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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Wooly Rupert Posted - 19 Apr 2019 : 16:10:10
So an idea I'm pondering requires a magical item that would be something halfling-specific. And, perhaps because they're not one of my preferred races, I'm not coming up with any good ideas.

I thought I'd look up existing magic for halflings, but none of the books I thought to look at had much of anything specific to halflings. The Five Shires had some stuff, but none of those blackflame items grabbed me.

So I'm looking for either canon halfling magical goodies, or suggestions for something that would make a nifty, unique magical item. The item I'm looking to craft does not have to be a weapon; my tentative thinking it some sort of utility item with some handy defensive (though not necessarily combat-related) capabilities.

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Wooly Rupert Posted - 01 Nov 2019 : 02:58:59
Well, yeah... I was curious about the topic, posted it here, and asked Ed.
sleyvas Posted - 31 Oct 2019 : 23:47:38
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


I thought I had posted this here when this thread was first active; it's more to do with magic enchantments rather than magic items, but it seems easy to see how one would inform the other (and reinforces Icelander's [et al's] theories of minor magics);
quote:
Originally posted by Ed Greenwood, in a 22 Apr 2019 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse

Hin magic
In the Realms, hin daily magic is most concerned with growing things (edible plants, usually, and hin specialize in prettily flowering edibles), training growing things, and banishing blights and molds from growing things. Second comes cleaning: hin are foremost, as a race, when it comes to small, simple spells that cleanse things and remove marks, stains, etc. Third is mending: hin are great at magic that consumes a raw material (material component) and uses it to knit tears or cuts or frayed areas, restore worn-out fabric or rusted metal (turning things to "like new" condition BUT THE LOOKS THE CASTER WANTS, so if a mended garment or awning is faded, the "fixed" part will match...unless the caster wants the whole thing to look new and rich again). And fourth is warding magics, that keep away unwanted intruders (of specific sorts determined by the incantation) and combine alarms and lighting if the caster wants them; i.e. makes it hard for a prowling predator to cross a ward-boundary around a tent or hin campfire, and brilliant lights the area (the boundary radiating light that due to the enchantment makes invisible beings visible, plus an audible alarm to awaken sleeping hin), and so on. Sixth is tracer magics (like Locate Object, but keyed to a favourite specific item that's been lost or stolen, so the caster can find it again. Seventh: building surfaces; hin enchantments can make mud brick waterproof, keep oil-mix seals from leaking, and so on, to make simple construction sturdier and more long-lasting. See? Practical stuff. Many hin make livings partly by using such magics; they dwell in human-dominated cities and towns and run "repair shops" for humans needing things fixed or cleaned or mended. Or by selling fresh greens (or berries, small tomatoes, herbs, or fruit) for many tables.

Hin cooking magic?
That's a point of pride among hin: to do masterful cooking without magical aid. Though there ARE "rescue this burnt mess" magics that turn scorched kitchen mistakes back into edible perfection. But hin don't talk about those. ;}






Interestingly enough, posted just a few days after this thread started and we'd started down similar paths.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 31 Oct 2019 : 10:01:25
That was actually my question he was responding to... Not sure how I neglected to copy down the info, though!
AJA Posted - 31 Oct 2019 : 00:27:01

I thought I had posted this here when this thread was first active; it's more to do with magic enchantments rather than magic items, but it seems easy to see how one would inform the other (and reinforces Icelander's [et al's] theories of minor magics);
quote:
Originally posted by Ed Greenwood, in a 22 Apr 2019 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse

Hin magic
In the Realms, hin daily magic is most concerned with growing things (edible plants, usually, and hin specialize in prettily flowering edibles), training growing things, and banishing blights and molds from growing things. Second comes cleaning: hin are foremost, as a race, when it comes to small, simple spells that cleanse things and remove marks, stains, etc. Third is mending: hin are great at magic that consumes a raw material (material component) and uses it to knit tears or cuts or frayed areas, restore worn-out fabric or rusted metal (turning things to "like new" condition BUT THE LOOKS THE CASTER WANTS, so if a mended garment or awning is faded, the "fixed" part will match...unless the caster wants the whole thing to look new and rich again). And fourth is warding magics, that keep away unwanted intruders (of specific sorts determined by the incantation) and combine alarms and lighting if the caster wants them; i.e. makes it hard for a prowling predator to cross a ward-boundary around a tent or hin campfire, and brilliant lights the area (the boundary radiating light that due to the enchantment makes invisible beings visible, plus an audible alarm to awaken sleeping hin), and so on. Sixth is tracer magics (like Locate Object, but keyed to a favourite specific item that's been lost or stolen, so the caster can find it again. Seventh: building surfaces; hin enchantments can make mud brick waterproof, keep oil-mix seals from leaking, and so on, to make simple construction sturdier and more long-lasting. See? Practical stuff. Many hin make livings partly by using such magics; they dwell in human-dominated cities and towns and run "repair shops" for humans needing things fixed or cleaned or mended. Or by selling fresh greens (or berries, small tomatoes, herbs, or fruit) for many tables.

Hin cooking magic?
That's a point of pride among hin: to do masterful cooking without magical aid. Though there ARE "rescue this burnt mess" magics that turn scorched kitchen mistakes back into edible perfection. But hin don't talk about those. ;}


Icelander Posted - 30 Oct 2019 : 22:45:00
I like to imagine that for every magical weapon or wand that casts powerful battle-magic, there are dozens of minor magical trinkets that make the lives of Faerun's richer population more comfortable or enjoyable.

After all, the ability to slay enemies is all well and good, but only a tiny fraction of statistical outliers earn enough wealth to commission the creation of magical items purely through violence and looting. Merchants, major landowners and craftspeople actually contribute toward the creation of more wealth in society, which is a necessary precondition before anyone can loot it.

And while merchants who travel the Realms in pursuit of more wealth and the nobles or gentry whose vast agricultural lands yield the crops that feed the citizens of the larger cities might buy some magic for self-defence, they probably spend more on things that actively make their lives better.

Just compare real-world spending on leisure activities, dining out, entertainment and other lifestyle things to defense budgets. I mean, sure, military and security spending is a huge line item for governments, but it's only a tiny fraction of the total economy.

So, while D&D rules often expend little focus on the lifestyles of characters and a lot of focus on anything with combat stats, I really think Combs of Grooming, Sponges of Cleanliness, Padding of Freshness, Pillows of Restfulness and Blankets of Comfort should be more widespread than Swords of Slashing and Wands of Blasting.

What does any of this have to do with halflings?

Well, I like to believe that there exist variations of such items as Everfull Mugs, Murlynd's Spoon, Horn of Plenty and similar that conjure, create or summon beverages and foodstuffs that are actually tasty. Halfling enchanters, hedge wizards and artificers seem like natural candidates for the creation of items that not only provides food and drink on the road, but actually duplicates (or at least mimics) good ales, fine vintages, quality cheese, sugary cakes or fresh fruit.

After all, just because a rich merchant must spend a lot of time on the road or shipborne, that merchant is doesn't hafe to acdept the same discomfort as porer travellers and is likely to want to live in the comfort and luxury his wealth can buy him. And just as hin bakers, brewers, cooks and greengrocers make their fortunes catering to human desires for comfort and the good life, so might hin enchanters.

I also believe that in addition to PC adventuring magic-users, there are also NPC craftsmen and artisans who might not be able to cast Fireball or Draw Upon Holy Might, but can touch the Weave or receive the favor of a god through their art or craftsmanship, to make items of magi without being spellcasters. Much like how Bruenor Battlehammer made Aegis-Fang without being a spellcaster.

So some great halfling brewer might be able to construct an Everflowing Cask that fills itself every day with the same ale, a halfling vitner might make a Cauldron of Good Cheer that transforms any liquid placed in it into an alcoholic beverage over time or great halfling cooks might make a Pan of Roasting that required neither fuel nor flame, a Flavorful Box that could create any spice the user was familiar with or a Plentiful Pot that cooked a meal many times as large as the amounts of incredients.

These halflings would be using magic to enchant these items, but would not necessarily know any adventuring spells, not unless they also happened to be adventurers.
Zeromaru X Posted - 28 May 2019 : 23:56:02
I remember the hornblades from the Year of the Rogue Dragons novels... is the only halfling-only item I know of
Wooly Rupert Posted - 28 May 2019 : 20:45:17
quote:
Originally posted by The Arcanamach

I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this but the old (non-advanced) D&D game had a book called The Five Shires that had halfling specific magic items in it. I believe it's tied to the world of Mystara and some of the items were interesting and centered on something called 'blackflame' I think. There was also a dragon article with items specific to halflings and gnomes in it.



I mentioned it in my first post.

Most of those items are the Blackfame stuff, and are a little too tied into the Five Shires to make me want to modify them.

Sleyvas's "folding door of Halfling Holy Holery" is a nifty idea. I'm expanding on that, and making a small portable inn, as my unique halfling magical item. It's more of a McGuffin than anything else, but I'm a bit of an oddball and like to put at least a little development into my McGuffins.
Ayrik Posted - 28 May 2019 : 14:30:42
quote:
I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this but the old (non-advanced) D&D game had a book called The Five Shires that had halfling specific magic items in it. I believe it's tied to the world of Mystara and some of the items were interesting and centered on something called 'blackflame' I think. There was also a dragon article with items specific to halflings and gnomes in it.
I recall one of the Basic D&D (Mystara) cyclopedias described some sort of magical item functionally similar to a Cube of the Planes - which could connect Mystara PCs to any world or setting the DM liked (including Gamma World, Boot Hill, Greyhawk, Krynn, Forgotten Realms, etc).

And there's several iterations of all the Savage Coast stuff, some of which contain footnotes about how/where the setting could be inserted into existing settings (like the Realms) if not located on Mystara.

And of course there's always the Demiplane of Dread (Ravenloft) ... the mists can descend upon any place on any world and take things away when they depart ... and the denizens/victims of Ravenloft can (in theory) depart the demiplane for any world it touches. A tenuous planar mechanism but other people and things in canon have been displaced or migrated from world to world through the mists. Other transitive planes (like the Shadowfell, Feywild, Temporal Prime, etc) could theoretically connect Mystara and the Realms in similar fashion although each imposes its own special hazards and such connections aren't as well documented.

I've seen "Blackflame" and "Darkflame" in several adventures, at least one module, at least two rulebooks (of which at least one was Realms-centric). It's even listed in several sources as a fairly ordinary low-level spell for wizards and/or priests - it's one of those things which TSR/WotC duplicated and republished in minor variations many times circa 2E era.
The Arcanamach Posted - 28 May 2019 : 10:43:18
I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this but the old (non-advanced) D&D game had a book called The Five Shires that had halfling specific magic items in it. I believe it's tied to the world of Mystara and some of the items were interesting and centered on something called 'blackflame' I think. There was also a dragon article with items specific to halflings and gnomes in it.
sleyvas Posted - 27 Apr 2019 : 03:10:04
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Or maybe anyone entering it gets automatically "adjusted" to hin-size and restored back to normal upon exit (but only if entering/exiting through the door, so anyone getting in through translocation spells or trying to skulk in through the windows/chimney will find itself constricted in awkward positions by the hin-fitting space within, as a little measure of added safety for the hin's inn).



That's a little more variant from the base Instant Fortress than I want to go. I was thinking that having the place stocked with food and having a cook there to make meals was kinda pushing the limits of what would be reasonable. (That's why I added the bit about uneaten food dissolving if carried out -- to put a limitation, minor though it may be, on it).

I'm also inclined to think that having it manned by a halfling, and catering to their love of comfort and food, goes a long way towards making this a halfling thing. YMMV, of course.



What might be interesting in the form of servants would be someone to manage the laundering of clothes, ironing clothes, mending of tears, etc... also perhaps someone to take care of their feet (grooming the hair, soaking and cleaning, clipping the nails, possibly even painting them). Maybe it fills a tub with boiling water. That way the halfling can be "presentable" when they leave, because it just "wouldn't do" to look like a ragamuffin. Now, I'm not picturing a "halfling" servant in this instance, but more something like a construct... but a construct made of something vey weak..... maybe an animated shirt with attached gloves. Of course, that might be a little too magery… but I like the idea that their focus is on keeping up their image.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 27 Apr 2019 : 02:39:36
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Or maybe anyone entering it gets automatically "adjusted" to hin-size and restored back to normal upon exit (but only if entering/exiting through the door, so anyone getting in through translocation spells or trying to skulk in through the windows/chimney will find itself constricted in awkward positions by the hin-fitting space within, as a little measure of added safety for the hin's inn).



That's a little more variant from the base Instant Fortress than I want to go. I was thinking that having the place stocked with food and having a cook there to make meals was kinda pushing the limits of what would be reasonable. (That's why I added the bit about uneaten food dissolving if carried out -- to put a limitation, minor though it may be, on it).

I'm also inclined to think that having it manned by a halfling, and catering to their love of comfort and food, goes a long way towards making this a halfling thing. YMMV, of course.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 27 Apr 2019 : 02:36:50
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

That is something to consider, though it does tend to limit the utility of it. It does make it halfling-specific, but a lot of halflings that travel do so in the company of taller folk.



Do many halflings travel? I rather thought the tend to be home bodies. Might travel from one Shire to another, where the item clearly would be useful. Or even the item used to help start to establish a new Shire.
Just a thought, it is big enough that humans can fit after all. Just some would want to sit down soon to a nice meal.



I'm thinking of adventuring halflings. Ones just staying in the Shire wouldn't really need this, because they're going to be near other halfling communities or established waystops. I should think that any halfling communities more that a day's travel from the next community are going to have waystops set up along the route, because having a comfortable place to rest and get out of the elements is very much going to be a thing for them.
sleyvas Posted - 26 Apr 2019 : 22:00:05
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Or maybe anyone entering it gets automatically "adjusted" to hin-size and restored back to normal upon exit (but only if entering/exiting through the door, so anyone getting in through translocation spells or trying to skulk in through the windows/chimney will find itself constricted in awkward positions by the hin-fitting space within, as a little measure of added safety for the hin's inn).



Oh, I like that idea... anyone over 4 foot tall gets reduced. If that were the case.... I can see some halfling bachelors interested in obtaining this.
Demzer Posted - 26 Apr 2019 : 20:40:18
Or maybe anyone entering it gets automatically "adjusted" to hin-size and restored back to normal upon exit (but only if entering/exiting through the door, so anyone getting in through translocation spells or trying to skulk in through the windows/chimney will find itself constricted in awkward positions by the hin-fitting space within, as a little measure of added safety for the hin's inn).
Kentinal Posted - 26 Apr 2019 : 19:52:20
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

That is something to consider, though it does tend to limit the utility of it. It does make it halfling-specific, but a lot of halflings that travel do so in the company of taller folk.



Do many halflings travel? I rather thought the tend to be home bodies. Might travel from one Shire to another, where the item clearly would be useful. Or even the item used to help start to establish a new Shire.
Just a thought, it is big enough that humans can fit after all. Just some would want to sit down soon to a nice meal.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 26 Apr 2019 : 19:28:18
That is something to consider, though it does tend to limit the utility of it. It does make it halfling-specific, but a lot of halflings that travel do so in the company of taller folk.
Kentinal Posted - 26 Apr 2019 : 19:10:55
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think I'm running with this one. A unique, variant Daern's Instant Fortress that creates an inn with a well-stocked pantry.



This is definitely what I'm running with, since I wanted something unique.

Tentative details:

It's like Daern's Instant Fortress, but with some changes.

The cube is wood, not metal. It grows to a small wooden inn, just two stories in height. On the ground floor is a table for 6, and a kitchen and pantry. There are two rooms upstairs; a larger one with 4 beds, and a smaller one with 2 beds.

The real variations are that whenever it's summoned, the pantry has enough food to feed 6 people for 3 days, and a like amount of water and ale. And the inn has a proprietor -- a halfling innkeeper who is part of the magic. He is a very good cook and is knowledgeable about farming, cooking, halfling religions, and common monster lore. He does not know anything about current or local events, and cannot leave the place. Any uneaten food that is removed from the place crumbles to a tasteless dust, within hours.

It is, obviously, a unique item. The inn has been used by humans and other races, but it's a legendary item to the hin, and they try to keep it in their own hands.



I would think to make it halfling that the ceiling height would not be that high to be comfortable for most humans, elves maybe. I would not expect the ceiling to be any higher then six feet. It is usable by smaller humans or those that do not mind bending. Taller elves also might need to bend. Just my thought to really make it halfling. After all human ceilings at most tend to be 10 foot high and humans are twice as tall.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 26 Apr 2019 : 18:23:56
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think I'm running with this one. A unique, variant Daern's Instant Fortress that creates an inn with a well-stocked pantry.



This is definitely what I'm running with, since I wanted something unique.

Tentative details:

It's like Daern's Instant Fortress, but with some changes.

The cube is wood, not metal. It grows to a small wooden inn, just two stories in height. On the ground floor is a table for 6, and a kitchen and pantry. There are two rooms upstairs; a larger one with 4 beds, and a smaller one with 2 beds.

The real variations are that whenever it's summoned, the pantry has enough food to feed 6 people for 3 days, and a like amount of water and ale. And the inn has a proprietor -- a halfling innkeeper who is part of the magic. He is a very good cook and is knowledgeable about farming, cooking, halfling religions, and common monster lore. He does not know anything about current or local events, and cannot leave the place. Any uneaten food that is removed from the place crumbles to a tasteless dust, within hours.

It is, obviously, a unique item. The inn has been used by humans and other races, but it's a legendary item to the hin, and they try to keep it in their own hands.
AuldDragon Posted - 26 Apr 2019 : 05:05:22
There are some halfling-specific magic items in Dragon #262.

Jeff
Wooly Rupert Posted - 24 Apr 2019 : 10:16:56
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

folding door of Halfling Holy Holery

a foldable round "door" that you can stick on a hill. Said door then creates an interior space filled with cooking utensils, tea pot, a bed, chairs, table, and the "necessities" (as in small cakes, tea, tobacco, cream, sugar, etc...).



I like this, but I'd expand it a bit - maybe make it like a Daern's Instant Fortress, except it makes a small but well-stocked inn and tavern.

The more I think on it, the more I dig this idea.



I think I'm running with this one. A unique, variant Daern's Instant Fortress that creates an inn with a well-stocked pantry.
moonbeast Posted - 24 Apr 2019 : 07:22:51
Perina's Portable Plush Pantry
Wooly Rupert Posted - 23 Apr 2019 : 05:01:44
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

folding door of Halfling Holy Holery

a foldable round "door" that you can stick on a hill. Said door then creates an interior space filled with cooking utensils, tea pot, a bed, chairs, table, and the "necessities" (as in small cakes, tea, tobacco, cream, sugar, etc...).



I like this, but I'd expand it a bit - maybe make it like a Daern's Instant Fortress, except it makes a small but well-stocked inn and tavern.

The more I think on it, the more I dig this idea.
sleyvas Posted - 22 Apr 2019 : 22:10:58
folding door of Halfling Holy Holery

a foldable round "door" that you can stick on a hill. Said door then creates an interior space filled with cooking utensils, tea pot, a bed, chairs, table, and the "necessities" (as in small cakes, tea, tobacco, cream, sugar, etc...).
moonbeast Posted - 21 Apr 2019 : 22:41:56
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I suppose the big question is, what is it that typifies a halflings.



Simply by reading what the rulebooks, Players Handbooks, and numerous sourcebooks tells us… I would guess that the word "comfort" best typifies the Halfling lifestyle.

Tolkien's hobbits also re-inforce that notion (of a comfortable and safe and peaceful lifestyle), although I really should not even mention Tolkien Hobbits because we are after all discussing D&D Halflings.

Let's remember that "adventurer Halflings" (and again adventurer Hobbits in the Tolkien world) are considered abnormal, they are considered deviants that go against the cultural norm.

So if we are going to say that tinkering/experimentation/curiosity is what "typifies" gnomes, then I'd say that the desire for a comfortable and peaceful lifestle is what typfies the typical Halfling.

A tobacco pipe with magical properties…. magic that bestows some kind of comfort or state of rest/peace/healing upon the Halfling…. that would be something I would think of.


Gary Dallison Posted - 21 Apr 2019 : 10:50:27
I suppose the big question is, what is it that typifies a halflings. Elves have music and woodcraft and their magic accentuates that. Dwarves are fighting and crafting and nothing says dwarves more than a dwarven throwing hammer or a magic pick. Gnomes are all about hiding and illusions and their magic items should accentuate that.

So what is are halflings all about. At a vague suggestion I would say halflings are about persuasion, interacting and living among all the other races they must be the ultimate bargainers (like a mini market stall seller).

I guess when you make a magic item you either make it for a specific purpose (slay a great evil etc) or you make it on commission for someone and they probably want you to make something that helps them with what they do all the time.

Of course in my version only the very rich can afford to have a magic item made so it would be for an ultra rich merchant to help make him even more rich.

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