In D&D 4th Ed., the races seem relatively well balanced. However, I have been playing a Halfling for two years now and have never had an opportunity to use his Bold ability:

Bold: You gain a +5 racial bonus to saving throws against fear effects.

It seems like whenever fear is used, it doesn't seem to be in a (save ends) kind of way.

Are there many creatures / traps which cause (save ends) fear effects? Or is the Halfling ability ill-designed (albeit flavourful)?

  • \$\begingroup\$ A good DM should be taking what the PCs have chosen into account when making encounters. While base race/class bonuses are lowest on the list of things to target to make the PCs shine, they should still be on the list. It is your DM's job to find monsters that use fear effects on your character every so often. \$\endgroup\$
    – DampeS8N
    Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 13:59

2 Answers 2


It's pretty situational...at best.

You'll need to communicate with the DM to know when an effect is fear based as it's a keyword, not a damage type and may not be effectively communicated. But keep in mind, any save ends effect from a fear power is a "fear effect".

There are a lot of creatures that use fear and inflict save ends effects (a quick compendium search for "fear save ends" turns up 600 creatures), not all of these have a save ends effect tied to their fear power. But a number of them do. Again, you'll need to communicate with your DM and have him let you know when a power would qualify as a "fear effect." There is a good chance you've faced something that carries one. If your DM doesn't want to outright say it, talk to her about tipping her hand a bit when the monster is attacking etc. And then communicating that you get the bonus when you're actually affected.

It would be worth combing the monster manual a bit and identifying creature types that often carry fear effects. I can identify dragons right off hand, but there will be other types.

That said, this is a minor racial trait, the halfling's main racial punch comes from Second Chance.


First and foremost, perspective

Bold is a racial feature that only comes up against very specific types of enemies or attacks, but Halfling overall is balanced because of the strength of its other racial features. A racial +2 against opportunity attacks that will stack with other bonuses is very valuable. Likewise the Second Chance encounter power is very useful.

There are creature attacks that would trigger this feature

Leader Controllers or Artillery (even some brutes and strikers) can have an attack that has a fear keyword and a save ends. The monsters most likely to have this though are undead or possibly far realm enemies. Your GM could also build an enemy with this feature. The results I got when I tried to look in the compendium were too numerous to sift through. (between 500 and 800 depending on the words used).


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