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Kender and the New 3E Halfling

Written by Sean Macdonald

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This is the halfling concept of Wanderlust. There comes a time around their 20th birthday when a halfling must make a choice to pursue a profession within their commonwealth or to choose the Worldwalk. On Worldwalk a halfling travels the world for roughly a decade learning new skills, finding new treasures, and experiencing the world first hand. When they return from Worldwalk they are expected to teach the halflings of their commonwealth the skills they have learned and relay the experiences they encountered.

Differences between Halfling and Kender
With so many similarities you might wonder if there are any differences between the two races. The differences between them are much fewer than used to exist between the races. To begin with, an evil kender has never been known to exist, and while halflings are usually a good race they do have the option to be evil. In fact halfling gangs are a definite problem in many large cities. You would be hard pressed to find a group of true kender that would form a gang intent on theft and extortion. The gang mentality is prevalent in halfling society.

The Commonwealth communities of halflings are the first unique idea on halflings that I have seen. They have communities that are nomadic. These halfling communities follow established travel routes and migrate over months and years. This change coincides well with the idea of the Worldwalk, but is a complete opposite of the previous version of the halfling. Strangely enough, kender actually settle down and have stationary communities.

Worldwalk is a choice for halfling, but not for kender. Kender have a physical and emotional need to travel the world. They have a "forced" Worldwalk. Giving halflings a choice for their Worldwalk allows users to select from the type of halfling that is closer to the hobbit. It gives them a choice to play the reluctant hero role.

Riddles are another difference. Halflings have retained their love of Riddles and have festivals dedicated to Riddle challenges. Some differences are even resolved with Riddle challenges. The contestant that stumps the other proves themselves correct in the dispute and is declared the winner.

Mentoring is a tradition that is tied to a Festival known as the Master's Fair. Where halfling craftsmen and women set up booths and inquiring young halflings visit each booth to find a profession they would like to take part in. The kender race is much less organized in their approach to mentoring, where young kender are introduced through friends and family or simply are allowed to wander the streets of the city or village looking for something interesting to partake in.

I think getting an "infusion of kender blood" is probably the best thing for halflings since their creation. It truly makes the new halfling race multi-faceted and much more interesting to role-play. The creators have taken the best of both the kender and hobbits and have designed a race that is broad enough yet defined enough to create a wide range of player characters. The kender found in halflings clothing has spiced up a once "weak and puny" player character race.

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