When the race first came to Dungeons and Dragons, it was Hobbit. Clearly inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkein. In the workings of copyrights and business, it was quickly changed to Halfling.
At conventions I have sat at the table of a number of the old TSR Staff who insist on using the verbiage “Hobbit”, and they explain that we all know the naming was changed, but it was clear what was meant. In fact the term ‘Halfling’ remains in some of the Tolkein writings to describe the folk of the shire.
With the latest edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game (5E) Wizards of the coast seem to have taken a sharp left turn and made Halflings something un-hobbit like completely. Having small feet and a penchant for shoes seems awkward and out-of-place.
I have tried to like the new Halflings, but in my mind, they remained as Hobbits. The little feet in the artwork of 5e is bothersome to me. I try not to look at it. I mean, I’m not even sure what I’m looking at here when it comes to proportion.
It does bring some new ideas to the table though, and that can’t be all bad – right?
There are interesting new quirks to little feet and shoes, and maybe I would be quicker to embrace the change if they weren’t SO little, with giant heads.
These differences are minor, it’s true. Likely a wise move by WOTC to get away from the Hobbit IP when the movies were headed the theaters.
When you close your eyes at the gaming table, what do you see when you think of a Halfling/Hobbit?
I have to work hard to stop seeing Meriadoc and Pippin smoking and eating apple pie at second breakfast. My mouth says the word Halfling, but my brain sees a Hobbit.
What are some of the ways you have made the transition? Have you changed Hobbits and Halflings in your own world?