View Full Version : Adjustable Monster ECL: Racial Feats & Levels

2007-07-04, 09:30 AM
I have some players that want to play the stranger races (centaur, yuan-ti, etc), but don't want to take the massive ECL penalty for them. So in addition to rechecking the monsters' ECL, I'm figuring out a way to let the players play the monster at a lower ECL by eschewing some of their abilities. Here's my ideas:

Base Monster Class: The monster has a base class equal to its HD. These work like monster classes in Savage Species; the player must take (and finish) this monster class before he advances in anything else. The base monster class includes a few basic abilities of the monster.

Racial Feats: The rest of the monster's abilties are covered by racial feats. Normal monsters have all of their racial feats. Monsters with PC classes can have some (or none) of their racial feats; in effect, they trained in their class's abilities instead of their natural abilities.

Racial Feat Levels: Some of the monsters have so many abilities that it'd take 12+ feats to cover them all. How could any non-Epic characters have them all? By taking feat levels.

Feat levels are a special class, an extension of the base monster class, if you will. Feat levels only give you one benefit: you can take three racial feats. No HD, no BAB/save increase, just 3 racial feats for a level.

I think this system would keep the basic flavor of the monster while letting players lower its ECL by choosing which of its abilities to give up. I'll see if I can get an example up soon. Comments?

2007-07-04, 09:48 AM
Example: Centaurs

Standard ECL: 6 (4 RHD + 2 LA)

Let's see if, using these rules, we can set its min ECL to 4, max ECL to 6.

Centaurs start out with +2 Str, -2 Int, DV 60', Large size, and a base speed of 40'.

Level BAB Saves Special
1 +1 +0/2/2 None
2 +2 +0/3/3 +2 Dex
3 +3 +1/3/3 +2 Con
4 +4 +1/4/4 +2 Str

That covers the 4 RHD.

Centaur Racial Feats:

+2 Str. Can be taken 2 times.
+2 Dex & +2 Wis. Can be taken 1 time.
+2 Con. Can be taken 1 time.
+3 natural armor. Can be taken 1 time.
Increase base speed by 10'. Can be taken 1 time.

A total of 6 racial feats. Assuming 3 racial feats per racial feat level, a PC would have to take 2 racial feat levels to get all 6 w/o using up their other feats. That covers the 2 LA.

Now we have a centaur that can be 4-6 ECL, depending on how many of its abilities the player wants.

2007-07-06, 09:19 PM
Hmmn. Is this supposed to be a new idea or are you building on the already in place system introduced in Savage Species (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/881580000)? For example: The Minotaur (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20030202).

2007-07-06, 09:25 PM
I'm trying to build monster classes with variable ECLs so players can get the flavor of playing a monster class without taking all of the abilities that jack up the ECL to boot.

2007-07-06, 10:17 PM
By separating racial abilities from hit die progression, it's fairly different to the savage species progression, which makes you take every ability of the race as part of the levels (EDIT: Ninja'd by the creator, no less... by about an hour. That's embarassing.)

I like it, I've always been sick of 'powerful' races haveng lower BAB's and hit die then normal races, but the ability to pick and choose which abilities they have could be a bit overpowering - but hey, LA creatures need it. Just for clarification, can they take these racial feats through normal feat progression?

2007-07-06, 10:42 PM
Yes, so you can take a few of the monster's abilities as normal feats.

Fax Celestis
2007-07-07, 10:27 AM
How does this interact with templates that don't provide RHD?

2007-07-07, 11:12 AM
I would say the template provides a group of Template Feats you can take, but then there'd be no reason for anyone not to take a template. My initial solution is that anyone taking a template has to take at least one Racial Feat Level to boot. I'll have to think about that.

Fax Celestis
2007-07-07, 11:30 AM
Perhaps a trade of one of the points of LA for an RHD level?