Without a doubt, J.R.R Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins is probably the most famous of all Halflings (or Hobbits!). Following the courageous antics of Bilbo in “The Hobbit”, his nephew Frodo Baggins and trusty sidekicks Sam, Merry and Pippin continued the saga in “Lord of the Rings”.
With such influential characters , who wouldn’t want to play as a Halfling? Small in size, often no more than 3′ tall. With ruddy, jolly faces, a mop of curly hair and a fine carpet of woolly hair on their feet. Halflings are known to be generous and friendly even when unexpected guests arrive. They’re quite content not to wander too far from their homesteads, and away from comforts. Some choose to head out exploring. Their easy attitude to life will help them find like minded individuals looking for adventure.
They fit in well to the life of adventuring. Halflings have some excellent natural talents that are very useful. In Dungeons and Dragons they get a +2 to their Dexterity bonus. They also have the lucky trait which allows for a 1d20 dice reroll in certain situations. D&D also has two Halfing subraces. “Lightfoot” as they are called in Forgotten Realms. They get an ability score increase of +1 Charisma (don’t underestimate its usefulness!) and can also naturally hide much better. The other subrace are called “Stout”, they get an ability score increase of +1 Constitution. Stout also get an advantage on saving throws against poison and resistance to poison damage.
Halflings in Middle Role Playing refer to themselves as “Hobbits” and whilst appearing affable on the surface, they are quite a hardy bunch. Not physically strong but very nimble and have a resilience that can surprise most folk. Halflings get a -20 to the Strength stat but a fantastic +15 to both Agility and Constitution. They also get a +50 resistance roll to essence spells. A great combination of racial abilities in my view!
Age of Wonders III allows you to build a whole empire as a Halfling, with various interesting units such as the Halfling Brewbrother and Nightwatchmen. Having the ability to play them as a conquering force is a different take on what I’m used to but it makes for some interesting gameplay!
In campaigns that I’ve run, there’s been two halfling player characters, one in a MERP game and one in a D&D game which I’m currently running. They are great fun to have in a campaign, there’s never a dull moment and I feel as a race they give a lot of scope for some really excellent roleplaying.