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


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Chaosmancer

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.

Not nearly extreme enough for Grimdark, and I can't fathom why you think it would be boring.

Again, I brought up that trope because it is such a massively human trope. I live in the Midwest and I studied American Lit., it is everywhere in my life. And halflings don't move beyond that trope in a meaningful way.

And, if there are militaries protecting that land, then it isn't as the halflings are presented in the book. Again, unless everyone's assumption is that halflings live deep in the center of human kingdoms where none of the normal dangers of DnD can reach, then Halflings need to have more defenses than we are told they have.


And also, it is starting to bother me how... easily people are willing to turn the halflings into a protectorate race. More and more people seem to want them to be a race that needs to be protected by their larger and stronger neighbors. I'd be much happier with a write-up that allows the halflings to protect themselves, to live and travel on their own terms and not rely on the strength of their bigger, stronger neighbors to survive.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
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.

Human miners don't live inside hollowed out mountains, places that their grandfather built a thousand years ago.

Humans living in the forest aren't older than the trees, and never sleep so they can keep eternal vigil.

Humans on a farm... are kind of exactly like halflings on a farm, only taller.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I like gnomes better than halflings from a story point of view, but I detest silliness and gnomes have been treated as comic relief since Dragonlance. I prefer the more adventurous 3e halflings to the Tolkien version that we seem to have regressed to in 5e.

That said, in the game worlds I create, gnomes have a reputation as clever inventors who create devices that work properly, and no one thinks halflings are weak or naive.

I agree with the Gnome stuff. I love my gnomes and they really tilt the world towards something closer to being industrial. I'm fine with them being a bit of comic relief though, because I like the idea of Gnomes as basically distilled joy and curiosity in a vaguely humanoid shape.

Also, despite being a bit silly and loving to laugh, and having the occasional mishap, most of their stuff works. It works well, and a Gnome can be a very dangerous enemy.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Careful, I may have to post an exceedingly bitter rant about Volo’s goblins.

I've never liked 5e's goblins. I changed them and remade them from the moment the NEXT playtest started.

Well, I should be more specific. I took away their cowardice and generally goofy, stupid portrayal. The mechanics I kept. Goblins are a terrifying threat, mechanically, and just giving them average mental stats and the bravery of your average humanoid drives that home.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Well, I should be more specific. I took away their cowardice and generally goofy, stupid portrayal. The mechanics I kept. Goblins are a terrifying threat, mechanically, and just giving them average mental stats and the bravery of your average humanoid drives that home.
As someone who counts Labyrinth in her top 5 favorite movies of all time, I will defend goofy, cowardly goblins to the death, and insist that they can be all those things and still terrifying.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Making sure I am on the same page as you are...you are saying that there was a major viking raid in England approximately every 3 years. Because you consider the base D&D world to be "more deadly" than the real world circa 800ce, we are going to double the frequency to a major raid every 1.5 years.

I am going to attach a map of ALL the evidence of vikings in Wales (found in internet, cannot claim the source is 100% accurate). I am going to include a second map I put in MS Paint for 5 minutes to add in some D&D words. I'm going to attempt to show you the extent of "raids" into an area, and how a small population of little folk could exist fairly safe tucked away from the action.

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I was just saying that if you want to play D&D as super deadly Mad Max, the world is ending, monsters are ending kinda play, it's still D&D. :)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So... having retired adventurers doesn't make you safe...
Why would it?
So why was your response to halfling villages being threatened and needing to consider their defenses beyond the basic level we are given, that they have retired adventurers, so that the village was safe.
Er, I was just pointing out that there would be strong defenders. Nowhere did I say that adventurers would make them safe. They might turn back the invaders, but commoners could still be killed.
You seemed to think that the mere prescence of a retired adventurer was enough to keep a halfling village safe, and yet the mere prescence of retired adventurers isn't enough to keep dwarves safe. How does that work out?
Nawp! That's just more of your altering my words again.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Making sure I am on the same page as you are...you are saying that there was a major viking raid in England approximately every 3 years. Because you consider the base D&D world to be "more deadly" than the real world circa 800ce, we are going to double the frequency to a major raid every 1.5 years.

I am going to attach a map of ALL the evidence of vikings in Wales (found in internet, cannot claim the source is 100% accurate). I am going to include a second map I put in MS Paint for 5 minutes to add in some D&D words. I'm going to attempt to show you the extent of "raids" into an area, and how a small population of little folk could exist fairly safe tucked away from the action.

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Sure, this can work if you have a centralized location where there are no threats. But, let me try something similar with this map of FR I found.

Red are areas where monsters can be found, according to the Wiki site. Now sure, this is just Faerun, but I've seen more worlds and maps built similiar to Faerun than anything else.

Faerun Danger zones.jpg
 


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