Sunday, February 19, 2023

They Be Giants

 Ever wonder why there are seldom great nations of Halflings in fantasy RPG campaigns?  It's not because halflings are small and weak, unclever, or lazy as none of those are limitations of halflings. Sure they are small compared to adult humans but for their body size they are very strong and we all know they ever seem to lack the capacity to feed themselves and find comfort. Their populations are seldom oppressed and enslaved so that isn't holding them back. The horrible truth is much worse than most folks would imagine: Halflings are the larval forms of giants.

The quaint tales Halfling parents tell of finding babies in cabbage patches or pipeweed patches is not a fiction produced by parents unsure how to relate the facts of life to their children but the absolute truth of the matter. Halfling babies are left by their giantish-parents for discovery by their older siblings and cousins that will take them in and care for them as "parents".  Their older siblings are better proportioned to safely raise their less mature larval kin than their giantish parents are.

As they mature the larval giant (as a halfling) lives a life of simple pleasures and industry, their drive to build burrows well stocked with more food they can possibly eat reveals their true nature. Their life as a halfling is dedicated to building the burrow they will "retire" to. No halfling is seen to die of old age among its peers as they have a drive to move on or become private and either retire to their borrow or travel "away". It is during their "retirement" sometime between the age of 100 and 130 when the Halfling typically after a decade or more of seclusion emerges as a giant before traveling into the wilds to live it's giantish life.

During the period of seclusion, the Halfling (as  it is a larval giant) gorges on its vast larder of food it has stashed over the years and sleeps as it grows to proper giantish proportions.  The newly emerged young adult giant will occasionally raid its younger neighbors as it moves out of the area to live among adult giants in the greater wilds and while these raids are common in Halfling lore they are seldom of much consequence because the giants have no desire to cause much harm to their larval cousins; those incidents where young adult giants cause genuine harm to their younger cousins seems to be when different breeds of giants unknowingly intermingle in their larval halfling stage.

It is their lifecycle that checks the advance of the Halflings as a people. Their drive is simply to burrow, build a store of food and transform into a giant to emerge from their burrow and travel into the wilds as a giant as they lack the drive to build halfling society beyond this.


This all popped into my head as I woke this morning. I hope someone finds this inspiring and useful for their fantasy RPG campaigns.


  1. I like it - one of the cleverest ideas I've read in a while. To add to it, maybe this explains why halfling settlements usually remain safe. The adult giants, while not being especially organized, don't want to risk the survival of their species and have fond memories of their childhood nursery. So they stomp on any bands of raiding humanoids that are headed into halfling territory.

    1. Glad you liked it. The whole slightly distant protection of giants does explain how halflings manage to keep their generally peaceful pastoral domains in often hostile settings.