I checked the first few pages and then did a search but didn't immediately see anything in this vein, so here's a new thread with my personal break down and feedback on the current implementation of halflings in BG3. This thread is focused specifically on discussing the implementation of the Halfling models so far.
Now, this is something that always makes those interested in playing, or playing with, small-race characters worry, because it's so often done in poor or unsatisfying ways... So far, looking through the character creation process and examining the details, I can say that it certainly could have been worse
... but it could
, and should
, also be better than it is currently.
Halflings as we see them in the game right now aren't hideously proportioned, but they DO look primarily like someone just took the human model and reduced the height variables, but didn't actually pay much attention to their relative proportions. along with several other details, the model comes together to suggest a person with dwarfism or neoteny, rather than a mature, healthy halfling (no slight or offense intended to those with those conditions, of course). Halflings are NOT humans with dwarfism, they are NOT humans with neoteny, and they are NOT juveniles; they're their own people, and are, when mature, the natural perfect size for themselves; they shouldn't look like they've been squashed or stretched from something else, or are deformations or aberrations thereof.
Here's an example of what I mean:
As you can see, the halfling models look *mostly* like they just grabbed the vertical height variable, reduced it by half, and called it a day, save for a few other minor tweaks. This isn't good. In particular it makes it painfully obvious that the models have the same hip width as creatures twice their size, and substantially aberrant to their other body proportions.
The hip width of the halfling models absolutely needs to come in a notch or two, along with less pronounced tapering of the legs – a little is fine, but in the current state, it's jarring and unnatural to look at, compared to the rest of their body.
One other thing that is different, obviously, is the thing that is the most contentions and what some consider to be the most objectionable - the bobble-head effect. Before going further I'll repeat what I said above - It Could Be Worse
, and I'm grateful that it's not. That said, it's still bad to look at. Their heads are more or less the same size as the human model heads; don't do this. It creates an uncanny eye experience and makes the model simply feel 'wrong' to look at. The necks could stand to be a bit shorter as well – as is, the neck length makes this off-ness of the head and shoulders all the more pronounced and obvious.
So... This is the point where some will speak up and say "Well that's just how halflings are in 5e!".
The truth is, that's simply not the case. No part of any official description describes disproportionately large heads and/or tiny feet - and they're so egregious that they ought to have been mentioned in any basic racial description if they were considered true representations. We have art styles and depictions in official works, yes, but let's look at that...
First of all, let's get it out of the way... you all know it, most folks hate it, PHB pg26:
This is the piece that people use to say that 'this is just how halflings are in 5e', and understandably so, because it's the one on the page for halflings in the PHB. However, this is also just plain bad artwork; the anatomical composition is terrible – if you were to strip back the model shape here, removing clothes and obstructions, the creature here would be a deformed monstrosity that couldn't really exist as a functional, healthy creature. Big-head and Tiny-feet aside, the figure just doesn't track its anatomy accurately.
This artwork is also from the very earliest days of 5e, when they were still finding their pace... so... I'd like to follow up with some other official artwork, much of it published by Wizards much later, by different artists, and which is no less canonical (arguably more-so, given that later publications overrule earlier ones in places of conflict).
This monk in Xan's Guide shows much more normalised, physically believable proportions: her legs do NOT taper to tiny nubs, and her head is only slightly larger than one might expect on a human of relative size. Her relative limb size and length are fairly close to normal and her torso and hip width suit her body shape to look like a functional, believable creature.
Similarly, this rogue from Xan's Guide shows the same comfortably normalised proportions and sensible build; were she standing beside a human, her head would be notably smaller – it's only slightly larger than you might expect for a human of a matching body frame.
Dungeon of the Mad Mage provides this halfling who looks very comfortably proportioned in his own body, with well balanced leg, waist and torso proportions for a creature that is naturally of that size; his head is not large, so there is no suggestion of him being juvenile or malformed.
The halfling on the official Ghosts of Saltmarsh splash image has a body frame that is slimmer and slighter, to match her short size, and her head is only slightly larger in terms of relative proportions, compared to her larger-sized companions.