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  1. - Top - End - #1201
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Monster characters make a bit more sense in a multiverse too.

    Part of why I always have Sigil or some other Planescape/Spelljammer alternative regardless of what world I'm currently running.

    PCs and heroic NPC are different. They dont adhere to normal alignment codes or advancement methods for their species.

  2. - Top - End - #1202
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavarian itP View Post
    That's imho the biggest problem of 3.5, even worse than the tier differences. It can't decide whether it wants to be a generic universal fantasy roleplaying system (GUFRPS?) or a game with rules and a setting.
    The way I solve this is viewing all setting requirements as completely optional and ignoring them. That includes alignment restrictions, multiclass restrictions (like those of the paladin or monk) or weird-ass fluff restrictions (assassin needs to kill someone for no reason? Couldn't an "assassin" be a stealthy operative in a good or neutral aligned army or organization?).

    Edit: You know, I said "all setting requirements" but I guess I meant "all fluff requirements".
    Last edited by OgresAreCute; 2019-01-21 at 04:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

  3. - Top - End - #1203
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    The way I solve this is viewing all setting requirements as completely optional and ignoring them. That includes alignment restrictions, multiclass restrictions (like those of the paladin or monk) or weird-ass fluff restrictions (assassin needs to kill someone for no reason? Couldn't an "assassin" be a stealthy operative in a good or neutral aligned army or organization?).

    Edit: You know, I said "all setting requirements" but I guess I meant "all fluff requirements".
    Ehhhh ... sometimes alignment restrictions make sense, though - ie, a Paladin with Smite Evil probably should be Good, or at least, not Evil.
    Normally I toss most alignment restrictions - like the Assassin one - but some instead of tossing outright, I switch to "cannot be an opposing alignment". Ie, a PHB-style Paladin should be neither Chaotic nor Evil.


    Most fluff restrictions get tossed, though. To go back to the Assassin, you don't need to kill and impersonate somebody to take the class, though an Evil-aligned Assassin's guild might require that kind of accomplishment to get promoted.
    But for some more organization specific PRCs, at least some of those restrictions stick around. Ie, PRC's that give specific bonuses based on the organization's social position, infrastructure, and/or physical location, well, maybe you can get a similar organization based somewhere else, but you're not going to be able yup dodge the organization outright.
    Or PRCs that are specific to a particular cult, religion or Patron ... at least some of those restrictions will be staying. Ie, if you want to be a Disciple of Asmodeus ... there are Asmodeus-related restrictions that stay.


    Multiclass restrictions are mostly ignored, too, though if you want to be a Paladin/ Dread Necromancer, I am going to require a higher standard of backstory justification, or in-game character development, than I would for a Rogue/Sorcerer who wanted to be an Unseen Seer.
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  4. - Top - End - #1204
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    We aren't asking if we should, we're asking if we could.

    The endemic mentality of 3.5 design and play.
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
    Quote Originally Posted by illyahr View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by that_one_kobold View Post
    And this is why I love D&D

  5. - Top - End - #1205
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Ehhhh ... sometimes alignment restrictions make sense, though - ie, a Paladin with Smite Evil probably should be Good, or at least, not Evil.
    Normally I toss most alignment restrictions - like the Assassin one - but some instead of tossing outright, I switch to "cannot be an opposing alignment". Ie, a PHB-style Paladin should be neither Chaotic nor Evil.


    Most fluff restrictions get tossed, though. To go back to the Assassin, you don't need to kill and impersonate somebody to take the class, though an Evil-aligned Assassin's guild might require that kind of accomplishment to get promoted.
    But for some more organization specific PRCs, at least some of those restrictions stick around. Ie, PRC's that give specific bonuses based on the organization's social position, infrastructure, and/or physical location, well, maybe you can get a similar organization based somewhere else, but you're not going to be able yup dodge the organization outright.
    Or PRCs that are specific to a particular cult, religion or Patron ... at least some of those restrictions will be staying. Ie, if you want to be a Disciple of Asmodeus ... there are Asmodeus-related restrictions that stay.


    Multiclass restrictions are mostly ignored, too, though if you want to be a Paladin/ Dread Necromancer, I am going to require a higher standard of backstory justification, or in-game character development, than I would for a Rogue/Sorcerer who wanted to be an Unseen Seer.
    You assume that I don't also remove alignment restrictions on Smite Evil by turning it into Divine Smite, which works on all targets. Other than that, fluff restrictions can always be somewhat skirted and I always prefer to give my players as much build and story freedom as possible. So even if the only people who train the "Assassin" (though I don't like equating mechanical classes to real world occupations) are the super duper evil assassin's guild of incoherent evilness, the player in question could just say "yeah well I was never a member, my mentor was an ex-member of the guild who wanted to redeem himself by teaching someone else how to use an assassin's skills for Good..." and an explanation like that sounds perfectly cromulent to me. Also has some fun stuff which can be used during the campaign (e.g. the guild is undoubtedly going to be targeting this mentor).

    About classes like Disciple of Asmodeus, they are often only tied to a specific deity/creature/religion/etc in fluff and the actual mechanics of the class are more easily adapted to other things. DoA in particular isn't as good at this, as it is somewhat devil-centric (didn't see that coming...) but I doubt I'd force someone to be a disciple of Asmodeus in particular if they wanted to use this class and they wanted to follow, say, Dispater, or maybe they just wanted to be "info/social guy who uses devils" and don't want any direct connection to any Archdevil.

    Then again, I don't really expect that particular scenario to come up, since anyone who is interested in a class focused on Asmodeus probably are also interested in actually being a servant of Asmodeus.

    P.S. I'm not trying to brainwash you to my point of view or anything, just moaning about my view of game design I guess.
    Last edited by OgresAreCute; 2019-01-22 at 03:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

  6. - Top - End - #1206
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    There go divine casting classes, probably including paladin and ranger.
    Yeah, obviously its pretty subjective...
    But Druids are nature devotees, and due to high level wildshape and hanging out with sentient plants and so forth, it's
    pretty reasonable to think there are some pretty odd creatures that could be Druids. As presented there isn't
    much inherently stopping anyone gaining druid abilities through solo meditation/training, provided they have a way to learn Druidic
    Clerics are agents of Gods. Gods are many and varied. Philosopher clerics don't even need Gods. Fanatically devoting youself to a God or ideal doesn't seem to preclude most of the monsters you've covered.
    I'd probably say that Cloistered Cleric is starting to push it in some cases though.

    But I think that if you're going to divorce the Book of Nine Swords entirely from its fluff, then I'm not sure why you wouldn't just abandon most of its crunch too, and make your
    own Martial Disciplines that fit better with the anatomy and abilities of the creature in question.

    Thanks for the responses anyhow

  7. - Top - End - #1207
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmosh View Post
    But I think that if you're going to divorce the Book of Nine Swords entirely from its fluff, then I'm not sure why you wouldn't just abandon most of its crunch too, and make your
    own Martial Disciplines that fit better with the anatomy and abilities of the creature in question.
    Because changing fluff, other than changing crunch, doesn't have a lengthy playtesting/balancing element to it.

    A crusader who got his powers from dark experiments isn't any more or less powerful than a 'regular' one. A crusader who has an entirely new list of maneuvers, on the other hand, probably will be.
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  8. - Top - End - #1208
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavarian itP View Post
    That's imho the biggest problem of 3.5, even worse than the tier differences. It can't decide whether it wants to be a generic universal fantasy roleplaying system (GUFRPS?) or a game with rules and a setting.
    It's a problem with every edition of D&D I've played. It's trying to have the best of both worlds, with enough details to spark the imagination and enough blank spaces for the DM's own plans, enough rules to pick up and play and enough wiggle-room for individual groups to customize the experience.
    It...doesn't generally work that well in practice, but it works well enough to simultaneously provide a framework for new roleplayers to work in and give them enough flexibility to find something they like. Since D&D is the first RPG most new roleplayers will pick up, this is important.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dalmosh View Post
    Yeah, obviously its pretty subjective...
    But Druids are nature devotees, and due to high level wildshape and hanging out with sentient plants and so forth, it's
    pretty reasonable to think there are some pretty odd creatures that could be Druids. As presented there isn't
    much inherently stopping anyone gaining druid abilities through solo meditation/training, provided they have a way to learn Druidic
    Clerics are agents of Gods. Gods are many and varied. Philosopher clerics don't even need Gods. Fanatically devoting youself to a God or ideal doesn't seem to preclude most of the monsters you've covered.
    I'd probably say that Cloistered Cleric is starting to push it in some cases though.

    But I think that if you're going to divorce the Book of Nine Swords entirely from its fluff, then I'm not sure why you wouldn't just abandon most of its crunch too, and make your
    own Martial Disciplines that fit better with the anatomy and abilities of the creature in question.

    Thanks for the responses anyhow
    First off, I don't know what's happening on your end, but you need to clean up those line breaks.
    Second, the existence of druidic circles has long been a part of druid lore (hence their special tongue), and the connection between cleric and church is even stronger. If you accept that someone can learn the skills of a druid or cleric without connections to such institutions, why not do the same for the initiating classes?
    Maybe it's just me, but a martial artist developing their own style on their own seems a lot more plausible than a priest who gets divine power without any connections to any particular church. Maybe I've just watched too much anime?
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  9. - Top - End - #1209
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Well, it'd certainly makes sense for Sorcerers or Favored Souls, I'd say.
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  10. - Top - End - #1210
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    That's true of most classes, though. What kind of clerical/druidic order would admit an otyugh? There go divine casting classes, probably including paladin and ranger. What kind of wizarding college, monastery, or thieves' guild would admit them? What would be plausible for them, aside from barbarian and fighter?
    Ah, but if nobody wants them, wouldn't otyughs eventually found their own religious orders?
    Just say your character belongs to the Holy Monastic Order of Total Bullshit (right below the cattle market).

  11. - Top - End - #1211
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by AMX View Post
    Ah, but if nobody wants them, wouldn't otyughs eventually found their own religious orders?
    Just say your character belongs to the Holy Monastic Order of Total Bullshit (right below the cattle market).
    Couldn't they form their own dojos, too?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Couldn't they form their own dojos, too?
    Every otyugh was king fo fighting.
    Their tent'cles were fast as lightning.

  13. - Top - End - #1213
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Four otyugh siblings were raised as Swordsages by a rat who ended up in the sewer after his owner was assassinated by a rival ninja.

    Now they patrol the streets above by night, each named for a famed master of the ancient era.

    Mordenkainen is the fun one.
    Drawmij always has the right magic item on hand.
    Rary is the take-no-prisoners bruiser who dumped CHA.
    Leomund is the party face.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    Four otyugh siblings were raised as Swordsages by a rat who ended up in the sewer after his owner was assassinated by a rival ninja.

    Now they patrol the streets above by night, each named for a famed master of the ancient era.

    Mordenkainen is the fun one.
    Drawmij always has the right magic item on hand.
    Rary is the take-no-prisoners bruiser who dumped CHA.
    Leomund is the party face.
    Congratulations! You've won the internet today.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Shifter


    Another eberron race that got reprinted in the MM3. Shouldn't take too long to evaluate.

    Shifters are imo a solid mid-tier race, given their reasonable stat boosts (a net -2, but many characters can do without the penalized stats), neat skill bonuses, racial support and neat shifting abilities. The latter is varied and honestly a neat break from D&D's tendency to have PC races give nothing but passive boosts, but not a game-breaker.

    Are shifters on the same level as humans? No, but they aren't as bad as goblins either. All in all, a pretty obvious +0 LA.
    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

    No arguments here: Shifters are a fairly low-mid range LA +0 race. They aren't really great for much aside from a few niche builds.

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

    Shimmerling Swarm


    Double update!

    Shimmerling swarms are 11 RHD Fine-sized swarms of fey. Their ability scores are okay-ish, with predictably low strength (the idea of 1000 cubic foot of hiveminded creatures not being able to cooperate to lift a few pounds has always bugged me, but that's just how the game is), high dexterity, reasonably high wisdom and charisma and lowish constitution and intelligence.

    Being Fine swarms, they obviously have the Distraction ability, in addition to being immune to weapon damage and single-target spell effects. Shimmerling swarms have a hivemind, which sets their intelligence to 1 once the swarm's health drops below 1 HP/HD.

    A shimmerling swarm's main form of 'attack' is Dazzling Illumination, which has various effects. Firstly, it creates an area of Daylight centered on the swarm. Secondly, it dazzles all sighted creatures in the area (yes, that does happen to include allies). Thirdly, it might Fascinate creatures that see it.

    The issue with the last bit is that it's a non-friendly 300 ft-range effect that's nearly useless in-combat because Fascination gets broken by obvious threats. Arguably, a shimmerling swarm is better switching it off entirely: at least that way the party won't be stopping to stare at the pretty lights every minute.

    The combination of a huge pile of RHD, bad abilities, no easy advancement and all the inherent difficulties of being a swarm mean that the shimmerling swarm is a relatively easy -0 LA. Just play a low-HD swarm with class levels to basically outclass this in every way.
    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

    Swarms are pretty weird. Can't really think of too many times I'd consider using any (as a DM).

    -0 for these useless chumps, anyway.

    Edit: and +0 for the Shifters. They're so lame I completely forgot to rate them even though they're 2 posts above the shimmerlings.
    Last edited by OgresAreCute; 2019-01-24 at 05:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

  19. - Top - End - #1219
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Shifter is a weak LA +0, and not particularly interesting. Net -2 abilities and no standouts to recommend it over the top shelf picks, so eh.

    Shimmerling Swarm: oh look, a swarm...with -4 Int, -8 Str, and 11 Fey RHD, meaning losing 6 points of BAB across eleven RHD. Honestly, the only thing to recommend this over other swarms is the 50 ft perfect fly speed; I don't see any good way to construct an adequate initiator or Incarnum build, you are not going to be a skill monkey, and good luck with generic martial. You get +4 Wis and +8 Cha, but you can easily get that with a better chassis and less RHD if you want a caster. In return, you get a 60 ft Dazzle effect and a 300 ft fascination effect, both not friendly to allies...yaaay.

    Blech. LA -0, easily.

  20. - Top - End - #1220
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Swarms are pretty weird. Can't really think of too many times I'd consider using any (as a DM).

    -0 for these useless chumps, anyway.
    Concur: -0 from me as well.

  21. - Top - End - #1221
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Double -0. Moving on.

  22. - Top - End - #1222
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    I love shimmerlings: they're so adorable.

    But yeah: LA -0

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Their ability scores are okay-ish, with predictably low strength (the idea of 1000 cubic foot of hiveminded creatures not being able to cooperate to lift a few pounds has always bugged me, but that's just how the game is)...
    If I were a DM, I'd say that that's the Strength of each individual shimmerling, and that they absolutely could add their carrying capacity together with a bit of effort.


    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Swarms are pretty weird. Can't really think of too many times I'd consider using any (as a DM).
    I remember a recent Pathfinder session where every player lost, on average, one character to swarms. First, me and a sorcerer died to a mosquito swarm while the others ran, because we were the only ones who could theoretically do something to the swarms. Not quickly enough, mind you, especially since the other guy went down before he could cast any useful spells. The others got out of the swamp, but came across some kind of tree stump thing infested with another swarm (or something like that; I was busy making a new character) which killed one of them. Just to round things off, a third insect swarm killed off the sorcerer-player's new character before the rest of the group drove it off.
    Man, screw swarms, especially at low levels. Mid- or high-level parties can expect to have some tools that work against them, but because no D&Derived game can give non-spellcasters nice toys, you can expect half of the party to sit around doing crap-all for the entire encounter or bumming an appropriate wand or whatever off of someone.
    ...That said, are there any swarms so far which would make good PCs if hive-minded?
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  24. - Top - End - #1224
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Concur on the LAs.

    An individual shimmerling might be interesting as a familiar.
    On the other hand, shimmerlings are one of the few swarms that are actually intelligent.


    As far as dealing with swarms at low levels ... I'm pretty sure you can whack at them with a flaming torch. It's hardly awesome, but, realistically, even most low level casters will only be able to deal with maybe one swarm in a day - if they prepped the right spells.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    ...
    ...
    ...That said, are there any swarms so far which would make good PCs if hive-minded?
    A swarm of Intelligent Magic Items?
    In PF they can even have legs!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Double -0. Moving on.
    Double? Shifters are fine at +0, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    An individual shimmerling might be interesting as a familiar.
    On the other hand, shimmerlings are one of the few swarms that are actually intelligent.
    They're only intelligent in a reasonably-sized swarm. A lone shimmerling is about as smart as, say, a lizard.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Correct a +0 and a -0 my mistake.

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

    I agree with you on both of these. +0 and -0
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    are you asking us to do research into a setting you wrote yourself?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Shimmerling swarm is an easy -0.

    Shifter really is +0, but itís still a very disappointing +0. I feel like shifters really get the short end of the stick as far as ECL 0 races go, especially compared to the other Eberron races. Not enough to warrant -0, but still. They just get so little. Iíd personally houserule that the number of times per day they can shift should noticeably increase, possibly scaling with level. And/or give fairly frequent shifter feats as racial bonus feats (not every five levels or anything, more like every two or three levels).

    Even without fixes, they arenít far enough behind the curve to warrant -0. They just seem to have that Eberron problem where Eberron books print a whole bunch of really interesting feats and feat chains that never get taken because they just donít offer sufficient return on investment compared to normal feats. (Who can afford to take enough shifter feats to shift noticeably often? What narrow builds can actually spend enough feats on the dragonmark-related chains to get to the good stuff without drastically losing baseline functionality?)

    This complaint about Eberron is in contrast to how Forgotten Realms does feats, which is to print a million feats that no one ever takes because theyíre comically underpowered, locked behind nonsensical prereqs, or both. And then the PrCs require that you take about four of these garbage feats to get in, no two of which having any connection to each other or to the PrC. But Iím preaching to the choir.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread V: Escape from LA

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Shimmerling swarm is an easy -0.

    Shifter really is +0, but itís still a very disappointing +0. I feel like shifters really get the short end of the stick as far as ECL 0 races go, especially compared to the other Eberron races. Not enough to warrant -0, but still. They just get so little. Iíd personally houserule that the number of times per day they can shift should noticeably increase, possibly scaling with level. And/or give fairly frequent shifter feats as racial bonus feats (not every five levels or anything, more like every two or three levels).

    Even without fixes, they arenít far enough behind the curve to warrant -0. They just seem to have that Eberron problem where Eberron books print a whole bunch of really interesting feats and feat chains that never get taken because they just donít offer sufficient return on investment compared to normal feats. (Who can afford to take enough shifter feats to shift noticeably often? What narrow builds can actually spend enough feats on the dragonmark-related chains to get to the good stuff without drastically losing baseline functionality?)

    This complaint about Eberron is in contrast to how Forgotten Realms does feats, which is to print a million feats that no one ever takes because theyíre comically underpowered, locked behind nonsensical prereqs, or both. And then the PrCs require that you take about four of these garbage feats to get in, no two of which having any connection to each other or to the PrC. But Iím preaching to the choir.
    I can imagine someone grabbing a couple of Shifter feats - some aren't that bad, I guess - but eeehhh. If I really needed longer shifting I'd be a Bloodclaw Master or something.
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