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  1. - Top - End - #721
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    There's a link on the first post (or one of the first three posts) of the thread to a 'fill in the blanks' submission form that you can copy for your monster classes.
    KTHXBAI!
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    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
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  2. - Top - End - #722
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Lizard Lord
    Alright, changed it to be a 1 level class.
    Alright. Just FYI, the template that I linked dsmiles to might also help you out, in making a good looking monster class.

    If that looks too daunting, consider just quoting a monster class, removing the quote tags & replacing everything step by step. It'll make for a much prettier entry.

  3. - Top - End - #723
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    The point is to COMPLETELY IGNORE Level Adjustment, not base the class around it. Sorry if that comes off angry, but the class is supposed to equal the Challenge rating.
    Commendations for trying, but I facepalm to you, my good sir.
    You could be a little nicer about this.
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  4. - Top - End - #724
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    You could be a little nicer about this.
    This is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles
    ...
    Out of curiosity, which monster are you doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Everyone Else
    ...
    Just wanted to reaffirm, since some people may have missed it in the jumble of the last page:
    Next four creature creators to ask me will get another critique on their monster, so if you've updated your monster since I last critiqued it, ask and I'll try to get to it.
    Last edited by Hyudra; 2011-02-25 at 08:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    You could be a little nicer about this.
    Oops. Did not actually intend to come off that... harsh. I more meant it too be a "You lose. Try again", like on the roll-up-the-rim TimHorton's cups.
    You may not have a TimHortons in your area, but that's completely going off at a tangent.
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  6. - Top - End - #726
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by flabort View Post
    You may not have a TimHortons in your area, but that's completely going off at a tangent.
    Dead Tim's is an integral part of Canadian life.

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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    • Lowest BAB for a martial character?
    • Yeah, I really intend on keeping to the original creature type unless I MUST change it. I know I don't need to, but I want to keep it as a design challenge

      Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    • Ability names in table doesn't match up with ability names in text or in comments.
    They don't? It shall be looked upon

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  8. Nature Child: Rename to Ragewalker Body.
Er...

Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Mind of Rage:
    • A few problems here. First off, the initiator stuff is problematic because you're referring to stuff that isn't open content. It's copyrighted and not everyone has that content. RAW, the whole 'ragewalker levels count as initiator levels' implies you get the stances/maneuvers as you take levels in the class, which is likely unintended.
  • It's not graceful, but it will be done, my dark master.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • "Whenever the Ragewalker makes an opposed attack roll (including a grapple check) that was initiated against him" - really clumsy wording. I honestly am not sure what you intend to say by this.
  • "he can use his total HD in place of his BAB" - why? What's the aim here? This is a massive bonus at high levels.
  • "Whenever the Ragewalker makes an opposed Strength check that was initiated against him, he may use a Dexterity check instead." - Wording is awkward. Reword to: "If a maneuver is initiated against the Ragewalker and he is required to make a strength check as a consequence, he may make a dexterity check instead."
  • The whole idea here is that when the ragewalker is defending itself against what Pathfinder calls a Combat Manuever, he can use his HD instead of BAB for it, like a pathfinder feat does. Feel free to tell me a better wording.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Grafted armor:
    • Worth stating it can be enchanted.
    • 4 + ⅓ HD. So 4 at first, 5 at third, 6 at sixth, and so on until +10 at 18th. I guess my only issue with this is that armor class becomes so negligible at high levels, unless you can ~really~ pump it, and often it doesn't even matter after that, so I can't help but wonder if it's even worth the effort of having a different progression than just Con mod = armor. Just commenting, doesn't need changing either way, don't think.
  • Good it doesn't. It shall be stated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Fey Body:
    • Rename. The 'body' abilities in this project are pretty much exclusively for the first level abilities that outline the racial benefits & particulars of any given monster. The ability's fine, it's just the name runs against convention.
  • It shall be done, dark lord.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Styptic Armor:
    • Styptic really isn't the right word for this. It means to slow bleeding. Not necessarily heal. Rename ability?
  • Fell free to give me a better name, dark lord

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Weapon Cloud:
    • 'Any creature adjacent to the Ragewalker take 1d4 damage' - takes.
    • "This damage increases by 1d6 per three total HD beyond this point" - this is awkwardly phrased. It implies that if the Ragewalker takes the second level of the class at a higher level, it gets less overall benefit, which is something we try to explicitly avoid in this project.
    • Reword to: 'This damage increases by 1d6 for every 3HD after the 2nd?
    • Not sure I love no-save damage. Especially at a low level.
  • It shall be done, dark lord. Besides I'll keep the no save because you already didn't like a save against this damage a the previous incarnation of the ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Deflect Missiles:
    • As I read the first two levels, something was bugging me, and I finally realized what it was. The issue is that the Ragewalker, for all his class features, doesn't do anything. Levels 1-3 (I'll comment if further levels have this issue) don't give you options in combat. I mean, sure, they give you stuff you can do in response to actions against you, but even that's fairly thin. You've got a ton of well disguised passive abilities and nothing active thus far.
  • It's part of the original monster do this at will, but I'll give the at will at later levels, usable x times per turn at lower ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Spell Resistant Armor:
    • Why 10+HD? I do believe 11+HD is standard.
  • It will be done, dark lord.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Spell Like Abilities:
    • So at 4th level we finally get an active ability... usable once a day. Others come up later, but it's still very little to break up the monotony of 'I move and make a standard attack', 'I make a full attack', 'I make a full attack', 'I try to trip', 'I make a standard attack', 'I make a full attack'.
  • Besides giving the ranged attack earlier I don't see a solution for now, dark lord.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Command Living Spells:
    • I'm inclined to consider 5th level a dead level, because this ability is so unlikely to come up in regular play (without the DM catering to the ragewalker) that it's ignorable. Even when it does come up, there's the simple fact that the math for the turn undead class feature (and by extension, this) is so borked that (like truenaming, but to a lesser extent) you just won't be able to make a turn check at mid-high levels.
  • It's part of the original monster, besides, it's more or less just a feat. But I'll consider something extra, dark lord.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Induce Blood Frenzy:
    • A little much, given it's (for the most part) a save or lose against against casters, turning half of your encounters against casters into trivial fights. It's just too easy to apply given the impact of what it does.
    • It's worth saying, a Ragewalker at 6th level of the class, and still, your only active ability (one you choose to use in combat) beyond the most basic of basics, is a single casting of Bull's Strength. Even Induce Blood Frenzy is passive, just a gaze attack that's pretty much always on.
  • I'm starting to not get the problem with passive abilities. You cause damage to people adjacent, you have fast healing, SR, now a gaze, and you free your actions for the things you do with your feats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Repel Missiles:
    • You change pronouns mid-sentence. You refer to the Ragewalker by 'his', then change tacks a few words later to 'its'
    • Again, don't love that it works against all attacks at 12th level. I think I might prefer that it uses the ragewalker's attack roll on deflection, to avoid shenanigans where the Ragewalker effortlessly returns a god's bowshots back at the god.
  • Like the iron heart manuever, I see. it shall be considered, dark lord.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Cloud Attack:
    • Finally, at 7th level, we get an active attack option with something to consider and think tactically about, outside of the most basic of basics (attack, full attack, maneuvers). A range increment of 30' seems like quite a bit. Isn't that a max range of 150'?
  • I really wanted to give it earlier. The range is okay for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Cloud Fury:
    • "If he chooses to affect a 5ft radius it causes its normal Weapon Cloud damage. Finally, if it chooses to affect a 5ft radius it causes half its normal Weapon Cloud damage." - which is it, for a 5' radius?
  • Sure, dark lord.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
  • Repel Magic:
    • "This ability is usable once per day plus one more time per three HD attained beyond this point." - awkward wording, and we're back at the 'beyond this point' bit that goes against project philosophy. Try "This ability is usable once a day, with an additional daily use for every three HD after 14HD."
  • I'll try to do your bidding, dark lord
  • {table=Head]Category|Score
    Originality|Thanks, dark lord.
    Playability|I shall get cloud attack ealier, dark lord. But then, I believe it's part of the design many passive and defensive abilities. And getting the gaze always active isn't exactly party friendly...
    Power|Induce blood frenzy was based on spells of similar power, dark lord.
    Elegance|
    Flavor|It shall be added more fluff later, dark lord[/table]


  • Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    A good few problems to fix, but don't be disheartened. It's very much in line with the feedback the average poster gets for their first homebrew monster class.
    Compared with previous reviews from you, Hyudra, I'm kinda happy with this one.
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  • - Top - End - #728
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    ...why is she (I think) a Dark Lord?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    It's like the feng shui version of an orbital death laser.

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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    This is true.
    Just wanted to reaffirm, since some people may have missed it in the jumble of the last page:
    Next four creature creators to ask me will get another critique on their monster, so if you've updated your monster since I last critiqued it, ask and I'll try to get to it.
    Well, I don't want to be a bother but I've added a new ability to the Vivisector, so could you go have a look if you have time?
    For now, this monarch shall go get some sleep.
    Last edited by TheGeckoKing; 2011-02-25 at 09:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    ...why is she (I think) a Dark Lord?
    Don't know. It's not meant as an offense. I just love star wars, and I think the sith are very cool (but I'm a jedi! Light side FTW), and the whole council thing, there were two, a lord and an apprentice... Don't know, sounded just cool...

    Dark lady sounds... erh... un-sith?


    In any case, the Ragewalker. I've tossed abilities around (I really wanted to give them earlier, and since I received such a low power score, then its cool!), added more ability bonuses (because many monsters have much more than +6 to DEX to a DEX based monster with low BAB).

    If you're tossing reviews, I want one more.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    Dark lady sounds... erh... un-sith?
    "Whom do you serve, human?"
    "The Dark Lady. I am hers to command..."


    Sith are weaksauce villains, friend. Hyudra has much more in common with Sylvanas :P


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    The vivisector seems really cool now. I would just add the following:

    Choice Cuts: At 3rd level, when a Vivisector successfully uses its Vivisection or Dissection ability on a creature and kills them with it, they may scoop up the organs extracted, eat them, and pick a bonus from the following list, as a free action. (...) A Vivisector can also use Choice Cuts on a creature that died by other causes, but only if the creature has been dead by no longer than 1 minute.

    One of my players would love use it.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    "Whom do you serve, human?"
    "The Dark Lady. I am hers to command..."


    Sith are weaksauce villains, friend. Hyudra has much more in common with Sylvanas :P
    After Force Unleashed you'll never say this again, heretic!
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    After Force Unleashed you'll never say this again, heretic!
    I've played it. Sith are still weaksauce, my friend. They're crippled by the same two flaws - two-dimensional morality and George Lucas's writing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Psurlon (v6.0)

    Monster Class
    Lords of Madness p. 162.

    Class:
    Spoiler
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    HD: d6

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|
    Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Worm Body, Ability Bonus (CHA +1), Inertial Armor, Immunities, , Telekinetic Blast, Telepathy

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Ability Bonus (INT +1, CHA +1, Blindsight, Combat Manifestation

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Ability Bonus (INT +1, CHA +1), Damage Reduction, Psionics (Brain Lock, Cloud Mind, Read Thoughts)

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Ability Bonus (INT +1, CHA +1), Improved Telekinetic Blast, Power Resistance

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Ability Bonus (INT +1, CHA +1), Telekinetic Thrust

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |Ability Bonus (CHA +1), Narrow Mind

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Telekinetic Burst, Psionic Dimension Door, Telekinetic Maneuver[/table]

    [Skills Points at First Level: (4+Intelligence Modifier) x 4
    Skills Points at Each Level: (4+Intelligence Modifier)
    Class Skills: The Psurlon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Dungeoneering), Knowledge (Psionics) (Int), Psicraft (Int), and Sense Motive (Wis).

    Proficiencies: The Psurlon gains is proficient with only its natural weapons. Psurlons gain no proficiency with armor or shields.

    Psurlon Body: The Psurlon loses all other racial bonuses and gains Aberration traits, granting it darkvision with a range of 60'. Psurlons are initially Medium sized creatures with a base movement speed of 30 ft, possessing a bite attack that deals 1d6 + the Psurlon's Strength modifier damage. Psurlons have Undercommon as a starting language, with additional languages for a high intelligence score as normal. They also have a +4 racial bonus on Escape Artist checks due to their soft and flexible bodies.
    Psurlons are naturally psionic, and at first level gain 1 bonus power point. At each following Psurlon level, a Psurlon gains bonus power points equal to half of their current Hit Dice (rounded down). Psurlons do not gain known powers, however, levels of Psurlon count as Wilder levels for the purposes of maximum power level known and maximum power points spent to manifest a Wilder power.

    Ability Bonus: The Psurlon gains +1 to Charisma at level 1 through level 6, and +1 to Intelligence at level 2 through level 5, for a total bonus of +6 to Charisma and +4 to Intelligence at 7th level.

    Immunities (Ex): Psurlons are immune to sleep, charm, and compulsion effects.

    Inertial Armor (Su):Psurlons project a mild field of force from their bodies, giving them a deflection bonus equal to their Constitution modifier.

    Telekinetic Blast (Su): Masters of telekinesis, psurlons rarely attack with physical weapons, instead preferring to use their telekinetic blast. At 1st level, a Psurlon may, as a standard action, project a blast of telekinetic force that causes 1d6 force damage on a successful ranged touch attack. At each odd level this damage increases by 1d6, to a maximum of 9d6. A Psurlon must be psionically focused to use its telekenitic blast.

    Telepathy (Su): A Psurlon can communicate with any creature that has a language telepathically, within 50 ft. The range of a Psurlon's telepathy increases by 20 ft per Hit Die to a maximum range of 250 ft.

    Blindsight (Ex): At 2nd level Psurlon develops the ability to ascertain its surroundings by sensing sound, scent, heat, and vibration. This ability allows it to discern objects and creatures within 60'. The Psurlon does not normally need to make Spot or Listen checks to notice creatures within range of its blindsight.

    Combat Manifestation (Ex): At 2nd level, the Psurlon gains Combat Manifestation as a bonus feat.

    Damage Reduction (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level the Psurlon gains Damage Reduction equal to (1/2HD)/psionic.

    Psionics (Ps): As a Psurlon becomes more powerful, it gains psionic powers as Psi-like abilities.
    At 3rd level, a Psurlon gains the following abilities: brain lock (1/day per manifester level), cloud mind (1/day per manifester level), and read thoughts (at will).
    At 5th level, Psurlons gain the following Psi-like ability: telekinetic thrust (1/day per 2 manifester levels).
    At 7th level, Psurlons gain the following Psi-like abilities: psionic dimension door (1/day per 2 manifester levels), and telekinetic maneuver (1/day per 2 manifester levels).
    A Psurlon's manifester level is equal to its Hit Dice, and the save DCs are Charisma-based. A Psurlon must be psionically focused to use any of its Psi-Like Abilities.

    Improved Telekinetic Blast (Su): Beginning at 4th level, as a full-round action, the Psurlon may manifest its telekinetic blast against multiple targets. For each 4 Hit Dice, the Psurlon may spend 4 power points to add one additional target, to a maximum of 5 additional targets. The Psurlon needs to make a successful ranged touch attack against each target in order to inflict damage. A psurlon must be psionically focused to use its improved telekinetic blast.

    Power Resistance (Su): At 4th level, the Psurlon's mind becomes resistant to mental attacks. It gains Power Resistance equal to 10 plus its Hit Dice.

    Psionic Meditation (Ex): At 6th level, a Psurlon gains Psionic Meditation as a bonus feat.

    Telekinetic Burst (Su): At 7th level, a Psurlon can unfocus its telekinetic blast and cause it to expand into an area effect. A psurlon must spend its psionic focus and 6 power points per 10 ft radius of its telekinetic burst, to a maximum radius of 50 ft. All targets within the burst are allowed a Fortitude save for half damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.
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    This is my first swag at a homebrewed monster class.
    I am used to using the Psionics are Different variant, so DR/Psionic fits. In a Psionics are the Same campaign DR/psionic and PR are the same as DR/magic and SR.
    Changelog
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    Spoiler
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    - Changed (v1.0 v5.0): Concussion Blast to limit damage output and number of targets; Inertial Armor to 1/day/2ML; 1/day and 3/day abilities to 1/day/2ML and 1/day/ML; DR to 1/2HD/psionic; Ability bonuses are now a total of INT+4 and CHA+6; Reduced HD to d6; removed concussion blast in favor of more generic Telekinetic Blast at lvl 1/Improved Telekinetic Blast at level 4; removed Claws; reduced Darkvision to 60 ft., removed energy bolt (didn't really fit the flavor anyways); Bonus PP have a purpose, added PP cost to ITB, limited CHA bonus to +5 (), added Wilder multiclass note.

    - Changed: (v6.0) Added 2 levels; Changed "Worm Body" to "Psurlon Body" (happy now? jeez.); adjusted PSLs to the "correct" manifester levels; added Telekinetic Burst; DR/psionic and Wilder multi-class remain unchanged
    Last edited by dsmiles; 2011-02-27 at 06:05 PM. Reason: v6.0
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Sith are still weaksauce, my friend.
    You have the right to be wrong, weakling. Soooon the Sith will rule the galaxyyyy. And. We. Shall. Have. Peace.


    Psurlon
    Holy @#$%! Psurlons! My wife's calling me to sleep, but tomorrow I'll review it first thing in the morning!
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    Holy @#$%! Psurlons! My wife's calling me to sleep, but tomorrow I'll review it first thing in the morning!
    Why, thank you, good sir. It may be a tad OP, but I have high hopes.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Sith? Sylvanas?
    If you're arguing over one against the other, you have not heard of the power of Combine and Conquer!
    ....The darkest lady will have a word with you later.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    Psionics: Psurlons are naturally psionic creatures and gain 1 bonus power point at 1st level. They also gain the following powers as Psi-like abilities at 1st level: inertial armor (at will) and brain lock (3/day).
    At 2nd level, the Psurlon gains the following Psi-like abilities: concussion blast (at will) and cloud mind (3/day).
    At 3rd level, Psurlons gain the following Psi-like abilities: read thoughts (at will) and telekinetic thrust (1/day).
    At 4th level, the Psurlon gains the following Psi-like ability: telekinetic maneuver (1/day).
    At 5th level, Psurlons gain the following Psi-like abilities: energy bolt (3/day) and psionic dimension door (1/day).
    A Psurlon's manifester level is equal to its Hit Dice, and the save DCs are Charisma-based.
    Uses per day should scale with Hit dice rather than being a flat amount per day. Also, abilitiess shouldn't be at will. I suggest changing concussion blast and inertial armor to 1/day per 2 HD and 1/day per HD respectively. I'll check the other powers in a bit to see whether they should be allowed at the level they're at.
    Worm Body: At 1st level the Psurlon loses all racial traits. They become a Medium Aberration. They gain a bite attack as its primary natural weapon, dealing 1d6 damage. A Psurlon also has a two claw attacks as secondary natural weapons, which deal 1d4 damage. A Psurlon's primary natural weapons add their STR modifier to damage, and their secondary natural weapons add half of their STR modifier. A Psurlon has darkvision to a range of 120 ft. They also have a +4 racial bonus on Escape Artist checks due to their soft and flexible bodies. A Psurlon gains a +2 bonus to their Intelligence and Charisma scores.
    This should go below proficiencies before anything else. Also, if you want to give it +2 to Int and charisma, it should be spread out over all levels. Also, it looks like it gets way too many ability score boosts over the levels according to the table.

    Combat Manifestation: At 2nd level, the Psurlon gains Combat Manifestation as a bonus feat.
    Damage Reduction: Beginning at 3rd level the Psurlon gains Damage Reduction 10/psionic.
    DR should scale with hit dice, and DR 10 is way too much for level 3. I suggest reducing it to half your hit dice as per normal.

    Convoluted Mind: At 5th level the Psurlon's neural pathways become twisted and a mental door unlocks. The Psurlon manifests its psi-like abilities as if it had 2 extra Hit Dice.[/quote] Not sure how this interacts with powers at the moment. I'll have a better critique once I check.

    Another problem I notice is it doesn't seem to get power points as it levels, meaning it can't augment its powers.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2011-02-25 at 10:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Will do. I was trying to match it up with the stats and psi-like abilities in the book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    Not sure how this interacts with powers at the moment. I'll have a better critique once I check.
    It really doesn't, except for ML checks. Damage only scales with augmentation, and DC scales with Primary Stat increases and augmentation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    Another problem I notice is it doesn't seem to get power points as it levels, meaning it can't augment its powers.
    So...maybe I should make this a manifester class, and give it a power list? Think that would help?
    Last edited by dsmiles; 2011-02-25 at 11:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    Will do.
    It really doesn't, except for ML checks. Damage only scales with augmentation, and DC scales with Primary Stat increases and augmentation.
    Okay.

    So...maybe I should make this a manifester class, and give it a power list? Think that would help?
    That seems a little excessive. Maybe give it the bonus power points you normally get from leveling in psionic classes? I don't have any real experience with Psionics so I might have to end my critique here.\

    EDIT: I may have misunderstood what you meant here. I'm guessing you didn't mean that you were going to create new powers specifically for the monsters.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2011-02-25 at 11:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    PHP Code:
    [size=5][b][Monster][/b][/size
    [
    IMG]Image URL Goes Here![/IMG
    Monster Class [OR] Prestige Monster Class/Template
    Source of Original Monster
    .  For exampleMonster Manual/SRD or Heroes of Horror

    [b]Class:[/b]
    [
    spoiler]

    [
    b][MonsterPrerequisites[/b]
    To become a [Monster], the character must meet the following requirements:

    [
    b]Prerequisite:[/bWhatever that may be.
    [
    b]Prerequisite:[/bWhatever that may be.
    [
    b]Prerequisite:[/bWhatever that may be.

    /////////////Delete everything from monster prequisites, above, down to here if if you're not making a template/prestige monster class.

    [b]HD:[/bD#

    {table=head][b]Level[/b]|[b]BAB[/b]|[b]Fort[/b]|[b]Ref[/b]|[b]Will[/b]|[CENTER][b]Special[/b][/CENTER]

    1st|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    2nd
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    3rd
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    4th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    5th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    6th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    7th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    8th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    9th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    10th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    11th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    12th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    13th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    14th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    15th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    16th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    17th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    18th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    19th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability

    20th
    |[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|[center]+x[/center]|Class Ability[/table]
    //////////////Delete rows from the table until you have an appropriate number.  Be sure to end with [/table]

    [b]Skill Points:[/b] (Int modifierper levelx4 at first level.
    [
    b]Class Skills:[/bThe [Monster]class skills (and the key ability for each skillare Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Iaijutsu Focus (Cha),  Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (specificeach listed individually), Knowledge (all skillstaken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Psicraft (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a),  Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Truespeak (Int), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Psionic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

    /////////////Delete class skills from the above list until you've got an appropriate selection. Also, delete "x4 at first level" if this is a prestige monster class/template.

    [b]Proficiencies[/b]: The [Monstergains proficiency with...

    /////////////Specify armor, weapon, and shield proficiencies, or lack thereof. If your [Monster] gains a natural weapon, it is a good idea to mention that it becomes proficient with it. If making a prestige monster class/template, specify whether it retains the proficiencies of the base creature (it nearly always will).

    [b][MonsterBody:[/bThe [Monsterloses all other racial bonuses and becomes a [Monster Type] ([any Subtypes]). It gains [Monster Typetraitsgranting it (list vision typesany type-based immunities or resistances).  [Monster]s are initially [Starting Monster Size Heresized creatures with a base land speed of [Movement speed]', possessing [Natural Attacks] that deal [damage] + Str modifier [Or 1.5, 2x Str, depending] damage and Natural Armor equal to their Con modifier.  A [Monster] has [Language] as a starting language, with additional languages for a high Int score as normal.

    /////////////If the monster does not have natural armor or natural weapons, delete the appropriate text from the above. The current standard is that this ability should always be named [Monster] Body, where [Monster] is the actual, exact name of your monster, e.g. "Fire Elemental Body" rather than "Flaming Body" or "Body of Flame". For Outsiders, be sure to specify what plane they are native to in the standard D&D cosmology. Monsters from Eberron-specific sourcebooks may specify a plane from the Eberron planar cosmology instead. Monster type and subtype traits can be found at http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/typesSubtypes.htm 

    [b]Attribute Increase:[/b] The [Monster] gains +1 to [Stat] at levels [X, Y, Z], and +1 to [Stat] at levels [Q, R, S] for a total increase of [List the total stat bonuses gained] at [whatever the highest level of the class is] level.

    /////////////If your [Monster] gains less/no ability score increases, then edit/delete the above bit. Avoid using the word "bonus" in the above paragraph.

    [b]Class Feature:[/b] Starting at Xth level the [Monster] gains the ability to...

    [b]Class Feature:[/b] Upon reaching Xth level the [Monster] gains the access to

    [b]Class Feature:[/b] At Xth level the [Monster] learns to

    [b]Class Feature:[/b] Beginning at Xth level the [Monster] can use 

    /////////////And so on. Remember to add (Ex), (Su), and (Sp) tags to abilities where appropriate, and specify what level an ability is gained at in the first sentence or so of its description (preferably in the first few words).

    [/spoiler]

    [b]Comments[/b]
    [spoiler]
    //////////////Your comments on the class, the creation process, ideas that went into it and stuff like that goes here.
    [/spoiler]

    [b]Changelog[/b]
    [spoiler]
    /////////////List changes you make in response to feedback, in as much detail as possible here.  More details on writing a good changelog in the Changelog FAQ.
    [/spoiler] 
    Above data is a version of the work originally done by Chumplump, as modified by Hyudra, Psyborg, and others. Many thanks to Chumplump.

    Putting Together a Monster Class, Using the Above:
    • Before you start, check the Base Monster Classes, Prestige Monster Classes, Unfinished Monster Classes and the Interest lists to be sure that someone hasn't already done the monster you're about to do, that they aren't halfway, and that nobody's called dibs (sorry, it's a first come, first claim basis, here).
    • Copy all the text in the above box into a new post.
      • Better yet, save yourself a lot of work in the long run by...
      • Copying it into notepad (word documents might cause you issues by trying to color the text or adding weird spaces), going to 'Edit', clicking on 'Replace...' ...
      • Put [Monster] in the 'find' box.
      • Put your monster's name in the 'replace with...' box.
      • Click 'replace all'.
      • Copy everything (Ctrl+A, then Ctrl+X)
      • Then paste it into your post field.
    • Preview often, replacing stuff in brackets that isn't formatting code (like [stat]) with the appropriate details.
    • Stuff starting with ////////////// is just notes for you. Read them, then delete them so your monster class is tidy.
    • Try not to post your monster before you're done. If you're only half done, consider copy-pasting your text from the reply window to a word document and saving that. Alternately, you could try sending yourself a private message on the site, which gives you the ability to preview it.
    • Try not to have any text on the post with the monster class aside from what's absolutely necessary. Even a "Ta da! Here's my Hypnotoad that I spent hours on..." at the beginning is distracting to someone who just wants the monster, and makes it look messy.
    • When you're done, don't post right away. Start by spellchecking, then preview and read carefully through it as many times as you need, to be reasonably confident you didn't make any silly errors.
    • But wait, one more thing: Try looking at a well done monster class (see the 'what your post should look like when you're done' bit, below). Is there something drastically different about the look of the two posts? Did you add a new section? Does your post not have an image, or is the image hidden in the spoiler? If there's a big difference between your posts, you may have done something iffy.
    • If all that's done, post away.

    Or:
    • Just quote another monster class, remove the quote tags, and strip it of everything relating to the monster it once was, everything you don't need, and then fill in the details. This is the preferred method of yours truly. Spell checking and comparing it to another monster class is probably a good idea.


    What Your Post Should Look Like When You're Done:

    Design Guidelines for Monsters, a FAQ
    Spoiler
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    Give me the basics
    Monster classes, as designed by Wizards of the Coast, suck. They've got screwy HD, they've still got overpowered abilities, huge attribute bonuses and they're by and large pretty boring. Creatures with LA are little better.

    So we're aiming to make monster classes that work. That means no huge attribute bonuses, monster abilities that would break the game are tweaked. Overall, we want to take the monsters which were designed by WotC to be easy, intuitive and quick for a DM to throw into a combat and make them into classes - which are more complex, more involving, interesting to play and depend on long term interaction with both a group and a larger campaign world.

    Long and short of it, we're striving for:
    Originality - The monster class should be unique. It should stand out from the rest, as a class.
    Playability - The monster should allow for fluid, engaging, amusing and uninterrupted play at the table.
    Balance - The monster should be balanced enough that it's not going to hold the group back or dominate everything without even trying, both overall and at a given stage in its development.
    Elegance - The page which details the monster for the player should look good and be easy to understand.
    Flavor - Last but certainly not least, we want to preserve the flavor and the atmosphere of the monster the monster class is based off of.
    To these ends, there's a critiquing process where we'll go over your monster to find issues and help you work them out before we add the monster to the larger list.
    What are some good rules and rules of thumb to go by?
    Remember, monsters don't adhere to the type or the monster entry 100%. When designing the monster class, you should use the following standards and be able to justify anything different.

    Maximum level in the class is equal to the monster's CR.
    • So essentially, a CR 7 monster will be a class 7 levels long.
    • We've proven that we can do this with every class to date. It can take some work, but you can make it fit.
    • People keep asking, and we keep refusing: Stick to this as though it were a hard and fast rule.

    HD:
    • For those who are confused, HD for these monster classes is synonymous with ECL, or effective character level.
    • I'm stressing this because people don't listen: there is no need to match the size of the HD (d10, d8, d6, d4) to that of the base monster.
    • It shouldn't need to be said, but monsters get a HD advancement with every level in the class, unlike standard monster classes.

    Monster class BAB tends to fall into four general categories:
    • Full BAB (ie. as a Fighter) goes to monsters that are trained and experts at fighting. Monster that, even without class levels, are capable of parrying sword blows and going head to head with a swashbuckler and not looking like a dunce in the doing.
    • BAB (ie. as a Rogue) with Str bonuses for 'brute' monsters. The ones that aren't martially trained but still hit hard. The Str bonuses should be very consistent (+1 Str a level or +1 Str every ⅔ levels) to counterbalance the loss of innate BAB. They won't hit as often, but they'll hit hard.
    • BAB for other monsters that don't fall into the above category and that aren't explicitly 'casters' in role and design.
    • BAB (ie. as a Wizard) for squishy monsters. These monsters typically have full casting or powers otherwise fitting to such.

    Saving throw progressions have two variants for each saving throw, good (like a Fighter's Fortitude save progression) and bad (like a wizard's Fortitude save progression).
    • As a general guideline, think of what class is closest to your monster in design. Is it more like a barbarian, monk, a rogue or a wizard? If so, try using the save progression of those classes as a starting point.
    • Balance saves against HD, BAB and skills/skill points. A creature with full BAB and 6+int skills per level probably doesn't need good progression for 2 different saving throw types, let alone three.

    Skill points per level and skills known generally stay within convention:
    • One thing many people get wrong is that they go for something unconventional with skill points, such as d3, d5, d7. This comes up more often than one might expect. Don't do it.
    • Skill points should, as with saves, reflect the role of the class. If the class is good at fighting on the front lines, it probably doesn't need to be a skill monkey too.
    • For skills known, try to keep it within a sane range of the skill points gained per level. A dumb brute with 2+int per level doesn't need 12 different skills for its skills known. Conversely, a more knowledgeable class with 8+int skills per level shouldn't have less than 10 skills on the list, lest it be forced to take cross class ranks.
    • In some cases, it bears noting, it may be justified to offer a monster talented in a particular field less skill points/skills known, but with racial bonuses or abilities that complement the skill. Convention for this is to offer a monster a bonus on uses of the skill equal to its HD. One skill improved in this manner is enough, two is discouraged but allowed, three is too much.
    • Undead and constructs do not gain class skills. Plants should have relatively few.

    Natural armor is reflective of an inborn toughness. Convention is:
    • Natural armor equal to one's Constitution modifier for 75-90% of the creatures out there with natural armor.
    • Natural armor equal to one's Constitution modifier +1, with an added +1 every time they grow a size category, for monsters with the kind of toughness that makes people wonder if their blades will dull on the monster's scales or hide (such as Dragons and Bulettes).
    • Weaker monsters may justify natural armor equal to one's Constitution modifier. This is also a good idea if there are concerns about armor proficiency being coupled with natural armor for too much toughness, on monsters it doesn't fit.
    • Monsters without Constitution are justified in using natural armor equal to their Strength modifier (common for constructs and undead) or their Charisma modifier (common for psionic entities and other less solid beings).
    • Template/Prestige Monster Classes should offer a bonus to natural armor as opposed to a natural armor bonus, with the difference being that the former stacks with the latter.
    • It's often worth stressing for templates that involve growing natural armor, that they either gain natural armor or enhance any existing natural armor, to allow for a range of monsters taking the template/prestige monster class).

    Ability score increases reflect increases in capability well above that of your average human:
    • A common mistake is to offer too much in the way of ability scores. Err on the side of caution.
    • Ability score increases should be one of the last things one adds to a monster class before submission. Get it done or nearly done, and then judge the overall efficacy of the monster and how well it reflects the capabilities of the base monster. Skill advances should generally shore up weaknesses and areas where the monster simply does not match up to the base creature.
    • Humanoids tend to get less (excepting those areas where the humanoid is a brute monster, as covered in BAB, above), while monsters without the ability to speak or perform fine manipulation tend to get a little bit more.
    • When distributing ability scores, try to have less/none at first level. This prevents a monster from becoming too good a dip - that is, it shouldn't be a class a player takes just one level in because the first level benefits are so good.
    • When in doubt, none at all. If that doesn't work, then try +1 per 3 levels.
    • Finally, where I've gone into depth on ability score bonuses, it bears stating that we try to avoid penalties wherever possible.

    Abilities offered should strike a balance between active & passive. See a few questions below on the FAQ here for more details on what that means. Further:
    • No dead levels! That means no levels where the monster doesn't get any abilities. Such is boring and needless. Levels where the monster gets abilities that aren't worth using, as well, can be counted as dead levels.
    • Some monsters don't have enough abilities to stretch out over their full array of levels. Don't be afraid to come up with original abilities to fill in the gaps.
    • Further, some abilities that are integral to the monster just won't work as is. In this case, scrap the abilities and rebuild it from scratch, in a way that lets it progress steadily as the monster advances.

    Movement modes are tricky because while they're common at mid-high levels, they can break the game at low levels.

    Flight:
    • Shouldn't be granted before 4th level. Flight trivializes low level encounters, since very few enemies will have a way of harming a flying PC. It lets PCs hang in the air and fire ranged weapons until the enemies are dead, or escape unhindered if things go south.
    • Grant flight at 4th level if the base monster uses flight as an integral part of its nature. A wyvern, imp, giant eagle and giant wasp would be instances of monsters who just aren't the same without flight.
    • Grant flight at 5th level for creatures who get it, but don't rely on it. Cases might include some celestials and some humanoid psionic creatures.
    • For creatures who just can't deal without some means of flight before 4th level, consider a placeholder ability. The Harpy, for example, gains the ability to make augmented Jumps and Climb checks, using her wings to bear her up. The Wyvern and Imp can fly at early levels, but have to land at the end of each turn of flight.
    • Finally, we should give a nod to those creatures who levitate and lack limbs to carry them about. Beholders, brain in a jar and the like all float. To keep them from taking to the sky, consider an ability that lets them float only a certain height above the ground. At 4th-5th level they might gain an ability that frees them from this restriction.

    Burrowing:
    • Same issues as flight. Though it's a little harder to attack from range while burrowed, burrowing creatures can go underground and pop up across the battlefield, pelt a foe and then duck back underground before the foe can close the distance. Also, like flying creatures, burrowing creatures can circumvent many dungeon features. Same general rules as flight.

    Size increases are both common and beneficial.
    • Large size shouldn't be available before 4th level/4HD. Some unavoidable exceptions (Ogre among them), but try to avoid it where possible.
    • Huge size shouldn't show up before 12 HD.
    • Gargantuan size shouldn't show up before 16 HD.
    • Colossal size shouldn't occur before 20th HD.

    Tiny size is problematic for other reasons:
    • Tiny size can't be avoided because it doesn't make sense for many tiny creatures (ie. a housecat) to start small and then shrink.
    • It tends to offer sizable bonuses, all things considered. The vast majority of tiny creatures get hide as a class skill, which makes for an easy +16 to hide at first level. With many getting dexterity bonuses, this can ramp up to +18 by second level. Most enemies will never beat that check.
    • It also offers a lot of penalties. To attack an enemy, one must move into their space. This severely limits one's options.
    • There's also the issue of sameness. Many/most tiny creatures play exactly the same, especially at low levels. Hide, move into an enemy's square, and dish out as much damage as you can.
    • The first fix for the above is to try to deviate from this formula in some fashion.
    • Having an active ability or movement mode that confers some benefit but prevents or hinders hiding/silent movement is one option; the Phase Wasp's flight is an example.
    • Alternately, consider the possibility of a small creature with slight build.

    Damage Reduction, Spell Resistance:
    • DR shouldn't occur before 2nd level, 3rd is suggested. Standard is DR equal to one's HD.
    • SR shouldn't occur before 2nd level, 3rd is suggested. Standard is SR equal to 11 + the creature's HD.

    Full Casters:
    • Should be crafted very carefully to not overshadow the wizard, sorcerer or cleric.

    Special abilities, uses per day and action expenditure:
    • Abilities should scale with HD. See the question below for more details on scaling.
    • If an ability is too powerful for low levels, it is perfectly acceptable to offer a weaker version and scale it up over time.
    • Uses per day should scale with HD.
    • If a spell qualifies as a save or lose (or 'save or suck', or 'save or die') - an ability that forces a save lest it effectively take an enemy out of combat, it should not become anything less than a move action.
    What are the rules on using copyrighted material?
    The hard & fast rule (for here & elsewhere) is that you can base your monster classes on material from original sources. You can't copy text directly from copyrighted material. OGL stuff (Stuff found in the SRD or posted by WotC online) is kosher. Anything else is probably not. When in doubt, ask in the thread.

    More generally, for this project, don't write up your monster in a way that would demand a player to have a specific sourcebook. If your monster gives a feat or spell that is found on page 113 of It's Cold Outside, and the player doesn't have that book, the player can't use your monster. This is annoying and bad. That leaves two solid options:
    • Don't do it. Come up with an original ability or a replacement ability that holds to the spirit of that particular spell, feat or ability.
    • Offer an equal and fair alternative. Something along the lines of "You gain X spell from Y sourcebook or you gain the following ability, described below."

    Don't expect, either, for a player to have the sourcebook with the monster you want to play.

    What's this scaling thing people keep chanting at me?:
    Scaling refers to abilities that get consistently better as you level. Consider the following hypothetical skill:
    Smash that Doesn't Scale: You do 5 bonus damage.
    Smash that Scales: You do bonus damage equal to your Strength Mod.
    The former doesn't scale. You deal 5 damage, and while that might be perfectly good at level 1, when you're level 15, it's so useless you might as well not have it.

    The second ability, 'Smash that Scales' does scale. If you're a melee class, you'll have 4-5 strength at early levels, but as you gain levels, your strength score increases, and Smash gets consistently better. By level 15, it might do 8-10 bonus damage. Hopefully, this scales well enough to keep the ability useful, so that you don't feel like you wasted the level by taking a level in the monster class. It also helps you feel like you're growing more consistently powerful.

    So what are the ways I can make something scale?
    There's a few ways to make something scale. Consider the following:
    ...This ability allows a saving throw, with a DC of 10 + HD + Cha Mod.
    This is how abilities and spells that demand saving throws scale 95% of the time. Generally speaking, it means that foes with bad saves & bad stats to apply to their saves will fail most of the time, foes with good stats and good stats to apply to their saves will pass most of the time. People in the middle ground have about a 50-50 chance. It's perfect.
    This attack deals 1d8+Str damage
    Simple enough, you do more damage as your strength gets higher. As a plus, for classes that grow, your natural attacks and most abilities that deal natural attack damage will also increase a step whenever you grow.
    Shoop da Woop: Deal 1d6 bonus damage, plus an additional 1d6 for every 3 HD you have.
    This makes for an ability that scales up in damage at a slow, steady, reliable rate.
    You may cast Spell Like Ability twice a day, with an additional usage for every 5HD you have.
    If you get an SLA or an ability with limited uses a day, chances are it's going to become a little less relevant as you gain levels. Getting more daily/hourly/weekly uses out of it is a good way to make it scale. If you feel you're getting too few uses at early levels and you can't figure out how to give more without having too many at high levels, consider something like, "You can use this a number of times a day equal to your HD or your Con mod, whichever is more." - it means you'll have between 2-4 uses at early levels, but you'll steadily get more later.
    Smash: You deals 999 damage. At 9HD, Smash also forces the enemy to make a fortitude save or die.
    Ignoring the ridiculousness of the example, note the 'at 9HD, Smash yadda yadda yadda.' - this is a case of upgrading an ability at a later HD. Whatever the case, try to emphasize scaling over HD rather than scaling with levels. The former ensures the ability stays relevant no matter how you multiclass. The latter (scaling by levels) tends to require you to dedicate yourself to taking levels in the class.

    There's more ways for abilities to scale. Try looking at monsters that have been recently added to the list and look at how their abilities improve over time.
    I'm being told to emphasize active abilities over passive ones. What does this mean?
    There's two broad types of abilities a monster gets. Active and passive. Compare the following:
    Netherbolt: The Shadowbat may, as a standard action, fire off a bolt of pure darkness, dealing 1d6 damage for every two HD the Shadowbat has.

    Shadow Cloak: The Shadowbat gains a bonus to Hide equal to half its HD.
    While both are fine skills and both scale in an appropriate way, the former ability is active. Netherbolt is a standard action, it requires the player to make a decision to use it, and it does something. The second ability is passive. It's always on. It's a set bonus that you don't need to think about. It does something all the time, with no decision making process involved.

    So why is this important? In general, someone needs to beat an average of 13.3 fair encounters before they gain a level. Let's say our hypothetical player Johnny is playing in his DM's campaign from levels 1-6 with a monster class. That means Johnny is probably going to run up against 66 and a half encounters, give or take. If Johnny is playing a tentacle demon monster class with no active abilities, he's going to spend 66.5 encounters doing nothing but declaring charges, attacking, full attacking and maybe using a combat maneuver like trip, bull rush or grapple. It's not terribly exciting, it's not a boatload of fun. Whatever the passive abilities are, Johnny's probably not making many meaningful decisions.

    On the other side of the coin, if Johnny is playing a monster class with active abilities, he's making the choice whether to use those abilities or to attack, whether to trip or to use his monster's tentacle love. There's choices made, and by making those choices, Johnny is getting more immersed in the game. Rather than just feeling like a beatstick that just happens to be dressed up like a tentacle demon, Johnny feels like a tentacle demon doing tentacle demon stuff. This is what we're going for.

    What's going on with these undead and Construct monster classes? Why don't they have skills?
    Undead and Constructs get a whole bunch of bonuses just for being undead/construct type. You're immune to poison, diseases, stunning, mind affecting stuff, morale effects, you get a bunch of HD, you can't be crit, you take no ability damage... the list goes on and on and on. It's a huge list of benefits!

    To prevent them from being too powerful as one-level dips (creating situations where everyone takes single a level in, say, skeleton, to ensure they can be undead and they get all those choice benefits), there's a rule that if you're undead or construct, you don't get class skills. So you're forced to put ranks in cross-class skills. We generally aim for undead and constructs to be a little less powerful, as well.

    Changelog FAQ:
    Spoiler
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    What is a changelog
    A changelog is a spoilered box at the bottom of your post that you keep notes in after you've posted the monster. As you make changes to the monster based on feedback and your own second thoughts, you list those changes in the changelog, keeping track and letting others keep track with you.
    Why have a changelog?
    Three reasons:
    1. The first is for people critiquing the class. If they can read your changelog and know you've only changed abilities A, B and C, then they can focus their attention on those abilities and give you good feedback. If you don't have a good changelog, then they have to read your entire monster to find the changes. That's time consuming, and that means time not spent giving you good feedback.
    2. The second reason is for people playing the class. Let's say you create the Longcat monster class, and Jack decides to play a Longcat. He's midway through a campaign using your longcat when you go back and change how an ability works. Jack goes to level up his Longcat, and, wait a second, stuff is different! Using the Changelog helps Jack figure out what just happened and ideally, lets him get his Longcat working again.
    3. The third reason is YOU. Having a changelog helps you keep your head screwed on straight when you're making a lot of revisions. It keeps you on track and helps you remember what critiques you've responded to. As a side benefit, you can also copy-paste your changelog into a new post to let people know what you've done to fix up your monster.
    What makes for a good changelog?
    Example of a Good Changelog:
    Spoiler
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    Feb 03, 2011:
    • Gnaw bite & bonus damage now penetrate DR.
    • Excision bonus to saves is halved.
    • Tumescent recovery is clarified. Added a table elaborating on the healing amount.

    Feb 06, 2011:
    • Gnaw (which was a singular bite attack that did bonus damage equal to the target's total HD, penetrating DR) replaced with Chomp, a single bite attack that can deal potentially massive damage, which was the intent anyways.
    • Clarified what Immobilization does, under Thrash.
    • Leaving Rend, Tumescent Recovery and Violent Onslaught alone until I decide what to do with them.

    Feb 10, 2011:
    • Rend now only has a 50% chance of working if you use Furor, so there's a choice to be made in declaring your use of Furor.
    • Tumescent Recovery no longer grants healing each time you take indirect damage (indirect damage was hard to calculate and the overall effect was complicated) but now lets you force rerolls on all damage taken for the duration.
    • Violent Onslaught now has a 'rage mode', where a troll brought to low health, or a troll that offs an enemy, can use the ability again, with a small bonus.

    Feb 11, 2011:
    • Changed Chomp (described above, in the changelog) back to Gnaw, but changed mechanics. It now lets the Troll bite, followed by making a Strength check against the foe. Each strength check you pass deals con damage and lets you make another strength check (with a penalty on the check and more con damage) until you fail.
    • Dates clearly defining what's been changed and when.
    • Changes are fairly detailed, giving the why, and cluing people into what used to be there before it was fixed or replaced.
    • Everything is ordered, organized and consistent.

    What Makes My Changelog Suck?
    A sample of the worst sort of changelog you can do:
    Spoiler
    Show

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Yes, that's right, no changelog at all is as bad as it gets.

    But you can get something like this, too:
    Spoiler
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    First change - A few typos and wordings fixed. Bash and Smash now read "Smashybash X, with the following exceptions, to avoid redundancy. Whomp and its Least form now have broken stuff deal some damage, and Whallop effects may have been changed slightly partially because I accidentally deleted the ability before making changes to it or copying it for reference. Thump no longer "permanent". Whomp (or more accurately, it's Least form) clarifies what happens to items that reach the Basher. Burrow speed now leaves a usable tunnel. Crump now requires balance, anyone who doesn't put a few ranks into that deserves what they get. A bit of text under Basher Body added to allow some speech, or at least suggestions for it. Last change I make - Clarification on damage dealing in Least Whomp. Whomp changed to free action.
    It's chaotic and doesn't serve to clarify much for anyone hoping to use the changelog to check something.
    What if I don't have a changelog? I don't want to bother
    It's your call, really, but you'll get less critiques, and those critiquing are going to be a lot less focused when they're replying to your monster. In turn, this means it takes longer before your monster passes muster and gets added to the master list. Some (yours truly included, most days) will just skip the critique half the time, if there's no changelog to work with.

    Image FAQ
    Spoiler
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    Image? I'm a little confused.
    I'm referring to that picture that appears between the monster's name and the actual mechanical bits.
    What if I can't find a good image?
    Try searching on google images for the monster's name. It might also be worth checking out the monster's name in other languages like french, greek (especially for monsters borne of greek myth), latin, german, chinese or japanese (the latter two especially for oriental monsters).

    That doesn't work? Search on DeviantArt. It might help to, after searching, click the list on the left for 'digital art', as that's the kind of image we want, 90% of the time.

    That fails? Try asking in the thread for help.
    I found an image but it's too big. How do I fix that?
    Easy way: right click the image, and from the drop down list, click 'copy image location'.
    Go to http://tinypic.com/ and click the bubble that says url. Ctrl-V (paste) the link you got from 'copy image location' into the box there.
    Don't click 'upload now' yet! First click on the bar beside 'Resize:' and select Message Board (640x480). This is the size you want 90% of the time. Now click 'upload now' and fill in the Captcha (the 'I'm not an AI' verification thing) using the little refresh button as many times as needed if it's too hard to read. It'll take a second, and then you just copy-paste the link under 'Direct Link for Layouts' into your post.

    Harder: Use Paint, or your Photoshop/Paint Shop program of choice and resize manually.

    Last Resort: Ask in the thread. Hyudra is one person who can help out, but others might be available too. Just don't post the huge image (spoilered or not) and irritate everyone in the doing.
    Last edited by Hyudra; 2011-03-29 at 09:02 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    Another problem I notice is it doesn't seem to get power points as it levels, meaning it can't augment its powers.
    Psi-like abilities augment automatically. (SRD: "When a creature uses a psi-like ability, the power is manifested as if the creature had spent a number of power points equal to its manifester level, which may augment the power to improve its damage or save DC.")

    As far as at-will abilities go, Inertial Armor at-will amounts to a scaling AC bonus, so it's not bad in and of itself. Read Thoughts at-will isn't a big deal (you can get it as a pretty low-cost magic item). Concussion Blast is a fairly strong at-will, although not completely overpowering - it'll essentially make the psurlon play a lot more warlock-y to have it.

    Edit: Also, given Inertial Armor's duration is hours/level and it's personal-only, there's not really a huge difference between having several shots per day and unlimited shots after a few levels.
    Last edited by Benly; 2011-02-26 at 01:16 AM.

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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Lizard Lord View Post
    Type: Must be a corporeal humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or giant.
    Skill: Must have at least one rank in Knowledge (Arcane) or Knowledge (Religion).
    Alignment: Must be evil.
    First off, none of the other classes that I've seen have alignment requirements, not even demons, devils and angels. It's probably best to just scrap that requirement. Second, is this intended to be entered so early? As is, you could enter it at level 2.

    Clutch of Orcus: Starting at 1st level the Hooded Pupil gains the ability to use Clutch of Orcus as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to half its HD. The DC is 10 + 1/2 HD + Charisma Modifier.
    Is this in Libris mortis? Also, it should say 1/day per 2 HD.

    Drink Blood: Starting at 1st level the Hooded Pupil gains the ability to suck blood from a living victim who has damage that is yet unhealed a number of times per day equal to half its HD. It does so by making a successful grapple attack. Against a pinned or helpless foe a Hooded Pupil drinks blood dealing 2 points of constitution damage.
    So, the damage is only when they're pinned or helpless? Then I'd say something more like this "At 1st level, the hooded pupil gains the ability to suck blood from a living victim 1/day per 2 HD. The hooded pupil must make a successful grapple attack, and when a hooded pupil drinks an opponent's blood, it deals 2 constitution damage.
    Special: This ability can only be used on a pinned or helpless opponent who has taken unhealed damage."



    This is all I see at the moment. I'm kind of tired and have some other things that are taking up my attention.


    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Psi-like abilities augment automatically. (SRD: "When a creature uses a psi-like ability, the power is manifested as if the creature had spent a number of power points equal to its manifester level, which may augment the power to improve its damage or save DC.")
    Not to self, no more critiquing Psionic monsters until I learn the rules better.

    Concussion Blast is a fairly strong at-will, although not completely overpowering - it'll essentially make the psurlon play a lot more warlock-y to have it.
    As far as I know, the warlock require that you take most of the levels in their class to qualify for the 9d6. Assuming the monster doesn't qualify as a manifesting class and took the rest of its levels in a manifesting class, it matches the warlock's damage output.
    Edit: Also, given Inertial Armor's duration is hours/level and it's personal-only, there's not really a huge difference between having several shots per day and unlimited shots after a few levels.
    It still shouldn't be an at will ability unless it needs to be for the class to be functional. The only class I know of that has an at will ability is the lantern archon, and that class does need the ability to function, since there aren't many other ways for it to attack.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2011-02-26 at 01:52 AM.
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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Edited the Hooded Pupil and updated the changelog.
    Changelog:
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    Feb 25 2011:
    • Made the Hooded Pupil a level 1 class.
    • Got rid of Bonus Skills and Bonus Feats.
    • Cut the overall ability score gain in half, so that Str, Wis, and Dex are +1 at first level.

    Feb 26 2011
    • Clarified text for Drink Blood.
    • Made Clutch of Orcus 1/day per 2 HD.
    • Removed Evil alignment from the prerequisites.
    • Added 4 HD to the Prerequisites.
    Last edited by Lizard Lord; 2011-02-26 at 05:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubi View Post
    As far as I know, the warlock require that you take most of the levels in their class to qualify for the 9d6. Assuming the monster doesn't qualify as a manifesting class and took the rest of its levels in a manifesting class, it matches the warlock's damage output.
    Yeah, but the warlock isn't really very good at blasting to begin with. The main concern I see with Concussion Blast is that, on a second look-over, it's no-attack no-save, which is a bit much if it's not supposed to be the focus. (If it's supposed to be the centerpiece of the class, then honestly I don't think it's too much - it's strong, but not crazy-strong.)

    Looking at the psurlon entry in Lords of Madness, it says they almost exclusively fight with their telekinetic powers. If the class is supposed to capture the feel of the creature, it pretty much needs either a ton of uses or an at-will telekinetic attack power. Maybe give it a similar-but-not-identical PLA that requires an attack roll or saving throw? (Similar to how Brain In A Jar's Mental Blast doesn't exactly line up with any existing psionic power.)

    Regarding counting as a manifesting class, the Psionics entry here gives it an ML equal to its HD.

    It still shouldn't be an at will ability unless it needs to be for the class to be functional. The only class I know of that has an at will ability is the lantern archon, and that class does need the ability to function, since there aren't many other ways for it to attack.
    Brain in a jar gets at-will mental blast. Cloud giant gets at-will Gust of Wind. Fire Elemental's Spitfire ability is at-will. Mephit gets a breath weapon on 1d4-round recharge. The first was from memory, but the others I clicked on more or less at random.

    A power doesn't need to be required for basic functionality before it qualifies to be designated at-will, I'd think. Rather, the criteria should be that it doesn't unbalance the game and that it lets you actually play like the creature you're supposed to be.

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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    OBVIOUSLY.



    The Death Knight is exactly the same as any other undead creature on this site.
    But if it's that same then on death knight it has conflicting abilities, one says it can be ressurected and get turned into a living being before it became a death knight, what I want to know is that if you get ressurected you lose your death knight abilities, I don't know if you gain levels to replace it.
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    Completely sexist, yes! Completely true, pretty much...
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Brain in a jar gets at-will mental blast.
    Brain in a jar is also incapable of wielding weapons, the attack can only target one creature, and it requires a will save.
    Cloud giant gets at-will Gust of Wind.
    Yes it does. At level 7. Gust of wind also does not give you a +7 armor boost to AC at that level, and the breath has to be maintained in order for its benefit to remain.
    Fire Elemental's Spitfire ability is at-will.
    The fire elementa's spitfire ability is also barely above a first level spell in terms of damage at level 20.
    Mephit gets a breath weapon on 1d4-round recharge.
    yes, but it is a damage dealing ability, the subject gets a reflex save, evasion applies to it, and its once every 1d4 rounds, not at will.

    A power doesn't need to be required for basic functionality before it qualifies to be designated at-will, I'd think. Rather, the criteria should be that it doesn't unbalance the game and that it lets you actually play like the creature you're supposed to be.
    If that were the case, I wouldn't mind, but I don't see any reason the psurlon needs inertial armor or concussive blast at will in order to function as the appropriate monster.

    EDIT: The version I'm looking at doesn't have either as at wills. It has mage armor, sound burst, and detect thoughts as at wills. The giant Psurlon does, but that's a CR 11 monster as opposed to the standard Psurlon which is cr 5. Also Dsmiles, I suggest just using the SLAs given for the average Psurlon at the moment, and only adding in the others if you want to make it a level 11 class.

    I'll look at it more later. Right now, I need sleep.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2011-02-26 at 05:37 AM.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Inertial armor at will is more or less the same that a scalinbg armor bonus tht saves the player to remember he's got some more four uses that last seven hours and that he can only cast on himself. Please keep it at will.

    The blast is part of the lore of the monster as already mentioned, and it scales with level. it seems to me to be the base of the whole monster class, a psionic worm that fights with telepathy.
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    Default Re: Community Based Monster Classes VI

    Okay, apparently there's a seperate version for Expanded psionics handbook that I missed.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    Inertial armor at will is more or less the same that a scalinbg armor bonus tht saves the player to remember he's got some more four uses that last seven hours and that he can only cast on himself. Please keep it at will.
    I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here. can you try explaining a bit better?

    The blast is part of the lore of the monster as already mentioned, and it scales with level. it seems to me to be the base of the whole monster class, a psionic worm that fights with telepathy.
    No, concussive blast is not a specific part of the lore, it just says "Mental blasts" I suggest changing conussive blast to its own ability for the Psurlon to kill enemies with, since it doesn't get the blast at first level anyway and putting the ability at first level. The fluff and combat strategy also seem to disagree here, as there is no mention of using a mental blast in the combat strategy for a Psurlon. Although, that may be because the original monster doesn't actually have one.

    The fluff is really kind of screwy here.

    EDIT: Another reason I don't like inertial armor is that, despite the class not being a melee monster, it gets a melee class type ability for an at will.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2011-02-26 at 06:21 AM.
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