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A long time ago homo floresiensis split off into two main groups: goblins and halflings. Now, halflings still need to eat, and therefore, they need a job to make money and support themselves.

Basic characteristics of halflings:

  • They are 112.7cm (3.7ft) tall and weigh 80 lbs
  • They have finer motor control
  • They have slightly improved eyesight
  • They are proportionately stronger than humans of their size
  • They are as intelligent a humans

With all that said, if halflings were to take part in medieval society rather than live an isolated life, what jobs would they gravitate toward?

NOTE: Magic does not exist in my story.

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    $\begingroup$ How many people had jobs (= work for wages) in, say, 11th century France? $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 8 at 14:08
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Mining favored small people since they could fit in the tight spaces easier, egg finder and thatcher would favor light weight individuals. But really the vast majority of people during medieval times were farmers, your job was to feed yourself since food surpluses were small. Which is likely what the majority of halflings would do.

Keep in mind halflings are not that much smaller than or average medieval human. Average for a human male was 65.75 inches (167 cm)

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    $\begingroup$ The average height for an adult male was 167 cm ... when? and where? The Middle Ages span a thousand years in western Europe, even more in Asia; and the Old World is not at all small; I seriously doubt that the average height of an adult male in 13th century China was the same as in 13th century Denmark. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 8 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ 15th century Europe, which is generally close to what people mean when they refer to a "medieval setting" Average male height in China at the time is much harder to get information for since they didn't measure it on a regular basis and the armor is not as useful for getting exact height.. $\endgroup$ – John Feb 8 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ They would "gravitate toward" feeding themselves. Food +1. But what would they excel at, with better fine motor control and eyesight? Jewelry, time keeping pieces, lab equipment, etc. Being short doesn't mater if they have advantages to compensate. With no advantages... acting, as it is and it was. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Feb 9 at 0:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Mazura timekeeping machines and lab equipment didn't exist at the time. At least not in any form that halflings would have an advantage making. $\endgroup$ – John Feb 9 at 4:41
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    $\begingroup$ >The earliest known clock with a water-powered escapement mechanism, which transferred rotational energy into intermittent motions,[1] dates back to 3rd century BC in ancient Greece;[2] Chinese engineers later invented clocks incorporating mercury-powered escapement mechanisms in the 10th century,[3] followed by Arabic engineers inventing water clocks driven by gears and weights in the 11th century. – History of timekeeping devices $\endgroup$ – Mazura Feb 9 at 4:52
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They would probably be exploited by carrying food/weapons for soldiers and be treated like second class citizens.

Since they have good eyesight they may also make good scouts for spotting enemies from far away. The lucky ones would probably become accountants.

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    $\begingroup$ Given that very few people were citizens in the Middle Ages, I would say that being a citizen of any kind, be it second class, would have been definitely a step up. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 8 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ Lucky, up until the point when the racism against their culture is so bad that it garners its own separate word. Short people with dark curly hair? : accountants, +1 $\endgroup$ – Mazura Feb 12 at 1:04
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How halflings fit in your world depends on how they are treated by other humanoids. Because you are main-streaming them into your culture, one would hope that the relationships are positive and not usury.

Humanity has many behavior aspects that manifest in characters. Which aspects do your halflings represent, and which do they bring out in the other humanoids that they interact with? Are they treated as slaves, or are they equal merchants and partners in the business of life?

I tend to attribute skills like horology with my halflings. They are the masters of automatons. I would think that they would be in high demand since it doesn't have magic.

They can also be boatmen... Disney has a ride full of halflings. It even has a catchy song that plays.

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They would be sought after as high-end craftsmen and artisans

With a natural advantage in fine motor skills and eyesight, a well-trained artisan could achieve finer and more precise detail than a human of the same skill. Halfling tailors, jewellers, carpenters, metalworkers etc. would be sought after by the rich, to create items with super-fine detailing and luxurious patterns, too fine for clumsy human hands and eyes to craft.

This kind of highly skilled work would pay well but require an investment of years of training, so some may have wealthy patrons but many more will be average-skill craftshobbits trying to climb the skill ladder, and still more too poor to get an apprenticeship in the first place.

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Banking. Information brokers. Musicians. Jewelers. Anything that doesn't require one's physical attributes.

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I think there are many things what they could do

With their fine motor skills and strength, they could be thieves. They could do both, pick pocketing, opening locks or just beat people for money.

Their motor skills also could make them good craftsman. Depending on how xenophobic is your society, they could be important members of craftsman guilds or just wandering tinkerers.

their eye side could make them highly valuable to any scouting units, and together with their motor skills and strength could made them very skilled archers.

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  • $\begingroup$ They wouldn't want to be known as "the best thieves in the world". $\endgroup$ – Shawn V. Wilson Feb 10 at 19:21

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