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Benejeseret
2007-10-04, 11:03 AM
Are there any races with negative level adjustments?

I'm talking the dodo's, the I-have-an-arts-degree, the extinction-is-right-around-the-corner type races who has so few attributes and perks that they cannot measure up to standard races?

I would really like such a race. I like an underdog story.


I realize this might cause issues for caster types (getting spells early) but perhaps 'caster level' could be nerfed as well to lower DC's?


Has anyone seen a race with negative level adjustments?

Swordguy
2007-10-04, 11:06 AM
Are there any races with negative level adjustments?

I'm talking the dodo's, the I-have-an-arts-degree, the extinction-is-right-around-the-corner type races who has so few attributes and perks that they cannot measure up to standard races?

I would really like such a race. I like an underdog story.


I realize this might cause issues for caster types (getting spells early) but perhaps 'caster level' could be nerfed as well to lower DC's?


Has anyone seen a race with negative level adjustments?


No I haven't, but half-elves certainly resemble your criteria...

Aquillion
2007-10-04, 11:10 AM
I don't think it could be made to work. The thing is, almost every class in the game aside from Fighters are balanced on the assumption that there are certain abilities the players get at certain points. Giving an ability like regeneration or flight or high DR early is overwhelming beyond what anything can balance out--this is part of the reason why LA exists in the first place.

On top of this, there is the problem many people have with flaws--players can choose a penalty that their build can compensate for, then use the extra bonus they get in exchange for something that will increase in power exponentally with their other abilities as they progress.

There simply isn't any way to balance it. I'm curious--what penalties do you think would be worth giving a player an entire additional level?

SpikeFightwicky
2007-10-04, 11:10 AM
These sort of exist, but only as far as NPCs are concerned. The closest races are Goblins and Kobolds with NPC levels. Kobolds need 4 levels of an NPC class to get a CR of 1 and Goblins need 3 NPC class levels to get CR 1.

Problem is, they don't work like that for PCs (kobolds are considered 'balanced' compared to humans as far as PCs are concerned, but not NPCs).

Kurald Galain
2007-10-04, 11:12 AM
It's reasonable if you give them e.g. ability score penalties, or an abysmal movement rate, or something like that. But it needs to be thought out carefully, because e.g. -4 to strength is irrelevant if you're playing a wizard.

Person_Man
2007-10-04, 11:12 AM
No.

And as you intelligently noticed and pointed out, it would be a horrible idea to have one, because of the way caster progression works. For example, let's say that we have a race that is -2 to every stat with no racial abilities, and it provides -1 LA. Such a race would be perfect for Wizards, who would lose a point or two off of their spell DCs, but would gain a higher level of spellcasting, more spells, better powers, etc.

If you want to play a nerfed race, play one with HIGH LA. High LA races are almost always a ripoff, because a player with just strait class levels and the same ECL is almost always more powerful.

Indon
2007-10-04, 11:20 AM
I'm pretty sure that to make a negative LA race balanced, it would need racial hit dice.

I don't think that combination exists anywhere.

The Mormegil
2007-10-04, 11:33 AM
Incarned Construct, Savage Species. (is it right? I never read that manual in English, so...). I think the example has 5 HD and -2 LA.

Yuki Akuma
2007-10-04, 11:39 AM
If you had races with negative Level Adjustments, you'd end up with characters with an Effective Character Level lower than their actual character level.

Which would confuse everyone.

The_Snark
2007-10-04, 11:45 AM
Incarned Construct, Savage Species. (is it right? I never read that manual in English, so...). I think the example has 5 HD and -2 LA.

The template reduces LA. However, it can only be applied to constructs, and it can't reduce the LA below 0. No applying it to warforged.

Benejeseret
2007-10-04, 11:51 AM
The following passage from DnD3.5Index-Races Crystal Keep got me wanting to know if it was a typo

Xvart
(DR339 p64)
+2 Dex
2 Str
2 Con
Fighter Small Size
30 Movement
Darkvision 60
+2 Racial bonus on Move Silently checks.
Humanoid (xvart)
Speak with Animals (rates & bats only), 1/day. Works
with the Dire version of the indicated creatures.
Level Adjustment 2

Nothing about this race screams +2 level adjustment to me...so I was thinking -2 must be correct or completely misplaced. Also, it is listed in 2 different places as -2. I, however, believe this would be horribly overpowered if given 2 class levels for free......and then some for a caster.

If Xvart exist so must others. Or at least the mechanics might be workable. Perhaps limiting the extra levels to favoured class by the race?

Very curious.

Indon
2007-10-04, 11:54 AM
Well, as I noted earlier, it wouldn't be overpowered so long as RHD exceeded LA; you'd basically be getting RHD for free rather than class levels, and even the strongest RHD is comparable to a weak PC class.

That humanoid race doesn't look like it has RHD, though... hmm. That construct template added +5 RHD and then -2 LA, so it was basically +3 RHD and 2 RHD for free. (Edit: Which is probably what more high-RHD templates should be like, if you ask me)

cupkeyk
2007-10-04, 12:07 PM
No I haven't, but half-elves certainly resemble your criteria...

Seriously? with their bonuses to Diplomacy and gather Info and Any preferred class, half elves rocked even before they got excellent substitution level options. You are certainly referring to half orcs.

Kurald Galain
2007-10-04, 12:15 PM
Seriously? with their bonuses to Diplomacy and gather Info and Any preferred class, half elves rocked even before they got excellent substitution level options. You are certainly referring to half orcs.

Half-elves haven't rocked for a long time, not even in 2nd ed. Gather info isn't all that useful, so other than in a diplomancer build, everything they can do humans do better.

(of course, humans sucked worse in 2nd ed...)

SoD
2007-10-04, 12:16 PM
I was going to mention that there is a creature in the crystal keeps index with a minus level adjustment...but I beleive it's a typo. And it's already mentioned.

If you want an underdog, take maybe a mongrelfolk? They may be balenced, but most races tend to look down on them if they know what they are. And if you want, just asign horrid stats if you must.

cupkeyk
2007-10-04, 12:24 PM
Half-elves haven't rocked for a long time, not even in 2nd ed. Gather info isn't all that useful, so other than in a diplomancer build, everything they can do humans do better.

(of course, humans sucked worse in 2nd ed...)

Second Ed? Urban Tracking is Gather Info, btw.

The Extinguisher
2007-10-04, 01:33 PM
There is a template, but I can't remember the name, that has a -1 LA. It's not meant to be used with a non-LA race though.