The Hooved Races

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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:51 pm

*shakes head* way too overpowered. The form-shifting power is already crazy-strong. And since you can retain utility talents, you can indeed still make use of the additional talents to trade 2 for 1.

And changelings don't have to spend 2 talents to learn an Everypony Talent... So I'm not sure I see the issue.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Videocrazy on Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:54 pm

And since you can retain utility talents, you can indeed still make use of the additional talents to trade 2 for 1.

Oh. Forgot about the whole "Change sheet between sessions" thing. My bad, nevermind then. XD
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Ramsus on Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:23 am

I forgot about that too. I still think the utility talents they get when they level up shouldn't require that same restriction. If they do then there's basically nobody who will ever make a Changeling that actual takes more than maybe one or two non-everypony/changeling utilities. For example when Outcast levels up I'd like to get Witchcraft or something but, I'm not likely going to decide it's worth two utility talents (pretty much ever really unless I just run out of changeling or every-pony talents I'd want).

Hmmm, what would people think about changing the changeling race feature from the costing two talents to just being only able to get other race's utilities once per level (or however much level 1 + every time you gain a utility talent is)? That way we'd no longer have this weird thing where Changelings who want to be magicians or fly have less utilities overall than changelings who want to shapechange or talk to animals/etc. This still makes them less focused on whatever than the appropriate race but, doesn't actually make them worse than other Changelings.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:25 am

Ramsus wrote:I forgot about that too. I still think the utility talents they get when they level up shouldn't require that same restriction. If they do then there's basically nobody who will ever make a Changeling that actual takes more than maybe one or two non-everypony/changeling utilities. For example when Outcast levels up I'd like to get Witchcraft or something but, I'm not likely going to decide it's worth two utility talents (pretty much ever really unless I just run out of changeling or every-pony talents I'd want).

Hmmm, what would people think about changing the changeling race feature from the costing two talents to just being only able to get other race's utilities once per level (or however much level 1 + every time you gain a utility talent is)? That way we'd no longer have this weird thing where Changelings who want to be magicians or fly have less utilities overall than changelings who want to shapechange or talk to animals/etc. This still makes them less focused on whatever than the appropriate race but, doesn't actually make them worse than other Changelings.

That versatility might make them far better than all other races though - that's the thing.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Ramsus on Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:40 am

How so? Is there actually something better about being able to fly and use telekinesis at the same time than doing just one of those better? There's no way flying and teleporting is better that's for sure. =P

Also, a few races already have full versatility in two kinds (griffins for example). I don't see how having restricted amounts but wider versatility is intrinsically better.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  elfowlgirl on Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:46 am

What about, upon creation of a changeling, you choose one species (presumably the one you'll be playing as the most). Those talents are then treated as Everypony Talents and only cost 1 Utility point?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:52 am

elfowlgirl wrote:What about, upon creation of a changeling, you choose one species (presumably the one you'll be playing as the most). Those talents are then treated as Everypony Talents and only cost 1 Utility point?

I'm considering that. But for the moment, I'm rather worried that the changing appearance power is already probably the most powerful racial trait in the game.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:18 am

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
elfowlgirl wrote:What about, upon creation of a changeling, you choose one species (presumably the one you'll be playing as the most). Those talents are then treated as Everypony Talents and only cost 1 Utility point?

I'm considering that. But for the moment, I'm rather worried that the changing appearance power is already probably the most powerful racial trait in the game.

^How is it so powerful? I mean, you can disguise yourself - which is cool - and I guess you can choose to either have ponykinesis or flight, but the Changeling Copy Cat ability does seem pretty weak in retrospect. I like Eog's idea personally as far as that goes.

-And back on the subject of Zebras!

Have you seen these ideas yet Stairc? Currently, I'm thinking...


Tribal Tattoos
Zebras have a Cutie Mark, and do not gain a 3rd trained skill like other non-pony races.

Rhyming Wizard
Zebras often have a unique way of talking. Upon character creation, choose to either specialize in rhyme, haiku, rap, or another equally kooky form of communication. Whenever out of combat, you may use this form of communication 'in character' to create a coherent sentence. In which case, add a non-cumulative +2 magic bonus to your next die roll.

Bridle Gossip
Zebras are often feared throughout Equestria due to a combination of ignorance and unfounded rumors. Many ponies think them to be evil enchantresses, enchanters, and the like. Because of this, ponies are often very eager to stay out of a zebra's way (which can actually be kind of convenient at times). Depending on the location (the less common zebras are in an area, the greater the effect should be), pony NPCs can react to Zebras in a number of ways - from boarding their windows and locking their doors to making way for a Zebra on a crowded street. Pony NPCs are also much less likely to bother a Zebra for anything unless it's very important (for instance, it's easy to avoid getting tickets for loitering - as the police ponies are hesitant to get on a Zebra's bad side).

Supernaturals
Zebra culture is steeped in ancient potion-making traditions, the only problem is that Zebras sometimes get their potions mixed up! Once a day you can craft a potion with a random effect. Roll a D12 when the potion is ingested and consult the following table. In all cases, effects last until the end of the day:

1. It's a Dud! - nothing happens, or the potion explodes harmlessly in your face (take your pick).
2. Subject gains Telepathy
3. Subject gains Mirage
4. Subject gains Echo
5. Subject gains Spike, Take a Letter
6. Subject gains It's Witchcraft
7. Subject gains Immovable
8. Subject gains Detect Minds
9. Subject gains Strengthen Substance
10. Subject gains Weaken Substance
11. Subject gains Pyrotechnics
12. Subject gains Phase Step

*Note: As I mentioned earlier, the above table might need some tweaking. We could possibly tone down the ability by making it a D20 roll and adding in some extra dud or negative effects. I kind of want to put in a "Heart's Desire" effect that gives a subject a cutie mark in a random ability - but that might be too good, especially if non-ponies could get it.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Ramsus on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:49 am

I don't really like elfowlgirl's idea as well, if you wanted to do that there are already other races for it pretty much. The only difference would be the shapeshifting.

I'd have to say I think shapeshifting, while entertaining and neat is actually not even close to being one of the stronger racial powers. It allows you to do one thing everyone else can do, somewhat better (and cooler). Anyone can disguise themselves, changelings are just focused more on it. On the other hand not everyone can fly. Or get a free extra utility talent. Or weather control (this is really the big one as, as far as I'm aware only Pegasi can do this still, not even other flying races can do it since only the pegasi get the weather control racial feature which all the utilities for require).

So, all I'm really asking is that instead of giving Changelings basically only one racial feature (because yes, they CAN take other races utilities as is, they just never will and if they do they're just shooting themselves in the foot), they actually get two (where other races still tend to have three, often three that actually give you something, not just the option to do something). And the versatility I'm suggesting is still at the cost of specializing. The best flying Changeling will always be inferior in flying to the best flying any other applicable race (or at least will take a really long time to catch up which is just fine). As far as I'm aware we don't have any racial utilities from different races that combine in a way to result in something better than focusing on one thing so, I'm really not sure what the problem with this kind of versatility would be. Like, yeah, you could get Awesomeness and Witchcraft on the same character....and? That's not better than any other two utilities you could have. Decent flight and TKing several small objects? Still not better than really good flight or TKing really small and really big objects. So yeah, I'm just not really seeing what the issue is.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:52 pm

This just occurred to me, but shouldn't Changelings always have flight anyway? If I remember correctly, in the Season 2 Finale, they all had bug wings. Not sure how that would effect the race, but just throwing it out there.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Ramsus on Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:35 pm

Oh, they already do have flight if they're in a form with wings. Just they have really bad flight and the current system as is basically forces them to always have really bad flight. With my version they'd still probably be behind other fliers at being good at flying but, at least they could do it. (I'm treating trading two Utilities for one that other people can get as a non-option because most people just won't do it.)
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:59 pm

What if Changelings kept everything they have right now, plus gained access to flight-based utility talents with a "Sisters of the Sky"-like ability? Seeing as their base form has wings anyway, it seems like they would have the potential for flight that was at least nearly as good as a Pegasus.

Would that balance them out?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Ramsus on Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:15 pm

I think that would make them too much like other races we already have. Don't really see the point in doing that. Also, it doesn't really make any sense that they'd be better at flight than anything else in particular.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:13 am

Ramsus wrote:I think that would make them too much like other races we already have. Don't really see the point in doing that. Also, it doesn't really make any sense that they'd be better at flight than anything else in particular.

You're forgetting though that they do have a really cool ability already in the form of their Disguise power. The flight would be just an extra little buff that would set them on par (or make them better) than Pegasi. Perhaps they shouldn't have access to the highest levels of flight bonus?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:57 am

The changeling stuff is getting too complicated. The design is simple and flavorful as is. They're also going to get utilities for additional options. So don't forget to bear that in mind.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Ramsus on Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:28 am

What does that mean? They're going to get Utilities that do nothing but waste a slot but let them not waste further slots on things from that race? Or just...more Changeling specific stuff? Which still leaves Changelings with really only one racial feature.

I don't think there's anything complicated with my suggestion at all. 1 of any race's utilities once per time they'd gain a utility +1 at first level. That's really simple. It's actually more simple that having to remember you have less total utilities than other people when you make particular choices.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:57 am

Ramsus wrote:What does that mean? They're going to get Utilities that do nothing but waste a slot but let them not waste further slots on things from that race? Or just...more Changeling specific stuff? Which still leaves Changelings with really only one racial feature.

I don't think there's anything complicated with my suggestion at all. 1 of any race's utilities once per time they'd gain a utility +1 at first level. That's really simple. It's actually more simple that having to remember you have less total utilities than other people when you make particular choices.

1) It's more complicated than not adding the change. Everything always is.

2) Changelings can already fly (very useful, the poor maneuverability thing isn't a major issue when it comes to getting across gaps and such) and use unicorn horn magic, have a very useful racial ability and will have additional utility talents that could do the things we're talking about adding to the racial template. Why are we trying to buff them?
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  XandZero2 on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:21 am

^I think the main concern Ramsus has is that the Copy Cat ability is not very useful.

The Disguise ability does make Changelings pretty adaptable though. That's true.

-And BTW - Stairc, can you please give me input on the latest Zebra template. I've been waiting to hear what you think for a few days now.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Ramsus on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:30 am

Swapping out some words for some other words is complicated? Last I checked no Changelings have leveled up yet so it's not like anyone would have to change their characters.

Yes, they can fly. Poorly. Always. They can never get better in a way that's fair to them. They can use the base unicorn telekinesis. That's it. They can't improve on it, again in a way that's at all fair to them. Wasting a utility talent to get the option to not waste more utility talents is still a pointless kick in the pants. Does any other race have to take Utilities that don't actually do anything? Also, the reason Changelings need to be better is because they only have two racial features. One of them is admittedly very nice. The other one is functionally the same as not having one. Wait, no, it's worse. Because people can then be fooled in making a choice that results in having less utility talents that others. That still doesn't add up to balancing vs other races typical three good racial benefits. So we'd "buffing" them to A) balance them with others races and B) to prevent the system having "wait, I can choose wrong?" choices that only serve to harm new players who don't understand the system. Also it cuts down on us having to make Utility talents that don't actually do anything by themselves. (And I have enough experience in seeing people try to force those useless feats/utility type things anyway, get to this point, and get argued into by third parties "fixing" the problem by slapping on some features to that useless feat/utility which then results in one of two things. It still being a pointless slap in the face or it resulting in the thing that needed versatility actually being able to be better at that thing than the people who were originally supposed to be the ones who were good at it.)

Edit: ninja'd. Yeah more or less Xand, except in my view it's not "not very useful" it's a trap for new players and not a thing at all to anyone else.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:35 am

A) Right, I'll take a look at the Zebra thing tonight, after answering Ramsus.

B) Okay Ramsus, how about this for a race?

New Race

1) You can shapeshift to look like any character you like. You want to look like the bad guy's boss? Go for it. You want to look like the mayor to bust your friends out of jail? No problem. You want to get into any event, get the drop on any target, walk into the enemy camp or walk out of it? Want to lose pursuers or commit an act in a form that gets someone else blamed for it? All totally fine.

2) You can fly with poor maneuverability. Don't try picking locks in the air or getting into an aerial chase, but getting into position on top of buildings - flying across gaps - never taking falling damage or falling into pit traps? All great.

3) Oh what the hell, we'll give you Ponykinesis too. 25 lbs of telekinesis? All yours, use it to snatch treasures out of a dragon's horde or take the keys from the guards. You are the utility belt.

4) What, having access to two useful racial traits and an at-will ability that only a Magic Talent via Art of the Dress can imitate isn't enough? Well... Alright then. You get utility talents of your own too.

Already sounds like a race I'd like to play. Combine 3 and 1 and try to tell me that's not on par with Weathercrafting and a cutie mark. But wait, there's more!

5) You have the option to take racial talents that normally wouldn't at all be possible. Feel free to combine things in awesome ways if you like. The worst is you'll have 2 utility talents less than others at character creation... In exchange for unparalleled options to take the best of all talents. Just take that cool little feature for free.


With that breakdown, I'm sure you can see why - if we give out any more freebies - this race risks being unbalanced. Additional options are fine, they'll be purchasable for the cost of a Utility Talent and hosted in the utility talent section. However, handing out any more for free and this will turn absolutely nuts. king
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:18 am

Tribal Tattoos
Zebras have a Cutie Mark, and do not gain a 3rd trained skill like other non-pony races.

Rhyming Wizard
Zebras often have a unique way of talking. Upon character creation, choose to either specialize in rhyme, haiku, rap, or another equally kooky form of communication. Whenever out of combat, you may use this form of communication 'in character' to create a coherent sentence. In which case, add a non-cumulative +2 magic bonus to your next die roll.

These are great. Rhyming Wizard is a problem in one way though, it'll slow the game down because players will want to pretty-much-always work out a rhyme, haiku or whatever for every roll. Otherwise they're just leaving a +2 bonus on the table. Try limiting it to a few-times-a-day ability or some similar way to keep people from pausing the game to write a haiku or rhyming couplet for every single roll.

Once we get Rhyming Wizard down to the point that it's as good as Flight for the Pegasai or Finishing School for the Unicorn, we'll need another cool and flavorful positive ability that's more for show than substance in order to balance things out. Gaining some form of the brew is cool, but the current flavor of it (getting your potions mixed up) is kinda strange. Also seems odd that all zebras are poitiony, but that's not a dealbreaker.

Try revamping those angles.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Ramsus on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:23 am

Except it's not two utility talents less at the start. It's one less utility talent every time you want to take another race's utility talent. Which means nobody who knows what they're doing and hasn't just run out of options they care about will ever take it.

Yes, you get a neat disguise thing. You still don't have a Cutie Mark. You're getting a total of +2 less to your skills right there and you can't stack you cutie mark skill (because you don't have it) on top of your trained skill. And guess what? Your disguise is based on one of two skill checks. Opposed skill checks. Probably pretty often against ponies. Who very well could have a cutie mark and trained perception. Also, no cutie mark criticals for you.

But, you can fly...less good than anyone else who can fly. Forever. You can't improve it without lighting one of your utilities on fire. What? You want to fly really well? Have fun ending up with three or four less Utilities than anyone else. Just to fly well.

Oh but you can TK small objects. You can't use any other magic unless you want to burn up utilities but...yeah, that's neat. Have fun never improving that in any way.

Also, you realize Art of the Dress is in some ways better than changeling shapeshifting right? For one thing as far as I know your opponents don't have any ability to see through it. Even if they do the DC is going to be way higher. And of course you're disguising the entire party, not just yourself.

Basically the way things are set up we won't ever be seeing flying specialized or magic specialized Changelings. Or even dabblers. We're just going to have animal lovers, bards, and shapeshifting specialists. Because that's the stuff they can take without burning utilities. So that's what people will take. The option to take other stuff isn't a real option. It's like telling someone they can have an apple or they can have an orange but you'll punch them in the face if they pick the orange. That's not actually a choice. It's just taunting.

Oh, also there isn't actually anything preventing anypony from just...making disguises. You could have an earth pony with Art of the Dress, Persuasion & Perception trained, freaky knowledge: disguises & mimicry, their cutie mark in persuasion, and the Stare. And then they can get cutie mark criticals on top of that. And on 19's! And that took up....one of their racial traits, two utilities, and their starting skills, and cutie mark. Oh and they could be crazy and have Derp and their element be Magic and then use the Changeling Utilities. So yeah, it takes some work but, you can have ponies better at the thing Changelings are good at than they are. On the other hand even with my suggestion you'd still at worst get Changelings who are around as good as ponies as their thing but way later. Sure, my way also opens up the possibility of the magical flying bank robber but...that's going to take like all of their utilities (besides the four they start with at level 1 that can't contribute to that weirdness anyway). Why the heck shouldn't they be able to do that at that point?

Edit: Also, one of my big issues here is that I'm just not seeing what race specific Utility talent combinations you're seeing as possible that would be overpowered.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Videocrazy on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:40 am

You know, I think I see a major point of confusion here.

Yes, you get a neat disguise thing. You still don't have a Cutie Mark. You're getting a total of +2 less to your skills right there and you can't stack you cutie mark skill (because you don't have it) on top of your trained skill. And guess what? Your disguise is based on one of two skill checks. Opposed skill checks. Probably pretty often against ponies. Who very well could have a cutie mark and trained perception. Also, no cutie mark criticals for you.

The check is from another pony, to say "Hey, you're not him! Stop!". From my understanding, if the pony you're disguised as is a complete stranger to the one you're interacting with, the other pony doesn't get to make a check.
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:45 am

Ramsus wrote:Except it's not two utility talents less at the start. It's one less utility talent every time you want to take another race's utility talent.

Which, if you do the math, if you take advantage of this to the maximum - is starting with 3 utility talents instead of 5. So yes, two less. If a pegasus wants to be as good at flying as he is at walking, he needs to spend the same number of talents.

Ramsus wrote:Which means nobody who knows what they're doing and hasn't just run out of options they care about will ever take it.

Funny... I find the idea of combining cross-racial talents like that interesting and probably would make use of one other-race talent if I was building a changeling. Are you implying I don't have any idea what I'm doing? Sad

Ramsus wrote:Yes, you get a neat disguise thing. You still don't have a Cutie Mark. You're getting a total of +2 less to your skills right there and you can't stack you cutie mark skill (because you don't have it) on top of your trained skill.

-2 to one skill and focus on versatility. The changeling options make up for it. That -2 is only going to factor in once in ever 10 rolls on that particular skill.

Ramsus wrote:And guess what? Your disguise is based on one of two skill checks. Opposed skill checks. Probably pretty often against ponies. Who very well could have a cutie mark and trained perception. Also, no cutie mark criticals for you.

If you want to talk about changing the DC, that's fine. And no, they're not opposed skill checks. That's the whole point of having a set DC - so we don't force a specific changeling build.

Ramsus wrote:But, you can fly...less good than anyone else who can fly. Forever. You can't improve it without lighting one of your utilities on fire. What? You want to fly really well? Have fun ending up with three or four less Utilities than anyone else. Just to fly well.

And Earth Ponies can't fly at all. What exactly is your point? Flying is a very useful ability. You seem upset at the idea that changelings might not be able to fly as well as other races naturally. Why should they be able to? Earth Ponies and Unicorns can't fly.

Ramsus wrote:Oh but you can TK small objects. You can't use any other magic unless you want to burn up utilities but...yeah, that's neat. Have fun never improving that in any way.

You seem set on the idea that changelings should be able to not only have all abilities, but be able to be as good at everyone else at all of them too. All the other races seem fine taking mostly Everypony talents, but we give changelings the ability to dip into other races if they have the urge and suddenly they need more power?

Ramsus wrote:Also, you realize Art of the Dress is in some ways better than changeling shapeshifting right?

A talent that costs a utility slot AND a magic point to activate being better than a racial at-will power? This is madness! Wink

Ramsus wrote:Basically the way things are set up we won't ever be seeing flying specialized or magic specialized Changelings. Or even dabblers. We're just going to have animal lovers, bards, and shapeshifting specialists. Because that's the stuff they can take without burning utilities. So that's what people will take. The option to take other stuff isn't a real option. It's like telling someone they can have an apple or they can have an orange but you'll punch them in the face if they pick the orange. That's not actually a choice. It's just taunting.

Shall we ban all multiclassing and hybrid systems from RPGs too? People seem to like those. When people want to break the rules on powers they can normally take, it needs to come at a cost. This limit is intended to make sure people only take one or two things they normally couldn't and it stays special.

Ramsus wrote:Oh, also there isn't actually anything preventing anypony from just...making disguises. You could have an earth pony with Art of the Dress, Persuasion & Perception trained, freaky knowledge: disguises & mimicry, their cutie mark in persuasion, and the Stare. And then they can get cutie mark criticals on top of that. And on 19's!

So... It takes you 4 utility talents (two of those are magic, so you need derp too), the drawback of 3x the crit fails, a specific race, specific skills election and a specific cutie mark... To start exceeding the changeling's at-will racial trait.

Perhaps now you can see how powerful that racial trait it. Wink


Now, I could possibly see opening up another changeling option that lets them take something similar to Sister's of the Sky at the cost of something else (losing other racial traits or perhaps embed the option in an existing utility talent). However, these arguments you're making about how the current system is too weak or a 'noob trap' are kinda... Really flawed. The bare fact of the matter is, you really want to take other talents or specialize in something but you hate the thought of giving up utility talent slots that other races don't have to.

This isn't a rational, gameplay balance effect. That trait is purely there for flavor. It's potentially useful but not too powerful, like the Pegasus weathercrafting. And it gets weaker the more you use it for the most part - which allows the flavor without messing with the game balance.

We can definitely create additional changeling options of course.

Videocrazy wrote:You know, I think I see a major point of confusion here.

Yes, you get a neat disguise thing. You still don't have a Cutie Mark. You're getting a total of +2 less to your skills right there and you can't stack you cutie mark skill (because you don't have it) on top of your trained skill. And guess what? Your disguise is based on one of two skill checks. Opposed skill checks. Probably pretty often against ponies. Who very well could have a cutie mark and trained perception. Also, no cutie mark criticals for you.

The check is from another pony, to say "Hey, you're not him! Stop!". From my understanding, if the pony you're disguised as is a complete stranger to the one you're interacting with, the other pony doesn't get to make a check.

Also true.


Last edited by Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Hooved Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:02 am

For example, one option for a changeling could be starting with 4 utility talents instead of 5, but never having any racial limitations on what to choose. The loss
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