Kobolds: Life Through Their Eyes

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So, I love kobolds, and I'd like to play one. Moreover, I have a campaign about to start, and the setting would use kobolds as a PC race. So I want to have that option open. The MM gives me a good start, but I hear that their racial power is too powerful, and they could use some more trap-related goodness. So here's my take.

Average Height and Weight: as MM, p. 278

Ability Scores: +2 Con, +2 Dex or Int
Size: Small
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: normal, darkvision

Languages: Common, Draconic
Skill Bonuses: +2 dungeoneering, +2 thievery
Trap Sense: You gain a +2 bonus to defenses against traps (as MM, p. 278)
Spear-Wielder: You can wield spears normally, despite the usual restrictions of small size.
Shifty: When you shift and the shift is not the result of power, you can shift one additional square.
Trap Layer: You gain the It's a Trap! encounter power

It's a Trap! * Kobold Racial Power
Whether in preparation for battle or improvised in the midst of it, you've laid a trap for your foe.
Encounter * Acid, Fire, or Poison, Zone
Minor Action * Close burst 5
Effect: Choose one square within range.  Once before the end of the encounter, you can use the following attack as an opportunity action when a creature enters a square in or adjacent to the selected square.

Attack: Int, Dex, or Con +3 vs Ref (+6 at 11th, +9 at 21st)
Hit: The target takes 1d6+Int acid, fire, or poison damage (your choice), and the square it enters counts as difficult terrain until the end of your next turn.
Increase to 2d6+Int at paragon and 3d6+Int at epic.
Special: After each extended rest, choose what type of damage this power deals. Once made, this choice cannot be changed until after your next extended rest.

Notes: I will allow kobold dragon sorcerers to use CON in place of STR.

Feats

Acid Spray Trap - paragon(?)
When you choose the acid type for your It's a Trap! racial power, make a secondary attack vs. Ref against all creatures in burst 1 of the primary target (excluding the primary target). On a hit, the secondary targets take Int mod acid damage.

Force Trap
You can choose force as a damage type for your It's a Trap! racial power. If you do so, you slide the target 1 square on a hit.

Fire Trap
When you choose the fire type for your It's a Trap! racial power, your trap deals ongoing 2 fire damage (save ends). Increase to ongoing 5 at paragon and ongoing 10 at epic.

Poison Trap
When you choose the poison type for your It's a Trap! racial power, your trap weakens the target until the end of your next turn.

Admixture Trap - paragon
You can choose two damage types at a time for your It's a Trap! racial power.

Sticky Trap
Your It's a Trap! racial power slows the target until the end of your next turn.

Lightning Trap - paragon
You can choose lightning damage for your It's a Trap! racial power. When you do so, the trap blinds your target until the start of its next turn.

Trapped Artifice - paragon, artificer
Choose one at-will artificer power you know with the implement keyword. You can use that power as an immediate reaction, triggered by a creature entering a square within 5 squares of you. If the power targets one creature, it targets the triggering creature. If it is a burst or blast, it is centered on the triggering creature. You do not provoke opportunity attacks for using this power in this way. Using the selected power in this way expends your It's a Trap! racial power.

Entangling Trap - epic
Your It's a Trap! racial power restrains the target until the start of its next turn.

Tripwire Trap
You can choose to deal no damage with your trap. If you do so, on a hit the trap instead knocks the target prone.

Alchemical Trap
When you use your It's a Trap! racial power, you can choose to expend one alchemical item you have on hand. Instead of the racial power's usual effect, you attack with the alchemical item. Use all of the usual rules for the alchemical item, but use your attack bonus for your It's a Trap! racial power.
NOTE: Confusing wording. How should I say this? Let's say (numbers chosen randomly), that a kobold with this feat has a blinding bomb that attacks with +6 vs Fort (I don't know if this is true. Bare with me). Let's say this kobold's racial power is usually +9 vs Ref. The kobold can use a blinding bomb as an immediate interrupt to blind the target if it hits with +9 vs Fort.

I think I may have made this too awesome, so let me know if I need to downpower something.
Thinking back more, the racial power may be overpowered. If so, do you think the difficult terrain thing alone works? Or would it be fine if it just halted movement? The feats could then add damage - 1d6 less than it currently does. Also, new feat:

Arrow Trap - paragon, ranger
Choose one at-will ranger attack power you know with the weapon key word and range of Ranged: weapon. You can use that power as an immediate reaction, triggered by a creature entering a square within 5 squares of you. If the power targets one creature, it targets the triggering creature. If it is a burst or blast, it is centered on the triggering creature. You do not provoke opportunity attacks for using this power in this way. Using the selected power in this way expends your It's a Trap! racial power.

EDIT: And more feats!

Shifty Respite - heroic
Whenever you spend a healing surge you may shift 1 square.

Expert Dungeoneer - heroic
You may roll twice for Dungeoneering checks and use either result.

EDIT: Still more feats.

Shifty Opportunist - heroic
When you make an opportunity attack, you can shift before or after making the attack.

Mine Warrior - heroic
You gain proficiency with all picks.  You can wield two-handed picks and versatile picks in one hand even though you are small-sized.

It is my personal opinion that shifting as a minor action is nowhere near as powerful as it's made out to be.

In 99.9% of situations involving some measure of dissatisfaction over 4th Edition, the victims are just buttsore that "race/class/build/etc. X" doesn't have "convoluted mechanic Y" in order to accomplish "superfluous effect Z". Confessions of a Mustard Addicted Psychopath

It is my personal opinion that shifting as a minor action is nowhere near as powerful as it's made out to be.




Could be.  Could very well be.  But I'd also say It's a Trap! is more evocative of kobolds.  So, if we ignore for a moment that there already has been a MM writeup for kobolds, not really meant for PC use, does my stats for PC kobolds look balanced?

So far everything looks Excellent, but I'll have to give it a more thorough look-over when I'm not busy trying to force these damn public access computers to work properly.

Kobolds should have darkvision, as all Kolbold monster entries.
Kobolds should have darkvision, as all Kolbold monster entries.



Good catch.  Though I've heard that PC races should have low-light at most.  So that's what I went with.
Give 'em Darkvision, no reason to not give it to them, and it fits with the MM creature entry. Darkvision is useful, but certainly not the end of the world for a PC race.
Give 'em Darkvision, no reason to not give it to them, and it fits with the MM creature entry. Darkvision is useful, but certainly not the end of the world for a PC race.



Done.  My only reason was the vague recollection from other threads that darkvision is being phased out as a PC thing.  Only drow get it.  It's gone even in dwarves, so I figured it should be for kobolds too.  But I'll follow your advice.  You're right - I didn't have good reason.  I just followed what I thought was the trend.
The trap ability may not play well with characters who have other significant uses for their immediate interrupts. It might work better as an opportunity action or even as a free action. Alternately, rewrite it to function as a minor action.

> Notes: I will allow kobold dragon sorcerers to use CON in place of STR.

This is a bad idea since it will overload Con as a stat, especially given that their trap power also keys off of it.

The other issue that I see with this race is that it doesn't have much to it. It has one encounter attack power and a situational defense boost, but that's not much to work with. It's unusual for a race to have fewer than three abilities, and most of them have more than that; they often apply to a wider range of situations too.
All right, taking defenders into account, I'll make it an opportunity action.  Opponent's turn, however, is non-negotiable.  This is meant to be a trap after all.

What do you mean using Con instead of Str for sorcerers will overload the stat?  Yes, it will make kobolds better dragon sorcerers - but they friggin ought to be!  Honestly, I plan on just making this a generic house rule for all dragon sorcerers.  Dragonborn still make good dragon sorcerers because of their racial feature that adds their Con mod to healing surge values.  And I disagree that it's really overpowered for a single attack power to be using their secondary ability score rather than a dump stat.  Honestly, I hate it when playing a race/class combo that makes a racial feature less useful.  Like playing a dragonborn illusionist wizard - the dragonbreath power keys off of Str, Dex, or Con, none of which are particularly high in an Int- and Cha- using illusionist.

Maybe kobolds do need an extra racial feature.  Currently all I did was copy and paste the MM version with a different racial power.  Perhaps something like this?

Skitter When you use your second wind, you may shift one square.

Or something else alluding to shifty.  Maybe if I made shifty a racial trait rather than a racial power?  That way it won't stack with Mark of Passage.

Shifty You may shift as a minor action.

Alternatively, I could make it a +1 or +2 racial bonus to defenses against opportunity attacks.  Another possibility, inspired by the goliath, would be something for their dungeon-dwelling nature, like this:

Dungeon-Dweller You roll twice for Dungeoneering checks and use either result.

^ The differences between this and the goliath version are (1) goliaths get to roll twice for a skill they receive a racial bonus to.  Hence goliaths become even more unlikely to ever fail athletics checks.  On the other hand, this makes kobolds highly skilled, as they receive a benefit to three skills, rather than two.  But I can see sneaky little trap-experts being exceptionally skilled.  So it works for RP fluff.  (2) Golaiths only gain the benefit for some uses of athletics.  I'd be ok with kobolds getting this benefit for non-monster knowledge checks.  How should I phrase that?
It will overload the stat because unlike Str and Dex for sorcerers generally (which give AC and one defense along with the damage boost), Con also gives hit points and surges, which means that it's a markedly stronger stat if used this way. (Sorcerers don't generally use Str or Dex for physical attacks so they're not losing anything significant in exchange.)

If you want to avoid stat-dependency in their racial power then simply base it off the character's highest stat (regardless of what it is), or don't base it on a stat at all.
It will overload the stat because unlike Str and Dex for sorcerers generally (which give AC and one defense along with the damage boost), Con also gives hit points and surges, which means that it's a markedly stronger stat if used this way. (Sorcerers don't generally use Str or Dex for physical attacks so they're not losing anything significant in exchange.) If you want to avoid stat-dependency in their racial power then simply base it off the character's highest stat (regardless of what it is), or don't base it on a stat at all.



Ah, but I'm also trying to fix the fact that kobold dragon sorcerers shouldn't really be strong enough to bend iron.  From the very beginning I thought dragon sorcerers should have been Con, not Str.  Perhaps it will make dragon sorcerers tougher, but they're also the variety of sorcerer that mixes it up in melee the most.  I suppose you're right about throwing off the balance.  Then again, if dragon sorcerers didn't get to use Con instead of Int or Dex for AC when in light armor, the extra hp and surges would be offset by getting hit a touch more often...  I'm getting into sticky ground, but I have serious issues with a 16-Str kobold being expected for one of their favorite classes.  As a rule, kobolds are not strong.  PCs of course get exceptions, but one of the more common vocations among the race should not be high-Str.

I think I'll leave stat-dependency for now.  How about the extra race features I proposed, since you said they're a little lacking as is?


Ah, but I'm also trying to fix the fact that kobold dragon sorcerers shouldn't really be strong enough to bend iron.  From the very beginning I thought dragon sorcerers should have been Con, not Str.  Perhaps it will make dragon sorcerers tougher, but they're also the variety of sorcerer that mixes it up in melee the most.  I suppose you're right about throwing off the balance.  Then again, if dragon sorcerers didn't get to use Con instead of Int or Dex for AC when in light armor, the extra hp and surges would be offset by getting hit a touch more often...  I'm getting into sticky ground, but I have serious issues with a 16-Str kobold being expected for one of their favorite classes.  As a rule, kobolds are not strong.  PCs of course get exceptions, but one of the more common vocations among the race should not be high-Str.



   Give them a feat or special option in that case.

 I don't think you'll have to be worrying about 16 str Kobold dragon sorcerers wanting to bend iron.  You'll have your 18+ Str Kobold Fighters, Warlords, Rogues, and Rangers doing that.
The strong kobold dragon-magic sorcerer is actually perfectly fitting. The thematic reason why dragon magic sorcerers use Strength as their secondary is that they're tapping into the same power that gives dragons their strength, both physical and magical. This works on the sorcerer just like it does on a dragon; the high Strength is essentially an effect rather than a cause.

Skitter looks like the best of the three alternatives presented. I would suggest that the dweller trait would be better handled by replacing Stealth with Dungeoneering as a +2 bonus skill and then giving them a "non-kobold allies within 5 squares gain a +1 bonus to Dungeoneering checks" quality similar to a few other races. This is a less 'selfish' option and Stealth still benefits from the Dex bonus; it also fits with their theme quite well (including their predilection for mining). A "reroll your dungeoneering check" feat could then be added to their racial options.

Those two together with the existing traits would probably be sufficient to round out the race. There would be room for some minor mostly-cosmetic perk if you were inclined, but it wouldn't be necessary.


Edit: One other thought: the default trap attack would probably make more sense as fire, acid, or poison (swapping acid for lightning), since those three are easiest to conceive as being used in quick-and-dirty traps. I'm not sure that it's a good idea to focus too much on feats that modify that power though; it's a nice encounter trick but it's not going to carry them through that encounter on its own, and there are other kobold traits that could be more thoroughly explored as feat options.


Oh, and Trapped Artifice, as written, isn't going to work - it would let them set off their top-level daily as a reaction. I suspect that this will simply end up causing a mess either way though - artificer powers aren't written with this in mind. You'd probably be better served to create an artificer encounter power that fits the theme.
Ok, thanks for the input.  I added Skitter and a couple of feats, changed the stealth bonus to a dungeoneering bonus, and reworded Trapped Artifice and Arrow Trap.  Your choice of artificer or ranger power (respectively) is now limited to an at-will power, chosen when you take this feat.  This makes it more analogous to quickened spell, which allows you to use an at-will as a minor action.  Actually, this feat is considerably underpowered compared to that, since you're making the at-will usable in less time only once per encounter, rather than at-will.  Maybe I should even allow encounter powers?  I had chosen to allow dailies because, even though a daily as an immediate reaction rather than standard action is more powerful, you'll get the benefit of the feat only once a day, rather than once an encounter.  I had hoped the opportunity cost would be about equal.

I also changed the trap to acid, fire, or poison.  The feats remain.  Out of curiosity, how does the acid trap feat look?  I'm still not sure whether it's paragon level-worthy or not.  Should I exclude the primary target from the secondary attack as I have?
These campaigns I hear about have never been negative :3 so good luck on this.  As one of the greatest kobold race lovers I can feel good about this.

They should get some racial feats.  I've made and participated in a few threads about this very thing.  Heck i even made a pitch to WotC to make a kobold race article (though it seems mine and the other guys has been rejected)

A feat that I made called...

Miner Warrior (it's word play, minor, miner, get it!?)
Prerequisite:  Kobold
Benefit:  You gain proficiency with all picks, you can also treat all picks as if they had the small property.

God i'm clever...

Anyways, yeah o_O.  You might also wanna try your luck at making dragonwrought possible in 4e.  A heritage feat that can only be taken at 1st level perhaps?  Or just a heritage feat in general.



KOBOLDS FOR PHB4!

All right, I added the Mine Warrior feat.  Plus a new feat for shifting with opportunity attacks.  I also added a racial trait for wielding a spear normally.  That was one thing that bugged me - kobold spear fighters weren't viable in 4e because of small-size restrictions, even though there are many pictures of kobolds with spears.  I made that a racial trait.

Also, I'm now questioning the skitter racial trait.  It's like what githzerai will get in PH3, only weaker.  It's not so unique now.
is skitter trying to replace shifty?

Shifty works fine.  It's just some items have powers that trigger whenever you shift like boots of the fencer.  Just add a line that shifty doesn't trigger requirements for items and their powers.  Problem solved.
Just add a line that shifty doesn't trigger requirements for items and their powers.  Problem solved.



That's how we house-ruled it in our games. The power of Shifty, without the overpowered abuse.
Ok, so I'll just throw in the replacement shifty instead.
Do whatever you feels work best for you and your design for the creature. If you like Shifty, and just want to add a line or two, then do it! If you want to re-create the monster how you feel it should be, complete with new racial powers, then go ahead and do that to! Heck, make a few variants of the same race just for a reference point, always good to keep around notes of past work.
Do whatever you feels work best for you and your design for the creature. If you like Shifty, and just want to add a line or two, then do it! If you want to re-create the monster how you feel it should be, complete with new racial powers, then go ahead and do that to! Heck, make a few variants of the same race just for a reference point, always good to keep around notes of past work.



Well, I do like shifty.  So I just threw it in as a racial trait rather than power - prevents it from stacking with things like Mark of Passage.  Hopefully it's not too powerful to give them both shifty and It's a Trap!  Currently I've got a game going with such a kobold, and the player can never remember to use the power.  Seems balanced, but I haven't given him Shifty yet.
Shifty isn't over powerful, they just gave it to a class (See seeker's ability).

Give them darkvision. Drow have it.

All kobolds really need are some feat support that doesn't pidgeon hole them as the new cosmic joke of tinkering.

Mebbe a feat that allows a kobold to use thievery to detect traps.

etc.

do a search, there's a few posts over the last year and a half talking about suggestions for this.

like this one



Amazed at how obtuse people can be since 1972.
Shifty isn't overpowered, but it is abusable. If you're looking to create a PC race for fair play and balance, then Shifty needs to be reworded or additions added in order to make it viable. A Kobold Rogue with Shifty {for example}, need only pick up a single feat, and suddenly their Shifty power lets them dart around the board at three squares in a single minor action. Now that is abusable, as is.
Shifty: You shift one square.  Feats and powers that would effect your shifting speed do not effect this racial power.
I changed Shifty a while back so that it isn't a power.  It's just a racial trait that makes the shifting a minor action rather than a move action.  It has the same effect as saying feats and powers don't affect it, because the only feats or powers that could affect it would affect any character's typical shifting as a move action.
The MM gives me a good start,



The Dragon Annual collected an article about them as a player usable race too didn't it? I think I have it upstairs.
no, it was the "here's more kobolds to beat up your PC's with" article.
Amazed at how obtuse people can be since 1972.
It's been a long time, but I'm dusting off this thread.  I updated it to post PH3 rules (so the kobolds got Int as an ability modifier option).  I'll need some time to look over and see if anything else needs fixing or adding to.
A few points for consideration:

1) I remember I time when every other homebrew race that popped up was a CON / INT race that was never actually thematically justified, and that's one of the major problems that I'm having here. The INT bonus seems totally out of place for Kobolds and only seems to have been selected so that they could be the CON / INT race that everybody wants. I can't think of any thematic justification for Kobolds getting an INT bonus.

2) Darkvision is handed out much more sparingly in 4E than it has been in the past, and I don't see any reason that Kobolds should be more deserving of it than Dwarves. If your concern is that the MM Kobolds have Darkvision, I'd much sooner suggest that you remove Darkvision from the MM Kobolds than that you grant Darkvision to PC Kobolds. Low-Light vision is plenty.

3) Spear-Wielder is cute. It's uselss for those of us that already ignore the small size weapons restrictions and limitations anyways, but otherwise, it's really cute, and I like it.

4) Wow, that has to be the only homebrew Kobold upgrade I've seen that actually thought it would be okay to keep Shifty as the at-will ability to shift 1 square as a minor action. Honestly, I just don't think that Shifty is balanced on a PC race. It's just way too good. I'd take it over any other racial feature out there. Besides, it'd be a total shame for Kobold Seekers (Bloodbond) to have redundant racial and class features. Also, it bears mentioning that just because it's balanced as a class feature doesn't mean that it's balanced as a racial feature.

5) It's a Trap runs into a lot of thematic issues. How did the Kobold put a trap there if it just entered the room and hasn't even been within 20 feet of that square? What if they're underwater or in the air? While it is a very cute idea, I just see too many thematic holes...

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Wow, quick feedback.  And yeah, looking it over, I do need to do a 2.0 version - remember, this thread is probably like a year old, and definitely is older than PH3.  Just yesterday I accounted for flexible ability bonuses, but I didn't touch anything else.  In regards to your issues:

1)  That said, my choice of Int had nothing to do with the desire for a Con/Int race.  I chose to emphasize kobolds as tinkerers and trapbuilders.  How does that not suggest an Intelligence bonus?  So it came down to did I want to make it Int/Con or Int/Dex?  I chose Int/Con just because I hate it when racial bonuses or a class build use two ability scores that apply to the same NAD.  If forced, I could try to justify it, since the "scrappy survivor underdog" aspect of kobolds seems to be a favored part of them.  But it really was a thematic choice.

2)  Look back at the pages of feedback.  People asked for darkvision.  I gave it.  Drow have it.  And I am trying to keep it in line with the MM kobolds.

3)  Thanks.  I had to do it - spear-wielding kobolds are a staple, and it'd just be stupid if RAW they couldn't use spears.

4)  FYI, originally I did get rid of shifty, but I kept getting arguments to get it back.  As I recall hearing (no experience myself) , Shifty was more powerful early in the game when there were fewer uses for minor actions, and then it became really bad with Mark of Passage.  I had changed it to a racial feature and not a power, so it doesn't stack with feats or powers (there's a rogue one) that key to shifting.  My original version had used a mechanic surprisingly similar to the githzerai's, so I changed it when the preview came out.  Still, the interaction with seeker is a problem.  Would it be an better if I changed it to: "Whenever you use a move action to shift 1 square, you can shift 1 extra square."?  Not perfect though - it still screws the seeker, but changing the wording to mean "non-power based shift" is tricky, even though it's my intent.

5)  You know, I ran a campaign where someone used this homebrew kobold, but it never was a problem.  And some time after this thread, I tried reusing the trap idea in a bounty hunter class (martial controller based on traps, sleeper holds, and exotic weapon mastery.  I had challenged myself to make a martial controller that wasn't just an attempt to fill the grid.  Mixed success, but hey, I tried).  In that other thread I got plenty of the trap complaints.  It's basically an encounter power retcon.  Easier to fix for the kobold, since it's not 50% of a class - it's just one power.  Make it two part, and give it the zone keyword.  Minor action to place a trap in a square adjacent to you.  Then when a creature enters it you can activate it. 
1)  That said, my choice of Int had nothing to do with the desire for a Con/Int race.  I chose to emphasize kobolds as tinkerers and trapbuilders.  How does that not suggest an Intelligence bonus?  So it came down to did I want to make it Int/Con or Int/Dex?  I chose Int/Con just because I hate it when racial bonuses or a class build use two ability scores that apply to the same NAD.  If forced, I could try to justify it, since the "scrappy survivor underdog" aspect of kobolds seems to be a favored part of them.  But it really was a thematic choice.

If you say so. I'm just sayin' is all...

2)  Look back at the pages of feedback.  People asked for darkvision.

I did. They were wrong. ^_^

Drow have it.

Irrelevant. Just because it has been given to PC races doesn't mean that any PC race should get it. Drow are heavily thematically tied, not just their deeply subterranean culture, but to the concept of darkness itself. You just don't see that level of emphasis on being so intrinsically tied with darkness in the racial fluff of the Dwarves, so that's why Dwarves didn't keep their Darkvision, and I've never seen anything in the Kobold fluff to make me think that they're any more deserving of it than Dwarves are. Basically, Darkvision has changed such that, if it's not something that a race's fluff is explicitly calling out as exceptional, then that race probably doesn't need to be getting Darkvision.

Besides, Darkvision takes up mechanical space that could go towards much more interesting and original features, and if Kobolds are going to make a comeback, then I'd like them to have been worth the wait, incorporating unique and innovative ideas instead of the same old thing that every other homebrew race does.

And I am trying to keep it in line with the MM kobolds.

I don't think that's a very good excuse. There's no good reason to keep them in line with the MM Kobolds if the MM Kobolds themselves aren't justified in having Darkvision. If it bothers you to have the MM and PC versions of the Kobold have different vision, then my suggestion would be to alter the MM Kobolds and give them Low-Light.

4)  FYI, originally I did get rid of shifty, but I kept getting arguments to get it back.

This is why you don't listen to every suggestion you get if it isn't well backed up. People want Shifty exactly because it's really, really good. Too good, in fact, to be a racial power. One of my theories about why they haven't released an actual Kobold race is that they realized they'd have to take away Shifty, that the PC version would thus be missing something very powerful from the MM version, and they they don't feel like hearing people whine about this.

Would it be an better if I changed it to: "Whenever you use a move action to shift 1 square, you can shift 1 extra square."?  Not perfect though - it still screws the seeker, but changing the wording to mean "non-power based shift" is tricky, even though it's my intent.

If people really have their hearts set on having Shifty as a racial feature actually provide an additional shift, then it's not going to be easy. You've seen my version of the feature, but that was just off the top of my head. Something more in line with the original Shift is likely going to take a lot of time of thinking to get just right...

I had challenged myself to make a martial controller that wasn't just an attempt to fill the grid.

You don't see the contradiction in the sentence?

It's basically an encounter power retcon.  Easier to fix for the kobold, since it's not 50% of a class - it's just one power.  Make it two part, and give it the zone keyword.  Minor action to place a trap in a square adjacent to you.  Then when a creature enters it you can activate it. 

It's not perfect, but given some of the things that the Artificer does, I suppose that could work. One thing that I would definitely do, though, is no tie it to a single square. I think that would be way too restrictive. Placing it in a square adjacent to you is good, but let it also be able to target squares adjacent to it, making the effective area into the size of a burst 1 and allowing it more opportunity to go off.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Regarding drow: I never considered before that the tie-in to darkness makes darkvision so much more appropriate for then.  You've convinced me - darkvision goes.

I think I've got a new idea for shifty, so let me just update that and see how it works.

I think you're right about being a little more liberal with the revised It's a Trap!  Also, I looked through my books, and that puts it more in line with the Hermetic Sabateur (Arcane Power).

And regarding the contradiction in the martial controller thing, there is a difference between "creating a class to fill a grid" and "creating a class just to fill a grid."  I challenged myself to create a conceptual niche that current classes didn't fill well.  At least, if you used an existing class, the mechanics didn't fit well.  Of course, the bounty hunter would now do much better as a theme, so it's pretty defunct.  And it specialized as a single-target controller.  Choose one target, and you're focused on them.  You have powers that quickly neutralize people other than your target, so you don't have to deal with them.  You have powers to trip, slow, and disable your target so you can bring them in alive.  If you assume that these tasks are what a bounty hunter has to do, that really sounds like a controller to me (or a striker that specializes in non-lethal).  But as we've seen from the Ossassin and early warlock, trying to give a striker the controller-y powers desired often interferes with you know, actually fullfilling your role.  Also, it was an Intelligence-based class.  It was all about being able to use knowledge of human anatomy, clever traps (physical or tactical), chokeholds/sleeperholds, etc. to draw your opponent into a weak spot.  In summary, it's clearly no defender or leader, and controller felt right.  Striker felt like a stretch, and it historically failed at this task.  Also, the ability to somehow disable obstacles to the target leads to a few more area of effect type powers - bluffs to lure astray, an enormous destraction, a large tangling net, etc.  Somewhere between an Essassin, a fighter, and an artificer.  And you can't do some hybrid or multiclassing option to get that with any level of playability.

Still, I'll admit that I abandoned the project because I didn't find it entirely tenable.  That and I hate building entire classes from scratch.  Too many powers.  I'd say maybe an Essentials style can fix it, but the Essassin fits the bill pretty well.  Just go with the bola-using guild and use non-lethal poisons.  Talk to the DM about jury-rigging traps.
You need the racial power of "Taunt" (CHA vs Will: fail= target is prone to a sneak attack from ur kobolds allies)


  
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