything to do with monks.
  • Sucking up NRG...seems like something you're making up.
  • Having fists and feet of deadliness makes significantly more sense than most other magic D&D bs-ery. Like... There are people on Earth who can do some of this stuff.
I'm not going to claim they need to exist. @tetrasodium brought up some fair complaints about them. I happen to think that a class focused on physical/spiritual self-perfection does fill a different enough thematic niche to be worthwhile and the mechanics of it are different enough that you feel it in play.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Unless we are limiting to the original 12 classes, I would also add Artificer to the Rock Gnome list, as well as Rogue (Arcane Trickster).

I was thinking 6 classes
  1. Fighter (By weapon or Armor Spec)
  2. Priest (by priest type)
  3. Rogue (By skill focus)
  4. Trickster (Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock)
  5. Warrior (Barbarians, Monks, Paladins, Rangers)
  6. Wizard (By School)
So

Gnome: Fighter (Artillery, Light Blade, and Pick Specialization), Priest (Druid), Rogue (Tinkering and Perception focus), Warrior (Ranger), Wizard (Illusionist)

Halfling: Fighter (Bow, Light Blade, and Sling Specialization), Priest(Cleric or Druid), Rogue (Pickpocket and Stealth focus)

The thing to me is that Halflings are rather limited as a culture in training PCs directly. Would halfling villages train other classes or would a ranger or wizard be the only ones in the world?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Weird how you act like a statement is a rant, and missing the points I'm making.... Dumb as ****. .... Go on, idiot, give me all your so-called superior reasons...

Mod Note:
You dismiss, call people idiots, curse at them... and wonder why they think you are ranting, rather than giving reasoned points?

For the insults and the foul language, which are both against the board rules - you are done in this thread. Next time, treat people well.
 

cmad1977

Hero
Don't patronise me. I know what a Monk is, a generally boring and Holy Ninja Priest mash-up without the cool tools, and assassination angles. A Monk, as generally thought of, is NOTHING like they're describing it. Blowing flames from their mouths like Dragons, sucking up NRG like Undead, kicking and punching their way through bone, armour and resistant Fiend-flesh? THIS is what Monks do?! Must of missed all the films and TV based on them doing THAT?! You're another missing the point. A D&D Monk makes no sense at all, it COULD be anything, it has too many aspects of loads other classes. It's just not important; you might as well dump a whole load more class types in there from Commoners onwards and have THEM as players. And what a dumb thing to say-how can everyone who got the Player's Handbook or just simply typed 'Gnome-'D&D' or 'Gnome-Pathfinder' into Google will then get an idea of what they are! So what if Gnomes only come to mind as garden ornaments for loads of people, they do the same thing for Undead. Every fool now believes Zombies are brain-eating actors in soup-stained clothes with a skin complaint thanks to Hollywood, and to them too, Spectre, Wraith, Hobgoblin and more likely all come under the collective dictionary term as 'spirit in folklore' or 'ugly fairy'-two descriptions, incidentally, that certainly aren't the D&D idea of Hobgoblin. Who cares if a Gnome is or isn't a well-understood race. You going to lie to me and tell me ALL OTHER RACES are more fully understood? Not least when beings like Merrows, Darklings and others seem to mean 2 or 3 different things between differing D&D information.

I’ll have whatever this guys having. Must be wiiiiild.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The thing to me is that Halflings are rather limited as a culture in training PCs directly. Would halfling villages train other classes or would a ranger or wizard be the only ones in the world?
All races have all classes. What we are discussing would just be the most common. While significantly less common than the common classes, Wizards and such wouldn't be terribly rare.

Halflings have also traditionally had outriders on dogs and such, so I could see Ranger(Beast Master) as well.
 

Minigiant

Legend
All races have all classes. What we are discussing would just be the most common. While significantly less common than the common classes, Wizards and such wouldn't be terribly rare.

Halflings have also traditionally had outriders on dogs and such, so I could see Ranger(Beast Master) as well.
The thought experiment is more ore less "Oe was recreated today and nonhumans were limited in class options, which classes would the races be limited to if the class options were expanded"

For example dwarves where limited to fighting man and thief before. However many see a dwarven forge/rune priest and battelragers as a core images of D&D dwarves. So Dwarves would be limited to

Barbarian (Battlerager) Fighter (Aze, Crossbow, and Hammer Spec) Priest (Forge or Rune) Rogue (Lockpicking and Trap Disarming Focus)

Now do it for gnomes and halflings.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The thought experiment is more ore less "Oe was recreated today and nonhumans were limited in class options, which classes would the races be limited to if the class options were expanded"

For example dwarves where limited to fighting man and thief before. However many see a dwarven forge/rune priest and battelragers as a core images of D&D dwarves. So Dwarves would be limited to

Barbarian (Battlerager) Fighter (Aze, Crossbow, and Hammer Spec) Priest (Forge or Rune) Rogue (Lockpicking and Trap Disarming Focus)

Now do it for gnomes and halflings.
Then add Ranger(Beast Master) and Bard(love of stories, curiosity, music(PHB), etc.). And of course the others already listed.
 



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