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  1. - Top - End - #1291
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I'd like to see Heroes of Horror at some point because many of the monsters have very NPC traits. The LAs are probably going to have more stars than the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field.
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    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
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    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
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    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
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  2. - Top - End - #1292
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Going by the whole "you have to kill someone for no particular reason" requirement
    It's not "no particular reason." It's "no reason other than to join the Assassins." The killer must not personally benefit. It's up to the DM how to handle that, and the most reasonable way is to have the PC approach the Assassins, who give him a target, as a test. The Assassins may have plenty of motivation to kill that person (or they got paid to do it) but the PC is acting as an unpaid intern and working "for the experience."

    The DM could also say "yeah, randomly lashing out at a peasant on the street qualifies you" but that has nothing to do with being an assassin.
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  3. - Top - End - #1293
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    I'd like to see Heroes of Horror at some point because many of the monsters have very NPC traits. The LAs are probably going to have more stars than the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field.
    I second this
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    Yes, but immunity to wizard and resistance to fighter kinda makes up for it.
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  4. - Top - End - #1294
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    I will be doing ToB next, followed by ToM. Afterwards, I think I'll do MM3 first, and then the XPH.

    ...or something like that, we'll see.
    I eagerly await the MM3! I have some expectations of the ToB monsters, so that will be interesting too.
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  5. - Top - End - #1295
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Gary View Post
    I second this
    Thirded.

    Books like ToM and HoH with few monsters are probably a great place to go on to.

  6. - Top - End - #1296
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    It's not "no particular reason." It's "no reason other than to join the Assassins." The killer must not personally benefit.
    Okay, no good reason. Whatever. That's still the feeling I get. An Assassin isn't just an assassin, they're someone who likes killing.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Okay, no good reason. Whatever. That's still the feeling I get. An Assassin isn't just an assassin, they're someone who likes killing.
    LG Paladins can "like killing [evil outsiders and undead]". Thats still enjoying killing. One can be the goodest of good and still "like killing".

  8. - Top - End - #1298
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Remuko View Post
    LG Paladins can "like killing [evil outsiders and undead]". Thats still enjoying killing. One can be the goodest of good and still "like killing".
    I disagree. The thrill a paladin gets from defeating an enemy of good is not supposed to be a love of killing, it's supposed to be a desire for justice. Killing for killing's sake is always wrong.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
    I disagree. The thrill a paladin gets from defeating an enemy of good is not supposed to be a love of killing, it's supposed to be a desire for justice. Killing for killing's sake is always wrong.
    I mean, at the same time, if you have a bloodlust inside you that can only be sated with violence, the responsible, lawful good thing to do is to go and stab demons. Paladins have human desires and emotions too (for example, if you flip open your BoEF, one of them has the very human desire to have intimate relationships, so she expresses them responsibly, by asking a bard if she'd like to have a good night with her, and being careful to give the other woman a chance to say no), and sometimes anger and the desire to do violence against others comes up in very moral people, and they have to find responsible ways to solve that issue too. You can absolutely be a moral person with impulses to do immoral things, and finding ways to express those urges morally is far healthier mentally than repressing them (speaking as someone who's suffered greatly from attempting the latter with certain urges unrelated to violence).

  10. - Top - End - #1300
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Naityan Rakshasa


    And we're back!

    The naityan rakshasa: first of of ToB's three monsters. It's a medium-sized outsider with 9 RHD, which seems about average. All of its ability scores, with the exception of intelligence, receive bonuses ranging from +2 to +8. Naityan rakshasas have two claws (better used for wielding weapons), and a bite attack. Their speed is 40 ft.

    Defensively, they're blessed with SR 17 (far lower than the default rakshasa's but not completely worthless yet), +9 natural armor, and DR 15/good and piercing; a rare combination that'll probably never come up in-game. Don't piss off guardianals and you should be fine.

    The special abilities are far more interesting than the rather bland chassis we've reviewed up until now. Naityan rakshasas have a continuous Detect Thoughts effect active, and can assume the shape of Small or Medium humanoids.

    What makes them more than HD-inflated doppelgangers is their Style Shapes ability. As a standard action, they can indefinitely assume one of four shapes, which grants them specific maneuvers to use, as well a permanent stance that can be combined with other stances. I'll briefly go over them here.

    -Earth Serpent: +2 natural armor, continuous Strength of Stone (immunity to crits), at-will Mountain Hammer (attack with extra damage that overcomes hardness) and Charging Minotaur (full-round charging bull rush that deals damage). It'd be a neat stance if you didn't immediately lose it upon moving more than 5 feet in the same round: as it is now I wouldn't recommend it.

    -Hellfire Hunter: scent, Flame's Blessing (moderate fire resist), Fire Riposte (average counter that deals fire damage), and Flashing Sun (essentially flurry of blows without weapon restriction). It's not bad, and Flashing Sun is probably a considerable damage boost.

    -Night Creeper: 1d6 sneak attack, 30 ft. swim speed, Island of Blades (slightly easier flanking), Ghost Blade (make a single attack as a standard action, which makes your foe flat-footed), and Shadow Garotte (moderate damaging ranged touch attack that may render foes flat-footed). Okay maneuvers, but better if you have an actual rogue in your party.

    -Elusive Adversary: 60 ft. speed, continuous Shifting Defense (expend AoOs to move when attacked), Baffling Defense (replace AC with sense motive check), and Feigned Opening (make enemy attack provoke AoOs either from you or your ally). It's decent enough, though against foes with anything other than 5 ft-reach melee attacks the stance becomes considerably less useful.

    To be honest, none of these stances seem great to me. Don't get me wrong: there's lots of usable stuff here, but I can't help but wonder to what degree it compensates for the nine levels eaten by RHD. That said, the chassis is pretty neat, and I admit that a good melee character can definitely be made out of these guys.

    Conclusion: naityan rakshasas should be fine at +0, as long as you don't question how they wield two-handed weapons with backwards palms.

    I suspect that this way, they'll end up somewhere in tier 4, perhaps low tier 3.
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  11. - Top - End - #1301
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Remuko View Post
    LG Paladins can "like killing [evil outsiders and undead]". Thats still enjoying killing. One can be the goodest of good and still "like killing".
    There's a difference between a love of certain kinds of killing not directly conflicting with a class's principles, and an unrestrained love of killing directly aligning with said principles.


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    -Earth Serpent: +2 natural armor, continuous Strength of Stone (immunity to crits), at-will Mountain Hammer (attack with extra damage that overcomes hardness) and Charging Minotaur (full-round charging bull rush that deals damage). It'd be a neat stance if you didn't immediately lose it upon moving more than 5 feet in the same round: as it is now I wouldn't recommend it.
    So, wait. Earth Serpent gives a maneuver which can only be used if you move at least 10 feet, but it ends if you move more than five feet in a round.
    WotC never really learns, do they?

    Conclusion: naityan rakshasas should be fine at +0, as long as you don't question how they wield two-handed weapons with backwards palms.
    Maybe they cross their wrists? I mean, it's almost certainly bad for humans to do crap like that, but they're magic tiger-people, they can probably heal wrist fractures quickly or something.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

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    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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  12. - Top - End - #1302
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    There's a difference between a love of certain kinds of killing not directly conflicting with a class's principles, and an unrestrained love of killing directly aligning with said principles.
    True.

    So, wait. Earth Serpent gives a maneuver which can only be used if you move at least 10 feet, but it ends if you move more than five feet in a round.
    WotC never really learns, do they?
    Hah. That's hilarious. Presumably it ends at the end of your turn, though, not during the maneuver.

    Maybe they cross their wrists? I mean, it's almost certainly bad for humans to do crap like that, but they're magic tiger-people, they can probably heal wrist fractures quickly or something.
    I dunno, look at the picture on Page 153.

    I'd presume that their wrists (and possibly also joints further up the arm) are built/configured differently than ours are, allowing for greatly increased range of motion in all axis and in rotation.

    Or just say screw it, let's not try to figure this one out, because it'll just give us all headaches.




    Concur, +0 for Naityan Rakshasa, albeit on the weaker side of +0. Probably the worst of the Rakshasas.
    If it didn't have DR 15/good and piercing, I'd see an argument for -0, but the DR saves it.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Maybe they cross their wrists? I mean, it's almost certainly bad for humans to do crap like that, but they're magic tiger-people, they can probably heal wrist fractures quickly or something.
    Doylist logic is that the artist lost track of the perspective. Watsonian logic would be that their shapeshifting makes our human concept of "joints" rather flexible.

    Personally, I'd give these things a +1, because of a mix of stat boosts and removing (or at least largely reducing) the need to ever actually select the maneuvers those forms grant. Including for the X {Discipline} Maneuvers prerequisites, because they're indefinite access and thus apply for prerequisites after a day. This means you can get Maneuvers that have those prerequisites, saving quite a few "slots" in the process. Also lets you use Discipline-associated feats for the RHD feats.

    Edit: I can't site the rule off the top of my head, but it's very occasionally used for entry shenanigans. Primarily stuff that requires particular ability scores without needing to actually devote points to it, like getting Power Attack with a base 11 Strength. Although this rule does also stipulate that removing the prerequisite meeting factor also removes benefits of whatever you used it to qualify for, Swordsages also have stuff that biases them towards specialists, so sticking to one form typically works.

    No, it's not early entry, but it can generate very strange interactions. And makes it possible, if not viable, to get two different 9th level Maneuvers even through the RHD.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2018-01-16 at 04:34 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #1304
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Doylist logic is that the artist lost track of the perspective. Watsonian logic would be that their shapeshifting makes our human concept of "joints" rather flexible.

    Personally, I'd give these things a +1, because of a mix of stat boosts and removing (or at least largely reducing) the need to ever actually select the maneuvers those forms grant. Including for the X {Discipline} Maneuvers prerequisites, because they're indefinite access and thus apply for prerequisites after a day. This means you can get Maneuvers that have those prerequisites, saving quite a few "slots" in the process. Also lets you use Discipline-associated feats for the RHD feats.

    Edit: I can't site the rule off the top of my head, but it's very occasionally used for entry shenanigans. Primarily stuff that requires particular ability scores without needing to actually devote points to it, like getting Power Attack with a base 11 Strength. Although this rule does also stipulate that removing the prerequisite meeting factor also removes benefits of whatever you used it to qualify for, Swordsages also have stuff that biases them towards specialists, so sticking to one form typically works.

    No, it's not early entry, but it can generate very strange interactions. And makes it possible, if not viable, to get two different 9th level Maneuvers even through the RHD.
    No, you cap out at IL 15 at level 20. Thusly, you do not have sufficient IL to take 9th level maneuvers.
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  15. - Top - End - #1305
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Hah. That's hilarious. Presumably it ends at the end of your turn, though, not during the maneuver.
    Nope. The stance explicitly ends immediately after moving more than 5 ft and they revert back to their base form when the stance ends so they would lose the strike.

    Will post in-depth thoughts later tonight.
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  16. - Top - End - #1306
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    The ability to qualify for maneuvers with their Style Shapes is based on staying in one style shape. The ability states: "If the rakshasa cannot maintain the stance for some reason, it it reverts to its natural form and loses access to the martial maneuvers the style shape grant". You cannot maintain the Earth Serpent form if you move. It's not terrible overall, but not as good as simply dipping another initiator once, and qualifying with the front-loaded maneuver set.

    Also, it should be noted the rakshasas can only use one maneuver per turn. They can't use both a strike and a counter. As written, that probably applies to all maneuvers, though I'd rule it applies only to the Style Shapes maneuvers--in which cases it only matters for the Hellfire Hunter shape (barring belts of battle et alia). As an even more niche drawback, the ability is (Su) and thus suppressable. I imagine that won't come up often enough to affect the rating.


    These rakshasas are probably stronger than swordsages... except in their maneuvers. Compared to warblades and crusaders, they mainly have the ability score/skill point/save advantage (warblades and crusaders each compensate for one save, but require a mental stat to do so), but again have far weaker initiating, and some lost class features. It's possible to get relatively early double-stancing, and even triple-stancing by ECL 12, but not with the strongest stances.

    I find it hard to rate the maneuver difference precisely, but I'm happy with LA +0, because the rakshasa's maneuvers are mostly mediocre. The higher stats compensate for that, but don't overpower equal-ECL t3 builds.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2018-01-16 at 07:00 PM.
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  17. - Top - End - #1307
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Using the swordsage as a comparison point, I am thinking +1 deserves consideration. I am looking at what the damage difference between a sword sage 20 vs R9/SS11. The straight swordsage gets time stands still, but has an attack bonus of around 5 lower. 2 base attack bonus, 3 from strength bonus, + what ever is freed up from not having to spend as much on armor, or being able to put more points.


    Its looking like 10 attacks from the swordsage vs 8 attacks from the Rakasha. So does the rakasha having +5 to hit make up for loosing 2 attacks?

    Edit- How much value are we giving defensive abilities? The rakasha has +9-11 natural armor,+4 ac from stats, +6 fortitude save, +2 reflex, and +4 will saves compared to a human sword sage. The rakasha could forgoe a +4 off a natural armor amulet, +4 off of armor, +4 off a ring of deflection, +2 off its save boost item, and take the 136-176kgp and put it towards utility items
    Last edited by Lans; 2018-01-17 at 01:46 AM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    - 9 Outsider HD: All good saves, full BAB, skillmonkey in disguise. Far from a demerit.
    - +6 STR, +2 DEX, +6 CON, +6 INT, +8 CHA: Good boost to facepunching, good boost to HP and Fort, great boost to skills.
    - DR 15/**** you, +9 NA: Facepunching without having your own head caved in. This much DR will make a lot of encounters a matter of patience instead of a life-or-death battle. +9 NA and a magical fullplate to plop on top of it makes it so PAing to get past your DR isn't viable.
    - 3 natural weapons: Two primary claws and a secondary bite, not terribly strong, but get your ass on Assassin's Stance and use Night Crawler Style and you can throw in decent Sneak Attack on top of your melee damage, and three bonus attacks helps quite a lot in that.
    - SR 17: Many SLAs don't have terribly high CLs, even then, everyone rolls low once in a while.
    - Speed 40: It's there.
    - Detect Thoughts, Shapeshifting: Remember the bit about the rogue in disguise? With 8+INT skill points, racial +6 INT and +8 CHA, you are essentially a CIA agent.
    - Racial +4 Bluff and Disguise, another +4 using Detect Thoughts.
    - Styles: Where are you guys getting the "can't move more than 5ft thing"? Mine says nothing about that. If you can't maintain the stance you lose the benefits, sure, but it says nothing about moving making you unable to do it. You can even pair it with a traditional stance!

    Otherwise, they wouldn't give you multiple new movement speeds.

    All in all, +1 is plenty fair.
    Last edited by TotallyNotEvil; 2018-01-17 at 02:45 AM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    You have the stat boosts wrong, the have a 0 intelligence mod, and +6 to Wis

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by TotallyNotEvil View Post
    - 9 Outsider HD: All good saves, full BAB, skillmonkey in disguise. Far from a demerit.
    - +6 STR, +2 DEX, +6 CON, +6 INT, +8 CHA: Good boost to facepunching, good boost to HP and Fort, great boost to skills.
    - DR 15/**** you, +9 NA: Facepunching without having your own head caved in. This much DR will make a lot of encounters a matter of patience instead of a life-or-death battle. +9 NA and a magical fullplate to plop on top of it makes it so PAing to get past your DR isn't viable.
    - 3 natural weapons: Two primary claws and a secondary bite, not terribly strong, but get your ass on Assassin's Stance and use Night Crawler Style and you can throw in decent Sneak Attack on top of your melee damage, and three bonus attacks helps quite a lot in that.
    - SR 17: Many SLAs don't have terribly high CLs, even then, everyone rolls low once in a while.
    - Speed 40: It's there.
    - Detect Thoughts, Shapeshifting: Remember the bit about the rogue in disguise? With 8+INT skill points, racial +6 INT and +8 CHA, you are essentially a CIA agent.
    - Racial +4 Bluff and Disguise, another +4 using Detect Thoughts.
    - Styles: Where are you guys getting the "can't move more than 5ft thing"? Mine says nothing about that. If you can't maintain the stance you lose the benefits, sure, but it says nothing about moving making you unable to do it. You can even pair it with a traditional stance!

    Otherwise, they wouldn't give you multiple new movement speeds.

    All in all, +1 is plenty fair.
    Strenght of stone is automatically disengaged if you move more than 5ft for any reason (so normal movement, bull rush, teleportation etc...). So if the rakshasa in Earth Serpent shape moves more than 5 ft (like during the charging minotaur maneuver) he reverts to his normal form, and also loses the use of the maneuvers granted by the shape.
    Note that this applies only to the Earth Serpent form, the other 3 can move whatever they like.

    Also, another note on Earth Serpent form: you can use the maneuvers only when in contact with the ground.
    A question, though: what action is used to change form? It should be a standard action, becuase it's a Su ability and those default to standard, but if it takes a swift action, like entering a stance, then rakshasa can move, enter the form and gain its benefits in the same round.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I feel like they have enough goodies to make them +1.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by flare'90 View Post
    A question, though: what action is used to change form? It should be a standard action, becuase it's a Su ability and those default to standard, but if it takes a swift action, like entering a stance, then rakshasa can move, enter the form and gain its benefits in the same round.
    I assumed a standard action. The ability isn't activated by entering a stance; you enter a stance by activating the ability.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I am leaning towards +1, honestly; Naityan Rakshasa get a lot of goodies, including the nigh-mythical useful damage reduction. Flat SR is blah, but I think the difference between an Initiator 20 and NR 9/Initiator 11 slightly favors the latter. I would go with a weak LA+1, though I suppose a rather strong +0 could be argued.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quite a few people seem to be in favor of +1, so I'm just going to jump in and vote for +0 to tip things back.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Quite a few people seem to be in favor of +1, so I'm just going to jump in and vote for +0 to tip things back.
    Pity for you, because I'm going to vote +1 as well.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    My biggest issue is the 1/manuever a round restriction.

    Its less of an issue at 10 than 20, but it still shuts down its smoothness.

    Can it double stance by assuming a form, then activating a class stance?
    Last edited by Lans; 2018-01-17 at 01:20 PM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    My biggest issue is the 1/manuever a round restriction.

    Its less of an issue at 10 than 20, but it still shuts down its smoothness.

    Can it double stance by assuming a form, then activating a class stance?
    Pretty sure this is part of the forms, yes.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    They definitely get a lot of nice goodies, but they lose a lot in return compared to SS 20.

    They lose nine maneuvers known, four maneuvers readied, and two stances known. A big hit to their versatility.
    They lose out on some class features, but besides the capstone (which is really sweet, but only at 20) there isn't much to lose.
    As non-native Outsiders, they are pretty hard to bring back if they die.
    They are three maneuver levels behind every other initiator, which is the worst part.

    However, they do get the aforementioned goodies. Something I haven't seen mentioned is that if they get proficiency with their Unarmed Strikes (and Unarmed Sword Sage if the GM allows it) they can get both their claws and bite as secondary natural weapons in addition to iterative attacks; combining that with multiattack, they get a very powerful full attack pattern.

    All that said, if they get +1 LA, then they are put back three and a half levels of maneuvers, which is a really big deal.

    It's very close but I'm going to vote +0 LA for now.
    Last edited by 3WhiteFox3; 2018-01-17 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Bad math on how many IL behind.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I think theyre a decent +0 but even at +0 they wont be able to be played unless the game starts at high enough ECL which is sad. But yeah theyre a strong +0 but I think definitely +0

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    The Reth Dekala and Valkyrie both specify an initiator level for their racial maneuvers, but Naityan rakshasas don't. Anyone who wants to play one will have to figure out what to do about that. (Unlike a monster that doesn't list a caster level for SLAs, there's not enough of a precedent to assume IL=HD, because while the Reth Dekala has 5 RHD and IL 5, the Valkyrie has 11 RHD but only IL 10.)

    Each of these monsters also has a "... With Class Levels" section (even the Naityan - it's at the top of page 154). Naityan Rakshasas With Class Levels doesn't say anything about initiator level, but it does say:

    Naityan rakshasas advance as swordsages normally, but they have the added benefit of being able to simultaneously maintain a style shape stance and a stance granted by the swordsage class.
    Dual stances could be powerful, but I don't think the stances they can get from style shape are powerful enough to worry about.

    Reth Dekalas With Class Levels says that they can add their racial IL to their martial class levels if they take levels in any initiating class, while Valkyries With Class Levels only says they can do that if the take levels in swordsage. (Nobody knows what happens if a Valkyrie wants to be a crusader or warblade.) Advancing "normally" as a swordsage probably means that Naityans can do the same thing, so assuming you can figure out what their racial IL is, I think a Naityan swordsage would be able to gain access to the highest level maneuvers normally.

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