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  1. - Top - End - #961
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    How do you get 36? Even with hit dice and abilities should be 31.

  2. - Top - End - #962
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novolin View Post
    How do you get 36? Even with hit dice and abilities should be 31.
    Perhaps with magic items included? A +6 Belt of Giant Strength is attainable with a 9th-level character's WBL, which the girallon would start with if it had +2 LA.

    By the way, RHD don't net you ability score increases, those have already been added to the monster's stats. A girallon would, before magic items or other such things, have 30 strength at most.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-01-05 at 10:59 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #963
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    A girallon would gain a stat point if their very next HD was class-based, as that's a multiple of four.

  4. - Top - End - #964
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    A girallon would gain a stat point if their very next HD was class-based, as that's a multiple of four.
    Indeed they would, but I was assuming we were talking about plain, ECL 8 girallons without any class levels.
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  5. - Top - End - #965
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    +1 seems right. While the advantages as a melee brute are massive, dealing with -8 Int means you will be bereft of skill point, making girall on characters one dimensional. If you think that Anthropomorphic Baleen Whale is balanced than an argument can be made for +0, although the whale lacks that impressive natural attack routine.

  6. - Top - End - #966
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    I concur with +1.

    You're a reasonably good melee brute, but little else, and at ECL 8 the casters have already started taking over. You're not going to make a very good initiator, and you can't really be a caster, between the -4 Cha and -8 Int, and the +2 Wis is made meaningless by the 7 lost casting levels (8 without LA buyoff).


    Perhaps the "best" thing is you need only Power Attack (you were going to have that anyways as a melee) and then Cleave (you were probably going to have that too) - in order to qualify for War Hulk. If you dump the 2x Toughness from the default Girallon profile (let's be honest, you were going to do that), your very first class level can be in Warhulk. The Warhulk's No Time to Think "ability" doesn't really hurt you, since you're not going to have any skills.
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  7. - Top - End - #967
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Gnoll


    I'll go ahead and say it: gnolls are bad. I don't mean morally bad (though they're that too), I mean they're a horrible, underpowered choice. You may think samurai and monks are bad, but trust me; gnolls are way worse. If optimization potential was water, gnolls would be somewhere on the lunar surface.

    With that out of my system, let me explain just why they're so bad. The answer is simple: humanoid RHD, which are somewhere south of aristocrat levels in terms of utility. Gnolls start with two, which combined with their lack of useful abilities sentences them to -0 LA already. If I wanted +4 strength, there's other ways to do that, most of them quicker.

    To be honest, I think gnolls are bad enough in their current form that one could just remove their RHD and let people play one as a normal race. Seems to me like that'd put them somewhere between regular and water orcs; a good melee race, but by no means the best, and with other races often fitting a particular build better.

    -0 LA.
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  8. - Top - End - #968
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I don't get the lunar surface quip.
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  9. - Top - End - #969
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I don't get the lunar surface quip.
    I equated optimization potential with water. The lunar surface generally does not have a lot of water. In a roundabout way, I was saying gnolls were unoptimized.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-01-06 at 09:04 AM.
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  10. - Top - End - #970
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    I equalized optimization potential with water. The lunar surface generally does not have a lot of water. In a roundabout way, I was saying gnolls were unoptimized.
    I think you mean equate, not equalize.

  11. - Top - End - #971
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiri View Post
    I think you mean equate, not equalize.
    Indeed I did. Error fixed.

    Man, I sure am on a roll today.
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  12. - Top - End - #972
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    I never realized gnoll have no racial features. Although their stat pan compares favorably to pretty much everything but the physical focused lesser plane touched which they are on par with, the whole lack of any racial feature beyond stats, Dark vision and +1 natural armor makes me wonder what they were thinking this guy did to deserve +1 LA on top of 2 RHD.

  13. - Top - End - #973
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    I never realized gnoll have no racial features. Although their stat pan compares favorably to pretty much everything but the physical focused lesser plane touched which they are on par with, the whole lack of any racial feature beyond stats, Dark vision and +1 natural armor makes me wonder what they were thinking this guy did to deserve +1 LA on top of 2 RHD.
    Positive stat mods! Don't you know that once people can play something with net bonuses to stats, the entire game balance crumbles?

    The RHD are irrelevant, because they're obviously equal to class levels. There's one good save and 3/4ths BAB; that's already better than wizard HD!
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-01-06 at 10:11 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #974
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    I never realized gnoll have no racial features. Although their stat pan compares favorably to pretty much everything but the physical focused lesser plane touched which they are on par with, the whole lack of any racial feature beyond stats, Dark vision and +1 natural armor makes me wonder what they were thinking this guy did to deserve +1 LA on top of 2 RHD.
    WoTC did write this at around the same time as the PHB and DMG, so probably something like 'Positive overall ability modifiers AND a natural armour bonus? That's worth a level at least, a fighter couldn't get that in a level!'

    'Maybe we should put some RHD in, too, to indicate clearly that this is a monster and not intended for the heroic games we think people should be playing.'

  15. - Top - End - #975
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    I need to find my 3.0 Player's Handbook a re-read the justification for half-orc. Maybe that will soothe my aching brain.

  16. - Top - End - #976
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    I need to find my 3.0 Player's Handbook a re-read the justification for half-orc. Maybe that will soothe my aching brain.
    Well, there's that strength bonus, which is at least thrice as good as a boost to some useless stat like constitution or intelligence. Furthermore, they've also got darkvision and they have orc blood, making them count as orcs for all purposes! (at the time the PHB was released, 'all purposes' was mostly 'having some rangers hurt you more')
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-01-06 at 11:31 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #977
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Who was the genius that came up with kapoacinth? "Hey, you know where else statue creatures can hide, if not on buildings and stuff? Underwater!"
    I quickly Googled "kapoacinth" to see what mythic or fantastic inspiration the creators of D&D drew upon when creating that creature, and found...D&D stuff. At least lacedons and merrow are nominally based on real-world myths and legends.

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Actually, I think the Efreet has a better Wish granting mechanism. It's certainly far less complicated and easier to use on allies without shenanigans.
    It's less ambiguous. That's about all it has definitively going in its favor.
    Though I'll freely admit that that's a huge advantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by digiman619 View Post
    Two things: 1) Don't go all Jose Quesada on us about magic, and 2) That makes no fricking sense. That'd be like a water elemental with the power to make things dry.
    If I was a water elemental, I'd want the ability to not make things wet that I wanted to keep dry (like books or computers). I might need to pay for an ifrit or something to do it for me, but if that were the case I'm sure I could give them some fireproofed books or water-cooled CPU's or something in exchange.

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    I ran an encounter once with 3 gibbering mouthers (1, then 2), and 8-10 NPCs, plus the party.
    Some posts had over 80 rolls to adjudicate the results of (confusion save, then effects of confusion if failed).
    Never again.
    That sounds like the kind of thing I'd throw together a Python script for. Or ask someone to code if I didn't know how.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Mouther with 14 charisma, 7 ranks in Disguise (gained as class skill through City Slicker), a disguise kit and a masterwork tool has a +13 modifier. Subtract 2 for pretending to be a different race, take 10, and you end up with a result of 21, meaning no matter how hard they try no commoner will see through your disguise.
    I love RAWmedy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    If you think that Anthropomorphic Baleen Whale is balanced than an argument can be made for +0, although the whale lacks that impressive natural attack routine.
    Oh geez. I just realized that Savage Species is going to be nuts. We have not one but two templates which completely change the nature of a creature, requiring a separate judgement for each one (unless the judgement is "-0").

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    Well, at ECL 15, a noble djinni is up there with planar shepherds and circle magic persistomancers and dominant ideal ardents and all-crafting artificers.
    "A noble djinni with a little power-exploitation is as powerful as the most broken builds around. So it should be about the same level."
    It's fair to argue a bit about what we should be comparing these monsters to—what tier of class, how much optimization, etc—but I think we can all agree that we shouldn't go that far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    It's like the opposite of the Heart of Gold's Infinite Improbability Drive. Imagine being a peasant working your field, and for the next 2 hours a party of schmucks appear and disappear every few minutes, leaving their +1 footprints all over your freshly ploughed soil.
    ...I really want to sig this. The mental image is great.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    If Plane Shift can land you above solid surfaces than the spell cannot be used to take you back to the material since odds are it will land you so high up gravity will not pull you toward the surface at any relevant speed.
    There are two major problems with this.
    1. The science. Assuming the Material Plane is Earth-like, 250 miles above the surface is nowhere near enough to escape Earth's gravity. The ISS (at almost that exact altitude) has almost the same acceleration due to gravity as you do; it only stays in the sky because it's moving sideways really, really fast. (If we don't assume the Material Plane is Earth-like, there's no reason to think gravity would decrease the farther you got from the surface.)
    2. If we assume that Plane Shift can scatter you above or below the ground, it's useless for transport to any plane with a surface, because you would be almost guaranteed to either end up well above the surface or well below it, unless the vertical angle was very, very close to zero. (Going up at a one-degree angle for 250 miles—I mean diagonally, not horizontally—would still put you more than five miles above the surface. And, obviously, there is only about a 0.3% chance that a random direction is within one degree of horizontal.)
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

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    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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  18. - Top - End - #978
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post

    ...I really want to sig this. The mental image is great.
    Be my guest.
    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

  19. - Top - End - #979
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    There are two major problems with this.
    1. The science. Assuming the Material Plane is Earth-like, 250 miles above the surface is nowhere near enough to escape Earth's gravity. The ISS (at almost that exact altitude) has almost the same acceleration due to gravity as you do; it only stays in the sky because it's moving sideways really, really fast. (If we don't assume the Material Plane is Earth-like, there's no reason to think gravity would decrease the farther you got from the surface.)
    2. If we assume that Plane Shift can scatter you above or below the ground, it's useless for transport to any plane with a surface, because you would be almost guaranteed to either end up well above the surface or well below it, unless the vertical angle was very, very close to zero. (Going up at a one-degree angle for 250 miles—I mean diagonally, not horizontally—would still put you more than five miles above the surface. And, obviously, there is only about a 0.3% chance that a random direction is within one degree of horizontal.)
    Point 2 agrees with my point of plane shift dropping above anywhere but the surface being silly. As for the ISS, bad comparison; it has a higher terminal velocity and does not require pressurization to not die in space. The person at 250 miles will fall back to ground, but as a corpse. (I did say relevant speed). As an interesting side note at 250 miles there is an approximately 3% reduction in the effect of Earth's gravity compared to the ground.

  20. - Top - End - #980
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    Point 2 agrees with my point of plane shift dropping above anywhere but the surface being silly. As for the ISS, bad comparison; it has a higher terminal velocity and does not require pressurization to not die in space. The person at 250 miles will fall back to ground, but as a corpse. (I did say relevant speed). As an interesting side note at 250 miles there is an approximately 3% reduction in the effect of Earth's gravity compared to the ground.
    Thing is, Plane Shift can get you to the Elemental Plane of Air without any difficulties. There's not all that much in the way of solid surfaces there. Same goes for the Astral Plane. And the Elemental Plane of Water.



    Oh, I'll agree that the scatter on Plane Shift should have a preference for primarily horizontal/surface level displacement, but that's probably why the direction of displacement was left to DM discretion - purely random displacement direction is likely to end poorly, but adding the "viable surface" clause messes can also mess things up depending on where you're trying to go.


    ---

    So the best way to be a Gnoll is to deliberately get slapped with a negative level, loose a RHD, and then go into actual classes (thus replacing your 1 RHD with a class level)? Yeah ... that's way too much work to play a Gnoll. I think one would probably be better off with an Anthropomorphic Hyena. Note: I don't actually know what an Anthro Hyena's stats would be like.
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  21. - Top - End - #981
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    The only reason gnolls are so weak is to dissuade an overabundance of "grassy gnoll" jokes.
    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

  22. - Top - End - #982
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    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    So the best way to be a Gnoll is to deliberately get slapped with a negative level, loose a RHD, and then go into actual classes (thus replacing your 1 RHD with a class level)? Yeah ... that's way too much work to play a Gnoll. I think one would probably be better off with an Anthropomorphic Hyena. Note: I don't actually know what an Anthro Hyena's stats would be like.
    Gnoll lacks any racial features or substitution levels, ACFs, or feats to support them either (unlike a water orc to which they would be compared).
    As for the anthropomorphic hyena, if I recall the template correctly you would be medium with 2 monstrous humanoid RHD (not terrible) with +4 to all physical stats, +2 Wis, -4 Cha and an LA to be determined.

  23. - Top - End - #983
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    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    So the best way to be a Gnoll is to deliberately get slapped with a negative level, loose a RHD, and then go into actual classes (thus replacing your 1 RHD with a class level)? Yeah ... that's way too much work to play a Gnoll. I think one would probably be better off with an Anthropomorphic Hyena. Note: I don't actually know what an Anthro Hyena's stats would be like.
    Anthropomorphic Hyena:
    • Medium Monstrous Humanoid
    • 2HD (Monstrous Humanoid HD are a bit better than Humanoid HD)
    • 40' land speed
    • +2 natural armor
    • bite attack at 1d6 and gets an automatic trip attempt if bite hits
    • darkvision 60
    • +4 str, +4 dex, +4 con, int +0, wis +4, cha +0
    • LA: probably somewhere between +0 and +3 (SS doesn't give any hints to determining the LA of a creature not in the list, but all the listed LAs are between +0 and +3)


    So basically anthropomorphic hyenas are better than gnolls in every way, unless anthro-hyena LA is +2 or +3.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    So the best way to be a Gnoll is to deliberately get slapped with a negative level, loose a RHD, and then go into actual classes (thus replacing your 1 RHD with a class level)? Yeah ... that's way too much work to play a Gnoll. I think one would probably be better off with an Anthropomorphic Hyena. Note: I don't actually know what an Anthro Hyena's stats would be like.
    You can't actually do that. The HD replacement only applies to creatures that naturally only have one HD. You could level drain away one of the humanoid HD, but you'd still be stuck with the other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    You can't actually do that. The HD replacement only applies to creatures that naturally only have one HD. You could level drain away one of the humanoid HD, but you'd still be stuck with the other.
    Theoretically you could do this with a Gnoll NPC who suffered a lost HD, survived to go 'offstage', and then have a player decide they want to play that character. This creates a grey area where a creature has an in-game stat adjustment before character creation. This is also as likely to happen as a book actually getting thrown at you for trying this.
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    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I personally think "animal headed" creature like Gnolls, Lizard Folk and Bugbears should have been Monstrous Humanoids. It would make their RHD suck slightly less.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    Gnoll lacks any racial features or substitution levels, ACFs, or feats to support them either (unlike a water orc to which they would be compared).
    They actually have one feat specifically for them (Gnoll Ferocity), but it still hardly makes it worthwhile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    You can't actually do that. The HD replacement only applies to creatures that naturally only have one HD. You could level drain away one of the humanoid HD, but you'd still be stuck with the other.
    [citation needed]

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD: Improving Monsters: Monsters And Class Levels
    Humanoids and Class Levels
    Creatures with 1 or less HD replace their monster levels with their character levels. The monster loses the attack bonus, saving throw bonuses, skills, and feats granted by its 1 monster HD and gains the attack bonus, save bonuses, skills, feats, and other class abilities of a 1st-level character of the appropriate class.
    It just says "Creatures with 1 or less HD". Where does it say that only applies to creatures that naturally have 1 or less HD?


    (Personally, I'm of the "if you get level drained and then level up again, you need to take levels in the same classes you took before getting level drained" school of thought, but that's a house rule.)

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Technically, I suppose you could do that in-game if you had some means to easily escape a level-draining encounter or just facetanked the enemies during the encounter and had your party clean up. With XP being a river, you could catch up in XP in a reasonable amount of time -- so long as you could survive encounters and weren't so abysmally useless that, in character, your party would abandon you.

    At high enough levels, your party can very effectively carry you through some encounters for quick XP if you play safe. At lower levels, you may be able to contribite strategically despite your weakness. I wonder how large the gap is in the middle where it just wouldn't be viable PO
    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Level draining away RHD is a time honored TO tradition. The scope we're talking about in regards with a 2HD humanoid pales into insignificance when you look at things like Solars. Solars are a bad example, as they are LA "-" by RAW.

    I say TO, because no DM I know would allow it. YMMV.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    In my very early days of 3.5 DMing, I had a player who wanted to play a Gnoll Fighter. We were all new to the system.

    This poor fellow played a Gnoll Fighter, starting and ...5th? level, I think. I vaguely recall hesitantly allowing the race, but told him we might have to rework his statline if he "overpowered" the other PCs.

    Oops.

    Anyway, all this to say Gnolls are trash, and I am a bit irked that that long-forgotten memory was awakened by this thread. LA -0 sounds more than generous, and taking away their RHD seems like the best idea, though that is obviously DM territory; reworking HD changes a lot more than reworking LA, as was discussed a while back.

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