Halflings (Pygmies)

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A tribe of diminutive humaniods who ride goats into battle. Small humans who live in the deepest jungles or on isolated islands. Once widespread, these have been forced into unclaimed lands by their taller neighbors.

They were involved in a constant war with Giant fiendish cranes, which migrated in winter to their homeland on the southern shores of the earth-encircling river Oceanus.

Pygmies armed with spears and slings, riding on the backs of goats, battling flying Giant fiendish cranes.

One story describes the origin of the age-old battle, speaking of a Pygmy Queen named Gerana who offended the goddess Hera with her boasts of superior beauty, and was transformed into a crane.

Halflings

Optimistic and cheerful by nature, blessed with uncanny luck and driven by a powerful wanderlust, 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.

Though their curiosity drives them to travel and seek new places and experiences, halflings possess a strong sense of house and home, often spending above their means to enhance the comforts of home life.

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: Halflings claim no cultural homeland and control no settlements larger than rural assemblies of free towns. Far more often, they dwell at the knees of their human cousins in human cities, eking out livings as they can from the scraps of larger societies. Many halflings lead perfectly fulfilling lives in the shadow of their larger neighbors, while some prefer more nomadic lives on the road, traveling the world and experiencing all it has to offer.

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 giants 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.

Most traditional Halflings pray to Bes the Halfling God of Luck and his wife Hathor.

Adventurers: Their inherent luck coupled with their insatiable wanderlust makes halflings ideal for lives of adventure. Other such as vagabonds tend to put up with the curious race in hopes that some of their mystical luck will rub off.

Most Pygmies encountered outside their home are warriors; the information in the statistics block is for one of 1st level.

Pygmie, 1st-Level Warrior
Small Humanoid (Pygmie)
Hit Dice 1d8+1 (5 hp)
Initiative +1
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class 16 (+1 size, +1 Dexterity, +3 studded leather, +1 light shield), touch 12, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple +1/-3
Attack shortspear +3 melee (1d6/20) or sling +3 ranged (1d4/20)
Full Attack shortspear +3 melee (1d6/20) or sling +3 ranged (1d4/20)
Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks Pygmie traits
Special Qualities Pygmie traits
Saves Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +0
Abilities Strength 11, Dexterity 13, Constitution 12, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 9, Charisma 8
Skills Climb +2, Hide +4, Jump -4, Listen +3, Move Silently +1
Feats Weapon Focus (shortspear)
Environment southern shores of Oceanus.
Organization Company (2-4), squad (11-20 plus 2 3rd-level sergeants and 1 leader of 3rd-6th level 2-5 riding Goats), or band (30-100 plus 100% noncombatants plus 1 3rd-level sergeant per 20 adults, 5 5th-level lieutenants, 3 7th-level captains, 6-10 dogs, and 3-30 riding Goats)
Challenge Rating 1/2
Treasure Standard
Alignment Usually neutral
Advancement By character class
Level Adjustment +0

COMBAT

Pygmies prefer to fight defensively, usually hiding and launching ranged attacks as the foe approaches. Their tactics place emphasis on cover and concealment and less on mobility.

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.

+2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, and Move Silently 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, spears and treat any weapon with the word “halfling” in its name as a martial weapon.

Favored Class: Rogue.

Languages: Halflings begin play speaking Common and Halfling. Halflings with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, and Goblin.

Hellanic Halflings

Zoltán Veress (1868–1935) Title Putti Date 1923

Zoltán Veress (1868–1935) Title Putti Date 1923

Relics & Rituals: Olympus

© 2004 White Wolf Publishing, Inc. Distributed for Sword and Sorcery Studios by White Wolf Publishing, Inc.

By W. Jason Peck, Aaron Rosenberg, Christina Stiles and Relics & Rituals: Olympus team

The small folk are said to be the creation of Hermes, and in many ways they seem to encourage that belief. halfings can be found throughout the cities and rural areas, pursuing their fortunes with a zeal that would make the messenger of the gods proud. They are a complicated race, drawn to the stability of lawful government while possessed of a strong sense of individuality, aspiring to high status while accepting of whatever lot they have in life. They are a people who expect the world to run according to plan, but who also expect — and indeed anticipate — bursts of extraordinary luck as part of that plan.

Halfings are remarkably adaptable, and quickly fill whatever niche they can find wherever they go. In some areas, they are little more than domestic slaves; in others, they are powerful landowners and savvy politicians. Some say the halfiings have no true place in the world, while others say they are greatly favored for the ability to take whatever place they may for their own. The halflings, for their part, are not even really aware of the various dichotomies in their lives; wherever a halfling goes, for good or for ill, he usually feels as though he is in the right place.

Personality: Halflings are a status-conscious people — not all are ambitious, greedy or power- hungry, but most have a strong desire to establish themselves in a comfortable position in relation to the rest of their people. Halflings who own land and wealth frequently enter the political arena, where their clever adaptability serves them quite well. Conversely, enslaved halfings are surprisingly obedient compared to other slaves; their status is clearly defined, low as it is.

Halflings also have a great fondness for gambling, and play at numerous forms of dice and board games. There are many stories of halflings who have won and lost entire estates on a single throw of the dice. Halflings of low station are all the fonder of gambling and risk-taking, as they see it as a very legitimate way of increasing their status; the lucky and clever folk hero is a popular figure in halfling stories.

Physical Description: Halfings average about 3 feet tall, usually weighing between 30 and 40 pounds. Their hair is usually curly and quite dark, though some halflings are born with blond locks. Their skin ranges from pale to a rich olive-brown, and their eyes are as often bright blue or green as dark brown, gray or black. They reach adulthood at the age of 20, and can live to be about 150. Most try to keep in good physical condition.

Wealthy halflings like to dress the part, wearing the finest fabrics in comfortable and stylish designs. They do not favor large amounts of jewelry (as money is usually better invested elsewhere), but do like to wear ornaments demonstrating fine craftsmanship. Poorer halflings, by compare, do not try to wear garb or ornaments that would mark them as above their station; they feel such false pride draws down terrible luck.

Relations: Halflings get along well with Gnomes, half-elves and humans, and reasonably well with Selenauos elves, dwarves, Spartes, and fauns. They find half-orcs and Therian elves too wild and unpredictable for their tastes as a whole, although they are willing to give individuals the benefit of the doubt.

Alignment: Halflings tend to respect lawful and orderly governments, but their desire to make the most of personal opportunities prevents them from being accurately called “lawful.” Most are also neutral in terms of good and evil; they do not care to see unnecessary suffering any more than the next person does, but are more concerned with the welfare of their immediate families than with that of the other people around them.

Halfling Lands: For obvious reasons, halflings take few lands by force; they are not physically suited to invading another people’s territory and taking over. On the other hand, halfings are quite adept at defending their own. Those who would conquer a halfing region find to their dismay that halflings make expert use of terrain and raiding tactics, harrying their enemy’s ranks and supply lines without exposing themselves to similar danger.

Halfling settlements embrace democracy to its fullest, at least by the standards of the time. Most adult halflings who own some property or stake in a business are given the vote, although those with more property and wealth are obviously better able to gather extra clout. A halfing city-state’s government is not quite bureaucratic, but it can still take a long time to get things done, as votes are called and recalled while the
citizens debate the whole time.

Hallfings are not, as a whole, particularly devoted builders. When they raise their own houses, they tend to create comfortable rustic dwellings. However, well-to-do halfings are also fond of hiring architects and sculptors from other races. A particularly wealthy halfing community might feature a series of houses and temples clearly of dwarven manufacture, a central plaza built around a fountain sculpted by an elven artist, and a surrounding wall of spartes make. The look is eccentric, but even the richest halfing settlement manages to maintain a certain rustic theme in common.

Religion: Halfings claim a special connection to the god Hermes, whom they see as the father of their race. In some stories, this is a literal claim, tracing back the first halfings to the children of Hermes and a nymph. In others, Hermes is said simply to be a creator figure; indeed, one human myth states that Hermes created the halfing race when he was still a precocious child, in order to have as many playmates as he could ever need.

Apart from their foremost devotion to Hermes, most halfings worship as their human neighbors do. Zeus receives the lion’s share of sacrifices and praise, as is only practical. Civic deities are more popular than gods of the wild places; a halfing is more likely to pray to Athena than Ares, or to Apollo than Artemis. halfings genuinely enjoy their holy days, and offer up sacrifices to the gods with an infectious gusto that carries over to the rest of the evening’s merrymaking.

Language: The halfings’ racial tongue is a clear derivative of Hellenic, but with very marked differences. The halfing language is rife with contractions and creative metaphors, making it difficult to follow if one is translating
literally. halfings are as comfortable with Hellenic as with their own tongue, but tend to slip into hallfing when excited.

Names: It’s said that halfings once had longer names, but long years of use have rubbed away the sharp edges of their naming conventions until only the practical, durable part is left. Most hallfing names are contractions of longer words, phrases or names that have been reduced by time.

Male: An’tros, Dari’mex, Hect, Gam’nen, Kyre’dos, Paph’ren, Rist’los, Semn, Twa’kios, Xeb’bas.

Female Names: Aio, Brin’tha, Ema, Her’li, Ir’ix, Lan’dira, Phae’rix, Sel’ne, Ura, Xan’pe.

Adventurers: halfings have a keen appreciation for the finer things in life, and they tend to adventure for the opportunities to strike it rich. Adventuring also appeals to the risk-taking side of their personality, and many halfings who have no real need of increased status or fame set out on quests simply for the daring thrill of it. A halfing’s approach to adventure by necessity focuses on being clever and nimble enough to out maneuver foes and circumvent obstacles with a minimum of fuss. halfings who turn to wizardry are rare, and tend to focus on enchantment and transformation magic.

HALFLING RACIAL TRAITS

• +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength: halfings are dexterous and nimble, but their size limits their physical Strength.

• Small: As a Small creature, a hallfing gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class and attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but must use smaller weapons than Medium creatures use, and his lifting and carrying limits are only three- quarters of those of a Medium character.

• hallfing base land speed is 30 feet. halfings are astonishingly swift for their size, perhaps a gift from Hermes.

• +2 racial bonus on Climb, Escape Artist, Jump and Move Silently checks: halfings are agile, surefooted and athletic.

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