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Oslecamo
2010-03-02, 02:46 AM
As you may know, 3.5 allows you to play monsters as PCs, but with a cost: LA and RHD.

However, most monsters out there weren't designed for player use, and end up with fat LAs to keep the players away from powerfull abilities like greater teleport at will.

Plus, monsters with higher HD than CR also aren't very usefull for players.

And then, the players have to deal with many of their monster abilities don't improving with leveling up.

So, I started a project where I'll pick up popular monsters and re-design them to be useable by players, so that they can play any monster with CR X by level X. I acomplish this by:
-Adjusting RHD to always match the player's level to don't punish/reward them against level dependant abilities.
-Reducing huge ability bonus and natural armor.
-Making monster special abilities level dependant so they keep increasing.
-Cut down most abuseable abilities to keep the power level in check. No stuff like teleport at will at level 5.

Here's some samples:

Red dragon:

http://www.markeedragon.com/screenshots/data/3082/10red_dragon_attacks2-med.jpg

HD:d12
{TABLE]Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Feature
1 | +1 | +2|+0 |+2 |Red Dragon body, Arcane blood
2| +2| +3|+0 |+3 | Keen senses, Fire Breath
3| +3| +3|+1| +3| Blindsense 60 feets, Str+1, Con+1
4| +4| +4| +1|+4 | Wings
5| +5| +4| +1| +4| Tail slap, Growth
6| +6| +5|+2 |+5 | Red Dragon SLAs 1/day, +1 Cha
7| +7| +5| +2| +5| +1 Str, +1 Con
8| +8| +6| +2| +5| Red Dragon SLAs 2/day, +1 Cha
9| +9| | +6|+3 +6| +1 str, +1 con
10| +10| +7|+3 |+7 | Red Dragon SLAs 3/day, +1 Cha
11| +11| +7| +3|+7 | Arcane Skin
12| +12| +8| +4|+8 | Iron Scales, +1 Str, +1 Con
13| +13| +8| +4| +8| Growth, crush.
14| +14| +9| +4| +9| Frightfull presence
15| +15| +9| +5| +9| Red Dragon SLAs 4/day, +1 Cha
16| +16| +10| +5| +10| +1 str, +1 con
17| +17| +10| +5|+10 | Red Dragon SLAs 5/day, +1 Cha
18| +18| +11|+6 |+11 | +1 str, +1 con
19 | +19| +11| +6| +11| Red Dragon SLAs 6/day, +1 Cha
20| +20| +12| +6| +12| Growth, tail sweed.

[/TABLE]
2 Skill points+int per level, quadruple at 1st level. Class skills: Concentration, climb, jump, spot, listen, apraise, intimidate, Knowledge(any), spellcraft.

Proefeciencies: a red dragon isn't proefecient with any armor or weapons, besides his own natural weapons.


Features:
Dragon Body: The red dragon loses all other racial bonuses, and gains Dragon traits, fire subtype, bite 1d8 damage, 2 claws attack for 1d6 damage each and 40 base speed, medium size. The Red dragon has wings, but they're too weak to do anything for now. His claws are capable of fine manipulation and can be used for somatic components of spellcasting or anything else a human hand could do.

The red dragon also gets a natural armor bonus of 2+Con modifier. Whenever the red dragon grows one size category, his natural armor increases by a further 1.


Arcane Blood:A red dragon receives spells known and spells per day as a bard of same level, but he casts as a sorceror and takes his spells known from the sorceror/wizard spell list.

Keen senses:The red dragon sees four times as well as a human in shadowy illumination and twice as well in normal light. It also has darkvision out to 120 feet.

Fire Breath:cone 30 feet dealing 1d6 damage/HD with DC ref of 10+1/2 HD+Con modifier for half every 1d4 turns. Cone increases by 5 feets with each extra HD the player takes from here.

Blindsense:as the normal ability, range 60 feets.

Ability score increase: The red dragon ability scores increase by the shown amount.

{table]Level | Total bonus gained
3 | +1 Str, +1 Con
6 | +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
7 | +2 Str, +2 Con, +1 Cha
8 | +2 Str, +2 Con, +2 Cha
9 | +3 Str, +3 Con, +2 Cha
10 | +3 Str, +3 Con, +3 Cha
12 | +4 Str, +4 Con, +3 Cha
15 | +4 Str, +4 Con, +4 Cha
16 | +5 Str, +5 Con, +4 Cha
17 | +5 Str, +5 Con, +5 Cha
18 | +6 Str, +6 Con, +5 Cha
19 | +6 Str, +6 Con, +6 Cha

[/table]



Wings:The red dragon becomes able to fly at the speed of 10 feets per HD, with poor maneuverability. The maneuverability doesn't increase naturaly, but players can take the Savage Species feat that increases it by two steps(stackable). Each wing can also be now used to deliver a natural atack dealing 1d4 damage.

Growth:At 5th level the red dragon grows to large size.
At 13th level the red dragon grows to huge size.
At 20th level the red dragon grows to gargantuan size.

His AC, bonus to hit, base damage, grapple and skills change acordingly, but he doesn't get any ability score bonus or penalties.

Tail slap:The red dragon can now make a tail slap attack dealing 1d8 damage(already taking in acount large size).

Red dragon SLAs: the red dragon can use locate object and sugestion as SLAs, a number of times per day as indicated in the table.

Arcane skin: The red dragon gains SR equal to his HD+11.

Iron Scales: The red dragon gains DR/magic equal to half his HD.

Crush: The dragon can make a crush attack dealing 2d8 damage base, already taking in acount huge size
This special attack allows a flying or jumping dragon of at least Huge size to land on opponents as a standard action, using its whole body to crush them. Crush attacks are effective only against opponents three or more size categories smaller than the dragon (though it can attempt normal overrun or grapple attacks against larger opponents).

A crush attack affects as many creatures as can fit under the dragonís body. Creatures in the affected area must succeed on a Reflex save (DC equal to that of the dragonís breath weapon) or be pinned, automatically taking bludgeoning damage during the next round unless the dragon moves off them. If the dragon chooses to maintain the pin, treat it as a normal grapple attack. Pinned opponents take damage from the crush each round if they donít escape.

A crush attack deals the indicated damage plus 1Ĺ times the dragonís Strength bonus (round down).

frightfull presence:The ability takes effect automatically whenever the dragon attacks, charges, or flies overhead. Creatures within a radius of 30 feet ◊ half the dragon's level are subject to the effect if they have fewer HD than the dragon. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 10 + Ĺ dragonís HD + dragonís Cha modifier) remains immune to that dragonís frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Dragons ignore the frightful presence of other dragons.

Tail sweep:This special attack allows a dragon of at least Gargantuan size to sweep with its tail as a standard action. The sweep affects a half-circle with a radius of 30 feet (or 40 feet for a Colossal dragon), extending from an intersection on the edge of the dragonís space in any direction. Creatures within the swept area are affected if they are four or more size categories smaller than the dragon. A tail sweep automatically deals 2d6 plus 1Ĺ times the dragonís Strength bonus (round down). Affected creatures can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage (DC equal to that of the dragonís breath weapon).



Personal coments:
So this class allows you to play a dragon up to gargantuan size. You can breath, get some SLAs, natural armor, limited but usefull arcane casting, sold skills, fly, some ability score increases, and always have HD equal to your character level. It should be more than able to hold his own in any average/high powered campaign, being a tank, suport arcane caster of Jack of all trades.

You can also multiclass out at any time, and around half your class abilities will keep increasing, not counting the spellcasting wich can be increased by taking prcs that increase it.

Troll
http://garrafalegion.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/trolldyd.jpg

HD:d8
{TABLE]Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Feature
1 | +0 | +2|+0 |+0|Troll body, Str+1, Con+1
2| +1| +3|+0 |+0 | Regeneration, Str+1, Con+1
3| +2| +3|+1| +1| Scent, Str+1, Con+1
4| +3| +4| +1|+1 | Rend, Str+1, Con+1
5| +3| +4| +1| +1| Growth , Str+1, Con+1

[/TABLE]
Skills: 4+int modifier per level, quadruple at first level. Class skills spot, listen, climb, jump, swim, knowledge(nature, geography, war), handle animal, intimidate, ride, tumble.

Proefeciencies: all simple and martial weapons and his own natural weapons.

Features:
Troll body: the troll loses all other racial bonuses, and gains giant traits, a base speed of 30 feet, two claw attacks and one bite attack dealing 1d4 damage each. He also gains a natural armor bonus equal to his own Con modifier.

Ability score increase:a troll gains +1 Str and +1 Con for each level in this class.

Regeneration: Equal to half his HD. Fire and acid deal normal damage to a troll. If a troll loses a limb or body part, the lost portion regrows in 3d6 minutes. The creature can reattach the severed member instantly by holding it to the stump.

Scent: a troll gains the scent extraordinary ability.

Rend:If a troll hits with both claw attacks, it latches onto the opponentís body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an
additional 2d6+1,5 Str modifier points of damage.

Growth:The troll grows to large size.His AC, bonus to hit, base damage, grapple and skills change acordingly, but he doesn't get any ability score bonus or penalties.



Mind Flayer
http://www.iwozhere.com/SRD/images/MM35_PG188.jpg

HD:d8
{table]Level|Bab|Fort|Ref|Will|Feature
1|+ 0|+0 |+0 | +2 | Mind Flayer body, telepathy
2|+ 1|+ 0|+0 | +3 |Minor psionics
3|+ 1|+ 1|+ 1| +3 |Mind Blast
4|+ 2|+ 1|+1 | +4 |+1 Int, +1 Cha, Improved grab
5|+ 2|+ 1|+1 | +4 |Advanced psionics
6|+ 3|+ 2|+2 | +5 |Psionic resistance, +1 Int, +1 Cha
7|+ 3|+ 2|+2 | +5 |Extract, +1 Int, +1 Cha
8|+ 4|+ 2|+2 | +6 |Greater psionics
[/table]
Skills:2+int modifier per level, quadruple at 1st level.The mind flayerís class skills (and the key ability for each
skills) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (any two, chosen at 1st level) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), and Spot (Wis).

Proefeciencies:a mind flayer is proefecient with simple weapons and his tentacles attacks.

Features:
Mind Flayer body: At 1st level, the mind flayer loses all other racial bonus and gets aberration traits(darkvision 60 feets basicaly). He's a medium sized aberration creature with base speed 30 with several tentacles around it's mouth. Two of those tentacles can be used as natural attacks dealing 1d4+Str damage each. The mind flayer becomes able to use one extra tentacle as a natural attack for each 4 HD it possesses (3 tentacles with 4 HD, 4 tentacles with 8 HD, 5 tentacles with 12 HD, ect).

The mind flayer takes no penalty for attacking with all his tentacles in a fullattack.
If the mind flayer coup de graces a monster and kills with it's tentacles, it can eat it's brains.

The Mind flayer gets a Nat armor bonus equal to his Con modifier.

Telepathy:a mind flayer gains telepathy with a range of 10 feets for each HD he possesses. . A mind flayer who multiclasses for an arcane/psionic class can count his Mind Flayer levels as levels of that class for purposes of CL/ML and for the purposes of learning new spells/powers and geting new spell slots/power points. So for example, a Mind Flayer 3 who took 1 level of sorceror could choose to have CL 4, get 3 2nd level spell slots, 1 1st level spell slot, 1 2nd level spell known and 1 0th level spell known. He wouldn't get the spell knowns and spell slots of a sorceror 3 however, neither the familiar ability.

Minor psionics: The mind flayer can use detect toughts and levitate as SLAs once per day for each HD it possesses.

Mind Blast:A mind flayer can focus his mind in a powerfull stunning wave attack. It affects a cone of 10 feets and stuns all targets inside it for 1d4 rounds. A will save of 10+1/2HD of the mind flayer+Mind flayer's Cha modifier denies the stun. This ability is useable 1/day for each HD of the mind flayer.

The cone affects an extra 5 feets for each extra HD of the mindflayer beyond 3. The Mind flayer can choose to affect a smaller area than his maximum with his mind blast attack in order to don't hit allies. The stun effect lasts for an extra 1d4 rounds for each two extra HD beyond 3.

Ability score increase: The mind flayer gets a permanent +1 to Int and Cha at both 4th, 6th and 7th level.


Improved Grab:To use this ability, a mind flayer must hit a Small, Medium-size, or Large creature with a tentacle attack (or a Huge creature if it can reach the creatureís head). If the grab is successful, on its next action the mind flayer may attempt to attach its remaining tentacles with a single grapple check. The target can escape all the tentacles with a single grapple check, but the mind flayer gets a +2 bonus to oppose this check for each of its tentacles beyond the first that is attached to the target.


Advanced psionics: The mind flayer can now use sugestion and charm monster as SLAs once per day for each 2 HD it possesses.

Psionic resistance:The mind flayer gets SR equal to 11+HD.

Extract (Ex): A mind flayer of 12th level or higher that begins its turn with all four tentacles attached and makes a successful grapple check automatically extracts the opponentís brain, instantly killing that creature (unless it has multiple brains or can function without its brain).

Regardless of the victim surviving or dying, whenever the Mind flayer consumes a brain, he absorbs it's memories like a delicious delicacy, greatly invigorating himself. The mind flayer gets a bonus on his attacks, skills, saves, Mind Blast, psionics and spells DCs equal to the highest mental score modifier of the victim. The Mind Flayer can't gain a bonus bigger than half his own HD with this ability. It lasts for 1 hour for each HD of the victim.

Diferent bonus from diferent brains don't stack.

Greater psionics:The Mind flayer can now use plane shift and Astral projection as SLAs once per day for each 4 HD it has.


Comments:

A classic D&D monster, this mind flayer focus more on his mental powers. It doesn't have the versatility of your typical caster, but has some good mobility and several save or dies to choose from. It's BAB is weak to make up for that.

My improved extract ability at 7th level gives the mind flayer a powerfull incentive to actualy hunt brains of smart beings, but the limits should probably keep it from becoming too abuseable.

Finally, the class multiclasses quite well with both arcane and psionic classes, allowing you to create true mind flayer sorcerors/psions.

For more martial dudes, the extra tentacle attacks from the mind flayer make it a juicy dip.


Minotaur
http://www.iwozhere.com/SRD/images/MM35_PG189a.jpg

HD:d8
{table]Level|Bab|Fort|Ref|Will|Feature
1|+1 |+2 |+ 0| +0 |Minotaur body, Minotaur skills
2|+ 2|+ 3|+ 0| +0 |Powerfull Charge, Str+1 , Scent
3|+ 3|+ 3|+ 1| +1 |Natural cunning, Con+1
4|+ 4|+ 4|+ 1| +1 |Growth, Str+1
[/table]

Skills:2+int modifier, quadruple at 1st level. Class skills (and the key ability for each skills)
are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Move Silently
(Dex), Profession (Wis), and Spot (Wis).

Proefeciencies: simple and martial weapons, and it's own natural weapons.

Features:

Minotaur body:At 1st level the minotaur loses all racial bonus and gains monstruous humanoid traits(basicaly dark vision 60 feets). He's a medium monstruous humanoid with base speed 30 feet. He has a natural gore attack dealing 1d6+Str modfier damage base.

The minotaur also gets a natural armor bonus equal to his Con modifier.

Minotaur skills:Minotaurs possess exceptional sharp senses. The minotaur gets +1 on spot, listen and search checks for each HD it has.

Powerfull Charge:When the minotaur charges with his gore attack, he deals 2d8 damage plus 1,5 times his str modifier. If the minotaur changes size, change the base damage acodingly (2d6 for small, 4d6 for large).

Scent (Ex): A minotaur has a keen sense of smell. It can detect opponents within the given
range (double range if the scent is upwind, one-half range if it is downwind) and may take a move-equivalent action to determine the direction of a scent. If an odor source, such as an opponent, is within 5 feet, the minotaur can pinpoint that source. Minotaurs can use the scent ability to track an enemy by smell.

Ability score bonus:The minotaur permanently gets +1 Str at 2nd and 4th level and +1 Con at 3rd leve
l
Natural Cunning:The minotaur is immune to maze spells and effects, never gets lost, and never counts as flat footed. This also counts as the track feat.

Growth:The minotaur increases one size category. Apply all necessary modifiers to the minotaur's AC, attacks, skills, grapple, natural weapons, ect, but the minotaur doesn't get any ability score/natural armor bonus or penalties.




Comments:

Another D&D favorite, in my opinion the minotaur should be an iconic brute monster. Good fort save and BAB, stronger charge, ability score bonus and powerfull charge all allow the minotaur to charge into battle and unleash the pain.

The natural cunning, extra skills and scent also make it exceptionaly good at finding enemies and playing sentry duty.

Compared with the troll, the troll's tougher and has more natural attacks, but worst acuracy and skills.




You can find my original thread on the homebrew section here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7928088#post7928088). I created this thread because the roleplaying section has a lot more traffic and there's always a lot of discussion about alternatives to LA and RHD.

Also, I come here not only to present you my project to all those who seek an alternative to LA and RHD, but also seeking help to balance out any and all unpolished corners.

Of course, since this is a solution in a case by case basis, it may never end, but I've got 24 diferent monsters done so far.


Blue Dragon (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7941947&postcount=2)
Mind Flayer and Minotaur (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7947714&postcount=13)
Medusa and Choker (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7948874&postcount=17)
Zelekhunt(inevitable) (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7951028&postcount=26)
Ogre Mage and Succubus (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7951939&postcount=29)
Rakshasa and Dragonne (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7956421&postcount=32)
Red slaad (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7957540&postcount=37)
Djinni (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7960967&postcount=43)
Wing Dragon (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7962320&postcount=47)
Grimlock (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7966772&postcount=54)
Awakened Skeleton (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7966879&postcount=55)
Vargouille (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7966939&postcount=56)
Balor (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7967157&postcount=58)
Phoenix (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7968929&postcount=63)
Vasuthant (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7974321&postcount=75)
pit fiend (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7976670&postcount=80)
Mummy (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7977252&postcount=82)
Hound archon (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7987311&postcount=89)
Centaur (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7987339&postcount=91)
Gray Jester (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7988336&postcount=92)
More to come!

Quirp
2010-03-02, 03:23 AM
Really nice work!
Did you get the idea from Savage Species?
One comment on the troll though: Regeneration at 2nd level makes him nearly unkillable at that levels against CR-appropriate challenges from the MM. That might be a bit overpowered.

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 03:46 AM
Sure, you're playing a CR X monster at level X, but because of your nerfs, it's worse than the CR X monster.

That's the impression I got, at least.

Oslecamo
2010-03-02, 04:29 AM
Sure, you're playing a CR X monster at level X, but because of your nerfs, it's worse than the CR X monster.

That's the impression I got, at least.

Not exactly, because you get player stats, player optimization and player wealth in top of the monster class.

And many monsters are under-CRd anyway (cough dragons cough).

This is, look at my red dragon. It's a bard with d12 HD, less skills, full BAB, natural attacks, two good saves and natural armor. Then he gets an at-will breath weapon, at will flying, size increase, stat increases and some other stuff. It's probably better than a bard as it is.

My troll gets +5 to Str and Con total. Compare with a regular troll, wich has 23 Str and 23 Con. If you put a 18 in Str, you get 23 Str as well by CR5 (actualy 24 if you put there your extra point from the 4th level). Your Con will be lower, but you don't suffer horrible mental penalties.

Same for the minotaur. You get +2 Str, wich combined with 18 base str makes 20 by level 4 (or 21 if you put there your extra point from 4th level). And you don't have to deal with pesky Dex and mental stat bonus so you can have your minotaur paladin and whatnot.

And then my monster classes abilities keep increasing after you've passed over CR X. The succubus and Mind Flayer can become fullcasters. The hound archon can grow up to colossal size.

In case of over-CRd monsters like the ogre mage, you actualy come up ahead with my class. It has more HD, better saves and more SLAs as the original kinda sucked. The Rakasaha casts better.

This project is aimed at bringing monsters to naked players power level, so they can be used whitout much trouble.



Quirp:Yes, this was half-based in the Savage species idea.

And altough he probably cannot be killed, he can still be brought to negatives and captured.

ApatheticDespot
2010-03-02, 05:04 AM
I've always really liked the idea of playing an Illithid, and while your idea of altering their abilities to be more PC friendly has a lot of merit I think the Illithid class you've come up with has some problems. First of all, it's the only class I've ever seen that's not proficient with any simple weapons. It also takes far too long to start actually *being* a mind flayer. It doesn't get to use mind blast until level 3, and it can't actually eat until level 7. I realize those are both powerful abilities (well, okay eating is kinda mundane, but you know what I mean), but they're also the Illithid's iconic abilities and letting a character build up iconic abilities from the start seems like the point of a monster class. Also, the telepathy ability is very unclear and difficult to read. I'm not at all sure how you meant for it to interact with casting classes.

lord_khaine
2010-03-02, 05:29 AM
These seems to be really well done, and quite balanced as well.

If you find the time then i hope you will take a look at the good outsiders as well, like the planetar or the Ghaele.

Quirp
2010-03-02, 05:29 AM
I would say fireball is an iconic wizard "ability" and they can get that at level 5. Level 7 is only two levels behind that. Of course it would be nice to eat brains at level one, but since you often face monsters at that level that are easy to grapple you would play a kind of rocket tag against the poor goblins and kobolds, but they do not get a rocket, while you eat one brain after the other and kill any threat immediatly.

For the casting I think it means if you are Mind Flayer 7 and pick Wizard 1 as your next level you are treated as Wizard 8 for your spells known/spells per day.

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 05:34 AM
Wait, no brain extraction at level 1 for the Illithid?

That's worse than Risen Martyr.

In Lords of Madness, it's explained that a mind flayer must eat one brain a month or they will die.
EDIT:
I've always really liked the idea of playing an Illithid, and while your idea of altering their abilities to be more PC friendly has a lot of merit I think the Illithid class you've come up with has some problems. First of all, it's the only class I've ever seen that's not proficient with simple weapons. It also takes far too long to start actually *being* a mind flayer. It doesn't get to use mind blast until level 3, and it can't actually eat until level 7. I realize those are both powerful abilities (well, okay eating is kinda mundane, but you know what I mean), but they're also the Illithid's iconic abilities and letting a character build up iconic abilities from the start seems like the point of a monster class. Also, the telepathy ability is very unclear and difficult to read. I'm not at all sure how you meant for it to interact with casting classes.

Wizards don't have proficiency with simple weapons.

faceroll
2010-03-02, 05:45 AM
Wait, no brain extraction at level 1 for the Illithid?

That's worse than Risen Martyr.

Please defend your inflammatory assertion.

ApatheticDespot
2010-03-02, 05:46 AM
Wait, no brain extraction at level 1 for the Illithid?

That's worse than Risen Martyr.

In Lords of Madness, it's explained that a mind flayer must eat one brain a month or they will die.
EDIT:

Wizards don't have proficiency with simple weapons.

True, I had meant to say "any simple weapons". I think at least they should at least be proficient with things like crossbows and clubs. After all, the whole point of a crossbow is that they're easy to use and clubs are, well, a heavy stick.

As for fireball being an iconic wizard ability, wizards do start tossing around fire and lightning bolts at level 1 in the form of spells like flaming hands and shocking grasp. You don't have to give the Illithid the full instant death ability at level one, that again is the point of a monster class: abilities build to full power gradually rather than all at once. Why not, for instance, have it deal int damage rather than instant death early on like the Illithid heritage feats would have if Complete Psionic existed :smallwink:.

EDIT:

Please defend your inflammatory assertion.
I hadn't meant to be inflammatory, and I'm not actually familiar with Risen Martyr, but I think what magic9mushroom is getting at is this: imagine if couldn't learn to eat until age 7.

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 05:48 AM
Please defend your inflammatory assertion.

You edited out the white text, so you know exactly what I said.

faceroll
2010-03-02, 06:04 AM
You edited out the white text, so you know exactly what I said.

I lack the "extract steak" Ex ability, yet somehow I eat a steak once a month.

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 06:06 AM
I lack the "extract steak" Ex ability, yet somehow I eat a steak once a month.

Where else are you going to get fresh brains from?

Unless you use a Brain Canister, I guess, but those are too expensive to have at level 1 IIRC.

Risen Martyr, fyi ApatheticDespot, is a PrC in Book of Exalted Deeds that kills you if you commit any act that would cause you to lose exalted feats, and kills you at level 10 anyway.

ApatheticDespot
2010-03-02, 06:16 AM
Where else are you going to get fresh brains from?

Unless you use a Brain Canister, I guess, but those are too expensive to have at level 1 IIRC.

Risen Martyr, fyi ApatheticDespot, is a PrC in Book of Exalted Deeds that kills you if you commit any act that would cause you to lose exalted feats, and kills you at level 10 anyway.

Wow. That's a lot of things that would be fatal. And you're right, a brain canister costs 30,000 GP, way too much for a level 1 Illithid no matter how hungry. It also couldn't make the required DC 25 heal check consistently at that level, even with it's racial bonus.

Remember Faceroll, an Illithid "must devour brains directly from the skulls of still living victims to survive" (LoM p.72). Your entirely understandable steak addiction doesn't come with that kind of stipulation.

faceroll
2010-03-02, 06:28 AM
Wow. That's a lot of things that would be fatal. And you're right, a brain canister costs 30,000 GP, way too much for a level 1 Illithid no matter how hungry. It also couldn't make the required DC 25 heal check consistently at that level, even with it's racial bonus.

Remember Faceroll, an Illithid "must devour brains directly from the skulls of still living victims to survive" (LoM p.72). Your entirely understandable steak addiction doesn't come with that kind of stipulation.

You take your still living victim, lay him down, saw his head open, and slurp away. Alternatively, you get tentacles at level one, so you wrap the helpless enemy's skull in your tentacles and coup de grace them brains into your mouth.

Remember, it takes 20 years for an illithid to mature. The end result of cerebromorphisis is a infantile illithid. Presumably the ones in the monster manual have figured out how to eat properly. :smallwink:

Oslecamo
2010-03-02, 06:31 AM
Remember Faceroll, an Illithid "must devour brains directly from the skulls of still living victims to survive" (LoM p.72). Your entirely understandable steak addiction doesn't come with that kind of stipulation.

1-Those are Lords of Madness rules only. Neither the MM or the EPH need to actualy eat brains to survive. Not even the Savage species Mind flayer demands you to eat brains to survive last time I checked.
2-Book of exalted cheese has a good mind flayer that specificaly doesn't eat brains anymore.
3-You still get tentacle attacks from level 1 to munch your oponents to death.
4-Chickens are still alive for some seconds after geting their heads chopped off. Buy chickens at your local market. Profit.

So, basicaly, Lords of Madness is a half-obscure splatbook, and needing to eat fresh brains to survive will limit your character options somewhat. Campaign where you're facing enemies whitout brains? Good luck.

So, since we have three official books that all allow you to play mind flayers whitout needing to eat brains, I choose the option that makes the Mind Flayer more playable.

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 06:33 AM
You take your still living victim, lay him down, saw his head open, and slurp away. Alternatively, you get tentacles at level one, so you wrap the helpless enemy's skull in your tentacles and coup de grace them brains into your mouth.

Remember, it takes 20 years for an illithid to mature. The end result of cerebromorphisis is a infantile illithid. Presumably the ones in the monster manual have figured out how to eat properly. :smallwink:

The infantile illithid is still an illithid with extraction ability. It's infantile in the sense of being naive only IIRC.

It's still rather ridiculous to have a player that can't eat properly.

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 06:36 AM
1-Those are Lords of Madness rules only. Neither the MM or the EPH need to actualy eat brains to survive. Not even the Savage species Mind flayer demands you to eat brains to survive last time I checked.
2-Book of exalted cheese has a good mind flayer that specificaly doesn't eat brains anymore.

All overridden by the later-published Lords of Madness if I remember the rules correctly. Lords of Madness is a Primary Source for aberrations.


3-You still get tentacle attacks from level 1 to munch your oponents to death.

Skulls are hard to bite through, and eating it non-whole would likely render it useless.


4-Chickens are still alive for some seconds after geting their heads chopped off. Buy chickens at your local market. Profit.

Chicken brains are not sufficiently useful IIRC.

faceroll
2010-03-02, 06:37 AM
The infantile illithid is still an illithid with extraction ability. It's infantile in the sense of being naive only IIRC.

It's still rather ridiculous to have a player that can't eat properly.

I bet a baby mind flayer is a very messy eater who needs a little help.

Can you imagine being the hapless thrall that has to help a mewling illithid babe tear the brains out of your still living comrades? Your job is to make sure your friends are still awake as their brains are being extracted.

Oslecamo
2010-03-02, 06:37 AM
It's still rather ridiculous to have a player that can't eat properly.

Again, you get tentacle attacks from lv1. There's nothing stoping your Mind flayer 1 from munching into a brain the hard gross way. You just don't insta-gib, and when you reach higher lv you perfect the art of brain extracting.

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 06:50 AM
Again, you get tentacle attacks from lv1. There's nothing stoping your Mind flayer 1 from munching into a brain the hard gross way. You just don't insta-gib, and when you reach higher lv you perfect the art of brain extracting.

You're still playing a baby.

faceroll
2010-03-02, 06:53 AM
You're still playing a baby.

We prefer the term illithid savant.
:smallwink:

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 06:55 AM
We prefer the term illithid savant.
:smallwink:

Not until you get extraction (aka learning to eat politely) you're not.

ApatheticDespot
2010-03-02, 06:59 AM
1-Those are Lords of Madness rules only. Neither the MM or the EPH need to actualy eat brains to survive. Not even the Savage species Mind flayer demands you to eat brains to survive last time I checked.
2-Book of exalted cheese has a good mind flayer that specificaly doesn't eat brains anymore.
3-You still get tentacle attacks from level 1 to munch your oponents to death.
4-Chickens are still alive for some seconds after geting their heads chopped off. Buy chickens at your local market. Profit.

So, basicaly, Lords of Madness is a half-obscure splatbook, and needing to eat fresh brains to survive will limit your character options somewhat. Campaign where you're facing enemies whitout brains? Good luck.

So, since we have three official books that all allow you to play mind flayers whitout needing to eat brains, I choose the option that makes the Mind Flayer more playable.

Exactly how many entries in the monster manual do state that the creature must eat in order to survive? As I recall, the PHB section on humans never says they need to eat sleep at all, but they still need to. I should also point out that the Avenging Executioner description in Complete Scoundrel includes a quote from a mute character, D&D writers forget things sometimes. The fact that the writer of a single character in an obsolete book from an earlier edition forgot to list a ring of sustenance with it's other possessions does nothing at all to override the explicit statement of a more recent book dedicated solely to the subject of aberrations.

You also never addressed the more important point. The entire reason for monster classes to exist is to phase powerful abilities in gradually. Why on earth shouldn't an Illithid get a weakened version of extract at level 1?

Oslecamo
2010-03-02, 07:16 AM
Exactly how many entries in the monster manual do state that the creature must eat in order to survive? As I recall, the PHB section on humans never says they need to eat sleep at all, but they still need to.

There's also no rules for munching steak, yet that doesn't stop your character from eating steak does it?

Just because you don't have a bite natural attack and swallow hole abilities doesn't mean you cannot use your mouth to munch in stuff. Similarly, just because a mind flayer doesn't have the extract ability doesn't mean it cannot munch in some brain matter.



You also never addressed the more important point. The entire reason for monster classes to exist is to phase powerful abilities in gradually. Why on earth shouldn't an Illithid get a weakened version of extract at level 1?

Fine, whatever, I changed the Mind Flayer so that you can explicitly eat brains from lv1 with a coup de grace. It's mechanical bonus is basicaly null, but since you insist so much I'll do it. Happy now?

magic9mushroom:What is the CR of a baby red dragon again? They're CR4 just out of the egg. :smallwink:

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 07:19 AM
Fine, whatever, I changed the Mind Flayer so that you can explicitly eat brains from lv1 with a coup de grace. It's mechanical bonus is basicaly null, but since you insist so much I'll do it. Happy now?


Much better.


magic9mushroom:What is the CR of a baby red dragon again? :smallwink:

Didn't the comic have something to say about this? :smallwink:

Oslecamo
2010-03-02, 08:33 AM
True, I had meant to say "any simple weapons". I think at least they should at least be proficient with things like crossbows and clubs. After all, the whole point of a crossbow is that they're easy to use and clubs are, well, a heavy stick.

You raise an interesting point here. Added simple weapons proefeciency to the Mind Flayer, since he can't really afford to put points in Str.

Combat monsters shall remain weaponless for now, as they get powerfull natural attacks and are rewarded for using them.

rayne_dragon
2010-03-02, 11:00 AM
I like this idea and it looks fairly good, except that there might need to be some tweaking to ensure balance. The dragon in particular seems a little too good as a class.

Keep up the great work.

lord_khaine
2010-03-02, 03:15 PM
hmm, im not really sure about the dragons, but they seem allright, i assume they should be compared to a warblade/psionic warrior of equal level?

At the same time i do think the starting damage of the pit fiend is a little bit high, 2 attacks at 2d6+str will proberly shread most things that gets to close.

faceroll
2010-03-02, 03:35 PM
Exactly how many entries in the monster manual do state that the creature must eat in order to survive?

Eight? Ten? It's all spelled out in the section about monster types.


Fine, whatever, I changed the Mind Flayer so that you can explicitly eat brains from lv1 with a coup de grace. It's mechanical bonus is basicaly null, but since you insist so much I'll do it. Happy now?

OMGx!!!! Must have rules for eating!!
Did you also include pooping rules? Because how do they poop!? Brains go in, but I need rules for brains coming out!


At the same time i do think the starting damage of the pit fiend is a little bit high, 2 attacks at 2d6+str will proberly shread most things that gets to close.

Ehh, they don't get class levels. That sort of damage is trivial with optimization.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-02, 03:55 PM
So the Dragon can only get 6th level spells? (barring Sublime Chord Prc)

But interesting: I mean level 1 for Dragon will be tough, but level 2 you start being good again.

Oslecamo
2010-03-02, 04:06 PM
So the Dragon can only get 6th level spells? (barring Sublime Chord Prc)


An old red dragon is CR 20 and casts as a 11th level sorceror
A very old red dragon is CR 21 and casts as a 13th level sorceror.

So yes, my red dragon can "only" get 6th level spells before epic unless you take sublime chord.

MM Dragons lag significantly behind in spellcasting compared to fullcasters. My dragons are actualy better at it, geting spells earlier and having caster level=CR at least.

lord_khaine
2010-03-02, 05:44 PM
Ehh, they don't get class levels. That sort of damage is trivial with optimization.

Really, then how would you get a consistent damage output like that at level 1?

You might considder starting the claw damage at 1d8 or something like that, and then scale it up with levels.

faceroll
2010-03-02, 05:49 PM
Really, then how would you get a consistent damage output like that at level 1?

Whirling frenzy pounce barbarian with a greatsword on a race with a natural bite or slam attack comes pretty close. Level one doesn't last long at all, either. The benefits diminish rapidly as you gain even a handful of levels. Heck, just being eligible for enlarge person and/or having psion levels gets you more base weapon damage, two handing gets you more str damage, and eventually, power attack.

lord_khaine
2010-03-02, 05:58 PM
Whirling frenzy pounce barbarian with a greatsword on a race with a natural bite or slam attack comes pretty close. Level one doesn't last long at all, either. The benefits diminish rapidly as you gain even a handful of levels. Heck, just being eligible for enlarge person and/or having psion levels gets you more base weapon damage, two handing gets you more str damage, and eventually, power attack.

Disagree about that, to start with im not sure how many gm's would allow the use of a slam attack with a 2handet weapon, and even so there is the -5 to hit from being a secundary attack.

And type is a seperate issue, i do think losing a potential enlarge is worth the immunities the outsider type brings.

Anyway, regarding the red Slaad, you have not listet what type of action the croak ability is.
Also, im not quite sure if the stun duration should not be reconsideret..

faceroll
2010-03-02, 06:02 PM
Disagree about that, to start with im not sure how many gm's would allow the use of a slam attack with a 2handet weapon, and even so there is the -5 to hit from being a secundary attack.

And type is a seperate issue, i do think losing a potential enlarge is worth the immunities the outsider type brings.

Alright, at first level, two attacks at 2d6+str are quite nice. I'll give you that. But it rapidly diminishes in awesometude as you gain more pit fiend levels. Really, pit fiend is an awesome dip for that con to armor bit, and getting greatswords for hands. I would limit that to con to armor by like 1/2 your pit fiend levels or something.

magic9mushroom
2010-03-02, 06:26 PM
OMGx!!!! Must have rules for eating!!
Did you also include pooping rules? Because how do they poop!? Brains go in, but I need rules for brains coming out!

Yes, you do actually need rules for eating brains, since it doesn't work like other eating. Illithids' other dietary needs can be handled normally.

Geiger Counter
2010-03-02, 06:41 PM
I made a PrC that approximates the powers of a devourer.
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=143893

Quirp
2010-03-03, 05:08 AM
I see another problem with the mind flayer. Since its levels count towards wizard casting one can , through a simple wizard dip at CharLvl 2, get all the goodness of a wizard, but also the mind flayer abilities. Since wizards are already powerful that is a bit of overkill in my opinion. I would make the bonus to wizard casting only 1/2 or 3/4 progression. That way they get a bonus, but not two classes at once.

lord_khaine
2010-03-03, 06:30 AM
Alright, at first level, two attacks at 2d6+str are quite nice. I'll give you that. But it rapidly diminishes in awesometude as you gain more pit fiend levels. Really, pit fiend is an awesome dip for that con to armor bit, and getting greatswords for hands. I would limit that to con to armor by like 1/2 your pit fiend levels or something.

Well, after what i can see it should rock all the way to level 6 or so, where you get additional attacks though bab, and where you can start getting some enchants done on your sword.

And yes, there should proberly be some rules regarding level dipping the monster classes here, since the Pit fiend at the same time need his natural armor bonus to survive level 1-6, since he doesnt have any armor proficiency.


Yes, you do actually need rules for eating brains, since it doesn't work like other eating. Illithids' other dietary needs can be handled normally.

I on the other hand think all that stuff about the Illithids diet is pure sillyness, the rules says they have to eat brains, they say nothing about them having to use their extract ability to do so.

Oslecamo
2010-03-03, 07:44 AM
I see another problem with the mind flayer. Since its levels count towards wizard casting one can , through a simple wizard dip at CharLvl 2, get all the goodness of a wizard, but also the mind flayer abilities. Since wizards are already powerful that is a bit of overkill in my opinion. I would make the bonus to wizard casting only 1/2 or 3/4 progression. That way they get a bonus, but not two classes at once.

I must point out that a mind flayer wizard will not get scribe scroll nor the extra metamagic or familiar, have a lot less low level spell slots that are quite important for a wizard. And then he needs to burn a lot of gold and time to get fair in matter of spells known.

And if I made 1/2 or 3/4 progression, well, all the caster players would be crying "doesn't get fullcasting so it auto-sucks".

lord_khaine: Yes, diping the combat monsters will allow for quite powerfull melee builds.

To wich I just answer "Melee can get nice things!":smallsmile:

Just check out a lv1-4 human warblade/crusader. It can dish out some pretty good damage while having powerfull back up defensive abilities.

Quirp
2010-03-03, 08:22 AM
As far as I have understood the progression thing until now a mind flayer1 /wizard 1 would cast as a wizard 2, but have a familiar like a first level wizard. He would have Scribe Scroll. A MF 1 / Wizard 1 / MF 3 would cast like a 5th level wizard, but would still have the familiar of a 1st level wizard and no 5th level bonus feat. I donīt see any lacking low level spells or where he has to spend more money than a wizard of equal level, except when he does not get spells known, but I think you said that he is treated as a wizard of equal level for spells per day and spells known, when he takes his first wizard level.
Never mind I got it all wrong.

When anyone complains about how a wizard sucks, because he lost two or three caster levels, in comparison to a rogue or a psychic warrior and not a full wizard/druid/cleric...... I canīt help him.
I donīt think monster classes should give a player more fluff and crunch than a base class (more fluff and equal crunch should be enough).

Foryn Gilnith
2010-03-03, 08:30 AM
I donīt think monster classes should give a player more fluff and crunch than a base class (more fluff and equal crunch should be enough).
It's not more fluff. It's different fluff. Playing as a bizarre creature in the zoo that is the D&D world makes your concept interesting, but not notably better IMO.

lord_khaine
2010-03-03, 09:57 AM
lord_khaine: Yes, diping the combat monsters will allow for quite powerfull melee builds.

To wich I just answer "Melee can get nice things!"

Just check out a lv1-4 human warblade/crusader. It can dish out some pretty good damage while having powerfull back up defensive abilities.

Im not opposed to melee getting nice things, im just worried that all the melee who did not dip a monster class will start to cry.

edit.

To start with the reason i have generaly called the melee monsters for balanced is that im comparing them to a ToB class.

Oslecamo
2010-03-04, 03:52 AM
You might considder starting the claw damage at 1d8 or something like that, and then scale it up with levels.

You were kinda right after all. The pit fiend claws deals 2d8 damage when large, so it's suposed to deal 1d10 damage when medium, not 2d6, acording to the die size increase progression. Nerfed it.

Ernir
2010-03-06, 04:03 PM
Excellent, congratulations, and I want to play a red dragon now. :smalltongue:

Starbuck_II
2010-03-06, 04:18 PM
Are you going to do other dragons (beside Blue/Red)?

Choker's Quickness limited to Eldritch Blast (since it isn't casting), ranged/melee attacks, etc.

Still good, but not as good as real thing.

I'd have just limited Quickness to no casting: not bar casting in a round where you use it.

Oslecamo
2010-03-06, 04:38 PM
Are you going to do other dragons (beside Blue/Red)?

Already did wing and silver dragons. Other dragons will eventualy come, but there's plenty of other monsters in the waiting line, and I have limited free time for this project.



Choker's Quickness limited to Eldritch Blast (since it isn't casting), ranged/melee attacks, etc.

Still good, but not as good as real thing.

I'd have just limited Quickness to no casting: not bar casting in a round where you use it.

I was kinda scared of abuse when I first designed the quickness, but now that I look again you're probably right. Gonna change it then.