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Durzan
2018-06-17, 09:35 AM
Okay... lets say that hypothetically I was considering on reducing/altering the number of creature types and subtypes. How would I go about doing so?

Altair_the_Vexed
2018-06-17, 10:04 AM
Might be a good idea, so let's look at what we've got in vanilla d20:


Types

Aberration Type
Animal Type
Construct Type
Dragon Type
Elemental Type
Fey Type
Giant Type
Humanoid Type
Magical Beast Type
Monstrous Humanoid Type
Ooze Type
Outsider Type
Plant Type
Undead Type
Vermin Type

Subtypes

Air Subtype
Angel Subtype
Aquatic Subtype
Archon Subtype
Augmented Subtype
Chaotic Subtype
Cold Subtype
Earth Subtype
Evil Subtype
Extraplanar Subtype
Fire Subtype
Goblinoid Subtype
Good Subtype
Incorporeal Subtype
Lawful Subtype
Native Subtype
Reptilian Subtype
Shapechanger Subtype
Swarm Subtype
Water Subtype

I can easily merge or do away with some of these subtypes: Air, Earth, Fire, Water just get added into the text on Elemental type, similarly Chaotic, Evil, Good, Lawful can be merged into one "Aligned" subtype.

As for the types, there are some that are so utterly different from each other that they'll need to stay - but some that we can probably blend without too much being lost.
Maybe we can merge Monstrous Humanoid into Humanoid. We could probably merge Giant in there as well - Pathfinder merges Giant in Humanoid.

Let's try a couple of those out for now, and see what we get...

Elemental type
An elemental is a being composed of one of the four classical elements: air, earth, fire, or water.

Features
An elemental has the following features.

8-sided Hit Dice.
Base attack bonus equal to ¾ total Hit Dice (as cleric).
Good saves depend on the element: Fortitude (earth, water) or Reflex (air, fire).
Skill points equal to (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per Hit Die, with quadruple skill points for the first Hit Die.


Traits

An elemental possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, and stunning.
Not subject to critical hits or flanking.
Unlike most other living creatures, an elemental does not have a dual nature—its soul and body form one unit. When an elemental is slain, no soul is set loose. Spells that restore souls to their bodies, such as raise dead, reincarnate, and resurrection, don’t work on an elemental. It takes a different magical effect, such as limited wish, wish, miracle, or true resurrection, to restore it to life.
Proficient with natural weapons only, unless generally humanoid in form, in which case proficient with all simple weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) that it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Elementals not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Elementals are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.
Elementals do not eat, sleep, or breathe.
Air creatures always have fly speeds and usually have perfect maneuverability.
Earth creatures have burrow speeds, and can burrow through solid rock.
Fire creatures have immunity to fire. It has vulnerability to cold, which means it takes half again as much (+50%) damage as normal from cold, regardless of whether a saving throw is allowed, or if the save is a success or failure.
Water creatures always have swim speeds and can move in water without making Swim checks. A water creature can breathe underwater and usually can breathe air as well.



Aligned subtype
This subtype is usually applied only to outsiders native to the aligned Outer Planes. Most creatures that have this subtype also have alignments to match their home plane; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has the alignment of their home plane, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the Aligned subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields were aligned the same as their home plane (see Damage Reduction, above).

aimlessPolymath
2018-06-17, 01:07 PM
Ooze, Plant, Undead, and Construct have large mechanical overlaps, if not theme overlaps. With the right name, you could merge some of them.

Dragon is partially redundant, but Magical Beast and Animal can probably be combined easily.

Giant and Monstrous Humanoid or Humanoid can be combined-it's just sizeism.

There's some argument for Vermin and Animal to be combined.

HouseRules
2018-06-17, 01:45 PM
My Consolidation of Creature Types (the list contains some 3.0 types that no longer exist in 3.5)
Beast: Animal, Beast, Dragon, Elemental*, Magical Beast, ShapeChanger*, Vermin
Humanoid: Elemental*, Fey, Giant, Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid*, ShapeChanger*, Outsider, PlaneTouched
Plant: Elemental*, Plant
Aberration: Aberration, Monstrous Humanoid*
Non-Living: Deathless, Undead, Construct
Ooze

I want to group Ooze with the non-living, but it technically is a living thing.
See those overlaps, every type has some overlaps that we cannot prevent.

I only have six types, with some beings are in more than one type at once.
Beast
Humanoids
Plant
Aberration
Non-Living
Ooze

AtlasSniperman
2018-06-17, 07:28 PM
I can easily merge or do away with some of these subtypes: Air, Earth, Fire, Water just get added into the text on Elemental type, similarly Chaotic, Evil, Good, Lawful can be merged into one "Aligned" subtype.

what happens to non-elemental creatures with the air, earth, fire, or water subtypes?
Like;
MM1:: Arrowhawk(outsider), Azer(outsider), The dragons, Gargoyles(Monstrous Humanoid), Genies(Outsider), Giants, Hellhound(Outsider), Mephits(Outsider), Rast(Outsider), Triton(Outsider), Will-O'-Wisp(Aberration), Winter Wolf(Magical Beast), and Yeth Hound(Outsider)
MM3:: Avalancher(Magical Beast), Conflagration Ooze(Ooze), Dust Wight(Undead), Gulgar(Monstrous Humanoid), Harssaf(Monstrous Humanoid), Phoelarch(Monstrous Humanoid), Phoera(Magical Beast), Rejkar(Outsider), Slaughterstone Behemoth(Construct), Slaughterstone Eviscerator(Construct), Snowflake Ooze(Ooze), Stonesinger(Aberration), Zezir(Magical Beast)

That's a lot of shafting in only 2 books. Perhaps it might be better to merge the alignment and element subtypes, into a "Plane infused" subtype?

Nifft
2018-06-17, 08:15 PM
Animal, Dragon, Magical Beast, Vermin -> Beast

Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid, Giant -> Mortal

Outsider, Elemental, Fey -> Spirit

Aberration, Ooze -> Aberration (the main distinctions are mindlessness for Oozes, which is already a separate trait that some oozes eschew, and indiscernible anatomy)

Plant -> keep

Undead -> keep

Construct -> keep


Subtypes:
- Drop the alignment subtypes, they seem to result in contradictory or highly unintuitive rules.
- Incorporeal as a subtype is weird; it's better as a special ability or quality.
- Extraplanar seems like it only works as intended if your game is about Prime Material denizens who stay on the Prime Material plane.
- I'm not sure what Augmented does in practice, vs. just throwing the old type away and not keeping it as a subtype margin note.

DracoDei
2018-06-17, 10:02 PM
It might be good to determine/define/state what benefit to play you are hoping to achieve with this alteration. Not that it seems like a BAD idea, but rather that there could be multiple reasons for wishing to do this and the reason(s) in question probably seen to me to be likely to influence the solution. If you just think "there are too many types and subtypes" then your intuition may be on to something, but I suggest allowing your logical thinking to discover it this is true, and, if so, what it is.

As a minor note, remember to consider Ranger Favored enemies and Bane weapons. These may influence the decisions*, and/or be ripple effects that might require additional rules-changes.

*In fact, such things might be part of your motivation.

nonsi
2018-06-18, 01:17 AM
Animal, Dragon, Magical Beast, Vermin -> Beast

Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid, Giant -> Mortal

Outsider, Elemental, Fey -> Spirit

Aberration, Ooze -> Aberration (the main distinctions are mindlessness for Oozes, which is already a separate trait that some oozes eschew, and indiscernible anatomy)

Plant -> keep

Undead -> keep

Construct -> keep


Subtypes:
- Drop the alignment subtypes, they seem to result in contradictory or highly unintuitive rules.
- Incorporeal as a subtype is weird; it's better as a special ability or quality.
- Extraplanar seems like it only works as intended if your game is about Prime Material denizens who stay on the Prime Material plane.
- I'm not sure what Augmented does in practice, vs. just throwing the old type away and not keeping it as a subtype margin note.

Very nicely done.

I'd change the name "Mortal" to "Humanoid" or "Bipedal".

Eldan
2018-06-18, 01:25 AM
I've thought about this one before. There's an additional consideration for me, in that creature type has a ton of rules implications in 3.5. Like, I'd totally merge humanoid, monstrous humanoid and giant, but I couldn't possibly give 1/2 BAB to giants. Which is annoying.

So, what I ended up with:

Spirit: as per the spirit shaman. Includes elemental, fey, outsider, incorporeal undead
Construct: includes most corporeal undead
Aberration: aberration, ooze, some few corporeal undead
Magical beast: magical beasts, dragons
Humanoid: as is, plus a few corporeal undead like vampires or ghouls that still have some form of metabolism
Monstrous Humanoid: includes giant. Stopgap measure, I know.
Plant: keep
Animal: keep

And a new (Undead) subtype, which gives the immunities they have now (where appropriate, honestly, vampires for instance don't need all of them). Strongly considering giving the construct type constitution back, too. I can't take credit for the undead subtype, thoguh, I saw that years ago in some proposed homebrew.

Nifft
2018-06-18, 06:15 AM
Very nicely done.

I'd change the name "Mortal" to "Humanoid" or "Bipedal".

Thanks!

Not all Mortals are bipeds. Centaurs, for example.

Some of the weirder races that I like (including Dralasites from Star Frontiers) are even less humanoid / bipedal.

Durzan
2018-06-18, 11:49 AM
Thanks!

Not all Mortals are bipeds. Centaurs, for example.

Some of the weirder races that I like (including Dralasites from Star Frontiers) are even less humanoid / bipedal.

Good point.

Nifft
2018-06-18, 11:58 AM
I've thought about this one before. There's an additional consideration for me, in that creature type has a ton of rules implications in 3.5. Like, I'd totally merge humanoid, monstrous humanoid and giant, but I couldn't possibly give 1/2 BAB to giants. Which is annoying.

So, what I ended up with:

Spirit: as per the spirit shaman. Includes elemental, fey, outsider, incorporeal undead
Construct: includes most corporeal undead
Aberration: aberration, ooze, some few corporeal undead
Magical beast: magical beasts, dragons
Humanoid: as is, plus a few corporeal undead like vampires or ghouls that still have some form of metabolism
Monstrous Humanoid: includes giant. Stopgap measure, I know.
Plant: keep
Animal: keep

And a new (Undead) subtype, which gives the immunities they have now (where appropriate, honestly, vampires for instance don't need all of them). Strongly considering giving the construct type constitution back, too. I can't take credit for the undead subtype, thoguh, I saw that years ago in some proposed homebrew.

I like (Undead) as a subtype, and I like incorporeal undead as Spirits.

Heh, do you impose the (Undead) subtype on anyone who has been raised / resurrected? (After which they start to like their steak extra-rare...)

rferries
2018-06-18, 12:18 PM
IMHO, creature types should not give blanket immunities. Magic is MAGICAL, it should be possible to charm a skeleton or energy drain a construct. All creatures should be subject to critical hits, stunning, etc - a talented rogue can Sneak Attack an ooze right in its nucleus, a monk can knock out even a golem.

Constructs and undead should have Constitution scores (equal to 10 + their CR if converting from the 3.5 MM). They are immune to ability damage/ability drain/disease/fatigue/nonlethal damage/poison from nonmagical sources, but susceptible to those effects from magical sources.

Even mindless creatures should have Intelligence scores (1-2 for oozes and vermin, 3+ for constructs and undead that can understand orders - if a brutish elemental gets an Int score they should too). They are susceptible to mind-influencing effects.

The chassis of each type should be improved, in line with the principles of the LA-Reassignment Thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?552564-The-LA-assignment-Thread-IV-Live-Free-or-Hit-Die-Hard). Racial Hit Dice should be functional - no more fey with 1/2 BAB, or creatures with only 2 skill points per HD and all poor saves.

Revamped Creature Types
Beasts (or perhaps "Creatures" or "Monsters")
Non-humanoid creatures, generally relying on physical might, racial Hit Dice, and natural weapons.
Hit Die: d10
BAB: Full
Skill Points per level: 4
Saves: Good Fort & Ref, poor Will
Special: Low-light vision, ignore penalties to Intelligence score when calculating skill points (due to natural instincts).
Animals, dragons, magical beasts, oozes, plants, vermin
Some aberrations (e.g. aboleths)
Some constructs (e.g. animated objects)
Some corporeal undead (e.g. nightcrawlers)
Mortals
Humanoid or part-humanoid creatures, generally relying on skill, manufactured weapons, class levels, and magic.
Hit Die: d8
BAB: 3/4ths
Skill Points per level: 6
Saves: Good Ref & Will, poor Fort
Special: Can replace 1st Hit Dice with a class level.
Giants, humanoids, monstrous humanoids
Some aberrations (e.g. illithids)
Some constructs (e.g. iron golems)
Most corporeal undead (e.g. ghouls)
Immortals
Divine creatures of pure magic, whose body and soul form one unit. They never grow old or die of old age (though they can be slain).
Hit Die: d12
BAB: Full
Skill Points per level: 8
Saves: Good Fort, Ref & Will
Special: Darkvision, detect chaos/evil/good/law/magic at will, Low-Light Vision.
Elementals, fey, outsiders
Some aberrations (e.g. naga)
Some constructs (e.g. inevitables)
Some magical beasts (e.g. sphinxes, unicorns)
Some monstrous humanoids (e.g. hags)
Some undead (i.e. incorporeal undead)

Revamped Creature Subtypes
Alignment Subtypes ([Chaos], [Evil], [Good], and [Lawful])
Apply as they did originally, save that all Immortals gain the alignment subtypes matching their alignment (only true neutral Immortals do not gain these subtypes). An Immortal cannot change their alignment (and therefore their alignment subtypes) without receiving an atonement spell or similar effect. Certain powerful effects can grant these subtypes to non-Immortals (e.g. an aura of corruption around a cursed tomb could grant the [Evil] subtype to local Beasts). A creature's natural & manufactured weapons gain the alignment matching their subtypes.

[Construct]
Applies to a Beast (e.g. an animated object), Mortal (e.g. an iron golem), or Immortal (e.g. an inevitable) that originally had the construct type. [Construct] creatures always have good Fortitude saves, are immune to nonmagical ability damage/ability drain/disease/fatigue/nonlethal damage/poison and do not age, breathe, eat, or sleep. They heal naturally (due to the magic imbuing them).

[Monstrous]
Applies to a Beast or Mortal that was originally an aberration, dragon, giant, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, ooze, plant, undead, or vermin. All Beasts other than mundane animals are [Monstrous] (even dire animals), all Mortals other than humanoids are [Monstrous]. All [Monstrous] creatures gain darkvision.

[Dragon]
Applies to [Monstrous] Beasts that were originally dragons. [Dragon] creatures have d12 Hit Dice.

[Elemental]
Applies to Immortals that were originally elementals as well as some outsiders (djinn, tojanda, etc.). [Elemental] creatures have one or more of Air/Earth/Fire/Water Mastery, and always have at least 1 elemental subtype (see below).

Elemental Subtypes ([Acid], [Air], [Cold], [Darkness], [Earth], [Electricity], [Fire], [Light], [Sonic], [Water])
Not to be confused with the [Elemental] subtype itself, grant immunity to a particular energy type or effect (e.g. spells with the [Light] descriptor and similar effects) and often certain other abilities (e.g. the [Fire] subtype often grants the Burn special attack, the [Water] subtype grants a swim speed, etc.). Certain non-[Elemental], non-Immortal creatures can have elemental subtypes (e.g. oozes with the [Acid] subtype, dragons with the [Fire] or [Water] subtypes, etc).

[Fey]
Applies to Immortals that were originally fey. Almost all [Fey] creatures also have the [Native] subtype.

[Giant]
Applies to [Monstrous] Beasts and [Monstrous] Mortals that were originally giants or monstrous vermin. [Giant] creatures always have good Fortitude saves.

[Ooze]
Applies to [Monstrous] Beasts that were originally oozes. Oozes have blindsight and are amorphous (they have all-around vision and gain Improved Uncanny Dodge).

[Plant]
Applies to [Monstrous] Beasts that were originally plants.

[Undead]
Applies to [Monstrous] Beasts (e.g. nightcrawlers), [Monstrous] Mortals (e.g. ghouls), and Immortals (e.g. ghosts and other incorporeal undead) that were originally undead. Functionally identical to the [Construct] subtype, save for interactions with effects that specifically affect undead (e.g. negative energy, turn undead, etc). Templated undead (e.g. skeletons, zombies, etc) are [Monstrous] Beasts or [Monstrous] Mortals, as appropriate.

Unchanged Subtypes
Extraplanar, Incorporeal, Native, Shapechanger, Swarm

"Shelved" Subtypes (Angel, Aquatic, Archon, Augmented, Goblinoid)
These subtypes apply only in very limited circumstances or individual monster entries, and are often common sense (goblins are goblinoids, kobolds are scaly reptilians, etc). Not necessarily deleted, but refer to them only as necessary.

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-06-18, 06:26 PM
I favor a very minimalist setup close to rferries', including removing nonabilities and cutting down on type-based immunities, except that I keep Elemental as a full type and extend it to include all creatures composed entirely or mostly of a single inanimate material. So air/earth/fire/water elemental creatures are all still Elementals, as are oozes and plants (ooze paraelementals and wood elementals from MotP, anyone?). An animated object or stone/iron/brass/stained glass golem would be an Elemental (Construct) because they're largely undifferentiated masses of wood/stone/iron/brass/glass/etc. given an animating force, as opposed to a flesh golem or nimblewright which would be a Mortal (Construct) because they're constructed of multiple heterogenous materials and have a generally life-like anatomy with gears and joints and so forth.

A larger change I make, though, is dissociating racial HD traits from type. A sneaky succubus and a menacing balor shouldn't necessarily have the same BAB or skill points just because they're both demons, and neither should a shambling zombie and a refined vampire despite both being undead, a resilient stone golem and a sneaky nimblewright despite both being constructs, and so forth, and a succubus and a nymph really have more in common than a succubus and a balor or a nymph and a pixie do.

Instead, there are monster classes, similar in theory to 4e monster roles but with a different set of classes and without them all being blandly similar. For example, succubi are Spirit (Chaotic, Evil) Manipulators, nymphs are Spirit (Fey) Manipulators, vrocks are Spirit (Chaotic, Evil) Harriers, and pixies are Spirit (Fey) Herriers, with their classes determining their HD traits (in this case, Manipulators are low BAB, medum HP, high skills, with mostly Int-/Wis-/Cha-based skills, while Harriers are high BAB, medium HP, medium skills, with mostly Str-/Dex-/Wis-based skills) and their types and subtypes determining the kinds of special abilities they have access to.

Eldan
2018-06-19, 02:12 AM
I like (Undead) as a subtype, and I like incorporeal undead as Spirits.

Heh, do you impose the (Undead) subtype on anyone who has been raised / resurrected? (After which they start to like their steak extra-rare...)

No, I don't think so. Rules and fluff-wise, being undead is mostly about being powered by negative as opposed to positive energy. Someone resurrected is still alive. Though I could see a new undead creature that is basically "result of a failed resurrection". Has anyone made that yet?

Eldan
2018-06-19, 02:16 AM
Rferries goes a bit too far for me, there. I think a few more types does make sense, if only to separate out what is or is not affected by magic, and have some more HD/BAB/saves setups.

Though I am against full immunities, too. In most cases. However, I would include some resistance, at least. An ooze absolutely should be harder to backstab than a human.

One I've proposed before is a penalty on the number of sneak attack dice and on the critical modifier.

So, against an undead or construct, it would be something like -2d6 sneak attack damage, while on an ooze or elemental (fully amorphous) it would be -4d6 sneak attack damage, -1 critical modifier (i.e. swords do normal damage on a crit, axes do double, scythes triple).

As for mind affecting, I'd probably hand out modifiers for "alien mind" and "mindless". Something like +4 and +8 on saves.

For creatures of an energy subtype, I'd probably have them take half damage from that element. And then hand out full immunity to creatures made of that element, i.e. fire elementals still fully immune to fire. That's one of the few cases where I'd say it makes sense.

Edit: Fully down on [Darkness] or [Shadow] as a subtype, though. THat should always have been there.

noob
2018-06-19, 08:02 AM
Rferries goes a bit too far for me, there. I think a few more types does make sense, if only to separate out what is or is not affected by magic, and have some more HD/BAB/saves setups.

Though I am against full immunities, too. In most cases. However, I would include some resistance, at least. An ooze absolutely should be harder to backstab than a human.

One I've proposed before is a penalty on the number of sneak attack dice and on the critical modifier.

So, against an undead or construct, it would be something like -2d6 sneak attack damage, while on an ooze or elemental (fully amorphous) it would be -4d6 sneak attack damage, -1 critical modifier (i.e. swords do normal damage on a crit, axes do double, scythes triple).

As for mind affecting, I'd probably hand out modifiers for "alien mind" and "mindless". Something like +4 and +8 on saves.

For creatures of an energy subtype, I'd probably have them take half damage from that element. And then hand out full immunity to creatures made of that element, i.e. fire elementals still fully immune to fire. That's one of the few cases where I'd say it makes sense.

Edit: Fully down on [Darkness] or [Shadow] as a subtype, though. THat should always have been there.
Undead are on the frail side of creatures.
Making them equally vulnerable to critical strikes as other creatures would make them very often die randomly thus making elite undead way less interesting: any group of people can go, get lucky and kill a vampire.
Also fights against undead are already short and critical strikes increase of approximately 15% the average damage(assuming you always hit and ignoring critical failures)per hit of a Falchion(which are often used for its wide range of criticals which helps more with power attack than base damage does)
So I suggest that if you allow critical strikes on an undead you should increase their hp(or expect fights against them to be even more swingy and short)
Allowing sneak attack against them however is fine since it is not like if rogues did not already use a spell to sneak attack them.

Eldan
2018-06-19, 08:16 AM
Well, I would also suggest giving them back a constitution score and handling their resistances and immunities separately. So you could give them more HP as appropriate.

But yeah, I guess they should also suffer reduced crits.

For constructs, it should probably vary. An animated clay statue is probably a lot less affected by crits than a clockwork creature.

Nifft
2018-06-19, 06:37 PM
For constructs, it should probably vary. An animated clay statue is probably a lot less affected by crits than a clockwork creature.

Good point.

A clay golem might have the same Indiscernible Anatomy trait as an ooze, on the creature rather than on the type.

Heh, for a clockwork golem, I'd kind of want to allow a Rogue to roll Disable Device + Sneak Attack for damage... it's a rare creature which ought to reward the sneak attacker and the trap-breaker.

Durzan
2018-06-20, 08:42 AM
So I started my consolidation of creature types. I also decided to include changes that fit the lore of my campaign a bit more.

What I've done so far is this:

Elementals & Fey -> Spirits. Spirits now have general abilities that fit the lore of my world better than whats in the MM.

Undead & Constructs -> Artificial. Artificial creature type has a d8 HD. Undead and Constructs have been reworked into subtypes of Artificial that are required for each creature.

Durzan
2018-06-20, 05:15 PM
FYI, still wouldn't mind discussing how you guys go about consolidating Creature Types and Subtypes. It gives me some inspiration, and helps me do what I've been thinking about doing for a while.

Nifft
2018-06-20, 06:15 PM
A larger change I make, though, is dissociating racial HD traits from type. A sneaky succubus and a menacing balor shouldn't necessarily have the same BAB or skill points just because they're both demons, and neither should a shambling zombie and a refined vampire despite both being undead, a resilient stone golem and a sneaky nimblewright despite both being constructs, and so forth, and a succubus and a nymph really have more in common than a succubus and a balor or a nymph and a pixie do.

Instead, there are monster classes, similar in theory to 4e monster roles but with a different set of classes and without them all being blandly similar. For example, succubi are Spirit (Chaotic, Evil) Manipulators, nymphs are Spirit (Fey) Manipulators, vrocks are Spirit (Chaotic, Evil) Harriers, and pixies are Spirit (Fey) Herriers, with their classes determining their HD traits (in this case, Manipulators are low BAB, medum HP, high skills, with mostly Int-/Wis-/Cha-based skills, while Harriers are high BAB, medium HP, medium skills, with mostly Str-/Dex-/Wis-based skills) and their types and subtypes determining the kinds of special abilities they have access to.

I want to call attention to this good idea.

Monster classes might be:
- Brute (mid-mobility, low-skill, low-AC, great-HP, big attacks)
- Soldier (low-mobility, mid-skill, high-AC, good-HP, accurate attacks)
- Harrier (mid-mobility,mid-skill, mid-AC, mid-HP, debuff attacks)
- Skirmisher (high-mobility, high-skill, high-AC, mid-HP, accurate attacks)
- Archer
- Manipulator
- Leader
- Controller

Grey Ooze -> Aberration Brute
Stone Golem -> Construct Brute
Nimblewright -> Construct Skirmisher

Durzan
2018-06-20, 10:43 PM
I want to call attention to this good idea.

Monster classes might be:
- Brute (mid-mobility, low-skill, low-AC, great-HP, big attacks)
- Soldier (low-mobility, mid-skill, high-AC, good-HP, accurate attacks)
- Harrier (mid-mobility,mid-skill, mid-AC, mid-HP, debuff attacks)
- Skirmisher (high-mobility, high-skill, high-AC, mid-HP, accurate attacks)
- Archer
- Manipulator
- Leader
- Controller

Grey Ooze -> Aberration Brute
Stone Golem -> Construct Brute
Nimblewright -> Construct Skirmisher

How about instead of monster classes, we use template that can modify HP, AC, and BAB? That might actually be an easier fix instead.

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-06-21, 01:15 AM
How about instead of monster classes, we use template that can modify HP, AC, and BAB? That might actually be an easier fix instead.

"Monsters of the Harrier role have medium BAB, d6 HD, 6+Int skill points" and "The Harrier template may be applied to any creature. This template changes all HD to d6s, changes its BAB from racial hit dice to a medium progression, and grants 6+Int skill points per HD; recalculate statistics appropriately" are basically equivalent.

The benefit of making actual monster "classes" with class skills, lists of available features based on type and subtypes, and so on really comes in when you're building monsters from scratch (either a new monster or two on its own, or a ground-up overhaul of MM monsters). If you're modifying existing monsters a few at a time, in either the monster classes case or the template case you're changing a bunch of statistics for every monster, and how you phrase those changes doesn't really matter.

Eldan
2018-06-21, 02:04 AM
I like the idea of monster classes. Didn't 4E do something like that?

That said, yeah. That definitely takes you out of 3.E houserule territory and into rewiriting the monster manual from the ground up territory.

Edit: anyone up for this as a project?

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-06-21, 02:15 AM
That said, yeah. That definitely takes you out of 3.E houserule territory and into rewiriting the monster manual from the ground up territory.

Edit: anyone up for this as a project?

I'd be down, assuming it's accompanied by a type/subtype revamp so we wouldn't be dealing with a massive M-types-by-N-classes matrix. I've implemented and tested the basic idea piecemeal before, but never in a comprehensive way, and I'd love to see how it would work out.

Eldan
2018-06-21, 02:27 AM
Yeah, we should do a compendium. Agree on a reduced set of creature types, about six or so classes, get writing. A lot of basic stat blocks should be pretty quick to type out.

Eldan
2018-06-21, 03:38 AM
Okay, so basically, what creature types do is:

Hit dice (4 levels: d6, d8, d10, d12)
Base attack bonus (3 levels: 1/2, 3/4, full)
Saves (3, all either high or low)
Skills (from none to 10/level)


Now. That gives us a staggering number of combinations. But I don't think we need them all, as there's usually standard combinations. High Fort tends to go with high BAB.

We can basically go by player class archetypes:

Brute: d10 HD, High base attack, high fort, 2+ skill points
Trickster: d8 HD, medium base attack, high reflex, 8+ skill points
Specialist: d6 HD, low base attack, high will, 6+ skill points
Allrounder: d8 HD, medium base attack, one high save (varies), 4+ skill points
Paragon: d10 HD, high base attack, all high saves, 8+ skill points. For those outsiders and others like them who are just good at everything.

These honestly already cover just about all the monsters out there.

I don't think AC and mobility need to be tied directly to this and neither do special abilities. Hit dice should only determine HD-dependent numeric values.

Durzan
2018-06-21, 07:56 AM
"Monsters of the Harrier role have medium BAB, d6 HD, 6+Int skill points" and "The Harrier template may be applied to any creature. This template changes all HD to d6s, changes its BAB from racial hit dice to a medium progression, and grants 6+Int skill points per HD; recalculate statistics appropriately" are basically equivalent.

The benefit of making actual monster "classes" with class skills, lists of available features based on type and subtypes, and so on really comes in when you're building monsters from scratch (either a new monster or two on its own, or a ground-up overhaul of MM monsters). If you're modifying existing monsters a few at a time, in either the monster classes case or the template case you're changing a bunch of statistics for every monster, and how you phrase those changes doesn't really matter.

Monsters already treat whatever skills that are listed in their entry as class skills, so that part is kind of redundant in nature. The only reason you'd want to give them additional class skills on top of that would be if you want that specific monster to have special training in additional areas... which is rare and can typically limited to monsters who can gain class levels anyway.


Okay, so basically, what creature types do is:

Hit dice (4 levels: d6, d8, d10, d12)
Base attack bonus (3 levels: 1/2, 3/4, full)
Saves (3, all either high or low)
Skills (from none to 10/level)


Now. That gives us a staggering number of combinations. But I don't think we need them all, as there's usually standard combinations. High Fort tends to go with high BAB.

We can basically go by player class archetypes:

Brute: d10 HD, High base attack, high fort, 2+ skill points
Trickster: d8 HD, medium base attack, high reflex, 8+ skill points
Specialist: d6 HD, low base attack, high will, 6+ skill points
Allrounder: d8 HD, medium base attack, one high save (varies), 4+ skill points
Paragon: d10 HD, high base attack, all high saves, 8+ skill points. For those outsiders and others like them who are just good at everything.

These honestly already cover just about all the monsters out there.

I don't think AC and mobility need to be tied directly to this and neither do special abilities. Hit dice should only determine HD-dependent numeric values.

So, heres how I'd handle that... Keep racial HD and other stuff for Type but treat monster classes the same way you'd treat class levels for a Humanoid class... IE replace HD type, Skill Points, and saves with their class counterparts when appropriate. They keep their "racial" abilities, but also gain access to their "Monster Class" abilities as well. That way, character creation and monster creation are streamlined into a similar system. Creating a new monster is just basically creating a new "race" and then giving each monster class levels as appropriate to the individual monster's theme.

As far as consolidating creature types, I got 8:

Spirits (Fey & Elementals)
Artificial (Undead & Constructs)
Mortals (Humanoids, Monstrous Humanoids, Giants, Sentient Races that die of old age, and any races designed to level up through PC classes)
Animals (Vermin, Animals, Magical Beasts, & Non-Sentient Dragon-type creatures)
Aberration (Creatures with abnormal anatomy)
Outsiders (Creatures from outside the Material Plane)
Plant (Plants, Fungi, and their derivatives)
Ooze (Slimes, Oozes, Single Celled Organisms, etc.)


Note: Each grouping was consolidated according to theme. While Plant and Ooze share similar immunities as some other types, thematically they cover vastly different biologies. Plants are different from animals, while Oozes are basically giant amoebas and bacteria. Outsiders could be folded into spirits, but I kept them separate for personal reasons. If you want to, you could always rename the Animal class to Beasts.

Also, certain types that now no longer exist could be reworked to be subtypes.

Eldan
2018-06-21, 09:12 AM
I'm not that much a fan of artificial as a creature type? I think undead and constructs work very different, and at least should be affected by different spells.
I also don't really see the point of separating spirit and outsider.
Then, I wouldn't necessarily put magical beasts and nonmagical animals in the same category.
And you don't seem to have a place for

I'm all for subtype, though. I really think Undead as a subtype works quite well, especially since it removes some awkwardness around things like stakes allowing critical hits on vampires or some undead still needing food of some kind.

Finally, do we need monster class abilities? I prefer monsters to be unique, where possible.

Durzan
2018-06-21, 10:05 AM
I'm not that much a fan of artificial as a creature type? I think undead and constructs work very different, and at least should be affected by different spells.
I also don't really see the point of separating spirit and outsider.
Then, I wouldn't necessarily put magical beasts and nonmagical animals in the same category.
And you don't seem to have a place for

I'm all for subtype, though. I really think Undead as a subtype works quite well, especially since it removes some awkwardness around things like stakes allowing critical hits on vampires or some undead still needing food of some kind.

Finally, do we need monster class abilities? I prefer monsters to be unique, where possible.

Undead/Constructs: Its just for the purposes of the campaign setting I've been working on (Illnora). Undead and Constructs are subtypes in my system that can only be applied to the artificial type. I just use the artificial type as the baseline for the two's mechanical similarities, and then use the subtypes for the differences. It should work pretty well IMO.

Magical Beasts would be repurposed into a subtype (applicable only to animals) as well, cause literally the only lore difference between a Magical Beast and an animal is that the magical beast is sentient, more intelligent, and has magical powers.

Spirits and Outsiders: Keeping outsiders separate from spirits has more to do with the specifics of my campaign as well as their thematic differences.

Spirits in my campaign settings are personifications of specific aspects of nature (kind of like what we see in Avatar the Last Airbender) and are tied specifically to the material plane. They govern and influence the part of nature they personify, and as a result have specific traits unique to them (that I've added) that make them distinct and unique from outsiders. Spirits are immortal (meaning, they cannot die of old age): if you kill their physical body, the soul of the spirit leaves the body and assumes an incorporeal form. Then the spirit tries to return to the place where it originated from on the material plane. If it does so, it regains its physical body over the course of a 24 hour period. However, if you manage to reduce the spirit's incorporeal form to 0 HP, then it is permanently destroyed.

Meanwhile... outsiders are powerful, other-worldly beings entirely. Some originate from other universes, others are formed from the souls of long-dead individuals, still others are etc. Outsiders do not necessarily have a dual nature (while Spirits specifically do in my setting), and may be alien in appearance and thought process. They may or may not be Immortal. The most powerful Outsiders could rival the gods of my setting in power... indeed, the 3 Demon Lords (The term Demon being repurposed to mean any evil outsider within the confines of this campaign setting) are effectively the setting's "Evil Dieties," although they are not technically dieties. Thus, thematically they shouldn't be considered spirits.

True Dragons: True Dragons are a tricky matter. For my specific campaign setting, I've basically ditched True Dragons as listed in the MM, and replaced them with my own custom Dragon race, designed to be playable. However, that was a temporary measure, as my end goal is to make these dragons playable races, and thus I would need to reclassify them under the Mortal type, which would involve some serious work.

Monsters and Class Abilities: Monsters would only need class abilities if you go with the suggestions of making monster classes that build off of the types. Personally, I don't necessarily believe that most monsters need classes in the first place.

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-06-21, 12:14 PM
We can basically go by player class archetypes:

Brute: d10 HD, High base attack, high fort, 2+ skill points
Trickster: d8 HD, medium base attack, high reflex, 8+ skill points
Specialist: d6 HD, low base attack, high will, 6+ skill points
Allrounder: d8 HD, medium base attack, one high save (varies), 4+ skill points
Paragon: d10 HD, high base attack, all high saves, 8+ skill points. For those outsiders and others like them who are just good at everything.

These honestly already cover just about all the monsters out there.

I don't think AC and mobility need to be tied directly to this and neither do special abilities. Hit dice should only determine HD-dependent numeric values.


Monsters already treat whatever skills that are listed in their entry as class skills, so that part is kind of redundant in nature. The only reason you'd want to give them additional class skills on top of that would be if you want that specific monster to have special training in additional areas... which is rare and can typically limited to monsters who can gain class levels anyway.

My mention of class skills and special abilities was regarding using monster classes as classes, not just a kind of HD; that is, each class grants special attacks and special qualities at certain levels off a class-based list, so you'd want more than five classes for that, probably 8ish would be good but I could see going up to 10 or 12. That would make monsters a bit more normalized in their miscellaneous abilities and natural armor, DR, wouldn't just be pulled out of the designers'...portable hole. So the "Brute" class gives you certain HD and bonus progressions and also lets you pick up high natural armor and DR, Harrier gives you certain HD and bonus progressions and also lets you pick up speed boosts and extra attacks, and so on. And certain slots would be for type- and subtype-related features regardless of class, like SLAs for Outsiders, gaining or increasing fly speeds for (Air) creatures, and so on.

That way, a vrock (for instance) gets certain abilities automatically because it's a vrock, then can choose certain abilities because it's an Outsider/Spirit/Immortal/whatever, certain abilities because it's a (Chaotic, Demon, Evil) creature, and certain abilities because it's a Harrier, basically treating "vrock" as a race and "Outsider Harrier" as a class, as Durzan suggested. This has a couple benefits: advancing a monster (or de-leveling it to represent a weaker/younger version) has defined effects instead of just ":smallconfused:"; there are good benchmarks for what a creature of a given type, class, and HD should have as far as number and magnitude of special abilities; if a player wants to play a dragon or angel or something you can just straight-up say "We'll decide on N racial traits and then you can build your monster however you want by the normal monster class rules;" transformative classes like Dragon Disciple, Fiend-Blooded, and the like can let you take traits from appropriate monster lists instead of hard-coding a few boring stat boosts to represent being a dragon/fiend/etc.

If you only want classes to grant featureless HD, obviously none of that's necessary and 4-5 classes is probably sufficient just like 4-5 types' worth of racial HD is sufficient.


Spirits in my campaign settings are personifications of specific aspects of nature (kind of like what we see in Avatar the Last Airbender) and are tied specifically to the material plane. They govern and influence the part of nature they personify, and as a result have specific traits unique to them (that I've added) that make them distinct and unique from outsiders. Spirits are immortal (meaning, they cannot die of old age): if you kill their physical body, the soul of the spirit leaves the body and assumes an incorporeal form. Then the spirit tries to return to the place where it originated from on the material plane. If it does so, it regains its physical body over the course of a 24 hour period. However, if you manage to reduce the spirit's incorporeal form to 0 HP, then it is permanently destroyed.

Meanwhile... outsiders are powerful, other-worldly beings entirely. Some originate from other universes, others are formed from the souls of long-dead individuals, still others are etc. Outsiders do not necessarily have a dual nature (while Spirits specifically do in my setting), and may be alien in appearance and thought process. They may or may not be Immortal. The most powerful Outsiders could rival the gods of my setting in power... indeed, the 3 Demon Lords (The term Demon being repurposed to mean any evil outsider within the confines of this campaign setting) are effectively the setting's "Evil Dieties," although they are not technically dieties. Thus, thematically they shouldn't be considered spirits.

Outsiders are also strongly tied to their plane of origin, so you could make them both one type and just have the (Spirit) subtype grant the turn-incorporeal-and-flee property, similar to how Outsider (Native) creatures have different rules for banishment and resurrection than normal Outsiders in the core rules.

Durzan
2018-06-21, 01:23 PM
My mention of class skills and special abilities was regarding using monster classes as classes, not just a kind of HD; that is, each class grants special attacks and special qualities at certain levels off a class-based list, so you'd want more than five classes for that, probably 8ish would be good but I could see going up to 10 or 12. That would make monsters a bit more normalized in their miscellaneous abilities and natural armor, DR, wouldn't just be pulled out of the designers'...portable hole. So the "Brute" class gives you certain HD and bonus progressions and also lets you pick up high natural armor and DR, Harrier gives you certain HD and bonus progressions and also lets you pick up speed boosts and extra attacks, and so on. And certain slots would be for type- and subtype-related features regardless of class, like SLAs for Outsiders, gaining or increasing fly speeds for (Air) creatures, and so on.

That way, a vrock (for instance) gets certain abilities automatically because it's a vrock, then can choose certain abilities because it's an Outsider/Spirit/Immortal/whatever, certain abilities because it's a (Chaotic, Demon, Evil) creature, and certain abilities because it's a Harrier, basically treating "vrock" as a race and "Outsider Harrier" as a class, as Durzan suggested. This has a couple benefits: advancing a monster (or de-leveling it to represent a weaker/younger version) has defined effects instead of just ":smallconfused:"; there are good benchmarks for what a creature of a given type, class, and HD should have as far as number and magnitude of special abilities; if a player wants to play a dragon or angel or something you can just straight-up say "We'll decide on N racial traits and then you can build your monster however you want by the normal monster class rules;" transformative classes like Dragon Disciple, Fiend-Blooded, and the like can let you take traits from appropriate monster lists instead of hard-coding a few boring stat boosts to represent being a dragon/fiend/etc.

If you only want classes to grant featureless HD, obviously none of that's necessary and 4-5 classes is probably sufficient just like 4-5 types' worth of racial HD is sufficient.


I think you and I are basically saying the same thing here: Have Monster Type grant default stuff it does normally (Racial HD, Skill Points, BAB, etc), but then have monster classes there to either stack on top of or replace the Monster Type stuff for specific monster builds (You know, similarly to how humanoids with only 1 HD advance by class level).

This alters monster creation to use similar rules to that of player creation, allowing DM's greater fluidity and flexibility, and unifying rules that should've been basically the same from the start. I like it.


Outsiders are also strongly tied to their plane of origin, so you could make them both one type and just have the (Spirit) subtype grant the turn-incorporeal-and-flee property, similar to how Outsider (Native) creatures have different rules for banishment and resurrection than normal Outsiders in the core rules.

Your right, I could've done it that way. In fact, there are a couple of different ways I could've implemented my desired changes, and none are necessarily better than others. Thats what makes discussions like this fun... we all have different ways of adapting each others thoughts and opinions, and our own unique ways of doing things.

For instance... I think Elementals and Outsiders fit better together than Fey and Elementals do... especially if you are going for a more standard D&D cosmological model. Both are tied to planes other than the material plane, and share similar qualities. The traits unique to Elementals could simply be applied via an elemental subtype.

Regarding Spirits and Outsiders Discussion, the reasonsI didn't lump all three together are because:

Fey have a d6 HD, while elementals and outsiders have a d8 (d10 in Pathfinder, with elementals consolidated into outsiders) and are thematically different from fey to a significant degree.
Merging all three together buffs the fey and/or nerfs the outsider/elemental. Outsiders are supposed to be strange and powerful and shouldn't need a HD nerf (especially if using the d10 Outsider from pathfinder). Elementals can easily be refluffed into primal spirits of nature, without significantly nerfing them.
Elementals and fey can be squashed together thematically (by saying that Elementals are a type of primal Nature Spirit) even though mechanically it shares more with the Outsider. Doing so gives the Fey creatures a slight buff.
Outsiders and Elementals can be squashed together fairly easily because they share similar traits (As seen in Pathfinder, and as I mentioned previously in this post); however, they don't have a lot in common thematically, besides the whole living on other planes thing, which doesn't fit too well for most creatures in my campaign setting's cosmology. The inner and outer planes are very different in thematics and power. All it would take to remove what they do share in common is to shift their origin to the material plane.
Fey have more in common with Humanoids than Outsiders from a thematic standpoint in Vanilla D&D. In my setting however, Spirits can be either humanoid, animalistic, or elemental in appearance. This gives Spirits a thematic versatility, that as stated earlier, allows an overlap with Elementals.


In any case, I do plan on using subtypes extensively to help my world make a lot more sense. Thanks for your input! :)

If I were doing a more generic D&D type consolidation, I'd probably do it like this:

Outsider (Outsider & Elemental; IE creatures from other planes. Elemental traits could be tied to a subtype)
Fey or Spirit (Depending on the world, and the lore. May have the other as a subtype)
Beasts (Vermin, Animals, Magical Beast Type, Dragons Type; With Dragons and Magical Beasts being subtypes applicable only to Beast Type.)
Artificial (Undead & Constructs; Specify a required subtype of undead or construct)
Humanoid (Humanoids, Monstrous Humanoids, Giants; Giants and Monstrous Humanoids could be subtypes if needed)
Aberration (Creatures with abnormal anatomy)
Plant (Plants, Fungi, and their derivatives)
Ooze (Slimes, Oozes, Single Celled Organisms, etc.)


Edit: Forgot that Elementals and Outsiders had d8 HD in 3.5e vs the d10 HD in Pathfinder. Corrected it.

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-06-21, 02:14 PM
I think you and I are basically saying the same thing here: Have Monster Type grant default stuff it does normally (Racial HD, Skill Points, BAB, etc), but then have monster classes there to either stack on top of or replace the Monster Type stuff for specific monster builds (You know, similarly to how humanoids with only 1 HD advance by class level).

This alters monster creation to use similar rules to that of player creation, allowing DM's greater fluidity and flexibility, and unifying rules that should've been basically the same from the start. I like it.

Actually, I'm suggesting that monster types don't grant racial HD at all, and should get that all solely through monster classes while types solely grant shared type traits (like undead not being alive and being immune to death spells, elementals not breathing and being banishable on the Prime, etc.), serve as tags for type-based abilities like favored enemy and planar binding, and provide a list of selectable abilities for monsters.

In case it wasn't clear, when I say "monster classes" I don't mean "classes to add to monsters," like a succubus is an outsider 6 but could take levels in a monster class to become an outsider 6/manipulator 4 or whatever. I mean that in this setup a succubus is a manipulator 6, a vrock is a harrier 10, a glabrezu is a brute 12, and there's no such thing as "levels in outsider" because being an Outsider (Demon) is important for determining things like biology (or lack thereof), thematic SLAs, and the like but it shouldn't determine your base combat and non-combat capabilities any more than a human fighter and a human wizard should have the same BAB/skills/saves for both being human.

As an example of this:



Fey have a d6 HD. While elementals and outsiders have a d8 (d10 in Pathfinder, with elementals consolidated into outsiders) and are thematically different from fey to a significant degree.
Merging all three together buffs the fey, and nerfs the outsider/elemental. Outsiders are supposed to be strange and powerful and shouldn't need a HD nerf.


In a monster classes setup, this isn't a problem. A troll, an earth elemental, and a glabrezu are all big beefy (or rocky) bruisers with high HD/BAB and probably high AC and resistances, while a pixie, an air elemental, and a vrock are all agile skirmishers with lower HD/BAB, great fly speeds, and probably some air magic, and you can have a good level of combat-stat variety among groups composed of solely fey or solely outsiders.

If you keep slicing it by type-based HD, though, you're committing to the idea that all fey are common and weak (and forgetting about things like verdant princes and faerie queens) and all outsiders are strange and powerful (and forgetting about things like imps and legion devils), and when you travel to the Plane of Faerie or the Abyss all of the natives will be fairly similar stats-wise.

Durzan
2018-06-21, 04:04 PM
Actually, I'm suggesting that monster types don't grant racial HD at all, and should get that all solely through monster classes while types solely grant shared type traits (like undead not being alive and being immune to death spells, elementals not breathing and being banishable on the Prime, etc.), serve as tags for type-based abilities like favored enemy and planar binding, and provide a list of selectable abilities for monsters.

In case it wasn't clear, when I say "monster classes" I don't mean "classes to add to monsters," like a succubus is an outsider 6 but could take levels in a monster class to become an outsider 6/manipulator 4 or whatever. I mean that in this setup a succubus is a manipulator 6, a vrock is a harrier 10, a glabrezu is a brute 12, and there's no such thing as "levels in outsider" because being an Outsider (Demon) is important for determining things like biology (or lack thereof), thematic SLAs, and the like but it shouldn't determine your base combat and non-combat capabilities any more than a human fighter and a human wizard should have the same BAB/skills/saves for both being human.

In a monster classes setup, this isn't a problem. A troll, an earth elemental, and a glabrezu are all big beefy (or rocky) bruisers with high HD/BAB and probably high AC and resistances, while a pixie, an air elemental, and a vrock are all agile skirmishers with lower HD/BAB, great fly speeds, and probably some air magic, and you can have a good level of combat-stat variety among groups composed of solely fey or solely outsiders.

I still think that we are saying the same thing here.

All I have to do to change a Succubus from Outsider 6/Manipulator 4 to the system you describe is simply replace the Racial HD with Class Levels and recalculate stats and abilities accordingly, just like how the Core Races substitute their 1st racial HD (and the stats that are based off of it and the Humanoid Type) for class HD and derivative stats. Which was one of the options that I offered up in my last statement.

By still defining Racial HD and then having monster class levels as an optional replacement for Racial HD, it gives the DM more flexibility. Use Monster Class or the Type HD, as preferred. Or he could use them in combination (if he really wanted).

The trouble with creating Monster Classes is determining what common abilities all monsters have that could be reasonably extrapolated as class abilities, what are the base racial traits of the type, and what the base racial traits of the specific monster are. Sounds simple at first, until you realize that there are already around 100+ monsters in just the first Monsters Manual, each with their own unique setup, abilities, and so forth. Of course, you could use Savage Species as a baseline for determining that, but you'd still have to do far more work in order to set it up.

Then there's the fact that a monster's HD by type represent not additional training, but the raw natural power and instinctual skill of that creature. Classes aren't supposed to represent this; classes represent the additional training and skills learned above and beyond a creature's natural abilities. A Succubus wasn't trained above and beyond in being sneaky or in her charm person abilities... that just her natural racial abilities there. Likewise, the natural toughness indicated by her high HD is something she has naturally.

To put it simply, A house-cat is going to have some natural hunting skill (represented by its type BAB and skills), but it aint gonna be better than your average house cat without additional training... and even then, its not gonna be significantly more physically tough (HP) than your average house cat (Which is a measly 1/2 d8). A Cat's hunting skill is 70% its instincts and biology, 15% training from their parent, and maybe 10% individual practice at most.

A house cat is still a house cat. A house-cat would always be a trickster in your system. It cannot swap to a different class, because its biology physically locks it into a specific role. It cannot tank very well even with training because its physiology and size simply doesn't allow it to. This is why HD and its derivative statistics are tied to Type in the first place and not classes: Because Classes represent training and adaptability beyond your natural biological and instinctual capabilities. This is also why some monsters who have more biological natural ability than others have more HD, and also why certain creatures can multi-class into NPC and PC Classes (Even though the rules for such suck, but thats a conversation for a different thread).


If you keep slicing it by type-based HD, though, you're committing to the idea that all fey are common and weak (and forgetting about things like verdant princes and faerie queens) and all outsiders are strange and powerful (and forgetting about things like imps and legion devils), and when you travel to the Plane of Faerie or the Abyss all of the natives will be fairly similar stats-wise.

See, thats an entirely different scenario though. Pixies, Faeries, and many other Fey already have a built in mechanic for buffing them, as they advance by Character Classes. Their natural weakness/strengths are already accounted for in their Racial HD, but can be overcome by additional training above and beyond. I see the "verdant princes and faerie queens" as having levels in PC Classes... or at least NPC classes, in addition to their natural physical abilities (Type HD, Ability Scores, and Derivative Statistics), rather than having levels in whatever monster class you find appropriate.

Outsiders on the other-hand have similar base durability to humanoids (evidenced in their d8 Type HD), HOWEVER, they spend hundreds of years just developing (IE growing up, and getting more HD). This means that even a succubus has more base HP than your average human. Succubus are fragile, but only when compared to other demons and devils, who have similar levels of Racial HD (some greater, some less). She can still mop the floor with most mortals just using her HD based statistics alone, and when you factor in her natural abilities and spell-like abilities, she wouldn't even be detected under normal circumstances. Only extraordinary people can stand toe-to-toe with demons, and thus pose a challenge for her. Only when facing PCs with a similar or greater amount of HD must she resort to sneaking tactics in order to defeat her foes.

IE, all Demons have a baseline in their natural power according to their type (Their Racial HD), and their creature type (IE the number of Racial HD). Anything above and beyond that is due to training (taking class levels), or a specific demon having greater natural potential than others (Advancement by additional Racial HD).

If you want to use classes to reflect this, go for it. However, you are basically just doing the same thing as Type-based stats, just under a different name, with more types thrown into the mix, and deciding what type to apply for each individual race instead of having a general chassis to build a creature off of.

Thats great, and I like the idea, just you should take into account the differences in assumption behind classes and Type.

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-06-21, 05:42 PM
I still think that we are saying the same thing here.

All I have to do to change a Succubus from Outsider 6/Manipulator 4 to the system you describe is simply replace the Racial HD with Class Levels and recalculate stats and abilities accordingly, just like how the Core Races substitute their 1st racial HD (and the stats that are based off of it and the Humanoid Type) for class HD and derivative stats. Which was one of the options that I offered up in my last statement.

By still defining Racial HD and then having monster class levels as an optional replacement for Racial HD, it gives the DM more flexibility. Use Monster Class or the Type HD, as preferred. Or he could use them in combination (if he really wanted).

I'm not seeing any actual benefit to retaining type-based HD at all, though. The current system has lots of issues:
Bruisers of types with 1/2 or 3/4 BAB have to get a bunch of extra HD to artificially boost their attack bonus, with all the attendant flaws.
Air, water, earth, and fire elementals all have the same base chassis when the slow-and-solid earth elementals should fight differently from fast-and-light air elementals and so forth.
It's hard to build non-boss-monster dragons and outsiders because they have good progressions for everything, and hard to make threatening constructs and oozes because they have all bad saves and less than full BAB.
Not only do all constructs have the same chassis when there's a huge difference in fighting style between nimblewrights and iron golems, but oozes have the same chassis as constructs!
There are already exceptions to the type racial HD (such as dire animals having good Will without using an actual [Dire] subtype) to compensate for the system's shortcomings, but not enough exceptions to make it work.
And so on. All of these issues are resolved by basing stats on monster roles rather than monster types and using roles doesn't introduce any new such problems, so if most DMs would want to replace type RHD with role RHD in all cases, why bother keeping type RHD around?


The trouble with creating Monster Classes is determining what common abilities all monsters have that could be reasonably extrapolated as class abilities, what are the base racial traits of the type, and what the base racial traits of the specific monster are. Sounds simple at first, until you realize that there are already around 100+ monsters in just the first Monsters Manual, each with their own unique setup, abilities, and so forth. Of course, you could use Savage Species as a baseline for determining that, but you'd still have to do far more work in order to set it up.

Standardizing those disparate abilities is part of the point of going through and revamping monster stats. If most CR 5 bruiser-type monsters have a natural armor modifier of +5 to +7 (for instance; I have no idea what the average stats are offhand) but there's a monster with a +12 modifier and another monster with a +3, you don't have to come up with a system that perfectly recreates the original stat blocks, you come up with a system that grants +5 to +7 for CR 5 bruisers and the outliers' stats can change.


A Succubus wasn't trained above and beyond in being sneaky or in her charm person abilities... that just her natural racial abilities there. Likewise, the natural toughness indicated by her high HD is something she has naturally.
[...]
A house-cat would always be a trickster in your system. It cannot swap to a different class, because its biology physically locks it into a specific role. It cannot tank very well even with training because its physiology and size simply doesn't allow it to.

Maybe using the word "class" is confusing here, because monster classes are not supposed to represent training at all, they're only "classes" in that monsters can multiclass between those and PC classes and in that Savage Species called HD-by-HD monstrous progressions "monster classes" as well. If calling them roles or savage progressions or whatever would help, that's fine too.


See, thats an entirely different scenario though. Pixies, Faeries, and many other Fey already have a built in mechanic for buffing them, as they advance by Character Classes. Their natural weakness/strengths are already accounted for in their Racial HD, but can be overcome by additional training above and beyond. I see the "verdant princes and faerie queens" as having levels in PC Classes... or at least NPC classes, in addition to their natural physical abilities (Type HD, Ability Scores, and Derivative Statistics), rather than having levels in whatever monster class you find appropriate.

So all trolls should be fey X/barbarian Y to give them the necessary HD to get into melee combat without giving them too many skills, all pixies should be fey X/ranger Y to give them the necessary BAB without giving them too much HP, and so on? And if they aren't, they just deal with having too-weak stats for their combat role because fey are supposed to be weak, or something?

This is exactly the problem with undead in 3e. Undead creatures all have far too many HD for their CR, which renders turn undead pointless, gives them too high a Will save for their CR, and messes with other HD-based assumptions, all to give undead more HP to compensate for their lack of Con and a higher attack bonus to compensate for their 1/2 BAB (which was intended to make basic zombies and skeletons less threatening and ended up screwing with vampires and death knights). The designers did lots of patching around rules to achieve the desired effect--later on even extending to making feats to use other stats instead of Con, giving some monsters Unholy Toughness, and so on--when they could have just given undead Con scores (and said it represented any sort of animating force, not just life force) and given death knights and vampires full BAB with a Brute/Soldier/Skirmisher/etc. class and zombies and skeletons poor BAB with a Mook/Swarm/etc. class in the first place.

I wasn't being poetic with "verdant prince," by the way; that's a specific monster in MM4, and the point was that they're just as much of a "leader monster with lots of SLAs" monster as a trumpet archon or succubus, but outsiders have HD roughly equal to their CR because their HD are all defensively solid while the verdant prince has 16 HD at CR 11. Yes, you could represent the verdant prince as a low-HD fey with druid levels (and in fact druid is its favored class), but [monster role] X/[PC class] Y doesn't work out too well when you have to give the base creature too many HD to start with.


If you want to use classes to reflect this, go for it. However, you are basically just doing the same thing as Type-based stats, just under a different name, with more types thrown into the mix, and deciding what type to apply for each individual race instead of having a general chassis to build a creature off of.

Thats great, and I like the idea, just you should take into account the differences in assumption behind classes and Type.

I am, and I'm saying that the assumptions behind type-based RHD are dumb. Barbarians have high BAB and large HD because they punch people and get punched in return, bards have low HP and high skills because they socialize with people and know things, wizards have low BAB/Fort/HP and high Will because they've trained their mental discipline at the expense of their physical toughness, and any setup in which an big and beefy ocean strider's stats look more like a bard's, a profanely resilient death knight's stats look more like a wizard's, and a seductive succubus's stats look more like a barbarian's is an unintuitive and frankly bad one.

Having N generic chassis by monster roles and choosing which one to use for a given monster based on its combat role is exactly as simple and straightforward as having N generic chassis by monster types and choosing which one to use for a given monster based on its location of origin--the fact that it's "basically the same as type-based stats, but with different chassis given to different monsters" is very much intended, because having monsters use a set number of defined progressions the way PC classes do is good for PC/monster transparency, giving monsters class levels, and the like, it's just the specific chassis assignments that are out of whack.

Durzan
2018-06-21, 06:05 PM
I'm not seeing any actual benefit to retaining type-based HD at all, though. The current system has lots of issues:

Bruisers of types with 1/2 or 3/4 BAB have to get a bunch of extra HD to artificially boost their attack bonus, with all the attendant flaws.
Air, water, earth, and fire elementals all have the same base chassis when the slow-and-solid earth elementals should fight differently from fast-and-light air elementals and so forth.
It's hard to build non-boss-monster dragons and outsiders because they have good progressions for everything, and hard to make threatening constructs and oozes because they have all bad saves and less than full BAB.
Not only do all constructs have the same chassis when there's a huge difference in fighting style between nimblewrights and iron golems, but oozes have the same chassis as constructs!
There are already exceptions to the type racial HD (such as dire animals having good Will without using an actual [Dire] subtype) to compensate for the system's shortcomings, but not enough exceptions to make it work.

And so on. All of these issues are resolved by basing stats on monster roles rather than monster types and using roles doesn't introduce any new such problems, so if most DMs would want to replace type RHD with role RHD in all cases, why bother keeping type RHD around?



Standardizing those disparate abilities is part of the point of going through and revamping monster stats. If most CR 5 bruiser-type monsters have a natural armor modifier of +5 to +7 (for instance; I have no idea what the average stats are offhand) but there's a monster with a +12 modifier and another monster with a +3, you don't have to come up with a system that perfectly recreates the original stat blocks, you come up with a system that grants +5 to +7 for CR 5 bruisers and the outliers' stats can change.



Maybe using the word "class" is confusing here, because monster classes are not supposed to represent training at all, they're only "classes" in that monsters can multiclass between those and PC classes and in that Savage Species called HD-by-HD monstrous progressions "monster classes" as well. If calling them roles or savage progressions or whatever would help, that's fine too.



So all trolls should be fey X/barbarian Y to give them the necessary HD to get into melee combat without giving them too many skills, all pixies should be fey X/ranger Y to give them the necessary BAB without giving them too much HP, and so on? And if they aren't, they just deal with having too-weak stats for their combat role because fey are supposed to be weak, or something?

This is exactly the problem with undead in 3e. Undead creatures all have far too many HD for their CR, which renders turn undead pointless, gives them too high a Will save for their CR, and messes with other HD-based assumptions, all to give undead more HP to compensate for their lack of Con and a higher attack bonus to compensate for their 1/2 BAB (which was intended to make basic zombies and skeletons less threatening and ended up screwing with vampires and death knights). The designers did lots of patching around rules to achieve the desired effect--later on even extending to making feats to use other stats instead of Con, giving some monsters Unholy Toughness, and so on--when they could have just given undead Con scores (and said it represented any sort of animating force, not just life force) and given death knights and vampires full BAB with a Brute/Soldier/Skirmisher/etc. class and zombies and skeletons poor BAB with a Mook/Swarm/etc. class in the first place.

I wasn't being poetic with "verdant prince," by the way; that's a specific monster in MM4, and the point was that they're just as much of a "leader monster with lots of SLAs" monster as a trumpet archon or succubus, but outsiders have HD roughly equal to their CR because their HD are all defensively solid while the verdant prince has 16 HD at CR 11. Yes, you could represent the verdant prince as a low-HD fey with druid levels (and in fact druid is its favored class), but [monster role] X/[PC class] Y doesn't work out too well when you have to give the base creature too many HD to start with.



I am, and I'm saying that the assumptions behind type-based RHD are dumb. Barbarians have high BAB and large HD because they punch people and get punched in return, bards have low HP and high skills because they socialize with people and know things, wizards have low BAB/Fort/HP and high Will because they've trained their mental discipline at the expense of their physical toughness, and any setup in which an big and beefy ocean strider's stats look more like a bard's, a profanely resilient death knight's stats look more like a wizard's, and a seductive succubus's stats look more like a barbarian's is an unintuitive and frankly bad one.

Having N generic chassis by monster roles and choosing which one to use for a given monster based on its combat role is exactly as simple and straightforward as having N generic chassis by monster types and choosing which one to use for a given monster based on its location of origin--the fact that it's "basically the same as type-based stats, but with different chassis given to different monsters" is very much intended, because having monsters use a set number of defined progressions the way PC classes do is good for PC/monster transparency, giving monsters class levels, and the like, it's just the specific chassis assignments that are out of whack.

Alright, I think we've been off topic long enough. This thread is primarily for sharing and discussing the merging of certain creature types, not a tangent discussion on monster classes. You made good points though. :)

If you want to continue talking monster classes, I'll happily do so with you in a thread specifically for that subject.

Nifft
2018-06-21, 06:19 PM
Alright, I think we've been off topic long enough. This thread is primarily for sharing and discussing the merging of certain creature types, not a tangent discussion on monster classes. You made good points though. :)

If you want to continue talking monster classes, I'll happily do so with you in a thread specifically for that subject.

IMHO it's somewhat related, because one reason that Types have proliferated is specifically because Type is also a racial HD pseudo-class.

You don't need the Dragon type if you have another way to give dragons really nice HD.

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-06-21, 06:27 PM
IMHO it's somewhat related, because one reason that Types have proliferated is specifically because Type is also a racial HD pseudo-class.

You don't need the Dragon type if you have another way to give dragons really nice HD.

Precisely. Monster classes aren't the only way to heavily condense types while retaining mechanical variety--you could say, for instance, that certain subtypes can boost poor saves or low HD, so a Beast might have d8 HD but a Beast (Dragon) has d10 or d12, almost like a mini-template--but you do have to decide what level of mechanical variety you're comfortable with when deciding how many types you want to end up with.

Eldan
2018-06-22, 02:16 AM
I mean, I see the point of tying numerical values like DR and AC to class, but honestly, static numbers don't make a class. If a brute class just gave DR, Nat. armor and the occasional bonus feat, that would be a really boring class. However, giving them any more htan that would mean that we'd have to find more active abilities that fit every monster of a type, which is just as weird.

rferries
2018-06-22, 04:55 AM
A cat is an unintelligent creature, so it's born with automatic racial HD.

A drow priestess is a sentient being, so she takes levels in cleric.

However, a cat could be given levels of an expert-type NPC class, and a drow priestess could be given levels of a racial spellcasting class a la a nymph. Racial HD and class levels are effectively interchangeable (depending on the statistics you assign them), it just boils down to flavour re: inherent statistics vs. statistics you learn. Do you give an ogre levels of fighter, or racial HD with full BAB, or a high racial Strength, or some combination of the three?

(I realise I'm not saying anything new, just wanted to chime in haha).

Durzan
2018-06-22, 08:49 AM
A cat is an unintelligent creature, so it's born with automatic racial HD.

A drow priestess is a sentient being, so she takes levels in cleric.

However, a cat could be given levels of an expert-type NPC class, and a drow priestess could be given levels of a racial spellcasting class a la a nymph. Racial HD and class levels are effectively interchangeable (depending on the statistics you assign them), it just boils down to flavour re: inherent statistics vs. statistics you learn. Do you give an ogre levels of fighter, or racial HD with full BAB, or a high racial Strength, or some combination of the three?

(I realise I'm not saying anything new, just wanted to chime in haha).

Exactly. Type is kinda function as monster classes already. What people are basically saying is that type progressions suck for creatures. The issue is that there are easier ways to compensate without actually going through and making the "class" aspect separate from the types (although that is a valid option, it adds a lot more initial work... and you have to rebuilt every monster you use with it).

Still though, cutting back on the base types was one of the original goals of the thread. 3.5e and its derivatives have around 13-17 base types, many of which share the same basic attributes (Cough *d8 HD*, cough *3/4 BAB*, cough *Skill Points: 2+Int Mod*), and where only a few small distinctions separate each mechanically and/or thematically.

Eldan
2018-06-22, 08:54 AM
I just think the basic issue for me is that we should separate two things. ONe is the monster's stats, and the other is how it reacts to magic. Currently, both depend on creature type, but I don't think there is a reason they should.

Nifft
2018-06-22, 09:06 AM
A cat is an unintelligent creature, so it's born with automatic racial HD.

(...)

However, a cat could be given levels of an expert-type NPC class

Surely a feline would take levels in the NPC class Aristocat.


https://i.imgur.com/wjHUWkF.jpg


Like that, except with more conquering and oppression.

Durzan
2018-06-22, 09:09 AM
I just think the basic issue for me is that we should separate two things. ONe is the monster's stats, and the other is how it reacts to magic. Currently, both depend on creature type, but I don't think there is a reason they should.

I think the original reason they tied it to Type was so they didn't have yet another set of classifications to add additional complexity to the system. They used the basic characteristics of a monster group as the foundation for a chassis.

PairO'Dice Lost
2018-06-22, 11:38 AM
I mean, I see the point of tying numerical values like DR and AC to class, but honestly, static numbers don't make a class. If a brute class just gave DR, Nat. armor and the occasional bonus feat, that would be a really boring class. However, giving them any more htan that would mean that we'd have to find more active abilities that fit every monster of a type, which is just as weird.

I'd say boring classes are a good thing in this case, since they have to cover a much broader range of concepts than any PC class and can't really have any built-in flavor or interesting stuff since they have to work with any monster concept.

But my thought here was not that the Brute class, to use your example, would be a fixed progression of DR, AC bonus, and bonus feats, but that all the monster classes would look more like the following:

HDSpecial
1stRole or Type Ability I
2ndRole Ability I
3rdType Ability I
4thMonster Ability I
5thRole or Type Ability II
6thRole Ability II
7thType Ability II
8thMonster Ability II
9thRole or Type Ability III
10thRole Ability III
11thType Ability III
12thMonster Ability III
13thRole or Type Ability IV
14thRole Ability IV
15thType Ability IV
16thMonster Ability IV
17thRole or Type Ability V
18thRole Ability V
19thType Ability V
20thMonster Ability V


...or a similarly generic progression, kind of like legacy weapon progressions (but without the suck) or building an astral construct. "Role" abilities are natural armor bonuses or big DR for Brutes, speed bonuses and move-and-attack abilities for Harriers, etc.; "Type" abilities are energy resistances or SLAs for Outsiders, swim speeds or Whirlpool for [Water] creatures, etc.; "Monster" abilities are generic things like stat boosts, extra natural attacks, and the like that fit any concept.

Things can show up on multiple lists (lots of types get SLAs, both the Harrier and [Air] lists would have things involving fly speeds, etc.) or scale/be restricted by tier (incorporeality might be II or higher, for instance, and DR might be something like DR 5 for I, DR 10 for II, etc.). And you can trade a IV slot for two IIIs, a III for two IIs, or a II for two Is if you want to give a critter a long list of low-level SLAs, resistance 10 to a bunch of damage types, and the like.

Of course, I've just whipped this up and am not attached to the particular progression; you might have separate ability choices for active and passive abilities to allow a Brute to be more simple to run than a Soldier, for instance, and you might have Boss Monster and Mook classes that get more and fewer than one ability per HD, respectively. But that's the basic idea.


I think the original reason they tied it to Type was so they didn't have yet another set of classifications to add additional complexity to the system. They used the basic characteristics of a monster group as the foundation for a chassis.

That's most likely it. When going from 3.0 to 3.5, the designers shuffled around some things (removed Beast, made Shapechanger a subtype) and said that they did so because those types didn't add any value and made some things confusing for players. They could have gone further in consolidating, but hey, it's the thought that counts.

Durzan
2018-06-22, 04:54 PM
I'd say boring classes are a good thing in this case, since they have to cover a much broader range of concepts than any PC class and can't really have any built-in flavor or interesting stuff since they have to work with any monster concept.

But my thought here was not that the Brute class, to use your example, would be a fixed progression of DR, AC bonus, and bonus feats, but that all the monster classes would look more like the following:



HD
Special


1st
Role or Type Ability I


2nd
Role Ability I


3rd
Type Ability I


4th
Monster Ability I


5th
Role or Type Ability II


6th
Role Ability II


7th
Type Ability II


8th
Monster Ability II


9th
Role or Type Ability III


10th
Role Ability III


11th
Type Ability III


12th
Monster Ability III


13th
Role or Type Ability IV


14th
Role Ability IV


15th
Type Ability IV


16th
Monster Ability IV


17th
Role or Type Ability V


18th
Role Ability V


19th
Type Ability V


20th
Monster Ability V



...or a similarly generic progression, kind of like legacy weapon progressions (but without the suck) or building an astral construct. "Role" abilities are natural armor bonuses or big DR for Brutes, speed bonuses and move-and-attack abilities for Harriers, etc.; "Type" abilities are energy resistances or SLAs for Outsiders, swim speeds or Whirlpool for [Water] creatures, etc.; "Monster" abilities are generic things like stat boosts, extra natural attacks, and the like that fit any concept.

Things can show up on multiple lists (lots of types get SLAs, both the Harrier and [Air] lists would have things involving fly speeds, etc.) or scale/be restricted by tier (incorporeality might be II or higher, for instance, and DR might be something like DR 5 for I, DR 10 for II, etc.). And you can trade a IV slot for two IIIs, a III for two IIs, or a II for two Is if you want to give a critter a long list of low-level SLAs, resistance 10 to a bunch of damage types, and the like.

Of course, I've just whipped this up and am not attached to the particular progression; you might have separate ability choices for active and passive abilities to allow a Brute to be more simple to run than a Soldier, for instance, and you might have Boss Monster and Mook classes that get more and fewer than one ability per HD, respectively. But that's the basic idea.



That's most likely it. When going from 3.0 to 3.5, the designers shuffled around some things (removed Beast, made Shapechanger a subtype) and said that they did so because those types didn't add any value and made some things confusing for players. They could have gone further in consolidating, but hey, it's the thought that counts.

Interesting.

AtlasSniperman
2018-06-22, 05:28 PM
As far as consolidating creature types, I got 8:

Spirits (Fey & Elementals)
Artificial (Undead & Constructs)
Mortals (Humanoids, Monstrous Humanoids, Giants, Sentient Races that die of old age, and any races designed to level up through PC classes)
Animals (Vermin, Animals, Magical Beasts, & Non-Sentient Dragon-type creatures)
Aberration (Creatures with abnormal anatomy)
Outsiders (Creatures from outside the Material Plane)
Plant (Plants, Fungi, and their derivatives)
Ooze (Slimes, Oozes, Single Celled Organisms, etc.)


Note: Each grouping was consolidated according to theme. While Plant and Ooze share similar immunities as some other types, thematically they cover vastly different biologies. Plants are different from animals, while Oozes are basically giant amoebas and bacteria. Outsiders could be folded into spirits, but I kept them separate for personal reasons. If you want to, you could always rename the Animal class to Beasts.

Also, certain types that now no longer exist could be reworked to be subtypes.

Where would intelligent dragons go? Aberrations?

Durzan
2018-06-22, 05:51 PM
Where would intelligent dragons go? Aberrations?

Intelligent dragons would be lumped in with mortals, at least for my setting... As I am planning on making them a playable race. In fact, Dragons are one of the main focuses of that particular setting. Naturally they have to be nerfed a bit, but the core aspect of them is still the same: intelligent flying lizards with breath weapons and inherent spell-like abilities.

The Mortal type isn't just humanoid races, its a melting pot for any race I want my players to have a chance to play as.

HouseRules
2018-06-22, 08:47 PM
Personally, I would rebuild all the monsters from scratch so that they have real "racial class" not some stupid summarization called "Type Hit Dice". Of course, the work is to remove as much level adjustment as possible by give level appropriate abilities. Then, synchronize the Challenge Rating with Character Levels.

The Level Adjustment is to take care of the Hit Points difference, and to make Monster Race Weaker.

A Succubus is a 12th Level Sorcerer with mostly 3rd Level Spells, multiple Weaken 4th level spells (Energy Drain does 1 instead 2d4 negative levels), 2 Weakened 7th Level Spells (Greater Teleport and Ethereal Jaunt), etc. Since "10/day = at will" in crafting cost, Succubus has her spells at will to make the bookkeeping task easier. Converting all of her Spell-Like Abilities and Supernatural Abilities with the Spells of the Same Name, and make her a 12th level sorcerer would not change much of her power, except for those two 7th level spells which may be broken in player's hands.

The problem?
I) Lanchester's Linear Law - If a party of (usually) monsters spread their attacks to every player, then they are linearly difficult. The experience system expects linear law.
2) Lanchester's Square Law - If a party of (usually) monsters focus their attacks on the lowest armor class character (usually the wizard), then they are quadratically difficult. The challenge rating system expects partial square law because the monsters' ECL and CR does not match.

What's between the two laws?
Triangular Growth. If you do not know this trend, you should look up the XP table in the Total XP column.
Linear Triangular Quadratic
1-1-1
2-3-4
3-6-9
4-10-16
5-15-25
6-21-36
etc.

As you can see, a typical party of 4 is 10 times stronger than going solo under average optimization, and 16 times stronger than going solo in practical optimization. That difference is enough to adjust Encounter Level by 1.2 to 1.6. On the other hand, a pessimization is weak enough to adjust Encounter Level by -2.4 to -2.8. Together an Optimized Party could handle encounters 4 level higher than a Pessimized Party.

Durzan
2018-06-23, 08:29 AM
interesting...

Durzan
2018-06-23, 01:48 PM
Personally, I would rebuild all the monsters from scratch so that they have real "racial class" not some stupid summarization called "Type Hit Dice". Of course, the work is to remove as much level adjustment as possible by give level appropriate abilities. Then, synchronize the Challenge Rating with Character Levels.

The Level Adjustment is to take care of the Hit Points difference, and to make Monster Race Weaker.

A Succubus is a 12th Level Sorcerer with mostly 3rd Level Spells, multiple Weaken 4th level spells (Energy Drain does 1 instead 2d4 negative levels), 2 Weakened 7th Level Spells (Greater Teleport and Ethereal Jaunt), etc. Since "10/day = at will" in crafting cost, Succubus has her spells at will to make the bookkeeping task easier. Converting all of her Spell-Like Abilities and Supernatural Abilities with the Spells of the Same Name, and make her a 12th level sorcerer would not change much of her power, except for those two 7th level spells which may be broken in player's hands.

The problem?
I) Lanchester's Linear Law - If a party of (usually) monsters spread their attacks to every player, then they are linearly difficult. The experience system expects linear law.
2) Lanchester's Square Law - If a party of (usually) monsters focus their attacks on the lowest armor class character (usually the wizard), then they are quadratically difficult. The challenge rating system expects partial square law because the monsters' ECL and CR does not match.

What's between the two laws?
Triangular Growth. If you do not know this trend, you should look up the XP table in the Total XP column.
Linear Triangular Quadratic
1-1-1
2-3-4
3-6-9
4-10-16
5-15-25
6-21-36
etc.

As you can see, a typical party of 4 is 10 times stronger than going solo under average optimization, and 16 times stronger than going solo in practical optimization. That difference is enough to adjust Encounter Level by 1.2 to 1.6. On the other hand, a pessimization is weak enough to adjust Encounter Level by -2.4 to -2.8. Together an Optimized Party could handle encounters 4 level higher than a Pessimized Party.

That triangular quadratic expression you came up with is the same basic formula that 3.5e uses for total XP needed to reach a certain level. Tying monster encounter power to levels is a good way to balance that aspect.

Durzan
2018-06-24, 01:43 PM
Things seem to have gotten quiet.

Nifft
2018-06-24, 03:40 PM
Interesting.


interesting...


Things seem to have gotten quiet.

Interesting?

Durzan
2018-06-24, 04:34 PM
Interesting?

Yeah, its what I say when I want to encourage others to talk but have little to say.

rferries
2018-06-24, 05:00 PM
I suppose I can volunteer my Monstrous Special Attacks & Qualities (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?556717-Monstrous-Special-Attacks-amp-Qualities-(Feats)) as another basis by which to generate standardised monsters. Racial hit dice should provide alternative benefits to class levels, so giving monster-specific feats could be one way to balance them.

Durzan
2018-06-25, 07:48 PM
That might prove very helpful indeed.