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All of the Complete racial guides by TSR for the 2nd edition are good tools. This book however goes beyond good into extraordinary. Halflings and Gnomes are perhaps the least written about races in the AD&D genre.Unlike elves and Dwarves, Halflings appear infrequently in fantasy fiction. Granted the story that launched it all,the Hobbit, was about Halflings, people have been reluctant to change or modify TOlkeins' take on them. Gnomes are nearly ignored in the fantasy fiction Genre. The combination of these things has left a gap in resource material for Game masters.
Douglas Niles fills this gap creatively. He offer not only new rules and ideas but a great deal of backgrounds for players to draw upon. This is a must have book for GM's and those players that wish to play Gnomes or Halflings.This book is out of date for the new fourth edition in the rules it contains but the background material alone is well worth having.