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View Full Version : Dealing with Buying Off Level Adjustment in the middle . . .



isotunknown
2010-11-28, 02:18 PM
One of my players wishes to take the Saint Template (BoED) upon getting to level 6. He's playing a Kane-type Monk. Anyway, our group has a tradition of using the LA buy off rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/races/reducingleveladjustments.htm), and the player wants to know how we'll incorporate those in this instance. For role-playing purposes, I'm happy to oblige the saint template; I just don't know how to apply these rules in this context. We'll have a 6th level monk at ECL 8 (the Saint Template gives LA +2). How do I get the buy off rules to work when we're not starting at level 1? Help would be much appreciated.

Siosilvar
2010-11-28, 02:30 PM
Give him Saint template in place of his 6th monk level, with +1 LA, and keep his XP total (ECL 6 at 5th level, +1 LA).

Then when he gets to 9th level (ECL 10) he can buy off the other point of LA as normal.

isotunknown
2010-11-28, 03:19 PM
Give him Saint template in place of his 6th monk level, with +1 LA, and keep his XP total (ECL 6 at 5th level, +1 LA).

Then when he gets to 9th level (ECL 10) he can buy off the other point of LA as normal.

Wow! Is it really that simple?

dbauers
2010-11-28, 03:30 PM
thats not how i read the rules on LA. in fact, the example has a 6th level character/ ECL 8.

when he hits monk 6/ ECL 8, the example states that he immediately pays 7k xp, dropping him to ECL 7. But he doesnt lose a level of monk, he loses one of his LA. So at that point he would be still monk 6, but only have a level adjustment of +1 and count as a level 7 character for the purposes of gaining xp (meaning he should get more than the rest of the party).

after he gains 3 more levels, he will be monk 9/ ECL 10, and at that point he can pay 9000 to "drop" the last LA, becoming a monk 9/ ECL 9. This will once again cause him to gain more xp than the others in the group, slowly narrowing the gap.

HunterOfJello
2010-11-28, 03:30 PM
1. It's not that simple.

2. You can't lose xp to the point of losing a level. You have to gain the XP and then pay it to buy off a level. Just like a wizard who levels up, gains XP and then spends the XP to create a magical item. The wizard can't pay the XP until they have enough to pay it without losing a level.

~

The starting point doesn't really matter. This is how it goes.

Once he gets to level 6 he can grab the +2 LA template for an ECL total of 8. This will put his ECL as higher than the party's for a while.

He can then buy off +1 LA by paying (ECL -1)x1000 xp which is 7000xp.

He then has an ECL of 7 and would continue to level normally based on his ECL up until he has class level 9 [ECL 10], when he can pay 9000xp to buyoff another +1 LA.

~

What your player is really trying to do is get to class level 6 without paying the full price of starting with a +2 LA template. This is how the saint template normally works though, considering it requires a character to be level 6 to grab it anyway.

Just make sure that the character meets up to all the standards to obtain the Saint template mentioned on page 29 on the BoED. This including having 3 Exalted Feats.

dbauers
2010-11-28, 03:32 PM
my bad, i missread the initial post. your entire group is level 6, so that would make him higher ECL than everyone else. hmmm.....

Siosilvar
2010-11-28, 04:09 PM
Wow! Is it really that simple?

Not quite, but that's the easiest way I can see to rule it.

It'd probably replace the 7th level of monk, come to think of it.

isotunknown
2010-11-30, 02:44 PM
1. It's not that simple.

2. You can't lose xp to the point of losing a level. You have to gain the XP and then pay it to buy off a level. Just like a wizard who levels up, gains XP and then spends the XP to create a magical item. The wizard can't pay the XP until they have enough to pay it without losing a level.


Gotcha, I think.

~

The starting point doesn't really matter. This is how it goes.

Once he gets to level 6 he can grab the +2 LA template for an ECL total of 8. This will put his ECL as higher than the party's for a while.

He can then buy off +1 LA by paying (ECL -1)x1000 xp which is 7000xp. Immediately? So, there's no waiting to buy off that first level? I can just spend the 7k of experience right away, which immediately drops my ECL. Or are you saying that I have to, while at druid6/ECL8, earn 7,000xp and then I can buy off one level of LA?


He then has an ECL of 7 and would continue to level normally based on his ECL up until he has class level 9 [ECL 10], when he can pay 9000xp to buyoff another +1 LA.

~

What your player is really trying to do is get to class level 6 without paying the full price of starting with a +2 LA template. This is how the saint template normally works though, considering it requires a character to be level 6 to grab it anyway.

Just make sure that the character meets up to all the standards to obtain the Saint template mentioned on page 29 on the BoED. This including having 3 Exalted Feats.


Thanks.

Sir Swindle89
2010-11-30, 03:04 PM
Gotcha, I think. Immediately? So, there's no waiting to buy off that first level? I can just spend the 7k of experience right away, which immediately drops my ECL. Or are you saying that I have to, while at druid6/ECL8, earn 7,000xp and then I can buy off one level of LA?

Ya, pretty much. Buy off isn't somthing magical involving specific levels. It's just about getting back the depreciating value of the benefits you paid for with the LA so your total character "value" stays with regular group members.

ShriekingDrake
2011-01-28, 10:41 AM
That's amazing. It really favors getting that Saint Template right at 6th level. Can that interpretation be right?

SiuiS
2011-01-28, 11:38 PM
2. You can't lose xp to the point of losing a level. You have to gain the XP and then pay it to buy off a level. Just like a wizard who levels up, gains XP and then spends the XP to create a magical item. The wizard can't pay the XP until they have enough to pay it without losing a level.
this is incorrect.
You expressly lose enough experience to drop your Effective Character Level by one. If you do not lose enough experience to lower your ECL by one, then you are arbitrarily set one ECL lower with a commensurate number of experience.

The example in the book is misleading because the gnoll also has racial hitdice, which don't count for purposes of ECL buy-off limits.
The book also lists that you lose the experience immediately, whether you have enough to maintain your level or no. You cannot wait for more XP, as if the LA is not bought immediately then you lose your chance.

Just went through juggling a +1 LA and item familiar. If you didn't lose the ECL, then immediately upon losing your LA you would have enough experience via the +10% to stay at level 4.

If this is unclear, lemme know. Long day.

ShriekingDrake
2011-01-28, 11:55 PM
this is incorrect.
You expressly lose enough experience to drop your Effective Character Level by one. If you do not lose enough experience to lower your ECL by one, then you are arbitrarily set one ECL lower with a commensurate number of experience.

The example in the book is misleading because the gnoll also has racial hitdice, which don't count for purposes of ECL buy-off limits.
The book also lists that you lose the experience immediately, whether you have enough to maintain your level or no. You cannot wait for more XP, as if the LA is not bought immediately then you lose your chance.

Just went through juggling a +1 LA and item familiar. If you didn't lose the ECL, then immediately upon losing your LA you would have enough experience via the +10% to stay at level 4.

If this is unclear, lemme know. Long day.
Please expand when you're feeling more energized.

isotunknown
2011-01-29, 12:02 AM
Rats. And I thought I understood. All right back to square one.

ShriekingDrake
2011-01-30, 01:59 PM
So, how does this story go? Any takers?

SiuiS
2011-01-31, 10:51 PM
Alright, lemme see.
I'm using a standard tiefling. I will also be posting from the SRD. Gimme a minute to copy/paste it all in place; iPhone work is laborious. Consider this a placeholder so I can find the thread again.

EDIT: here we go
------------------------------------------
Character with a +1 LA getting to ECL 4 gets to buy off The LA (because the LA itself doesn't count; you specifically need three class levels).

Once the total of a character's class levels (not including any Hit Dice from his creature type or his level adjustment) reaches three times his level adjustment, his level adjustment is eligible to be decreased by 1.
Immediately upon gaining my... What? 6,000th experience point, I hit level 3, ECL 4 and can buy off the LA

Each time a character's level adjustment is eligible to be reduced, the character may pay an XP cost to take advantage of the reduction. The character must pay an amount of XP equal to (his current ECL -1) 1,000. This amount is immediately deducted from the character's XP total. emphasis mine.
Now, if done at EXACTLY At enough XP to hit ECL 4, my character (whose LA is +1, and so must pay [ECL 4 - 1 = 3 x 1,000, so 3k XP] pays 3,000 XP to drop the LA by one point (to 0). I have 3,000 XP, which is enough to be ECL 3, one lower than with the LA, as appropriate;

The deduction should reduce the character's effective character level (ECL) by 1. (If this deduction would not reduce the character's ECL by 1, the character's XP total is set at the maximum of the level below his current ECL instead.) again, emphasis mine.

Now, If you needed To gain XP over the amount needed to level before buying off the LA, then my example character would need 9,000 (6,000 for ECL 4/ChL 3, plus the 3,000 needed to actually buy away the LA). This would leave me with 6,000 XP, enough to still be an ECL 4 character-- I magically gained a level! But wait...

The system specifically drops you to the next lowest ECL with 1 XP to go for a level, so my tiefling would stay level 3, and have 5,999 XP. Still workable, right?

Except an item familiar boosts that back up to [5,999 + 10%(599.9) =] 6,598 XP, keeping me in the ECL 4 bracket. So personally, it made sense to rule that the purchase must be UTTERLY IMMEDIATE- like, in the middle of an encounter if you cut for the night, and get awarded XP immediate.

Now, you can say otherwise if you'd like (this is an optional rule, you're supposed to season to taste). It would balance the party better than a level difference, but some players may feel cheated; so-and-so gets to play a Minotaur and I'm a human, but we're the same level!? Rip-off! Luckily, there is one more statement of immediacy to take into account;

The payment must be made immediately upon becoming eligible to reduce the character's level adjustment.

Now technically, if you start a 3rd level game, you can begin with a +1 LA pre-bought off, so there's some lee-way there. But this is how I had to work it out when actually going through the system, instead of just starting at high level where the mechanics don't matter.

So yes, you don't actually lose a character level (your level, 3, *9, 18, whatever) doesn't drop, but your ECL does, so you can look at it as gaining a level, then losing it to the "default ECL blues".

ericgrau
2011-01-31, 11:05 PM
The amount of xp spent on LA buyoff is exactly enough to lower your level by one, which is exactly enough to account for the missing LA. Class level will never go down because you never lose more than 1 level's worth of xp and that was already covered by the missing LA.

I'd say he's an ECL 8 monk with LA 2 + monk 6, then he buys off one putting him at LA 1 + monk 6 (and the xp paid puts him exactly where he should be for ECL 7) then you level him up to monk 7 and then he is LA 1 monk 7 with the minimum xp for such. Done. EDIT: LA 1 + monk 6 = ECL 7 and having him eventually catch up to the party works too. Probably a better idea. It'll be the same in the long run as lower level characters get more xp, but it better mimics what would happen at exactly ECL 8.

Though the premise behind LA buyoff only applies to templates with abilities that become obsolete, like those with SLAs. Stat bonuses never become obsolete. In fact such templates get better later as the loss of HP & etc. from a couple LA is huge at low levels and bad but not devastating at high levels.

SiuiS
2011-01-31, 11:39 PM
Going from ECL 6 (16,000 XP) to ECL 8 (normally 28,000 XP) would actually grant him experience (his new ECL of 7 arbitrarily puts him at 20,999 XP).

You're better off giving him the template with the +1 LA and leaving it at that. He will still be behind everyone else in character level for a while, and actually earns less XP than the rest of the party because of it. It remains a balanced, if confusing, character option.


Wow! Is it really that simple?

Yes. Sorry for muddying the waters.

isotunknown
2011-02-05, 08:07 PM
Thanks, all. This has been helpful.