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  1. - Top - End - #391
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I wouldn't play one myself, and I'd hate to DM one: they either monster over the encounters, or have nothing to do, depending on the enemy and situation.
    The same reason for why i voted +1.
    I would hate to DM one.
    I would hate to have one in the part as anything even remotely melee.
    Last edited by lord_khaine; 2019-03-26 at 04:51 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #392
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    The same reason for why i voted +1.
    I would hate to DM one.
    I would hate to have one in the part as anything even remotely melee.
    It would require working the abilities into your encounter design for sure, but it could allow for some interesting options that might be bad to throw at a party lacking it. It might get a little annoying for a full campaign, but I'd run a short scenario or one-shot for a party that had one and probably enjoy it.

  3. - Top - End - #393
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    The same reason for why i voted +1.
    I would hate to DM one.
    I would hate to have one in the part as anything even remotely melee.
    I have to say I pretty strongly disagree with this line of reasoning. LA is not to be used as a way to punish players or to soft-ban undesirable races. Just be honest about it and ban the monster.

    LA +1 is not supposed to be "I don't want to have one in the party, so I'll nerf the player who chooses to play one as a punishment." LA +1 is supposed to be "this is out of line in an ECL 12 party but is fine in an ECL 13 party." If you aren't okay with it, don't be like WotC and slap on unplayable LA (+1 isn't automatically "unplayable," but the point is it should be a balancer, not a deterrent) as a way to tell players not to play it. Just say you're not okay with it and don't let it in the game.

    If you find an ability to be so problematic on its own that it triggers this kind of decision, vote for removing the troubling ability and give it -0*. I don't think Dazing Blow is on the same *-level as, like, Create Spawn, but if you would find it to be so OP that it's just not acceptable (I guess you don't like ironsoul forgemasters either?), that's the most intellectually honest option.
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  4. - Top - End - #394
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    OK, I've been talked around. I'll change my vote to LA +0.

    I wouldn't play one myself, and I'd hate to DM one: they either monster over the encounters, or have nothing to do, depending on the enemy and situation.
    True. And I'd probably never play one either, and encounters would need to be designed to have more pieces so that the daze-lock wouldn't automatically shut down the encounter, and that could get annoying to DM.
    On the other hand, the issues a war troll has apply to pretty much any melee beatstick - effective in combat (usually, though not as effective as magic) and useless out of combat, though the daze rider on every attack makes it more effective in combat most of the time.
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  5. - Top - End - #395
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    The war troll's daze ability is so strong for so little effort that you can spend all your feats getting secondary tricks, whereas the fighter is playing catch-up to get worthwhile cc and damage. That said, I agree that the war troll deserves LA -0. Yes, it's good enough at t4, but even for a beatstick, I feel that it needs to be good at t3 as well, and it's not. That skill list is just terrible; it's going to delay feat/PrC qualification even after 12 RHD. It probably doesn't need to lose many RHD, but it really needs some extra class skills. I'd probably add Balance/Climb/Hide/Intimidate/Jump/Move Silently/Survival/Swim/Tumble.
    The fighter can replicate the daze ability with Boomerang Daze and aptitude weapons

  6. - Top - End - #396
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    The war troll's daze ability is so strong for so little effort that you can spend all your feats getting secondary tricks, whereas the fighter is playing catch-up to get worthwhile cc and damage. That said, I agree that the war troll deserves LA -0. Yes, it's good enough at t4, but even for a beatstick, I feel that it needs to be good at t3 as well, and it's not. That skill list is just terrible; it's going to delay feat/PrC qualification even after 12 RHD. It probably doesn't need to lose many RHD, but it really needs some extra class skills. I'd probably add Balance/Climb/Hide/Intimidate/Jump/Move Silently/Survival/Swim/Tumble.
    I thought we decided to consider T4 in our adjustments as well? The War Troll is clearly much more similar to T4/T5 martials that just kill things in melee and do nothing else than it is to something like a swordsage or psychic warrior. I don't think the troll will have any trouble keeping up with a barbarian.

    Anyway, +0.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

  7. - Top - End - #397
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    I thought we decided to consider T4 in our adjustments as well? The War Troll is clearly much more similar to T4/T5 martials that just kill things in melee and do nothing else than it is to something like a swordsage or psychic warrior. I don't think the troll will have any trouble keeping up with a barbarian.
    Well, whatever T4+ class is most comparable, so in this case barbarian (or ironsoul forgemaster ) should be a fair balance point.

    Anyway, +0 for the war troll by overwhelming majority. Next monster'll be up soon.
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  8. - Top - End - #398
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Vasuthant


    Vasuthants are D&D's answer to the question 'what if black holes were undead'. The answer: a pretty neat little 2 RHD, Small-sized monster.

    The shadowblobs have surprisingly okay stats, with no constitution, 10 strength, 16 dexterity, 14 charisma, 12 wisdom and 4 intelligence. The last of those hurts, but it's still a net +6. They move at a perfect 30 ft. fly speed, which is pretty nice.

    Defensively, vasuthants enjoy immunity to acid and cold, resistance to fire and electricity, +2 turn resistance, Unholy Toughness, and immunity to every single spell that has the Light descriptor or is from the Sun domain (which sadly seems to be mostly subpar blasting).

    They are also surrounded by an aura of shadows (penetrated normally by low-light vision), which has mixed effects. Miss chances are always good, but in D&D virtually anything has low-light vision by virtue of its type (the only exceptions are some aberrations and a handful of humanoids). In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if in most encounters the only being meaningfully affected by the aura is the party's token human. Rendering the party incapable of using light sources doesn't help a lot either.

    Another of note is Reality Distortion, which is actually pretty good. It lets the vasuthant reroll any one die (whether it's for its own action, an opponent's, or an ally's) thrice a day, which definitely has its uses in letting allies survive save-or-dies and letting your casters' hit theirs. The limited number of uses is sadly a problem.

    Interestingly, vasuthants seem to be designed with grappling in mind: they get Improved Grapple for free, have Improved Grab, and have a special ability (Enervating Crush) that allows them to drain strength from grappled creatures. The issue with the latter ability (and their apparent goal as grapplers in general): vasuthants are Small, with no strength bonus and medium-BAB RHD. A by-the-book ECL 2 vasuthant is grappling about as well as the party's human wizard: one with significant strength investment will be comparable to a 16 strength martial. This would be bad enough on its own, but Enervating Crush does not work on larger creatures. Given that the number Small enemies tends to drop off significantly after the obligatory Level 1 Goblin Dungeon, this ability might as well not exist for the bigger part of a vasuthant's lifespan.

    Some might wonder whether RHD-advancement can help out here, as it did for some monsters in the past, but no. Vasuthants don't reach Medium size until 6 RHD, and don't reach Large size until 10 RHD. A 6 RHD vasuthant with maximum strength investment may have 23 strength and Improved Grab, but it's also behind three points of BAB (and an iterative) compared to martials, and still can't use Enervating Crush against the many Large opponents that started popping up a few levels ago.

    The vasuthant is a cool concept, but in practice it'll just be a hard-to-kill party-blinding slotless blob, whose feeble attempts at grappling will fail against most foes and don't do much even if they succeed. The 3/day rerolls are nice, but insufficient to justify two less-than-great hit dice. I guess you could be a warlock and just try to kite stuff to death: but early-game flight is accessible with less opportunity cost. -0 LA: my hopes for this one are dashed.

    Horrific Vasuthant

    I like to kid about 'greater' versions of a monster just being the same thing with twice the RHD, but the horrific vasuthant takes the cake. It's got not twice, not thrice, but twelve-and-a-half times the RHD of its lesser cousin.

    Granted, it gets a lot of upped numbers and even some new abilities, but not enough to justify playing five levels into epic. If we judge this as a caster, it has to compete with Epic spells. If we judge this as a martial character, it's still only got 12 BAB and numbers that, while big, don't do a lot against the average enemy at this level. -0 LA.
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  9. - Top - End - #399
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I wonder if going Psychic warrior for Expansion on this one could work. That'll still only get you to large by level 9 (I think?) but it would bypass some of the size limitations at least.
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  10. - Top - End - #400
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I coulda sworn that the vasuthant has its origins in Planescape, but itís not in either of my Planescape monster books. Admittedly, I donít own every single PS monster book, but I wouldnít be remembering it from one I havenít read... anyone happen to be able to confirm/deny if itís a PS thing?

    As for rating? Yuck. Thatís hard. 2 RHD isnít THAT bad for perfect flight and undead immunities (with Unholy Toughness), but having no thumbs and ďno languagesĒ sucks even before we get into the -6 INT. I think Iíve gotta agree with -0. Iím not sure itís worth oneís time even with 1 (replaceable) RHD. You can only do so much without thumbs or words.
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  11. - Top - End - #401
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I wouldn't play one myself, and I'd hate to DM one: they either monster over the encounters, or have nothing to do, depending on the enemy and situation.
    They're hardly alone in that respect, of course. Plenty of PCs, including entire base classes, are specialized enough that they either end encounters in a round or two, or try playacting another class.


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    ...and immunity to every single spell that has the Light descriptor or is from the Sun domain (which sadly seems to be mostly subpar blasting).
    Admittedly, subpar blasting that is often Super-Effective against Undead-Types (especially shadowy ones).

    [2uote]They are also surrounded by an aura of shadows (penetrated normally by low-light vision), which has mixed effects. Miss chances are always good, but in D&D virtually anything has low-light vision by virtue of its type (the only exceptions are some aberrations and a handful of humanoids).[/quote]
    And both aberrations and most remaining humanoids have darkvision.
    ...Why did WotC decide that literally everything had better night vision than humans?

    This would be bad enough on its own, but Enervating Crush does not work on larger creatures.
    That's highly-questionable design. What good is a monster whose defining attack can only be used on the wizard's familiar and maybe the rogue? I guess it's not bad if you advance the thing to Medium size, but why not make that the default and maybe include the Small version as a variant?
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  12. - Top - End - #402
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    LA -0. Too hard to work around, and if you want the Undead type there are others ways to get it that do not cut your build's hamstrings for you in the process.

  13. - Top - End - #403
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    This is a hard one, it has enough to be too powerful for a base race if we strip away the rhd, but at 2 rhd or la 1 it kind of sucks since as Zaq said besides -6 int (ouch) it can't speak nor has anything like hands. It is like a crappy evil knockoff of the lantern archon as it doesn't have enough to overcome its short comings. I think as a +1 LA or base race I would play it warlock5/mindbender1 in a game that started at that level. Any way I look at it the grappling abilities seem to be a waste of time and should just be ignored. Would be playable at no rhd and +1 LA or as a base race, I think it has enough negatives between worthless grappling and -6 int hit, no manipulators and inability to communicate to be ok as base undead race. So -0 LA

    Horrific Vasuthant I think might actually be ok at 12 rhd either way currently -0!

  14. - Top - End - #404
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I think I might actually go +0 here. 1 (awful) RHD for undead immunities with Cha mod is not the worst. And a second for perfect flight, two elemental immunities, etc. I'm assuming something like warlock, personally. (Though the Psywar grappler is interesting, if probably not worth it). Interaction and itemization are problematic, but not insurmountable. It's a weak +0, but it does bring some nice things to the table. If I wanted to play something a bit odd in an undead themed game, I'd be tempted.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrollreader View Post
    I think I might actually go +0 here. 1 (awful) RHD for undead immunities with Cha mod is not the worst. And a second for perfect flight, two elemental immunities, etc. I'm assuming something like warlock, personally. (Though the Psywar grappler is interesting, if probably not worth it). Interaction and itemization are problematic, but not insurmountable. It's a weak +0, but it does bring some nice things to the table. If I wanted to play something a bit odd in an undead themed game, I'd be tempted.
    Insurmountable seems to be a function of level and RAW. By RAW Vasuthant doesn't seem to have any item slots except for the slotless ones which makes the standard way of overcoming things like no hands and can't talk much more involved, expensive, and delays the level at which the Vasuthant can really function. As is with 2 rhd I don't think the Vasuthant is really playable as a pc until ecl 8~ when it can get telepathy and maybe use a familiar monkey or improved familiar for its hands. Before that I can't really see an argument for why a party didn't kill or turn/rebuke the Vasuthant upon meeting it...

  16. - Top - End - #406
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Before that I can't really see an argument for why a party didn't kill or turn/rebuke the Vasuthant upon meeting it...
    While your other points are valid, 'PCs would kill this thing' is highly situation-dependent and also uses the actions of other PCs to determine the objective playability of a creature. I suggest not weighing it for your final decision.
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  17. - Top - End - #407
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    While your other points are valid, 'PCs would kill this thing' is highly situation-dependent and also uses the actions of other PCs to determine the objective playability of a creature. I suggest not weighing it for your final decision.
    To be fair, no matter what the other PCs do or do not do upon encountering a vasuthant, I think it's pretty clear that a vasuthant PC would have serious issues trying to deal with any sort of civilization or society. Or pretty much any attempt to, y'know acquire any items that would allow it to communicate in the first place.
    You'd basically be under a kill on sight list as far as pretty much everyone everywhere not already an ally is concerned.

    At any rate ... I'd call this a -0* at best. Even if you are willing to suck up most of the downsides, the DM would still need to be involved in figuring out how you can be involved in doing more or less anything and everything that happens.


    Hmmm. Might really only be useful for stealing abilities from. After all, every vampire would love it if they could get their hands on Immunity to Light.
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  18. - Top - End - #408
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    While your other points are valid, 'PCs would kill this thing' is highly situation-dependent and also uses the actions of other PCs to determine the objective playability of a creature. I suggest not weighing it for your final decision.
    I disagree if the dm said to the other players you enter __________ and see a Vasuthant, the go to reaction is 'kill it'. As a DM you would have to go out of your way or the group would have to be metagaming in order for that to not be the default to 'pcs encounter a Vasuthant'. This is a similar problem with many of the more monstrous creatures however, in most cases they can either communicate or have a mouth and therefore can use the pearl of speech or whatever it is called to inform the players that they aren't a threat. In the situation with the Vasuthant give that it is has no mouth it is incapable of doing that. Also if it weren't for the general rule about creatures with 3+ Int auto knowing a language I wouldn't expect the Vasuthant to even know a language without skill point investment...

  19. - Top - End - #409
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrollreader View Post
    I think I might actually go +0 here. 1 (awful) RHD for undead immunities with Cha mod is not the worst. And a second for perfect flight, two elemental immunities, etc. I'm assuming something like warlock, personally. (Though the Psywar grappler is interesting, if probably not worth it). Interaction and itemization are problematic, but not insurmountable. It's a weak +0, but it does bring some nice things to the table. If I wanted to play something a bit odd in an undead themed game, I'd be tempted.
    It's 2 RHD, not 1. You can only swap out your first RHD if it's the only one you have. i.e. a hobgoblin with 1 RHD will swap it out for a class level. A Lizardfolk with 2 RHD would need to keep both and add class levels on top.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    If it was humanoid shaped I would give it la, as it is its a -0*. * because a lot to work around and no easy way to fix it.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrollreader
    I think I might actually go +0 here. 1 (awful) RHD for undead immunities with Cha mod is not the worst. And a second for perfect flight, two elemental immunities, etc. I'm assuming something like warlock, personally. (Though the Psywar grappler is interesting, if probably not worth it). Interaction and itemization are problematic, but not insurmountable. It's a weak +0, but it does bring some nice things to the table. If I wanted to play something a bit odd in an undead themed game, I'd be tempted.
    It's 2 RHD, not 1. You can only swap out your first RHD if it's the only one you have. i.e. a hobgoblin with 1 RHD will swap it out for a class level. A Lizardfolk with 2 RHD would need to keep both and add class levels on top.
    relevant words highlighted for clarification...

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    LA -0 for the Vasuthant, but it's an interesting option, worth remembering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    The fighter can replicate the daze ability with Boomerang Daze and aptitude weapons
    I'm not a fan of aptitude cheese, but yes, I suppose they can. Polymorph into a war troll is probably better. Or you could just do both .

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    I thought we decided to consider T4 in our adjustments as well? The War Troll is clearly much more similar to T4/T5 martials that just kill things in melee and do nothing else than it is to something like a swordsage or psychic warrior.
    War trolls are a common polymorph form right around the ECL they would be played at (11-13), so I like to compare to a polymorphed gish, too (they are very similar, after all ).
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    War trolls are a common polymorph form right around the ECL they would be played at (11-13), so I like to compare to a polymorphed gish, too (they are very similar, after all ).
    Ya forest troll, cave troll, and war troll are staple forms for MoMF that can be used at their ecl (level 7 for forest but still very close). Making Wild shape ranger5/MoMF7 maybe the best comparison point. Does MoMF bump a wild shape ranger up to tier 2 or 3? The MoMF would have -2 bab, less will save, much better skills, more versatile in and out of combat, and exact same melee capabilities...

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    Post Vasuthant

    Vasuthant...hmmm. I've barely glanced at this thing before:

    • Small Undead
    • 2 RHD - managebale.
    • 30 ft perfect fly - nice.
    • +3 natural AC - meh.
    • Five natural attacks - if I'm reading that correctly.
    • Enervating crush - a grapple related ability on a small creature that only works on small or smaller creatures is of limited value.
    • Improved Grab - again, on a small creature?
    • +2 turn resistance - helpful so you don't get blasted by low level clerics.
    • Blindsight, darkvision 60 ft - decent senses.
    • Immune to acid, cold, and "light"; resistance fire 5, electricity 5 - not too bad.
    • Trap light - somewhat handy in the right build.
    • Unholy toughness - great for any undead!
    • Reality Distortion - 3/day rerolls for you or an opponent: pretty good; kind of like having the Luck and Destiny domain powers, usable 3/day.
    • Dex +6, Con --, Int -6, Wis +2, Cha +4: net +6, albeit with no Con score.
    • Small skill list, but decent skills, with some racial modifiers.
    • Improved Grapple as a bonus feat - see comments above.

    I'm a little undecided on this. You get some nifty abilities, but mainly defensive ones. The whole grappling thing sucks for a small creature - as a DM, you can advance them up to gargantuan, so it would be worthwhile as a monster.

    Pros: only 2 RHD, flight, undead immunities, resistances, Cha to hit points, ability to generate shadowy illumination, 3 re-rolls/day for you or opponents.

    Cons: small creature whose shtick is grappling, inability to speak, weird body type with no hands, massive hit to Int.

    I'm going LA -0. There are better options if you want to be a flying undead.

    Horrific Vasuthant: More of the same, with some SLAs, different reality altering aiblity, and no hit to Int. 12 RHD: still LA -0.
    Last edited by Thurbane; 2019-03-27 at 07:08 PM. Reason: oops, missed Reality Distortion

  25. - Top - End - #415
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Going to have to go with -0 as well.

    Flight and generally tankiness at level 2 are nice. 1d12+Cha, natural armor, resists. Bonuses to stealthy skills, blindsight.

    But against medium or larger creatures what do you do? Psychic warrior with expansion was mentioned, but I'd rather just a PHB race psychic warrior overall. Scout is made hopeless by -6 int, you can't beatstick with 1 1d4 slam with no riders. You are looking likely to be comic relief or mascot. Maybe an animal companion, except worse damage.

    And that's before you figure out if you can use weapons or magic item slots. Interesting concept, but the mechanics just aren't working for me.

  26. - Top - End - #416
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    Thumbs up Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Even though they'd be poor PCs, I'm actually keen to advance one up to Large or Huge and throw it against a party!

  27. - Top - End - #417
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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post


    I'm not a fan of aptitude cheese, but yes, I suppose they can. Polymorph into a war troll is probably better. Or you could just do both .


    War trolls are a common polymorph form right around the ECL they would be played at (11-13), so I like to compare to a polymorphed gish, too (they are very similar, after all ).
    Aptitude is borderline, but if the DM is letting in the War Troll I think replicating its abilities is fair game
    I'm not a fan of polymorph due to it just being badly designed and a little confusing. ,

  28. - Top - End - #418
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    It occurs to me that itís weird, from a fluff perspective, that these things are undead. They were never alive. Wouldnít they make more sense as aberration, outsider, or maybe elemental?
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  29. - Top - End - #419
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    It occurs to me that itís weird, from a fluff perspective, that these things are undead. They were never alive. Wouldnít they make more sense as aberration, outsider, or maybe elemental?
    Yeah, probably.
    I'd think aberration, what with their supposed gravity and time manipulation shenanigans.
    No DM is ever truly out of tricks to mess with his/her players.
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  30. - Top - End - #420
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    It occurs to me that itís weird, from a fluff perspective, that these things are undead. They were never alive. Wouldnít they make more sense as aberration, outsider, or maybe elemental?
    You're not wrong. They probably have more in common with an Xeg-Yi Energon or Void Ooze than with most undead...

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