Sunday, 10 July 2016

Things to do with halflings (Racial Reskins)




I'm a bit all over the shop on projects but commuting interstate for work has given me lots of time to write and I have had a big increase in hits here so thanks. I have made a few new frineds, discovered some new blogs and had some kind comments. So thanks to everyone. Checked out game clubs and found Tugeranong seems to have most game shops in territory. The club is huge with lots of cards and wargamers and some rpgs and a bar with very good food and a range of prices. Have several projects on the go but trying to do research free stuff. Have a few more Xor things, lots of swamp stuff - a low to intermediate dungeon zone and a high level swamp based hell. Also doing a requested item on Rations, a croud sourced thing on giant mobile cities, mild torture and hopefully my long stillborn mutation project. I will be compiling everything Xor shortly.

Reskinning Halflings
I have never been a halfling fan really. In years of gaming I have had about three memorable ones in play. My setting is a bit more horrible so halflings had to be often greedier and sex mad to fit in. They are indolent - using superior technology to make life easier and not bothering to develop other interesting things. This will be part of a series imagining minimal mechanic reskins.

The rock throwing thing turned halflings into machine guns in my game. Once a halfling gets followers a few can mow down attackers in a frightening manner. Give them a STR bonus damage and specialization and some other skills they are even more horrible. It worked quite well and nobody under estimated what a 10th level one with six followers could do.

Common halfling abilities:
Better saving throws
Short with giant fighting benefits
Nightvision
Sneaking and Hiding bonuses
Missile bonus no range mods, +1 hit all missiles,
I gave mine d4 rock damage and extra attacks lv1-4 x3ATT 4-8 x4ATT 9-12 x5ATT etc
Often have domestic and craft skills like cooking and woodwork
Only my dwarves get reduced movement rates, running away halflings do well
Weapons limited to not using large weapons and heavy armour or sheilds

My game is basically BX + Non Weapon Skills like late Adnd

So I'm going to propose some basic re skins. These should expand your game and player choices and wont break your world. These guys are pretty tame and like halflings would rather live in a well stocked house with family. They do go adventuring. They still might make deadly foes and evil examples do exist.

For tougher animal folk or troll born races I would use my Abhuman class. Changelings could be animal spirits or enchanted troll shape shifters. Gnomes might work for smaller more magical and sneaky types. Main reason I had to have gnomes as a class was because people kept marrying them in my games. They filled the role quite well and we grew fond of them.

Animal folk

Are different to hulking abhuman beast men. They are 3-4 foot tall bipedal versions of beast you meet in the wild or a farm. They are mostly modest and domestic living like simple folk in burrow houses. They are mostly nuetral and just want to live normal talking magical animal lives. Smaller animal folk avoid violence and prefer to hide or sneak.

They are similar to halflings in most respects but get no missile or rock benefits. Instead they get a d4 damage and a free brawling proficiency and +1 AC. At level 5-8 they get an additional brawling attack and +1AC. They get an extra attack and AC bonus every 4 levels after. Birds are flightless with hands instead of wings. Domestic, craft and rogue skills are common. Many know outdoors skills too. They can learn a variety of animal and sylvan or faerie languages.

Common: Mouse, hedgehog, fox, duck, chicken, rat, beaver, rabbit, cat, dog, squirrel, mole, badger, weasel, ferret, pigeon, possum, platypus, goat, black bear, wallaby, ibis, newt, frogs, owl, bat, bug.
On Xor many species are hairless like guinea pig folk. Should choose skills to reflect species origin like swimming for frogs or track for weasel or running jumping for a rabbit

Troll Folk
Trolls come in all shakes and sizes and the small ones are quite domestic if a bit shy. The live in barns, in fields, roof tops, wall cavities and under stoves and don't bother anyone. They can be quite heroic and will protect their friends. Other trolls snub them for living in shadow of other races or being to mild. They do share common ancestors though

Troll folk get same abilities as halflings and similar skills. languages include certain woodland monsters and other creatures like trolls and giants. They have a d3 bite if fighting unarmed but their claws are useless as weapons so they punch like a human. They prefer throwing rocks at big folk and hiding. They dont need to wear clothes and fur gets thicker in winter but hey might wear a coat if wet or cold

Trolls are hairy all over, either shaggy and bushy or velvet like short hair with extra tuft on top of head and tail tip. They are more like moomintrolls than dnd trolls. Lady trolls like ribbons, brushes, bells, mirrors and accessories to make it obvious they are female. Older dames are less worried and carry a handbag. They often curl their eye lashes. Males wear hats and smoke pipes.

Wicked trolls are judgmental and punish people they dislike with vindictive cruelty. Some torment people for swearing or neglecting to work hard or not looking after livestock (LE). Such trolls will trick with arson or beat people to punish them while a good barn troll would just let animals free or take them to a nice farm far away. Chaotic ones tend to be shaggy and ill kept with pointy teeth and horns. They don't need a reason to torment or kill but rely on ambush or hit and run.

Fauns
These diminutive forest folk also are fond of a nice domestic life perhaps in a decorated cave. They very much enjoy dancing and parties especially with nymphs and satyrs and centaurs who are their kin. They don't mind wearing armour or clothes on their legs mostly and are nude waist down which upsets some humans. Fauns are male or female and find humans and goats equally attractive. They are prone to drunkeness. Many mistake them for satyrs but they dont have musical powers and have more self control. Fauns make up the bulk of sylvan armies and make good skirmishers and will fight as regulars with ranks of spears. They often will jump over foes after a charge, especialy over sheild walls.

They are 4 foot tall on average, some as small as three others up to 5. They have the same benefits as halflings but not the rock throwing abilities. Instead they can use a bigger variety of weapons including pole arms and long spears. They can headbutt or kick for a d4 damage when brawling. They can also jump 50% further than humanoids of their height. Woodland craft, arts and knowledge skills like healing and herbalist are common. They may study under centaurs and other supernatural folk. Athletics (run or leap) and sensory skills are popular too.

Wicked fauns are drunken letchers and often become bandits. They destroy fences, foul wells and erode civilization.

Pygmies
This is in fact a diminutive lost race of humans who live in the most inhospitable places where humans don't want to go or live. This lets the pygmies live in peace. They do know big folk will abuse them and have a history of driving them from good land. Pygmies are masters of hit and run. All the abilities halflings get with rocks they get with blow pipes (blowpipe normally d3 once per round - pygmies get d4 and gain extra attacks plus use poison). Pygmies don't have night vision. Instead or resisting magic they get enhanced DEX saves. They are poison resistant from constant exposure to toxins. They also like weapons including short bows, lassos, bola, javelins, darts and rocks in preference to melee. They like daggers, hand axes, clubs and maces. They also have wise men who teach exotic arts like healing, herbalism, black powder, incendiaries which they use to fake magic. Shrunken heads and fetish making are more interesting than other crafts or home decor. The more evil ones eat their enemies.

Goblins
Goblins fit surprisingly well and I considered replacing halflings with goblins. Reskining is pretty easy. Goblins are hairless cave dwelling humanoids related to faerie creatures like elves and to fungus. Goblins worship the great worm and fungus gods and can be quite nurtering to worms and mushrooms. Goblins care for subterranean gardens and are excellent at making compost and rehabilitating soil. Elves plant goblins as buffer zones around their forests to keep other races away. Orc like to use goblins as labour such as farmers or miners. They are fairly good if crude at mining and craft and hard working.

Goblins have most halfling abilities but have fully functional dark vision and they dislike sunlight preferring to cover themselves and their eyes. Instead of rock throwing abilities they get extra attacks on shortbow. They favour skills for craft, wilderness and subterranean exploration. They are fascinated by magic and some serve wizards just to see magical things. I would reskin a gnome for a goblin spell caster.

Goblins tend towards chaos and evil but can be neutral. The ones in elf forests tend to follow the elves for moral philosophy and are instead believers in ancestor worship and reincarnation. Chaos goblins serve demons and hope to be reincarnated as demonic life.

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I will be more exact about this later...and possibly ad more

Something like a wandering race of enigmatic woodland hobos, a kind of spooky being that alters appearance based on seasons.

1 comment:

  1. I do like Pygmies as a character option, they fit in for a more sword and sorcery feel over tolkienesque ren-fairia. I've been using them on and off in my games with Cyclops and Amazons in addition to plain old Men as race/background for a while now.

    I'll admit I have a soft spot for halflings but they don't fit shoe-horned into every fantasy dungeon stomping campaign.

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