PDA

View Full Version : [3.5]Playing awakened animals



Darth Stabber
2009-01-20, 05:32 PM
So in an upcomming game I would like to play an awakened Squirrel wizard, What are the ECL rules for awakened critters. (if this works i want to play an awakened wolf totemist after that)

FMArthur
2009-01-20, 07:19 PM
I'd really like to play an awakened animal, too (a bat!) but the fact that you are tiny or diminutive actually helps you so much that I'd just keep the two racial HD granted from Awaken. For a squirrel... maybe one? I think Dragon had an issue covering this, didn't it?

Alleine
2009-01-20, 07:37 PM
Awaken (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/awaken.htm) spell. The problem is the stats for a squirrel. You may have to make them yourself, or find if anyone has homebrewed squirrels because they are not, to my knowledge, in any WotC books.
The HD will hurt a lot as a wizard because you'll be behind the rest of the party in terms of power for awhile.

LordZarth
2009-01-20, 08:22 PM
I am also interested in this. I couldn't really understand Savage Species, though. Could someone tell me how to play an awakened ___? LA? Help!

Starscream
2009-01-20, 08:45 PM
Have you considered applying the Anthropomorphic template from Savage Species instead of being Awakened? Seems like it would be a little bit simpler to play.

I don't know of any source book that contains squirrels, but you could use the entry for Anthropomorphic Rat and just re-skin it.

Lessee, that would be No Level Adjustment (which is nice), Small size, -4 STR, +2 DEX, +4 WIS, -4 CHA. Strength and Charisma aren't very important to wizards, so that's okay. Only downside is that your speed would be only 15 feet, because that's the speed a normal rat has.

But maybe a squirrel is faster (they certainly are in real life), so if you add the template to one of those you'd get a better speed anyway. Where are you finding the stats for a squirrel?

Shalizar
2009-01-20, 08:56 PM
Lol, I used to play a Squirrel Rogue that would have a 25% chance of being scared of anyone or thing medium size or larger. It pissed off so many of the other gamers when i was scared of half the party and i wouldnt participate in combate (10% chance of that happening), but i just used a template that gave me +4 dex -2 strength and a few other things, if you like i can post the template on here, it is a +1 CR

RTGoodman
2009-01-20, 08:57 PM
Awaken (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/awaken.htm) spell. The problem is the stats for a squirrel. You may have to make them yourself, or find if anyone has homebrewed squirrels because they are not, to my knowledge, in any WotC books

Just use the stats for a Monkey (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/monkey.htm). It's basically a Tiny Animal that can climb, and has no other real features. Barring that, a Weasel (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/weasel.htm) (with or without the Attach ability) should work. Everything else you need to know is the in the description of the awaken spell.

Of course, like Starscream said, the Anthropomorphic Animals from Savage Species might be a better choice. Luckily for you, the Monkey and Weasel I mentioned above are both on the chart and have no LA or anything. They do get a boost up to Small size rather than Tiny, though.

Darth Stabber
2009-01-20, 10:04 PM
I am going to push for this Version of squirrel

Race - Squirrel
Statmods - +4 dex, -2 str, -2 con
Size - Tiny
Speed - 20
Skill Bonuses - +4racial to Hide, move silently, Balance, climb(may use dex instead of str)
natural weapon - 1d3 + str bite attack
favored class - Rogue

Darrin
2009-01-20, 11:22 PM
Awaken (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/awaken.htm) spell. The problem is the stats for a squirrel. You may have to make them yourself, or find if anyone has homebrewed squirrels because they are not, to my knowledge, in any WotC books.


There are stats for squirrels in several issues of Dragon magazine... #280, I think, and a flying squirrel in #327.

If you want to go really weird, try the Skiurid (MMIV, p. 126). Evil darkness-infused squirrels. I think you'd need the spell "Awaken Magical Beast" (Dragon #304).

Devils_Advocate
2009-01-20, 11:37 PM
Observations:

Lycanthropes (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/lycanthrope.htm) all have the same level adjustment, in addition to a variable number of animal hit dice. It's apparently assumed that the improved stats and number of animal hit dice you have to take roughly balance each other out to about the same degree in each case.

An awakened animal differs from a lycanthrope created by applying the lycanthrope template to a LA +0 humanoid most notably as follows:

- Animal form only.
- No bonus natural armor or damage reduction.
- No racial traits from a humanoid or giant race.
- Type is magical beast (augmented animal) rather than humanoid (shapechanger).
- Two additional animal hit dice.
- Lower Cha and maybe higher Wis. (Depends on the animal.)

All things considered, I'd say that these changes warrant dropping the LA from +2 or +3 to +0. So a Tiny to Large awakened animal should be playable at LA +0. Smaller or bigger animals might warrant more LA, since big size modifiers in either direction can be quite beneficial, and that's beyond the bounds of what you can get by lycathopizing a LA +0 race (unless there are any Tiny or Large LA +0 humanoids or giants out there).

To get the stat adjustments for an awakened animal race, do the following:

1. Start with the normal animal's stat block.
2. Add two animal hit dice, making appropriate changes to BAB and base saving throws. Do not alter the creature's size. If the animal has a fraction of a hit die, simply increase its HD to 2 instead. (I'm pretty sure that an creature with a fraction of a hit die is treated as having 1 HD for most purposes (skills, saves, etc.) already.)
3. Increase Intelligence score to 10. Increase Charisma score by 2.
4. Change type to magical beast (augmented animal).
5. Take this adjusted stat block and convert it into a list of racial traits as normal.

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-21, 02:05 AM
Those stats look good, Darth (I'd only give it a 1 HP bite attack, though, and you may want to consider letting that version have claw attacks). A while back I decided to convert my freeform fennec fox character for a D&D game (which wasn't hard because I already statted him out while uing him in HALO), and I came up with these stat adjustments for fennecs as a race: http://forum.mydndgame.com/index.php/topic,191.msg4263.html#msg4263 (the character could also talk and use Mage Hand at will. I houserules that animals are sentinet while having average Int and Cha stats of 10 due to hating the normal rules, though.)

Avor
2009-01-21, 03:13 AM
Shame on all you, wanting to play an animal just for the cheezy AC bonus and ability to hide under a dresser. If you were one of my players I would slap you stupid or have your ass eaten by a pack of stray dogs.

Real ****ing character depth, a squirrel that some how can huck lightning bolts! A character that has a natural life span of 3-6 years.

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-21, 03:17 AM
I don't really see why it would be that much of a problem (my stance is that it can be fun to try unusual characters).

JeminiZero
2009-01-21, 03:31 AM
Real ****ing character depth, a squirrel that some how can huck lightning bolts!


Sounds like a Pikachu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikachu). Really though, a tiny animal Wizard would probably be closer to Mew (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mew_(Pok%C3%A9mon)).

Darth Stabber
2009-01-21, 10:24 AM
Shame on all you, wanting to play an animal just for the cheezy AC bonus and ability to hide under a dresser. If you were one of my players I would slap you stupid or have your ass eaten by a pack of stray dogs.

Real ****ing character depth, a squirrel that some how can huck lightning bolts! A character that has a natural life span of 3-6 years.

Dude I don't want to be tiny for powergamming reasons. I just thought that a squirrel wizard would be amuzing. And as far as natural lifespan, when has that ever concerned a PC wizard, besides I going to become a Lich eventually, barring death in a fight or an acorn shortage, so i think that is not really my concern. If you don't already believe that I am not doing this for cheese reasons consider these facts: I don't even have access to the complete arcane or whatever book the Incatrix is in. I plan on paying full price for any metamagic i plan on using (no cheese reductions), and i might not even prestige. The fact that I have a concept that might be good if i was munchkin it up, doesn't mean I'll do it. besides, everyone knows that Humans are Redunkulously broken.

Fixer
2009-01-21, 11:17 AM
Once I got to play an awakened monkey rogue (used the anthropomorphic template, though, and just left him a monkey instead of anthropomorphisized). His combat tactics were always to hide in the rafters (or up a wall, or whatever happened to be handy) and snipe using a sling with rocks. His Hide bonus was so high the -20 penalty never really bothered him so he always got massive sneak attack damage.

He always hung out with the cleric, who convinced everyone she was a wizard (Travel and Trickery domains) and I was her familiar, who she had had enchanted to speak. We had a blast.

bosssmiley
2009-01-21, 11:26 AM
I think Scott of OD&D Wilderlands handled this best (http://wilderlandsodnd.blogspot.com/2008/11/land-of-beasts.html) (except possibly for the Kurt Russell references... :smallconfused: ... :smalleek: ).

Just refluff (no pun intended) a 3E halfling, gnome or kobold as a furry giant talking squirrel and you're away. After all, one form of stunted, chittering vermin is much like any other. :smallamused:

Avoid the crack-house of LA lunacy that is "Savage Species" at all costs.

Fhaolan
2009-01-21, 12:08 PM
I just picked up this: Noble Wild (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=2132&products_id=54699)

The rules for playing 'Noble Animals' should be able to be used for any kind of intelligent animal, like awakened animals or those whose DM has a sense of humour around 00 on the reincarnate table... Not mentioning names...

I haven't had a chance to playtest it yet, but I'm not seeing anything obviously wrong with it on read-through. I'm not convinced of the magic transparency stuff in it, though.

Blackfang108
2009-01-21, 12:33 PM
Shame on all you, wanting to play an animal just for the cheezy AC bonus and ability to hide under a dresser. If you were one of my players I would slap you stupid or have your ass eaten by a pack of stray dogs.

Real ****ing character depth, a squirrel that some how can huck lightning bolts! A character that has a natural life span of 3-6 years.

*dumps a bucket of ice cold water on the fire*

There, now that that's out...

If you don't like it, you don't have to allow it.

I had a good idea for an awakened Dire Wolf in a campaign, and my DM nixed it.

but if you hate it so much, take it outside.

Diarmuid
2009-01-21, 01:00 PM
I guess the big question would be why would a Druid randomly awaken a squirrell and leave it to it's own designs, and then even if the squirrell were able to survive...how would it get a wizard to teach it magic? It's not like it's got anything of value to the wizard to trade.

phoenixcire
2009-01-21, 01:09 PM
Well that's simple enough. The druid has no control over the awakened animal. If the roll for Int is high (16-18) I'm sure it's brilliance would quite easily make the wizard curious enough to see if it were able to be taught the magical arts. Especially if the animal is asking to be taught.

Lycanthromancer
2009-01-21, 01:17 PM
Of course, the squirrel doesn't have to be a wizard, if this is an issue. Psion, sorcerer, bard, druid, artificer...It could be any number of other classes that don't require large amounts of study and a spellbook.

In fact, the idea of a rodent artificer (http://www.rpgamer.com/games/kh/kinghearts/art/chip_n_dale_profile.jpg) in-game is hilarious.

Darth Stabber
2009-01-21, 02:02 PM
I think Squirrel Dread Necromancer might be the win.

Who would suspect that the innocent squirrel was behind the massive undead invasion. Teach you to hide my nuts. Plus that feat from liber mortis that makes negative energy heal me and positive energy hurt. Complete Cheese with Dread Necro, so i probably won't do it, but it's nice to know that if i'm injured all i have to do is touch myself. wow the inuendo possibilities are too great now must stop.

Avor
2009-01-21, 02:12 PM
Dude I don't want to be tiny for powergamming reasons. I just thought that a squirrel wizard would be amuzing. And as far as natural lifespan, when has that ever concerned a PC wizard, besides I going to become a Lich eventually, barring death in a fight or an acorn shortage, so i think that is not really my concern. If you don't already believe that I am not doing this for cheese reasons consider these facts: I don't even have access to the complete arcane or whatever book the Incatrix is in. I plan on paying full price for any metamagic i plan on using (no cheese reductions), and i might not even prestige. The fact that I have a concept that might be good if i was munchkin it up, doesn't mean I'll do it. besides, everyone knows that Humans are Redunkulously broken.

Even if your doing it for other reason, you still have something that is cheezy by it's very nature. You have a the same level of magic as any other user of magic, but you get AC bonus, skill bonuses to things like hide, and an animal you are over looked by NPCs.

Doesn't matter anymore, you can't be a squirrel wizard, you need to use a spell book. As squirrel you have no opposable thumbs, there is no item you can realy use.

You could be a sorcerer or what not, but that would realy make you some kind of pikachu knock off.


I guess the big question would be why would a Druid randomly awaken a squirrell and leave it to it's own designs, and then even if the squirrell were able to survive...how would it get a wizard to teach it magic? It's not like it's got anything of value to the wizard to trade.

Well wizards are not sane, not a single goddammed one of them. They would teach a animal magic just for ****s and giggles.

One of my points is that it takes years of learning to become even a level 1 wizzard


Once I got to play an awakened monkey rogue (used the anthropomorphic template, though, and just left him a monkey instead of anthropomorphisized). His combat tactics were always to hide in the rafters (or up a wall, or whatever happened to be handy) and snipe using a sling with rocks. His Hide bonus was so high the -20 penalty never really bothered him so he always got massive sneak attack damage.

Exactly the kind of lameness I objecct to.

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-21, 02:30 PM
I had the same squirrel Dread Necromancer idea for dealing with annoying players, Darth (squirrels are one of my favourite animals behind fennec foxes). I'd say squirrel hands are developed enough to allow you to open a small spell book without any problems (their claws are sharp, though). You could rle that the squrrel's "spellbook" is actually in his head to eliminate the need for a book.

Darth Stabber
2009-01-21, 02:31 PM
So Wizard is out, Sorc, Warmage(funny image in my brain), beguiler (interesting possibility), Dread Necro (already "touched" on), bard (yes my courage has been inspired by a dancing squirrel), Cleric (imagining a squirrel in tiny fullplate praising Ehlona for a bounty of nuts), Druid (Obviously to perpetuate this rise of squirrels), Warlock, Psion, wilder, or maybe a Dragon Shaman (firebreathing squirrel).

RTGoodman
2009-01-21, 02:34 PM
Even if your doing it for other reason, you still have something that is cheezy by it's very nature. You have a the same level of magic as any other user of magic, but you get AC bonus, skill bonuses to things like hide, and an animal you are over looked by NPCs.

I'm gonna go ahead and say it's NOT really that cheesy. He does get some decent bonuses, but there's also a lot of drawbacks. Like a Strength of 3. Good luck carrying, well, much of anything. Yeah, it's probably a better choice for a caster than for anyone else, but it's D&D 3.x - casters ALWAYS end up better.


Doesn't matter anymore, you can't be a squirrel wizard, you need to use a spell book. As squirrel you have no opposable thumbs, there is no item you can realy use.

Are you his DM? If so, you're in the clear to rule that way. If not, I think you're just wrong. It's not THAT hard to turn a page without opposable thumbs (especially as a squirrel who has practiced doing that very thing), and even if it were there's a set of gloves in Savage Species that give animals opposable thumbs. Gloves of man, I think they're called. And if that wouldn't be allowed, look in Complete Arcane - there's a whole chapter of "alternate spellbooks," from beaded, knotted string to body tattoos and all sorts of other stuff. Maybe your squirrel wizard has his spells carved into some acorn shells that he lugs around?


You could be a sorcerer or what not, but that would realy make you some kind of pikachu knock off.

:smallsigh:


Well wizards are not sane, not a single goddammed one of them. They would teach a animal magic just for ****s and giggles.

One of my points is that it takes years of learning to become even a level 1 wizzard

There's absolutely NOTHING by RAW that says that. A character can spend years as a Rogue and then, suddenly, after beating up a goblin, have a revelation that leads him to be a Wizard right then and there.

And God forbid we handwave something that has absolutely no game effect so someone can play a character they want. I mean, seriously, the idea is kinda silly (and D&D has that in spades anyway), but it's not gamebreaking.

Nada Rakshasa
2009-01-21, 02:40 PM
As for the question of why a druid would leave an awakened beast up to its own devices: Perhaps in a last-ditch effort to end a conflict a druid (or group of druids) cast Mass Awaken, using a forest and its inhabitants as recruits in its efforts. Regardless of whether their endeavor was successful or not, it would result in a large number of awakened beings running around.

Just a thought.

Blackfang108
2009-01-21, 03:44 PM
Even if your doing it for other reason, you still have something that is cheezy by it's very nature. You have a the same level of magic as any other user of magic, but you get AC bonus, skill bonuses to things like hide, and an animal you are over looked by NPCs.

Doesn't matter anymore, you can't be a squirrel wizard, you need to use a spell book. As squirrel you have no opposable thumbs, there is no item you can realy use.

You could be a sorcerer or what not, but that would realy make you some kind of pikachu knock off.

Well wizards are not sane, not a single goddammed one of them. They would teach a animal magic just for ****s and giggles.

One of my points is that it takes years of learning to become even a level 1 wizzard

Exactly the kind of lameness I objecct to.

This is exactly the kind of DMing I object to.

At least when my Awakened Dire Wolf for an ECL 22 game was shot down, I was given a reason aside from a thinly veiled "I hate the idea because I think it's cheesy so there's no way I'm going to allow it."

If you were my DM, I would leave the group and find a new one.

Avor
2009-01-21, 04:07 PM
I'm gonna go ahead and say it's NOT really that cheesy. He does get some decent bonuses, but there's also a lot of drawbacks. Like a Strength of 3. Good luck carrying, well, much of anything. Yeah, it's probably a better choice for a caster than for anyone else, but it's D&D 3.x - casters ALWAYS end up better.

The only real draw back is that he can't use items, like wands and magical items, unless he has them custom made.

A STR 3 means nothing when you and all your possesions can be carried in the pocket of the party's meat shield.


Are you his DM? If so, you're in the clear to rule that way. If not, I think you're just wrong. It's not THAT hard to turn a page without opposable thumbs (especially as a squirrel who has practiced doing that very thing), and even if it were

Part of haveing a spell book is useing to caste spell, and write down new spells. I have a hard time immagining a squirrel writting down spells in a 1 inch spell book


Maybe your squirrel wizard has his spells carved into some acorn shells that he lugs around?

Spellbook = Nut sack

hmm


There's absolutely NOTHING by RAW that says that. A character can spend years as a Rogue and then, suddenly, after beating up a goblin, have a revelation that leads him to be a Wizard right then and there.

Well in the PHB I think there are recomended minimum age for your class, showing that wizzards learn magic through arcane study, they dont just wake up one morning and discover they can blow lightning out their ass like a sorcerer,

Also, even though the rules may say "*Ding* You level up and now know magic!", It's a very unfluffly way to put thing. The last time something like this happened to me, the player told be ahead of time he wanted to multiclass, and I was able to work it into the game so by the time they leveled up he already spent alot of time with mages, and they offered to train him.

Yes spending a month hanging with mages, fallowed by a week long crash corse in magic isn't much compaired to years of study, but makes alot morre sense than **Poof!* I suddenly know magic*


This is exactly the kind of DMing I object to.

At least when my Awakened Dire Wolf for an ECL 22 game was shot down, I was given a reason aside from a thinly veiled "I hate the idea because I think it's cheesy so there's no way I'm going to allow it."

If you were my DM, I would leave the group and find a new one.

If you were in my group I would hope you wouldn't elect me DM in the first place! I miss playing.

BTW, I would not realy objecr to your wolf, of course I would look it over. But something like the squirrel mage is nothing but a whole bunch of advantages, but with no real/aplicablel penitalies or disadvantages

wadledo
2009-01-21, 04:34 PM
The only real draw back is that he can't use items, like wands and magical items, unless he has them custom made.

A STR 3 means nothing when you and all your possessions can be carried in the pocket of the party's meat shield.So, you spend you entire live living in the fighters pocket in case you get ambushed, but you can't lift the scroll to use it anyway?:smallconfused:
And that's three for a tiny character.


Part of haveing a spell book is useing to caste spell, and write down new spells. I have a hard time immagining a squirrel writting down spells in a 1 inch spell book
If you ignore entire paragraphs we are just going to ignore you, you know that, right?:smallconfused:



Spellbook = Nut sack

hmmSo?
And the fact that the squirrel is carrying around a bag of nuts is odd how?:smallconfused:
If the shells have it's spells on them, what is the problem here?


Well in the PHB I think there are recomended minimum age for your class, showing that wizzards learn magic through arcane study, they dont just wake up one morning and discover they can blow lightning out their ass like a sorcerer,

Also, even though the rules may say "*Ding* You level up and now know magic!", It's a very unfluffly way to put thing. The last time something like this happened to me, the player told be ahead of time he wanted to multiclass, and I was able to work it into the game so by the time they leveled up he already spent alot of time with mages, and they offered to train him.

Yes spending a month hanging with mages, fallowed by a week long crash corse in magic isn't much compaired to years of study, but makes alot morre sense than **Poof!* I suddenly know magic*And do your fighters just "suddenly" know feats to?
Do your rogues suddenly know where to hit things to cause more damage?

And if elves are supposed to be so long lived, why don't they all start as lvl 4 wizards?
Why do halfling, who have a short life span, start at the same level as humans and dwarves?
Shouldn't they start at a lower level, because they didn't have as long to learn magic?:smallannoyed:

If you were in my group I would hope you wouldn't elect me DM in the first place! I miss playing.Well, aside from the fact that this has nothing to do with him, seeing as you yourself said that if you were DMing, you wouldn't allow it.


BTW, I would not realy objecr to your wolf, of course I would look it over. But something like the squirrel mage is nothing but a whole bunch of advantages, but with no real/aplicablel penitalies or disadvantages

Maybe the rest of the players are doing similar things, or maybe they just enjoy playing fun and interesting characters without regards to power level.
Maybe his character is going to start off at a lower level than the rest, or maybe he's significantly higher as part of the story.

Did you ask?:smallmad:

Threeshades
2009-01-21, 04:36 PM
If you consider goig with an anthropomorphic version I'd suggest you using this twice-improved (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71532) template instead of the really horrible one in Savage Species. Then you dont have to be stuck with 15 feet movement or other stupid surprises :smallwink:

Lappy9000
2009-01-21, 04:52 PM
StuffIsn't playing a character "just because it's cool" one of the charms of D&D? If Darth Stabber's DM is okay with him playing an awakened squirrel, you have no place telling him that he can't.

Darth Stabber
2009-01-21, 05:11 PM
So what would the apropriate drawback for being a squirrel be?
Also the I love the Idea of scribing his spells on acorns, and having a nutsack full of spells. Would I be more or less broken as a rogue? I know that a squirrel fighter is just going to suck, alot. But now that I think about it I think that it would be fun to be a cleric and sit in the fighter's pocket, and just buff and heal him up and then have him wonder why he's so strong sometimes, why his wound heal so fast, and why undead frequently run away from him. but that would be cheesy and not much fun. I think that Psion may be a better choice given my horrendously low carrying capacity and questionability of thumbs.

Lappy9000
2009-01-21, 05:24 PM
So what would the apropriate drawback for being a squirrel be?
Also the I love the Idea of scribing his spells on acorns, and having a nutsack full of spells. Would I be more or less broken as a rogue? I know that a squirrel fighter is just going to suck, alot. But now that I think about it I think that it would be fun to be a cleric and sit in the fighter's pocket, and just buff and heal him up and then have him wonder why he's so strong sometimes, why his wound heal so fast, and why undead frequently run away from him. but that would be cheesy and not much fun. I think that Psion may be a better choice given my horrendously low carrying capacity and questionability of thumbs.Rogue would certainly be less broken. It fits in better fluff-wise also. In my opinion, a squirrel rogue is just more interesting anyways.

Darth Stabber
2009-01-21, 05:28 PM
So what would the apropriate drawback for being a squirrel be?
Also the I love the Idea of scribing his spells on acorns, and having a nutsack full of spells. Would I be more or less broken as a rogue? I know that a squirrel fighter is just going to suck, alot. But now that I think about it I think that it would be fun to be a cleric and sit in the fighter's pocket, and just buff and heal him up and then have him wonder why he's so strong sometimes, why his wound heal so fast, and why undead frequently run away from him. but that would be cheesy and not much fun. I think that Psion may be a better choice given my horrendously low carrying capacity and questionability of thumbs.

Lycanthromancer
2009-01-21, 05:35 PM
Rogue would certainly be less broken. It fits in better fluff-wise also. In my opinion, a squirrel rogue is just more interesting anyways.

And you can run around with a sap filled with nut-shells, chattering away. Your battlecry? NUTSACK ATTACK! :wink:

But psion would be a great fit (especially a telepath, or maybe a seer). If your group likes experimenting with 3rd party stuff, you could even use my psionic powers revision (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=968968).

Avor
2009-01-21, 06:06 PM
So, you spend you entire live living in the fighters pocket in case you get ambushed, but you can't lift the scroll to use it anyway?
And that's three for a tiny character.


What are you going on about? He said that the downside of size was STR, and all I said is that STR doesn't matter when you are mage, and can have what little you own carried for you.


So?
And the fact that the squirrel is carrying around a bag of nuts is odd how?
If the shells have it's spells on them, what is the problem here?

No problem, but refereing to your spell book alternitive as your "Nut sack" is pretty funny.


And do your fighters just "suddenly" know feats to?
Do your rogues suddenly know where to hit things to cause more damage?

As you gain xp, it's assumed you're learning as you go. Learning from each encounter, bettering your self. You don't suddenly wake up knowing cleave. You have been in so many fights, and practiced, and you only now have mastered the technique.


And if elves are supposed to be so long lived, why don't they all start as lvl 4 wizards?
Why do halfling, who have a short life span, start at the same level as humans and dwarves?
Shouldn't they start at a lower level, because they didn't have as long to learn magic?

PHB page 109

It's about age of maturaty.


Maybe the rest of the players are doing similar things, or maybe they just enjoy playing fun and interesting characters without regards to power level.
Maybe his character is going to start off at a lower level than the rest, or maybe he's significantly higher as part of the story.

Did you ask?

Unless stated otherwise, it's fair to assume a somewhat normal campain. But you are right, the setting and party build do determin what is appropiate.



Isn't playing a character "just because it's cool" one of the charms of D&D? If Darth Stabber's DM is okay with him playing an awakened squirrel, you have no place telling him that he can't.

As I stated, playing a odd race/class combonation for fun is different than takeing in order to be cheezy/lame.


So what would the apropriate drawback for being a squirrel be?
Also the I love the Idea of scribing his spells on acorns, and having a nutsack full of spells.

Personaly, it would come down your stats, what template yiou use, and if your starting at level one. For all I know you could end up with a con so low you only gain 1 hp per level.

Fhaolan
2009-01-21, 06:08 PM
I have to recommened Noble Wild again, here. I just looked, and it has stats for squirrels, all laid out for PC use. And recommended class changes for animal-based PCs.

The cons of the lack of treasure for such creature really is a big balancing factor. The chances of you finding something you can use is so miniscule as to be close to impossible, and 3.5 D&D is very item-dependant.

In my sig line, there's an avatar of a worg in spiked maille. The reason that's there is because on this forum a bunch of posters got together and worked on a play-by-post game where *all* the PCs were worgs. During the game, the biggest problem Raga (Barbarian/Rogue Worg) had was that he couldn't put on his own armour without help, because he didn't have hands. It was a serious drawback. And while he was very impressive in combat at lower levels; as levels went up his damage output relative to normal characters just couldn't keep up because he couldn't use any equipment. No magic swords or axes, no missile weapons at all, etc. Being unable to use equipment, is a *serious* drawback for non-humanoid characters.

One thing that has to be considered is how many intelligent creatures without hands and other humanoid traits are there in the campaign world? In a base D&D campaign using just core, there will be awakened animals, worgs, and many others. How common are they? How commonly would they take class levels? More importantly, how do they keep pace with humanoid characters who have access to *tools*.

In one campaign I'm running, one character was killed and reincarnated as a squirrel (00 roll on that table). He was a Human Fighter/Rogue originally, and despite the fact he's really very useful for scouting and the like, when the chips are down and the steel is flying he's pretty much useless. He does 1 damage. That's it, 1 damage. Unless he can get a sneak-attack in. And he can't hit anything that requires special materials or magic. Yep, the hide and climb scores are impressive, but that simply can't compensate for the 2 Strength and the lack of tools. EDIT: We haven't converted this character to the Noble Wild yet, as I just got that book, and this character has been around for awhile. There are some differences between what I had made up and what's in that book, but nothing tha severe.

wadledo
2009-01-21, 06:31 PM
What are you going on about? He said that the downside of size was STR, and all I said is that STR doesn't matter when you are mage, and can have what little you own carried for you.Wands and scrolls are most often used for spells the caster uses a large number of times per day, such as blasty and debilitating spells, or situation specific spells, such as Fabricate or Move Stone.
If the character was going to use any wands and scrolls, it would have to sit around in whomever's pocket, in case it needed to use the items at a moments notice, such as an ambush.
In addition, a 3 Str tiny caster would likely not have the strength to hold up and aim most larger wands and rods.


As you gain xp, it's assumed you're learning as you go. Learning from each encounter, bettering your self. You don't suddenly wake up knowing cleave. You have been in so many fights, and practiced, and you only now have mastered the technique.So why can't a squirrel learn magic like Elan (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0126.html) almost did?




PHB page 109

It's about age of maturaty.And squirrels don't have faster ages of maturity why?:smallconfused:

Avor
2009-01-21, 07:16 PM
Wands and scrolls are most often used for spells the caster uses a large number of times per day, such as blasty and debilitating spells, or situation specific spells, such as Fabricate or Move Stone.
If the character was going to use any wands and scrolls, it would have to sit around in whomever's pocket, in case it needed to use the items at a moments notice, such as an ambush.
In addition, a 3 Str tiny caster would likely not have the strength to hold up and aim most larger wands and rods.

Isn't that what I've been saying, that a squirrel is too small to use notmal scrolls and wands.

And the whole pocket thing has nothing to do with wands and scrolls. Just whatever items the squille posseses, he doesn't nessesary have to carry.


So why can't a squirrel learn magic like Elan almost did?

Elan started off as a bard, a class already with some magical knowledge, and
Notice the line "it's retoactively assumed I have been...". So there is more of explanation than *Poof*


And squirrels don't have faster ages of maturity why?

There age of maturity would probly be 1, bur the catch is table 6-4, the more advanced classes add Xd6 years of age.

So to me it would look like this. A squirrel wizzard would be 1+1d6 years old, oops, got a 5, and die of old age.

Devils_Advocate
2009-01-21, 08:39 PM
Avor, please don't make unfounded accusations about others' motives, OK? Lots of players come up with wacky off-the-wall type characters all the time. That's not unusual. If one of those characters turn out to be overly powerful, the appropriate response is "I see balance issues" not "OMG munchkin!!"

It would be reasonable to give Darth Stabber the benefit of a doubt and suspect that just maybe he isn't creating a character like this in order to introduce it into a group/campaign where it would be inappropriate.

Anyway. An awakened animal has at least two animal hit dice. An awakened squirrel spellcaster is two spellcaster levels behind a human/gnome/elf/etc. of the same ECL. That more than balances out the benefits of being Tiny. It would be better as a Rogue, probably, but even then it's questionable whether being one size category smaller and maybe having higher Dex (than a LA +0 halfling) is worth two Rogue levels, including giving up having your first HD (with quadruple skill points) in Rogue.

A player is allowed to choose his character's age from the range of possible ages, for pity's sake. Awaken's spell description doesn't say anything about increasing the target's lifespan, but then there are no official age categories for animals anyway (someone correct me if I'm wrong here), so they need to be houseruled one way or the other regardless.

If the character only has a few years to live, then maybe his motivation for becoming an adventurer is a desire to accomplish something before his time runs out. Most probably his druidic master either died or sent him on a mission he is now trying to accomplish.

Darth Stabber, psionic classes are good options for handless creatures.

Starscream
2009-01-21, 09:37 PM
Here's what I'd do, use the anthropomorphic template and become a druid. Wild shape will take care of your low speed and strength penalty. You'll get a nice bonus to wisdom, and access to the Fire Seeds spell.

I can't be the only one who loves the idea of a squirrel throwing exploding acorns at people, right?

wadledo
2009-01-21, 09:51 PM
Isn't that what I've been saying, that a squirrel is too small to use notmal scrolls and wands.

And the whole pocket thing has nothing to do with wands and scrolls. Just whatever items the squille posseses, he doesn't nessesary have to carry.No, you've been saying that the only bad thing about his squirrel is that it has low Str, and that Str isn't used for casters anyway.
I'm saying that since the squirrel can't carry even the most basic equipment, it is almost unfair to him, because he just turns into the little thing that sits in somebodies pocket and only comes out to blast stuff.


Elan started off as a bard, a class already with some magical knowledge, and
Notice the line "it's retoactively assumed I have been...". So there is more of explanation than *Poof*And the squirrel can't do that with say, the druid.
"Teach me to read!"
"Sure."
----------------
"Your doing magic wrong!"
*fireball*
"Crap, where did you find a spellbook?"


There age of maturity would probly be 1, bur the catch is table 6-4, the more advanced classes add Xd6 years of age.

So to me it would look like this. A squirrel wizzard would be 1+1d6 years old, oops, got a 5, and die of old age.

+1d6-4, minimum 1.:smallannoyed:

LordZarth
2009-01-21, 10:06 PM
There age of maturity would probly be 1, bur the catch is table 6-4, the more advanced classes add Xd6 years of age.

So to me it would look like this. A squirrel wizzard would be 1+1d6 years old, oops, got a 5, and die of old age.
That table only listed the normal races. For instance, elves are not wizards after 1d6 years.

Also, that section is random ways of finding out things one can assign.

Fixer
2009-01-22, 07:25 AM
Doesn't matter anymore, you can't be a squirrel wizard, you need to use a spell book. As squirrel you have no opposable thumbs, there is no item you can realy use.Incorrect. There are rules for using things other than spellbooks in the Complete Arcane. Bones are specifically mentioned, but there is nothing that states that a squirrel could not carve their spellbook into an acorn.


Exactly the kind of lameness I objecct to.Objection noted and ignored. The RP of the campaign was the best, and that was what we were playing for. Your identification of 'lame' would undoubtedly include anything non-core. You play your game. I play my game. Stop insulting the way other people play their game just because you disagree with it.

EDIT: WOW, severe ninja here.

Fixer
2009-01-22, 07:32 AM
The cons of the lack of treasure for such creature really is a big balancing factor. The chances of you finding something you can use is so miniscule as to be close to impossible, and 3.5 D&D is very item-dependant.

In my sig line, there's an avatar of a worg in spiked maille. The reason that's there is because on this forum a bunch of posters got together and worked on a play-by-post game where *all* the PCs were worgs. During the game, the biggest problem Raga (Barbarian/Rogue Worg) had was that he couldn't put on his own armour without help, because he didn't have hands. It was a serious drawback. And while he was very impressive in combat at lower levels; as levels went up his damage output relative to normal characters just couldn't keep up because he couldn't use any equipment. No magic swords or axes, no missile weapons at all, etc. Being unable to use equipment, is a *serious* drawback for non-humanoid characters.
This was the problem my monkey encountered. That is why he had only a sling, some rings, a necklace, some bracers, and a hat of disguise (to look like he was naked and non-adorned). Any other gear just wouldn't work because he was too little.

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-22, 08:40 AM
In regards to starting age, is there anything stopping you starting at whatever the youngest age is? I do that with all of my characters due to hating standard agingpenalty rules and not wanting to take chances with it (I class the idea of starting ages being poorly thought out anyway due to how there's no reason why someone couldn't start training while they are quite young before possibly starting adventuring before the minimum starting age).

(My fennec character is an Int-using Generic Spellcaster who got his magic because of an experiment, so neeing to study wasn't really relevant for him. I still think my idea of the squirrel's "spellbook" being inside his head would be fine for this.)

mistformsquirrl
2009-01-22, 09:09 AM
I've been wanting to play an Awakened critter myself for a long long time. (I even made a post on the subject ~ 6 months ago? More? Been awhile)

Personally, I prefer to stick to melee oriented classes for most animals - for the reasons pointed out (ie: Being a squirrel with Wizard levels can be pretty abusable if its not handled properly) - That said; I think its an amusing idea; and could be a lot of fun to play with. In my book - Fun > All other considerations.

I also admit to a degree of bias, since as my name might indicate, I have a fondness for the fuzzy tree rodents >.>

This post is approved of by me [Seal of Squirrely Approval] - Not that that matters, but I like doing that. >.>

*edit*

In regards to the spellbook issue:

Isn't there a feat somewhere that lets you drop Material components? Couldn't a DM allow a similar feat (or perhaps chain of feats) to allow you to drop the spellbook?

Just theorizin'

Darth Stabber
2009-01-22, 09:33 AM
Strait from the SRD:
Spell Mastery [Special]
Prerequisite
Wizard level 1st.

Benefit
Each time you take this feat, choose a number of spells equal to your Intelligence modifier that you already know. From that point on, you can prepare these spells without referring to a spellbook.

Normal
Without this feat, you must use a spellbook to prepare all your spells, except read magic.

would probably take too many instances of this feat to get a reasonable number of spell known. When I ask the gm about it i'll bring up spellbook. As far as wands go, I get to make my own, All I really have to do is use a tiny stick and there you go, Wand for squirrels. For the age thing, why would a young squirrel have lvl 1+ wizardyness, Simple answer....... A WIZARD DID IT!!!!

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-22, 09:33 AM
Ecshew Materials lets you cast wpells with componants which lack listed values and Spell Mastery lets you prepare a number of spells equal to your Int modifier without a spellbook. SM isn't that practical due to how few spells you can use with it, though.

mistformsquirrl
2009-01-22, 10:27 AM
I'd definitely ask the DM in regards to Spell Mastery - Maybe if you take it a second time along with Eschew Materials it allows you to cast sans-spellbook? (I admit that might be a bit much, but again, just theorizin')

RagnaroksChosen
2009-01-22, 11:06 AM
I'd definitely ask the DM in regards to Spell Mastery - Maybe if you take it a second time along with Eschew Materials it allows you to cast sans-spellbook? (I admit that might be a bit much, but again, just theorizin')

At that point why not play a sorcerer and ask to use int instead of charisma?

Darth Stabber
2009-01-22, 03:08 PM
So what About this feat

Eschew Spellbook
Prerequisites - Int 19, Eschew Material Components, Spell mastery, able to cast arcane spells prepared from a spell book.
Benefit - You may prepare spells that you have scribed into your spellbook(s) without referencing your spellbook.

Avor
2009-01-22, 03:08 PM
No, you've been saying that the only bad thing about his squirrel is that it has low Str, and that Str isn't used for casters anyway.
I'm saying that since the squirrel can't carry even the most basic equipment, it is almost unfair to him, because he just turns into the little thing that sits in somebodies pocket and only comes out to blast stuff.


I quote myself.

"The only real draw back is that he can't use items, like wands and magical items, unless he has them custom made."




And the suirrel can't do that with say, the druid.
"Teach me to read!"
"Sure."
----------------
"Your doing magic wrong!"
*fireball*
"Crap, where did you find a spellbook?"



+1d6-4, minimum 1.:smallannoyed:

I have the solution, a wizard turned into a squirrel. For what every reason by who ever, say a counsel of wizards keeping other wizards down, or devine wrath, god does have a hell of a sense of humour.

It would explain a long life span even in squirrel form, ability to read and write. and knowledge of magic

Blackfang108
2009-01-22, 03:16 PM
I have the solution, a wizard turned into a squirrel. For what every reason by who ever, say a counsel of wizards keeping other wizards down, or devine wrath, god does have a hell of a sense of humour.

It would explain a long life span even in squirrel form, ability to read and write. and knowledge of magic

Wouldn't that be overall more powerful than the awakened Squirrel, due to the lack of racial HD?

Awaken provides 2 extra HD, don't forget.

Unless you make the squirrel a 2 HD creature, and tose things aren't THAT resilient.

EDIT: Also, a speed of 20 ft(postulated by someone) seems really slow for those buggers. Anyone who's tried to run them over could tell you that.

Darth Stabber
2009-01-22, 03:36 PM
It would explain a long life span even in squirrel form, ability to read and write. and knowledge of magic

All of those things really don't need explaining. Maybe awaken adds years to an animals life span (I would probably just give that, because who keeps track of how old there character is after character creation, never had a character die of old age). Obviously since he's taken a lvl in a class other than barbarian he can read and right.
If you Maximize awaken does that give the creature in question +18 int and +3 cha?
I think it does.
That is awesome!!!!
That would also make awakened trees mental stats straight 18s.
Those are some smart trees.
Maximized Empowered Awakened trees for the win!!

If you can cast a 10th lvl spell or druid metamagic shananagins, and A DC 14 will save, you could get a large plant with stats like this.
STR 20
Dex 8
Con -
INT 18+(3d6/2)
WIS 18+(3d6/2)
CHA 18+(3d6/2)

Avor
2009-01-22, 06:41 PM
Wouldn't that be overall more powerful than the awakened Squirrel, due to the lack of racial HD?



I was thinking about explanations, regaurdless of what method used to make the end result.


EDIT: Also, a speed of 20 ft(postulated by someone) seems really slow for those buggers. Anyone who's tried to run them over could tell you that.

They are quick(Dex 20), but not fast(speed 20).

I can huck a rock at one and it can dodge it, but I can run faster than it.

Asbestos
2009-01-22, 07:47 PM
There age of maturity would probly be 1, bur the catch is table 6-4, the more advanced classes add Xd6 years of age.

So to me it would look like this. A squirrel wizzard would be 1+1d6 years old, oops, got a 5, and die of old age.

That's definitely bugging me. Grey Squirrels, the squirrels that all of us think of, are known to be able of maxing out at 20+ years of age, living an average of 12 in the wild... you know, where things are trying to eat them all the time. If you're going to disallow Squirrel wizards, should probably disallow Gnoll wizards (only get to their 30s, and chosen because they are a generally acceptable 'playable' race)

Chipmunk wizard though, that's just silly.

Devils_Advocate
2009-01-22, 08:25 PM
Because I do in fact have enough time for this:

Glide (Ex): When flying, an awakened flying squirrel cannot gain altitude.

Awakened Flying Squirrels as Characters


-8 Strength (minimum 1), +4 Dexterity, +0 Constitution, +4 Widsom, -4 Charisma (minimum 1).
An awakened flying squirrel is a Magical Beast with the Augmented Animal subtype.
Tiny size. +2 bonus to Armor Class, +2 bonus on attack rolls, +8 bonus on Hide checks, -8 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits those of Medium characters.
Space/Reach: 2.5 feet/0 feet.
An awakened flying squirrel's base land speed is 20 feet. It also has a climb speed of 20 feet and a fly speed of 10 feet with clumsy maneuverability (but see Glide, above).
Low-light vision.
Racial Hit Dice: An awakened flying squirrel begins with two levels of animal, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +1, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +3, and Will +0.
Racial Skills: An awakened flying squirrel's animal levels give it skill points equal to 5 (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1). Its class skills are Balance, Climb, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot. An awakened flying squirrel has a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks, and a +8 racial bonus on Balance and Climb checks. It uses its Dexterity modifier for Climb checks. An awakened flying squirrel can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.
Racial Feats: An awakened flying squirrel's animal levels give it one feat.
Natural Weapons: Bite (1d3).
Special Qualities (see above): Glide, Scent.
Automatic Language: Common. Bonus Languages: Any.
Favored Class: Druid.
Level adjustment +0.

Almost all of this is based on the flying squirrel's stats from Dragon magazine #327 and the awaken spell description. Only the favored class and level adjustment are suggestions.

To convert a flying squirrel to a regular squirrel, simply remove the Glide special quality and add Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat.

As it is granted its improved intelligence by a druid spell, I assume that an awakened animal starts off with Neutral alignment and a druid's ethos (though both of these may change).


At that point why not play a sorcerer and ask to use int instead of charisma?
Or just play a psion. They're more sorcererlike than sorcerers are (because power points are even more generic than spontaneous caster spell slots) and also more wizardlike than sorcerers are (since they have Int as their manifesting stat, bonus feats, and all Knowledge skills as class skills).

No spellbook. No material components. No somatic components. Easy.

As a psionicist, I'm pimp as hell.


Also, a speed of 20 ft(postulated by someone) seems really slow for those buggers. Anyone who's tried to run them over could tell you that.
Animal speeds (http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0004737.html)


If you Maximize awaken does that give the creature in question +18 int and +3 cha?
Technically. But I'd expect a lot of DMs to houserule that it doesn't. For obvious reasons.

Darth Stabber
2009-01-22, 09:59 PM
So no 18,18,18 mental stat trees.

Doresain
2009-01-22, 10:22 PM
ya know...this thread inspires me to make an awakened gorilla barbarian simply for the awesome factor

mistformsquirrl
2009-01-23, 01:28 AM
@Doresain - >.> A berserker baboon if you will?

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-23, 02:14 AM
That looks good, DA. Why did you throw in a huge Cha penalty, though? I'm guessing it's because of how skittish squirrels are, but I just wanted to check.

Olo Demonsbane
2009-01-25, 11:16 PM
My brother challenged me to make a small character that could beat his Awakened Gorrila Fighter/Druid 4. My Halfling Samuri/Wu Jen/Cleric utterly destroyed him (and I was 5th level)!

Olo Demonsbane
2009-01-25, 11:19 PM
Darth Stabber:
Intensified Awaken.
36 Intellegence for your squirrel.
"I may be small, but I'm smarter than Elminster!"

Devils_Advocate
2009-01-26, 01:01 AM
That looks good, DA. Why did you throw in a huge Cha penalty, though? I'm guessing it's because of how skittish squirrels are, but I just wanted to check.

Almost all of this is based on the flying squirrel's stats from Dragon magazine #327 and the awaken spell description. Only the favored class and level adjustment are suggestions.
I didn't throw it in. A perfectly ordinary flying squirrel has a Charisma score of 5. The awaken spell increases the target's Charisma by an average of 2. Subtracting 7 from 11 gives 4.

This is not a homebrew race. I made almost none of that stuff up. It's just the average result of awakening (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/awaken.htm) a flying squirrel, converted into a player race (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monstersAsRaces.htm). You can convert any animal into an awakened animal race in this fashion.* You just need to do the math and extract all of the racial modifiers from the stat block.

Animals tend to have poor Charisma. Awakening them doesn't really much help with this. They also have Poor Will saves, so that's a whole creature type particularly vulnerable to one psionic power. (Ego whip it! Whip it good!) Manifesters take note.

*Technically, I didn't follow the Monsters as Races section on ability scores, but neither does WotC. Look at the "Pixie (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/sprite.htm#pixie)s As Characters" block. It doesn't say "-4 Strength on a roll of 10 or above, -3 Strength on a roll of 9 or less". It says "-4 Strength", because that's way simpler. Of course, with a -8 penalty, it's a bigger deal... You could say "minimum 2" for squirrel Strength, if you wanted. You should probably just do that if you're using point buy. That still leaves them at a mere 2/3 the average Strength for their race, which is still pretty sad.

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-26, 02:11 AM
Thanks for explaining (I tend to think animals often have better Cha then humans if I'm honest, so I asumed it was a penalty).