[HR: Class] Halfling Rover

I’m putting together a halfling class (currently called Halfling Rover) for my setting. I want to model the B/X or BECMI halfling. This is relatively easy, in theory: they get the Explorer’s accuracy and difficult to spot powers, the dwarves’ hardy people, a +1 bonus to initiative (not spellcasting), and maybe a +2 AC bonus against enemies larger than man-sized; d6 HD, fighter fighting ability (can’t wield great axes, two-handed swords, pole arms, lances, or longbows), with maximum level 8. (Which conveniently keeps them out of the conqueror/king tier endgame.)

Using the Player’s Companion rules to get these results isn’t completely easy, though: with HD Value 1 and Fighting Value 2, the halflings need to take Thief Value 1 (3 skills/powers). This puts them at 1700 XP. To get the results I want, they have to take Racial Value 4, which needs to cost 300 XP… they only have about 7 powers’ worth of special powers, and 3 of those will be bought by the class, so the rest have to cost 300 XP. That seems a bit unfair.

It also makes constructing other halfling classes harder. I want to create a halfling thief class that, Supplement I -style, can advance to level 13 (or even 14, with a version of the heroic spirit power). So I need to know what powers the other class got from its Racial Value… but I also need to give this thief class a Racial Value of 0. This seems like an impossible combination… especially because I think all the above halfling abilities fit a halfling thief just fine (including difficult to spot which essentially gives them a big advantage for hiding in the wilderness or while staying motionless in cover; hide in shadows would be extra, letting them hide in shadows instead of cover, and hide while moving).

I’ve gone over several threads and read Alex’s comments on coming up with races: the impression I got is that the XP costs of Racial Values are essentially fudged to get results that correspond to the B/X class progressions, which is cool by me. If I was only making the one class (based off the B/X halfling), I could fudge it and leave it at that, but if I’m creating two classes, I’ve got a problem I have to resolve.

If anyone’s got ideas for resolving this problem, I’d love to hear them. I’ve looked at the various halflings already shared on these forums, and none of them really do what I want: they add things (granted, things I’ve got on my list of potential halfling abilities) or aren’t a class, etc. I really just want a class that’s the B/X halfling, but with a racial package that lets me create a halfling thief class without too much fudging…

Here’s what I’ve come up with, but it throws out the idea of making sense of the 8th level Halfling from B/X.

4 Halfling + Thief 4 1,100 XP
3 Halfling + Thief 3 900 XP
2 Halfling + Thief 2 700 XP
1 Halfling + Thief 1 500 XP
0 Halfling 300 XP

Halfling 0: AC bonus vs. large or larger (+1 at level 1, +2 at level 7 and +3 at level 13), Accuracy, Difficult to Spot, Hardy People, Initiative, Speak Halfling and 1 other language

Cannot use large weapons and must use medium weapons two-handed, without a shield.

I considered that same solution, but it didn’t work for me; it’d only be useful if I wanted to create “hybrid classes” (essentially AD&D-style halfling fighter/thief or cleric/thief, or the decidedly less orthodox halfling mage/thief).

I suppose I can just fudge it entirely, price the racial abilities at 300 XP (there’s actualy some “air” in that figure), make the “halfling rover” (B/X halfling) earn 2000 XP to 2nd and cap at 8th, and work out the “halfling thief” from scratch. No sense sweating the details, is there, really? I don’t expect the rovers to be common as PCs anyway.

I just realized I hadn’t updated the finished class on here, so here we go. It’s a tiny bit fudged to line up with the B/X Halfling (I think I shaved off 50 XP from the second-level requirement), but otherwise it’s quite faithful, I think, and that’s all I wanted for my campaign setting: the B/X halfling.

PS. I wish there was a way to do tables gracefully. You’ll just have to suffer, dear reader.

Prime Requisite: STR and DEX
Requirements: CON 9
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: 8

Halflings are small, hirsute demi-humans who average a height of 3’ and rarely weigh more than 60lb. Their hair, skin, and eye colors range from light or pale to earth tones. They are a peaceful and pastoral people, usually content to live in their small, remote communities and avoid becoming entangled in the affairs of the “big folk.”

Some rare halflings leave their homes, out of an uncharacteristic curiosity or wanderlust, to explore and adventure in the world. These halfling rovers usually return home in time, with great treasures and exciting stories, and return to a simple, quiet life.

Halfling rovers are skilled combatants. At first level, halfling rovers hit an unarmored foe (AC 0) with an attack throw of 10+. Like fighters, they advance in attack throws and saving throws by two points every three levels of experience. In addition, the halfling rovers’ sharp eyes and superior coordination give them an accuracy bonus of +1 to all attack throws with missile weapons. Halfling rovers also increase their base damage roll from successful missile and melee attacks by +1 at 1st level and by an additional +1 at 3rd and 6th level. Halfling rovers can use any weapons except large weapons like arbalests, great axes, lances, longbows, pole arms, and two-handed swords, and can wear any armor. They may fight wielding a weapon and shield, wielding a weapon two-handed, or wielding two weapons. Halfling rovers can use any magic items useable by fighters.

Halflings are doughty people. The target values for all their saving throws versus Blast/Breath are reduced by 3, while the target values for all their other saving throws are reduced by 4. These adjustments are already factored into the saving throws on the Halfling Rover Attack and Saving Throws table below.

Halflings have quick reflexes and gain a +1 bonus to initiative. Outdoors, halflings are difficult to spot, having the ability to disappear into woods and underbrush with a proficiency throw of 3+ on 1d20. In dungeons, a halfling who is motionless and quiet in cover can escape detection with a proficiency throw of 14+ on 1d20.

Halflings are able to use their size and agility to avoid the attacks of larger creatures, and receive a +2 bonus to Armor Class against opponents larger than human-sized.

Halfling rovers cannot advance higher than 8th level, and thus do not gain automatic followers. They can become lords of a domain in other ways, but must follow the usual rules for being a domain ruler below 9th level.

Halfling Rover Proficiency List: Acrobatics, Alertness, Ambushing, Animal Husbandry, Beast Friendship, Blind Fighting, Climbing, Combat Reflexes, Combat Trickery (Disarm, Force Back, Incapacitate, Knock Down, Overrun, Sunder), Contortionism, Eavesdropping, Endurance, Fighting Style, Illusion Resistance, Land Surveying, Manual of Arms, Mapping, Mimicry, Mountaineering, Naturalism, Passing Without Trace, Precise Shooting, Skirmishing, Sniping, Survival, Swashbuckling, Trapping, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus

Halfing Rover Level Progression
Experience | Title | Level | Hit Dice | Damage Bonus
0 | Rambler | 1 | 1d6 | +1
2,000 | Rover | 2 | 2d6 | +1
4,000 | Squire | 3 | 3d6 | +2
8,000 | Master | 4 | 4d6 | +2
16,000 | Reeve | 5 | 5d6 | +2
32,000 | Bailiff | 6 | 6d6 | +3
65,000 | Marshal | 7 | 7d6 | +3
130,000 | Sheriff | 8 | 8d6 | +3

Halfling Rover Attack and Saving Throws
Level | P&P | B&B | S&W | Sp | Atk Thr
1 | 11+ | 10+ | 13+ | 12+ | 10+
2-3 | 10+ | 9+ | 12+ | 11+ | 9+
4 | 9+ | 8+ | 11+ | 10+ | 8+
5-6 | 8+ | 7+ | 10+ | 9+ | 7+
7 | 7+ | 6+ | 9+ | 8+ | 6+
8 | 6+ | 5+ | 8+ | 7+ | 5+

Alternative level titles
1st: Gadabout; 2nd: Wanderer; 3rd: Traveler; 4th: Rambler; 5th: Rover; 6th: Wayfarer; 7th: Reeve; 8th: Sheriff

Because “halfling gadabout” sounds perfect.

Great stuff.

Design the following racial template:

Mini-Race 0: this race gets a bunch of benefits, but may not select the HD option.
Mini-Race 1-3: No benefit.
Mini-Race 4: Equivalent to HD 1

It is kludgy, but it would work, I think.