|A halfling, dwarf and an elf walking together|
(from the Brothers Hildebrant's Fellowsihp of the Ring)
|"I'm kind of a big deal." -Galadriel|
Next we have the dwarves, who are limited to 12th level. They have all of the abilities of a fighter, plus great saving throws, infravision and various abilities regarding caverns and stonework. Unlike elves, they don't have a ridiculously increased experience point cost as they level, though it is more than most other classes. So, why are they limited? I put forth the argument that they're not really that limited. In older versions of D&D and most OSR games, after a character reaches 9th level, they no longer gain hit dice - which is a key factor in character endurance. Instead dwarves gain more hit points per level after 9th than any other class. And this is the way it should be, after all dwarves are a hardy folk are they not? This coupled with the likelihood that they already have a high Constitution which has served them well from 1st to 9th level means its entirely likely that an 11th or 12th level dwarf might have just as many hit points as a fighter well into his teen levels. Also, from the point of view of Tolkien's work, dwarves seem pretty obsessed with establishing their own kingdoms. Thorin Oakenshield sought to restore Erebor to its former glory. Balin (like Durin IV and his son Nain I) sought to free Moria from the hordes of orcs who had overwhelmed it in ages passed. This says, to me, that dwarves are looking to prepare themselves for the ultimate goal of establishing kingdoms and homes of their own. By that logic, by 12th level any self-respecting dwarf should have the resouces and followers to make such an attempt - though in the cases of all the bearded folk above, it cost them their lives. Even Gimli attempts to establish his own realm in the Glittering Caves beneath Helm's Deep in the Fourth Age.
Lastly we come to the unassuming halfling, who reaches level-cap at a mere 8th level. But let's call them what they really are: hobbits. These guys get the full weapons and armor of a fighter, along with an equal Attack Value/Thac0, great saves, a bonus to initiative and missile attacks and an amazing gift for stealth - which they can use regardless of what kind of armor they're wearing! So, yeah, like the other demi-humans, they're a cut above the standard human characters - or at least it would seem so at early levels. But, let's look at the source material to find the game logic. Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry & Pippin set out on their adventure with a specific purpose in mind. They're all looking to go "There and Back Again." They're not looking for the next dungeon to plunder, and adventuring is not a life-long career or lifestyle choice for them. They've got a job, and when they get it done they'll go home and relax. They don't have the drive to go beyond 8th level. Once the job is done, it's done. The fact that they're 1st level shows that they're already exceptional to begin with.
|"Well, I'm back." -Samwise Gardner|