Centaur Bard Hooves

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To make up for a complete lack of useful magical healing in a midlevel campaign (everyone is 7th level or equivalent), I am going to add a Centaur Bard. (Centaur=+2, 5th level bard)

I want him to use a hoof attack, but I am not sure how to add it.  In the Monster Manual, it has "Weapon Focus (hoof)" in the Centaurs attacks, but I can't find the statistics for it.  Any suggestions? 
Also, in a fifth level bard centaur, the centaur portion gets 2 feats.  Characters gain a feat every 3 overall levels.  The centaur counts as +2 levels.  So, does the character get 2 feats for being a centaur, and one level feat (for a total of 3 feats) because the centaur levels don't count toward level feats, or is it 2 centaur feats and 2 level feats (for a total of 4 feats) because the overall level is 7?
Which version are u playing?
Which version are u playing?



He's talking level adjustments and natural weapons, so definitely 3.x.

Well, firstly, 'bard' and 'useful' don't go in the same sentence.

Weapon Focus (hoof) is a feat; you have to choose to take it, and it gives you a +1 bonus to attack rolls with your hoof.

The level adjustment does not count for feats, hit dice, skill points, skill point cap, or anything else.  Hit Dice determine how many feats you get; you have 5, so you get a feat at 1 Hit Die and 3 Hit Dice.  ALSO AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, you still have to take the 4 'levels' of Centaur represented by its 4 Hit Dice.  So you will only have one level of Bard.

Remember:
Effective Character Level (ECL) = Hit Dice (HD) plus Level Adjustment (LA).
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Which version are u playing?


I have a 3.0 players guide and DM guide, and a 3.5 Monster manual.  I also have been trying to fill in the blanks with www.d20srd.org. If there is a better site, please let me know.


Well, firstly, 'bard' and 'useful' don't go in the same sentence.


I can see how some people wouldn't like them.  They are perfect for a character the DM has to add to fix a hopefully temporary problem. They can fill the lack without dominating the other player characters.


Weapon Focus (hoof) is a feat; you have to choose to take it, and it gives you a +1 bonus to attack rolls with your hoof.


What would the damage be?



The level adjustment does not count for feats, hit dice, skill points, skill point cap, or anything else.  Hit Dice determine how many feats you get; you have 5, so you get a feat at 1 Hit Die and 3 Hit Dice.  ALSO AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, you still have to take the 4 'levels' of Centaur represented by its 4 Hit Dice.  So you will only have one level of Bard

Remember:
Effective Character Level (ECL) = Hit Dice (HD) plus Level Adjustment (LA).


So to have the equivalent of a 7th level character, with their 4d8, the centaur would need to be a third level bard, not a fifth? This still begs the question as to whether the "feat for every 3 levels" is based off ECL or non-monster level. According to the D20SRD page, since centaurs have more than 1 HD, the first level feat (and the *4 skills) are included in the centaur package.  I am having a hard time finding a similar reference in the paper versions, which is why I ask here...

I have a 3.0 players guide and DM guide, and a 3.5 Monster manual.  I also have been trying to fill in the blanks with www.d20srd.org. If there is a better site, please let me know.



Do keep in mind that that there were rules several changes between 3.0 and 3.5.  I came into the hobby during 3.5, so I'm not well versed in the full extent of those changes.  So I'll let other posters chime in on that.

That said, if possible, it would be best to use material from the same version of 3e; at least until you're more familiar with the material.  You might be able to find copies of the 3.5 handbooks at your local library if you don't want to spend extra money on some used handbooks or the recent reprints.


Well, firstly, 'bard' and 'useful' don't go in the same sentence.


I can see how some people wouldn't like them.  They are perfect for a character the DM has to add to fix a hopefully temporary problem. They can fill the lack without dominating the other player characters.



3.X Bards tend to get a lot of flak, though perhaps a bit more than they deserve, that stems mostly from inherent flaws in the class design that makes it very easy to gimp yourself into mediocrity.  But for a temporary NPC support character, they will function just fine.

Though I do suggest that you arm your centaur bard with at least one Wand of Cure Light Wounds.  The Centaur will not even be able to cast any healing spells until next level, and even then, will only have a handful of casts at best.


Weapon Focus (hoof) is a feat; you have to choose to take it, and it gives you a +1 bonus to attack rolls with your hoof.


What would the damage be?



Using the d20srd, you can see the damage listed on the attack and full attack lines.  Damage is typically listed in parentheses.  The base damage of their hoof attacks is 1d6.



The level adjustment does not count for feats, hit dice, skill points, skill point cap, or anything else.  Hit Dice determine how many feats you get; you have 5, so you get a feat at 1 Hit Die and 3 Hit Dice.  ALSO AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, you still have to take the 4 'levels' of Centaur represented by its 4 Hit Dice.  So you will only have one level of Bard

Remember:
Effective Character Level (ECL) = Hit Dice (HD) plus Level Adjustment (LA).


So to have the equivalent of a 7th level character, with their 4d8, the centaur would need to be a third level bard, not a fifth? This still begs the question as to whether the "feat for every 3 levels" is based off ECL or non-monster level. According to the D20SRD page, since centaurs have more than 1 HD, the first level feat (and the *4 skills) are included in the centaur package.  I am having a hard time finding a similar reference in the paper versions, which is why I ask here...





Eh...not quite.

To be a 7th level equivalent character, a centaur would need one, and only one, level of bard: 4 racial HD + 1 bard level + 2 LA.

Level Adjustment (LA) are basically empty levels that are used to balance races whose racial abilities would make them more powerful than a normal character.  They confer no HP, skills points, class features, or anything other benefit a level would normally grant.  Also, bonus feats are granted based on your actual level, not ECL.  So, since LA are not actual levels, they do not count towards gaining bonus feats.

However, they do make the creature count as a higher level for the purposes of determining encounter level and XP gains.

TLDR:  An ECL 7 Centaur Bard would only have 5 levels (4 racial, 1 bard), have feats as a 5th level character, and is treated as a 7th level character in Encounter Level and XP calculations.

If you gain access to the 3.5 DMG, you'll want to read "Monsters as Races" starting on page 172.  I'm not sure where similar information would be in the 3.0 DMG.



Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
 

Using the d20srd, you can see the damage listed on the attack and full attack lines.  Damage is typically listed in parentheses.  The base damage of their hoof attacks is 1d6.



The level adjustment does not count for feats, hit dice, skill points, skill point cap, or anything else.  Hit Dice determine how many feats you get; you have 5, so you get a feat at 1 Hit Die and 3 Hit Dice.  ALSO AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, you still have to take the 4 'levels' of Centaur represented by its 4 Hit Dice.  So you will only have one level of Bard

Remember:
Effective Character Level (ECL) = Hit Dice (HD) plus Level Adjustment (LA).


So to have the equivalent of a 7th level character, with their 4d8, the centaur would need to be a third level bard, not a fifth? This still begs the question as to whether the "feat for every 3 levels" is based off ECL or non-monster level. According to the D20SRD page, since centaurs have more than 1 HD, the first level feat (and the *4 skills) are included in the centaur package.  I am having a hard time finding a similar reference in the paper versions, which is why I ask here...





Eh...not quite.

To be a 7th level equivalent character, a centaur would need one, and only one, level of bard: 4 racial HD + 1 bard level + 2 LA.

Level Adjustment (LA) are basically empty levels that are used to balance races whose racial abilities would make them more powerful than a normal character.  They confer no HP, skills points, class features, or anything other benefit a level would normally grant.  Also, bonus feats are granted based on your actual level, not ECL.  So, since LA are not actual levels, they do not count towards gaining bonus feats.

However, they do make the creature count as a higher level for the purposes of determining encounter level and XP gains.

TLDR:  An ECL 7 Centaur Bard would only have 5 levels (4 racial, 1 bard), have feats as a 5th level character, and is treated as a 7th level character in Encounter Level and XP calculations.

If you gain access to the 3.5 DMG, you'll want to read "Monsters as Races" starting on page 172.  I'm not sure where similar information would be in the 3.0 DMG.





OK, I think I understand... In other words, my son's bugbear is extremely overpowered.  Ah well... it is fun to watch a 9 year old try to act out battle in the middle of the living room.  I have already made the rule that all future games will start out as first level characters until we get the system down... The reason we made an exception this time was because the kids wanted their very "sarcasm is the only humor" to be forced to play a pixie... no more.
 
Being that it's an NPC, what if it never attacked (or not effectively), but just provided support?

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Being that it's an NPC, what if it never attacked (or not effectively), but just provided support?


The real problem is the PC pixie and bugbear that were created while there was a misunderstanding of the rules.  

At this point, I'll just have to go with it, because we are having too much fun to destroy characters. 
Bugbear has 3 HD and an LA of 1. Without levels this is an ECL 4.
Pixie has 0 HD and an LA of 4. Without levels this is an ECL 4.

So they should have the same number of class levels.

I'm guessing the bugbear is actually 3 class levels higher, so there are 2 easy ways to fix this:
1) Don't allow the bugbear to gain a level again until he has caught up to his ECL.
2) Meet in the middle; grant the pixie 2 levels, take 1 away from the bugbear.
3) Grant the pixie 3 levels.


I'm guessing the 3rd is actually the easiest to implement without causing problems... 
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
Bugbear has 3 HD and an LA of 1. Without levels this is an ECL 4.
Pixie has 0 HD and an LA of 4. Without levels this is an ECL 4.

So they should have the same number of class levels.

I'm guessing the bugbear is actually 3 class levels higher, so there are 2 easy ways to fix this:
1) Don't allow the bugbear to gain a level again until he has caught up to his ECL.
2) Meet in the middle; grant the pixie 2 levels, take 1 away from the bugbear.
3) Grant the pixie 3 levels.


I'm guessing the 3rd is actually the easiest to implement without causing problems... 


and his half-elf sister does wild!