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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Thread nine, you know the drill. RAW LAs bad, new LAs slightly less bad, we did it gitp!

    We still have an archive.

    Vine horror up soon!
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Vine Horror


    Fine Horror, or Vine Horrible? (i'll stop recycling jokes when wotc stops recycling monster concepts)

    The horror is a pretty standard medium-sized plant monster. It's got 5 RHD, good strength but average other stats (no nonabilities, though!), two 1d6 slam attacks, and a swim speed.

    Its special abilities aren't bad: half damage from all piercing and slashing weapons is quite good (because, as we know, nothing deals with vines like a hammer). The ability to fit through inch-sized spaces is occasionally relevant. Additionally, the horror can turn a nearby plant in an Assassin Vine, which is still reasonably relevant around ECL 5.

    Plant is not the greatest typing, but those things are impressively tough and can do okay area control with their pet vine. +0 LA, barely.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2020-10-16 at 05:35 AM.
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    Post Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must V,S,M

    We're getting close to the end of FF. Have we decided on next book? My (biased) vote is my MM6 compilation, or failing that, something short like Miniatures Handbook.

    Vine Horror

    • Medium Plant (Aquatic) - does this mean it can't breathe air?
    • 5 RHD (d8 hp, medium BAB, 1 good save, 2 skill points/"level")
    • 30 ft speed, swim 20 ft.
    • +8 natural AC
    • 2 slams 1d6. the art indicates it has claws/fingers, of a sort. I don't think it would be too outrageous to let it wield weapons.
    • Animate vines: at will SLA to create an assassin vine from nearby plant life. Decent.
    • Half damage from piercing and slashing: nice.
    • Malleability: can come in handy, but situational.
    • Plant Traits: lots of nice immunities.
    • Low-light vision.
    • Str +8, Con +8, Int -2, Wis +2: net +16.
    • Very small racial skill list, but at least there are three decent skills.

    Vaguely humanoid in form, can speak, and a kind DM might let it wield items. If not, there is always the Opposable weapon quality.

    I'll admit, it's not great, but at will minionmancy (limited to one at a time, but still), a bunch of resistances and immunities, good natural AC, and solid physical score mods are decent. Obviously if it can't breathe air, going to be more suited for an aquatic campaign, I guess.

    I'll vote LA +0 for now, but only barely.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must V,S,M

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    We're getting close to the end of FF. Have we decided on next book? My (biased) vote is my MM6 compilation, or failing that, something short like Miniatures Handbook.

    ...
    MM6 would be amazing. I just wanna see That Damn Crab get it's due.

    And Spellsong Nightingale. And Blood Elemental. And the Construct ghost thing. And the time travel Golem. And probably others I'm forgetting.

    Oh and LA -0 for totally-not-Swamp-Thing.
    Last edited by unseenmage; 2020-10-13 at 09:26 PM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    I quite like this guy. Really playable for a plant. Stats are ogre-like, though without Large size and with better mental stats. Assassin vines at-will sounds a lot cooler than it is because you can't use them for base defense (which is the cool thematic sort of use I'd want the ability for). Half damage from piercing and slashing is a little odd, but quite powerful (goes wonderfully with starmantle, too).

    That said, do I want to play this with a single class level at ECL 6? Eh... not compared to a crusader or something, but compared to a fighter, maybe? That drops the tier too low, though, so I'm going to go with -0. Not by much, though.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    5 RHD for +4 melee attack and damage rolls, Fortitude saves, HP/HD, and +8 AC, halved damage from two of the three physical damage types and pile of immunities? This is going to do better than the last five levels of more blunt Initiator or Totemist builds, and doesn't have much excuse for the "Unusual Body Shape" armor price hike so that Natural Armor is just flat upside. Loses 2.5 BAB, so you can lose .5 more BAB before dipping below a net +1 attack and will be 2-3 levels behind for iteratives.

    Put me in for LA +1, because that survivability is insane and the offenses aren't dropping off that much. Enemies eat a -40% chance to hit with non-Touch attacks and Fortitude saves, and what does hit is more likely than not halved in the damage it deals, and you get what's frequently quickly north of +40% base HP to survive what damage does get through. In short, you get to basically flat-out ignore investing in anything but Big Six items in handling physical assaults, and likely skimp on that, because even the Bludgeoning attacks will almost always still have more than twice the effort to kill you. And that is a lot more stuff you can throw at damage. Especially given that you get Mind Affecting immunity built-in, so you'll almost always get to ignore your Will save...

    Basically, once you get your frontloaded class of choice online, you're going to be ahead just from being able to ignore the great share of defensive investment, to the point you can probably afford to be getting Energy Resistance! Damage sucks at 1-3 class levels, except maybe some specific Totemist setups, but once you've got your 3rd-level Maneuvers or Chakra Binds started... Well. You get to just kinda ignore the bulk of defensive investment and throw that into making up for your mild damage deficit (unless we're treating Power Attack Shock Trooper Pounce as standard, I guess). Unless you're a Totemist, in which case you're probably getting ahead on that, too!
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2020-10-13 at 05:34 PM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Been a while since we've had a creature that couldn't breathe air that also wasn't automatically a -0 for other reasons as well. (I think?) How do we usually rate aquatic creatures? Is there some easy way to get air breathing that I forgot about?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    I am okay with a +0 here provided it breathes air. Still gets 9th maneuvers.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    I believe when looking into a previous entry from FF, I found that Aquatic didn't work quite the same way it does in 3.5, so it may be an edition dysfunction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    It's a shame the Amphibious Creature template in Stormwrack can only be applied to Humanoids and Monstrous Humanoids. It'll help with Selkies, at least.

    After some further reading, I honestly think this is an edition issue, more than anything else. Looking at the 3.0 Monster Manual, 3.0 DMG and the 3.0 SRD, and there is no mention of the Aquatic subtype making you unable to breathe air, that I can find.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    The only creatures that get Amphibious in FF are the Bloodbloater, Flotsam Ooze and Reekmurk.

    Doesn't seem like Amphibious was really a thing back in 3.0. In the MM2, only once creature (Ocean Giant) gets called out as being Amphibious.

    For instance, 3.5 Merfolk are called out as being Amphibious, whereas 3.0 Merfolk don't seem to be.

    Is it possibly an edition issue, rather than oversight from the devs?

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Agree with Morphic Tide +1.

    Also Weapons of Legacy specifically has a template that says we can't rate it...
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    Level Adjustment: Legacy monsters are never appropriate as player characters or cohorts. The base creature
    loses any level adjustment it previously had.
    I think we could otherwise agree with Thurbane, but I really think we should look at monster of legacy first.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    I like the idea of rating the Unique NPC Abilities presented in DMGII, there are 20 and they are all pretty interesting.

    Vine Horror is immune to mind affecting effects, has a decent group of immunities including crits, half damage from p/s, and decent NA, is humanoid in shape and quite possibly has hands, has decent ability bonuses and a little minionmancy. I think it is +0 for aquatic but without air breathing -0 in most games.

    On a side note all three Varrangoin become large at 11 rhd, if rhd also increase caster level then arcanist is worth while gaining a couple more rhd, I am not sure if they do can anyone confirm? That would also make it a better gish and it seems like a decent choice for rager to grab 3 extra rhd and become large.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    -0. Not very interesting. Close to be maybe okay though.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Well, I guess the Rapidstrike line is a thing...?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must V,S,M

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    We're getting close to the end of FF. Have we decided on next book? My (biased) vote is my MM6 compilation, or failing that, something short like Miniatures Handbook.
    There's a monster manual 6?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    I'd be keen for either Fiendish Codex 1 or Libris Mortis.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must V,S,M

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    There's a monster manual 6?
    That's my colloquialism for the list I compiled of online monsters.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    I'm going to go ahead and vote for LA +0 for the vine horror. I think it passes muster with relatively few assumptions about the DM's rulings.

    But, I read the "Animate Vines" ability as animating one vine at each use, but still being opening to minion-spam abuse. I don't think there's anything stopping the creature from using "animate vines" X times to get X assassin vine minions that follow the vine horror around wherever it wants. So, if you're willing to move slowly, you could hypothetically build up a giant army of assassin vines. And an assassin vine is a step up from the kinds of monsters you can get with summon spells at this point in the game, so I think the horror is competitive, if one-dimensional.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    The wording of the ability is a bit ambiguous, but does say "A vine horror can use this ability to animate any single vine or similar kind of plant life within 90 feet."

    Since it is an at-will SLA, I think the safe assumption would be you can only have one animated vine at a time, but I admit its open to interpretation.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    MM6 would be fun, as the monsters are less frequently seen.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Gonna put in my also-selfish not-really-vote for Libris Mortis, purely because I want to see what people think of the Bleakborn.

    For a more serious vote... I got nothing. Do what you will.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Swamp Thing votes (going with the assumption that this is clearly intended to breathe air):

    -0: 3 votes
    +0: 4 votes
    +1: 2 votes

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Vorr


    I believe one of the fiendish werebeasts earlier in the book made mention of those. It ended up getting +1 LA: will the same happen here?

    After dozens of monsters that seem like they should be outsiders but aren't, the vorr manages to be an outsider instead of, say, a magical beast. It has decent physical stats, moderate mental stats, and a reasonable bite/claw/claw routine augmented by 2d6 sneak attack (which is very nice as this only has 3 RHD). The vorr's bite additionally Trips the foe.

    On top of this, Vorr get Scent, the ability to Shadow Jump sixty feet per day, and the ability to turn into an unsubstantial, near-undetectable Shadow Form for ten minutes per day.

    Between the good stats, useful special abilities, and being ahead on sneak attack compared to your typical rogue, I don't think +0 will work here. +1 it is: just have someone else open doors for you.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2020-10-19 at 03:10 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Vorr

    medium 3 RHD outisder - arguably best RHD in the game and puts Vorr off to a good start
    +3 NA - Slightly low but decent
    Str +6, Dex +6, Con +4, Int -4, Cha +4: net +16. - decent
    Bite 2d4, 2xclaw 1d3 - Not amazing but decent for medium especially that bite
    Sneak attack +2d6, trip - sneak attack is as good as similarly leveled rogue, trip is also a nice combat mod
    shadow form- once per day for up to ten minutes, can move at full speed on any surface, walls, ceilings, and though not expressly stated should be able to walk on water. its ok it would be good if it was able to be broken up into multiple uses as is, not very good.
    shadow jump - useable 1-6 times per day each jump must be at least 10'
    Scent - decent
    Skills - decent list of skills for any rogue type build plus with 8+int skill points there are enough to actually be decent.

    Shadow Jump seems pretty equivalent to being able to use Shadow Jaunt 1-6/day all good saves, d8 hd, full bab, and 8+int skill points add in scent, trip on bite, and sneak attack I think you have as much as would be expected for class levels add in net +16 ability score +3 NA with the only detractors being no hands and -4 int. All and all I think any similarly leveled swordsage would fall short compared to a Vorr, so I will go with +1 LA.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    I can see this as a +1. I cannot condone a +0 because though the int hit sucks it is in every other way superior to a rogue/swordsage of 3 HD. That's a ton of extra stuff. You have 3 attacks already so you are ahead of a standard TWF sneak attacker in DPS not to mention with full bab and dex/str bonus your to hit is going to be a fair but ahead. You also have better HP because of con. Your first class level is awful because monster HD round down for initiating (assuming swordsage), but you still get 9ths.

    If you want rogue even at +1 your sneak attack is still on par, with more attacks, and you trade some skills for much better combat prowess.

    +1 totally justified here.
    Last edited by Efrate; 2020-10-16 at 08:15 AM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    I can see this as a +1. I cannot condone a +0 because though the int hit sucks it is in every other way superior to a rogue/swordsage of 3 HD. That's a ton of extra stuff. You have 3 attacks already so you are ahead of a standard TWF sneak attacker in DPS not to mention with full bab and dex/str bonus your to hit is going to be a fair but ahead. You also have better HP because of con. Your first class level is awful because monster HD round down for initiating (assuming swordsage), but you still get 9ths.

    If you want rogue even at +1 your sneak attack is still on par, with more attacks, and you trade some skills for much better combat prowess.

    +1 totally justified here.
    I would say your best choice would be barbarian 2, picking up City Brawler and Lion Spirit totem ACFs at level one to grab Improved Unarmed Strike and pounce then improved trip at level 2 before hopping into whatever else.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    I'm going +0 atm. Its a good +0 but i dont think any of its abilities are too good.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    This one's awkward because it's absolutely absurd at almost every level bracket against actual Rogue builds without LA in every regard but heavily dedicated skillmonkeys, particularly with Point Buy because you can shrug off every investment a Rogue normally makes but Intelligence to usually afford an 18. It's entirely reasonable to put a 12 in your primary ability score on this, because you'll still hit the cap on a Chain Shirt and then only need a +4 item to cap the Mithral. Combined with dumping Strength and yet still getting a 14, affording 16 "character" Int to have 9 skill ranks per hit die is downright trivial, and the Con bonuses alongside all-good-saves HD even further peel off your needs.

    The biggest issue is that you're getting most of the important stuff of being an actual Rogue in your RHD, such that most Rogue 3 builds still work perfectly fine. Which means that the skillmonkey stuff you have to argue with the DM about anyways is the only real point of contention, and frankly not by very much from just how much you can dump relative to a normal Rogue. On 28 point buy, you can have 14 Str, 18 Dex, 14 Con, 14 Int, 10 Wis, and 16 Cha, with +3 to base Fort and Will, +1 BAB, and +4 HP from HD over Rogue 3, and your blunt +3 AC from Natural Armor over any regular Rogue.

    And, of course, the ability score bonuses also translate to trivially recouping the lost skill points at any but the highest level by the expedient of not investing to maximum and instead riding your innate talents. Save a rank or two on every Dexterity based skill, one or two on all the Charisma skills, and probably a bit on Constitution investments. You can throw in a very comprehensive meh on your ability score allocations and make a typical Rogue have to dig to keep up.

    Even with LA +1, you're still likely to be higher in HP than a level 4 Rogue, easily able to be better at sneaking if that's a priority, able to be on par for both Dexterity and Charisma things for a lot of level breakpoints, are almost definitionally 15% less likely to be hit, get a teleport effect to just nope all sorts of nasty situations by stepping out on the other side of a wall or behind an ally... The one serious thing you're certainly losing is manipulator-based skills, which basically breaks the Rogue comparison altogether.

    I honestly don't know what to compare a mix of stealth, tracking, and party face to. Savage Bard seems the closest, but has no commonality in combat, while Scout and Ranger are missing party face functions. Wilderness Rogue trades out party face to get Survival. But in this particular area, where you're taking it specifically to focus on its strengths and ignoring the standard Rogue functions its paws are a roadblock for, I'd say it actually can handle LA +2 on the back of the variety of bonuses your character receives over a more typical race, most especially the "get out of jail free" button that is Shadow Jump making HP disadvantage not much a detriment.

    Edit: Unless we're settling on some strange Savage Bard based sneaky-gish as the comparison point for being the only ready-made match on the skills, but against a Rogue, LA +1 is just a no-brainer because the stuff you're behind in is largely an outright nonability, so only Rogues who don't care about Trapfinding would really think about using this.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2020-10-16 at 03:15 PM.

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    Post Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Yet another evil planar pooch.

    The Vorr is not to be confused with the Voor (MM4), or Vour (MoE), because how could that possibly get messy.

    • Medium Outsider (Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar).
    • 3 RHD (d8 hp, full BAB, all good saves, 8 skill points/"level").
    • 40 ft speed.
    • +3 natural AC.
    • Bite 2d4, 2 claws 1d3.
    • Sneak attack +2d6: equivalent to a 3rd level Rogue. Nice.
    • Trip: free tip attempt on a bite. Also nice.
    • Outsider traits: meh.
    • 60 ft darkvision, scent: decent.
    • Shadow form: weirdly worded ability, but very handy, even if its only 1/day.
    • Shadow jump: good, but limited to 60 ft/day.
    • Str +6, Dex +6, Con +4, Int -4, Cha +4: net +16. The hit to Int hurts, but the physcial boosts are pretty sweet for 3 HD.
    • Short-ish, but useful, racial skill list. +8 on Survival to track by scent.

    Non humanoid form, no manipulative digits, can speak.

    You get some really decent stuff for 3 HD. Compared to a Rogue 3, you have better BAB, better saves, same sneak attack, 3 natural attacks you can use to sneak attack, trip, shadow form (which is a solid 1/day utility/defensive), shadow jump and good physical mods; you get no trapfinding, trap sense or evasion, worse skills, and are limited in item use.

    Maybe a martial adept would be a better comparison point? Not sure.

    Anyhow, I find myself in agreement with liquidformat: mark me down for LA +1. You get some good stuff for 3 RHD.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    It's a good thing to replace rogue 3 with... pity I never really want to take rogue 3 . I'm a bit concerned about the lack of hands, too (makes the martial proficiencies a bit useless, and the claws have a very small damage die). Still, can't deny it's a strong pick at ECL 3, if you can get your SA full attack to go off.

    If t4 is the comparison point for this one, it's probably good at +1. If you're aiming for more of a t3 build (sorcerer into Unseen Seer, trickster spellthief into Unseen Seer, something like that), it's probably fine at +0.

    I don't like using t4 as comparison point. LA +0 it is.
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread IX: I have no mouth and I must S,V,M

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    This one's awkward because it's absolutely absurd at almost every level bracket against actual Rogue builds without LA in every regard but heavily dedicated skillmonkeys, particularly with Point Buy because you can shrug off every investment a Rogue normally makes but Intelligence to usually afford an 18. It's entirely reasonable to put a 12 in your primary ability score on this, because you'll still hit the cap on a Chain Shirt and then only need a +4 item to cap the Mithral. Combined with dumping Strength and yet still getting a 14, affording 16 "character" Int to have 9 skill ranks per hit die is downright trivial, and the Con bonuses alongside all-good-saves HD even further peel off your needs.

    The biggest issue is that you're getting most of the important stuff of being an actual Rogue in your RHD, such that most Rogue 3 builds still work perfectly fine. Which means that the skillmonkey stuff you have to argue with the DM about anyways is the only real point of contention, and frankly not by very much from just how much you can dump relative to a normal Rogue. On 28 point buy, you can have 14 Str, 18 Dex, 14 Con, 14 Int, 10 Wis, and 16 Cha, with +3 to base Fort and Will, +1 BAB, and +4 HP from HD over Rogue 3, and your blunt +3 AC from Natural Armor over any regular Rogue.

    And, of course, the ability score bonuses also translate to trivially recouping the lost skill points at any but the highest level by the expedient of not investing to maximum and instead riding your innate talents. Save a rank or two on every Dexterity based skill, one or two on all the Charisma skills, and probably a bit on Constitution investments. You can throw in a very comprehensive meh on your ability score allocations and make a typical Rogue have to dig to keep up.

    Even with LA +1, you're still likely to be higher in HP than a level 4 Rogue, easily able to be better at sneaking if that's a priority, able to be on par for both Dexterity and Charisma things for a lot of level breakpoints, are almost definitionally 15% less likely to be hit, get a teleport effect to just nope all sorts of nasty situations by stepping out on the other side of a wall or behind an ally... The one serious thing you're certainly losing is manipulator-based skills, which basically breaks the Rogue comparison altogether.

    I honestly don't know what to compare a mix of stealth, tracking, and party face to. Savage Bard seems the closest, but has no commonality in combat, while Scout and Ranger are missing party face functions. Wilderness Rogue trades out party face to get Survival. But in this particular area, where you're taking it specifically to focus on its strengths and ignoring the standard Rogue functions its paws are a roadblock for, I'd say it actually can handle LA +2 on the back of the variety of bonuses your character receives over a more typical race, most especially the "get out of jail free" button that is Shadow Jump making HP disadvantage not much a detriment.

    Edit: Unless we're settling on some strange Savage Bard based sneaky-gish as the comparison point for being the only ready-made match on the skills, but against a Rogue, LA +1 is just a no-brainer because the stuff you're behind in is largely an outright nonability, so only Rogues who don't care about Trapfinding would really think about using this.
    The comparison point is probably a melee focused rogue rather than a skill monkey rogue. So I am thinking Rogue 3 (with penetrating strike)/Swashbuckler (arcane stunt if dm lets you as well as shield of blades and maybe drow swashbuckler ACF) 15/Swordsage 2 probably taking swordsage around level 8 and 11 to optimize choices and daring outlaw feat. That is a pretty standard baseline for a rogue that is scrapping the skill monkey side and optimizing melee, unfortunately I don't think it compares at all with Vorr, even at LA +1 it still under performs compared to a vorr. The other comparison point would probably be swordsage which I think balances out with a Vorr somewhere around level 10 even with LA +1. I will put together some builds for comparison later.

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