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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

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    Grig

    The smallest, weakest, and most bug-like of all MM sprites. Only half a fey RHD, which I assume can and shall be replaced by a class level (guys, please don't start a 10-page discussion on whether this is RAW here).

    The chassis is neat, with bonuses to wisdom, charisma, dexterity, and even constitution, and no penalties except to strength. SR 17 is a lot at low levels, and DR 5/cold iron isn't shabby either. A fly speed is always welcome and makes the low land speed not hurt so much. Dodge and Weapon Finesse for free are icing, though I should note that without a source of bonus damage the second isn't going to be doing much for you.

    But wait, there's more! Grigs also get a ton of SLAs. Some aren't that useful (Disguise Self?), and some quite situational (Pyrotechnics, Ventriloquism) but others are awesome (Entangle, Invisibility). In addition, grigs can have fiddles that project 30 ft. zones of save-or-lose, and although it's non-friendly being tiny and flying helps a lot with targeting.

    I'm conflicted here: both +2 and +3 are appealing LAs. In the end, I think I will go with +3, if only because their fiddles are awesome (grigs without are probably worth +2). Either way, they can still get a lot of sneak attack damage or high spell levels, which I'm fine with.


    Nixie

    A full hit die this time, and a size increase to small. Nixies can swim and breathe both air and water, but are incapable of flight. Their ability scores are okay, with especially high charisma. They, too, get dodge and weapon finesse as bonus feats, have SR, and have damage reduction.

    Rather than the wide array of SLAs a grig gets, nixies must make do with an extended-duration Charm Person 3/day (CL 4) and Water Breathing 1/day (CL 12). They also have the empowered wild empathy most fey seem to get.

    +1 or +2? I'd really like some input here, but for now I'll play it safe and go with +2.


    Pixie

    Strongest of the MM sprites, and also most popular. A good fly speed, sweet ability scores, high DR, scaling SR, and the default sprite bonus feats make for a very appealing package, especially when combined with the phletora of useful SLAs and the nonmagical save-or-lose effects they get. Oh, and permanent Greater Invisibility.

    Even so, I think +3 works here (come at me, vigorous debate!), with +4 or +5 (let's go with +4, just for more debate) for the variant that gets Irresistible Dance.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I think the LA values are rather reasonable for once, though i am a little uncertain about the Pixie. Just 3 or 4 levels does feel slightly undercosted for how much the Pixie gets. Even if it leaves it a little fragile.

    And its in particular the variant with Irresistable dance that seems a little concerning. Thats a level 8 no-save and lose spell. That sort of things is something you more or less need to build your campaign world around. Else most challenging encounters are going to waste their time skipping around like a fool as the pary murders them.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Irresistible Dance is really powerful until you run into mind immunity, and Pixies are already so good people occasionally suck up the +4 LA to play Swordsages or Warlocks. Though the Str penalty and the hit die loss from LA really hit you hard, especially at low-mid levels. Breath weapons ignore SR, after all.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I think those LAs are fine, pixies looking strong. I still wouldn't like playing them, but that's because I hate pixies. Stupid fluttering vermin.

    Irresistible dance is really nice, lethal if it connects. But I feel that it's balanced at LA +4, beause at higher levels, it probably won't connect, being a CL 8 SR:Yes mind-affecting compulsion SLA, and at lower levels, the lost HD make you extremely fragile. Polymorph, likewise, is stuck with the HD and CL limit: an ECL 4/5 pixie can only take 1 HD forms, and an ECL 15 pixie can only take 8 HD forms (the sweet spot is at ECL 11/12, where 8 HD = CL 8).

    Essentially, anyone playing a pixie at ECL 4/5-10 plays rocket ultratag, with a powerful save-or-lose and (less than) half the hp of a regular character (especially painful if you decide to go wiz/sorc). Anyone playing a pixie at higher levels probably won't benefit as much from irresistible dance or dispel magic at CL 8, though polymorph of course never entirely goes out of fashion (but we shouldn't blame the pixie for that).
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Ah f it -0 la for tinker bell( pixie)
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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I agree that Pixies should be +4.

    Otherwise, I agree with the upper bounds of LA you decided for the other two (+3 and +2).

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Sprite


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    Grig

    The smallest, weakest, and most bug-like of all MM sprites. Only half a fey RHD, which I assume can and shall be replaced by a class level (guys, please don't start a 10-page discussion on whether this is RAW here).

    The chassis is neat, with bonuses to wisdom, charisma, dexterity, and even constitution, and no penalties except to strength. SR 17 is a lot at low levels, and DR 5/cold iron isn't shabby either. A fly speed is always welcome and makes the low land speed not hurt so much. Dodge and Weapon Finesse for free are icing, though I should note that without a source of bonus damage the second isn't going to be doing much for you.

    But wait, there's more! Grigs also get a ton of SLAs. Some aren't that useful (Disguise Self?), and some quite situational (Pyrotechnics, Ventriloquism) but others are awesome (Entangle, Invisibility). In addition, grigs can have fiddles that project 30 ft. zones of save-or-lose, and although it's non-friendly being tiny and flying helps a lot with targeting.

    I'm conflicted here: both +2 and +3 are appealing LAs. In the end, I think I will go with +3, if only because their fiddles are awesome (grigs without are probably worth +2). Either way, they can still get a lot of sneak attack damage or high spell levels, which I'm fine with.


    Nixie

    A full hit die this time, and a size increase to small. Nixies can swim and breathe both air and water, but are incapable of flight. Their ability scores are okay, with especially high charisma. They, too, get dodge and weapon finesse as bonus feats, have SR, and have damage reduction.

    Rather than the wide array of SLAs a grig gets, nixies must make do with an extended-duration Charm Person 3/day (CL 4) and Water Breathing 1/day (CL 12). They also have the empowered wild empathy most fey seem to get.

    +1 or +2? I'd really like some input here, but for now I'll play it safe and go with +2.


    Pixie

    Strongest of the MM sprites, and also most popular. A good fly speed, sweet ability scores, high DR, scaling SR, and the default sprite bonus feats make for a very appealing package, especially when combined with the phletora of useful SLAs and the nonmagical save-or-lose effects they get. Oh, and permanent Greater Invisibility.

    Even so, I think +3 works here (come at me, vigorous debate!), with +4 or +5 (let's go with +4, just for more debate) for the variant that gets Irresistible Dance.
    I think I agree with all of these again. I've read other opinions and they havent swayed me. I still stand by your initial ratings here.

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

    I agree with those ratings.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Grig
    Str -6, Dex +8, Con +2, Int ±0, Wis +2, Cha +4 ==> net +10

    Tiny size: great.
    Fly 40 (poor): nice bot not great.
    Bonus Feats: Dodge, Weapon Finesse. Dodge is a popular pre-req; even if you never remember to use it in combat, getting it for free is good.

    SLAs: 3/day some 1st and 2nd level spells. Does not scale. Nothing at-will.

    Fiddle (Su): One grig in each band carries a tiny, grig-sized fiddle. When the fiddler plays, any nonsprite within 30 feet of the instrument must succeed on a DC 12 Will save or be affected as though by irresistible dance for as long as the playing continues. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    ... so if you're not "in a band", do you get a Fiddle (Su)? Arguably not. Let's evaluate the grig who is in a party, and not in a band.

    SQ: Damage reduction 5/cold iron, low-light vision, spell resistance 17

    The DR is relevant at all levels. Does the SR scale? If it does, that's 17+HD, and that's great. If it does not, then it very swiftly becomes irrelevant.

    I'd put not-in-a-band Grig at LA +2.



    Nixie
    Str -4, Dex +6, Con ±0, Int +2, Wis +2, Cha +8 => net +14

    Small size: okay.
    Swim speed + water breathing: nice but not great.
    Bonus Feats: Dodge, Weapon Finesse. Dodge is a popular pre-req; even if you never remember to use it in combat, getting it for free is good.

    SLA: charm person for 24 hours, 3/day. Pretty good. At low levels you can charm a person or 3; at high levels you qualify for Mindbender and gain Mindsight.

    SQ: Amphibious, damage reduction 5/cold iron, low-light vision, spell resistance 16, water breathing, wild empathy

    The DR never gets old. SR 15 + HD would be solid; SR 16 without scaling is garbage. Wild Empathy is interesting in some games but worthless in others -- it really depends on your DM's monster pallette, usage of guard animals, and what sourcebooks you can use.

    Assuming you're in a coastal or seaborne game where swimming & water breathing are relevant, and the SR scales, then Nixie LA +2 seems fair.



    Pixie
    -4 Str, +8 Dex, ±0 Con, +6 Int, +4 Wis, +6 Cha => net +20.

    Small size: okay.
    Fly 60 ft. (good): quite good.
    Bonus Feats: Dodge, Weapon Finesse. Dodge is a popular pre-req; even if you never remember to use it in combat, getting it for free is good.

    SLA: 1/day—lesser confusion (DC 14), dancing lights, detect chaos, detect good, detect evil, detect law, detect thoughts (DC 15), dispel magic, entangle (DC 14), permanent image (DC 19; visual and auditory elements only). Caster level 8th.

    Permanent image every day for free. That can add up. CL 8 before class levels. That blows through some PrC prerequisites. For example, you can enter Primal Scholar almost immediately. You can also take some CL-gated feats immediately.

    If you can get more racial castings, then these 1/day abilities become better. If so, this is quite good.


    SQ: Damage reduction 10/cold iron, greater invisibility, low-light vision, spell resistance 15 (which is explicitly 15 + class levels)

    The DR never gets old. Greater invisibility at-will does eventually get old, but that can be mitigated in a number of ways (e.g.: Darkstalker, mind blank), and even when some things can detect you, there are other things that can't. Their invisibility is very strong. SR 15 + class levels is great.

    I'm ignoring Special Arrows and Irresistible Dance, since I've seen several pixies played under different DMs, but none were ever allowed to have these two features. They were still good.

    Summary:
    + Great stats (+20 overall)
    + Great DR & SR
    + Useful SLAs
    + Greater Invisibility
    + Fly 60 ft. (good)
    + Bonus feats

    Pixie at LA +3 seems fair.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    Once again, unlike what you appeared to assert, guardinals aren't transformed petitioners (i.e. the souls of mortals who enter their afterlives), as they're a true-breeding planar species, unlike archons, aasimon, baatezu and so on.
    I've asserted no such thing. I've merely pointed out that the difference doesn't seem particularly important or relevant to my point. Especially since, AFAIK, it doesn't seem to have made it into the main rulebooks. I don't think it was even mentioned in the Book of Exalted Deeds!


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    "This creature is basically a bear-sized wasp monster that can paralyze its prey for weeks, lays eggs inside of them, and is supernaturally resistant to all movement-impeding effects."
    "What are you going to name it after?"
    "Probably its diet. It eats spiders: how crazy is that?"
    Well, taking out the supernatural resistance to movement-impeding effects, you have a bear-sized version of the tarantula hawk wasp. (which does eat spiders, at least as a larva). The inspiration is as subtle as a raging barbarian.
    No idea where freedom of movement came from, though...


    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I swear that the writers were on drugs when designing some of these monsters.
    In that thread where I analyze negative level adjustments, I was going to make a joke about how derro—inspired by the writings of a legit crazy guy—were less crazy than he monsters I'd been analyzing previously. Of course, that's basically dead, so it's in the buffer dump.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I keep forgetting that these guys are Magical Beasts, not Aberrations...
    Another joke I made was wondering why destruchans were aberrations and digesters magical beasts, when the former resembled a real animal with a supernatural ability tacked on while the latter was just weird (and wholly without supernatural stuff).


    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Some aren't that useful (Disguise Self?)
    Hey, disguise self is useful. It's not great in combat, but it's awesome for infiltration. I mean, as long as you're the same general size and shape as the general...oh, right. Erm...does it require your fake appearance to have the same creature type as your real one?
    checks PHB
    Huh, it doesn't say. It doesn't even specify that you need to look like something of the same size category. It just says your final height needs to be within a foot of your original height, which for a typical grig means 6-30 inches tall. 30 inches would be comparable to a typical Small humanoid! Sadly, you need to keep your "body type," but the spell also specifically states that "Otherwise, the extent of the apparent change is up to you". Since it also disguises clothes, RAW would let you disguise yourself as a bug-person with an abdomen and legs shaped such a way that they can hide within robes which you are also disguised as wearing, with the head and hands of a halfling/gnome.
    Unfortunately, at 10 minutes/level, CL 9, and three casts per day, that's only four and a half hours under disguise. Even if you extended all castings somehow, you would barely have enough time to cover a shift at the magic-factory and the commute there and back, so just pretending to be a halfling all the time isn't really possible. Still, it has its uses—especially if you convince your DM that a grig's "body type" is basically the same as a goliath beetle's...
    e both air and water, but are incapable of flight. Their ability scores are okay, with especially high charisma. They, too, get dodge and weapon finesse as bonus feats, have SR, and have damage reduction.

    Pixie
    I remember playing one of these. I just kept adding quasi-random classes (I recall using bard casting to get into dragon disciple, then picking up arcane archer because why not)—horribly unbalanced, but the only way my DM/little brother knew to handle invisibility combined with plinking was to give all of my enemies robes of eyes (replaced with cloaks of eyes once I pointed out that they can't wear robes and armor simultaneously), which evaporated or something when I defeated them, meaning I couldn't actually sell them and buy more outrageous loot. It was a terrible campaign, but I have fond memories of it.
    Erm...if your DM is my little brother from almost a decade ago, the MM's +4 might be a little low. But if he's not, then Inevitability's is probably closer.


    Quote Originally Posted by MM
    One grig per band has a fiddle...
    Alright, but what about the bass fiddler? Do they get any special abilities? What about the drummer, or the lead vocalist?
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post

    Alright, but what about the bass fiddler? Do they get any special abilities? What about the drummer, or the lead vocalist?
    Drummer has a -2 INT penalty.
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Drummer has a -2 INT penalty.
    Drummers have Fire vulnerability.

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

    I have a feeling that those jokes would be either hilarious or irritating if I followed rock bands more closely.
    I'm the GWG from Bay12 and a bunch of other places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Drummers get a Cloak of the Mountebank, which allows them to disappear in a puff of green smoke. Spinal Tap.
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    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Bassists have a permanent Greater Invisibility cast on them.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    The fact that people already eat the +4 for the Pixie and are very happy to be allowed to play one should be a clue that such is a low as one should go for its LA.

    And for the other two: Even at, say, CL 10, a SR of 16~17 still gives you a, what, 25~30% to ignore most of the spells out there? Any way you put it you just drastically tipped the odds in your favour.

    And these are monsters with 1 RHD or less. You should be seeing a lot of low-level action, where it's even more relevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TotallyNotEvil View Post
    The fact that people already eat the +4 for the Pixie and are very happy to be allowed to play one should be a clue that such is a low as one should go for its LA.
    I bet that part of it comes from the fact that they're playing an unusual race, though yes, it's still quite powerful. Not much else to do besides Swordsages and Warlocks, but they're quite good at them.

    And for the other two: Even at, say, CL 10, a SR of 16~17 still gives you a, what, 25~30% to ignore most of the spells out there? Any way you put it you just drastically tipped the odds in your favour.

    And these are monsters with 1 RHD or less. You should be seeing a lot of low-level action, where it's even more relevant.
    To be fair, the HD loss means you have terrible hit points, especially at low levels. On the other hand, Greater Invisibility and SR mean that it's not exactly easy to attack you in the first place. Breath weapons are very dangerous for a Pixie, though.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    I assume most of the people who play pixies despite the +4 LA aren't doing it for power reasons. They just want to play a fairy because fairies are awesome. They take the LA as a sacrifice because they care more about the role play than the roll play.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I assume most of the people who play pixies despite the +4 LA aren't doing it for power reasons. They just want to play a fairy because fairies are awesome. They take the LA as a sacrifice because they care more about the role play than the roll play.
    To be more specific, the LA isn't too much of a penalty to make them turn up the chance to play one. Normally a +4 LA would be crippling power-wise, but Pixies make up for it just enough to make it a possible choice.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    To be more specific, the LA isn't too much of a penalty to make them turn up the chance to play one. Normally a +4 LA would be crippling power-wise, but Pixies make up for it just enough to make it a possible choice.
    Yeah, but only if you play to its niche. Even at +3, it's still going to be a niche race mechanically.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Yeah, but only if you play to its niche. Even at +3, it's still going to be a niche race mechanically.
    True. Not much you can do besides Shadow Blade Swordsages and Warlocks. Though they're very good at that, as long as you can get around the major glass-cannon syndrome you have, especially at low levels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Well, taking out the supernatural resistance to movement-impeding effects, you have a bear-sized version of the tarantula hawk wasp. (which does eat spiders, at least as a larva). The inspiration is as subtle as a raging barbarian.
    No idea where freedom of movement came from, though...
    Tarantula hawks are only one kind of spider-eating wasp, and they're not actually parasitic like the spider eater is: they're "provisioning wasps," which means they kill the spider and feed it to their larvae, rather than laying their eggs in the spider (although, there are parasitic wasps that attack spiders, too).

    Most wasps that attack spiders are a lot smaller than tarantula hawks, and they target smaller spiders, rather than tarantulas. Web-building spiders are really common targets, and wasps that target web-builders are really good at navigating spider webs without getting stuck. That's probably where the freedom of movement idea came from.

    ((Real-life arachnologist here!))

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

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    True. Not much you can do besides Shadow Blade Swordsages and Warlocks. Though they're very good at that, as long as you can get around the major glass-cannon syndrome you have, especially at low levels.
    Rogue can work, too.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Especially since, AFAIK, it doesn't seem to have made it into the main rulebooks. I don't think it was even mentioned in the Book of Exalted Deeds!
    I agree that it wasn't, but the Book of Exalted Deeds is hardly the last word on the Planescape setting, from which the aasimon hail (now called angels). We're also long off-topic, so I would recommend taking this off-thread if you wish to continue this discussion.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    I assume most of the people who play pixies despite the +4 LA aren't doing it for power reasons. They just want to play a fairy because fairies are awesome. They take the LA as a sacrifice because they care more about the role play than the roll play.
    This. Take away most of their stats, with a commensurate decrease in LA, and they would be even more popular.
    People want Greater Invisibility, Flight, and the role play of being a Pixie.

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

    I've seen a Pixie played a couple of times at +4.

    However, I will note that I have not seen any Pixie PC survive through a campaign.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    I've seen a Pixie played a couple of times at +4.

    However, I will note that I have not seen any Pixie PC survive through a campaign.
    What killed them?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    What killed them?
    Lack of hit points, mostly.

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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.
    Well, I expected that, but more specifically. Breath weapons, AoE damage, invisibility pierced, what?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread III: Now in HD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    Tarantula hawks are only one kind of spider-eating wasp, and they're not actually parasitic like the spider eater is: they're "provisioning wasps," which means they kill the spider and feed it to their larvae, rather than laying their eggs in the spider (although, there are parasitic wasps that attack spiders, too).
    Most wasps that attack spiders are a lot smaller than tarantula hawks, and they target smaller spiders, rather than tarantulas. Web-building spiders are really common targets, and wasps that target web-builders are really good at navigating spider webs without getting stuck. That's probably where the freedom of movement idea came from.
    ((Real-life arachnologist here!))
    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.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    I agree that it wasn't, but the Book of Exalted Deeds is hardly the last word on the Planescape setting, from which the aasimon hail (now called angels). We're also long off-topic, so I would recommend taking this off-thread if you wish to continue this discussion.
    And Planescape is hardly the only D&D setting. The fact that this petitioner/native distinction only exists in one setting—and that you still haven't explained why it matters at all—kind of weakens your argument, doesn't it?



    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Well, I expected that, but more specifically. Breath weapons, AoE damage, invisibility pierced, what?
    Wait, aren't breath weapons a type of AoE?
    Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 2017-09-03 at 07:19 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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