View Full Version : Creating a Monster Class/LA for Tsochar (3.5)

2013-08-16, 11:15 PM
I would like to brew up both an accurate LA and a monster Class for The Tsochari, a nifty species found in the Lords of Madness. I wanted to approach this from the angle of breaking it down and really placing these guys fairly within a group, since I know that many raw LAs are all over the map in terms of balance.

Here's a breakdown on things that aren't spelled out in the Tsochar Stat block but can be inferred.

4 Racial Hit Dice of Abberation: Any Monster class will have 4HD along its length, granting from Abberation Bab +3, Will +4, Ref +1, Fort+1.

Stat Bonuses: Assuming use of the Elite Array (15,14,13,12,10,8) and arranging the Tsochar's Stats from Highest to Lowest (Dex,Con,Int,Wis,Cha=Str) givest the Default Tsochar adjustments of
Dex: +3
Con: +2
Int: +2
Wis: +2
Cha/Str: +3/5

And All of that seems quite excessive. This is one of my hangups about adapting these guys. and I think a strict reduction to the ability scores will bring them into a decent balance, and keep the LA from being prohibitive. Something like this:

Cha +4, Dex +2, Int +2, Con +2. Tsochar are agile and and durable, and their quick wits and domineering personalities give them a strong mind.

Spell Resistance: Appears to be 10+HD. Very good.

Feats: With 4HD the Tsochar should have 2 feats, and there is a superscript B by their third feat which I assume means its a bonus feat, meaning Tsochar get Weapon Finesse as a Bonus Feat.

In addition to all their other powers a PC version of Tsochar would have wealth by (EC) level adding a significant boost of power and flexibility.

So Opinions, would these guys be balanced at +3 LA? With 4 RHD that would be an ECL of 7 (and a WBL of 19,000 gp).

Balanced yes or no? Increase or Decrease the LA?

2013-08-17, 05:33 AM
Erm....your logic for the stat adjustment is flawed I'm afraid, very flawed. I could spend ages explaining in detail but the long and short of it is this; you don't know which stat from the (assumed) elite array has gone where. I have found, generally speaking at least, that the majority of monsters presented throughout Wizard's books have 3 10s and 3 11s, the stat adjustments make up the rest.

For the Tsochar you should remember a few things, first of all, they are small creatures, and as a result are likely (but not certain) to have a decreased strength and increased dex, secondly the idea of giving them positive boni to 4 stats and no negative ones at all is a bit extreme, consider polarising them somewhat and giving at least 1 negative, thirdly you want this to be a playable class with a reasonable LA, so I'd suggest perhaps consulting other LA+2-3 races for a good guideline on where these guys should be.

Had you considered a Savage Species style racial progression instead, btw...? Might make this a lot more manageable since you'll have a beefy LA AND racial HD...

2013-08-17, 11:42 AM
Assuming they have 3 10s and 3 11s makes their stat adjustments even crazier since by default they don't have any stats below 13. And then they still wouldn't line up right for a penalty anywhere, even for strength. Small size is one of the reasons I didn't give them a bonus to strength, and their Fluff as natural arcanists is why I gave em a high boost to charisma. Its not unheard of for a creature to have no negative stats anyway like Aasimars, especially when given a big LA.

I am planning on doing a Racial Progression, in books after Savage Species they call it a Monster Class. To make it accurate I want to figure out their LA first, as that will tell me how long the Monster Class is (IE: LA of 3 means ECL of 7, so 7 levels long)

I am doing some comparisons, and thought that +3 LA(ECL 7) was a fairly decent guess, but was hoping I could draw on the brilliance of the boards to verify or contradict to make it as accurate as possible.

2013-08-19, 01:57 PM
Hrm...I'll have anther good look over the Tsochar tonight after work, but it's LA is certainly somewhere between +2 and +3. 7 levels of monster class should do perfectly, but once the bare bones are up it will be easier to determine balance...my personal inclination is +3, but they may end up a smidgen on the weak side. Are you averse to the possibility of a minor embelishment of two for the sake of balance?

I realise the 3 10s and 3 11s thing doesn't work here, it doesn't always, just often...having looked at the stat bonuses you're giving them, it's probably about right, just LOOKS damned high initially...have you started blocking out the class at all yet?

2013-08-19, 09:59 PM

I'm very open to some modest nerfs to make them more suitable as a Player Race.

I've been looking at their abilities and pondering when they might earn them at level ups and this is what I have so far. Still open to change.

1|1|0|0|0|2| Natural Armor +1, Tentacles (1), Darkvision, Wear Flesh (Inhabit), Telepathy (5ft), +2 Cha
2|1|0|0|0|2| Telepathy (10ft) +2 Int, Wear Flesh (Wrack)
3|2|1|0|0|3| Natural Armor +2, Tentacles (2), Damage Reduction, Telepathy (20 ft),+2 Con
4|2|1|0|0|3| Improved Grab, Constrict, Telepathy (40 ft), +2 Dex
5|3|2|1|1|3| Natural Armor +3, Tentacles (3), Telepathy (60 Ft), Poison, Wear Flesh (Replace)
6|3|2|1|1|3| Spell Resistance, Telepathy (80 ft), +2 Cha
7|4|3|1|1|4| Natural Armor +4, Tentacles (4), Telepathy (100 ft), Take Spells[/table]

The “Wrack” ability is the ability to deal damage to an inhabitited host, and is set to 1d6 max when gained, plus 1d6 per additional Tsochar level (max 1d6).

The Damage reduction could either begin at a value of 1 and increase with levels maxing out at 5, or be all 5 up front. Not sure yet.

I feel that "Take Spells" is a decent Capstone, since it is one of the Tsochar’s more unique and potentially abuse-able abilities.

Emperor Ing
2013-08-19, 10:32 PM
Traditionally monster class abilities, at least most common ones like Oslecamo's Improved Monster Classes (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?board=34.0) scale abilities by HD or Attribute, allowing them to translate into late-game play. For example you gain a Natural Armor bonus to AC equal to your Con Modifier, or your Telepathy increases by 10 ft every HD. That way it scales, and you only need gain the ability once.

Also here's a tip: Damage Reduction at 3rd level is AMAZING. Even if it's easily bypassable like DR 1/Piercing that's still something that's gonna be very, very powerful in early game play. I'd say set that back as another 7th level capstone or possibly 6, if you scale it properly.

2013-08-20, 10:45 AM
Damage reduction isn't amazing, especially not DR 1/piercing.

Someone smacks you with a greatsword and 18 Strength? Their 2d6 + 6 damage doesn't care if it is penalized by 1.

2013-08-20, 04:41 PM
I've really only ever homebrewed minor things and a few classes, never done something like this so thanks for the input.

The DR of the Tsochar is /adamantine, a wee bit better then /piercing i'd say. I think I will say it should start at 1 and scale to the 5, that way it isn't so uber when gained.

I didn't want the telepathy to scale over the Natural Tsochar's limit, since 100 feet telepathy is strong, especially with mind sight. If we advance it by HD, it could be 25/ Tsochar HD, maxing at the 100 standard.

Since Tsochar can't wear armor it actually makes sense if their Nat armor continues to raise as they gain levels so that they don't fall behind on AC. How about this Nat Armor Rule:

Natural Armor: At each odd numbered character level a Tsochar gains a +1 increase to its natural armor bonus. This scaling continues when the Tsochar begins to take levels in other classes, after reaching 7th level of Tsochar.

By level 20 that means a +10 Nat armor bonus.


2013-08-20, 05:51 PM
I agree with not scaling the DR, if you REALLY want to, a couplr of racial feats can leave options open for higher level characters anyhow. Scaling NA, on the other hand, is a very good idea, but personally I would word it like this:

The Tsochar gains Natural Armour equal to half their ECL, rounded up (minimum 1).

Telepathy probably shouldn't scale, so I'd agree again with that, but I'd make the progression run as 25ft at first, 50 at 3rd, 75 at 5th and 100 at 7th. Perhaps also consider giving them DR 1 at 2nd, 3 at 4th and 5 at 6th to spread out the 2 abilities nice and evenly across the levels.

Otherwise I'd say the abilities are probably lined up about right on the table, I don't see any major troubles there but I'll look again tomorrow (my mind is fickle like that!).

One more thing...it may be pertinent (as much for fluff as for mild nerf) to give a penalty to social checks made with other species, it fits well and goes some small way to placating the voice in my head which is muttering about 'balance issues', but all in all, the class looks solid to me atm!

2013-08-20, 06:19 PM
I believe that a penalty on social checks based on race is up to the DM to adjudicate, and shouldn't be made blanket to a creature.

Okay I've considered some of the changes and here is the implementation:

1|1|0|0|0|2| Natural Armor, Tentacles (1), Darkvision, Wear Flesh (Inhabit), Telepathy (25ft), +2 Cha
2|1|0|0|0|2| Damage Reduction (1/Adamantine), +2 Int, Wear Flesh (Wrack)
3|2|1|0|0|3| Tentacles (2), Telepathy (50 ft),+2 Con
4|2|1|0|0|3| Damage Reduction (3/Adamantine), Improved Grab, Constrict, +2 Dex
5|3|2|1|1|3| Tentacles (3), Telepathy (75 Ft), Poison, Wear Flesh (Replace)
6|3|2|1|1|3| Damage Reduction (5/Adamantine), Spell Resistance, +2 Cha
7|4|3|1|1|4| Tentacles (4), Telepathy (100 ft), Take Spells[/table]

Natural Armor is equal to 1/2 ECL, rounded up.

Spell Resistance is equal to 10 + HD.

Wrack: Starts at 1d6 damage, increases by 1d6 damage at each level of Tsochar maxing at 6d6.

2013-08-21, 02:19 PM
That all looks pretty good to me and I still can't see any glaring flaws or issues, nice work dudeski! :smallbiggrin:

Fair enough about the social penalties, I would certainly apply some to these guys, especially if not wearing someone at the time, but it's not an issue either way really. One query...why does the NA ability round down? That leaves you at +3 bonus after all 7 levels, whereas Tsochar have a +4..? Rounding UP solves this issue and doesn't jeopardise balance.

2013-08-21, 05:15 PM
Point taken and editing in. I'm saving that chart for my future use. I'd love to know if anyone else wants to use it too, and how well it works.