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As they tend to throughout the world, the halflings of Varisia live among the other races of the lands they inhabit. Most commonly met in the southern lands from Magnimar to Korvosa, halflings tend to adopt one of three distinct ways of life.
As many migrated to Varisia following Chelish explorers, the halflings of Korvosa and its vassal townships live life similarly to their kin in Cheliax: second-class citizens who toil as servants, middlemen, and entertainers. To the west, in the lands claimed by Magnimar, halflings enjoy more emancipated lives, occupying many of the same roles as humans. Although some Chelish prejudices survive, leading some to ridicule the smaller folk, most halflings are happy to swindle foolish and condescending humans.
Numerous halflings have also joined the land’s native Varisians, sharing in their nomadisim and reverence of the goddess Desna. Both peoples seem to view the other as kindred spirits and willingly share their ways.
Standard Racial Special Abilities
Ability Score Racial Traits: Halflings are nimble and strong-willed, but their small stature makes them weaker than other races. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, and –2 Strength.
Size: Halflings 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 (Slow Speed): Halflings have a base speed of 20 feet.
Languages: Halflings begin play speaking Common and Halfling. Halflings with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, and Goblin. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
Defense Racial Special Abilities
Fearless: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by halfling luck.
Halfling Luck: Halflings receive a +1 racial bonus on all saving throws.
Feat and Skill Racial Special Abilities
Sure-Footed: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Climb checks.
Offense Racial Special Abilities
Weapon Familiarity: Halflings are proficient with slings and treat any weapon with the word “halfling” in its name as a martial weapon.
Senses Racial Special Abilities
Keen Senses: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Alternate Halfling Racial Special Abilities
The following alternate racial abilities may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial abilities above.
- Adaptable Luck: Some halflings have greater control over their innate luck. This ability gives them more options for how they can apply their good fortune from day to day, but also narrows its scope. Three times per day, a halfling can gain a +2 luck bonus on an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check. If halflings choose to use the ability before they make the roll or check, they gain the full +2 bonus; if they choose to do so afterward, they only gain a +1 bonus. Using adaptive luck in this way is not an action. This racial trait replaces halfling luck.
- Craven: While most halflings are fearless, some are skittish, making them particularly alert. Halflings with this racial trait gain a +1 bonus on initiative checks and a +1 bonus on attack rolls when flanking. They take a –2 penalty on saves against fear effects and gain no benefit from morale bonuses on such saves. When affected by a fear effect, their base speed increases by 10 feet and they gain a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class. This racial trait replaces fearless and halfling luck.
- Fleet of Foot: Some halflings are quicker than their kin but less cautious. Halflings with this racial trait move at normal speed and have a base speed of 30 feet. This racial trait replaces slow speed and sure-footed.
- Halfling Jinx: Halflings with this racial trait gain the ability to curse another creature with bad luck at will as a standard action. This curse has a range of 30 feet, and you must be able to see the target and have line of effect to it. The target gets a Will saving throw to resist this jinx (DC = 10 + 1/2 your level + your Charisma modifier). If your target makes this saving throw, it is immune to your jinx ability for 24 hours. A jinxed creature takes a –1 penalty on all saving throws. This jinx lasts for 24 hours or until you attempt to use your jinx again. A jinx is a supernatural ability, is not mind-affecting, does not allow spell resistance, and can affect any kind of creature not immune to luck effects. This replaces halfling luck.
- Ingratiating: Halflings often survive at the whims of larger, more aggressive races. Because of this, they go out of their way to make themselves more useful, or at least entertaining, to larger folk. Halflings with this racial trait gain a +2 bonus on skill checks for a single Perform skill of their choice, and Perform is always a class skill for them. They also gain a +2 bonus on Craft and Profession checks. This racial trait replaces keen senses and sure-footed.
- Low Blow: Some halflings train extensively in the art of attacking larger creatures. Halflings with this racial trait gain a +1 bonus on critical confirmation rolls against opponents larger than themselves. This racial trait replaces keen senses.
- Outrider: Some halflings specialize in mounted combat. Halflings with this racial trait gain a +2 bonus on Handle Animal and Ride checks. This racial trait replaces sure-footed.
- Polyglot: Some halflings, especially those who spend a lot of time traveling, develop a talent for learning new languages. These halflings gain a +2 racial bonus on Linguistics checks, and it is always a class skill for them. Halflings with this racial trait also begin play with the ability to speak Common, Halfling, and any one other language of their choice (except for secret languages, such as Druidic) in addition to bonus languages due to high Intelligence. They still gain the normal list of halfling bonus languages. This racial trait replaces keen senses and alters the halfling language racial trait.
- Practicality: Halflings value hard work and common sense. Halflings with this racial trait gain a +2 bonus on any one Craft or Profession skill, as well as on Sense Motive checks and saves against illusions. This racial trait replaces fearless and sure-footed.
- Shiftless: Halflings have a reputation for larceny and guile—and sometimes it’s well deserved. Halflings with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Sleight of Hand checks, and Sleight of Hand is always a class skill for them. This racial trait replaces sure-footed.
- Swift as Shadows: Halflings possess incredible stealth even while moving through obstructed areas. Halflings with this racial trait reduce the penalty for using Stealth while moving by 5, and reduce the Stealth check penalty for sniping by 10. This racial trait replaces sure-footed.
- Underfoot: Halflings must train hard to effectively fight bigger opponents. Halflings with this racial trait gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC against foes larger than themselves and a +1 bonus on Reflex saving throws to avoid trample attacks. This racial trait replaces halfling luck.
- Wanderlust: Halflings love travel and maps. Halflings with this racial trait receive a +2 bonus on Knowledge (geography) and Survival checks. When casting spells or using abilities that provide or enhance movement, halflings treat their caster level as +1 higher than normal. This racial trait replaces fearless and halfling luck.
- Warslinger: Halflings are experts at the use of the sling. Halflings with this racial trait can reload a sling as a free action. Reloading a sling still requires two hands and provokes attacks of opportunity. This racial trait replaces sure-footed.
Halfling Racial Subtypes
You can combine various alternate racial traits to create subraces or variant races, such as the following.
- Avenging: Unlike most halflings, members of this subtype actively look for trouble in their quest to avenge slights and wrongdoings. Whether resisting a local bully, monster, or troops of an oppressive ruler, halfling warriors of this secret subculture don masks and strike back on behalf of their community. These halflings have the low blow, underfoot, and warslinger alternate racial traits.
- Nomadic: These halflings were born on the road and most follow it until the end of their days. They travel fast and light and never miss a chance for either profit or adventure. These halflings have the fleet-footed, polyglot, and wanderlust alternate racial traits.
- Slave Born: These halflings come from lineages that have spent countless generations as property. Though usually free themselves, the weight of slavery still bears down on their souls, making them eager to please and prone to sudden fits of fear. These halflings have the craven and ingratiating alternate racial traits.