Monday, March 18, 2013

Another Take on the Halfling

In GURPS size is a big disadvantage. Its 15 points but there is a logistical burden to it, all other equipment and trappings rely on the default human size. Halfings, Gnomes, Kobolds and Goblins have it bad their damage is severely affected, as well as their ability to take damage. It doesnt take much to knock down or out a halfling compared to a medium sized creature in GURPS.

This halfling is different in the way I exaggerated the muscle and bone strength for someone who is supposed to be 2/3 the size of a human. This is not a child, well they are pretty much the size of human children but their muscles are optimized for their current scale.

Halfings, Goblins and Kobolds are dangerous because they have human intelligence and they can take full advantage of cover. One other unusual advantage is that they move as quickly or faster than a human. Their default Speed is 7 vs a humans 5, reflecting the effortlessness it is for them to travel.

Their super jump ability is what compensates for their size, it allows them to overcome obstacles and reach places a human may not be able to reach. Their fast climbing advantage and jump ability combine to make a very acrobatic and dangerous opponent. Used along with their small stature for stealth, they are expert in ambushes and recon.

They won't snipe humans or other medium sized opponents, but they would be awesome in harrassing and wearing them down. If it becomes a matter off armies, armor and size still matters enough that an army of goblins and halflings won't win because of their special mobility, especially since they cannot bring anything effectively lethal (short of biological and chemical warfare) to bare on a stronger and larger enemy.

Come to think of it, an Army of Giants would have the same advantage over humans.

Game Mechanics Note: Game Balance and Racial Templates

Races are most often more powerful than basic humans, even if they equal to 0 or sometimes negative. This is because they break the Max Disad cap. Technically Gross Point Value (Not counting the disadvantages) they are made up of much more points. GM bias is the biggest factor that can affect the game balance of a race. Even if the GM or world builder builds a deficit character, one will find that emphasis can make a disadvantage irrelevant. So knowing your GM style helps when building a template or race, in fact that a truism in GURPS or many systems.

On interesting take away is that GM's who are aware of their style or emphasis can note how certain Disads work out in their Game and can prepare players or allow them to tweak when the fun is not optimal.


These halfings are not of an idyllic world. Given how intolerance, ignorance, and violence can pervade a primitive world these are survivors. They are small and are valuable as "weaker" slaves. If the Great Slaving Empires and cultures were to stumple on such a folk, they would beaten until they bowed to the natural Order their cultures believed such a people should be. 

Weaker halfling are valued as domestic slaves. The way a slaver would ensure loyalty is to beat it until submission: battered person's syndrome is a classic way of enslaving such. keeping their families within spear's reach and under close control also helps maintain power over these halfings. 

in the Wild they are independent and communal. The halflings are as clever as humans and their better mobility allows them to live in places few humans can reach. They will live on tree tops, cliff-sides, caverns and lime-stone dwellings, Jungles, and other natural formations that grant their size and build an incredible source of security.

Halfings with their diet, are mostly in food production. Their metabolism, especially those who live in the cold regions, focused in their tasks to produce enough food for their rapid metabolism. They favor complex sugars like beans and legumes. Simpler sugars are favored as alchohols, note that they are as vulnerable as humans to it because their small size is a trade-off to their rapid metabolism.

They are naturaly suspicious of non-halflings, but what allows them to push farther into the most difficult of terrains is their curiosity to discover new places and new things. Their curiousity is channeled, for their survival, in pursuits that will allow them to survive. 

Goblins are a close relative of half-lings  but their survival lies in their Hidebound nature. They have the similar survival traits, but have been uniquely adapted to take advantage of the darkness and night time.  


20 points
Basic Attributes [20] : ST-2 [-20]; DX+2 [40]
Secondary Characteristics [2]: FP +1 [2]  
Advantages [13]: Super Jump 0.5 (x1.5 jumping, B89, B352) [10]; Super Climbing 1 (+1 move) [3].
Disadvantages [-15]: Curious (12) [-5]; Increased Consumption (eating 6 meals a day) [-10]
Features:  SM-1 (4'6" average); Weight x2/3.

Notes: Jumping B352
Standing Jump ( (6"x5)-10" )x2 = 40" 3'
Running Jump (6"x10)-10")x2 = 100" or 8'
Standing Broad Jump ((2'x5)-3')x2 = 14' or 4 yards and 2ft
Running Broad Jump ((2'x10)-3')x2 = 34' or 11 yards and 1ft

14 points
Goblins are just like halflings physically except that they have the following other notes.

Advantages [9]: Night Vision 9 [9]; Disadvantages [-15]: Social Stigma: Monster [-15]; No curiosity, instead Hide bound [-5]


bongotastic said...

That guy is a bit more combat ready than the hobbit template that I posted few days ago!

justin aquino said...

Yep, designed for a darker world in mind... well depends on your take. i was imagining how would halfings fare if they were in world like that of the grate slave using empires (not just the ancient ones but the modern ones too).
I wanted them to have a scientifically plausible trade off, If someone did the math I exaggerated the strength levels but I wanted a different strategy to their physique. Something that is not easily grasp unless you pay attention to logistics. No one likes to look at the logistics, a great place to hide advantages.

Peter D said...

I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to use Dwarfism for racial SM. Racial SM is a 0-point feature. Dwarfism means you're abnormally small for your species. The Dwarf template on B261 is a good example of this - SM-1 is 0 points. If you gave it -1 to Move, that's -5.

3e did it differently, of course, but 3e didn't actually have SM so it came with its own problems. :)

justin aquino said...

Thanks +Peter D i checked B19 again, your right. adjusted the template accordingly.