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  1. - Top - End - #1051
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I'm still hesitant about evaluating psionics, but I like the arguments I've heard for LA +1 so far, so I'm voting LA +1 for the Cerebrilith.
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  2. - Top - End - #1052
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Oh yeah, Boost Spell Resistance(BoVD) can help a bit with SR, as can a Dazzix's Vest(PHB2). With both, that's a +7 to SR.
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  3. - Top - End - #1053
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Does xph go into more detail on PP available than the srd? I see augmented for its ML in the ability line, so I would assume it has some amount of power points to do said augmenting which is kind of important.

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

    There ended up being more +0 votes than I thought would be. While I'm leaving my vote at +1, for my home games, I'd honestly put them at +0. I try to rate these critters with a more generic touch in mind, given my home games have higher point buys and optimization levels than many other games (then again, I could be wrong on that one).

    The Blackguard and Warmind levels sound pretty cool on this guy, too, I hadn't considered those.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Does xph go into more detail on PP available than the srd? I see augmented for its ML in the ability line, so I would assume it has some amount of power points to do said augmenting which is kind of important.
    Psi-Like Abilities (Ps)
    The manifestation of powers by a psionic character is considered a psi-like ability, as is the manifestation of powers by creatures without a psionic class (creatures with the psionic subtype, also simply called psionic creatures). Usually, a psionic creature’s psi-like ability works just like the power of that name. A few psi-like abilities are unique; these are explained in the text where they are described.

    Psi-like abilities have no verbal, somatic, or material components, nor do they require a focus or have an XP cost (even if the equivalent power has an XP cost). The user activates them mentally. Armor never affects a psi-like ability’s use. A psi-like ability has a manifesting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability description. In all other ways, a psi-like ability functions just like a power. However, a psionic creature does not have to pay a psi-like ability’s power point cost.

    Psi-like abilities are subject to power resistance and to being dispelled by dispel psionics. They do not function in areas where psionics is suppressed or negated
    Does this help?
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  6. - Top - End - #1056
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Does xph go into more detail on PP available than the srd? I see augmented for its ML in the ability line, so I would assume it has some amount of power points to do said augmenting which is kind of important.
    Psi like abilities are augumented to their manifester level for free.
    Thats why for example the damage of its Mind Thrust ability is 9d10.

    Now its kinda funny that it only got one use of a regular level 1 power.
    But i guess it would become to nasty if it had several shots of Will save dc 20 or 9d10 damage.
    That could quickly one-shot the wizard.

    That aside.
    It really does have a strong chassis for simply beating people in the face.
    High atributes. Strong natural defences. A lot of useful powers.
    And some rare traits as well. Power resistance is good. Telepathy 100 gives it mindsight 100.
    That combined with teleport at will makes it shockingly effective at scouting or coordinating people.

    I honestly dont think +2 is unfair after having seen what its powers can do argumented.
    But i can follow the general crowd on +1 LA here
    Last edited by lord_khaine; 2019-05-21 at 09:43 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #1057
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Ok so its psi dominate is 24 hours thats one augmetation, does it get the augmemts for creature types or multiple foes? Its 2pp for each which gets it to ml9 simce psidom is a 4th. Can it pick and choose which augments or is it stuck with just 24 hour duration? My psionics knowledge is spotty at best apologies.

    Also are said abilities augmentable if it gets power points from elsewhere, or increases its ML does it auto augment?

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

    This thing has +50 to its abilities, let alone PR 20, great PLAs and some really tricksy SLAs (at will deeper darkness and greater teleport, anyone?). I'd have to say at least +1, maybe +2.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Guard View Post
    There ended up being more +0 votes than I thought would be.
    Ditto. I honestly thought that I'd be the only one.
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  10. - Top - End - #1060
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Ok so its psi dominate is 24 hours thats one augmetation, does it get the augmemts for creature types or multiple foes? Its 2pp for each which gets it to ml9 simce psidom is a 4th. Can it pick and choose which augments or is it stuck with just 24 hour duration? My psionics knowledge is spotty at best apologies.
    I don't think it gets to choose its augment. It just gets the augment that's listed in its entry. So, it casts as if spending 9pp: 7 for the base cost, 2 for the 24-hour duration (which also boosts the save DC by 1), and that's it. So, it only effects humanoids, but it lasts for 24 hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Also are said abilities augmentable if it gets power points from elsewhere, or increases its ML does it auto augment?
    It can't augment it further, because you can't spend more pp than your ML, and you get that automatically with a PLA.

    If you increase its ML with that power, it should increase the effective number of pp spent. I would imagine that you could choose which augment to apply at that point, but that's getting into hypotheticals that I'm not sure the rules actually account for.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I don't agree at all about the cerebrelith. Compare it to a level 11 human psychic warrior or wilder. Vastly better stats, vastly better defenses (NA, DR, immunities, resistances, saves), vastly more skill points, telepathy, natural reach, better physical attacks than any except psywars dedicated to offense, PLAs and SLAs that are already plenty useful and become more so because they're spammable. (There are a lot of situations that a couple dozen greater teleports could solve pretty much on their own.)

    So it doesn't have great natural attacks -- so what, its entry specifically mentions wielding weapons. Can you imagine how beastly this could be with PC-level equipment?

    A cerebrelith would dominate the level 11 parties I've seen at real tables. With a half dozen class levels it'd fit nicely with spellcasters starting to sling around their top spells. I vote LA +2, and I'm only going that low because I need to consider level 20 as well as level 9.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post

    A cerebrelith would dominate the level 11 parties I've seen at real tables. With a half dozen class levels it'd fit nicely with spellcasters starting to sling around their top spells. I vote LA +2, and I'm only going that low because I need to consider level 20 as well as level 9.
    The bolded part gives me pause. What class levels are you envisioning that won’t be something of a disappointment compared to what it comes with at the ECL we’re discussing?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    I'm still hesitant about evaluating psionics, but I like the arguments I've heard for LA +1 so far, so I'm voting LA +1 for the Cerebrilith.
    Yeah, I'm not confident enough with psionics to weigh in on most of these creatures, so I'm going to be a bit silent for now.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    The bolded part gives me pause. What class levels are you envisioning that won’t be something of a disappointment compared to what it comes with at the ECL we’re discussing?
    Alternatively, what top-level spellcasters is he imagining? Because that's one heck of a high bar.
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    Negative LA Assignment Thread
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  15. - Top - End - #1065
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Looking up Ur-Priest, the Cerebrilith could enter without any previous class levels, so that's level 9 spells at level 20 with LA +2 or level 19 with LA +1.

    I vote +1

    edit for justification: I see a lot of possible builds for this critter, the very good chassis, utility and potential for 9th if one would be dead set on having them nailing it at minimum +1.
    Last edited by Chainguy; 2019-05-22 at 09:56 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #1066
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    A cerebrelith would dominate the level 11 parties I've seen at real tables. With a half dozen class levels it'd fit nicely with spellcasters starting to sling around their top spells. I vote LA +2, and I'm only going that low because I need to consider level 20 as well as level 9.
    At LA +2 with half a dozen class levels, it's going up against shapechange. There's no way the cerebrilith fits in with that. Granted, nothing but a full caster does, but it's your comparison, not mine.

    I'm not sure what it takes in terms of class levels to emulate a cerebrilith. A 9th-level manifester will have better psionics (except for the at-will stuff), can have telepathy, can use metamorphosis, and has the option to advance as manifester, which very quickly outscales anything the cerebrilith can do. Still, the cerebrilith has some really nice skills, base attack, mental stats, resistances, and so on, plus that greater teleport SLA.

    Mid-game, I think LA +1 is fine, but end-game, LA +0 is reasonable.
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  17. - Top - End - #1067
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    At LA +2 with half a dozen class levels, it's going up against shapechange. There's no way the cerebrilith fits in with that. Granted, nothing but a full caster does, but it's your comparison, not mine.

    I'm not sure what it takes in terms of class levels to emulate a cerebrilith. A 9th-level manifester will have better psionics (except for the at-will stuff), can have telepathy, can use metamorphosis, and has the option to advance as manifester, which very quickly outscales anything the cerebrilith can do. Still, the cerebrilith has some really nice skills, base attack, mental stats, resistances, and so on, plus that greater teleport SLA.

    Mid-game, I think LA +1 is fine, but end-game, LA +0 is reasonable.
    I think this is pretty reasonable. LA +1 with LA Buyoff seems great to me.

  18. - Top - End - #1068
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    So I am still having a bit of trouble in evaluating how useful its psi-like abilities actually are and therefore how much weight they should be given. On the one hand they are pretty powerful and do quite a bit, on the other hand they are mind affecting which is notoriously easy to negate even at level 9 much less once we get into the teens. So you hand up with all but one of its psi-like abilities being very powerful when they can be used but not able to be used often. In the end I feel like these abilities are a wash and probably should be ignored for evaluating power level.

    So that really leaves us with its ability scores, DR, SR, NA, immunity, resistances, telepathy, natural attacks, skills, and a handful of special abilities. +50 and 15 NA is nothing to sneeze at; however, at level 9 and on between wild shape, bear warrior, primeval, MoMF, weretouched master, polymorph, ect. physical ability scores, NA, and natural attacks aren't exactly hard to come by so the important part is the +22 to mental ability scores and maybe 5 of the NA(at level 9 anyways) which is pretty huge. Even though it has a lot of skill points the important question is how useful is its list and to be honest it has a pretty good list. Listen, search, spot, and sense motives are all quite useful and depending on the build jump and concentration can be quite important especially if there is an initiator focus in the build. On to immunities, resistances, SR, and telepathy; telepathy is one feat away from a 100' blind sight which is very nice (though I am always confused how this interacts with abilities like mind blank, my understanding is they don't show up?). Natural resistances and immunities are always nice since less resources have to be used on them but nonscaling SR is probably a throw away since it is resource intensive and wasteful to attempt to shore them up. Finally we have the handful of useful special abilities which include deeper darkness, greater teleport, magic circle, and maybe unholy blight at will as well as 3/day Ectoplasmic Form. Deeper darkness is an ok bfc but without scaling cl it will be easily negated, magic circle is a decent buff especially at will, greater teleport is always useful though being large with 50lb carrying capacity means you probably have to take off most of your equipment when teleporting. Ectoplasmic Form is in my opinion a mixed bag, if you invest heavily into hide and move silently it is a pretty good scouting ability; however, it leaves you at touch ac, all your psi-likes require concentration to use, you can't use any of your equipment, and questionably can't use any spell-like abilities, oh ya all your super natural abilities are negated so say bye bye to your immunities, resistances, and telepathy. In other words you better hope you don't fail any hide/move silently checks because you made yourself very squishy.

    All and all I think I can definitely see +1 LA, I think this is pretty comparable to a build like barbarian/ranger/fist of the forest/primeval in and out of combat where its psi-likes aren't effective. At +2 I think it might be ahead of the above build when its psi-likes are effective but behind when they aren't. Over all after thinking everything over I will change my vote to +1 LA. If the psi-like abilities could be more consistently used I think it would be +2 or maybe even +3 but given how common mind affecting immunity is really shoots this thing in the foot.

  19. - Top - End - #1069
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I don't think it gets to choose its augment. It just gets the augment that's listed in its entry. So, it casts as if spending 9pp: 7 for the base cost, 2 for the 24-hour duration (which also boosts the save DC by 1), and that's it. So, it only effects humanoids, but it lasts for 24 hours.
    As i recall it gets to chose at the time of manifestation. The listed argumentations seems mainly to be meant as assistance for the DM.

    So I am still having a bit of trouble in evaluating how useful its psi-like abilities actually are and therefore how much weight they should be given. On the one hand they are pretty powerful and do quite a bit, on the other hand they are mind affecting which is notoriously easy to negate even at level 9 much less once we get into the teens. So you hand up with all but one of its psi-like abilities being very powerful when they can be used but not able to be used often. In the end I feel like these abilities are a wash and probably should be ignored for evaluating power level.
    I think the protection against mind affecting stuff is wastly exaggerated.
    There are protection from Evil, that protect against direct mind control. And Mind Blank, that protect against Mind affecting stuff.
    As well as a few types that offers immunity.

    So in practical gameplay i think it will be the other way around. With it being very often it can use its powers.

    Ectoplasmic Form is in my opinion a mixed bag, if you invest heavily into hide and move silently it is a pretty good scouting ability; however, it leaves you at touch ac, all your psi-likes require concentration to use, you can't use any of your equipment, and questionably can't use any spell-like abilities, oh ya all your super natural abilities are negated so say bye bye to your immunities, resistances, and telepathy. In other words you better hope you don't fail any hide/move silently checks because you made yourself very squishy.
    With Mindsight and teleport at will it only need minimal move silent. It more or less automatically spots where all sentient beings are.
    And can jump from full concealement spot to full concealment spot.

    A cerebrelith would dominate the level 11 parties I've seen at real tables. With a half dozen class levels it'd fit nicely with spellcasters starting to sling around their top spells. I vote LA +2, and I'm only going that low because I need to consider level 20 as well as level 9.
    The comment about real level 11 parties won me over.
    Yeah, the numbers this can reach with PC stats and gear would be pretty obscene. Changing my vote to +2 LA
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    As i recall it gets to chose at the time of manifestation. The listed argumentations seems mainly to be meant as assistance for the DM.
    I recall finding a table somewhere in the SRD that shows how many power points you have based on ML and the level of said power but I can't find it. However, just going through psi-like ability I see the following:
    When a creature uses a psi-like ability, the power is manifested as if the creature had spent a number of power points equal to its manifester level, which may augment the power to improve its damage or save DC.

    Given that it would seem the affect is pretty well set to the text in the entry for said power on the creature entry.


    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine
    I think the protection against mind affecting stuff is wastly exaggerated.
    There are protection from Evil, that protect against direct mind control. And Mind Blank, that protect against Mind affecting stuff.
    As well as a few types that offers immunity.

    So in practical gameplay i think it will be the other way around. With it being very often it can use its powers.
    Swarm, undead, ooze, plant, construct; not mentioning the large number of creatures that get immunity from their entry and the methods you mentioned above and we start to have a decent population of potential encounters where most of their abilities are negated. Depending on the campaign this could have negligible affects or be a huge problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine
    With Mindsight and teleport at will it only need minimal move silent. It more or less automatically spots where all sentient beings are.
    And can jump from full concealement spot to full concealment spot.
    Too bad mindsight can't be used in Ectoplasmic Form and depending on the reading of Ectoplasmic Form potentially no spell like abilities can be used either, at the very least you are going to need a concentration check.
    Also there is a big glaring question of can you hide while teleporting and does the act of teleporting make noise? Sure as a sla it doesn't have any somatic or verbal components but in most of the games I have played teleporting is described as being accompanied by a flash of light and a cracking noise on both sides of the teleportation. So invisible quiet teleportation is up to dm fiat from my understanding, I for one wouldn't allow it or at the very least would require hide and move silently checks to go along with it...

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

    Well, if you must add riders to the power, that's your business. In the Planescape: Torment video game, fiends who teleported left behind a brief puff of green smoke, whereas in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Intervention spells were heralded by a characteristic short hiss.

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

    Honestly, total contribution to party, at T3 balance point (I don't think this has the -likes to be fairly compared to T1 or T2 caster) I think this competes well with 11th level characters. I'd still like to know if -likes scaled with HD and how the psi-like augmentation works out. But rogue skills, 22 base Str and martial weapon proficiency for no sane reason, more Hps than a dwarf barbarian, best saves in the party...He makes the druid envy their listen and spot checks.

    I think total package is solid and useful at +2 LA. He'll still be able to beatstick at T3 levels and have pure rogue-level skill-monkey options. Changing my vote. He can do quite well on his focus and his secondary talents will help the party quite a bit.

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

    SLA's and PLA's stay at a fixed power unless they list HD in their calculation Covenant12. Which leads to a conundrum, this guy is good out of the box but easily falls behind without some serious pushes for higher powered prestige classes and even then still only really catches up later.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    You can boost SLAs by up to 4 levels (up to a maximum equal to your HD) with the Practiced Magic feat. Not sure if it would extend to PLAs under transparency.

    It works similarly to Practiced Spellcaster, and can be found in the Shackled City hardcover adventure, which is technically an official product, the same way Dragon Compendium is.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    The bolded part gives me pause. What class levels are you envisioning that won’t be something of a disappointment compared to what it comes with at the ECL we’re discussing?
    Truenamer, of course!

    Fist of the Forest seems nice. Barbarian for Pounce. One or more kinds of initiator. Maybe totemist/incarnate. This isn't one of the situations for which I'd suggest manifester levels, though that wouldn't be useless either -- psychic warrior, Slayer and War Mind fit well. Mystic ranger. Other people have mentioned Fiend of {{fitb}}, about which I know nothing, or Ur-Priest, which I don't find a compelling argument because that's the PrC doing all the work instead of the monster chassis. For high-level spells in a short time, Divine Crusader seems more fair -- fast progression in a very limited theme.

    EDIT: Ooh, or glaivelock!

    My point is, there's enough utility and combat value already here that the creature needs little improvement over time to keep contributing to party success.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Alternatively, what top-level spellcasters is he imagining? Because that's one heck of a high bar.
    Didn't say that. "Top-level spellcasters" is another category than "casters get their first 9ths (unless they're spontaneous or took a fighter level for flavor, the poor schmucks)". And we're not evaluating everything against optimized full casters in this thread, regardless. If anything, the cerebrelith is like a vastly improved warlock: some constant passive benefits, some spammables that will apply to many but not all situations.
    Last edited by Dimers; 2019-05-23 at 11:22 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Also there is a big glaring question of can you hide while teleporting and does the act of teleporting make noise? Sure as a sla it doesn't have any somatic or verbal components but in most of the games I have played teleporting is described as being accompanied by a flash of light and a cracking noise on both sides of the teleportation. So invisible quiet teleportation is up to dm fiat from my understanding, I for one wouldn't allow it or at the very least would require hide and move silently checks to go along with it...
    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    Well, if you must add riders to the power, that's your business. In the Planescape: Torment video game, fiends who teleported left behind a brief puff of green smoke, whereas in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Intervention spells were heralded by a characteristic short hiss.
    IIRC instead of components, psionics has special effects that happen after the fact, such as making light, making noise, or sliming people. That said, I have no idea what SFX psi teleport has.
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    This thread, Questions that can't be answered... Answered by RAW by No brains, is Epic.
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    That is so stupid it's hilarious.
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    ...I've clearly been playing D&D for too long, because that made a demented kind of sense.
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    And this is why I love D&D

  27. - Top - End - #1077
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    IIRC instead of components, psionics has special effects that happen after the fact, such as making light, making noise, or sliming people. That said, I have no idea what SFX psi teleport has.
    Visual, but they can be suppressed with a Concentration check. Usually, at higher levels, that check is an automatic success, because the DC is 15 + power level.
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    Read ExLibrisMortis' post...

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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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  28. - Top - End - #1078
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    I think the protection against mind affecting stuff is wastly exaggerated.
    There are protection from Evil, that protect against direct mind control. And Mind Blank, that protect against Mind affecting stuff.
    As well as a few types that offers immunity.
    Pretty common types, mind you. And at high levels, mind blank and protection from X are going to be pretty common on the enemies you'd want to use your best powers on.
    I'm inclined to think people overestimate the importance of mind-affecting immunity (on monsters—PCs are likely to prepare defenses against such), but it's still more important than you seem to be giving credit for.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    Didn't say that. "Top-level spellcasters" is another category than "casters get their first 9ths (unless they're spontaneous or took a fighter level for flavor, the poor schmucks)".
    I count "top-level" and "max-level" as distinct categories, which I now realize was unclear.
    I'd still argue that the difference between a 17th-level and 20th-level wizard is relatively small; a couple of feats, a +1 Intelligence, a few more spell slots, and some gear. Not nothing, but nowhere near the difference even one spell level can create.
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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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  29. - Top - End - #1079
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    You can boost SLAs by up to 4 levels (up to a maximum equal to your HD) with the Practiced Magic feat. Not sure if it would extend to PLAs under transparency.

    It works similarly to Practiced Spellcaster, and can be found in the Shackled City hardcover adventure, which is technically an official product, the same way Dragon Compendium is.
    This is really important as that one feat would have a pretty big impact on a lot of these monsters.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Pretty common types, mind you. And at high levels, mind blank and protection from X are going to be pretty common on the enemies you'd want to use your best powers on.
    I'm inclined to think people overestimate the importance of mind-affecting immunity (on monsters—PCs are likely to prepare defenses against such), but it's still more important than you seem to be giving credit for.
    Normally, I'd be with you here, but this monster has the best mind-affecting power to deal with immune foes. Dominate is stupidly powerful, and can easily get you as much as Leadership does. Minions to throw at immune foes works really well.

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

    I am going to err on the side of caution and say LA +2 as well. It's a minimum of +1, but +2 is probably safer in a "typical" party.

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