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Mark Hall
2009-08-08, 05:09 PM
I was talking to my DM (he offered that, instead of a Rock Gnome, I could be a Svirfneblin), and we have been talking about how much we both hate LA. We'd rather have RHD, in most cases, than an equal LA, because LA puts you pretty far behind... even non-casters feel the hit.

So, what I came up with (this is via text... he hasn't even responded yet) is to allow a 1 for 1 replacement of LA with NPC class levels (or RHD, if you prefer your RHD). This gives everyone a bit of a boost... HD, saves, skills, BAB... instead of the dead nothingness of LA. It doesn't help casters nearly as much as non-casters, however, because it doesn't add to caster level... at best, it will give you a feat with which to take Practiced Spellcaster and keep your caster level, if not your spells per day, up to snuff.

It is, right now, just an idea I tossed off. What do y'all think?

AstralFire
2009-08-08, 05:15 PM
I guess it works.

I personally prefer 'rebuild the race as LA +0' though.

Mark Hall
2009-08-08, 05:20 PM
I guess it works.

I personally prefer 'rebuild the race as LA +0' though.

While that can work, it's a lot more work and can rob the race of some of what makes it cool. Mine makes high LA races unattractive to casters, viable (though not great) for melees and skill monkeys, and keeps races as they are.

Kylarra
2009-08-08, 05:22 PM
I prefer LA-buyoff
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/reducingleveladjustments.htm

While LA may seem steep, your proposed fix gives non-casters no reason to not take races with LA for the most part, so I see your proposed fix a lot like gestalt, it'll create a higher powered game, but if that's what you want, then it could work, just beware of outsiders.

ColdSepp
2009-08-08, 05:25 PM
Off hand, i can't think of any races that I'd want to play the LA buyoff wouldn't cover. It's my preferred method (Or just ignoring it if the LA is +1).

I don't think I'd take racial hit dice over it, honestly.

Mark Hall
2009-08-08, 05:25 PM
I prefer LA-buyoff
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/reducingleveladjustments.htm

While LA may seem steep, your proposed fix gives non-casters no reason to not take races with LA for the most part, so I see your proposed fix a lot like gestalt, it'll create a higher powered game, but if that's what you want, then it could work, just beware of outsiders.

I disagree that it gives non-casters no reason not to take LA races... there's still a hit on class abilities, which LA buyoff doesn't have.

sofawall
2009-08-08, 05:29 PM
Well, reducing LA helps melee a buttload, especially if you have a good Racial HD. Outsiders, oh, man... Aasimar become useful again.

Flickerdart
2009-08-08, 05:31 PM
It also makes Outsiders incredibly overpowered as characters, since the Oursider HD is excellent. Full BAB, all good saves and 8 skill points per level? Couple that with the nifty tricks Outsiders get, and you've made an utter monster. Combine with Tiefling/Aasimar or Half-fiend/Celestial for maximum cheese. A, say, Astral Deva thus has fighter BAB, Rogue skills and Monk saves, in addition to a bevy of SLAs. Such as Holy Word.

Kylarra
2009-08-08, 05:32 PM
I disagree that it gives non-casters no reason not to take LA races... there's still a hit on class abilities, which LA buyoff doesn't have.You say they're missing class abilities, but they do gain "class abilities" in the form of their racial ones. If the race you're taking is strong enough (ie outsiders or dragons) then the abilities you're getting along with strong basics (decent HD, BAB, skills, saves) should more than account for the few levels that are "unclassed".

Mark Hall
2009-08-08, 05:38 PM
I'm definitely seeing it WRT to Outsider and Dragon HD. Ok, I'd probably roll back on those, then, making it only NPC class levels.

daggaz
2009-08-08, 05:40 PM
With LA buyout, an LA of max +2, and a campaign of enough levels, I would definitely rather take the LA... For higher LA's? Really depends on what kind of RHD you are taking. Since you are focused on melee chars here, any race that gives full BaB would end up being more powerful than usual, as you are only going to be losing out on some class abilities but still getting saves, hitpoints, feats, skill points, and tasty tasty base attack. Not to mention, whatever nifty racial abilities that persuaded you to take monsterX in the first place.

In a core game, I would have no problem with this as melee needs whatever boost it can get. If you are playing with melee fixes tho, I would be a bit cautious here..

bosssmiley
2009-08-09, 06:10 AM
CR+1 as base level for a "from the MM" non-standard creature should fit the bill. You're giving up x levels of a real, meaningful class, or possibly monk, in order to play a creature of (roughly) equivalent power. The +1 level cost (no LA) pays for elite array stats and that PC glow.

eg: Kuo-Tao costs 3 levels, Centaur or Ogre 4, Harpy 5, Fire Giant 11, etc.

No puzzle monsters (hags, mind flayers), glass hammer fey (grigs, sprites, pixies) or invisible [awesome] tagged monsters (outsiders, dragons, beholders) need apply.

BECMI did it better of course...

Shpadoinkle
2009-08-09, 06:47 AM
I prefer LA-buyoff
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/reducingleveladjustments.htm

While LA may seem steep, your proposed fix gives non-casters no reason to not take races with LA for the most part, so I see your proposed fix a lot like gestalt, it'll create a higher powered game, but if that's what you want, then it could work, just beware of outsiders.

I was pretty much going to say this.

Mark Hall
2009-08-09, 12:21 PM
Why I dislike LA buyoff:

At low levels, it does nothing for you... you're still levels behind everyone in saves, HP, skills, etc. If starting at high levels, being able to say "Oh, I bought off my LA, so my Fiendish Human is the same level as your regular human." In between times, the way that 3.x XP works means that being a level behind the party (when you bought off your LA) doesn't impact you nearly as much, provided you're getting to make up that level... being level 6 while everyone else is level 7 means you get more XP, and will catch up.

In short, LA buyoff results in LA not being a long-term difficulty... but leaves LA as a short-term difficulty for low-level characters. This version results in LA always affecting those with it... but not so severely that they're unplayable at low levels, or unaffected at higher levels.

Narmoth
2009-08-09, 01:07 PM
What about savage progression? link (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/arch/sp)

Kylarra
2009-08-09, 02:33 PM
What about savage progression? link (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/arch/sp)
Savage progression isn't really what he wants either as that just breaks your LA into several levels that you still have to take to get the full complement of abilities. What he wants is to have his cake (LA bonuses) and eat it too (HD, saves, BAB).

Narmoth
2009-08-09, 03:21 PM
Savage progression isn't really what he wants either as that just breaks your LA into several levels that you still have to take to get the full complement of abilities. What he wants is to have his cake (LA bonuses) and eat it too (HD, saves, BAB).

well, I mostly play for the fluff.
A vampire (standard La +8) with 2 or 3 lvls from savage progression completely covers my fluff needs
The same for a lot of other monsters as well.
If you don't strip the LA-heavy monsters of their abilities, and don't use LA, why would anyone play LA 0-characters?

Kylarra
2009-08-09, 03:26 PM
If you don't strip the LA-heavy monsters of their abilities, and don't use LA, why would anyone play LA 0-characters?
I have no clue, and I agree with you.


your proposed fix gives non-casters no reason to not take races with LA for the most part

Tiki Snakes
2009-08-09, 03:28 PM
well, I mostly play for the fluff.
A vampire (standard La +8) with 2 or 3 lvls from savage progression completely covers my fluff needs
The same for a lot of other monsters as well.
If you don't strip the LA-heavy monsters of their abilities, and don't use LA, why would anyone play LA 0-characters?

A good point, but I've been thinking for a while on this subject..

A lot of the people who prefer 3.5 to 4th cite the idea that not everything has to be balanced to be enjoyable. Similarly, in a diceless Marvel Superheroes RP book I have sitting around, it very much points out that not all heroes are created equal, and that especially if you use pre-existing characters, there will be hugely disperate power levels.

Perhaps, with this in mind, and in such a group, some people will happily still play humans and dwarves, and so on, alongside the Vampire and the young Dragon. Especially if there is more to the campaign/session than mere combat, admittedly.

Definately not an always way of doing things. But I can very much see that it could still be fun. And if you think about what LA and Racial HD actually represent, is still essentially a little shy of really modelling the way things actually are.

I'd be interested in seeing how a campaign in which character level is the only actual level measured would turn out, but as interesting hijinks to read, as well as on the level of a weird kind of social experiment! :)

Kylarra
2009-08-09, 03:33 PM
A good point, but I've been thinking for a while on this subject..

A lot of the people who prefer 3.5 to 4th cite the idea that not everything has to be balanced to be enjoyable. Similarly, in a diceless Marvel Superheroes RP book I have sitting around, it very much points out that not all heroes are created equal, and that especially if you use pre-existing characters, there will be hugely disperate power levels.

Perhaps, with this in mind, and in such a group, some people will happily still play humans and dwarves, and so on, alongside the Vampire and the young Dragon. Especially if there is more to the campaign/session than mere combat, admittedly.

Definately not an always way of doing things. But I can very much see that it could still be fun. And if you think about what LA and Racial HD actually represent, is still essentially a little shy of really modelling the way things actually are.

I'd be interested in seeing how a campaign in which character level is the only actual level measured would turn out, but as interesting hijinks to read, as well as on the level of a weird kind of social experiment! :)
Admittedly that does sound like an interesting experiment, but I can't say that I'd particularly want to play Joe Sidekick (norms) in that sort of game. It would be greatly swingy depending on the monster-chars involved and what their particular specialties are, but with a plethora of racial abilities in addition to class abilities, when push comes to shove in a given area, the norms are going to be outshone except in their particular gimmick (if any).

It kind of sucks to be normal among supers after all (http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1884973)