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  1. - Top - End - #991
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    -0 easily.

    also grats to inevitability for making me look up sessile, new word acquired

  2. - Top - End - #992
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Sessile plant-thing #867 (I actually prefer that name):

    • Large plant (extraplanar) with reach
    • 3 RHD: not too many, and plant type comes with great immunities
    • Speed 0 ft: well, there's a big problem right there
    • +4 natural AC: good, but not amazing
    • 4 tendril attacks
    • Blood drain: Con damage on a successful grapple check - not bad, if you build around grappling
    • Improved Grab: good for a grappling build (and lets face it, that's pretty much all you can do with this, assuming its playable at all)
    • Str +10 Dex +6 Con +8 Int -- Wis +2 Cha -8: net +18, with one nonability

    No ability to speak, weird body type, and I doubt the ability of tendrils to wield weapons or even manipulate objects with any kind of precision.

    The (African) elephant in the room is getting some kind of Int score. The slightly smaller elephant (Indian) is having no move speed. Combine this with inability to speak (and with no mouth Pearl of Speech probably won't help) and lack of hands, and it's hard to see anything but LA -0 here. I mean, sure, you could get around most of these limitations using WBL and class dips, but that still doesn't make it very playable.

    As an encounter, I think these things are pretty boring - grapple, Con drain, rinse, repeat. More off a hazard/trap than monster encounter IMHO. There's much more interesting plant monsters out there, even in MM1.

    I was previously unaware these could be summoned with SNA, so that's vaguely interesting.

  3. - Top - End - #993
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Sessile plant-thing #867 (I actually prefer that name):

    • Large plant (extraplanar) with reach
    • 3 RHD: not too many, and plant type comes with great immunities
    • Speed 0 ft: well, there's a big problem right there
    • +4 natural AC: good, but not amazing
    • 4 tendril attacks
    • Blood drain: Con damage on a successful grapple check - not bad, if you build around grappling
    • Improved Grab: good for a grappling build (and lets face it, that's pretty much all you can do with this, assuming its playable at all)
    • Str +10 Dex +6 Con +8 Int -- Wis +2 Cha -8: net +18, with one nonability

    No ability to speak, weird body type, and I doubt the ability of tendrils to wield weapons or even manipulate objects with any kind of precision.

    The (African) elephant in the room is getting some kind of Int score. The slightly smaller elephant (Indian) is having no move speed. Combine this with inability to speak (and with no mouth Pearl of Speech probably won't help) and lack of hands, and it's hard to see anything but LA -0 here. I mean, sure, you could get around most of these limitations using WBL and class dips, but that still doesn't make it very playable.

    As an encounter, I think these things are pretty boring - grapple, Con drain, rinse, repeat. More off a hazard/trap than monster encounter IMHO. There's much more interesting plant monsters out there, even in MM1.

    I was previously unaware these could be summoned with SNA, so that's vaguely interesting.
    The ability to summon them with SNA probably never registered because nobody is going to waste a 4th level slot on them, even discounting that the SNA4 list they're competing with includes things like brown bears, giant crocs, dire apes, flamebrother salamanders, tigers, and Unicorns.

    Plus ... the only reason to summon one would be as a choke point blocker or area denial ... and at level 7+ (4th level spell slots), there's better options for both.
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  4. - Top - End - #994
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    The bloodthorn has a lot of similarities with the violet fungus. The bloodthorn looks a whole lot more interesting to me than the violet fungus.

    The build that's coming to my mind is a druid with the avenger and hunter ACF's from Unearthed Arcana. By about 6th level, you'll have a decent speed, plus Large size, 4 attacks with Improved Grab and 10-ft reach (qualifying for the Extended Reach feat), plus Rage and druid buff spells. I bet that character would make quite a good "lockdown" specialist.

    Of course, druid can kind of save anything from the trash bin, so... whatever.

    I'll just vote LA +0 for the bloodthorn, just to be conservative again. It's not very different from any of a dozen other plant creatures, but at least it's not all that many racial Hit Dice.

  5. - Top - End - #995
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    How would they cast spells though? As far as I can tell, they have no vocal apparatus, so Surrogate Spellcasting isn't an option. Either is a Pearl of Speech. Silent Spell would push all the spells up a level; Sudden Silent Spell would work, but only 1/day.

    Assuming tendrils can perform Somatic components.

  6. - Top - End - #996
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I vote -0. Maybe you could have fun playing a character who lugged one of these around in a pot to attack their enemies with. "Who needs rope trick when you can just have a carnivorous plant guard doorways for you".

  7. - Top - End - #997
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    How would they cast spells though?
    Wild Shape into something that can use Natural Spell, I guess, though one of those UA ACFs trades away Wild Shape. Takes six levels to come online, too.

    Also, if your daily routine is looking like "shape into useful form, apply buffs, shape back", then why not play a straight human and perform "apply buffs, shape into useful form" instead? With Wild Shape in the picture, having a base form with natural attacks isn't nearly as important, and (from level 12 onwards) all those racial features are effectively duplicates, wasted.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2019-10-14 at 07:45 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #998
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Its basically a trap without abilities it can hide with. How is this supposed to work as an encounter? Wierd plant moving around maybe we should walk up to that? I vote * but not sure if plus one or minus zero should be with that.


    Lets say for fun that Awaken works and eliminates all those weaknesses and doesn't change it to an animated object. I know those are a lot of ifs,, but what's the LA if we remove the lack of intelligence, and let it move, realize that an 18+ strength lets it interact with objects, and it is allowed to speak. I don't see how the mass of vines doesn't have all body slots. What is the LA for +8 to all physical and plant immunities with 4 natural attacks with reach and improved grab, and 3 racial hit die?
    Last edited by Sutr; 2019-10-14 at 08:27 PM. Reason: tentacles drain con only if succeed at grappling

  9. - Top - End - #999
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    The bloodthorn has a lot of similarities with the violet fungus. The bloodthorn looks a whole lot more interesting to me than the violet fungus.

    The build that's coming to my mind is a druid with the avenger and hunter ACF's from Unearthed Arcana. By about 6th level, you'll have a decent speed, plus Large size, 4 attacks with Improved Grab and 10-ft reach (qualifying for the Extended Reach feat), plus Rage and druid buff spells. I bet that character would make quite a good "lockdown" specialist.

    Of course, druid can kind of save anything from the trash bin, so... whatever.

    I'll just vote LA +0 for the bloodthorn, just to be conservative again. It's not very different from any of a dozen other plant creatures, but at least it's not all that many racial Hit Dice.
    "It's probably salvageable with the right Druid ACFs" doesn't sound like a particularly strong argument for +0, IMO.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    Its basically a trap without abilities it can hide with. How is this supposed to work as an encounter? Wierd plant moving around maybe we should walk up to that? I vote * but not sure if plus two or minus zero should be with that.


    Lets say for fun that Awaken works and eliminates all those weaknesses and doesn't change it to an animated object. I know those are a lot of ifs,, but what's the LA if we remove the lack of intelligence, and let it move, realize that an 18+ strength lets it interact with objects, and it is allowed to speak. I don't see how the mass of vines doesn't have all body slots. What is the LA for +8 to all physical and plant immunities with 4 natural attacks with reach and improved grab, and 3 racial hit die?
    The description suggests that it pretends to have attractive food-suitable berries, and given that it's a CR 3, it's likely to be encountered at levels low enough that the party is still utilizing mundane methods for feeding themselves.
    It's an ambush predator - it's not going to be moving around, it's going to be holding still until something gets real close - to collect the "berries". At that point, it gets grappled and the bloodthorn begins draining blood. In which case, the clock is ticking, and the rest of the party needs to either kill the bloodthorn and/or free the doomed victim fast.


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    You realize you're asking what's the LA if we hand wave away everything bad about it and turn it into an entirely new creature?
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  10. - Top - End - #1000
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    eek Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post

    You realize you're asking what's the LA if we hand wave away everything bad about it and turn it into an entirely new creature?
    Well, yes. What else are we going to talk about while we wait for the next monster? We could talk about if awaken could work but that's boring. We could also just handwave the spell working and talk about that and I could see a permissive DM allowing that to work.


    On the berries it doesn't actually produce berries though in its stats, and no survival check is given so does it really have that ability? Without INT can it carry out that complex of a procedure?
    Last edited by Sutr; 2019-10-14 at 08:31 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #1001
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Dang. This was the closest I'd ever get to playing a Christmas tree.
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  12. - Top - End - #1002
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    Well, yes. What else are we going to talk about while we wait for the next monster? We could talk about if awaken could work but that's boring. We could also just handwave the spell working and talk about that and I could see a permissive DM allowing that to work.


    On the berries it doesn't actually produce berries though in its stats, and no survival check is given so does it really have that ability? Without INT can it carry out that complex of a procedure?
    Why would it need a survival check?

    The physical description says "Bright red, succulent berries grow on the plant continually. The berries produce a fragrant odor that appeals to most species, especially in the deserts where bloodthorns grow."

    In the opening of the Combat section it says "A bloodthorn seems to be a normal plant until a living creature comes within the reach of its tendrils. ... A bloodthorn allows scavengers to remove the carcasses, thus keeping the area around the plant free of its consumed prey."

    So ... what exactly are you asking if it's mentally capable of doing?
    The berry lure? Or the whole ambush predator waiting for something to be real close before attacking it?
    Last edited by javcs; 2019-10-14 at 09:04 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #1003
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniikinis View Post
    I'm going with -0. Can't move, arguably no manipulators, unintelligent, unable to speak, and can't really do much besides grapple(and Freedom of Movement says no).

    If one wanted to make this thing move, what would be the best way to do so besides DM Fiat?
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  14. - Top - End - #1004
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    Dang. This was the closest I'd ever get to playing a Christmas tree.
    How about a Forestkith Goblin?

  15. - Top - End - #1005
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Why would it need a survival check?

    The physical description says "Bright red, succulent berries grow on the plant continually. The berries produce a fragrant odor that appeals to most species, especially in the deserts where bloodthorns grow."

    In the opening of the Combat section it says "A bloodthorn seems to be a normal plant until a living creature comes within the reach of its tendrils. ... A bloodthorn allows scavengers to remove the carcasses, thus keeping the area around the plant free of its consumed prey."

    So ... what exactly are you asking if it's mentally capable of doing?
    The berry lure? Or the whole ambush predator waiting for something to be real close before attacking it?
    It needs a check, because that's how the game works? Either that or the disguise skill is nonfunctional. If not it seems to have this cool perfect stealth field by not moving that isn't enough to move its LA.

    I assume it is beaten by a knowledge check, but I'd be pretty angry if the party barbarian got wrecked by this thing without getting a spot check. The quick other ambush predator that has 0 int, is the spider and it gets a racial bonus to hide for example. I might want to look up other sessile monsters to see how they function.

  16. - Top - End - #1006
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    On the berries it doesn't actually produce berries though in its stats, and no survival check is given so does it really have that ability? Without INT can it carry out that complex of a procedure?
    I read this as you think the Bloodthorn needs to make a Survival check to produce berries - but I'm guessing it actually meant PCs should get a Survival check to notice that it's a monster, rather than just another inanimate plant?

    There's a lot of monsters that "pose" as inanimate or harmless things, and each has their own slightly different mechanics attacked to it. Mimics, for instance, call for a Spot check, opposed by their Disguise check. A Gargoyle can force a static DC 20 Spot check to notice that it isn't a statue.

    I'm not entirely sure Bloodthorns are actively trying to pretend to be something they aren't, though. They simply attract prey (most of which I would assume are animal intelligence creatures) by producing seemingly palatable berries. I'm not sure Spot would be a relevant skill. The Bloodthorn isn't really hiding or disguising itself - its just relying on something that isn't aware of its nature to get close enough. If the DM was feeling generous, maybe a Spot check (DC ??) to notice the Bloodthorn moving slightly without a breeze?

    A Knowledge (nature) check would reveal its nature - that shouldn't be in dispute.

    A DC 15 Survival check allows you to "Keep from getting lost or avoid natural hazards, such as quicksand." A DM might extend that to avoiding a Bloodthorn, I suppose.

  17. - Top - End - #1007
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    It needs a check, because that's how the game works? Either that or the disguise skill is nonfunctional. If not it seems to have this cool perfect stealth field by not moving that isn't enough to move its LA.

    I assume it is beaten by a knowledge check, but I'd be pretty angry if the party barbarian got wrecked by this thing without getting a spot check. The quick other ambush predator that has 0 int, is the spider and it gets a racial bonus to hide for example. I might want to look up other sessile monsters to see how they function.
    It's not disguising itself as anything.

    It's just not moving until something triggers it to attack. There's no skill check required to not move.
    Think venus flytrap. Only more aggressive. And way more dangerous. It's


    Ambush spiders tend to actually hide themselves until prey is within their attack radius.
    This thing isn't hiding, it's just sitting there out in the open, not moving until something triggers it, most likely by touching the berries, since that would allow scavengers to claim the bodies of its prey.


    I'd assume you would probably throw a Knowledge (Nature) check to determine if it's a plant known to edible or known to be poisonous. This would identify it as a dangerous monster, rather than a food source.
    A Survival check might give you warning signs that it's not actually what it appears to be.


    Also, the party barbarian (or other meatshield) is probably the best character to get grabbed by this thing, because they're most likely to survive.
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  18. - Top - End - #1008
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    "It's probably salvageable with the right Druid ACFs" doesn't sound like a particularly strong argument for +0, IMO.
    Yeah, I acknowledged that. But, bloodthorn actually synergizes with the druid ACFs in a way that uses the bloodthorn's unique racial features, so I think that's different from being salvaged by the druid ACFs.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2019-10-15 at 11:14 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #1009
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I think it could make an amusing shadow hand swordsage and it only takes 2 levels for shadow jaunt to come online, if you add a level of barbarian and travel devotion into the mix you could make an amusing stealth grappler...

  20. - Top - End - #1010
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    The (African) elephant in the room is getting some kind of Int score. The slightly smaller elephant (Indian) is having no move speed.
    Heh. Good one.
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  21. - Top - End - #1011
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Bonespear


    15 vermin HD, let's go.

    Bonespears are your typical fight-and-forget random encounter with-a-twist. They're large sized, with mediocre physical stats and terrible mental ones, some extra abilities in fast healing 5, fire and sonic resistance 10, and SR 23, and a few natural weapons.

    Said natural weapons are also its main gimmick. The 2d6 bite is unremarkable, but the two 2d6 horns are harpoon-like and can be launched up to 60 feet away. If they hit a target, they poison it (2d4 dexterity or strength damage, depending on the horn), and impale it on the horn. This deals the damage of a horn attack every turn, and applies cumulative penalties on nearly all d20 rolls. It also deals some extra damage (reducible with a Heal check) when removed. Additionally, the bonespear can use some kind of reverse bull rush to draw impaled targets closer.

    That's where the neat things end. If a horn misses, reeling it back in takes a full round. If it hits, a target can simply sever it with fifteen points of slashing damage, in which case the per-round damage from impalement goes down to a mere 1d6. Aside from its two horns, the bonespear can't really attack meaningfully, and its HD and body type make it hard to benefit from a conventional class. Also, if you want to read the rules literally, a creature is in no way restrained when impaled, and can just walk around as it pleases (even a slightly more reasonable reading should still let it move to some extent).

    On top of all that, consistent damage, poison, and limited mobility control aren't even that great. They're neat, but a typical rogue is going to be doing all three of those things better, and the rogue typically won't be retrieving their weapons every other round.

    While I like the bonespear's concept, its numbers are too low and its abilities too niche to warrant anything but -0 LA.
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  22. - Top - End - #1012
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    15 vermin HD is too many. These make fun mounts for npcs because giant murder crickets are neat. Not enough to salvage however as a pc. -0.

  23. - Top - End - #1013
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    -0, 15 vermin rhd and nothing much to show for it...

  24. - Top - End - #1014
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    The horns are a neat little gimmick, and ranged natural weapons are uncommon. But y'all are obviously right: too many vermin HD. LA -0 for the bonespear.

  25. - Top - End - #1015
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Concur, LA -0.

    It's not even that good as an encounter.

    Also, there's no inbuilt mechanic for replacement of a severed horn, which means the only RAW option is a casting of Regeneration. And 15 points of slashing damage in one attack is not something that's difficult to do.

    Were it of much lower level, it might make for an interesting gimmick encounter, but at CR 12 it's somewhat lackluster.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Seems cute to turn into, but not so great to wake up as. -0.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    15 HD is lot to ask to forgive and this monster, while cool, does not meet the mark. -0

  28. - Top - End - #1018
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    "Okay, Dimers, your turn. What do you want to do?"

    "...... I cast 'horn' again. ((roll)) I miss. Don't bother asking what I do next turn."

    That's a big ol' LA -0 there.

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  29. - Top - End - #1019
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    "Okay, Dimers, your turn. What do you want to do?"

    "...... I cast 'horn' again. ((roll)) I miss. Don't bother asking what I do next turn."

    That's a big ol' LA -0 there.



    Next two turns. My read is that the RAW requires a full round action for each horn separately.
    On the other hand, you may be able to successfully persuade your DM to have pity on you and allow both horns to be retrieved simultaneously. Or your DM will laugh at you and suggest you play something else.
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  30. - Top - End - #1020
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    These things are cool as mounts, but horrible as PCs: -0 for the bonespears. Although, since they're large vermin, does that technically mean that an order dedicated to riding them could be considered the Grasshopper Head-Loppers? And would that make them the sworn enemies of the Spider Riders?
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