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  1. - Top - End - #751
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I wish we could use these rules for competitions. If I ever ran a comp I definitely would.
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  2. - Top - End - #752
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Abyssal Ghoul


    The abyssal ghoul: a being much like its regular cousin except for the challenge rating, location, lore, and most iconic ability.

    Not going to pretend this is good: 16 undead HD ruin basically all chances of the ghouls being good PCs. The unimpressive stats, assorted energy immunities, and low SR don't help, and neither do Improved Grab and the wisdom-drain-on-pin (did I mention the ghoul has a terrible grapple modifier). They have three weakish claw attacks, all of which spread an otherwise unremarkable disease (it can't even turn victims into more ghouls).

    For some reason, this thing has some rogue abilities tacked on (5d6 sneak attack and uncanny dodge). They don't make much of a difference, but I guess they're better than nothing.

    Overall, I'm not going to dwell on this for long because it's just a big pile of RHD with fairly random abilities. -0 LA, next.
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  3. - Top - End - #753
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Three claws?
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  4. - Top - End - #754
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    Post Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Three claws?
    Maybe it balances on one foot and attacks with the other foot as well? The art looks like the toes end in claws. Although it says "rear claws", plural, so maybe it does some weird standing jump kick thing? In either case, decidedly odd.

    • Medium Undead (Extraplanar)
    • 16RHD (poor BAB, 1 good save) - I feel like I could just about stop here.
    • 40 ft speed - meh.
    • Weird number of claw attacks.
    • Disease - not a great attack for PCs, when you consider the incubation time.
    • Improved grab - not amazing on a medium creature with poor BAB.
    • Sneak attack - equal to a 9th level Rogue. This may have been impressive 7 HD ago.
    • Wisdom drain - odd that they get this instead of paralysis. This thing really doesn't bear much resemblance to terrestrial ghoul. You need a pin to do this: see improved grab above.
    • Electricity immunity - nice.
    • Resist acid, cold and fore 20 - also nice.
    • Blindsight 90 feet - again, nice, but the descropton says you are blind, so that comes with all the usual drawbacks.
    • SR 20 - no at all impressive when you have 16 monster levels under your belt.
    • Deathwatch - always on. Good, but hardly groundbreaking.
    • Uncanny dodge - OK, but the Rogue got this 12HD ago.
    • Undead traits - these are always tasty.
    • Str +14, Dex +6, Con --, Int +4, Wis +4, Cha +8: net +36, and one non-ability. These is some very nice numbers, but doesn't make up for 16 lost class levels. At least the Str boost helps with improved grab/pin, but not quite enough to offset 8 lost BAB. A grappler really wants to be large and/or have full BAB.
    • Decent, if a little short, racial skill list.
    • You are humanoid in shape, and can speak, so you'll be good for gear/magic items, and for casting. As mentioned above, being blind comes with a bunch of hindrances, even after you take blindsight into account.

    While it has some decent abilities, and great ability mods, those 16RHD are too much to look past (poor BAB on a thing which is primarily a melee grappler is bad). Being blind also hinders you. Easy LA -0 from me. At half the HD, I'd consider a +0.

    I also doubt is efficacy as a CR 10 encounter. My player's ECL 9 party of 4 are far from optimized,and would wipe the floor with this thing.

    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.

  5. - Top - End - #755
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Three claws?
    Front claw, other front claw, and back claws (plural).
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  6. - Top - End - #756
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    LA -0 on the unimpressive Ghoul thing. Very little to salvage SIXTEEN UNDEAD RHD, which deserves its own caps for anything not packing Atropal levels of Undead BS.

  7. - Top - End - #757
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    Three claws?
    It has a tongue with teeth...

    This is an Easy -0, cut it down to 8 or 9 rhd and I think it would be playable...

  8. - Top - End - #758
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    16 undead hd without full casting/manifesting/maneuvers/any other subsystem = to HD a -0 makes unless it has enough neat things to compete with a real character, (an infernals slas). Clearly a -0. Bruisers need full bab, reach, flight, special senses, and some tricks to be competitive if saddled with piles of hd.

  9. - Top - End - #759
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    16 undead HD is a high barrier for a player to overcome and at this point I can just ask "why not play a gravetouched ghoul lesser tiefling?" Same concept, slightly worse stats, +2 LA vs 16 undead hit dice. -0 for this sucker.

  10. - Top - End - #760
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Yeah. Abyssal Ghoul is in trouble at it's CR of 10.
    At level 16? LA -0
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  11. - Top - End - #761
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I made an abyssal ghoul for Legend several years ago, and I thought it was reasonably cool. Had nothing to do with this thing’s abilities, though. Trivial -0.
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  12. - Top - End - #762
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Consistent guideline, RHD 16, CR 10 and undead type: South Park voice: "You're gonna have a bad time."

    It is fairly tough to kill at level 10, other than by weapon damage. Cha to Hps and it might make a speed bump. It really isn't that as written. Without a cleric it might be remembered for giving a point or two of Constitution drain. Nothing in combat will be worth remembering, really.

    Very bad -0.

  13. - Top - End - #763
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    16 undead HD? With those traits? Nah, bro, it's definitely a -0.
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  14. - Top - End - #764
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Ahuizotl


    Eye-eating horse-sized aberrations, lifted straight from Aztec myth.

    To start off, 7 HD are bad. The somewhat high bonus to strength (+10) and assorted bonuses to most other stats are neat. 40 ft. swim speed is great, but 20 ft. land speed would be embarrassing on a medium creature, let alone a large one. Natural weapons are okay: a secondary 2d6 bite and a 1d6, 10 ft. reach, 'tail hand'.

    Ahuizotls of course have a number of quirky special abilities. Mimicry lets them mimic voices using Bluff (have you considered a wand of ghost sound), Improved Grab does its usual thing (with the added caveat of only working on medium-and-smaller creatures), Drowning is hilariously redundant (if you can grapple something for 2+ minutes, it's probably dead at the end anyways).

    Finally, there's a signature ability of sorts in Blinding Strike, which makes all tail hand and bite critical hits permanently blind the opponent. I suppose it's neat, and some specialized critfisher could probably exploit it decently well, but at the end of the day you're just occasionally copying a mediocre 2nd-level spell.

    Anyway: while the ahuizotl has some neat quirks, its overall chassis is mediocre and its special abilities are not powerful enough to make it shine. -0 LA, even if it gets around the 'no hands' issue in the most unique way I've seen so far.
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  15. - Top - End - #765
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    It arguably has three hands, I think, based on the "resembles a monkey in form, but has a head and hind legs similar to a dog's" line. That would seem to suggest that it's forelimbs (and forepaws) are like that of a monkey, and I think we agreed that monkeys probably have useable hands.


    That said ... agree on -0.
    It's nifty as a monster, but it doesn't have the ability to last as a PC.
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  16. - Top - End - #766
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    Post Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I have a real soft spot for these guys as encounters. I usually enjoy a good adaptation or a real-world mythological beast.

    • Large aberration (magical beast would have been preferable). Medium BAB, 1 good save, 2 skill points/level - one of the the less appealing RHD types.
    • 20 ft move, swim 40ft - OK if you're spending a lot of a campaign in or near water.
    • +6 natural AC - not bad.
    • Tail hand and bite - at least the tail hand gets reach.
    • Blinding strike - not a bad rider effect on a critical.
    • Drowning - is this really a special attack? Couldn't any grappler do this, more-or-less?
    • Improved grab - you're large with a decent Str mod, so that's good. -2 BAB isn't ideal, though.
    • Darkvision 60 ft - OK.
    • Voice mimicry - not great.
    • Str +10, Dex +4, Con +4, Int +2, Cha +4: net +24, no penalties. Fairly good.
    • Decent racial skill list.
    • They can speak Common, which bodes well for class progression and item use.
    • Quadrupedal body shape, with an extra limb. Armor and such will be a pain. Can the tail hand wield objects? It's described as prehensile, so should be able to. Maybe even somatic components.

    It's almost a +0, but the large amount of poor RHD, and non-humanoid body type put this as a LA -0 for me. If you go ToB, you won't get 9th level maneuvers; and without fast progression classes, your casting isn't that great. 7 levels worth of 2 skill points/level hurt skill-monkeying opportunities too.

    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.

  17. - Top - End - #767
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    These things are fun to fling at PCs, but I wouldn't want to play one. -0.
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  18. - Top - End - #768
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I have a real soft spot for these guys as encounters. I usually enjoy a good adaptation or a real-world mythological beast.

    • Large aberration (magical beast would have been preferable). Medium BAB, 1 good save, 2 skill points/level - one of the the less appealing RHD types.
    • 20 ft move, swim 40ft - OK if you're spending a lot of a campaign in or near water.
    • +6 natural AC - not bad.
    • Tail hand and bite - at least the tail hand gets reach.
    • Blinding strike - not a bad rider effect on a critical.
    • Drowning - is this really a special attack? Couldn't any grappler do this, more-or-less?
    • Improved grab - you're large with a decent Str mod, so that's good. -2 BAB isn't ideal, though.
    • Darkvision 60 ft - OK.
    • Voice mimicry - not great.
    • Str +10, Dex +4, Con +4, Int +2, Cha +4: net +24, no penalties. Fairly good.
    • Decent racial skill list.
    • They can speak Common, which bodes well for class progression and item use.
    • Quadrupedal body shape, with an extra limb. Armor and such will be a pain. Can the tail hand wield objects? It's described as prehensile, so should be able to. Maybe even somatic components.

    It's almost a +0, but the large amount of poor RHD, and non-humanoid body type put this as a LA -0 for me. If you go ToB, you won't get 9th level maneuvers; and without fast progression classes, your casting isn't that great. 7 levels worth of 2 skill points/level hurt skill-monkeying opportunities too.
    The drowning thing might be a special thing where it can drown anybody or anything.

    RAW, I think it can technically drown those who can breath water or otherwise under an effect allowing them to breathe while under water, and those who don't need to breathe at all. And it doesn't matter if you've got an ability showing you to extend the amount of time you can hold your breath.
    Also, it can do this if it's standing in a puddle that's a sixteenth of an inch deep (depth of water is irrelevant for this ability).

    ...
    It's possible that this ability should have been (Su) not (Ex).
    Or, y'know, not an ability at all, just something mentioned in the opening of the combat section. Which would probably be more consistent with what is likely the RAI.
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  19. - Top - End - #769
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by javcs View Post
    It arguably has three hands, I think, based on the "resembles a monkey in form, but has a head and hind legs similar to a dog's" line. That would seem to suggest that it's forelimbs (and forepaws) are like that of a monkey, and I think we agreed that monkeys probably have useable hands.


    That said ... agree on -0.
    It's nifty as a monster, but it doesn't have the ability to last as a PC.
    I can see the argument that it has usable hands on its forelimbs, but I'm somewhat less sure it can stand on just its hind legs. The anatomy and image strongly suggest this is a quadruped.

    I suppose it could still wield weapons underwater though, might be worth noting that in that case.
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  20. - Top - End - #770
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    I can see the argument that it has usable hands on its forelimbs, but I'm somewhat less sure it can stand on just its hind legs. The anatomy and image strongly suggest this is a quadruped.

    I suppose it could still wield weapons underwater though, might be worth noting that in that case.
    It wouldn't necessarily need to go bipedal for extended periods. Just briefly, like how dogs, cats, bears, most monkeys and great apes, and other animals can go up on their hind legs to reach at something higher up, or, as in the case of bears, to fight each other. They can't be bipedal all the time, of course, but for brief periods they can.

    Or it could whack something or someone with one hand while keeping the other free for locomotion.


    Also ... I'm not at all sure about the picture's accuracy. It doesn't fit the text description very well, IMO.


    That said ... whether or not and how it can utilize its forelimbs and forepaws as hands isn't going to change the LA, IMO. It's just a quirk the DM might let you take advantage of.

    Edit: And I'd never play one even with the most favorable interpretation/take on its forelimbs and forepaws and brief bipedal opportunities.
    Last edited by javcs; 2019-09-23 at 04:40 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #771
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    No-save, no-SR blinding is nice. Too bad it doesn't work on the huge swath of enemies that are immune to crits.

    I can honestly say this doesn't match up to a normal level 7 beatstick (with the aforementioned wand of ghost sound). It's not horrendous, but it's still LA -0.
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  22. - Top - End - #772
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I don't have my books at the moment: Is the ahuizotl really not amphibious, or is the online stat block I looked at just missing that note?

    Either way, ahuizotl is LA -0. Maybe worth it at 5 HD, but not 7.
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  23. - Top - End - #773
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    No, nothing in the FF entry implies amphibious except the picture.
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  24. - Top - End - #774
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Bleh. How much is their CR?
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  25. - Top - End - #775
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Honestly if this were a magical beast instead of an aberration I could be tempted towards a -0 but as is it's an okay combat monkey with 7 aberration hit dice. -0 from me.

  26. - Top - End - #776
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    -0. Neat, flavorful but for adventuring kind of worthless with that many bad hd. By strictest raw drowning anything in a small puddle of spit or whatnot gets around regeneration etc. but at that point you are likely drown healing and then its divide by 0 territory.

  27. - Top - End - #777
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Weird critter, but it really needed those last 2 BAB to make ends meet for a build. LA -0 from me.
    Last edited by ViperMagnum357; 2019-09-23 at 02:09 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #778
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    Thumbs up Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Bleh. How much is their CR?
    CR 6: they make an interesting swamp encounter, and I've run them against the party I DM.

    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.

  29. - Top - End - #779
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    No, nothing in the FF entry implies amphibious except the picture.
    Yes, innate swim speed and standard notes on that. But nothing implies water breathing or holding its breath better.

    Thurbane did a thorough analysis and got closer to +0 than I expected, but I still think its short. -2 BAB, 1 good save, poor skills. Stats are nice but they can't do much, orc warblade brings a lot more.

    Firm -0. Not unplayable, especially in a water setting. But core race/class builds would be better for the role you want, including beatstick.

  30. - Top - End - #780
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    seems like a -0 LA to me. Honestly, changing it to magical beast and verifying that it can use its front claws and tail for grasping might be enough to turn it into a +1 instead.

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