Southfarthing Confidential (preview) – Tropes for Halfling Constabulary

Previously, I posted a preview of the Hairfoot Halfling subrace and Family Backgrounds for halfling characters. Neither of these really touched upon the police procedural side of things in Southfarthing Confidential, so today that’s what I’m going to share.

Southfarthing Confidential is a genre-mashup. My goal is to breakdown all of the tropes


In Southfarthing Confidential, halfling constables have more on their hands than runaway livestock

that have been assembled concerning halflings since The Hobbit and on through their many iterations in Dungeons & Dragons (even those cannibal halflings in Dark Sun–that’s right, you’ll find backwoods cannibal halflings in Southfarthing Confidential).  On the other hand, I’ve got to throw in a load of archetypes from police procedurals and film noir to flesh out the other side of the equation.

That’s where the “Tropes” come in. Each Trope (name is a place holder) functions like a Feat in 5th ed., except in addition to a mechanical benefit, they provide an additional Flaw to flesh out your halfling copper a little more. When the Tropes are combined with the Family backgrounds for halflings o, what you end up with is a character whose personality, ideals, bonds, and flaws are themselves a mashup of the two genres.

Here’s a few examples of “Tropes” for Halfling sheriff in Southfarthing Confidential: 

Hardboiled Halfling

Halfling only, of course.
You’ve lived it. You’ve seen the oozy, crusty underbelly of the Five Farthings that lies beneath the seemingly pleasant, bucolic charade that plays out across the hills and farms and villages. Now what’re you gonna do? Sit back and enjoy breakfast, knowing what you know? Not a chance. It’s gotten to you, spoiled your oatmeal. These days, you’re deeply suspicious. You’ve seen every trick both in the book and not in the book. The days of chasing loose goats is long past. The world’s gone topsy-turvy, and you feel like you’re the only one not standing on your head.

  • Been there and back, again. Once per case, you may use an Inspiration and the GM will roll a Wisdom (Insight) check in secret. If you succeed, some pieces of the case will fall together, and the GM will grant you an additional clue, possibly something you missed. If you fail, however, the GM will grant you a red herring.
  • Seen and heard it all. You gain Advantage on Wisdom (Insight) and Intelligence (Investigate) checks made at the scene of a crime or while questioning suspects.
d6 Flaw
1 I’m fed up with it all. Let the Five Farthings eat itself alive. It’s no fur off my feet.
2 I can’t get close to anyone. Too many friends have gone toes up out on the moors.
3 I got a soft spot for hard luck cases, the down and out, those too proud to ask for help.
4 That one case still haunts me.
5 When I’m sober, I see things too clearly. I see the Five Farthings for what they are, so for me, it’s a pint for breakfast, a pint for elevenses, and two pints for tea.
6 I never put down the pipe.


Wound Up Tight

You live on edge. How can you be sure, when you’ve been called to retrieve a runaway goat, there’s not a bigger game afoot, that the seemingly dumb, kind, and oversized farmer’s son hasn’t brought you out into the woods to club the back of your skull? Or that the cartload of dwarves isn’t hauling a crop of pipe-weed to sell stuffed in their load of coal, ore, and kegs? Better to sling now, ask questions later.

  • Sling first, ask questions later. You gain Advantage on Dexterity checks to determine Initiative order.
  • Twitchy sling arm. Even if you are surprised, you may still fire a missile weapon that round.
d6 Flaw
1 I’m terrified of everything, but I put on a tough exterior.
2 Everyone’s gotta listen to me. I’m the law. I’m the halfling holding the sling.
3 I prefer not to use my sling unless I gotta, not after what happened the last time…
4 I’m always itching for a fight, so go ahead, guv, make my breakfast!
5 I never meant to hurt him, it just happened.
6 I never shoot first, and you can’t prove otherwise.


Loose Sling

They don’t assign you to cases, they just turn you loose. When they send you out on another wild goose chase because Farmer Crabbe left his pen open again, it’s only because they don’t want you lookin’ closer at what’s really goin’ on. You aren’t afraid to go it alone. They can take your badge, take your sling, but they can’t take your gumption, your grit, your drive to see the case through. They can stuff their rules in a bunghole.

  • Fully Registered Lethal Weapon. You have Advantage on damage with a sling.
  • You’ve Got to Ask Yourself One Question… You may force an enemy to take a Disadvantage on one roll; however, after doing so, your next roll is also at a disadvantage. You’ve Got to Ask Yourself One Question may be used again after a Short Rest. 


1 Takin’ orders is for chumps and dwarves.
2 I don’t trust anybody who makes more money than me.
3 Criminals don’t deserve rights. 
4 No evidence, no problem. I’ll make evidence happen.
5 When the going gets tough, I make like a shepherd and get the flock out of there! 
6 Leave me in a hole alone with ‘em, I’ll get a confession… 


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