PDA

View Full Version : Are Level Adjustments Worth It?



Zugh
03-09-2010, 09:52 AM
A group of adventurers love a heavy-hitter. The Barbarian is the heaviest hitter of them all. For this job, the Ogre has it made. High Strength and Constitution, a base speed of 40, and a natural armor bonus of +5. Although it has a -4 to both Int. and Cha., the Barbarian has no use for them. It also takes a -2 to Dex, but the natural aromor makes up for it.

When it comes to being a Barbarian, the Ogre outclasses the Half-Orc in almost every way. But, is it really worth it?

The Ogre has a Level Adjustment of +2, which could hold him back in a group of Adventurers. He would have less skills than a Half-Orc Barbarian would. If a group of adventurers was a level 8 group, the Ogre woyuld be behind them, at level 6.

Personally, I think that the Ogre is worth the Level Adjustment. What do you think? Would you prefer to have a lower-leveled, incredibly powerful Ogre Barbarian, or a higher leveled, not-so-powerful Half-Orc Barbarian?

The Magic King
03-09-2010, 10:20 AM
The ogre is superior, if it takes him longer to level so be it. He will eventually level up and be the most powerful. He could even strike out alone for a bit and grab substantial amounts of experience by fighting alone whilst the others are busy in town or something. The real issue is how would society accept an ogre, a race unanimously hated and feared by the "civilized" and "goodly" races.

d-_-b
03-09-2010, 10:24 AM
In a party of 8th level characters an ogre would not be lvl 6, he would be level 2!

Ogre's begin play with four levels of giant, which provide 4d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +3, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +4, Ref +1, and Will +1.

the 4 HD are added to the level adjustment of +2 to a total adjustment of +6

Not worth it IMO -an 8th level haft-orc barbarian would own a 2nd level ogre barbarian!

The Magic King
03-09-2010, 12:08 PM
Oh right I forgot about the HD being added for the ECL. Never mind, screw ogres, that is why they always attack the party they are just trying to level up.

Zugh
03-09-2010, 01:35 PM
Oh yeah. I hate the HD

cigamnogard
03-10-2010, 08:52 PM
Buy the level adjustment away by using the Unearthed Arcana book.
One of my favorite characters was an Ogre crusader!

TheYeti1775
03-11-2010, 11:47 AM
Use Dawnforge where Ogres are a Playable race.
It's method for all races are allowing them to build up all their racial abilities over 10 Levels.

WhiteTiger
03-11-2010, 01:05 PM
I don't see why you would have to take the 4 levels of giant and the associated hit dice and the ecl hit. Just remove the racial hit dice, racial skills & racial feats..

just apply the stat boosts, dark vision, large size, the weapon proficiencies, natural armor bonus and then apply the +2 level adjustment

michael
03-11-2010, 01:08 PM
This conversation is why I prefer a points-based system.

The Magic King
03-11-2010, 01:19 PM
I don't see why you would have to take the 4 levels of giant and the associated hit dice and the ecl hit. Just remove the racial hit dice, racial skills & racial feats..

just apply the stat boosts, dark vision, large size, the weapon proficiencies, natural armor bonus and then apply the +2 level adjustment


I agree, and this is up to the DM, however in the rules given in the book it is this foolish set up.

Farcaster
03-11-2010, 02:41 PM
I don't see why you would have to take the 4 levels of giant and the associated hit dice and the ecl hit. Just remove the racial hit dice, racial skills & racial feats..

just apply the stat boosts, dark vision, large size, the weapon proficiencies, natural armor bonus and then apply the +2 level adjustment

Were I his DM, I'd probably have him buy at least one level of the racial HD, as would be allowed under the Savage Specifies supplement -- I think that was the name of it. You might also look at the Ogre race presented in Fantasy Craft and see if that might work for you. It's d20 OGL, so it should be fairly adaptable. They have some odd restrictions on skills though that your GM would need to adjust or eliminate.

cigamnogard
03-11-2010, 06:12 PM
All well and good but the Ogre is a powerful PC and 4 levels plus +2 is fair.
I have played one.

d-_-b
03-11-2010, 06:30 PM
I don't see why you would have to take the 4 levels of giant and the associated hit dice and the ecl hit. Just remove the racial hit dice, racial skills & racial feats..

Under the standard rules if you choose to play an Ogre you don't "take" 4 levels of giant. The 4 levels are imposed on you -the Ogre comes with them. I for one think this is fair. Considering the high ability increases the Ogre has over normal playable races there has to be a drawback. If not the 4 hit dice then a higher level adjustment. He still gain +3 base attack bonus (which his massive strength more than makes up for) and decent saves, skill points, feats for his 4 levels of giant. Ok, so he looses an average of 2 hp per level of giant compared to the barbarian -so what! The biggest downside is that he misses out a lot of class abilities compared to a human of the same character level.

cigamnogard
03-11-2010, 08:59 PM
Bingo!

michael
03-12-2010, 08:37 AM
I believe the ogre gets reach too...

WhiteTiger
03-12-2010, 11:47 AM
Under the standard rules if you choose to play an Ogre you don't "take" 4 levels of giant. The 4 levels are imposed on you -the Ogre comes with them. I for one think this is fair. Considering the high ability increases the Ogre has over normal playable races there has to be a drawback. If not the 4 hit dice then a higher level adjustment. He still gain +3 base attack bonus (which his massive strength more than makes up for) and decent saves, skill points, feats for his 4 levels of giant. Ok, so he looses an average of 2 hp per level of giant compared to the barbarian -so what! The biggest downside is that he misses out a lot of class abilities compared to a human of the same character level.

True, but my personal adjudication is that those racial levels are only for when the ogre is used as a monster. If a player wants to play one.. then he/she has a choice to take the racial levels or not. I treat it the same as if it were a template (example: Half-celestial).

As far as the general question as to whether or not Level Adjustments are worth it. I guess it comes down to personal flavor & tastes and what system you are using (3.0/3.5/Pathfinder/Home-grown). a +4 level adjustment for a half-celestial in 3.5 was too high in my opinion. Although technically there is no level adjustment in Pathfinder. I personally feel that it's implied. They give it a CR+3 when you have 12 or more HD. I feel that a level adjustment of +3 is more in line with what I would expect.

cigamnogard
03-12-2010, 04:06 PM
There is a reason for the level adjustment and the racial hit dice and if you do not like it - leave it - stay with the PHB races.

The Magic King
03-13-2010, 02:24 PM
While there is indeed a need for balancing, I believe in the case of the ogre the one at the scales put up a bit to much weight.

d-_-b
03-13-2010, 07:56 PM
True, but my personal adjudication is that those racial levels are only for when the ogre is used as a monster. If a player wants to play one.. then he/she has a choice to take the racial levels or not. I treat it the same as if it were a template (example: Half-celestial).

If a giant had d20's for hit dice you wouldn't be making that point, would you?

It is specifically stated under OGRES AS CHARACTERS that "[a]n ogre begins with four levels of giant, which provide 4d8 Hit Dice, ..." (Monster Manual, page 199). Adjudicate from that what you want, but there is a reason that these racial hit dice has been added, as cigamnogard states, which is to balance out the races/classes. Trust that the game designers knows better.

-and if you don't trust the game designers trust that if I ever play in your game, since it is only a +4 level adjustment, I'll play as BadAss Munchie, a cool Stone Giant Barbarian... :laugh:

michael
03-14-2010, 02:29 PM
This conversation is why I prefer a points-based system.

hehehe

WhiteTiger
03-15-2010, 09:51 AM
If a giant had d20's for hit dice you wouldn't be making that point, would you?

It is specifically stated under OGRES AS CHARACTERS that "[a]n ogre begins with four levels of giant, which provide 4d8 Hit Dice, ..." (Monster Manual, page 199). Adjudicate from that what you want, but there is a reason that these racial hit dice has been added, as cigamnogard states, which is to balance out the races/classes. Trust that the game designers knows better.

-and if you don't trust the game designers trust that if I ever play in your game, since it is only a +4 level adjustment, I'll play as BadAss Munchie, a cool Stone Giant Barbarian... :laugh:

Point taken. However, I think we might be getting a little off-topic.
As far as whether or not Level adjustments are worth it, depends on the players view point and the templates/races in question. I personally don't see the Ogre as being worth it as it's written but that's just me.

d-_-b
03-15-2010, 05:42 PM
Pun aside I actually think that whether or not the ogre is worth it depends on 1) the type of campaign you're playing, and 2) how many character levels your character has got. I would not play an ogre with a total of 6 character levels but I would consider it for an epic campaign: A feral ogre barbarian with two levels of fighter would be an awesome warrior.

cigamnogard
03-15-2010, 07:10 PM
As I have stated I have played an ogre charcter - he was really fun. I bumped up his INT and he had brains so it was really fun to play both as PC and as the character "messing" with bigotry of ogres.
Now, to further this conversation this weekend I helped my g/f make a 4th level monk with a ghost template (MM1). That's a +5 level adjustment for a 9th level character - is it worth it? Take a look at the template and you tell me (as a point of note she bought a nunchuka with ghost touch).

d-_-b
03-16-2010, 04:45 AM
The ghost template is cool, but I am a little conflicted about whether or not it is worth it from a rules lawyering point of view. One the one hand it does grant a lot of abilities as well as a great hit point increase for most candidates. On the other hand nothing really makes up for missing out on 5 class levels -no base attack increase, etc. From a role playing point of view I think it is potentially very good.

Monk class -not so sure. IMO the monk fails to achieve its basic design intent as a monk will almost always be more effective with a weapon in his/her hand. Full base attack progression might help it but as it stands the flurry -a monks main ability- is simply ineffective. For role playing, however, I think monks rule.
I played one shortly -he got killed:( I bumped his unarmed damage up by taking the feat: Superior Unarmed Strike, which lets a monk deal unarmed damage as if he had 4 more levels, and then I stunned people.

Weapon wise you should have gotten her Ghost Touch Ki Straps IMO

cigamnogard
03-16-2010, 03:27 PM
Why? When the nunchukas delivers her special ghost abilities anyways and with adamantine on top of it they will wreck havoc on mundane items? Plus she hits baddies touch attacks with her flurry and two wepon fighting.

d-_-b
03-16-2010, 06:20 PM
touch attack? How do you figure?

cigamnogard
03-16-2010, 06:32 PM
Ghosts ignore all (except mage and force) armour as per the template / incorporeal subtype (MM).

d-_-b
03-16-2010, 06:48 PM
I missed that:)

cigamnogard
03-16-2010, 07:45 PM
It makes the +5 adjustment very worthwhile - plus the fact that your character really cannot 'die' "as a rule". Just wait 2d4 days.

Cubanfrog
03-21-2010, 12:07 PM
But ghost's don't have any str so the damage will be... Really low. Nunchacu 1d4 + enhantement +1 or +2...

Wikrin
03-22-2010, 11:53 PM
I think level adjustments are often "worth it", but that's partly because I like to play unusual character types. Sure, sometimes it can kind of suck when you don't get your precious, life-granting skill points, but that's the price you pay for being awesome. Or for being a gigantic git, depending on what you're playing and how. 'Cause some people, they seem to forget that the standard mindset is not standard for all beings.

cigamnogard
03-24-2010, 06:42 PM
But ghost's don't have any str so the damage will be... Really low. Nunchacu 1d4 + enhantement +1 or +2...

You kill me! LOL
The damage from the waepon is not much you are right - look at the template again and you will see that she will be doing 'ghost damage' (Draining touch) that damages stats such as CON, or INT, or .... well you name it :) for 1d6 + weapon damage - how is that?