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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Fax's "look at the highest score" rule certainly isn't written anywhere.
    I could've swore it was.Maybe it's in MM-IV or some WotC article for some inexplicable reason. I'll try to find it.

    EDIT: Did some searching, found another thingamajob. Depending on what book you listen to, you may be able to drop single HD from any type.

    Savage Species, pg 13:
    1 HIT DIE CREATURES
    A creature with a single Hit Die, like all standard-race characters,
    gives up that Hit Die when it gains its first class level. This
    makes such a creature somewhat different from other monster
    characters. In general, It is most advantageous for a 1 Hit Die
    creature with a +0 level adjustment to abandon its monster Hit
    Die and take class levels. While this chapter has detailed rules
    for each step of character creation, this sidebar collects the
    important information for dealing with 1 Hit Die creatures.
    When building a monster character from a 1 Hit Die creature,
    determine its ability scores and the racial modifiers to
    those scores normally. Upon taking a level in a class, the creature
    gains that class's base save bonuses and base attack
    bonus and loses the base save bonuses and base attack bonus
    it had as a monster. The new monster character gains skill
    points only from class levels, losing any that it had as a result
    of its monster Hit Die, but any racial bonuses on skill checks
    that the base creature was entitled to are retained. Multiply the
    skill points for the character's first class level by 4, just as you
    would for any standard-race character. A 1 Hit Die creature may
    choose one feat, just like any other 1st-level character, and it
    also gains any additional feats granted by its class level. It
    retains any racial bonus feats of the base creature.
    On the other hand, you may wish to keep that one monster
    Hit Die. If you do so, the character gets the skill points shown
    on Table 2–1 or Table 2–5 (and in Appendix 2: Compiled
    Tables) regardless of its Intelligence score. But in that case, you
    do not multiply the skill points gained from the character's first
    class level by 4, because it is not a 1st-level character. The character
    gets the same number of feats as the base creature.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    The rule Fax cited is for Monsters As Characters, so by default it only applies to hit dice gained after the monster manual entry.
    But, it refers to total hit dice, not hit dice from class levels, etc.

    Here is the quote that says they should be in there to begin with:

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Ability Score Improvement

    Treat monster Hit Dice the same as character level for determining ability score increases. This only applies to Hit Dice increases, monsters do not gain ability score increases for levels they "already reached" with their racial Hit Dice, since these adjustments are included in their basic ability scores.
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    This is brilliant.
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    Nicely done. Probably too cheesy for many tables, but I'd be inclined to allow it at mine, just for chutzpah.

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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by dextercorvia View Post
    But, it refers to total hit dice, not hit dice from class levels, etc.

    Here is the quote that says they should be in there to begin with:
    Yup, that rule is what I was referring to. Monsters gain ability increases when their hit dice increase to a multiple of four. Any increases they would have gained for their initial Racial Hit Dice are not gained, because they are already included in their base ability scores (and thus in their racial adjustments).
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    So a Troll Fighter2 would get to increase an ability score? That's fine, that is what I was thinking. I thought you were saying that a Troll would have to wait until class level 4 to increase.
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    Regarding my Necrotic Apprentice trick:
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    This is brilliant.
    Regarding my Non-Epic Hidecarved Dragon:
    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Nicely done. Probably too cheesy for many tables, but I'd be inclined to allow it at mine, just for chutzpah.

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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by dextercorvia View Post
    So a Troll Fighter2 would get to increase an ability score? That's fine, that is what I was thinking. I thought you were saying that a Troll would have to wait until class level 4 to increase.
    Looks like we agree then, yeah.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Excellent guide that will be really useful, thank you very much for this handbook.

    One thing:
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Similarly, if our Vrock leveled up to Fighter 2, it would have a Character Level of 12, but its Racial Hit Dice would still be 10, so when calculating save DCs for its abilities you use its Racial Hit Dice, so the save DCs are the same as before the Fighter levels.
    Are you sure on that ? I always though that the DC of the abilities progress with all hit dice, racial or class level.
    It's a rule from somwhere in the MM or did backward enginered it ?
    Last edited by zagan; 2011-07-19 at 05:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by zagan View Post
    Excellent guide that will be really useful, thank you very much for this handbook.

    One thing:


    Are you sure on that ? I always though that the DC of the abilities progress with all hit dice, racial or class level.
    It's a rule from somwhere in the MM or did backward enginered it ?
    It's probably a rule from somewhere, but it's most straightforward to see by reverse engineering. The Aboleth Mage, for example, has a save DC for its Slime and Mucus Cloud of 21, two higher than the 19 of the default Aboleth, because of its Con being four points higher, and despite having ten more hit dice.
    Lord Raziere herd I like Blasphemy, so Urpriest Exalted as a Malefactor

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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Here is the general rule:

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD, Reading the Monster Entries
    When a special ability allows a saving throw, the kind of save and the save DC is noted in the descriptive text. Most saving throws against special abilities have DCs calculated as follows:

    10 + ˝ the attacker’s racial Hit Dice + the relevant ability modifier.
    So, unless the monster description specifies otherwise, you only use RHD.
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    Regarding my Necrotic Apprentice trick:
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    This is brilliant.
    Regarding my Non-Epic Hidecarved Dragon:
    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Nicely done. Probably too cheesy for many tables, but I'd be inclined to allow it at mine, just for chutzpah.

    Have a cookie.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    What about a creature that doesn't have RHD? A Gravetouched Ghoul, for example, has Ghoul Paralysis, but no Ghoul HD. The description of GTG just says 10 + 1/2 GTG's HD + Cha. I'd assume in this case they are refering to non-racial HD? Then again, most other creature's just reference "monster X's HD" in a similar fashion.

    What if the GTG has racial HD from another race before becoming a GTG? What if he was a Minotaur first (6 RHD worth of Monstrous Humanoid).
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    I think that, as a template, it is referring to the total HD of the GTG. This is the same argument that has it change all class HD to d12's.
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    Regarding my Necrotic Apprentice trick:
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    This is brilliant.
    Regarding my Non-Epic Hidecarved Dragon:
    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Nicely done. Probably too cheesy for many tables, but I'd be inclined to allow it at mine, just for chutzpah.

    Have a cookie.
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    I could've swore it was.Maybe it's in MM-IV or some WotC article for some inexplicable reason. I'll try to find it.
    Figured it out. I'm an idiot and was thinking of something a group of mine uses when making monstrous racial classes with LA +0 bases.

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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    It's probably a rule from somewhere, but it's most straightforward to see by reverse engineering. The Aboleth Mage, for example, has a save DC for its Slime and Mucus Cloud of 21, two higher than the 19 of the default Aboleth, because of its Con being four points higher, and despite having ten more hit dice.
    Quote Originally Posted by dextercorvia View Post
    Here is the general rule:
    So, unless the monster description specifies otherwise, you only use RHD.
    Never knew that, you learn something everyday.
    It make the abilities of monster even less useful for player.
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    well, I certainly approve of the use of Pimp Krusk in a handbook.

    And this one is a good read to boot.
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Under Nonabilities, you may want to note that permanently incorporeal creatures have strength scores as a nonability.

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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by zagan View Post
    Never knew that, you learn something everyday.
    It make the abilities of monster even less useful for player.
    Me neither, but it's an important detail for me.
    Urpriest, thanks for this guide, will be immensely useful
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Nice handbook - a lot of good advice for players new to playing RHD/LA characters.

    Are you going to touch on the cheesetastic notion of allowing permanent level drain to get rid of RHD (especially problematic when combined with LA buyoff)? It's something I would never let fly in any game I ran, but a lot of people seem to consider it fair game...

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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    I like how you point out that humans are not animals, you should do so also for vermin.

    maybe an example using charm animal, charm person and charm monster?

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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    This is very, very great; helped me out a ton, despite it not even being finished yet. Heck, probably the most helpful handbook I've read yet (although, admittedly, I've read, like, four); going to show it to a friend who's also going to be DMing soon.

    Out of curiosity, though, is there any way to handle a player wanting to be a somewhat "nonstandard" creature (one with LA: --)? As a hypothetical situation, of course.
    Last edited by Kojiro; 2011-07-20 at 06:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojiro View Post
    Out of curiosity, though, is there any way to handle a player wanting to be a somewhat "nonstandard" creature (one with LA: --)? As a hypothetical situation, of course.
    Well, there are the homebrew Improved Monster Classes on the homebrew forums. The last big thread is here, after the mods stopped it due to disagreements on how it would be run, people split into their own threads, looking around the homebrew forums can find them, but the big thread has quite a lot of the monster classes, and also the guidelines that were used for the classes.
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    I was rereading an I have another question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    [CENTER]
    Now you may notice that none of this says what class skills they get. Class skills are different for every monster. More specifically, All of the Skills in the Monster's "Skills:" Entry Are Class Skills.

    Looking at the Vrock, we see that under Skills: it lists bonuses to Concentration, Diplomacy, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge(any one), Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot, and Survival. These then are its class skills. Notice that some of these skills, like Survival, are just equal to the monster's ability score modifier, and don't have skill points in them. These skills are still class skills, because they are still in the Skills: section of the monster's description.
    Because some skill give synergy bonus does this mean that if a monster gain a synergy bonus in one or more skill those skills automatically become class skills ?
    For example a monster with 5 ranks in bluff automatically as diplomacy, disguise, intimidate and sleight of hand as class skills ? Particular if when calculating the bonus you realise that it's just the result of the synergy bonus plus the ability modifier ?
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    This is really, really useful. I've got a friend who used to be in our party, but now DMs his own group that constantly screws this stuff up for his players.
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by zagan View Post
    I was rereading an I have another question.



    Because some skill give synergy bonus does this mean that if a monster gain a synergy bonus in one or more skill those skills automatically become class skills ?
    For example a monster with 5 ranks in bluff automatically as diplomacy, disguise, intimidate and sleight of hand as class skills ? Particular if when calculating the bonus you realise that it's just the result of the synergy bonus plus the ability modifier ?
    Yup! It's weird, but Nymphs do in fact get Use Rope as a class skill, for example.

    Edit: Actually, this appear to be wrong! Details to follow once I gather some examples. At the very least, the Satyr is a counterexample.
    Last edited by Urpriest; 2011-07-20 at 01:26 PM.
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    This thread is relevant to my interests.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glimbur View Post
    I'm really enjoying the "take nothing for granted" approach this guide is so far showing. I am likely to link new players to this. Thanks a lot.
    Useful for experienced players as well. There are actually quite a few misconceptions that almost everyone believes because they are easy mistakes to make and nobody ever checks if it actually works that way.
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Speaking of, the way monsters handle class skills appears to be inconsistent!

    Several monsters statted up as races lack skills listed in their statblock as class skills, for example the Satyr with Bluff synergy skills. Others have class skills that aren't listed anywhere else in their statblocks, like the Minotaur with Jump. And there are plenty of examples of creatures that really do have skills as class skills even though they only get bonuses to the skill via feats (Unicorn) or synergy (Lammasu). The situation is ambiguous! As such I'm going to end up suggesting "every skill in the description" as a general rule for when there isn't an explicitly different way to do it.
    Lord Raziere herd I like Blasphemy, so Urpriest Exalted as a Malefactor

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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Speaking of, the way monsters handle class skills appears to be inconsistent!

    Several monsters statted up as races lack skills listed in their statblock as class skills, for example the Satyr with Bluff synergy skills. Others have class skills that aren't listed anywhere else in their statblocks, like the Minotaur with Jump. And there are plenty of examples of creatures that really do have skills as class skills even though they only get bonuses to the skill via feats (Unicorn) or synergy (Lammasu). The situation is ambiguous! As such I'm going to end up suggesting "every skill in the description" as a general rule for when there isn't an explicitly different way to do it.
    Yes, it's probably the easiest way to do it even if it's not really logical. Thanks.
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    I don't think synergy bonuses are listed , thus making things a skill. I always thought of it as "things in their statblock." I'm not quite sure I worded that coherently, so I'll use an example with one of my favorite creatures: The protean.

    In its stat block Under "skills", we see that it has bluff +59. If we reverse engineer this to see how many skill points it has in bluff, we do 59(its total bonus)-12(bonus from very high CHA)=47 (and I make a silent cheer as I realize all of bluff's synergies move outward). So it put 47 ranks in Bluff (the limit for its 44 HD). Having 5 or more ranks in Bluff gives a +2 to sleight of hand. So, while not listed, a protean has a bonus on sleight of hand checks of +15 (+2 synergy, +13 high Dex). However, this is not listed on their statblock. I assume this is because they do not have sleight of hand as a class skill, even though they have bonuses to it.

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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Necroticplague View Post
    I don't think synergy bonuses are listed , thus making things a skill. I always thought of it as "things in their statblock." I'm not quite sure I worded that coherently, so I'll use an example with one of my favorite creatures: The protean.

    In its stat block Under "skills", we see that it has bluff +59. If we reverse engineer this to see how many skill points it has in bluff, we do 59(its total bonus)-12(bonus from very high CHA)=47 (and I make a silent cheer as I realize all of bluff's synergies move outward). So it put 47 ranks in Bluff (the limit for its 44 HD). Having 5 or more ranks in Bluff gives a +2 to sleight of hand. So, while not listed, a protean has a bonus on sleight of hand checks of +15 (+2 synergy, +13 high Dex). However, this is not listed on their statblock. I assume this is because they do not have sleight of hand as a class skill, even though they have bonuses to it.
    Actually, I'm fairly certain Slight of Hand is trained-only. That said, look at the Lammasu. The Lammasu's Diplomacy bonus is pure synergy, and yet the advanced Lammasu has level+3 ranks. The Unicorn is another example, with only Skill Focus(Survival) but no ranks, yet being able to raise it to max ranks despite only gaining unicorn and cleric hit dice. Edit: Also the Doppleganger.
    Last edited by Urpriest; 2011-07-20 at 03:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Actually, I'm fairly certain Slight of Hand is trained-only. That said, look at the Lammasu. The Lammasu's Diplomacy bonus is pure synergy, and yet the advanced Lammasu has level+3 ranks. The Unicorn is another example, with only Skill Focus(Survival) but no ranks, yet being able to raise it to max ranks despite only gaining unicorn and cleric hit dice. Edit: Also the Doppleganger.
    D'oh, your right about Sleight of Hand being trained only. I can't really tell whether we are in agreement or disagreement here, so I'll try rewording for accuracy and using your example:

    "Any skill that actually appears in the statblock, regardless of where bonuses to it come from or whether it actually put any points into that skill, is a class skill."

    Now for your Lammasu example: The base example gets 5 skill points per level (magical beast 2 +3 int bonus). So it can "max out" five skills. In its skill section, we see that it does (concentration, knowledge(arcana), listen, sense motive, and spot). However, it also lists diplomacy, which it has no points in. So (at least I think), thise means it has six class skills (concentration,diplomacy, knowledge(arcana), listen, sense motive, and spot), but not enough skill points to put points in one of them (diplomacy). Now, for the "advanced lammasu" (I assume you mean the golden protector), WotC realized that it would gain a heck of a lot more skill points than before (dragon HD gives 6+4 from boosted int). So, instead of giving it ranks in skills cross-class, they gave it more class skills until it had enough skills for its skill points (adding survival, spellcraft, knowledge(the planes), search). So, a "golden protector" actually counts as an entirely different monster for advancing it, seeing how the dragon hit dice has better HD (d12), more skill points, better saves and BAB (all good, full), and this creature in specific seems to have more class skills.

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Blargh, you're right, they expanded its class skills for no justified reason. It isn't all that different from the Minotaur really, that has Jump as a class skill despite it never appearing in the statblock. Anyway, the Doppleganger is apparently a better example of a synergy bonus giving rise to a class skill.

    What all this illustrates is that class skills are an idiosyncratic business. Since the only rule we have to go on is the "every skill in its statblock" rule, that's what I'll be using.
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  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: Urpriest's Monstrous Monster Handbook

    Really well put together and understandable. I wish I didn't already know all of this so I could learn it earlier.

    Reserve Post #5 you can use to explain racial class levels (like those of Savage Species.) I had to explain to my DM that the progressive template for Draconic Creature to Dragon in RoD did not provide Hit Dice, and thus no HP, BaB, skills or Saves advancements, and maybe a system to divide racial classes for the monster races that don't have one, or it's poorly done (not giving all of the racial features, forcing the 1 Racial HD creatures to take that RHD, ect.)

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