Dark Days in Sion
|Hit Dice:||Same as class||Same as class||Same as class||1d8||1d8|
|Armor Class:||+1 Size||+1 Size||+1 Size||+1 Size, +1 Natural||+1 Size, +1 Natural|
|Base Attack:||Same as class||Same as class||Same as class||+1||+1|
|Damage:||By weapon||By weapon||By weapon||By weapon||By weapon|
|Special Qualities:||Darkvision 60ft||Low Light Vision||Infravision||Infravision|
|Abilities:||+1 Dex, -1 Str||+1 Dex, -1 Str or Con||+1 Dex or Wis, -1 Str||+2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str, -1 Con, -1 Cha||+1 Con, +1 Dex, -1 Str, -1 Wis|
|Racial Skills:||Diplomacy +2||Craft +2||Spellcraft +2||(4 +Int) Climb +4, Craft, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Survival +4||(4 +Int) Climb, Craft, Handle Animal +4, Heal, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Survival +4|
|Special Abilities:||Poison Use||Animal Companion (Ex)|
|Saving Throws:||By class||By class||By class||+4 Vs. Poison||+4 Vs. Cold|
|Alignment:||Any||Any||Any||Any Neutral||Any Neutral|
|Weapon Proficiencies:||By class||By class||By class||All Simple + Blowgun, Net||All simple + Harpoon, Net|
|Armor Proficiencies:||By class||By class||By class||Light, Medium + Shields||Light, Medium + Shields|
This most common of halflings found throughout lands that have been settled by humans. They live much as humans do but prefer rural settings and villages to towns and cities. Their crafts tend toward the ordinary and practical. Farmers, millers, innkeepers, weavers, brewers, tailors, bakers, and merchants are common in Hairfoot society.
Averaging about 3‘ in height, Hairfeet are slightly stockier in build than is typical for humankind. Their complexions run the gamut from pale to very dark, with hair color correspondingly blond to black and eyes that are brown or hazel. They rarely wear shoes (only in bad weather and bitter cold) and can be easily distinguished by the thick patches of hair growing atop each foot. They have no facial hair (besides eyebrows and eyelashes, of course). They wear brightly-colored, comfortable clothes, such as trousers and shirts or dresses, with a vest, jacket, hat, sash or bonnet added as a flourish. Their faces are round and very expressive, often appearing childlike to humans.
Hairfeet are slightly longer lived that humans, averaging 100 years- though a few patriarchs and matriarchs have reached ages of 140 and beyond. Full adulthood is generally recognized at about 25 years of age.
Stouts are not as common as their cousins, the Hairfeet, but they are nonetheless a populous and widespread subrace. They are about the same height as Hairfeet, averaging an inch or two below 3’, but much stockier-indeed, a typical Stout weighs half again as much as the average Hairfoot! This girth is not all fat, however-Stouts are more muscular than any other halflings and tend to regularly best their kin in the wrestling contest that are a favorite Stoutish entertainment.
Ruddier in complexion than the other subraces, Stouts tend to blush easily when pleased or embarrassed and flush bright red when angry. Their hair color tends to be on the light side, with blonds and sandy reds predominating: their eyes are blue, grey, and green. Unlike Hairfeet and Tallfellows, male Stouts can grow some facial hair, although not full beards: usually it takes the form of unusually thick sideburns or muttonchops. Moustaches are rare, and the few able to grow them are often inordinately proud of their accomplishment.
Stouts favor sturdy garb, commonly made of well-cured leather. They prefer practicality to appearance, and thus the members of a community tend to dress with an almost drap sameness. However a Stout will try to make a point of having a brightly colored outfit of exotic material (such as cotton, wool, or rarely silk), for use on special occasions. They often wear boots, which are really more like thick moccasins that offer good protection from the rocky or marshy ground typically under Stoutish feet.
This subrace of halflings is not so common as the Stout or Hairfoot but exists in significant numbers in many areas of temperate woodland. Averaging a little over 4’ in height, Tallfellows are slender and light-boned, weighing little more than the average Hairfoot. They wear their hair long, often topped by a small brightly-colored cap. The longest-lived of all halfling subraces, Tallfellows have an average life expectancy of 180 years, with the eldest exceeding 250 years.
Like Hairfeet, Tallfellows shun footwear. Their characteristic foot-fur is somewhat sparser and finer than that of their cousins. Tallfellows favor woodland shades of brown, yellow, and green and have developed several vibrant shades of the latter color through unique dyes.
This subrace of halflings is encountered primarily in the jungles or rain forests. They establish their villages in the dense tangle of the rain forest and jealously guard their territory against intrusion. The Holt halfling is by far the least social of all halfling subraces: clannish, suspicious, and distrustful of strangers.
Holt halflings average about 3’3” in height. Their skin color varies widely in tone, though even the paler shades tend to be well bronzed by the sun-since this is a subrace that, as a rule, shuns clothing. Both males and females wear their hair in long, unkempt manes, aside from priests, who usually shave their heads; otherwise, their bodies are completely
The most distinguishing feature of this subrace is the full, long beard that sprouts from the chin of the mature males. These beards are a matter of great pride, and in older Furchin often extends as far as the waist. The race favors warm clothing, woven of animal hair or lined with fur. They regularly wear snow-shoes and boots.
Furchin halflings resemble Stouts in both height and girth, though their average life expectancy (80 years) is considerably shorter, no doubt due to their harsher native environment. Hair and skin color vary widely, but tend to be pale, though eyes are usually dark. Those few Furchin born with green eyes are accorded much status-they are believed to be emissaries of the gods and are treated to a life of near-royal privilege.
Hairfeet are only moderately industrious, but they tend to make up in talent for what they lack in drive. A hairfoot farmer may tend a small plot in the morning for example, and spend the afternoon lying in the shade. Yet his or her irrigation ditch will be so cleverly aligned that his or her field yields a crop equal to that of a much larger human-tended farm. A Hairfoot-woven tunic will have a finer weave and be less scratchy than a similar human product, thus fetching a considerably higher price.
Hairfeet are the halflings most closely integrated into human society. They will work for human employers or hire human laborers, and many a Hairfoot merchant has made his or her fortune by appealing to the human elite of a cities population. While they will dwell in buildings in human neighborhoods, Hairfeet do prefer to live among others of their own race (though not necessarily their own sub-race) when this is possible.
A Hairfoot’s preferred type of house is the combined above and below ground burrow. The upper portion is almost always wood-framed, with several doors and windows and a bright, airy feel- though the ceilings are typically no more than 5’ above the floors. The lower portion will contain the fireplace and several small, cozy rooms.
Lacking the time, property or means to built a traditional home, however, a Hairfoot will cheerfully occupy a human house, a sheltered cave, or even a shack or tent. Wherever he or she lives, a Hairfoot will find a place to have a fire and gather for social conversation.
These halflings tend to segregate themselves from human society more than do Hairfeet, preferring the company of dwarves. Stouts and dwarves mix very readily, and their communities will often be located near to each other. Military and defensive alliances between the two races are common, and prosperous trading is also the norm.
Stoutish villages will generally be in hilly or rocky regions near good fishing waters and well-watered fields. They are the only halflings with any affinity to mining, but they are quite good at it and will often develop a bustling business from the excavation of minerals. Stouts can also be skilled jewelers, stone-masons, builders, smiths, boatmen and carvers. They are lackluster farmers at best, except where mushrooms are concerned, and as merchants they excel primarily at selling the products of the above trades.
Preferring underground habitation more than any other halfling subrace, a Stout will typically live in a fully-excavated burrow. He or she will have several round shuttered windows placed in a few walls to let in light and air, but the overall place will be cooler, darker and somewhat damper than a Hairfoot home.
The most industrious of halflings, a Stout can accomplish a great deal of work in a short time. They make doughty soldiers, and their dark vision gives them a great advantage battling underground. They are skilled swimmers and boatmen and have used small slender canoes with great effect in night attacks against larger vessels.
With typical life expectancy of more than 130 years, Stouts are not considered adults until they reach 30 years of age. The eldest of the race have been known to exceed two centuries in age.
Preferring to live above ground, Tallfellows often dwell in spacious houses of wood, with many windows. Indeed, the ceiling of a Tallfellow house will typically be nearly 6’ above the floor! Though the house will often have a cellar, this will be used primarily for storage. However, during days of hot summer Tallfellows will often retire to their underground for a long evenings conversation and sleep.
Tallfellows display the greatest affinity toward working with wood of any halfling. They make splendid carpenters (often building boats or wagons for human customers), as well as loggers, carvers, pipesmiths, musicians, shepherds, liverymen, dairymen, cheese-makers, hunters, and scouts. They are better farmers than Stouts (although not as good as Hairfeet) and more adept than any other subrace at harvesting natural bountines of berries, nuts, roots, and wild grains.
Except for Polar halflings, Tallfellows have the best proficiency at riding. Tallfellows favor small ponies. Indeed, many unique breeds of diminutive horse have been bred among Tallfellow clans: fast, shaggy-maned, nimble mounts with great endurance. In a charge, of course, they lack the impact of human-mounted warhorse; nonetheless, Tallfellow companies have served admirably as light lancers and horsearchers during many a hard-fought campaign.
On foot, Tallfellows wield spears with rare skill. They are adept at forming bristling ‘porcupine’ formations with these weapons, creating such a menacing array that horses and footmen alike are deterred from attacking. This is one of the few halfling formations capable of standing toe-to-toe with harger opponent in the open field.
The only halfling subrace to show any inclination for climbing trees, Holt halflings make their homes in the branches of forest giants. The homes of such a village are connected by hanging bridges, often leading down spiraling ladders to additional buildings on the forest floor.
The villages of these essentially nomadic folk are each centered around a great tree called the ‘Holt’ tree, featuring a large tree house. This ‘Holt House’ is the residence of a chief and his family. The rest of the Holt halflings live in a scattering of other tree houses around it.
Sometimes Holt halflings will establish a camp located in a clearing beside a steady supply of clean water. A thorny barrier, grown like a hedge to a height of 10’ or more, protects the entire village except for a single, endlessly-guarded gate.
Holt halflings roam a well-defined patch of forest they consider their territory. all the halflings of a particular clan will gather at their ‘Holt’ tree once every thirty days.
Adept at negotiating all types of forested terrain, including dense swamps, thorny thickets, mangroves, and so on, Holt halflings utilize this natural cover to screen their villages from larger folk. A network of pathways, each less than 4‘ high, will pass throughout the huge, densely verdant forest. Holt halflings thrive in terrain where other societies might have a hard time surviving.
In part, this is because they are so self sufficient, sharing many skills among the members of a single clan. Woodcarving, weaving, hunting and snaring, tanning, pottery, herbal medicine, alchemy (including the preparation of deadly or paralyzing poisons), farming and herding, jewelry, and featherwork are all common proficiencies among the Holt halflings.
Though they will cautiously open trading arrangements with nearby cultures, whatever their race, these halflings tend to conduct all transactions in a neutral location or in the other party’s community-foreign traders are not allowed into their villages. This arrangement is satisfactory to the other races as well, since these traders realize that they‘re taking their lives in their hands by venturing into the halflings’ jungles. Even large, well-armed parties are subject to raids and thievery by these halflings.
Holt Halflings will treat members of their own subrace from other tribes with respect, generosity, and friendship-even if those halflings are accompanying enemies of the clan (a few renegade clans, however, refuse to recognize the common kinship, and traveling halflings are advised to avoid falling into their clutches.)
As with all halfling subraces, a few Holt halflings are very curious about the customs and traits of other cultures outside the boundaries of their own jungles and will become wary wanderers. While they find it hard to overcome suspicions that the folk they meet on their travels are only waiting for their guard to drop before trying to kill and eat them, these bold wanderers will experiment with different types of behavior and show great openness in trying new forms of food, entertainment, and other experiences.
In combat, Holt halflings prefer short bows, slings, and daggers. Most of their weaponry is made of wood and bone. The subrace is also adept at the use of a very accurate blowgun which can silently fire darts up to 60’. These darts are typically coated with toxic or fast-acting paralytic poisons.
In their own polar environment these halflings are primarily nomadic, ranging across icy glaciers and barren tundra, following great herds of migrating animals. They have become adept at surviving in these very harshest of conditions, and are known to be the most proficient among halflings at both riding animals and training them.
The Furchin dwell in small clans, usually no more than thirty individuals in a community. In summer they live in tents of leather; in winter they make small, domed shelters of ice. Their clothing is made of fur, their equipment from leather, bone, and ivory; wood is almost unknown to them. Tribal leaders often wield metal weapons and tools acquired through trading.
Having developed a number of specialized skills, the Furchin halflings are among the most adept demihumans in existence at surviving in their grueling environment-and seemingly having a good time while they’re doing it! In general, the Furchin are a goodhumored people who enjoy practical jokes, funny stories, and bawdy songs. Both parents care for the young with great tolerance and tenderness, teaching their children early on the secrets of surviving in their harsh clime.
Strangers-especially those who bring gifts, objects for trade, or interesting stories to tell-will be welcomed by the Furchin with warm hospitality. Although their lives are hard, they are an unselfish people and will treat visitors with kindness and generosity (unless given reason to do otherwise).
Members of this subrace are very proficient in specialized skills suited to their environment, some of which will carry over quite effectively into other locations. They are among the most patient trappers in the known worlds and skilled hunters, tanners, and leatherworkers as well. Their characteristic boat is a miniature kayak, a virtually water-tight shell of leather covering a sturdy bone frame. While only one of their skilled boatwrights can craft these vessels, virtually all adult Furchin are adept at piloting them.
When hunting, the Furchin use leather slings for small game and long, barbed spears for more formidable foes; a strong line can be attached to the spear to allow it (and whatever it has impaled) to be drawn back toward the launcher. In melee combat (which they avoid if at all possible), the Furchin use short handled axes and daggers. Because of their small numbers and an absence of potential foes, the members of this subrace are unused to war and have developed no tactics for fighting an organized formation of soldiers.
In the realm of hunting and stalking in their natural terrain, however, the Furchin are second to none. Occasionally, a few Furchin led by an experienced warrior will embark on an mission to slay some dangerous threat to the tribe-such as a band of yetis or a frost giant. Through clever use of terrain and diversion, as well as patiently planned and executed ambush, these halflings have been known to vanquish foes many times their own size. In this respect, obviously, they are not so different from their cousins who live in warmer climes.
|Customs, Kinship, and Marriage|