Forums » The Halflings

More Different Than Gnomes!

    • 1826 posts
    December 31, 2016 6:33 PM PST

    Although I love Pantheon's version of Gnomes, a lot of people disagree with the abandonment of traditional Gnomes. But, no one seems to be pointing out how different the Halflings are in Pantheon.

    Traditionally, probably caused by Tolkien, halflings/hobbits are short, stout, hungry, burrow-dwelling farmers.

    But in Pantheon, they:

      Are taller than Gnomes and Dwarves

      Live in a TREE city

      Skinny with punk style hairdos

      Bow shooting

      Naturally stealthy

      Always on the run

      Formally tall, "full stature"

      Fight, sing and adventure with -- as they believe -- justified rebellion, embracing the youthful gift of the unfulfilled curse

      Are serious wraith hunters

    The only thing in common with traditional halflings is the name. And, they just got the name halflings because their curse of reducing size ended after 5 years instead of ten, hence halflings.

     

    But, Gnomes having artificial bodies bothers people.

    It may not sound like it, but I actually like these halflings better, just shocked that people are not discussing this.

    NOTE: All this is info from https://www.pantheonmmo.com/races/halflings/

     


    This post was edited by Beefcake at December 31, 2016 7:19 PM PST
    • 38 posts
    December 31, 2016 7:36 PM PST

    I'm glad they are throwing some curveballs into the mix when it comes to 'tradional' races.

    I love the new Gnome. Very creative design idea without being a 'we put our souls into robots so we can live' cliche.

    Halflings also look cool. I never liked the 'sidekick' stereotype they were given. This is a pretty fresh look at our halfsize friends.

    • 1179 posts
    December 31, 2016 9:46 PM PST

    I'm a fan of both the halfling and gnome twists.  I've always wanted brownie-sized gnomes, but no one ever wants to give them to us.  The magic ghost ones are pretty sweet, though.  I think the lore we've gotten for PRF so far is pretty great.  The halflings are still pretty short, but instead of being 'halflings' because they are half the height of a man, they are 'halflings' because they only get halfway to physical maturity or whatever. 

    • 281 posts
    January 1, 2017 12:15 AM PST

    Having played a halfling as my very first mmo character I am excited to see this new take on them also.  I like their lore and hope that any racial abilities they get are tied to it in an interesting way.  From the concept art I sort of see them as crosses between wood elves and fairies perhaps?  Not in lore of course but in look and temperament.  My first character will definitely be a halfling.  

    • 511 posts
    January 2, 2017 1:50 AM PST

    Beefcake said:

     

    But, Gnomes having artificial bodies bothers people.

    It may not sound like it, but I actually like these halflings better, just shocked that people are not discussing this.

     

     

    Well like many people I definitely hate the Pantheon Gnomes to the point that it will be the first MMO in 18 years where my main will not be a Gnome .

    In a similar way I hate the Pantheon Halflings but if I have not written about them, it is because I don't play Halflings so that I care less for them being metaphorically raped .

     

    If it is so, it is absolutely not some subjective matter of taste .

    It is because Pantheon's Gnomes and Halflings are a sham and a travesty .

    A sham is when one takes an established and iconic "trade mark" and sells something that is completely different than what the "trade mark" promises .

    This is in no way creative licence because the advertized/implied content  is so far from the original content that nobody can recognize it anymore .

    If you take a hobbit and remove hair on his feet then it is still a hobbit with a hobbit's nature, appearance and culture . But if you create a tall race which lives on trees, is adventurous and hunts wraiths then you can call them Schmurtz if you wish but you have absolutely no right and no reason to call them Halflings or Hobbits .

    The same is true for the Gnomes .

     

    So basically I have no problem with Pantheon having imagined a tall on tree living wraith hunting race or an incorporeal magic loving race . They have no appeal to me but that is an irrelevant detail which would not even deserve a post .

    However I  feel cheated and disappointed that Pantheon used iconic established trade mark names - e.g Gnomes and Halflings - for these totally ungnomish and unhalflingish creatures .

    • 1826 posts
    January 2, 2017 11:31 AM PST

    Dont hold back, Deadshade, tell us how you really feel.

    • 1179 posts
    January 2, 2017 2:12 PM PST

    I wouldn't say these halflings are tall, but I definitely wouldn't mind if halflings and gnomes were scaled down quite a bit.

    • 278 posts
    January 2, 2017 8:41 PM PST

    Hey everyone -

    Great conversation. I want to address a few things that I think may be unhelpful -- and one thing that is correct. First off, what’s potentially unhelpful or unclear:

    1. The Size of the Halflings. The art and "Lineup" of the new website was done as a first pass rendering of each race. One aspect that has already been reviewed internally is the relative height of each race as depicted in the lineup wallpaper -- specifically the Halflings. By launch the Halflings will be one of the shortest two races, as it stands right now. While the lore may not be clear enough, both the size and appearance of their physical maturity was "halved". Rest assured: they will be small, not tall.

    2. The Style of the Halflings. While I'm pleased with the female Halfling we have depicted, know that she is but one member of the race. Not all of them will be running around with fluorescent plumes in their hair, in fact most will not. We've already settled on a more subtle color palette for Wild's End and the Halfling coloration will account for that. So while the art we’re all referencing is accurate to a type of Halfling, it is not indicative of all Halflings. But you guys have one image to analyze, and I don’t fault you for constructing a broader picture from it.

    Now, what is correct:

    1. The Reimagining of the Races. While the Halflings and Gnomes get the most attention for breaking with traditional paradigms, it’s actually the changes to the Trolls that made us scrap their name entirely (as Deathshade suggested we do with the former two). The direction we wanted to take the Trolls made them something else entirely, so we dropped the name and came up with the Skar, because in the end it was more authentic to the world we were making to have Skar, rather than Trolls.

    Yet while the look, lore and hallmarks of the Halflings and Gnomes is again nontraditional, we didn’t feel the need to rename altogether. Every single race got the same treatment: we started fresh, with little to no, “They must do X because they’re Ys, and Ys always do X.” In the end some races took more traditional forms, but we gave them a reason for that result. Some took unconventional forms, but we have reasons for those results as well. I hope they each garner a following on their own merit, but still fit within the larger umbrella of their fantasy namesake. Ultimately that’s for you all to decide, not me, and time will tell if that desire was naive.

    However, that explanation may not be good enough to some fans of the game. It may seem like semantics, and I won’t give a bunch of company-knows-best counter arguments to convince anyone why our decisions were the best or only ones. Because you are free and right to criticize the Gnomes and Halflings just like the Humans, Skar and so forth. I’ve been a fan of far more things than I’ve had fans of, and believe me I’ve cast my share of comments and criticisms. I love the concern you all carry and share with us. More companies should have open channels of commentary about their product from the people who use it the most. You all provide us a great service. Please never stop providing it.

    The long and short is that we are making a very big world, and just like our own world I’m afraid there will be at least a few things each person doesn’t like. ;)

    Hope I didn’t squelch the discourse. Please continue. Thank you all.

     


    This post was edited by Istuulamae at January 3, 2017 8:36 AM PST
    • 1179 posts
    January 3, 2017 1:13 AM PST

    Nice.  Good to know the sizes will change.  Also good to know at least some of the halflings will be less bright.  I didn't realize the Skar were your version of trolls, but that's cool, too.  Please make gnomes brownie-sized!  Thanks!

    • 4320 posts
    January 3, 2017 8:09 AM PST

    Yes that was very insightful dev input. I think it really helps people to put things in perspective and keep realistic expectations.

    • 1826 posts
    January 3, 2017 2:16 PM PST

    Now, I may be more interested in the Skar.

    At this moment, I would rather see more lore and less game mechanics.

    The lore explains the world we are in. The rest can be tested later. 

    The lore gives us something to dream about until the mechanics are done and ready.

    The Lore gives us a world to live in. The mechanics just tell us what we can do in it.

    We need to hear from you a lot more, Istuulamae. You are our only help.


    This post was edited by Beefcake at January 3, 2017 6:07 PM PST
    • 511 posts
    January 5, 2017 2:54 PM PST

    Istuulamae said:

     

     

     

    Because you are free and right to criticize the Gnomes and Halflings just like the Humans, Skar and so forth.

     

     

    Just to be sure (but I think that you understood what I meant) .

    I didn't and don't criticize any race that is or will be in Pantheon . What I feel strongly about are the names of two or perhaps only one of them .

    After what you explained about "Halflings" and that not all will be looking like a Hippy out of the 60ies and not living on trees and perhaps even not be as adventurous as Han Solo was, they might finally be not so far of what the hobbit "trademark" means . We'll see as the lore uncovers farther .

     

    It stays however that incorporeal creatures living in a space ship are as ungnomish as ungnomish goes . Here I think you should have REALLY gone the Skar way and call them something else .

    Gnomes are materialists, mischievous, tinkerers, practical jokers, thiefs, interested in magics if it is to make a prank  ... Did I mention mechanicians and tinkerers ?

    So call this race on the space ship Spirios or Translucites but not Gnomes and everybody will be happy .

    • 1179 posts
    January 5, 2017 3:07 PM PST

    Yes, but they were the kind of gnomes you want before they were put in prison for wanting to regulate the magic.  They still consider themselves gnomes and I don't see why they couldn't have the same personality tendencies.  They could still be materialistic, mischievous, mechanically inclined, etc.

     

    I guess it's a different story for the Halflings, though.  They seem like they'd have different personalities than hobbit halflings generally do.


    This post was edited by Shucklighter at January 5, 2017 3:21 PM PST
    • 4320 posts
    January 5, 2017 7:54 PM PST

    Deadshade said:

    So call this race on the space ship Spirios or Translucites but not Gnomes and I will be happy .

    Fixed that for you :)

    Personally, I think Pantheon Gnomes are rooted in convention just enough to be recognizable, with plenty of interesting twists. If they were more or less just like gnomes in other games, I wouldn't even give them two thoughts tbh. To each their own I guess.

    It's all within creative license anyway. You do not own the Gnome image and therefore cannot rightly judge someone for "false advertising" or "misrepresentation." If you don't like it, that's fine. But if they want to have a food in-game that looks exactly like a banana but they call it an apple because in Terminus what we know as bananas are actually called apples... Then so be it. Of course that's kinda a silly example. But it's all a matter of interpretation. And that's subjective. I can see you're quite passionate about gnomes and that's nothing but a good thing. But I'm really struggling see how your reasoning holds any weight.


    This post was edited by Bazgrim at January 5, 2017 7:55 PM PST
    • 281 posts
    January 5, 2017 8:05 PM PST

    I like the concept art and the lore, for me it will be nice to create a Halfling that isn't fat with furry feet.  I get that they are a departure from the "norm" for many people, but their lore explains it fairly well and rather than being named simply for their size relative to a human, they are named because of the physical change that came about due to the curse.  Can I just say how nice it is that the Devs take the time to post on what we discuss?  Thanks for your comments Istuulamae, keep up the good work:)


    This post was edited by Rominian at January 5, 2017 8:05 PM PST
    • 511 posts
    January 6, 2017 5:51 AM PST

    Bazgrim said:

     

    You do not own the Gnome image and therefore cannot rightly judge someone for "false advertising" or "misrepresentation." If you don't like it, that's fine. But if they want to have a food in-game that looks exactly like a banana but they call it an apple because in Terminus what we know as bananas are actually called apples... Then so be it. Of course that's kinda a silly example. But it's all a matter of interpretation. And that's subjective. I can see you're quite passionate about gnomes and that's nothing but a good thing. But I'm really struggling see how your reasoning holds any weight.

     

    OK so I probably didn't explain well enough why and how the reasonement holds weight and why there is absolutely nothing subjective because there are no emotions involved .

    I will try to do better .

     

    If you buy a bottle with "Pilsner Urquel" written on it but what you find inside is orange juice, you are objectively certain that the word was a clear misinterpretation (and false advertising) for what was inside .

    Whether you (subjectively)  like orange juice or not is irrelevant and there is no interpretation involved . If somebody thinks that it is all just interpretation, you let him drink a bit so that he also sees that we deal here (objectively) with a misrepresentation .

    This simple (objective) fact is actually the basis of all human communication .

    Consistency is an imperative for every language, fantasy languages like Sindarin included . At least as long as communication of meanings is the target .

    If words randomly designated different objects, I would be unable to write this post and if I wrote it after all, you would be unable to understand it .

    The language consistency is a very powerful argument and a very objective one too .

    If "Cuddle this cute puppy" could also mean "Run, a hungry lion is coming", mankind would have died out long time ago :)

     

    The word dog refers to a dog and not to an elephant . Whether the object is real (a dog) or fantasy (a unicorn) is irrelevant . It still stays that the word dog doesn't refer to unicorns and vice versa .

    Now the Gnomes (or Halflings) are fantasy beings so the only reference is litterature . But even here when one reads the litterature, it appears that the word Gnome refers to a relatively well defined subject - obviously if the subject was not defined, there could not be a word referring to it .

    So finally what's left is to compare the content of the word Gnome as it has been transmitted by hundreds of years of litterature with what we are being told in Pantheon .

    This comparison is a "Yes or no" statement which again doesn't rely on me , on you or on any emotions or interpretations .

    For instance a major Pantheon property is the incorporality . Yet there is no reference to incorporeal Gnomes anywhere. And also clearly whether a creature has a body or not is not a detail that makes no (big) difference, on the contrary it is one of its defining features . Perhaps I am (objectively) wrong and if somebody shows me a reference with incorporeal Gnomes I'll accept it .

    But as I don't know of any such reference, the comparison yields (objectively) a "no" and I conclude that the creatures in Pantheon should not be called Gnomes because they obviously are not .

    The possibility that there are people who don't care about language consistency (in a real world they'd have a very hard life if they didn't live alone on a desert island :)) changes nothing about the validity of the reasonement above .

     

    To avoid misunderstandings and even if I already said so in my first post .

    I have nothing against incorporeal creatures in space ships . But there are enough words for such creatures - wraiths, spirits, ghosts . So why to use a misrepresenting designation like Gnomes ? There is no necessity - rationnal, artistic, emotionnal - to do so !

    Last but not least, I also realize that we are talking about a game and not about a scientific or litterary representation so that I can also live with an answer "I don't care about how is called this or that as long as I have fun .".

    My point is actually much shorter than this (too) long post . I do care but not enough to feel emotionally involved .

     

    • 192 posts
    January 6, 2017 12:42 PM PST

    Deadshade said:

    (...)

    The word dog refers to a dog and not to an elephant . Whether the object is real (a dog) or fantasy (a unicorn) is irrelevant . It still stays that the word dog doesn't refer to unicorns and vice versa .

    Now the Gnomes (or Halflings) are fantasy beings so the only reference is litterature . But even here when one reads the litterature, it appears that the word Gnome refers to a relatively well defined subject - obviously if the subject was not defined, there could not be a word referring to it .

    So finally what's left is to compare the content of the word Gnome as it has been transmitted by hundreds of years of litterature with what we are being told in Pantheon 

    (...) 

    Gnomes are a lot, but definitely not well defined over the centuries. They were reinvented all the times, serving every whim of its author. So they were earth elementals, roaming solid dirt. Became later nearly interchangeably with goblins or were described as shapeshifters. Were described as celestial beings (former holy women actually), Pratchett describes them as small creatures with unbelievable (at least for their size) strength. In Harry Potter's universe gnomes are really dumb and like to destroy gardens. 

    The German Heinzelmännchen are also gnomes. Story was, you could be lazy as hell, because they would do all the work in the night. Everybody here loves the Heinzelmännchen obviously. And no doubt, other countries have their folk tales around gnomes. 

    In dungeons and dragons they serve as adept engineers and mages - and while this particular idea of a gnome got adopted by other RPGs, THIS definition of gnomes is only one of many. And nobody can say how dungeons and dragons invented the gnome is the "right" picture or how gnomes should now be seen forever. Pantheon now takes their approach on gnomes and let them serve THEIR vision. Yes, and why not? Gnomes are obviously very diverse.

     


    This post was edited by Duffy at January 6, 2017 1:04 PM PST
    • 1179 posts
    January 6, 2017 1:13 PM PST

    Duffy said:

    Deadshade said:

    (...)

    The word dog refers to a dog and not to an elephant . Whether the object is real (a dog) or fantasy (a unicorn) is irrelevant . It still stays that the word dog doesn't refer to unicorns and vice versa .

    Now the Gnomes (or Halflings) are fantasy beings so the only reference is litterature . But even here when one reads the litterature, it appears that the word Gnome refers to a relatively well defined subject - obviously if the subject was not defined, there could not be a word referring to it .

    So finally what's left is to compare the content of the word Gnome as it has been transmitted by hundreds of years of litterature with what we are being told in Pantheon 

    (...) 

    Gnomes are a lot, but definitely not well defined over the centuries. They were reinvented all the times, serving every whim of its author. So they were earth elementals, roaming solid dirt. Became later nearly interchangeably with goblins or were described as shapeshifters. Were described as celestial beings (former holy women actually), Pratchett describes them as small creatures with unbelievable (at least for their size) strength. In Harry Potter's universe gnomes are really dumb and like to destroy gardens. 

    The German Heinzelmännchen are also gnomes. Story was, you could be lazy as hell, because they would do all the work in the night. Everybody here loves the Heinzelmännchen obviously. And no doubt, other countries have their folk tales around gnomes. 

    In dungeons and dragons they serve as adept engineers and mages - and while this particular idea of a gnome got adopted by other RPGs, THIS definition of gnomes is only one of many. And nobody can say how dungeons and dragons invented the gnome is the "right" picture or how gnomes should now be seen forever. Pantheon now takes their approach on gnomes and let them serve THEIR vision. Yes, and why not? Gnomes are obviously very diverse.

     

     

    Well done, Duffy.  I think there is less variety when people think of Halflings or Hobbits, but the lore for PRF Halflings is quite good.  It makes sense that they would be called Halflings.

    • 1826 posts
    January 6, 2017 2:46 PM PST

    In Pantheon, the Gnomes are what they are and the halflings are what they are. You can deny it all day long; doesn't change a thing. 

    Be happy with them or don't play them. Just spend all day calling them semong and sgnilflah if you wish. No one will know what you are talking about, but you can sleep soundly in your beliefs.

    • 192 posts
    January 7, 2017 12:29 AM PST

    Diversity aside, there are probably one or two 'must haves' for gnomes: they should be small and humanoid. The Pantheon gnomes fits that description perfectly. Good enough for me ;)

    • 4320 posts
    January 9, 2017 7:02 AM PST

    Duffy said:

    Diversity aside, there are probably one or two 'must haves' for gnomes: they should be small and humanoid. The Pantheon gnomes fits that description perfectly. Good enough for me ;)

    True, if they were some 9 foot tall, rat-like creature, THEN you could start making an argument about misrepresentation. In fact, if you tried to label them as wraiths, ghosts, aliens, etc. I think that would be even more misleading than "Gnomes." I think if you take a widely-accepted description of a D&D gnome and then focus in on their fascination with tinkering and arcane arts, then project it and expand it, thinking "what would happen if the gnomes took that to the extreme? what would become of them?" and that's basically how you get the Terminus gnomes. They may look and act very different, but they are still definitely rooted in the classic description of a gnome. It just so happens that we are playing the game in this imagined "future" of the gnome race. And I think that's a good thing. It's a very reasonable progression for classic gnomes. VR is just moving that story forward. If you wanna stay stuck in the past, prepare to be left behind.

     

    TL;DR: I look and act very different than I did when I was 6 years old, does that mean I should change my name too?

    • 41 posts
    February 2, 2017 4:06 PM PST

    I'm a long time player of Halflings and I welcome VR's spin on them, too.  What we've seen of Pantheon Halflings so far excites me.  To me, they're different enough from pudgy Hobbits to call them by another name if that's the direction VR takes.  For RP purposes I'd probably refer to them as the Kiri as mentioned in the official Lore page.

    • 1826 posts
    February 2, 2017 6:18 PM PST

    I have been watching Shannara on TV. They keep referring to the half-elfves as Halflings.

    • 564 posts
    February 6, 2017 4:25 PM PST
    @ deadshades posts, in the hopes of helping everyone to understand the reasoning for the names halfling and gnome. (Even using dictionary definitions from google!)
     
     
    half·ling
    ˈhäfliNG/
    noun
     
    1. (in fiction and fantasy) a member of a race of small people.

    The game creators are using it as both half sized peolple and half-aged people, so I think it fits, even if it's not exactly the traditional hobbit you are thinking of. 

    Also what's all this hate for colorful hair in a race of people who match the mentality of teenagers? it fits pretty well with the fact that they love nature, fun, being mischeivous, etc. It was an accurate depiction even if yall are wise in your years and dislike deviants=p. I'm gonna pick the most colorful hair preset on my halfling enchanter.

    gnome1
    nōm/
    noun
    noun: gnome; plural noun: gnomes
    1. a legendary dwarfish creature supposed to guard the earth's treasures underground.

    The reasoning for gnome I think is that they used to be the traditional gnomes. I can see the EQ1 gnomes digging underground, finding an amazing power source, and messing themselves up trying to harness it. 

    If Earthly humans changed themselves into androids or some such would they stop calling themselves humans? Cranberry juice filled with apple juice can still be called cranberry juice, even if you can find other, newer, perhaps more accurate names for it.

     

    • 185 posts
    February 26, 2017 1:00 PM PST

    I think the problem is that some of you are looking at the names a little wonky.

    HOBBITS are tubby, hairy footed, Tolkien Halflings.  And, for reference, they do like some of the same things - Tolkien's Hobbits were big on food and parties and Bard stories and the like.  Bilbo was (originally) a particularly well-to-do Hobbit, but the Brandybucks and the Tooks were well known for a spirit of adventure and a good story or a raucous party.  Additionally, Tolkien's Hobbits were more stealthy than even Dwarves.  Tolkien's Dwarves were stealthy as well - Bilbo's natural stealth was remarked about many times in The Hobbit book, and do remember he was from Hobbit aristocracy, basically, and not at all trained in sneaking and hiding, meaning a Hobbit that was trained/trained himself to be a Rogue or Thief or whatnot archetype would be EVEN BETTER AT IT, which is downright scary.  Hobbits were also remarked at being good with thrown/projectile objects (the scene in The Two Towers movie of Merry and Pipin throwing rocks from Treabeard's shoulders was, I think, canonical to the books.  Hobbits were also longer lived than Humans, which might, combined with their more simple, agrarian lifestyle, lead to people seeing them as being younger, more jovial, and more naturally innocent and sheltered (that and their height - as a person who is 5'4" in real life, I can attest that people tend to treat you more like someone who is younger for that alone, even before your personality comes into play).  Indeed, a Hobbit was not an adult until age 33, and they lived to be 100-120 on average (Bilbo's 150 or whatever years was exceptionally old since he wanted to outlive the Old Took before leaving Middle-Earth).  Bilbo was 50 when he set out on his adventure in the Hobbit, and Frodo was given his inheiratance by Bilbo at the age of adulthood (33), and didn't set out on his adventure in the Lord of the Rings until 17 years later, at the age of 50 himself.  (I know the movies don't really seem to indicate that, but this is going by the books as the canonical sources - the movie Hobbits are also hardly fat [Sam was a little, but E. Wood is hardly fat] and the hairy feet were hardly even noted or referenced except in one or two places.)

    Indeed, this is where D&D HALFLINGS got a lot of their racial traits from (bonuses to thrown and projectile weapons, bonuses to stealth, bonuses to dexterity and charisma, etc).

    However, as a general rule, Halfling is a broad class of thing to which Hobbit falls under.

    That is, all Hobbits are Halflings, but not all Halflings are Hobbits.  This is the same way that all Englishmen are Human, but not all Humans are English.  Or Russian.  Or Chinese.  Or American.  You get what I'm saying, I trust?

    In a general sense, as a more general category of being, HALFLINGS are simply Human-like beings that are shorter than Humans, have higher dexterity (stealth/sneaking), and tend to be more youthful as well as agrarian in culture.  The also tend to be jovial and good natured and friendly, if sometimes skittish.

    Those are the traits general to a HALFLING.

    In other words, if you're looking at Pantheon's Halflings as HOBBITS, you'd be wrong.  They aren't Hobbits.  They aren't even called Hobbits by name.
    They have more in common with Baldur's Gate (and thus Dungeons and Dragons) Halflings, which, while a general category of person that Hobbits would fit under, are not SPECIFICALLY Hobbits.

    .

    Now, GNOMES you might have a point with.

    I will grant that it might have been better to call the Gnomes in Pantheon by a different name, but this is true of most cases of the use Gnome, which is generally used these days for "even shorter Dwarf".  A Garden Gnome has little in common with a World of Warcraft Gnome, for example.  The Travelocity Gnome has that stylish red conal hat.  Do WoW Gnomes have stylish red conal hats!?  I THINK NOT!  (Sorry, had to inject a bit of levity.  :p)

    I like their lore as a species, though I will grant that I can see people not liking them being called Gnome.

    But this is because, unlike HALFLING (not Hobbit), these Gnomes have very little in common with "normal" fantasy Gnomes other than their reclusive nature (generally true of Gnomes) and their intellect/curiosity/science (generally true of modern fantasy Gnomes - note that D&D Gnomes, as I recall from Baldur's Gate, don't have any particular affinity for science/technology/steampunk, just the intellect and magic and reclusive bits).

    But, again, this is because people are expecting something different with Gnomes and no Gnomes have ever had ethereal bodies as part of their "what it is to be a Gnome".

    .

    But, again, this ISN'T true of Halflings.

    If you're thinking Hobbits, and if VR called them Hobbits, you'd have a point.  But they aren't Hobbits - a specific kind of Halfling.  They're Halflings - in the more general sense of what a Halfling categorically can be.

    ...that, and that there are probably more Gnome fanboys than Halfling fanboys is the reason that there's more butthurt over Gnomes than Halflings.  The Halflings are still within the realm of what people expect Halflings to be (not unlike how the Dwarves are still within the realm of what people expect Dwarves to be - short, stout, bearded, hearty people who survive in even harsh climates).  The Ghomes are outside of the realm of what people expected from a Gnome race, the the point of being really alien (in more ways than one).

    I personally love the steampunk and technofantasy (but they can't be healers, so boo), but I can see people prefering they be called something other than "Gnomes".