In the past, I struggled with how to use halflings in games, since most of there traits as a people are societal or personal. Adverse to adventure. Homebodies. Stoners. Gluttons. Those traits shouldn’t apply to everyone in a particular group. That’s lazy writing.
Reading up on what different people think about halflings, I tried to apply some of those ideas with direct ties to what halflings are at their core (while removing the racist undertones they tend to have thrust upon them). Digging deeper into some of those ideas, I expanded on them and offer some new takes on what they can do that’s unique to them. Then I made some stuff up that’s fun to round it out.
One Page Lore: Halflings
Small, resilient, and sometimes easily influenced, halflings can be found in every inhabited part of the world. Halflings are sometimes viewed as non adventurous or having no passion for exploration. More often, given their unique needs, halflings simply run on their own schedules.
Halflings are small humanoids with short, pointy ears. While their body types vary wildly, they generally only grow 3 to 4 feet tall. They look far more like shrunken elves or humans rather than dwarves.
Halflings often have 1-2 exaggerated features compared to elves and humans (their closest counterparts). Big eyes, large feet, tall ears, and excessive body hair (regardless of gender) are a few common examples of the many possibilities.
The joy of napping
Given there naturally relaxed state, halflings tend to nap periodically rather than sleep through the night. Their natural rhythm has them awake for a few hours then asleep for about 30 minutes.
Slow and steady
Halflings have an extremely low resting heart rate, leaving them in a state of near relaxation in all but the most dire of circumstances. Some believe this is what grants them such a long life compared to so many other people.
This gives halflings an advantage in tense situations where a level head grants them insight people caught up in the emotions of a situation don’t possess. However, some people mistake their relaxed state as them being disinterested.
When a halfling does a particular task a countless number of times, their body has the ability to recall and repeat the action without the normal required amount of attention. For example, a halfling who practices picking locks every day for years may find their hands going through the proper motions when they start lock picking. This trait frees part of their mind to focus on other tasks or to account for more variables in the task they’re performing.
In some cases, halflings can even work on basic and familiar tasks in their sleep. It’s not uncommon for a hafling farmer who is weeding their garden to wake up still performing the task with a half hour missing form their day.
Strong body, susceptible mind
Halflings have a renowned resistance to illness and most things that could affect their vitality. Ingesting poison, bites from venomous creatures, and even eating spoiled food may result in little more than mild sickness for a healthy halfling.
While their heart, liver, and other organs are sturdier than a Rooted quericu, halflings are famously susceptible to the mind altering effects of alcohol, other substances, and mind-affecting magic.
A halfling’s skeleton has several free-floating bones, allowing them natural flexibility and the ability to squeeze through tight spaces. Free-floating bones are also more difficult to break since they can move slightly when struck. This allows halflings to slip out of dangerous situations that would snare most other folk.
Assuming nothing claims them sooner, halflings can live 170-180 years, reaching “old age” at around 150.
Due to their steady hearts and nearly constant relaxed state, halflings tend to avoid the stress related illnesses and complications other folk suffer from.
- Strong Immune System – Halflings have an astounding resistance to things that effect their vitality
- Multitask – Due to their relaxed nature, halflings can focus on multiple tasks at once without losing concentration
- Slow Metabolism – Halflings can eat very little and sustain their normal level of energy. However, many choose to eat more out of enjoyment
- Clear Thoughts – Due to their relaxed state, they generally have clear thoughts during stressful situations
- Lucky – No one can explain it, and anyone who tries bores their audience
- Small – Their smallness makes them difficult to hit while also giving them mobility in tight places
- Unrustlable – Few things can rattle a halfling
- Withhold Bodily Needs – When necessary, halflings can withhold virtually any bodily need for an extended period without immediate consequence
- Shrug It Off – Free-floating bones allows them to shrug off hit
- Temporal Awareness – Halflings have an excellent sense of rhythm and the progression of time
- Lax – Unless panicking, halflings tend to move and react slowly
- Heavy Sleeper – You can rouse a dead orc more easily than a sleeping halfling
- Pliable Mind – Mind altering properties tend to hit them harder than most
- Narcolepsy – Their natural circadian rhythm makes dosing for a nap difficult to resist
- Small – Their small stature can sometimes be to their determent
Other One Page Lore:
I’m intractable on