A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Default Be a Better Changeling! [PEACH]

    Hey folks,

    Not content with WotC's half-assed Unearthed Arcana Changeling, I've had a fair crack at building a balanced, yet diverse and fun Changeling.

    At the link is a first draft in PDF format!

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8pl5f9mn7b...ebrew.pdf?dl=0

    UPDATE! v0.2 NOW AT THE LINK ABOVE!
    Last edited by Wufflykins; 2016-07-16 at 02:14 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Re: Be a Better Changeling! [PEACH]

    I like what you’ve done here, especially with the beautiful formatting and clever application of features. Allow me to give a shopping list of things to you to consider or change. I do it out of love, not hate.

    Allow me to put on my English teacher hat:

    Art: In the background image on the first page, the light is coming from the upper-right. On the foreground image of the changeling, the light comes from the upper-left. I don't know if you can change this, but it would be nice if you could.

    1st paragraph: As per the player’s handbook, this should be written in the past progressive(?) tense. “Information” doesn’t have a “g”. Should it really be a “sack” of gold? Why not a bulging pouch, or heavy coinpurse? Correct to: “I will take my leave. Guards, show this man out.” Also, this paragraph implies that you can alter your equipment when you change shape, which is not allowed by the feature.

    2nd paragraph: Correct to comma at the end of the first sentence. Pupilless? Pupiless? Pupil-less? But not pupil less. But I really think this paragraph should describe the race in a less physical way. This paragraph should be the ‘hook’, as an English teacher (like me) would say.

    Roleplaying a Roleplayer: I think this title is much too meta for my taste. Again, you switch between tenses – copy whatever tense is in the PHB (present I think). Edit to “game, where they impersonate”.

    Adventuring: I think that in this paragraph I want to hear about reasons I might go adventuring, not a prescription for my character’s personality or why I might not go adventuring. Just my taste.

    Alignment: You say they don’t sway toward any alignment, then reverse it and say that they value freedom and shy away from being lawful. Choose one or the other.

    Change Shape: You switch around how you refer to the changeling. You refer to it as “the changeling” most of the time, but sometimes say “you” instead. Choose one, or reference the PHB to see what they do.

    Language: Change to “It takes you half as long to learn a new language as compared to most races.”

    Shifting Mind: There are no charm spells. But you can be immune to the charmed status condition. “Sleep” should not be capitalized.

    Subraces: This doesn’t have a header. See how it is formatted in the PHB.

    Racial Emulation: This is worded worse than it needs to be. Change to: "Choose one subrace that you could take the form of using your change shape ability. When in the form of that race no one has any reason to doubt you are of that race. Any deception check against someone trying to discover your true identity automatically succeeds.
    You gain the traits from the subrace you choose as your preferred form. This does not include traits from the base race, except for Darkvision. If the Ability Score Increase feature would give you more than one attribute point increase, reduce it to one.
    You also qualify as that race for the purposes of magical items, spells, or other effects as long as you are disguised as that race.”

    Becomer: The word “vie” implies competition, which I think is not what you intend. The group “people” is non-specific and ambiguous – be more discerning. “Beguiler” as a word means only to trick or conceal – which has nothing to do with intimidation, or even persuasion. See notes on mechanics below.

    Quick Change: Change to: “You can use your Change Shape trait as a bonus action. In addition, you have…”

    Seeker: The first sentence is not complete. The second may require more expounding – what does it mean to find the reality of your race? The third sentence implies that changeling culture doesn’t already exist, because they are “trying” to create it. There is no such thing as a “struggle of morals”, but you can have an ethical struggle. Capitalize “Dexterity”.

    And now for my D&D Homebrewer hat…
    Base Class: It seems to me that Change Shape is the equivalent of at-will casting of parts of a 2nd level spell (alter shape). That makes it rather powerful. This, combined with the other nifty features gained by this class, convinces me that you should only gain one chosen ability score increase.

    One thing I liked about the UA Changeling is that you must change shape into a humanoid you have seen before. This means that not matter how anonymous you want to be you are still in the form of somebody, somewhere.

    I think that Doppelganger Ancestry should give you Insight and Persuasion instead. The Deception skill can be given by the Becomer subclass.

    Passer:
    Take this for-instance: My preferred persona is Grum, the human blacksmith. By these rules, I can shapeshift as Leonius, the Golden Man-King and never by detected.
    I think that it ought to be possible to choose a dragonborn or tiefling as your emulated race, or any other homebrewed race with no subclasses. Perhaps these can also be put into the sidebar?

    Becomer: Seems good.

    Seeker: I think this option is considerably weaker than the others, or at any rate less flavorful. And the Navigator’s Tools are an odd addition. I would re-work this to be an option that people would want to take. Idea: What benefit might a seeker discover about their race that can be used?

    And since it is irresponsible to leave only negative criticism, I offer you kind words for:
    - The cool names you give each trait.
    - The great way you inserted the passer/becomer/seeker archetypes into the race
    - The beautifully inserted art.
    - How well balanced, on the whole, this entire class is.
    -That you put it all into a nice PDF for us.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Be a Better Changeling! [PEACH]

    Being one of my favorite races, I like what you have done.

    As a side note, here is a little thing I like to add on to my Changelings

    Notes on Changeling Gender:
    An important aspect of a changeling’s identity is the issue of gender. Unlike doppelgangers, which are entirely genderless, a changeling does have a default gender that manifests in adolescence, but each changeling can adapt his or her form to be of either gender, hermaphroditic (both genders simultaneously), or entirely genderless. A changeling can alter his or her gender (and reproductive abilities) as part of using the race’s minor shapechange ability.

    Changeling Reproduction
    Two changeling parents breed a changeling child. A changeling and a humanoid can mate to produce an offspring with the child having a 50% chance to be either a changeling or the appropriate race for the union. If the changeling has maintained a single physical form for 30 consecutive days, the child has a 100% chance of being of the non-changeling parent's race. The child of two changelings is always a changeling, no matter their physical forms, and in the past it has happened that two changelings pretending to be another race produced a child together and were surprised to discover the other was also a changeling.

    If a changeling in a female form conceives a child, she loses the ability to change her gender until after the child is born.


    I hope someone finds that useful, as it adds a lot of roleplay to my changelings heroes (and villains)
    Last edited by Nilmuto; 2016-07-15 at 11:47 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Default Re: Be a Better Changeling! [PEACH]

    Spoiler: Quote
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by zeek0 View Post
    I like what you’ve done here, especially with the beautiful formatting and clever application of features. Allow me to give a shopping list of things to you to consider or change. I do it out of love, not hate.

    Allow me to put on my English teacher hat:

    Art: In the background image on the first page, the light is coming from the upper-right. On the foreground image of the changeling, the light comes from the upper-left. I don't know if you can change this, but it would be nice if you could.

    1st paragraph: As per the player’s handbook, this should be written in the past progressive(?) tense. “Information” doesn’t have a “g”. Should it really be a “sack” of gold? Why not a bulging pouch, or heavy coinpurse? Correct to: “I will take my leave. Guards, show this man out.” Also, this paragraph implies that you can alter your equipment when you change shape, which is not allowed by the feature.

    2nd paragraph: Correct to comma at the end of the first sentence. Pupilless? Pupiless? Pupil-less? But not pupil less. But I really think this paragraph should describe the race in a less physical way. This paragraph should be the ‘hook’, as an English teacher (like me) would say.

    Roleplaying a Roleplayer: I think this title is much too meta for my taste. Again, you switch between tenses – copy whatever tense is in the PHB (present I think). Edit to “game, where they impersonate”.

    Adventuring: I think that in this paragraph I want to hear about reasons I might go adventuring, not a prescription for my character’s personality or why I might not go adventuring. Just my taste.

    Alignment: You say they don’t sway toward any alignment, then reverse it and say that they value freedom and shy away from being lawful. Choose one or the other.

    Change Shape: You switch around how you refer to the changeling. You refer to it as “the changeling” most of the time, but sometimes say “you” instead. Choose one, or reference the PHB to see what they do.

    Language: Change to “It takes you half as long to learn a new language as compared to most races.”

    Shifting Mind: There are no charm spells. But you can be immune to the charmed status condition. “Sleep” should not be capitalized.

    Subraces: This doesn’t have a header. See how it is formatted in the PHB.

    Racial Emulation: This is worded worse than it needs to be. Change to: "Choose one subrace that you could take the form of using your change shape ability. When in the form of that race no one has any reason to doubt you are of that race. Any deception check against someone trying to discover your true identity automatically succeeds.
    You gain the traits from the subrace you choose as your preferred form. This does not include traits from the base race, except for Darkvision. If the Ability Score Increase feature would give you more than one attribute point increase, reduce it to one.
    You also qualify as that race for the purposes of magical items, spells, or other effects as long as you are disguised as that race.”

    Becomer: The word “vie” implies competition, which I think is not what you intend. The group “people” is non-specific and ambiguous – be more discerning. “Beguiler” as a word means only to trick or conceal – which has nothing to do with intimidation, or even persuasion. See notes on mechanics below.

    Quick Change: Change to: “You can use your Change Shape trait as a bonus action. In addition, you have…”

    Seeker: The first sentence is not complete. The second may require more expounding – what does it mean to find the reality of your race? The third sentence implies that changeling culture doesn’t already exist, because they are “trying” to create it. There is no such thing as a “struggle of morals”, but you can have an ethical struggle. Capitalize “Dexterity”.

    And now for my D&D Homebrewer hat…
    Base Class: It seems to me that Change Shape is the equivalent of at-will casting of parts of a 2nd level spell (alter shape). That makes it rather powerful. This, combined with the other nifty features gained by this class, convinces me that you should only gain one chosen ability score increase.

    One thing I liked about the UA Changeling is that you must change shape into a humanoid you have seen before. This means that not matter how anonymous you want to be you are still in the form of somebody, somewhere.

    I think that Doppelganger Ancestry should give you Insight and Persuasion instead. The Deception skill can be given by the Becomer subclass.

    Passer:
    Take this for-instance: My preferred persona is Grum, the human blacksmith. By these rules, I can shapeshift as Leonius, the Golden Man-King and never by detected.
    I think that it ought to be possible to choose a dragonborn or tiefling as your emulated race, or any other homebrewed race with no subclasses. Perhaps these can also be put into the sidebar?

    Becomer: Seems good.

    Seeker: I think this option is considerably weaker than the others, or at any rate less flavorful. And the Navigator’s Tools are an odd addition. I would re-work this to be an option that people would want to take. Idea: What benefit might a seeker discover about their race that can be used?

    And since it is irresponsible to leave only negative criticism, I offer you kind words for:
    - The cool names you give each trait.
    - The great way you inserted the passer/becomer/seeker archetypes into the race
    - The beautifully inserted art.
    - How well balanced, on the whole, this entire class is.
    -That you put it all into a nice PDF for us.


    NEW UPDATE AT THE LINK IN ORIGINAL POST!

    Wow, I was floored by the depth of this entire response - clearly an incredible amount of detail and thought went into your response.

    Thank you.

    I took on most of what you said especially with regards to language, you seem to wear both of your hats well!

    Changeling art is hard to come by unfortunately, and editing it to change the direction of the light is a bit beyond my skills as a painter.

    I adopted the UA's take on the point 'change shape into a humanoid you have seen before.' I like that, imposes a limitation. I think with that I can leave the stats as they are; as it stands it's on par with elves and dwarves for overall racial power.

    I especially agreed with your point about the seeker archetype, it was bland, weak and without flavour. I got a bit creative with it, which means it's probably not balanced per se but it's definitely a step in the right direction.

    Overall your commented helped immeasurably, to the point where I felt it necessary to give you a special mention in the credits!

    Nilmunto, I love that information like that is out there but it's a bit beyond the scope of my little four page PDF I may expand the PDF at some point into a sort of 'Changeling Compendium for 5e but I've got a bunch of other Homebrews on the backburner that I want to clear first. (Namely PDF's for my Gunslinger Class and Duelist Rogue Archetype).
    Last edited by Wufflykins; 2016-07-16 at 02:14 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Amechra's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Where I live.

    Default Re: Be a Better Changeling! [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Wufflykins View Post
    Changeling art is hard to come by unfortunately, and editing it to change the direction of the light is a bit beyond my skills as a painter.
    (Just mirror it horizontally - that'll do the trick. You'll have to redistribute stuff to get proportions right, but yeah.)
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    If you see me try to discuss the nitty-gritty of D&D 5e, kindly point me to my signature and remind me that I shouldn't. Please and thank you!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Austria
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Be a Better Changeling! [PEACH]

    Also one of my favorite races! And I too feel that the UA did a bad job.

    I play them quite often and use them when I DM as badasses :)

    You did a great job, thank you! I especially like the flavor that you added. I want to add some thoughts of mine, maybe you like some of it.

    For those interested in some quirky reproduction methods... here is what my tabel came up with. (Warning, this might not be appropriate if you are under age of 14)
    Spoiler: Changeling Reproduction
    Show

    Just to throw some idea in there... we use a different version how shapeshifters replicate. While it is totally unimportant, it can add flavor to a race and its motivation and behaviour. We decided that they cannot reproduce with each other. In our world, their replication is rather complicated, because they have neither an uterus nor testicles and are genderless. In order to reproduce need to "collect" the semen of a humanoid into their own reproductive system and then they can "infect" it. The next step for them is to find a female "host" for it from the same humanoid race or at least a compatible one. The child that mother will bear will then be a changeling. This way changelings are much more interwoven with all other humanoid races.


    What comes up regularly is the nature of the shapeshifting ability, what are its limits in game and how can it be revealed. While I love what you have done, IMO, this needs some addition, because when someone plays a changeling or a changeling is a main villain of a plot, that will come up.

    The questins that need clears answers (IMO) are:
    • What happens when someone casts detect magic?
    • What happens when someone casts true seeing? (you answered this one)
    • What happens when a changeling adapts a form of a eg. Minotaur whose bodily features give them special abilities?
    • Is there a way to detect a changeling without magic and when yes, then how?


    There are some routes to go and those can have a huge impact on the power level of the class. I personally feel that a "real physical alteration" like in the UA is prone to be "munchkinised". That is why in our homebrew, we focussed on the disguise / deception path and specifically stated that you do not gain any special abilities due to the assumed class. (Also, we added darkvision for balance and logic)


    Shapeshifter


    Change text to: As an action, you can assume the form of any humanoid of your size (+/- 15%) that you have seen, or back into your true form. However, your equipment does not change with you. Only if you die or lose consciousness (sleep), you revert back to your natural form. You do not gain any special abilities from to the assumed race.


    The longer you can study the target of your shapeshift, the better you can deceive others. Starting with a DC of 10 + CHA, you can assume the form of anybody that you saw briefly as an action. If you have a minimum study time of one minute, you may add your deception modifier instead of CHA. Others that know the target of your shapeshift reasonably well, may roll when they first see you. If you give no special reason with your acts to attract suspicion, only people that are close friends and relatives to the original may repeat the check every hour or at “intimate moments”. After 3 successes, they will not have further suspicion, but after 3 fails, they are sure that “you” are not the other person. (Repeat checks like with death saves until it is either 3 successes or 3 fails.)

    Detect magic reveals that you are coved by a "veil" like someone using the spell "Alter Self", True Seeing unveils that you are a Changeling.

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