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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Glabrezu


    Apparently, this blueish lobster lad is pathfinder's official glabrezu picture. It looks more like a weirdly-shaped tropical crustacean than an awe-inspiring demon to me, to be honest.

    Glabrezu are enormous: at Huge size they're even taller than balors. Their strength and constitution are consequently high too, with both in the low 30s. Other stats rank from average (10) to very good (20). They possess two pincer attacks, a bite attack and two claw attacks. Given the humanoid nature of their clawed hands, I'd say they should be able to wield weapons, but I wasn't able to find any confirmation of this.

    What can a glabrezu do? Their melee ability is definitely not bad, even when you have to use a mouthpick weapon. Their continuous True Seeing is the equivalent of a 75000 GP magic item, and while mostly obsolute or attainable through other ways, their energy resistances and immunities are valuable too.

    Like most other tanar'ri, glabrezu have lots of spell-like abilities. These vary in usefulness from almost zero (Unholy Blight) to useful (Mirror Image, Greater Teleport, Power Word Stun) to potentially encounter-ending (Reverse Gravity). Glabrezu can also summon a horde of dretches or 1-2 vrocks, which I suppose can be useful (please roll me 23 saving throws against Stinking Cloud).

    Perhaps the glabrezu's most powerful ability: Wish. Every month, glabrezu can grant a wish to a mortal humanoid (such as your adventuring companions). It should be noted that this is a SLA, and therefore requires no resource expenditure on your part. As this is obviously broken beyond belief, it will not be considered when assigning the creature its LA.

    Taking all these things into account, what is an appropriate LA? With SLA's that outclass a warlock, great martial ability and the various permanent resistances or abilities, combined with the fact that your RHD don't hurt that bad, +2 seems a minimum here.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2018-01-01 at 04:02 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I think Wish is too powerful for a 12th level character, even if it's only once a month.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    I think Wish is too powerful for a 12th level character, even if it's only once a month.
    I agree that it's a strong ability. However:

    Unless the PC's start using time-speed shenanigans (which typically get available at the same time as Wish itself), the glabrezu won't have too many opportunities to use Wish. Typically, PC's only do nothing for long amounts of time if they're traveling (which shouldn't take that long at 12th level) or nothing happens in the campaign (which is DM dependent). In a single month, someone can easily gain several levels. (Average 3 encounters a day with 15 encounters to level up still gets you up 6 levels between two uses of Wish).

    Also, Wish is already available at ECL 12. A luckblade can get you a single free wish (as well as a decent weapon) for 62360 GP. This is within WBL for a glabrezu-equivalent PC. And with adventurers growing so rapidly, by the time the month is over adventuring should've earned him enough to make another Wish. Sure, the guy who bought the luckblade is now short on WBL, but remember that he can use the wish to get back to or above WBL if need be.

    Note that I agree with you. I think Wish shouldn't be available at ECL 12, but RAW it is. A DM who forbids luckblades may as well remove the glabrezu's Wish ability, but such an act would be beyond the scope of this thread.
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  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Planar binding is well within reach at these levels, too, as are plain scrolls of wish, at a very reasonable 28.825 GP each. A 1/month wish is on par with cost reduction feats on an artificer: certainly powerful, but par for the course, at that level. That is, a party with months and months of downtime can abuse glabrezu wishes, but an artificer can be exploited in the same way, or even a wall of iron/salt wizard. Downtime and time-lapsing is just useful.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2016-07-24 at 02:18 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    Planar binding is well within reach at these levels, too, as are plain scrolls of wish, at a very reasonable 28.825 GP each. A 1/month wish is on par with cost reduction feats on an artificer: certainly powerful, but par for the course, at that level.
    Excellent examples too. I didn't choose them because neither is directly priced and therefore not directly calculated in by WotC, but RAW they are ways of getting a Wish too.

    And that's before getting into LE Candles of Invocation...
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  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Actually, 62,000 gp is considered an 18th level item. Even a scroll of wish is a 16th level item, and that's with spell completion activation restricting who can use it.

    I believe the glabrezu is another of those monsters like the bodak that is not really appropriate for PC use. If I were giving it an LA, I would go the pixie route: one LA for the ones with the SLA, another for the ones without.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Actually, 62,000 gp is considered an 18th level item. Even a scroll of wish is a 16th level item, and that's with spell completion activation restricting who can use it.
    What do you mean when you say '18th level item'? A 12th-level character has a WBL of 88000 GP, more than enough to buy a luckblade/scroll of wish/casting of Planar Ally/candle of invocation.

    The pixie idea is intriguing, but I'm still not convinced 1/month is frequent enough to significantly affect gameplay.
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    What do you mean when you say '18th level item'? A 12th-level character has a WBL of 88000 GP, more than enough to buy a luckblade/scroll of wish/casting of Planar Ally/candle of invocation.
    There's a system of item levels in the Magic Item Compendium. I don't think anybody actually uses it, though, and even if they did, it's just a DM tool for speeding up treasure and NPC creation. It has no bearing on what PCs can or can't do.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    What do you mean when you say '18th level item'? A 12th-level character has a WBL of 88000 GP, more than enough to buy a luckblade/scroll of wish/casting of Planar Ally/candle of invocation.
    Magic Item Compendium introduces item levels based on price, used to estimate at what level a PC should be getting their hands on a particular item. 48,000–64,000 gp is considered an 18th level item.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    The pixie idea is intriguing, but I'm still not convinced 1/month is frequent enough to significantly affect gameplay.
    XP-free wishes are just straight up broken. Once a month, you can wish for any magic item you want, with no gp limit, because the only restriction is that the XP cost for creating the magic item is added to the spell's XP component—which you don't have to pay. If you have any extended downtime at all, you can simply bank your wishes for later by wishing for more wishes.

    Your at-will spell-like abilities are also significantly better than those of a warlock—as good as or better than dark invocations. Your stat adjustments are crazy—I mean, +20 STR and CON?! Outsider HD are also the best hit dice in the game. I think anything less than LA +2 is madness, and I personally wouldn't go below LA +4.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    For my 2 cents, I couldn't see myself dropping Glabrezu below LA +3 in my own games, for the reasons already given by others; bearing in mind I'm on the extremely harsh end of assigning LA, so I may be overestimating.

    I also would like to point out Unholy Blight isn't as bad as all that IMHO. I would put it on a par (or just a fraction below) with unlimited Fireballs. The damage cap is lower (except against good Outsiders), and it sucks against non-good opponents, but it has a (minor) rider effect, and isn't subject to the very common Resist Fire X that so many creatures have. And lets face it, most of what a Demon fights is going to be good aligned in most games. YMMV.

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Hm...

    With the feedback received so far, I now see +0 LA was far too lenient (note to self: don't assign LA's when tired). I raised it to +3.

    Everyone, thank you for pointing out how the ruling could be improved!
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  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Hezrou


    Another day, another demon. This time, it's a giant combat frog with poor hygiene.

    Hezrous are fairly decent regarding base stats. Their constitution is almost balor- and glabrezu-levels high, their strength is not bad, and their other stats range from 10 to 18. Hezrous are large-sized and enjoy 10 feet of reach as a result.

    For natural attacks, Hezrous have two claws and a bite. The claws deal 1d8 base damage, the bite 4d4, so I recommend wielding a two-handed weapon in your claws. Hezrous should be able to wield weapons: the first Fiendish Codex shows one holding a chain with little apparent difficulty.

    Spell-likes are a bit thin (by tanar'ri standards), with three abilities usable at will and and two thrice per day. Your at-will abilities are Chaos Hammer and Unholy Blight as well as Greater Teleport, which should be mostly useful if you're faced with enemies at range. I can't see them winning encounters or solving difficult challenges, though.

    The limited SLA's are Blasphemy and Gaseous Form. Gaseous Form isn't that useful when you can teleport at will, but it may help you get in dimensionally locked places. Blasphemy is quite useful when you get it, but monster HD will begin to outstrip its fixed CL quickly.

    Finally, there's two additional abilties. Stench, while kind of ridiculous (fear the power of my bad body odor!) is essentially a free save-or-suck against all nearby creatures. It's a pity poison immunity stops it. The summoning of either another hezrou or a horde of dretches may be useful, but the low rate of success is too bad.

    All in all, Hezrous possess several useful abilities, though they don't approach the level of power possessed by other demons. +1 LA seems about right.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-07-25 at 10:07 AM.
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  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I think +1 is too low again. You're still underestimating the power of Greater Teleport, and I think you're also underestimating the nausea effect, which is a straight-up save-or-lose—the nauseated condition prevents you from taking any actions other than vomiting, so anyone hit by it is out of the fight. It's a free action and has a Con-based DC on a creature with +18 Con. It's very powerful.

    Also, you can't rely too much on outsider HD to provide a drawback, because outsider HD are the actual good HD. The chassis they provide is as good as it gets, and allows you to add a little more LA without feeling it too badly.

    I would put it at +2 or +3.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2016-07-25 at 03:16 PM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I would not go higher than +2. Teleporting is cool and BO is cool, but the former becomes a lame trick pretty quick (a standard action is too slow) and the latter runs into immunity, and also is a high save for many monsters from the books.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    First of all, I'd like to thank you for doing such great work.

    Second, I dearly hope you also do dragons. After all, who has never wished to play a Dragon?

    Third, you seem to underestimate some enormous ability bonuses and SLAs (like Greater Teleport, às mentioned above). It's a high level spell on its own and one (the?) of the best forms of locomotion you can get. Your level of play seems to be far higher than the usual optimization I face, but that might be generating a certain level of tunnel vision.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I think the issue is less about optimization level and more about undervaluing the difference between different types of HD. Most creature types, 10 HD would be crippling. But outsider and dragon HD are better than some actual classes, so you can't necessarily just say "Oh, it has a bunch of racial HD, it wouldn't be fair to toss a level adjustment on top of all that," like you can for humanoids or undead or whatever. I mean, I'd rather be a Barbarian 1/Dragon or Outsider X than a Barbarian X+1 any day of the week, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Teleporting is cool and BO is cool, but the former becomes a lame trick pretty quick (a standard action is too slow)
    Disagree. You can instantly travel anywhere on the plane! That's crazy good at any level!

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TotallyNotEvil View Post
    Second, I dearly hope you also do dragons. After all, who has never wished to play a Dragon?
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    Exclamation Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Not that it should affect LA, but CL on innate abilities can be boosted by up to 4 levels (but no greater than total HD) by the Practiced Magic feat.

    It's in the Shackled City hardcover, so it has the same "official" status as stuff from the Dragon Compendium.

    It's works pretty much exactly like Practiced Spellcaster, but for SLAs.

  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I think people are overrating Greater Teleport. The normal spell may be good, but this version is severely limited in its uses.

    You can warp to the BBEG's dungeon... but though you can go there yourself, no one can come along. Have fun fighting encounters meant for a party of four by yourself!

    You can bypass the hallway of traps or the locked door... but again, you're on your own. If anything dangerous is behind them, you don't have your party members backing you.

    You can travel to the other side of the continent to deliver a message... but Sending is already available and has the advantage of working across planar barriers.

    You can move around the battlefield with impunity... but so can any character with the right gear or spells, and they can probably do so as a move or swift action.

    You can flee a horde of monsters... and leave your party to die. I doubt this monster deserves increased LA for being good at fleeing.

    The point is that unless everyone can teleport, you'll be limited to solving your own problems, not the party's.


    Also remember that you're 13th-level already. A wizard or travel cleric can cast Greater Teleport several times per day if he needs to. A non-travel cleric can cast it at will for a few minutes every day with Holy Transformation. A class such as the dread necromancer can duplicate its effects by binding a demon or devil. Even a simple tier 4 class such as the rogue can just buy a scroll for under 2300 GP and UMD it.


    On Stench: a random sampling of CR 13 monsters in the SRD revealed that about a third were immune to poison. If we take a look at the monsters PC's will actually face (including templated ones), that number goes up, as immunity or at least countermeasures to poison are an obvious pick for monster gear. Furthermore, most of the non-poison-immune monsters had good fortitude saving throws or possessed the ability to leave combat when nauseated and return a few rounds later.


    TotallyNotEvil, I'm not seeing the enormous ability bonuses. There's the constitution increase, but constitution isn't really that useful until you have powerful innate abilities (no, stench doesn't count). Being good at surviving does not a useful party member make. The strength bonus is big, but not 'enormous', and definitely not unreasonable for a character of this level (remember, strength is easiest of all stats to raise). The other ability scores are neat, but not unattainable at this level, not to mention that you won't need all of them.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-07-26 at 04:27 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I believe you are seriously undervaluing at-will abilities. Those teleport plans are all coming from the headspace where you have a daily limit. At-will greater teleport means being 3 seconds away from the magic shop, or buffing/healing/information/whatever NPC, or whatever important location at all times, and 3 seconds to get back to where you were. It means being able to ferry 250lbs of goods per minute, without jumping through the hoops of calling an outsider to do it because you already can and the security of knowing only you handled the goods. It means being able to reach any location with nothing but a "reliable description," 3 seconds after hearing that description, without impacting your combat ability whatsoever on arrival. It means being anywhere you want to be right now, and in a world that includes anything other than a single dungeon that is invaluable.

    Basically, any argument that starts with "well a wizard can do it several times per day," should be immediately questioned with "and what would happen if they could do it at-will?" I also tend to discount any argument that begins with "well stats are easy to raise," because stats are easy to raise.

    As for stench, so what if 1/3 of those targets are immune to it? There are plenty of creatures immune to fire or instant death and plenty more assumed magic items to do the same, yet those abilities are still counted as useful. Anyone who's not immune gets hit with a no-action save or lose as soon as you enter range, the equivalent of Quickened Stinking Cloud at-will, with a far higher save DC. That is not nothing. In fact it combines perfectly with at-will teleport, since your teleport bomb includes a save or lose before you've even rolled for initiative, before anyone has a chance to activate a buff or even make an immediate action since they're flat-footed.

    The most appropriate comparison for at-will abilities is a Warlock. At 10HD and LA+4 the Hezrou would have the same BAB as a warlock, with better teleportation, better save-or-lose, better skills, better hp, better weapons, better armor (no spell failure), waaaaaay better stats, better immunities, and so on. You can say the warlock is underpowered, but it is also the only class that actually has at-will spells as it's main feature and it doesn't come close to these for a reason. Hezrous effectively have two extremely good 7th level spells at-will, plus a couple more, plus a body designed to not need magic items which will then be covered in magic items. The Hound Archon might get away with a low LA, but their best stat bonus is a single +4 and no offensive magic.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Yup. Not as though the Dragonfire Adept or the Binder or Martial Initiators or Incarnum Classes have a kinds of spiffy at will tricks.




    Or that the Warlock is second as an Item Crafting Character only to the Tier 1 Artificer.



    Sorry, not seeing it. It honestly sounds like "It's really good for melee as opposed to caster builds, so, it should be penalized for being a race that brings nice things to the table for that." Maybe that's not what's intended, but that is the vibe your giving off.






    Besides, wasn't part of the point here to take Races with Prohibitively High level adjustments and recalibrate based on what they get (as well as Racial hit dice.) down to reasonable territory?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    Yup. Not as though the Dragonfire Adept or the Binder or Martial Initiators or Incarnum Classes have a kinds of spiffy at will tricks.
    All those are basically on the same level as the warlock. (Except initiators, who aren't a good comparison due to lack of magic.) At +1 LA, I think the hezrou would easily out-power them all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    Besides, wasn't part of the point here to take Races with Prohibitively High level adjustments and recalibrate based on what they get (as well as Racial hit dice.) down to reasonable territory?
    Well yeah. Nobody is suggesting leaving the hezrou at +9 (as it is in the book). That's clearly unplayable. But I think +1 is too far in the other direction.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Warlock is considered Tier 4 sans major major optimization and/or abuse.


    Totemist, Dragonfire Adept, Incanate, Warblade, Swordsage, Crusader and Binder are ALL Tier 3 sans bits of odd ball support that seldom get's used like some of the Online Vestiges.

    And at same level, he might out raw power some of them assuming comparable optimization, But there are others on there, even none marital initiates (Hello Melee Totemist with at will Flesh to Stone which I think was also a free action.), could win that fight as often as they loose.







    And 4 LA, which was suggested above for this monster, usually IS unplayable, since you now can't buy it off at all sans Homebrew/House Rules/Epic rules. How many LA +4 Templates or Races do you know of that are playable? There's one that's LA 5 which I think was in the MM 2 and was so broken that I refuse to believe it wasn't a series of typo's and editing errors, The MM 1 Pixie but only on certain specialized builds, and Maybe, arguably, the Lich. Maybe. I'm skeptical on that one as experience has been that trying to get Lichdome online as a PC has this nasty habit of getting that PC killed and not in the now I'm undead kind of way.

    That's what I was responding too by pointing this out. "We lowered it but not enough to actually accomplish the goal." is not "We made it playable."

    I could Maybe, MAYBE entertain an argument for LA 2, but that would be pushing it and anything above that for what your actually getting is right out.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    Or that the Warlock is second as an Item Crafting Character only to the Tier 1 Artificer.
    And it is a pale, pale second, for one of the more volatile paths to tier-1-dom.
    Sorry, not seeing it. It honestly sounds like "It's really good for melee as opposed to caster builds, so, it should be penalized for being a race that brings nice things to the table for that." Maybe that's not what's intended, but that is the vibe your giving off.
    And I honestly don't understand where you're seeing that when almost my entire focus was on the magic. Having powerful at-will spells has nothing to do with melee builds, the melee effects are only worth mentioning because even if we equate the Hezrou's abilities with a Warlock (and they are not equal) it still comes out ahead. Greater Teleport at-will, ultra-Quickened Stinking Cloud at-will, and +18 con are not "nice things," they're "omgwtf huge" things.

    To reiterate Troacctid's point, Outsider HD have full BAB, all high saves, and 8+int skill points, a combination unmatched by any actual class. I would spend 3-4 levels and my literal arms and legs to play a Lantern Archon, just for the Greater Teleport at-will. A Hezrou gains that, plus abilities that are easily worth 10 levels of a class with it's 10HD.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Don't forget that unholy blight and chaos hammer also compare pretty damn favorably against eldritch blast, and they're not even your best attack option.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I'm wondering if I should just set up a PbP thread where various of this thread's monsters are run through the same dungeons as same-level humanoid adventurers and see which one is more useful.


    To stay on-topic, I'm feeling like some people here are fixated on at-will abilities. The point is: very often an at-will ability won't be used very often. Take Unholy Blight/Chaos Hammer. Yes, it does give you an at-will ability equal to a 4th-level spell, but a 13th-level warmage can already cast 20 such spells a day: more than enough to use one every round every encounter and still have some left over. Yes, if you have to blast a bunch of Good or Lawful creatures every round an entire day, the Hezrou comes out on top, but how often does that happen?

    Similarly, how often do you need to teleport yourself (and only yourself) repeatedly between places while being able to move only 50 lb. per twelve seconds? If your answer is less than 'a few times per day', then an unoptimized caster can do the same.

    13th-level adventures tend to be about stopping extraplanar threats or exploring forgotten temples, not about quickly moving a few tons of goods.
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    The problem with the 50lb limit is - what if you have more than 50lb of gear? Hezrous are Large, which means their gear weighs twice as much as normal. Want a full plate? That weighs 100 pounds by itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    The problem with the 50lb limit is - what if you have more than 50lb of gear? Hezrous are Large, which means their gear weighs twice as much as normal. Want a full plate? That weighs 100 pounds by itself.
    You'd probably have to stick all your stuff in a bag of holding, which does make teleporting somewhat inconvenient.

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    I confess that, for simplicity's sake, I generally assume (as what is probably a house rule) that whatever you're wearing - and backpacks are "carried" rather than "worn" for this purpose - doesn't count against that weight limit.

    If you try to stretch "wearing" at all, I would look askance at you. This is why backpacks don't count as "worn" in this case. But armor? You're wearing it. The stuff in your pockets? You're not wearing it; you're carrying it. ...I suppose I'd let the backpack itself slide, but not its contents.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    I'm wondering if I should just set up a PbP thread where various of this thread's monsters are run through the same dungeons as same-level humanoid adventurers and see which one is more useful.
    For higher variance, compare monster PCs from this very thread. A Lantern Archon with 7-8 levels or a Hound Archon with 4 levels, compared to a Hezrou which you currently want to place at ECL 11. The Hezrou will rofflestomp them in usefulness for anything other than preventing mind control.
    The point is: very often an at-will ability won't be used very often.
    If your players aren't utilizing their at-will abilities, the weakness is with the players and the not the abilities. Any creature with an at-will should naturally spam that ability at every possible opportunity to leverage their advantage, and the expectation is that a player choosing such an ability will do so the same as they would any class feature.
    Similarly, how often do you need to teleport yourself (and only yourself) repeatedly between places while being able to move only 50 lb. per twelve seconds? If your answer is less than 'a few times per day', then an unoptimized caster can do the same.
    Good thing my answer wasn't less than a few times per day. Creatures with Greater Teleport at-will don't teleport a few times per day, they teleport every time they want to travel more than 60' in a round. They literally do not think in terms of travel time, because they do not spend time traveling. It is not about how many times you need to teleport, it's about how many times you can, and what you can do with it. Being able to immediately acquire new gear, information, or even buffs mid-dungeon or even mid-combat is crazy good with even the slightest amount of thought. Combined with the other at-wills you are also a hit and run machine, able to stench bomb or just teleport+sneak your way up to people and drop a blight/hammer and teleport out, all day. It doesn't matter if there are some situations where these don't apply, because when they do it's such a huge advantage it must have a price.
    13th-level adventures tend to be about stopping extraplanar threats or exploring forgotten temples, not about quickly moving a few tons of goods.
    And one of the main pacing limitations on those adventures is the fact that the PCs can only teleport every so often, that every time they return to town that's another pile of spells gone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    The problem with the 50lb limit is - what if you have more than 50lb of gear? Hezrous are Large, which means their gear weighs twice as much as normal. Want a full plate? That weighs 100 pounds by itself.
    Bro, do you even magic?
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