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  1. - Top - End - #1021
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Only needing to spend on four stats is nice.
    Four touch attacks per round at full BAB with 10' reach.
    Undead immunities and incorporeal!
    But you have no manipulators and no item slots.
    And undead RHD are rather wretched.
    I like the skill list, and undead get an acceptable number of skill points per level, plus you have an Int bonus.
    Sunlight vulnerability is unpleasant itself and also makes you vulnerable to some special spell effects. Unlike vampires, though, you can just sink into the ground. Not very sunny there.
    This looks like a worthwhile scout and can hold its own in combat. Compare this against Psychic Rogue class. Hit points are about equal if the psyrogue has Con 16. Skill points are about equal; the Caller's Int bonus cancels out the psyrogue's additional 2 per level. (The Caller's stat mods also add +2 or +3 to all relevant skills.) Psyrogue's class skill list is better and they get trapfinding. Psyrogue can use magic weapons, but between unlimited mind thrust, unlimited concussion blast, jumping out of walls, and the aforementioned four full-BAB touch attacks with reach, I'd say the Caller has better notably better DPR. Some control, too, with reach and ego whip. Caller's incorporeality and at-will clairvoyance seem to give it the edge in scouting, but inability to touch objects means it can't take action as well based on what it finds.

    Cautious +0. This could contribute a fair share as-is in a level 11 party. For higher levels, I'd take psychic warrior, psychic rogue, martial initiator, regular rogue, maybe ranger or paladin ... not barbarian, since you're immune to morale effects.
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  2. - Top - End - #1022
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    LA -0 on the Caller. An incorporeal Undead with 11 RHD really needs to impress with its abilities and this does not. Vulnerability to Sunlight alone is worth multiple RHD reduction for such a potentially crippling ability. No thank you.

  3. - Top - End - #1023
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Steal Essence is a very interesting trait, which essentially (puns!) allows the caller to absorb the psyches of others, gaining a small amount of temporary HP in the process. It automatically does so when killing a creature, but can also use the ability as a standard action on creatures that are paralyzed, sleeping, or unconscious as a result of having a drained ability. Giving that typically those conditions have a tendency to spell death anyway, it's not too great, though I suppose that it has some use in cleaning up temporarily paralyzed foes and assassinating sleeping targets.
    And hey, temporary HP are kinda nice. Not compensates-for-11-HD-of-subpar-manifesting nice, but definitely worth-using-on-unconscious-enemies-at-the-end-of-a-fight nice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    Ohmygod, holy poop, this is amazing! Not the creature, I'll rate that later -- but here's another way to kill Punchbag from the "If it has stats, we can kill it" thread!
    Alright...
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    Two questions.
    1. How does the Caller kill Punchbag?
    2. Are we sure Punchbag isn't some kind of eldritch horror?
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  4. - Top - End - #1024
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Isn't Caller in Darkness the name of a Yu-Gi-Oh card? Or am I confusing it with something else?

    Anyway, definite -0.
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  5. - Top - End - #1025
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Two questions.
    1. How does the Caller kill Punchbag?
    2. Are we sure Punchbag isn't some kind of eldritch horror?
    1) Pretty straightforward, since Punchbag wasn't previously made immune to paralysis. (EDIT: the method of paralysis doesn't matter and isn't the Caller's responsibility. We're only concerned about the deathblow, here.) The effect isn't necromancy, transmutation, damage, reliant on metabolic processes, a death effect, eating, soul-separating or mind-affecting, and it states clearly that "[t]he victim dies".

    2) Of course we're sure. Eldritch horrors are much easier to kill.
    Last edited by Dimers; 2019-05-17 at 01:27 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #1026
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Guard View Post
    -0 on the Caller. I guess it's fun if you enjoy using a fully augmented 1st level power all the time, and Ego Whips. Always fun. But-



    Exactly. This has nothing to do once you've picked it up and started playing. Take Ardent and then Practiced Manifester? Hope that 3rd level powers at level 12 doesn't get you and your party munched TOO bad?
    I feel like 'ardent + practiced manifester can salvage this' is cheating.
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  7. - Top - End - #1027
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    I feel like 'ardent + practiced manifester can salvage this' is cheating.
    I think 'salvage' is a generous term for what that class and feat do for this critter.

    But I do agree with you, that interaction between Ardent and Practiced Manifester is ridiculous, and probably shouldn't work.

  8. - Top - End - #1028
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Spoiler: Continuing Brain Mole Discussion
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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    I think the important part of what I quoted was the word can in the statement 'Magical beasts are similar to animals but can have Intelligence scores higher than 2.' This indicates that a monster with int 2 isn't limited to 2 int unlike an animal which is by definition limited to 2 int. This is why an animal companion can use its ability score gained at level 4 on int and then take feats it couldn't before.
    Yes, it's possible for a Magical Beast to gain a higher Int score. But, you still haven't presented a viable method for doing that. There's no rule for correcting that with a point buy, so you can't just point-buy your way to Int 3. If you're using the stat boost at 4th level, then you have to take at least 4 RHD (or maybe 3?), because you can't take class levels until your Int score is at least 3. If you're going for a headband of intellect, then you'll need the WBL of a 4th-level character, so you're again looking at 4 RHD. But now look at the brain mole's advancement line: it doesn't advance by racial hit dice, either; so those two methods are also out.

    In the end, the brain mole's Intelligence penalty is effectively insurmountable without a template or a special ruling of some kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    The rules say int >=3 so I am not sure why you are claiming at least 5 or are you saying without at least 5 int it is unplayable? Anyways for the purpose of this thread Blue Ray's link is already out the window because of the first sentence about being close enough to human, the fact that what 80% of these monsters have no hands and can't speak without a magic item or a couple psion levels already makes that entire group of rules moot for our purposes so I am not sure why we are getting hung up on it. The brain mole functions just fine as a pc with the caveat that int is -8 int with minimum 3 int. We already have the same situation with cave trolls and no one raised a stink there...
    Most of the posters who rated the brain mole at LA -0 did so largely because of a -8 racial penalty to Intelligence that doesn't exist, and many of them also said they would have voted differently if that penalty didn't exist. That was not the case with the cave troll, nor with any other low-Intelligence monster that I can recall since this project began: most of them would have been rated poorly even with an Intelligence correction. I think this is the first time I've seen that the -8 Int assumption is actually the single deciding factor in a monster's LA. The stirge came close, if I remember right.

    I just think animal-level intelligence needs to carry much less weight in these ratings than it does.


    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Caller is a straight forward -0, underwhelming ability scores and abilities with nowhere to go after the horrid 11 rhd.
    This sums it up well. LA -0 for the Caller in the Darkness. And holy crap, but that thing is creepy!
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2019-05-17 at 05:21 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #1029
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Psionics aren't my strong point, but I love CiD as an encounter. Ever since I first ran one against a party while DMing EtCR, I've thought they were a great horror-themed monster.

  10. - Top - End - #1030
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Psionics aren't my strong point, but I love CiD as an encounter. Ever since I first ran one against a party while DMing EtCR, I've thought they were a great horror-themed monster.
    Oh, sure. Just because they suck as PCs doesn't mean they suck as encounters too. The Book Of Bad Latin has lots to improve them, for even more creepy undead fun.
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  11. - Top - End - #1031
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Looked at it fair bit. Good scout, will struggle to contribute at 11th level and get worse from there on. 4 2d6 incorporeal touch attacks look good at first, but they aren't scaling or improving with say Str for most beatsticks. 7d10 spammable ranged damage sounds good. But many opponents are immune, will save negates, PR: Yes and at 7th level manifester. And it doesn't appear to advance ever. An 11th level character needs to excel at something and I'm not seeing it. (well, bard I guess jack-of-all-trades and such but a bard has varied and useful casting) Problems in actual sunlight could be an issue, but incorporeal can simply take a move action underground and recover. That and no clear item slots at all and I'm really considering "*" on this.

    Overall: -0. Close at level 11 but doesn't scale well.

  12. - Top - End - #1032
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    Spoiler: Continuing Brain Mole Discussion
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    Yes, it's possible for a Magical Beast to gain a higher Int score. But, you still haven't presented a viable method for doing that. There's no rule for correcting that with a point buy, so you can't just point-buy your way to Int 3. If you're using the stat boost at 4th level, then you have to take at least 4 RHD (or maybe 3?), because you can't take class levels until your Int score is at least 3. If you're going for a headband of intellect, then you'll need the WBL of a 4th-level character, so you're again looking at 4 RHD.



    Most of the posters who rated the brain mole at LA -0 did so largely because of a -8 racial penalty to Intelligence that doesn't exist, and most of them also said they would have voted differently if that penalty didn't exist. That was not the case with the cave troll, nor with any other low-Intelligence monster that I can recall since this project began. I think this is the first time I've seen that the -8 Int assumption is actually the single deciding factor in a monster's LA.
    Most viable low Int monsters don't try to be anything other than dumb muscle.
    The Brain Mole basically has to try to be a T1/T2 Wis-based caster/manifester while lacking the brainpower to effectively fill that role.


    Also, IMO, it's a -0 even if you assume no racial Int modifier. Not as much a -0, but still -0.


    --
    Caller in Darkness ... LA -0.
    Makes a solid encounter ... not so much a sustainable PC.
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  13. - Top - End - #1033
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I want this to be viable because a creepy collection of souls and faces as a PC sounds great in a gorfof game, but I am having a hard time seeing it. Maybe scout or something for skirmish. 4x 2d6 is nice if you add xd6 each and you can always get the movement as incorporeal . No or not many slots though. The ranged damage is sub par but it's something. I love as a psionic horror encounter, but not as a PC. -0.

  14. - Top - End - #1034
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    I think this is the first time I've seen that the -8 Int assumption is actually the single deciding factor in a monster's LA.
    Minor correction, it seems more like the straw that broke the anthropomorphic camel's back. It's still a creature with no thumbs or vocal cords, mediocre special abilities, and nothing to make up for them but a Tiny chassis and a bonus to Wisdom. Which isn't worthless, of course, but it would still be weak and uncomfortably specialized even if it got skill points.
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2019-05-18 at 02:32 PM.
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  15. - Top - End - #1035
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Cerebrilith


    Let's recap: the past four monsters have been a bluish goblin, a psychic rodent, a hideous tortured spectre, and a demon with a severe case of the ol' spinebrains.

    Cerebriliths have nine outsider RHD, which allows me to be carefully optimistic about their playability. They're large-sized, with the good stats expected of a mid-level demon. 100 ft. telepathy is good, DR 10 is good, energy resistances/immunities are good, not much to complain about there. +8 to listen and spot are a bit weird, but not unwelcome.

    Natural weapons are very underwhelming, especially for a 9 HD Large critter, with a 1d8/1d6 bite/claw/claw routine. Ah well, not like this needs to rely on natural attacks a lot.

    Its summoning ability lets it call a horde (4d6) of dretches, or another cerebrilith, both with a 35% success rate. The low percentage there stings, but even so it's significant enough to shake up one encounter every few days.

    Interestingly, the cerebrilith has psi-like and spell-like abilities.

    At-will psi-likes are Brain Lock that can be used on any nonmindless foe (surprisingly good, especially on a PC), 2d4 Ego Whip (a solid backup option), Detect Psionics, four-target Id Insuniation, and Mind Trap. Those are hardly terrible abilities, and definitely relevant at the levels cerebriliths become playable.

    Further psi-likes are 3/day Psionic Dominate, Ectoplasmic Form, and Mind Probe, as well as 1/day 9d10 Mind Thrust. The last of those is pretty underwhelming, but the other three provide a healthy mix of utility and combat strength.

    The spell-likes are at-will Deeper Darkness, Desecrate, Detect Good, Greater Teleport (self + 50 lb., as usual), Magic Circle Against Good, and Unholy Blight. Some of it is pretty underwhelming, but most of those definitely have their uses.

    As far as advancement goes, the cerebrilith has access to the various 'Fiend of' classes, as well as a number of other PrCs. This leads me to believe that even without an obvious class to take, it'll be able to stay relevant at higher levels.

    Considering the cerebrilith's ability to near-indefinitely daze unprotected targets, amazing range of utility magic, and fair amount of combat abilities, in addition to a strong chassis, and looking back to how demons have been traditionally rated, I feel like +1 fits fine here.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-05-23 at 11:08 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #1036
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Oh yeah, they also get Wild Talent as a bonus feat, which gives 1 PP and thus makes it a bit easier to enter, say, Pyrokineticist, or qualify for psionic feats.
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  17. - Top - End - #1037
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    So I am unsure about the Cerebrilith as it does have a pretty great retinue of psi-like powers, however, with the exception of Ectoplasmic Form all of them are mind affecting and therefore subject to being blocked. As such without dispel as a spell like Cerebrilith will often be stuck with nothing but its natural weapons which suck for a 9 rhd large outsider. I will hold off on rating until I see a few other people's scores since I am unsure...

  18. - Top - End - #1038
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    This is pretty nice. Greater teleport at will and magic circle means tons of mobility and more or less immunity to mind affecting. Psi dominate will not always work but permanent minionmancy is great, and they can teleport to find what they need get it, and hop back. Mindsight is a feat away and they have all slots. It is quite good as is, but not sure where I would go with it.

    I think +2 is reasonable, but not sure what I would play. Anything t3 or less works to varying degrees. Bard for buffing minions, binder for more utility, totemist for better melee, initiator gets 7th level maneuvers which are pretty nice and give ok dps and with your ranged option you have an ok fall back.

    Seems like a great 5th member who can do anything but be a full caster and most parties would like to have one. Other than the whole spinal brain demon aesthetic.
    Last edited by Efrate; 2019-05-20 at 09:51 AM. Reason: hd error it gets 7ths

  19. - Top - End - #1039
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    With those stat mods, SLAs that stay relevant for a long time, PLAs that are useful earlier on, and that incredible defensive sweet +2 seems perfectly fair.

    As a side note these have little trouble entering blackguard and could probably make good use of it's features given their enormous Wis and Cha and poison/smite gives them relevant melee damage while aura of despair gives more longevity to powers whose DCs are just not keeping up any more.

  20. - Top - End - #1040
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I love the denizens of the upper and lower planes, so this guy always caught my eye. Psionic demon? Sign me up!

    As a PC, I actually really like its abilities. They're not irrelevant when he gets them, and since it's a fiend, like Inevitability said, it qualifies for the "Fiend of" prestige classes, which are pretty fun. I'm not seeing too many other options outside those, though. Maybe a Tome of Battle class, since Outsider Hit Die aren't bad with d8, Full BAB, and 8+int skill points?

    Its psi-like and spell-like abilities give it a great repertoire of versatility and combat power. As someone who has seen a player use Dazing Blow to brutal effect in a game, I know Dazing is a great thing to do every turn, and Ego Whip is a great spammable alternative.

    I feel like +1 LA works here. Level 10 is a good spot to be with its abilities. The wizards are slinging around 5th level spells, and everyone is halfway done with their builds, and crazy stuff is starting to pop up for them as well. I really just don't like how so many of his powers aren't any good against things that are immune to mind-affecting, but I suppose you can fall back onto his large size chassis for a lot of things.
    Last edited by Grey Guard; 2019-05-20 at 10:43 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #1041
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    Post Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    It gets quite a few nifty things, but only one remarkable thing, which is not what I'd expect from something that costs almost half my build. Plus, virtually everything of value that it does get is mind-affecting and, thus, runs smack into the most common immunity. Overall, it's decent but doesn't stand out. It justifies its cost but doesn't excel.

    +0
    Last edited by Celestia; 2019-05-20 at 12:11 PM.
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  22. - Top - End - #1042
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    It gets quite a few nifty things, but only one remarkable thing, which is not what I'd expect from something that costs almost half my build. Plus, virtually everything of value that it does get is mind-affecting and, thus, runs smack into the most common immunity. Overall, it's decent but doesn't stand out. It justifies its cost but doesn't excel.

    +0
    I find this assessment to be reasonable, especially when considering that, as has been mentioned, it has few natural places to progress other than maybe fiend of possession. Im willing to agree with +0 for now.
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  23. - Top - End - #1043
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Let's recap: the past four monsters have been a bluish goblin, a psychic rodent, a hideous tortured spectre, and a demon with a severe case of the ol' spinebrains.
    Psionic powers have always been associated with weird creatures. Is it any surprise that the psionic books have even weirder ones?


    I'm not familiar enough with the cerebrelith's powers to even decide which LA arguments seem the most sound. Abstain.
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  24. - Top - End - #1044
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    I find this assessment to be reasonable, especially when considering that, as has been mentioned, it has few natural places to progress other than maybe fiend of possession. Im willing to agree with +0 for now.
    Same here, as I said all but one of its psi-likes are mind affecting which will get stopped pretty consistently by anyone buffed with protection from evil or any number of other abilities rendering 90% of its combat options moot. I think it can go Fiend of Possession, Fiend of Corruption, and Blackguard. Besides those three maybe swordsage, and totemist. All and all I think +0 seems reasonable, they get a lot but a number of classes could easily have similar power at the same level...

  25. - Top - End - #1045
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Same here, as I said all but one of its psi-likes are mind affecting which will get stopped pretty consistently by anyone buffed with protection from evil or any number of other abilities rendering 90% of its combat options moot. I think it can go Fiend of Possession, Fiend of Corruption, and Blackguard. Besides those three maybe swordsage, and totemist. All and all I think +0 seems reasonable, they get a lot but a number of classes could easily have similar power at the same level...
    Ego Whip is still a monster, but the fact Pro:Evil blocks so much is a good point. Change my vote to +1. The base creature has a lot going for it still and +1 allows for a 10 level PrC without needing buyoff.

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

    Ah, the Cerebrilith: not thrilled about being 10ft slower than average for size with no compensating alternate movement, but the rest of the chassis is well above average at net +50 abilities and +15 Natural AC. Outsider RHD and Tanar'ri traits are a solid base; but the natural attack routine is on the low end of mediocre, and the low, non-scaling PR dents the final product.

    Overall, I am leaning towards LA +1. The offensive abilities are limited enough to force an alternate build when you are already halfway to Epic, and there are a few nicks and dings on the final product, but you can do a lot with this. The raw stats are sufficient to make an effective if sub optimal bruiser, Teleport, and you are waaay too far behind for casting to be your primary schtick; that said, your starting place is strong enough to make a more physical Gish, Initiator, Totemist, or the usual suspects for things with lots of RHD and no natural casting/abilities to build around. Where this shines is the chance to dip many different additive PRCs after grabbing an Initiator class level; this can be a skill monkey with frontline capabilities and room to dip a level or two here or there for specific builds. Think of all the frontloaded classes, like the aforementioned Blackguard, that usually get passed over because they do not offer enough for their investment on a character with 10-20 in all abilities. This thing will likely have 14-26, and its RHD levels provide the Telepathy, quality DR, and raw stats many builds will dip or accept LA for anyway-with full BAB and 8+Int skills.
    Last edited by ViperMagnum357; 2019-05-20 at 09:37 PM.

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    MonkGuy

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

    I like what it has going for it and agree with the arguments of those who have come before me with +1.

    Another vote for +1!
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    It gets quite a few nifty things, but only one remarkable thing, which is not what I'd expect from something that costs almost half my build. Plus, virtually everything of value that it does get is mind-affecting and, thus, runs smack into the most common immunity. Overall, it's decent but doesn't stand out. It justifies its cost but doesn't excel.

    +0
    Sounds about right to me. +0

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    MindFlayer

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

    ViperMagnum summarizes most of what I think about this, I think it's a solid +1 on a T3 comparison point. Maybe if I was sure the spell-likes and psi-likes scaled with level I'd argue +2, but I think that will be DM call. Ectoplasmic form hasn't been mentioned, but that 3/day with at-will self teleport is some serious utility. Large skill-monkeys are a bit odd, but this guy could pull that off.

    Blackguard and ToB dips have been mentioned, and it is eligible for warmind out of the gate.

    Edit: changed opinion to +2 LA after closer look.
    Last edited by Covenant12; 2019-05-22 at 06:07 PM.

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

    Going to go with +2.

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