Dungeons & Dragons' new campaign setting features an entire culture of halflings that ride dinosaurs, which is amazing in a dozen different ways.
Earlier this week, Dungeons & Dragons published Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron, a new digital publication that reintroduces the Eberron campaign setting for Fifth Edition play. Eberron was first introduced in 2002 as a bold new campaign setting that combined traditional fantasy elements with noir and steampunk themes.
Eberron is a world filled with amazing and fantastical elements, with an entire race of sentient magically-powered robots and airships that dot the sky. Traditional fantasy races also take on strange new roles in Eberron, including halflings.
Halflings are the D&D version of hobbits, the simple and non-discerning race of humanoids created by JRR Tolkien in Lord of the Rings. Traditionally, halflings look and act a lot like Frodo or Samwise Gamgee - they're quick-witted and able to avoid trouble thanks to their small size and natural stealth skills. Over time, various D&D campaign settings started to put halflings in non-traditional roles, but Eberron's halflings are probably the craziest version we've seen yet.
While traditional halflings do exist in Eberron, there are many halflings who live in the Talenta Plains, a vast grassland in the eastern part of Khorvaire, the main continent of Eberron. The Talenta Plains are also known for their buffalo-sized dinosaurs, many of which the Talenta halflings have domesticated.
Talenta halflings bond with their dinosaur mount during a rite of passage undertaken as a young adult. Afterwards, these halflings don a half-mask that represents their bond with their dinosaur - a sign that represents how the dinosaur and halfling have merged spirits. Some of the most common dinosaurs chosen by the Talenta halfling includes ankylosaurs, pteradons, and clawfoot raptors.
While talenta halflings don't have any special abilities in Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron, the publication does mention that players can switch out the bear, eagle, or wolf totem spirits used by certain barbarian or druid classes for a dinosaur. And it shouldn't be too hard to convince a DM of an Eberron campaign to let you bring in your dinosaur mount as part of your party.
A Talenta halfling sounds badass, and you can't help but wonder what a dinosaur would have added to Lord of the Rings. We're guessing that Boromir would have had second thoughts about messing with Frodo if he had a velociraptor at his side instead of Sam.
So, dinosaur-riding halflings? Does this sound awesome to you? Let us know in the comment section or find me on Twitter at @CHofferCbus!