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    Default The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Please post in the new thread, thanks in advance.

    Thread number six already!

    The purpose of the thread is unchanged: assign (mostly) balanced level adjustments to the many monsters in 3.5, regardless of type, size, or weirdness.

    More information, a list of prior level adjustments, and explanations of some of the terms used in the thread can be found in the LA-assignment archive.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-07-07 at 08:51 AM.
    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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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Ssvaklor


    No, my keyboard isn't sticky: it's actually spelled like that.

    Ssvaklors are an interesting dragon/yuan-ti combination critter, that like so many of its kind doesn't inherit what makes either parent interesting. Fifteen dragon RHD are decent, but not great, especially in quantities like this. Medium size is completely ridiculous for any non-caster with this kind of RHD. 19 strength, 24 constitution, and 8-12 everywhere else isn't much to write home about either: nearly all brutes in the 5-10 HD range have similar, if not better ability scores.

    The ssvaklor has base land and swim speeds of 40 ft., a reasonable amount of natural armor, two natural claws and a poisonous bite. They also have DR 10/magic, SR 18, scent, blindsense, and immunity to magical sleep, poison, and paralysis.

    The serpentwyrm's special abilities are, to put it simply, disappointing. Its breath weapon is probably the most interesting, but it's poison-based, affects a small area, and only deals 1d4 constitution damage. Its spell-likes are ridiculously weak: 1/day Darkness, Entangle, Cause Fear, and Animal Trance might've been worth it at level 3, but they sure aren't now.

    Ultimately, the ssvaklor just feels like a low-level monster that the developers tried to give a boost by inflating its RHD and increasing a few numbers. It's outclassed as a melee brute, as a breath weapon user, as a caster-type... I'd genuinely have trouble choosing between this and PrC-less human fighter, just to emphasize how terrible it is.

    -0 LA, don't do dragonsnakes they're bad for you.

    Greater Ssvaklor

    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.

    Yeah, no amount of stat boosts and slightly-better SLAs is going to make this viable deep into epic. -0 LA once more.
    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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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Concur, -0 for the both of them.

    As per usual for the dragon type, they suck for the number of RHD they have.

    Edit: They are CR 10 ... and wtf how did they justify the greater as being CR 20.
    Last edited by javcs; 2019-02-16 at 04:35 AM.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I don't think this one will generate much discusdion, unless there's a combo I'm missing. -0 for both of them.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Tagging in on the thread to watch. The Ssvaklor is an interesting concept, but mechanically disappointing, even as a monster alone. Can’t see it getting anywhere as a playable.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    I don't care who you are, that's funny.

    -0 for the both of them.
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    ...so as we can see, no internal consistency from WotC (unsurprising).

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    See, dragon hit dice are often decent enough to straight-up take over fighter levels, so I'd probably actually take it over the straight-classed fighter. But not over a real build. -0, natch.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Unavenger View Post
    See, dragon hit dice are often decent enough to straight-up take over fighter levels, so I'd probably actually take it over the straight-classed fighter. But not over a real build. -0, natch.
    Straight-classed fighter can do stuff like go Zhentarim Soldier or Dungeoncrasher, has a ton more feats (and terrible as most are, there's some good fighter-exclusive or fighter bonus feats), and also doesn't have to struggle as much with loot that doesn't fit their body type.
    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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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Straight-classed fighter can do stuff like go Zhentarim Soldier or Dungeoncrasher, has a ton more feats (and terrible as most are, there's some good fighter-exclusive or fighter bonus feats), and also doesn't have to struggle as much with loot that doesn't fit their body type.
    True. I guess I just like high saves, skills, and having about twice as many hit points too much.

    Also, I quite like the DC 24+base con mod poison which paralyses enemies. That's a relatively strong meme at least - a lot of enemies will have a 50% failure chance or more, assuming they're not themselves poison-immune and you have a decent constitution.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Easy -0 for both. Their poison might have some use for a poison maker with psionic minor creation, but greensickness is just better.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Ugh, I missed the splinterwaif. They’re such neat critters! I think they’ve gotta be right around a very risky +2. +3 is unreasonable, but I will acknowledge that they have enough cookies to be worth more than their RHD alone.

    Unlike, say, the ssvaklor. That’s an easy -0. I completely agree with the sentiment that they’re a low-level brute that got pumped full of RHD without any new tricks.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Edit: They are CR 10 ... and wtf how did they justify the greater as being CR 20.
    2/3 of HD = CR. 2/3 of 15 = 10. 2/3 of 30 = 20.

    Concur with the -0 for both.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    No, my keyboard isn't sticky: it's actually spelled like that.
    Yeah, it's a snakey-dragon. It needs a snakey name, which has to involve hisses. It's childishly simple, if a bit childish; there's no reason to throw a hissy-fit about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    The Ssvaklor is an interesting concept, but mechanically disappointing, even as a monster alone.
    "What if we took two of the most iconic, if boring, abilities of yuan-ti and dragons and put them together? Poison breath, boom! Oh, and add a couple random C-tier abilities from each."
    I mean, to be fair, that probably wasn't the exact design process; they probably went over a few combinations of dragon and yuan-ti abilities and went with the one that was simplest to use and played best.


    Quote Originally Posted by Unavenger View Post
    True. I guess I just like high saves, skills, and having about twice as many hit points too much.
    Four skill points per level and two more good saves are nice, but I regret to inform you that dragon only have d12 hit dice, not d10. We only get twice as many hit points per level because of our high Constitution scores; if there was a fighter as tough as a dragon, they'd only be one hit point her hit die behind.


    Quote Originally Posted by Remuko View Post
    2/3 of HD = CR. 2/3 of 15 = 10. 2/3 of 30 = 20.
    Makes sense. The fighter's going to get about as much stronger from level 10 to level 20 as the dragon would.
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    Negative LA Assignment Thread
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    LA -0 on both versions of the snake dragon. Something went wrong between concept and execution, and this thing is too boring to bother examining why. Next.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Why do I feel like I've killed hundreds of these guys grinding in some video RPG?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    There are far better playable dragons than these guys. They get a bucket-load of RHD, with relatively little to show for it (in dragon terms). You'd probably be better off playing a half-dragon yuan-ti.

    LA -0 for both.

    Always cracked me up that the illustration has wings, but it doen't get a fly speed. I'd imagine it was one of those deals where either the art department and creature creator didn't communicate; or the stat block was changed AFTER the art was commissioned.

    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    There are far better playable dragons than these guys. They get a bucket-load of RHD, with relatively little to show for it (in dragon terms). You'd probably be better off playing a half-dragon yuan-ti.

    LA -0 for both.

    Always cracked me up that the illustration has wings, but it doen't get a fly speed. I'd imagine it was one of those deals where either the art department and creature creator didn't communicate; or the stat block was changed AFTER the art was commissioned.
    It's got a swim speed, though, so its wings serve the same purpose as those of a penguin, presumably.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Four skill points per level and two more good saves are nice, but I regret to inform you that dragon only have d12 hit dice, not d10. We only get twice as many hit points per level because of our high Constitution scores; if there was a fighter as tough as a dragon, they'd only be one hit point her hit die behind.
    I mean, yeah, but you get a +7 to constitution modifier, so +8 to hit points per level over the fighter. If the fighter has +2 or +3 constitution modifier, that means about twice as many as the fighter.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Yeah, solidly both LA -0. RHD bloat is the real issue here.

    I've looked at it from a few angles, can't see any way for this to contribute in a 15th level party other than speed bump. Druid's animal companion will likely be better.

    Poison is Con damage and paralysis, and Con based with 24 base Con, so that is something. Fort tends to be the highest save among PC's opponents, and poison immunity is common. Without that it can't compete with an Orc warblade. Note that the tolerable damage is partially due to two feats for Improved Natural Attack, so it will compete badly with a Full BAB beatstick.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I'm glad we had the Splinterwaif as a palate cleanser, because this is a particularly clear -0.

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    biggrin Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    It's got a swim speed, though, so its wings serve the same purpose as those of a penguin, presumably.
    Makes me want to stat up the majestic Pengodragon (Pendragon?):


    Saying that someone reading RAW differently than you is "home brewing or house ruling, but that's fine" doesn't make you right, it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Makes me want to stat up the majestic Pengodragon (Pendragon?):

    It's a draguin!
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Makes me want to stat up the majestic Pengodragon (Pendragon?):

    Pengon? Dracoguin? Dracopen? Penguidrake? Arctic/Antarctic Sea Drake?

    Perhaps they're an Arctic/Aquatic variation or cousin to the Pseudodragon.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Yeah, these do remind me of something video-gamey.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by TotallyNotEvil View Post
    Yeah, these do remind me of something video-gamey.
    I think reminds me of Great Dragons in FF9.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Ssvalkor is really bad, and shockingly greater really bad is still bad, so -0 all around. While I could imagine a game where it could be fun to play, I have to imagine pretty hard.

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Has there ever been a greater [x] that actually got a higher LA than the basic?

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by jindra34 View Post
    Has there ever been a greater [x] that actually got a higher LA than the basic?
    Pretty sure that there hasn't been.
    There might be a couple that haven't had a lower LA, not counting ones that were both -0.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    Pretty sure that there hasn't been.
    There might be a couple that haven't had a lower LA, not counting ones that were both -0.
    There's been two Greater monsters that didn't get an LA -0; the Greater Barghest and the Greater Shadow.
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