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    Default The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Please post in the new thread, thanks in advance. The archive has a link there.

    The fourth iteration of this thread already!

    Most people probably know its purpose by now, but for those new: this thread is a communal effort to assign balanced level adjustments to all D&D monsters, whether or not they had them already or not. With the Monster Manual finished, we're now moving on to other books.

    For further information, a list of all assigned LAs so far, and an explanation of the terminology used in the thread, please refer to the archive.

    New monster will be up soon, enjoy the new thread smell until then!
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2018-09-25 at 06:31 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    *Butcher voice* Mmmm, fresh thread!

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    I rate this thread LA Confidential.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Boneleaf


    Despite being called 'boneleaves', these monsters are neither undead nor plants. Instead, they're aberrations.

    These creatures are large-sized, with 7 RHD. Their ability scores are decent: 25 strength and 22 constitution make for a strong melee character, and the other stats are pretty neat as well (with the exception of the 8 intelligence).

    10 ft. land speed hurts a lot, though the (equally slow) burrow speed makes up for stuff a bit. +8 natural armor is okay, until you realize no armor shop ever is going to have something that fits a tree.

    Boneleaves' natural weapons are okay-ish. They get two attacks per round, which may be tendrils, slams, or a tendril and a slam. Slams deal okay-ish bludgeoning damage with some slashing thrown on, while tendrils Improved Grab and Constrict instead.

    Furthermore, boneleaves have a number of plant traits (because figuring out their typing wasn't quite confusing enough). They're immune to magical sleep, paralysis, stunning, and most importantly mind-affecting effects. They also have 50% fortification. They're also so alike plants that a DC 15 spot check is required to tell them apart, which I guess is nice for the occasional ambush.

    Boneleaves can also create illusions, which is a vastly limited, short-duration Major Image. It's worth mentioning, but not very impactful on the LA.

    Finally, boneleaves have the Pervasive Sentience Ability, which states that near each boneleaf are 1d6+6 other ones, which share senses. However, the ability does not explain what happens as individual boneleaves are killed, what happens when one travels away using its move speed, or even what happens when a boneleaf is disconnected from the nerve network by making use of a Fly spell or similar effect. For this reason, I'm going to need an asterisk here.

    I think -0* LA is fine for boneleaves. Their low speed and unimpressive stats, combined with the load of less-than-stellar aberration HD and inability to use most equipment, make me doubt whether they'd be able to contribute as much as any other ECL 7 PC. I guess some niche builds could use Illusory lure and the burrow speed to ambush people and get around the low speed, but even then foes could simply disengage and leave you unable to retaliate.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    There are some monsters that just should never be played. This is one of them.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    I agree with the -0 but I don't feel that their questionable ability is so disruptive as to warrant the asterisk. Compared to split or infinite wight creation asterisks, this is tame.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Ergo, getting stabbed in the heart is moderately dangerous in D&D, but by far not as dangerous as it would be in real life.
    I recall reading in some D&D book the phrase "a dagger to the eye is a dagger to the eye" in a section discussing hit points and damage. A dagger to the heart may mechanically be a coup de grace, but it's one of those times where the game rules expect the DM to step in. What would have been the point for writing "when you get your heart chopped up, you die"? It's like how fire doesn't burn wood because of hardness, until you realize that the rules are there to resolve non-obvious interactions, not obvious ones (and there's an exception clause in the text anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    See your commoners coup de grace all wrong, grab a scythe or a greataxe. Then perform a coup de grace. Proficiency doesn't really matter when they are helpless. so a 3d12 or better yet an 8d4 is going to have a much better chance at killing an adventurer.
    Also for those that want coup de grace rules to be dangerous might I suggest bumping it to 2x damage after critical multiplier Meaning the dagger does 4d4 and a greataxe would do 6d12. Much harder to survive that, and it makes more sense, at least to me
    All of that is pretty much missing the point that a dagger to the heart should be just as dangerous as a scythe to the heart, and hit points have nothing to do with it.

    Amusingly, the BoVD provides yet another way to kill someone instantly - execution. These rules are a little more sensible, a restrained victim dies if the executioner can hit the Profession (executioner) DC. We can easily imagine that a tied-down person getting stabbed in the heart should follow the same rules as getting your head chopped off on the block. If the executioner fails the DC, he didn't have the anatomical knowledge to find the heart and strike it between the ribs, and the blade merely inflicts a coup de grace. Profession checks do require the user to be trained, but the PHB also says that they do not take an action, so there's some flexibility in the rules.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post
    I agree with the -0 but I don't feel that their questionable ability is so disruptive as to warrant the asterisk. Compared to split or infinite wight creation asterisks, this is tame.
    I agree with this if the asterisk is intended as "ask your DM because this is OP", but I think it's intended as "ask your DM", which is more relaxed, and would probably suit boneleaves.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    I agree with this if the asterisk is intended as "ask your DM because this is OP", but I think it's intended as "ask your DM", which is more relaxed, and would probably suit boneleaves.
    Same. -0 for sure, with an Asterisk for unusual abilities with DM fiat, not for power or abuse potential. Not much else to say-the RHD, terrible speed, and lack of versatility offer few options.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Cool creature. Creepy thematics. Easy -0*.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Agree with everyone else. -0*
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    At least +0, they get +14 strength in exchange for 2 points of base attack, and the large sized penalty, they look like they'd make good enough barbaarians. Sure they would be a little bit slow, but no slower than a cleric in full plate or other small characters.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    In my games, I always houseruled coup-de-graces as doing maximum damage and critting, anyway. That 1d4 would become 12, a DC 22 Fortitude save (though again, I usually bump the DC to 15 + damage dealt, so 27). Frankly, it's not unreasonable that someone tough enought to make a DC 20+ save could theoretically survive such an injury. Surviving a beheading, however...
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    At least +0, they get +14 strength in exchange for 2 points of base attack, and the large sized penalty, they look like they'd make good enough barbarians. Sure they would be a little bit slow, but no slower than a cleric in full plate or other small characters.
    A little slow? I think you misread their speed. They have a base speed of 10 feet. Halflings in full armor get 15 feet. So yeah, it's incorrect to say that a small character is just as slow. 10 feet is cripplingly slow. Given that this is the key part of your analysis, -0* makes a lot more sense.

    They also cannot use most equipment, cannot wield weapons in two hands (or wield weapons at all), will have to squeeze in certain areas, low skill points and does literally nothing except being OK at melee combat. They also will have a hard time making use of pounce shenanigans, which is one of the big things that makes barbarians work.

    EDIT: I was misreading you, you were including the 10' bonus speed from barbarian. However, that's a specific class ability that makes that possible, and I don't think being ok in exactly one class is really enough to say that the monster is good enough to warrant a +0 LA. There's also the fact that even barbarians with a 20 feet speed limits what they can do with charging which is a key part of what makes them effective. After all, small sized races tend to make bad melee characters thanks in part to lack of mobility and full-armored clerics tend to work as melee characters because they are CODzillas and can do anything. 20 feet speed doesn't mean that you are completely crippled in melee, but it does have a significant negative impact.
    Last edited by 3WhiteFox3; 2018-03-04 at 03:46 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    As I understand it, a "Boneleaf" stand is basically one tentacle of the larger entity. Thus, if one were to move around using its move speed, it would be like an octopus moving the tip of a tentacle, or you moving around a hand/fingers.

    As for how killing one Boneleaf stand affects the others it is linked to, it apparently has no mechanical effect, although the others will know everything the dead one did. In this sense, they're more like a coral reef, perhaps - doing something to part of a reef doesn't directly affect the rest of the reef.


    As such, a true Boneleaf is comprised of the 1d6+6 Boneleaf stands linked together. That more than merits a caution marker, IMO. 1d6+6 characters for the price of one? No remotely sane DM wants to dive into that mess. Especially since the text of Pervasive Sentience could be taken to imply that when linked Boneleaf stands are within 100 yards of one another, they are no longer treated as solitary creatures, which could be interpreted that they have an effective 100 yard range on a Hive Mind-type ability, and outside that radius they only get Pervasive Sentience.


    Alternatively, I suppose one could be playing a Boneleaf stand that is the sole surviving stand of its Boneleaf, and is incapable of adding/creating new Boneleaf stands. Thus, disregarding Pervasive Sentience entirely.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Alternatively, I suppose one could be playing a Boneleaf stand that is the sole surviving stand of its Boneleaf, and is incapable of adding/creating new Boneleaf stands. Thus, disregarding Pervasive Sentience entirely.
    That's the idea behind the asterisk. "With ability X this would be problematic, so remove ability X and use the given LA."
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by 3WhiteFox3 View Post
    A little slow? I think you misread their speed. They have a base speed of 10 feet. Halflings in full armor get 15 feet. So yeah, it's incorrect to say that a small character is just as slow. 10 feet is cripplingly slow. Given that this is the key part of your analysis, -0* makes a lot more sense.
    I think you misread Lans

    Lans was talking about a Barbarian, which would get 10 feet extra from fast movement, thus 20ft

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    ...Do these things even make decent Polymorph forms?
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    ...Do these things even make decent Polymorph forms?
    Well, a Swiftblade with Persistent haste might counteract the speed penalty, and then...

    ...or you could just be a treant (7 HD, Huge, +18 strength). Or a fire giant (15 HD, Large, +20 strength). That's the two obvious ones I have right now; I'm sure there are many more.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    The artwork is insane tho.

    So there's that.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by TotallyNotEvil View Post
    The artwork is insane tho.

    So there's that.
    That's sadly not the HoH artwork. This is.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2018-03-04 at 12:50 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Tagging in to follow the thread.

    Somehow I don't know that I ever even looked at the monsters for this book... This stuff doesn't even ring any bells.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    Well, a Swiftblade with Persistent haste might counteract the speed penalty, and then...

    ...or you could just be a treant (7 HD, Huge, +18 strength). Or a fire giant (15 HD, Large, +20 strength). That's the two obvious ones I have right now; I'm sure there are many more.
    Doesn't haste cap out at 30 feet or your speed, whichever is lower? So a base speed of 10 would only get 10 feet from haste?

    Edit: Yeah, looked it up, boneleaves would only get 10 feet enhanced speed from haste.
    Last edited by zergling.exe; 2018-03-04 at 03:38 PM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    ...Do these things even make decent Polymorph forms?
    Well, it depends on how generous the DM is. If you can only turn into a singular stand, not so much. On the other hand, if the DM allows you to turn into a complete boneleaf (the 1d6+6 individual stands) ... then maybe? In very specific circumstances, at least. Definitely not a general standby polymorph form.


    Quote Originally Posted by zergling.exe View Post
    Doesn't haste cap out at 30 feet or your speed, whichever is lower? So a base speed of 10 would only get 10 feet from haste?

    Edit: Yeah, looked it up, boneleaves would only get 10 feet enhanced speed from haste.
    Swiftblades get a bonus to speed that explicitly stacks with Haste.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    That's sadly not the HoH artwork. This is.
    The one you used look like a boss from Dark Souls. Where did you find it?

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by flare'90 View Post
    The one you used look like a boss from Dark Souls. Where did you find it?
    I googled 'boneleaf D&D image', didn't find anything, and followed it up with increasingly unrelated searches such as 'aberrant tree monster', 'evil fantasy tree monster' and 'murder tree with tentacles'.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    That's sadly not the HoH artwork. This is.
    ... Well, keep up the good work then.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    I googled 'boneleaf D&D image', didn't find anything, and followed it up with increasingly unrelated searches such as 'aberrant tree monster', 'evil fantasy tree monster' and 'murder tree with tentacles'.
    Lol I find that humorous.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Well this is a bizarre creature...

    I'll concur with -0*. It doesn't really bring anything worth the 7 levels and cripplingly low speed to the table except for the truly strange Pervasive Sentience which is in all ways far more suited for a monster than a PC.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by 3WhiteFox3 View Post

    They also cannot use most equipment, cannot wield weapons in two hands (or wield weapons at all), will have to squeeze in certain areas, low skill points and does literally nothing except being OK at melee combat. They also will have a hard time making use of pounce shenanigans, which is one of the big things that makes barbarians work.
    You have a good point on the weapons, I'll have to go with -0

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