View Full Version : LA question (not the normal one everyone ask)

2007-03-06, 01:47 AM
What I'm curious about is what the level adjustment would be for say, the ability to use Shapechange at will with permenant duration be? Possibly using HD and class levels be the caster level/creature HD limit.

2007-03-06, 01:59 AM

That's the actual answer, if you're talking a template using an unlimited Shapechange. Basically, no player should be able to use a 9th-level spell—at will— at low levels or even medium levels; ergo, this template/creature has to dump a lot of LA or racial HD on to be at all viable. Better to find a creature like a Phasm or Protean and assign a level adjustment to that.

It's a tricky problem, similar to trying to make a playable Banshee with the ability to use its signature wail. Better left alone, or just resign yourself to playing a creature with hardly any class levels and work with the DM to design the monster's abilities and level adjustment.

Wippit Guud
2007-03-06, 02:04 AM
Shapechange into anything? Divine Rank.

2007-03-06, 02:49 AM
No one can calculate an LA for it? No matter how arbitrarily high?

2007-03-06, 02:50 AM
This sort of ability would be "LA -". It's just too powerful to ever give any PC access to it.

Jack Mann
2007-03-06, 02:59 AM
The spell is too powerful to let PCs have access to it, even at high levels. Giving it to them at-will? Thank you, no.

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-06, 03:01 AM
What I'm curious about is what the level adjustment would be for say, the ability to use Shapechange at will with permenant duration be?

All of it.

2007-03-06, 03:03 AM
Probably not. It's like... well, like trying to put an LA on being able to use Wail of the Banshee at will, like I said earlier. You're going to get the value wrong; either it will be too high, and the character will be useless because of the limited forms, or it will be too low, and the character is ridiculously powerful.

It's impossible to balance, essentially. Ever. Like divine rank.

2007-03-06, 04:49 AM
I proudly present: a list of LA's for all Greater Faerunian deities:

Greater deities

* Akadi: Goddess of elemental air, movement, speed, flying creatures
o Teylas (aspect of Akadi): God of sky and storms for the Horde[3] Now for an LA of only +231!
* Bane: God of strife, hatred, tyranny, fear. Evil comes cheap, just +123.
* Chauntea (also called Bhalla[4] and Jannath[5]): Goddess of agriculture, farmers, gardeners, summer. Farming never was so worthwile: +156!
* Cyric (possibly also called N'asr[5]): God of murder, lies, intrigue, deception, illusion. It seems to be +5, but its actually +345!
* Grumbar: God of elemental earth, solidity, changelessness, oaths
o Etugen (aspect of Grumbar): Goddess of the earth, herds, and pastures for the Horde[3]. Always +200.
* Istishia: God of elemental water, purification, wetness. Wobbles between +231 and +310
* Kelemvor (possibly also called N'asr[5]): God of death, the dead. Back to the bare bonus, just +99.
* Kossuth: God of elemental fire, purification through fire. Hot, hot, hot, limited offer: +127
* Lathander: God of spring, dawn, birth, youth, vitality, athletics. All alive and new, +521
* Mystra (also called Hidden One[4]): Goddess of magic, spells, the Weave. All magic at your command. Its not cheap, but quality you know. +452
* Oghma (also called Curna[6]): God of knowledge, invention, inspiration, bards. At least you know what your LA is! +231.
* Shar: Goddess of dark, night, loss, forgetfulness, unrevealed secrets, caverns, dungeons, the Underdark. It was hard to tell in the light, but we think it's +234
* Silvanus: God of wild nature, druids. A mediocre +350.
* Sune: Goddess of beauty, love, passion. Gotta love that cheap +121!
* Talos (also called Bhaelros and Kozah[5]): God of storms, destruction, rebellion, conflagrations, earthquakes, vortices. Rip apart your neighbour's land for only +411 LA!
* Tempus: God of war, battle, warriors. A strong and righteous +314
* Tyr: God of justice. A fair +351
* Ubtao: God of creation, jungles, Chult, the Chultans, dinosaurs. Who cares? (Who is still reading anyway...)

2007-03-06, 04:50 AM
Yeah, uh, what?

LAs over +6 to +10 are ridiculous and useless, generally. +6 may still be manageable, but anything past that is so high the character will almost certainly be worthless. (I don't think LAs that high are given in official sources, either. Dragon LAs stop at +6 or +8, don't they?)

2007-03-06, 06:17 AM
Compare it to CR and/or HD. Assume that you want them to be able to turn into a Troll at about ECL 12. A troll has 6 HD, so you need at least 6 HD(Class+Racial) to get the form. Now you tack on 2-3 Racial HD, and the Level Adjustment of around +6, and you will have roughly 3-4 class levels(For those of you keeping track, this means Barbarian Rage twice a day, 1st-2nd level Bard spells, 2-3 feats for a Fighter, Ki Strike: Magic for a Monk, with 1 level away from better flurry, practically everything good about the Paladin class, Animal Companion for the Ranger, 2d6 Sneak Attack, Evasion and Uncanny Dodge for a Rogue, and 2nd level spells for the rest.) when you can turn into a Troll. Melee-wise, you might be effective(high Con of a Troll making up for the level adjustment, coupled with Rend and 3 natural attacks), but everyone knows magic is what wins the game later, so you'll still be gimped if you go the spellcaster route(The Rogue path is not too bad, apart from not getting the special powers till much, much later.)

2007-03-06, 07:44 AM
dragon LA stops when there racial hit die and LA reach a total of 20 'levels' which for copper dragons is 16 racial HD and 4 LA and for golds is 14 racial HD and 6 LA

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-03-06, 08:00 AM
dragon LA stops when there racial hit die and LA reach a total of 20 'levels' which for copper dragons is 16 racial HD and 4 LA and for golds is 14 racial HD and 6 LA
That goes for everything as near as I can tell. For whatever reason, they decided to avoid going into epic levels when dealing with LAs in the Monster Manual. If a given monster would have an ECL above 20, they simply listed it as "LA –".

2007-03-06, 08:20 AM
In the Savage Species somewhere (I realize the board's dislike for the book, as it's pretty much 3.0) it claims that if a race can cast a spell-like ability like that racially, that the LA is as high as the spell. So, in your case, Krimm, it sounds as though it would be a +9. However, I'll have to look it up to be certain.

Personally, that sounds like a bad idea to me. That's one macho spell there.

2007-03-06, 10:41 AM
Yeah, it really makes one think, when my reaction to "potential +9 level adjustment for at-will Polymorph" almost might be worth it. It probably wouldn't actually be, due to your gimped HD (and therefore lack of good forms), but it certainly sounds appealing.

If this is really something you're interested in (this is for the shape-shifter character you were asking about in that druid thread, yes?) you might think about using Alter Self or something similar. For instance look at a Doppelganger or Succubus, which have the Change Shape ability. That should put you into a more reasonable LA category (4 HD, +4 LA for doppelganger, for instance). Change Shape is also a much less broken ability, as it gives you natural attacks, movement, and Ex abilities only.

Of course one would have to adjust the LA accordingly as both of those monsters are limited to humanoids only. Personally I'd put it in the +4-+6 range, assuming you gain NO OTHER ABILITIES.

2007-03-06, 12:16 PM
I'd say LA +16 or so sounds balanced.

At 20th level, the 4th-level-character who can turn into any nasty monster he wants ... travels with the 20th-level characters ... sounds about even?

2007-03-06, 12:20 PM
Bear in mind, Draz74...that's a 4th-level character who travels with 20th level characters...and can turn into any creature he wants that has 4 HD. Compared to the other characters, he sucks really hard.

This is the problem with figuring an LA for this ability. Somewhere in the mid-ranges there's a tipping point where the character goes from overpowered for his ECL to kind of lame for his ECL. I'm not even sure that there's a middle spot where he's balanced for his ECL.

If I have time later I'll post a level-by-level breakdown of this, for an LA of +0 through +20. Using SRD monsters only.

Dark Tira
2007-03-06, 01:46 PM
Considering the Doppelganger has a similar but far inferior ability and it's +4 LA and 4 racial HD, I would say shapechange at will would be +9 LA and some number of racial HD. Though with that LA it would probably get some massive stat gains.