After the Storm
“It’s bad enough they make off with the silverware, but an electoral vote, too? Can’t we send in some Rat Catchers?”
Adult halflings are round 3’ tall and weigh about two-thirds what a typical human does (carrying the extra in their bellies as a rule, most being at least a little pot-bellied). Their eyes are various shades of brown with blue eyes being rare. They mature as fast as humans but tend to live longer (a halfling at 135 is equivalent to a human at 75).
Halflings do not grow beards.
Others see them as sneaky little blighters, lazy, greedy and vulgar.
They see themselves as a sensible peace-loving folk, who enjoy the good things of life, the ideal vision of which is a pleasant nap after a good meal.
Many Halflings live in The Moot.
Beyond the Moot, halflings are often employed as chefs, it being a mark of status to employ one. They also gain more dubious work in the field of apothecary and poisoning work due to skills in gathering and preparing herbs, berries and fungi. They make good archers and scouts but are not inclined to pursue military careers.
Despite offering valuable skills, halflings are generally treated poorly in the Empire. They are charged the same for a rented room or stage fare, but often paid less on the argument “you’re smaller so don’t need as much” (despite the fact halflings actually eat as much or more than humans). A halfling’s word usually counts for little in any dispute and a halfling who cannot account for their wealth is presumed to have stolen it.
That said, many halflings conclude that “if you’re going to hang, you might as well have a good time first” and thus are indeed light-fingered when it comes to humans. Put another way, when a halfling butcher tells their apprentice to start making sausage the first question the apprentice asks is, “whose buying, us or the Big Feet”?
Halflings seem to have appeared wherever the tribes of humans that entered the region of the Empire appeared. Some Imperial scholars have suggested halflings are a race of humans experimented on by the gods to find a way to resist Chaos, while a few others argue Ranald created them as a bizarre joke.
Halflings honour Empire’s gods, and Sigmar in particular is venerated as one of their great protectors, though there is no record of Sigmar mentioning Halflings, let alone saving them from something.
They also have their own gods, but their worship is much more casual than Imperial cults. Esmeralda is the goddess of the home and hearth whom Pie Week honours, but there are others, too: Phineas, patron of tobacco with the ever-full pouch; Josias the Farmer, who always knows what the weather will be and can coax life out of the driest dirt; and Hyacinth, the goddess of fertility and childbirth. There are others, but they are obscure and little known to outsiders.
Halflings are the most irreverent of the major races. They have no priests (and no talent for magic, not that others see any connection) and are so completely unsuited to the idea of asceticism or other “otherworldliness” that to even broach the topic to them result in endless gales of laughter.
Just because halflings have their Gods, that doesn’t mean any halfling could be bothered to commit himself to daily and nightly prostration in the name of anyone, let alone some invisible presence that does nothing but sit around and eat and have dalliances with its siblings. A halfling religious celebration is essentially a feast or some other act of indulgence (e.g., Josias may be called on to help grow a crop, but the only celebration will be when there is something harvested to eat).
Halflings are enthusiastic about whatever they do, from stealing to eating to running away.
Halflings speak fast, using lots of slang, often to hide their meanings or mock ("e.g., the phrase “big man” means something like “stupid oaf” and they will cheerfully respond to any slur or comment from a human with “Of course big man”). They frequently slur words together, invent new terms and generally debase the Imperial tongue. Halflings also use hand gestures much as Elves do, but these are invariably too rude to discuss.
Halfling starting profile is Str 1, To 2, Ag 3, Int 2, Wp 2, Fel 3, CP 20
Halflings may only enter careers open to humans and which have either Menial or Rogue trait.
In character creation, before using creation points, a halfling trains one of the following skills for free: Ballistic Skill (they are surprisingly good shots, a skill usually honed looking for a rabbit or bird to have for dinner), Guile, Skulduggery (a chicken and egg argument about whether the Empire’s prejudices are well-founded or proved self-fulfilling), Stealth (in a world of larger dangers, the halfling learns not to be noticed) or Tradecraft (Cooking).
Naturally Sneaky: all Observation checks to detect a halfling add two misfortune dice to the pool (if the halfling is rolling against Observation, they add two fortune dice to their pool).
Night Vision: two fewer misfortune dice from darkness or insufficient light penalties.
Wound Threshold: 7 + toughness
Corruption Threshold: (not disclosed but better than any other race)
Note – cooking is covered by the Tradecraft skill with Int as stat. Tradecraft (cooking) also covers the basic preparation of herbs into medicinal remedies such as teas etc. though with less expertise than the Medicine skill (two misfortune dice are added to the required checks to prepare herbs).