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

Vaalingrade

Legend
Just from a worldbuilding standpoint, not having 'practical simple farmers who enjoy a good meal and good company... just like every pastoral poem and story written for the "good ol' folk" of middle America or the rolling hills of the Greater British Isles' seems kind of grimdark and boring.

What are all these militaries even fighting to protect? What are all these adventurers of all races hoping to come home to? To quote the great philosopher Whoever Wrote the Mr. Belvedere Lyrics, 'Life is more than mere survival'.

Not everything can be about the blood and violence. There has to be something nice and centering and attainable or else the rest is all meaningless.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Like I said, if halflings end up being the pastoral serfs of a human lord... what makes them different than the human pastoral serfs of the human lord? The halfling trope is the "good ol' country boy" trope almost note for note. So if you are integrating them into human society, of course they fit there, because they are a trope of human society.
I mean, you might as well ask what makes dwarves different than human miners and craftspeople, or what makes elves different than humans who live in the forest. All fantasy races are reflections of subsets of humanity. That’s why humans’ gimmick in fantasy settings is that they’re super diverse and flexible.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
If a raiding party "slips through" you send an army to wherever they are slipping through from and slaughter everyone. Pretty soon no one slips through, and everyone goes back to farming.

You don't send an army at a raiding party. You keep a simple centralized defense force nearby or hire adventurers. You know.. what.. the game is about.

I'm not saying D&D defaults as a death world. However it is a noticeable more dangerous than Medieval Europe/Asia/Africa.

So one might except a race that generally happy go lucky with few ambitions of power or wealth to have something more that "I am 5% luckier than humans but half their size"

Gnomes, the other iconic small race, has a tradition of illusionists to counter their small size on defense. Goblins upped their maliciousness and viciousness. Kobolds weaponized being pathetic.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Kobolds weaponized being pathetic.
Reportedly... The survivor only saw the one & only from the knees down. It was never clear if it was a kobold running from the same traps that killed the rest of the party or something horrible that was involved in the creation of those horrible horrible hazards. That & it was hard to get a clear retelling because the survivor just kept rocking back & forth recounting how his allies screamed in the fires once they all decided to escape
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
You don't send an army at a raiding party. You keep a simple centralized defense force nearby or hire adventurers. You know.. what.. the game is about.

I'm not saying D&D defaults as a death world. However it is a noticeable more dangerous than Medieval Europe/Asia/Africa.

So one might except a race that generally happy go lucky with few ambitions of power or wealth to have something more that "I am 5% luckier than humans but half their size"

Gnomes, the other iconic small race, has a tradition of illusionists to counter their small size on defense. Goblins upped their maliciousness and viciousness. Kobolds weaponized being pathetic.
Right, so this is a mechanical issue for you. The lore is that halflings rely on bravery and luck, but you don’t find the bonus from Brave and Lucky sufficient reflections of that lore.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Right, so this is a mechanical issue for you. The lore is that halflings rely on bravery and luck, but you don’t find the bonus from Brave and Lucky sufficient reflections of that lore.

It's both lore and mechanical.

I don't think the lore emphasizes the level of luck halflings have.

I don't the the mechanics display the level of luck halflings have.

They both portray them as slightly lucky short humans but runs them as pseudo leprechaun paupers. There's a disconnect there.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It's both lore and mechanical.

I don't think the lore emphasizes the level of luck halflings have.

I don't the the mechanics display the level of luck halflings have.

They both portray them as slightly lucky short humans but runs them as pseudo leprechaun paupers. There's a disconnect there.
Ok. “There’s a disconnect between the way they’re portrayed and the way they run” is a very different complaint than “they’re written like NPCs.”
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Ok. “There’s a disconnect between the way they’re portrayed and the way they run” is a very different complaint than “they’re written like NPCs.”
That is the complaint.

Halflings are listed as an iconic PC race but played and function in the world like NPC monsters converted to PC rules.
 



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