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  1. - Top - End - #871
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Netbrian View Post
    I'd vote for +1 normally, +2 if LA buyback is allowed. This race seems like an especially good reason to use those rules, because it could help counteract the way its powers start off so strong, and then taper off in usefulness as time goes on.

    I wish there was more support for scaling monster abilities at higher levels -- something like "as you gain levels, your SLAs become harder to resist, you gain more SR, and you can throw bigger rocks." Debauch doesn't add much mechanically, but would be a fun reason to play Bacchae as a PC race.
    To be fair, most monsters weren't intended to be PCs, and I'm not just talking about the arbitary "no monstrous PCs" hate-boner WotC sometimes shows.
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  2. - Top - End - #872
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    LA: +1 is the only option I can really encourage. At +0 it would make a water orc barbarian look pretty bad, and I think it brings more overall to the table than water orc warblade. Plus has very fun toys at low levels. Also respectable skill spread.

    +2 would be quite crippling. Making it not only noncompetitive in raw power at low levels, but very squishy. At high levels it would be behind in everything, really.

  3. - Top - End - #873
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    +0: 5 votes
    +1: 10 votes
    +2: 3 votes

    Clear majority for +1, LA will remain as it is.
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  4. - Top - End - #874
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Bhut


    *sound of six-year-olds snickering*

    An 8 HD, medium-sized incorporeal undead: nothing too crazy there. Ability scores are quite nice, with +8 dexterity, +4 intelligence, and +10 charisma. -2 wisdom sucks but is manageable. A 50 ft. fly speed isn't half bad, especially when you don't have to move around most obstacles. The remainder of the chassis is fairly standard, with only the 1d12 bite (with 19-20 crit range and 3x modifier) really standing out.

    The real interesting bits are a bhut's many special qualities. Firstly, there's Dreadful Appearance, which causes strength damage to anyone who sees you for the first time. It's not 'friendly' in the strict sense, but given that someone gets lifelong immunity after exposure, that's unlikely to matter in practice.

    A bhut's bite also delivers poison, which deals a non-insignificant amount of wisdom damage (2d6 initial, 2d6 secondary), and kills those reduced to 0 wisdom. Victims then get turned into new bhuts (who aren't under your control). Neat, and worth using against frail wisdom-based casters or something. Bhuts have a weird weakness to stone and earth, and take damage while passing through it. They're also very vulnerable to stone weaponry, which even bypass their incorporeal miss chance.

    Finally, there's their main ability: Corpsetheft. This allows a bhut to possess humanoid corpses and turn them into zombies. I'm not sure I'd call it useful: it requires giving up on incorporeality, dreadful appearance, and your considerable dexterity score, but it does have the neat side benefit of nullifying earth weakness, and is less likely to have townsfolk attack you than your default monstrous ghost-self. It's also reasonably useful during infiltration or intrigue missions, I suppose.

    I'm torn on what to rate this. On the one hand, being incorporeal is quite good, but on the other hand the bhut doesn't have much else going for it. Corpsetheft is niche at best, the bite attack is useful but underwhelming as a primary attack mode, and earth vulnerability worsens incorporeality by a fair bit (what's the last time you were not adventuring anywhere near earth or stone?). It's also tricky to find a class that fits this, which leads me to conclude that a bhut's relative power will go down even more over time.

    -0 LA for now, open to suggestions for +0. Also note that this would still be playable, especially around mid-levels, it just wouldn't necessarily be good.
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  5. - Top - End - #875
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I'd have to compare that creature to a combat-oriented rogue.
    • It's got an attack rider that will make short work of a select set of foes ... I'd guess immunity to poison is a little more common than immunity to sneak attack/crits. The wisdom damage will also debuff anything it affects but doesn't kill, like crippling strike.
    • The bhut's got mobility and stealth built right in.
    • Hit points come out about even -- a rogue can have Constitution, but the creature has d12s.
    • Skill points are kinda a wash too, thanks to the Int bonus. Too bad about that skill list ...
    • Defense/protection is initially higher than a rogue's thanks to Dex, undead type and incorporeality. But it's harder to improve when you can't even touch most items, and a rogue's evasion is nice.
    • As Inevitability noted, corpsetheft's best use is disguise and infiltration, another rogue skillset. I'm not coming up with combat shenanigans that are worth the time at ECL8, though I have no doubt someone else here will.


    To me, this feels like a rogue plus a little bit; the absolutes of undead and incorporeality are definitely useful. I'd play it at LA +1. If a level 9 party of Tier 4s and 3s wanted me to play an infiltrator/assassin role, this would fit right in.
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  6. - Top - End - #876
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    The Bhut is ... weird.

    Might want to go into necromancy if the DM allows stuff like the Corpsecrafter line and other undead creation buffs to apply to corpsetheft bodies. Also ... magic and minionmancy gives you something independent of your current form.

    It's unclear what happens if a bhut leaves a body it has stolen - is the body still animated? Is it under the bhut's control?
    Also, would a "dead humanoid body" include an undead created from a humanoid?
    Also, what happens if the humanoid body is from a race that possesses a natural bite attack? Does it loose the bite attack of the body, as per the corpsetheft text about being able to deliver the bhut's poison?


    I think ... the bhut probably isn't worth a +1.


    Earth Vulnerability eliminates one of the biggest reasons to be incorporeal - you can't really bypass walls for scouting because of it. Also, you get to exist in continual terror of earth elementals and stone golems.
    In combat, you have a single above average bite attack with a poison rider. Unfortunately, you don't get to add Strength to damage with it. And while a poison rider is nice ... there's a lot it's not helpful with.
    Or you're basically riding a zombie with normal action economy. In which case you seriously need help, because you have very little to work with.


    Edit: I think I'm going to go with LA -0. With a particularly permissive and generous DM, it could maybe get to a +0. Of course, with such a DM, you can probably play something that doesn't have as many problems to start with.
    Last edited by javcs; 2019-10-05 at 06:00 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #877
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Earth and stone weakness eliminates a lot of the draw of incorporealness. I have to go -0. You lose your one defining stand out feature in most areas, and that means you have a neat bite rider and some stats at ecl 8 which is not much.

  8. - Top - End - #878
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    To be fair, most monsters weren't intended to be PCs, and I'm not just talking about the arbitary "no monstrous PCs" hate-boner WotC sometimes shows.
    This would also help out monsters with class levels -- but the point that this sort of extensibility would almost never come up is completely valid.

    I vote +0 for the Bhut -- it's a cool monster.

  9. - Top - End - #879
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    So, let me get this straight. The bhut has a terrible appearance, weakens people when they see it, and expels poison. It sounds like they spelled it wrong.

    I am unsure of + or - 0 , but I believe I will vote +0 unless a fairly persuasive argument comes around.
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  10. - Top - End - #880
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Are stone weapons really that common? I am inclined to +0 myself, but not an amazing one.

  11. - Top - End - #881
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    Are stone weapons really that common? I am inclined to +0 myself, but not an amazing one.
    I don't think it's stone weapons people are worried about; it is the fact that stone walls and floors abound in adventuring locales and this severely limits one's ability to engage in shenanigans common for incorporeal types like "Spring Attack from and to spaces where your enemy can't hit you back" and/or "near-undetectable ambush from the floor."

  12. - Top - End - #882
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Bhut: Incorporeal Undead, which means you get to dump 2 stats, so a good start. Unfortunately, the bite attack with Poison is the only really standout feature here-the fun stops when you realize your physical attack is down 4 BAB and will only ever get 2 attacks per round that is worthwhile, even after you optimize the bite with some magic.

    8 RHD and a penalty to Wisdom put a crimp in caster plans, especially the fast progression classes like Ur-Priest. You get 8 levels of 2 + Int for skills with a mediocre list, only slightly offset by +4 Int. Most importantly, Earth Vulnerability removes much of the appeal of Incorporeality, which is scouting and ambushing via unexpected directions.

    Overall, I am not sure what to do with this, but I am sure it does not stack up to an 8th level character built by a competent player. LA -0.

  13. - Top - End - #883
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    What's the rate at which a Bhut takes damage when moving through stone? Trading hp for movement let rocket jumps dominate the meta in some games, so unless it's a lot of damage, its probably still worth it to tough out moving through stone. If you take 1d10 damage from moving through stone and you're about to take 5d8 because something has line of effect, it's probably still worth it.
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  14. - Top - End - #884
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    What's the rate at which a Bhut takes damage when moving through stone? Trading hp for movement let rocket jumps dominate the meta in some games, so unless it's a lot of damage, its probably still worth it to tough out moving through stone. If you take 1d10 damage from moving through stone and you're about to take 5d8 because something has line of effect, it's probably still worth it.
    3d6 per round: not enough to kill outright unless you are already shredded, but that maximum is way too much to reliably negate with Fast Healing or most negative energy effects, and being Undead your HP are already at a premium.

    A couple of dashes through earth or stone are definitely in the cards, but laying in ambush or scouting for more than a single round is something you do not want to be doing if you can avoid it.
    Last edited by ViperMagnum357; 2019-10-05 at 03:00 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #885
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    What's the rate at which a Bhut takes damage when moving through stone? Trading hp for movement let rocket jumps dominate the meta in some games, so unless it's a lot of damage, its probably still worth it to tough out moving through stone. If you take 1d10 damage from moving through stone and you're about to take 5d8 because something has line of effect, it's probably still worth it.
    3d6 per round of sustained movement through earth/stone, so if you dive into something to hide inside, you're taking a minimum of 6d6 automatic (3d6 for moving inside, 3d6 for starting inside).

    However, I think that if you go through multiple instances of earth/stone in a single move without remaining inside earth/stone the entire time, you might end up getting dinged for 3d6 each time. Depending on the DM's read.

    Basically, you get about 2/3 rounds/level of interacting with earth and stone. Probably a bit less, really, since you're not going to want to run a small margin of error for bad rolls.
    And that assumes you aren't dealing with combat, which will inevitably further reduce your HP, and therefore your margin for dealing with earth/stone.
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  16. - Top - End - #886
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post
    So, let me get this straight. The bhut has a terrible appearance, weakens people when they see it, and expels poison. It sounds like they spelled it wrong.
    To be honest, I think that was the joke. Unless these are from some obscure mythology, I guess.
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  17. - Top - End - #887
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    To be honest, I think that was the joke. Unless these are from some obscure mythology, I guess.
    It's a part of Indian mythology.
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  18. - Top - End - #888
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    I am... actually not surprised whatsoever. Still think at least one person at WotC was sniggering when they decided to add that to the book, though.
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  19. - Top - End - #889
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I am... actually not surprised whatsoever. Still think at least one person at WotC was sniggering when they decided to add that to the book, though.
    Probably more than one when they found out about it.

    Although, I expect that straight faces were required when getting the name past the editors - "no, really, we're not making this up or making a joke or something, this is a legit mythological creature, that just happens to have an unfortunate sounding name".
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  20. - Top - End - #890
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Finally, there's their main ability: Corpsetheft. This allows a bhut to possess humanoid corpses and turn them into zombies. I'm not sure I'd call it useful: it requires giving up on incorporeality, dreadful appearance, and your considerable dexterity score, but it does have the neat side benefit of nullifying earth weakness, and is less likely to have townsfolk attack you than your default monstrous ghost-self. It's also reasonably useful during infiltration or intrigue missions, I suppose.
    The zombie has hp equal to your own, but damage dealt to the zombie isn't transferred to you (and killing the zombie just causes you to pop out at full health). That's pretty nice.

  21. - Top - End - #891
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I would like to vote +0 on Bhut-head. I do think it is weak, but it comes with enough tools to justify its weak build. Rocket jumping through the ground and slumming as a zombie are not ideal tools, but they give you enough to get creative in trying to survive.

    Then again, I am 'No brains', so I may change my vote to -0 if someone can convince me that this would fall flat on it face while also not being fun.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    It has some good nice toys, I also read the Bhut hps/zombie body hps the way Prime32 does. I'd like to find a solidly contributing role in a party but I'm really not getting there.

    As incorporeal, it has a lot of issues surviving and contributing. If it rolls 11-12 on the poison damage it can one-shot a lot, but anything that doesn't hit Wis 0 I'm not seeing a the value it brings in a dungeon brawl. Without stone vulnerability, incorporeal-spring attack-2d6 Wis damage could be crazy, I guess if your combat have a lot of large trees? With it I'm having a hard time supporting +0.
    It has track as a bonus feat, and survival on its class list, sadly -2 Wis. +4 Int and some nice skill choices, but at 2+ Int points it won't really be a full skill-monkey. And rogue, bard, or ranger bring a lot more utility. Also BAB.

    As a zombie body it is hard to kill, but it no longer has +8 Dex or weapon finesse, but keeps +4 BAB at 8 RHD. I think a half-elf warrior would be better there. Even if you get a humanoid with a bite attack, as written you do terrible damage, get an additional -4 to hit, and trigger an attack of opportunity on your 2d6 Wis bite. And at level 8 you start to run into both opponents with poison immunity and very high Fort saves. Potential fairly smelly cheese: large and even one huge humanoid exist, as naga in an un-updated 3.0 book. If you somehow find those corpses and survive the many books to the head its technically an option.


    I'm going to have to say LA: -0. If posters with better op-fu post a strategy I could change that, but I really don't see this as equal for the party than a half-elf PHB class at 8th level.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    I pronounced it bhoot, not butt, and apparently that was closer to being correct. That is actually pretty spiffy.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    -0 for me. I like my incorporeality to not damage me from basic structural materials, also it can't really contribute to the party that well. Eating that much damage just from passing through a wall or floor is just not worth it.
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    Post Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    • Medium sized undead (incorporeal)
    • 8 RHD: ouch.
    • Fly 50 ft perfect: very nice.
    • Cha bonus as deflection to AC: also nice.
    • Incorporeal bite with a decent base damage die and augmented critical: not bad. You can still bite while wielding ghost touch weapons, I guess.
    • Dreadful appearance: 1d6 Str damage as a one off; not bad, but not great either.
    • Poison: 2d6 Wis/2d6 Wis, death on 0 Wis. It's a shame most low Wis opponents will also have high Fort saves.
    • Corpsetheft: weird but useful ability. I like that the zombie that you ride around in gets normal actions, and can still deliver it's bite poison. Try to possess bodies that already have a bite attack if you can. It gives you a decent way to deal with the drawbacks of being incorporeal. I can think of some decent exploits for this ability, especially since damage doesn't carry over to your true form.
    • Earth vulnerability: well, this puts a giant kink in the benefits of being incorporeal. If you have to go through walls, try to get some kind of fast healing ability? Maybe a dip in Dread Necro?
    • Incorporeal: with all the usual benefits, and some additional drawbacks. As I mentioned earlier, at least you can jump into a corpse when being incorporeal is going to be a drawback.
    • Undead traits: all the usual amazing invulnerabilities, and the drawback of having no Con, and being vulnerable to turning etc.
    • Str --, Dex +8, Con --, Int +4, Wis -2, Cha +10: net +20 with 2 non-abilities. Did we ever reach a consensus on the carrying capacity of creatures with no Str?
    • Racial skill list: limited, but OK if you're going to be the face, I guess.
    • Track as a bonus feat: not great but hey, a free feat is a free feat.
    • You speak "all the languages you knew in life": maybe some exploits to be had for PrCs that require Druidic?
    • As mentioned earlier, incorporeal carries it's own subset of issues with gear etc. At least you have the option to jump into a solid body.

    The amount of RHD hurt, but I can definitely see these guys as viable PCs. -4 BAB from levels hurts, but not insurmountable. Once you have enough HP to not be overly concerned about the damage you take going through walls, you can still enjoy the benefits of being incorporeal. Jump into a body with a bite attack, grab a weapon and wade into combat. Once that body is destroyed, grab another - maybe have your party members carry around a portable hole full of bodies? I feel that you get enough good stuff to justify LA +0, even borderline LA +1.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Also worth note: virtually all buildings are going to trigger the earth vulnerability. The most common types of structures in the Medieval period (and any fantasy game cribbing the Medieval aesthetic) was wattle and daub, which used mud and clay as insulation. Thus, even a city-based game will still render your incorporeality almost entirely useless. Pure timber buildings were nearly unheard of due to how expensive lumber was in those days.

    And without being able to exploit the incorporeal peekaboo strategy or the scouting capabilities, it seems like far more of a burden than a benefit. -0 for sure.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    One: since stone weapons are not common calling incorporeality's upsides negated entirely is extremely hyperbolic. You are still immune to most natural attacks, many weapon attacks, and have heavy resistance to another set. You can still peek-a-boo, you just get charged for it now. It does not fail utterly.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    One: since stone weapons are not common calling incorporeality's upsides negated entirely is extremely hyperbolic. You are still immune to most natural attacks, many weapon attacks, and have heavy resistance to another set. You can still peek-a-boo, you just get charged for it now. It does not fail utterly.
    Earth elementals, stone golems, probably a lot of other constructs.
    Giant rock throwing abilities.


    The thing is, the direct combat applications of not being able to be hit because you're incorporeal is a bit of a double edged sword - your ability to interact in combat is also limited.
    And you're usually better off being corporeal and having a displacement spell or item as far as that goes, because it's easier for the corporeal to improve their combat abilities.


    It's not entirely useless, no. But the key draws of incorporeality aren't readily available with the bhut.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    As far as real-world interactions go, the Bhutt might have it easier than many other incorporeal creatures, depending on the wording of its stone weakness ability. Since stone weapons do not go through it like ordinary matter does, does that mean it can take stone gloves or something and then use that to interact with the world normally?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
    As far as real-world interactions go, the Bhutt might have it easier than many other incorporeal creatures, depending on the wording of its stone weakness ability. Since stone weapons do not go through it like ordinary matter does, does that mean it can take stone gloves or something and then use that to interact with the world normally?
    No such luck. A bhut's incorporeality functions as normal. Additionally, it takes extra damage from stone weapons and takes damage from moving through earth or stone.

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