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  1. - Top - End - #721
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by AMX View Post
    No, I just happen to know the etymology of "Myrmidon" and "Oligarch."
    I will confirm to the same. The myrmidons were a people in greek mythology created by Zeus from a colony of ants (which is myrmax in ancient greek.

  2. - Top - End - #722
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    A bit of gold and research and its like leadership on steroids. The king/mayor/person with a lot of class levels has to sleep sometime. Pretty easy to get them to fail eventually. Quietly say your Verbal component. It is not sonic nor language dependent, so catch em sleeping and you have a minion.
    (Su)pernatural abilities don't have components. (If it did, I don't think there's a way to "quietly" use a verbal component "in a strong voice".)

  3. - Top - End - #723
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Malimar View Post
    (Su)pernatural abilities don't have components. (If it did, I don't think there's a way to "quietly" use a verbal component "in a strong voice".)
    That is the exact reason Verbal components must be said in a strong voice. So that you can't whisper them (and obviate the need for Silent Spell).
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  4. - Top - End - #724
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I thought it was Sp not Su. Dang. Even nicer. Methodology still applies. Catch em sleeping, get an ally, have it fight honorably or whatever to avoid the suicide clause, but make sure it dies when you need another one. Rinse and repeat.

  5. - Top - End - #725
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    (Sp) abilities don't have components either.

  6. - Top - End - #726
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Formian Queen


    Pictures that weren't chosen, for the interested.

    So, the queen. I feel like any in-depth analysis would be fairly unnecessary, as discussion of this creature has been going on for over two pages now.

    The important things: a formian queen is a Large creature with 20 HD, the same qualities a myrmarch has and Telepathy over a range of fifty miles. Her ability scores are good: +10 across the board... except said board is missing two parts. Queens lack strength and dexterity scores, which is pretty bad, though it at least gives you immunity to Shivering Touch (silver linings!). They also have free Eschew Materials, for reasons that will become apparent later.

    The queen has a bunch of SLA's: all of them at-will. They range from nearly useless (Detect Chaos?) to very useful (True Seeing, Hold/Charm Monster). Most are fairly middling, though.

    The real reason to play a formian queen? Free 17th-level sorcerer casting. It doesn't grant 9th-level spells, but it does grant about everything else.

    So what LA is appropriate here? The discussion seems to be between people who point out that 17th-level casting is, well, 17th-level casting, and that the excellent RHD and other abilities basically force a positive LA, and people who point out that a 20th-level sorcerer can get most of the things just listed with a simple Shapechange, while also having other 9th-level spells.

    In the end, I'll give them +1 LA.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-12-07 at 11:34 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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  7. - Top - End - #727
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    They also have free Eschew Materials, for reasons that will become apparent later.
    You forgot to make it apparent later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    The queen has a bunch of SLA's: all of them at-will. They range from nearly useless (Detect Chaos?) to very useful (True Seeing, Hold/Charm Monster). Most are fairly middling, though.
    They're actually really good IMO. Easily on par with what a high-level warlock would get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    In the end, I just can't see the queen being played at epic levels when people could also have actual epic spellcasting. +0 LA.
    Why would you ever play an epic sorcerer when the formian queen also gets Epic Spellcasting at the exact same level, and is better in basically every way? You have to have at least +1.

  8. - Top - End - #728
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    You forgot to make it apparent later.


    They're actually really good IMO. Easily on par with what a high-level warlock would get.


    Why would you ever play an epic sorcerer when the formian queen also gets Epic Spellcasting at the exact same level, and is better in basically every way? You have to have at least +1.

    Nope. A Formian Queen who advances spellcasting at level 21 (which is presumably all of them) still cannot cast 9th level spells when she's picking her level 21 feat, and so has to wait until level 24.

    At least, I'm pretty sure that's the order of operations.
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  9. - Top - End - #729
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Nope. A Formian Queen who advances spellcasting at level 21 (which is presumably all of them) still cannot cast 9th level spells when she's picking her level 21 feat, and so has to wait until level 24.

    At least, I'm pretty sure that's the order of operations.
    According to page 58 of the PHB, adding feats is the seventh part of leveling up, with spells and class features respectively eight and ninth. I guess if there's a class that advances sorcerer casting and allows taking Epic Spellcasting as a bonus feat it could work, but I don't think those exist.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-12-04 at 02:55 PM.
    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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  10. - Top - End - #730
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Nope. A Formian Queen who advances spellcasting at level 21 (which is presumably all of them) still cannot cast 9th level spells when she's picking her level 21 feat, and so has to wait until level 24.

    At least, I'm pretty sure that's the order of operations.
    That can't be right—it would mean (for example) that a wizard can't take Fiery Burst at 3rd level.

  11. - Top - End - #731
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    That can't be right—it would mean (for example) that a wizard can't take Fiery Burst at 3rd level.
    Its not:

    Prerequisites

    Some feats have prerequisites. Your character must have the indicated ability score, class feature, feat, skill, base attack bonus, or other quality designated in order to select or use that feat. A character can gain a feat at the same level at which he or she gains the prerequisite.
    "At the same level" is the key here.

  12. - Top - End - #732
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I feel LA +0 is good here. You ultimately miss the ever sexy 9th level spells and need to spend precious resources trying to deal with Str and Dex being dash. You have a strong chassis, without a doubt, but also miss out on some of the nastier bits of sorcerer optimization since you cannot be a kobold or take the dragonspawn template (amongst other things).

  13. - Top - End - #733
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    But you don't miss out on 9th level spells. This isn't like the balor. You get 9ths on your first level-up, and you also get epic spells right on time at the same level as everyone else, which is what really matters in an epic-level game. And PAO'ing yourself into a planetar or whatever doesn't consume any meaningful resources, like actions or spell slots, so it's not a significant cost.

  14. - Top - End - #734
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I think that she is fine as a 20th level character and la 0 works. Frankly she would probably out shine any one who isn't a reasonably optimized tier 1 or 2. I also think she is another monster that is hindered by her HD, not as bad as say the dragons but still.

  15. - Top - End - #735
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Troacctid, you're making some good points with regards to whether or not the queen's LA should be positive, but what actual LA do you suggest?
    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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  16. - Top - End - #736
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I mean, I would go with —, but if I had to pick a number, I would probably say +2? Because realistically, it's very good, but still worse than a solar, so it has to have a lower ECL. (Although to be fair, +2 might be too low for the solar. What class or combination of classes could you possibly have at ECL 24 that would be as good as being a solar with +2 LA?)

  17. - Top - End - #737
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    But you don't miss out on 9th level spells. This isn't like the balor. You get 9ths on your first level-up, and you also get epic spells right on time at the same level as everyone else, which is what really matters in an epic-level game. And PAO'ing yourself into a planetar or whatever doesn't consume any meaningful resources, like actions or spell slots, so it's not a significant cost.
    But she will miss 9th level spells known, knowing only one. Thats important on a sorcereer.

    Polymorphing would eliminate the Str/Dex hindrance but also some of her useful abilities.

  18. - Top - End - #738
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Think of her as having 21 HD, with the 21st being a level of sorcerer. Now she has 9th level spells and epic spells and is still easily stronger than any standard single-classed full caster, even with +2 LA.

  19. - Top - End - #739
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I'll put down +1 LA for now. It delays the queen getting epic spells to ECL 22; this one-level-difference should give people the incentive to play a 'regular' caster in high-level games.
    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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  20. - Top - End - #740
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    I'll put down +1 LA for now. It delays the queen getting epic spells to ECL 22; this one-level-difference should give people the incentive to play a 'regular' caster in high-level games.
    I'm not sure that anything the Queen gets warrants being that far behind.
    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

  21. - Top - End - #741
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    What if the game starts at level 25? What cost are you paying for your racial abilities? Can you build an ECL 25 character that is better than a Formian Queen Sorcerer 4?
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2016-12-05 at 02:06 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #742
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    What if the game starts at level 25? What cost are you paying for your racial abilities? Can you build an ECL 25 character that is better than a Formian Queen Sorcerer 4?
    Kobold sorcerer, permanent supernatural shapechange into Formian Queen.
    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

  23. - Top - End - #743
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Kobold sorcerer, permanent supernatural shapechange into Formian Queen.
    So you have the same spellcasting abilities, but your stats are worse, you have no Strength or Dexterity scores, and you don't have the queen's busted SLAs. What am I missing that makes the kobold as good?
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2016-12-05 at 03:03 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #744
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    So you have the same spellcasting abilities, but your stats are worse, you have no Strength or Dexterity scores, and you don't have the queen's busted SLAs. What am I missing that makes the kobold as good?
    I have much better spellcasting abilities (Loredrake Draconic Rite cheese + separate casting from the Queen form), whatever PrCs I want (Incantatrix? Spelldancer?), have the same stats through shapechange, have better spells than the Queen's SLAs, can polymorph into something with STR and DEX scores just as well as the Queen, and so on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
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    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

  25. - Top - End - #745
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    What if the game starts at level 25? What cost are you paying for your racial abilities? Can you build an ECL 25 character that is better than a Formian Queen Sorcerer 4?
    A Formian Queen Sorcerer 4 has effectively Sorcerer 21 casting. Practiced Spellcaster can boost that up to 24. You have 2 epic feats, let's assume one is Epic Spellcasting.
    Assuming you started with an 18 Cha, you have a Cha of 40 (+10 racial, +5 inherent, +1 level, +6 item).
    Your SLAs are still CL 17. And unless you've built around it, the save DCs are useless, leaving as still useful: clairaudience/clairvoyance, divination, magic circle against chaos, and true seeing.
    Frankly, the best racial ability you have and can keep while using a polymorph type spell to be able to move around is your 50 mile telepathy combined with Mindsight.
    Are you better than a straight Sorcerer 25? Well, probably yes, but that's not particularly hard to do. Although the Sorc 25 will have another epic feat or two to work with.

    I'm away from my sources at the moment, so I can't put a proper build together offhand, but I'll take a look later.
    Offhand, I'd say a Beholder Mage, possibly a swiftblade, maybe even an eldritch theurge. A fair number of other possibilities come to mind as well, but I'd need to double check their viability.
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  26. - Top - End - #746
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    I have much better spellcasting abilities (Loredrake Draconic Rite cheese + separate casting from the Queen form), whatever PrCs I want (Incantatrix? Spelldancer?), have the same stats through shapechange, have better spells than the Queen's SLAs, can polymorph into something with STR and DEX scores just as well as the Queen, and so on.
    Shapechange doesn't give you racial spellcasting, nor does it improve your BAB, skill points, mental ability scores, etc. And both characters have epic spells, so your better spellcasting amounts to a few extra spells per day—meh.

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Your SLAs are still CL 17. And unless you've built around it, the save DCs are useless, leaving as still useful: clairaudience/clairvoyance, divination, magic circle against chaos, and true seeing.
    Your save DCs key off of Charisma, which is your primary casting stat. I'm not sure it's possible NOT to build around it?

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Offhand, I'd say a Beholder Mage, possibly a swiftblade, maybe even an eldritch theurge. A fair number of other possibilities come to mind as well, but I'd need to double check their viability.
    Eldritch Theurge is definitely not better. There aren't any greater invocations that are beating the queen's SLAs. I can't speak to the others.

  27. - Top - End - #747
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Look: this debate has been going on for a week now, and I'm honestly getting a bit tired. Can we accept that the +0 and +2 sides aren't going to agree any time soon, accept +1 as a viable compromise, and move on to the next monster?

    If anyone feels this discussion should absolutely continue, please do so in another thread.
    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 - #748
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Actually, can we talk about the +2 on the solar? Now that I'm thinking about epic characters, that honestly seems a little low. It's like full Dweomerkeeper on three kinds of steroids, isn't it? And Dweomerkeeper is already very cheesy.

  29. - Top - End - #749
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Actually, can we talk about the +2 on the solar?
    Sure, but not in this thread.
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  30. - Top - End - #750
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I think the argument at the time was "Epic levels are already busted beyond relief, so why does it matter if a solar is better than a cleric?" But to me it brings up echoes of Tippy's analysis of high-level spellcasters vs. gods—yes, you have godlike powers, but the gods have the same godlike powers while also having actual god powers, so they can do everything you can do plus unlimited free miracles and whatnot. Gods win every time.

    It's kind of like that for solars—as overpowered as casters normally are, solars are that with free wishes, a limitless army of free minions, and a bunch of other powerful abilities that are difficult for normal characters to get their hands on. And the argument of epic levels already being irreparably broken cuts both ways, because it means that the LA isn't anywhere near as costly as it would be for a lower-level character.

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