Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Five Shires

I recently acquired a copy of The Five Shires. It’s one of the sourcebooks in the old Mystara series of Gazetteers. Each book in the Gazetteer series detailed a different region in the classic D&D world (quite a well done series actually) . “The Five Shires deals with a nation of Hobbits umm…Halflings, or as they prefer to be called amongst themselves (according to the book) The Hin.
This sourcebook is one of the most sought after and highest priced gaming supplements on EBay. I recently saw a shrink-wrapped copy go for $85.00, my copy wasn’t shrink-wrapped but it was complete and in good shape, it still cost me $29.00 (To add insult to injury the seller left the original $4.99 discount sticker on it- gee thanks). The book is written by Ed Greenwood, he of Forgotten Realms fame, and gives a real complete look into Halfling culture that goes beyond the typical “Bilbo Baggins” stereotype that most gamers have when thinking of Halflings. He provides a complete history of the nation that is filled with struggle and adversity; overall it’s a good read. I came away with a greater respect for the race, which when I DM will reflect on the way I use Halflings in my campaign.