View Full Version : Negative templates and races

2007-02-16, 11:08 AM
Do you think a template with a -1 or more level modifier would be fun or game breaking?

What Iím thinking of is a template (let us say cripple) that gives you -4 dex -2con and lowers your speed but otherwise is entirely your base race/class (just an example probably not balanced) and it has a -1 level adjustment. What that means is you actually gain a level so if you were a level 1 human/x now you are a level 2 human/x or if you were to take a race with a level adjustment i.e. half giant instead of having a level adjustment of +1 they would cancel each other out and you would have no level adjustment.

Would the ability to take high negatives to a few scores and/or other disadvantages still be balanced with the current format?

Saithis Bladewing
2007-02-16, 11:13 AM
Unless the penalties are massive, I think it would be unbalanced. You can just take a character who has strengths that outdo their weaknesses and get an extra level of it.

e.g. -4 con, -2 str. Play a Druid. At level 5 (1 level earlier than everyone else, I might add), you get Wild Shape. Any druid worth his/her salt will take Natural Spell next level. Instant solution to loss of physical stats.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-02-16, 11:26 AM
In your example the Wildshape does not solve the Druid's Constitution problems.

Other than that, I agree that such templates generally would be hard to balance and would require players with a propensity not to abuse.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-16, 11:30 AM
The only way I could feasibly see making this work would be not granting an extra level, but granting a racial hit die.

2007-02-16, 05:25 PM
Otherwise...yeah. Epic level spellcasting at 20th level? No.

2007-02-16, 06:42 PM
It'd be handy for a sort of standardized nerf for races with level adjustments if you don't have Savage Species in the game. Just make having a level adjustment a requirement to apply the template, and the problem of a human taking the cripple template to get better than he has a right to be is solved.

2007-02-16, 06:46 PM
The problem is there are very, very few penalties that will ever be worth a whole extra level (or more) and most of those penalties are so severe as to be unplayable. (also note that many penalties can easily be worked around with the right class/equipment choice).

2007-02-16, 07:54 PM
There actually IS a template with a negative adjustment in savage species, it's for Golems or other constructs: Incarnate Construct. It essentially turns them into living creatures..

So as long as you round up the final level adjustment to at least 0 it should work. For example, A drow with a "crippled" template that gives -1 adjustment would be only a +1 adjustment overall.

Of course, if your setting allows you to buy off level adjustment then that's almost certainly a better way to go.

2007-02-16, 07:55 PM
I'm pretty sure this is the best way to show that LA is bad for a character: look at it in reverse like this.

Is -2 dexterity and -2 constitution worth an entire extra level's worth of abilities? Well, no. Another level of casting for almost any class is worth that, so worth it that it almost looks like a stupid choice not to take it. Now look at hobgoblins: +2 dex, +2 con, LA +1. You have to go well beyond what can be considered LA worthy to justify a negative LA, and unlike how LA is currently, that option would be worth so much more to casters that it's almost insane.