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, resourceful survivors.
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, 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.
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).
Halfling Lands: 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 right-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 a 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 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.
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, Lavinia, Merla, Portia, Seraphina, and Verna.
Family Names: Brushgarher, Goodharrel, Greenbottle, Highhill, Hillropple, Leagallow, Tealeaf, Thorngage, Tosscobble, Underbough.
Adventurers: 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 turn.
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 Small creatures, halflings gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but they must use smaller weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are three- quarters of those of Medium-size characters.
- Halfling base 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 attack bonus with a thrown weapon: Throwing 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. A multiclass halfling's rogue class does not count when determining whether she suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing (see Experience for Multiclass Characters). Halflings have long had to rely on stealth, wit, and skill, and the vocation of rogue comes naturally to them.
In the Realms
Three major subraces of halfling dwell in Faerûn: the lightfoot halflings, the rare ghostwise halflings, and the strongheart halflings of Luiren in the south. Like the rock gnomes, 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.
These wild, nearly feral halflings rarely leave the confines of the deep forests. Strange and reclusive, they form close-knit communities because of their amazing talents and are uncomfortable with strangers. Like other halflings, they refer to themselves as the hin. They do not have a name for their subrace, because their culture is almost entirely cut off from the outside world and their awareness of other kinds of halflings is very low.
Regions: The Chondalwood, south of the Vilhon Reach, is home to a number of ghostwise settlements. Other forests inhabited by these reclusive folk include the Methwood between Chessenta and Unther, and the Forest of Amtar south of the plains of the Shaar.
Racial Abilities: Ghostwise halflings have all the halfling racial traits listed above except as follows:
- Speak without Sound (Su): A ghostwise halfling, unlike other halflings, can communicate telepathically with any creature within 20 feet, just as if speaking to him or her. The halfling can only speak and listen to one person at a time, and he must share a common language with the person or creature he speaks to telepathically, or the telepathic link fails.
- Ghostwise halflings do not receive the standard halfling +1 racial bonus on all saving throws. They simply are not as lucky as their lightfoot cousins.
- Automatic Languages: Halfling, Common, home region. Bonus Languages: Chondathan, Elven, Gnoll, Shaaran, Sylvan.
- Favored Class: Barbarian.
The most common type of halflings seen in the world, the lightfoots are the most likely to give in to their desire to wander. They are at home living side by side with folk of many different races and cultures. Lightfoot halflings are more likely to worship non-halfling deities than any other halfling subrace.
Regions: Some lightfoot halflings are wandering traders, craftsfolk, and entertainers. A clan of several extended families may settle in a human town for a year or two, working and trading, and then pick up their stakes and move on for reasons known only to themselves.
Many lightfoot halflings prefer a more sedentary existence. The kingdom of Luiren is the ancestral homeland of the halfling race, and some lightfoots live there. Other lightfoots settle permanently in just about any land in which humans live. Any region entry for a human land is acceptable for a lightfoot character.
Racial Abilities: Lightfoot halflings are the standard halflings found in the Player's Handbook. They have all the halfling racial traits listed above except as follows:
- Automatic Languages: Halfling, Common, home region. Bonus Languages: Chessentan, Chondathan, Damaran, Dwarven, Elven, Illuskan, Goblin.
While the lightfoot halflings value the experience of travel and the sight of new lands and peoples, the stronghearts are a more organized, orderly, and industrious race. They build to last, and fiercely defend their homelands against threats that their lightfoot kin would simply flee. Northland humans familiar with the easygoing ways of the lightfoot halflings are surprised to learn that some halflings are capable of a warrior tradition and aren't afraid to show a hint of arrogance or confidence in their own abilities and strengths. Strongheart halflings enjoy athletic contests and value exceptional skills of all kinds.
Regions: Strongheart halflings make up most of the population of the land of Luiren. They are uncommon in other lands.
Racial Abilities: Strongheart halflings have all the halfling racial traits listed aboveexcept as follows:
- Strongheart halflings gain one extra feat at 1st level, because they have a strong drive to compete and many opportunities to practice their skills.
- Strongheart halflings do not receive the halfling racial +1 bonus on all saving throws. They have not experienced the same kind of adversity that the lightfoot halflings have survived.
- Automatic Languages: Halfling, Common, home region. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Gnoll, Goblin, Halruaan, Shaaran.