A Proportional Disagreement

First off, let’s start with the legal crap. The sketch in the comic is copyright 2012 Wizards of the Coast LLC and is used under the Fair Dealings clause of the Canadian Copyright Act regarding satire and parody.

Now let’s move on to the topic at hand. Haflings. Have you read the Dragon’s-Eye View articles by Jon Schindehette over on the WotC site? He discusses halfings in D&D Next/ 5th Edition not once but twice. The problem with halflings in 3rd and 4th edition is that they’re proportionally identical to humans, so divorced from scale they look exactly like humans. So artists have to continually add human-sized items to give the halflings a sense of scale. And even then, in a world of giants and dire beasts, this is not a certainty.

For 5th Edition they’re thinking about tweaking the proportions of halflings, giving them a larger head-to-body ratio. This has been decried as “cartoonish” and “unrealistic”. Personally, I kinda like it. It’s not so much cartoonish as making use of some of the same art tricks as cartoons and given we spend the first decade of our lives with equally freakish head:body numbers it’s hard to say it’s unrealistic. My son currently has the same body shape as the proposed halflings.