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mr.fizzypop
2009-06-23, 10:36 PM
One of my players has been asking about getting a -1 LA. He plans to do this by getting rid of all racial features and instead start out with 2 class levels. I said he couldn't because it ruins the whole point of having a race, but I was wondering if it is actually possible?

Rizban
2009-06-23, 10:43 PM
No racial features at all? I suppose it's doable. What exactly would he be playing as though?

SurlySeraph
2009-06-23, 10:44 PM
Short answer: No.
Long answer: No, because power is derived mostly from class levels, not from race.

kjones
2009-06-23, 10:44 PM
This has come up before on the boards, if I recall correctly. I don't think it's possible, and if it is, it shouldn't be - the potential for munchkinism is simply too great. (For one thing, you'd get an extra level of caster-level - there aren't many drawbacks that could sufficiently counteract that.)

Fostire
2009-06-23, 10:45 PM
RAW? there is nothing like that (as far as I know).
The closest thing I've seen to that was a homerule that my dm used that allowed me to take 1 off of a template's LA if the base race was kobold.

Malicte
2009-06-23, 10:45 PM
I certainly wouldn't allow it, unless it's an npc class you're almost certain to outpace the benefits of even the best LA +0 race.


Taking a human as a base race:

What you lose:
Bonus feat, 1 skill point per level.

What you gain taking a level:
Extra hit die
Skill points as 1 level (Anywhere from 2+int to 10+int)
Possible base attack and save progression.
Faster access to feats.
Faster CASTING progression.


Keep in mind as the rest of the party hit 20th level, he would hit 21st, and therefore enter epic tier, assuming you just gave him the free level with no associated experience cost. If he has to progress as if he's level 2, basically trading his race for 1000 xp.... well it would be effective at low levels but past a point he's going to really wish he just took the racial benefits.

Mando Knight
2009-06-23, 10:48 PM
Get rid of all racial features? Right. Because being humanoid isn't a racial feature, so he obviously still gets the item slots as normal. And "Automatic Languages" definitely isn't listed under racial features, so he does get to speak, read, and understand Common.

Oh! And having a body and soul aren't related to your race at all, so you're definitely still a corporeal, intelligent being.

[/sarcasm] :smalltongue:

Froogleyboy
2009-06-23, 10:57 PM
Well there is a race, can't recall the name, with features and a negative Level Adjustment

Kosjsjach
2009-06-23, 11:00 PM
Well there is a race, can't recall the name, with features and a negative Level Adjustment
I'll believe it when I see it.

Froogleyboy
2009-06-23, 11:01 PM
Its from a dragon magazine. Check Crystalkeep.com

SilveryCord
2009-06-23, 11:06 PM
uh. I can't quite find that race.

lsfreak
2009-06-23, 11:09 PM
uh. I can't quite find that race.

Nor can I, but then again CrystalKeep sometimes misses things from what I've found. I know there's templates that provide negative LA's, though I don't know what they are, but I've never heard of races.

Kosjsjach
2009-06-23, 11:09 PM
Well I'll be; you're right. According to crystalkeep, there's a race called Xvart in Dragon Magazine #339 with a -2 LA.
Checking up on it now.

EDIT:

Nor can I, but then again CrystalKeep sometimes misses things from what I've found. I know there's templates that provide negative LA's, though I don't know what they are, but I've never heard of races.
Can you point me in the direction of those?

Superglucose
2009-06-23, 11:09 PM
It should be possible to devise a race that merits a negative level adjustment. Not by removing all of the perks/nerfs associated with a race, but by adding only nerfs. Only ability penalties, something that restricts spellcasting, etc.

Kosjsjach
2009-06-23, 11:14 PM
In the end, looks like crystalkeep was mistaken; the Xvart on page 64 of Dragon Magazine #339 is LA +0, not LA -2.

I for one am relieved. I don't want to think of how it would have unbalanced things.

Zeful
2009-06-23, 11:17 PM
It should be possible to devise a race that merits a negative level adjustment. Not by removing all of the perks/nerfs associated with a race, but by adding only nerfs. Only ability penalties, something that restricts spellcasting, etc.

Like this:You Fail
As a member of the You Fail race you have the following racial features:
Huge Size
-10 to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
You cannot cast spells, and automatically fail all saving throws.
-5 skill points per level
You cannot take feats

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-23, 11:21 PM
Well I'll be; you're right. According to crystalkeep, there's a race called Xvart in Dragon Magazine #339 with a -2 LA.
Checking up on it now.

EDIT:

Can you point me in the direction of those?IIRC, one was for Giants, -2 LA, and basically eliminated every reason you would want to have a Giant race.

Mando Knight
2009-06-23, 11:33 PM
Hm... like a major Flaw of some sort, I guess...

Race: The Failoids

Size: Huge. You take a -2 penalty to AC and attack rolls, and a -8 penalty to Hide checks. In exchange, you gain a +8 bonus to Grapple checks and multiply your carrying capacity by 6.

Ability modifiers: -4 Dexterity, -4 Intelligence, -4 Wisdom, -4 Charisma.

Pathetic Build: You wield weapons as if you were a Medium creature, and have only a 5' reach (as a Medium creature)

Mental aversion: You take a -1 penalty to all manifester and caster levels, to a minimum of 0.

Level Adjustment: -2

quick_comment
2009-06-23, 11:34 PM
The incarnate construct template in savage species has a -2 LA. You can apply it to warforged.

BobVosh
2009-06-23, 11:46 PM
Hm... like a major Flaw of some sort, I guess...

Race: The Failoids

Size: Huge. You take a -2 penalty to AC and attack rolls, and a -8 penalty to Hide checks. In exchange, you gain a +8 bonus to Grapple checks and multiply your carrying capacity by 6.

Ability modifiers: -4 Dexterity, -4 Intelligence, -4 Wisdom, -4 Charisma.

Pathetic Build: You wield weapons as if you were a Medium creature, and have only a 5' reach (as a Medium creature)

Mental aversion: You take a -1 penalty to all manifester and caster levels, to a minimum of 0.

Level Adjustment: -2

And you just made the best super charger ever. Espically with a permenant shrink person (raw says you weild as a medium without mention of size. make it 2 size catergories lower)

Failenites:
Large
-2 str, -4 all mental stats
Relation to Fry: Due to a quirk in thier evolution they are unable to cast, lacking the proper brain function. However they are immune to all int drain/damage.
Short arms: They have reach according to a creature of one size catergory lower.
-1 LA.

Seems playable(as long as you aren't reliant on these degenerate creatures minds), not particularly great.

SSGoW
2009-06-24, 12:16 AM
Xvart
(DR339 p64)
+2 Dex
2 Str
2 Con
Fighter Small Size
30 Movement
Darkvision 60
+2 Racial bonus on Move Silently checks.
Humanoid (xvart)
Speak with Animals (rates & bats only), 1/day. Works
with the Dire version of the indicated creatures.
Level Adjustment 2



crystalkeep.com

Mando Knight
2009-06-24, 12:18 AM
That's too good. They've got Speak with Animals, Small size, Darkvision, a racial bonus to a skill, and 30' movement. Too much for a -2 LA.

SSGoW
2009-06-24, 12:19 AM
to bad its from the DR sooo not my fault they have a -2

Myrmex
2009-06-24, 12:26 AM
Well there is a race, can't recall the name, with features and a negative Level Adjustment

It's from Savage Species, and for constructs. Use it on a Warforged for essentially LA -1.

Gaiyamato
2009-06-24, 12:37 AM
Chased down all of these templates mentioned that give -LA.
All of them state (minimum 0).

The Xvart LA on Crystal keep is a mistake. They are LA +0.
Incidently they appear on the page right beside an oots strip. lol.
They do however have a CR adjustment of -2. Which is where the mistake has come from I think.

You CANNOT get negative LA through RAW and it would be stupid if you could.

However, they maybe be applied on top of other templates that give a positive LA or to a race with a positive LA adjustment to lessen the LA effect.

SSGoW
2009-06-24, 12:41 AM
only reason i knew about it was cause a player played as one

Myrmex
2009-06-24, 12:42 AM
You CANNOT get negative LA through RAW and it would be stupid if you could.

You can, it's in Savage Species, you use the template called incarnate construct with a warforged. Gives you -2 LA.

Savage Species is largely regarded as stupid. I guess that's what you get when you let a girl write D&D books. /smelly nerd

Frogwarrior
2009-06-24, 12:53 AM
Heh. In my campaign-in-planning, there's a race with -1 or so LA, but it's decidedly NPC-only (the players get transported to another world, blah blah.) Basically, -4 to STR and CON, no other racial bonuses/penalties. Except maybe some weird thing where multiple arcane spellcasters can link up to form a single spellcaster of higher level, but whatever.

But I made that up, so never mind.

Gaiyamato
2009-06-24, 01:04 AM
You can, it's in Savage Species, you use the template called incarnate construct with a warforged. Gives you -2 LA.

Savage Species is largely regarded as stupid. I guess that's what you get when you let a girl write D&D books. /smelly nerd

No that template says:



Level Adjustment: -2 (minimum 0)


All of the negative LA adjustment templates say that, even the ones in dragon magazines.

Lycanthromancer
2009-06-24, 01:08 AM
I made a positive-energy evolved undead necropolitan kobold (gestalt factotum/psion) that had -1 LA (via kobold). I traded it for the evolved undead template (hooray for fast healing 3 and a major spell-like ability!).

But them's houserules.

Waspinator
2009-06-24, 04:13 AM
Negative LA sounds like a joke. Kind of like how Chicken-Infested was an April Fool's joke.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-06-24, 04:44 AM
I've actually ran a game in which I gave all the PCs a -1 LA starting out. We use LA Buyoff quite a lot, especially for characters starting higher than 1st level. The purpose of implementing that was to reward characters who didn't start with any level adjustment at all, since they would have one more class level than their ECL. It also helped level adjusted races, since a higher level adjustment could be bought off sooner, but could never be reduced below +0.

I would tell this player that I would allow him to use a race that had no racial features for a -1 LA, but his character would be large size with a 0 ft. reach, and have a land speed of 0 ft. He also wouldn't have limbs capable of making somatic components, or holding weapons, tools, or spell components. The race would have no racial features, including physical features. He would have no sense of vision or hearing, and would have no racial languages granted and wouldn't even be capable of speech or verbal spell components.

Edit: That would actually be playable with at least three levels of Monk, or anything else that gave a bonus to movement. Give him Blind-Fight and Improved Grapple and he'd actually be somewhat useful.

Eldariel
2009-06-24, 04:51 AM
So uh, make a Psion?

Cyclocone
2009-06-24, 04:56 AM
Yeah, basically he's just like a really, really big psionic sandwich.

Except at ECL 20 he'd be Psion 21... Epic Manifestation anyone?:smalltongue:

Irreverent Fool
2009-06-24, 05:13 AM
Resolved


I've actually ran a game in which I gave all the PCs a -1 LA starting out. We use LA Buyoff quite a lot, especially for characters starting higher than 1st level. The purpose of implementing that was to reward characters who didn't start with any level adjustment at all, since they would have one more class level than their ECL. It also helped level adjusted races, since a higher level adjustment could be bought off sooner, but could never be reduced below +0.

Forgive me for asking, but how is starting everyone with LA -1 any different than using the normal rules?

obnoxious
sig

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-06-24, 05:17 AM
Forgive me for asking, but how is starting everyone with LA -1 any different than using the normal rules?

The people who start with a +1 or higher LA race start with their LA one point lower than normal. If they buy off their LA, they can't buy it lower than +0, so characters who start with a +0 LA race will have one more class level than characters who start with a +1 or higher LA race.

Irreverent Fool
2009-06-24, 05:30 AM
The people who start with a +1 or higher LA race start with their LA one point lower than normal. If they buy off their LA, they can't buy it lower than +0, so characters who start with a +0 LA race will have one more class level than characters who start with a +1 or higher LA race.

I can see how this works with an LA higher than +1, but if at level 5 you have a character who has a LA +1 who gets to start off with -1, putting him at +0 and he has 5 class levels, then he is a Class Level 1 with an LA of +0. His fellow party members who have a race with LA +0 normally start off at LA -1 and 6 class levels.

So under your system:
Class Level 6, original LA +1, modified +0, ECL 6
Class Level 7, original LA +0, modified -1, ECL 6

Normal
Class Level 5, original LA +1, ECL 6
Class Level 6, original LA +0, ECL 6

Aside from the characters having a lower ECL at a higher level, I don't see the difference. Or did I miss something?

Back on topic:
Isn't there a version of kobold somewhere in a WotC source with a -1 LA?

obnoxious
sig

quick_comment
2009-06-24, 07:15 AM
No that template says:



All of the negative LA adjustment templates say that, even the ones in dragon magazines.

Incarnate dark mineral warrior warforged

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-06-24, 07:18 AM
My group allows buying off level adjustment (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/reducingLevelAdjustments.htm).

With LA -1:
ECL 6: Race +0 LA, total -1 LA, 7 class levels
ECL 6: Race +1 LA, total +0 LA, 6 class levels
ECL 6: Race +2 LA, total +1 LA, pay 3,000 xp to reduce it to +0 LA, 6 class levels

Without LA -1:
ECL 6: Race +0 LA, 6 class levels
ECL 6: Race +1 LA, pay 3,000 xp to reduce it to +0, 6 class levels

If you can buy off a level adjustment, you'll only be a fraction of a level behind in XP at the higher levels, rather than being an entire level behind. With a -1 LA, any +0 LA race will be an entire level ahead of a level adjusted race even if they completely buy off their level adjustment, since it cannot be bought off below zero. Plus everyone's ECL is counted as one level lower, so they get more XP per encounter and the game progresses faster.

Eloel
2009-06-24, 07:21 AM
I can see how this works with an LA higher than +1, but if at level 5 you have a character who has a LA +1 who gets to start off with -1, putting him at +0 and he has 5 class levels, then he is a Class Level 1 with an LA of +0. His fellow party members who have a race with LA +0 normally start off at LA -1 and 6 class levels.

So under your system:
Class Level 6, original LA +1, modified +0, ECL 6
Class Level 7, original LA +0, modified -1, ECL 6

Normal
Class Level 5, original LA +1, ECL 6
Class Level 6, original LA +0, ECL 6

Aside from the characters having a lower ECL at a higher level, I don't see the difference. Or did I miss something?

Back on topic:
Isn't there a version of kobold somewhere in a WotC source with a -1 LA?

obnoxious
sig

When you have LA+2, you need to wait till level8 to buy off the first LA (2+2*3). When you have LA+1, you can buy it off at level 4 (1+1*3). Also, if you have LA+2, you can buy off 2 LAs, while if you have LA+1 (other going for the -1) you can only buy off a single LA, thus always living below your fellow party members.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-06-24, 07:28 AM
Incarnate dark mineral warrior warforged

Mineral Warrior (http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20031003e), like most of the templates in the game, cannot be applied to a construct. If you apply Incarnate first, you start with a +0 LA and apply the -2 LA, ending up with still a +0 LA, then any templates added afterward would add to that. Furthermore, Incarnate causes you to lose all of your special attacks and special qualities, and it changes your movement rate to a set amount. The only thing it would retain from the Dark template would be the racial bonuses on Hide and Move Silently. Everything else it grants would be lost, or it could be applied after Incarnate and its level adjustment would apply.

Gaiyamato
2009-06-24, 07:33 AM
Mineral Warrior (http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20031003e), like most of the templates in the game, cannot be applied to a construct. If you apply Incarnate first, you start with a +0 LA and apply the -2 LA, ending up with still a +0 LA, then any templates added afterward would add to that. Furthermore, Incarnate causes you to lose all of your special attacks and special qualities, and it changes your movement rate to a set amount. The only thing it would retain from the Dark template would be the racial bonuses on Hide and Move Silently. Everything else it grants would be lost, or it could be applied after Incarnate and its level adjustment would apply.

Correct.
All you would get out of that is a giant pile of suck.

Sereg
2009-06-24, 08:27 AM
These ideas are quite interesting and amusing. It reminds me of the spell and race I thought of based on a munchkin card that made you lose your race.

I thought, "Wait, if you lost your race, you shouldn't end up human as humans have advantages over other races, you should end up as a race with no real advantage or disadvantage."

As such, they pretty musch end up as humans without the bonus feet and skillpoints and with Favoured class: None: They always take full penalty from multiclassing.

I never thought that they'd need a negative LA. (See reasons above, (besides that would give them an unusual advantage which is against their schtick)) However, I did realise that they would be weaker than other races (duh).

I decided that they'd have to live in big communities as they are unable to develop a culture and that cosmetically they look skinny like elves with stubby fingers and toes like dwarves. Their skin and hair would look like patches from various other races and they'd have mismatching eyes.

Irreverent Fool
2009-06-24, 08:34 AM
My group allows buying off level adjustment (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/reducingLevelAdjustments.htm).

With LA -1:
ECL 6: Race +0 LA, total -1 LA, 7 class levels
ECL 6: Race +1 LA, total +0 LA, 6 class levels
ECL 6: Race +2 LA, total +1 LA, pay 3,000 xp to reduce it to +0 LA, 6 class levels

Without LA -1:
ECL 6: Race +0 LA, 6 class levels
ECL 6: Race +1 LA, pay 3,000 xp to reduce it to +0, 6 class levels

If you can buy off a level adjustment, you'll only be a fraction of a level behind in XP at the higher levels, rather than being an entire level behind. With a -1 LA, any +0 LA race will be an entire level ahead of a level adjusted race even if they completely buy off their level adjustment, since it cannot be bought off below zero. Plus everyone's ECL is counted as one level lower, so they get more XP per encounter and the game progresses faster.

I should have clarified that I know about the LA buyoff rules. The cost is pretty inconsequential so we may as well not count it at all. But aside from the modified XP (which could as easily be done by reading one column over on the xp table), giving everyone -1 LA doesn't change anything. Any character with a level adjustment is essentially prohibited from buying off their last +1, which mechanically makes level adjustments even worse.

But I assume it works for your group and I'm sure it feels much better as a player than it looks to me here.


I decided that they'd have to live in big communities as they are unable to develop a culture and that cosmetically they look skinny like elves with stubby fingers and toes like dwarves. Their skin and hair would look like patches from various other races and they'd have mismatching eyes.
Ew.

obnoxious
sig

Random832
2009-06-24, 08:37 AM
These ideas are quite interesting and amusing. It reminds me of the spell and race I thought of based on a munchkin card that made you lose your race.

I thought, "Wait, if you lost your race, you shouldn't end up human as humans have advantages over other races, you should end up as a race with no real advantage or disadvantage."

As such, they pretty musch end up as humans without the bonus feet and skillpoints and with Favoured class: None: They always take full penalty from multiclassing.

I never thought that they'd need a negative LA. (See reasons above, (besides that would give them an unusual advantage which is against their schtick)) However, I did realise that they would be weaker than other races (duh).

Except, being unbalanced in that way would be a real disadvantage - a negative LA would simply mean that all the others have a positive LA relative to them, to reflect their advantages.

Irreverent Fool
2009-06-24, 08:59 AM
Except, being unbalanced in that way would be a real disadvantage - a negative LA would simply mean that all the others have a positive LA relative to them, to reflect their advantages.

And yet they would still make astonishingly good full casters.

obnoxious
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