Discussion:Rating a level adjustment
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How does one rate a LA?
I've been wonder's about LAs. Technically I've read the guides which give hints on how it is done, but they tend to confuse me more than help, and by advice of those older and wiser than I, it seems to be best done by experience. I was wondering what you guys would think of this race write-up and how you would rate it, so I could better judge my own future LA ratings off of how you guys did it.
It is a custom variant of the illithid concept. Hopefully there are no legal issues posting this, with illithids being "Product Identity" and all.
It is designed to be magic heavy, and any psionics replaced with their magic counterparts where possible.
PC CUSTOM ILLITHID CONCEPT
- -2 Str, -2 Con, +2 Int, +2 Cha
- Medium: As Medium creatures, illithid have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Illithid base land speed is 30 feet.
- +6 racial resistance against mind effecting and charm.
- +2 racial bonus on Intimidate.
- Able to breath underwater.
- Darkvision: Illithids can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and illithids can function just fine with no light at all.
- Proficient in it's natural weapons. An illithid deals 1d4 with a slam from it's tentacles, up to 4 attacks if it's BAB allows for it. Eating a brain is the equivalent of a coup de grace, and follows the same rules for it.
- An Illithid must eat at least 1 brain every 3 days, or lose 1 point of constitution per day after 3 days. Eating will restore the lost constitution from starving. It can be from human or animal. However when eating the brain of another intelligent creature they have a 50% chance of learning the creature's language, and a 20% chance to acquire 2 random skill points to which they put ranks into. Cross class skills as still reduced as normal.
- Must remain moist or take 1d6 nonlethal from dry, arid environments every hour.
- Shunned: When dealing with other races who are not used to illithids, the illithid takes a -4 on all social skill checks, so long as the creature realizes it is an illithid.
- Aberration: For all effects related to race, an illithid is considered an aberration.
- Automatic Language: Common and Illithid, and any acquired via eating brains. Bonus Languages: Any. They do not actually speak, instead using telepathy to 100ft. However they still need to know the appropriate language. Vocal noises consist of mumbles, gurgles, and incomprehensible gibbering.
- Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day- Mind Blast. And illithid with a Cha score of at least 10 also has the following spell-like abilities: 1/day Detect Thoughts.
- Favored Class: Wizard
- LA: ?...currently suggested LA 3
I'm not sure where to start. Since I have no data on Mind Blast I'm treating it as a 2nd level spell with a 60ft cone, that stuns creatures for 1d6 rounds. The creatures must be intelligent or it fails.
Since they are LA 3 they start with 3 levels in aberration, for 3d8 HD, BAB of +2, and (Fort +1) (Reflex +1) (Will +3). Skill points equal to (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per Hit Die, with quadruple skill points for the first Hit Die.
My understanding is that LA is directly proportional to usefulness. Stunning opponents via Will saves tends to be an extremely useful ability, so much so that it earns a large LA. Put that together with mining skill points via brain eating, and WHOAH DUDE. Not good.
But what to call it...
Very true very true. So far with offline encounters I have two votes for LA 3 but your points are valid, specifically the 'mining'. That's troublesome for me as I do want to have some sort of knowledge-based benefit for feeding off the smarter creatures in the world. I considered temporary ability stat boosts, but it doesn't seem to make sense that a illithid would get stronger just by eating a fighter.
I did just recently think of a varient. An illithid has a number of slots open to him (we'll say 1 per HD) to store something... such as a +10 hide ability or a +5 knowledge history. He can have the results of up to three brains before he must give up something if he wants to gain more bonuses.
I wonder if I would change the number of skills you'd get though or if you could pick them. That way if you wanted all 20 brains for a 20 HD illithid to be for skill points in bluff, you could enjoy the benefit they have (but you'd need to find 20 brains with bluff in them). If you have any advice on the idea do tell. It would make hunting smart brains, especially of a particular type or class, interesting, and make the bonus they give technically temporary as you could expell it for something else.
As for Mind Blast, I am working on that. The original LA 7 illithid stuns you for a whopping 3d4 rounds, at DC 17 will. I don't recall how often it can be done but I made mine 1/day as a limit on it. I can change it to 1d4, or if you have a better idea that stays with the concept, do tell. Daze is alright but doesn't seem to give off the same feel.
By the way I'm not nessicarly trying to make it a low or no LA, simply figure out what the LA is. On that note, in its current form, what do you think? And then, what about if I made any of the changes mentioned in this post.