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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    The thorn is definitely close to being +0, but I'm not sure it quite makes it. It has enough interesting abilities that I'd be willing to play it, but I'd be willing to play a Truenamer if the DM papered over the most game-breaking bugs.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Do those sleep arrows function as the spell, i.e. HD limit? If so, they can be completely ignored. Either way, though, I'm voting for -0.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I am going -0, the 2 bab loss hurts a mundane too much to overcome the racial features it is provided.

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

    A thorn rogue 1 also has better Will than rogue 7, 3 natural armor, and proficiency with longsword/longbow/shield. It's nothing great but then neither is a half-elf or halfling rogue 7. I'd play this without any coercion, so I'm satisfied with +0.
    As well as before mentioned stat boosts, DR, and Save-or-lose arrows.
    Thats quite a trade for just a dice of sneak attack and a point of BAB.

    They should be compared with a hafling rogue. And so i think they fit with +0
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I think this is totally workable, even if it isn't mind-blowing. +0.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Stat adjustments are based on an all 10s base array, right? Based on that, I'd say they make the cut as +0 compared to a rogue. They get some pretty good physical adjustments that offset the loss of BaB somewhat, they get natural armor and those sleep arrows can be useful in a variety of situations. They're 2 levels behind a straight rogue in sneak attack progression, and get 2 less skillpoints per level for the first few levels, but it's generous stat adjustments make room for a higher intelligence score without sacrificing combat ability to offset the slightly fewer skillpoints, and 6+int per level is still decent.

    However, the lower BaB does hurt it when making more highly optimized builds. When I've build high-OP rogue-likes for competitions and the like I always try to maximize the amount of sneak attacking full attacks, using tricks like shadow-pouncing and the like. The lower BaB is going to hurt this tactic. I expect this will be less of a problem in low and even mid-OP games, but it bears mentioning.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Lower end of +0, I think.
    It is inferior as a specialized build in the specialty, but comparable to a more generalist build.

    I wouldn't go out of my way to play one, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to avoid playing one either.
    In other words, I see no particular reason to play a Thorn, but I see no particular reason not to play a Thorn.
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  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I vote +0 for Thorn
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    Post Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    • 6 not-so-great RHD: meh
    • 20 ft move: meh
    • +3 natural AC: OK-ish
    • Sleep arrows: not bad; immunity to sleep effects isn't all that uncommon though
    • Sneak attack +2d6: not bad, but quite lacking at ECL 6
    • DR 5/cold iron: OK-ish, but becomes quickly irrelevant due to damage enemies are dealing
    • Str +6, Dex +4, Con +4, Cha +2: net +16. Pretty good, especially the Str on a small character, but again, at ECL 6? Hmmm...
    • Fairly small skill list. Has some decent skills there, but compared to a true skill monkey, not good.

    Verdict: LA -0. It just doesn't have enough to make up for 6 class levels. At around 3 RHD, I might go with LA +0.

    [edit] The arrows are a bit more powerful than I had first read, but I'm sticking with LA -0. Just too many RHD. [/edit]
    Last edited by Thurbane; 2019-03-03 at 08:16 PM.

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

    Thorn: Fey RHD, and the net abilities are par for 4 RHD; with only half the expected natural AC. The 20 ft ground speed is not great, and the skill list is pretty bad for something with Fey RHD, which are atrocious. Losing 3 BAB is....retch.

    For the obvious Rogue comparisons: not much to add, though losing at least 12 skill points is nothing to sneeze at. The DR is decent but is still only one feature to tack onto the underwhelming stats. The only reason this is not a clear LA -0 by at least 2 RHD is the Sleep Arrows: they are explicitly NOT capped by HD, and the DC scales. Now Sleep is somewhat limited, with Constructs, Undead, Elementals, Oozes, and Plants possessing blanket immunties, along with Elves and the odd critter; and yet it remains an at-will save or lose without additional qualifiers, which is rather potent. Keep in mind this attack also works on Dragons, since it is (Ex) rather than magical.

    All that said, I think this is 1 RHD shy of par, so I am going with LA -0.

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

    It's funny to see the divide on thorns here.

    Alice: "I think it's a little viable."

    Bob: "I think it sucks a little."

    Carol: "Do either of you think it deserves and LA?"

    Everyone: "Nah."

    It's good we're careful on this, but the divide between +0 and -0 amounts to an endorsement.

    What if we gave it LA 0 and let future readers decide whether they want +/-?
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I think that Thorns are probably +0 in a fairly casual game. After all, the sorts of people who play monks and fighters would probably happily play a Thorn.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Do those sleep arrows function as the spell, i.e. HD limit? If so, they can be completely ignored. Either way, though, I'm voting for -0.
    "Any opponent struck by one of these arrows, regardless of Hit Dice, must make a DC..." Pretty confident specific trumps general and it affects anybody. Who isn't immune mind-affecting, enchantment, or compulsion effects, and all that.

    It is on the border, still voting -0. It is strong enough for a party that thinks a half-elf pure fighter or pure rogue with PHB-only feats is good. But if we're trying to optimize near the T3/T4 border I think it's a bit weak. Again, 4 RHD and it is a respectable +0.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    • 6 not-so-great RHD: meh
    • 20 ft move: meh
    • +3 natural AC: OK-ish
    • Sleep arrows: not bad; immunity to sleep effects isn't all that uncommon though
    • Sneak attack +2d6: not bad, but quite lacking at ECL 6
    • DR 5/cold iron: OK-ish, but becomes quickly irrelevant due to damage enemies are dealing
    • Str +6, Dex +4, Con +4, Cha +2: net +16. Pretty good, especially the Str on a small character, but again, at ECL 6? Hmmm...
    • Fairly small skill list. Has some decent skills there, but compared to a true skill monkey, not good.

    Verdict: LA -0. It just doesn't have enough to make up for 6 class levels. At around 3 RHD, I might go with LA +0.

    [edit] The arrows are a bit more powerful than I had first read, but I'm sticking with LA -0. Just too many RHD. [/edit]
    When Thurbane is saying something is -0 LA you guys should pay attention as he tends towards the high side on LA. I don't think this thing is even on the border between -0 and +0, skill list sucks, you are loosing 2 skill points each level. You are forced going mundane ranged which isn't good to begin but is compounded by the loss of bab which puts you behind in number of attacks and sneak attack as well. sleep arrows do not make up enough to compensate you for the loss of skill points, bab, and sneak attack. This thing is just bad. it is firmly -0 LA.

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

    I just can't see what you'd do with this as a base.

    You'd be a one-trick-pony, hoping for a failed save on your sleep arrows. As soon as you find something resistant or immune, your ability to contribute is limited.

    As other have mentioned, the Fey RHD adversely affect your BAB; and the small skill list hurts your ability to be a good skill monkey.

    When a regular level 6 Rogue hits a monster immune or resistance to sneak attack, he can fall back on UMD or other tactics.

    Don;t get me wring, scaling save or die on arrows is pretty impressive, but not at the opportunity cost that comes with 6 RHD of the Fey type.

    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
    I just can't see what you'd do with this as a base.

    You'd be a one-trick-pony, hoping for a failed save on your sleep arrows. As soon as you find something resistant or immune, your ability to contribute is limited.

    As other have mentioned, the Fey RHD adversely affect your BAB; and the small skill list hurts your ability to be a good skill monkey.

    When a regular level 6 Rogue hits a monster immune or resistance to sneak attack, he can fall back on UMD or other tactics.

    Don;t get me wring, scaling save or die on arrows is pretty impressive, but not at the opportunity cost that comes with 6 RHD of the Fey type.
    I find comparisons with no class levels to be lacking, if it's compared to a halfling rogue 7 it will do more damage in melee- 4d6 SA vs 3d6+8 pts of strength. Its behind 2 BA, but only 1 behind on total attack bonus assuming weapon finesse. Its going to have 2 fewer rogue abilities.

    It has 18 less skill points and the halfing gets +2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, Listen, and Move Silently checks, but it get's+4/1/2/1 on strength/Dexterity/Con/charisma skills from ability scores.

    On saves the thorn has 4/9/5 vs the halflings 3/7/3

    Thorn has 14 more hp, 5 dr, and 3 NA, 1 Ac from Dex.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Do those sleep arrows function as the spell, i.e. HD limit? If so, they can be completely ignored. Either way, though, I'm voting for -0.
    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    It's funny to see the divide on thorns here.

    Alice: "I think it's a little viable."

    Bob: "I think it sucks a little."

    Carol: "Do either of you think it deserves and LA?"

    Everyone: "Nah."

    It's good we're careful on this, but the divide between +0 and -0 amounts to an endorsement.

    What if we gave it LA 0 and let future readers decide whether they want +/-?
    -0 and +0 LA are there to not raise the impression that something like a dire shark is on the same level of power as a human. Yeah, in situations where it's way less obvious than that it gets a bit silly, but I'm not sure about giving an entirely new +/- assignment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    I think that Thorns are probably +0 in a fairly casual game. After all, the sorts of people who play monks and fighters would probably happily play a Thorn.
    Be that as it may, monks and most fighters are tier 5. "A person who thinks tier 5 classes are fine would think this is fine." is sadly not an argument either for or against +0 LA.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    It has 18 less skill points and the halfing gets +2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, Listen, and Move Silently checks, but it get's+4/1/2/1 on strength/Dexterity/Con/charisma skills from ability scores.
    When compared to a Rogue, though, I find the main failing to be skill selection, not just skill points/modifiers.

    Rogue: Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (local), Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Magic Device and Use Rope.

    Thorn: Diplomacy, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, Spot and Survival.

    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
    When compared to a Rogue, though, I find the main failing to be skill selection, not just skill points/modifiers.

    Rogue: Appraise, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (local), Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Magic Device and Use Rope.

    Thorn: Diplomacy, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, Spot and Survival.
    That is an issue, but it is something that will be dulled as they go up in levels. I think there's some character options that can add skills

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    That is an issue, but it is something that will be dulled as they go up in levels. I think there's some character options that can add skills
    And if we're optimizing the compared halfling rogue, then we can assume a similar level of optimization for the thorn, which will include skill-promoting options if the character is supposed to be a skillmonkey. (Though it can't compete with an actual rogue for dealing with traps regardless, due to lack of the Trapfinding feature. That's not easy to come by.)
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    And if we're optimizing the compared halfling rogue, then we can assume a similar level of optimization for the thorn, which will include skill-promoting options if the character is supposed to be a skillmonkey. (Though it can't compete with an actual rogue for dealing with traps regardless, due to lack of the Trapfinding feature. That's not easy to come by.)
    That is gained by 1 level of rogue

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    That is an issue, but it is something that will be dulled as they go up in levels. I think there's some character options that can add skills
    True. I mean, stuff like City Slicker etc. can add skills to the RHD levels, but obviously that costs precious feats.

    Alternative ways to get new Class skills

    All things considered, I think you're going to have to work pretty hard to make a Thorn Rogue 1 stack up to a Halfling Rogue 7 for general skillmonkeying and utility; especially when you look at the other things that the Rogue 7 gets and the Thorn doesn't: Evasion, Trap Sense and Uncanny Dodge - all of which can be traded away for ACFs, and/or used to qualify for PrCs.

    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
    True. I mean, stuff like City Slicker etc. can add skills to the RHD levels, but obviously that costs precious feats.

    Alternative ways to get new Class skills

    All things considered, I think you're going to have to work pretty hard to make a Thorn Rogue 1 stack up to a Halfling Rogue 7 for general skillmonkeying and utility; especially when you look at the other things that the Rogue 7 gets and the Thorn doesn't: Evasion, Trap Sense and Uncanny Dodge - all of which can be traded away for ACFs, and/or used to qualify for PrCs.
    Trap sense is garbage, and I mentioned that it will be behind 2 relevent abilities. I think the Thorn is good enough to be barely +0 vs a halfling rogue, but I value its increased defenses ore than others seem to

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

    I've seen the lack of skill points brought up as a point a couple of times, but I'm not certain that that'll be a real issue. Because of its high stat bonuses, the thorn could easily have more intelligence than a halfling rogue while still maintaining better combat stats as well. The lack of skills could be a bigger issue, but the basic skill list is not bad (diplomacy, stealth skills, perception skills), just short and focused. If you want to build a rogueish character focused on social infiltration, thorn is probably sub-optimal, but for sneaking around all you're missing is disable device and open lock, and getting a level in rogue will allow you to catch up to those in short order.
    Last edited by Randuir; 2019-03-04 at 06:08 AM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I'd definitely go with -0.

    If we remove the HD bloat so rightly pointed out, it might even make a usable roguish character.
    I'd shave like 2 RHD. Sleep arrows and 2d6 SA are definitely not enough to justify more ECL (I have a pixie character in my game, they're not as useful as it might seem.)
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I'm throwing my vote in for +0. I'd play it as it is right now, but then again I'm also the high op player in the games that takes the low-tiers to edge up into the same tier as the rest of the party.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    That is an issue, but it is something that will be dulled as they go up in levels. I think there's some character options that can add skills
    So we shouldn't be using a pure rogue 7 as our comparison point, we should be using rogue 5/assassin 2, Rogue3/Swashbuckler3/nightsong enforcer 1 (with daring outlaw feat and penetrating strike acf) or even rogue 5/Shadow Thief of Amn 2. All of which handily out perform thorn in their own way and the gap only gets bigger as they go up in levels. For your standard melee/ranged rogue bab is important like I have repeated, and this is due to iterative attacks and for the most part you are looking at full bab prcs like invisible blade, master thrower, whisper knife, bloodstorm blade, and nightsong enforcer. The second adds in a bit of magic whether through assassin or wizard and diving into unseen seer and master spell thief either way you can't even dip your toes into the magical water until level 7 putting you way behind as a thorn. And lastly are the hardcore skill monkies, with your lack luster skill list and loss in skill points you are behind and will always be behind end of story.

    So we have three cases mundane melee/ranged rogue, magic rogue, and skill monkey, thorn is worse than all of them with only sleep arrows to show for it, that sounds like -0 LA to me. It falls quite short of the benchmark of tier 3 and the argument of adding more levels helps to dampen this glaring issue only helps to emphasize that it is in fact -0 LA.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    It's good we're careful on this, but the divide between +0 and -0 amounts to an endorsement.
    What if we gave it LA 0 and let future readers decide whether they want +/-?
    The distinction between -0 and +0 is pretty directly comparable to the distinction between +0 and +1. At +0, it would be weak in a party one level above its HD; at -0, it would be weak in a party with a level equal to its HD.


    The thorn isn't going to be as good at rogue-ing as a rogue of equal HD, but it has some other tricks that rogues can't match (most importantly, sleep arrows). I'm not sure if that brings them up to +0 or just softens the -0 blow, but they're certainly comparable.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    When Thurbane is saying something is -0 LA you guys should pay attention as he tends towards the high side on LA. I don't think this thing is even on the border between -0 and +0, skill list sucks, you are loosing 2 skill points each level. You are forced going mundane ranged which isn't good to begin but is compounded by the loss of bab which puts you behind in number of attacks and sneak attack as well. sleep arrows do not make up enough to compensate you for the loss of skill points, bab, and sneak attack. This thing is just bad. it is firmly -0 LA.
    This is basically what I was going to say. -0 for me too

  30. - Top - End - #180
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    unseenmage's Avatar

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

    Evasion vs Sleep Arrows is the real fight here right?

    Which one scales better?

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