Halflings, Furchin (3.5e Race)
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The furchin halfling previously appeared in The Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings for AD&D 2nd Edition.
Also known as polar halflings, this rare subrace originates in lands of ice, mountain, and glacier. The most distinguishing feature of this subrace is the full, long beard that sprouts from the chin of the mature males. These beards are a matter of great pride, and in older furchin often extend as far as the waist. The race favors warm clothing, woven of animal hair or lined with fur. They regularly wear snowshoes and boots.
Furchin halflings resemble deep halflings in both height and girth, though their average life expectancy (80 years) is considerably shorter, no doubt due to their harsher native environment. Hair and skin color vary widely, but tend to be pale, though eyes are usually dark. Those few furchin born with green eyes are accorded much status -- they are believed to be emissaries of the gods and are treated to a life of near-royal privilege.
In their natural environment, the polar halflings are primarily nomadic, ranging across icy glaciers and barren tundra, following great herds of migrating animals. They have become adept at surviving in these very harshest of conditions.
The furchin dwell in small clans, usually no more than thirty individuals in a community. In summer they live in tents of leather; in winter they make small, domed shelters of ice. Their clothing is made of fur, their equipment from leather, bone, and ivory; wood is almost unknown in their lands. Tribal leaders often wield metal weapons and tools acquired through trading with glacier dwarves (see Frostburn).
Having developed a number of specialized skills, the furchin halflings are adept at surviving in their grueling environment -- and seemingly having a good time while they're doing it. In general, the furchin are a good-humored people who enjoy practical jokes, funny stories, and bawdy songs. Both parents care for the young with great tolerance and tenderness, teaching their children early on the secrets of surviving in their harsh clime.
Strangers -- especially those who bring gifts, objects for trade, or interesting stories to tell -- will be welcomed by the furchin with warm hospitality. Although their lives are hard, they are an unselfish people and will treat visitors with kindness and generosity (unless given reason to do otherwise).
Members of this subrace are very proficient in specialized skills suited to their environment, some of which will carry over quite effectively into other locations. They are patient trappers and skilled hunters, tanners, and leatherworkers as well. Their characteristic boat is a miniature kayak, a virtually water-tight shell of leather covering a sturdy bone frame. While only one of their skilled boatwrights can craft these vessels, virtually all adult furchin are adept at piloting them.
When hunting, the furchin use leather slings for small game and long, barbed spears for more formidable foes; a strong line can be attached to the spear to allow it (and whatever it has impaled) to be drawn back toward the launcher. In melee combat (which they avoid if at all possible), the furchin use short handled axes and daggers. Because of their small numbers and an absence of potential foes, the members of this subrace are unused to war and have developed no tactics for fighting an organized formation of soldiers.
In the realm of hunting and stalking, however, the furchin are second to none. Occasionally, a few furchin led by an experienced warrior will embark on an mission to slay some dangerous threat to the tribe -- such as a band of yetis or a frost giant. Through clever use of terrain and diversion, as well as patiently planned and executed ambush, these halflings have been known to vanquish foes many times their own size. In this respect, obviously, they are not so different from their cousins who live in warmer climes.
Type: Humanoid (halfling). Alignment: Usually neutral good.
Furchin Racial Traits
- -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence. Furchins are hardy folk, and like other halflings they are quick but weak.
- Small: As a Small creature, a furchin gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but uses smaller weapons than humans use, and lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
- Furchin base land speed is 20 feet.
- +2 racial bonus on Listen, Move Silently, Survival, and Swim checks.
- +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against yetis (see Frostburn) and monsters of the giant type. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it's caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too.
- Climate Tolerant (Ex): Does not have to make Fortitude saves in extreme environments between -20 and 140 F (severe cold to severe heat). This ability does not provide any protection from fire or cold damage. This ability counts as if she had the Cold Endurance feat (see Frostburn) for purposes of fulfilling prerequisites for feats or prestige classes.
- Primitive Weapon Mastery (Ex): +1 racial bonus on attack rolls made with the following weapons: bolas, club, dagger, dart, goad, handaxe, harpoon, iuak, javelin, longspear, quarterstaff, ritiik, shortbow, shortspear, sling, sugliin, and throwing axe. (Many of these weapons are described in the Frostburn tome.)
- Automatic Languages: Common, Halfling. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc.
- Favored Class: Ranger.