Heroes of Barrows Edge
Halflings are clever, capable opportunists. Halfling individuals and clans find room for themselves wherever they can. Often they are strangers and wanderers, and others react to them with suspicion or curiosity. Depending on the clan, halflings might be reliable, hard-working citizens, or they might be thieves just waiting for the opportunity to make a big score and disappear in the dead of night. Regardless, halflings are cunning, resourceful survivors.
Halflings prefer trouble to boredom. They are notoriously curious. Relying on their ability to survive or escape danger, they demonstrate a daring that many larger people can’t match. Halflings clans are nomadic, wandering wherever circumstance and curiosity take them. Halflings enjoy wealth and the pleasure it can bring, and they tend to spend gold as quickly as they acquire it.
Halflings are also famous collectors. While more orthodox halflings may collect weapons, books, or jewelry, some collect such objects as the hides of wild beasts—or even the beasts themselves. Wealthy halflings sometimes commission adventurers to retrieve exotic items to complete their collections.
Halflings stand about 3 feet tall and usually weigh between 30 and 35 pounds. Their skin is ruddy, their hair black and straight. They have brown or black eyes. Halfling men often have long sideburns, but beards are rare among them and mustaches almost unseen. They like to wear simple, comfortable, and practical clothes. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives into the middle of her second century.
Halflings try to get along with everyone else. They are adept at fitting into a community of humans, dwarves, elves, or gnomes and making themselves valuable and welcome. Since human society changes faster than the societies of the longer-lived races, it is human society that most frequently offers halflings opportunities to exploit, and halflings are most often found in or around human lands.
Halflings tend to be neutral. While they are comfortable with change (a chaotic trait), they also tend to rely on intangible constants, such as clan ties and personal honor (a lawful trait).
Halflings have no lands of their own. Instead, they live in the lands of other races, where they can benefit from whatever resources those lands have to offer. Halflings often form tight-knit communities in human or dwarven cities. While they work readily with others, they often make friends only their own kind. Halflings also settle into secluded places where they set up self-reliant villages. Halfling communities, however, are known for picking up and moving en masse to some place that offers a new opportunity, such as a new mine that has just opened, or to a land where a devastating war has made skilled workers hard to find. If these opportunities are temporary, the community may pick up and move again once the opportunity is gone, or once a better one presents itself. Some halfling communities, on the other hand, take to traveling as a way of life, driving wagons or guiding boats from place to place, and maintaining no permanent home.
The chief halfling deity is Yondalla, the Blessed One, protector of the halflings. Yondalla promises blessings and protection to those who heed her guidance, defend their clans, and cherish their families. Halflings also recognize countless small gods, which they say rule over individual villages, forests, rivers, lakes, and so on. They pay homage to these deities to ensure safe journeys as they travel from place to place.
Halflings speak their own language, which uses the Common script. They write very little in their own language so, unlike dwarves, elves, and gnomes, they don’t have a rich body of written work. The halfling oral tradition, however, is very strong. While the Halfling language isn’t secret, halflings are loath to share it with others. Almost all halflings speak Common, since they use it to deal with the people in whose land they are living or through which they are traveling.
A halfling has a given name, a family name, and possibly a nickname. It would seem that family names are nothing more than nicknames that stuck so well they have been passed down through the generations.
Halflings often set out on their own to make their way in the world. Halfling adventurers are typically looking for a way to use their skills to gain wealth or status. The distinction between a halfling adventurer and a halfling out on her own looking for “a big score” can get blurry. For a halfling, adventuring is less of a career than an opportunity. While halfling opportunism can sometimes look like larceny or fraud to others, a halfling adventurer who learns to trust her fellows is worthy of trust in return.
Halfling Racial Traits
- +2 dexterity, -2 strength. Halflings are quick, agile, and good with ranged weapons, but they are small and therefore not as strong as other humanoids.
- Small: As a Small creature, a halfling gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
- Base land speed is 20 feet.
- +2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, and Move Silently checks: Halflings are agile, surefooted, and athletic.
- +1 racial bonus on all saving throws: Halflings are surprisingly capable of avoiding mishaps.
- +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear. This bonus stacks with the halfling’s +1 bonus on saving throws in general.
- +1 racial bonus on attack rolls with a thrown weapon and slings: Throwing and slinging stones is a universal sport among halflings, and they develop especially good aim.
- +2 racial bonus on Listen checks: Halflings have keen ears.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Halfling. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, and Orc. Smart halflings learn the languages of their friends and enemies.
- Favored Class: Rogue.