Halflings, also known as hin amongst themselves or the good folk amongst other races, are humanoid creatures similar in shape to humans, who halflings call the "Big Folk," but around half the size. Halflings get along well with most of the other races and are known for their curiosity and tendency to collect things.
The term “halfling” is derived from the fact that a halfling is around half of the size of a human, but otherwise very similar in appearance.
Halflings are small in comparison with the members of most other races, standing between 3'10" and 4'2" tall and weighing on average between 75 and 85 lbs. In many ways, halflings resemble small humans and usually have the same proportions as the typical human adult. Most halflings, regardless of their skin complexion, which has a similar range to humans, although it is commonly ruddy in hue, have dark hair and eyes.
Nearly all male halflings are incapable of growing true beards, though many have long sideburns. Halfling hairstyles are often complex, with strands woven together or braided. Although halflings have an affinity for collecting valuables, they do not prefer to wear these on their person, instead preferring more comfortable clothing.
Halflings have lifespans comparable with, but slightly longer, than humans. A halfling is typically considered an adult in their early twenties and some live into their 150s.
Halflings are quick and dexterous humanoids, even given their size, with quick reflexes and an ability to recover easily from sudden danger. Halflings, who by large have a strong force of personality, are also intensely courageous and are more likely to retain their valor than most other humanoids, even when under the effects of a spell or other power. Beyond this, halflings have what can be best described as a lucky streak and have an ability known as second chance, that makes it less likely for them to be injured in perilous circumstances.
It is sometimes said that halflings are weaker for the wear than other humanoids, and as a trend, halflings tend to be weaker. However, this is not a universal truth of the race. Similarly, although many have an excellent sense of hearing, not all do.
Halflings are by nature joyful and friendly in their dealings with others. Because they live in a world where they are surrounded by larger creatures, halflings tend to avoid notice, often deliberately, or at the very least, act cordial towards the larger races. Halflings appear deceptively harmless, meaning they are often beyond the notice of enemies that might otherwise pose a threat to them.
The halfling mind is practical and halflings concern themselves with their immediate surroundings. They take pleasure in simple things, with few aspiring to greatness in the same manner as humans. Some halflings do become adventurers, but usually this is a practice taken up for reasons of necessity rather than personal drive. Because of this love for home and family, halflings make loyal and courageous allies, willing to put their own lives at risk for the sake of others.
While many halflings do not have the ambition for adventure that some races do, most prefer trouble to boredom; the race is notoriously curious. Halflings are courageous, moreso than many races, and their daring is often difficult to match. Many halflings also have a strong appetite for food and drink as well as narcotics and clothing. Similarly, many halflings are enthusiastic collectors, and love to hold on to possessions won through skill and daring.
Halfling communities are tightly-knit groups found around the world, usually near the settlements of other races. Most halflings don't recognize the claims of kings or nobles as sovereign rulers but instead look primarily to their family elders to guide them. This focus on bloodlines has enabled halfling traditions to continue for millennia relatively intact.
Halfling culture has a fondness for stories and legends and is rich in the oral tradition. So much care is put into the retelling of traditional stories and their preservation that halflings often unwittingly have access to lore about ancient and long gone cultures or empires that others have long since forgotten about. Many halflings are able to recall some detail of the ancient past, though it is usually wrapped in the shrouds of legends.
Halflings have undergone something of a cultural and philosophical change throughout the Hundred Years of Chaos. During this time, the typical halfling aversion to adventure for its own sake has been overcome by a powerful sense of wanderlust. Halfling-run adventure companies are now common in many major cities of Faerûn.
Relations with other races
Halflings, in general, try their best to get along with everybody, though exceptions do exist and ghostwise halflings are notoriously xenophobic. Lightfoot and strongheart halflings, however, are friendly and outgoing and are uncommonly adept at fitting into communities of humans, dwarves, elves, or gnomes. Most halflings, in fact, don't live in communities of their own but instead regions dominated by other races. This is particularly true in human societies, which attract halflings due to the comparative rapidity with which they change.
Halfling history is, by and large, like the race, unremarkable. With the exception of the strongheart nation of Luiren halflings do not even have a unified culture to call their own. Records and evidence seem to indicate that halflings, as a race, only appeared fairly recently, after the splitting of Abeir-Toril and after the fall of the creator races, around the same time as dwarves. The original homeland of halflings is unsure, though it may have been within the area south of the Shaar and few were seen in the north until after the Hin Ghostwars, a tragic event which split the halflings into their current three breeds.
The halfling race has had many traditional homelands, though as a whole the race is typically nomadic. Many halflings who do not wander live primarily within human-dominated states. The center of halfling culture were, until relatively recently, the kingdom of Luiren. The land was devastated by the Spellplague however, as was other halfling homelands such as Arnock and the Chondalwood. Since then the halflings have become even more displaced than before, though as a result they have also come together in unity even more tightly than they were before.
Since then halflings have been found in their greatest concentrations within the nation of Amn. Though formerly met with prejudice halflings have earned acceptance through their skill as merchants and business partners. Halflings can also be commonly found along the Sea of Fallen Stars, particularly human-dominated cities. In fact, human cities are often the most common place to find halflings, who frequently find ways to exploit the ever-changing climate of human societies, although dwarven cities are also accomodating.
There are several subraces of halflings, as follows.
- Ghostwise halflings
- The rarest of the halfling peoples the ghostwise are reclusive and known for their strange talent for communicating without speech.
- Lightfoot halflings
- The most common variety of halfling, typically nomadic, who take pleasure in travel and the experience of meeting new people.
- Strongheart halflings
- A martially inclined and well-organized people compared in many ways to the industrious dwarves.
- Tallfellow halflings
- As their name implies, tallfellows are taller than the average halfling, and slightly elven in inclination.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ Template:Cite dragon/The Halfling Point of View
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
- ↑ Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 19–20. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
- ↑ Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Monte Cook (October 2000). Monster Manual 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 117. ISBN 0-7869-1552-1.