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


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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Which video games ditch halflings?

Planescape: Torment has no halflings, but then it has no elves or dwarves either.

Practically every nonD&D western fantasy video game?

Warcraft, Warhammer, Might and Magic Dragon Age, etc.

Many games skip halflings but keep human, elf, and dwarf. The few that keep halfling are official D&D games who are forced to keep halflings or games that make halflings weak or joke characters that don't get pushed to the foreground.
Halflings have both. What on earth are you talking about?
Name them.

Elves got bladesinging and arcane archers and are big on wizards and druids. Dwarves use rune magic and forge, war, and stone clerics. Elves have archers and swordsmen. Dwarves have heavy axe and hammer infantry.

It's hard to follow or break stereotypes if none exists.
 




Name them.
Halfling bounders. Halfling outriders, to name just two. I'll even show you pictures.

chris.jpg
75048.jpg
 

Oofta

Legend
Let's see. Halflings are no good because
  • They aren't dwarves or elves
  • Orcs can invade their villages by tearing through the path in the bramble that they don't notice to get to the small hidden village they don't see.
  • A lot of non-D&D video games don't include halflings, therefore there is no halfling lore. This has nothing to do with copyrights for hobbits and likely for halflings with D&D.
  • Since they are listed as getting along with neighbors and enjoying a simple life, they have no defenses
  • Wizards are required to defend every village, halflings don't excel at being wizards and there's not a lot of association with wizards and halflings. Therefore they would be extinct.
  • They can't defend themselves because they are never depicted with weapons in the art (except when they are)
  • They don't build walled cities and aren't interested in military conquest therefor they can't defend themselves
  • They don't pay taxes, or something
  • Halfling luck (and brave) is doesn't mean anything or is actually a negative attribute. Somehow.
  • They're dominated by an agrarian society when they do have communities of their own. Which will be different from other races because, umm, reasons.
I see a whole lot of suppositions and requirements being set up for halflings that are never applied to the majority of races. Are they elves or dwarves? No. Neither are all the races that are not elves or dwarves.

I think halflings fit as well as any of the other races. They may not be flashy or bent on conquest but that actually works in their favor. Halflings make just as much sense as dozen or three other races in the books, if you don't like them don't have them in your campaign.

P.S. Yes, I'm being a little sarcastic in my list of why halflings are no good but only by a small amount. I don't want to short people on their arguments, I just don't think they rise to the height of "no reason to exist".
 

TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
That's the thing.

I have no problem with villages of people the size of grade schoolers with no army, no wizards, no nobility, no wealth, no political power, but tons of food. Just explain it.

And the reluctance of D&D to openly and overtly explain it hints that the design teams either want something but are afraid to make it concrete due to potential backlash OR they don't want to put halflings at that level of importance but did so out of obligation.
I feel like a pretty large difference of opinion here is that you seem to feel the onus is on the designers to provide this rationale in the core book, whereas most other posters in this thread feel the responsibility for such an explanation falls upon the GM if such an explanation is required or even necessary in their game.

The other difference is that you seem to feel such a simulative explanation is necessary for the gameplay, which again is not an opinion that seems to be shared within this thread.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Sure, 2/3's might not, but the ones using the bows would likely be the ones with the higher dex, and the ones with the strength would be the ones using strength weapons.
That's just silly.

Lord: I need every able bodied man to grab a sword or bow and help repel the Goblin invasion!
Commoner: Sorry, my int is 12, not my str or dex, so I can't pick up a sword or bow and help.

2/3 of everyone using a sword or bow in the fight would not have that bonus.
The entire point was simply to show that this insistance that Halfling luck would mean they hit far more often and crit far more often is a load of BS. Their Dex mod has done literally 20 times the work of the Lucky feature in ensuring accuracy.
I said hit and crit more often. I didn't use the word "far." Stop Strawmanning my position.....................again.

This is the position you have to agree with or disagree with. Do they hit and crit more often than humans due to their luck? Yes or no?
Because I've never been talking exclusively about goblins? I've talked about goblins as part of talking about common threats but I've also talked about ogres, hill giants and orcs. Who all have different ACs.
Okay. Orc: AC 13, Ogre: AC 11, Hill Giant: AC 13 and Goblin: AC 15. Which one of those has a 16 AC?
And finally, it is only 30% if you include the +2 Dex, which is an option not a guarantee. It is also actually 31.5% if we include the Lucky feature, which was your entire argument. The feature you cared about was Lucky, and yet you keep ignoring it in your examples. Almost as though I was right, and it really does not cause the massive change you claimed it did. Since, you know, you don't seem to care about it any more and I need to keep correcting your numbers.
More is more. Halflings hit and crit more. Period.
Except they do. Maybe only 1/3 of them, but +1 from the stat and then+1 from the feat gives them a 12 Dex.

Hell, even if you ignore that just getting proficiency alone is a +2 which is double what the the Halflings got from their 12 Dex. Making them more accurate.
Um. If you're adding proficiency to the Humans, then Halflings also get it. Remaining more accurate.
Edit: Also, I like how you completely ignore the math showing how even without the 12 dex and prof, the humans are doing far more damage.

And you ignore the range problem

and you ignore the assertion that 400 attacks a round make no sense
:🤷: Then give the Halflings short bows, which they can also use. And the idea that all human commoners would be weapons masters is absurd, which is why I ignored it. If you want to give a reasonable example, I'll be more than happy to engage it.
and you ignore the weapons issue, still insisting on slings when that isn't what Mordenkainen's says they use. Which again, they say they throw rocks and hit them with sticks. Both of which are strength, not Dex.
A stone intended to be thrown would be a dex weapon, not strength. A large rock intended to be use to hit with in melee would be strength. But I suppose since the DM makes the call on that, the DM could decide to screw the Halflings unnecessarily and rule that the stone would be strength.
 

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