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@FallenJ thanks for the sharing of the videos I found them quite interesting

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Originally Posted by Madscientist
- Last time I played was before the latest patch, there I could equip a hand crossbow in both hands. But the offhand crossbow was shown as action (not bonus action) so I never used them and had a normal crossbow instead.
- Is the relative size of halfling and dog correct? If yes I want them to ride on the dog.

Yeah, that was part of the bug, I think; when you had dual-wield clicked on, but it wanted to take an action for both, or something of that nature. Something in the process of using them or switching them on or off (melee to ranged) was causing the game to crash, at least. hopefully when they get it fixed I'll be able to check the dual animations again.

And yes, all dogs depicted are actual size. Halflings are small seized creatures, and formally by the rules, they can comfortably used medium sized creatures that are built for such, as mounts... so standard out of the book mastiffs are actually perfect for them. As are blink dogs, hell hounds, boars, hyenas and wolves, to name a few ^.^

In particualr, the ranger's wolf companion looks like he'd make a lovely mount, and I was so sad that I didn't have the option to climb on...

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
I agree, the halflings don't look right. All of the changes in the original post sound good to me.

Agreed with this. Not much more else to say.

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They look more like gnomes to me at the moment. I agree the model should be tightened up alongside the animations when it gets a pass-over by the devs

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Originally Posted by Some_Twerp753
They look more like gnomes to me at the moment. I agree the model should be tightened up alongside the animations when it gets a pass-over by the devs

No, gnomes look better than that. (Unlike Halflings I hope gnomes look like in the PHB.)
I agree with the halfling suggestions from Niara.


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I had meant to mention it here a little earlier, but took a break from the forums and it slipped my mind... but there is some small news to add, inasmuch as Halfling animation rigging is slated to get some serious attention (I'm hoping along with some slight model adjustments, though no word on that), in the planned future of the EA. Nothing concrete, of course, but that's the word received. It's something positive to think on at least ^.^

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The male halflings do look like middle aged children.

Some younger heads and some more attention to proportions would help.

The giant hands of smaller humanoids also look distracting and well.. disturbing.

Last edited by 1varangian; 11/05/21 03:26 PM.
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I love Halflings but it bugs me that they are the least popular race out there for players. Nobody noticed forever that the "Lucky" attribute wasn't working. In the PHB it states that Humans, elves and Dwarves are a common site but that Dragonborn, Gnomes, Half-elves, Half-Orcs and Tieflings are considered rare and are met with at least curiosity if not suspicion, hostility (tieflings) or fear (half-orcs).

Although going by player choices it almost feels like the opposite is true. Once Dragonborn are released it will be nothing but wall-to-wall Dragonborn paladins as far as the eye can see.


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So, it's been a quiet news week, and I was recently playing another game, and I wanted to share some things with those who are interested.

This game also has halflings in it, and it got me to thinking that perhaps I had been spoiled for good halfling design early on, by a game that cared very much about making them look like real creatures, real people, and a species that is healthy and normal all on its own, rather than a deformed derivative of something else...

So, take a look at these models:

Halfling Base Models

These characters here the 'average' middle range models for male and female halflings in this game, displaying as minstrel and hunter. They have wonderful body proportions – naturalised, balanced and functional. They don't have human-child-like proportions, or any deformations suggestive of dwarfism at all, and they also clearly aren't humans of any scale, either. In this character creator, you can modify your body type, along with the other options, so here's a quick follow up picture – male and female halflings at the two extreme ends of the body spectrum:

Male Halfling
Female Halfling

It's not a huge difference, of course – it's actually quite subtle, but it's enough to create a subtle feeling of difference between your character and the next one over, even before you get to hair, skin, eyes and cosmetic choices, etc.

Amusingly, for halflings in this game, it's less a choice of how much substance you want to have, and more... how 'comfortable' a life you've been living before taking to adventure. Male halflings choose to balance between upper body bulk and pot belly, while females choose to balance between upper body bulk and how prominent their hips and bum seem. It's kind of amusing, and you can still find a very nice middle ground if you prefer.

Female Halfling Variation

Hips – Middle – Shoulders. Subtle, but noticeable.

In terms of their size ratios, here are some comparison shots for halflings alongside human equivalents, both off the base models, and some existing established characters:

Halfling and Human Base Model Compare
Halfling and Human Character Compare

So, we can see from these shots that they aren't derived from the human models at all; they're their own unique things. They're slightly more compact and sturdier in their general proportions, but not enough to make it stand out or look out of place – just enough, rather to make them look fit and able-bodied, and not scrawny, while still being so much smaller. It's more or less perfect, in fact. Yes; the head to body ratio IS larger than it is on the humans, but only by a subtle amount, not a lot – and it looks GOOD. Their heads don't seem tiny, but they also aren't overlarge for their bodies or bobbled at all either.

Added bonus - here's a male stout-axe dwarf as well. He looked pretty good – stout and stocky, but not ridiculous, and you aren't left scratching your head and wondering how he can even exist:

Male Dwarf Base Model

Sure, this game doesn't have motion-captured face scans... which are excellent if you just so happen to want your character's face to look exactly like one of those very specific particular six faces that BG3 has in its arsenal (and you're out of luck if not)... but they make up for it with quite a large amount of face shapes and options, as well as details you can add or select.

So, what about a better look at the actual models themselves?

This is Harla. She's been defending middle-earth for the last fifteen years.

Female Halfling Dynamics Base

As you can see, she's small, but ready for anything, and despite her stature there's no likelihood of her ever being mistaken for one of the local human youths – who at age nine and ten-ish, are all actually taller than her. We quickly realised that the faulds she normally wears aren't really that good for a model study, so I asked her to change into the outfit that better shows off her hips and legs. Harla was a bit embarrassed about this, but relented. We went thought a few dynamic poses and actions just to show off the dimensions of her body a little better.

Female Halfling Dynamics

A few backflips and sparring poses later, and we can see that this is a body model that is solid and strong – capable and well-balanced, and perfectly suited to its own frame and shape. Nothing is over-balanced or exaggerated, and she looks completely believable as a healthy, natural living creature (Okay, a liiiiiitle bit of distension on the arms when she throws herself into the backflips, but it's very quick... I'm lucky the screenshot caught it at all).

We then went outside and took a few more shots, just for fun; here's some comparisons with some of her human friends, and a few of her halfling companions as well:

Human and Halfling Female Direct compare, plus Costumes

Some size and proportion comparisons in our formal wear; this outfit is ceremonially bequeathed upon each kin member who earns their place as one of our most qualified guardians, in commemoration of the first guard, who is no longer with us, but was the best of us, and who always wore this outfit (the hat is an important part of it – Harla only likes to wear hers on very important occasions). We also have sneaky burglars and some cosier gear for colder climates.

These next shots show that some halflings come with more, er, baggage to worry about than others. Remember; good support is always important in times of war. Harla thinks that Gerania's high-visibility tanking outfit is a bit over the top. Gerania wonders how Harla manages to be seen by her allies at all, when she blends into the grass under a mass of trolls and uruks...

Halfling Tanks (For Fun)

Danas, our erstwhile warden joined the gathering late, as usual. He thinks that as long as he stands up straight and tall, and keeps a strong posture, no one will ever know how knuckle-whiteningly terrified he gets in battle. Rosabella likes to encourage him to keep this up; it makes his coin pouch easier to reach. Danas never understands where Rosabella gets all the money for new outfits from... he never seems to have as much as he thought.

Halfling Male and Other Costumes

==

So... what's this all about?

Well, what it boils down to is that these are some really well designed halflings; they look good, they look believable, they're well proportioned and well balanced, and they fit their own bodies in a comfortably natural way. They don't look like human children. They don't look like lazily squashed or scaled down humans either. They don't look like humans with dwarfism, and they don't look unnatural or deformed...

And, in case you haven't spotted it yet... this game is Lord of the Rings Online, and it's Fifteen Years Old. This is an example of doing it right, and it's also a open question: if a fifteen year old game can have models that look this comfortable and well-designed, then why can't BG3 (Or, it must be said, other contemporary D&D CRPG titles)?

Last edited by Niara; 29/05/21 08:31 AM.
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*Push*

This still needs to be adressed. smile

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Thanks for the boost, it's appreciated.

I'm intending to take a run through with the latest patch and check all of the animation sets, and see if anything else has been fixed or improved since my last assessment... it's just been very hard for me to find the time in the past week or two!

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Time for an update!

A couple of basic comparison shots that I picked up and put together while I was setting up for this post, first of all:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

While setting up I found myself looking at the base models again, and I felt compelled just to get fresh images here, as case studies. These are not the models of natural-looking, healthy creatures. All of the existing commentaries apply; hip width and depth ratios are too wide and deep, to a borderline deformed state. When viewed along with the design of the legs, the height scale, the size of the head and the chest depth, this creates a very strong impression of neoteny or dwarfism, not of a naturally healthy creature. Both models, but male halflings in particular, are extremely top-heavy, and bear the head and shoulders (and in the female case, distended bust) of a human-sized creature; larger, in fact, than out human-sized models, which brings me to the original point of today's post.

So... here's something that I haven't specifically drawn attention to except by proxy, but I feel it's worth mentioning as a point of order, regardless of any other changes that may or may not get made.

We've discussed the way that one of the issues with the models currently is that the heads are too large for the rest of the model, creating a number of problems. As I've mentioned earlier, the change that needs to be made is only a minor one, really – it doesn't need to be a huge alteration in order to (along with the other mentioned fairly small alterations in other places) remove the impression of neoteny/dwarfism/infantalism from the current models. Halfling heads can and likely should be Slightly larger in relation to their bodies than the equivalent ratios for human-sized models... just not as much as they are right now. Where they are right now is borderline ridiculous.

In point... Right now, Halfling heads are Physically Larger than the heads on human-sized models. I'm not talking about ratios compared to their bodies, here – I'm talking actual size. Their heads are tangibly bigger than beings twice their size. Here are some comparison shots:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

My previous shots didn't do this comparison quite so directly, but here it becomes really clear to see, and it's terrible.

Halflings, male and female in this case, have the same hip and shoulder width and depth as their medium-sized counterparts, but they have also been made thicker and stockier as well, which overall means that these halflings actually have Larger and Broader body dimensions than the medium-sized creatures.

Alongside this, it's clear to see that not only are their head proportions overblown for their own size... they are actually larger overall than the medium-sized comparisons, and that is ridiculous.

So, to refresh and recap for those jumping into the thread without going through the rest of the thread, though I'd strongly encourage it for anyone who has read through this post this far (For those who have already been following along, there's nothing new in these points, it's just a recap on existing stuff for new-comers to the thread):

(Model Issue Refresher)
The changes to improve the models need only be simple and quite subtle - they don't need to be massive changes to have a pronounced positive effect and remove the impression of dwarfism/neoteny etc.,

- The head: Currently far too over-sized. It should be slightly (only slightly) smaller than the heads of medium-sized creatures, while currently it is actually larger than them. This would only be a subtle reduction – their head to body ratio would still be slightly larger than the equivalent medium-sized creature's ratio; making the heads two thirds of their current size, would be enough to prevent the neoteny impression. (this applies to both male and female models)

- The torso: Should be scaled to have a smaller relation to the arms and legs; this again would be subtle, but even a 10% reduction in scaling here would help reduce the impression of dwarfism or of being juvenile, depending on how the eye focuses and relates. (This applies more strongly to male models, but both need it – the chest depth on female models makes them almost ridiculously busty, along with the more general issues that this scaling currently causes.)

- The hips: The biggest source of problems, visually - by having the model share the same hip width and depth as a creature twice their size, this reinforces and hammers in the impression of a creature with dwarfism, rather than a naturally well-proportioned creature. The width and depth of the hips and the hip region in general (bum and thighs included), needs to be reduced to scale more fittingly with a creature of this size and frame - again, it only needs to be a subtle reduction to create a valuable positive effect on the visual.

- The legs: The tapering of the legs exacerbates the visual issues caused by the hip region; normalising their legs from the knee down with the rest of their body frame would be another subtle change, but would help.

Last of all for today, a little bonus shot that I snapped while I was nipping characters through for the camp comparisons:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

While female halflings sneaking around looks at least passably normalised for their models – or at least not too distended – Male halflings are another story entirely! They move with their hands out far, and wide, once again as though they are trying to hit pose marks designed for larger creatures. The result is a very odd-looking crab-claw, creepy-arm walk that just looks silly on them. In the process, there's something extremely upsetting going on with Feeron's hands here.... I suggested that he needed to see a cleric about those fingers, but he just ignored me and turned to sneak away again... and dear gods, sir, that made it even more unsettling.

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I think they should use the same standards and ideals of physical beauty or general attractiveness they used on Human models on the Halfling models. Seeing them side by side you can tell that the Humans look like Olympians, with a chiseled Adonis or Venus like look, and features in perfect proportion to the standards of like magazines or films of the who's hot variety. The Halflings by contrast, look like they've been letting themselves go. I don't mean the heads, but the physical builds from the neck down. The pumpkin head thing on top of that, just makes it even more pronounced. That with the animation clips and weirdness like those spiderfinger and it makes the race pretty undesirable to play as a PC I'd think. I'd be curious to see how many people are even playing as a shorty? Between the Halfling's wonky models and the Dwarves not having a passing voice set.

I'd like different phenotypes for each of the humanoid builds, going pretty much from skeleton to massive hulk along one axis, and slender to heavy on another. But like for each humanoid PC selectable race. I'd like to see the same for the monsters actually.

But yeah, the heads on BG3 halflings are absolutely ridiculous.

I'd love to see just a half-scale Shadowheart Gale standing next to full-scale Shadowheart and Gale on that same rock, just to show what Halflings should actually look like in this game hehe.

ps. I have a hypothesis that if Larian were to change the Halfling models from what they are now to scaled down 1:2 Human models (retaining the same Human proportionality) that many more players would choose to play a Halfling as their PC.

They could test it, though somehow I doubt they will. Alas. I also think there is something about the vibe of taking a trip to Lilliput when you play as a Halfling that you totally lose if, for example, their cranium is markedly enlarged. It makes their scale relative to the environment feel not small enough. I know also that Halflings have a tradition of the giant hairy flipper feet and gangly arms, coming from older edition art direction or out of Tolkien, but I think that works against their appeal and I haven't minded seeing that go elsewhere. I think Dwarves and Gnomes are the humanoid races where the artist can play with proportionality in the Skull and Skeleton and still have it work pretty well. These Halflings all look like Dwarves to me. Halflings I think should just be half-sized Humans. I wish they'd go a different route with it than what they've been doing so far.

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Related but unrelated, I think when Clyde Caldwell and others first illustrated the Halflings for Greenwood and such, they were still very much in the Hobbit mode of depiction, like the way Lee did them or Howe or Nasmith. With the village hobbits being more portly and comical, and the venture hobbits going more lithe and athletic or human-like, but still essentially the Shire. But then after the Tolkien estate sued TSR and they went more Halfling Hin with it, I think that is when the idea really opened up that they could be more like 1:2 scale Lilliputians (like from the old movies I mean, where they did it with actors in double projection to trick the eye) rather than the proportions of the Tolkien Hobbits.

To be fair BG1/2 had the models pretty archetypal hobbit lookin' for the paper doll, especially letting the dogs breathe with no boots hehe. Even in the 5 Shires though, you can see the illustration branching out to show quite a variety, and many of the halflings shown have much more proportional figures. Later you really see a kind of split in the depictions. I think the more human-esque proportioned the Halfling characters are, the more they become attractive as a PC choice.

I think Dwarves have a different sort of appeal where you really like to see a more stocky figure like the ones depicted above as Halflings. I wouldn't mind if all the current Halfling models all became Dwarven models, and they went back to Halflings with all new animations/phenotypes and a whole new smaller scale.

The Halflings should stand right about at the elbow height of Shadowheart/Gale/Astarion in the images shown above, and their skulls should be noticeably smaller than the medium-sized human model. I couldn't agree more with that point. Really just a 1:2, as if a human had "Reduce" cast on them to go down 1 size. They would look so much cooler that way!

Dwarves should stand a head taller than halflings so they are easy to distinguish. The Dwarves I imagine at about the height of Human's shoulders say, with the larger sized skulls relative to the human model. Basically what we see on display now.

The Halfling's head would only come up to about a Human's elbows at the tallest, and with a smaller Halfling sized skull. That way you could leave room for Gnomes to be even smaller, say at about a Human's waste height or lower? I think Gnomes could follow the Dwarven proportionality and relatively larger skull-size at 1:2, the same way Halflings would follow Humans/Half-Elf models at about 1:2.

To me that would look good and be easy to parse visually, even from a distance.

ps. sorry this shop is rough, but to give a visual of what a Halfling might look like at that scale standing next to a Human/Half-Elf.... This is actually 66% scale, which is more at the elbow height of a Human. I think it works well for the quick read.

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

I think that approach would probably make Halflings very popular as a PC choice. I'd like to see Nettie or Aaron as halflings with those proportions, I think it would make them look like Halflings more than beardless Dwarves. I thought Nettie was for sure Dwarven, but it's just hard to tell, and the player goes off what's available to them at Char creation.

Perhaps an even better way to go, and which would probably be appropriate for the times, is to provide a with-dwarfism/gigantism phenotype in the regular Human models as an option at either extreme of the size spectrum.

Like Nettie and Aaron could just be Humans with Achondroplasia, which is what they already appear to be anyway. You know rather than trying to make them Halflings or Gnomes or Dwarves with a V. I mean just put a Willow option in there, and a Fezzik too while they're at it, as Human options though. With more phenotypes that would be a cool add. It's only slightly fucked up that D&D doesn't take a similar formal attitude towards that stuff as they do towards say racial diversity for Humans. They could easily shore that up to be a bit more inclusive, without really giving anything up in the process.

pps. how would you feel about all the current Halfling models just becoming Gnome models?

I mean as Gnomes they kinda work for me, and we've already got the Deep Gnome who gets windmill'd using this model-type/proportionality. That way they could keep all the current NPCs unchanged if they want, just switched the Race field for them. Return to the Halflings and do em up right! Basically looking more like Humans/Half-Elves at 1:2 or thereabouts. They really need to have smaller heads.

Last edited by Black_Elk; Yesterday at 05:24 AM.
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I thought halflings were 3 foot so they should be smaller...ill do some digging later

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Yes, as of 5e descriptions, they're actually smaller than Gnomes, just barely. Halflings average just under three feet tall, while gnomes average at or just barely over three feet. It's a matter of an inch or two in the averages, but they don't have a lot of inches to count, so every one of them matters ^.^

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