Let’s mess with Hobbiton.
Halflings, as the big folk call them, are the army ants of the humanoid world. Once they’ve established a settlement in your county, you’d might as well pack up and head west. There is no force on the planet that will transform the landscape quite like they do.
A band of halflings leaves a settlement because the charts say it it time (see below). They find a nice spot of land and drop their backpacks. Trees are cleared, earth is tilled, vegetables are planted. Beer is brewed. Tunnels are constructed, the entrances to which are well-concealed. They don’t make a lot of noise and their celebrations are deliberately low-key affairs (for now).
Babies are made. Halflings have a gestation period of about four months and mature to adulthood by age 8. A band of twelve halflings can be a village of 24-30 adults and almost 200 children within eight years and that’s when the genders are evenly split and no cousins come join them (which they inevitably do). Within a decade or two, that nice wood by the lake is now a plantation growing pipeweed, vegetables, cotton, barley, juniper and any other cash crop you care to mention.
Halflings are incredibly industrious farmers. They can get the most out of any arable land. On average, their harvests are 25% more bountiful than human harvests of similar land in similar conditions. They live to work and then they live to eat. When not farming, they pick and store every berry, mushroom, nut and edible plant within ten miles. This is all stored, eaten or sent on carts to faraway towns, where halfling merchants trade preserved fruits, dried vegetables, baked goods, their reknowned wines and beers for tools and weapons (they are mediocre to lousy metalsmiths and craftsmen). Those settlements which are not vegetarian have excellent hunters and fishermen among them.
Halfling society is very regimented and conformist. The main unit of community is the settlement. Each settlement has a charter, which is a volumes-long set of rules and charts detailing every detail of the settlement’s plan. There are rules for what names may be given, what ales may be brewed and what colors are worn in a given year. There are particular seasons for love and for childbearing (having a child out of season is somewhat embarrassing and stigmatizing, but it happens). Charters vary between settlements, but those in a particular region of the campaign world tend to be very similar. Halflings may disagree, sometimes vehemently, about the worthiness of another settlement’s charter, but compared to the way other races run their affairs, most halflings would conclude that even the worst, most stifling and cruel halfling charter is better than none.
In one common line of charters, couples are wed for eight years at a time, after which they move to another marriage until they are past childbearing age and may marry whomever they want. Some halfling communities follow a matriarchal charter that allows for faster reproduction and ties important families to the queen through a polyandrous husband/hostage system. There even some little-known settlements where charters direct the settlement in the ways of infiltration and takeover of other settlements, the worship of dark powers or other nefarious ends.
Most charters call for two months out of ever year to be spent drilling in techniques of warfare. Halfling tactics are similar to those of army ants. They overpower with sheer numbers of fanatical warriors armed with short spears, swords and shields. Even human calvary units have been known to fall back a the sight of a halfling legion.
Adventurer halflings are almost always outcasts, either before or because of their adventuring. They are just not supposed to break ranks! Any halfling adventurer will suffer reaction rolls as if they were five points lower in charisma when they meet normal halflings (aside from traders and merchants in human cities). Halfling adventurers are often very resentful and lonely, and many seek relationships and companionship with larger folk.
Halflings are almost always lawful in alignment. Adventurer halflings can be of any alignment. All halfling adults can cook, read, write, farm and judge the arability of land. Many can also hunt and fish.