Halflings, Hairfoot (3.5e Race)

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Halfling, Hairfoot[edit]

The hairfoot was the original default halfling subrace in previous editions of D&D, before the advent of the lightfoot in 3E. This is an attempt at recapturing the Tolkien-style halflings of older editions. The Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings for 2E contains more information on this subrace.


When many humans think of halflings, they envision nimble tricksters all too eager to lighten the pockets of larger races -- a conception that exasperates the hairfoots to no end. Good-natured, earthy folk who love little more than a job done right and a hearty meal afterwards, hairfoot halflings differ a great deal from their nomadic lightfoot cousins.

Personality[edit]

Hairfoots are easy-going in the extreme, valuing food and cheer over all else. A typical hairfoot village will celebrate any good occasion, and it's said that hairfoot cooks produce the most satisfying food one's ever likely to eat. Yet hairfoots also have a strong work ethic, and will see the toughest job through to the end (although they're not averse to taking shortcuts if dinner is fast approaching).

As with all halflings, family is vital to hairfoots. A hairfoot is loyal to his kin, and though they're not as obsessed with honor as most dwarves, an insult to a hairfoot's family will rarely be allowed to stand. In the older and larger hairfoot towns, the wealthier families often get embroiled in petty (if not always unfriendly) rivalries over trade and other matters. The only study about which hairfoots are commonly passionate is genealogy, as they love mapping out who's related to who and how in convoluted family trees that stretch back centuries.

Hairfoots prefer boredom to trouble. Most live by an unwritten code of decorum that emphasizes common sense and prudence. Where a lightfoot halfling will rush into a dragon's lair at the mere mention of gold to be gained, a hairfoot will shake his head and sigh, wondering what the blasted fool needs with all that money, anyway.

Physical Description[edit]

Hairfoots stand about 3 feet tall, but are heavier than other halflings, weighing 40 to 45 pounds. Hairfoots are usually round and plump as a result of their easy lifestyle. Their skin ranges from fair to light tan, and all hairfoots have rosy cheeks. Their hair is universally curly (and often somewhat unruly), the vast majority some shade of brown; red and black hair are uncommon, and blond hairfoots are one in a thousand. Hairfoots favor clothing that is comfortable and practical; they don't care if they look good as long as they feel good.

The name "hairfoot" derives from the race's most prominent physical feature: their large, fur-covered feet. Hairfoots take great pride in their foot-hair and groom their feet neatly. Their soles are also quite leathery, so hairfoots only bother with footwear in inclement weather. Hairfoots also have tufts of hair on the backs of their hands, though not as thickly as on their feet.

Hairfoots are physically mature at around age 20 like other halflings, but they're not considered adults until their early 30s, and spend the decade in between (known as their "tweens") as "halflings of leisure," spending their days simply enjoying life (usually at their parents' expense). They live as long as lightfoots, a little more than 200 years.

Relations[edit]

Hairfoots aren't quite xenophobic, but they still prefer to be left alone; folk not of their kind are usually labeled "queer" and undesirable. They get along reasonably well with humans, however, with whom they often share territory, although they still find the "big folk" a bit too clumsy and stupid to spend too much time around. Most hairfoots like gnomes very much, since they share the hairfoots' love of peaceful living and frequent parties, although hairfoots are at a loss to understand the gnomes' preoccupation with the scholarly pursuit of magic and science. Hairfoots stereotype dwarves as rugged scoundrels and troublemakers, but they are tolerated for the fine craftsmanship of their goods. They rarely have dealings with elves or half-elves of any kind, and when they do, hairfoots are often in awe (or fear) of their otherworldly grace.

Hairfoots get along famously with other halflings, especially tallfellows and deep halflings, with whom they mix freely. On the other hand, they have a certain love-hate relationship with lightfoots. The hairfoots are genuinely thankful for the goods brought to their villages by lightfoot merchants and they listen eagerly to their tales of the wide world, yet the lightfoot lifestyle is completely at odds with their own. The hairfoots see the lightfoots as roaming ne'er-do-wells who flout the laws of good society and have no common sense whatsoever, while the lightfoots simply cannot stand the crushing boredom of a hairfoot settlement and its uptight, provincial inhabitants.

Hairfoots are hostile to few civil folk, but from childhood they are taught to hate and fear orcs, goblin-kin, and giants of all kinds. Half-orcs and half-ogres are thus forewarned not to expect much hospitality from the little folk.

Alignment[edit]

Most hairfoots are good, placing a high value on the lives of their friends and neighbors. With their society's emphasis on proper decorum, they tend toward law. Evil hairfoots are extremely rare, and most that exist are merchants and other businessmen who are a little too unscrupulous and ruthless in their dealings.

Hairfoot Lands[edit]

Hairfoots settle in close-knit villages in plains or forests, usually within or close by human kingdoms. Their settlements are marked by their unique architectural style: They favor snug burrow-homes excavated into hillsides and riverbanks, always with round doors and windows. Even in areas where hole-houses are impractical and are replaced by little wooden buildings, round portals are the rule of the day.

In regions where hairfoot villages are common, they often band together in shires. Hairfoot shires are well-maintained areas with safe roads patrolled by organized sheriffs who keep an eye out for troublemakers and wild animals, and plied by postmen who keep different villages in touch with each other. Volunteer "bounders" are also employed to "beat the bounds" and make sure that no undesirables trespass without their knowing. Every shire has an elected mayor who leads the sheriffs and postmen, but whose duties are otherwise limited to making speeches at fairs and toasts at parties. Lightfoot halfling commonwealths are also likely to settle down in or around hairfoot shires because they're such a safe place to live.

Religion[edit]

The hairfoots are not a deeply spiritual people, but they do love and respect the halfling gods and commonly keep a little shrine in their homes to the whole pantheon. Yondalla, the Nurturing Matriarch, holds a special place in the hearts of hairfoots, and they believe themselves to be her favorite among all the halflings. Arvoreen the Defender is a patron of sheriffs, and hairfoot farmers pay their respects to Sheela Peryroyl, the goddess of nature. Prayers to Urogalan, the protector of the dead, are a common practice at halfling funerals (which seem little different from their other parties, celebrating the life of the deceased). But their favorite goddess is Cyrollalee, the Matron of Hearth and Home, who is said to have taught them how to build their burrows and instilled in them a great love of peace and good, clean living. One god few hairfoots worship is Brandobaris, the god of luck and (mis)adventure; they believe that their lightfoot cousins were led astray by this well-meaning but foolish deity. (All of the above deities are described in Races of Faerun and Races of the Wild.)

Though hairfoots are typically very relaxed about religion, one major bone of contention between them and the lightfoots is the goddess whom the lightfoots call Dallah Thaun -- Yondalla's "darker half" who encourages thievery and survival at others' expense (see Races of the Wild). The hairfoots consider it rank blasphemy to suggest that Yondalla could ever reward such behavior. They believe that Dallah Thaun is a figment of the lightfoots' imagination, at best.

Like lightfoots, hairfoots also pay homage to numerous minor gods and spirits, known as the Thousand Small Gods, and as such their religion is almost animistic. Where the lightfoots believe in little gods of forests and lakes, however, the hairfoots look to the gods of fields and fireplaces, stoves and kilns. Prayers to the Small Gods are simple, for instance just a silent "thank you" to the spirits of field and oven for a well-baked loaf of bread.

The hairfoots have few myths, and most of them read like bedtime stories (in fact, most are). They have no story of creation, but instead believe that their kind had always inhabited the woods and hills of the world. When Yondalla, desiring a people of her own to care for, came across one of their kind, she instructed him to bring civilization to the rest of his folk, which he did, and each village he settled became the home of the different halfling subraces. In the end, this halfling, dubbed "Littleman" by his people, settled down in a village of his own, and his descendants became the hairfoots.

Language[edit]

Hairfoots speak Halfling like others of their kind, although they're making greater use of Common amongst themselves with each passing generation. Soon, the Halfling tongue may be little more to them than an old "book-language."

Names[edit]

A hairfoot has a given name (often shortened into a nickname) and a family name. Family names frequently describe a clan's favored occupation ("Sandheaver") or some notable hereditary feature ("Heathertoes"). Upper-class families tend to have higher-sounding names ("Sackville"). Given names for males tend to follow a pattern within families, ending in the same suffix (-o, -i, -us, -old, -ert, -wise, and so on). Given names for females follow the same conventions as lightfoot names, though girls named after flowers and gemstones are also very common.

  • Male Names: Balto, Dolphus ("Dolph" or "Dol"), Filbert ("Filby"), Halwise ("Hal"), Kepli, Milo, Regis, Tobold ("Toby"), Tolfast ("Tol"), Wilcome ("Will").
  • Female Names: Amanita, Amaryllis, Daisy, Diamond, Dora, Emerald, Lilly, Lobelia, Rose, Seraphina.
  • Family Names: Bolger, Heathertoes, Hedgeway, Leafturner, Overhill, Pott, Proudfoot, Roundbelly, Sackville, Sandheaver.

Adventurers[edit]

Among the common character classes, the vast majority of hairfoot adventurers are rogues, since their natural abilities lend themselves well to the profession; however, hairfoot rogues are rarely thieves (unlike lightfoots), but rather detectives, troubleshooters, and "professional treasure hunters." Sheriffs are likely to travel on official business, and are usually rogues or fighters. Fighters, rogues, and rangers are all common among bounders. Hairfoot bards are uncommon but do exist. Clerics and druids are more common than might be expected -- while hairfoots have nothing in the way of organized religion, no few of their kind learn the arts of healing through communion with the gods; and hairfoot druids (almost all worshipers of Sheela Peryroyl) are simple country folk who give thanks to nature for lending them her gifts. Hairfoot druids commonly keep ordinary cats and dogs as their animal companions. Hairfoots are very wary of arcane magic, and thus wizards and sorcerers are rare in the extreme. Hairfoot paladins, monks, and (especially) barbarians are likewise unheard of.

(Classes from outside the Player's Handbook that fit well for hairfoot halflings include archivist, healer, scout, spellthief, spirit shaman, and swashbuckler. Psionicists are as rare as arcane spellcasters and meldshapers moreso.)

Hairfoot adventurers are admittedly rare -- "adventures are dreadful things that make one late for dinner," according to a common hairfoot proverb. Some few young hairfoots choose to strike out on their own, striken by wanderlust; such halflings are invariably labeled "queer" by their neighbors (though they're welcomed home with open arms if they return with a few bags of gold and jewels, needless to say). Most hairfoot adventurers, however, travel out of necessity -- a local boy seeking help for an impoverished village, a sheriff on orders from his superiors, or a bounder tracking a potential threat. Some hairfoot adventurers get swept away on the roads of adventure and never come home to their shires, but most look forward with a happy heart to the day they can settle down, raise a family, and live out their lives in peace and content.

Type: Humanoid (Halfling). Alignment: Usually lawful good.

Hairfoot Racial Traits[edit]

  • -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity. Hairfoots are quicker than other races, but not very strong.
  • Small: As a Small creature, a hairfoot 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.
  • Hairfoot base land speed is 20 feet.
  • +2 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, and Move Silently checks. Hairfoots are experts at avoiding the "big folk" and other unsavory types.
  • +2 racial bonus on any one Profession skill. A hairfoot must still have ranks in its chosen Profession to make checks, just like any other character; the bonus represents a natural talent that training can bring out. Profession is always a class skill for hairfoots. Hairfoots are consummate laborers who take great pride in their work.
  • Dodge: Hairfoots gain Dodge as a bonus feat. They lack the natural luck of their lightfoot cousins, but have learned to make up for it.
  • +1 racial bonus on attack rolls with thrown weapons and slings. Hairfoots are just as skilled with these weapons as other halflings.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Halfling. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Orc.
  • Favored Class: Rogue. Hairfoots are just as stealthy as any other halfling, although hairfoot rogues are less likely to be criminals than lightfoots, instead putting their skills to use for more high-minded pursuits.

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Hairfoot Halfling Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
16 years +2d4 +3d6 +4d6
Table: Hairfoot Halfling Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
50 years 75 years 100 years +5d20 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Hairfoot Halfling Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4’ 0” +2d4 30 lb. × (1) lb.
Female 3’ 10” +2d4 25 lb. × (1) lb.



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