The New Divine Order
The Halfling race finds itself in something of a bizarre state. On one hand, they are constantly enslaved, oppressed, victimized, brutalized, and marginalized across the globe. It’s a dangerous world and many halflings find themselves victims.
But despite their troubles halflings may be the most numerous of the sapient races on 2nd earth. Halflings live in human nations, the dwarf empire, orc warbands, goblin fleets, serpentfolk cities, even goatmen herds and Azlanti townships.
Type: Total 4 points
• Humanoid (0RP points)
• Size: Small (0RP)
• Base Speed: Slow (-1RP)
• Attributes: Weakness (-1RP) -4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma; Halflings are small, and physically far weaker than members of larger races, yet they have an innate charisma and are incredibly precise with their hands and sure of their steps.
• Fleet Footed: (3RP) Halflings Gain Run as a Bonus Feet, and receive a +2 Bonus on Initiative Checks.
• Camouflage (1RP): Choose a ranger favored terrain type. Members of this race gain a +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks while within that terrain type.
• Multitalented (2RP): Halflings have 2 favored classes!
Myth, Legend, and History:
• Long Night- The early parts of the Long Night were something of a Halfling Golden age. While all races suffered as the gods casually reformed the world, Halflings simply outbred their competitors.
• The Teotl War- By the time of the Teotl War, most of the independent Halfling nations were brought to heal by humans and Islefolk.
• The Age of Heroes/Current Era- The Kingdom of Cago reformed in the wake of the migrations, yet most halflings are now the subjects of other races.
It is sometimes claimed that Halflings can be mistaken for human children. Yet it only happens at a distance or to those unfamiliar with halflings. Rather than looking like children, Halflings appear to be shrunken adults. Standing between 2’6” and 3’0” most only just reach the waist of humans or the chest of dwarves.
Halflings are ‘many offspring’ breeders. Over the course of their eighty odd years of life (almost 39 fertile years) most Halfling women average over thirty children in their lifetime! (Compare this to a human woman’s three in 30 years or a dwarven woman’s twelve in two hundred!) Unlike their cousins, Halfling women often have two, three, even four or more children at a time. These groups of children are called litters. Twins and triplets are so common that most halflings have one (or more). Unsurprisingly many Halfling communities get big very quickly! Fortunately for other races, most halflings tend to meet unfortunate ends. Either from natural predators (Wolves, Trolls, Juro, Serpentfolk, etc), accidents when inebriated, or the violent attention of other races (conquered, enslaved, etc). Halflings living in communities of other races often have breeding restrictions put upon them.
While popular fiction and hearsay claims halflings to be voracious eaters, the truth is that an individual Halfling eats very little over the course of a day. In fact most halflings eat less over the course of their six daily meals than an adult human male eats in one hearty sitting. But the forty or fifty halflings common to a household devour prodigious amounts of food compared to a human household of four or five.
Psychology, Culture, & Alignment:
Halflings die. It is a truth deeply imbedded in the psyche and bones of the Halfling race. They are slow and small in a very dangerous world, where predators and competitors abound. Halflings are going to die, and often there isn’t much that can be done about it.
Halflings have a natural empathy that gives them a strong leaning to good, but the complicated inter weaving of instincts that calls for them to herd together and acknowledges the inevitable death of many of them to unnatural causes great amounts of conflict in the race. Some halflings become very self-sacrificing thinking only of the family, race, nation, or group. Others become incredibly desperate to survive, turning selfish and often cowardly.
Alignment Verdict: Halflings are Neutral Good. Fluid on the Law/Chaos Axis, but with only a minority dipping to neutral and a statistically irrelevant number falling to evil.
Similar to humans, the core unit of Halfling society is the family. Halfling cultures typically practice group marriages where a woman will have several husbands (3-5) to help support her horde of children. However since halflings often have a standard humanoid gender ratio of roughly 1:1, this often leaves multiple women unmarried. Different Halfling cultures throughout history have always struggled to find an answer to this question. These can range from celibacy, religious, military, exile, lower status, tribute to other races… but the “socially” acceptable answers have varied over time and from culture to culture.
When living in communities of other races Halfling social choices often change. Halflings in human or dwarven communities are often limited by law the number of children they can have, greatly reducing the need for the traditional wife and multiple husband scenario. Thus in these realms it’s far more common to see halflings pair into couples and have a mere dozen or so children… Well, a dozen or so at a time.
Special “runts”: Much like litters of dogs or pigs, Halfling litters occasionally have an underdeveloped member. A “runt”. Often treated poorly by their siblings, runts face a difficult struggle in halfling society, and the social stigma of their condition often forces them into exile.
Government Preferences: History shows that when left to their own devices Halflings are prone to develop either republics or limited monarchies. Several powerful Halfling states in the Long Night. Since the Teotl Wars Halflings have lived in the nations of other races, with the Kingdom of Cago being the only exception.
Cago originally began as a full democratic city state of liberated slaves and refugees, but wars with neighboring orcs and Dwarven belligerence have forced them into a very militarized monarchy.
During the Long Night various groups of Halflings worshipped many of the humanoid pantheons. The Heliopause, Shishon, etc. In the wake of the Teotl Wars the overwhelming majority of halflings are followers of the New Order, with an incredibly small amount fallowing the oni in the far west or other groups.
• Lilac: Most halflings take Lilac as their patron. She is a goddess of fitness, health, and self-reliance. But also a goddess of pregnancy, lust, animal husbandry, and the gentler side of nature.
• Anzo- Anzo is a god that halflings want to like. They have big families, are actively invested in their communities on a local level, and are all around gregarious sorts. Yet, Anzo demands the ultimate sacrifice in the name of children, and a certain level of filial obedience and respect in return from children. Yet halflings naturally have a laissez-faire attitude toward their children that shocks the Weaving God. Halflings in urban communities often become followers of Anzo.
• Noire- The cult of Noir first brought comfort to Halfling slaves, but has slowly wormed its way into the ranks of free Halflings and their communities. Preaching her mantra of ‘be content’ she’s found an easy fellowship among the short statured race, and may be some
• Filth- God of Disease and Famine; the bane of the Halfling community. He tends to be offered worship as a reluctant bribe rather than of genuine affection. Halflings mostly want him to leave them alone. Still most Halfling communities offer a yearly festival in his name.
At War: Halflings are not a warrior race. They are small, slow, and physically frail. They simply can’t bear the weight in arms or armor that other races can field. In the modern era most Halflings only take to the battlefield as draftees of other races, usually as cooks, cleaners, or occasionally skirmishing troops.