5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Get sneak peaks at parts of the new book, and contribute to related discussions.
Sun Dial
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:02 am

5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Sun Dial » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:32 pm

For those of you who were looking forward to the 5E update, and then here it comes! A 3$ expansion (Which is not a whole lot, I know, but I was expecting some good content from it for the extra dollar) AND.... its a total let down.

What did it do right? Clockworks and Satyrs. They came up with this new idea to include a their pony parts as an attribute, and I love it! Anteans are great and look to be a lot of fun. Hope I can play one someday. However, this expansion really brought to my attention how bad some of the original ideas for the races are, but I'll get to that later.

It also had Feats! Oh, glorious feats.... that are very disappointing and while some I really enjoy, there's about half that need reworking, and a couple that baffled me as they were putting entire races into a single feat.

Backgrounds: I like them. I like what they do, I like how they flavor, I wish I didn't have to cross reference over to the original for some of their abilities, but I can forgive copyright laws. My biggest problem is that too many things tried to get crammed into backgrounds. I'll admit, it bothers me that Two of the coolest races and an entire Sorcerer Class got squashed into being a background for a character....

Equipment and Optional Rules: Strangely, I loved this the most. They solve most of the pony issues, and give a fun little idea of ponies traveling on the go and remind people that ponies pack more food. The optional rules helped me to remember that ponies are of a mostly good nature and this is a magical world... something almost everything else in this book seemed to have forgotten.

Bestiary: I like it, its got all the creatures I wanted converted over to 5E and its got a good format. Only complaint is that the Inevitable Vanguard and the Sky Masks don't have pictures. (Also, the sky masks could have used some variations other then just larger versions, even if it was just in name, but that's a minor complaint and easily solved.)

Then we have the important character list, which I enjoyed, and.... why was that many pregen characters needed? Seemed like extra effort for something no one really asked for.

The theme though, for the entire book is not what it has, but what it didn't have.
* The entire race of sun ponies became a Feat.
* Ghost Ponies became a Background.
* (Forgivable as they only existed in a small expansion) Bone Tribe became a Background.
* Vampiric Bloodline became a Background
* Unity Bloodline Doesn't exist... the big shbang about pony castors was missing.
* Wanted to be a Wonderbolt? No way to do that.
* You know those cool Mobile Cannon's? Missing. (I know there aren't any firearms! This is more of a complaint about 5E then it is anything you guys did.... I still want it back though. I loved the artillery Pony.)
*Wanted Some new cool Spells? Or the PonyFinder one's converted over? Nope... not a single one.
*There's also no Chaos Hunters, which haven't been fleshed out enough to be cool in the first place though.

So, I know that complaining does nothing, so me and a friend found what issues we could and wanted to give some ideas to be changed and make this book something 5E players can really grab ahold of and love. I'll post those below.
Last edited by Sun Dial on Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Dial
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:02 am

Re: 5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Sun Dial » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:41 pm

Suggested Unification Bloodline

Me and a Friend went through the other Bloodlines and the guide released on how to build a bloodline and came up with the following.

Level 1:
You gain proficiency in the Persuasion skill. If you are already proficient in Persuasion, you gain proficiency in a skill of your choice.
Your proficiency bonus is doubled for Persuasion checks with fey creatures.
Your Sorcerer spells which affect humanoids may also affect fey creatures.
Awakened Ancestry: You gain the sub-race benefits of another pony race of your choice, except ability score increases.

Going over the major benefits of being the Fey Monarch, we realized that they were Diplomats, being able to speak for ponies of all kinds. Thus we gave them the Diplomacy proficency, and double it with the fey themselves. We know it might be a front heavy for a level one... but clerics are a lot worst. Also, none of the Awakened Ancestry bonuses are more crazy then either the Draconian or Wild Magic bonus... except maybe Gem, but we figured we'd rather let that be then try and make a specific ruling for Gem

Level 6:
Power of Friendship: As the one who will unite the pony races, you are at your most powerful with others of your own kind supporting you. As an action, an allied ponykind creature within 30ft. may give you a Friendship point, which lasts for one minute. You may spend a friendship point to give advantage to one of your spell attack rolls, or disadvantage to a single target’s saving throw against your spells. When your ally gives you a friendship point, they glow brightly and make a loud hum, giving away their location and preventing them from hiding.

Level 6 is the Power boost for attack in sorcerers. We wanted to fit the friendship/diplomat theme in, and thought this was a great way to do it, and still make it a viable and desirable attack option.

Level 14:
Awakened Ancestry: You gain the sub-race benefits of an additional pony race of your choice, except ability score increases.
Thanks M.A. Larson!

Level 18:
Fey Monarch:
You gain Resistance to physical attacks from non-magical weapons, except those made of cold iron.
You cease aging, and gain eternal youth.
You have advantage on Persuasion, Insight, Intimidate, and Deception checks against fey creatures.
Your allies may give you friendship points from up to five miles away.
A True True Friend can help you from Five miles Away! Nothing super fancy, just classic Fey and Sorcerer High Level Stuff. Just make sure your Cutie Mark doesn't give an advantage bonus to any of those checks when you first make your character!
Last edited by Sun Dial on Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

Sun Dial
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:02 am

Re: 5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Sun Dial » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:44 pm

So we didn't come up with Spells or new feats, but those are both things I think need some work for 5E Ponyfinder.

Feats that need an over haul.

Cloud Walk - It just doesn't do anything. I like what it implies, but you only have a few feats. This is the type of thing that should be prebuilt into pegasi and griffons, not forced to spend the most valuable resource in 5E on. Its too drastic of a lore change too, it makes Pegasi go from being able to control clouds naturally, to being forced to spend years and time learning how to just step on them.

Dashing Flier - As a Pegasus player, this is my biggest disappointment.... its a feat that makes me go 10 feet slower then an Aarakocra and lets me were armor I'm not proficient in (who does that anyways).... Granted, Aarakocra can't wear any armor heavier then light, but most classes I want to play with Pegasus don't go heavier then light. What's worst though, is that if an Aarakocra took this feat, they'd be awesome... because they don't start out so far behind in flight.

I know Flight is a touchy subject for David, but its not nearly as valuable as it seems, and 5E recognizes this, so we don't have to go around gimping flight. Even with this feat, I have no reason to fly, because I run just as fast on ground, in fact I move slower in the air because I have to move vertically! There's no reason to play a pegasus when I have to get a feat, just to not suck! Where's my wonderbolts from the last one, where I started sucking, but could get better and make it awesome! Rainbow Dash is very Disappointed.

Okay. Phew. Sorry, that one really got on my nerves.

Horn Focus - Helps no one but Favored Soul Sorcerers and a few clerics. Not being able to perform somatic components comes too rarely, and if you can be tied, you most likely can be gagged too. Horn focus still requires you to speak, meaning it doesn't work if your Silenced.

In addition, 1d8 unarmed isn't useful for anyone except Soul Sorcerers who get two attacks and the melee clerics, cause they don't get nice weapons. Even a Monk Unicorn loses any benefit after level 11 and only gains minor benefit before that (average of 1 or 2 extra damage). For something so iconic as making your horn glow for spells rather then using your hooves... this doesn't reach out to enough ponies.

Koiden's Guest - So I like the flavor of this.... but the issue is... it comes too rarely. Unless your constantly dying, this isn't that great of a feat... honestly it should be an addition to another feat, not its own. Love the idea behind it though.

Sun Kissed - I hate that its a race wrapped up into a feat, but it works as a feat. Suggestion from the DND devs, because only Angels do radiant damage, give them fire resistance in addition to radiant resistance.

Perfect Presentation - I love it because it fixes doppelgangers, hate it because it fixes doppelgangers.

Race Changes:

Pegasi - If you look at them compared to Hippogryphs, you wonder why anyone would ever play a Pegasus. Hippogryphs, for 5 less fly speed, which doesn't matter, get a 2d4 natural attack. Pegasi? They get proficiency Javelin... a proficiency literally every class but Wizard or Sorcerer has. I suggest that get changed to a Lance, and they can hold it with one hand, aka, fingerless doesn't affect them for lances. It would help to make them not be so terrible.

Dopplegangers - Friends is a terrible cantrip, not only does it make an enemy out of the person you use it on, but the Dopplegangers already get advantage on 2/3 CHR check that matters with the Friend Cantrip. They need something worthwhile. (We had thought of a solution, then realized it was bad... Friends does nothing for Dopplegangers)

Yeah, that's a lot of complaints, and I should be better about trying to find answers for them. Hope it helps at least a little bit though.
Last edited by Sun Dial on Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Noon Shadow
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:47 pm

Re: 5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Noon Shadow » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:51 am

Sun Dial wrote:For those of you who were looking forward to the 5E update, and then here it comes! A 3$ expansion (Which is not a whole lot, I know, but I was expecting some good content from it for the extra dollar) AND.... its a total let down.

Hi! I'm Eric Moore. I did the bulk of the conversion stuff, so I can give some insight on a few of the hard decisions that had to be made when trying to convert it over. You might also note that I'm pretty new here, so that probably influenced how I looked at things as well.

Sun Dial wrote:What did it do right? Clockworks and Satyrs. They came up with this new idea to include a their pony parts as an attribute, and I love it! Anteans are great and look to be a lot of fun. Hope I can play one someday. However, this expansion really brought to my attention how bad some of the original ideas for the races are, but I'll get to that later.

Well, there's some definite good there. :)

Sun Dial wrote:It also had Feats! Oh, glorious feats.... that are very disappointing and while some I really enjoy, there's about half that need reworking, and a couple that baffled me as they were putting entire races into a single feat.

Backgrounds: I like them. I like what they do, I like how they flavor, I wish I didn't have to cross reference over to the original for some of their abilities, but I can forgive copyright laws. My biggest problem is that too many things tried to get crammed into backgrounds. I'll admit, it bothers me that Two of the coolest races and an entire Sorcerer Class got squashed into being a background for a character....
You get into the feats in detail later, so I'll address those in line. The bloodline became a Background both to open it up to every pony and to avoid trying to balance a multi-level class progression without playtesting. Ghost Ponies are amazing and cool and wonderful and get so little to differentiate them as a race that actually means anything in 5E that it wound up the only thing I could think to keep them in as was a background. Incorporeal isn't a thing anymore, so the ability to bypass it is irrelevant, as is the ability to sense incorporeal creatures, and concealment works completely differently now, making it very difficult to adjust. As for the Bone Tribe, they explicitly accept ponies of any Tribe. For a general update, it made more sense to bring them in as a background than as a separate Tribe.

Also, I didn't want to overuse the Clockwork/Satyr mechanic, or prevent those character options from mixing.

Sun Dial wrote:Equipment and Optional Rules: Strangely, I loved this the most. They solve most of the pony issues, and give a fun little idea of ponies traveling on the go and remind people that ponies pack more food. The optional rules helped me to remember that ponies are of a mostly good nature and this is a magical world... something almost everything else in this book seemed to have forgotten.

Again, good news. That section did exactly what it needed to do. :)

Sun Dial wrote:Bestiary: I like it, its got all the creatures I wanted converted over to 5E and its got a good format. Only complaint is that the Inevitable Vanguard and the Sky Masks don't have pictures. (Also, the sky masks could have used some variations other then just larger versions, even if it was just in name, but that's a minor complaint and easily solved.)

The pictures were a tad difficult to get working on some, as background transparency and resolution on the image files we had handy weren't consistent. I'm not sure we even found those, to be honest.

Sun Dial wrote:Then we have the important character list, which I enjoyed, and.... why was that many pregen characters needed? Seemed like extra effort for something no one really asked for.

...I got excited, and chargen is really fun for me. Oops. ;)

Sun Dial wrote:The theme though, for the entire book is not what it has, but what it didn't have.
* The entire race of sun ponies became a Feat.
* Ghost Ponies became a Background.
* (Forgivable as they only existed in a small expansion) Bone Tribe became a Background.
* Vampiric Bloodline became a Background
* Unity Bloodline Doesn't exist... the big shbang about pony castors was missing.
* Wanted to be a Wonderbolt? No way to do that.
* You know those cool Mobile Cannon's? Missing. (I know there aren't any firearms! This is more of a complaint about 5E then it is anything you guys did.... I still want it back though. I loved the artillery Pony.)
*Wanted Some new cool Spells? Or the PonyFinder one's converted over? Nope... not a single one.
*There's also no Chaos Hunters, which haven't been fleshed out enough to be cool in the first place though.

So, I know that complaining does nothing, so me and a friend found what issues we could and wanted to give some ideas to be changed and make this book something 5E players can really grab ahold of and love. I'll post those below.

The Unification Bloodline is something that was left out after I decided I wasn't skilled to handle it. I was going to make some method of achieving multiple Tribes, specifically to allow for Alicorns, but I still haven't thought of an elegant method of doing this in the 5E framework; my best idea so far was as a Boon, which would logically be placed with magic items (which you also didn't see here). However, I'm not done thinking it over.

Chaos Hunters are nigh impossible in 5E as is. Outsider doesn't exist as a type anymore, and incredibly few things still mechanically utilize alignment, so it's difficult to attempt to balance. As you noted, there really isn't much beyond that about them right now.

Sun Dial wrote:Suggested Unification Bloodline
<snip>

Thematically, it's grand. But it's definitely on the higher power end of the scale, and I'd really want to get some serious table time on something like this before calling it ready.

Sun Dial wrote:So we didn't come up with Spells or new feats, but those are both things I think need some work for 5E Ponyfinder.

Feats that need an over haul.

Before getting into the specific feats, there's something I should point out on the 5E forums: Catodon's reverse engineered race/feat guide. This gentleman is also known as Karl David Brown, and he makes an excellent case for the mathematics behind the observed effects. The races and feats in the expansion were built on these numbers to keep them balanced in general play as well as in Everglow.

That said, what sort of things are you looking for in feats and spells?

Sun Dial wrote:Cloud Walk - It just doesn't do anything. I like what it implies, but you only have a few feats. This is the type of thing that should be prebuilt into pegasi and griffons, not forced to spend the most valuable resource in 5E on. Its too drastic of a lore change too, it makes Pegasi go from being able to control clouds naturally, to being forced to spend years and time learning how to just step on them.

Honestly, I kind of agree with you here. But dealing with Catodon's numbers, to build that sort of thing in, you'd have to make them almost unplayable another way. On the other hand, there is another feat that allows you to cheat around this a bit...

Sun Dial wrote:Dashing Flier - As a Pegasus player, this is my biggest disappointment.... its a feat that makes me go 10 feet slower then an Aarakocra and lets me were armor I'm not proficient in (who does that anyways).... Granted, Aarakocra can't wear any armor heavier then light, but most classes I want to play with Pegasus don't go heavier then light. What's worst though, is that if an Aarakocra took this feat, they'd be awesome... because they don't start out so far behind in flight.

It also negates your vulnerability and the penalty to using stuff on the ground while flying, and you get to hover, which means you can travel along the surface of or through clouds, though you can't really interact with them much. (As an aside, if you have to fly past enemies to escape something, you can put on whatever armor is available to crank your AC up without being grounded. Situational, yeah, but not useless.)

Sun Dial wrote:I know Flight is a touchy subject for David, but its not nearly as valuable as it seems, and 5E recognizes this, so we don't have to go around gimping flight. Even with this feat, I have no reason to fly, because I run just as fast on ground, in fact I move slower in the air because I have to move vertically! There's no reason to play a pegasus when I have to get a feat, just to not suck! Where's my wonderbolts from the last one, where I started sucking, but could get better and make it awesome! Rainbow Dash is very Disappointed.

Races are built around being ~12 points, feats at ~6. A fly speed of 30 ft. is pegged at ~10.75 points, which means you have flight and maybe a +1 stat boost before you have to take penalties to balance it out. Hence the heavy restrictions both Aarakocra and Ponyfinder races suffer in 5E, and why it would take several feats to come back from it if you want anything but flight when you start. This one sits firmly on the 5E designers.

Sun Dial wrote:Okay. Phew. Sorry, that one really got on my nerves.

It's cool, I'm with you on a good bit of it, but it goes back an extra couple of steps.

Sun Dial wrote:Horn Focus - Helps no one but Favored Soul Sorcerers and a few clerics. Not being able to perform somatic components comes too rarely, and if you can be tied, you most likely can be gagged too. Horn focus still requires you to speak, meaning it doesn't work if your Silenced.

In addition, 1d8 unarmed isn't useful for anyone except Soul Sorcerers who get two attacks and the melee clerics, cause they don't get nice weapons. Even a Monk Unicorn loses any benefit after level 11 and only gains minor benefit before that (average of 1 or 2 extra damage). For something so iconic as making your horn glow for spells rather then using your hooves... this doesn't reach out to enough ponies.

There are a few others who could make use of it. Wizards might not mind having the extra potential damage on opportunity attacks, and Counterspell is somatic-only, meaning the only ways to prevent a Horn Focused Wizard from counterspelling you are run them out of spell slots or kill them (and who doesn't that work on?). There are a couple other somatic-only spells, making it useful with certain builds. Paladins, Arcane Tricksters and Eldritch Knights from other horned races can also use two-handed weapons without bothering to switch grips to cast (particularly useful if your DM doesn't let you do this freely) and have a hold out weapon in case someone disarms them. As the focus of a build, your analysis is pretty spot on, though.

Sun Dial wrote:Koiden's Guest - So I like the flavor of this.... but the issue is... it comes too rarely. Unless your constantly dying, this isn't that great of a feat... honestly it should be an addition to another feat, not its own. Love the idea behind it though.

This one and Diffuse Concentration are really in uncertain territory; there's nothing like them in 5E yet, so there's no real way to gauge balance. Overall, the numerical bonus is in line with other feats, but you're right, it's best in a high-mortality campaign.

Sun Dial wrote:Sun Kissed - I hate that its a race wrapped up into a feat, but it works as a feat. Suggestion from the DND devs, because only Angels do radiant damage, give them fire resistance in addition to radiant resistance.
Good call on the resistance. I'll have to make a note.

Sun Dial wrote:Perfect Presentation - I love it because it fixes doppelgangers, hate it because it fixes doppelgangers.

The sign of a job well done. ;)

Sun Dial wrote:Race Changes:

Pegasi - If you look at them compared to Hippogryphs, you wonder why anyone would ever play a Pegasus. Hippogryphs, for 5 less fly speed, which doesn't matter, get a 2d4 natural attack. Pegasi? They get proficiency Javelin... a proficiency literally every class but Wizard or Sorcerer has. I suggest that get changed to a Lance, and they can hold it with one hand, aka, fingerless doesn't affect them for lances. It would help to make them not be so terrible.

It's the numbers thing again. There are different point values for Simple melee, Simple ranged, Martial melee, and Martial ranged. Simple melee edges them right into balance.

Sun Dial wrote:Dopplegangers - Friends is a terrible cantrip, it lets you mind control somebody for a minute, at the cost of them turning instantly hostile to you at the end of it. Its perfect for Doppelgangers, but they shouldn't be limited to using a CANTRIP that has a horrible downside once per day.

Ignoring the numbers, thematically it's burning a bridge. It's a last resort thing that they really shouldn't want to use except in dire situations. When they do find themselves needing it, it's probably time to lay low for a couple of days anyway.

Sun Dial wrote:Yeah, that's a lot of complaints, and I should be better about trying to find answers for them. Hope it helps at least a little bit though.

It certainly does!

P.S. The DMG has cannon and firearm rules on pages 255 and 267, respectively. So don't give up yet!

Sun Dial
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:02 am

Re: 5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Sun Dial » Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:05 am

So here's my big issue. Is Losing an entire hand and access to the most powerful weapons not that big of a hindrance when it comes to deficiencies for races? That seems like a really big deal.

That said, what sort of things are you looking for in feats and spells


In feats, I was looking for ways to rebuild the environment and experience I had in Ponyfinder. I understand that its not as grand because things have been simplified, and I understand that, but it feels like the lore of both the Everglow and MLP has been cut out from beneath me in order to make it fit to the specific numbers and rules.

Spells? I mostly wanted some of the Iconic ones, you know, Rainbow Trail, turn to hoof, turn to hand, maybe have some fresh new ones for druids and rangers since they got changed up so much. Something to remind me that this is a magical land filled with elementally charged colorful ponies.

Strill
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:14 am

Re: 5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Strill » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:14 am

Noon Shadow wrote:
Sun Dial wrote:Suggested Unification Bloodline
<snip>

Thematically, it's grand. But it's definitely on the higher power end of the scale, and I'd really want to get some serious table time on something like this before calling it ready.
Hi, I was the friend who helped make that bloodline and I'm curious why you say it's on the higher power end of the scale. My impression was that it was perhaps a bit high on social/utility, but that its combat ability was very situational. For example, most of the pony racial perks are relegated to utility or out-of-combat, and the level 5 ability was intended to be more of a tactical option, and less of a direct power upgrade. If you can see how that wouldn't be the case, however, I'd like to know.

For example, you can't use the level 5 ability before combat without giving yourself away to your opponents and sacrificing a potential surprise attack, or maybe even getting your party ambushed. Using it in combat sacrifices the action of an ally, which arguably could've been more productive than what you get for it.

One situation where it really shines is if you're supporting/protecting weak NPCs/civilians, which fits with the whole unification theme, since it encourages you to have an entourage and build a following, but keeping civilians and weaklings around puts them in the line of fire, especially if you're getting into fights a lot. Alternatively, it might be worth it for an ally to sacrifice their action if you're casting a really important spell that absolutely needs to land, like Hold Person on the big boss, but again that's a risk/reward sort of thing, and less of a direct upgrade.

Fey Monarch is quite honestly a non-consideration as far as balance is concerned. Wizards of the Coast themselves has no idea how they want high-level perks to be balanced. Just compare the Ranger's level 20 perk to the Wizard's ability to cast a 3rd-level spell at will. That's why I don't see any need to worry about whether a perk is necessarily balanced to a high degree at such high levels.

Sun Dial wrote:So we didn't come up with Spells or new feats, but those are both things I think need some work for 5E Ponyfinder.

Feats that need an over haul.

Before getting into the specific feats, there's something I should point out on the 5E forums: Catodon's reverse engineered race/feat guide. This gentleman is also known as Karl David Brown, and he makes an excellent case for the mathematics behind the observed effects. The races and feats in the expansion were built on these numbers to keep them balanced in general play as well as in Everglow.
I'm sorry but I strongly disagree with this system. It's built in a vacuum, and fails to consider the risk-reward inherent in these choices. For example, Natural Armor = 12+DEX is useless for a Paladin, who has Light armor proficiency, which provides the exact same bonus, and yet the system rates it as equivalent to a feat.

Moreover, some of these ratings seem arbitrary. It rates Unarmored Defense as worth 1/4th a feat, even though it will almost certainly be at least as good as the aforementioned Natural Armor = 12+DEX.

Sun Dial wrote:Cloud Walk - It just doesn't do anything. I like what it implies, but you only have a few feats. This is the type of thing that should be prebuilt into pegasi and griffons, not forced to spend the most valuable resource in 5E on. Its too drastic of a lore change too, it makes Pegasi go from being able to control clouds naturally, to being forced to spend years and time learning how to just step on them.

Honestly, I kind of agree with you here. But dealing with Catodon's numbers, to build that sort of thing in, you'd have to make them almost unplayable another way. On the other hand, there is another feat that allows you to cheat around this a bit...
Spells are not created equal. You can't just pick one number to define the value of a 3rd-level spell, especially when we're considering niche utility spells. Ask yourself "What difference would this make to a character's power or utility"? "What would the consequences be if you just gave them the ability to walk on clouds? " From what I can see here, the answer is absolutely nothing. It's pure fluff. It doesn't make them any more powerful or useful or attractive to a player, it just fits the setting.

Like, just look at some of the conclusions that the person who designed that point system came up with. He values Fey Ancestry and Darkvision as being worth no points at all! I absolutely disagree. I think Fey Ancestry and Darkvision are quite valuable perks with strong combat potential. I think the fact that his system cannot account for their value damages the merit of his system, and undermines the entire premise of having a point-based system in the first place.

Or for example, look how he values Fire resistance as being worthless. That's patently ridiculous. The developers, in their own words, say otherwise.

"Like tieflings, aasimar have darkvision. Instead of resistance to fire damage, we give them resistance to radiant damage to reflect their celestial nature. However, radiant damage isn' t as common as fire damage, so we give them resistance to necrotic damage as well, making them good at facing undead." - DM's Guide page 286

Here the devs explain how they balanced the resistances of the Aasimar and the Tiefling. Obviously they didn't consider the resistance to be worthless. In fact they made an active effort to balance them. If his system rates resistance as worthless, then it implies that his system is fundamentally flawed, and is failing to accomplish its goals.

I don't think Brown's system is a bad idea, or that it's useless. I think it's a valuable tool for getting a rough estimate of the power level of various races and perks. However, it's clearly biased, and therefore should absolutely not be the only measure by which you compare races and feats. When you adhere so strongly to a system like this, you're putting yourself at the whims of Brown's arbitrary choices and opinions. You yourself have to do sanity checks on what his system produces. Ask yourself, "Does this make sense"? "Have I found a case where something isn't worth what it normally should be"? or "Is it simply ok to have a race with slightly more perks than another?" Some perks have synergy with one another, making them better together than they are individually. Others have anti-synergies, making them worse together than they would be apart. It's perfectly fair to make judgement calls on these sorts of things.

Sun Dial wrote:Dashing Flier - As a Pegasus player, this is my biggest disappointment.... its a feat that makes me go 10 feet slower then an Aarakocra and lets me were armor I'm not proficient in (who does that anyways).... Granted, Aarakocra can't wear any armor heavier then light, but most classes I want to play with Pegasus don't go heavier then light. What's worst though, is that if an Aarakocra took this feat, they'd be awesome... because they don't start out so far behind in flight.

It also negates your vulnerability and the penalty to using stuff on the ground while flying, and you get to hover, which means you can travel along the surface of or through clouds, though you can't really interact with them much. (As an aside, if you have to fly past enemies to escape something, you can put on whatever armor is available to crank your AC up without being grounded. Situational, yeah, but not useless.)
I think the problem here is the lack of a coherent theme. Half of this is a feat is designed to make you stronger or more resilient while flying, and half of it is designed to make you faster and more agile.

Sun Dial wrote:I know Flight is a touchy subject for David, but its not nearly as valuable as it seems, and 5E recognizes this, so we don't have to go around gimping flight. Even with this feat, I have no reason to fly, because I run just as fast on ground, in fact I move slower in the air because I have to move vertically! There's no reason to play a pegasus when I have to get a feat, just to not suck! Where's my wonderbolts from the last one, where I started sucking, but could get better and make it awesome! Rainbow Dash is very Disappointed.

Races are built around being ~12 points, feats at ~6. A fly speed of 30 ft. is pegged at ~10.75 points, which means you have flight and maybe a +1 stat boost before you have to take penalties to balance it out. Hence the heavy restrictions both Aarakocra and Ponyfinder races suffer in 5E, and why it would take several feats to come back from it if you want anything but flight when you start. This one sits firmly on the 5E designers.
Right, so building Aarakocra, I come up with:

Fly Speed 30: +10.75
Fly Speed 30 -> 50: +2
+2 DEX: +4
+1 WIS: +2
Walking Speed 25: -4
Talons: +1

That comes out to 15.75, even after the -4 points from a walking speed that's redundant, and isn't actually reducing your overall speed. If you tried to keep the Pegasus within 12 points, I can certainly see why they're weaker. Brown's system obviously overrates fly speed.


Sun Dial wrote:Race Changes:

Pegasi - If you look at them compared to Hippogryphs, you wonder why anyone would ever play a Pegasus. Hippogryphs, for 5 less fly speed, which doesn't matter, get a 2d4 natural attack. Pegasi? They get proficiency Javelin... a proficiency literally every class but Wizard or Sorcerer has. I suggest that get changed to a Lance, and they can hold it with one hand, aka, fingerless doesn't affect them for lances. It would help to make them not be so terrible.

It's the numbers thing again. There are different point values for Simple melee, Simple ranged, Martial melee, and Martial ranged. Simple melee edges them right into balance.
This is again where your number system fails to line up with reality. Javelin proficiency is literally a useless proficiency. It benefits no one. Wizards and Sorcerers are the only classes who do not start the game with it already, and they already have better ranged options. Getting Javelin proficiency will never be a benefit to anyone.

Sun Dial wrote:Dopplegangers - Friends is a terrible cantrip, it lets you mind control somebody for a minute, at the cost of them turning instantly hostile to you at the end of it. Its perfect for Doppelgangers, but they shouldn't be limited to using a CANTRIP that has a horrible downside once per day.

Ignoring the numbers, thematically it's burning a bridge. It's a last resort thing that they really shouldn't want to use except in dire situations. When they do find themselves needing it, it's probably time to lay low for a couple of days anyway.
It's not situational. It literally has no niche to fill. Doppelgangers already get advantage on intimidate and persuade checks. That leaves Perform and Deception checks as the only checks which Friends could help with, neither of which are useful if your target knows immediately afterwards that you charmed them.

---------------
Sun Dial wrote:Perfect Presentation - I love it because it fixes doppelgangers, hate it because it fixes doppelgangers.

The sign of a job well done. ;)
How does it fix doppelgangers? They already have advantage on disguise checks innately. What does the Feat change?

Personally, I don't think it's a good feat overall. The reaction to increase your AC is overpowered, and is equivalent to Defensive Duelist, only better since it works on any attack, not just melee attacks. The other perks are fine though.

Noon Shadow
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:47 pm

Re: 5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Noon Shadow » Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:12 am

Sun Dial wrote:So here's my big issue. Is Losing an entire hand and access to the most powerful weapons not that big of a hindrance when it comes to deficiencies for races? That seems like a really big deal.

Thematically, it certainly sounds like it should. Mechanically, not so much. With the shift away from the rule bloat of 3.x and the rigidity of 4th, the lack of a hand is left to fluff and DM arbitration. Given that there's no absolute mechanical issue outside of limiting certain weapons, it was pegged as roughly balancing an extra +1 to a stat.

Sun Dial wrote:
That said, what sort of things are you looking for in feats and spells


In feats, I was looking for ways to rebuild the environment and experience I had in Ponyfinder. I understand that its not as grand because things have been simplified, and I understand that, but it feels like the lore of both the Everglow and MLP has been cut out from beneath me in order to make it fit to the specific numbers and rules.

Spells? I mostly wanted some of the Iconic ones, you know, Rainbow Trail, turn to hoof, turn to hand, maybe have some fresh new ones for druids and rangers since they got changed up so much. Something to remind me that this is a magical land filled with elementally charged colorful ponies.

Honestly, I'm not sure that's the best use of feats, particularly they're so limited in 5E. Adding an optional rule to the effect of "If you can fly, you can walk on clouds" would be better for that (and since I'm checking on the other things needing tweaks, that's something you should expect in an update relatively soon).

Spells, I'll look into.

Strill wrote:
Noon Shadow wrote:Thematically, it's grand. But it's definitely on the higher power end of the scale, and I'd really want to get some serious table time on something like this before calling it ready.
Hi, I was the friend who helped make that bloodline and I'm curious why you say it's on the higher power end of the scale. My impression was that it was perhaps a bit high on social/utility, but that its combat ability was very situational. For example, most of the pony racial perks are relegated to utility or out-of-combat, and the level 5 ability was intended to be more of a tactical option, and less of a direct power upgrade. If you can see how that wouldn't be the case, however, I'd like to know.

Actually, it's Awakened Ancestry at first level that does it. It heavily front-loads the class, and the additional bonuses of a subrace are much stronger than the first level bonuses given to Draconic (armor, a language, and double proficiency to Cha checks with dragons) and Wild Magic (random magic explosions and a once-a-day reroll). Without it, the first level bonuses might lag a little, but given the setting I'm not sure that's true. With it, it's far and away the optimal choice whenever available.

The 14th level one is fairly balanced compared to Draconic and Wild Magic bloodlines. Draconic is a fly speed equal to your current speed, requiring a bonus action and with similar armor restrictions (though without the vulnerability or issues with stuff on the ground), Wild Magic is some control over the random magic explosions.

Strill wrote:For example, you can't use the level 5 ability before combat without giving yourself away to your opponents and sacrificing a potential surprise attack, or maybe even getting your party ambushed. Using it in combat sacrifices the action of an ally, which arguably could've been more productive than what you get for it.

One situation where it really shines is if you're supporting/protecting weak NPCs/civilians, which fits with the whole unification theme, since it encourages you to have an entourage and build a following, but keeping civilians and weaklings around puts them in the line of fire, especially if you're getting into fights a lot. Alternatively, it might be worth it for an ally to sacrifice their action if you're casting a really important spell that absolutely needs to land, like Hold Person on the big boss, but again that's a risk/reward sort of thing, and less of a direct upgrade.
I agree. While there are situations where I could see myself using an action to help a Sorcerer with this, they are few and far between. Taking it in a vacuum, I honestly think it might need a boost.

Strill wrote:Fey Monarch is quite honestly a non-consideration as far as balance is concerned. Wizards of the Coast themselves has no idea how they want high-level perks to be balanced. Just compare the Ranger's level 20 perk to the Wizard's ability to cast a 3rd-level spell at will. That's why I don't see any need to worry about whether a perk is necessarily balanced to a high degree at such high levels.
True that.

Sun Dial wrote:
Before getting into the specific feats, there's something I should point out on the 5E forums: Catodon's reverse engineered race/feat guide. This gentleman is also known as Karl David Brown, and he makes an excellent case for the mathematics behind the observed effects. The races and feats in the expansion were built on these numbers to keep them balanced in general play as well as in Everglow.
I'm sorry but I strongly disagree with this system. It's built in a vacuum, and fails to consider the risk-reward inherent in these choices. For example, Natural Armor = 12+DEX is useless for a Paladin, who has Light armor proficiency, which provides the exact same bonus, and yet the system rates it as equivalent to a feat.

Races are seemingly built in a vacuum too. Elves get a bunch of weapon proficiencies that are useless to certain classes, but his system accounts for them independently.

Strill wrote:Moreover, some of these ratings seem arbitrary. It rates Unarmored Defense as worth 1/4th a feat, even though it will almost certainly be at least as good as the aforementioned Natural Armor = 12+DEX.

He's working on class breakdowns too. Last I checked he had some info on the Monk, Rogue, and Druid classes, but it's still an early project. But that's where those numbers are coming from.

Strill wrote:Spells are not created equal. You can't just pick one number to define the value of a 3rd-level spell, especially when we're considering niche utility spells. Ask yourself "What difference would this make to a character's power or utility"? "What would the consequences be if you just gave them the ability to walk on clouds? " From what I can see here, the answer is absolutely nothing. It's pure fluff. It doesn't make them any more powerful or useful or attractive to a player, it just fits the setting.

As for 3rd level spells, I imagine that's why he has five listings for various spell options of 3rd level. To answer your question, they'd have an at-will use of almost completely secure rest places any time they travel, independent of inclement weather and any ground-based threats.

Strill wrote:Like, just look at some of the conclusions that the person who designed that point system came up with. He values Fey Ancestry and Darkvision as being worth no points at all! I absolutely disagree. I think Fey Ancestry and Darkvision are quite valuable perks with strong combat potential. I think the fact that his system cannot account for their value damages the merit of his system, and undermines the entire premise of having a point-based system in the first place.

Or for example, look how he values Fire resistance as being worthless. That's patently ridiculous. The developers, in their own words, say otherwise.

"Like tieflings, aasimar have darkvision. Instead of resistance to fire damage, we give them resistance to radiant damage to reflect their celestial nature. However, radiant damage isn' t as common as fire damage, so we give them resistance to necrotic damage as well, making them good at facing undead." - DM's Guide page 286

Here the devs explain how they balanced the resistances of the Aasimar and the Tiefling. Obviously they didn't consider the resistance to be worthless. In fact they made an active effort to balance them. If his system rates resistance as worthless, then it implies that his system is fundamentally flawed, and is failing to accomplish its goals.

I don't think Brown's system is a bad idea, or that it's useless. I think it's a valuable tool for getting a rough estimate of the power level of various races and perks. However, it's clearly biased, and therefore should absolutely not be the only measure by which you compare races and feats. When you adhere so strongly to a system like this, you're putting yourself at the whims of Brown's arbitrary choices and opinions. You yourself have to do sanity checks on what his system produces. Ask yourself, "Does this make sense"? "Have I found a case where something isn't worth what it normally should be"? or "Is it simply ok to have a race with slightly more perks than another?" Some perks have synergy with one another, making them better together than they are individually. Others have anti-synergies, making them worse together than they would be apart. It's perfectly fair to make judgement calls on these sorts of things.

These issues are absolutely valid. They're also why he explicitly says that there's fudge room and that trying to make things exact will make you crazy, so don't fret if it's a bit one way or another. ;) It's also why the slow fliers have an extra perk or two despite his system giving a single value for all speeds up to 30 ft, and where Diffuse Concentration and Koidon's Guest came from.

Strill wrote:I think the problem here is the lack of a coherent theme. Half of this is a feat is designed to make you stronger or more resilient while flying, and half of it is designed to make you faster and more agile.
The feat overall is supposed to negate the downsides of having flight. The slow fliers with the feat are faster than regulars without the feat, while everyone gets hover, can wear any armor, and is harder to shoot down.

Strill wrote:Right, so building Aarakocra, I come up with:

Fly Speed 30: +10.75
Fly Speed 30 -> 50: +2
+2 DEX: +4
+1 WIS: +2
Walking Speed 25: -4
Talons: +1

That comes out to 15.75, even after the -4 points from a walking speed that's redundant, and isn't actually reducing your overall speed. If you tried to keep the Pegasus within 12 points, I can certainly see why they're weaker. Brown's system obviously overrates fly speed.

You didn't account for the armor restrictions while flying (which he pegged as the inverse of the proficiency with the armors) or the proficiency with the talons. Remember, his system is reverse engineered. He works backwards from what is presented and tries to make it fit a 12 point system.

Strill wrote:This is again where your number system fails to line up with reality. Javelin proficiency is literally a useless proficiency. It benefits no one. Wizards and Sorcerers are the only classes who do not start the game with it already, and they already have better ranged options. Getting Javelin proficiency will never be a benefit to anyone.

A javelin is a melee weapon that can be used as a ranged weapon with a better damage die than the dagger, so it does have it's uses for those classes, actually. But what would you recommend in its place?

Strill wrote:It's not situational. It literally has no niche to fill. Doppelgangers already get advantage on intimidate and persuade checks. That leaves Perform and Deception checks as the only checks which Friends could help with, neither of which are useful if your target knows immediately afterwards that you charmed them.

I'll admit, I was mostly imagining a con artist or spy slipping out of a city using it and keeping that one minute head start in mind the whole time, or being disguised as someone you want to frame for being a jerk. Or, since Doppelgangers can disguise themselves as an action, slipping around the corner and into a more comfortable identity.

Strill wrote:How does it fix doppelgangers? They already have advantage on disguise checks innately.

I have no idea, it was just a good reaction to see.

Strill wrote: What does the Feat change?

Personally, I don't think it's a good feat overall. The reaction to increase your AC is overpowered, and is equivalent to Defensive Duelist, only better since it works on any attack, not just melee attacks. The other perks are fine though.

...That is probably an oversight. Let me check my notes. At some point, I'm certain it was just the Parry maneuver with Charisma instead of Dex + superiority die.

Sun Dial
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:02 am

Re: 5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Sun Dial » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:08 am

Sun Dial wrote:
So here's my big issue. Is Losing an entire hand and access to the most powerful weapons not that big of a hindrance when it comes to deficiencies for races? That seems like a really big deal.

Thematically, it certainly sounds like it should. Mechanically, not so much. With the shift away from the rule bloat of 3.x and the rigidity of 4th, the lack of a hand is left to fluff and DM arbitration. Given that there's no absolute mechanical issue outside of limiting certain weapons, it was pegged as roughly balancing an extra +1 to a stat.


I'd disagree heavily. An extra hand is +2 AC, its an extra attack, its a much stronger weapon, (The highest weapon is a d8 with a single hand, and then add on top of that, that you can't use most of the powerful weapons anyways?) It seems like a far worst perk then just +1 to a stat.

Honestly, I'm not sure that's the best use of feats, particularly they're so limited in 5E. Adding an optional rule to the effect of "If you can fly, you can walk on clouds" would be better for that (and since I'm checking on the other things needing tweaks, that's something you should expect in an update relatively soon).


Part of what made the creatures of the Everglow so interesting were the feat chains though. How these ponies grew and adapted and could make fascinating things. Maybe feats isn't the right way to enhance that, but 5E is so tight, I'm not sure I see a better option.

Strill wrote:
Noon Shadow wrote:
Thematically, it's grand. But it's definitely on the higher power end of the scale, and I'd really want to get some serious table time on something like this before calling it ready.
Hi, I was the friend who helped make that bloodline and I'm curious why you say it's on the higher power end of the scale. My impression was that it was perhaps a bit high on social/utility, but that its combat ability was very situational. For example, most of the pony racial perks are relegated to utility or out-of-combat, and the level 5 ability was intended to be more of a tactical option, and less of a direct power upgrade. If you can see how that wouldn't be the case, however, I'd like to know.

Actually, it's Awakened Ancestry at first level that does it. It heavily front-loads the class, and the additional bonuses of a subrace are much stronger than the first level bonuses given to Draconic (armor, a language, and double proficiency to Cha checks with dragons) and Wild Magic (random magic explosions and a once-a-day reroll). Without it, the first level bonuses might lag a little, but given the setting I'm not sure that's true. With it, it's far and away the optimal choice whenever available.


You haven't read wild magic carefully enough. Its not once a day re-roll, its gain advantage, cast a level 1+ spell, activate wild magic, gain advantage on another roll, cast a level 1+ wild spell, activate wild magic, rinse and repeat. its really good. (That's not activate as in, get a one, that's activate as in you decide to activate your wild magic.)

Also, Draconic gives crazy buffs, for a class that's designed to be squishy, Draconic gives you +3 AC and +1 Hp/per level... the equavilent of +2 Con. Then add the fluff bonuses onto it.

Strill wrote:
This is again where your number system fails to line up with reality. Javelin proficiency is literally a useless proficiency. It benefits no one. Wizards and Sorcerers are the only classes who do not start the game with it already, and they already have better ranged options. Getting Javelin proficiency will never be a benefit to anyone.

A javelin is a melee weapon that can be used as a ranged weapon with a better damage die than the dagger, so it does have it's uses for those classes, actually. But what would you recommend in its place?


That's not a good argument, you're saying valuable race points should be used to give two classes that only a few crazy players are ever going to use with that race, an upgrade from a d4 to a d6 melee attack, when they already have way stronger cantrips. It needs a change for sure.

Noon Shadow
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:47 pm

Re: 5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Noon Shadow » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:32 am

Sun Dial wrote:I'd disagree heavily. An extra hand is +2 AC, its an extra attack, its a much stronger weapon, (The highest weapon is a d8 with a single hand, and then add on top of that, that you can't use most of the powerful weapons anyways?) It seems like a far worst perk then just +1 to a stat.

The Saddle Rack averts pretty much all of that and is affordable pretty early on for any character that wants to use those, though. Even if the numbers are off, the setting accounts for it pretty well.

Sun Dial wrote:Part of what made the creatures of the Everglow so interesting were the feat chains though. How these ponies grew and adapted and could make fascinating things. Maybe feats isn't the right way to enhance that, but 5E is so tight, I'm not sure I see a better option.

I'm right there with you. I'm still looking for that better option.

Sun Dial wrote:You haven't read wild magic carefully enough. Its not once a day re-roll, its gain advantage, cast a level 1+ spell, activate wild magic, gain advantage on another roll, cast a level 1+ wild spell, activate wild magic, rinse and repeat. its really good. (That's not activate as in, get a one, that's activate as in you decide to activate your wild magic.)

You don't automatically get the Wild Magic roll on every level 1+ spell you cast, only if the DM asks for it. You can't guarantee the chain.

Sun Dial wrote:Also, Draconic gives crazy buffs, for a class that's designed to be squishy, Draconic gives you +3 AC and +1 Hp/per level... the equavilent of +2 Con. Then add the fluff bonuses onto it.

You don't get the bonus to Con saves, so it isn't quite equivalent, but I see your point. On the other hand, Earthbound ponies get the +1 Hp/level, a get-out-of-KO-free card once per day, higher minimum healing per hit die, and cool jumping, and you can add all that on top of the free skill proficiency, double proficiency bonus on Cha checks with Fey, and using humanoid-only spells on both humanoid and fey creatures. Unification comes out solidly ahead there.

Sun Dial wrote:That's not a good argument, you're saying valuable race points should be used to give two classes that only a few crazy players are ever going to use with that race, an upgrade from a d4 to a d6 melee attack, when they already have way stronger cantrips. It needs a change for sure.

It's 0.25 points. It could be cut entirely without affecting balance too much. I just thought the idea of any pegasus being able to throw javelins down like lightning bolts was kind of cool, but mechanically, you're right, it isn't much of a benefit.

EDIT: Thoughts on replacing friends with thaumaturgy and having it per short or long rest? Should still be within fudge room and is probably more useful, as you guy note.

Sun Dial
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:02 am

Re: 5E Overhaul.... didn't have what we needed.

Postby Sun Dial » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:28 pm

Can't quote, on phone, but....


While the Saddle Rack does help, it's gonna be a full level or two before you can get it and upgrade your weapon, lvls were the weapon itself is most effective. And your right, the weapon thing does get compensated for, but the shield Does not. +2 AC is a lot in 5E, and the devs expecting you to have that when you don't is a huge hit to how much damage your gonna take.

3AC is a lot better then a one time get out of jail free card. The earth pony ability saves at worst 1 Hp, at best it saves from a one hit KO... Yeah, it's better in extreme cases, but that 3 AC is going to save you a lot more damage a lot more often, combine that with the shield a pony can't get and that's 5AC the devs expect you to have, but you don't. Also, while the jumping thing is cool, it's mostly fluff in the end.

Okay... So I do like the raining javelins down upon your opponent. Maybe make all thrown weapons deal lightning damage rather then a useless weapon? More incentive to rain thunder down upon your opponent.

Don't have access to a book right now, what does Thaumtauragy do?

P.S. Wild magic activates every spell as long as you've used your ability to give yourself advantage on something. It can literally activate every round of combat, and give you advantage on a saving throw once per round.


Return to “Drawing Board”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest