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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6599 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  09:09:46  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't personally see any problem with human-halfling couplings. Not in a world already populated with dragonborn, genasi, cambions/tieflings, aasimar, etc. There are a fair number of "monsters" and species who lure humans with sexual attraction, sometimes to attack or feed, sometimes to procreate. I recall Fellfire describing a "to do" list involving a number of different species, including centaurs. I have little doubt that determined lovers will devise methods to overcome any physical complications they might encounter. There are even stories of predatory vampires, incorporeal ghosts, and cursed lycanthropes all finding ways to connect.

This of course assumes a physical consummation in the relationship. Although unlikely, chaste love always exists (indeed, might be forcibly imposed by biology). Somehow I suspect that humans and halflings are reasonably compatible. Gender roles aren't much of a consideration.

Both participants might be well aware of the physical/mental aging differences between their species. They might strive to work out methods or magics which could lengthen their contact. They might understand that, for at least one of them, their time together is transient. They might receive all sorts of advice from their respective elders, whether they want it or not. They might simply be blinded by infatuation and emotion, want to love for the moment, and just not give a damn at all about the consequences.

The couple might make extraordinary efforts to prevent conception, knowing that their halfbreed offspring will suffer from discrimination by both racial lines. Or they might make meticulous plans to introduce children into loving communities. Or, again, they might just not give a damn about the consequences in their lust. Assuming, of course, that neither parent harbours hidden motivations.

[/Ayrik]
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Arioch
Learned Scribe

Italy
222 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  09:44:17  Show Profile  Visit Arioch's Homepage Send Arioch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Generally speaking, I agree with the assumpion that love is where the heart find it. (as kentinal)

I'm only afraid that criticism may arise. The issue (not linked to the sex of the halfling involved in the pair) is probably prone to quick and easy (superficial) psychological analysis...

... This is because: when we imagine stories regarding fantasy characters we need "examples" to picture them. This problem regards both the author, both the readers. As the authors, we "somehow" adapt real world situations (usually under layers of subsequent transformations), as readers we make "associations" ... and some reader may imagine that the closest thing to an halfling is a child, with all the problems this can bring.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6599 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  11:04:43  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A pairing of elf (or eladrin) and a gnome is a bit unusual but doesn't seem particularly offensive. There's a good number of half-ogres and half-giants as well, in which the size disparity between parents (let alone the mechanics of their union) again doesn't seem particularly offensive.

I'm actually a bit surprised the entire human-halfling topic is being examined by an "official" D&D author. I would've thought the ready association with human perversions would make it entirely untouchable. Can you say why this question has arisen, Erik?

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31048 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  11:45:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

Thanks for all the input.

This specific situation involved a male halfling who "had a thing" for a female human. In case that changes the issue any (and why?).

A corollary question: what are your views on a gnome/elf relationship? (For you 4e people, I mean either an "elf" or an "eladrin.")

Cheers



I pretty much take the same view on an elf/gnome relationship as I would on a human/halfling one.

What would the offspring be called? Gnelf? Elme?

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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3054 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  11:49:21  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Depends if its the hairy feet version of halflings, and if said human has a certain fetish.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6599 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  11:59:08  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Rule 34. If it exists, there is (or soon will be) a human fetish about it.

Hirsute podophilia (whatever it's called) is no doubt quite tame when the properties and anatomies of fantastic creatures are taken into consideration.

[/Ayrik]
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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  13:36:41  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In real life I've never had a problem with relations between normal sized people and little people.While some people are quick to jump to a certain...unpleasant conclusion regarding the motives behind that relationship, I don't think that would be brought up in the context of a world where both races know each other and are fairly intermingled.

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  15:54:49  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

I'm actually a bit surprised the entire human-halfling topic is being examined by an "official" D&D author. I would've thought the ready association with human perversions would make it entirely untouchable. Can you say why this question has arisen, Erik?
Well, I had this discussion with an editor of mine, who brought up much the same argument (ready association). And I thought it was interesting so I promised/threatened to post it here.

The differing stigmas is a valuable argument. Ed Greenwood's world (or any fantasy setting) is simply not our own. While something is internally consistent and totally not a big deal in a fantasy world like the Realms, it is inevitably interpreted through the moral lens of its readers (here in the RW). Things like "loose" relations, homosexuality, prostitution, etc., are stigmatized in the RW but carry much less negative connotation in the Realms. I'm not saying it should be one way or another--I'm just saying this is the sandbox we're playing in, whether we like it or not.

Three things to consider: moral, financial, and business concerns.

1) The Moral: I believe authors have a responsibility to "do no harm" with their work. I would not encourage something I believe to be immoral or harmful, and so I wouldn't want to glorify or in any way advocate pedophilia (as one can easily read into human x halfling relationships). Even if I personally believe it's all fair and good for a human and a halfling to have a consenting relationship (and for the record, I do), it's a fair consideration if there's any way I can make it palatable to the vast majority of my audience, who may interpret it in a much worse way than I intend it. I would not want to advocate something that IS wrong (i.e. child abuse), and so it might be better to err on the safe side and leave it out (i.e. the potential hazard outweighs the value).

2) The Financial: Again, I might think something is fine and good and should be in the book, but if it offends or turns off readers, I'm the one that takes the financial hit (and so does my publisher, see below!). I have a responsibility to be true to my art, but at the same time, I can't write if I can't eat. Y'know?

3) The Business: When considering whether to put something in a fantasy novel, it's worth considering how the publisher is going to feel. For WotC novels, we're talking about Hasbro, which derives most of its income from producing toys for a younger audience. The last thing any of us wants is a Hasbro executive looking at something that gets printed in a Realms novel and having a fit. (For the record, I don't think anything in the FR is really inappropriate to warrant such a thing, though some of the violence could stand to be toned down and some of the sex ramped up, but anyway.) That's not a win for anyone (including Hasbro).

Thanks for bringing up the little people analogy, CoA. I'll post this wiki link for anyone unclear on what I mean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarfism

Little people are often the butt of rom-com jokes, the object of a great deal of derision, and to some extent fetishized as a sexual object. I really don't see why we think this is ok as a society. If I were to base a person's worth as a person on genetic differences that alter his/her appearance and statue, then I would be perfectly content with women or minority ethnic groups getting the same treatment. I mean, would *you* be ok with a black person not being able to have a relationship without it being considered a perversion or fetish? Obviously not.

The halfling x human relationship is more like that of a little person and a baseline-sized person, albeit without the same social stigma as we'd get here in the RW. Halflings have their own set of stigma, as a different species often (fairly or unfairly) known for being light-fingered and untrustworthy.

Here's another subjec to consider: in a fantasy setting, human x dwarf? Eh?

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

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Tyranthraxus
Senior Scribe

Netherlands
423 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  16:20:32  Show Profile  Visit Tyranthraxus's Homepage  Click to see Tyranthraxus's MSN Messenger address Send Tyranthraxus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

Here's another subjec to consider: in a fantasy setting, human x dwarf? Eh?



In Dark Sun a mul is a half-dwarf/half-human.
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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3054 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  16:20:34  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Erik, was this partly brought on by the closed thread about Drow Incest mayhaps?

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

Anauria - Survivor State of Netheril as penned by me:
http://www.dmsguild.com/m/product/172023
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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3054 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  16:21:47  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tyranthraxus

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

Here's another subjec to consider: in a fantasy setting, human x dwarf? Eh?



In Dark Sun a mul is a half-dwarf/half-human.



It's more ok on Athas cause its too hot there for the female dwarves to keep beards.

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

Anauria - Survivor State of Netheril as penned by me:
http://www.dmsguild.com/m/product/172023

Edited by - Alisttair on 02 Feb 2011 16:22:08
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6599 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  16:40:47  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FR11 Dwarves Deep discusses half-dwarves (human-dwarves) in some detail. They are basically slightly taller dwarves who "breed true" to dwarven heritage; ie, they'll sire a "pure" dwarf if they mate with a dwarf or half-dwarf, otherwise (with a human) they'll sire another half-dwarf. The text actually attempts to describe this as a solemn and noble concept, with a great deal of respect toward the half-dwarf and the human parent, since the human parent "sacrifices" human racial heritage to help repopulate the diminishing dwarven race.

I don't personally go for bearded women* who can drink ten gallons of grog before benchpressing an ore-laden mining cart, let alone women who are happily proficient at smashing skulls with an axe. Still, I suppose there'll always be men who are attracted to such solid attributes.

* Yeah, I read the 4E statements concerning female dwarves and beards. You guys ain't gonna fool me, lol.

Permissive relations, homosexuality, and prostitution are not judged universally in our world, not even in our society. Some people don't care, some approve, some require a special license, some will condemn you. I still meet people who are "not" racist but have difficulty accepting interracial couples and such. Personally, I don't care what kind or colour person you are, I don't care about your religion, I don't care about your origins — just pay your taxes and have the decency to try learning the local language (English, hell, I'll even accept French) and I'll treat you as an equal, lol.

I'd honestly be surprised if social values are globally consistent across Faerûn. Some cities, even some neighbourhoods, might treat halflings like citizens while others might treat them like vermin.

Elves have long considered themselves superior to humans (and even to other elves), although their "official" attitude seems to have slowly evolved from 1E's thinly-disguised disgust and scorn towards humans into 4E's aloof acceptance of humans as "equals". I'm not at all saying racism is a good thing or that it should be included in the D&D game. Indeed, I was quite happy when 2E did away with the overextensive 1E/UA charts that determined racial reaction modifiers. Racial prejudice has no place in my game.

But how does an elf feel when he sees his beloved only daughter being seduced by some graceless unsophisticated human monkey who's barely two decades old? How does a human father react when his daughter elopes with a firebreathing armoured reptile? How does a dwarven father react when his eldest son abandons the forge to spend time with some tiefling scamp? I fear their reactions would be based largely on racial judgements, far more angry than could be explained with mere fatherly protectiveness.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 02 Feb 2011 16:48:32
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  16:54:58  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alisttair

Erik, was this partly brought on by the closed thread about Drow Incest mayhaps?
No--that thread got closed? What a surprise!

quote:
Originally posted by Arik

FR11 Dwarves Deep discusses half-dwarves (human-dwarves) in some detail. They are basically slightly taller dwarves who "breed true" to dwarven heritage; ie, they'll sire a "pure" dwarf if they mate with a dwarf or half-dwarf, otherwise (with a human) they'll sire another half-dwarf. The text actually attempts to describe this as a solemn and noble concept, with a great deal of respect toward the half-dwarf and the human parent, since the human parent "sacrifices" human racial heritage to help repopulate the diminishing dwarven race.
That sounds like canonical basis to me. Though I wonder if social mores have changed over the last century to discourage this . . . hmm.

quote:
Personally, I don't care what kind or colour person you are, I don't care about your religion, I don't care about your origins — just pay your taxes and have the decency to try learning the local language (English, hell, I'll even accept French) and I'll treat you as an equal, lol.
I checked and yep, sure enough, you're Canadian.

I kid. Honestly, I feel much the way you do (though I would add "don't be a jerk" to that list of criteria). I don't even mind the language thing so much--I only want people to recognize that refusing to learn the local language is opening yourself up for a world of unnecessary difficulty (such as reading signs, shopping, jobs, etc.) that's pretty much unavoidable. Living in Seattle, where we have like 200 languages represented in the city, it's just not feasible to put anything more than the bare essentials (like tax forms) into your preferred idiom.

quote:
I'd honestly be surprised if social values are globally consistent across Faerûn. Some cities, even some neighbourhoods, might treat halflings like citizens while others might treat them like vermin.
Indeed. I was speaking in generalities--I think it's pretty clear that the Realms has noticeably fewer "hang ups" in re: sex and such. As for how they treat a particular race, that would indeed vary from region to region, I imagine similarly to how we in the RW treat particular ethnic groups.

quote:
But how does an elf feel when he sees his beloved only daughter being seduced by some graceless unsophisticated human monkey who's barely two decades old?
Well, it involves the ancient bladesinger sword he has inherited from his millennia old family and said knave's face, is what it does.

quote:
How does a human father react when his daughter elopes with a firebreathing armoured reptile?
That's just a Dragon & Juliet story waiting to happen.

quote:
How does a dwarven father react when his eldest son abandons the forge to spend time with some tiefling scamp?
Well, at least she has fire resistance--a smith's gotta respect that. The horns are probably an issue, though.

quote:
I fear their reactions would be based largely on racial judgements.
And as Drizzt's amazing success shows us, fantasy's built in racial allegory machine can be extremely effective.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)

Edited by - Erik Scott de Bie on 02 Feb 2011 17:16:22
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  17:09:01  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My reply for dwarf and human couples remains pretty much the same, except I think humans would accept that more readily than dwarves.

I believe the proprietor of the Mighty Manticore in Waterdeep, Izmeel Coopercan, is rumored to be half-dwarf. And I'm also pretty sure that FR11 Dwarves Deep discussed half-dwarves.

Edit: Someone beat me to the FR11 reference. That's what happens when you post from work, between calls.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 02 Feb 2011 17:28:06
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6599 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  17:24:30  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dragon & Juliet. I just don't know what to say. That's awful.

The tiefling scamp with fire-resistance would obviously be named Cinderella. I don't even want to think about the Trollpunzel love story.

[/Ayrik]
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Christopher_Rowe
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
879 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  17:39:27  Show Profile  Visit Christopher_Rowe's Homepage Send Christopher_Rowe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Y'know, I just gotta say that since we live in a world where an entire segment of the entertainment industry is built around the concept of teenage girls hooking up with ancient, blood-drinking undead, I don't think one partner being a lot shorter than another makes for that odd a couple.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31048 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  17:50:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher_Rowe

Y'know, I just gotta say that since we live in a world where an entire segment of the entertainment industry is built around the concept of teenage girls hooking up with ancient, blood-drinking undead, I don't think one partner being a lot shorter than another makes for that odd a couple.






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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  18:38:46  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher_Rowe

Y'know, I just gotta say that since we live in a world where an entire segment of the entertainment industry is built around the concept of teenage girls hooking up with ancient, blood-drinking undead, I don't think one partner being a lot shorter than another makes for that odd a couple.
But . . . but he's like so SENSITIVE. And BROODY! And OMG, I'm totally a vampire now, yays!

(And what's up with a werewolf being in love with an unborn child? talk about your icky.)

And now, back to your regularly scheduled topic.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Kentinal
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4338 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  19:45:32  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I see no problem with the story, depending on how it is written might become the oncome factor.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Mr_Miscellany
Senior Scribe

545 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  19:57:05  Show Profile Send Mr_Miscellany a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My thoughts at the suggestion of a Halfling-Human relationship in the Realms run along the lines of questions:

*Where in the Realms exactly will it take place? An isolated region, a town, a fortified structure, a city-state, within the borders of a nation like Cormyr?

*How will that location affect the relationship or govern it? Will local bias, local law or local custom interfere or support the relationship or not?

*Will we get to learn about cultural mores and any conflict between Human and Halfling-held beliefs (social, religious, racial) an inter-species relationship might cause to come into conflict?

*How did the relationship start? Combat, during a bout of Halfling tossing [something done in Waterdeep at parties], by chance encounter, seduction, ulterior motive?

*Will these be the main characters featured in the story or are they secondary?

*Will their relationship come to an end and if so, how? Death, betrayal, loss of interest, irreconcilable differences, war or calamity causing them to take opposing sides, kidnapping, disappearance?

*Will the author surprise me with a perspective on the topic I haven’t considered? Or will the story be less than unique, so I could substitute a Human for the Halfling and basically tell the story without any changes to it?

It was stated earlier that the Realms are just different when it comes to interspecies relationships. This is something I know (though the average reader might not) so this basic concept is what I expect to guide any story regarding a Human-Halfling relationship.

To me the subject isn’t “icky” and the practical mechanics of intercourse don’t matter* nearly as much as the questions I’ve posed above. Just give me the answers to those questions in the course of the story and wrap it around some good, original Realmslore.

*In fact they’re not really relevant to the story. They’re both Humanoids; I don’t need to know how it all works. Leave that to the reader and their imagination—or lack thereof—unless the editor really wants to go there in order to show how the romance drives this couple to overcome any sort of hardship they face together.

Edited by - Mr_Miscellany on 02 Feb 2011 20:05:06
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
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Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  20:10:23  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good questions, Mr. M--it sounds like you're asking "is it significant or just a throw-away gig?", in which latter case you probably shouldn't bother.

quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Miscellany

To me the subject isn’t “icky” and the practical mechanics of intercourse don’t matter* nearly as much as the questions I’ve posed above. Just give me the answers to those questions in the course of the story and wrap it around some good, original Realmslore.

*In fact they’re not really relevant to the story. They’re both Humanoids; I don’t need to know how it all works. Leave that to the reader and their imagination—or lack thereof—unless the editor really wants to go there in order to show how the romance drives this couple to overcome any sort of hardship they face together.
Well, I will say that one of my fellow writers advanced the concept of said halfling seeking the aid of a tinker gnome of his acquaintence . . . but let's leave it there. Imagination is the better part of wit.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  20:15:12  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think I'd advise steering far away from any steam-powered tinker gnome machinery designed for that application. The consequences could be terrible.

[/Ayrik]
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 03 Feb 2011 :  00:09:32  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arik

I think I'd advise steering far away from any steam-powered tinker gnome machinery designed for that application. The consequences could be terrible.

Lantan still has a notable and significant human presence, who are mostly quite intuitive and capable of innovative technological design on their own as members of Gond's faithful.

Almost everyone seems to forget about them. I suppose in this case, humans are the "forgotten folk."

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The Sage
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The half-dwarves of the Realms aren't a distinct race. They are still, essentially, pureblood dwarves, as Ed's Dwarves Deep notes. Thus, they can still breed.

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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 03 Feb 2011 :  00:41:48  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thinking a bit more on this, I came to a realization that many people that play D&D these days don't remember the days when halflings were predominantly a short round human.

I know that sounds simplistic, but it is true. Halflings, especially in the Forgotten Realms, were indeed so closely affiliated with humanity that the two could seldom be seen seperately where halflings were to be found at all.

With the coming of the "Kender Shaped" Halflings...well, things changed a lot!

Myself, I have refused to allow Halflings in my games be anything other than how they were originally used in the Forgotten Realms/D&D back in 1st Edition. Kender belong in Krynn...

Now, as to how that relates to the topic at hand, essentially looking at a halfling simply renders a short...yet ADULT looking...human. So in that context, I see nothing wrong at all.

As to dwarves and humans...whatever floats your boat eh?

AD&D for me!

Edited by - Dalor Darden on 03 Feb 2011 00:42:14
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