Friday, July 29, 2011

When Halflings Go Bad

If one accepts the idea that elves, dwarves and halflings are fey-touched; that orcs, hobgoblins and gnolls are twisted elves; and that kobolds and goblins are twisted dwarves than there is a glaring hole in the monster listings (especially in Holmes & Cook). There is no humanoid monster that can pass for a twisted halfling.

Holmes clearly understands halflings to be an FRPG version of Tolkien's hobbit (he actually uses the word hobbit for halfling in several places). Since hobbits have a love for food, it seems apropos for twisted halfings to take that love to an extreme:


The voice of the Lord cries to the city (it is sound wisdom to fear your name): Hear, O tribe and assembly of the city! Can I forget the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? You shall eat, but not be satisfied, and there shall be a gnawing hunger within you. Micah 6:9-10;14

Number Appearing: 1d6
% in Lair: 40%
Alignment: Chaotic
Armor Class: 5
Move: 9
Hit Dice: 1d6
Attacks: 1d4
Special: see below
Save: F1
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: IV (XX)
XP: 9

These loathsome creatures are often mistaken for goblins, being of similar build and visage. They are not, however, one of the goblinoid races. Rather, they are an evil kin of halflings and who are consumed by an insatiable hunger which can only be abated by man-flesh. To this end, they file their teeth into sharp points which they use to latch onto their victims. Once they have hit their target, they automatically deal 1d4 damage every round.


I will make the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field abundant, so that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you shall remember your evil ways, and your dealings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominable deeds. — Ezekiel 36:30-31

Number Appearing: 1d4
% in Lair: 20%
Alignment: Chaotic
Armor Class: 4
Move: 9
Hit Dice: 3+1
Attacks: 1d6/1d6
Special: see below
Save: F4
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: VII (XXI)
XP: 135

Having a similar mien to ghouls, famkin are often mistaken for creatures of the undead. While they share the ghoul's taste for the rancid dead, these cursed creatures are among the living. Doomed with a hunger that can never be satisfied, these creatures have a deep-seated hatred of life. This manifests itself as an aura of pestilence. All drink and food stuff within a 30'r. must make a save vs. poison or spoil. Likewise, all those struck by their foul claws must save vs. poison or be afflicted with a debilitating disease. Victims lose a point of Strength every day. If reduced to zero Strength, the victim dies. The Strength loss can be halted with a Cure Disease spell; however, unless an additional save vs. poison is made there will be a permanent loss of 1d3 Strength.


  1. Wow, nice, I have had the same conclusions but never bothered to pen them down.


  2. Hopefully this wont be seen as just pimping my own site, but I thought you might find this.......interesting.

  3. There's the "official" Jerren from the Book of Vile Darkness (though I know that's a 3.5e book, so it may not count to the OSR folks).

  4. @Doc
    I thought you might find this.......interesting.
    Yes, yes I do...

    What 3.5 I have played has been with other people's books and with me staying very far away from the role of DM. Therefore I had not heard of the Jerren. While it strays from my own conception of the halfling (I tend to agree with Holmes and see them more as Hobbits than as risk taking nomads), I appreciate the reference, because it is another option I have for other campaigns...

  5. Ooo-oo...I am longtime a fan of "evil halflings" (ever since Warhammer's 1st Realms of Chaos book, "Slaves to Darkness")!

    : )