A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #931
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Maybe the Wayback Machine can help?
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  2. - Top - End - #932
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Maybe the Wayback Machine can help?
    Already tried, but no, at least for the blood wolf. Some pages have no backups, others only have backups from after they were already taken down (like this link from here).

    However, I have found another page from the same thread shows some unbroken links. Probably where ShurikVch took his links.
    Trying to resurrect the Negative LA thread, any comment and discussion are very welcome!


    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

  3. - Top - End - #933
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    yeah we seem to get a lot of wolves, this one seems like it could make an interesting familiar beyond that its kind of meh. +0 seems fine nothing is seemly bad about this thing but nothing great either.

  4. - Top - End - #934
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    It has excellent stats for its HD and good starting SR, but it presumably can't speak and doesn't have opposable thumbs. I think it's an easy LA +0, though.

  5. - Top - End - #935
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    I just now realize how much of an archeological job you did with this resource, Thurbane, and I'd like to sincerely thank you for that, and to weep for the dozens of other obscure creatures that probably were lost to time, like the blood wolf would possibly have been without this random thread talking about dream creatures.
    No problem - yes, it was a frustrating task compiling it at some points.

    In regards to the Blood Wolf: I just can't get enthused for a detailed write-up. I'll agree with LA +0. I will comment, though, that the damage numbers on the special attacks and defence are disappointingly low, and won't scale well as you level up.

  6. - Top - End - #936
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    With unanimous voting, we arrive at +0. Next up is the Bloodstained template.
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  7. - Top - End - #937
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Bloodstained Template

    A Bloodstained Skeleton

    Acquired or Inherited: Inherited
    Applied To: Any corporeal Undead or "True Elemental" ("an elemental, not just a creature of type elemental"). Also possibly constructs? See text.
    Size & Type: Unchanged
    Space/Reach: Unchanged
    Hit Dice: Increase by one size, to a max of D12
    Speed: Unchanged
    Ability Scores: Str +0, Dex +0, Con +2, Int +2, Wis +0, Cha +2 - Net +6, no penalties. If the base creature lacks Con, this is unchanged. If the base creature lacks Int or Cha, they gain a score of 2. Reconcile this with the minimum of 3 Int however you will.
    Armor Class: +1 Natural Armor
    Skills: Unchanged
    CR: +1
    WotC LA: -
    Our LA: +1

    Regarding the above-mentioned ambiguity as to constructs, I shall simply quote the article:

    Bloodstained is a template that can be added to any corporeal undead or true elemental (i.e., an elemental, not just a creature of type elemental; referred to hereafter as the "base creature") whose component materials were stained with large amounts of blood prior to being animated (if a construct or undead) or summoned (if a true elemental). The creature's type remains unchanged. It uses all of the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
    In addition to a larger HD and some bonus ability scores, you get Great Fortitude as a bonus feat. You retain your Qualities and Attacks, while gaining one of each: Wounding and Defy Death.

    Any wound inflicted "through physical contact with the victim" bleeds for one additional point of damage per round, which accumulates with multiple hits. There is no listed cap on either the damage or duration. The bleeding can be stopped only by a DC15 Heal check or any healing spell.

    Defy Death allows the Bloodstained creature to act normally while in negative HP until death. You don't even need to stabilize, implying but not explicitly stating that you don't lose a HP every round. Notably, this also works for creatures that are normally destroyed at 0 HP. (And adding to the above ambiguity, Constructs are mentioned here, but not Undead.)
    Last edited by Debatra; 2021-11-28 at 12:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SassyQuatch View Post
    It is a major flaw in the game. Destroy a moon? Sure. Talk to somebody a hundred miles away, that's going to be difficult.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rizban View Post
    Realistically speaking... D&D style magic doesn't exist, so... let's ignore reality.

  8. - Top - End - #938
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    You forgot it’s Cha increase; it’s +2 not +0.

    Anyways, I think this is about a weak +1? It’s not much, but it’s not nothing and the RAW doesn’t specify that Wounding only works on natural attacks.
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  9. - Top - End - #939
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Hmm, another tough one to judge, but I'll agree with LA +1 for now. Not a strong +1, but all positives, so...

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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Well, it's a bonus feat, natural armour boost and +6 to stats, so on the TANSTAAFL principle, this has to be LA +1. Maybe a generous GM would allow you to stack your undead templates to gain a lower LA at higher levels.

  11. - Top - End - #941
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    The wounding with Vicious Wound (because of course you'll take that) can add up acceptably at low level, especially with a level of Monk. Sadly, it won't scale well after the first few levels.

    The stats increase are... there. Inexplicable, but there. Why Con when 90% of the target have no score? How does being stained by blood increase your intelligence? Or your charisma? If it was an intimidation bonus, I would have understood, but here... Anyway. Intelligence is very welcome, the rest will probably not matter (even though the fact that it sets the intelligence to 2 may make it difficult to play). It also sets the charisma of a creature to 2 if it does not have a score. What? Is that not a blatant violation of the fact that every creature gets a Charisma score? Isn't this the only way for something in the D&D universe to have a charisma score and no wisdom score? Is there another similarly badly worded template that gives a wisdom score so that we can change any object into a creature? I have so many questions!

    A construct and undead with negative HP is certainly unique. Is there a way to use that to your advantage with some wonky wording? If not, then it's just +10 HP (in addition to the average +1/HD for constructs), and that's not bad, but nothing incredible.

    I see nothing here that would be worth more than LA+1.
    Last edited by Beni-Kujaku; 2021-11-20 at 10:56 AM.
    Trying to resurrect the Negative LA thread, any comment and discussion are very welcome!


    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
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  12. - Top - End - #942
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    It is a +1. Nothing spectacular but no real downsides, it's all upside and better than most of the stronger +0 races (water orc, etc.)

  13. - Top - End - #943
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Why Con when 90% of the target have no score?
    For the elementals, of course. Be happy that elementals get nice things for once.

    How does being stained by blood increase your intelligence? Or your charisma? If it was an intimidation bonus, I would have understood, but here... Anyway. Intelligence is very welcome, the rest will probably not matter (even though the fact that it sets the intelligence to 2 may make it difficult to play).
    I assume that the base creature absorbs the "lifeforce" that was spilled together with the blood and impregnated the base "material".

    It also sets the charisma of a creature to 2 if it does not have a score. What? Is that not a blatant violation of the fact that every creature gets a Charisma score? Isn't this the only way for something in the D&D universe to have a charisma score and no wisdom score? Is there another similarly badly worded template that gives a wisdom score so that we can change any object into a creature? I have so many questions!
    There is, in fact, a single other template that violates this rule: the dream elemental creature from Dragon #287. Dream elemental creatures lose their Wisdom score, but keep their Charisma.

    Edit: +1 from me.
    Last edited by Tzardok; 2021-11-20 at 11:35 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #944
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    It is a +1. Nothing spectacular but no real downsides, it's all upside and better than most of the stronger +0 races (water orc, etc.)
    You could say that the chassis required is a downside in and of itself, but for them it's still a net positive if barely, and there are LA +0 or higher examples we've done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
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  15. - Top - End - #945
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    An easy +1.

  16. - Top - End - #946
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    So what counts as a "true elemental" then? I presume it has to be called [noun] Elemental? What about the elemental avatar things in... I think MMIV, maybe V?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
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  17. - Top - End - #947
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    It's a net gain, but nothing spectacular. Based on the whole "no handing out stuff for free" principle, it's a textbook case of a +1.

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    So what counts as a "true elemental" then? I presume it has to be called [noun] Elemental? What about the elemental avatar things in... I think MMIV, maybe V?
    Those would be the avatars of Elemental Evil from MM4. I think they are kind of unique and unavailable as summons, so I'd say they don't qualify.
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2021-11-20 at 03:15 PM.

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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    I kind of like that it will bring an -- Int creature up to animal intelligence but no higher. Mechanically a slight pain, but flavorful.
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  19. - Top - End - #949
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    I would say true elemental includes the classic 4 (Air, Earth, fire, water) of all sizes, possibly Para- and Quasi- elementals, and a generous reading might include Shadow and Taint elementals (assume they material they are composed of can be soaked in blood?).

    Actually, scratch Shadow, must be corporeal...

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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I would say true elemental includes the classic 4 (Air, Earth, fire, water) of all sizes, possibly Para- and Quasi- elementals, and a generous reading might include Shadow and Taint elementals (assume they material they are composed of can be soaked in blood?).

    Actually, scratch Shadow, must be corporeal...
    Storm elementals, too, I think.
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    On the other hand, blood soaked storm clouds as material for a summoning are kinda difficult to find. Bloodsoaked air and fire for that matter too.
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    And technically water can’t be “soaked” with blood…
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  23. - Top - End - #953
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    How about sodium elementals?

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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    How about sodium elementals?
    Those are probably gods considering how many people get salty about their rolls I’d imagine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    This is actually a pretty interesting template in that it affects each group differently. It definitely seems like elementals get the most out of this template unless living constructs can take it in which case it is pretty good for the warforged too. It is also slightly better for constructs than undead since it bumps up construct hd to d12. For Elementals and constructs this is a definitely +1 LA but for undead it is almost a +0 template because a good quarter to half the template doesn't apply to them but still I think this template ends up at the low end of +1 LA I think it might be enough to bump some of the zombies and skeletons to +0 LAs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I would say true elemental includes the classic 4 (Air, Earth, fire, water) of all sizes, possibly Para- and Quasi- elementals, and a generous reading might include Shadow and Taint elementals (assume they material they are composed of can be soaked in blood?).

    Actually, scratch Shadow, must be corporeal...
    So here is a list of the elementals from the official books (I believe it has everything but don't quote me on that).

    should apply: Weirds, Dust twister, Primal Elementals, Storm, Living Holocaust, Magma Hurler, Monoliths, Omnimental, Stone Spike, Elementite swarms, Avatars, Ruin Elemental

    Maybe: Caller from the Deeps, elemental Grue, Galeb Duhr, Immoth, Magmin, Walking Wall, Elemental Stewards

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    How about sodium elementals?
    I hear they have a rather explosive relationship with water elementals...
    Last edited by liquidformat; 2021-11-22 at 10:14 AM.

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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    No real surprise that this gets +1. The Boggart is up next. (Spoiler alert: JKR's version has pretty much nothing in common with the D&D version.)
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Well yeah, both were independently inspired by a preexisting mythological creature.

    Also the Dream Larva is basically a JKR boggart on steroids.
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never


    Size & Type: Small Fey (Shapechanger)
    Space/Reach: 5'/5'
    HD: 6
    Speed: 30'
    Ability Scores: Str -2, Dex +14, Con +4, Int +4, Wis +6, Cha +6 - Net 32, one penalty
    Natural Armor: 0 (+4 Deflection)
    Natural Weapons: One Primary Touch (2d6 Electricity)
    Skill List: Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Tumble
    Body Shape: Humanoid, Shapeshifter, Unstable
    Speech (Languages): Yes (Common, Sylvan, and a partial Tongues effect)
    CR: 5
    WotC LA: -
    Our LA: +2 (No asterisk this time, but a definite "Discuss this with your DM/Player" for the Unstable Form.)

    ...Well, these guys are something. Let's get the big one out of the way. Unstable Form.

    A Boggart can assume the form of any small or tiny Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid, or Fey with a humanoid form. They can also assume a form "similar to a will-o'-wisp, but less tangible" (really more akin to Gaseous Form). In this latter form, they have a Fly speed of 50' (Perfect), DR 10/magic, and immunity to poison and critical hits. They lose the ability to speak as well as their Confusion power, but retain their shocking Touch and Electrical Bolt. They lose their Strength and can't enter water, but can pass through small holes and cracks.

    A Boggart can change its shape at will, and in fact must do so at least every 3d4 rounds. (Keep in mind that's every 18-72 seconds. I assume this doesn't interfere with sleeping? Fey do still need to do that after all.) There is no listed method of determining what forms it takes when these forced changes occur, so have fun with that. If a Boggart is flying when forced to change form, it descends at a rate of 60' per round and suffers no falling damage. This appears to assume that they can't just shift between multiple flight-capable forms for some reason, but there is no such restriction listed.

    Rather than citing a specific spell to base this changing on, the Boggart entry simply lists what you do and don't get from your shapeshifting. I can not see any notable difference between this list and the normal Alternate Form rules, but I'll list it out just in case. (The aforementioned not-Will-o'-Wisp form being an exception to these general rules.)

    You do not regain any HP. You retain your Type, Subtype, special attacks, and special qualities. You gain the size, natural weapons, natural armor, movement modes, and extraordinary special attacks of the assumed form. You do not gain any special qualities of your new form. And of course you get the usual +10 Disguise bonus (for all that's worth since you average two forced changes per minute... though I guess you could try to just make subtle changes that your clothes could cover?).

    Anyway, on to the rest of it. Once every 1d4 rounds, it can shoot a bolt of lightning at a single target within 40' for 2d4 damage. It can turn Invisible at will for 3d4 rounds at a time. It's immune to electricity, and it has a minor Tongues-like ability that allows basic communication (one or two-syllable words and basic syntax) with any creature that has a language.

    By spending two consecutive rounds making a general racket (in whatever form of loud noise that is desired, from banging to shouting to singing or etc), a Boggart can create an effect that mimics a Confusion spell (except it's also a Sonic ability) in a 30'-radius spread. Other Boggarts are immune to this, and can even help out in order to expand the radius by 10' per Boggart, up to 80'. Each participating Boggart produces its own spread of the increased size. The save DC is Charisma-based, with creatures within multiple simultaneous spreads needing to save only against the one with the highest DC. There is also the usual 24-hour immunity clause on a successful save, but with the caveat that this protects the creature from any Boggart's Confusion ability, not just the ones that participated in the cacophony they saved against.

    Finally, Boggarts are immune to all spells and SLAs except for Magic Circle Against Chaos/Evil, Magic Missile, Maze, and Protection From Chaos/Evil. Note that unlike every other version of this ability I've seen before (such as Golems) other than Epic-CR Monsters, this is not explicitly mentioned as only applying to spells that allow for SR. There's a general rule for "Spell Immunity", but nothing actually uses that name for it. Most things call it "Immunity to Magic", and this creature says "Magic Immunity". Semantics? Maybe, but it's also open to interpretation. I tend to prefer a general rule in these threads of "RAW Unless Ridiculous, Even If Silly". (Hey, I said a general rule. Judgement calls are already a good chunk of D&D.) Of course, if you know of any other such creatures that exist, say something right away so we can maintain consistency with them.

    Honestly though? Even throwing in the SR restriction still means you don't get the benefit of healing and many buffs. It's a mixed bag either way. There's also the argument (which I currently agree with) that instantaneous conjurations still work since the results of those spells aren't actually magical. They even persist inside an AMF, so the same logic should apply here. (Of course that wouldn't mean And here I essentially began thinking out loud and digressing into minutia, mercifully cut off so you don't have to deal with [any more of] my rambling.)

    Though it is noteworthy to mention that if this immunity does work against non-SR spells, then an AMF wouldn't revert a Boggart back to its natural form.
    Last edited by Debatra; 2021-11-30 at 03:41 AM.
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  29. - Top - End - #959
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    This is just a smaller will-o'-wisp. It seems way better, with the same basic selling points on fewer HD.

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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Debatra View Post
    That guy. See that guy? That guy's what happens when veterans of WotC don't read 8-year old lore and base their creatures off of 30-year old lore instead, then intern reviewers try to make it have at least some consistency.

    Because the "will-o'-wisp but less tangible" that is discussed here and the "Many scholars contend that the boggart is an immature form of the will-o'-wisp, and that seems so." that appears in the lore are not the same will-o'-wisp. The boggart isn't the immature form of the will-o'-wisp that appears in the monster manual 3.5. It's the immature form of the 1st and 2nd edition will-o'-wisp, where it was a fey, incorporeal ball of energy, and not the Air-subtyped corporeal aberration that appears in 3.5. Sadly, this was only really explained in the "ecology of the will-o'-wisp", published in Dragon 358, one year after the boggart article came out, and only hinted at before, so Robert Wiese, who has been working for RPGA for 13 years by now, didn't really notice the difference and wanted to import the boggart as the immature form of a will-o'-wisp (for reference, the ecology of the 1st edition will-o'-wisp was published in Dragon 99, in 1985, and no mention of the fact that these are two different creatures were ever officially made).

    I can't help but think that the lines "but less tangible", "the boggart is a baleful fey creature that only superficially resembles the will-o'-wisp" and "(slightly brighter than a will-o'-wisp)" were added by reviewers after the article was finished to distinguish the two and not confuse readers that only know corporeal WoW, while other lines, like the fact that there is a "will-o'-wisp form" (not a "form resembling a WoW"), and the whole thing regarding gaining abilities from its new form, which imply that it was supposed to transform into a real WoW.

    This also explains the unstable form. The boggart isn't a real creature, it's a small ball of pure energy that uses this energy to create the matter needed to have a body. Which means, it could create any body equally, and change body at will by simply turning some of its mass into energy again, or simply become fully energetic: that's the will-o'-wisp form.


    On to the rating: That boy's strong. The "must transform every 3d4 rounds" is really not a problem since you can just change your eye color or something, except for the WoW form, since it seems like this is a form on its own, and you can't go from a WoW form to another WoW form. And being able to change into a Fey or a Monstrous Humanoid is extremely good. The first thing that comes to mind is changing into a Thorn (MMIII) for 2d6 sneak attack and sleep arrows that would combo really well with invisibility and high Dex, but the versatility of it is extreme, with the ability to get an array of bonus feats, of movement speeds, and other benefits. But I believe the best thing is the will-o'-wisp form. Even for only 3d4 rounds, being able to be incorporeal, invisible and immune to spells is just unbeatable most of the time. With a bit of sneak attack, the touch electrical bolt can also be damaging.

    Also, contrary to the will-o'-wisp, the boggart can have hands! Incredible, I know. And the stats are honestly really good. That looks like a worthy LA+2 to me.

    Edit: It is unclear if it takes an action to change form, but couldn't you transform into a brownie, hide in plain sight using your very high dexterity bonus, then change into a Thorn and sneak attack immediately without having to use invisibility?
    Last edited by Beni-Kujaku; 2021-11-26 at 12:55 PM.
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