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    Default Balancing/Finding Template SLAs

    I think this is the best subforum to put this in, so...

    As a "gimmick" for a 3.5 game I'm working out details on, I'm planning to have the PCs be the products of some kind of magical experimentation. Since this involves them getting a few plot-relevant spell-like abilities, I decided to also let them choose a template stripped down to per-HD spell-like abilities and enough other fluff to keep things distinct and balanced.


    Half-fiend and half-celestial were obvious picks, and a good balance point. I thought they could get DR/magic, spell resistance, and at-will daylight (for the celestial)/natural attacks (for the fiend) on top of that. Half-fey (Fiend Folio) also fits the bill, but the at-will charm person they get at first level seems...strong. So I thought extra abilities could be limited to low-light vision and enchantment immunity.
    Does this seem balanced so far, or is one spell list significantly stronger/weaker than the other two in ways I hadn't realized?

    I want to use the half-illithid template, but it only gives SLAs (technically psionics) through 7th level. Obviously, it needs additional abilities (especially after that point) to be competitive with the other half-templates' SLA lists. I'm thinking, at minimum, use of the template's tentacles and mind blast (probably multiple times per day, details pending) and access to Savage Species's Illithid Savant prestige class.
    Alternatively, I could just give them the tentacles, savant access, and reduced psion progression (a la the psionic mind flayer in the Expanded Psionics Handbook, just...less so). I'd rather not do that, especially since it would defeat part of the original purpose here, but it's an option.
    Any suggestions on how to bring half-illithids in line?

    And what other templates are available? I wanted to give players about half a dozen options (because reasons), each with good arguments for taking them. The Woodling from the Monster Manual 3 is an option, but aside from an SLA list that seems kind of lackluster (to my untrained eye), it covers a lot of the same thematic ground as the half-fey template.


    Any help you guys can provide would be appreciated!
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    Default Re: Balancing/Finding Template SLAs

    .
    Not sure if you mean them to have racial levels, racial HD or LA (and how many).
    If you specify the full details of what you currently have available to you - that would be a decent comparison tool to work with.

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    Default Re: Balancing/Finding Template SLAs

    And I, in turn, am confused about what you are confused about.
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    Default Re: Balancing/Finding Template SLAs

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    And I, in turn, am confused about what you are confused about.
    Possibly confusion over not knowing enough about Half-Fae and Half-Illithid, but more likely confusion over the scaling emphasis muddying the idea of them being templates, since templates that scale like this are relatively rare.

    Also, rather than Half-Illithid, Phrenic Creature would probably be a better example for Psi-like abilities.
    My most liked class, thematically, is the Artificer. Make free items! (fail by RAW to)Hold up the setting! Have access to every magic item...
    My most liked class, mechanically, is the Bard. I sing the enemy to death! (at level 21)I talk you into a suicidal fanatic! I need to cheese rules that make me sing as I fight or talk to get things done...

    I prefer t2 over anything else, because t2 lets you become anything. I think Psionics is more versatile than magic.

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    Default Re: Balancing/Finding Template SLAs

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    And I, in turn, am confused about what you are confused about.
    Basically it's very close to what Morphic tide said.
    You wish to allow PCs to take templates, but as we all know templates were not made equal on per-level-powers or the number of levels/HD.

    Therefore, I'm assuming you already have some kind of vision how to level the playing field - at least regarding some of them.
    Well, what is that vision then?

    Your answer will clarify your design goals and expectations, otherwise replies will revolve mainly around the goals and expectations of the repliers rather than yours.

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    Default Re: Balancing/Finding Template SLAs

    Well, I'm not really the most qualified person to answer this question, but I'll try.

    For the Half-Illithid, I would just use the template's SLAs, and the psionic mind flayer's "typical psion powers known" as a guideline, and select a list of PLAs based on that. Here's a crude attempt:

    1-2 mindlink
    3-4 charm, psionic
    5-6 suggestion, psionic
    7-8 levitate, psionic
    9-10 body adjustment
    11-12 intellect fortress
    13-14 mind probe
    15-16 catapsi
    17-18 fuse flesh
    19-20 decerebrate

    As far as other templates, there are the Half-Elemental templates from Manual of the Planes. But, they don't give anything except Outsider type, some minor number boosts, and SLAs. I'd suggest giving them something to match their elemental heritage.

    If you're looking to make entirely custom templates, perhaps you could use cleric domains? Those are ready-made, thematic lists that could be easily made into lists of 1/day SLAs. Adding a side benefit to match the energy resistances or natural weapons or whatever extra abilities you're giving from the existing templates.
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    Default Re: Balancing/Finding Template SLAs

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Basically it's very close to what Morphic tide said.
    You wish to allow PCs to take templates, but as we all know templates were not made equal on per-level-powers or the number of levels/HD.

    Therefore, I'm assuming you already have some kind of vision how to level the playing field - at least regarding some of them.
    Well, what is that vision then?

    Your answer will clarify your design goals and expectations, otherwise replies will revolve mainly around the goals and expectations of the repliers rather than yours.
    Basically, I'd give the players the SLAs associated with the templates when they leveled up. Taking half-celestial as an example, they'd get protection from evil three times a day and bless once per day; they'd add aid and detect evil at 3rd level, cure serious wounds and neutralize poison at 5th, and so on.

    I'd initially hoped that I could just leave it at that, but then I realized that (as you noted) the SLA lists were not at all on even playing fields. (I think it was the at-will charm person that tipped me off.) So I decided to add additional abilities from the template to balance out the disparity. As mentioned in the original post:
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I thought [half-fiend/celestial] could get DR/magic, spell resistance, and at-will daylight (for the celestial)/natural attacks (for the fiend) on top of [the SLAs]. Half-fey (Fiend Folio) also fits the bill, but the at-will charm person they get at first level seems...strong. So I thought extra abilities could be limited to low-light vision and enchantment immunity.
    Which is about as far as I'd figured, because that seems in the ballpark of balanced to me and I wanted to check with people who might have a better eye for balance before I got too far in the reeds.


    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Possibly confusion over not knowing enough about Half-Fae and Half-Illithid, but more likely confusion over the scaling emphasis muddying the idea of them being templates, since templates that scale like this are relatively rare.
    Hence my asking "Hey, does anyone know of other templates that scale?"

    Also, rather than Half-Illithid, Phrenic Creature would probably be a better example for Psi-like abilities.
    Like that one, thank you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    As far as other templates, there are the Half-Elemental templates from Manual of the Planes. But, they don't give anything except Outsider type, some minor number boosts, and SLAs. I'd suggest giving them something to match their elemental heritage.
    I'll look into it.

    If you're looking to make entirely custom templates, perhaps you could use cleric domains? Those are ready-made, thematic lists that could be easily made into lists of 1/day SLAs. Adding a side benefit to match the energy resistances or natural weapons or whatever extra abilities you're giving from the existing templates.
    I'm trying to go for a bit of a "mad scientist tried to create something powerful" vibe. Half-whatever templates (and arguably phrenic) support such a vibe in a way that clerical domains just don't.
    Since I didn't mention that initially, though, I think this was a good idea. Just not quite for what I was trying to do.
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