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  1. - Top - End - #331
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I probably missed the section on Quasits, so I'll have my say here.

    Personally, I couldn't go below LA +1. Fast Healing alone would put it there for me. At will Invisibility is a pretty big thing at lower levels, IMHO. Commune 1/week is nothing to be sneezed at either.

    With a bonus to Wis and Cha, at ECL 3 an Imp Cleric could still get 9ths.

  2. - Top - End - #332
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I think ECL 4 is pretty reasonable for imps and quasits, and I do agree with having them be the same.

  3. - Top - End - #333
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Lemure


    Lemures: the most jello-like of all incarnations of Law and Evil. I'm not sure if anyone ever uses those, as by the time PC's can travel to Baator they'll be pushovers.

    A lemure's stats are bad. No bonuses of any kind, a -6 charisma penalty, and no intelligence. Even worse, where other creatures can typically easily gain intelligence with Awaken or one of its many variants, no such option exists for outsiders.

    Lemures have two claw attacks that deal pathetic damage: you'd only have a reason to use them if your DM rules lemures can't use weapons. Sadly, this is something well within reason.

    Do lemures have no redeeming qualities at all? They kind of do. Standard devil immunities aren't coming cheaper than this, and one could interpret Mindless as sticking around even after they gain an intelligence score. This'd make lemures a small package of defensive abilities that takes up two levels (plus whatever gets added on in the process of giving them intelligence). It's not a small trade-off for any build, but not completely unreasonable either.

    +0 LA, which I hope everyone agrees with.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-04-10 at 07:36 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Have you though of implementing some kind of negative LA or it gets too abuseable no matter what creature you do?
    Last edited by Daedroth; 2016-09-11 at 12:20 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #335
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Daedroth View Post
    Have you though of implementing some kind of negative LA or it gets too abuseable no matter what creature you do?
    You're not the first to suggest this: I remember people bringing it up back at the bugbear.

    I indeed decided abuse is too easy and balancing it gets too hard. Gaining epic feats in a campaign meant to be nonepic is one problem, as are abilities dependent on HD. Not to mention the possibility for martial adepts (which don't really need a buff IMO) having an initiator level above their ECL with some tricks.
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  6. - Top - End - #336
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    No argument to +0 LA from me for this one.

  7. - Top - End - #337
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    That Lemur is the weirdest looking raccoon I've ever seen!
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
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    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
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    And this is why I love D&D

  8. - Top - End - #338
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Pit Fiend



    Last time, the least powerful devil was covered. This time, it's one of the strongest (the Paeliryon has a higher CR, but it looks like an overweight draconic dominatrix).

    Let's start with the ability scores, which are stellar (as one would expect). A pit fiend's lowest score is 26, its highest 37. Natural armor is in the mid-twenties, but it is less important at these levels. Large size is as good as it gets for a PHB devil, and the natural attacks are great, with most of them remaining usable even when wielding a weapon.

    Constrict and Improved Grab would be worth it if anything would still be grappleable at this level. Devil Chills doesn't just have zero usefulness, it loops back on itself and creates a closed loop of negative utility. The fear aura is free with a decent range, so at least it'll be useful in some fights. Poison is only remarkable for its secondary damage (death) but if one wants to kill stuff with poison they're a dozen levels late. Regeneration, as has been said many times before, is nearly impossible to penetrate.

    A pit fiend's summoning ability is equaled by no other devil. No chance of failure, two uses per day and a very extensive list ensure at least half their battles will be joined by an ice devil, horned devil, or erinyes.

    Finally, there's the SLA's, which are very hit-or-miss. Blasphemy at-will seems strong, but there won't be many creatures with under 19 HD to use it on. Create Undead is either a personal mohrgpocalypse or an uncontrollable wild-running mohrgpocalypse, depending on whether the party has a cleric or necromancer. Fireball is far too weak at these levels, but GDM and Greater Teleport remain useful. The other SLA's range from weak (Invisibility) to useful (Persistent Image, Mass Hold Monster).

    Worth mentioning is the free Wish 1/year. However, unless one starts implementing fast time-cheese to shorten the recharge time, I don't think it warrants balancing.

    So what LA is the pit fiend? Compared to the balor, it's got better strength and natural attacks, but the balor has better SLA's and summoning. I think an equal ECL is about right, which translates as +2 LA.

    All are welcome to dispute this, as always.
    FINALLY! I thought the devil section would go on forever.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-04-10 at 07:36 AM.
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  9. - Top - End - #339
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    +2 seems fair. Any more, and it would need to compete with Epic monsters and abilities, which it simply can't. Any less and... well, I'm sure there's a class somewhere you can take a 1-level dip of that synergizes nicely with 37 base Strength.

    It's worth noting that in a fight against the balor, the pit fiend would probably win.
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    Greater
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    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
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    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

  10. - Top - End - #340
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    With 18 (outsider) HD and +2LA, a Pit Fiend is supposed to be the equivalent of a 20th-level character.
    Given its yuuuge stat bonuses, excellent natural attacks, and useful SLAs, how does it stack up against other 20th level characters?

    20th level Warblade? The Warblade might one-shot it as an ubercharger, but will have to bypass invisibility, DR, and 100' telepathy (seeing the warblade coming) to do so. If they start adjacent to each other, the Warblade might win. The Pit Fiend can probably kill it in 2 rounds (average damage output from the natural attacks is around 90hp). Possibly less when you factor in power attack, plus fireball damage, plus a chance of poison or grapple, plus a summon, plus being able to Power Word: Stun on round 2 with no save once the Warblade is below 150hp.

    20th level Warlock? Pit fiend has more damage options and is tough enough to power through most crowd control. Pit fiend win.

    20th level Wizard/Sorc? If the Pit Fiend can get physical, it wins; if the arcanist doesn't have enough HP, the pit fiend auto-wins with PW:Stun. With standard 20th-level items, the Pit Fiend will save against most wizard spells (+5 resistance, +1 luckstone, +3 to saves from Belt of Magnificence = saves of +28/+28/+30 vs a 30-int caster's DC of 29), and it has a nice package of immunities including SR that will block about 20% of the spells from a 20th-level caster with Spell Pen feats. A caster will have to do some serious pre-planning to defeat a Pit Fiend, whereas a Pit Fiend requires no pre-planning to stand a better-than-50/50 chance against the arcanist... unless we're getting into clones, demiplanes, astral projections, and other TO stuff that I've never seen anyone actually use.

    20th level Druid? I assume the Druid can physically match the Pit Fiend, but the Pit Fiend has better offensive spells, and the druid will have a hard time beating the DR with natural weapons. I have never seen a druid take Spell Pen, so SR will negate a higher portion of the druid's spells. The Pit Fiend will probably have better saves as well.

    I believe that a ECL 20 pit fiend as listed on the SRD is substantially superior to almost any build of 20 class levels unless the build is very, very highly optimized. I would put this at LA+4 or LA+5 so that other members of the party have a chance to at least pick up a couple of Epic feats to make up for some of the major disadvantages they face vs the Pit Fiend chassis.

  11. - Top - End - #341
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    With 18 (outsider) HD and +2LA, a Pit Fiend is supposed to be the equivalent of a 20th-level character.
    Given its yuuuge stat bonuses, excellent natural attacks, and useful SLAs, how does it stack up against other 20th level characters?

    20th level Warblade? The Warblade might one-shot it as an ubercharger, but will have to bypass invisibility, DR, and 100' telepathy (seeing the warblade coming) to do so. If they start adjacent to each other, the Warblade might win. The Pit Fiend can probably kill it in 2 rounds (average damage output from the natural attacks is around 90hp). Possibly less when you factor in power attack, plus fireball damage, plus a chance of poison or grapple, plus a summon, plus being able to Power Word: Stun on round 2 with no save once the Warblade is below 150hp.

    20th level Warlock? Pit fiend has more damage options and is tough enough to power through most crowd control. Pit fiend win.

    20th level Wizard/Sorc? If the Pit Fiend can get physical, it wins; if the arcanist doesn't have enough HP, the pit fiend auto-wins with PW:Stun. With standard 20th-level items, the Pit Fiend will save against most wizard spells (+5 resistance, +1 luckstone, +3 to saves from Belt of Magnificence = saves of +28/+28/+30 vs a 30-int caster's DC of 29), and it has a nice package of immunities including SR that will block about 20% of the spells from a 20th-level caster with Spell Pen feats. A caster will have to do some serious pre-planning to defeat a Pit Fiend, whereas a Pit Fiend requires no pre-planning to stand a better-than-50/50 chance against the arcanist... unless we're getting into clones, demiplanes, astral projections, and other TO stuff that I've never seen anyone actually use.

    20th level Druid? I assume the Druid can physically match the Pit Fiend, but the Pit Fiend has better offensive spells, and the druid will have a hard time beating the DR with natural weapons. I have never seen a druid take Spell Pen, so SR will negate a higher portion of the druid's spells. The Pit Fiend will probably have better saves as well.

    I believe that a ECL 20 pit fiend as listed on the SRD is substantially superior to almost any build of 20 class levels unless the build is very, very highly optimized. I would put this at LA+4 or LA+5 so that other members of the party have a chance to at least pick up a couple of Epic feats to make up for some of the major disadvantages they face vs the Pit Fiend chassis.
    You seem to be measuring the relative power of ECL 20 builds by putting them against each other in single combat, which really isn't what ECL is about (a beguiler can disable a warblade with one spell, but they're the same tier nonetheless). Not to mention that several of your assumptions are flat-out wrong.

    The baseline for ECL is: how easily does this character solve level-appropriate challenges? The pit fiend is a good damage dealer, but 100+ DPR isn't remarkable at level 20. It has SLA's, but so does a caster of equal level. I don't see how it's solving challenges other level 20 characters aren't.

    The defensive abilities, which you mention frequently, are good indeed. However, they don't actively help solving challenges. A moderately clever enemy would go after your less protected allies instead, and with no room for classes in an ECL 20 build a pit fiend will have trouble punishing foes for doing this.
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  12. - Top - End - #342
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    To say nothing of the fact that you ignore a number of perfectly viable options that people actually DO use.

    Orb of X line of spells on a Wizard with Abrupt Jaunt and maybe a couple of meta-magic feats like Quicken/Empower/Maximize. Couple of basic boosts on range touch attacks and your generally making that AC and getting/keeping clear of the attacks. Few items/spells and your making the saves on his SLA's/Other abilities, or outright immune (Hello Mind Blank and Freedom of Movement.). And that's before you add in Miss Chance or the like to mess with those natural attacks.

    Both the Arcane Caster and The Druid can also Summon some heavy hitters to help fight. Possibly before combat starts. Bigger and More Of Them then the Pit Fiend can summon.

    And not to mention the various lovely things that can be done with Specialized spells for dealing with outsiders.




    Incidentally, with Item Crafting, a Warlock at that level can have comparable things and probably will. Not to mention what they can do with that Animate Dead Invocation and a couple of Good Corpses during combat.


    A Dragonfire Insperation BardBlade with the right energy type and TWF can one round a Pit Fiend, and a Dread Necromancer with competent summons for the class and level can do likewise.


    So, no, it's preforming roughly at competence level for 20th by your metric. Which, as Dire_Stirge already pointed out, is wrong anyway, but even if it wasn't, your still off the mark.
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  13. - Top - End - #343
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    XP-free wishes break the game, so pit fiends are not well-suited for player characters. I like their LA at . In order to make them playable, I think you'd have to remove the wishes.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    It's once per year, it won't break anything. For most intents and purposes it will work only once in the campaign anyway. It's just as if the Pit Fiend were starting the adventure with a free Scroll of Wish, which costs about 29 000 gp. This is to be related to the 760 000 gp of 20th-character WBL that the Pit Fiend will get anyway (if we retain LA+2), which means that the 1/year wish is actually equivalent to an increase of the Pit Fiend's wealth of just below 4 %. Which means it just manages to blip on the radar. I don't think it warrants increasing the LA of the Pit Fiend.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    It's more as if the pit fiend starts with a scroll of as many wishes as it wants, because you can wish for a magic item. A single scroll can hold multiple spells, and the only gp limit for the item is the amount of xp you're willing to spend. Since there is no xp cost for a spell-like ability, you effectively have unlimited wishes (and unlimited WBL).

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    It's more as if the pit fiend starts with a scroll of as many wishes as it wants, because you can wish for a magic item. A single scroll can hold multiple spells, and the only gp limit for the item is the amount of xp you're willing to spend. Since there is no xp cost for a spell-like ability, you effectively have unlimited wishes (and unlimited WBL).
    Yes, you could get infinite wishes by playing a pit fiend. Guess what? The same goes for playing a wizard, or a cleric, or about any other class. In practice, if the DM allows a pit fiend to have infinite wishes everyone is going to have infinite wishes. In most games, the pit fiend will only get to use the Wish as intended: a powerful but rarely-usable ability that will alter the game, but not break it.
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  17. - Top - End - #347
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    It's more as if the pit fiend starts with a scroll of as many wishes as it wants, because you can wish for a magic item. A single scroll can hold multiple spells, and the only gp limit for the item is the amount of xp you're willing to spend. Since there is no xp cost for a spell-like ability, you effectively have unlimited wishes (and unlimited WBL).
    As can a lvl17 Wizard just shapechanging into a Zodar, or a lower level wizard binding an Efreet

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Daedroth View Post
    As can a lvl17 Wizard just shapechanging into a Zodar, or a lower level wizard binding an Efreet
    Yeah, but those are ridiculous TO tricks no practical game would ever use, as opposed to the completely reasonable act of Wishing for a scroll of endless Wishes.
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  19. - Top - End - #349
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Still, 1 a year. I theory you could try plane shifting to a plane with quick time, but that's the sort of thing the DM would likely screw with you on.


    "Sure, you shift. There is group of celestials working on an Exhaulted construct, they see you, pit fiend, and attack! There are three Solars with them as overseers and protectors. They cast enlarged Magic Circle Against Evil and Dimensional Anchor and *Insert that spell in book of Exhaulted Deeds that only let's you summon good creatures and makes them not under your control if your evil here. Name escapes me and I'm away form books ATM.* trapping you in the surprise round. Roll initiative. "


    On phone to post, sorry about mistakes.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    Still, 1 a year. I theory you could try plane shifting to a plane with quick time, but that's the sort of thing the DM would likely screw with you on.


    "Sure, you shift. There is group of celestials working on an Exhaulted construct, they see you, pit fiend, and attack! There are three Solars with them as overseers and protectors. They cast enlarged Magic Circle Against Evil and Dimensional Anchor and *Insert that spell in book of Exhaulted Deeds that only let's you summon good creatures and makes them not under your control if your evil here. Name escapes me and I'm away form books ATM.* trapping you in the surprise round. Roll initiative. "


    On phone to post, sorry about mistakes.
    Fast time cheese was something I mentioned already (the unedited pit fiend post talks about it). In practice, it's no different from any other kind of infinite wish-granting, so any DM who bans wishing for scrolls of infinite wishes will probably be banning this too.

    Anyway, I hope everyone now agrees +2 is at least somewhat reasonable so that we can move on to non-fiends?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I do indeed think LA 2 is workable for this one and am ready to move on. =)
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Anyway, I hope everyone now agrees +2 is at least somewhat reasonable so that we can move on to non-fiends?
    I totally agree ;)

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Devourer


    Q: How does one make the soul-sucking undead creepier?
    A: Have the soul-sucking undead's previous victim be imprisoned and visible in its torso.

    Let's get the bad news out of the way first: devourers have 12 undead RHD. That means missing out on 6 BAB if you're a warrior-type, 6 initiator levels if you're a martial adept, or 12 caster levels if you choose to be a caster (yeah, that'll happen).

    Their stats aren't great either. No constitution is annoying, dexterity is no better than a human's, and the mental stats are moderate. Strength is pretty high, but if one wants strength there's better things available.

    Two shortsword-strength claws are pathetically weak for this level, and I don't recommend ever using them (no, not even if your DM disallows wielding weapons in them). Even the free Energy Drain isn't worth it: Soul Eater nets you the same for eleven less sacrificed levels.

    The signature ability of devourers is Trap Essence: with a successful attack roll followed by a failed saving throw, any creature can be permanently imprisoned in their bodies. That's pretty great, because very little short of avoiding the attack or making the save defends against it: one might even argue that because the text refers to 'essence' rather than 'soul', the ability works even against soulless creatures.

    Devourers with a trapped soul get two more abilities.

    The first basically allows them to cast SLA's (ranging from the outclassed Ghoul Touch and Confusion to the useful Control Undead and Suggestion to the great Lesser Planar Ally and True Seeing) by siphoning their victim's soul, which is simply great.

    The second lets them redirect a number of spells to the trapped soul. This is a strange ability as you're immune to most of these spells anyway (Detect Thoughts? Suggestion? Dominate Person?). However, it also provides protection against several SoD's, so be glad you have it. People trying to cast Magic Jar on you are especially screwed.

    So what LA to give here? Offensively Devourers can kill one being a round: the lack of immunities against the attack balanced by the fact that it requires an attack roll. That's strong, but not impossible at these levels (compare to the Sorcerer with Versatile Spellcasting casting six Disintegrates or Circle of Deaths a day). The SLA's add some extra tactical options, but not enough to justify raising the ECL beyond 12 IMO.

    In the end, I'm going to assign a LA of +0. The reasonably strong base abilities are balanced by the fact that there's very little room for advancement in any direction.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-04-10 at 07:56 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    The SRD has failed you: MM clearly states that it's a DC19 fortitude save to avoid death via Trap Essence. Presumably there's a missing line in the text they originally used and over all these years not one single person has bothered to fix it.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    The SRD has failed you: MM clearly states that it's a DC19 fortitude save to avoid death via Trap Essence. Presumably there's a missing line in the text they originally used and over all these years not one single person has bothered to fix it.
    No! It cannot be!

    Seriously, though, this changes things. I'll go and fix stuff: please don't post commentary until then.

    EDIT: Fixed things!
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-09-18 at 08:55 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Digester


    Oh easy-to-rate monsters without complicated abilities, how I've missed you.

    Digesters have 8 magical beast RHD. That's not horrible, but they don't get a lot for it either. Moderately high physical stats, average wisdom and charisma, abysmal intelligence. Its speed is surprisingly high, but that matters little.

    The real problem with digesters? Their horrible offensive abilities. Acid Spray is completely outclassed as an area attack (a semi-optimized Dragonfire Adept can do better), and the single-target version is little better (not to mention the horrible range). In the 1d4 rounds in which this ability recharges, digesters can, at most, make a single claw attack per round.

    To put it simply: digesters suck. -0 LA.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-11-14 at 11:42 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Dinosaurs



    Deinonychus

    This is probably the most interesting of the PHB dinosaurs. Good physical stats, four natural weapons, high speed, some natural armor, huge skill bonuses and pounce on top of it all. All this is available for four RHD.

    However, I still do not think deinonychuses need a positive LA. A typical orc lion totem barbarian will have more BAB (and therefore better Power Attack), equal strength when raging, and out-of-combat options ranging from Trapkiller to skills. +0 LA.

    Elasmosaurus

    [insert scientific indignation on the classification of elasmosauruses as dinosaurs here]

    Sure, Huge size with 26 strength is worth something, but when one has only one natural attack and moves as fast as a gnome melee gets less interesting. 10 animal RHD only worsen the deal. -0 LA.

    Megaraptor

    The big brother of the deinonychus... except one could just advance a deinonychus to 8 RHD and get better stats for the same price. -0 LA.

    Triceratops


    Yes, the stats are high, but we're talking ECL 16 here. Even fighters could already be throwing planets around by now. -0 LA.

    Tyrannosaurus

    I'm sure there's plenty of CR 18 monsters to grapple or bite, but I'm not finding any. -0 LA.


    Next up: dire animals. I foresee more -0 LA's.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-11-14 at 11:45 AM.
    Have you had enough of unreasonably high LA's and unplayable monsters in 3.5? Then check out the LA-assignment thread! Don't hesitate to give feedback!

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  28. - Top - End - #358
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    somehow I can wait for drow

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by khadgar567 View Post
    somehow I can wait for drow
    It may take a while: as things are now there's still a good amount of monsters to go through, including the 120 true dragons WotC thought necessary to create. Remember, drow aren't under the 'd', but the 'e'. They're a subsection of elves, after all.
    Have you had enough of unreasonably high LA's and unplayable monsters in 3.5? Then check out the LA-assignment thread! Don't hesitate to give feedback!

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    the 120 true dragons WotC thought necessary to create
    Haha, you're doing each true dragon age category as its own LA? My heart bleeds for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    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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