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  1. - Top - End - #541
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    A little late to the party, but I could see an argument for as little as +2 for the Nightmare. Consider that we're looking at +3 or +4 because a wizard or sorcerer could lesser planar bind one by those levels. Shouldn't a PC who is a Nightmare have something over the pet the wizard called up yesterday? Even arguments that a fighter is totally overwritten by the wizard lesser planar binding the right beefy outsider at least has some counterpoint in that the fighter can be customized differently and comes with magic items the bound outsider won't. If a Nightmare PC is exactly the same as the Nightmare bound by the same-level wizard, he's strictly inferior to the fighter.

  2. - Top - End - #542
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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
    A little late to the party, but I could see an argument for as little as +2 for the Nightmare. Consider that we're looking at +3 or +4 because a wizard or sorcerer could lesser planar bind one by those levels. Shouldn't a PC who is a Nightmare have something over the pet the wizard called up yesterday? Even arguments that a fighter is totally overwritten by the wizard lesser planar binding the right beefy outsider at least has some counterpoint in that the fighter can be customized differently and comes with magic items the bound outsider won't. If a Nightmare PC is exactly the same as the Nightmare bound by the same-level wizard, he's strictly inferior to the fighter.
    1. I'm not sure that this logic holds up. "The Nightmare and the fighter are both inferior to the wizard, and you can change the precise way that the fighter is inferior. Therefore the Nightmare is inferior to the fighter."
    2. If the Nightmare was competing for the Tier 1 Caster "party slot," it would make sense to compare them directly to tier 1 casters...but it's really not. A similar argument would be that, since a dwarven fighter is strictly inferior to a druid with an animal companion, dwarves deserve LA -0.
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  3. - Top - End - #543
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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
    A little late to the party, but I could see an argument for as little as +2 for the Nightmare. Consider that we're looking at +3 or +4 because a wizard or sorcerer could lesser planar bind one by those levels. Shouldn't a PC who is a Nightmare have something over the pet the wizard called up yesterday? Even arguments that a fighter is totally overwritten by the wizard lesser planar binding the right beefy outsider at least has some counterpoint in that the fighter can be customized differently and comes with magic items the bound outsider won't. If a Nightmare PC is exactly the same as the Nightmare bound by the same-level wizard, he's strictly inferior to the fighter.
    One suggestion for the +4 LA was to give the 6HD/+4LA Nightmare a free level 10 Wizard, who planar bound the Nightmare.

  4. - Top - End - #544
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Those Nightwalkers were pretty nasty in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2. I know that doesn't help their stats here, but I still felt like saying that.
    Yeah, whenever I think of Nightwalkers I think of the end of Dark Alliance, when your character(s) is surrounded by a small army of them. I have some real fond memories of those games.

    And in a (failed) attempt to be less off-topic, I just want to say that I've really enjoyed these threads Inevitability, even as someone who doesn't play 3.5 (or D&D at all, for that matter).

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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
    the fighter can be customized differently and comes with magic items the bound outsider won't. If a Nightmare PC is exactly the same as the Nightmare bound by the same-level wizard, he's strictly inferior to the fighter.
    Unfortunately, no Fighter build gets you Psychic Reformation for free, so you'll have to compare with specific Fighter builds instead of some character versatile enough to count as every possible Fighter, just one at a time.

    A player Nightmare should have WBL / starting equipment and can take class levels going forward -- just like the Fighter. There's a reason Inevitability has only been mentioning equipment insofar as it's unusual -- a piece of equipment that this race can use that most can't, mouthpick weapons only, etc.

    A typical level 10 wizard will succeed at getting the Nightmare to act as a member of the party without reward a little over a third of the time, assuming your DM doesn't rule that an unreasonable command. So you're spending, on average, three 5th level spells and one hour to get an ally for ten days -- with a risk that the Nightmare will break free and attack.

  6. - Top - End - #546
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Nymph


    I feel like this is relevant here.

    Nymphs have 6 Fey HD, which are interesting for giving good saves and skills but bad everything else. They're a bit like Beguiler hit dice, but with better reflexes and worse proficiencies. Their chassis is pretty good: a net +28 to ability scores, DR 10/cold iron, and a swim speed (because why not?).

    In addition to this, nymphs get various special abilities. Dimension Door 1/day is good for being standard-action mid-range repositioning of most of the party, and Stunning Glance is a save-or-lose with a good duration.

    Unearthly Grace is good for reasons I shouldn't have to name: I've seen characters that spend two levels on getting a worse version of it. Blinding Beauty is somewhat less great: while humanoid opponents will probably still appear from time to time, activating the ability means any nearby humanoid allies of yours get exposed as well.

    Finally the centerpiece of any nymph-using build: the druid casting. Your typical 6 HD nymph casts as a 7th-level druid, meaning a LA is most definitely in order here.

    However, compared to druids nymphs are worse off in a number of ways. They lack an animal companion, and the same goes for Wild Shape. That said, a LA of +3 is still required to keep them balanced.

    Next are ogres.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2018-01-09 at 03:22 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #547
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Fun fact: a typical Nymph is Chaotic Good(I'm reading monster entries for fun, and I read that part a few hours ago).

    Oh, wait.

    Druids can't be Chaotic Good.

    If you manage to get around this, though, I'd say that LA +3 is good enough. Maybe LA +4, so they'll still get 9th level spells if they don't lose caster levels; they get some pretty nice stuff.
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  8. - Top - End - #548
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    7th level Druid casting means the ECL shouldn't be below 7, so that's an LA +1 at least.

    Regarding the features... if a Druid gave up Wild Shape in trade for DR 10/cold iron + Unearthly Grace, would that be worth any LA?

    The +2 Con makes up the difference between a basic Druid's d8 HD and the Fey d6 HD.

    The other ability scores are pretty great -- Dex is nice (since you can't just Wild Shape a bad Dex away like a core Druid could); Int is great for Arcane Heirophant shenanigans or nice for more skills; +6 Wisdom is very nice for a Druid caster; +8 Charisma means Unearthly Grace actually helps.

    So, the question is: how much does it suck to not have Wild Shape at level 7, and do you get enough nice things to punch above that level?

    As far as I can see, a Nymph does not get enough nice things.

    Verdict: LA +2 (and that feels conservative -- LA +1 might be valid).

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    7th level Druid casting means the ECL shouldn't be below 7, so that's an LA +1 at least.

    Regarding the features... if a Druid gave up Wild Shape in trade for DR 10/cold iron + Unearthly Grace, would that be worth any LA?

    The +2 Con makes up the difference between a basic Druid's d8 HD and the Fey d6 HD.

    The other ability scores are pretty great -- Dex is nice (since you can't just Wild Shape a bad Dex away like a core Druid could); Int is great for Arcane Heirophant shenanigans or nice for more skills; +6 Wisdom is very nice for a Druid caster; +8 Charisma means Unearthly Grace actually helps.

    So, the question is: how much does it suck to not have Wild Shape at level 7, and do you get enough nice things to punch above that level?

    As far as I can see, a Nymph does not get enough nice things.

    Verdict: LA +2 (and that feels conservative -- LA +1 might be valid).
    Oh yeah, I forgot about that. And they're behind on animal companion progress as well.

    They do get some nice things, though.
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  10. - Top - End - #550
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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
    Fun fact: a typical Nymph is Chaotic Good(I'm reading monster entries for fun, and I read that part a few hours ago).

    Oh, wait.

    Druids can't be Chaotic Good.

    If you manage to get around this, though, I'd say that LA +3 is good enough. Maybe LA +4, so they'll still get 9th level spells if they don't lose caster levels; they get some pretty nice stuff.
    Well, it's only 'usually' Chaotic Good. It's no less common than, say, a NG elf, or a LN dwarf.
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  11. - Top - End - #551
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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, it's only 'usually' Chaotic Good. It's no less common than, say, a NG elf, or a LN dwarf.
    Hmm, point taken. And I wouldn't be surprised if a DM who allowed you to play a Nymph at a reasonable LA would lift the alignment restrictions as well.
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  12. - Top - End - #552
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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, it's only 'usually' Chaotic Good. It's no less common than, say, a NG elf, or a LN dwarf.
    You can advance Druid casting with a class like Sentinel of Bharrai (BoED), so even if you're stuck being Chaotic Good for some reason, you aren't locked out of casting advancement.

  13. - Top - End - #553
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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
    Hmm, point taken. And I wouldn't be surprised if a DM who allowed you to play a Nymph at a reasonable LA would lift the alignment restrictions as well.
    Id just think since its racial casting that just simulates druid casting it wouldnt have the same rules. Idk if its RAW but id say its RAI and common sense that a Nymph of any alignment can still cast spells as a 7th level druid regardless of alignment. they wouldnt be able to take additional levels via the actual class without meeting the class rules though and any additional things they get from the class (and only those things) would go away if they got those levels and then no longer qualified for druid via alignment. That's how I'd rule it anyways.

    I agree with Nifft on the +2 LA for now, further discussion could sway me but I think his points are reasonable, and I enjoy power so I err in favor of more PC power instead of less.
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  14. - Top - End - #554
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    You can advance Druid casting with a class like Sentinel of Bharrai (BoED), so even if you're stuck being Chaotic Good for some reason, you aren't locked out of casting advancement.
    RAW, a creature with innate spellcasting can only advance it by taking a level in the class its spellcasting is based on. After doing so once, it can enter prestige classes and make them advance its class casting.

    So a nymph with 10 levels in Sentinel of Bharrai would still only have 7th-level druid casting, but a nymph who first takes a level of druid, then enters SoB has 18th-level druid casting.

    Also, LA upped to +2 by popular request.
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  15. - Top - End - #555
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Ogres are probably going to be a bit meh. Ogre Mages are going to be even worse.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    Nifft has some good points.

    +1 LA is a mandatory minimum on account of the base spellcasting.
    On the other hand, I believe that the Druid spell list is generally considered weaker than the Cleric and Sorc/Wizard lists.

    The Nymph should be compared to a Druid. Let's see, you're massively behind on both Animal Companion and Wild Shape. Oh, and I don't think the Nymph automatically gets the spontaneous Summon Nature's Ally.
    Blinding Beauty needs to be kept suppressed most of the time to avoid friendly fire issues.
    Wild Empathy is a wash.
    Stunning Glance is decent, but it's single-target and rough on your action economy. Probably won't use it all that often.
    Unearthly Grace is quite good. But it's hard to say it's definitively worth multiple LA at this level.

    The Nymph is a lot more dependent on casting than an equivalent level Druid would be, and has fewer options to work with other than casting.


    I'm also going with LA +2. Mostly because LA +1 in conjunction with LA buyoff would allow for effective Druid Casting Level to exceed HD relatively quickly. On the other hand, that's not necessarily the best reason.
    It's a weak +2 or probably a strongish +1
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  17. - Top - End - #557
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    There is the Wild Bond feat, but that's a feat blown on something else you could have taken.
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  18. - Top - End - #558

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

    I agree that LA+2 seems to be the way to go. Level 7 casting means you need to be level 7 at least, and Unearthly Grace plus the ability scores is worth an extra +1 LA on top of that, through the lack of wild shape and an animal companion means we're staying with just LA +2.

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

    Nymphs are hot. :3

    And yeah, +2 seems good. Racial spellcasting is an automatic +1, and since it exceeds hit dice, another +1 is called for. The rest of the nymph's things are nice, but not nice enough to warrant a +3.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    whats up with wotc and monsters with high charisma by the way helooo beutiful! if you ask me both nymph and succubus is -0 LA in my book
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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
    whats up with wotc and monsters with high charisma by the way helooo beutiful! if you ask me both nymph and succubus is -0 LA in my book
    Druid casting, remember?
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  22. - Top - End - #562
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    I think LA+2 is still too low.

    Nymphs cast as HD+1, so assuming that a Nymph player does what's reasonably smart and takes levels in druid, that's LA+0.9 there. I've seen several players use druid casting and animal companions, but I have never seen someone actually use Wild Shape in a game; I think it's over-rated, or it's simply ignored due to complexity. The animal companion can be nearly caught up from a single feat.

    The other abilities:
    Fort or permablind, Cha-based free action
    Fort or stun, Cha-based, standard action - this is a free Reserve Feat, only it's better than any Reserve Feat ever printed.
    DR 10/cold iron
    +28 Stat modifier, giving...
    +4 AC from Unearthly Grace
    +7 Reflex save
    +7 Will save
    +5 Fort save
    +3 to casting spell DCs vs a LA-0 race
    +A few extra spells per day from the WIS boost
    Deflection AC (which applies to Touch spells) and saves can easily be bumped another 4 points above what any LA-0 race can easily achieve simply by putting some points in Cha at character creation, and then getting a Cloak of Charisma +4

    A free feat, an aura save-or-suck, a likely +8 Touch AC, +11/+11/+9 to saves, DR 10/ci, and +3 spell DCs? That's worth two, possibly 3 points of LA. Higher spell levels are nice, but a pair of 8th-level spell slots does not grant anywhere near that level of a defensive/durability boost. This is worth at least 2 LA, and likely 3.

    Minimum total LA+3 or +4 in my opinion.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    I think LA+2 is still too low.

    Nymphs cast as HD+1, so assuming that a Nymph player does what's reasonably smart and takes levels in druid, that's LA+0.9 there. I've seen several players use druid casting and animal companions, but I have never seen someone actually use Wild Shape in a game; I think it's over-rated, or it's simply ignored due to complexity. The animal companion can be nearly caught up from a single feat.

    The other abilities:
    Fort or permablind, Cha-based free action
    Fort or stun, Cha-based, standard action - this is a free Reserve Feat, only it's better than any Reserve Feat ever printed.
    DR 10/cold iron
    +28 Stat modifier, giving...
    +4 AC from Unearthly Grace
    +7 Reflex save
    +7 Will save
    +5 Fort save
    +3 to casting spell DCs vs a LA-0 race
    +A few extra spells per day from the WIS boost
    Deflection AC (which applies to Touch spells) and saves can easily be bumped another 4 points above what any LA-0 race can easily achieve simply by putting some points in Cha at character creation, and then getting a Cloak of Charisma +4

    A free feat, an aura save-or-suck, a likely +8 Touch AC, +11/+11/+9 to saves, DR 10/ci, and +3 spell DCs? That's worth two, possibly 3 points of LA. Higher spell levels are nice, but a pair of 8th-level spell slots does not grant anywhere near that level of a defensive/durability boost. This is worth at least 2 LA, and likely 3.

    Minimum total LA+3 or +4 in my opinion.
    You've never seen just how optimized Wild Shapes can get. Fleshraker, anyone?

    The real reason why most people don't use it that much is probably because they know how cheesy it is and they don't want to spoil everyone else's fun. Seriously, that's what I'd do.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    I mean seriously. Take Natural Spell and then the question does not become 'Should I wild shape?' and instead, it becomes 'Why should I not wild shape?'

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

    Being 6+ levels behind on Wild Shape and Animal Companion hurt a lot. Remember that Druid casting is weaker than all other Tier 1-2 casters IMHO. Being able to turn into a bear and having another bear as a companion help bump the druid up a lot. I would argue that Fey HD + Druid casting is probably closer to tier 2 in strength.

    Remember vs Druid Chasis Fey have +2 skill points and a good Ref save, but have less Fort Save, 2 less HP and 1/2 instead of 3/4 BaB. The Druid spell list can be game breaking sometimes, but no always. Animal Companion + Wild Shape take advantage of some niche druid spells making the list more viable.

    So +2 LA for sure. There is no way that you can give them less ECL than spell casting and the stat array boosts ARE very nice.

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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
    RAW, a creature with innate spellcasting can only advance it by taking a level in the class its spellcasting is based on. After doing so once, it can enter prestige classes and make them advance its class casting.

    So a nymph with 10 levels in Sentinel of Bharrai would still only have 7th-level druid casting, but a nymph who first takes a level of druid, then enters SoB has 18th-level druid casting.
    Huh.

    I knew the base class stacked, but I didn't know that hitting the relevant base class was the only way to stack them.

    Can you tell me where I could find that rule?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    I knew the base class stacked, but I didn't know that hitting the relevant base class was the only way to stack them.

    Can you tell me where I could find that rule?
    If we look at the text of the prestige class itself:

    At each level, a sentinel of Bharrai gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class.
    A nymph with no class levels does not belong to any class. Taking Sentinel of Bharrai as your first class level permanently bars you from using that prestige class to advance spellcasting. It would require a rule stating that "casts an an X" counts as being a member of class X for the purpose of applying prestige class benefits -- which might exist; I can't prove that it doesn't.

    There is a rule stating that caster levels and "casts as an X" stack, implying that prestige classes would need an explicit rule:

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Associated Class Levels
    A spellcasting class is an associated class for a creature that already has the ability to cast spells as a character of the class in question, since the monsterís levels in the spellcasting class stack with its innate spellcasting ability.
    Personally, I'd usually waive alignment requirements. I don't see why a chaotic good nature spirit would have trouble becoming a druid.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dhasenan View Post
    There is a rule stating that caster levels and "casts as an X" stack, implying that prestige classes would need an explicit rule:
    Alright, so there is no rule, there's just an inference made based on a different rule.

    This looks murky enough that I don't want to discuss it further in this thread -- and she's only "usually Chaotic Good" anyway, so it's easy enough for her to acquire a Druid level by being CN, N, or NG.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    I mean seriously. Take Natural Spell and then the question does not become 'Should I wild shape?' and instead, it becomes 'Why should I not wild shape?'
    I just got this mental image of a druid being conflicted over if thumbs are worth not being a bear all day.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    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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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread II: Where The Em Dash Doesn't Exist

    A free feat, an aura save-or-suck, a likely +8 Touch AC, +11/+11/+9 to saves, DR 10/ci, and +3 spell DCs? That's worth two, possibly 3 points of LA. Higher spell levels are nice, but a pair of 8th-level spell slots does not grant anywhere near that level of a defensive/durability boost. This is worth at least 2 LA, and likely 3.

    Minimum total LA+3 or +4 in my opinion.
    I really agree on this, +2 LA is far to low for what special abilities the Nymph offers. Just for a start Its special abilities are really strong. Humanoids are a very common type of enemy, and the Nymph got a free action Save or suck aoe aura with a boosted dc who will be ticking each round. It also got a general Save or lose Glance that can be spammed each round at opponents stuck in crowd control.

    If compared to a level 8 druid the nymph is 1 spell level behind, and in return it got spell like abilities surpassing most of the druids actual spells, a higher initiative, insanely better saves, better ac and a DR thats unlikely to be defeated.
    And if it spends a feat on gettin an animal companion, then it only loses the wild shape.

    Imo +3 LA is fair. Wild shape is not that strong out of the box. Its a pretty big investment to make it a viable choice

    You've never seen just how optimized Wild Shapes can get. Fleshraker, anyone?
    Is a bit overhyped imo. Yes its nice. But you can to start with not be guaranteed access to a non-core monster like this. Or that a given campaign world even contain dinosaurs.

    I mean seriously. Take Natural Spell and then the question does not become 'Should I wild shape?' and instead, it becomes 'Why should I not wild shape?'
    For thumbs, ability to pass without to much notice, speech, or a better Initiative score in case you rolled high on dex?
    Or in case you have not yet made the required investments to survive in melee combat?
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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