Halfling Species in Numidius | World Anvil


Shirefolks, more commonly referred to as halflings due to their size, are a humanoid species of unknown origins. They exibit physical traits of both humanoid and elven, yet have a behavioral and cultural scracture more akin to that of durinian species.

Basic Information


Shirefolks are small in comparison to most other sapient races. They are 2′8″‒3′4″ (81‒100 cm) tall and weighing on average between 30‒35 lb (14‒16 kg). This height to weight ratio resembles that of elves, thanks to also having hollowed, woven bone structure. It also allows shirefolks to be much more agile and move quicker than other races of similar size, such as gnomes.   On the outside, shirefolks resemble small humans and usually have the same body proportions as typical human adults. Most shirefolks have dark hair and eyes, but their skin complexion and hue have ranges similar to those of humans.

Ecology and Habitats

Shirefolk get their names from their communal dwellings, called 'shires'. A shire is a series of mounds or hills that are grouped together, often no bigger than 1,500 feet (450 meters) in all directions from a central community yard. The surface, and roof of the mound usually serves for farming while the cave inside will house families, business and communal structures.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Shirefolks live in small mounds and hills called 'shires'. A shire is a collection of 50-100 families who live a very communal life and share almost all resources with each other. Privacy is a strange concept for most shirefolks, who spend most of their lives surrounded others. Gossip also plays a key role in the shire societies and their daily management, with communal grounds existing merely for the exchange of such information known as the shire's 'gossiphoods'.   A shirefolk family is one of the closest relationships known to exists. Parenthood is very involving, and siblings are taught to relay on and help each other as much as possible. Shirefolks also rarely hold any personal belongings, and share their possessions with their close family and friends. Rare and unique collections are often on display in familial mounds, demonstrating accomplishments and riches. These displays are known to attract raiders and robbers, the entire shire will rise to fight such intruder, even to the death, making them a very serious opponent rather than easy marks.   When shirefolk come of age they are often encourage by their parents to undergo a journey or to travel the surrounding lands so they will be more educated and learned about the world and its ways. Those pilgrimages led to shirefolks being present and common throughout the continent, with some traveling for decades before finally returning to their shire to start their own families and share their tales with their friends.

Facial characteristics

Like elves, male shirefolks are incapable of growing true beards, though they are capable of growing sideburns longer than those of gnomes. shirefolks hairstyles are often complex, with strands woven together or braided. Even shorter haircuts will usually show some complexion in pattern or the shape of the cut.

Civilization and Culture

Common Etiquette Rules

Commenting on a shirefolk's height, even between the shirefolks themselves is considered inappropriate. The term 'halfling' is considered extremely demeaning, and most shirefolks consider it offensive.   Another common behavioral trait is the collection of small mementos for display in the family's shire. These could be very mundane items but more often than not have intriguing stories behind them and serve mostly as conversation pieces or memory aids. Despite those harmless intentions, those who are not aware of the shirefolks tendency for travel might confuse them for beggars who dig through trash for scraps.   The concept of beggary is also a strange thing for most shirefolks, who consider the practice shameful and as a sign of the moral corruption of the entire society. This stems from the shire's communal behaviors, where every individual is cared for their basic needs regardless of their capability to contribute to society.

Culture and Cultural Heritage

Shirefolk have a very deep connections to the land that is somewhat similar to that of elven and durinian races. The key difference is that this connection is less direct, and tied more to the general health of their homelands. In times of great fires, extinction events and even large wars, shire communities are known to exhibit more sickness and crime than other racial settlements. While there is no scientific or magical explanation to the phenomena, the communities act to better the lives and environment of everyone around them. This approach, while mostly beneficial, do cause territorial and ecological disputes between shires and the sovereigns of their lands.


The exact origins of the shirefolks are unknown. They are rarely mentioned in any elven or dwarven lore, with the very few exceptions of occasional figures. Those mentions can be dated to around the same time period when humans first began to appear in those chronicles and stories. Their many, diverse cultures also do not pay any homage to, or even mentions a creator or a creation story.   Most shirefolks clans live in shires, small, autonomous communities that interfere very little with the realms they are located in, yet will gladly trade and even serve in its armies. Shirefolks never had a nation of their own and most clans have experienced some kind of long migration, suggesting their origin was somewhat nomadic.
Current Date: 2nd of Latsum, 1572
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
150 years
Average Height
2′8″‒3′4″ (81‒100 cm)
Average Weight
30‒35 lb (14‒16 kg)
Geographic Distribution


Ability Score Increase Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Size Small
Speed 25 feet

The comforts of home are the goals of most halflings’ lives: a place to settle in peace and quiet, far from marauding monsters and clashing armies; a blazing fire and a generous meal; fine drink and fine conversation. Though some halflings live out their days in remote agricultural communities, others form nomadic bands that travel constantly, lured by the open road and the wide horizon to discover the wonders of new lands and peoples. But even these wanderers love peace, food, hearth, and home, though home might be a wagon jostling along a dirt road or a raft floating downriver.

Small and Practical

The diminutive halflings survive in a world full of larger creatures by avoiding notice or, barring that, avoiding offense. Standing about 3 feet tall, they appear relatively harmless and so have managed to survive for centuries in the shadow of empires and on the edges of wars and political strife. They are inclined to be stout, weighing between 40 and 45 pounds.   Halflings’ skin ranges from tan to pale with a ruddy cast, and their hair is usually brown or sandy brown and wavy. They have brown or hazel eyes. Halfling men often sport long sideburns, but beards are rare among them and mustaches even more so. They like to wear simple, comfortable, and practical clothes, favoring bright colors.   Halfling practicality extends beyond their clothing. They’re concerned with basic needs and simple pleasures and have little use for ostentation. Even the wealthiest of halflings keep their treasures locked in a cellar rather than on display for all to see. They have a knack for finding the most straightforward solution to a problem, and have little patience for dithering.

Kind and Curious

Halflings are an affable and cheerful people. They cherish the bonds of family and friendship as well as the comforts of hearth and home, harboring few dreams of gold or glory. Even adventurers among them usually venture into the world for reasons of community, friendship, wanderlust, or curiosity. They love discovering new things, even simple things, such as an exotic food or an unfamiliar style of clothing.   Halflings are easily moved to pity and hate to see any living thing suffer. They are generous, happily sharing what they have even in lean times.

Blend into the Crowd

Halflings are adept at fitting into a community of humans, dwarves, or elves, making themselves valuable and welcome. The combination of their inherent stealth and their unassuming nature helps halflings to avoid unwanted attention.   Halflings work readily with others, and they are loyal to their friends, whether halfling or otherwise. They can display remarkable ferocity when their friends, families, or communities are threatened.

Pastoral Pleasantries

Most halflings live in small, peaceful communities with large farms and well-kept groves. They rarely build kingdoms of their own or even hold much land beyond their quiet shires. They typically don’t recognize any sort of halfling nobility or royalty, instead looking to family elders to guide them. Families preserve their traditional ways despite the rise and fall of empires.   Many halflings live among other races, where the halflings’ hard work and loyal outlook offer them abundant rewards and creature comforts. Some halfling communities travel as a way of life, driving wagons or guiding boats from place to place and maintaining no permanent home.   Halflings try to get along with everyone else and are loath to make sweeping generalizations—especially negative ones.
  • Dwarves. “Dwarves make loyal friends, and you can count on them to keep their word. But would it hurt them to smile once in a while?”
  • Elves. “They’re so beautiful! Their faces, their music, their grace and all. It’s like they stepped out of a wonderful dream. But there’s no telling what’s going on behind their smiling faces—surely more than they ever let on.”
  • Humans. “Humans are a lot like us, really. At least some of them are. Step out of the castles and keeps, go talk to the farmers and herders and you’ll find good, solid folk. Not that there’s anything wrong with the barons and soldiers—you have to admire their conviction. And by protecting their own lands, they protect us as well.”

Exploring Opportunities

Halflings usually set out on the adventurer’s path to defend their communities, support their friends, or explore a wide and wonder-filled world. For them, adventuring is less a career than an opportunity or sometimes a necessity.

Halfling Names

A halfling has a given name, a family name, and possibly a nickname. Family names are often nicknames that stuck so tenaciously they have been passed down through the generations.
  • Male Names: Alton, Ander, Cade, Corrin, Eldon, Errich, Finnan, Garret, Lindal, Lyle, Merric, Milo, Osborn, Perrin, Reed, Roscoe, Wellby
  • Female Names: Andry, Bree, Callie, Cora, Euphemia, Jillian, Kithri, Lavinia, Lidda, Merla, Nedda, Paela, Portia, Seraphina, Shaena, Trym, Vani, Verna
  • Family Names: Brushgather, Goodbarrel, Greenbottle, High-hill, Hilltopple, Leagallow, Tealeaf, Thorngage, Tosscobble, Underbough

Halfling Traits

Your halfling character has a number of traits in common with all other halflings.  


A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives into the middle of his or her second century.  


Most halflings are lawful good. As a rule, they are good-hearted and kind, hate to see others in pain, and have no tolerance for oppression. They are also very orderly and traditional, leaning heavily on the support of their community and the comfort of their old ways.  


When you roll a 1 on the d20 for an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.  


You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.  

Halfling Nimbleness

You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.


The two main kinds of halfling, lightfoot and stout, are more like closely related families than true subraces. Choose one of these subraces or one from another source.  

Lightfoot Halfling

As a lightfoot halfling, you can easily hide from notice, even using other people as cover. You’re inclined to be affable and get along well with others. In the Forgotten Realms, lightfoot halflings have spread the farthest and thus are the most common variety.   Lightfoots are more prone to wanderlust than other halflings, and often dwell alongside other races or take up a nomadic life. In the world of Greyhawk, these halflings are called hairfeet or tallfellows.  

Ability Score Increase

Your Charisma score increases by 1.  

Naturally Stealthy

You can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you.  

Stout Halfling

As a stout halfling, you’re hardier than average and have some resistance to poison. Some say that stouts have dwarven blood. In the Forgotten Realms, these halflings are called stronghearts, and they’re most common in the south.  

Ability Score Increase

Your Constitution score increases by 1.  

Stout Resilience

You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Halfling. The Halfling language isn’t secret, but halflings are loath to share it with others. They write very little, so they don’t have a rich body of literature. Their oral tradition, however, is very strong. Almost all halflings speak Common to converse with the people in whose lands they dwell or through which they are traveling.

  • Common
  • Halfling


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