It is a sad tragedy of the Gloom that many halfling communities perished in the face of the coming darkness, too slow to abandon their way of life and escape the horrors that were coming. The halflings who did flee and survive were changed in subtle ways; becoming more wise and more self-reliant, with even stronger communal bonds than they had previously known.
Halflings still value simple lives and have little need for ostentation. To many, today’s halflings seem downright spartan, a result of leaving behind their comfortable homes and farms during their long exodus to the mountains. But despite their almost ascetic lifestyle, they still value good food, pleasant conversations, and strong family bonds.
Halflings in the Cloudbreaker setting have lifespans similar to humans, rarely living to a full century.
The Lightfoot halflings that survive today are the ones that slipped away quickly and quietly, disappearing from the world before the worst evils of the Gloom closed in. They fled to the mountaintops with only what they could carry and settled on windswept, lonely peaks. Now they live in simple villages surrounded by sparse grazing lands and centered around monasteries or cloisters. The monks and clerics represent the Lightfoots’ new-found spiritualism, awakened in the flight from the Gloom and forming the backbone of any Lightfoot community.
Lightfoot halflings in Cloudbreaker are very similar to Lightfoot halflings in the Players Handbook. However, their Ability Score Increase trait raises their Wisdom by 1 instead of Charisma.
Before the Gloom, the Strongheart halflings were already wanderers and explorers filled with an unrelenting wanderlust. Their caravans crisscrossed the world for centuries before the darkness came and when it did, it pushed them into farther remote regions than they had ever been before. Soon they found that their caravans could not travel up into the highest mountains and they abandoned them, journeying on foot to the cliffside caves they would eventually call home.
The Strongheart halflings are small but wiry, toughened by the elements. Compared to the reserved Lightfoots, the Strongheart are gregarious and outgoing, their boastful culture built around competitive athleticism. Every Strongheart can climb the mountain cliffs and fly a windglider, but each one tries to do it better than the last. Influence in Strongheart society is often tied to athletic trials and contests, with the best champions becoming idols and leaders.
Strongheart Halflings in Cloudbreaker are nearly identical to Stout Halflings in the Players Handbook, with the exception that the Stout Resilience trait is replaced by the Strongheart Athlete trait.
Strongheart Athlete: All Strongheart halflings are proficient in the Athletics skill. If a Strongheart halfling receives this proficiency from their background or class, they can apply double their proficiency bonus to Athletics checks.