Though halflings are small in height, they are not to be underestimated. The Major Arcana imparted their secrets to the halflings during their travels, changing them from a people who remained hidden and diminutive to survive to a people who have learned to read the signs of the future and prepare for what is coming. The halflings consider themselves the children of the Major Arcana, sometimes referring to themselves as the Minor Arcana.
Halflings are creatures of contrast. If one has dark skin, they have light hair. If one has light skin, they have dark hair. Regardless, all halflings have freckles that visibly contrast with their skin. Halflings stand between 3 and 4 feet tall, and typically weigh around 50 pounds.
Halflings have a longstanding tradition of traveling and hospitality. Many halflings families run inns and taverns, serving as welcome havens of respite for travelers of all types. Others venture forth and serve as guides, instructors, and even some as mercenaries or adventurers for hire.
Halflings tend to care a great deal about fashion and function, valuing fine and purposeful clothing. This is true of their personalities, as well. Having a flair for the dramatic or finding a purpose for all things is a trait that many tend to share.
Halflings have names akin those of the Major Arcana. It is seen as a burden, the height of hubris, or a fulfillment of a sign to name a child or take on the name of an existing Major Arcana. It is said the Major Arcana are particularly jealous of their names and appellations, though others say to have the name is to share in the blessings. Still, it is common for halflings to have names such as the Humble, the Fire-burned Path, the Jocular, or Emerald Crown.
Proactive and Prepared
Halflings are a people that have learned to identify and interpret signs. The better they are at reading the portents set before them, the better they are at navigating difficult waters. However, this can lead some to believe they are better prepared than they truly are, while others can never have enough signs to move them to final action. More than one halfling has issues with being accused by others of being a “hoarder.” Halflings tend to see this as basic preparedness.
Despite their past hardships, or perhaps because of them, halflings tend to be an open people by default. Halflings are willing to share their hospitality and knowledge with others, assuming good intent. That doesn’t mean they are pushovers or overlook the actions of others. Instead, it means halflings are willing to give others the benefit of the doubt, but not at the expense of common sense.
In the Cards
Most halflings tend to use and consult the tarot when making decisions, though each have their own methodology for doing so. While some place little faith in this, even they have some mannerism or quirk linked to the tarot.
The tarot decks were historically used as a way to carry the traditions of the halflings and teachings of the Major Arcana with them. They are credited with the introduction and creation of the deck, though the halflings are quick to say this may be true here, but the knowledge comes from the Major Arcana themselves. Halflings find the cards soothing and comforting, with many of their stories and lessons passed down through use of the deck.
Knowing the possibilities and interpretations of card presentations also presents a certain consideration for alternate outcomes. Rarely do halflings find themselves content with a single answer, though this can lead to both a deeper mastery or a terrible tangential spire, given the person or situation.
Roads and Way Stations
Halflings are noted travelers and extenders of hospitality. Due to their history, halflings know that few things bring more comfort than someone else extending to you in a time of need. The halflings would not have made the journey to Liafa whole without the hospitality of the Major Arcana, and so feel they must extend that same grace to others. Many halfling families find their livelihoods in owning and servicing inns, taverns, and food establishments. These inns are usually staffed by the family, though most will also open up their staffing positions to locals or those looking only for a single night’s food and lodging.
Most halflings are very serious about the safety and hospitality of these places, harming them or costing them custom only in the most dire or warranted of situations. A halfling passing on the condemnation of one of these establishments is one of the worst punishments for the place, as this almost certainly results in a dearth of future visitors. As such, some establishments are wary or distrustful of halflings, while others fawn and flatter them.
Whether this matters to the halfling or not is entirely up to them. Still, most families have their own reputations and requirements for recommendations or condemnations.
Liafan Halfling Traits
Liafan Halflings have the following traits.
Ability Score Increase
You increase your Dexterity or Wisdom ability scores by 2.
A halfling declares adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives until early in their second century.
While no group of individuals share the exact same ideology, halflings are more likely to see both sides of an issue, leaning more to neutrality by default before picking a side to support in the event of a conflict.
Halflings stand between 3 and 4 feet tall, and typically weigh around 50 pounds. Your size is small.
Your heritage from the Astral Hedge has given you a quickness unnatural for your kin on other worlds. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
As Was Foretold
You have been taught to read the signs and portents set before you. As part of finishing a long rest, you can perform your preferred tarot reading methodology. When you do, you gain insight into the near future. When you make an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw, you may roll a d4 and add the result to the roll. Alternatively, when a creature makes an attack roll against you, or when you cause a creature to make a saving throw, you may roll a d4 and subtract the result from the creature’s roll.
When you use this feature, you can gain a level of exhaustion to increase the die size from d4 to d6 for that roll.
Once you have used this ability three times, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.
Legacy of the Astral Hedge
Their time in the Astral Hedge has left its mist lingering within all halflings. Halflings of Liafa find it easier to prevent certain types of mental intrusion due to their time elsewhere.
You have advantage on saving throws against the charmed condition.
Halflings still carry some of the spatial strangeness of the Astral Hedge with them, allowing them to ever so slightly distort their surroundings, given the right conditions.
When you end your turn within five feet of a willing creature, you can swap places with the creature, as long as they agree. The creature feels this as an implicit question in their mind, and can refuse, in which case nothing happens. You and the creature must both be free to move into each other’s space normally in order to do so, and only if there is otherwise nothing between the two of you.
Moving in this way does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Your history with tarot cards has granted you proficiency in them.
Halfling of the Chalice
Halflings of the Chalice place greater emphasis on the orator tradition, focusing on tales during feasts, meals, parties, and other social gatherings. Halflings raised in this tradition tend to be more accustomed to the strenuous nature of feasts and performances. These halflings place an emphasis on physical health, and tend to be more hale than their brethren.
Halfling of the Chalice Traits
Ability Score Increase
You can increase your Constitution or Charisma ability scores by 1.
You gain proficiency in a musical instrument of your choice.
Dinner and a Show
You have advantage on saving throws that would result in you gaining a level of exhaustion.
Halfling of the Disk
Halflings of the Disk place greater emphasis on written tradition, and focus on the preservation and protection of those written sources. Halflings raised in this tradition tend to me more accustomed to training their minds and muscles in these pursuits.These halflings place an emphasis on cleverness, prowess, and halflings raised in these traditions train their body and minds to obey them.
Halfling of the Disk Traits
Ability Score Increase
You increase your Strength or Intelligence ability scores by 1.
You gain proficiency with calligrapher’s supplies.
Mind and Matter
You have advantage against the frightened condition.
“Tarot Reading Night!” by Kelly Hunter is licensed under CC BY 2.0