A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    My very first entry to a forum comp was a Slaymate: https://forums.giantitp.com/showsing...&postcount=112

    Spoiler: image link is now broken here's the original
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    I'll do a breakdown shortly...

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Er... how much do these things even help a necromancy build? Necromancy is a surprisingly versatile school, but I’m not sure if a Slaymate’s Pale Aura is particularly impactful unless your entire build is centered around it.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Er... how much do these things even help a necromancy build? Necromancy is a surprisingly versatile school, but I’m not sure if a Slaymate’s Pale Aura is particularly impactful unless your entire build is centered around it.
    Well, depending on your reading, you could slap a +0 metamagic on a spell spell, and memorize/cast it from a slot one level slower. That's nothing to sneeze at.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Well, depending on your reading, you could slap a +0 metamagic on a spell, and memorize/cast it from a slot one level slower. That's nothing to sneeze at.
    I'm not saying that Slaymates are useless. Far from it. I'm just saying that you really would have to build around necromancy to get the full milage.

    How strong are necromancy spells again? Save-or-X spells are certainly useful, I guess, and casting Maximized Enervation from a 6th-level slot certainly seems nice. As does Empowered Horrid Wilting once you get 9ths.

    And all this is before other cost-reducers. Hmm, if you do build around it that might actually be nice. Not sure if that counts for the Slaymate themselves, but certainly if you're bringing one around...

    Oh, question. How easy would it be to turn a Slaymate back into a normal kid? Does the limit count from when the kid first died or from when you destroy the undead?
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    The clock starts when the creature you want to resurrect dies. (Also, while not necessarily relevant since destroying a CR 2 undead should be no issue for anyone capable of casting it; I just like pointing out that the Resurrection spell says it doesn't work on undead, but the undead creature type says it does.)
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Debatra View Post
    I just like pointing out that the Resurrection spell says it doesn't work on undead, but the undead creature type says it does.)
    Uh, no. At least in my version of the Player's Handbook, Resurrection says it works on creatures that became undead and where destroyed. It's Raise Dead that can't resurrect anything that was undead once.
    Last edited by Tzardok; 2021-06-05 at 03:05 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Could function as a Paladin of Tyranny. -2 BAB, Small size, but +2 Str/Dex/Wis taking a chunk out of your MADness, +5 AC from size and NA, +4 Charisma to power your Deadly Touch and Rebuke in the face of the lost levels. With an assigned 14 and +6 item of Charisma, a Paladin of Tyranny 20 would have 5x20=100 points Deadly Touch, while a Slaymate Paladin of Tyranny 16 squeezing an 18 in Charisma from their ability score array to have 28 Cha, such as matching a 16 Str, 10 Dex, and 12 Wis while redistributing from a 14 Con (which would have room left over for a +1 Str or +2 elsewhere) would have four extra Rebuke uses at the same check result and a Deadly Touch pool of 9x16=144. For holding onto Undead for their Necromancer, the Slaymate can hold 13 HD of Undead and the living no-LA one can hold 17 hd.

    Base HP in this example case, giving the Paladin a +6 Con item for 20 Con total, would be 10+19d8=195.5, while the Slaymate would have 12+3d12+16d8=103.5hp. But then the Slaymate is able to use their Deadly Touch for self-healing, and has 44 extra points to do this with, so even in the scenario where both use 100 points for healing their Necromancer buddy's outright minions or dealing damage, the Slaymate is 48hp behind, while having a +5 AC advantage from Small size and Natural Armor, so you're hit by non-Touch effects 25% less of the time while being about that much less "meaty".

    For saving throws, the Slaymate has immunity to the vast majority of Will and Fortitude saves, -7 to base Fortitude saves, +3 to base Will saves, and +4 to saves from Divine Grace, so they're down 15% for the few Fort saves that apply but up 20% for Reflex and 35% for remaining Will.

    With damage, you're down one point of average damage the vast majority of the time, and your Bite deals 1.5+Str average damage, so it should be a wash on the regular swings. Oh, and you have one less Smite per day with them being at -4 damage and +4 attack roll, which translates to -36 damage over the course of the day from your Smites, but then you were probably look at Smite to Song to buff the selection of chaff Undead anyway. And you have one less Cause Disease per week at +4 DC, but this is also probably AFC fodder.

    To mention spellcasting, you get one less 1st and 2nd level spells and two less 3rd and 4th level spells, but any saving throw is at +4 (in this example case) and you benefit from Pale Aura yourself, so there's a couple metamagic feats you could actually stand to use. You'd have the ability to cast a 2nd-level Echoing spell, to repeat Inflict Moderate Wounds at CL 4 for 4d8+12 against the 4d8+10 of the regular Paladin of Slaughter, for instance. Residual Magic combines hilariously with this because it lets you cast another of the same spell with Echoing, and use your CL out of the wands of your 1st-level spells. So you could be a nice smol Negative Energy generator, healing yourself and your Necromancer's minions for a spectacular total and being a useful frontliner alongside.

    I'd go with LA +0, because there's plenty you can do with inbuilt metamagic reduction on a second-rate caster. Just not much useful for the minionmancy thing. Your goal is to be backup for your proper Necromancer, one way or another, and your ability scores can do a lot for your loss of levels. I just use Paladin of Tyranny because it's the most complete double-down in this niche, you could just as well go straight Cleric and perform the same cheese with a higher-level spell like Harm. Or go Dread Necromancer and have Charnel Touch ready for your more competently minion-making Necromancer buddy's minions to pick up Arcane Thesis on a higher-level spell while rocking a truly spectacular Charisma score, and they get to Arcane Thesis an Echoing Spell for hilariously absurd spam.

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Er... how much do these things even help a necromancy build? Necromancy is a surprisingly versatile school, but I’m not sure if a Slaymate’s Pale Aura is particularly impactful unless your entire build is centered around it.
    I mean, a build centered entirely around using -1 to metamagic is plenty useful, because you functionally lose only one spell level instead of two, and get a virtual +2 to your casting modifier with regard to bonus spells because they're effectively one level higher. In addition to, y'know, actually having +2 Wisdom. Or +4 Charisma.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2021-06-05 at 03:23 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    How does that work on people who know their whole spell list? Can a slaymate Ur-priest 1 use this ability to cast an invisible level 2 spell?

    Barring that‚ Necromancy spells generally don't really care about what metamagic is applied to them‚ and losing 4 caster levels is really bad when your primary ability focuses on spells‚ even with +2 wis and +4 cha.

    If you can use this ability to cast higher level spells in lower slots‚ I agree with Morphic Tide‚ the half-casters will not see the impact on their spellcasting and this could be +0. If you can't‚ then LA-0 for me.
    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.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    How does that work on people who know their whole spell list? Can a slaymate Ur-priest 1 use this ability to cast an invisible level 2 spell?

    Barring that‚ Necromancy spells generally don't really care about what metamagic is applied to them‚ and losing 4 caster levels is really bad when your primary ability focuses on spells‚ even with +2 wis and +4 cha.

    If you can use this ability to cast higher level spells in lower slots‚ I agree with Morphic Tide‚ the half-casters will not see the impact on their spellcasting and this could be +0. If you can't‚ then LA-0 for me.
    I mean preparing spells counts, so there's nothing stopping a cleric from prepping necromancy spells with lowered metamagic.
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  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    I mean preparing spells counts, so there's nothing stopping a cleric from prepping necromancy spells with lowered metamagic.
    Not only with lowered metamagic‚ but preparing spells that they can't cast normally
    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.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Not only with lowered metamagic‚ but preparing spells that they can't cast normally
    Uh... probably not.

    But if you actually try to build around necromancy, I can see it helping. For example, a wizard would be able to prepare a Maximized Enervation in a 6th-level slot. And that's without other reducers.
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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    I think it's worth considering that once we give this thing an ECL, it becomes eligible to be a cohort. Are we comfortable with necromancers gaining access to a slaymate with Undead Leadership right at level 6? Because that would make me concerned. Yeah, yeah, I know, just ban leadership, but look, there are multiple top-tier caster prestige classes that either require Leadership or grant it as a bonus feat, and metamagic reduction is a really dangerous mechanic to be playing around with. We give the devs crap for missing on incantatrix, but are we about to make the same mistake? Tread carefully, is all I'm saying.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    If it only works for prepared spells, Dread Necro + Arcane Preparation works.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    If it only works for prepared spells, Dread Necro + Arcane Preparation works.
    Prepared or cast within the aura. Spontaneous casters are covered.
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    I think it’s obviously more useful if you focus on necromancy and arguably not worth the hassle the more you don’t. Though necromancy is hardly the worst school to build around. Bad to specialize in, maybe, but there’s no reason you can’t just use a lot of necromancy spells in general.
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Even without leadership there is no necromancy focused class that does not get or create one of these at any table I have played at. Any evil (ie most) necromamcers will adpot a kid and make one if no other option appears. Things like death master also get huge benefits with animate dead now a 1st level spell. If you are casting necromancy spells there is no reason to NOT have one.

    As for the slaymate itself, +0. Good stats, great ability, and If there was a 4 level prc that offered this benefit but no casting i could see it being taken by at least some folks. Not sure on getting a leapfrog esque new set of spells with the reduction, pretty sure that does not work but if it does you get 9ths still. Also most necromancer wizards get more mileage out of lower level slots that higher ones. Energy drain is worse than metamagiced enervation, create undead, animate dead, animate dread warrior are all better than 9ths in necromancy. Horrid wilting is lackluster since even a good blast is still a blast, so most of what you want is lower level, and even lower level as a slaymate.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Debatra View Post
    Slaymate
    I was vaguely aware of this creature, but until the other day when I decided to check what the next LA-Reassignment target would be, I don't think I ever read what it did. It's an undead child with a punny name.
    Having actually read it...I like the idea of an undead child with strange power that a necromancer exploits for their own ends. I just feel like this isn't especially powerful. It requires that you cast, specifically, a bunch of metamagick'd necromancy spells to see any real benefit from it. It seemed better when I misinterpreted it as reducing the level by one per metamagic, but...geez.

    I'm trying to think of what would make a slaymate a worthwhile victim/tool for a necromancer's arsenal.
    Cheaper metamagic might be enticing to a 3rd-level necromancer, but an actual master would want more. In 5e terms, imposing disadvantage on saves against necromancy spells would probably do the trick; save penalties could do the same in 3.5. Restoring spell slots might also be handy, though this wouldn't be as meaningful or notable in a fight.
    Alternatively, they could be useful for creating/controlling powerful undead armies. A desecrate effect would be the standard way to do it, but far from the only way. One possibility that comes to mind would be increasing the number of undead a bonded necromancer can control (or reducing the effective HD of future undead created or something like that); getting the slaymate away from their abusive necromancer would cause a significant part of their undead army to go out of control, potentially killing the necromancer.

    But enough speculating about how this monster could be more interesting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tzardok View Post
    Uh, no. At least in my version of the Player's Handbook, Resurrection says it works on creatures that became undead and where destroyed. It's Raise Dead that can't resurrect anything that was undead once.
    He's not talking about re-dead, he's talking about undead who are still undead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Undead type
    Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead creatures. These spells turn undead creatures back into the living creatures they were before becoming undead.
    Quote Originally Posted by Resurrection
    You can resurrect someone killed by a death effect or someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed. You cannot resurrect someone who has died of old age. Constructs, elementals, outsiders, and undead creatures can’t be resurrected.
    (Emphasis mine, obviously)

    Both the spell and the type agree that if you re-kill Count Vlad, you can use resurrection on his corpse. But while the type says you don't need to bother re-killing him first if you don't want to, the spell says you do.
    If I were DMing this, I'd note that the undead type's language is a lot more clear—it says you can do this, while the spell just implicitly excludes it—and it potentially makes a better story. But the rules are still ambiguous.



    One last thing: I've been thinking about running a competition like the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge or the Villainous Competition, but for monster PCs built with the level adjustments from this thread. Does that sound potentially interesting to anyone here?
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  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    (Maybe the clause in the description of the spell means that once an undead creature is „killed”, a Resurrection spell cannot restore them to „life” (so, e.g., if your necropolitan whatever is destroyed, you can't just resurrect 'em and get your necropolitan back).)

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Are we comfortable with necromancers gaining access to a slaymate with Undead Leadership right at level 6?
    Are we comfortable with allowing any kind of Leadership at any table? Seriously, there are so many things that break when you have double or even dozens of actions that I don't feel it interesting to try to think around it. There's a reason we've asterisked every monster that gets unreasonable numbers of servants.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Both the spell and the type agree that if you re-kill Count Vlad, you can use resurrection on his corpse. But while the type says you don't need to bother re-killing him first if you don't want to, the spell says you do.
    If I were DMing this, I'd note that the undead type's language is a lot more clear—it says you can do this, while the spell just implicitly excludes it—and it potentially makes a better story. But the rules are still ambiguous.
    The soul of the subject must be free and willing to return. I'm pretty sure a soul in an undead is not free, or, even if it is, not able to express willingness to be resurrected. And even if it could, the spell requires 10 minutes of continued touching the body, or one part of the body. Good luck doing that on a raging undead.
    Last edited by Beni-Kujaku; 2021-06-05 at 11:35 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
    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    He's not talking about re-dead, he's talking about undead who are still undead.

    (Emphasis mine, obviously)

    Both the spell and the type agree that if you re-kill Count Vlad, you can use resurrection on his corpse. But while the type says you don't need to bother re-killing him first if you don't want to, the spell says you do.
    If I were DMing this, I'd note that the undead type's language is a lot more clear—it says you can do this, while the spell just implicitly excludes it—and it potentially makes a better story. But the rules are still ambiguous.
    But Resurrection can only target a dead creature - not an undead, a dead. So the target needs to be re-dead anyway before it can be resurrected. To me it looks like what the undead type says is a confusing version of what Resurrection's text says (and the German translation of the Monster Manual, which is where I look up things first, seems to have reduced the ambiguity here).
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Slaymate has double its CR in HD. easy -0 IMO.
    Last edited by Remuko; 2021-06-05 at 03:17 PM.

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

    Yeah, I don't think Leadership is that commonly allowed, and it breaks party balance faster than you can say "OP".
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    (Maybe the clause in the description of the spell means that once an undead creature is „killed”, a Resurrection spell cannot restore them to „life” (so, e.g., if your necropolitan whatever is destroyed, you can't just resurrect 'em and get your necropolitan back).)
    That's one possibility, but it's not clear. The rules are still ambiguous.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Are we comfortable with allowing any kind of Leadership at any table? Seriously, there are so many things that break when you have double or even dozens of actions that I don't feel it interesting to try to think around it. There's a reason we've asterisked every monster that gets unreasonable numbers of servants.
    I think this is a good point. There are a lot of stupid things you can do with Leadership; getting a single level of metamagic reduction on a single school of magic is pretty low on that list.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Isn't Wild Cohort about the only Leadership-esque feat that's remotely balanced?

    Actually, how imbalanced are the other Cohort feats?
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    One last thing: I've been thinking about running a competition like the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge or the Villainous Competition, but for monster PCs built with the level adjustments from this thread. Does that sound potentially interesting to anyone here?
    Sounds fun to me, though I've been lacking in inspiration for comp. builds recently, so I can't guarantee entering. Would you include the Negative LA thread, or just the 'main' ones?
    Quote Originally Posted by Darths & Droids
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    Realism, the natural predator of D&D mechanics.

  26. - Top - End - #86
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    One last thing: I've been thinking about running a competition like the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge or the Villainous Competition, but for monster PCs built with the level adjustments from this thread. Does that sound potentially interesting to anyone here?
    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    Sounds fun to me, though I've been lacking in inspiration for comp. builds recently, so I can't guarantee entering. Would you include the Negative LA thread, or just the 'main' ones?
    I'd like to second that this sounds like a fun change of pace from the standard Iron Chef threads.

  27. - Top - End - #87
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Thurbane's Avatar

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

    OK, got side-tracked with other stuff yesterday, let's do this.

    Slaymate.

    • Small Undead
    • 4 RHD (d12 hp, poor BAB, one good save, 4 skill points/"level")
    • 20 ft speed.
    • +4 natural AC.
    • Bite 1d4 + pale wasting.
    • Darkvision 60 ft.
    • Undead pale aura: the only thing that makes this creature interesting: a -1 metamagic reducer for all necromancy spells in a 10 foot radius.
    • Pale wasting: like most diseases, almost zero use un combat.
    • Undead traits.
    • Str +2, Dex +2, Con --, Wis +2, Cha +4: net +10, one non-ability, no penalties.
    • Small but useful racial skill list.

    Humanoid in form, and can speak. Should be no gear or class progression issues, other than those that come with being undead.

    I think this is a perfectly playable chassis. Not amazing, but playable. Decent chassis for a stealth/sneak attack/skill monkey build. Or, you could go Dread Necro, and still access 9ths, depending on how your table rules Versatile Spellcaster and set list casters. In fact, the chassis is pretty decent for almost anything, bar a full caster hoping to get 9ths, or a build that relies on being medium or larger. The 20 ft speed is annoying, but no moreso than on a Halfling or Gnome, IMHO.

    And, of course, the elephant in the room: -1 metamagic reducer for necromancy spells, 10 ft radius. It's good. Very good. Is it worth a star? I'm giving one, just in case.

    LA +0* from me.

    If I were playing one, I'd try for some kind of Ur-Priest Skillmonkey build - once I'd dipped Ur-Priest, I'd try to grab caster progressing PrCs with 4 skill points/level or more. Or Maybe an Archivist build, cherry pick necro spells from a bunch of class lists, and just deal with not getting 9ths.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    One last thing: I've been thinking about running a competition like the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge or the Villainous Competition, but for monster PCs built with the level adjustments from this thread. Does that sound potentially interesting to anyone here?
    100% yes!

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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

    +0 if you're willing to be a team player

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The LA Assignment Thread XI: Better LA'd Than Never

    ...In case it wasn't obvious, my statement about the spell levels is that a metamagic-focused build is rarely going to care about a normal build's top-level spell, especially if they're using Residual Magic to get an extra dip on the reduced metamagic promoting the use of the top-level slot for metamagic. Even without the insanity of doing that to Echoing Spell, it still means doubling your Empower/Maximize instances on your spam of choice.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2021-06-06 at 02:16 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    danielxcutter's Avatar

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

    ...How good does metamagic play with necromancy, actually? Empower and Maximize for Enervation, Heighten for Save-or-X spells, Twin for, well, it's good for most things anyways, and is that it? I honestly don't know that much about necromancy spells.
    Cool elan (no not that kind) Illithid Slayer by linkele.

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