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

Mecheon

Sacabambaspis
Y'know, I think this whole thing is less of 'problems with halflings' and more 'problems with single species dwellings'.

Because realistically, y'know, places trade with one another, cultures clash and merge. "This is just the village of only halflings" is not a thing that would happen often.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
No one is saying halflings don't make good PCs.
That’s what it sounds like you’re saying with your claims that they’re “written like NPCs.”
Nor is it all about mechanics.
You say in the same post where you complain about their lack of weapon and armor proficiencies (despite the fact that very few PC races have weapon and armor proficiencies in 5e and most of them that do are long-lived races, but I digress), their prestige classes and their kits...
(I'm getting a sense that many are getting offended that I am questioning how D&D sets up halflings.)
No one is getting offended, we just think your arguments are nonsense.
Little in 5e lore and combat so I guess my halfling fighter/cleric is an untrained deputy who never got into a fight and barely has quality equipment.
Why? Why make that assumption? Just because the book doesn’t go on about halfling combatants doesn’t mean your halfling character can’t be a combatant. This argument doesn’t hold any water if you aren’t a diehard simulationist.
Let's hope the DM even gave halflings a diety.
I mean, they have deities in FR, which 5e mostly draws from for its assumed setting.
Maybe I'll be some retired adventurer halfling's son who just enherits a decent rapier and light armor. Is the race's warrior adventurers just wearing hand-me-downs? Is that the halfling way?
Sure, that seems like a fine character concept to me. I get the impression you don’t care for it much though, so just make a different one. You can be a halfling soldier if that’s what you want.
Halflings are not treated the same as dwarves and elves but are supposed to be on the same tier as them.
They should be treated differently, they are different! That difference is what sets them apart, gives them their own racial identity. Not every races identity needs to be built around militarism, nor should it be. Look, I get it, you don’t like the way halflings are written and that’s fine! You don’t have to like every race. But that doesn’t mean they “aren’t integrated into the setting,” whatever that even means. It certainly doesn’t mean they’re written like NPCs.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Y'know, I think this whole thing is less of 'problems with halflings' and more 'problems with single species dwellings'.

Because realistically, y'know, places trade with one another, cultures clash and merge. "This is just the village of only halflings" is not a thing that would happen often.
I do agree that the whole monocultural races living in isolated ethnostates thing D&D has going on is super weird and causes a lot of problems. But I’d actually argue halflings are one of the few races that have lore reasons why they live that way. Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer they be more integrated with other peoples. But I think the racial segregation of D&D worlds is a more biting critique of the way elves, dwarves and humans are written than it is of halflings.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Why? Why make that assumption? Just because the book doesn’t go on about halfling combatants doesn’t mean your halfling character can’t be a combatant. This argument doesn’t hold any water if you aren’t a diehard simulationist.
It doesn't even hold water for a diehard simulationist. The PHB says this under race.

"These details are suggestions to help you think about your character; adventurers can deviate widely from the norm for their race. It's worthwhile to consider why your character is different, as a helpful way to think about your character's background and personality."
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
That’s what it sounds like you’re saying with your claims that they’re “written like NPCs.”
The claim that they are written like NPCs is that they feel artificial and tacked on like how a DM places an NPC. The DM can place down an NPC and they can have no affect on the world.

No one cares who they eat. No one cares where they sleep. No one care how they survived so long. No one cares where their family is. No one cares how they got there.

Just plop. Here's a blacksmith. Plop. Here's an owlbear. Plop. A whole tribe of orcs. Plop. A village of halflings.

You plop down a human castle. Now you have to plop down nobles, knights, peasants, farms to feed them all, other nobles to have relation with. maybe a king or whatever government head they have. A temple. Now you have priests. Are the priest clerics? What's their industry. plop that down. Are there rivals? is it rich enough for crime. Plop dow some bandits or a gang....
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No one is saying halflings don't make good PCs. Nor is it all about mechanics. (I'm getting a sense that many are getting offended that I am questioning how D&D sets up halflings.)

For example. I've played a dwarven fighter/cleric. He wore heavy armor and wielded a hammer as that's what the mechanics and lore says dwarves use. Because of the smith culture displayed in the lore andmechanics, I jotted down the names of the smith clans who rafted my starting gear. Oh and I created my clan and melded it into m reason for adventure: gold and revenge on some giants. And I choose some spells that match the lore ofhow dwarves use magic.

Now if I did this for halflings. Halflings don'teven have racial weapons anymore. Any they never had racial armor. Their PRCs were obscure soI'd have to do work to look up how halflings fight. Halfling magic? Well the game more or least said halflings didn't even use magic until 3e and barely then. Halfling kits were fighter and rogue only and the fighter ones were silly jokes. Halfling combat. Halfling combat. It's too late to call a buddy and see it he can dig up a book on halfling fighting. Little in 5e lore and combat so I guess my halfling fighter/cleric is an untrained deputy who never got into a fight and barely has quality equipment. Let's hope the DM even gave halflings a diety. Maybe I'll be some retired adventurer halfling's son who just enherits a decent rapier and light armor. Is the race's warrior adventurers just wearing hand-me-downs? Is that the halfling way?

Halflings are not treated the same as dwarves and elves but are supposed to be on the same tier as them.
This...what?

How are you getting from “the lore doesn’t go into any specific martial traditions for these people” to...any of the rest of this?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The claim that they are written like NPCs is that they feel artificial and tacked on like how a DM places an NPC. The DM can place down an NPC and they can have no affect on the world.

No one cares who they eat. No one cares where they sleep. No one care how they survived so long. No one cares where their family is. No one cares how they got there.

Just plop. Here's a blacksmith. Plop. Here's an owlbear. Plop. A whole tribe of orcs. Plop. A village of halflings.

You plop down a human castle. Now you have to plop down nobles, knights, peasants, farms to feed them all, other nobles to have relation with. maybe a king or whatever government head they have. A temple. Now you have priests. Are the priest clerics? What's their industry. plop that down. Are there rivals? is it rich enough for crime. Plop dow some bandits or a gang....
I’m gonna let you in on a secret.

all fiction is artificial

🤯
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The claim that they are written like NPCs is that they feel artificial and tacked on like how a DM places an NPC. The DM can place down an NPC and they can have no affect on the world.

No one cares who they eat. No one cares where they sleep. No one care how they survived so long. No one cares where their family is. No one cares how they got there.

Just plop. Here's a blacksmith. Plop. Here's an owlbear. Plop. A whole tribe of orcs. Plop. A village of halflings.

You plop down a human castle. Now you have to plop down nobles, knights, peasants, farms to feed them all, other nobles to have relation with. maybe a king or whatever government head they have. A temple. Now you have priests. Are the priest clerics? What's their industry. plop that down. Are there rivals? is it rich enough for crime. Plop dow some bandits or a gang....
Except from the lore we know that Halflings farm and keep up friendly ties with neighboring lands, so you have to plop down those ties and with who. You also still have temples, as Halflings have gods. That means priests and clerics. We know that some Halflings are wealthy and keep their wealth in basements. So you have to plop down an upper class of Halflings with money. We know that Halflings produce a lot of adventurers. They are explicitly listed in the 5 races that commonly produce adventurers, so you have to populate the village with some NPCs with "classes and levels." We know that they have elders who don't rule as such, but have such influence as to basically be village leaders, so you have to make them and know their goals and desires. Perhaps some are ex-adventurers.

There's plenty to think about if you look at their culture for what it is..............another culture just as rich as Elves or Dwarves, but just different.
 

ericstephen

Villager
The main villains of my "Out of the Frying Pan" campaign were a litter of half-fiend gnomes.
I was gonna say. They were awesome.

And of course, Gnomes and Halflings are awesome. It all depends on what people want to play.

Pros of Gnomes: innately magical, cultural "oddballs", not very common so not many clichés
Pros of Halflings: an established niche of reluctant adventurer, are a great aesthetic fit for a rogue, and playing against type is always fun too
 

Y'know, I think this whole thing is less of 'problems with halflings' and more 'problems with single species dwellings'.

Because realistically, y'know, places trade with one another, cultures clash and merge. "This is just the village of only halflings" is not a thing that would happen often.
Especially given "gets on well with other races" is a halfling thing.

You could easily imagine an orc-halfling village for example, with the orcs (who are no longer always-CE) handling defence, and the halflings producing the food and booze.
 

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