Hobbits may be clerics, druids, fighters, thieves, or thief-acrobats. They may combine the fighter class with either of the thief types. Of the four types found in AD&D, each is different. The four types are the Hairfoot, Stout, Tallfellow, and Kender. The Kender is a distinct Krynn race with no relationship to the three sub-races of Hobbit; however, it is similar in some ways, and is regarded by most as the halfling race of the Krynn world.
The most noticeable difference between the sub-races of Hobbits is their height. Hairfeet tend to range from just under three feet to almost three and a half feet. Stouts run three and a half feet up to less than four feet. Tallfellows start at about four feet tall, going only half a foot more. DM's should consider whether to allow a player to choose his sub-race, or alternatively to assign the sub-race according to the height rolled. This document provides separate height rolls Tallfellows, but a single roll for all others (including Kender). DM's may wish to treat height rolls differently from this.
Player character hobbits (other than Kender) are said to speak common, alignment, dwarven, elven, gnome, goblin, halfling, and orcish. Sub-races of non-player character hobbits speak these languages, but no single sub-race speaks them all.
Halflings are resistant to magic and to poison. For each three and a half points of constitution, the hobbit's saves against wands, staves, rods, spells, and poisons are at +1, that is, +1 at 4, +2 at 7, +3 at 11, +4 at 14, +5 at 18, +6 at 21, and +7 at 25.
As elves, when not in metal armor they move very quietly. If there is no door or other obstacle to open, they surprise 4 times in 6; surprise is normal if a door must be opened, if the character is wearing metal armor, or if he is traveling with others not so skilled.
Most of the other abilities of hobbits vary with the sub-race, whether hairfoot, stout, tallfellow, or kender. There are also separate considerations for those who are of mixed descent.
The Hairfoot is the standard race of hobbits. All that is said of hobbits above apply to them. In natural surroundings where there is brush for cover, they are treated as invisible if they choose to conceal themselves. Those who are not player characters do not speak elvish or dwarven, and generally are less interested in other races. They generally do not swim, do not like water, and stay out of boats. They are also too small to ride horses, and are uncomfortable with the size of ponies. They typically live 150 years.
The Stout sub-race has several critical advantages, and may be the most popular type of halfling. They have standard 60' infravision, and also have certain underground skills. They have a 75% chance of detecting a slope; also, they have a 50% chance of determining their depth underground. As always, underground information skills require a moment of focused reflection to use.
Stouts associate with dwarfs, and non-player stouts speak their language. They enjoy the water, and swimming and boating are common skills. Life expectancies exceed 200 years.
Mixed hobbits have ancestors from different sub-races. For convenience, their abilities are standardized. They have the underground skills of the stouts (detecting slopes and depth underground). Their infravision extends to only 30'.
Tallfellows are large enough to ride small horses, or at least ponies; they are less limited in weapon use, and spears are known to be common choices for them. They associate freely with elves, and non-player tallfellows speak elvish.
The Kender is an entirely different race unrelated to the hobbits of the occident; however, they are usually confused for a related sub-race because of their similar appearance. They are about the same height mixed hobbits--three and a half feet--and have something of the look of the small human. However, under the Krynn history, they are technically a sub-race of the gnome. They have elf-like pointed ears and expressive faces.
Kender have unique personalities which make them something of a joke race--along the lines of the Tinker Gnomes of Krynn, but not as severely. These creatures have no fear, seeming oblivious to the possibility that there could be any danger. They are highly independent and very mobile, allowing their insatiable curiosity to carry them into any situation. They also have no concept of personal property, and so will take anything which catches their attention, keep it for as long as it suits them, and abandon it when they find something to replace it.
The fearlessness does not result in recklessness; kender are fierce fighters when they need to be, and they are reasonably cautious when not driven by their curiosity. They will not throw their lives away haphazardly, but will often suggest plans which seem absurd on the surface but might succeed. Still, if there's any place from which no one has returned, the kender wants to be the first one to see it. They are interested in everything, from the magical to the beautiful to the dangerous to the disgusting. They are impulsive, not considering the possible outcomes of their actions.
They have a need for excitement, action, and new experiences. Most are with the adventurers for the fun of it. Trying to outrun a monster is viewed as a wonderful game. They are extroverted, trying to make friends wherever they go; however, they are noisy and talkative, and frequently turn people away. They are very sensitive to insults, and will not take orders from anyone.
Taunting is one of the kender's basic skills. Their curiosity gives them interesting if shallow understanding of their enemies, and they can effectively use invective and sarcasm to enrage an opponent into recklessness. If an intelligent creature that can understand the language in which the kender speaks is taunted by one, he must make a saving throw vs. Spells (wisdom bonus applies), or he will attack wildly for d10 rounds, -2 to hit and +2 on AC during that time. These penalties may be increased if the creature or character is adjudged by the referee to be particularly susceptible to such insults. On the other hand, the kender's long-term friends quickly develop an immunity to his barbed humor.
All kender are thieves. If the kender is not a thief class, he still has a 5% chance of success on any thief skill, except that he has a 40% chance to climb walls and no ability to read languages, modified by dexterity and halfling racial bonuses. However, because their nature is such that they don't understand the concept of personal property, the other Krynn races refer to the innate thievery of kender as "handling", and tend to excuse it (although it is annoying). The kender learn to open locks, move silently, listen at doors, hide, and pick pockets as means to satisfy their curiosity. They don't steal for profit, and they have no concept of the value of the things which they take. They pick pockets because they want to know what's in them; and if it's something pretty or interesting, they'll hold on to it for a while, intending to return it to the owner later, if he's still around. In an enemy fortress, they will pick up anything which might be a useful item or an interesting souvenir. But they would regard it an insult to be called a thief: they have no intention of stealing someone's property.
Kender have minimum ability scores, 6 in strength, intelligence, and charisma, 8 dexterity, and 10 constitution. They can be fighers, barbarians, rangers, thieves, thief-acrobats, clerics, druids, and holy orders of the stars. It may be inferred that they have the magic resistance of hobbits, although this is not clearly stated. Although they may be lawful, they lack self-discipline. There has never been a kender known to be evil.
Kender pockets are one of the most interesting aspects of the character race. As the kender handles objects, he places many of them in his pockets; as his pockets become too full, he displaces other objects he has been carrying. When the kender reaches into his pocket, he will pull out any random item from the list--the player has no control of what is pulled out, as it is randomly rolled from a table of 100 items. However, in addition to the many ordinary items which might be there (rocks, coins, feathers, string, teeth), there is a chance that useful equipment and miscellaneous magic items could be there.
This thievery does not extend to essential equipment, such as food, clothing, and weapons. The kender will hold on to his own essentials, and will not take such things from others.
Kender are also immune to fear, including the natural fear created by dragons and other monsters and the magical fear caused by wands and spells.
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