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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I may not reflect the majority opinion, but I do like to offer a counter-point.
    There's nothing wrong with that. I know not everyone is comfortable with the same LA, so I need as many opinions as possible to come to a balanced conclusion.
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  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Destrachan


    Revenge of the Son of the Return of Crappy Monsters Nobody Ever Uses Strikes Back III: Mission to Moscow.

    Destrachans are sonic-based aberrations with 8 RHD (ugh). Their chassis is stunningly mediocre, with no outstanding stats, two bad claws as natural weapons, average speed and reachless Large size.

    Their only interesting ability is Destructive Harmonics, and even then 2/3rds of it is crap. Weak blasting and slightly less weak nonlethal blasting is not a viable strategy at any level. The 'material' option is interesting in that it can potentially disarm and disarmor a horde of foes using metal equipment, but the fact that it's hard to aim and useless against many enemies tones it down a bit.

    Then there's blindsight (easily replicable at this level), immunity to visual effects (ever tried closing your eyes?), protection from sonics (because having a Silence spell completely blind you isn't deliberating at all) and a bonus to listen checks (don't you have blindsight for that?).

    Even before trying to find a class that somewhat fits the destrachan (swordsage was the closest I got), it should be obvious they're weak even with +0 LA.

    Final verdict: -0 LA.

    Next up are devils, which should prove more interesting to rate.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-04-05 at 02:30 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Devils are interesting, because they get way more powerful depending if you use FC2 material (specifically the devil-only feats).

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    For the craptacular Destrachan, I find myself in agreement with LA +0.

    Devils are pretty much my favorite D&D monsters, so eagerly looking forward to the next entries!

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Barbed Devil


    I know stony devils aren't exactly barbed devils, but it's the closest thing I could find a reasonable picture of.

    Barbed devils are mid-ranked devils with all the regular devil traits. The chassis is definitely not bad, with good physical stats, reasonable mental stats, huge amounts of natural armor and SR, amongst other things. Medium size was a bit surprising, though.

    Where many other baatezu have a Fear aura, barbed devils can instead cause fear with a successful attack. It's pretty cool, though I suppose you'll often be faced with fear-immune creatures or beings that can teleport or run away faster than you can attack.

    Improved Grab is probably not worth your time. Freedom of Movement has been available a long time, and you're better off just wielding a weapon in those claws rather than trying to grab people with them. The same goes for Impale: its damage output pales in comparison to what you can do with a greatsword.

    Barbed Defense deals some damage to creatures attacking you. It's reasonably useful, though large-sized (or larger) creatures wielding weapons can get around it by attacking from a distance and ranged enemies ignore it altogether.

    Finally, there's the magical abilities. Greater Teleport is expectable for a fiend of this level, Hold Person is rather useless (if you want to immobilize humanoids, there's better ways by now) Major Image has lots of potential uses, and Scorching Ray is a good ranged option that outdamages Eldritch Blast but has a worse damage type. Finally, there's Unholy Blight and Order's Wrath, but they are only 1/day and don't deal that much damage anyway.

    Summoning another barbed devil, or some bearded devils, is good, but the 65% chance of failure is rather annoying.

    Compared to the hezrou, a fiend of equal CR, barbed devils have better physical stats, no bite attack, smaller size, slightly worse SLA's, and a less good save-or-suck ability. It would be logical to conclude their ECL should be lower, which would make +0 the only option.

    Is that balanced? I am not absolutely. However, remember that the barbed devil is too small to deal great melee damage, has pretty bad SLA's, and no other abilities to exploit. I'm keeping the LA at +0 for now.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-08-17 at 02:49 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Bearded Devil


    Forget Fistbeard Beardfist, these guys are the true masters of murdering people with facial hair. Except they aren't, and it's more like facial tentacles, but I'm willing to ignore that.

    What do this devil's 6 outsider RHD get you? Decent physical stats and standard devil resistances are the first things that come to mind, but there's more.

    Infernal Wound is an interesting twist on bleed damage, but in the end it's just a few extra points of damage over the course of an encounter. The devil's beard is nearly worthless: you don't want to attack with your claws, and even if you do the extra damage is negligible and the disease worthless.

    Battle Frenzy has a reasonably good effect on its own, but it sadly doesn't work with one of the many rage-enhancers this game has. That's too bad: it might've been worth boosting otherwise.

    Finally, there's greater teleport at-will and a summon. Not great.

    I can't help but feel a reasonably optimized orc barbarian 6 will already be outdamaging a bearded devil, and apart from that the devil only has greater teleport at-will and defensive bonuses going for it. With a proper tier 3 character even stronger than the barbarian, I think +0 LA is fitting.

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  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    The closest analogue that you've rated so far is probably the hound archon. Is the barbazu worse enough to deserve a lower ECL? My gut says yes. It has better physical stats (when the hound archon isn't in dire wolf form), but its other abilities are pretty underwhelming in comparison. I would put its LA one point lower than the hound archon's. Since it looks like you have the hound archon at +1, I guess I agree with your +0 here.

    Having access to Brand of the Nine Hells is nice, at least.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    The Barbed Devil: you arguments are compelling. I'd never realized how mediocre these guys are for their HD. I'd actually agree with LA +0.

    Bearded Devil? The grinch in me is coming out. You're probably not far off the mark with your comparison to a Barbarian 6. However, I just can't get past at will Greater Teleport at ECL 6 - your no LA comrades won't be getting anything near this until ECL 9. Still, the whole Teleport argument was done to death back in Demons.

    Throw in the standard Devil grab bag of special qualities, decent (but not overwhelming) physical stat mods, fatigue free Rage 2/day, wounding (which isn't that strong in combat, I admit) and LA +2 looks more reasonable to me. I could live with +1 at a pinch.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    There's no way you can put bearded devils higher than hound archons. I could see putting them at the same level if you want to be conservative with the barbazu's rating, or if you value the Brand of the Nine Hells feat chains really highly.

    FWIW the earliest a normal PC can gain access to at-will greater teleport is ECL 7 via a lantern archon familiar.

  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    It has better physical stats (when the hound archon isn't in dire wolf form),
    Hound Archons have Change Shape, which does not alter their physical stats: in Dire Wolf form they are actually weaker than a normal Dire Wolf. They do retain all the rest of their abilities.

    There is a natural desire to rank things, but this is not always appropriate. While the Bearded Devil is clearly weaker than the Hound Archon in special abilities, that doesn't mean it's so much weaker that it should have +0 LA. Just because Mineral Warrior is absurd doesn't mean Goliaths stop being LA +1. I've been giving the Hound Archon some leniency in it's Greater Teleport due to the relatively low stats, but Bearded Devils have a bit more plus rage. I can't see them being any lower, and Troacctid's reminder of standard PC access to the at-will teleport matches nicely. For any creature that has a usable body and Greater Teleport at-will, ECL 7 should be the minimum.

    For the Barbed Devil, let's compare to the Vrock: currently sitting at ECL 12 with 10HD, Barbs trades flight, Mirror Image, and Telekinesis for +2 HD and a bunch of AC, SR, and retailation damage. I don't think Medium size is nearly as much of a liability as most seem to, people get by fine without it and there's much worse problems caused by being too big for the dungeon. The Barbed Devil's base claws are Fullblade sized at medium before any damage increases, which is not nothing. Impale is weak only because it's a Constrict clone without referencing the Constrict rules for immediate damage, which would make it just dandy. In comparison to those near it's level, LA +0 is probably right, though as always I'd point out you'll have a hard time matching most of that using a lower ECL monster with class levels.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Battle Frenzy has a reasonably good effect on its own, but it sadly doesn't work with one of the many rage-enhancers this game has. That's too bad: it might've been worth boosting otherwise.
    There are a few feats that work with "Rage or Frenzy," so I'd imagine that it's barely a stretch at all to have them apply to a "Battle Frenzy." Said feats that I know of are not great, but they are there, primarily in Complete Warrior. Destructive, Extend, Extra, Instantaneous, and Intimidating Rage all could apply. Again, nothing to write home about, just pointing them out.

  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JBarca View Post
    There are a few feats that work with "Rage or Frenzy," so I'd imagine that it's barely a stretch at all to have them apply to a "Battle Frenzy." Said feats that I know of are not great, but they are there, primarily in Complete Warrior. Destructive, Extend, Extra, Instantaneous, and Intimidating Rage all could apply. Again, nothing to write home about, just pointing them out.
    Of course, a reasonable DM may allow this. I don't dispute you there. However, there's no saying what DM will be running the games these monsters are played in.

    If we're assuming the DM is reasonable enough to count 'battle frenzy' as 'frenzy', why not assume the DM has a poor enough grasp of WBL that he gives out only a tenth of the loot a PC should have? Why not assume he bans full attacks 'because casters don't get multiple spells a round either'. Both these things would greatly reduce the power and versatility of a barbed devil PC, but we're not assuming either. The only way to come to a balanced conclusion is to assume the DM adheres rigidly to RAW with no houseruling, and in that case Battle Frenzy does not qualify you for Frenzy.
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  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post

    Throw in the standard Devil grab bag of special qualities, decent (but not overwhelming) physical stat mods, fatigue free Rage 2/day, wounding (which isn't that strong in combat, I admit) and LA +2 looks more reasonable to me. I could live with +1 at a pinch.
    The rage is at best minimally useful and doesn't even do anything really good like qualify your for better things.

    The Stat bonuses and defenses are nice but as you mentioned, not overwhelming.

    Special qualities are a bit of a grab bag but again, nothing to write home about.

    And Wounding is, at best, minimally useful in combat.

    So, yeah, I'd say LA 0 is suitable for them.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Bone Devil



    I'm back!

    Bone devils are supposedly somewhere between barbed and bearded devils in terms of power, with 10 RHD. They're large (finally!) but their stats leave a bit to be desired: even the medium-sized barbed devil has better strength.

    They're also the first devils I review to have a fear aura. While I'm not too sure about its actual strength (fear immunity is a thing), it doesn't require an action and may just win you an encounter.

    A bone devil's poison is... not that great. Monsters with high strength won't notice the damage and will have high saving throws, while the poison isn't strong enough to paralyze monsters with low strength outright. And that's before going into the hordes of poison-immune monsters that start appearing at these levels.

    Finally, the spell-likes: Greater Teleport is par for the course. Dimensional Anchor is something every party should have access to, and it may as well be you. Fly is at-will, so it'll give you and your party limitless flight all day (just watch out for dispels). Wall of Ice, too, is highly useful, especial. Invisibility and Major Image, especially the former, have lost some steam by now, though.

    The devil-summoning is typical for a fiend of this level. Reasonable chance to get a bunch of near-worthless lemures, smaller chance to get an actually useful bone devil.

    Compared to the Vrock, an evil outsider with equal RHD and CR, bone devils have slightly worse stats, worse speed (though Fly turns this around), somewhat better natural attacks (assuming they are not using their claws), a bit worse summoning, about equal special abilities and better SLA's. I'd argue the two should have the same ECL, which would put the bone devil at +1.

    +1 for now, feedback is welcome.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2018-09-04 at 11:44 AM.
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  15. - Top - End - #285
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    It's, kind of a lower end LA 2. I'd honestly say it could fit as a stronger side of LA 1 myself.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    It's, kind of a lower end LA 2. I'd honestly say it could fit as a stronger side of LA 1 myself.
    Don't forget the devil support Fiendish Codex 2 brought, specifically the 'Brand of the Nine Hells' line.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-08-24 at 07:29 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    En, not seeing that there that great. And what if the player isn't taking 1 specific pair of feats?

    It's like saying Elves should have higher LA cause Fairy Mysteries Initiate is amazing. Yeah, it is, if you use it well and build around it and take it. But if you don't, why should you be penalized for that?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    En, not seeing that there that great. And what if the player isn't taking 1 specific pair of feats?

    It's like saying Elves should have higher LA cause Fairy Mysteries Initiate is amazing. Yeah, it is, if you use it well and build around it and take it. But if you don't, why should you be penalized for that?
    did you say vanilla pointy eared bastard needs let's say +1LA for choosing a racial feature

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    En, not seeing that there that great. And what if the player isn't taking 1 specific pair of feats?
    They seem pretty nice to me. Immediate action spells or attacks? Huge bonuses on charging? Potentially infinite skill checks?

    Even if you don't take them, I believe the bone devil deserves +2 LA, though.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    I would agree that, vanila, they are on the lower side of LA +2. However, a whole book's worth of content is hardly "a pair of feats", so I will agree the relatively lackluster chassis makes up for it with room for growth.

    Am I the only one that finds Devils much cooler than Demons?

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TotallyNotEvil View Post
    Am I the only one that finds Devils much cooler than Demons?
    Definitely not.

    The reason: Red Fel, Red Fel, Red Fel.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2016-08-24 at 03:03 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    En, not seeing that there that great. And what if the player isn't taking 1 specific pair of feats?

    It's like saying Elves should have higher LA cause Fairy Mysteries Initiate is amazing. Yeah, it is, if you use it well and build around it and take it. But if you don't, why should you be penalized for that?
    I don't think that's a fair comparison. FMI, whilst offering multiple options, only has one that truly shines, and only for int based characters. Its useless if your con is higher than your int. By contrast, there are effectively 18 devil only feats, most of which part pretty good, and they collectively cover enough ground that any character concept should benefit from at least a couple.

    That said, I don't think they should factor in, since by RAW, even devil PCs cannot take them without special DM consideration.
    Last edited by Boci; 2016-08-24 at 03:15 PM.
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  23. - Top - End - #293
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Red Fel, Red Fel, Red Fel.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TotallyNotEvil View Post
    Am I the only one that finds Devils much cooler than Demons?
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    Thumbs up Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TotallyNotEvil View Post
    Am I the only one that finds Devils much cooler than Demons?
    Not at all. They are pretty much my favorite villains in D&D.

    My last (ongoing) campaign has Dispater as the main adversary for the PCs, with him trying to expand his influence on Oerth through his cultists (and by extension, expand his power in the Hells as well).

    I find demons a bit...meh to tell you the truth.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Boci View Post
    I don't think that's a fair comparison. FMI, whilst offering multiple options, only has one that truly shines, and only for int based characters. Its useless if your con is higher than your int. By contrast, there are effectively 18 devil only feats, most of which part pretty good, and they collectively cover enough ground that any character concept should benefit from at least a couple.

    That said, I don't think they should factor in, since by RAW, even devil PCs cannot take them without special DM consideration.
    RAW, FMI doesn't really work with out some special DM consideration either. And your forgetting it pairs with Grey Elf Generalist Wizard, and Necropolitan to be the uber broken combo.

    But the general sentiment is that there +2 LA with out them, so, ok.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    RAW, FMI doesn't really work with out some special DM consideration either. And your forgetting it pairs with Grey Elf Generalist Wizard, and Necropolitan to be the uber broken combo.
    No I'm not forgetting that, that still falls under "only good for 1 type of elf". Grey elf, necropolitant elven generalist, is again, only good for wizards. Martial classes gain absolutely from elven generalist, likely nothing from grey elf and probably less than nothing from necropolitant, and divine classes are like-wise unimpressed. But contrast, the 9 devil only feats pairs are varied enough that almost any character should be able to benefit from one combination.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Ok. Grey Elf Factotum. Oh, Look, You can more or less Dump Con. (Especially if you picked up a Ruby Center of Immutability and Necropolitan.). Your HP is covered Else were, on a stat covering everything else as it happens, and your Fort Save is "I'm Immune" to everything that matters.


    Same for a Warblade that doesn't focus on Dimond Mind.







    Yes yes int based classes but the point is there are multiple classes and build that do benefit. Anyway, dropping it now so as to not derail the thread.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    Yes yes int based classes but the point is there are multiple classes and build that do benefit.
    Still not enough to justify raising the actual LA of a race. Mark of Avernus is useful to anyone who casts spells or makes attacks, which is already WAAAYYY more usuable than something that only benefits int based characters, and that's just one of 18 benefits the 10 feats offer.

    Ultimately the cutoff point of when racial feats starts to justify LA is going to be a bit arbitrary, but I personally believe that "int based" is way too little, and "nearly everyone" is certainly enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    and your Fort Save is "I'm Immune" to everything that matters
    *almost everything that matters. Glasssteel strike and disintegrate being two notable exceptions.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Unless I'm missing something, Faerie Mysteries Initiate isn't anywhere near as good as people often say it is.

    - It has regional/campaign specific reqs (OK, not reqs exactly, but it's a Greyhawk feat - c'mon people!) that most people conveniently overlook (although this isn't a huge issue, I do the same with some Eberron and FR feats to use them in my game)
    - It is Dragon magazine material, which is often subject to a blanket ban at a lot of tables
    - Requires regular contact with another FMI character to renew
    - Requires almost as much prep time as memorizing spells, and has similar restrictions around "resting" beforehand
    - You carry the stigma of being known to "frolick" on a daily basis, and engage in *ahem* sensual activities with your "faerie friend"
    - The bonus HP only apply for your first HD

    [edit] Nevermind, I was getting the last point wrong. I was confusing it with different feat, I believe. [/edit]

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Ules I'm missing something, Faerie Mysteries Initiate isn't anywhere near as good as people often say it is.

    - It has regional/campaign specific reqs (OK, not reqs exactly, but it's a Greyhawk feat - c'mon people!) that most people conveniently overlook (although this isn't a huge issue, I do the same with some Eberron and FR feats to use them in my game)
    - It is Dragon magazine material, which is often subject to a blanket ban at a lot of tables
    - Requires regular contact with another FMI character to renew
    - Requires almost as much prep time as memorizing spells, and has similar restrictions around "resting" beforehand
    - You carry the stigma of being known to "frolick" on a daily basis, and engage in *ahem* sensual activities with your "faerie friend"
    - The bonus HP only apply for your first HD

    [edit] Nevermind, I was getting the last point wrong. I was confusing it with different feat, I believe. [/edit]
    There's a fey flavoured feat which gives allows you to gain extra hitpoint from charisma at first level yes. For FMI, does it say you have to ever refresh it? I recall the fluff of the feat suggesting that, but I don't think the mechanics ever required you to refresh, as long as you were only using one benefit (and the other options the feat offered were not nearly as powerful).
    "It doesn't matter how much you struggle or strive,
    You'll never get out of life alive,
    So please kill yourself and save this land,
    And your last mission is to spread my command,"

    Slightly adapted quote from X-Fusion, Please Kill Yourself

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