Sunday, June 30, 2013

Campaign Design - Race: Halflings

(adapted from the Player's Handbook)

Halflings are clever, capable opportunists. Halfling individuals and clans find room for themselves wherever they can. Most halflings are nomads, whether wandering as horse tribesmen on the At'viras Steppes and the Tozlan Desert, or sailing the seas as one of the many sea merchant clans or piloting pirate ships from the Gorovlic Islands, or simply traveling as wandering trading clans in wagons or riverboats. Often they are strangers and wanderer, and others react to them with suspicion or curiosity. Halflings might be reliable, hard-working citizens, or they might be pirates or raiders waiting for the opportunity to prey upon the unwary. Regardless, halflings are cunning and 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 cannot match. Halfling clans are nomadic wanderers going wherever circumstance and opportunity takes them, and they tend to spend gold as quickly as they acquire it. Because of their affinity for wandering and their smaller subsistence requirements, halflings have come to dominate sea and river trade, as well as controlling most of the inhospitable desert and plains regions of the three worlds.

Physical Description: Halflings stand about 3 feet tall and usually weigh between 30 and 35 pounds. Their skin is ruddy and their hair is usually black and straight. They have brown or black eyes. Halfling men rarely wear beards, but long hair is common, and among the sea faring clans, mustaches are as well. They generally wear simple, comfortable, and practical clothes.

Relations: Halflings usually try to get along with everyone else. Halfling merchants and traders are adept at fitting into a community of humans, dwarves, alvar, khülen, 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, so haflings are often found in or around human lands.

However, because halflings are so often found among pirate crews and nomadic raiding parties, most members of other races are generally wary around halflings. Even halfling merchants have a reputation as sharp traders, and as a result most people encountering a halfling make sure to keep a clear eye and their hand on their purse.

Alignment: Halflings run the full range of alignments. They are comfortable dealing with change, but they also rely upon intangible constants such as clan ties and personal honor. Many halflings are benevolent and friendly, seeking to establish trading partnerships with outsiders, while others are ruthless and unscrupulous.

Halfling Lands: Halflings can be found wandering the open plains and steppes as well as the wild deserts of the three worlds. Both the At'viras Steppes and the Tozlu Desert are the home of many halfling clans of nomads. However, the true halfling "homeland" is the rocky archipelago of the Gorovlic Islands, and the numerous ports of call that can be found there. Halfling merchant seamen and pirates both make their homes among these small isles, and almost all of the largest halfling settlements are found there. A large number of halflings have completely abandoned life on land, and taken up seafaring, living their lives aboard family-run merchant ships.

Halflings can also be found scattered throughout most lands in small, tight-knit communities of wanderers, usually plying riverboats or caravans of wains. While they work readlity with others, they often make friends only among their own kind.

Religion: Most halflings worship Aíne, the patron of the race, and the celestial mistress of diplomacy and commerce, which are matters close to the halfling heart. Some halflings follow Caire, and others hold Eiur in high regard. Those that ply the rivers and seas of the three worlds are prone to follow Hler, while the nomads and desert dwellers often extol the virtues of Syfa. Those halflings that turn to evil are prone to follow almost any of the Demon Lords, but they are most often found in the service of Seþra or Vaßatar.

Language: Seafaring halflings all speak Gorovlic, while those who wander the wide steppes and deserts most commonly speak one of the many dialects of Tozlan. For dealing with outsiders, halflings commonly learn another language, most often Enslaic, Rhadynnic, or Sorglish.

Names: Halflings from the Gorovlic Islands have names that are typically Gorovlic or Tozlan, such as Bojan, Coskun, Cvitko, Dragan, Erdal, Kursat, Milovan, or Vladko. Halflings that live among other peoples sometimes adopt names similar to those of the local populace in an effort to fit in with their neighbors.
  • Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, -2 Strength.

  • Size: Small. As Small creatures, halflings gain a +1 size bonus to AC, a +1 size bonus to attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but use smaller weapons, and their lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.

  • Movement: Halflings have a base speed of 20 feet.

  • Athletic: +2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, and Move Silently checks. Halflings are agile, surefooted, and athletic.

  • Lucky: +1 racial bonus on all saving throws. Halflings are surprisingly capable of avoiding mishaps.

  • Fearless: +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear. This bonus stacks with the halfling +1 bonus on saving throws in general.

  • Sharp Ears: +2 racial bonus on Listen checks. Halflings have keen ears.

  • Automatic Languages: Either Gorovlic or Tozlan plus Enslaic, Rhadynnic, or Sorglish.

  • Favored Class: Scout (from Complete Adventurer).

  • Favored Class: Expert.

  • Exclusive Class: Swashbuckler (from Complete Warrior).

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