Changeling Talents

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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:24 pm

Zarhon wrote:
Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Zarhorn, the time and flavor you put into these utility talents is amazing. Now I just need to figure out how to say it in a few sentences rather than a whole paragraph. =)

Btw, this is off-topic but could you figure out how to get the force-field int he Unicorn section down to just a few sentences rather than all those paragraphs? I really like the idea, it's just unwieldy right now.

How does this look?

Force Field - Daily
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Sustainable Force: 1000-2000lbs
Duration: 10 mins - 4 hours (sustained with check)
Size: Small building
Conjure a spherical, semi-transparent force field at a chosen location, that only you and chosen creatures can enter and exit at will. Holes open for allies and allow others to enter, or can be opened at will. It is considered under the effect of the "Immovable" talent once cast. The shield allows for breathing and can be dug under (if it is on the ground). It will shatter if hit by an object of more than 2000lbs of force, or under repeated attacks. Caster can maintain the shield's duration and repair it from damage with a precision check. If its magic is disrupted, only the affected areas of the shield become disrupted. It is blocked by solid objects in it's cast zone.

Looking much, much better. I'll play with it and add it to the Utility Talent Handbook. =)
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:01 am

The Warrior of Many Faces wrote:

Consume Harmony is quite double-edged, although I would put a cap on it. Maybe 10 Harmony to a +1, with a max being +10. And maybe, if you want to make people agonize over it even more, make it so that they consume other people's Harmony. That's closer to the show anyway, and it certainly brings up dilemnas that would never come up otherwise.
Isn't Harmony supposed to be a group-wide thing anyway? So technically spending any would be spending other people's Harmony. Though it might prove to be an interesting way to get the rest of the party to hate you really, really fast.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Videocrazy on Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:36 am

Which is which? - 2/day
You can quickly grab another pony, pulling him next to yourself and quickly shifting into their form, obscuring both of you momentarily with swirling magic. The target gets confused and dazed momentarily, unsure what just happened. If anypony else witnesses this, they will know that either the caster or the target is a changeling, but will be unable to tell who. You have a grace period of 2 checks to attempt to pin the blame on the other pony to all onlookers. You can use other utility talents to assist you in this. If you fail, the target regains its composure and you must then make an opposing persuasion check against it, at a -5 penalty, or higher/lower, depending on how well you impersonate them. If you succeed, your target is mistaken for a changeling and is dealt with appropriately. Otherwise, you're caught red-hooved.

Does this require Talents like He Did It during the 2 check grace period, or is it a Bluff check to convince the crowd?

Aberrant alteration - 2/day
Preparation time: 1 minute
You can alter your body to messily copy only a specific unique trait of another race, creature, monster, or a specific pony. While the transformation is in effect, seeing through your disguise is lowered to a DC15, due to the aberrant look you have and general "uncanny valley" effect. You can copy only one small aspect of another creatures biology, and you must have some knowledge of it, or have seen it in action. If the copied parts come in pairs (like eyes), you copy both. Depending on the part copied, this can either give you a single utility talent (e.g. "Nightwatch", by copying cat eyes), boosts to specific skill checks (e.g. +10 stunts, by copying an athletic pony's legs to make a difficult jump), or other unique abilities, at the DM's discretion. Taking this talent multiple times allows you to maintain several "aberrant" transformations at once, and further reducing the DC check by 5 for extra alteration. All copied parts maintain themselves for thirty minutes, but can be extended by 30 minutes with an endurance check.

Is there a specific list of effect that you can achieve, or can you argue something like a +15 in a skill, if you do it well enough?

Biological Byproduct - 3/day
Preqrequisite: Metamorphosis
Preparation time: 2 minutes
You can secrete a glob of disgusting slime, a byproduct of metamorphosis. It will naturally stick to surfaces or creatures, but not to yourself, allowing for throwing. The composition of this glob can vary, and is chosen by the player when made:
Noxious - Slowly secretes an invisible, noxious fume. Anyone affected by it suffers -10 to skill checks. This cannot affect you, but can affect non-changeling allies. If ruptured it stops producing any more. The slime emits fumes for 10 minutes before it shrivels up and crumbles to dust, leaving no trace of it.
Smoking - On contact with a surface, emits a large cloud of obscuring, tear-inducing smoke, making perception checks impossible. You are not affected by the smoke, but you can't see through it. If ruptured, it stops producing any more. The slime emits fumes for 10 minutes before it shrivels up and crumbles to dust, leaving no trace of it.
Volatile - Explodes violently if ruptured by any means, causing a small shock-wave and spray of disgusting slime. The effect is strong enough to damage rocks, wood or dirt if applied directly. Steel, gems, metals and stronger materials are unaffected, unless more than one glob is applied. If a pony is caught in the blast, they make a endurance check to see if it knocks them out (they are unaffected otherwise). The resulting slime spray is harmless, but icky, smelly and hard to clean. This slime can affect you.
Disruptive - This slime has an aura that will cause any magic cast within 30 yards of it (excluding your own) to fail unpredictably or be disrupted. If ruptured, a magic shockwave renders any magic effects within 50 yards dispelled or disrupted (Including your own disguises!). Non-changeling, magic-using ponies affected by a ruptured slime will be unable to cast magic for two minutes.
Sentient/adorable - An adorable looking (for Changelings at least) slime. Can move on it's own accord, and acts as a personal pet. It can move slowly, is very resistant to damage, and can collect items it crawls over. It can also climb walls and shift its appearance to match a common pet of it's size, like a rat or a cat. It feeds off of your love for it, or tiny animals that it absorbs. You can have only one of these at a time, as they often fight amongst each other over you. Other ponies cannot discern it's "identity", but other animals will react violently to it.

Noxious: It says it can be "ruptured". You also describe it as a glob of slime, so I'm a little confused here. It also says "anyone affected by this", but you don't list a range for it's effect. For that matter, you don't list how big the glob is. If ruptured, does it instantly degrade, or not until the full 10 minutes?
Smoking: See Noxious.
Volatile: See Noxious, minus ruptured/glob. If the slime spray is harmless but stinky, does it cause a lasting Stealth (and perhaps Persuasion) penalty?
Disruptive: It says "any magic cast". Does this mean that any ongoing spells are unaffected unless ruptured? Does this one have a maximum amount of time before it degrades?
Sentient: How does this react with a ruptured Disruptive glob? I assume there's no degrade time for this one?
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Zarhon on Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Videocrazy wrote:

1) Does this require Talents like He Did It during the 2 check grace period, or is it a Bluff check to convince the crowd?

2)Is there a specific list of effect that you can achieve, or can you argue something like a +15 in a skill, if you do it well enough?

3) Noxious: It says it can be "ruptured". You also describe it as a glob of slime, so I'm a little confused here. It also says "anyone affected by this", but you don't list a range for it's effect. For that matter, you don't list how big the glob is. If ruptured, does it instantly degrade, or not until the full 10 minutes?
Smoking: See Noxious.
Volatile: See Noxious, minus ruptured/glob. If the slime spray is harmless but stinky, does it cause a lasting Stealth (and perhaps Persuasion) penalty?
Disruptive: It says "any magic cast". Does this mean that any ongoing spells are unaffected unless ruptured? Does this one have a maximum amount of time before it degrades?
Sentient: How does this react with a ruptured Disruptive glob? I assume there's no degrade time for this one?

Nitpick Nitpick

1) You can use any check and/or utility talent that could realistically pin the blame on your target, or attempt to "prove" you are the original in some other way, like demonstrating one of their abilities, or simply being persuasive enough. You only get two tries to pull it off though, after that it's a forced persuasion check in your targets favor.

"He did it" sounds like something that could be a prerequisite for the talent. It would certainly offer synergy with it. Alternately, I could add a rule that using "He did it" auto-succeeds when used as part of "Which is which?".

2) No list at the moment. A list of effects would either be too limiting (There are only so many races and monsters currently in the rulebook) or way too large for a single utility talent. That, and it's a bit difficult to make a list for so much potential transformations. The point of the talent is a quick, highly-adaptive transformation at a serious penalty in hiding your identity - The players can think for themselves on the matter. The players should negotiate with the DM on the matter, but it should probably have a limit of max +10 bonus. Not sure if it should also allow a single utility talent along with skill check bonuses ("Cat eyes" for perception check AND nightwatch, versus having to choose between a bonus or the utility)... That might make it overpowered.

3) -It's not so much slime as a combo of ooze/jelly/slime with delicate and unstable chemical processes going within them (Think of it as a slime/ooze/jelly-water-balloon).
- Rupturing their surface causes them to pop like a zit (Exception: Sentient one), stopping the chemical process within.
- Size is this, roughly
- For noxious/smoking range, since it's a gas, it will pretty much fill any enclosed area completely(unless it it ventilated or air-tight). Hard to tell how far it would affect in an outdoor area though, probably 40 yards from it's origin.
- Yeah, I suppose the slime could make stealth and/or persuasion harder. Probably -5, or depending on how much exposure you got.
- Yeah, ongoing effects don't get affected (otherwise it's effect would be useless/harmful to a changeling in disguise), unless they have some sort of "active/triggered" portion to them (e.g. a book with explosive runes would be affected by the slime only when it triggers) or are actively modified in the area of effect. No time limit on this one for now, to prevent it going off when it would inconvenience the changeling or his allies, and to allow long-term sabotage. Same for volatile, it's not meant to be a time-bomb, it's a booby-trap/satchel charge.
- Sentient slimes aren't magical, so no effect from disruptive. It's pretty much a changeling-friendly version of a D&D monster slime, for any changelings that want a cool pet for utility/disguises/adorableness, so no degrade time. The thing can still "die" though, if hurt enough.

I'll probably edit most of the abilities for specifics.

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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:10 pm

Yeah, as short text as possible on utility powers and high specifics so there's no confusion over the rules is gold. The more powers resemble that, the more likely they'll be added in an official expansion. Otherwise it takes extra time on my part to go over the concepts and try to polish them to fit those guidelines, which means I'm more likely to prioritize talents closer to being finished.


We want short text so that the talent doesn't look intimidating and so the talent doesn't require many things to remember. Also, you can usually find a way to say things very succinctly, which makes them a pleasure to read and makes the talent more vivid. However, we also want to be as specific as possible about how the power works, so that DMs don't need to deal with arguments about which powers do what. Even if an argument takes up only 5 minutes of game time, that's the equivalent of six 30-second commercial breaks and added frustration to the table. We want to avoid that whenever possible.

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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Zarhon on Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:00 pm

Made some slightly clearer and easier to read versions!
Compact + edited versions!

Which is which? - 2/day
Prerequisite: He did it!
You grab a target creature and shift into their form, obscuring you both and dizzying/confusing your target. You can then perform any two skill checks or utility talents that would allow you to convince all witnesses of the act that you are a victim, and/or the target is a changeling. Using the talent "He did it!" is an automatic success when used for this purpose. If you fail both checks, your target regains its senses and you must make a persuasion check against them, at a -5 penalty, or be identified as a changeling. Succeeding at any check frames the target as a hostile changeling and clears your current disguise of any suspicions or doubt. The effect extends to witnesses and any ponies in the general vicinity of the event. No checks can be made against the current disguise for the next 3 hours - Everyone will assume you are the target, regardless of obvious changes in acting or personality. Any changeling-specific or clearly hostile activity (Changeling talents, disguise changes, or anything under the DMs discretion) can prompt a check to discern your disguise, at a DC20 (or lower, DMs discretion).

Aberrant Alteration - 2/day
Preparation time: 1 minute
Duration: 30 min - 60 mins(sustained with endurance check)
Limit: 1 alteration / talent
You alter your body, assuming a single unique aspect of another crature's biology, such as eyes, legs, horns... While in effect, seeing through your disguise is lowered to DC15. Depending on the type of alteration, you can choose to gain either a unique utility talent (such as "Nightwatch"), up to +10 bonus points to a single relevant specific skill check, or a unique ability. All alterations are subject to the DM's jurisdiction. You can take this talent multiple times, allowing for more than one alteration at once. Additional alterations further reduce the discern disguise check by -5 per extra alteration.

Biological Byproduct
- 3/day
Preqrequisite: Metamorphosis
Preparation time: 2 minutes
Weight: 2lbs
Size: 60cm diameter
You can produce a globule of metabolic ooze, that sticks to any non-changeling surface or creature, when thrown or applied to it. Each globule type (except Sentient) can be ruptured if damaged in any way, while some can have their effects activated by squeezing them. Globules shrivel up and turn to dust when their duration expires, or are ruptured. The type of globule is chosen by the player from the following list:

Noxious globule
Duration: 10 min; Range: 40 yrds; Activation trigger: Squeezing
Produces invisible, noxious fumes which cause a -10 penalty to all skill checks for any non-changeling creatures. If ruptured, stops producing noxious fumes.
Smoking globule
Duration: 10 min; Range: 40 yrds; Activation: Squeezing;
Produces a cloud of thick, obscuring smoke, rendering perception checks impossible for all creatures, and causing a -5 penalty to endurance checks for non-changeling creatures. If ruptured, stops producing smoke.
Volatile globule
Duration: 24 hrs; Range: 10 feet; Activation: Rupturing
Damages materials: 1 Globule - Wood, dirt, glass, rock; 2 globules - Steel, gems, metals; 3 globules - Diamonds, dragon scales
Produces a globule that explodes when ruptured, damaging/breaking materials it is stuck to and covering the area in stinking puss. The puss is difficult to clean, smells very badly (-10 stealth and -5 persuasion checks for any creatures covered in it), and lasts until washed off (requiring a herbal bath). A single globule is strong enough to break open a door, but cannot hurt a creature. Explosions within 2 feet of a creature knock it out instantly, those within 10 feet can make an endurance check to remain conscious.
Disruptive Globule
Duration: 24 hrs; Range: 40 yrds, 20 yrds (rupture); Activation: Squeezing, rupturing
Creates an aura that affects magic cast within its range. Non-changelings attempting magic will automatically fail on checks or utility talents involving magic. Rupturing the globule causes a magical feedback within 20 yards, removing and disables any magic for 2 minutes, including changeling disguises and magic.
Sentient globule - [10hp, Non-magical, resistance 10]
Duration: Unlimited; Diet: Love (Anyponys), absorbing small animals
This globule is capable of movement, and telepathically bonded to its creator. It is semi-intelligent, and will obey simple commands. It can pick up and carry a single small item within itself, crawl on walls, and disguise it's appearance (Changeling magic effect) to match an animal of similar size. Ponies cannot pierce its disguise, but other animals can (DC15 Perception). You can only have one sentient globule at once.


Last edited by Zarhon on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Ramsus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:37 pm

Hmmm, so if my Changeling doesn't have Aberrant Alteration can I still have mismatched forms? Like turning into a Buffalo's shape but, still with the overall look of a Changeling?

Basically I want to ensure that AA existing doesn't actually prevent us from doing neat roleplaying stuff.

Ok, so how about something just to make shapechanging faster? (Handy for running around corners and "dissapearing" and burst of shapechanging hiccups or just being a weirdo.)

Hasty Trickery - At-Will
You may use Changeling's Trickery with no preparation time but, the DC to see through the disguise is 20 instead of 25 and anypony who sees you change more than once this way within 30 seconds get a +10 bonus to see through the disguise. If you remain in the same form for a minute apply the normal rules for Changeling's Trickery.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:47 pm

Lots of interesting talents above. I'll definitely play with them. But wow, changelings have a ton of options right now... They can already take talents from any other race too!

Ramsus wrote:Hmmm, so if my Changeling doesn't have Aberrant Alteration can I still have mismatched forms? Like turning into a Buffalo's shape but, still with the overall look of a Changeling?

Basically I want to ensure that AA existing doesn't actually prevent us from doing neat roleplaying stuff.

Ok, so how about something just to make shapechanging faster? (Handy for running around corners and "dissapearing" and burst of shapechanging hiccups or just being a weirdo.)

Hasty Trickery - At-Will
You may use Changeling's Trickery with no preparation time but, the DC to see through the disguise is 20 instead of 25 and anypony who sees you change more than once this way within 30 seconds get a +10 bonus to see through the disguise. If you remain in the same form for a minute apply the normal rules for Changeling's Trickery.

Hasty Trickery is excellent. Great job, so simple, flavorful, balanced and generally good. After phrase-fiddling... Here's how it looks and I'm certain it, or something very close will make it into the utility expansion.

Quick-change - At-Will
You may use Changeling's Trickery with no preparation time as long as you are not in combat. However, if you do not take the usual preparation time; creatures get a +5 bonus on checks to see through your disguise.

I cut out some of the modifiers, both the extra penalty and the extra advantage to streamline the power. I think it makes sense that a quick change is almost good enough... And that they'd actually have to transform again to fix it.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Zarhon on Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:22 pm

Ramsus wrote:Hmmm, so if my Changeling doesn't have Aberrant Alteration can I still have mismatched forms? Like turning into a Buffalo's shape but, still with the overall look of a Changeling?

Basically I want to ensure that AA existing doesn't actually prevent us from doing neat roleplaying stuff.

Well, you probably still could do random weird transformations I guess, but would probably be limited to having it in changeling form only (in disguise, it would be horrifying to see and instantly brand you as a monstrosity/changeling), or the mismatched parts wouldn't give you any actual benefit, due to being purely a disguise over your usual form, as opposed to the actual change in biology. (In other words, you could have cat eyes, but they'd just be a disguise for your normal eyes).

Alternately, you could make them, but you'd need the utility to make them work biologically, due to their biology requiring a full body to operate normally (Think of it as a mismatched transplant: A cat eye wouldn't work with changeling neurons/brains). The utility lets the changeling focus enough to make the mismatched part work without it's usual metabolism/biology.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Videocrazy on Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:17 pm

First, sorry I nitpick, but I find that it's better do do it now, than to run into issues later. With that being said:

Which is which? - 2/day
Prerequisite: He did it!
You grab a target creature and shift into their form, obscuring you both and dizzying/confusing your target. You can then perform any two skill checks or utility talents that would allow you to convince all witnesses of the act that you are a victim, and/or the target is a changeling. Using the talent "He did it!" is an automatic success when used for this purpose. If you fail both checks, your target regains its senses and you must make a persuasion check against them, at a -5 penalty, or be identified as a changeling. Succeeding at any check frames the target as a hostile changeling and clears you of any suspicions or doubt (No checks can be made against your disguise) for the next 3 hours .

Does this immunity include doing something that might break cover, like Aberrant Alteration, in front of others? Furthermore, does this immunity to suspicion extend to creatures in the nearby area, or just the witnesses to the event?

This globule is capable of movement, and telepathically bonded to its creator. It is semi-intelligent, and will obey simple commands. It can pick up and carry a single small item within itself, crawl on walls, and disguise it's appearance to match an animal of similar size. Ponies cannot discern it's true form, but other animals can (DC15 Persuasion). You can only have one sentient globule at once.

To clarify, I was wondering if the Disruption globule's rupturing effect would affect the Sentient globule's disguise if it was caught in the blast zone.

Edit: Also, for the Sentient Globule DC, shouldn't the animals be using a Perception check, rather than a Persuasion?
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Zarhon on Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:52 am

Videocrazy wrote:1) Does this immunity include doing something that might break cover, like Aberrant Alteration, in front of others? Furthermore, does this immunity to suspicion extend to creatures in the nearby area, or just the witnesses to the event?

2) To clarify, I was wondering if the Disruption globule's rupturing effect would affect the Sentient globule's disguise if it was caught in the blast zone.

3) Also, for the Sentient Globule DC, shouldn't the animals be using a Perception check, rather than a Persuasion?

1) Nope (editing for clarity). Using changeling talents, hostile actions or anything else suspicious will still allow a check against you (Possibly even making it easier, since they actively know that a changeling was nearby). You are immune to having your current disguise questioned (Altering it would be both suspicious and a change of the disguise) as long as you don't do anything incriminating. The effect extends to witnesses and nearby creatures (Its assumed the target made a scene of itself while it was running away or being detained, letting a lot of casual observers know, and the news/rumor travels fast). It wouldn't effect a creature that was completely unaware of the event.

2) Yeah, it loses its disguise (just like you can), e.g. removing its cat disguise and revealing it as an icky glob. It's using changeling magic to disguise (Its sentience / biology is NOT magical). Witnesses may or may not know what it is exactly ("icky moving slimy thing" vs "Changeling spawn"), and may have different reactions to it, depending on personality and knowledge of what it is. (e.g. Fluttershy would be curious, friendly and/or frightened by the glob, other ponies might be disgusted and treat it like an ugly bug or monster, guards or others who know about changelings might identify it and try to kill it and even link it to you, prompting suspicion (This is only if they see it undisguised/shifting forms and know it belongs to you, they can't make such assumptions otherwise).

3) Yes, it should be perception (will edit it).
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  The Warrior of Many Faces on Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:25 am

Philadelphus wrote:
The Warrior of Many Faces wrote:

Consume Harmony is quite double-edged, although I would put a cap on it. Maybe 10 Harmony to a +1, with a max being +10. And maybe, if you want to make people agonize over it even more, make it so that they consume other people's Harmony. That's closer to the show anyway, and it certainly brings up dilemnas that would never come up otherwise.
Isn't Harmony supposed to be a group-wide thing anyway? So technically spending any would be spending other people's Harmony. Though it might prove to be an interesting way to get the rest of the party to hate you really, really fast.

Erm... oops. It is group-wide, isn't it? :Twilightsheepish:

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
Hasty Trickery - At-Will
You may use Changeling's Trickery with no preparation time but, the DC to see through the disguise is 20 instead of 25 and anypony who sees you change more than once this way within 30 seconds get a +10 bonus to see through the disguise. If you remain in the same form for a minute apply the normal rules for Changeling's Trickery.

Hasty Trickery is excellent. Great job, so simple, flavorful, balanced and generally good. After phrase-fiddling... Here's how it looks and I'm certain it, or something very close will make it into the utility expansion.

Quick-change - At-Will
You may use Changeling's Trickery with no preparation time as long as you are not in combat. However, if you do not take the usual preparation time; creatures get a +5 bonus on checks to see through your disguise.

I cut out some of the modifiers, both the extra penalty and the extra advantage to streamline the power. I think it makes sense that a quick change is almost good enough... And that they'd actually have to transform again to fix it.[/quote]

I'm with Stairc, I like this one. Does a darn good job of portraying a quick, hasty change that nonetheless may very well fool the unobservant. Great stuff! Smile
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Dr Blight on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:00 pm

SilentBelle wrote:
Dr Blight wrote:I just had a thought. Once again about changelings. Sorry. It's not about a template though.

In the show, the changelings were able to make this green goo that they could use to restrain things or make cocoons. It was apparently strong enough to even suspend Celestia from the ceiling. Do changeling PCs have access to that? Or would it need to be a utility talent? I just figured it might be useful for things like binding a recently defeated enemy you don't want running away. Or temporarily supporting/sabotaging a structure like for example, using it to jam and seal a door shut. Or gumming up the works of some machine you don't want enemies using. It could be used for a lot of things really.

That's a fantastic utility talent Very Happy

Changeling Goo!

Edit: Toss it over into the utility talents section, and if you don't know exactly how to balance it, there are many of us who are pretty good at hammering out little kinks. I look forward to it.

I was told I should maybe put this here instead. But yeah, do you think it'll work? Like SilentBelle suggested it could be called "Changeling Goo"

I'm not sure how to write it as a talent. But I imagine it having a fairly short preparation time to create and spit a small amount, and the strength of the goo's hold stacking depending on how many globs of it are used on the same thing. 4 globs (one for each hoof) are enough to hold a pony of Cadence's size in place (whatever we would approximate her weight to be) and could be done somewhat quickly. While to do something like suspend a creature of Celestia's size from the ceiling would require a lot more goo, and preparation time.

A few examples of its use are in the quote above.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:47 pm

Well, if you like I'll try my hand at writing something:

Changeling Goo – At Will
Preparation Time: 30 seconds
You create 1 glob of sticky green biodegradable goo that may be used to stick things together, although it breaks down after 6 hours. Each glob provides about 50 pounds of adhesive force. Creatures restrained by the goo need to make a Stunts check at a DC of 10 for each glob in order to break free. Changelings are not affected by their own goo. This talent may only be used while you are in your Changeling form.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Dr Blight on Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:18 pm

Philadelphus wrote:Well, if you like I'll try my hand at writing something:

Changeling Goo – At Will
Preparation Time: 30 seconds
You create 1 glob of sticky green biodegradable goo that may be used to stick things together, although it breaks down after 6 hours. Each glob provides about 50 pounds of adhesive force. Creatures restrained by the goo need to make a Stunts check at a DC of 10 for each glob in order to break free. Changelings are not affected by their own goo. This talent may only be used while you are in your Changeling form.

Awesome! thank you. Since Twilight was able to blast the goo away where the ponies bound couldn't. Maybe allies attempting to help you escape have a lower standard DC?

As an example: Allies attempting to break a creature free from the goo have to make a DC20 stunts or arcana check.

or something, I don't know if that seems to high or low a DC. Just figured since, if we go by each globs DC for everyone, then a mere 5 globs adds up to an impossible(?) 50DC.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  The Warrior of Many Faces on Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:29 pm

Philadelphus wrote:Well, if you like I'll try my hand at writing something:

Changeling Goo – At Will
Preparation Time: 30 seconds
You create 1 glob of sticky green biodegradable goo that may be used to stick things together, although it breaks down after 6 hours. Each glob provides about 50 pounds of adhesive force. Creatures restrained by the goo need to make a Stunts check at a DC of 10 for each glob in order to break free. Changelings are not affected by their own goo. This talent may only be used while you are in your Changeling form.

This is a pretty cool idea. However, there does seem to be some clarification needed. Do those DCs add up, as has already been mentioned? And why would only the Changeling that made the goo be unaffected? It makes more sense to me as something that plain doesn't affect Changelings.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:07 am

Dr Blight wrote:
Awesome! thank you. Since Twilight was able to blast the goo away where the ponies bound couldn't. Maybe allies attempting to help you escape have a lower standard DC?

As an example: Allies attempting to break a creature free from the goo have to make a DC20 stunts or arcana check.

or something, I don't know if that seems to high or low a DC. Just figured since, if we go by each globs DC for everyone, then a mere 5 globs adds up to an impossible(?) 50DC.
You're welcome. Smile Allies can always try to assist you and provide a +2 bonus to your skill check. A Stunts DC of 50 is definitely within reach of a group with a few Magic Points, Elements of Generosity, or players with the talent Yee-Haw!. Though your idea of using Stunts or Arcana is great, I'll add that to the description. You should be able to break free through either physical strength or magical know-how.

As written, 5 globs would require 2 and 1/2 minutes (uninterrupted) to create, so unless a character is either incapacitated or completely oblivious they should be able to do something before then (1 or even 2 globs would be pretty easy to break free of). What do other people think of the preparation time?

(Personally, I think Cadance wasnʻt able to break herself free because her magic didnʻt work that way, not that the goo was somehow affecting her magic abilities. Twilight was able to remove it because her special talent is magic.)

The Warrior of Many Faces wrote:This is a pretty cool idea. However, there does seem to be some clarification needed. Do those DCs add up, as has already been mentioned? And why would only the Changeling that made the goo be unaffected? It makes more sense to me as something that plain doesn't affect Changelings.
Clarification: the idea was for the DC's to add up, yes. One glob gives a DC of 10, two globs a DC of 20, etc. The idea is that it might take some time for a Changeling to produce enough goo to completely incapacitate a creature. Different situations will probably call for different amounts of adhesive force, so I made it adjustable.
As to your second point, I originally had it that all Changelings were unaffected, then took it out for some reason. It's a good point, I'll add it back in. Hopefully this version should be clearer and more concise:

Changeling Goo – At Will
Preparation Time: 30 seconds
You create 1 glob of sticky green biodegradable goo that may be used to stick things together, although it breaks down after 6 hours. Things held together by or stuck in goo (including creatures) require a Stunts or Arcana check to free them, with each glob adding 10 to the DC. Changelings are not affected by Changeling goo, but only when in Changeling form. This talent may only be used while you are in your Changeling form.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  SilentBelle on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:23 am

Nice to see the goo get some love Razz

Now on a side note, I think the goo DC needs to cap out. I'd say at DC:30 at which point the target is fully encased in goo and no extra goo will change how hard it is to break out. Or perhaps the DC could be based on a Precision Check with a +10 bonus or something. I'm just thinking anything that doesn't cap out could be quite exploitable.

Of course I'm willing to hear any other view points on this Very Happy
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:56 pm

Hmmm....that's certainly a good point. Off the top my head I can think of a few ways to address it:
  1. The preparation and breakdown time could be adjusted so that you can only get out a few globs of goo before the first ones start breaking down. If it takes 30 minutes to create a glob (it ain't easy secreting goo, after all!) and it breaks down after 3 hours, you'd only be able to get 6 globs out at once.
  2. Limit the uses per day. Say, 5 or 10 times per day.
  3. Set a limit on the DC when sticking things together.

#1 could work, but it makes it much harder to use. If you're fleeing down a tunnel from enemies and want to use a glob of goo to hold a door shut behind you, you're not likely going to have more than a few minutes to do so. Also, a shorter breakdown time kinda limits its effectiveness if you want to use it to, say, hold a chest with some of your items in it closed while you're gone for a few hours.
#2 could also work, but it introduces bookkeeping, which adds another thing to remember. Lower uses per day are easier to remember, but fairly limiting, while higher numbers give more freedom, but are harder to remember ("Let's see, I think I used seven or eight globs already...or was it six? Five?")
#3 is also an interesting idea. After all, there does sort of come a point where additional glue just will not keep things stuck together any harder. And yeah, as it stands, sitting there and applying glob after glob to increase the DC is fairly boring. It'd be much more exciting to have a random factor in there. The main difficulty is finding a formula for setting the DC that works.

Taking all that into consideration, here's a potential re-write:

Changeling Goo – 5/day
Preparation Time: 6 seconds
You create 1 glob of sticky green biodegradable goo that may be used to stick things together, although it breaks down after 6 hours. Things held together by or stuck in goo (including creatures) require a Stunts or Arcana check to free them, with a DC set at creation equal to the sum of your bonuses in Mechanics and Arcana plus a d20. While in Changeling form Changelings are not affected by Changeling goo (their own or others), and may remove any goo at will. This talent may only be used while you are in your Changeling form. You may use additional globs of goo to stick things together, with each additional glob adding +10 to the DC.

Analysis: It does seem reasonable that a Changeling probably has a limited goo production per day, so making it a limited power makes a bit more sense. That allows the preparation time to be decreased, as it's not so much creating goo on the spot as using goo created in advance. To go along with this the DC has been tweaked to actually rely on player choices. As it stands, the minimum DC would be 11–30 for someone with 5 in both skills, and 25–44 for someone with both skills maxed (including training).

I like the additional uses part because it allows both for a way to compensate low rolls ("I only got a 2 on my d20? I'll add another glob!") and as a way to stick something really, really tightly ("I definitely don't want that mob breaking down the door before I can escape, so I'm gonna blow all 5 globs of goo at once to ensure I've got plenty of time to get away.") Since it requires 1 glob to use in the first place, using all 5 globs at once would add +40 to the amount determined by skills and die, i.e., the range becomes 51 for the minimum to 84 for the maximum. Of course, since it's a 5/day power, players will probably want to balance increasing the DC with conserving their remaining uses (tactical depth!). I think the range is pretty good, as to get those high number players would need to play a very specialized build, but the amounts aren't too low for the average player who will most likely be getting in the 20's to low 30's.

Summary: The idea is to make using a glob of goo be an exciting tactical decision (as it is a limited resource), but when choosing to do so making it interesting (with a flavor of chance) and with the option of using it multiple times to both compensate for poor rolls or simply to make it more difficult to break free of.

Thoughts?
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  SilentBelle on Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:16 pm

Let's see, how about adding acrobatic to escape as well? I could see that working. I like the direction you took it with 5 uses per day. Maybe set the initial DC at 1d20 plus *either* mechanics or arcana, whichever is higher. Or alternatively add both skills together and divide by two. If you add them together as a plain bonus, you could have an optimized changeling with a 1d20 + 24 which seems kind of high in my eyes (but I could be wrong about that), and add a freaky knowledge of goo-spewing, and you've got +29 where as the highest of either skill would be +13 when optimized (+18) freaky knowledge.

Over-all I like the direction this ability is going in Very Happy
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  The Warrior of Many Faces on Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:24 pm

I have to agree that a potential +24 is kinda high, and out of the two balancing methods, I favor the either-or option. That makes the math much easier. Otherwise, this talent's looking pretty good! :twilightsmile:
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Dr Blight on Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:18 am

I'm not sure acrobatics would work. If the goo is holding something else in place, no amount of fancy precise movements would tear it off. And if the goo is holding YOU in place, you can't very well DO those fancy precise movements, on account of the goo that's cemented you to the ground.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Philadelphus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:30 am

I used both Mechanics and Arcana in setting the DC because I figured it's harder to maximize two skills than one and still have a balanced character. In order to get a +24 bonus you would have to put all your ability points in Precision and Knowledge (giving you 5's in Athletics and Horse-sense) and put training in Mechanics and Arcana, two skills that don't generally see a lot of use compared to skills like Perception and Persuasion.

I didn't consider Freaky Knowledge because to my mind it only adds to a roll, i.e., your skill bonus is the same whether or not you have Freaky Knowledge in that skill, you just get an additional bonus from it when you roll. On the other hand, considering that you can use additional globs to increase the DC, perhaps the base bonus should be a bit smaller. The either-or idea is good, I like that.

Also, how about instead of additional globs adding a flat +10, they add +(your bonus in Mechanics or Arcana, whichever is higher)? (Specifically not including Freaky Knowledge, so the highest this could be is +13.)

Changeling Goo – 5/day
Preparation Time: 10 seconds
You create 1 glob of sticky green biodegradable goo that may be used to stick things together, although it breaks down after 6 hours. Things held together by or stuck in goo (including creatures) require a Stunts or Arcana check to free them, with a DC set at creation equal to either your Mechanics or Arcana bonus plus a d20. While in Changeling form Changelings are not affected by Changeling goo (their own or others), and may immediately breakdown any goo within reach. This talent may only be used while you are in your Changeling form. You may use additional globs of goo to stick things together, with each additional glob adding your Arcana or Mechanics bonus (whichever is higher) to the DC.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  SilentBelle on Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:36 am

Dr Blight wrote:I'm not sure acrobatics would work. If the goo is holding something else in place, no amount of fancy precise movements would tear it off. And if the goo is holding YOU in place, you can't very well DO those fancy precise movements, on account of the goo that's cemented you to the ground.

Well, I suppose you have a point there, I was considering it more as an immediate reaction to dodging it though... but then again, that interferes with this move's functionality and makes it more wordy. I suppose it can be left out, though I would definitely use it if the target of the goo was flying or running away from the changeling, though it's up to the DM on a case-by-case basis.
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Re: Changeling Talents

Post  Philadelphus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:39 pm

Heh, I hadn't considered using it that way, I was thinking more along of the lines of "I have these two nice stationary objects that I need to stick together...". I would say that if you're caught in goo, Acrobatics isn't going to help you, but you're free to use it however you like to see if you get caught in goo in the first place.

Oh, I think I see what you're saying. Something like "Attempting to use goo on conscious, non-restrained creatures will cause them to try to dodge out of the way."? It might actually be worth it to put something like that in there, because I've been thinking it'd be very useful, if it looks like negotiations are about to go sour, to simply goo up a few enemies before the battle happens. Or maybe you could just rule it so that the goo doesn't really restrict your combat abilities (like maybe the goo just caught their feet but they can still hit you just fine with their hands, or something)?

Any ideas? Because with the low preparation time someone somewhere will try using goo right before combat. How should goo work in combat situations? Simply remove an enemy from play, or not affect combat capabilities at all?
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