A friend posted some Jeff Dee Halfling art from the 1981 D&D Expert Set today, and it really reminded me of my early view of RPG halflings. Short – VERY short, with large hairy feet – but otherwise bold, trim, and confident looking. Such characters seemed neither unable to use human weapons, nor rolly-polly.
Inspired by them, here’s a quick Halfling sub-race for Pathfinder.
Stouts are a sub-race of haflings found in some of the roughest, oldest human lands. They are short and have pointed ears as their typical Halfling cousins, but are more trim, broad of frame, and with differently proportioned hands and feet. Their feet, in particular, are broad and rough-bottomed, and kept warm with thick patches of curly hair that generally match the color and texture of the hair on their heads.
Stouts are humanoids of the (Halfling) sybtype.
Ability Score Racial Traits: Stouts are nimble and strong-willed, but their small stature makes them less strong than other races. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, and –2 Strength.
Size: Stouts are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Base Speed: Despite their reduced stature, stouts have a base speed of 30 feet.
Languages: Stouts begin play speaking Common and Halfling. Stouts with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, and Troll.
Firm Grip: Stouts have hands larger than a human of the same height would, with strong fingers and a firm grip. They receive a +2 racial bonus to Climb checks.
Additionally, a Small stout can use weapons sized appropriately for Small and Medium creatures normally, without any size-based penalties. If for some reason a stout stops being Small, or is using a weapon that is not actually sized appropriately for Small or Medium creatures, this ability has no affect.
Hairyfoot: Stout feet are broad, strong, tough, and topped with curly, warm hair. They gain all the benefits of being barefoot, but also all the benefits of wearing protective foot-coverings, despite always being barefoot. While theoretically a stout could put on boots or shoes, when they do so they take a -2 penalty to Initiative checks and all Dex checks, because it’s just never comfortable.
Additionally, they receive a +2 bonus to Stealth checks, and to any check regarding movement thought difficult terrain, on narrow spans, or over hazards, while using their feet.
Minor Exclusive Patreon Expansion
I also wrote one minor feat for stouts that’s an exclusive over on my Patreon page. Go check it out!