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  1. - Top - End - #421
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    I personally don't see the necessity for an asterisk, at least not in the way I've seen it commonly used in the thread (for abilities that absolutely break the game, such as those split-up abilities, or stuff that absolutely breaks the character, such as the Glaistig's water symbiosis). This creature gets a single-target dominate person which is pretty good, but doesn't break a game-world over it's knee all by itself.
    The asterisk indicates that the creature has one or more abilities that require DM attention for whatever reason. It can mean it's got something that can break the game, or it could mean that there's sufficient rules ambiguity in one or more abilities that the DM needs to make rulings before the character can be approved or built.
    The Enthrall ability absolutely does - for multiple reasons.
    One - how do hosts progress, if in fact they do. If they don't, the puppeteer is going to need a regular supply of replacement hosts (and the previous hosts probably aren't going to be too happy about their situation); if they do, how much control/influence does the puppeteer have over the process.
    Two - is it anything that the puppeteer can charm? Is it only humanoids? Is it only things the puppeteer charmed with its racial psi-like abilities, or can alternative sources of charming be utilized?

    Etc.
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  2. - Top - End - #422
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    The asterisk indicates that the creature has one or more abilities that require DM attention for whatever reason. It can mean it's got something that can break the game, or it could mean that there's sufficient rules ambiguity in one or more abilities that the DM needs to make rulings before the character can be approved or built.
    The Enthrall ability absolutely does - for multiple reasons.
    One - how do hosts progress, if in fact they do. If they don't, the puppeteer is going to need a regular supply of replacement hosts (and the previous hosts probably aren't going to be too happy about their situation); if they do, how much control/influence does the puppeteer have over the process.
    Two - is it anything that the puppeteer can charm? Is it only humanoids? Is it only things the puppeteer charmed with its racial psi-like abilities, or can alternative sources of charming be utilized?

    Etc.
    Nope, DeTess is correct here.

    Sauce:

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Some monsters and templates may be marked with an asterisk. In such a case, the rated material has abilities that are not simply strong, but entirely game-breaking. Examples include an efreeti's ability to grant essentially unlimited free Wishes, or a nightmare's ability to use ridiculously powerful high-level spells at-will at a very low ECL.

    In such a case, no LA is going to make these monsters truly balanced, with the resulting PCs being either one-trick ponies or overpowered abominations. Instead, they will be rated as if they didn't possess the offending ability, with the asterisk indicating the actual statblock cannot be rated properly. Anyone wanting to play these creatures is advised to simply do away with the ability in question.
    Enthrall's limited Dominate in no way breaks the game, especially considering the much more broken Intellect Devourer managed to get past voting without an asterisk on its Body Thief ability, which doesn't require saves, and thus has no upper cap on what can be used.
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  3. - Top - End - #423
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    Enthrall's limited Dominate in no way breaks the game, especially considering the much more broken Intellect Devourer managed to get past voting without an asterisk on its Body Thief ability, which doesn't require saves, and thus has no upper cap on what can be used.
    I do recall people saying during the Phthisic debate that previous bad decisions should not be allowed to influence current decisions.

    For my part, the Enthral ability is (at most) only as powerful as the GM allows it to be, but as we know that this creature is going to be a psion (or other psychic class) when played, we only need to compare it to said psionic classes. I think that their various abilities (including Enthral) are worth an entire power level, so I'm going to say LA +2.

  4. - Top - End - #424
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Enthrall's limited Dominate in no way breaks the game, especially considering the much more broken Intellect Devourer managed to get past voting without an asterisk on its Body Thief ability, which doesn't require saves, and thus has no upper cap on what can be used.
    Body Thief has the limitation that it only lasts for 7 days, and dont get the subjects mental abilities.

    Enthral meanwhile get the entire subject, so you can suddenly steal a tier 1 caster to ride along on, and get an additional action from each round.
    It also brings the bonus that it cant be dispelled during combat. Since its an Ex ability.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  5. - Top - End - #425
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I would argue for +1 because you simply can't guarantee that you will have your preferred beatstick/God wizard around, let alone have them fail a save.

  6. - Top - End - #426
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    It also brings the bonus that it cant be dispelled during combat. Since its an Ex ability.
    And it cannot be suppressed by AMF effects or dead magic zones, occurrences that increase in frequency as you gain levels.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenC21 View Post
    I would argue for +1 because you simply can't guarantee that you will have your preferred beatstick/God wizard around, let alone have them fail a save.
    Even if you are grabbing a tier 4 or 5 character as your meat puppet this is still a crazy powerful ability. Also it isn't exactly hard to get rid of the meat puppet when you are ready to jump ship. Sure this is only as powerful as your dm lets it be but all it takes is one bad save from a bbeg and you got a pretty knew socket to walk around in!...

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I've been thinking about it, and I've decided that no asterisk is needed. Unlimited dominate may seem problematic on the surface, but the thing can only have one mind slave at a time, so, in practice, you'd basically just be playing a standard humanoid with better mental stats and the ability to switch bodies when one dies. That's nice, but not problematic nice. I'd also say that even with enthrall, it's only +1. The size is basically a non-issue as you'll never not be riding a meat puppet.
    After simmering on this thing and reading all the discussion this is how I feel as well.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    With my limited knowledge of psionics, after reading the creature, I'm going to throw a vote behind LA +2* as well.
    Given the brouhaha around asterisks, let me amend mine to LA +2.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Given the brouhaha around asterisks, let me amend mine to LA +2.
    Same. LA +2 it is.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    This is tough. The one saving grace on enthrall is the victim must be charmed by the puppeteer, not just charmed by anything. I think I am going to give this +2*. Dominate person even with a caveat is insane.
    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    So i agree with the LA * rating. I think its to disruptive for a campaign to be allowed.
    Reminder: The asterisked level adjustment is with the offending ability removed. It does not indicate that a creature is unplayable, nor estimate LA with a less-offending version of the ability.
    Enthrall is DM-dependent enough (in the enemies you face, if intelligent ones get XP, even in the duration of control) to potentially warrant an asterisk, but its remaining abilities aren't all that impressive. I can see arguments that they'd be enough for a +1*, but not +2*. Not without Enthrall.


    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    You are missing "If a puppeteer is in physical contact with a person it has charmed", person is well established to be equivalent to humanoid in 3.5 so I don't think it works on nonhumanoids even if you can charm nonhumanoids...
    Quote Originally Posted by Aniikinis View Post
    (as I'm reading it People=Humanoids in 3.5)
    Can you show where it's established, or even implied?
    (Spell names don't count, those are far from mechanically binding.)
    Either way, looks like we'll need to add "Can Enthrall affect non-humanoids" to the list of things that need adjudication...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Also I canít help but think of Space Station Silicon Valley when contemplating this thing. Anyone else play that particular forgotten N64 gem?
    No, but let's just say that I want to run a game with puppeteers as the antagonists and give the PCs free wild shape.


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    ...or (arguably) by taking Practiced Magic from the Shackled City hardcover and just augmenting your innate charms to last for days.
    What does the Shackled City hardcover version of Practiced Magic do? The "Practiced Magic" feat I found online just increases your CL by 4, but specifying that specific of a source makes me think there's a second feat by that name.


    As far as LA goes, I vote either +1* or +2, currently leaning towards the latter. The neat little goodies the puppeteer gets are definitely worth a level early on, and most of them remain decently useful throughout the adventurer's career. With Enthrall, the puppeteer definitely has enough to remain effective even a power level and two hit dice behind...but what Enthrall does, let alone how powerful it is, is too DM-dependent for me to say "This definitely doesn't need an asterisk".
    The only problem with +2 is if you start in a 3rd-level campaign with five hit points, at which point you'll struggle to find an appropriate host before someone squashes you by accident. At that point, I'd probably beg the druid to let me control their animal companion until we find something else for me to puppet.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Can you show where it's established, or even implied?
    (Spell names don't count, those are far from mechanically binding.)
    Either way, looks like we'll need to add "Can Enthrall affect non-humanoids" to the list of things that need adjudication...
    That is why I am saying it isn't RAW that person=humanoid, however, 3.5 is pretty careful about its use of the term 'person'. To my knowledge which isn't exhaustive but I have gone through most if not all the rule and splats multiple times, the term 'person' is only used in spells that are humanoid only (besides this monster entry) which is enough for a strong coloration. The fact that it is a rarely used term that when used is used in connotation with humanoid is therefore established inside the rule books. So sure it isn't mechanically binding and that is why I didn't say it is RAW however, it is pretty well established based on the way the 3.5 rules use the term.

  13. - Top - End - #433
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post

    Enthrall's limited Dominate in no way breaks the game, especially considering the much more broken Intellect Devourer managed to get past voting without an asterisk on its Body Thief ability, which doesn't require saves, and thus has no upper cap on what can be used.
    As far as I'm concerned, the Intellect Devourer and its Body Thief ability should've had an asterisk too. And I said as much at the time.



    Prior bad decisions doesn't mean we should double down on ignoring problematic abilities.


    Enthrall requires a helluva lot of DM adjudication. And without a reasonable functional and favorable set of rulings, you're boned and nigh useless, but you can also end up with essentially having a free cohort+ from your very first level. And that's not counting the ability to spam charm effects to force repeated saves in the hopes of your target failing normally or getting a natural 1.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    As far as I'm concerned, the Intellect Devourer and its Body Thief ability should've had an asterisk too. And I said as much at the time.



    Prior bad decisions doesn't mean we should double down on ignoring problematic abilities.


    Enthrall requires a helluva lot of DM adjudication. And without a reasonable functional and favorable set of rulings, you're boned and nigh useless, but you can also end up with essentially having a free cohort+ from your very first level. And that's not counting the ability to spam charm effects to force repeated saves in the hopes of your target failing normally or getting a natural 1.
    I mean by the same token Intellect Devourer and its Body Thief are in the exact same boat, it is completely limited to DM adjudication and with 6hd +1 LA most casters can do the same thing already. Heck depending on how you read it the ability is nixed by a person simply wearing heavy fortification armor...

  15. - Top - End - #435
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I mean by the same token Intellect Devourer and its Body Thief are in the exact same boat, it is completely limited to DM adjudication and with 6hd +1 LA most casters can do the same thing already. Heck depending on how you read it the ability is nixed by a person simply wearing heavy fortification armor...
    I cant see how its limited to DM adjudication any more than anything else.
    And no a level 7 caster cant do the same. It can do something different with a different set of limitations.
    As for the Heavy Fortification armor, so what? you just take that off. Why is that an issue?
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    I cant see how its limited to DM adjudication any more than anything else.
    And no a level 7 caster cant do the same. It can do something different with a different set of limitations.
    As for the Heavy Fortification armor, so what? you just take that off. Why is that an issue?
    The large majority of abilities and powers are pretty straight forward and most of the arguments are on fringe cases. Whereas there are some issues with Body Thief as well as enthrall that specifically require a DM to look at the abilities and inform a player how it will function at their table. So no, this is in fact requires more DM adjudication than other things.

    That is where the issue of asterisks is coming from, the goal of the use of an asterisk is 'this has a game breaking ability that may need to be removed to make playable' where as with these abilities it is more of: requires DM adjudication to confirm how it functions. The ability itself isn't game breaking but simply not completely clear how it functions.

    As far as Body Thief compares to polymorph, they are very similar though Body Thief is only as broken as the DM allows it to be in their game. So again it is very DM reliant.

    As far as heavy fortification armor goes, it may or may not be an issue; however, Intellect Devourer in its native form has no opposable thumbs so by itself without a body already for it to possess heavy fortification armor is enough to stop it in its tracks.
    Last edited by liquidformat; 2019-08-16 at 01:04 PM.

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

    Votes were slightly complicated, mostly because of the general ambiguous mess Enthrall is.

    The overwhelming majority of people voted for either +2 or +1*, making it pretty clear that the dividing issue is whether or not Enthrall is too strong to allow. Most think it's not, so +2 it will be.

    +1: 2 votes
    +2: 10 votes

    +1*: 5 votes
    +2*: 1 vote


    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    What does the Shackled City hardcover version of Practiced Magic do? The "Practiced Magic" feat I found online just increases your CL by 4, but specifying that specific of a source makes me think there's a second feat by that name.
    I specified it to this extent because Dragon Magazine's version of the feat is considered less 'official' than the Shackled City reprint (which is otherwise identical).

    I didn't want to just say Practiced Magic and raise the mistaken impression that I'm suggesting all DMs accept dragon magazine material.

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  18. - Top - End - #438
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Puppeteer, Flesh Harrower


    You might think that puppeteers in need of muscle take over an appropriate creature, but apparently just spawn some dog-sized murderworms.

    Flesh harrowers are 3 RHD small magical beasts. Their stats are actually surprisingly good (14 strength, 17 dexterity, 21 constitution, 11 intelligence, 12 wisdom and charisma), and their natural weapons (one 1d6 bite, two 1d4 'tail blades') and armor (+3) are moderate at best.

    The harrowers lack the many abilities of their smaller brethren, with the exception of Blindsight, Telepathy, and a small number of PLAs. Said PLAs are mostly just okay (3/day Concealing Amorpha, Hustle, Mental Barrier, and 1/day Vigor) but are sadly stuck at a manifester level of 3.

    In addition, not having limbs sucks a lot more when you're otherwise martially inclined and don't have a disposable host body.

    I guess the harrower could make for an okay rogue. An innate invisibility power, blindsight, telepathy, some natural weapons, small size and good stats are hardly bad, after all. On the other hand, limbs are good and useful, so arguments for both +0 and -0 can be made.

    For now, I'll go with +0, but that's more to have a relatively moderate starting point than to reflect any real preference on my part. Do discuss.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    The large majority of abilities and powers are pretty straight forward and most of the arguments are on fringe cases. Whereas there are some issues with Body Thief as well as enthrall that specifically require a DM to look at the abilities and inform a player how it will function at their table. So no, this is in fact requires more DM adjudication than other things.
    Looking at said abilities i dont see anything that require special DM adjustment. They are fairly precise in describing what they do.

    As far as Body Thief compares to polymorph, they are very similar though Body Thief is only as broken as the DM allows it to be in their game. So again it is very DM reliant.
    Again not different from Polymorph, who are also only as broken as the DM allows it to be.

    As far as heavy fortification armor goes, it may or may not be an issue; however, Intellect Devourer in its native form has no opposable thumbs so by itself without a body already for it to possess heavy fortification armor is enough to stop it in its tracks.
    Not really. We dont have any rule that says you need opposable thumbs to remove armor.
    Furthermore, Heavy Fortification dont makes you immune to critical hits.
    It just gives you a 100% chance of negating the bonus damage.
    Its practically the same in most other cases. But not exactly the same.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Solid physical stats, magical beast are good hit dice, and a decent attack routine makes me want to put this at +0. The PLAs are all highly relevant to a martial character and it is not hobbled at all by it's small size.

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

    Flesh Harrower: Full BAB, natural AC is on point, and net abilities are at +24, twice what would be adequate. Three natural attacks and 20 ft telepathy, but you have no hands, a big problem. You can solve it with a flat GP investment once you reach mid levels, but is still something to consider whenever you walk into an AMF or dead zone.

    I think I am going to stick with LA +0 for the moment; decent chassis with those bonuses, but you are still Small, 20ft speed, no hands and blind past 60 ft, which is not particularly great for a martial or skill monkey.
    Last edited by ViperMagnum357; 2019-08-18 at 08:38 AM.

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

    I'm not sold on its long-term viability, but that doesn't make it meaningfully different from any other martial build. It's decent for what it is. +0
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    +1 huge stat mods equivalent powers to a 5th level psion. Hustle will never go out of style. Concealing amorpha let's it pick things up(no Seriously look it up). The other power is a neat trick to try when you get surrounded. Compares too favorably to a swordsage 4, barbarian 4 and rogue 4. Seems more equivalent to a level 5.

    That +10 to con will never have less hit points than an equivalent build.

    Alternative vision paired with a party comes up weaker but telepathy helps the party coordinate.
    Last edited by Sutr; 2019-08-16 at 04:23 PM.

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

    On the "Person" thing: I've never seen a reference in dnd to people in text that doesn't also mean or specify humanoids. Dropping it now, to avoid further arguments.

    On the Flesh Harrower: +0. I'd gladly take this as a rogue, though it would take a bit of getting used to.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    That is why I am saying it isn't RAW that person=humanoid, however, 3.5 is pretty careful about its use of the term 'person'. To my knowledge which isn't exhaustive but I have gone through most if not all the rule and splats multiple times, the term 'person' is only used in spells that are humanoid only (besides this monster entry) which is enough for a strong coloration. The fact that it is a rarely used term that when used is used in connotation with humanoid is therefore established inside the rule books. So sure it isn't mechanically binding and that is why I didn't say it is RAW however, it is pretty well established based on the way the 3.5 rules use the term.
    Eh...that's kind of a weak argument. It strikes me as basically being an argument via semantics, using a term we both agree isn't actually defined in the first place. Since a formal definition is core to sound semantics, the "implied definition" at the heart of your argument rots its very foundation. (Mind you, if "person" was formally defined to always mean "humanoid type," a semantic argument would be 100% sound. "Semantics" isn't the problem, "Unsound" is.)


    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Looking at said abilities i dont see anything that require special DM adjustment. They are fairly precise in describing what they do.
    Then why are there so many arguments about the details of Enthral, down to what creature types it can affect? It certainly isn't because your reading (as unambiguous as can be) is the only possible reading, because there are others who are equally certain that a different reading is RAWóindicated by the directly-opposed interpretations expressed by people in this thread.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    So let's see, decent stat boosts, Magical Beast type, and a natural attack pair means Rapidstrike(tail blades) is a very much yes for a Flesh Harrower as soon as you qualify. Combine with a Mouthpick weapon and you get a nice attack routine.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    +1 for this guy. Lack of thumbs is a bit of an issue but nothing a bit of wbl or the rest of the party cannot handle. However insane stats and other goodies means you more than pull your weight. Full BaB and 2 good saves and d10HD are quite good. Hustle is always great for a martial and the other powers are fine.

  28. - Top - End - #448
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    Concealing amorpha let's it pick things up(no Seriously look it up).
    I like your reading of Concealing Amorpha, but I feel like being able to pick up things for three minutes, three times per day, is not all that much better than

    Not to mention that 'pick up' and 'use' are two very different things. A dog can pick up a longbow, but it sure can't attack with one.
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  29. - Top - End - #449
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Pros:
    • PLAs are decent early on.
    • Reasonably good stats.
    • Telepathy is cool.
    • Could do worse than three natural weapons.


    Cons:
    • No thumbs.
    • Probably few body slots.
    • No scaling tricks.
    • Canít speak to anything more than 20í away.
    • 3 RHD. (Not bottom-tier RHD, but RHD are a cost regardless.)


    Mixed:
    • Blindsight is cool close up, but not having actual eyes can be a real drag.
    • Small size is weird for something apparently brutish, but at least the numbers are okay if itís not making combat maneuvers.


    Iím not loving those downsides. No thumbs, no eyes, no vocal cords, and no scaling tricks? Thatís a rough package. The concessions that they get to deal with those shortcomings (natural weapons, blindsight, telepathy) are still not without downsides. I mean, canít see outside 60í and canít talk outside 20í? Thatís really confining.

    3 RHD isnít in ďdonít even botherĒ territory, but Iím not sanguine about this thing really measuring up to a human. Iím right on the border between -0 and +0, with really only the physical stat boosts keeping me from chucking it in the -0 pile without a second thought. I guess it could make a somewhat interesting DFA? The loss of three levels of progression is nontrivial, but you could maybe make it functional.

    I think Iíll grudgingly vote for +0, but I donít like it.
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  30. - Top - End - #450
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    GreatWyrmGold's Avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    A dog can pick up a longbow, but it sure can't attack with one.
    Define "use".

    Zoka: "Ah, good boy, Dozer! Now, let's go fetch again!"
    Soveliss: "Hey, has anyone seen my bow?"


    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    but not having actual eyes
    Wait, what are those little red things above its maw?
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Negative LA Assignment Thread
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