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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    As a Conjuration spell, we can only assume that it summons some opiates directly into your blood stream to counteract the excrutiating pain caused by the spell.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
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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

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Mephit (1)


    There's no less than 10 kinds of mephit in the MM alone, because adding lots of low-level extraplanars apparently had a higher priority than writing comprehensible abilities or fixing the CR of celestials. Yay. On account of their high number, I'll be covering them in parts.

    All mephits are outsiders with 3 RHD, putting them somewhere near the imp and quasit in terms of chassis. I'll be comparing them to these fiends where needed.

    Currently, all mephits have a cohort LA of +3. I don't expect any to stay there.

    Air Mephit

    Ability scores are good, overall, with a large bonus to dexterity and a smaller one to charisma. Their airheadedness is annoying, and sadly common to all mephits, but a 60 ft. perfect fly speed helps make up for that, as does DR 5/magic.

    Their breath weapon is poor, though its relatively short recharge time and possible feat support mean it has at least some potential. 1/hour Blur is actually quite good for a SLA, and it doesn't decrease in power much at higher levels. However, Gust of Wind 1/day is forgettable.

    Finally, there's their fast healing, which triggers incredibly easily. As long as there's air around, an air mephit can just fan itself to heal, which may not even require an action (ask your DM!).

    IMO, all this places air mephits above equally-leveled characters, and adjustment is in order. +1 LA.

    Dust Mephit

    Dust mephits are similar to their airy cousins, except their flight is a bit slower, their breath weapon is smaller and sacrifices some damage for a debuff (worth it, IMO), and their Gust of Wind SLA gets replaced by a high-CL Wind Wall (a very welcome trade-off). Sadly, their fast healing only works in dry and dusty areas, making its activation much harder.

    All in all, it seems to me like these are about on par with air mephits, and therefore deserve the same LA. +1 for dust mephits as well.

    Earth Mephit

    Together with gargoyles, these mephits are amongst the few earth creatures with fly speeds. Their stats are very nice for a melee character, especially with their 1/hour Enlarge Person (self only) SLA. Their other SLA, Soften Earth And Stone, has its uses, though it's very environment-dependent.

    The breath weapon is identical to the air mephit's (that is, boring), but at least their fast healing should be reasonably easy to trigger.

    +0 LA.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2018-09-05 at 08:03 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Please tell me they have text that gives exception to their enlarge person self only effect so that it works on non-humanoids.

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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
    It's not unreasonable to assume the spell moves the air around you as well. That way, you still have to deal with the acceleration issues, but the effects of air friction would be lessened, if not negated.
    Which is why I didn't dwell on it. It's an easy problem to explain around.


    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    As a Conjuration spell, we can only assume that it summons some opiates directly into your blood stream to counteract the excrutiating pain caused by the spell.
    I like that idea, mostly because the image of someone casting the spell specifically for the opiates is hilarious.


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability
    Mephits!
    The major unique features of the "mephit chassis" would probably be their breath weapons, fast healing, and flight. In order:
    Unless there's some neat metabreath trickery, I don't see most of these being very useful in the long term. The debuff ones are potentially still useful, if you face enemies without good Reflex saves for whom AC and attack rolls are important. It's useful, but I don't see it being a dominant tool.
    The most useful fast healing abilities are ones which can easily be used in combat (air mephits in general, and most others in the right campaign). But even without those, something like half of the mephits' fast-healing requirements aren't too tricky to work in between combats, meaning they should be able to return to each fight with full health without expending cleric spells or anything. Not a game-changer, but it's helpful.
    Flight is flight. Some have it better than others.


    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Please tell me they have text that gives exception to their enlarge person self only effect so that it works on non-humanoids.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    This works just like an enlarge person spell, except that the power works only on the earth mephit.
    I mean, you could argue that it doesn't technically say that the power works on the earth mephit, just that it doesn't work on anyone else. But that would be pretty asinine.
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Mephit (2)


    More mephits!

    Fire Mephit

    Low ability scores and a bad breath weapon with weak SLAs. At least they have a reasonably easy-to-trigger fast healing clause (ask your DM if a Continual Flame counts: RAW it probably should). Even so, I don't think this one deserves -0. Any who disagree should say so.

    Ice Mephit

    Breath weapon is an icy version of the dust mephit's. Slightly weaker in my opinion, though not enough to matter much. SLAs are pretty bad, and so is the fast healing clause (though the Chill Metal SLA can explicitly create ice from water, so that helps). AC is highest amongst all mephits, if that matters. Another +0 edging close to -0 LA.

    Magma Mephit

    What is it with fire-subtyped creatures and lower ability scores? It's the same with fire elementals.

    Breath weapon is the now-familiar penalizing version, this time adjusted to deal fire damage. It's okay, I guess. SLAs are Pyrotechnics and a custom effect that allows the mephit to turn into a magma pool, both of which are pretty badly-written. Depending on how your DM reads it, it's either an incredible defense or inescapable trap. Finally, the fast healing clause, which is literally the fire mephit's, but better.

    Another for the +0 LA pile, it seems.

    Ooze Mephit

    These guys have a swim speed in addition to usual mephit movement modes, as well as above-average strength and constitution. Breath weapon is an acidic penalizer, SLAs are Acid Arrow 1/hour and Stinking Cloud 1/day (which is decent enough). Fast Healing works only in wet or muddy environments: in a pinch a Create Water spell should do.

    +0 LA.
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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Also, I'm considering bumping up the air and dust mephit to +1 LA on account of their comparatively strong abilities (having to go through nearly half a dozen sub-par mephits kind of put them in perspective). Do people agree?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Let's look at an air or dust mephit with a level in rogue and compare it to a 4th-level halfling rogue.

    The mephits will have better Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma, but worse Intelligence. They would make better combatants and possibly better party faces (assuming we ignore the effects of racism), but losing two skill points per level would hurt their versatility, especially since they lose out on three levels of access to the rogue skill list. I'd still give the edge to mephits.
    Mephits have a weak breath weapon, the rogue has an extra sneak attack die (and will get their next a level sooner). It's not hard to argue that these two abilities are roughly equivalent, each having different situations in which it's better or worse than the other, but the breath weapons (especially the air mephit's) scale poorly.
    Next, defensive abilities. Mephits have +3 natural armor (and another +2 from superior Dexterity), making them hard to properly hit in the first place. They also have damage reduction 5/magic, which is good at this level but gets worse for a while (until DR/magic is replaced with various other DRs, I guess). Then there's fast healing; that improves durability impressively if you can consistently exploit it (far easier for air mephits than dust). On the other hand, the halfling gets evasion, uncanny dodge, trap sense and a bonus on saving throws. If it wasn't for the fast healing, I'd say that they are good against different threats but the mephits have a slight advantage; however, the air mephit has a strong advantage with its fast healing. Who needs a cleric when you can just fan yourself for a minute and fix yourself up?
    Finally, miscellaneous racial abilities. Air and dust mephits have hourly blur and another daily ability (the dust mephit's probably being more useful than the air mephit's, unless it lost its fan). Mephit claws are about equivalent to daggers, except that you can't throw them and don't take two-weapon fighting penalties (and if you're disarmed, you have bigger problems). They can also try to summon a levelless buddy once each day with a 75% chance of failure, which seems pretty negligible. Also, mephits walk faster than halflings and fly naturally (air slightly faster than dust). The halfling gets a few useful skill bonuses, a bonus to thrown weapons, and some more support material.

    The mephits have it better. I can see a +1 LA being applied.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Given that we are giving LAs to creatures normally not eligible for being PCs to begin with, I'll take a stab at a couple really low CR(as in below CR 1) creatures:

    Cat: The racial ability score modifiers are -4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +0 Constitution, -4 Intelligence, +1 Wisdom and -2 Charisma. This is bad for the vast majority of situations, with the penalties wrecking a lot of stuff.

    The racial skills, though are kinda ridiculous. According to the statblock, they use Dexterity instead of Strength for Climb and Jump and get +4 to Climb, Hide and Move Silently, with a +8 to Jump and Balance. In "tall grass or heavy undergrowth," their racial Hide bonus increases to +8. The size modifiers for Tiny creatures are +2 Attack and AC, -8 Grapple and +8 Hide, to account for that.

    They also have the Claw/Claw/Bite with a pitiful start of 1d2 Claw and 1d3 Bite, with a single Claw for a primary. The Claws have +4 accuracy and the Bite has -1 accuracy, with -4 damage for all due to Strength.

    The bonus feat is Weapon Finesse, making their attack bonus run on Dexterity instead of Strength, but their -4 modifier on Strength makes it impossible for them to deal more than one damage.

    They also have a half-HD for their single RHD, which makes their average health 2, and have 14 AC by default.

    All things considered, I'm slightly tempted to give LA +1 off the power of the skill bonuses making them a pain in the rear to catch, but the fact that their natural weapons are literally incapable of dealing more than one damage and they keep the utterly abysmal Strength makes them not really worth using.

    So, LA +0, because they have capabilities in line with a level two character once they pick up a class that synergizes with those racial capabilities. Like Rogue. Provided you allow them to occupy the same space as all larger creatures because everything below Small has a Reach of 0 ft.

    Bat: Ignoring the Anthropomorphic Animal cheese because that's a template, they have modifiers of -5 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +0 Constitution, -4 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom and -3 Charisma. I note that these are their ability score modifiers by the statblock, not the difference from standard stats.

    They have functionally no ground speed, but have 40 ft. flight with Good maneuverability and 20 ft. Blindsense. They also get 16 AC and have a grand total of 1 HP average due to having 1/4 d8 HD.

    Attack wise, they literally don't have attacks. No natural attacks to be seen here. Their overall modifier for attacks, if they get them, is +0 because the size modifier cancels the Strength penalty.

    Speaking of Size modifiers, they get, as already mentioned, +4 to Attack and AC, making them rather hard to hit. They get -12 to Grapple and +12 to Hide, making them almost as good at hiding as a cat in the open. Their own racial skill modifiers are a +4 to Spot and Listen while Blindsense is up.

    I'd go with LA +1 if they had a natural attack, because the size modifiers make them break even on them and Weapon Finesse would make them have a serious jump in accuracy. As is, due to lack of hands to hold normal weapons and the penalties of Diminutive size, which include having weapons be basically useless, I have to give them -0 because their only viable option is to go Druid and rely on t1 shenanigans, which they'd do better than most due to the natural (Ex) Flight and AC. Nothing else works because they have penalties to important scores or lack of needed things to really work.

    ---

    Comments on this? Am I massively overvaluing racial skills and AC? Do you think I'm undervaluing something? Am I missing important things which make them worth more or less?
    I think only Inveibility is supposed to do this in this thread.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Yklikt View Post
    I think only Inveibility is supposed to do this in this thread.
    Well, it's not like they'll get through to minor things any time soon, and I can't locate any notable order of the things being posted. And it's not like it's mentioned openly outside the first post of the first thread from well over a year ago.

    Here's a quoted version of the first thread's first post, for reference:
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Please post in the next thread, thanks in advance.

    In the past, I've seen many threads on under- or overpowered monsters, and even a few that attempted to fix some faulty challenge ratings.

    However, I have never seen anyone trying to give the various critters WotC has made an appropriate level adjustment. That's a pity, because many monsters are interesting creatures that are either ruined by an unplayable LA, or a total lack of it. In this thread, I will attempt to fix this.

    All assigned LAs can be found in the archive.
    As you can see, there is precisely one sentence, 9 words long, indicating that Inevitability wants to do all the posting themselves. And I only noticed it because I went back to look for such things because you brought it up.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    As you can see, there is precisely one sentence, 9 words long, indicating that Inevitability wants to do all the posting themselves. And I only noticed it because I went back to look for such things because you brought it up.
    What about

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Sango, I appreciate you trying to help, and I may not have been clear in the OP, but could you please not do this? Firstly, discussion on the aboleth is still ongoing, and secondly, I don't like you hijacking someone's thread.
    then?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Yklikt View Post
    What about

    *snip*

    then?
    ...still from the previous thread, from over a year ago. And from the very start of it. Not claiming the attitude has changed, but rather that it's rather obscure to those who just jump in and don't read through the entirety of the threads.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    ...still from the previous thread, from over a year ago. And from the very start of it. Not claiming the attitude has changed, but rather that it's rather obscure to those who just jump in and don't read through the entirety of the threads.
    Ok. That doesn't make me wrong.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Yklikt View Post
    Ok. That doesn't make me wrong.
    It also means you are bringing up stuff that is likely to be unknown to several people on this thread.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    It also means you are bringing up stuff that is likely to be unknown to several people on this thread.
    I don't see how that is a problem

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    ...still from the previous thread, from over a year ago. And from the very start of it. Not claiming the attitude has changed, but rather that it's rather obscure to those who just jump in and don't read through the entirety of the threads.
    Holy cannoli, has it been a year already?

    Anyhow, not only has the OP made abundantly clear that he doesn't want other people doing LAs in this thread, it would also be a huge mess if we started doing multiple monsters at the same time or jumping around in the Monster Manual. When and how this was communicated isn't important now that we've all read these posts.
    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

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

    Alright, I'll delete the offending post. It's been given a full quote, anyway, so it'll largely just be a matter of saving page space now.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    [...] and I can't locate any notable order of the things being posted.
    It's all monsters in the Monster Manual, alphabetically.
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    Read ExLibrisMortis' post...

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    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    It's all monsters in the Monster Manual, alphabetically.
    Actually, it's the order in which they are listed in the MM. Mostly the same, but it means we get worgs before hyenas and solars before balors.

    Also, air and dust mephit LA upped by one.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-05-06 at 02:40 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Mephit (3)


    Has it actually been over a year already? When I first started I must admit I was a bit nervous about heading out in such uncharted waters, but this thread has really been picking up steam since then.

    But enough talking: let's see if these mephits are worth their salt!

    Salt Mephit

    Salt mephits, like their earthy cousins, are slow fliers but possess a fair amount of muscle to make up for it. Their breath weapon is identical to the dust mephit's, and fast healing is similar to theirs but without the ability to function in dusty environments.

    The 1/day SLA is the underwhelming ability to suck moisture out of living creatures that will be bad at first and useless after. This is fully compensated by the hourly SLA, though. Glitterdust is great and will always be great, and three rounds of it are typically enough to win any fight.

    +1 LA, but reasonably close to +0.

    Steam Mephit

    Again we note how fire creatures get the short end of the stick: steam mephits have the same low ability scores as the fire and magma versions.

    Their SLAs are Blur and weak blasting. Their fast healing functions in boiling water or warm and humid areas. The breath weapon is the fire penalty version.

    +0 LA.

    Water Mephit

    Last of all, the water mephit. These, too, can swim. Their breath weapon is a cone of non-penalizing acid (unlike the ooze mephit's cone of penalizing acid), their SLAs are Stinking Cloud 1/day and Acid Arrow 1/hour (woooo, 4d4 damage that isn't even applied all at once). Fast Healing functions in rain or when the mephit is up to its waist in water.

    Stinking cloud is really the only thing this one's got going for itself over other mephits (and even then, ooze's just plain better). +0 LA.


    Coming next: merfolk.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-05-06 at 03:08 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
    Coming next: merfolk.
    Get ready to be disappointed by monster art -0 LA for merfolk since they cant move in ground
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    Threads are like cats. They go where they want, and never listen to what you want them to do.


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

    Quote Originally Posted by khadgar567 View Post
    Get ready to be disappointed by monster art -0 LA for merfolk since they cant move in ground
    1. They can.
    2. I assume people don't pick creatures to play that are completely nonfunctional in the campaign they'll be used in (half-minotaur wizards, and all that). If someone plays a merfolk, they're either going to have a way to move efficiently on dry land, or the campaign will be largely aquatic: anything else is an unwise decision I'm not responsible for.
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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
    1. They can.
    2. I assume people don't pick creatures to play that are completely nonfunctional in the campaign they'll be used in (half-minotaur wizards, and all that). If someone plays a merfolk, they're either going to have a way to move efficiently on dry land, or the campaign will be largely aquatic: anything else is an unwise decision I'm not responsible for.
    What do you mean? You should totally accommodate the people who want to play whale wizards in a desert campaign!
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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
    What do you mean? You should totally accommodate the people who want to play whale wizards in a desert campaign!
    Well, whales are going to be -0 LA anyway, so technically I am accommodating them as much as possible already.
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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
    Actually, it's the order in which they are listed in the MM. Mostly the same, but it means we get worgs before hyenas and solars before balors.
    Well, I'm still technically right! (solars are listed as angels, and animals/vermin are in separate chapters from "1. Monsters A to Z", so it's still "monster [sections] in alphabetical order")

    You'd think merfolk would receive some support in Stormwrack, but I couldn't find anything, except stats for those crossbows they're mentioned using.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    I want a play a whale prince and call him Charles!

  26. - Top - End - #266
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    I want a play a whale prince and call him Charles!
    Anthropomorphic whale has you covered!

  27. - Top - End - #267
    Bugbear in the Playground
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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
    Well, whales are going to be -0 LA anyway, so technically I am accommodating them as much as possible already.
    Is negative LA legitimately not allowed by the rules? Or is it just that it has no real precedent? Because some creatures have enough worthless RHD to make them require negative LA to be in line with other characters.

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    BlackDragon

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Is negative LA legitimately not allowed by the rules? Or is it just that it has no real precedent? Because some creatures have enough worthless RHD to make them require negative LA to be in line with other characters.
    Posting quickly from mobile, please forgive typos/grammar.

    I think that negative LA is not used because it has the potential to make a mess of things. One probable issue being high HD monsters + negative LA could result in epic feats before epic levels.
    "Ye are who ye are on all o' yer days. All o' em. Includin' that worst an' tha best. Ev'ry single one counts. All tha way ta tha end."

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  29. - Top - End - #269
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Is negative LA legitimately not allowed by the rules? Or is it just that it has no real precedent? Because some creatures have enough worthless RHD to make them require negative LA to be in line with other characters.
    It does wonky stuff with epic rules, so it's easier to prevent problems by not allowing negative LA. There is at least one template that provides negative LA - Incarnate Construct.
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  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by zergling.exe View Post
    It does wonky stuff with epic rules, so it's easier to prevent problems by not allowing negative LA. There is at least one template that provides negative LA - Incarnate Construct.
    ELH has several monsters with negative LAs. They don't outright say LA: -8, but they do list ECLs to play them that are less than their RHD. A protean, for example, is ECL 36, but has 44 RHD.
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