Wicked Fantasy: Haffuns: Seeming Servants
By Thilo Graf
This pdf by John Wick Presents is 28 pages long, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/prelude, 1 page advertisement, 1 page front cover and 1 page SRD, leaving 23 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
Halfings are not exactly a sexy race and have often been neglected in fantasy – recently, 4 Wind Fantasy Gaming released a nice supplement and now Wicked Fantasy reimagines the Halfling-race.
Perhaps the one factor that makes halflings problematic, at least for me, is that they don’t essentially fill a crucial role in most fantasy settings. Haffuns are different. Ever since the dug up from the ground, escaping some undefined threat on the other side of the world, and immediately were able to communicate with the humans, they have ingratiated themselves into human society by their uncanny virtues.
Haffuns gain +2 to Dex and Wis, are small, get a bonus to hearing-based perception, professions depending on their family and temporarily learn just about every language. And then there’s Talda, the “Seeming Way” – essentially the ability to blend in the background, this art not only makes the Haffuns the perfect butlers, it also makes them potentially creepy.
Creepy? Yes, for the Haffuns tend to adopt human families to serve them and woe to those who dare threaten the Haffun’s family – they take any means necessary to protect it, preferably without making the people they care about even aware of their accomplishments. And then there are the homeless ones, essentially a halfling mob. Have I mentioned a kind of Halfling-pride movement preparing for war/open conflict with the humans? Or the fact that 20 legendary Haffuns grant their names and several abilities to their people, overseeing them as a strange shadow council?
That’s not where the race stops, though: Another interesting twist is the halfling’s secret, unknown language, one of many secrets the tall ones know nothing about. Another, not widely known one, is Ghuva, the giving curse. If you look a Haffun in the eye and really wish for something from the bottom of your heart, he/she has to try to fulfil your request or suffer from penalties. If they fulfil a request, the recipient gets a neat +2 bonus to attack for 24 hours.
There are 5 new feats, 3 of which enhance the Talda-abilities of the Haffuns – all of which ROCK.And then there’s the new Jorsha archetype for the cleric – essentially a spirit shaman, they can see the departed souls – which is quite important, for the Haffuns tend to secretly link the souls of their departed to the houses in which they died.
Finally, there’s the new Butler-class: The Butler gets d8, 6+Int skills, bonuses depending on the ancestor’s name, up to +10d6 sneak attack, 3/4 BAB, good fort and ref-saves and access to a total of 30 special marks – a butler’s marks help him take care of his family, taste and see from a distance etc. – this class utterly ROCKS and makes for a stellar alternate to regular roguish halflings.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the piece of good full colour artwork rocks. The pdf is fully bookmarked, but no printer-friendly version is included in the deal, which is a bummer. Formatting features some minor non-standard uses of signs, but nothing too jarring.
Not only is the reimagined halfling awesome, it’s easily inserted in any campaign setting and essentially comes with ingrained seeds for not only an adventure, but a whole campaign of conspiracies, be the benevolent or malign, on behalf of the Haffuns. This pdf ROCKS and in fact made me immediately want to introduce them into my campaign. Even better, you don’t have to get rid of Halflings in order to introduce Haffuns to your setting – they easily work as another race! Seeing that mechanically, I didn’t have any significant gripes, the potential of the race, the imaginative fluff and brilliant ideas like the Talda and Ghuva, I’ll practically have to settle for a final verdict of 5 stars + Endzeitgeist seal of approval. Go check these out – halfling secret agents rock.
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