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  1. - Top - End - #1351
    Firbolg in the Playground
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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 just want to point out that Heroes of Horror is 11/17 for creatures with LA -0 and 6/17 for creatures with LA +0 (not counting templates). Monster Manual III is currently 53/69 and 13/69 for the same (the other three are +1). We've picked good books to look at.
    How’s that stack up to the MM1?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    How’s that stack up to the MM1?
    Oh Zaq, why must you torture me so .

    132 +0 and 284 -0 out of 552 entries, giving 136 nonzero level adjustments (24.6%, or closer to 31% if you ignore all the -0 dragon varieties). If the Search function did its job and I didn't miscount the number of -0s (15) and +es outside the table (3).

    Edit: Done.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2018-09-10 at 08:37 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #1353
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    It is unquestionably weaker, and probably no one would ever willingly play one. However... for 0RHD, it is not a full class level weaker. Or, in other words, an <Example> of class level X is not comparable to a core race of class level X-1, instead, it is, in fact, largely comparable and competitive with, though somewhat weaker than, a core race of class level X.
    The differences end up being mostly negligible in the long run.
    You literally quoted the response I would give to this question. I might as well quote it again.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Why do people keep saying [Kenku aren't -0]? That's what the "Kenku are weak" crowd has been saying, why do people keep pretending otherwise?
    I don't get why so many people are attacking the people who said kenku are -0, since they don't exist.
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  4. - Top - End - #1354
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Lhosk


    Spider-Gorilla centaurs? I have now officially seen it all.

    Lhosks (Scrabble fanatics, take note), in a move that pushes the definition of 'humanoid' even further, have 8 monstrous humanoid RHD. Their physical stats are pretty good with 19/17/18, their mental stats are in the 8-12 range. +3 natural armor is okay-ish, 30 ft. land speed is a bit disappointing, 20 ft. climb somewhat makes up for it. Lhosks have two slams (which'll probably be replaced by a weapon) and a bite that deals some slight damage. Their sole special ability is 8/day Entangling Web, which seems about as strong as a moderately big supply of nets and about as likely to get used.

    The thing is, aside from having okay stats, thumbs, and a climb speed, Lhosks don't have that much to offer. Meanwhile, centaurs (+1 LA) have half the RHD, two hooves rather than a bite, more speed, and much better feat support. Lhosks do have their advantages over the horses, notably more reach, better dex and con, and a climb speed, but even so I don't think those make up for several more hit dice.

    With that in mind, I'll assign -0 LA here. To quickly bump that up to +0, I suggest removing two or three of the lhosk's RHD, or giving them the centaur's ability to use mounted feats.
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  5. - Top - End - #1355
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Seriously, who comes up with these creatures?

    -nil, by the way.
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    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

  6. - Top - End - #1356
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    I like spider monsters, and I think this thing is kind of awesome. Okay, fine: it's "awesome" if you like goofy stuff. It's not quite as doofy as the old "wolf-spider," but it's pretty frickin' random. It's about as doofy as the stuff I used to doodle in the margins of my notebooks during college lectures.

    It's also a little funny that there's basically a spotlight on the lhosk's belly button. Functionally, it seems like the only purpose for that artistic choice serves is to prompt the viewer to contemplate how the lhosk's (apparently mammalian) reproductive methods work.

    LA -0 seems about right for the lhosk.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2018-09-13 at 09:50 AM.

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

    "If driders evolved from lhosks, then why are lhosks still around?"
    "If we're having this conversation, why are WE still around?"

    I think the centaur comparison makes for a pretty good case for -0. Interesting that you would suggest the 'negative LA' this time.
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  8. - Top - End - #1358
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    [CENTER]Lhosk

    Spider-Gorilla centaurs? I have now officially seen it all.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Seriously, who comes up with these creatures?
    Weren't they in one of the Spy Kids movies?
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  9. - Top - End - #1359
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    "If driders evolved from lhosks, then why are lhosks still around?"
    "If we're having this conversation, why are WE still around?"

    I think the centaur comparison makes for a pretty good case for -0. Interesting that you would suggest the 'negative LA' this time.
    Removing RHD rather than giving negative LA neatly avoids all the problems with having HD > ECL while still making the character more competitive AND allowing more class levels to fit in the build (unlike just buffing the monster). The reason it isn't done more often is probably because it's technically outside the scope of the thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

  10. - Top - End - #1360
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    [CENTER]Lhosk

    Spider-Gorilla centaurs? I have now officially seen it all.
    SPIDERILLA!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    With that in mind, I'll assign -0 LA here. To quickly bump that up to +0, I suggest removing two or three of the lhosk's RHD, or giving them the centaur's ability to use mounted feats.
    In comparison to a Centaur, the Lhosk gets scent and reach.

    Their stat line is also quite decent: Str +8, Con +6, Dex +8, Int -2, Wis +2, Cha -4 => net +18

    Those would compensate for the loss in speed & gear support relative to a Centaur, but not for the +4 RHD.

    Verdict: LA -0, with half the RHD it would be much more interesting.

  11. - Top - End - #1361
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Lhosk: this one feels like a half baked idea-they had a concept, an art design, did the fluff, and had the core features-limited web throwing and climb speed on a Large, centauroid creature mashing up Gorilla with Spider. Then...I am not sure if they shelved it until the last minute and had to rush a half finished concept to the printer, or if they just ran out of ideas. This thing feels like it should have had an extra array of abilities, but they did not feel like expending the effort so they just tacked on another 3-4 RHD and called it a day.

    LA -0, and not close-this thing has the net abilities scores of a 4 RHD creature, and nothing to make up the difference.

  12. - Top - End - #1362
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Agreeing with the OP.

    -0, remove some RHD and its +0.

    Kind of like the creature, but its a large beatstick with reach and no skills or abilities. Climb speed at level 3-4 is great, 8 not so much.

  13. - Top - End - #1363
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    An arachnophobia trigger that can sit wherever it wants is still -0.
    Last edited by Random Sanity; 2018-09-13 at 07:02 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #1364
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Weren't they in one of the Spy Kids movies?
    Do you think Monte Cook left WotC because he too feared what he created?

    -0 for the Aperachnid
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  15. - Top - End - #1365
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Okay but what etymology were they even aiming for with the lhosk? Is there anything there beyond a keyboard smash and/or a cursed round of your favorite spelling game? With a critter that’s basically a dumb portmanteau of two animals/monsters, I’d expect a dumb portmanteau of their names*, but if “lhosk” fits in that mold at all, it’s way too obscure for me.

    (*I’m trying to come up with a better one than tarzantula, and I don’t think I can. I know that Tarzan was’t actually a gorilla. It’s still a way better name than “lhosk” is.)

    Oh, what? LA? Way too many RHD to not be -0 without something that’s at least equivalent to invocations.
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  16. - Top - End - #1366
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Okay but what etymology were they even aiming for with the lhosk? Is there anything there beyond a keyboard smash and/or a cursed round of your favorite spelling game? With a critter that’s basically a dumb portmanteau of two animals/monsters, I’d expect a dumb portmanteau of their names*, but if “lhosk” fits in that mold at all, it’s way too obscure for me.

    (*I’m trying to come up with a better one than tarzantula, and I don’t think I can. I know that Tarzan was’t actually a gorilla. It’s still a way better name than “lhosk” is.)

    Oh, what? LA? Way too many RHD to not be -0 without something that’s at least equivalent to invocations.
    It even rated a mention in Awful Monster Names...

  17. - Top - End - #1367
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Okay but what etymology were they even aiming for with the lhosk? Is there anything there beyond a keyboard smash and/or a cursed round of your favorite spelling game? With a critter that’s basically a dumb portmanteau of two animals/monsters, I’d expect a dumb portmanteau of their names*, but if “lhosk” fits in that mold at all, it’s way too obscure for me.

    (*I’m trying to come up with a better one than tarzantula, and I don’t think I can. I know that Tarzan was’t actually a gorilla. It’s still a way better name than “lhosk” is.)

    Oh, what? LA? Way too many RHD to not be -0 without something that’s at least equivalent to invocations.
    I imagine it is meant to hint at a shared etymology with Lolth.

    I know my joke a little upthread is monumentally stupid, but that same idea is also the thing that made me care about the Lhosk at all when I read MM3 years ago. There was something compelling about this thing that looked like a Lolth and sorta sounded like a Lolth that made me wonder if it was somehow connected to a secret origin for the spider goddess of unsustainable evulz. Maybe she wasn't really an elven goddess from the dawn of time, maybe she was just a Lhosk that got away with casting wish.
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    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
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  18. - Top - End - #1368
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    I quite like the name "lhosk": it's original and unique. Seriously, this monster is silly enough already: the last thing it needs is a doofy portmanteau for a name. "Lhosk" at least gives it a modicum of legitimacy.

    {EDIT: And I still kind of like this monster, in spite of the goofiness of it.}
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2018-09-14 at 09:26 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #1369
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Concur, -0.
    There are superior alternatives for essentially everything it gives you, with the possible exception of being a gorilla-spider hybrid in the vein of a drider. And that's a niche enough factor that it is safe to ignore it.
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  20. - Top - End - #1370
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Okay but what etymology were they even aiming for with the lhosk? Is there anything there beyond a keyboard smash and/or a cursed round of your favorite spelling game? With a critter that’s basically a dumb portmanteau of two animals/monsters, I’d expect a dumb portmanteau of their names*, but if “lhosk” fits in that mold at all, it’s way too obscure for me.

    (*I’m trying to come up with a better one than tarzantula, and I don’t think I can. I know that Tarzan was’t actually a gorilla. It’s still a way better name than “lhosk” is.)
    The aforementioned Spy Kids film called its version a "spider monkey". But it was alongside snake/lizard hybrids called slizzards and...um...okay, I've apparently forgotten everything about that movie except those two, a scene with mini-animal-hybrids, and some weird thing about rubber bands. So let's go to Google!

    ...Wow, that movie was weird. But sticking to the bits that are tangentially relevant to this thread, most of them are puns on some kind of real-world animal (catfish, horsefly, tiger shark), with the exceptions of slizzards, turtleroos, and sporks. So I think we can agree that its naming conventions weren't very good; I prefer "tarzantula" for its originality.
    (Also, aparently Spy Kids's lhosk was actually a hybrid of spider and "devolved human"?)
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  21. - Top - End - #1371
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    The aforementioned Spy Kids film called its version a "spider monkey". But it was alongside snake/lizard hybrids called slizzards and...um...okay, I've apparently forgotten everything about that movie except those two, a scene with mini-animal-hybrids, and some weird thing about rubber bands. So let's go to Google!

    ...Wow, that movie was weird. But sticking to the bits that are tangentially relevant to this thread, most of them are puns on some kind of real-world animal (catfish, horsefly, tiger shark), with the exceptions of slizzards, turtleroos, and sporks. So I think we can agree that its naming conventions weren't very good; I prefer "tarzantula" for its originality.
    (Also, aparently Spy Kids's lhosk was actually a hybrid of spider and "devolved human"?)
    There is an actual variety of monkey called spider monkeys.
    I am grateful that I didn't see that movie.

    --

    However, if the pattern of Drider was followed, or even that of owlbears, for the Lhosk, we'd probably have seen something akin to either goriders or apespiders, respectively.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    There is an actual variety of monkey called spider monkeys.
    I am grateful that I didn't see that movie.

    --

    However, if the pattern of Drider was followed, or even that of owlbears, for the Lhosk, we'd probably have seen something akin to either goriders or apespiders, respectively.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Aperachnids
    Arachnapes?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Living Spell


    I like living spells: I really do. Sadly, right now they force me to go against everything this thread stands for by assigning a LA of 'indeterminate'.

    Between dozens of splatbooks filled with spells, a virtually limitless range of caster levels, and countless ways to combine spells, I simply can't assign a real LA, or even a range of LAs, to the living spell template. No rating can cover both 200 RHD Living Alarms, 1 RHD Living Wishes, and everything in between. At most, I could set up a thread where I try to find out the minimum CL a certain living spell is still balanced at.

    That said, I can and will review the example spells given.

    Chilling Fog

    A Living Cone of Cold, at CL9. Does a single 10d6 slam per round sound like something that makes up for nine ooze RHD? That's what I thought, -0 LA.

    Glitterfire

    Living Fireball and Glitterdust, CL 5. I'm frankly not quite sure five ooze RHD, no limbs (or nearly any body slots at all), mindlessness, and a very narrow set of skills (hit stuff, which burns and blinds it) is worth two okay-ish rider effects. -0 LA again.

    Living Blasphemy/Dictum/Holy Word/Word of Chaos

    13 RHD, the aforementioned slot trouble, and basically zero use against anything of its own alignment. -0 LA.

    Sickening Sleep

    Finally a decent option, although that's mostly because of the 1 RHD. That said, save-or-lose slams (with the added benefit of reducing strength), are hardly something to frown at. I personally think +0 is quite okay here, even if the lack of slots will hurt in the long run.
    Have you had enough of unreasonably high LA's and unplayable monsters in 3.5? Then check out the LA-assignment thread! Don't hesitate to give feedback!

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  25. - Top - End - #1375
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    I would concur - there's no way to to give the template a proper LA. The spell used is far too important.

    Although ... "any spell that creates an area or effect (not targeted spells), but not a spell whose effect is already acreature" ... results in restricting the value of the spell that can be used.

    I'm inclined to say most living spells would probably end up being LA -0.
    The only way to trigger the spell effect is to slam somebody or engulf them, and if it's a beneficial one, the living spell cannot benefit from itself.

    Much better as a monster than as a PC.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    I feel like most living spells would be -0 (because of the avalanche of ooze RHD) or -0* (because of stinky cheese).
    Known among friends as "Ogres"

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  27. - Top - End - #1377
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    I'd feel comfortable just giving all living spells a blanket -0. Even the low hit die ones made from nifty spells still suffer too many problems. They can't use weapons, cast spells, speak, or use most skills, and with the lack of body slots, not even incarnum can save them. The only path of advancement I can see this thing doing is going for a wildshape based build, which will render useless the only positive thing being a living spell will actually give you. So then, why bother?

    Living spells are very cool and interesting monsters but are utterly useless as playable characters. Maybe find some way to get them as minions, instead.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    The only path of advancement I can see this thing doing is going for a wildshape based build, which will render useless the only positive thing being a living spell will actually give you. So then, why bother.
    Oozes are immune to polymorph effects, so I think that means they can't use Wild Shape.

    -----

    To me, living spells are probably mostly LA -0, but the template is pretty wide open, so there's bound to be a way that abuse it somehow. For example, stacking multiple spells doesn't cost you anything except an increase in CR, which doesn't matter to you as a PC, anyway. So, if you took every eligible 1st-level spell, and built a living spell out of it, that's a 1HD character that surely should deserve a positive LA, at least for low-level play (grease / sleep / burning hands / color spray / etc).

    And I'm not very good with metamagic, but I assume there are ways to turn normally ineligible spells into area effects (which are then eligible), so the diversity and customizability is quite high.

    Plus, there's one real oddity in the template: the living spell's HD equal its caster level, which I think you could arbitrarily set at any level you want (subject to minimum CL rules). But, I wonder if that applies in reverse: if a living spell later gains HD via class advancement, do these class levels add to the caster level of its spell effects? RAW, I don't think so, but "HD=CL" does leave some ambiguities in that.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2018-09-17 at 07:39 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #1379
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    How would you get a 1RHD living wish? Isn't the minimum CL 17? Also isn't anything with around that many HD seriously knocking on -0's door? I think even if a fun spell were to be put on this chassis at affordable HD, walking up and slapping people with it won't be fun.

    I think -0* says "You can break the game in one way, but it isn't fun" well enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    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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    And this is why I love D&D

  30. - Top - End - #1380
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment Thread IV: Live Free or Hit Die Hard

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Although ... "any spell that creates an area or effect (not targeted spells), but not a spell whose effect is already acreature" ... results in restricting the value of the spell that can be used.
    They say that, but apparently they count ray of enfeeblement as creating an effect, and they let in sleep which has an area of "One or more living creatures within a 10-ft.-radius burst"... which sounds a lot more like targets than an area, except in the most technical sense.

    Occular Spell might open the Ray-effect loophole, for example.

    Also, spells with Effect lines include Summon Monster / Summon Nature's Ally / Shambler... that's going to be a weird attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    To me, living spells are probably mostly LA -0, but the template is pretty wide open, so there's bound to be a way that abuse it somehow. For example, stacking multiple spells doesn't cost you anything except an increase in CR, which doesn't matter to you as a PC, anyway. So, if you took every eligible 1st-level spell, and built a living spell out of it, that's a 1HD character that surely should deserve a positive LA, at least for low-level play (grease / sleep / burning hands / color spray / etc).
    Is there a rule in the thread that we can't give a formula rather than a fixed number?

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