Everyone loves fine food, a blazing fire, and a good story. Perhaps nobody loves these more than the DnD Halfling 5E race, the pint-sized, Lord of the Rings inspired entry in the catalogue of DnD races. Small, stout, and family-oriented, halflings may not sound like the most likely adventurers – but their curiosity and generosity mean they often end up in action-packed campaigns. This guide is a great place to start, as we’ve compiled everything you need to know to create your own DnD Halfling 5E character.
Halflings are often farming or relaxing when not on adventures, but they’ve a wide range of abilities that could suit many different DnD character builds. If you want to play your DnD games stealthily, charismatically, or with some magical powers, the DnD halfling 5E is one of the ideal DnD races. Choose a suitable class from the DnD classes list, and you’re golden.
Here’s our guide to creating a DnD Halfling 5E character:
- One D&D Halfling
- Halfling names
- Halfling traits
- Halfling subraces
- Halfling classes
One D&D Halfling
Before we jump into the fully published Halfling 5E race, it’s worth mentioning that a playtest for the next edition of this race is currently available. One D&D (also colloquially known as DnD 6E) arrives in 2024, and an Unearthed Arcana gives a glimpse of what the new Halfling will look like. If you’re looking for 5E-only content, feel free to skip past this section, but stick around if you’re after the most current Halfling builds.
Firstly, ability scores will be linked to DnD backgrounds in future, so no more Dexterity boosts for the Halfling. The Halfling’s speed has increased from 25ft to 30ft, but their size is still Small.
The Lucky race trait remains largely unchanged, as does the Brave trait. Halfling Nimbleness now specifies you can’t stop in a creature’s space, but otherwise it functions just as it does in 5E.
You’ll need to create up to three Halfling names for your character. A D&D Halfling has a first name and a family name, and they might have a nickname too.
You don’t have to give your Halfling a nickname, but it can help flesh out their character and reveal a little of their personality to your fellow player-adventurers. Plus, many Halfling family names are nicknames from generations ago that stuck – so don’t underestimate their power.
For a first name, you might choose something formal and floral sounding, typically inspired by Celtic names – for example, Marigold, Euphemia, Finnan, or Reed. Halfling last names often combine two existing words, so you might be a Greenleaf, Kettlewhistle, or Strongbones. The Player’s Handbook lists some suggested Halfling names, and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything offers a more complete table to roll from if you’re stuck for ideas.
Here are the key traits for a D&D Halfling 5E:
|Ability score increase||+2 Dexterity|
|Walking speed||25 feet|
|Abilities||Lucky, Brave, Halfling Nimbleness|
On average, Halflings are around three feet tall and weigh around 40 pounds. They reach adulthood after 20 years, with an expected lifespan lasting around 150 years.
Being lucky means you can reroll when you roll a 1 on the d20 for an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw – but you have to reuse the new roll. Your Halfling’s brave ability means you have advantage on saving throws against being frightened, and Halfling nimbleness allows you to move through the space of any creature that is larger than you.
The Player’s Handbook only offers two Halfling subraces, but various DnD books have expanded this list. Here’s a complete list of Halfling 5E subraces – but be sure to speak to your Dungeon Master about what sourcebooks you can use during their game.
As their name implies, Lightfoot Halflings find it remarkably easy to hide. They’re one of the most common Halfling subraces in the Forgotten Realms DnD setting, and they’re typically drawn to adventure by an insatiable desire to travel and explore.
Lightfoot Halflings get a +1 to their Charisma score. They’re also Naturally Stealthy, which means you can attempt to hide behind any creature that’s at least one size bigger than you.
Often called Strongheart Halflings in the Forgotten Realms, this subrace is more resilient than the average Halfling – and even has some poison resistance. Many have speculated that they may have DnD Dwarf blood to be so hardy.
Playing a Stout Halfling gives you +1 Constitution, plus advantage on saving throws against poison and resistance against poison damage. Turns out being stout has plenty of perks.
Ghostwise Halflings live in clans, scattered across a few isolated forests by a Halfling war from centuries before. This means they’re one of the rarer Halfling subraces in the Forgotten Realms. So while it might seem like a great idea to play a Halfling Nightglider that has a giant owl mount and a piece of their home turf in their pocket, you might want to check that the character will fit in your DM’s world first.
As a Ghostwise Halfling, your Wisdom score gets +1. You can also communicate telepathically with any creature 30 feet in front of you using the Silent Speech ability. The creature must share your language to reply, and you can only communicate with one creature at a time.
You can find the Lotudsen Halfling in the Critical Role sourcebook Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. They’ve learned to live as one with the chaotic wilds around them, and they have a natural affinity for druidic magic. You also get +1 Wisdom.
Lotudsen Halflings have the Child of the Wood ability, meaning you’ll start out knowing a druidcraft DnD cantrip. Third-level Lotudsen Halflings can cast entangle once per long rest using this ability, and fifth-level characters can do the same with spike growth – neither of these 5E spells will need material components, and Wisdom is the spellcasting ability used.
Lotudsen Halflings also have the Timberwalk ability. This means anything rolling to track you does so with disadvantage, and you can move across nonmagical, difficult terrain without using any extra movement.
Mark of Healing Halfling
Mark of Healing Halflings are one of the Halfling subraces taken from Eberron: Rising from the Last War. They’re gifted with natural and supernatural healing abilities, as well as spellcasting options.
This subrace gives your Halfling +1 Wisdom, and you can add 1d4 to any Wisdom (Medicine) check or an ability check using a herbalism kit thanks to the Medical Intuition ability. You also have Healing Touch, which means you can cast cure wounds using Wisdom once per long rest. This also allows you to do the same with lesser restoration at third level.
Mark of Healing Halflings also have access to Spells of the Mark, so a table of spells is added to your spell list if you have the Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature.
|1st||Cure wounds, healing word|
|2nd||Lesser restoration, prayer of healing|
|3rd||Aura of vitality, mass healing word|
|4th||Aura of purity, aura of life|
Mark of Hospitality Halfling
Also from Eberron, Mark of Hospitality Halflings have a magical connection with others. They get +1 Charisma, and playing this subrace means you get 1d4 added to Charisma (Persuasion) checks or any ability check involving brewer’s supplies or cook’s utensils.
Thanks to Innkeeper’s Magic, Mark of Hospitality Halflings can cast the prestidigitation cantrip, as well as the spells purify food and drink and unseen servant once per long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these particular spells.
Like the Mark of Healing Halfling, having access to Spellcasting or Pact Magic cast features gives this Halfling subrace Spells of the Mark:
|2nd||Aid, calm emotions|
|3rd||Create food and water, Leomund’s tiny hut|
|4th||Aura of purity, Mordenkainen’s private sanctum|
With a boosted Dexterity score and so many options for swift movement, the DnD Rogue class is a natural choice for Halfling players. A Lightfoot Halfling is the obvious subrace choice here, but imagine what a Rogue could do with a Ghostwise Halfling’s silent speech ability.
The Bard 5E class is also a strong contender, depending on what subrace you choose. A Lightfoot Halfling’s extra Charisma or a Stout Halfling’s Constitution boost would both add to this build, and the Mark of Hospitality subrace has many Bard-like abilities. Plus, being able to hide when you can’t talk your way out of a situation is very helpful.
You might even consider becoming a DnD Blood Hunter if you choose a Stout Halfling for the Constitution boost. Certain subraces also work quite nicely with the Cleric 5E and Druid 5E classes – particularly Lotudsen Halflings and the Mark of Healing Halflings.
With so many subraces offering Wisdom bonuses, you might also consider using your Wisdom and Dexterity skills to become a Monk 5E. A DnD Ranger also seems to have the right DnD stats for this race, but a Halfling’s size means they’re not able to use as many of the Ranger’s signature weapons.