Halflings, Hobbits, and Kinders (Oh My!)

I am trying to burn up these three races and would like some feedback, or if they all ready exist in burning wheel, where can I find them?
I believe that Halfings could be represented as Humans with a couple of “Halfling Common Traits” such as Diminutive Stature and Nimble (they could use human lifepaths).
Hobbits would require a burn up as they have their own society with different kinds of hobbit lineage and lifestyle.
Kinders would also require a burn up as they have their own particular traits and a lifestyle that would frieghten most respectable hobbits (Kinders would have the Fearless Trait and an emoitional trait to represent their “Kinder Cry”).
I still trying to work this out and looking forward to any comments.

I’m confused. Halflings are Hobbits with a new name so they didn’t run afoul of the Tolkien Estate. Both seem like humans with common traits. Hobbits as in LotR use Peasant and Villager LPs pretty much exclusively, and you could maybe adopt the Field Roden LPs from the Monster Burner. They’re “merry olde England” but half-sized. That’s covered. Of course there are (mostly D&D) settings that make halflings very different, like dinosaur-riding tribalistic cannibals, and those would require new LPs to be burned up… but that’s not the standard.

Kender (you’re talking about those short, inquisitive, irritating guys from Dragonlance, right?) again seem like they don’t have enough distinctly different society. Common traits and human lifepaths. More likely to have some criminal LPs if they’re living among humans because they’re sneaky thieving bastards, but nothing special.

As stated, each is really just a different name for the other. The on that many would argue is “Different” (Kender) really isn’t…I had a player in D&D (3.5 if it matters) who wanted to play a Kender in Ravenloft. I disallowed it because Kender get stoopid bonuses to checks for theivery skills, so he instead played a Halfling calling himself a Kender. He tried to play off immunity to fear (in a fear based setting), so I took his claim that he was “Afraid of nothing” literally and stuck him in a dreamscape with no features in it (literally nothing). He stopped pushing the issue when he got bored (Lesson: trying to game the system to be immune to the setting doesn’t fly. Engage the world or go home).

Anyway, the only difference besides ridiculously arbitrary rules text that is essentially the same thing anyway (All three are marketted as small theivy people. Burglar=theif=kender), is lifestyle.

As Wayfarer said, Hobbits are Pastoral, Halflings and Kender everything else except Noble.

Common traits for the collective bunch of them and your done. If you Really want to play up the Hobbit/Halfling/Kender resistance to fear (Frodo and Bilbo and Sam are all good examples of fearlessness) then think of a reasonable Emotional Attribute for it. I wouldn’t go that far, but it is an option.

I find the use of Fear Immunity to be highly clever there.

I think that you could represent all of these races through settings, ie all are Halflings but the Shire Setting has Hobbit-y lifepaths, the City-born are more tradition D&D style Halflings, Outcast would include Adventurer-type lifepaths, etc.

Immunity to fear, and its interaction with Steel and Hesitation, is probably a bad fit for Burning Wheel. And I think an important element of Sam, Frodo, Merry, and Pippin is that they all are afraid. Their bravery is fighting on through the fear. You could get them some kind of bonus for that, and I think some kind of Stubborn trait for Hobbits would be appropriate, but you get better stories out of making characters face their fears and overcome them than giving them no fear at all.

Sam? Scared stiff, but he had a belief that he had to protect Frodo and get him to Orodruin, so he did it. And he wouldn’t have said he was brave about it, either. It just had to be done.

I agree with Wayfarer. I think they could definitely get some good traits. Maybe Show No Fear (C-O for Steel against impossible/overwhelming odds)?

I think that might work if I used common traits for different human races as suggested in bwg. I could then make the desired changes between the three races in discussion. I think Halflings are more akin to humans than Hobbits or Kinders (yes, I’m still going with all three as separate races) Hobbits have three sub-speci (just like the burning wheel elves) and each one seems to favor a different racial culture (elves, dwarfs, and humans). I do not see hobbits having any type of immunity to fear, neither do halflings (which appear in literature apart from dnd). Kinders, on the other hand, are known for being fearless (and kleptomaniacal, annoying, shrill voiced) they even held their own land

Sure, halflings have appeared elsewhere after D&D, but they’re all based on the same source Hobbits. You’ll note that nowhere do Hobbits and halflings appear together. (In fact, you shouldn’t see Hobbits anywhere; the Tolkien Estate takes a very dim view of that.) But it’s your game; do as you like.

Elves in Burning Wheel don’t have subspecies. There are three major settings, but those are no different from the Village, Peasant, City, and Noble settings for Men. Elves can and do leave the Citadel for the Wilds, or leave the Wilds for a more urban life.

So, make all halflings be human with a couple of common traits like diminished stature and perhaps fey blood to represent their non human origins and let it go at that?

I wouldn’t go with Fey Blood. That’s for humans with non-human fey ancestry. You just want a different stock. Throwing out some ideas… Diminutive Stature, probably with a reduced stride. Hearty Eater (Cha). Maybe a couple more to emphasize what’s important and special about halflings in your world.

You might consider giving them a trait that requires them to have Power always lower than the higher of Speed or Agility, analogous to how dwarves must have Speed lower than the higher of Power or Forte.

Start with Roden of the field, change the character and stock traits that make them rat men, and you’ve got a rough analogue of a hobbit.

After thinking about this a little from my perspective, as well as getting an insight perspective on a thread I started about Emotional Attributes, I think that an Emotional Attribute may be fitting here IN ADDITION to Stock Common Traits.

What was suggested about the importance of Emotional Attributes for Elves/Orcs/Dwarves is that without them they lose flavor and become essentially “funny lookong humans.”

This isn’t true of Roden, Trolls, Wolves or Spiders because they have several majorly inherent traits that make them Non-Human and more beastly or monstrous. Roden are the only one that are akin to humanity, but still have a core feel that sets them apart.

The basic races, however, are more human, and without a special trait that sets them truly apart, there isn’t much that makes them Non-Human.

Halflings and Hobbits, if included, are even MORE like rural humans than any other Race. Giving them Stock Traits just says “They’re small humans. Who might steal your silverware.”

So, to really drive home their “Otherness,” I would vouch for an Emotional Attribute that they can call on for those moments of great bravery in the face of incredible fear (you can call it Courage or Bravery). Or perhaps something else that can capture the feel.

Emotional attributes are all weaknesses and all about spiraling towards crisis. What is a courage crisis? If anything, I’d say a better attribute might be Temerity, the inner voice in every Hobbit telling them to just stay home, avoid this adventure silliness, and enjoy eighteen good, solid meals a day.

And a key part of Hobbits/Halflings is that they are, in fact, really like funny-looking short humans. They don’t have any big fictional distinguishing identity to me.

Tolkien hinted at the qualitative differences between Hobbits and other races, through the voice of Gandalf, who consistently comments that Hobbits have an undefined quality that sets them apart from each races in a significant way. “Hobbits never cease to surprise me,” or some such, which is high praise that is never granted to Human, Dwarf, Elf, or Orc.

Similarly only Hobbits could ever withstand the pull of the Ring, possibly the most powerful and dangerous Artifact of Middle Earth.

I do agree Courage may not fit (Although a Courage Crisis could be wrecklessness, Foolhardiness…it isn’t a perfect fit, but no personality trait is truly free of flaw, nor are they immune to being exerted detrimentally as an extreme).

But yes, vices and negative qualities are easier to tie in mechanically in a similar way to Grief, Greed, and Hatred. But a good example of a non-negative attribute is Faith…being pious and pure eventually leads to the departure of a character.

This is what I decided on.
Halfling Common Traits: Diminshed Statute (Char), Nimble (C-O for Throwing), and Tough (D.T.).
They are basically human and follow the human life paths, most of them are Village Born, but they are not limited to that and can be born into other settings as long as it fits the players concept and everyone else agrees.
I still want to introduce more complexity with this, but that’s just my old “When all else fails, complicate things” instinct kicking in.
By the way, other humans also get common traits in relationship to region and physical natures. Each sub culture /species receive a Character, Die, and a Call On trait to represent their common nature.

Just as a +1 to making a full-blown Emotional Trait for adventuring Hobbits: recall how much talk there is of “Tookishness”. Inquisitiveness and curiosity that leads to trouble, stubbornness and grit to see through the trouble. So I think Wayfarer has the right of it… but is probably picking the wrong word to evoke it. Temerity keeps them on the adventure… it’s opposite makes them turn tail for home, hearth, and hops. How often do the principle Hobbit bemoan their plight and dream of comforts and safety?

I’d go with “Cheer” and poise it against Grief… as in the books, in which it is often mentioned that Hobbits bring quiet solace to Elves that meet them (and even stronger feelings for those who defend them). And at 10 Cheer, the Hobbit simply cannot be persuaded away from larder, tavern, or easy chair again.

 This is probably completely wrong as it just off the top of my head, but what about a Luck stat?   It would be in keeping with all of the small folk who se em to  have some sort of divine favor or other that causes things to turn about on them for good or bad at the strangest times.  It could explode both ways similar to astrology and advance like greed in as much as all tests would count, but failed tests would tax your luck.  This would explain how a halfling could just happen upon the right trail,  or knock something over while otherwise successfully sneaking about, thus alerting everyone to his presence. The more they would press their luck the greater the risk of it turning against them or just possibly running out.