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    Default The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Welcome to the eight thread of this project to assign 3.5 monsters (and templates) a balanced LA.

    More information, as well as a list of progress so far, can be found in the archive.

    A new monster will be up soon! Stay tuned.
    Have you had enough of unreasonably high LA's and unplayable monsters in 3.5? Then check out the LA-assignment thread! Don't hesitate to give feedback!

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Demon, Myrmixicus


    Another high-powered demon! This one's got 18 RHD, and Huge size.

    Stats are the in the +10-20 range like you'd expect, with the exception of a low (ish) +4 dexterity. Natural weapons are an impressive array of a bite, a tail (which drains 1d6 charisma), and six tentacles (with improved grab and constrict), in addition to two pairs of normal arms. Defensive traits include the general demon immunities, DR 15/good AND iron, and SR 30.

    The more interesting abilities are offensively-oriented. Myrmixicuses (myrmixici?) have breath weapons that nauseate for multiple rounds upon a failed reflex save. It's not a poison or disease effect either, so it should in theory even work on things like undead and constructs. Good-aligned creatures take unholy damage as well, but let's be honest, you're here for the nausea. The ability is 1/minute, so it'll be usable roughly once per fight.

    The breath weapon's effect is re-used for Unholy Ichor, which splatters melee attackers (except for those with manufactured bludgeoning weapons) with blood that induces more rounds of nausea if it's not dodged.

    Infuse Scythe is a flavorful ability that turns up to four masterwork scythes touched by the demon into +3 Unholy weapons until they leave its grasp. It may not see much use in the average game, but it sure is flavorful!

    Finally, the more overtly magical abilities. Summon Tanar'ri allows the myrmixicus to summon either some skulvyns (CR 4 demons from this book), or a hezrou, both with a 55% chance of success.

    The SLAs are an interesting bunch. Most notable are at-will Charm Monster, Freedom of Movement, self-only Greater Teleport, and True Seeing, as well as 3/day Control Weather. While they're a potent array of buffs both for you and allies, they fail to provide much offensive presence.

    For now, I'll assign a rather modest +1 LA, but I'm tending towards +2. Do discuss!
    Have you had enough of unreasonably high LA's and unplayable monsters in 3.5? Then check out the LA-assignment thread! Don't hesitate to give feedback!

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Hmm, "Myrmixicus" looks like Greek roots to my extremely untrained eye, so the plural would be either "Myrmixicuses" (English style) or "Myrmixicodes" (pronounced 'oh-dees', Greek style).
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    Hmm, "Myrmixicus" looks like Greek roots to my extremely untrained eye, so the plural would be either "Myrmixicuses" (English style) or "Myrmixicodes" (pronounced 'oh-dees', Greek style).
    I know that the Myrmi bit means ant (Compare myrmidons, the fearsome "Ant-tooth" soldiers of ancient Greece) "Myrmyxykos"/Μυρμυξυκοσ is the Greek word meaning "Antioxidant" according to Google Translate, although basically everything else I put in starting with Myrmr resolves to "Ant" so I'm not sure. "Μυρμ υξυκοσ" apparently means "Seaweed perfume," "Μυρμυ ξυκοσ" means "Wood cut", "Μυρμυξ υκοσ" means "Antimyx marshmallow", and "Μυρμυξυκο σ" means "Antimycyclic p".

    All in all, Google translate is very helpful here.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    +1 So you can sudden leap or spirit lion totem to get pounce. It is an interesting beatstick but I do not think it has enough to have it's first level be epic.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    I think the myrmixicus's scythes might need a version update. In 3.0e, if your weapon had the same size category as you, you could wield it one-handed. So, a Huge scythe would be a one-handed weapon for a myrmixicus with 3.0e rules; but, with 3.5e rules, a properly-sized scythe is always a two-handed weapon. A Huge creature can wield a Large scythe as a one-handed weapon, but it takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls.

    So, I think converting the myrmixicus's scythe attacks to 3.5e mechanics would technically involve either having it wield Large scythes with a -2 penalty, or adding another special ability to wield properly-sized scythes one-handed. I'm not sure which of those I would personally prefer, but it's probably a more or less superfluous detail.

    I also suspect that they were supposed to have the Amphibious special quality, and I'd probably be inclined to add that, just like for the ahuizotl.

    ECL ~18 is generally outside my comfort zone for LA rating, but I'll go ahead and vote LA +1 for the myrmixicus, though I could probably be convinced to go up or down by 1.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Myrmekes were ants, yes, so if this was a Greek monster, I'd expect it to see it written as myrmixikos (or even myrmixikoi in plural). -odes comes from pluralising octopus and isn't generally applicable.

    That said, I'll spring for a tentative LA +1.
    Last edited by Caelestion; 2019-12-13 at 07:02 PM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    I believe they were originally CR 21, but the FCI updated their CR to something a bit lower?

    And yeah, I dunno what's going on with their scythes. I mean, I know weapon size rules were a bit different in 3.0e... The statblock says they're Huge scythes, but the damage is for Large sized ones. That being said, a good Strength and base attack bonus means they're still going to be shredding opponents pretty easily. Even the base Myrmyxicus has a +27/+22/+17/+12 attack bonus for the primary scythe attack, so giving one more than a standard array and some gear should result in a fairly good chance of hitting without nat-20s.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    I don't think I can summon the energy for a detailed breakdown of this hot mess. I'll also vote LA +1, but I could see higher justified.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    And yeah, I dunno what's going on with their scythes. I mean, I know weapon size rules were a bit different in 3.0e... The statblock says they're Huge scythes, but the damage is for Large sized ones.
    Well originally, there weren't rules for sizing weapons up or down: each weapon just had a set size category independent of the wielder's size category, and the relationship between the weapon's and wielder's size categories determined whether it was treated as a light, one-handed or two-handed weapon. A weapon with the size same category as the wielder was treated as one-handed; a weapon one size category larger than its wielder was treated as two-handed; and a weapon one or more sizes smaller than its wielder was treated as light.

    A scythe was a Large weapon, which made it two-handed for Medium creatures, one-handed for Large creatures, and light for Huge or larger creatures. In any case, it dealt 2d4 damage. There was no rule for making a scythe smaller or larger than that.

    Later sourcebooks introduced the idea of scaling weapons to match different creatures' sizes. Arms and Equipment Guide might be where that idea was first published, but I don't know for sure. In this system, you could create non-standard scythes with size categories other than Large. A Huge one was one step larger than the standard 2d4 scythe. It dealt 2d6 damage, counted as a one-handed for a Huge creature or two-handed for a Large creature, and couldn't be wielded by a Medium or smaller creature at all.

    In 3.5e, they kept the newer principle of scaling weapons to match the wielder's size category, and the "light", "one-handed" and "two-handed" designations became standardized qualities that were independent of the weapon's size category. So, all the Large weapons from 3.0e were simply redefined as Medium two-handed weapons. This also means that the Huge scythe of 3.0e is now the Large scythe of 3.5e.

    All of this basically means that in 3.5e, a myrmixicus can't wield 4 scythes unless either (1) it wields down-scaled scythes with the "inappropriate size" penalty applied (in addition to the usual multi-weapon fighting penalties), or (2) it has some kind of special racial ability to wield scythes in one hand. I wonder if the writers of FC1 lowered the myrmixicus's CR to 18 in part because of the increased barriers to wielding multiple scythes with 3.5e mechanics.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2019-12-14 at 11:39 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Give me a +1 for the spiffy aquatic demon. I am waffling hard between one and two but am erring on the side of a more generous ruling this time.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    I think it's best to consider them as wielding the scythes as one-handed weapons and sucking up the penalty - sure, their primary scythe attack suffers a bit, but they've got, what, 15 attacks in total? No Blasphemy as a SLA, so I could see one being used as a "boss" encounter against a party in their mid-teen levels fairly easily. Though perhaps the damage output might be a bit overkill for that...
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Demon, Skulvyn


    Another aquatic demon. Who'd have thought a book called the Fiend Folio would have so many different outsiders in it?

    Skulvyns are large-sized, with a modest 4 RHD. They're strong (18 str), dextrous (16 dex), tough (15 con), and as dumb as your average fridge (5 int). Underwater they are impressively fast, with a 50 ft. swim speed, but on land they're resigned to crawling at a mere 10 ft. rate.

    Natural attacks are an 1d8 bite, two 1d6 claws, and a 1d4 tail lash. The last of those also inflicts bleeding wounds, for all that those're worth.

    DR 5/good is a nice little buffer to have. SR 12 is similarly neat. Scent is moderately useful. The skulvyn's core trait: a slow aura that affects all living creatures that come within 30 ft. The 4 round duration is unimpressive, but at least making allies immune is easy.

    The terrible land speed, bad mental stats, and utter lack of thumbs, hold this back from being a solid brute. I'm going to go with -0 LA on this one (approaching +0), though in an aquatic-heavy campaign it's probably a viable pick.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Seriously, what is it with this book and aquatic monsters? I think this might have the most of them outside Stormwrack!
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    You know, I look at it's picture and think Half Gold Dragon Titan Salamander, not demon.

    Another one I can't get enthused about enough to warrant a detailed breakdown. Throw me in the LA -0 camp. Even in a purely aquatic campaign, I can think of better ways to spend 4 RHD. But I guess if you were playing an aquatic-only game, it would get closer to +0.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    It's an Aquatic creature without the Air Breathing special quality. That might be worth some kind of reverse-asterisk.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Quote Originally Posted by Debatra View Post
    It's an Aquatic creature without the Air Breathing special quality. That might be worth some kind of reverse-asterisk.

    -0
    Outsiders need to breathe, right? In a purely - or at least mostly - aquatic campaign that might not be a problem, especially if someone can cast Air Breathing or something similar on you. Otherwise nah, not really worth it, especially since you can't use the tail lashes with their other natural attacks.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    In an aquatic campaign this'd be a +0 at the least, but out of the water it's just not gong the distance. -0 LA from me.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    -0. Approaching +0 in an aquatic campaign. There is just not enough there.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Is it just me, or would the tail lashes be better if you've got enough damage boosts? Base damage is low, but with a high Strength, an Amulet of Fists, and maybe Power Attack, I wouldn't be surprised if that had a higher damage-per-full-attack.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    You know, I look at it's picture and think Half Gold Dragon Titan Salamander, not demon.

    Another one I can't get enthused about enough to warrant a detailed breakdown. Throw me in the LA -0 camp. Even in a purely aquatic campaign, I can think of better ways to spend 4 RHD. But I guess if you were playing an aquatic-only game, it would get closer to +0.
    Half Dragon Titan Salamander should be CR 4 as well but seems distinctly better to me. With fly swim and a reasonable land speed plus a breath weapon it is much more versatile, though it bugs me you don't change bab or saves and only increase hd by one step, also unclear what happens to skill points.

    Anyways, even in water I question if this thing is +0 LA but I am comfortable with -0 LA

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Half Dragon Titan Salamander should be CR 4 as well but seems distinctly better to me. With fly swim and a reasonable land speed plus a breath weapon it is much more versatile, though it bugs me you don't change bab or saves and only increase hd by one step, also unclear what happens to skill points.
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    Half-gold Dragon Titan Salamander
    Large Dragon (Aquatic)
    Hit Dice: 4d10+16 (38 hp)
    Initiative: +1
    Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares); fly 80 ft. (8 squares) (average); swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Armor Class: 17 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +7 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 16
    Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+15
    Attack: Bite +10 melee (1d8+8 plus 1d6 acid)
    Full Attack: Bite +10 melee (1d8+8 plus 1d6 acid), 2 claws +5 (1d6+4)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Acidic bite, breath weapon (30-foot cone of fire, 6d8, DC 16)
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., immunity to fire, immunity to sleep and paralysis effects, low-light vision
    Saves: Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +0
    Abilities: Str 27, Dex 12, Con 18, Int 3, Wis 8, Cha 8
    Skills: Listen +1, Move Silently +5, Spot +4, Swim +16
    Feats: Alertness, Endurance
    Climate/Terrain: Temperate and warm marsh, or warm plains
    Organization: Solitary or pair
    Challenge Rating: 4
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Lawful good
    Advancement: 5-12 HD (Huge)

    Acidic Bite (Ex): The titan salamander's saliva is caustic and inflicts 1d6 points of additional acid damage on a successful bite attack.

    Skills
    A half-dragon gains skill points as a dragon and has skill points equal to (6 + Int modifier) × (HD + 3). Do not include Hit Dice from class levels in this calculation—the half-dragon gains dragon skill points only for its racial Hit Dice, and gains the normal amount of skill points for its class levels. Treat skills from the base creature’s list as class skills, and other skills as cross-class.

    I think I've done that correctly. I haven't messed around with the skills, since getting more skill points per HD and a boost to Int should not mean less skills.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    +0 better than a totemist, not enough for LA, same skill points and hit die better base attack and saves. Large size can be good for a bruiser.

    Natural armor +6: 1 meld
    DR 5/good: 1 meld
    either 3 bite, claws or 4 tails with wounding: Meld bound to totem
    Slow Aura: Bind worthy in strength

    I wouldn't play one, but would definitely use one as a mount in an aquatic campaign. As a DM wouldn't give a player more stuff for playing one.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    +0 in aquatic (rating clearly aquatic creatures for non-aquatic campaigns seems a bit useless to me). Pretty cool-looking, tbh.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Wastrilith


    Mooooore aquatic demons!

    Wastriliths are Huge-sized with 15 RHD. Ability scores aren't bad, but hardly impressive: 29 strength is the main selling point while every other stat receives a boost between +2 and +8. Cold immunity is good, fire vulnerability is bad, immunity to water-based attacks is niche. SR 20 makes little sense considering these guys' HD, and zero sense when you consider their even higher CRs. 30 ft. land speed is passable, 80 ft. swim speed situational but useful.

    Natural attacks are disappointing: a simple bite/claw/claw routine with relatively low damage dice (2d6 and 2d4). The other offensive abilities worth noting are a simple 3d10 breath weapon of boiling water, Water Mastery (+1 on attack and damage rolls if you and your opponent are both touching water).

    The main point of interest here: SLAs! At-will Blasphemy, Control Water, Deeper Darkness, Desecrate, Detect Good/Law, Fear, Greater Dispelling, Greater Teleport, Read Magic, Suggestion, Telekinesis, Tongues, Unhallow, Unholy Blight, and Wall of Ice, in addition to 3/day Symbol, Summon Monster IX (restricted to aquatic/water creatures) and Unholy Aura.

    The wastrilith has little to over other than its innate magic, but said magic is a pretty interesting package of utility and the occasional offensive spell. For now I'll assign +1 LA, mostly to compensate for the handful of impressive high-level spells.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-12-23 at 09:32 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Not sure how to parse 3/day Symbol, but seems like a weak but viable +0 to me. Good melee beast with moderate casting seems like a decent level 15 toon.

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    Post Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    That image seems very different than the one in the FF? TBH I like the one on the FF, because it looks more weird and alien.

    Also, this piece of fluff text from the book seems odd to me: "Wastriliths are the terrible lords of the watery parts of the Lower Planes." How is that a thing when the Myrmyxicus, listed two creatures before them, are clearly more powerful?

    • Huge Outsider (Aquatic, Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar) with 15 ft reach.
    • 15 RHD, of the equally best kind.
    • Speed 30 ft, swim 80 ft: 30 ft move is decent for a primarily aquatic creature.
    • +13 natural AC: OK, but not great at this level.
    • Bite 2d6, 2 claws 2d4: not amazing, but natural attacks can be handy for the right build. I'm not sure you can be that build with 15 RHD, though. Mouthpick weapons are an option at least.
    • Breath weapon: boiling water 3d10 every 1d4 rounds - pretty underwhelming at this level. Still, you can take metabreath feats, I guess.
    • SLAs: At will - blasphemy, control water, deeper darkness, desecrate, detect good, detect law, fear, greater dispelling, read magic, suggestion, telekinesis, teleport without error (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), tongues (self only), unhallow, unholy blight, wall of ice; 3/day - summon monster IX (aquatic only), symbol (any), unholy aura. This is a very solid set of SLAs, especially considering how many high level "at wills" you get.
    • Break summoning: won't really apply to a PC, but that's a fun ability for a DM.
    • Cold immunity: OK.
    • Fire vulnerability: not OK.
    • Immunity to water: niche, but good - especially in an aquatic game.
    • Outsider traits: meh.
    • SR 20: underwhelming at this level of play.
    • Telepathy: 100 ft range. Always handy.
    • Water mastery: a situational +1 bonus is laughable at this level.
    • Str +18, Dex +8, Con +8, Int +4, Wis +2, Cha +8: net +48 with no penalties. Quite respectable.
    • OK-ish list of racial skills, mostly focused on social skills with a few other things there as well. Seen better, seen worse. +8 racial bonus to Intimidate and Swim.

    Weird body shape, regardless of which image you look at. It can explicitly speak. Does it have hands/manipulative digits? DM call I guess, but I would say probably not. Just noticed 2/3 of the aquatic demons don't get classified as Tanar’ri? Odd and somewhat annoying.

    I honestly don't know the progression for this guy? Melee brute? Initiator? Skill monkey? Maybe straight into a "Fiend of..." PrC? I would suggest more RHD, but you don't get to Gargantuan until 22.

    Due to the ability score boosts and number of high level SLAs, I'm voting LA +1, but I could be argued up or down.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    +2, has ninth level spells 2 levels early without. Quite a good list of spells really. I'd compare that list to a level 15 warlock pretty fairly with all the at wills, which it gets 120 more skill points than from intelligence and type high saves and base attack. I think a +2 to reign that in seems fair.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Thurbane's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Terra Australis
    Gender
    Male

    Question Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    Question: is there any RAW reason a "monster" couldn't take Apprentice (spellcaster) as its 1HD feat to get UMD as a class skill (for a few HD anyway)? I mean fluff-wise it seems a bit naff, but is it allowable under RAW?

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VIII: Way Too Much For Vampirism

    +1. I do not think summon ix 3x/day is worth the extra point. It has enough goodies to be relevant and powerful, but it's too generic. No clear path. Bruiser with support? Tk spamming dps? Massive skills from an ok list but not a spectacular one? Blender? It's fine but not super good.

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