Halflings are short, generally plump people, very much like small humans. Their faces are round and broad and often quite florid. Their hair is typically curly and the tops of their feet are covered with coarse hair. They prefer not to wear shoes whenever possible. Their typical life expectancy is approximately 150 years.

Halflings are sturdy and industrious, generally quiet and peaceful. Overall they prefer the comforts of home to dangerous adventuring. They enjoy good living, rough humor, and homespun stories. In fact, they can be a trifle boring at times. Halflings are not forward, but they are observant and conversational if in friendly company. Halflings see wealth only as a means of gaining creature comforts, which they love. Though they are not overly brave or ambitious, they are generally honest and hard working when there is need.

Halfling homes are well-furnished burrows, although most of their work is done on the surface. Elves generally like them in a patronizing sort of way. Dwarves cheerfully tolerate them, thinking halflings somewhat soft and harmless. Gnomes, although they drink more and eat less, like halflings best, feeling them kindred spirits. Because halflings are more open and outgoing than any of these other three, they get along with other races far better.

There are three types of halflings: Hairfeets, Tallfellows, and Stouts. Hairfeets are the most common type, but for player characters, any of the three is acceptable.

A halfling character can choose to be a cleric, fighter, thief, or a multi-class fighter/thief. The halfling must use the rules provided for multi-class characters.

Through their contact with other races, halfling characters are allowed to choose initial languages from common, halfling, dwarf, elf, gnome, goblin, and orc, in addition to any other languages the DM allows. The actual number of languages the character knows is limited by his Intelligence (see
Table 4) or by the number of proficiency slots he allots to languages (if that optional system is used).

All halfling characters have a high resistance to magical spells, so for every 3-˝ points of Constitution score, the character gains a +1 bonus on saving throws vs. wands, staves, rods, and spells. These bonuses are summarized on
Table 9.

Halflings have a similar resistance to poisons of all sorts, so they gain a Constitution bonus identical to that for saving throws vs. magical attacks when they make saving throws vs. poison (i.e., +1 to +5, depending on Constitution score).

Halflings have a natural talent with slings and thrown weapons. Rock pitching is a favorite sport of many a halfling child. All halflings gain a +1 bonus to their attack rolls when using thrown weapons and slings.

A halfling can gain a bonus to surprise opponents, but only if the halfling is not in metal armor. Even then, the halfling must either be alone, or with a party comprised only of halflings or elves, or 90 feet or more away from his party to gain this bonus. If he fulfills any of these conditions, he causes a -4 penalty to opponents' surprise rolls. If a door or other screen must be opened, this penalty is reduced to -2.

Depending on their lineage, certain halfling characters have infravision. Any halfling character has a 15% chance to have normal infravision (this means he is pure Stout), out to 60 feet; failing that chance, there is a 25% chance that he has limited infravision (mixed Stout/Tallfellow or Stout/Hairfeets lineage), effective out to 30 feet.

Similarly, halflings with any Stoutish blood can note if a passage is an up or down grade with 75% accuracy (roll a 1, 2, or 3 on 1d4). They can determine direction half the time (roll a 1, 2, or 3 on 1d6). These abilities function only when the character is concentrating on the desired information to the exclusion of all else, and only if the character is pure or partially Stout.

Halfling characters have a penalty of -1 to their initially generated Strength scores, and they gain a bonus of +1 to Dexterity.

(See also
Monstrous Manual and Player’s Option: Skills & Powers and The Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings)

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