Gods and Empires
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 (if clannish) 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 and resourceful survivors.
Many halflings live among the Big Folk in the human lands. They are resourceful and quick, perfectly at home among the sprawling human lands or living apart in their own settled communities. The halflings’ name for their race is the Hin, although most accept “halfling” with a shrug and a smile.
Personality: 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 have ample appetites, both for food and for other pleasures. They like well-cooked meals, fine drink, good tobacco, and comfortable clothes. While they can be lured by the promise of wealth they tend to spend the gold they gain rather than hoarding it.
Halflings are also famous collectors. While more orthodox halflings may collect teapots, books, or pressed flowers, 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.
Physical Description: 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. Unlike members of most races, they prefer actual comfort to shows of wealth. A halfling would rather wear a comfortable shirt than jewelry. A halfling reaches adulthood in her early twenties and generally lives into the middle of her second century.
Relations: Halflings try to get along with everyone else. They are adept at fitting into a community of humans, dwarves or elves 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.
Regions: Halflings often 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 among each other. Halflings also settle into secluded places where they set up self-reliant villages. Halfling communities, however, are known to pick up and move en masse to some place that offers new opportunity, such as where a new mine has opened up 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. If the opportunity is lasting, the halflings settle and form a new village. Some communities, on the other hand, take to traveling as a way of life, driving wagons or guiding boats from place to place, with no permanent home.
Religion: The chief halfling deity is Maera, the Goddess of Humility and protector of the halflings. Maera promises blessings and protection to those who heed her guidance, defend their clans, and cherish their families. Halflings also recognize various other deities, especially Liira, to whom they pay homage in order to ensure safe journeys as they travel from place to place.
Alignment: Halflings tend to be neutral and practical. 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).
Language: 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.
Names: 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.
• Male Names: Alton, Beau, Cade, Eldon, Garret, Lyle, Milo, Osborn, Roscoe, and Wellby.
• Female Names: Amaryllis, Charmaine, Cora, Euphemia, Jillian, Layinia, Merla, Portia, Seraphina, and Verna.
• Family Names: Brushgather, Goodbarrel, Greenbottle, Highhill, Hilltopple, Leagallow, Tealeaf, Thorngage, Tosscoble, Underbough.
Adventurers: Halflings often set out on their own 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, since 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 turn.
• +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength.
• 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.
• Halfling base land speed is 20 feet.
• +2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, and Move Silently checks.
• +1 racial bonus on all saving throws.
• +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 thrown weapons and slings.
• +2 racial bonus on Listen checks.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Halfling. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Goblin, and Orc.
• Favored Class: Rogue. A multiclass halfling’s rogue class does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.