Optimistic and cheerful by nature and blessed with uncanny luck, halflings make up for their short stature with an abundance of bravado and curiosity. At once excitable and easy-going, halflings like to keep an even temper and a steady eye on opportunity, and are not as prone as some of the more volatile races to violent or emotional outbursts. Even in the jaws of catastrophe, a halfling almost never loses his sense of humor.
Halflings are inveterate opportunists. Unable to physically defend themselves from the rigors of the world, they know when to bend with the wind and when to hide away. Yet a halfling’s curiosity often overwhelms his good sense, leading to poor decisions and narrow escapes.
Most Halflings are content to stay home on their safe and comfortable home islands. They have no written history, and with a tendency towards creative storytelling their oral history only extends back a few generations before devolving into myth and legend. Halfling society never felt the need to develop ships capable of traveling on the open sea, simple rafts, canoes and barges being plenty to travel between the numerous small islands that make up the Halfling Archipelago, and they are surrounded by rings of dangerous reefs and shoals, making approach impossible to larger ships, and requiring the small amount of trade that is engaged in to be accomplished by shuttling goods to and from anchored ships on barges and longboats.
Physical Description: Halflings rise to a humble height of 3 feet. They prefer to walk barefoot, leading to the bottoms of their feet being roughly calloused. Tufts of thick, curly hair warm the tops of their broad, tanned feet. Their skin tends toward a rich almond color and their hair toward light shades of brown. A Halfling’s ears are pointed, but proportionately not much larger than those of a human.
Society: The Halfling Archipelago is separated into nine Principalities, though only half are actual monarchies. They are a peaceful and free society, and the residents are generally content. The only real effect the governments have in the average citizen’s life is the two years each and every individual spends serving in the Halfling Defense Force, which mostly is engaged to break up bar fights, though on the one recorded occasion that a foolhardy Orc warlord tried to invade using a massive fleet of shallow-draft landing barges he was dismayed to discover that the entire adult population of the Principality where he landed had been called up and was waiting for his troops with slings. The invasion was repelled without a shot being fired.
Relations: A typical halfling prides himself on his ability to go unnoticed by other races—it is this trait that allows so many halflings to excel at thievery and trickery. Most halflings, knowing full well the stereotyped view other races take of them as a result, go out of their way to be forthcoming and friendly to the bigger races when they’re not trying to go unnoticed. They get along fairly well with gnomes, although most halflings regard these eccentric creatures with a hefty dose of caution. Halflings coexist well with humans as a general rule, but since some of the more aggressive human societies value halflings as slaves, halflings try not to grow too complacent when dealing with them. Halflings respect elves and dwarves, but these races generally live in remote regions far from the comforts of civilization that halflings enjoy, thus limiting opportunities for interaction. Only half-orcs are generally shunned by halflings, for their great size and violent natures are a bit too intimidating for most halflings to cope with.
Alignment and Religion: Halflings are loyal to their friends and families, but since they dwell in a world dominated by races twice as large as themselves, they’ve come to grips with the fact that sometimes they’ll need to scrap and scrounge for survival. Most halflings are neutral as a result. Their pantheon of gods is a large extended family.
Adventurers: On occasion a young Halfling will be struck with overwhelming wanderlust. They might be satisfied for a time exploring their homeland, but soon they inevitable board whatever ship happens to be anchored at the time and leave for parts unknown, where their exceptional luck and curiosity serves them well.
Halfling Racial Traits
+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, –2 Strength: Halflings are nimble and strong-willed, but their small stature makes them weaker than other races.
Small: Halflings are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Slow Speed: Halflings have a base speed of 20 feet.
Fearless: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by halfling luck.
Halfling Luck: Halflings receive a +1 racial bonus on all saving throws.
Keen Senses: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
Sure-Footed: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Climb skill checks.
Weapon Familiarity: Halflings are proficient with slings and treat any weapon with the word “halfling” in its name as a martial weapon.