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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    I could reasonably see 2 players doing this for 8d8x4 damage a round, and from their I could see another player grabbing a shocker lizard as familier
    That's the reason I gave them +0, yes. They're not completely unplayable, and can be used quite efficiently in some situations (as opposed to stuff like Colossal Animated Objects, which are just crap).
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Skeleton


    I was considering making one of the many horrible skeleton puns, but decided against it. Rib-ticklers will have to wait, it seems.

    Skeletons are mindless undead fodder, as we all know. In most cases, they're bad as PCs because they take away most special abilities then worsen the resulting chassis by giving it undead HD.

    However, on a creature with one or less RHD to begin with, they're kind of interesting. In such a situation, the sole RHD gets to be swapped for a class level, and the abilities gotten arguably outweight a necropolitian's. DR 5/bludgeoning and immunity to cold, not to mention natural armor, free Improved Initiative and claw attacks are probably better than a small bonus on saving throws against undead-controlling effects.

    Sure, it requires getting your intelligence back somehow, but a casting of Awaken Undead can be purchased with 3rd-level WBL, and many other templates that can also do so exist (though to be fair, most don't work on undead).

    In the end, I think that in the niche case described above, skeleton is strong enough to warrant +1 LA. If the base creature ends up having to take RHD, though, +0 or -0 is probably better.
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    Lightbulb Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Awaken Undead is a splatbook spell, so I don't know if it's valid to consider the MM1 Skeleton in the context of that spell unless you're ALSO throwing in the Spellstiched template, all the Corpsecrafter feats, and being created by a Dread Necromancer.

    ... and if you do that, the LA ought to increase.

    So basically:
    - Without splat support, the LA is "unplayable" because of the Int: --
    - With splat support, the LA is complicated.

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

    Awaken undead is specific to mindless undead, all the rest is not. When considering the skeleton's intelligence drawback, we don't have to consider Corpsecrafter et al.

    Given that it's fairly easy* for skeletons to become intelligent, and the spell even restores extraordinary abilities (poisonous skeletons, oh yeah), it has to be taken into account when assigning LA. It's a really obvious step, and a lot of people will consider it a requirement to playing a skeleton, a bit like Natural Spell on a druid.

    Of course, awaken undead assigns an intelligence score of 1d6+4, which effectively translates to a variable intelligence penalty/bonus of -6 to +0, replacing the base race's intelligence penalty. Orc skeletons are a whole lot better than human skeletons, and the LA should reflect that (by comparing to beatstick races over caster races, I mean). +1 is probably fair for the beatstick-type builds you're going to get.


    *A seventh-level standard-action spell and 250 XP. Constructs require an eight-hour ninth-level spell and 5000 XP, animals require a twenty-four hour fifth-level spell and 250 XP, but then they start with an intelligence score, and gain RHD.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    3spooky5me. I guess that works out to +8 LA.

    I honestly think -0 would be the LA for a base skeleton because int - is going to really hurt int he long run. It's little benefits are nice, but they can't hold a character for long. Even at low levels, no skills and no feats means you won't have your bag of tricks in addition to the tricks anyone else can take. Also d12 HD without con isn't really that good, so you can't be a big dumb brawler. You could make a decent cleric or druid, but few things couldn't.

    If you do go so far as adding in delicious splat cheese, that could boost the LA into positive numbers. Not only do you get back a good amount of long-lasting melee power, but with int and cha back, the sky's the limit for what you can achieve. ****boys beware!
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    If you do go so far as adding in delicious splat cheese, that could boost the LA into positive numbers. Not only do you get back a good amount of long-lasting melee power, but with int and cha back, the sky's the limit for what you can achieve. ****boys beware!
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    The Improved Familiar feat does, in fact, though at the level it becomes available (level 5), 4d8 damage isn't that cool anymore.

    Then again, it's a good use of your familiars action, and free area damage every turn for a single feat never hurt a build. I can see people taking it, especially in less high-op games.
    For a Shocker Lizard to take Improved Familiar for another Shocker Lizard, they have to be at least 7th level (2 RHD + 5 Arcane caster levels), or take Practiced Spellcaster, and then they need 3 levels of an arcane spellcasting class.
    Shocker Lizards are really bad arcanists. I think the only viable option for them is a no-saves Warlock, but that requires taking Obtain Familiar as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    I could reasonably see 2 players doing this for 8d8x4 damage a round, and from their I could see another player grabbing a shocker lizard as familier
    Two players locking in sub-par race choices and feat choice, playing sub-optimal class options for that race choice. And minimally level 6, more likely not until level 9.
    Also, it's just 8d8, not 8d8x4. All contributing Shocker Lizards need to spend a Standard Action on their turn to contribute.
    And, Reflex DC 14 Save for Half - DC is 10 + number of contributing Shocker Lizards. It's not going to improve much, and when you get it, it's not a lot of damage for the action economy investment (two PC's standard actions, plus their familiars), and most enemies will have even or better odds of making the save for Half.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    That's the reason I gave them +0, yes. They're not completely unplayable, and can be used quite efficiently in some situations (as opposed to stuff like Colossal Animated Objects, which are just crap).
    True, they're not unplayable, but they're a weak +0 at best, IMO. Their racial abilities are mostly useless.


    --
    --



    Skeletons ...

    It depends on how you're getting your Intelligence back. If your method of choice doesn't also improve Charisma (and maybe Wisdom), it's a -0, even without RHD.

    If you get your Charisma and Wisdom scores redone, and get a decent Intelligence score, it's maybe a +1 if you don't have RHD.

    Edit: Of course, splats and backstory/creation liberalities could improve the LA, but then you owe a Necromancer, or are an escapee from a Necromancer, or escaped the downfall of the Necromancer (you may owe him) and are possibly hunted for surviving/escaping.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Practiced Spellcaster doesn't work. Improved Familiar requires a spellcaster level, not a caster level. So there's no way around needing to be at least 7th level to get another Shocker Lizard that way.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by WhamBamSam View Post
    Practiced Spellcaster doesn't work. Improved Familiar requires a spellcaster level, not a caster level. So there's no way around needing to be at least 7th level to get another Shocker Lizard that way.
    Right you are.

    And 4d8 Reflex DC 12 (Half) at level 7+, centered on you or your familiar isn't that great.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Not necessarily related to them as PCs, but regarding Shocker Lizard minionmancy, a level 1 Human Druid with 18 Charisma, Skill Focus (Handle Animal), and Animal Affinity can take 10 on checks to rear shocker lizards, DM allowing of course. (10 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 2 = 23, DC = 15 + 5 (magical beast) + 2 (HD) = 22)

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

    Skum


    For when between locathah, aquatic elves, kuo-toa, sahuagin, and merfolk you can't quite find the right underwater humanoid, here's skum, which originated from aboleth doing unholy things to humans.

    Two aberration HD come with quite the interesting features. +8 strength is most notable, and the dexterity and constitution bonuses are interesting as well. -4 charisma sucks, but it's only charisma. Skum breathe both water and air, have a decent land speed and a good swimming speed, and even get a phletora of natural attacks (bite, claw, claw, rake, rake).

    Finally, skum get a few skill bonuses when underwater.

    I found myself considering both +0 and +1 LA, but I'll be going with +0 in the end. Skum are already losing a point of BAB, and half their stat bonuses could already be gotten by being a water orc. Also: aberration HD suck.

    +0 LA.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I found myself considering both +0 and +1 LA, but I'll be going with +0 in the end. Skum are already losing a point of BAB, and half their stat bonuses could already be gotten by being a water orc. Also: aberration HD suck.
    I disagree with that line of reasoning. Water Orcs is already a borderline +1 LA race when comparing it to the normal PHB races. And comparing each new thing to the top of the class is the way that power creep runs rampant.

    So when we compare a Skum fighter1 with a human fighter 3, or a Skum Monk1 with a human Monk 3, then the Skum is wastly superior. It has a total of +12 physical attributes, +2 natural armor, natural attacks. And darkvision as well.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    I disagree with that line of reasoning. Water Orcs is already a borderline +1 LA race when comparing it to the normal PHB races. And comparing each new thing to the top of the class is the way that power creep runs rampant.

    So when we compare a Skum fighter1 with a human fighter 3, or a Skum Monk1 with a human Monk 3, then the Skum is wastly superior. It has a total of +12 physical attributes, +2 natural armor, natural attacks. And darkvision as well.
    Water orc, a race that gets no actual racial traits, is +1? These legs may be shapely, but they aren't for pulling.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I have an eternal, undying hatred of aberration HD, but the stat bonuses are nice, and I suppose the natural armor is better than nothing. All in all, it's a reasonable chassis that could work for some bruiser builds, but doesn't really bring much to the table that you couldn't replicate elsewhere. All in all, seems like a textbook +0 race.

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

    I feel like skum is just a tad to good for +0

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

    Yeah the +8 Str is pretty beefy. The +2 Dex / +2 Con / -4 Cha isn't bad either.

    Aberration type is nice for some builds, and it comes with 3 natural weapons (5 underwater). You're well positioned for a Totemist + Rapidstrike, for example, or a more traditional Gish.

    +4 to 3 good skills (situational); aquatic and +8 to Swim (depends); Darkvision (okay).

    If you're in an aquatic campaign, or if you're in a game where you expect to be in the water even 25% of the time, then they've got racial perks which are good.

    If you're in a desert where there will never be enough water to swim, they're still good as a base.

    LA +1.

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

    Very early on they will be an excellent choice, but their benefits quickly become nothing special. +0

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

    I'll throw in +0 for Skum as well.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Yeah the +8 Str is pretty beefy. The +2 Dex / +2 Con / -4 Cha isn't bad either.

    Aberration type is nice for some builds, and it comes with 3 natural weapons (5 underwater). You're well positioned for a Totemist + Rapidstrike, for example, or a more traditional Gish.

    +4 to 3 good skills (situational); aquatic and +8 to Swim (depends); Darkvision (okay).

    If you're in an aquatic campaign, or if you're in a game where you expect to be in the water even 25% of the time, then they've got racial perks which are good.

    If you're in a desert where there will never be enough water to swim, they're still good as a base.

    LA +1.
    I'm a bit strapped for time (I haven't been posting much in this thread lately), so I'm just going to say I agree with this analysis, and also vote LA +1.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    +0 seems to be slightly in the majority, so the LA will remain there.

    Slaadi shall be covered soonish.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Slaadi shall be covered soonish.
    You take the good, you take the bad,
    You wrap them in a frog that's mad,
    And that's a Slaad, and that's a Slaad!

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    You're planar binding every kind,
    And that's a Slaad, and that's a Slaad!

    When the world sometimes seems,
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    The fact that Slaad are all around you!



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

    That is the most sinister frog I have ever seen, and yet still strangely adorable.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Water orc, a race that gets no actual racial traits, is +1? These legs may be shapely, but they aren't for pulling.
    Clearly they are not really for standing on either. Who cares about traits when you get +6 physical attributes?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Slaad (1)


    No witty remark is going to beat the beauty that's three posts above this. Go enjoy it if you haven't seen it before yet.

    By the way, has anyone noticed slaad are 'usually' chaotic neutral, rather than 'always'? Then again, I guess that if they were inherently bound to one alignment, they'd hardly be creatures of pure chaos.

    Also, the slaad brooder prestige class will be largely ignored for being just not that interesting.

    Red Slaad

    7 outsider RHD, large size, good physical but bad mental stats, and the random immunities and resistances every outsider seems to get. Sonic immunity is actually kinda neat if only for being so rare, and fast healing is welcome on every character.

    Pounce for free is very neat, especially with such a strong bite attack. The claws are less impressive, unless you're the kind of person who likes the idea of creating giant armies of self-propagating spawn (and in that case: be a shadow).

    Red slaadi can once per day perform a Stunning Croak, which is a short-lasting unfriendly Save or Suck in a small area that eats up your action that turn. I fail to be impressed. They can also attempt to Summon another red slaad each day, though it's not going to appear most of the time.

    All things considered, +2 LA should be fine.


    Blue Slaad

    One more HD than reds, and small bonuses to strength, constitution and charisma compared to them as well. Blues, however, get four rather than two claw attacks, which also have dramatically increased in power. Their bite attack now spreads a disease, of all things, which turns its victims into red slaadi. Ah yes, I suppose I shall bite this guy then wait around for a few weeks until he finally turns into an entropic megafrog that's still hostile to me.

    Rather than Pounce and Stunning Croak, blues get at-will Hold Person, Passwall and Telekinesis, and 1/day Chaos Hammer, all at CL 8. Those are some quite powerful spells, and combined with the sheer melee might and great HD, this seems like another +2 to me.


    Green Slaad

    9 HD this time. Better mental stats and slightly worse physical ones than the two previous slaadi, okay natural attacks, and more of the same random resistances and immunities. Also opposable thumbs, which reds and blues very possibly don't have.

    Change Shape into large or medium humanoids is useful, but only for disguise.

    Finally, more SLAs than you can shake a stick at (unless the stick is a Wand of Dispel Magic, of course), starting with at-will Chaos Hammer, Detect Magic, Detect Thoughts, Fear, Protection From Law, See Invisibility, and Shatter. It's not bad per se, but the fact that clerics got the highest-level thing a few levels ago is somewhat sad. 3/day Dispel Law, Deeper Darkness and Fireball are little better.

    In the end, I think this critter too deserves +1 LA.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2017-08-22 at 01:05 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Clearly they are not really for standing on either. Who cares about traits when you get +6 physical attributes?
    Because that +6 to attributes comes with an additional -6 to attributes. Also, light sensitivity and fire vulnerability. Traits matter when they're detrimental.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Side question: how tough are these guys as encounters? What about advancement - what classes fit them well?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Man it's annoying that Slaadi are not in the SRD.

    The stat bonuses seem to be decent for at least one Martial Initiator, though the Int penalty for Red & Blue does hurt.

    Ironically Green is the best Martial Initiator.

    Their fast healing is pretty nice. As long as you survive the fight, you'll be at full health for the next fight -- so basically you don't need the usual Wand of Lesser Vigor re-up between action scenes.

    Not really sure about LA, gonna think about some builds.

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

    Slaad (2)


    More anarchic anura!

    Gray Slaad

    10 RHD (slaad HD progression is surprisingly ordered, it seems), the default fast healing and energy resistance package, DR/lawful (quite nice), +4 to +10 to all stats, Change Shape into any humanoid form, and a ton of SLAs, with the at-will ones including Identify, Invisibility, and Lightning Bolt, while the ones usable less often are Animate Objects and Power Word Stun, amongst others.

    Summon Slaad is a bit more complicated than it's with earlier versions. Gray slaad can't summon others of their kind, but they can summon a green, a blue, or even two reds should they want to.

    Once more the question is whether to assign +1 or +2, once more I'll go with +1.

    Death Slaad

    In breaking with slaad rules (if that's not an oxymoron), these have a whopping fifteen RHD and are CE rather than CN. Other than that, these are basically gray slaadi with better stats, stronger natural attacks, bigger summons, more SLAs, and a 3/day stun rider on their natural weapons.

    SLAs do include potentially juicy stuff, but we're talking about 15th-level characters here. +0 should be okay.

    Do discuss, people.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Because that +6 to attributes comes with an additional -6 to attributes. Also, light sensitivity and fire vulnerability. Traits matter when they're detrimental.
    And i might agree on that evening out of all attributes were equal, but unfortunately they are not. People dont divide their points out evenly in the case of point buy. They prioritise attributes they need over the ones they dont. So of course, being able to add 6 to the attributes you care about, in return for taking 6 from the ones you dont, is a massive advantage.

    So when comparing water orcs to humans the increased strenght means the water orc will be superior in most cases. The light sensitivity comes with darkvision to compensate, and fire vulnerability is hardly significant.

    7 outsider RHD, large size, good physical but bad mental stats, and the random immunities and resistances every outsider seems to get. Sonic immunity is actually kinda neat if only for being so rare, and fast healing is welcome on every character.
    Large size, +8 natural armor, pounce, natural weapons, fast healing, resistance to all elements, and superior physical attributes are worth more than 1 lost level, and the opportunity cost from 7 HD. With just 1 level in a PC class a red Slaad seems superior to a level 9 psionic warrior or warblade.

    One more HD than reds, and small bonuses to strength, constitution and charisma compared to them as well. Blues, however, get four rather than two claw attacks, which also have dramatically increased in power. Their bite attack now spreads a disease, of all things, which turns its victims into red slaadi. Ah yes, I suppose I shall bite this guy then wait around for a few weeks until he finally turns into an entropic megafrog that's still hostile to me.
    Here is now +9 NA, +24 total physichal attributes, 4 natural attacks, and a few utility spell like abilities. I cant see any normally build pc competing with this at level 10, but the only reason for why i wont bother saying +3 LA is that i know noone else will agree with this. Still, +2 LA at the very least. Playing a monster race should not be a ticket to leave all the melee classes obselete.

    9 HD this time. Better mental stats and slightly worse physical ones than the two previous slaadi, okay natural attacks, and more of the same random resistances and immunities. Also opposable thumbs, which reds and blues very possibly don't have.

    Change Shape into large or medium humanoids is useful, but only for disguise.

    Finally, more SLAs than you can shake a stick at (unless the stick is a Wand of Dispel Magic, of course), starting with at-will Chaos Hammer, Detect Magic, Detect Thoughts, Fear, Protection From Law, See Invisibility, and Shatter. It's not bad per se, but the fact that clerics got the highest-level thing a few levels ago is somewhat sad. 3/day Dispel Law, Deeper Darkness and Fireball are little better.
    They can spam save-or-lose spells at will, but at this point i guess +1 LA is fair. Competition from spellcasters are getting kinda intense at this point. And there are limited options for advancement. Besides turning into a Grey Slaad.

    10 RHD (slaad HD progression is surprisingly ordered, it seems), the default fast healing and energy resistance package, DR/lawful (quite nice), +4 to +10 to all stats, Change Shape into any humanoid form, and a ton of SLAs, with the at-will ones including Identify, Invisibility, and Lightning Bolt, while the ones usable less often are Animate Objects and Power Word Stun, amongst others.
    It is surprisingly tough, with +11 NA, elemental resistance, fast healing, DR and +10 con. The long list of spelllike abilities gives it a lot of options, but it is a less effective physical combatant. I guess +1 LA will be fair here as well.

    In breaking with slaad rules (if that's not an oxymoron), these have a whopping fifteen RHD and are CE rather than CN. Other than that, these are basically gray slaadi with better stats, stronger natural attacks, bigger summons, more SLAs, and a 3/day stun rider on their natural weapons.

    SLAs do include potentially juicy stuff, but we're talking about 15th-level characters here. +0 should be okay.
    The Death Slaad not only makes a great melee combatant almost right out of the box, it also comes with an unusually potent list of spell-like abilities. At will it has things like Animate Object, Fear, Fireball and Finger of Death. And at least once per day it can cast things like Word of Chaos or Implosion.

    I think Implosion with improved DC (racial charisma bonus) is enough to push this up to LA +1.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Slaad (2)


    More anarchic anura!

    Gray Slaad

    10 RHD (slaad HD progression is surprisingly ordered, it seems), the default fast healing and energy resistance package, DR/lawful (quite nice), +4 to +10 to all stats, Change Shape into any humanoid form, and a ton of SLAs, with the at-will ones including Identify, Invisibility, and Lightning Bolt, while the ones usable less often are Animate Objects and Power Word Stun, amongst others.

    Summon Slaad is a bit more complicated than it's with earlier versions. Gray slaad can't summon others of their kind, but they can summon a green, a blue, or even two reds should they want to.

    Once more the question is whether to assign +1 or +2, once more I'll go with +1.

    Death Slaad

    In breaking with slaad rules (if that's not an oxymoron), these have a whopping fifteen RHD and are CE rather than CN. Other than that, these are basically gray slaadi with better stats, stronger natural attacks, bigger summons, more SLAs, and a 3/day stun rider on their natural weapons.

    SLAs do include potentially juicy stuff, but we're talking about 15th-level characters here. +0 should be okay.

    Do discuss, people.
    Agree with all of your ratings here.

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