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
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!