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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Blink Dog race: No Hands! Can't Speak! v2 (peach)



eleazzaar
2015-06-09, 11:31 PM
The Most Recent Version will always be here, in my 5e Race Compendium (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m7qG9BDQEH1pIykhmUb88f1--ghHvJZlV5QBJUtzTR4/edit#heading=h.x1e11igthw6a)

So, suppose I turn the Blink Dog into a PC race. The main issue is that they have no hands, so they can't wield weapons or perform the material componant of spells. I've checked and the vast majority of spells require a material component. Technically he shouldn't be able to perform the somatic component either, but it doesn't seem outrageous to allow them to gesture with a free paw or dog body-language.

The dog does have a d6 bite. I could declare it as a light, finessable, simple melee weapon, so it does have applicability to certain classes.

But what could the dog do? Seems to me he could be a decent barbarian, paladin, but monk or rogue might be better, though obviously the lack of hand is still limiting.

Would a caster be of *any* interest to you if you couldn't do spells with a material componant?

Is there any other class a no-hand PC could do well at? Are there reasons a intelligent dog couldn't do well in the classes I listed? Is this the stupidest idea ever?

EDIT:

Thanks for the feedback! Here's Version 2....

Blink Dog

Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity and Constitution scores increases by 1, and either your Strength or Wisdom score increases by 1.

Fey. Your type is fey. Spells that work only on humanoids do not affect you, but you are affected by spells that target fey. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic canít put you to sleep.

Useful Magic. You know either the cantrip, mage hand or message. Whichever cantrip you choose may be cast without a verbal or material component.

Teleportation. As a bonus action you may instantly teleport to an unoccupied space you can see along with any equipment you are wearing or carrying. After you teleport, you canít teleport again until a minute has passed, however at the beginning of your turn you may roll a d6 to see if your teleportation ability has recharged earlier. At level one your teleportation range is 20 feet, and it recharges on a roll of 6. Your teleportation improves at the following levels:

L3: recharges on 5-6.
L6: range increases to 30 feet.
L9: recharges on 4-6.
L12: range increases to 45 feet.
L15: recharges on 3-6.
L18: range increases to 60 feet.

Flickering Presence. You can instantly teleport short distances of a few inches at will. This improves your ability to dodge, giving you an AC bonus of +2. You lose this ability when not in the form of a blink dog.

Bite. You are proficient with your bite, which deals 1d6 piercing and bludgeoning damage on a hit. You may consider your jaws a light, finesse simple melee weapon, but your bite does not count as an unarmed strike. You may use your jaws instead of a free hand to grapple. If a spell or class feature allows you to enhance a melee weapon, you may apply that enhancement to your teeth instead.

Discerning Nose. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell. Your sense of smell is so keen you may track another creature by scent with a Wisdom (Survival) check up to 24 hours after they have left. Finally you recognise the scent of anyone you are familiar with, and cannot be fooled by merely visual disguises.

No Hands. Unfortunately, you have no hands. You cannot wield weapons or shields. You cannot perform spells with material components, or use a spellcasting focus. You can however with ear twitches, tail wagging, and other movements, perform the gestures necessary for the somatic component of spells. You cannot do anything for which hands are necessary, such as use tools or kits.

Language. As a dog, you do not have the vocal apparatus necessary to speak humanoid languages. However, you can understand, read, but not write Common, and Sylvan, as well as communicate through the exotic language of blink dogs. You can fulfill the verbal component of spells using the natural language of blink dogs.



Fighting Styles
Whenever your class offers you the choice of a fighting style, you may choose one of these blink dog fighting styles instead.

Guard Dog
When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll, by teleporting and bumping your ally out of the way.

Tenacious Grip
When you succeed with an Attack action during your turn to make a bite attack you may make a grapple attempt as a bonus action. When a creature you have grappled with your jaws uses its action to escape and fails you automatically deal your bite damage.

Pack Tactics
You gain a +2 bonus to your melee attack rolls against a creature if at least one of your allies is within five feet of the creature and the allies isnít incapacitated.

All the Better to Eat You With...
Your bite does 1d8 damage.

Points
3.0 ASI
0.5 Type: Fey
0.5 Cantrip
2.5 Teleportation
1.0 Flickering Presense
1.0 Bite
0.75 Discerning Nose
-3.0 No Hands
0.0 Languages
-.5 Canít Speak
6.00 Total


Here's my first Draft, PEACH. What did I miss? Is teleport too powerful? Too weak?

EDIT2: updated bite description to make it clear "bite" isn't an "unarmed strike".

Blink Dog

Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Fey. Your type is fey. Spells that work only on humanoids do not affect you, but you are affected by spells that target fey. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic canít put you to sleep.

Useful Magic. You know either the cantrip, mage hand or message. Whichever cantrip you choose may be cast without a verbal or material component.

Teleportation. As a bonus action you may instantly teleport to an unoccupied space you can see along with any equipment you are wearing or carrying. After you teleport, you canít teleport again until a minute has passed, however at the beginning of your turn you may roll a d6 to see if your teleportation ability has recharged earlier. At level one your teleportation range is 20 feet, and it recharges on a roll of 6. Your teleportation improves at the following levels:

L3: recharges on 5-6.
L6: range increases to 30 feet.
L9: recharges on 4-6.
L12: range increases to 45 feet.
L15: recharges on 3-6.
L18: range increases to 60 feet.


Bite. (updated) You are proficient with your bite, which deals 1d6 piercing damage on a hit. You may consider your jaws a light, finesse simple melee weapon, but your bite does not count as an unarmed strike. You may use your jaws instead of a free hand to grapple.

Discerning Nose. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell. Your sense of smell is so keen you may track another creature by scent. (DONíT KNOW WHAT THE DMG RULES ON TRACKING ARE). Finally you recognise the scent of anyone you are familiar with, and cannot be fooled by merely visual disguises.

No Hands. Unfortunately, you have no hands. You cannot wield weapons or shields. You cannot perform spells with material components. You cannot do anything for which hands are necessary.

Language. As a dog, you do not have the vocal apparatus necessary to speak humanoid languages. However, you can understand, read, but not write Common, and Sylvan, as well as communicate through the exotic language of blink dogs. You can fulfill the verbal component of spells using the natural language of blink dogs.

Points

3.0 ASI
0.5 Type: Fey
0.5 Cantrip
3.0 Teleportation
1.0 Bite
1.0 Discerning Nose
-2.0 No Hands
0 Languages
-.5 Canít Speak
6.5 Total

Ralcos
2015-06-10, 12:14 AM
So, suppose I turn the Blink Dog into a PC race. The main issue is that they have no hands, so they can't wield weapons or perform the material component of spells. I've checked and the vast majority of spells require a material component. Technically he shouldn't be able to perform the somatic component either, but it doesn't seem outrageous to allow them to gesture with a free paw or dog body-language.

The dog does have a d6 bite. I could declare it as a light, finessable, simple melee weapon, so it does have applicability to certain classes.

But what could the dog do? Seems to me he could be a decent barbarian, paladin, but monk or rogue might be better, though obviously the lack of hand is still limiting.

Would a caster be of *any* interest to you if you couldn't do spells with a material componant?

Is there any other class a no-hand PC could do well at? Are there reasons a intelligent dog couldn't do well in the classes I listed? Is this the stupidest idea ever?

It's not dumb, I've been working on some concepts on how to do this for a while.
And for the component, don't you mean the Somatic component?
I'd say that there could be a feat that emulates Wild Magic for Druids that'll allow these sort of characters to use spells with Somatic components (that or just take the Still Spell feat to compensate).

Now I have an idea to build a Blink Dong Druid. That'd be awesome.

EDIT: I just read through and found that you mentioned both material and somatic components. I still stand by my point, and such characters could still use material components (sack of arcane foci in the mouth?)

EDIT2: Also, I think that the limitation of having no arms balances such characters when compared to their other abilities (natural armor, hit dice, etc.)

Ninja_Prawn
2015-06-10, 01:14 AM
Blink Dogs are fey, right (I'm AFB)? I have to admit, I dismissed out of hand the idea of putting them in my own fey package. I figured that I only needed one quadrupedal race and Faerie Dragons were both easier to balance and a better fit for the theme.

But... Let's see. Blink Dogs have a language, so I see no reason to deny them verbal components, and you could handwave material components as being replaced by the Dog's innate fey magic.

It might be nice to give them alternatives to tool/instrument proficiencies. What are dogs good at (I'm a cat person)? Do they have climb or swim speeds in the MM? You could find a way to work that in. Or some kind of digging/scent tracking things. Also, the ability to squeeze through small gaps.

Have you played the Shadow Hearts games? One of the main characters is a wolf called Blanca, and there are various puzzles where you have to rely on his unique talents. My favourite was when *SPOILERS* you infiltrate a fortress but then get ambushed by an aromatherapist who captures you with a paralytic gas - except for Blanca who isn't affected. So he sneaks out and you have to re-infiltrate the fortress from a completely different POV.

TheTeaMustFlow
2015-06-10, 05:01 AM
Arcane Trickster might work well, considering it gives you a hand.

eleazzaar
2015-06-10, 08:19 AM
EDIT: I just read through and found that you mentioned both material and somatic components. I still stand by my point, and such characters could still use material components (sack of arcane foci in the mouth?)

EDIT2: Also, I think that the limitation of having no arms balances such characters when compared to their other abilities (natural armor, hit dice, etc.)

Yeah, I could change things around and give them special license to be full casters, without impediment.

But I don't want to do that. I want them to be viable as casters or melee-- so since melee has signficicant issues with having no hands, I want to give them traits that make up for that (teleportning that increases in frequency and distance as they level, etc.) If the hand-less wasn't a disadvantage for a blink dog caster, then the stuff I gave them to make melee viable would probably make casters overpowered.



Arcane Trickster might work well, considering it gives you a hand.
Yeah, the extra-powered mage hand would probably be desirable. I'm considering giving them either regular mage hand or message as a free cantrip. That should help make them not too helpless. But I don't want to handwave away all their problems.




Blink Dogs are fey, right
yep.


It might be nice to give them alternatives to tool/instrument proficiencies. What are dogs good at (I'm a cat person)? Do they have climb or swim speeds in the MM? You could find a way to work that in. Or some kind of digging/scent tracking things. Also, the ability to squeeze through small gaps.

Tools/instruments need hands.

Dogs are fairly good swimmers, but a teleporting race doesn't really need more mobility options. I will need to work in something about their sense of smell.

eleazzaar
2015-06-12, 09:27 PM
I've added the first draft of the Blink Dog to my top post...

Ninja_Prawn
2015-06-13, 03:43 AM
Ok, that's looking good. Some thoughts:


You've costed Fey as a beneficial trait. I don't know how your points system works, but I consider the added vulnerabilities to things like Dispel Evil and Good, Forbiddance and Turn the Faithless to be as much of a drawback as the charm resistance is a benefit.
Teleportation is powerful, but no hands seems like a good counterbalance. I guess it needs playtesting to be sure.
Tracking would normally be done with Wisdom (Survival) checks, I reckon. I'd be inclined to say the blink dog can automatically succeed on any attempt to track someone who passed through the current location in the last 24 hours, unless there's some reason why there would be no scent trail. I like the smelling through disguises.
You say "cannot perform spells with material components". To me, this means you can't cast the spell, even if you're not actually using materials (i.e. with a focus). Is that intentional? I feel like a dog could wear a focus on a collar or something, or have a tattoo-style focus.

eleazzaar
2015-06-13, 10:09 AM
Ok, that's looking good. Some thoughts:
You've costed Fey as a beneficial trait. I don't know how your points system works, but I consider the added vulnerabilities to things like Dispel Evil and Good, Forbiddance and Turn the Faithless to be as much of a drawback as the charm resistance is a benefit.

I hadn't checked before, but it looks like the number of spells that a PC would have to worry about because they are Fey is about the same as the number they no longer need to worry about because they are not humanoid. Yes, Planar Binding is a thing, but Magic Jar is no longer a worry. The biggest issue is that "Reincarnate" is humanoid only.

Here's my list.

Works only on humanoids:

1 Charm person
2 Calm emotions
2 Crown of madness
2 Hold Person
3 animate dead
5 Dominate Person
5 Reincarnate
6 create undead
6 Magic Jar


Works on Fey, not humanoids

1 Detect Good and Evil
1 Protection from Evil and Good
3 Magic Circle
3 Turn the Faithless (channel divinity)
5 Dispell Evil and Good ?
5 Hallow
5 Planar binding
6 Forbiddance


Admittedly not all of these are a big deal. But it looks like roughly a wash to me.





Teleportation is powerful, but no hands seems like a good counterbalance. I guess it needs playtesting to be sure.
Agreed. For now, i'm thinking of it as comparable to flight-- but without some of the exploits. You can't use it to hover above your melee enemies and blast them, for instance, though it has advantages of it's own-- TPing through the bars of a gate, for instance.


Tracking would normally be done with Wisdom (Survival) checks, I reckon. I'd be inclined to say the blink dog can automatically succeed on any attempt to track someone who passed through the current location in the last 24 hours, unless there's some reason why there would be no scent trail. I like the smelling through disguises.
Automatic success for 24hrs afterwards seems rather strong. But I do need to define it better.



You say "cannot perform spells with material components". To me, this means you can't cast the spell, even if you're not actually using materials (i.e. with a focus). Is that intentional? I feel like a dog could wear a focus on a collar or something, or have a tattoo-style focus.

I'm not sure what you are saying-- that you can't cast anything without a spellcasting focus? PHB p 203 only says that you can use a component pouch or focus for the Material Component.

If you are saying, there's a loophole in my wording-- yeah I can make that more clear.

The intention is to prevent casting any spells with the "M" component-- something roughly equivalent to the "no weapons" downside. Because otherwise the race would have minimal downsides as a caster, and to prevent it from being an OP caster, i'd have to make it lousy as anything else. And I'm thinking of this race as more of a melee/exploration type.

According to Donjon the PHB & EE has 188 spells without a material component out of 404 -- so they loose out on roughly half.

My current main fear is that there is little downside for Monks. Would this Blink Dog be a super-optimal race for a Monk? I'm not very familiar with the monk class.

PotatoGolem
2015-06-13, 11:47 AM
Personally, I'd get rid of Can't Speak for purely game reasons. If the DM doesn't enforce it, then it's not really a penalty. If he does, you have a character who literally can't participate in a major part of the game. If the second half of a session is social interaction/RP, the Blink Dog player might as well pack up and go home. He's not allowed to participate. That seems super un-fun, unless you're running a total RP light hack and slash game. It's like making a race that's barred from using the Attack action or casting spells. You can't play a big part of the game, and that's really lame.

Ninja_Prawn
2015-06-13, 11:55 AM
But it looks like roughly a wash to me.

Fair enough. I hadn't taken into account the ones that target humanoids (I guess because most of the fey I was working with are kind of human-shaped. Note to self: amend fey homebrew so that fey creatures are targetted by humanoid-only spells).



Automatic success for 24hrs afterwards seems rather strong. But I do need to define it better.

On the other hand, tracking doesn't come up often (in the grand scheme of things) and it's rarely a matter of life or death.

It was just a suggestion anyway, maybe someone else has a better idea.


I'm not sure what you are saying-- that you can't cast anything without a spellcasting focus? PHB p 203 only says that you can use a component pouch or focus for the Material Component.

If you are saying, there's a loophole in my wording-- yeah I can make that more clear.

The intention is to prevent casting any spells with the "M" component-- something roughly equivalent to the "no weapons" downside. Because otherwise the race would have minimal downsides as a caster, and to prevent it from being an OP caster, i'd have to make it lousy as anything else. And I'm thinking of this race as more of a melee/exploration type.

According to Donjon the PHB & EE has 188 spells without a material component out of 404 -- so they loose out on roughly half.

No, I was trying to say "my interpretation of your wording is: you can never cast any spell with an M component."

I just don't see why, from a 'realism' perspective, a Blink Dog can't use a focus. It makes more sense to deny them the S component because of "You cannot do anything for which hands are necessary."


My current main fear is that there is little downside for Monks. Would this Blink Dog be a super-optimal race for a Monk? I'm not very familiar with the monk class.

That thought did strike me as well (while I was at the gym and unable to edit my post). Yes, it looks like they would be amazing monks, especially at low levels (1d6 martial arts at lv1). And they get ideal ASIs built-in. Hmm... Deflect Missiles can't be used without a hand (or at least, that's how I'd rule it). Stillness of Mind is half-irrelevant to fey. Tongue of the Sun and Moon would be a huge boon to Blink Dogs.

eleazzaar
2015-06-13, 12:08 PM
Personally, I'd get rid of Can't Speak for purely game reasons. If the DM doesn't enforce it, then it's not really a penalty. If he does, you have a character who literally can't participate in a major part of the game. If the second half of a session is social interaction/RP, the Blink Dog player might as well pack up and go home. He's not allowed to participate. That seems super un-fun, unless you're running a total RP light hack and slash game. It's like making a race that's barred from using the Attack action or casting spells. You can't play a big part of the game, and that's really lame.

Legitimate concerns, there, but I don't think it is nearly as bad as you fear.

1) Not everybody wants to participate in the social interactions part of the game, so for them it's not a problem.

2) There are multiple spells that can bridge the communication barrier, including "message", which is an option in the racial package.

3) Just because you can't talk, doesn't mean you can't communicate. Regular dogs can communicate quite a bit through posture, movement and their small range of noise they can make. And regular dogs don't have humanoid-level intelligence.

Personally I think it would be an interesting RP challenge to communicate by describing the actions and noises the Blink Dog makes, and leaving it up to the PCs to decipher them.

Ninja_Prawn
2015-06-13, 12:16 PM
Legitimate concerns, there, but I don't think it is nearly as bad as you fear.

1) Not everybody wants to participate in the social interactions part of the game, so for them it's not a problem.

2) There are multiple spells that can bridge the communication barrier, including "message", which is an option in the racial package.

3) Just because you can't talk, doesn't mean you can't communicate. Regular dogs can communicate quite a bit through posture, movement and their small range of noise they can make. And regular dogs don't have humanoid-level intelligence.

Personally I think it would be an interesting RP challenge to communicate by describing the actions and noises the Blink Dog makes, and leaving it up to the PCs to decipher them.

I agree with this. You don't play a dog unless you're down with some communication challenges. Remember that the other PCs can learn Blink Dog if their race or background (or class, if they're a knowledge cleric or ranger) gives them a 'language of their choice'.

eleazzaar
2015-06-13, 01:23 PM
Fair enough. I hadn't taken into account the ones that target humanoids (I guess because most of the fey I was working with are kind of human-shaped. Note to self: amend fey homebrew so that fey creatures are targetted by humanoid-only spells).

Feedback is appreciated even when I follow the suggestion-- it makes me consider things I hadn't. And I didn't know previously that the spells would be aproximately a wash.



On the other hand, tracking doesn't come up often (in the grand scheme of things) and it's rarely a matter of life or death.

It was just a suggestion anyway, maybe someone else has a better idea.

I think I'll adopt your 24hr limit but leave it to the DM to set a DC, thus:

Your sense of smell is so keen you may track another creature by scent with a Wisdom (Survival) check up to 24 hours after they have left.



I just don't see why, from a 'realism' perspective, a Blink Dog can't use a focus. It makes more sense to deny them the S component because of "You cannot do anything for which hands are necessary."

Yeah, I definitely need to make that clear in the description. As for what makes sense, or what's realistic-- that's not high on the list of things i'm concerned about for what kind of spellcasting a sapient dog can do.



That thought did strike me as well (while I was at the gym and unable to edit my post). Yes, it looks like they would be amazing monks, especially at low levels (1d6 martial arts at lv1). And they get ideal ASIs built-in. Hmm... Deflect Missiles can't be used without a hand (or at least, that's how I'd rule it). Stillness of Mind is half-irrelevant to fey. Tongue of the Sun and Moon would be a huge boon to Blink Dogs.
I can't deny this concerns me. I can change the stats, but even if I switch to CHA and INT, if "No Hands" simply isn't a big downside for Monks, then they will be a very strong monk candidate.

But with sage advice and the new errata, I think it is clear that you can't "unarmed strike" with a natural weapon. So the bite would simply be a d6 monk weapon that you can't easily disarm, but not an improvement on the 1d4 unnarmed strike a monk gets for the first 4 levels.

But I know this is a point of controversy, I'll add wording to make that clear.

How to gimp the blink dog as a monk? The only thing that occurs is to arbitarily reduce it's Ki, or downsize the martial arts die size. A less heavy handed, but less effective method would be to take away some advantages and give it advantages the monk gets, like perhaps unarmored defence and unarmored movement.

PotatoGolem
2015-06-13, 03:27 PM
I wouldn't go overboard in trying to gimp it as a monk. It's already a class that's only really good at monk, maybe rogue or moon druid. If you make it worse as a monk, there's no real reason to take it. Remember, there needs to be a reason to take the race as well as a reason not to. I get that there's goals other than optimization, but the race shouldn't be a mechanically bad choice for everything, or it just punishes players who choose it.

As it is, it's actively bad for:
Barbarians (no shield, lower damage)
Bards (lose out on spells, Wis boost does nothing)
Clerics (no shield, lose out on spells)
Land Druids (no shield, lose out on spells)
Fighters (no shield, can't use any weapon fighting styles, lower damage)
Paladins (no shield, can't use any weapon fighting styles, lower damage, lose out on spells, only helps dump stats)
Sorcerer, Wizard, and Warlock (lose out on lots of spells, Wis boost does nothing)

And gives serious tradeoffs for rogues and rangers (can't cast lots of spells, can't use ranged attacks, lose most fighting styles, can't use many good skills, no TWF)

I appreciate trying to have not-OP homebrew, and I get that many people who want to play a dog will play a dog even if they're mechanically weaker than the rest of the party, but I don't think the race is so good that it needs more nerfing.

Ninja_Prawn
2015-06-13, 03:47 PM
If not having shields makes the race unplayable for lots of classes, then there should be a replacement feature. Natural armour is an option, but I feel like that's getting clichťd.

Maybe some kind of once/short rest 'blink' reaction, to get them out of danger?

eleazzaar
2015-06-13, 04:40 PM
I wouldn't go overboard in trying to gimp it as a monk. It's already a class that's only really good at monk, maybe rogue or moon druid. If you make it worse as a monk, there's no real reason to take it. Remember, there needs to be a reason to take the race as well as a reason not to. I get that there's goals other than optimization, but the race shouldn't be a mechanically bad choice for everything, or it just punishes players who choose it.

So you think i'm overvaluing the teleportation ability? My whole approach has been based on the idea that it is quite powerful, and would be OP if the race doesn't have some serious nerfing elsewhere.


As it is, it's actively bad for:
Barbarians (no shield, lower damage)
Bards (lose out on spells, Wis boost does nothing)
Clerics (no shield, lose out on spells)
Land Druids (no shield, lose out on spells)
Fighters (no shield, can't use any weapon fighting styles, lower damage)
Paladins (no shield, can't use any weapon fighting styles, lower damage, lose out on spells, only helps dump stats)
Sorcerer, Wizard, and Warlock (lose out on lots of spells, Wis boost does nothing)

And gives serious tradeoffs for rogues and rangers (can't cast lots of spells, can't use ranged attacks, lose most fighting styles, can't use many good skills, no TWF)

I appreciate trying to have not-OP homebrew, and I get that many people who want to play a dog will play a dog even if they're mechanically weaker than the rest of the party, but I don't think the race is so good that it needs more nerfing.

I appreciate the breakdown. Here's a couple things i'm considering.


To replace shields, give it a flat AC bonus of +1 or maybe +2.


Flickering Presence. You can instantly teleport short distances of a few inches at will. This makes it easier for you to dodge, and gives you an AC bonus of +2. You lose this ability whenever you take another form than your natural blink dog form.



The die of it's jaws could increase over the levels.

Totally changing around the attributes, and possibly giving the player some choice.

Some sort of reaction defense per rest like Blur, or Blink, as Ninja Prawn suggests.



As for loosing out on spells, it seems to me that Wizards, Clerics and Druids loose the most. The other casting classes have a limited number of spells known, so while they may not have their ideal choice, they will have just as many as any other of the same class.

EDIT: It occurs to me that what the Blink Dog needs is alternate fighting styles...

PotatoGolem
2015-06-13, 09:22 PM
So you think i'm overvaluing the teleportation ability? My whole approach has been based on the idea that it is quite powerful, and would be OP if the race doesn't have some serious nerfing elsewhere.

It is quite a strong ability, but I think you're overvaluing it. It's not as useful for monks and rogues, and casters, because they already get mobility options. It's strong, but the lack of hands is probably an equal penalty



I appreciate the breakdown. Here's a couple things i'm considering.


To replace shields, give it a flat AC bonus of +1 or maybe +2.





The die of it's jaws could increase over the levels.

Totally changing around the attributes, and possibly giving the player some choice.

Some sort of reaction defense per rest like Blur, or Blink, as Ninja Prawn suggests.


Any of those could work. I like the flicker defense as you currently have it- makes them (usually) slightly weaker than sword and board, but not by much.



As for loosing out on spells, it seems to me that Wizards, Clerics and Druids loose the most. The other casting classes have a limited number of spells known, so while they may not have their ideal choice, they will have just as many as any other of the same class.

EDIT: It occurs to me that what the Blink Dog needs is alternate fighting styles...

The issue is that a loss of versatility IS weakness. Wizards aren't generally considered better than sorcerers because they get access to more powerful spells; they're better because they have a much broader repertoire. Especially for sorcerers and bards, who already have a limited spell list, losing out on a bunch of choices is a severe handicap. Again, some people may like the challenge, but it is a very sub-optimal choice.

eleazzaar
2015-06-13, 10:49 PM
Thanks for the feedback!

Updated the originlal post to Version 2, incorporating various clarifications, alterations, and adding fighting styles.

PotatoGolem
2015-06-14, 01:00 AM
I like it! Especially the fighting styles. "All the Better to Eat You With..." is a great name

Ninja_Prawn
2015-06-14, 06:39 AM
Yeah, the fighting styles are a masterstroke.

You know how you assign costs to each feature? What's the target? Because v1 was 6.5 and v2 is 6.0. I'm just curious.

eleazzaar
2015-06-14, 07:48 AM
Thanks!


Yeah, the fighting styles are a masterstroke.

You know how you assign costs to each feature? What's the target? Because v1 was 6.5 and v2 is 6.0. I'm just curious.

I work off a modified James musicus scale, though for a lot of the blink dog's numbers I'm just wildly guessing.

Anyway by my numbers the average PHB and EE race is 6.1 ASI points, and the highest (half elf) is 7.25.

So I usually aim for between 6.0 and 6.5 -- average or slightly higher unless it is a subrace in which case I try to stay in the range of existing subraces.

By it isn't only about the numbers of course. I try to make sure that none of mine are strictly superior at the same niche as a PHB race.