A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #991
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilapop View Post
    I hereby officially accuse Tzardok of being a swordsage.
    I'm not a swordsage, I am a wizard. And a wizard doesn't post late, nor does he post late. He always posts when he intends to.
    Last edited by Tzardok; 2021-12-01 at 08:52 AM.
    Ich erträum' mir ein Gefieder.
    Dieser Zauber hat Bestand.
    Und so flieg' ich immer wieder
    Wie der Nachtwind über's Land.

  2. - Top - End - #992
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    danielxcutter's Avatar

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

    Clearly Tzardok is a Jade Phoenix Mage
    Cool elan Illithid Slayer by linkele.

    Editor/co-writer of Magicae Est Potestas, a crossover between Artemis Fowl and Undertale. Ao3 FanFiction.net DeviantArt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

  3. - Top - End - #993
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    NecromancerGuy

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

    Damn that's a dangerous slam. +10 Str and paralysis? Oh, yeah, also improved grab. Even considering it's a melee undead, I think LA+0 is warranted, maybe even LA+1 (probably not, considering the body shape). It gains skills as a construct, but has no Int, so... it doesn't gain skills. Weird.
    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.

  4. - Top - End - #994
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    danielxcutter's Avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Damn that's a dangerous slam. +10 Str and paralysis? Oh, yeah, also improved grab. Even considering it's a melee undead, I think LA+0 is warranted, maybe even LA+1 (probably not, considering the body shape). It gains skills as a construct, but has no Int, so... it doesn't gain skills. Weird.
    I mean the thread DOES assume all mindless creatures get an Int score somehow.

    That really is a downgrade though; undead actually get more skill points than constructs.
    Cool elan Illithid Slayer by linkele.

    Editor/co-writer of Magicae Est Potestas, a crossover between Artemis Fowl and Undertale. Ao3 FanFiction.net DeviantArt
    We also have a TvTropes page!

    Currently playing: Red Hand of Doom(campaign journal) Campaign still going on, but journal discontinued until further notice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I could write a lengthy explanation, but honestly just what danielxcutter said.
    Extended sig here.

  5. - Top - End - #995
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Damn that's a dangerous slam. +10 Str and paralysis? Oh, yeah, also improved grab. Even considering it's a melee undead, I think LA+0 is warranted, maybe even LA+1 (probably not, considering the body shape). It gains skills as a construct, but has no Int, so... it doesn't gain skills. Weird.
    Another 3.0 weirdness. In 3.0, every creature type had their own rules for how many skill points and feat they got. Constructs simply didn't get any skill points, no matter how intelligent, and undead got (3 x Int score) +2 per hit dice beyond the minimum (extra hit dice, "EHD"). Because of that, some creatures got a rider "gains skill points like [insert better creature type here]". Those riders were IIRC all removed when 3.5 came around. This is the first time where I saw the rider as "gains skill points like [insert worse creature type here]".
    If we were to follow 3.0's rules, this thing wouldn't get any skill points even if it got an Int score somehow.

    I am in favour of simply ignoring the skill point rider.
    Last edited by Tzardok; 2021-11-30 at 02:54 PM.
    Ich erträum' mir ein Gefieder.
    Dieser Zauber hat Bestand.
    Und so flieg' ich immer wieder
    Wie der Nachtwind über's Land.

  6. - Top - End - #996
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    Troacctid's Avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Debatra View Post
    I hadn't really thought of the "obeying the orders of their master" bit being relevant. I mean, Skeletons didn't get asterisked just because Animate Dead gives you control over what you create. I just figured that was more flavor text because they're mindless.
    Voidmind got an asterisk for the same reason, right?

  7. - Top - End - #997
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    Devil

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Voidmind got an asterisk for the same reason, right?
    Voidminds had abilities involving their masters' control. With the bone lurker it's flavour text.
    Ich erträum' mir ein Gefieder.
    Dieser Zauber hat Bestand.
    Und so flieg' ich immer wieder
    Wie der Nachtwind über's Land.

  8. - Top - End - #998
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    Thurbane's Avatar

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

    I can't get enthused for a writeup on this one. I'll vote LA +1.

  9. - Top - End - #999
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    No. 1d(3d4) assumes you have equal chance to be in any situation (I rolled X-Y-Z for my last transformation's duration), but it's not accurate. You have a higher chance to be in a longer transformation than a shorter one. So you should roll 1dX, where the law for X is P(X=d)=(d*P(3d4=d)) normalized to 1, which is an absolute nightmare to do manually.

    If you want to program it and get a result, it's pretty simple: make a list with one 3, four 4s, ten 5s, twenty 6s, twenty-eight 7s, thirty-two 8s, thirty 9s, twenty 10s, eleven 11s and four 12s, choose one number from that list at random, then roll a die with that number of sides.

    That, or you just roll 1d(3d4) because you don't want too much trouble and your average is almost the same (4.25 for 1d(3d4) and 4.5 for the exact method, and I'm impressed by the fact that it gives such a round average, which makes me think there's probably a simpler way to do it).
    Math interrupt!

    Your list is nice, but seems rather challenging to generate for the general case. So here's an alternate method based on simulating the remaining duration in a single pass, rather than a combinatorial nightmare.

    When rolling 1 die with N sides, the probability of having exactly D rounds left is as follows.

    Only transformations that last at least D rounds can have D rounds left.
    Since a random time is selected, all remaining times for a given transformation are equally likely.

    So there are (N + 1 - D) transformations (duration rolls of D or more) which can have D rounds left. This means N transformations have 1 round left (all of them), N-1 have 2 rounds left (all but the 1-round transformation), etc.

    Which gives Sum((N+1-D)*D) for the total remaining duration, out of Sum(D) total time.

    Going through the math, this gives (N+2)/3 rounds left on average for a single N sided die.

    Examples: 1 sided die: 1 round left (transform every round, so keep your shape for 1 round). 4 sided die: 2 rounds left (4/10 time have 1 round left, 3/10 have 2 rounds left, 2/10 have 3 rounds left, 1/10 have 4 rounds left).


    If more dice are added, the same logic can be used, but the combinations become messier... so it's time to get clever!

    Adding an M sided die increases duration by 1...M independently of the initial duration, so the expected contribution to duration of the extra die is (M+1)/2. Since we can expect to be in the middle of any given transformation, increasing the duration of a transformation by (M+1)/2 rounds means that the expected time left in the transformation increases by (M+1)/4 rounds.

    The insight here is that we're using a single die to determine the 'initial' transformation duration, then increasing it by an amount that does not depend on the initial duration, so is the same across the board.

    This means that when rolling XdN, the expected number of rounds until the next transformation is (N+2)/3 + (X-1)(N+1)/4 = XN/4 + X/4 + N/12 + 5/12 = (3XN+3X+N+5)/12 = (3X+1)(N+1)/12+4/12

    Example: 3d4 gives 10*5/12 + 4/12 = 54/12 = 9/2 = 4.5

    1d6 gives 4*7/12 + 4/12 = 32/12 = 8/3 = 2.67


    If you want to go the list route, it seems cleaner and easier to go directly for the remaining duration.

    In the case of 3d4, you have an average duration of 7.5 rounds, and 64 different dice combinations (4^3), so an expected 'interval' of 7.5 * 64 = 480 rounds. In this interval, each duration combination occurs once, and we can work from there.

    If you have 3 or fewer rounds left, every single die combination is possible, so there are 64 dice combinations with 1 round left (p = 64/480), 64 with 2 rounds left (p = 64 / 480), and 64 with 3 rounds left (p = 64/480).

    If you have 4 or more rounds left, you need to remove the shorter combinations.

    There is 1 combination with duration 3, so there are 63 with duration 4 or more, meaning 63 / 480 probability of having 4 rounds left.
    There are 3 combinations with duration 4, so there are 60 with duration 5 or more, meaning 60 / 480 probability of having 5 rounds left.
    ...
    There are 3 combinations with duration 11, so there are 4 with duration 11 or more, meaning 4 / 480 probability of having 11 rounds left.
    There is 1 combination with duration 12, so there is 1 / 480 probability of having 12 rounds left.

    (combination counts are 1 (3), 3 (4), 6 (5), 10 (6), 12 (7), 12 (8), 10 (9), 6 (10), 3 (11), 1(12))

    This gives the same results as your approach, but uses a single step rather than two (select a duration and then time left). Plus the numeric progression feels a bit more intuitive to me.

  10. - Top - End - #1000
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I vote for "adjust trait to match skeletons" thing, especially since this are supposed to be like CR 2 creatures. Then again at that level DR 5/bludgeoning might reduce damage more than halving it...
    That seems reasonable and yeah at low levels DR 5/bludgeoning is most likely more than half damage for piercing and slashing. Must say I preferred the ways DR worked in 3.0 I liked that DR required different bonuses on your weapon not just for it to be magic and things like that.

    Anyways on to this monster. So unless your DM is handwaving the mindless away in which case you have -8 int min 3 (ouch) I think you are left with awaken undead.

    +10 Str imp grab and paralysis make this thing pretty nice and 2 HD brings you up to Huge with a bonus to str and NA but a slight drop in Dex and should also give you another Slam attack (score more paralysis!). The fact that you are an amorphous body shape meaning only slotless items? seems like a huge blow so I think +0 LA is fine here.

  11. - Top - End - #1001
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    Kobold

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

    Is the picture you used for the creature from the Sedlec Ossuary outside Kutna Hora? I've been there.

    But yeah, this is one where the (limited) Undead HD and body-shape issues are balanced out by a genuinely useful melee attack. I am comfortable with a +0 on this.

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