Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana October 2017: Fiendish Options

So a bunch of fiendish subraces but only a point of ABS besides Charisma moved to other skills and some Legacy spells swaps, plus some cult spells and features. It doesn't do much for my game.

So a bunch of fiendish subraces but only a point of ABS besides Charisma moved to other skills and some Legacy spells swaps, plus some cult spells and features.

It doesn't do much for my game.
 

Elon Tusk

Explorer
"Lazy" does appear to be the insult du jour for "a product not made exactly how I want it". It's used against movie-makers and manufacturers and TV studios and - it seems - game designers.
I agree; it's pretty condescending. Creating product requires the exact opposite of laziness.

There's a significant difference between "not made exactly how I want it" and "made without much effort/creativity."

See SNL: Papyrus for an example.
 

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Elon Tusk

Explorer
And yet “lazy” still remains an inappropriate and condescending way to refer to creators.

I was initially pointing out a condescending remark between forum users and that there is a difference in calling an idea "lazy" and a person oblivious - ad hominem attack and all that.

"Lazy" would probably not be a word I'd use anyway.
 

Everytime there's a bunch of Tiefling options presented, I always have to bring up the tables from 2e's Planewalkers Handbook. It's roughly what they've should have been using for Tieflings from the start.

In addition to rolling on the tables for abilities, there's also rolling on the table for different appearance traits since it needs to be pointed out that Tieflings have a wide variety in their appearance from some subtle features like ominous shadows cast to very obvious ones like vestigal limbs, unlike their 4e counterparts.

As for those "subraces" mentioned in that article, none of those bloodlines even suggest how that could influence a Tieflings appearance, they're also really playing it safe with just the secondary ability bonus and different sets of spells. It's disappointing it's limited to only Arch-Devils, when they could very much also included a bunch of bloodlines that are Demon, Yugoloth, Gehreleth, Night Hag and more inspired. And even among the Infernal bloodlines, they should have also had ones based on types of Devils like Osyluths or Barbazus, with things like a sting attack or tendrils.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
Aside from the tiefling subraces, this was quite an excelent installment of UA.

As far as the tieflings go, I dislike that everything was predicated on the Archdevils rather than having influence from any other lower-planar creatures. Also, I don't like the subrace approach to tieflings at all—I'd rather have an expansion upon the sort of options provided in SCAG. That way, tiefling could be customized and reflect the randomness of the race for those of us the prefer to run tieflings closer to how they were originally presented in Planscape.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
And yet “lazy” still remains an inappropriate and condescending way to refer to creators.

I also made other remarks such as uninspired, not interesting, lackluster, and not on par with their previous work. But also, I described the design as lazy. I never said that about the creators. They have, can, and should do better as they are professionals and get paid to do that. I won't say I've never done it, but I generally try to be more constructive in criticisms of others that post content for review on the forums because its polite and because we do not get paid to create the content we post (though some may use the feedback to put up 3rd party material through Dmsguild or whatever).

And while the words I used may have been harsh, I also supplied alternative directions they could have gone rather than a substitution a la cart method of creating new "subraces" (I don't view these as subraces. They are player options, which I view differently). I did not say anything without basis for my viewpoint and constructive ways they could have gone about creating new mechanics that could have been more experimental, fun, flavorful, and enticing.
 
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Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
Aside from the tiefling subraces, this was quite an excelent installment of UA.

As far as the tieflings go, I dislike that everything was predicated on the Archdevils rather than having influence from any other lower-planar creatures. Also, I don't like the subrace approach to tieflings at all—I'd rather have an expansion upon the sort of options provided in SCAG. That way, tiefling could be customized and reflect the randomness of the race for those of us the prefer to run tieflings closer to how they were originally presented in Planscape.

I agree. They could have completely left out the bit about the tieflings and this would be a really great UA. But that they not only included it, but introduced the article with these supposed subraces cheapened the whole thing. I started with the tieflings, saw what they did, and it made it really hard to not just delete the document right there. And that's part of the problem. If you start a UA, article, TV show, or whatever it may be with garbage, some people may not stick around long enough to appreciate the rest of it. Which goes back to something I said before. Either they believe what they did with the "subraces" was on par with or better than most of their content (which it clearly isn't), or they were looking to pad their article with content implying they cared more about quantity than quality. And I know they have delayed publishing their UA in the past when their content wasn't yet up to snuff. So I have no idea what they were thinking.

Alternatively, they could have just gone hard on the a la cart design of the tiefling. Establish that tieflings are not like other races because of the weirdness of their bloodlines, and just push out several tables with all of the possible substitutions. Incorporate the options presented in the previous Black Magic UA, the options in SCAG, and lay out a clearly defined method for developing a tiefling mechanically, as well as superficially (tail, weird shadows, extra eyes, and more exotic looks). You could even assign a point cost to all of the individual spell like abilities to swap out maybe your once a rest spells for an additional cantrip or other unique abilities. Maybe even a chart for Bonds, Ideals, and Flaws to really cement it. If they did that, it might make it salvageable. But as it is, it's a half measure. These are not different subraces. They are just one ability the tiefling has rearranged a bit, and a slightly different stat mod.
 
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Not a bad UA over all. The tiefling stuff is nice for players who want a bit of difference, although it doesn't quite fit with my ideas on Tieflings, which is based fairly heavily on 4Es Baal Turoth background.
Umm... ? This is in line with the 4e Bael Turathi background. There were several different variations off the base tiefling race due to the fact that multiple
different types of devils made the Pact Infernal. You saw them pop up mainly in the tiefling Dragon mag. articles, admittedly, but its still there.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
I also made other remarks such as uninspired, not interesting, lackluster, and not on par with their previous work. But also, I described the design as lazy. I never said that about the creators.

So, if...purely hypothetically...I described your forum posts as 'moronic', you would understand I was saying it about your writing and not about you?

I'll have to remember that.

And while the words I used may have been harsh, I also supplied alternative directions they could have gone...

Ah. So, in other words, it's ok that you denigrated them...I mean, their work...because you also gave them some valuable tips. For free, no less.
 

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