The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #961
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    int 5 is not stretching it: at int 3 you already know how to read and write by default. Also assuming that human int is spread under the form of 3D6 then 3 int means you are among the 1/216th of the population that is the least smart so unless you say that a quite huge chunk of the population is very unplayable then int 5 should be playable.
    Universal literacy is another game abstraction and if in-game Int works anything like IQ scores, the overwhelming majority are clustered around 9-12, with the extreme outliers (the 1/216 crowd and beyond) <7 and 14+.

    Either way, if we are seriously rating it on "no hands, no speech, no brains," as someone put it above, that's almost literally unplayable (LA -), not LA -0, and if we are indeed supposedly rating it on actually being playable, it categorically can't have "no brains".

  2. - Top - End - #962
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I'd be willing to play a blood hawk in a low-level party. But I can't give it better than LA -0. A barbarian or rogue or scout of a PHB race will be notably more effective overall; the blood hawk is only going to compare well against Tier 5. Heck, I'd give the advantage to a human fighter for most purposes. Bit of a shame ... that flight speed is tasty.
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  3. - Top - End - #963
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I would vote for +0, and assume that the playgroup will be somewhat accommodating in terms of letting them function as a PC. It makes me think of Tobias from Animorphs.

  4. - Top - End - #964
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    Universal literacy is another game abstraction and if in-game Int works anything like IQ scores, the overwhelming majority are clustered around 9-12, with the extreme outliers (the 1/216 crowd and beyond) <7 and 14+.

    Either way, if we are seriously rating it on "no hands, no speech, no brains," as someone put it above, that's almost literally unplayable (LA -), not LA -0, and if we are indeed supposedly rating it on actually being playable, it categorically can't have "no brains".
    You can not multiply int by 10 and get an iq score: it is not how it works nor how the game attributes int scores to creatures.
    I think that assuming intellect in a simulated real life human population as being obtained by rolling 3d6 is more coherent with the monsters in the game and also makes the whole "everybody with 3 int or more can read" coherent.
    Unless you want to tell me that orcs that have a full -4 int penalty therefore should have never succeeded to make civilisations as complex as the one in dnd because having 40 less iq on average would have prevented them from creating such a thing.
    so I can say the relation between IQ and int if there is one is not close to being linear as you seem to assume(or you should search through all the monster manuals and for each monster supposed to be able to create civilisations that have a consequent int penalty remove it and seek other similar inconsistencies with your own vision of int that directly oppose the entire game).
    Last edited by noob; 2019-10-12 at 11:02 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #965
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Everyone being able to read is a game abstraction for ease of play, not at all related to cognitive function. In a largely agrarian world, with no universal education, there is literally no excuse to have everyone be literate other than it being just a game and one really shouldn't try to justify that.

  6. - Top - End - #966
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I'm voting LA +0 for the blood hawk. I honestly don't put a lot of credence in the lack of hands and speech as serious impediments. A Fly speed, three natural attacks with a minor rider effect, and a Str bonus are all pretty good for a melee character early on, especially if it doesn't cost you any class levels.

    At higher levels, your lack of racial HD means your maneuver progression can keep pace with the other tier-3's, and Flyby Attack is pretty easy to get and works well with most maneuvers. Your base damage is low, but you do get a bit of a Str bonus, and your claws can do double damage on a dive attack. I think a fair number of builds might be able to keep up with average parties at this tier. If the comparison is tier 4, then I think blood hawks will likely come out fairly even in the long run.
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  7. - Top - End - #967
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Hmm. I feel like itís easier to justify no hands and INT -8 if youíre not paying an HD tax on top of it, and it doesnít actually say it canít talk. (Presumably youíll buy at least 11 INT to keep on the clear side of the ďno PCs with under 3 INTĒ rule.)

    Youíll have to play smart to prevent the lack of hands from being a hindrance in the late game, but youíd be pretty functional early on. Decent combat (not skill) rogue, for instance, or another martial-style class. Or a WIS caster, because why not. Psywar would actually be pretty badass.

    Iím okay with +0 under the assumption that anyone using our system will have enough basic savvy to not box themselves into an unworkable corner.
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  8. - Top - End - #968
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I believe that a lack of hands can be incredibly crippling at higher levels and that having a -8 intelligence penalty can be very difficult to role play. That being said, I think a blood hawk would make a very cool and effective cohort, and I thus vote for LA +0.

    It would be much more enjoyable to play the master of an intelligence 3 creature than it would to play the creature itself. Also, in this situation, the humanoid player could likely use his hands and share of the treasure to benefit the blood hawk, thereby somewhat diminishing its inherent limitations.

    All this being said, I don't know if LA reassignment accounts for cohorts gained through the leadership feat. If not, I'm voting for -0.

  9. - Top - End - #969
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I don't imagine that anyone will play a creature with bestial intelligence and if we're going to handwave that for animals, I don't see why magical beasts wouldn't qualify either. With that aside, the dubious manipulators and lack of obvious speech certainly detract from the otherwise reasonable abilities, but they're not a total loss. I'd given them a weak LA +0.

  10. - Top - End - #970
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Flight and great non-int stats, I'll take a strong +0 for 500 gold, Alex. If it were this or one of the crappier humanoids, I'd take this every single time.

  11. - Top - End - #971
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    I don't imagine that anyone will play a creature with bestial intelligence and if we're going to handwave that for animals, I don't see why magical beasts wouldn't qualify either.
    I think that the awaken spell motivates the hand-waving of low intelligence for animals, but I could be wrong. Unfortunately, I'm aware of no spell to permanently increase the intelligence of magical beasts besides wish.

  12. - Top - End - #972
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Definite -0 from me. Too many drawbacks.
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  13. - Top - End - #973
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Three natural weapons, flight, 0HD... yeah I can definitely see myself playing this. +0. Not for most character concepts, obviously, but for enough I think it's viable.
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  14. - Top - End - #974
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    1 what lack of speech?
    Usually if a creature can speak, it notes what languages it can speak in the description. It could be argued they have the capacity for speech, I guess. If you can speak, you're probably going to have to spend some (cross class) ranks in speak language: and of course with -8 Int, skill points are already in short supply.

    I suppose you could say they understand (but not speak) at least one language if their starting Int is 3 or higher:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    2 It has a beak and a strength boost so it should be more able to manipulate things than crows and other birds so I don't think that would be too bad other than not being able to wield weapons effectively
    Well yes, its better off than, say, a snake, but as you say, weapons (other than Mouthpick) are unlikely. You're going to need a significant investment in magic items and/or other resources to function close to your average humanoid in terms of interactivity with the game world.

    I stand by -0: you're a glorified eagle with a minor special attack and the Intelligence modifier of a donkey. I mean, it's not a horrible -0 like a 32HD construct, but I don't think it quite makes +0 IMHO.

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  15. - Top - End - #975
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Ratings for the Bloody Birb:

    -0: 9 votes
    +0: 14 votes
    +1: 2 votes

    +0 it is.
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  16. - Top - End - #976
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Bloodthorn


    Fun fact! The blood thorn is one of the few sessile D&D monsters with a dexterity score!
    Not-so-fun fact: the blood thorn is one of the few sessile D&D monsters.

    3 plant HD, Large size, surprisingly good physical stats (ranging from +6 to +10), reach, four 1d8 tendril attacks, improved grab that activates after two tendril hits (and deals constitution damage when ended), and blood drain.

    On the one hand, that's a nice package of physical stats. On the other hand, you're a plant without hands, most item slots, intelligence, and movement (also, arguably, sight or blindsight). Getting this to move is tricky enough already (several Talismans of the Disk?), let alone having it contribute meaningfully to noncombat encounters (or, depending on your attitude towards grappling, encounters of any kind).

    While the blood thorn with some modifications might be worth using, it's definitely not viable as it is right now. -0 LA.
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  17. - Top - End - #977
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    No INT is an automatic -0.

  18. - Top - End - #978
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    I don't imagine that anyone will play a creature with bestial intelligence and if we're going to handwave that for animals, I don't see why magical beasts wouldn't qualify either. With that aside, the dubious manipulators and lack of obvious speech certainly detract from the otherwise reasonable abilities, but they're not a total loss. I'd given them a weak LA +0.
    Personally I don't mind playing a dumb character it can actually be fun, makes you think about things differently. I have always taken it as 3 int + is capable of reading/writing/speaking/understanding language rather than being 'fully literate'; also I think it is incorrect to completely ignore Wisdom when talking about literacy. Intelligence is 'knowing your letters' wisdom is having the capacity to make coherent thoughts.

    Anyways there are plenty of playable monsters that are not much better off than 'beastial' levels of intelligence, take the cave troll for example with baseline 3 int and they are perfectly playable and rather fun. Sometimes you just want to be that big dumb brute who uses an axe to the face to solve the argument and that is just fine.

    I personally think it has enough going for it that it can get by until level 2 or 3 when it can get a pearl of speech and with proper planning having hands around level 6 shouldn't be an issue either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zecrin View Post
    I think that the awaken spell motivates the hand-waving of low intelligence for animals, but I could be wrong. Unfortunately, I'm aware of no spell to permanently increase the intelligence of magical beasts besides wish.
    Yeah we have always used the expectation of using awakening spells to ignore the int issues, I vaguely remember a conversation a few times of rating the awakening spells but decided against it because it is ambiguous how you rate a dice roll...

    On to Bloodthorn, this seems to be a clear -0. You really have to jump through hoops to make this playable and only a few select builds could work.

  19. - Top - End - #979
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    -0 for the bloodthorn. It is pretty much worse in every way that volodni. Not a great place to be.

  20. - Top - End - #980
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    It might be an interesting optimization exercise to try to hack mobility onto this thing without expending more resources than necessary, but that doesnít mean itís really playable as written.

    Comfortable with either -0 or -0*, with the * referring to ďcanít move.Ē

    Might come back later and see if that -0* should be +0*; would it be viable (assuming awaken or our typical fudge factor for playing something nominally mindless) if it had a land speed? Donít have the time right this second to judge, but it might be worth reviewing even if we ultimately donít like it.
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  21. - Top - End - #981
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I can't shake off the impression that this is the tenth "grappling, draining, slow moving/immobile plant" monster out there. And they all get LA -0, including this one.
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  22. - Top - End - #982
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    It might be an interesting optimization exercise to try to hack mobility onto this thing without expending more resources than necessary, but that doesnít mean itís really playable as written.

    Comfortable with either -0 or -0*, with the * referring to ďcanít move.Ē

    Might come back later and see if that -0* should be +0*; would it be viable (assuming awaken or our typical fudge factor for playing something nominally mindless) if it had a land speed? Donít have the time right this second to judge, but it might be worth reviewing even if we ultimately donít like it.
    I don't think '*' is appropriate here but it might be. Also I am interested in how Awaken interacts with Bloodthorn, I think it could technically work on the bloodthorn but might replace everything the bloodthorn has which wouldn't be an improvement even though it could now move.

  23. - Top - End - #983
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    -0. Immobile grappling plant does not give enough.

  24. - Top - End - #984
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    An immobile, unintelligent plant? Yeah, that's a pretty clear -0.
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  25. - Top - End - #985
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    It has a speed of 0', so it should be possible to simply increase that. Take the Quick trait, Speed of Thought, a level in barbarian, etcetera. Still very much not worth it, given all the other big problems, but the speed is open to simple +numbers optimization.

    LA -0 for the crappy mental stats and lack of manipulators. Common sense suggests these are blind, too, but as-is, they simply make Spot/Listen checks at +1.
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  26. - Top - End - #986
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Starting at -0*, * for can't move+questionable manipulators. Basically, a DM heads-up that this guy being a party member at all requires a lot of consideration/rulings/homebrew.

    Pretty if you want to play a large, grappling plant I'd recommend: Choose another base creature, or make one from scratch. And that assumes we found a workaround for Int -, which is reasonable for this thread really. I don't think simple -0 is enough warning to a DM for this thing.

  27. - Top - End - #987
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    I'm going with -0. Can't move, arguably no manipulators, unintelligent, unable to speak, and can't really do much besides grapple(and Freedom of Movement says no).

    If one wanted to make this thing move, what would be the best way to do so besides DM Fiat?
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  28. - Top - End - #988
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Covenant12 View Post
    Starting at -0*, * for can't move+questionable manipulators. Basically, a DM heads-up that this guy being a party member at all requires a lot of consideration/rulings/homebrew.

    Pretty if you want to play a large, grappling plant I'd recommend: Choose another base creature, or make one from scratch. And that assumes we found a workaround for Int -, which is reasonable for this thread really. I don't think simple -0 is enough warning to a DM for this thing.
    As ExLibrisMortis pointed out 'can't move' isn't actually an issue since it has a speed of 0' rather than a speed of - and it naturally has str and dex. This is unlike things like the Formian Queen who specifically had 0' and no STR or DEX. Similarly there are enough workarounds for manipulators and hands and we have gone over them repeatedly that that really isn't a valid reason for a '*' either.

    On the other hand the Int - is much harder to deal with is '*'. The go to would normally be awaken, though it is more or less up to a dm to decide if this qualifies as a 'tree'. Furthermore, reading through awaken it should theoretically replace the bloodthorn's rhd and ability scores with animated object of the correct size with the specified rolls for mental abilities. Best case would be a dm saying yes this is an ok candidate for awaken and use the animal rules to determine its functionality rather than standard plant rules. However, such a ruling would be dm fiat/homebrew. So the next question is do we have any templates that could fix this issue? And the answer is yes pretty easily in fact just slap on the Celestial/Fiendish Creature template and we are good to go as in so many other cases of monsters we have rated.

    So all and all I don't see any argument for '*'.
    Last edited by liquidformat; 2019-10-14 at 02:53 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #989
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    LA -0 on sessile grappling plant-thing #867 (or so it feels like). Having Speed 0 ft means you could theoretically do something here, but there is just so little to work with even with a permissive DM.

  30. - Top - End - #990
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Concur, LA -0.

    Not worth trying to salvage into something useful as to a PC.


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