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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    NecromancerGirl

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

    I think the bad class skills and low base attack push it into -0 territory for me. As has been argued quite thoroughly, you lose too much both roles a rogue can hope to do (skillmonkey and damage). I also feel that there are lots of good skillmonkeys besides the rogue that are much higher in tier (bard and beguiler, of course, but cloistered clerics can be surprisingly solid with the right ACFs, and Unseen Seer builds are great), and a straight comparison to rogue is far too one-sided to get a good rating. If we're comparing the thorn to a t4 straight rogue to come up with +0, we're grasping at straws to pull out a positive LA.
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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    I think the bad class skills and low base attack push it into -0 territory for me. As has been argued quite thoroughly, you lose too much both roles a rogue can hope to do (skillmonkey and damage). I also feel that there are lots of good skillmonkeys besides the rogue that are much higher in tier (bard and beguiler, of course, but cloistered clerics can be surprisingly solid with the right ACFs, and Unseen Seer builds are great), and a straight comparison to rogue is far too one-sided to get a good rating. If we're comparing the thorn to a t4 straight rogue to come up with +0, we're grasping at straws to pull out a positive LA.
    Even if we are comparing to straight rogue 7 it comes out behind, -1 bab, worse skill set, less skill points, no trap finding, less sneak attack, no evasion, less versatility/variety in build. The extra ability scores, better will save, and sleep arrow soften the blow but they don't do enough to make it comparable to even a straight rogue 7 which is a bad baseline to begin with.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Trap sense is garbage
    That's why I mentioned ACFs: Penetrating Strike, for instance.

    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.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Ugh, I want the thorn to be +0, but I don't know if I can actually justify it.

    It's probably the most playable -0 we've had in ages. Thumbs, a normal size (being really big or really little can be fun, but it also causes problems navigating your environment sometimes), no massive stat penalties, a measurable amount of offense that meshes with class levels, an action-free save-or-lose rider automatically tacked onto regular attacks... but it's damned hard to honestly say that it's on par with 6 class levels.
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  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Question Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    It's probably the most playable -0 we've had in ages. Thumbs, a normal size (being really big or really little can be fun, but it also causes problems navigating your environment sometimes), no massive stat penalties, a measurable amount of offense that meshes with class levels, an action-free save-or-lose rider automatically tacked onto regular attacks... but it's damned hard to honestly say that it's on par with 6 class levels.
    The problem with the save-or-lose rider effect is that it relies on archery, which is arguably the worst attack mode in the game.

    Does Hank's Energy Bow come in small size, or are you going to need Strongarm Bracers?

    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.

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    NecromancerGirl

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    The problem with the save-or-lose rider effect is that it relies on archery, which is arguably the worst attack mode in the game.

    Does Hank's Energy Bow come in small size, or are you going to need Strongarm Bracers?
    \

    Archery is probably in the middle of attack modes. Better than one-handed and thrown, worse than TWF and 2H.

    You can stab people with arrows as improvised weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    That's why I mentioned ACFs: Penetrating Strike, for instance.
    I thought the trade for that was Evasion. That is really good, if a little campaign dependent. The thorns strength boost compensates for that nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Even if we are comparing to straight rogue 7 it comes out behind, -1 bab, worse skill set, less skill points, no trap finding, less sneak attack, no evasion, less versatility/variety in build. The extra ability scores, better will save, and sleep arrow soften the blow but they don't do enough to make it comparable to even a straight rogue 7 which is a bad baseline to begin with.
    If we are comparing it to a R7 then its going to have trap finding.

    It does the same damage, can do 3 SoLs in 1 round with the right build. They are a mind affecting fortitude save, so that's a thing

    I think straight halfling rogue is a good floor for comparison. Currently my thought is better than it La+0, worse La -0. The same ??

    With that said I think a strongheart halfling using boomerang daze is going to be just as good at most levels, but is going to be clearly better
    at levels where it gets more attacks, so I'll go with an LA of -0

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Question Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    To be honest, as with the Pixie version, the Sleep Arrow ability is a bit poorly defined. How many arrows do you get? Do they spawn from thin air? Does any mundane arrow you pick up automatically gain the sleep ability? Can you hand them off to party members to use?

    If you can hand them off to others to use, then the Thorn deserves LA +/-0* IMHO.

    [edit] Not sure if it changed in 3.5, but in Savage Species, under the Pixie racial class, it says you need to craft the arrows:
    Upon reaching 4th level, a pixie can craft pixie sleep arrows and pixie memory loss arrows as though meeting all of the requisites.
    ...unless I'm missing something, no further info is given about exactly how to craft these arrows or costs involved.

    Was any of this touched on during the Pixie discussion?
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...1#post22346543

    [/edit]
    Last edited by Thurbane; 2019-03-05 at 03:59 PM.

    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.

  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Comparing to t4 rogue I think it is +0. That the closest comparison point. Fey type has advantages (not being humanoid type is an advantage almost always ) as well. The stats make the damage pretty equal and lets you play around with all your scores a bit more so you can easily come out ahead in total skill points. You list is good if not awesome and those arrows can be great. If you compare it to t3 with like swordsage I think its a -0, but I think its fine at tier 4.

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    NecromancerGirl

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Comparing to t4 rogue I think it is +0. That the closest comparison point. Fey type has advantages (not being humanoid type is an advantage almost always ) as well. The stats make the damage pretty equal and lets you play around with all your scores a bit more so you can easily come out ahead in total skill points. You list is good if not awesome and those arrows can be great. If you compare it to t3 with like swordsage I think its a -0, but I think its fine at tier 4.
    My issue is that it falls behind too much when it's behind an attack.

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Over 20 levels vs. straight rogue it ends up with the same amount of attacks and its unlikely to matter in combat most of the time. You lose some damage but you can just use arrows to take someone out then coup de grace them.

    Plus if you have to mix it up in melee and not one turn kill the enemy, with more ac, hp, and the dr will help you more than the extra attack damage. If a round of sneak attack kills the enemy with that one extra attack, it is rarely enough of a threat to have that one more round matter.

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Thorn LA!

    -0 LA: 9 votes
    +0 LA: 9 votes

    ...not entirely surprisingly, it appears to be a tie. For now I'll declare this one a special case, and go with +0/-0.

    That said, I am not planning to make this a regular voting option, nor will I be assigning it in initial assessments. Only because the community is perfectly divided on an admittedly troublesome creature will +0/-0 be used here.
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  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Topiary Guardian


    when you have to defend your mansion at 7 but enter a landscaping competition at 8

    Anyway: topiary guardians are, as the descriptive text explains, not animate plants, but rather golem-like beings that just happen to use plants as a solid form. The statblock then proceeds to ignore all that and makes them plant-type anyway.

    The guardians are surprisingly detached from the animal they mimic: hit dice, ability scores and natural armor bonus are all size-dependent, while movement modes other than land speed are lost.

    The guardians also all have fire vulnerability, DR 10/slashing, tremorsense, and the ability to deal nonlethal damage without penalty. Furthermore, they can hold themselves motionless and appear to be a shrub to anyone who doesn't succeed on a DC 30 Spot check.

    However, the issue is that Topiary Guardian is typically going to be increasing something's HD to the point where it loses net viability. I guess there's a few niche cases where the template gives a boost, like by applying it to a legendary wolf or something, but those cases are rare and more based on lost RHD than any real benefit from the template itself. In any case, I doubt the resulting creature would qualify for more than -0 LA.

    +0 LA for the guardians in rare optimal cases, but if something it's only +0 LA on a handful of creatures it's hardly worthy of being called +0 at all. -0 LA, secure your garden in some other way.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-03-07 at 03:00 AM.
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  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    My first thought when I saw that it had a set amount of HD was to take something super huge (number-wise), yet only medium size-wise and that way it might be useable. Sadly, your ability scores are also a set amount depending on size, so this is just crap.

    -0.
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  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    My first thought when I saw that it had a set amount of HD was to take something super huge (number-wise), yet only medium size-wise and that way it might be useable. Sadly, your ability scores are also a set amount depending on size, so this is just crap.

    -0.
    I actually looked around, and the best I could find were the Legendary Animals that are also medium-sized (ape and wolf). Both would end up with somewhat underwhelming ability scores and 5 bad RHD, though.

    The ape would have a 2d6/1d8/1d8 attack routine, which when combined with a 2d8 Rend and DR 10/slashing is kind of respectable, but the two lost BAB suck and the ability scores aren't too impressive by then either.
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  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    LA -0. I am going to save my energy for analyzing worthwhile entries. If you could apply the template to something besides an Animal, maybe, but as is there is really nothing of that type that gains much from this application.

  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    -0. Neat window dressing but more or less bad otherwise.

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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

    pretty easy -0...

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    I wonder if the designers settled on plant type because the golems are still dependent upon the topiary being healthy and looking good. They probably reasoned that blight or some dehydrating attack would probably hurt these and decided against the construct type.

    As for making these a PC, what would the story of a Legendary Ape Topiary Guardian be? Did Francine Patterson and Cleve Backster join forces to see if the combined communication power of gorillas and plants could make a creature that could talk to everything? Then did they get mad scientist bored and weaponize it because why not?
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  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    I wonder if the designers settled on plant type because the golems are still dependent upon the topiary being healthy and looking good. They probably reasoned that blight or some dehydrating attack would probably hurt these and decided against the construct type.

    As for making these a PC, what would the story of a Legendary Ape Topiary Guardian be? Did Francine Patterson and Cleve Backster join forces to see if the combined communication power of gorillas and plants could make a creature that could talk to everything? Then did they get mad scientist bored and weaponize it because why not?
    My vote is House Vadalis was trying to compete with Cannith's warforged by creating sentient plant soldiers that could be commanded and mass scale weaponized!

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    If int 0/-10 I'm definitely going -0. If the DM is very generous at giving out a real Int score for free (and maybe Cha), a legendary ape or something might eke out +0. Medium size is the only real hope, and even then I think I'd significantly prefer orc warblade.

    So yeah, -0.

  21. - Top - End - #201
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Secure your garden in some other way.
    The kids will stay off my lawn if it's on fire.
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    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
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  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Fun option to generate NPC stat blocks for a combat encounter, hot garbage for PCs. -0 flat out.

    If you have to optimize heavily to get it to +0, it's not +0.

  23. - Top - End - #203
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Topiary Guardian: For me the set ability scores (and them being mediocre without awakening shenanigans) plus the absence of any special ability of note throws it instantly in the -0 bin.

    Thorn: Looks fun and about on par, 5/7 would play, +0.

  24. - Top - End - #204
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    -0 for the topiary guardians. Even if you dumpster dive splat books for a base creature to exploit, as shown above, the results are still fairly underwhelming.

    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.

  25. - Top - End - #205
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Random Sanity View Post
    Fun option to generate NPC stat blocks for a combat encounter ...
    Truth. Had a couple of these fellahs running Trample attacks all over an unoptimized level 10 to 15 party I was in. It was amusing and a good fight.

    IIRC two different party members passed the Spot checks.
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  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Topiary Guardian is easy enough that even I feel comfortable weighing in. -0.

  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    When a creature exists purely for the word play. This is definitely something fun to surprise players with, but hardly a match for any equally leveled half-elf. -0
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  28. - Top - End - #208
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    NecromancerGirl

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

    So the only base creature stats that really matter are attacks and land speed?

  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Anyway: topiary guardians are, as the descriptive text explains, not animate plants, but rather golem-like beings that just happen to use plants as a solid form. The statblock then proceeds to ignore all that and makes them plant-type anyway.
    I'm not sure what the difference is. Maybe it's a matter of power source, e.g. fey spirits vs. elemental spirits?

    But yeah, they're not that great as PCs. They're also not that great as lawn-guards; deterrence is usually more effective than trampling, and you're not going to deter any intruders with some neat topiary. To quote a certain book reviewer, HEDGES ARE NOT SCARY!
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread: Making monster PCs VI-able

    For what it's worth, plants count as objects for spells so one could just Animate Objects some hedges and get better guarduan shrubberies than these.

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