Unearthed Arcana [5E] Unearthed Arcana: Races of Eberron (July 2018)


log in or register to remove this ad


I gave up serious conversations for Lent, and they largely haven't come back.

It does occur to me that if putting armor on apes was so simple, where was it when every other thread was "beastmaster ranger is broken, here is how to fix it"? Apparently the BM just had to kill a hobgoblin or orc, loot the armor, and stick it on his/her ape animal companion, and all would be fine (and if the party runs across enough magical armor to give out to the ape, all the better). In conclusion, the BM ranger is now officially not underpowered or a trap as long as you aren't unreasonable and try to pick a wolf or a snake or a non-ape animal companion (damned, dirty role players). Futhermore any "guide to the ranger" or "guide to animal companion" thread that didn't give the ape the gold rating is discredited and should be taken down in shame.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
The changeling shifting doesn't sit right with me. The text is taken almost directly from Alter Self which is a 2nd level spell. Other races that cast 2nd level spells can't do so until a higher level and even then only get it once per day. The changeling can morph at will at level 1. While Alter Self isn't the most powerful 2nd level spell, its still a huge boost to the social pillar that feels too powerful to come from a racial ability.

However, you can't have Changelings without it. Their entire purpose and schtick is "I can look like anyone"

Also, while powerful, I'm not sure it is too powerful, especially in the social pillar when a disguise kit can be used for much the same effect. Changelings still need to deceive someone if they appear as someone they know. And looking like someone else is no guarantee, especially in a world where changelings are known to exist. A paranoid lord with the Macguffin might set up a password with his guards to open the Super Vault, and if he doesn't give it they are not to let him in.

Shapeshifting is a powerful tool, but to make it truly ridiculous takes other abilities the party won't have at levels 1 through 4



As for the ridiculous "double shapeshifting"... I'm not seeing how this is more than a quirky idea, even if the DM didn't kibosh it.

First of all, if you use wildshape to become an animal, you are no longer a changeling. Much like I wouldn't allow a half-orc to use their half-orc resilience to not drop to zero as a wildshaped animal, or any number of player characters to use Darkvision on an animal shape that doesn't have it. Since these don't apply, changeling doesn't apply.

Secondly, even if it did... why would you? You are a druid, picking a race that has zero synergies for you (maybe +1 dex?) and shapeshifting into a creature with a 16 str to wear armor and wield weapons like a fighter? Sure, you've got a pile of Temp Hp and armor... but you would have that just from being an animal and having your party equip you with barding. Something that has been possible since the PHB came out.


So... a pointless thing you might be able to rules-lawyer just because you want a specific exception to a generally held rule. I'm calling this not an issue.

One thing I do find odd. Changelings can't appear as Gnomes or Halflings (since Changeling can't change size). It fits with a lot of things (and isn't there a Gnome house that is like, full of super spies in Eberron?) but it is a restriction I have to keep reminding myself exists.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
There are a few key restrictions and drawbacks to Changelings shapeshifting abilities that a lot of people tend to forget:

*Changelings can only change their body, not anything else on them. This alone makes it significantly less useful than the level 1 spell Disguise Self. They'll still need a costume/outfit/uniform to sell their ruse; these things take time, planning, and/or foresight.
*Changelings live in a world where people know Changelings exist. That can make infiltration, especially in places where people are trained to protect against infiltration (which I imagine would include most of the interesting places a changeling adventurer might want to infiltrate) will know to be on the lookout for anything that might be suspicious, even from the people they know and trust.
 

First of all, if you use wildshape to become an animal, you are no longer a changeling. Much like I wouldn't allow a half-orc to use their half-orc resilience to not drop to zero as a wildshaped animal, or any number of player characters to use Darkvision on an animal shape that doesn't have it. Since these don't apply, changeling doesn't apply.

As to whether changelings can wildshape into an ape and then change shape into a humanoid, the wildshape text says "you retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable."

This seems to stop things like an aarakocra turning into an ape and still trying to fly without wings but not something like half-orc resilience which would function perfectly fine with any animal shape. Considering the changeling druid-ape is already a magically transformed animal-thing, i don't see why your magical transforming body feature would suddenly become incompatible with your magically transformed body, but i guess it's ultimately up to DM's discretion until they come out with a FAQ on the topic.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
As to whether changelings can wildshape into an ape and then change shape into a humanoid, the wildshape text says "you retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable."

This seems to stop things like an aarakocra turning into an ape and still trying to fly without wings but not something like half-orc resilience which would function perfectly fine with any animal shape. Considering the changeling druid-ape is already a magically transformed animal-thing, i don't see why your magical transforming body feature would suddenly become incompatible with your magically transformed body, but i guess it's ultimately up to DM's discretion until they come out with a FAQ on the topic.
Well, the issue isn't about any particular combo. The argument was that it was abusable.

The counter-argument, of course, is: no, it's not ☺
 

Kurotowa

Legend
*Changelings live in a world where people know Changelings exist. That can make infiltration, especially in places where people are trained to protect against infiltration (which I imagine would include most of the interesting places a changeling adventurer might want to infiltrate) will know to be on the lookout for anything that might be suspicious, even from the people they know and trust.

Oh sure. The use of badges, signet rings, and other identifying tokens is going to be widespread. In fact, hold on, let me dig out my 3ed Eberron book... Yep, here we go. The Adventuring Equipment chapter lists several relevant Documents for identification purposes.

Identification Papers: Most people of the middle and upper classes, at least in the most civilized areas of Khorvaire carry identification papers with them at all times. Issued by national governments and notarized by House Sivis, these papers present a detailed physical description of a person...

Arcane Signet Ring: The dragonmarked houses of Khorvaire use these rings extensively for identification purposes. They resemble ordinary signet rings, but are set with gemstones like more decorative rings. Inside a large, central gemstone, an intricate runic pattern - actually an arcane mark - becomes visible when worn by the person for whom it was constructed.

So yes, in urban areas the guard can challenge people to present their notarized ID and have cause to arrest anyone acting suspicious who can't produce them. Magical ID rings exist and are used by the dragonmarked houses, with the highest ranks of national organizations likely having their own versions too. Changelings exist in a setting that both knows they exist and has the technological base to take the obvious steps to protect against casual abuse by them.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top