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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by AnachroNinja View Post
    You asked me if I thought an allip was a viable 3rd level charactar. I'll grant that it might be a little strong at level 3. Now I would say that an allip is equivalent to a 4-5 level character. Maybe slightly in the tough to kill side, but that's only because monsters so rarely come with magical weapons. Especially since you have to bear in mind that an allip attack never really improves. They do the same amount of wisdom damage forever. They can't gain any meaningful melee ability. With no CON score they are going to be light on HP forever, and constantly in danger from force effects. A group of kobolds with a few adepts would have a pretty good chance of magic missiling it to death. It's HD and inability to speak intelligibly make it impossible for it to be a competent caster, it's weak bab make it's tough attacks less of a benefit and more of a necessity. Best hope is a rogue build using sneak attack touch attacks, and even that isn't going to be amazing. I'd call it comparable to a Pixie rogue or warlock and so I wouldn't give it any more then +1 LA. I'd rather a PC start out a bit tough in early levels then completely fall off in the mid levels and be useless at high levels.
    1. Allips can definitely improve their wisdom damage. For one, they can take Empowered Ability Damage.
    2. They can also wield weapons (just add Ghost Touch or Ghostly Grasp) or cast spells (you don't have to speak intelligibly for verbal components, merely speak).
    3. On the subject of magic missile'ing kobolds, allips can easily gain full cover by hiding in a wall/floor/ceiling. Only a readied action can harm you in that case, and if your DM has an army of spellcasting kobolds hold their action so they can magic missile you to death lack of undeath, you might want to have a serious conversation with them.
    4. Allips aren't 'squishy'. An allip has on average 6.5 HP per level. That's equal to a rogue with 14 constitution and a +2 con item. No frontline numbers, but no squishy wizard either. Not to mention that they will be enjoying 50% miss chances from almost everything; a luxury the rogue doesn't possess. Force effects aren't as big an issue as you say: a Brooch of Shielding is 1500 GP, an item of continuous Forceward 56000 GP (available by level 11).
    5. I can see lots of reasons to pick allips over pixie rogues/warlocks. Incorporeality has already been mentioned, and then there's the massive no-action disabling, the undead immunities, the ability to overcome DR, and Madness is surprisingly useful when you realize it counters Mindsight.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnachroNinja View Post
    The planetar is another example. Cleric casting is pretty powerful and you are weighing that pretty heavily. It also has some good SLAs and abilities. It unfortunately gets access to shoddy domains since they do not appear to have the option of worshipping concepts, only deities, no turn undead, so no DMM. Most DMs would almost certainly not allow them to cast any evil descriptor spells. By and large they have most of the same special qualities as a DMM cleric with a good set of persisted spells. Best thing they get is regeneration since as noted, spell resistance is a double edged sword. At 14 HD and LA 5, I would never choose to play one over a cleric19 unless I for some reason desperately wanted to be an angel. It essentially makes planetar a better version of the half celestial template, which is ass to begin with.
    6. You say 'shoddy domains', I say 'any of the domains available to Good-aligned clerics, and then some'. If you are desperate for a single domain not granted by any Good deity, just take Heretic of the Faith.
    7. I am pretty sure 'it is weaker than a DMM cleric' isn't a valid reason to buff something. If you disagree, I suggest checking out... well, everything but a handful of Tier 1's. If you insist a proper cleric must have Turn Undead, +5 LA still allows for a single-level dip in cleric (and the always-available Air domain grants additional turn attempts).
    8. Indeed; planetars can't cast evil spells, just like 'normal' Good clerics. I assume you do not consider a NG human cleric underpowered?
    9. I'm not sure what the last sentence is supposed to mean. Planetars are better than half-celestials, which is good because half-celestials are horrible? Planetars are better than half-celestials, except not? Planetars are better than half-celestials, which is a bad thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnachroNinja View Post
    My comparison between characters and monsters and whether they can beat an equal CR monster is mostly meant to illustrate that just because a PC allip could theoretically hide in the ground forget killing animals for XP doesn't mean that's really a realistic game scenario or the baseline we should use for measuring it's LA. Yes, some abilities are more powerful in a PCs hands then a monster, but we can't always rate things on the worst case scenario.
    10. Never have I ever stated an allip player will or should hide in the ground and kill animals for XP, nor was it my reason to reject the CR=ECL system. I simply reject said system because certain abilities are more powerful when used by PC's, as you admit yourself.
    11. You say we "cannot always rate things on the worst case scenario". I must disagree. If you're playing in a seafaring campaign, you won't play a fire elemental. If you want to play a wizard, you pick a different race than ogre. Players will pick races that fit their campaign and class: and in that way there is a 'worst case scenario'.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-04-28 at 10:36 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    11. You say we "cannot always rate things on the worst case scenario". I must disagree. If you're playing in a seafaring campaign, you won't play a fire elemental. If you want to play a wizard, you pick a different race than ogre. Players will pick races that fit their campaign and class: and in that way there is a 'worst case scenario'.
    To me, this says the opposite - since players will never pick a fire elemental for a water campaign, or an ogre for a wizard, we can safely ignore these worst-case situations. For example, should the ogre get less LA because it penalizes Cha? Not really, since anyone picking up ogre won't care about the Cha.

    Or do you mean that "PC is too strong" is the worst case, and "PC sucks" is the...best case? Medium case?
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Or do you mean that "PC is too strong" is the worst case, and "PC sucks" is the...best case? Medium case?
    Anarchoninja referred to a PC possessing abilities that are far more powerful when used by PC's then when used by NPC's as 'the worst-case scenario', and I was quoting him, so this.

    You're right, though, it is kind of weird when taken to its logical opposite.


    I'm really interested in what the hivemind has to say here, though. What do you all consider appropriate LA's for allips and planetars?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    The allip is very similar to a rogue type, in the sense that the character's effectiveness depends very heavily on the enemies it faces. This is a similar problem to the one faced by spellthieves, beguilers, enchanters, illusionists, and similar folks. I would say that we should not consider it solely at its most powerful, since it's trivial for the DM to toss in encounters that shut the allip down. However, these encounters are pretty rare at the early levels. LA+3 seems fair to me, since it can be bought off by 20th, when the allip's abilities can be bought for gold (as can resistances to them).

    The planetar is in a rather curious position as well. On the one hand, clerics are amazeballs when optimized, T1, zilla, etc. On the other hand, most people don't play that kind of game. Should we give the ogre LA0 because fighters drool, wizards rule? I don't think we should. LA+5 is spot on - the planetar gets access to nines already, and that's all that matters. If you want to DMM or more domains, take your one class level as cleric.

    A spellcasting class is an associated class for a creature that already has the ability to cast spells as a character of the class in question, since the monsterís levels in the spellcasting class stack with its innate spellcasting ability.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    You can't actually buy it off by level 20, since RHD don't count toward LA buyoff. Of course, so long as we're making the rules friendlier toward monstrous characters, we should really just change that, but yeah.

    I agree that the biggest issue for the Allip is a sort of "all or nothing" problem. Take an Allip 4/LA 3/Swordsage or Warblade 5 with Empowered Ability Damage, and Debilitating Strike for instance. It can open each encounter of the day with a Debilitating Strike Mind Strike which deals ~10 Wis damage (maybe more if Mind Strike gets empowered as well, which it might). If the opponent doesn't have a defense against that, they're going to be unconscious or crippled in short enough order to make it an effective tactic. LA +3 is probably the fairest we're going to get though.

    I think LA+5 is okay for the Planetar. I don't think it's necessarily wrong to compare it to the nearest analogue among the classes (ie, I think we should measure it against a Cleric rather than a Fighter), but the Angel abilities seem like a decent enough trade against Turn Undead generally speaking. At the very highest op-levels a Cleric might be slightly better, but when you're already at the singularity anyway...

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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Allips can improve their ability damage by a minimal amount yes, but your missing my point. There is no graduated curve for them. They are not going to see a notable difference between level 5 and 15. And yes, they can wield a weapon, however their complete lack of a strength score means their damage will be minimal, and unlike ghosts who have an in game reason to possibly have equipment, an allip will have to find that equipment on its own because it's very unlikely anyone will craft it for them. I don't remember the rules for applying something like ghost touch to an amulet but I assume it may be possible. Note that allips are not ethereal like ghosts so you can't plane shift equipment to the ethereal plane for them to access. And I'm sorry but I'm not at all sold on their ability to cast spells. If a wild shaped druid can't cast spells without natural spell due to not being able to form words and sentences, I'd have to rule that being unable to speak intelligibly prevents verbal components. If theres an ironclad ruling somewhere else, then sure, absent that, not a chance.

    As far as planetars, you were the one who initially compared them directly to a cleric of their casting level. And no they don't have access to any domain COMBINATION that a good cleric does, because they are only allowed domains from a very short list or their deity. They can not worship a concept and just select the domains they want. Claiming they can take a level of cleric to get turn undead at level twenty is not much of an argument either. Your justification seems to be "OK, with this LA you get one level of being subpar to a normal character then you hit 20, catch up, and the games over. Or you go epic, except you can't cast epic spells yet. Enjoy those stat boosts kid."

    You're essentially judging the LAs by the best possible concept and class combination and situation. That's what I meant by wrist case scenario. If you set the level adjustment for an allip to be accurate for a sneak attacking rogue who only pops out of the ground when it's safe, then no one can play that race unless they are that high end concept. That's not a good balance point. That's the problem with high LA on creatures with multiple HD. You might as well come out and say you can't use this monster for anything but this class. Even if allips could cast spells, at 4 HD and 2 la no one can ever justify a caster with them. It's pointless to even pretend they have the option.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by WhamBamSam View Post
    You can't actually buy it off by level 20, since RHD don't count toward LA buyoff. Of course, so long as we're making the rules friendlier toward monstrous characters, we should really just change that, but yeah.
    That might lead to some difficult situations. For example, take the 12 HD astral deva, and give it Dire_Stirge's new level adjustment of +2. The buyoff levels for +2 LA are at 6 and 9. Does this mean the deva comes in at LA +0 effectively, because the buyoff levels have passed? Clearly, the point of the level adjustment is that that doesn't happen.

    An obvious fix is to assign the deva LA +3, and then start the game with one bought off one at level 9, allowing further buyoff at 15 and 18. This is a bit better than the basic buyoff rules, which would allow buyoff at 18 and 21, but is it really worth the bother? I think it's easier to assign LA with the buyoff rules in mind (e.g. assign a bit less to high-HD creatures), and exclude RHD from buyoff rules.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by AnachroNinja View Post
    Allips can improve their ability damage by a minimal amount yes, but your missing my point. There is no graduated curve for them. They are not going to see a notable difference between level 5 and 15. And yes, they can wield a weapon, however their complete lack of a strength score means their damage will be minimal, and unlike ghosts who have an in game reason to possibly have equipment, an allip will have to find that equipment on its own because it's very unlikely anyone will craft it for them. I don't remember the rules for applying something like ghost touch to an amulet but I assume it may be possible. Note that allips are not ethereal like ghosts so you can't plane shift equipment to the ethereal plane for them to access. And I'm sorry but I'm not at all sold on their ability to cast spells. If a wild shaped druid can't cast spells without natural spell due to not being able to form words and sentences, I'd have to rule that being unable to speak intelligibly prevents verbal components. If theres an ironclad ruling somewhere else, then sure, absent that, not a chance.
    1. Where did you get the idea that allips can't advance in power? Give them levels in rogue, in martial adept, in a caster class, heck, in monk if you must. As long as you have a clear purpose for these class levels, you can work them into a gradual progression.
    2. You can apply Ghost Touch to any object (see also: savage species), but it's cheaper and easier to take Ghostly Grasp. Remember, once an incorporeal creature holds an object, said object becomes incorporeal too.
    3. If you are absolutely insistent that allips can't cast spells with verbal components, Nonverbal Spell. There, I added the incredible tax of a single feat to the poor, feat-starved caster classes.
    4. It's rather arrogant to refer to someone else's interpretation of the rules as having, I quote, 'not a chance' when the RAW support for your side of the argument is harder to find than a kobold with Darkstalker.

    Additional fact on allips: Libris Mortis considers them equivalent to 7th-level cohorts, for all that's worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnachroNinja View Post
    As far as planetars, you were the one who initially compared them directly to a cleric of their casting level. And no they don't have access to any domain COMBINATION that a good cleric does, because they are only allowed domains from a very short list or their deity. They can not worship a concept and just select the domains they want. Claiming they can take a level of cleric to get turn undead at level twenty is not much of an argument either. Your justification seems to be "OK, with this LA you get one level of being subpar to a normal character then you hit 20, catch up, and the games over. Or you go epic, except you can't cast epic spells yet. Enjoy those stat boosts kid."
    5. Yes, I compared them to a cleric of their caster level, because that's what they are. Clerics of a certain caster level who happen to also be angels. You, however, compared them to a cleric of their caster level with Divine Metamagic who is fully using said Divine Metamagic, which is a whole other level of optimization.
    6. Your insistence that a cleric worshipping a deity is something far less than a deity-less cleric is getting annoying. You get one of the two domains you really wanted, and if you must can get the second one with a class dip or feat.
    7. Do you really want to bring epic spells into this discussion? Of course epic spells are superior to stat boosts: they're superior to everything. That's why they're either banned, nerfed, or not used because only a handful of games ever reaches Epic levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnachroNinja View Post
    You're essentially judging the LAs by the best possible concept and class combination and situation. That's what I meant by wrist case scenario. If you set the level adjustment for an allip to be accurate for a sneak attacking rogue who only pops out of the ground when it's safe, then no one can play that race unless they are that high end concept. That's not a good balance point. That's the problem with high LA on creatures with multiple HD. You might as well come out and say you can't use this monster for anything but this class. Even if allips could cast spells, at 4 HD and 2 la no one can ever justify a caster with them. It's pointless to even pretend they have the option.
    8. I can play a half-minotaur wizard who avoids melee like a vampire avoids clerics. Does that mean half-minotaur is over LA'ed? No, of course not; it means you foolishly thought being half-half-cow could improve your wizard! You shouldn't be rewarded for that bad decision, especially not if it means others are punished for others' good decisions.
    9. I can see viable allip builds using rogue, duskblade, dread necromancer, crusader, and various other classes (including Ur-Priest, but that's cheating). What makes you think they're only good for a single class?
    10. Not every character who doesn't have high-level spells is worthless: many gish builds lack them and are still viable combatants. One of the most popular gish classes (Swiftblade) even directly prevents people from getting 9th-level magic, yet many take it.


    EDIT: Okay, you want a reason to assume allips can cast spells? There's a rule stating all creatures can cast spells in their natural form, which I sadly can't find right now, but can prove indirectly. Take Spirit Nagas, from the monster manual, who look like this yet cast spells as 7th-level sorcerers and don't have Still Spell. If they can cast somatic spells without hands, an allip can cast verbal spells without comprehensible speech.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-04-28 at 01:00 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Angel, Solar


    Note: Solars are Epic creatures, and so will any PC's they're compared to be. I am, however, ignoring epic spells here; partially because they can turn any character into a literal god, and partially because both the solar and the PC's they're compared to can get it anyway.

    Solars, arguably the most powerful creatures in the Monster Manual. They laugh at balors. They eat pit fiends for breakfast. They annihilate nations with a word (I'm only slightly exaggerating here). Of course there's someone out there who wants to play one.

    Despite its fearsome reputation, though, solars are just planetars on steroids (a lot of steroids). The only difference that doesn't amount to 'bigger numbers' is the solar's wider range of spell-like abilities, including Wish 1/day. Totally not problematic...

    The question: when do more spell slots and class features start to outweigh that giant heap of spell-likes and racial abilities? I'm inclined towards a LA of +2, which would put the solar 4 levels behind a cleric in terms of casting. This might seem harsh, but remember that the cleric only has extra slots, no extra spell levels: even Epic Spellcasting is immediately available to solars.

    Next are Animated Objects!
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-07-20 at 07:23 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    +3 seems a wee bit harsh. Given how wonked Epic's balance is, what exactly is the problem with LA0?
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    +3 seems a wee bit harsh. Given how wonked Epic's balance is, what exactly is the problem with LA0?
    The lack of balance in Epic goes both ways: both a solar and a cleric of equivalent level have 9th-level spells and epic spells, both are incredibly powerful, but the solar has tons of SLA's and other bonuses where the cleric has none.

    Still, I guess you have a good point. LA reduced to +2.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    So if you have a race with +3LA and 4 racial HD. Is there a way to be this race with basic rules WITHOUT being a level 8+ character? Or is the racial HD slowly and can you enter level 4-7 too? I don't really understand it

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by EnderDwarf View Post
    So if you have a race with +3LA and 4 racial HD. Is there a way to be this race with basic rules WITHOUT being a level 8+ character? Or is the racial HD slowly and can you enter level 4-7 too? I don't really understand it
    You should have a look at this handbook. To answer your question: you can homebrew a monster class, which would allow you to play your monster from level 1. However, this sort of question doesn't really belong in this thread.

    Somewhat more on topic: I'm looking forward to animated objects. I presume they're going to be awakened first?
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2016-05-01 at 01:11 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Animated Objects


    Animated objects are tricky to figure out for several reasons.

    1. They're mindless. For the purpose of the given LA's, I'll be assuming they somehow got an intelligence score.
    2. They're very diverse. A glass orb is going to be far less powerful than a riverine handkerchief, even if both are tiny animated objects. I'll be 'fixing' this issue by assuming two default animated objects.

    The first object is long, made out of iron, has the Improved Speed (wheels) trait, and will from here on be called the 'Wagon'. The second object is long, made out of cloth, has a fly speed, has the Blind and Constrict traits, and will from here on be called the 'Carpet'. I am aware these fail to cover the wide variety of objects that can exist, but I don't see a more elegant way to handle this.

    With that being said, on to the objects!

    Tiny

    The Wagon is kind of weak here. It may be fast and hard, but offensively you will be deadly negligible damage. With small-size being so much better for you, I'd feel bad assigning any LA here.
    The Carpet isn't much better off, either. When you have racial features that encourage grappling, you don't want to be tiny. Without the hardness the Wagon possesses, you'll be destroyed the first time you encounter a monster with ranged attacks or flight, and even if you can move safely at range: what will you do from there? A LA doesn't seem necessary here, to be honest.

    Wagon LA: +0, Carpet LA: +0.

    Small

    The Wagon has definitely improved a lot. Your AC remains about the same, but your melee abilities improve, and you get extra HP. Not to mention that both your strength and natural weapon increase in power. In my opinion, this pushes the object into LA territory.
    The Carpet has gotten slightly stronger, too. That is, you can now barely outgrapple a halfling commoner. No LA increase is required, IMO.

    Wagon LA: +1, Carpet LA: +0.

    Medium

    More HP, more strength, and more slam damage are about offset by the RHD you gain. No LA change for the Wagon.
    The Carpet can now grapple as well as a town guard, except any decent melee build could just kill the guard the normal way, and wouldn't have to take two weak RHD on doing so.

    Wagon LA: +1, Carpet LA: +0.

    Large

    Here's where the RHD start to hurt. Even without LA, class levels just get too important. The Wagon's LA is lowered to -0; and so is the carpet's.

    Wagon LA: -0, Carpet LA: -0.

    Huge

    8 HD just aren't worth the abilities this grants you.

    Wagon LA: -0, Carpet LA: -0.

    Gargantuan

    By this level, wizards are about to become literal gods, warblades can create earthquakes by punching the ground, even samurai have their uses in intimidating about anything into submission. You? You're either are whale-sized cart that can bash someone once per round, or a whale-sized piece of cloth that may be able to fly fast enough to reach its target before the encounter ends.

    Wagon LA: -0, Carpet LA: -0.

    Colossal

    I sure am glad I chose these 32 RHD over 32 actually useful class levels! Being a useless, emotionless piece of cloth has made my game so much fun! /sarcasm.

    Wagon LA: -0, Carpet LA: -0.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-11-14 at 11:36 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    What LA are you referring to? The animated objects in my Monster Manual have none, and you're not mentioning any specific numbers in your post, just 'none' and 'LA territory' and 'two useless LA'. I may be missing something, of course, it's getting late.

    In any case, I'd say that between the +2 str/con --/-10 wisdom/-10 charisma, three bad saves, bad base attack, and lack of class features, a medium wagon is still weaker than a level 2 barbarian who invested in speed (maybe barbarian 1/crusader 1, if you want to emulate the hardness). Yes, 10 hardness helps (if you're an armoured wagon), but that just makes you a good courier. No LA is required.
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    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    What LA are you referring to? The animated objects in my Monster Manual have none, and you're not mentioning any specific numbers in your post, just 'none' and 'LA territory' and 'two useless LA'. I may be missing something, of course, it's getting late.

    In any case, I'd say that between the +2 str/con --/-10 wisdom/-10 charisma, three bad saves, bad base attack, and lack of class features, a medium wagon is still weaker than a level 2 barbarian who invested in speed (maybe barbarian 1/crusader 1, if you want to emulate the hardness). Yes, 10 hardness helps (if you're an armoured wagon), but that just makes you a good courier. No LA is required.
    I edited the post to make the LA clearer.

    However, I'm still not sure about changing the medium wagon's LA. Let's compare a half-orc barbarian 3 to a medium wagon barbarian 1. The half-orc has 1 more BAB, a bigger weapon, uncanny dodge and trap sense +1. The wagon has more AC, hardness 10, more HP, a huge number of immunities, and higher speed.

    The half-orc is stronger offensively, that I admit, but the wagon is incredibly tough. Especially when you start adding crusader levels (like you mentioned), the various stances that encourage people to attack you (Defensive Rebuke, Iron Guard's Glare) will be much more effective on the wagon. No LA change for now.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Thanks for clearing up the LA, mostly zeroes as I thought, but just in case.

    I'm wondering what negative LA you would assign, to the gargantuan and colossal objects especially. High HD and negative LA is an early entry dream, of course, but it's pretty much required to compensate for 32 construct HD without class features. I'd say at least -11 LA for the colossal object, keeping it epic, but only just.
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    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
    My Ruby Knight Vindicator barsader. A party-buffing melee build (ECL 14).

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Planetar


    The planetar, infamous for getting 17th-level cleric casting and a bunch of other goodies at CR 16. Apparently the low HD was supposed to balance it out?

    This casting makes rating them quite difficult, though, and my eventual decision surprised even myself. In hopes of making it understandable, I'll evaluate possible LA's one by one.

    +0, +1, and +2 LA all have the same problem; they allow epic spellcasting by ECL 20, so they're out. +3 LA removes all differences between a planetar and an equally-leveled cleric's casting, but the cleric doesn't have the additional perks of being an angel. A monster being stronger than a tier 1 class is a pretty clear indication its LA is too low.

    +4 LA, then? It'd place a planetar one level behind a cleric when it comes to casting. However, once you get 9th-level spells, all more caster levels do is give you additional slots, while the planetar still has its regeneration, spell-likes, SR, etc.

    Remaining level adjustments: +5 and +6. I actually think both could fit, and the only reason I pick +5 is my dislike of characters without any class levels.
    I'd argue that +4 makes sense; it'll at least function. ECL Monsters should be a little behind the curve for ECL playable races; the monsters will eventually improve and hopefully be on track later on, but they start out worse.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
    I'd argue that +4 makes sense; it'll at least function. ECL Monsters should be a little behind the curve for ECL playable races; the monsters will eventually improve and hopefully be on track later on, but they start out worse.
    The point is that an ECL 18 planetar isn't 'a little behind the curve', it's as strong as, if not stronger than, an 18th-level cleric. ECL 19 is what I'd call 'a little behind the curve'.

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    I'm wondering what negative LA you would assign, to the gargantuan and colossal objects especially. High HD and negative LA is an early entry dream, of course, but it's pretty much required to compensate for 32 construct HD without class features. I'd say at least -11 LA for the colossal object, keeping it epic, but only just.
    I'm not sure if I'll be assigning negative LA. The problem with it is that unless all negative LA keeps ECL's post-epic, you'll end up with characters who can access epic feats sooner than their fellow adventurers. I'm not sure if that's something I want to encourage.

    Yes, it'll make high-HD monsters almost impossible to play, but they'll be that either way.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Angel, Astral Deva


    The astral deva is the first monster I evaluate that already has a LA. Said LA is so high that it brings back the problem of giant health gaps between party members, which is usually only an issue at low levels. Said LA is so high, that by the time you can finally play an astral deva, the party's wizard has been binding them for nine levels and shapechanging into them for three. Said LA is so high, a commoner of equivalent level could duplicate most of their abilities with WBL only.

    Level adjustment notwithstanding, astral devas are a strong race. +8 or higher bonuses to all ability scores, high speed, high natural armor, damage reduction, energy immunities, spell resistance (high enough to remain relevant even at 20th-level), permanent Magic Circle against Evil and Tongues, shapechanging, uncanny dodge, and more spell-like abilities than you shake a +3 heavy mace of disruption at.

    So what level should it become playable? Devas are offensively behind dedicated melee builds, though they try to make up for it with a fair deal of casting. The defensive abilities won't be heavily factored in, because being good at not dying isn't great if you fail to establish yourself as a target (just ask monks) and again, spell resistance will make you resist beneficial spells while offensive spells can just be directed at different targets.

    In the end, it is obvious that despite their big numbers, devas simply fail to pick a niche and fill it well. They definitely aren't useless, having a wide range of abilities, but they lack the strength a focused PC build possesses when doing its chosen job. I put their LA at +2.
    okay if this cr14 guy gets la +2 then what la succubus gets from cr perspective it says la +1 but like to see your reason

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Ankheg


    Ever went on a picnic and got attacked by fire ants? I refuse to believe ankhegs were inspired by anything else than that experience. They're giant, insectoid monsters that burrow up, bite, and then spit acid into your wounds. Lovely.

    Three RHD, but they're magical beast type, so that's something. Ankhegs also have a huge strength bonus, large size, a very nice natural weapon and a sizable constitution bonus, as well as an enormous natural armor bonus. Oh, and they also have a burrow speed (that can be used to dig tunnels) and tremorsense.

    On the other hand, they lack those (see what I did there?) so wielding weapons is going to be a problem for them and intellectually they're on par with toads.

    To determine a good LA, let's do some comparing. On one side, we have a half-ogre with three levels of a full BAB class wielding a greatsword, on the other an ankheg. The half-ogre is dealing 3d6+16 points of damage at +6 to hit, the ankheg is dealing 2d6+16+1d4 at +9 to hit. The half-ogre hits slightly harder and crits somewhat more often. The ankheg will probably have higher AC and can burrow, the half-ogre has his class features. IMO, this is about even, so the ankheg gets +2 LA (man, I give a lot of monsters +2 LA: I should switch things up).
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-05-05 at 12:24 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Aranea


    The aranea, first in a long line of 'arachnids with a twist'. In this case, the twist is the aranea's shapechanging abilities and sorcerer casting. Somewhat surprisingly, they aren't evil but true neutral, despite their habit of kidnapping people and asking ransom.

    Araneas have bonuses to all stats but strength and innate sorcerer casting, making that class an obvious fit. They have some pretty interesting other abilities too, such as the power to throw webs that completely prevent movement (whereas a regular spider's only entangles the target) or attack with a poisonous bite. Really, everything about this just screams 'GISH!' to me.

    So an aranea is equal to a gishy sorcerer of what level? I'm inclined towards a +2 LA (so much for shaking things up), especially considering the Magical Beast HD it gets are far nicer than regular sorcerer HD.

    +2 LA for now, unless the hivemind disagrees.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Honestly, I think +2 is just a really good LA, for two reasons.

    Cadence: Two levels behind means you're missing out on a spell level, +1d6 SA/EB/whatever, a fighter feat, etc. Many if not most scaling abilities in 3.5 improve every other level. The value of the LA never changes (unlike LA+1 where you're sometimes on par and sometimes not).

    Buy-off at the right time: A +2 LA creature can be LA-free at level 9. You may also recognize that as the level that 5th level spells appear and magic flips from "really good" to "planar binding and dominate person." It seems only fair that you should stop being punished for not playing a wizard right at the moment when wizards get a huge power boost.

    Also, most of the game's monsters are low-level ones, meaning that higher LA isn't worth it for the abilities you get. For every planetar, there's a dozen CR 1/2 badgerfolk warriors.
    Last edited by Flickerdart; 2016-05-05 at 10:20 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Archon, Lantern


    Jowgen has already gone into most of what these balls of holy light can do in detail, but his most important points I'll repeat here.

    Lantern Archons are 1 HD celestials with various interesting abilities, including (but not limited to) the creation of everlasting magical fire, the granting of temporary HP, flight, the capacity to shoot rays of searing light, and the ability to teleport to any point on the same plane with perfect accuracy at-will as a standard action.

    Not bad at all. The lack of positive stat boosts (combined with the strength and intelligence penalties) hurt, but still. I actually find all these abilities worth +3 LA, making a lantern archon an ECL 4 creature.

    Now, this may seem like a lot, and I can already imagine some people worrying about your HP. Rest assured, there's nothing wrong with your survivability. Imagine a lantern archon with 13 constitution. It'll have only 8+1 HP, but it will also be walking floating around with 11 temporary HP most of the time, so it might be more accurate to consider it as 20 HP. A 4th-level rogue with 13 constitution will have 6+1+3.5x3+3=20 HP as well, and the rogue lacks damage reduction, protective auras, or flight.

    So defensively you won't fall short. How about offensively? A 4th-level warlock can deal 2d6 points of damage with Eldritch Blast, a lantern archon can make two light ray attacks that deal 1d6 points of damage each. The warlock can apply various invocations, but the barebones ability is about equal. A similar case would be a caster with Acidic Splatter, also capable of dealing 2d6 points of damage at-will.

    Finally, will the lantern archon be able to keep up as the party increases in levels? Most likely it will. Rogue, or a similar precision-based class will benefit from the two free natural attacks (remember, low strength doesn't necessarily prevent you from wielding weapons), and a caster will benefit from the flight and can still reach 8th-level spells (or 9th-level spells with LA buyoff).

    Final verdict: +3 LA.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-09-25 at 01:03 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Archon, Hound


    Who's a [Good] boy? That's right, it's the hound archon! This canine big brother of the lantern archon, hound archons are more 'traditional' celestials. How can we improve their current LA of +5?

    Despite one being a human-sized dog-headed warrior and the other a ray-shooting ball of light, hound archons are surprisingly similar to lantern archons. The spell-like abilities mostly overlap, as do their archon traits.

    So what's different? The hound can turn into any wolflike animal (Legendary Wolf is probably the nicest), has two natural weapons, modest ability boosts, natural armor, and spell resistance. How much is that worth over the lantern archon?

    My gut feeling says +1 LA, if only because from 7th-level on the party's cleric will be able to call hound archons himself, but I'm not completely sure.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-06-19 at 03:20 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Yeah, +1 seems fair. The archon gets to gloat about his teleportation power for two whole levels before the wizard has teleport himself.

    However, the lantern archon doesn't deserve +3 LA, I think. It's most comparable to Petals (MM3) who have LA +2. Petals don't have teleport and have weaker DR, but they have amazing ability scores so it's a bit of a wash (and at higher levels, the Petal pulls way ahead since SLAs don't make you special anymore).
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Yeah, +1 seems fair. The archon gets to gloat about his teleportation power for two whole levels before the wizard has teleport himself.

    However, the lantern archon doesn't deserve +3 LA, I think. It's most comparable to Petals (MM3) who have LA +2. Petals don't have teleport and have weaker DR, but they have amazing ability scores so it's a bit of a wash (and at higher levels, the Petal pulls way ahead since SLAs don't make you special anymore).
    Archon teleportation is Greater Teleport at will as a supernatural ability. That's going to be better than the Wizard's for quite a bit longer than two levels.

    I don't think you can put the LA any lower on lantern archons without removing the teleport ability. It is very powerful.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Archon teleportation is Greater Teleport at will as a supernatural ability. That's going to be better than the Wizard's for quite a bit longer than two levels.
    This is true. However, from 7th-level on, teleportation gets less reliable as spells like Dimensional Anchor become available. Sure, you may be able to 'port into the BBEG's sanctum and grab his artifact of doom, but leaving may be an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    I don't think you can put the LA any lower on lantern archons without removing the teleport ability. It is very powerful.
    I agree. Think of your typical D&D adventure, now think of it while one of the PC's can teleport anywhere with 100% reliability, at-will.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    I agree. Think of your typical D&D adventure, now think of it while one of the PC's can teleport anywhere with 100% reliability, at-will.
    Don't you know you never split the party?
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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