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    Default The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Please post in the new thread, thanks in advance. Link can be found in the archive or on this thread's final page.

    The fifth thread! I'm honestly impressed with how far we've come.

    As most people know, this thread's purpose is to give D&D monsters fair and balanced level adjustments, regardless of whether they possessed them beforehand or not.

    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.

    Expect a new monster in a couple of minutes!
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-02-16 at 04:15 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Lumi


    Lumi, because starting interplanar war and executing millions of people for small lies is something that's both reasonable and non-evil. Good ol' wacky alignments.

    Two outsider RHD aren't all that bad. The ability adjustments (+2 strength, +4 constitution, +4 wisdom, -2 charisma) aren't terrible either, though the implied caster focus doesn't go that well with the RHD. Free Improved Initiative is quite nice.

    The special abilities are mostly immunities: Body of Light gives immunity to death effects, energy drain and negative energy effects, as well as being on the positive energy plane. Clear Vision protects the Lumi from light effects, being blinded, or being dazzled. Finally, Floating Head removes the bonus for flanking them in addition to preventing decapitation and strangulation.

    Finally, the Lumi's SLAs are a mixed bag. Disrupt Undead at-will is mostly useless, Light at-will isn't great either, and 3/day Cure Light Wounds is hardly something to write home about (if nice to have), but 3/day Glitterdust is excellent.

    Based on the good stats, varied immunities, and access one of the best level 2 spells, I think anything below +0 would be ludicrous, and the combination of various useful abilities is enough to push it to +1.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-03-08 at 06:14 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    New thread woo!

    Lumis are hardly exciting, but I suppose they are servicable.

    +0
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Maybe I'll start to freaking add more to this project instead of completely lurking and posting like once this thread.

    Anyways, Lumi are useful, very useful, and I've always played them as positive energy versions of the Khen-Zai, but I can't really see them being anywhere but on the low end of +1 LA.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    I guess I am scratching my head over what to compare these to. They have 2 BAB All good saves 8+int skill points/ level and 2d8 hp. Lets say their starting ability scores are +2 Con -2 Cha. That would mean level 1 they get +2 Str +2 Wis Disrupt Undead at-will and 3/day Cure Light Wounds. Level 2 is +2 Con +2 Wis Light at-will and 3/day Glitterdust. Or some combination there of however you would like to break that up.

    At level 2 a sorcerer has 2 first level spells they can cast 4 times per day, 5 zero level spells they can cast 6 times per day, +1 bab 2d4hd 2+int/level skill points, 1 good save, and a familiar. Where as bard has 5 zero level spells which can be cast 3 times per day and 2 first level spells that can be cast 0 times per day, +1 bab, 2 good saves, 2d6, bardic knowledge and music.

    The Lumi at level two has just as good casting as a sorcerer or bard and better everything else. At level 2 anyways they are better than any class, between ability scores and 3/day cure light wounds you have more hp than a barbarian and glitterdust utility offsets much of the damage difference between barb and lumi. However, after about level 5 the power difference is muted by class level abilities. So the question is, is that low level advantage worth la. Also I am scratching my head over where to go with the Lumi, cleric seems like an obvious choice and though loosing two caster levels sucks it doesn't ruin it for being a full caster either. I feel like if the game has labuy off then +1 if it doesn't then +0.

    Since we are going with the assumption of no LAbuy off I will go with +0.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Odd question, since disrupt undead is a ray of positive energy does it heal things? Cause being a clw wand that's never out of charges is pretty nice. Dont think so but i honestly dont know. Otherwise I'll give them a plus 0. They can do pretty much anything with a very nice base. They get one of the best feats for free since initiative isn't the easiest thing to boost, and you were taking it anyways if you have room. 2 outsider rhd are perfectly fine on them as a plus 0.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    +0 seems fine, though I wouldn't object to +1.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    I am leaning towards strong LA +0 for the Lumi. The stats mostly suggest a divine caster, with only a +2 Strength bonus, +4 Con and a Dex penalty to go with 0 natural AC and no natural weapons on 2 RHD. Yet those same RHD put you well behind a caster-a Lesser Aasimar neutralizes the Dex penalty by halving the Wisdom bonus, and shifts the almost useless Strength bonus to Charisma, where it helps Turning and face skills, and of course 2 more caster levels. That leaves the Lumi paying 2 RHD for 1 BAB, +4 Constitution and its various abilities, and I am not sure that is a trade I would make on most days.

    I stick with LA +0. I know we are not supposed to be balancing these things against builds of tier 1 and 2 classes, but honestly this thing looks like it was built to be a full caster that did not care about losing caster levels, so eh.
    Last edited by ViperMagnum357; 2018-09-25 at 10:52 AM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    There are some caster bonus stats in there, but at +2 Str, +4 CON and 2 BAB for 2 HD (plus all good saves) this seems like it could make an exceptional frontline warrior type as well. 2 HD aren't enough to put you seriously behind in any melee class in terms of abilities. It does almost nothing to a martial initiator (and might even smooth out some maneuver tracks?) but you're getting a set of immunities that cost melee types money or buffing to cover otherwise on top of bonus stats, plus a little utility from your SLAs.

    I usually lean towards less LA rather than more, but if this feels like it's more than a +0; I think I vote a weak +1 here.
    Last edited by Lapak; 2018-09-25 at 11:03 AM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Lumi Swordsage 2 might be great (though not stealthy), and the +4 Con / +4 Wis is juicy for a Totemist.

    Hmm, Lumi Ardent 2 / Totemist 2 / Soul Manifester 10... at LA +0, they'd be one level behind a core race Ardent/Totemist/SoulMan, but with a lot of useful immunities.

    Lumi Barbarian 2 / Fist of the Forest 3 / _____ PrC 10

    Their skill list is pretty good: Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge (the planes), Listen, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot -- with a racial +2 on Search, Sense Motive, and Spot.

    Their racial +4 Wis, access to Spot, racial +2 Spot, Darkvision and immunity to blindness makes them effective scouts. Not stealthy scouts (what with their glowing thing) but very unlikely to get blind-sided.

    At high levels, their immunities will be relevant. At low levels, they'll have immunity to several popular low-level debuffs (including hold person thanks to their type), and they'll have cure light wounds.

    Verdict: LA +1, though I could see being a strong LA +0

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    I think it should be +1. Outsider RHD are really good as RHD go, so being able to enter play at 3rd-level without a class seems fair to me.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    That Glitterdust is the real kicker. Thatís an actually good SLA a noticeable number of times per day. Everything else is minor enough to not be worth the RHD (best RHD in the game, but losing class features sucks).

    I think +0 is still the best choice, because I canít see myself ever finding them worth losing three whole levels. Theyíd be a weird option if they just cost two levels, but losing three levels in exchange for racial features that donít scale and that donít offer any radically paradigm-changing capabilities (contrast with something that has a useful exotic movement mode, for example) is a harder sell than Iím willing to make right now.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    I say +1 for the Lumi. They are a welcome change of pace from the slew of zeros
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Odd question, since disrupt undead is a ray of positive energy does it heal things? Cause being a clw wand that's never out of charges is pretty nice. Dont think so but i honestly dont know. Otherwise I'll give them a plus 0. They can do pretty much anything with a very nice base. They get one of the best feats for free since initiative isn't the easiest thing to boost, and you were taking it anyways if you have room. 2 outsider rhd are perfectly fine on them as a plus 0.
    It's not free healing, sadly (otherwise I'd probably assign them +1). Just like how negative energy doesn't always heal undead (Chill Touch comes to mind), positive energy doesn't always heal the living.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    If they didnt have the 2 HD I'd easily say at least +1 but with them, even if theyre pretty good, I think I vote for a very strong +0.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Man I am grumpy. Not only did my thread titles fail, we start of the thread with Lumi. I have no brains and I must scream.

    I hate these these floating-head axe clowns. Just troll some angry swear storms on youtube and you get my thoughts on these guys. Inevitability has my back on their bizarre fluff, but their crunch is just as weird to me. The whole neckless thing is weird especially considering that they still need their mouths to breathe and eat and their brains for not dying (who's stupid now, Lumis?).

    Whining about how I hate them may seem off topic, but I think its relevant to their LA. They're so weird yet bland that I can't think of a good LA that regulates how much someone would want to play them. At +0, I have better options for just about everything else, especially with 2RHD. That said, their weird immunities could be a godsend in some very specific games. SLAs are nice too, but I think most players would rather have the extra 2 class levels so they can cast glitterdust on their own. It's like a forced dip into a weird kind of cleric. +1 LA would likely push them over the edge into the bin of monsters that won't see play. They're good, but not optimized.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    I'm kind of on the fence on the Lumi, but I think I'll say LA +1, just to be a little conservative.

    Looking back, 2HD creatures with LA +0 include most of the Small elementals, violet fungus, grimlock, homunculus, krenshar, kuo-toa, magmin, sahuagin, shocker lizard, skum, spider swarm, troglodyte, flind gnoll and swindlespitter.

    And 2HD creatures with LA +1 include the azer, Small air elemental, ghoul, grick, phantom fungus, pseudodragon, sahuagin (mutant)

    I think the Lumi fits a little better in the second group than the first.

    And even though the idea of a floating head is unbelievably dumb, I still like the Lumi. I guess it's one of those things (like the Lhosk) where it's so dumb that I find it charming.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    "Paying" for all of it's goodies with 2 RHD doesn't seem enough to me. I'd vote LA +1, and a solid LA +1 at that.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    It's the glitterdust that pushes this one over the edge for me. Getting that decent 2nd level spell as an SLA a decent number of times per day on a solid chassis is worth more than 2 RHD. +1 LA.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    It's one of those annoying creatures that seems really good at ECL 2, but not at ECL 3. At ECL 3, the base attack/skill point advantage disappears (relative to cl. cleric), hit points/AC are not especially high, and the glitterdust is no more than an on-level ability. It would be a nice touch if the SLAs' save DCs were Wisdom-based (what with the +4 racial Wisdom and cleric favoured class), but I can't think of any monster that has a swapped casting stat for flavour purposes.

    Azer are about as good as lumi, having +6 NA and SR 13 instead of glitterdust and Improved Initiative. Azer have fighter as favoured class, and to a fighter, azer abilities and HD are really good. To a cleric, lumi abilities are good (even just Wisdom/immunities), but the HD are a drag. That said, I don't think it's fair to rate lumi at t1-t2 and azer at t5-t4. Both azer and lumi are probably LA +1 at t4 or t3 (ToB/totemist etc., non-caster with RHD scaling). For a caster (no RHD scaling), I'd avoid both, even without LA. A casting stat bonus is not worth being a spell level behind unless it's at least +8 (and even then...).

    Edit: I guess that's a vote for LA +1? ...Ish?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Lumi are weird.
    They're definitely at least a strong +0. They're probably still acceptably balanced at +1 at low levels, but it isn't scaling, and I don't think that they're still +1 at higher levels.

    It's hard to say, honestly.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Pile of immunities on top of 2 outsider HD and good stats?
    Middling +1

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Lumi are weird.
    They're definitely at least a strong +0. They're probably still acceptably balanced at +1 at low levels, but it isn't scaling, and I don't think that they're still +1 at higher levels.

    It's hard to say, honestly.
    Ya that is where I am at, they are definitely a +1 from level 2 to somewhere between level 5-9 after which they are a +0, early on those SLA are helpful and later the immunities are helpful but either way you are getting those for two potential class levels. If the SLAs were useful after level 5~ and scaled well I would say ya +1 but as is I don't think they have enough that is relevant long enough to require a +1.

    Like I said before these guys are only +1 if you are playing with buyoff as is they are a +0.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Ya that is where I am at, they are definitely a +1 from level 2 to somewhere between level 5-9 after which they are a +0, early on those SLA are helpful and later the immunities are helpful but either way you are getting those for two potential class levels. If the SLAs were useful after level 5~ and scaled well I would say ya +1 but as is I don't think they have enough that is relevant long enough to require a +1.
    At low levels, yeah, the SLAs are most relevant.

    At high levels, the immunities are most relevant:
    Body of Light gives immunity to death effects, energy drain and negative energy effects, as well as being on the positive energy plane. Clear Vision protects the Lumi from light effects, being blinded, or being dazzled. Finally, Floating Head removes the bonus for flanking them in addition to preventing decapitation and strangulation.
    Those are most relevant at higher levels, where enemies are more likely to have energy drain attacks or death ray eyes.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    I disagree with the notion of la only if above tier 3. we all know casting in excess of your hd gets you la, but it's not the only thing.
    Agreed.
    Though I'd say it's hard to justify losing more than a few class levels in any case; you would either need some neat abilities or really big numbers.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Power creep is a legitimate concern, but LA isn't sufficiently nuanced to have a valid application either way.
    LA is too blunt a tool to draw these lines.
    C'est la D&D. This isn't GURPS, where we can tweak relative power levels to the level of a single skill point; you either have 1 level of e.g. fighter, or you have 2, or you have none. (Or 3+, but listing every integer would be silly.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Lumi, because starting interplanar war and executing millions of people for small lies is something that's both reasonable and non-evil. Good ol' wacky alignments.
    Clearly, they attended the same law school as Miko Miyazaki.

    ...Light at-will isn't great either...
    Speaking from 5e experience, at-will light is very useful indeed. Being able to provide vision for non-darkvision party members in the dark is very...oh, right, Lumi are luminous.


    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Odd question, since disrupt undead is a ray of positive energy does it heal things? Cause being a clw wand that's never out of charges is pretty nice. Dont think so but i honestly dont know.
    Presumably, not all positive energy is the same. After all, not all negative energy is; sometimes it gives you HP damage, sometimes negative levels, sometimes other things entirely.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Everything else is minor enough to not be worth the RHD (best RHD in the game, but losing class features sucks).
    I still, and likely always will, argue that two skill points per level are not obviously or universally superior to (on average) two hit points per level.


    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    The whole neckless thing is weird especially considering that they still need their mouths to breathe and eat and their brains for not dying (who's stupid now, Lumis?).
    What's so weird about them needing their brains for not dying, especially in a world where natural telepathy is a thing? And who says they breathe through their mouths? Plenty of real-world animals breathe through other things (ranging from nostrils, to skin, to a specialized growth off the lower digestive tract).
    ...Eating is still weird, though. I'll give you that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Various
    Lumi should be +0
    Quote Originally Posted by Others
    Lumi are a weak +1
    Quote Originally Posted by Some (probably not Lumis)
    What do you mean, weak?
    Here's my take.
    On one hand, Lumis aren't terribly specialized. They have a weird grab-bag of immunities, decent ability modifiers (especially Constitution and Wisdom), Improved Initiative, a couple of weak at-will SLAs, and a couple of useful 3/day SLAs. Oh, and small bonuses to commonly-used skills that start with S. What is all of this for? The +2 Strength and +4 Constitution (as well as the good HD) are good for a warrior, but their other abilities don't really support it (aside from maybe the flanking immunity), and -2 Dex isn't nice. +4 Wisdom and some spare healing are nice for clerics &c, but not worth two lost casting levels, and the other abilities aren't worth that much more than losing two levels of turn undead or whatever.
    On the other hand...at the end of the day, they have a lot of good abilities. The outsider chassis is nice, even with its average HD. The ability bonuses are helpful. The grab-bag of immunities are odd, but helpful, and immunity to most serious negative energy effects is good in any build. That's true of a lot of the Lumi's abilities; they're not critical, but they're nice, and generally useful for anyone. Immunities, Improved Initiative, +3 in base saves...
    The last nail in the coffin was Nifft pointing out that +4 to Constitution and Wisdom was good for swordsages and totemists. +1
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Yeah, I guess I can see that an ECL 2 lumi is pretty darn nice next to a lot of other ECL 2 characters, but I donít see it being so nice that itís worth a long-term penalty, and I still donít think Iíd play one with a positive LA.

    I forget, are we assuming that LA buyoff is still a thing, or are we trying to get the LA sufficiently right the first time that we donít need to mess around with buyoff?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I forget, are we assuming that LA buyoff is still a thing, or are we trying to get the LA sufficiently right the first time that we donít need to mess around with buyoff?
    LA buyoff is a variant rule that does not play a role in LA assignments, just like how it's not assumed monster RHD can be shelved on one side of a gestalt progression (which does incidentally sound like a way to make monster campaigns a lot more interesting).
    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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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    LA buyoff is a variant rule that does not play a role in LA assignments, just like how it's not assumed monster RHD can be shelved on one side of a gestalt progression (which does incidentally sound like a way to make monster campaigns a lot more interesting).
    On the subject of monster gestalt, my preference is:
    - RHD on one side
    - LA on both sides (i.e. apply LA after all HD calculations)
    - allow LA buyoff

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    I'm going to jump on the plus 1 boat. more I look at them the more I'm leaning that way.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Relevant: https://youtu.be/T4sVmnfz9Wk?t=27s Especially since the monsters mentioned at the point I linked are all from the current book we're doing; that is MMIII.
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