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  1. - Top - End - #781
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    I never noticed that. I don't believe artwork gets any consideration when it comes to determining game mechanics, so it shouldn't matter what the artwork looks like...
    Ideally, the artwork, flavor text, and mechanics should all be based on the same core ideas about what the monster is. In practice, it's up to DMs and players to mush together the information provided and figure out what makes sense...generally subconsciously, which can cause problems when different players' subconsciouses disagree on what information is most relevant.


    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    I brought up major image because people were saying there wasn't a spell that could effectively 'blind' them, but major image can pretty easily. Just create a space with high pitched ringing that has an intense smell of tear gas. Sure it is easier to blind humans but that has nothing to do with its capability to also blind Canoloth.
    The argument was that canoloths could be easily disabled. I don't consider "if you stretch the interpretation of a specific spell, and your enemy happens to have that spell, you can be blinded" to be a meaningful drawback, especially when far less controversial uses of that spell can have the exact same effect on humans (just conjure an image of a blindfold or something—that has less collateral discomfort, too).
    Also, I'm pretty sure the unpleasant effects of tear gas come from its physiological effects, not because it smells really bad.

    And yes with -6 int it has a lot of reasons to not become a wizard/archivist. My point was more that a negative int score dissuades you from becoming a wizard/archivist but doesn't disallow you from doing so. On the other hand being physically incapable of reading is a hard restriction.
    I don't follow. Being locked out of an option you would never take is somehow a meaningful nerf? Sure, a canoloth who can become a wizard is strictly superior to one who can't if all else is held equal, but that's only because the Heisenberg uncertainty principle doesn't apply to game design.
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  2. - Top - End - #782
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    The argument was that canoloths could be easily disabled. I don't consider "if you stretch the interpretation of a specific spell, and your enemy happens to have that spell, you can be blinded" to be a meaningful drawback, especially when far less controversial uses of that spell can have the exact same effect on humans (just conjure an image of a blindfold or something—that has less collateral discomfort, too).
    Also, I'm pretty sure the unpleasant effects of tear gas come from its physiological effects, not because it smells really bad.
    Your just adding an argument to my statement that I never tried to make. I never said that this was a meaningful drawback just that this spell is capable of effectively blinding a canoloth to the world around it. Similarly I never tried to refute that it could be used to do the same to a human. And no I don't think this is even a stretch of the spell, creating an area with loud noise and strong smells come from every direction seems straight up major image's alley with no stretching of the interpretation of the spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I don't follow. Being locked out of an option you would never take is somehow a meaningful nerf? Sure, a canoloth who can become a wizard is strictly superior to one who can't if all else is held equal, but that's only because the Heisenberg uncertainty principle doesn't apply to game design.
    While not a nerf it is a distinction and one I thought was worth commenting on since it is at least interesting. I am sorry you seem to take offense to the fact that they are physically incapable of taking this class...

  3. - Top - End - #783
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Your just adding an argument to my statement that I never tried to make. I never said that this was a meaningful drawback just that this spell is capable of effectively blinding a canoloth to the world around it. Similarly I never tried to refute that it could be used to do the same to a human. And no I don't think this is even a stretch of the spell, creating an area with loud noise and strong smells come from every direction seems straight up major image's alley with no stretching of the interpretation of the spell.

    While not a nerf it is a distinction and one I thought was worth commenting on since it is at least interesting. I am sorry you seem to take offense to the fact that they are physically incapable of taking this class...
    So, let me get this straight. During a discussion of how powerful the canoloth is, you decided to point out two facts about the canoloth which sound like they're part of that discussion, specifically discussing its weaknesses (even bringing up core talking points from actual arguments made by people intentionally participating in the discussion), but without intending it to be part of that conversation. People point out the problems with the argument you appeared to be presenting, and only after prolonged discussion of your original "observation" do you explain that you were never trying to participate in that discussion.
    Either that, or you thought that bringing up two technically-weaknesses of the canoloth was worth bringing up in discussion, and a point worth defending, even though you knew it wasn't enough to actually affect the canoloth's power relative to other races.
    Does that sound about right?

    Yeah, didn't think so. If you were just making some poorly-thought-out arguments about the canoloth's strengths and weaknesses, that would be fine. But this kind of defense is different. I don't know whether you're trying to pretend you never held the positions you appeared to hold to save face or whether you're just that bad at explaining what your actual point is, but both of those are pretty bad in my book.

    To put it another way: I'm not offended that canoloths can't take this class. I'm—well, not offended, but certainly irritated that you brought it up as a point against the canoloth before backing off and trying to make me out as the bad guy for pointing out how weak of a point it was.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2019-04-25 at 02:34 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I believe Unavenger had said there weren't any spells besides blindness/deafness that could effectively blind the canoloth or asked what other spells could (something to that effect). I simply pointed out major image as being a spell with the potential to also effectively blind the canoloth. It wasn't supposed to be a detractor from the power of canoloth I was just adding a spell that could be used to do so. That seems to me a reasonable addition to the conversation that was taking place.

    And again I thought the physically being incapable of being a wizard/archivist was interesting enough to point out since most of the time monsters can become wizards it is just a bad choice between low int high rhd. There aren't many creatures that have a hard restriction from a base class like that.

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

    As I said previously, the argument you appeared to be supporting (and only tried to back away from after several posts) was that canoloths could be easily disabled. If you provide arguments that support one side of a discussion, especially when they're so similar to ones already used by that side of the discussion, it hardly seems unreasonable to think you are trying to support that side of the discussion.

    Also, there are absolutely other monsters who are effectively barred from certain classes. An awakened bat can technically take levels of fighter, but without any natural attacks or any way to wield weapons, it's not going to be able to use those bonus feats. Similarly, a canoloth can take levels of wizard, and gets spell slots and everything; it just can't use those spells.
    It doesn't seem that interesting to me...especially since they're far from the only monster that lacks eyesight. The core monster manual alone has aboleths, delvers, destruchans, gricks, grimlocks, oozes, and yrthaks as unambiguously sightless, and there are arguments for chuul, otyughs, mimics pretending to be eyeless things, and most plants, fungi, and worms.
    Not to mention that other nonstandard body shapes can provide even greater restrictions on class. How many classes can a chaos beast or gibbering mouther benefit from? Without any coherent or consistent appendages, it probably can't use most of the rogue's core thievery-ey features, the ranger's fighting style, etc.


    Oh, hey, the canoloth can't take levels in paladin! This is something worth bringing up, and even though this is a discussion where we're discussing the canoloth's power, discussing options it's barred from couldn't possibly be perceived as explaining why it's weak. Especially if I included that note alongside other things that sound like an argument for that very face.
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  6. - Top - End - #786
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I will concede the not being able to read thing, it was a point that I thought was interesting and does cause the canoloth issues but not much more than it already had and as you say not exactly unique to it.

    However, your still trying to claim I am supporting a cause I never did and you are trying to put words into my mouth. Look back at my first post of this topic, I was retorting Unavenger's comments that there is only one spell out there that can do anything to canoloth's sight. I added a couple of different things that seemed like they could be effective against the canoloth's 'sight'. I didn't say that this is a reason to drop the LA rating just that there are more ways then just one spell to make the canoloth blind or effectively blind.

  7. - Top - End - #787
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Yugoloth, Nycaloth


    14 RHD, large size, and a continuation of the four-arm theme started by the mezzoloth.

    In terms of ability scores, nycaloths are... kind of underwhelming. 20 strength is pretty unimpressive, 25 constitution is nice but hardly great, and the remaining stats (which fall between 10 and 16) are almost an afterthought.

    The chassis as a whole, however, offers some neat boons. 90 ft. good fly speed is always useful, DR 10/good will come into play often, and assorted energy resistances have never been bad. SR 24 is a mixed bag, but has its uses, and telepathy is great for obvious reasons.

    Interestingly, Improved Grab says that the nycaloth must hit with 'both' claws, despite the creature clearly having four of them. This almost definitely was done so that a weapon-wielding nycaloth could grab if the two claws it was using hit, but sadly causes quite a bit of confusion in almost any other situation. If a nycaloth isn't using weapons, does it just need to hit with any two claws? Can it only grab when attacking with exactly two claws? Or does it have a set of specialized grabbing claws, which are the only ones it can use the ability with?

    Anyway, other traits are meh. Rake is good but not great, Liftoff is a fairly typical 'you can lift grabbed creatures under those specifications' trait, Bleeding Wounds adds low amounts of damage-over-time to the claws, and Summon Yugoloth is your typical combination of unreliability and a fair amount of power. Mobility as a bonus feat is unexpected but nice.

    The spell-likes are at-will Deeper Darkness, Desecrate, Fear, Invisibility, See Invisibility, Mirror Image and self-only Greater Teleport. Aside from greater teleport, it's all pretty limited low-level stuff, though I guess there is some utility in having your entire party sneak around invisibly.

    All in all, I'm not convinced the nycaloth is worth +0 LA. 14 RHD are a lot, and it gets neither the casting, nor the melee prowess, nor the special abilities to make up for it. -0, but feel free to change my mind.


    Nycaloth Commander

    25 outsider RHD and not much extra to show for it. Another one for the -0 pile.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-04-26 at 01:17 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #788
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Having recently been exposed to a lot of instances of mirror image being pretty great, I appreciate the benefits of having that on tap. Being able to pick people up and drop them might have been hilarious back when, I dunno, paladins didn't have in-class flight. I want to like the Nycaloth for that ability, but I'm not convinced said ability actually does much. Even being able to summon a CR10 creature is really unimpressive at this point, because by the time you were doing that, Summon Monster VII can summon a CR 9 Osyluth or Avoral to get up in your business (SNA: Cr 9 greater elemental), and by the time you have a class level, SMVIII can drop a CR 11 centipede of doom on people (CNA: CR 10 salamander). Actual spellcasters can outdo you at summoning without even trying, actual gishes can fight better than you. Gimmick nice, but it has to be -0.

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

    That’s all you get for devoting 70% of your potential build to this thing? -0.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    They're both -0.

    The normal nycaloth just has too many RHD and not enough in the way of anything else. Makes for a decent enough encounter, though.


    And the Commander is -0 for obvious reasons. The Commander's even worse when you realize that it is not using the normal 10/11s for base stats, and instead has only +2 Dex over the normal Nycaloth. And didn't gain anything for the size or RHD increase.
    Wait, what the hell. It's not even using the normal Elite Array, it's using a one-off stat array of 16,14,13,12,10,8. Seriously, WotC, what the hell?
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  11. - Top - End - #791
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Yeah. No. LA -0 for this too.

    Seriously, can we do the XPH after this? We're almost done with MMIII.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    LA -0 for both Nycaloths. Same old song and dance-too little return for a large investment, and no standout abilities to separate this from the pack if you are going for a specific or unusual build.

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

    -0 for both versions

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    14 RHD, large size, and a continuation of the four-arm theme started by the mezzoloth.
    Which made me realize something: I wish there were more consistent design motifs for the fiendish races. Like, all demons have bestial characteristics, all yugoloths have extra body parts relating to their duties, all devils have...I dunno, maybe the insignia of their direct superior branded somewhere obvious? The other outsider clades (with the exception of archons, angels, and maybe eladrins' humanoid forms) do a better job differentiating themselves.

    I'm more interested in discussing character design than the whateverloth. Everything it can do, other monsters can do better or cheaper. -0
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  15. - Top - End - #795
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    -0. The art is really cool and they are fun to fight but man they made garbage PCs. Yer a better warrior. That's it.

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    Post Nycaloth

    • Large outsider with reach - good for a melee build.
    • 14 RHD - ouch. Even though they are good RHD, you only have 6 class levels to play with, and no innate casting or earth shattering abilities to show for it.
    • 40 ft move, 90 ft good flight - nice.
    • +12 natural AC - solid, but not that great at this level.
    • 4 claws, at least two of which can wield weapons - pretty good, actually.
    • Bleeding wounds - nice little rider effect, but nothing that will change the course of a battle most of the time.
    • Rake - good for a grappling build.
    • Improved grab - again, good for a grappling build,. You are large and have a decent strength bonus, but then, at your effective character level, most opponents will either also be good at grappling, or have defenses against it.
    • Liftoff - this is a bit odd as a special ability: I would have assumed most flying creatures that grapple could use this tactic anyway?
    • SLAs - at will deeper darkness, desecrate, fear, invisibility, mirror image, see invisibility, greater teleport (with serious limits); these are a decent suite of SLAs, but not that impressive at this level of the game. No CL listed, so I'm going to assume 14?
    • Summon yugoloth - 1/day 30% chance of success; with a 70% chance of not working? Meh.
    • DR 10/good - decent.
    • Immunity to poison and acid - not bad.
    • Resist cold 10, fire 10, electricity 10 - not bad, but not that great at this level of play.
    • SR 24 - OKish, but is going to rapidly fall away as you level.
    • Telepathy 100 ft - good, as discussed in the last two entries.
    • Str +10, Dex +4, Con +14, Int +2, Cha +6 - net +36, and no penalties; pretty good, but again, weighed up against your ECL? Not so much.
    • Solid racial skill list.
    • Mobility as a bonus feat -any bonus feats are good, but I have to ask...why Mobility of all things? Even as a req feat, most feats that rely on Mobility will also have Dodge listed as a req.
    • Roughly (large) humanoid in shape, and can speak. With 4 arms and wings, though, expect to pay more for armor.

    An easy LA -0 for me. You'd have to get rid of a fair few RHD before this looked like LA +0. With 14 RHD, the best IL you can hope for is 13; and I can't think of any viable casting options. Honestly, once any creature gets past 10 RHD, you need some very impressive abilities (or innate casting/mimicry of other class abilities) to get an LA +0.

    Nycaloth Commander: more of the same with a size increase, 25RHD (welcome to epic) and, quite surprisingly, no improvement to SLAs, except possibly being CL 25. Is this just a standard nycaloth advanced by HD? Definite LA -0.

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    Default Re: Nycaloth

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Nycaloth Commander: more of the same with a size increase, 25RHD (welcome to epic) and, quite surprisingly, no improvement to SLAs, except possibly being CL 25. Is this just a standard nycaloth advanced by HD? Definite LA -0.
    Nope. A standard nycaloth advanced by RHD would have better stats. And the stats from going up in size to Huge from Large.
    The commander only has an advantage in that the Liftoff ability now applies to Large and smaller rather than Medium and smaller characters.
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    Default Re: Nycaloth

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    *Liftoff - this is a bit odd as a special ability: I would have assumed most flying creatures that grapple could use this tactic anyway?
    Kinda-anything that can grapple can move an opponent, but only something with Improved Grab can do so without making grapple checks to move and can move at full speed. (Regular grapples are astoundingly awful compared to Improved Grab).

    RAW, this ability basically just regurgitates a step-by-step IG grapple by a flying creature, except it restricts the attack to a Medium creature without flight no matter how big your Nycaloth is, and you can only ascend vertically. This is literally the same thing only worse than Improved Grab, which it also has; if you are playing this, just use Improved Grab and forget this ability exists, since the designer who wrote it clearly never read the rules for Improved Grab even once.
    Last edited by ViperMagnum357; 2019-04-26 at 05:46 PM.

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

    Easy -0 for both. They do not do much of anything. Even as big dumb beatstick they kind of fail.

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

    Have we decided on the next book?

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

    Oh, hey, the canoloth can't take levels in paladin! This is something worth bringing up, and even though this is a discussion where we're discussing the canoloth's power, discussing options it's barred from couldn't possibly be perceived as explaining why it's weak. Especially if I included that note alongside other things that sound like an argument for that very face.
    Completely irellevant, but it could!
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    14 RHD is an awful lot, but this is a pretty functional (though underwhelming) -0.

    It has 8+int skills, with a +2 racial int with an impressive list. There's a noteworthy lack of UMD, otherwise its a solid skill-monkey. (stealth/detection/face only). A dip in a trapfinding class and you've covered that. Not that traps usually matter at 15+.

    Its very tanky, 90' good flight is still a nice perk. Spells are not competing with level 7 ones, but I think it should be closer compared to ranger than druid or cleric. Or warblade or barbarian. Detect invis, invis, and mirror image up every battle is handy for a full BAB base. A caster level would be nice to know, though. Especially with fear at will, that will matter.

    Honestly I think its very close to the border. It's just too many HD for not really excelling at anything. Even a good bit more Str and I think it could reach +0.

    Verdict: -0 as consensus, but very close and reading arguments for +0.

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

    Thinking about it.. actually.. alright.. ill bite and say +0

    And im basing this on a rather simple assumption.
    That at level 14 there either is some sort of gentleman agreement to keep the worse magical abuse in check.
    Or else the game has degraded into a game of rocket tag, where noone but full casters matter.

    If its the later, then its likely to do as well as any other non-caster build.
    Or perhaps better since it has non-magical flight.

    And if its the former, then its also likely to do as well as most other non-caster builds.
    It has decently high numbers, so while it might not top the damage chart it will still contribute.
    It has great mobility, natural flight, high base movement, and even greater teleport.
    It has awesome survivability. Full saves, stat boosts, high HP, resistance, DR, Spell resistance (that will still be useful against minions and Spell like abilities)
    It even has great scouting abilities. Natural see invisibility, an ability thats normally hard to get hold of. And Telepathy, thats a single feat away from mindsight.
    Heck, it even has decent gimmicks in the form of telepathy, thats really useful, as well as high skill points and spell like abilities.

    Really.. it honestly does a -lot- of different things. With high stats and abilities people normally enter PC's for.
    Its only crime is not being a spellcaster. But even at high level i still think there should be room for a large flying monster.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Its only crime is not being a spellcaster. But even at high level i still think there should be room for a large flying monster.
    The only problem is there's other large, flying monsters that do as well in melee, with either less RHD, higher physical stats, and/or better "other" abilities.

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

    The only problem is there's other large, flying monsters that do as well in melee, with either less RHD, higher physical stats, and/or better "other" abilities.
    Im not comparing it to other flying monsters.
    Im comparing it to what might be found in a regular party.
    And weighting it on, if this thing might be able to contribute meaningfully or not.

    The conclusion became, that yes it can.
    Especially because it has counters to a lot of the magical stuff that screws up noncasters.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  26. - Top - End - #806
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    GreatWyrmGold's Avatar

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

    Alright, sounds like it's time to do the ol' "compare numbers to a DMG barbarian" trick.

    Nycaloth has more hit points, a comparable AC, and lower attack bonuses than a 14th-level DMG barbarian. The nycaloth has better saves, a smattering of defensive abilities, utility SLAs, and some other random goodies (four arms, wings, claws that induce bleeding, etc). No rage or anything, but it has a decent array of special abilities on top of comparable numbers. I'm changing my vote to +0; not the most interesting 14th-level character, but not terrible, and as a beatstick it has a standard set of decent advancement choices.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

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  27. - Top - End - #807
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    Caelestion's Avatar

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

    That's hardly a ringing endorsement, but yes, a 14 HD combat monster is unlikely to ever to be much of one anyway. LA: +0.

  28. - Top - End - #808
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    NecromancerGirl

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

    Would a multi-classed barbarian/warlock be a comparison point? Its at will spell likes feel very warlocky and its physicallity seems barbariany

    I can go with +0
    Last edited by Lans; 2019-04-28 at 01:01 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #809
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Would a multi-classed barbarian/warlock be a comparison point? Its at will spell likes feel very warlocky and its physicallity seems barbariany
    Depends on the split, but my gut feeling is that the barblock would be a worse brawler with magic that synergizes better.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

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  30. - Top - End - #810
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I'd say -0, myself.
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