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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Lack of hit points, mostly.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I bow to your superior expertise (and probably more-recent fact-checking). But I'd be utterly shocked if provisioning wasps (probably the tarantula hawk in specific, since I'm pretty sure it's the best-known and closest to the spider eater in behavior) weren't the inspiration for spider eaters.
    Oh, definitely. But, the characteristics of parasitic and parasitoid wasps got blended in there, too. It's a common mistake: in general, people don't really distinguish one arthropod from another. Parasitism, hive minds, poisonous stings, blood-sucking, half a dozen compound eyes, acid sprays... you can slap that stuff on any arthropod-based creature design, and nobody bats an eye. But, you better not say tigers live in prides, or lions are good swimmers, because those are totally different things.

  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Stirge


    More tiny flying annoyances!

    Stirges get a single magical beast HD, which comes with a rather poor set of ability scores (unless you really like dexterity and don't mind -10 intelligence). They have no natural attacks except for 'attach', which is a touch attack ineffective against tiny or smaller beings that causes them to begin grappling their target with a +12 bonus (for a net grapple check equal to a human fighter).

    In addition, every turn they begin attached to someone causes them to deal 1d4 points of constitution damage. However, RAW you're basically forced to end the grapple after four points, meaning that you may very well be wasting half your turns on starting grapples.

    Last of all is Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. It's nice if you somehow get real attacks, I guess.

    Between the horrible intelligence, the lack of true natural attacks or opposable thumbs, and the feat tax that will inevitably accompany any caster role, I just can't justify anything but -0 here. Play at your own risk.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-09-04 at 11:24 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Stirge


    More tiny flying annoyances!

    Stirges get a single magical beast HD, which comes with a rather poor set of ability scores (unless you really like dexterity and don't mind -10 intelligence). They have no natural attacks except for 'attach', which is a touch attack ineffective against tiny or smaller beings that causes them to begin grappling their target with a +12 bonus (for a net grapple check equal to a human fighter).

    In addition, every turn they begin attached to someone causes them to deal 1d4 points of constitution damage. However, RAW you're basically forced to end the grapple after four points, meaning that you may very well be wasting half your turns on starting grapples.

    Last of all is Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. It's nice if you somehow get real attacks, I guess.

    Does this make stirges useless? No. A wisdom-based caster would probably enjoy being able to fly at a decent pace at level 1, even if it comes with major penalties. That said, as this is already possible with other (and arguably stronger) races, a +0 LA could be justified here.

    Do discuss, please.
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  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Stirges have a +12 racial bonus on grapple checks
    That ought to be leverage-able somehow... Ardent / Totemist / Soulmanifester maybe? Girallon Arms + Grip of Iron + Expansion ... maybe?

    The Intelligence penalty, ugh. -10 Int, -8 Str, +8 Dex, +2 Wis ... net -8, ugh.

    You'd have four arms + four little claw-hand things. Arguably you can hold & use items.

    Having a Binder of Naberius in the party is basically your create food & water.

    With an awful stat penalty and (potentially) no gear, this would be LA -0.

    If you can use gear, then it might be LA (ugh) 0, which is to say not quite as good as +0 but potentially playable.

  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I think stirge is -0. I don't see them being on par with other +0 monsters

  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Stirges get -0 in my book. Skills are just so terrible. Base 2/level: take 1. 4/level: take 1, unless you want to put a 16 in intelligence? You can, but that's eating into your main stat.

    I guess they could make passable cloistered clerics, or something, but qualifying for PrCs is going to be rough.
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    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
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  8. - Top - End - #278
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    A human monk with Touch of Golden Ice is probably better, you give them a save but you aren't flat footed and you can deal the damage more than once a round. I can't see giving anything I can say, "Would prefer human monk" anything better than -0.
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  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Yeah, this is terrible. Stirges can't talk and lack hands, so you need to burn feats on casting, at which point you might as well be a hengeiyokai sparrow and avoid the hideous penalties.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    It's gimmicky and comes online too late, but Binder 10 binding Zagan is my usual thought for grapple boosts to size-challenged creatures. A LA+0 Stirge would be marginally better than a CE Tibbit Soulborn 2/Binder 10 with Weight Focus, and would be able to continue into Knight of the Sacred Seal.

    Again, gimmicky, but between that, Wis-based casters, and a few other niche builds, LA+0 seems reasonable.

    EDIT: Not being able to talk is a significant problem for pretty much every class you'd want to give your Stirge. That's actually probably enough to knock it down to LA-0.
    Last edited by WhamBamSam; 2017-09-04 at 09:44 AM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by WhamBamSam View Post
    EDIT: Not being able to talk is a significant problem for pretty much every class you'd want to give your Stirge. That's actually probably enough to knock it down to LA-0.
    You can't bind a vestige if you can't invoke its name and negotiate a pact. I'd say that pretty much kills the stirge-binder-grappler .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
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  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Well, that's an overwhelming majority if I've ever seen any. LA changed to -0.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    question of clarification on the stirge: does the single magical beast HD get replaced by the first class level?
    not completely sure going by the wording.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by zlefin View Post
    question of clarification on the stirge: does the single magical beast HD get replaced by the first class level?
    not completely sure going by the wording.
    For the purpose of this thread, I assume all creatures with one or less racial hit dice get to replace those with their first class level.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Actually a Stirge would outdo any other base class as a wisdom based manifester. It got small size, flight, and a bonus to wisdom.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Actually a Stirge would outdo any other base class as a wisdom based manifester. It got small size, flight, and a bonus to wisdom.
    Manifesters need Concentration, and the only wisdom-based manifesters with more than 2 skill points/level are the monk-y PrCs with their own lousy progression: Fist of Zuoken and Zerth Cenobite. That means you're going to have to give up literally every other skill in the game to be able to get psionic focus like a decent person. I don't call that even mildly successful. Kalashtar, elan, bonus feat races, lesser aasimar, heck, even some nice elf variant is better than a stirge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
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  17. - Top - End - #287
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Manifesters need Concentration, and the only wisdom-based manifesters with more than 2 skill points/level are the monk-y PrCs with their own lousy progression: Fist of Zuoken and Zerth Cenobite. That means you're going to have to give up literally every other skill in the game to be able to get psionic focus like a decent person. I don't call that even mildly successful. Kalashtar, elan, bonus feat races, lesser aasimar, heck, even some nice elf variant is better than a stirge.
    Manifesters dont need concentration that badly. And no, im thinking about the Adent who are a full manifester with access to level 9 powers. And for for that matter can allow themselves to multiclass up to 4 levels for some skill points.

    So no, with flight from level 1, a massive bonus to dex for both initiative and ranged touch accuracy. Then the Stirge is going to beat those hands down.

    For that matter it should also make a decent druid. Especially after it gets wildshape.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  18. - Top - End - #288
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Manifesters dont need concentration that badly. And no, im thinking about the Adent who are a full manifester with access to level 9 powers. And for for that matter can allow themselves to multiclass up to 4 levels for some skill points.

    So no, with flight from level 1, a massive bonus to dex for both initiative and ranged touch accuracy. Then the Stirge is going to beat those hands down.

    For that matter it should also make a decent druid. Especially after it gets wildshape.
    Are you serious? No way the stirge is going to be a better ardent than any of the races I mentioned. +2 wisdom doesn't mean they're suddenly good at manifesting. And Concentration+skills aren't that important? It only governs your ability to use metapsionics and enter PrCs, luckily those aren't important. Even that ability to multiclass 4 levels you mention, that has a skill requirement: Psicraft 4 ranks. I don't think you know what you are talking about. Stirges are not good manifesters. If you have to be a stirge, then you might as well be an ardent, but it won't be good.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2017-09-04 at 02:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
    My Ruby Knight Vindicator barsader. A party-buffing melee build (ECL 14).

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Does it gets to ditch its racial HD? If so then it seems like a -0 would be too low. Its penalties to being a cleric, druid or ardent seem pretty negligable.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Well, I'm looking around for potential stirge builds; and i'm inclined to agree at -0; do we differentiate between degrees of -0ness? cuz it feels like the stirge is close to being useable for some sort of highly niche concept, while being weak overall.
    How is it getting up to int 3 to not have animal level intelligence? is that just automatic, or are we requiring enough of a stat boost to get it up there? (matters for things like how much point buy you can get).
    not used to dealing with things like flying/landing; and how it all will interact with combat.

    improved unarmed strike should get me an unarmed strike to work with, right?

    if I were to try maknig a sample build, what point buy should I use?
    Last edited by zlefin; 2017-09-04 at 02:57 PM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Does it gets to ditch its racial HD? If so then it seems like a -0 would be too low. Its penalties to being a cleric, druid or ardent seem pretty negligable.
    It does. RAW is unclear (it essentially says yes and no at once) so for the purposes of this thread we are going with any creature with 1 RHD trades it for their first class level.

    That being said it's inability to safely use anything touch range and it's meh racial features make me less than enthused about using it (and cleric and druid need a feat to cast any spell with a verbal component and magic items do not scale weight so that tiny size and -8 Str will bite it hard.)
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    Mate, we have a PrC for skydiving dwarves and a feat that lets you turn Turn Undead into Rebuke Hippos in this game.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    Oh, definitely. But, the characteristics of parasitic and parasitoid wasps got blended in there, too. It's a common mistake: in general, people don't really distinguish one arthropod from another. Parasitism, hive minds, poisonous stings, blood-sucking, half a dozen compound eyes, acid sprays... you can slap that stuff on any arthropod-based creature design, and nobody bats an eye. But, you better not say tigers live in prides, or lions are good swimmers, because those are totally different things.
    Part of me wants to make a generic big-cat monster that mixes the different features of all big cats. A cheetah's speed, a lion's mane, a tiger's swimming, a housecat's tendency to knock things off of ledges...


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    In addition, every turn they begin attached to someone causes them to deal 1d4 points of constitution damage. However, RAW you're basically forced to end the grapple after four points, meaning that you may very well be wasting half your turns on starting grapples.
    The book also says that the reason for detaching is that the stirge is full. So, basically, your combat strategy is the rough equivalent of overeating at Thanksgiving every few rounds.
    Remind me, what spell level is remove indigestion?


    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    Manifesters need Concentration, and the only wisdom-based manifesters with more than 2 skill points/level are the monk-y PrCs with their own lousy progression: Fist of Zuoken and Zerth Cenobite. That means you're going to have to give up literally every other skill in the game to be able to get psionic focus like a decent person. I don't call that even mildly successful. Kalashtar, elan, bonus feat races, lesser aasimar, heck, even some nice elf variant is better than a stirge.
    I can see stirges leveraging both of their racial abilities and their few good bonuses into a gimmicky ardent. Sure, they won't be as versatile as a typical ardent, but it would still be.
    Damned by faint praise, indeed.



    Also, isn't it strange that the laws of magic are so...anthrocentric? Humanoid beings can talk and gesture to cast spells fine, but anything else had best burn a feat to be able to unlock any magical potential beyond that given to them by the gods. Kinda makes you feel sorry for the naga equivalent of the Dark One...
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Are you serious? No way the stirge is going to be a better ardent than any of the races I mentioned. +2 wisdom doesn't mean they're suddenly good at manifesting. And Concentration+skills aren't that important? It only governs your ability to use metapsionics and enter PrCs, luckily those aren't important. Even that ability to multiclass 4 levels you mention, that has a skill requirement: Psicraft 4 ranks. I don't think you know what you are talking about. Stirges are not good manifesters. If you have to be a stirge, then you might as well be an ardent, but it won't be good.
    Oh really.. ? Well thankfully i can discount the oppinion of an "expert" who cant see the value in +2 your main stat, +8 to dex, and free flight from level 1. Yeah your skill pool is going to be limited, but thats a given for almost anyone playing a wisdom based manifester.

    And prestice classes? Are only relevant in some cases. It might come as a surprise, but Psionic prestice classes are not nearly as broken as arcane one. In most cases you need to reach at least mid levels before they get relevant.
    The same applies to metapsionic. With the penalty it imposes on manifesting cost its often not worth the efford at lower level.

    I can even prove it. Post a level 6 arden with one of the races you mentioned, and i will make a level 6 Stirge. We can use regular point buy.
    Then we can let someone neutral determine what Ardent is most likely to survive until level 7.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Also, isn't it strange that the laws of magic are so...anthrocentric? Humanoid beings can talk and gesture to cast spells fine, but anything else had best burn a feat to be able to unlock any magical potential beyond that given to them by the gods. Kinda makes you feel sorry for the naga equivalent of the Dark One...
    In the myth of Prometheus, Prometheus has to distribute gifts to animals and his lack wit brothers forgets to save enough for humans so he gets them fire. One can imagine similar events in a fantasy setting.

    But really, there are far fewer wizards per capita than most magical creatures have per level hitter powers. Keith Baker said that in Eberron the monster races worship the Shadow as a Prometheus figure who gave them magical powers that Aureon held back from the civilized races, which seems more likely to be a natural explanation than the reverse.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    I can even prove it. Post a level 6 arden with one of the races you mentioned, and i will make a level 6 Stirge. We can use regular point buy.
    Then we can let someone neutral determine what Ardent is most likely to survive until level 7.
    That would not be much of a comparison between races. At low levels, stirges are hard to kill, that's not the point. A character needs to do much more than simply survive. Stirges don't contribute as much as a typical ardent, and they can fruitfully specialize in only a very few things. If you did want to compare the two, you'd have to send them through a form of Same Game Test, at various levels. Since it's a given that non-stirge ardents already win all meat shield, melee damage, party face, sage, scout, thief, and trapfinder challenges (taken from here), compounding a slightly limited advancement of manifesting, I think the stirge is going to be left behind on the overall performance review.



    @White Blade: That makes quite a lot of sense. To take it further: How about adding a pro-humanoid/anti-humanoid axis to the alignment system? For example, tanar'ri and obyrith demons would be at different sides of the axis, you could have nature vs. technology* deities, even some positive energy vs. negative energy debate could tie into that**. The pro-humanoid side would say it's fair to grant humanoids luck (to compensate for lesser natural power), the anti-humanoid side would variously claim it's not fair, or that the pro-humanoid side overcompensated, or something like that. Ties in well with the idea that humanoids are (currently) the dominant species of the Great Wheel, making it a really current debate. You could even go so far as to create generations of old, weak, pre-humanoid deities, and young, weak, post-humanoid deities in the anti-humanoid camp (who represent past and future shifts in alignment/multiplanar politics).



    *The distinction isn't so useful IRL, but, like the law/chaos distinction, it's consistent enough for D&D .
    **I like to map good/evil to positive/negative energy, but that does require a lot of reworking of fiends, because they are still living creatures, harmed by negative energy.
    Last edited by ExLibrisMortis; 2017-09-05 at 01:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
    My incarnate/crusader. A self-healing crowd-control melee build (ECL 8).
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  26. - Top - End - #296
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    That would not be much of a comparison between races. At low levels, stirges are hard to kill, that's not the point. A character needs to do much more than simply survive. Stirges don't contribute as much as a typical ardent, and they can fruitfully specialize in only a very few things. If you did want to compare the two, you'd have to send them through a form of Same Game Test, at various levels. Since it's a given that non-stirge ardents already win all meat shield, melee damage, party face, sage, scout, thief, and trapfinder challenges (taken from here), compounding a slightly limited advancement of manifesting, I think the stirge is going to be left behind on the overall performance review.
    Actually it is the point, as a full manifester Adents mainly contribute by their class levels, so a Stirge Adent is going to contribute just as much as any other Ardent. And they got the advantage of being much harder to kill, thereby being much more likely to contribute for a longer time.

    For that matter, if you think an Ardent can be build to contribute towards that many different roles at the same time, then you have newer played one yourself. Thats also pretty clear from your list of roles you think the non-Stirge Adent would lose at though. Funny enough none of those are the main strenght of an Ardent. And its not even correct. The Stirge would do just as well at Meat shield and melee damage after getting access to metamorphis. Is a faster and more mobile scout by default. And handles trapfinding just as well.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    So... creature disadvantaged by anatomy can perform well after changing shape? Fine, but I'm not sure how that isn't relevant to literally anything else under the sun.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by zlefin View Post
    do we differentiate between degrees of -0ness? cuz it feels like the stirge is close to being useable for some sort of highly niche concept, while being weak overall.
    No, because ultimately it doesn't matter. Inevitability's mission is to assign an LA to all monsters, not assign a power rating to all monsters. Since negative LA is effectively a non-entity in the game rules (and those wishing to argue this point can take it elsewhere), there's not much more that can be said beyond "0 LA, and even then it's no good."

    There are many other situations where the LA metric hides ambiguity. Not all LA +2 creatures are born equal, for instance; some will be barely +2, argued up from +1 by the thread's conservative posters, and others will be a "high" +2 that didn't quite make it over the line. Some creatures are warriors, and are compared to warrior PCs who may lack the level-appropriate abilities that their casting peers (and monsters with casting) enjoy; their LA is assigned on that basis and may be too high or too low depending on the player's system mastery and the game's optimization level.

    If you wish to play a -0 creature in a game, and do not want to simply take it at 0 LA, you should seek agreement with your DM on what concessions should be made for its weakness. How much weaker the creature is than an LA+0 character should be determined at that time, based on that game, perhaps using the notes from this thread to arrive at a judgment.

    What could be done, perhaps in another thread, is ranking the LA -0 monsters from "closest to LA 0" to "farthest from LA 0." But that would be a different kettle of fish.
    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    Imagine if the combat system was as well thought out and explained as the skill system. You could cut it down to a page and a half, monsters would be about three sentences long. Best of all you don't have to remember any tables for conditions or detail the special abilities because you've got rulings instead of rules.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    ah right, forgot I'd had some open questions here; no answers, so I guess i'll just skip trying to make a sample build.
    Far as i could tell: you can make a decent swordsage with a stirge (or a passable monk, but swordsages are of course better than monks, and the monk is a bit harder to pull off right).
    the chassis works well for that, though there is a bit of a feat tax involved (and you really need to take a flaw since you need 2 feats at start). you can get a very high ac early on, and passable damage. enough to be a decent combatant, though probably not as good as some other alternatives, as you can't leverage the advantage of flight well.

    it's very niche, and doesn't seem like it has any advantages strong enoguh to justify going for 0 la rather than the -0.
    Last edited by zlefin; 2017-09-05 at 07:43 PM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Swarm (1)


    Because rabid animals and nonintelligent fungi weren't quite unconventional enough PCs yet. The DM, too, shall suffer unto the locust!

    General swarm rules are quite simple: they must all move into an opponent's space to attack, but are fortunately often immune or resistant to weapon attacks. There's also a few bits of cheap equipment that can deal some fire damage to them, and they die (well, 'break up') at 0 HP rather than -10. Also: about every targeted spell is ineffective against them, which includes stuff like Lesser Vigor and Fly: it's even worse than spell immunity in that you can't suppress it.

    Finally, all swarms have the Distraction quality, which is a passive effect that may nauseate creatures whose square you occupy. Action denial is neat, what more is there to say?

    Bat Swarm

    Diminutive, so immune to weapon damage, and only 3 animal RHD. Low land speed but good (40 ft.) flight. Ability scores tend to be either slightly boosted (such as wisdom and dexterity) or very low (such as strength, intelligence, and charisma). Still, a cleric thing should work I guess?

    Bat swarms also have 20 ft. blindsense (kinda meh) and wounding, which is a strong contender for 'weakest ongoing debuff that's actually noticeable'. Then again, when you're immune to all weapons at 3 HD, who needs debuffs?

    I'm very torn on this one. On the one hand, immunities are awesome, but the lack of clear advancement (be a druid, I guess?), horrible hit dice, inability to get buffed or healed, and awful intelligence score aren't helping much. In the end, I'll put these down as +0, though I expect people to disagree there.

    Centipede Swarm

    Also diminutive, but with no fly speed, worse ability scores, and a massive 9 RHD. Weak poison and a climb speed aren't gonna save this one: -0 LA for sure.

    ...now that I think about it, this is probably the first vermin I've covered. Kind of funny I've never come across one in more than a year.

    Hellwasp Swarm

    Now this is interesting! Diminutive again, but a magical beast rather than an animal and actually sapient. 12 RHD hurt, but let's take a closer look.

    40 ft. fly speed, DR 10/magic, resistance to fire and some okay ability scores don't really justify the large number of hit dice, though. The poison is not really worth mentioning, and while Inhabit is a flavorful and cool ability, it's also basically a limited form of Dominate Monster/Animate Dead. Hive Mind is more of a curse than a blessing, as it either removes a swarm's normal vulnerability to mind-affecting stuff or renders you mindless.

    In the end, hellwasps (isn't that a pleonasm, now that I think about it?) fail to compensate for their hit dice, even if those are relatively powerful. -0 LA once more.
    Gold: the color of lawful neutrality.

    Have you had enough of unreasonably high LA's and unplayable monsters in 3.5? Then check out the LA-assignment thread! Don't hesitate to give feedback!

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