City of Brass
In the City of Brass, halflings are humans who have evolved for impoverished, oppressed conditions in rough urban environments. They’re small and tough and are treated poorly in the city.
The City of Brass has been here for a hundred thousand years. Halflings are some of the oldest inhabitants of the city, and may have built it—in service to some powerful sorcerer or overking, probably. They were just humans back then.
Over time, those humans adapted to being poor. They ate less, they lived in smaller quarters, they tried harder not to be noticed. Otherwise, they died. That kind of evolutionary pressure created the halflings of today: small, unassuming people who love food but need little of it, who can sleep anywhere, who have come to grips with being the underdog yet despise tyranny.
The city has older, smaller homes with stories only 5 feet in height. Comfortable for a halfling but uncomfortable for humans and elves. Dwarves are fine in halfling buildings.
There are wealthy halflings these days, but no halfling nobility. Most are still poor. They’re treated as substandard people. Even their name is demeaning (“half people”) but not the worst slur. They prefer Voudra (adjective: Voudran), meaning “Builders.” They’re extremely proud of their heritage as the builders of the city.
Halflings don’t have pointed ears or unusual features. They are just small, proportional humans, just under 3 feet tall. Halflings do not prefer to walk barefoot, but their feet have naturally adapted to going without shoes, so many often do (usually because they cannot afford shoes). Halflings can be hairy, in general; this helps them stay warm. Because their feet are hairy, people often assume that only their feet are hairy, but this isn’t the case.
All normal Halfling traits apply, except as below:
Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increase by 2. Not Dexterity.
Skill Proficiency: Halflings automatically get proficiency in one of these skills: Survival, Stealth, or History.
Age: Halflings age like normal humans.
Social Encounters: Halflings have Disadvantage on all rolls involving social status, except when they are interacting only with another halfling.
Food and Shelter: Halflings reduce their Exhaustion level by 1 for effects due to lack of food or poor shelter.