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Pika...
2009-07-14, 08:38 PM
I was just researching the gnolls to place them properly in my campaign world, and I noticed that that for being ECL 3 they aren't much.

Is it just me, or does it seem like they would be balanced as a PC choice with just the two Racial Hit Dice and forgoing the +1LA?


What are the experienced DMs' thoughts on this?

Gaiyamato
2009-07-14, 08:39 PM
I usually go the other way, drop the racial die and leave the LA+1.
Being a Gnoll has rp issues in an of itself usually.

Eldariel
2009-07-14, 09:28 PM
Gnoll abilities:
* Strength +4, Constitution +2, Intelligence -2, Charisma -2.
* Size Medium.
* A gnollís base land speed is 30 feet.
* Darkvision out to 60 feet.
* Racial Hit Dice: A gnoll begins with two levels of humanoid, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +1, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +0, and Will +0.
* Racial Skills: A gnollís humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 5 ◊ (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Listen and Spot.
* Racial Feats: A gnollís humanoid levels give it one feat.
* +1 natural armor bonus.
* Automatic Languages: Gnoll. Bonus Languages: Common, Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Orc.
* Favored Class: Ranger.
* Level adjustment +1.

Water Orc abilities:
* +4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
* An orcís base land speed is 30 feet.
* Darkvision out to 60 feet.
* Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
* Automatic Languages: Common, Orc. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Undercommon.
* Favored Class: Barbarian.
* +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against creatures of the fire subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire.
* -2 penalty on all saving throws against spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities with the fire subtype or used by creatures of the fire subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire.
* Natural Swimmers: Members of water races have a swim speed equal to their base land speed. (If the creature already has a swim speed, it improves by 10 feet.) A water creature can move through water at its swim speed without making Swim checks. It has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. A water creature can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
Gnoll's advantages:
-No -2 Wisdom
-No Light Sensitivity (which is ignored with ~10gp in Sundark Goggles [Races of the Dragon])
-+1 Natural Armor

Water Orc's advantage:
-Swim speed

Now, is it just me or do Gnoll's advantages seem pretty trivial? An +2 Str, or -2 Dex, Gnoll would be perfectly fair LA +0 without natural HD. Given the natural issues with playing a monster in the first place, I'd allow no HD no adjustment in standard play.

JackMage666
2009-07-14, 09:37 PM
Gnoll abilities:
* Strength +4, Constitution +2, Intelligence -2, Charisma -2.
* Size Medium.
* A gnollís base land speed is 30 feet.
* Darkvision out to 60 feet.
* Racial Hit Dice: A gnoll begins with two levels of humanoid, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +1, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +0, and Will +0.
* Racial Skills: A gnollís humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 5 ◊ (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Listen and Spot.
* Racial Feats: A gnollís humanoid levels give it one feat.
* +1 natural armor bonus.
* Automatic Languages: Gnoll. Bonus Languages: Common, Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Orc.
* Favored Class: Ranger.
* Level adjustment +1.

Water Orc abilities:
* +4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
* An orcís base land speed is 30 feet.
* Darkvision out to 60 feet.
* Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
* Automatic Languages: Common, Orc. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Undercommon.
* Favored Class: Barbarian.
* +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against creatures of the fire subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire.
* -2 penalty on all saving throws against spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities with the fire subtype or used by creatures of the fire subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire.
* Natural Swimmers: Members of water races have a swim speed equal to their base land speed. (If the creature already has a swim speed, it improves by 10 feet.) A water creature can move through water at its swim speed without making Swim checks. It has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. A water creature can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
Gnoll's advantages:
-No -2 Wisdom
-No Light Sensitivity (which is ignored with ~10gp in Sundark Goggles [Races of the Dragon])
-+1 Natural Armor

Water Orc's advantage:
-Swim speed

Now, is it just me or do Gnoll's advantages seem pretty trivial? An +2 Str, or -2 Dex, Gnoll would be perfectly fair LA +0 without natural HD. Given the natural issues with playing a monster in the first place, I'd allow no HD no adjustment in standard play.

Using an over-powered +0 LA is not a fair way to assess this. Use a Human as the base, as they're considered on the higher end of the power spectrum for +0 LA.

awa
2009-07-14, 09:41 PM
I agree that a gnoll would not be overpowering with the loss of the level adjustment. The gnoll doesn't add any particularly exotic abilities that can be abused.
The best way to check for sure Is to take the race and compare it to it nearest competitor lets say the half orc. Make a level 3 half orc barbarian and have it fight a level 1 gnoll barbarian. If the gnoll Consistently stomps the half orc then its to powerful if not then all is good. I imagine the half orc should have no problem beating the gnoll.

shadow_archmagi
2009-07-14, 09:42 PM
Wait, seriously? When you have a monster character, the HD count as levels? Seriously?

That does not seem like the right way to do it at all.

Riffington
2009-07-14, 09:45 PM
Either +1LA or just the 2HD would be just fine.
It's stronger than an LA-0, but requiring the LA plus the HD cripples it.

Krrth
2009-07-14, 09:47 PM
Wait, seriously? When you have a monster character, the HD count as levels? Seriously?

That does not seem like the right way to do it at all.

Those HD also give skill points, BaB, Feats, and saving throw increases.

Salt_Crow
2009-07-14, 09:51 PM
Humanoid HDs are far inferior to any class levels it may replace. I concur that just LA+1 with no racial HD or 2HD with LA +0 would suffice.

Krrth
2009-07-14, 10:06 PM
Humanoid HDs are far inferior to any class levels it may replace. I concur that just LA+1 with no racial HD or 2HD with LA +0 would suffice.

Personally, I'd probably go for the LA buyoff rules.

Eldariel
2009-07-14, 10:06 PM
Using an over-powered +0 LA is not a fair way to assess this. Use a Human as the base, as they're considered on the higher end of the power spectrum for +0 LA.

Humans do just as well as Water Orcs do, given that the extra feat buys 'em the whole Shock Trooper-chain earlier and makes for better Frenzied Berserker Entry and stronger Imperious Command/Intimidating Rage users and so on.

Why do people love the word "overpowered" so much? How many games have you personally witnessed a Water Orc breaking? Those mental penalties are notable, even for a guy who just wants to Hulk Smash. Losing out on skillpoints, base skill checks, saves (though that's fixable with Steadfast Determination...which requires a good number of feats) and prerequisites sucks.


No, Water Orc isn't broken at LA+0 and neither is Gnoll without racial HD. The +1 NA is the only thing that could be considered broken about the race, and with a penalty thrown in, it's just fine. If you really want to complain about a broken race, complain about Kobolds. They at least deserve it.

Vaynor
2009-07-14, 10:09 PM
Wait, seriously? When you have a monster character, the HD count as levels? Seriously?

That does not seem like the right way to do it at all.

LA is based on the amount of HD it has. They make the LA vary based on what they want the ECL of the creature to be. You may lose HD overall, but you gain a lot of stat bonuses and special abilities that would not normally be available to you.

Steward
2009-07-14, 10:19 PM
Why do people love the word "overpowered" so much? How many games have you personally witnessed a Water Orc breaking?

Excuse me!? Just two years ago, a Water Orc broke into my house and smashed my PlayStation to bits. I'm still in therapy to recover from it!

Or maybe that's not the kind of gamebreaking you were talking about.

If you think Gnolls are overpowered, reflect on this; the player who chooses a Gnoll has to play as... a Gnoll. What in God's name is a Gnoll?

There is no way that removing the Level Adjustment would break a Gnoll. If they can piece together what it's supposed to be, then go ahead and let them earn levels in Wizard or whatever it is they do.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-14, 11:05 PM
If you think Gnolls are overpowered, reflect on this; the player who chooses a Gnoll has to play as... a Gnoll. What in God's name is a Gnoll?

Hey! What do you have against sentient miniature mountains? A knoll is--

Oh, you mean the hyena-headed humanoid monsters with a pack mentality and generally savage yet somewhat civilized society. Never mind.

Riffington
2009-07-14, 11:08 PM
Humans do just as well as Water Orcs do, given that the extra feat buys 'em the whole Shock Trooper-chain earlier and makes for better Frenzied Berserker Entry and stronger Imperious Command/Intimidating Rage users and so on.

Why do people love the word "overpowered" so much? How many games have you personally witnessed a Water Orc breaking? Those mental penalties are notable, even for a guy who just wants to Hulk Smash. Losing out on skillpoints, base skill checks, saves (though that's fixable with Steadfast Determination...which requires a good number of feats) and prerequisites sucks.

Well, Water Orcs aren't overpowered in an absolute sense, and they certainly won't break any games. What annoys a lot of people about them is that they are strictly more powerful than a vanilla Orc. In a properly-designed game, the vanilla stuff should be the most powerful, with the weird variants being less powerful overall but with some nifty features. When D&D diverges from this (Water Orcs being more powerful than regular Orcs, Whisper Gnomes, certain Elves, etc), it grates. If vanilla Orcs had the +2 Con, Half-orcs had a little boost, and Water Orcs were only more powerful in terms of swimming... then the world would be righted.

ericgrau
2009-07-15, 12:09 AM
^ +1.

The strength bonus plus your BAB gives the race a +3 AB. That would be reasonable for an ECL 2 race, since ECL 0 races can give +2 strength (+1 AB); or +2 to a single other ability for that matter. But then they also get +2 con and +1 natural armor. Their racial HD also come with spot & listen as class skills, and a full 2 levels of HP. So if only it had full BAB (+2), you'd effectively be asking for +4 strength, +2 con and +1 NA on an LA +0 race. No way. No, ECL 3 / LA +1 sounds exactly right.

They're lacking in minor special abilities, but not enough to push their LA down 'cuz, well, they're minor. And they do still have darkvision.

Myrmex
2009-07-15, 12:19 AM
I would knock off the +1 LA and give them favored enemy: elves (as per ranger), or a sneak attack, or SOMETHING, for having two crummy HD and beatstick ability score modifiers.

But then, I'm a big fan of the monstrous races and hate seeing all the crap elves, gnomes and dwarves get. WotC has some serious Orc-hate going on.


^ +1.

The strength bonus plus your BAB gives the race a +3 AB. That would be reasonable for an ECL 2 race, since ECL 0 races can give +2 strength (+1 AB); or +2 to a single other ability for that matter. But then they also get +2 con and +1 natural armor. Their racial HD also come with spot & listen as class skills, and a full 2 levels of HP. So if only it had full BAB (+2), you'd effectively be asking for +4 strength, +2 con and +1 NA on an LA +0 race. No way. No, ECL 3 / LA +1 sounds exactly right.

They're lacking in minor special abilities, but not enough to push their LA down 'cuz, well, they're minor. And they do still have darkvision.

Compare it to a dwarf.
What Gnolls get is hardly ECL3. LA +1, definitely. LA +1 and 2 of the worst hit dice, outside of commoner, you can have? No thanks.

Tempest Fennac
2009-07-15, 12:44 AM
Before I first learnt how to play D&D, I decided the I wanted my first character to be a CG Gnoll Cleric of Ehlonna. I didn't want to be nerfed with LA or HDs, so I came up with this LA 0 version: +2 Str and Con, -2 Int and Cha, +1 Natural Armour, Darkvision 60', 1d6 Bite attack and Spot and Listen are always inclass. (I think it's pretty much a high LA 0 based on the discussions I had at the time. This was back on late '07, and I can't find the thread I made about it). Admittedly, I tend to ignore listed alignments in my games, which helps as far as avoiding problems due to people seeing Gnolls as savage killers are concerned.

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-15, 12:57 AM
Gnolls are pretty sweet, especially if you like throwing out Lion King references to drive your DM insane.
However, I prefer the Lupine from Dragon Magazine, later put into the Dragon Compendium.

Tempest Fennac
2009-07-15, 01:01 AM
I tend to use Lupins for classes where an Int or Cha penalty would cause problems (I'm not sure whether I prefer them to Gnolls or not due to thinking both races are cute). The 3.5 Lupin stats can be found on page 36 of http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Races.pdf , and their 2nd Edition fluff can be found on http://www.pandius.com/lupin_mc.html (the 3.5 Lupins may also have a North West Native American-type democratic hunter-gatherer culture with the oldest clan members acting as the leaders, and the French versions get a +2 to all Craft checks rather then Ride).

Asbestos
2009-07-15, 01:02 AM
Gnolls are pretty sweet, especially if you like throwing out Lion King references to drive your DM insane.
However, I prefer the Lupine from Dragon Magazine, later put into the Dragon Compendium.
What are these? are they like the Laika from the web enhancement for Savage Species?


Also, whenever I see 'Water Orc' I want to burn them to death. How do they even fit into game worlds? How are all Orcs not Water Orcs (seriously, they are better in all ways)

Eloel
2009-07-15, 01:06 AM
^ +1.

The strength bonus plus your BAB gives the race a +3 AB. That would be reasonable for an ECL 2 race, since ECL 0 races can give +2 strength (+1 AB); or +2 to a single other ability for that matter. But then they also get +2 con and +1 natural armor. Their racial HD also come with spot & listen as class skills, and a full 2 levels of HP. So if only it had full BAB (+2), you'd effectively be asking for +4 strength, +2 con and +1 NA on an LA +0 race. No way. No, ECL 3 / LA +1 sounds exactly right.

They're lacking in minor special abilities, but not enough to push their LA down 'cuz, well, they're minor. And they do still have darkvision.
I would like to point you at the way of Halfling, with +3 AB before first level.
+2 Dex, +1 from Small, +1 from racial bonus to thrown weapons. Guess what, no LA nor HD. And no, this isn't even the zomg-broken strongheart halfling, just the out-of-box version.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-07-15, 01:13 AM
I would like to point you at the way of Halfling, with +3 AB before first level.
+2 Dex, +1 from Small, +1 from racial bonus to thrown weapons. Guess what, no LA nor HD. And no, this isn't even the zomg-broken strongheart halfling, just the out-of-box version.This gets even better with the Halfling Rogue sub levels for better ranged SA. Toss in Imp Init and 20 Dex and suddenly your sling takes out half the opponents per combat at ECL 1.

Though a Kobold is the best tank at level 1. +3 AC over a human or Dwarf is just gold.

Tempest Fennac
2009-07-15, 01:14 AM
I'd not heard of Laikas until now, Aspestos. ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20030207a ). I'd probably sooner use Lupins, but Liakas don't seem too bad.

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-15, 01:16 AM
What are these? are they like the Laika from the web enhancement for Savage Species?


Also, whenever I see 'Water Orc' I want to burn them to death. How do they even fit into game worlds? How are all Orcs not Water Orcs (seriously, they are better in all ways)
Dog people basically.
They're cute, vicious, tribal (pack animals and what not), and are basically anti-werewolf death machines.
They make good rangers. Fun to have in a game with tibbits.

Tempest Fennac
2009-07-15, 01:20 AM
What are Tibbits exactly? (Aspestos, if you didn't see my post where I linked to Lupin informatio, check the post above your last post).

Asbestos
2009-07-15, 01:37 AM
What are Tibbits exactly? (Aspestos, if you didn't see my post where I linked to Lupin informatio, check the post above your last post).

Ah, neat, thanks for the link.

Myrmex
2009-07-15, 11:08 AM
How are all Orcs not Water Orcs (seriously, they are better in all ways)

Because if they leave the water they die.

Why do any of the weak races exist? Why isn't everything devils, mind flayers, ethergaunts and the occasional dragon?


Though a Kobold is the best tank at level 1. +3 AC over a human or Dwarf is just gold.

What about warforged? Adamantine full plate is pretty sweet.

Hyozo
2009-07-15, 11:24 AM
What are Tibbits exactly?

Basically, they're former cat familiars (or their decendents) which can transform into a humanoid form and back.

Riffington
2009-07-15, 11:33 AM
Because if they leave the water they die.

You are thinking of Aquatic Orcs. Water Orcs only have -2 to saves vs fire.

Mr.Moron
2009-07-15, 11:42 AM
A Gnoll without the LA or Racial HD is probably about what Half-Orc ("Default Brute") should have been.

Shpadoinkle
2009-07-15, 11:53 AM
Personally, I'd probably go for the LA buyoff rules.

Seconded. I like those a lot, because after level 5 or so, most abilities of LA+1 races are nice to have, but hardly nice enough to justify being a level behind everyone else.

Eldariel
2009-07-15, 12:11 PM
Seconded. I like those a lot, because after level 5 or so, most abilities of LA+1 races are nice to have, but hardly nice enough to justify being a level behind everyone else.

The problem I have with those though is low-level play; having 1 HD when everyone else has 2 sucks. I personally like the alternative suggested behind PGtF that you instead just take -1 to all rolls until you get rid of the LA. Less crippling while still a reminder. Combine this with LA buyoff for a relatively functional system for LAs 1-3. Doesn't deal with racial HD though.

Steward
2009-07-15, 12:23 PM
You are thinking of Aquatic Orcs. Water Orcs only have -2 to saves vs fire.

Ah, of course! We have both Aquatic Orcs and Water Orcs, AND THEY MUST NOT BE CONFUSED!!!

Next class, we'll go into the difference between Fire Orcs, Flame Orcs, Burning Orcs, Hot Orcs, Volcanorcs, Blaze Orcs, and Pyrorcs. And if you get any of them confused, they will break your game faster than an Epic level Druid in a CR 1 battle.


A Gnoll without the LA or Racial HD is probably about what Half-Orc ("Default Brute") should have been.

Yeah. I don't know if I'm alone or not, but half-orcs suck. The cost of that strength bonus essentially helps lock you out of like, what, three Core classes?




Oh, you mean the hyena-headed humanoid monsters with a pack mentality and generally savage yet somewhat civilized society. Never mind.

Ah, so they're basically uglier versions of orcs, goblins, kobolds, and pretty much any monstrous race that has a Strength bonus or is "usually Chaotic Evil"?

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-15, 12:35 PM
Ah, so they're basically uglier versions of orcs, goblins, kobolds, and pretty much any monstrous race that has a Strength bonus or is "usually Chaotic Evil"?

Not uglier, necessarily, and considering that orcs and goblins and all the other mook races already overfill the Always CE niche, having one more couldn't hurt.

Eldariel
2009-07-15, 12:38 PM
Ah, of course! We have both Aquatic Orcs and Water Orcs, AND THEY MUST NOT BE CONFUSED!!!

Aquatic Orcs live in water. Water Orcs are shoredwellers. *Shrug* Doesn't feel too confusing. Though normal Orcs should have that +2 Con... +4 Str needs something to keep it company.

Tempest Fennac
2009-07-15, 12:40 PM
I think Gnolls are cute personally (it's mainly because I think huenas are adorable in real life). Regarding the alignment niche, are those really needed, PairO'Dice Lost? I just think giving things poorly justified alignments like that makes them seem unrealistic (as http://www.goblindefensefund.org/main.html illustates). Does anyone think that the LA 0 Gnoll I posted on page 1 work?

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-15, 12:45 PM
What are Tibbits exactly? (Aspestos, if you didn't see my post where I linked to Lupin informatio, check the post above your last post).

Basically halflings that can turn into house cats.
I'm pretty sure they're the reason the "housecat beats commoner" thing came about :smalltongue:
And I think a gnoll with no LA is actually pretty balanced. The HD makes up for itself.

Eldariel
2009-07-15, 12:48 PM
I think Gnolls are cute personally (it's mainly because I think huenas are adorable in real life). Regarding the alignment niche, are those really needed, PairO'Dice Lost? I just think giving things poorly justified alignments like that makes them seem unrealistic (as http://www.goblindefensefund.org/main.html illustates). Does anyone think that the LA 0 Gnoll I posted on page 1 work?

Sure; it's pretty much what I suggested too (although I suggested -2 Dex as an alternative to +4 Str), and the numbers of bonuses and penalties add up pretty well. The only sore point is the "Listen and Spot always in class", which doesn't have a precedence and if applying that, you really should go around adding a ton of skills for a variety of races (for example, Hide, Move Silently, Search, Spot, Listen, Climb & Balance would all make sense for Elves, and Move Silently, Hide, Climb, Swim, Jump & Tumble for Halflings, and Profession: Miner, Concentration, etc. for Dwarves and so on) if you were to make such a change, so I feel it best either do a massive overhaul for "always class skills" for races, or remove that part.

Tempest Fennac
2009-07-15, 12:50 PM
I think I included that feature due to listed Gnolls having Spot and Listen as their only class skills (or I may have got it from another homebrew Gnoll). Thanks for explaining about Tibbits, guys. Do either of you know what their stats are?

Fiendish_Dire_Moose
2009-07-15, 01:08 PM
Do either of you know what their stats are?
You'll have to go to the Dragon Compendium for that one.

Blue Ghost
2009-07-15, 01:09 PM
I prefer gnolls filling the niche as mooks over orcs, goblins and the like because they're more unique, and in my opinion, scarier. As a PC race, I would probably get rid of the racial hit dice. A gnoll character would be a pretty fun concept to play.

Water orcs? Ugh. What are those brutes doing fouling the precious seas? I wish they would have picked some more graceful races for the water races.

Starbuck_II
2009-07-15, 01:38 PM
I prefer gnolls filling the niche as mooks over orcs, goblins and the like because they're more unique, and in my opinion, scarier. As a PC race, I would probably get rid of the racial hit dice. A gnoll character would be a pretty fun concept to play.

Water orcs? Ugh. What are those brutes doing fouling the precious seas? I wish they would have picked some more graceful races for the water races.

Dude Aquatic Orcs are sea people, not Water orcs.

Next you'll tell me Fire Halfings live in Volcanoes. :smalltongue:

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-15, 01:51 PM
Regarding the alignment niche, are those really needed, PairO'Dice Lost? I just think giving things poorly justified alignments like that makes them seem unrealistic

I didn't mean an alignment niche: "Always CE" has gotten to be shorthand for "monsters you don't need to feel bad about killing on sight." My point was that if you want a generic-humanoid-but-not-a-PHB-race opponent, you could just as easily use goblins, orcs, kobolds, lizardfolk, and so on; adding the gnoll as one more doesn't really make a difference.

Tempest Fennac
2009-07-15, 01:57 PM
Thanks for explaining. I tend to use humans as cannon fodder to be honest (I tend not to feel bad about having them killed by PCs, but I'll use pretty much any race a enemies if it suits my purposes).

SirKazum
2009-07-15, 06:49 PM
What in God's name is a Gnoll?

According to OD&D (Monsters & Treasures book), it's a cross between a gnome and a troll. Seriously.

Gaiyamato
2009-07-15, 06:51 PM
The problem I have with those though is low-level play; having 1 HD when everyone else has 2 sucks. I personally like the alternative suggested behind PGtF that you instead just take -1 to all rolls until you get rid of the LA. Less crippling while still a reminder. Combine this with LA buyoff for a relatively functional system for LAs 1-3. Doesn't deal with racial HD though.

I throw them out entirely.
I usually keep LA, allowing LA Buyoff and allow players to take PC classes instead.

Racial HD are bad and LA is a pain by about level 6.

Oslecamo
2009-07-15, 07:11 PM
Racial HD are bad and LA is a pain by about level 6.

What, you wanted abilities for free? Didn't you want to play a gnoll? Well now you know why they get the low end of the stick on the D&D world.

Of course, if you just want to play something furry, there's nothing stoping you from choosing strongheart halfling or whisper gnome and claiming it has big teeths and is covered in fur. This way you can powergame while you powergame.

I really don't understand all the paranoia about racial HD. You never got killed and lost a level after being raise death'd? Several times during a campaign actually? Did the one or two missing levels sudenly turned your character into a worthless pile of flesh? Or did you adapted to your new conditions and got the best out of it?

HamHam
2009-07-15, 07:25 PM
You never got killed and lost a level after being raise death'd?

People still play with that rule?

Eldariel
2009-07-15, 07:40 PM
What, you wanted abilities for free? Didn't you want to play a gnoll? Well now you know why they get the low end of the stick on the D&D world.

Of course, if you just want to play something furry, there's nothing stoping you from choosing strongheart halfling or whisper gnome and claiming it has big teeths and is covered in fur. This way you can powergame while you powergame.

I really don't understand all the paranoia about racial HD. You never got killed and lost a level after being raise death'd? Several times during a campaign actually? Did the one or two missing levels sudenly turned your character into a worthless pile of flesh? Or did you adapted to your new conditions and got the best out of it?

Just think a bit. Would you rather want Racial HD or class levels? 'cause the game considers them the same thing. And racial HD is almost always worse (Outsider and maybe Dragon are possible exceptions). So if you have racial HD, you better get something good for it. Look at Gnoll - you get NOTHING. You say "What, you wanted abilities for free?", but get this: HE GETS NOTHING FROM THEM. Why should he pay for nothing?

ericgrau
2009-07-15, 08:23 PM
According to OD&D (Monsters & Treasures book), it's a cross between a gnome and a troll. Seriously.

Why?!?! Ok, OD&D did bring us owlbears, duckbunnies, autognomes, and other gruesome crosses (http://www.headinjurytheater.com/article73.htm).

chiasaur11
2009-07-15, 08:26 PM
Why?!?! Ok, OD&D did bring us owlbears, duckbunnies, autognomes, and other gruesome crosses.

Duckbunnies are more adorable than gruesome.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-15, 08:51 PM
autognomes

Now I have to see someone stat a half-construct tinker gnome with some sort of manual transmission-based ability.

ericgrau
2009-07-15, 09:02 PM
http://www.headinjurytheater.com/images/d&d%20beasts%20autognome.jpg

OD&D beat you to it. Just look, man, look!!!

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The fall of Gnomeregan and plot
I know of no lawn
With a gnome who has forgot.

You can find more description on their abilities from a google search.

shadow_archmagi
2009-07-15, 09:04 PM
I'm still bewildered.

So, some races come with racial hit die, which grant skill points, feats, ability enhancements, and so on. It's like a class with no class features whatsoever. Like a commoner. All level adjustment aside, it's like the game is saying "If you want to take levels in the prestige class Gnoll Character, you have to take two levels of Commoner."


And then, once you've already mourned the loss of the BAB/Spellcasting/AnyClassFeaturesWhatsoever that you would've gotten from those first two levels, the game comes back and says "Oh, right, level adjustment committee here. We'll just take that third level and replace it with NOTHING. Enjoy your fourth level."


This seems like madness to me.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-15, 11:54 PM
OD&D beat you to it. Just look, man, look!!!

No, no, I know of the auto gnomes. I want to see a manual gnome. Picture it--time powers with D and R, stasis with N, haste to time stop with 1 to 4. The only thing worse than a crazy mechanical tinker gnome is a crazy mechanical tinker gnome with a time machine.

Lert, A.
2009-07-16, 12:06 AM
No, no, I know of the auto gnomes. I want to see a manual gnome. Picture it--time powers with D and R, stasis with N, haste to time stop with 1 to 4. The only thing worse than a crazy mechanical tinker gnome is a crazy mechanical tinker gnome with a time machine.

Ability
Shift - As a move action the manual gnome may alter its inherant haste ability one level faster or slower. This action may only be taken once per round.

Feat
Speed Clutch
Prerequisite: manual gnome
Benefit: May use the shift ability as a swift action. The shift action still may be used only once per round.
Normal: Shift ability requires a move action.

Tempest Fennac
2009-07-16, 12:23 AM
I agree, shadow_archmagi (my policy when DMing is to remove HDs fom things which the players want to use while nerfing their other features down to the point where I consider them to be LA 0).

SirKazum
2009-07-16, 09:42 AM
Regarding the original LA discussion, it's always been my idea that having racial HD (and considering them as levels) is quite enough punishment, given how comparatively useless they tend to be, especially humanoid HD. IMHO, a race with racial HD would need abilities above the norm with no LA to be fair in my eyes. I don't know, maybe something in the neighborhood of +1 LA / 2 HD "for free" (i.e. you get abilities that, if you had no HD, would merit the appropriate LA, but since you have racial HD you get them with no adjustment). Think of those abilities as the race's "class features" that go with the HD.

So yeah, I'd be just fine with a +0 LA, 2 HD gnoll right out of the book. (Although I prefer medium-sized humanoid PCs to have no racial HD, since it's easier to handle and doesn't really strain suspension of disbelief. A Large or particularly fierce creature should have those HD though.)

Myrmex
2009-07-16, 01:41 PM
This seems like madness to me.

Madness? This. Is. WOTC!!!!!!

*kicks down well*

Steward
2009-07-16, 02:45 PM
According to OD&D (Monsters & Treasures book), it's a cross between a gnome and a troll. Seriously.

Oh. So when a gnome and a troll love each other very much... they give birth to a villain from Lion King?

I really really want to work for WOTC just to see the monster design thought process.

"Okay, guys, I gotta new one! A half-elf, half-dwarf... I'll call it a Dwelf! It'll be 14-feet tall with 6 tentacles, bat wings and it will be LA 6! Always Chaotic Neutral! DC 14 Stunning Fist! Bwahahahahha!"


OD&D beat you to it. Just look, man, look!!!

:eek: Wow! I'm going to trick a DM into letting me play that.

SirKazum
2009-07-16, 08:05 PM
Correction - you mean work for (the now defunct) TSR. They were the source of most of the wackiness around in D&D.

And regarding the gnoll, from reading M&T, it seems that the author didn't know what the heck he was talking about - he probably used a monster some other DM (or "referee" at the time) came up with, but didn't bother asking anything about the fluff.

awa
2009-07-18, 09:50 PM
The racial levels do give a bonus in away they come with better then average racial benefits. Now that said i believe that many of the humanoid races are inferior to the base phb races but not so much that id take away their racial hd and level adjustment that would make them over powered and a humanoid hd is much better then a commoner hd it has better skill more weapon proficiency better saves and a better attack bonus.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-07-18, 09:57 PM
and a humanoid hd is much better then a commoner hd it has better skill more weapon proficiency better saves and a better attack bonus.

It doesn't matter how it compares to a commoner HD, because PCs aren't taking commoner levels. Compare 2 humanoid HD to 2 fighter HD or 2 wizard HD. The fighter HD have better HP, proficiencies, skills, and grant a bonus feat; the wizard HD grant 2 spellcasting levels. That's what races with racial HD are giving up.

Tempest Fennac
2009-07-19, 12:31 AM
I tend to think the HDs exist solely to make a lot of things better for use as enemies without adding levels (when I stat things out, I tend to try to make them equal to PC races due to prefering to add levels myself).

awa
2009-07-19, 12:49 AM
you still get the above average ability scores and any exotic abilities your monster race might give you those are your features. That said many monster pcs with level adjustments or racial hd are weaker then their more mundane counterparts. The gnoll in specific doesn't get much for it's racial hit dice, the humanoid hit die isn't particularly good and leaves it vulnerable to all the low level charm spells, and other humanoid specific effects and since it lacks any even slightly unusual abilities theirs not much you can do with it that you couldn't do better with a half orc.

In regards to removing hit dice you should be careful a gnoll with 2 fighter levels instead of 2 humanoid levels is vastly stronger but probably roughly even with a level 3 half orc, like wise a level one gnoll with 2 humanoid levels is probably also roughly even with a half orc, a level 3 gnoll is distinctly better then a level 3 half orc. completely getting rid of the level adjustment and racial hit die would make the gnoll substantial superior to its closest phb comparison. Now depending on the style of game play and how many sources your drawing from to make characters that might be okay
the half orc might already be badly obsolete.

(the commoner was in reference to an earlier comment not a suggestion that pcs should take commoner levels)