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    Default The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Please post in the new thread, thanks in advance.

    For people confused about this thread's purpose, see here. For people who want to browse the currently-reviewed creatures and templates there's the archive. A link to the first thread can be found there as well.

    And as for the thread title...

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    The em dash does not exist in this thread! Begone!
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-07-31 at 03:03 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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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Kobold


    The infamous kobold, centerpiece of a number of exploits I won't bother listing all here.

    There isn't really a lot I can say here. Kobolds make good sorcerers, decent rogues and reasonable bards. They have wildly unbalanced stats, light sensitivity, some natural weapons and armor, darkvision, and a handful of skill bonuses. +0 LA, which everyone hopefully agrees with.

    Note that kobolds are much weaker (potentially enough for a -0) if not built well. A constitution penalty and lack of real racial traits will see to that.

    And before anyone asks: no, Dragonwrought is not enough reason to give kobolds a LA. Balance efforts should be directed at the feat, not the broader group that can take it.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-04-06 at 08:00 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Can't wait for the Sahuagin!

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Agahnim View Post
    Can't wait for the Sahuagin!
    That's still a while off! Next up is the kraken, though, which would be fun to play.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    I like kobolds. And not just for their dairy farming tendency. I think they're cool and funny simply by themselves. Plus, Tucker's Kobolds is always fun. Someday, I want to run a dungeon like that.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Yay new thread.

    Is it mainly the secondary features that rate kobolds as +0? I seem to recall their base racials alone being underwhelming.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    Yay new thread.

    Is it mainly the secondary features that rate kobolds as +0? I seem to recall their base racials alone being underwhelming.
    Secondary features help a lot, but kobolds are still usable as a standalone race. Three natural attacks, with a fourth available for a feat, is pretty great on a rogue.

    Without the web enhancement update and the secondary options... yeah, in that case -0 could be argued.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    They have have
    Typo here. On an unrelated note, the former thread lasted just shy of one whole year...and how many monsters have been dealt with during that time? We can evaluate the thread's assessing speed and try and guess how long it will take to finish MMI
    Last edited by remetagross; 2017-04-06 at 06:15 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Let's compare an invisible stalker to whisper gnome rogue 8 (wielding a poison ring)...
    Which runs into philosophical questions of the optimization-level we should be comparing the monsters to. Speaking of which...


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    The infamous kobold, centerpiece of a number of exploits I won't bother listing all here.
    I feel like there should be a note that, without the right supporting feats, the kobold is a -0. It's like a tallfellow halfling with +1 natural armor, slightly increased speed, a couple of questionably-useful skill bonuses, and access to some neat dragon-themed stuff in exchange for -2 Constitution, some penalties that don't matter much if you play right, and the loss of halflings' racial abilities (more skill bonuses, a bonus to saves, morale...)
    Also, what natural weapons do they get? Or are you assuming one of the kobold-specific feats?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Typo fixed!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Which runs into philosophical questions of the optimization-level we should be comparing the monsters to.
    That build is mid-optimization at most. Single-classed gnome rogue with a slightly obscure weapon doesn't qualify as unreasonably strong in my book.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I feel like there should be a note that, without the right supporting feats, the kobold is a -0. It's like a tallfellow halfling with +1 natural armor, slightly increased speed, a couple of questionably-useful skill bonuses, and access to some neat dragon-themed stuff in exchange for -2 Constitution, some penalties that don't matter much if you play right, and the loss of halflings' racial abilities (more skill bonuses, a bonus to saves, morale...)
    Also, what natural weapons do they get? Or are you assuming one of the kobold-specific feats?
    Will add a note to that extent.

    Natural weapons can be found here. Two claws, one bite. The damage dice are bad, but getting bonus damage on each attack helps.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Natural weapons can be found here. Two claws, one bite. The damage dice are bad, but getting bonus damage on each attack helps.
    Huh. Didn't know that was a thing. Those extra abilities certainly make them not ridiculously underpowered without RoD material.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2017-04-06 at 09:26 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Regarding the Invisible Stalker's lack of Hide skill...remember that being invisible is a +40 to Hide checks on its own.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Regarding the Invisible Stalker's lack of Hide skill...remember that being invisible is a +40 to Hide checks on its own.
    Only if you're completely immobile: otherwise it's just +20.

    A stalker without ranks may have +20 to hide, but my earlier example PC has the same bonus (+1 dexterity, +4 size, +4 racial, +11 ranks).
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    And before anyone asks: no, Dragonwrought is not enough reason to give kobolds a LA. Balance efforts should be directed at the feat, not the broader group that can take it.
    Which reminds me - does anybody know why that's a feat?
    Inherited Template would seem more logical to me...

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Since it can only be taken at first level, it basically is a template that costs a feat rather than an LA adjustment.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Kobold's actually make terrifying rouges. Small Size (+1 Hit/AC and +4 hide), +2 Dex, +2 to two skills that a rouge would appreciate, 3 natural weapons Darkvsion and +1 NA. I mean with that Str and Con penalty they hit like a wet noodle and take hits as well as one, but a Rouge doesn't have much in the way of surviving hits or dealing damage outside of Precision damage and just not being hit. Daylight sensitivity sucks but it's only -1 and can be solved by a cheap non-magic item.

    Probably make half-decent a Sorcerer as well with all the possible Dragon related splat support. LA+0 for sure.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Zancloufer View Post
    Kobold's actually make terrifying rouges. Small Size (+1 Hit/AC and +4 hide), +2 Dex, +2 to two skills that a rouge would appreciate, 3 natural weapons Darkvsion and +1 NA. I mean with that Str and Con penalty they hit like a wet noodle and take hits as well as one, but a Rouge doesn't have much in the way of surviving hits or dealing damage outside of Precision damage and just not being hit. Daylight sensitivity sucks but it's only -1 and can be solved by a cheap non-magic item.

    Probably make half-decent a Sorcerer as well with all the possible Dragon related splat support. LA+0 for sure.
    And the Slight Build alternate racial feature described in Inevitability's post above gives them a further +4 to Hide!
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Honestly, even without splat content, kobold is +0. If you put a kobold rogue next to a halfling rogue, the kobold will have slightly worse stats, which translates to a bunch of -1s and -2s on some checks. But he's not unplayable. He's not 10 levels behind in his progression. At level 20 you'll scarcely see the difference.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Kraken


    Not going to make the obvious CotT joke. Instead, here's a bad pun!

    Krakens are Gargantuan, aquatic magical beasts (have fun exploring dungeons) with 20 HD. Even post-mouthpick, they've got eight natural attacks (though six of them are pretty weak). Unsurprisingly, they're great grapplers, with each limb getting Improved Grab, Constrict and 30 to 60 feet reach. Everything that is to be said about teleportation and FoM at these levels has been said before.

    As with all D&D octopodiformes, they've got the ability to create clouds of ink (useful if your entire party has blindsight), and jet at high speeds. Note that neither ability requires being underwater.

    There's also a handful of SLAs, each usable once per day, with not even half the kraken's HD as CL. Don't expect anything impressive from them.

    Compared to similarly-leveled characters, both monsters and PCs, a kraken will simply fall short. -0 LA.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-04-07 at 05:59 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Krakens are negative LA for sure.
    Although ... they do get some useful skills as racial class skills, with 20 RHD, having Use Magic Device as a racial skill is not enough to pull them out of the suck-zone.


    Especially since their tentacles/arms can be Sundered as normal weapons, and have 20 and 10 hp, respectively. That's low enough limb hp that they're basically going to be one-shotted by pretty much everyone/everything.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Would you allow a kraken with 2-4 class levels in an ECL 20 party (with level 20 WBL)?

    Hmm. Well, it'd be a pretty nice übercharger/melee BFC, likely with an initiator level or two, unlimited AoOs (epic feat) if the dexterity requirement is met, and otherwise, not much. Certainly has nothing on the spellcasters (who can, incidentally, shapechange into krakens). Maybe stronger in their niche than t3 melee specialists, but much less versatile than, say, totem ragers, MoMF rangers, and gishes.

    In the end, I think I would accept a classed kraken at ECL 20 (I mean, as DM I'd allow the kraken to drop some RHD, but assuming it's a yes/no matter). I'm voting LA -0.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Especially for things in the 18+ HD range, I think a fair way to judge if they're LA -0 or not is to ask, "Can a Sorcerer using shapechange to pretend to be a member of this monster race be a better PC than playing this monster?"

    Not 100% fair, given that Sorcerer is T2, and it's hard to keep shapechange up 24/7, but it's still a reasonable judge, I think. Because an 18th level Sorcerer could do that with the right build. So if you're better off playing a ECL 0 race Sorcerer who is level 18+ if you want to be a particular creature, then that creature probably has LA -0. Or even lower, except we're not going lower than that.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Yeah, they don't make for a very powerful or even handy to use character.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Is this the largest creature that's been rated? Sizes larger than Huge and smaller than Small are pretty rare.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by MesiDoomstalker View Post
    Is this the largest creature that's been rated? Sizes larger than Huge and smaller than Small are pretty rare.
    There are plenty of creatures smaller than small. I think most of them are animals, though. Fine size, though, I think is the rarest of all.


    Also, to answer your question, no. Dragons were rated, and they get up to colossal.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    There are plenty of creatures smaller than small. I think most of them are animals, though. Fine size, though, I think is the rarest of all.


    Also, to answer your question, no. Dragons were rated, and they get up to colossal.
    I didn't say they were non-existent, just rare. Its probably because the designers thought that tough things should only be big (I suppose there is a psychological term to describe this). Also, I forgot Dragons and lumped them together in the smaller sizes.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Can somebody explain the name of the new thread to me? I assume it's some sort of witty reference....
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Can somebody explain the name of the new thread to me? I assume it's some sort of witty reference....
    In D&D, the em dash (—) is sometimes used in a monster's LA entry to indicate the monster is unplayable. It essentially says 'LA for this creature does not exist, and will never exist'. Part of this thread is giving a LA to such creatures.
    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 II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    +0 sounds fair. At that level, a kraken can easily afford magic items or spells to become amphibious... and then the fun begins

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