Cave Halfling (D&D 5th Edition Monster)

Michael O. Varhola
One of the most fascinating things I learned during my 2015 visit to Ethiopia is that Halflings really lived there some  3.2 million years ago! These three-and-a-half foot-tall I people are known today by the scientific name Australopithecus afarensis. I wrote up and stat'ed them for the D&D 5th Edition RPG system and included the following entry in my bestselling Men & Monsters of Ethiopia
 
HALFLING, CAVE
Small humanoid (Halfling), lawful neutral
 
Armor Class 11
Hit Points 9 (2d6 + 2)
Speed 25 ft.
 
STR          DEX          CON          INT          WIS          CHA
10 (+0)     13 (+1)      12 (+1)       10 (+0)    11 (+0)      11 (+0)
 
Damage Resistance poison
Skills Athletics +2, Perception +2, Stealth +3, Survival +3
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages see below
Challenge 1 (100 XP)
 
Nimbleness. A Cave Halfling can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than it is. 
 
Lithic Affinity. Cave Halflings receive advantage on attacks with slings and thrown rocks, saving throws to avoid negative stone-based effects (e.g., pit traps), and skill checks made to create appropriate stone items (e.g., flint knives, boulder traps). 
 
Lucky. When a Cave Halfling rolls a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, it can re-roll the die and must use the new roll. 
 
Naturally Stealthy. Cave Halflings can attempt to hide even when obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than them. 
 
Resilience. Cave Halflings have advantage on saving throws against poison, and have resistance against poison damage.
 
ACTIONS
Battleaxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d8) slashing damage, or 5 (1d10) slashing damage if used with two hands to make a melee attack. 
 
Club. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) bludgeoning damage.
 
Knife. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 3 (1d3 + 1) slashing damage.
 
Handaxe. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.
 
Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one creature. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) bludgeoning damage.
 
Sling. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one creature. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) bludgeoning damage.
These primitive relatives of modern Halflings are native to Ethiopia and dwell in the most remote and isolated areas, avoiding Humans, humanoids, and other people who might pose a threat to them. They generally subsist by foraging but do engage in some limited hunting and trapping of small game. As their name would suggest, they often live in cave complexes or burrows, particularly those concealed within forested highlands. Those aware of their existence often refer to them as “dawn folk,” “little people,” or Dinkinesh in the common tongue of Ethiopia. 
 
Cave Halflings are darker-skinned and much hairier than traditional Halflings and tend to wear clothing made from pelts or woven from various natural fibers. They speak a rudimentary language that is a primitive amalgam of Halfling, the common tongue of Ethiopia, and their alignment language. They can live as long as a century or so.
 
Shy But Resolute. These small folk are not aggressive and tend to hide or flee from potential threats rather than go head-to-head with them. If forced to, however, they will defend themselves, fighting with clubs, stone knives and axes, and particularly slings and thrown rocks, and by utilizing traps that include elements like pits, boulders, and deadfalls. They do not manufacture armor or shields but might use such items and other sorts of weapons and even magic items if they somehow acquire these things.
 
Natural Treasures. Individual Cave Halflings do not tend to carry any valuables as such. In their lairs, however, they might have small hoards of treasure, which typically consist of uncut gemstones, raw nuggets of precious metal, pieces of ivory they have found, and possibly items produced by other peoples that they have somehow acquired. 
 
Encounters with Cave Halflings
Typically 3d10 Cave Halflings will be encountered, either conducting routine activities around their lair or traveling from one location to another. For every 10 Cave Halflings encountered there will be one with one extra hit die and the abilities of a 1st level Rogue; for every 20 encountered there will be one with two extra hit dice and the abilities of a 2nd-level Rogue; and if as many as 30 are encountered there will be one with three extra hit dice and the abilities of a 3rd-level Rogue. If encountered in their lair there will be females equal to 80% and children equal to 40% of the number of adult males and one of the women will have up to 3 extra hit dice and the abilities of a 1st to 3rd level Druid. They are also 50% likely to have wild dogs equal to 50% the number of adult males co-habitating with them in their lairs (and these have characteristics identical to those provided for Jackals in official 5th Edition materials).