Good Templates (Even High LA ones?)

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What are some good templates? My DM is giving me 7 free levels of LA (They cannot be in classes). This is going to be a fairly High OP game, so what kind of templates are good (in general).  Some good templates I've heard of are Dark, Feral, Half-Minotaur. I would include Lolth-Touched, but we are required to be good.  
What books are available, and what kind of character are you trying to make?

Warriors normally benefits more from templates because they can afford to give up class levels; that's why the templates you listed are all warrior-based (I'd add Mineral Warrior (Underdark) and Saint (BoED) as cheap templates with a decent amount of bang, and Paragon (Epic, although there's no consensus on exactly what its LA should be) as a really expensive one).

With "Free" LA (I hate this houserule SO MUCH...), though, spellcasters can get quite a lot of bang from the right templates. Dark is an occasional choice (largely for the native plane change: a shadowcraft mage with Planar Bubble can do amazing things with this), and it's a cheap one so it might actually show up in a non-free LA game (although largely you get it from the Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis to avoid the cost). If you want to go into insano-power mode, grab Chosen of Mystra (FRCS) and/or Magister (Magic of Faerun) and prepare to make your teammates curse Ed Greenwood.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Bleed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

It is gestalt and most of the people are going between low T1 and high T3. I'm still not so sure on what kind of character I'm going to make. Maybe something that gets a whole bunch of attacks or something.
It is gestalt and most of the people are going between low T1 and high T3. I'm still not so sure on what kind of character I'm going to make. Maybe something that gets a whole bunch of attacks or something.


That is way too vague to make too many other suggestions. If you could narrow it down I could be more helpful.

Still, if you want simple lots-of-attacks (and your other players to hate you while you roll three pounds of d20s every turn), start off with anthropomorphic squid or something. I've seen builds that can pull off thousands of attacks with a bit of creativity, and that's without gestalt.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Bleed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Gestalt AND a free +7 in LA?!?  What kind of crazy campaign is that.  Secondly, how it your DM handelling LA and Gestalt?  I know that when I see the two I just let LA fill one "side" of a Gestalt build opposite actual class levels.

Stupid question but what kind of character are you looking at starting with?  Are you looking at classA1//classB1 with a +7 LA?  I know I'd be looking at things as class(es)7//LA+7 when using gestalt and LA.

To put things mildly you have given far too much potential with no direction on what is to be done with it or how to use it.
 
In actuality, I kind of want a character that can kill enemy spellcasters. We are starting at level 20 and we are gestalt (I hope we aren't going epic). So I might need to grapple to make them unable to move. Maybe silence them. I'll probably need some serious sneakiness and maybe like an AMF or some stuff. I know how difficult it is to kill Wizards and stuff, but the DM won't be running them like a paranoid person with 30 intelligence (though that is how I play wizards).
Edit: Example of a build could be say: Paladin 20//Cleric 20 (Insert a whole bunch of templates)


You may not have 21 class levels but you're already "epic" with that combination.  I'd say effectively something around ECL 29-30.  Any actual mechanical advise I could give would be pure speculation.  I mean you can possibly take two optimized and synergistic builds and put them together as the "gestalt" part of the character and then just find the templates that best boost those.

You speakers are turned up so high I can't even hear them.
 

I was going to suggest monster of legend (Monster Manual II) to get 5 levels ahead on cleric casting, but that's less relevant when you start at 20th level. Though, the continuous spell reflection might help with your caster-killing ambitions.


So, the table at the start of the monster section of the Epic Level Handbook lists demilich as ECL 33. This is presumably refering to the sample written up, which is a 21st-level wizard. Now, with lich being +4 LA to start with, that means demilich should be +8 LA. You can get the dry lich template with no LA by taking 10 levels of the walker in the waste prestige class (Sandstorm). That's better than normal lich, since it also gives you bonus HP equal to your cha modifier times your HD. If you can use your free +7 LA to knock demilich down to +1 LA, you could start as a demilich with 19 class levels even if you have to apply LA to both sides. Immunity to all supernatural and magical effects should help you kill casters.


I take back that suggestion. Demilich requires you to be level 21. Also, walker in the waste requires non-good alignment, while you said you must be good.

One of the things that came up when talking with people I regularly play D&D with was the possibility of racial Hit Dice during a gestalt game to count as only 1/2 a level. The HD's "class abilities" becomes the increased speed to reach Epic and other Feats, double hit points, more skills, and all other goodies of increased HD. I'm not sure as to how that might actually play, but you might want to run that by your DM to see if that seems reasonable.

Since all of the templates for level adjustmet is going to make everyone fairly monsterous to begin with, the option of spending some of that level adjustment through being a dragon/sphinx/mind flayer/troll/other monster might be benaficial or fun.
I've always been partial to half-dragon, myself. Also, I believe there's a primordial giant template in Secrets of Xen'drik you might want to check out.
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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.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
My vote would be for a feral mineral warrior wartroll, not really optimized but the picture of that thing would be crazy scary!
1st level of Half-Fey = diplomancer

1st level of Ghost Progression Template = incorporeal

Phrenic +2la = decent low Tier 4 addition to a build

Major Bloodline + appropriate build = fun and games


EDIT --- oops wasn't clear on a few specifics

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

 

I had a lot of fun playing a weretiger in a campaign, it's a +3LA to be a natural werecreature, meaning full control over transformations and DR 10/silver (+2LA for afflicted, DR 5/silver and no control). Weretigers get +12 str, +4 dex and con.
I had a lot of fun playing a weretiger in a campaign, it's a +3LA to be a natural werecreature, meaning full control over transformations and DR 10/silver (+2LA for afflicted, DR 5/silver and no control). Weretigers get +12 str, +4 dex and con.


This would also be inappropriately done here, as he has seven free level adjustments, but no free hit dice, and lycanthropes add the hit dice of the animal to their own HD (in effect, when you become a natural weretiger (tigers have 6 HD), you gain six levels of animal and a +3 level adjustment, so a natural weretiger is actually nine levels higher than he was earlier as far as things like XP are concerned).

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

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These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

[RT] Captain Charisma: All she wants to do is dance (Hybrid (melee/support), SAD, Theme (criticals), Theme (flex-style)

[TS] Assassin's Bleed: A blade in the crowd (Melee (technical), iaijutsu, SAD, theme (Assassin's Creed), tutorial)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

Secondly, how it your DM handelling LA and Gestalt?  I know that when I see the two I just let LA fill one "side" of a Gestalt build opposite actual class levels.

Given they are free, I imagine they're just added on (i.e. not gestalted).

In general, Draconic (+1) and Phrenic (+2) are two templates which I think offer a good return. Half-Fey is IIRC +2 also but it's not too dissimilar to Phrenic in many ways. The Blooded One template (+1) from Unapproachable East (I think, it's an FR book anyway) is a decent alternative to Draonic in may cases.

Since you have so much free LA, though, you could get away with a lot of things which might be sub-optimal otherwise. Hey, a Phrenic Half-Fey Cha-based caster would be horrible, all that +Cha and two sets of SLAs to dump on top of their gestalt spellcasting (because why take one spellcaster, when you could take two? Sorcerer|Dread Necro, maybe?).
Since you have so much free LA, though, you could get away with a lot of things which might be sub-optimal otherwise. Hey, a Phrenic Half-Fey Cha-based caster would be horrible, all that +Cha and two sets of SLAs to dump on top of their gestalt spellcasting (because why take one spellcaster, when you could take two? Sorcerer|Dread Necro, maybe?).

I've played a phrenic half-fey kaorti without any free LA (as a racial base for a Fiend of Possession).

Woodling has a fun combination of abilities if you can also cover up the fire vulnerability, and voidmind would be good except for the part about being controlled by mind flayers.

If you go for a spellcaster (or anyone else for whom low Strength and Small size aren't a problem), pixies are inordinately good, giving you flight, greater invisibility, damage reduction, level-based spell resistance, and solid ability score bonuses to everything except Strength, all for a +4 LA.  If you were aiming to kill enemy spellcasters, this would be for the sneakier side of things.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

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Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
I had a lot of fun playing a weretiger in a campaign, it's a +3LA to be a natural werecreature, meaning full control over transformations and DR 10/silver (+2LA for afflicted, DR 5/silver and no control). Weretigers get +12 str, +4 dex and con.


This would also be inappropriately done here, as he has seven free level adjustments, but no free hit dice, and lycanthropes add the hit dice of the animal to their own HD (in effect, when you become a natural weretiger (tigers have 6 HD), you gain six levels of animal and a +3 level adjustment, so a natural weretiger is actually nine levels higher than he was earlier as far as things like XP are concerned).

Whoops forgot the tiger HD, ignore my suggestion.

I'd have to agree with pixie being a top choice for any spell based character, pretty much addresses every concern a low level caster will have in terms of survivability. Another interesting template is half-fiend, +4LA for a whole bunch of bonuses and stat boosts.