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It is Defensive Duelist, which is an AC option for characters that might have less AC, but this is for characters that will already have higher AC.
I'm not a fan, mostly because it does the same thing as another feat, and Shield Master extends the shield's defensive use in a more interesting way.
In fact, Shield Master lets shield users do what TWFers are normally good at, and Defensive Duelist lets TWFers do what shield users are normally good at. It's pretty elegant design IMO.
There's a design lesson from MaRo (of MtG) that I think is particularly relevant to Superstar (which tended to have more restrictions in earlier rounds than it did in Season 9). Quoting the most relevant parts:
...the description of an elf's alignment as Chaotic Good does paint the picture plainly; "Please don't deviate more than 1-2 step away from the intended alignment we have set up."
Not at all the picture I get. I see that as "If you review 10,000 elves, you'll see Chaotic and Good alignments come up above average. But any singular elf can be any alignment."
Cards show off that average (green) elf that you can find a lot of (say 4 copies in a 60 card deck), but an individual elf can be different and any color he chooses, just like he could be LE rather than CG.
The point of my example was that while a creature may be summoned by one color of magic, the magic it itself is capable may indeed be of a different color. Like Tasigur or Ceta Disciple. They can't use magic of the color used to summon them at all.
In Zendikar you won't see non-black vampires nor non-blue merfolk, but they aren't a tribe that matters in that set, allies and eldrazi are.
I think that's rather extreme, why would a merfolk need to mutilate himself?
PCs are effectively legendary (even if they would just have a CMC = 1 to start). You can say most merfolk are blue, but PCs should not be bound to it. A racial color association reflects the mana it would take a planeswalker to summon the creature, not necessarily what the creature itself does (example).
I'll try to elaborate my distaste for them (as I'm on my phone). These are specialization feats. Now if you want to be a swordmaster or a master chef, you'd be expected to have these feats. A feat is a high opportunity cost in 5e. My cooking characters can't afford to take gourmand.
I like the tool feats in theory (+1 to a stat) but not the rest of the execution (expertise raises the standard for concepts, the other abilities aren't big enough or they are useful very rarely but too big when they are).
For the weapon feats, I'd prefer a +1 to choice of dex or str than a straight up +1 and more generally useful things (like polearm master) rather than shield hate.
For me, these feats aren't ones I'd want to take, but would feel pressured to take for a "master of ______" concept.
As I mentioned on 5.15, I'll be on vacation 6.3-6.10 (leaving tomorrow evening). Feel free to bot Kala En as necessary, her skills and saves are all available on her profile.
Her primary form of attack at this stage is the Thorn Whip cantrip (+4 to hit, 1d6 piercing damage, melee spell attack with range up to 30ft, pulls hit enemy up to 10ft).
A new book scheduled for 9/5/16, said to have new PC race options (including goblins and orcs. I'm hoping for more. I'm hoping for grippli).
It also sounds like it'll be narrated by both Volo and Elminster, so I'm expecting more fluff than a typical Monster Manual.
Magic also has multicolor combinations that would be impossible if you wanted to convert colors to alignments (ex. Boros = Lawful Chaotic).
I'm not sure how I would actually want color to be mechanically involved in a MtG setting. I think I prefer it as something used for self-identification, but perhaps there's some clever application possible.
I think Magic has moved away from specific color hate (there's very little of it around in recent sets), so it's not too important to worry about it.
For alignment, I wouldn't try to translate colors to the current system, there's bound to be disagreements. I don't see Green as Good, it's Neutral for me.
I agree with your preference of only asking a few people for their reviews (I think I sent out my item to 3-4 people last season, but reviewed more like 7-8).
As you mentioned though, some people don't have a starting point for pit crews like returning competitors tend to.
I tried running my item past a few gaming buddies but they weren't really interested in overall design so much as whether it was hypercompetitive in-game (like pre-nerf quickrunner's shirt or jingasa).
CRs work kind of different. In one DM's first attempt with 5e, he set the party of four lvl4 PCs against 4 CR4 monsters, and we nearly wiped (my Barbarian died and he was effectively only taking half damage due to rage, Paladin and Blade Warlock were making death saves, and the Tome Warlock closed out the fight in single digit health).
I'm not sure if the survey linked is still active, but you could directly voice that you want those things (stats for named characters ex. Ob Nixilis and Ulamog), as well as say that you want a $40-$50 full length book, which would have a lot more space to tailor things to the setting.
As it stands, Warlocks could take a Great Old Ones pact with the Eldrazi titans. Demons exist normally, so that's fine for a pact too. Fey aren't prominent, but it could still work.
The fewer rogues that know the cant, the worse it becomes :(
It is a ribbon (fluff ability) though, if you never use it you won't have lost any power.
My first 5e character was an Elf Rogue, and I loved how Cunning Action fixed the action economy by allowing you to attack and hide in the same turn. In 3.x, flitting in and out of combat took so long that your contributions were minimal, but in 5e I felt like my desired rogue playstyle was supported.
DCs are usually set with a base of 10+modifiers, so it matches up when you take 10. Wouldn't be an issue with HP.
Not a lot of interest in Green, eh?
I have a vacation coming up for about a week next month, so I could step down (I know getting the show running smoothly at the start is important to PbP, and at best I could try posting from my phone without access to books).
The other question of course, when's the planned end of recruitment/start date?
The opposite of my opinion. Fighters in general do well on physical checks, I wasn't impressed by the Champion's extended physical coverage (I don't have the book in front of me, wasn't it just for str/dex checks they aren't proficient in and not saves?). On the other hand, BM gets a tool proficiency to expand breadth and later on, can size up NPCs for competence.
Most of the maneuvers do a cool thing as well as add the superiority die to damage, so fighters don't have to choose between piling on damage or a trick. I've found them quite potent, I especially liked the one that causes fear (and using it from range on opponents without ranged options so they can't approach for a round)
That's what happens when you follow the deity of cinema but refuse to respect its tropes.
Seems like a mismatch in game expectations, the GM should discuss with you guys if he wants classic heroics. Likewise, taking powers isn't cool, there could be more natural repercussions to not trying to find the better way (ex. guilt, ex. NPC had an important job to do but now won't come back from heaven after being executed).
I was thinking Mastermind (SCAG) rogue for the bonus action Help, as that seemed in flavor with allies. Maybe for a secondary submission.
My primary is Kala En, Merfolk Druid
Kala En is used to derision from other merrow. Always at the bottom of her class ranking, she missed her chance to work with the legendary Kiora. Even her famous older cousin Jori En would not take her on expeditions to the deep. But above Tazeem's sea, the wind whispers to her that she is destined for great things.
Upon reaching adulthood, she swam off from the tutors that would not take her, and ended up in Murasa's Sunder Bay. She saved a drowning Tajuru elf, and was warmly accepted into their community, hosted by one of their sages, she was taught (and had an intuitive grasp of) nature magic.
Now after a year, she has decided to strike out once again to chase her destiny, and join an expedition.
Kala En tries to befriend everyone she meets, which is often hampered by her free-flowing prevarications. She lies more out of habit than cruelty however, as she believes that all truths were once lies. She'll never spread dangerous misinformation (ex. eldrazi are warded off by saffron. Think Deacon from Fallout 4).
Also, found another primer for Zendikar here for newcomers to the setting.
Sleep has been effective for my Bard levels 1-6, not sure about lvl 13.
I know this is the kind of advice a lot of people don't like, but are you sure you want to grab Bless? It's a great spell, but you'll find your gameplay very similar to your Cleric's. Bards have some very fun concentration spells to play with (like Greater Invisibility and Polymorph).
My bard's showstoppers are Polymorph and Conjure Animals (the latter taken with secrets, he's level 8). The non-concentration bard stuff is generally pretty conditional.