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  1. - Top - End - #901
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Likely because its a generally solitary creature with inherent telepathy and mind control?
    Organization: Solitary, brood (2-4), or slaver brood (1d3+1 plus 7-12 skum)

    That seems more like you have family units or young ones out to make their own family than a creature that is completely solitary...

    Also neither version has inherent telepathy, though it does have a telepathic bond with its slaves for the standard and by use of mindlink for the Psionic version.

    Anyways based on their fluff of being minionmancers and dominating other creatures to do their bidding, having some social skills doesn't seem like it would be outsider their wheelhouse.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I'd say go with option 3, but instead of trying to redo MM1 (which will likely result in an endless loop of fixing past mistakes), just rerate old monsters on a case by case basis whenever we encounter a new variety of the same one. As for the two aboleths, I'd give them +1. They've got some nice stuff, but not so much as to be two levels behind. Each point of LA is a big deal, and the higher you go, the worse the penalty per point.
    this is pretty much what id have said word for word. kinda eerie how often me and her agree on things.

  3. - Top - End - #903
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Remuko View Post
    this is pretty much what id have said word for word. kinda eerie how often me and her agree on things.
    Maybe she's an Aboleth and used psi dominate on you
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    ...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

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Maybe she's an Aboleth and used psi dominate on you
    Not gonna rule that out as a possibility! Also, love the new avatar Ogres! <3 super cute.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I'd say go with option 3, but instead of trying to redo MM1 (which will likely result in an endless loop of fixing past mistakes), just rerate old monsters on a case by case basis whenever we encounter a new variety of the same one. As for the two aboleths, I'd give them +1. They've got some nice stuff, but not so much as to be two levels behind. Each point of LA is a big deal, and the higher you go, the worse the penalty per point.
    I concur.

    Some of the PLAs have incorrect augmentation. Disable should have a range of 50 feet and a HD limit of 16, but its save DC is correct. Dominate, Psionic leaves augmentation on the table if not targeting an aberration, dragon, elemental, or outsider. Thought Shield should give PR 23 and last 11 rounds.

    Can psionic monsters reassign augmentations on their PLAs? Can the Aboleth dominate a humanoid for 13 days or dominate three humaniods?

  6. - Top - End - #906
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by TiaC View Post
    Can psionic monsters reassign augmentations on their PLAs?
    Yes. It's a major perk for those powers that have different augmentation options. To compensate, the psionic aboleth has a manifester level three lower than an arcane aboleths caster level, or even nine (!) levels lower on ego whip and id insinuation. (You'd better be sure that your target isn't graced with level-appropriate SR.) Psionic aboleth also have uses/day limits on all their powerful abilities, whereas regular aboleth cast 7th-level spells at will.

    Arcane aboleth have a bag of tricks that allows them to run circles around much more dangerous enemies, but relatively few abilities that directly affect creatures they encounter (Enslave and hypnotic pattern, basically).

    Psionic aboleth have abilities that are focused more on controlling minds, in keeping with the psionic tradition that illusions are best created in the mind of the beholder directly (prevalence of immunities notwithstanding). Minionmancy is probably the more powerful than (non-shadow) illusions, but in becoming psionic, the aboleth seems to have lost quite a lot of raw power, and unlike illusions, offensive abilities need to scale better to remain useful.

    All in all, I'd rate the psionic aboleth slightly lower than the arcane aboleth, and its PLAs sans dominate are about right for an 8 HD monster. LA +1 is fine, though, just because dominate is so strong.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Definitely option 3. As for the Psionic Aboleth: I am leaning towards LA +1, same as I would have rated the base Aboleth had I been contributing then. Any thralls get to make new saves every 24 hours/whenever you make them do something they really don't like, so keeping more than one or two at a time is a recipe for disaster; likewise, the question is when, not if, one of them breaks free and you flub your new attempts, so you have to weigh that eventuality against their usefulness and what you are prepared to invest in them. And, of course, most of your abilities are invalidated by huge swathes of enemy types, forcing you to rely on your less than stellar chassis and your thralls, which are just a bunch of bombs looking for a reason to explode in your face.

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

    After looking over everything about the Psionic Aboleth again I will switch to +1 LA, I still think normal Aboleth is high +1 or low +2 as most of its abilities have staying power.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Ideally we would naturally go with option 3, though it might not be feasible to do a once-over on all the old monsters.

    Otherwise, I think we should rate according to current standards. The point of this thread is to make more accurate level adjustments. Refusing to change things for the better because of the mistakes of the past is how you get Soulborn from Paladin, and why all spontaneous casters still are one level of casting progression behind.
    To be honest, WotC didn't just repeat the same old mistakes but also made new and creative ones, which would be depressingly unsurprising if it wasn't par for the course by now.

    As for the Psiboleth, while immunity is still relatively easy for monsters to get(at least 3~4 types off the top of my head), spell/item-based immunity doesn't come online until at least ECL 13 when Personal Mind Blank comes online, as opposed to ECL 9 for True Seeing. Makes them better monster encounters at least, IMO.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Likely because its a generally solitary creature with inherent telepathy and mind control?
    The mind control is the big one. Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate aren't much use if you can psychically compel people into doing what you want.


    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    The short version is that psionics is basically just magic but weaker.
    Magic but different. Psionics tend to be more flexible (a single power point pool instead of preset spell slots, power augmentation to enhance powers further, etc).
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  11. - Top - End - #911
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    As for the Psiboleth, while immunity is still relatively easy for monsters to get(at least 3~4 types off the top of my head), spell/item-based immunity doesn't come online until at least ECL 13 when Personal Mind Blank comes online, as opposed to ECL 9 for True Seeing. Makes them better monster encounters at least, IMO.
    Undeads, Plans, Vermin and Constructs. Though those types are also generally the easiest to get around with a "hired" bruiser.
    And well, Mind Blank is moderatly easy to counter by dispelling it.

    The mind control is the big one. Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate aren't much use if you can psychically compel people into doing what you want.
    Yeah, its like when you have a bike, then your much less likely to walk anywhere.
    And as we already established. Aboleths are solitary. They dont really form grand communities or anything like that.
    Last edited by lord_khaine; 2019-05-07 at 02:31 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Option 3 would seem sensible, provided that we don't fall prey to power-creep. The aboleth certainly deserves an LA and I would be inclined to stick with the more conservative
    +2
    .

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

    Psi-aboleth votes:
    +1: 8 votes
    +2: 4 votes

    Because of the great majority in favor of option 3, the regular aboleth will receive this LA too. Even when adjusting for the one case of '+2 for the regular, +1 for the psionic', +1 still wins for that one.

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

    Astral Construct


    The psionic equivalent to summoned monsters. Generally weaker than their magical cousins, but given how ridiculous the latter can get I wouldn't say that's a bad thing.

    Astral constructs come in nine flavors, one for each possible augmentation level, and supposedly each roughly equivalent to at-level summons. That doesn't bode well for higher-leveled ones, but the first few should hopefully be playable. Let's have a look!

    1st-level astral construct

    One construct HD (which can therefore be swapped out), a pretty good chassis with 15 strength and dexterity, a 1d4 slam, +5 natural armor, construct immunities, and small size (ouch). In addition, those constructs get a special customizable ability, which can actually be rather varied. The most notable one is the fly speed: everything else is either underwhelming (swim speed, +1 AC, energy resistance 5) or wants the construct to be more of a melee brute than its small-sized chassis encourages.

    Honestly, this is far from the worst chassis for a rogue-type character, assuming the lack of intelligence is fixed. I myself am not convinced it's quite strong enough for +1 LA, but at the same time I can totally understand those who'd claim it is. Good physical stats, flight, construct immunities and some good natural armor are pretty useful traits, after all.

    2nd-level astral construct

    2 RHD now, but medium size to make up for it. 16 strength is hardly bad, but at the same time two class levels are a lot to give up for an okay-chassis (that doesn't even get full BAB) and flight. Probably -0 LA, with a tiny sliver of possibility for +0.

    3rd-level

    21 strength and medium size, but 3 HD. Arguably a little better than the 2nd-level variant, but construct HD are just so terrible that even the +4 strength and lack of additional BAB loss make it hard for me to recommend this over an actual class level. Not +0 LA material for sure; -0 it is.

    4rd-level

    Pounce is probably the most notable of the B-list abilities (that or fast healing), and 25 strength is pretty great, but the 5 RHD sting. Also, having pounce means not getting flight, due to the way the ability menus work. -0 LA once more: just play a barbarian instead.

    Level 5 and up

    Added RHD really starts outpacing the benefits from gained levels. Larger size, DR/magic, heaps of strength and eventually even invisibility or PLAs are all nice, but getting one neat thing for several levels of investment isn't worth it. -0 LA for the lot: unimpressive even in their niche is the definition of tier 5.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-05-08 at 02:30 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    +1 for the first level. Its a really solid package and its HD get swapped. Fly speed clinches it, and you can dump str then get racials to compensate int and still be decent.

    +0 for the second. Its a good martial base, and losing a BaB is not totally awful.

    3 and up are -0, unless there is some trick to use power points to augment yourself I do not know of as an astral construct. 3 might squeek in at +0 but I do not think it is quite there. 4 and up is mostly unsalvageable.

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

    I'll chime in for +1 for 1st level. I'm almost tempted to go higher. Good ability scores, construct immunities, and flight (or a bonus feat, several of which are quite good) is a fantastic package.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    I'll chime in for +1 for 1st level. I'm almost tempted to go higher. Good ability scores, construct immunities, and flight (or a bonus feat, several of which are quite good) is a fantastic package.
    Ya +1 LA for small size with +4 str/dex 30' land speed and 20' average fly speed is very hard to say no to and yet +2 seems like too much when compared to things like lich, half dragon and so on. It is a high end +1 but I don't think high enough to fall into +2. +1 LA for 1 RHD Astral

    I think I am ok with +0 on 2 RHD Astral, fly is hard to say no to but there are some other interesting options there too.

    At 3 RHD I feel like if it had 2+ A list abilities it might be viable, -0 LA. Same for the rest, they need to have more abilities and honestly better scaling abilities to truely be viable.

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

    The things that construct immunities help with are few and far between at first level -- even crits, since so few enemies will have multiple attacks. You'd also be "immune" to magical healing, morale modifiers, and quite a few living-creature-only buffs. I was going to say +0 ... but then I remembered that you're also up 10 hp over an otherwise identical non-construct. So yeah, +1. The second-level version gets a speed boost along with damage, melee accuracy, and another +10 hp, a very nice early start. So +1 for them as well.

    Both those assignments assume you have manipulators and normal body slots, neither of which is even suggested as far as I can see.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    The second-level version gets a speed boost along with damage, melee accuracy, and another +10 hp, a very nice early start. So +1 for them as well.
    Not so fast there, the +1 bab is moot since creatures with 1 rhd can be replaced with class levels, remember that that +20 hp on a 2 rhd astral doesn't scale which makes this worse the more levels you have. Sure it is great at level 2 but it sucks at level 10...

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

    LA +1, LA +0, and then LA -0 at 4th on up. Being able to switch out your RHD for the first is immense, and you even get to keep the bonus Construct HP for size. Waaay too much for a level playing field there. The second is still decent-Medium makes many more builds viable, +10 HP, and at 2 RHD you are only down 1 BAB. Keep in mind you are 10 feet faster than average on the ground for both, as well, with +5 or +6 natural AC. Honestly, I would give these both the same LA even without Flight.

    It is not until your Construct RHD balloons with 4th on up that this is a serious hindrance; your saves are becoming a problem, and once you have fallen 2 BAB behind with 5 RHD and no racial casting you are played out as far as most builds are concerned.

    The real discussion here is 3rd: 2nd is definitely a solid LA +0 but not quite LA +1, and 4th LA -0, but this hits many sweet spots. You are 3 RHD deep into Construct, but only missing 1 point of BAB; compared to the solid 2nd, you get another +4 Str and +2 natural AC at the cost of only +1/+1/+1 saves through 3 levels, which could easily be +7 or possible +9 total if your third level had 2 or 3 good saves. Is that a class level worth taking? d10 HD, 2+Int skills, +1 BAB, +1 all saves, +4 Str, +2 natural AC? Sounds like a decent dip for a Martial, but something any caster and most skill monkeys would pass up. I am going to say LA +0 for this, if only just-a worthwhile level for a bruiser, just enough to qualify, but narrow enough I could see LA -0 as well.

    Finally, while Flight would be assumed, do not discount a bonus feat instead-most of those are decent, common prereqs, or both, in the likely case you are planning for better Flight speed/maneuverability.
    Last edited by ViperMagnum357; 2019-05-08 at 04:00 PM.

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

    I agree that the 1 HD astral construct deserves +1. It's especially nice that the bonus hp mitigate the usual problems with LAs at low ECLs.

    I think I'd rather play a first-level astral construct crusader 1 than a second-level astral construct, and rather the second-level astral construct than a first-level astral construct fighter 1. LA +0 seems fair for the second-level astral construct.

    The third-level construct probably also deserves +0. Still only one ability, but ogre-level strength and hit points (and ogres don't even have one ability anyway).

    For the fourth-level and up, it's -0, as they simply have too many RHD.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Not so fast there, the +1 bab is moot since creatures with 1 rhd can be replaced with class levels, remember that that +20 hp on a 2 rhd astral doesn't scale which makes this worse the more levels you have. Sure it is great at level 2 but it sucks at level 10...
    I meant melee accuracy from the higher Str, not from BAB (though I forgot the -1 from being larger) ... minor factor, regardless. And yeah, I'm factoring in that some games will start at high levels and some will start at low. It's a problem endemic to the whole idea of assigning LA: some things are worth way more early and some are worth way more late.

    If you offered me a choice between a 2-RHD astral construct and a level 3 human barbarian, I'd probably take the construct.* So, +1. And I'd prefer an RHD2/psychic warrior12 over a human psywar15.

    * Again, presuming an Int score, body slots, speech, manipulators, the stuff that makes a character work more or less like normal.
    Last edited by Dimers; 2019-05-09 at 08:15 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I'm not feeling particularly confident about my ability to rate these, but I think I'm going to agree that the 1st-level construct is worth LA +1.

    I also think the 2nd-level construct is on-par for ECL 2, so LA +0 for the 2nd-level construct. I could accept LA +1 here, too.

    The 3rd-level construct is more of challenge. Those are pretty big numbers for a melee brute, and the construct immunities and stuff. If it's a hassle to get an Intelligence score, then maybe that puts this one at LA -0, but I think this is still mostly worth 3 HD, so LA +0 for the 3rd-level construct, as well.

    The 4th-level construct still has great numbers for a brute, and I think it might be worth 5 HD if it was Large size (just because it would be better than an ogre), but as is, I think I could justify 4 HD, but not 5. So, LA -0 for 4th-level construct and all the rest above it.

    -----

    If the menu options scaled more like the Weapons of Legacy scaling (1 A-option per level for the first few levels, then 1 B-option per level, etc), and they cut back on the HD scaling, it might actually make a decently interesting monster class. The numbers get excessive for the higher-level constructs (45 Str, 25 natural armor), so I'd want to dial that back to something less silly, but I think it might work.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2019-05-09 at 10:44 PM.

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

    Ah, the Astral Construct, Exhibit A of "why I mistrust WotCs motives as well as their competence", as the person who came up with the CPsi nerf for them literally did so to spite one of the players at his table.

    How the heck do you manage to get a playable one? Aren't they temporary creations?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Ah, the Astral Construct, Exhibit A of "why I mistrust WotCs motives as well as their competence", as the person who came up with the CPsi nerf for them literally did so to spite one of the players at his table.

    How the heck do you manage to get a playable one? Aren't they temporary creations?
    The same way you use any of the LAs we've made up: by asking your GM nicely. Notice that we're also assuming that you get an INT score from somewhere and that you aren't under the 100% control of some shaper psion somewhere.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    How the heck do you manage to get a playable one? Aren't they temporary creations?
    That's an excellent question!

    The way I see it, astral constructs are usually created by a specific spell, but there's strictly speaking nothing preventing them from existing by other means. Animated Objects don't have to be made by the spell, fiendish dire rats aren't always summoned, and so on.

    At the very least, it's got a monster statblock, so why not rate it?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    The same way you use any of the LAs we've made up: by asking your GM nicely. Notice that we're also assuming that you get an INT score from somewhere and that you aren't under the 100% control of some shaper psion somewhere.
    ...Well, I suppose -

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    That's an excellent question!

    The way I see it, astral constructs are usually created by a specific spell, but there's strictly speaking nothing preventing them from existing by other means. Animated Objects don't have to be made by the spell, fiendish dire rats aren't always summoned, and so on.

    At the very least, it's got a monster statblock, so why not rate it?
    Ah. Fair.

    And what do you guys think about the first part of my post? Would that explain at least part of 3.5e's imbalance?
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Ah, the Astral Construct, Exhibit A of "why I mistrust WotCs motives as well as their competence", as the person who came up with the CPsi nerf for them literally did so to spite one of the players at his table.

    How the heck do you manage to get a playable one? Aren't they temporary creations?
    If the thread can survive a small distraction, I'd like to hear about the story of Spitenerf, the astral construct.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    If the thread can survive a small distraction, I'd like to hear about the story of Spitenerf, the astral construct.
    You should open a new thread. I'm sure plenty of people not watching this one would appreciate the story as well.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Its honestly a short and boring story.
    Bruce Cordell had a Wilder player who picked up Astral construct,
    then used wild surge to make construct 2 levels above whats normally possible.

    That was to OP for his table, so he nerfed Astral Constructs in the book he wrote.
    The End.

    Morale of the story? Bruce Cordell is a hack.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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