The diminutive halflings survive in a world full of larger creatures by avoiding notice or, barring that, avoiding offense. Their harmless appearance made the lightfoot halflings of the Barrier Peaks inviting targets for imperial subjugation. The stout halflings of the western plains have lived generally uneventful and prosperous existences. Since the fall of the Du’un Empire, their unassuming and rustic lifestyle has allowed halfling communities to survive for centuries in the shadow of empires and on the edges of wars and political strife. Some halflings live quiet and peaceful lives in remote agricultural communities, while others form nomadic bands that travel constantly, lured by the open road and the wide horizon to discover the wonders of new lands and peoples. In the Kingdom of Grandévere, halflings are almost as populous as humans in most towns and cities. Halflings do not breed as often as humans, but have a longer lifespan, and typically live until around their one-hundredth birthday.
Kind and Curious
Halflings are an affable, warm, and cheerful people. They cherish the bonds of family and friendship as well as the comforts of hearth and home. Practical and down-to-earth, they concern themselves with basic needs and simple pleasures, harboring few dreams of gold or glory. Even adventurers among them usually venture into the world for reasons of community, friendship, wanderlust, or curiosity. They love discovering new things, even simple things, such as an exotic food or an unfamiliar style of clothing. Halflings who do not adventure tend to cherish the old and the familiar, and are put off by these exotic fancies.
Small and Practical
Halflings stand about 3 feet tall and inclined to be stout, weighing between 40 and 45 pounds. Their skin is ruddy, and their hair is usually brown or sandy brown and wavy. They have brown or hazel eyes. Halfling men often sport long sideburns, but beards are rare among them and mustaches are almost unseen. They like to wear simple, comfortable, and practical clothes, favoring bright colors. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of twenty, middle age at fifty, and lives until they are about one hundred years old.
Blend into the Crowd
Halflings try to get along with everyone else. They are adept at fitting into a community of humans, dwarves, or elves, making themselves valuable and welcome. Most older, more conservative halflings prefer living in pleasant shires among their own kind. Though they work readily with others, they often make true friends only among their own kind. However, halflings are fiercely loyal to their friends, whether halfling or otherwise, and can show remarkable fierceness when their friends, families, or communities are threatened.
Most halflings have small, peaceful communities with large farms and well-kept groves. They have never built a kingdom of their own or even held much land beyond their quiet shires. They don’t recognize any sort of nobility or royalty of their own, instead looking to family elders to guide them. This emphasis on family and community has enabled halflings to maintain their traditional ways for hundreds of years, affected only by the rise and fall of the Du’un. Many halflings live among other races, where their hard work and loyal outlook offers them abundant rewards and creature comforts. Some halfling communities take to travel as a way of life, driving wagons or guiding boats from place to place and maintaining no permanent home.
Lightfoot halflings come originally from the Barrier Peaks, a snow-capped mountain range that divides modern-day Grandévere in two. Many mountain-dwelling lightfoots were slaughtered when the Du’un Empire invaded the Kingdom of Rohn in Y147. Most of the surviving halflings soon fled the Peaks in a great diaspora. Today, they are more prone to wanderlust than other halflings, and more often dwell alongside other races or take up a nomadic life. They make excellent rogues.
Stout halflings are descended from their lightfoot cousins. Unlike the lightfoots, though, these stout halflings, or “hobbits,” prefer commerce, knitting, and politics to treasure hunting, lockpicking, and swordfighting. They lack the cultural desire to roam that the lightfoots prize so highly. They value family and community as much as their cousins, but prefer to enjoy life in pleasant shires and cozy houses with a crackling fire in their hearths. Stout halflings tend to be farmers and merchants, preferring occupations that keep them as close to home as possible. However, they tenaciously guard their homes and families, so some become fighters to defend their loved ones.
The text of this page has primarily been derived from the D&D Next playtesting packet, with some alterations, for enjoyment purposes only.