Making a slaad player character?

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[D&D 3.5]

I've never made a monster PC but I have the rare opportunity to play a slaad. It's a level 6 blue slaad but I have to level it up two times in a player class. How exactly does this work? Do I take levels 7 and 8 in a player class and follow the multiclassing rules? And what's level adjustment?

EDIT: Am I to understand my ECL is 14? 8 hit dice + 6 level adjustment. The rest of my party is level 8. But my hit points are equal to them and my damage is equal to that of the ranger in our party. If I don't take levels with them until they reach level 14 I'll be totally outmatched by them. Why is the ECL so inaccurate? How do I get around this? 
One of the reasons is that the Slaad get so many powers including the ability to bring in other slaad or create new slaad with your pellet attacks. You could turn the party mage into a green slaad for instance and give them a free Level Up. Whats to stop you from causing a lot of havoc and chaos within the party?

I will immediately report any Phishers or Lonely Hearts Scam Artists.

A blue slaad has 8 racial hit die, and a level adjustment of 6. That means out the door, straight from the Monster Manual with no changes, it is the equivilent of a level 14 character and should be in a party with level 14 PCs. If you give it 6 class levels, you are the equivilent of a level 20 character. 

Check MM page 229 for more info on the blue slaad specific stats. They aren't open game, so I won't repost them exactly. 

If the rest of your party is level 8, this character would not be an approperiate choice and will overshadow them quite a bit. 

If you have to level it up twice, it will be the equivilent of a level 16 character.  

To sum - You probably shouldn't make a slaad.  

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

It does seem powerful, but level 14? My slaad has 63 hit points, so that's a lot less than the barbarian, and it does have summon slaad, telekinesis, passwall, and hold person, but that's not nearly as many spells or as powerful spells as our wizard. He can take a full-round attack action and do an average of around 50 or 60 points of damage, but one of our rangers and the barbarian both do that much damage.

In short if seems like he's kind of like a squishy fighter (albeit with health regeneration) with a few kind of powerful spells. If I waited until the rest of the party was level 14 to level the slaad in player classes, I would be totally overshadowed by THEM. The ECL doesn't seem like an accurate representation of how I stack up against the rest of the party.
ECL isn't a particulalrly effective system, and a common complain is that you actually suck compared to a real PC. That said, thems the rules.

I think the best house rule I have seen to allow for high HD and LA monsters in play is to instead use their CR.  If you used this rule, you would be those stats from the MM, maybe with rolled abilities and choosing your own feats along with your level 8 party. You could then take levels as normal.



  • Rules as they exist Level adjustment 6/Slaad 8/Classes 6 is a full level 20 build. 

  • Rules as this house rule proposes -  Slaad CR 8/ Real classes 12 is your full level 20 build.


The idea behind the rule is that a CR 8 monster should win about 50% of the time vs an ECL 8 PC (like a fighter 8). Using this logic, its only reasonable that a CR 8 monster should be about the equivilent of a level 8 PC. 

(should win 50% of the time derived from 4 average fights a day draining 100% of resources. And CR 8 = average challenge for 4 PCs. Meaning each PC should be able to handle each of the encounters using 100% of their resources)

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

Thank you for the reassurance. Since a blue slaad has a CR of 8, 8 HD, and cast spells at caster-level 8, I assumed I should probably treat him as level 8
Thank you for the reassurance. Since a blue slaad has a CR of 8, 8 HD, and cast spells at caster-level 8, I assumed I should probably treat him as level 8


The LA on many monders may be a little crazy but playing a Blue Slaad as if it were just ECL8 is INSANE!

Just for reference I'm looking in the 3.5 MM pg 229.  It starts out as a Outsider 8 with outsider giving a full BAB, three good saves, a not so shappy d8 HD size, and a very impressive 8 skill points per HD.  Maybe those aren't enough to match the five bonus feats a Fighter8 could get but it's at +4 on REF and WILL saves, just -9 on hitpoints, and has four times more skill points.  You may have a problem with monster HD being valued as highly as class levels but to me Outsider and Dragon HD can come very close to matching some classes and I don't even consider levels in Monstrous Humanoid to be a huge drawback.

Now to look at where that LA comes from.  For starters we have the large size and big natural armor bonus.  Having FIVE natural attacks is also something to consider as pretty potent; give up a claw attack to carry a weapon instead and you can gain another attack.  It may not be smart or wise with -4 to those abilities but it gets STR +12, DEX +4, and CON +8 which are massive for a melee style character.  Now that STR gives +6 on melee attacks which is pretty much what you could get with six class levels plus it includes a big damage bonus; that CON bonus is almost like adding another 1d8 HD for every other HD you so 8d8+32 only averages 10hp less then 14d10 averages but the Slaad would gain hp faster.  Looking at the Blues other abilities the energy immunity/resistances aren't huge but cover everything; its fast healing is definitely something a PC will enjoy (and should easily make up for a few less hitpoints) as it goes into every encounter at full health.  Its spell-like abilities may not seem like much but passwall gets through all kinds of barriers and Slaad Fever can let him leave a place in total chaos.

It may not be the most optimized creature in the world but I'm going to say that as a PC your base Blue Slaad IS going to need to weigh in at ECL 14.  Remember that it gets to use PC base stats and should be equiped at its ECL instead of using the NPC values.

Here are some basic comparisons between a Blue Slaad and a human Fighter 14.  For the sake of arguement I'm going to use a base stat array 15,13,14,12,10,8 for each with the fighter's increases all going to STR.
Base stats:  BS=STR 27, DEX 17, CON 22, INT 8, WIS 6, CHA 8; Ftr=STR 18, DEX 13, CON 14, INT 12, WIS 10, CHA 8
HD/Hp:  BS = 8d8 + 48 (88); Ftr = 14d10 +28 (110);  edge to fighter but don't forget Fast healing
Saves:  BS = F +12, R +9, W +4; Ftr = F +11, R +5, W +4;  edge to slaad
Skill points:  BS 70; Ftr 68; even but Ftr has higher maximum ranks
Melee Attack:  BS = +15 (wpn+8 or +12 2h); Ftr +18 (wpn +4 or +6 2h); even
Full Attack:  BS = +15/+10/+10/+10/+10/+10 (1h weaponx2/clawx3/bite); Ftr + 18/+13/+8
Full Attack:  BS all natural = +15/+15/+15/+15/+10 (4 claws and bite)
Feats:  BS 3; Human Ftr 14; Fighter does get a clear advantage here
Special abilities:  BS = many; Fighter = none except from Feats; Clear advantage to Slaad here.
 
Overall, it looks to me like a Blue Slaad probably can hold its own when stacked up against another 14th-level character.  Letting someone play one as a 8th-level PC is just plain stupid if you even begin to look at the numbers.
Balancing it vs a fighter probably isn't the best idea, because fighters also have a hard time holding their own at that level. 

If you are worried a blue slaad won't hold its own in your group, you are probably right. If you think it will do OK with a party of ECL 14 characters, use the rules as written and give it a go. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

While it is certainly true that a pure Fighter 14 may "have a hard time holding his own at that level," just because that comparison can be made should show how crazy it would be to allow someont to play one a a straight up 8th-level equivalent.  Part of the problem there could also have to do with most games at that level just not playing to a warrior's strengths; in a long running battle the Blue Slaad's fast healing certainly could make it an all star performer IF the encounter was designed to run that way.

Sorry Krusk but saying
I think the best house rule I have seen to allow for high HD and LA monsters in play is to instead use their CR.  If you used this rule, you would be those stats from the MM, maybe with rolled abilities and choosing your own feats along with your level 8 party. You could then take levels as normal.

really misses some of the big points of difference between CR and LA/ECL.  Throwing in rolled (presumably PC style) abilities already increases a creatures CR but you've always been allowed to change the selected feats.  With the idea that you could play a high LA/HD monster at its CR consider the following:

Nymph:  CR 7, HD 6 +7 LA; is this really fair a 7th-level character when it already cast spells as a Druid 7?
Young Gold Dragon:  CR 9, HD 14 +6 LA; good luck trying to convince me that it can play nice with 9th-level character.
Ogre:  CR3,  HD 4 +2 LA; Here I may not like an Ogre as a 6th-level PC but it definitely needs to be higher then 3rd-level when used as a PC.
 
I'll also point out a couple little mistake Krazed made when complaining about a Blue Slaad as a 14th-level character.  For starters his hitpoints were almost 30% low because he failed to account for PC stats.  Similiarly his damage figure is a little low; with that I'd also say that there is no reason it should NOT be comprable to what a Ranger or Barbarian could deal as all are martial characters.
I still think its the best house rule. That doesn't mean it works for every game, or that every game should use it. Some people let their PCs play MONK! I'd also say that a really solid house rule would be to ban that. 

As with any house rule, you need to evaluate how it will interact with your group. If your party is Swashbuckler, healbot cleric, monk, bard this guy will probably overshadow them greatly. If it is cleric/cleric/wizard/druid this guy will fall wildly beind. See where your group fits on the scale, and see what works.  

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

Since when does a blue slaad have strength 27? It says 23 in the Monster Manual. And why am I shorting myself on hit points? A blue slaad gets 8d8 + 32 hit points and apparently the DM rolled out 63 in total. Why should I have more?

I admit I may be overlooking some rules as I'm new to monster characters, but it seems to me you think a blue slaad's stats are higher than they really are. 
Since when does a blue slaad have strength 27? It says 23 in the Monster Manual. And why am I shorting myself on hit points? A blue slaad gets 8d8 + 32 hit points and apparently the DM rolled out 63 in total. Why should I have more?

I admit I may be overlooking some rules as I'm new to monster characters, but it seems to me you think a blue slaad's stats are higher than they really are. 


You're overlooking quite a lot, in fact.

The monsters in the MM have "rolled" stats of all 10 or 11 (depending on whether the score is even or odd). StevenO used the "elite array" which all player characters are assumed to have for balance purposes (15/14/13/12/10/8). He gave the stats to both a standard character and the blue slaad, and look at what happened: The blue slaad really just is that good. 

I would never allow a player to try a monster character unless I had built it for them - until they could correctly describe the difference between HD, ECL, LA, and CR, at least. That's the level of experience you tend to need as a player to make informed choices relating to monsters. 

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Since when does a blue slaad have strength 27? It says 23 in the Monster Manual. And why am I shorting myself on hit points? A blue slaad gets 8d8 + 32 hit points and apparently the DM rolled out 63 in total. Why should I have more?

First HD is always max, plus the average of the other 7 HD (7*4.5).  You're 8 HP below average.
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I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
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Thank you for the reassurance. Since a blue slaad has a CR of 8, 8 HD, and cast spells at caster-level 8, I assumed I should probably treat him as level 8

this remember my when someone use this but in the other way taking a Sand giant that have 15 HDs and +5 LA as if only was count the LA thereby for a character LV 20 he make a Sand Giant barbarian 15.

In the same way the LA + Racial HDs = Efective class LV, remember the monsters are for fighting VS 4 players thus some ones have more abilities that normal for the same HDs of a normal character, like a dragon that is the more weaken PC character but the most Strong Monster Because have a lot of HDs and LA thats is equal to a lot of ECL for a low CR, this means that a character with the same ECL that a dragon is more devastating.
Pepe pecas pica papas con un pico con un pico pepe pecas pica papas si pepe pecas pica papas con un pico donde esta el pico con que pepe pecas pica papas.
I'd check out this awesome guide on the subject in order to make an informed call on playing a monsterous pc (Hint: It's basically never worth it) 

www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t...
Because D&D is a table-top RPG and not a coded computer game where the rules are set in stone, I think I'll just make sure to balance him with the rest of the party and have fun with the role-playing aspect of D&D, not the technical aspect. You're all speaking as if I am being forced to use the stats to their full potential, but I can exercise self-control to make sure I don't overshadow my party members.
Because D&D is a table-top RPG and not a coded computer game where the rules are set in stone, I think I'll just make sure to balance him with the rest of the party and have fun with the role-playing aspect of D&D, not the technical aspect. You're all speaking as if I am being forced to use the stats to their full potential, but I can exercise self-control to make sure I don't overshadow my party members.

use the savage species and with your DM and some similar example make a template as class, or make your DM debuff the character to be equal to your party members.

in a normal way with the time you will become very strong and you can make the challenges be greater and your party member will have bad times at that point.


Pepe pecas pica papas con un pico con un pico pepe pecas pica papas si pepe pecas pica papas con un pico donde esta el pico con que pepe pecas pica papas.
Since when does a blue slaad have strength 27? It says 23 in the Monster Manual. And why am I shorting myself on hit points? A blue slaad gets 8d8 + 32 hit points and apparently the DM rolled out 63 in total. Why should I have more?

I admit I may be overlooking some rules as I'm new to monster characters, but it seems to me you think a blue slaad's stats are higher than they really are. 


Tempest already covered this but because you're questioning my posts I'll also answer it:

A "monster" Blue Slaad does get STR 23 but you are NOT talking about playing that Slaad as an NPC but as a PC.  As mentioned a "monsters" stats are all assumed to be 10 or 11 but as a PC you're going to have better starting stats and I happened to choose the elite array which is the default and expected stats for a PC.  I found the Blue Slaad's "racial modifiers" by taking all of its ability scores and subtracting 10 (even scores) or 11 (odd scores) which leaves a BS witha +12 STR modifier.  I then add that +12 to the 15 I initially put into STR and that's how I come up with STR 27.  Note that because it already has 8 racial HD those stat modifiers INCLUDE the normal stat boosts for every 4th-level and those boosts are added to my Fighter 14 example.

You're shorting yourself hit points the same way.  A BS has CON 18 which is where you get the +32 = 8 levels x 4 bonus hp; the PC BS however started with a 14 in CON which gets modified by +8 to become CON 22.  The modifier for that is +6 which is +2 over the normal BS and gives you 16 additional hitpoints.  I'll point out that my MM say the BS starts with 68 hitpoint (not 63) which is the exact average that 8d8+32 would provide; the PC BS gets a few more hit points because the first HD is maximized instead of just averaged like it is for NPC stats and this gets another +3.5 hit points which I rounded up to +4.

You are DEFINITELY overlooking a number of rules when it comes to using monsters as PCs.  As Tempest mentions until you know the difference between CR, LA, HD, and ECL you're best off staying away from using monsters as PCs.  While it may not happen in practice a PC who is fighting someone of his own level is actually supposed to be fighting someone who has inferior stats AND equipment which is to say that a 4th-level PC and NPC aren't created the same although they could have identical "builds" except for ability scores and equipment.  When you look at monsters they have a CR to use as opponents but as PCs you look at the racial HD and LA while remembering that a boost to stats and equipment come with them.
Because D&D is a table-top RPG and not a coded computer game where the rules are set in stone, I think I'll just make sure to balance him with the rest of the party and have fun with the role-playing aspect of D&D, not the technical aspect. You're all speaking as if I am being forced to use the stats to their full potential, but I can exercise self-control to make sure I don't overshadow my party members.


So your DM would have no problems letting someone play a 14th-level wizard when the rest of the group is 8th-level provide he can exercise "self-control" so he doesn't overshadow everyone else?  It is basically the same difference although a 14th-level wizard can more easily dominate a game at that level then a melee based character would.

It would be one thing if you wanted to play an ECL 14 character is a group of 11th or 12th level characters but you're looking at playing a character who should effectively be nearly twice as powerful as everyone else in the group.  You should be able to single handedly be able to defeat an EL 12 encounter that can potentially DESTROY a standard group of 8th-level PCs. 
1) Who's talking about a 14th-level wizard?
2) The DM was the one who made it possible for me to play slaad through a plot twist, and we've already discussed this rule, so yeah, he's comfortable with it.
3) Don't assume me to have the same lack of self-control as those who frequent the optimization board. Just because I have the ability to build an over-powered character doesn't mean I'll do it. 
It's not a matter of having enough "self-control" to hold back. Playing a Slaad will make you flat out mechanically better than the rest of your group That BBEG? Yeah, you crushed it. That trap or challenge? Not quite a challenge to you. And that is without using your spell like abilities.

A useful piece of advice: Don't come on here asking for help and then getting snarky when the regulars on here tell you its not a good idea. They know their stuff. They've been playing 3.5 since it first came out. If they say its going to be bad, then it typically will be.

On the flip side, if his DM is allowing it, then don't take it out on him. Let him play within the rules that his DM set up for him. The only bad thing about this forum (any D&D forum, really) is that the regulars and "experts" tend to get judgemental when someone deviates. Sometimes its justified (Oma012) while other times it is not (houserules...)
We'll see how it works out, I guess. In case I didn't make it clear, I've already been playing the slaad, I just haven't taken class levels yet. It's worked fine. If the character turns out to be too OP, I'll kill him off. 
[D&D 3.5]I've never made a monster PC but I have the rare opportunity to play a slaad. It's a level 6 blue slaad but I have to level it up two times in a player class. How exactly does this work? Do I take levels 7 and 8 in a player class and follow the multiclassing rules? And what's level adjustment?

EDIT: Am I to understand my ECL is 14? 8 hit dice + 6 level adjustment. The rest of my party is level 8. But my hit points are equal to them and my damage is equal to that of the ranger in our party. If I don't take levels with them until they reach level 14 I'll be totally outmatched by them. Why is the ECL so inaccurate? How do I get around this? 

1) Who's talking about a 14th-level wizard?
2) The DM was the one who made it possible for me to play slaad through a plot twist, and we've already discussed this rule, so yeah, he's comfortable with it.
3) Don't assume me to have the same lack of self-control as those who frequent the optimization board. Just because I have the ability to build an over-powered character doesn't mean I'll do it. 


1.  You are the one who is talkinga about a "14th-level" character equivalent and I just changed it from Blue Slaad to Wizard 14.

2.  DMs can make mistakes yet not realize it until much further down the road.  Letting someone play something they really shouldn't or have something they shouldn't are some common examples.  Letting you play a Blue Slaad through a "plot twist" can maybe be compared to letting someone play a Vampire through a plot twist; they can be good for a short time but long term requires a LOT more work.

3.  I haven't said you have the lack of control of some of those who post here but I am trying to point out some of the problems that will just come from playing a character well above the rest of the group's power level.

I've quoted your first post and have been answering those questions.  Ultimately, it doesn't look like you've liked the answers you've been given and instead have latched on to the one possible houserule (one that can break things without much trouble) as justification for playing a Blue Slaad with a level 8 group.  I think we've explained "how your character should work" along with showing some of what LA means.  To answer the "Edit" portion of the top post you should understand that PC Blue Slaad IS a ECL 14 character.  Your hitpoints and damage may be equal to other 8th-level characters but that is because you didn't follow the rules for using monsters as PCs and it seems you copied down the wrong hitpoints.  I believe I showed you why the Blue Slaad's LA +6 is NOT so inaccurate.  As for getting around the Slaad's ECL I'd allow you to know one point off the LA if you use normal stats instead of hero stats but beyond that I'd just figure out some savage species style progression.

Asteron, I believe the "regulars" will assume that when questions are asked the game will be following something that is very close to the Rules As Written and answer accordingly.  As such the further you try pushing away from the RAW the more resistance you will meet but that is because we are trying to teach/present the game as it is written instead answering questions for a game that barely resembles DnD.  If houserules are presented they are usually honored although we may question why they are being used.
Although this is from a long time ago, I wanted to clarify: I did not copy down the wrong hit points, the DM rolled those hit points for me using slaad HD. I stated this in an earlier post. Anyway, thanks for your help and explanation of the rules. Is there a way I could adjust my slaad to ECL 8 so I can play with the rest of the party?