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  1. - Top - End - #841
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    I'd still tone down the stats. One should only add them when it's to compensate for a class weakness or an iconic role (strong giant, smart mind flayer).

    Make the spell-likes scale with HD rather than class level, so they scale as the Scorpio works his way to level 20 (A big part of this ongoing project).

  2. - Top - End - #842
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    Ok, top to bottom...
    [list][*]Helps if you state the source. I presume ToB, but not about to go hunting for it.
    Yep, ToB.
    [*]Good saving throws for Fort, Reflex & Will? Seems a bit much.
    Outsider levels: each seemed important to the chassis anyways.
    [*]I see arguments and wildly different interpretations arising from the float ability it gets at level 1. Does armor encumber it's movement? What spells, specifically, can it avoid - entangle? fiery ground?
    Ugh... good point. I think I'll just do away with that entirely and just give him the air walk effect.
    [*]He's kind of a monster in melee. Initiating as a slightly lower level warblade plus natural armor plus proficiencies plus stat bonuses.
    Well, that's the point, pretty much: a melee monster. Really, the monster in the book is way under CR'd.

    [*]Vilefire Blast has a mechanical typo - it deals 1d6 initially but you get +1d8 every few levels. It'd be better if the extra die were of the same type as the initial one. You should also list range. Beyond that, it's not as probelematic as the aura, as it requires an action to utilize.
    That is most certainly a typo.

    I'd suggest cutting the BAB back to rogue progression, eliminating the con bonus (not needed) and just having +1 str at 2nd and 4th levels. Alternately, keep the BAB as is and eliminate the Str bonus entirely. I liken the former to more of a 'brute' class that doesn't always hit his target but hits damn hard, the latter to a more skilled fighter, given how the +attack and +damage tend to balance out.
    I'll keep the BAB, then. They're supposed to be ultra-skilled fighters.

    After that's done, we need to tweak vilefire aura, because it's a strong effect for low effort, and it can potentially bog down combat. Picture a combat vs. a fire resistant enemy with DR. Every round, a fort save, rolling the extra Xd4 in damage, then dividing damage in half and working out how to apply fire resistance + DR to the individual halves (Acid & fire).

    Not sure what the ability is like as described, but where it works for a monster you're liable to encounter once, it's potentially more troubling when it's going on in every combat.
    In the book, it's just a flat, unscaling 1d6 damage, but otherwise the same.
    But, yeah, you're right.
    How about something like just allowing it for 1 round 1/encounter as a free action? Oooh, or better yet, do away with vilefire aura entirely, and give it a maneuver that does that as a boost... and then we can give it a free maneuver that lets it channel its vilefire blast through a melee attack!
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  3. - Top - End - #843
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    I'd still tone down the stats. One should only add them when it's to compensate for a class weakness or an iconic role (strong giant, smart mind flayer).

    Make the spell-likes scale with HD rather than class level, so they scale as the Scorpio works his way to level 20 (A big part of this ongoing project).
    I wouldn't tone them down anymore, really. This class is currently, getting natural attacks, poison , +4 to str and +2 to wis and cha, two sla:s and large size when at level 7. Scorpionfolk doesn't have much else and I think that at this point, it just gets into the pointless nerfing category. I'd say, powerwise, it's decent now (maybe slightly frontloaded, but anyway). Flavorwise, you may have a point, but what else should I give them? They have 2 sla:s so they're not caster monsters, they have poison, but that isn't something one can do much with. I don't know what else I'd do with them.
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  4. - Top - End - #844
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2010-07-09 at 02:46 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #845
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    [Re:Saves]Outsider levels: each seemed important to the chassis anyways.
    We don't necessarily stick to said levels. It may make sense to keep the saves, but it may have to lose something in the bargain. Dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    [Re: Powerful melee]Well, that's the point, pretty much: a melee monster. Really, the monster in the book is way under CR'd.
    Easily possible.

    If the CR is inappropriate, I'd suggest having abilities introduced at lower levels with benefits that don't emerge until it has more HD. I may finish up the harpy shortly, in which case you'd see something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    How about something like just allowing it for 1 round 1/encounter as a free action? Oooh, or better yet, do away with vilefire aura entirely, and give it a maneuver that does that as a boost... and then we can give it a free maneuver that lets it channel its vilefire blast through a melee attack!
    I'm inclined to go with the first option. Maybe more rounds a day at a later level, or he could expend a maneuver (Can't quite recall the ToB mechanism of spending/acquiring maneuvers, so bear with me) to activate the effect.

    That way, if there really is a monster where it'd be complex, problematic and not that effective to have the aura, the player wouldn't necessarily have it on.

  6. - Top - End - #846
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by trevon26 View Post
    *snip*
    *Jedi hand wave* This is not the thread you're looking for.

    Honestly, you can't just go into a thread and post randomness. Is there something you want to say about the classes in this thread or suggest a few? We're all willing to hear ideas but posts about text bunnies don't really help.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2010-07-09 at 02:38 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #847
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    I wouldn't tone them down anymore, really. This class is currently, getting natural attacks, poison , +4 to str and +2 to wis and cha, two sla:s and large size when at level 7. Scorpionfolk doesn't have much else and I think that at this point, it just gets into the pointless nerfing category. I'd say, powerwise, it's decent now (maybe slightly frontloaded, but anyway). Flavorwise, you may have a point, but what else should I give them? They have 2 sla:s so they're not caster monsters, they have poison, but that isn't something one can do much with. I don't know what else I'd do with them.
    Dug up my MMII from the closet, so I've read up on the Scorpionfolk. First off, note that the natural attack increases as the scorpionfolk does, so (taking the same idea in reverse), his natural attacks are one die smaller in size when he's smaller. That means he'd have a 1d6+Str tail attack with poison and two 1d4+1/2 Str claws.

    With this in mind, I'd suggest having his attacks do less damage to start, but having it so he starts with both the tail and the claw attacks. The scorpionfolk needs to invest in Multiattack to get any worthwhile use out of them, and the natural attack full attack is only an issue when compounded with strength bonuses that take away the drawbacks. Keep the toned-down strength bonus as you have it, and he's ok in combat.

    Defensively, he's got mirror image and (later), illusions, so he's liable to win a toe to toe brawl by virtue of having enemies smacking his mirror images instead of him. Against casters he's got the virtue of a high move speed and a poison vs. fort (which casters tend to lack).

    If I were to change something, I'd suggest making the Major Image SLA more available. It should continue to be worthwhile after you stop taking levels in the class, so make the number of uses scale with HD.

    Then, if you feel the need to give him a bit more of an edge, consider something like a passive bonus to the DC of poison with repeated injections. (Like, +2 to the initial DC each time a stinger attack has connected and the opponent has saved). It makes a degree of sense and works well with his longevity.
    Last edited by Hyudra; 2010-07-09 at 02:48 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #848
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    Dug up my MMII from the closet, so I've read up on the Scorpionfolk. First off, note that the natural attack increases as the scorpionfolk does, so (taking the same idea in reverse), his natural attacks are one die smaller in size when he's smaller. That means he'd have a 1d6+Str tail attack with poison and two 1d4+1/2 Str claws.

    With this in mind, I'd suggest having his attacks do less damage to start, but having it so he starts with both the tail and the claw attacks. The scorpionfolk needs to invest in Multiattack to get any worthwhile use out of them, and the natural attack full attack is only an issue when compounded with strength bonuses that take away the drawbacks. Keep the toned-down strength bonus as you have it, and he's ok in combat.

    Defensively, he's got mirror image and (later), illusions, so he's liable to win a toe to toe brawl by virtue of having enemies smacking his mirror images instead of him. Against casters he's got the virtue of a high move speed and a poison vs. fort (which casters tend to lack).

    If I were to change something, I'd suggest making the Major Image SLA more available. It should continue to be worthwhile after you stop taking levels in the class, so make the number of uses scale with HD.

    Then, if you feel the need to give him a bit more of an edge, consider something like a passive bonus to the DC of poison with repeated injections. (Like, +2 to the initial DC each time a stinger attack has connected and the opponent has saved). It makes a degree of sense and works well with his longevity.
    Major image now scales and natural attack damage is now corrected.
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  9. - Top - End - #849
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Alrighty, I've edited the vilefire ability. Should be... interesting, now.
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  10. - Top - End - #850
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Not sure I love them being maneuvers, but that's just me.

    It helps, just for clarity and those late to the discussion, if people note what changes they've made to the monster since posting (So if they read about me complaining about stat bonuses, look at the monster and see only +2 strength over 6 levels, then they don't think I'm a dimwit). It's also interesting to see from a design standpoint.

  11. - Top - End - #851
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    Not sure I love them being maneuvers, but that's just me.
    Meh, I like them. And so long as they're balanced and versatile, I don't think it should be a problem- besides, they fit in with the Dekala's maneuver levels.

    It helps, just for clarity and those late to the discussion, if people note what changes they've made to the monster since posting (So if they read about me complaining about stat bonuses, look at the monster and see only +2 strength over 6 levels, then they don't think I'm a dimwit). It's also interesting to see from a design standpoint.
    Can do.

    So, other than that, does it look good?
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  12. - Top - End - #852
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    No complaints aside from the ad-hoc maneuvers, can't think of any abuses/game issues off the top of my head.

  13. - Top - End - #853
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    No complaints aside from the ad-hoc maneuvers, can't think of any abuses/game issues off the top of my head.
    Is there any particular reason for the dislike of the maneuvers, or is it just aesthetics?
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  14. - Top - End - #854
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    As I read the creature, I interpret it as a warlock/warblade hybrid. The blast, the aura and the floating are more like warlock invocations than martial maneuvers. AFAIK, it doesn't make sense, design-wise, to shoehorn them into being maneuvers.

  15. - Top - End - #855
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Winter Wolf



    Spoiler
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    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Winter Wolf Body, Vulnerability to Fire, Cold Resistance, Wolf Trip

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Scent, Frostbite, +1 Str

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Freezing Bite, +1 Con

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Cold Subtype, +1 Str

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Growth, Freezing Breath, +1 Con[/table]

    Skill Points: The winter wolf gains 4 skill points per level (x4 at level 1).
    Class Skills: The class skills for a winter wolf are, Balance, Handle Animal Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Survival, Swim

    Weapon&Armor Proficiency: Proficient with it's natural attacks

    Winter Wolf Body
    The Winter Wolf loses all existing racial traits and gains the magical beast type (Darkvision 60ft, low light vision). The wolf and gains a bite attack that deals 1d6+1,5x str damage. The wolf also gains 50ft base landspeed and natural armor equal to it's con modifier. The wolf may not use weapons or manipulate objects, as it has wolf paws, not hands. The winter wolf gains a +2 bonus to Spot, Listen, Hide and Move Silently checks. The wolf gains a +4 to survival checks when tracking by scent and a +7 to hide checks when in an area of snow and ice. All the skill bonuses raise by +1 ever three hd.

    Vulnerability to Fire
    The winter wolf takes 1,5 extra damage per HD from all fire attacks. At level 4, the winter wolf instead takes 50% extra damage from all fire attacks.

    Cold Resistance
    The winter wolf gains cold resistance equal to 3 per HD

    Wolf Trip (EX)
    A wolf that hits with it's bite attack can immediately attempt to trip as a free action without a touch attack. The target is not allowed an attack of opportunity and may not react to a failed trip attempt.

    Scent (EX)
    The winter wolf has Scent. (Monster Manual, page 314.)

    Frostbite
    Any target hit by the winter wolf's bite must make a fortitude saving throw (DC 10+1/2 HD+Con modifier) or be fatigued until they heal the damage. At 8HD, this no longer allows a saving throw.

    Ability Score Bonuses
    The wolf gains a +1 to str at levels 2 and 4 and a +1 to con at levels 3 and 5

    Cold Subtype
    The winter wolf gains the cold subtype and with it, Immunity to cold. The fire vulnerability stays the same.

    Freezing Bite (SU)
    The bite attacks of a winter wolf deal 1d6 extra cold damage, as if they were frost weapons. Every 3 HD after gaining this ability, the damage increases by 1d6.

    Freezing Breath (SU)
    The wolf gains a breath weapon that deals 4d6 cold damage in a 15ft cone. Reflex save DC is 10+1/2 HD+constitution modifier. Using this is a standard action and after use, it may not be used again in 1d4 rounds. Every two hd after this ability is gained, the breath weapon deals an extra 1d6 damage. at 12 hd, it becomes a 30ft cone.

    Growth
    The wolf becomes increases in size by one category (long)


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    It's a winter wolf from the monster manual. I didn't see it in the list. This was pretty easy to make, since the winter wolf has a nice storage of stuff to spread around to 5 levels. This one has no ability score adjustments, since I thought it gets enough nice stuff anyway.
    Changes: Added note about no item manipulation. Resistance and vulnerability changed. Trip brought to level 1, frostbite ability added, freezing bite and breath made to scale. Gave it SLA:s. Took SLA:s away. Gave it str and con bonuses. Fixed freezing bite wording.
    Last edited by Frog Dragon; 2010-07-11 at 01:33 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #856
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    You should probably add in something about it being unable to wield weapons or manipulate objects due to its lack of hands.

  17. - Top - End - #857
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Done. Flying half-badger unicorns taste good sprinkled with a little salt.
    Frog in the playground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobVosh View Post
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  18. - Top - End - #858
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Winter Wolf
    I'm quite partial to winter wolves. One of my favorite characters to date was a Hexblade with a Winter Wolf improved familiar as a mount.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Wolf Body, Vulnerability to Fire, Racial Skills, Cold Resistance 5

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Wolf Trip, Scent, Cold Resistance 10

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Freezing Bite, Cold Resistance 15

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Cold Immunity

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Growth, Freezing Breath[/table]
    BAB/save distribution looks ok. Makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Skill Points: The winter wolf gains 4 skill points per level (x4 at level 1).
    Class Skills: The class skills for a winter wolf are, Balance, Climb, Craft, Handle Animal Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble
    Not sure where you got these skills. Winter Wolf in the MM has Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Spot and Survival. Some of the others can be argued to make sense, but Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Profession and Tumble don't, really. Balance makes a degree of sense but isn't really necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Wolf Body
    The Winter Wolf loses all existing racial traits and gains the magical beast type (Darkvision 60ft, low light vision) and the cold subtype, but no immunity to cold. The wolf and gains a bite attack that deals 1d6+1,5x str damage. The wolf also gains 50ft base landspeed and natural armor equal to it's con modifier. The wolf may not use weapons or manipulate objects, as it has wolf paws, not hands.
    I'd suggest renaming this to Winter Wolf Body, rather than just Wolf Body, to prevent confusion with other potential wolves.

    Worth stating that winter wolves are four legged creatures. I'd seriously consider starting it at 40' land speed and giving it a 10' movement buff when it changes size. N/m. Even medium size wolves have 50' move.

    Racial Skills
    The winter wolf gains a +2 bonus to Spot, Listen, Hide and Move Silently checks. The wolf gains a +4 to survival checks when tracking by scent and a +7 to hide checks when in an area of snow and ice.
    You could include this under Winter Wolf Body for brevity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Vulnerability to Fire
    The winter wolf takes 50% extra damage from Fire

    Cold Resistance
    The winter wolf gains cold resistance of an amount indicated in the table.
    A few problems here. First off, it could stand to scale. Abilities should scale with HD, not class levels, so they're worthwhile even after you've hit the later levels, and to free up multiclassing if people feel the desire. A player shouldn't be locked into taking the later levels to pick up the better resistances and immunity.

    Second, this is fundamentally unfair to the wolf. Vulnerability is the counterpart to immunity, but the Winter Wolf doesn't get immunity - only resistance. Added to that, fire is the most common type of elemental damage. So you get a notable weakness to a common damage type and a mild reduction in damage from a less common damage type.

    I'd make it so you get the fire vulnerability at the same time you get cold immunity. Until then, you can ad-hoc a lesser form of vulnerability. I'd consider having something like "3 points of cold resistance for every HD" and "You take 1.5 extra damage per HD whenever you take fire damage." (This is what I used for Frost and Fire Giants) That can later be eliminated as the giant instead gets fire/cold vulnerability/immunity.

    Either way, as a hypothetical PC who has taken 1 level in the winter wolf class, I have to ask whether what I've gained going to be worth it later? In this case, most definitely not: I can't wield weapons, and I'm taking +50% damage from a 6d6 fireball while taking 5 less from a cone of cold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Wolf Trip (EX)
    A wolf that hits with it's bite attack can immediately attempt to trip as a free action without a touch attack. The target is not allowed an attack of opportunity and may not react to a failed trip attempt.
    I think he could get the wolf trip at level 1. This means you get a steady progression of special attacks (one every 2 levels at 1st, 3rd and 5th level), and it helps make up for the raw offense the wolf lacks at first level (no weapons or equipment, no special abilities).

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Scent (EX)
    The winter wolf has Scent.
    Scent can have a clarification about the range of the scent for combat purposes. Some people have been lax about this, but it doesn't hurt to state it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Cold Immunity
    The winter wolf gains the cold subtype and with it, Immunity to cold. The fire vulnerability stays the same.
    Fair, except for the earlier imbalance of having fire vulnerability but no immunities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Freezing Bite (SU)
    The bite attacks of a winter wolf deal 1d6 extra cold damage, as if they were frost weapons.
    This is a prime example of an ability that should scale (again, with HD, not class levels). Is this +1d6 damage going to be worth it at high levels? Is the three (or even five) level investment in the class going to keep it competitive at 10th level? 15th? 20th?

    It doesn't have to just gain cold damage. Look at the manual entry: "They pursue prey relentlessly" and "each wolf attacks in turn to exhaust it."

    I'd suggest a steady progression of cold damage, with some fatigue or exhaustion effects added in somewhere along the way; Frostburn, IIRC, has a fatigue effect attached to 'Frostbite', a condition applied alongside cold damage which makes opponents fatigued until they heal the damage. It's fitting for a winter wolf that's lasted long enough to get to mid-high levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Breath Weapon (SU)
    The wolf gains a breath weapon that deals 4d6 cold damage in a 15ft cone. Reflex save DC is 10+1/2 HD+constitution modifier. Using this is a standard action and after use, it may not be used again in 1d4 rounds.
    The damage should maybe scale as well (alongside the DC).

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Growth
    The wolf become large (long) sized. It gains all the associate penalties and bonuses, but no reach or ability score adjustments. In addition, the damage for the wolf's bite increases to 1d8.
    Works. The statement on reach is a bit weird to me, but it's good enough. It's maybe just a teeny bit lackluster as a capstone ability, given the lack of reach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    Comments
    It's a winter wolf from the monster manual. I didn't see it in the list. This was pretty easy to make, since the winter wolf has a nice storage of stuff to spread around to 5 levels. This one has no ability score adjustments, since I thought it gets enough nice stuff anyway.
    Well, heh, this is a change of pace from my usual set of complains that a given monster has too many unnecessary ability score increases.

    The lack of fine manipulation is a pretty hefty drawback (unlike a troll, giant or scorpionfolk, he can't pick up a greatsword if he feels his natural attacks aren't cutting it), and as a result, I can't shake the feeling that the winter wolf lacks some general clout as compared to equal level melee combatants.

    Auto-trip is a saving grace there, but it won't really do against multiple combatants, four legged combatants or bigger foes. Compare a PC with 3 levels in your Winter Wolf class to a CR3 Ogre. Your PC should have at least a 50% chance of beating that encounter on its own, and I harbor suspicions that the winter wolf can't.

    And that, unless you wished to add thematic new abilities, is where stat bonuses come in handy.

    To round it out, I might also suggest:
    • A thematic ability where the Winter Wolf generates snowstorms towards higher levels. Lowers the ambient temperature, shifts weather effects to be colder. It synergizes with the hide bonus in cold (which is very niche) and it fits my personal vision of what a really badass, high level Winter Wolf would be like.

      To add this, I might rename the breath weapon to something more fitting and then have an added blurb at the bottom like "At 8HD, the Winter Wolf's innate command over frigid winds extends to..." and so on.
    • Perhaps another growth at a later date. If you take 5 levels in the class, it should feel worthwhile. A winter wolf that grows at, say, 12HD, might be fitting. I believe there's at least one adventure out there with an advanced huge (or larger?) size Winter Wolf alpha leading a pack. Damned if I can remember what it is.
    Last edited by Hyudra; 2010-07-10 at 12:51 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #859

    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Exams ended, just need to to wait for some more results! So I'M BACK!

    Now to do my job here, would anyone do me the favor of linking all posted monster classes presented here since my leave on a single post? It would be a great help. Thank you in advance.

  20. - Top - End - #860
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    I'm quite partial to winter wolves. One of my favorite characters to date was a Hexblade with a Winter Wolf improved familiar as a mount.



    BAB/save distribution looks ok. Makes sense.



    Not sure where you got these skills. Winter Wolf in the MM has Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Spot and Survival. Some of the others can be argued to make sense, but Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Profession and Tumble don't, really. Balance makes a degree of sense but isn't really necessary.



    I'd suggest renaming this to Winter Wolf Body, rather than just Wolf Body, to prevent confusion with other potential wolves.

    Worth stating that winter wolves are four legged creatures. I'd seriously consider starting it at 40' land speed and giving it a 10' movement buff when it changes size. N/m. Even medium size wolves have 50' move.



    You could include this under Winter Wolf Body for brevity.



    A few problems here. First off, it could stand to scale. Abilities should scale with HD, not class levels, so they're worthwhile even after you've hit the later levels, and to free up multiclassing if people feel the desire. A player shouldn't be locked into taking the later levels to pick up the better resistances and immunity.

    Second, this is fundamentally unfair to the wolf. Vulnerability is the counterpart to immunity, but the Winter Wolf doesn't get immunity - only resistance. Added to that, fire is the most common type of elemental damage. So you get a notable weakness to a common damage type and a mild reduction in damage from a less common damage type.

    I'd make it so you get the fire vulnerability at the same time you get cold immunity. Until then, you can ad-hoc a lesser form of vulnerability. I'd consider having something like "3 points of cold resistance for every HD" and "You take 1.5 extra damage per HD whenever you take fire damage." (This is what I used for Frost and Fire Giants) That can later be eliminated as the giant instead gets fire/cold vulnerability/immunity.

    Either way, as a hypothetical PC who has taken 1 level in the winter wolf class, I have to ask whether what I've gained going to be worth it later? In this case, most definitely not: I can't wield weapons, and I'm taking +50% damage from a 6d6 fireball while taking 5 less from a cone of cold.



    I think he could get the wolf trip at level 1. This means you get a steady progression of special attacks (one every 2 levels at 1st, 3rd and 5th level), and it helps make up for the raw offense the wolf lacks at first level (no weapons or equipment, no special abilities).



    Scent can have a clarification about the range of the scent for combat purposes. Some people have been lax about this, but it doesn't hurt to state it.



    Fair, except for the earlier imbalance of having fire vulnerability but no immunities.



    This is a prime example of an ability that should scale (again, with HD, not class levels). Is this +1d6 damage going to be worth it at high levels? Is the three (or even five) level investment in the class going to keep it competitive at 10th level? 15th? 20th?

    It doesn't have to just gain cold damage. Look at the manual entry: "They pursue prey relentlessly" and "each wolf attacks in turn to exhaust it."

    I'd suggest a steady progression of cold damage, with some fatigue or exhaustion effects added in somewhere along the way; Frostburn, IIRC, has a fatigue effect attached to 'Frostbite', a condition applied alongside cold damage which makes opponents fatigued until they heal the damage. It's fitting for a winter wolf that's lasted long enough to get to mid-high levels.



    The damage should maybe scale as well (alongside the DC).



    Works. The statement on reach is a bit weird to me, but it's good enough. It's maybe just a teeny bit lackluster as a capstone ability, given the lack of reach.



    Well, heh, this is a change of pace from my usual set of complains that a given monster has too many unnecessary ability score increases.

    The lack of fine manipulation is a pretty hefty drawback (unlike a troll, giant or scorpionfolk, he can't pick up a greatsword if he feels his natural attacks aren't cutting it), and as a result, I can't shake the feeling that the winter wolf lacks some general clout as compared to equal level melee combatants.

    Auto-trip is a saving grace there, but it won't really do against multiple combatants, four legged combatants or bigger foes. Compare a PC with 3 levels in your Winter Wolf class to a CR3 Ogre. Your PC should have at least a 50% chance of beating that encounter on its own, and I harbor suspicions that the winter wolf can't.

    And that, unless you wished to add thematic new abilities, is where stat bonuses come in handy.

    To round it out, I might also suggest:
    • A thematic ability where the Winter Wolf generates snowstorms towards higher levels. Lowers the ambient temperature, shifts weather effects to be colder. It synergizes with the hide bonus in cold (which is very niche) and it fits my personal vision of what a really badass, high level Winter Wolf would be like.

      To add this, I might rename the breath weapon to something more fitting and then have an added blurb at the bottom like "At 8HD, the Winter Wolf's innate command over frigid winds extends to..." and so on.
    • Perhaps another growth at a later date. If you take 5 levels in the class, it should feel worthwhile. A winter wolf that grows at, say, 12HD, might be fitting. I believe there's at least one adventure out there with an advanced huge (or larger?) size Winter Wolf alpha leading a pack. Damned if I can remember what it is.
    I dropped Climb, Craft, Profession and Tumble. However, I think handle animal fits. It being an animal itself it should know how to deal with them.
    I don't think I should give growth after the class is done. It just doesn't seem right to me.
    I put the trip to level 1 and gave the fatigue bite at level 2.
    The freezing bite and breath now scale. I gave the page number to scent so no more searching. I made the vulnerability scale as well as the resistance. I'm thinking of giving the wolf a bunch of SLA:s starting at level 3-5 and scaling by HD.
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  21. - Top - End - #861
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    A list of monsters done since Oslecamo's absence on 6-15-2010:



    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    I dropped Climb, Craft, Profession and Tumble. However, I think handle animal fits. It being an animal itself it should know how to deal with them.
    I don't think I should give growth after the class is done. It just doesn't seem right to me.
    I put the trip to level 1 and gave the fatigue bite at level 2.
    The freezing bite and breath now scale. I gave the page number to scent so no more searching. I made the vulnerability scale as well as the resistance. I'm thinking of giving the wolf a bunch of SLA:s starting at level 3-5 and scaling by HD.
    I think 2nd level is too early for the fatigue bite (I figured it'd be an addition to freezing bite at 6HD, 8HD or somewhere thereabouts).

    Freezing bite should scale with HD, not 'levels', for clarity. ('levels' implies levels in the monster class, which is confusing). Ditto with freezing breath.

    I think it would make more sense for the Winter Wolf to get stat bonuses to round it out as a fighter-type than for it to get more SLAs. It's a more brawny monster, not a caster.
    Last edited by Hyudra; 2010-07-10 at 11:17 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #862
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    I really, Really feel like playing gestalt levels one through twenty as an epic paragon here (Stone Giant? Phoenix?), with only template classes on the other side.
    Therefore, I'm going to try and dig up some templates to make.
    Using This extensive list of templates, which is a little hard to read, and doesn't contain everything about every template, but even lists all the original books they were in, I have found:
    Half-Troll Fiend Folio CR +2
    Half-Scrag (Aquatic troll crossbreed) Fiend Folio CR +2
    Fetch (You... son-of-a-ghost!) Dragon Magazine 313 CR +1
    Corupted Dragon Magazine 350 CR +2
    Fleshvigor Dragon Magazine 315 CR +1
    Dustform Sandstorm CR +2
    All these have CR +X equal to or lower than any "Lvl" +X, which I asume it means "LA". Crystal keep is confusing that way. If it means RHD+LA, it would also make sense. If I'm wrong, and "Lvl +5, CR +2" doesn't mean I'd make a two level class, and "Lvl +1, CR +2" doesn't mean it isn't worth making into a class, let me know.
    There are several more I could have picked from, but just to keep things simple, I'm keeping the list low.

    Although I'm throwing this out there for anyone, I think I'll start with the half-troll, and then move on to half-Scrag. After I'm done troll. If, of course, I finish.

    So, half-troll. 2d8 HD, 3/4 BaB, good fort, 2+int skills, Fast healing 5 (scaling?), two claws, bite, and rend? sound good? +4 Con and Str?
    I'd think half-Scrag would be similar, but with a swim speed, and a restriction on that fast healing.
    Last edited by flabort; 2010-07-10 at 06:25 PM.
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  23. - Top - End - #863

    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Ok, review of the giants first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    A list of monsters done since Oslecamo's absence on 6-15-2010:

    [list][*]Giants posted/revised (See changelogs):
    [list][*]Hill Giant (Max level raised to match CR).
    +1 when on higher ground and one re-roll per round isn't that exciting. I would make it a scaling bonus (+1 per 4 HD for example) and increase the critical threat of the attack when on higher ground, as re-roll damage isn't really that usefull.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    [*]Stone Giant (Max level raised to match CR).
    Great job here, not really much to add.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    [*]Frost Giant (Max level raised to match CR).
    Shiverguard kinda weak. Make it so that it doesn't make you flatfooted (you already have to burn icy weapon uses to benefit from it and it only lasts one round), and that it deals damage to creatures attacking you with natural weapons when they miss you. Also, magic weapons already gain extra DR and HP for being magic so no need of an extra defense for them in Shiverguard.

    The other frost giant abilities look great!

  24. - Top - End - #864
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    Ok, review of the giants first.


    +1 when on higher ground and one re-roll per round isn't that exciting. I would make it a scaling bonus (+1 per 4 HD for example) and increase the critical threat of the attack when on higher ground, as re-roll damage isn't really that usefull.
    Ok. I won't deny that the +1 is kinda weak. I'll make it increase critical threat range & damage instead.

    Shiverguard kinda weak. Make it so that it doesn't make you flatfooted (you already have to burn icy weapon uses to benefit from it and it only lasts one round), and that it deals damage to creatures attacking you with natural weapons when they miss you. Also, magic weapons already gain extra DR and HP for being magic so no need of an extra defense for them in Shiverguard.
    The trouble is that if it doesn't make you flatfooted, then you can dodge the attack (via. dex to AC) and still have it break against your armor. Doesn't make a lot of sense. I'm open to suggestions.

    Tried to search for the rules on magic items gaining extra DR & HP, couldn't find it, added that bonus. I'll remove it.

    Thanks for the feedback. I look forward to feedback on some of the other classes, as there were some interesting challenges in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    I really, Really feel like playing gestalt levels one through twenty as an epic paragon here (Stone Giant? Phoenix?), with only template classes on the other side.
    Therefore, I'm going to try and dig up some templates to make.
    I assume you mean you're making templates as prestige monster classes? I really don't follow your train of thought.
    Last edited by Hyudra; 2010-07-10 at 07:01 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #865

    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    The trouble is that if it doesn't make you flatfooted, then you can dodge the attack (via. dex to AC) and still have it break against your armor. Doesn't make a lot of sense. I'm open to suggestions.
    Hmm, make the ability trigger when they actualy hit you as all the other monsters that have similar abilities (carven catayird from MM II comes to mind)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    Tried to search for the rules on magic items gaining extra DR & HP, couldn't find it, added that bonus. I'll remove it.
    I looked more closely at the rules and it seems like only shields get it. My bad, put back the bonus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    I look forward to feedback on some of the other classes, as there were some interesting challenges in there.
    Tomorrow. They indeed look interesting but too sleepy now.

  26. - Top - End - #866
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Can't find my MMII all of a sudden, so can't look up the carven whatsit.

    Instead, I made a change so the ability doesn't make you flatfooted, but attacks that fail to penetrate your flatfooted AC take the damage. Don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.

    Also, added a stat damage for the cases of combat against creatures that don't have weapons to break.

    Changed Hill Giant so he has an increased crit threat range and crit damage multiplier on high ground.

  27. - Top - End - #867
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    I am curious, would it be possible to have someone do the entropic reaper? I think this monster has allot of potential as a class not to mention gives that special look to anyone wanting to look like and feel like the grim reaper ^.^
    Last edited by chrono10487; 2010-07-10 at 07:34 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #868
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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    Source?

    10requestsforsource.
    Last edited by Hyudra; 2010-07-10 at 07:37 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    I completely second the recommendation, I been wanting to recommend it for a while but kept on forgetting. Its from LM.
    Last edited by demidracolich; 2010-07-10 at 07:38 PM.
    Really really really awesome avatar thanks to neoseph7

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    Default Re: [3.5]Improved monster classes: adapting creatures for player use-taking requests!

    it is in the Libris Mortis

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