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Jon_Dahl
2012-01-03, 07:17 AM
If you have a griffon cohort (ECL 10) and it gains enough XP to become a 11 HD griffon, does it get... huge? Can a medium character ride it anymore?

NOhara24
2012-01-03, 08:15 AM
If you have a griffon cohort (ECL 10) and it gains enough XP to become a 11 HD griffon, does get... huge? Can a medium character ride it anymore?

That's not specified in the Leadership description. The only cohort rules state that they're always two levels behind the player. It's your DM's decision, really.

I'm not to sure about rules pertaining to mounts, but I don't see why a character would have trouble riding something if it got too big.

Reltzik
2012-01-03, 09:27 AM
If it magically grew, you'd probably need a different saddle and harness. That's it.

I'd suggest a different advancement path, though. Try a Monster of Legend... I think... out of... I think it's MMII. It's been a while.

Zaranthan
2012-01-03, 11:32 AM
Assuming you've ruled that Leadership lets you advance a monstrous cohort by Hit Dice, yes. An 11 HD griffon would become Huge. You would need a new saddle to fit its new form (unless you've got a magical saddle that resizes itself), but a Medium character could ride it without trouble.

Talk the process over with your DM, though. Size-increasing breakpoints for HD advancement can be surprising, and it's not something you want to ambush your DM with at the session.

For both you and the DM, I would advise that increasing the size (and the stat adjustments that come with it) is NOT AT ALL overpowering. The size increase is placed so the monster can keep pace with other monsters that are gaining new special abilities (your griffon is not).

Flickerdart
2012-01-03, 11:37 AM
Advancing your monster by HD is a terrible idea - a single hit die is so vastly inferior to a level that the CR guidelines recommend as many as 4 HD to be added before it goes up by a point of CR. Griffons are intelligent, so they can take class levels instead - give it a few Warblade levels for some Tiger Claw maneuvers.

Ashtagon
2012-01-03, 12:13 PM
If you have a griffon cohort (ECL 10) and it gains enough XP to become a 11 HD griffon, does it get... huge? Can a medium character ride it anymore?

RAW doesn't actually allow for XP to advance anything other than class levels. And nothing about the griffon monster entry says it can ever gain class levels. If you want to houserule either of these, that's your prerogative, but by RAW, once a 10 HD griffon, always a 10 HD griffon.

Jon_Dahl
2012-01-03, 03:36 PM
Great answers so far, but this issue seems to be in the grey zone. Because...


RAW doesn't actually allow for XP to advance anything other than class levels. And nothing about the griffon monster entry says it can ever gain class levels. If you want to houserule either of these, that's your prerogative, but by RAW, once a 10 HD griffon, always a 10 HD griffon.

...if Cohort earns XP (and sometimes bucket load of it)... Where is it suppose to go with griffons? Or with any other magical beast cohort? Is there some simple solution to this or does it simply go to a black hole?

Ashtagon
2012-01-03, 05:26 PM
Great answers so far, but this issue seems to be in the grey zone. Because...



...if Cohort earns XP (and sometimes bucket load of it)... Where is it suppose to go with griffons? Or with any other magical beast cohort? Is there some simple solution to this or does it simply go to a black hole?

By RAW, a magical beast cohort (well, any cohort that is not noted as able to gain class levels) simply cannot advance by means of XP, which means the cohort will never progress.

Obviously, the cohort progression rules were written with the assumption that any cohort would be able to take class levels. Whether this is an oversight or an intentional restriction against such cohorts, I do not know.

Urpriest
2012-01-03, 07:07 PM
By RAW, a magical beast cohort (well, any cohort that is not noted as able to gain class levels) simply cannot advance by means of XP, which means the cohort will never progress.

Obviously, the cohort progression rules were written with the assumption that any cohort would be able to take class levels. Whether this is an oversight or an intentional restriction against such cohorts, I do not know.

Every creature with Int>2 can gain class levels. Some also advance by hit dice, but as said this isn't done with XP normally. There are dozens of examples of creatures that advance by hit dice gaining class levels instead.

ericgrau
2012-01-03, 08:21 PM
Advancing your monster by HD is a terrible idea - a single hit die is so vastly inferior to a level that the CR guidelines recommend as many as 4 HD to be added before it goes up by a point of CR. Griffons are intelligent, so they can take class levels instead - give it a few Warblade levels for some Tiger Claw maneuvers.

Until it gets a size increase for +8 str, -2 dex, +4 con and +3 natural armor. With full BAB, d10 HD and 2 good saves magical beast HD are already so-so before that point. The main thing you want on a long term mount is HP anyway so that this thing 2 levels behind you doesn't die quickly; if he can attack too then that's just icing.

By the way, does anyone know if there's an LA bump for a size increase? I know CR goes up but that's different. I couldn't find anything, so I'm thinking it's a pretty good deal.

Ashtagon
2012-01-04, 12:30 AM
Every creature with Int>2 can gain class levels. Some also advance by hit dice, but as said this isn't done with XP normally. There are dozens of examples of creatures that advance by hit dice gaining class levels instead.

Nope.

SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/improvingMonsters.htm)says:


Class Levels

Intelligent creatures that are reasonably humanoid in shape most commonly advance by adding class levels. Creatures that fall into this category have an entry of "By character class" in their Advancement line. When a monster adds a class level, that level usually represents an increase in experience and learned skills and capabilities.

So unless the MM entry says "Advancement: By character class", you can't do this, regardless of Intelligence score. I expect there are a few that can advance either by levels or by HD.

That's by RAW. Houserule what you like.

Urpriest
2012-01-04, 12:31 AM
Nope.

SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/improvingMonsters.htm)says:



So unless the MM entry says "Advancement: By character class", you can't do this, regardless of Intelligence score. I expect there are a few that can advance either by levels or by HD.

That's by RAW. Houserule what you like.

Your quote says that such creatures most commonly advance by class level, not that they are the only creatures that may do so. The introduction to that section, right there at the top of that page, says that a creature may advance by class levels and by hit dice. Under your interpretation such a creature could not possibly exist. Thus, your interpretation is false.

Ashtagon
2012-01-04, 12:55 AM
Your quote says that such creatures most commonly advance by class level, not that they are the only creatures that may do so. The introduction to that section, right there at the top of that page, says that a creature may advance by class levels and by hit dice. Under your interpretation such a creature could not possibly exist. Thus, your interpretation is false.

It says that intelligent humanoid creatures most commonly do this. Which merely implies that some intelligent humanoids can also advance by gaining HD. Last time I checked, griffins weren't humanoids. In any case, the second sentence is quite unambiguous. If it can advance by class levels, the MM entry specifically calls this out.

Urpriest
2012-01-04, 01:14 AM
It says that intelligent humanoid creatures most commonly do this. Which merely implies that some intelligent humanoids can also advance by gaining HD. Last time I checked, griffins weren't humanoids. In any case, the second sentence is quite unambiguous. If it can advance by class levels, the MM entry specifically calls this out.

"Creatures that fall into this category" have that entry. What category is that? "Intelligent creatures that are reasonably humanoid in shape [that] most commonly advance by adding class levels."

The category isn't "all creatures able to advance by class level", it's "creatures that most commonly advance by class level". I hate to be like Curmudgeon, but grammar, sir.

And again, you haven't explained the paragraph that opens that section, or the dozens of officially statted creatures with class levels that lack advancement(by character class).

Ashtagon
2012-01-04, 01:18 AM
The category isn't "all creatures able to advance by class level", it's "creatures that most commonly advance by class level". I hate to be like Curmudgeon, but grammar, sir.

I also hate to be a curmudgeon, but pronouns, miss.

Urpriest
2012-01-04, 01:22 AM
I also hate to be a curmudgeon, but pronouns, miss.

Ah yes, didn't glance over to the side. My mistake.

lunar2
2012-01-04, 01:50 PM
any creature with an intelligence score of greater than 2 can gain class levels. if you don't agree, look at aboleths. they normally advance by HD, but some have wizard levels, and they typically advance by gaining more wizard levels. also, unicorns advance by HD, but celestial chargers are half celestial unicorn clerics. hound archons also advance by HD, except for those that take paladin levels and become hound archon heroes. the general rule is: "if the books don't say they can't do it, then they can." also, creatures with RHD advancement can actually advance their RHD. otherwise, why does the tarrasque, a unique creature, have an advancement at all?

Ashtagon
2012-01-04, 03:59 PM
any creature with an intelligence score of greater than 2 can gain class levels. if you don't agree, look at aboleths. they normally advance by HD, but some have wizard levels, and they typically advance by gaining more wizard levels. also, unicorns advance by HD, but celestial chargers are half celestial unicorn clerics. hound archons also advance by HD, except for those that take paladin levels and become hound archon heroes.

I am looking at the aboleth. It is a prime example of a creature that can be advanced either by being physically bigger (racial HD) or by learning new tricks (class levels). This matches perfectly with my earlier statement that a creature that can advance in class levels will have it stated on its MM entry. Ditto for unicorns. And ditto for hound archons.


the general rule is: "if the books don't say they can't do it, then they can."

Cool. I guess that means my 1st level commoner can cast wish at will. I mean, nothing in RAW directly says he can't, right?


also, creatures with RHD advancement can actually advance their RHD. otherwise, why does the tarrasque, a unique creature, have an advancement at all?

As for the tarrasque (and other advancement-by-HD monsters), the HD advancement rules specifically note that such advancement represents physically being bigger or tougher, not learned experiences. Being physically bigger is something that happens by, I dunno, growing older or maturing, abusing steroids, or similar stuff. Advancement from XP represents clever tricks you learned to get more out of what you already have. Not the same thing at all. A 16 HD manticore doesn't kill a dragon and suddenly double in size because he learned exactly where to sink it's teeth into the dragon's soft underbelly. That's silly. Only wizards can do that (enlarge person (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/enlargePerson.htm) ftw).

Urpriest
2012-01-04, 04:39 PM
I am looking at the aboleth. It is a prime example of a creature that can be advanced either by being physically bigger (racial HD) or by learning new tricks (class levels). This matches perfectly with my earlier statement that a creature that can advance in class levels will have it stated on its MM entry. Ditto for unicorns. And ditto for hound archons.



Advancement: 9-16 HD (Huge); 17-24 HD (Gargantuan)

Doesn't say anything about advancing by class levels. Granted, the Aboleth Mage has Advancement: By character class, but the base Aboleth does not. Are you arguing that an Aboleth cannot gain class levels unless it has ten levels of wizard already?

Also, many creatures only have statblocks with character class levels in later sourcebooks from those of the creature's original printing. Does that mean that the creature was unable to gain class levels until that sourcebook was written? Come to think of it, I've never seen a Beholder statted out with class levels. Does that mean that Beholder Mage is impossible to get into without cheese? Or the various PrCs for Dragons in Draconomicon?

ericgrau
2012-01-04, 05:28 PM
A unicorn (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/unicorn.htm) lists advancement by HD yet there's an example unicorn cleric. It finishes its HD advancement first though. And if the books don't say you can or can't do something then it's ambiguous and you have to figure it out. I found multiple places requiring an int of 3 to be a PC, but nothing clear on whether or not an int of 3 always means you can gain class levels. IMO you can advance intelligence creatures by class levels, but the rules aren't clear.

rollforeigninit
2012-01-05, 08:12 PM
There's also a Giant Eagle Ranger in Champions of Valor. I know it's FR but it seems to be ok.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-01-05, 08:39 PM
Cool. I guess that means my 1st level commoner can cast wish at will. I mean, nothing in RAW directly says he can't, right?

Nope, spells have requirements. Was the word "directly" ever mentioned in your quote?

Heliomance
2012-01-05, 09:02 PM
By RAW, a magical beast cohort (well, any cohort that is not noted as able to gain class levels) simply cannot advance by means of XP, which means the cohort will never progress.

Obviously, the cohort progression rules were written with the assumption that any cohort would be able to take class levels. Whether this is an oversight or an intentional restriction against such cohorts, I do not know.

Ah, but cohorts don't gain XP. A cohort is automatically whichever is lower of two levels below you (one with the right feat) or the highest level that your leadership score will support.

Urpriest
2012-01-05, 09:13 PM
Ah, but cohorts don't gain XP. A cohort is automatically whichever is lower of two levels below you (one with the right feat) or the highest level that your leadership score will support.

Nope! There are quite specific rules for cohorts gaining XP.


Cohorts earn XP as follows:

The cohort does not count as a party member when determining the partyís XP.

Divide the cohortís level by the level of the PC with whom he or she is associated (the character with the Leadership feat who attracted the cohort).

Multiply this result by the total XP awarded to the PC and add that number of experience points to the cohortís total.

If a cohort gains enough XP to bring it to a level one lower than the associated PCís character level, the cohort does not gain the new levelóits new XP total is 1 less than the amount needed attain the next level.

Heliomance
2012-01-05, 09:20 PM
That... is utterly bizarre.

lunar2
2012-01-06, 02:13 PM
Cool. I guess that means my 1st level commoner can cast wish at will. I mean, nothing in RAW directly says he can't, right?


nice for taking my statement out of context. we are talking about races that advance by class level. you are saying that since RAW doesn't say they can, they can't. I'm saying that there are enough examples to the contrary (monsters that advance by HD, but have advanced examples with class levels, or PrCs with special requirements, or Cohort rules, etc.) that if the rules don't say they can't, then they can.

you are actually trying to argue that creatures much more intelligent than a human (such as a true dragon) can't learn the same things as a human (such as gaining a level in, say, sorcerer), simply because the books don't explicitly say they can. that doesn't even make sense.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-01-06, 03:13 PM
nice for taking my statement out of context. we are talking about races that advance by class level. you are saying that since RAW doesn't say they can, they can't. I'm saying that there are enough examples to the contrary (monsters that advance by HD, but have advanced examples with class levels, or PrCs with special requirements, or Cohort rules, etc.) that if the rules don't say they can't, then they can.

you are actually trying to argue that creatures much more intelligent than a human (such as a true dragon) can't learn the same things as a human (such as gaining a level in, say, sorcerer), simply because the books don't explicitly say they can. that doesn't even make sense.

There's a dragon in the Explorer's Guide to Eberron with class levels.