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    Default what is elite array?

    Simple as the title. I feel stupid for asking since it seems like a common term, but yea. Anybody care to clarify?
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8.

    It's a set of numbers that DMs or players can assign to ability scores.
    Monsters are usually statted in the books with starting numbers of 11,11,11,10,10,10. Changing those numbers to the elite array makes the monster stronger than usual, usually warranting a +1 to CR (unless the monster is advanced by class levels, which automatically assumes it has the elite array).


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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    The elite array is the set of standard ability scores given to generic characters with class levels. It's effectively a 25-point-buy, that gives the character a 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8, placed as appropriate for their class and modified by race. It's a quick method of stat generation for elite monsters and characters with better than the usual 10 or 11 to their base abilities.

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    yep. I'm actually in a game where the whole party has the elite array for starting attributes. it's enjoyable. though i admit not having at least one super good stat is annoying.

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    It's actually equal to average rolled stats... but no one seems to play characters with stats that "low". It's "elite" because 10 is supposed to be average. So basically it's a heck of a lot easier than rolling stats every time you want to make a monster or NPC that's a major figure just like the PCs are.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2009-06-29 at 11:58 PM.
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    It's actually equal to average rolled stats... but no one seems to play characters with stats that "low".
    It's alway struck me as kinda odd that DM's make such a rod for their own backs by allowing PCs to use 30+ point buy, when the game is designed around 25 point buy.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    For the record (I actually ran the numbers), the actual average stats for "4d6 drop 1" are 8.5, 10.4, 11.8, 13, 14.2, 15.7 - marginally better than the elite array.

    Average stats for 3d6 are 6.8, 8.5, 9.9, 11.1, 12.5, 14.2

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colmarr View Post
    It's alway struck me as kinda odd that DM's make such a rod for their own backs by allowing PCs to use 30+ point buy, when the game is designed around 25 point buy.
    It's better for balance.
    Wizard 25 pt-buy has 17 Int, 14 Con, 14 Dex. Not bad at all.
    Fighter has 16 Str, 16 Con, 13 Dex or Int, and is already behind in either skills or AC.
    Boost that to 28, and a Wizard has +1 save DCs and a couple extra bonus spells half the time, while now the fighter can afford Combat Reflexes and Combat Expertise.
    32, the Wizard has either +1 AC/AB or has eliminated a couple stat penalties, while the Fighter has an extra AC, extra skill/level, and eliminates a penalty.

    Heck, 40 pt-buy makes the Monk decent, the Paladin good, and Gishes great. Why make 3.x balance worse?
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/improvingMonsters.htm
    Monsters are assumed to have completely average (or standard) ability scores—a 10 or an 11 in each ability, as modified by their racial bonuses. However, improved monsters are individuals and often have better than normal ability scores, and usually make use of either the elite array or the nonelite array of ability scores. Monsters who improve by adding a template, and monsters who improve by increasing their Hit Dice, may use any of the three arrays (standard, nonelite, or elite). Any monster unique enough to be improved could easily be considered elite.
    Elite Array

    The elite array is: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8. While the monster has one weakness compared to a typical member of its race, it is significantly better overall. The elite array is most appropriate for monsters who add levels in a player character class.
    Pretty much what has been said before. The basic idea of the array is for the DM to customize monsters or make 'elite' versions. All the monsters in the monster manual have 10s or 11s for their base stats. Their stats are then modified by racial/size bonuses/penalties and bonus ability points for every 4 HD (just like PCs).

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    It's better for balance.
    I assume you mean intra-party balance.

    Notwithstanding that I don't quite accept your logic in that regard, it sure as hell isn't good for party-vs-monsters balance because it gives the average PC an additional +1 to attack and/or (possibly more than) one save.

    And in my (somewhat limited) DMing experience, it's the PC-vs-monster balance that does the most damage to a campaign.
    Last edited by Colmarr; 2009-06-30 at 01:28 AM.
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colmarr View Post
    I assume you mean intra-party balance.

    Notwithstanding that I don't quite accept your logic in that regard, it sure as hell isn't good for party-vs-monsters balance because it gives the average PC an additional +1 to attack and/or (possibly more than) one save.

    And in my (somewhat limited) DMing experience, it's the PC-vs-monster balance that does the most damage to a campaign.
    It's not that hard for DMs to adapt by throwing slightly more powerful monsters at the players - in the end what you've got is a faster-moving campaign (higher CRs = higher XP), which isn't necessarily a bad thing

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Random832 View Post
    It's not that hard for DMs to adapt by throwing slightly more powerful monsters at the players - in the end what you've got is a faster-moving campaign (higher CRs = higher XP), which isn't necessarily a bad thing
    Besides, it's not like most monsters are worth their CR anyways (and some are totally under-CRd; does the name "That Damn Crab" say anything to you? Oh, and most Dragons), so you already are better off customizing and pumping the monsters up a bit.
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    It's better for balance.
    Wizard 25 pt-buy has 17 Int, 14 Con, 14 Dex. Not bad at all.
    Fighter has 16 Str, 16 Con, 13 Dex or Int, and is already behind in either skills or AC.
    Boost that to 28, and a Wizard has +1 save DCs and a couple extra bonus spells half the time, while now the fighter can afford Combat Reflexes and Combat Expertise.
    32, the Wizard has either +1 AC/AB or has eliminated a couple stat penalties, while the Fighter has an extra AC, extra skill/level, and eliminates a penalty.

    Heck, 40 pt-buy makes the Monk decent, the Paladin good, and Gishes great. Why make 3.x balance worse?
    Exactly. I use 43 PB to resolve MAD issues. It ends up being similar to the Elite Array, but every stat is 2 points higher (17, 16, 15, 14, 12, 10).

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    If you want a faster moving (or slowing moving) campaign you're well within your rights as a DM to increase xp given out. And throwing harder monsters does more than boost their AC & saves; they get other abilities as well. If anything you'd be better off using the same monsters and giving them all a +1 to AC & saves. Or just use lower stats and avoid the headache. Or ignore the imbalance like most do.

    As for MAD, I'm not sure it really exists. Like an 18 in a PC's high stat, people seem stuck in some mentality that characters absolutely must have something. That only leads to a lack of character variety IMO.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2009-06-30 at 10:39 AM.
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    As for MAD, I'm not sure it really exists. Like an 18 in a PC's high stat, people seem stuck in some mentality that characters absolutely must have something. That only leads to a lack of character variety IMO.
    MAD exists. Look at the staple Chain Tripper Fighter build. You need a Dex score of 13 to get Combat Reflexes (and even higher, as you will be making a ton of AoOs with a Spiked Chain), an Int of 13 to get Combat Expertise (for Improved Trip), a Con of at least 16 because you are a melee character, and a Str of at minimum 16 (Power Attack and attack rolls). If you go Weapon Finesse instead of Str, you need a minimum of 13 Str for Power Attack anyway and now need a Dex of 16 or higher to make sure your attack bonuses are good enough to matter.

    That's 4 ability scores, 2/3s of what you have to work with. You also need to find a way to make up for a low Will save, such as immunity to Mind Affecting abilities (attainable at 1st level easily, but it costs you 4 more points of Wis). If you are gunning for the Combat Focus tree in PH2, you also need a Wis of 13 just to take the first feat.

    This is what MAD means: You need more than 3 ability scores to be an effective party member. Wizards need Con and Int (Dex is actually optional), Druids need Con and Wis past 6th level (and even then, their animal companion can make up for the first 5 levels), and Clerics need Wis and Con (Cha is optional if you don't take Divine Metamagic, but what Cleric doesn't take DMM?).

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    ^

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    People seem stuck in some mentality that characters absolutely must have something
    So you just resaid what I said except you stated it as a fact instead of a mentality. Apparently agreeing to disagree is not an option. Same with the "needed" high stats that don't fulfill pre-reqs.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2009-06-30 at 11:15 AM.
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    MAD exists. Look at the staple Chain Tripper Fighter build. You need a Dex score of 13 to get Combat Reflexes (and even higher, as you will be making a ton of AoOs with a Spiked Chain), an Int of 13 to get Combat Expertise (for Improved Trip), a Con of at least 16 because you are a melee character, and a Str of at minimum 16 (Power Attack and attack rolls).
    I think you're getting mixed up between 'want' and 'need'. You want a Con of 16, sure. You want a Con of 18 if you can get it. But you can manage without.

    Tripper fighter with Elite Array: Str 15 Dex 12 Con 14 Int 13 Wis 10 Cha 8. With Combat Reflexes, that gives you two AoOs a round, which should probably be enough unless your enemies are really suicidal. Your Str goes up to 16 at level 4. Perfectly playable.

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irreverent Fool View Post
    Pretty much what has been said before. The basic idea of the array is for the DM to customize monsters or make 'elite' versions. All the monsters in the monster manual have 10s or 11s for their base stats. Their stats are then modified by racial/size bonuses/penalties and bonus ability points for every 4 HD (just like PCs).
    Not all monsters in the MM have the monster array of 10s and 11s.

    Quite a few of the humanoids are NPC warriors and get the NPC array of 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8.

    A few of the templated creatures like the vampires are PC classed and get the elite array. But unless a creature has at least one class level listed it's assumed to be built on an array of 10, 10, 10, 11, 11, 11.

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    So you just resaid what I said except you stated it as a fact instead of a mentality.
    He said that to play characters with a certain set of abilities and perform well in-game, you need certain ability scores. Your Grappler Monk needs high Str, decent Con, decent Dex and decent Wis, or he either is too easy to hit, cannot take hits or cannot win Grapple-checks. All of those are essential for the character to be playable in-game.

    A tripper Fighter has the same problem, though to a lesser degree (thanks to Full-Plate); you need Int and Dex to qualify for feats, Str for the checks themselves and Con to live. A mounted Paladin needs high Str (for the mounted charges to hit and deal damage), decent Cha (lest he wants to waste his Paladin-abilities), decent Con (lest he wants to die quick), decent Wis (lest he doesn't want his spellcasting), decent Int (just for Ride & Handle Animal already) and preferably some Dex ('cause getting penalties to AC and Initiative is never cool).


    I don't really see what you're saying; sure, you don't need the 18 in the main stat, but that doesn't change the fact that many characters just can't exist without a given threshold number in a number of attributes. And others can.

    And that 18 in the primary stat is really a prerequisite for some combat styles (such as Grappling, to make up for the monsters' size & BAB advantage), although casters can usually get by just fine with 15 and some pounder types do fine with 15s too.
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    He said that to play characters with a certain set of abilities and perform well in-game, you need certain ability scores. Your Grappler Monk needs high Str, decent Con, decent Dex and decent Wis, or he either is too easy to hit, cannot take hits or cannot win Grapple-checks. All of those are essential for the character to be playable in-game.

    A tripper Fighter has the same problem, though to a lesser degree (thanks to Full-Plate); you need Int and Dex to qualify for feats, Str for the checks themselves and Con to live. A mounted Paladin needs high Str (for the mounted charges to hit and deal damage), decent Cha (lest he wants to waste his Paladin-abilities), decent Con (lest he wants to die quick), decent Wis (lest he doesn't want his spellcasting), decent Int (just for Ride & Handle Animal already) and preferably some Dex ('cause getting penalties to AC and Initiative is never cool).


    I don't really see what you're saying; sure, you don't need the 18 in the main stat, but that doesn't change the fact that many characters just can't exist without a given threshold number in a number of attributes. And others can.

    And that 18 in the primary stat is really a prerequisite for some combat styles (such as Grappling, to make up for the monsters' size & BAB advantage), although casters can usually get by just fine with 15 and some pounder types do fine with 15s too.
    I think the idea is that if you necessarily have to play a certain build, then these stats are a must. But you don't have to play the same generic build as everyone else, based on the same stats; you can manage well with lower point buy - so you don't need those extra points to play a fighter, though you need them if you want a specific build. That way, the balance vs. monsters comes more naturally, too.

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    And that 18 in the primary stat is really a prerequisite for some combat styles (such as Grappling, to make up for the monsters' size & BAB advantage), although casters can usually get by just fine with 15 and some pounder types do fine with 15s too.
    This is a bit illusory in my experience. If you talk to DMs who allow very high point buy scores (say 40) the explanation they usually give is that they send stronger-than-average enemies to compensate.

    So your grappler has an 18 strength instead of a 16 strength - but the monsters all have a strength 2 to 4 points higher as well. Since grapple checks are opposed rolls, you're essentially running a rat race here.

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    ^



    So you just resaid what I said except you stated it as a fact instead of a mentality. Apparently agreeing to disagree is not an option. Same with the "needed" high stats that don't fulfill pre-reqs.
    In case we are having a misunderstanding, I'd like to clarify my stance on the whole "MAD as a mindset" thing. I may just have misunderstood the logic behind you calling MAD a mindset. Here's my line of thought.

    Fact: Ineffective PCs are little more than an XP and GP sink during combat-based encounters, no matter who is playing the character. If they are costing more than they can provide the party, they should not be a party member.

    Fact: Multi-ability dependency hinders a class' ability to contribute to an encounter. If the player did not optimize his stats/build to compensate for MAD, or actively did not attempt to distribute his stats in a way that MAD is reduced to a small setback, he may become a hindrance to the party's survival/resources.

    Fact: Efficient resource management helps to ensure survival. Ability scores are a resource, and should be managed efficiently.

    Logic: Players who do not take MAD into account may become a hindrance to the party in some major way. Other party members can go out of their way to assist this player, but there should be a limit to how much assistance a single player receives. If the player in question cannot repay the investments made by other players in some means (such as efficiency in combat scenarios or actual compensation), the player's character is a liability. If he does not attempt to rectify the liability through optimization, the party has no reason to continue assisting his character. At that point, it would be best for the player in question to make a new (more efficient) character.


    So, are you saying my "facts" are a way of thinking, rather than my conclusion? Or am I completely misunderstanding your post?

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    I think you're getting mixed up between 'want' and 'need'. You want a Con of 16, sure. You want a Con of 18 if you can get it. But you can manage without.

    Tripper fighter with Elite Array: Str 15 Dex 12 Con 14 Int 13 Wis 10 Cha 8. With Combat Reflexes, that gives you two AoOs a round, which should probably be enough unless your enemies are really suicidal. Your Str goes up to 16 at level 4. Perfectly playable.

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    Combat Expertise gives you a number of AoOs per round equal to your Dex modifier, not Dex+1. That Fighter can only make a single AoO each round, not very effective. If he were a Halfling, Rilkan, or another race that gets a Dex bonus, he would be a better Chain Tripper (he would be able to make use of his reach against multiple enemies, rather than one singular opponent).

    You are right, it is a playable Fighter. I feel he would be a better Warblade, but that's just my opinion.

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    Combat Expertise gives you a number of AoOs per round equal to your Dex modifier, not Dex+1. That Fighter can only make a single AoO each round, not very effective. If he were a Halfling, Rilkan, or another race that gets a Dex bonus, he would be a better Chain Tripper (he would be able to make use of his reach against multiple enemies, rather than one singular opponent).

    You are right, it is a playable Fighter. I feel he would be a better Warblade, but that's just my opinion.
    No, combat reflexes gives an additional amount of AoOs equal to your Dex modifier. So, a Dex of 12 and combat reflexes gets two (the normal one and one extra). A Dex of 10 would get no additional AoOs and I suppose a Dex of 8 would theorectically lose their normal one (1 + -1)

    Personally, I'd go with a Str 15, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 8 for an elite array chain tripper to get three AoOs myself at the cost of a hp per level.

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    Combat Expertise gives you a number of AoOs per round equal to your Dex modifier, not Dex+1.
    From the SRD:

    Combat Reflexes [General]

    Benefit

    You may make a number of additional attacks of opportunity equal to your Dexterity bonus.

    With this feat, you may also make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed.

    Normal

    A character without this feat can make only one attack of opportunity per round and can’t make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed.
    I'm something of an expert on low-level trip fighters. :) You can play them with Elite Array; in fact, one of the appeals of the build is that it's not stat-intensive.

    If you're using everything in the SRD, you can also get around the 13 Int requirement. That lets you start with 14 Dex and 14 Con, giving you three AoOs per round, which should be more than enough - speaking from experience, even the dumbest enemies are usually going to catch on that running through your reach is a bad idea after you kill two of them in one round.

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    Last edited by Saph; 2009-06-30 at 11:44 AM.
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by penbed400 View Post
    Simple as the title. I feel stupid for asking since it seems like a common term, but yea. Anybody care to clarify?
    An "Elite Array" is a set of ability scores featuring an 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, and a 15.

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    No, combat reflexes gives an additional amount of AoOs equal to your Dex modifier. So, a Dex of 12 and combat reflexes gets two (the normal one and one extra). A Dex of 10 would get no additional AoOs and I suppose a Dex of 8 would theorectically lose their normal one (1 + -1)

    Personally, I'd go with a Str 15, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 8 for an elite array chain tripper to get three AoOs myself at the cost of a hp per level.
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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    You are right, it is a playable Fighter. I feel he would be a better Warblade, but that's just my opinion.
    Every fighter is better as a Warblade. Your point is?

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    Every fighter is better as a Warblade. Your point is?
    To quote Fighter: "I like swords".

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    Default Re: what is elite array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    So, are you saying my "facts" are a way of thinking, rather than my conclusion? Or am I completely misunderstanding your post?
    I think the confusing "wants" and "needs" comments explained it nicer than I can. Some people will think it's never effective enough unless it can do everything at the optimal level. I do not.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2009-06-30 at 12:05 PM.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
    TOGC's 3.5e Spell/etc Cards: rpgnow / drivethru rpg
    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
    Printable Cardstock Dungeon Tiles and other terrain stuff (100 MB)

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