PDA

View Full Version : wondering how to get rid of RHD without making the monster race too powerful



The mage
2010-06-17, 03:49 PM
How do I get rid of RHD without getting the monster race way too powerful? You know how a lot of the playable races in MM and stuff have RHD, even if you are at a high level campaign and you choose a monster with RHD it would have only a few class levels. Therefore, to make monster races with RHD more interesting, I'm asking if there is a way to leave the race about as powerful even with removing the RHD.

PersonMan
2010-06-17, 03:51 PM
How do I get rid of RHD without getting the monster race way too powerful? You know how a lot of the playable races in MM and stuff have RHD, even if you are at a high level campaign and you choose a monster with RHD it would have only a few class levels. Therefore, to make monster races with RHD more interesting, I'm asking if there is a way to leave the race about as powerful even with removing the RHD.

Well, one system I use it to simply "fold" the RHD and LA. If you have, say, LA +5 and 6 RHD, you get 6 "levels" of the monster with one dead level, during which you get no racial features. I haven't tested it yet, but it should work fairly well.

The mage
2010-06-17, 03:53 PM
Well, one system I use it to simply "fold" the RHD and LA. If you have, say, LA +5 and 6 RHD, you get 6 "levels" of the monster with one dead level, during which you get no racial features. I haven't tested it yet, but it should work fairly well.

I dont get it, does that mean that i get +5 LA and 1 RHD that I dont get a thing on.

Mystic Muse
2010-06-17, 03:55 PM
I dont get it, does that mean that i get +5 LA and 1 RHD that I dont get a thing on.

5 HD and 1 LA is what it would be.

I like This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142724) personally. YMMV.

PersonMan
2010-06-17, 03:55 PM
I dont get it, does that mean that i get +5 LA and 1 RHD that I dont get a thing on.

No. It means that you have 6 "levels" of, say, Monstrous Humanoid, and for 5 levels you get racial stuff(Ability modifiers, abilities, etc.) and for one "level" you get nothing. Effectively, you have 0 LA and 6 RHD.

The mage
2010-06-17, 03:58 PM
5 HD and 1 LA is what it would be.

I like This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142724) personally. YMMV.

So kind of like half-celestial and half-fiend, they get new abilities depending on their class levels and RHD combined(like this on level 1-2 and that on level 3-4 and so on)

The mage
2010-06-17, 03:59 PM
No. It means that you have 6 "levels" of, say, Monstrous Humanoid, and for 5 levels you get racial stuff(Ability modifiers, abilities, etc.) and for one "level" you get nothing. Effectively, you have 0 LA and 6 RHD.

Oh, ok, oh yeah, check your mail.

Flickerdart
2010-06-17, 04:00 PM
A reasonable edit to the WotC system is that all monsters, not just ones with 1 RHD, have one hit die replaced with a class level. It doesn't help that much, but it means that races with 2 RHD suddenly become that much more viable. You could also implement a sort of RHD buyoff system - when a character levels up, he can convert one of his racial HD into a class level instead of gaining levels. Thus, a Thri-Kreen (2 HD, 2 LA) taking its 5th character level, could instead become Monstrous Humanoid 1/LA 2/Fighter 1. Because lower-level characters gain more XP, you'll catch up again.

PersonMan
2010-06-17, 04:00 PM
So kind of like half-celestial and half-fiend, they get new abilities depending on their class levels and RHD combined(like this on level 1-2 and that on level 3-4 and so on)

No. You take levels of the class. You could have, say, 3 levels of Troll and then multiclass into something else, missing the last 2 levels of stuff for the Troll.


A reasonable edit to the WotC system is that all monsters, not just ones with 1 RHD, have one hit die replaced with a class level. It doesn't help that much, but it means that races with 2 RHD suddenly become that much more viable.

I considered doing this, and adding an option to take a feat, something like "Retrain race" or something, to give up an RHD for a class level.

The mage
2010-06-17, 04:02 PM
A reasonable edit to the WotC system is that all monsters, not just ones with 1 RHD, have one hit die replaced with a class level. It doesn't help that much, but it means that races with 2 RHD suddenly become that much more viable. You could also implement a sort of RHD buyoff system - when a character levels up, he can convert one of his racial HD into a class level instead of gaining levels. Thus, a Thri-Kreen (2 HD, 2 LA) taking its 5th character level, could instead become Monstrous Humanoid 1/LA 2/Fighter 1. Because lower-level characters gain more XP, you'll catch up again.

Hmm, I guess that can be usable in my brothers campaigns, hes not a big fan of optimizing.(and more so when i do it hehe, )

The mage
2010-06-17, 04:04 PM
No. You take levels of the class. You could have, say, 3 levels of Troll and then multiclass into something else, missing the last 2 levels of stuff for the Troll.

Ok

I considered doing this, and adding an option to take a feat, something like "Retrain race" or something, to give up an RHD for a class level.

Yeah, I guess that sounds good too.

PersonMan
2010-06-17, 04:05 PM
Yeah, I guess that sounds good too.

Yes, yes it does. If I find another monster PC to play, I'll ask your brother about it.

Also, you shouldn't double-post that much. If you want to add more, click 'Edit' and Copy&Paste the quote and reply into the post.

The mage
2010-06-17, 04:09 PM
Yes, yes it does. If I find another monster PC to play, I'll ask your brother about it.

Also, you shouldn't double-post that much. If you want to add more, click 'Edit' and Copy&Paste the quote and reply into the post.

Ok, thanks for the tip.

PersonMan
2010-06-17, 04:11 PM
Ok, thanks for the tip.

No problem.

Also, get your brother to check his mail. You check as well.

The mage
2010-06-17, 04:12 PM
No problem.

Also, get your brother to check his mail. You check as well.

Maybe we should talk about RHD instead of this since it is, after all, the forums.

PersonMan
2010-06-17, 04:14 PM
Maybe we should talk about RHD instead of this since it is, after all, the forums.

Well, yes.

But I think that we've come up with a solution to the problem, and that this thread has reached the end of its natural life.

The mage
2010-06-17, 04:15 PM
Well, yes.

But I think that we've come up with a solution to the problem, and that this thread has reached the end of its natural life.

:smallfurious::smallfurious::smallfurious:

Mark Hall
2010-06-17, 04:24 PM
Personally, I like to replace RHD with NPC class levels. it doesn't over power them, but it weakens them v. less powerful races.

Natael
2010-06-17, 05:32 PM
Maybe I'm old school, or just used to other systems now, but I'm of the opinion that a lot of LA can be flat out ignored, and maybe some racial hit dice.

Take the Hill Giant for example, 12 hit dice, 4 LA, but only CR 7, meaning a 7th level human with PC classes should beat one half the time.

But wait, you decide to play a Hill Giant, you now count as level 16, even though a 7th level character is suppose to be an even match. Alright, so you say "But I get WBL!!" Fine, but that does not balance out those 9 lost levels. Besides, while giant hit dice are not too shabby, especially compared to NPC classes, you still don't even get fighter bonus feats.

Let's snip off LA, so now we are a 12 HD monster that is CR 7, still not quite to par, but giving a 7th level character 12 HD is probably a bit much, so why don't we cut down the hit dice to equal CR, so 7 RHD. Why don't we see how that winds up comparing to a fighter of the same level using the elite array, with s/d/c/i/w/ch as 15/13/14/10/12/8:

Level 7 Hill Giant PC

40 mv
Large
Hit dice: 7d8
Str: 30(+1 from level)
Dex: 11
Con: 22
Int: 6
Wis: 12
Ch: 4

BaB: +5
F: 11
R: 2
W: 3
AC: +9 natural

Greatsword +15 3d6+15 10' reach

Feats: 3 of any from level
Skills: 1/level
Languages: Giant

Low light vision
Rock throwing/catching
Fave class: Barbarian

Level 7 Human Fighter PC

30 mv
Med
Hit dice: 7d10
Str: 16(+1 from level)
Dex: 13
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 12
Ch: 8

BaB: +7/+2
F: 7
R: 3
W: 3

Greatsword +10/+5 2d6+4 5' reach

Feats: 8, 4 of which are fighter bonus
Skills: 3/level
Languages: Common

Fave class: Any

Alright, taking this down, the giant may well have the flat combat advantage, especially factoring in both of the getting full wealth by level. Though the fighter gets many more feats, and the giant will have to spend some precious skill points on learning common. With some feats, at least within a few levels, the fighter can out damage the giant (power attack, shock trooper, leap attack, and the fighter can spend the skill points). That is flat out a fighter too, if you consider a warblade in, or any type of magic user, you will most likely match, if not surpass the giant.

Not only that, you have big social penalties for playing a giant:

The giant is stuck large (except for spells), can't easily get into most buildings (and many dungeons), can't find a bed anywhere, can't really find a mount anywhere, and is shunned, if not fire and pitch forked from civilized society.

Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, or am not giving the giant enough credit (it can get some nice AC, as much as that matters), but when you get down to it, I don't think throwing a ton of LA or RHD generally matters much.

Or look at lycanthrope, a werewolf has 1 class + 2 RHD, and is LA +2/+3. But is only CR 3, yet again, about half of what your power is assumed to be. Cut off the LA, and you're still probably alright for balance, though the bonus stats are fairly nice, but you're still dealing with RHD.

This falls apart a little when you wind up with 1HD monsters that have high LA (such as the pixie), but transferring some of the LA to RHD may be the best choice. So for the pixie you could buy back the LA as RHD, so level 1 would be a fey HD +4 LA, then next would be 2 fey HD LA +3.

Runestar
2010-06-17, 06:41 PM
You are better off just reevaluating their LA independently till the monster PC in question is equivalent in power to the rest of your players. Their LA tends to be inflated for various reasons.

The other way is to subject the monster to repeated energy drains and voluntarily fail the fort save 24 hours later to eventually sap away all its racial HD. Then, if its LA is low enough, try to buy them away later. :smalltongue:

Flickerdart
2010-06-17, 07:18 PM
Do note that RHD can be pretty good in two cases:
a) Dragon or Outsider RHD gives full BAB, great skill points and in the case of the Outsider, all good saves. They are great for qualifying for PrCs that need high saves, skills and BAB. Of course, you never want to have too many - real class features are far superior.
b) RHD that grant spells. The Black Ethergaunt's 17 RHD aren't a problem, because each one is better than a Wizard HD, and gives him Wizard casting on top of an enormous INT score. Other monsters, such as the Unbodied, can add their RHD to a certain kind of class to determine spellcasting ability.

Runestar
2010-06-17, 07:26 PM
b) RHD that grant spells. The Black Ethergaunt's 17 RHD aren't a problem, because each one is better than a Wizard HD, and gives him Wizard casting on top of an enormous INT score. Other monsters, such as the Unbodied, can add their RHD to a certain kind of class to determine spellcasting ability.

Minor nitpick - a monster's spellcasting is not really tied to its HD unless otherwise stated (as in the case of the spellweaver and sylph). So a black ethergaunt without any abberation HD would still cast as a wiz17 (likewise, extra racial HD won't improve their innate spellcasting either).

So in this case, if you could somehow get rid of all its racial HD, you get a +4LA race which casts as a 17th lv wizard. :smallbiggrin:

Prime32
2010-06-17, 07:26 PM
Take a look at the Tome system (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Races_of_War_%283.5e_Sourcebook%29/Playing_Unusual_Races#Powerful_Races).

Replace your existing HD and LA with a number of HD equal to the monster's CR +1 (the CR of things like dragons are treated as 2 or 3 higher). Set the hp, BAB and saves of these HD so that the end result is as close to the original stat block as possible. Rather than subtracting 10 from each ability score to find the racial ability modifiers, subtract the elite array (ie. subtract 15 from the highest score, 8 from the lowest, etc.).

The mage
2010-06-17, 08:37 PM
Personally, I like to replace RHD with NPC class levels. it doesn't over power them, but it weakens them v. less powerful races.

I guess that works as long as someone doesnt make an overpowering npc class.

The mage
2010-06-17, 08:40 PM
Maybe I'm old school, or just used to other systems now, but I'm of the opinion that a lot of LA can be flat out ignored, and maybe some racial hit dice.

Take the Hill Giant for example, 12 hit dice, 4 LA, but only CR 7, meaning a 7th level human with PC classes should beat one half the time.

But wait, you decide to play a Hill Giant, you now count as level 16, even though a 7th level character is suppose to be an even match. Alright, so you say "But I get WBL!!" Fine, but that does not balance out those 9 lost levels. Besides, while giant hit dice are not too shabby, especially compared to NPC classes, you still don't even get fighter bonus feats.

Let's snip off LA, so now we are a 12 HD monster that is CR 7, still not quite to par, but giving a 7th level character 12 HD is probably a bit much, so why don't we cut down the hit dice to equal CR, so 7 RHD. Why don't we see how that winds up comparing to a fighter of the same level using the elite array, with s/d/c/i/w/ch as 15/13/14/10/12/8:

Level 7 Hill Giant PC

40 mv
Large
Hit dice: 7d8
Str: 30(+1 from level)
Dex: 11
Con: 22
Int: 6
Wis: 12
Ch: 4

BaB: +5
F: 11
R: 2
W: 3
AC: +9 natural

Greatsword +15 3d6+15 10' reach

Feats: 3 of any from level
Skills: 1/level
Languages: Giant

Low light vision
Rock throwing/catching
Fave class: Barbarian

Level 7 Human Fighter PC

30 mv
Med
Hit dice: 7d10
Str: 16(+1 from level)
Dex: 13
Con: 14
Int: 10
Wis: 12
Ch: 8

BaB: +7/+2
F: 7
R: 3
W: 3

Greatsword +10/+5 2d6+4 5' reach

Feats: 8, 4 of which are fighter bonus
Skills: 3/level
Languages: Common

Fave class: Any

Alright, taking this down, the giant may well have the flat combat advantage, especially factoring in both of the getting full wealth by level. Though the fighter gets many more feats, and the giant will have to spend some precious skill points on learning common. With some feats, at least within a few levels, the fighter can out damage the giant (power attack, shock trooper, leap attack, and the fighter can spend the skill points). That is flat out a fighter too, if you consider a warblade in, or any type of magic user, you will most likely match, if not surpass the giant.

Not only that, you have big social penalties for playing a giant:

The giant is stuck large (except for spells), can't easily get into most buildings (and many dungeons), can't find a bed anywhere, can't really find a mount anywhere, and is shunned, if not fire and pitch forked from civilized society.

Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, or am not giving the giant enough credit (it can get some nice AC, as much as that matters), but when you get down to it, I don't think throwing a ton of LA or RHD generally matters much.

Or look at lycanthrope, a werewolf has 1 class + 2 RHD, and is LA +2/+3. But is only CR 3, yet again, about half of what your power is assumed to be. Cut off the LA, and you're still probably alright for balance, though the bonus stats are fairly nice, but you're still dealing with RHD.

This falls apart a little when you wind up with 1HD monsters that have high LA (such as the pixie), but transferring some of the LA to RHD may be the best choice. So for the pixie you could buy back the LA as RHD, so level 1 would be a fey HD +4 LA, then next would be 2 fey HD LA +3.

Hmm, nice tip, but im probably going to use it for npcs when i dm

The mage
2010-06-17, 08:42 PM
The other way is to subject the monster to repeated energy drains and voluntarily fail the fort save 24 hours later to eventually sap away all its racial HD. Then, if its LA is low enough, try to buy them away later. :smalltongue:

Ok, that sounds like something some people would do.

The mage
2010-06-17, 08:45 PM
Do note that RHD can be pretty good in two cases:
a) Dragon or Outsider RHD gives full BAB, great skill points and in the case of the Outsider, all good saves. They are great for qualifying for PrCs that need high saves, skills and BAB. Of course, you never want to have too many - real class features are far superior.

That is true but most dragon and outsiders have far too many RHD for its abilities coming to use in campaigns that are even up too medium level.

The mage
2010-06-17, 08:46 PM
Minor nitpick - a monster's spellcasting is not really tied to its HD unless otherwise stated (as in the case of the spellweaver and sylph). So a black ethergaunt without any abberation HD would still cast as a wiz17 (likewise, extra racial HD won't improve their innate spellcasting either).

So in this case, if you could somehow get rid of all its racial HD, you get a +4LA race which casts as a 17th lv wizard. :smallbiggrin:

Good thinking for my npc in my campaign. HEHEHE

The mage
2010-06-17, 08:47 PM
Replace your existing HD and LA with a number of HD equal to the monster's CR +1 (the CR of things like dragons are treated as 2 or 3 higher). Set the hp, BAB and saves of these HD so that the end result is as close to the original stat block as possible. Rather than subtracting 10 from each ability score to find the racial ability modifiers, subtract the elite array (ie. subtract 15 from the highest score, 8 from the lowest, etc.).

Ok, but for some monsters that can still make them overpowering.

Flickerdart
2010-06-17, 08:49 PM
That is true but most dragon and outsiders have far too many RHD for its abilities coming to use in campaigns that are even up too medium level.
A White Dragon Wyrmling has 3 RHD. A Pseudodragon has 2, as does an Imp. You can always cherry-pick the right race from the enormous amount of material available.

The mage
2010-06-17, 08:53 PM
A White Dragon Wyrmling has 3 RHD. A Pseudodragon has 2, as does an Imp. You can always cherry-pick the right race from the enormous amount of material available.

Well who would ever want to play an Imp?

Flickerdart
2010-06-17, 09:15 PM
My apologies, I was thinking of the Dretch (which has a listed LA). The imp is, comparatively, a much more formidable opponent.