Originally Posted by Niara
They're actually not, any more, Sai; originally, yes, in 1st edition they were literally called hobbits, and the Tolkien estate even got involved with some legal smackdown... But since then, each edition, they've worked to differentiate them and move them away from Tolkien hobbits, and make them their own thing. They still retain a lot of that, sure, they absolutely do, but they're very much differentiated now. For example: no, they don't have hairy feet, and they wear shoes like anyone else. Halflings average at a height of 3 feet, while Tolkiens hobbits actually average at 4 feet, for another physical detail. Halflings are much more involved and integrated into their world space than hobbits are in Middle Earth, and they have a wide variety of distinct cultures depending on where in the world they come from, or which realm space.

Which makes it all the more ironic that Wizards of the Coast gave Hobbits in their Magic: The Gathering/Lord of the Rings crossover set the *Halfling* creature type. DND is far from the only fantasy series to include halflings, but its the only one insistent on pretending that halflings are anything but hobbits with the serial numbers filed off.

Personally I think WotC should just strike a deal with the Tolkien estate to drop the charade, they've kind of already done that in MTG and the Tolkien Estate does seem to be very open to making whatever deals they can these days. And if nothing else, giving 5e halflings more hobbit physical characteristics would help make them more visually distinct from 5e gnomes. Joke as you like about the hairy feet but its kind of the halfling's signature visual trait, like an elf's pointed ears, an orc's tusks, or a dwarf's glorious beard. From an art direction standpoint you want your fantastical races to be easily identifiable at a glance (Honestly 5e's Half-Elves fail at this too, they're virtually indistinguishable from elves)

Last edited by Fantis; 15/10/23 06:19 AM.