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    Default 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    I was just researching the gnolls to place them properly in my campaign world, and I noticed that that for being ECL 3 they aren't much.

    Is it just me, or does it seem like they would be balanced as a PC choice with just the two Racial Hit Dice and forgoing the +1LA?


    What are the experienced DMs' thoughts on this?

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    I usually go the other way, drop the racial die and leave the LA+1.
    Being a Gnoll has rp issues in an of itself usually.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Gnoll abilities:
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    * Strength +4, Constitution +2, Intelligence -2, Charisma -2.
    * Size Medium.
    * A gnoll’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    * Darkvision out to 60 feet.
    * Racial Hit Dice: A gnoll begins with two levels of humanoid, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +1, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +0, and Will +0.
    * Racial Skills: A gnoll’s humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 5 × (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Listen and Spot.
    * Racial Feats: A gnoll’s humanoid levels give it one feat.
    * +1 natural armor bonus.
    * Automatic Languages: Gnoll. Bonus Languages: Common, Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Orc.
    * Favored Class: Ranger.
    * Level adjustment +1.


    Water Orc abilities:
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    * +4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
    * An orc’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    * Darkvision out to 60 feet.
    * Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
    * Automatic Languages: Common, Orc. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Undercommon.
    * Favored Class: Barbarian.
    * +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against creatures of the fire subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire.
    * -2 penalty on all saving throws against spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities with the fire subtype or used by creatures of the fire subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire.
    * Natural Swimmers: Members of water races have a swim speed equal to their base land speed. (If the creature already has a swim speed, it improves by 10 feet.) A water creature can move through water at its swim speed without making Swim checks. It has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. A water creature can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

    Gnoll's advantages:
    -No -2 Wisdom
    -No Light Sensitivity (which is ignored with ~10gp in Sundark Goggles [Races of the Dragon])
    -+1 Natural Armor

    Water Orc's advantage:
    -Swim speed

    Now, is it just me or do Gnoll's advantages seem pretty trivial? An +2 Str, or -2 Dex, Gnoll would be perfectly fair LA +0 without natural HD. Given the natural issues with playing a monster in the first place, I'd allow no HD no adjustment in standard play.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Gnoll abilities:
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    * Strength +4, Constitution +2, Intelligence -2, Charisma -2.
    * Size Medium.
    * A gnoll’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    * Darkvision out to 60 feet.
    * Racial Hit Dice: A gnoll begins with two levels of humanoid, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +1, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +0, and Will +0.
    * Racial Skills: A gnoll’s humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 5 × (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Listen and Spot.
    * Racial Feats: A gnoll’s humanoid levels give it one feat.
    * +1 natural armor bonus.
    * Automatic Languages: Gnoll. Bonus Languages: Common, Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Orc.
    * Favored Class: Ranger.
    * Level adjustment +1.


    Water Orc abilities:
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    * +4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
    * An orc’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    * Darkvision out to 60 feet.
    * Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
    * Automatic Languages: Common, Orc. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Giant, Gnoll, Goblin, Undercommon.
    * Favored Class: Barbarian.
    * +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against creatures of the fire subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire.
    * -2 penalty on all saving throws against spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities with the fire subtype or used by creatures of the fire subtype, including extraplanar creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire.
    * Natural Swimmers: Members of water races have a swim speed equal to their base land speed. (If the creature already has a swim speed, it improves by 10 feet.) A water creature can move through water at its swim speed without making Swim checks. It has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. A water creature can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

    Gnoll's advantages:
    -No -2 Wisdom
    -No Light Sensitivity (which is ignored with ~10gp in Sundark Goggles [Races of the Dragon])
    -+1 Natural Armor

    Water Orc's advantage:
    -Swim speed

    Now, is it just me or do Gnoll's advantages seem pretty trivial? An +2 Str, or -2 Dex, Gnoll would be perfectly fair LA +0 without natural HD. Given the natural issues with playing a monster in the first place, I'd allow no HD no adjustment in standard play.
    Using an over-powered +0 LA is not a fair way to assess this. Use a Human as the base, as they're considered on the higher end of the power spectrum for +0 LA.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    I agree that a gnoll would not be overpowering with the loss of the level adjustment. The gnoll doesn't add any particularly exotic abilities that can be abused.
    The best way to check for sure Is to take the race and compare it to it nearest competitor lets say the half orc. Make a level 3 half orc barbarian and have it fight a level 1 gnoll barbarian. If the gnoll Consistently stomps the half orc then its to powerful if not then all is good. I imagine the half orc should have no problem beating the gnoll.
    Last edited by awa; 2009-07-14 at 09:42 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Wait, seriously? When you have a monster character, the HD count as levels? Seriously?

    That does not seem like the right way to do it at all.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Either +1LA or just the 2HD would be just fine.
    It's stronger than an LA-0, but requiring the LA plus the HD cripples it.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post
    Wait, seriously? When you have a monster character, the HD count as levels? Seriously?

    That does not seem like the right way to do it at all.
    Those HD also give skill points, BaB, Feats, and saving throw increases.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Humanoid HDs are far inferior to any class levels it may replace. I concur that just LA+1 with no racial HD or 2HD with LA +0 would suffice.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Salt_Crow View Post
    Humanoid HDs are far inferior to any class levels it may replace. I concur that just LA+1 with no racial HD or 2HD with LA +0 would suffice.
    Personally, I'd probably go for the LA buyoff rules.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackMage666 View Post
    Using an over-powered +0 LA is not a fair way to assess this. Use a Human as the base, as they're considered on the higher end of the power spectrum for +0 LA.
    Humans do just as well as Water Orcs do, given that the extra feat buys 'em the whole Shock Trooper-chain earlier and makes for better Frenzied Berserker Entry and stronger Imperious Command/Intimidating Rage users and so on.

    Why do people love the word "overpowered" so much? How many games have you personally witnessed a Water Orc breaking? Those mental penalties are notable, even for a guy who just wants to Hulk Smash. Losing out on skillpoints, base skill checks, saves (though that's fixable with Steadfast Determination...which requires a good number of feats) and prerequisites sucks.


    No, Water Orc isn't broken at LA+0 and neither is Gnoll without racial HD. The +1 NA is the only thing that could be considered broken about the race, and with a penalty thrown in, it's just fine. If you really want to complain about a broken race, complain about Kobolds. They at least deserve it.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post
    Wait, seriously? When you have a monster character, the HD count as levels? Seriously?

    That does not seem like the right way to do it at all.
    LA is based on the amount of HD it has. They make the LA vary based on what they want the ECL of the creature to be. You may lose HD overall, but you gain a lot of stat bonuses and special abilities that would not normally be available to you.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Why do people love the word "overpowered" so much? How many games have you personally witnessed a Water Orc breaking?
    Excuse me!? Just two years ago, a Water Orc broke into my house and smashed my PlayStation to bits. I'm still in therapy to recover from it!

    Or maybe that's not the kind of gamebreaking you were talking about.

    If you think Gnolls are overpowered, reflect on this; the player who chooses a Gnoll has to play as... a Gnoll. What in God's name is a Gnoll?

    There is no way that removing the Level Adjustment would break a Gnoll. If they can piece together what it's supposed to be, then go ahead and let them earn levels in Wizard or whatever it is they do.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    If you think Gnolls are overpowered, reflect on this; the player who chooses a Gnoll has to play as... a Gnoll. What in God's name is a Gnoll?
    Hey! What do you have against sentient miniature mountains? A knoll is--

    Oh, you mean the hyena-headed humanoid monsters with a pack mentality and generally savage yet somewhat civilized society. Never mind.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Humans do just as well as Water Orcs do, given that the extra feat buys 'em the whole Shock Trooper-chain earlier and makes for better Frenzied Berserker Entry and stronger Imperious Command/Intimidating Rage users and so on.

    Why do people love the word "overpowered" so much? How many games have you personally witnessed a Water Orc breaking? Those mental penalties are notable, even for a guy who just wants to Hulk Smash. Losing out on skillpoints, base skill checks, saves (though that's fixable with Steadfast Determination...which requires a good number of feats) and prerequisites sucks.
    Well, Water Orcs aren't overpowered in an absolute sense, and they certainly won't break any games. What annoys a lot of people about them is that they are strictly more powerful than a vanilla Orc. In a properly-designed game, the vanilla stuff should be the most powerful, with the weird variants being less powerful overall but with some nifty features. When D&D diverges from this (Water Orcs being more powerful than regular Orcs, Whisper Gnomes, certain Elves, etc), it grates. If vanilla Orcs had the +2 Con, Half-orcs had a little boost, and Water Orcs were only more powerful in terms of swimming... then the world would be righted.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    ^ +1.

    The strength bonus plus your BAB gives the race a +3 AB. That would be reasonable for an ECL 2 race, since ECL 0 races can give +2 strength (+1 AB); or +2 to a single other ability for that matter. But then they also get +2 con and +1 natural armor. Their racial HD also come with spot & listen as class skills, and a full 2 levels of HP. So if only it had full BAB (+2), you'd effectively be asking for +4 strength, +2 con and +1 NA on an LA +0 race. No way. No, ECL 3 / LA +1 sounds exactly right.

    They're lacking in minor special abilities, but not enough to push their LA down 'cuz, well, they're minor. And they do still have darkvision.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    I would knock off the +1 LA and give them favored enemy: elves (as per ranger), or a sneak attack, or SOMETHING, for having two crummy HD and beatstick ability score modifiers.

    But then, I'm a big fan of the monstrous races and hate seeing all the crap elves, gnomes and dwarves get. WotC has some serious Orc-hate going on.

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    ^ +1.

    The strength bonus plus your BAB gives the race a +3 AB. That would be reasonable for an ECL 2 race, since ECL 0 races can give +2 strength (+1 AB); or +2 to a single other ability for that matter. But then they also get +2 con and +1 natural armor. Their racial HD also come with spot & listen as class skills, and a full 2 levels of HP. So if only it had full BAB (+2), you'd effectively be asking for +4 strength, +2 con and +1 NA on an LA +0 race. No way. No, ECL 3 / LA +1 sounds exactly right.

    They're lacking in minor special abilities, but not enough to push their LA down 'cuz, well, they're minor. And they do still have darkvision.
    Compare it to a dwarf.
    What Gnolls get is hardly ECL3. LA +1, definitely. LA +1 and 2 of the worst hit dice, outside of commoner, you can have? No thanks.
    Last edited by Myrmex; 2009-07-15 at 12:21 AM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Before I first learnt how to play D&D, I decided the I wanted my first character to be a CG Gnoll Cleric of Ehlonna. I didn't want to be nerfed with LA or HDs, so I came up with this LA 0 version: +2 Str and Con, -2 Int and Cha, +1 Natural Armour, Darkvision 60', 1d6 Bite attack and Spot and Listen are always inclass. (I think it's pretty much a high LA 0 based on the discussions I had at the time. This was back on late '07, and I can't find the thread I made about it). Admittedly, I tend to ignore listed alignments in my games, which helps as far as avoiding problems due to people seeing Gnolls as savage killers are concerned.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Gnolls are pretty sweet, especially if you like throwing out Lion King references to drive your DM insane.
    However, I prefer the Lupine from Dragon Magazine, later put into the Dragon Compendium.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    I tend to use Lupins for classes where an Int or Cha penalty would cause problems (I'm not sure whether I prefer them to Gnolls or not due to thinking both races are cute). The 3.5 Lupin stats can be found on page 36 of http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Races.pdf , and their 2nd Edition fluff can be found on http://www.pandius.com/lupin_mc.html (the 3.5 Lupins may also have a North West Native American-type democratic hunter-gatherer culture with the oldest clan members acting as the leaders, and the French versions get a +2 to all Craft checks rather then Ride).
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiendish_Dire_Moose View Post
    Gnolls are pretty sweet, especially if you like throwing out Lion King references to drive your DM insane.
    However, I prefer the Lupine from Dragon Magazine, later put into the Dragon Compendium.
    What are these? are they like the Laika from the web enhancement for Savage Species?


    Also, whenever I see 'Water Orc' I want to burn them to death. How do they even fit into game worlds? How are all Orcs not Water Orcs (seriously, they are better in all ways)

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    ^ +1.

    The strength bonus plus your BAB gives the race a +3 AB. That would be reasonable for an ECL 2 race, since ECL 0 races can give +2 strength (+1 AB); or +2 to a single other ability for that matter. But then they also get +2 con and +1 natural armor. Their racial HD also come with spot & listen as class skills, and a full 2 levels of HP. So if only it had full BAB (+2), you'd effectively be asking for +4 strength, +2 con and +1 NA on an LA +0 race. No way. No, ECL 3 / LA +1 sounds exactly right.

    They're lacking in minor special abilities, but not enough to push their LA down 'cuz, well, they're minor. And they do still have darkvision.
    I would like to point you at the way of Halfling, with +3 AB before first level.
    +2 Dex, +1 from Small, +1 from racial bonus to thrown weapons. Guess what, no LA nor HD. And no, this isn't even the zomg-broken strongheart halfling, just the out-of-box version.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozgun92 View Post
    I would like to point you at the way of Halfling, with +3 AB before first level.
    +2 Dex, +1 from Small, +1 from racial bonus to thrown weapons. Guess what, no LA nor HD. And no, this isn't even the zomg-broken strongheart halfling, just the out-of-box version.
    This gets even better with the Halfling Rogue sub levels for better ranged SA. Toss in Imp Init and 20 Dex and suddenly your sling takes out half the opponents per combat at ECL 1.

    Though a Kobold is the best tank at level 1. +3 AC over a human or Dwarf is just gold.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    I'd not heard of Laikas until now, Aspestos. ( http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20030207a ). I'd probably sooner use Lupins, but Liakas don't seem too bad.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    What are these? are they like the Laika from the web enhancement for Savage Species?


    Also, whenever I see 'Water Orc' I want to burn them to death. How do they even fit into game worlds? How are all Orcs not Water Orcs (seriously, they are better in all ways)
    Dog people basically.
    They're cute, vicious, tribal (pack animals and what not), and are basically anti-werewolf death machines.
    They make good rangers. Fun to have in a game with tibbits.
    Last edited by Fiendish_Dire_Moose; 2009-07-15 at 01:18 AM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    What are Tibbits exactly? (Aspestos, if you didn't see my post where I linked to Lupin informatio, check the post above your last post).
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    What are Tibbits exactly? (Aspestos, if you didn't see my post where I linked to Lupin informatio, check the post above your last post).
    Ah, neat, thanks for the link.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asbestos View Post
    How are all Orcs not Water Orcs (seriously, they are better in all ways)
    Because if they leave the water they die.

    Why do any of the weak races exist? Why isn't everything devils, mind flayers, ethergaunts and the occasional dragon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Though a Kobold is the best tank at level 1. +3 AC over a human or Dwarf is just gold.
    What about warforged? Adamantine full plate is pretty sweet.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Fennac View Post
    What are Tibbits exactly?
    Basically, they're former cat familiars (or their decendents) which can transform into a humanoid form and back.
    Avatar by Vulion. Vectored by me.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Would a gnoll be a fair PC class without the +1 LA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Myrmex View Post
    Because if they leave the water they die.
    You are thinking of Aquatic Orcs. Water Orcs only have -2 to saves vs fire.

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