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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Sporeegg's Avatar

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    Default Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I had a discussion about Halflings about two years ago with my DM. He could not feasibly think of a reason why gnomes and halflings would be two distinct races in his setting. Gnomes would be either forest and mountain dwellers that are in tune with nature or technologically advanced. My player character at this point was a Halfling Paladin.

    So he straight up came to me and said: Give me a reason to incorporate Halflings in my setting or you can keep everything you have on your sheet the way it is but you have to call yourself gnome. I proceeded to make Halflings somewhat diverse profiteers (Charisma bonus and all that) focussed on aquiring currency, influence on trading routes, who are fiercely determined when it comes to (humanoid) interaction. In the same vein, I made my character's father a corrupt merchant and my DM wrote a drug selling ring onto him.

    The campaign died off due to a) the DM becoming tired of Pathfinder b) unsuccessful switch to 5e c) people moving away. But the question still stands really. And I am one that would turn the sentence "halflings are just the other flavor of small people" into "gnomes are actually superfluous".

    Granted I am not versed in the fluff of most gnome variants but aren't they usually just either similar to really small dwarves (with similar roots in Germanic mythology to the point were elves, dwarves and gnomes are basically the same sort of creature in different outcroppings) or are there to justify a somewhat magepunkish setting in that they are suddenly - and mostly inexplicably - the inventor race. I say away with the gnomes. If you want to play a guy from the mountain tunnels of Whatchamacallit you go dwarf. If you want a small person, pick halfling. If you want a forest dweller in tune with nature, pick an elf.

    Why Halflings and not Gnomes now? Well, Halflings have a few story-telling benefits and perks that Gnomes do not. They are brave, likeable, hard to corrupt, surprisingly hardy and ressourceful. If you want a Tolkienesque fantasy settings, why ignore one of the main four races? Why gnomes? I don't understand who got the idea to add gnomes to D&D and its ilk. You can spin fantastic stories around halflings. Be it Samwise, Mazzy Fentan of Baldur's Gate, Regis Rumblebelly (who actually is amazing when you consider him by D&D rules that he basically was a low level thief in a high level campaign that didn't die). Those characters had an arc and well, character. And now tell me of a gnome that wasn't purely comic relief. I am sure there are some but I assume they are largely unknown. On the top of my head I can only remember the gnome illusionist from the Dreaming Dark series (and she was a villain/employer rather than a protagonist).
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I have banned gnomes from every D&D and Pathfinder game I have run. The only thing worse than gnomes is kender. And it is usually the same people playing either of them.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
    I have banned gnomes from every D&D and Pathfinder game I have run. The only thing worse than gnomes is kender. And it is usually the same people playing either of them.
    Was there not a way to be a kender gnome with stone blessed?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    On the other hand, gnomes have stronger ties to actual old folklore, while halflings are bargin bin Hobbits. And Hobbits were mostly an invention by Tolkien inspired by Scandinavian folklore of gnomes.

    Neither one really fits more or less than the other, but you also have to keep in mind that even the introduction book to Hobbits tell us they are practically invisible and mostly ignored. So as an answer to your DM's question, if you want to simply not introduce a main-stay area where gnomes and halflings dwell, that is entirely within lore of that race. They can dwell in the small space inbetween society where nobody ventures.

    Like Fragglerock or something.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Halflings are inherently mundane by nature, whereas Gnomes are magical. Both are small, often sneaky, trickster types, (and yes, both can be any class, mundane or magical alike) but Gnomes are culturally more inclined, as small, almost-fey types, to be bards, beguilers (in 3.5e), illusionists, etc.

    Basically, yes, if you allow either race to have "small" as their prime trait, then they are superfluous to each other, but they both have more interesting racial traits than that.

    Different settings utilize gnomes in different ways. The most common one is making them better than most at creative applications of magic or near-magic technology (IE steampunk artificers). Eberron makes them the best elemental binders, FR has one of their cultures be the steampunk types, and WarCraft (which admittedly lacks halflings for contrast) makes them supremely utilitarian in their magic, the most creative magic-users in the setting.

    Meanwhile, halflings are presented as extremely mundane-focused. The originals, the Hobbits, were more folksy-country types who fled from adventure, but had a natural knack for being stealthy, while their descendants in the adventure-focused D&D editions evolved that into a focus on thievery. Halfling mages are entirely possible, but undistinguished. Dark Sun made them cannibals (because country folk made no sense) while Eberron made them either dinosaur riders or urban mobsters (boromar clan), and a few other things besides (healing and hospitality houses, echoing their earlier-edition pleasant country nature).

    So yeah, if size is all you care about, gnomes and halflings are indistinct, because they both look near-human, but they have widely distinctive cultural and conceptual roles. If you think they should be merged or discarded, you might as well merge humans and elves, because hey, we've already got medium humanoids, just one's a little more nature-y with pointed ears, right?

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    Halflings are inherently mundane by nature, whereas Gnomes are magical. Both are small, often sneaky, trickster types, (and yes, both can be any class, mundane or magical alike) but Gnomes are culturally more inclined, as small, almost-fey types, to be bards, beguilers (in 3.5e), illusionists, etc.

    Basically, yes, if you allow either race to have "small" as their prime trait, then they are superfluous to each other, but they both have more interesting racial traits than that.

    Different settings utilize gnomes in different ways. The most common one is making them better than most at creative applications of magic or near-magic technology (IE steampunk artificers). Eberron makes them the best elemental binders, FR has one of their cultures be the steampunk types, and WarCraft (which admittedly lacks halflings for contrast) makes them supremely utilitarian in their magic, the most creative magic-users in the setting.

    Meanwhile, halflings are presented as extremely mundane-focused. The originals, the Hobbits, were more folksy-country types who fled from adventure, but had a natural knack for being stealthy, while their descendants in the adventure-focused D&D editions evolved that into a focus on thievery. Halfling mages are entirely possible, but undistinguished. Dark Sun made them cannibals (because country folk made no sense) while Eberron made them either dinosaur riders or urban mobsters (boromar clan), and a few other things besides (healing and hospitality houses, echoing their earlier-edition pleasant country nature).

    So yeah, if size is all you care about, gnomes and halflings are indistinct, because they both look near-human, but they have widely distinctive cultural and conceptual roles. If you think they should be merged or discarded, you might as well merge humans and elves, because hey, we've already got medium humanoids, just one's a little more nature-y with pointed ears, right?
    Yes I think the following things could be removed from dnd 3.5: elves, orcs, half orcs, half elves and all their variants because they are fundamentally copy paste of humans which then are given standardized hats.
    We should also remove dwarves, goblins, kobolds, halflings and gnomes because they fall in the same category as elves and orcs but with a sightly different size.
    We should also remove all the dragons because they are in fact just human bards wearing disguises.(which is why they have so many fans: bards are awesome and charismatic)

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Stereotypically, among the small races the gnomes are the scholars, the halflings the wanderlust adventurers and the goblins the barbarian savages. They are nearly equivalent, I find, to the medium-sized Elves, humans and Half-Orcs, respectively.

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Yeah, that. Gnomes have very strong mythological roots for me. If anything, I would even keep gnomes over dwarves and rename them dwarves. If it's them or halflings, it's no contest.

    In all the legends and fairy tales I grew up with, dwarves are diminutive, grumpy, miserly tricksters who are phenomenally adept at illusion and curses, just as much as craftsmanship. That's gnomes. Dwarf stats represent Gimli reasonably well, but not fairy tale dwarves.

    A dwarf should be much smaller than a human, an accomplished wizard and illusionist and good at stealth.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I think that the main issue people have with Halflings is that they're Hobbits lite, and they tend to lack a precise identity. Tolkien's Hobbits have one, but D&D/PF Halflings are either a knock-off of Hobbits, or all over the spectrum (thieves! Kenders! Raptor-riders! Cannibals!), and while those can be cool concepts, they don't help creating an identity for Halflings as a whole.

    But I think Gnomes are kinda stuck with the same problem, too. For decades, they've been stuck with being thinkerers, inventors and bringing steampunk in pseudo-medieval Fantasy. Sometimes they're back to being forest or tunnel dwellers, as in old folklore, but then they just become a different flavour of Dwarves or Elves. They, too, lack a precise identity.

    This is why I have initially cut off both Gnomes and Halflings from one of my homebrew setting: I just couldn't think of a "something" that would have been unique to them, the thing that set them apart from everyone else and justified their existence as a separate race from Humans, Elves, Dwarves or Fey. I'll be introducing Gnomes fairly soon, though, but it took a while for me to make sense of their existence in the setting.

    So, yeah, Gnomes and Halflings both lack an identity across settings and games, it's just that Gnomes have been associated with steampunk a bit more, and thus people who want to insert that in their fantasy campaigns see a reason to include Gnomes.

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    D&D basically exracted the magical nature of dwarves from past depictions (as Eldan above notes) and put all that into gnomes (who if I got my sources correct were originally conceived as earth-spirits rather than a physical race). Add to that the race system not really being equipped to potray an inherently magical species with anything more than an extra cantrip (any more would be pretty overpowered) and I see where you're coming from.
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Actually, I have always implemented halflings as adept farmers, living in a rural society (besides the one game I have ran in Eberron).

    Gnomes on the other hand I have always used as scholars and astronomers. (actually, a player of mine who is playing a gnome, has helped me develop a more unique gnomish culture, so in the end i think I have deeper gnomish culture than a halfling one)

    Now that I think both roles can be easily filled by humans.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Yeah, that's the thing, too. Both concepts are very malleable, as writers over the decades have tried new things, which then became old hat and folded into canon. (Kender are more halflings, just with a different name and slightly different goals and ideology.) Elves, dwarves, gnomes, they all get reinvented for new settings, but then the new and the old wind up side-by-side in some respect. (Look at WarCraft: for WarCraft 3, they created the Night Elves as an entirely new version of a 'dark elf' with a heavy emphasis on barbarism and nature magic, which in turn got pulled back towards the classic arcane-concept D&D-style elf over time.)

    My own conceptual reinvention for the Gnomes actually folds the elemental concept back into them, from the Paracelsan origin. My gnomes are the elemental-kin of my setting (like small genasi), with earth as the most commonly-known variety, but fire, water, and air gnomes also existing, albeit much more rarely.

    My setting also lacks halflings, but that's because ALL of my races are much more inhuman than the common interpretation (usually by blending two animal totem gods together). Halflings just wouldn't make sense in a world of heavily animal-themed races.

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    My elves are 7 feet tall beanpoles, with small antlers and venomous fangs (their two patron gods are a deer-totem and a spider-totem). My dwarves have tentacles growing in their beards and thick claws on their fingers (badger and a fictional underground burrowing cephalopod similar to an overgrown, tentacled snail). My goblins are 5ft tall and lanky (wolf and crow), with a 'favored' sub-culture that is chosen by the bird god and are straight up osprey-like birdfolk. Then there are 'hoblings', small monkey-goblin-like types whop get all the mad-science/alchemist stuff of PF and WoW goblins, who have the high-throaty voice of Stitch/film-Gollum (opossum and monkey), with opposable thumbs on their feet and dextrous tails.

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I've never been particularly fond of the Tolkienesque hobbit lites that tend to fill most veteran players' games. I have, however, always adored the idea of another diminutive race, that is neither 'grumpy smith McBeardface' or the gnome, that I've always found to be stuck between the kenderesque cheery and joyseeking trickster and the forest-dwelling PhD in engineering. Now, that is not to say, that I dislike either of those two races: I think they contribute to a more magical and diverse campaign - their social traits being great leads in many social encounters, etc.

    But I want something more, and always have. I grew up with the original AD&D halfling essentially being a hobbit. I was never too happy about that. In my mind, halflings were never stocky or particularly stay-at-homey. They were always inclined towards peace, but not necessarily stability. I think what is the most distinct trait of halflings - and what have seemed to be reiterated throughout all editions of D&D - is their ties to strength of community, close-knit families, and strong sense of solidarity.

    My halflings, as they're portrayed in my campaign, have no countries or forts, not even villages (not truly). They're a people in decline, as they were never as populous as the men and elves, nor as crafty as the dwarves or gnomes. The majority of them are in fact slaves of the nations of men and elves. A historical pendant would be the pre-Exodus jews of Egypt. To the humans and elves (the strongest and most numerous forces in my campaign setting) they're resources. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Some free halfling communities do exist. Some roam the lands in caravans, others live a nomad-existance in montane regions. The most distinct community have taken up residence in an abandoned, lawless district of one of the Northern nations capital, where one of the great outer walls had fallen - fighting for residential territory against other 'lesser' races (goblins, hobgoblins and orcs) of whom there seem to be no end. But all in all, they're few and far between. The majority of the race is enslaved, and their own personal or communal 'exodus' (or lack thereof) defines them as a species. Their role in the world is that of either the hunted, the enslaved, or the (self-)liberated.

    That's one way of going about it. With the elves, the humans, and the dwarves, we're past the initial 'oh, they're forest-dwellers/city-builders/mountain-carvers'. Races need unique identities that don't echo any of the other races' identities - and that's where halflings (and gnomes) have been struggling. We easily lump them in with humans or elves and dwarves, respectively. And whenever we do try and give them unique identities, we can easily feel alienated - as happened when the old TSR hobbit got replaced by the 3.5 (kenderesque) halfling or the 4e river-folk. 5e toned back the uniqueness - and it might've been for the best. Halflings and gnomes seem to be very different, depending on the individual you ask - If every table needs having a new iteration of them, so be it. I've kinda gotten used to it

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Flavor wise, the two are wildly different. Of course, the books tend to get it wrong, but that's because the books are universally penned by amateurs.

    Gnomes are conniving little bastards, clever, industrious, with a bent towards magic, technology and espionage. Gnomes, generally speaking, are neutral, but closer to lawful and evil than to good and chaotic. For the best take on gnomes, look to Eberron.

    Halflings are much closer to nature. They entirely lack the trait of scheeming, being basically honest and very slightly naive - their bent towards thievery nonewithstanding. Halflings are overall good-ish, leaning towards neutral more than the alternatives.

    The only common ground between the two is their size. It's way more reasonable to do away with elves, saying they're just forest-y humans with pointy ears. Or dwarves (underground-y humans with beards). Or orcs (strong, stupid humans). Or ... no, I can't find an argument for minotaurs. Never mind.

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I recall a Nodwick comic where the main character discovered that halflings, gnomes, and dwarves were one race that was running a scam to get more money out of the authors going around and cataloging races. Halflings were clean shaven, gnomes went to college, and dwarves took steroids if I recall.

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Flavor wise, the two are wildly different. Of course, the books tend to get it wrong, but that's because the books are universally penned by amateurs.

    Gnomes are conniving little bastards, clever, industrious, with a bent towards magic, technology and espionage. Gnomes, generally speaking, are neutral, but closer to lawful and evil than to good and chaotic. For the best take on gnomes, look to Eberron.

    Halflings are much closer to nature. They entirely lack the trait of scheeming, being basically honest and very slightly naive - their bent towards thievery nonewithstanding. Halflings are overall good-ish, leaning towards neutral more than the alternatives.

    The only common ground between the two is their size. It's way more reasonable to do away with elves, saying they're just forest-y humans with pointy ears. Or dwarves (underground-y humans with beards). Or orcs (strong, stupid humans). Or ... no, I can't find an argument for minotaurs. Never mind.
    Yeah, from the 3E core races, I'd do away with half-orcs first, then halflings, then dwarves. Elves and gnomes I probably couldn't be convinced to toss out.
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Aren't they both superfluous?
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I've included all of them (because I'm intentionally going for kitchen sink) but I've changed the lore and origins of all the races.

    Gnomes are what happens when a tribe of goblins (who have effectively a shared memory/scratch-space or clustered intelligence) are strongly affected by fey/spirits/elemental energy. Basically a spontaneous mutation at a tribal level. True-breeding.
    Forest gnomes are affected by natural spirits of animals and plants, while rock gnomes are influenced by elementals or by fey associated with creativity/curiosity. There are other types, just not known right now.

    Gnomes are rare in the main play area due to a lack of critical mass of goblins. This will probably change soon, however, as goblin numbers are rebounding after a catastrophe.

    Halflings are a stable mutation of goblins from about 800 years ago. In the aftermath of a massive "magical nuclear" war that involved wholesale manipulation/destruction of souls, some of the displaced souls ended up distorting a goblin tribe. They lost the shared memory but gained more individual sentience.

    As part of this they ended up with significant dimorphism. A plurality of halflings are sterile females (called kliba). These are the "worker bees" of an extended family group. Bigger and stronger than most, they do the grunt work and serve as the pointy end of the halfling militia with less concern for personal safety. Fertile females are fewer in number than kliba, but more common than males. Males are smaller and more nimble than females (speaking in averages) and are generally treated as something like pets. Halflings live in large extended families presided over by a matriarch. They also practice the "we have reserves" style--breeding very fast and expanding wherever there's open land, often with horrific losses.

    They are localized, however. The conditions that brought them into existence only happened in one area of one continent.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    In my setting gnomes are in decline because they spread out and expanded along with the ‘big people’ but were too preoccupied with their tinkering and personal projects to remember to keep their numbers up. They essentially can’t be bothered to propagate. However, they have very slightly larger demographic among primarily dwarf or elf populations than humans.

    Halflings are a significant minority that serve the role of ‘Roma’ people. They exist mostly on the fringes of human societies. They want to be left alone in their caravans and are usually looked down upon as thieves.

    I think they are both useful to my setting but I did have more difficulty rationalizing independent gnome communities, hence the declining state.
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    This thread feels like preaching to the choir, considering that in my experience gnomes are dismissed as superfluous far more often than halflings.
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I like gnomes, though I don't like the "pseudo-steampunk inventors/tinkerers" fluff they're often saddles with. Just a personal taste thing. Generally I think they're cool though, and I like that they have ties back to folklore and mythology.

    In the campaign I'm running now, I actually made them one of the most prominent and common races, and gave them more of a scholarly hat that I think works well. If nothing else, I have two players who are playing gnomes, and they're both enjoying it.

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    In my Darkling setting, gnomes and trolls are a closely-related, but not interchangeable, pair of species. Their gods had a schism sometime around or before the time when the races were developed, so the gods of the gnomes are the hated, antagonistic gods of the trolls, and the trolls' gods are the hated, malicious gods of the gnomes. Both are mystical masters, with gnomes actually running their whole civilization in a government that looks like highly stylized University politics, with academia being the governing trait and scholarship being the key to advancement. Trolls are craftsmen, making magical weapons and tools that out-strip even the dwarves' arts, though they rely on magic to make it happen whereas dwarves can take or leave magic.

    Dwarves in that setting fill more of a merchant niche, owning and maintaining vast underground highway systems that only they may travel (or, in some cases, which others may travel only for enormous escort fees). This makes dwarves highly profitable merchants because they travel in significantly more safety than most other merchants.

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Way back in my 1st edition AD&D days, I felt like I had a pretty solid grasp on what halflings were all about -- rustic generally good-natured little people whose natural talents (and lack of fortitude) inclined them towards stealthy careers as adventurers. If they weren't off killing owlbears then they were largely honest and competent farmers, craftsmen, etc. The hobbit thing didn't bother me much, possibly because I was never much of a Tolkien reader so it wasn't beaten into the ground for me.

    Gnomes, in contrast, I never felt like I could really explain. Sort of dwarfish but thinner and they like jokes? Something something small animals? And I guess they like magic but just illusion magic. I could sort of grasp them as individuals but I never felt like I could picture what a gnome settlement or society looked like. This is just based off the PHB; I didn't really have the primary campaign world supplements.

    Krynn sort of changed that but it did so by wiping out most of the PHB info: No jokes, no magic illusions, no something something small animals. Just obnoxious steampunk dwarfs. No thanks. Then you have your fae-style gnomes or rock spirit gnomes, etc.

    My favorite depiction of gnomes came form the Paksenarrion novels where they were a hyper-lawful austere people whose plain, perfectly engineered tunnels contrasted with the gem-encrusted and decorative stoneworks of the dwarfs. Measure for measure, anything done for you was assumed to have a price and almost nothing was done for others freely. But expert fighters and tacticians, keepers of law and knowledge. Again, this is little like the 1st edition PHB but at least it was a society concept I could work with.

    Anyway, out of the two I'd easily keep halflings. With halflings, I know where I'm at mentally. Gnomes fluctuate so much that I have to consider them as disposable because they've never found a concrete role.

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    with gnomes actually running their whole civilization in a government that looks like highly stylized University politics, with academia being the governing trait and scholarship being the key to advancement.
    Ugh. If I know anything about university politics, that sounds like hell. Not even blue
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    Lord Torath's Avatar

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Of course, there was the time he sold him a halfling, but delivered a gnome! But that's all settled now. Now we live in simple peace, and harmony!

    ("Halfling!" "Gnome!" "Halfling!" "Gnome!" "Halfling!" "Gnome!"....)

    -with apologies to Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick

    Not every campaign world has room for every race1, but I think every race has a campaign it can fit in. This goes for monsters as well.

    1 Unless you're running Spelljammer. Then there's room in that campaign world for everything!
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2018-10-30 at 10:34 AM.
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Not every campaign world has room for every race
    One goal of my setting was to find a place for, if not everything, at least as much as possible. Doesn't mean there are very many of each thing (many creatures are limited-production runs or essentially one-off creatures) or that each thing is everywhere (dragonborn and halflings are each only found in one small area and number ~20k each total).

    But in general, I agree. Most worlds would do better by limiting the options to a subset of all the published ones and doing so by referencing the world itself.
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Ugh. If I know anything about university politics, that sounds like hell. Not even blue
    Oh, absolutely. But that doesn't stop it from being interesting. In the Chinese sense of the word.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Oh, absolutely. But that doesn't stop it from being interesting. In the Chinese sense of the word.
    That I can agree with wholeheartedly.
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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    Dwarves and Elves are superfluous.

    Halflings are drunk.

    Gnomes are weird.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Rant: Halflings are NOT superfluous! Gnomes are.

    I'm not really inspired by any D&D interpretation of either race, save for halflings in athas and eberron. I think it would be much more elegant to get rid of them both and just give more diversity to dwarves.
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