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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniikinis View Post
    I keep forgetting to reply to these threads when I'm on the site.

    Anyways, for the troll I'll give a +0 and +1 for the Misspelling of a Magic: the Gathering affliction in the shape of a troll
    ...What.

    Also, I've probably mentioned this more than once, but a large part of unplayable monsters - LA or not - does seem to be because they weren't exactly meant to be PCs. I mean, with things like, I dunno, fey, dragons, outsiders, undead and whatnot, playing evil psionic seafood seems preeeeeeetty low on the list, doesn't it?
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  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Psicrystal


    Hoo, boy. I'm not really sure how to rate this, but it's got a monster entry so we're gonna try anyway.

    To make this a bit more manageable, I'm going to assume that we're talking about a 1 HD psicrystal here (as anything with more is likely to be way less interesting as a PC), who doesn't have a master and is completely free-willed. With those assumptions out of the way, let's go!

    What're the abilities of such a psicrystal? A mixed bag. Fine size is a semi-useful niche (only replicated by hairy spiders and Returned-To-Nature Half Giants). Hardness 8 is very powerful.

    The real problem here is that going by the rules laid out above (no master), our psicrystal can't benefit from Self-Propulsion. Because of this, it lacks a strength and dexterity score, and doesn't have a movement speed either. This isn't all bad, because at least it can now use intelligence for initiative, but it's hardly good.

    Improved Evasion is actually surprisingly useful. While having no dexterity score makes you fail Reflex saves automatically, the ability still reduces their damage by half.

    Further limitations of being a little crystal: no limbs, presumably less item slots, and an inability to see beyond 40 ft.

    Even worse: the most obvious route (SAD intelligence psion) is complicated greatly by an innate -4 intelligence.

    In the end, the resilience and small size of psicrystals don't save them from -0 LA. Not only do they lack basic functions, they also can't really put those defensive abilities to use.

    However, when houseruled to have control over abilities that normally require a master, as well as the ability to get advancements as it increases in HD, the psicrystal might be worth +0 or even +1. I'll stick with the relatively safe rating of -0/+0, with the exact value depending on what steps the DM takes to make this playable.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2019-08-09 at 01:59 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    A few questions.

    First, if you houserule that a psicrystal gets the abilities listed in the "master's level" as it levels up, that would still be LA -0, right?

    Second, Hardness 8 is basically DR 8/-, since most abilities that negate all DR tend to do the same with hardness I think?

    Third, how does Return to Nature on a Half-Giant make it Fine size? From what I've seen that spell only makes them one size smaller.
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  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    If it's a 1-HD creature, won't it swap out its construct HD when it takes its first class level?

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Going to go with LA -0 on the psi-crystal without propulsion for obvious reasons.

    WITH propulsion, something more interesting occurs; no racial HD and full construct traits is something to consider. Net abilities are -10 and that Str means you need other means of carrying gear, since your capacity is at 1/4 after applying your meager strength; you have to put in at least some points there simply to heft most items one at a time. That eats directly into the non-type bonuses you get besides Hardness, which is your Dex and speed. Having such a short visual range is a big penalty, and prevents you from reading, discerning color, and despite being telepathic cannot discern invisible or ethereal.

    Overall I am torn; the size, DR, Dex and Construct traits while dumping Str screams caster, but you are -4 Int and +0 Wis and Cha. You are blind past 40 ft and have a large number of obstacles to hurdle within that range. The crux is that you could have full Construct traits, normally a capstone or possessing a hefty RHD/LA price tag, by instead taking a bunch of penalties. And the effective DR via Hardness is serious, because it will stack with any actual DR you gain.

    All right, I will tentatively call this LA +0 with propulsion active. The Hardness and Construct traits are enough to build around with a Wis/Cha caster-ish build, while the monstrous penalties and limitations more or less balance it out in my view.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    If it's a 1-HD creature, won't it swap out its construct HD when it takes its first class level?
    The 1HD rule only works for Humanoids and a select few Monstrous Humanoids, IIRC.

    LA -0 for me. That's a really bad trade. There are a couple RAW ways to get fine size that are easier too.
    Last edited by MisterKaws; 2019-08-04 at 10:16 AM.
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    Honestly the fastest way to make a paladin fall is to cast the grease spell or to trip the paladin.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Also, I've probably mentioned this more than once, but a large part of unplayable monsters - LA or not - does seem to be because they weren't exactly meant to be PCs. I mean, with things like, I dunno, fey, dragons, outsiders, undead and whatnot, playing evil psionic seafood seems preeeeeeetty low on the list, doesn't it?
    I don't think you really grok the intent behind the thread. Because there are people here who would play redeemed psionic seafood if given a fair chance to do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    If it's a 1-HD creature, won't it swap out its construct HD when it takes its first class level?
    How much would that help? It's still an immobile crystal whose only viable advancement path is blocked by an attribute penalty. Sure, it has some potent defensive abilities (Hardness 8 and Fine size translate to -8 on attack and damage rolls), but that only matters so much when you have so little to do. You don't even have thumbs, not that your carrying capacity would let you hold anything useful.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Aniikinis View Post
    I keep forgetting to reply to these threads when I'm on the site.

    Anyways, for the troll I'll give a +0 and +1 for the Misspelling of a Magic: the Gathering affliction in the shape of a troll
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    The 1HD rule only works for Humanoids and a select few Monstrous Humanoids, IIRC.
    No, the rule explicitly applies to all creatures, not just Humanoids. Humanoids are only mentioned in the paragraph header.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Third, how does Return to Nature on a Half-Giant make it Fine size? From what I've seen that spell only makes them one size smaller.
    Im not an expert but I think I've seen it mentioned before that you just use it multiple times on the same target. Or use it once on a target already small enough (how they got that small idk).

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    If it's a 1-HD creature, won't it swap out its construct HD when it takes its first class level?
    Yeah, doesn't help much though. Maybe you could argue that Barbarian 1 would give them a 10ft movespeed?

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterKaws View Post
    The 1HD rule only works for Humanoids and a select few Monstrous Humanoids, IIRC.
    General Consensus as far as I've ever seen it, and I think as far as this thread treats it, is if you only have 1 HD its replace by your first class level regardless.

    EDIT: Ninja'd

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    No, the rule explicitly applies to all creatures, not just Humanoids. Humanoids are only mentioned in the paragraph header.
    Last edited by Remuko; 2019-08-04 at 11:19 AM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    No, the rule explicitly applies to all creatures, not just Humanoids. Humanoids are only mentioned in the paragraph header.
    Huh. Thanks for that. I'm terrible at remembering specific instances of rules.
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Honestly the fastest way to make a paladin fall is to cast the grease spell or to trip the paladin.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    How much would that help? It's still an immobile crystal whose only viable advancement path is blocked by an attribute penalty. Sure, it has some potent defensive abilities (Hardness 8 and Fine size translate to -8 on attack and damage rolls), but that only matters so much when you have so little to do. You don't even have thumbs, not that your carrying capacity would let you hold anything useful.
    It won't change the LA, but not having racial HD usually helps everyone.

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

    LA -0.

    Can we please move on to something more interesting? Nobody's going to vote anything but -0.

  14. - Top - End - #284
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Psicrystal is -0. Under any circumstances.


    You'd be better off trying to play a familiar. At least there's 3rd party splats that give familiars nifty things.



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

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelestion View Post
    It won't change the LA, but not having racial HD usually helps everyone.
    Elegant proof that the rule never meant to apply to non-humanoids. DnD Devs would never allow monsters to be playable on their watch.

    Also -0 for the crystal. You are a rock. A literal rock. A very smart rock, but you will need to dazzle the enemy with your rockyness and hope the -1 to hit saves you.

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

    I don't know: I think it could do reasonably well in a Wisdom-caster niche. Ardent, probably. Cleric and druid would take some workarounds to be able to use a focus, and most of the self-buffing would be worthless. Can a construct Wild Shape? It seems like they shouldn't be able to.

    But if you're not playing a caster, you're going to have to rely on a class-based attack form. Melee is obviously not viable, so no monk or battle dancer (like those would have helped anyway). So, warlock, dragonfire adept, soulbow, pyrokineticist, etc. DFA is problematic without a Con score, but I suppose a psicrystal could play warlock as well as anyone else. Maybe there's some kind of warlock/martial adept combination that could reach for the tier-3 benchmark, but I feel like most psicrystal characters will just fall short relative to standard races.

    And that's even without talking about item space and such. So, now I'm pondering the possibilities for a CG psicrystal warlock/martial adept with Vow of Poverty...

    In the end, I think it's just too restricted. LA -0 for the psicrystal.

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Hardness 8 is basically DR 8/-, since most abilities that negate all DR tend to do the same with hardness I think?
    Hardness is better, because it also applies to all damage (including energy damage and even untyped damage), but DR only applies to weapon damage.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2019-08-04 at 04:49 PM.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I don't think you really grok the intent behind the thread. Because there are people here who would play redeemed psionic seafood if given a fair chance to do so.
    That is true, yes. I was referring about the vast number of LA -0s assigned in this thread, to be exact.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Not sure I get the thread but people are over valuing movement when you weigh what a pound? It's never going to be optimal to split the party and D&D is a group game. Or singularly wild cohort on a psion gets easy transport. If I compare it to a level one psion the hardness 8 seems too strong to balance for low level games with all the immunities of a construct.

    The vision thing is way more debilitating.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    I don't know: I think it could do reasonably well in a Wisdom-caster niche. Ardent, probably. Cleric and druid would take some workarounds to be able to use a focus, and most of the self-buffing would be worthless.
    The psi crystal cannot use somatic or verbal components, even Surrogate Spellcasting cannot fix that as it has no appendages. It is pretty much stuck with psionic classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    Not sure I get the thread but people are over valuing movement when you weigh what a pound? It's never going to be optimal to split the party and D&D is a group game. Or singularly wild cohort on a psion gets easy transport. If I compare it to a level one psion the hardness 8 seems too strong to balance for low level games with all the immunities of a construct.
    It has 4 HP at level one and is one (literally one) energy ray (sonic) from death. It is really binary at that level because anything that bypasses that hardness will pretty much annihilate it instantly and the situation looks grim leveling up. A psion 20 psicrystal has 51.5 HP on average and is thus in moderare to extreme danger from a lot of reflex targeting attacks.

    As for movement the fact it can be carried helps but being solely dependent on someone else for movement means jockeying for position will be problematic or you need a very cooperative team mate. Wild Cohort is a cool idea but you would need cross class handle animal ranks and then the animal will move on not your turn so if the flow of the battle shifts you may be out of place again.

    You do bring up a fair point that a psicrystal PC has some unusual problems and may warrant a *. It has a massive of pile issues for existing and is downright immune to any low level attack form not based on acid or sonic, both of which can annihilate the crystal in one blow.

  20. - Top - End - #290
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Even if you include the abilities that normally require a manifester, this thing is a definite -0.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post



    It has 4 HP at level one and is one (literally one) energy ray (sonic) from death. It is really binary at that level because anything that bypasses that hardness will pretty much annihilate it instantly and the situation looks grim leveling up. A psion 20 psicrystal has 51.5 HP on average and is thus in moderare to extreme danger from a lot of reflex targeting attacks.

    As for movement the fact it can be carried helps but being solely dependent on someone else for movement means jockeying for position will be problematic or you need a very cooperative team mate. Wild Cohort is a cool idea but you would need cross class handle animal ranks and then the animal will move on not your turn so if the flow of the battle shifts you may be out of place again.

    You do bring up a fair point that a psicrystal PC has some unusual problems and may warrant a *. It has a massive of pile issues for existing and is downright immune to any low level attack form not based on acid or sonic, both of which can annihilate the crystal in one blow.
    I think it may be better as a wilder so a d6. If you can't see past 40ft do you want to be jockeying around the battlefield? You still have to be hit and since you are so small you might be under cover constantly. I think that's what I am saying though; I wouldn't let it fly in my game.

    I see it as a recipe for arguments. People accusing the dm of meta gaming for attacking its weaknesses. Hiding as jewelry on a different pc without any skill. I dont see it meeting anyone's expectations.

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

    Immobile object, with terrible ability mods, that is going to have trouble qualifying for the bulk of classes? LA -0.
    Last edited by Thurbane; 2019-08-04 at 07:52 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    I see it as a recipe for arguments. People accusing the dm of meta gaming for attacking its weaknesses. Hiding as jewelry on a different pc without any skill. I dont see it meeting anyone's expectations.
    I absolutely agree, which is why I think it should be -0*. The thing is either impossible to effect or exceedingly vulnerable for a very long time and that is not going to make for satisfying gameplay for someone, possibly anyone.

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

    Honestly, the only way I can think of to reasonably play a psi crystal is as a warlock with obtain familiar. The familiar can carry you around and be your eyes and ears, and since it has an intelligence score, it can do that on its own without the hassle of trying to control an animal with literally no way to communicate with one (since telepathy can only be used with creatures that have language). And warlock because it doesn't care about the stats and is the only arcane class that doesn't need hands to manipulate components.

    Wait, nevermind. Invocations still have somatic components. So, that just leaves wisdom/charisma based psionics, but they can't get familiars. I guess you'll have to use some of your starting gold to hire a commoner to carry you until you reach a high enough level to start dominating them, instead? At that point, I'd probably rather just play a human commoner with a pet rock they think can talk to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    The psi crystal cannot use somatic or verbal components, even Surrogate Spellcasting cannot fix that as it has no appendages. It is pretty much stuck with psionic classes.
    As odd as it seems, psicrystals can speak, so they can perform verbal components.

    Somatic components... you're right, that's a tricky one.

    But, the SRD does include this paragraph (from the Monster Manual):

    "A spellcasting creature that lacks hands or arms can provide any somatic component a spell might require by moving its body. Such a creature also does need material components for its spells. The creature can cast the spell by either touching the required component (but not if the component is in another creature’s possession) or having the required component on its person. Sometimes spellcasting creatures utilize the Eschew Materials feat to avoid fussing with noncostly components."

    Source

    Some DMs may rule that this only applies to creatures with innate, racial spellcasting; but it's ambiguous enough that it might also apply to monsters with class levels.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    As odd as it seems, psicrystals can speak, so they can perform verbal components.

    Somatic components... you're right, that's a tricky one.

    But, the SRD does include this paragraph (from the Monster Manual):

    "A spellcasting creature that lacks hands or arms can provide any somatic component a spell might require by moving its body. Such a creature also does need material components for its spells. The creature can cast the spell by either touching the required component (but not if the component is in another creature’s possession) or having the required component on its person. Sometimes spellcasting creatures utilize the Eschew Materials feat to avoid fussing with noncostly components."

    Source

    Some DMs may rule that this only applies to creatures with innate, racial spellcasting; but it's ambiguous enough that it might also apply to monsters with class levels.
    Verbal components, huh? That means they can technically use utterances, not that the stats lend themselves to such an endeavor.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Psicrystal gets -0. It could be possible to make it +0, but that would require a lot of finagling and DM fiat along with a very dumb "master" who consistently fails the will save against the "magic item"'s ego score.

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    Phthisis is apparently acthally a form of pulmonary tuberculosis, not just a Magic: The Gathering disease.
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    Default Re: The LA-assignment thread VII: LA LA Land

    Phthisis is the Greek word for wasting, so that makes sense, I guess.

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

    Assuming self-propulsion is activated, I would happily give the psicrystal a +1. Even without, I'm happy to say +0. Immobility sucks, sure, but diminutive size (I don't know where you're getting fine from, unless the SRD is wrong), construct immunities, and resistance to everything 8 is frankly ridiculous. And who cares about -4 INT if you're, I dunno, a wilder? With self-propulsion, and if you're playing a wilder anyway, I can think of few-to-no reasons not to play a psicrystal with LA 0, which is a sure sign it should have +1 as an absolute minimum. I haven't a fraction of a clue where anyone is getting -0 with self-propulsion active.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Unavenger View Post
    I haven't a fraction of a clue where anyone is getting -0 with self-propulsion active.
    No hands(or other limbs for that matter), for one. No eyes or real way of sensing the outside world, for another. No telepathy and thus no mindsight. No flight. No real anything. You're getting adjustments of Str -(-10*) Dex -(+2*) Con - Int -4 Wis +0 Cha +0 with literally no ability to move*, wield weapons, speak, see, hear, or anything else you can think of.

    Sure you gain diminutive size and construct immunities, but at the risk of being unable to do practically anything outside of a specific few classes or a few edge cases it's far too much to pay.

    *With self-activated propulsion these modifiers are applied and you gain the ability to move with a speed of 30 ft. and climb 20 ft. but really that doesn't help its' case all too much.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quarian Rex View Post
    Sometimes you need more than well crafted crunch. Sometimes you need well crafted crunch that is playable in the game.
    Black for normal/uncaring/bored. Purple for in love. Blue for being a jerk/sarcastic bum.

    Black(Blue and Green) or Sultai is my khanate, and my colour alignment.

    For some strange reason I have a severe reaction to sunlight when it hits my eyes, no clue why or what causes it so yeah...
    The Rest of my Signature
    My Hombrew

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